World Down Syndrome Day: Dear Future Mom

So if you guys were not aware, March 21st was World Down Syndrome Day! I love when this day rolls around. You see my brother is autistic. His life has been joyous and brought about its own difficulties but all in all, he is a blessing! He also has gotten us rather involved in Special Olympics and some of his closest friends are autistic or have down syndrome. As a result, I have gotten to know some amazing human beings who are classified as having Downs. So when this day comes around, I just love celebrating.

Why celebrate? Because life is amazing and I want this day to be a happy day where I can educate others about the love and preciousness of individuals with Down syndrome. I cannot do it quite as well as this video though. I love it’s positive message. It is a video directed towards a scared new mom whose child will have downs. Check it out!

The statistics can be found here.  It’s clear children who are diagnosed with down-syndrome are in drastic danger.  But I want to make this point: What is more tragic? A massive number of deaths? Or the concept itself, that someone with a mental disability is worth less than the “normal” or “average” person? When did we become such tyrants deciding to end life because it doesn’t match out perfect or ideal picture of happiness? Watch that video again and consider this fact: ALL life is worthy of dignity and love. Happy World Down Syndrome Day. Celebrate Life.

More Black Babies aborted vs born in NYC

According to a recent report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene more black babies are aborted then are actually born in New York City.  31,328 were aborted in New York City in the year 2012 while only 24,758 were born.  These numbers are staggering.  To think that more abortions are occurring on a specific race then live births is not only heartbreaking but makes one wonder if the act of abortion could be racially motivated.

We know that Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger was a racist, who once said, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…” We also know that most abortion facilities are located in black and minority neighborhoods.  Are these strategically placed to fulfill Margaret Sanger’s wishes?  I don’t know.  But what we do know is that abortion kills people, and its killing a higher percentage of black and minority babies than it is white.

The report is entitled, Summary of Vital Statistics 2012 The City of New York, Pregnancy Outcomes, and was prepared by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Statistics and can be found here.

 

Signs at NARAL PRO-CHOICE America’s “My Birth Control Is Not My Boss’s Business! Rally”

This morning I attended the “Prayer and Rally at the Supreme Court for Religious Freedom.”  Here, I not only attended but I also provided the sound system for the rally and I got to listen to some amazing speakers – including my wife!  For those of you who don’t know Hobby Lobby is suing Kathleen Sibelius for attempting to force them and all employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control.  Birth control is one thing, but many forms of birth control can cause abortion – in other words, they are abortifacient.  Therefore, in the name of “health care” and “birth control” the Obama administration is forcing employers to pay for their employees abortifacients.  This goes against the religious and conscience convictions of many Americans, including Hobby Lobby.

Next to our rally was another rally in support of forcing Hobby Lobby and all employers to provide health insurance that covers / pays for birth control including abortifacients.  The event was called, “My Birth Control Is Not My Boss’s Business! Rally.”  I found the name of the rally and the whole meaning of it not really making much sense.  If birth control is not their boss’s business, then why are they attempting to force their boss to provide to them health insurance coverage that provides them their birth control / abortifacients even against their religious / conscience convictions?  Doesn’t that in and of itself MAKE IT THEIR BUSINESS?  Just doesn’t make sense.

Regardless, below are some pictures I took of their signs and in some cases, some pithy remarks from me!  ENJOY!  Oh, and feel free to comment your thoughts on this topic and/or their signs.

NotBossBiz403

 

This was the main messaging and the main sign.  Again, if it’s not your boss’s business, then why are you making him/her pay for it?  That in and of itself makes your birth control his/her business.  Forcing your boss to go against their religious/conscience convictions is offensive, out of touch and definitely out-of-bounds.

NotBossBizb403

 

No, it’s not your healthcare if you make someone else pay for it.  No, it shouldn’t be your decision to force your boss to go against their religious / conscience convictions to pay for your birth control / abortifacients.

 

BossBedroomClever, and I agree of course if it’s consenting and your boss or employee is your spouse!  But I don’t think that’s what they mean.  By forcing your employer to pay for your health insurance plan that covers your birth control / abortifacients against your employers religious / conscience convictions you have already invited your boss into your bedroom.

