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Democrats’ ‘violence against women’ bill would force taxpayers to fund abortion overseas

The House bill repeatedly refers to 'reproductive health,' often used as a euphemism for abortion.
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Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
By Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.

By Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.
Rebecca Oas, Ph.D.
By Rebecca Oas Ph.D.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 2, 2020 (C-Fam) — In late November, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives reintroduced the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), a bill whose previous introductions led to heated debates over issues of abortion and gender. A few weeks later, a counterpart bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Because of concerns about the abortion issue, the bill has been stalled for years in Congress. This despite broad support for its stated purpose: the prevention of violence against, and justice for, women and girls.

The House bill repeatedly refers to "reproductive health," often used as a euphemism for abortion. It twice refers to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as an important partner to "reach affected women and girls." The U.S. under the Trump administration has defunded UNFPA, which partners with pro-abortion organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International (MSI). Such organizations would be ineligible for U.S. foreign aid funding under President Trump's Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy.

The House bill also calls for "gender analysis" to be integrated into national-level strategies carried out by U.S. federal agencies such as USAID and the Department of State. It defines "gender analysis" as "the examination of the differential impact of policies on different genders," leaving open the possibility of a non-binary view of gender. In contrast, the Senate version defines the term as referring to "gaps between men and women."

The Senate bill is led by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who has been a longtime advocate for the inclusion of abortion in U.S. global health programming. Recently, Senator Shaheen threatened the passage of the foreign operations appropriations legislation by introducing amendments promoting abortion and homosexuality, upending a previous agreement that there would be no "poison pill" language in the bill.

The inclusion of a "gender analysis" in the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, passed last year, was controversial because it reinforced Obama administration policies that are still in effect. These gender policies are used by federal agencies and mandate the provision of "reproductive health" and contraception as well as LGBT-related programming.

The proposed sexual violence bill would codify the Office of Global Women's Issues (GIWI), created under the Obama administration, and make it the leading office in sexual violence programs. The women's office has channeled funding for sexual violence programs to non-governmental organizations overseas that perform abortion and lobby to remove legal protection for unborn children. It is unknown whether GIWI programs are subject to the expanded Mexico City policy.

Even if the Trump administration issues new gender policies that reverse the Obama-era requirements, the next Democratic administration would be able to change them back, or even make them more aggressively support abortion and gender ideology. The only way to prevent this would be to block passage of bills that contain a mandate for "gender analysis," such as IVAWA, or to include language within the text of the law that codifies the Trump administration's Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy.

Formerly known as the Mexico City policy, this standard would ban federal global health funding from going to foreign organizations that promote or provide abortion, such as IPPF and MSI.

The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has endorsed IVAWA, pointing out that it "goes further" than previous versions by "recognizing the important role of reproductive health access in combatting gender-based violence" and supporting UNFPA.

Published with permission from C-Fam.


News

Pro-abortion European countries destroy US pro-life efforts at United Nations

U.S. pro-life amendments to UN resolutions adopted before Christmas failed by a wide margin.
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President Donald Trump. Michael Candelori / Shutterstock
By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.
Stefano Gennarini, J.D.
By Stefano Gennarini J.D.

NEW YORK, January 2, 2020 (C-Fam) — Despite President Trump's statement at the General Assembly in September, and a growing number of countries supporting U.S. pro-life diplomacy, U.S. pro-life amendments to UN resolutions adopted before Christmas failed by a wide margin.

"The U.S. cannot accept references to sexual and reproductive health or to other language that would promote abortion or suggest a right to abortion," said the U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The short explanation of the U.S. position came after two U.S. amendments failed to pass during the adoption of a resolution on humanitarian assistance.

The U.S. proposed amendments to resolutions on global health and humanitarian interventions in the plenary of the General Assembly, as well as three other resolutions on girls, children and youth that were adopted before Christmas. The amendments sought to delete or replace the term "sexual and reproductive health."

In the plenary session of the General Assembly, the U.S. received support from up to fifteen countries in 2019, a significant increase from only one in 2018. Even so, more than 100 other countries coalesced against U.S. pro-life amendments alongside the Europeans, an increase from some eighty last year.

