Ben Johnson

2012 ELECTION RESULTS -  continuous updates

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
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LifeSiteNews.com is committed to bring its readers the latest information on the presidential race and other key races in the United States. This will be continually updated until the final result is known. All times EST.

11:18 p.m.: Obama has been projected the winner of Oregon—no surprise—and also Iowa. The president began his unlikely ascension to the Democratic nomination in 2008 with the Iowa caucuses. The electoral vote is now 264-210 for Obama. Florida also looks likely to be an Obama pick-up.

11:14 p.m.: Barack Obama has won the state of Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes. This makes his re-election all-but certain.

11:09 p.m.: Mitt Romney won the state of Missouri and its 10 electoral votes. The state is, next to Ohio and Florida, is one of the most evenly divided swing states. The Show Me State split its ticket, re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill over Todd Akin. Republicans siphoned off resources earmarked for that campaign to Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin and Josh Mandel in Ohio, both of whom also lost their respective races.

11:00 p.m.: President Obama will carry California, Washington State, and his boyhood home of Hawaii. Mitt Romney will carry the swing state of North Carolina, which Obama carried in 2008. Obama hoped to repeat, holding the 2012 Democratic National Convention—dubbed “abortionpalooza”—in Charlotte. However, his opposition to the state’s constitutional amendment defending marriage, opposition to ObamaCare, and his ties to unpopular Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue cost him the state. Romney also carried the deep-red state of Idaho. Obama is now decisively in the lead where it counts, the Electoral College, 240-193.

10:55 p.m.: Tea Party champion Allen West has a narrow lead. With 90 percent of the vote counted, West leads Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy 147,138 to 145,305. The freshman Congressman spoke at this year’s March for Life.

10:52 p.m.: Barack Obama carries heavily Democratic Minnesota, another state Republicans optimistically believed they could flip. The state’s 10 electoral votes nearly tie the race.

10:49 p.m.: Romney leads the popular vote in North Carolina and Virginia. Colorado looks pivotal.

10:44 p.m.: Mitt Romney has carried the state of Arizona with its 11 electoral votes. That breaks the electoral tie, at least temporarily.

10:42 p.m.: Alabama voters have voted to nullify ObamaCare, passing Amendment 6, which forbids the government from compelling anyone to purchase health insurance.

10:25 p.m.: The Electoral College vote is tied again at 163-163, as Barack Obama is projected to win New Mexico. The state has drifted further into the Democratic column, largely keeping pace with its growth from immigration. Former Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate and a former Republican, is currently taking nearly three percent of the state’s vote.

10:05 p.m.: Romney will win Utah and Montana. Neither state’s choice was in doubt, particularly Utah. Although the state has the highest concentration of Mormons, it is also among the most conservative states in the union. In 1992, Bill Clinton finished third, behind George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot. Minnesota’s vote looks ready to place the state in Obama’s column, which is also not surprising. Romney currently maintains a narrow electoral majority.

9:55 p.m.: New Hampshire has been called for Barack Obama, giving him four more electoral votes. New Hampshire was one of my states to watch. The trend does not bode well.

9:50 p.m.: Democrats continue to win Senate races, shutting out the GOP in Ohio (Sherrod Brown over Josh Mandel), Wisconsin (Tammy Baldwin over Tommy Thompson), Massachusetts (Elizabeth Warren over incumbent Scott Brown), New York (Gillibrand over pro-life champion Wendy Long), and Florida (Bill Nelson over the commendable Connie Mack).

9:45 p.m.: With nearly 70 percent of the vote reported, the state of Florida is tied. Obama is leading by less than 2,000 votes. Two counties in the Florida panhandle—Santa Rosa and Holmes—have not reported any votes, and Romney will win both handily. However, only 15 percent of the votes in heavily Democratic Miami-Dade County have been counted, and Obama could easily make up the deficit.

9:35 p.m.: Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat goes to Joe Donnelly, beating Richard Mourdock after the latter said a child conceived from rape is “something God intended.” Donnelly has campaigned as a “pro-life Democrat” and is endorsed by Democrats for Life of America. However, he voted for ObamaCare, which subsidizes abortifacient drugs and has a $1 abortion deductible. Republicans will, however, retain control of the U.S. House.

