March 20, 2019

Positivity: Directors speak of ‘spiritual warfare’ while making pro-life film

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Los Angeles:

Mar 19, 2019 / 01:00 pm

The writers and co-directors of the upcoming film “Unplanned” have spoken of how they prepared for a “spiritual battle” to make the pro-life film in the hopes that it will change hearts and minds through it groundbreaking depiction of the abortion process.

“We, from the beginning, knew that it would be spiritual battle, spiritual warfare. It was prophesied over us that this is not a normal movie,” co-director Cary Solomon told CNA in an interview following a screening for press on March 18.

“Unplanned” dramatizes the truth-life account of Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson’s decision to leave the organization and become a pro-life campaigner.

Solomon and co-director Chuck Konzelman told CNA that they arranged for a priest to exorcise the set, and bless the cast and props.

“We tried to do Mass and adoration as much as we could,” said Solomon. For the Evangelical Christians involved in making the film, similar spiritual guidance was offered.

Despite anticipating the usual stresses of the production process, Konzelman and Solomon told CNA that they found “profound moments of tremendous peace” on set, which is atypical of the movie-making industry.

“It was amazing. We didn’t have any problems that you would normally have on a movie,” said Solomon. Konzelman agreed, and added that the set of “Unplanned” was “the calmest set [he’s] ever been on.”

“There was no screaming, there was no tension–the average day would have no incident,” said Konzelman. “That’s just not normal in filmmaking.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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March 19, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (031919)

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March 18, 2019

Monday (Moderated) Open Thread (031819)

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Positivity: 31 Babies Saved From Abortion During First Week of 40 Days for Life Prayer Campaign

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

MAR 11, 2019, 10:09AM

On a rainy Memphis day, an abortion-bound couple refused assistance from a trained sidewalk counselor named Tara. But before long, the man exited Planned Parenthood, offering to help shield vigil participants’ materials from the rain.

Was he really that concerned about keeping some pro-life brochures dry? Or was he hoping to have his mind changed about abortion?
Either way, Tara gladly used the opportunity to tell him all about the support available to help the couple choose life. The man said he would try to change the woman’s mind, but when a half hour passed, hope began to fade.

Finally, they emerged from Planned Parenthood and announced they had decided against abortion!

By this point, Tara had been relieved by a new sidewalk counselor named Bethany (second from right in the photo above). On her very FIRST week of sidewalk counseling, she walked the couple over to the pregnancy center and was even invited to see the ultrasound.

“Praise Jesus!” Jessie, the Memphis leader, said. “Suddenly, the rain doesn’t seem so bad!” …

Go here for two other success stories.

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March 17, 2019

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (031719)

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Positivity: The Story of St. Patrick

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

This post is a BizzyBlog tradition.

_______________________________________________________

The saint who is supposed to be the reason for all the merrymaking today was the man who converted an entire island country to Catholicism:

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world’s most popular saints.

Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone’s Irish.

There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.” “I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him “We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.”

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in IrelandMarch 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick’s message.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

Why a shamrock?

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps:

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

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March 16, 2019

Saturday (Moderated) Open Thread (031619)

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Positivity: Federal Court Upholds Ohio Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Columbus, Ohio, via Life News:

MAR 12, 2019, 12:32PM

In a major pro-life victory today, a federal court has upheld an Ohio law that defunds Planned Parenthood, which runs approximately one-third of the abortion centers in the Buckeye State.

After the Planned Parenthood abortion company was caught in multiple states selling aborted babies and their body parts, several states took steps to de-fund it and Ohio became the 10th state at the time to take steps to end or cut Planned Parenthood funding. Then Ohio Governor John Kasich signed the pro-life bill into law.

Planned Parenthood runs three abortion centers in the state and every Planned Parenthood clinic refers women for abortions.

Tuesday, a federal court gave pro-life Gov. Mike DeWine the ability to enforce the defunding law (excerpted from the Columbus Dispatch):

In a decision written by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, the court struck down a ruling last year by a three-judge panel of the same appeals court that concluded the law was unconstitutional.

The ruling by full the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was 11-to-6. As state attorney general last year, DeWine had asked the full court to consider the case after decision by the three-judge panel.

Sutton, Ohio’s former state solicitor, wrote that the Ohio law does “not violate a woman’s right to obtain an abortion. It does not condition a woman’s access to any of these public health programs on refusing to obtain an abortion.”

“It makes these programs available to every woman, whether she seeks an abortion or not,” Sutton wrote. “Nor, on this record, has there been any showing that the Ohio law will limit the number of clinics that offer abortions in the state.”

The Planned Parenthood abortion company was required to show that the law somehow burdened women’s health but it was not able to prove that was the case, since plenty of legitimate medical centers exist that provide non-abortion health care for women. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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March 15, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (031519)

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Positivity: Heartbeat abortion bans move forward in Tennessee, Georgia

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Atlanta:

Mar 12, 2019 / 12:09 am

Lawmakers in Georgia and Tennessee have advanced bills that would ban most abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Should they become law, both are expected to face legal challenges, as courts have historically ruled similar laws unconstitutional.

House Bill 481 passed the Georgia House by a vote of 93-73 last Thursday and now moves to the Senate, according to WSB-TV Atlanta. Governor Brian Kemp released a video message supporting the bill shortly after its passage.

