Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hip Hop Star Nicki Manaj – Abortion and the Sexploitation of Women

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is one of the world’s top selling female rap and hip hop artists.

Minaj shared in a past issue of Rolling Stone Magazine that she had an abortion as a teenager:

Minaj’s first love was an older guy from Queens she dated while attending the prestigious Manhattan performing-arts high school LaGuardia when she discovered she was pregnant.

“It was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through.”

Minaj says the decision to have an abortion has “haunted me all my life…”

While the decision continues to haunt her, Minaj points to the circumstances of the pregnancy, and feeling ill prepared to parent a child:

It’d be contradictory if I said I wasn’t pro-choice. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have anything to offer a child.”

Hip Hop Superstar: “In Charge of her Own Objectification”

Many years later we read in a 2015 profile in the NY Times that Minaj has developed into a formidable female artist with her music featuring provocative sexual imagery and lyrics:

“In another era, Minaj’s sexuality, expressed semi-parodically — pretending she’s a Barbie doll; glorifying women dressed as prostitutes and set in red-light-district windows — might have given feminists pause.

But in the 2010s, we have entered a different world in pop culture, one in which sexual repression is perceived as burdensome and perhaps even an inability to holistically integrate the body and self.

The author goes on to state that because Minaj is in control of her image, and is an astute businesswoman, her artistic expression does not promote the sexploitation of women:

… Minaj is in charge of her own objectification (describing her vagina with more words than I thought existed, and then amplifying its power by rhyming those words), as well as her own monetization (overt product placement in videos is a hallmark) has led most feminist voices to applaud her.

We know that the music and entertainment industry has their own agenda in advancing the pornification of all media, especially the music videos that are so influential with youth.

But there is another way to understand how this may fit into the experience of a woman who admits publicly that her abortion as a teenager continues to haunt her.

Family Background

Minaj was born Onika Maraj in Trinidad in 1982:

“She moved to the United States several years later (her parents spent two years in the States before she arrived, trying to get settled). Minaj has long emphasized her difficult upbringing — speaking openly about crack cocaine use in her home, in Jamaica, Queens, as well as domestic abuse and an episode when she says her father tried to burn down her house…When I asked if her father abused her, she said: ‘‘No. He was just abusive.’’ (NY Times – The Passion of Nicki Minaj)

With this history in mind, consider her abortion decision.

Minaj’s first love was with an older man from Queens. Perhaps this man for a time offered the love and affection that may have been missing in the relationship with her father. She loved this older man and they were sexually intimate. She shared her body, heart, and soul with him.

How did the father of their child respond to the pregnancy? Minaj does not tell us. We know that a father’s response to the pregnancy is often critical to the unborn child’s survival.

Abortion and Sexploitation

Many of her videos often display Nicki’s body in a highly sexualized context.

This can be understood as a vehicle for Minaj to call attention to the fact that the abortion decision was a physical and emotional rejection of her motherhood.

Minaj was surprised and anxious when she learned of the pregnancy.  At the same time her body was naturally gearing up to nurture and protect her unborn child. It was a shock to her body and reproductive system, as well as her heart and soul, when the abortion doctor forced open her cervix and expelled her unborn child.

Her explicit lyrics (“describing her vagina with more words than I thought existed…”) can be understood as calling attention to the experience of early sexual intimacy followed by pregnancy and the physical and emotional experience of the abortion procedure.

Many of the photographs and video of Minaj celebrate her voluptuous, full-figured female beauty. They also call attention to her capacity as a woman to share and nurture the gift of human life.

Amidst the sexually charged content, the pain from her abortion loss has found expression in her music. There is grief and loss for a child that Nicki never held in her arms, and nurtured at her breasts.

In 2014 at age 32, Minaj addressed the loss of a child and her concern for her younger brother Caiah. Caiah was age 16 at the time – the same age her child would be if not aborted.

From the track “All Things Go” from her album “The Pinkprint”:

“My child with Aaron, would’ve been 16 any minute / So in some ways I feel like Caiah is the both of them / It’s like he’s Cai’s little angel looking over him.”

Freedom…or Bondage?

Jesus said “the truth will set you free.”

Conversely, the lie will keep you in bondage.

