If “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”…Why do I Feel Like Such a Scrooge?

December 19th, 2014

Guest Blog by Kevin Burke

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Christmas can be a magical time, especially when enjoying the season through the eyes of children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. However, alongside the lights and festivities, the joy and wonder of this special time, many struggle with a sense of grief and loss.

Sometimes it’s not a pervasive gloom, but more a gnawing melancholy we can fight off by being consumed with all the busyness of the season. You may find yourself (or notice a friend or relative) drinking more than usual at holiday celebrations, dulling an aching pain you would rather avoid.

You don’t have to be an Ebenezer Scrooge to recognize that the expectations for an idealized Hallmark Card Christmas by the fireplace fail to match up to the complex realities, the uncertainty and fear that are part of many of our lives. If we can slow down the Holiday rush for a few minutes, we may discover something important in this great feast. Perhaps the deeper meaning of this Holiday does not require us to deny our grief and pain, but to come to see that this suffering is intimately connected to the Christmas story.

Much of the music and mythology of the holiday highlight an idealized and sanitized version of the Christmas story. But the accounts of the Annunciation and birth of Jesus in the Gospels reveal that God intimately enters human history with a man and woman who are struggling with confusion and fear… just like us.

We know the stories; we have heard them thousands of times. But focus in a special way on the initial response of Mary and Joseph as they learn of God’s invitation to embrace their very mysterious vocation:

The Angel Gabriel is well aware of Mary’s fear when his greets her.

“Do not be afraid Mary…”

And to Joseph:

“Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife…”

Of course they were both confused and afraid. We think of the Christmas story in the context of cozy and warm family gatherings, with cookies baking in the oven. But in the real Christmas story, the lives of Mary and Joseph are in the process of being turned upside down! They will face even more anxiety, fear and uncertainty.

Joseph and Mary, and the life of their newborn child will be threatened with terror and death from a demonically inspired Herod. They face dangerous travel and exile from their hometowns for years to come. They surely were challenged in many ways that the stories do not recount. We know that while their faith in God would prove in time to be rock solid…no doubt that faith and trust in Him was forged in the fires of anxiety and fear. We can imagine that Joseph had other moments of doubt and confusion and would need to remember the Angel’s words of reassurance… “don’t be afraid, God is with you, keep moving ahead…trust in Him.”

Christmas Triggers

We are not so different than Jesus and Mary. Fear, anxiety and depression can at times be part of our own Christmas story…and like Scrooge we may face scary ghosts of Christmas past haunting our sleep as the clock tolls midnight.

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The focus on the Christ Child and the joy of children at Christmas may remind you (or someone you love) of an event in the past when you were overwhelmed with a fear and anxiety and tempted to see abortion as the only “choice.” We remember the loss of a son or daughter, grandchild, or a brother or sister who will never share in the wonder of the Holiday. This can be very much a conscious awareness. However for many this loss is frozen deep under the waters of denial. The Holiday themes trigger those feelings and memories of that lost child, which can be expressed in depression, melancholy and a hunger to remain distracted and busy in the hustle and bustle of the season.

Perhaps this was a child that you longed for in the recesses of your heart, but your partner insisted that abortion was the only rational solution. Like the Holy Family you felt powerless and afraid. You grieve that there was no Saint Joseph in your life to save the child from the modern day Herods of Planned Parenthood. Maybe you’re a man grieving that you failed to be more like Saint Joseph to that vulnerable woman facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Christmas can be a time when we are acutely aware of the loss of a beloved relative, remember joy-filled memories that have faded…or perhaps painful experiences of family dysfunction which are often magnified at the Holidays. We may be facing the anxiety of health concerns, economic and employment uncertainty, or the breakdown of a marriage.

The Cross Above the Manger

The presence of suffering, death, fear and anxiety need not be denied and suppressed in order to protect some sanitized, idealized Christmas season. If we can learn the intimate connection between the incarnation and birth of our Savior and his suffering on the cross, we may discover in our own suffering the true joy and hope of this holiday.

