Brutalist

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Pope Francis has sent the assurance of his prayers and apostolic blessing for all those participating in events to commemorate this year’s Day for Life in Great Britain, as the UK nears the 50th anniversary of legalized abortion in the country.

“The Holy Father, to the praise and glory of the Creator and Lord of Life, gives assurance of his prayers and imparts to the organisers and participants of the Day for Life his apostolic blessing,” said the Pope’s new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Edward Adams.
“Pope Francis invokes the protection of Our Lady, and entrusts to her, the Mother of the Living, the cause of life,” the Archbishop stated on the Pope’s behalf. “He begs her intercession that those who believe in her Son may continue to bear witness to life and, together with all people of good will, contribute to a culture of truth and love.”

The new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain conveyed the Pope’s message to the Bishop overseeing the 2017 Day for Life, the Right Reverend John Sherrington.

This October will see the 50th anniversary of the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act in England, Scotland and Wales. On October 27 of that year, the Abortion Act received Royal Assent.

According to event organizers, this year’s Day for Life offers an opportunity to pray for and remember the many lives taken before birth and to offer practical and emotional support to women and men who are worried about an unexpected pregnancy.

In his apostolic letter, Misericordia et Misera, released on November 20, 2016 — at the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy — Pope Francis extended to all priests “the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.”

“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life,” Francis said.
“In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father,” he said.

The Pope encouraged every priest to be a “guide, support and comfort to penitents on this journey of special reconciliation.”

This past February, the Pope delivered a similar message for Italy’s annual Day for Life.

Speaking to the thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square, Francis said: “May no one be left alone and may love defend the sense of life.”

The Pope quoted Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom he declared to be a saint last September: “Life is beauty, admire it; life is life, defend it!”

“Let us join together and pray for babies who are in danger of being aborted, as well as for people who are at the end of life. All life is sacred!” he said.

Francis likewise sent a message of support in January to the March for Life taking place in Paris, France.

“The Church must never tire of being an advocate for life and must not neglect to proclaim that human life is to be protected unconditionally from the moment of conception until natural death,” the Pope’s message said.

The UK Day for Life is the day dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition, according to group’s website. The Catholic Church teaches that life is to be nurtured and protected from conception to natural death.

This year’s Day for Life is celebrated on 18 June in England and Wales.

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Nemis Quinn Mélançon Golden started getting into drag when he was 7, the Advocate reported.

And just a year later — under his stage name “Lactatia” — he’s now the newest sensation in Montreal’s drag scene, the outlet said.

The Advocate — a long-running LGBT-focused publication — said Lactatia was “encouraged by his supportive parents.”

“Anyone can do what they want in life,” Lactatia told LGBT in the City on camera. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If you want to be a drag queen and your parents don’t let you, you need new parents. If you want to be a drag queen and your friends don’t let you, you need new friends.”

After taking voguing classes, Lactatia showed up at the Werq the World drag tour when it stopped in Montreal recently. At the show, Bianca del Rio — star of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” — invited Lactatia onstage where the elementary school-aged drag queen “charmed the dress off the older queen,” the Advocate reported.

Here’s a clip of the encounter.

Lactatia told LGBT in the City that he’s been wearing dresses “and being into girls’ stuff since I was like 3.” As for the origin of his stage name, Lactatia said his sister “made it up, and we all thought it was funny.”

And who does Lactatia’s makeup? His mother, of course:

Lactatia also performed in a Montreal voguing contest where he was “wowing the crowd with his lithe moves,” the Advocate reported.

“Looking like a living porcelain doll, Lactatia received a trophy as his parents beamed,” the Advocate said.

Here’s the interview and footage of the contest:


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This protester has served 10 years and seven months in jail and no one cares

 Linda Gibbons sat uncomfortably, hands cuffed behind her back, in the rear seat of a Toronto Police squad car.

She was taken first to 53 Division, transferred to 55 Division where all women are held overnight pending their first court appearance, and is expected to be paraded for a show-cause hearing Thursday morning.

She is an unrepentant recidivist, a hopeless repeat offender.

She is a serious criminal.

Gibbons doesn’t count her arrests, but probably she’s been in the back seat of squad cars a couple of dozen times in the past two decades — and that’s including the five years she took off to care for her dying father.

She has spent an astonishing total of 10 years and seven months behind bars.

I’ve written about people convicted of gun offences, serious drug offences, sex assault, drunk driving, child abuse and manslaughter who have done significantly less time.

Gibbons’ crime is worse.

She’s a veteran pro-life protester outside Toronto abortion clinics. She’s on the wrong side (the pro-life side) of the wrong issue (abortion) and yet she persists in trying to make her voice heard.

