STILL is a documentary film aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. STILL will examine the effects of a grief avoidant society and will tell the stories of individuals and families from all walks of life who have suffered the death of a baby during pregnancy or infancy:
Why? Because a Socialist dictator like Chavez is an ideological ally, while a liberty-loving conservative like Thatcher is political enemy. That should tell you all you need to know about dark and dangerous Obama’s personal ideology truly is.
This is a deliberate, public slap in the face in front of the entire international community. Obama is a small, petty, dangerous man.
President Obama declined to send a high-level delegation to Wednesday’s funeral of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher. It’s a measure of how little he values the special relationship — and a sign of his own smallness.
Back in more gracious times, vice presidents routinely attended funerals of foreign dignitaries. As such, the presence of Vice President Joe Biden — if not Obama himself — would seem fitting for as significant a U.S. ally as the late Prime Minister Thatcher, if not out of warmth of feeling, then simply to represent the U.S.’ gratitude. Thatcher’s uncompromising friendship with the U.S. helped to set off a free-market revolution, end the Cold War, and left the U.S. and U.K. the standard-bearers for freedom in the world — the very basis of the power Obama now enjoys.
But appallingly, not even Biden could be spared for the funeral of the most consequential British prime minister since Winston Churchill.
[…] This snub shows Obama places partisan politics above leadership or statecraft.
In the days leading up to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, the three networks repeatedly hyped hateful, ugly attacks on the former Prime Minister of Britain, describing her as a “polarizing,” “divisive” figure. On Rock Center, his low-rated Friday night show, Brian Williams explained that it was “sad, but necessary to report” that, while Americans may like Thatcher, “It’s been a harsh couple of days …Tonight, the number one song on iTunes in Great Britain is the Wizard of Oz classic [Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead], in this case celebrating the death of the Iron Lady.”
On Sunday’s Today, Lester Holt began by insisting, “Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is proving to be as polarizing in death as she was in life.” He, too, highlighted angry liberals in Britain gleefully playing the mocking song. Leftist journalist Martin Bashir appeared on the program to bemoan the “controversial” Thatcher. He touted, “An online campaign has pushed the song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead up towards the top of the British music charts.”
Bashir made sure to play a clip of a protester complaining, “I’m here to remember the victims, the victims of Margaret Thatcher and her society– her type of government.”
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning reporter Mark Phillips lectured, “Well, this funeral was going to be a tense and controversial affair even before [the Boston bombing.]” It was going to be “controversial’ to bury Thatcher, the woman elected three times in massive landslides?
On the April 17 Today, Keir Simmons reported live from the funeral route and deemed Thatcher a “divisive figure for many people in Britain.” He did allow that there were “many people here in the streets to pay their last respects.”
This last point, the massive outpouring of people who actually admired Thatcher, hasn’t received as much attention from the network reports.
Mrs. Thatcher’s predecessor as prime minister, the amiable but forgotten Sunny Jim Callaghan, once confided to a friend of mine that he thought Britain’s decline was irreversible and that the government’s job was to manage it as gracefully as possible. By 1979, even this modest aim seemed beyond the capabilities of the British establishment, and the nation turned to a woman who was one of the few even in a supposedly “conservative” party not to subscribe to the Callaghan thesis. She reversed the decline, at home and overseas.
[S]he understood that the biggest threat to any viable future for Britain was a unionized public sector that had awarded itself a lifestyle it wasn’t willing to earn. So she picked a fight with it, and made sure she won. In the pre-Thatcher era, union leaders were household names, mainly because they were responsible for everything your household lacked. Britain’s system of government was summed up in the unlovely phrase “beer and sandwiches at Number Ten” — which meant union grandees showing up at Downing Street to discuss what it would take to persuade them not to go on strike, and being plied with the aforementioned refreshments by a prime minister reduced to the proprietor of a seedy pub, with the Cabinet as his barmaids.
In 1990, when Mrs. Thatcher was evicted from office by her ingrate party’s act of matricide, the difference she’d made was such that in all the political panel discussions on TV that evening no producer thought to invite any union leaders. No one knew their names anymore.
