LONGINUS, SOLDIER SAINT

Longinus,
You, who beheld Life,
As your Savior
Hung between Heaven and Earth,
Dying on His Cross,
Your heart came alive
At the sight of the Mother’s agony.

The thrust of your spear
Lanced the heart of the Christ
And pierced your own
To let Him enter,
He, who would henceforth,
Possess you in contemplation.

His blood, falling upon weak and worldly eyes,,
Touched in you, the pagan,
Opening eyes blind to the things of God,
With the sight of the Holy.

Your life became a contemplation
Of the Dying and the Rising,
Did you fall into a sleep,
As the angels descended to roll away the stone?
Did premonitions of sacred mystery stir you,
Wakening the soldier witness soul,
To serve not merely an emperor,
But True God?

The Cassius of the Crucifixion
Died, only to open his eyes in faith,
And live, henceforth a new man,
With a story of Blood and Water,
And New Life,

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Liveaction–Video

https://www.facebook.com/liveaction/videos/10154928018318728/

OCEAN OF GRACE

By the gracious gift of God.
You, the Invited,
Receive His Peace.
Heartbeat by heartbeat,
Breath by breath,
In each instant,
His Will comes to you,
The Chosen,
To freely choose.

Remain His by faith.
Living in His favor,
A rain of blessing falls,
To water your being,
And penetrate the ground
On which, and in which,
You stand.

You give consent,
And desire in Love,
And as a plentiful valley,
Moment by moment.
Rooted in the holy,
Sanctified by the Sanctifier,
Life and abundance of fruit,
Are multiplied in you,
And grown up around you,

Grace upon grace,
Help, healing and holiness,
Flow in abundance.
From the springing up,
To the watering flow,
Then to rush,
As to the waiting arms a beloved,
Presuming bath and baptism,
To the ingathering of rivers,
In consecration and convergence,
Love returns to the Ocean
Of its Source.

As a homecoming,
Meandering streams
Cut courses through Time.
The many become seas
To, at long last, mingle
In the Mighty Mind,
And Minder of our souls.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

lionessblog.com

A Blessing for New Life

All Holy, Almighty, Jesus, Purest Heart,
Look upon the sweet beings, God’s good creations,
Nestled in the sanctity of human wombs.
Encircle the world through these little ones,
With Triune Love.

Bless Mother Eve with the “Fiat” grace of Mother Mary,
To bring forth a generation wed to Your Holy Will,
Peacemakers, pious through obedience,
Loving by Your Spirit,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

May these, as Children of the Light, recognize You,
From their coming forth into a new day,
Giving witness, and preparing Your Way,
As John (blessed in his mother’s womb).

Give dominion to these,
As You did the First Adam,
To reclaim and grace Your Good Earth.

The Crusades Were a Reasonable Response to Unchecked Islamic Aggression by Angelo Stagnaro

by Angelo Stagnaro

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/astagnaro/the-crusades-were-a-reasonable-response-to-unchecked-islamic-aggression/#ixzz499QNCaLP

Muslims Don’t Assimilate – They Infiltrate

Muslims don’t assimilate, they infiltrate

by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHD May 11, 2016

Let us first, dispense with the pretense.

Every notion we in the West have adopted in terms of dealing with Muslims, both individually and collectively, is wrong.

It is a policy based more on political correctness than on rational analysis, more on a misunderstanding of culture than religion.

The term “Islamophobia” was invented and promoted in the early 1990s by the International Institute for Islamic Thought, a front group of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was designed as a weapon to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them, similar to the tactics used by the political left, when they hurl the accusations of “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobe” and “hate-speech.”

It became the role of Islamist lobby organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to depict themselves as civil-rights groups speaking out on behalf of a Muslim American population that was allegedly besieged by outsiders who harbored an illogical, unfounded fear of them and regularly accusing the American people, American institutions, law-enforcement authorities, and the U.S. government of harboring a deep and potentially violent prejudice against Muslims. Of course, FBI data on hate crimes show that such allegations are nonsense.

Contrary to the propaganda, Islamophobia is not what Muslims feel, but what radical Muslims hope to instill politically and culturally in non-Muslims cultures, that is, intimidation and fear. Thereby, they can, not only further their goal of a global Caliphate, but gain a type of “respect” to which they would otherwise not be entitled based on an absence of convincing arguments or constructive contributions to society.

Danish psychologist, Nicolai Sennels, who treated 150 criminal Muslim inmates found fundamental and largely irreconcilable psychological differences between Muslim and Western culture, which makes effective assimilation at best serendipity and at worst urban myth.

For example, Muslim culture has a very different view of anger. In Western culture, expressions of anger and threats are probably the quickest way to lose face leading to a feeling of shame and a loss of social status. In Muslim culture, aggressive behaviors, especially threats, are generally seen to be accepted, and even expected as a way of handling conflicts.  ( * Cmt:  Absolutely true.)

In the context of foreign policy, peaceful approaches such as demonstrations of compassion, compromise and common sense are seen by Muslim leaders as cowardice and a weakness to be exploited. In that respect, anger and violence are not reasons to begin negotiations, but are integral components of the negotiation process itself.  ( *Cmt:  Also true as is duplicity )

According to Sennels, there is another important psychological difference between Muslim and Western cultures called the “locus of control,” whether people experience life influenced by either internal or external factors.

Westerners feel that their lives are mainly influenced by inner forces, our ways of handling our emotions, our ways of thinking, our ways of relating to people around us, our motivations, and our way of communicating; factors that determine if we feel good and self-confident or not.

In Muslim culture, however, inner factors are replaced by external rules, traditions and laws for human behavior. They have powerful Muslim clerics who set the directions for their community, dictate political views, and provide rules for virtually all aspects of life.

The locus of control is central to the individual’s understanding of freedom and responsibility. When Westerners have problems, we most often look inward and ask “What did I do wrong?” and “What can I do to change the situation?” Muslims look outward for sources to blame asking: “Who did this to me?” Sennels noted that a standard answer from violent Muslims is often: “It is his own fault that I beat him up (or raped her). He (or she) provoked me.”  (*Cmt: Not matter what happens they say “Allah wills”  — they had no control over what they did.) 

As a result, Muslim culture offers a formula for perpetual victimhood.  ( *Cmt: the LEFT and Muslims have victimhood in common)

With a decrease in feelings of personal responsibility, there is a greater tendency to demand that the surroundings adapt to Muslim wishes and desires, infiltrating rather than to assimilating into a Western culture.  (*Cmt: More than that the Quran demands they do so)

All of this does not bode well for the logic of any proposal to increase Muslim immigration into non-Muslim cultures or the success of any foreign policy involving Muslim nations by applying current Islamophobia-based misconceptions.

Sennels offers a harsh, but realistic prescription:

“We should not permit the destruction of our cities by lawless parallel societies, with groups of roaming criminal Muslims overloading of our welfare system and the growing justified fear that non-Muslims have of violence. The consequences should be so strict that it would be preferable for any anti-social Muslim to go back to a Muslim country, where they can understand, and can be understood by their own culture.”  

It is not from  ” Islamophobia “  that we suffer , but from “Islamonausea”, a natural reaction to something culturally abnormal.

