Friday, October 24, 2014

Pro-Life News, Oct 24, 2014

Courageous Pregnant Mom With Cancer Refuses Cancer Treatment and Abortion A pregnant mom in Rhode Island knows what sacrifice means. She served her country by serving in the military and now she is willing to sacrifice her own life not just for her country but for her own unborn child. Read More at LifeNews.com

Can Someone Who is an Atheist be Pro-Life on Abortion? The fact of the matter is that most pro-life people have a religious faith. Catholics and evangelicals are strongly pro-life on abortion in the United States. But, can someone who is an atheist be pro-life on the human rights issue of our time?  Read More at LifeNews.com

She Was Told Her Son Would Be a Vegetable, Now He’s Graduating From College In 1975, Frankie MacQueen was born with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that causes impairment of motor function due to brain injury or abnormal development of the brain. Most cases of cerebral palsy are diagnosed before the age of one; and only two percent of all cases are believed to be due to a genetic cause. Read More at LifeNews.com

Tags: Pro-Life, News To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

The Real War On Women

by Judie Brown, American Life League: For the past several years the opponents of life have been hard at work convincing a gullible public that those who oppose child killing by abortion are actually waging a war on women!

These vipers working hard for the perpetuation of the culture of death say this convincingly. Over 40 years have passed since the United States Supreme Court decriminalized the killing of preborn children at any stage of their development as long as their mothers want to terminate their lives instead of nurturing these babies. And few consider the actual body count. Few contemplate the suffering and death of more than 60 million children, at least half of whom are baby girls.

But now this horrendous picture of America is going to change forever.

As president of American Life League, I am proud to tell you that a new 38-second video is the beginning of the overturning of death on demand for babies—and an end to the ongoing suffering of mothers who wrongly choose death for their child instead of life. When I first saw this video, I was moved to tears.

I cried at the sight of innumerable crosses covering rolling hills and plains. It made the cemeteries of Normandy and Arlington look miniscule. I wept at the thought that this representation of the truth about abortion did not require showing dead bodies, but merely acknowledged the truth about what abortion does to children. And I thought to myself, the fact is that IF it were not true that every single abortion results in the death of an innocent baby, I would not be watching fields of crosses roll by my eyes on the screen.

These beautiful, innocent babies were all condemned to death by their mothers. And more than half of these graves are occupied by female children. Now, I said aloud, that is the real war on women.

And that is the war that you and I fight in order to restore respect for human beings—each of them valuable and unrepeatable miracles of God.

I still shed tears of sorrow as I watch this video and I ask you to be honest. Can you watch it and remain unmoved? Or will you join us in ending the madness, the wickedness at the core of the real war on women?

Tags: war on women, video, Judie Brown, American Life League To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

Day 31: Valet Parking, Anyone? - 40 Days for Life

by Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life: So what does valet parking have to do with saving lives? More than you might expect!

You’ll find out in a moment ... in a story that shows how creative God can be when using your presence at a 40 Days for Life vigil.

You may wonder what you’ll say if someone approaches you to ask for help. But Christ told us that’s when the Holy Spirit will step in … so be not afraid!

Charleston, South Carolina
John, a 40 Days for Life volunteer, was praying outside the abortion center when a client stopped to ask him if he was the valet parking attendant. "No,” he said, “but I’d like to talk to you before you go in there!”

The woman took him up on his offer and explained that she already had two children and she wasn’t sure she could handle a third. John talked to her, reassured her, and told her about the nearby pregnancy center that could help her with all of her concerns.

The woman went into the abortion center and returned 30 or 40 minutes later, proudly showing John her ultrasound and telling him that she had decided to keep her baby. John sent her on her way with the contact information for the pregnancy center.

“This is our fifth save in Charleston so far this campaign and we are excited to see how the Lord uses the smallest opportunities to start conversations and open the hearts of these women to choose life,” said one of the local leaders. “Valet parking, anyone?”

Schenectady, New York
You don’t always hear about it, but be assured that when 40 Days for Life comes to your community, it creates an impact that often goes far beyond the sidewalk in front of the abortion center.

