All articles from November 30, 2017

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Runners from across the world participate in annual pro-life marathon

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By Fr. Mark Hodges

PENSACOLA, Florida, November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life runners wearing "Remember the Unborn" shirts gathered in Pensacola for the largest-ever LIFE Runners team, speaking the truth to both abortion-minded and post-abortion grieving women.

“Run/walk as a prayer until we cross the finish line that ends abortion" is the LIFE Runners' team mission.

Joining the largest-ever 5K team was Catholic Bishop Bill Wack of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, who offered a pre-run blessing. The national anthem was followed by an opening prayer, and then the runners were off.

Each year, LIFE Runners do "missionary" run/jog/walks wearing a reference to a scripture in Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."

In the fall, LIFE Runners do a Half/Full Marathon and 5K, and in the spring during Lent, the organization sponsors a major "Relay across America."  

The organization website counts "over 100 LIFE Runners from across America, Canada, and Fiji" participated in the Pensacola event.

Catholic leaders have participated in LIFE runs in the past, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Bishop Gregory Parkes, Bishop Dwayne Gruss, and more than 100 priests, deacons, and seminarians.

LIFE Runners has attracted pro-lifers worldwide, including Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, England, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Tanzania, Trinidad/Tobago, Tonga, and Turkey.

Registration is open for LIFE Runners' 2018 A-Cross America Relay, which will take place during Lent, here.

"These annual race weekend retreats strengthen our faith and resolve to live out our mission," LIFE Runners founder and coach Dr. Pat Castle said. "These prayerful times are the most important to face the reality of the battlefield that is abortion."

Participants visited the Alpha pregnancy help center and prayed at a local abortion facility. "This beautiful center was clearly a sanctuary of hope and love for women facing unplanned pregnancy," Castle added. "They continue their relationship with women after pregnancy and offer counseling for those who chose abortion."

Fifty LIFE Runners prayed fervently in front of the abortion facility. "We poured our hearts out to God concerning this place," Castle said. "Father Adam generously offered the Sacrament of Reconciliation across the street while many prayed ... for an end to abortion."  

Catholic runners began the event with a Mass "in thanksgiving for life." Afterward, the Knights of Columbus served a pre-race banquet.

"People were obviously moved by our presence based on comments" received, Castle noted. "We impacted hearts and minds for saving lives. ... These race retreat weekends build friendships."

More pictures may be viewed here.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown (with microphone)
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Vatican praises pro-abortion U.S. governor as ‘true leader’ for eco activism

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By Lisa Bourne

VATICAN CITY, November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican gave social media kudos this week to California pro-abortion Governor Jerry Brown for his climate change crusade, calling him a “true leader” and extolling what it deemed Brown’s “defending the dignity and freedom of each person.”

The praise came in the form of a tweet from Casina Pio IV – an account for news from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS). It was a response to Brown’s tweet earlier this month touting his recent two-week European climate talk tour – for which the Vatican was a venue.

“Bravo Jerry,” the Vatican tweet said, “you are a true leader who seeks the good of the people defending the dignity and freedom of each person, and the good of the planet threatened by human activity that uses fossil fuel!”

The tweet concludes with three praying hands emoticons.

Brown had addressed the Vatican-conducted “Health of People, Health of Planet and Our Responsibility: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health” conference in early November.

At the Vatican climate event, Brown said that ‘brainwashing’ was in order to get people to come around to the disputed idea of manmade climate change.

"At the highest circles, people still don’t get it,” the California Democrat said. “It’s not just a light rinse” that’s required. “We need a total, I might say, ‘brainwashing.’

“We need to wash our brains out and see a very different kind of world.”

He went on to criticize President Donald Trump for a lack of support for the climate agenda.

Just before his overseas climate tour, Breitbart’s Thomas Williams reported, Brown had threatened to sue the Trump administration over climate change during an interview with BBC radio.

Brown, a Catholic, is a fervent abortion supporter.

In 2010 while campaigning for governor, he equated abortion access with civil rights, stating, “I have fought for equal rights and against discrimination throughout my career. I have also been an uncompromising champion of a woman's right to choose. I will continue to do so if I am elected governor."

In 2013, he signed legislation permitting non-physicians to perform abortions and reducing health standards for abortion facilities, saying the new laws “support the health and well-being of women.

In September 2016, Brown signed a bill that would penalize pro-life investigators if they covertly record an abortion business – even if the behavior exposed is illegal.

In October 2015, he signed "The Reproductive FACT Act" that compelled pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics to tell women where they can get an abortion, including posting or distributing the abortion information at their facility. A judge halted the law in October of this year.

Brown also backs federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion suppliers. The abortion giant promoted Brown as “the REAL pro-choice candidate for governor.”

Catholic Church teaching unequivocally condemns abortion.

Brown signed a law in 2015 legalizing assisted suicide in California.

The Church condemns euthanasia and assisted suicide as well.

Brown’s appearance at the climate conference earlier this month was the second time he has been provided a platform at the Vatican. He was one of several proponents of various  ideologies, including one world government, population control and abortion.

Concerns continue to rise among Catholics and other pro-life supporters over the Vatican providing a platform at some of its conferences to individuals advocating things in conflict with Church teaching, typically under the guise of anti-poverty and climate change initiatives.

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A 3D ultrasound of a preborn baby in his mother's womb.
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Pro-life senator proposes Child Tax Credit amendment that includes preborn

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By Doug Mainwaring
Senator Daines

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Groundbreaking legislation on behalf of the unborn has just been introduced in the U.S. Senate.  

