All articles from July 2, 2018


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Netflix under fire for streaming graphic sex scene involving children

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LOS GATOS, California, July 2, 2018 (LifeSIteNews) — Some television fans are in an uproar over a pornographic scene involving little girls being made available on Netflix.

At the center of the controversy is an Argentinian film called Desire. Netflix first made the film available in December 2017.  It begins with two little girls under ten playing with pillows, a scene that culminates in one child committing an act of self-abuse in front of the other.

“The scene is graphic and includes an orgasm,” reported Megan Fox of PJ Media.

Fox contacted the FBI and the Department of Justice, who advised her to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The organization told her that they had begun an investigation into the film.

The journalist noted that the clip is being shared over Facebook by outraged viewers and cautioned that sharing sexual images of children, as this scene contains, is illegal.

 “...[A]nyone sharing it should be aware that it is a crime to circulate child porn, even if you are trying to get help for the child. Any further distribution re-victimizes the child... The only thing the public can do is report it to the authorities.”

According to the US Criminal Code (Section 2256 of Title 18), child pornography is “any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.”

Diego Kaplan, the director of the film, has attempted to defend the scene by explaining how it was shot.

“Of course this scene was filmed using a trick, which was that the girls were copying a cowboy scene from a film by John Ford,” he told Indywire, a film industry website.  “The girls never understood what they were doing, they were just copying what they were seeing on the screen. No adult interacted with the girls, other than the child acting coach. Everything was done under the careful surveillance of the girls’ mothers. Because I knew this scene might cause some controversy at some point, there is 'Making Of' footage of the filming of the entire scene.”

Kaplan redirected the blame to viewers.

“Everything works inside the spectators’ heads, and how you think this scene was filmed will depend on your level of depravity," he said.

Netflix was the site of another scandal involving child porn, albeit of a cartoon variety, last September. It has also been panned by leaders in the pro-life, pro-family movement for streaming many films and series with “dark, disturbing content.”

For respectful communications, please contact:

Reed Hastings
Chairman, President and CEO,
Netflix
100 Winchester Circle
Los Gatos, CA 95032
Phone: (408) 540-3700
Fax: (408) 540-3737
Twitter:@netflix

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Bishop Athanasius Schneider speaks at the Rome Life Forum in May 2018. don Elvir Tabaković, Can.Reg.
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Bishop: Mass migration part of plan to water down Europe’s Christian identity

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

MILAN, Italy, July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic bishop has stated that the mass migration from Africa and Asia into Europe in recent years is part of a plan to change the Christian identity of Europe.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, 57, told an interviewer from Milan’s Il Giornale last week that “the phenomenon of so-called “immigration” represents an orchestrated and long-prepared plan by international powers to radically change the Christian and national identities of the European peoples.”

The Church, he said, was being exploited.

“These powers use the Church's enormous moral potential and her structures to more effectively achieve their anti-Christian and anti-European goal,” he stated.

“To this end they are abusing the true concept of humanism and even the Christian commandment of charity. "

Asked to comment on Italy’s new and very outspokenly Euro-skeptic Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, the bishop said that he did not know Italy’s political situation well, but that he applauded any European government’s attempt to emphasize their nation’s sovereignty and “historical, cultural, and Christian identity” against “a kind of new Soviet Union” with “an unmistakably Masonic ideology”: the European Union.

In the interview, the bishop also answered questions about the “doctrinal confusion” in the Catholic Church, on intercommunion, on the dubia concerning Pope Francis’s controversial encyclical Amoris laetitia, and on the phenomenon of children being raised by same-sex couples.

Regarding doctrinal confusion, Bishop Schneider reflected that even forty years ago Pope Paul VI had realized there was a problem in the Church, saying: “We believed that after the Council a sunny day for the history of the Church would arrive. What arrived instead was a day of clouds, of storms, of darkness, of searching, of uncertainty. The smoke of Satan entered through some crack into the temple of God.”

The situation has become worse, Schneider said, leading “the great” Cardinal Carlo Caffaro to say, shortly before he died, that “Only a blind man could deny that there is a great confusion in the Church.”

Concerning recent attempts by some bishops to admit non-Catholics to Holy Communion, Bishop Schneider underscored that since the result of communion is the “perfect union of all the members of the [Catholic] Church”, granting it to a someone who continues to reject the Catholic faith is a “lie.”

The dubia (questions) touching on the admission of Catholics in irregular marital unions have not been resolved, the bishop said. He noted that some clerics at every level had simply decided to allow communion to people living as if they were legitimately married, but that “no ecclesiastical authority has the power to dispense with the Sixth Commandment and the indissolubility of marriage.”  

The bishop was just as candid with his opinions about homosexuality, especially regarding same-sex couples raising children.

“The Catholic Church, just like every human person of common sense and simple reason has always rejected homosexual activity,” he said. “Entrusting children to homosexual so-called couples is a violation of a fundamental right of every child to be raised and educated by a daddy and a mommy.”

“The entrustment of children to homosexual so-called couples represents in the last analysis a moral abuse of children, the smallest and most defenseless,” Schneider continued. “This phenomenon will go down in history as one of the greatest degradations of civilization. Those who daily fight such a crying injustice are the true friends of children and heroes of our age.”

Athanasius Schneider, the auxiliary bishop of Astana, was born in the Soviet Union in 1961, the child of minority German Catholics who were sent to gulags after the Second World War. Like other German Catholics trapped in the USSR, the Schneiders catechised their children in secret. Not having much money for train fares, they could take their children to the nearest available Mass only once a month. In an interview with the Catholic Register, Bishop Schneider said that his elders  “imbued us children with the crystal-clear, concrete and beautiful Catholic faith of all ages, which they themselves received from their parents and grandparents.”

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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

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Horrific: Parents punch their 30-week unborn baby to death, charges unlikely

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

July 2, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – The parents of a baby girl who died of catastrophic injuries shortly after birth have been accused of deliberately killing her, according to court documents.

The unnamed couple arrived at Kern Medical in Bakersfield. California to give birth on 24th May. The woman was about 30 weeks pregnant. 

Horrendous attack

Medical staff found that the baby girl was suffering from a fractured skull and spinal injuries, "traumatic injuries... that led to the child's death" shortly afterwards. They also noticed "severe bruising" on the woman's stomach, and, suspicious of her explanation that she'd fallen while mopping, called the police. 

During the police interview, the woman admitted that having decided together that they didn't want the baby, she and her boyfriend agreed for him to beat her in an attempt to kill the baby.

Police say she told them he struck her stomach with his fists "at least 10 times," and squeezed her, after which she "stopped feeling the baby move."

In a separate interview, police say the boyfriend denied hurting the woman or the unborn child.

But was it illegal?

Bakersfield police are investigating, and the district attorney's office is also reviewing the case. However, even though the baby was viable and her parents allegedly beat her to death, it is not clear that the couple can be charged with breaking California law. 

California penal code defines murder as the "unlawful killing of a human being or a fetus with malice aforethought." However, there is an exception for abortion; the law states that murder charges will not be pursued if "the act was solicited, aided, abetted or consented to by the mother of the fetus."

Local defense attorney Mark Anthony Raimondo said, "In the state of California a person who is pregnant, still pregnant, can terminate their pregnancy almost by any means and not be held liable criminally for their actions."

A baby is human if she's wanted or not

Jennifer Bloomquist of Pro-Choice Kern County called the legal situation a "grey area" and called for greater access and funding for abortion. 

