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Charlie Evans, founder of The Detransition Advocacy Network. Sky News / Screenshot
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At world’s first gender ‘detransition’ conference, women express regret over drugs, mutilation

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

MANCHESTER, England, December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A crowd of 200 people turned out for the world’s first gender detransition conference on Saturday afternoon.

“Detransition: The Elephant in the Room. Medical Ethics in the Age of Gender Identity” was held in Manchester, England on November 30. Organized by an independent feminist collective called “Make More Noise”, the sold-out event included a panel of medical and psychological health experts as well as young women who are “detransitioning” from attempts to make them men.

The event also marked the official launch of the Detransition Advocacy Network headed by Charlie Evans, 28, a woman who identified as a man for a decade. Evans decided to found the group to help the hundreds of young people she says have reached out to her after regretting their own experiments with hormonal treatments and surgeries. 

The two-hour meeting was live-tweeted by the “Safe Schools Alliance UK,” a lobby group that seeks to ensure the safeguarding of children in schools, which includes protecting girls’ bodily privacy from males and all children from pressure to consider themselves transgender.

According to the Safe Schools Alliance UK, the meeting began with remarks by Evans, who stated, “We are not motivated by hate. We are motivated by solidarity, sisterhood, and a strong sense of justice.” Evans was followed by a female “detransitioner” named Max, who said her attempts to become male were about “escaping lesbophobia and male harassment.”          

Another detransitioner, Kira, said she had been a “gender nonconformist child” (tomboy) until she began to feel social pressure to conform to femininity. Kira began hormone therapy and had a double mastectomy at 20. She came to realize, however, that these treatments were not evidence of self-acceptance.

“How can I possibly be loving myself if I am sacrificing my general health in order to change my whole being?” she asked.

The experts who spoke included Dr. David Bell, a consultant psychiatrist in the Adult Department of London’s Tavistock Centre, where the Gender Identity Development Service for children can be found. Bell said he doesn’t believe that gender “reassignment” clinics do follow-up checks on their patients. He also remarked that the term “puberty blockers” for the powerful drugs given to children to delay the onset of puberty is “misleading”. Bell believes that the drugs probably have physiological consequences beyond delaying puberty.

“The lack of long term evidence is the biggest issue in this field,” he said.

Dr. Anna Hutchinson, a clinical psychologist, revealed that almost 100% of children who take drugs to delay puberty go on to take cross-sex hormones. Dr. Hannah Ryan, an infectious diseases researcher, noted that the effects of so-called puberty-blockers and hormone replacement therapy are long-term, so long-term data collection following treatments is essential.

Ryan also stated that medical professionals are under “immense pressure” to give “distressed” children with gender dysphoria procedures to make them look like members of the opposite sex. Bell noted that many medical professionals are worried about being called “transphobic” or accused of a “hate crime.” Hutchison said medical professionals are accused of “transphobia” just for asking for more research to be done.

“How can it be transphobic to call for better standards of care?” she asked. “I want better standards of care for dysphoric children.”

Fear of being labelled “transphobic” seemed to resonate with the audience. According to the Safe Schools Alliance UK member live-tweeting the meeting, a medical professional on the floor described being silenced.

“We are advised against using the terms ‘detransition’ and ‘desisters’,” he said and noted that this worries him.

A psychologist in the audience expressed concern about the ‘affirmation-only model’ which, the Safe Schools Alliance UK member noted, “advocates immediate social transition for gender-questioning children.” 

Still another audience member voiced concern that gender ideology sounds like “old school sexism”, and Dr. Bell replied by saying he had observed a “caricaturing of gender stereotypes” through transition.

The issue of girls feeling that girls are supposed to follow a narrow concept of femininity or “transition” into men appeared again when a panel of young women who are now “detransitioning” from their attempts to be men discussed their experiences. One young woman, called Ellie, said she had lacked role models of “masculine” females.

Another issue that arose was the young women’s discomfort with their adolescent same-sex attractions. 

The “detransitioning” women differed in their levels of regret over the invasive procedures they received. One woman feels that her mastectomy relieved her gender dysphoria, but one was scathing over the treatment she had received.

“What the hell are surgeons doing, calling this gender reassignment and gender-reaffirming health care? Because my body doesn’t feel healthy anymore,” she said.

This 23-year-old woman, who apparently spoke anonymously, had had a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, and an oophorectomy (removal of ovaries) before she realized that she would never become male.

“I’m sorry: I just can’t believe it anymore,” she told the audience.

According to Safe Schools Alliance UK, a male audience member was clearly upset when he told the young panellists that their testimony should be widely heard.

“I was 30 before I was happy with myself,” he said. “People have done this to you and allowed this to go on.”

“You say where do we need a platform next?” he continued. “You need it everywhere.”

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Book that teaches kids how to conjure demons hits major retailers’ shelves

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By Doug Mainwaring

December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A new book inviting young children to learn how to summon demons is now available at major retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.  

Written for 5- to 10-year-olds, A Children’s Book of Demons by Aaron Leighton directs kids to “conjure gentle demons by writing their sigils, which serve as ‘a phone number’ straight to the spirit.” 

“As ridiculous as the ‘demons’ contained in the book may be, there is nothing innocent or fun about even pretending to summon evil spirits,” noted Elizabeth Johnston, AKA  Activist Mommy, on her blog. “But who is to say it is pretend? The spirit world is real and is no laughing matter.”

“Leighton, an occultist himself, is clearly looking to proselytize our children,” asserted Johnston.

Despite being advertised by Publishers Weekly as being “playful,” and by Barnes & Noble as “more silly than scary,” the book is dangerous, according to renowned exorcist  Fr. Chad Ripperger.   

“The recent publication of the book ‘A Children’s Book of Demons’ should be concerning for parents,” Ripperger told LifeSiteNews, because it opens the door to demonic influence in the lives of children.

“In the past, those in charge of the formation of the minds of children noted that the first years of a child’s life, especially until the age of 12, were very important regarding the moral formation of the child since it is during this time that the basics of right and wrong are instilled in the mind of the child,” said Fr. Ripperger. 

Ripperger said parents’ primary obligation before God is “to train their children in the virtues as taught by the tradition of the Church so that when they reach the age of majority, they have sufficient virtue to lead a life pleasing to God.” 

Fr. Ripperger continued:

From the Amazon website, we read, “Don’t want to take out the trash tonight? Maybe you’re swimming in homework? Perhaps that big bully is being a real drag? Well grab your coloured pencils and sigil drawing skills and dial up some demons! This paranormal parody is filled to the brim with funny spirits more silly than scary!” The proposing of a coloring book in order to “dial up some demons” is a form of conjuring which opens the door to demonic influence in the life of the child. 

As St. Thomas Aquinas observes in his Summa Theologiae, “it is not lawful to adjure the demons because such a way seems to savor of benevolence or friendship, which it is unlawful to bear towards the demons.” Here St. Thomas is referring to invoking them to gain something from them or to learn something from them.

Ripperger notes that St. Thomas goes on to say we may only abjure demons in order to compel them so they do not harm our bodies or souls. 

“Since social interaction with demons is forbidden except to compel them to do no harm, the ‘dialing up of some demons’ is forbidden according to the First Commandment,” warned Fr. Ripperger.

“It is a sign of the degeneration of our society that making use of demons is considered acceptable, and it manifests ignorance of their malice and desire to do us harm,” said Fr. Ripperger. “Books such as these ought to be avoided by parents and children, as they pose a possible opening to demons’ influence in their lives, which will only end in affliction and suffering.”

