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All articles from March 06, 2018
- ‘Absolutely surreal’: Student mob smashes window in protest against Jordan Peterson
- Ontario Conservative leadership hopeful: Parents should be told when 11-year-olds get abortion
- BREAKING: Mississippi Senate votes to ban abortions after 15 weeks
- Senior U.K. Catholic priest derides pro-lifers opposing abortion bill as ‘lunatic fringe’
- Former abortion worker: Post-abortion syndrome more common than post-natal depression
- Michigan pro-lifers now saving babies from within a former Planned Parenthood
- Tucker Carlson rips activist for promoting LGBT indoctrination in schools
- ‘Bringing back capital punishment’: Canadian prisoner ‘helped to die’
- Cardinal Kasper: Stop calling it ‘heresy’ to allow Communion for adulterers
- Appeals court: Hospital can yank baby Alfie Evans’ life support against parents’ wishes
- If Canada were voting tomorrow, Trudeau would be thrown out. So how did he get in?
- Vatican must come to terms with China’s human rights failures
- America may have had enough of homosexual activism
- Manipulative language, deceptive actions: Don’t get misled on abortion and euthanasia
- Lent: The perfect time to do some spiritual push-ups for God
- U.S. bishop: If ‘conscience’ alone determines access to Communion, why not Holy Orders too?
- Materialism and cruelty: The petty dictators in our midst
- Radical leftist group is helping YouTube ‘flag’ content. Here’s why that’s concerning
- There are no pulse articles posted today.
Dr. Jordan Peterson in a January 2018 interview with Britain’s Channel Four. Screen-grab
Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
‘Absolutely surreal’: Student mob smashes window in protest against Jordan Peterson
Dr. Peterson and Professor Bruce Pardy addressed a packed lecture hall at Queen’s University on the subject of free speech. Their presentation was entitled “The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada.”
Early in the lecture, two women invaded the building and walked across the stage holding a banner reading “Freedom to smash bigotry.” In the balcony at the back of the hall, a male student shouted abuse at the stage. All three students were roundly booed by the audience, which was sprayed with an unidentified liquid by the women when they left they hall.
Outside, a mob of dozens shouted slogans and obscenities and banged on the doors and windows of Grant Hall. They kept up the racket for the 90-minute length of the forum, stopping briefly only after a woman broke one of the stained glass windows of the historic Victorian Romanesque-style building.
“Mark my words, that’s the sound of the barbarians pounding at the gates,” Peterson told the audience.
The mob blocked the front and back doors of the hall with trash and recycling bins, forcing the audience to leave via an adjacent hall, where they ran a gauntlet of protesters screaming “Shame on you.” One woman quipped, “Lock them in and burn it down” to the cheers of the other protestors.
Police were called to the scene.
Afterward, Peterson posted several clips of the protest on Twitter, telling a follower that the speaking engagement was “absolutely surreal.”
“The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down,’” he wrote.
Peterson identified one protestor in particular as the worst of the disrupters.
“This individual (Jonathan Shepherd) was the worst of them all at Queen’s, accosting us afterward on our way to the parking lot, commandeering the event at the beginning, yelling in the forum, cursing and swearing … Turns out he has a history of these things.”
The student-activist told the Queen’s University Journal that he was impressed by the turnout.
“There is a lot of commitment out here for trans rights and for shutting down the conspiratorial hate speech (sic) of Jordan Peterson,” he told the Journal. “The protest has been successful in letting people know that even if we didn’t stop him from taking, we’ve let it be known that we are opposed to him speaking.”
Doug Ford Twitter
Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
Ontario Conservative leadership hopeful: Parents should be told when 11-year-olds get abortion
TORONTO, March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership contender Doug Ford says parents should be told and have a say when their minor daughters seek out an abortion.
“Kids can’t even get their tonsils out without the approval of their parents,” Ford told the CBC while campaigning in London. “I think we’ve got to consult parents, and that’s what we have to do.”
Ford brought the subject up to a London crowd, the Toronto Star reported.
“My friends, you have to give a note to your kids when they’re 12 and 13 years old to go on a field trip. You have to approve even getting their tonsils out, but you don’t have to approve and keep secret with a 12- and 13-year-old?” in regard to abortion, Ford said, as quoted in the Star.
“I don’t know too many parents that would approve any of their kids going on a field trip without their knowledge. I don’t see anyone ever approving an operation on their children when they’re 12 and 13 years old without approval,” he said.
“I don’t know why politicians are afraid to talk about this,” Ford added.
Ford, the brother of late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, a one-time Toronto city councillor and a father of four daughters, is running against social conservative and parents’ rights advocate Tanya Granic Allen, former MPP Christine Elliott, and Caroline Mulroney, daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, for the PC Party’s top job.
Ford’s remarks created a stir in the media and backlash from Elliott, who is reported to be his closest rival. Elliott suggested to the CBC that Ford was playing for votes. Polls put the two as neck-and-neck frontrunners in the race.
But Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s pro-life lobbying group, lauded Ford for signaling he’d back legislation reinstating parental rights in this vital matter.
The Campaign Life voter guide ranks Granic Allen, who has promised to repeal the Liberal government’s sex-ed curriculum, as number one.
And while Campaign Life has given Ford a “yellow-light” rating, which means it has areas of concern, it puts Ford as second choice on the ranked ballot.
And it has “red-lighted” Elliott and Mulroney as absolutely not supportable, based on the former’s past voting record and statements, and the latter’s current campaign platform. To see the full guide, go here.
When it comes to minors and abortion, “we commend Ford for supporting, in principle, a common sense piece of legislation that the overwhelming majority of Ontarians — especially those who are, or have been parents — would consider very reasonable,” says Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Coalition senior political strategist.
“My child’s school has to obtain parental authorization to administer aspirin to my kids. But if an 11-year-old girl gets pregnant, abortion facilities and the medical system should be able to hide invasive surgery from parents? Only an extremist nut-job would think that makes good legislation.”
Under Ontario’s Health Care Consent Act, it’s the doctor, not the parents, who has the authority to decide that a patient under age 16 “is capable of giving valid consent” to treatment, confirmed lawyer Geoff Cauchi.
And because the decision is deemed confidential under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, a minor, no matter how young, could have an abortion — or, indeed, any medical treatment — without parents knowing, he told LifeSiteNews.
Indeed, all of Ontario’s abortion facilities declare on their websites a parent’s consent is not required. In one egregious example, a Toronto abortion center assures would-be customers that they would keep a 14-year-old’s abortion secret from her parents.
“The child is treated as an adult and the information is kept secret from parents,” observed Cauchi, who contends the health care consent law is unconstitutional.
“This is incredible,” he said. “Basically, the health practitioner decides whether or not your Charter rights as a parent will be infringed.”
Fonseca likewise blasted the current “hide-minor-abortions-from-parents regime” as “morally and ethically bankrupt.”
Surgical abortions “are highly invasive and have significant rates for complications, including perforation, sepsis, uterine hemorrhage, and a four-times higher rate of hospitalization for infections,” as well as being “associated with a nearly five times higher rate of hospitalization for psychiatric problems,” he told LifeSiteNews in an email.
“Secondly, a policy of hiding underage abortions enables sexual abuse. One of the little-known negative consequences of today’s widespread availability of surgical abortion is that sexual abusers of young girls are using abortion-on-demand to cover up rape and abuse,” he said.
“If Doug Ford wins the leadership, becomes Premier, and follows through with a parental consultation law, he will be doing something concrete to prevent sexual abusers from being able to cover up their crimes,” Fonseca said.
« That’s something he should be applauded for, and it’s further justification for CLC having ranked him as the #2 ballot choice in the leadership contest.”
Ford has also promised to “totally repeal” the controversial Liberal sex-ed curriculum, the Campaign Life Coalition voter guide reports.
He told CLC that he “would bring forward conscience rights legislation to protect doctors from being coerced by the College of Physicians & Surgeons to participate in (or give referrals for) euthanasia and abortion,” the guide notes.
Ford disagrees with the Wynne government’s “bubble zone” legislation that “prohibits peaceful pro-life expression and free speech on taxpayer-owned, public sidewalks,” it states.
The hasty PC Party leadership race, which comes three months before Ontario’s June 7 general election, was organized after leader Patrick Brown resigned January 25 amid allegations of sexual misconduct that he denies. Brown entered the race for 10 days but withdrew to focus on his legal battle with CTV News, which first aired the allegations.
Party members are voting online for their new leader from March 2 until 8 p.m. March 9. To be eligible to vote, they must complete a voter verification process no later than noon March 7. The winner will be announced at a party convention in Markham on March 10.
Claire Chretien Follow Claire
BREAKING: Mississippi Senate votes to ban abortions after 15 weeks
JACKSON, Mississippi, March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Mississippi Senate voted 35 to 14 today to ban abortions on babies older than 15 weeks.
The bill passed the Mississippi House 79-31 last month. The bill will go back to the House for concurrence because senators removed a portion of the bill making it a felony for doctors to abort babies older than 15 weeks. However, it still retains strong protections that hold rogue doctors accountable for irresponsibly risking women’s health.
If Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signs the bill into law, Mississippi will become the state with the most protective pro-life laws in the country. The bill does not contain exceptions for babies conceived in rape or incest.
“Abortion policy in the United States is based on outdated science that the rest of the world rejects,” Dr. Jameson Taylor, acting President of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, told LifeSiteNews. “Health care professionals around the world recognize that late-term abortions, those performed after the first trimester, are harmful for women and also violate the integrity of the medical profession itself.”
“Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and the Mississippi Senate deserve our support and prayers for making Mississippi a leading voice in protecting basic human rights and women’s health,” he said.
Reeves publicly supports the bill.
The operator of Mississippi’s last abortion facility has said she’ll sue if the pro-life bill becomes law.
Monsignor John Devine Diocese of Sodor and Man
Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
Senior U.K. Catholic priest derides pro-lifers opposing abortion bill as ‘lunatic fringe’
DOUGLAS, Isle of Man, March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The highest-ranking Catholic cleric on a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea is responding to a radical new abortion bill by misrepresenting and distorting Catholic teaching on abortion while pouncing on pro-lifers who oppose the bill.
Monsignor John Devine, OBE serves as Dean of the Roman Catholic Church on the Isle of Man, representing the Archdiocese of Liverpool. He recounted in a letter to the island’s Chief Minister published last month in the Isle of Man Examiner how he criticized pro-life advocates from the pulpits of St Mary’s and St Anthony’s churches.
« People who have abortions are not murderers and are not bad people. Similarly, politicians proposing changes to legislation on abortion are not bad people either but individuals attempting to do what is right, » he said in the letter.
« Some of the situations envisaged in the Bill do present a genuine moral dilemma – balancing the life of the mother against the life of the child. None of these decisions are easy, » he said.
« Every abortion, » he said, « is an act of desperation. »
Devine then went on to disparage pro-lifers who show opposition to the bill by using abortion-victim photography, calling them a « lunatic fringe. »
« Attempts to shock the public in the street with explicit material not only reinforces that impression, it also allows those with whom we seek a reasoned and compassionate debate to dismiss our genuine and legitimate concerns, » he said.
“The Catholic church wishes to be supportive of those who find themselves contemplating an abortion whatever decision they take,” said Devine.
The abortion legislation at the heart of this controversy would permit the killing of unborn children up to birth and could lead to the imprisonment of doctors who refuse to perform abortions.
The Bill explicitly permits abortion-on-demand up until 14 weeks. It implicitly permits abortion-on-demand up until birth.
Sam Turton writing at Abortion-News.info said that Devine in his letter « distances himself and the church from the more militant stances taken by some objectors. »
“It abounds in logical fallacies and moral contradictions. He first derides members of his church and other Christians as the ‘lunatic fringe’ for using images of aborted babies in demonstrations,” he wrote.
“After dismissing the lunatic fringe, he rolls in the hay with the heretic fringe. ‘People who have abortions are not murderers and are not bad people,’ he pontificates. Devine is blissfully ignorant or wilfully lying. For 2,000 years the Catholic Church has called abortion murder,” he added.
Gomes said Devine’s argument “caves in” when he refers to “‘every abortion’ as ‘an act of desperation.’”
“Murder, theft, and child abuse are also ‘acts of desperation.’ In the Monsignor’s world we’d be making provision for murderers, thieves and child abusers,” he said.
Devine’s position on abortion as expressed in his letter is no surprise according to Catholic observers on the island. An investigative report by Church Militant found that Devine “has shunned a host of pro-life organizations” and refused to work with them in the cause of ending abortion. Organizations he has shunned include the Humanity and Equality in Abortion Reform (HEAR), The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child, Britain’s oldest and largest pro-life group, The UK pro-life and crisis pregnancy charity Life, and the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
The House of Keys, the lower house of the island’s parliament, voted 22-0 for the abortion bill at Second Reading on January 30. The legislation has now passed to the clauses stage where its provisions will be debated in more detail.
The final vote in the House of Keys is likely to take place this month. If approved, the Bill will then go to the Legislative Council, the island’s upper house, which can return the legislation with amendments.
Contact info for respectful communications:
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon OP
Archbishop of Liverpool
19 Salisbury Road
Tel: 0151 494 0686
Fax: 0151 306 7762
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
Former abortion worker: Post-abortion syndrome more common than post-natal depression
Noel Patrùn is one of the faces of Save the 8th’s #MyAbortionStory campaign.
March 6, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – The March for Life UK has announced that one of the keynote speakers at the 2018 March for Life will be Noel Patrùn, a psychiatric nurse who assisted in carrying out abortions during a time working as a scrub nurse in obstetrics and gynaecology departments in UK hospitals.
Moving to the capital
The 2018 March for Life will take place in Parliament Square on 5 May, a date chosen to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act coming into force, which falls on 27 April. The March is making the move to London after 5 years of being held in Birmingham to commemorate the almost 9 million lives lost to abortion since 1968.
Because of the significance of this anniversary to the UK pro-life movement, the March’s organisers are this year choosing speakers with specific experience of abortion in the UK. Mr Patrùn, though Irish born, worked for a considerable time in abortion provision in a UK hospital.
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Stories not being heard
He is currently sharing his experiences in the debate on the Eighth Amendment in Ireland, as part of Save The 8th’s #MyAbortionStory campaign. « I want people to understand that the reality of repeal is not being debated at all, » he said. « If abortion is legalised, someone has to carry out that procedure. There are many abortion stories like mine which are not being heard, and the reality of abortion for nurses and doctors and other practitioners is not being discussed in any meaningful way. »
His testimony sheds a light onto the UK abortion industry, including how many women are not there by choice. In his subsequent work in mental health, he says he ended up supporting more people with post-abortion syndrome than post-natal depression.
Other speakers at the March will include Clare McCullough, one of the founders of the Good Council Network, who has recently gained prominence in her defence of pro-life vigils outside abortion clinics. (Watch Clare taking on Rupa Huq MP on the Daily Politics!)
The 2018 March for Life will take place from 13.30 to 16.00 on Saturday 5 May, preceded by a prolife festival in the Da Vere Connaught rooms from 9.30 to 13.00.
Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
40 Days for Life
Michigan pro-lifers now saving babies from within a former Planned Parenthood
March 6, 2018 (Pregnancy Help News) – Marking a major victory for the pro-life community in Ypsilanti, Michigan, a pregnancy center called Family Life Services recently moved into an unlikely space: the building of a former Planned Parenthood.
As the center settles into its new location, its executive director, Karalee Robison, is still marveling at all of the events that led to this moment.
« It’s really neat to see how God was leading this story together for years and years, » she told Pregnancy Help News.
It started on a fall day in 2014, when Robison got a call from a former staff member informing her of an interesting development: A « closed » sign had appeared on the door of the local Planned Parenthood.
Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor pro-lifers had spent years praying for this moment.
« I’ve heard so many just saying, ‘I drove by that building every day and I prayed over it,' » Robison said. « There was this specific story of a local pastor and a couple people that would go pray outside of that Planned Parenthood. Multiple times they prayed for the sign in the door to not reflect the hours of that Planned Parenthood anymore but to say that it was permanently closed. »
Al Esper, the former staff member who had called Robison, thought the pregnancy center might be looking for a new location and saw this development as the perfect opportunity.
As exciting as the news was, the timing didn’t seem right.
« We just weren’t really in a place where we could start looking or afford that, » Robison said.
Esper said he understood – but before he left the premises, he put a sign on the door directing women to Family Life Services.
A Good Problem to Have
A year and a half later, the situation at Family Life Services changed when the pregnancy center began to outgrow its location. The center had gone from serving 800 clients a year to 1,200.
Because the center shared a building with a pediatric office, they were being flooded with referrals.
« We serve a lot of the same demographics so they are very heavy on Medicaid clients and they refer to us, and we refer to them, » Robison said. « As word of mouth was getting out in our community about what each of our practices were doing, we were just getting inundated with clients. »
In addition, the center’s services had grown. In 2011, the center introduced an ultrasound machine to its practice, and in more recent years, the center’s material good services had increased dramatically.
« The charity of those that are donating these goods to us, has expanded exponentially over the past two years or so, » said Robison.
As their clientele grew, their space was feeling increasingly tight. In the ultrasound room, the nurse, the sonographer and father of the baby would constantly be bumping elbows. They only had two counseling rooms to consult with clients, and material good consultations often had to be done in the waiting area.
The center had considered adding an educational component to their material goods program but kept coming up against the problem of space: There was simply no room to host meetings or group events.
In the winter of 2016, Robison began looking for a new location. She drove by the old Planned Parenthood, hoping it was still on the market. Unfortunately, it was not. A sign indicated that it was in contract.
« I was so disappointed because I just really had in my heart and my mind that, that was somewhere that God would want us to be, » she said.
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A Turning Point
Robison and her team continued their search. Then, one afternoon last spring, Robison received a text from a friend.
« He was like, ‘Hey, did you see the Planned Parenthood’s back on the market? I saw the listing online. It’s active again.’ So I called my realtor as fast as I could, » Robison said. « He got us in that week for a showing. It was really weird obviously to walk through a former Planned Parenthood building. »
Strange though it felt, the space was perfect.
Unlike their current location, the new building was all on one level. Its rooms were already set up to be exam rooms. It had a whole separate wing and entrance that could be used for material goods donations.
Robison and her board moved fast and made an offer. It was accepted on Good Friday 2017.
Lettering from Planned Parenthood signage in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Robison, who planned to be out of town for the Heartbeat International Conference the next week, needed help with the building while she was away. She enlisted the assistance of Carl Combs, a retiree who had offered to volunteer his time with the center.
Over the next several months, Combs volunteered as project manager for the move, coordinating inspections and overseeing the site’s renovation.
« He’s done it all completely as a volunteer, which has been amazing, » said Robison.
