Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Great Britain vs. Parental Rights

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

British baby Charlie Gard’s parents were back in court today, trying to prove that an experimental treatment might help their son. Just typing that sentence makes me angry. How can anyone prove an experimental treatment will work? And why should a court and a hospital have the final say over what happens to their child?

Last week I wrote an op-ed for the Daily Caller about the erosion of parental rights, and how we cannot stand for it. Please have a look here.

Today on CNN.com, Carter Snead has a piece on why Pope Francis is among those fighting for Charlie’s life. Have a look!

 

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Remembering Mother Angelica

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

In 1994, just a year after taking the reins of Priests for Life, Father Frank Pavone was invited to speak at several events in Birmingham. While he was there, arrangements were made for him to be on EWTN’s live show with Mother Angelica.

Father Frank always wore the “Precious Feet” pin that model the feet of a baby at 10 weeks’ gestation, and I had suggested to him, some time before this appearance on EWTN, that we should glue pink and blue ribbons to the pin. So Father Frank and Mother were in the midst of a conversation on the show, when Mother interrupted him and asked about the pin. “You need new ribbons,” she asserted, “they’re faded.” Her trademark laugh followed, and then she was back on point with their previous conversation.

The next day, the two of them had a private meeting in Mother’s office. With her characteristic bluntness, she said, “The network needs a pro-life show. Would you do it?” Of course Father Frank said yes! Then Mother picked up the phone and said to whoever was on the line, “We’re going to have a show with Father Frank. Make it happen.”

That’s how it was with Mother Angelica. If she wanted you on the air, you were on the air. If she felt a comment needed making, she made it. She was totally led by the Holy Spirit.

Our first season of “Defending Life” aired in 1995 and in the 21 years since, we have featured scores of pro-life ministries on the show and raised awareness of the pro-life cause in ways that just wouldn’t have been possible if Mother Angelica had not opened that door.

I remember another time, it was still in the 90s, when Father Frank and I were at EWTN taping “Defending Life.” He was on the live show again, and as I was waiting I walked into a reception area and found Mother Angelica there. She told me about land she had just purchased in Hanceville, about an hour away from EWTN in Irondale. The property was a former soybean farm, and it was just acres and acres of nothing. But she envisioned a monastery, with a church big enough for an eight-foot monstrance.

Her vision was fulfilled in 1999 when the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament opened in Hanceville, with an eight-foot monstrance in the chapel.

The monastery was beautiful, and I understood Mother Angelica’s desire to get her cloistered sisters away from the hustle and bustle of EWTN, but the truth is I also miss seeing them, and her, when I go there four times a year to tape our shows. It was inspirational to see them at Mass and to hear their singing, and in and around the set, there was always a chance to catch a glimpse of her. They were spiritual, special years.

I was very fortunate to have a chance to visit her at the monastery in 2000. I was at EWTN and one of our guests on “Defending Life” and I received permission to visit one of the sisters and while we were there, Mother Superior let us know that Mother Angelica would like to come out to greet us. Through the iron grate that separated the sisters from the rest of the world, she shook my hand and it was a truly mystical, spiritual moment. In her presence, I felt the very near presence of God.

“May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest.”

 

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Contraception kills

Friday, March 13th, 2015

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Christianity Today surprised me, and many of its readers, I would guess, with an opinion piece carried below the ironic headline, “Contraception Saves Lives.”  Even more surprising, author Rachel Marie Stone lauds Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, making excuses for her eugenic beliefs and saying Planned Parenthood did not provide abortion in Sanger’s lifetime.  My colleague Bryan Kemper wrote about the Sanger apologetics in his blog, so I will concentrate on the dubious claim that contraception saves lives.

First, let’s refute her assertion, now so familiar, that hormonal contraceptives are not abortifacients. That’s nonsense. One of the ways the birth control pill works is by preventing implantation of the embryo in the uterus. That’s abortion to those of us who know that life begins at conception, which, by the way, is a scientific fact.

Now let’s take a look at some the other ways that contraception ends lives.

Ms. Stone’s article mentions the long-acting contraception called Depo-Provera, which is a-once-every-three-months injection. But here are some of the things she didn’t say about Depo-Provera.