The local leaders in Schenectady have seen signs that the prayer presence outside Planned Parenthood can be multiplied — influencing the community ... and saving babies.

Two volunteers were praying at the vigil when a woman came up to tell how she personally had convinced three young women to change their minds about abortion – and one of them is having twins.

When she talked to the young women, she told them about “those people who are praying by Planned Parenthood” – people who were praying for these women and their babies.

On another occasion, a 40 Days for Life volunteer overheard an animated conversation about abortion … about a block down the street from the vigil site. One of the women involved in the discussion was telling the others that abortion is evil, “and that’s why people are out there praying.”

Larry, one of the Schenectady team members said, “Praise God that our presence and prayers are saving babies … even if it is through someone else!”

Tags: DAY 31, 40 Days for Life, Charleston, South Carolina, Schenectady, New York To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Christians and Politics

Point of View: Many Christians have completely abandoned responsibility when it comes to the issues of politics. The Bible applies to every area of our life: marriage, family, work, economics, government ... The Bible calls you to love your neighbor but how can you love your neighbor ... [by ignoring your government] ... we have been called to be salt and light . . . are atheist the only ones eligible to lead a country. Our founding fathers designed a country where the people would play a significant role in the decisions that were made on a national level and a state level. Or will we neglet a crumbling political world and or will we engage the political world the way God intended?

Tags: Christians, Politics, Point of View, video To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

DAY 30: A Dream Come True - 40 Days for Life

by Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life: Some moms who have chosen life at the very last moment say that when they woke up on the morning of their abortion appointment, they asked God to give them a sign that they should not have the abortion.

In most cases, a woman will ask for this sign in her prayers. In one instance, though, the mother saw the sign in her dreams!

The 40 Days for Life campaign in Flint, Michigan had been praying for a baby to be saved from abortion. But it didn't happen — until one mom’s dream literally came true!

Flint, Michigan
Teresa was praying in front of the abortion center on a very quiet day. “I wasn't really paying attention when a car pulled up next to me,” she said.

The woman in the car told Teresa that a week before, she had scheduled an abortion … and made a payment. “She was feeling very conflicted but knew her financial situation would not support another child.”

But then, the woman said, the day before the abortion, she had a dream – “joyful faces and helpful signs standing and welcoming her.” But still, she was determined to keep her appointment.

She arrived during the campaign’s midpoint rally.

“She saw her dream as reality,” Teresa said, “and our joyful, peaceful, prayerful faces and encouraging signs changed her mind! I feel so blessed to have had this amazing experience.”

White Plains, New York
“Praise God!” said Gerald in White Plans. “Every once in a while He works a miracle to strengthen our faith and validate our efforts.”

Early one morning, a young couple drove up to the abortion center – and sat in the car for about 20 minutes. Eventually, the man walked around to the other side of the car and tried to convince the woman to get out. But she didn’t budge.

He finally gave up, got back into the car and drove away … only to turn right around and come back. The same scene repeated, as the young man tried his best to get the woman out of the car and into the abortion center.

All this time, volunteers continued to quietly pray.

Finally, the man gave up again and drove away – “this time for good,” Gerald said. “The young lady never got out of the car.

Atlanta, Georgia
The 40 Days for Life team in Atlanta sent two quick, encouraging stories.

One of the volunteers spoke to a man who brought a young woman to the abortion center … pleading with that man to go inside and get her out. And he did! The woman seemed overjoyed when they left together.

A second woman arriving for an appointment told prayer volunteers she was there for an RU-486 abortion … and the facility’s staff told her that at five weeks, the baby was “just a clump of blood.” But when she saw everyone praying, “she knew this was not a good place. She did not go in!”

One of the other vigil participants said, “We give thanks to God for His powerful hand at work!

