Category Archives: persecution of Christians

Man arrested for trying to start a fire with gasoline at NY’s St. Patrick Cathedral

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York City, narrowly avoided a fate like France’s Notre Dame Cathedral.

On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) tweeted that around 7:55 pm that evening, “a man walked into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan with gas cans and lighter fluid,” and was apprehended by NYPD without incident.

Below is a pic of the gas cans and lighter fluid:

The man was identified by NYPD as Marc Lamparello, 37, a Ph.D. student at City University of New York (CUNY).

Lamparello was apprehended by cathedral security around 8 p.m. and taken into police custody by officers with the NYPD Critical Response Command for attempting to start a fire using a lighter. He had a car nearby to escape the scene. He was recently arrested for refusing to leave a church in Newark, New Jersey, as it was closing, and charged with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest.

According to the NYPD, about 90 minutes before Lamparello tried to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he pulled up to the church in a minivan, wandered around for about an hour, then took out of his car four gallons of gasoline, two cans of lighter fluid, and lighters. At around 8 p.m., Lamparello tried to enter the cathedral with the gasoline and lighter fluid, but was prevented from entering by cathedral security. He spilled some of the gasoline on the floor as he was leaving. Police said his intent with the items he was found with seemed to be to “set a fire.”

NYPD said that Lamparello’s story was “not consistent” and suspicious, though they have not yet determined any sort of motive. He claimed he cut through the cathedral as a shortcut, as his van had run out of gas, but the minivan had in fact not run out of gas, which led to police taking him into custody. Lamparello was reportedly cooperative.

On Thursday, April 18, Lamparello was charged with second-degree attempted arson, second-degree reckless endangerment and trespassing. The investigation is ongoing and it is not clear if he could face additional charges.

NYPD have confirmed that Lamparello had recently purchased a one-way airplane ticket from Newark Airport to Rome, Italy, scheduled to depart the next evening (Thursday).

Police described Lamparello as “emotionally disturbed”. When asked if police believe the incident to be terrorism, Deputy Commissioner John Miller said at a briefing: “It’s too early to say that. It’s hard to say what exactly his intentions were. But I think the totality of circumstances of an individual walking into an iconic location like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over. His story is not consistent. So he is in conversation with detectives right now. I think if you add to that the events in the iconic location, the fire of Notre Dame this week and all the publicity around that.” Miller said Lamparello did not mention the Notre Dame fire during his initial interaction with officers.

Lamparello graduated in 2004 from Boston College, a Jesuit school. Since then, he has been a philosophy instructor at several universities, including Seton Hall University in New Jersey, a diocesean Catholic school administered by the Archdiocese of Newark. He previously worked as a music director for a Catholic parish in New Jersey. According to a bio for a recently published book he wrote, “Marc has been heavily engaged in the study of philosophy from an early age, and is currently working on two other book-length projects, including a witty dialogue on arguments for and against the existence of God, and a series of essays on the epistemology of practical motivation.”

His brother, Adam Lamparello, told the Daily Beast he was “shocked” to hear of Marc’s arrest, and said “this is something that is so not him.”

On Tuesday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City had expressed concern for the safety of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which, like Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, also has a wooden roof. Dolan said: “I thought of St. Patrick’s. I said, ‘Oh my Lord, are we safe?’ Thank God the FDNY has been extraordinarily vigilant and helpful, because we’ve got a wooden roof too,”

St. Patrick’s Cathedral recently underwent a $177 million restoration project, which included new fire safety features.

Sources: Catholic News AgencyHeavy.com.

~Eowyn

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Pelosi reveals liberal leftist agenda in Equality Act remarks

At the March 13 Democrat press conference that introduced H.R. 5 – Equality Act, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed a litany of  liberal, leftist goals she hoped Democrats would achieve. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), gave the initial remarks. Pelosi  gave the hallmark Democrat speech.

The following text is the official transcript of Pelosi’s remarks. The bold face highlighted text marks are mine.

# # #

Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Introducing H.R. 5, The Equality Act

March 13, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Democratic leaders of the House and Senate for a press event introducing H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, federal jury service, public accommodations and the use of federal funds. Below are the Speaker’s remarks

Speaker Pelosi. Senator Merkley! Thank you, Senator Merkley, I accept your kind words on behalf of our House Democrats who, overwhelmingly, support this legislation and I thank David Cicilline and the Members of the Task Force for their work to bring us to this day.

I remember full-well the day you described in the LBJ Room when we stood there, you taking the lead in the Senate, David in the House, and right between the two of you, John Lewis, John Lewis giving his imprimatur to the path that we were going down.

[Applause]

So, I thank you. It is a pleasure to welcome back Senator Schumer when he gets here, a former Member, and Senator Baldwin, a former Member of whom we are very proud, and thank you for your leadership, as well as Senator Booker, not of this House but certainly of this Congress who we are very proud of as well. I am proud to join all of you.

As I was listening to the comments that were being made, Congressman Cicilline – I think I decided to call you Chairman, you call everyone Chairman in the Majority – and Senator Merkley, I was thinking back on the path to this day.

When we first got the Majority, we said we had four goals we wanted to achieve. One was to pass the hate crimes legislation. Senator Baldwin was very much a part of that in the House, and Senator Schumer of course in the Senate, and then Senator Baldwin in both houses.

