All articles from July 9, 2018


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Brett Kavanaugh

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Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the pro-abortion, pro-gay Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president announced Monday night.

Trump praised Kavanaugh's committment to "equal justice under the law" and called him a "brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style." He is "universally regarded as...one of the finest legal minds of our time."

Kavanaugh formerly clerked for Kennedy.

"Justice Kennedy devoted his career to protecting liberty," Kavanaugh said. In his speech he also mentioned "equality for all Americans."

Trump noted that nominating a Supreme Court justice is "one of the most profound responsibilities of the president of the United States."

Trump thanked Kennedy for "a lifetime of distinguished service." He also paid tribute to "the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia" and his successor, Neil Gorsuch, who he said is a "faithful servant of our Constitution."

Scalia's wife Maureen was at the White House tonight, and Trump mentioned her.

"In keeping with president Reagan's legacy, I do not ask about a nominee's personal opinions," said Trump. Rather, he wanted to know "whether they can set aside [their] views to do what the law and Constitution require."

"I believe that an independent judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic," Kavanaugh said. He promised to "keep an open mind in every case."

In addition to speaking about his family, Kavanaugh mentioned he attended a Jesuit high school. The judge said there are many things members of his church don't agree on, but they are all committed to serving others. He did not specify what those topics are.

"We encourage Brett Kavanaugh to uphold the Constitution and support the most basic human right – the right to life – for all people," said Lila Rose, Founder and President of Live Action. "While the Supreme Court will hear many cases, we look forward to the day when our nation’s highest court acknowledges the great injustice of abortion and finally upholds the right to life for all humans, born and unborn. We hope that with Brett Kavanaugh, the court ensures that our very first right, the right to life, will be protected by our laws rather than trampled by them. The right to life is the foundation for all other human rights – without it, no other rights can be enjoyed."

"Our laws must reflect reality: Science has proven that a human being - with her own complete and unique set of DNA - is formed at the moment of fertilization," continued Rose. "Human rights are grounded in being human — not in a person’s age, level of development, or location."

Kavanaugh has the enthusiastic support of many conservative legal commentators and a reputation for rooting his decisions in the plain text and original understanding of the Constitution. However, some pro-lifers remain wary.

As a D.C. Court of Appeals judge, Kavanaugh sided with Priests for Life when it fought the Obama administration over being forced to fund its employees' contraception.

However, he also suggested the government has a “compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of...religious organizations” who do not want to be involved in assisting with contraception.  

“Unlike other dissenters, who maintained that there is no compelling government interest in facilitating access to contraception, Kavanaugh would have ruled that a compelling interest does exist, but the government can achieve it in other ways,” Edith Roberts at SCOTUS blog explained.

(The case was eventually settled and the Trump administration has been dismantling and ending the anti-conscience rules imposed by the Obama administration.)

White House sources told the Washington Examiner that pro-life advocates had expressed concern over Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Ed Wheelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Kelly Shackleford of First Liberty Institute maintain that Kavanaugh has a strong record on religious liberty.

Kavanaugh “volunteered his time almost 20 years ago to work on a religious liberty case at the [U.S.] Supreme Court with me and Jay Sekulow,” according to Shackleford. “He has been committed to the Constitution and religious liberty for a long time.”

As Vox reported, Kavanaugh “represented Cuban child Elian Gonzalez pro bono during the conservative battle to keep him from returning to Cuba.”

Roberts called Kavanaugh’s position in Garza v. Hargan, about whether illegal immigrant minors have the right to a government-facilitated abortion on U.S. soil, “conservative” but noted he “did not go as far as one of his colleagues.”

She further explained:

In Garza v. Hargan, a pregnant undocumented teen in immigration custody wanted to obtain an abortion, but was prevented by her government custodians from doing so. Kavanaugh wrote a panel decision vacating a district-court order that required the government to allow the teen to leave the detention facility to obtain the abortion; the panel imposed an additional waiting period to give the government time to obtain a sponsor. The en banc court reversed. Kavanaugh dissented, arguing that the en banc ruling was “ultimately based on a constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong: a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. Government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand.” In a separate dissent, Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson maintained that as a noncitizen, the teen had no due-process right to the abortion. Kavanaugh, in contrast, noted that the government had conceded the teen’s right to an abortion. He went on to assert that delaying the procedure while the government sought a sponsor was permissible under the Supreme Court’s precedent because it did not impose an undue burden on that right. At the government’s request, the Supreme Court vacated the D.C. Circuit’s decision this month in a per curiam decision in Azar v. Garza, ruling that the case became moot through no fault of the government’s when the teen obtained the abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on his confirmation this fall.

Kavanaugh faces an uncertain path to confirmation. With Sen. John McCain indefinitely absent from the Senate for cancer treatment, Republicans have a razor-thin majority of 50 to 49. Pro-abortion GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have signaled that they would oppose any nominee hostile to Roe v. Wade, and Democrat activists and left-wing media voices have begun a campaign to pressure them to do so.

The two voted for all of Trump’s judicial nominees so far, including now-Justice Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch did not have an anti-Roe paper trail and spoke favorably of respecting precedent.

Under the Senate’s current makeup, Vice President Mike Pence could still break the tie with just one GOP defection, but two would be enough to torpedo the nomination. However, if both Collins and Murkowski defect, some Republicans believe they could win over Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, or Heidi Heitkamp to compensate. All three supported Gorsuch, and all three face re-election in Republican states this fall.

Trump invited those three senators to join him as he announced the nominee, but they declined. Just after 6:05 p.m. EST, Fox News reported that Trump had also invited Sen. Doug Jones, D-AL, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, began leading Senate Democrats in opposition to potential appointees before the nomination, fretting the new justice could be the deciding vote to end or restrict abortion on demand in the U.S.

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James Risdon James Risdon

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God – and the United Nations – called on to stop Nigerian genocide of Christians

James Risdon James Risdon
By James Risdon

NIGERIA, July 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) - Islamic terrorists are slaughtering thousands of Christians - killing pregnant women and children and raping girls - in Nigeria in a bid to force sharia law on the country, says a Nigeria-born Roman Catholic priest.

“They are supplied with AK-47s, dangerous weapons, and swords … and they move into Christian villages and communities,” said Father Vitus Ikeme, a Nigerian Catholic priest now living in a small Atlantic Canadian city. “Just last month, they went into a church, killed two priests, cut kids and 15 members of the church.”

Christian church leaders are calling on the international community, particularly the United Nations, to step in and bring peace to the impoverished and war-torn country.

“It is a kind of jihad war going on in Nigeria,” said Father Ikeme.

U.S. President Donald Trump raised the ire of critics in April when he expressed sympathy for the plight of Christian farmers being targeted by Fulani herdsmen, the majority of whom are Muslim, after meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We’re deeply concerned by religious violence in Nigeria, including the burning of churches, and the killing and persecution of Christians.  It’s a horrible story,” said Trump.

“We encourage Nigeria and the federal, state, and local leaders to do everything in their power to immediately secure the affected communities and to protect innocent civilians of all faiths, including Muslims and including Christians,” he said.

Father Ikeme would like to see Ottawa take a similar stand and also put pressure on Nigeria to stop the killing.

So far, more than 6,000 people, mostly women, children and seniors, have been maimed and killed by Fulani herdsmen, claims Rev. Dr. Soja Bewarang, chairman of the Denominational Heads Plateau and Christian Association of Nigeria Plateau State.

“What is happening in Plateau state and other select states in Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately,” Bewarang wrote in a statement. 

Father Ikeme agrees the death toll due to Islamic attacks on Christians in Nigeria is probably upwards of 5,000 people.

His own family, including his mother, seven brothers and sisters and 24 nephews and nieces, live in the southeastern part of the country and have so far been spared. The Fulani have not attacked their community.

Those who do fall victim to the Fulani, though, either die or suffer forced religious conversions.

Girls who survive these attacks are often spared death only to be forced to become Muslim and be taken as wives by young Muslims, claims the Christian association in Nigeria. 

“We observe the continuous abduction of underaged Christian girls by Muslim youths who are forcefully converted to Islam and taken in for marriage without the consent of their parents,” wrote Bewarang.

“This does not only violate the fundamental human right of the girls but is also a call to anarchy when such actions are retaliated by Christian youths. This is even more worrisome as such acts are supported by several highly-placed clerics and emirs,” he said. 

In Nigeria, President Buhari has publicly stated his government is doing everything it can to stop the bloodshed. 

“We are doing all we can to secure the release of the remaining abducted schoolgirls from Dapchi and Chibok,” Buhari said in a statement in April. 

“In this context, we will continue to welcome United States collaboration in intelligence gathering, hostage negotiations, and information sharing,” he said. “The government is taking necessary steps to promote the peaceful coexistence of herdsmen and farmers by focusing on boosting security and enforcing legislation that will guarantee borders and farmers’ access to land.”

Father Ikeme, though, maintains the Nigerian president is simply making diplomatic statements to placate the international community.

In Nigeria, the Denominational Heads Plateau and Christian Association of Nigeria Plateau State agrees, describing Buhari’s actions as little more than window dressing. Those who kill innocents are being allowed to roam free, said Bewarang.