A Major Upgrade
In the new building, the center will have three exam rooms and three counseling rooms, as well as new cabinets, carpet, and countertops, among other things.
The new location itself is an improvement as well, as it gives the center closer access to other resources that are important for serving their clients. The WIC and Medicaid offices are now just a couple of blocks away.
Additionally, a majority of the center’s clients come from the same zip code as the new location. Robison also noted that moving further east will help them to better reach Detroit clients as well.
« We’re just really excited to really be in the neighborhood that most of our clients are living in now, » Robison said.
As FLS moves to its new location, anticipation among their supporters is growing as well.
« We’ve had overwhelmingly positive and excited response from our supporters, » Robison said. « We had so many people call at the beginning of this year like, ‘Are you moved yet? When are you moving?' »
Before beginning reconstruction, the center invited a priest to come down from the Diocese of Lansing for an exorcism on the site. Though abortions were not performed at the location, the Planned Parenthood did make abortion referrals, sending women to the Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor.
On the day the site was exorcised, Robison remembers driving up to the building and seeing the parking lot completely full. To her, that day was a turning point for the building.
« This is when we dedicated the building to the Lord and really changed it, » she said.
An Opposed Work
However, not everyone has been supportive. Around the time FLS closed on the building, the organization’s bus ads started getting painted over.
« I’m like, « We’ve had these ads for years and years and years, and they’ve never been vandalized, » said Robison. « It was kind of obvious like oh, there are forces of darkness that do not like us to be in there. We’re up against that fight. »
Despite the opposition, Robison remains positive about the move. As the calendar flips to March, FLS is finishing its move into their new space, ready to serve women in a place that stood for despair and hopelessness.
With the move, FLS becomes the most recent pro-life center to take over the former digs of a Planned Parenthood or other abortion business. Other centers have taken over for shuttered mills in Vermont, Maryland, Florida, Iowa and more.
Robison continues to reflect back on everything that led to this new chapter in her center’s story.
« When you’re in the midst of it you don’t always see everything, » she said. « But now we’re more on the tail end of it, looking back and seeing that full puzzle done – that full picture painted – it’s better than we could have written ourselves. »
Published with permission from Pregnancy Help News.
Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
Tucker Carlson rips activist for promoting LGBT indoctrination in schools
NEW YORK CITY, February 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Fox show host Tucker Carlson expressed what he called parental “outrage” when an LGBT activist defended a school’s plan to help children change their sex or race without parents’ knowledge or consent.
Tucker Carlson was questioning LGBTQ activist Mark Purpura of Equality Delaware about a proposal in Delaware to allow schools to help children “change” their sex or race without the children’s parents knowing.
“We don’t let kids make any decisions without their parents because their parents are in charge of them,” Carlson began on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” last Wednesday. “Why should they be encouraged to make a decision this profound without letting their parents know?”
Purpura said that the measure was not meant to encourage children to make decisions, but simply to allow them to “identify their gender or their race for school records purposes.”
Parents can be applied to for permission to make the change, but the school considers whether or not the parents should be consulted.
“The simple fact is that some parents are simply not going to be supportive of their child [“changing” sex or race] and it may endanger the child’s safety or well-being to involve that parent in that decision,” said Purpura.
“Who makes that decision?” asked Carlson.
“The school would make the decision, but I think what’s missing here it that,” the activist began before Carlson interrupted.
“No, what’s missing here is outrage,” the commentator stated, “so let me supply some. The school has no right to take away parental decision-making from parents. The children do not belong to school administrators. They are members of the family from which they came. How dare a school take that prerogative away from parents? Where did they get the right to do that?”
Purpura assumed an expression of acute long-suffering.
“Tucker, they’re not taking the prerogative away from parents,” he said.
“Obviously they are,” Carlson replied.
But Purpura saw it differently.
“First of all, it’s only in rare circumstances that a school would come to a determination that involving the parents is going to endanger the safety and well-being of the child,” he argued.
‘Who has the right to decide that?’
“Who has the right to decide that?” Carlson demanded. “And where does that right come from? Where does a school administrator have the right to override parental judgment in the case of a child?”
Purpura said that the issue wasn’t overriding parental judgment but “protecting the safety and well-being of that [sex- or race-changing] child”.
“Says who? On the basis of what?” Carlson interrupted. “Oh, stop. I’m a parent of four. I can tell you that the most sacrosanct right you have as a parent is to influence the development of your child. In order to violate that right, you need a court order.”
“But you’re saying that a school official can just decide it’s not in the child’s interests,” he continued, “and I’m asking you where you get the right to violate millennia of sacred tradition and make that decision in place of a parent.”
“Simple question: where’s that right come from?”
Purpura refused to answer the question, choosing instead to focus on the “dignity” and “respect” of the sex- or race-changing child. He seemed to assume that children who informed their teachers that they were really members of the opposite sex or another race would be harmed, or even abandoned, if their parents found out.
“Tucker, the child has a right to dignity and respect in school,” the LGBT activist said, “and they shouldn’t have to choose between that dignity and respect and being unsafe at home, being subject to potential physical violence, mental anguish, or even worse, homelessness.”
But Carlson wouldn’t be diverted from the topic of parents’ rights.
“But someone has to make the decision [to change the listed sex and race of the child] . The].s a subjective decision to be made about what’s best for the child,” he observed. “And that decision is always made by parents unless a court determines that the parents are unable to make the right decision. It takes a court to do that.”
“We send children to schools, and administrators and teachers make those decisions every day.”
Carlson did not buy the argument.
Political extremists think their views are more important than the rights of parents.
“About what race and sex the child is? Are you joking? This has never been tried in any place in the world, and for you to pretend that it’s no big deal, and that nobody’s rights are getting violated–!”
Parental rights, he said, are now being ignored because of political extremists like Purpura who “think their views are more important than the rights of parents.”
Purpura argued that there is precedence for the Delaware proposal, citing similar policies in Oregon, Washington, and Massachusetts.
“Oh, going back, like, about six months,” Carlson scoffed. “This has never happened in human history. We didn’t used to believe three years ago that you could change your sex or your race. So this is all brand new. So at least pay me the compliment of acknowledging this is brand new. This has never been tried.”
“This is not brand new,” Purpura insisted, which brought more protest from Carlson.
“Changing your race is an old thing?” he exclaimed. “How far back does that extend…? Is it in British common law? What are you talking about?”
“It’s not changing your race, Tucker,” said the activist. “It’s identifying your race.”
“Okay, look. We’re not having a biology conversation,” said Carlson, “… but I’m just telling you as a factual matter, no society has ever done that until very, very recently.”
“It’s happening in school districts, and it’s been implemented seamlessly across school districts across the country,” Purpura said.
“But the rights of parents over their own children are being violated because of activists,” his host insisted.
Then the incensed Carlson got personal.
“I’m going to stand up and say it,” he said. “I don’t care. I’m not afraid of you, and I think it’s fair to say that parents are losing their rights to this over their own children. And I think that’s something we need to think about.”
Purpura said that he agreed that parental involvement was important, but did not answer Carlson’s questions about parental rights.
Carlson accused Purpura and other LBGT activists of trying to bully people in going along with regulations allowing guidance counsellors or other school administrators to override parental rights.
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
‘Bringing back capital punishment’: Canadian prisoner ‘helped to die’
March 6, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – In what may be a world first, a prisoner in Canada has been ‘helped to die’.
CBC News reports that to date, three inmates of Canadian prisons have been approved for « medical assistance in dying (MAID) » and that the first documented case of a federal inmate receiving MAID occurred recently, with two correctional officers helping to escort the inmate to the hospital where the procedure took place.
Parole or death?
The cases emerged in a letter from Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger to acting Correctional Service Canada Commissioner Anne Kelly, in which he urged for more « compassionate » parole options and a ban on medically assisted death in prisons.
He said that new guidelines brought in on November 29, 2017 allow the prison system to act as a « facilitator or enabler » of death, breaching the system’s legal and ethical obligations. Mr Zinger condemned the policy, arguing that terminally ill inmates should be given conditional release on « humanitarian and compassionate » grounds.
Targeting the vulnerable
Writing in MercatorNet, Michael Cook pointed out that prisoners must be the amongst most vulnerable people of all possible candidates for euthanasia. « Their surroundings seem purpose-made to inspire despair and promote groupthink. Their custodians benefit from their deaths by cutting costs. They are already being punished by restricting the exercise of their autonomy. »
Bringing back capital punishment?
Dr Anthony McCarthy of SPUC commented, « Anyone concerned to uphold the inherent human dignity of prisoners cannot fail to be concerned that the CSC deems it acceptable to send prisoners to voluntarily kill themselves with the assistance of medics. ‘Assisted Dying’ legislation has, in places like Belgium and the Netherlands, quickly expanded to encompass depressed and mentally ill people. Prisons have no shortage of such people. Already we have seen in Belgium prisoners killed by euthanasia having their organs taken. At a time when governments such as Canada’s have trumpeted their compassion and opposition to capital punishment it is telling that there is so little concern for prisoners’ dignity in this area. »
Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
Cardinal Kasper and Pope Francis talking Rorate Caeli
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew
Cardinal Kasper: Stop calling it ‘heresy’ to allow Communion for adulterers
March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Cardinal Walter Kasper, the chief proponent of Pope Francis’ doctrine that Holy Communion should be given to divorced and “remarried” couples living in a state of adultery, is complaining about the increasingly common use of the word “heresy” to describe the novel teaching.