What Reagan and Thatcher showed–and it is a lesson that may seem at odds with the conservative impulse that the private sector is the most significant–is what a difference political leadership can make. (Later Rudolph Giuliani showed the same thing–he was for urban policy what Reagan and Thatcher were for national policy.) They both inherited a mess: In Thatcher’s case she took over in 1979 following the “Winter of Discontent” when Britain was paralyzed by multiple strikes and high unemployment. As the Conservative advertising slogan had it, “Labour isn’t working.” Reagan, of course, took over from Jimmy Carter in the wake of the failed hostage-rescue mission and in the midst of a severe recession characterized by “stagflation.” Worst of all was a widespread loss of confidence in the future–both in Britain and America it was fashionable back then to imagine that the “the West” was finished and that the Soviet Union was ascendant.
Reagan and Thatcher would have none of it. Both were firmly outside the political and intellectual mainstream, and both were derided as simpletons for imagining that they could reverse the course of history. But that is precisely what they did–Reagan with his tax cuts (helped by Fed chairman Paul Volcker’s anti-inflationary policy) and defense spending increases which, respectively, revived the economy and restored our military power; Thatcher with her income-tax cuts, budget cuts, interest-rate hikes and her willingness to stand up to the unions, all of which revived the British economy, and her willingness to fight Argentina for the Falkland Islands, which restored British confidence.
[…] Thatcher’s challenge was all the greater given that so much of the Conservative Party remained “wet”–i.e., skeptical of her conservative principles. Eventually it was not the political opposition but her own party which toppled her, leading to a long period of Conservative wandering in the wilderness, punctuated by uninspiring rule first by John Major and now by David Cameron, neither of whom will ever be mentioned in the same breath as the Iron Lady.
Like Reagan, Thatcher was vindicated by history–and just as Reagan was praised by Bill Clinton, so she was praised by Tony Blair. She will be remembered as the greatest female ruler since Queen Elizabeth I and the greatest British prime minister since Winston Churchill.
You’d think if half a million people showed up in D.C. for ANY cause, it would generate more recognition on the evening news than a 10-second soundbite and a few dismissive remarks. With today’s media hopelessly intertwined with the Left, you’d be wrong.
Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country gathered on the National Mall to voice their opposition to legal abortion in America at the 40th annual March for Life Friday.
Standing below a banner highlighting the 55 million abortions that have occurred since the legalization of Roe v. Wade, politicians and advocates spoke against the practice and the policies that validate it.
Thinking of learning a new language? Try English – broadcast media style. Specifically, try abortion-reporting speak – a tongue as notable for the words it doesn’t use as those it does.
This year’s annual March for Life, this Friday, Jan. 25th, marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. And, though you might think it would be difficult to talk about something called the March for Life without using the word “life,” the broadcast networks have shown the utility of abortion-reporting speak. In the past 10 years, 91 percent of ABC, NBC, and CBS anchor reports on the March for Life and Roe v. Wade failed to mention the word, “life.”
In 22 reports, “life” was used just twice. The first came from NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell. O’Donnell said in a Jan. 22, 2003, “Today” segment when she introduced a “pro-life group.” The other came from CBS’ Russ Mitchell in a Jan. 22, 2007, “Early Show” report when he described a “march for life” marking the 34th Roe v. Wade anniversary.
The other 20 reports employed a variety of alternate descriptions for the March for Life and pro-life activists. The March and counter-demonstrations were rallies sponsored by both opponents and supporters of Roe v. Wade, according to NBC’s Brian Williams on Jan. 24, 2005 and his colleague Ann Curry on Jan. 22, 2007. The marchers were “opponents” (ABC’s Jake Tapper, Jan. 23, 2006), and “anti-abortion activists” (NBC’s Tom Brokaw, Jan. 22, 2003) rather than “pro-lifers” or “pro-life marchers,” as they self-describe.
The linguistic selections are far from unconscious. A recent interview by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell illustrated the “life” language prejudice pervading broadcast media. When Republican strategist Juleanna Glover identified herself as “deeply pro-life” in an interview, Mitchell interrupted, “Well, what I would call anti-abortion,” and added, “to use the term that I think is more value neutral.”
And the bias is institutionalized. Journalists should “Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice,” according to The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook’s 44th edition. Instead of making the argument about life and death or choice and constraint, AP advocates for the flat, procedural term: abortion.
Two pairs of women flanked the stage in silent contrition, their large signs talking for them: “I regret my abortion.”
It was just one of the messages shared through signs, speeches, statistics and music Sunday, as nearly 1,000 people filled Pioneer Square for the Rally for Life, marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision legalizing abortion.
