All articles from December 05, 2017


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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Court: Arkansas can defund Planned Parenthood

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

LITTLE ROCK, AR, December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – An appellate court upheld Arkansas’ defunding Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds last week, allowing it to go into effect.

After the state Department of Human Services (DHS) announced it had taken the nation's largest, most lucrative abortion conglomerate off its approved list of Medicaid providers, a legal battle ensued.

Last week, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arkansas may indeed decide not to give Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds.

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson cut off Planned Parenthood from Medicaid tax funds in 2015, but a judge imposed a preliminary injunction forcing the state to fund the abortion giant. In August, a panel of Eighth Circuit judges lifted the injunction, and recently the full court said it would not revisit that lifting.

The issue of diverting state funds away from Planned Parenthood and to women's health facilities that do not commit abortions has divided the nation's justice system. Some courts have defended states' rights to choose the health entities to which they give money, while others have ruled states must specifically funnel Medicaid payoffs to Planned Parenthood businesses.

Gov. Hutchinson's move to defund Planned Parenthood came in response to undercover videos exposing illegal activities of the abortion provider.  In 2015, Center for Medical Progress (CMP) investigators secretly recorded abortion industry meetings to expose possible criminal activity.

The CMP undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood officials eager to make illegal profits off aborted baby parts and talking about illegally modifying abortion procedures to obtain "intact" babies for sale to pay for luxury cars for Planned Parenthood staff.

A firestorm of controversy erupted across the nation. Both houses of the U.S. Congress began hearings and many states began making attempts to defund Planned Parenthood of tax dollars.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Viktor Orbán, George Soros, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Gov't of Hungary, Shutterstock
Natalia Dueholm Natalia Dueholm

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U.S. State Department grant will fund ‘objective media’ in Hungary ahead of key elections

Natalia Dueholm Natalia Dueholm

December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. State Department’s $700,000 grant to Hungarian media before upcoming elections shocked the government in Budapest, prompting a diplomatic conflict between the NATO allies. The grant is seen by many as taking sides in a private war waged by the Hungarian-born, anti-Trump American billionaire George Soros against the popular conservative government of pro-Trump Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Orban has been fighting massive negative influence of Soros in Hungary through Soros’ financing of the Central European University and 60-plus other groups in the country. Orbán has called Soros a “large-bodied predator.”

LifeSiteNews previously reported that the Hungarian government called these Soros-backed groups “self-styled human rights organizations which engage in political activity but which have no political legitimacy, and whose activities are in sharp opposition to the views of the majority of Hungarians.”

The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) recently announced the grant as a funding opportunity to support “objective media in Hungary.” DRL’s mission is “promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally.”

DRL also states that it “typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.”

Hungary is a no longer behind the Iron Curtain, and has transformed into a democratic republic with a multi-party system. Those in Budapest saw the U.S. State Department's media grant as an unwanted interference in Hungary’s domestic affairs.

According to the U.S. State Department website, the grant is available for organizations operating outside the capital in Hungary which want to “increase citizens’ access to objective information about domestic and global issues.” The grant description also states, “Program activities could include training for journalists and editors,” which may suggest that in the eyes of the U.S. officials, Hungarian journalists lack professional skills to do their jobs.

The true purpose of the grant appears to align with George Soros’ assaults against Orbán’s nationalistic government and Hungary’s ruling right-wing Fidesz party.

The word “objective” is used five times in the grant description, but critics wonder who will give the U.S. State Department guidance in determining the organization which is supposed to disseminate “reliable and unbiased information.” Given George Soros’ cozy relationship with the U.S. State Department and his personal interest in toppling the Hungarian government, it is not difficult to guess.

RELATED: George Soros has been interfering in Hungary’s politics for years. Now, they’re fed up

U.S. efforts to influence Hungary’s media and challenge its government began before publication of the grant. These steps were taken by Chargé d’Affaires David Kostelancik from the U.S Embassy in Budapest. Kostelancik had come to Soros’ aid in an earlier dispute, when Budapest proposed a bill tightening regulations on universities from outside the European Union issuing diplomas in Hungary, which would affect Soros’ university. He expressed his opinions very strongly, saying that “the U.S. opposes any effort to compromise the operations or independence of the University.”  

In October, Kostelancik decided to lecture the Hungarian Association of Journalists. His speech, entitled “Freedom of the Press: Enduring Values in a Dynamic Media Environment,” was ironic given that Kostelancik comes from a country which has its own problems with biased media outlets and “fake news.” Kostelancik spoke “about negative trends in the sphere of press freedom in Hungary,” media dealing with “pressure and intimidation,” and facing “challenges in the advertising market that the pro-government outlets do not.” 

According to Hungary Today, Kostelancik was indirectly referring to controversial media acquisitions by Orbán allies. The article added that the U.S. diplomat was concerned about the “government-linked online tabloid 888.hu’s publication of the names of journalists,” who are considered George Soros’ “propagandists.”

Nonetheless, Kostelancik concluded in his speech, “There are still independent and opposition media outlets here that are able to practice journalism with broad editorial freedom.” 

Such freedom would be necessary to ensure fair national elections next April and municipal elections in 2019. Soros' usual influence in politics and information dissemination has been aligned with radical leftist, globalist agendas and groups.

Kostelancik’s comments were not well received in Budapest. He was summoned by the Hungarian government, which called his actions “detrimental to bilateral relations and trust.”

The Prime Minister’s Office chief János Lázár commented that Kostelancik’s description of the Hungarian media environment was “a lot of nonsense.” He suggested that part of the problem is that not enough U.S. diplomats speak Hungarian. Lázár asserted, “if they spoke our language they would see that hundreds of articles criticizing the government are published daily.” 

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs/the Minister of State, Levente Magyar, “There are several problems with David Kostelancik’s speech. Firstly, nobody asked him to make a statement. Secondly, he had no moral or political mandate to do so. And thirdly, as a sovereign state, Hungary objects to any country interfering in its upcoming parliamentary elections in such a manner.”

Hungary's foreign minister Péter Szijjártó stated it was “not normal practice for a democratic country to start financing the media of another allied democratic country from its own budget.”

And Kostelancik was again summoned for explanation.

This “uninvited interference in Hungarian internal politics” caused a sudden diplomatic crisis in otherwise good U.S.-Hungarian relations since Trump took office. Both countries’ leaders seem to have similar worldviews, especially on immigration. Orbán, an early supporter of Trump, has been fighting foreign interference in Hungary’s politics, especially by Soros’ organizations. The U.S. president also accused Soros, who sponsors the Democratic Party, “of being part of a ‘global power structure’ that has ‘robbed’ the working class.”

The Minister of State Magyar remarked that diplomats generally act according to orders, which would mean that the change in approach declared by the American President “has still not reached certain areas of the State Department.”

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Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

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Priests who follow Church teaching on adultery and Communion are ‘terrorists’: British priest

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A well-known priest who writes a column for Britain’s oldest ecclesiastical newspaper is denouncing pro-life and pro-family clergy as fanatical “crypto-terrorists,” and mocking Archbishop Joseph Naumann, the recently-elected chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Pro-Life Committee.

Mgr. Basil Loftus, columnist for Britain’s Catholic Times, says he’s concerned about “single-issue fanatics” who are “exercised about sex and marriage, about maniples and Communion-on-the-tongue, about celibacy of the clergy, about contraception, or about the right to carry loaded firearms in America while attending Mass,” calling them “fanatical partisans.”

Loftus warns of such people: “their extremist and sometimes violent propensities make them, in all but name, terrorists.”

Among such “terrorists” Loftus includes any priest “who excludes females from the role of altar-servers, or refuses to wash their feet on Maundy Thursday, or who turns away from Communion a politician who voted not to criminalise abortion,” as well as “a bishop who refuses to back Pope Francis' plea for discernment in the matter of Communion for the divorced and remarried, and for those who live in non-conventional domestic situations,” concluding that “all of them are crypto-terrorists.”