“We are particularly worried at the widespread insecurity in the country where wanton attacks and killings by armed Fulani herdsmen, bandits and terrorists have been taking place on a daily basis in our communities unchallenged despite huge investments in the security agencies,” he said. “The perpetrators are being deliberately allowed to go scot free.”

In Canada, Father Ikeme is urging Christians to raise their voices up in prayer to end this genocide.

“They should pray for Nigeria in distress,” said Ikeme. “Our country, Nigeria, needs prayer … The solution is for God’s intervention.”

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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin

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South Carolina governor cuts $15 million of abortion funding from state budget

Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

COLUMBIA, South Carolina, July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster used his line-item veto last week to strip more than $15 million in tax dollars to abortionists out of the latest state budget, citing his campaign promise to do so.

McMaster vetoed a total of $15,779,259 from the $8 billion budget that had been meant for “family planning” providers that were involved in abortions, CBS News reports, including about $100,000 that would have gone to Planned Parenthood facilities.

Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion vendor. The group kills over 300,000 babies annually in the United States.

“I have stated many times I am opposed to what Planned Parenthood is doing. And the veto I have is the most direct way,” McMaster declared in a news conference.

“There are a variety of agencies, clinics, and medical entities in South Carolina that receive taxpayer funding to offer important women's health and family planning services without offering abortions,” he explained. “That’s why last year I directed state agencies to stop providing state or local funds to abortion clinics.”

“I also directed the Department of Health and Human Services to submit a waiver request to the federal government, making South Carolina one of only two states in the nation (along with Texas) to take this action,” the pro-life governor added.

“There is concern [about the cuts affecting groups other than Planned Parenthood],” McMaster said at a news conference, “but the big concern is Planned Parenthood using taxpayer money for abortions. I'm going to veto that every chance I get.”

The vetoes amount to playing a “terrible political football game,” Planned Parenthood South Atlantic public affairs director Vicki Ringer complained. “There will be an increase in unwanted pregnancies, an increase in preventable cancers and an increase in abortions, which the governor says he wants to stop.”

In South Carolina, legitimate providers of women’s health services dramatically outnumber facilities involved in abortion. As of 2015, federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics outnumbered Planned Parenthood facilities 268 to two (Planned Parenthood still has only two). Today, Planned Parenthood still has just two abortion centers in the Palmetto state.

Pro-life experts say that measures such as defunding Planned Parenthood do indeed decrease abortions, despite the insistence of abortion advocates like Ringer.

Fertility and unintended pregnancy rates were “fairly stable” for the past 35 years while the abortion rate dropped 50 percent from its peak in 1980, Charlotte Lozier Institute scholar and Ave Maria University professor Dr. Michael New told LifeSiteNews last year. “As such, it is difficult to argue that increased contraception use is responsible for America's long term abortion decline.” But “there is a substantial body of academic research which shows that a range of protective pro-life laws reduce abortion rates.”

President Donald Trump signed legislation in April 2017 allowing states to deny federal family planning funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups. This April, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam also called on his state to seek a federal waiver to defund providers involved in abortion.

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Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew

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Don’t be fooled – Karl Marx was a hate-filled totalitarian whose ideas killed millions

Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Matthew Cullinan Hoffman Follow Matthew
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
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In 2015 Pope Francis gladly accepted this Communist Hammer and Sickle with a crucifix from his friend Bolivian President Evo Morales

July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The thought of Karl Marx, a German political agitator whose theory of “scientific socialism” wreaked havoc on the world for most of the 20th century, would seem to have been consigned to the ash heap of history following the fall of the Eastern Bloc communist regimes from 1989 to 1991. After decades of mass murder claiming tens of millions of victims, as well as the totalitarian oppression of hundreds of millions more, the reputation of Marxism had been destroyed almost completely, seemingly assuring its final demise.

However, a resurgence of interest in Marx’s thought has been ongoing since 2008, when the global economic crisis led many to question the viability of the capitalist system, always the main object of Marxist criticism. Now the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marx (on May 5th) is being hailed openly by mainstream thinkers and even Catholic clergy as a cause for respectful commemoration, if not outright celebration.

The New York Times published an open endorsement of Marx’s thought, “Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!” in which a philosophy professor praises Marx’s “ruthless criticism of all that exists,” and congratulates activists for applying Marxist class theory to race and gender.

Britain’s left-wing Guardian newspaper also praised Marx in a recent article commemorating his birthday, but was more circumspect in its tone, claiming that he had prophesied the excesses of modern capitalism, but regarding his solution for “how to get out of it” as “less helpful.”

Official government commemorations of Marx’s birthday have also contributed to the celebratory atmosphere. The German government issued a commemorative postage stamp with an image of Marx on a red background. The government of China, which is still officially Marxist while actually capitalist, has paid for the erection of a statue of Marx in his hometown of Trier, Germany.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been pushing for a revival of Marxism in China to shore up his increasingly dictatorial regime, gave a speech in April beneath a portrait of the Communist saint, praising Karl Marx as “the greatest thinker of modern times,” adding, “We must continuously improve the ability to use Marxism to analyze and solve practical problems.”

Amazingly, even highly-ranked Catholic clerics, such as Cardinal Reinhard Marx, are openly praising the communist’s writings as “fascinating,” opining that the Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto has “an energy” and “a great language” which “quite impressed” him. Cardinal Marx is close to Pope Francis, who has made both positive and negative statements about Marxism, contributing to an atmosphere of ambiguity on the topic.

Was Marx simply a misled idealist who loved the poor?

Would it perhaps be possible to rehabilitate the image of Karl Marx several decades after the fall of the Eastern Bloc communist states, to distinguish Marx’s communist ideology from the totalitarian governments that adopted it in the 20th century? Was Marx a starry-eyed idealist seeking justice for the poor and downtrodden, a well-meaning humanitarian whose ideas were later appropriated by aspiring tyrants? May he now be reexamined in light of the purity of his thought and given his due as a benevolent reformer?

Marxists have long claimed that Soviet Russia and Maoist China were false representatives of the “scientific socialism” of Marx, that their application of Marxist rhetoric was really a hijacking of authentic Marxist theory.  However this thesis is only able to survive in an environment of almost total ignorance regarding Marx’s philosophical framework and political activism.  In reality, Karl Marx was always recognized, even in his own day, as a cynical and ruthless totalitarian whose ambitions were to make himself into the dictatorial ruler of a communist Germany.

Although the popular imagination conceives of Marx as a crusader against social injustice, Marx himself laughed such notions to scorn. In fact, Marx’s political philosophy was founded on the notion that right and wrong, good and evil, are ever-evolving concepts that are dictated by the material conditions of man’s existence, rather than being eternal realities to which human beings must aspire. He detested the moralizing tendencies of his age, as well as appeals to abstract notions of truth and justice, and prided himself on a ruthless cynicism that made class interest into the ultimate standard of moral legitimacy.

Like the sophist Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic, Marx was a moral relativist who believed that moral principles are determined by the interests of the class that controls each economic system. The actors in the system are simply playing out the roles that the system assigns to them. This is why Marx almost always avoided the language of morality in his writings, and instead claimed to function as a prophet for the inevitable coming of communism, which he believed would bring about the final development of history, with its own accompanying moral code.

Marx expressed this class-based morality in his Communist Manifesto in 1848, attributing traditional moral norms to the capitalist class or “bourgeoisie,” and contrasting it with the “proletarian” communist worldview.  “Law, morality, religion, are to him (the proletarian) so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests,” declared Marx, later adding, “The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.”

“But don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc.,” wrote Marx.  “Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.”

Marx believed that human history was inexorably moving in the direction of atheistic and materialistic communism, and that he was the leader of an enlightened elite that was destined to take charge of it. In the process, he believed, religion would be abolished, the family would be eliminated as an antiquated institution, women would be shared by men as communal concubines, and all of the forces of material production would be placed into the hands of a totalitarian state led by a revolutionary vanguard that claimed to represent the oppressed classes of society.  

Marx assured his readers that, following this transformation, his totalitarian state would wither away, to be replaced by a democratic utopia with no class distinctions. However, the citizens of Marxist states would wait in vain for this promised paradise as the decades passed, languishing under the lash of their communist masters while the capitalist world continued to flourish and grow economically, in contradiction to Marx’s predictions.

Marx’s plan to replace the “opiate” of religion with the communist state

A fundamental aspect of Marx’s theory, taken from the philosopher Feuerbach, was the claim that religion was really just a projection of man’s ideals about himself. To this he added the claim that Christianity was like a form of “opium” given to the peoples of Europe to satisfy their desire for a perfect society, a desire that would ultimately be satisfied by communism. As a result, religion would no longer be necessary.

As Marx wrote in his A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, “Man, who has found only the reflection of himself in the fantastic reality of heaven, where he sought a superman, will no longer feel disposed to find the mere appearance of himself, the non-man [“Unmensch”], where he seeks and must seek his true reality.”

“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions,” continued Marx. “It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”

However, it was Marx’s promised utopia of communism that functioned as an “opiate” of the masses that lived in thrall to the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, which constantly promised that the communist paradise was coming soon, even as millions were worked and starved to death, and millions more subjected to an absolute tyranny unparalleled in the history of mankind. In the meantime, Marxist regimes dismantled the Catholic Church and other religious institutions, destroyed numerous churches or made them into museums, and executed or imprisoned their ministers in concentration camps.