Organized by Oregon Right to Life, the Oregon Family Council and the Christian News Northwest newspaper, the hourlong event, which culminated with a march to the waterfront and back, attracted families with babies in strollers and in backpacks, members of the clergy, students, senior citizens and a handful of abortion-rights activists who gathered across the street.
[…] The Most Rev. John G. Vlazny, archbishop of Portland since 1997, opened the annual gathering saying he hoped to “promote public awareness of the fragility and value of unborn life and to offer real choices to women frightened by unplanned or unwanted pregnancies.
“When all is said and done,” he continued, “we want to work to create a society where all life is welcomed and valued.”
Victims of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood in Texas that killed 13 people and wounded dozens more are outraged that the U.S. government refuses to classify it as an act of terrorism.
About 160 victims and their families released a video on Thursday describing the shooting — in which Army Maj. Nidal Hasan allegedly opened fire on a room full of soldiers — and arguing why it should be classified as a terrorist attack.
Hasan, an American-born Muslim, is accused of killing 12 soldiers and a civilian on Nov. 5, 2009, at the post’s processing center. Soldiers were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan and Iraq.
The U.S. Department of Defense has ruled the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting a case of workplace violence.
[…] Classifying the shooting as terrorism will allow the victims to receive combat-related special compensation that provides disability pay for medically retired service members, Stars and Stripes reports. Manning, who was shot six times, was recently denied such benefits.
The victims also would be eligible for Purple Hearts and medals for valor, Stars and Stripes reports.
This is for Autumn Peace, our fourth child, and all the sweet babies whose brief lives touched ours, and all the mommas whose lives have been forever changed.
Though our society denies their humanity and considers their loss a taboo subject, a mother never forgets her child. Today, we remember.
Back when Dave and I found out we were pregnant with our first, we briefly debated whether or not we should share the news until after the first trimester. I decided that if anything happened, I’d rather my friends and family know why I wasn’t myself than try to hide my grief. It was soon apparent that I couldn’t hide my morning sickness from my co-workers even if I wanted to, so it wouldn’t have been an option, anyway.
Three successful births later, with no history of complications, it never occurred to me to keep our new joy a secret. So many of my friends on Facebook had been pregnant or posting pictures of their new additions, so I had no hesitation in posting the exciting news.
Then, at my 12 week appointment, everything changed. My midwife couldn’t find a heartbeat. The next day, an ultrasound confirmed the worst. For 5 weeks, blithely unaware that my baby was already gone, I had been pondering baby names, borrowing maternity clothes for winter, budgeting and scheduling our school year for a spring delivery, and looking forward to my 1st trimester symptoms finally subsiding. I felt so foolish, as if somehow I should have known.
For the first time, I regretted having shared my pregnancy so publicly. I knew the months would pass and people would begin asking when I was going to post baby pictures. I had no choice but to let everyone know what had happened. I didn’t even know how I could find the words.
But then I had to ask myself: Why the shame? Why the embarrassment? Why, in a culture that prides itself in flaunting taboos, is miscarriage still a taboo subject? Why do so many brokenhearted mothers still feel obligated to grieve in secret? Is it because death makes our society uncomfortable? Is it because the medical community goes out of their way to use any term except “baby” when referring to our lost child, essentially robbing us of permission to grieve? Is it because we think we are the only ones going through this?
If I had lost an older child, would I have been ashamed to tell anyone? Was this child any less worthy of recognition? This was a life. A brief life, a life unseen, and not intimately known to any but me, but a life nonetheless. Despite our culture’s dismissal and even denial of such young lives cut short, they are worthy of acknowledgement and grief without shame. No mother suffering this road should have to do it alone, or made to feel as if her grief were inappropriate or should be hidden.
I went ahead and updated my Facebook status with the hard news. Then something amazing happened. I started getting messages from friends who had lost children, many of which I had never known about. They shared their stories, helped prepare me for what to expect, prayed and grieved with me as only someone who has walked the same road can do. I had never known so many of my friends had gone through this. Women who had grieved silently for years. Women who, due to distance or the years or the casual nature of our acquaintance, would never have shared so intimate and painful a sorrow, except to another whom they knew could relate. I felt as if my eyes had been opened to a sad sisterhood that I had been vaguely aware of, but never understood the full extent of, especially as it affected so many of my friends.
Even though I’ve had a few thoughtless remarks – “at least you can have another,” “you just have to move on,” and the doctor who demeaned my baby as a mere “product of conception,” the overwhelming responses I’ve received have been gracious and supportive.