Loftus’ ire is particularly reserved for the “purportedly pro-life antics of men such as Archbishop Naumann, the recently elected head of the American bishops' 'pro-life committee',” claiming that he would like to “erect marquees in papal colours in front of every abortion clinic, and staff them with a 24-hour guard of what Francis calls ‘prune-faced’ people reciting the rosary round the clock . . .”

Joseph Shaw, an Oxford philosophy professor and chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England, has been tracking Loftus’ writings for several years and has sought to alert the bishops to his bitter attacks on orthodox Catholics. He transcribed Loftus’ latest column, which only appears in print, in a recent blog post.

“Mgr. Loftus has for many years expressed the most bitter hostility to bishops and cardinals in England and Scotland, in Rome, and elsewhere, for upholding the Church's Faith and discipline, and sometimes for the most trivial things which happen to annoy him,” Shaw told LifeSiteNews. “In doing so he routinely twists their words, misrepresents their actions, or simply attributes to them attitudes and failings of his own invention. He is a living contradiction of the respect due to Catholic bishops, and their right to a good name.”

“In attacking Archbishop Naumann he has taken his invective to a new level. Having claimed, on the basis of no evidence at all, that the Archbishop combines concern for the pro-life cause with a lack of human charity, he labels him, and those like him, 'terrorists.' The shocking nature of the accusation is matched by its absurdity and lack of grounds,” said Shaw.

“It is a scandal that he was allowed to publish this libel in a newspaper which calls itself 'Catholic' and is sold in Catholic churches all over the United Kingdom,” he said.

Shaw has composed a dossier of numerous statements made by Loftus that insult various Catholic prelates and question articles of the Catholic faith, such as the historicity of the resurrection of Christ from the dead and original sin. Although he has sent the dossier to several bishops, Loftus has been allowed to continue writing his column for the Catholic Times.

Contact information (please be polite and respectful in all correspondence):

Diocese of Salford (which publishes the Catholic Times), whose bishop is John Arnold:
[email protected]
Phone: 0161 817 2222

Diocese of Leeds (where Mgr Basil Loftus is incardinated), whose bishop is Marcus Stock:
[email protected]

Diocese of Aberdeen in Scotland (where Mgr. Basil Loftus lives) whose bishop is Hugh Gilbert:
http://www.rcda.scot/contact/bishops-office

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Belgian Red Cross orders offices to remove crucifixes

LifeSiteNews.com

BELGIUM, December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Belgian branches of the Red Cross have been ordered to remove crucifixes from their offices out of respect for “the principles of the Red Cross.”

The instruction came from the Provincial Committee of the Red Cross in Liège, Breitbart reported, because the organization is “looking to become more secular.”

The news was originally reported by the Belgian outlet 7sur7.

The move is slightly reminiscent of Georgetown’s covering of crucifixes when then-President Obama spoke at the university.

Recently in France, courts have ordered that statues of the Virgin Mary and Pope St. John Paul II be removed.

Mass attendance has significantly dropped in once-Catholic Belgium. The country also has a large influx of Muslim immigrants.

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Donald Trump speaks at the 2016 Values Voter Summit. Andy Parrish / LifeSiteNews
Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Trump endorses Roy Moore: ‘We need his vote…on Pro Life’

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges
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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump endorsed Roy Moore for Alabama’s Senate special election, despite the former state judge facing what looks to be a smear campaign that involves allegations of sexual misconduct.

While mainstream media appears to be doing everything it can to sink Moore’s campaign with reports of questionable allegations, Trump fearlessly endorsed Moore on Twitter and gave the judge an encouraging call. 

The president called Moore a “fighter,” and told him, “Go get ‘em, Roy!”

Trump tweeted that “we need” Moore for his conservative vote in the senate, over Democrat opponent Doug Jones, whom Trump characterized as a “Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet.”

“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” Trump tweeted. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges, 2nd Amendment and more.”

Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2017

Moore said he was "honored to receive the support and endorsement of President Donald Trump.”

“President Trump knows that the future of his conservative agenda in Congress hinges on this election,” he said in a statement

The special election for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat takes place Tuesday, December 12th.  Polls show Moore is ahead but in a tight race against liberal Democrat Doug Jones.

Moore has been accused of impropriety in an encounter with an underage girl nearly forty years ago, specifically touching her underclothes when the girl was 14 and Moore was an adult.  Another woman accused Moore of unwanted sexual advances which she rebuffed when she was a 16-year-old waitress.  Besides those two accusations, women have said Moore dated them when they were 17, 18, and 19.

Moore, 70, admits that after getting out of military service he dated several young women but denies they were underage and unequivocally denies any sexual impropriety.  He has been married for 32 years to Kayla Kisor (23 years old when she married Moore), and the couple have four children.

Moore spokeswoman Janet Porter vigorously defended Moore, citing ulterior motives on the part of Moore's accusers.

White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short said the accusations against Moore were politically opportunistic and inferred they may be opposition orchestrated.

“When allegations arise 38 years later --when Roy Moore has been a very public figure for those 38 years…there are certain questions that come about the timing of these allegations,” he said.

“In all of the years that I worked for Judge Moore I never once saw him even disrespect a woman,” Ben DuPré, who worked with Moore for fifteen years in a number of capacities, said.  “My office at the Supreme Court was situated in a way that I saw everyone that went in and out of his office, and never once did I see anything suspicious or improper.  As his Chief of Staff, if anybody would have seen something suspicious, it would have been me.  If any of the staff had been harassed or disrespected in any way, I would have heard about it.  Nothing like that ever happened.”

“If there is a characteristic that would describe Judge Moore, it is honesty,” DuPré said.

Trump said last month that he believed Moore’s side of the story.  

“He totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. And look, you have to look at him also,” the president said.  The White House previously said that if the allegations against Moore were proven true, then Moore should step aside.

The Republican National Committee (RNC), after initially holding back when Moore allegations surfaced, is now financially supporting Moore’s candidacy.

In a primary runoff, Trump supported Luther Strange against Moore.  Strange, the establishment Republican, was also backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  When allegations surfaced, McConnell called for Moore to quit, but now the Senate leader says Alabama voters should have their say.

Moore won a landslide victory against Strange in the runoff.  “Judge Roy Moore is an embodiment of what we chose on November the 8th last year when we elected Trump into office,” former Presidential Adviser Sebastian Gorka told the BBC. 

Many establishment Republicans remain hostile toward the outspoken pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-family Moore. Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele bitterly criticized President Trump for endorsing Moore, calling Moore “an alleged pedophile” and tweeting to Trump, “America no longer has a moral compass under your ‘leadership.’”

Virginia attorney Gualberto Garcia Jones, Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, predicted that if elected, Moore will be the “most reliable pro-life and pro-family advocate” and “the most consistent social conservative in the United States Senate.”

Moore told LifeSiteNews his top priorities in the U.S. Senate will be “to bring back the Constitution and knowledge of God, which underlines that Constitution.” 

 
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Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

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Playboy’s secret role in unraveling the traditional family

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
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Hugh Hefner s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – While Playboy’s massive influence in overturning traditional sexual morality is admitted by most, what is less known is how the pornography empire provided legal expertise and funded court cases that played a crucial role in upending the traditional male/female family. 

“Playboy seed-funded not only research, but a legal team for the first lesbian-mother child custody case, according to a letter from the founding editor (in the [October, 27 2017] issue) of Archives of Sexual Behavior,” notes sociologist Mark Regnerus, author, researcher and associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. 