Nicki Minaj says of her provocative and graphic music video “Anaconda” that is saturated with sexually charged content and images.

“With a video like ‘Anaconda,’ I’m a grown-ass f*#!*! woman!” she says. “I stand for girls wanting to be sexy and dance, but also having a strong sense of themselves. If you got a big ol’ butt? Shake it! Who cares?

This is the false emancipation of the sexual revolution and legalized abortion. A freedom that celebrates the sexploitation and desecration of women, their bodies – and the bodies of their unborn children – as female empowerment.

There is another way.

There is reconciliation, peace and healing for any woman or man who has suffered the loss of a child from abortion.

Kevin Burke, LSW, Co-Founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, and Janet Morana, Co-Founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign

 

 

Are African-American Children Safe in New York City?

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

SONY DSC

Kevin Burke, LSW

When a natural disaster or act of terrorism strikes in one of our cities, government leaders are expected to mobilize quickly to protect citizens and get help to those wounded and suffering.

Media outlets cover the tragedy closely to communicate the experience of citizens and first responders on the ground and to hold government officials accountable in the crisis.

Religious leaders assemble the people for prayer for the dead and wounded and strength to persevere with the challenges that lie ahead.

There is such a disaster unfolding in one our largest cities.

Tragically, it is largely hidden from public view.

The African-American community of New York City is under assault

Each year in New York City, 6 out of every 10 African-American children die in the womb from abortion.

These unborn boys and girls never see the light of day; never have the chance to play with their friends, and experience the joys and challenges of growing up in the great city of New York.

How does New York Mayor Bill de Blasio respond to these shocking numbers?

According to the mayor, we don’t need to protect African-American children in the womb.

Instead, New York needs to expand access to abortion and establish “protective zones” around abortion businesses.

Who does the mayor see as the real threat to the citizens of New York? Pregnancy Resource Centers.

Pregnancy Resource Centers offer community-based care where women can find a non-violent alternative to abortion. A place where they can find the financial, social and spiritual support to give life to their unborn children.

The Numbers Tell a Different Story

Mayor de Blasio and his friends at Planned Parenthood tell New Yorkers they need to spend more of the cities resources to expand access to abortion and shut down alternatives to abortion in poor communities.

The day after Thanksgiving (2017), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its most recent Abortion Surveillance Report:

  •  One of every three babies is aborted in New York City.
  •  The abortion rate for African-Americans increased from 35.6 percent in 2013 to 36 percent in 2014.

Something is rotten in the Big Apple.

 

Wisdom from a Pioneer in Abortion Recovery for Men

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Warren Williams

  Since 1978 Warren Williams has been a student of fatherhood loss and the effects of abortion on men and society.  Warren is the author of a number of great resources for men wounded by abortion listed here with his full bio.

Warren had an article posted recently in the Men and Abortion Network. In this short but powerful piece Warren lays out some fundamental issues men deal with in the decision-making process with their partners to have an abortion, and in the aftermath.

His words are clear and direct, something men respect and hunger for. At the same time it is also a compelling declaration of the mercy and saving power of God.

Here is a brief excerpt with a link to the full article.

About six months ago three men and I began the journey through a Bible study I wrote featuring the Beatitudes, titled “Missing Arrows.” The purpose–to find fatherhood restoration for the children they had lost through abortion…

Read the full article here.

 

Why is the 2018 Gerber Baby Causing Some Parents Great Anguish and Grief?

Friday, February 9th, 2018

Gerber Baby 2018

If you checked out your social media feeds the last few days, you have no doubt come across the smiling face of Lucas Warren, the new 2018 Gerber Baby.

Lucas is the first child with Down syndrome to receive this honor.

For many parents this award sent a welcome and life-affirming message.

… “As a mama currently carrying a cutie with an extra chromosome this made my day!!! Thank you Gerber!! ”

Another mom shares:

“In a puddle of tears over here…my mama heart is so so thankful…when Bodie was born I believed a lie, that others would not value him as much as I do.  But, today is a new day. It is such a beautiful, good day,” (Washington Post)

Giving this award to a child with Down syndrome certainly sends a message of acceptance and love to families with a disabled child.

Yet the award also reminds of us of a shocking paradox.