“Parents would be well warned that it is not something ‘silly,’ but contrary to the proper formation of their children,” he continued. “Opening up children to this at a young age will often place the child in a mindset that diabolic influence of demons in his life is not something serious or to be avoided.”

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Thousands protest radical new abortion laws in Northern Ireland

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By Paul Smeaton
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BELFAST, Northern Ireland, December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Thousands gathered outside the parliament buildings in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday in protest against the region’s new abortion laws, which came into force in October.

Since 1967, Northern Ireland has been the only part of the United Kingdom where abortion has remained presumptively unlawful. While abortion claims over 500 lives daily in the rest of the UK, opposition from the people of Northern Ireland has, until now, prevented all attempts to liberalize the Province’s pro-life laws. 

Northern Ireland rejected the 1967 UK Abortion Act and since then, unborn children in the region have been continued to be protected by 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. But the new law repeals the sections of the 1861 Act which defend unborn children. Pro-life leaders have described the current situation as a state of “legal chaos.”

The event was a continuation of recent pro-life demonstrations. 20,000 people protested in September prior to the laws coming into force. On Saturday, thousands of people processed together to the top of the parade immediately outside the parliament buildings and placed stones with pro-life messages on the ground. The group then stood in silence for six minutes, holding lights in the air in an expression of solidarity with unborn children.

The event was organized by NI Voiceless, and was supported by a number of other pro-life groups including the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and Precious Life

Sarah Crutchley, spokesperson for NI Voiceless, said in an interview with LifeSiteNews:

“We’re here today to express our sorrow. We want to create a space for the general public where they can peacefully and publicly express their sorrow at this change. We feel this is a really devastating time for Northern Ireland where the right to life of unborn babies is being completely disregarded. We also want to come together in unity for people of all religions and none, with people of all political backgrounds here and all ethnic backgrounds as well – where we can come together and shine a light for the value of every human life. And that’s what today is about. We want a life-affirming society where every life is valued and no human death is chosen. And so today we’re here to stand, speak, and to serve for life.”

Father James O’Reilly, a Catholic priest who attended the event, told LifeSiteNews: 

“I came here today because it’s just so important. You know the law might be changing but we need to continue to stand up for life. Because the lie that abortion is somehow healthcare, that it empowers women, is just outrageous. I just believe in life. It can be so easy just to get on with things, that the law has changed and to accept that, but we can never accept this lie.”

Another participant at the event told LifeSiteNews: 

“I’m here because in 1972 my mother was told that she and I couldn’t survive. She was told the same again four years later – we all lived to tell the tale. Doctors make mistakes and whether or not doctors make mistakes nobody has the right to ever take life under any circumstances. This [event] is an act of mercy and we should show mercy and show compassion to these women and offer them alternatives because there is always a better option than abortion.”

Liam Gibson, political officer for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) in Northern Ireland, attended the event and told LifeSiteNews:

“Our immediate concern is the consultation taking place and closing on 16 December. We have drafted some advice for people to take part in that consultation, regardless of the fact that the consultation is very much a controlled show – it’s really just for window dressing. It asks people to make a choice between abortion on demand up to 12 [weeks] or abortion on demand up to 14 weeks, whether a request for abortion is going to be rubber-stamped by one healthcare professional or by two. But we believe that a strong, robust, and emphatic response from the public will help to reverse what has happened in Northern Ireland.”

Dr. Paul Coulter, one of the event organizers, addressed the participants at the conclusion of the witness. He urged them to continue to stand up in defense of unborn children, to elect pro-life candidates in the upcoming general election, and to support pro-life groups in their efforts to stop abortion.

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Leading British doctor group pushes for women to do self-guided abortions at home

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By Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

December 2, 2019 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) — The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has called for women to obtain abortion drugs over Skype or Facetime instead of meeting with their doctor, and then perform their own DIY abortion at home. SPUC has slammed the proposals as "playing fast and loose with women's health."

SPUC Campaigns Director Antonia Tully said: "The RCOG is playing fast and loose with women's health. Their approach is propaganda to deceive women into thinking that abortion pills are safe and simple. They are neither. They are powerful drugs designed to kill an unborn baby. And without face to face contact with medical staff, this policy will drive vulnerable women, often coerced into abortion by abusive men, even further under the radar."

Currently, women can be sent home with the second abortion drug, misoprostol, which contravenes the 1967 Abortion Act. The RCOG's new report, "Better for women"calls for all abortion drugs to be consumed at home with no medical care or supervision.

It also calls for doctors to online chat with women, instead of ever meeting them face to face.

Abortion Pills — Not Safe Or Simple

Mrs Tully continued: "One study found that taking the second abortion pill at home can lead to an increase in adverse effects on women, including incomplete abortion, bleeding requiring medical attention and infection."

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration updated their guidance to reveal that 24 American women died following the consumption of abortion drugs. Death was caused by a range of complications induced by the abortion drugs including liver failure, sepsis, toxic shock syndrome and haemorrhaging.

The report stated that between 2000–2012, there were 2,740 cases of reported complications associated with the abortion drugs. The past five years witnessed an average of 289 complications annually which included 273 hospitalisations, 103 infections and 182 cases of blood loss resulting in urgent transfusions.

Mrs Tully added: "Studies show the harmful physical consequences of abortion pills. Our concern is that these will be increased when women are given these pills to take away from a medical setting."  SPUC has produced an information booklet "Abortion pills — Not safe or simple" which looks at the impact of abortion pills on women's health.

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

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Leftists blame internal divisions for ‘losing the battle on abortion’: New York Times

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By Calvin Freiburger

December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As friends and foes of abortion prepare for battle in next year’s elections, a new feature by the left-wing New York Times blames strategic divisions and communication failures within the abortion lobby for the so-called “right to choose” seeming less secure than it once seemed.

On December 1, the Times published a story based on interviews with more than 50 pro-abortion activists and abortion industry insiders on the “new reality” of abortion “access” being “more vulnerable than it has been in decades,” thanks to a wave of statewide bans on most abortions and a Supreme Court that might uphold them thanks to President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.

A variety of factors contributed to the current situation, they say, from failing to appreciate Trump’s chances of winning the White House to paying too little attention to state-level battles once written off as irrelevant thanks to the intervention of a left-wing federal judiciary.

“Looking at the prior presidential administration, there was a perception that everything is fine,” Kwajelyn Jackson, executive director of the Atlanta-based Feminist Women’s Health Center, said. “We were screaming at the top of our lungs, everything is not fine, please pay attention.”

Former Planned Parenthood chief Leana Wen, ousted this past summer over her less-political bent and stated goal of defining the abortion giant as about more than abortion, is emblematic of this divide. Wen’s interim replacement, Alexis McGill Johnson, has framed herself as more of a political fighter attuned to the “jeopardy” facing abortion “access.”

The report quotes individual abortion facility owners who paint the heads of national organizations as having been oblivious to their financial challenges or difficulty conveying pro-abortion messages in a convincing way. “They are never threatened, so they never have to think the way we do,” complained Red River Women’s Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker in North Dakota.

“Few state activists want to question Planned Parenthood or its strategy publicly, especially when they are allies in court and some receive financial support from the national organization,” according to the report. Yet “some worry that Planned Parenthood and other national groups have overly prioritized politics and power instead of patients and providers.”

Pro-life activists welcomed signs of disarray within the abortion lobby’s camp. “They have fallen from that pinnacle of power to this,” Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance said. “I hope they continue doing what they are doing. We’ll run the table in 2020.”

Both sides’ fortunes could change just as quickly depending the outcome of next year’s election and the performance of the Supreme Court, however. The president has taken numerous pro-life actions such as denying Title X funds to abortion groups, but without a cooperative Congress to pass legislation most of those have been administrative actions that could be unilaterally reversed by a Democrat successor.

