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Thankfully, Abby Johnson, upon whose life the film Unplanned is based, is a staunch pro-life advocate.

However, it was not always that way.

Many people know that Johnson worked for Planned Parenthood — and, as a local clinic director, was their Employee of the Year — until she had to assist with an abortion herself.

What most of us do not know is that Johnson actually had two abortions before being employed by Planned Parenthood. These episodes are covered in the film.

After reading a Christian Post article by Brandon Showalter, ‘”Unplanned” movie will cause men to repent for mistreating, abandoning women and shift the culture’, I was amazed that any woman who went through two traumatic abortions would even want to work for Planned Parenthood.

One cannot help but think that God was trying to send her a message. When the first one did not reach her psyche, He seemed to have tried again. Incredibly, that one also failed.

These, quite possibly, involved Johnson’s two abortions, both of which involved her boyfriend, then husband, Mark.

Showalter tells us that Johnson’s first abortion took place while she was in college and partying quite a bit with Mark. The inevitable happened, and Mark offered her a lift to an abortion clinic to ‘take care of it’. He couldn’t afford to pay for her abortion, so:

Abby applied for her first credit card to pay for it herself.

Unplanned shows Ashley Bratcher, who plays Abby:

being handed a few crackers as she’s seated alongside several other dazed and traumatized women dressed in pink hospital gowns as they’re herded in and out of the procedure room at the clinic like cattle.

Abby’s father warned her about Mark, but she went ahead and married him anyway. A year later, on Valentine’s Day, he was cheating on her. She filed for divorce, then found out she was eight weeks pregnant with his baby. She went to the Planned Parenthood clinic which later employed her as its director. Perhaps she worked there to improve standards, because this was her experience (emphases mine):

she’s told that because she’s only eight weeks pregnant she qualifies for a chemical abortion that she can perform by herself at home.

Actress Ashley Bratcher turns in a stunningly convincing performance as Abby Johnson. She fully inhabits the role. And in my view, the most unforgettable scene was how she portrayed the grisly, excruciating night of desperation that a young, panicked Abby endures as she bleeds out and discards the pieces of her second pregnancy. One can palpably feel her anguish as she writhes in intense pain, sobbing all alone in the fetal position on her bathroom floor.

Her ordeal was followed by several weeks of severe abdominal cramps and blood clots, health risks Planned Parenthood never warned her about when they gave her the RU-486 abortion pill couched in professional-sounding assurances that she’d be just fine.

Wow.

So she went to work at a place that could have killed her. She also encouraged, even indirectly, other women to have abortions there.

Thankfully, the Lord got through to her mind and heart in the end.

Fortunately, everything ended well. Showalter elaborates:

It’s extra hopeful in that she was fortunate to find a good man in her second husband, Doug, a stay-at-home dad who I interviewed in the latest CP podcast, and with whom she’s now expecting their eighth child.

The one thing Showalter does tell us is that his reaction to the abortions portrayed in the film — Abby’s and the one in which she had to participate — is not unusual for other men who have also seen Unplanned:

The film’s promoters told me that my visceral response to the movie was something they’d seen from many men at other prescreenings around country. If that’s true, then I dare say we are on the cusp of a massive shift in the national conversation about abortion. And it won’t just be about this or that legal restriction and the usual toxic politics we have trained ourselves to tune out or compartmentalize as just another issue.

Go see “Unplanned” this weekend. Take several friends with you. I’d advise taking a box or two of tissues. This one is not to be missed.

Make sure your sons, nephews and their friends see Unplanned. Just because it’s about abortion does not mean it’s ‘only’ a ‘woman’s’ film.

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In November 18, my reader underground pewster of Not Another Episcopal Church Blog posted ‘Good News and Bad News: Number of abortions in U.S. hits historic low’ which contrasts abortion and homicide figures for the United States.

As the whole world knows, gun control is a huge topic. These were America’s homicide figures for 2016 as compiled, interestingly enough, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Emphases in the original:

All homicides: 19,362
Firearm homicides: 14,415

The CDC also publishes abortion statistics. In 2016, the Washington Post reported an annual total of:

638,169 abortions …

Is anyone up in arms (pun intended) about that?

No.

In fact, WaPo cheered the news:

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that “fewer U.S. women are having abortions than at any time since Roe v. Wade.” … down two percent from 2014.

Wait a minute. In the run up to Roe v Wade in 1973, abortion supporters told the American public that this ‘medical procedure’, as they called it, would be ‘rare’.

Yet, this is the lowest number of abortions per annum since 1973?

So much for ‘rare’.

In 45 years, there have been approximately 60 million abortions in the US.

‘Rare’, indeed.

In January 1918, LifeSite.com reported the statistics. The 60m figure comes from the Guttmacher Institute, which assumes that CDC under-reports figures by as much as five per cent, exacerbated by the absence of reporting from state health departments in California and New Hampshire for over a decade. Here is a graph comparing the two sets of figures.