The term "sexual and reproductive health" is widely understood to be a euphemism for abortion to give the UN cover to promote abortion. U.S. diplomats proposed amendments against such abortion-related terms in UN resolutions for the first time during official General Assembly meetings last year.

After three years of the Trump administration, most UN resolutions are unchanged. The U.S. has not yet delivered a joint UN statement in the General Assembly against abortion, though it delivered joint pro-life statements in other contexts.

The increased opposition to the U.S. amendments is a direct result of EU abortion advocacy.

The EU has emerged as a formidable rival to the U.S. when it comes to the pro-life cause. With its twenty-eight EU bloc countries and their supporters, the EU can boast an army of diplomats and ministers in New York and capitals all across Europe. The bloc exerts influence on delegations from developing countries and their capitals. While U.S. pro-life diplomacy is still in its infancy, EU abortion diplomacy is systematic, constant, and backed by financial incentives to developing countries.

Delegates told the Friday Fax that U.S. diplomats need to do more work bilaterally and in capitals to gain more support and counter the pressure coming from European countries.

The U.S. pro-life amendments were not widely discussed with other diplomats in the weeks before the vote. They were not submitted in a timely fashion or respecting UN diplomatic protocols. Other U.S. amendments in other contexts did not suffer this same fate. In the process of voting on the amendments, U.S. diplomats were not perceived as invested in their successful adoption, delegates told the Friday Fax.

When the new amendments to a resolution on global health were introduced, the justification given for the amendments seemed curt and incoherent. During the adoption of the humanitarian resolution, U.S. diplomats did not request the President of the General Assembly to say what delegation called for a vote on the U.S. amendments, which is expected when a delegation is invested in a proposal. When the amendments failed, the U.S. delegation did not appear to impose costs. Instead, the U.S. supported the adoption of the resolutions they had failed to amend.

Published with permission from C-Fam.


News

Looking back at the 5 most shameful United Nations failures of 2019

Sex scandals, prostitution, surrogacy, and a pro-homosexuality move by the Trump administration.
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By Susan Yoshihara

By Susan Yoshihara
Susan Yoshihara
By Susan Yoshihara

NEW YORK, January 2, 2020 (C-Fam) — Even as the U.S. and a coalition of other sovereign nations promoted a strong pro-life agenda at the United Nations in 2019, UN staff and the United States assiduously removed protections for vulnerable women and children, lowering UN standards on prostitution, child pornography, and the buying and selling of children, and shaming traditional countries for their laws on human sexuality.

1. UN Women Declares itself neutral on the legalization of prostitution.

In November, the UN agency for women announced its neutrality on whether prostitution should be criminalized. This occurred after 1,400 civil society organizations expressed alarm that UN Women would side with other UN organizations that promote prostitution "as a form of labor; consider the sex trade as a viable employer and a basis for economic migration for women; and call for decriminalizing the sex trade, including the purchase of sexual acts, all in violation of international law and fundamental principles of feminism and human rights, including, but not limited to, CEDAW."

2. UN General Assembly downplays some forms of child pornography.

In November, the UN General Assembly will replace the term "child pornography" with "child sexual abuse material" in the fight against child pornography. While proponents argue this aligns with international trends, experts have warned against this in the past as it could hamper efforts to prosecute child pornography cases. These experts are now in the minority. The new standard will be promoted by the UN system. They makes it unclear whether the term "child sexual abuse material" refers only to images produced as a result of sexual abuse of children or to any sexually explicit depiction of children, as current child pornography standards.

3. UN personnel caught in sexual abuse scandal.

The year brought to light various other malfeasance by UN personnel who, charged with protecting civilians, abused them instead. National leaders and even UN staff have begun to admit to occasions of UN peacekeeping personnel abusing vulnerable women and children, selling basic forms of aid for sexual favors. Less well known is the case of a UN representative charged with combatting the buying and selling of children who came out in favor of buying and selling children through commercial surrogacy.

4. UN focal point to fight the sale of children OKs commercial surrogacy.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, announced that complete bans on surrogacy are dangerous and surrogacy should be regulated instead. She even said commercial surrogacy is not necessarily the sale of children and urged countries to ratify surrogacy agreements contracted abroad. Buquicchio ignored evidence of abandoned children, forced abortions, the commodification of children, trafficking in women and children, and children being priced differently based on their gender and characteristics. While the rapporteur maintained there is no "right to a child," she cited "sexual and reproductive health rights" as a justification for surrogacy.