Canadians have largely forgotten the whole abortion issue; it barely qualifies as an issue anymore. There’s no criminal law prohibiting abortion in this country, and in most provinces, though access remains unequal, the procedure is covered by provincial health plans. Even Pope Francis has loosened the dispensation that can be given to Catholics who have had an abortion; any old priest can do it.

Those, like Gibbons, who still care about abortion, areprofoundly unfashionable, regarded as cranks. Perhaps that’s why she’s also probably the country’s most ignored serious criminal.

Yet.... are such people - and I count my small presence amongst them - really just 'cranks? Heck I can be cranky at times. It is the perogative of old men and Knights. We stand for the defence of the most vulnerable and needy in the world. Babies.

How 'crank' is that?

But for a handful of people — unusually, the National Post was there to watch and Gibbons had several supporters on the sidelines — her arrest proceeded quietly and without fuss.

She arrived shortly before 9 a.m. She was wearing a striped sweater, black stretch pants and sturdy black walking shoes.

She was by herself.

Holding her sign — it’s always the same one, which features a cartoonish drawing of a chubby baby and reads, “Why mom? When I have so much love to give” — and in her hand a model of a 10-week-old fetus, she walked 13 steps on the public sidewalk in one direction, and 13 steps back.

The Morgentaler clinic, named after the late Dr. Henry Morgentaler, is located in a nondescript office building in North Toronto; the entrance is on a residential street.

There’s a veterinarian in the same building, and one client, her dogs barking out the car window, told Gibbons, “My dogs are telling you something — that women have a choice.”

The clinic, as its website notes, has “extensive security systems,” and within minutes of Gibbons’ arrival, there were three cars from the Garda security agency and three beefy fellows on the sidewalk with her.

The usual script was followed: Security called the police; the police called the provincial sheriff’s office (the sheriff must enforce the injunction which establishes the offence), and when the sheriff arrived, and read aloud the injunction, then the police could move in.

This injunction dates back to 1989, a different and difficult time in the history of abortion and Canadian clinics.It was only a year after the Supreme Court had struck down Canada’s abortion law. Protests were often noisy and occasionally violent; in 1992, the original Morgentaler clinic on Harbord Street was firebombed.

Several individuals were named in that injunction, which was at first “temporary.” Gibbons wasn’t and isn’t one of them.

The Evidence.

Yet about a decade later, when the court called the parties back to find out what was going on, the named individuals, ordinary people facing a potentially huge legal bill, agreed to settle the case, and the injunction was made permanent.

But egregiously, the order began to be interpreted by judges as applying to everyone — not just to the original named individuals who had consented to it, but to Gibbons and anyone else who dared come within 500 feet of the clinic.

When the sheriff showed up Wednesday to read the paperwork aloud three times, the forbidden conduct included“impeding, interfering with, blocking and obstructing” clinic patients; “distracting” or “attempting to distract” or otherwise “interrupting” the business of the clinic; “supporting or condoning” actions that might interrupt the business.

I think you’d be hard-pressed to conclude Gibbons did any of that.

She walked her solitary path in front of the entrance; shedidn’t chant, sing, or pray; she didn’t stop anyone. The Garda guys were more of an impediment than this 67-year-old woman.

“Do you understand the court order?” the sheriff asked after each reading. “Linda, do you understand?” Then, after the third time, “Linda, you’re in breach of a court order.”
Gibbons didn’t reply but once, when she told the sheriff: “You arrest me while allowing the murder of babies? You have blood on your hands.”

She didn’t resist.

She doesn’t sign her fingerprints.

She doesn’t speak to her jailers.

She won’t sign bail.

She never speaks in court, where for most of the past two decades, she has been unrepresented (she has had a lawyer for the past few years).

As she sees it, her silence honours the unborn. 

The Supreme Court says the one you want to say you’re defending doesn’t exist … Nobody is there until the baby is born.

She’s the definition of passive protest, or at least one of them. She is a deeply conventional person — from a sprawling, non-religious family, she has grown children and grandkids she adores and an elderly mum — who has ended up with this weird, unconventional life.

“Necessarily so,” she told me once.

She knew exactly what would happen Wednesday. She was prepared; she spent time with her mom this summer; she phoned a few friends the night before.


Yet she looked so alone in the back of that squad car. How is it that she can be so harshly punished simply for exercising freedom of expression?

Oh yes, because in this country, when people disapprove of what you say, they will criminalize the speech.
It’s not quite Voltaire, is it?

Linda is well known in the Prison where she has spent so much time. All of the women in the prison, who are in and out the revolving door system for all sorts of offences and many of whom who have had abortions in their past, know her and love her.

