Ben Johnson

Dancing Sufis for abortion

Ben Johnson
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LifeSiteNews.com reported some time ago about Planned Parenthood’s latest, most bizarre effort to drum up support for its indefensible industry: holding a 40-day prayer campaign in favor of abortion. Kathleen Gilbert reported the 40 Days of Prayer material “lists 40 different prayers for those involved in the ‘sacred care’ of abortions to continue protecting, providing, and embracing the procedure - including mothers, escorts, abortionists, and everyone involved except the unborn children.” However, most of the national reporting has failed to convey the full breadth and diversity of the undertaking.

The campaign is modeled on the more successful 40 Days of Life, in which people of faith pray for abortion to end. The new campaign prays for abortions, world without end.

The people who pray against what happens inside abortion clinics look like a cross-section of America. They are primarily Catholics, Orthodox Christians and conservative Protestants.

And who are the supplicants for slaughter?

According to CalCatholic.com, on March 18 “Rabbi Naomi Steinberg hosted a kickoff interfaith prayer service at Temple Beth El in Eureka, while at the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Bayside, Sufi dances for ‘universal peace’ were conducted ‘honoring the spiritual wisdom of women, past and present.’”

Sufis are the mystically inclined adherents of Islam.

The Unitarian Universalists are the ultra-liberal denomination that, even its members agree, believes in “at most one God.”

Surely not every minister is as out of touch as the abortion industry’s dancers practicing dhikr, are they?

In fact, not all are even clergy.

The April 12th orations were led by a liberal Lutheran and Nancy Dye, a psychology professor at Humboldt State University. The meeting’s theme was “celebrating and giving thanks for the intelligence, talent, wit, and wisdom of all the women and girls in our lives.” (Notice a trend?) No word on whether the celebration in any way mentioned God.

The rest of the clerics appear to be the usual consort of middle aged women and graying radical men who found the mainline churches provided the best platform for advancing the revolution and the most lucrative showcase for their twin talents of pretension and outrage.

Events will continue until April 27, or until all its participants are struck by lightning.

It is difficult to imagine this sideshow of secular prelates spiritually moving anyone not already in thrall to the cult of death, even when paired with the Flying Wallendas.

It is somewhat vindicating to see Planned Parenthood openly acknowledge it is waging spiritual warfare, confecting what its zealots have called “The Sacrament of Abortion” offered to the pagan goddess Artemis.

It is also heartening that, as far advanced as the decline of the West is, it is not yet to the point that the love of death can speak its name openly. The abortion prayer hour and tent meeting still has to wrap itself in the trappings of traditional religion, however eviscerated its content may be.

According to a pamphlet produced by Humboldt County Clergy for Choice, each of the 40 days is dedicated to a different prayer petition.

Day four commemorates those who provide “quality abortion care” – presumably overlooking Kermit Gosnell, Steve Chase Brigham, Abraham Alberto Hodari, and others of their guild brethren.

The next day lifts up future medical students who want to become abortionists, an uncharacteristic display of concern for the next generation. (Point to ponder: How many potential abortionists has Planned Parenthood aborted?)

Day 14 asks Christians become like Jesus, Who “refused to shame women.” As I recall, He also declined to dismember them.

Day 17 petitions the Almighty for “for increased financial support for low income women” for abortion.

A week later, we finally begin to get somewhere. Day 24 begs for “an end to hateful language that diminishes the dignity of women.” The most dehumanizing and debasing phrases I can think of are “product of conception,” “glob of cells,” “unwanted child,” and “unprepared mother” – the words abortionists use while alternately deceiving and terrifying vulnerable women into handing over their money for sufferings rendered.

Finally, on Day 29, we reach common ground. “Today we pray that all women will know that they are created in the image of God, good and holy, moral and wise,” the prayer says.

Just so. All women (and all men, for that matter) are created in the image of God. That image should strive to be more closely aligned to the likeness of God through an active obedience to His commandments in our every station of life, even – perhaps especially – when these roles are thrust upon us and seem intolerably inconvenient, burdensome, or wearying.

That life, and all life, created in the Divine image deserves to be loved when it acts amiss, encouraged when it acts aright, and preserved and defended in every instance from those who wish to extinguish the inestimable gift concealed within its tiny form.