In a brief history provided to the readers of Archives of Sexual Behavior, the official publication of the pro-Kinseyian International Academy of Sex Research (IASR), founding president and editor Richard Green connects the dots from Hugh Hefner and his Playboy enterprise to yet another key turning point in the sexual revolution. 

When the nascent IASR sought to incorporate as a non-profit in the early 1970’s, the organization reached out to Hefner’s Playboy for help.  It appears that the growing pornography empire was more than happy to help out.  

A letter dated September 18, 1973 from Burton Joseph, Executive Director of the Playboy Foundation, says, “I have spoken with Playboy’s counsel.  They have assigned one of their experienced attorneys to handle the matter of incorporation of the International Academy of Sex Research.  I have arranged to have all the costs billed to the Playboy Foundation as our contribution toward the success of the Academy.”

In 1975, in order to bolster the credibility of the IASR by having international scholars participate in their first meeting, the Playboy Foundation paid the travel expenses for John Bancroft to attend from Oxford, England.

Playboy also helped the IASR with sex and gender research.  Green recalls, “When I transferred my long-term study of cross-gender the behaving boys from UCLA to Stony Brook, funding temporarily [fell between the cracks].  The Playboy Foundation bridged the gap.”  

Green continues, “When I began the study of mothers, currently living as lesbians, and their children, Playboy provided seed money.  For the first ‘lesbian mother child custody case,’ Playboy funded the mother’s attorney and her expert witness.  We won.”

IASR’s founder met with Hefner on at least one occasion, where he discussed his long-term ‘feminine boy study.’  

Green, in addition to founding the IASR and serving as the founding editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior, is Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, at the University of California, Los Angeles.   

Mainstreaming lesbian motherhood

In retrospect, Hugh Hefner is recognized as one of the great generals of the sexual revolution, which has produced catastrophic collateral damage to children in particular and more broadly to all of society.  The Playboy founder fought aggressively to divorce sex from marriage and spousal love.

Hefner and the Playboy organization funded and fought for the mainstreaming of  Abortion “rights,” the legalization of marijuana, the liberation of sex from love, and pornography.  

“Hefner himself was not single-handedly responsible for the massive social changes that rocked the Western world from the Sexual Revolution onwards, but he was easily the single most recognizable symbol of them all,” notes Jonathon Van Maren in his 2016 book, The Culture War

Hefner’s carefully cultivated image of a carefree bachelor living the high life disguised the ugliness and cruelty of his beliefs and his actions. “Linda Lovelace, a woman forced into pornography by her abusive husband, revealed that Hefner was fascinated by bestiality and demanded to see her with a dog,” Van Maren notes elsewhere.  “His magazine ran columns by the North American Man-Boy Love Association, which seeks to mainstream pedophilia. Hefner himself was accused by girls of molestation and statutory rape, and his magazine presented rape victims as hysterical and unreliable — which was perhaps Hefner’s way of discrediting his own victims.”

“All revolutions have collateral damage, and in all revolutions some civilians get hurt,” wrote Van Maren.  

“But the catastrophe of Hefner’s Sexual Revolution will be felt for generations: Fifty million pre-born children aborted, marriages smashed or abandoned, millions of children growing up in broken homes, rates of porn addiction that have crippled a generation of men, and a hypersexualized society that uses the bodies of girls and women to sell nearly every product on the market. The destruction and the carnage are nearly unfathomable.”

 
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Gay lawsuit would force all EU countries to recognize same-sex ‘marriage’

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

BRUSSELS, Belgium, December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Justice will decide if the "marriage" of two homosexuals will be recognized throughout all EU member states, regardless of nations that still maintain that marriage is exclusively between a man and a woman.

The case before the court hinges on the definition of the word “spouse.”

Homosexuals Adrian Coman and Clai Hamilton were “wed” in Belgium in 2010 and now live in the United States. But now Coman wants his home country of Romania to recognize his same-sex “marriage” so that he and his partner can immigrate there and receive the social benefits of a normal married couple. 

But the Romanian Constitutional Court, instead of solving the matter itself, voted by a majority of seven to two to refer the matter for a preliminary ruling to the European Court of Justice. 

Normally interpreted to mean husband and wife, activists hope that judges in the EU’s Court of Justice (EUCJ) will broadly interpret the word "spouse" to include homosexual couples, using the justification of “freedom of movement.”

“A positive decision would mean Clai can live in Romania with me,” Coman says.  He equates Romania’s law defining marriage as between one man and one woman with “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Gay Star News wrote that the “impact of the decision would change the right to same-sex spouses in six countries.”  

The traditionally Christian sovereign nations that could be affected are Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

If the homosexual activists win the case, it would bring into conflict the EU’s rule respecting sovereign nations’ opposing laws with the EU’s “freedom of movement” rule, which provides for EU international continuity.

“Freedom of movement must be a right all European citizens receive equally,” pro-homosexual ACCEPT Romania lawyer Iustina Ionescu argued before the EUCJ’s “Grand Chamber.” The Grand Chamber considered the case having enough merit to pass to the next level of a full hearing in the EU’s Court of Justice.  

If the EUCJ rules in the homosexual couple’s favor, the case goes back to the Romanian Constitutional Court (RCC).  If the RCC agrees with the ruling, the Romanian government still has the right to appeal the decision.

At the heart of the suit are gay activists attempting to compel sovereign nations to capitulate to the homosexual agenda through the force of law rather than through the democratic process. The bully tactic of imposing same-sex “marriage” despite opposition from much of the country has proved successful in nations such as Canada, United States, France, Malta, Colombia, Greenland, and many others.

 
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U.S. Supreme Court hears case of Christian who refused to bake gay ‘wedding’ cake

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on whether a Christian baker should be forced to go against his religious beliefs and create a same-sex “wedding” cake when asked to.

The baker fighting for his right to not celebrate a same-sex “wedding” by creating a cake for it is Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado.

In 2012, a same-sex couple asked Phillips to create a cake for their “wedding.” Phillips is a Christian who won’t bake cakes celebrating Halloween, divorce, or bachelor parties. He referred the couple to another baker who was willing to participate in their union.

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the couple pursued legal action against Phillips.

Phillips and his staff were also ordered to undergo re-education and file quarterly “compliance” reports on their application of Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act for two years.

In 2013, a lower court ruled that Phillips violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. In 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the decision.

Then the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear the case in July 2016, so Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear it. The Supreme Court accepted the case.

Phillips was forced to stop creating all wedding cakes, and as a result has lost about 40 percent of his income.

On Monday, Phillips explained in a USA Today op-ed why he declined to create a cake that openly celebrated something against his beliefs:

I’m happy to sell a cake to anyone, whatever his or her sexual identity. People should be free to make their own moral choices. I don’t have to agree with them...

Designing a wedding cake is a very different thing from, say, baking a brownie. When people commission such a cake, they’re requesting something that’s designed to express something about the event and about the couple.

What I design is not just a tower of flour and sugar, but a message tailored to a specific couple and a specific event — a message telling all who see it that this event is a wedding and that it is an occasion for celebration.

In this case, I couldn’t. What a cake celebrating this event would communicate was a message that contradicts my deepest religious convictions, and as an artist, that’s just not something I’m able to do, so I politely declined.

But this wasn’t just a business decision. More than anything else, it was a reflection of my commitment to my faith. My religious convictions on this are grounded in the biblical teaching that God designed marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The baker noted he and his family have received “hate mail,” “death threats,” and “obscene calls” since his case became public.

“A lot of other people don’t see tolerance as a two-way street,” he wrote. “But the Constitution does.”

A number of African-American leaders have come out in support of Phillips, saying that declining to bake a cake for a same-sex “wedding” is not tantamount to racial discrimination.

The Radiance Foundation, spearheaded by Ryan Bomberger, led a pro-freedom rally in front of the court today. Gay activists also rallied in opposition to Phillips and his rights.