5. Trump Administration shames traditional countries over laws on human sexuality.

The Trump Administration launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexual conduct at the General Assembly, targeting many of the same countries that backed its pro-life stance at the UN. Both President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence expressed support for the initiative, spearheaded by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, to use U.S. foreign aid and diplomacy as leverage over traditional counties to liberalize laws against homosexual sex.

Published with permission from C-Fam.


News

China sentences ‘unauthorized’ Christian pastor to 9 years in prison

The Communist government considered the church "illegal" and arrested many of its members in raids.
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Pastor Wang Yi YouTube screenshot
Calvin Freiburger By Calvin Freiburger

Calvin Freiburger By Calvin Freiburger
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By Calvin Freiburger

January 2, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Protestant Christian pastor leading one of China’s largest underground churches has been sentenced to nine years in prison for operating outside the government’s narrow boundaries of permissible religious practice as part of a broader crackdown on Christianity by the Communist regime.

Wang Yi leads Early Rain Covenant Church, which is not recognized by the Chinese government. The church’s several hundred members reportedly met in secret, though many have been arrested in overnight raids. Wang, who is also a vocal critic of Chinese president Xi Jinping, was arrested last year.

Wang received his prison sentence Monday, Fox News reported, in addition to being fined and seeing his personal assets seized on conviction of “illegal business operations,” which his attorney says merely referred to Wang printing books on Christian culture.

"Wang Yi was merely practicing his religion and peacefully standing up for human rights in China," declared Amnesty International China researcher Patrick Poon. "Wang Yi is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released."

Breitbart reported that the Chinese state-run newspaper Global Times responded to the uproar over Wang’s arrest by attempting to paint Wang as a “bit conceited” and “not an ordinary pastor,” but rather someone using his “illegal church” as a front for “anti-government activities ... There are some dissidents in China who are brainwashed by Western values. They do not accept China’s political and legal systems at all.”

“As is known to all, freedom of religious belief is fully guaranteed in China,” the Times claimed.

The experiences of Christians on the ground in China say otherwise, however. Last month, authorities shut down Shanghai’s Wheat Church in the middle of Sunday services, expelling worshippers for practicing their faith somewhere not approved by the state.

Christians aren’t the only religious group to face persecution in China. In November, leaked documents shed light on Xi’s orders to show “absolutely no mercy” to the minority Uighur Muslim population over the course of separating families and subjecting Uighurs to indoctrination camps in the name of imprinting on them the “dangers of religious extremism.”


News

Abortion again tops worldwide causes of death in 2019 at more than 42 million

The number of children killed in the womb is significantly more than half the total of all deaths worldwide.
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Crosses representing babies killed by abortion Students for Life of America / Facebook
Calvin Freiburger By Calvin Freiburger

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By Calvin Freiburger

January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – More than 42 million abortions took place globally in 2019 according to the tracking service Worldometers, once again finding abortion to be the single largest cause of death across the planet for the year.

As of December 31, Worldometers had counted 42.4 million abortions, which is more than half the total number of deaths by every other cause (58.6 million). Abortions dwarfed every individual cause of death, including overall deaths due to disease (13 million).

The true total number of abortions may be either lower or higher, however, as Worldometers relies on health and mortality statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), which in turn relies on estimates from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.

“(O)f the 56.3 million global abortions Guttmacher estimates annually, no more than 10 percent can be officially accounted for and only 23 percent have any basis in empirical evidence,” Abort73’s Michael Spielman has written. “The other 77 percent are assumed based upon a complex statistical model that estimates” a variety of factors. Most significantly, Guttmacher “assume(s) a constant abortion rate that is unaffected by the legality of abortion,” potentially to sway the findings in favor of the abortion lobby’s claim that pro-life laws are ineffective.

Worldometers found similar numbers last year, leading left-wing outlets such as Snopes to attempt to minimize the news not by disputing the numbers but by arguing that abortion should not be considered a “cause of death.” Scientifically speaking, however, it is a settled biological fact that the embryos and fetuses destroyed by abortion are living human beings.

