All articles from June 6, 2018


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Cardinal Reinhard Marx Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
Maike Hickson

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Cardinal Marx ‘surprised’ at Pope’s decision on German intercommunion proposal

Maike Hickson
By Maike Hickson

June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German bishops' conference, says he is “surprised” at Pope Francis' decision that the German bishops should not yet publish their pastoral handout allowing some Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Holy Communion. The cardinal, a major advocate for the handout, says he regrets that the Vatican has thus cut short a pending debate among the German bishops.

On June 4, a letter was leaked that had been written on May 25 and sent to Germany by Archbishop Luis Ladaria, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to Cardinal Reinhard Marx and to some of his fellow German bishops. In that letter, Ladaria told the German bishops that Pope Francis thought it best that the German intercommunion handout not be published since it was not “mature” or “ripe” enough.

Consequently, Cardinal Marx published a June 4 statement on the German bishops' website. It says that at the May 3 meeting in Rome between a German delegation and the CDF, “the participating bishops had been told that they should find, 'if possible, a unanimous solution in the spirit of ecclesial communion.'” Cardinal Marx “is therefore surprised that now this letter from Rome has come before that search for a unanimous solution [happened].” Furthermore, the statement insists that “that there is a further need for discussion within the German bishops' conference,” to include the permanent council of the German bishops and at the fall general assembly, “but also with the corresponding Roman dicasteries and with the Holy Father himself."

Cardinal Marx also tells the public that he received that CDF letter only in the evening of June 4, that is to say after certain German media started to leak that letter. While Marx now shows himself to be surprised and somewhat embarrassed about this new letter from Rome, the interpretations of that letter go into different directions.

For Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the CDF, this papal decision is “a victory for the truth.” As reported by Katholisch.de, the cardinal adds: “Here, the emergency brake was pulled only just ahead of the abyss.” Cardinal Müller openly criticizes Pope Francis when he says: “the train nevertheless got off the rails, because Rome reacted too late and too hesitantly. Now it is important to set the train back onto the rails.” He then adds another strong criticism, saying: “The idea to negotiate on questions of faith covertly and privately with the pope and someone of his confidants reveals a shocking exaggeration of the Roman Primacy.”

On another note, for the prominent German newspaper Die Süddeutsche, this new CDF letter to the German bishops means that “the pope positioned himself against Cardinal Marx.” The newspaper adds that this new event is a “rough defeat” for the President of the German bishops' conference. Professor Thomas Schüller, a German canon law specialist, argues that Cardinal Marx' position, in light of Church politics, has been damaged by the recent papal move. He interprets Pope Francis' decision as a message sent to the German bishops which says: “Permit much – but do not ask me! Because then we have to do it officially.” Such a comment would imply that Pope Francis might like the German intercommunion initiative itself, but not that it has been made so public and with such a prominence.

The official Vatican news website entitled its report on the CDF letter with the words “Pope: Communion for Protestants married to Catholics requires further study,” thus implying that in the future, such an intercommunion handout still might be published. With the same encouraging direction, the article also states:

Pope Francis has invited German bishops to await legislation that is applicable to the whole universal Church on the delicate question of allowing Protestants who are married to Catholics to receive Communion in Catholic Churches.

On the other hand, progressivist voices in Germany are indignant over this papal decision to halt – or delay – the German advance in favor of intercommunion, and they do not see any further encouragement for it. The German Catholic grassroot movement We Are Church (“Wir Sind Kirche”) posted a comment on June 5. “Many Catholics are very irritated” about this new CDF letter, they state, adding that the letter of the seven German bishops openly opposing the German intercommunion handout “was not a good sign.” The group regrets that “a minority of German bishops” still “so vehemently resists further visible signs of ecumenism,” and this in spite of the fact “that the Vatican had signaled, a year ago, that it would accept an opening with regard to the question of the last supper [sic], if the German bishops' conference would make concrete proposals.”

This last comment might be especially significant now because it was certainly not made public at the time that the Vatican had made such encouraging gestures toward a possible German intercommunion handout. LifeSiteNews reached out to We Are Church, requesting more information on this earlier encouragement from the Vatican. In a response to our request, the group said that it was Cardinal Walter Kasper who during the Luther Year 2017 signaled that he expected with regard to intercommunion some “concrete steps forward,” adding that “the decision is now up to the German bishops.” Since Cardinal Kasper works closely together with Pope Francis, his words might very well have been taken by some German bishops as a hint to move forward in this matter.

Lastly, some traditionalist and conservative commentators are more hesitant to be at all joyful about this recent papal hesitation and decision with regard to the German intercommunion handout. Steve Skojec, founder and editor of OnePeterFive, entitled his own 5 June commentary with the words: “Celebration of Vatican’s Intercommunion Rejection is Premature.” For him, the objection against the handout given by Archbishop Ladaria “isn’t that the document is simply theologically incorrect — it’s that it’s not quite ready for prime time.” Even as it concerns the more “prohibitive” restrictions on intercommunion in canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law, Skojec notes that Ladaria merely says that there are still “open questions.”

Additionally, Skojec quotes conservative German theologian and book author Dr. Markus Büning, who wrote in an article that this new CDF letter is “not a reason to jubilate.” In his view, “there exists no reason at all for jubilation. Because the reasons given by the Rome letter are really theologically nearly without any clear statement, since it is written in the form of vague allusions,” as this the theologian and lawyer explains. For him, the Vatican seems to withdraw “into mere formal and purely canonical reasons and lines of arguments.” Büning says that it obvious that “one tries now – on the level of the Universal Church – to set up respective rules [concerning Communion for Protestant spouses]. Therefore, there remains much insecurity!”

Commenting from Great Britain, the Catholic author Deacon Nick Donnelly sees this new Vatican move also in a negative light. He says on Twitter:

Francis' “no” to the German Bishops was not really a no, but a “not yet.” Instead of limiting this schismatic wound to [the] German Church, Francis looks set to inflict this schismatic act on the universal Church.

As can be seen, not all observers agree upon how to interpret this recent 25 May CDF letter. The future will perhaps tell us who is the closest to reality here.

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U.S. archbishop: Church cannot accept gender fluidity or same-sex ‘marriage’

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By Lisa Bourne

June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Same-sex couples and transgender-identifying individuals should be treated with respect and dignity, but there are moral issues with them entering into the life of the Church, the USCCB’s incoming pro-life chair said.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said the first response is to communicate with each person that they're made in the divine image of God and they should be treated with the respect and dignity of someone for whom Jesus gave His life on Calvary.

However, he said that does not entail accepting gender fluidity or same-sex “marriage,” because it would conflict with Church principles. He also said that loving people means being honest with them.

In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Naumann said that when someone advocates publicly for something contrary to Church teaching, such as gay “marriage,” then it’s a clear contravention of the Church’s moral principles and priests are obliged to address the situation before permitting them to receive Holy Communion.

Asked by LifeSite editor-in-chief and co-founder John-Henry Westen how to deal pastorally with instances where a same-sex couple seeks to enter the Church and one is ‘transgender” or identifies as the opposite sex, the archbishop said there's always an effort by the Church to communicate the dignity of the human person in any situation.

“But in the circumstances described, then I think we also have to be honest that there are some real moral issues there that would be a source of conflict for them to be able to really live authentically their Catholic faith,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And I think one would have to have a discussion with them that — this is not a marriage. If they consider themselves married, it's not a marriage as the Church would understand it.”

“Nor can we change the gender that we've been given,” the archbishop added, “even a person who's had surgery, that doesn't change their basic identities.”

These situations present difficulties, Archbishop Naumann said, with implications of an impediment to the sacraments.

“So there are some real moral issues,” he said, “and for them to enter the Church, this is going to present some real obstacles for them to be able to be disposed to receive the sacraments and participate in the sacraments.”

Being truthful about the matter is the proper way to love people, said Archbishop Naumann, and the truth cannot be ignored.

“So I think we have to have an honest conversation,” he stated. “As much as we can to say we want to accompany them, and they're trying to come to know Jesus, and to follow them with their lives -- but also to be honest with them, because that's how we love people. We can't ignore the truth of the dilemma their situation.”

Asked whether priests or Communion distributors should withhold the Eucharist from individuals in an open homosexual relationship, the archbishop said it was difficult to always know for certain whether someone is in an active same-sex relationship, but in situations when someone publicly advocates that homosexual relationships are morally good, a definite issue exists.

“So I think if you have somebody that's advocating in this way, contrary to the moral teaching of the Church, then you have somewhat a clear violation,” he said.

