Steve Jalsevac

We must embrace conflict

Steve Jalsevac
Steve Jalsevac

My dear friends,

Only five more days until Christmas, the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. And yet, we should not forget that circumstances around His birth and during His life and at the end of His earthy life were anything but peaceful. There are lessons in this related to LifeSiteNews and its mission.

Christ lived and taught and was Love, but that love and teaching were never politically correct. They often involved the saying of hard truths that many did not want to hear.

Christ’s birth was the ultimate sign of God’s love for the human race. And yet He was hated and there were those who wanted to kill Him, even as an infant and later as He healed thousands of diseases and even raised some from the dead. In the end, He was cruelly murdered.

One of the lessons of His life was that true love does not avoid conflict, and true love is often obliged to say things that are not welcomed or that disturb people, although the intent is never to disturb or to hurt. True love involves sticking one’s neck out where others refuse to do so for fear of personal discomfort, loss of worldly respect, or other less-than-admirable reasons.

At the recent International Pro-Life Conference in Ottawa, which was co-sponsored by LifeSiteNews, 14-year-old Lia Mills gave a message well beyond her young years related to all of this. Many of us were astonished how, at such a very young age, she has come to understand what even most adults do not about the battle for life and family.

Lia described the anger she faced after her pro-life speech went viral on YouTube, noting that she even received death threats. But while we’re tempted to avoid conflict, she said, “the truth is that as pro-life people … we cannot avoid conflict, but [we must] embrace it in the right way. … My family and I have learned to embrace conflict.”

What amazing wisdom from such a young girl! Christ embraced conflict, as did all the prophets and saints and most great leaders from the past. When one is acting against great evils, as LifeSiteNews is, attacks or conflict are an inevitable companion. And yet, we are obliged to persevere. And we do.

We have learned to accept that, when our news reports are effective against evils, the conflict that results, and is not sought, is often an affirmation that we are, as an air force military priest chaplain advised, “over the target.”

Austin Ruse, the president of C-FAM, wrote last week, “Where would we all be without LifeSiteNews.com? They cover the life and family issues like a glove. They are often first to report and when needed they cause a lot of trouble in all the right places. I read LifeSiteNews. I salute LifeSiteNews.com”

We “cause a lot of trouble” or “embrace conflict,” not because we like or seek conflict, but simply because we report truth. LifeSiteNews could play it safe and avoid controversy, but then we would have to deny the TRUTH. The birth of Christ reminds us that we cannot do that, no matter how much others protest, or how heavy is the cross that results.

That birth also reminds us that, no matter how charitable and objectively we state certain truths, there will always be those who will rage against that truth, as they did against Christ, the saints and many other great religious or secular leaders.

At this point, we have achieved half of our fundraising goal for the 2010 Christmas Campaign. At $75,000, we are more than grateful for the generosity that’s been demonstrated by our supporters.

But we still need your help in receiving the last half of our necessary $150,000 goal with only 11 days remaining.
(Click here to donate)

It’s not easy working for LifeSiteNews. We’re often accused of insensitivities and atrocities, not only by gay rights activists, but also by the pro-abortion movement, proponents of stem cell research and euthanasia, anti-family organizations, and yes, even some liberal Church leaders.

It can be pretty daunting to see our critics point fingers at us and label us bigots, extremists, and other names I’d dare not share.

Yet, why would we endure such abuse if it were not for love?

Here at LifeSiteNews, we anticipate these struggles. Although we expect our critics to challenge us at every corner, we must shoulder the burden of this work in order to educate and activate society to bring out cultural change.

We are willing to endure hardships for the purpose of defending life family, truth, and love.

The world needs LifeSiteNews. All across the globe, people such as yourselves are struggling as they face the culture of death on a daily basis:

  • Our friends in Ireland are concerned about the European Court claiming the nation’s pro-life laws violate the “right to privacy.”

  • The U.N. Secretary-General demanded greater respect for homosexual and transgender rights, attempting to mainstream the gay agenda while sacrificing freedom of religion.

  • The ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project is targeting Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, who threatened to renounce a Catholic hospital for performing an abortion.