Note that in 1973, there were well over half a million abortions that year alone:

So, the next time someone gets triggered over homicides and gun control, ask them if they are equally as worried about abortions.

Remember: 60 million, since 1973.

Then ask that person what the greater worry is: guns or abortion?

A new film about the reality of abortion clinics makes its US debut on Friday, March 29, 2019.

Unplanned tells the true story of Abby Johnson, a former abortion clinic manager. Ms Johnson won a Planned Parenthood Employee of the Year award. Then, one day, she saw just what an abortion entailed — and that the baby was very much alive and moving. She subsequently resigned and became a pro-life advocate.

This moving trailer provides a synopsis:

Unplanned is rated ‘R’ because it shows the graphic detail behind an abortion.

On February 22, Life Site News reported (emphases mine):

“UNPLANNED is an ‘R’ rated film which has no MPAA cautions for profanity, nudity, sex or violenceexcept for violence directly associated with the abortion process,” said writers/directors Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman, reported Movieguide

“Ironically, the MPAA seems to be indirectly endorsing the pro-life position: namely that abortion is an act of violence,” they added. They do not plan to contest the rating.

A double irony of the rating did not go past Solomon and Konzelman.

“Even more ironically, as a result of the MPAA’s decision to give us a ‘Restricted’ rating, many teenage women in this country who can legally obtain an actual abortion without parental permission will be prohibited from going to see our film containing simulated images of abortion, without obtaining parental permission,” they said. 

Abby Johnson, a pro-life advocate, had this to say about the film:

We are pushing the boundaries of what has never been before on such a wide scale by showing America exactly what abortion is — and abortion is disturbing. It’s violent. No one will walk away from seeing this movie and say ‘I didn’t know.’

I would urge everyone with teenagers to get them to the cinema at the end of March to see this film. The Unplanned website lists a number of US locations, so please click the +More box to see additional towns and cities where it will be shown.

When I was growing up in the 1970s, Americans were told that abortion is simply ‘a medical procedure’ to remove ‘a mass of cells’. Now we know better.

I would also highly recommend that readers watch Ashley Bratcher’s interview on Fox News. Bratcher plays Abby Johnson in the movie. She did not have time to speak with Johnson, because she got a last-minute call to pack her bags — for seven weeks — and head out to Oklahoma to begin filming.

While she was in Oklahoma, Bratcher received a call from her mother, who told her that she — Ashley — was almost aborted herself. Her mother and father were in their late teens and did not feel ready for a child. Her father pawned a family shotgun to pay for the abortion. Ashley says that she finds it odd that the price for a human life would have been a shotgun.

In the end, Ashley’s mother felt sick on the operating table and said she could not go through with the abortion.

Oh, the irony of it all — but what a blessing!

Bratcher says that Unplanned has all sorts of elements to it and that it is not a judgemental film, but rather one of hope, forgiveness — and grace.

A few days ago, I watched an abortion survivor give her testimony against Planned Parenthood before the US House Judiciary Committee on September 9, 2015.

Melissa Ohden is, happily, not the only abortion survivor, but further proof that there are many living miracles. The good Lord’s design was to have them survive the worst procedures, give those babies care through concerned hospital staff and provide them with loving adoptive families to nurture and raise them.

This is powerful testimony — and it’s just over six minutes long. I encourage everyone, especially logical, rational, pro-choice readers to listen to what this lady says and to especially note what she survived at 31 weeks old — saline solution over a five-day period — designed to burn her to death (see the medical report at 1:06 minutes in):

It turns out that Melissa’s biological parents wanted her to be born and wanted to get married. However, Melissa’s maternal grandmother — a pillar of the community — said they were much too young (aged 19) and that would impact the family’s social standing negatively. So, Melissa’s grandmother forced the abortion procedure against the 19-year-old’s will (see first 14 minutes in this 2013 video of hers):

Returning to the first video, Melissa says that she was fortunate in that the abortion procedure was performed in a hospital rather at a Planned Parenthood clinic. She says that Planned Parenthood are experts at ensuring that abortion survivors — live babies — die.

Melissa survived abortion in 1977. That was only five years after Roe v Wade was passed. Those of us who were alive at the time were told that abortion was a simple ‘medical procedure’ performed at an early stage on a ‘lump of cells’. I had no idea until now that abortions then were also performed at an advanced stage of pregnancy.

When she was a newborn, doctors told Melissa’s adoptive parents that she would be chronically ill throughout her life. Certainly, she had seizures and other illnesses that no baby should suffer. Yet, despite all the odds, thanks to God’s mercy and a loving family, Melissa grew up to become a healthy child — and a healthy adult.

Melissa holds a Masters degree in social work and worked in that field dealing with clients who had problems with substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.