“Artists shouldn’t be forced to express what the government dictates,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued the case in front of the court.

“The commission ordered Jack to celebrate what his faith prohibits or to stop doing the work he loves,” she explained. “The Supreme Court has never compelled artistic expression, and doing so here would lead to less civility, diversity, and freedom for everyone, no matter their views on marriage.”

The Trump Administration's Department of Justice filed an amicus brief on behalf of Phillips in September

“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in that brief.  “Weddings are sacred rites in the religious realm and profoundly symbolic ceremonies in the secular one.”

Wall also pointed out that, ironically, in 2012, Colorado hadn’t even redefined marriage yet.

He wrote:

Indeed, when Phillips declined to create a custom wedding cake for Craig and Mullins [the gay couple seeking to commission a wedding cake] in July 2012, Colorado refused to recognize either same-sex marriages or same-sex civil unions ... In other words, the State itself did not acknowledge the validity of the union it sought to compel petitioners to celebrate. It was not until October 2014, after federal courts had ruled that Colorado’s same-sex marriage laws were invalid, that the State began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Many large corporations, led by the Human Rights Campaign, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging them to rule against Phillips. So did a number of left-leaning chefs and food industry professionals.

The Human Rights Campaign and others in the LGBT lobby are framing this as an issue of “discrimination.”

This case is one of the biggest of the year and in some ways the Roe v. Wade of religious freedom. It will determine whether the government may force people to create art that explicitly goes against their deeply-held beliefs.

As is common before major Supreme Court arguments, people camped out in front of the Court the weekend before to save spots in line for lawyers and others planning to enter the courtroom.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic and the “swing” vote on the court who is well-known for his favorability to the homosexual cause, is also known for his tendency to side with free speech.

The Justice Editor of ThinkProgress.org, a clearinghouse for liberal news, tweeted that the “pro-equality” arguments presented to the Court were “terrible” and that Kennedy is “all but sure” to side with Phillips.

Another Supreme Court reporter tweeted that Kennedy seemed to be siding with Phillips.

“It seems to me the state has been neither tolerant or respectful” of Phillips’ views, Kennedy observed during the oral arguments.

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan questioned Phillips’ attorney, asking whether the same arguments in favor of the right of conscience of Phillips should apply to hair stylists and tailors.

Justice Sonia Sotomayer, another liberal, said to Phillips’ attorney: “The primary purpose of a food of any kind is to be eaten,” suggesting she may not consider a cake to be art.

Kennedy was also “suggesting skepticism” for the arguments made by Phillips’ attorney, the Associated Press reported.

 
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PBS highlights Catholic seminarians singing chart-topping Gregorian chant

Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy

Denton, Nebraska, December 4, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic seminarians chanting traditional Catholic music were featured by a mainstream American broadcaster last week. 

PBS “News Hour” aired a five-minute report on November 27 about an American seminary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and its chart-topping new album of Gregorian chant. The college, near Denton, Nebraska, is the English-speaking seminary for the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP).

The segment presented its sprawling stone buildings and interviews with three members of the FSSP against the soundscape of the Fraternity’s hit album “Requiem.”

“The early Christians, we believe, would have been singing something that resembles what we have now and what we call Gregorian chant,” Father Zachary Akers told an interviewer. 

Akers, a graduate of the seminary, was initiated early into Gregorian chant: when he was a child, his mother played recordings of it to soothe him. 

“Our relationship with God, it transcends mere words,” he said. “We pray not just with our mouth, but with singing, with our heart being uplifted to God.

The video interview shows the over ninety students in their traditional black cassocks. Their Academic Dean, Father Joseph Lee, explains that they must all study Gregorian chant and Latin during their seven-year stint. 

“We’re not necessarily performing the music,” says one gifted seminarian. “We are praying the music.”

Record label De Montford Music, which produced “Benedicta” by the Monks of Norcia, approached the FSSP about recording their music. The Fraternity collected twelve of its most talented graduates, including Fathers Akers and Lee, from around the world and produced “Requiem.”

The album spent 13 consecutive weeks at the top of the Classical music charts. 

Akers told PBS that the album “is a selection of music that is simply the Catholic Church’s musical list for a funeral mass. We all experience death, and we all experience our return to our Maker, our Creator, and this is something that is very transcendent… I think the music really expresses this reality as well.”

Lee said that Gregorian chant is universal.

“It’s a unifying, bonding element that transcends fads … fashion … geography … time, and is able to unite people regardless of their race, of who they think is going to win the World Series, or what kind of food they enjoy eating.”

The report ends with soaring music and Akers asserting that Gregorian chant is “very much part of [their] life as Catholics.”

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, which is in full communion with Rome, is a traditionalist order dedicated to the Usus Antiquior, or Old Rite, of the Latin liturgy.  It has another seminary in Wigratzbad, Germany. The Fraternity was founded as a clerical society of apostolic life in 1988. Currently, they number 437 men as members, 129 of them seminarians.

 
 
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Islamist women and children media.breitbart.com
William Kilpatrick

Opinion

Don’t be fooled: Muslims don’t have the same family values as Christians

William Kilpatrick

December 5, 2017 (Crisis Magazine) — Just as it’s not a good idea to read too much into the cross tattooed on the bicep of the otherwise threatening biker at the bar, it’s best not to read too much into the occasional concessions toward Christianity we find in Islam.

For some Catholics, it seems to be enough to hear that, as Nostra Aetate tells us, Muslims “revere” Jesus and “honor” Mary. I can’t remember the number of times that some hopeful Catholic has pointed out to me that there’s a whole chapter named after Mary in the Koran, or that Mary is mentioned more than any other women in that book. Supposedly, that somehow compensates for all the verses in the Koran that call for crucifixions, beheadings, and amputations, and for the fact that Christians who live in Muslim lands generally lead a precarious existence.

In the grasping-for-straws department, one of the items most frequently on display is the claim that Muslims have more or less the same moral code that governs traditional Christians. For example, in Nostra Aetate we read not only that Muslims honor Jesus and Mary, but that “they value the moral life.” Likewise, numerous Catholic writers have made the case that Muslims are our natural allies in the culture wars because they oppose abortion, adultery, and pornography, and value modesty and chastity.

To be sure, many Muslims families, especially in the U.S., don’t seem that different from Christian families. They pray regularly, attend weekly services, give to charities, and raise polite children. As a result it’s easy to conclude that Islamic family values and Christian family values are essentially the same. But in reality, there is a world of difference between the two. To get a better picture of Islamic family values, it’s advisable to look at Muslim countries or at those parts of the West that are rapidly falling under Islamic influence.

Take Great Britain. A new UK website designed to help Muslim men find second wives has more than 100,000 users. And it’s estimated that there are already as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages among British Muslims. In addition to polygamy there are many other practices that one would be hard pressed to find in Christian families: tens of thousands of cases of female genital mutilation, forced marriages to first cousins, and women shrouded in burqas.

But let’s focus on polygamy. It’s not simply an incidental item that happens to be found in Arab cultures, rather it’s a central element in the Islamic system. The practice is completely in accord with sharia law and with the Koran. In the Koran, Muslim men are allowed up to four wives at one time. Muhammad, however, received a special revelation from Allah permitting him to have as many wives as he wanted. Since Muhammad is considered the perfect man, and the model of proper conduct, there is no theological ground for opposing polygamy. Of course, a great many Muslim men don’t practice polygamy, but that’s not because the practice is considered improper, it’s because many men can’t afford to support more than one wife. But it’s always a possibility. The standard Egyptian marriage contract contains spaces for the husband to fill in the names of wives number one, two, and three, just in case.