Marx rejoiced in capitalism’s destruction of marriage, family, and community

Marx claimed to have discovered the laws of history by uncovering the internal contradictions in each historical stage of economic development, moving ultimately from feudalism to capitalism and finally to communism. Each previous system creates the class conflicts that ultimately spell doom for that system and usher in the next, until communism finally abolishes all class differences and the “dialectic of history” comes to an end.

Marx’s analysis of what he regards as the internal contradictions of capitalism can make him appear to be a moral critic, when in reality Marx is making little more than a series of dispassionate observations regarding what he sees as the inexorable laws of economic history.

In fact, when Marx seems to be critiquing capitalism, he is actually expressing admiration for it, even when he is discussing its destructive tendencies, which he regarded as forms of progress leading to a communist utopia. Capitalism, for Marx, is necessary for the emergence of communism, and is therefore a positive development.

Marx was happy to note that capitalist economies had created a system of mass production that had driven the small businessman and farmers out of their professions, and had reduced employment in the small towns and rural areas, thus sending more and more people into the ranks of the urban working class or “proletariat.” The result was that people were abandoning their small communities, and losing their own private property, becoming nothing more than atomistic renters and employees in the “cash nexus” of capitalist society.

The result, Marx observed, was that wives and even children were driven into the marketplace, and families were forced to rent their homes. Everyone had become a commodity and had lost their identity as members of families and communities. They now had become an amorphous mass of workers, without a sense of family or community, an anonymous collective ready to seize the means of production and democratize them, and to create Marx’s communist state.

“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations,” wrote Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto. “It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‘natural superiors,’ and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment’. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation.”

This is why Marx openly spoke in the Communist Manifesto of supporting the capitalists or “bourgeoisie” in their revolution against older forms of society – he saw their movement as a great step towards the establishment of communism. He even openly supported free trade and the repeal of Britain’s protectionist Corn Laws in 1848 because he hoped they would accelerate the “destruction” wreaked on society by international capitalism, and move the world closer to communism.

“In general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive,” said Marx in a speech to the Democratic Association of Brussels in 1848. “It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.”

Marx mocked those who would object to the communist goal of the abolition of marriage in favor of a “community of women” by cynically claiming that the “bourgeoisie” already shared their wives with each other, and communism would simply regularize the situation.

“Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalized community of women,” Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto.

Marx sought to break up society into warring classes, encouraging envy and social division

Marx recognized that he and other communists had not come from the proletarian class, but had come from the “bourgeoisie” – in fact, Marx’s biggest supporter was the factory owner Frederick Engels, who spent decades financing Marx’s political and intellectual activities using profits from his capitalist enterprises, and wrote many works popularizing Marxism. However, Marx regarded the proletariat as unable to organize itself, and believed that he and his fellow-travellers, unlike other members of the bourgeois class, were a special breed with the ability to transcend their social status and to join the ranks of the proletariat as their leaders.

In order to accept Marxist leadership, the working class would have to first begin to see itself as an oppressed class, victimized by the bourgeoisie and in need of liberation. The aim of Marx, Engels, and their followers was to instill the proletarians with “class consciousness,” by constantly encouraging them to identify with one another as members of a victimized group, and to see all business owners as their exploitative enemies, who were stealing their wages from them by taking a profit from their enterprise.

Marx wrote an entire multi-volume work, Capital, to prove that capitalist profits were nothing but “surplus value” taken by business owners who have contributed no value to the products their workers produce. This became the Bible of Marx’s new materialist and atheist religion.

The fear and loathing inculcated in the working class followers of Marxism-inspired political parties would facilitate the brutal system of repression and absolute state control that would always accompany the triumph of such parties in national politics or revolutionary struggle. Marxist governments to this day use notions of class antagonisms and theories of international capitalist conspiracies against their regimes to justify their tyrannical policies and to rationalize the failures of their regimes.

The legacy of Marx’s approach to political organizing became the common inheritance of socialist political parties around the world. In the United States, activists inspired by Marxism are constantly seeking to instill “class consciousness” in a variety of “oppressed” groups, which are encouraged to see themselves as perpetual victims dependent upon socialist political leaders, who are the only ones who can protect them and speak for them.

As in the case of Marx, Engels, and their compatriots, the self-appointed leaders of these victim groups are generally not themselves members of those groups, but come from the very elites that are regarded as the “oppressors.” They are generally white, upper middle class men with educations from elite universities, born into families of privilege.

The new “proletariat” targeted by the neo-Marxists are racial and ethnic minorities, women, homosexuals, “transgender” people, and other groups into which they hope to instill resentment and an oppositional form of group identity.  All forms of hierarchy, and in particular the hierarchical structure of the family, are depicted as nothing more than forms of class oppression, which are to be eliminated in favor of the institutions of the socialist state.

The results are the same as they were in classical Marxism: social cohesion diminishes, trust and goodwill are destroyed, fundamental natural institutions are diminished in favor of totalitarian state power, and society moves towards a dangerous political polarization.

Marx’s ideology was recognized as totalitarian even in its own day

Karl Marx’s association with the totalitarianism of later communist regimes was no accident of history, arising from an abuse of his intellectual legacy, as is popularly imagined. Rather, it arose directly out of Marx’s own thought, so much so that he was already recognized as a would-be totalitarian in his own day.

Marx’s principle critic was the socialist and anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, who had once been a fellow-traveller of Marx, but eventually repudiated him and began to warn other socialists of the totalitarian dangers posed by his ideology, many decades before Russia’s October Revolution in 1917.

Bakunin identified Marxism as a religion from a very early date, noting the fanatical cult-like following around Marx, which enhanced his effectiveness despite the small number of his followers.

“Marx naturally has managed to form a Communist school, or a sort of little Communist Church, composed of fervent adepts and spread all over Germany,” wrote Bakunin in Marxism, Freedom, and the State. “Karl Marx naturally enjoys an almost supreme authority in this Church, and to do him justice, it must be admitted that he knows how to govern this little army of fanatical adherents in such a way as always to enhance his prestige and power over the imagination of the workers of Germany.”

Bakunin’s warning about the potential tyranny of Marx’s proposed “people’s state,” which would administer the entire economic and political life of the country, offers an almost perfect prediction of the degrading totalitarianism that Marxism would produce in the 20th century:

In the People's State of Marx, there will be, we are told, no privileged class at all. All will be equal, not only from the juridical and political point of view, but from the economic point of view. At least that is what is promised, though I doubt very much, considering the manner in which it is being tackled and the course it is desired to follow, whether that promise could ever be kept. There will therefore be no longer any privileged class, but there will be a government and, note this well, an extremely complex government, which will not content itself with governing and administering the masses politically, as all governments do to-day, but which will also administer them economically, concentrating in its own hands the production and the just division of wealth, the cultivation of land, the establishment and development of factories, the organization and direction of commerce, finally the application of capital to production by the only banker, the State. All that will demand an immense knowledge and many "heads overflowing with brains" in this government. It will be the reign of scientific intelligence, the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant and contemptuous of all regimes. There will be a new class, a new hierarchy of real and pretended scientists and scholars, and the world will be divided into a minority ruling in the name of knowledge and an immense ignorant majority. And then, woe betide the mass of ignorant ones!

Such a regime will not fail to arouse very considerable discontent in this mass and in order to keep it in check the enlightenment and liberating government of Marx will have need of a not less considerable armed force. For the government must be strong, says Engels, to maintain order among these millions of illiterates whose brutal uprising would be capable of destroying and overthrowing everything, even a government directed by heads overflowing with brains. . .

Bakunin’s warnings went largely unheeded, and his movement was ultimately defeated by the Marxists. His anarchistic version of socialism, which was strongly represented in Spain’s “Republican” movement during the country’s civil war of the 1930s, was out-maneuvered by the much more orderly and militaristic Marxists, led by admirers of Josef Stalin’s regime in Soviet Russia. Today, Bakuninist anarchism lives on mostly in the mumblings of utopian political critic Noam Chomsky, who often defends Marxist regimes while seeking to distance himself from their destructive behavior.

Marxist ideology enslaved and killed millions in the 20th century

The predictions made by Bakunin were borne out terribly in the failed communist regimes of the 20th century, which turned whole nation-states into giant prison camps in which every aspect of life was under the absolute power of a ruthless bureaucratic tyranny. In some countries, like North Korea, Vietnam, China, Venezuela, and Cuba, millions of people continue to languish under the cruelest forms of oppression imaginable, all thanks to Marx’s ideology.

In Russia, the communist “Soviet Union” began by nullifying a popular election that repudiated communist rule, executing the Romanov dynasty that had ruled the country for centuries, abolishing the existing democratic system and imposing a totalitarian, one party state that ruthlessly persecuted Christians and other dissenters.

By 1927 the Soviet Union began arresting millions of citizens on trumped-up charges, sending them to forced-labor camps where they were worked to death in vast numbers, as described in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. Millions more were rounded up and simply executed outright. In famines deliberately created by the regime in Soviet Ukraine, up to ten million people were starved to death. Estimates for the total civilian death toll by Soviet government persecutions are difficult to calculate, but typically range from 10 to 20 million people.