Melissa researched the failed abortion herself, which took dogged attempts over the years. Finally, she was able to obtain her medical records of the failed saline procedure at St Luke’s Hospital — oh, the irony — in Sioux City, Iowa.

Melissa’s journey was, at times, understandably painful emotionally. She came to terms with the circumstances of her birth and her biological family by becoming a Christian. She is a practising Roman Catholic.

Visit Melissa’s website for more information.

The video in the tweet below is from 2013, but if, like me, you are relatively new to watching abortion clinic footage, then you might also find it instructive:

The woman from the clinic gives the prospective ‘patient’ (an undercover investigator for Live Action, a pro-life organisation) various scenarios for later-term abortion, presumably by injection, as she says two-day procedures are not uncommon.

If the patient goes to the clinic, the staff would put the live baby into a jar of solution to drown. According to the woman from the clinic, the baby wouldn’t feel anything. Hmm. Seems a bit hard to believe.

She counsels the patient about what to do if she has the baby at home before being able to make it into the clinic: either flush the newborn down the toilet or put it in a bag and take it to the clinic.

Yes, the woman actually says:

Flush it!

And:

Put it in a bag or something.

The woman from the clinic actually laughs at various points.

I had no idea abortion was so hilarious.

Below are two views of abortion.

The first is Bill ‘Science Guy’ Nye presenting his opinion, strongly objecting to the pro-life movement and stupid men of ‘European’ extraction who legislate against it. Nye, an atheist, disapproves of the Bible, which he mentions here as ‘a book around 5,000’ years old, and, clearly, outmoded. He does not present one salient fact about abortion. Essentially, if you don’t like abortion — tough. You’re probably too dumb:

The second is from a former abortionist, Dr Anthony Levatino, who still works as an obstetrician and gynaecologist. He testified in 2015 before the House Judiciary Committee hearing about Planned Parenthood’s medical procedures. The YouTube description adds:

Planned Parenthood has been under fire after videos were released showing how the mega abortion provider sold fetal tissue to researchers.

Regardless of where you stand on the subject, I strongly recommend watching — not just listening to — Dr Levatino’s description of what happens during a second-trimester abortion. This video is especially important for those who call foetuses/developing babies ‘whatchamacallits’:

During his career as an abortionist, he performed over 1,200 D&Esdilations and evacuations — as abortions done between 13 and 24 weeks are known in the medical profession.

The instrument he is holding in his hand is a Sopher clamp. That is used to remove all the body parts. Watch him describe how the abortionist has to use it ‘blindly’ in search of a leg, then an arm, then the head.

The Sopher clamp purposely has rows of sharp metal teeth on it so that the doctor can grasp all of the body parts as efficiently as possible.

He says that all the body parts must be set aside on a table and be accounted for. Anything left in the former mother can cause infection, haemorrhaging and, possibly, death.

He then related his own family experience. He met his wife while at medical school in Albany. Interestingly enough, they wanted to start a family, but they had an infertility problem. They adopted a baby, Heather, in 1978. Incredibly, his wife became pregnant a month later.

Just before Heather turned six, she was fatally injured in an automobile accident. Levatino thought he could get through the mourning period and go back to work.

He did, for a time.

Then, one day when he was beginning another abortion, he pulled out a limb and got sick. He composed himself and finished the abortion, but when he looked at all the assembled body parts:

All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter.

That was the last D&E he ever performed.

Several months later, he stopped doing abortions altogether.

————————————————————————————

In November 1987, Levatino spoke at the first ever Meet the Abortion Providers conference.

Pro-Life Action has an edited transcript of what he said. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

He said that the private clinic where he worked in Albany was about the only one performing D&Es:

My partner and I, however, were relatively important in the Albany area for one infamous fact, which to this day I regret. Our group was just about the only group that was performing late abortions, D & E procedures, Dilatation and Evacuation. And we received referrals from all over the area in our part of the state, even from neighboring counties 70 to 80 miles away. We had a lot of patients.

He explained why OB-GYNs perform abortions:

It’s profitable, there’s a lot of money in it! But there’s philosophical things that come first. As I’m fond of telling people, if you are pro-choice and you happen to be a gynecologist, then it’s up to you to take the instruments in hand and actively perform an abortion. It’s the most natural association in the world.

Along the way you find out you make a lot of money doing abortions. In my practice we were averaging between $250 and $500 for an abortion, and it was cash.

The pro-choice movement helped a lot, too:

There are other reasons; they’re perhaps no less important. I’ve heard many times from other obstetricians: Well, I’m not really pro-abortion, I’m pro-woman. How many times have you heard that one? The women’s groups in this country, they’re not alone, but they’ve done a very good job selling that bill of goods to the population. That somehow destroying a life is pro-woman. But a lot of obstetricians use that justification to themselves, and I can tell you, a lot of them believe it. I used to. It’s not hard to be convinced of it.