 

hobbychurchThis one is funny, because it’s so ridiculous. Hobby Lobby doesn’t have church services in their stores.  Actually, they are closed on Sundays – you know, the day MOST churches hold church services.  Maybe because this is sponsored by Americans for the Separation of Church and State.  They should probably research what a church is before they wish it to be separate from the state.  And how is Hobby Lobby part of the state?  And how is forcing Hobby Lobby to go against its religious / conscience convictions by providing health care the covers their employees birth control / abortifacients ok?

 

99percent

This is a fun one.  First of all, no one there could site a source to prove 99% of Catholic women use birth control.  Now I’m not Catholic but my understanding is natural forms of birth control are acceptable, contraception is not while abortifacient drugs and obviously abortion in and of itself a major NO NO!  Regardless, rally attendees kept chanting, “We are the 99 percent.”  So, I’m not sure were they all Catholic?  So I asked a few ladies what that chant meant.  I received various responses, none of them once quoted the signs that were right in front of their faces.  Some said it referred to 99% of all women are on birth control.  Some said 99% of all women will used birth control during their lifetime.  Some said 99% of all people believe using birth control is ok.  It was definitely a MIXED MESSAGE – one that was used the most but no one really even seemed to understand why they were chanting it. LOL!!!

 

mybusiness

You are right, it is your business!  But when you force others to pay for it, it then becomes their business as well.  If you want it to remain your business, then, well keep it your business.  Pay for it YOURSELF!

 

mybusiness2

It WAS your business.  Now it’s not.  I draw the line at forcing others to pay for it.  Now it’s not your business.  SORRY!!

 

healthcare

I can understand this, to a point.  Some forms of contraception are abortifacient.  Aborting human embryos is, well not health care for those people.  Not sure how forcing employers to pay for it is health care.

 

mybodyYes it is! Employers also have bodies! And religious /conscience convictions as well.  Let’s not forget that, ok?!!?

 

discrimination So it’s not discrimination to force employers to violate their religious / conscience convictions? You need to be consistent, guys.

You get the point.  We could go on and on and have lots of fun!  There were lots of crazy signs, officially from organizations and organizers to even crazier homemade signs.  I’ll post the rest below in a slide show.

Next time, if you ever have a chance to join us for a pro-life rally at the U.S. Supreme Court you HAVE TO BE THERE.  It is not only very important to have your support and to show abortion sympathizers as well as the mainstream media and DC politicians, but it is also a great way to get experience with “on the streets” form of activism.  It is very eye-opening and can be lots of fun as well.

Hope you enjoy the photos, let me know what you think!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Can you come to DC tomorrow morning?

Tomorrow morning, March 25th, we will be at the steps of the Supreme Court joining a rally and I hope you can join us!
Tomorrow we must be there as the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius — the first two cases on the HHS Mandate to reach the high court.

As you know, the HHS Mandate is one of the most controversial parts of Obamacare. It forces employers, pro-life companies, to provide FREE abortion-inducing drugs in their health plans — without any regard to their religious or moral objections.

The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the Hahn family, owners of Conestoga, are standing for ALL of us who cherish religious and conscience freedom and the sanctity of life by challenging the HHS Mandate in court.

Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other abortion supporting groups are planning a HUGE rally of their own outside the court, so it’s URGENT that those of us who cherish LIFE!, religious freedom and conscience rights to show up and support the Green and Hahn families.

Here are the details:

EVENT: Religious Freedom Rally at the Supreme Court

WHEN: Tuesday, March 25, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

WHERE: U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St NE, Washington D.C.

We’ll be meeting on First Street, right in front of the court steps. You can get a map and more details here: www.facebook.com/events/204627633079260/

Please make every effort to make it out to the steps of the Supreme Court tomorrow. The prayer vigil starts at 9:30 a.m., but many supporters will be showing up at 8 a.m. to counter-protest a big rally by Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates.

I hope I’ll see you there!

142 lives saved!

The 40 Days for Life campaign has announced that as of the 13th day they have seen 142 babies lives spared from abortion.  Prayer, fasting and public witness works – it saves lives!

