The Culture of Life Update is now in it's FIFTH YEAR of publication!

Subscribe FREE HERE to have the Culture of Life Update sent directly to your email inbox each month.


A variety of news sources are available to keep informed about issues related to life, marriage and the family. 

The following websites may be of interest to you:

Life Site News

Life News

National Catholic Register

Catholic News Agency

National Right to Life

Marriage In the News (from For Your Marriage)

National Organization for Marriage

Heroic News

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Family Honor


Family Research Council

JULY 2013 | VOLUME 5.7


Federal Judge Halts Ohio Marriage Law 

(CitizenLink.com) - A federal judge on Monday put an Ohio marriage law on hold for a same-sex couple suing the state over its definition of the institution. Jim Obergefall and John Arthur of Cincinnati got married last week in Maryland. They are suing because they want that union to be recognized in Ohio.

“Attorney General Mike DeWine assured me today that it will be appealed,” Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values in Ohio, told CitizenLink. “The law is the law. The state Constitution says marriage is between one man and one woman.”

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the federal marriage law last month. Without section 3, the government will not be able to define marriage for its own policies and law; it must accept whatever states decide about same-sex marriage. President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law in 1996.

The high court ruling does not affect section 2, which says that no state is required to recognize another state’s redefinition. This underscores Ohio’s constitutional right to enforce its marriage law.

“Under the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause, there is a strong historical and legal reservation to the states of the right not to recognize the effect of out-of-state laws or legal proceedings,” said CitizenLink Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht. “This includes same-sex marriage, where such laws or legal statuses violate the strong public policy of the state where recognition is sought.” MORE


News Briefs


Christian Comics

For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program

Great Quotes




GOOD NEWS: Hundreds of families respond to priest’s plea to adopt baby with Down syndrome slated for abortion

(LifeSiteNews.com) – An unborn baby with Down syndrome slated for abortion may yet live, thanks to the effort of a Catholic priest who reached out to the baby’s parents with a desperate last-minute offer. Deliver the baby, Father Thomas Vander Woude told the young couple, and he would find an adoptive family. The couple gave the priest only one day to act, since the baby’s mother was in her sixth month of pregnancy and reportedly lives in a state where abortion past 24 weeks is prohibited. What happened next in a culture that aborts as many as 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome can only be described as an astounding outpouring of love and compassion. MORE

GOOD NEWS: Hobby Lobby Wins Injunction Stopping Enforcement of HHS Mandate

(LifeNews.com) - Today, a federal court granted Hobby Lobby a preliminary injunction against the HHS abortion-drug mandate. The injunction prevents the Obama administration from enforcing the mandate against the Christian company, which does not want to be compelled to pay for birth control or drugs that may cause abortions. This victory comes less than a month after a landmark decision by the full 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled 5-3 that Hobby Lobby can exercise religion under the First Amendment and is likely to win its case against the mandate. That decision helped the Christian craft store not be force to pay fines while its lawsuit continues. MORE

Misinterpreting Francis >>

Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Closing Clinic in New Jersey >>

Planned Parenthood to Close 3 Abortion Facilities in Texas >>

2013 Could Set Record For Number of Pro-Life State Laws Stopping Abortions >>

Cardinal O'Malley to youth: witness by building strong marriages >>

North Carolina Governor Will Sign Pro-Life Bill Stopping Abortions >>

Study Links Abortion With Depression, PTSD, and Drug Abuse >>

Family life the 'privileged' place to receive faith, Pope says >>

New Web Site Supports Moms With Unplanned Pregnancy Who Rejected Abortion >>

Last Abortion Facility in Green Bay Wisconsin Stops Doing Abortions >>

Catholic Relief Services Compromises Catholic Teaching, Promotes Population Control >>

Pro-life TV program wins Emmy award >>

Cardinal George hits back at critics of decision to defund pro-gay ‘marriage’ immigrant group >>

‘Hook Up Culture’ Greatest Threat to Education, Kreeft Tells Christian Classical Educators >>

