Lessons learned from “Ocean’s Eleven”!

March 16, 2014
Dear Friend,  

       If you’re reading this because you thought I’d be talking about the movie starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, then I’m sorry to disappoint you! I recently returned with my husband from our “trip of a lifetime”….an 11 day cruise to five different countries, preceded by 4 days in Rome. We saw and experienced so much during this trip that I’m totally overwhelmed every time I start thinking about it! I’ve always considered myself fortunate to be an American, and we are the proud parents of two Air Force veterans. However, my 11 days on the ocean taught me some valuable lessons about life as we know it here.

       In Italy, we visited Rome, Pisa, Florence, Naples, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily. In France we went to Toulon, Aix En Provence and Marseilles. We went to the cities of Barcelona and Valencia in Spain, and to Monte Carlo in Monaco. In northern Africa, we went to Tunisia and toured Tunis, Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. Like the United States, almost everywhere we went was very multi-cultural, and all of the countries have residents with roots in many countries and religions. In Italy, France and Spain especially, it seemed like there were Catholic churches everywhere. It wasn’t uncommon to see Christian icons and statues on street corners, or to hear of patriotic celebrations rooted in Christian tradition. In Africa, the Islamic mosques were predominant, and the call to prayer was heard throughout the cities on loudspeakers.

       What struck me as so different from being at home is that the religious monuments of any faith weren’t defaced or forced to be removed. Walking past a statue of the Blessed Mother or one of myriads of saints in Italy and Spain didn’t force someone to “endure” Christianity to be patriotic, just as listening to the Islamic call to prayer didn’t force me to become Muslim. Even Tunisia is a country where religion and government are separate even though the majority of residents practice Islam. I love our country, but it was so painfully clear to me that our freedom which we so highly value has been abused by those who wrongfully interpret our constitution and place a detrimental connotation on belief in God.

       There are some things I experienced though, that echo things we experience at home that just seem to defy logic. We passed by a cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia called a “tophet.” Our guide told us it was a sad reminder of a time long ago when people sacrificed and cremated newborn infants as offerings for prosperity or other wishes. The tophets stand as a reminder today to what was done wrong in the past.   It wasn’t even 5 minutes after we passed this memorial that our guide was extolling how modern and cosmopolitan the country has become in ridding itself of ancient practices…..he said that they were so modern that now they even have made abortion legal!   I was stunned by what he said, knowing that the innocent aborted children will not have even a tophet to honor their lost lives.

       There’s no place like home, and I’m glad to be back. However, I’m resolved now more than ever to keep on defending the right to life and freedom based on the Christian principles on which our country was founded. There’s much to be done, and no time to be wasted as our work goes on.

For Life,

Denise Leipold

Executive Director

FOOTBALL….and life!




 It’s not too late to


        Right to Life of Northeast Ohio is proud to present former Cleveland Browns “Kardiac Kids” Coach Sam Rutigliano, #34 Greg Pruitt and #12 Don Cockroft as our keynote speakers at our annual Education and Appreciation Dinner on April 12 at St George Family Center in Akron. You will laugh, cry and be fascinated as they share stories about life that transcend the game of football. Their emphasis is on faith and family as well as football, and the significance of having someone believe in you, a fact that is so relevant as we work to build a culture of life.


Click Here for reservations or more information!


        A facility that promotes or performs abortions is the LAST place at which we should have to take a stand.   We SHOULD be doing such a good job at educating our youth and the public about life that their would be no need for anyone to even consider having an abortion.  Sadly, this is not the case.


      Right to Life of Northeast Ohio is beefing up our Clouds of Witnesses program in order to get churches, schools, groups and individuals to adopt time slots to stand witness outside of all abortion facilities and Planned Parenthood so that there will be someone standing for life almost every day year round.  We pledge to work with new coordinators for 40 Days for Life so that the campaign won’t have to worry about witnesses….we will already be there!  


      If you have not signed up through your church or organization to adopt an hour or more to witness at a facility, give us a call, or check out more about the program and download forms, etc., by CLICKING HERE.

 The HHS Mandate in the Supreme Court

      On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius — the first two cases on the HHS Mandate to reach the high court.

      The HHS Mandate is one of the most controversial parts of Obamacare. It forces employers to provide FREE abortion inducing drugs in their health plans — without ANY regard to religious or moral objections.   The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, and the Hahn family, owners of Conestoga, are standing for ALL of us who cherish religious freedom by challenging the HHS Mandate in court.


How can you help?

  • Spread the word about these important cases and the religious freedom issues involved through every channel: email, Facebook, Twitter and your personal blog or other website.
  • Keep the Green and Hahn families, all their attorneys and the Supreme Court justices hearing their cases in your prayers over the coming days before the oral arguments.
  • If you will be in the Washington DC area, attend a prayer vigil and rally at the Supreme Court on March 25 from 9:30-11:30am . If you can’t be there yourself, let all your friends and family in the D.C. know about it.   Planned Parenthood is planning their own rally there that day, so spread the word so we can outnumber them!

A good ruling in these two cases would mean the END of the HHS Mandate and a HUGE victory for religious freedom!   Thank you to our friends at Pro Life Action League for keeping us updated!

Food For Thought




“A just laicism allows religious freedom.  The state does not impose religion but rather gives space to religions with a responsibility toward civil society, and therefore it allows these religions to be factors in building up society.”


 Pope Benedict XVI


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Youth for Life of Northeast Ohio is a program of Right to Life of Northeast Ohio. Life Education Fund is a 501c3 affiliate with Right to Life of Northeast Ohio.  Contributions to Life Education Fund are tax deductible under IRS rules and regulations.
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