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Protesters outside the Supreme Court after the announcement of Brett Kavanaugh as the nominee to fill the seat to be vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy
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Liberals, Democrats, Hollywood freak out over Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

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By Lisa Bourne

July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Congressional Democrats, liberal groups and Hollywood celebrities responded to President Donald Trump’s nomination of Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court with predictable anger, choreographed pushback and verbal hysterics.

Democrats announced an all-out blitz against Kavanaugh, with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-New York, vowing, according to the Washington Post, to fight Trump’s nomination of Kavanaugh “with everything I've got.”

Some on the left had arranged pre-planned protests no matter who Trump nominated.

ZeroHedge.com’s Tyler Durden covered some of the orchestrated liberal meltdown.

He wrote, “Following President Trump's Monday evening nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy's now-vacant seat, hundreds of protesters outside the Supreme Court broke open boxes of pre-printed "Stop Kavanaugh" signs - wasting a substantial amount of paper as the other Supreme Court nominees' pre-printed protest banners went unused.”

A pre-written press release from the Women’s March terming Trump’s SCOTUS pick an “extremist” was released before the nominee’s name had been added.

Some response to the Kavanaugh nomination heralded the ongoing hostility and aggression directed at conservatives, Republicans and Trump supporters that has escalated since before Trump’s 2016 election upset of Hillary Clinton.

The scene outside the Supreme Court on Monday evening after the announcement was so threatening that Fox News anchor Shannon Bream pulled her planned 11 p.m. live broadcast from outside the Supreme Court steps back to the studio out of fear for her safety.

“Very few times I’ve felt threatened while out in the field,” Bream tweeted. “The mood here tonight is very volatile. Law enforcement appears to be closing down 1st Street in front of SCOTUS.”

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Psychiatrists in pro-euthanasia Belgium scorned for choosing life for patients

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BELGIUM, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Psychiatrists who dare to go against the new, more liberal interpretation of Belgium’s euthanasia laws are now being derided as inhumane and lacking empathy for those facing unbearable suffering, says a bioethicist.

“The moral climate has changed drastically, in the sense that euthanasia is called by some a ‘fundamental right’ and death a ‘therapeutic solution.’ Euthanasia is sacralized, so to say, and every critique is dismissed as inhumane, thus immoral,” Dr. Willem Lemmens, a professor of modern philosophy and ethics at the University of Antwerp, reportedly said earlier this month.

In Canada, the law legalizing euthanasia for adults who ask for it came into effect two years ago. Under that law, only those at least 18 years old and mentally competent, facing grievous and irremediable medical conditions, and who make an informed decision about their requests for medical assistance in dying are eligible.

These people must also be at a point where their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable, according to Canada’s federal health department.

But Canada is the new kid on the euthanasia block.

When it comes to medical assistance in dying, all eyes usually turn to Belgium because that country now has 16 years of experience in dealing with its euthanasia law.

It’s a social experiment that terrifies many pro-lifers.

“In just a few years, requests for euthanasia in psychiatry became more and more ‘acceptable’ and common in Belgium, despite the fact that one often said — also among pro-euthanasia doctors — that the law was intended for somatic terminal diseases, not mental suffering caused by psychiatric diseases,” Lemmens reportedly said.

A 29-year-old woman who was suffering from depression and other mental illness, but was otherwise perfectly, physically healthy, was killed under the Netherlands euthanasia laws earlier this year. That country’s laws now allow for those struggling with mental illness to ask for and get help to end their lives.

“Psychiatrists and mental health professionals are precisely the kind of persons those who are suicidal might go to for help,” Michael Wee, the education officer at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, reported said earlier this year. “The shift to suicide assistance, by the very people whose role we customarily think of as being suicide prevention, is one that will therefore interest and, indeed, alarm many.”

According to the national organization Dying With Dignity Canada, more than 1,300 people chose medical assistance in dying during the first year it was legalized in this country.

On its website, the organization urges all Canadians who want access to medical assistance in dying to raise their voices and lobby to force all publicly-funded hospitals, hospices and long-term care homes to provide this legalized form of euthanasia.

“Increasingly, groups who oppose assisted death are mobilizing and lobbying provincial governments to make access as limited as possible,” the Dying with Dignity Canada website reads. “Ontario has even passed a bill that allows public institutions to hide their position on MAID from the communities they serve. If we don't act, then we risk allowing these harmful policies to become permanently entrenched.”

As a bioethicist in the Netherlands, though, Lemmens offers up a different warning – and a call to action for those who value a culture of life.  

According to him, pro-lifers should “raise your voice in a dignified manner and listen to the critical testimonies and voices in Belgium and the Netherlands.”

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Ontario court forces pro-life doctors to refer patients for euthanasia

Pope Francis credited with helping euthanasia law pass in Italy

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New York governor signs executive order mandating no co-pay contraception

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By Calvin Freiburger

ALBANY, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an executive order Monday placing new mandates on insurance companies to subsidize contraception, in what he calls a preemptive measure to guard against a more conservative Supreme Court majority.

The order directs the state Department of Financial Services and Department of Health to force insurers to cover over-the-counter emergency contraception (which has the capacity to act as an abortifacient), voluntary sterilization, and other FDA-approved female contraceptive drugs or devices, as well as dispense a year’s worth of contraception at once, “all without co-insurance, co-pays or deductibles,” Cuomo’s office announced.

“A representative from the governor’s office clarified that copays are a subset of cost-sharing, so ‘no cost-sharing’ means that consumers pay no additional fees for the service,” AM New York added.

The announcement, made before the identity of President Donald Trump’s latest judicial nominee was revealed, said the measure was a safeguard against “an extreme conservative Supreme Court Justice who could roll back advancements in reproductive health care.”

“In the face of this federal assault, New York is going to protect itself because this state has always been the progressive capital of the nation. This is the time to fight back,” Cuomo declared. “This is the time to resist. This is the time to make your voice heard. This is the time where every New Yorker has to say, you're not taking women's right to reproductive rights away. We're going to protect ourselves because this is the state that has always stood up for what's right.”

Cuomo signed the order on Tuesday, and said at a pro-abortion rally at the Yonkers Public Library's Will branch there was “no question” Judge Brett Kavanaugh “will overturn Roe v. Wade.” Kavanaugh’s views on the subject are not fully known, but pro-lifers see causes for both encouragement and concern in his record.

In addition, Cuomo called on the state Senate to vote on legislation codifying Roe v. Wade’s protection of abortion in state law. The state Assembly has passed the so-called Reproductive Health Act in each of the past six years, but the Senate has never voted on it. In the New York Legislature, Democrats enjoy an overwhelming 104-41 Assembly majority, but a razor-thin 32-31 Senate majority (the Senate currently has a Republican majority leader due to a power-sharing agreement between the Independent Democratic Conference and Senate Republicans).

“One of the reasons they opposed it, they said, 'Well, we have Roe v. Wade in law. And there's no way anybody would ever think of overturning Roe v. Wade,'” Cuomo said. “These were the Republican senators just a couple of years ago, telling me it's unimaginable that anyone would try to overturn Roe v. Wade. Well, they elected someone who wants to do the unimaginable.”

Even though it remains unknown how Kavanaugh or all four current conservative justices will vote on Roe, the abortion lobby has begun taking several steps to insulate abortion-on-demand from a hypothetical case overturning it. Democrats in Massachusetts recently moved to repeal the state’s century-old, pre-Roe abortion ban (one of ten still on the books yet unenforced), while pro-life activist Rebecca Kiessling warns that pro-abortion groups in states like Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota are filing lawsuits claiming a “right” to abortion rooted in state constitutions rather than Roe v. Wade.

Cuomo’s announcement came accompanied with enthusiastic praise from state pro-abortion leaders, with Planned Parenthood Empire State CEO Robin Chappelle praising Cuomo for “standing up today to remind the nation that New York won't go backwards,” while National Institute for Reproductive Health president Andrea Miller said the “best defense against a hostile Supreme Court and Trump-Pence Administration is a strong state-level offense.”

The move is the latest in a string of aggressively pro-abortion moves by the New York governor, who has previously embraced late-term abortion and called for mandating that abortions themselves be provided at no cost as well. In 2013 he promoted an women’s “bill of rights” that critics said would effectively allow abortion up until birth.

A year later, Cuomo landed in hot water for saying that “right-to-life” supporters “have no place in the state of New York, because that's not who New Yorkers are.” He later walked back the attack by claiming he “respects” the pro-life position and meant only that it was a minority position that “cannot win statewide.”

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Vatican auditor forced to resign, ‘too close to uncovering dangerous things’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

VATICAN CITY, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican has dropped a criminal investigation against Libero Milone, a Catholic layman they hired to audit their finances. This despite the fact that in September the Vatican chief of police, Domenico Giani, told Reuters that there was “overwhelming evidence” against the former Auditor General.

Now, however, Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register has reported that “the separate inquiry conducted by the Vatican promoter of justice with Milone’s lawyers came to the conclusion that no evidence existed to support the accusations that had been lodged against him.”

Pentin also cited an unnamed source who had told the Register on July 5 that Milone had “apparent apparently stumbled upon certain and clear abuses of funds, and they could no longer wait to remove him.”

The Register source also said, “From the beginning of his mandate, the auditor general was marginalized and his work impeded: The old guard wouldn’t give contracts to his staff, they strove to wear down his staff’s nerves, and deprived him of access to the Pope.”

Finally, the source alleged that the old guard would have let Milone continue if he hadn’t been so “professional”. Together with Cardinal George Pell, then the first Prefect of the newly-formed Secretariat for the Economy, Milone was apparently “increasingly effective” and “came too close to uncovering dangerous things.”

“In the end, action had to be taken to stop him,” said the Register’s source.

Milone, the Vatican’s first Auditor General, resigned from his position in June 2017 after being threatened by the Vatican police with arrest. On July 7, he told an interviewer from Italy’s RAI television network that he had been informed by that Vatican that a criminal investigation into his work had been shelved.

Milone has always maintained his innocence. In September he broke his silence to tell interviewers from around the world that his forced resignation was an attempt to block his investigations into Vatican finances, the job he was hired by Pope Francis in 2015 to do.

Originally hired on with a staff of 12 people, Milone was touted as the man who would usher in a new age of transparency into the murky world of Vatican bookkeeping.  

“I was threatened with arrest,” he told reporters in September. “The head of the [Vatican] Gendarmerie intimidated me to force me to sign a resignation letter that they had already prepared weeks in advance.”  

According to Milone, the Vatican police told him that he had been the subject of a seven-month investigation.

“The facts presented to me on the morning of [June] the 19th were fake, fabricated,” he stated. “I was in shock. All the reasons had no credible foundation.”

The auditor said that he had found “irregularities” in the Vatican’s finances but could not describe them in detail because he had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

He also alleged that he had not been allowed access to Pope Francis after April 2016.

In September 2015, he began to suspect that his computer had been hacked, and hired a company to check for surveillance devices. According to Milone, the company found that his computer had indeed been hacked and that his secretary’s computer had been infected with spyware that copied files.

Milone told reporters that he had “wanted to do good for the Church, to contribute to the reform process, as I was asked, but they wouldn’t let me.”

After his September interview, the Vatican vehemently denied Milone’s allegations that he had been framed.  

Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciù, who was then the Vatican undersecretary of state, told Reuters that Milone had gone “against all the rules and was spying on the private lives of his superiors and staff, including me. If he had not agreed to resign, we would have prosecuted him.”

The Register tried to contact Cardinal Becciù on July 5, but his secretary said he was on vacation.

Becciù has made headlines before, not only for stating that the Vatican is not a “den of thieves” but for hitting back at allegations that there is a gay lobby in the Vatican. Cardinal Becciù was also Pope Francis’ special delegate to the Order of the Knights of Malta shortly after the Pope demanded Fra Matthew Festing’s abdication as their sovereign.