China’s communist regime, which took power in 1949, managed to exceed even the Soviet Union’s atrocities. After killing millions to achieve agricultural collectivization, communist leader Mao Zedong began in 1958 what he called the “Great Leap Forward,” a hopelessly impossible project to overtake the capitalist West in productivity by forced industrialization.

After examining the Chinese government archives on the period, Frank Dikötter, Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong and Professor of the Modern History of China at the University of London, has concluded that no less that 45 million Chinese were worked, starved, or beaten to death during the Great Leap Forward. In addition, a third of the country’s real estate was demolished in the process.  Up to 1.5 million more died in later purges, such as the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” of the late 1960s.

The murderous cruelty of the Chinese communist regime has not ended with the death of Mao, however. With the encouragement of the United States, the Chinese communist government created the infamous “one-child policy” in the 1970s, which entails forced abortions for those who exceed government fertility quotas. Under the one-child policy, over three hundred million unborn children have been murdered by government fiat. Girls are disproportionately targeted, and reportedly 30 million Chinese men are now unable to find wives. The country also maintains a vast number of prison camps in which it places Christians and members of other religious groups who won’t who refuse submit to its totalitarian ideology.

Other countries that followed in Russia’s wake produced similarly horrific results. Cambodia’s communist dictator Pol Pot is estimated to have killed between 13 and 30 percent of the country’s eight million people in the space of only four years, from 1975 to 1979. North Korea’s regime, which was inspired by Marxism and was officially communist until recently, maintains an absolute cult of the government in which the slightest expression of concern can consign a person and his family to internment in brutal prison camps. The Korean government has consigned millions to starvation in recent decades. Venezuela’s government, which openly proclaims its Marxist foundation, has destroyed the country’s democracy and economy, leading to increasing hunger, starvation, and mass migration to other South American countries.

Marx’s dark soul expressed in satanic poetry and in the neglect of his family

What sort of soul would produce such a ruthless materialist philosophy that would bring about misery, oppression, and mass murder on a scale never seen in human history? The answer, quite simply, is a very dark soul, a soul that seemed quite literally to be given over to the devil.

Although Marx began life as an apparently sincere Lutheran Christian, filled with ambition to improve the state of mankind, he underwent a radical transformation while studying at the University of Berlin, where he came under the sway of the German Idealist philosophers  G.F.W. Hegel and Ludwig Feuerbach. Their ideas led him to abandon his belief in eternal truth in favor of an evolutionist pantheism that deifies humanity.

While Hegel saw human history as the gradual development of God’s perfect self-consciousness and self-realization, Feuerbach had taken Hegel’s ideas one step further, claiming in that Christianity was nothing more than man projecting his own natural longings for perfection onto a spiritual idealization of that perfection, thus re-conceiving God as nothing more than a human ideal. Such notions were readily embraced by the radical, materialistic “Young Hegelians” at the University of Berlin, in whose ranks Marx enthusiastically enlisted.

Marx wrote to his father in 1837 to describe his conversion from the more spiritual idealism of Kant and Hegel to an atheist and materialist worship of the “actual”: “A curtain was fallen, my holiest of holies was ripped apart, and new gods had to be set in their place. . . . I arrived at the point of seeking the idea in actuality itself. If the gods had earlier dwelt over the earth, so they were now made into its center.”

It was during this period that Marx began to indulge himself in the hedonistic celebration of revelry and drunkenness, writing dark and maniacal poetry that invoked the demonic and mixed together themes of romantic love and cruel murder.

In one foreboding poem, “Invocation of One in Despair,” Marx shakes his fist at the divine, promising “revenge” and the defeat of God himself, while he rules upon his high throne, inflicting “blackest agony” upon the world:

So a god has snatched from me my all
In the curse and rack of Destiny.
All his worlds are gone beyond recall!
Nothing but revenge is left to me!

On myself revenge I'll proudly wreak,
On that being, that enthroned Lord,
Make my strength a patchwork of what's weak,
Leave my better self without reward!

I shall build my throne high overhead,
Cold, tremendous shall its summit be.
For its bulwark-- superstitious dread,
For its Marshall--blackest agony.

...

And the Almighty's lightning shall rebound
From that massive iron giant.
If he bring my walls and towers down,
Eternity shall raise them up, defiant.

In “The Fiddler,” Marx joyfully invokes the inspiration of the Devil himself:

"Why do I fiddle? Or the wild waves roar?
That they might pound the rocky shore,
    That eye be blinded, that bosom swell,
    That  Soul's cry carry down to Hell."

...

"How so! I plunge, plunge without fail
My blood-black sabre into your soul.
    That art God neither wants nor wists,
    It leaps to the brain from Hell’s black mists.

“Till heart’s bewitched, till senses reel:
With Satan I have struck my deal.
    He chalks the signs, beats time for me,
    I play the death march fast and free.

Marx’s macabre depiction of a poisonous romance that ends in death is all the more chilling in light of the terrible suffering he would inflict on his wife, Jenny von Westphalen. In the poem “Nocturnal Love,” he writes:

Frantic, he holds her near,
    Darkly looks in her eye.
“Pain so burns you, Dear,
    And at my breath you sigh.

“Oh, you have drunk my soul.
    Mine is your glow, in truth.
My jewel, shine your fill.
    Glow, blood of youth.”

...

“You have drunk poison, Love.
    With me you must away.
The sky is dark above,
    No more I see the day.”

Shuddering, he pulls her close to him.
    Death in the breast doth hover.
Pain stabs her, piercing deep within,
    And eyes are closed forever.

The darkness in Marx’s soul spread to engulf his hapless family, which suffered terrible poverty in exile in England following Marx’s flight from Germany in 1849. Marx’s mistreatment of his family was presaged in his youth by his hedonistic university lifestyle and neglect of his then-girlfriend Jenny von Westphalen, which was so egregious that Marx’s father Heinrich rebuked him about it in a letter that suggested his son was possessed by the devil, and predicted the future misery of his family:

At times I cannot rid myself of ideas which arouse in me sad forebodings and fear when I am struck as if by lightning by the thought: is your heart in accord with your head, your talents? Has it room for the earthly but gentler sentiments which in this vale of sorrow are so essentially consoling for a man of feeling? And since that heart is obviously animated and governed by a demon not granted to all men, is that demon heavenly or Faustian? Will you ever -- and that is not the least painful doubt of my heart -- will you ever be capable of truly human, domestic happiness? Will . . . you ever be capable of imparting happiness to those immediately around you?

Heinrich’s fears were well-founded. Although Marx was immensely talented and received a prestigious education at the University of Berlin, he expended little effort in remunerative endeavors, preferring to devote his time to his frenetic obsession with communist ideology and to attacking his innumerable intellectual competitors in the global socialist movement. The little income received by Marx came from his meager work in journalism and from donations and loans from his capitalist admirers, particularly Engels.

Marx was often depressed and filled with self-pity, complaining about his personal financial situation in his correspondence with friends. He was a chronic alcoholic whose angry bouts of drunkenness led to verbal and physical fights with those who dared to disagree with his very nuanced doctrines.  A Prussian police report on the Marx family stated that he rarely bathed and groomed himself, living a Bohemian existence in his run-down and sparse apartment.

In the unhealthy atmosphere of Marx’s slum dwellings four of his seven children died in infancy. Of his three daughters who survived to adulthood, all of whom were utterly devoted to Marx and thoroughly indoctrinated in his atheistic and materialistic ideology, two killed themselves, and one died of cancer in her 30s.

Despite all, Marx’s wife Jenny supported him and aided his work unstintingly. However, this was not enough to dissuade Marx from what appears to have been a sexual affair with the family’s housekeeper, who eventually gave birth to a child later revealed to be his. Engels seems to have taken the blame upon himself for the pregnancy, and secured a foster home for the child.

Eventually Jenny Marx contracted smallpox and suffered a terrible facial disfigurement as a result. She became depressed and angry, tiring of the family’s impoverished existence and Marx’s obsessive ideological crusade.

Karl Marx lived long enough to see the death of his wife and one of his daughters, Jenny Longuet, both of cancer, in 1881, which devastated him psychologically. He died two year later, and his funeral was attended by a small number of people.

Within three decades, both of Marx’s remaining daughters had committed suicide after spending their lives in communist activism.

Eleanor Marx killed herself when she discovered at the age of 43 that her Marxist boyfriend, whom she lived with but never married, had secretly married a young actress a year earlier. Laura Marx and her Marxist husband Paul Lafargue committed suicide in 1911 after the couple decided they were too old and feeble to offer service to the communist movement. Paul left a note explaining his motives, which ended, “I die with the supreme joy of knowing that at some future time, the cause to which I have been devoted for forty-five years will triumph. Long live Communism!”

Vladimir Lenin, the ruthless future dictator of the Soviet Union, knew Laura and Paul Lafargue personally.  According to Lenin’s wife Nadezhda Krupskaya, upon learning of their suicide, Lenin said to her, “If you can't do any more work for the Party you must be able to face the truth and die like the Lafargues."