  • Pro-Life Action League President Joe Scheidler’s house was vandalized by an embittered pro-abortion activist.

  • A Quebec high school distributed graphic pamphlets instructing youth on how to perform “safe” oral sex.

The stories we report can sometimes seem discouraging, but our job is not merely to bring you such updates on the trials and tribulations that we and our friends and allies face. Our job is to report these stories so they may, in turn, encourage our readers and arm them with good information to challenge the anti-life and anti-family agenda.

We provide you, our readers, with the tools necessary to battle the anti-life and anti-family movement.

Now we humbly ask you to give us the tools needed to continue reaching the world with this crucial service.
(Click here to donate)

Our friends and allies strongly affirm their praises of LifeSiteNews:

  • “No one is more on target, no one is more open with the facts than LifeSiteNews.  I’m humbled by the coverage I’ve received from them and I urge all people of good will, pro-life and pro-family, to continue and double and redouble their financial support of this institution so that we should be able to get out the message and fight the moral fight for the glory of God.” Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada

  • “Over the years American Life League has become so dependent on LifeSiteNews.com that we cannot imagine doing our educational work without them. We need them; the babies need them; the world needs them … their brand of no nonsense, unabashedly principled reporting is an asset beyond measure.” Judie Brown, President of American Life League

  • “A lot of us wouldn’t be able to work so effectively if not for the extraordinarily good work of LifeSiteNews, which is the most widely read pro-life news service in the world.” John Smeaton, Director of Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

  • “LifeSiteNews has been extremely valuable to us in our efforts to protect life and family in Latin America. LifeSite’s interest in reporting on key happenings throughout Latin America has been crucial in creating awareness, and very importantly, causing others to act!” Julia Regina Sol de Cardenal, President of Si a la Vida, El Salvador

The battle that lies before us will be long and arduous. That we can guarantee. With you as our allies, we can approach the frontlines with greater hope and fortitude.

Please help LifeSiteNews celebrate life and truth this Christmas through a gift of $5, $50, $100, $1,000, $5,000, or even more.
(Click here to donate)

Thank you for your support of LifeSiteNews.

For Life and Family,

Steve Jalsevac
Managing Director and Co-founder
LifeSiteNews

PS: U.S. donors can donate to LifeSiteNews to reduce taxable income for 2010 when you itemize your tax deductions. So don’t forget to donate before the year’s end!

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The first pro-abortion Republican enters the 2016 presidential race

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By Ben Johnson

EXETER, NH, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The large and expanding field of would-be Republican presidential candidates grew by one today, as George Pataki became the first GOP presidential hopeful this election season to openly support abortion-on-demand.

The 69-year-old long-shot candidate also has a history of supporting homosexual legislative causes.

In the weeks leading up to his formal announcement, George Pataki took out TV ads asking Republicans to refrain from talking about abortion and gay “marriage,” branding them “distractions.”

“In 12 years [as governor], I don’t think I talked about that issue twice,” he once said of abortion.

On same-sex “marriage,” he says, “I think, leave it to the states. I don’t think it’s a role in Washington.”

However, Pataki has a long history of enacting the homosexual political agenda as governor of New York from 1994-2006. He signed a “hate crimes” law that added the words “gay” and “lesbian” to New York state law for the first time.

He signed the Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Act (SONDA), which prohibits business owners from “discriminating” against homosexuals in housing or hiring, with an exemption only for religious institutions.

He also added sexual orientation to state civil rights laws, alongside such immutable characteristics as race and sex, in an apparent quid pro quo for a gay activist group's endorsement in his last run for governor. The New York Times reported that, under pressure from Pataki, the then-Senate Majority Leader “shifted his position on the bill as part of what is tacitly acknowledged, even by Senator [Joseph] Bruno's senior aides, to have been a deal to win an endorsement for Governor Pataki from the state's largest gay rights group, the Empire State Pride Agenda.”

After the LGBT activist group endorsed Pataki in 2002, citing a long list of his service to the homosexual political cause, Pataki personally lobbied senators for the bill's passage, then signed it into law that December.