There is still plenty of time to get involved in your local 40 Days for Life campaign.  Click here to find one near you!

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards doesn’t know when life begins…or doesn’t care.

CecilleIDK

So on Thursday the big pink president Cecile Richards appeared on America with Jorge Ramos. On the show she was asked when life starts. Her reply?

IDKgirl

She claimed to not know. For reals, this is the first part of what she said:
“This is a question that I think will be debated through the centuries,”

So the beginning of life is, according to Cece, a huge mystery! It’s likely going to keep the philosophers busy!

All joking aside, let’s pause here for a moment. The leader of the biggest abortion provider is claiming she DOESN’T know when life begins. Does that sound crazy to anyone else who uses common sense?

Hold on. Maybe I need to let you read what she went on to say:

“It is not something that I feel like is really part of this conversation,” she said, stuttering and clearly shaken. “I think every woman needs to make her own decision.”

Wait, what?
huh

Let’s stop again folks. So NOW the PP Prez is saying that it does not matter when life begins. Ok, this is a whole new level of nuts. Let me lay it out for you (because my brain is rather sporadic. Blame it on the caffeine.) Ok,so let’s say that’s true. Let’s say science doesn’t exist and we don’t know when human life begins. I’m going to use a good analogy I once heard. Let’s say you’re driving down a road late at night. You’re tired and it’s been a long trip. Ahead of you, you see what seems to just be an old coat someone dropped on the road. HOWEVER, there is a possibility that inside that coat there is a man! A human being! Now would you A) Drive around the coat? or B) Shrug your shoulders and barrel on ahead because there’s no way you could know for sure that a person is inside that coat? I don’t know about you but I’d play it safe and drive around.

But Cecile wasn’t finished. She finally confirmed for us when life begins! STOP THE PHILOSOPHERS! She’s got this:

“I’m the mother of three children,” she finally said. “For me, life began when I delivered them…”

Wait for it,

“…But that was my own personal, that’s my own personal decision.” End quote.

Dumbledoresigh

Back to square one, folks.

Wait, do all of you believe in facts!?

Then we have no problem here. Let me throw some knowledge at you:

Knowing when life begins is not a mystery. It’s science. Embryology specifically. Let’s start with just two non-biased medical textbooks.

“[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”

- The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2-18

“[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.” - Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2:

And there is more where that came from!. It seems we really can’t dance our way around that. Science is clear. A unique human being begins at conception. We may plead with facts. We may wish they were different in order to suit our own beliefs and wishes. But facts don’t give a crap about your wishes and dreams. They are facts!

I could go on and on but it really is that simple. Cecile Richards is being a silly goose. Because truth is: Life happens at conception. Protect it.

Ok?
Emmastone

Interview with Vince Lichlyter

VinceLichlyterI recently had the opportunity to chat with Vince Lichlyter.  Vince is a solo artist who founded the Christian Rock Band, Jonah33 – which disbanded in 2009.  On Jan. 28th released an EP Helium Revisted on Boleyn Records.

HOW PERSONAL IS THIS E.P. AND WHY?

This e.p. is very personal to me because they’re a collection of songs that have come to me over the past 5 years or so. It’s kinda like a look back to see what I’ve overcome, some views I’ve adopted, and some things I’ve gained. It’s all over the map, but it’s me, so it’s okay.

ARE YOU PRO-LIFE?

“In Him we live and move and have our being”. Life comes from God. I absolutely and fully support those I share beliefs with concerning the sanctity of life.

HOW DOES PRO-LIFE AFFECT YOU ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?

Oh, man. I’m a dad. That bond you develop with your kids is something I wish everyone could experience. We have a saying on the wall of our living room over the pictures of all our kids that says, “Every child is a story yet to be told.” Sure, it can be trying at times, but the reward for being a part of that story doesn’t have words. The thought that we are given the responsibility over one of God’s creations, one of God’s children, that’s beyond humbling.

FOT60EDWHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS RELEASE THAN ALL YOUR OTHER RELEASES WHEN YOU WERE IN THE BAND JONAH33?