Marylee Shrider, executive director of Right to Life Kern County said: "I wanted to burst into tears. It's pretty sickening to read." She said the father must be held accountable. "Even if she thought of it, what kind of man would say, 'Yeah, I'll punch you in the stomach until the baby is dead?'"

Right to Life also pointed out inconsistencies in the law. When a pregnant mother is killed in a murder or a drunken driving crash, the government charges defendants with double murder, ascribing personhood to the baby. "So the only difference in this case is the mother didn't want the baby," Ms Shrider said. "The baby is a human being, or she's not. The fact that she's wanted or not wanted is not relevant. It doesn't make her less human."

She hopes the district attorney pursues murder charges. "On moral grounds, grounds of decency, no, there's no gray areas here," she said.

Would this happen in the UK?

In the UK the Infant Life Preservation Act (1929) created the offence of 'child destruction' which carries a life sentence: "any person who, with intent to destroy the life of a child capable of being born alive, by any wilful act causes a child to die before it has an existence independent of its mother, shall be guilty of felony, to wit, of child destruction." Yet very few are ever convicted of child destruction, not least because the child must be sufficiently developed, and legal abortion does not come under the offence of child destruction. A very distressing UK case in which the baby's father attacked the mother to kill the baby after she refused an abortion has prompted calls to increase sanctions when someone other than the mother forcibly induces an abortion. 

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

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Dangerous home abortions approved in Wales…but is it legal?

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

July 2, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced that the second abortion pill will be made available for women to take at home.

In a written statement, Mr Gething said: "Members will recall my announcement on 17 April of my instruction to officials to begin work to amend the legal framework to allow the treatment of the termination of pregnancy (TOP) to be carried out at home. I am pleased to inform you that the approval, allowing the second dose of medicine for TOP to be carried out at home, has been issued to health boards today."

Is this legal?

It is unclear on what grounds Mr Gething has made the policy change, as the Welsh Government does not have the power to amend the 1967 Abortion Act. (The link to the written notice issued to health boards was broken at the time of writing.)

In Scotland, the Government claimed that it did not need to change the law to designate the home as a place where abortion could take place, although this is currently being challenged by a judicial review brought by SPUC Scotland. In Westminster, a Government minister recently replied to a question saying: "abortions must be performed under the legal framework set by the Abortion Act 1967. We are not currently in a position to approve homes as a class of place under the Act."

Incredibly rash and high-handed

While the Westminster Government has said it is looking closely at developments in the Scottish court case, the Welsh Assembly has not mentioned it, a fact noted by SPUC Scotland CEO John Deighan. 

"There is an ongoing judicial review in Scotland which is examining whether the provision of the abortion pill at home is compatible with the 1967 Abortion Act," he said. "It seems incredibly rash and high-handed to ignore the process in Scotland. It seems that when it comes to the issue of abortion reason and common sense completely escape some political representatives. Can they really not wait a few weeks to learn if the policy they wish to implement is actually legal?"

Authorising backstreet abortions

SPUC's challenge rests on two major grounds: firstly, that the home is not an approved place for abortions to take place, and secondly, that the Act demands the presence of medical, nursing or clinical staff during a procedure.

"It is clear to us that the policy of allowing abortion pills to be taken at home is not compatible with the 1967 Abortion Act," said Mr Deighan. "Furthermore, we believe that such a scheme amounts, in effect, to authorising backstreet abortions. Such a move not only poses dreadful health risks for many women, but trivialises the rights and lives of their babies."

The move was welcomed by abortion provider bpas, and Diana Johnson, the Labour MP who is pushing to decriminalise abortion. The Royal College of Midwives, whose head controversially signed the organisation up to support decriminalisation in 2016, said it was a "sensible and practical move".

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

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Dr. Robert Rho
Cheryl Sullenger

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Abortionist sentenced to prison for killing woman during botched late-term abortion

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By Cheryl Sullenger

QUEENS, New York, July 2, 2018 (Operation Rescue) – Abortionist Robert Rho, who pleaded guilty in May to Criminal Negligent Homicide for causing the death of Jaime Morales, 30, during a botched second trimester abortion, was sentenced June 26 to serve fifteen months to four years in state prison.

Over Rho’s 23-year career as an abortionist, he committed an estimated 40,000 abortions, according to his attorney Jeff Lichtman.

But Rho was known to cut corners on abortion procedures to save time and money. His short-cuts proved fatal for Jaime Morales when she visited Rho on July 9, 2016.

Rho conducted an abortion on Morales’ 26-week baby in just one day instead of the recommended 2-3 days. Because of this, he inflicted serious internal injuries on Morales, including a perforated uterus and lacerated cervix, uterine artery, and vagina.

Instead of calling an ambulance for his hemorrhaging patient, he cinched her cervix closed to conceal the internal bleeding. Despite her drifting in and out of consciousness due to blood loss, Rho released Morales from his abortion facility. She died just hours later.

“We are very glad that Rho is going to prison. We pray he serves the full four years, but even that is a short amount of time to pay for taking Jaime Morales’ life. We wish it could have been more, especially since he remained unremorseful and arrogant throughout the trial,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

Operation Rescue reported on Rho’s trial throughout the three week proceedings, at the end of which Rho copped a plea to a lesser charge just moments before the jury verdict on a more serious charge of manslaughter was to be read. If convicted on that charge, Rho could have spent up to 15 years in prison.

After his initial arrest in October 2016, Rho surrendered his medical license and closed his Liberty Women’s Health Care abortion facility.

“We understand that Rho was hoping to open another abortion facility if he had won his court case, but now with the felony conviction and incarceration on his record, we believe it will be very difficult, if not impossible for him to do so. That means he will never again be able to hurt another woman or baby,” said Newman. “We pray that Rho’s term of incarceration will be a time of reflection that will lead him to repentance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.”

Reprinted with permission from Operation Rescue.

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U.S. priests urge clergy to join declaration of ‘total acceptance’ of Humanae Vitae

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By Claire Chretien

July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Warning that marriage, family, and gender are being “reinvented and distorted,” U.S. Catholic priests are expressing their “total acceptance” of the Church’s teaching against contraception and urging fellow clerics to join them.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical reaffirming Catholic teaching against artificial contraception. The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy’s U.S. chapter has united in support of the landmark encyclical that defied the sexual revolution and articulated natural law.

“Since 1968, dissent from this official teaching among some theologians and non-adherence among many people have precipitated the dire predictions of the pope that promiscuity, pornography, divorce, remarriage, artificial conception and unnatural intercourse, would proliferate,” the priests explain on LifePetitions, LifeSiteNews’ petition platform for pro-life and pro-family activists. So far, their appeal has 47 signatories.

Many priests openly rebelled against Humanae Vitae when it was released. Clerical opposition to the Church’s prohibition of contraception, which festered quietly and seemed to dim during the pontificates of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, has resurged under Pope Francis. A new member of the overhauled Pontifical Academy for Life Father Maurizio Chiodi, has even used Amoris Laetitia to argue that some circumstances “require” contraception.

“Blessed Paul VI solemnly reaffirmed the perennial doctrine that conjugal love is essentially and necessarily oriented to love and life,” the American priests write. “Furthermore, all sexual acts outside of marriage or those not disposed to unity and procreation are intrinsically evil and are therefore always sinful.”