This article originally appeared on TheRightsWriter.com and is reprinted with permission.

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15 contradictions you have to believe to fit in with pop culture

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By Ben Johnson

One of the great quotations of our time is from James Burnham, a former Trotskyite Communist-turned-conservative who became an editor at National Review.

Fifty years ago, he wrote in his book Suicide of the West that “Modern liberalism, for most liberals, is not a consciously understood set of rational beliefs, but a bundle of unexamined prejudices and conjoined sentiments. The basic ideas and beliefs seem more satisfactory when they are not made fully explicit, when they merely lurk rather obscurely in the background, coloring the rhetoric and adding a certain emotive glow.”

To compensate for five decades of public education and pop culture, let's simplify Burnham's message to say that most left-wingers do not base their views on facts but on their feelings.

The truth of Burnham's observation can be proven by examining the cavernous gulch that exists between the ideas modern pop culture idols must believe and espouse at the same time. For example, to be a sexual revolutionary in good standing, you must believe:

  • That someone's sex is an infinitely malleable social construct that can be changed at will, but who someone feels the desire to have sexual intercourse with is permanently fixed and can never be altered, even if the person wants to change it. 
     
  • That capitalism is evil, and that in our corporatist society every big business will lie, cheat, steal, and possibly kill its own customers for the sake of short term profit – except Big Abortion.
     
  • That government should more closely regulate every corporation in the world for health and safety standards – except the abortion industry.
     
  • That conservatives are waging a “war on science” – and that scientists have never determined when life begins.
     
  • That gay “marriage” is “inevitable,” because the rapid, tidal wave sea change in public opinion on the issue of same-sex “marriage” proves that the polls can never, ever change again.
     
  • That it's wrong to abuse a position of power to dictate private health care decisions, especially about birth control and abortion – unless you are telling your boss or the U.S. taxpayer that he has to pay for your birth control and abortion(s).
     
  • That feminism frees women to have it all, as long as their children and home are not their whole world.
     
  • That there is no difference between the races or sexes of mankind – and that we need special testing scores and government programs to compensate for those differences.
     
  • That eating chicken eggs is immoral but aborting a child should be available free, on demand, and without apology.
     
  • That only women should make decisions on abortion – and that men have abortions.
     
  • That teens and preteens are responsible enough to decide whether to have sex or do drugs, but they are not mature enough to pay for their own health insurance until they are 26.
     
  • That is it wrong to sexually objectify women – and that men should lust after all women regardless of their weight or appearance.
     
  • That the sex lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barney Frank, and Ted Kennedy have no bearing on their fitness to serve in office. And the sex lives of Scott DesJarlais, David Vitter, Mark Foley, and Larry Craig are the only criteria determining whether they should hold office.
     
  • That there are no moral absolutes – and that is absolutely certain.
     
  • That it's wrong to be prejudiced against anyone because of their race, sex, religion, or ideology, and it's certainly wrong to base your social life around these artificial distinctions. But you would already know that if you weren't an ignorant, closed-minded, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, knuckle-dragging, Neanderthal, rural, Christian, white, cisgendered male. Which is why I'm unfriending you on Facebook.

This far-from-complete list of contradictions affirms the words of a greater writer than Burnham or I, who wrote, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Sorry, double-minded men or womyn.

So, which ones did I miss?

Cross-posted at TheRightsWriter.com.

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Prayer alert – Pope Francis family members killed in car crash

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By Ben Johnson

The Pope prays for the whole world every day; today, he is asking the world to pray for him.

Three relatives of Pope Francis – including two infants – have died and one remains hospitalized after a car wreck in Argentine overnight.

According to a Vatican spokesman the Pope's 38-year-old nephew, Horacio Bergoglio Emanuel, was driving his family over a mountain road near the city of Cordoba when his Chevy Spin collided with the back of a truck.

Emanuel is the son of the Pontiff's late brother, Alberto Bergoglio.

The accident killed Emanuel's wife, Valeria Carmona, as well as their two children, ages two years old and eight months old, respectively.

The collision took place just as Pope Francis returned from a trip to South Korea, where he visited a cemetery dedicated to aborted children and strongly called the world to pursue moral truth.