9:31 p.m.: President Obama has kept Wisconsin in the Democratic column. The home state of Paul Ryan made some believe the GOP could contest the state. However, it has narrowly favored the Democratic candidate for several presidential elections. The Electoral College is now nearly tied, 154-153 for Romney. Obama picks up three “swing” states in MI, PA, and now WI.

9:17 p.m.: Officials have called Pennsylvania for Barack Obama. The state, with a heavy Catholic electorate (nearly one-third by some accounts), has dashed Republican hopes. The GOP made attempts to win the state in the last several elections without success. Obama was speaking about Pennsylvanians when he made his remarks about people bitterly “clinging to guns, or religion.” The state’s declining population means Obama picks up only 20 electoral votes.

9:12 p.m.: Chris Matthews once said the Republican electoral map looks like an “L” from the upper Midwest through the deep South. That pattern holds again.

9:09 p.m.: Despite Romney’s family ties and a hopeful Republican campaign in the state, Michigan remains in the Democratic column yet again. Romney was born in the state, maintains a home there, and his father was a long-serving, popular governor. Romney picked up the second-largest state in the union, Texas, while Obama won the third largest, New York. Romney also continued to pile up votes in Louisiana, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Nebraska, one of two states that splits its electoral votes, will give most of its votes to Romney. Maine will give most of its votes to Obama. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Colorado are too close to call. The electoral count now favors Romney 153-124.

8:55 p.m.: Election returns show Barack Obama with a large lead in Ohio and Florida, while Romney leads in Virginia. These are partial results. Florida looks particularly good for Romney, as portions of the panhandle have not yet reported, and they will favor Romney heavily. With little of the raw data in, Romney is faring surprisingly well in the D.C. suburbs at this point. However, Obama did better than anticipated in some areas of rural Ohio.

8:44 p.m.: Linda McMahon is 0-2 in her Senate bids, losing to Democrat Chris Murphy. McMahon ran in 2010, losing to Richard Blumenthal after his embarrassing debate performance. McMahon is by all accounts likeable and competent. The WWE wrestling CEO, who is Catholic, has twice run as a pro-business, pro-choice Republican who favors certain restrictions on abortion.

8:36 p.m.: Commenting on the Arkansas returns, former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee credited evangelicals and values voters for Romney’s staunch stance. He said, “Chick-fil-A was dress rehearsal for today.” He added, “One of the things I wish Mitt had done was reach out even more” to evangelicals. “They’re not so much with him” as “scared of another four years of Barack Obama.”

8:31 p.m.: Arkansas has been called for Mitt Romney. Arkansas last went Democratic for its own governor, Bill Clinton. The Solid South has never seemed more impenetrable. Romney now leads Obama in electoral votes 88-75.

8:18 p.m.: Mitt Romney pulls ahead once again by winning Tennessee’s 11 electoral votes. The Volunteer State’s vote was never contested. Romney now leads 82-75. Either candidate must get 270 electoral votes to win. It will be a long night.

8:15 p.m.: Here’s something to watch: New Hampshire. Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are the largest toss-up states. However, New Hampshire is a small state. Once reliably Republican where the endorsement of The Union Leader held sway, refugees from high-tax neighbors Vermont and Massachusetts have made NH more of a national bellewether. If Romney wins, it bodes well for Florida and Ohio.

8:08 p.m.: The presidential race tightened considerably at 8 p.m., when a large group of northeastern states threw their support to President Obama. The region is the most liberal and the least religious. Obama has won Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. He has also picked up New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and his former state of Illinois. He has officially won D.C., as well. Mitt Romney has won Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. In 2008, Obama did not carry a single county in Oklahoma. The Electoral College vote now stands at Romney-71, Obama-75.

8:01 p.m.: The largest group of states have closed their polls. Sixteen states, including Florida and Pennsylvania, have settled. Washington, D.C., has not yet been called but will certainly go for Obama. The District of Columbia has never voted for a Republican candidate.