In addition to a long list of nasty side effects – blood clots, breast cancer, ectopic pregnancy, depression, excessive weight gain, facial paralysis, hirsutism, cervical cancer, nipple bleeding, and a lack of return to fertility – Depo-Provera increases a woman’s risk of contracting HIV by 40 percent. This is particularly troubling for women in sub-Saharan Africa, where  25,000 million people – 70 percent of the world total – are living with HIV/AIDS.

The Pill is not much better for women, as I outlined in a chapter of my book, “Recall Abortion.” The Pill  poses numerous health risks, including blood clots, increased risks of cardiovas­cular disease,cervical and liver cancer,elevated blood pressure,decreased desire, sexual dysfunction and stroke.

Some Pills are worse than others. In 2006, Bayer Pharmaceuticals burst onto the market with Yaz and Yasmin, drugs that were touted as reliable birth control and miraculous cures for acne and pre-menstrual syndrome.

But Yas and Yasmin are not miracle drugs. As of 2014, Bayer had paid out $1.7 billion – BILLION – to settle 8,250 cases brought against it and there are still thousands of cases pending. Women are suffering from gall bladder disease, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and other diseases. In Canada, the deaths of 23 women have been linked to Yaz and Yasmin.

How many deaths does it take before we stop calling a drug safe? I think one death is too many, and here’s why.

After I finished giving a talk in Naples, Florida, a woman approached me to tell me a story about her friend’s daughter, who was prescribed Yaz for a serious acne condition by the campus physician. After taking Yaz for just three months, the girl collapsed one day in her dorm and was rushed to the hospital. She fell into a coma that lasted five years and ended with her death.

So please, Christianity Today, don’t tell me contraception saves lives. That is simply not true.

(For more in-depth information about the perils of the Pill, please go to www.recallabortion.com and order a copy of my book.)

 

Posted in Abortion, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Christianity, Contraception, Health Care, Maternal mortality, Women's Health | 4 Comments »
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Glen Campbell and Brittany Maynard Face Their Mortality Very Differently

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

1413489817_brittany-maynard-video-article[1]This blog was originally published in the National Catholic Register on Oct. 28, just a few days before Brittany Maynard committed suicide in Oregon.

Two stories battled for my attention recently, and both of them broke my heart.

The first was about Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with brain cancer who moved from California to Oregon to gain access to legal suicide-inducing drugs. She is planning to die in bed, surrounded by her family, on Nov. 1 (the solemnity of All Saints), two days after her husband’s birthday.

The second story was about the singer Glen Campbell, who decided to go public with his struggle against Alzheimer’s disease. With his children on stage with him for a final, 151-stop musical tour, and the cameras rolling for a ground-breaking documentary, Campbell said: “I ain’t done yet. Tell ’em that.”

Maynard is fighting, through a foundation set up in her name, to expand the right to die beyond the five states that now allow it.

Campbell is allowing himself to be seen in all his vulnerability to show those suffering with Alzheimer’s — some 44 million people worldwide — and all those who will be diagnosed in the future, that, as St. John Paul said, “Life is always a good.”

Our reactions to these stories show that, as usual, we Americans seem to have a split personality. We applaud Campbell for his courage in refusing to go quietly into that good night, and yet many of us also support Maynard’s desire to “die with dignity.”

I do not.

I have watched people close to me die, and, with the rest of the world, I watched St. John Paul suffer with the debilitating and ultimately fatal effects of Parkinson’s disease. It was heartbreaking, and while I prayed for a miracle for all of them, I also prayed that each would have a peaceful death.

But we are not the architects of our own lives, no matter what we think and no matter how many misguided politicians and activist judges we can convince that we are. What Maynard is doing is wrong, and my fervent prayer is that she changes her mind.

With palliative care, we can hope for a death without pain for ourselves and our loved ones, and there is nothing wrong with that. We can refuse extraordinary, unnatural treatments. But to choose suicide — and to further legalize it in this country — is a catastrophic mistake.

Take a look at what assisted suicide and euthanasia are doing to Belgium and Denmark.

In a piece for Front Page magazine last month, Stephen Brown wrote:

“Holland was the first European country to betray its Judeo-Christian heritage regarding the sanctity of life when it legalized euthanasia in 2001. Holland also has the dubious distinction of leading the way in killing babies, as the Dutch euthanasia policy was expanded in 2006 to babies born with severe birth defects.