The next was supposed to be ENDA, end discrimination in the workplace, but we all came to the conclusion, led by the outside groups, that we should do the repeal of ‘Don’t Act Don’t Tell’ next. So, that rose to number two on the agenda, not in terms of importance but in terms of chronology and in getting the votes. So then, with the help of so many of you, we repealed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

[Applause]

Next was marriage equality, which the courts happily recognized – marriage equality. So, we had one left, ENDA. But everybody just said, why should we be ending discrimination in the workplace? What about in every place – in housing, in every place?’

So, that’s when Mr. Cicilline stepped forward and said, ‘We’ll open the Civil Rights Act.’ Not a small thing to do, and that’s why Mr. Lewis and the Congressional Black Caucus and all of our Members were so important in getting behind that fully so here we are today.

Here we are today. We are proud to stand with Members from both sides of the Capitol to take a momentous step towards full equality for LGBTQ Americans and for our country. We take great pride in serving with a record-breaking ten LGBTQ Members in the Congress. We are happy about that.

[Applause]

Let us once again salute David Cicilline, a champion for equality. Thank you, Senator Merkley, for your tireless leadership in the Senate.

Our inside maneuvering, though, is only possible because of the success of the outside mobilization, so I want to join David Cicilline and Senator Merkley in acknowledging the work of our outside friends who made this possible.

[Applause]

Advocates and allies have always made the difference: in passing fully-inclusive hate crime legislation, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Act, defeating the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act – remember that horrible thing? And more. Forget about it.

Again, your mobilizing and organizing will make the difference, once again, so I thank all of you for that. Let me just say on that score, that many of you have reported to us that many in corporate America and in the business community are behind the Equality Act, and I think that is going to be very important.

[Applause]

Our Founders, in their wisdom, wrote in our beautiful preamble to the Constitution ‘the blessings of liberty.’ They talked about the blessings of liberty which were to be the birthright of all Americans. That’s why I am especially upset that, last night, we were all sickened and saddened to see the President revive his hateful transgender service ban. No one with the strength and bravery to serve in the military should be turned away – turned away – so sad.

I had some trans in uniform folks here for the State of the Union Address, and they were so saddened because they have a high percentage of participation in our military, and to have that not get its full respect and, in fact, lessened by the President’s actions – so, we have important work to do in fighting to defeat this disgusting ban and we will succeed.

[Applause]

While the President betrays our values with his ban, the Congress is bringing our nation closer to equal liberty and justice for all with the Equality Act. Sexual orientation and gender identity deserve full civil rights protections – in the workplace and in every place, education, housing, credit, jury service – you want jury service? In public accommodations. That is why we are proud to stand with Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, many of whom are here with us, Bobby Scott, Sheila Jackson Lee. You will be hearing from Bobby Scott.

We are proud, as David said, that this bill has nearly 240 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House. We look forward to a swift, strong and successful vote on this bill. And now, it would have been my pleasure – did he come? Okay, Chuck is on the way.

[Laughter]

Is that okay? He will be here shortly. I am pleased to welcome back to the House side, a place where we took great pride, where she was first lesbian to be elected to the Congress of the United States. How proud we are of Tammy Baldwin.

~ Grif

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Coming to America: Canadian man fined $55,000 for misgendering a ‘transgender’

Yesterday, our Grif published an important post, “Democrats file legislation to force all Americans to accept the LGBTQ agenda,” on a bill in the House, H.R. 5: Equality Act, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), which would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law.

If the so-called Equality Act becomes law, it would impact essentially every part of American life. Everyday Americans, especially Christians, would be penalized for not conforming to the Left’s LGBT dicta and agenda, including:

  • Employers and workers must conform to new sexual norms or else lose their businesses and jobs.
  • Hospitals and insurers must provide and pay for “transgender”  therapies and surgeries against their moral or medical objections.
  • Parents would be forced to provide sexual reassignment treatments for their children who are confused about their sexual identity.
  • Religious (read: Christian) institutions would be forced to provide adoptions to permit same sex couples to adopt children.

Canada is already doing that — penalizing anyone who doesn’t conform to the LGBT dicta.

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal is a quasi-judicial human rights body in British Columbia (BC), Canada. It was established under the British Columbia Human Rights Code and is responsible for “accepting, screening, mediating and adjudicating human rights complaints.”

The Tribunal is comprised of three members: Diana Juricevic, Norman Trerise and Devyn Cousineau.

On March 27, 2019, the BC Human Rights Tribunal fined Christian activist William Whatcott $55,000 CAD (US $41,298) for violating Section 7 of the BC Human Rights Code by misgendering Morgane Oger (birth name Ronan Oger), a male-to-female “transgender” and a 2017 New Democratic Party candidate, calling Oger a biological male (which is what he is) in street flyers and on the Internet.

In the Tribunal’s 105-page ruling, authored by Devyn Cousineau, Oger — a biological male — is referred to as “Ms.,” “she” and “her”.

The Tribunal says:

Mr. Whatcott created a flyer entitled “Transgenderism vs. Truth in Vancouver‐False Creek” [Flyer]. In it, he called Ms. Oger a “biological male who has renamed himself… after he embraced a transvestite lifestyle”. He expressed a concern “about the promotion and growth of homosexuality and transvestitism in British Columbia and how it is obscuring the immutable truth about our God given gender”. He described being transgender as an “impossibility”, which exposes people to harm and constitutes a sin….

When Ms. Oger and her team learned of the Flyer, they had to formulate a response during their election campaign. Ms. Oger went to the police, who advised her of safety protocols. She warned her children to be wary of strangers. She describes the effect of the Flyer as destabilizing, terrifying, and searing. Ultimately, Ms. Oger was not elected in her [False Creek] riding [or electoral district].