There is a gynaecological procedure known as a D&Cdilation and curretage — which is performed when a woman has a uterine ailment. However, it is also used for early-term abortions. Levatino described his residency period, which required that he perform several D&C suction abortions twice a week. Despite the fact that they are first-trimester abortions, they can also present risks to a woman. And, in case anyone is still unconvinced, there is more than ‘a mass of cells’ afterwards:

When the abortionist finishes a suction D & C he has to literally reassemble the child.

When the abortionist finishes a suction D & C, he has to open a little suction bag and he has to literally reassemble the child. He has to do that because he wants to make sure he didn’t leave anything behind.

I had complications, just like everybody else. I have perforated uteruses. I have had all kinds of problems — bleeding, infectionLord knows how many of those women are sterile now.

I remember getting called down to my chairman’s office because a young lady that I had done an abortion on showed up, and the abortion had been incomplete. I had not done my job right, and she passed an arm or a leg and she freaked out because she didn’t realize what had happened.

He also performed saline procedures. This was during the time he and his wife were going through their period of infertility. Saline is painless, right? Saline is harmless, right? After all, ‘it’s just a mass of cells’, right? Levatino describes what he experienced during his residency:

My discomfort came at that point because there was a tremendous conflict going on inside me. Here I was doing my D & Cs, five and six a week, and I was doing salines on a nightly basis whenever I was on call.

I wish one of these people would just let me have their child. But it doesn’t work that way.

The resident on call got the job of doing the salines and there would usually be two or three of those. They were horrible because you saw one intact, whole baby being born, and sometimes they were alive. That was very, very frightening. It was a very stomach-turning kind of existence.

Yet, I was doing that at the same time that my wife and I were trying to have a child, and we were having difficulty with that. We had been married a couple of years at that point — and no baby. Suddenly, we realized we had an infertility problem.

I kept doing abortions, I didn’t stop. But it was tough. We started desperately looking for a baby to adopt, and I was throwing them in the garbage at the rate of nine and ten a week. It even occurred to me then: I wish one of these people would just let me have their child. But it doesn’t work that way. So the conflict was there.

Remember that Levatino also helped pregnant women have their babies. I cannot fathom how one can rejoice with an expectant mother one moment, then perform an abortion the next. Yet, these men and women do it. Levatino said:

As a doctor, you know that these are children; you know that these are human beings with arms and legs and heads and they move around and they are very active. But you get reminded — every time you put that scanner down on somebody’s uterus — you are reminded. Because you see the children in there — hearts beating, arms flinging.

We have a ball with it. It is a lot of fun. We have people coming in who have bleeding and who are afraid they may have a miscarriage — now this is someone who wants to have their child. There is no better news for me than to put that scanner on them at seven and eight weeks and show them a heartbeat and say: Your baby is okay. You do that as an obstetrician all the time.

And then, an hour later, you change your clothes, walk into an operating room and do an abortion. If you have any heart at all, it affects you.

Having graduated and being the proud adoptive father of baby Heather, he joined a gynaecologist in the Albany area who did D&Es. Levatino learned how to perform them. By then, his wife was expecting their first child:

Again, I didn’t particularly like doing abortions, but my partner did abortions and I didn’t object to it morally, so we worked together. I was on salary at the time, as a new partner, so it made not a whit of difference on my income. I did it to be agreeable. It’s a lousy reason in retrospect, but that was my reason. That was our business for years to come.

In 1984, his daughter Heather was hit by a car in front of their home and died:

Everything changes. All of a sudden, the idea of a person’s life becomes very real. It is not an embryology course anymore. It’s not just a couple of hundred dollars. It’s the real thing. It’s your child you buried.

His relationships at home and in the office became strained:

Every time I was asked to schedule an abortion, I got very angry. I began feeling that people were doing something to me. That was ridiculous — I was doing it to myself.

After a few months of that I started to realize — this is somebody’s child. I lost my child, someone who was very precious to us. And now I am taking somebody’s child and I am tearing him right out of their womb. I am killing somebody’s child.

Eventually, he turned his revulsion on himself:

My own sense of self-esteem went down the tubes. I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was. It got to the point where it just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. It was costing me too much personally. All the money in the world wouldn’t have made a difference.

So, Levatino stopped performing abortions:

I slept a lot better at night after that.

I really like hearing male doctors present the case against abortion, and I particularly liked Levatino’s staccato, matter-of-fact delivery in the video above. He presents his case objectively. Any men who are fence-sitting on abortion would do well to watch his video.

I hope that someday that Dr Levatino meets Bill Nye and teaches him a thing or two about abortion.

Recent investigative reporting by the Houston Chronicle has revealed long-standing abuses of women belonging to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches.

