Christian girls and women in some countries are facing especially devastating forms of persecution according to a persecution watchdog group.
Globally, the two most-reported persecutions used against Christian women and girls globally are sexual violence and forced marriage. Both were identified by 84 per cent of respondents from the top 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian, according to Open Doors’ annual World Watch List (2020), published in mid-January.
Open Doors International releases its third Gender-Specific Religious Persecution (GSRP) report on February 24, 2020, with events in Toronto and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to follow. This report studies global patterns of persecution experienced by Christian men and women across the 50 countries on the 2020 World Watch List and reinforces that persecution is gender-specific. Even when the situation is difficult for all members of a given Christian community, the situation of women is often worse because of their additional gender-based vulnerabilities.
In the countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian (the top 11 of the World Watch List 2020), women and girls describe this persecution, at its peak, as a kind of ‘living death’ (sexual violence, forced marriage, house arrest). In these instances, sexual violence is used both as a form of control and punishment. This ‘living death’ is experienced acutely by women who are converts from another faith – such as Islam or Buddhism. While these women are physically alive, they are hidden and isolated, separated from their Christian community and Church. This isolation also results in a lack of reporting of their experiences.
Open Doors says that in every region of the world, sexual violence continues to be the most prevalent means of exerting power and control over Christian women and girls, as well as to punish them. Often this sexual violence is outside marriage; but sometimes a woman/girl is forced into an unwelcome marriage, at times even with the perpetrator himself. It is used intentionally to dishonour the Christian woman/girl and, consequently, her family and community.
Open Doors’ Global Gender Persecution Specialist, Helene Fisher, says, “This year’s report highlights the lifelong impact of the persecution women and girls suffer because of their faith. When women and girls are sexually assaulted, they endure untold mental and physical abuse while also sometimes trapped in ‘marriages’ against their will. Even if they can escape the terrors of this fate, a devastating stigma and rejection will now follow them for the rest of their life. This shame is meant to leave these women alive but with no future. Sadly, even in Christian communities, rejection is practiced out of shame and a lack of knowledge. No future for them also means they won’t be part of a future family within their religious community.”
While the forced marriage gives an appearance of respectability, it can also become merely a contract for sexual violence from which a woman cannot escape, and within which other forms of violence and pressure are exerted.
The next most common Pressure Points are physical violence and forced divorce. Physical violence is a newcomer to the top three gender-specific Pressure Points for women; instances have been reported in nearly two-thirds of the top 50 WWL countries.
Gender-specific persecution affects men, women, boys and girls alike – no demographic is spared. Across these Christian communities, however, it is women and girls who typically face the hardest circumstances of all.
Open Doors’ World Watch Research 2020 Gender-Specific Religious Persecution Report releases on February 24, 2020, in time for International Women’s Day. The report features data gathered for the 50 countries appearing in the World Watch List (WWL) 2020 for the reporting period November 1, 2018, to October 31, 2019. Data was also gathered for 23 additional World Watch countries. In response, Open Doors is recommending that action be taken by international bodies, national governments and persons of influence in spiritual positions as well as the Global Church to address the double vulnerability of women and girls from religious minorities.
Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch will be launched to Parliamentarians on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 11, 2020, with a special emphasis on the Gender-Specific Religious Persecution Report.
Heidi and her legal team have set up a CrowdJustice crowdfunding page to help raise the initial £20,000 to start legal proceedings, pay for legal advice and begin the preparation of the case. To make a contribution to the case visit: www.crowdjustice.com/case/downrightdiscrimination/
A 24-year-old woman who has Down’s syndrome has launched a landmark case against the UK Government over the current discriminatory abortion law that singles out babies with disabilities allowing abortion right through to birth for conditions including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.
Heidi Crowter has joined with Cheryl Bilsborrow from Preston, whose two-year-old son Hector has Down’s syndrome, to bring forward the case.
Currently, abortion is available up to birth in England, Wales and Scotland if the baby has a disability, including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot whereas if the baby does not have a condition, there is a 24-week time limit.
The United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ concluding observations on the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland made a key recommendation that the UK change its abortion law on disability so that it does not single out babies with disabilities. However, the Government has decided to ignore this recommendation.
The Disability Rights Commission (now the Equality and Human Rights Commission) have said that this aspect of the Abortion Act “is offensive to many people; it reinforces negative stereotypes of disability…[and] is incompatible with valuing disability and non-disability equally”.
The 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion for Disability found the vast majority of those who gave evidence believed allowing abortion up to birth on the grounds of disability is discriminatory, contrary to the spirit of the Equality Act 2010 and that it affects wider public attitudes towards discrimination. The Inquiry recommended Parliament reviews the question of allowing abortion on the grounds of disability and should consider repealing section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act which allows for it.