Fr. Bernhard Speringer shares:

The Gospels…indicate that the Cross above the Manger is more than a mere decoration…The birth and death of Jesus Christ, the Manger and the Cross, belong together indissolubly. God became man in order to die for us as man. God was born in Bethlehem in order to be able to lay down his life on Golgotha out of love for men! Thus the Manger and the Cross form a union. Both the Manger and the Cross are for us the revelation of God’s love.
When our lives are turned upside down by the tsunamis of upheaval and suffering that come unexpectedly and without warning, we can turn to a God that is intimately connected with the suffering of his people. We can come to a deeper understanding of that powerful and precious title of our savior and God born into the anxiety and violence faced by many poor families, and a baby Jesus who would end his life being tortured to death on a cross.

This child’s title is Emanuel – God with Us.

Loneliness and isolation in times of suffering and temptation can blind us to an essential truth of our faith; God is with us in our suffering…intimately present to us in Spirit and in the hearts of those who reach out to us in love.

During the Holidays give the gift to a friend or relative (or to yourself!) of providing an opportunity to share what it is truly on their heart and soul this Christmas season. Acknowledge that while this is a time of joy, you know that they may also be suffering from the loss of a loved one, financial anxieties, and if they have confided in you, a previous abortion. Allow them to share their feelings and memories. If they are in need of deeper healing of a loss like abortion, share with them the good news that this is a perfect time of year to bring this suffering to the Lord, and attend a program for spiritual and emotional healing after abortion in the New Year.

This is the Reason for the Season!

May we draw strength in the year ahead from the courage and faith of the Holy Family. Joseph and Mary, though struggling with fear and anxiety, gave birth to the mission of their Son.

For those healed of abortion loss, like Scrooge on Christmas morning they learn that despair and death do not have the last word!

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They discover in recovery from this wound their own special mission. They respond to a calling to proclaim the truth of their abortion loss and the good news of healing to a Nation and world that desperately needs to hear their message in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

Jesus has promised us that in time he will transform all our suffering, into the joy and hope of resurrection to eternal life.

When in the darkness and loneliness of suffering this can seem a very distant hope.

I pray that these words of Christ will fill you with peace and joy…that whatever you are facing, and will face in the days ahead, you can trust that He is indeed Emanuel and is close to you in your suffering, and will transform the darkest shadows of your life with the blinding light of His Glorious Resurrection:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.” The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.” Rev: 21

How Can the Dream Survive?

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Priests for Life Medical Adviser Takes Additional Steps Forward on Protocol for RU-486 Reversal

December 15th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 15, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that Dr. Matt Harrison, one of the physicians on the Medical Advisory Board of Priests for Life, has taken additional steps to equip medical professionals to save lives by reversing the effects of the abortion technique RU-486. This involves the deployment of an RU-486 reversal kit and increased publicity in the coming months.

When a 20-year-old woman walked into Dr. Harrison’s family practice in North Carolina in 2007 and asked if he could stop the chemical abortion process she had set in motion 36 hours earlier, the first thing he did was pray. Then he turned to his medical books and came up with an idea: Progesterone injections.

The first drug a woman ingests for a chemical abortion is mifepristone, progesterone counterfeit that tricks the body by filling the progesterone receptor with a key that will not turn the lock. Without progesterone, the placenta is starved and sloughs off, along with the baby, causing an abortion. The second drug, misoprostol, taken two days later, causes the baby to be expelled from the uterus.

Dr. Harrison hoped that by flooding Ashley’s system with progesterone, it would beat the RU-486 to the progesterone receptors and support the baby’s life.

Although the doctor had no idea if it would work, or what kind of side effects it might cause, Ashley was willing to take the risk for the sake of the baby she tried to abort only because her boyfriend was pressuring her to do so.

The progesterone injections worked and today Ashley’s daughter Kaylie is a happy and perfectly healthy 7-year-old.