Krupskaya added:

And he (Lenin) wanted to say over their graves that their work had not been in vain, that the cause which they had launched, the cause of Marx, with whom both Paul and Laura Lafargue had been so closely associated, was growing and spreading to distant Asia. At that time the tide of the mass revolutionary movement was rising in China.

The “cause of Marx” –  the materialist, collectivist, man-centered religion to which the Marx family had devoted their lives – would indeed spread to Asia, covering a vast portion of it in the blood and tears of tens of millions of victims.

Karl Marx once wrote, “All great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice . . . the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” May the second centenary of the birth of Karl Marx be the occasion of a true and faithful reflection on the life, work and legacy of the man, who may rightly be said to be the most destructive intellectual of all time. Only thus may we avoid the farcical repetition of the tragic chapter in man’s history known as “communism.”

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Abortion activists recently 'thanked' God for abortion at a homosexual 'pride' parade. YouTube screenshot
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‘God bless abortion’: Left’s new tagline pushed in Michelle Wolf skit and LGBT parade

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By Calvin Freiburger
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WARNING: This article contains disturbing, graphic content. Reader discretion is strongly advised.

July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In the latest break from the “safe, legal, and rare” rhetoric of past abortion supporters, two recent celebrations of abortion have received attention for hailing the lethal practice as a positive good, and invoking the Creator in the process.

Last week, the pro-abortion website Jezebel published a video [content warning] in which artist Viva Ruiz displays the “Thank God for Abortion” float she spearheaded for June 24’s New York City homosexual pride parade, Christian News reports.

The video shows activists waving large black “ABORTION” flags and people dancing on the float with “LEGAL, SAFE, FREE” emblazoned on their shirts. Throughout the video, she called abortion a “human right” connected with the LGBT agenda under the umbrella of “autonomy,” and suggested that her project was a “march in celebration of independence from a police state.”

Also on the pro-abortion float was a “F*** ICE” poster in a nod to the left’s recent campaign to completely abolish the agency that handles the U.S. border patrol and customs.

“I celebrate your right to have 20 abortions. I’ll throw you a party. Or zero. It’s a celebration,” said Ruiz, who has had two abortions. “There’s a release, I think, that happens with the project – to see it out in the open, to see it joyfully claimed, and to have God in it.”

At one point in the video, Ruiz wears a giant yellow crown reminiscent of Christian imagery of the Virgin Mary. Plastered across the headpiece is simply, “ABORTION.”

On Sunday, comedian Michelle Wolf devoted a segment of her weekly Netflix show The Break to promoting abortion-on-demand. Wolf drew bipartisan criticism in March for a performance at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in which she joked that Vice President Mike Pence “thinks abortion is murder. Which, first of all, don't knock it 'till you try it – and when you do try it, really knock it.”

This week, Wolf delivered a monologue [content warning] hailing abortion as a “good and important” woman’s right. She accused pro-lifers of wanting to control women, a common trope despite the prevalence of female pro-life leaders and polling that finds no significant gender gap between male and female abortion attitudes.

Between vulgar and ghoulish jokes, Wolf recited a number of common pro-abortion talking points, without citing evidence to substantiate them.

“Some people say abortion is killing a baby,” she said, gesturing quotation marks around the phrase. “It’s not. It’s stopping a baby from happening. It’s like ‘Back to the Future’ and abortion is the DeLorean,” the time-traveling car from the 1980s sci-fi film.

“And everyone loves DeLoreans!” she exclaimed.

In fact, long-settled biological criteria establishes that a whole, distinct, living human exists once fertilization has occurred, as confirmed in mainstream medical and science textbooks and admitted by several pro-abortion philosophers.

“These people are anti-abortion, which means they’re anti-woman,” Wolf continued. “If these people were actually pro-life, they would be fighting hard for healthcare, child care, education, gun control, and protecting the environment.”

Abortion advocates regularly accuse pro-lifers of insincerity for not adopting left-wing positions on a variety of unrelated policy issues with debatable solutions.

“One of the original slogans for the woman’s movement was ‘abortion on demand,’” Wolf declared despite the fact that many early feminists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton forcefully opposed abortion.

“And that’s exactly what it should be,” she continued, “as easy and safe as pushing the on-demand button in the middle of your remote to order ‘Paddington 2.’”

Wolf’s call mirrors the Democratic Party’s increasing radicalization on the issue over the past several years; its official platform dropped language calling for abortion to be made “rare” in 2012, and added language demanding the federal nullification of state pro-life laws in 2016.

The comedian went on to call men’s opinions on abortion “very irrelevant,” suggested men were troubled by the fact that “women are naturally equipped to do the most powerful thing in the world: give life,” and accused men of being “uncomfortable” with not being able to “control women.”

“Abortion shouldn’t be a luxury, it shouldn’t be the new ‘I summer in Montauk,’ it should be on the dollar menu at McDonald’s,” she said. Later, she inadvertently contradicted herself on the difficulty of affording abortions by saying it’s “actually a great deal. It’s about $300 – that’s like six movie tickets.”

Wolf concluded the segment with a “salute to abortion,” in which she donned a star-spangled majorette’s costume, was flanked by a drum corps, and threw confetti while making declarations like “abortion, I salute you!” “if you want an abortion, get one!” and her closing line, “God bless abortions and God bless America!”

Neither Ruiz nor Wolf elaborated on how they concluded God would approve of abortion. The Bible repeatedly condemns “murder” and “shed[ding] innocent blood” as “detestable to” the Lord, because “in the image of God has God made mankind.”

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No more funding ‘predator’ bishops: list of ‘safe spaces for Catholic money’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

PORTLAND, Oregon, July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — She’s mad as heck, and she isn’t funding bad bishops anymore.

Following revelations that not only had Cardinal Theodore McCarrick abused seminarians and young priests, but other bishops had known about it, Beverly Stevens of Regina magazine wrote an open letter to actively homosexual bishops and priests saying that she was officially shutting her wallet. Now, in response to a deluge of requests for suggestions as to where to send their money, Stevens has begun to compile as list of “safe spaces for Catholic money.”

Stevens did not mince her words when she announced her financial revolt against the “Lavender Mafia.”

“I know I speak for hundreds of millions of Catholics, not just in America, but around the world, when I say the following to the Lavender Mafia in the Catholic hierarchy,” she wrote.

  • “Do you really think we are stupid?

  • “You are parasites on the Body of Christ.

  • “You have overseen the disastrous destruction of the Church in the West, and have worked overtime to spin the story so that you appear to be the helpless victims or even the fearless champions of mindless ‘change’.

  • “Meanwhile, you do not believe in the Faith, easy to see because you don’t espouse it.

  • “As a result, the Church is in a tailspin, hemorrhaging Catholics across the West – souls lost to cults, sects and atheistic despair.

  • “Vocations are down AGAIN, after a brief uptick during Benedict’s pontificate.

  • “Meanwhile, the churches that represent the blood, sweat and tears of generations of Catholics are being sold on the real estate market to fuel fatuous pseudo-corporate ‘empowerment’ programs to ‘revitalize’ or ‘empower’ (I forget which nauseating buzzword) ‘vibrant’ parishes.

  • “This is not to mention your drug-fueled orgies where you assault our sons, or pay pennies for the services of other people’s sons in poor countries. (Google: ‘Sex abuse Saginaw Diocese’)”

The 10-part series will list “safe” Catholic seminaries and such other Catholic foundations and groups as houses of women religious, elementary schools, high schools, universities, churches in need of preservation, cultural groups, health care, social welfare groups, and media and publishers.

“No, these are not infallible,” Stevens admits. “Obviously we cannot provide bullet-proof picks, but we can tell you that we have spoken with, or visited, or known good people associated with each of these worthy institutions.”

Stevens’ first list encourages Catholic donors to support seminaries that she knows and judges to be are excellent. She indicates which ones train priests to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass and which are being prepared to say the Novus Ordo.

They include:

  1. Saint Gregory the Great Seminary, Lincoln, Nebraska

  2. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, Denton, Nebraska

  3. Institute of Christ the King, Gricigliano, Italy

  4. The Community of Saint Martin, Evron, France

  5. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, Wigratzbad, Germany

  6. Heiligenkreuze (Holy Cross) Abbey, Wienerwald, Austria

  7. Klosterneuberg Abbey, Vienna, Austria

Stevens, who is married with two adult children, told LifeSiteNews that she has been researching Catholic institutions for over five years.

“We have been publishing REGINA since Feb 2013 and in that time have covered some amazing Catholic Orders, communities, apostolates, and institutions which are authentically living and transmitting the Faith,” she said. “Many are little known, but because we learned so much about their work over the last 5+ years, we can recommend them.”

Stevens says that it is “loyalty to the magisterium” that makes a seminary worth supporting.

“In our travels we have found that many organizations are 'Catholic in Name Only’ and hardly differ from their secular counterparts in what they teach, do, or provide,” she explained.  

Stevens and her husband lived in Europe for seven years, returning to the USA in 2016. Stevens taught Finance in the MBA programs offered on NATO bases.