Boris Johnson Government is currently deciding on the abortion framework that they will introduce to Northern Ireland ahead of March 31st. The proposed framework that the Northern Ireland Office has consulted on would allow abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot. 1875 people with Down’s syndrome and their families have signed a letter to Boris Johnson urging him to ensure that selective abortion for Down’s syndrome is not introduced to Northern Ireland.
Polling has shown that the majority of people in England, Wales and Scotland feel that disability should not be a grounds for abortion at all, with only one in three people thinking it is acceptable to ban abortion for gender or race but allow it for disability.
There were 3,269 disability-selective abortions in 2018 and 618 of these were for Down’s syndrome. This represents a 42% increase in abortion for Down’s syndrome in the last ten years with figures rising from 436 in 2008.
Mothers whose children were born with a cleft lip and palate have recently spoken out in horror against the current law in England, Wales and Scotland and that the proposed abortion framework that the Conservative Government is contemplating imposing on Northern Ireland will allow babies with the condition to be aborted up to birth.
In England and Wales, the number of abortions performed on unborn babies with cleft lip and palate has accelerated in recent years.
Official figures show that the number of terminations for those with the condition has more than tripled, from 4 in 2012 to an all-time high of 15 in 2018.
Since 2011, 75 unborn babies have been aborted because they had a cleft lip and palate.
However, findings from a European register have revealed that abortions for cleft lip and palate can be over ten times more common than what is being reported.
Eurocat, which was set up to register congenital abnormalities across 23 countries, found that 157 unborn babies, with the condition, were aborted in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. The Department of Health only recorded 14 such abortions.
Joan Morris, national coordinator for Eurocat and professor of medical statistics at Queen Mary, University of London, said the group also found the number of babies aborted in 2010 for Down’s Syndrome was nearly double that recorded officially – 886 compared to 482.
The discovery suggests that the number of unborn babies being aborted because of a perceived disability is significantly higher than what is being reported.
Heidi and her legal team have set up a CrowdJustice crowdfunding page to help raise the initial £20,000 to start legal proceedings, pay for legal advice and begin the preparation of the case. To make a contribution to the case visit: www.crowdjustice.com/case/downrightdiscrimination/
Heidi Crowter, from Coventry, who has Down’s syndrome said:
“At the moment in the UK, babies can be aborted right up to birth if they are considered to be ‘seriously handicapped’. They include me in that definition of being seriously handicapped – just because I have an extra chromosome! Can you believe that?
“What it says to me is that my life just isn’t as valuable as others, and I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s downright discrimination!
“The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recently said that the United Kingdom should change its abortion law to make sure that people like me aren’t singled out because of our disabilities.
“Sadly, the Government decided to ignore their recommendations and didn’t change the law. So now, I am going to take the Government to court with other members of the Down’s syndrome community to make sure that people aren’t treated differently because of their disabilities.”
Paul Conrathe, the claimant’s solicitor from Sinclairslaw, said:
“This case addresses a matter that is fundamentally offensive and discriminatory- that unborn babies with a disability, and in this case Down’s syndrome, should be aborted up to birth. The current law reinforces negative stereotypes and attributes lesser value and dignity to people with disability.
“In bringing this landmark case the claimants seek judicial ruling that the Abortion Act 1967 impermissibly violates the dignity of people with disabilities.“
Lynn Murray, a spokesperson for Don’t Screen Us Out, said:
“By stating that disability is grounds for termination, section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act, promotes inequality. It would be totally condemned if a country’s abortion laws singled out babies on the ground of gender or skin colour, but because it’s a disability such as Down’s syndrome, that’s somehow ok? This is inequality, sanctioned, sponsored and funded by the state.
“This provision in the Abortion Act is a hangover from a time when we had totally different attitudes to the inclusion and contribution of people with disabilities. You only have to look at the discriminatory language used by all sides of the debate in Parliament when this was discussed in 1967 and 1990 to realise how far attitudes have changed. Society has moved on but the law hasn’t. It’s time it did.
“We live in a society which proclaims that we want to empower those with disabilities, and that regardless of your background, you deserve a fair and equal chance at life. We believe that our laws must reflect this narrative.”
I sat in stunned silence last year at a Washington state Senate hearing about commercial surrogacy. The bill contained 55 pages of text, full of demands and bloviations about alleged parental rights. Its goal was to limitlessly legalize commercial surrogacy through the state.
