BRITISH TEEN PREGNANCY DROPS WHEN LIBERAL SEX-EDUCATION FUNDING IS CUT
A new study indicates that teen pregnancy rates drop when liberal sex-ed (sex education) funding is cut, the UK’s Catholic Herald reports. The Effect of Spending Cuts on Teen Pregnancy”, analysed data in England before and after contraceptive-based sex-ed expenditures were slashed, cuts that were criticized by liberals and praised by Christians. Researchers David Paton of Nottingham University Business School and Liam Wright of the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield led the study, published in The Journal of Health Economics. England has been forced to make severe cuts in recent years to its budget, including tax funds for sex-ed in schools and free birth control. The study sought to “examine the impact of reductions in local expenditure on one particular public health target: reducing rates of teen pregnancy.”
The Paton and Wright research team used statistics from 149 municipalities between 2009 and 2014 and found that after sex-ed budgets were cut, teen pregnancy rates fell by 42.6%. The researchers discovered that taking away tax funding for contraceptive-focused sex education in schools actually reduced teen pregnancy. “Contrary to predictions made at the time of the cuts, panel data estimates show that expenditure cuts are associated with small reductions in teen pregnancy rates,” they noted. With the government cuts in sex-ed funding, teen pregnancies in England have fallen to their lowest level since 1969, the study shows. In fact, the statistics show teen pregnancy rates diminished the most in those areas where secular sex-ed budgets were most aggressively cut.
Paton and Wright suggest their data should be followed up with research into why cutting sex-ed leads to lowering teen pregnancy rates. They speculate, “Underlying socio-economic factors such as education outcomes and alcohol consumption are found to be significant predictors of teen pregnancy.” Liberals have claimed for decades that unwanted pregnancies would be reduced if the government funded more “safe-sex” instruction in public schools and paid for contraception distributed to teenage girls. But by 1999, after three decades of sex-ed, England attained one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe. Paton and Wright’s research shows those government programs actually increase teen pregnancies, and in turn increase abortions for teen single mothers.
“Spending on projects relating to teenage pregnancy may even be counterproductive,” the study concluded. “Birth control will reduce the risk of pregnancy for sex acts which would have occurred anyway but may increase the risk among teenagers who are induced by easier access to birth control either to start having sex or to have sex more frequently.” Another study conducted in 2009 by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit came to similar conclusions. In 2016, the Cochrane review published findings that government “safe-sex” education had “no apparent effect” in reducing teen pregnancies. Britain’s Office for National Statistics reports that teenage girls’ birth rates have fallen by 8.7 percent in the past year alone. Scott Phelps of the Abstinence and Marriage Education Partnership told LifeSiteNews that to pro-life and pro-family advocates the study’s conclusions come as no surprise.
“Sex-education programs serve to normalize sexual activity for unmarried teens and young adults,” the pro-marriage champion said. “At the same time, these programs fail to even present the option of abstinence until marriage as an option. As a result, these programs actually increase teens risk of non-marital pregnancy.” Phelps told LifeSiteNews that he has seen it before. Specifically, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest received a $4 million grant from the Obama administration for sex education,” he continued. “According to a report released by the Obama administration itself, females in the program reported becoming pregnant at a higher rate than females receiving the alternative program.” “So after $4 million of taxpayer funding, teen pregnancy increased among teens who received the government’s contraception-based sex education program,” Phelps concluded.
Some conservatives suggest that liberal government sex-ed in schools even increases human trafficking, sexual exploitation of minors, and abuse. Family Education Trust Director Norman Wells warned, “The evidence from recent serious case reviews clearly demonstrates that fundamental flaws in professional attitudes towards underage sexual activity have directly contributed to exploitation and abuse.” Nevertheless, England made contraceptive-based sex-ed compulsory throughout the nation’s public high schools in its “Children and Social Work Act” of 2017. Phelps’ Abstinence and Marriage Education Partnership exists “to ensure that every U.S. teenager has the opportunity to hear a clearly reasoned, positive presentation on the benefits of abstinence until marriage.” The group also provides instruction on preparing for a healthy future marriage.
