Hilary White

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Young People Love the Pope Because of His Moral Stands, Not Despite Them

Hilary White

TORONTO, April 5, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Since the death of Pope John Paul II, media is awash with commentators talking about his influence. An especially consistent theme is the surprise that the Pope, who is portrayed as a severe moralist, should be so especially loved by young people. Media commentators show a consistent tone of perplexity that a man who was known for his uncompromising stands on moral issues would have such wide appeal for youth who are portrayed as dedicated hedonists.

LifeSiteNews.com interviewed a number of young Canadian Catholics who revere the late Pope and asked them the question, “Why do young people love John Paul II?”

Michael Connell, 28, formerly the Communications Director of the Catholic Civil Rights League and currently a student at Ave Maria School of Law told LifeSiteNews.com that he feels that mainstream media coverage has missed the point. Connell said, “So much of it has been about John Paul as a ‘man of contradiction.’ But the reality is that it’s the world that is contradictory, when John Paul was perfectly consistent.”

Connell commented, “It’s the world that doesn’t grasp the consistency between being a champion of human freedom and opposing abortion. John Paul was a hero to younger Catholics who saw their elders being corrupted by the moral incoherence of ‘liberal’ Catholicism and secularism. His moral courage, not kowtowing to the world, is what was attractive about him.”

Kevin Belgrave, a seminarian at St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto, and former director of a youth pro-life movement said that the young people of the world have flocked to John Paul, not ‘in spite of ’ but ‘because of ’ his stand. He told LifeSiteNews.com, “A superficial look at this outpouring of devotion for John Paul II might mistakenly give the impression that young Catholics worshiped the Pope.” But Belgrave says that the Pope’s message of truth, uncompromised with the shifting values of the world is the secret of John Paul’s attraction. “He tells the truth. With a stunning clarity and depth he feeds the human heart the food for which it starves in our modern culture…the truth. We don’t love him in spite of the challenging demands of authentic love. We love the truth.”

Today, a group of students and volunteers at the University of Toronto were manning a pro-life display of photographs and literature. Andrew Chun reflected a common story when he said that John Paul II had been instrumental in his ‘re-version’ to Catholicism. Chun, a teacher at Mary Mother of God Catholic elementary school in Toronto said that it was more than the moral teachings of John Paul that attracted him. “I already agreed with all the moral teachings of the Church, I just thought they made sense. But I didn’t have the faith.” He told LifeSiteNews.com that the Pope’s witness to the greater reality of God turned him back to the practice of the Catholic faith.

Matthew Kubica a 19 year-old health sciences student at McMaster University said that as a life-long Catholic he is a fan of John Paul because, “He made his life the young people. He presided over 19 World Youth Days and he told us there that we are the salt of the earth, we can change things.” Kubica is also a life-long pro-lifer and said, “Because he made it his life’s journey to inspire the young people, I don’t see any alternative but to be drawn to him”

23 year-old Daniel Santoro, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, said he was impressed by the Pope’s ability to focus on the particular problems of each culture in the world. “When he went to South America he would focus on social justice and economic issues. But when he spoke to North America he would address the moral decline. He knew that the biggest problem for North America is the Culture of Death.”

”(The media) would point out that the Pope was great in every issue they liked such as social justice or poverty or war, except for those moral issues where his old fashioned mind didn’t reconcile with modernity. They point this out as a defect in his mind, but would never make the connection that maybe the problem was not in his mind but in theirs,” Santoro said.

Santoro said he was another who had a ‘re-version’ to the Church at World Youth Day after personally encountering the Pope whom he sees as a representative of Christ. He said he read the writing of John Paul but that to believe, one needs more than intellectual knowledge, a personal encounter with Christ is necessary. “Even though I was intellectually ready to become converted, (seeing the Pope at World Youth Day) put me over the edge. This goes back to what I was saying about the encounter with Christ. He’s the vicar of Christ. He had been attracting me all along, World Youth Day was more the cap on the cap on the journey.”

Many have expressed their skepticism about the staying power of these young converts. Some are concerned that the great number of young Catholics who have come into the Catholic faith because of John Paul will experience a crisis at his death and the cult of personality surrounding him will fade. Santoro responded, “John Paul didn’t create ‘JPII Catholics,’ but just Catholics, believers in Christ. Through him you encounter Jesus. Jesus doesn’t go away because the Pope died. The Pope’s appeal was not John Paul, his charisma was that of the Holy Spirit, his appeal was his presenting of Jesus.”

21-year-old Megan Huddart, a U of T undergraduate student of philosophy said that the Pope understood young people. “His suffering was an inspiration. Not just that he suffered but the heroic way in which he suffered with dignity. His coherence of life was my inspiration.”

Huddart said, “It would have been easy for him to have kept up his message (of the value of life in the midst of suffering) if he had never suffered. His suffering backs up what he said. If he had stayed strong and vigorous…anyone could say those things. But to live them through such suffering is proof of his authenticity.”



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Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.

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April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.

I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:

Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.

Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.

After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.

The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.

So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.

When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.



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Target boycott climbs to over 1 million

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April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms. 

The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.

“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans.  Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy.  Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.  And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”

Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.” 

The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.

“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says. 

The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children. 

“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked. 

There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so. 

“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”



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Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins

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CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.

Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.

At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.

“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”

The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.

“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”

One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.

“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”

“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”

Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.

But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.

The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.

Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.

“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”

Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:

The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.



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