7:57 p.m.: Early results show Romney pulling ahead in Virginia. However, the D.C. suburbs, including Fairfax and Loudon counties, have yet to report.

7:51 p.m.: Mitt Romney continues the Republican hold over the South, winning Georgia’s 16 electoral votes. The electoral vote now stands at 49-3.

7:40 p.m.: Mitt Romney has won South Carolina, a solid red state with the nation’s highest concentration of veterans. Its nine electoral votes bring Romney’s total to 33.

7:31 p.m.: Mitt Romney is the projected winner in West Virginia. The Electoral College total is now 24 for Romney vs. 3 for Obama. West Virginia, long a Democratic stronghold, has trended increasingly Republican in the presidential race since the Bush years. President Obama’s threats to “bankrupt” the coal industry cost him its support in the 2008 primaries and in both the last two national elections.

7:30 p.m.: Polls are now closed in Ohio. At this time, Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire are swing states that are too close to call.

7:19 p.m.: Vermont, a Democrat-dominated state represented in the U.S. Senate by a socialist, has been called for Barack Obama. Obama now has three electoral votes.

7:00 p.m.: Mitt Romney has been declared the winner of Indiana and Kentucky. Indiana, which President Obama unexpectedly won in 2008, has 11 electoral votes. Kentucky has eight. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Growing ‘Women Against Feminism’ movement draws fury

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By Hilary White
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Critics of feminism have long said that it is entering the final stages of its long career, with more of its assertions about the nature of human sexual and social relations being contradicted by the evidence and fewer young people following its dictates every decade. But in the last few weeks, it seems that feminism’s last gasp is being used to direct insults at young women who are lining up to publicly reject and ridicule it.

The Tumblr site Women Against Feminism has started a social networking trend in which thousands of young women photograph themselves holding signs bluntly denouncing feminism, giving a sharp indication that the feminist brand has become poison to young, hip, and internet-savvy women.

Mainstream and journalistic feminists have lashed out at the site and its followers, entering into an online spat over the increasingly popular photos. The signs say, “I am not a victim,” and “This is what an anti-feminist looks like.”

They continue: “I am an adult who is capable of taking responsibility for myself and my actions. I define myself and derive my value by my own standards. I don’t need to be ‘empowered’. I am not a target for violence and there is no war against me. I respect me and I refuse to demonize them and blame them for my problems.”

The messages held by the women pinpoint with pithy and acerbic precision exactly the reasons given by many critics that the movement has lost favour with young people. They call it a creed of double standards that promotes victimhood and endorses bullying of anyone who critiques it.

The site’s explanatory page, which was taken down for unknown reasons in the last two days, said, “Feminists are the only people who lose their minds with rage when you tell them that women already have the same exact rights as men. That’s not good enough. They want more. They desperately want to be victims. They want a privileged social position.”

The author goes on to accuse feminism in general of systematic censorship, discrimination, elitism and “policing other women” who do not toe the line – as well as baseline misandry. The anonymous creator denounced feminism’s adoption of “abortion as ‘empowerment’”:

This opinion is unpopular, but I don’t agree that I need to have my baby scraped out of my uterus in order to feel empowered. But the abortion industry (i.e. Planned Parenthood) makes a ton of money off this perversion of empowerment. ‘Abortion as empowerment’ teaches women to see their wombs as nothing but garbage bins full of disposable waste.

One of the contributors wrote, “I don’t need feminism because my self-worth is not directly tied to my victim complex. As a woman in the western world I am not oppressed, and neither are you,” says one. Another: “I don’t need feminism because I don’t need to bully someone to share my opinions with others.”

Some come right out and say that feminism promotes exactly the evils it purports to fight against: “I don’t need feminism because I believe in equality, not entitlements and supremacy.”

Although the site and its contentious photos have been running around the internet for many months, arguments among journalism’s feminists started breaking out this week after a mocking Buzzfeed feature helped the site gain momentum on social media outlets.

Some feminist journalists simply flung insults. Lillian Kalish sniffed on Ryot, “These Women Who Think They Don’t Need Feminism Don’t Know What Feminism Is.” “Did these posters ever think to look up the actual definition of feminism?”