After the election was over, Ms. Oger filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal [Tribunal], alleging that the Flyer violated ss. 7(1)(a) and (b) of the Human Rights Code [Code]. Those sections prohibit publication of any statement that “indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate” (s. 7(1)(a)), or “is likely to expose a person or group or class of persons to hatred or contempt” (s. 7(1)(b)). In response, Mr. Whatcott denies that the Flyer violates s. 7 and says that in any event his rights to freedom of speech and religion guarantee his right to distribute it. He says those freedoms are especially important during an election campaign….

In his constitutional argument, Mr. Whatcott argues that the “effect of the BC Human Rights Commission’s decision to proceed to the hearing stage in this case amounts to oppressive government action that violates the respondent’s s. 2, 15 and s.27 of the charter rights….

I can find no merit in Mr. Whatcott’s argument. The Tribunal is a creature of statute. It is bound to enforce and implement the Code, and the means by which it does this is to accept and adjudicate human rights complaints. In this decision, I have found that Ms. Oger has established a violation of s. 7 of the Code. A significant part of my analysis has entailed balancing Mr. Whatcott’s religious rights under the Charter and thus accounting for his religious freedoms. In Saguenay, the Court recognized that the application of human rights legislation may impose reasonable and justifiable limits on freedom of religion: paras. 89‐90….

Mr. Whatcott’s argument, if accepted, would require the Tribunal to reject any complaint for filing if it could impact on a person’s religious beliefs. Not only would this amount to an improper abdication of jurisdiction, but it would itself be an act of preferring one religious belief over another. “True neutrality” requires the Tribunal to abstain from such positions and rather adjudicate each complaint on its merits, weighing religious rights where appropriate: Sageunay at para. 134. That is precisely what it has done in this case.

This argument is dismissed.

I have found that Mr. Whatcott violated s. 7 of the Code. I declare that his conduct in publishing the Flyers was discrimination contrary to the Code and order him to cease the contravention and refrain from committing the same or a similar contravention: Code, s. 37(2)(a) and (b).

Ms. Oger seeks an award to compensate her for injury to her dignity, feelings, and self‐respect: Code, s. 37(2)(d)(iii). She argues that, given the nature of the discrimination in this case, the fact that it is ongoing, and that it had a serious impact on a vulnerable person, an award of $35,000 is appropriate. Mr. Whatcott opposes the award and argues it is unduly punitive….

I accept that the impact on Ms. Oger was serious….

More importantly, though, the Flyer and its potential ramifications terrified Ms. Oger….

Given the high levels of violence and hatred that are still perpetrated against transwomen in our society, it was not unreasonable for Ms. Oger to fear a violent outcome from this Flyer, even though – as Mr. Whatcott, JCCF, and CAFE repeatedly argued – there was no express call to violence within the Flyer itself. As Ms. Oger explained, it was not necessarily Mr. Whatcott she had to worry about, but the person who might be emboldened by the Flyer to act on their own hatred for transwomen….

By using her birth name, Ronan, Mr. Whatcott further caused Ms. Oger to feel hurt and angry….

I accept that the injury to Ms. Oger’s feelings, dignity and self‐respect was severe, and that the effects are ongoing. The circumstances warrant a higher award than in previous cases arising out of s. 7….

I find that an award of $35,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self‐respect [plus $20,000 in costs incurred by Oger] is appropriate….

In my view, the severity of Mr. Whatcott’s conduct, the fact that it was intentional and flagrant and persisted for the entire duration of the complaint, and the possible deterrent effect it could have on other transgender complainants seeking recourse at this Tribunal, mean that a high award is warranted in this case….

H/t FOTM reader-commenter William and Mass Resistance

See also:

~Eowyn

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Democrats file legislation to force all Americans to accept the LGBTQ agenda

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi March 13 introduced the so-called Equality Act, a bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes under federal civil rights law.

The legislation, known as the Equality Act would specifically include all LGBTQ definitions and would penalize everyday Americans for their beliefs about marriage and biological sex. Similar sexual orientation and gender identity laws at the state and local level have already been used in this way.

While liberal Democrats and some liberal Republicans in the House of Representatives are lauding the proposed legislation, some conservatives are calling it a “frontal assault on religious liberty.”

If the Equality Act becomes law, it would impact essentially every part of American life. It would force employers and workers to conform to new sexual norms or else lose their businesses and jobs. It would force hospitals and insurers to provide and pay for these therapies against any moral or medical objections. It would force parents to provide sexual reassignment treatments for their children who are confused about their sexual identity. It would force religious institutions that provide adoptions to permit same sex couples to adopt children, and the list goes on.

Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, in a critique of the proposed legislation noted that most Americans “don’t want a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, or “preferred pronoun” law based on gender identity, but congressional Democrats seem to think it’s time to impose them.”

Burke’s critique in The Daily Signal:

Nancy Pelosi delivered . . . on her promise to introduce the so-called Equality Act, which would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes in federal anti-discrimination law.

Although that may sound nice in theory, in practice sexual orientation and gender identity policies at the state and local level have caused profound harms to Americans from all walks of life.

How might a sexual orientation and gender identity law on the federal level, as introduced in the House and Senate, affect you and your community? Here are seven ways:

1.   It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.

Jack Phillips’ case went all the way to the Supreme Court after the Colorado Civil Rights Commission accused the bakery owner of discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation when the self-described cake artist declined to create a custom cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, but left the law in question, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, intact. Until last week, Phillips was in court again defending himself against the same agency under the same law.