The current Supreme Court makeup is an even bigger question mark. During his confirmation hearings, Brett Kavanaugh expressed significant respect for Roe v. Wade’s status as precedent – so much so that pro-abortion Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine specifically cited her confidence that Kavanaugh would uphold Roe as part of why she supported him.

Last year, he joined the court’s liberal wing in declining to hear Kansas and Louisiana’s appeals defending their efforts to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, a decision that Justice Clarence Thomas excoriated as “abdicating our judicial duty.” His February opinion in support of Louisiana’s Act 620 rejected abortionists’ complaint on technical grounds, but appeared to concede their underlying premises about the “undue burden” standard for abortion restrictions.

Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorscuh is also uncertain (he gave similar answers on precedent but has since been a generally reliable conservative), but even if both of Trump’s nominees prove to be pro-life, they would not be enough to cancel out Chief Justice John Roberts if he decides to uphold abortion precedent.

Roberts, who also expressed respect for Roe as “a little more than settled” during his own confirmation hearings, has disillusioned conservatives ever since he voted in 2012 and 2015 to uphold Obamacare using intensely controversial reasoning. Roberts also voted with the court’s liberal wing in the aforementioned Medicaid case.

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J.K. Dobbins. Gregory Shamus / Getty Images
Kelli

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Ohio State superstar football player was almost aborted. Now he’s mom’s ‘miracle baby’

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December 2, 2019 (Live Action News) — In a moment that had pro-life viewers reacting in amazement, FOX Sports announcer Gus Johnson let slip some pro-life personal history about Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins during the Ohio State vs. Michigan game, with millions of viewers tuning in.

"J.K. Dobbins' mom Mya became pregnant when she was 18 years old," Johnson said. "She went to the doctor because she was thinking about aborting the baby, but changed her mind."

"That baby turned out to be that young man, J.K. Dobbins," Johnson continued, with the cameras showing Dobbins, "who she calls her miracle baby."

The Ohio State Buckeyes soundly defeated the University of Michigan Wolverines 56 to 27, with Dobbins putting forth his personal best. For The Win writes of Dobbins' performance:

The Wolverines couldn't figure out how to consistently contain him — despite even taking off one of his shoes mid-game — and once he broke away from defenders, he was gone. With his standout performance in the regular-season finale, he reminded the college football world why he's a Heisman Trophy candidate (albeit an outside one in a very crowd field that includes two of his teammates).

He finished Saturday's rivalry game with 31 carries for a career-high 211 yards and four touchdowns, while adding two catches for 49 yards.

With an incredible 33-yard touchdown run in the middle of the fourth quarter, he notched his first career four-touchdown game.

While not everyone grows up to be a star football player, every child has value, even before he or she is born. Every child has limitless potential, and circumstances or assumptions — or even poor prenatal diagnoses — should never determine the value of a human being's life. Thankfully, Dobbins' mother realized this before it was too late for both her and her son.

Hopefully, the story of J.K. Dobbins, his mom Mya's "miracle baby," simply stated over the course of several seconds today by a FOX announcer on a live broadcast, will save more lives than anyone might have imagined.

Published with permission from Live Action News.

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Revealed: Twitter rules expressly allow some discussion of ‘attraction towards minors’

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By Calvin Freiburger

December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has come under fire from free speech advocates for its hardline stance against “misgendering,” but the social network’s handling of users who express sexual interest toward children appears strikingly more nuanced.

Last week, the website Big League Politics identified a change to Twitter’s Child sexual exploitation policy that was made in June. The policy bans sharing sexually-suggestive material depicting children, any sort of attempted engagement of children in sexual conversations or recruitment, or “sharing fantasies about ... child sexual exploitation.”

However, the June 2019 update added a “What is not a violation of this policy?” subsection, which states that “Discussions related to child sexual exploitation as a phenomenon or attraction towards minors are permitted, provided they don’t promote or glorify child sexual exploitation in any way” (emphasis added).

The change may have been made in response to lobbying by academics and activists who defend “minor-attracted persons” (MAPs). A coalition of such advocates wrote a letter to Twitter Trust & Safety director John Starr in January 2018 protesting the platform’s suspension of several “prominent anti-contact, non-offending pedophiles.” (Many so-called MAPs migrated to Twitter after Tumblr’s mass “adult content” purge last year).

“In our professional opinions, terminating the accounts of non-offending, anti-contact MAPs is likely to result in the opposite effect of that which Twitter may expect or intend,” the signatories argued. “Rather than reducing the incidence of child sexual abuse, if anything, it increases the risk that some pedophiles will be unable to obtain the peer or professional support that they may need in order to avoid offending behaviour. It is also likely to increase the stigma and isolation associated with pedophilia and thereby increase the likelihood of some MAPs acting on their sexual feelings.”

Vice noted that Twitter didn’t actually suspend several of the accounts in question until after The Sun embarrassed the company by highlighting the presence of “hundreds of men discussing their craving for children” on the platform, many of whom “use cartoon images in their profiles — raising fears they could be used to entice vulnerable youngsters.”

“At the end of the day, you’re not curing this,” Canadian Centre for Child Protection and Cybertip associate executive director Signy Arnason told Vice on the question of letting even “non-offending” users express pedophilic desires on social media. “You’re really just risk-managing these things, but I wouldn’t risk-manage it on social platforms where children are all over the place. That’s just not the way to do it.”

“If you are really committed to trying to demonstrate there are people with a sexual interest in children that don’t offend against those kids, there are other ways in which the community can be communicating with one another that doesn’t provide exposure and access to children,” she added, such as adults-only online forums where there’s no danger of crossing paths with a minor simply tweeting about food, hobbies, or entertainment. 

The situation stands in stark contrast to Twitter’s record on political speech, which conservatives say carries a strong left-wing bias. There has been a long series of bans and suspensions affecting non-violent, non-hateful, non-obscene tweets from right-of-center perspectives (including LifeSiteNews), while Twitter insiders have admitted to intentionally targeting conservative accounts and topics.

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A Jesuit coup? Speculation rises of a Vatican takeover by the Pope’s own religious order

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By Diane Montagna

ANALYSIS

ROME, December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) —  Speculation has arisen lately about the status of the Society of Jesus, now that the highest office in the Church is held by a member of the Jesuits. 

Historically, the Society has been the object of considerable suspicion from more traditional religious orders and from sections of the Catholic laity. Pope Paul IV, who served from 1555 to 1559, described the Society’s internal structure as a tyranny, and in a difficult and bad-tempered exchange with the second superior general of the Jesuits, he alleged that if they did not begin the choral recitation of the office, one day “Satan would arise from their ranks.”

Famously, one of the greatest theological disputes in the history of the Church, the de Auxiliis controversy, was left unresolved because of Pope Paul V’s fear that condemning the Jesuit theology of grace as heretical (as the older theological schools insisted that it was) would do irreparable harm to the society’s prestige, damaging the Counter-Reformation. 

The celebrated French author and mathematician, Blaise Pascal, reproached the society for having compromised the Augustinian doctrine of God’s grace and led their penitents into moral laxity.  

Through the first two hundred years of its history, the society was adorned with many saints whose missionary labors were prodigious and who gave their lives for the Gospel and for the unity of the Church. Undoubtedly, the Jesuits struck fear into the hearts of Protestants and secular enemies of the Church. 