Christianity introduced a revolution in the relationship between men and women. It erased the inequality between the sexes that practices such as polygamy reinforced. And it raised marriage between one man and one woman to the level of a sacrament. Under the influence of Christianity, polygamy became unlawful in the West and in many other parts of the world as well. On the other hand, the faith that Muhammad introduced retained and reinforced the practice by giving it a religious sanction. Moreover, polygamy is no mere relic of the past. With the modern day resurgence of Islam, the practice is spreading. A Western convert to Islam can be suddenly transported back to a time when a man could rule his household much as a caliph ruled his harem.

Why did Muhammad reject the Christian vision of marriage? A theologian might trace it back to his rejection of the Trinity. Just as the Incarnation elevates our understanding of man, the doctrine of the Trinity elevates our understanding of marriage and family. The shared love between the three persons of the Trinity becomes the model for marriage and family. But there is no such heavenly model in Islam. In Muhammad’s book, Allah is a solitary God and must remain so. Thus:

So believe in God and His apostles and do not say “three”… God is but one God. God forbid that He should have a Son!” (4: 171)

The Koran provides no theological basis for understanding marriage as a one-man-one-woman proposition. But theology may not have been the deciding factor. Muhammad may also have had personal motives for preferring polygamy to monogamy. It is very possible that he simply did not want to limit himself to one wife. Scholars of Islam designate a number of Muhammad’s revelations as “revelations of convenience”—that is, revelations that worked to his personal advantage or helped him to resolve a family conflict. The revelation that allowed him to marry his own daughter-in-law falls into that category, and so does the revelation that permitted him to have an unlimited number of wives (and sex slaves).

But there is yet a third motive that needs to be considered. As numerous scholars have noted, totalitarian systems look upon the traditional two-parent family as a rival. The fear is that family loyalty may take precedence over the “higher” loyalty that one owes to the state. Tyrants know that the bonds of affection that develop in a family may prove stronger than one’s allegiance to the ruling ideology, or to Big Brother, or to Dear Leader.

This was certainly the case with Nazism. Through organizations such as the Hitler Youth, the Nazis sought to transfer a child’s loyalty from his parents to the state. Likewise, communists looked upon the traditional family as nothing more than a reactionary holdover from the days of bourgeois morality. Communists had no qualms about urging children to act as informants on their parents, and in Stalinist Russia one such informant—thirteen-year-old Pavlik Morozov—was elevated to the status of a national hero.

As the modern secular state becomes increasingly totalitarian, it also begins to look upon the family as a rival to its aim of achieving complete control over citizens. Thus the state seeks through various means to undermine the purpose of marriage (e.g., by promoting abortions), and to disrupt the relationship between husband and wife (e.g., by making women financially dependent on the state). Meanwhile, the media—which often acts as an agent of the state– can be counted on to extol unorthodox family arrangements. These days, sitcoms about traditional families are as verboten as cigarette commercials.

It shouldn’t be surprising then that Islam, which is a totalitarian system par excellence, favors the polygamous family structure. Through sharia law, Islam seeks to control every aspect of an individual’s life. As its advocates insist, Islam is not just a religion, it is a complete way of life. Moreover, it’s a purpose-driven life. It’s meant to be lived in service to the ideology of jihad for the sake of Allah. As Nonie Darwish puts it in Wholly Different, “In Islam, after believing in Allah, the number one priority for a Muslim believer is not family; it is jihad.” Consequently, “a man who is devoted to his wife and children in a monogamous marriage is a threat to jihad.”

Darwish argues that the Christian ideal of exclusive and permanent loyalty between man and wife is at odds with the aims of Islam. Marriage so conceived is a rival to the single-minded pursuit of jihad. But a polygamous marriage is not. For one thing, the husband has no obligation to remain loyal to one wife. Just as important, a polygamous family by its very nature is riven with internal rivalries. It lacks the organic unity which might allow it to stand as a rival to the ideology of jihad.

According to Darwish and other former Muslims, the structure of polygamous families (combined with the knowledge that one’s monogamous marriage can be suddenly transformed into a multiple one) makes for divided loyalties and dysfunctional families. It pits wife against wife, step-brother against step-brother, and mother-in-law, against daughter-in-law.

In addition, Islamic theology creates rivalries between a husband’s current wife/wives and his brides-to-be in paradise. In order to ensure that Muslim men will never be satisfied with their current wife or wives, they are promised more polygamy with more desirable partners in the next world. Of course, the only sure fire way of securing brides in paradise is by committing jihad for the sake of Allah. Thus, as Darwish puts it, “Islam has substituted love of jihad and martyrdom for love of family.”

A recent example of Darwish’s observation is provided by Sayfulla Saipov, the jihadist who killed eight people on a New York City bike path by running them down with a truck. Saipov is a family man, but only in the most limited sense of the term. He has a wife and three children, but he also had jihad on his mind. Unlike the ordinary soldier who hopes to return from the battlefield to rejoin his wife and children, this “soldier of ISIS” was intent on joining his brides in paradise instead. The promise of perfect wives in paradise tends to weaken the ties to one’s family here on earth. Moreover, as Muhammad understood, such a promise is an efficient mechanism for insuring that there will always be an abundant supply of recruits for the jihad.

Not all Muslims are so minded, of course. They are not interested in polygamy or jihad, and they may have their doubts about the existence of the 72 virgins. Some Muslim marriages, as Darwish readily admits, “are happy and successful.” Some Muslims manage to rise above ideology and to ignore the misogynistic teachings of Islam.

Still, on the whole, Islamic family relation are far more dysfunctional than Western citizens realize. Polygamy is not the only problem. Child marriage is common, and so are forced marriages. In Iran and other Shia Muslim societies, temporary marriage (a form of prostitution) is legal. And 91 percent of all honor violence worldwide is committed by Muslims.

On that subject, Islamic law states that there is no penalty for a mother or father who kills their child, and no penalty for a grandmother or grandfather who kills their children’s children (Reliance of the Traveller, o1.4). Conversely, a child may kill a parent for the sake of honor. Sons often take part in killing their mothers (or sisters) who have jeopardized family honor in some way or other. In The Stoning of Soraya M.—a film based on a true story—the father and the son of an accused wife and mother are the ones who throw the first stones. In the West Bank, parents deliberately raise their children to become suicide bombers. This also is for the sake of honor, because, as one might expect in a system that revolves around jihad, great honor redounds to the parents of martyrs.

If the Soviets and the Nazis encouraged children to betray their parents, the Islamic system teaches that any family member may be sacrificed by any other family member for the sake of Allah and the jihad. Child against parent, parent against child, husband against wife, brother against sister, wife against wife: it’s a sinister system. And it should not be compared to the Christian family ideal.

It’s true, of course, that families in Western societies are often troubled and destructive. But in the Christian and post-Christian world, family dysfunction is not a function of Christian values. It’s a departure from them. The troubles that afflict modern families are largely the result of acting out the anti-Christian and anti-family values of the secular society.

Christians are far from perfect. They are not immune to folly or to sin. But Christian family values are no more like Islamic values than they are like Nazi family values or Soviet family values. Catholics who draw a false equivalence between the two decidedly different visions of family life represented by Islam and Christianity ought to know better. And they ought to stop doing it.

This article originally appeared in the November 6, 2017 edition of Crisis and is re-published with the permission of the author.

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Wroclaw, Poland Shutterstock.com
Jonathan Abbamonte

Opinion,

EU warns Poland not to pass pro-life legislation

Jonathan Abbamonte

December 5, 2017 (Population Research Institute) – The European Union (EU) has warned Poland not to pass any legislation banning abortion in cases where unborn children are living with severe congenital disabilities.

On November 15, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution initiating the formal process for rebuking an EU Member State found to be in “serious breach” of their obligations under the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

The EP alleges that Poland may be in violation of core EU principles with respect to human rights and democratic values. While the EP’s resolution primarily addresses the independence of the judiciary, it also condemns Poland for considering pro-life legislation that would protect the unborn children living with disabilities.