The word “heresy” has been used by a large number of Catholic scholars, and even some cardinals, to describe the doctrine advanced in the Pope’s 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia, which appears to teach that certain motives can diminish or eliminate the sinfulness of adultery, allowing some adulterers to receive Holy Communion.
“There is a very bitter debate [about the Pope’s teaching], way too strong, with accusations of heresy,” said Kasper in a recent interview with Vatican News, the Holy See’s official news service.
“A heresy is a tenacious disagreement with formal dogma. The doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage has not been called into question on Pope Francis’ part!” added Kasper.
Kasper implied that the Pope’s critics haven’t attempted to understand his true meaning.
“Before saying that something is heresy, the question should be what the other person means by what has been said,” said Kasper. “And, above all, that the other person is Catholic should be presupposed, the opposite should not be supposed!”
The interview was given on the occasion of the publication of Kasper’s new book defending and interpreting Amoris laetitia, titled “Amoris laetitia’s Message. A brotherly discussion.” He was joined in his presentation of the book in Rome by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the embattled President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, who has also defended Francis’ initiatives.
Amoris laetitia is clear, doesn’t contradict Catholic dogma, claims Kasper
Kasper told Vatican News that Amoris laetitia’s meaning is clear, and doesn’t contradict Catholic doctrine, a claim that contradicts objections made by a large number of orthodox Catholic commentators. He also claimed that the “People of God” were very “content” with the teaching.
Vatican News noted that Kasper claims in his new book that “Amoris laetitia does not contain any new doctrine, but is a creative renewal of traditional teaching,” and asked him to explain his claim.
Kasper responded with a metaphor, claiming that “tradition is not a stagnant lake, but is like a spring, or a river: it is something alive,” adding that “the Church is a living organism and thus it always needs to validly translation the Catholic tradition into present situations.”
“This document’s language is so clear that any Christian can understand it. It is not high theology incomprehensible to people,” Kasper said. “The People of God are very content, and happy with this document because it gives space to freedom, but it also interprets the substance of the Christian message in an understandable language. So, the People of God understand! The Pope has an optimal connection with the People of God.”
The exhortation, however, has received divergent and often contradictory interpretations from various bishops around the world, some of whom allow “remarried” Catholics to receive Communion, and some who don’t.
Pope silent in the face of criticism
Since the publication of Amoris laetitia by Pope Francis, numerous attempts have been made to receive clarification from the pontiff on aspects of the document that seem to contradict previous papal teaching and even defined Catholic dogma. However, the Pope has not responded to such initiatives.
Hundreds of theologians and other scholars have signed a document known as the “Filial Correction” of Pope Francis, which compares the doctrines in Amoris laetitia with the teachings in Sacred Scripture and in dogmatic definitions of ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church. They note that the Pope’s teaching appears to contradict Catholic dogma, which must be given the assent of faith by all Catholics. The Filial Correction was delivered to Pope Francis, who never gave a response.
Four Cardinals have also approached the Pope seeking answers to five “dubia” or doubts raised by Amoris laetitia in comparison to previous magisterial teaching, particularly that of Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Veritatis spendor. The dubia have been widely commented on and discussed, but the Pope has given no response to the cardinals’ request for clarification.
In January, after failing to respond to numerous respectful queries about the interpretation of Amoris laetitia, the Pope claimed that he is open to dialogue with those who disagree with him, while expressing concern about those who accuse him of heresy. He also associated those who “resist” his teachings with the devil, and said he avoids reading their websites to protect his “mental health.”
“When I perceive resistance, I seek dialogue whenever it is possible; but some resistance comes from people who believe they possess the true doctrine and accuse you of being a heretic,” said Francis to a group of Jesuits on January 16 in Santiago, Chile, adding “When I cannot see spiritual goodness in what these people say or write, I simply pray for them.”
“For the sake of mental health I do not read the websites of this so-called ‘resistance’ [to my teachings,” Francis said. “I know who they are, I am familiar with the groups, but I do not read them, simply for my mental health. If there is something very serious, they inform me so that I know about it,” he added.
Francis called resistance against his teachings “a good sign,” adding, “It is a sign that we are on the right road, this is the road. Otherwise the devil would not bother to resist.”
The repeated accusation of heresy has been prompted by passages in Amoris laetitia that appear to endorse the notion that it may not be “feasible” or even desirable to avoid adultery in invalid second marriages, because failing to have sexual relations might harm the parents relationship with the children, or could cause the couple to fall into worse sins. The Pope seemed to endorse such interpretations when he officially approved guidelines on the implementation of Amoris laetitia that offer similar reasoning.
The claim that one may commit a sin to avoid another evil, and the claim that one may be unable to avoid sinning in some circumstances, are rejected by the Catholic faith.
The Council of Trent excludes from the Church anyone who claims obedience to moral doctrine is impossible for a person who is in the state of supernatural grace, which the Church gives through the sacraments, stating, “If any one saith, that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to keep; let him be anathema.”
The Letter of St. Paul to the Romans states in chapter three that those who claim that evil may be done to achieve a good are “damned” (condemned): “And not rather (as we are slandered, and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil, that there may come good? whose damnation is just.”
Thomas Evans and his son Alfie Facebook
Claire Chretien Follow Claire
Appeals court: Hospital can yank baby Alfie Evans’ life support against parents’ wishes
LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Today, three British judges rejected an appeal of a High Court decision allowing a hospital to remove toddler Alfie Evans’ life support against his parents’ wishes.
Alfie, who is just a few months away from turning two, has a mysterious, undiagnosed disease. He is in a coma and has seizures, but responds when his parents interact with him. His father Thomas is 21 and his mother Kate is 20.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has been fighting Alfie’s parents in court, arguing their institution should be allowed to yank Alfie’s life support.
The three Court of Appeals judges unanimously agreed with the High Court, which determined in February that it would be “unkind, unfair, and inhumane” to allow the 21-month-old to keep living.
Lady Justice King, one of the judges, said she believes 70 percent of Alfie’s brain matter has been destroyed. She wrote that a professor had testified that Alfie’s breathing “would not be strong enough to sustain life, even if he managed to breathe independently of the ventilation apparatus.”
Thomas and Kate were at Alfie’s side when they learned that the court agreed Alder Hey should have the right to determine their son’s course of care or lack thereof.
On March 2, Alder Hey released a statement saying they “are receiving an unprecedented amount of queries, concerns, comments and questions to staff on social media, via phone, email and in person.”
Pro-Alfie protestors Alfie’s Army / Facebook
“I will protect my family with MY LIFE!” Thomas posted in the Facebook group “Alfie’s Army” on March 1.
It’s unclear what Alder Hey’s next move will be, as Alfie’s case has generated international attention and protests in support of letting him live.
Alder Hey has previously come under public criticism over its organ harvesting practices. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, this scandal revealed that the hospital had “stockpiled” human organs. Alder Hey was investigated for removing and storing children’s’ organs and bodies without their parents’ consent and “mistakenly” disposing of a dead three-year-old’s organs.
On January 26, 2001, Alder Hey admitted to “having given thymus glands removed from living children during heart operations to a pharmaceutical company in return for cash.”
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP, United Kingdom
0151 228 4811
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Facebook page
Justin Trudeau / Flickr
If Canada were voting tomorrow, Trudeau would be thrown out. So how did he get in?
March 6, 2018 (American Thinker) – With all of Justin Trudeau’s blunders – from blowing up Canada’s relationship with India (and messing up in China, too) to welcoming floods of unvetted migrants to Canada to running up the debt to taking lavish vacations at taxpayer expense to pushing for all kinds of political correctness, it’s kind of natural to wonder why this has happened. Seriously, how could Canada have ended up with such an incompetent as its prime minister? His stupidities are legion and likely only to continue. A new Ipsos poll reveals that if a Canadian election were held tomorrow, Trudeau would be thrown out.
In retrospect, it’s worth looking at how Trudeau got elected, because the election had consequences, all of which are on display now. When he was elected in 2015, he had a famous name but no significant political experience. And at age 43, when he was voted in, he didn’t even have much life experience, particularly as a cosseted rich man’s son growing up in an elite left-wing bubble.
Baffling to conservatives is how such a fine prime minister as Stephen Harper could be voted out, his exit largely attributed to his lack of charisma.
It’s true that voters get tired of incumbents. But in Canada’s case, and this is worth noting, Trudeau was elected because of massive foreign funding, from the likes of the rabidly left-wing and secretive Tides Foundation, linked to George Soros and radical environmental movements.
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Foreign money funnelled towards Canadian political advocacy groups affected the outcome of the 2015 federal election, according to a document filed last week with Elections Canada and obtained in part by the Calgary Herald.
The 36-page report entitled: Elections Canada Complaint Regarding Foreign Influence in the 2015 Canadian Election, alleges third parties worked with each other, which may have bypassed election spending limits – all of which appears to be in contravention of the Canada Elections Act.
The Canada Elections Act states that « a third party shall not circumvent, or attempt to circumvent, a limit set out … in any manner, including by splitting itself into two or more third parties for the purpose of circumventing the limit or acting in collusion with another third party so that their combined election advertising expenses exceed the limit. »
« Electoral outcomes were influenced, » alleges the report.
Well, they certainly were. And the scope of this has brought some bitter consequences to Canada. Trudeau, like the leftists in the U.S., has resisted all efforts at electoral reform, despite campaigning on that platform. Obviously, it’s a corrupt system that has been good for him. There isn’t much we Americans can do about it in Canada, but it highlights two points here: 1) that the Russians and their supposed meddling does not shine a candle to the other kinds of meddling that can be taking place and 2) that electoral reforms, to ensure the integrity of elections, make for one of the most important missions left to be finished by the Trump administration. Lefties, once in power, will never undertake this mission; the system as it is is too good for them.