In 1773, under huge pressure from so-called “Enlightened” despots then ruling Catholic Europe, Pope Clement XIV (a Franciscan) “forever annulled and extinguished” the Society of Jesus. In the period following their dissolution, certain theological positions dear to the Jesuits but less congenial to the more traditional schools sank beneath the waves, and in the words of Francis Sullivan, SJ, “hardly any Catholic theologians dared to question the traditional teaching.”

And yet, in 1814, in the wake of Napoleon’s defeat and abdication, Pius VII revived the Society, its dissolution being associated with the secularism that climaxed in the French Revolution. 

While the scale of the hostility among Catholics that existed before the dissolution did not revive, there remained a strong resistance to the appointment of Jesuits to senior positions in the Roman Curia, and to the election of a Jesuit as pope. The Jesuits in fact promise to spurn high ecclesial office unless compelled to accept it under obedience.  

But in these days, concerns have been raised that, the ultimate glass ceiling having been broken, with a Jesuit upon the throne of St. Peter, all the lesser bastions are also giving way, or rather being given away. 

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the Jesuits have become stalwarts of the new liberal conception of Catholicism and the hostility of former centuries among more conservative and traditional clergy, laity and religious has revived. Like the medieval tale of Prester John, the legend of the good Jesuit endures in the hearts of the faithful. Over the next hill and around the next bend he must exist, prostrated somewhere in a cave doing penance for the latest article of James Martin, with copious tears.

Journalist Joshua McElwee, Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter (NCR), has observed an increasing flow of Jesuits into prominent positions in the Roman Curia under Pope Francis. The Society’s formidable reputation has in the past created a general reluctance to concede to them the commanding heights of the papal administration. But now, McElwee alleges, that age is past. 

McElwee argues that a number of significant appointments under Francis, including the recent pick of Spanish Jesuit Father Antonio Guerrero Alves as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, a post held until recently by Cardinal George Pell, have raised Jesuits to positions never before held in the Roman Curia.

Until now, Fr. Guerrero has served as Councilor to the Society’s Superior General, Fr. Arturo Sosa, and has overseen Jesuit houses in Rome, including the Gregorian, the Biblicum and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

In an interview with Vatican News following Guerrero’s appointment, Fr. Sosa said he asked the Pope that the appointment “not be associated with the episcopate,” so that Fr. Guerrero, 60, could “return, after finishing his mission, to his normal life as a Jesuit.” 

According to McElwee’s reckoning, the only Jesuit ever previously to have held the rank of prefect in Rome was the late German Cardinal Augustin Bea, who “headed the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity under Popes John XXIII and Paul VI from 1960-68.” One NCR source called Pope Francis’s choices “an anomaly and certainly not traditional,” while another argued that it is only natural for a pope to appoint “like-minded” men who “fit the model.”

But sources in Rome consulted by LifeSite urge caution, saying some of Joshua McElwee’s claims may be overstated.

Jesuits did hold senior positions in the Roman Curia under the last pontificate. Cardinal Luis Ladaria, SJ joined the Curia in 2004 as Secretary General of the International Theological Commission and was appointed Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. Jesuit archbishop Cyril Vasil’ was also named secretary of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches under Benedict. And Fr. Federico Lombardi’s post as Vatican spokesman spanned the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Admittedly, none of these constituted prefectures of Roman dicasteries but were all number two positions. 

Furthermore, Canadian Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny does not, as the article suggests, “lead” the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, but serves as its under-secretary. 

McElwee’s claims that the appointment of Fr. Guerrero as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy may partly be inspired by a drive to lower the ecclesiastic rank of Roman officials, or separate priestly ordination from high administrative office, remains unproven. Michael Czerny was appointed to his office as a priest but then went on to be ordained a bishop and created a cardinal. 

Father Guerrero, 60, may be entirely sincere in his stated desire to serve only a short term in the papal administration before returning to the normal life of a Jesuit, sources add, although they do concede that it will be difficult for him to “give orders” to cardinals and bishops given the hierarchical nature of the Roman Curia. 

The Jesuits too may be concerned about overreaching themselves, and the possibility of a violent reaction when a new Pharaoh arises who does not know Joseph (cf. Ex 1:7). During the pontificate of Benedict XVI, the Salesians became concerned that Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a member of their order, was creating resentment by appointing too many of his confreres to senior positions. The joke in the Vatican was that the initials which identify a Salesian, SDB, really stood for “Sono di Bertone,” i.e. “I belong to Bertone.”

Or could it be that with the approach of an internal demographic cliff, and noting the increasing popularity of the Clement XIV memorabilia sold by Fr. Z, the Jesuits have decided that their long march through the institutions must reach its objective before it’s too late? With only three years to go until the 250th anniversary of Dominus ac Redemptor, the Society cannot but be concerned at the possibility of a positive reassessment of the legacy of Clement XIV.

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Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia.
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Georgia Republican governor to fill Senate vacancy with pick tied to abortion industry

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By Calvin Freiburger

ATLANTA, Georgia, December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Replacing a retiring Republican senator with a lawmaker of similar values should be a routine matter, but controversy has erupted in Georgia over Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s expected decision to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson with financial executive Kelly Loeffler, whose conservatism has been called into question from multiple corners.

Isakson announced in August he would be retiring at the end of the year due to “mounting health challenges” stemming from Parkinson’s disease and surgery to remove a growth on his kidney. Many, including the Trump administration, requested that Kemp appoint four-term Republican Rep. Doug Collins, a staunch supporter of the president, to replace him.

But Kemp is instead expected to announce this week that he is appointing Loeffler, who runs the bitcoin trading platform Bakkt and co-owns the Atlanta Dream franchise of the Women's National Basketball Association. She would be Georgia’s second-ever female senator, and her personal wealth would be an asset in next year’s special election for the seat.

The news hasn’t sat well with President Donald Trump or his supporters such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who believe the seat should go to a more proven Trump ally and conservative. Kemp has not commented on Loeffler, but has dismissed any concerns about the quality of his choice:

However, while some have tried to dismiss the controversy as merely about wanting a Trump sycophant in the seat, several pro-life leaders warn of red flags entirely unrelated to the president, namely Loeffler’s business ties to the abortion industry and the pro-abortion cause:

Loeffler “has donated thousands of dollars to liberal and pro-abortion Democrats,” March for Life Action president Tom McClusky told the Washington Examiner. “It would be hugely disappointing if Governor Kemp appoints her to a critical seat in the U.S. Senate.” The Loeffler camp declined to comment to the Examiner.

Regardless, the stage is set for another contentious Senate battle within the GOP, as Rep. Collins has said he is “strongly” considering running in next year’s special election anyway. That election will put every candidate on a single ballot regardless of party, meaning there is potential for Democrats to seize on a divided Republican electorate if Kemp goes through with appointing Loeffler, and if Loeffler lives up to her skeptics’ worst fears.

In May 2019, Gov. Kemp signed a bill banning abortions on most babies with beating hearts. A judge has temporarily blocked it from going into effect.

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Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen

News

Catholics refute pro-gay Fr. Martin for claiming ‘married’ lesbian judge is victim of ‘discrimination’

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By Stephen Kokx

SIGN THE PETITION: Bishops, please stop Fr. Martin's LGBT advocacy! Sign the petition here.

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-gay Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin is claiming that a pastor in Western Michigan is guilty of “discrimination” for asking a lesbian judge in a same-sex “marriage” to not present herself to Holy Communion. Hundreds of Catholic laity and several prominent Catholic clergy have taken to social media to refute his arguments.

Martin, ordained in 1999, is one of the most well-known promoters of normalizing homosexuality in the Catholic Church. In the past, he has supported homosexual couples kissing during the sign of peace at Mass. A LifeSite petition urging American bishops to ban him from their dioceses has acquired more than 18,500 signatures. 