“I discovered incredible Catholic history -- which I then learned that most Europeans have no idea about,” she said. “I also discovered little-known gems--authentic Catholic orders and communities thriving where the institutional Church was faltering.”  

Stevens says that nobody can guarantee anyone that they won’t encounter problems with any given Catholic institution or group.

“All we are doing is telling people that we know or have heard only good reports about the recommendations we are making,” she explained.

She believes that laity need to do more to help the Church, and that includes being more careful with their money.

“Laity can no longer be passive,” she stated. “We need to learn who to support, not just automatically give to a parish or school because they are ‘Catholic’. Unfortunately there are predators in the system, some quite high up as we have seen with Theodore McCarrick and that Scottish cardinal [Keith O’Brien] ... .”

“We must not enable these people with our donations,” she concluded.

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David Bereit receives the Sacrament of Confirmation courtesy David Bereit
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What drove 40 Days for Life founder David Bereit to enter the Catholic Church

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By Lisa Bourne

July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – His journey into the Church was all but unknown outside his immediate family until he announced it on Facebook on Easter Sunday, and the news took many by surprise. David Bereit, best known for his founding of the hugely popular pro-life group 40 Days for Life, spoke with LifeSiteNews about his journey to embracing the faith.

Bereit entered the Church at Easter this year at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His wife and family are the bedrock that made his conversion possible, he said, but it ultimately came down to his having faith and trusting God.

Margaret, his wife of 26 years, was his sponsor, their son Patrick, 15, was an altar server for the Mass, and daughter Claire, 20, was present along with his Margaret’s mother and others for the remarkable occasion.

Bereit’s decision came after years of prayer, discernment and “a whole lot of wrestling with God.”

Her faith radiated from her

Bereit had met Margaret, a cradle Catholic deeply convicted in her faith, back then in college at Texas A&M. Bereit, raised in the Presbyterian Church USA, and whose father is a former Presbyterian pastor, has attended Mass with Margaret weekly since their second date nearly three decades ago.

Margaret’s faith was and is so much a part of who she is, said Bereit, recalling that it “Radiated from her.”

Both deeply committed Christians, they didn’t consider their varying faith backgrounds an impassable hurdle, Bereit said, though he thought at first that he’d bring Margaret around to understanding the truth.

Then they got serious, prompting a mind shift for him of trying to understand the Catholic faith for the sake of his relationship with her.

“I all of a sudden realized that if I truly care about this woman, and her faith is so incredibly important to her, I need to seek to understand it,” he recalled, “what animates her faith, what drives her passion for it, instead of seeking to find faults with it.”

Their priest for marriage preparation counseled them to celebrate their similarities and respect their differences, which became their motto going into marriage. The Bereits discovered they shared far more in common than they had differences, and where they had differences, they simply needed to be respectful and both made a significant effort throughout the early years to do so.

They were married in August 1992.

But even with years and years of going to Mass, Bereit, admittedly methodical in his thinking, said he had to “unpack” the areas of difference for him to understand.

Over time, thinking through some of those things began to bring clarity on the Church’s teaching on some things, while other issues remained a challenge.

God’s plan for marriage

“One of the earliest areas where I started to see the Church’s profound wisdom was the teaching on contraception,” Bereit said.

Natural Family Planning (NFP) was sadly glossed over during their marriage preparation, he said, leaving them feeling it wasn’t important. So like many, they contracepted, without full realization of the implications and consequences.

Later when they wanted kids, they stopped using contraception, thinking, also like many, that they were in control, Bereit recalled, only to learn they had significant fertility problems.

Then they heard a full presentation of the beauty and gift of Catholic teaching on sexuality and NFP for the first time, he said, while themselves speaking at a marriage prep workshop.

“We were enthralled,” Bereit told LifeSiteNews, “not from the facet of how does this help us prevent pregnancy, but how does it help us to achieve pregnancy because we’d been for several years unsuccessful.”

The Bereits would be introduced to Dr. Thomas Hilgers, the Pope Paul VI Institute and NaPro Technology, and embraced it heartily.

Margaret had surgery at the Institute, which enabled them to have their two children. Because of his background in pharmaceutical sales Bereit was captivated by the science, and this helped him to see the beauty of the Church’s teaching on the openness to life.  

All in God’s time

Margaret had to commit to raise the kids Catholic, and Bereit was equally willing to instill his faith as well. He wrestled with the requirement of raising the kids Catholic around the same time they struggled with infertility, and said God’s timing allowed for them to be on the same page in time for the kids’ arrival.

“God has such a great sense of Divine timing on things,” he said.

The two things complemented each other, he said, he grew in love and understanding of scripture - tradition, sacraments liturgy, and “It really came together in a beautiful way that only God could have orchestrated.”

Bereit continued to work on other sticking points he found with the faith, such as apostolic succession, the Real Presence in the Eucharist and honoring the Blessed Mother, and while he’d largely worked through the obstacles, he didn’t consider himself ready to enter the Church.

There are no accidents in God’s plan

But last September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of Blessed Mother, Bereit found himself on the phone with Brian Westbrook, who runs the 40 days for Life campaigns in St. Louis while he was driving from Texas to Virginia. Bereit was asking Westbrook advice on various things.

Bereit said Westbrook asked him, “Why are you asking me, when you can simply go to the Lord and ask him? Why don’t you go to Adoration?”  

“And I thought, “Good point,” said Bereit. “Brian said he was just in Adoration and shared the blessing it had been.”

Westbrook told him, “Interestingly, during that hour I felt that I was supposed to ask you why you’re not yet Catholic.”

Bereit told Westbrook it was funny he’d ask that, telling Westbrook he’d been asked that a lot of over the years, and that he was still discerning, though much closer to the Catholic Church than where he’d came from. Bereit shared that he knew his parish was starting RCIA the following week and it had been in the back of his mind.

“Well have you ever thought of asking the Lord in Adoration?” Westbrook questioned him.

Bereit told him that he had not, to which Westbrook queried, “Why don’t you do that?”

Okay, he told Westbrook, being his methodical self, when he got back home, he would schedule a time, go to Adoration and ask that exact question.

“Brian laughed,” Bereit said, himself chuckling. “You’re driving across the country, you’re going to pass by probably 100 parishes that have Adoration going on, why don’t you stop by one of those?”

“Look up MassTimes.org,” Westbrook told him. “Find a church that has Adoration going on, pull over and stop.”

So Bereit pulled over, realizing he was going to go through Charlottesville, VA, where his daughter was a student.

He called Claire and asked if she was going to be around, but she was headed off on a retreat. He asked Claire whether her parish was having Adoration when he’d be passing through. The parish was having Adoration, and Claire told him how to get there.

Get started

After driving the rest of the way to Charlottesville, Bereit found the chapel and entered.

“There were two other people in the chapel, and it was just them, me, and here’s Our Lord present in the Eucharist,” he explained. “And I got down on my knees and I just said, “Jesus, this is on you, I don’t know what to do. We have RCIA starting this next week at our parish.”

“And I simply asked the question,” he continued, “What do you want me to do?”

“I got a wave of peace that came over me that I’ve never felt that profoundly before,” said Bereit. “And that peace was surrounding the simple word, “Begin.”

“And I just was stunned, and I spent the rest of the hour just kind of soaking that in,” said Bereit. “And I could not shake from myself the word, “Begin,” and I had this great sense of peace.”

So he left the Adoration chapel, went home, got Margaret, sat her down, told her not to get her hopes up, and he didn’t know where this was going to end.

Bereit explained what had happened to Margaret, and she of course got excited, calling their son and daughter to tell them, but requesting they keep it private for the time being.

“I said, I’m trying to be open to the Lord,” recalled Bereit, “but I don’t know where this is going to lead.”

The following Monday he went to the first RCIA class alone, still at peace, and then asked Margaret to be his sponsor, bringing her to tears.

The RCIA process at his parish in the Arlington diocese enabled him to come to terms with some things he’d been trying to work through over the years.

“It was my chance to ask questions, have discussions, at our table, with Margaret and with the four parish priests leading the program,” said Bereit, and at this point, he was still working through the process.

I’m the one

“In my mind, it was like I was still wrestling with God,” he said. “I was like, I don’t want to be the one standing in the way, but I’m finally realizing I am the one.”

“I’m probably at this point 97-98% of the way there in terms of completely believing and having conviction about … the Church is right, this is the Church established by Jesus Christ, and the Church is right on all of these theological issues, and I’m really starting to work through that,” continued Bereit, “but that last few percent, I just kept getting hung up on.”

“And I finally had to realize that, really, what was standing between me and that last couple of percent, it was me, I was the obstacle,” he said. “It wasn’t the theological points.”

That’s where faith comes in

“And I also finally realized - at some point I’m going to have to have an element of faith,” Bereit told LifeSiteNews. “I can’t intellectually process every single thing, I’ll never be able to. Some things about God we’re never going to be able to understand.”

Throughout RCIA, Margaret was asking when they could tell people, and he would reply that he was still on a journey, still trying to figure it out. They finally told her mother.

Down to the wire

With the arrival of Holy Week and Bereit supposed to come into the Church on Holy Saturday, it got to be Holy Thursday, and Bereit said he was still not certain.