Tags: Day 30, 40 Days for Life, 2014, Flint Michigan, White Plains, New York, Atlanta, Georgia To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pro-Life News - Oct 22, 2014

Baby Born Healthy After Couple Refuses Abortion Despite Doctors’ “Fetal Abnormality” Claim When an Ireland couple, Melanie and Damion Sheenan, went in for their 20-week scan they found out some upsetting news about their baby. The doctors told them that their unborn son had severe fetal abnormalities, including a brain and spine that wasn’t formed. They were immediately advised to abort.
Read More at LifeNews.com

Woman Arrested After Bodies of Several Dead Infant Babies Found in Storage Locker Officials have made an arrest in connection with a grisly case in Canada, where local officials in Winnipeg, Canada say they have found the bodies of several dead infant babies in a storage locker. Workers at a U-Haul facility called police with the disturbing news. Read More at LifeNews.com

California Forces Churches to Directly Fund Abortions, Churches Refuse to Comply To the dismay of California’s people of faith, the California Department of Managed Health Care has reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical abortions immediately. Read More at LifeNews.com

Tags: Pro-Life. News To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

California Orders Churches To Fund Abortions — Or Else

A regulatory change in California has placed abortion in the category of ‘basic health services’ all insurance plans must cover. Even those churches buy.
by Casey Mattox, The Federalist: For the past four years, the Obama administration and its friends on the Left were careful to claim that they still strongly support religious liberty while arguing that Hobby Lobby’s Green family, Conestoga Wood Specialties’ Hahn family, and others like them must lose. Principally, they contended, religious liberty protections could not be applied to Hobby Lobby because (1) It is a for-profit corporation, (2) It isn’t a church (and thus not a true “religious employer,” and (3) It is wrong on the science—Plan B, a copper intrauterine device, et cetera, they claimed, do not cause abortions. They implied, if not claimed outright, that they would surely support religious freedom in another case, but Hobby Lobby was unworthy to claim its protections.

The State of California is now calling their bluff. California’s Department of Managed Health Care has ordered all insurance plans in the state to immediately begin covering elective abortion. Not Plan B. Not contraceptives. Elective surgical dismemberment abortion.

At the insistence of the American Civil Liberties Union, the DMHC concluded that a 40-year-old state law requiring health plans to cover “basic health services” had been misinterpreted all these decades. Every plan in the state was immediately ordered, effective August 22, to cover elective abortion. California had not even applied this test to its own state employee health plans (which covered only “medically necessary” abortions). But this novel reading was nevertheless quietly imposed on every plan in the state by fiat.

The news has slowly leaked out as insurers grappling with this change have begun quietly informing employers of this sudden change in the terms of their policy. This is how Kaiser Permanente broke the news to one California church that its insurance policy for its pastors and staff would now include elective abortion coverage:

I want to formally share with you that on August 22, 2014, the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) notified Kaiser Permanente and other affected health plans in writing regarding group contracts that exclude ‘voluntary termination of pregnancy.’

This letter made clear that the DMHC considered health care services related to the termination of pregnancies – whether or not a voluntary termination – a medically necessary basic health care service for which all health care services plans must provide coverage under the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act. You may recall that at the request of some employer groups with religious affiliations, Kaiser Permanente submitted a regulatory filing in May 2012 properly notifying the DMHC of a benefit plan option that excluded coverage of voluntary terminations of pregnancies. The DMHC did not object to this filing, permitting Kaiser Permanente to offer such a coverage contract to large group purchasers that requested it. The DMHC acknowledged that it previously permitted these contract exclusions, but now is requiring health care service plans to provide coverage of all terminations of pregnancies, effective immediately. To that end, the DMHC requires Kaiser Permanente and similar health care service plans to initiate steps to modify their plan contracts accordingly.

Effective August 22, Kaiser Permanente will comply with this regulatory mandate.
Churches Can Exclude Chemical Baby Killing, But Not Surgical
Several other California churches have received similar notices from their insurers, and others will follow. While California (like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS) exempts churches from its contraceptive mandate, there is no exception to this bureaucratic abortion mandate. This leaves California churches in the illogical and impossible position of being free to exclude contraceptives from their health plan for reasons of religious conscience but required to provide their employees with abortion coverage.

This California mandate is in blatant violation of federal law that specifically prohibits California from discriminating against health care plans on the basis that they do not cover abortion. Alliance Defending Freedom and Life Legal Defense Foundation have filed administrative complaints with the HHS Office of Civil Rights (which oversees this federal law) on behalf of individual employees and seven California churches forced into abortion coverage in violation of their conscience.