She is their friend and confidante, their succour and their 'minister'.

She does not waste her time bemoaning her sentences, She loves the ladies as well as the babies.

She has done no wrong.

Understand that.


The Law is wrong. The actions of the police is wrong. The Courts which repeatedly find her 'guilty' are wrong. The attitude of society is wrong.


Linda is a Heroine.


Persecuted.

Linda is NOT alone.

Pro-life prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner told a Toronto court Wednesday that she is “consistently arrested for trying to protect unborn children.”

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” the 41-year-old said during a brief appearance via video from a Milton jail to the Old City Hall Court in downtown Toronto.

Wagner was arrested December 12 while trying to counsel women against abortion at Toronto’s Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic, located on the fourth floor of an office complex at 2425 Bloor Street West.
She is charged with two counts of failure to comply with a probation order, and one of causing mischief under $5,000.

Wagner refused bail in her three previous court appearances, and did so again December 23, because these mandate that she stay a certain distance away from abortion centers.

“I’d be very happy if you could release me” without having to sign a bail order, Wagner told the Court, but reiterated:

I’ve made it clear I’m not prepared to sign any bail conditions.

I salute these women.

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Almost 300 Australian schools have signed up to a policy saying they will consider helping children switch genders even if their parents object.

The group of institutions in the state of Victoria, some of which educate children as young as six, have all signed up to a lengthy “Safer Schools” policy on handling gender identity in schools.

It includes a section which notes that they do not consider parental consent to be a necessary ingredient if children want to transition.

The guide says: 

It may be possible to consider a student a mature minor and able to make decisions without parental consent.

It does not specify at what age this could be appropriate.

The document goes on to suggest possible actions to take, including changing their gender in school records, altering their pronouns in the classroom, altering their uniforms and moving them to different groups in sports teams and on school camps to suit their preferred identity.

At least 290 schools have signed up to the document, more than 95 of which are primary schools educating the country’s youngest school-goers.

In recent years Victoria has established itself as a hotbed of gender politics in schools.

Heat Street has previously reported on a state-funded booklet, “OMG I’m Trans”, handed out to schoolchildren to encourage them to have transition surgery.

The booklet explains that gender is “a little piece of paper” and entirely arbitrary, then walks them through the availability of hormone therapy and surgery.

Victorian authorities have even extended their teaching of gender politics into pre-school.

As Heat Street reported six weeks ago, Victoria is rolling out a training program for pre-school teachers aimed at rooting out sexist behavior in kids as young as four.

The multi-million-dollar project aims to equip teachers with “anti-bias approaches” to stop kids who “enact sexist values, beliefs and attitudes” in class, alongside making sure they can read and count.

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There is a good old saying, perhaps only said by my grandfather, that distance adds intrigue. It is certainly true — just think back to anything that has ever been distant from you that is now near. Your driver’s license. Marriage. Children. Things that used to seem so fascinating, but as they draw near become less mystical and more, well, real.

This same principle certainly applies to mission fields, too. The closer you get to home, the less intriguing the work of sacrifice seems. As someone once said, “Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help Mom with the dishes.”

When you are a mother at home with your children, the church is not clamoring for monthly ministry updates. When you talk to other believers, there is not any kind of awe about what you are sacrificing for the gospel. People are not pressing you for needs you might have, how they can pray for you. It does not feel intriguing, or glamorous. Your work is normal, because it is as close to home as you can possibly be. You have actually gone so far as to become home.

Home: The Headwaters of Mission

If you are a Christian woman who loves the Lord, the gospel is important to you. It is easy to become discouraged, thinking that the work you are doing does not matter much. If you were really doing something for Christ, you would be out there, somewhere else, doing it. Even if you have a great perspective on your role in the kingdom, it is easy to lose sight of it in the mismatched socks, in the morning sickness, in the dirty dishes. It is easy to confuse intrigue with value, and begin viewing yourself as the least valuable part of the church.

There are a number of ways in which mothers need to study their own roles, and begin to see them not as boring and inconsequential, but as home, the headwaters of missions.

At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.

Faith Makes the Small Offering Great

If you are like me, then you may be thinking, “What did I ever give up for them? A desk job? Time at the gym? Extra spending money? My twenty-year-old figure? Some sleep?” Doesn’t seem like much when you put it next to the work of some of the great missionaries, people who gave their lives for the gospel.

Think about the feeding of the five thousand when the disciples went out and rounded up the food that was available. It wasn’t much. Some loaves. Some fish. Think of some woman pulling her fish out and handing it to one of the disciples. That had to have felt like a small offering. But the important thing about those loaves and those fish was not how big they were when they were given; it was about whose hands they were given into. In the hands of the Lord, that offering was sufficient. It was more than sufficient. There were leftovers. Given in faith, even a small offering becomes great.