Canada’s disaster in its prime minister’s office shows just how bad it can be.
Published with permission from American Thinker.
Women pray in the underground church in China.
Gerard T. Mundy
Vatican must come to terms with China’s human rights failures
March 6, 2018 (The Public Discourse) – Media outlets have been reporting that the Vatican is finalizing a plan to recognize seven « Catholic » bishops appointed illicitly by the Chinese government – an authoritarian Communist regime that openly oppresses the faithful and tramples on the freedom of religion. If this capitulation comes to pass, the Vatican’s decision would violate the Catholic Church’s own political philosophy and natural rights philosophy.
A source told an Italian newspaper in late February that a deal on the seven bishops, and possibly on future appointments as well, could be in place as early as March. The Vatican has declined to comment officially on the possible decision, but a source is reporting that Pope Francis is planning to lift the excommunications of several of the bishops who received this ecclesiastical punishment as a result of their illicit ordinations, and recognize the seven as official bishops. The Holy See is reportedly hoping that, in exchange, the Communist government will finally recognize the pope as head of the Church and provide him with some type of veto power over the selection of future « bishops » selected by the government. Multiple dispatches and sources are reporting different specific possibilities on what the Vatican may request, meaning that the terms of a potential deal are probably fluid and are still being debated.
Whatever form a deal may ultimately take, a decision to surrender to the Chinese communist government would have numerous deleterious effects. A deal would compromise the independence of the Church in the modern world. The ramifications of a deal would affect the Church and the faithful for generations to come, raising serious questions about the validity of episcopal ordinations and claims to rightful apostolic succession.
Persecution by the Communists
In order to understand the magnitude of what is at stake, one must understand the state of religious oppression in China.
Open Doors, an advocacy organization for oppressed Christians, placed China on its 2018 World Watch List, a grouping that measures the top fifty countries in which persecution against Christians is the most severe. A 2015-2017 report from Aid to the Church in Need labeled the level of Christian persecution in China as « Extreme » and asserted that the level of Christian persecution is « Worsening. »
The 2017 Annual Report by the United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China reported « widespread and systematic violation of the principles of religious freedom as Chinese authorities exercised broad discretion over the religious practice of Chinese citizens. » According to a comprehensive Freedom House report released last year, religious control has intensified since 2012, when President Xi Jinping assumed power. As the report details: « Security forces across the country detain, torture, or kill believers from various faiths on a daily basis. » In addition: « Extensive surveillance, ‘reeducation’ campaigns, and restrictions on private worship affect the spiritual lives of millions of people. »
Just last year, the bishop of Mindong was imprisoned and sentenced to a reeducation camp. Priests of the underground church have been arrested, beaten, and physically tortured in attempts to coerce them into joining the Communist-approved « Catholic » Church. Priests have been sentenced to forced labor camps, and both priests and bishops have disappeared after being arrested. One arrested underground bishop has been missing for over twenty years.
At the end of 2017, it was reported by local Chinese government officials that Christian families in an eastern provincial town had allegedly volunteered to remove over 600 religious images in their homes and replace them with over 400 portraits of President Xi. Government officials alleged that they were « converting » people successfully to government loyalty, although one priest claimed that the residents were bribed. Officials are reported to have said that the Christians involved « recognized their mistakes and decided not to entrust to Jesus but to the Party. »
As recently as February 1, harsher religious restrictions went into effect that, among other things, make non-state-controlled religious gatherings of young people illegal. Dispatches report that clergymen have been told to alert young people that they are no longer allowed on religious premises.
In December, a Catholic church in Zhifang, which had been used for worship since 1999, was demolished by the Chinese government for no apparent reason. Worshippers were not permitted to save any sacred artifacts from the church. A campaign in Zhejiang Province to remove crosses from all Catholic and Protestant churches has netted the destruction of thousands of these Christian symbols. Some worshippers resisted, like those of the Salvation Church, who encircled the church in the midst of hundreds of riot police. The result of this quest to save a cross from government destruction was fifty civilian injuries.
The cultish propaganda surrounding President Xi has intensified – at levels some report are the highest since the days of Mao Zedong – following a Communist Party amendment to its charter last year. The amendment gave President Xi power unmatched since Mao and bestowed on him official recognition mirroring the national reverence accorded to Mao.
In 2016, Xi said, « We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means, » and that « in no way should religions interfere with government administration, judiciary and education. »
According to Church teaching, a government interfering with the natural rights of free religious expression is committing serious error:
All the more is it a violation of the will of God and of the sacred rights of the person and the family of nations when force is brought to bear in any way in order to destroy or repress religion, either in the whole of mankind or in a particular country or in a definite community.
Millions of Chinese sacrifice daily for the freedom to worship the Trinity as their God in communion with Rome. Rather than appeasing and capitulating to the Chinese government, the Vatican would do well to admonish it instead. For, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares, « The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism.' » Indeed, the Chinese’s government’s proper role, according to Vatican II’s Dignitatis Humanae, « is to assume the safeguard of the religious freedom of all its citizens, in an effective manner, by just laws and by other appropriate means. »
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The Underground Catholic Church in China
The ruling Communist Party has attempted to exert complete control of Catholicism in China, prohibiting the free exercise of true Catholicism. The government interference has led to a hidden underground Catholic Church in communion with Rome whose members sacrifice considerably to worship outside government control. Estimates of the Chinese Catholic population range from 9 million to 10.5 million and up to 12 million, with half or more estimated to be in the underground church.
Cardinal Joseph Zen, a former Hong Kong bishop and an outspoken advocate for the oppressed Catholics of China, wrote in late January that signing the accord would mean « that the Vatican is selling out the Catholic Church in China. » In February, Cardinal Zen characterized a potential deal on the bishops by Vatican negotiators as « a surrender. » (He also claimed that Pope Francis is not aware of the reality of what is happening in China and is being led and counseled by a negotiating delegation that overzealously desires a deal.)
The potential deal would disregard those of the Catholic underground who have sacrificed and defied the government in order to remain faithful to Rome, signaling to those Catholics that for naught have they remained faithful to the Church. Further, if a deal is made, as Cardinal Zen wrote, « Priests and believers will soon have to obey and respect those who are today illicit. »
Two of the dioceses, those of Shantou and Mindong, are said to have larger underground Catholic communities than open communities. Both of the underground communities are led by their own bishops. The Vatican is said to have asked both of these underground bishops in December to resign and to recognize officially the two government-chosen bishops, one of whom was excommunicated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011.
In his first interview since the headlines broke, one of those prelates, Bishop Guo Xijin of Mindong, who has spent time in prison and is currently under police surveillance, said that he will ultimately « obey Rome’s decision, » so as not to sever ties with the Vatican. Bishop Guo, however, does not foresee a deal making the Communist government change its hostile position toward free Catholic worship.
Indeed, in President Xi’s own words, he desires to « guide religions to adapt to the socialist society. » To argue that the Communist Party, especially under President Xi, will ever adapt to Catholic authority from Rome dismisses current knowledge of the situation in China, of history, and of the political thought of Marxism and communism. One must consider the words of Cardinal Zen: « A church enslaved by the government is no real Catholic Church. »
Communism Is Not Compatible with Catholicism
The appeasement of a totalitarian, autocratic, and authoritarian regime is a mistake that often results in dreadful consequences. Appeasement most especially will not work for the Church. To the Communist Party, the Catholic Church is a formidable foreign enemy with internal agents who are a threat to its power and control. History’s totalitarian regimes have all feared organized religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular.
Further, appeasement to a communist country ignores Catholic teaching that is staunchly against communism. If the plan is adopted officially by the Chair of Saint Peter, the Vatican will be bowing to the demands of an oppressive regime that acts in opposition to a corpus of Catholic teaching on the inherent dignity and rights of persons, as well as on the responsibilities and limits of civil government. For the Catechism teaches: « No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law. »
The Church also teaches: « Respect for the human person entails respect for the rights that flow from his dignity as a creature. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it. » The Chinese government, however, infringes on the people’s natural rights, which for the Church includes the right to free religious expression. In China, Catholics are allowed to worship legally only under the guidance and the regulations of the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which the Vatican does not, as of now, consider to be genuinely Catholic.
The possible decision by the Vatican cannot be considered « dialogue. » Rather the possible deal must be characterized as a compromising appeasement to a hostile foreign power. Authoritarian communist states do not believe in honest dialogue; all others are but means to be used in order to bring them to their end, the means to which entails doing whatever is necessary to dominate and to subdue the faithful in order to maintain power.
The potential appeasement would delegitimize the Church’s own authority in decision-making within her own institution and give credence to the authority of an oppressive, atheistic, and authoritarian communist regime to choose prelates for the Catholic Church. The move would not only set a precedent in China, but also potentially seduce other oppressive governments to test the authority of the Church and meddle in its affairs, while also emboldening other governments to inhibit free Catholic worship.
The Church has no political party and claims no political identification, but it does intervene in politics when necessary. According to the Church’s own teaching, it enters politics as an outsider in order to ensure that the common good is being met and that the dignity of every person is being respected. The Church does not enter the political realm to appease a regime that seeks control of the Church or one that oppresses, tortures, abuses, imprisons, and murders the religious for their beliefs.