Thank you, my dear sisters and friends, for reaching out and reminding me that I am not walking this road alone…none of us are alone.
I love this video from another mother who lost a baby, reminding people, it’s a “REAL” loss:
It’s important to remember. To teach our children to remember.
We were newlyweds, planning on celebrating our one-month anniversary that evening. We were awoken by a phone call from my sister-in-law, assuring us that Dave’s brother, a United flight attendant, had not been on the plane that had crashed.
We had no TV, so Dave went online to check the news and came back to tell me that a plane had crashed in New York, and someone had bombed the pentagon. “That’s impossible!” I replied. “Nobody could get near the pentagon with a bomb.”Soon we got another call: a second plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. This was no accident. I tried to check online but all the news sites were crashing from too much traffic.
We drove over to my sister-in-law’s to watch it unfold, just in time to see the first tower collapse. My blood ran cold.I remembered a documentary I had seen a couple of years before about the bombing of the USS Cole and the embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and how it had ended with an ominous warning that the man behind it – who’s name I only remembered started with an O – would most certainly strike again. I turned to Dave and said, “We’re at war.”
Eleven years later, September 11th is still a day of solemn remembrance for me. I remember the people who jumped because they had no other escape. I watch the original news footage, unvarnished by hindsight or partisan finger-pointing. I don’t want to forget the horror and demand for justice I felt that day. I don’t want to be become desensitized to the past and allow it to fade into quiet apathy. I want to remember why we fight, and how important it is to never forget that we are at war.
Sadly, this day of remembrance highlights one of the major difference between right and left in this country: namely, reverence for the sacred.
It’s a sad day for America when our leaders disrespect and exploit the sacred for their own gain. Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised at Obama’s behavior, considering the fact that he sat for 20 years listening to an America-hating pastor who’s interpretation of 9/11 was that it was “America’s chickens coming home to roost.”
Never forget where Obama’s loyalties lie, according to his own book:
Neil Armstrong was a great American: hard-working, honest, humble, a man of strong convictions, faith, and integrity. He was raised at a time when Americans were taught to love God and appreciate the heritage, freedom and opportunity of our exceptional nation.
He became a world-renown figure as the first man to walk on the surface of the moon in July 1969 – the face of America and mankind’s most incredible technological achievement. Yet, he never forgot that he was merely the most visible member of the extraordinary team that worked tirelessly to make that moment possible, and his experience only gave him greater awe for the Creator of the heavens and earth, who had given human beings the intelligence and capacity to accomplish such amazing feats.
Neil Armstrong was a quiet self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on to the moon. The modest man who had people on Earth entranced and awed from almost a quarter million miles away has died. He was 82.
Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement Saturday from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.
“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong said.
In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called “a tender moment” and left a patch commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.
“It was special and memorable but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do,” Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer in 2012.
Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.
“The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to,” Armstrong once said.
The moonwalk marked America’s victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, a 184-pound satellite that sent shock waves around the world.
Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA’s forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamor of the space program.
“I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,” he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. “And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.”
A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama’s space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before Congress and in an email to The Associated Press, Armstrong said he had “substantial reservations,” and along with more than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, he signed a letter calling the plan a “misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future.”
Armstrong’s modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.
Shortly after the men landed, Aldrin radioed NASA and asked for a moment of silence so that “each person listening in (could) contemplate the events of the last few hours.” During this quiet period, Aldrin opened little plastic packages containing bread and wine, silently read a few verses of Scripture and received communion. “It was interesting to think that the first liquid ever poured on the moon and the first food eaten there were the Christian communion,” Aldrin said later.
Only the pastor at Aldrin’s Houston Presbyterian church—and a few NASA personnel—knew that communion was happening on the moon. Why? Because the famous atheist, Madelyn Murray O’Hare, was involved in a legal fight protesting the reading of Scripture by the Apollo 8 crew. To broadcast a private communion in a very public arena might create even more challenges, and dull the luster of this accomplishment. So Aldrin was asked to “keep it quiet,” which he did.
It was twenty years before the secret was revealed.
It wasn’t a gloved-fist salute from the medal stand, but Jewish-American gymnast Aly Raisman made quite a statement yesterday by winning a gold medal and invoking the memory of the Israeli athletes killed 40 years ago in Munich.