And this entails being upfront about the issue, he said, and offering fraternal correction.

“I think as a pastor we have an obligation to dialogue with an individual in that situation,” he added, “much as like with politicians that are conducting themselves in their public life any way contrary to the Catholic teachings, that we have an obligation to talk to them, help to make sure that they understand what they're doing and why it's wrong and the reason is that it's wrong.”

The Church teaches the individuals experiencing same-sex attraction are to be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity (CCC 2358).

However, the Church holds that homosexual tendencies are objectively disordered (CCC 2358) and homosexual acts can never be approved as they are gravely depraved, intrinsically disordered and contrary to natural law (CCC 2357).

The Church says that men and women are to acknowledge and accept their God-given sexual identity (CCC 2333), and it does not identify humans by their sexual inclinations.

Archbishop Naumann has been a clear advocate for the Catholic faith for years. He has pastorally censured pro-abortion Catholic politicians for their public flouting of Church teaching.  

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John Kluge
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Indiana teacher forced to resign over school’s transgender policy

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By Lisa Bourne

BROWNSBURG, Indiana, June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — An Indiana teacher plans to file an appeal to get his job back after he said his employer forced him to resign for refusing to go along with the school’s transgender policy.

John Kluge said the school district's policy mandating that teachers call transgender students by their preferred names, as opposed to the name they were given at birth, goes against his religious beliefs. He also argued that the requirement violates his First Amendment rights. 

"I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that's a dangerous lifestyle," he said. "I’m fine to teach students with other beliefs, but the fact that teachers are being compelled to speak a certain way is the scary thing."

Kluge said he turned in a provisional letter of resignation only because the Brownsburg Community School Corporation (BCSC) threatened to fire him with three weeks left in the school year, IndyStar.com reported. Kluge submitted the letter of resignation as orchestra teacher for Brownsburg High School with instructions that it not be processed until May 29, which was after the school year ended.

Then, according to Kluge, on May 25, the last day of school for Brownsburg students, he requested to withdraw the letter. But he was locked out of the district's email system later that day, and some colleagues informed him the district had issued a job posting for a high school orchestra teacher.

Kluge, 28, has been with the Brownsburg district for four years, and had an agreement with the high school administration that permitted him to address all students — whether they identify as transgender or not — by their last name.

This seemed like an acceptable compromise, he said. And he had not explained to students why was using last names during the school year. 

"I wanted to present an environment where I wasn’t going to push one way or the other," Kluge said.

He was then told a few months ago that he could no longer use last names only, beginning next school year. Kluge said the school’s administration did not disclose why it was making this change. 

The Brownsburg Community Schools declined to comment on the district's transgender student policies, the IndyStar report said, though a district representative did say Kluge had submitted his resignation before the end of the school year and the administration accepted it.

An internal document posted online by the Indiana Family Institute (IFI) confirmed that the BCSC had agreed to allow teachers to use students’ last name only for the 2017-2018 school year, but that “moving forward it is our expectation the student will be called by the first name listed in PowerSchool.”

A Brownsburg Schools representative confirmed that the transgender guidance document, which is in question-and-answer format and dated January 3, 2018, was distributed to employees.

Not accepting

The internal document grouped teachers that call students by their last names along with those who “don’t use correct pronouns” as examples of “classrooms where teachers are not accepting,” and said non-acceptance made transgender students feel “dehumanized” and uncomfortable.

After a student receives the required approval from the student’s parent/s and a health care professional, the document states, their name is changed in the district's online record-keeping system (PowerSchool), at which time teachers are directed to then refer to students by that name. 

Kluge said he is not comfortable with this practice, because using the preferred name implies agreement with the student's identifying as transgender.

Kluge said he respects the students even though he doesn't agree with some of their decisions, but he wouldn’t encourage them to take part in something dangerous.

"I really do care for all of my students," he said, "which is why I don’t want to be compelled to speak in such a way that I believe I’ll be encouraging them in something that’s dangerous."

One LGBT advocate commented that using a trans-identifying person’s preferred name is a matter of respect.

"This is not a request for advocacy," said Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs for homosexual advocacy group The Trevor Project. "This is a request for respect."

Support for Kruge

The IFI has organized a letter-writing campaign in support of Kruge.

The letter asks the school board to give Kluge his job back, citing his positive record and saying he was forced out for refusing to encourage students’ gender confusion and therefore putting their well-being at risk.

“Brownsburg School Corporation is sending a message to their best teachers that they must violate their conscience and encourage students down a dangerous path or accept termination,” it stated. “It appears that the real intolerance at Brownsburg High School lies in the hands of the administration against teachers who hold a sincere faith and a sacrificial love for their students.”

IFI pointed out on its website that the Brownsburg policy allows for transgender-identifying students to use the bathroom facilities of the opposite sex, which is confirmed in the BCSC document.   

It also provided an endorsement for Kluge from a Brownsburg parent, and a statement from Kluge.

"I view my responsibility to students in my community as more than just helping them become the best musicians they can be, though I certainly devote a considerable amount of time and effort to that worthy goal,” Kluge stated. “My responsibility includes their overall well-being.” 

“I wish to remain a teacher in good standing with the administration,” he said. “However, as much as I love my job and would desire to keep it, I cannot take actions that could encourage harm to the students in my care and provide a poor example for others. I ultimately must submit my conscience to a higher authority."  

Hope Community Church Pastor Jim Bohrer said Kluge is a well-liked teacher who has always shown respect to all of his students, speaking from his perspective of having his daughter in Kluge's orchestra class.

"He treats them all the same," Bohrer said. "He cares deeply. This is not an issue of John excluding anyone. This is purely the administration trying to get rid of John for his convictions."

Others concerned about safety

Bohrer said others among the school community are also concerned about gender-confused students being allowed access to bathrooms of the opposite sex by Brownsburg schools.

"Parents in church have shared concerns about safety issues," he said.

Former Brownsburg parent Connie Duvall removed her daughter from Brownsburg High School after the freshman girl witnessed a female student who identifies as male use the men's restroom. Duvall said she talked to the school’s administration about her concerns that male students could take advantage of the policy to use the women's restroom. But she felt she was not taken seriously, and subsequently put her daughter in private school.

"We totally did not feel our daughter was safe," Duvall said. 

Schools no longer compelled by the Feds to provide transgender bathroom access

Barack Obama’s Department of Education issued “guidance” to U.S. public schools in 2016 that mandated transgender students have access to the showers, bathroom and locker rooms of their choosing – and be able to stay in the same overnight accommodations as students of the opposite sex on field trips - or risk losing federal funding. It was roundly criticized and objected to by several states. The Trump administration revoked the Obama edict in early 2017. 

Kluge still hopes to get his job back.

"They’re acting as if I have (resigned), even though I’m pleading, 'no,'" he said. "I'm not dead yet. I still want to work here."

He will petition to keep his job before the school board at its next meeting on June 11.

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Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See
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Top Vatican cardinal to join elite globalists in secretive ‘Bilderberg’ meeting

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

TURIN, Italy, June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A top Vatican cardinal will join globalist elites from Western Europe and America in a secretive behind-closed-doors meeting this week to discuss the populist rise in Europe as well as the U.S. midterm elections, among other things.

Pietro Cardinal Parolin, 63, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has been invited to join the globalist Bilderberg Meeting for 2018 in Turin, Italy. 

The Bilderberg meetings have been used as a forum for world elites since 1954 to further their vision for the world. Attendees are free to use information from the discussions. No one is allowed to reveal who said what. 

High-profile individuals who have participated in the Bilderberg meeting at one time or another include elites such as David Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Tony Blair, Emma Bonino, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. 

This week, 128 participants from 23 countries will discuss twelve themes: “populism” in Europe; “inequality”; “the future of work”; artificial intelligence; the “US before midterms”; free trade; “US world leadership”; Russia; quantum computing; Saudi Arabia and Iran; “the ‘post-truth’ world”; and current events.  Last year so-called “populism” was eighth on the agenda; this year it is first. Governments derided as populist have been elected in both Czech and Italy since last year’s meeting.

According to its own literature, the purpose of the annual Bilderberg Meeting is to “foster dialogue between Europe and North America.” 

Some Vatican observers are wondering if Parolin will deliver a special message from Pope Francis to attendees. Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has backed globalist causes, such as climate change and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Parolin will be the first guest from Vatican City to ever attend a Bilderberg meeting.