Worldometers tracks and estimates statistics in real time on a wide variety of subjects, based on data from sources such as the United Nations, WHO, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and more. It boasts recognition and citations from a wide variety of media outlets and academic works, as well as the endorsement of the American Library Association.

As of January 2, Worldometers has already counted more than 190,000 worldwide abortions so far in 2020.


News

Marvel film chief teases first ‘trans’ character in upcoming superhero movie

Company president Kevin Feige offered no specifics other than it's in 'a movie that we're shooting right now.'
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Calvin Freiburger By Calvin Freiburger

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By Calvin Freiburger

January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Having given activists their first taste of LGBT “representation” in the franchise with 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige promised them this week that the wildly-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe will gain its first transgender character sooner rather than later.

Feige was asked whether future Marvel films would include additional LGBT characters, “specifically the T, trans characters” during a recent question & answer session at the New York Film Academy, the BBC reported

"Yes, absolutely. Yes,” he responded. “And very soon. In a movie that we're shooting right now.”

Which film Feige was referencing is unknown, though Marvel is currently filming The Eternals, which follows some of the franchise’s most obscure characters yet (Feige has previously said Eternals would also feature a homosexual character who is “married”). Another possibility is Black Widow, a solo adventure for Scarlett Johhansson’s titular heroine, which has already concluded principal photography but may still be doing reshoots.

Endgame previously extended an olive branch to the LGBT lobby with a scene in which an unnamed man at a group therapy session mentions a dinner date with another man. Many left-wing activists attacked the scene as too insubstantial for their liking (much like a similarly-brief moment in last month’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), but Marvel plans to give them significantly more with the upcoming Thor: Love & Thunder, in which Tessa Thompson’s character Valkyrie “needs to find her queen.”

LGBT activists previously complained about Marvel deleting a shot from the previous Thor film, Thor: Ragnarok, that would have implied Valkyrie was a lesbian by showing a woman exiting her bedroom, as well as a similar omission from Black Panther.

The Marvel and Star Wars franchises are both currently owned by Disney.


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Cdl Müller warns US college students about ‘poison’ of adapting Church to ‘spirit of the age’

'The poison paralyzing the Church is the opinion that we should adapt to the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, and not the Spirit of God.'
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Cardinal Gerhard Muller in Phoenix, Arizona, Jan. 1, 2020. FOCUS Catholic / Youtube
Doug Mainwaring By Doug Mainwaring

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By Doug Mainwaring

PHOENIX, Arizona, January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking to a large gathering of U.S. college students, Cardinal Gerhard Müller warned against attempts to adapt the faith to “the spirit of the age” and giving in to “relativism” and “modernization.”    

The former Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith did not mince words in his Jan. 1 homily (read full text below) on the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God which was delivered to thousands of Catholics gathered in Phoenix for the 2020 Student Leadership Summit. Over the course of the four day gathering in Phoenix now in progress, 9,000 Catholic young people — mostly college students — are expected to attend workshops and keynote speeches about missionary discipleship. 

The Cardinal repeatedly cautioned the students against “adapting” the Church to the secular world. 

“We cannot escape the deadly poison of the rattlesnake or other serpents if we strike friendship with it, but only if we prudently keep our distance and have the antidote ready at hand. The poison paralyzing the Church is the opinion that we should adapt to the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, and not the Spirit of God; That we should relativize God’s commandments, and reinterpret the doctrine of faith,” declared Müller. “Instead, as St Paul says, ‘The Church of the living God’ is ‘the pillar and foundation of truth.’”

“The crisis in the Church is man-made and has arisen because we have cozily adapted ourselves to the spirit of a life without God,” he said. “This is why in our hearts so many things still are un-redeemed and, consequently, long for substitute gratification!”

“Should the Church adapt the revelation of God in Jesus Christ to ‘where people are today?’ Can the Church be faithful to her foundation, and to her founder, if she mutates into a religion of humanity?” he asked.  “The allegedly peaceful agnostics of today generously allow the simple people to keep their religion, but only because they are eager to use the potential of meaning the Church possesses for their own purposes: They do not hold revealed faith to be true, but they would like to use it for building the new religion of world-unity.”