Dr. Harrison said that after Father Pavone published a column on the reversal, “I started getting calls from all over, including other countries.” But because Dr. Harrison is a family practitioner, he doesn’t see that many OB-GYN patients.

But physicians who are part of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) began seeing more pregnant women seeking RU-486 reversals, leading Dr. George Delgado, medical director of Culture of Life Family Services in California, to develop a protocol similar to Dr. Harrison’s. When Dr. Mary Davenport contacted Dr. Harrison to send information on his reversal for a study she and Dr. Delgado hoped to publish, Dr. Harrison didn’t hesitate.

“We’re working together to try to promote this protocol to save lives,” he said. “We’re not interested in the credit.”

The study Dr. Davenport and Dr. Delgado published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy in December 2012 reported on six women treated with progesterone after mifepristone. Four of them had healthy babies, while two other babies could be saved.

Since then, 206 reversals have been attempted, with 65 healthy babies born and another 84 pregnancies continuing, Dr. Davenport said.

Dr. Harrison and Dr. Delgado speak about these successes in episodes in the current season of Defending Life, the worldwide EWTN program on abortion produced by Priests for Life. Dr. Harrison has also been on the series on previous years to spread this good news.

Drs. Davenport, Delgado and Harrison will be at an AAPLOG conference in February at Georgetown University to discuss the RU-486 reversal protocol and to unveil a new kit available to physicians.

“The kit will include everything that’s needed for a reversal, except the progesterone,” Dr. Harrison said.

In addition, the physicians, the reversal kit, Ashley and Kaylie all will take part in a press conference co-sponsored by Priests for Life Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. More details will be released before the conference.

“The importance of this RU-486 abortion reversal protocol cannot be overstated,” said Father Pavone. “Chemical abortions now make up one-quarter of the estimated 800,000 abortions performed before nine weeks. At the abortion clinics, women are told there is nothing to do to save the baby once the chemical process has started, but it is absolutely clear now that is not the case.

“It’s easy to think it’s ‘too late!’ But where there’s life, there’s hope!”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Nobel Peace Then and Now…

December 11th, 2014

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May God bless the 2014 winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi. Both are to be commended for their fearless fight for the rights of children.

My Uncle, MLK received the Nobel Peace Prize 50 years ago in 1964 for his nonviolent campaign for human justice. Uncle ML resisted injustice and sought solutions through Christian prayer and nonviolent protests.

Many today acknowledge injustice in the world’s judicial systems. In some cases, “the haves” guilty or not can buy their way out of some legal charges; whereas the “have nots” whether innocent or not can’t afford good lawyers.

The recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York have sparked protests adding fuel to the fire in these two cities along with many others throughout the United States.

A major difference between the protests of the 20th century Civil Rights Movement and these violent protests in many cities today is the shortage of fervent prayer.

Whereas Martin Luther King, Jr. respected the laws and law officers in his day while still disagreeing with the discrimination many of today’s protesters have no respect for police officers even to the point of putting a bounty on their heads. One video shows a woman passing by a camera and then returning just to scream, “F*** the police.”

What a far cry from the MLK Nobel Peace Prize speech:

“After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time—the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.” MLK 1964

Through prayer and perseverance Uncle ML and the faithful were successful in getting Civil Rights Laws passed using nonviolent means. Today’s protesters are alienating many of their supporters because of the looting and arson.

Additionally, many protesters keep chanting Hands Up – Don’t Shoot, a phrase taken from what Dorian Johnson, Michael Brown’s friend, told police as he witnessed the incident between police officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown.

This chant along with “no justice no peace” tends to inflame emotions rather than to promote a goal of peaceful nonviolent conflict resolution. Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” I believe that my Daddy, AD King, Granddaddy King and Uncle ML, all followers of Christ, left us good examples of walking in faith, hope, peace and love. I write about their examples in my book KING RULES. There are some other mantras in the “tweet” chapter.

Now some useful mantras are: Know Peace – Know Justice, Pants Up – Don’t Loot and Hands Up – Don’t Abort. Why bring abortion into the equation? Well, along with Black on Black crime and questionable deaths by law enforcement, Blacks are dying by abortion at alarming rates.