“Contraception has infected society with a culture of death that sees abortion not as the murder of innocent unborn, rather as a mere personal choice,” they continue. “We recommit ourselves to defending Humanae Vitae as it is based on the immutable Natural Moral Law and the Magisterium of the Church.”

The priests of the confraternity say they “fear the intrusion of the state and secular powers to interfere with Divine Justice by promoting and even compelling acts against the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.”

Developing countries often only receive Western aid money on the condition that they promote contraception, something the faithful Catholic priests condemn in their new petition: “We repudiate the efforts by governments and other institutions to compel people, especially those in need, to embrace a contraceptive mentality and attitude as a prerequisite to receiving charitable assistance.”

In June, nearly 500 British priests issued a similar statement upholding Catholic doctrine against contraception, saying what it offers is “key to the healing and true development of our society.”

“We urge and exhort our ordained brothers as well as all the faithful to reacquaint themselves and those under their care with [Humanae Vitae] and vigorously defend it and implement it for the common good of humanity itself,” the U.S. priests conclude.

Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize Pope Paul VI, who oversaw and approved the radical changes to the Catholic Mass a half-century ago, on October 14.

RELATED

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Theologian: Here’s how Pope’s teaching is being used to reject Humanae Vitae

Vatican denied, now admits papal commission is re-examining Humanae Vitae

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UK judge upholds ban on pro-life witness at London abortion center

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — An English High Court judge has upheld a ban on pro-lifers’ freedom of speech outside a London abortion business even while acknowledging that it violates their “human rights.”

Today a judge dismissed Alina Dulgheriu’s challenge to a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) created by Ealing Council early this year to prevent any form of pro-life activity, including silent prayer, from taking place outside the infamous Marie Stopes Ealing clinic.  

Although acknowledging that the PSPO interfered with the pro-life witnesses’ “human rights,” Mr Justice Turner said that the local government was “entitled” to impose it.

He stated that “there was substantial evidence that a very considerable number of users of the clinic reasonably felt that their privacy was being very seriously invaded at a time and place when they were most vulnerable.”

He felt that the effect of the activities of the “protesters” was “likely” to make them “unreasonable” and thus justified the imposed restrictions.

Dulgheriu told media via a press release that she was “saddened” and “shocked” that a measure preventing women from getting help in continuing their pregnancies had been upheld by the courts.

“I am saddened and shocked that the Court has upheld a PSPO that prevents good people giving help to mothers who desperately want it,” she stated. “I am surprised that evidence that the judge recognised isn’t of a criminal standard, can be used to criminalise a whole section of society that holds an ‘unfashionable’ worldview.”

Dulgheriu pointed out that the Court’s decision created a precedent for criminalizing even silent prayer and was a dismissal of the fundamental right to freedom of speech.

She added that she was “devastated” for women who would not be able to get the same “loving help” she did, and “desperately sorry” for the pro-life volunteers who, since the anti-support battle revved up, “have been consistently subject to abuse on the street and slander online.”  

In the same press release, Dulgheriu’s solicitor, Andre Clovis, stated that the outcome has dangerous implications for the freedom of speech in England.

“This decision allows Ealing Council to seek criminal sanctions against individuals for purported ‘misbehaviour,’ such as silent prayer,” he warned.

“This outcome sets as dangerous precedent and is a direct attack upon our very basic rights, such as freedom of expression. My view is that this decision cannot and should not be looked at in isolation for fear we continue the worrying trend of becoming a society where those with opposing views simply seek to shut each other down rather than engage in dialogue and debate.”

Clare Carberry of BeHereForMe.org, a group dedicated to making sure women who want and need help not to abort, praised Dulgheriu for her attempt to quash the PSPO and for forcing the public to take notice of women who are coerced into abortions.

“Before this case came to the courts it was wholly denied that women like Alina even existed,” Carberry said. “The dominant narrative was that every woman attending an abortion centre was freely and independently choosing an abortion and that the vigils outside the clinic offered them nothing.”

Dulgheriu has “blown the lid off the myth that abortion clinics offer options to women who are in the most difficult circumstance,” Carberry continued. “She has overturned the pretence that the the pro-life vigils outside their doors do not offer help and that women do not want them there.”

Antonia Tully of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn (SPUC) told LifeSiteNews that she was “astonished” that the judge would recognize that the PSPO interfered with human rights and but find Ealing Council was entitled to impose it.

“What is most shocking is that the High Court is allowing a council to ban peaceful public acts of witness and freedom of expression and stop members of the public offering charitable help to pregnant women,” she said.

Speaking of Dulgheriu, Tully continued: “A mother who was herself given this help and has a beautiful six-year-old daughter as a result brought this challenge, and a judge has decided that no other mothers may be helped this way, and no-one else’s sons or daughters may be saved.”

“Instead, they are to be left at the mercy of Marie Stopes. It’s the height of irony that it’s not the multi-million pound organisation that we know from CQC reports has injured women and put their health and safety at risk that is facing court action, but volunteers who give up their time to offer financial help and moral support to women who want to keep their babies. What kind of society treats its citizens in this way?”

Catholic journalist Caroline Farrow told LifeSiteNews that this was the first time in English history since the interdict against Catholicism was lifted that prayer has been criminalized.

“Prayer has been made illegal, and not just  public prayer but anything which could be interpreted as a silent articulation of prayer or devotion,” she said.

“This is a major blow not only for religious freedom but also for free speech which is protected under the EU convention on human rights.”

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Fr. Shenan Boquet

Opinion,

The fourth prophecy of ‘Humanae Vitae’: When self-mastery is rejected

Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet
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Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in 2017: "China's population control policies are the longest-running and most far-reaching violations of human rights the world has ever seen."

July 2, 2018 (Human Life International) – Note: Father Boquet's series in all parts may be accessed here.

"Birth Control is a name given to a succession of different expedients by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself." — G.K. Chesterton

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." This is one of the most famous lines from the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park. It's spoken by Dr. Ian Malcolm, played brilliantly by Jeff Goldblum. It's the final line of a remarkable little speech Dr. Malcolm makes to billionaire John Hammond, the creator of the dinosaur park. "The lack of humility before nature here staggers me," Dr. Malcolm first tells Hammond, after hearing of his grandiose plans. "I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you're using here. It didn't require any discipline to attain it."

It might seem a bit flippant to begin a column on perhaps the most serious of Pope Paul VI's four prophesies in the encyclical Humanae Vitae – the totalitarian imposition of birth control by governments – with a reference to Jurassic Park. And yet, Dr. Malcolm's speech is packed with truth; rarely, indeed, has a Hollywood movie contained a more succinct and relevant indictment of some of the worst tendencies of our time.

Human beings have understandably become wholly enamoured of their technical prowess these past two centuries. We have conquered nature in ways that previous generations could not have even imagined was possible. And yet as humans have pivoted away from the ancient preoccupation with attaining wisdom in favor of the modern preoccupation with perfecting technique, we have increasingly run the risk of single-mindedly pursuing the possiblewithout taking the time to ask whether the possible thing is the right thing.

In Humanae Vitae Pope Paul VI repeatedly sought to remind his peers that there is a deeper order in the universe than the natural sciences alone can discover, and that to violate this order carries with it unforeseen consequences. Some people, observed the pope, oppose the Church's position against artificial birth control by arguing "that human intelligence has both the right and responsibility to control those forces of irrational nature which come within its ambit and to direct them toward ends beneficial to man." "To this question We must give a clear reply," the pope responded. "The Church is the first to praise and commend the application of human intelligence to an activity in which a rational creature such as man is so closely associated with his Creator. But she affirms that this must be done within the limits of the order of reality established by God."