The Chronicle says that, in 2007, victims of sexual abuse at the hands of SBC church leaders requested that a database be created with names of any current or former church leaders who had been convicted of this type of crime or had been credibly accused of same.

The database was never created. In 2018, advocates for the victims made an appeal for such a registry. Houston Chronicle reporters began their own investigation, combing news archives, websites and databases (emphases mine):

We found complaints made against hundreds of pastors, church officials and volunteers at Southern Baptist churches nationwide.

We focused our search on the 10 years preceding the victims’ first call for a registry and on the 10-plus years since. And we concentrated on individuals who had a documented connection to a church listed in an SBC directory published by a state or national association.

We verified details in hundreds of accounts of abuse by examining federal and state court databases, prison records and official documents from more than 20 states and by searching sex offender registries nationwide. In Texas, we visited more than a dozen county courthouses. We interviewed district attorneys and police in more than 40 Texas counties. We filed dozens of public records requests in Texas and nationwide.

Ultimately, we compiled information on 380 credibly accused officials in Southern Baptist churches, including pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers and volunteers.

We verified that about 220 had been convicted of sex crimes or received deferred prosecutions in plea deals and sent letters to all of them soliciting their responses to summaries we compiled. We received written responses from more than 30 and interviewed three in Texas prisons. Of the 220, more than 90 remain in prison and another 100 are still registered sex offenders.

Find our records that relate to those convicted or forced to register as sex offenders at HoustonChronicle.com/AbuseofFaith.

Some of the registered sex offenders are still allowed to preach:

Some registered sex offenders returned to the pulpit. Others remain there, including a Houston preacher who sexually assaulted a teenager and now is the principal officer of a Houston nonprofit that works with student organizations, federal records show. Its name: Touching the Future Today Inc.

Most of the abused were teenagers at the time. However, adults seeking pastoral guidance were also victims.

The Chronicle‘s expose is in three parts:

Part 1: Abuse of Faith

Part 2: Southern Baptist churches hired ministers accused of past sex offenses

Part 3: All too often, Southern Baptist youth pastors take advantage of children

A few excerpts follow from the first instalment.

The sections about children were particularly revolting, considering that Southern Baptists in positions of authority portray themselves as being very holy:

Many of the victims were adolescents who were molested, sent explicit photos or texts, exposed to pornography, photographed nude, or repeatedly raped by youth pastors. Some victims as young as 3 were molested or raped inside pastors’ studies and Sunday school classrooms.

Here is one girl’s story:

Heather Schneider was 14 when she was molested in a choir room at Houston’s Second Baptist Church, according to criminal and civil court records. Her mother, Gwen Casados, said church leaders waited months to fire the attacker, who later pleaded no contest. In response to her lawsuit, church leaders also denied responsibility.

Schneider slit her wrists the day after that attack in 1994, Casados said. She survived, but she died 14 years later from a drug overdose that her mother blames on the trauma.

“I never got her back,” Casados said.

Here is one man’s story of his molestation as a boy:

David Pittman was 12, he says, when a youth minister from his Georgia church first molested him in 1981. Two other former members of the man’s churches said in interviews that they also were abused by him. But by the time Pittman spoke out in 2006, it was too late to press criminal charges.

The minister still works at an SBC church.

Pittman won’t soon forgive those who have offered prayers but taken no action. He only recently stopped hating God.

“That is the greatest tragedy of all,” he said. “So many people’s faith is murdered. I mean, their faith is slaughtered by these predators.”

The Chronicle says that the reason for rampant sexual abuse is the fact that SBC churches are largely autonomous:

At the core of Southern Baptist doctrine is local church autonomy, the idea that each church is independent and self-governing. It’s one of the main reasons that [August “Augie”] Boto [interim president of the SBC’s Executive Committee] said most of the proposals a decade ago were viewed as flawed by the executive committee because the committee doesn’t have the authority to force churches to report sexual abuse to a central registry …

SBC churches and organizations share resources and materials, and together they fund missionary trips and seminaries. Most pastors are ordained locally after they’ve convinced a small group of church elders that they’ve been called to service by God. There is no central database that tracks ordinations, or sexual abuse convictions or allegations.

I’m not a Southern Baptist, but if the SBC allows sharing of funding, resources, trips and seminaries, surely, it can allow central records to be kept.

A Catholic priest, the Revd Thomas Doyle, thinks so, too.

Doyle was one of the earliest whistleblowers on similar abuse in the Catholic Church, a hierarchical church. He is also a retired lawyer. He contacted SBC leaders in 2007, urging them to act:

“I saw the same type of behavior going on with the Southern Baptists,” he said.

The responses were predictable, Doyle said. In one, Frank Page, then the SBC president, wrote that they were “taking this issue seriously” but that local church autonomy presented “serious limitations.” In March, Page resigned as president and CEO of the SBC’s Executive Committee for “a morally inappropriate relationship in the recent past,” according to the executive committee.