What will be the administration and the Left’s response to this unprecedented attack on religious liberty? If they couldn’t stand with Hobby Lobby because it was a for-profit business, not a church, and because they thought its conscience concern was misplaced on the abortifacient nature of Plan B, will they now demand religious liberty for churches forced to cover elective abortion? If not now for religious liberty, when?

Do the administration and the left-wing commentariat continue to see any life in the First Amendment’s religious liberty protections at all? The Left’s response to California’s abortion mandate will reveal whether their claims of respect for religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case were serious or mere fig leafs for an even more dismal view of religious liberty than they have let on.

Tags: Abortion, California, churches, Department of Managed Health Care, elective abortions, free speech, Health and Human Services, health insurance, Hobby Lobby, Kaiser Permanente, Obamacare Plan B, Religious Liberty, Casey Mattox To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

DAY 29: Small Towns And Abortion - 40 Days for Life

by Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life: Abortions don’t happen in the White House or the Supreme Court ... but in cities and towns, large and small. In fact, the abortion industry has often grown by moving into smaller communities.

Cobleskill, New York is a small town. It has around 5,000 people … stores and businesses … a regional state university campus … and a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. It’s the sort of place you might drive through and say, “Why does a nice town like this have an abortion center?”

It’s often because the abortion industry doesn’t have to ask permission to come to a town — and many times, they don’t even announce they’re coming.

But there’s a prayerful response to Planned Parenthood in Cobleskill ... and it has been anything but small.

Cobleskill, New York
“Planned Parenthood moved to their current location almost exactly two years ago and the prayer coverage for this campaign continues to grow,” said Patrick, the local leader in Cobleskill. Some of those people pray there every day. “It is so encouraging to see men and women ... pray so humbly for God’s mercy and grace to fall on the community of Cobleskill.”

Patrick said he almost gave into some negative thinking a few years ago – the idea that he didn’t know enough people in Cobleskill to put together a 40 Days for Life campaign. He admits that it isn’t always easy to stand and pray in public, “but God is honoring our willingness to humble ourselves before Him and before man.”

During this fifth 40 Days for Life vigil, Patrick has been sensing some changes around town. “There has been a noticeable shift in response to our presence outside of Planned Parenthood,” he said. “The shift is positive and having an impact on the local residents.”

The reaction of people driving by is also changing, with more people waving and smiling … with negative reactions diminishing to only a handful. “Just in the past couple of weeks I have received encouragement from several residents who stopped to talk and say they appreciate our public prayer.”

Patrick also thanked the pastor of a nearby church for allowing vigil participants to park there. The church provides a place to store campaign materials when they’re not in use.

“About one week into the campaign I was praying in front of Planned Parenthood while also enjoying my hot cup of coffee and the first car pulled up and parked in the parking lot,” Patrick said. “I knew it was an employee so I kept praying for the Holy Spirit to come in power.

He recognized the woman as someone he’d spoken to before, exchanging simple greetings of “Good morning!” or “Good night!”

“This time the Lord coordinated everything perfectly and I was able to introduce myself from across the street. She reciprocated with her name,” he said, “and we shook hands. God is moving in Cobleskill!

Tags: Day 20, 40 Days for Life, Cobleskill, New York To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pro-Life News, Oct. 21, 2014

She Immediately Regretted Taking the Abortion Pill, Doctor Reversed It Before It Killed Her Baby One of the most fascinating and little-known aspects in the debate over the RU 486 abortion pill is the fact that, in some cases, the abortion drug process may be reversible. Read More at LifeNews.com

Doctors Told Her to Abort Her Baby or She Would Die But “Something Told Me to Keep Him” Doctors told a pregnant Lisa Davison that she needed to have an abortion or both she and her unborn baby would die. But the British mom rejected their suggestion and went on to have a healthy baby. Read More at LifeNews.com

The Abortion Clinic Tried to Take Away Their Signs, These Pro-Lifers Said No Just a few days ago, an abortion worker came out to tell the prayer volunteers they had to remove their signs from the sidewalk. Heather, the 40 Days for Life leader in Austin, thinks it’s one sign in particular they don’t like. Read More at LifeNews.com

Tags: Pro-Life, News To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

CitizenLink Report: Jail the Minister

CitizenLink Team: The once-hidden goal of gay activism is becoming startlingly clear: Throw anyone who disagrees in jail. Or at the very least, run them out of business using the power of government as a weapon.