Montana Senator Steve Daines has just offered an amendment to the Senate’s tax reform bill which would make the Child Tax Credit (CTC) applicable to unborn children from the time of their conception.

"Moms and dads start planning and preparing for their baby’s birth as soon as they learn about their pregnancy," Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, wrote in an email to supporters. He urged them to call their senators and ask them to expand the Child Tax Credit to children in utero. 

"Parents take off time for doctor’s appointments, stock up on diapers, formula, clothes and swaddles," Perkins explained. "And, they plan financially to take time from work to care for and bond with their baby."

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser reacted to the news in a statement, “By including unborn children to qualify for the child tax credit Congress would achieve a significant pro-life win for families preparing for their baby’s birth."

"We often hear from pro-abortion advocates that many women choose abortion because they don’t have the resources to care for a newborn," noted Dannenfelser. "By expanding the Child Tax Credit to cover unborn children, families will receive a double credit in their first year after the baby is born — giving them greater ability to pay for costly hospital bills, diapers, clothes, formula, and lost wages due to time off after delivery."

Perkins said allowing parents to receive a Child Tax Credit for their unborn babies would be "a huge pro-life and pro-family win" and predicted it would "help individual families and the economy by helping parents better handle the new costs of raising their children." 

This landmark legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Trump, might serve to help women and families chose life instead of abortion.  

The Senate is expected to vote on this either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

Last month, Senator Daines helped introduce Pain the Capable Unborn Child Protection Act that would protect unborn children from the pain of late-term abortions. 

“The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is an important measure to do exactly that: protect unborn children who can feel pain,” Daines about the legislation at that time. “Only seven countries in the world allow babies 20 weeks or older to be aborted and the United States is one of them, along with North Korea and China. We must continue to be a voice for those who don't have a voice.” 

LifeSiteNews will continue to update as details become available. 

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Cardinal Raymond Burke Steve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews
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Cardinal: Confusion in the Church indicates we may have ‘arrived at the End Times’

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By Lisa Bourne

November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Confusion and error in the Catholic Church regarding its fundamental teaching on marriage and family are so serious that the End Times may have come upon us, Cardinal Raymond Burke said in a new interview.

When the foundation of the moral law is questioned within the Church, the cardinal said, “then the whole order of human life and the order of the Church itself are endangered.”

“So there is a feeling that in today’s world that is based on secularism with a completely anthropocentric approach,” Cardinal Burke continued, “by which we think we can create our own meaning of life and meaning of the family and so on, the Church itself seems to be confused.”

“In that sense, one may have the feeling that the Church gives the appearance of being unwilling to obey the mandates of Our Lord,” he stated. “Then perhaps we have arrived at the End Times.”

Cardinal Burke confirmed in an interview with Catholic Herald contributing editor Paolo Gambi published today that “very serious questions” remain regarding the dubia submitted to Pope Francis last year on his exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

But he persisted in that the specifics of how to proceed on a formal correction of the pope have yet to be determined.

Cardinal Burke has been long known for his defense of Church orthodoxy, and many regard his resoluteness to that end in the face of seemingly political demotions and derision as an example of courage and fidelity to the faith.

Burke further confirmed in the Catholic Herald interview that although he remains cardinal patron for the Order of Malta, he currently has no function within the Order and thus receives no communication from either the organization itself or from Pope Francis.

He reaffirmed in the interview as well that priests are free to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass since Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, saying that both the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy are considered normal in the Church. 

Gambi asked the cardinal to expound on recent comments he made about the present time being “realistically apocalyptic” due to “confusion, division and error” within the Church coming from “shepherds” even at the highest levels.

Cardinal Burke explained that allowing access to sacraments for individuals living in sinful unions is “a violation of the truth” for both the indissolubility of marriage and the sanctity of the Eucharist.

“In the present moment, there is confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the Church,” said Cardinal Burke, “for example with regard to marriage and the family. For instance, the idea that people who are living in an irregular union could receive the sacraments is a violation of the truth with regard both to the indissolubility of marriage and to the sanctity of the Eucharist.”

Citing St. Paul, he said “we eat our condemnation” if we receive the Eucharist in an unworthy way.

“Now the confusion in the Church is going even further than that,” Burke added, “because there is today confusion as to whether there are acts which are intrinsically evil and this, of course, is the foundation of the moral law,” imperiling the order of the Church and human life.

Asked his thoughts on Italian Episcopal Conference Secretary-general Bishop Nunzio Galantino’s recent claim that the Protestant Reformation was an “event of the Holy Spirit,” Cardinal Burke responded, “Well, I don’t see how you can say that the division of the Church was an act of the Holy Spirit. It simply does not make sense.”

He also dismissed talk of a common Eucharistic celebration with Lutherans as “not possible” because of the differences on the doctrine of transubstantiation.

“For Catholics to engage in some kind of ecumenical Eucharist would be abandoning the Catholic Faith,” stated Cardinal Burke. “This is a profoundly false ecumenism which would do grave harm to the Faith and to souls.”

His response to Gambi asking what his first act would be if elected pope was that “the first thing any pope should do is simply to make the profession of faith together with the whole Church, as Vicar of Christ on Earth.”

“Most popes did that,” Cardinal Burke added, offering Pope St Pius X’s encyclical E Supremi as example.

“Also Pope St John Paul II’s Redemptor Hominis is a sort of profession of faith,” the cardinal noted, “calling to mind again that the Church is the Body of Christ, the Church belongs to Christ and that we are all obedient in his service.”