The cardinal is one of the most powerful Curial officials and has been regarded by Vatican watchers as positioned to succeed Francis. Parolin has asserted that Pope Francis' teaching in Amoris Laetitia represents “a paradigm shift” for the Church. He has been criticized by Chinese Cardinal Zen for the Vatican’s “suicide” deal with China. And he was involved along with the Vatican in the hire of a pro-gay law firm that sought to shut down a Catholic website critical of Pope Francis. 

Critics of the Bilderberg Meetings Foundation believe the meetings subvert democracy.

“The highly secretive yearly meeting of the Bilderberg Group has come under increasing scrutiny with each passing year,” Daniel McAdams told LifeSiteNews. McAdams is the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.  

“These Bilderberg globalists disdain the non-elites and particularly resent national sovereignty and the popular vote,” McAdams continued. “Their top-down ‘we know what’s best for you’ approach hurts rather than helps the world’s poorest.” 

Among those who will air their views on “populism” and other topics are historian-journalist Anne Applebaum; her husband, Polish politician Radoslaw Sikorski; Bank of England chief Mark Carney; diplomat Henry Kissinger; Peggy Noonan of the Washington Post; George Osbourne, Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer; RyanAir chief Michael O’Leary; Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel---and Cardinal Parolin. 

The way McAdams sees it, Cardinal Parolin is an unusual choice of guest. 

“While the Roman Catholic Church is truly a global organization, it is thankfully not a globalist organization,” he said.  “While the inclusion of Cardinal Parolin in this year's meeting should not necessarily draw our scorn, we should understand that the Bilderbergers and similar groupings of the largely unelected elite more often than not stridently oppose rather than endorse Catholic teaching.”

McAdams named tech billionaire Bill Gates as a regular attendee of the Bilderberg Meetings, and pointed out his clash with Catholic teaching on life and family. 

“He is on record endorsing some of the most anti-Catholic views imaginable,” McAdams told LifeSiteNews. “At a TED talk a few years ago, Gates openly opined on how we can lower the world's population by a billion.”  

Gates was airing his theories about how to stop global climate change, which he believes is man-made. 

“His recommendation? By using ‘new vaccines, health care and reproductive health services, we could lower (the population) by perhaps 10 or 15 percent,” said McAdams, quoting Gates. “That means killing babies to get to his goal of reducing carbon dioxide output.”

McAdams wondered if Parolin was attending the meeting to evangelize the world elites or to network with them. 

“Were Cardinal Parolin to attend the meeting and deliver an uncompromising defense of the Catholic position on matters such as life and the principles of subsidiarity, we should be pleased that he ‘flew the flag’ in otherwise hostile territory,” he said. 

“However, if his only purpose is to rub shoulders with the elites and in so doing grant a kind of legitimacy to an event that undermines our Catholic principles, then we should view his participation very negatively,” McAdams concluded.

A media representative from the Bilderberg Meetings told LifeSiteNews that their guests are chosen as private individuals, not as representatives of their employers or firms. 

“The Bilderberg meeting have always seen a high diversity of sectors, backgrounds and opinions,” wrote the Bilderberg Media Team. “Participants take part as individuals in their own right.”

“For us, the key question is whether participants have an interesting perspective to contribute, independently from their affiliation of function,” they added.

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Barronelle Stutzman Alliance Defending Freedom
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U.S. Supreme Court may soon take case of Christian florist sued for rejecting gay ‘wedding’

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

RICHLAND, Washington, June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to soon decide the next step in another high-profile religious liberty case, days after affirming that Colorado discriminated against a Christian small business owner.

On Monday, the court ruled 7-2 that Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips was denied a fair hearing by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which the court found to have displayed anti-religious animus. Many are hailing the decision for its vindication of religious liberty in Phillips’ case, and others fear it may allow other regulators to coerce participation in same-sex “marriages,” as long as they don’t make hostile public statements while doing so.

One of the first tests of what the ruling means for future cases will most likely be Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington.

Washington Attorney General General Bob Ferguson sued florist Barronelle Stutzman for refusing to provide flowers for a customer’s same-sex ceremony. Stutzman had previously served the customer’s every other request for years, and has employed homosexual workers, but her Christian faith compelled her to draw a distinction between serving all individuals and lending her artistic endorsement to celebrations of homosexual union.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled last year that the government may force Christians to serve same-sex “weddings,” and in July 2017, the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case.

“The Court is scheduled to discuss her case this Thursday,” Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president of ADF’s U.S. legal division, revealed Tuesday in an email. ADF believes the case’s similar facts will yield a similar outcome.

“In the legal briefs that the attorney general has filed in Barronelle’s case, (Ferguson) has repeatedly and overtly demeaned her faith. He has compared her religious beliefs about marriage — which the Supreme Court said are ‘decent and honorable’ — to racial discrimination,” Waggoner noted. “This conflicts with the Supreme Court’s recognition in Masterpiece Cakeshop that it was ‘inappropriate’ for the government to draw parallels between those religious beliefs and ‘defenses of slavery.’”

Ferguson, meanwhile, claimed that the Masterpiece ruling would do little more than “add some procedural steps” to the case, and that he was confident the Supreme Court would side with him.

“It’s important to understand that the high court’s ruling specifically relies on several items that are not present in our case,” he added. “We are confident Washington courts showed no such hostility” toward Stutzman’s faith, though he did not address the quotes ADF produced.

There are further differences between the two cases, including that Washington recognized same-sex “marriage” when Stutzman’s case began while Colorado did not at the start of Phillips’, though it’s unclear what bearing, if any, those details would have on the outcome.

Additionally, ADF senior counsel Jim Campbell noted that Ferguson took the “unprecedented” step of bypassing the normal administrative process in such cases to sue her, and that the attorney general displayed his bias by pursuing her while declining to take action against a gay businessman who kicked several Christian pro-lifers out of his coffee shop on the grounds that "I'm gay, you have to leave."

“We believe that the record in the case that was decided yesterday, just like the record in the case of Barronelle Stutzman, shows evidence of that sort of anti-religious hostility,” Campbell said. “And we believe for that reason that the decision the court issued yesterday should help Barronelle ultimately prevail in her case.”

The Supreme Court could decide to agree to review the case, decline the case (allowing Washington’s ruling against Stutzman to stand), or it could “grant, vacate, and reverse,” which would order the Washington Supreme Court to re-hear the case while factoring the Masterpiece ruling into its decision.

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Court: Christian colleges can’t be forced to fund abortion, contraception pills

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By Calvin Freiburger

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A court has ruled that the government can’t force two Christian colleges to follow an Obama-era mandate to provide abortifacient contraceptives to employees.

Citing federal religious freedom protections, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division sided with Grace College and Seminary in Indiana and Biola University in California.

The court found that the abortion/contraceptive mandate violated the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which says that only the “least restrictive means” of advancing a “compelling government interest” can interfere with Americans’ “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“Religious organizations have the freedom to peacefully operate according to their beliefs without the threat of punishment by the government. Monday's order fully affirms that freedom and provides permanent protection from the mandate,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) senior counsel Gregory Baylor said of the decision. ADF represented the schools.

“These schools no longer have to fear being forced to pay fines for simply abiding by the Christian beliefs they teach and espouse, and they are no longer required to fill out forms authorizing coverage for abortion-inducing drugs,” he continued. “The government has many other ways to ensure access to these drugs without forcing people of faith to violate their deepest convictions.”

One of the key elements of the victory, ADF notes, is the fact that the Justice Department (DOJ) “abandoned its defense of the flawed mandate” after President Donald Trump took over.

“Defendants with the federal government now agree that enforcement of the rules regarding the contraceptive mandate against employers with sincerely held religious objections would violate the RFRA,” the court wrote.

Had the mandate prevailed, ADF says the colleges would have been subjected to “crippling” fines if they refused to comply.

Last month, ADF won a similar case over the mandate on behalf of four Christian universities in Oklahoma. The DOJ also ended their pursuit of that case thanks to the new administration, and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma also ruled that the mandate violated the RFRA.

However, ADF notes that several lawsuits over the mandate are still awaiting resolution. The group says that it is still “negotiating with the Department of Justice regarding the resolution of pending lawsuits,” and that courts themselves have also interfered with the Trump administration’s efforts to end the mandate.

In October 2017, the administration released interim rules “[ensuring] that organizations with religious and moral objections were able to conduct their affairs in accord with their beliefs,” ADF’s Natalie Wyman explains, but “district courts in Pennsylvania and California have both ruled against the Trump Administration’s interim final rules, temporarily blocking them from going into effect.”

