Friday, 5 July 2013

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Fri 5 July

Top stories:

Final chance to stop anti-marriage bill 
The "same-sex marriage" bill is in its final stages. Peers (members of the House of Lords) will debate the bill again on Monday 8 July and Wednesday 10 July, and finally on Monday 15 July. MPs are likely to consider the Lords amendments to the Bill on 16 or 17 July. Please email/write to Peers and your MP, asking them and the government to stop the efforts to undermine marriage. This may be our last chance to lobby against the damaging (anti-)Marriage Same-Sex Couples bill reaching the statute book. [SPUC, 4 July]

Please support national petition opposing school lessons in pornography
SPUC has launched a petition to protect school children from the latest anti-life idea – pornography lessons in the classroom. Porn lessons are being promoted by the Sex Education Forum (SEF). These lessons are not about how to avoid pornography, they are about dangling porn in front of young school pupils and encouraging them to embrace it in their lives. [SPUC, 4 July]

Pope Francis encyclical: love not enough for marriage, sexual differentiation also necessary, thus enabling children
Pope Francis's first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" (The Light of Faith) has addressed the question of same-sex marriage. In a section entitled "Faith and the family", the Pope refers to "the stable union of man and woman in marriage" and "sexual differentiation". Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, commented earlier today on this section for LifeSiteNews.com: "The message from Pope Francis in his first encyclical is that the life-bearing potential of heterosexuality is the prerequisite of marriage. What is also clear is the type of love which is required for marriage: not the modern notion of sexual desire and personal satisfaction, but a complementarity between the sexes leading to total mutual self-giving and thus openness to the responsibility of parenthood. The Pope is thus linking being pro-life with having a correct understanding of the true nature of marriage. His words will be of great assistance to pro-life organisations who are fighting homosexual 'marriage'. We know that the homosexual attack on marriage is an attack on the family, which is the best protector of children, both born and unborn." [John Smeaton, 5 July]

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology and stem cell research
Euthanasia
Sexual ethics
General
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Pope Francis encyclical: love not enough for marriage, sexual differentiation also necessary, thus enabling children

Pope Francis has today published his first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" (The Light of Faith). Sections 52 & 53 are entitled "Faith and the family" (see full text of these sections below). Section 52 addresses the question of same-sex marriage, thus:
"I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf.Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan. Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person."
Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, commented earlier today on this section for LifeSiteNews.com:
"The message from Pope Francis in his first encyclical is that the life-bearing potential of heterosexuality is the prerequisite of marriage. What is also clear is the type of love which is required for marriage: not the modern notion of sexual desire and personal satisfaction, but a complementarity between the sexes leading to total mutual self-giving and thus openness to the responsibility of parenthood. The Pope is thus linking being pro-life with having a correct understanding of the true nature of marriage. His words will be of great assistance to pro-life organisations who are fighting homosexual 'marriage'. We know that the homosexual attack on marriage is an attack on the family, which is the best protector of children, both born and unborn."
 Faith and the family in Pope Francis, "Lumen Fidei", 29 June (published 5 July) 2013.
Faith and the family

52. In Abraham’s journey towards the future city, the Letter to the Hebrews mentions the blessing which was passed on from fathers to sons (cf.Heb 11:20-21). The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf.Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan. Grounded in this love, a man and a woman can promise each other mutual love in a gesture which engages their entire lives and mirrors many features of faith. Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love. Faith also helps us to grasp in all its depth and richness the begetting of children, as a sign of the love of the Creator who entrusts us with the mystery of a new person. So it was that Sarah, by faith, became a mother, for she trusted in God’s fidelity to his promise (cf. Heb 11:11).