It therefore should not surprise that Holland is another country where euthanasia appears out of control. In 2011, 3,695 people were reported medically killed, including 13 psychiatric patients, while 4,188 were euthanized in 2102, accounting for three percent of all Holland’s deaths that year.”

Brown wrote that, in 2012, Holland also began sending mobile death teams to the homes of people who want to die but whose doctors refuse to help them. And Belgium, if possible, is worse.

According to Brown:

“Originally, Belgium’s euthanasia law, passed in 2002, was meant for gravely ill adults suffering unbearable physical pain. Now, as mentioned, it includes those experiencing ‘unbearable psychological suffering.’ So relatively healthy people suffering mental stress or disorders are now being killed, among them a 44-year-old person who had undergone a failed sex change operation. So it is no wonder the number of euthanasia victims in Belgium has grown from 24 people in 2002 to 1,807 in 2013, an average of five per day and a 27 percent increase from 2012.”

Brown also reported that Belgium’s King Philippe signed a law last March allowing euthanasia for children of any age and dementia sufferers upon request. Last month, Belgium — a country without the death penalty — made headlines again when it granted a convicted murderer the right to die under the country’s euthanasia laws. Another 15 inmates have made the same request.

Could this happen in the United States? Could we have mobile death squads and legalized murder of babies born with birth defects? In a country that has aborted 55 million children in the last generation, and where “choice” is well on its way to becoming the new religion, it absolutely could. We are already headed that way.

Since Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act was passed 14 years ago, 1,100 people have asked for the lethal prescription, and two-thirds of them have ended their lives with it. Please pray with me that Maynard does not join that group and changes her mind about her date with death.

Life is always a good, even if it is cut tragically short by a disease we cannot control.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/JMorana/glen-campbell-and-brittany-maynard-face-their-mortality-very-differently#ixzz3IKRDcfuL

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Grammy Winner Toni Braxton: Abortion and the God of Vengeance

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

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From The Blaze:
Grammy-winning singer Toni Braxton has revealed the intense guilt she felt after having a secret abortion more than 10 years ago.

Without healing of abortion loss, the intense guilt, shame and grief many women feel can lead to a twisting of their image of God. Braxton reveals how women can take their guilt, grief and fear of punishment for their sin and project those powerful feelings on to God twisting his image from one of a loving, merciful Father/Creator into an angry, revenge-extracting tyrant:

Braxton, who married Lewis in 2001 and divorced him in 2013, admits in her new memoir, “Unbreak My Heart,” that she felt immense guilt after the abortion, especially considering her strict, Christian upbringing. Braxton went on to have children with Lewis, though the termination had a profound impact on her perspective. She later had two sons — Diezel, 11, who is autistic, and 12-year-old Denim. The singer found herself wondering whether Diezel’s autism was God’s retribution for her decision to end the earlier pregnancy and whether her parents’ messy divorce and her lupus diagnosis in 2010 were additional punishments. “Is God punishing me for that abortion?,” she writes in the book, noting that she found herself thinking that it was “God’s payback to give my son autism.”

God did not strike her son with autism as some sort of divine payback for her abortion. However her Lupus diagnosis may be related to the ongoing emotional and spiritual stress, the guilt shame and complicated grief of her abortion stressing her immune system as she struggled to parent her autistic son amidst the chaos of her internal emotional state.

Those who have taken the painful but rewarding journey of repentance and healing discover that while they may have wondered far from God’s will in their lives, He is the exact opposite from the angry punishing tyrant they feared. Rather they discover that God’s mercy and forgiveness are central to the Heart of Christ who is as St Paul shares, the refulgence of his glory,
the very imprint of his being. The moral teachings of the Christian faith against abortion are rooted not in a desire to restrict freedom or punish but out of love of our Heavenly Father for his precious daughters. The Lord is grieved by the death of his unborn children but also the damage to the hearts and souls of his daughters who experience this loss.

Braxton’s experience can inspire those on the front lines working to end abortion and encourage mothers and fathers to choose life. But it also touches on the great need for education and healing resources for those who suffer after abortion.

To read more about the impact abortion has on women’s lives, please read my book, “Recall Abortion.”

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Students at Kansas high school fight abortion on the front lines

Monday, January 7th, 2013

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The high school students at St. John’s Catholic School in Beloit, Kan., are hoping other Catholic schools across the country will join them on the front lines of the pro-life movement.