With routine prenatal testing in the United States and other western nations, the majority of children with a pre natal Down syndrome diagnosis never see the light of day:

“According to the latest statistics, 67-90% of preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in the United States…”

Many parents will see in that cute little 2018 Gerber Baby a painful connection to the memories and feelings associated with a past abortion of a child with Down syndrome.

These couples face great pressure and anxiety at the time of the diagnosis.  Parents are usually persuaded that termination of the pregnancy is the more compassionate course of action.

A study in 2016 confirmed the pressure couples face to abort their child with Down syndrome – even for those that decide to continue with the pregnancy:

After refusing the initial suggestion of abortion, 65% of women were offered abortion again during the pregnancy…

  They continued to be offered abortions right up to 36 weeks, with 50% of them being offered abortion later than 20 weeks.

– 62% described the language of their medical team as being negative; clearly indicating that Down syndrome was a bad outcome…Only 4% described the language of their medical team as positive.

What is the experience of a parent who decides abortion is the best solution to a poor prenatal diagnosis?

Chloe’s Story

Chloe Ashton tells the story of the pregnancy of her son Tommy diagnosed with Down syndrome.

Chloe was initially open to parenting her son, but wanted feedback from family and friends. Sadly their words did not encourage and affirm her capacity to offer love and care to a child with a disability:

“I spoke to my closest friends and family, looking for advice, and was taken aback by the overwhelming opinion that terminating the pregnancy should be my only consideration if our baby had Down syndrome.”

Shaken by the chorus of support for termination, she scheduled the amnio test to confirm the suspected diagnosis:

The amnio itself was a heart-wrenching experience; there was my baby on a screen as if he was right in front of me — and as the needle entered my amniotic sac, he reached out and grabbed it, and they had to wait to withdraw it as he had a firm hold of it in his little hand.

The testing confirmed her son had had Down syndrome and she made the decision with her partner to have the abortion.

Chloe shares that her young daughter was already attached to her little brother:

“[My young daughter] had become extremely attached to her little brother — who she’d named Tommy — kissing my belly daily. She was so excited to have a sibling on the way…I sobbed and told her that we had found out that Tommy was sick…and we weren’t sure if he would still be in my tummy when she got back.

As her face registered what I was saying, she got up and ran to her room, returning with a stuffed animal that she placed on my stomach, and she continued to run back and forth, piling my tummy with animals.”

The Emotional Aftermath

How did the procedure impact Chloe?

“I wish they had better prepared me for the emotional aftermath. My relationship ended within six months….

It was months before I stopped feeling the phantom kicks.

A couple of months later, I passed an acquaintance on the street. She was pushing a baby carriage, and as I peered in, I immediately noticed the signs of Down syndrome. She told me, “She has Down syndrome, but she’s a wonderful baby”…

Chloe may have considered a different course of action if she was affirmed and supported by her partner, family and friends in parenting a child with Down syndrome.

A number of people played a part in this child’s death. Some of them will be intimately impacted by this loss, such as Chloe’s daughter who mourned her lost sibling.

This dispels the myth that abortion is a private and personal decision between a woman and her health care provider.

As Chloe’s story reveals, abortion is more accurately a life changing event – a series of unfolding Shockwaves and after-shocks that continue to impact individuals, couples, families and friends years after the procedure.

A Path to Recovery and Peace

Chloe shares at the close of her story a common symptom for those that participate in the death of their unborn children – a struggle to forgive one self.

“As I sit here today, almost three years later, I pray for those who may be going through this, and I try to forgive myself.

 I’m not sure if I ever will.”  (Read Chloe’s full story here.)

The struggle with guilt and self forgiveness is common after abortion.

This is especially true with later term procedures when parents initially receive the news of their pregnancy with great joy.  Mothers and fathers begin the physical and emotional process of bonding with their unborn child that they can clearly see on the ultrasound screen and mothers can feel kicking in their wombs.

There are many other ways that this grief, guilt and pain can be expressed after the abortion procedure:

Conflict and dysfunction in intimate relationships; drug and alcohol abuse to numb and escape the pain; nightmares; traumatic triggers to the procedure and lost child (e.g., Chloe sharing “It was months before I stopped feeling the phantom kicks.)