53. In the family, faith accompanies every age of life, beginning with childhood: children learn to trust in the love of their parents. This is why it is so important that within their families parents encourage shared expressions of faith which can help children gradually to mature in their own faith. Young people in particular, who are going through a period in their lives which is so complex, rich and important for their faith, ought to feel the constant closeness and support of their families and the Church in their journey of faith. We have all seen, during World Youth Days, the joy that young people show in their faith and their desire for an ever more solid and generous life of faith. Young people want to live life to the fullest. Encountering Christ, letting themselves be caught up in and guided by his love, enlarges the horizons of existence, gives it a firm hope which will not disappoint. Faith is no refuge for the fainthearted, but something which enhances our lives. It makes us aware of a magnificent calling, the vocation of love. It assures us that this love is trustworthy and worth embracing, for it is based on God’s faithfulness which is stronger than our every weakness.
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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Final chance to stop anti-marriage bill

The "same-sex marriage" bill is in its final stages. Peers (members of the House of Lords) will debate the bill again on Monday 8 July and Wednesday 10 July, and finally on Monday 15 July. MPs are likely to consider the Lords amendments to the Bill on 16 or 17 July.

Action:

Please email/write to:
1) Peers
and
2) your MP
asking them and the government to stop the efforts to undermine marriage. This may be our last chance to lobby against the damaging (anti-)Marriage Same-Sex Couples bill reaching the statute book.

If you have previously volunteered for our Adopt a Peer project, please write to your allotted Peer. Otherwise please email political@spuc.org.uk with "Peers to Lobby" in the subject line and we will send you a suggested list of Peers to contact.  To confirm the name of your MP, visit www.spuc.org.uk/mps  - you can email your MP via the same webpage. To write to MPs by post the address is House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA. You can also telephone MPs via the House of Commons switchboard on 020 7219 3000.

Why oppose the redefinition of marriage:
  • Marriages will be weakened, and will come to seem pointless to many young couples
  • More unborn children will be conceived outside the protection of marriage, leaving them at greater risk of abortion
  • Schools will be made to teach counterfeit marriage
  • The central promises of marriage (about loyalty and faithfulness for life) will receive even less recognition and legal support than at present – damaging existing marriages
  • Clergy and other church representatives will come under attack if they uphold real marriage.
The government claims that the bill would make marriage stronger, and Peers and MPs have said that calling homosexual or lesbian couples "married" won’t affect others. 

However, during the House of Lords debate, Baroness Stowell, the Minister for the bill, said:
"marriage does not require the fidelity of couples. It is open to each couple to decide for themselves on the importance of fidelity within their own relationship."
She was referring here to real (i.e. man-woman) marriages.

Baroness Stowell’s view of the law is highly questionable, and it belittles the importance of fidelity. She was attacking the promise which is at the heart of marriage in law, religion and society. This statement suggests that wider moves to undermine lasting, faithful marriages could follow in future. Please speak out and pray now for this bill to be stopped.

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Please support national petition opposing school lessons in pornography

SPUC has launched a petition to protect school children from the latest anti-life idea - pornography lessons in the classroom.

These lessons are not about how to avoid pornography, they are about dangling porn in front of young school pupils and encouraging them to embrace it in their lives.

Porn lessons are being promoted by the Sex Education Forum (SEF). The SEF is a broad coalition of pro-abortion and anti-family groups with strong ‘establishment’ support and wants sex education to be made compulsory in schools.

Pornography harms young children (and others). As well as making them vulnerable to exploitation, it spreads the kind of sexual culture that drives up abortions.

Act now:
  1. Sign the petition and collect signatures. Click here to download and print off a petition form
  2. Read our flyer explaining the move to bring pornography into schools. Click here to see the flyer
  3. Will you organise a team of people in your area to deliver this leaflet door-to-door? This is so important, we must let the public know what is going on. Please call 020 7091 7091
  4. Write to your MP today to voice your concern about pornography lessons in schools. Use our webpage to contact your MP. (Please remember to forward any replies you receive from MPs to SPUC's political department political@spuc.org.uk)
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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

I'm proud of SPUC's youth blog - read and pass it on today

I am very proud of SPUC's team of youth leaders and their blog "Why I am Pro Life". I am particularly proud about how they are leading their peers into understanding how same-sex marriage affects the pro-life battle: for example, see their posts:
People both young and old are quite capable of understanding such links between pro-family and pro-life issues. Unless, however, many more people are made aware of these links, then the pro-life movement will not be able to withstand the growing onslaught from the culture of death. So I encourage you strongly, whether you are young or old, to SPUC's youth blog and pass it on others. Below is a small selection of the many posts which have appeared on the blog since its launch in February last year:
You can sign up to receive an email alert everytime a new blogpost is published. Go to http://www.spuc.org.uk/em-signup and select "youth (including youth blog alerts)".