The injustice of abortion is killing over 1,300 black babies every single day. Now the question should be: Millions of babies are dying. Where is the outcry? Where are their lawyers? Where is the justice?

Like Uncle ML during his lifetime, the 2014 Nobel Laureates are advocates for children. Let us now pray for peace on earth, for life, for children, for family, our nation and the world. For Christmas, for our families. For Christ.

Black Lives Do Matter with hashtag

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Dove Award Winner Matthew Ward to Sing at Jan. 22 National Prayer Service

December 10th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 10, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Christian music chart-topper Matthew Ward will sing during the interdenominational National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers on Thursday morning, January 22, 2015 at Constitution Hall.

In the 1970s and 80s, Matthew, a singer, songwriter, recording artist and music producer, helped create the sound that came to be known as Christian Contemporary Music. Now his faith-infused music will fill the majestic Constitution Hall as people of all denominations gather on the morning of the March for Life to pray for all children in the womb and their parents.

The service will run from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. ET, leaving plenty of time for attendees to get to the March for Life rally at noon. The morning will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a Catholic Mass.

Matthew grew up on a farm in North Dakota, the youngest of nine siblings. Losing both of his parents by the age of 12, he and a sister, Nelly, went to live with an older sister, Annie Herring, and her husband Buck, a music producer. Their therapeutic nightly sing-a-longs led to the creation of the band Second Chapter of Acts, a group – featuring Matthew, Annie and Nelly — that became wildly successful in the 1970s and 1980s.

When the band disbanded in 1988, Matthew embarked on a solo career that has taken him around the world, and into the studio with a wide-ranging roster of performers, including disco diva Donna Summer, country crooner Leann Rimes and a host of Christian artists.

Matthew is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the winner of a Dove Award, helped lead 500,000 men in worship as a member of the Promise Keepers Praise Team in 1996, and has two songs that made it to No. 1 on the Christian music charts. Many might remember him from his appearance on the 1996 Billy Graham TV Christmas special, “A Season For Peace,” when he sang the title song.

Matthew had to take time out of his busy career to battle a deadly cancer, but as soon as he was able, he was back in the studio recording “My Redeemer,” with songs about his fight to live and the comfort of his faith. It became the most widely acclaimed work of his solo career.

Dozens of clergy from across the denominational spectrum also will take the stage for the 21st annual National Memorial, which will feature a sermon by Father Frank Pavone, President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council and National Director of Priests for Life.

“This service is a prayerful yet powerful way to begin the March for Life,” Father Pavone said. “Having a singer of the spiritual caliber of Matthew Ward will help carry our prayers to the Lord, who is the only one who can stop this holocaust visited on our land 42 years ago.”

The prayer service is organized by The National Pro-Life Religious Council, The National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill, Faith and Action, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Co-sponsoring organizations include: American Values; Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project; Life Issues Institute; Americans United for Life; National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and Alliance Defending Freedom.

Serving on the Host Committee are: Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council; Gary Bauer, President, American Values; Archbishop Craig W. Bates, Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church; Ernie Ohlhoff, National Right to Life Committee; Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life; Brad Mattes, CEO, Life Issues Institute; Charmaine Yoest, Ph. D., President and CEO, Americans United for Life; Alan Sears, President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom; Dick and Sherley Bott, Bott Radio Network, and Rich Bott, President and CEO, Bott Radio Network.

Constitution Hall is located at 1776 D St., NW, at 18th Street, in Washington, D.C. No tickets are required and large groups can be accommodated. For more details, see www.NationalPrayerService.com

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Are You Kidding Me?

December 10th, 2014

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The premature death of any human being, born or unborn, sick or elderly, is always a tragic death.

With that being said, I think I need to speak to personal responsibility.

Last week I wrote a blog about all the protesting going on around our country over the deaths of three Black men, Michael Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, and Trayvon Martin in Florida. In that blog I included a video (see below) of Minister Johnathan Gentry who is calling for the Black community to change and take some personal responsibility.