The day after the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a lawyer who identifies as transgender, requested that he create a “gender transition cake.” After Phillips declined, the state Civil Rights Commission found probable cause under the law that the baker had discriminated on the basis of gender identity.

Thankfully, the commission dropped the case, and Phillips agreed to drop his own lawsuit accusing the state agency of harassing him for his Christian beliefs.

Phillips is just one of many Americans who have lost income because of their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. Others cases involve florists, bakers, photographers, wedding venue owners, videographers, web designers, calligraphers, and public servants.

These cases are just the beginning. The same policies used to silence disagreement over marriage can be used to silence disagreement over the biological reality of sex.

2.  It would compel speech.

Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming lost his job for something he did not say.

A county school board voted unanimously to fire the veteran teacher over the objections of his students after he refused to comply with administrators’ orders to use masculine pronouns in referring to a female student who identifies as transgender.

Vlaming did his best to accommodate the student without violating his religious belief that God created human beings male and female, using the student’s new name and simply refraining from using pronouns altogether.

Unfortunately, the school still considered this a violation of its anti-discrimination policy.

Incidents like these would increase under federal policy proposed in the Equality Act. Both federal and private employers could face costly lawsuits if they fail to implement strict preferred pronoun policies. Employees could be disciplined if they fail to comply, regardless of their scientific or moral objections.

3 . It could shut down charities.

Foster care and adoption agencies, drug rehabilitation centers, and homeless centers already face challenges under state and local policies on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In Philadelphia, just days after the city put out an urgent call for 300 additional families to foster children, the city halted child placements by Catholic Social Services because of the organization’s belief that every child deserves both a mother and a father.

Although same-sex couples have the opportunity to foster children through the state or every other agency in Philadelphia, the city canceled its contract with Catholic Social Services. The agency’s approved foster homes remain available while children languish on the waiting list.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make this situation a national phenomenon, which would spell disaster for the 437,500 children in foster care nationwide.

Other charities would be affected, too.

In Anchorage, Alaska, a biological male born Timothy Paul Coyle goes by the name of Samantha Amanda Coyle. On two occasions, Coyle tried to gain access to the city’s Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center, a shelter for homeless, abused, and trafficked women.

In one attempt, authorities said, Coyle was inebriated and had gotten into a fight with a staffer at another shelter, so Hope Center staff paid Coyle’s fare to the emergency room to receive medical attention. Coyle sued the center for “gender identity discrimination.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law could force any social service organization to open up private facilities—including single-sex bathrooms, showers, and sleeping areas—to members of the opposite sex.

4.  It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.

Two biological males who identify and compete as women easily defeated all of their female competitors in an event at the Connecticut State Track Championships. Transgender athlete Terry Miller broke the state record in the girls’100-meter dash. Andraya Yearwood, also transgender, took second place.

Selina Soule, a female runner, not only lost to the biological males in the championships but also lost out on valuable opportunities to be seen by college coaches and chosen for scholarships.

Soule said about the 100-meter event: “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing.”

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would defeat the purpose of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which is supposed to guarantee women equal educational and athletic opportunities.

Under radical gender identity policies, female athletes have sustained gruesome injuries at the hands of male competitors. In high school wrestling, female athletes have forfeited rather than compete against transgender athletes on testosterone.

A federal law could set girls’ and women’s sports back permanently at every level.

5.  It could be used to coerce medical professionals.

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition.

If these lawsuits succeed, medical professionals would be pressured to treat patients according to ideology rather than their best medical judgment.

The Obama administration tried to coerce medical professionals into offering transition-affirming therapies through a regulation in the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

That move was stopped in the 11th hour by a federal judge. However, that could all be set back in motion if a national law imposes a nationwide health care mandate regarding gender identity.

6.  It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.

The politicization of medicine according to gender ideology will create more conflicts among parents, doctors, and the government. A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would jeopardize parental rights nationwide.

In fact, the current issue of the American Journal of Bioethics includes an article arguing that the state should overrule the parents of transgender children who do not consent to give them puberty-blocking drugs.

This has already happened. In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

Similar cases are proceeding through the courts with children as young as 6 years old.

Meanwhile, studies show that 80 to 95 percent of children no longer experience gender dysphoria after puberty. Politicizing medicine could have serious consequences for children who are exposed to the unnecessary medical risks of drastic therapies.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would make these cases more common.

7.  It would enable sexual assault.

A complaint under investigation by federal education officials alleges that a boy who identifies as “gender fluid” at Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, sexually assaulted Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter in a girls’ restroom. The boy had access to the girls’ restroom because of Decatur City Schools’ transgender restroom policy.

School authorities refused to change the policy even after Thomas reported the assault. Eventually, she decided to remove her daughter from school for the girl’s emotional well-being and physical safety.

A federal sexual orientation and gender identity law would give male sexual predators who self-identify as females access to private facilities, increasing the likelihood of these tragic incidents.

It could also make victims less likely to report sexual misconduct and police less likely to get involved, for fear of being accused of discrimination.

The proposed Equality Act could impose a nationwide bathroom policy that would leave women and children in particular vulnerable to predators. It actually would promote inequality by elevating the ideologies of special-interest groups to the level of protected groups in civil rights law.

This extreme and dangerous legislation would create unprecedented harms to businesses, charities, medical professionals, women and children, and entire families.