“So it finally hit me,” said Bereit, “is this part of my journey began in Adoration. Why not go back to the Lord again in the Holy Eucharist and ask Him what He wants me to do at this point?”

He told Margaret while getting ready for Holy Thursday Mass they needed to take separate cars so he could stay after for Adoration.

At Mass that night they handed out liturgy booklets, which covered the whole of Triduum, and thus they already had his name listed as coming into the Church two days later on Holy Saturday. This added to the tension.

Keep going

“I get down on my knees and finally again I go before Our Lord,” Bereit recounted for LifeSiteNews, “and I’m like, “Jesus, you’ve led me this far, you told me to begin, what do you want me to do now?””

“I was hoping for something along the lines of, “Cross the finish line,” or some kind of flashing light … something.”

“But I got almost the same kind of peace I’d had at that Adoration chapel in Charlottesville months earlier,” he said. “And this time the peace was around the word, “Continue.”

“And for an hour, hour-and-a-half that I was there on my knees before Our Lord,” Bereit stated. “I just felt convicted to continue. And it finally dawned on me - coming into the Church is not the end of the journey, it’s just the beginning of the next chapter of the journey.”

From there he went home to Margaret, who was waiting with the question, “So … what are we doing?”

I believe

He’d been the carrying profession of faith he was supposed to make publicly aloud at Easter vigil.

“And thought if I cannot say this with absolute conviction, I should not be entering into the Church,” he recalled. “But after the adoration experience, I looked at it and thought, “I do believe this, I am 100 percent convicted.”

Bereit told Margaret he was ready; it was time.

A gift for the family

Holy Communion had been the one point of disunity for the family, the time each week when Bereit would have to realize they were not completely together as a family.

On Palm Sunday, as Margaret and the kids had gotten up for Communion, it suddenly dawned on him; “Oh my gosh, if I come into the Church next weekend, and I was still wrestling with that - this will be our very last time at a Sunday Mass that we will be divided at Communion time,” said Bereit. “And I just started to bawl, tears streaming down my face.”

“And then the first time as a family to be able to receive the Eucharist together, that was the culmination of it,” he added.

It means a lot to Claire and Patrick for their father to come into the Catholic Church, said Bereit.

His children love their faith, he said, and they they want that for others, “And who would they want that more for than their own family members?”

“So to see that now having come to full fruition, it’s beautiful,” he said. “Just that experience of our family finally coming together around this, that was one of the greatest joys of the Easter vigil for me.”

The decision to become Catholic isn’t always readily accepted by some.

When the time came the thought of telling his father gave Bereit pause for a moment, but he said his father, the former Presbyterian minister, very graciously told him, “Serve Our Lord well in your new home.”

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Former Vatican Bank chief: Authors of New World Order demographic collapse influencing the Vatican

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By Diane Montagna

ROME, July 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The demographic collapse of the West in recent decades was planned in order to create the necessary conditions to usher in a New World Order, and the authors of this collapse are now influencing the Vatican at the highest levels, the former president of the Vatican bank has said.

Speaking at the first international conference of the John Paul II academy for human life and the family, Italian economist and banker Ettore Gotti Tedeschi said efforts to decrease the world’s population by globalist elites have set in motion a series of predictable and intended economic, geo-political, and social catastrophes meant to “persuade” people around the world to accept a global “political vision” that would eliminate national sovereignty and institute “gnostic environmentalism” as its “universal religion.”

The recurrent themes of the present papacy are poverty, immigration and the environment, and we are led to believe that these are caused by “the greed of bankers,” war and man, the “cancer of nature,” he said. But this is “fake news” according to Gotti Tedeschi. For him, the cause behind all of these scourges is the “collapse in births.” 

The people pushing this fake news, he said, are “gnostic prophets” such as population control proponents Paul Ehrlich, Jeffrey Sachs and Ban Ki-moon who, rejecting the natural law and the divine order of creation, seek to proselytize the world with their “anti-Catholic gnosis.” 

According to Gotti Tedeschi, the “greatest enemy” of the New World Order is the family because it provides “education, autonomy and independence” from the state. Its second enemy is the Catholic Church, he said, and yet these gnostic prophets are “rewriting genesis in the halls of the Vatican.”

“It was planned”

“The demographic collapse was planned without any doubt,” Gotti Tedeschi said. “It is unthinkable that the decision makers in the United States and around the world did not know what they would have created by refusing life and the natural law.” 

The Italian financier said the economic collapse has been caused by a “collapse in births,” not because couples are having no children, but because they are not having enough to provide economic growth. “Zero growth is two children for a couple,” he said. “Zero growth is substitution,” with the consequence that “GDP stops growing.” Governments have “solved” this problem by “increasing consumerism” and outsourcing production, primarily to Asia.

But as the demographic collapse results in an ever larger aging population, so governments must increase taxes to absorb the costs of those living in retirement, he explained, resulting in a crippling effect on GDP and nations’ economies. “It can appear to grow, but it is a big bluff invented in the last 30 years,” he said. 

Gotti Tedeschi believes that none of this has happened by chance, and that the decrease in population was needed in order to produce a crisis in the global economy and so make it easier to usher in a New World Order. “Economy is a formidable means of persuasion,” he said. “It is the best excuse to make people around the world accept a conclusion.”

He referred to the “Kissinger Report,” which he said was partly an attempt to “homogenize culture” by relativizing religion and “if possible, creating religious syncretism.” This goal is helped by immigration, leading to a potentially dangerous mix of religious dogmas that could “cause war.” 

The population control movement in the United States dates back to the pro-nazi, pro-eugenics founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. In 1969, President Richard Nixon criticized population growth in the third world, a problem later addressed by the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future in 1972, directed by J.D. Rockefeller III. At the time, American geo-stratestists thought that population growth in the third world was a threat to American international interests.

This led to the National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200), published by Henry Kissinger two years later, in 1974. The 200-page report specifically states that population growth in the third world is a threat to American international interests because the growing populations need too many resources and the Western industrial system, for example, needs the resources of Africa. The report also called for increased funding to be given to Planned Parenthood.

“Everything was planned,” Gotti Tedeschi believes, lamenting the fact that documents such as the Kissinger Report have largely not been read. 

He said the threat of environmental catastrophe, which he calls “fake news,” is now used to push for a reduction in the population gap between East and West. Not only that, but the growing gap between “too many rich and old” people and “too many young people who are unemployed” is used to “create the spirit for accepting euthanasia.” Such a mentality is “criminal,” he said, as he recalled Italy’s Prime Minister (he didn’t say which) telling him one could cut the cost of government expenditure “in one second” through euthanasia which would “cut 25% of the population over 60 years old.” 

Gotti Tedeschi also drew attention to the current tension between globalism and nationalism: those who wish for a Europe that helps single countries grow as opposed to globalists who would prefer a Europe that governs all countries and eliminates national sovereignty. 

So what can the Church do? “The Church will either collide or be isolated,” he said. But “something has happened that should worry a lot of people,” he added referring to recent actions taken, in particular, by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. 

Those currently advising the “top of the Church,” he observed, are population control advocates such as Paul Ehrlich, Jeffrey Sachs, and the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon — people he calls “gnostic prophets.” 

To transform the “divine genesis into a gnostic genesis,” and to do this at the Pontifical Academy inside the Vatican would be their “masterpiece,” he said. 

“We are near” to this happening, he added. “This should worry everyone.” 

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Maine governor vetoes ban on therapy for unwanted gay attraction, gender confusion

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By Calvin Freiburger

AUGUSTA, Maine, July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Defying pressure from pro-homosexual politicians and activists, Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage vetoed legislation on Friday that would have banned therapists from helping minors overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

Sometimes called “conversion therapy” or reparative therapy, the left and the LGBT movement have made banning it a priority.

LD 912 sought to forbid people from “advertis[ing], offer[ing] or administer[ing] conversion therapy to individuals under 18 years of age,” with “conversion therapy” defined as “practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity.” It contained an exception for clergy, but threatened to suspend or revoke the licenses of medical professionals, school guidance counselors, or school psychologists.

“This is so broad that licensed professionals would be prohibited from counseling an individual even at the individual's own request,” LePage said of the bill in his veto message. Calling it “bad public policy” that potentially threatened religious liberty, he noted that its language of “any practice or course of treatment” on the subject could “call into question a simple conversation.”

LePage went on to note that state law already prohibits any practices that would amount to physical or mental abuse, and that the bill’s supporters had failed to produce any evidence that conversion therapy was being practiced in Maine anyway.

The governor also accused ban advocates of hypocrisy for opposing previous legislation to criminalize female genital mutilation, which is already prohibited under federal law yet supporters argued was still happening in Maine.

“Legislators who could not stand up and outlaw the permanent mutilation of young girls’ sexual organs by laypersons in unsanitary conditions with razor blades now are concerned with outlawing conversations, of which there is also ‘no evidence’ that it is happening in Maine,” LePage summarized. “That is a disgusting double-standard.”

In response, the state Democratic Party declared that conversion therapy “has no place in our society,” while Matt Moonen of the LGBT lobbying group Equality Maine denounced LePage for allegedly choosing “petty politics over protecting kids.”