(1) Amazing Footage of Life in the Womb – Pro-Life Wisconsin

Source: (1) Amazing Footage of Life in the Womb – Pro-Life Wisconsin

Congresswoman Writes Amazing Letter to Amy Brenneman, Who Doesn’t Regret Aborting Her Baby | LifeNews.com

<blockquote>Last week, TV actress Amy Brenneman told the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan that she has never regretted her abortion.Brenneman said she felt prompted to tell her story after asking Nancy Keenan, the former president of the radical pro-abortion group NARAL, why the pro-abortion movement is losing support while the pro-life movement is gaining it.“She answered with one simple word: ‘stories,’” Brenneman said. “This makes sense to me. I am a storyteller by trade, after all. I believe that we connect and learn by the specifics of stories, our own and others’.”“I have never, not for one moment, regretted my abortion. My husband of 20 years and I became parents when we had built a home to nurture our children. Indeed, being a parent has only strengthened my commitment to reproductive justice as access to legal abortion allows children a fighting chance to be born into families that desire them and can support them,” she said.Now, Rep. Diane Black, a Tennessee congresswoman, has written an open letter to Brenneman.Black was a registered nurse for 40 years. Her letter follows:I read with interest your February 29th column in Cosmopolitan magazine about your personal experience with abortion. While we approach this sensitive issue from different viewpoints, I thank you for sharing your story. I agree that women, regardless of their opinion, should talk honestly about this matter. I also know that some who, like me, identify as pro-life and oppose abortion have not always conveyed that opinion with the compassion and empathy that should be afforded to this topic on both sides of the debate, and for that I am sorry.CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE! Like you, I know what it is like to be single, pregnant, and uncertain of what the future holds. I was carrying my youngest child to term when my first husband left me amid the demons of alcoholism. Later, in my career as an emergency room nurse, I met other young women in this same precarious position. I believe that the pro-life community has a responsibility to those women. It is why I have long supported the work of my local crisis local pregnancy center and other nonprofits that offer real, tangible help to women in this very situation – everything from diapers and formula to counseling and prayer.I want you to know that I agree with you on the need to defend every woman’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” As you and I know, this has not historically been the case and I am keenly aware of those whose shoulders I now stand on as a woman who cannot only vote but can also serve in Congress.I want every young girl, including my two granddaughters, to be able to – as you say – “choose their destiny.” I believe that protecting those rights, however, starts with protecting the most foundational right of all: the right of a preborn, human being with a beating heart to see the light of day. A young woman cannot choose her destiny if her life is cut short in the womb.When we frame abortion as a means of female empowerment, we don’t tell the full story. Indeed, studies show that abortions worldwide disproportionately impacts baby girls. Consider a 2012 report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph on abortion practices in India, where there are believed to be as many as eight million cases of female sex-selective abortion over the last decade, a phenomenon that is now affecting the country’s overall gender ratio.
I say this not to shame any woman who has made the difficult decision to have an abortion but rather in hopes of raising the consciousness of this nation so we can enact needed protections for these members of the human family.

Specific to your concerns on the Texas abortion law now in question before the United States Supreme Court in the case of Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, I readily admit my own bias. That said, I believe the standards you call “onerous” and “unnecessary” to be quite modest.

As you know, the disputed Texas law has two key provisions. First, it requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles so that a patient receiving an abortion can be quickly transferred in the event of complications and, secondly, it requires abortion clinics to abide by the same safety standards and licensing requirements as other outpatient surgery centers in the state. To be clear, the law does not attempt to illegalize abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

I passionately believe in protecting the unborn, but I also believe equal attention must be devoted to protecting their mothers. While I disagree with the choice of abortion, I do not believe any woman should lose her life at the hands of an unregulated, unsafe abortion clinic or a fly-by-night abortion doctor. That is what this law aims to prevent.

It is my hope that women’s advocates – and you are certainly a needed and influential one – will take a deeper look at this law and applaud these commonsense standards rather than attempt to turn back the clock and strip them away.

Sincerely,
Diane Black

<p>Source: <a href=”http://www.lifenews.com/2016/03/08/congresswoman-writes-amazing-letter-to-amy-brenneman-who-doesnt-regret-aborting-her-baby/”>Congresswoman Writes Amazing Letter to Amy Brenneman, Who Doesn’t Regret Aborting Her Baby | LifeNews.com</a></p></blockquote>

Abortionist: We Let Babies Born Alive “Expire”

Abortionist: We Let Babies Born Alive “Expire”

Barack Obama G20 Speech 2015 FULL Barack Obama News Conference G20 Summit Antalya,

NEWS CONFERENCE BEGINS AT 5:29 ON VIDEO

Jerome Cartillier of AFP.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. One hundred and twenty-nine people were killed in Paris on Friday night. ISIL claimed responsibility for the massacre, sending the message that they could now target civilians all over the world. The equation has clearly changed. Isn’t it time for your strategy to change?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, keep in mind what we have been doing. We have a military strategy that is putting enormous pressure on ISIL through airstrikes; that has put assistance and training on the ground with Iraqi forces; we’re now working with Syrian forces as well to squeeze ISIL, cut off their supply lines. We’ve been coordinating internationally to reduce their financing capabilities, the oil that they’re trying to ship outside. We are taking strikes against high-value targets — including, most recently, against the individual who was on the video executing civilians who had already been captured, as well as the head of ISIL in Libya. So it’s not just in Iraq and Syria.

And so, on the military front, we are continuing to accelerate what we do. As we find additional partners on the ground that are effective, we work with them more closely. I’ve already authorized additional Special Forces on the ground who are going to be able to improve that coordination.

On the counterterrorism front, keep in mind that since I came into office, we have been worried about these kinds of attacks. The vigilance that the United States government maintains and the cooperation that we’re consistently expanding with our European and other partners in going after every single terrorist network is robust and constant. And every few weeks, I meet with my entire national security team and we go over every single threat stream that is presented, and where we have relevant information, we share it immediately with our counterparts around the world, including our European partners.

On aviation security, we have, over the last several years, been working so that at various airports sites — not just in the United States, but overseas — we are strengthening our mechanisms to screen and discover passengers who should not be boarding flights, and improving the matters in which we are screening luggage that is going onboard.

And on the diplomatic front, we’ve been consistently working to try to get all the parties together to recognize that there is a moderate opposition inside of Syria that can form the basis for a transition government, and to reach out not only to our friends but also to the Russians and the Iranians who are on the other side of this equation to explain to them that ultimately an organization like ISIL is the greatest danger to them, as well as to us.

So there will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward, but the strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work. But as I said from the start, it’s going to take time.

And what’s been interesting is, in the aftermath of Paris, as I listen to those who suggest something else needs to be done, typically the things they suggest need to be done are things we are already doing. The one exception is that there have been a few who suggested that we should put large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground.

And keep in mind that we have the finest military in the world and we have the finest military minds in the world, and I’ve been meeting with them intensively for years now, discussing these various options, and it is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisors that that would be a mistake — not because our military could not march into Mosul or Raqqa or Ramadi and temporarily clear out ISIL, but because we would see a repetition of what we’ve seen before, which is, if you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance and who are pushing back against ideological extremes, that they resurface — unless we’re prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries.

And let’s assume that we were to send 50,000 troops into Syria. What happens when there’s a terrorist attack generated from Yemen? Do we then send more troops into there? Or Libya, perhaps? Or if there’s a terrorist network that’s operating anywhere else — in North Africa, or in Southeast Asia?