Details have not been disclosed, but SBC officials said they had “no reason to suspect any legal impropriety.” Page declined to be interviewed.

Wade Burleson, a former president of Oklahoma’s Southern Baptist convention, requested in 2007 and again in 2018, that the SBC take action on this issue, but to no avail:

Leaders pushed back both times, he said. Some cited local church autonomy; others feared lawsuits if the reforms didn’t prevent abuse.

Burleson couldn’t help but wonder if there have been “ulterior motives” at play.

“There’s a known problem, but it’s too messy to deal with,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s not that we can’t do it as much as we don’t want to do it. … To me, that’s a problem. You must want to do it, to do it.”

Doyle, the Catholic priest, agrees:

“I understand the fear, because it’s going to make the leadership look bad,” he said. “Well, they are bad, and they should look bad. Because they have ignored this issue. They have demonized the victims.”

Similar abuses have also taken place in Evangelical churches and institutions, which are also independent.

I saw this tweet the other day:

Linda Kay Klein grew up in Evangelical churches and wrote the book Pure, about the toxicity surrounding women’s purity culture.

In an article she wrote for NBC News, ‘Southern Baptist Convention report on sex abuse shines a light on evangelical culture’, she says:

As an adult, I went on to spend more than a decade researching sexuality and the evangelical church and heard story after story of minimized and unreported abuse. To be sure, sexual violence extends well beyond the church, yet I have found that religious authoritarianism and purity culture — hallmarks of both Catholicism and evangelicalism, among other groups — can enable it.

Purity culture teaches that there are two types of people: those who are sexually “pure,” and those who are “impure.” Some teach one can lose their purity by having sexual thoughts or feelings or making sexual choices outside of a heterosexual marriage. Some even teach you can lose it by inspiring sexual expression in others.

Include purity in an authoritarian local church structure and a fear of secular reaction to scandal and it makes for one unholy trinity of toxicity:

Many parishioners see their pastor as the conduit to a higher power and will go to great lengths to protect them even if it means ignoring, blaming and ultimately hurting survivors.

In America, a contributing factor is a strong culture of collective victimhood in the evangelical community. My interviewees and I were taught growing up that evangelicals were the real victims — that the world hated us so much they’d do anything to make us look bad. So, it was our job to represent our community in the best light possible for more people to join us and enter into heaven. The underlying message was clear: a good Christian keeps their mouth shut.

She describes how this works in practice:

Women and girls, in particular, can be silenced in hierarchic churches that teach “complementarianism” — the belief that God ordains male authority especially in the church and the home. Having been conditioned not to question men, some women struggle to stand up to male misconduct when they see it, and when they do are often dismissed. For example, when my youth pastor was applying for the position, he was given a kind of audition: lead a youth retreat. Our head pastor asked us to report back on his performance. I did. As did at least one other girl. Each of us told the head pastor that the man applying for the position made us uncomfortable. Soon afterward, it was announced that he was our new youth pastor.

Meanwhile, when women and girls come forward as survivors, purity culture — which focuses largely on them — can be used against them. Many of my interviewees and I were taught that men are weak when faced with the temptation of the female flesh and it was therefore our responsibility to protect men from the threat that our bodies posed to them. We had to walk, talk and dress just right to ensure the alleged purity of our entire community, safeguarding against all sexual expression outside of marriage — the implication being that anything that did happen, even sexual violence, was our fault.

Klein’s opinion piece has a video recently broadcast on NBC’s Today show about women who were sexually abused as children in an Evangelical organisation, New Tribes Mission (now Ethnos360).

There is also another Today show article which summarises the video of the New Tribes Mission survivors: ‘Ungodly abuse: The lasting torment of the New Tribes missionary kids’.

The girls’ parents were missionaries at the time, and each mission had a boarding school for the children of New Tribes employees. These missions were in foreign countries, in the back of the beyond. Each dormitory had a ‘dorm dad’ and a ‘dorm mom’. It was not unknown for dorm dads to molest little girls.

In 2009, Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian — one of Billy Graham’s grandsons, who is a law professor and a former prosecutor on sexual abuse cases — began investigating sexual abuse cases at the behest of New Tribes Mission (as was). He told NBC News:

“I feel that in so many ways justice has failed,” said Boz Tchividjian, a former sex crimes prosecutor who leads Grace (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), the organization that investigated the New Tribes school in Senegal and that focuses on rooting out abuse in Christian organizations.

“You have individuals who physically and sexually abused children who have gone on to live quote-unquote ‘normal lives.’ You have an organization that had to deal with some press and people talking about it but in large part has moved on and continues to do their work around the world.”

