July 28, 2015

Press Release- Donna Rice Hughes spoke at LifeSiteNews panel, Wednesday July 22

(Left to right - Dustin Siggins, Dr. Barrett Duke, Casey Mattox, Donna Rice Hughes and Chelsen Vicari)


Last week, Wednesday July 22, 2015; LifeSiteNews organized a speaking panel hosted at The Institute on Religion and Democracy. Below is a copy of their press release.

Press Release

Contact: Dustin Siggins (703-772-4698) DSiggins@LifeSiteNews.com www.lifesitenews.com

Good afternoon. Yesterday, five leading voices on important issues of public policy -- issues that span from marriage to abortion, religious liberty to sex trafficking -- discussed how social conservatives can enact better public policy in an era moderator Chelsen Vicari said is often "hostile to people of faith."

"It is true that culture is hostile to people of faith, and not just Christians -- anyone that holds to their conscience," said Vicari, who is the Evangelical Program Director for the Institute on Religious Liberty (IRD).

The panel, hosted by IRD and organized by leading news organization LifeSiteNews, included LifeSiteNews public relations officer and D.C. Correspondent Dustin Siggins, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Vice President Dr. Barrett Duke, and anti-porn activist Donna Rice-Hughes, president of Enough is Enough.

"Men and women inside the church are using pornography at the same rates as the secular world," said Rice-Hughes, who discussed how pornography harms children and leads to violent and other aberrant behavior, including sexual deviancy, as adults. "People are suffering in silence....what I am suggesting we have the heart of Jesus" and offer support and forgiveness for people "struggling with sexual sin, sexual immorality."

Mattox said the issue of religious liberty with regards to abortion is instructive for the fight on marriage. "When are you are hearing these questions about how 'churches are not actually going to be attacked, you're not actually going to have circumstances where churches are actually forced to assist in same-sex marriage,' I would just remind you of the California situation where their does not seem to be a mindset of 'we will stop this advance off an agenda at the church door.'"

In California, all insurance companies are being forced to cover elective abortions because the state has decided that abortions are basic health care. At least seven religious institutions have sued, saying the mandate violates their freedoms under the U.S. Constitution, as well as federal law.

"In California, at least, there seems to be very much an intention to go right into the church, and take tithe money out of the offering plate, and pay for abortions with it, and the [Obama] administration won't stop it. So don't expect them to stop" with marriage, said Mattox.

Duke spoke of "the sanctity of life and religious liberty and marriage," saying that these issues are part of what "God considers inviolable."

Talking about recent videos that show Planned Parenthood employees allegedly discussing the illegal sale of of fetal parts, Duke said what has been seen in the videos is "really sickening, horrible, and even barbaric. We've called upon the federal leadership to investigate this, and if it turns out to be true, we expect swift and immediate action. Trafficking in fetal tissue is illegal."

"The Supreme Court's [marriage] decision is outrageous....There is no dignity clause in the Constitution. But there is a marriage clause in the Bible. It consists of the union of one man and one woman, illustrating the relationship between Christ and His church..."

Duke also said religious liberty is at stake with the decision. "I appreciate the justices' kind gesture that we should be able to advocate and teach our religious beliefs," he said sarcastically. "However, that is not the sum total of what religious freedom means. It is only freedom if you can order your life according to your beliefs."

Siggins tied together all of the issues discussed by the panel. "LifeSiteNews covers life, and family, and culture, and these issues" he said. Religious liberty, marriage, pornography, and abortion "all relate to that. They all relate to what is best for the human, for each individual human, and the human body."