Kristen Walker Hatten

What burning Korans, birth control, and blind lawyers have in common

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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March 2, 2012 (LiveAction.org) - Here are three things that are totally happening. Don’t worry about what they have to do with each other. I’ll get to that. Just bask in the crappiness of these three things:

1. Last month on a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, four Korans were accidentally included in a heap of trash that was dumped into a burn pit.

The materials had been taken from a library at Parwan Detention Facility, which adjoins the base, because they contained extremist messages or inscriptions. Writing inside a Koran is forbidden in the Islamic faith, although it was unclear whether the handwritten messages were found in the holy book or other reading materials.

Some Afghans saw the Korans burning, and some of them even burned their fingers trying to remove them. Cue pandemonium! Since then Obama has apologized to President Hamid Karzai and the nation of Afghanistan — twice. He has apologized super hard. Protesting Afghans apparently don’t care.

“We don’t care about Obama’s apology,” said Kamaluddin, a 25-year-old Kabul protester who uses only one name. “We have to protest to be responsible to our god. They are burning our Koran. An apology is not enough.” (source: Time)

This of course begs the question: what is enough?

I have a wild guess! Could it be… Death to America?

Despite Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s appeal for calm, thousands of protesters, some shouting “Long live Islam!” and “Death to America!” rallied Thursday in the capital and in seven of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. At least five protesters were killed…

The deadliest protest was held outside an American base in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar province. Two protesters were killed by Afghan police there and an Afghan soldier turned his gun on U.S. troops, killing two Americans. Elsewhere, a Norwegian soldier was wounded by a hand grenade hurled into a coalition compound. (source: Time)

2. In other news, in case you hadn’t heard, Obamacare is going to require many religious employers — such as Catholic schools and hospitals — to provide insurance to employees that will allow them free contraception and sterilization services, not to mention abortion drugs. (Click right here on this link for more information on this.)

3. In other other news, that guy I’ve written about in China — the one Christian Bale tried to go visit – is sick as all get-out. Chen Guangcheng is a blind human rights lawyer who was arrested, imprisoned, and tortured for years — without trial — for representing women who had been forcibly sterilized as a result of China’s one-child policy. Most recently, he has been confined to house arrest with his wife, mother, and daughter, denied visiting his cancer-stricken brother or attending his funeral in January, and denied medical care. Recent reports suggest he and his family are ailing badly and possibly going without proper nutrition.

There is nothing anyone can do. As Bruce Wayne found out, if you try to visit Guangcheng, you get beaten up by thugs who try to take away your camera.

Here’s the deal: some soldiers accidentally burn a Koran in Afghanistan and approximately ten people are dead, according to Afghan officials (at the time of this writing).

In the United States, a major blow to religious liberty is struck — a law will literally force Catholics to pay for other people’s contraception, abortion, and sterilization — and how many violent riots have there been? Zero.

Let’s recap!

Afghanistan– Korans burned. Religious liberty legally attacked by this action? No. Death toll: About ten. Violent rioting? Why, yes! Obama apology count: Two!

United States — Obamacare denies religious conscience rights. Religious liberty legally attacked by this action? Yes! Death toll: Zero. Violent rioting? Nope! Obama apology count: Zero!

(By the way, in case you were wondering if the Afghans have apologized for killing people, that answer is no.)

Have you ever heard that saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease?” It’s unfortunately true, and the rationale behind a lot of bad behavior. Does the Obama administration want us to riot in the streets and shoot at people? Then will he apologize to us?

But, see, that’s not gonna happen because Christianity is the most tolerant religion in the history of the world. The founder of Christianity was tolerant unto His own death. Christians of the Roman Empire were tolerant up to and including becoming lion poop. We tolerate a hostile media, a hostile government, and hostile people of other religions who want us all to die and go to Muslim Hell, where we will be forced to, I don’t know, eat bacon and watch Larry David programs. On the rare occasion we get intolerant — Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, some other stuff that happened centuries ago — the stories get blown out of proportion, factually distorted, and thrown at us for hundreds of years as “proof” that we are big mean meanies who want everybody to be Christians or die, even after Popes issue official apologies.When people burn Bibles, we pray for them. At worst, we yell and call them names. When was the last time you heard of Christians rioting and shooting people because some Bibles were burned? Go ahead and try to remember. I’ll wait.

Look, it doesn’t matter if you are a Christian. Look at Guangcheng. I don’t know if he’s a Christian or not, and I don’t care. He lives in a country where he has no rights. No one does. That is where we end up if we stay on this path.

You have probably heard this famous saying of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s before. He survived seven years in a Nazi concentration camp.

First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

The point isn’t religion. It’s freedom. Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you are pro-life or not, you need to be very concerned about this Obamacare mandate.

Not a Christian? You still need to be very concerned that we have a president who cares more about the rights of murderous thugs in another country than his own people.

Pro-choice? You still need to think about Guangcheng, and contemplate what it will be like to live in a country where opposing abortion is a crime.

Reprinted with permission from LiveAction’s blog.

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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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