Over the weekend I saw a picture, (the one posted here) and I just couldn’t believe what some people are saying and thinking. Unapologetically: If your son is robbing stores then you have to be prepared for anything. I’m not saying that robbers, of any ethnicity, should be killed but what I am saying is that nobody should be robbing stores in the first place.

Proverbs 22:6 addresses this:
Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Children and young adults must be trained to respect proper authority, and to discern trouble and how to avoid it.

As Minister Gentry so aptly articulates it, we as human beings have to learn to take personal responsibility for our actions. We should be in charge of our own actions which sometimes may lead to more dire consequences when we are not wise.

Consequently, if you rob stores, or do anything unlawful, it’s foreseeable that those actions may lead to involvement with the police. As we can see, those actions can lead to death.

So young people, if you don’t want your mother to FEAR that you might die every time you rob a store, DON’T ROB A STORE.

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Fr. Pavone: In Handcuffs Is Where Abortionists Belong

December 9th, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 9, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

A millionaire abortionist in Oklahoma was removed from his office in handcuffs today.

Dr. Nareshkumar Patel, 62, who kills unborn children at Outpatient Services for Women in Oklahoma City, has been arrested and accused of prescribing abortion-inducing drugs to women who were not pregnant, according to a press release from the office of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Authorities began an investigation after Operation Rescue filed a complaint based on documents and medical waste that had been discarded in a trash receptacle near Patel’s office.

Patel is notorious for having burned the bodies of 55 babies in 1992 in an abandoned RV he owned and for allegations that he sexually assaulted three women as they awaited their abortions. He has faced a long list of malpractice claims but has never had his license permanently revoked.

Commenting on Patel’s arrest, Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, noted his organization’s close collaboration with Operation Rescue and said, “Those who kill babies do a lot of other evil as well. Working with Operation Rescue and Life Dynamics, and in our own initiatives at Priests for Life, we have found that the more you dig, the more you find.”

“Exposing the corruption of the abortion industry can lead to closing abortion mills and putting abortionists out of business, without needing to change a single law,” Father Pavone added.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said “We are very excited about this morning’s arrest. This is the result of a collaborative effort that involved gritty pro-life work, active enforcement of state laws.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin: Tragic Deaths, Ending Trail of Tears and Fears

December 4th, 2014

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When a society is revenue driven, minorities can be seen as “low hanging fruit” in a quota system from writing traffic tickets to arrest warrants. It’s not so much about skin color as it is about economics.” – Niger Innis, www.restorethedream2015.com

Regardless of which side of the scenarios you are on, many would admit that the deaths of these and so many more young men, are very tragic.

So much is being said by so many already that I pray only to participate by adding even more clarity and peaceful solutions to the puzzle. With all the interviews and articles/blogs surrounding the whole Michael Brown/Darren Wilson and now Eric Garner situations, let’s include more prayer in all the discussions.

The media is portraying two-sided issues; those who agree with the grand jury’s decisions and support the law enforcement systems; and those who disagree with the decisions in support of the dead youths; hoping to make “tragic heroes” of our dead brothers.

Because, like it or not, these young people are someone’s “dearly departed,” and in God’s eyes, they are our brothers. As the old song goes; “he ain’t heavy; he’s my brothers.”

The media schedules guests from one side or the other and allow the contenders to go at each other. Conflict sells stories and hooks audiences. Many media outlets have agendas and they skew the questions in hopes of spinning the discussion in one direction or the other.

We are often asked to comment on this person or that person and what their motives might be. Yet rather than judge or accuse which leads to strife, we all need to work towards the same goal of PEACE. This concept leads us to Mathew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”

Now, as to erstwhile tragic heroes:

Aristotle’s definition is playing out across our nation.

He defines a tragic hero as having certain characteristics, among them being:

1) Flaw or error of judgment (hamartia).

2) A reversal of fortune (peripeteia) brought about because of the hero’s error in judgment.