THREE QUARTERS OF NORTH-EAST NIGERIA’S WATER INFRASTRUUCTURE DESTROYED
Gloria Shehu is one of the people in north-east Nigeria set to benefit from the UN’s humanitarian fund targeting the devastation from the conflict with Boko Haram. The agency has stepped up a call for more money, reminding that “the number of people close to sliding from emergency to disaster is perilously high” in the area where 3.8m people have no access to safe water. In northeast Nigeria, 75 per cent of water and sanitation infrastructure in conflict-affected areas has been damaged or destroyed. Displaced families are putting enormous pressure on already strained health and water systems in host communities. One third of the 700 health facilities in the hardest-hit state of Borno have been completely destroyed and a similar number are non-functional.
Gloria is fortunate, she’s already living near a borehole sunk by an NGO that works in the north, and which seeks to fund-raise for extra support to extend its work, especially in the north-east conflict-hit area. A reporter from the charity met her on her visit to the pump in a village in the northern state of Katsina. On a hot day, with a dry wind blowing up clouds of dust from the parched earth, Gloria waits her turn at the community water pump. Not irritated by the wait, she chats to the young woman in front of her who pumps the mechanical arm that brings a stream of water from the spout. It would be a strenuous task for those not used to this way of life, but she does it effortlessly, it’s an everyday chore, after all.
With her 20 litre container filled, Gloria carries the water home, using some of it to prepare a meal in her outdoor kitchen. Her daughter sifts flour while Gloria fills a pot with water and stokes the fire. She adds water to the flour and stirs it to dissolve the lumps. Before long Gloria tests her porridge and declares: “It is ready”. Gloria’s routine may be wearisome, but she does not complain. “We didn’t have clean water to drink or even to cook with. But now we are able to get it.” Her Christian village in a majority-Muslim state governed by Sharia law, had gone without clean water for a long time. The community felt sidelined when it came to the provision of social amenities. Before the borehole, which was funded by Open Doors, she and her fellow villagers got water from a stream nearby where they risked diarrhoea, typhoid and other kinds of water-borne diseases. They were often sick.
These circumstances are not unique to Gloria’s village. Christians across the 12 Sharia-governed states of northern Nigeria feel neglected or, worse, antagonised by local society because of their faith. They say local governments make life difficult for them by sidelining Christian villages in the provision of basic services like water points, clinics and schools. It means travelling a long way to get water, which might be from either a contaminated stream or from a neighbouring Muslim village where they can regularly face intimidation. The provision of boreholes has improved the quality of life for those living in Christian communities in the northern states. Open Doors installed 44 pumps between 2009 and 2016 in the states of Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Gombe, Bauchi, and Plateau.
Local governments in these areas sometimes failed to provide any access to water. In other cases, boreholes were installed poorly, some never working at all. When the new pumps were installed, local people were trained to maintain them. Before the boreholes were installed, people could travel 3 km to fetch water. Asabe Danjuma said for women this was a big challenge: “Most of our time was spent looking for water. It was very frustrating.” The boreholes give an opportunity for different faiths to mix. “Now our neighbours, who are Muslims, also come here to fetch water. We are so relieved,” she said. Fulani herders, a group known to have killed Christians in Nigeria’s middle belt states, also use the boreholes. Ready access to fresh water means villagers can get on with their lives, farm and provide for their families rather than spend much of their time just looking for water.
“I cannot describe our suffering. It was just too much,” said Joseph, a man from one of the villages with a new borehole. “Now that we have abundance of water, I think it is a wonder that we all survived those days.” The adoption of Sharia law by 12 Nigerian states in the 2000s led to widespread discrimination, many Christians believe. They say they are treated as second-class citizens and denied basic rights, such as access to education or certain jobs. Access to land and building permission are very restricted or denied. Land, school or health services belonging to churches are often confiscated by state authorities without any compensation. Despite churches also facing demolition, some manage to contribute to the aid effort in north-east Nigeria during what was recently described by the UN as “the greatest crisis on the African continent”.