If anything, the Church should be entering politics in China in order to rebuke the regime for its violation of the natural rights of the oppressed and abused Chinese faithful.
Gerard T. Mundy teaches philosophy, as a political philosophy/political theory specialist, at a private liberal arts college in New York.
Published with permission from The Public Discourse.
America may have had enough of homosexual activism
March 6, 2018 (The Public Discourse) – GLAAD, a leading gay advocacy outfit, released a new report showing that positive attitudes toward homosexuality and people who identify as LGBT have decreased a bit over the last few years. They sum up their findings rather starkly: « This year’s survey reflects a decline with people’s comfort year-over-year in every LGBTQ situation… »
The organization shows great concern over what they describe as the « significant decline in overall comfort and acceptance of LGBTQ people. » Their survey results indicate, at least, that indifference toward the LGBT community and its political efforts is increasing. At most, support for gay causes is diminishing. The report’s introduction, written by GLAAD’s President Sarah Kate Ellis, interprets the findings with dramatic, fearful flair. « This year, » she writes, « the acceptance pendulum abruptly stopped and swung in the opposite direction. »
The truth is not as dramatic as GLAAD makes it out to be. The changes they track in attitudes do indicate a less passionate embrace of alternative sexual behaviors and gender identities this year than in years past, but not markedly so. Most advocacy groups would not be terribly concerned about such a shift. But to GLAAD, even indifference – much less disapproval – is a cause for great concern. If celebration and affirmation of LGBT causes are not increasing, bigotry must be on the rise. There is no middle ground.
What is GLAAD’s explanation for this shift away from gay affirmation? It’s not difficult to guess. It’s President Trump and the supposedly increasing atmosphere of « intolerance » he has brought to our nation. Really?
Let’s think about this for a moment. If Trump and his supporters actually think gay and lesbian people don’t belong in polite society, wouldn’t those who supported GLAAD’s positions in years past double down on their pro-LGBT positions in reaction? Did President Trump actually convince these one-time supporters that their backing of gay causes was wrong? This doesn’t seem likely. Something else must be at work here.
Could it be the LGBT community’s post-Obergefell actions and attitudes have not rested well with mainstream America?
A Radicalization of Ideology and Rhetoric
This is not an outlandish hypothesis. Even some major leaders in the LGBT community have suggested it. Andrew Sullivan, writing about the GLAAD report in New York magazine, warns that no one « seems to notice the profound shift in the tone and substance of advocacy for gay equality in recent years, and the radicalization of the movement’s ideology and rhetoric. » This aggressive radicalization « is surely having an impact, » he holds. How could it not, Sullivan asks, when his movement’s public rhetoric shifted from « live and let live » to the thunderously demonizing « agree with us in every regard or be a bigot »?
If you don’t believe that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, you’re the worst kind of hateful. If you think a child deserves a mother and a father, you are a bigot. If you think a gender-dysphoric boy should not be treated as a girl, you’re evil. If you think a man should use the men’s restroom, regardless of what sex he thinks he is, you are discriminatory. If you think parents’ desire to get their children counseling help for their same-sex attraction is okay, you’re very dangerous. If your church teaches that homosexual sexual activity is wrong, your church is bigoted. You must agree with every part of LGBT values or be slimed. This dictatorial absolutism is not sitting well with many Americans.
The crown jewel of the gay movement’s efforts – the Supreme Court’s degendering of marriage – was sold to the heterosexual world on the question, « How does someone else’s gay marriage affect me? » Most people unquestioningly accepted that it wouldn’t.
But they are learning through real-life events that gay marriage does indeed affect them – or, at least, people very much like them. A great many Americans figured they don’t have to like gay marriage, but why should they stand in the way of Jim and Frank across the street marrying? You live your life, they reasoned, and I’ll live mine. But the equation has turned out to be much more complicated. Jim and Frank needed « marriage equality » to feel like full citizens, we were told. Who doesn’t want Jim and Frank to feel like full citizens? I do. But now they are learning that « marriage equality » is not enough. They must also agree to any and all demands from the LGBT powers, regardless of their personal religious or moral beliefs – or be branded with a Scarlet B.
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Sullivan and others in his community are merely noting what many of us in the effort to prevent the degendering of marriage predicted would happen. From surprisingly fast and unexpected victory can come great hubris and the desire to utterly crush one’s opponents. Such overreach, in turn, provokes a backlash from those who once supported the victor’s cause.
Whom Will It Hurt?
Americans are hearing the troubling stories of good people just like them who harbor no ill will toward same-sex-attracted individuals. These people, particularly small business owners, are being mercilessly pulverized because they cannot in good faith participate in certain events. I’m sure you’ve heard their stories, but I’ll summarize just a few here.
Consider Melissa Klein and her husband, who operated Sweet Cakes by Melissa. She was required by the state of Oregon to pay a lesbian couple $135,000 for causing them « emotional and mental suffering, » according to the state. She could not create a cake for their gay wedding, because such weddings are proscribed by her Christian faith. As a result, they have had to close their store and have been tied up in legal trouble as they appeal the ruling.
Americans have also heard the story of Barronelle Stutzman, a grandmotherly florist. She was taken to court by the Washington state’s attorney general when she explained to a gay couple that she could not make flower arrangements for their wedding. The couple knew that Stutzman did not harbor ill feelings toward gay people, as they had been welcome customers and friends for more than nine years. She happily sold them flowers for other special occasions. Stutzman explained, « If I did Rob’s wedding, it would be from my heart, because I think he’s a really special person. » But she could not put her heart into them because of her convictions. The state said her decision was discrimination and sued both her business and her personally. We have witnessed the full power of the state coming down on her.
Americans have similarly read about Blaine Adamson, a Kentucky businessman who owns a promotional printing company that happily serves gay customers and has gay employees. He was sued for explaining that he could not, in good conscience, print t-shirts for a local gay pride parade. He could not support such an event with his handiwork. It was of no consequence that he also refused to print a simple black tee with white writing that said, « Homosexuality Is a Sin. » He didn’t think this proclamation reflected Christian love. But refusing to do a shirt for a local pride event led to his being targeted by a local « human rights commission » as an intolerable bigot. He has been tied up in court for years.
People have heard the story of Yvette Cormier, who complained when a man believing he’s a woman walked into the woman’s dressing room at a Michigan Planet Fitness and started to undress. Cormier became very uncomfortable, explaining, « I was stunned and shocked. He looked like a man… He did not look like a woman, » adding, « It was very scary. » Surely this could be cleared up by talking to management, she thought. So she did. They told her she was in the wrong, that she was being intolerant, and that the man had every right to be in the women’s changing room, since he claimed to be a woman. People saw this as utter madness, just as they did when Target adopted the same policy. Even so, Planet Fitness rescinded Cormier’s membership because she warned other female members to watch out for men coming into their locker room. The state of Michigan sided with the gym, and Cormier’s reputation as a kind person was destroyed.
The nation knows the story of the Denver cake baker, Jack Phillips, who has taken his case all the way to Supreme Court. In 2012, he kindly told a gay couple wanting a custom wedding cake that he could not make it for them because of his faith. He serves gay customers all the time and does so happily. He just can’t make same-sex wedding cakes, because he believes his artistry would be supporting something that he cannot in good conscience endorse. For the same reason, he refuses to do Halloween and adult-themed cakes. The punitive Colorado Civil Rights Commission said unless he made cakes for same-sex weddings, he must stop making cakes for everyone. Wedding cakes make up about 40 percent of his shop’s business. He and his staff were ordered to go through sensitivity training and to file quarterly reports with the state every time he refused to design any cake, explaining why. He has received many death threats. Remarkably, he explained that these intimidations « give me the opportunity to pray for people I wouldn’t otherwise know. » Americans saw him explain his story on The View and witnessed for themselves that he was not the bigoted Neanderthal he has been made out to be. They have gotten to see Jack Phillips for what he is: a very kind, gentle individual whom they can relate to.
Clearly, other people’s same-sex weddings are affecting very good people in very damaging ways.
Justice and Tolerance
The average American who was asked to back same-sex marriage on the principle of justice and tolerance is seeing that those who requested their support are not living by their own rules. They are finding that « marriage equality » is not enough. They are finding the deal has been unilaterally renegotiated: « You will not only support our right to marry, but you will also support our marriages in every way that we ask. If you do not, we will take you to court, ruin your business, take your money, slime your good name, and even threaten your life. » The remarkable examples of these injustices are surprising and alarming many good citizens.
When winners overplay their hand, demanding everything from their opponents by threat of devastating penalty, those who cheered their victory tend to be turned off by their abuse of power.
Leave Trump out of it. This is why GLAAD found that attitudes toward the LGBT community are cooling. It’s not really that hard to miss. Perhaps GLAAD and its allies should learn to practice what they preach: tolerance of other people’s beliefs and practices, even if they don’t fully understand them.
Glenn T. Stanton is the director of global family formation studies at Focus on the Family and the author of eight books on various aspects of the family, including The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage and Loving My LGBT Neighbor: Being Friends in Grace and Truth.
Published with permission from The Public Discourse.
Manipulative language, deceptive actions: Don’t get misled on abortion and euthanasia
March 6, 2018 (American Life League) – Studying the language and actions of those who support the direct killing of human beings, from their first spark of life at inception until their last breath, can leave a person speechless. The devious acts of those who support such tactics is a constant source of sorrow for many of us.