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Fr. James Martin SJ on the Colbert Report, Sept. 24, 2013. Colbert Report
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Major Catholic family magazine spotlights pro-LGBT priest in favorable interview

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

CINCINNATI, Ohio, November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The venerable “family-oriented” St. Anthony Messenger magazine has published a favorable interview with a pro-homosexual celebrity priest who seeks to overturn Catholic doctrine concerning homosexuality.

The interview, conducted by editor-in-chief John Feister, focused on Jesuit priest and Vatican advisor Fr. James Martin and his LGBT activism within the Catholic Church. The interview specifically highlights Fr. Martin’s pro-LGBT book Building a Bridge, a book that has been strongly criticized by Church leaders, including Cardinal Robert Sarah, for refusing to call homosexual actions sinful. 

St. Anthony Messenger is published by the Franciscan Friars of the Saint John the Baptist Province in the order of the Franciscans Minor.  It advertises itself as the “number-one national Catholic family magazine.” The interview appeared online last week and is set to appear in the December issue of the monthly magazine.

Feister’s rosy interview with Martin in a publication trusted by many Catholic families gives legitimacy to the priest’s pro-homosexualist agenda. When Feister asks Martin why Catholics are “conflicted about the whole LGBT issue,” Martin ignores Catholic teaching on homosexuality to talk about welcoming LGBT Catholics.  

In the interview, there is no serious discussion of Sacred Scripture which, to quote the Catechism, “presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity.” There is no reference to Catholic doctrine that “the sin of Sodom”, like murder, oppressing the poor and defrauding workers of their wages, is a sin crying out to the heavens for justice

There is no explanation of why the Catholic Church teaches that people with same-sex attraction are called to live lives of chastity in continence. There is nothing that asks the reader to think or reflect on the perennial teaching of the Church about marriage and sexuality, or why the Church teaches that homosexual acts harm bodies, souls, and communities. 

There is not a whisper about the pioneering work of Father John Harvey and his “Courage” movement in the field of pastoral care for people who experience same-sex desire. 

There are no references to the legal attacks on Christians who follow God’s teaching on marriage and sexuality and refuse to go along with the same-sex “marriage” agenda. 

Not once in the entire 2,500-word interview is Catholic teaching on sexual morality as it pertains to homosexuality stated. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ’homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’”

“They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” states the Catechism (2357). 

During the interview, Martin tries to keep the spotlight firmly on LGBT people and away from sinful realities.

When asked if Pope Francis’s  2013 “Who am I to judge” remarks were an endorsement of the gay lifestyle, Martin deflected the question, saying that it all depends on what is meant by the “gay lifestyle.” What Pope Francis meant to do with this remark, he said,  was to “move us away from this idea of judging LGBT people as sinners or as the worst sinners.” 

Martin called “Who am I to judge?” Francis’s “five most famous words.” 

He said it was “quite discriminatory” for Catholics to focus on the “sexual morality” of active homosexuals.

“You don’t have people being fired for living together before being married, for using birth control, for being divorced—you simply don’t. And yet it’s the LGBT person whose life, whose sexual morality is put under a microscope. It’s an instance of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls ‘unjust discrimination.’”  

The passage of the Catechism partially cited by Martin (CCCC 2358) condemns “unjust” discrimination against “men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.” It does not, however, outright condemn “discrimination.”

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has interpreted this passage to mean that some kinds of discrimination against homosexuals are, in fact, just. 

"There are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment," the 1992 document states. 

Other examples of "just" discrimination might include the U.S. Catholic bishops who have recently refused to allow unrepentant homosexuals a Catholic funeral or to receive Holy Communion (here, here, and here). 

By skirting this and other pertinent issues, interviewer and interviewee mislead both Catholics who experience same-sex attraction and their concerned parents and friends. 

Many faithful Catholics who read St. Anthony Messenger will likely be scandalized that a Catholic magazine that congratulates itself on its august past and popularity with Catholic families would give so much space to a high-profile critic of the Catholic Church and her doctrines without challenging either him or his ideas. 

For respectful communications:

St. Anthony Messenger 
28 West Liberty Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Ph: 513.241.5615
Email: [email protected]

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaches out to embrace the LGBTQ community. Flickr
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Trudeau promises to stamp out LGBT ‘discrimination’ in Canada

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By Lianne Laurence

OTTAWA, November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — As Christians face increasing attacks for supporting the Church's long-held beliefs on sexuality, Canada's Prime Minister has delivered a major address promising to "put systems in place" to stamp out alleged ongoing "discrimination" against homosexuals.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the promise when delivering a long-anticipated apology to "LGBTQ2" individuals in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

“We will ensure there are systems in place so these kinds of hateful practices are a thing of the past. Discrimination and oppression of LGBTQ2 Canadians will not be tolerated,” the prime minister said.

Such discrimination “is not a moment in time, but an ongoing centuries-old campaign,” he said.

But Gwen Landolt, lawyer and vice president of REAL Women of Canada, warns that religious freedom is under threat in Trudeau’s Canada.

“According to the Supreme Court, there’s no hierarchy of rights,” she told LifeSiteNews.

“Trudeau, however, is making homosexual rights the supreme right. Those who don't believe in LGBTQ equality will be denigrated.”

Apology draws tears, standing ovations

Trudeau wiped his eyes several times, as did other MPs, as he apologized for the Canadian government’s past “oppression of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit communities.”