“We expect that the federal government will appeal these rulings to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Ninth Circuits, respectively,” Wyman says.

Last year, the Republican-controlled Congress failed to enact a variety of proposals to repeal Obamacare. Trump has taken several steps to dismantle parts of Obamacare through executive action. The elements Trump has gutted, damaged, or destroyed include the contraception mandate, regulations on the kinds of health insurance plans Americans can purchase, and the penalty attached to the individual mandate if (among other objections) the only options in their state cover abortions.

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Screen shot of Planned Parenthood's 'sex is hot' ad for Facebook. June 6, 2018.
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Planned Parenthood targets teen girls with ‘sex is hot’ ads on Facebook

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Many conservatives have expressed fear about Facebook’s latest restrictions on politics-related advertisements, but the accompanying database has already provided a silver lining.

Facebook recently began requiring publishers to submit identification and mailing addresses in order to run advertisements of a “political” nature in the United States, ostensibly to prevent foreign election interference. All political ads on Facebook or Instagram dated May 7, 2018 or later will be stored in a searchable archive for up to seven years.

A wide variety of non-political advertising and educational or journalistic material touching on politics has already been improperly flagged by the system, and even several leading national newspapers have come out against the new rules. However, the database has already been used to uncover some alarming ads from Planned Parenthood.

At LifeWay Social, Chris Martin writes that he used the database to uncover a pair of ads in which the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is promoting a petition against abstinence education. One features a picture of a condom on a banana, while the other declares that “Sex is hot - bad sex ed is not.”

Other ads in the series feature the recurring tagline, “Having sex? You deserve sex ed!” The analytical data for the ads reveals that the overwhelming majority of the people seeing them are girls, and that the ads are reaching children as young as age thirteen.

“Whatever you think about sex, sexual education, or Planned Parenthood, you should take notice at the audience receiving these ads,” Martin says. “Planned Parenthood is using Facebook ads to tell middle and high school students that ‘sex is hot.’”

He also notes that the ads appear to violate Facebook’s own rules, which say any promotion of condoms must be focused on their contraceptive function and cannot be targeted at audiences younger than age 18, and cannot focus on “sexual pleasure.”

“Despite those rules, Facebook’s ad system is somehow permitting an organization whose business model relies on young people being sexually active to deliver content that promotes sexual activity among people under the age of 18,” Marten laments. “That’s a problem.”

It would not be the first time Facebook bent the rules for a political ally. In March, former Obama for America media director Carol Davidsen revealed that Facebook allowed former President Barack Obama’s campaign to take users’ personal information because “they were on our side.” The social media giant is one of several tech companies currently embroiled in an ongoing scandal over alleged discrimination against conservative users and groups.

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Medical waste company cuts ties with notorious abortionist Carhart

Operation Rescue staff
By Operation Rescue staff

June 6, 2018 (Operation Rescue) – On June 5, 2018, Operation Rescue posted an article concerning a medical waste disposal company that had contracted with Maryland abortion facilities for the disposal of human aborted fetal remains. Supporters were encouraged to contact the disposal company and ask them to end their services to abortion facilities, especially AbortionClinicsOnline.org (ACO), a late-term abortion facility owned by LeRoy Carhart in Bethesda, Maryland, which conducts abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

And contact they did!

As a result, within minutes of releasing the article, Operation Rescue was contacted by Trey Krell, General Manager for Biomedical Waste Services, Inc., which had contracted to provide services for ACO.

By early afternoon, Krell had sent OR a copy of a letter dated June 5, 2018, addressed to Carhart's wife, Mary, notifying ACO that Biomedical Waste Services, Inc. was terminating services effective immediately.

Krell also informed OR that contracts had already been "closed" with other surgical abortion businesses.

"We really appreciate and thank Mr. Krell for doing the right thing by severing business ties with Carhart, ACO, and other abortion businesses," said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. "We especially appreciate all our supporters who took the time to call and e-mail. This is really your victory! Thank you!"

Out of courtesy to Mr. Krell and his company, the original report will be removed from our website at www.OperationRescue.org, but it will still be available here for reference purposes.

"We remain watchful and are praying that no other disposal business will contract with Carhart, ACO, or any other abortion facility in Maryland," said Newman. "But if they do, we know our amazing supporters can once again be counted on to jump into action! We appreciate you all more than you know."

BWS Letter to ACO 06052918 by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.

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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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Report: Ireland active participant in Europe’s birth-rate death spiral

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

June 6, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – Less than a week after Ireland voted to legislate for abortion, a report by the country's Central Statistics Office has said that not enough babies are being born to replace the population.

The Vital Statistics report, published on Wednesday, shows that the number of babies born has continued to fall, down to 62,053 in 2017, a drop of 8,567 (12.1%) since 2007.

The report also gives the total period fertility rate (TPFR), which represents the average number of children a woman is expected have. A value of 2.1 is generally considered to be the level at which the population would replace itself in the long run, ignoring migration. "In 2017 the TPFR for Ireland was 1.8, which is below replacement level."

Despite the fall, Ireland is still has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe, behind only France and Sweden. 

Worrying trends

More than one-third of babies (23,340 or 37.6%) were born outside of marriage/civil partnerships, and of these 58.9% were to co-habiting parents. In recent conception statistics for the UK, which include abortion rates, 68% of conceptions outside marriage or civil partnership resulted in a maternity (live birth or stillbirth), compared with 92% of conceptions within marriage or civil partnership. 

Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

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Maike Hickson

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Pope Francis appoints ‘Kissing Priest’ archbishop in Argentina, exiles predecessor

Maike Hickson
By Maike Hickson
"Heal Me With Your Mouth – The Art of Kissing" is a book that was authored by the new Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina: Víctor Manuel Fernández in 1995.

June 6, 2018 (One Peter Five) – It is a story that reads like a passage from The Dictator Pope: Pope Francis recently accepted the age-related resignation of Héctor Aguer, the Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina – the capital city of the Buenos Aires province – and will replace him with his close confidant and ghostwriter, Archbishop Víctor Manuel "Tucho" Fernández. Not only did the pope accept the resignation of Archbishop Aguer within just a few days of its mandatory submission, he also ordered him, through the nunciature, to immediately leave the diocese and not to remain there for his retirement.

On 2 June, the Vatican announced the pope's decision on Archbishop Aguer's replacement. The press statement says:

The Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of La Plata, Argentina, presented by H.E. Msgr. Héctor Rubén Aguer.

The Pope has appointed as archbishop of La Plata, Argentina, H.E. Msgr. Víctor Manuel Fernández, currently titular archbishop of Tiburnia.

What our readers might not know is that Archbishop Aguer had submitted his resignation only a week previously, on 24 May. According to Elisabetta Piqué, writing for the Argentinian daily La Nación, the fact that the pope accepted Aguer's resignation so quickly "represents a sign of the change in leadership that lies in wait for the archdiocese." Piqué notes in particular the expectation that, following Aguer's departure, the diocese – known for its "conservative positions" and "confrontational style" as well as for being "almost obsessed with issues of sexual morality" will take on "an entirely different and renewing stamp" under its new Archbishop. Piqué reports that Aguer and Bergoglio were auxiliary bishops together in Buenos Aires from 1992 to 1998, and that they were "always 'friends'" – the quotes around "friends" are in the original – but with "very different styles" and ideas.

Perhaps the most important part of the story comes from a history of conflict between Bergoglio, with his friend Tucho, and the more orthodox elements in the Argentine Church. As Piqué notes, there was the matter of a years-long battle Bergoglio waged against "a conservative Argentine ecclesiastical lobby" when he became Archbishop of Buenos Aires, fighting for his friend, Fernández, to become rector of the Pontifical Universidad Católica Argentina. A lobby of which, Piqué implies – though does not state directly – Aguer was a part. (The reasons for that battle are not insignificant, and we will return to them in a moment.)

If the Archbishop had simply had his resignation accepted at the mandatory age of seventy-five, the story might end there. But there is more at work.

Some of the following information stems from Archbishop Aguer's own last homily given on 2 June, as well as from a piece published on the well-informed Argentine traditionalist blog, the Wanderer (not to be confused with the American Catholic newspaper of the same name). What is depicted is the rapid and even callous removal of a beloved prelate and pro-life champion who had served his diocese for almost two decades – but who had also been one of Jorge Bergoglio's most noteworthy conservative opponents within the Argentine episcopacy. From the Wanderer report, we read:

As Bishop Aguer himself explained in his farewell homily [on 2 June] and as other sources confirmed, his resignation was presented [to the Holy Father] when he turned 75 on May 24. Seven days later [on 31 May], he received a call from the Nunciature to receive the pontifical orders: Corpus Christi [on 2 June] was to be his last public liturgy; [La Plata's Auxiliary] Bishop [Alberto] Bochatey was appointed apostolic administrator; he must leave the archdiocese immediately after the celebration, he can not reside in it as archbishop emeritus, nor may he transfer his own headquarters to his successor. At the end of the Mass, an Orthodox bishop who was present took the microphone and offered to Mons. Aguer his house to stay since, literally, he has nowhere to go (his plans were to retire at the former minor seminary of La Plata).

