Peter Baklinski

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‘You’re promoting hate’: Toronto police shut down preacher at Gay Pride parade

Peter Baklinski
Peter Baklinski
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TORONTO, Ontario, July 6, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Christian preacher spreading God’s word on a sidewalk in Toronto during the Gay Pride Parade on Canada Day was verbally assaulted by homosexual supporters as police watched, and was later surrounded by as many as 12 officers who forced him to vacate the area.

“I felt a bit threatened by the Law Enforcement violating my rights,” preacher David Lynn told LifeSiteNews.

“It was really hurtful, because if that’s what happens when Christians stand up and exercise and practice their faith, then we’re not far from being imprisoned or even killed for the faith.”

Lynn and his ministry team had set up a portable microphone system on a small cart, near the corner of Yonge and Wellesley, from which they preached and handed out religious tracts and free bibles.

Attached above the cart was a banner which read, “Free info about Jesus.”

A rainbow colored banner nearby the cart displayed the message, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18.”

Lynn told LifeSiteNews that he was there at the parade to preach to the LGBT community about the love of God.

“Jesus died for the entire world,” he said. “Everybody has an opportunity to be saved, including people at the Pride parade. There is no difference between them and me. I am a sinner just like they are. I wouldn’t have wasted my time if I didn’t think God’s loves them, if I didn’t think that there is hope for them.”

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But Lynn’s Gospel message of love was seen as confrontational by some. Video cameras captured Lynn’s peaceful interactions with participants at the event and subsequent police intervention.

“You’re being disrespectful by showing up and spewing your Jesus sh*t at a f***ing pride event,” shouted a woman in a tight pink t-shirt wearing sunglasses.

Next a man walked up with a water bottle and doused the preacher and the young man who was filming the event.

After this Lynn offered to share his mic with those who had surrounded him so that they could have a back and forth conversation. However, at this point police officers arrived on the scene wearing Gay Pride rainbow stickers. They asked the preacher if he had a permit for what he was doing.

Lynn said that he did not need a permit to preach.

“You are causing a disturbance right now,” officer T. Adams responded.

Lynn then appealed to the Charter’s rights and freedoms saying that there was nothing wrong with him having a conversation with people and “preaching what I believe”.

“You don’t have a permit for that; so that’s [the mic] off,” the officer said.

Lynn turned off his portable mic system and began to preach again.

But police began to surround him, effectively cutting him off from the people he was addressing.

“Guys, everybody, by staying listening to it you’re helping him get his message across. If you ignore him, it all goes away,” shouted officer Adams to the crowd.

Lynn then accused the officer of “taking sides.” By now six officers had surrounded the preacher.

“This is Canada Day, and I have freedom to believe whatever I want to believe and to preach what I want to preach,” said Lynn to the gathering police force.

One officer shouted at the cameraman “Hey, you’re blocking the sidewalk now”, and forcefully grabbed for the camera. Other cameras that caught the action show a police officer manhandling Lynn’s cameraman, pushing him along the sidewalk.

“Pack it up,” officers repeatedly said.

By now Lynn was surrounded by as many as 12 police officers.

“I don’t need a permit to preach,” Lynn said. “You’re discriminating against me because I’m preaching the Gospel.”

“You’re promoting hate,” staff sergeant R. Pasini said. 

Police finally compelled Lynn to leave amid shouts of “Thank you Toronto police” from pro-homosexual spectators.

“What really disturbed me the most was to see the police assault our 17-year-old cameraman,” Lynn said to LifeSiteNews.

Lynn also says he was flabbergasted by the “hate” that was shown to him and his ministry team by the homosexual paraders.

“To see Christians hated so aggressively by members in that community…I haven’t seen that level of hatred. And there were cheers for that kind of hatred and that kind of discrimination. If that’s what that parade is about — hatred towards Christianity — that’s scary.”

Lynn was also distraught that the police were “supporting them and their hatred and their discrimination and their assault when all I was doing was saying ‘Jesus loves you.’”

Despite all the hostility, Lynn says that his street ministry that day was not in vain.

“Over 100 free bibles were voluntarily picked up.” An estimated 5000 tracts filled with Gospel messages were also picked up.

“We were expecting that people would come to faith in Christ, be saved, be set free, and feel the love of Christ. Despite opposition, we reached our goal,” he said.

Lynn says it is “possible” that he might pursue legal action against the Toronto Police Force if it will “help the Gospel message to be spread and help people on the streets who preach the faith to feel safe”.

“I think I was violated. I don’t think that’s how the police should treat people. That’s bigotry at its worst. That’s hypocrisy. That’s using a double standard.”

Seemingly unfazed by the Pride Parade confrontation, an optimistic Lynn was back preaching on the streets of Toronto on Tuesday with his portable information booth stocked full of “Free info about Jesus.”

See video of confrontation here, here, and here.

Editor’s note: Lynn’s cameraman made a point of approaching the officers and obtaining their names and badge numbers. Officer D. Sinclair, 9678, refused to give his name, insisting that he had already given it. The cameraman nevertheless caught his name and badge number along with the names and badge numbers of a number of other officers who were in Lynn’s immediate vicinity.

Names and badge numbers of Toronto police officers identified by footage captured by Lynn’s cameraman:  

T. Adams, 9114
Staff Sergeant R. Pasini, 4528
D. Sinclair, 9678
D. Rubbini, 6346
M. Duffy, 1095


Contacts:

Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)
Ph: (877) 411-4773
Complaint against police form

Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto

Office of the Mayor
Toronto City Hall, 2nd Floor,
100 Queen St. West,
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Ph: (416) 397-3673
E-mail: [email protected]

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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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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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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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