So a strategy has to be one that can be sustained. And the strategy that we’re pursuing, which focuses on going after targets, limiting wherever possible the capabilities of ISIL on the ground — systematically going after their leadership, their infrastructure, strengthening Shia — or strengthening Syrian and Iraqi forces and Kurdish forces that are prepared to fight them, cutting off their borders and squeezing the space in which they can operate until ultimately we’re able to defeat them — that’s the strategy we’re going to have to pursue.

And we will continue to generate more partners for that strategy. And there are going to be some things that we try that don’t work; there will be some strategies we try that do work. And when we find strategies that work, we will double down on those.

Margaret Brennan, CBS.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. A more than year-long bombing campaign in Iraq and in Syria has failed to contain the ambition and the ability of ISIS to launch attacks in the West. Have you underestimated their abilities? And will you widen the rules of engagement for U.S. forces to take more aggressive action?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, we haven’t underestimated our abilities. This is precisely why we’re in Iraq as we speak, and why we’re operating in Syria as we speak. And it’s precisely why we have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL, and why I hosted at the United Nations an entire discussion of counterterrorism strategies and curbing the flow of foreign fighters, and why we’ve been putting pressure on those countries that have not been as robust as they need to in tracking the flow of foreign fighters in and out of Syria and Iraq.

And so there has been an acute awareness on the part of my administration from the start that it is possible for an organization like ISIL that has such a twisted ideology, and has shown such extraordinary brutality and complete disregard for innocent lives, that they would have the capabilities to potentially strike in the West. And because thousands of fighters have flowed from the West and are European citizens — a few hundred from the United States, but far more from Europe — that when those foreign fighters returned, it posed a significant danger. And we have consistently worked with our European partners, disrupting plots in some cases. Sadly, this one was not disrupted in time.

But understand that one of the challenges we have in this situation is, is that if you have a handful of people who don’t mind dying, they can kill a lot of people. That’s one of the challenges of terrorism. It’s not their sophistication or the particular weapon that they possess, but it is the ideology that they carry with them and their willingness to die. And in those circumstances, tracking each individual, making sure that we are disrupting and preventing these attacks is a constant effort at vigilance, and requires extraordinary coordination.

Now, part of the reason that it is important what we do in Iraq and Syria is that the narrative that ISIL developed of creating this caliphate makes it more attractive to potential recruits. So when I said that we are containing their spread in Iraq and Syria, in fact, they control less territory than they did last year. And the more we shrink that territory, the less they can pretend that they are somehow a functioning state, and the more it becomes apparent that they are simply a network of killers who are brutalizing local populations. That allows us to reduce the flow of foreign fighters, which then, over time, will lessen the numbers of terrorists who can potentially carry out terrible acts like they did in Paris.

And that’s what we did with al Qaeda. That doesn’t mean, by the way, that al Qaeda no longer possess the capabilities of potentially striking the West. Al Qaeda in the Peninsula that operates primarily in Yemen we know has consistently tried to target the West. And we are consistently working to disrupt those acts. But despite the fact that they have not gotten as much attention as ISIL, they still pose a danger, as well.

And so our goals here consistently have to be to be aggressive, and to leave no stone unturned, but also recognize this is not conventional warfare. We play into the ISIL narrative when we act as if they’re a state, and we use routine military tactics that are designed to fight a state that is attacking another state. That’s not what’s going on here.

These are killers with fantasies of glory who are very savvy when it comes to social media, and are able to infiltrate the minds of not just Iraqis or Syrians, but disaffected individuals around the world. And when they activate those individuals, those individuals can do a lot of damage. And so we have to take the approach of being rigorous on our counterterrorism efforts, and consistently improve and figure out how we can get more information, how we can infiltrate these networks, how we can reduce their operational space, even as we also try to shrink the amount of territory they control to defeat their narrative.

Ultimately, to reclaim territory from them is going to require, however, an ending of the Syrian civil war, which is why the diplomatic efforts are so important. And it’s going to require an effective Iraqi effort that bridges Shia and Sunni differences, which is why our diplomatic efforts inside of Iraq are so important, as well.

Jim Avila.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. In the days and weeks before the Paris attacks, did you receive warning in your daily intelligence briefing that an attack was imminent? If not, does that not call into question the current assessment that there is no immediate, specific, credible threat to the United States today?

And secondly, if I could ask you to address your critics who say that your reluctance to enter another Middle East war, and your preference of diplomacy over using the military makes the United States weaker and emboldens our enemies.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Jim, every day we have threat streams coming through the intelligence transit. And as I said, every several weeks we sit down with all my national security, intelligence, and military teams to discuss various threat streams that may be generated. And the concerns about potential ISIL attacks in the West have been there for over a year now, and they come through periodically. There were no specific mentions of this particular attack that would give us a sense of something that we need — that we could provide French authorities, for example, or act on ourselves.

But typically the way the intelligence works is there will be a threat stream that is from one source, how reliable is that source; perhaps some signal intelligence gets picked up, it’s evaluated. Some of it is extraordinarily vague and unspecific, and there’s no clear timetable. Some of it may be more specific, and then folks chase down that threat to see what happens.

I am not aware of anything that was specific in the sense — that would have given a premonition about a particular action in Paris that would allow for law enforcement or military actions to disrupt it.

With respect to the broader issue of my critics, to some degree I answered the question earlier. I think that when you listen to what they actually have to say, what they’re proposing, most of the time, when pressed, they describe things that we’re already doing. Maybe they’re not aware that we’re already doing them. Some of them seem to think that if I were just more bellicose in expressing what we’re doing, that that would make a difference — because that seems to be the only thing that they’re doing, is talking as if they’re tough. But I haven’t seen particular strategies that they would suggest that would make a real difference.

Now, there are a few exceptions. And as I said, the primary exception is those who would deploy U.S. troops on a large scale to retake territory either in Iraq or now in Syria. And at least they have the honesty to go ahead and say that’s what they would do. I just addressed why I think they’re wrong. There have been some who are well-meaning, and I don’t doubt their sincerity when it comes to the issue of the dire humanitarian situation in Syria, who, for example, call for a no-fly zone or a safe zone of some sort.

And this is an example of the kind of issue where I will sit down with our top military and intelligence advisors, and we will painstakingly go through what does something like that look like. And typically, after we’ve gone through a lot of planning and a lot of discussion, and really working it through, it is determined that it would be counterproductive to take those steps — in part because ISIL does not have planes, so the attacks are on the ground. A true safe zone requires us to set up ground operations. And the bulk of the deaths that have occurred in Syria, for example, have come about not because of regime bombing, but because of on-the-ground casualties. Who would come in, who could come out of that safe zone; how would it work; would it become a magnet for further terrorist attacks; and how many personnel would be required, and how would it end — there’s a whole set of questions that have to be answered there.

I guess my point is this, Jim: My only interest is to end suffering and to keep the American people safe. And if there’s a good idea out there, then we’re going to do it. I don’t think I’ve shown hesitation to act — whether it’s with respect to bin Laden or with respect to sending additional troops in Afghanistan, or keeping them there — if it is determined that it’s actually going to work.

But what we do not do, what I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow, in the abstract, make America look tough, or make me look tough. And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed, and I see a 25-year-old kid who’s paralyzed or has lost his limbs, and some of those are people I’ve ordered into battle. And so I can’t afford to play some of the political games that others may.

We’ll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it’s entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate. But what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I’m too busy for that.