We have been able to confirm some of these facts independently with another Argentine source. This source, however, adds information about new developments in this case since 2 June, namely that Archbishop Aguer has now been granted a few more days in order to celebrate one last farewell Mass and in order to find a new home for himself. He still will not be granted the role of transferring his diocese into the hands of his successor. Thus, while there is a small mitigation, the fundamental injustice in his case remains the same.

This stern method of operation reveals, in the eyes of the writer of the Wanderer post, an "unveiled revenge and manifestation of the lack not only of Christian but also human virtues, and even of the most elemental chivalry" as it is shown by Pope Francis. The article continues, saying that Mons. Aguer "had a good reputation and he was appreciated by most of the Argentine faithful, as well, because of the clarity with which he said things and because of his courage in defending the Gospel." Moreover, he was especially clear with regard to the problem of abortion. (See here a CNA report which shows his impressive language and resistance in 2007.) In fact, even his final homily on June 2nd was dedicated in large part to admonishing those considering voting in support of legalization of elective abortion in Argentina later this month. Only at the very end of his sermon did he reveal that the Holy See had informed him this Corpus Christi homily was to be his "farewell" to the people he had served for so long.

The report from the Wanderer continues: "In the midst of the debate over abortion, Aguer's voice had been particularly clear, and Catholics who are fighting a good battle found true leadership in him." In a piercing conclusion, the author wonders if this "silver bullet" – removing Archbishop Aguer only to replace him with a direct agent of the Bergoglian "reform" who will undo much of his predecessor's work – will backfire on Francis himself: "To remove him in such a humiliating way will cause many of those faithful to wind up understanding who Bergoglio really is."

Subsequently, the Wanderer blog presents much about the background of Archbishop Fernández and his personal history in Argentina, based on eyewitness accounts. The author alleges that Fernández is known for being a careerist willing to advance his own position at the expense of his peers. Most importantly, the blog says that Fernández has a large influence over Pope Francis' teaching, to include his Apostolic exhortationAmoris Laetitia. Sandro Magister's work exposing that several passages of AL are essentially plagiarisms of Fernández' own earlier writings are referenced on this point.

Not mentioned – but very significant to this story – is the fact that these writings of Fernández that were later transformed, in part, into Amoris Laetitia, were the same ones that got him in trouble with the conservative Argentinian bishops in the first place. As Sandro Magister reported in May of 2016, "they actually gave cause to the Congregation for Catholic Education to block his candidacy for the position of rector of the Universidad Católica Argentina."

It is with this understanding that one can begin to see why suspicions of revenge are on the lips of some Argentinian Catholics. The cleric who was opposed for his unorthodox positions has not only seen them included in the seminal work of a pope – but has now been promoted and placed by that same pope in the position of one of his most noteworthy opponents.

Also highlighted by the Wanderer is Fernández' 1995 book, Heal Me With Your Mouth – The Art of Kissing, a text well-known to critics of Fernández. Perhaps even more shockingly, the blog quotes from an article written by Fernández shortly after the papal election of Bergoglio, in which, while seeking to defend the new pope, Fernández uses vulgar phrases such as "let's not f*** [around]" ("No jodamos") and "sh**," saying, for example, that "Bergoglio did not sh** anyone" ("Bergoglio no cagó a nadie"). [We are sorry to have to use such words here, but they are very revealing of the mind and recklessness of this prelate who was made an archbishop only two months after Bergoglio became a pope.] This was Fernández' attempt at painting a sympathetic portrait of Bergoglio, saying that with him there is now a chance "to bring Christ back into the center of the Church."

Luis Alvarez Primo, a graduate of the Universidad Católica Argentina and former professor of Political Philosophy, spoke with OnePeterFive about the resignation and replacement of Archbishop Aguer. Primo noted that La Plata is the "second most important diocese in Argentina," and that it would now be headed up by a man known, not for his intellectual or doctrinal erudition, but rather for the kind of work outlined above. Primo also recalled "the less than fraternal relationship that Bergoglio had with Archbishop Aguer," and the uses to which Fernández has been employed during the present pontificate, adding the concern that Fernández was appointed to "destroy the very good Catholic episcopal work by Archbisop Héctor Aguer" who was, in Primo's opinion, "probably the best bishop in Argentina for the last 10 years."

Primo noted that Aguer "was one of the few bishops who headed a pro-life campaign against abortion at a time when congress in Argentina is about to pass a law repealing all restrictions on abortion."

He summed up the entire affair as "Another lost Catholic battle in the culture wars."

Onepeterfive has reached out to both press offices of the Vatican and of the Archdiocese of La Plata, asking for comment. Should we receive an answer, we shall update this post.

Update, 6 June: Since the publication of this article, the Spanish-speaking blog Adelante la Fe has posted its own report on the events in La Plata, confirming our Onepeterfive report. The author of this post, Mario Caponnetto, names 10 June as the date of Archbishop Aguer's official farewell Mass and 16 June as the date when Archbishop Fernandez will take over the archdiocese. Caponnetto refers to a meeting between Aguer and Fernandez in which these dates have been set.

Steve Skojec contributed to this report.

Published with permission from One Peter Five.

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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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Pro-lifers rally to stop new Birmingham Planned Parenthood abortion center

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire
By Claire Chretien

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama, June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A failing Planned Parenthood branch plans to build a new abortion center just off of the interstate highway in Alabama, and pro-lifers are organizing to stop it.

Planned Parenthood Birmingham, currently located downtown, has struggled to meet health and safety standards for years. Sidewalk counselors outside that location say hardly any patients have come over the past year, and apparently none for abortions, raising questions about how the business is managing to stay afloat.

The Birmingham center has repeatedly opened and closed, and now appears to still be operating only thanks to support from the abortion company’s regional affiliate, Planned Parenthood Southeast.

Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood Southeast purchased undeveloped land at 1019 First Ave. N. for $430,600. That land is in the city’s Bessemer neighborhood.

A spokeswoman for the abortion company told AL.com “it is still in the very early stages,” but they hope to break ground on a new abortuary this year.

In 2014, Planned Parenthood Birmingham – at that time still committing abortions – was forced to shut down for 10 months after its employees were caught selling drugs in the parking lot. Over the years, its deficiencies documented by the state health department have included workers not washing their hands, poor records management, botched abortions, and failing to sterilize medical instruments.

The Department of Health put the facility on probation in 2012 after a Live Action sting revealed Planned Parenthood Birmingham’s willingness to “bend the rules a little bit” when it came to reporting statutory rape. The counselor told undercover Lila Rose to use an older sibling’s signature on parental consent forms.

Planned Parenthood’s willingness to cover up sex abuse and trafficking is under renewed scrutiny right now. Live Action is in the process of releasing its “Aiding Abusers” videos, which are compilations of past investigations and interviews with former abortion workers.

“A new building isn't going to make Planned Parenthood suddenly grow a conscience and start following the rules,” said Mary Ann Vann, a Birmingham pro-life activist who runs 40 Days for Life there. “The body of work following this facility is atrocious, affirmed every day by fewer and fewer clients going through their doors.”

“When people drive into our city, they can see Vulcan, Regions Field, Railroad Park – all old and new symbols of our great city,” said Father Terry Gensemer of CEC for Life. “Imagine a huge Planned Parenthood sitting front and center to all of that. Do we want abortion to become the first thing people see about Birmingham? I certainly don't.”

“Planned Parenthood holds itself out as a healthcare provider while deceiving citizens, harming women, and killing our children,” said Gensemer. “It's the only abortion clinic left in this city, and it's clearly struggling to find a clientele. People talk about safe spaces. With Planned Parenthood closed for good, Birmingham would become one of the largest and safest metropolitan areas in the country for mothers and children in the womb.”

“How beautiful would that be?” he asked. “Planned Parenthood has been unable to provide abortions for a year. Let's keep it that way.”

At 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, June 9, pastors, legislators, and pro-life activists are holding a “We Say No!” prayer vigil at the proposed new location.