“With this inexcusable decision, Governor LePage has become the only governor in the nation to veto legislation protecting young people from this abuse, solidifying his place in history’s hall of shame,” Human Rights Campaign national field director Marty Rouse complained.

Reparative therapy is intensely controversial in large part because it challenges the notion that sexual attraction is biologically rooted and unchangeable, with detractors characterizing it as discredited “junk science.” But many former homosexuals have attested that they benefited from the treatment.

David Pickup, a former patient of the late reparative therapy pioneer Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, says that he grew up as a “sensitive boy” who was “defensively detached” from his father, as well as sexually molested. As such, he was “set up for homosexuality” and attributes his former same-sex urges to a sense of “gender identity inferiority.” But with therapy, he was able to raise his self-esteem as a man and satisfy his “male emotional needs” that were lacking in his relationship with his father.

“My same-sex attractions automatically, spontaneously [...] through this therapy began to lessen and dissipate,” Pickup explains. “So reparative therapy really worked for me. It helped save my life.”

As for gender confusion, studies indicate that between 80 percent and 90 percent of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence. Experts such as the American College of Pediatricians’ Dr. Michelle Cretella warn that reinforcing such confusion instead of addressing it “temporarily mutes the impact of significant underlying emotional and psychological problems that are ultimately causing the gender dysphoria in the first place.”

Studies have found evidence of significant emotional problems among the transgender population, even among those whose confusion is affirmed by others and acted upon.

Last fall, the University of Cambridge’s Stonewall report found that 96 percent of transgendered students in Scotland attempted self-harm through actions such as cutting themselves, and 40 percent attempted suicide. Forty percent in the United States have attempted suicide, as well, according to a 2016 survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). According to a 2011 study out of Sweden, transgender people remain 19 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, even after sex-reassignment surgery.

Had the legislation succeeded, Maine would have become the fourteenth state (along with the District of Columbia) to ban reparative therapy. The bill passed 19-12 in the state Senate and 80-55 in the House. The GOP holds a 18-17 Senate majority and the Democrats a 74-70 House majority, with six independents in the latter chamber. A two-thirds vote in each chamber would be necessary to override LePage’s veto.

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Liberals abandoning Democrat party through #WalkAway campaign

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By Calvin Freiburger

July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A social media campaign encouraging Democrats to leave their increasingly left-wing party is gaining notoriety – and followers.

The #WalkAway Campaign is the brainchild of “former liberal” and New York actor and hair stylist Brandon Straka. It bills itself as “dedicated to sharing the stories of people who can no longer accept the current ideology of liberalism and what the Democratic Party has become.”

“We want people on the right to use their voices and tell the world the truth about whom they are by making videos telling everyone what it means to be a conservative in America and what your values really are,” the campaign’s website says. “Tell minorities on the left, who have been told their whole lives that they are not welcome on the right because of the bigotry and hatred, that they are welcome. Tell them there is a seat at the table on the right for everybody.”

The campaign’s primary means of spreading this message is through written and video testimonials from former Democrats of various backgrounds explaining why they became Democrats and how they then came to reject the label.

That testimony ranges from stories about overcoming college indoctrination to being stereotyped as liberal for being a minority to women told they can’t think for themselves. Others simply recognized the Left's increasing radicalization.

Among that radicalization in recent years has been the official Democrat platform removing its call to make abortion “rare” in 2012 and demanding the federal nullification of state pro-life laws in 2016; Democrat National Committee chair Tom Perez hailing self-proclaimed socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “the future of the party”; left-wing leaders like Rep. Maxine Waters openly advocating the harassment of Trump administration officials; boycott and intimidation campaigns over keeping men out of women’s restrooms; and attempts in numerous states to force private citizens to participate in same-sex ceremonies.

Straka, who is openly gay, launched the campaign with his own May 26 video testimony (full transcript here), explaining that he originally became a liberal out of opposition to hatred, discrimination, groupthink, censorship, and junk science, and that he walked away from liberalism when he came to believe liberalism embodied rather than opposed those ills.

“Liberalism has been co-opted and absorbed by the very characteristics it claims to fight against,” he said. “For years now, I’ve watched as people on the Left have become anesthetized to their own prejudices and bigotry, and the prejudices and bigotry of those around them who echo their values.”

“I have witnessed the irony of advocacy for gender equality morph into blatant hatred and intolerance of men and masculinity,” he continued. “I’ve seen the once-earnest fight for equality for the LGBT community mutate into an illogical demonization of heteronormativity, and the push to vilify and attack our conventional concepts of gender.”

At the time of this writing, Straka’s kickoff video has been viewed more than half a million times, his campaign’s official Facebook group has more than 73,000 members, and there is already reason to believe the movement may represent a deeper cultural shift.

Citing a Reuters/Ipsos poll from April, PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil notes that whites between the ages of 18 and 34 are equally likely to vote Democrat as they are Republican, a nine-percentage-point decline for Democrats from the 2016 election. Many observers have attributed Trump’s unprecedented victory that year in large part to moderate and formerly left-leaning voters alienated by far-left stances and tactics.

Straka elaborated on his efforts in an interview Tuesday with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. He said his homosexuality was the only reason he used to be a Democrat, and that he was still a liberal as recently as November 2016, when he cried in response to Hillary Clinton’s loss. But since then, watching the Left’s increasing intolerance toward dissent served as a “red-pill” experience.

On Thursday, Straka said that he entered a camera store to buy some equipment, and was denied service by one employee who recognized him from a TV appearance and didn’t want to facilitate a transaction for “alt-right” purposes.

“[Please] do not retaliate against this camera shop. All of the other employees could not have been nicer,” he said, noting that another employee completed the sale for him. “The reason I decided [to go] forward w/ the story is because I hope [to open] a conversation between me [and] gays on the left.”

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Guam’s last abortionist retires and no one will take his place

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By Claire Chretien

GUAM, July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. territory of Guam is abortion-free thanks to the retirement of its only abortionist last month.

Dr. William Freeman had been the only doctor aborting babies in Guam since 2016. 237 out of the island’s total of 239 abortions in 2017 took place at his “Women’s Clinic” abortuary.

His former abortion facility is now being run by Dr. Jeffrey Gabel, who says he is “pro-life” and won’t commit abortions.

“I’ve always been against it,” he told the Pacific Daily News. Gabel “worked under Freeman but hadn't performed abortions,” that paper reported.

Freeman remains licensed. Gabel has granted the abortionist permission to use his clinic “for infertility services,” something pro-life activists will likely monitor closely.

Guam’s acting director of the Department of Public Health and Social Services, Leo Casil, noted that the lack of abortion is not a public health concern.

Multiple hospitals and clinics the Pacific Daily News contacted confirmed they don’t commit abortions. There were several that did not respond, but Casil said he’s not aware of any physician on the island who aborts babies.

“We pray no other abortionist will be found to resume abortions there,” Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Vice President of Operation Rescue, told LifeSiteNews. “They might just find out that women don't really need abortions, and that they are smart enough to find ways of coping with their challenges that don't involve killing their babies.”

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Christ came not to free us from law, but to empower us to live it in truth

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Moses, the greatest prophet of the Old Testament and a type of Christ the supreme Lawgiver, delivered one overarching message to the people of Israel:

Lay to heart all the words which I enjoin upon you this day, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no trifle for you, but it is your life, and thereby you shall live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess. (Dt 32:46–47)

When Our Lord dwelt among us on the earth, He solemnly stated: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill” (Mt 5:17). For this reason He says: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17), and “If you love me, keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15). 

The beloved disciple St. John writes in his first epistle: “By this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. He who saith that he knoweth him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jn 2:3–4). And again: “For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy” (1 Jn 5:3). 

Of St. Paul the Apostle, we read: “He went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches, commanding them to keep the precepts of the apostles and the ancients” (Acts 15:41).

The New Testament did not abolish the Old Testament or the teaching of Moses. Far from lessening the moral standards, the New Testament removes some of the exceptions and concessions that were made to the weakness of fallen men, because we are now in the era of Christ, who has won for us the grace we need to be holy and shares it with us in His seven sacraments and in the Holy Spirit poured forth upon us. Christ brought the old Law to its absolute perfection in His holocaust of love on the Cross, the reality of which is made present to us in the Holy Eucharist. 

The parts of the Law that merely prepared Israel for the Messiah’s coming came to an end in Christ, but the moral code of the Law was incorporated into the Gospel and raised to an even higher level. Thus, the emphasis on Law in the Old Testament – as in the great Psalm 118/119 – is not superseded by a supposed “freedom from law” in the New Testament. Divine revelation remains constant and consistent with itself, as does the moral law discernible to natural reason with God’s help. 

What changes, rather, is man’s ability to adhere to it, to remain faithful to it. Christ in His gift of sanctifying grace, in the gift of His sacraments and the power of His Holy Spirit, makes possible for us the living of the Law. With the finger of the Holy Spirit, the Father writes the Law not on tablets of stone but on the fleshy tablets of the heart (cf. 2 Cor 3:3). 

This is why John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor says that we must ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit, we must use all the means Our Lord has given us, if we are to conquer our sins and grow in holiness. It will never be easy, but it is now possible and desirable, and the saints show us it can be done.

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