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New study finds life-threatening risk in transgender hormone therapy

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By Calvin Freiburger

July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Hormone therapy meant to help gender-confused physically “transition” their gender carries significant and potentially fatal health risks, according to a newly-released study.

The study, published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, studied the medical records of 2,842 transgender women and 2,118 transgender men over eight years and compared them with 48,686 biological males and 48,775 biological females. They found 148 cardiovascular events among the transgender “women” (biological men).

As a result, the study concluded that trans “women” were 80 percent to 90 percent more likely to experience a stroke or a heart attack than actual women, Newsweek reported. Reuters noted the number of incidents experienced by trans “men” (biological women) was too small to draw conclusions from.

The study left several relevant aspects of the problem unaddressed, as it did not examine specific hormone doses, formulations, or combinations.

While the study’s authors said more research is needed, they attempted to downplay the significance of the alarming number.

“Perhaps (the findings) should be taken into consideration when planning follow-up and evaluation of patients as they undergo the treatment,” senior author Michael Goodman of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health said. “As with any type of treatment, the risks have to be weighed against the benefits.”

“The confirmation of this risk is good to have so patients can be warned and precautions can be taken,” added fellow author Dr. Joshua Safer of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Transgender Medicine Center. “But I think most transgender women would conclude the risk is not high enough to forgo hormone therapy.”

While those questions remain unknown as to the safety of this particular aspect of hormone therapy, critics say its failure to address the root of gender-identity problems is the deeper concern.

Studies indicate that between 80 percent to 90 percent of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, but also that transgender students and adults are more likely to attempt suicide or self-harm. A 2011 study from Sweden, for example, found that transgender individuals are 19 times more likely to commit suicide, even after sex-reassignment surgery.

“In order to achieve a healthy and mentally stable state, a trans person must have their gender and sex as closely aligned as possible,” but it “seems far more reasonable — and medically ethical and sound — to achieve this homeostasis by changing gender to match to the already established sex” rather than the other way around, author and social commentator Chad Felix Greene wrote.

“A woman taking testosterone must continue taking testosterone, or else her desired masculine secondary sex characteristics will fade away,” Greene noted. “The body’s aggressive and persistent attempt to return to a state, despite medical interventions to override that state, indicates that the state is ‘natural.’ The body is being medically forced to adapt to conditions it is unsuited to experience.”

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‘Almost certainly illegal’: Conrad Black blasts Trudeau’s summer job pro-abortion pledge

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By Lianne Laurence

TORONTO, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Conrad Black, one of Canada’s most trenchant conservative voices, has blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s summer job abortion attestation as verging “on evil” and “almost certainly illegal.”

The former press tycoon, financier, historian, peer of Britain, convicted felon in the US, and Catholic convert also lauded Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins for quietly marshalling protest against the reviled policy.

Indeed, Collins’ June letter to archdiocesan parishes may signal the beginning of a “sea change” in Canada, Black suggested in last Friday’s National Post.

The cardinal “has not crossed the Rubicon,” he said. “And this is not a country remotely ripe for revolution. But there has been no coherent reply from the federal government.”

The Trudeau Liberals touched off a firestorm earlier this year by requiring that employers attest support for legal abortion and gender expression to qualify for Canada Summer Job grants.

“The policy opposed by Cardinal Collins is outrageous, oppressive, and verges on evil, and is almost certainly illegal,” wrote Black.

(In fact, a coalition of Canadian small businesses announced in June they’re filing a spate of court challenges against the attestation as a violation of the Charter guarantee of free speech.)

The former proprietor of Hollinger Inc., once the world’s third largest English-language press empire, Black gained notoriety in 2007 when a US court convicted him of three counts of fraud, two of which were vacated on appeal.

A Catholic convert and co-owner of the UK-based Catholic Herald magazine, Black said his faith helped him endure the 37 months of a 42-month sentence he served for felony fraud and obstruction of justice, during which time he filed columns in the National Post and other media.

Black, 73, returned to Canada in 2012 to reemerge as a conservative pundit with a trademark pedantic brio.

As such, he excoriated the Liberal summer job attestation in April, and warned in his recent analysis that “a dual offensive is underway, of anti-theism and of political correctness.”

Moreover, “any resistance to anything on religious grounds is silently regarded as superstitious idiocy and denounced as blurring the distinction between church and state, a meaningless and fatuous charge in contemporary Western society,” Black asserted.

“The churches have been battered by secularism, commercialization, infantilistic nihilism, pseudo-scientism, often indifferent leadership, and by the perverted conduct of a significant number, though a small percentage, of the Christian clergy, and the disreputable and often violent antics of Islamists,” wrote Black.

Enter Cardinal Collins, “a very judicious man who never strays out of his proper areas of concern and is far from a controversialist.”

The cardinal’s letter urges Catholics to write their Members of Parliament protesting the attestation.

“Respectful communication regarding this unjust policy is very important,” Collins wrote.

“We should all take note when a government claims to value the contributions of faith communities but requires them to profess a set of values which is against their faith in order to be eligible for government funding,” the cardinal noted.

“The government must abide by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in its treatment of law-abiding individuals and groups.”

The exhortation is repeated on the archdiocesan savesummerjobs.ca, which provides a letter to MPs and notes: “You either agree with the Liberal government’s values or you’re out of luck.”

Collins also issued a plea for donations to bankroll student jobs throughout the archdiocese, which, according to the Catholic Register, is facing a $1.1 million shortfall to fund 150 summer jobs in 27 charities.

The letter cited among these “a summer camp for deaf children, employment for developmentally challenged young people, students working as gardeners for the summer and groups assembled to welcome newcomers to the country.”

Collins penned his missive on behalf of “thousands of groups” and was clear he was “not speaking only of his own denomination, nor of faith-affiliated organizations only, and not for reasons confined to varying opinions about abortion,” noted Black.

Other groups are “in solidarity with him” include the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, the Canadian Council of Imams, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, he wrote.

“The authorities could not ask for a more polite reproof, but that does not mean that it does not constitute a serious challenge,” Black observed.

“In this matter, the federal government has the legitimacy of temporary executive office, of being politically correct; the cardinal has the legitimacy of being morally and legally correct,” he wrote.

“It is a quietly announced contest, in all senses, of wrong and right, good and bad.”

Black, who famously renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2001 to receive a British peerage after Prime Minister Jean Chretien lobbied against it, lives in Toronto with his wife, Barbara Amiel.

Reported in 2011 to have a net worth of $80 million, Black has written nine books, including A Matter of Principle, which recounts his trial and blasts the American justice system, and his latest, published in May: Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other.

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‘Another strong nominee’? Conservatives, pro-life activists react to Trump picking Kavanaugh

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By Lisa Bourne

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Reaction to President Donald Trump’s nomination Monday of D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court remained mixed among conservatives Tuesday, ranging from disappointment for some to others saying they will wait and see.

Kavanaugh will fill the soon-to-be-vacant seat of pro-gay, pro-abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement last month. Kavanaugh is one of Kennedy’s former clerks.

After Trump announced his nomination, Kavanaugh said his judicial philosophy was straightforward.

“A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law,” he stated. “A judge must interpret statutes as written, and a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”

Democrats have promised a fight over his nomination and reports say the U.S. Senate will have a lot to review with Kavanaugh’s lengthy history in Washington.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will be the fifth Catholic on the nine-justice Supreme Court.  

During his comments on being nominated, Kavanaugh discussed his Catholic faith and his Jesuit ties, the latter providing a potential red flag for orthodox Catholics.

“I am part of the vibrant Catholic community in the D.C. area,” he said. “The members of that community disagree about many things, but we are united by a commitment to serve. Father John Ensler is here. 40 years ago I was an altar boy for Father John. These days I help him serve meals to the homeless at Catholic Charities.”

Many social conservatives had hoped Trump would nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett is the Catholic mother of seven nominated last fall by Trump for the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. She famously faced attack for her Catholic faith from California Senator Dianne Feinstein and other Democrats in the confirmation process.

Feinstein’s grilling of Barrett netted criticism for anti-Catholic bigotry. Barrett was later confirmed a U.S. Court of Appeals judge and has remained for many a standout among the SCOTUS judicial nominee contenders, for her credentials, Catholic and otherwise.

‘Four-star appointment when it could have been five-star’

While many reports say that Kavanaugh has been strong on free speech and religious liberty, others disagree. Similarly, while many pro-life advocates are praising the pick, some within the pro-life community have been concerned that his previous rulings signal he’s not as reliably pro-life as they would like him to be.

The American Family Association (AFA) released a statement Tuesday afternoon addressing concerns the group holds over how Kavanaugh would rule in cases concerning religious freedom and the right to life.

“AFA has opposed the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S Supreme Court for some very valid reasons,” AFA President Tim Wildmon said. “We are deeply concerned about how he might ultimately rule on issues related to abortion and religious liberty. For these reasons, we consider this nomination to represent a four-star appointment when it could have been five-star.”

Wildmon went on to say that after hearing concerns from some supporters along with hearing the “passionate defense” of Kavanaugh by many in the pro-life movement, AFA is “willing to let this process play out.”

“We eagerly await the confirmation hearings when we hope to get clarification from Judge Kavanaugh on aspects related to our concerns,” said Wildmon. “At this time, we have no plans to fight President Trump on this nomination. He has appointed a lot of good federal judges already and we look forward to many more. We hope that our concerns prove to be unfounded.”

‘Strong record of protecting life’

Among the conservative and pro-life groups welcoming the nomination are the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), the March for Life, and Concerned Women for America (CWA).

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called Kavanaugh an “outstanding choice” and “an experienced, principled jurist with a strong record of protecting life and constitutional rights.”

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said Trump chose “another strong nominee” in Kavanaugh.

“In addition to Kavanaugh’s excellent professional qualifications, he is a man of faith, a family man, and a girls' basketball coach,” Mancini said. “He is exceptionally qualified for the role and will no doubt serve as a fair, independent judge who will remain faithful to the Constitution.”

“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is abundantly qualified to sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court,” said Penny Nance, president and CEO, Concerned Women for America. “He is among the best and brightest jurists on the appellate courts with a reputation of being fair and impartial in his decisions. Judge Kavanaugh is known as a judge who respects the Constitution as written, refusing to legislate from the bench.” 

‘We trust the president’ on Kavanaugh

Some statements of welcome came with tepid or reserved remarks.

There is a sense of focus on taking both Trump and Kavanaugh at their word – in Trump’s case, that he would nominate conservative, pro-life Supreme Court judges, and with Kavanaugh, in his saying his job on the SCOTUS bench would be to interpret, rather than make the law. There is also some emphasis on taking stock in the fact Trump chose someone from his proposed list.

“President Trump promised a constitutionalist – someone who will call balls and strikes according to the Constitution,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said. “We trust the president that Judge Kavanaugh will fit this mold as a justice. Judge Kavanaugh has a long and praiseworthy history of judging as an originalist, and we look forward to having a justice with his philosophical approach on the Court.” 

American Principles Project Executive Director Terry Schilling said Trump had chosen “a very qualified judge in Brett Kavanaugh to nominate for the Supreme Court,” and that Kavanaugh was “a principled constitutionalist who will interpret our nation’s laws as written.”

“I support the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “As he has repeatedly stated, his judicial philosophy is simple – judges must interpret the law, not make it. It is the right of the people, not judges, to amend the Constitution and the laws.” 

“The President has conducted this nomination process with transparency, having shared his list of potential nominees with the American people in advance,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “We trust him and those who have advised him in this selection.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said Kavanaugh was “a bold choice for the high court” and that he will “bring balance to the court in background and in judicial temperament.”

“This is no surprise selection,” Hawkins said. “President Trump’s list of potential nominees has been available for all to examine, and in choosing Brett Kavanaugh, he is keeping a promise to the American people.”

Trump ‘went establishment’

National Review Senior Writer David French was among those hoping for Barrett.