Nuala McKeever, in the Belfast Telegraph, called the women posting the photos “silly, ignorant, vacuous wee girls with absolutely no thoughts beyond their own self-absorbed inanities.”

Time Magazine’s Sarah Miller said, “I Really, Truly, Fully Hate ‘Women Against Feminism’—But…” Miller wrote, “[T]he tendency to see sexism everywhere is proof that feminism is healthy and vigilant, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, because misogyny is insidious and rampant… We need feminism.”

But Miller added, “Still, the pain that we experience as women—even physical—does not give us the right to tell people there’s one way to think or feel, or to assume that we have some god-like understanding of everyone’s motivations.”

Cathy Young, however, responded in Time, saying, “Stop Fem-Splaining: What ‘Women Against Feminism’ Gets Right.” She writes, “The charge that feminism stereotypes men as predators while reducing women to helpless victims certainly doesn’t apply to all feminists—but it’s a reasonably fair description of a large, influential, highly visible segment of modern feminism.”

The site, Young says, “raises valid questions about the state of Western feminism in the 21st Century — questions that must be addressed if we are to continue making progress toward real gender equality.”

Sarah Boesveld wrote in the National Post on Friday that the site shows that feminism has become “complicated” and “sometimes alienating.” She quotes an email sent to the paper by 22 year-old Australian Lisa Sandford, who “believes in equality for the sexes” but firmly rejects feminism as “rude and nasty” and intends to be a stay-at-home mother. 

Sandford wrote, “If feminism really accepted equality, they would not tell me my views are wrong, they would accept it and let me be.”

Browse the 'Women Against Feminism' archives here (warning: occasional strong language).


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Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse

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Welcome Baby Filipino 100 Million!

Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse
By Steven W. Mosher and Anne Roback Morse

Population Research Institute welcomes the birth of little Chonalyn Sentino. Baby Chonalyn was born this past Sunday to parents Clemente and Dailin, and was feted in the Philippines as “Baby 100 Million.” PRI welcomes Baby Chonalyn as well, saying that she will be a blessing to her family, her community, and her nation.

The Philippines is one of the largest Catholic countries in the world, and its people value children. For this reason, it has been a target of the population controllers for decades. It was one of the countries singled out by Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council in 1974 for special “attention” and, more recently, has been bullied by the Obama administration into passing its first population control law. 

The bill, which was touted as being all about promoting “reproductive health,” was actually intended to drive down the birth rate. For example, section 15 requires that all couples receive a “Certificate of Compliance” from the local Family Planning Office before becoming eligible for a marriage license.

Some in the Philippines are decrying Chonalyn’s birth, repeating USAID’s talking points about the “dangers” of overpopulation. They welcome Chonalyn as an individual little girl, while simultaneously calling for future little girls and boys to be removed from existence.

The Philippine Star wrote that the birth symbolized a “large population that will put a strain on the country's limited resources.” Another paper cited the executive director of the official Commission on Population who bluntly said “We'd like to push the fertility rate down to two children per (woman's) lifetime.” And the Global Post cited “concerned advocates” who thought the current population was not a “complement with the country's economic growth.”

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

But many other Filipinos aren’t buying into the anti-people hysteria. Francisco Antonio, a Filipino Chemical Engineering graduate student at Yale, adamantly rebutted the notion that there are too many Filipinos, saying: “I celebrate life because population control is defeatism disguised as pragmatism. And because human creativity holds more potential for protecting this planet and its inhabitants than any other resource I know of.”

A Filipina currently living in California told PRI that she welcomed the transition of her country to 100 million persons: “Filipinos are not a burden to the world population, because we not only care for our own but also for others in the world. One of the greatest and most sought after exports of the Philippines is our skilled, motivated, and exemplary workforce. And these workers tirelessly cultivate their family and community abroad and in the Philippines. We are a very social and civic minded people. We care and share because it is part of our culture and we do it with a smile.”