Müller alerted his listeners to the fact that even a “few Church leaders” are confused in relation to attempts to “reconstruct the Church as a convenient civil religion, and make her more worldly, more secular.” 

“Many believe what the Church needs is ‘modernization;’ Conversely, anyone opposing modernization is fought like an enemy and called ‘traditionalist,’” said Müller.  

He continued:  

Let me give you an example of how this works: Protecting human life from conception to natural death is discredited as a “conservative, right-wing” political position – while at the same time killing innocent unborn children is declared a “human right,” and therefore deemed “progressive.”  In politics and media, it is all about power over human minds and over the money in people’s pockets. For this purpose, people are being conditioned by using campaign slogans like “conservative” or “modern.”  

But faith in God is concerned with the contrast between true and false, and about the distinction between good and evil. What matters most deeply is that the faith is true, because Christ is the Truth. Only truth gives life, even and especially when it is challenging.

“There is no religion which is somehow ‘higher’ than the Church’s faith in Jesus Christ,” declared Cardinal Müller in no uncertain terms.  “Jesus cannot be surpassed by the changing of times because God’s eternity encompasses all eras of history and the biography of each person.”

“God ‘wills everyone to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself,’” said Müller, quoting St. Paul’s letter to Timothy.  

Jesus Christ “alone can and does save the world; and frankly, I also would not want to be saved by anyone but him, true God and true man,” he concluded.

***

Solemnity of the Mother of God

January 1st, 2020

Homily of H.E. Cardinal G.L. Müller

Dear Brothers and Sisters in “Jesus the Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).

As we celebrate the first day of 2020, we wish one another a “Happy New Year.” 

Because God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,” (Ephesians 1:3). As Christians we look at this wish within the deeper context of being God’s beloved sons and daughters. 

As Catholics we connect our good will towards all with the marvelous experience that, in the light of God, all things – past, present, and future – have a purpose. When the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of the world becomes present in the Holy Mass, we give “thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:20). We thank God for having created the world, and for giving us all we need. We thank Him, that for our sake Christ became man, and for sending us His Holy Spirit. We thank Him for the Holy Church, who has become our Mother in faith: She is the Body of Christ, in which we have been incorporated through baptism and confession of the catholic faith. We thank Him for our families, in which we were allowed to grow up, and for our friends, who are our faithful companions through life. Making such friends is one of the blessings of being part of FOCUS. And if God has called us to marriage, we thank him for our husband or wife, and for the children we love, because they are God’s gift to their parents.

As Christians, we have a musical awareness of life: In our hearts resounds the song of thanksgiving of the redeemed. Its melody is love, and its harmony is joy in God. We do not believe in the superficial optimism of fate, which we hope will remain kind to us. No one will be spared the suffering of this world, and everyone has to bear his or her cross. Instead, in work and leisure, in happiness and pain, in life and death, a Christian puts all his hope in Christ alone for “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28).  Like water bursting from a source, becoming a living stream that can make the desert blossom (even here in Arizona!), so our joy in God is the seed on the field of our life that brings fruit, a hundredfold. Adoration of God in the spirit of Christ is this: “To offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship,” (Romans 12:1). Following Christ’s example, who gave his life on the altar of the cross, our life is a sacrifice to God. But the same Christ, through his resurrection, has also opened the door to eternal life for us. This is our faith.

Today, however, many Christians are anxious and concerned: Looking at the state of traditionally Christian societies in the West, and at the scandals in the Church, does Christianity still fit into our time? Does the faith have a future?

The crisis in the Church is man-made and has arisen because we have cozily adapted ourselves to the spirit of a life without God. This is why in our hearts so many things still are un-redeemed and, consequently, long for substitute gratification! Consumerism really is a virus that attacks the life of faith, as Pope Francis recently said; and there are other such viruses.

