Tag Archives: sarah palin

For life and peace

Editor Patrick Novecosky writes that Catholics must choose peace first before war . . .

Patrick Novecosky

Patrick Novecosky

The world has been on edge for more than a month over the civil war in Syria, and whether or not the U.S. should intervene militarily after the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime on Aug. 21.

Pope Francis called for a day of fasting and prayer on Sept. 7. Catholics and non-Catholics alike from around the world prayed for a peaceful solution to the conflict, and more than 100,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square with the Pope for a five-hour vigil on the eve of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: Violence and war are never the way to peace!” he said. “War always marks the failure of peace; it is always a defeat for humanity.”

Incredibly, some in the mainstream media were critical of the Holy Father’s message. Mark Phillips, reporting for CBS This Morning, said that the Pope had “taken sides” and waded into “politics” by calling for peace. He hinted that Pope Francis has chosen Russian President Vladimir Putin’s position over that of President Obama.

There are several lessons to be learned here. First, the Church will always stand against violence when there is an opportunity for peaceful dialogue. Blessed John Paul II pleaded for peace in the lead-up to the first and second Gulf Wars. The secular media embraced his position. Pope Francis is doing nothing different. The message is the same. The difference is politics.

My critique here is not of President Obama, but of the secular media whose members stretch their news reports to fit their political ideology. This leads to the second lesson: Do not trust the secular news media. If you haven’t picked up on it, the mainstream news machine has an undeniable bias against Christianity — and in particular against the Catholic Church. Case in point: their blind mission to destroy Sarah Palin and Tim Tebow.

Informed citizens must have access to truthful, unbiased reporting. Unfortunately, that’s a rare commodity these days. At Legatus magazine, we strive to bring you news through the lens of the Catholic Church — plus stories on the good work that Legates around the world are involved in. And our weekly news digest, the Legatus Insider brings you a compendium of news for business leaders.

No matter what side the secular media comes down on, the Catholic Church will always stand for peace over war, life over death, and Christ over the world.

PATRICK NOVECOSKY is Legatus magazine’s editor-in-chief.

Margaret Thatcher and women’s genius

Marjorie Dannenfelser says women’s contributions to the Church are profound . . .

Marjorie Dannenfelser

Marjorie Dannenfelser

It may be that Margaret Thatcher’s quip “if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman” is true. However, some women in politics excel at getting the wrong things done.

Consider how an entire movement of women managed to turn women in upon themselves and their children, selling abortion as the great liberator, necessary for equality, even a Constitutional right. In the United States alone, nearly 4,000 women and children per day suffer for that false promise. Fathers, husbands and communities suffer with them. Those women “doers” dominated the political arena for decades. The consequent human suffering is staggering.

However, out of this suffering has come unexpected hope of many types. One is a new breed of woman in politics. She has sharpened vision, spiritual depth, and a passion for fixing what some women broke. She embraces the cross of political life and is making an enormous difference by gluing the broken pieces back together. The Church has unique gifts to support her.

In his Letter to Women (1995), Blessed Pope John Paul II noted that through their “genius,” women “reveal their gift of womanhood by placing themselves at the service of others in their everyday lives” (#12). I regularly witness this powerful grace in action — in women’s leadership in the public square and in their private acts of self-donation.

An NBC reporter recently asked me about Rep. Michele Bachmann’s retirement and the ramifications of her announcement. I found myself explaining how easy it is as women to feel isolated and alone, especially at an executive level where there is little to no institutional support for one’s work in their vocations.

Women in leadership positions are answering a call that requires them to embrace a different model of family life. They work tirelessly to serve their husbands, children, communities and churches. They often find themselves alone, discouraged and burnt out in their effort to lead and be a voice for the voiceless.

Conservative women in particular are often viciously attacked, usually for petty differences rather than for the substance of their arguments. They get caricatured beyond recognition by those in politics and the media. Bachmann and Gov. Sarah Palin are two such women. While they have both become lightning rods for controversy, they didn’t begin that way.

The day that Bachmann was sworn in, I sat with her in her office. She was already the object of vile personal attacks in the media. The substance of the attack was not about a statement she released or a comment to the press, but the outfit she wore that day. Throughout her tenure in Congress and in her presidential campaign, she was critiqued for her hair, nails, makeup and clothing. Chris Wallace asked her what she made of the fact that people thought she was stupid. A brilliant tax attorney, mother of five and foster mother of 23, she was stunned. So was I.

Palin, another strong, pro-life woman I’ve worked with, didn’t start out as a “radical” but as a mother taking stands on substantive issues. The mother of five children, including a child with Down syndrome, fought hard and strong. This led her from her home in Wasilla to the Governor’s Mansion and eventually to national prominence as the 2008 vice presidential nominee.

When the Susan B. Anthony List endorsed her bid and started TeamSarah, we saw firsthand how hateful opponents of such women can be. Palin was a direct threat to pro-abortion feminism and those who seek to exclude believers from the public square. They spent months working to smear her in every possible way. Her church was a target of arson at the height of the attacks. The media ignored it. She was stunned. So was I.

