Kristen Walker Hatten

What Hannibal the Cannibal taught me about abortion

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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February 13, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - I was watching The Silence of the Lambs the other day. I do that a lot. It’s one of those movies, like Goodfellas orGhostbusters or The Bourne Identity, that I have to watch if it’s on TV. Like, I have to.

Anyway, you’ve seen it, I’m sure. Hannibal Lecter is helping Clarice Starling catch the serial killer Buffalo Bill. He’s guiding her through his psychological profile. “First principles, Clarice,” he says. “Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing, ask: what is it in itself?”

I was thinking about abortion (I do that) and decided to apply the same thinking. “What is it in itself?” I asked. The obvious answer was: “Killing. Murder. Ending a human life.”

But then Dr. Lecter’s voice popped into my head (I should talk to someone about that), saying exactly what he said to Clarice in the film: “No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing…?”

And I answered: avoiding responsibility. That is the principal thing.

The mother who aborts is not like the serial killer who murders to satisfy a sick, often sexual, urge. She is not like the most common type of murderer: the man who kills in a rage, a fit of passion. She is not even like the hitman who kills for money, the mafioso or drug-dealer who kills for business, or the justice-seeker who kills as a reckoning.

She is not like the abortionist, about whose motives I am unclear. Yes, there’s money, but it has to be something else, too. Some of them may truly be convinced they’re helping. But I think most of them are degenerates, true sickos, and I suspect harboring a God complex as well.

The abortive mother is different. She seeks, first, not to end a life, but to avoid a life.

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I know all about avoiding responsibility, okay? I dropped out of college, like, three times. This one collection agency in Florida calls me about four times a day because I still owe money on a medical bill. Hell, today I stopped in the middle of Shark steam-mopping my kitchen to lie on the dining room floor and sing Dresden Dolls songs at the top of my lungs for 45 minutes. If there were a Gold Medal for avoiding responsibility, I’d be Michael Phelps.

The abortive mother is not just annoyed by the responsibility of motherhood, the way I am annoyed by the idea of scrubbing the bathtub. She is dreadful of it, the way I am dreadful of scrubbing the toilets. Seriously, though: she not only resents, but maybe fears motherhood. Often prodded by or frightened of a coercive boyfriend or family, even the promise of loving, adoptive parents for her child is not enough. It’s not just the baby; it’s the pregnancy and the birth. She must avoid it.

It is pain. Responsibility is pain. That’s what it is, to some degree. Whether it’s the pain of waking up early or the pain of squeezing a human being out of our nether-regions, it’s suffering. It may be the pain of losing your Saturday to housework, or the pain of losing your child, in a sense, to adoption, but it’s suffering.

Some women, if they can be convinced that there is a life inside them, will take on the responsibility, the suffering, if not of parenting, at least of carrying and delivering the child. Others, even believing there is a life, will end it to avoid the responsibility, either because it isn’t alive enough and therefore it doesn’t matter, doesn’t count, or because there is no price too high to pay for what she wants: to not be pregnant.

As someone who is trying desperately to be pregnant, this is very difficult for me to understand. I pride myself – always have – on being able to understand almost anything. I wasn’t always the repressed Catholic housewife you see before you. Even now, not condoning doesn’t keep me from understanding. Whatever it is, however insane or sick, I may find it reprehensible, disgusting, vile, or horrifying, but odds are I can understand it. It’s a blessing and a curse, but one I have always prided myself on.

Pride goeth before a fall, I guess, because I’ve finally found the one thing I can’t understand, and that’s killing your baby to not be pregnant.

A Facebook friend of mine posted a photo of her baby the other day, and I was intrigued because, well, her baby is black and she is not. So I was curious to know more about the adoption story. I love adoption stories. I love to listen to my Mamaw talk about adopting my mom and marvel at how close she came to ending up in an orphanage in Nebraska. My brothers and I would never have existed. And what would have become of my smart, strong, beautiful mother?

Anyway, I was stalking my friend’s photos of her chunky, exquisite black baby, and thinking of Marcus Aurelius’s first things, and rejoicing that a woman in Louisiana decided to accept responsibility, accept loss, accept suffering, and give my friend and the world the infinitely valuable gift of little Caleb.

“Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself?” Looking at baby Caleb, first principles are easy: he is God’s handiwork. He is the immortal soul inside the animal body. Miraculous. Perfect.

One human life.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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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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