But the one who believes, needs no ideology. The one who hopes, will not reach for drugs. The one who loves, is not after the lust of this world, which will pass away – along with the world. The one who loves God and neighbor, finds happiness in the sacrifice of self-giving. We will be happy and free, when in the spirit of love we embrace the form of life to which God has called each one of us personally: in the sacrament of marriage, in celibate priesthood, or in religious life according to the three evangelical counsels of poverty, obedience and chastity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

I would like to evoke a Christmas homily which pope St Leo the Great preached over fifteen hundred years ago. In the midst of migration of peoples and dissolution of order, as the Roman empire was falling apart, Leo speaks to the personal faith of each Catholic. With his words, I would like to address every catholic today who has become unsettled in the present crisis of the Church:

Christian, acknowledge your dignity, and becoming a partner in the Divine nature, refuse to return to the old baseness by degenerate conduct. Remember the Head and the Body of which you are a member. Recollect that you were rescued from the power of darkness and brought out into God's light and kingdom. By the mystery of Baptism you were made the temple of the Holy Spirit: do not put such a great guest to flight from you by base acts (Sermon 21,3).

We cannot escape the deadly poison of the rattlesnake or other serpents, if we strike friendship with it, but only if we prudently keep our distance and have the antidote ready at hand. The poison paralyzing the Church is the opinion that we should adapt to the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, and not the Spirit of God; That we should relativize God’s commandments, and reinterpret the doctrine of faith. Instead, as St Paul says, “The Church of the living God” is “the pillar and foundation of truth,” (1 Timothy 3:15).

Yet, some people today would like to reconstruct the Church as a convenient civil religion, and make her more worldly, more secular. Many voices and opinion makers in the post-Christian society approve of such self-secularization. But that in no way means they accept the faith in Jesus Christ, never mind that even a few church leaders are confused about this. People trying to instrumentalize the faith and the Church for their political agendas are not coming closer to the faith, a faith which they are in fact abusing.  We can get closer to the faith in Christ only if, together with Peter, we are looking to Jesus and confess: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:18). 

The antidote against worldliness and secularization of the Church is the “truth of the Gospel,” (Galatians 2:14), and starts with living “by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me,” (Galatians 2:20). This is the basis for any real evangelization, and for restoring the church.

Today, however, many believe what the Church needs is “modernization”; conversely, anyone opposing modernization is fought like an enemy and called “traditionalist.”  Let me give you an example of how this works: Protecting human life from conception to natural death is discredited as a “conservative, right-wing” political position – while at the same time killing innocent unborn children is declared a “human right,” and therefore deemed “progressive.”  In politics and media, it is all about power over human minds and over the money in people’s pockets. For this purpose, people are being conditioned by using campaign slogans like “conservative” or “modern.”  But faith in God is concerned with the contrast between true and false, and about the distinction between good and evil. What matters most deeply is that the faith is true, because Christ is the Truth. Only truth gives life, even and especially when it is challenging.

For some, however, the Church is lagging behind by 200 years, compared to where the world is today. Is there any truth to this accusation? An accusation opinionated atheists gleefully repeat in their Schadenfreude! And allegedly progressive Catholics, on their part, play the model students of the Enlightenment, promising they will quickly catch up to the lessons of atheistic criticism of religion.

Should the Church adapt the revelation of God in Jesus Christ to “where people are today”? Can the Church be faithful to her foundation, and to her founder, if she mutates into a religion of humanity? The allegedly peaceful agnostics of today generously allow the simple people to keep their religion, but only because they are eager to use the potential of meaning the Church possesses for their own purposes: They do not hold revealed faith to be true, but they would like to use it for building the new religion of world-unity.

In order to be admitted to this meta-religion, the only price the Church would have to pay is giving up her truth claim. No big deal, it seems, as the relativism dominant in our world anyway rejects the idea that we could actually know the truth, and presents itself as guarantor of peace between all world-views. And in fact: a Catholicism without dogmas, without sacraments, without sacred tradition, and without doctrine, is the Fata Morgana for which even a number of people in the Church are longing. 

But there is no such meta-religion because there is no religion which is somehow “higher” than the Church’s faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, every time is immediate to God because it was “in the fullness of time” that “God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4), whom the shepherds of Bethlehem found as “the infant lying in the manger,” (Luke 2:16). In other words: We can enter into an immediate, personal relationship to God because Christ is real and present to me. Jesus cannot be surpassed by the changing of times because God’s eternity encompasses all eras of history and the biography of each person. God “wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human” (1Timothy 2:4f).  In the concrete human being Jesus of Nazareth, God’s universal truth is concretely present here and now – in historical time and space. Jesus Christ is not the representation of some supra-temporal truth: He is “the way, the truth and the life,” in person (John 14:56).