In a Facebook post published yesterday, Martin expressed outrage over Fr. Scott Nolan’s decision to follow Church law by refusing to administer county judge Sara Smolenski the Eucharist. He argued that priests like Fr. Nolan are singling out “married LGBT people” because they fail to also deny Communion to other Catholics who don't live by the Church’s moral teachings.

The Church's rules “must be applied across the board, not selectively, and not simply to one group of people,” Martin wrote. “And why are parishes focusing only on issues of sexual morality? Are there no other issues in the moral life? Are those who refuse to pay a living wage to employees denied Communion? How about those who do not give to the poor? Those who do not care for the environment?” 

Canon 915 says that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” are not to be admitted to Holy Communion. Canon 916 of the Church's Code of Canon Law instructs Catholics in a state of mortal sin not to present themselves for Holy Communion. 

Martin then wondered why more priests aren’t asking married couples if they use birth control. He also wanted to know why priests aren’t demanding young people stop going to Communion if they are engaging in pre-marital sex. “Why is it only a ‘public’ act that bars someone from receiving Communion?” he asked. Martin has made similiar arguments on many occasions over the past several years.

Judge Sara Smolenski has repeated Martin's claims during her public appearaces recently. While speaking with CNN this weekend, she said, “this feels like selective discrimination. Why choose gay people, and why now?”

Some Catholics in Grand Rapids told LifeSiteNews they think Fr. Martin is possibly acting as a sort of informal media adviser to her. That belief may not be entirely without reason. Three weeks ago, Martin met via Skype with Smolenski and a small group of her fellow parishioners from St. Stephen’s Catholic Church to discuss his LGBT-affirming book, Building a Bridge. The event was not hosted on parish property as per the request of Fr. Nolan. 

Popular blogging priest Fr. Dwight Longenecker pushed back against Fr. Martin’s arguments in an essay on his personal website Standing on My Head today. In his article, Longenecker rejected the notion that Smolenski’s behavior is on par with private sins.

“By attempting a marriage with a woman, Ms. Smolenski publicly, formally and irremediably denied the Catholic teaching about marriage,” he wrote. “A same sex marriage is not simply ‘not following church teachings’ it is rejecting church teachings and doing so formally and publicly.”

“Attempting to marry a person of the same sex,” Longenecker continued, “is not at the same level of commitment as a couple using birth control or IVF or someone committing fornication. All these sins are private sins and can be repented of [but] in a same sex marriage…they are saying by their words and actions, ‘Gay sex is not a sin [and] the Catholic Church is wrong and I am publicly, formally declaring that I reject the Catholic Church’s teaching.’”

Fr. Jim Chern of the Archdiocese of Newark thanked Longenecker for his essay.

Fr. Thomas Petri, a Dominican priest who teaches at the Dominican House of Studies and hosts a radio show on EWTN, published a string of tweets this morning in response to Fr. Martin.

Fr. Alexander Laschuk, a Byzantine priest who holds a PhD and JD, and acts as the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Toronto, tweeted:

Chris Stefanick, an internationally acclaimed speaker and author who acts as a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, likewise tweeted his disagreement with Fr. Martin, citing the uniqueness of homosexual sins.

Several priests in the Grand Rapids Diocese have also come forward with their support for Fr. Nolan. Last Wednesday, hundreds of Catholics from across the dicoese flocked to St. Stephen's to show solidarity with him as he said Mass at 6:30 p.m. The church was overflowing with attendees. The Bishop of Grand Rapids, David Walkowiak, expressed his support of Fr. Nolan in a public letter just days after Smolenski went to the press with her greivances. 

Yesterday, Smolenski attended a pro-LGBT Methodist church in Grand Rapids with her “wife.” The two participated in an “inclusive communion” service featuring bread and wine. The Catholic Church teaches that Catholics are not to receive Communion at Protestant churches. Smolenski recently told local NBC affiliate WOOD-TV 8 she considers herself a lifelong Catholic.

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Scott Schittl

Opinion , ,

‘Give it a break, Mate’: New movement protests ‘Rainbow Laces’ LGBT agenda in UK soccer

Scott Schittl
By

Starting on Tuesday, December 3, all English Premier League soccer clubs will be designating a match to promote LGBT activism with the so-called “Rainbow Laces” campaign.

In 2019, as in prior years, the English Premier League will bend the knee to the LGBT agenda.

The campaign will include 1) rainbow laces and captain arm-bands      available to players and referees, 2) rainbow-colored handshake and substitute boards, and 3) a rainbow colored pitch flag. Also, the League’s social media platforms will use a rainbow-colored logo.

But is the use of rainbow colors appropriate for sporting competitions, and should players, game officials, and clubs be forced to endorse political positions that contradict many people’s personal beliefs and faith?

The “Let All Play” initiative, founded by Jennifer Bryson, answers these questions and others, stating that politics and sport shouldn’t mix.

Please WATCH LifeSite’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Let All Play’s Jennifer Bryson, by clicking here.

Where soccer is concerned, Let All Play cites FIFA rules, stipulating that “[e]quipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” (Laws of the Game, Law 04.5).

And again, in relation to the coercion of players in the promotion of a political agenda:

Persons bound by this Code shall protect, respect and safeguard the integrity and personal dignity of others[.] ... Threats, the promise of advantages and coercion are particularly prohibited. (FIFA Statutes, Article 23,1/5)

Let All Play just issued a press release asking the English Premier League to reconsider “Rainbow Laces” week as counter-productive to freedom of conscience, religious freedom, and dialogue generally among those who disagree about using sports to promote a political agenda.

This latest Rainbow Laces Week effort to force the LGBT agenda — to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism — on the general public began in      2017, with a formal alliance between the Premier League and Stonewall, the LGBT activist group in the U.K. that runs campaigns to advance acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism.

In particular, Stonewall produced a poll that showed that 43% of people claiming LGBT status feel unwelcome at public sporting events.

Unfortunately, this highly subjective claim has been accepted by the Premier League and its clubs, as though they believe they are somehow to blame.

Of course, there are no barriers — legal, social, or otherwise — to homosexuals or gender-confused people attending soccer matches or other sporting events.

Nevertheless, Robbie de Santos, Stonewall’s director of sport, was adamant, saying: “We can’t just rely on LGBT people to make sports more inclusive — we all have to play our part. While wearing a simple shoelace might seem like a small gesture, for LGBT people it’s a powerful symbol of acceptance.”

Here’s the rub to the whole promotion of the LGBT cause: accepting people who practice a homosexual lifestyle, does not, in the same instant, mean we all must accept, as normal and right, the promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism.

And, as Let All Play has stated, there are other ways, which sporting bodies have at their disposal, to address any problems with breaches of decorum and dignity facing minority groups, including those people who identify as homosexual.

From the 2019 report “Let All Play: Yes to Soccer, No to Politics” (p. 21)     :

It is good that FIFA has and exercises mechanisms to counter the problem of degrading treatment, such as chants, against those who identify as homosexual[.] ... Through exercise of such mechanisms, FIFA can continue its efforts to end discrimination based on sexual identity without fostering new forms of discrimination such as discrimination against people with particular political viewpoints or religious beliefs ... in requiring all players to wear the political LGBT rainbow on the kit.

If some people feel uncomfortable attending sporting matches, specifically because of their aberrant sexual practices — which no one else in the stadiums or arena cares the least about — is it really the clubs’ duty to facilitate the normalization of those sexual practices?

Because that is what this is really about: the Premier League and its clubs are being used to promote the normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism.