I listened as concerned citizens pointed out the many dangerous loopholes in the bill and requested amendments that would safeguard the women and children involved from potential abuse, but every request was categorically shot down as unnecessary. There were no limits whatsoever to prevent abuse:
No required background checks for prospective parents (convicted pedophiles could commission children).
No limit to the number of children any given person could order. (One millionaire from Japan has fathered at least 13 children via surrogacy. His expressed goal is to father at least 1,000 over time.)
No limit to the amount of compensation any given surrogate could receive. (Hello, money-hungry human traffickers.)
No requirements for surrogates to be Washington state residents. (Again, traffickers?)
No language preventing mentally disabled women from being exploited for commercial gain
In all 55 pages of text, there was but one solitary reference to the needs of the child. The rest was emotionally manipulative language revealing a deep-seated sense of entitlement and a devil-may-care attitude toward the myriad ethical implications for the people most greatly affected by surrogacy: the women and children.
This week, New York is slated to consider a similar bill to legalize commercial surrogacy throughout the state. Aggressively peddled through heartstrings rhetoric and celebrity endorsement, the bill is positioned as progressive and loving. Both the evangelical and secular worlds eat it up with a silver spoon. After all, children are blessings, right? Who doesn’t love babies?
Make no mistake, commercial surrogacy is anything but loving. It is the exploitation and commodification of women’s bodies and the legalized buying and selling of humans.
Women Are More Than Their Wombs
The European Parliament in Brussels has concluded that “surrogacy undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity,” and its resolution goes so far as to call surrogacy “an act of violence against women.” Even impoverished nations such as India have recently banned commercial surrogacy — a $3.3 billion annual revenue source — outright. If a poor country is willing to sacrifice $3.3 billion a year to protect women from the exploitation of commercial surrogacy, what’s our excuse?
One of the things that appeals to me most about first-wave feminism is the dogged commitment to empowering women to be seen and treated as more than sex objects or breeders. Now, in the name of compassion, we are going 180 degrees in the opposite direction. In the last month alone, I’ve seen countless headlines referring to surrogate mothers as “gestational carriers,” “a greenhouse for my seed,” and “incubators.” One gay man wrote, “What do I need women for — until I want to have kids?”
Commercial surrogacy is dehumanizing enough in theory and even more so in practice. Has anyone else noticed that the only people hiring surrogates are the wealthy or that the women they’re hiring are usually poor and desperate for money? As Jennifer Lahl, president of the Center for Bioethics and Culture, poignantly asked, “As Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcome a new baby through surrogacy, I ask you: How many times have you seen a People Magazine cover tabloid where a wealthy celebrity is offering to be a surrogate for her low-income housekeeper?”
Surrogacy Harms Real People
When these bills are considered, why is the general public so rarely invited to consider the voices of the women and children who have been harmed by surrogacy? Why aren’t they invited to hear about women like Brooke Brown or Michelle Reaves, who both died from pregnancy-related complications during surrogate pregnancies?
Why don’t they hear from Kelli Martinez, who nearly died and was left with more than $9,000 in medical debt after being a surrogate? Why don’t they listen to women like Meghan, who nearly lost her ovaries through the egg-donation process? Or from Gina or Tanya or Jessica Allen, whose nightmare stories of surrogacy ought to give the world pause?
While egg donors and surrogates are promised generous compensation, no one ever seems to warn them of the often exorbitant costs of their labors that can sometimes include permanent sterility and even death. Why doesn’t it matter that there are virtually no long-term studies on the health of surrogates and egg donors?
Why isn’t anyone talking about the fact that while the average woman produces one egg per menstrual cycle, egg donors are put into a state of ovarian hyperstimulation so they can produce as many as 30 per cycle? Why don’t we care about the long-term effects of the drugs that allow this?
Why aren’t we talking about the countless groups of donor-conceived adults who are speaking out in defense of the rights stripped from them as children, such as Nick Isel?
Don’t even get me started on the appallingly shallow requirements for egg donors: supermodel looks, high IQs, low BMIs, no history of mental health issues. Third-party reproductive efforts are increasingly normalizing a build-a-baby culture that encourages people to commission designer babies in much the same way they would commission designer handbags, through a catalog of handpicked traits and superficial standards aimed at achieving a superior product. Why does this feel reminiscent of Josef Mengele?
Parenthood Is a Privilege, Not a Right
Some people reading this will feel tremendous rage at the things I’m saying — people who are amazing parents and grandparents of children conceived through surrogacy, people whose painful experiences with infertility have led them to consider surrogacy, good people whose lives have been transformed by the unspeakable joy of children they would not otherwise know and love.
I’m sorry for any pain my words cause. Your children, grandchildren, and loved ones are priceless, valuable, and important. This article is not personal, but an assessment of the dangers, pitfalls, and ethical dilemmas inherent in the surrogacy process.