The wide-ranging and emotional apology prompted standing ovations from MPs and those in the public gallery, packed with LGBTQ2 persons. Trudeau’s eldest son Xavier and daughter Ella-Grace were also in the gallery.

“On behalf of the government, Parliament, and the people of Canada, we were wrong. We are sorry. We will never let this happen again,” he said, as all present leapt to their feet, cheering and clapping.  

“Canada gets a little bit stronger every day that we choose to embrace, and to celebrate, who we are in all our uniqueness,” Trudeau said.

“Whether you discover your truth at six, 16, or at 60, who you are is valid.”

Liberals’ $104 million payout “unprecedented”

Trudeau apologized to those discharged from the military or fired from civil service because of their sexual orientation during what has been dubbed a government “purge” that ended in 1992.

He also announced the Liberals had reached an “agreement in principle” over the weekend on the class action lawsuit launched on behalf those affected by the “purge,” which he described as a “witch hunt.”

The Liberals settlement of $145 million on the lawsuit brought by Toronto LGBTQ activist lawyer Douglas Elliott is “unprecedented” and the “largest of its kind in the world,” reported the Toronto Star.

The sum includes $110 million for compensation and legal fees for LGBTQ persons fired from the civil service or kicked out of the military, Elliott told the Star.

Each eligible person will receive $5,000 and can apply for up to $150,000 in compensation depending on circumstances. A further $15 million has been earmarked for “reconciliation and memorialization” of the “purge,” he said.

Liberals will expunge criminal records, repeal ban on anal sex

Trudeau also apologized to Canadians convicted under former laws against buggery, gross indecency, and bawdy houses.

The Liberals introduced a bill Tuesday that will expunge and destroy criminal records of those “previously convicted of consensual sexual activity with same sex partners,” he said.

Moreover, the bill repealing Section 159 of the Criminal Code is “working its way” through the House, Trudeau noted.

Section 159 bans anal sex — unless between husband and wife — for those under age 18.

Trudeau also vowed Canada “will stand tall on the international stage as we proudly advocate for equal rights for LGBTQ2 communities around the world.”

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer supported the apology, denouncing Canada’s past treatment of LGBTQ2S persons in the public service and armed forces.

“Too often and in too many cases around the world we have seen the terrible consequences of overreaching governments,” he said.

Scheer urged Canada to defend the LGBTQ community in countries “in places like Iran, Russia, and other countries where it is the target of brutal violence,” noting “the work done by the previous government to prioritize these and other refugee groups who are particularly vulnerable.”

Canada’s settlers ‘rigid gender norms’

But Trudeau’s apology and its enthusiastic reception in the House and media has some worried what place remains in Canada for those whose faith teaches homosexual acts are immoral, and that God created man as “male and female.”

Indeed, Trudeau characterized the French and English Christians who settled the country he now governs as homophobes with “rigid gender norms.”

“Since arriving on these shores, settlers to this land brought with them foreign standards of right and wrong, of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and of suitable and unsuitable partnerships,” he told the House.

“They brought rigid gender norms, norms that manifested in homophobia and transphobia, norms that saw the near-destruction of indigenous LGBTQ and two-spirit identities.”

Trudeau an LGBTQ ‘pawn;’ apology ‘fraud’

Landolt says fears religious freedom is under threat are valid.

“Those with many differing faiths, whether Christian, Muslim, Sikh, or Orthodox Jew, are being totally ignored by Trudeau and his government,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Landolt blasted Trudeau as “a pawn of the LGBTQ community” and decried “his tear-stained apology” as a “fraud, because no one is speaking about the dangers of homosexuality. There’s a deception as to what homosexuality is about.”

The physical consequences of homosexual activity include an increased risk of contracting AIDS, and psychological consequences include increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, and depression.

And the practical effect of the Liberals’ repealing the ban on anal sex is that the age of consent for anal sex will drop from 18 to 16.

“Trudeau apparently doesn’t understand that the purpose of the law setting the age of consent at 18 was to protect adolescents. He will be removing that protection,” she said.  

Ironically, Trudeau began his apology by declaring that the “number one job of any government is to keep its citizens safe, and on this we have failed LGBTQ2 communities and individuals time and time again.”

Apology not justified: REAL Women

Landolt described the apology as “unreasonable and unjustified.”

“Homosexuality was prohibited under the Criminal Code until Pierre Elliott Trudeau decriminalized it in 1969 for consenting adults over 21 years of age, (later reduced to 18 years of age),” she said in a press release.

“This prohibition was in accordance with the social and cultural values of the time.”

LGBTQ individuals were dismissed from public service or the military because “they could be the subject of blackmail if their sexual orientation was publicly disclosed,” wrote Landolt.

“One may not agree with the past law prohibiting homosexuality, but such action by the government was distinguishable from the genuine discrimination experienced by others.”

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U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah
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As tax reform vote looms, Senators Rubio, Lee fight for improved child tax credit

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By Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Important family-centric legislation has been introduced by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah during the final hours of debate before the Senate votes on Capitol Hill’s first meaningful tax reform in decades.  

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a bill that includes a raise in the Child Tax Credit (CTC) from its current level of $1,000 to $1,600.  

The Rubio-Lee Amendment proposes two important changes to the House tax reform package. First, it would raise the CTC to $2,000. Second, and perhaps far more important to many families of more modest means, the CTC would be refundable not just against income taxes but also against payroll taxes.

This would be an enormous boon to low income families who don’t earn enough money to fully benefit from an increased CTC.