Texas fights back

Meanwhile, as congressional Democrats are advocating for the hamstringing of religious belief, Texas is pushing forward with new legislation that, if passed, will ultimately protect religious freedom—in Texas, at least. From Christian Ellis, CBN News, March 25:

The Republican-controlled state senate in Texas is considering SB 17. The bill would allow state license holders like lawyers, health care professionals, and counselors to serve clients based on their religious beliefs without any adverse actions from licensing boards.

Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) announced the bill as one of his top priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. The bill was designated a priority as “a result of requests and recommendations from senators and the people of Texas.”

“They strengthen our support for life, liberty and Texas values, increase protections for taxpayers,” wrote Patrick.

SB 17’s section on religious freedom reads:

“State agency that issues a license or otherwise regulates a business, occupation, or profession may not adopt any rule, regulation, or policy or impose a penalty that:

(1) limits an applicant’s ability to obtain, maintain, or renew a license based on a sincerely held religious belief of the applicant; or

(2) burdens an applicant’s or a license holder’s:

(A) free exercise of religion, regardless of whether the burden is the result of a rule generally applicable to all applicants or license holders;

(B) freedom of speech regarding a sincerely held religious belief; or

(C) membership in any religious organization.”

Conservatives across the state expect the bill to pass as the Republican party has control over the state’s House, Senate, and governorship. However, opponents like the National Association of Social Workers Texas have stated they will argue against the bill in the hearing, calling it “discriminatory”.

The organization states the bill runs “counter to the NASW Code of Ethics for all professionals, and will deny services to already marginalized persons in the LGBTQ community or women seeking access to reproductive care and services.”

SB 17 comes at a crucial time when religious freedom faces ongoing threats across the country, and as a new threat emerges in the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives. This month, Democrats introduced an updated version of their Equality Act that elevates protections for sexual orientation over protections for religious liberty. The bill could threaten ministries with legal consequences if they denied an LGBTQ individual from working for their institution.

“Every American should be treated with dignity and respect, but our laws need to protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights that we have,” Greg Baylor from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) told CBN News.

“Now under the Equality Act we will have a nationwide law,” continued Baylor. “We will see a proliferation of instances where Christians and others are being coerced to violate their beliefs in order to comply with such a law.”

While Democrats are indicating the Equality Act is a big part of their agenda, they do not currently control the US Senate, so the measure is not expected to pass unless they gain control of both houses of Congress in the 2020 election.

While Democrat liberals are planning an assault on religion, Texas is pushing forward with new legislation that, if passed, will ultimately protect religious freedom.

The Republican-controlled state senate in Texas is considering SB 17. The bill would allow state license holders like lawyers, health care professionals, and counselors to serve clients based on their religious beliefs without any adverse actions from licensing boards.

Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) announced the bill as one of his top priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session. The bill was designated a priority as “a result of requests and recommendations from senators and the people of Texas.”

~ Grif

Note from Eowyn: H.R. 5 – Equality Act was introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) on March 13, 2019. See also “Coming to America: Canadian man fined $55,000 for ‘misgendering’ a ‘transgender’“.

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Sunday Devotional: Blessed are you when people hate you

Luke 6:17, 20, 22-23, 26-28

Jesus came down with the twelve….
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“…Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way….
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.
But to you who hear I say,
love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.”

On June 28, 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama famously proclaimed, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation”.

Eight years of his presidency only worked to further de-Christianize America, seen most vividly among the young in the graph below (source: Washington Post).

In 2014, 82% of Americans 65 and older, but only 57% of Americans 18-29 identified themselves as Christians. Younger Americans increasingly identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated: 34% of those ages 18-29  vs. 11% of those 65 and older. As recently as the 1990s, less than 1 in 10 Americans claimed no religious affiliation. By 2014, the religiously unaffiliated increased to 22% of the U.S. population. According to Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America, by 2051, if current trends continue, religiously unaffiliated Americans could comprise as large a percentage of the population as all Protestants combined — a thought that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

What the graph and Jones fail to address is that, as Americans increasingly become religiously unaffiliated, witchcraft and satanism are surging:

As Christianity wanes, come the concomitant discriminaton against and persecution of Christians: bakers, teachers, Salvation Army bell-ringers. The homosexual director of Disney’s “Beauty and Beast” declared wanting to rip the Bible to pieces. Sen. Bernie Sanders actually said faithful Christians are racist bigots, unfit for public office. In fact, a 2017 report confirmed that the U.S. government’s hostility toward Christianity spiked under President Obama.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that we are hated and abused, for “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.” (John 15:18)

For that hatred, we are told to “rejoice and leap for joy”. As Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:

Thus says the LORD:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Be strong!

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Creeping Islam at Mall of America

pastor persecuted in Mall ofAmerica

CHRISTIAN LIFE DAILY:

Minnesota Prosecuting Ex-Muslim For Preaching Jesus At The Mall of America

Imagine being an outcast in your own country because you left Islam to follow Jesus Christ.

And imagine fleeing the home of your youth to new, unfamiliar country desperately seeking the freedom to practice your faith openly.

Now imagine arriving in this new, unfamiliar country, only to get arrested and prosecuted for telling people about your faith?

That’s exactly what happened to this ex-Muslim at the Mall of America…

Read the article at https://christianlifedaily.com/minnesota-prosecuting-ex-muslim-preaching-jesus-mall-america/

If you read the story you will find it gets much worse.


That all the news for now from Mall of Americastan,
where all the mall-cops are pigs,
and all the sheep are nervous.