GOOD NEWS: Illinois Supreme Court Approves Parental Notification Law Today

(CitizenLink.com) - After nearly two-decades of court battles, the Illinois Supreme Court today ruled in favor of a law requiring doctors to alert parents at least 48 hours before a child under 18 undergoes an abortion. The law will take effect next month. Though passed in 1995, an ACLU suit prevented the Parental Notice of Abortion Act from ever being enforced. A federal court order in 2009 underscored the law’s constitutionality. Yet, a day before it was set to take effect, the ACLU filed a new suit. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the law does not violate the state Constitution. Its decision represents an almost nine-year effort by the Thomas More Society (TMS), a nonprofit law firm in Chicago. MORE

West Virginia Campaign Will Illuminate Abortion Clinics’ War on Women

(LifeNews.com) - The legal charges against the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia are not the only challenge that it faces if it wants to continue performing unregulated abortions.  The Family Policy Council of West Virginia has launched an “Illuminate” campaign to urge West Virginia to begin ensuring that its abortion centers are maintaining proper medical standards. The Illuminate campaign seeks to show West Virginia the urgent need to increase the regulation of the abortion industry and ensure the safety of women.  The campaign is based upon the Bible verse Ephesians 5:11-13: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. MORE

Report sees new hostility to religion in US military policy

(CNA/EWTN News).- The Family Research Council has reported a “growing hostility” to religion in the U.S. armed forces, including “concerted efforts to scrub the military of religious expression.”  “The climate of intimidation that began in the Air Force is bleeding over into every branch – leading even military chaplains to wonder about their security in referencing the Bible,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said July 9. MORE

GOOD NEWS: National Polls Prove Majority of Americans Support Life

(Ohio Right to Life) - According to the recent NBC and Washington Post polls, the majority of Americans support a ban on late-term abortion. The NBC poll spotlights a 44-37 percent margin while the Washington Post demonstrates a majority support with a 56-27 percent margin. "Both national polls clearly demonstrate that only a small minority of Americans support horrific late-term abortions," said Director of Communications of Ohio Right to Life, Emmalee Kalmbach. MORE

Massive sex trafficking bust applauded by US lawmaker

(CNA/EWTN News) .- A major U.S. law enforcement operation, which saved over 100 minors from prostitution rings and arrested over 150, drew praise from a congressman known for toughening laws against sex trafficking. The raids were “simultaneously sad and heartening,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chair of the Congressional Human Trafficking Congress. “Those children are freed from a terrible life of misery, but these crimes would not occur without the demand of buyers of commercial sex,” he told CNA July 30.  MORE

HHS Mandate Challenges Headed to Supreme Court?

(NCRegister.com) - The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that the Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. must comply with the federal contraception mandate and cover co-pay-free Plan B and Ella in its employee health plan. The Third Circuit’s recent ruling in the closely watched case, one of about 30 legal challenges to the Health and Human Services’ mandate filed by for-profit employers, increases the likelihood that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately rule on this issue.MORE



Copyright © Gospel Communications International, Inc -
Used according to permission guidelines.

Household Duties
by Mary Jo Pedersen


It’s not just the ‘uns’ that irritated Heidi: the unmade bed, the un-emptied dishwasher, the un-folded laundry. It was the fact that Sam had been home all day and was asleep when she returned from her extra weekend shift at the hospital. She was tired and resentful and felt that he hadn’t done his share of keeping up the apartment, but always had time to watch his favorite sit-coms and sporting events. MORE


Copyright © 2013, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
All rights reserved.


Supporting Both Victims of Rape

By Richard M. Doerflinger


Some call abortion the "third rail" of American public debate, endangering anyone who touches it. Commenting on abortion in cases of rape is a uniquely high-voltage risk. The act of rape is so abominable, and the trauma of the victim so clearly cries out for our sympathy, that discussing the issue calmly almost seems a disservice. But some news coverage of this topic, entangled with various political agendas, has been anything but calm. The public debate would benefit from some facts. MORE




Life Matters:  Doctor-Assisted Death (en español)


Professor William L. Toffler, MD explains how Oregon's assisted suicide law has harmed patients, degraded the quality of care and compromised the integrity of the medical profession.

Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español  

Text Only: English/ en español

Order: English / en español




"Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church."

- Pope John Paul II


"We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials."