“We have a chance to do better by working families in this tax bill,” explained Senator Lee in a statement. “Right now, 70 percent of the tax cuts we’re considering would go to businesses, and only 30 percent to individuals. This amendment would level the playing field for families while still kick-starting national investment and growth. By increasing access to the Child Tax Credit, we can increase working family fairness and deliver overdue relief to America’s greatest investor class: our moms and dads.”

White House opposition to the method of offset

Because the Rubio/Lee Amendment seeks to set the revised corporate tax rate to 22 percent instead of 20 percent in order to offset lost revenue to government coffers, it has met with opposition from the White House. The Trump administration wants to keep the new corporate tax credit at 20 percent, down from its current level of 35 percent, in order to spark corporate expansion and also to make it attractive for corporations to repatriate up to $2.5 trillion in profits now held overseas.  

The White House is not at odds with Senators Lee and Rubio over the substance of their amendment; the issue at hand is the method of financing the CTC. In order for the Senate to pass this legislation with a simple majority vote -- which requires no support from Senate Democrats -- any loss of revenue to the government must be made up for somewhere else in the reform legislation. The 2 percent raise in the proposed corporate tax rate is the method that Rubio and Lee chose.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah explained that while the administration continues to support the increased CTC, “We also think that it’s important to make businesses more competitive," Shah told reporters traveling with Trump aboard Air Force One. "We would not support raising the corporate rate as outlined in that amendment.”

In response to expressed White House opposition, and the lack of public support for the Rubio-Lee Amendment by many conservatives, The New York Times’ Ross Douthat tweeted a long rant, culminating with: “And I want them to wonder, while Mike Lee and Marco Rubio fight a lonely battle for a *pittance* of a refundable tax credit for American families IN THE MIDST OF A BABY BUST, why nobody in professional Populist Conservatism seems interested in making this a cause celebre.” He continued, “I'd like to wake up tomorrow and find everyone from Steve Bannon to Tucker Carlson publicly hammering the president and the party on this issue. That would be nice. But assuming they don't, this thread is my way of saying to professional Populist Conservatism, to hell with you.”

The Rubio-Lee Amendment adheres to White House desired CTC improvements

The CTC amendment proposed by Senators Rubio and Lee is in keeping with policy previously outlined by the White House. In September, Ivanka Trump told pro-family activists, “This administration is pushing for the largest child tax credit possible” and “would also like to see it be made refundable against payroll taxes, so that more lower income families can fully benefit from the credit.”  

At that same meeting, the American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Strain explained that applying the child tax credit to payroll taxes is “a very important policy innovation that will help people who really do need help, people who are not making six-figure incomes and who are really solidly in the working class,” adding, “there’s quite a bit to be said about having a larger child credit in the year that your child is born.”

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, also present at the meeting, echoed Ivanka Trump’s message, passionately voicing the populist sentiment brewing throughout the country, “The tax code screws families.” The American family is “the ultimate small business in America, and yet it gets nothing from the federal tax code, except a few pennies.”

“Look at the American family for what it really is: A small business with income, expenditures, and operational costs,” said Santorum. The American family’s product is children and it invests capital in developing those children. As a business, the family would write off its ‘investment’ put into raising kids. “(E)xpenses every year — would be a ‘cost of production.’ But in the American tax code it is completely ignored. You can write off none of that.”

The vote

The Senate is currently in the middle of debating its tax reform legislation, with Democrats and Republicans evenly splitting 20 hours of floor time. A vote on the legislation is expected either late today or early Friday.  

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Evangelical pastor launches ‘Christmas Spirit Rides’ after D.C. transit rejects Christmas ad

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By Claire Chretien
This Christmas ad was deemed too religious by the Washington, D.C. metro system.

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The agency responsible for the metro transit system in our nation’s capital rejected a Catholic Christmas ad, so a Presbyterian minister and other locals will ride the city’s buses carrying the banned image in protest.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, lead pastor of Church on the Hill DC and a seasoned human rights activist, said the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) prohibition on the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington’s “Find the Perfect Gift” ad is a “troubling crushing” of the First Amendment.

The ad, which the Archdiocese wanted to run on the sides of metro buses, shows sheep, shepherds, and a star. It invites people to visit a website that says “Jesus is the perfect gift,” Advent and Christmas traditions, and lists ways to help the poor. The website also lists Mass times.

“First of all, I applaud the Catholic Church for launching ‘The Perfect Gift’ campaign and reminding people all across our nation’s capital of what Christmas is really about,” Mahoney told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview. “That’s not consumerism or materialism but rather the powerful message that the Christ child gave us on Christmas Day: peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”

“I also stand with the Catholic Church in not being silent in responding to this outrageous trampling of a public expression of faith and the First Amendment and pursuing legal action against the transit authority,” he said.

The Archdiocese of Washington is taking WMATA to court over the matter.

If WMATA doesn’t reverse its stance, Mahoney and his followers plan to spend the weeks leading up to Christmas passing out hundreds of copies of the rejected Christmas ad for metro and metro bus riders to carry as they travel. They are calling the campaign “Christmas Spirit Rides.”

“When I saw this, I knew that the evangelical community could not be silent on this matter, that we had to make a strong public witness,” Mahoney told LifeSiteNews.

“We are also embracing the opportunity to share the beautiful ... timeless message of Our Lord’s birth at Christmas,” he said. “In an odd way, it’s kind of fascinating how God works. This ‘Perfect Gift’ campaign has gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars in free advertising already.”