TRUMP BREAKS WITH OBAMA TRADITION OF DESIGNATING JUNE AS LGBT PRIDE MONTH
President Trump is not celebrating June as “LGBT Pride Month” like his predecessor Barack Obama did, although various federal agencies are still holding “pride” events and making pro-LGBT statements. The Washington Blade, a newspaper for homosexuals, reports that Trump is “breaking with a tradition started under the Obama administration” by not issuing the “gay pride” declaration. In what is obviously a bitter pill for homosexual and transgender activists to swallow, the Blade reports that “Trump has issued five proclamations for different events but absent from the list was anything related to homosexual-transgender Pride.” However, Trump is not putting a stop to various federal agencies and branches of the Armed Services celebrating June as LGBT Pride Month, as many social conservatives have called on him to do.
The Commanding General of the US Army Medical Command, Lt. Gen. Nadja West, issued an “LGBT Pride Month” statement. Earlier, the State Department posted a pro-homosexual “pride” essay on its website, and U.S. Embassy in Macedonia flew the homosexual-activist “rainbow flag” to celebrate an annual LGBTQ activist day. Under Obama, American Embassies from Spain to Israel repeatedly flew the homosexuality-celebrating flag abroad in this manner. Homosexual activist Joe Jervis tweeted out a link to an item about the U.S. Navy supporting “LGBT Pride Month.” The celebrations of homosexual and transgender pride go against the recommendation of a coalition of conservative leaders, who called on the Trump administration to “discontinue funding for special-interest events, including LGBT-Pride Month events in June, which do not strengthen military readiness.”
Despite President Trump’s silence on homosexual “pride month,” his daughter Ivanka Trump, tweeted in support of LGBT pride month. Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, claim affiliation with orthodox Judaism but have been criticized by Orthodox Jewish leaders for their strong, public support of the homosexual agenda and same-sex “marriage.” Homosexual behaviour has long been taught as an abomination in serious Jewish orthodox circles. Ivanka converted to Judaism in 2009 before her marriage to Kushner. Greg Quinlan, a former homosexual turned Christian and one-time “gay” activist, applauded Trump for not recognizing “LGBT pride month.” He said “pride events for homosexuals are all about self-rationalization. “All the pride movement is about is trying to justify their behaviour. It’s a desire to be affirmed in what you’ve decided to be, not ‘who they are’, said Quinlan.
“For the last 30 years, the LGBT movement has worked diligently to make sure there were activists inside the federal government. Meanwhile, Christians were mostly silent or even backed away from getting involved in government. We basically handed the gay lobby a victory by doing nothing.” Back in the 1980s, Quinlan had attended “gay pride” parades in Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco, he said. Regarding Ivanka Trump’s tweeting in celebration of “gay pride,” Quinlan said, as if addressing Ivanka: “Don’t you know that your support of the LGBTQ movement is hurting your father? The gay activists don’t care about your support now that you have an ‘R’ [for Republican] after your name.” The homosexual activist group Log Cabin Republican thanked Ivanka Trump on Twitter for her “gay pride month” tweets. LCR is lobbying the Trump administration to support LGBT advocacy on various fronts.
ISLAM NEEDS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR TERRORIST ATTACKS SAYS ARCHBISHOP
In the wake of the London Bridge terror attack, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said Islam needs to “take responsibility” for atrocities carried out in its name and reminded his country that the love of Jesus “is more powerful than the evil of terror or the wickedness of the terrorist.” Speaking to the BBC, Welby admitted that throughout history, people have “twisted and misused” religious text to justify hate and violence, but it’s foolish to believe Islam has “nothing to do” with the ongoing terrorist attacks. “We have got to say that if something should happen within our own faith tradition we would need to take responsibility for countering that,” he said, adding that politicians should not just say “this is nothing to do with Islam” and focus on the security of political aspects of it. “I don’t think it is getting us anywhere”.
Numerous people were killed and injured when a van carrying three terrorists rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge before they jumped out and went on a rampage, stabbing people at random on the street. Welby said, “The terrorists want to divide us and make us hate one another and change our way of life. But just as in Manchester, Londoners are responding with generosity and open hearts, with courage and resilience.” He then added, “The strongest power in the world is the love of Jesus Christ. It is more powerful than the evil of terror or the wickedness of the terrorist.” The London Bridge attack was the third terrorist attack in England in three months. ISIS later took responsibility for the attack saying Britain thought it “was safe from the wounds of the Mujahideen, protected by the sea and by “their exit from the European Union.”