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Ned Barnett

Opinion , ,

Will the 2020 Olympics finally shatter global transgender tyranny?

Ned Barnett
By Ned Barnett

December 2, 2019 (American Thinker) — Next year's Tokyo Summer Olympics may spell the swift death of the transgender movement as a dominant politically correct touchstone. Men, self-identifying as women, are poised to make a clean sweep of the Women's Olympics, triggering a very public debate on this third-rail subject. That firestorm, pitting pro-women feminists against extreme pro-transgender progressives, will begin July 24, just as the presidential sweepstakes moves into its sprint to the finish line. 

The International Olympic Committee — the IOC — recently admitted that it couldn't come up with fair guidelines governing how and when "transgender women" (that is, men) can compete as women, against actual women. Currently, the IOC says a man self-identifying as a woman can compete, so long as his testosterone level remains below 10 nanomoles per liter (nm/L) for 12 months. Typically, men have between 7.7 and 29.4 nm/L of testosterone, while women have between 0.12 and 1.77 nm/L. Under those IOC guidelines, hormonally restricted men can still maintain nearly a 500-percent testosterone advantage over women. 

However, the real benefit men calling themselves women experience, according to recent studies by Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, a leading medical university, is found in their masculine bone structure and upper body strength. This develops throughout puberty, making current testosterone levels largely insignificant. These masculine genetic benefits are the very reason for women's athletics.

"Not every male advantage dissipates when testosterone drops," according to Alison Heather, a physiologist at the University of Otago in New Zealand. "Some advantages, such as their bigger bone structure, greater lung capacity, and larger heart size remain. Testosterone also promotes muscle memory. Transgender women [i.e., men] have a heightened ability to build strength even after they transition," Heather explained.

Olympic gold medalist Paula Radcliffe called it "naïve" not to think men calling themselves women "will become a threat to female sport," asserting that "people will manipulate the system." She tweeted, "If you are born and grow up male you cannot be allowed to compete in female sports simply because you 'identify' as female. It makes a mockery of the definitions of male and female sports categories."

High-profile tennis phenom and outspoken lesbian advocate Martina Navratilova concurred, raising concerns over the equity of men who call themselves women competing against women. "A man can decide to be female ... win everything in sight, earn a small fortune, then reverse his decision. Letting men compete as women — simply because they change their name and take hormones — is unfair." 

British Olympics silver medalist Sharron Davies agreed. "There is a fundamental difference between the binary sex you are born with and the gender you may identify as. To protect women's sport, those with a male sex advantage should not be able to compete in women's sport."

This potentially devastating trend has shown up in recent pre-Olympic international sporting competitions, where men identifying as women took the gold. These recent routs generated a howl from a few outraged feminist groups, though the mainstream media — siding with transgender interests over traditional feminist interests — have largely shut them out. Without a media voice, this controversy has had all the dynamics of a tempest in a teapot. One feminist activist, Women's Liberation Front board member Kara Dansky, told Fox's Tucker Carlson that CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, had all shut her group out. Only Fox had the courage to give them a voice.

However, that suppression can't last. This internecine brouhaha will really hit the fan next July, when men competing as women start racking up Olympic gold — at the expense of women who physically can't compete with larger, stronger men. When the 2020 Summer Olympics arrive, media suppression of feminist concerns will change.

In fact, the change has already begun.

One controversial case involves a man now calling himself Laurel Hubbard. Before conversion, he'd competed as a man in Olympic-caliber weightlifting events, well into his 30s, before he transitioned at age 35. Recently, he took two golds and a silver at the games in Samoa, dominating three women's heavyweight lifting categories. In response, New Zealand–based Speak Up For Women is demanding that males be barred from competing as women, regardless of their claims of transgender womanhood. While a similar feminist sports advocacy group in Great Britain also spoke out against Hubbard, the IOC proved unable or unwilling to address the issue. 

Hubbard isn't an isolated example. Wired.com reports that in the United States, transgender college competitor CeCé Telfer recently won the NCAA Division II National Championship in the 400-meter run. Last month, transgender athlete June Eastwood's victory helped his Montana State Grizzlies (women's) team finish first at the Montana Invitational.

Boys who call themselves girls are also competing in high school athletics, shutting out girls at every turn. For instance, Terry Miller recently won the girls' 200-meter dash at the Connecticut State Open track championship. Miller and fellow male athlete Christiana Holcomb dominated Connecticut, winning 15 state championship titles — claiming to be girls — this year.

These self-identified "women" are all on the fast track to Olympic gold. Helen Carroll, who worked on the NCAA Transgender Handbook, estimates that although only three tenths of one percent (0.3%) of Americans identify as transgender, there are 200 men calling themselves transgender in NCAA sports today. That disproportionate representation ensures that there's a lot of Olympic gold out there that young women won't have a prayer of winning. This reflects the state of men who call themselves women in sports here and worldwide. The mainstream media have kept a very P.C. lid on the outrage expressed by some feminist groups, but the 2020 Olympics will change that.

This quadrennial competition will take place live in millions of homes next summer. The Olympics are typically watched by more than a billion people worldwide — including more than 25 million Americans at any one time. Many of these viewers will, for the first time, be confronted by biological men "identifying as women," competing as transgender women, taking advantage of their huge natural advantage, allowing these biological men to dominate women athletes. 

Since the core purpose of the feminist movement has always been to help prevent women from being dominated by men, this transgender inclusion in competition will inevitably create a huge rift within progressive circles. Lines will be drawn between those feminists — and other progressives — who hold fealty to all politically-correct causes, seeing them as more important than their own cause. They will be pitted against other feminists who feel that biological women athletes should not have to compete with men. These feminists will be joined by millions of fair-minded Americans, who will watch, horrified, while men capture the medals and marginalize female athletes. 

This internal debate may come down to numbers. Traditional feminists will demand, "Do you support us who make up 51 percent of the population — or do you support the dominant rights of a minority that includes fewer than a third of one percent of the human population?" When that split comes, it could deconstruct the entire progressive coalition. Currently, that umbrella of competing needs appears to be held together by duct tape and baling wire.

Worse for them, this disastrous inner debate will occur in public, during the titanic political face-off between an extreme progressive who'll be running against the more traditional Trump. This controversy is sure to deepen America's left-right rift, shattering the Democrats' fragile progressive coalition into a myriad of small hyper-special interest groups. Especially hard hit will be those who insist that they're truly special and actually deserve — demand — support from all progressives.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Gamaliel Isaac

Opinion , ,

If Republicans join in with climate alarmists, the party is doomed

Gamaliel Isaac
By Gamaliel Isaac

December 2, 2019 (American Thinker) — Anxiety about global warming is skyrocketing in the Western world to the point one psychiatrist says, "I believe that everyone now has some climate anxiety." It's no wonder. Western leaders stoke the fires. On November 28, 2019, the European parliament declared a global climate emergency. Its members were responding in part to a children's crusade to save the planet. In March 2019, millions of children in over 120 countries skipped school to embark on what has become a series of "climate strikes." Young speakers raised alarming scenarios like what would happen when people without food and water "sought sanctuary and were faced with cages and guns instead."

"Climate crisis" and "climate emergency" are replacing the neutral-sounding "climate change." Then there's the threatening "extreme weather," which has become a major focus as warming has stalled over the last two decades. Climate alarmists blame rising, man-made CO2 emissions for supposedly ever more frequent and intense hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic activity, drought, flooding, and snowstorms. (Never mind that twenty years ago, David Viner, a senior research scientist of the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia, predicted that "children just aren't going to know what snow is.")