It’s an age-old story that somehow continues to recycle itself. People never seem to learn the well-documented lesson: Personal desires do not justify the exploitation of other humans. In the Genesis account of Abraham and Sarah, we see the pain of infertility leading to the use of Sarah’s handmaid Hagar as a surrogate. We also see the surrogacy narrative play out as painfully as it usually does — the surrogate mother is used, resented, and discarded with zero regard for her wellbeing.
It’s a brutal but important truth: Parenthood is a privilege, not a right. No one is entitled to other peoples’ bodies. Women’s bodies should never be for rent, and babies should never be for sale.
Kaeley Triller Haver studied English at Northwest University and puts her education to use as the communications director of a local nonprofit organization. Of all the titles she’s ever held, Kaeley considers “mom” the most significant.
In January 2020, Open Doors, an international NGO advocating on behalf of persecuted Christians, released their annual World Watch List. The World Watch List provides an assessment of 50 countries where Christians face the most severe types of persecution. At the very top of the list, the countries which show extreme levels of persecution, we see North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, India and Syria.
The World Watch List 2020 does not give much hope for the persecuted communities. Indeed, it presents a grim picture of the situation of Christians globally making it very clear that the persecution encountered by them continues to get worse. The report identifies that, “in 2020, 260 million Christians live in World Watch List top 50 countries where Christians are at risk of high, very high or extreme levels of persecution. This is up from 245 million in 2019.” The report also emphasizes some important, negative changes within global trends of the persecution of Christians. Furthermore, it identified that: “countries which had previously avoided more intense levels of persecution, such as Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso have, in the reporting period, experienced destabilizing violence, highlighting the fragile persecution context in west Africa and south Asia.”
The report suggests that we should be positive about the future for persecuted Christians globally, as “faith actors across the world are standing firm and strengthening communities against the odds. Church leaders, wider church networks and faith based non-governmental organizations provide a lifeline of care in isolated places, where no other help is forthcoming.” However, the numbers and the narrative gives a very different impression. According to the report, the situation in China continues to worsen as more and more churches in China are experiencing pressure at the hands of the Chinese state. Indeed, in the reporting period, over 5,500 churches have been destroyed, closed down or confiscated. In India, Christian minorities are subjected to extreme persecution which manifested in at least 1,445 physical attacks and death threats against Christians in 2019. In Nigeria, in 2019, approximately 1,350 Christians were killed for their faith. Indeed, these numbers do not give much hope to the persecuted.
One must acknowledge the great contribution of faith leaders across the world, standing up for the persecuted. However, it is important to recognize that their assistance can do only so much if states and international actors do not step up their game and address the issue. It is crucial to realize that more and more states are waking up to these issues, recognizing that it requires a comprehensive response.
Among others, the UK, the US, Poland and Hungary have been leading the way. However, as the issue is a global phenomenon, it requires a truly global response. The response does not only require a response after the atrocities have occurred and efforts to assist the victims, it also requires a strong response in securing justice. Indeed, impunity will only beget further crime. This is visible in many parts of the world, no least in Nigeria. In Nigeria, Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen have been perpetrating mass atrocities unabated for several years. In January 2020, a new actor (to the region) has emerged: Daesh fighters. They have been reported to have killed several Christians with a promise to continue to spill more blood without mercy.
Knowing the situation of Christians globally, it is difficult to hold hope of a better future. States and international actors must come to a conclusion, once and for all, that acts of violence as experienced by Christians (but also other religious groups) globally, will not cease on their own. Actions are required. These actions are required now.
A memorial stone is seen at the burial site of 2,411 aborted babies, whose remains were interred Feb. 12, 2020, at Southlawn Cemetery in South Bend, Ind. (Credit: CNS photo/Indiana Office of the Attorney General.)
SOUTH BEND, Indiana – A cold, gray, wintry day in South Bend seemed like an appropriate setting for the burial of 2,411 aborted babies, whose remains were interred in Southlawn Cemetery in the city Feb. 12.
The babies had been aborted between 2000 and 2003 by the late Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer, who operated abortion clinics in Indiana since the 1970s and performed an estimated 30,000 abortions before having his license revoked in 2016.
The medically preserved remains of those fetuses had been transported across state lines and stored for years on Klopfer’s Illinois property, in his garage and in the trunk of a car. The grisly discovery of the remains was made after his death Sept. 3 last year.
Neither his family nor authorities have been able to determine why Klopfer kept the remains instead of properly disposing of them. Indiana law now requires fetal remains to be cremated or buried.