Jim Acosta.

Q Thank you very much, Mr. President. I wanted to go back to something that you said to Margaret earlier when you said that you have not underestimated ISIS’s abilities. This is an organization that you once described as a JV team that evolved into a force that has now occupied territory in Iraq and Syria and is now able to use that safe haven to launch attacks in other parts of the world. How is that not underestimating their capabilities? And how is that contained, quite frankly? And I think a lot of Americans have this frustration that they see that the United States has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on ISIS. I guess the question is — and if you’ll forgive the language — is why can’t we take out these bastards?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, Jim, I just spent the last three questions answering that very question, so I don’t know what more you want me to add. I think I’ve described very specifically what our strategy is, and I’ve described very specifically why we do not pursue some of the other strategies that have been suggested.

This is not, as I said, a traditional military opponent. We can retake territory. And as long as we leave our troops there, we can hold it, but that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kinds of violent extremist groups.

And so we are going to continue to pursue the strategy that has the best chance of working, even though it does not offer the satisfaction, I guess, of a neat headline or an immediate resolution. And part of the reason, as I said, Jim, is because there are costs to the other side. I just want to remind people, this is not an abstraction. When we send troops in, those troops get injured, they get killed; they’re away from their families; our country spends hundreds of billions of dollars. And so given the fact that there are enormous sacrifices involved in any military action, it’s best that we don’t shoot first and aim later. It’s important for us to get the strategy right. And the strategy that we are pursuing is the right one.

Ron Allen.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I think a lot of people around the world and in America are concerned because given the strategy that you’re pursuing — and it’s been more than a year now — ISIS’s capabilities seem to be expanding. Were you aware that they had the capability of pulling off the kind of attack that they did in Paris? Are you concerned? And do you think they have that same capability to strike in the United States?

And do you think that given all you’ve learned about ISIS over the past year or so, and given all the criticism about your underestimating them, do you think you really understand this enemy well enough to defeat them and to protect the homeland?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: All right, so this is another variation on the same question. And I guess — let me try it one last time.

We have been fully aware of the potential capabilities of them carrying out a terrorist attack. That’s precisely why we have been mounting a very aggressive strategy to go after them. As I said before, when you’re talking about the ability of a handful of people with not wildly sophisticated military equipment, weapons, who are willing to die, they can kill a lot of people. And preventing them from doing so is challenging for every country. And if there was a swift and quick solution to this, I assure you that not just the United States, but France and Turkey, and others who have been subject to these terrorist attacks would have implemented those strategies.

There are certain advantages that the United States has in preventing these kinds of attacks. Obviously, after 9/11, we hardened the homeland, set up a whole series of additional steps to protect aviation, to apply lessons learned. We’ve seen much better cooperation between the FBI, state governments, local governments. There is some advantages to geography with respect to the United States.

But, having said that, we’ve seen the possibility of terrorist attacks on our soil. There was the Boston Marathon bombers. Obviously, it did not result in the scale of death that we saw in Paris, but that was a serious attempt at killing a lot of people by two brothers and a crockpot. And it gives you some sense of, I think, the kinds of challenges that are going to be involved in this going forward.

So again, ISIL has serious capabilities. Its capabilities are not unique. They are capabilities that other terrorist organizations that we track and are paying attention to possess, as well. We are going after all of them.

What is unique about ISIL is the degree to which it has been able to control territory that then allows them to attract additional recruits, and the greater effectiveness that they have on social media and their ability to use that to not only attract recruits to fight in Syria, but also potentially to carry out attacks in the homeland and in Europe and in other parts of the world.

And so our ability to shrink the space in which they can operate, combined with a resolution to the Syria situation — which will reduce the freedom with which they feel that they can operate, and getting local forces who are able to hold and keep them out over the long term, that ultimately is going to be what’s going to make a difference. And it’s going to take some time, but it’s not something that at any stage in this process have we not been aware needs to be done.

Q (Off-mic) — Mr. President?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Okay, go ahead.

Q Should I wait for the microphone?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, I can hear you.

Q Okay, thank you so much. (Inaudible.) I want to ask a question (inaudible). These terrorist attacks we’ve seen allegedly have been attacks under the name of Islam. But this really takes — or upsets the peaceful people like countries like Turkey. So how can we give off that (inaudible) this is not really representative of Muslims?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, this is something that we spoke a lot about at the G20. The overwhelming majority of victims of terrorism over the last several years, and certainly the overwhelming majority of victims of ISIL, are themselves Muslims. ISIL does not represent Islam. It is not representative in any way of the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of Muslims. This is something that’s been emphasized by Muslim leaders — whether it’s President Erdogan or the President of Indonesia or the President of Malaysia — countries that are majority Muslim, but have shown themselves to be tolerant and to work to be inclusive in their political process.

And so to the degree that anyone would equate the terrible actions that took place in Paris with the views of Islam, those kinds of stereotypes are counterproductive. They’re wrong. They will lead, I think, to greater recruitment into terrorist organizations over time if this becomes somehow defined as a Muslim problem as opposed to a terrorist problem.

Now, what is also true is, is that the most vicious terrorist organizations at the moment are ones that claim to be speaking on behalf of true Muslims. And I do think that Muslims around the world — religious leaders, political leaders, ordinary people — have to ask very serious questions about how did these extremist ideologies take root, even if it’s only affecting a very small fraction of the population. It is real and it is dangerous. And it has built up over time, and with social media it has now accelerated.

And so I think, on the one hand, non-Muslims cannot stereotype, but I also think the Muslim community has to think about how we make sure that children are not being infected with this twisted notion that somehow they can kill innocent people and that that is justified by religion. And to some degree, that is something that has to come from within the Muslim community itself. And I think there have been times where there has not been enough pushback against extremism. There’s been pushback — there are some who say, well, we don’t believe in violence, but are not as willing to challenge some of the extremist thoughts or rationales for why Muslims feel oppressed. And I think those ideas have to be challenged.

Let me make one last point about this, and then unfortunately I have to take a flight to Manila. I’m looking forward to seeing Manila, but I hope I can come back to Turkey when I’m not so busy.

One of the places that you’re seeing this debate play itself out is on the refugee issue both in Europe, and I gather it started popping up while I was gone back in the United States. The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism, they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife. They are parents, they are children, they are orphans. And it is very important — and I was glad to see that this was affirmed again and again by the G20 — that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.

In Europe, I think people like Chancellor Merkel have taken a very courageous stance in saying it is our moral obligation, as fellow human beings, to help people who are in such vulnerable situations. And I know that it is putting enormous strains on the resources of the people of Europe. Nobody has been carrying a bigger burden than the people here in Turkey, with 2.5 million refugees, and the people of Jordan and Lebanon, who are also admitting refugees. The fact that they’ve kept their borders open to these refugees is a signal of their belief in a common humanity.

And so we have to, each of us, do our part. And the United States has to step up and do its part. And when I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims; when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution — that’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.

When Pope Francis came to visit the United States, and gave a speech before Congress, he didn’t just speak about Christians who were being persecuted. He didn’t call on Catholic parishes just to admit to those who were of the same religious faith. He said, protect people who are vulnerable.

And so I think it is very important for us right now — particularly those who are in leadership, particularly those who have a platform and can be heard — not to fall into that trap, not to feed that dark impulse inside of us.