“I’ve seen the hand of God at work here,” Mahoney continued. “Now people all over our nation’s capital and the country are talking about this campaign and it’s also uniting the Body of Christ of all denominations together in one voice.”

Those opposed to WMATA’s rejection of the Christmas ad will gather at the Christopher Columbus statue by Union Station at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 3. After a press conference, they will board metro and metro buses holding copies of the ‘Find the Perfect Gift’ ad.

Mahoney is known for his creative “public witness” events.

Every year, Mahoney organizes a live nativity in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. This year’s nativity will be on December 13 at 11 a.m.

“Outside of baby Jesus and Mary, Junior the Camel is definitely the most popular attraction of the live nativity scene,” he laughed.

“If we can publicly display a nativity” outside the Supreme Court, then others should be able to “freely and openly share the message of Christmas,” he said. “We stand with the Catholic Church.”

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Report: Pro-abortion, pro-LGBT Rex Tillerson to be ‘forced out’ as secretary of state

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By Claire Chretien

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration is planning to “force out” pro-abortion, pro-LGBT Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the coming weeks, The New York Times reported this morning.

Tillerson, a former oil executive, is much more socially liberal than many others in the Trump administration. Under his leadership, the State Department has continued to push for “LGBT rights” abroad. Last week, Tillerson issued a statement for “Transgender Day of Remembrance” promising that the U.S. “remains committed to advancing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons.”

Tillerson has also publicly made comments that seemed to be critical of Trump.

The New York Times report said Trump “has been said to have soured on Mr. Tillerson and in general is ready to make a change at the State Department.”

Tillerson’s rumored replacement is CIA director Mike Pompeo, and Pompeo’s rumored replacement is Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas. Cotton is strongly pro-life. He’s said he “deeply” believes Roe v. Wade was “wrongly decided” and should be overturned.

As CIA director, though, Cotton would be focused on intelligence and national security rather than life and family issues.

According to The New York Times:

Mr. Trump and Mr. Tillerson have been at odds over a host of major issues, including the Iran nuclear deal, the confrontation with North Korea and a clash between Arab allies. The secretary was reported to have privately called Mr. Trump a “moron” and the president publicly criticized Mr. Tillerson for “wasting his time” with a diplomatic outreach to North Korea.

Pompeo is a former Republican congressman from Kansas.

Pompeo is against abortion and has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which he noted is the “largest commercial provider of abortions in the United States.”

Planned Parenthood commits over 300,000 abortions annually.

Pompeo has sponsored a host of pro-marriage and pro-freedom bills, including one that would have protected the tax-exempt status of nonprofits that don’t support redefining marriage.

Under the Obama administration, the State Department created the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, which promotes homosexuality around the world, even in religious and socially conservative countries. So far, it has been continued under Tillerson.

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U.S. Air Force Colonel Leland B.H. Bohannon and his family
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges


Senators Cruz, Rubio demand justice for Air Force colonel fired for standing up for pro-family values

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
By Fr. Mark Hodges

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Leading U.S. senators have weighed in on the Col. Leland Bohannon controversy, condemning his treatment on religious liberty grounds and demanding an investigation into his case so that justice is “restored.”

Bohannon was the commander of the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. A highly decorated officer and veteran of two wars, he was stripped of his command just before being promoted to Brigadier General and his elevation was cancelled because he didn’t sign a document endorsing same-sex “marriage.”

“Col. Bohannon has suffered severely on account of the Equal Opportunity investigator’s mishandling of his religious liberty rights,” the letter stated. “The Air Force owes it to him to see that justice is restored, along with his good name.”

“Clarify the branch’s position on religious liberty,” the letter asked Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The senators further ask Wilson to “instruct the Air Force to issue formal guidance and provide adequate training to commanders so that they know how to properly and respectfully address the religious liberty rights of their subordinates.”

The letter called for an investigation into “the proceedings surrounding Col. Bohannon’s request for religious accommodation.” It concludes by asking that the original Equal Opportunity complaint against Bohannon be “reversed and any unfavorable note in Col. Bohannon’s service record removed.”

When a homosexual Master Sergeant with a male “spouse” retired, Bohannon’s religious convictions prohibited him from signing the certificate of appreciation to the “spouse.”  He asked the Staff Judge Advocate and his chaplain what he should do, and filed for a religious accommodation.

No accommodation came. Eventually, a higher ranking officer signed the certificate. But the Master Sergeant filed a civil rights complaint against Bohannon.

An Equal Opportunity investigator decided Bohannon discriminated against the gay Master Sergeant. Bohannon lost his job, his income, and his career.

The senators’ letter quotes Wilson in her confirmation hearing saying “‘Air Force commanders have a responsibility to ensure that the spiritual needs of all Airmen are met,’“ and the senators urge, “That time is now.”

The senators’ letter also points out that in Bohannon’s case the Air Force has shown that the religious freedom of soldiers is not respected by commanders.  

“This sends a clear message — if you do not have the politically correct viewpoint, you are not welcome in the military,” First Liberty’s Mike Berry, who is legally representing Bohannon, noted. Berry charged that on the one hand the U.S. military says it values diversity while on the other hand it punishes religious objection.  

“The military is no longer a place of diversity and inclusion if you are a person who holds to a traditional belief on marriage,” Berry concluded.

God and Country opined, “How the Air Force responds to Congress and to Col. Bohannon will indelibly mark its institutional treatment of military religious freedom.”