The article continued, “A soldier from the Islamic State” in Manchester “has unleashed terror throughout their country, they rushed to spread the army in the cities, mobilizing police and security in the streets for fear of a new attack,” which “is inevitable, God willing.” Last month, British intelligence officers said the U.K. is home to 23,000 jihadist extremists who are potential attackers. British Prime Minister Theresa May said following the London attack that there is “far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.” “It is time to say enough is enough,” she said. “Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”
VICE PRESIDENT PENCE VOWS MORE AID TO PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
Vice President Mike Pence assured delegates from 130 countries that Americans will do more to protect Christian victims of persecution and genocide. Their promises were warmly received by delegates who responded with standing ovations to the Pence address. The Conference included a call from Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl to “end the conspiracy of silence” about the Christian genocide taking place in the Middle East. He pleaded for the media and to “collectively raise our voices” and not allow the systematic murder and rape of Christians to continue unreported and unprotested. Charles Mendies from Kathmandu in Nepal said, “He spoke very well, I’m impressed that the US government is wanting to do more.” While most of the delegates were impressed by the promises, some were more cynical.
Armenian Archbishop Vicken Aykazian responded to Vice President Pence, “It’s good but we’ve been hearing this for years. My message is simple: “Please. Please. America, stop the atrocities against us which have been going on for 150 years. Don’t watch us die again like the first time when 1.5 million of us died from 1915-1917 while the civilized world looked on and did nothing. Now, it is happening again. Americans should write to their congressmen and tell them to use their influence in the Middle East to stop the slaughter of Christians.” Archbishop Aykazian said. “The first thing they can do,” adds Kristen Wright of Open Doors, “is fill the position of Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom. We need to see this in place now. “This person reports to the Secretary of State and has great influence. Three-fourths of the world’s people are living in religious oppression. This is critical.”
Billy Graham organization spokesman Todd Shearer said “Christians are now one of the most victimized groups in the world. 215 million Christians experience very high or extreme persecution in 50 countries.” Between speakers, victims of persecution are re-telling their stories and testimonies. Besides planning and organizing an emergency response to the persecution and genocide crisis, the conference has four stated purposes: (1) Help change public policy that promotes discrimination against Christians, harassment and persecution, (2) Find ways to increase diplomatic pressure on the violating states, (3) Inform and mobilize Christians to address President Trump and their elected officials to take stronger American action against the increasing persecution, (4) Comfort and help the victims respond in a Biblical manner.
HARSH SENTENCE HANDED DOWN TO JAKARTA’S CHRISTIAN GOVERNOR
Jakarta’s Christian governor, known as Ahok, has been sentenced to two years imprisonment on blasphemy charges stemming from comments made during a re-election speech last year. He implied that Islamic leaders were trying to trick voters by using a verse in the Qu’ran to argue that Muslims should not vote for a non-Muslim leader. This ignited hardliners who pushed for a blasphemy conviction. He has been widely popular in Jakarta for his fairness and his efforts to improve living standards. The two-year sentence handed down was far harsher than even his prosecutors demanded. Everyone expected Ahok to appeal his sentence, but this devout Christian leader issued a statement which said “I know it’s not easy for you to accept this fact, but I have learned to forgive and accept all this, for the good of the nation.”
. for former Governor Ahok who chose the high road in not appealing his sentence to maintain peace in his city and unity among polarized Indonesians. Pray that Ahok’s Christian response will cause many Muslims to seek Jesus Christ who modelled forgiveness at the cross.
* for Christians in Jakarta to unite in purpose and prayer for the salvation of Ahok’s accusers and to amaze non-believers by the love and peace they exhibit despite their deep disappointment in Ahok’s convictions and sentence.
* praising God for Ahok’s humble Christ-like attitude and response to his sentence. May this response defuse his critics and encourage fellow Christian Believers.