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Virginia school board fires Christian teacher for refusing to use ‘transgender’ pronouns

The new tyranny in America.

Graham Moomaw reports for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dec. 6, 2018, that the West Point High School in West Point, Virginia, fired French teacher Peter Vlaming for refusing to go along with the madness of ‘transgenderism’ by addressing a female 9th-grade student who imagines herself to be male with the Left-mandated “correct” male pronouns.

Note that FOTM‘s recounting of Moomaw’s report for the Richmond Times-Dispatch refers to the biologically-female student as “girl,” “she” and “her,” instead of “boy” and male pronouns employed by Moomaw, which is now mandated for journalists in America’s insane Left-dominated media.

Vlaming, 47, who had taught at the school for almost seven years after spending more than a decade in France, told his superiors his Christian faith prevented him from using male pronouns for a student he saw as female.

A year ago, the student was in Vlaming’s class, at which point, she had identified as female. Then, over the summer, the girl’s family informed the school system of her “transition” to being male. Vlaming agreed to use the student’s new, male name, but avoided using any pronouns — he or him, and she or her — when referring to the student in her presence. But Vlaming did use female pronouns to refer to the female student in conversations with others. According to “witnesses,” during a class activity on Halloween involving the use of a virtual reality headset, the student was about to run into a wall, and Vlaming told others to stop “her.”

In other words, the school relied on spies and informants.

The student said that Vlaming made her feel uncomfortable and singled out. And the school’s administrators sided with her. They recommended that Vlaming be fired for violating the school system’s nondiscrimination and harassment policies that were updated a year ago to include protections for gender identity.

West Point’s principal Jonathan Hochman said he had told Vlaming to use male pronouns in accordance with the student’s wishes, and hyperbolically condemned Vlaming’s refusal as “I can’t think of a worse way to treat a child than what was happening.” West Point schools Superintendent Laura Abel said that Vlaming’s gender “discrimination” created “a hostile learning environment” which made the student and her parents feel “disrespected.”

Although the school district’s attorney, Stacy Haney, justifies Vlaming’s firing on the basis of a school employee’s refusal to follow policies, Vlaming’s lawyer, Shawn Voyles, said the school district’s nondiscrimination and harassment policies contain no specific guidance on the use of gender pronouns, and that even as a public employee, Vlaming has constitutional rights of his own, specificially the right “to be free from being compelled to speak something that violates your conscience.”

Speaking in his own defense, Vlaming said he loves and respects all his students and had tried to reach a solution based on “mutual tolerance.” But the effort was rejected, which put him at risk of losing his job for having views held by “most of the world for most of human history.” Vlaming said, “That is not tolerance. That is coercion.”

Vlaming’s hearing drew an overflow crowd, made up largely of parents and students who support him. They describe Vlaming as a model teacher who does extra duty as a soccer coach and bus driver. They had brought to the hearing “Justice for Mr. Vlaming” signs, but school officials forebade the signs in the meeting room with the ridiculous excuse that the small room did not have space for the signs. So the signs were left in a stack outside the meeting room’s doors.

During the hearing, to highlight the pitfalls of rules against “misgendering,” Vlaming and his lawyer pointed out that school principal Hochman himself used the “wrong” pronoun for the student during his testimony. Describing his conversation with Vlaming after the incident on Halloween, Hochman testified that he told Vlaming: “You need to say sorry for that. And refer to her by the male pronoun.”

Despite the support from many students and parents, the school board chose to terminate Vlaming’s employment. Superintendent Abel released this brief statement after the vote: “As detailed during the course of the public hearing, Mr. Vlaming was recommended for termination due to his insubordination and repeated refusal to comply with directives made to him by multiple WPPS administrators.”

Vlaming has asked the School Board to reconsider their decision — the “absurdity” of punishing a teacher for discrimination on the basis of pronoun usage alone, with no accusation of overtly malicious behavior. He said, “I am being punished for what I haven’t said.”

Vlaming is considering a wrongful-termination lawsuit and is consulting with his attorney. He said: “I have to research how we would do that, what that would entail. I do think it’s a serious question of First Amendment rights.”

Contact information for your protests:

Jonathan Hochman
Principal, West Point High School
Phone: (804) 843-3630 x104
Email: jhochman@wpschools.net

Laura K. Abel
Superintendent, West Point Public Schools
Phone: (804) 843-4386
Email: label@wpschools.net

There is a petition asking Superintendent Abel to reinstate Vlaming. To sign, click here.

See also:

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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European Jewish Congress: Bible should contain warnings about antisemitic passages; governments must fund fight against antisemitism

Founded in 1986, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) is an umbrella organization of 42 national Jewish communities in Europe, representing more than 2.5 million European Jews. Affiliated to the World Jewish Congress, the EJC is one of the most influential international public associations. It works with national governments, European Union institutions and the Council of Europe. Based in Paris, the EJC has offices in Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin and Budapest.

The Jerusalem Post reports that on November 21, 2018, the EJC convened a high level conference in Vienna, Austria, on “Europe beyond antisemitism and anti-Zionism – securing Jewish life in Europe”.

The conference was arranged by the Federal Chancellery of Austria led by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who, in his opening address, said “Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are getting blurred, but they are two sides of the same coin.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a recorded video speech at the conference, in which he said that antisemitism was resurgent again “throughout the world,” and that a new antisemitism has arisen which attempts “to demonize the Jewish state and prevent the Jewish people the right to self-determination in the homeland of our forefathers, the Land of Israel. Netanyahu said that “The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The Holocaust began with the spread of hate speech, the burning of books and the smashing of shop windows.”