Records found with the remains indicated the abortions had taken place in South Bend, Fort Wayne and Gary, so Indiana Attorney General Curtis T. Hill Jr. took possession of them.
Originally, an effort was made to determine in which city each abortion took place so that the remains could be returned home for burial. The state received several offers of burial locations, including an offer by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend for space and services at Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne.
However, Klopfer’s records were so incomplete and inaccurate that Hill’s office was unable to determine where each abortion occurred. Thus, it was decided to bury the remains together, “each connected by their common fate,” Hill explained at the burial service. South Bend was chosen as the site because it is the most central of the three cities involved.
In his opening remarks at the burial service, Hill told a somber crowd of over 200 mourners: “The shocking discovery of 2,411 medically preserved fetal remains in Illinois left in a garage and in the trunk of a car was horrifying to anyone with normal sensibilities. Regrettably, there is no shortage of depravity in our world today, including due regard for the most vulnerable among us. And so, we brought them home, back to Indiana.”
The attorney general said that not only was it Indiana law that fetal remains be buried, it was fitting and proper for the aborted babies to receive a final resting place, just as it is appropriate for any human being. He observed that people hoped it could never happen that 2,411 unborn human beings would been terminated, discarded, lost and forgotten.
“But friends, we will not forget,” Hill said. “We therefore honor and memorialize these unborn that their lives be remembered not for their brevity, but for how their discovery has impacted our collective conscience. May each of the 2,411 buried here rest in peace.”
Hill thanked Indiana, Illinois and local authorities who worked together to bring the babies to their final resting place and acknowledged the many offers of assistance by countless others across the state.
Palmer Funeral Home donated the burial space at its Southlawn Cemetery and a memorial stone, which reads: “In memory of the 2,411 precious unborn buried here on Feb. 12, 2020.” The funeral home also provided a tent with chairs for family members, chairs that remained empty during the brief burial service.
The attorney general also thanked the 200-plus mourners for coming to “personally honor and memorialize these 2,411 precious unborn who now stand as a reminder of the fragility of life and of the obligation of the state and of the nation to preserve human dignity and respect for all.”
After Hill left the podium to conduct a news conference, a multifaith prayer service took place, led by a variety of religious leaders. Among them was Father Glenn Kohrman, pastor of South Bend’s Holy Family and St. John the Baptist parishes and a board member of Catholic Charities and Right to Life Michiana.
Kohrman offered a modified version of the Catholic Church’s prayer of Commendation of an Infant Who Died Before Baptism.
Sister Agnes Marie Regan of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in Mishawaka, Indiana, attended the burial service with several of her Franciscan sisters, and probably spoke for the hundreds of mourners when she told Today’s Catholic, diocesan newspaper of Fort Wayne-South Bend, that she attended because, “These are our brothers and sisters.”
A memorial service at the gravesite will take place Feb. 23, sponsored by the right to life groups of Lake County, Michiana and Northeast Indiana.
Carey writes for Today’s Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
By Christmas Eve 2019, I was done with the lies. By God’s grace, a Portland judge granted my petition to legally restore my sex to male.
This has been a five-year ordeal. I first rose to become a transgender activist in 2015, telling The New York Times: “I now live in a world where radical, conservative politicians and religious groups routinely attack my very existence with legislation to deny me basic human rights such as a bathroom that matches my gender-identity.”
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New to identifying as a woman at that stage of my life, but indoctrinated by the peddlers of transgender ideology to believe I was one, I incorrectly believed that gaining access to female bathrooms was a human rights issue for me.
I was wrong. In hindsight, it was all part of a selfish quest to nourish my long-held sexual fantasy of being a woman—a mental disorder called autogynephilia.
Although my landmark court case was built on lies, deceit, and pseudoscience, I didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me that the sex change petition fictitiously claimed my sex was non-binary and got two doctors to say so.
It didn’t matter to me that before the brief hearing, which lasted mere minutes, my lawyer had confided that the case was essentially fixed, that the judge had a transgender child and had recently granted a sex change for a 12-year-old.
None of that mattered, because winning meant getting sweet revenge against those who I’d come to believe were harming me and stopping me from engaging in my addiction—the feminists, and conservative Christians.
Fine, I thought to myself back then. If all these parties don’t want me in female bathrooms, then I’ll help destroy the very thing they want to protect: The definition of sex as we’ve known it for over 200 years in America.
When I was finished, sex was no longer grounded to science by things like chromosomes and genitals observed at birth. It was determined by personal feelings rooted in what I would later come to realize were sex stereotypes.
It wasn’t lost on me that if I won the case and had my sex declared as non-binary (neither male nor female), and had that codified into law, then bathrooms would subsequently have to be made gender-neutral.