3) The discovery or recognition that the reversal was brought about by the hero’s own actions (anagnorisis). Surely Michael had to have known that his encounter with former Officer Wilson was a direct result of his action to rob the convenient store and confront the officer.

4) Excessive Pride (hubris). Only God knows the state of the hearts of the dead or the living.

5) The character’s fate must be greater than deserved. Certainly Michael’s, Eric’s, and Trayvon’s are tragic.

Depending on what side you’re on will determine if you think these young people fit the definition of tragic heroes or not.

In our society some put certain people on pedestals and look up to them. We view them as heroes or idols because they’re famous, rich, good as a particular sport, good at playing the piano or just plain powerful.

For me, there is only One who deserves to be a hero who is flawless and without blemish; God. As in three in One; God the Father, Son and Spirit. Jesus Christ. So Jesus is my Hero.

Are there people in society who live lives as virtuously as humanly possible that we can all look to and strive to be like them? Of course there are.

But we need to look at what makes them virtuous. Certainly it’s not the amount of money they make, it’s not because they hold a high office in business or government, or because they possess a God-given talent at sports or in playing a musical instrument.

Nor is it because misfortunes propel them to the media forefront. No, what makes a person virtuous is what they do with what God has given them. You don’t have to be rich or powerful to be virtuous. You can affect those around you no matter how small your circle of influence is.

There is still a third aspect of this situation that needs discussing. I’m talking about prayer.

I know people in Ferguson, NY and Florida are praying because I have contact through the prayer networks. I, and many others, have prayed with many in these communities. We encouraged people to pray for peace first and justice will follow. But I’m not hearing or reading much about prayer in the media.

Maybe because covering meetings like the 21 day tent meeting in Ferguson at www.thefergusonresponse.com; or the “2014 Evening of Prayer for Our City & The Urban World” hosted by Bishop Raphael Green and other ministers and leaders in Ferguson; or the many prayer encounters with www.restirethedream2015.com isn’t “sexy” news?

What we all need to do is step back a little from our emotions and biases and reflect on “What Would Jesus Do” As my Uncle Martin said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Brothers and sister, I fear we will perish as fools unless we pray and ask for guidance from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

While writing this blog, the grand jury voted not to file criminal charges against the police officer in the case of Eric Garner who died in New York in July when a white police officer put Garner, a black man, in a chokehold during an arrest,. Again people will protest and hopefully it won’t become violent.

So what will the race baiters and emotion stirrers come up with next. Will “hands up; don’t shoot” become “hands up; don’t choke?” I guess asking for “pants up; don’t loot” won’t go over so well with some of the protestors.

In Eric’s case as in the Michael Brown case, and Trayvon Martin case, now more people are dead, adding to the numbers of youth dead by racism, same race murders and other causes. Whatever the cause, it is all a tragedy. But the greater tragedy is the overall lack of respect for all human life.

Recently Pope Frances said: “As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights. Human life, a gift of God the Creator, possesses a sacred character. As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace. The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences.” [Emphasis added]

I would add that not only religious leaders but all Christians are obligated to denounce all violence against human dignity and human rights. All life is precious and does matter.

The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter has been cleverly used by many in this debate. Even Planned Parenthood jumped in with their tweets that they supported Ferguson and used the hashtag. I responded that all Black lives matter, even the ones in the wombs of their mothers. With over 1,000 Black babies being aborted every single day, where are the protests over their lives. And what about the Black lives being lost in cities like Chicago. Do their lives matter? Of course they do but I don’t see protests over their lives. Are they any less deserving than Michael Brown. I think not.

If we work on ourselves, our own biases, our own prejudices, our own shortcomings, and drop to our knees and repent for our own wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness, then we, the human, one blood, race, not separate races, will begin to see real change that can stop the killing, stop the looting, stop the racism.

Finally, please check out this message from Minister Jonathan Gentry at:

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/12/01/the-most-powerful-six-minutes-of-truth-glenn-has-ever-seen

Then revisit the lyrics of “We Don’t Need Another Hero” with Tina Turner.