 Tony Heller, a contributor to realclimatechange.com, made a video showing news clips of "extreme weather" from the 1930s, when carbon dioxide levels were low. He narrated: "It was by far the hottest decade on record in the United States. The deadliest flooding in human history occurred in China in the 1930s[.] ... The worst droughts in U.S. history also occurred in the 1930s. Eighty percent of the U.S. was in drought during July 85 years ago. The heat and drought led to massive dust storms. The U.S. also had some of its worst flooding on record during the 1930s. ... The most intense hurricane in modern U.S. history occurred in 1935[.] ... Climatologists simply omit the 1930s from their graphs."

While the fear of global warming, which propels so many to engage in protests, is real enough, the motives of climate alarmist leaders, by their own account, are mixed. A spokesperson for the climate change activist organization Extinction Rebellion (XR) said the group makes unsubstantiated predictions of billions of deaths within just a few years because "alarmist language works." In 1988, the former Canadian minister of the environment told editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald: "No matter if the science of global warming is all phony ... climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world." Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group from 2008 to 2015, explained, "One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s latest report calls for governments around the world to take over finance, restructure entire economies, and undertake massive international wealth transfers to equalize incomes around the world. The U.N. is considering taxing financial transactions, international air travel, and fossil fuels to redistribute the wealth. Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, admitted that the motivation behind introducing her vaunted Green New Deal is to overhaul the "entire economy."

For politicians, a motivation to jump on the climate alarm bandwagon is that it wins votes. Prime Minister Trudeau's campaign for a carbon tax helped him win the 2019 election. According to the National Post, the Canadian voting public overwhelmingly supported parties that supported the carbon tax, leading CBC News to declare Canada's carbon tax "the big election winner" and "the only landslide victor" in this election.

Similarly, climate alarmism is helping Democrats win elections in the United States. The Green New Deal was one of the main campaign issues of Democrats in Virginia, helping them to flip both House and Senate to Democrat control. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan attacked her Republican opponent for questioning the scientific consensus on climate change — and is now a Michigan congresswoman. While one might expect that Republicans would follow in Trump's footsteps and declare climate alarmism a hoax, unfortunately, too many Republicans, surveying the political landscape, are starting to join the alarmism bandwagon. Florida congressman Francis Rooney, citing recent polling, said, "Seventy-one percent of the people in my district say that climate change is real." And he has written: "Among millennials, 81 percent believe the planet is warming. If we don't change our party's position soon, our voters will punish us." Along with Democrat Dan Lipinksi of Illinois, Rooney introduced a bill to set a price on carbon emissions. Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida has advanced a "Green Real Deal" to compete with the Democrats' Green New Deal, with the idea of appealing to young people eager for action on climate change. Douglas Heye, a former communications director at the Republican National Committee, complains: "We're definitely sending a message to younger voters that we don't care about things that are very important to them. This spells certain doom in the long term if there isn't a plan to admit reality and have legislative prescriptions for it."

These Republicans are making a huge mistake. Joining the global warming bandwagon is a losing strategy because Republicans can't out-extreme the Democrats. Joining the alarmist bandwagon only lends credibility to an issue that is helping Democrats. What Republicans should be doing is opposing Democrat climate alarmism with alarm over the economic impact of the trillions the Democrats plan to spend on influencing the climate and the negligible effect that will have on global temperature. Republicans need to raise alarm over what vast solar and wind farms are doing to the environment. Republicans need to accuse Democrats of creating panic to win elections. Republicans need to expose Democrat declarations of scientific consensus for their doomsday scenarios as false propaganda spread by a reckless media eager to sell sensational stories.

The data are overwhelming that implementing the proposals of climate alarmists — i.e., drastically cutting down or eliminating fossil fuels — will devastate Western economies. According to a recent report by the conservative American Action Forum, the Green New Deal will cost up to $93 trillion. Canada has instituted policies that severely constricted the ability of Western Canada to market its oil and gas. Eric Denhoff, a former deputy minister of Alberta wrote: "With more than 150,000 unemployed in a persistent, unbelievably long-running recession, Alberta has faced thousands of bankruptcies, a huge increase in suicides, and a tremendous loss of long-term capital investment that scares the bejesus out of the business community." Kevin O'Leary, founder of the O'Leary financial group, said Alberta and the West "don't have their engine of growth anymore" because "Trudeau hates energy." Canada, he notes, has been the the poorest place of all the G7 countries to invest your money over the last four years. Says O'Leary: "I feel so sorry for my country."

The impact on individuals of dramatically driving up energy costs by mandating renewables in place of fossil fuels is dramatic. In December 2009, England passed the Climate Change Act, which mandated an 80-percent cut in six greenhouse gases by 2050. Rupert Darwall wrote: "By now, fuel poverty was to have been a thing of the past. Both the Labour and Coalition governments had a target to abolish it. Thanks to the CCA [Climate Change Act] and other anti-fossil-fuel policies, it lives on and is worsening." A research study found that in the past 5 years approximately 17,000 people died in England as a direct result of fuel poverty and a further 36,000 deaths are attributable to conditions relating to living in a cold home. Despite the rosy economic promises from opponents of fossil fuels, the U.K. economy has become one of the worst performing economies in the world.

Climate alarmists say the cost of not implementing the Green New Deals give us no choice but to implement it. Yet using a model developed primarily with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, climatologists estimate that eliminating all of the U.S. CO2 emissions would lower global temperatures a mere 0.11 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

Implementing the measures proposed by climate alarmists poses other costs as well. Republicans can paint doomsday scenarios with far more genuine science to support them than those of their opponents. A study by the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University showed that a solar plant that would reduce California emissions by 80% would require a land area the size of South Carolina. Oxygen-producing plants and the wildlife they support would lose their habitats. The wings of birds that fly over those areas would melt. In addition, the heat generated by solar mirrors contributes to global warming. Fabrication of solar panels produces tons of toxic waste and carcinogens. The Republican ideals of economic well being and free markets are at direct odds with the agenda of the climate alarmists. The Republicans can't out-promise the Democrats on destroying the energy industry and hold on to conservative principles at the same time.

Republicans have truth on their side. Instead of retreating and caving in to climate alarmism, conservatives have to go on offense and attack the Left for advocating economically disastrous policies that are far more likely to hurt the environment than to help.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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Liberty Counsel

Opinion ,

When communists try to ban Christmas carols, heroes will keep singing them

Liberty Counsel
By

ORLANDO, Florida, December 2, 2019 (Liberty Counsel) — Between his campaign against President Gerald Ford in 1975–76 and his race against Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan delivered more than 1,000 radio broadcasts, including one in which he shared a story about Christmas in the Ukraine before and after communism. 

In an effort to resist Christians, communist leaders secularized a favorite Ukrainian Christmas carol, "Nova Radist Stala" (Joyous News Has Come to Us). The original song began with these words: "The joyous news has come which never was before. Over a cave above a manger a bright star has lit the world, where Jesus was born from a virgin maiden..." Communists feared the public outcry that would follow a complete ban on Christmas, so they began to slowly secularize the holiday. The first rewrite of the song began: "The joyous news has come which never was before, a red star with five tails has brightly lit the world." The second rewrite went further: "The joyous news has come which never was before. Long-awaited star of freedom lit the skies in October [the month of the Revolution]. Where formerly lived the kings and had the roots their nobles, there today with simple folks, Lenin's glory hovers."

The former Soviet Union eventually began banning Christmas commemorations. St. Nicholas was replaced with "Did Moroz," or Grandfather Frost. This Stalinist creation wears a red cap and long white beard of Santa Claus, but he delivers gifts to children on New Year's Eve. Christmas trees were also banned, but people continued to trim their New Year's trees. Communism folded all Christmas celebrations into a New Year's celebration.