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Outraged Sutton parent to hold public meeting on explicit sex film shown in local primary school

A Sutton parent, Iqbal Rajah, is organising a public meeting to address the question "Sex education in primary schools: What are they teaching our children?"

The meeting will be held this Friday (5 July) at The Sports Village, Rose Hill Park, Rose Hill, Sutton, SM1 3HH, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.

Mr Rajah explained:
"My main reason for organising the meeting is to raise public awareness and empower parents to challenge inappropriate sex education in primary schools.

I was outraged after I previewed the sex education video planned to be shown to all Year 5 children aged 9/10 - including my son - at Devonshire Primary School. The particular video I saw promoted exploration of the male and female sex organs in children, with a narrator explaining it 'feels nice'.

I was horrified even further when I took this matter up with the headteacher, only to be told that, whilst he felt uncomfortable discussing it with me, he fully endorsed the Channel 4 sex education teaching programme 'Living & Growing'. I am not against sex education but believe in age-appropriate sex education. We, as parents know our children best."
Mr Rajah has invited Antonia Tully of SPUC's Safe at School campaign to speak at the meeting, along with Mr Yusuf Patel of SREIslamic.

Mrs Tully said:
"Parents are naturally shocked when they see the graphic cartoon depiction of sexual intercourse which is included in this programme. There is no evidence that this sort of provocative material benefits young children. In addition there is no evidence that showing primary-aged children graphic sexual material reduces teenage pregnancies."
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Monday, 1 July 2013

Must-read pro-life news-stories, Mon 1 July

Top stories:

Mitochondrial research will cost lives
Mitochondrial research will cost lives, says SPUC. SPUC was responding to the announcement by Professor Dame Sally Davies, the government's chief medical officer that the government intends to bring forth draft regulations to allow the abnormal creation of human embryos in order to address mitochondrial diseases. In a statement, Dame Sally described the research as "life-saving treatment". A spokesman for SPUC responded: "In fact, the vast majority of embryonic children created in the laboratory are killed because they do not meet the 'quality control' requirements dictated by scientists involved in such increasingly macabre experiments. Also, over the past 20 years, proponents of human embryo experimentation have repeatedly claimed that such research offered the promise - and perhaps the only hope - of finding treatments for serious diseases. The public has been repeatedly misled. It is the biotech industry's excuse to create a genetically manipulated baby." [SPUC, 28 June]
Paul Tully, SPUC's general-secretary, told ITV News: "We're concerned that we are replacing what we know to be defective DNA in the embryos that we don't like with what we think is good DNA - but we can't be sure. Putting the money into this kind of research is denying funding to research which is needed and ongoing to help people with mitochondrial diseases and other diseases in other ways. We've seen the same thing before with stem cell research, we've seen it with IVF - promises that using embryos will lead to advances but come to nothing." [ITV, 28 June]

Tower Hamlets Council gets it wrong over teaching children about sex in science lessons
“Keep sex out of science lessons” was the key message from a demonstration of parents outside Arnhem Wharf Primary school in east London, organised by Tower Hamlets Parents' Action Group – SRE, and supported by SPUC Safe at School. 80 parents (pictured - click photo for high resolution) gathered outside the school between 2-3pm last Wednesday at exactly the time when Year 6 children inside the school were being shown sexually-explicit images in a science lesson from which their parents were unable to withdraw them. [SPUC, 27 June]

Other stories:

Abortion
Embryology
Euthanasia
  • Notorious child killer's suicide bid blocked after insanity reconfirmed [Mirror, 28 June]
Population
Sexual ethics
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