“The president blinked” in nominating Kavanaugh, French wrote at The Washington Post. And while conservatives will ultimately rally around the choice, he said that on Monday night, “There was, for the first time in Trump’s judicial wars, a palpable sense of an opportunity lost.”

Trump “went establishment,” French said, “made the best safe choice he could,” and “chose a man that any Republican president would have nominated.”  

“The best version of Trump would have nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court,” he said.

As a mother of seven kids, an outspoken Christian and a graduate from a “normal” non-Ivy League law school, Barrett was the nominee to shatter the GOP mold and inflame the culture wars.

“The base-motivating, electrifying pick was right there, in the palm of his hand,” French said.

French said that conservative Christians view Barrett as both qualified and a person they feel like they know. 

“Trump had — right in front of him — the judge who could be populist and principled,” said French, “the person who could galvanize the base and be an originalist judicial bedrock for the next 30 years.”

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‘Spirit of (Pope) Francis’ award given to Cardinal McCarrick by Cardinal Cupich scrubbed from site

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July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- Disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s name has been wiped from the website of an organization that gave him the Spirit of Francis award two years ago.

But Catholic Extension, the Roman Catholic organization that sang McCarrick’s praises when it handed him that prestigious award at the exclusive Manhattan Club in New York in 2016, can’t wipe away video of the event from social media.

In a video on YouTube, the unfolding of that bizarre event is laid bare for anyone to see.

In it, Chicago’s Cardinal Blasé Cupich, a top-ranking member of the American Catholic church who has since lobbied for pro-abortion American Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL., is shown giving McCarrick, who has been the subject of homosexual sexual harassment and sexual assault for decades, the Spirit of Francis award.

At the awards ceremony, Chicago cardinal Cupich lauds McCarrick for his “own unique way of making a mark on the church.”

The award is given to people who are considered laudable for their commitment to reach out to the ‘margins of society’ a main theme of the Francis papacy. The award takes its name from Pope Francis as well as St. Francis of Assisi and the founder of Catholic Extension, Father Francis Clement Kelley.

The irony of an award given in an exclusive club to honor - at least in part - a Catholic saint who insisted on dying with absolutely no possessions, naked on the ground, is palpable.

Earlier this year, McCarrick was stripped of all his pastoral duties – even though he remains both a priest and a cardinal - in the wake of allegations of sexual abuse of both a minor and seminarians.

In a statement at the end of June this year, McCarrick, the archbishop emeritus of Washington, issued a statement in which, while still maintaining his innocence, he recognized the allegations of sexual abuse made against him by someone who was a teenager 50 years ago. Those allegations have been deemed be both credible and substantiated.

“In obedience I accept the decision of The Holy See, that I no longer exercise any public ministry,” McCarrick wrote in that statement. “I realize this painful development will shock my many friends, family members, and people I have been honored to serve in my 60 years as a priest.”

Not everyone was all that shocked.

After all, allegations about McCarrick sexual harassment and sexual abuse of seminarians go back decades and there have been payouts, only revealed now, which did not come with any admission of wrongdoing, to those making those claims.

Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk who has testified in many Catholic sexual abuse trials, wrote an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 about the sexual harassment and sexual abuse allegations then already know about McCarrick.

“While I was adjunct professor at a Pontifical Seminary, St. Mary’s Baltimore (1972-1984) a number of seminarians came to me with concerns about the behavior of Theodore E. McCarrick, then-bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey,” wrote Sipe.  

Those allegations date back more than 30 years before McCarrick was honoured with the Spirit of Francis Award.

“It has been widely known for several decades that bishop/archbishop now-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick took seminarians and young priests to a shore home in New Jersey, sites in New York, and other places and slept with some of them,” alleged Sipe. “He established a coterie of young seminarians and priests that he encouraged to call him ‘Uncle Ted.’ I have his correspondence where he referred to these men as being ‘cousins’ with each other.”

None of the allegations swirling about McCarrick two years ago were enough to prevent Catholic Extension from honouring him with the Spirit of Francis award and singing his praises.

Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, reportedly described the now-disgraced cardinal “a true hero of the U.S. Catholic Church, who continues to proclaim and live the Gospel and who shows all of us the way for a life of discipleship and mercy in the 21st century.”

Catholic New York, the country’s largest Catholic newspaper, wrote McCarrick was “known for his support of seminaries and Catholic education; for leadership development, particularly within the Latino Catholic community; and for his advocacy on behalf of new immigrants.”

The Spirit of Francis award has been given annually by Catholic Extension to provide funding to strengthen and support poor mission dioceses in the United States so they can become self sustaining.

Catholic Extension’s assets of $200.3 million rely on the generosity of Catholic donors from around the country.

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A pro-life group in British Columbia is threatening legal action against the corporation that operates ferries in that province unless BC Ferries takes down all LGBTQ rainbow flags from its vessels. BC Ferries Twitter Feed
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Pro-life group tells BC Ferries to remove ‘offensive, oppressive’ rainbow flag from ferries

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VANCOUVER, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Threatening legal action, a pro-life group in British Columbia is calling on the corporation that operates ferries there to immediately remove all LGBTQ rainbow flags from its ships and buildings.

“The Pride flag is offensive, oppressive and traumatic,” writes Kari Simpson, executive director of Culture Guard, in an open letter to the company that operates British Columbia’s ferry services.

“It is a divisive symbol that signifies a lust for power over other groups—it is not a symbol of inclusivity!” Simpson writes. “For those who have been sexually assaulted by a member of the same sex, it is a horrific trigger of the memory of a forced event, that can have devastating effects on the victim—especially a child victim.

“For those who hold constitutionally-protected religious beliefs, it is offensive to be confronted with the sexual politics of the loud, aggressive and abusive political movement that the Pride flag represents.”

At the end of her open letter to BC Ferries, Simpson writes that failure by BC Ferries to remove all Pride flags and related symbols will result in legal action.

On its Facebook page, BC Ferries announced July 3 it was flying the rainbow flag on all its vessels.

“We’re raising Pride flags on every vessel in the fleet this week to celebrate Pride events taking place across BC this summer,” the company’s Facebook page states. “We’re loud and proud of all our customers and crew, everyone is welcome aboard!”

The same message is also being carried on the company’s Twitter feed. And at least some people support that decision.

“Love that @BCFerries is flying the Pride flag! Such a great way to show support for LGBTQ+ workers and passengers. And it looks so gorgeous too,” wrote Robin Stevenson, author of the pro-LGBTQ book PRIDE: Celebrating Diversity & Community, on Twitter.

BC Ferries itself did not respond Tuesday to repeated media phone calls and e-mails for comment.

At Culture Guard, Simpson strongly suggests flying the rainbow flag on BC Ferries vessels might be a violation of British Columbia’s Human Rights Code.  

“Are you willing to fly a Christian, Muslim or the Star of David flag?” Simpson asks in her open letter to the ferry corporation. “These groups have the same rights as those represented by the Pride flag. What about celebrating life and denouncing the legalized murder of babies—the ultimate child abuse. Will you fly the symbol of pro-life? If the answer in ‘No’, then you have a bigger problem than the one you have already created.”

Christian Heritage Party Leader Rod Taylor agrees.

The leader of Canada’s only national, pro-life party, Taylor maintains the ferry corporation’s decision to fly the rainbow flag is a sign the provincial New Democratic Party, which supports the LGBTQ community, is playing partisan politics.

“Since the socialist government of BC actually has responsibility for BC Ferries through the BC Ferries Authority, flying these flags is a shameful display of partisan arrogance and rudeness,” says Taylor. “It is a declaration of wished-for absolute authority, ignoring Canada’s charter, which recognizes the ‘supremacy of God’ not the ‘supremacy of the LGBT agenda’.”

He takes exception to the LGBTQ community’s use of the rainbow as a symbol.

“It ignores the biblical, historical meaning of the real rainbow, (you know the beautiful rainbow that appears in the sky under the perfect conditions),” Taylor notes on the party’s website.

“The first rainbow followed the flood of Noah’s day. The flood was God’s judgment on the wickedness of mankind and the rainbow was His promise never again to destroy the world with water,” said Taylor. “However, He will not forever tolerate sin, corruption and rebellion. There will be judgment, but not by a flood. It’s a great mistake to put one’s support behind a rebellion against God.”

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Pro-abortion activists protesting outside the Supreme Court after Trump announced Kavanaugh's nomination Generation Progress Twitter
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Threatening, ‘volatile’ protests force Fox News to move Supreme Court coverage

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – As Americans gathered in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court announcement Monday evening, the crowd around the Supreme Court itself was reportedly so “volatile” that a Fox News anchor moved her crew back to the studio rather than cover it live.

Trump announced last night that he had chosen District of Columbia Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Anchor Shannon Bream had initially planned to broadcast live from outside the steps of the Supreme Court, Fox News reports, but decided to move her crew back to the studio after witnessing the intensity of the gathered protesters.

“Very few times I’ve felt threatened while out in the field. The mood here tonight is very volatile. Law enforcement appears to be closing down 1st Street in front of SCOTUS,” Bream tweeted Monday evening. “Literally had to bail on our live show from #SCOTUS. Moving the show back to the safety of the studio. See y’all at 11p.”

 

“It got a little too rowdy out there at the court tonight,” she added later in the Fox studio, while interviewing Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse.

The evening reportedly saw protesters “screaming back and forth at each other” amid a “heavy law enforcement presence,” with anti-Trump activists chanting “Kavanaugh has got to go!” and brandishing “Protect Roe” and “Don’t Criminalize Abortion” signs.

 

 

New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders were also in attendance, apparently feeling safer long enough to address the crowd.

Pro-abortion and pro-homosexual activists have expressed fear and anger ever since Kennedy announced his retirement at the end of June over the prospect of a more conservative Supreme Court overturning its left-wing rulings on both issues.

The outraged reactions have included NARAL President Ilyse Hogue calling it a “moment of deep crisis” for the country, left-wing activist Rev. Al Sharpton claiming “all civil and human rights are at stake,” and Salon’s Chauncey Devega predicting, “Trump's Supreme Court will have their own version of the Dred Scott decision.” 

Left-wing activism has ratcheted up in intensity in recent months, with several instances of both public officials and private citizens being harassed, threatened, or even harmed for supporting Trump. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant, and a Texas man was arrested for approaching a teenager and stealing his “Make America Great Again” hat.

Following the Sanders incident, Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters expressly called on leftists to harass off-duty Trump Cabinet officials. “We have protestors taking up at their house who are saying, ‘No peace, no sleep. No peace, no sleep,’” she said approvingly to a crowd of supporters.

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Polish Catholics stop LGBT parade from disrupting famous Catholic shrine

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

CZĘSTOCHOWA, Poland, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Dozens of Polish Catholics prevented a gay pride parade from reaching Poland’s most sacred Catholic shrine.

Częstochowa is synonymous in the Catholic mind with the Jasna Góra monastery and its icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but it is a contemporary town with a population of over 200,000 people. This past Sunday it also held its first Pride parade, timed to coincide with a massive Catholic pilgrimage.

The so-called “Equality March in Częstochowa”, consisting of about 600 people, including members of the SLD (“Democratic Left Alliance”) party and Antifa, coincided with several other events in the southern city, including the pilgrimage of 100,000 fans of Polish Catholic radio station “Radio Maryja” to the Jasna Góra shrine. Originally the “Equality” marchers planned to march to the monastery themselves. However, when they got as far as Bieganski Square, they found the way blocked by dozens of furious opponents, three of whom lay down in Most Holy Virgin Mary Avenue to impede their progress.

After police dispersed the Catholic patriots, they regrouped in the park at the foot of the slope to the shrine where the crowds of Catholic pilgrims were praying. This time, the police redirected the LGBT march to the municipal art gallery.

Polish media reported that opponents of the “Equality March” carried banners reading “Homosexuality today, pedophila tomorrow.”