Out of the ruins
Out from the wreckage
Can’t make the same mistake this time
We are the children
The last generation
We are the ones they left behind…

I agree, we don’t need another hero. We have Jesus. Now let’s get busy about the business of reaching the hopeless, jobless and dreamless; addressing their fears, meeting their needs, drying their tears. Herein lie our solutions.

Praying for Peace and Love.

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BLACK LIVES MATTER – #blacklivesmatter

December 4th, 2014

Please enjoy this guest blog:

Niger InnisBLACK LIVES MATTER
By Niger Innis, Founder restorethedream2015.com

Garner should not have died for selling loose cigarettes. Trayvon shouldn’t have died for munching skittles in the wrong neighborhood. Even Michael’s death is a tragedy.

There is a crisis of Black men losing their lives; in fact there is a genocide occurring among young black men across the country.

On these matters above I agree with Sharpton and the others in the Racialist Lobby.

But that’s where my harmony with that element ends.

Because they indeed add to the devaluation of black life through their very agenda and actions. These folk, including the President of the United States and his AG, tend to only value the death of black lives when they’re taken by whites. The plague on young black men in urban centers is not white racists, nor murderous cops. It is largely other black men. 93 percent of black men are killed by other black men. There are far too many black men raised in households that have few positive black male role models; where many single mothers heroically desperately try to raise boys to manhood. Communities that are culturally dominated, thanks to the Entertainment Industrial Complex, by gangsta criminal chic. This is the central crisis within Black America, and America at large. Until So-called Civil Rights leaders have the courage to openly and honestly address this phenomenon, the plague of which I speak will continue unabated. The “Hands up don’t shoot” protest chant should be replaced with, “Pants up, Don’t Loot”.

Let’s stop and target the real genocide of young black men.

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Host Committee Announced for National Prayer Service

December 3rd, 2014

PriestsForLife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 2, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today the formation of a Host Committee for the National Memorial for the Preborn and their Mothers and Fathers, to be held on Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 in Washington, D.C. to mourn 42nd years since Roe vs. Wade and to recommit to the task of ending abortion.

“I am grateful to these friends and colleagues of mine who are joining our organizers and sponsoring organizations in inviting activists, pastors and their congregations from around the country to come together in prayer and worship on this momentous occasion,” Fr. Pavone stated. “We want to have one of the largest expressions ever of communal repentance and fervent intercession for an end to abortion in our nation.”

Serving on the Host Committee are:

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
Archbishop Craig W. Bates, Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church
Ernie Ohlhoff, National Right to Life Committee
Alveda King, Director of African-American Outreach, Priests for Life
Brad Mattes, CEO, Life Issues Institute
Charmaine Yoest, Ph. D., President and CEO, Americans United for Life
Alan Sears, President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom
Dick and Sherley Bott, Bott Radio Network
Rich Bott, President and CEO, Bott Radio Network

“Nothing could delight the heart of God more than his children coming together to pray on behalf of those who have no voice and so are victims of the worse holocaust known to man,” said Archbishop Bates. “The united prayers of God’s children will do more to end abortion and heal the wounds caused by abortion than any other form of political or social action. Prayer touches the heart of Jesus our King.”

Mr. Sears also stressed the importance of people of faith coming together to pray for the unborn.

“Every January 22nd, we mourn the loss of the millions of our brothers and sisters who have been denied their unalienable right to life. The National Memorial for the Preborn and Their Mothers and Fathers allows all of us to come together in unity to pray for a day when this will be no more, and every life will once again be welcomed and affirmed,” he said. “I strongly encourage all who care passionately about the sanctity of human life is take part in this celebration of life.”

The prayer service is organized by The National Pro-Life Religious Council, The National Pro-Life Center on Capitol Hill, Faith and Action and Priests for Life. Co-sponsoring organizations include: American Values; Jubilee Campaign Law of Life Project ; Life Issues Institute; Americans United for Life; National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and Alliance Defending Freedom .