- St. Teresa of Avila


"Truly, matters in the world are in a truly bad state; but if you and I begin in earnest to reform ourselves, a really good beginning will have been made."

- St. Peter of Alcantara

"The future is not in our hands. We have no power over it. We can act only today. We have a sentence in our Constitution that says: 'We will allow the good God to make plans for the future - for yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come and we have only today to make Him known, loved and served.' So we do not worry about the future."

- Mother Teresa


"God gave Himself to you: give yourself to God."

- Blessed Robert Southwell


"When you wonder about the mystery of yourself, look to Christ, who gives you the meaning of life. When you wonder what it means to be a mature person, look to Christ, who is the fulfillness of humanity. And when you wonder about your role in the future of the world look to Christ."

- Pope John Paul II



 NCBCLooking for Catholic Bio-medical Ethics Information?  FREE consultations are available from the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).  Established in 1972, NCBC conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. According to their website, they guarantee that a credentialed ethicist will be available 24/7 to assist any person with those most difficult moral health care decisions one must make from the beginning to the end of life. In 2012 alone, the ethicists of the Center helped over 1500 individuals in their time of need; free of charge. Read more about them on their website.

CPYUThe Center for Parent/Youth Understanding is a nonprofit organization committed to building strong families by serving to bridge the cultural-generational gap between parents and teenagers. At a time when an already confusing youth culture is changing quickly, CPYU helps parents, youth workers, educators, and others understand teenagers and their culture so that they will be better equipped to help children and teens navigate the challenging world of adolescence.  They offer a free e-Update and many other resources.  Read more on their website.


Family Honor, Inc.  Rooted in Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Family Honor seeks to empower parents to educate and guide their children according to God's plan.  Family Honor offers a variety of programs and resources for parents, as well as programs for parents and teens together.  Learn more from their website. 



Dump Starbucks The National Organization for Marriage is urging customers across the globe to 'Dump Starbucks' because it has taken a corporate-wide position that the definition of marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become equally 'normal'.  As such, Starbucks has deeply offended at least half its US customers, and the vast majority of its international customers.  On January 24th, 2012, Starbucks issued a memorandum declaring that same-sex marriage 'is core to who we are and what we value as a company.  Learn more about the position of Starbucks and the petition here.


FAFOur First American Freedom  The National Catholic Register writes: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has created a new website dedicated to encouraging education, prayer and public action to protect religious freedom at home and abroad. As our first American freedom, religious liberty is “a founding principle of our country, protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights,” said the U.S. bishops on their new website.




marriage videoThe Case for Man/Woman Marriage  There is intense pressure in Ireland and other countries to redefine marriage. A new video from The Iona Insitute sets out the case for man/woman marriage and how marriage as presently defined is our most vital and child-centred social institution. We believe our video is one of the shortest (less than two minutes long!), most succinct and user-friendly on this matter anywhere. We urge you to watch it, to email it to your friends and to post it on your Facebook page and elsewhere. 




Decent FilmsThe Decent Films Guide is the online home of the film writing of Steven D. Greydanus. Steven is film critic for the National Catholic Register and writes regularly for Catholic Digest, Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues. He is a member of Online Film Critics Society. Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy.  Read his reviews here.



The Culture of Life Update is a monthly email newsletter of the Culture of Life Ministry of St. Mary Parish in Marietta, Ohio.  A key goal of the Culture of Life Ministry is to help people become better informed about life, marriage and family issues.

The sad reality is that many people simply are not aware of the attacks on life and the family.  Nor are they aware of the many positive actions that are being taken to defend life and build up the family. Here's where our monthly email newsletter can help.

Designed for busy people, the Culture of Life Update provides a once-a-month overview of news stories related to life, marriage and the family.  It's a great and easy way to get informed. For the current and past issues, please visit our website!

To unsubscribe from the Culture of Life Update, simply notify me.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this newsletter is simply to inform the public about issues related to life, marriage, and the family. The inclusion of any article is not meant to be an endorsement of a particular author’s viewpoint, nor it is meant to be an endorsement of the organization providing the information. St. Mary Parish Culture of Life Ministry follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, and is subject to the authority of the hierarchy of the Church.