People who are hurt end up hurting people, so at the time I didn’t care if my actions were detrimental to women and young girls.
In my mind, by winning the case, I was sticking it to those radical feminists who had refused to accept me as one of them. Being legally no longer classified as female meant this vicious group of women could no longer accuse me of appropriating womanhood and being a caricature of a female—even if that was true (and it was).
Likewise, I intended to take revenge on the Christians, another group that had antagonized me since I’d begun donning a wig and dress and acting out sexually in public.
I didn’t know much about the Bible back then, but I knew enough to know they cherished its teaching about how God created only male and female. So I vowed to destroy that sacred belief.
When I officially “broke” the gender binary, the media circus was spectacular. Media outlets from as far away as Germany cheered me on, celebrating my victory and embracing me as their latest LGBT hero.
For me, the celebration went on for months as I entertained reporters with tales of how I was the third gender: a special combination of male biology and a female gender identity.
Of course, it was all a complete delusion, but journalists ate it up. Not once did they question me. And above all, I believed it. Having an official “X” marker on my driver’s license served as validation from the government that I was, indeed, nonbinary.
The X marker is supposed to mean “sex unspecified or indeterminate,” but that’s not what I or any of the other people getting the designation believe about ourselves. At birth, my correct sex was easily determinable by the male genitals I have always possessed.
Today, back to my senses and having legally reclaimed my male birth sex, I recognize the damage I’ve done. But my return to sanity and embrace of my male sex have caused the cheering on the left to fall silent.
Even more importantly, though, I’ve taken responsibility for the harm I have caused, for the millions of dollars spent to advance the fraud that I shamefully participated in. In church and public, I confessed my sins, and humbled myself before the Lord, pleading for Him to lift me up.
As a result, the Lord has lifted me, and I’m now getting the help I should have gotten all along.
Setting the Record Straight
In April 2019, the Department of Veterans Affairs reluctantly agreed to diagnose me with a sexual paraphilia, the true cause behind my previous sexual confusion. And in December, despite my past and who I had been, a Christian legal organization agreed to help me change my sex back to male.
On Dec. 12, a Portland attorney submitted a new sex change petition on my behalf to the very court that had once declared my sex as non-binary.
In the documents, we asked for reclamation of the male birth sex that I was correctly observed to be at birth, and for the restoration of the precious name given to me by my parents.
After receiving the news that the petition was successfully filed, I prayed. Others joined me in prayer, asking the Lord for speedy success in our endeavor. And within just a short time our prayers were answered.
In only a week, a more competent judge signed the order, ending the legal fiction behind the fraud that had allowed an X marker on drivers licenses in over a dozen states.
On Dec. 24, a courthouse clerk deposited the signed and notarized court order declaring my sex male and my name James Clifford Shupe into the postal system, with a destination of my new home state of Florida.
President Ronald Reagan taught me as a young soldier to vote with my feet, so I did, leaving Oregon with the intention of sending a clear message that I wouldn’t be party to the mutilation of children that goes on there under the guise of gender therapy.
I’m often asked what has prompted my turnabout and conversion to Christ.
The answer lies in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which also apply to other addictions, such as my compulsive sexual behavior.
I have admitted that I am powerless over my mental illness and transvestic disorder. I have accepted that my life has become unmanageable and that only a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. And I have made a conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.
During my long journey of first identifying as a female and then later non-binary, I’ve walked among the many drug and alcohol-addicted homeless people sleeping on the streets of the West Coast each night. I’ve abused my flesh in Portland sex clubs, BDSM dungeons, and adult theaters. I’ve harmed my body with cross-sex hormones and risky sexual behaviors. And I’ve dishonored my wife and my marriage vows with inexcusable transgressions, of which there are many.
It took seeing and experiencing all of that destruction and recognizing the harms of it for me to finally understand that Christianity builds stronger families, safer communities, and most importantly, a better nation.
Like the Apostle Paul, my past actions of harming Christians, and in my case also harming women and girls by entering their bathroom space, will always humble me before women, the American public, and the Lord.
Similarly, like Paul, I too will carry an irremovable thorn in my flesh. Biblical scholars are unable to agree about the type of thorn Paul carried, but for me, it is a transvestic disorder with autogynephilia—a mental disorder I will battle for the remainder of my days.
Will I stumble and fall, or relapse again as we call it in recovery? Maybe—and to be honest, I already have. Going into my detransition, I set an unrealistic goal of perfection for myself, throwing away all of my women’s clothing and vowing to never cross-dress or act out sexually again.
That proved to be disastrous because as my testosterone quickly returned, I soon relapsed into another bout of stockpiling female garments.