For the last five years, students at the school that’s a three-hour drive from Wichita and a three-hour drive from Lincoln, Nebraska, have been making a yearly trek to pray outside an abortion clinic. In the beginning they traveled to the late George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita. Since Tiller’s death in 2009, the students have been praying and prayerfully protesting outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lincoln.

“We were looking for a way to make abortion real to them,” said teacher Andrew Niewald, who teaches Theology of the Body to seniors at St. John’s. “You see the young girls go into the clinic and 45 minutes to an hour later, you seem them come out. It’s so real to the students that some of the girls will start crying. It’s kind of irrefutable.”

School Administrator Marcy Kee said everyone in the school community is on board with this effort, including staffers and the students’ parents.

“We’re trying to instill in them that this is an important part of who they are,” Mrs. Kee said. When they head off in a car caravan to an abortion clinic, or for a round-the-clock, 1,300 mile bus ride to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., she said, “I know they’re going in the right direction.”

“It’s a lot more joyful when you bring a baby into the world rather than kill him,” said George Meyer, a sophomore at the pre-k-through-12  school in north central Kansas.

If you have never prayed and witnessed outside an abortion clinic you should do so at least once.  It will make abortion real for you and lives are saved by the presence of pro-lifers outside these clinics.  To find a clinic near  you go to  www.lifedynamics.com/DeathCamps/DeathCamps.cfm

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Victoria Hearst Takes A Stand For Young Girls

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Victoria Hearst, granddaughter of Hearst Corporation founder William Randolph Hearst, has taken a courageous stand regarding Hearst Magazines’ Cosmopolitan.

Citing the explicit content found in the magazine, Miss Hearst has joined model Nicole Weider to petition the Federal Trade Commission to require that Cosmo be “brown-bagged” and sold to adults only.

In a press release today, Miss Hearst – the founder of Praise Him Ministry and a great friend of Priests for Life – said: “About 11 years ago, I contacted Frank Bennack and the board of the Hearst Corporation and told them that what they are publishing in Cosmopolitan magazine was pornographic. I had the support of two female psychologists and counselors who attest that this content hurts young girls. I also asked that the magazine be sold only to adults 18 and older.

“I never received a reply from anyone at the Hearst Corporation, but I had peace because I delivered the message. When I heard about Nicole’s campaign, I knew I needed to join in her mission to put Cosmopolitan in a bag and make sure that its pornographic content cannot be sold to minors!”

Ms. Weider, who founded ProjectInspired.com to encourage young women to value themselves, set up a petition via Change.org demanding that Cosmopolitan be sold in a non-transparent wrapper to adults only. The petition currently has more 33,000 signatures.

“We are not asking Cosmopolitan to change their content,” Ms. Weider said. “We simply want them to take responsibility for it. They say it’s for adults, so let them sell it only to adults. This is what we are in communication with the FTC about. If they are going to print sexually explicit articles and images, it should not be marketed and sold to kids. It’s that simple.”

To view and/or sign the petition, visit: www.tinyurl.com/anticosmo. For more on the anti-Cosmo mission, go to: www.anticosmomission.com

On July 13 and 14, Miss Hearst and Praise Him Ministry will host her annual Night Vision Festival in Olathe, Colorado. Last year, 2010, Father Frank Pavone, our National Director; Dr. Alveda King, director of African-American Outreach, Dr. Theresa Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, and I had a chance to speak at the event. Bryan Kemper, our youth outreach director, will represent Priests for Life this year. If you’re planning to be in Colorado, it’s definitely worth checking out. For information, go to: www.nighvisionphm.com

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Easter is Coming

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

MEVs John and Elaine Testa are greeted by Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, during the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco in January.

http://www.priestsforlife.org/articles/4137-new-mev-couple-is-fighting-for-the-unborn-on-many-fronts

John and Elaine Testa, who recently made their final promises as Missionaries of the Gospel of Life (MEV), sent this beautiful message out to their email list today. Take a moment to read it, and click on the link above to read more about the Testas and their full-time commitment to life.

 

Easter is Coming

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak…. 

“I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

 

I stopped the lad and asked, “What do you have there, son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you going to do with them?” I asked.

 

“Take ‘em  home and have fun with ‘em,” he answered. “I’m gonna tease ‘em and pull out their feathers to make ‘em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats,” said the little boy. “They like birds. I’ll take ‘em to them.”