Christians in the former Soviet Union exhibited bravery and courage in confronting communism's anti-Christmas campaign. One person recalled how the young people would go out in the streets and sing Christmas carols, knowing that if police heard them, they would be arrested. In communist Romania, Rev. Geza Palffy, a Roman Catholic priest, delivered a sermon in 1983, protesting against the fact that December 25 had been declared a work day instead of a holiday. The next day he was arrested by secret police, beaten, imprisoned and died. Inside and outside the Iron Curtain, Ukrainians never stopped singing: "We beg you our Lord, we pray to you today. Grant us freedom, return glory to our Mother Ukraine." Reagan ended his broadcast: "I guess we all hope their prayer is answered." Indeed it was.

The secularization of Christmas is nothing new. Christianity Today in 2002 reported that in the Vietnamese province of Dak Lak, children's choirs were forbidden to sing "Silent Night." From 1969 to 1997, Christmas was banned in Cuba.

In 2003, Liberty Counsel noticed a swell of anti-Christmas sentiment that was threatening to become a tsunami of unconstitutional censorship. Christmas decorations were packed away or renamed. People wanting to celebrate Christmas were told to sit down and be quiet. Employees, students and even senior citizens were banned from saying certain words or even wearing red and green! In response to this, Liberty Counsel launched the annual Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign which includes encouragement, education — and, if necessary, litigation — to guard Americans' freedom to celebrate Christmas.

Learn here about some of the numerous Christmas-related issues in which Liberty Counsel has been involved. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, "The war against Christmas is nothing new. Repressive forces have always had the same goal — to first secularize and then to eliminate Christmas. We see it increasing every year as atheist groups try to ban any representation of Christmas. We must know our rights and never take our freedom for granted."

Published with permission from Liberty Counsel.

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Fr. Frank Pavone

Opinion , ,

As Advent begins, let Christians repent of the sins of our nation

Fr. Frank Pavone
By Fr. Frank Pavone

December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In "Advent," which means "coming," we focus on the coming of Christ at the end of time, and then on His first coming at Christmas. Advent is marked by the joy of His coming, but also by the strong warning that we must be prepared for it, as individuals and as a community.

Hence, a key theme of Advent is repentance.

John the Baptizer prepared the people for the coming of Christ by proclaiming repentance, so the Church prepares the world for his second coming by likewise proclaiming, and opening the way for, repentance.

The third chapter of Matthew's gospel begins, "In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

He says, furthermore, continuing the quote from Isaiah, "Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth" (Luke 3:5).

Christ's coming ushers in the final triumph of life over death. The preparation for that coming, therefore, includes repentance from the works of death, including abortion. Not only individuals but nations likewise need to repent. This repentance includes living with active respect for every human life, and building a society of justice and welcome for the most vulnerable.

"Prepare the way of the Lord", who is a God of Justice. "Every valley shall be filled" — the valleys where people languish because their rights are trampled, their dignity forgotten, and their lives thrown onto the outskirts of society. "Every mountain and hill shall be made low" — the mountains of pride whereby we think our own choices determine what is right and wrong, rather than submitting our choices to the truth that became visible when Christ was born.

Promoting justice and human rights is a key element of our preparation. A society that aborts its children is not prepared for the coming of Christ. Individuals who ignore the massive slaughter of tens of millions of babies are not prepared to welcome the God who became a little baby.

Nor are they prepared to welcome the gifts the baby brings. To welcome Christ is to welcome the one who teaches the Gospels, establishes his Church, and brings us the Eucharist and the other sacraments. Some want to welcome Christ only by welcoming the baby, but not staying around long enough to hear what he has to say or receive what he comes to bring.

Advent repentance means we are to open our Christmas gifts: accept the teachings of the Church which the newborn child founded as an adult, utilize the sacrament of penance to receive his forgiveness, accept the grace that enables us to repent of sin, receive him in the Eucharist faithfully, and let him work through us to build a society of justice and a culture of life.

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More evidence that porn leads men to abuse women – and sometimes kill them

Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

December 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Last week, I noted that a female porn director had come out to warn that pornography was mainstreaming sexual violence in the romantic context, and that the stark rise of choking during sexual encounters is evidence of this. “Face slapping, choking, gagging and spitting has become the alpha and omega of any porn scene,” the director noted, “and not within a BDSM context.”

Indeed, American statistics covered by The Atlantic recently revealed that nearly a quarter of American women feel fear during intimacy as a result of seemingly spontaneous porn-inspired violence, a trend that has attracted increasing attention over the past several years. In response to my column, the alleged comedian Billy Procida (who also hosts the “Manwhore podcast”) angrily tweeted at me that women were “ASKING to be choked,” that “choking is not unhealthy,” and that “you shouldn’t choke someone without learning to do it properly,” a sentence that is six words too long. He didn’t care for my response that this was the sort of thing guys who watched too much porn say.

Despite repulsive defenses of sexual violence cloaked in the guise of “consent” from the Marlboro Men of the porn industry, the evidence continues to pile up. In addition to the chilling American statistics, the BBC is now reporting that their own research, conducted by BBC Radio 5 Live and ComRes, has indicated that 38% of British women under the age of 40 “have been subjected to unwanted choking, slapping, spitting, or gagging, during consensual sex.” 

The survey, which solicited answers from 2,002 women between the ages of 18 and 39, revealed that “just under two-thirds of women had either experience[d] it and said it was never unwanted (31 percent) or they had not experience[d it], didn’t know, or preferred not to say (31 percent).” 

A full 20% “said they had been left upset or frightened by the interaction.” Further, campaigners are stating precisely what I’ve been noting for several years: that the research, “which was commissioned in the wake of the Grace Millane trial where the defendant used a defence of ‘rough sex’ but was found guilty of murdering the backpacker–shows how violence during consensual sex is becoming increasingly normalised.”

That, apparently, is becoming disturbingly common. Fiona McKenzie, who began recording cases of women who were murdered or hurt by men who later defended themselves by claiming that their actions constituted consensual “rough sex,” says that there has been a spike in these cases because sexual violence is “normalized in the media” as well as pornography. Activities such as choking and slapping that have been mainstreamed by porn, she says, consistently show up in the traumatic tales of abuse that women tell. 

In fact, McKenzie says, women who do not want sexual violence to be a part of their relationships are often mocked by those who now say that this behavior is socially normal. “Women tell us they’ve been shamed for being ‘vanilla’ or not wanting this violence,” she noted, “and speaking out against this is kinkshaming.” In today’s culture of total sexual liberation, women and girls are being made to feel ashamed and prudish if they do not wish to be abused by their male partners. This is what the Sexual Revolution and the viral porn plague have done to our culture. 

In response to this disturbing research, I’m sure we’ll get more faux concern from folks like Billy Procida, who believe that the response to all of this is to teach people how do choke girls properly. I think this new information should rock us back like a slap in the face: Women are being shamed because they do not want to be physically abused during intimacy (which leads to some of them “asking for it”). Women are reporting that they are subjected to sexual violence regularly. And the upcoming generations are being weaned on the very poison that mainstreamed this behavior. 

This is a cultural crisis. We’ve sown the wind. We are reaping the whirlwind. To stand by silently is to risk sacrificing our own children to the Sexual Revolution, as well. 

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews David Bereit, the co-founder of 40 Days for Life. 40 Days for Life is an international campaign that aims to end abortion through local prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful all-day vigil in front of abortion businesses. Van Maren speaks with Bereit about how he turned a protest outside of a single clinic into a worldwide movement and the role prayer played and plays in the movement.

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 

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