Look at your children in faith, and see how many people will be ministered to by your ministering to them. How many people will your children know in their lives? How many grandchildren are represented in the faces around your table now?

Gain What You Cannot Lose in Them

So, if mothers are strategically situated to impact missions so greatly, why do we see so little coming from it? I think the answer to this is quite simple: sin. Discontent, pettiness, selfishness, resentment. Christians often feel like the right thing to do is to be ashamed about what we have. We hear that quote of Jim Elliot’s and think that we ought to sell our homes and move to some place where they need the gospel.

But I’d like to challenge you to look at it differently. Giving up what you cannot keep does not mean giving up your home or your job so you can go serve somewhere else. It is giving up yourself. Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now.

Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore.

Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.

Feeding Many with Little Offerings

It is easy to think you have a heart for orphans on the other side of the world, but if you spend your time at home resenting the imposition your children are on you, you do not. You cannot have a heart for the gospel and a fussiness about your life at the same time. You will never make any difference there if you cannot be at peace here. You cannot have a heart for missions if you don’t have one for the people around you. A true love of the gospel overflows and overpowers. It will be in everything you do, however drab, however simple, however repetitive.

God loves the little offerings. Given in faith, that plate of PB&J’s will feed thousands. Given in faith, those presents on Christmas morning will bring delight to more children than you can count. Offered with thankfulness, your work at home is only the beginning. Your laundry pile, selflessly tackled daily, will be used in the hands of God to clothe many. Do not think that your work does not matter. In God’s hands, it will be broken, and broken, and broken again, until all who have need of it have eaten and are satisfied — and even then, there will be leftovers.

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Iris Azulai’s 17-year-old daughter, Carmel, recently attended a large concert in Tel Aviv of the Argentine singer Lali. Given Israel’s history, the fear of terrorism is always lurking, particularly at mass events, but regardless, she would not have prevented her daughter from going.

“There is always that fear … but I allow her to go because I say we cannot allow terrorism to take over our lives,” the mother said Tuesday following the Ariana Grande tragedy in Manchester, England. “It can happen anywhere and I just ask my daughter to be aware and take note of her surroundings.”

Before a suicide bomber struck in the north of England on Monday, young Grande fans at the 21,000-seat Manchester Arena posted photos on social media with messages of excitement at seeing their 23-year-old, high-ponytailed idol live. But now, some parents are thinking carefully about their children’s summer plans to attend concerts.

“The worst part is that if something happens there is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. All these things pass through my mind when she is there,” Azulai said.

Among those killed in Manchester was 8-year-old Saffie Roussos. She was the youngest of the 22 dead identified so far.

“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking,” said Chris Upton, the head teacher at Saffie’s school, Tarleton Community Primary School in the village of Tarleton, Lancashire.

For many families and kids, concert going — especially freewheeling summer shows around the world — are a rite of passage, a step toward independence. Count American singer and songwriter Victoria Monet, 24, in that demographic.

She was among two opening acts for Grande on the European leg of Grande’s Dangerous Woman Tour. Monet told her 43,100 followers on Twitter after the deadly explosion in Manchester that the “ones who came to have the night of their lives ended up losing them.”

Monet added: “They weren’t safe. I will never understand this hate! I don’t know how to handle this and I can’t smile and I feel useless I’m sorry.”

Julie Dearing in Houston, Texas, has a boy and girl, a 13-year-old son not at all interested in concerts and an 11-year-old music lover who was, until she learned of the Manchester attack. Earlier this year, Dearing’s daughter watched Fifth Harmony and other acts perform at Houston’s NRG Stadium, which has a capacity of nearly 80,000.

“That was her first concert,” Dearing said. “I wasn’t worried then, but I am now. I don’t know that I would let her go to a concert now and I don’t anticipate her asking again, at least not for a long time. She expressed to me she no longer has a desire to attend a large concert after hearing this news. It was very frightening, understandably so.”

Dearing’s daughter, Alyssa Dearing, put it this way: “I don’t think I’m afraid. I’m just more cautious. I’d be kind of on edge, like not really 100 percent sure of everything.”

Will that anxiety carry over to the mall, getting around by herself or with friends and other independent outings?

“I think it’s so associated with concerts more than anything else,” the elder Dearing said. “I think she’ll be fine but I’d rather err on the side of caution.”

As anxiety-inducing as concert going by kids can be, whether parents attend or not, Los Angeles licensed psychologist Crystal I. Lee sees no upside in letting fear take over.