Well, immediately you will notice it’s not rock. After the band broke up, it was just me and my acoustic for a while. It’s a bit more difficult to write a rock record on your couch than when you have a band to jam with. So in a way, it’s almost like I was forced out of my comfort zone into other genres of music. I had always enjoyed singer/songwriter stuff, you know, chill stuff, but when I wrote, it
always came out rock. The other big difference, I believe, is the lyrical content. The e.p. , like I talked about before, is really personal.  J33 stuff was more about addressing social issues within the church and personal issues within belief systems. So, yeah, an inside look into my life.

WHY DID YOU GUYS BREAK UP?

Um…. There are 2 answers to that. There’s the “press release” answer, which claims that we as a band felt as though we had hit the
ceiling as far as what we could accomplish, and that we were all going to pursue other passions. Which is all true, but there’s also my personal answer, which is that I spent too much time focused in on and addressing the problem instead of the Answer. I grew bitter and that was the end of it. That pretty much sums it up.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR?

Being a great husband and dad, and being that guy that never wavered In his beliefs.

Make sure to check out Vince’s facebook at www.facebook.com/vincent.lichlyter and Boleyn Records’ facebook at www.facebook.com/bol.eyn.39

It’s ok to be pro-life.

CalmYourselfHey guys, Lisa here. I want to let you in on a secret. 

Come closer.

Closer! I don’t bite.

Ok. Ready?

It’s ok to be pro-life.

Yeah, shock of the century but being pro-life isn’t controversial. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.

It’s something that just kind of hit me mentally recently. Even I have had moments where I have been hesitant or slow to mention what my views on abortion are when it comes up in conversation. If I want to get my groceries or pump my gas peacefully, sometimes I just thought it was easier to keep my mouth shut. But the fact is, it shouldn’t be some shocking thing we are afraid to say.

I have two points to make. First of all, we should not be ashamed of our belief that human beings deserve protection regardless of their size, level of development, or whether they are wanted or not. That should not be a thing that is looked down upon. But some people will do just that. They will make you feel small or silly for believing such a simple fact. We have numerous items of merchandise at rock for life that explains just how simple and logical it is to be pro-life. In case you aren’t familiar with it, here it is!

I am a human being.
I believe that other human beings,
no matter what age
deserve the right
to live, to love,
to be loved,
to be 
happy,
to be safe,
to experience every aspect of life,
both 
before & after birth.
I am pro-life.

This is a concept that should be accepted by all. Sadly, it isn’t. That is why Rock for Life exists. We educate. We explain. We make it ok to be pro-life.

The second point I wanted to make is that while there will always be pro-choice people, we are the pro-life generation! Our generation is more pro-life than generations before us that accepted abortion as a social norm. Our generation is tired of our brothers, sisters, best friends, and countless other would-be loved ones who are not here because “choice” came before love. We are tired and we are fighting back. So I wanted you guys to know it is ok to be pro-life. It’s ok to want hope for our generation instead of death. It’s ok to fight for hope too. Join us. Fight back.

Abortion facility closes! 5 total so far in 2014!

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 10.45.55 AMThe Family Planning Associates abortion facility in Montclair, California is closing!  This is the fifth known abortion facility to close in 2014 that we know of. FANTASTIC!

Additional proof that even though abortion is “legal” we can close abortion facilities by educating, being active and even praying.  It’s difficult to get an abortion if there are less and less facilities to perform them.

Big huge thanks to all of the pro-life activists who sidewalk counsel, organize pro-life awareness events and prayed for its closure.  Now its a done deal.

Click here to read more.

Little More Rock and A Little Less Roll

Screenshot 2014-02-22 at 10.27.21 PM

A little more rock, a little less roll
A little more new, a little less old
A little bit of faith, a little bit a trust
A little bit of never giving up

Stereo Skyline – A Little More Us

Dear Pro-life Movement,
A little more love and a lot less hate.

On Monday March 10th I will personally celebrate my anniversary of becoming an abortion abolitionist.  It was in early March of 2013 that I met the Rock for Life crew at the Maryland March for Life.  (Which will be held Monday March 10th this year!  More details: http://www.marylandmarchforlife.org)  I didn’t realize it then, but a new chapter in my life was just beginning.