Raisman finished first in the women’s floor exercise, but she deserves to have another medal draped around her neck for having the chutzpah to face the world and do what needed to be done and say what needed to be said.
At the same Olympic Games where bigoted organizers stubbornly refuse to honor the slain athletes with a moment of silence, 18-year-old Raisman loudly shocked observers first by winning, then by paying her own tribute to 11 sportsmen who died long before she was born.
And if that weren’t enough, she won her event with the Hebrew folk song “Hava Nagila” playing in the background.
“Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” an emotional but poised Raisman told reporters after her performance.
“But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”
Then Raisman stuck the landing.
“If there had been a moment’s silence,” the 18-year-old woman told the world, “I would have supported it and respected it.”
I served in the military for 30 years. But it was impossible to fully understand the sacrifices of our troops and their families until April 29, 2007, the day my son, First Lt. Travis Manion, was killed in Iraq.
Travis was just 26 years old when an enemy sniper’s bullet pierced his heart after he had just helped save two wounded comrades. Even though our family knew the risks of Travis fighting on the violent streets of Fallujah, being notified of his death on a warm Sunday afternoon in Doylestown, Pa., was the worst moment of our lives.
While my son’s life was relatively short, I spend every day marveling at his courage and wisdom. Before his second and final combat deployment, Travis said he wanted to go back to Iraq in order to spare a less-experienced Marine from going in his place. His words—”If not me, then who . . . “—continue to inspire me.
My son is one of thousands to die in combat since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Because of their sacrifices, as well as the heroism of previous generations, Memorial Day 2012 should have tremendous importance to our entire nation, with an impact stretching far beyond one day on the calendar.
[…] When my son died in Iraq, his U.S. Naval Academy roommate, Brendan Looney, was in the middle of BUD/S (basic underwater demolition) training to become a Navy SEAL. Devastated by his good friend’s death, Brendan called us in anguish, telling my wife and me that losing Travis was too much for him to handle during the grueling training regimen.
Lt. Brendan Looney overcame his grief to become “Honor Man” of his SEAL class, and he served in Iraq before later deploying to Afghanistan. On Sept. 21, 2010, after completing 58 combat missions, Brendan died with eight fellow warriors when their helicopter crashed in Zabul province. He was 29. Brendan and Travis now rest side-by-side in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery.
“The friendship between First Lt. Travis Manion and Lt. Brendan Looney reflects the meaning of Memorial Day: brotherhood, sacrifice, love of country,” President Obama said at Arlington on Memorial Day 2011. “And it is my fervent prayer that we may honor the memory of the fallen by living out those ideals every day of our lives, in the military and beyond.”
But the essence of our country, which makes me even prouder than the president’s speech, is the way our nation’s military families continue to serve. Even after more than a decade of war, these remarkable men and women are still stepping forward.
As the father of a fallen Marine, I hope Americans will treat this Memorial Day as more than a time for pools to open, for barbecues or for a holiday from work. It should be a solemn day to remember heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and also a stark reminder that our country is still at war.
For the Rozanskis, Snyders, Douvilles, Looneys and thousands more like us, every day is Memorial Day. If the rest of the nation joins us to renew the spirit of patriotism, service and sacrifice, perhaps America can reunite, on this day of reverence, around the men and women who risk their lives to defend it.
A religious freedom legal team has launched a Memorial Day campaign that includes the release of the music video, “Don’t Tear Me Down.” The video’s release coincides with an effort to combat opposition to the use of the Christian cross and other symbols of faith at U.S. veterans’ memorials.
“The ACLU is so driven to purge religious displays from the public square that they are continuing their attack against the unlikeliest of victims – the veterans and the memorials they built to honor their own,” said Liberty Institute President and CEO Kelly Shackelford. “We believe, if the Supreme Court grants our appeal and agrees to hear the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross case, they will rule once and for all that these veterans memorials should be exempt from the ongoing culture war over religious imagery in public displays.”
The ACLU filed suit in 2006 on behalf of Jewish War Veterans of the USA and some residents of San Diego against the Mt. Soledad cross display, which was erected in the 1950s. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in 2011 that the cross was unconstitutional. Liberty Institute appealed in 2012 and the U.S. Solicitor General joined the appeal in defense of the 29-foot memorial cross.
According to a Georgetown Law Journal study, there is a 70 percent chance the High Court will hear the case. A decision is expected in June.