Donald and Evelyn Knapp have run a wedding chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for 25 years. They are ordained ministers who firmly believe in God’s timeless design for marriage. The ceremonies at the “Hitching Post” are clearly religious. They talk about God. They quote from the Bible. They give every couple a list of Christian books about marriage. And two good sermons to listen to.

But their community changed its “nondiscrimination” ordinance in a way that discriminates against Christians. And the courts recently changed the definition of marriage in Idaho to mean something that it never has.

The result: Donald and Evelyn got a threatening message from local officials that they either start marrying men to men, or else they could face jail time – that could extend for the rest of their lives.

In The CitizenLink Report, Stuart Shepard talks to Bruce Hausknecht about what’s happening and how the Knapps are fighting back.

Tags: CitizenLink, report, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Donald and Evelyn Knapp, weddings, Hitching Post, forcing, same sex marriage To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

DAY 28: Dark And Sterile - 40 Days for Life

by Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life: Abortion facilities try their best to nestle into a community and go unnoticed.

Sometimes, they look like ordinary buildings in an otherwise good neighborhood. Other times, however, they look like the grotesque places they really are.

When you see a shady-looking abortion facility — and then add the element of people praying out front — even someone who’s just passing by can get the idea that whatever’s going on there isn’t good.

Their dark and sterile existence is even more reason for you to be there ... for those who feel they have no other “choice” than to walk inside.

Chicago, Illinois
A vigil participant in Chicago sent in a picture of the abortion facility there, along with a note: “If you were a woman going for ‘women’s healthcare,’ would you go into a place with ugly gray plastic sheets hanging on a cyclone fence?”

The sheet-covered fence surrounds the parking lot next to the building. “It’s very scary and very, very sketchy looking,” said the volunteer.

Victor, the 40 Days for Life coordinator in Chicago, sent word that several babies have already been saved from abortion during this campaign. “Thank you for all that you do to build a culture of life,” he said.

Austin, Texas
Just a few days ago, an abortion worker came out to tell the prayer volunteers they had to remove their signs from the sidewalk. Heather, the 40 Days for Life leader in Austin, thinks it’s one sign in particular they don’t like: “Ask me about free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds."

The volunteers were ready for such a ridiculous claim, so they produced a letter signed by the police chief, stating that signs could legally be used at the vigil. The abortion worker said that didn’t matter, because “the state is overriding the city on this one.” That, of course, wasn’t accurate.

“This tells me two things,” Heather said. “One, the abortion facility is obviously behind this; how would the worker know about this supposed new sign ordinance otherwise? And two, our signs must be turning away a ton of business at the abortion facility for them to go this far!”

She added that their attorney friends are keeping on top of this so the volunteers’ rights are protected.

Atlantic City, New Jersey
The 40 Days for Life vigil is held outside an abortion center on a busy highway just outside Atlantic City. “We are reaching thousands of cars a day,” said Ethel, the local leader, “which is probably the best free advertising ever … we get so much positive response.

40 Days for Life is gathering momentum in the Atlantic City area, as more churches get involved. “Our church has amazed me,” she said, “with 8 to 10 people just from my church out there. My pastor at New Life Assembly said it’s about time we are joining the ranks!”

As the growth continues, Ethel said she knows in time there will be even more “of the Light of God to expose the darkness.”

Tags: day 28, 40 Days for Life, Chicago, Illinois, Austin, Texas, Atlantic City, New Jersey, abortion, end abortion, pray, prayer to end abortion, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

Pastors and Politics

Kerby Anderson
by Kerby Anderson, Point of View: Christians depend on their pastors for spiritual guidance. But if they are looking for guidance in how to think about cultural and political issues, most of them will be disappointed. That is what George Barna has found in his latest surveys.