But all symptoms after abortion can be understood as a type of memorial to the unborn child – a dysfunctional and painful connection to a parent’s rejected and broken baby.

There is another way.

An abortion recovery program provides a healing process and support from others who understand your loss.  They can help you find the emotional and spiritual peace you hunger for.

Parents like Chloe, wounded by abortion, can discover in that recovery process that not all is lost. They can embrace the gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness as they reconnect in love with their child, who is alive in the Lord.

 [For those facing a poor prenatal diagnosis, there is support and resources to make a life-affirming decision about your disabled child in the womb.]   

 

 

 

Tennis Pro Jimmy Connors – The Outsider in His Own Abortion Story

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Jimmy Connors Chris Evert

Jimmy Connors is one of the greatest tennis professionals in the history of the sport. During the 1970’s he set records for his host of titles and championships.

With the release of Tennis pro Jimmy Connors autobiography The Outsider” in 2014 we learn of an unplanned pregnancy and abortion with women’s tennis champion Chris Evert when they were young sweethearts engaged to be married.

Connors shares about the pregnancy and their decision to go through with an abortion:

“An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion, and a decision had to be made as a couple,” he writes in The Outsider.  “Chrissie called to say she was coming out to LA to take care of the ‘issue’. I was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.”

The next exchange between the couple likely sealed the fate of their unborn child:

“Chrissie, however, had already made up her mind that the timing was bad and too much was riding on her future,” he writes. “She asked me to handle the details.”

He told Evert:

“Well, thanks for letting me know. Since I don’t have any say in the matter, I guess I am just here to help.”

And so it was.  The Outsider “handled the details” and arranged for the abortion of his unborn child.

When Evert approached Connors with her mind seemingly made up, he made a serious and deadly mistake many fathers make during this challenging and emotional time for a young couple – he failed to fight for the life of his child.

This sent a clear signal to the mother who may have heard in his response:

 “I am open to you having the baby, but I’m not going to fight too hard to protect the child and I may or may not be around to help…so if you’re minds made up anyway, I’ll respect whatever you decide.” 

There is no guarantee that Evert would have changed her mind if Connors was more determined to fight for the child’s life.  But it was the best hope their baby had for survival.

Once the father communicates ambivalence and does not strongly express the natural desire to protect his offspring, the mother may understandably fear making the sacrifices of single parenting unsure if the father will continue to love and support them both.

Women also understandably fear the resentment and anger a man may express later when facing the responsibilities and stress of an unplanned child.

“It was a horrible feeling, but I knew it was over,” Connors writes. “Getting married wasn’t going to be good for either of us.”

Rather than the joy of youthful love and passion and anticipation of married life together, the couple now shared a dark secret…a participation in the death of their unborn son or daughter.

Both tennis pros went on to stellar careers.  On the surface it may appear that they “made the right decision.”  But like many couples after abortion, the fruit of this tragic choice is evident as their lives unfold.

Connors, now 64, struggled with a gambling addiction and the infidelities that “came close to ruining his marriage” to former Playboy model Patti McGuire.

Men, who later regret, reconcile and heal of a previous abortion decision report that along with addictions and infidelity, anger was a way they repressed and expressed their painful emotions such as guilt and complicated grief around that abortion event and their role in the child’s death.

Connors on and off-court anger issues and fireworks are likely part of his personality and competitive spirit. But they also may have helped him express some of the shame, guilt and grief about the loss of his son or daughter to abortion.

Evert experienced a common post abortion symptom for some women and men – instability in intimate relationships. Chrissie, now 58 has been married three times. All three marriages ended in divorce.

Abortion is a life changing event that strikes at the deepest part of the human person.   The abortion account of Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert reflects, on a much grander stage, what has been the experience of millions of young couples.

They valiantly press on with their lives, perhaps like Connors and Evert achieving great success as they struggle to bury that abortion event deep in their past.

But the symptoms in their lives after abortion call them to reconcile and heal of this loss, buried deep in their hearts and souls.