The Church walks with the times in their societal changes, similar to how she walks with us as we get older and celebrate our birthdays one after the other! And theology, in dialogue with modern, scientific and technological worldviews, illustrates how faith and reason are compatible. Faith is knowledge of God’s truth. In the light of faith, we understand ourselves and the world in its innermost origin and purpose. This knowledge, however, we owe to the Word of God who “became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14). By inner-worldly reasoning, the truth of revealed faith can neither be proven nor disproven. The Church knows that we are lost without the Gospel of Christ. The Blessed Virgin Mary conceives in her womb, and gives birth to, the “one Lord Jesus Christ”, the “Light from Light,” the one Savior of the whole world. He alone can and does save the world; and frankly, I also would not want to be saved by anyone but him, true God and true man.

Let us pray therefore today, as we celebrate the Mother of God: Merciful Lord, may the Mother of Mercies intercede for us, also in the new year, because through her “we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”. 

Amen.


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Judge denies injunction to extend baby Tinslee Lewis’ life support

The baby's family has seven days to file an appeal. Cook Children's Medical Center is trying to remove Tinslee's life support against her family's wishes.
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Tinslee Lewis in Cook Children’s Medical Center, in Fort Worth, Texas.
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FORT WORTH, Texas, January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Sandee Marion ruled against a Texas family trying to save their baby girl’s life Thursday, by rejecting their bid for another injunction against Cook Children's Medical Center (CCMC) withdrawing life support from Tinslee Lewis.

The decision gives her family seven days to file an appeal, which Texas Right to Life says they will pursue.

Tinslee Lewis was born prematurely and has spent her entire life so far at the Fort Worth-based children’s hospital, where she has undergone various intensive surgeries for a heart defect, lung disease, and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension. Doctors concluded in October that the 10-month-old was beyond saving, and declared their intentions to take her off life support.

Tinslee’s parents obtained and renewed a restraining order against the move with the help of Texas Right to Life, but Marion has rejected their bid to extend it, NBC-DFW reports

“Our doctors and nurses have done everything humanly possible to save Tinslee’s life,” CCMC claimed in a statement. “Sadly, she shows no signs of improvement and there are no treatment options available to help her get better.”

“I am heartbroken over today’s decision because the judge basically said Tinslee’s life is NOT worth living,” Tinslee’s mother Trinity Lewis responded to the ruling. “I feel frustrated because anyone in that courtroom would want more time just like I do if Tinslee were their baby. I hope that we can keep fighting through an appeal to protect Tinslee. She deserves the right to live. Please keep praying for Tinslee and thank you for supporting us during this difficult time.”

Tinslee’s case has caught the attention of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed a brief to help save her life. Texas Right to Life has also been calling on Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special legislative session to repeal a provision of the 1999 Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA). The provision states that if a doctor gives notification of his refusal to further treat a patient, gets approval from a committee, and no other doctor agrees to take in or help the patient, then the hospital is only obligated to provide up to 10 days of care before life-sustaining treatment (which includes giving dialysis to conscious people) is removed. 

“Texas Right to Life is disappointed that the ruling not only disregarded the Constitution, but also sentenced an innocent 11-month-old baby to death like a criminal,” the group said. “The 10-Day Rule has robbed countless patients of their Right to Life and right to due process. We pray the appellate court will identify how the law violates Baby Tinslee’s due process rights, revoke her death sentence, and strike down the deadly 10-Day Rule.”


Opinion

What we can learn from the beauty of Christmas carols

Unlike the joyless, bleak belief systems of both Islam and secularism, Christianity brims with joy.
Featured Image
By William Kilpatrick

By William Kilpatrick
William Kilpatrick
By William Kilpatrick

December 21, 2018 (Turning Point Project) – One of the perpetual complaints against Christianity is that it is a life-denying, puritanical system. In the Victorian era, poet Algernon Swinburne referred to Christ as the "pale Galilean" from whose breath "the world has grown grey." In our own time, films and television shows such as The Handmaid's Tale portray Christians as robotic control freaks. Meanwhile, elite commentators contend that the only reason Christians oppose same-sex "marriage" and transgendered toddlers is that they are full of hate.