 

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

 

“Huh?? !!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister.

They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing. They ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?” the pastor asked again.

 

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

 

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage  down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

 

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ‘em all!”

 

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

 

Satan replied, “Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I’m gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

 

“And what will you do when you are done with them?”

Jesus asked. “Oh, I’ll kill ‘em,” Satan glared proudly.

“How much do  you want for them?” Jesus asked.

 

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you’ll take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don’t want those people!!”

 

“How much? He asked again.

 

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your blood, tears and your life.”

Jesus said, “DONE!” Then He paid the price.

 

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.

 

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Christians Are to Blame for the Commercialization of Christmas

Monday, December 5th, 2011

The first volley in the “Happy Holidays” vs. “Merry  Christmas” wars has been fired in Rhode Island, where Gov. Lincoln Chafee has announced there will once again be a “Holiday Tree” at the  statehouse in Providence.

What the heck is a “Holiday Tree“?

It’s true this is a “holiday season,” with  Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa all celebrated in December. A few years ago,  even Ramadan  arrived during the holiday season.

But an evergreen tree decorated with lights and  tinsel does not represent all those holidays. Do Jewish families light the  Holiday Menorah at sundown? Do Muslims greet each other with “Holiday Mubarak”? A Christmas tree is a symbol of Christmas – and a secular  one at that.

Remember when you didn’t see Christmas decorations  in the stores until after Thanksgiving? At least that’s how it was when I was  growing up in Brooklyn. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ushered in the Christmas season and yes, we called it “the Christmas season.”

All stores were closed on Thanksgiving Day as we  celebrated our national holiday. The next day we went to Manhattan to see all  the beautiful store windows unveiled and visit Santa with our wish lists. It was  magical! Manger scenes were plentiful around town and there were no apologies or  need for a campaign to “Keep Christ in Christmas”!

Is this now just the Ghost of Christmas Past? How  did we get from there to here? How did we go from that warm feeling about  Christmas and knowing that we were celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, to the  secular frenzy we have today? Don’t blame the non-believers. Instead I think  those of us who believe in the divinity of Jesus need to examine our own  consciences.

If you are a Christian who celebrates Christmas, ask  yourself these questions.

1) In decorating your home for Christmas, is the  Christ Child and manger scene a focal point in your home, both inside and  outside? Are there as many decorations depicting the Holy Family, Angels and the  Wisemen as there are snowmen, Santas and reindeer?

2) When selecting Christmas cards, do you pick only cards with Mary and the  Christ Child or do snowmen, Santa and skating penguins top your list? Oh, by the  way, let’s not use the excuse “But I have some friends who are Jewish or don’t  celebrate Christmas.” I do too, and for those folks I buy a handful of separate  Happy Hanukkah cards for my Jewish friends, and for non-believers, a Happy New  Year’s card. The point is, I don’t subtract the Christ Child from the  equation!

3) Do you only say Merry Christmas or do you give in  and find yourself spouting the correct “Happy Holidays”?

4) When purchasing stamps for mailing my Christmas  cards I only buy the Madonna  and Child. In fact, I buy extra to use throughout the year. What about you?

5) Wrapping paper for gifts: Here, too, no Season’s Greetings or Happy  Holidays on my wrapping paper. Yours?

The commercialization of Christmas is the fault of  us Christians. We buy the secular cards, wrapping paper and other trappings. If  we only purchased the items that are Christ-centered, then that would be what  the companies would produce. For them it is all about profit.

Here’s an example: One year I was selecting a  Christmas card for our ministry from a large printing company’s book. Usually I  place an order for a large number of Christmas cards. One year I noticed that  there were only two styles that featured the Madonna and Child, both of which I  had already used in previous years.

I didn’t place an order with that company that year  and I told them why.

Don’t you know the following year they contacted me  with their new catalog and were proud to tell me they have a larger selection of  religious cards then ever before. So you see, we have power in our purchasing,  if we do it wisely.

In order to “Keep Christ in Christmas” and make sure  people know that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” we have to set the  example.

People of all religions are proud of their holidays  and happy to share their special meaning with those of other faiths. It’s time  for Christians to stop apologizing for Christmas.

Janet Morana is the executive director of Priests for  Life.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/12/02/christians-are-to-blame-for-commercialization-christmas/#ixzz1ffw6BFRw

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