Polish Catholics considered the LGBT march to the Jasna Góra monastery to be a “provocation” of the  hundred thousand pilgrims, including the Polish prime minister, gathered there. Prayers had been offered for days for the “Equality” march’s cancellation. Witnesses to the parade were particularly horrified by the emblazoning of the LGBT rainbow flag with the crowned eagle of the Polish nation.

Joachim Brudziński, the head of the Polish Ministry of the Interior, thanked police for keeping the peace in the difficult circumstances while condemning the “Equality March” for its planned assault on Jasna Góra.

“Luckily, the obvious cultural and religious provocation of LGBT groups aimed against pilgrims gathered at the foot of Jasna Góra ended safely, thanks to the police," he said.  

The PiS (Law and Justice) member is also going to submit a legal complaint against participants in the “Equality” march for having desecrated national symbols.

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Despite the beard, masculine voice, receding hairline, and light skin tone, this person insists that he is neither a man nor Caucasian, but rather a non-binary half-Lebanese person. YouTube
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‘I am not a man,’ bearded TV guest insists in viral clip

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MONTREAL, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Bearded and with a masculine-sounding voice, the guest with the receding hairline on a French television show quickly takes exception to being identified as a man in a video clip that’s going viral.

“You’re not a man?” the host asks in disbelief in French.

“No. No. I don’t know why you’re saying I am a man. But I am not a man,” the guest replies.

“Your appearance,” the host proffers.

“Ah, well, we must not confuse gender expression with gender identity,” the individual continues.

Put online only seven days ago, that short video clip – it’s less than two minutes in length – on YouTube has already been seen more than 232,000 times.

It seems the guest identifies as “gender non-binary,” neither a man nor a woman.

And even though that guest certainly appears to have light-colored skin, he is equally quick to point out, when someone notes the panel on which the sits is comprised of four Caucasians, that this too is apparently a mistaken perception.

“I’m half-Lebanese,” the manly-looking individual says. “We should question all our stereotypical presuppositions because without even asking you have assumed I am a man and, because of my appearance, you consider me to be Caucasian.”

In the comments section below the video on YouTube, some of those who watched the video mocked the guest’s insistence of a non-Caucasian, non-gender binary identity.

“I am not a man, I’m a dragon who is half-Cameroonian,” wrote someone identified as Anthony Post.

Not to be outdone in chiding the TV show’s guest, another YouTube user claimed also to not be a man but rather a non-binary Yamaha bisexual V8 turbo half-lawnmower, half-tractor. Other YouTube users were equally silly with their suggestions.

At the Le Journal de Montreal daily newspaper in Quebec, journalist Mathieu Bock-Côté tried to make sense of it all in a column headlined A Man Is Not A Woman. After suggesting that people who feel like strangers to their own biological sex must be treated with empathy and insisting good faith efforts need to be made to accommodate them, Bock-Côté also called for common sense to prevail.

“Let’s get real: these are the outliers and a society cannot be redesigned based on them,” Bock-Côté wrote in French. “We cannot let the radical left exploit their unhappiness to justify its agenda of deconstructing identity.”

Entire societies are getting drunk on identity politics and the deconstruction of identity – and no longer even know how to stop the process, the columnist warned.

“They are throwing themselves into the abyss and it is young people who will pay the price for the disorientation caused by the destruction of fundamental points of reference,” Bock-Côté wrote. “They are already paying for it.”

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‘I’m not an isolated case’: Doctor fired for refusing to use trans pronouns speaks out

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By Doug Mainwaring

UNITED KINGDOM, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A doctor who has worked for 26 years with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has been “sacked” for refusing to use transgendered patients’ incorrect, “preferred” pronouns.   

The treatment of the 55-year-old father of four who believes that sex is biological and not a matter of personal preference raises questions about the chilling effect that pro-LGBT policies of government agencies have on freedom of speech, especially when it comes to Christians.    

Multiple reports from UK media indicate that Dr. David Mackereth was “deemed to be ‘unfit to work’ after he said he would refuse to identify patients by their preferred gender.”

Mackereth had sought a new position within NHS as a disability assessor for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). While training for his new job, Mackereth came under scrutiny for his reluctance to use patient’s preferred pronouns in written reports.  

The DWP said in an email that his refusal to do so “could be considered harassment as defined by the 2010 Equality Act.”

The Equality Act identifies those undergo or who propose to undergo gender reassignment are part of a protected class. Failure to use preferred pronouns is interpreted as unlawful discrimination.

Under ferocious attack

Dr. Mackereth, who is a Christian, worries about what the DWP’s action implies about freedom of speech – and thought – in the UK.

“I’m not attacking the transgender movement. But, I’m defending my right to freedom of speech, and freedom of belief,” said Mackereth, according to the UK Telegraph. “I don’t believe I should be compelled to use a specific pronoun. I am not setting out to upset anyone. But, if upsetting someone can lead to doctors being sacked then, as a society we have to examine where we are going.”

“I said that I had a problem with this. I believe that gender is defined by biology and genetics and that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female. I could have kept my mouth shut but it was the right time to raise it,” he said.

“By stating what has been believed by mankind for centuries – namely that gender and sex are determined at birth – you can come under ferocious attack,” he continued. “If we are no longer allowed to say that you believe sex and gender are the same and are determined at birth, everyone who holds my views can be sacked on the spot under this Act. I’m not an isolated case.”

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200 young Catholics sign open letter in support of Humanae Vitae

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

OXFORD, England, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two hundred young Catholics from the United Kingdom, several married couples among them, have signed a letter in support of Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical reaffirming Church teaching against artificial contraception.  

The full letter and list of signatories are below.

The letter, the initiative of a young married couple, Michael and Elisabeth Wee, was published last week in England’s Catholic Herald. Wee is the education officer at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre near Oxford University. His writings on bioethics have often appeared in the Herald, England’s most-read orthodox Catholic newspaper.  

Alerted to the project by an email, people aged 35 or under from the Catholic Church of England and Wales and of Scotland signed a statement supporting chastity, including marital chastity, in response to a letter published in the Catholic Herald suggesting that Catholic teaching on contraception has failed to “engage with social change.”

“One must not confuse being unfashionable with being untrue,” stated the letter-writers.

They underscored the value of chastity for human love and dignity.  

“Living out chastity is counter-cultural and difficult, but rewarding for relationships,” they wrote.

“It reminds us how the person to whom we are attracted is not a thing to be used but an equal to be loved, honoured and treated with reverence,” they continued. “The philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe rightly observed that ‘in this contraceptive day,’ however, sex becomes seen ‘as no more than an extreme kiss, which it might be rather rude to refuse.’”

The young Catholics underscored that the marital act holds meaning, which is the expression of total and mutual self-giving of a married couple and openness to new life.

They stated as “young, lay Catholics” that they wanted to affirm the beauty and relevance of Humanae Vitae for their own generation.

The young people’s letter follows a similar declaration made by almost 500 Catholic priests in Britain last month. The clerics’ statement observed that the dire prophecies made by Humanae Vitae had come to pass, and that a “rediscovery” of a “proper human ecology” is necessary.   

Although LifeSiteNews contacted different signatories for comment, they prefered to allow the letter to speak for itself.  

Full Statement

It has been suggested that Catholic teaching on contraception has failed to “engage with social change” (Letter, June 22). Yet one must not confuse being unfashionable with being untrue.

Living out chastity is counter-cultural and difficult, but rewarding for relationships.

It reminds us how the person to whom we are attracted is not a thing to be used, but an equal to be loved, honoured and treated with reverence. The philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe rightly observed that “in this contraceptive day”, however, sex becomes seen as “no more than a sort of extreme kiss, which it might be rather rude to refuse”.

At the heart of chastity is the simple yet revolutionary idea that we are made for love, and our sexuality has been given to us in order to fulfil this call. Hence, as Pope Francis puts it, “The image of God is the married couple”. Sex can never be truly casual, because it is so inherently filled with meaning – namely, the mutual love of the couple and openness to new life. That is why respecting the integrity of the sexual act matters. It is in allowing sex to convey its full meaning that we can give oneself to one’s spouse completely in love.

As young, lay Catholics living in Britain who find this teaching on sexuality beautiful and prophetic, we therefore wish to affirm the relevance of Humanae Vitae for our generation – and indeed for generations to come.

Full list of signatories:

Michelle Allan

Johannes Arens

Ray-Mallero Baquiran

Damian and Margaret Barker

Joao Barroca

Vivienne Barrow

Lorna Begley

Antonia and Chris Braithwaite

Anna Branford

Sean Biggins

Gerald Bonner

Joanna and Stephen Bullivant

Hugh Burling

Ruth Bushell

Elena Cahill

Christopher Cahill

Joshua Caminiti

Philip and Clara Campbell

Thomas and Rebecca Carrott

Sara Chan

James Channer

Gregory Chilson

Johnny Church

Dominic Ciftci

Georgia Clarke

Dominic Clearkin

Elizabeth Cohen

Patrick Connell

Mollie Cornell

Angela Costley

Rebekah Curran

Catherine Dalzell

Henry Darlison

Edward David

Tudur David

Christopher Dean

Grace Deighan

Simone Delzin

Alisa and Gregor Dick

Luke Dowle

David and Katie Edwards

Emmi Egbuonu

Sina Fackler

Selina Fang

James Farrell

Eve Farren

John and Rosemary Fetherston

Catherine Fleischer

Andrew Ford

Maria Freeman

Raphaella Gabrasadig

Joseph and Julie Geoghegan

Rafael Gibbons

Conor and Naomi Gildea

Annie Glasspool

Chris and Marie-Therese Glover

Antonia Goddard

Anastasia Gomes

Naoise Grenham

Ryan Hawkes

Eleanor Hall

Angela and Paul Hammond

Rachel Hammond

Lucy Healy

Jonathan Henry

Rachael Henry

Josephine Holt

Joseph Hopkins

James Howe

Andrew and Irene Hutchinson

Thomas Hutchinson

Jacob Imam

Gregory and Grace Jackson

Guy Jackson

Jo Jackson

Emma John

Bonnie and Dennis Johnson

Michael Jones

Leslie and David Keating

Rory Kennedy

William Kent

Jack Kilday

Evangeline Kozitza

Ilona Lahdelma

Brian M. Lapsa

Matt Lavelle

Visitation Lesterpearson

Martin and Roisin Macgregor

Pui Yiu Carol Mak

Kathleen Malkin

Claire Maloney

Julia McCourt

James McKee

David Mitchell

Caisen Mirassou

Riccardo Monni

John Morris

Lauren and Greg Morrison

Marya Morrison

Peter Morrison

Narquita Navarro

Thomas and Catherine Neal

Michael and Margaret Nicholson

Isabel Ng

Angela Mui Nouillan

Darren Nouillan

Niall and Ruth O Coinleáin

Christopher and Rebecca Oldroyd

Francis and Annabel Osborn

Maria Overy

Tanya Park

Fraser and Jane Pearce

Helena Penfold

Benjamin and Jutta Portelli

Michal Pruski

Liam and Patricia Rafferty

Gavin Rice

Theresa Rowland

John Saladino

Gerrie Serpell

Paul Shakeshaft

Ruby Shao

John Shinkwin

Rebecca Short

Edward Smith

Brian and Elizabeth Sudlow

Caroline and Matthew Sutherland

Madeleine and Dominic Strezynski

Wojciech Szymczak

Saumya Thomas

Brenden Thompson

Gregory Treloar

Joseph and Bethany Treloar

Grace Shih-Chia Tseng

Monica Underwood

Hannah Vaughan-Spruce

Ailsa and James Walton

Ian and Kristiina Watt

Matthew and Rachael Ward

Thomas and Sarah Ward

Michael and Elisabeth Wee

Elizabeth Wilkinson

Alithea Williams

Matthew Williams

Jamie Wilmore

William Woodall

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Women's March. Washington D.C., Jan. 21, 2017 Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
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Women’s March botches attack on Trump’s Supreme Court pick

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By Calvin Freiburger

July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The left-wing, pro-abortion Women’s March organization became the subject of social media mockery Monday night when it issued a statement denouncing President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, while forgetting to replace placeholder text with Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s name.