“Car accidents are more likely to harm your child than a terrorist attack, yet you still allow your child to travel by car,” she said. “Of course, continue to exercise your general good judgment when deciding if your child should go, but don’t let the possibility of terrorism be the deciding factor.”

Easier said than done for some parents, especially those in Paris and other cities that have been targeted by terrorists in recent years.


Paris resident Shelley Boyd Cadiou’s three sons — the youngest of whom is 18 — were going to attend a Guns N’ Roses concert in Paris on July 7 at the Stade de France, one of the targets in the November 2015 Paris violence that left 130 people died. They’re no longer attending because of jitters over the Manchester attack.

“I don’t think I would ever veto a concert if my children really wanted to go but I will always be relieved if they decide for whatever reason not to be in crowds,” Boyd Cadiou said.

The November attacks included the Bataclan concert hall, where most of the carnage occurred.

“I try to not let my anxiety touch other people but the Bataclan event was very traumatic for me,” Boyd Cadiou said.

Jerrid Anderson, who recently moved to Paris from Minnesota, planned to take his 19-year-old daughter, Hannah, to the Guns N’ Roses show but decided immediately against it Tuesday morning because of Manchester. His wife, Danielle Anderson, said that she was against his decision to cancel but let it stand.

“I don’t think we should live our life in fear. I don’t really care if my husband and children go to a rock concert, but what I don’t want is to box in our lives out of fear of terrorism,” she said.
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For decades, passport applicants have been required to provide details of their mother and father.

But now, after pressure from the gay lobby, they will be given the option of naming ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’.

The change, which is due to take place within weeks, has been made following claims the original form was ‘discriminatory’ and failed to include same-sex couples looking after a child.

It has led to claims the official travel document is being turned into a ‘PC passport’.

Campaigners for family values said the move ‘denigrated’ the roles of parents bringing up children in traditional families.

Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said: ‘Fathers and mothers are not interchangeable but have quite distinct roles to play in the care and nurture of their children.

‘To speak of “parent 1” and “parent 2” denigrates the place of both fathers and mothers.

‘Much as the equality and diversity social engineers might wish it were otherwise, it still takes a father and a mother to produce a child.’

The decision follows the revelation last month that details of the holder’s sex could be erased from all passports to spare transgender people from embarrassment.

The latest shift follows lobbying from gay rights groups, who argue that the current passport application form fails to recognise same-sex couples who are both officially registered as a child’s parents.

Documents seen by the Daily Mail suggest the change was made as a result of lobbying by the gay rights group Stonewall.

The Home Office ‘Diversity Strategy’ states: ‘IPS [the Identity and Passport Service] is working with Stonewall in response to an issue about having to name a “mother” and “father” on the passport application form.’

Mr Wells added: ‘Like the Labour administration before it, the Coalition seems to be in Stonewall’s grip.

‘It is high time ministers started to represent the interests of the country as a whole and not capitulate to every demand made by a vocal and unrepresentative minority.’

Gay couples are registered as the official parents of any child they adopt. Those who use surrogate mothers must apply to the courts for a ‘parental order’ in order to be recognised as a child’s official parents.

Similar changes have been made in recent months to passport application forms in the U.S., outraging traditional family groups and religious conservatives.

Officials accepted that the move was made following lobbying from gay rights groups who claimed it was discriminatory.

But a spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service insisted it was necessary to incorporate same-sex parents on the form so that accurate information is collected.

He said: ‘IPS is planning to amend the application form and associated guidance to deal with same-sex parents applying for a passport on behalf of a child.

Currently, the application form provides the relevant boxes of “mother” and “father” to be completed.

The new form to be introduced by December 2011 will in addition provide for “parent 1” and “parent 2”.

It is essential that any parent provides the necessary information on their status as parents or guardians when applying for a passport on behalf of their child.

This protects the interests of the child and ensures that IPS is able to issue passports securely and safely to the right person.

The passport application form is therefore being updated to incorporate same-sex parents.

Gay lobbyists and politicians have long claimed that 10 per cent of the population is homosexual.

But figures from the Office for National Statistics last week suggest that this is a wild exaggeration.

According to the Integrated Household Survey, homosexuals and bisexuals make up only 1.5 per cent of the population.

One per cent said they were gay or lesbian, while 0.5 per cent said they were bisexual.

More men than women declared themselves homosexual, with 1.3 per cent of men saying they were gay compared with 0.6 per cent of women who described themselves as lesbian.

Some 94 per cent said they were heterosexual, 4.3 per cent declined to answer the question or said they did not know, and 0.4 per cent said their sexuality was ‘other’.


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