Vatican spokesman the Reverend Federico Lombardi said that "the pope was informed about the tragic accident.”

“He is deeply pained," he said.

The pope asks "all who share in his grief to unite with him in prayer."

Please feel free to pray in your own words, in your own way, or to share some of these traditional prayer forms from different Christian traditions:

Catholic:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Eastern Orthodox:

Grant rest, O Lord, where the blessed repose, to the souls of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, and may their memory be eternal. Amen.

Anglican:

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: accept out prayers on behalf of Thy servants. and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of Thy saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Mainstream media discover 6-wk-old story on Satanist ‘religious objection’ to pro-life laws

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By Ben Johnson

The media have been abuzz for the past 24 hours with a report that The Satanic Temple is demanding that women be excused from mandatory pre-abortion counseling on the grounds that it violates the religious teachings of Satanism. Indeed, there has been so much reporting that you may be tricked into believing it is news.

But the story is old hat to readers of LifeSiteNews. We reported the group’s decision more than six weeks ago.

The national spokesman of The Satanic Temple, “Lucien Greaves” (who was apparently born Doug Mesner), announced more than a month ago that abortion restrictions violate Satanic beliefs, and that same-sex “marriage” is a Satanic sacrament. “We [members of the demonic cult] feel we should protect women from superfluous procedures like the transvaginal ultrasound, with [a] religious exemption,” Greaves told a local media outlet at the time.

I brought this story to national attention in a piece on LifeSiteNews June 10. In fact, I did an entire radio segment on it on “As the Spirit Leads” Catholic radio program, based in Philadelphia. (And, ahem, you can contact me for other radio gigs.) A few other outlets have picked up the story since then.

Then the story made its way into the mainstream media in the usual way: A liberal group sent out a press release, a reporter barely rearranged its contents, and – voila! – journalism.

The Satanic Temple finally went through with its threat to lampoon religious objections. A letter (pdf) posted on its website yesterday states that the demon-worshiping body is “asserting a religious exemption from the burden of state-mandated ‘informational’ abortion materials for those who share their deeply held beliefs.”

The group says that warnings contained in such materials – e.g., that women suffer from post-abortion psychological trauma, and information linking abortion to an increased risk of breast cancer – are “'scientifically unfounded’ and ‘medically inaccurate’” and are therefore an affront to Satanic religious beliefs. The group has drawn up a letter that women may print and hand to their abortionist, telling him, “I trust that you will … keep me fully and accurately informed of my health based on science, not politics.”

Most reporters have likened this purported “religious objection” to the one Hobby Lobby successfully cited to opt out of the HHS mandate. Like most MSM reporting, that does a disservice to religion. The owners of Hobby Lobby place their faith in Jesus Christ at the center of all their decisions. The founders of The Satanic Temple do not actually believe in Satan at all.

“While the original thinking was that the Satanic Temple needed to hold to some belief in a supernatural entity known as ‘Satan,’ none of us truly believed that,” Mesner/Greaves told Vice.com. Thus, they have no religious beliefs to violate. He has been open about the fact that he and his largely unpublicized circle of followers intended the group to satirize those mostly evangelical and orthodox Catholic people who exert their First Amendment rights.

To that end, the inveterate publicity hounds have milked the media for every ounce of fame they could wring out of them. They defiled the grave of Fred Phelps’ mother, attempted to host a Black Mass at Harvard, and petitioned to erect a statue of Satan at the state capitol building in Oklahoma. Indeed, they have collected an untold sum of donations to build this yet-to-be-produced sculpture of the dark one, proving P.T. Barnum’s assertion about intelligence and obstetrics.

Expect more in the future. The Satanic Temple says this is “the first campaign in a series of Women’s Health [sic] initiatives the Satanic Temple intend [sic] to make public in the near future.” (Any actual religious group that so mangled the English language would have seen its errors highlighted in media coverage.)

The mainstream media love Mesner, et. al., for two reasons. Reporting the jokesters’ actions allows the media elite to attack the nation’s moral, faithful majority via proxy. And it lets them pretend they are covering news in a timely manner, reinforcing their delusion that they are actually journalists.

To read what the mainstream media will report tomorrow – and what it is covering up today – keep reading LifeSiteNews.

Cross-posted at TheRightsWriter.com.

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