“In response to Donald Trump’s nomination of XX to the Supreme Court, The Women’s March released the following statement,” the email began, the Washington Examiner reports. While the email went on to identify Kavanaugh by name as “a death sentence for thousands of women in the United States,” it misspelled the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge’s last name as “Cavenaugh.”

The snafu followed a declaration from the Women’s March earlier in the day that “[w]e don’t have to wait for the name of Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. We already know it will be someone with a stated opposition to abortion and women’s right to choose what happens to our own bodies.”

Conservatives pounced on the Women’s March on Twitter, as compiled by Twitchy.

“2018 activism summed up in one hilarious screenshot,” columnist Andrew Lawton said.

“With a name like XX you'd think this judge would be more feminist,” Reason Magazine’s Jesse Walker quipped. “Good thing [the president] didn’t go with XX,” former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer added.

The Women’s March weren’t the only ones to condemn a still-unidentified nominee, however. The Examiner notes that “ABC’s ‘Nightline’ issued a premature tweet claiming Trump’s nominee was ‘controversial’ prior to Trump announcing he had decided on Kavanaugh.” On Sunday, Campus Reform released a video of New York University students criticizing Trump’s choice, unaware that no choice had yet been revealed.

“He’s quite extreme in his views,” one student said. Another fretted, “I saw the new nominee is like racist, and he’s starting a new wave of something very negative, and I’m really scared about the future and what choices he will make.”

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Would Brett Kavanaugh overturn Roe? Supreme Court pick’s record offers mixed clues

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – With President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee revealed, pro-life activists are now turning their attention to attempting to discern Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s likelihood of voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, which made America one of the most liberal abortion regimes in the world.

Trump announced Monday night that the District of Columbia circuit judge was his choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, hailing Kavanaugh as a “brilliant jurist” who “can set aside [his] views to do what the law and Constitution require[s].”

Kavanaugh quickly won the endorsements of several pro-life groups, including the National Right to Life Committee and Susan B. Anthony List, which already announced plans to mobilize grassroots activists to “urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”

Others took a more cautiously hopeful tone, with Live Action president Lila Rose simply “encourag[ing] Brett Kavanaugh to uphold the Constitution and support the most basic human right — the right to life — for all people.”

Before the president’s announcement, the Washington Examiner relayed a quote from an unnamed source close to the White House that “there are concerns in the pro-life community that his decisions in some cases mean he’s not as solidly pro-life as we would like him to be.” Critics have pointed to cases in which he arrived at the pro-life outcome, but his reasoning arguably suggested openness to other pro-abortion legal claims.

On the D.C. Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh sided with Priests for Life against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate, but also suggested the government has a “compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of...religious organizations.” (Since then, the case has been settled and the Trump administration has worked to dismantle the mandate and other anti-conscience rules.)

Kavanaugh also ruled that there was no “right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. Government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand,” although he based his decision in part on the theory that the delay in obtaining an abortion didn’t constitute an “undue burden” whereas his colleague Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson recognized the illegal immigrant had no right to abortion at all. Critics argue Kavanaugh should have joined the stronger opinion; defenders say he was merely operating within the framework that both sides of the suit agreed on.

Kavanaugh has also touched on the subject of Roe itself on a couple of occasions, but without presenting clear-cut proof of his legal position.

During his 2006 confirmation hearings to the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh testified that he “would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully. That would be binding precedent of the court, it’s been decided by the Supreme Court.” He added that “it’s been reaffirmed many times, including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” and, “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal view.”

Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative legal analyst who favors overturning Roe, defended Kavanaugh on this point Tuesday by stressing that his comments “related entirely to” the role of a lower court judge bound to defer to higher courts, and “do not speak to [the] role of” a Supreme Court Justice.

As how Kavanaugh would rule on the highest court, perhaps the most encouraging evidence comes from a speech he delivered last year to the American Enterprise Institute on the legal philosophy of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, whom he called “my first judicial hero.”

“Rehnquist’s dissenting opinion [in Roe…] stated that under the Court’s precedents, any such unenumerated right had to be rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people,” Kavanaugh summarized. “Given the prevalence of abortion regulations both historically and at the time, Rehnquist said he could not reach such a conclusion about abortion.”

“Justice Rehnquist was not successful in convincing a majority of the justices in the context of abortion either in Roe itself or in the later cases such as Casey, in the latter case perhaps because of stare decisis,” he continued. “But he was successful in stemming the general tide of freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights that were not rooted in the nation’s history and tradition.”

While Kavanaugh was summarizing Rehnquist’s thinking and not explicitly adopting it as his own (nor did he say whether he interprets stare decisis to mean Roe should survive regardless of that critique), his summary of Roe as “freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights” may be the clearest indicator yet that he thinks the case was wrongly decided.

While many in pro-life and conservative circles are celebrating Kavanaugh’s nomination, some suggest now is the time to scrutinize these and other ambiguities.

“I look forward to the process in the Senate, getting to know Judge Kavanaugh and his family better in coming months, and, hopefully, voting to confirm him to the Supreme Court in the fall,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, said Monday evening, hopeful but not yet committing to confirmation.

“I’ll keep an open mind,” conservative commentator and former Reagan administration advisor Mark Levin wrote. “But the conservative senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee must use the confirmation hearing to ask him legitimate questions to verify his backers’ claims that he’s a textualist and originalist.”

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Kansas GOP candidate won’t back down after calling Planned Parenthood death camps

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By Calvin Freiburger

KANSAS, July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Republican state senator running for Congress is holding his ground despite denunciations for comparing Planned Parenthood’s abortion business to the Nazis’ mass slaughter of Jews during World War II.

Kansas state Sen. Steve Fitzgerald is currently running to replace the retiring Rep. Lynn Jenkins in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the pro-life candidate has come under fire for condemning abortion with forceful historical comparisons.

Last month, critics revisited a 2017 incident in which he sent a letter to Planned Parenthood Great Plains expressing displeasure that someone had donated to the organization in his name.

“This is as bad – or worse – as having one’s name associated with Dachau,” Fitzgerald wrote at the time. Dachau was one of the Holocaust’s most notorious concentration camps, which housed more than 188,000 and claimed at least 28,000 victims.

During a March legislative debate over whether to ban taxpayer funding of research using aborted baby parts or involving the destruction of embryonic humans, Fitzgerald drew a parallel between abortion and the “abhorrent” experiments and the crimes of infamous Nazi scientist Josef Mengele. He also equated Nazis’ use of euphemisms such as “untermensch” (less than human) with pro-abortion rhetoric claiming fetuses are “not really human.”

Fitzgerald’s rhetoric drew condemnations from Democrats, pro-abortion groups, the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City and even the Kansas Republican Party, which said “the two issues are very different and should not be compared.”

In his most recent remarks to a July 2 meeting of the Leavenworth County GOP, however, the candidate stressed that his language is not only correct, but important.

“It was a firestorm. I got calls from everywhere, 'How dare you? How could you? How could you compare it to Dachau?'" Fitzgerald said, according to CNN. "I said, you are right, 'Dachau really wasn't one of the bigger killing camps and these guys' numbers are way beyond anything that they did.'"

"Ask the blacks about slavery. Ask the American Indians. "Ask – well, of course, the Indians were doing it to each other. The whites were doing it to each other,” he continued. "But if you go all back in history, we have never had much compunction about killing each other, especially if you couldn't fight back."

"Outside of Western civilization is only barbarism. Abortion is not compatible with Western civilization,” Fitzgerald declared. “And we need to make that clear, we need to make it recognized, we need to make people understand we are talking about humanity."

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum estimates that 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust, along with millions of additional victims including Soviets, Poles, Polish and Serb civilians, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, political and resistance prisoners, and homosexuals. It is estimated that more than 60 million babies have been aborted in the United States since Roe v. Wade.

Fitzgerald is one of six Republicans running for Kansas’ Second Congressional District. The winner will face former Democrat state Rep. Paul Davis in the general election. Kansans for Life has endorsed Fitzgerald.

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Phil Lawler

Opinion, ,

The homosexual scandal in the Church is worse than anyone wants to admit

Phil Lawler
By Phil Lawler

July 10, 2018 (CatholicCulture.org) – The news that Cardinal McCarrick has been credibly accused of molesting a young man – and the subsequent revelations that "everybody knew" about the cardinal's homosexual activities – have raised new and important questions about the silence of other American bishops. What did they know, and when did they know it? How did the cardinal advance through the ecclesiastical ranks, even after complaints had been received in the dioceses where he served?

These are not new questions. In fact our sometime contributor Diogenes asked them – and pointed to the obvious answer – in a post that appeared on this site over 13 years ago. His argument was powerful in 2005, and although some of his references will now seem dated, nothing that has happened in the intervening years affects the essential force of that argument.

Herewith the thoughts of Diogenes, from June 16, 2005:

The Washington Times reports that "the U.S. Catholic bishops will sidestep the issue of whether gay men should become priests at their semiannual meeting," which began today at the Chicago Fairmont.

And why, boys and girls, was it a foregone conclusion that the bishops would "sidestep" the issue? Because the question of whether gays should be ordained cannot be addressed without first addressing a considerably more explosive question: the number of bishop-disputants who are themselves gay and have a profound personal interest that there be no public examination of the connections between their sexual appetites, their convictions, and their conduct of office.

Let's do a little stock-taking of those U.S. bishops who are publicly known to be gay:

  • Retired Bishop Dan Ryan of Springfield, IL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Tom Dupre of Springfield, MA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, CA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Kendrick Williams of Lexington, KY. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Keith Symons of Palm Beach, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Lawrence Soens of Sioux City, IA. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Joseph Hart of Cheyenne, WY. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Retired Bishop Anthony O'Connell of Palm Beach, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? Through the offices of the civil justice system.
  • Non-Retired Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, FL. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? The papers reported his $100,000 sexual harassment pay-off to his communications flack.
  • Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, WI. Did he tell us he was gay? No. Did his brother bishops tell us he was gay? No. Then how did we find out? His lover broke the news on Good Morning America.

Nota bene: this isn't a roster of gay bishops. This isn't even a roster of gay bishops who have misbehaved. This is list of only those gay bishops whose misbehavior has gotten them in trouble with the law – and that so deeply that their proclivities were objectively undeniable. What percentage of the total of gay bishops do they represent? I don't know and you don't know. And about the only things we do know are:

  1. the bishops won't be up front with us about names or numbers;
  2. their clandestine gay brethren are voting, caucusing, doing committee work, legislating, cutting deals, and deciding (among other things) whether gays should be admitted to the seminaries;
  3. all bishops, gay and not, will maintain in public that there is no reason to believe a gay bishop would use his vote – on this or any issue – in any way other than to advance the good of the universal Church. The abuse scandal has already cost the U.S. Church $1 billion, as well as immeasurable spiritual harms, predicated on the grotesquely perverse intuition that personal sexual anarchy can co-exist in a truce with priestly life. The fact that the obvious reckoning can still be "sidestepped" tells us all we need to know about the episcopal will for reform.

Say hello to the future, folks.

That was the prediction of Diogenes in 2005. To be fair, the long-overdue exposure of Cardinal McCarrick was not brought about by the civil-justice system. It was the result of an investigation by a review board, acting on authorization from the Holy See. But neither was it disclosed by the bishops of those dioceses that had previously received complaints. So after all these years, you might count this story as a small, hesitant, partial step forward toward a goal that should have been obvious to everyone fifteen years ago: holding bishops accountable.

Since the sex-abuse scandal exploded, our bishops have frequently spoken about the need to re-establish trust. But they still haven't given us reason to trust them.

Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.

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Michael New

Opinion, ,

Does the American public really support Roe v. Wade?

Michael New
By Michael New

July 10, 2018 (National Review) – Justice Kennedy's announcement that he is retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court has dramatically raised salience of sanctity-of-life issues. Supporters of legal abortion and their allies in the mainstream media are working tirelessly to generate opposition to a constitutionalist nominee who might vote to weaken or overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. One key talking point among many abortion-rights groups is that Roe is a decision that enjoys broad public support and should be considered settled. Indeed, a flurry of polls released in recent days by NBC News/Survey MonkeyKaiser Family Foundation, and Quinnipiac University all purportedly find that over 60 percent of respondents support Roe v. Wade.

These polls are all misleading for several reasons. First, a significant number of Americans are unfamiliar with the Roe v. Wade decision. A Pew Research Center poll taken in 2013 found that only 62 percent of respondents were aware that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion. Seventeen percent thought Roe v. Wade dealt with some other public-policy issue and 20 percent were unfamiliar with the decision. Furthermore, even many who realize Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion fail to understand the full implications of the decision. Many wrongly think that overturning Roe v. Wade would result in national ban on abortion, instead a reversal of Roe would return the issue to the states.

Additionally, many polling questions, including the recent questions by NBC News/Survey Monkey, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Quinnipiac University all fail to inform respondents that Roe v. Wade effectively legalized abortion on demand for all nine months of pregnancy and makes it difficult to place limits on late-term abortions. Historically, there has been very little public support for second-trimester or third-trimester abortions. For instance, a Gallup poll that was released this June found that only 28 percent of people thought second-trimester abortions should be legal and only 13 percent thought third-trimester abortions should be legal.

In 2006, Crisis Magazine published a useful article by Mark Stricherz, which analyzed polling on Roe v. Wade. He looks at the polls conducted during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of John Roberts and Samuel Alito in the mid 2000s. A Gallup poll at this time described Roe v. Wade as the decision that "legalized abortion" giving respondents the incorrect impression that abortion was always illegal beforehand. The Pew Research Center survey described Roe v. Wade as having "established a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy." Both the Gallup and the Pew Research Center found that support for Roe v. Wade was over 60 percent. However, when the Los Angeles Times described Roe v. Wade as the decision "which permits a woman to get an abortion from a doctor at any time" – support fell to 43 percent.

Seasoned observers of the U.S. Supreme Court realize that rulings on high-visibility issues are often influenced by public opinion. As such, it should come as no surprise that since 1973 supporters of legal abortion have tried to make a concerted effort to convince the Supreme Court that Roe v. Wade enjoys very broad public support. However, a closer look at the survey data indicates that is not the case. Incremental pro-life laws, such as limits on late-term abortions, have always been broadly supported. Furthermore, public support for Roe v. Wade significantly drops in well-designed polls which fully explain its implications. Pro-lifers would do well to not be discouraged and stay the course.

Published with permission from National Review.

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William Kilpatrick

Opinion, ,

Exposing stereotypes about Islam in schools

William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

July 10, 2018 (Turning Point Project) – I recently came across a Time article entitled "Let's Teach About Islam in Our Schools." The piece is from December 2014, but the author's views are still widely shared. Indeed, they represent the dominant point of view.

So let's see what he has to say. He writes that it's essential to teach about Islam in public schools because there exists in America "a huge and profound ignorance about Islam."

Can't argue with that. What else? Teaching about Islam, writes the author, means "rejecting the stereotyping of Islam." Good point. Stereotypes of Islam abound in our society. Schools should try to correct these misperceptions.

What are the stereotypes? According to the author, people have been misled to believe "that fanaticism and intolerance are fundamental to Islamic religion, and that violence and even suicide bombing have deep Koranic roots."

Uh oh! Maybe the author and I aren't on the same wave length after all. I was thinking of a different set of stereotypes – the ones that portray Islam as a religion of peace, justice, and mercy. As it turns out, the author doesn't think of these as stereotypes, but as accurate descriptions of "genuine" Islam. We must recognize, he writes, "That normative Islam...is a religion that promotes kindness and compassion, opposes violence, and promotes a middle way between extremes."

An evidenced by...? Eric Yoffie, the author of the Time piece, and a former president of the Union for Reform Judaism, doesn't offer any facts to back up this assertion or any quotes from authoritative Islamic sources. He just assumes that all the bien pensants who read Time will instantly recognize the truth of what he says. Islam "promotes kindness and compassion" and "opposes violence"? If he said the same thing about Catholicism, it would provoke a flood of letters to the editor detailing the militant, misogynistic, and child-abusing nature of Catholicism, accompanied by threats to cancel the subscription.

But you can get away with saying such pleasant things about Islam because very few will complain. Mr. Yoffie claims that there is a "huge and profound ignorance about Islam." That's true enough, but it's not what he thinks. He seems to assume that students are kept in the dark about all the positive aspects of Islam when exactly the opposite is true. Not only does he appear to know little about Islam, he also seems to know little about American schools. The bland "kindness and compassion" version of Islam that he wishes they would teach, is what they do teach and have taught for many years.

Mr. Yoffie seems to be unfamiliar with the American Textbook Council's 2008 report, Islam in the Classroom: What the Textbooks Tell Us. The study sampled ten widely adopted junior and senior high school history textbooks, and found that "they deliberately misrepresent Islamic history, jihad, Islamic law (sharia), global terrorism, and more."

Mr. Yoffie rightly insists that in teaching about religion, schools should maintain the distinction between "teaching" and "preaching," but the school history texts consistently fail to do that. According to the ATC report, the textbooks were "filled with adulatory lessons on Islam." The lessons contained "inspirational tales," material taken from devotional rather than historical sources, and stories of miracles, angels and revelations.

According to a McDougal Little text, people converted to Islam because "they were attracted to Islam's message of equality and hope for salvation." You might think that's a bit one-sided. You might ask,"What about jihad?" Or, "Wasn't Islam spread by the sword?" But to raise such questions only proves Yoffie's point about "profound ignorance." Or, at least, that's how the textbook authors see it. According to them, the idea that Islam was spread by the sword is a common misconception. Jihad, they insist, simply means "to exert oneself" or to struggle "to do one's best to resist temptation."

Here's how the History Alive text puts it:

Jihad represents the human struggle to overcome difficulties and do things that are pleasing to God... [Muslims] might work to become better people, reform society or correct injustice.

If it looks as though that could have been written by a committee of Muslim lobbyists, it probably was. According to Gilbert Sewall, the author of the ATC report, "Top editors... make a business of appeasing pressure groups. Islamic activists, some with no academic credentials or background, are listed as academic reviewers in major textbooks..."

The most troubling part of the ATC report deals with textbook treatment of terrorism. The general approach is to treat Islamic terrorists as a tiny minority who are essentially no different from the IRA, the Tamil Tigers, the Shining Path, and the Basque separatists. Of course, this is highly misleading. Islamic terror is sui generis. It's much more extensive than other forms of terrorism and it is transnational in scale. Unlike the IRA or the Tamil Tigers, the aim of Islamic terrorism is not to force political concessions, but to impose Islamic law on the entire planet.

When textbooks do talk about Islamic terror, they blame it on the usual suspects: poverty, ignorance, Western imperialism, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same time, they avoid making a connection between Islamic terror and Islam itself. Consider the textbook treatment of the 9/11 attack. Here is the entire discussion of that day in Prentice Hall's The Modern World:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, teams of terrorists hijacked four airplanes on the East Coast. Passengers challenged the hijackers on one flight, which they crashed on the way to its target. But one plane plunged into the Pentagon in Virginia, and two others slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. More than 2,500 people were killed in the attacks.

The first thing you notice is the brevity of the account. 9/11 is arguably, the most important event to have occurred thus far in the 21st Century. Yet it merits only one short paragraph in a book which purports to acquaint students with "the modern world." The next thing you notice is that there is no mention of Islam or Muslims, only of "terrorists."

Glencoe Publishers' Modern Times gives a slightly more detailed account of 9/11, including the fact that "More Americans were killed in the attacks than died at Pearl Harbor or on D-Day in World War II." Yet, once again, there is no mention of Islam or Muslims – the perpetrators are simply "terrorists." That's a bit like teaching about Pearl Harbor without mentioning the Japanese, or discussing D-Day with no reference to Nazis.

One textbook does refer to "Middle East terrorism" and "Muslim movements," but hastens to add that "the vast majority of Muslims believe terrorism is contrary to their faith." The upshot of this "reverential treatment of Islamic history" is that textbooks "give a false picture – or no picture at all – of grave threats to the U.S. and world" – including "the life-and-death threat of nuclear terror."

While educators and textbook publishers are fretting over diversity and sensitivity, the ATC study rightly calls attention to the threat to national and international security posed by the whitewashed version of Islam presented in our schools.

Of course, the situation has gotten markedly worse since the 2008 report – both in terms of terrorist activity and in terms of increasingly pro-Islam curriculums. For example, a Chatham, New Jersey parent is suing the school system for forcing 7th grade students to watch a set of videos in their World Cultures and Geography class that proselytize for Islam. One five-minute video declares:

  • The Quran is a perfect guide for humanity
  • Islam is a shining beacon against the darkness of repression, segregation, intolerance and racism.

The video ends with a call to conversion: "May God help us all to find the true faith, Islam."

And may God help educators to come to their senses before they give away the farm. Toward the end of the ATC report, Sewall says something that probably hasn't been heard in educational circles for sixty years:

[Textbooks are] instruments of civic education that have among their responsibilities the obligation to alert the young to threats to American ideals and security.

He might have added that there is a connection between "ideals" and "security." If students fail to appreciate the ideals of their own culture, why should they defend it?

Thanks to years of miseducation about Islam, students and graduates are ill-prepared to understand or cope with the threats to our society. Because of the innocuous portrayal of Islam in textbooks and classrooms, students will conclude that there is little to fear from it. They are not likely to know that the primary definition of "jihad" is "war against non-Muslims," or that jihadist organizations are active in every corner of the world. They will have only the vaguest idea why Islamic terrorists attacked us on 9/11, and they will have difficulty understanding why a travel ban has been imposed on certain Muslim countries. Most troubling, they will come away from their studies with almost zero knowledge of stealth jihad – the primary means by which Islamists hope to Islamize Western societies. That's ironic, seeing as they themselves have been the victims of what is probably the largest and most effective stealth jihad operation in America.

Mr. Yoffie ends his Time article by asserting that schools have a solemn obligation to teach about Islam – "the most misunderstood religious system of our time." Yes, Islam is a misunderstood system, but the chief misunderstanders are naïfs like Mr. Yoffie, and the educators and textbook publishers who have misled a generation of students about Islam.

They have allowed themselves – sometimes gullibly, and sometimes willingly – to be used by Islamists. Now they have a solemn obligation to undo the damage. And the first step is to realize that the subject of Islam should not be taught from the perspective of multiculturalists and Islamic pressure groups, but from the perspective of our own cultural survival.

This article originally appeared in the July 2, 2018 edition of FrontPage. It is published here with permission from the Turning Point Project.

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Herbert London

Opinion,

Looking back at Solzhenitsyn, two generations later

Herbert London
By Herbert London

July 10, 2018 (American Thinker) – In June 1978 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn delivered the commencement address at Harvard titled "A World Split Apart." It was a speech devoted to the emergence of "different worlds," including our own Western society. On one side of the divide is a freedom diverted to unbridled passion with the accumulation of material riches to be valued above all else. Man is the center in this equation, as there isn't any power above him, resulting in a moral poverty searching for meaning.

In days after this speech, the Fourth Estate accused Solzhenitsyn of "losing his balance," of representing a "mind split apart." He thought one could say what one thinks in the USA, but democracy expects to be admired. The press argued "the giant does not love us."