 Ed, a Filipino accountant, also celebrated the birth of Baby Chonalyn: “The typical Filipino does not associate a baby with ‘cost’ or ‘expense’ but rather as a ‘blessing’ and a ‘gift.’ This is because Filipinos recognize that true happiness does not come from the accumulation of material wealth or prestige, but rather, from true, genuine, and strong relationships with other people. [Filipinos] value life, not because the Church says or the Pope says so, but because they recognize it to be true. And the truth about the value of life, will continue to shine, long after the debates are over.”

It goes without saying that we at the Population Research Institute also welcome Chonalyn’s birth. We need more Filipinos, not fewer. 

Reprinted with permission from Pop.org.


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Two very different ways to respond to Pope Francis’ unrecorded interviews

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By John-Henry Westen

In the last few weeks another series of interviews with Pope Francis surfaced and have again left many Catholics scratching their heads.  Headlines all over the world had the Pope saying that two percent of priests are pedophiles, but is that what he said?  Even though the Vatican spokesman did issue a clarification, that question and others remain unanswered.

Critical reactions to these interviews have been interesting not even so much for their contents as from whom they arise.  These are the observations of some of the most faithful Catholic Church watchers today.  The folks pointing out these concerns are not, as many would assume, ‘“far right-wing-holier-than-the-Pope” types, but mainstream Catholics known for their loyalty to Pope Francis.

Phillip Lawler is the founder of Catholic World News, the first Catholic news service operating on the Internet. In part of his criticism of the most recent interview, he states: “Why was Pope Francis speaking with Scalfari without having first established clear ground rules for the conversation—rules that would certainly include recording and verification of any quotes?”

(To comprehend the situation accurately it is necessary to have an understanding of the man whom the Pope has allowed to interview him.  Eugenio Scalfari is relatively unknown in the West even after the fanfare of his papal interviews. LifeSiteNews has produced this piece to assist that understanding.)

Lawler recalls: “Back in October the Vatican had been embarrassed by an ‘interview’ in which [Scalfari’s] reconstructed quotes caused an uproar, and the Vatican press office was forced to issue an awkward ‘clarification’ which only added to the confusion.”

In addition to that clarification of the October Scalfari interview, the confusion and uproar got so bad that the Vatican removed the interview from their website, where they had it posted in the section containing the Pope’s speeches. Interestingly, that interview resurfaced two weeks ago on the Vatican website only to be removed again after a new round of criticism.

A blogger at the EWTN-owned National Catholic Register offered an observation similar to Lawler’s but with a little more bite. Pat Archbold writes, “The internet is once again abuzz with the second-hand hearsay of an unrecorded Papal interview.” Archbold advises his readers with characteristic sarcasm, “So pay no attention to those crazy and outlandish anti-Catholic headlines tearing up your RSS feed.  Just ignore them and hope they will soon go away, just like unrecorded Papal interviews.”

A second unrecorded conversation with the Pope makes news

Another write-up of an encounter with Pope Francis also caused a stir.  Brian Stiller, an Evangelical leader from Toronto was part of a delegation of Evangelical Christians who met with Pope Francis earlier this month. In his July 9 account, Stiller puts in quotes this statement he attributes to the Pope: “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community.  There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s not spend our time on those. Rather, let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.”

That led noted priest-blogger Father Dwight Longenecker to first caution that the quotes are “Brian Stiller’s memory of the conversation.” 

Then with the caveat of not actually knowing the whole conversation, Fr. Longenecker says “it would not be unusual for a Catholic priest of Pope Francis’ generation to feel that way.”  He explains that he has “heard from numerous convert clergy over the years who said when they went to their local Catholic priest and expressed the wish to become Catholic the priest told them it wasn’t necessary and that they could do much more good to Christ’s kingdom and the Catholic church by staying where they were and evangelizing within their own denomination.”

“Now this strikes me as rather troublesome on several levels,” says Longenecker. He notes he had himself once used that line with a Protestant friend, to which his friend replied, “You don’t want to convert me? Why not? I don’t have much respect for your religion if you think so little of it that you don’t want me to share it!”