“As Liberty Institute awaits the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the precedent-setting Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross case in early June, this Memorial Day we will unveil the ‘Don’t Tear Me Down’ music video to honor the sacrifice of our military men and women fighting another war to keep their precious memorials from being torn down,” officials at Liberty Institute said in a statement to The Christian Post.
The institute said the video “embodies the spirit of the movement to save America’s veterans memorials that contain religious imagery from being torn down by the ACLU and other atheist groups.”
In addition to the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross, Liberty Institute also represented the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 4 million veterans through the VFW, The American Legion and Military of the Purple Heart, as well as the Big Mountain Jesus Statue in Montana on behalf of the local Knights of Columbus who oversees the WWII monument.
LANSDOWNE, Va., April 21, 2012— Evangelical Christianity lost one of its most eloquent and influential voices today with the death of Charles W. “Chuck” Colson. The Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder died at 3:12 p.m. on Saturday from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.
A Watergate figure who emerged from the country’s worst political scandal, a vocal Christian leader and a champion for prison ministry, Colson spent the last years of his life in the dual role of leading Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, and the Colson Center, a teaching and training center focused on Christian worldview thought and application.
Colson was speaking at a Colson Center conference when he was overcome by dizziness. Quickly surrounded by friends and staff, Colson was sent to the Fairfax Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia. On March 31, he underwent two hours of surgery to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain. At times, Chuck showed encouraging indicators of a possible recovery, but his health took a decided turn, and he went to be with the Lord. His wife, Patty, and the family were with him in the last moments before he entered eternity.
Revered by his friends and supporters, Colson won the respect of those who disagreed with his religious and political views thanks to his tireless work on behalf of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. Colson maintained that the greatest joy in life for him was to see those “living monuments” to God’s grace: Prisoners transformed by the love of Jesus Christ. And thanks to the work of Colson and Prison Fellowship volunteers across the country, there are thousands of those living monuments among us today.
On Tuesday, March 27th, the live screening for Christian actor Kirk Cameron’s new documentary, Monumental: In Search of America’s Treasure, showed at select movie theaters around the country. AMC Owings Mill 17 was the Baltimore-area location for the screening. The documentary chronicles the Christian roots of the United States of America, going back to the puritans in England. The information in Monumental is something you probably did not learn in your elemenary, middle or high school years. The undeniable intention of these pilgrims coming to the new world is documented as being for the advancement of Christianity—information not widely taught today.
Cameron did his homework, globetrotting from his home to England, Holland, Texas, Plymouth and Boston, Massachusettes, as well as Washington D.C. The Christian actor visited national monuments affirming the specific mission of these early American settlers’ devotion to Christ and the church.
One of the fascinating monuments presented was theNational Monument to the Forefathers, located in Plymouth. The movie refers to it as the Matrix of Liberty. This explanation of the monument is worth the price of admission and the popcorn. The Monument to the Forefathers is a little-known statue located in what is now a residential neighborhood; it faces toward Plymouth Harbor. The 81-foot tall statue shows a woman named Faith, surrounded by four other figures. Faith’s right hand is pointing to heaven, she has a Bible in her left hand and a star, emblematic of being crowned with wisdom.
The statue also shows, four buttresses symbolizing the principles upon which the pilgrims based their new society. These principles were freedom, education, law and morality— all inextricably linked to the word of God. Noticably excited about this monument, Cameron questions why the statue isn’t showcased more, given its importance and meaning. Good question.
First things first, though . . . the first stop on Cameron’s journey was England. He learned firsthand about the puritans and the persecution they endured under the reign of King James I, a monarch who believed it was his divine right to rule as he pleased. The puritans attempts to flee the country met with failures before success. Nonetheless, the documentary’s harrowing stories of persecution presented by historical experts brought forth a real sense that God was guiding in a providential path to the New World. The character of these early Americans was brought to life, as their urgency of purpose led to their relentless fight to get away from the government-run church in England to live their lives as God ordained. It would take some twists and turns and a twelve-year stint in Holland, but the the puritans/pilgrims would eventually make it to America.
So back to America Cameron went. Texas, is where he found David Barton, the owner of the largest collection of early American documents, textbooks, and Bibles. Barton presented Cameron with artifacts stating the Congress’ intentions in spreading the Christian faith through access to family Bibles, even funding the project. The notion that the majority of America’s founding fathers were atheists, agnostics, and deists was refuted with the statistics that almost half of the founding fathers and signers of the Declaration of Independence went to Orthodox Christian seminaries.