The resolution also calls on Poland to repeal a recent law signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda prohibiting the over-the-counter sale of the morning-after pill without a prescription. Previously, girls as young as 15 were able to obtain the morning-after pill over the counter. The EP’s resolution further calls on the Polish Government to provide free contraception to everyone at the taxpayer’s expense.

The EP further criticized the decision of the Polish Government to cut funding for liberal “women’s rights” organizations, such as the pro-abortion organization BABA Lubuskie Center for Women’s Rights. Left-wing observers have noted with alarm that funds that, under previous administrations, would have been given to pro-abortion groups have instead been awarded to Catholic organizations more in line with Polish traditional and family values.  

Over 90 percent of Poland is Catholic and an overwhelming majority of Poles are opposed to legalized abortion.

The EP’s resolution instructs the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to produce a report detailing Poland’s alleged violations of the TEU. It is anticipated that the report commissioned by the European Parliament will serve as the basis for a “reasoned proposal” which will likely be used as justification to invoke Article 7(1) procedures under the TEU.

Under Article 7(1), the European Union may vote to declare Poland in “serious breach” of EU democratic values and its human rights obligations under the treaty.

A formal rebuke of Poland under Article 7 would further pressure the European Council to consider taking formal corrective measures against Poland, including indefinitely suspending Poland’s voting rights in the European Council. A suspension of a voting rights, however, would require the unanimous consent of all other Council members, a perhaps unlikely outcome given Hungary President Viktor Orban’s proclivity to resist EU overreach.

The EP’s resolution against Poland is only the second time in the European Union’s history that an Article 7 procedure has been initiated against a Member State. Earlier this year, the European Parliament also opened an Article 7 procedure on Hungary for its refusal to comply with EU quotas for accepting refugees from the Middle East.

The EP’s move against Poland, however, represents the first time Article 7 is being used to condemn a Member State for pro-life legislation.

The EP resolution on Poland preemptively condemns any proposal to ban abortion of the unborn living with disabilities, despite the fact that no such bill has yet been introduced in the Polish parliament. The resolution “Strongly criticises any legislative proposal that would prohibit abortion in cases of severe or fatal foetal impairment.”

Earlier this year, the Polish grassroots organization the Stop Abortion Committee launched a citizen’s petition to ban abortion in cases of fetal disability. According to the Stop Abortion Committee, the petition has received 830,000 signatures, more than eight times the number of signatures required by Polish law for submitting a legislative proposal to parliament and nearly twice as many as signatories as last year’s failed initiative to ban all abortion. Both Polish President Duda and Prime Minister Beata Szydło have declared their support for the initiative.

The European Parliament’s attempt to censure Poland for considering legislation to protect the lives of the unborn with disabilities represents an unprecedented attempt by the EU to intervene in the democratic process of a Member State. The motion further transgresses on the right for states to protect the inherent and fundamental right to life through law as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

According to a CBOS poll from last year, as cited by the The Catholic World Report, 66 percent of Poles believe that human life should be protected “regardless of the circumstances” from “conception to natural death.” A separate 2014 poll found that 65 percent of Poles consider abortion “morally inappropriate.”

Although a small majority of Poles (53%) still support the status quo on abortion in cases of the unborn living with disabilities, pro-life sentiment in Poland has grown significantly in recent years. Since 2012, the number of Poles who support legislation restricting abortion has increased by 7 percent. Pro-life sentiment in Poland is likely to increase further in the coming years. A full 80 percent of young adults (18-24 years of age) support a complete abortion ban compared to only 50% of adults over 65.

“Two and a half centuries after being carved up by Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, Poland again faces a threat to its future as an independent nation,” says Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher, “Only this time the danger is not only that its territory would be incorporated into a larger European state, but also that it might be forced to deny its own religious culture as a nation of faithful, practicing Catholics.”

Reprinted with permission from the Population Research Institute.

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Cameron Barker Cameron's Chance Pro-life Advocacy Facebook page
Kirk Barker

Opinion

Couple credits anonymous sidewalk counselor with saving their son, now 15, from abortion

Kirk Barker
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The Barker family now. Facebook

December 5, 2017 (The Northeast Texan) – I was a non-believer most of my life. I had turned my back on God. I denied God. Then one day God showed me I was wrong.

Fifteen years ago my wife was pregnant with our son. She became very sick and lost 42 pounds in one month. My wife was hospitalized most of this time. Eventually our doctor told us, “There is nothing more that I can do. If you don’t terminate the pregnancy, you will die.” Unfortunately, we took his advice. We got the procedure set up and went to the abortion center the day of the procedure. I thank God for the pro-life supporter on the sidewalk that day. He pleaded with us not to go through with the procedure. We told him what was happening to my wife. He apologized and prayed for us, but we continued into the abortion center anyway.

Just moments before we were about to sign what we now call the death certificate for our son, God intervened. My wife looked at me and said, “I don’t care if I die. I am not going to kill our baby.” We got up and walked out. Two weeks later, God healed my wife. Today we have an awesome 15-year-old son whom we love dearly. We can never go back and thank that person on the sidewalk, so we share our story to thank them and others. We wrote a tribute to them and to others who pray on the sidewalk. That tribute reads:

We will never know your name. You may not even know that God placed you there to save our son. It was your prayers that helped save our son. Words can never express our gratitude for what you have done. Let the words of this message be a constant reminder of the great work that you do, to be a reminder that you made a difference. We didn’t know who you were, but you cared for us as if we were your own. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Thank you everyone for taking a moment to read this. Please click on the image below to see a short, but powerful YouTube video about our story. Please visit our Cameron’s Chance Pro-life Advocacy Facebook page and like our page to help support this message. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]

We will go anywhere, anytime to share our story to bring glory to our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. God bless.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

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Katie Yoder

Opinion

New book celebrates Hollywood abortionist who killed 50k babies

Katie Yoder

December 5, 2017 (Newsbusters) – A new book is remembering the legacy of an abortionist whose services were “a kind of public utility, not unlike the water or fire department.” Except for that, instead of saving lives, she was ending them.

On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) published an excerpt from the upcoming book “The Audacity of Inez Burns: Dreams, Desire, Treachery & Ruin in the City of Gold” by Stephen G. Bloom. In its headline, THR deemed Burns “Hollywood’s secret abortionist.” That’s because, in all, she aborted 50,000 unborn babies – sometimes as many as 30 per day – in the first half of the 20th century.

A news writer and author, Bloom serves as a professor of journalism at the University of Iowa. His latest book will be available in February of 2018.

The book’s description credits Bloom for a “compulsively readable portrait of an unforgettable woman during a moment when America’s pendulum swung from compassion to criminality by punishing those who permitted women to control their own destinies.” He has also won the media’s applause, from Publishers Weekly (“great insight”) to Chicago Tribune (“vastly entertaining”). Expect more in 2018.

But Bloom’s excerpt began with San Francisco District Attorney Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, pictured as a man motivated by power, who targeted Burns, one of the “state's wealthiest women,” with the law in 1945.

That’s because her wealth came from illegal abortions. She was “California's go-to fixer for ‘women in trouble,’” according to Bloom.

“For two decades, she had owned and operated the largest and most successful abortion clinic in California,” wrote Bloom. “Spick-and-span sterile and hygienic, Inez's clinic looked more like an elegant ladies' tearoom than a facility for terminating pregnancies."

Abortion was illegal (Roe v. Wade didn’t legalize it until 1973), but Burns found a way around that: by bribing police and politicians. She served poor and wealthy women both “around the corner” and “across the nation,” Bloom wrote. Her clients included women from Hollywood.

“Studios sent under-contract starlets to her San Francisco facilities, whisked away from the prying eyes of the scandal sheets, gossip rags and the tattler press,” Bloom continued.