EJC president Dr. Moshe Kantor said at the conference:

“Today, on European streets, people are being killed again simply for being Jewish. Jewish communities in Europe are increasingly concerned about their security and pessimistic about their future. Europe doesn’t have a monopoly on antisemitism anymore. No Jewish community anywhere in the world, however strong and well organized, is now immune from Jew hatred. Fighting antisemitism deserves much more than simple statements of good will – we need concrete policies and reinforced legislation.”

To that end, the conference produced a Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism — detailed proposals and recommendations for combating antisemitism in Europe, drawn up by the EJC with the assistance of academics from universities in Vienna, Tel Aviv and New York. (Daily Mail names Israeli historian Dina Porat and New York University professor Lawrence H. Schiffman as among the academics.)

Chancellor Kurz said he intends to bring the document before the European Council, the body comprising the 28 EU member heads of state that determines policy direction, at its next summit in December. Raising the issue at the European Council would be prelude to the adoption of the recommendations by the EU and Europe’s national governments.

On its website, the European Jewish Congress identifies the following recommendations of the Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism:

  1. Adoption and implementation of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism by all countries, institutions and businesses;
  2. Governments and intergovernmental organizations should condemn the blatant state-sanctioned antisemitism that exist in a number of countries, such as Iran;
  3. All countries should appoint an envoy for combatting antisemitism;
  4. Every country should commit to a percentage of its GDP, annually, to fund the fight against antisemitism;
  5. Creating new legal frameworks to combat antisemitism effectively and strengthening existing ones;
  6. People who express or hold antisemitic views should not be allowed to be members of political parties or occupy a position of power;
  7. Companies should be advised not to do business with countries or organizations that support antisemitism in any way;
  8. Governments should commit financial and operational resources to ensure the security of Jewish communities;
  9. Internet companies should be liable for antisemitic content on their platforms.

Curiously, left out of the above recommendations is the call for new editions of the Bible and Koran to carry warning messages about anti-Semitic passages.

James Wood reports for Daily Mail, Nov. 23, 2018, that the recommendation is in the EJC’s conference document, An End to Antisemitism! A Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism, in a chapter entitled “Recommendations regarding Religious Groups and Institutions”. The document reads:

Translations of the New Testament, the Qur’an and other Christian or Muslim literatures need marginal glosses, and introductions that emphasize continuity with Jewish heritage of both Christianity and Islam and warn readers about antisemitic passages in them. While some efforts have been made in this direction in the case of Christianity, these efforts need to be extended and made consistent in both religions.

The Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism also calls for:

  • The identification and rejection of all antisemitic texts and passages in the heritage of Christianity and Islam.
  • Religious leaders and thinkers to public denounce as “unholy writ”  all canonical or quasi-canonical writings of religious anti-Semites.

The Catalogue‘s justification for these changes is because divine messages are always communicated through human beings and therefore subject to error. It reads:

God’s revelation is thus marred by human fallibility. Beginning with the New Testament, divine revelation expresses itself in Christian holy texts that also express a form of hatred. The manifestations of this hatred resulted in a tradition of antisemitism that gave moral legitimacy to crimes against the Jewish people, the epitome of which is the Shoah.

Several themes in the New Testament have come under fire for being anti-Semitic. These include blaming Jews for the death of Jesus, and negative remarks about the stubborn nature of the Jewish people and their disloyalty to God.

So what is the IHRA working definition of antisemitism?

On May 26, 2016, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) — of which the United States is a member — adopted the following the “non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism“, which is used by the U.S. State Department:

Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.

Alas, the working definition does not define what “hatred toward Jews” means, but that meaning can be gleaned from what the IHRA considers to be contemporary examples of antisemitism, including:

  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective—such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

What the IHRA, European Jewish Congress and its Catalogue of Policies to Combat Antisemitism conveniently omit is that the Talmud, which supercedes the Torah (Old Testament) in religious authority for Jews, is rabidly anti-Christian.

Written in Hebrew between the third and sixth centuries, the Talmud is a collection of 63 books that together codify the oral law that Jewish rabbis claim was handed down from Moses. Jesus, in Matthew 15, however condemns that oral law when he said: “By the traditions of your elders you make void the Word of God.”

English translations of the Talmud have been watered down so as to conceal from the Gentiles the “satanic verses” contained in the original Hebrew. Those “satanic verses” can be classified into three categories:

  1. Jewish supremacy
  2. Hatred for “goys” or Gentiles
  3. Hatred for Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and all Christians. Some examples:
    • Jesus (“Yashu”) is in Hell being “boiled in hot excrement” (Gittin 57a); Jesus was sexually immoral and “worshipped a brick” (Sanhedrin 107b); Jesus was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness and refusal to repent (Sotah 47a).
    • Mary (“Miriam the hairdresser”) was a prostitute who “had sex with many men” (Shabbath 104b, Hebrew Edition only); “She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters” (Sanhedrin 106a).
    • “Christians who reject the Talmud will go to hell and be punished there for all generations” (Rosh Hashanah 17a); “All things pertaining to the Goim are like a desert; the first person to come along and take them can claim them for his own” (Babha Bathra 54b).

Sources:

See also:

~Eowyn

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HR 3222: Freedom of religion in danger with Democrat House majority

On Nov. 16, 1993, then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected” into law, with an almost-unanimous approval by Congress. Every House member approved of the bill; only three senators voted no.