 

Glee Star Naya Rivera Arrested November 25th for Assault of Spouse Ryan Dorsey – The Abortion Connection

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Naya Rivera Ryan Dorsey

by Kevin Burke, LSW

Glee star Naya Rivera was arrested November 25th for an assault upon her husband Ryan Dorsey.  The couple was arguing over an issue related to their 2 year old son Josey at the time of the incident:

“According to authorities… Rivera struck [Dorsey] in the head and face. He had minor injuries consistent with his claims, and further showed authorities a video taken during the alleged incident.”

What will be a footnote in many news accounts of this couple’s painful public conflict – is an abortion they shared in 2010.

It is likely that abortion experience continues to play a central role in the suffering and dysfunction in their relationship.

From People:

After first starting to date [Ryan Dorsey] in 2010 — a few months following Glee‘s premiere — the couple split so Rivera could focus on her career. A few weeks later, she discovered that she was pregnant with his child, and decided to get an abortion.”

Rivera shares in her book Sorry Not Sorry, “When I made that decision [to have an abortion], I made it by myself, as I feel is the case for a lot of women, and I did not share it with Ryan at the time.”

After the abortion Rivera had a series of failed relationships with Glee co-star Mark Salling and rapper Big Sean in 2014.

Shortly after the relationship with Big Sean ended, Rivera suddenly announced that she was back with Ryan Dorsey and the couple had married in a small private ceremony.

Rivera shared in her book, “By this time we sort of reconnected, I was like, ‘Gosh, there’s a reason why you keep coming back in my life and we keep coming back together…”

What about that abortion the couple shared back in 2010?

Rivera said that Ryan’s only regret was that he was unable to accompany her to the abortion center, to support her during the procedure. According to Rivera, Dorsey was completely understanding about her decision to have an abortion in 2010.

Rivera shared in People “I think it was the kindest, best thing that any man could have ever said in that situation. It just made me love him that much more.”

And in February 2015, she announced that they were expecting a baby.

“Ryan and I feel so blessed and can’t wait to welcome the newest member of our family.”

The Abortion Disconnection

As they shared their joy at the coming birth of their son Josey, there remains a family member that has yet to be privately and publicly acknowledged, and most importantly grieved.

When mothers and fathers participate in the death of their unborn child, they may appear like Naya and Ryan, fine with their decision.

The emotions of fear and anxiety when facing an unplanned pregnancy, and situations where there is relationship change or complications, can lead parents to feel a sense of relief that the pregnancy problem has been resolved.

Yet the testimonies of women and men who have experienced abortion loss, and later reconciled and recovered from that experience, help us to understand that, often on an unconscious level, this is a far more complicated experience.

There are deeper feelings associated with a couple’s role in the child’s death.  Over time the failure to address this will impact their relationship.

While most relationships end within the first year after the procedure, some couples remain together after an abortion, even when the relationship becomes dysfunctional.  The relationship can serve as a type of living memorial for the aborted child.

Because they are unable to acknowledge the child they lost, and share any pain and natural grief about their role in the child’s death, couples can be driven to re-connect and maintain their relationship, even when it becomes unhealthy.

This may lead to to periods of separation, affairs with unstable partners, drug and alcohol abuse, and communication and anger issues.

The pregnancy and birth of other living children will naturally surface feelings and memories associated with that aborted child.

The Truth Will Set You Free

After the birth of their son Josey in September 2015, Rivera and Dorsey once again faced relationship problems and began the process to end the marriage.

Yet after a time of successful co-parenting during their separation, the couple decided to call off the divorce in October 2017.

On November 25th Rivera was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery.

It may be significant that this incident revolved around parenting issues related to their 2 year old son and took place in his presence.

There is a gaping wound in the heart of this mother and father, and in their family. Their son or daughter (and Josey’s sibling) has died.

Failure to acknowledge, reconcile and heal this complicated loss leaves couples and families at risk, and can lead to so much heartache, dysfunction and relational and family pain.

Of course there can be other factors that contribute to relationship problems and domestic violence.  But based on our experience over the last 20 years with couples that have an abortion in their history, it can be a key contributing factor.

The challenging and humbling experience of emotional and spiritual reconciliation of this loss, along with ongoing counseling help, can help change toxic communication and behavior patterns in a relationship.

After abortion recovery couples can better discern how to move ahead as partners, and as a family, in a healthy way.