“And then,” added Tchividjian, who is a grandson of the evangelist Billy Graham, “you’ve got the scores and scores of missionary kids. So many of them are struggling to get by in life, struggling to comprehend, why is this man who sexually abused me not in jail, not in prison? Why is this man serving in church, living what appears to be a normal life?

The article recaps the experiences of the victims who appeared on Today. This is one woman’s story. Her dorm dad was David Brooks, the most prolific perpetrator, and an occasional preacher in the Georgia town where he currently lives:

Bonnie Cheshire was just 2 when she arrived in Senegal with her parents, both New Tribes missionaries, in 1981. She grew up in a river village surrounded by forest and miles away from a major city.

“It was an amazing life. It was absolute freedom,” Cheshire said. “Outside all day, in trees all day.”

By age 6, she was living with other children of New Tribes missionaries at the Fanda school where boys and girls were split into separate rooms. There was a “big girls” room and a “little girls” room, each one accommodating about six to eight girls.

Like all of the New Tribe boarding schools, American missionaries who were not sent out in the field were assigned to take care of the children and lead them in Bible study and prayer.

Brooks and his wife held the role of Fanda dorm parents in the mid-1980s, according to the Grace report.

Cheshire said Brooks would sometimes play the “seashell game” when he was alone with the children outside, hiding a shell in his bathing suit and urging the girls to find it.

Soon he was also showing up in her room late at night, Cheshire said. “You need to find a way to relax to go to sleep,” she recalls him telling her.

Brooks would then start touching her, Cheshire said, noting that she was 7 when the abuse started. It seemed innocent at first, she said, but became anything but.

“I knew that it was not right,” Cheshire said.

One woman was abused by her own father when she was a little girl — in the girls’ dorm! He also abused her roommates at the Aritao school in the Philippines:

Escaping the abuse was nearly impossible for Kelly Emory. Les Emory is her father.

Kelly says her dad raped and molested her for three years starting at age 6. She says she was also forced to endure the horror of being in the same room as her father sexually abused her roommates inside the Aritao dorm.

“I had to pretend I was sleeping,” Kelly said. “It was a hell I still live with.”

Kelly said nothing about her father’s attacks until she was 15. In March 1993, with Kelly struggling in school and wrestling with thoughts of suicide, she says she told her dorm mother.

The woman reported the allegations, Kelly said, and days later three New Tribes field leaders showed up at the school to question her.

“They asked me to describe what had happened, and I told them,” Kelly said. “And they told me to not say anything. It was my duty to protect my family, to protect my dad, and if I did say anything, if I did tell anybody anything, my dad would be thrown in a Filipino jail.”

Within a week, Kelly said, her family was shipped out of the Philippines and flown to Missouri to attend therapy sessions with a mission counselor.

“After two weeks we were pronounced healed and whole,” Kelly said. “Those were their words.”

Emory was ordered to leave the mission, Kelly said, but the real reason for the family’s sudden relocation was kept secret from all but a few in the organization.

“You try to do the right thing,” Kelly said. “We got shushed and rushed out of the country. They made us all stay quiet. They silenced us.

In 2009, Bonnie Cheshire and Kari Mikitson, another New Tribes abuse survivor launched a website, New Tribes Mission Abuse. (They have an active forum and an inactive blog.)

Before long, the site attracted a lot of views and New Tribes Mission invited Mikitson to speak with them at their Florida headquarters. It was after that when the mission asked “Boz” Tchividjian’s GRACE organisation to launch an investigation.

GRACE’s investigation took a year, and uncovered widespread sexual abuse of youngsters in the missions. New Tribes Mission then hired another independent organisation, IHART, to continue the work. IHART appears to have done very little.

Today tracked down David Brooks, who refused to speak to camera, and Les Emory who gave a telephone interview.

Emory admitted to what he did and said that he should have been ‘decapitated’.

New Tribes changed its name to Ethnos 360 in May 2017.

In closing, imagine that what actually makes the news in terms of church-related sexual abuse is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

I hope that more will be revealed, for the victims’ sakes as well as for the future health of the Church as a whole.

Finally, all churches — Catholic and Protestant — must take resolute action to ensure these abuses are stopped once and for all.

Before I report on the annual March for Life which, this year, took place on Friday, January 18, an excellent citizen journalist, Lady Penquin/Lady Penguin, wrote a sobering essay on abortion, ‘Silent Scream, the Genocide of the Unborn’, the following day.

I would encourage everyone committed to the cause of life to read it in full. It is excellent.

Lady Penquin begins:

In 1962, Rachael Carson published a book, “Silent Spring,” – which was basically a treatise, where Ms Carson contended that the entire ecosystem was adversely affected by the indiscriminate use of pesticides, particularly, DDT. Using “Silent Spring” as a metaphor, her premise was that the adverse environmental effects were so catastrophic that conceivably, some day, spring, when new life begins, would be silent.