In his Letter to Women, John Paul also wrote that women have a unique capacity to see individuals beyond the institutions in which they live and work and worship. We can serve them and support them individually through our own beloved institution, our Mother Church. Without support systems constructed within institutions and externally in the public square, women leaders can feel isolated and alone. This is why the Susan B. Anthony List began and why we formed the Pro-Life Women’s Caucus on the federal and state levels. It’s a privilege to give these women the support and resources necessary for them to defend mothers and unborn children.

Women have a unique ability to lead strongly in the right or wrong direction. Women leaders who answer the call to right wrongs and advance justice publicly need and deserve our praise. Thank you, Mrs. Thatcher, for helping pave their way!

MARJORIE DANNENFELSER is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List and a member of Legatus’ Northern Virginia Chapter.

Legates band together for life

Legatus’ annual pro-life conference in DC draws big names, inspires leaders . . .

It wasn’t meeting with high-level politicians or a tour of the U.S. Supreme Court that had Legatus members all abuzz at this year’s annual Pro-Life Conference. Rather, it was the invigorating power of gathering with like-minded individuals on a quest to defend women and their unborn children, Legates said.

“Sometimes in the pro-life struggle you feel alone,” said Steve Peroutka, a member of Legatus’ Baltimore Chapter and founder of National Pro-Life Radio. “You come to something like this and find that there are many people around the country doing so many good things. It gives you courage. We all wish we could have courage all the time, but it’s a lot easier to have courage when you stand side-by-side with others.”


Peroutka was one of 40 Legates from across the country who gathered in Washington, D.C., for Legatus’ 10th pro-life conference from April 30-May 2. The gathering kicked off with delegates attending a Heroic Media event with Sarah Palin.

Speaker of the House John Boehner addresses the annual Legatus pro-life conference

The event continued Sunday with Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, followed by brunch with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) at the Willard Hotel.

Boehner, who also attended Mass at the Basilica, told Legates about his efforts to tackle massive government spending and his pro-life convictions.

“My pro-life position is not really a position,” he said. “It’s what I’ve believed my whole life. It’s what I was taught. It’s not my political position, it’s who I am.

“You’ve seen us take some real stands, in the last year especially, in Congress. Chris Smith has a bill that makes it clear throughout the entire government that public funding of elective abortion is not going to be the policy of the United States.”

Boehner poses with Legatus’ executive director John Hunt and his wife Kathie

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced a bill to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are spent on abortion. It passed the House 251-175 on May 4. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act codifies into law the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds in appropriations bills from being spent on abortions.

A similar measure, introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) on May 5, faces an uphill battle in the Democratically-controlled Senate. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation if it makes it to the president’s desk.

Longtime pro-life activists Dr. John Willke and his wife Barbara, members of Legatus’ Cincinnati Chapter, said they were encouraged by the conference and by the momentum the pro-life movement has gathered over the last several decades.

Pro-life activist Lila Rose addresses Legates

“We have a small group of people here, but the enthusiasm is like the movement is just beginning,” he explained. “That’s not the way it ought to be 40 years into a social movement. We ought to be tired and dejected by now. We’re not!”

Barbara said she was particularly energized by the enthusiasm of young pro-lifers like Live Action founder and president Lila Rose. The 22-year-old activist has made a name for herself by conducting videotaped sting operations on Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Her efforts have led to dozens of bills to defund the abortion giant in the U.S. House and in state Houses across the country.

Making a difference

Rose, who spoke just minutes after Boehner left the stage, told Legates that young pro-lifers are using social media to educate the public about abortion and the lies upon which Planned Parenthood operates.

“We’re going to work tirelessly to be a social media game changer, to make a difference for life,” she said. “It’s happening in incredibly ways in our country. There is so much reason to hope.”

Rose urged delegates to get involved because abortion, she insisted, affects each and every American in one way or another.

Fr. Frank Pavone celebrates Mass with Fr. Rob Schenck during the annual Legatus Pro-Life Conference

“This is not an issue that is separate from us in another country or another city or another place,” she said. “It’s in our very midst. It’s in our churches; it’s in our families, our extended families, in our friendships. It’s every day. It’s children who have just died, who are scheduled to die. It’s children that God had a plan for.”

Legates were fed by daily Mass, the rosary and the opportunity for Confession. They heard homilies from Fr. Paul Schenk, chairman of the National Pro-Life Center, and Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

“Such a conference wouldn’t be a Legatus event without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” said Legatus executive director John Hunt. “The liturgies supply us with the power to fight the evil that abortion inflicts upon women and their children.”

Heartbeat International president Peggy Hartshorn speaks during a panel discussion on advances in the pro-life movement. Looking on are Alan Sears and Day Gardner

Legates like Kathie Lund found the liturgies inspiring and the speakers motivating.

“Each day got better,” said Lund, a member of Legatus’ Pasadena Chapter and board president of the Right to Life League of Southern California. “It’s reassuring to know that there are so many people out there doing similar work every day.

“You are lifted up by other like-minded people,” Lund added. “There is power in working together. There’s power when you’re all working for the same end. It’s also encouraging to see that we have a pro-life Congress. I need to life them up in prayer by name. We need to pray for the abortion doctors. Pray with your family with your kids, grandkids to support this and challenge heaven to come down and help us. We’re ready!”

Patrick Novecosky is Legatus Magazine’s editor.