“He basically called me out on what was a little lie on my part. I wanted to be nice to him [so] I said I didn’t want to convert him. He said our discussion would be much better if I admitted that I did want him to become Catholic. He was right. I did. I still do.”

Inside the Vatican

Vatican journalist Edward Pentin has reported that unnamed “Vatican officials are uneasy and perplexed” about the interview. Pentin began reporting on the Vatican as a correspondent with Vatican Radio in 2002 and has since covered the pope for a number of publications, including Newsweek and The Sunday Times.

“The officials’ discomfort also extends to the Pope’s spontaneous telephone calls to strangers, a couple of which implied he deviated from Church teaching but, being private and unrecorded conversations, are difficult to verify,” he wrote for Newsmax.

From the outset of the Francis pontificate, there were these unrecorded and yet published interviews – the first was from a meeting with Latin American religious leaders in June 2013.  That was the one that had Pope Francis speaking of the existence of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican and also about being concerned about Catholics who would count rosaries to offer prayer bouquets.

At the time LifeSiteNews published nothing on that first unrecorded interview even though almost all other news services did.  Shortly thereafter I was at the Vatican inquiring about that unrecorded but reported-on encounter and was assured by various Vatican insiders that the communication was not accidental but intended – to me at the time a rather startling revelation.

But that same assessment came later from another Vatican quarter, a man who speaks German as does the pope and also shares the pope’s religious order.  “Francis knows exactly how power is spelled,” said Bernd Hagenkord, a Jesuit who is in charge of German programming for Vatican Radio in a May interview with The Atlantic. “He’s a communicator in the league with Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. They say he’s being unclear, but we know exactly what he means.”

Two different ways to respond

One of the most disturbing outcomes of these ‘interviews’ is that the words and interpretations of what is being said by the Pope, while they may be clear for the German Jesuit, are remarkably unclear for the vast majority of Catholics.  Catholics who know well their faith, its moral teachings, and the reason for them are few and far between. They are able to discern that the Pope cannot mean to undermine Church teaching; that those teachings are unchangeable.

But most people are taken in by the media’s false interpretation that ‘who am I to judge’ involves a new acceptance of homosexuality; the false possibility for legitimately-married Catholics to divorce and remarry outside the Church and still receive Communion; the idea that the Church should quiet down on her teachings on abortion, contraception, and same-sex “marriage.”  All of those false conclusions were drawn from previous Francis interviews.

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There are two ways forward for faithful Catholics in such a situation.  One way – a way that is most tempting - was recently recognized as a growing tendency by blogger Father Ray Blake. “Most Catholics but especially clergy want to be loyal to the Pope in order to maintain the unity of the Church,” he said.  “Today that loyalty is perhaps best expressed through silence.”

In leading up to that observation, Blake noted that in the previous pontificate “there was a solidity and certainty in Benedict's teaching which made discussion possible and stimulated intellectual honesty, one knew where the Church and the Pope stood.”  He added, “Today we are in less certain times, the intellectual life of the Church is thwart with uncertainty.”

However, Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke suggested a different approach recently. According to Burke, who serves as head of the Vatican’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura, the pope has made a strategic decision to focus on making the Church appealing, and thus bishops and priests “are even more compelled to underline these teachings (on life and family) and make them clear for the faithful.”

He told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, “The Holy Father has said on different occasions that he expects that bishops and priests are doing this teaching while he’s trying to draw people closer and not have them use [these doctrines] as their immediate excuse for not coming to the faith.”

Cardinal Burke’s strategy confronts the culture head-on even on the most difficult issues.  He sees that the often-used but failed tactic of avoiding difficult situations, of obfuscating or compromising on moral issues as worse than useless.

When truth is pushed aside for political correctness, to fulfill ideals of civility or to achieve false unity and false peace, the world is harmed by the lack of truth the Church is called to bring to it.

When truth is boldly proclaimed and held to, despite persecution, even the enemies of truth are forced to see that the opponents of their secular or liberal ideologies truly believe their teachings and are willing to suffer for them. This eventually generates a degree of respect from some of the critics and an openness to re-consider their own flawed positions.


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