Governor candidate Scott Dawson and state Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-43) will be there praying alongside Gensemer, Natalie Brumfield of Bound4Life, Cindy Harless from Abortion Recovery Alabama, and many others.

Jim and Joy Pinto, known for their EWTN show, will be there representing the pro-life center Her Choice Birmingham.

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Calvin Freiburger

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Amazon adds special LGBT facts to virtual assistant Alexa for ‘Pride’ month

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Amazon is among the many companies signaling their support for the homosexual agenda, by updating their Alexa smart speaker with a collection of special “facts” for LGBT Pride Month.

The internet-connected voice assistant device now offers more than 90 items on “queer history, politics, arts, and entertainment” in response to “Alexa, tell me a Pride fact,” Pink News reports. The move is the result of a collaboration between the company’s LGBT employee group Glamazon and the left-wing lobbying group Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

The new information includes statistics such as the number of countries that recognize same-sex “marriage” and trivia such as the release of the first LGBT pride flag (1978), as well as thinly-veiled advertising for HRC, highlighting events such as its yearly Time to THRIVE Conference and National Coming Out Day.

“The partnership is an exciting opportunity to celebrate Pride, honor our LGBTQ history and remember that despite all the recent gains we’ve made, there is still a ways to go on the road to full equality for LGBTQ people,” HRC said in a statement. “This project also helps those who may not be able to attend a Pride celebration in person by bringing Pride to them.”

Alexa’s Pride facts are just the latest example of the company’s support for the homosexual lobby. Over the weekend the company illuminated the glass domes at its Seattle headquarters with rainbow lights and unfurled a 40-foot pride flag, and in April it added more than 60 LGBT films to its Amazon Prime Video streaming service. In 2012, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie pledged $2.5 million to the campaign to redefine marriage in Washington state.

Last year, the Alexa device generated controversy for answering “Jesus Christ is a fictional character” in response to inquiries, though it has since been corrected.

Companies such as AT&T, Macy’s, JetBlue, Gap, Apple, Twitch, Stoli, and Spotify are among the many participating in Pride Month. Some, such as the clothing retailer J.Crew, are even marketing pro-LGBT merchandise to children as young as age two.

President Donald Trump, despite making some pro-LGBT moves that have alarmed social conservatives, has chosen not to officially recognize LGBT Pride Month. His predecessor, Barack Obama, bathed the White House in rainbow lights as a show of support for the homosexual agenda.

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2nd Vote

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The Planned Parenthood billionaire mega-donor you’ve never heard of

2nd Vote
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June 6, 2018 (2nd Vote) – With Starbucks in hot water over its donations to Planned Parenthood, 2ndVote decided to look into other major donors to the abortionist the general public might not be aware of.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has donated almost one billion dollars to research since 2011. The organization is renowned for its focus on evidence-based solutions to public policy problems. Its grants have funded research on those suffering from mental healthbetter understanding of gun violence, and bail reform.

What's less known is that behind the Foundation's "evidence-based" efforts is frequently distinctly left-wing, anti-life advocacy.

For example, while the Arnolds give to both parties, John Arnold was a bundler for the 2008 Obama campaign. According to Huffington Post in 2012:

Billionaire John Arnold, a former Enron trader and his wife Laura, were slated to host in their Houston home a $10,000-ticket Obama fundraiser to feature Michelle Obama last October (the event was postponed). Arnold describes himself as a libertarian, and his wife Laura identifies as a Democrat. Still, Arnold was one of Obama's top 2008 donors, a bundler who gave the campaign between $50,000 and $100,000. According to Huffington Post's FundRace, he has given $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012.

Both Arnolds have also contributed a few thousand each to Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and hundreds of thousands to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Arnolds have also personally donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood's powerful political arm. In the past two years alone, the Arnolds contributed to the following pro-abortion entities:

Also, their foundation gave nearly $1.5 million in 2015 and 2016 to Improving Contraceptive Options Now (ICON), a research project of MRDC which explicitly focuses on funding abortion-inducing drugs and devices like the Intra-Uterine Device for teenagers.

See more of 2nd Vote's research on which companies and non-profits are funding Planned Parenthood here.

Published with permission from 2nd Vote.

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Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne poses with her same-sex partner Jane Rounthwaite Ontario Liberal Party / Flickr
William Baptiste

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Wynne’s Liberal regime will be remembered for its totalitarian laws

William Baptiste
By

June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – My opinion, as a scholar with a keen sense of living history from ancient times to the present moment is that the 41st Ontario Parliament which was just dissolved for the current Ontario election will go down in history as the most totalitarian-oriented government ever seen in a democracy.

The current worldwide trend of ‘Creeping Totalitarianism’ which has been building up to this point for decades (since the West started ignorantly implementing policies first implemented by the totalitarian Soviets and Nazis), came to a head in Wynne’s Liberal- controlled 41st Ontario Parliament. With the wholehearted support of the NDP, and unopposed by the “Official Opposition” PCs under Patrick Brown, this government enacted a large series of totalitarian-oriented laws and policies which have set up Canada’s most populous province for a totalitarian-oriented future. 

It should come as no surprise to thoughtful citizens that the foundational principles of Human Rights and Democracy begin with the equal precious value of every human. Added to this is the necessity that every human be free from government coercion in matters of belief (freedom of thought/religion) in order to freely seek and find the truth that every human is equally precious. This obligates governments to protect and serve all precious humans. In this context, totalitarian government (and bigoted hatred or violence against any group of humans) is unthinkable. 

But in Wynne’s Liberal Ontario (with full NDP approval), doctors can lose their jobs for following the 2500-year-old Hippocratic Medical Tradition that doctors do not kill patients. Through numerous totalitarian-oriented policies and laws the government effectively declares it “owns” Ontario children. Without mandate it will even indoctrinate children in new pseudo-scientific ideology and radical new values with no history in the culture despite parental objections, using convicted pedophile sex abuser and child pornographer Ben Levin’s “Sex Ed” curriculum as part of its totalitarian-style “social engineering.” Even science and culture have been re-written by this government which has no concept of representative democratic government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Even the elected representatives “of the people” from all three parties were whipped into passing such laws. Parents aware of Bill 89 rightly fear their children can now be taken away for traditional child-rearing in traditional values which the government no longer considers “in the best interests of the child.” And peaceful Human Rights advocates (like Cyril Winter who died awaiting trial) are arrested just for holding signs reading “freedom of expression and religion. no censorship” and “God save our charter rights.” 

Democratic freedom of conscience has been stripped from doctors and democratic freedoms of assembly, speech, expression and religion have been stripped from pro-life human rights advocates. This has been partially accomplished due to gross ignorance of facts by provincial leaders, like the 1948 Declaration of Geneva, which was adopted because the Nazi government had de-criminalized abortion and euthanasia. The declaration reiterated the ancient non-killing Hippocratic Medical Tradition in the doctor’s promise “I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception.” In the same year, the Nuremberg Trials condemned the Nazis for legal abortion as “a crime against humanity.” Also that same year, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared Human Rights were for all humans “without distinction of any kind” because “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

Wherever abortion is legal, killing humans is not viewed as wrong because humans are not inherently precious. Thus, the logical end result of legal abortion is Ontario Bill 163 which means anyone can be arrested and jailed for saying "killing humans is wrong because humans are inherently precious" anywhere within up to 150m of an abortion facility. Cyril was arrested just for upholding free speech. Following totalitarian Soviet and Nazi precedent of de-criminalizing abortion logically yields totalitarian results, such as ending free speech by arresting pro-life human rights advocates. 

Hence it is not surprising the U.S. State Department has noted Canadian laws, and specifically, in Ontario, are threatening religious freedom.

My scholarly prediction is that the 41st Ontario Parliament will ultimately result in new “Wynne Treason Laws.” Or, perhaps such laws will be called "Wynne-Trudeau Treason Laws," since Prime Minister Trudeau, who admires totalitarian Cuba and China, has made no secret of how much he admires Premier Wynne, whose totalitarian-oriented policies Trudeau emulates. 

Editor's note: William Baptiste is the founder of Human Rights and Freedoms Forever! and the author of DEMOCRACY 101: A Voter’s and Politician’s Manual for LASTING Democracy (available on Amazon.com) (Contact: [email protected]). 

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William Kilpatrick

Opinion, ,

Are UK authorities intentionally bowing to Islamization?

William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

June 6, 2018 (Turning Point Project) – "Liverpool star Mohamed Salah's unapologetic Muslim faith sends extraordinary message."