Coupled with his stance on gun control, environmentalism, and other issues, he stands well to the left of the Republican mainstream.

The three-term governor of New York, who belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, took his own advice by largely avoiding social issues today. The closest he came was his vow, “I'd repeal oppressive laws like ObamaCare and end Common Core.”

He added that he would “fire every current IRS employee abusing government power to discriminate on the basis of politics or religion. That is not America!”

Otherwise, Pataki's announcement speech hewed to stand pat Republican issues like reducing taxes, shrinking the number of federal employees, increasing military spending, and supporting entrepreneurship.

He began by thanking his supporters, in English and Spanish.

Smiling, his head pivoting between twin teleprompters, he said, “Let me tell you some of the things I'd do right away to get oppressive government off the backs of Americans.”

He would institute a lifetime ban on congressmen acting as lobbyists after they leave office. “If you ever served one day in Congress, you will never be a lobbyist,” he said. He favors forcing Congress to live under the laws it passes, so there will be “no special rules for the powerful.”

He cited his history of cutting taxes, reducing welfare rolls, and leaving his state with billions of dollars in surplus. “That's what our policies can do,” he said. “I know we can do the same thing for the United States.”

In recent weeks, he has called for a more interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East. Today, he reminded his audience that he was governor of New York in 9/11. “I will not fear the lesson of September 11,” he said. “To protect us, first we must protect the border,” he said – an unexpected phrase, as Pataki supports amnesty for the at least 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

“We will stand with our ally, Israel, a democracy on the front lines of terror and barbarism,” he said.

Like former Sen. Rick Santorum, who announced he is running for president yesterday, Pataki agreed that “if necessary, American forces will be used to actually defeat and destroy ISIS on the ground” – although he promised not to become “the world's policeman.”

Some of his campaign promises drew skepticism, such as seeking to develop self-driving cars and to cure Alzheimer's disease and cancer within the next decade.

The speech's venue was chosen deliberately by Pataki, who considered entering the presidential race in 2000, 2008, and 2012. The town of Exeter, New Hampshire, claims to be the founding place of the Republican Party. (Ripon, Wisconsin, makes a similar claim.)

More importantly, the first-in-the-nation primary skews more libertarian on social issues than evangelical-dominated Iowa and South Carolina, so Pataki has essentially staked his candidacy on doing well in New Hampshire. Fellow pro-abortion Republican Rudy Giuliani made a similar bet in 2008, banking on a good showing among transplanted New Yorkers in the Florida primary. He left the race after finishing a distant third.

Short of a stunning upset in the Granite State, Pataki has little chance of breaking through the pack this year. A Fox News poll ranks him dead last among 16 announced and potential candidates. Holly Bailey of Yahoo! News said, “George Pataki would never say this, but you do have to wonder if he's sort of, maybe, gaming for vice president.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Pataki is not the first “pro-choice” Republican to run for president.  Giuliani (who supported partial birth abortion) and Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (another potential 2016 candidate, who supports abortion during the first trimester) ran in 2008. Twelve years earlier, both California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter supported abortion-on-demand. Arlen Specter later left the party and became a Democrat.

In 1988, General Alexander Haig opposed a human life amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So did Texas Gov. John Connally in 1980.

George H.W. Bush supported abortion and voted for Planned Parenthood funding early in his career but changed his position by the time he ran for president the second time, in 1988.

President Gerald Ford was the last Republican nominee to proclaim himself “pro-choice.” 

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Ireland ‘defied God’ by voting for gay ‘marriage’: Cardinal Burke

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By Pete Baklinski

OXFORD, May 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Cardinal Raymond Burke lamented how formerly Catholic Ireland has gone further than the pagans in the pre-Christian days of old and “defied God” by calling homosexual behavior “marriage” in the referendum last week.

“I mean, this is a defiance of God. It’s just incredible. Pagans may have tolerated homosexual behaviours, they never dared to say this was marriage,” he told the Newman Society, Oxford University’s Catholic organization, in an address Wednesday about the intellectual heritage of Pope Benedict XVI. The Tablet, Britain’s liberal Catholic newspaper, reported his remarks.