Elsewhere, he added: "Unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed."

The Fourth Prophecy – Totalitarian Population Control

The English writer G.K. Chesterton expressed his opposition to contraception with this pungent aphorism: "What is quaintly called Birth Control… is in fact, of course, a scheme for preventing birth in order to escape control." In mentioning "control," Chesterton was speaking of self-control. As he said elsewhere, "Normal and real birth control is called self-control."

As I pointed out in a previous column, many of the problems that have followed in the wake of contraception stem from the way contraception has seemingly short-circuited the need for self-control. Contraception, as Pope Paul VI said, removes the "incentives to keep the moral law." If doing so seems to offer a benefit to mankind, this "gift" is only apparent, since in the end the eradication of necessary limits and barriers sets loose the destructive force of human concupiscence.

This observation hearkens back to Dr. Malcolm's speech quoted above: the problem with John Hammond's hijacking of already extant biological technology to resurrect dinosaurs for profit is that it required no "discipline." Hammond and his scientists didn't have to wrestle deeply with the implications of the technology; they just took it, and did the possible regardless of its wisdom, with predictably disastrous consequences.

As we have seen these past three weeks, artificial contraception has embedded the principle of reaping short-term benefit by shirking responsibility and self-discipline as a fundamental axiom at every level of our society. In the process each of Pope Paul VI's dire predictions have been proved true: beginning at the individual level with married couples, with the catastrophic increase of marital infidelity and divorce; spreading to a poisoning of the relations between all men and women in general, with women often being reduced to "instruments of pleasure"; and finally, in the whole of society, through a "general lowering of moral standards."

However, Pope Paul VI also anticipated one last, even more far-reaching and pernicious consequence. With his far-seeing eye, the pope saw that if individual people widely embraced the poisonous logic of contraception – i.e. pursuing short-term benefits at the expense of violating God's order – there was nothing stopping institutions and governments from doing precisely the same thing in pursuit of some ostensibly "beneficial" purpose. Hence, his fourth prophecy.

Speaking of the "power" of artificial contraception, the pope warned:

[C]areful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Pope Paul VI Proved Right (Again)

Once again, it seems scarcely necessary to "prove" how right the pope's prophecy turned out to be. Unfortunately, however, thanks in part to the silence or outright complicity of much of the mainstream media, many people are still unaware of how widespread and utterly horrifying many of the coercive population control programs of the 20th and 21st century have been – nor how ubiquitous are ongoing Western efforts to foist "soft" coercive population control programs on Third World nations in exchange for funding.

At least since Thomas Malthus published his "Essay on the Principle of Population" in 1798, so-called "progressive" experts have been predicting catastrophic plagues and famines on account of the world's increasing population. Although Malthus' arguments have since been thoroughly debunked, population hysteria reached its zenith in the 60s. Many nations, above all China and India, responded to this hysteria (as Pope Paul VI predicted) by implementing forced population control. These programs mandated that couples avoid having children by using contraception or submitting to forced sterilizations, or (most horrifying of all), submitting to forced abortions if they exceeded the allowable number of children.

The statistics are staggering. China's government claims that their population control program has prevented the births of some 400 million people since 1980. This includes both abortions and children not born due to government-sponsored (and often forced) sterilizations. While it is impossible to gain clear statistics on how many of these abortions and sterilizations were forced as opposed to voluntary, the abortion numbers alone are mind-boggling. According to human rights activist Reggie Littlejohn, there are some 23 million abortions in China…every year. Many of these, undoubtedly, are by couples striving not to exceed the one child (now two-child) limit; and many are forcibly conducted on couples actively resisting. Additionally, according to The Economist, China's government has collected two trillion yuan ($315 billion, £206bn) in fines for having extra children since 1980.

The main difficulty for anyone attempting to convey the horror perpetrated under China and India's population control programs is the sheer magnitude of that horror. As Stalin is reputed to have said: "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." I can recount story after story of pregnant women being kidnapped, beaten, and forcibly aborted up to nine-months gestation, with the bodies of their babies sometimes deposited next to them on their beds or in buckets, and none of these stories would come close to conveying the level of evil perpetrated by the governments of these nations against their own people.

But while China and India's population control programs are the best known, according to population expert Steve Mosher, at least 35 countries have implemented similarly violent and coercive programs. Furthermore, this doesn't take into account the "soft" coercion being routinely exercised by Western governments (including the United States) and hyper-wealthy foundations on numerous Third World countries, forcing them to accept contraceptive "aid" in exchange for other funding.

Under these purportedly "humanitarian" programs,trillions of dollars have been spent to eradicate families in the poorest parts of the world so that the West can maintain its own standard of life. While these programs allow Western governments and philanthropists to pat themselves on the backs for their good work, in reality they embody the worst of what Pope Francis has called "cultural colonization" – i.e. forcing practices on countries that violate their cultural values – and lazy, short-term thinking. Blanketing these countries with latex and hormonal pills seems to absolve Western elites of the responsibility to work to meaningfully improve the structures of influence that lead to poverty, or to build programs that lead to long-term economic development and authentic human development.

NFP: Discipline vs. License

Governments, like individuals, are tasked with the responsibility to "discipline" themselves to pursue the wise course, rather than do what is expedient. Protecting the rights of their citizens, combatting extreme poverty, eradicating crime, and providing equal opportunity for all are difficult goals. When faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem, governments, like individuals, may be tempted to take the "shortcut," the easiest "solution" involving the least amount of work, sacrifice, and thought.

As Chesterton put it memorably, for the birth control advocate, "The question he dreads is 'Why has not the workman a better wage? Why has not the slum family a better house?' His way of escaping from it is to suggest, not a larger house but a smaller family. The landlord or the employer says in his hearty and handsome fashion: 'You really cannot expect me to deprive myself of my money. But I will make a sacrifice, I will deprive myself of your children.'"

Pope Paul VI was aware that some people found it inconsistent that the Church sanctioned the use of Natural Family Planning, including for the deliberate purpose of postponing pregnancies, while forbidding artificial contraception. What's the difference between the two cases, asked skeptics: in both cases, the goal is to avoid pregnancy. The pope's response was two-fold: 1) The two cases are dramatically different in terms of the means chosen to achieve the desired end. In the one case, the couples are cooperating with mechanisms put in place by God himself, whereas in the second, the couple is introducing an obstructive and artificial mechanism. 2) In the case of NFP, the couple is relying on self-discipline to space births, whereas the contracepting couple is striving to skirt around the need for discipline in favor of license.

As any couple using NFP knows, abstinence can be difficult. It demands a commitment to a higher good, and the mechanism of abstinence in turn constantly encourages a couple to re-evaluate the reasons for their commitment to postponing another child. Contraception, on the other hand, encourages a mentality of complacency. As. Dr. Malcolm warned, technology without discipline leads to disaster. "Self-discipline of this kind is a shining witness to the chastity of husband and wife and, far from being a hindrance to their love of one another, transforms it by giving it a more truly human character," notes Pope Paul VI. "And if this self-discipline does demand that they persevere in their purpose and efforts, it has at the same time the salutary effect of enabling husband and wife to develop to their personalities and to be enriched with spiritual blessings.