Was Solzhenitsyn right? He did use positive signs in the heartland. "Gradually another America began unfolding before my eyes, one that was small town, and robust, the heartland, the America I had envisioned as I was writing this speech."

Now we have the luxury of examining the address forty years later. As I see it, Solzhenitsyn was "cautious" based on the way cultural conditions have unfolded over these four decades. The U.S. is preoccupied with material goals, a condition that has reached full efflorescence from the rationalist humanist tradition. The Higher Power to which Solzhenitsyn refers is in serial descent, having gone from more than 90 percent of the populace embracing God to about 70 percent, with the trend line in descent well established.

Accompanying this trend is a debasement in the culture disgorged from moral constraints. I find myself astonished by the fact that at the Tony Awards Robert De Niro, in the most vulgar fashion, attacked the president of the United States, the same De Niro who is the recipient of the president's Freedom Award, the most prestigious award in the nation.

I am equally puzzled by the granting of a Pulitzer prize to Kendrick Lamar, a rap singer who invariably holds his crotch during performances. And I recognize a complete collapse in standards when Bob Dylan received a Nobel Prize, a prize denied to some of the literary luminaries of the twentieth century. What have we come to?

Solzhenitsyn understood that if God is displaced by humanism any idea the human mind can conjure is possible. Taste, manners, kindness, respect are subordinated for freedom and personal sentiment. "If it feels good, do it." Even churches and synagogues have lost their way now spending more time on social conditions than religious doctrine. Clearly Western society has not collapsed, not yet anyway. But when it comes to constructing an emotional defense for our way of life, the arguments are banal. There is, of course, the reference to freedom and tolerance, but what about First Principles. Where do we stand on the "naked public square" or the integration of religion into the American founding?

Why would Italian officials cover art work centuries old when there is a visit by one Iranian dignitary? Shouldn't we take pride in the extraordinary sculptures emerging from our culture? And why should we care whether another religious culture is offended? Is the reverse also true?

Trend lines are sometimes reversed, but if one were to extrapolate from the present to some distant future, the West – with its relativism ensconced – is in trouble of losing its global influence. How does a society unsure of its meaning compete against a fanatical culture that knows exactly what it wants to achieve? Mine is not merely another spirited defense of Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West, since the gradual decline is with us in every crevice of cultural life. Universities share the orthodoxy of decline. Talk shows have the same chattering voices utter banalities heard before. And truth is shattered by the postmodern belief that deep feeling is really what counts. Yes, it is important that Americans read Spengler, if they read at all, but far more important at this time is the removal of cultural filters. Look at America and the West dispassionately. What do you see? And why do you see it?

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Bryan Kemper Follow Bryan

Opinion,

Reflecting on 31 years as a tattooed pro-life punk rocker

Bryan Kemper Follow Bryan
By Bryan Kemper

July 10, 2018 (StandTrue.com) -- It was a warm August night in 1987 when four young kids took the stage at a church in Anaheim, California, and changed my life forever. I was only a week into my Christian journey and just looking for some good music to listen to that would encourage me in my new faith. I was not expecting to find my calling in life that night, but that is exactly what happened when the band The Crucified began to sing a song entitled “The Silent Scream”. 

I left that concert with a cassette tape that I listened to over and over and over. I took to heart the words of the song and the words that Stacey, the drummer’s then-girlfriend, now-wife, shared with me about abortion and what it really was. I could not stop thinking about what was going on in our world that I had been blind to for so many years. I could not erase the thought of a baby screaming for life while a doctor was intentionally killing a human being he was trained to heal.

Over the next few years I began to speak out against abortion, wearing pro-life t-shirts and putting stickers on my scooter and helmet. I began to collect and distribute pro-life literature. My journey to full-time pro-life activist had begun but I had not yet realized this was my life’s calling.

It was a couple years later when my friend Chris invited me to a pro-life event in downtown Los Angeles. We met up with my friend Elisa and her mom at an abortion mill where a giant protest was taking place. I had a Mohawk and tattoos and most of the pro-abortion protesters thought I was one of them. They asked me to stand and guard the door, and to hold it open to allow women in to get an abortion. 

I had heard about Operation Rescue and how its members would sacrificially sit in front of the doors in prayer to buy time for counselors to offer women an alternative to abortion. They would be arrested for laying their lives down for the sake of the precious children scheduled to die that day.

When I saw that young woman walking toward the door I was holding open, I had no choice; I had to do something to try to protect her child from what was about to happen. In the middle of hundreds of screaming pro-abortion activists, I slammed the door shut and linked my arms to the handles as the crowd around me realized I was actually pro-life.

I was hit, kicked and spat upon. They screamed, “He’s OR, He’s OR” as Elisa turned and left and the police came running in to arrest me. I was walked out of the crowd in handcuffs as they all cheered. I was released later that day when pro-life activist Jeff White negotiated my release and within an hour I called my boss and told him I could no longer work on Saturdays. I knew that my Saturdays from then on would be spent standing up against abortion.

Over the years, as I got more involved with the Rescue movement, I began to dream about mixing my two passions, music and pro-life. I had been involved with Christian rock, working for many bands while also doing pro-life activism. In 1993 I was undercover at an abortion mill and I actually witnessed an abortion. That night, when I was crying out to God about what I saw, He gave me the vision and call on my life. I heard the audible words, “Bryan, save my children”. He gave me the vision to start Rock for Life and be a booming voice for life in the middle of the culture of death.

I began to organize concerts featuring bands like POD, Sometime Sunday, Focused, Precious Death, The Blamed and so many more. I was invited to tour with Lollapalooza in 1994 and I had a pro-life booth at every stop of the tour. I joined forces with Erik Whittington of the band Sometime Sunday to build Rock for Life into a full-time pro-life organization, mobilizing young people to stand up and call for an end to abortion. 

Erik and I had a passion for creating cutting edge pro-life t-shirts, stickers, music and more. We wanted to not only educate and activate this generation but to equip them to be bold with the message. The first big shirt we did was a simple design with the words “Abortion Is Mean. This design became one of the most popular pro-life shirts every made. By the early 2000s you could not walk through a Christian concert festival without seeing this shirt everywhere you looked. 

The back of the shirt had a message that resonated with our generation, a proclamation that so many took to heart. “You Will Not Silence My Message, You Will Not Mock My God, You Will Stop Killing My Generation.” This became an anthem for Christian youth as the youth pro-life movement began to explode.

Erik and I began to mobilize young alternative kids who did not fit the norm to come to the March for Life in D.C. It was amazing to see hundreds of kids marching together with Mohawks, dyed hair, tattoos and piercings alongside people you would never expect to see standing for the same cause. It was a revolution for life like no one had ever seen before. It was a beautiful sight.

Years later, with my new organization, Stand True, I launched a new shirt with a prophetic message that I 100 percent believe. “I Survived Roe vs. Wade, Roe vs. Wade Will Not Survive Me”.  I have often been asked if I truly believe this message, do I really believe this is the generation that will abolish abortion. 

Yes! Yes I do believe this! When people ask me questions like, “Do you believe we can actually see Roe vs. Wade overturned,” I say, “Don’t ask can we, but when will we see this happen?”

That brings us to today, an historic moment in our nation, the turning of the Supreme Court to a conservative majority like we have not seen before. I have not been fooled into thinking that the nomination of Justice Kavanaugh is a guarantee that we will see the end of Roe soon, but I am encouraged to know we are a step closer.

The truth is we have probably not seen the last nomination from President Trump; in fact there could actually be two more Justices seated on the bench before he leaves office. 

While we must remain cautious and vigilant in our fight for an end to abortion, I do believe that we can also take encouragement in the direction our nation is heading. It is true that even if Roe is overturned, it will not bring about the end of abortion, but it will bring us one giant step closer.

Even when we do see abortion outlawed again, something I believe will happen and needs to happen, we must continue to fight the culture of death. Just like all other evil attacks on humanity that have been made illegal, those things still happen. Just because as evil will still exist does not mean we don’t fight to outlaw that evil. 

So here I sit sipping my coffee on a hot July morning about thirty-one years after I first heard about the silent scream, thinking about that concert that woke me up. Before I began to write this, I wrote a thank you to Jim and Stacey Chaffin on Facebook for being a huge part of inspiring my calling in life. 

My message remains the same, my passion remains the same and my drive remains the same. This is the generation that will abolish abortion and Roe vs. Wade will not survive this generation.

 

Bryan Kemper is the Youth Outreach Director of Priests for Life and President – Stand True Pro-life Outreach
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Julia Meloni

Opinion, , ,

What’s the real objective of October’s Vatican youth synod?

Julia Meloni
By

July 10, 2018 (Crisis Magazine) – October's youth synod is about finishing the old business of the St. Gallen mafia. It will mark four years since Archbishop Bruno Forte crafted a manipulated synodal report on the "precious support" found in same-sex relationships – released the very day that two Italian political parties backed homosexual unions.

Pope Francis approved the text before it was published, and his homily that day excoriated" doctors of the law" – an "evil generation" – for resisting the "God of surprises." Archbishop Forte, meanwhile, declared to the media that "describ[ing] the rights of people living in same-sex unions" is a matter of "being civilized."

Both men are followers of the late Cardinal Carlo Martini – the "ante-pope" and mafia leader. Martini endorsed same-sex civil unions before his death, after battling Humanae Vitae for years and preaching "discernment" on sexual issues in Night Conversations. In it the Jesuit plotted to use young "prophets" to revolutionize the Church – and said it would "never occur" to him to "judge" homosexual couples, years before Pope Francis's "Who am I to judge?"

Other mafia alumni – the kingmakers behind Pope Francis's election – crusaded for "gay Masses," hailed "gay marriage" laws as "positive," and tried to make homosexuality "central" to the family synod. Amoris Laetitia's ghostwriter – the author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing – has openly lamented the pushback against the homosexual agenda there.

Amoris Laetitia, as one priest has shown, was really written to legitimize homosexual activity – but Humanae Vitae, natural law, and the Catechism's language still stand in the way.

This is why Archbishop Forte and Cardinal Baldisseri planned, in prior synods' working documents, to use young people to revolutionize moralizing language on sexuality (78), permitting a "re-reading" of natural law (30). Last year, Archbishop Forte already explainedhow the youth synod will develop Amoris Laetitia's vow to integrate "everyone" (297).

Cardinal Baldisseri recently presented the synod's Instrumentum Laboris, which lauds conscience for discerning "what gift we can offer ... even if maybe not fully up to the ideal." It says "some LGBT young people" want "greater care from the Church" – pushing the question of "what to propose" to young same-sex couples.

Baldisseri claims this revolutionary first use of "LGBT" by the Vatican merely quotes a pre-synodal document by young people – yet the ideological term never appears there. It's an ominous disparity, given his history of synodal manipulation.

Another leader behind the Instrumentum Laboris is Fr. Giacomo Costa, S.J. – the Vice President of the Martini Foundation, handpicked by the pope to help lead the synod as a special secretary. Fr. Costa's writings have promoted same-sex couples' struggle for "social and civil rights." He also helped write the synod's preparatory document, which vows to execute Amoris Laetitia 37's promise to "make room for the consciences of the faithful," who "are capable of carrying out their own discernment."

He and the Instrumentum Laboris are thus promoting Martini's "School of the Word," where young people just listen to the Bible for their own answers about God's will. At the pre-synodal meeting, young Catholics, non-Catholics, and atheists were led in meditation on Jesus's promise that truth will "make you free" (John 8:32), as explicated by Gandhi ("[God] is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist") and the Muslim poet Rumi ("You are a copy of the holy Book of God... Look for whatever you want within yourself").

Fr. Costa then helped oversee the young writers and editors of the pre-synodal text, as shownby photos of teams at work. While those handpicked young people deny a "conspiracy" or "agenda," a number are aligned with groups militating for a revolution on sexuality.