Let’s hope and pray that this couple will one day experience the freedom and peace that can only come from reconciling their abortion with the Creator of life.

[For more information on how abortion impacts men, women and their relationships get Kevin Burke’s latest book, Tears of the Fisherman: Recovery for men Wounded by Abortion

and Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion, by Theresa Burke with David Reardon. ]

 

A Prodigal Son Is Called Home to the Father…By His Aborted Daughter

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Prodigal Son

[James attended a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat weekend to reconcile his role in an abortion decision over 25 years ago. James gave permission to share the letter that he read to his daughter Angelina and the other retreat participants at the memorial service held on Sunday afternoon.  Keep in mind that there is a great amount of emotional and spiritual work done from Friday through Saturday evening of the weekend to help prepare participants for this very important event.] 

Dearest Angelina,

I am writing to you to tell you how profoundly sorry and heartbroken I am for being such a bad father who didn’t value and defend you as I should have. I ask you for your forgiveness for taking your life.

I grieve now for the loss of you and the joy you would shared with me, your sisters, your mother and so many others. That selfish, unspeakable act took your life, and robbed us all of the memories we would have shared with you. I now see this loss left a huge gaping wound in all of us that is in need of healing by the One whose presence and love you have known for 24 years now.

At the time your mother became pregnant with you, I had so many years before exchanged the truth of God for the lie. I was blind to the truth that my Creator and Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally, and has joy and peace and blessing for me – if only I will love and trust and obey Him.

Finally after so many years squandered in prodigal living, God has used thoughts of you to bring me back to Him. Our loving savior has used my anguish over loosing you to draw me near to Him as He pours out his healing grace on my wounds.

Angelina, I have been choosing death for so long! God has used you to bring me back – back to Life!  When I realized I had no hope of changing on my own, I admitted this to God.  I asked him to have mercy on me and to remove my selfishness and replace it with an overwhelming love for Him and for others.  He is doing this now!

Your life and not been in vain. God has taken this tragedy and used it for good!

You must be a beautiful child and my eyes and heart ache to see you. My pain is being replaced with the joy at the thought of the day when I see you.  I long for that eternity spent with you and all of my loved ones in heaven, God willing.

Give Jesus a warm embrace for me; tell Him that I am so grateful he gave me the gift of your life. Ask him to please save your sisters, your Gramma and Grampa, and the rest of our family so that we can all have banquets together in His presence forever.  Oh, what a joy that will be!

I have to end this letter now, but my love for you dearest Angelina, will never end. I love you!  Until I cross the Jordan and see you in the arms of Jesus, I will with God’s strength choose life, moment by moment, and share his truth and love with all of His children.

With many tears, a grateful heart to God, and much love for you,

Dad

[If you or someone you love is hurting after abortion you can find a list of healing resources in your area here

If you would like to learn more about how abortion impacts men Kevin Burke has a new book out called Tears of the Fisherman: Recovery for Men Wounded by Abortion.  You can learn more about the book and purchase info here.]

100 Years after The Great Miracle of the Sun, this “Error of Russia” Continues to Wound the Heart of Mary and Threaten World Peace

Friday, October 13th, 2017

miracle of the sun

By Kevin Burke, LSW

October 13th is the very special 100 year anniversary of one of the greatest public miracles since the resurrection of Jesus.  The spectacular and frightening Miracle of the Sun was witnessed in Fatima Portugal by 70,000 people, including many skeptics and atheists as well as devout believers.

At the same time as the miracle of the sun, visionary Lucia saw a vision of the Holy Family – Mary with Joseph and the child Jesus who each raised their hands in blessing over the world.

The miracle of the sun powerfully echoed the call of the Angel of Fatima to the Shepherd children at the onset of the apparitions to believe, adore, and love God with all our mind, heart and soul.  The miracle was also a warning to the human family that was increasingly rejecting the Providence of God and was in grave spiritual and physical danger.

At the same time Mary was appearing to the children, revolutionaries were planning the overthrow of the Russian monarchy to establish a movement that would institutionalize blasphemy against God.