Imagine reading about a frail elderly woman, suffering from dementia, who never asked anyone to end her life, but who wound up dying because her doctor « concluded her suffering was unbearable and incurable – though there was no terminal physical illness – and prepared a lethal injection. »
Consider the Catholic experts who claim that palliative care is a pro-life response to euthanasia advocates even though the evidence is painfully clear that palliative care – known as pain relief medication – can become the easy way to put grandma out of her misery permanently!
Suppose that a group claiming to be Catholic, but calling itself Catholics for Choice, propagandized the truth by muddying the waters in such a way that people were led astray by methods of deception we commonly call lies.
Not possible, you say?
Well, in a recent article we discover that these counterfeit Catholics are saying that « the Catholic hierarchy and its anti-choice allies argue that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception. But not a single opinion on this subject has been pronounced as the one true Catholic belief, because there isn’t one. »
How wrong can such deceivers be? Clearly they do not realize that, in 1961, to name but one Catholic source, Pope John XXIII wrote in Mater et Magistra: « Human life is sacred – all men must recognize that fact. From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws not only offend the divine majesty and degrade themselves and humanity, they also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are members. »
In other words, abortion at any point after a human being’s life begins at his biological beginning is offensive to God. Period.
Whether we are talking about the beginning of a person’s life or the end, only God knows the hour and the time, not to mention the very identity of His child. Man, on the other hand, may wish to deny God’s all powerful creative love, but man usually makes mistakes that in some cases – like those noted above – can result in the untimely death of innocent persons.
The common thread noted here, whether we are talking about the beginning of life or the aged or the infirm, is that words uttered by those who have lost their sense of truth or their sense of right and wrong can mislead others into accepting views that are contrary to the truth – views that result in consenting to death instead of welcoming life and affirming it to its very end.
As a final example, and to drive this point home, let’s think about the British judge who « justified his decision to remove a baby from a ventilator, against the wishes of his Catholic parents, by citing a recent controversial address given by Pope Francis » in which the Holy Father, perhaps unwittingly, said « it is morally licit to decide not to adopt therapeutic measures, or to discontinue them, when their use does not meet that ethical and humanistic standard that would later be called ‘due proportion in the use of remedies.' » Surely Pope Francis did not intend his words to be used to justify the ending of a baby’s life. Yet we continue to see that the sinister manipulation of life always depends on lies, misrepresentations, and half-truths.
We must be vigilant, and we dare not be speechless! Rather, we must arm ourselves with the truth, with the arguments in defense of life, and with the tools to teach our children that life is always and in every case precious because it is a gift from God.
God has instructed us in His Word, so we must learn and teach that man may never manipulate human life. Man is called to love every human being because each and every person is a gift from God made in His image and likeness.
Published with permission from the American Life League.
Cpl. Brandon Gaddis, a digital wideband technician with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, encourages his team members while doing push-ups during the Memorial Day Murph challenge at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy. Cpl. Alexander Mitchell
Msgr. Charles Pope
Lent: The perfect time to do some spiritual push-ups for God
March 6, 2018 (Community in Mission) – A disturbing report came from the Pentagon in 2014 that speaks to the overall condition of our country. Here is a summary:
Nearly 71 percent of the 34 million 17-to-24-year-olds in the U.S. do not qualify for military service for reasons related to health, physical appearance, and educational background, according to the Pentagon.
Obesity is the most common reason for being turned away, but others are disqualified because they lack a high school diploma/GED, are convicted felons, or are taking prescription drugs for ADHD. From a cosmetic standpoint, ear gauges and certain tattoos. While some requirements can be waived, others cannot.
The upshot is that only 1 percent of young people are both « eligible and inclined to have conversation with » the military about possible service, according to the Defense Department. The quality of people willing to serve has been declining rapidly (Sources: Time and the Wall Street Journal).
There are of course many standards by which to judge the health of a nation, but military readiness is surely one of them. As Rome declined something similar happened. The Roman Army was increasingly staffed by mercenaries, many of whom were barbarians or slaves. Roman citizens lost interest in defending their land, but they also lost their fitness for such duty through luxurious living, weight gain, alcoholism, and sexually transmitted diseases.
What of us as a nation? Obesity among the young has increased dramatically since I was a boy. Young people today engage in less physical activity than the youth of my time, who watched much less television and did have not computers or video games to fill their time. We rode bikes, played pick-up football, and built tree forts. In those days, fewer than 1 in 20 kids was obese. Today, it is about 1 in 6. It also seems to me that there is something different about the food we eat today. I ate a lot throughout my 30s without gaining a pound; so did most people my age (I am in my late 50s). Something seems to have changed in the way food is prepared; I suspect a lot more sugar is being used.
As for the other problems of no high school diploma, prescription drugs for ADHD, felonies, and tattoos, this speaks to the decline of family life and the overwhelming influence of social media and those little blue screens that engross so many of us.
Of course I am a priest, not a sociologist, nutritionist, or doctor; but nothing in this report bodes well for us. On a spiritual level, it also speaks to our difficulty in accepting and being ready for sacrifice. Indeed, there is more than a physical war to be fought; there is also a spiritual one. Scripture speaks of this:
- Join me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Tim 2:3).
- But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called (1 Tim 6:12).
- Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable (1 Cor 9:25).
- If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? (1 Cor 14:8)
- Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Eph 6:13-16).
Thus, even as we mourn the loss of battle-readiness in our nation, we also need to lament the lack of readiness for spiritual combat. Too few of us can bother ourselves to fast, even for an hour before Holy Communion. We find it difficult to get to Mass on Holy Days, to spend time each day in prayer, or to give up something on Fridays. Even the smallest sufferings can cause us to become discouraged and depressed.
Simply criticizing ourselves may not be the answer. Rather, calling on God to assist us in getting ourselves « back into shape » may be better. Pick just one or two things to work on, for example spending more time in prayer or offering a sacrifice (e.g., abstinence) on all Fridays of the year. Once these have been accomplished, try to add others. « Fast » from foolish shopping; restrict your portion sizes. Small, consistent steps may get us further than self-reproach and pursuing unrealistically ambitious resolutions.
Too many of us are out of shape for battle! Lent is a time to do some spiritual pushups and to take up the fuller armor of God.
Published with permission from Community in Mission.
Cardinal Cupich and Cardinal Wuerl concelebrate Mass with other U.S. bishops Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Claire Chretien Follow Claire
U.S. bishop: If ‘conscience’ alone determines access to Communion, why not Holy Orders too?
March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Can anyone receive the Catholic Church’s Sacraments, such as Holy Orders, provided he feels it’s the “right” thing to do, something done in « good conscience »?
Bishop Thomas Tobin is asking that timely question, which would have seemed ridiculous just a few years ago. (Bishop Tobin, of Rhode Island, is not to be confused with Cardinal Joseph Tobin, of “nighty-night, baby. I love you” fame.)
Bishop Tobin’s questions, which point out the flawed reasoning behind lefty prelates’ waxing and waning over basic Catholic teaching, come at the same time as Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich is celebrating D.C.’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s new pastoral plan on Amoris Laetitia because of its “masterful…treatment of conscience.”
Priests are called to respect the decisions made in conscience by individuals who act in good faith since no one can enter the soul of another and make that judgment for them. As Pope Francis teaches, “We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them” (AL, 37).
This slippery passage suggests that if someone living in an objective state of serious sin feels that according to his “conscience,” he may receive Holy Communion, then priests should respect that.
(Another troubling aspect of Cardinal Wuerl’s pastoral plan is that the archdiocesan webpage on Amoris Laetitia recommends Cardinal Christoph Schönborn’s squishy take on the exhortation. Lest anyone think Wuerl and Cupich are completely aligned, though, remember that at a June 2017 meeting, Wuerl defended continuing the U.S. bishops’ pro-religious liberty efforts while Cupich questioned them.)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act” (CCC 1796). Cardinal Wuerl acknowledges this in his document.
The Catechism also says:
Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings. (CCC 1783)
Bishop Tobin’s question raises an important point: if “conscience” (possibly poorly-formed) is the only criterion for reception of Holy Communion, why not apply that same reasoning to other Sacraments?
What if my “conscience” tells me I should be “ordained” a bishop even though I’m a woman? And that determination is made “in good faith”? Should Church authorities be able to block me?
What if someone, on his deathbed, feels “in good faith” that the work he’s done aborting tens of thousands of babies throughout his life was done in “conscience” and won’t repent? Should a priest still give him the Last Rites?
A properly formed conscience is an important part of the life of every Catholic striving to live the faith. But the Church’s teachings, not subjective feelings, determine if a conscience is properly formed.
Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
BlogsTue Mar 6, 2018 – 11:10 am EST
Materialism and cruelty: The petty dictators in our midst
March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Why was it such a big deal when “the Bloody 14” Catholic Senators voted against a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of gestation? Why was Bishop Paprocki acting justly when he chastised one of the them (Senator Durbin), stating publicly that until he repents of this crime, he may not receive Our Lord in Holy Communion? Why are bishops who do nothing about this or similar scandals—like Georgetown University’s cynical celebration of Durbin—personally guilty of complicity in grave sin?
All of the inhumanity for which the twentieth century has gone down in history as the blackest of centuries is concentrated in each act whereby a developing child, quietly curled up within its mother’s womb awaiting delivery into the human world, is sliced apart or dissolved by poison. The dark spirits behind Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and every other dictator who consigned the innocent to death are busily at work in the hands of the abortionist. And behind their hands is the devil and his angels, who are eager to snuff out the natural and supernatural lives of as many of God’s rational creatures as they can.