I had a lot of disagreements with George W. Bush on policy, but I was very proud after 9/11 when he was adamant and clear about the fact that this is not a war on Islam. And the notion that some of those who have taken on leadership in his party would ignore all of that, that’s not who we are. On this, they should follow his example. It was the right one. It was the right impulse. It’s our better impulse. And whether you are European or American, the values that we are defending — the values that we’re fighting against ISIL for are precisely that we don’t discriminate against people because of their faith. We don’t kill people because they’re different than us. That’s what separates us from them. And we don’t feed that kind of notion that somehow Christians and Muslims are at war.

And if we want to be successful at defeating ISIL, that’s a good place to start — by not promoting that kind of ideology, that kind of attitude. In the same way that the Muslim community has an obligation not to in any way excuse anti-Western or anti-Christian sentiment, we have the same obligation as Christians. And we are — it is good to remember that the United States does not have a religious test, and we are a nation of many peoples of different faiths, which means that we show compassion to everybody. Those are the universal values we stand for. And that’s what my administration intends to stand for.

Thank you very much, everybody.

Life After Abortion.. The Story of Our Miracle Baby

Tell everyone you know to watch “Planned Parenthood: Hidden Harvest” on Fox News –

“A one-hour Fox News Reporting special, Planned Parenthood: Hidden Harvest, digs deep into the ghoulish but profitable practice of dissecting aborted babies and selling their hearts, brains, lungs, eyes, arms, legs and livers to the highest bidder.

Our friends at the Center for Medical Progress conducted a 30-month sting to get top officials from Planned Parenthood and the “procurement” companies they partner with to talk about this unfathomable practice while being covertly filmed.

With Hidden Harvest, anchored by veteran TV journalist Shannon Bream, Fox News will reveal to a national audience the way abortionists alter the way they extract these innocent victims from their mother’s womb to ensure intact organs and the callousness they demonstrate toward these babies. These are not clumps of cells being aborted; they are tiny humans whose hearts are more valuable to Planned Parenthood than their souls.

Does that sound like health care to you?

It’s not health care, and it’s not legal.

Hidden Harvest will premiere at 10 p.m. ET Friday, Sept. 4, on Fox News Channel and will be rebroadcast at 1 a.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 5.”

Fr Frank Pavone

Arm in Arm

Consider the multitudes,
Throng upon throng,
Gathered across Europe,
Arm in arm.

Regard the throng,
Witness of flesh,
Standing tall,
Staring down terror and the terrible,
Arm in Arm.

A proclamation for peace,
For life, for freedom,
In the aftermath of death,
To face the future,
Arm in arm.

A call to arms:
Arms to embrace,
Arms to hold dear,
Arms to forge, in heart-felt resolve,
In the furnace of trial, tears and tragedy,
An alliance of hope,
Arm in arm.

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

LONGINUS, SOLDIER SAINT

Longinus,
You, who beheld Life,
As your Savior
Hung between Heaven and Earth,
Dying on His Cross,
Your heart came alive
At the sight of the Mother’s agony.

The thrust of your spear
Lanced the heart of the Christ
And pierced your own
To let Him enter,
He, who would henceforth,
Possess you in contemplation.

His blood, falling upon weak and worldly eyes,,
Touched in you, the pagan,
Opening eyes blind to the things of God,
With the sight of the Holy.

Your life became a contemplation
Of the Dying and the Rising,
Did you fall into a sleep,
As the angels descended to roll away the stone?
Did premonitions of sacred mystery stir you,
Wakening the soldier witness soul,
To serve not merely an emperor,
But True God?

The Cassius of the Crucifixion
Died, only to open his eyes in faith,
And live, henceforth a new man,
With a story of Blood and Water,
And New Life,

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

OCEAN OF GRACE

By the gracious gift of God.
You, the Invited,
Receive His Peace.
Heartbeat by heartbeat,
Breath by breath,
In each instant,
His Will comes to you,
The Chosen,
To freely choose.

Remain His by faith.
Living in His favor,
A rain of blessing falls,
To water your being,
And penetrate the ground
On which, and in which,
You stand.

You give consent,
And desire in Love,
And as a plentiful valley,
Moment by moment.
Rooted in the holy,
Sanctified by the Sanctifier,
Life and abundance of fruit,
Are multiplied in you,
And grown up around you,

Grace upon grace,
Help, healing and holiness,
Flow in abundance.
From the springing up,
To the watering flow,
Then to rush,
As to the waiting arms a beloved,
Presuming bath and baptism,
To the ingathering of rivers,
In consecration and convergence,
Love returns to the Ocean
Of its Source.

As a homecoming,
Meandering streams
Cut courses through Time.
The many become seas
To, at long last, mingle
In the Mighty Mind,
And Minder of our souls.

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

lionessblog.com

A Blessing for New Life

All Holy, Almighty, Jesus, Purest Heart,
Look upon the sweet beings, God’s good creations,
Nestled in the sanctity of human wombs.
Encircle the world through these little ones,
With Triune Love.

Bless Mother Eve with the "Fiat" grace of Mother Mary,
To bring forth a generation wed to Your Holy Will,
Peacemakers, pious through obedience,
Loving by Your Spirit,
Who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

May these, as Children of the Light, recognize You,
From their coming forth into a new day,
Giving witness, and preparing Your Way,
As John (blessed in his mother’s womb).

Give dominion to these,
As You did the First Adam,
To reclaim and grace Your Good Earth.

A Drop in the Ocean

A drop in the ocean of the Lord,
Minuscule,
Tear-sized,
Hardly felt upon the cheek,
Brushed away
To fall into the river of Your love.

Once alone,
Barely a something,
Really "a nothing",
A lonely singularity,
But felt upon a Heart.

The tears of others,
Conjoined,
Confusion,
Profusion,
Holy joy in headlong rush,
Whisked over rock and rubble,
Carried by unseen arms,
Pressed on
By force of a Holy Will.

Cascades’ roar arousing fear,
Bewilderment,
Mingled vigor,
Hope rises to the surface
And churns the deep.

Fate creates a splash
And a rivulet of escape,
An instant of choice,
Puddle or precipice?

I hang upon a prayer,
Borne aloft in new fall,
Truly free fall,
Onto the rushing stream,
And weeping humanity prevails.

One drop,
Now millions,
Energy,
Direction,
Momentum,
Kinetic kaleidoscope,
Mirroring Divine power.

The tide of many waters,
Convergence,
At the edge,
And then the fall,
Not like the first,
In free abandonment.

One drop,
Transformed by divine law,
Holy Obedience.
Tumultuous streams
Carve the land without,
And all within.

Fertile flood of holy tears,
Serve now His Plan,
A drop in the ocean of God.

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Podcast – Vatican on Christian Persecution in Mideast, Relativism and Persecution of the Assyrians

Patrick Madrid podcast: the Vatican on Christian Persecution in Mideast, What it means to be fully human and Relativism according to Jean Vanier, and Reincarnation – all on this podcast with on the ground input from the Assyrian community.

PAT1-20150318.mp3.

Has a Christian Holocaust begun? When will West wake up to ISIS threat | Fox News.

Has a Christian Holocaust begun? When will West wake up to ISIS threat | Fox News.

The recently displaced archbishop of Mosul, Iraq was speaking with particular candor when I met him last fall in the Middle East.

He said, “People in the West say ‘they don’t know.’ How can you not know? You either support ISIS or you must have turned off all the satellites. I am sorry to say this, but my pain is big.”