In July 1917 the blessed Mother warned Fatima visionary Lucia, and the entire world, of this gathering darkness:

“Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”

The Bolsheviks violently seized power in Russia in November 1917 one month after the final apparition at Fatima. The communists launched a massive persecution of the Church in their zeal to wipe out belief in God and the practice of religion in the Soviet Union and later in Eastern Europe and China.

What is perhaps lesser known, is the role of the Soviet Union in the spread of abortion.

Pioneers of Death

Geoffrey Strickland, J.D., J.C.L., who serves as the Rome Office Director for Priests for Life, shares about the roots of abortion in the former Soviet Union:

“…history attests to the fact that Russia spread her errors throughout the world… through the single greatest error of our time: abortion.

Russia was the first country ever to legalize abortion up to birth without restriction and also developed and promulgated technology to this end.[1] Russia and areas formerly controlled by the Soviet Union have the highest abortion rate in the world.[2] Further, those countries sharing in the political and ideological legacy of Russia at that time such as China, Cuba and others continue to carry on this violent imperative.[3]”

The errors of Russia would later spread to the United States with the legalization of abortion in 1973.

Geoffrey writes:

“Thus “various nations” – the innumerable children of every race, creed and culture – have indeed been “annihilated” through the fundamental error of abortion and the faulty logic behind it, namely that a human child is not a human being.”

Over 1 billion unborn girls and boys have been aborted around the world in the last 100 years.

Our Lady of Fatima shared with Lucia:

My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me.

The metaphor of sensitive heart tissue penetrated by thorns reveals how closely Mary is attached to us, and how our sinful actions wound her at the deepest level of her being.

Mary’s heart was filled with anguish as she appeared to the Shepherd children of Fatima. She warned of the unfolding short and long-term consequences of the spread of atheistic communism and later the rise of the Nazi party in Germany.

Our Blessed Mother saw the diabolical power of those destructive ideologies and the political and cultural revolutions that have rocked the world over the last 100 years.

Our Lady of Fatima surely understood how the attacks upon the Providential Fatherhood of God would lead to violence against the unborn child, the corruption of human sexuality, and other developments that continue to wreak havoc on marriage and family life.

“My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph”

Mary reassured us that even with the massive death and destruction of the last 100 years, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Perhaps we are witnessing an anticipation of that final victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the reconciliation and healing of women and men after abortion.

Let us pray together for a special outpouring of grace and mercy as we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima.   May this commemoration facilitate a wider awakening to the fervent call of a loving mother to her millions of children that have yet to reconcile their most shameful and grievous sins, and find the healing and peace that only her son Jesus can provide.

[1] See for example http://www.liveaction.org/news/the-abortion-ripple-effect-russias-tragic-abortion-tale/; http://time.com/3679288/iceland-abortion/.

[2] See for example, http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/abortion-around-the-world-where-are-rates-highest/19/; http://www.liveaction.org/news/the-abortion-ripple-effect-russias-tragic-abortion-tale/.

[3] See, for example, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/28/world/americas/in-cuba-an-abundance-of-love-but-a-lack-of-babies.html and https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/china-commits-staggering-23-million-abortions-per-year-according-to-us-stat.

The Legacy of Hugh Hefner: Media and Cultural Pioneer – or Merchant of Death?

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazine died September 27 2017.

The Playboy brand, beginning with the magazine’s premier issue in 1953, promoted a wealthy Gentleman’s Club vibe.  The pages were filled with cultured and enlightened urban bachelors enjoying the finer things in life; jazz, the best food and drink, exotic travel, trendy fashion…and of course, beautiful women.

Yet while Hefner filled his clubs and magazine with scantily glad women dressed in ridiculous and demeaning bunny outfits, he also set out to be a key player in the unfolding cultural revolution of the 1960’s.

Hefner’s son Cooper shares:

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom…”

One of those movements was the support of “abortion rights”:

“…throughout the 1960s and 70s, Playboy also helped transform Americans’ perceptions about female sexuality—and became a prominent supporter of abortion rights. The magazine published pro-choice articles and interviews as early as 1963, a decade before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion across the country… (Playboy Campaigned for Abortion Rights)

At the height of its influence in the late 60’s and early 70’s Playboy had a million monthly subscribers and used that platform to play an influential role in the unfolding cultural and sexual revolution.