That's the headline on an NBC story about the Egyptian sports star who plays for the Liverpool soccer club. Salah prays before each game and prostrates himself in prayer after every goal he scores. He is also popular with fans, contributes to charities and is featured in an anti-drug campaign video.

According to the story, Salah's unapologetic expression of his faith on the soccer field "sends a remarkable message." What is the remarkable message? Answer: "Salah is living, breathing proof of the multilayered identity possessed by so many Muslims in Britain." Moreover, he is a "human rebuttal" to "Islamophobes" and "far-right populists" who fear that Muslims pose an "existential threat." "He is someone who embodies Islam's values and wears his faith on his sleeve," observes Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, "He is not the solution to Islamophobia, but he can play a major role."

By coincidence, on the day before the article appeared, a judge in Leeds sent another sort of message. On that day one of England's chief "Islamophobes" was arrested, brought before the judge, summarily tried, sentenced to 13 months, and transported to Hull Prison – all within a period of about three hours. Tommy Robinson, a long-time activist against police inaction in the matter of Muslim rape gangs was arrested when live streaming a Facebook video while outside a courthouse where several men were on trial for their participation in one of those gangs. Robinson was charged with "breaching the peace."

See below the Facebook Live post that got Tommy Robinson arrested.

Robinson will be lucky if he manages to survive his 13 month sentence. That's because British prisons contain a high percentage of Muslim inmates – many of whom would love to kill Tommy Robinson. According to several commentators, that's the general idea. They suggest that the British authorities would be happy to have Robinson out of the way without having to do it themselves. It's the latest iteration on "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" Indeed, four years ago, Robinson was arrested for the minor crime of exaggerating his income on a mortgage application, sentenced to 18 months, and thrown into a prison cell with Muslim inmates who proceeded to beat him savagely.

The author of the puff piece on soccer star Mohamed Salah dismisses "far-right populists" who fear that Muslims pose an "existential threat." Apparently, he thinks that there is no threat. But Tommy Robinson's life is very much in danger for his "far-right" defense of defenseless girls. Isn't that an existential threat? How about the tens of thousands (by one estimate, a million) of teen-aged rape victims throughout England? Doesn't that qualify as an existential threat?

As Robinson's case illustrates, the threat to Britons who speak out about Islamization comes not just from Muslims, but also from the authorities who have, in effect, bowed to Islam. The police haven't been enthusiastic about bringing Muslim rape gangs to justice, but when someone like Robinson calls attention to the evil deeds, they suddenly feel the call of duty – not to go after the rapists, but to go after Robinson. It's the same with the judges – not only in England, but all over Europe. They're in the habit of administering feather-light sentences for unspeakable crimes by Muslims, but they throw the book at "Islamophobes" who call attention to the unspeakable crimes.

The arrest and kangaroo court trial of Robinson seems to have been planned well in advance. The police were ready, the judge was ready, and the van to deliver him to Hull Prison was ready. Robinson was also denied access to his lawyer, and denied bail. Meanwhile, the judge issued a gag order prohibiting British media from reporting on the case. In short, the Kafkaesque proceedings were a throwback to the kind of justice administered in the infamous Star Chamber courts.

Robinson's real crime was to draw attention not only to the rapes but also to the failure of British officialdom to do anything about them. The police were complicit in the cover-ups, so were city council members, social service organizations, "civil rights" organizations, and the media. And in one case (Telford) the cover-up of the "grooming" gangs went back almost three decades.

Paul Weston, formerly chairman of the Liberty GB party, and a human rights activist for victims of immigrant crimes, has spoken out frequently about England's totalitarian drift. He has taken to referring to Britain as a "police state" and to its leaders as the "traitor class." He may be right. Increasingly, British authorities seem to be siding with Islamic interests against native Brits who are dismissed as "right-wing," "nativist," "bigoted," and "Islamophobic." And increasingly they are employing arbitrary tactics. Weston himself was once arrested for reading aloud in a public space a passage about Islam in Churchill's The River Wars.

There's not enough space here to go into all the reasons why England is kowtowing to Islam, but Saudi and Gulf States money probably has something to do with it. Arab enterprises are heavily invested in England, and have bought up huge chunks of prime London real estate. Qatar alone owns Harrods, the Shard (London's tallest building), Canary Wharf, Chelsea Barracks, Olympic Village, One Hyde Park (the world's most expensive apartment block), and twenty percent of the London Stock Exchange.

The financial incentive for covering up Muslim immigrant crime is not limited to England's elite leadership. The policeman, the city council member, the teacher, the social worker, and the reporter all know that one politically incorrect slip of the tongue can result in unemployment. So they hold their tongues. There are, of course, other sorts of incentives. A lot more people will be holding their tongues now that they see how easily due process can be ignored, and how suddenly one can be thrown in the midst of unfriendly Muslim gang members. The message sent by the arrest of Tommy Robinson is not a subtle one. It is a thinly disguised threat to anyone in Britain who dares to criticize Islam or the government which enables its spread.

Of course, some people don't need incentives in order to welcome the ascendancy of Islam in England. They are already true believers. They really believe that more immigration, more multiculturalism, and more diversity will lead to future harmony and happiness. Jalal Baig, the author of the puff piece on Liverpool's Muslim soccer star seems to be of this sort. He's based in Chicago, but he's doing his best to assure his readers that Islamic values are thoroughly English – and maybe a little bit better. Like the elites back in England he seems convinced that if there are any problems it's all the fault of right wing populists. It seems probable that for Mr. Baig, the arrest of Tommy Robinson is simply a case of just deserts.

Baig and others of like mind might profit from looking into another recent soccer story – this one from Iran. Last month, fans in the largest soccer stadium in Iran chanted "Reza Shah, rest in peace." A rough decibel count would suggest that a considerable number of the crowd in the giant stadium joined in the chant which was shouted over and over. "Reza Shah" may refer to Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran from 1925 to 1941, or it may refer to his son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi who ruled from 1941 until Ayatollah Khomeini's Iranian Revolution forced him into exile in 1979. Both father and son strove to modernize, Westernize, and secularize Iran. The chant was a clear indication of dissatisfaction with the oppressive Islamic regime that now rules Iran.

Unlike Liverpool soccer fans, Leeds judges, and the London establishment, the Iranian fans have considerably more familiarity with what life is like in a country that's been Islamized. And to all appearances, they're not happy with it.

The leaders of Great Britain should take notice before it's too late. If they won't pay attention to Tommy Robinson, perhaps they'll pay attention to that loud and very clear message from the people of Iran about the folly of the course they are taking.

This article is published with permission from the Turning Point Project. It originally appeared in the May 30, 2018 edition of Crisis.

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Joseph Sciambra

Opinion, ,

Why do gay men tend to have closer relationships with their moms instead of their dads?

Joseph Sciambra
By

(Pictured above: "The Last Days of Infancy" by Cecilia Beaux, 1885.)

June 6, 2018 (Joseph Sciambra) – Scientist Simon LeVay, who has spent most of his career trying to locate a "gay" genetic determinate for homosexuality, in his book Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation, wrote: "[G]ay men do indeed describe their relationships with their mothers as closer, and their relationships with their fathers as more distant and hostile, as compared with how straight men describe these relationships." Borrowing from the theories of American psychiatrist and gay activist Richard Isay, LeVay thinks it's possible that some pre-homosexual boys exhibit certain traits fathers dislike but mothers like. As a consequence, some mothers "become unusually protective of a son whom they see being exposed to teasing or hostility from the father or from other children."*

In my own life as a "gay" man, the scenario I repeatedly witnessed was the son of feuding or divorced parents, whereby the boy becomes confidant and "girlfriend" to the bitter and suffering mother. When most of my friends in San Francisco, who seemed to come from everywhere else except California, expected a visiting guest from back home, it was always a mother, sister, aunt, or female cousin; never a father. Tragically, when I did see a dad or the two parents together, it was at their son's funeral. Occasionally, I would tag along as they toured the famous sites of the city and then ended the week with an incredibly tedious day-long shopping excursion to nearly every boutique in Union Square.

During the final hours of one such visit, a friend invited me to dinner with him and his mother. I sat completely silent and shocked as he described to his mom a list of peculiar sexual difficulties he was having with a current boyfriend.

What some "gay" men have said about their mothers:

Brandon Baker (journalist) –

"... it's true that we all have wildly different relationships with our parents and plenty of gay men spend just as much time worrying about his reaction. But there's something inherently more weighty about a mother's approval...She also, obviously, likes boys. So, if anyone's going to love you unconditionally, it's her."