This is a sad day for the conservative movement, and for the citizen journalist community especially. Andrew Breitbart was our hero.
I can hardly believe it. My husband came in this morning and told me while I was half asleep that Andrew Breitbart had passed. I went cold at the news and my first thought was, “they got him!” But Big Government, his website, reported that it was natural causes, and I have no reason to believe otherwise. It’s sad they even have to clarify that because such a sudden ending of such a great patriot who was so reviled by the Left naturally triggers suspicions of foul play. He was so energetic and passionate in his fight for liberty.
His speech at CPAC just a couple of weeks ago was arguably the best one of the event:
Andrew first cut his teeth as a citizen journalist at The Drudge Report, before launching his own series of websites to expose media bias, create a platform for citizen journalists to bypass the traditional media, and break the stories that they tried to hide. They include Breitbart.tv (citizen journalism and news clips) Big Government (corruption in American politics), Big Journalism (media bias), Big Hollywood (bias in the entertainment industry), and Big Peace (foreign policy and world events).
He was in the middle of working on a new documentary, “Occupy Unmasked,” to reveal the hidden organizers and agenda behind Occupy Wall Street, set to release this summer. He shined the bright light of truth into the darkest corners that mainstream media outlets had willfully left untouched. He was ruthless and fearless in his passionate crusade to expose lies and corruption wherever he found it.
Today, the Leftist Twitter feed and blogosphere is full of exultation and animosity. Daily Kos is calling for the Westboro Baptist haters to protest at Andrew Breitbart’s funeral. Rolling Stone is celebrating with the headline “Death of a Douche.” Nothing reveals the character of the Left better than their stomach-churning, gleeful celebrating when an influential conservative dies. As much as I hate socialism and fight against the Leftist agenda, I could NEVER celebrate if one of them died, not even Obama. I would mourn the tragic end of a misguided life, not cheer and exult and celebrate. How sick and full of malice do you have to be to react that way?
Tammy Bruce, former president of NOW, once said that her epiphany came when she saw her friends cheering and saving champagne to open and celebrate at Reagan’s death. As much as she disliked Reagan’s policies, she knew he’d never celebrate if one of his opponents died. That was the turning point for her. She became a Reagan conservative.
Andrew Breitbart’s turning point came during the Clarence Thomas hearings, when, as a young liberal, he saw the hypocrisy in the way the Left tried to crucify Thomas as a conservative black man, while the NAACP stood by silently and refused to defend him against unjust smears. The final straw came a year later when, during the Bill Clinton sex scandal, the media attacked the women he’d victimized instead of the perp they idolized.
I hope that as many good-hearted liberals see the malicious outpouring of hate coming from their side of the aisle today, more people will have epiphanies like this. If Andrew were alive today, he’d be retweeting every insult and nasty comment to expose it. He’d consider it a badge of honor to have occupiers protest his funeral and “glitter bomb” his coffin. He’d probably be insulted if they didn’t. He was working on a new movie called “Hating Breitbart,” set to be released this summer, which exposed the slander, vitriol and intimidation tactics the Left uses to try and discredit and silence conservative voices.
In an interview with Rev. C.L. Bryant for the movie “Runaway Slave“, Breitbart talked about his legacy and how he wanted to be remembered:
We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior. Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love. Andrew recently wrote a new conclusion to his book, Righteous Indignation:
I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies. Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.
Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us.
“Today, the conservative movement has lost a powerful voice in the fight to protect our freedom. Andrew Beitbart was a pioneer in using social media and digital technology to bring a courageous conservative message to America’s grassroots. He did something many in the conservative movement are afraid to do – go right at the left and not back down. Andrew served as an example to the rest of the conservative movement of how to fight for our values without apology or compromise.”
“He was never afraid to tackle the most pressing issues of our time, the most damaging special interests, and the corruption and hypocrisy that threaten the American way of life. Andrew was a soldier for this nation’s core values of limited government, and individual freedom. We will carry on this great cause of protecting freedom from government excess using his passion and energy as inspiration. While he has been taken from us too soon, his voice will undoubtedly resonate and his impact will be felt long after this sad day.”
It is a tragic reminder that life is fragile. We never know when we may be called home. He was the same age as my husband, and left behind a wife and four young children. I’m hugging my children a little tighter today and reminded to make every moment count, both at home and in the fight for liberty.