Like so many Christians in Iraq and Syria who watched ISIS kidnap their leaders, burn their churches, sell their children, and threaten all others with conversion or beheading; the archbishop wonders how it is that these maniacs so easily took his home city this summer?

The people whose lives have been threatened or destroyed by ISIS just don’t understand how this pre-modern evil could run unchecked.It is a good question.

Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city and was once the home of Iraq’s most vulnerable and persistent Christian community, tracing their lineage nearly to the time of Christ.

Now there are no Christians left.

All of this happened under the watchful eye of West, and while you’d hope that the humanitarian threat alone would have motivated the West to act, you would be certain that Mosul’s strategic importance would do so.

Neither proved true.

Mosul was easily taken by ISIS troops, riding in on their decrepit pick up trucks with guns bolted to them. Her ancient streets have since been turned red with innocent blood, and the city has become a base for a jihad that rages wildly throughout the entire region and boils underground in scores of countries throughout the world.

The archbishop’s perspective represented the sentiment of nearly everyone I have met or have communicated with in the region. The people whose lives have been threatened or destroyed by ISIS just don’t understand how this pre-modern evil could run unchecked.

They wonder how it could be that it took the most powerful nations in the world, using airstrikes, over four months with the help of Kurdish forces to defeat a few hundred jihadists waging war in the town of Kobani, and how it is that ISIS has been able to openly run its “state” from a self-determined capital city called “Raqqa” without the daily threat of hundreds of unrelenting airstrikes.  They also wonder how it is that Turkey’s border remains so porous allowing jihadist after jihadist to readily join ISIS.

The examples of Western inaction are unending.

At present, as many as 300 Assyrian Christians remain in captivity having been kidnapped two weeks ago as ISIS assaulted ten Assyrian, Christian villages along the Khabour River in Syria.  That assault was conducted by a group of ISIS fighters travelling in a convoy of more than 40 clearly marked ISIS vehicles directly toward these vulnerable, Christian villages.

How is it possible that Western satellites didn’t spot a forty-car ISIS convoy in route to unarmed Christian villages in Syria, and if it was spotted how is that it wasn’t destroyed?

Challenging Children to Chastity

http://catholiclane.com/challenging-children-to-chastity/#sthash.7Ae43pkU

The title of this article is also the name of an extremely valuable online booklet by the late Father Henry V. Sattler, CSsR (1917-1999), yet it is also an assignment for today’s parents.

Our children and grandchildren are bombarded daily with messages that contradict common sense and put their very lives in jeopardy. It is the rare school teacher, public or private, who sifts through the sexually provocative material being presented as education and chooses only that which does not offend the sensitivities of the young in her charge.

For example, with your tax dollars, Planned Parenthood is indoctrinating children on all manner of perversion, including oral sex. In one of STOPP’s reports, we read:

The CDC report, Prevalence and Timing of Oral Sex, shows that about two-thirds of 15-24-year-olds have engaged in oral sex, with those ages 15-17 having a considerably higher incidence of oral sex without sexual intercourse than others. According to the report, almost half of boys and girls ages 15 to 19 have engaged in oral sex.

Planned Parenthood vice president of education Leslie Kantor said, in a recent New York Times article, that the important thing about the study is that it shows “that it’s probably equally likely for oral sex to happen before intercourse as after . . . so we need to provide sex education to young people that provides all the information they’ll need, from STDs to pregnancy prevention.”

– See more at: http://catholiclane.com/challenging-children-to-chastity/#sthash.7Ae43pkU.zVbJEGQy.dpuf

When Iran goes nuclear – Failure to protect the nation would amount to dereliction of duty | The Counter Jihad Report

When Iran goes nuclear – Failure to protect the nation would amount to dereliction of duty | The Counter Jihad Report.

Washington Times, By R. James Woolsey and Peter Vincent Pry – – Monday, March 2, 2015

Our attention these days with regard to security is understandably riveted on the Islamic State, or ISIS, and its hideous decapitations, rapes and live immolations. We must deal with the Islamic State, but it is not the gravest threat we face. The Israelis are right — we should awaken to the fact that the coming of a nuclear Iran holds special dangers and requires particularly urgent attention. There are four driving reasons.

First, the Mideast abounds in clashing religious beliefs, but there is special danger in the Shiite doctrine held by many Iranians, including some of Iran’s national leaders: The return of the hidden Imam will bring the war that ends the world and creates heavenly bliss for believers. As America’s dean of Mideast studies, Bernard Lewis, puts it: During the Cold War, Mutual Assured Destruction was a deterrent; today it is an inducement.

Second, Iran works very closely with North Korea on its nuclear and missile programs. Consequently, it has the ballistic missile capacity to launch weapons of substantial size and intercontinental range against us, or to orbit satellites above us.

So troubling is this capability — in the hands of either Iran or North Korea — that nine years ago, based on the ability of North Korea’s Taepodong missile to carry a nuclear warhead to intercontinental range, the current secretary of defense, Ashton Carter, and a prominent former secretary, William Perry, urged in a 2006 oped a pre-emptive strike against the then-new North Korean long-range missiles on their launch pads. As the two secretaries put it then, “Intervening before mortal threats to U.S. security can develop is surely a prudent policy.” Their view was that our ballistic missile defense capabilities were unproven and should not be relied upon for such an important task. “Diplomacy has failed,” they said, “And we cannot sit by.”

Third, Iran now is either very close to being able to field a nuclear weapon or it should be regarded as already having that capability. As William Graham, who served as President Reagan’s science adviser, administrator of NASA and chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, as well as many of his distinguished colleagues, such as Henry Cooper, who was director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, and Fritz Ermarth, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council, have put it:

“Regardless of intelligence uncertainties and unknowns about Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, we know enough now to make a prudent judgment that Iran should be regarded by national security decision makers as a nuclear missile state capable of posing an existential threat to the United States and its allies.”

Iran’s progress toward having a nuclear weapon that can be orbited or delivered by a long-range missile will not be halted by the concession-rich compromises proposed by the administration’s arms control negotiators in Geneva. North Korea already has this capability. As it appears now, Iran will have it before long. What are the consequences for our vulnerability to these two rogue states?

The new factor that makes one or a few nuclear warhead-carrying missiles launched into orbit much more dangerous than during the Cold War is the possibility of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the critical infrastructures that are the foundation of modern societies, especially the national electric grid. Electronics are increasingly vulnerable to EMP — more than a million times more vulnerable (and, yes, also much more capable) than they were at the dawn of the age of modern electronics a half-century ago. Moore’s Law has not been kind to our electronic vulnerabilities.

Consequently, even one nuclear warhead detonated at orbital altitude over the United States would black out the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for months or years by means of the electromagnetic pulse it would create. The Congressional EMP Commission assessed that a nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill nine of 10 Americans through starvation and societal collapse. Islamic State-like gangs would rule the streets.

Just such a scenario is described in Iranian military documents.

Read more via When Iran goes nuclear – Failure to protect the nation would amount to dereliction of duty | The Counter Jihad Report.