But no relapse like this means that I or any other male with this mental disorder is female.
Some Christians have compared my circumstances to Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade who later became a pro-life advocate.
In my non-binary court case, I lied about not being male. Similarly, McCorvey lied about being sexually assaulted. And in both cases, a loophole in state law was exploited to advance destructive medical practices. In Texas, for McCorvey, it was the right to get an abortion. For me in Oregon, it was the right to change your sex.
Both of our court cases then went on to unleash something monstrous.
Like McCorvey, because of the magnitude of my misdeeds and the amount of damage done, I sought forgiveness in the only place capable of bestowing forgiveness: the loving arms of Jesus.
Should I relapse, the correct response for others would be to promptly get me help. Civilly commit me if necessary, if the relapse has progressed to self-harm. But do not, under any circumstances, indulge my past delusions or new ones.
In Christ, I am a new creation. “The old has gone; the new has come.”
On Sept. 12 last year, a little more than a week after abortionist Dr. Ulrich Klopfer died, the medically-preserved remains of 2,246 aborted babies were found in boxes in his garage, along with patient records
Catholic News Agency
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The remains of more than two thousand aborted children discovered in a garage belonging to deceased abortionist Dr. Ulrich Klopfer will be laid to rest on Wednesday.
The remains will be buried on Wednesday at Southlawn Cemetery in South Bend, Indiana, with state Attorney General Curtis Hill scheduled to attend and address the service on behalf of the state. Representatives from Right to Life Michiana will lead a prayer service following Hill’s speech.
On Sunday, February 23, there will be an additional memorial service to honor the aborted children. That service is being jointly organized by Right to Life Michiana, Lake County Right to Life, and Right to Life Northeast Indiana.
On Sept. 12 last year, a little more than a week after Klopfer died, the medically-preserved remains of 2,246 aborted babies were found in boxes in his garage, along with patient records. Klopfer, who lived in Will County, IL, was a prolific abortionist who at one point operated three clinics throughout the state of Indiana.
In October, 2019, additional aborted children were discovered in the trunk of one of Klopfer’s cars, bringing the total to 2,411. The children were all aborted between 2000 and 2003, with the majority dating from 2000 to 2002.
During his decades-long career as an abortionist, Klopfer is estimated to have aborted more than 30,000 children. His medical license was temporarily suspended by the state of Indiana in 2015 and indefinitely in 2016, after numerous complaints were made against him to state authorities. He admitted to performing abortions on two 13 year-old girls and not reporting the cases to the state in a timely manner. His Fort Wayne clinic was reported by the state’s medical board to be “rundown,” and he charged adult patients extra for pain medication.
Klopfer also admitted to performing an abortion on a 10 year-old girl in Illinois, who had been raped by her uncle, while not reporting her case to the authorities.
In December 2019, the Indiana Attorney General’s office released a preliminary report investigating the discovery of the fetal remains. Due to Klopfer’s death, there will not be any charges filed.
“The troubling discovery of 2,411 fetal remains from Indiana abortion clinics was a shock to our state and our nation alike, and my office is proud to lead the investigation of this horrific situation to bring answers and closure to all those impacted,” Indiana Attorney Hill said in the report issued by his office.
“My office continues to work diligently on the investigation of the circumstances leading to this discovery, and I intend to provide for a dignified burial of these remains in accordance with Indiana law so these remains may finally rest in peace,” said Hill.
The report said that the preliminary investigation found that Klopfer failed to properly dispose of fetal remains as required by Indiana law.
The children were unable to be identified, said Hill at the time.
Former mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, who is currently a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president, said in September that he found the discovery to be “extremely disturbing,” and he supported an investigation. He also said that he hoped the discovery of the hoarded aborted children will not be used to further restrict abortion rights.
“I hope that it doesn’t get caught up in politics at a time when women need access to healthcare,” he added. Buttigieg has since repeated his support for abortion up until the child takes its first breath.
As mayor, Buttigieg attempted to block the construction of a crisis pregnancy center aiming to offer support to women considering abortion in South Bend. Buttigieg instead supported the operation of Whole Women’s Health, an abortion clinic operating without a license and administered by a former employee of Klopfer.
Ein junger Mann, der selbst bei einer Vergewaltigung gezeugt worden ist, lehnt eine Ausnahme vom Abtreibungsverbot ab. Das betreffe ihn und andere wie ihn, sagte er bei einer Lebensschutzkundgebung in San Francisco.