It’s likely that few people don’t know the volcanic impact that book had on the social-environmental movement of the 1960’s – but the result was explosive – leading to the banning of DDT, and restricted use of pesticides and chemicals in general. This post isn’t, of course, to debate DDT, but it is to speak of another Silent Spring.

The Silent Spring of the unborn. The cries of babies we’ll never hear.

On Jan. 22, 1973, eleven years, and four months after the world began to worry about Nature’s creatures, the Supreme Court (Jan 22, 1973) issued their decision in “favor” of Roe, from Jane Roe v Henry Wade (Dallas District Attorney). America was now allowed to kill its unborn children.

Since then:

The original Roe v Wade ruling has since been expanded by subsequent court rulings which solidified women’s rights to privacy, and a woman’s “right” to abort – even through the third trimester.

It appears that the Supreme Court no longer has a vested interest in “protecting the potentiality of human life,” or even the needs of the State (survival of society).

We’ve watched for decades failed measure after measure, in the hallowed halls of Congress, defeat of any ability to restrain and pull back the so-called “Safe, legal and rare” mantra the Lefties shouted with glee that dark day in 1973. Safe, legal and rare has turned into 46 years of almost unfettered abortions. Worldwide, abortion was the leading cause of death in 2018, 42 million murdered infants.

In 2012, when I wrote this article: “King Herod, Obama and the Genocide of the Unborn” – the number of aborted American babies was 50 million. Today, 6 1/2 years later, the number stands at 61 million. Go to the counter, and watch it change in real time. It should shock you.

http://www.numberofabortions.com/

Every uptick of those counters represents an innocent life destroyed, a silent scream not heard.

She rightly laments abortions done for convenience, then asks us to think about why the ‘pro-choice’ crowd never show any abortion photos with their written material:

If abortion was a good thing, a clean act and not a horrific one, then they wouldn’t have to hide the stories or prevent the pictures from being shown. They wouldn’t lie in court and say the videos were “doctored.” Only evil deeds have to be kept hidden and in darkness.

Also:

Right now, the state of Virginia has a Democrat, a woman, trying to end required ultrasounds before abortions. What are the pro-abortionists afraid of? That someone might see the image of their baby and decide to choose life? Why are the Democrats so intent on killing children?

I know that a lot of American churchgoers think that the Democrats are political good guys, but, if that were true, why would things such as the following occur?

This past week, Democrats blocked a bill that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood’s name is a misnomer. Planning means preparing in advance, and making mature choices. It is not supposed to mean the local factory where you stop by and get an abortion because a baby might be a “mistake” as former President Barack Obama said.

In previous Congresses, efforts were made to pass a fetal pain bill, recognizing that infants can certainly feel pain by 20 weeks, though we actually know they can feel pain much earlier – 10 weeks. Why didn’t it pass? The pro-abortionists in the Senate filibustered it. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has reintroduced the bill this legislative session.

She points out that, in his address to the 2018 March for Life, President Trump pointed out (emphasis mine):

the United States [is] one of only seven countries to allow elective late-term abortions, along with China, North Korea, and others.

Lady Penquin included two tweets that should cause pro-choice supporters to change their minds. Please circulate these among your children, other family members and friends:

Click on the above graphic to see it in full.

A foetus is far from being a ‘lump of cells’, as most abortion supporters put it.

Fortunately, young Americans are now starting to question Roe v Wade:

That is welcome news, indeed.

But, why is it that President Trump has been the only president to ever address the March for Life?

In 2017, after a week in office, he sent this tweet:

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the crowd that year, as did Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager:

I am pleased to report that, even though Big Media do not report on this annual event, countless thousands continue to attend. Please take a minute to watch the time-lapse footage of this year’s march:

Please pray for those who choose life:

For many, it is not easy.

Good things do happen in this fallen world.

Here is the spontaneous reaction of a Milwaukee bus driver when she saw a toddler running around unsupervised along her route. This took place last week:

This is such a great video, especially as it is multi-cultural.

Watch to the end, when the bus driver gives the little mite a kiss.

Halfway through, one of the passengers takes off her jacket and gives it to the bus driver to drape over the child to keep her warm.

This lady should get a special commendation and formal recognition — medal, pay rise, both — for this great act of human kindness.

May God bless her, the passenger who gave up her jacket and the little child.

Moral of the story: always supervise little ones!

The short video below explains what happens when there is a gap in border defence.

This is a real eye-opener. Also note what the border guard says about women in the first part of the video:

Q. Whose fault is it that, for nearly 20 years, border fences between the US and Mexico were not completed because they were not funded?

A. Politicians.

President Trump was right to sound the alarm on weak US borders in 2016 and he is correct in continuing to do so now.

Please circulate this tweet so that people understand what is really happening along the southern border of the United States.

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