Burns had “no former medical training” but “performed what many considered a public service during a time when even the wealthiest wives or Hollywood starlets had few options if they found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy.”

One big name she performed an abortion on was Hollywood actress Sonja Henie.

“Henie swept into Inez's house, wearing a white mink, teetering heels and a hat with a triad of pheasant feathers,” Bloom wrote. “Dangling from her ears was a pair of giant diamond drops. Inez profusely greeted the star and whisked her upstairs.”

Her training began when she had an affair, at 17-years-old, with Dr. Eugene West, a 54-year-old abortionist. He trained her as his assistant, and often let her take his place.

Interestingly, while there, Inez became pregnant herself, by another man – but she kept her baby even though it meant losing her job. Before leaving, she “stole a canvas satchel of medical instruments and two vials of quinine pills and chloroform,” Bloom said, which she later used to perform an abortion on a friend. That jumpstarted her reputation as an abortionist.

Society viewed Burns as necessary, Bloom said, plus she boasted wealth and powerful connections.

“Women and not just a few men understood how essential her services were, and Inez was viewed by most as a kind of public utility, not unlike the water or fire department,” he stressed.

Burns jumped from man to man (until she met assemblyman Joe Burns), hosted and attended lavish parties and owned pricey real estate. She was also obsessed with her body – removing her ribs and even toes to be more stylish.

While a grand jury wouldn’t indict Burns, she eventually ended up serving 29 months in prison. She ran into trouble again, with the IRS and then for performing more abortions.

When she died at the age of 89 in 1976, she was deprived of her “last wish,” Bloom said, “that the abortion instruments she stole from Dr. West be buried with her.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters.

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Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

Blogs,

Damnable errors on marriage and family: a dialogue in the afterlife

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter

December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Church has known times of great confusion before. And although looking back we regret these periods and the wayward people who made them possible, we also gain wisdom and courage from the realization that the Church’s shepherds will not always preserve the Faith intact or defend it as they should, and that the faithful have a fundamental obligation from their baptism to hold fast to the orthodox Faith, no matter what pressures are brought to bear against them. In order to reap insights today from difficult moments in the past, last week we imagined three hypothetical scenarios in which souls that came to judgment in the years 366, 638, and 1332 were sentenced to punishment because of their culpable negligence in following straying shepherds. Come to think of it, the same kind of scenario just might happen today…

A soul is brought by angelic ministers into the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords. A blinding splendor shines upon His countenance, light pours from the caverns of His wounds.

The Judge: Wicked servant, now stripped of your signs of ecclesiastical dignity, how did you dare to sow confusion and ambiguity about the crime of divorce, the fiction of “remarriage,” and the sacrilege of admitting adulterers to the holy banquet of my sacrificial love?

Soul (quaking): I thought I was doing the right thing.

The Judge: Have you never read the words I spoke, reported by my trustworthy servant Matthew? “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Could I have spoken more clearly?

Soul (bolder): But sometimes those who are supposed to be one flesh separate again into two individuals, and go their separate ways. Are we not supposed to provide for their needs, too, once they are split apart?

The Judge: Christians joined in marriage cannot be split apart in My eyes. They remain one until death separates them. What I have joined together, no man has power to divide. Man fancies himself powerful because he can split the atom, and in this way he could even destroy the earth with his weapons, were I to permit him; but he cannot separate those who have been made one flesh by my will. Have not my servants John the Baptist, Thomas More, John Fisher, Blessed Peter ToRot, and many others given their very lives in defense of the indissolubility of Christian marriage? Has any Doctor of My Church ever taught otherwise? Has not pope after pope upheld this truth in fidelity to My word, condemning every open or subtle deviation from it?

Soul: Truly, then, I have been deceived by those on earth who claimed to speak in your name!

The Judge: Why were you deceived? The truth is written in the Gospel—the very Gospel you were ordained to preach, in season and out of season, for the salvation of mankind. “Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.” This I said, and this I meant. Divorce was not God’s plan in the beginning. It was never God’s plan. When I came among you in the flesh, I revealed that it is hardness of hearts without grace, and only this, that drives a husband to reject a wife, or a wife a husband. I suffered and died on the Cross to obtain for every human being a heart of flesh like My own: a heart able and willing to suffer and to die for one’s friend, one’s brother or sister, one’s spouse, or parent, or child. I perpetually make this grace available to all who call upon Me. This is what you should have taught, rather than bending and twisting My words, trying to find ways to escape the severe mercy of my love, which gives all—and demands all.

Soul: Surely, Master, this teaching is too hard for men, weak as they are!

The Judge: It is too hard for men on their own. In the same Gospel, I said: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Although I was speaking of the evangelical counsels, the same thing is true of marriage: I and I alone make it possible by My grace for spouses to love one another faithfully all their lives; I make it possible for them to welcome as many children as I am prepared to give them; I make it possible for them to bear even the worst crosses in married life—barrenness, betrayal, abuse, abandonment—for love of Me and for eternal life. The reality of this invincible grace is shown to all the world in the host of martyrs who followed my bloodstained footsteps to heavenly glory.

Soul: What about people who, in spite of their irregular situation, desperately need the help of Your sacraments?

The Judge: You are all sinners—and every one of you desperately needs the help of the sacraments if you are to overcome sin and reach My kingdom at last. But as you know from the Apostle John and from the constant teaching of My Church, there is sin that does not reject My friendship, and there is sin that does. The Church rightly calls the one venial and the other mortal. Mortal sin, unrepented and persisted in, excludes a man from My sacraments and from eternal life. A married Christian who lives sexually with another person who is not his or her original and only spouse is guilty of adultery. No true Christian has ever thought otherwise. Indeed, even the pagan Aristotle thought one could never justify adultery, or make it virtuous by changing this or that circumstance of it. He had a lot more sense than most of you on earth nowadays, which is greatly to your shame.

Soul: I am confused. Is not all this a disciplinary matter in the hands of Your Church? Was it not left up to us to determine the conditions for receiving the sacraments?

The Judge: Your confusion is as deep as the netherworld. Incidental conditions are left up to the Church:  how often one may or must receive a certain sacrament, or how long one must fast before receiving it, or similar things. Essential conditions for conferring or receiving the sacraments are intrinsic to their very symbolism and reality, which come from My institution of them. You speak as if you had never studied theology!

Soul: You know where I studied, at the—

The Judge: —alas, your formation in theology was deplorably bad: superficial, incomplete, distorted by subjectivism and sentimentalism, altogether vitiated by modern prejudices. This was only partly your own fault and had much to do with the decade in which you went to school and the teachers that were visited upon you. Your pains will be duly mitigated on that account.

Soul: But Lord, Lord, is it not more merciful to let sinners have the medicine of the Eucharist?

The Judge: We come at last to the core of your reprehensible error. Do not abuse the high and sovereign name of Mercy, nor the sweet and ineffable mystery of My Body and Blood! I have mercy on the most horrible sinner if only he repents and wills to abandon his sins. I wash away his guilt with my Precious Blood and make his soul as white as wool. I hold the contrite sinner to my Heart with a love far greater than that of a mother for her newborn child, or of a husband for his beautiful bride. I nourish him with manna from heaven and water from the rock. But My mercy cannot cleanse a sinner who loves his sin. He will have the destiny he chooses for himself. If he lives in sin, sin will be his life; and if he dies in sin, sin—that is, separation from me—will be his eternity. Giving the Eucharist to such a one only heaps the burning coals of further sins upon his head.

Soul (desperate to justify itself): But we were told that it is high time for a new Church, a compassionate, caring Church that welcomes everyone.