Incredibly, both the House and Senate versions of RFRA were sponsored by Democrats: Rep. Chuck Shumer (NY) and Sen. Ted Kennedy (MA).

Then is then, and now is now.

The Democrat Party that spearheaded RFRA has become the hate-America, hate-God Demonrat Party that now is bent on the all-but-in-name repeal of the same law it once championed.

In an op/ed for the Washington Examiner, November 14, 2018, former Rep. Ernest Istook (R-Okla.), who now teaches political science at Utah Valley University, reports that even before the Nov. 6 election, 50 House Democrats had co-sponsored H.R. 3222, a bill to gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). With a majority of Demonrats now in control of the House of Representatives after the recent mid-term elections, there are now 172 House Democrats who support H.R. 3222, as their party takes control of the House.

H.R. 3222, sanctimoniously and deceptively titled the Do No Harm Act, is sponsored by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) and co-sponsored by 170 other House members, all Demonrats, one of whom is the anticipated incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), 71. That committee would be in charge of approving the undoing of RFRA.

H.R. 3222’s companion Senate bill (S. 2918) is authored by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and co-sponsored by 28 other Demonrat senators.

Instead of a head-on repeal of RFRA, H.R. 3222 and S. 2918 take a sly approach by creating a long itemized list of exemptions from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, thereby diminishing and undermining RFRA’s protection of religious freedom. The exemptions include sexual orientation, gender identity, and abortion. In effect, our Constitutional First Amendment right to freedom of religion would be declared less important than other claims never mentioned in the Constitution and often not even legislated by elected officials.

Groups endorsing HR 3222 and S 2918 are the usual leftwing suspects and promoters of evil: the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Human Rights Campaign, Center for American Progress, Lambda Legal, NAACP, NARAL, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Organization of Women, and Planned Parenthood.

Istook writes:

H.R. 3222 would declare that religious freedoms must yield when they run counter to the LGBTQ agenda or to other progressive causes such as abortion rights. Pushing this are progressive groups which claim that religious beliefs are just a cover for discrimination, bigotry, and hate….

The turnaround [since RFRA] dramatizes how culture and politics have changed in 25 years. Secular values have been given priority and religious freedoms have been narrowed.

Istook warns that HR 3222 and S 2918 will also reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby and Masterpiece Cakeshop decisions. State-level versions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are also being attacked. Those were enacted in 21 states after the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 ruled that RFRA protects only against intrusive laws on the federal level.

And although the GOP-majority Senate is very unlikely to approve S. 2918 or any legislation gutting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, those who oppose RFRA will be emboldened by HR 3222, and they will keep trying.

See also:

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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Pro-abort feminists throw fire bombs at Argentina church

In Argentina, the right to life is constitutionally protected from “its conception until natural death”. Abortion is illegal unless the life of the mother is threatened by pregnancy.

On Sunday night, October 14, 2018, Hell descended on Trelew, a city about 700 miles south of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as pro-abort feminists, some baring their breasts, threw Molotov cocktails at a Catholic church and the City Hall. 

Inés San Martin reports for Crux that 50,000 pro-abort women attended the National Encounter of Women, shouting “Abort your heterosexuality,” “Death to the macho” and “Lesbianize yourself” slogans. The Encounter ended in a march through downtown Trelew, with violent protesters throwing Molotov cocktails and scrawling graffiti on storefronts, privately-owned homes and churches.

It was reported earlier that day that a gas station had been temporarily closed for selling gas in plastic bottles to demonstrators.

Ten people were arrested. But by Monday afternoon the demonstrators had been released, although videos show the women throwing incendiary devices, stones and other objects at the Church of Our Lady Auxiliadora and various public buildings.

According to tweets from people on the ground, there were people praying inside the church that was being firebombed.

Y mientras tanto en #trelew en el #enm les garpamos la gimnasia revolucionaria de todos los años a las mismas locas de siempre pic.twitter.com/OT5UV8KXlR

– Malvinas Argentinas (@Abogadatrucha) October 15, 2018

The three-day National Encounter of Women, held in different locations each year, includes workshops and cultural activities for women and “transgenders”. The 70 workshops this year included such topics as Fat Activism, Women and Cannabis, and Women and Bisexuality.

The National Encounter of Women often ends with a rally demanding “free, legal, and safe abortion” and legalization of prostitution. In recent years, the rallies have featured a small yet significant group of demonstrators who throw bottles full of gas into Catholic buildings and leave walls filled with profanities.

Last year, at the National Encounter of Women in Resistencia, topless women with their faces covered assaulted the local cathedral while chanting “Take your rosaries out of our ovaries,” and “To the Catholic, apostolic, Roman Church, that wants to place itself in our bed, we say that we want to be whores, transvestites and lesbians. Legal abortion in any place.” The women used stones, tampons and pads with red paint, paint balloons, and even their own feces as projectiles. They also set trash cans on fire and painted the walls of the nearby buildings near city hall.

This year’s event was particularly significant as it comes only months after Argentina’s Congress voted against a bill that would have legalized abortion on demand until week 14. After the vote, participants in a pro-abortion rally ended by rioting, with pockets of women attacking several churches that are in the neighboring area of Argentina’s Congress.

In stark contrast, on May 20, 2018, 3.5 million pro-lifers held peaceful rallies in 117 Argentine cities against the bill to liberalize abortion.

See also:

H/t Big Lug

~Eowyn

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