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Back when same-sex "marriage" was the anticipated parousia of progressivism's ever-receding eschaton, social justice warriors needed a devil--a foil against whom to direct their outrage and to hold up for the public to abjure. And the most important attribute of this devil was softness. He, or it, or they, needed to be a sufficiently strawy target so as to make knocking him over simple and easy. And the social justice warriors found their target: Westboro Baptist Church (and Christian communities perceived as belonging to the same ilk).

For several years, the late Rev. Fred Phelps' hyperbolic, fire-and-brimstone, Gospel-free preaching, embodied by a tiny handful of families, became the face of religious objectors to redefining marriage held up by the liberal media. The attention given the little tiny, ultra-fundamentalist country church was out of all proportion with its size and influence in evangelicalism. But that didn't matter. The tritone highlighter-colored "GOD HATES F*GS" picket signs at soldiers' funerals were all the social justice warriors hoped Americans would remember. Here were the bigots they wanted everyone to think of when the traditional marriage movement came to mind. And judging by the unbelievable, practically overnight shift in public opinion on homosexuality, it worked.
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At The Gospel Coalition, John Stonestreet reviews Owen Strachan's new book, "The Colson Way: Loving Your Neighbor and Living with Faith in a Hostile World." It's a great piece, incorporating John's memories of Chuck as well as his thoughts on the book: Read More >
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Owen Strachan thinks there is. Read what he says here, and see if you agree with him.
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When one of the most liberal publications around is supporting Chick-fil-A against the Denver City Council's efforts to keep it out, looks like "the religion-influenced operation" has won that round and it's time for the council to find something else to be outraged about.
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In this two-part article, Ross Douthat does a great job of answering nine common objections to the pro-life position (as posed by Katha Pollitt last year after the midterm elections). His answers are thoughtful, substantive, and very thorough.
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I didn't see Russell Brand's YouTube video about porn when it came out, but my attention was caught by a statement from it that was quoted in this article: “If I had total dominion over myself, I would never look at pornography again.”

If I had total dominion over myself.

Isn't that precisely what the Sexual Revolution promised us? Sounds like it hasn't worked out too well.
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A new piece in TIME (adapted from a new book) is titled "What Two Religions Tell Us about the Modern Dating Crisis," but it could just as easily be titled "What the Modern Dating Crisis Tells Us about Religion." For instance:

"One fact that becomes apparent when studying the demographics of religion is that it is almost always the women who are more devout. Across all faiths, women are less likely than men to leave organized religion. According to the Pew Research Center, 67 percent of self-described atheists are men. Statistically speaking, an atheist meeting may be one of the best places for single women to meet available men."

For those interested in declining rates of religious belief, declining rates of marriage, or both, I would call this essential reading.
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A medical doctor who chooses to live, practice, and minister in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore with his young family has written “How to Defund Planned Parenthood” over at Christ and Pop Culture. Spoiler: His solution is to finish expanding Medicaid.

Dr. Matthew Loftus knows “that for many conservative pro-lifers, the idea of fully expanding Medicaid is icky.” He acknowledges concerns that Medicaid is imperfect, expensive, and provides morally troubling birth control. Then he challenges readers with this:
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StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer describes in the new Center for Medical Progress video the squeamishness of lab techs who don't want to be reminded of what they're dealing with. Happily for her, Dyer has no such troubling feelings.

Note: There are multiple videos on the page at the link, and earlier this morning I accidentally watched and posted about the wrong one. I apologize. The latest video is the one at the top of the page.

(Video contains no explicit footage, only graphic descriptions.)
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I had the privilege once again of helping to pick WORLD's Children's Novel of the Year for middle-school-age kids. (This year they also picked a Picture Book of the Year). Go here to see which book we chose, and why we chose it. Then you can go here to buy a copy! 

(I think you should be able to see the article with no trouble, but if you can't, getting the free trial membership should make it accessible, and you can always cancel it before the 30 days are up!)
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Because Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has been talking about Margaret Sanger's racism and eugenicism and how these tie in to Planned Parenthood's mission, The Washington Post's Janell Ross checks out his claims, and does a pretty decent job. Though she doesn't come to all the same conclusions that Carson has, she concedes that there's "some truth" there. This part is particularly enlightening:
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The Washington Post reports that thousands of pro-lifers attended Planned Parenthood protests around the nation on Saturday. The article includes plenty of tweets and photos from those who were there.

A couple of my photos taken at the protest at Falls Church, Va., are below. If you went to a protest and have stories or photos to share, you're welcome to put them or link to them in the comments section!

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A new Center for Medical Progress video was released this evening, just after a judge lifted the restraining order against videos dealing with certain meetings with StemExpress. This one shows StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer confirming that her company purchases intact fetuses. LifeNews has the video (no explicit footage).

Update: Jill Stanek reports on Facebook that this video is the preview to a "full release planned asap," according to David Daleiden.
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Maybe in your schooldays, you read the famous short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula LeGuin. I've been thinking about it a lot this summer, while watching pro-choicers react to the Center for Medical Progress videos. Women can't thrive without abortion, they claim. They will have no freedom, no agency. Their lives won't be worth living; they'll be nothing but slaves, trapped for life by the consequences of every little mistake they make. Even if the sacrifice of unborn life is a high price, it must be paid.

I don't know what LeGuin thought of abortion, but I do know this: Her tale of a utopia that is wholly dependent on a child's suffering fits the situation perfectly. Read it, think about it, and share it. I guarantee you that many in the pro-choice movement will already have heard it before; it's a well-known, award-winning story. But I also guarantee you that many of them will not have thought about it like this before -- will not have seen the real choice that lies before them, that's made so very plain in the story. Give them the chance to do it.
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“The discovery in 1828 that two drunken Irishmen had, within the space of a few months, committed sixteen murders in [Edinburgh], and had sold the bodies of all their victims to a leading anatomist for dissection, shocked the people of Scotland as no other series of crimes has ever done. . . . The city was in a state of constant terror. Children were told to keep off the streets, and families stayed indoors from long before sunset. At no time in living memory had Edinburgh’s locksmiths done such a roaring trade. Even tough laboring men took to coming home from work in groups rather than on their own. . . .” So writes Donald A. Low in “The Regency Underworld.”

In the early 1800’s, British surgical science was still in its infancy and, by law, only bodies of executed criminals could be used for dissection. The demand for research cadavers far outstripped the supply. To meet this need, “resurrectionists” illegally dug up freshly buried bodies out of cemeteries and sold them to anatomical schools, a practice known and condoned by surgeons.

In 1827, the unscrupulously enterprising William Burke and William Hare sold for dissection the corpse of a fellow lodger who had died of natural causes. Encouraged by the profit they made and the assurance by the anatomy school of more money for more corpses, they lured 16 more people to their deaths before they were discovered.

Does this MO sound familiar? It should.
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