Jamie Brickhouse (author) –

"I think that the story of my relationship with my mother Mama Jean is universal no matter what age you are, whether you're 50 or 15, that the parent/child relationship is universal, that the mother/son relationship is universal, and that the mother/gay son relationship is universal. Though my mother was what some consider to be a stereotypical "gay" mother, dominant, overbearing, but certainly that type of mother will always exist, and the common dynamic between mothers of gay sons...I believe that gay men and straight women have a natural affinity for each other, and I think that dynamic starts with the mother. I think that for many gay men, their mothers are their first fag hags. Because I think gay men are in touch with the feminine sides of ourselves, and we're in tune with that with our mothers in a way that a straight son is not and in a different way that a straight daughter would not be." [Parents divorced when he was young.]

Charlie Craig (a respondent in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission) –

His mother: "When we returned to our car, I noticed Charlie's shoulders were shaking. I soon realized he was crying. All I could do was embrace him and tell him I loved him and that we would get through this. As a parent, no matter how grown your children are, you want to shield them from harm. I felt I had failed him."

Lee Daniels (director) –

"My mom had five kids. And she came home after working three jobs, and I'd rub her feet. We'd all rub her feet. We were lucky to get any time with her.

"My mom knew early on that I was gay, and she knew that I had to get out of the ghetto.

"When I came out it was because I loathed my dad so much – I couldn't understand how you could, with an extension cord, beat a 45-pound kid just because he's aware of his femininity."

Sam Greisman (activist) –

"When I came out she didn't even bat an eye. In fact, she was overjoyed. Being gay was just one more thing she loved about me. She couldn't be more supportive of me." [His mother, actress Sally Field, and his father divorced when Greisman was six years old.]

Henry Holland (fashion designer) –

"My mum says that she knew I was gay before I did. But then she's a very, very camp mum. My upbringing was basically a gay training camp." [His parents divorced when he was three.]

Anthony Perkins (actor) –

"She wasn't ill-tempered or mean, just strong-willed, dominant... She controlled everything about my life, including my thoughts and feelings." [His father died when he was five years old.]

James Duke Mason (activist and son of singer Belinda Carlisle) –

Carlisle said: "... because from the beginning, my friends have been 90 percent gay and lesbian. That's just the way it's been for me. So I'd rather have a gay son than a straight son, let me just say that." She added, concerning her past drug addiction: "My biggest regret is...my lack of presence as a mother to James when I was drinking and using drugs. I regret a lot of the pain I caused during those years."

Robbie Rogers (athlete) –

"I have to give my mom some credit because when I asked for My Little Pony dolls for Christmas and birthday gifts (and we each got to pick out a new toy when another sibling was born), she let me choose whatever I wanted. And what I always wanted was a My Little Pony doll and another less-than-masculine toy, this stuffed dog that had a flap on its belly with little puppies inside.

"Other than the occasional teasing, my sisters were happy to play dolls with me. And my mother was content to let us enjoy ourselves. My father was another story, and on a few occasions when I was very young he made it clear that he didn't like his namesake playing with 'girlie things.' I remember one time overhearing him say to my mother in a really angry voice, 'I don't ever want to see him playing with dolls again! I don't want a fairy for a son!'"

Sam Smith (singer) –

"I came out when I was like four years-old! My mum said she knew when I was like three."

Gary Williams (jazz singer) –

"I helped her and Dad through their divorce, but being gay definitely has a bearing on it. We don't do stereotypical gay-son-and-mum things such as shopping, but I'm a sensitive person, and Mum feels comfortable telling me anything...I told Mum...and she gave me a big hug. At first she was worried about me being bullied because of my sexuality." [His parents divorced when he was young. In an interview, Williams's mother said: "Gary's more sensitive and understanding than straight men often are. However, he isn't camp, which is why I never suspected he was gay in his teens – despite his dad wondering."]

*LeVay S, (2011). Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. New York: Oxford University Press.

Published with permission from Joseph Sciambra.

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Calvin Freiburger

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Supreme Court judges who refuse to defend life and liberty must be held accountable

Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

June 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Monday was a good day at the Supreme Court...in the short term. It’s of course a relief that Jack Phillips won't be punished for not baking the cake, and that the justices didn’t enshrine a “right” to abortion for teenage illegal immigrants. But just beneath the surface, even these victories portend long-term dangers.

The court’s most notoriously incoherent thinker, Justice Anthony Kennedy, went out of his way to stress that his majority opinion didn’t set a precedent for “the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these,” and that Colorado lost because it made public statements displaying “clear and impermissible hostility toward [Phillips’] sincere religious beliefs.” In other words, LGBT thought police may very well prevail if they’re just more polite to the next Christian they try to control.

Likewise, the abortion ruling punted on the merits, and merely declared that the lower court ruling it nixed “became moot after the abortion.” Neither case set positive precedents for the future.

Indeed, ACLU attorney David Cole, who represented the gay couple suing Phillips, wrote yesterday that his side “lost a battle but won the war.” Cole takes Kennedy’s declaration “that [religious and philosophical] objections do not allow business owners...to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services” to mean “states are free to require businesses, including bakers, to serve gay and lesbian customers equally, including in the provision of wedding cakes.”

“In fact, Charlie Craig and David Mullins could go right back into Masterpiece Cakeshop today and request a cake to celebrate their wedding anniversary,” he writes, “and if Jack Phillips refused them, he would have no First Amendment right to turn them away.”

Unfortunately, he’s probably right. Conservative Review senior editor Daniel Horowitz admits he agrees with the ACLU’s takeaway, and warns that “this was a very technical decision and will not stop the slew of lawsuits and state laws against the rights of property and conscience.”

Monday was a perfect example of something too few in the pro-life, pro-family movement realize: simply nominating new judges (a process entirely dependent on the pace of elections and vacancies, and which can backfire even with the best pro-lifers selecting nominees) isn’t enough to restore the rights to life and religious liberty.

So what else should we be doing? Horowitz suggests that Congress pass legislation clearly protecting religious liberty, and in a separate article he proposes additional actions. First, he calls on states to more proactively defend their citizens.

“Why is Mississippi the only state in the union with a solid religious liberty law in place to protect against anti-conscience coercion of private property owners?” he asks. “Rather than sending out fundraising letters praising Kennedy’s incoherent Masterpiece decision, social conservative groups should be stepping on the gas pedal promoting these laws in every state the same way the cultural Marxist groups promote transgender ordinances.”

Second, Horowitz says Congress should use its power under Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution to pass laws “stripping lower courts of the power to block implementation of religious liberty laws,” or requiring that “that any lower court ruling forcing an individual to violate his conscience must be stayed until the appeal to the Supreme Court is exhausted.” 

This isn’t a new idea, by the way, just a neglected one -- there’s already a bill called the Sanctity of Life Act, which takes abortion-related laws out of the federal courts’ jurisdiction entirely. It’s introduced in every session, but never acted upon.

Third, he suggests that Congress “place a rider in the appropriation bill funding the Justice Department prohibiting use of any federal law enforcement to enforce any court opinion or governmental action taken against someone who declines to violate his conscience with his private property,” and that it “prohibit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from taking any punitive action against such businesses.”

All of this would be tremendously important, but there’s one essential piece missing: holding rogue judges accountable for abusing the Constitution. Federal judges can be impeached just as presidents can, and if blatantly subverting the law one swore to uphold doesn’t demand it, nothing does.

Admittedly, it will be incredibly rare for the Senate to ever muster the 67 votes needed to remove a Supreme Court justice, but that’s no reason not to talk about it or make the attempt. Our culture overwhelmingly assumes that judges are somehow above public servants in the other two branches of government. And considering we talk about voting out congressmen and presidents all the time, while judges can’t be voted out ever, can you blame them?

Discussing consequences for their actions is necessary to begin undermining judges’ perceived infallibility. Frank conversations about their betrayals of the public trust would build support for the aforementioned legislative measures to limit the harm they can do. And naming names just might shame a justice or two into reevaluating how they want to be remembered.

In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton predicted that the judiciary would “always be the least dangerous” branch, because it had no means of unilaterally enforcing its judgments. But he also warned that while “liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone,” it “would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments.” 

By unconditionally deferring to the judiciary’s every whim and refusing to use their constitutional tools to check its excesses, America’s elected branches have created the functional equivalent of that union. Until the movement rallies around a comprehensive plan to break it apart, we’ll continue to be at its mercy.

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