Through the American Culture and Faith Institute, he has focused on what pastors believe and what they have been teaching. When it comes to cultural, social, and political issues there is often a significant disconnect. He found that an overwhelming majority of conservative pastors believe that the Bible addresses these issues. He has also found that only a small percentage of those same ministers preach on those issues.

Let's look at the big "hot button issues" of abortion and same-sex marriage. A survey of 412 theologically conservative pastors found that nearly all of them (95%) believe that the Bible addresses these two issues. But only 47 percent of those same pastors said they had preached about abortion in the last 12 month. And only 50 percent of them said they had preached a message relating to the issue of same-sex marriage.

The percentages drop much further for other issues. Most conservative pastors (96%) believe the Bible addresses environmental care, but only 14 percent have preached on the subject of care and concern for the environment. Most pastors (90%) believe the Bible deals with the subject of gambling, but only 13 percent have preached on the subject in the last 12 months.

Three-fourths of pastors (78%) believe the Bible has something to say about the immigration debate. On the other hand, only 4 percent addressed the issue of immigration in a sermon within the last year. The same could be said about government spending. Three fourths (77%) believe the Scriptures provide insight into this topic, but only 4 percent shared those insights with their congregation.

Christians in these churches deserve to hear what the Bible says about every area of life. The congregation is not well served when pastors ignore important issues and topics. Pastors should not be reticent to share biblical insights with their congregation especially when we seem to be losing the culture wars.

Tags:  Christians, Pastors, pulpit, politics, the Bible, Kerby Anderson, Point of View To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pro-Life News, Oct. 20, 2014

Mother in Coma Heard Everything, Was Scared They’d Turn Off Her Life Support Kate Allat suffered a stroke at the age of 39 and the mother spent 10 days in a coma afterwards. Now that she is past that frightful ordeal, Allat reveals in a new interview that she heard everything going on around her in her hospital room and she was fearful her life support would be turned off. Read More at LifeNews.com:

Miracle Baby Survived Because Doctors Glued Him in His Mother’s Womb Emma Ryley and her husband Paul struggled to have a baby for 15 years but they were finally able to give birth to a baby boy after doctors tried a new technique using embryo glue. The glue works by increasing the embryo’s ability to stick to the side of the womb after implantation in in-vitro fertilization. Read More at LifeNews.com:

Tags: Pro-Life, News To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

A Subpoena for Your Thoughts...

Family Research Council: Houston Mayor Annise Parker has been on quite a fishing expedition -- but it's her power that needs to be reeled in. Americans everywhere are appalled by the lesbian leader, who declared war on the First Amendment by barging into churches and demanding pastors' private communications. In a country still burning over the IRS's crackdown, Parker's missive became the subpoena heard 'round the world. Fed up with this administration's heavy-handedness, Houston has become a rallying cry for freedom-loving Americans tired of seeing their laws and liberties casually tossed aside in a liberal stampede.

"The city was counting on the fact that (its campaign) would be muddled in the court of public opinion," said Professor Matthew Wilson. "It wasn't." To this day, no one knows what the city is hoping to accomplish with the subpoenas. As Alliance Defending Freedom's Erik Stanley explained, "any information that is likely to turn up would be irrelevant to the pertinent legal matter -- which is that the mayor expressly violated the city charter by refusing to heed a certified referendum petition (on the "bathroom bill" that sparked this whole controversy)."

Obviously, Houston's leadership has one goal -- and information gathering isn't it. This is about political intimidation. But if the Mayor was hoping to scare off these churches, she'll have to try harder. Every pastor I've spoken to would go to jail before surrendering their God-given rights to preach the Truth. And as far as Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is concerned, imprisonment isn't a stretch. "I think that is a real risk," the Senator told CBN. "Some in the media ridicule that threat saying there is no danger of the government coming after pastors. That is the usual response." But he adds: "The specter of government trying to determine if what pastors preach from the pulpit meets with the policy views or political correctness of the governing authorities, that prospect is real and happening now."