On Friday, 1.2 million Irish people voted to amend the country’s constitution to say: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” A little over 734,000 people voted against the proposal. 

Burke said that he could not understand “any nation redefining marriage.”

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The cardinal also emphasized the important role that parents play in protecting their children in a culture increasingly hostile to God’s laws. “The culture is thoroughly corrupted, if I may say so, and the children are being exposed to this, especially through the internet,” he said. One practical piece of advice that he offered families was to put computers in public areas to prevent children from “imbib[ing] this poison that’s out there.”

During the same Oxford visit, but during a homily at a Mass the day before, Burke called marriage between a man and woman a “fundamental truth” that has been “ignored, defied, and violated.”

Burke warned during the homily of the dangers of “various ideological currents” and of “human deception and trickery which strives to lead us into error.”

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Why young Christians can’t grasp our arguments against gay ‘marriage’

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By John Stonestreet

May 28, 2015 (BreakPoint.org) -- For five years, Dr. Abigail Rine has been teaching a course on gender theory at George Fox University, an evangelical school in the Quaker tradition.

At the beginning of the semester, she tells her students that “they are guaranteed to read something they will find disagreeable, probably even offensive.”

Writing at FirstThings.com recently, she related how five years ago it was easy to find readings that challenged and even offended the evangelical college students “considering the secular bent of contemporary gender studies.”

But today, things are different. “Students now,” she says, “arrive in my class thoroughly versed in the language and categories of identity politics; they are reticent to disagree with anything for fear of seeming intolerant—except, of course, what they perceive to be intolerant.”

And what do they find “intolerant”? Well, in her class, an essay entitled “What is Marriage?” by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson, which was the beginning of the book “What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense.”

In their article, Girgis, George, and Anderson defend what they call the conjugal view of marriage. “Marriage,” they write, “is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other … that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together.” They defend this view against what they call the “revisionist view” of marriage, which redefines marriage to include, among other things, same-sex couples.

“My students hate it,” Dr. Rine wrote. They “lambast the article.” “They also,” she adds, “seem unable to fully understand the argument.” And again, these are evangelical students at an evangelical school.

The only argument for conjugal marriage they’ve ever encountered has been the wooden proof-texting from the Bible. And besides, wrote Rine, “What the article names as a ‘revisionist’ idea of marriage—marriage as an emotional, romantic, sexual bond between two people—does not seem ‘new’ to my students at all, because this is the view of marriage they were raised with, albeit with a scriptural, heterosexual gloss.”

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

As Rine points out “the redefinition of marriage began decades ago” when “the link between sexuality and procreation was severed in our cultural imagination.”

And if marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction,” then it seems mean-spirited to Rine’s students to argue that marriage by its very nature excludes same-sex couples.

And where do students get the idea that marriage “has only an arbitrary relationship to reproduction”? Well, everywhere—television, church, school, their homes, in youth groups.

Rine writes, “As I consider my own upbringing and the various ‘sex talks’ I encountered in evangelical church settings over the past twenty years, I realize that the view of marital sex presented there was primarily revisionist.”

In other words, once you say, “I do,” you get “the gift” of sex which is presented as “a ‘gift’ largely due to its [erotic], unitive properties, rather than its intrinsic capacity to create life.” Even in the Church, children have become an optional add-on to married life rather than its primary purpose.

What can we do to win back our children, our churches, and the culture? In our recent book “Same Sex Marriage,” Sean McDowell and I lay out a game plan. We offer strategies for the short-term and the long-term, with the ultimate goal: re-shaping the cultural imagination towards what God intended marriage to be, starting with the church. Come to BreakPoint.org to pick up your copy.

As Chuck Colson once said in a BreakPoint commentary about marriage, “We Christians are very good at saying ‘No.’ But we’ve got to get better at saying ‘Yes’: showing how God’s plan for humanity is a blessing. That His ways, including faithful, life-giving marriage between one man and one woman, lead to human flourishing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Reprinted with permission from Break Point.

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