Published with permission from Human Life International.

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Michelle A. Cretella and Felipe E. Vizcarrondo

Opinion,

Pediatricians: Gender ideology is the latest assault on our children

Michelle A. Cretella and Felipe E. Vizcarrondo
By Michelle Cretella

July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Gender ideology is a belief system that holds that sex is a social construct. Gender ideology teaches that every person has something called a "gender identity" in the brain that may or may not be the same as that person's biological sex. It's central tenet is that this "gender identity" is more real than the material biological reality of a person's sex. In philosophical terms, it meets the definition of gnostic dualism. In the last 5 years, gender ideology has overtaken every major public institution in our society from mass and social media, to public and private education from pre-school forward, to professional medicine and psychiatry, and increasingly, law. It has essentially become America's government sponsored religion.

Why should every thinking American be alarmed by this? Three year olds are being taught that they may be "trapped in the wrong body" by pre-school teachers and by drag queens in public libraries; kindergarteners are having "coming out trans" celebrations in the classroom; teens are falling prey to social contagion and coming out trans in peer groups, boys are allowed into girls bathrooms, locker rooms and even onto girls' sports teams. The top two sprinters in Connecticut's high school state competition for girls in 2018 were boys; boys who had competed on the boys track team earlier in their high school careers, but who were allowed to run on the girls' team this year because they "identify as" girls. In ten states, Washington, D.C., and several individual counties, it is illegal for minors to receive therapy for gender confusion (or gender dysphoria) that will bring their thinking in line with their sex. Instead, across the country, physicians and therapists are taught to rapidly affirm this confusion as proof that the child was born in the wrong body and encourage them to impersonate the opposite sex, even to the point of prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and sex change surgeries prior to age 18.

How can parents and all professionals of good will protect our children? We must first educate ourselves with the facts so that we can immunize our children against the lies before they are propagandized. That is the purpose of this article.

Sex is a binary biological characteristic of the human person that is established by our DNA at conception. One is conceived either male or female. Gender, in contrast, is a term that refers to the psychological and cultural characteristics associated with biological sex. Gender is a social construct linked to sex stereotypes. For example, in Spanish, the word "amigo" has been assigned a male gender; "amiga" is the feminine form of the same word. As another example, when we assign a hurricane the name "Gloria" we have assigned it a feminine gender. Gender is not a biological term, it is not found within the person’s being, though gender ideologues maintain otherwise, there is no rigorous scientific evidence for this.

Gender identity refers to an individual’s awareness of being male or female and is sometimes referred to as an individual's "experienced gender." Gender identity has to do with thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings people develop over time. Normal thoughts align with physical reality. Therefore, a person's gender identity should match the person's biological sex.

Dysphoria is defined as a state of dissatisfaction or unease about a given situation. Gender dysphoria (GD) is a psychological condition in which the individual feels a marked incompatibility between his/her experienced gender and biological sex. This condition is associated with varying levels of anxiety and unhappiness. These individuals often express the belief that they are the opposite sex or trapped in the wrong body, or that they are neither sex. Gender dysphoria in children is diagnosed in the pre-pubertal child.

Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XX” and “XY” are genetic markers of sex, female and male. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female with the obvious purpose the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident. People who identify as “feeling like the opposite sex” or “somewhere in between” do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women. An infant is not “assigned” a sex or a gender at birth. The sex of the newborn was established at conception, is declared anatomically in utero and simply acknowledged at birth.

No one is born with an awareness of being male or female; this awareness develops over time. As the awareness develops during the early years of the child’s life, there may be a time when the child may have feelings of uncertainty and even confusion about his or her gender identity. A small number of these children will show the additional symptoms of dissatisfaction and unhappiness with their biological sex. Some children insist they are the opposite sex and start a behavior pattern that imitates the opposite sex. These children will be diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

When GD occurs in the pre-pubertal child, it resolves in 80-95 percent of patients by late adolescence after they naturally pass through puberty. Prevalence rates of GD among children have been estimated to be a fraction of 1%. In pre-pubertal children, the ratio of boys to girls ranges from 2.1 to 4:1.

These are the facts. What is the science?

Behavior genetics posits that while genes and hormones influence behavior, they do not hard-wire a person to think, feel, or behave in a particular way. The science of epigenetics has established that genes are not analogous to rigid "blueprints" for behavior. Rather, humans develop traits through the dynamic process of gene-environment interaction.

Claims have been made, derived from brain imaging studies, that the transgender brain microstructure is different from the non-transgender brain. These studies are of questionable clinical significance due to the small number of subjects and the existence of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is a well-established phenomenon by which long-term behavior alters brain microstructure. There is evidence that experience changes brain microstructure. Therefore, if and when valid transgender brain differences were identified, these will likely be the result of transgender behavior rather than its cause.

Studies of identical twins prove that GD is predominately influenced by post-natal events. The largest study, which includes 74 pairs of identical twin transsexual adults, found that 28 percent were both trans-identified. Identical twins’ DNA is identical from conception and develop in exactly the same prenatal environment where they are exposed to the same prenatal hormones. If genes and/or prenatal hormones contributed significantly to transgenderism, the concordance rate should be close to 100 percent. Instead, 72 percent of identical twin pairs were discordant for transgenderism. This means that at least 72 percent of what contributes to transgenderism in one adult co-twin consists of one or more non-shared experiences after birth.

Clinical case studies suggest that social reinforcement, parental psychopathology, family dynamics, and social contagion facilitated by mainstream and social media, all contribute to the development and/or persistence of GD in some vulnerable children. There may be a causal association between adverse childhood events, including sexual abuse.

Is GD a mental disorder?

Until recently, the prevailing worldview with respect to childhood GD was that it reflected abnormal thinking or confusion on the part of the child that may or may not be transient. The standard approach was either watchful waiting or family and individual psychotherapy. The goals of therapy were to address family pathology, treat any psychosocial morbidities in the child, and aid the child in aligning gender identity with biological sex.

This approach has now shifted. The suffering of transgender adults was invoked to argue for the

urgent rescue of children from the same fate by early identification, affirmation, and pubertal suppression. It is now alleged that psychopathology and suicide are the direct and inevitable consequences of withholding social affirmation and puberty blockers from a gender dysphoric child. The claim is made that GD children will suffer and commit suicide. Therefore, sex reassignment should start in the pre-pubertal child.

Over 90 percent of people who die of suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder. There is no evidence that gender dysphoric youth who commit suicide are any different. Therefore, the cornerstone for suicide prevention should be the same for them as for all children: early identification and treatment of psychological co-morbidities.

The American Psychiatric Association explains in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) that GD is listed therein not due to the discrepancy between the individual’s thoughts and physical reality, but due to the presence of emotional distress that hampers social functioning. Once the distress is relieved, GD is no longer considered a disorder.

One of the chief functions of the brain is to perceive physical reality. Perception in accordance with physical reality is normal. Perception that deviates from physical reality would be considered abnormal. This is true whether or not the individual who experiences the abnormal thoughts feels distress. A person’s belief that he is something or someone he is not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking; at worst, it is a delusion.

What is the recommended treatment?

Since gender dysphoria is a psychological diagnosis one would think the treatment for this anxiety provoking disorder would be in the hands of a mental health specialist whose job would be to discover and treat the source of the gender dysphoria. This is not the case. Instead, treatment recommended for gender dysphoria in children includes affirming the child's gender confusion, social impersonation of the opposite sex, chemically blocking puberty, beginning lifelong cross-sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries prior to age 18.