San Francisco (kath.net/lifesitenews/jg)
„Leben ist Leben, keine Ausnahmen. Leben ist ein Geschenk, keine Ausnahmen. Leben ist wertvoll, keine Ausnahmen.“ Das gelte auch für Vergewaltigungen. Wer für eine Ausnahme beim Abtreibungsverbot bei Vergewaltigungen sei, meine ihn und andere wie ihn, sagte der 30jährige Nathan beim „Westcoast Walk for Life“, einer Lebensschutzkundgebung in San Francisco am 25. Januar.
„Wie ich empfangen wurde bestimmt nicht wer ich bin“, betonte er. Was ihn geformt habe, sei die mutige Entscheidung seiner leiblichen Mutter und seiner Adoptiveltern.
Vor Nathan trat seine leibliche Mutter Kathy Folan auf. Sie erzählte die Geschichte ihrer Schwangerschaft mit Nathan, die mit einer Vergewaltigung begonnen hatte. Als sie etwa einen Monat später feststellte, dass sie schwanger war, sei sie schockiert und panisch gewesen. Gleichzeitig sei ihr die „intrinsische Würde dieses neu geschaffenen menschlichen Wesens“ deutlich geworden, „das Gott mir anvertraut hat“.
Folan war damals eine Studentin und unverheiratet. Sie entschloss sich, eine Adoptivfamilie für ihr ungeborenes Kind zu finden. Sie hatte das Glück, ein katholisches Ehepaar zu finden, dem sie Nathan einige Tage nach seiner Geburt übergeben konnte. Es sei nicht leicht gewesen, ihn abzugeben, doch als sie ihn einige Monate später bei seinen Adoptiveltern besuchte, war sie sicher, die richtige Entscheidung getroffen zu haben. Er konnte in einer Familie leben, die sie ihm nicht bieten konnte.
Nathans Schicksal und seine Entwicklung zu einem erfolgreichen Geschäftsmann und Lebensschützer stelle die weit verbreitete Ansicht in Frage, Abtreibung bei Vergewaltigung zuzulassen, sagte Folan.
Pope Francis greets a man during his weekly General Audience, January 15, 2020. (Shutterstock)
The dignity of each person “imposes a duty to never abandon anyone,” Pope Francis said.
VATICAN CITY — Warning of the modern tendency to judge human life on the basis of utility rather than dignity, Pope Francis Thursday urged the need to protect the lives of the smallest and most vulnerable.
“A society deserves the title of ‘civilized’ … if it recognizes the intangible value of human life,” Pope Francis said Jan. 30 in a meeting with the Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith (CDF).
“The current socio-cultural context is progressively eroding awareness of what makes human life precious. In fact, it is increasingly evaluated on the basis of its efficiency and usefulness, to the point of considering ‘rejected lives’ or ‘unworthy lives’ as those which do not meet this criterion,” the pope warned.
Pope Francis applauded the CDF for dedicating its plenary assembly to the topic of care for the terminally and critically ill.
“Around the patient it is necessary to create a real platform of human relationships while promoting medical treatment, open to hope, especially in those borderline situations,” he said.
The dignity of each person “imposes a duty to never abandon anyone,” Pope Francis said.
“Human life, because of its eternal destination, retains all its value and dignity in all conditions, including precariousness and fragility, and as such is always worthy of the utmost consideration,” he said.
“When illness knocks on the door of our life, the need to have someone looking us in the eye, holding our hand, showing his tenderness and taking care of us, like the Good Samaritan of the Gospel parable,” Pope Francis said.
Hospices can be places where terminally ill people are accompanied by qualified medical, psychological, and spiritual support to live with dignity, comforted by the closeness of their loved ones, the pope said.
“I hope that these centers will continue to be places where ‘therapy of dignity’ is practiced with commitment, thus nurturing love and respect for life,” he added.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the Vatican department responsible for protecting and promulgating the doctrine of the Catholic Church. It is headed by Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., and consultors include cardinals, bishops, priests, canon lawyers, and lay theologians.
Pope Francis congratulated the CDF for its publication of the document “What is Man? An Itinerary of Biblical Anthropology” by the Pontifical Biblical Commission last December.
The CDF is currently reviewing the rules for delicta graviora (the most serious crimes) outlined in the “Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutelage”, a motu proprio issued by John Paul II in 2001 on safeguarding the sanctity of the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and confession.
“I urge you to continue firmly in this task, to offer a valid contribution in an area in which the Church is directly involved in proceeding with rigor and transparency in protecting the sanctity of the sacraments and the human dignity violated, especially of the little ones,” the pope told the CDF.
“Christian doctrine is not a rigid and closed system in itself, but neither is it an ideology that changes with the passing of the seasons; it is a dynamic reality which, remaining faithful to its foundation, is renewed from generation to generation and is summed up in a face, a body and a name: the Risen Jesus Christ,” Pope Francis said.