Together with Attorney General Greg Abbott, Cruz is leading the Texas push-back to the city's out-of-control government. At yesterday's Houston rally, Sen. Cruz -- the son of a pastor himself -- joined church leaders to demand that Parker call off her attack dogs. "This is country that was formed centuries ago by people fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where you do not need to seek the permission of a king or queen or president...

The city of Houston has no power, no legal authority to silence the church. Caesar has no jurisdiction over the pulpit."

Now, almost a week after the story exploded across the web, the Mayor's office is only digging in deeper. Yesterday, the Mayor tried to elicit sympathy for her cause by tweeting out a hit piece on me and others from the not-so-credible Media Matters site (which, incidentally, called her sermon-grab "basic lawyering"). In a clever move, the city filed a "revised" subpoena this morning that doesn't include pastors' sermons. That head-fake might fool some, but the reality is, Houston didn't need a subpoena to access those sermons in the first place! They were already public.

In this "new" filing, she still insists on seeing speeches (isn't a sermon a speech?), private emails, texts, and other communications related to the Mayor's office and the city's "bathroom bill."

As ADF fumes, "The city of Houston still doesn't get it. It thinks that by changing nothing in its subpoenas other than to remove the word 'sermons' that it has solved the problem. That solves nothing. Even though the pastors are not parties in this lawsuit, the subpoenas still demand from them 17 different categories of information -- information that encompasses speeches made by the pastors and private communications with their church members."

While tensions boil over on the ground, Houston City Attorney (and lightning rod) David Feldman poured gasoline on the fire. "The fact that you happen to be a pastor and you happen to be at a church doesn't provide you with protection." That may be, but the fact that you're an American living under the First Amendment does.

Join us in defending that freedom -- and pastors across the country -- in a special iStandSunday simulcast, live from one of the Mayor's targets, Houston's Grace Church, on November 2 at 6:00 p.m. (CT), 7:00 p.m. (ET). Governor Mike Huckabee, David and Jason Benham and others will gather to push back against the government's intimidation campaign in Houston and across America. For more details, click over to iStand website.

Tags: Family Research Counsel, Suppoena, thoughts, church, churches, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, Houston, Texas, City Counsel, Pastors, sermon, sermon speech,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

DAY 27: 281 Lives Saved So Far - 40 Days for Life

by Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life: It’s Monday ... and that means good news! After almost four weeks of this 40 Days for Life campaign, there have been 281 babies saved from abortion – that we know of!

All credit and glory go to God alone, who has heard your prayers ... and answered them! Here are just a few examples.

Manassas, Virginia
“We heard about a young woman who came out of the abortion clinic crying,” said Ken in Manassas. As she drove past the prayer volunteers, she stopped the car, got out and came running toward them, happily shouting that she had decided to keep her baby.

“She was embraced with great joy and then she surprised everyone by grabbing a sign, holding it up proudly … and praying with her new friends,” he said. “As you can see, your presence out there is powerful ... and you never know what good might happen!

Fresno, California
Planned Parenthood after learning she was pregnant. She was in tears.

“Her boyfriend had just gotten out of jail,” said Marcos, the 40 Days for Life leader in Fresno, “and she was told by the Planned Parenthood staff that in her situation, abortion was the best alternative and would make everything better.”

The vigil participants, however, shared information about the help that is available in Fresno.

“I also talked to the boyfriend and let him know that the child is also his … and he is just as responsible for the child as she is,” he said. “We talked for a while and at the end of our conversation they seemed more at ease.”

She had intended to make an appointment for an abortion … but after hearing that she can find real, life-affirming help, she would not be going back and would keep her baby.

Marcos said, “Women often just need to know that they are not alone.

Manchester, England
John in Manchester says vigil participants give out information envelopes. The exchange can be a conversation starter … and there can be very positive results.

A woman and man arriving at the abortion facility took one of the envelopes … and when they left the building a short time later, they told the volunteers they would not be going ahead with the abortion.

“Our volunteers also gave out client envelopes and had friendly discussions with two teenagers coming for abortions,” John said.

“Feeling already uncertain, they finally wanted to keep their babies. One of the girls blew a kiss to the volunteers as she was leaving,” he said. “These saves were a welcome new experience for these particular volunteers.”

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