Air Force policy (AFI 1-1) states that all soldiers are to “confidently practice (their) own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from (their) own.”

God and Country recalled official military policy. “The Department of Defense explicitly — and repeatedly — said no one would have to change their views on homosexuality nor violate their religious beliefs merely because homosexuals were allowed to serve,” the military watchdog blogged.  

Bohannon’s record shows that he works well with those whose lifestyle differs from his own.  

Now-Brigadier General Kristin Goodwin, a lesbian, served for some time as Bohannon’s superior. She rated him highly.

“I can’t say enough about Bo,” Goodwin wrote. “I see him as a leader, a father and a husband, going out every single day and trying to make a difference in the world. Not only does he make that difference, he does it with grace, style, and even temperament.”

“It’s really been an honor having him here, and I think we’ve all benefited from his presence,” Goodwin continued in her evaluation. “He has such a compassionate heart and has touched so many lives. ... He’s made me a better leader.”

The Family Research Council started an online petition in defense of Bohannon. More than 24,000 people have signed the petition.

The signatories include Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Kennedy of Louisiana, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah and Roger Wicker of Mississippi. The letter can be viewed here.

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Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa


Trump’s FCC chairman blasts Twitter for censoring conservatives

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By Lisa Bourne

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai scolded Twitter this week for censoring conservative users of its platform.

Twitter strongly opposes Pai’s plan to repeal the Obama-era “net neutrality” rules for a return to pre-2015 regulatory framework and has said it will fight the effort, a stance the FCC chair dubbed pretense.

“Now look,” Pai said, “I love Twitter, and I use it all the time. But let’s not kid ourselves; when it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem.”

“The company has a viewpoint,” he added, “and uses that viewpoint to discriminate.”

Pai offered an example of Twitter recently blocking a Senate campaign announcement ad for U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, “because it featured a pro-life message.”

At a July event to protect net neutrality rules, Twitter had also warned users that a link to one company’s statement on Internet regulation “may be unsafe,” noted Pai.

“And, to say the least, the company appears to have a double standard when it comes to suspending or de-verifying conservative users’ accounts as opposed to those of liberal users,” Pai stated. “This conduct is many things, but it isn’t fighting for an open Internet.”

Pai made his comments at an Internet freedom symposium in Washington, D.C., for free market think tank R Street Institute and the Lincoln Network tech freedom advocacy group.

For most of the Internet’s existence until 2015, high-speed access has been treated by the FCC as a lightly regulated information service under Title I of the 1996 Communications Act. This was done away with at the urging of the Obama administration, whose controversial 2015 net neutrality rules changed the classification of Internet access to a heavily-regulated telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act.

The proposal to roll back the net neutrality regulations by Pai, a Trump appointee, has drawn fire from big tech companies, Hollywood celebrities and others preferring government regulation of the Internet.

The reversal is expected to pass on a party-line vote at the FCC's meeting next month, a CNN report said.

Free speech continues to be a significant concern as big tech and social media companies attempt to squelch speech for pro-life supporters, social conservatives, Christians, and other traditionally-minded parties.

Twitter had flagged Blackburn’s ad – which mentioned the Planned Parenthood baby body parts trafficking scandal – as “inflammatory” and “negative,” banning it unless Blackburn removed the reference to the abortion giant. Twitter later reversed its stance after its move garnered significant media attention and criticism.

The social media platform has also blocked Live Action’s ability to advertise, objecting to its tweets containing ultrasound images of unborn babies, it undercover Planned Parenthood investigations and calls for Congress to defund the abortion chain.

YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo have also blocked video coverage of Planned Parenthood’s alleged bartering in baby parts from children aborted at its facilities.

Google has been found to affect Internet search results for a desired return and Facebook has blocked a blogger who quoted the Bible on homosexuality.

Twitter rejected an ad for a book earlier this year because it said marriage was between one man and one woman, and an ad from the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List was suppressed last month because it used the term “killing babies.”

Pai said in his address this week that “unfortunately, Twitter isn’t an outlier.”

“Indeed,” he said, “despite all the talk about the fear that broadband providers could decide what Internet content consumers can see, recent experience shows that so-called edge providers (of content, application or service via the Internet) are in fact deciding what content they see,” adding, “These providers routinely block or discriminate against content they don’t like.”

He also listed examples from the past year of streaming services restricting videos from conservative commentator Dennis Prager on subjects he considers “important to understanding American values,” algorithms that decide what content users do and don’t see without themselves being disclosed, and online platforms covertly editing specific users’ comments.

“In this way,” Pai said, “edge providers are a much bigger actual threat to an open Internet than broadband providers, especially when it comes to discrimination on the basis of viewpoint.”

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Michael D. O’Brien Michael D. O’Brien


The silencing of the orthodox faithful: a cancer in the Body of Christ

Michael D. O’Brien Michael D. O’Brien
By Michael O'Brien

Editor’s Note: The following is the fourth part of an in-depth essay by author and painter Michael D. O’Brien on the coming Great Apostasy. The first part is here, the second part here, and the third part here. The entire essay can be viewed here.