Social transition consists of first affirming the child’s false self-concept by instituting name and pronoun changes and facilitating the impersonation of the opposite sex within and outside of the home. Next, puberty is suppressed via puberty blocking drugs as early as age 10 years.

Puberty blocking hormones arrest bone growth, decrease bone density, prevent the sex-steroid dependent organization and maturation of the adolescent brain, and inhibit fertility by preventing the development of gonadal tissue and mature gametes for the duration of treatment.

If the child discontinues the puberty blocker, puberty will ensue. Consequently, the Endocrine Society maintains that suppression of puberty, and living socially as the opposite sex, are fully reversible interventions that carry no risk of permanent harm to children. However, social learning theory, neuroscience, and long-term follow-up study of adolescents who have received pubertal suppression challenge this claim.

At least one prospective study demonstrates that nearly all pre-pubertal children placed on puberty blocking drugs eventually choose to begin sex reassignment with cross-sex hormones. This suggests that impersonation of the opposite sex and pubertal suppression, far from being fully reversible and harmless sets into motion a single inevitable outcome that requires lifelong use of toxic cross-sex hormones, resulting in infertility and other serious health risks.

Children will graduate to cross-sex hormones at age 16 or younger in preparation for sex-reassignment surgery as an older adolescent or young adult. This stage of the sex reassignment protocol will feminize the boys and masculinize the girls. Cross-sex hormones (estrogen for boys and testosterone for girls) are associated with dangerous health risks.

Estrogen administration to boys may place them at risk for cardiovascular disease, and breast cancer. Girls who receive testosterone may experience an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and unknown effects on breast, uterine and ovarian tissues.

Pre-pubertal children who receive puberty-blocking hormones followed by cross-sex hormones are permanently sterilized. Adolescent girls with GD who have taken testosterone daily for one year may obtain a double mastectomy as young as age 16. To the detriment of the suffering child, the mental health aspect of this condition is ignored because the condition is not considered a disorder as long as the child reports relief of anxiety from the impersonation process.

The first gender clinic in the US was established in 2007. In 2014 there were 24 gender clinics clustered chiefly along the East Coast and in California; one year later there were 40 across the nation. Today, virtually all of the 215 pediatric training hospitals offer this transition affirming protocol in spite of the absence of long term evidence of safety.

Sex reassignment in adults: Consequences.

Surveys suggest that transgender adults express an initial sense of "relief" and "satisfaction" following the use of cross-sex hormones and sex reassignment surgery.

A 2001 study of 392 male-to-female and 123 female-to-male transgender persons found that 62 percent of the male-to-female and 55 percent of the female-to-male transgender persons were clinically depressed. Nearly one third of each population had attempted suicide.

In Sweden, a thirty year follow up study found rates of suicide nearly twenty times greater among adults who undergo sex reassignment. This demonstrates that while sex-reassignment eases some of the gender dysphoria, it does not result in levels of physical and mental health on par with that of the general population. Sweden is among the most LGBT affirming countries; suggests that the mental health disparities are primarily due to the pathology that precipitated the transgender feelings in the first place and/or the transgender lifestyle itself and not due to social prejudice. The psychological disorder that started in childhood is still present in the adult. Sadly, psychological therapy had been ignored.

In conclusion

Gender dysphoria (GD) in children is a term used to describe a psychological condition in which a child experiences marked incongruence between his or her experienced gender and the child's biological sex. Without pre-pubertal affirmation and hormone intervention 80 to 95 percent of children with GD will accept the reality of their biological sex by late adolescence.

Affirming gender dysphoria via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will choose a lifetime of sterility, toxic cross-sex hormones, and unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts.

There is a serious ethical problem with allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young to give valid consent themselves. Conditioning children to believe the absurdity that they could be “born into the wrong body,” and that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.  

Michelle Cretella, MD, is president of the American College of Pediatricians.

Felipe E. Vizcarrondo, MD, MA, is a member of the American College of Pediatricians.

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As America’s culture war heats up, leftists seem to brace for violence

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By Jonathon van Maren

July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Perhaps nothing has revealed the stark American divide like the question that sprang from the lips of commentators from the moment the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy was announced: Will there be violence? There is in this question a recognition that two great masses of American people have moved too far away from one another for compromise, and that Kennedy’s feeble attempts to hand the sexual revolutionaries everything they wanted while assuring conservatives that they could not be prosecuted for disagreeing with him has done nothing to create the civil and peaceful polity that he no doubt genuinely wanted.

Violence seems to be bubbling just below the surface. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders may have been politely asked to leave a restaurant, but the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was more or less mobbed out of one. Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters was enthused about these happenings, and urged a crowd of her supporters to replicate these events whenever Republicans appeared in public. These things happened before the Left realized that there is a very real possibility that they could lose their majority on the Supreme Court—something that they simply will not countenance.

I’m not the only one to wonder aloud if the ongoing American civil war that Dennis Prager frequently talks about may escalate from occasional street skirmishes to something more malevolent. David French noted that violence was likely in the National Review. So did Michael Dougherty, who noted that many people are simply losing faith in democracy itself, seeing it primarily as a tool that one segment of the American people uses against the other. Traditionalist writer Rod Dreher also warned that the resignation of Kennedy could serve as a “catalyst for violence.” If the Left decides that one Supreme Court seat could swing the balance of power away from them, they will not allow that to happen without a bloody fight.

The “thoughtful essay pieces” that stop just short of justifying this violence are beginning to appear in prestigious publications to lay the pseudo-intellectual groundwork. In a Maclean’s magazine essay titled “It’s too late for civility in American politics,” for example, Andray Domise insinuated that Christian conservatives have it coming because they are such an oppressive bunch, especially in their demands for religious liberty, which he clearly doesn’t think is a valid concept:

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Masterpiece Cake Shop in Colorado had been unfairly sanctioned for its refusal to make a cake for the wedding of a same-sex couple because the shop owner’s religious beliefs forbade him from using his talents toward creating products that he deemed objectionable. And just this week, the nation’s highest court struck down an opinion from the Washington state Supreme Court, which had previously ruled that a flower shop which refused to provide service for a same-sex couple had violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.

If those bigots won’t bake the cakes they are told to, and the little old lady who served a gay couple for years but said that her beliefs wouldn’t let her do wedding arrangements won’t knuckle under, fascism must be on the march—at least according to your friendly magazine columnists. After all, the little guy must obey the State (or something like that). Conservatives have no right to urge civil discourse, writes Domise, because they are the enemy:

Some American conservatives have long agitated to deny others their rights, from women seeking birth control, to same sex-couples seeking to get married, and to transgender women seeking the basic dignity of using the bathroom unaccosted.