Their first draft demanded "open-mindedness" on sexuality and the "welcoming" of "everyone" who violates the Church's "desired 'standards.'" Their final text said young people "may want the Church to change her teaching" on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, cohabitation, marriage, and the priesthood. While it diplomatically admitted that "many" youths accept these teachings, it announced that what's "important" is "discussion" with dissenting "convictions" on these "polemical issues."

One of the four writers behind the first section works as a producer for Fr. Thomas Rosica, a Martini disciple who gave skewed briefings against "exclusionary language" on homosexuality at the family synod. Fr. Rosica recently acknowledged his staff member's role in the document and said to "really pray" that "the right young people" are delegates at the synod (23:37).

Another one of the four writers – a journalist featured at Cruxrepresented the Lay Centre. This group tried to influence the family synod by hosting Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne, a participant of a "shadow council" on legitimizing same-sex unions (and an expert at a Vatican seminar for this synod). Both Msgr. Bordeyne and the Lay Centre's co-founder sit on the board of a Martini-patronized group working to "welcome" homosexual couples.

Before sending its three delegates to the pre-synodal meeting, the Lay Centre hosted Cardinal Tobin, who once welcomed an "LGBT pilgrimage" to Mass and recently said the Church is "moving on the question of same-sex couples." One young delegate told him about the Church's "mistakes" in ministering to those "of a different sexual orientation" (38:36). Cardinal Tobin criticized a "cold," "nominalistic ethic," saying young people's "greatest fear" is that the Church "judges them."

"Now, I think we can correct that, but we're gonna need help," he told her (43:04).

She then helped edit the pre-synodal text, saying the meeting showed that "all of us, even if we disagree with Church teachings ... are hopeful and still want to be engaged." She was also trained to fight for "radical inclusion" by Voices of Faith, whose latest conference attacked the Church for being "homophobic and anti-abortion."

One Voices of Faith delegate helped write the text's second section lamenting "rules" and "judgment." Another was surprised by others' silence on "LGBT" issues, admitting that the question of including "homosexuality and gender" in the text was "contested until the end."

That section is subversively modeled on the English Facebook group's pleas for bold, open orthodoxy:

[The Church] must be stable and not "water down" her truths. [The young] want the Church to openly address issues often considered taboo: homosexuality, abortion, birth control, and gender.

Mysteriously, this cry metamorphosed into this:

The young ... desire answers which are not watered-down, or which utilize pre-fabricated formulations. We, the young Church, ask that our leaders speak in practical terms about controversial subjects such as homosexuality and gender issues, about which young people are already freely discussing without taboo.

Baldisseri also emphatically told the young writers to "explore the [delegates'] different cultures," so their first draft avoided "very Catholic things" like Adoration and called Jesus a "historical figure." Others pushed back, yet there was a "tense point" where the meeting's organizers expressed their desire that the writers not stay up amending the text.

The "huge online community" requesting the Extraordinary Form of the Mass claims it wasn't "properly" represented by online moderators, who accused those young people of being a "lobby."

Meanwhile, Fr. James Martin, S.J., is boasting that "LGBT" – a political term that Cardinal Baldisseri falsely attributes to the young people's text – is now "harder" to criticize. Fr. Martin's pro-"LGBT" book has been glowingly endorsed by Cardinal Farrell – a key leader behind the synod and the World Meeting of Families – and Fr. Martin recently headlined a conference organizing young people to lobby the synod, sponsored by an LGBT group that received extensive funding to push the homosexual agenda at the family synod.

Fr. Martin – who dreams of the day when the Catechism's language on homosexuality will change, priests will be able to "come out" and same-sex couples will be able to kiss at Mass – has been handpicked by the Vatican to headline the World Meeting of Families along with several top revolutionaries, cardinals who've already said conscience determines whether one can receive the Holy Eucharist while engaging in homosexual activity, and who've already flaunted brazen homosexual-themed events within the sacred spaces of the Church.

We're clearly in a well-plotted endgame now. According to the men behind Pope Francis's election – ominously scandal-ridden figures like Cardinal DanneelsCardinal Murphy-O'Connor, and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – the timeline was estimated at just four or five years to "make the Church over again."

Published with permission from Crisis Magazine.

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Pedophiles put themselves under the LGBT umbrella in rebranding effort

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By Doug Mainwaring

July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A pedophile group is trying to destigmatize pedophilia by calling themselves “Minor Attracted Persons” (MAPs) rather than pedophiles.

Gay groups are up in arms because in the process the same pedophile group is claiming to be part of the LGBT community, even having gone so far as to create their own version of the rainbow flag for Gay Pride Month.  

This should come as no surprise.

In essence, the MAP group is attempting to re-hitch its wagon to the gay community, which, for the sake of political – and judicial – expediency, distanced themselves from the pedophile cause beginning a few decades ago.

For the last dozen years or so, the gay rights movement has focused the lion’s share of its energy on what appear to many to be conservative issues: winning same-sex marriage and the right to openly serve in the military.  

Yet the warm, fuzzy, family-oriented, “American as baseball and apple pie” picture of gay culture presented to the world by gay activists is a far cry from the movement’s origins in the 1960s and 70s when groups like NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) were an integral part of their coalition.

The deep roots of the gay movement were overtly anti-religious and anti-nuclear family, and pretty much reduced all human beings to nothing more than sexual objects. “Gay Liberation” was always about sexual liberation for all, no matter what age.  

It’s ironic that now that gays – and especially “married” gay and lesbian couples – are part of the establishment, they express revulsion over the pedophiles’ identification with gay rights.  

Softening criticism of pedophilia

The Prevention Network aims to rebrand pedophilia as a non-dangerous attribute of “Minor Attracted Persons,” who look but don’t touch, utilizing stories and testimonials to humanize would-be child molesters.  

ThePreventionNetwork.org website declares that “everyone (including minor attracted persons or MAPs) deserves support.”

Here’s a sample of a story that attempts to appeal to readers’ sympathy while rehabilitating the reputation of MAPs as non-threatening good guys:

“John” was suicidal. He had been bullied by trolls on social media for most of his life for being different. The bullies were primarily people who claimed, based on their  religious beliefs, that “John” was going to hell and deserved to die. They described how they would kill him on his twitter page and people supported their hate. Desperate for help, John sought treatment for his shame, depression, and suicidality. Although he was scared to share about himself with a stranger, he felt desperate for help as he had NO desire to harm anyone, ever. Once he shared about his attraction to children, his therapist told him, “I don’t treat sex offenders.”

First, let's be clear. "John" is not a child molester nor is he a sex offender. He has an attraction to children. He is also fervent about helping prevent child sexual abuse by speaking out against it and by showing his support of global child sexual abuse prevention programs on his social media. "John" deserves support as do others who have a minor attraction. After all, isolation and depression are known to increase one's risk of doing something they might regret.

By the way, we have talked to "Janes" who are women who identify as anti-contact, non-offending pedophiles and like "John," they have no desire to sexually harm children.

Gays warn kids: ‘This is flag for pedophiles’

To say that gays are alarmed by this move is an understatement. In referring to the above story, GayStarNews said:

Considering the long-standing trope that LGBTI people are rapists and/or child molesters, the fact those who actually have attraction to children are attempting to co-opt LGBTI spaces is disturbing.

Many on social media are warning LGBTI people and allies to be wary of the MAPs flag during Pride season. Additionally, many also called out the problematic nature of using a term like ‘minor attracted persons’ to normalize pedophilia.

Here is a sampling of gays, lesbians and their supporters trying to distance themselves from the MAP’s effort to cozy back up to the gay movement.  They want no part of the Pedosexual Rainbow Flag, and want to be the first to warn minors about the danger these folks present: 

Anyway folks both of these flags are for MAPS aka pedophiles.
The first one is the lesbian flag and lemme just say lesbians you deserve so much better.
Watch out for these PEDOPHILE FLAGS pic.twitter.com/lvo2l53kIG

A tweet by Angel Star chided the MAPs for plastering the photos of celebrities and superheroes over their rainbow flag:

She goes on to explain:

A “MAP” is a “Minor Attracted Person.” Basically a pedophile. They go by lots of terms, like NOMAP and SOMAP and stuff like that, saying if they’re “non-offending” or they ask for consent from the child, that it’s okay. They say “don’t use pedophile as an umbrella term.”

But regardless of if it’s nepiophelia (infants), pedophelia (prepubescent) or ephebophelia (pubescent) it’s wrong and against the law. They’re putting your faces on their support flag. I just thought you might want to know. Maybe inform everyone else in the MCU that they’re going to be slapped on there, too. They’re using you guys a(s) a support system for being sexually attracted to children.

Stop sugar-coating pedophiles

And here’s one that gets creative: “Unless MAP stands for "murdering all pedophiles," stop f*cking calling them that.”

It may be hard for the LGBT “community” to peel off the pedophiles who seek to come back into the fold after having spent decades in the diaspora.  

But they will try mightily to do so, otherwise they risk calling the public’s attention to their “anything goes” origins.  

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Reverence for life vs. the slaughter of the innocents: Two paintings of Giotto

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski
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July 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1267–1337) holds a front rank among the great painters of the Western tradition. Giotto’s work shows a mastery of form, color, volume, spatial arrangement, dramatic appeal, emotional expressiveness, and spiritual depth. Although his influences are obvious (e.g., Cimabue and the Assisi circle), the alchemy he performs with them is, like Suger’s St. Denis in Paris, a miracle of transformation.

Giotto and Fra Angelico are often mentioned in the same breath as artists in whom one sees a marvelous confluence of medieval luminosity, Byzantine formalism, and a new awareness of naturalism and perspective. The resulting whole is greater than the mere sum of its parts. Giotto’s work stands poised at a magical moment when the naïve innocence of medieval art and the stable, hieratic framework of the icon are still the order of the day, but when artists have acquired a new eye for shading, nuance of brushstroke, and depth of human psychology.

In the image above, a detail from one of the many scenes painted on the walls of the Scrovegni or Arena Chapel in Padua, we see Our Lady holding the Christchild with tender love and reverent awe. Her serene face tells us that she has not suffered the pains of childbirth, while the bright eyes of her Son and His preternaturally upright head tell us that He is no ordinary mortal boy, but the Promised One who fully knows Who He is, whence He has come, and whither He goes. As in Byzantine icons, He is wrapped in swaddling clothes that hauntingly suggest burial linens; He is about to be placed in a manger that anticipates His tomb.

The Virgin’s almond eyes burn with the fervor of her adoration and love, as if she could not possibly get enough of the sight of her Child’s countenance. The maid assisting her, though less intense and more intent on serving, is ineluctably caught up in the same wonder, the joy that keeps silence because no words are adequate to the Word made flesh. Even the dumb ox, symbol of the lower creation in its brute force, seems to take its cue from the Virgin and turns into a contemplative, pleased to be an animal-in-waiting at the humble court of the Lamb of God.

What a contrast with another wall painting from the same chapel, this one depicting the slaughter of the Holy Innocents! Here, Giotto exploits the new sense of depth, bright colors, and emotional drama to pull his viewer into the horror of barbaric bloodshed. Herod stands above the very scene and commands the evil with full premeditation. His soldiers, large, clumsy, brutish, scarcely human, seek out, clutch, and butcher the children, casting their dead bodies into a mounting heap of sorrow, the future of the town laid waste. Mothers in tight formation struggle to escape, weep in helplessness, and surrender to their anguish. Their children have been torn from their bosoms, torn almost from their wombs.

The dignity of the boys is revealed in their nobly chiseled and highly individual features, reminding us that there is no such thing as a generic human being: each person is unique, made in the image of God, able to be remade in the image of Christ.

These particular boys, circumcised Hebrews of about the same age as the Christchild, are venerated by the Catholic Church as martyrs who died in His place and for His sake.

Giotto brings out all these aspects of the story and more, with an obvious understanding of and sympathy with the biblical story and the Church’s faith. This is what an artistic genius can do; this is what a great Catholic painter does.

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