The Judge: There is one and only one Church. I am its Head, and my Law—obedience to which is salvation—never changes. All are welcome who wish to be subject to this Law. You, on the contrary, have made a mockery of My holy religion by lulling sinners to sleep, salving their consciences, when they needed rather to be awakened to their true condition and brought to repentence. Only those who acknowledge their mortal sickness will seek healing from the divine Physician. Otherwise, they will die in their sins.

Soul: We were told to show mercy to everyone!

The Judge: Many do not know what mercy actually means. There is only one true mercy: the severe mercy of My truth, which wounds and heals in love. The scars of My wounds, which I suffered for bearing witness to the truth and for love of sinners, remain with Me forever in glory. They are proof that there is no glory without truth, no happiness without suffering, no love of neighbor without the love of God above and before all else. Without this radical commitment to Me, “love” is only a four-letter word for selfishness.

Soul (increasingly agitated): Why—from whom—how was I to know?

The Judge: In my patience and love for mankind, I have provided countless witnesses to the truth—the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Scriptures, the consensus of the Fathers, the collective weight of the Doctors, the resounding unanimity of the Magisterium across the centuries, and, in your own lifetime, cardinals, bishops, priests, and laymen who tirelessly proclaimed the truth about marriage and the family. You have no excuse, not even the shadow of an excuse.

Soul (exhausted): Thou art just, O Lord, and Thy judgment is right.

The Judge: Archangels, lead this prince off to the place that befits him.

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Liberals have made ‘homophobia’ a completely meaningless word

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

December 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Christians are not commanded to simply “tolerate” their neighbors, they are commanded to love their neighbors—and love, in the Christian tradition, is not simply a feeling of warmth or affection, it is quite literally to desire the other’s good

Progressives, however, do not mean that we should all tolerate people—they mean that everyone must tolerate behaviors and lifestyles, regardless of whether some believe those lifestyles and behaviors to be harmful, and thus incompatible with desiring the other’s good.

One example of this trend is how Christians in North America are being smeared with the “homophobia” label. 

Being labeled “homophobic” today doesn’t actually mean that you fear or hate gay people. What it simply means is that you disagree some parts of the LGBTQ agenda, whether that be gay “marriage” or transgender pronouns or religious liberty. In fact, you can have friends or family members who are members of this community that you know and love, and this doesn’t matter—the question is, will you give unqualified support to the entire political agenda of this particular movement, regardless of your own sincerely-held beliefs? 

If not—bigot!

The case of Trinity Western University, which was before Canada’s Supreme Court last week, is one good example of this. Trinity Western has a “Community Covenant” that students agree to, a covenant which essentially reiterates the two-millennia-old Christian view that sexual relations should be confined to monogamous, heterosexual marriage. 

Several gay students, after initially agreeing to this covenant, have later claimed that it was a terrible, awful thing—regardless of the fact that they voluntarily agreed to it. 

One Trinity Western alumnus, who has been a prominent advocate of remaking TWU to suit the standards of the LGBTQ community, admits that he “felt bolstered by a supportive social circle at Trinity Western University” but that the existence of a covenant that expressed disapproval of the gay lifestyle felt “violating.”

A number of LGBTQ Trinity Western alumni, who openly admit that the staff and students at TWU treated them with love, respect, and compassion, have still decided to launch a full-scale and vitriolic attack on their alma mater, claiming that the university’s dedication to traditional Christian values is hurtful to them. 

A scan of these debates on social media is jarring—the level of anger is often through the roof. Other TWU alumni express confusion—the very people attacking TWU, they point out, were treated no differently than anyone else, and would admit this themselves. 

So why the attacks on the Christian identity of TWU? Why the insistence on attacking other TWU alumni on social media, often former friends of theirs—simply because those friends still hold to the traditional view of marriage?

It is because the LGBTQ movement has taught a generation that genuine love and compassion are not what is most important, it is tolerance--tolerance at the expense of everything else--that matters. 

Another recent Canadian example would be the attempt of Alberta’s ruling NDP party to smear United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney as a bigot bent on cruelly “outing” gay kids for his opposition to Bill 24

Kenney opposed gay “marriage” when that debate raged nearly a decade ago, as did many other MPs—including some still sitting in the Liberal caucus. But, he also worked to bring gay men who would have been targeted for execution out of the Middle East and to safety in Canada during the Harper years, a fact that directly contradicts the “homophobe” label progressives would like to saddle him with.

So Jason Kenney, a man directly responsible for saving members of the LGBTQ community from execution by creating an “underground railroad” to bring them to safety in Canada, is still a “homophobe.” In fact, he’s a “homophobe” according to Rachel Notley’s NDP even though as a young man, he volunteered for several years at an AIDS hospice—and at the height of the crisis, when some still thought that AIDS could be infectious. He sat at the bedsides of dying men to offer them words of comfort. He served dying members of the gay community when some were alone and abandoned by everyone else. 

This man is Rachel Notley’s version of a “homophobe.” 

The same is true of Liberty University, the Christian institution established by controversial pastor Dr. Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Virginia. Many progressives view Liberty as a hotbed of “homophobic” evangelicals bent on establishing theocracy in America. But this caricature is far from the truth, as journalist Kevin Roose discovered when he decided to leave Brown University to go undercover for a semester at Liberty to discover what his evangelical counterparts believed and how they lived. His resulting book, The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University, smashed the very stereotypes many expected his project to affirm. 

Roose’s findings were corroborated by an essay published several years ago in The Atlantic, titled “Being Gay at Jerry Falwell’s University.” Brandon Ambrosino describes coming out to Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, an English professor at Liberty: 

"Homosexuality!" I blurted. "I've been struggling with homosex..." and I broke down. Here I was in the English chair's office at the world's most homophobic university, and I'd just admitted to her I was gay.

She got up from her chair, and rushed over to me. I braced myself for the lecture I was going to receive, for the insults she would hurl, for the ridicule I would endure. I knew how Christians were, and how they clung to their beliefs about homosexuals and Sodom and Gomorrah, and how disgusted they were by gay people. The tears fell more freely now because I really liked this teacher, and now I ruined our relationship.

"I love you," she said. I stopped crying for a second and looked up at her. Here was this conservative, pro-life, pro-marriage woman who taught lectures like "The Biblical Basis for Studying Literature," and here she was kneeling down on the floor next me, rubbing my back, and going against every stereotype I'd held about Bible-believing, right-leaning, gun-slinging Christians.

When I heard her sniffle, I looked up at her. "It's going to be ok," she said. "You're ok." She nodded her head, squeezed my shoulder, and repeated, "I love you."

That experience, Ambrosino writes, reflects the reaction he got from most at Liberty University. That, Trinity Western University alumni tell me, is how any students coming out at TWU were treated, too—with love. 

But progressives insist that those who hold the Christian view of sexuality must be hateful—even if everything faithful Christians do contradicts that label, and even if they harbor not a single hateful thought or feeling.

“Tolerance” and “love” are not the same thing. Calling Christians “homophobic” who have no fear of or hatred for gay people is also profoundly deceitful and counterproductive. 

It is possible to disagree without hatred or bigotry. 

I know this because I have many friends with whom I have profound disagreements, and we still have enormous mutual respect for each other. To claim that disagreement is hatred is to intentionally make the entire debate about what is good for people and what makes us human a toxic one, rife with suspicions. 

There is no need for this to be the case. 

When progressive politicians claim that a man who served gay men dying of AIDS is “homophobic,” they are gutting that term of all it’s intended meaning. When LGBTQ activists claim that Christian friends who believe in traditional marriage are hateful bigots, they are sowing hatred where none exists. 

Tolerance is easy. Love is hard. But loving, at the end of the day, is what Christians are commanded to do.

Editor’s note: Earlier this year, van Maron wrote a column explaining why the cardinal virtue promoted by the progressives—“tolerance”—is actually just an inadequate replacement for (and cheap counterfeit of) Christian love. 

 
 
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