True Medical Rarity: Baby Born Inside Amniotic Sac

True Medical Rarity: Baby Born Inside Amniotic Sac.Newser) – Silas Johnson recently entered the world through emergency cesarean section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, but what makes his case truly extraordinary is that he was born at 26 weeks with his amniotic sac still perfectly intact around him, holding the placenta and umbilical cord as well, reports KHON2. "It was a moment that really did, even though it’s a cliche, [make us catch] our breath," says neonatologist William Binder. "It really felt like a moment of awe." Mom Chelsea Philips had no idea until her mom showed her a picture later. "He was kind of in a fetal position and you could see like his arms and his legs curled up," she says. "It was actually really cool to see, and when I heard that was actually really rare, I was like, oh my gosh, you’re a special little baby."

In fact, it’s in just 1 in 80,000 births or so that the thin, tough membrane still covers part of a newborn’s body, and it’s typically the head, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. But being born "en caul," as it’s called, where the entire body is still surrounded by the sac (with the placenta providing oxygen), is a true medical rarity most OB-GYNs will never see. The doctor "was in awe when the baby just popped out completely enclosed," per a Cedars-Sinai statement. "They had just a short amount of time to get the baby out of the sac and … he had to puncture the sac with his fingers." Silas, now nearly 3 months old, is healthy and expected to leave the hospital around his due date next month. (One girl was born in China last year at 23 weeks.)

Silas Philips was delivered prematurely, at 26 weeks, via emergency cesarean section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Babies Born Alive During Abortions More Common Than You Think | LifeNews.com

<a href=’http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/10/babies-born-alive-during-abortions-more-common-than-you-think/?utm_content=buffer8dc47&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer’>Babies Born Alive During Abortions More Common Than You Think | LifeNews.com</a>.

On March 29, Live Action covered the debate in the Florida legislature on a bill that would require doctors to give medical care, including transport to a hospital, to babies who are born alive during abortion procedures. A Planned Parenthood representative attempted to answer questions on why Planned Parenthood opposed this legislation. In a shocking video, she said that the decision about what to do with a living, breathing, born infant should be up to the doctor and the woman having the abortion. In other words, it should be permissible to kill that baby.

The belief that once a baby is marked for abortion, he should be killed regardless of whether he is in the womb or out of it is shocking to many people. But how common is the phenomenon of babies born alive after abortions? The truth is, we don’t know. It is likely that most of the cases never come to light. But enough of them have been documented to show that it does happen. In the upcoming series of articles, I will highlight some cases where babies were born during abortion procedures and were denied the right to life.

In 1999, “Baby Hope” was born despite the fact that her mother was in the middle of an abortion procedure. The facts are as follows.

Abortionist Dr. Martin Haskell was performing a partial-birth abortion on a young woman. In a partial-birth abortion, just like in the more commonly used D&E abortion, the woman’s cervix is dilated with laminaria, which are small sticks that gradually expand. She is then sent home. The actual killing and removal of the baby is usually done a day or two after the insertion of the laminaria, after they have been given time to work.

In this particular case, after leaving the clinic, the woman began experiencing cramps and went to the emergency room of Bethesda North Medical Center in Cincinnati, where she gave birth to a living baby girl. According to an article in The Southeast Missourian, the baby was put into a dish and set aside to be disposed of. Nurse Shelly Lowe witnessed the baby gasping and moving after she was told to take “it” to the lab. She reportedly said, “I don’t think I can do that[.] … This baby is alive.”

The doctors refused to give any medical care to the baby, who was estimated to be at least 22 weeks old. Lowe named the child Hope and held her until she died, wrapping her in a blanket and singing to her. Lowe said, “I wanted her to feel that she was wanted. … She was a perfectly formed newborn, entering the world too soon through no choice of her own.”

Baby Hope lived for three hours with no medical care, while local Lowe held her and other nurses watched. According to the article “The Story of Baby Hope” by Liz Townsend:

“Hospital workers who cared for Baby Hope report continuing feelings of sadness and grief, but also peace — “peace that she was comforted, held close, and even sang to until she took her last breath,” according to nurse Connie Boyles. Emergency room technician Shelly Lowe held the baby until she died three hours and eight minutes after her birth. “I sat and held her. I felt no one should die alone,” said Lowe at an April 20 news conference held by local pro-life groups. “We had her baptized. I named her Hope because I’d hoped she would make it.”

Doctor Delivers Baby Still in Amniotic Sac – LifeNews.com.

Doctor Delivers Baby Still in Amniotic Sac, Would Abortion be OK? | LifeNews.com.

Doctor Delivers Baby Still in Amniotic Sac, Would Abortion be OK? | LifeNews.com

Text of hand-written letter ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller wrote to family during captivity | Fox News

Text of hand-written letter ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller wrote to family during captivity | Fox News.

The following is text of a letter 26-year-old American Kayla Mueller wrote to her family while in ISIS captivity in November 2014:

Everyone, If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact  you + send you this letter. It’s hard to know what to say. Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness. I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn’t know if my cell mates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears. If you could say I have ‘suffered’ at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else … + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall. I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I  have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another … I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation. I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport. I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life. The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support. I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden. I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, [REDACTED] can contact [REDACTED] who may have a certain level of experience with these people. None of us could have known it would be this long but I know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes. I wrote a song some months ago that says, ‘The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left …’ aka- The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.

All my everything,

Kayla

Schooled in Hate: Anti-Semitism on Campus

Schooled in Hate: Anti-Semitism on Campus.

Here I Am

Here I am, beneath your heart,
My heart beating in happy harmony,
As my frame perceives
The gentle throbbing within your breast,
Serene.

I began in secret and in darkness,
A mystery, even to myself.
Day by day, nature shapes my clay,
As you await the blessed dawn of my birth day.

What I know, I know by existence.
I am now all trust,
Simply growing,
Simply becoming who I am.

Comfort, you give comfort.
Love, you are all I know of love.
As you wait for me, my mother,
The eyes of my soul are wide open.
I behold you, smiling upon me.

Expectant, vigilant and gleeful,
Mother of my moments,
You cradle me.
You are my home of sweet delight.

© 2011  Joann Nelander

The faith that has been in Iraq 2,000 years ‘cannot disappear so easily’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The faith that has been in Iraq 2,000 years ‘cannot disappear so easily’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

By Blanca Ruiz

Erbil, Iraq, Jan 9, 2015 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Emil Nona is the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, the Iraqi city overrun by the Islamic State last summer. Since then, he has brought the voice of the Christians of Iraq to the West."For us the faith is everything. It is our life, our identity, our history and our way of life. We can’t separate ourselves from our faith in any way," Archbishop Nona told CNA. "Our faith, which has been in this land for more than 2,000 years, cannot come to an end so easily."

He speaks with the clarity of someone who knows that without international help soon, more of the region will become territory of the Islamic State. Christians will have to abandon Iraq for good in order to save their lives and escape persecution and they will leave behind a land where Catholics have been present for more than 2,000 years.

The Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul said, “Most Christians plan to leave Iraq because they thought the crisis would be short-lived and after we would return to our homes, but this has not been the case. There have been no positive signs in the last six months that our land will be liberated. The Islamic State is becoming increasingly stronger."

No plans for liberation

Although shortages are widespread in Iraq, thanks to Aid to the Church in Need shelter is being provided for more than 120,000 displaced Christians in northern Iraq. There temperatures in the winter drop to single digits, and so large tents have been set up so families can come together and stay warm. Space is limited but the people are grateful not to be exposed to the elements.

In addition, help from Aid to the Church in Need made it possible for thousands of refugee children to receive a Christmas present, and plans are underway to set up schools so that children can continue studying until the situation becomes normal again.