You’ll notice, of course, that Domise simply ignores the competing premises of conservatives here as if they are driven exclusively by a desire to be mean-spirited. He insinuates that they are evil and have no reasons for what they believe. Those who do not want biological males in female bathrooms have the interests of women in mind—but to Domise, the scenario of a dude who is very obviously a dude complaining about discrimination and threatening to bring the full force of the law onto a restaurant that asked him for his ID to use the ladies’ restroom, which he refused to provide, because it would have confirmed he was a male—this is evidence not of respect for female privacy and a skeptical approach to the unproven ideology of sexual fluidity, but fascism. He says as much himself:

The call to civility, at this stage of the game, amounts to little more than the appeasement of fascists in the vain hope they will learn to treat others as human, even as they drag America backwards to the Reconstruction era. It forces people who face discrimination simply for who they are to fight against two struggles: Not only do they have to call for their humanity to be respected by political movements dedicated to denying it from them, but they also have to sidestep the enablers, many of whom drape over themselves the reasonable label of “moderates,” who view any principled anger from their side as unhinged fanaticism.

Domise encapsulates the view of the Left succinctly here: Conservatives are a threat to human rights, and thus can be accurately referred to as fascists. They do not treat others as human (again, Domise and others simply ignore the fundamental premise of the pro-life movement: that killing pre-born human beings in the womb is a violation of human rights), and thus don’t really deserve to be treated as humans themselves. Domise even invokes Martin Luther King Jr. and blusters angrily that conservatives have no right to speak his sacred name, although the civil rights leader’s views on homosexuality will have Antifa heading towards his memorial with jackhammers any day now.

Domise—and Maxine Waters, and all the rest—stop just short of saying that violence should actually happen. They simply explain why it is reasonable and justified and why those who would face the violence are barely human and thus undeserving of any sympathy. Domise is blunt about that, noting that “while we may be a long way from anything resembling armed revolt, the right of free people to speak out against fascists and disassociate from them is not up for debate.” But there is an obvious question that Domise leaves unspoken, but permeates his piece: When talk fails—as it will in a polity this divided—what next? Is it morally justified to engage in “armed revolt” against people he consistently refers to as “fascists” for holding positions that were held by Democrats merely a decade ago?

It seems likely that we are all going to get better acquainted with the revolutionary underpinnings of the Left: The fundamental premise that violence is justified if the desired end requires it. They have already recast conservative beliefs that would have been considered banal a few years ago as verbal violence to the point that Ben Shapiro needs 600 police officers to protect him at Berkley. Campuses are the territory of the Left, and if you want a sense of how they react when they feel their territory is encroached on, consider the fact that virtually every conservative speaker—as well as liberals like Sam Harris—need bodyguards to simply give a lecture.

The Left has moved so far on the political spectrum that a gay, pro-choice, pro-euthanasia liberal like Dave Rubin can get called a white supremacist and face hostile crowds of protestors. There is no center anymore, and even respectable progressives can pen pieces for mainstream magazines calmly explaining why conservatism or Republicanism is fascism—and surely people have seen just enough World War II flicks to know how the fascists were beaten. The justification for violence is in place and the will to commit violence is there. The powder is dry and the summer is hot. We can only hope that the Left will decide to stop playing with matches.

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Fake news: LGBT activists tout flawed research study about children of homosexuals

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By Doug Mainwaring

Note:  The abstract of the study, “Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families in Italy: Is Parents' Sexual Orientation Associated with Child Health Outcomes and Parental Dimensions?” follows this article.

July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new study purports to have found that children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers show fewer psychological problems than children of opposite-sex parents.  Don’t believe it.

Conducted in Italy, the study is deeply flawed, based on a non-random sample of 190  gay and lesbians parents, as well as an equal number of opposite sex couples.

The researcher’s conclusions about the psychological health of the children of gay  parents is based not on interactions with the children, but solely on the parents’ response to “self-report questionnaires ... administered through an online survey,” in which, unsurprisingly, gay dads gave themselves high grades:

Gay fathers generally reported themselves as more competent and satisfied in their couple relationship and living in the most cohesive and flexible family environment.  

In other words, the researchers had no access to these children, only the opinions of their parents.  The authors of the study admit:

because this study did not collect first-hand data from children, it cannot be known how they perceived and coped with their non- traditional family forms or what they thought and felt about having been born through a surrogate or a gamete donor.  

One wonders how these researchers can be comfortable publishing sweeping conclusions about children whom they have never met, never observed, never interviewed.   

That didn’t stop these academics from authoritatively asserting, “The present study warns policy makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments.”

As such, it appears the study was designed to manufacture data in order to reach a pre-ordained conclusion which would facilitate easier access to children for gay and lesbian parents through third party reproduction in the future.

Gay news sites are touting the pro-gay message this report has delivered into LGBT activists’ hands.

The study found that children of same-sex parents had slightly fewer reported difficulties than children of heterosexual parents.

Plus, gay fathers especially showed some better indicators of family functioning than lesbian and straight couples. Professor Baiocco suggests that this may be because of the high level of commitment needed for gay men to become parents via surrogacy. He also noted that the gay fathers were older, economically better off, better educated, and had more stable relationships than the other two groups.

When it comes to assessing the reliability of research, it must be noted that many of these studies involve only gays and lesbians who are easy to access.  Many studies done in recent years have recruited through LGBT events, bookstore and newspaper advertisements, word of mouth, networking, and youth groups.  A common method of recruitment has been to use a combination of the above methods to form a sample base, and then recruit friends of the base.  Each procedure has a different and unknown source of bias.

Digging into this particular study’s methodology, one finds this all-too-familiar pattern of recruitment:

Most of the lesbian mothers and gay fathers were recruited through the mailing list of the Italian Rainbow Family Association, which sent the survey link (along with an invitation to participate in the study) to members; the remaining parents were recruited through online advertisements placed on same-sex parent Facebook groups. Same-sex parents who completed the survey were asked to forward the survey link to different-sex parents of children in the same school class as their own child.

Elsewhere in the report, the authors admit “the convenience nature” of the study is a “limitation.”

Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, a senior fellow of the Austin Institute, and author of Cheap Sex, wrote about the problematic nature of drawing from ‘convenient’ samples:

Until social scientists decide to do the difficult, expensive work of locating same-sex attracted parents (however defined) through random, population-based sampling strategies—preferably ones that do not “give away” the primary research question(s) up front [...]—we simply cannot know whether claims like “no differences” or “happier and healthier than” are true, valid, and on target. Why? Because this non-random sample reflects those who actively pursued participating in the study, personal and political motivations included. In such a charged environment, the public—including judges and media—would do well to demand better-quality research designs, not just results they approve of.

This current study suffers from this inherent weakness.  Regnerus continued:

Snowball sampling doesn’t cut it. When I want to know who’s most apt to win the next election, I don’t ask my friends whom they support. Nor do I field a survey asking interested people to participate. No, I want a random sample of the sort often conducted by Gallup, NORC, or Knowledge Networks.

Regnerus points out the most important reason why this sort of research should not be a basis for future policy considerations:

Parents reporting about their children’s lives are all well aware of the political import of the study topic … As a result, it seems unwise to trust their self-reports, given the high risk of “social desirability bias,” or the tendency to portray oneself (or here, one’s children) as better than they actually are.

This is the Same Junk Science that Led to Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Before the peculiar notion of same-sex ‘marriage’ became enshrined in law in western nations, similar sorts of studies were conducted in order to pave the way for non-conjugal, non-complementary marriage.

Gay “marriage” proponents insisted that scientific studies lead to the irrefutable conclusion that children raised by same-sex couples do just as well or better than those raised in homes with a mom and a dad.

Yet those studies were equally, serious flawed.