November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholics in North America and Western Europe live in near schizoid churches that would exhort us to avoid a so-called “Phariseeism,” while omitting the call to repentance. A very large number of dioceses, parishes, and religious orders promote false splits in the mind and heart, positing that truth and mercy are in conflict with each other, that justice and mercy are relativistic free-floating concepts uncoupled from the foundation, from the One who is Justice and Mercy itself, that doctrine and pastoral practice need not be consistent, and that the authentic exercise of spiritual authority is authoritarianism. The massive corruption of the Church’s evangelical mission by dissident theologians, and those whom they shape, vastly outweighs the faults of the pietistic among us, who are a very small minority—I would say tiny, perhaps even proportionally microscopic. Decade after decade we have seen our churches transformed according to a false interpretation of Vatican II, the liturgy often made into a man-centered social ritual, have seen the magnificent teachings of our previous Popes ignored or refuted, or mutated and misapplied. We who live at the grass roots level in such national churches have experienced the marginalization of the faithful Catholic, have suffered silently under countless vehement homilies against Phariseeism that equate it with orthodoxy, while at the same time we have received minimal solid teaching from pulpits in a majority of dioceses.

Little by little, with a new generation of apostolic bishops and priests, the situation in some particular churches is improving, though there is a very long way to go before there is a true new renaissance. Most faithful Catholics continue to offer their sufferings for the very people who cause them, and for the ultimate purification and strengthening of the Body of Christ in our times. They strive to live both veritas and caritas as a single unified whole, in the midst of both the interior infidelities of our particular churches and the hostile social and political environments of our nations, which have largely capitulated to anti-life, anti-family policies.

As the years and decades roll onwards, completely faithful Catholics have increasingly felt like a battered minority, not a self-righteous “elite.” They know they are sinners. They know they need mercy. And because of this they know their need for the fullness of Christ’s Church and the Gospels, for authentic spiritual and sacramental life, the worship of God which man was created for—and this in order to have the interior strength to love one’s neighbor as oneself, both the person next door and all people in the global human community.

I can count on one hand the individuals I have met during my life who resemble the stereotype of the old Pharisee. By contrast, I know several hundred loving, heroically sacrificial people who do not judge others but who, by merely being faithful to the deposit of the Faith, are seen as a threat to the “unity” of the particular church. Without provocation, they have often been scapegoats and lightning rods for the fears and malice of others, without retaliating. For the most part, they are the judged. If they have at times protested falsehoods taught in the House of God, sacrilege, and disobedience to the Church’s universal norms of worship, it has been done privately and charitably. The Church teaches that it is not only their right but, at times, their duty to do so (Code of Canon Law, Can. 212 para. 3). Almost always they are met with irrational anger, or at the best, indifference. Suffering the negative consequences of their painful efforts, and with little or no improvement in their situations, many succumb to discouragement and in the end revert to silence. Their sense of futility grows like a cancer in the Body of Christ and too easily brings about a kind of paralysis. They have accepted as inevitable one of the most insidious, destructive tactics used by the new Pharisees in neutralizing opposition. The faithful have been taught again and again that to defend the truth is to find oneself accused of Phariseeism.

In a homily at a Mass on June 29, 1972, Pope Paul VI said that “the smoke of Satan is seeping into the Church of God through the cracks in the walls.” In a 1977 address, he went so far as to say:

The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church. (Address on the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, October 13, 1977)

The choice of this unusual description is significant, for the “tail of the devil” alludes to a passage in the Book of Revelation:

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Because she was with child, she cried aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky: it was a huge dragon, flaming red, with seven heads and ten horns; on his head were seven diadems. His tail swept a third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, ready to devour her child when it should be born. (Rev 12:1-4)

To be continued…

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The 'grim hallway' elite liberals panicked over Screenshot from the First Lady's Twitter video
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Liberals think Melania’s Christmas decorations are ‘apocalyptic,’ ‘nightmarish’

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By Claire Chretien
The 'grim hallway' elite liberals panicked over Screenshot from the First Lady's Twitter video

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Liberals, especially those in the media, are using a strangely-lit photo taken inside the White House this Christmas to freak out over the Trump administration.

This Trumps’ first presidential Christmas decorations include a hall filled with white Christmas trees, a 350-pound gingerbread house designed like the South Facade of the White House, and a tree decorated in gold and patriotic ribbon specifically dedicated to service members.

There are rooms filled with cookies, Christmas trees, crafts, and classic decorations.

The White House released a promotional video showcasing a gorgeous traditional nativity set that’s on display, complete with a baby Jesus.

The Trumps’ Christmas card has also been released. Unlike any of Obama’s Christmas cards while in office, President Trump’s says “Merry Christmas.”

Photos of one of the halls in the White House, which is currently decorated with barren winter branches, have been labeled by the Huffington Post as “spooky.” Leftists on twitter have compared the hall's look to a handful of horror movies.

An image of the hallway lit shows it looks like a normal part of the Christmas decorations.

The holiday decorations are “very, very white,” Vogue observed, wondering if perhaps it “could be interpreted as a snowy and desolate manifestation of [Melania's] own isolation.”

Vogue continued:

Is she trying to tell us something? Indeed, some of the decorations brought to life an apocalyptic, barren landscape similar to what some of us imagine lies in America’s future, or the calming white walls of a mental institution. One grim hallway in particular, lined with white branches lit from below, created a shadowy portal into, well, who knows?

PJ Media compiled a list of the most hysterical reactions, which suggested the decor are the “walls of the damned,” “nightmarish,” or a scene from “The Shining.”

The Trumps’ Christmas decorations are being maligned as scary and menacing and full of hidden meaning. But sometimes Christmas decorations are just Christmas decorations.

The multitude of photos available of the White House this Christmas show it’s anything but “spooky” – it appears festive and joyful.

And far from being upset by the winter wonderland decorations, children visiting the White House repeatedly told Melania that she looked like an angel.

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