This paradox found in the Playboy movement between the objectification and exploitation of women while promoting racial equality and women’s rights – reflects a shared fatal flaw found in the cultural revolution of the 1960’s.

A movement that supported the noble causes of civil rights for African Americans and women, also worked to legalize the abortion procedure. In a tragic irony, abortion centers have targeted African American communities.  The department of health in New York City reported that in 2009, six out of every ten African American pregnancies ended in abortion.

The Buffered Elites

Elites like Hefner, a man who lived his life behind the walls of the playboy mansion,  have the wealth and privilege of their positions to protect themselves and their families from the painful and destructive shockwaves of sexual revolution.

The professionals and cultural elite that continue to promote the values and lifestyles of the revolution, make sure they and their children are buffered from the worst effects of the destructive winds of change they unleash on society.

It is the working class and poor communities, already reeling from the loss of manufacturing jobs, open borders and the globalization of the economy, that are especially vulnerable to the chaos and disintegration that follow the revolution’s erosion of bedrock moral and religious values and practices.

Sexual revolution has not only led to the death of millions of unborn children, it continues to breed disease and death:

“Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the United States. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that in 2016, Americans contracted over two million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis – the highest number ever reported.”

Hugh Hefner’s Legacy

It is understandable that Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper would want to see his father’s legacy in a positive light. According to Cooper, his Dad was “a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time.”

But like so much of the cultural and sexual revolution that continues to attack the heart and soul of this nation, it’s grounded in lies.

Heffner’s final years on this earth reflected how the sexual revolution and pornography have not brought liberation and enlightenment, but an increasing sense of loneliness and isolation.

From NPR 2003 interview with Hefner:

“Hefner shared his mansion with seven women, all young enough to be his granddaughters. But the man who set out to surround himself with sexuality and extravagance looked isolated and lonely.

He said his eventful life had convinced him romance was an illusion:

“… Romance is something that we invented…Romeo and Juliet, where everybody dies. … In the fairy tales it’s pursuit, and then ‘they lived happily ever after.’ But we never really deal with “they lived happily ever after.”

 

The Parasitical Relationship of Abortion Centers with Poor Minority Communities

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Planned Parenthood Minority

by Kevin Burke, LSW

Par·a·site:  An organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.

Abortion rights propaganda has influenced many of our nation’s citizens, and tragically many Christians, to see abortion as a woman’s private and personal health care decision.

Abortion may be considered private in that it is often a closely guarded secret. But the emotional and spiritual shockwaves after the procedure make it very much a family and community mental health concern.

In 2014 Pope Francis shared:

“How many hurt families, how many broken marriages…there is a crisis in the family.”

In the month of September, the Shockwaves Initiative shines a bright light on Abortion and the Family.

Tragically it is the poorest minority communities that are targeted by the abortion industry. They suffer higher rates of abortion and are especially vulnerable to strong post abortion reactions.

Abortion facilities have a parasitical relationship with their host minority communities.

When poor women and men participate in the death of their unborn children, it connects in a powerful way with any previous emotional trauma.

The abortion event can serve as the spark that ignites the anger and pain from previous abuse and neglect into the flames of raging addiction, relationship dysfunction, and abuse and neglect of living children.

We see these dynamics active in the high abortion rate among the male prison population, and the relationship between absent and abusive fathers, an involvement in abortion, and severe post abortion symptoms such as violence and high risk behaviors.

It’s a vicious cycle in poor minority communities that creates more customers for Planned Parenthood, more dead unborn babies, more wounded women and men, and more broken relationships and families.

Hope in the Darkness

Awareness and healing are already beginning to break the power of the culture of death. You can read here on our Shockwaves site of the experience of an African American woman, Onawu Pickett who suffered rape and abuse, and later abortion loss.   Her participation in a Rachel’s Vineyard weekend opened the door to her reconciliation and restoration in Christ, and a calling to reach out to others African American women and men wounded by abortion.

A Rachel’s Vineyard program in two maximum security prisons in Florida is helping men repent of their role in the death of their unborn children, and in that recovery process to grieve and heal of their childhood wounds with their fathers.   Immersed in God’s mercy and grace these men reclaim the fatherhood of their unborn children and reach out with the love of Christ to their fellow inmates.