Let us not be lulled into thinking that the evil carried out by Hitler and the Nazis is a thing of the past, “never again” to be repeated, as the naïve slogans say. The abortion industry has far exceeded in its toll of murders anything that Hitler or Stalin could have dreamed of. As Thomas J. Craughwell wrote:
The Nazis’ first victims were the weakest members of society: disabled children. Officially, they were known as “life unworthy of life”; a cruder term was Ausschusskinder, “garbage children.” Physicians administered overdoses of sedatives which “put them to sleep,” as one physician who participated in the euthanasia of children put it.
The human world becomes inhuman when it denies being to a new man or woman. Such an act turns man into an ugly ape of “the Lord and giver of life.” Through it man becomes a cruel and arbitrary dictator, exceeding the worst arrogance and megalomania that could ever be attributed to religious fanatics or political dictators.
How dare we deny to the unborn the right to live, as we ourselves live? To think that one may take another’s life into one’s own power and do with it as one pleases is the root of tyranny. When false arguments are swept away, only one thing remains: the violent exercise of brute force upon unprotected life, violence countenanced by law—by a law that is no law, but an abuse, parody, and solvent of law.
Abortion is really a question of power: who can commit murder and get away with it? What bully is in charge? This violence has unmistakable parallels with the practices, so routinely contemptuous of human life, characteristic of twentieth century mass political movements and tyrannies. The spread of such brutality infects and numbs the entire world, killing compassion no less than lives, killing consciences and deadening the awareness of evil, administering a moral poison which eventually makes it impossible to understand how human life itself can have intrinsic worth or value.
Widespread and widely accepted abortion represents the ultimate triumph of materialism. As applied to human beings, materialism amounts to a denial of soul. For the materialist, there is nothing in us other than springs and cogs; suicide is to relegate oneself to the scrapheap, euthanasia is to release another machine from its poor functioning condition, abortion is the removal of unwanted parts from a machine.
Materialism has always been an ideology, a theory which people have entertained inconsistently with the actual practice of their lives. One would expect the last sanctuary against this absurd theory to be a mother’s experience of bearing and loving her own children. An ivory-tower scientist might try to believe the theory that there is no such thing as reason or personhood or friendship, that we are all nothing but atoms and cells, elaborate heaps of stuff with no intrinsic worth, whereas one would think that a mother holding a helpless and trusting baby to her breast would be far too wise with the wisdom of reality to succumb to a theory so palpably false. Yet for a woman to let the child who is growing in her womb be dismembered and destroyed portends nothing less than the triumph of an absurd and heartless ideology.
This materialism itself is radically inconsistent, as any falsehood must be. It excludes some human beings as “blobs of tissue” but wants to spread the message of humanitarianism, enforce animal rights, and protect rain forests. On what basis? When a pregnant woman is assaulted and her child perishes, the attacker can (in certain places where laws harmonize with common sense) be charged with homicide. If the same pregnant woman chooses to destroy her own child, however, she is permitted to do so, protected, even honored for it.
It is frightening to realize that the human soul can be so poisoned by falsehood that all arguments drawn from nature, from reason, from common sense, become useless. One might as well be talking to a vegetable, as Aristotle said of those who deny the principle of non-contradiction: a thing cannot both be and not be in the same respect and at the same time. Those who claim that a fetus is both a child and not a child, depending on how you look at it, are guilty of speaking nonsense. If it were a matter of speech alone, one might pity them. As it is, they have weapons and wealth, and carry their nonsense into action, bringing sin, death, and nihilism into the world.
Materialism is the worldview that underlies cruelty. Yes, religious idealism can be a weapon in the hands of sinners, but it can also—and this is far more common throughout history—lead men and women to heights of self-sacrificial love. Materialism, on the contrary, is a system that can only be abused, because it only leads downwards, into the pit of utilitarian egoism. There is no possible room for human dignity and human rights in the worldview of a materialist; there are just atoms and void.
‘Googleplex,’ Google Headquarters, Mountain View, California. achinthamb / Shutterstock.com
Michael L. Brown Follow Dr. Michael
Radical leftist group is helping YouTube ‘flag’ content. Here’s why that’s concerning
March 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – I have never been a fan of Alex Jones and Infowars, and I strongly reject some of the conspiracy theories Jones has put forth. But if it is true that his channel could be removed from YouTube, we should not ignore this, whether we are on the left or right or in between, especially since the Daily Caller reported that, “YouTube is getting help from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in its effort to identify extremist content.”
The SPLC? I would honestly have a hard time coming up with a major organization that I would trust less than the SPLC to help YouTube, an organization rightly branded an anti-Christian hate group.
Writing for Polygon.com, Julia Alexander noted that, “Whenever YouTube institutes a tougher moderation stance, a common debate emerges over censorship — especially from notable conservative voices.”
Specifically, she explained, “Questions over YouTube’s moderators and the power they hold were raised this week after notable conservative pundits, gun advocates, conspiracy channels and other right-wing voices received community strikes or were locked out of their channels. Creators who are affected by lockouts, strikes and suspensions are referring to it as the ‘YouTube Purge,’ claiming that YouTube is purging all right-wing or pro-gun content. The move follows the company’s attempt to clamp down on dangerous content following the Parkland shooting.”
To be sure, YouTube must do a careful balancing act, removing certain content without infringing on lawful free speech. And some content should be removed. For example, does anyone think that someone should have the “right” to post a map to your house with pictures of your family, replete with false accusations against you and a call to burn your house down? Obviously not.
But the so-called “YouTube Purge” raises many concerns, even if Jones has not accurately represented his own situation in every detail.
In the 1980’s, a broad coalition from the left and right came together in support of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church after he was found guilty on three counts of willfully filing false Federal income tax returns and one count of conspiracy.
Among those filing briefs in defense of Moon were the Center for Law and Religious Freedom, the ACLU, and the National Bar Association, while leaders who vocally stood with Moon after he was imprisoned included conservatives like Jerry Falwell, liberals like Joseph Lowery, Harvard professor Harvey Cox, Senator Eugene McCarthy, and many others.
It was quite an unlikely coalition, and it was equally surprising to see evangelicals and liberals rally around Rev. Moon. Both sides had ample reasons to reject him and his cult, but there were larger issues at stake, and these leaders recognized that the threat to Moon was a threat to others as well.
Wikipedia notes that, “A United States Senate subcommittee, chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch, conducted its own investigation into Reverend Moon’s tax case and published its findings in a report which concluded:
‘We accused a newcomer to our shores of criminal and intentional wrongdoing for conduct commonly engaged in by a large percentage of our own religious leaders, namely, the holding of church funds in bank accounts in their own names. Catholic priests do it. Baptist ministers do it, and so did Sun Myung Moon.’”
And, Sen. Hatch noted, “I do feel strongly, after my subcommittee has carefully and objectively reviewed this case from both sides, that injustice rather than justice has been served. The Moon case sends a strong signal that if one’s views are unpopular enough, this country will find a way not to tolerate, but to convict. I don’t believe that you or I or anyone else, no matter how innocent, could realistically prevail against the combined forces of our Justice Department and judicial branch in a case such as Reverend Moon’s.”
The case was of such concern that Regnery, a leading conservative publisher, released a book by Carlton Sherwood titled, Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
Hatch’s cautionary words can be repeated with regard to Infowars and others today: “if one’s views are unpopular enough, this country will find a way not to tolerate” – or even “to convict.”
Prager U is currently in a legal battle with YouTube, and their web page announcing the lawsuit begins with a quote from former California Governor Pete Wilson: “This is speech discrimination plain and simple, censorship based entirely on unspecified ideological objection to the message or on the perceived identity and political viewpoint of the speaker.”
Many others have voiced complaint with YouTube’s uneven, censorious policies, and on a weekly (or, daily basis), my organization has to request the review of videos on the AskDrBrown YouTube page after they are flagged as being Not Suitable for Most Advertisers.
I’m not sure if we have trolls complaining about our videos or if it’s just part of YouTube’s very flawed system, but something is obviously wrong when YouTube flags and demonetizes videos like “What Made Billy Graham Special” and “A Common-Sense Discussion About Guns and Gun Control” and “Overcoming Hatred with Love; and How Christians Can Regain Credibility in America.”
And all the while, YouTube allows vile, hate-filled, incendiary videos from the left to proliferate. Some would even argue that they promote such leftist videos, while demoting (or demonetizing or blocking or removing) videos which express a contrary, conservative point of view.
Indeed, Jim Hoft on Gateway Pundit is now reporting that “Google-YouTube is shutting down prominent conservative and right-leaning channels” and that “Google-YouTube is also blocking conservative channels — Like the Official Gateway Pundit channel — from posting.”
Not only so, Hoft states that, “Google is also altering search results to portray far left websites and organizations as conservative. Today [March 4] if [you] search Google for a list of pro-life organizations you get this…Google lists Planned Parenthood as the top Pro-Life website.”
As ridiculous as this sounds, this is no joke, and it is similar to what recently happened to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and others who warn against radical Islamic jihad.
And so, whether you’re an Infowars fan or you find their work distasteful, their potential removal from YouTube should concern you.
Otherwise, soon enough, we’ll have our own version of Martin Niemöller’s famous poem, which will now sound something like this:
First they came for Infowars, and I did not speak out—because I found them offensive.
Then they came for Geller and Spencer, and I did not speak out—because I found them obnoxious.
Then they came for Prager U, and I did not speak out—because I found them opinionated.
Then they came for a host of others, and I did not speak out—because I have my own life to live.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
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