“The National Memorial for the Pre-Born and Their Mothers and Fathers provides an opportunity for all those who cherish life to come together and take a few moments to remember the victims of abortion — both preborn children and their mothers and fathers,” said Dr. Yoest. “What better way to embark upon another year of defending life?”

The National Memorial will take place at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, 1776 D St., NW (18th and D St) on the morning of Thursday, January 22, 2015 (the day of the annual March for Life), from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. For the convenience of Catholics planning to attend, Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 a.m.

For more details, see www.NationalPrayerService.com

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

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As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece, I Agree: Black Lives Matter

December 2nd, 2014

141202 blog imageThe recent grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri has launched a swarm of protests across the nation, declaring with signs and social media hashtags that #BlackLivesMatter. The tragic death of Michael Brown reminds us how many young men like him die far before their time. Ironically, Planned Parenthood—the nation’s largest abortion provider—was one of the many accounts that tweeted the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, despite being responsible for the deaths of an estimated 100,000 black babies every year.

In reality, the cheapening of black lives does not begin in the teenage years. Even a century and a half after slavery and two generations after Jim Crow, black children are twice as likely as white children to be physically, emotionally or sexually abused. According to the Centers for Disease Control, black infants are more than twice as likely to die as white infants, and unborn black babies are five times as likely as white babies to be killed by abortion.

In cities like New York, black abortions now outnumber live births two to one. The catchall explanation for these shocking numbers is poverty. Black women are more likely to be unmarried and poor, and so we are told that abortion frees them from children they cannot afford to raise. This reasoning ignores the simple fact that out-of-wedlock births were far less common in the black community before Roe v. Wade made it illegal to restrict abortion at any stage of pregnancy. In short, blacks had far fewer babies out of wedlock before abortion became widely available. Why is this?

The reason is very simple. While the availability of free or heavily subsidized birth control, disease screening and abortion has increased exponentially over the past several decades, black behavior has changed for the worse. Although we are no longer legally second class citizens, far too many journalists, sociologists and even health professionals discuss our fertility and sexual behavior as if we are incapable of healthy choices and basic self-control. Clinics like those run by Planned Parenthood do not teach young women how to protect their bodies from abuse and disease. Instead, they promise to shield them from the consequences of their decisions, no matter how unhealthy or irresponsible.

Ten thousand free clinics cannot stem the tide of STD’s and abortions that inevitably accompany a deficit of self-respect. Despite making up just 12 percent of the population, according to the CDC blacks account for 47 percent of the new HIV diagnoses and nearly 70 percent of the new gonorrhea cases. The black rates of syphilis and chlamydia infection are ten times the rates among whites. All this despite hundreds of millions of federal dollars dedicated to disease screening and prevention.

And when black women seek medical care for unplanned pregnancies, they are overwhelmingly urged to abort. Whether they are teenagers, college students or young professionals, they are told that a baby will disrupt their education, spoil their career plans, and ruin their lives. Even married black women are five times as likely to abort as married white women. All this advice is based on the assumption that black babies are not worth what it costs to feed and clothe them, and that none of the millions of infertile couples would want them.

Online for Life and Priests for Life believe that babies of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds and family situations are valuable and have something special to offer our world that no one else does. We are committed to using cutting edge technology to reach and serve women facing unplanned pregnancies so that all babies will be welcomed into loving, stable homes.

Black lives DO matter, but if we are to teach our nation to value black life, we must start by valuing our own lives enough to make responsible, healthy decisions, and teaching our young people to do the same. If we want the rest of the world to value our children, we must value them first, beginning in the womb.

Martin Luther King, Jr. warned us, “The Negro cannot win if he is willing to sell the future of his children for his personal and immediate comfort and safety.” Is there a more shameless way to sell the future of our children than to deny them birth? The annual March for Life will be held on January 22, just three days after our nation celebrates Dr. King’s birthday. Join us as we march for black life and the future of all children in 2015.

Dean Nelson, Online for Life, and I co-authored this article.

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