The shortages are widespread, but what this group of Christians lacks most isn’t material things, but hope, as there are no signs things will improve.

"They have lost faith in their land, where they have lived for thousands of years. They have lost faith in Muslim society because they helped loot our homes. Now they live in waiting, not knowing what is going to happen. The only thing they haven’t lost is their Christian faith. We are proud because none of the 120,000 people in this area has converted to Islam," the archbishop explained.

Faced with the choice of converting to Islam or death, the Christians of Mosul have preferred to die rather than deny the faith.

In this desperate situation, Christians there do not complain or cry out to God for justice. "When something like this happens, we in the East thank God for everything. Because we know well that man is the cause of this problem, not God. In this situation, the existence of God is more necessary than ever, the presence of God is more powerful," Archbishop Nona said.

"When there is such brutal violence on the part of man, the presence of God is even stronger, because He is good. We believe even more, because it is more necessary than ever to believe amidst a situation as extreme as this one.”

The question of where is God in this persecution is a question "only you in the West pose. In the East we never ask that question. For us faith is enmeshed with our identity and the faith cannot be separated from our identity."

These martyrs of the faith only ask that the rest of the world not forget about them, about their suffering, about the injustice they have endured each day for more than six months. For this reason, whenever they receive help it means much more than just a solution to the lack of shelter or food.

"This aid is not only material but also shows that other Christians have not forgotten about us and experience the needs of Christians in Iraq as their own. We cannot ask them to stay in their land suffering if we do not help," Archbishop Nona said.

"We can’t know what will happen but up to now we have not seen any positive signs that our land and peoples will be liberated. Islamic militants are in the city of Mosul, on the Nineveh plain, in much of Iraq, but the Iraqi army does nothing to liberate these lands. We do not know the exact reason why we are not liberated and why there are only air raids. Up to now we haven’t seen any region liberated, much less any plans for liberation," Archbishop Nona said.

Radicalization in Iraq since 2003 read more via

The faith that has been in Iraq 2,000 years ‘cannot disappear so easily’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

my-life-is-a-gift-even-if-it-was-an-accident-response-to-molly-corn-abortion-advocate

by Gabrielle Timm

A few weeks ago, I read an opinion piece in The Hustler titled “The hypocrisy of anti-abortion extremists” by Molly Corn. The entire piece was written from a pro-choice perspective, and while I am pro-life, my response is prompted by the author’s direct and indirect comments about adoption.

Corn states that she believes “it (abortion) is right because every child deserves to be a gift, not an accident.” While the debate about when life begins will go on, a statement implying that because a child results from an unwanted pregnancy, he or she is not a gift is absurd.

I am adopted. To be more specific, I am the unplanned result of a one-night stand that likely involved alcohol. After my birth mother became aware of her pregnancy, my birth father wanted an abortion and she seriously considered that option for a while.

While I am an “accident,” I think it is possible to be both an accident and a gift. To my parents, who weren’t able to have biological children, I am a gift. To imply otherwise is insensitive and offensive to me, to my parents and to many adopted children and their parents, as well as to the courageous people who chose adoption over abortion.

The piece wasn’t directly about adoption, but Corn links to a column that disparages adoption as a genuine alternative for those with an unwanted pregnancy and includes several misrepresentations about adoption and the pro-life movement. The message seems clear: Life is only a gift if it is planned and/or wanted by its biological parents.

The column states that the pro-life movement often makes adoption out to be “the easy choice.” My birth mother, and others like her, did not make an easy choice. But, to many people, adoption is the only moral solution to an incredibly difficult situation when a birth parent does not want to raise the child or is unable to do so. To interpret the pro-life position so superficially, or to state it as a fact, is a gross misrepresentation of the pro-life movement’s stance as a whole regarding adoption.

The article also cites that the number of adoptions that occur annually is stagnant. Combined with the discussion about the danger of babies ending up in foster care should abortion cease to be legal, this article seems to imply that there is not a very large demand for domestic infant adoption. However, in recent years, the rate of babies being placed for adoption has dropped for a variety of reasons, including the widespread and common acceptance of abortion services and changing attitudes toward single parenting. While there are no readily available national statistics that track the number of couples looking to adopt, Richard Pearlman (executive director of the Adoption Center of Illinois, who has worked in the field for more than 26 years) notes that there is still a strong demand to adopt infants, evidenced by waiting lists which average six to 12-month waits.

A large part of the linked column discusses emotional negatives surrounding adoption, failing to fully address the serious problems abortion causes. Dr. David Ferguson, a pro-choice researcher, conducted a study that found women who had abortions were significantly more likely to experience mental health illnesses such as depression. Ferguson continues to be pro-choice, but noted in an interview that it would be foolish to not take the risks and benefits into account when considering abortion.

Adoption is a challenging and courageous choice. The adoption agency I was adopted through (Adoption Center of Illinois at Family Resource Center) even has links on its blog discussing the emotional difficulties birth mothers face. Judging the adoption alternative requires thoughtful consideration of the real issues associated with both adoption and abortion.

Finally, fewer than 140,000 total adoptions occur annually in the United States, which include international adoptions, adoptions from foster care, adoptions by step-parents, etc. Fewer than 20,000 of those are domestic infant adoptions. I would be very skeptical when reading statistics or articles arguing that many adopted children suffer from emotional problems due to separation from their biological mother, since the studies include all ages of adopted children and do not account for early experiences in foster care, orphanages, etc. A child’s emotional health, whether they are adopted or not, recognizes the important truth that families are bound not solely through biological ties, but through unconditional love.

I do not feel abandoned by my birth mother, who at the time of my birth had recently graduated from college. If I ever meet her, my first words would be to tell her how grateful I am that she decided to place me for adoption and how I think she is incredibly brave for giving me the gift of life and the gift of a child to my parents.

My life is a gift, even if it was an accident.

via LETTER: Prolife adoptee shares her story – The Vanderbilt Hustler: Opinion.

Four Iraqi Christian Kids Beheaded After Refusing to Convert to Islam

Vicar of Baghdad: Four Iraqi Christian Kids Beheaded After Refusing to Convert to Islam, Telling ISIS Militants ‘No, We Love Jesus’

By Samuel Smith , CP Reporter

December 2, 2014|2:12 pm

Rev. Canon Andrew White Speaks About The Persecution of Iraqi Christians.,

“Four Iraqi Christian children, who were all beheaded by the Islamic State, refused to betray Jesus and graciously died in his name when the ISIS militants gave them one last chance to say the Islamic words of conversion, the Rev. Canon Andrew White revealed in a recent interview.

In an interview last week with the Christian Broadcast Network published on the Orthodox Christian Network, White, who is the only Anglican vicar in Iraq and is know as “The Vicar of Baghdad,” detailed the plight of Christians in Iraq and recounted two instances when Islamic State’s forceful conversions directly pulled the strings of his heart.

Speaking on ISIS’ brutal mistreatment of religious minorities, White recounted the recent incident when ISIS militants beheaded four kids, all of whom were under the age of 15, when the kids refused to say that they would follow the Prophet Muhammad and told the ISIS fighters that they will always “love” and “follow” Jesus.”

via Vicar of Baghdad: Four Iraqi Christian Kids Beheaded After Refusing to Convert to Islam, Telling ISIS Militants ‘No, We Love Jesus’.