The bill includes exceptions for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest— which would be demonstrated by a police report filed by the woman— as well as when a pregnancy is deemed to threaten the life of the mother or to be “medically futile.”

The Georgia Health and Human Services Committee tabled a second piece of legislation that would have created a “trigger law” to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that found a Constitutional right to abortion, is overturned by the Supreme Court.

Georgia House Democrats turned their back on Republican Rep. Ed Setzler as he introduced the heartbeat bill in the house chamber. Several Democrats had already walked out in protest of the bill.

In Tennessee, House Bill 77 passed the legislature 65-21 the same day and continues to the Senate. Gov. Bill Lee has said he will sign the heartbeat bill into law if it makes it to his desk. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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March 14, 2019

Thursday (Moderated) Open Thread (031419)

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Positivity: Masterpiece Cake Shop’s Jack Phillips — ‘Can I just be a cake artist again?’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Denver, Colorado, published in the Denver Post (HT Catholic News Agency):

March 8, 2019 at 12:47 pm

I’ve spent the last six-plus years asking Colorado officials to return something they stole from me: my freedom.

For decades, I was just a cake artist. I opened Masterpiece Cakeshop in 1993. And each day since then, I have focused my artistic talents on creating custom cakes — talents that I developed through countless art classes and years of practice. I have used my skills as a designer, sculptor, and painter to build Masterpiece Cakeshop into an “art gallery of cakes.”

But in 2012, I became more than an artist. I became a target of Colorado officials who were unabashedly hostile to my faith.

Commissioner Diann Rice blasted my (and your) constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom as a “despicable piece of rhetoric.” She and her colleagues forced me out of the wedding industry, costing me 40 percent of my business. In their eyes, it seemed, my religious beliefs were incompatible with participation in a tolerant society.

In other words, my beliefs were intolerable.

Not everyone agreed, thankfully. In December 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard my case, and Justice Anthony Kennedy reminded the parties — and the world — that “tolerance is essential in a free society.” He criticized Colorado officials, stating they had been “neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’s religious beliefs.” And in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in my favor, with Justice Kennedy again chastising the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for its “clear and impermissible hostility toward [my] sincere religious beliefs.”

I was vindicated, or so I thought. I hoped that I could return to being just a cake artist.

But Colorado officials weren’t done. They continued their campaign of harassment, notifying me that they believed I had violated Colorado’s public accommodation law by declining a request from an attorney to create a custom cake with a pink and blue design celebrating a “gender transition” from male to female.

Once again, I prepared for another legal battle. But this time, I wasn’t going to sit back and allow the state to prosecute me without a fight. I decided to push back. Through my attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, I filed a lawsuit against the director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, the commissioners on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and other state officials. I did this because no one should be driven out of business because of their religious beliefs.

Those legal proceedings revealed an even deeper hostility toward my faith than previously known. My attorneys quickly learned that one state commissioner called me a “hater” on Twitter. Then, just last week, we found out that two other commissioners had publicly endorsed Commissioner Rice’s anti-religious statements. Soon after this, Colorado officials agreed to drop their most recent case against me.

I hope this is the end of my legal battles, and that I can return to my quiet life as a cake artist. I love creating my cake art for all people. What I can’t do is create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with my religious beliefs.

And that should be OK because a truly tolerant society tolerates different convictions. The First Amendment protects the peaceful exercise of my beliefs, and it protects my choice of what not to say and what not to celebrate. It protects you as well.

I lost the right to live out my freedom for nearly seven years. I don’t want that to happen to anyone else.

Here’s hoping that we as a nation learn to tolerate and respect our differing beliefs and that governments stop harassing people whose faith they dislike. If that happens, then maybe, just maybe, I can go back to being just a cake artist.

Go here for the rest of the story.

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March 13, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (031319)

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Positivity: Catholic soldier posthumously awarded Medal of Honor

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Mar 12, 2019 / 01:38 pm

President Donald Trump will award the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins, who was killed on June 1, 2007, after tackling a suicide bomber in Al Yusufiyah, Iraq.

The White House announced March 12 that the Medal of Honor would be posthumously awarded to Atkins, a Catholic, on March 27, 2019. Atkins’ son, Trevor Oliver, and other members of his family, will be present at the White House for the ceremony.

“Staff Sergeant Atkins’ heroic actions, at the cost of his life, saved the lives of three of his teammates,” said a statement from the White House.

Atkins, a native of Montana, was a member of the 10th Mountain Division out of Ft. Drum, NY. He was killed during his second tour of duty in Iraq, aged 31. He had enlisted in the army in November of 2000, and first deployed to Iraq in 2003. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant, and re-enlisted in 2005. He was deployed again in 2006. Exactly a month before he was killed, he was promoted to Staff Sergeant.

On the day he died, Atkins engaged in hand-to-hand combat with an insurgent. When he realized that the insurgent was trying to detonate an explosive vest strapped to his body, Atkins tackled the man and shielded other soldiers from the explosion.

At his funeral Mass at Bozeman’s Resurrection Parish, Fr. Val Zdilla praised Atkins for the heroism displayed in his lact actions on earth.

“Human lives were saved by his heroic action that can never be forgotten or denied,” said Zdilla. He described Atkins as someone who truly lived out his calling in life by serving in the military.

“We now remember Travis and how his life made a difference,” he said. “He was this nation’s son.”

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Atkins was also awarded a Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and Air Assault Badge. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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March 12, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (031219)

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