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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Lisa Bourne

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

Lisa Bourne
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.

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

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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