Like a teenarger just discovering indie rock, I immersed myself in the culture.  This time, instead of dying my hair red, attending shows, and dating band guys, I went to protests, started groups, and ran the Rock for Life booth wherever a venue would have me.   In my short time of activism, I’ve discovered that pro-lifers carry the burden of a pretty hefty stereotype.  We are perceived as hateful.

Allow me to walk you through a surprisingly eye-opening event I ran last summer:

Rock for Life partnered with Maryland Right to Life at a county fair to have a booth with pro-life educational materials and sell some shirts.  A large part of our display consisted of a simple MDRTL banner, neon “I <3 Babies” tank tops, and a video clip of a 4D ultrasound for a baby at 20 weeks.  Every day that week the booth was manned by my team of passionate educated young women excitedly donning their neon tank tops.  To stay with the theme: we were ready to rock.

After the first day, it was clear what the rest of the week would have in store.  Our neighboring vendors were visibly unsettled that they were stationed next to the “controversial booth.”  I knew going in that each new face or family passing the booth had their own unique story concerning the issue of abortion.  Most people have already formed an opinion and were ready to either high five us or avoid eye contact.  One minute we received loving support and hugs from complete strangers thanking us for our brave efforts, and the next we were cursed out by an old man with a cane.  After complimenting a passerby on her Where the Wild Things Are tattoo, she shouted, “I hate you and everything you are about!”  One woman even yanked her little girl away from the booth and covered the girl’s eyes as they darted in the other direction.

So, that was Day One.  I knew the only aspect of this week-long event in my control was how our team could respond and present ourselves to the public.  So our mission was clear: be the most pleasant and loving group in that exhibit hall.  Each day when other vendors sat in the back of their booth, we stood ready to greet everyone at the aisle.  We brought the other vendors coffee and doughnuts and sparked conversation whenever possible.  We welcomed the public to “come learn about human development” or “see how they could make a difference in a young woman’s life.”  When asked, “So what is this all about?” we would respond, “We are educating young people and empowering women with the knowledge and truth about what happens in their bodies when they become pregnant.  We also connect with the local crisis pregnancy center to help support women and their children.”

Looking back on the event, I believe the woman who shielded her daughter’s eyes from the TV screen at our booth assumed the 4D ultrasound clip was a graphic image of abortion.  Why would she assume that?  Well, because that’s the image we’re most known for presenting.  Why did the old man shake a cane in my face and tell me to “mind my own damn business”?  Well, he probably needed a nap, but mostly it’s because he’s from a generation who remembers violent protesters and clinic bombings.

I may get a lot of grief for this, but some stereotypes exist for a reason.  I’ll make fun of myself to illustrate: Italian people are obsessed with food.  Totally accurate description of my Italian family.  When I visit my grandmother, the order of welcoming phrases are, “How have you been?” and then, “Are you hungry?”  Even if it’s 2am, there is freshly baked bread and half a leftover ham waiting in the fridge.  Pro-lifers are stereotypically pegged as a hateful, judgemental, and hurtful group of humans – and there’s a reason.

We can’t go back and change how the pro-life movement has presented itself in the past.  We can’t stop every extremist from being hurtful in the future.  What we can control is ourselves, and thankfully, love is quite contagious.  Certainly my team didn’t take the county fair by storm and convert every pro-abort to be pro-life, but I know we made a huge impact.  Our mission wasn’t only to show the opposition our credible scientific research or moral theology.  Our mission was also to show that pro-lifers care about women and children.  Vendors surrounding our booth (many who were admittedly “pro-choice” in varying cases) were drawn over to us, listened to our message of love and education, and signed the MDRTL petition for banning abortions after 20 weeks (when the baby feels pain).

If you’re a pro-lifer, take some time today to reflect on the way you’ve used words or presented yourself to your pro-abort friends and the public.  If you support abortion, let the record show that your opposition, the pro-life community, desperately loves and cares for all humans, born and pre-born, mothers and children – some of us may just not have shown it very well.

Claims that I’ve made in this post open a myriad of other doors for questions and topics which I am excited to address in a future post.  For now, my two-year-old is not napping, so I must stop here.

<3 Michele

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