California Supreme Court Justice Vaughn Walker––himself a gay man––in overturning California's Prop. 8, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in his Windsor decision, made ill-informed decisions based on seriously flawed research:

Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted. The research supporting this conclusion is accepted beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology. (Justice Vaughn Walker, section 70, Perry v. Schwarzenegger)

The research was most certainly not “beyond serious debate in the field of developmental psychology.” It was junk science.

In 2013, Professor Doug Allen of Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, called into question the reliability of such studies and their conclusions:

The literature on child development in same-sex households is lacking on several grounds.  

The research is characterized by levels of advocacy, policy endorsement, and awareness of political consequences, that is disproportionate with the strength and substance of the preliminary empirical findings.

Almost all of the literature on same-sex parenting (which almost always means lesbian parenting) is based on some combination of weak empirical designs, small biased convenience samples, ''snowballing,'' [i.e., the practice of asking individuals within a study to recruit their friends and associates to join the study] and low powered tests.

All these studies still lurk in the minds of many pro-LGBT activists and their media allies, who weaponize them to quickly shut down discussions about what is best for children in this era of genderless “marriage.”

Last week, after speaking on the plaza in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on the 3rd anniversary of its Obergefell Ruling, I had the opportunity to engage in a conversation with a young, pro-gay Capitol Hill intern.  He quoted some of these studies, but seemed to have little intellectual interest in their actual scientific value.  The sole value of the studies––what makes them pure gold––flawed or not––is their usefulness in advancing the LGBT agenda.  

Here’s why it is so important to not allow these sorts of studies to obtain even the slightest patina of legitimacy:

“To entrust children to so-called homosexual couples signifies the violation of the fundamental right of any child: to grow and be educated by a father and a mother,” said  Bishop Athanasius Schneider in a recent interview.  “Entrusting children ...  to so-called homosexual couples in the ultimate analysis represents a moral abuse of the children, of the smallest and most defenseless.”

“This phenomenon will go down in history as one of the greatest degradations of civilization,” he continued.  “Those who are today fighting against such blatant injustice are the true friends of children and heroes of our time.”

****

Study Abstract:

Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Families in Italy: Is Parents' Sexual Orientation Associated with Child Health Outcomes and Parental Dimensions?

Roberto Baiocco; Nicola Carone; Salvatore Ioverno; Vittorio Lingiardi

Objective:

Seventy gay fathers through surrogacy, 125 lesbian mothers through donor insemination, and 195 heterosexual parents through spontaneous conception, all with children aged 3 to 11 years and living in Italy, were compared on children's psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior, as well as parental self-efficacy, dyadic adjustment, family cohesion, and flexibility. Associations among family structures, family processes, and child health outcomes were also tested.

Methods:

Participants were matched for child characteristics. Self-report questionnaires were administered through an online survey to the parent who identified as most involved with the child on a day-to-day basis. Multivariate analyses of variance and multiple linear regressions were conducted.

Results:

Children of gay fathers and lesbian mothers were reported as showing fewer psychological problems than children of heterosexual parents. Irrespective of the family type, girls were reported as more prosocial than boys. With respect to parental dimensions, gay fathers described themselves as more competent and satisfied with their couple relationship than did heterosexual parents; they also reported higher levels of family cohesion and flexibility than did lesbian mothers and heterosexual parents. The effect of the family type was not predictive of child health outcomes once family process variables were taken into account.

Conclusion:

Findings suggested that children with same-sex parents fare well both in terms of psychological adjustment and prosocial behavior. The present study warns policy makers against making assumptions on the basis of sexual orientation about people who are more suited than others to be parents or about people who should or should not be denied access to fertility treatments.

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Part of the cover page from Thomas Hobbes' famous 17th century work of political philosophy, Leviathan.
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The roots of abortion ideology go back to this dehumanizing 17th century philosophy

Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

July 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The bond of mother and child has been mocked before. Thomas Hobbes, a materialist philosopher (if that is not a contradiction in terms), had this to say about mothers and infants in his fanciful state of nature:

For in the condition of meer Nature, . . . the right of Dominion over the Child dependeth on her will, and is consequently hers. Again, seeing the Infant is first in the power of the Mother, so as she may either nourish, or expose it, if she nourish it, it oweth its life to the Mother; and is therefore obliged to obey her, rather than any other, and by consequence the Dominion over it is hers.

One cannot fail to see the parallel to modern pro-abortion arguments. Yet Hobbes maintains this position only for his hypothetical state of nature or state of war. In civil society, exposure of infants would never be allowed by the sovereign power.

Hobbes’s more subtle follower, John Locke, argues in the Second Treatise that parents have no power or right over the life and death of their children. For Locke, procreation is the “chief end” of marriage, and parents are accountable for their children. Even “Mr. Property,” who defends an almost absolute right over one’s property and one’s body, can see that marriage is ordered to children!

There are always hardships involved in having children—indeed, more in the past than now, in spite of efforts by glossy magazines to convince people that they cannot possibly afford the price-tag of a human person. This makes the fundamental change in attitude or habit of thinking all the more ominous. It is the ebbtide of Lebenslust, love for life.

What is the root of this fundamental change in attitude? It is a deep and complex root of many branches, but surely, an important contributor is materialism, the philosophical driving force behind the abortion mentality. As applied to human beings, materialism amounts to a denial of the human soul, the form or actuality of the body that causes it to be alive and to serve as the instrument of the soul’s many powers. For the materialist, there is nothing in a man other than physical springs and cogs. To commit suicide is to relegate oneself to the scrapheap, to commit euthanasia is to release a worn-out machine from its poor functioning condition. To kill a developing child is to remove some unwanted parts from a machine.

How, one might object to a materialist, can a being which is organically growing towards some perfection be understood as a machine, when no machine in the world ever does anything of the sort? A child is alive, full of desire to grow, to mature. Abortion violently interferes with the most basic human process, the growth of a child from a fertilized cell to a baby, and onwards to adulthood.

This materialism that reduces the individual to his matter is akin to the collectivism that reduces the body politic to masses ready for manipulation. In his brilliant Gifford Lectures, Gabriel Marcel observes:

What is immediately obvious is that whenever circumstances prevailing here and now lead to men being not only regarded as masses but actually treated as such—treated, that is, as aggregates, whose elements are transferable according to the demands of temporal vicissitudes—it becomes more and more difficult to keep in mind the inalienable characteristics of uniqueness and dignity which have hitherto been considered as attributes of the human soul created in the image of God. To say that these characteristics are becoming more and more lost to view is not enough; they are being, if one may so put it, actively denied, they are being trodden upon. Man may end by imagining that he can prove by his very behavior that he is not such a being as the theologians have defined.

If we look at the question carefully we shall see, also, that we have here a real vicious circle. The less men are thought of as beings [with innate worth], . . . the stronger will be the temptation to use them as machines which are capable of a given output; this output being the only justification for their existence, they will end by having no other reality. There lies a road which runs straight to the forced labour camp and the cremation oven. 

In the same lectures, Marcel talks about the effort to create (or at least envision) a soulless world and modern man’s tendency towards “de-creation”. People have bought into the illusion that man is all exteriority and no interiority. In a similar way, Charles De Koninck spoke of the “lifeless world of biology.” The suppositions and framework of the modern science of biology, which are thoroughly materialistic, paved the way for human reductionism.

Remaining silent on the evil of abortion, the evil of contraception, and the evil of divorce would make us complicit in the reduction of man to machine, the replacement of sacrificial love with egotistical calculation, and the demonic effort to uncreate the world.

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