One way to rebut the charge is to point to the fact that traditional Christmas carols – the ones that retell the central Christian story – are generally full of joy and gladness. They are decidedly not "grey" or "life-denying." What, exactly, one might ask, are the life-denying elements in Joy to the World and Ding Dong! Merrily on High?

But before getting to the carols, it's instructive to note that Christianity's two main competitors for the souls of men – secularism and Islam – actually are on the grey and grim side of the continuum. That's easy enough to see in Islam. With its burqas, alcohol ban, and rigid rules of behavior, Islam actually is a puritanical religion. But so, in its own way, is secularism. Today's universities, which are almost totally controlled by secularists, have elaborate behavior and speech codes which effectively take the spontaneity out of relationships and even out of simple conversation. You have to tread carefully in the secular world because it is seeded with hidden booby traps. Try reciting one of Swinburne's poems to a group of fellow student and you might end up in diversity hell. You never know what will offend the new puritans until it's too late.

Christians are supposedly life-denying, but Islam and secularism are patently cultures of death. Again, this is more obvious in Islam. Jihadists like to say that they will win out over non-Muslims because "you love life, but we love death." But, in many senses, secularism is also a death cult. Although secularists aren't generally keen on martyring themselves, they don't have any principled objection to sacrificing babies (through abortion) and old people (euthanasia) in order to make life more convenient for themselves. And this dismissive attitude toward human life has gained wide acceptance. In a photo taken when they still looked like choir boys, the Beatles posed with the dismembered parts of life-like baby dolls for the album cover Yesterday and Today.

For a supposedly life-affirming philosophy, secularism tends to have a distinct apathy toward new life, and toward marriage, which is the usual way of bringing new life into the world. Hollywood, which is secularism's dream weaver, is far more interested in babes than in babies.

Islam frowns on abortion, but not for the same reason as Christians. There is no well-developed theology of the value and dignity of each human life in Islam. Instead, Islam seems to have a more utilitarian view of life. One can't help forming the impression that for many Muslim leaders, raising babies is just another way of raising an army.

At first glance, Islamic attitudes toward women seem poles apart from Western secular views, but on closer inspection the Islamic view of women is not that far removed from the Hollywood view that women are little more than sex objects. The difference is that Islam conditions Muslim men to prefer babes in paradise to babes on earth. Some are so well-conditioned in this respect that they are quite happy to exchange earthly wife and kids for heavenly maidens should the occasion present itself. In any event, the exalted view of women and motherhood that one finds in the Christian carols is largely missing from both Islam and secularism.

Degraded views of life and death, birth, and babies come from a low estimate of human value. Christmas is a celebration of that moment of enlightenment when the full value of human life became apparent. In retrospect, it was far more enlightening than the European Enlightenment which arrived 18 centuries later and which would have been impossible except for the light provided by the first.

The Incarnation revealed God to man, but also, as St. John Paul II observed, it revealed man to himself. The birth of Christ revealed that the worth of men and women was far greater than anything that had hitherto been presumed. The birth of Christ also put family life in a whole new light. God entered the world not as a full-grown autonomous individual, but as a member of a family.

The birth of Christ changed everything. It added layer upon layer of meaning to the human condition. Human life was of inestimable value. Death was no longer to be feared because this child was born to vanquish death and open the way to life everlasting. That life, moreover, was to be more than the pleasant continuation of this life envisaged by some pagan religions, and, later, by Islam. It was a new kind of life – one that transforms us into the likeness of Christ, and makes us worthy of communion with God.

The wonder of all this is difficult to grasp intellectually. Indeed, the birth of any child seems miraculous. And no amount of biological science comes close to explaining it. When one considers that the particular child who was born on Christmas day in Bethlehem set the planets in motion, the miracle is compounded beyond all understanding.

The proper response to the miracle of Christmas is a mix of wonder and joy. And few things convey that mix as effectively as the traditional Christmas carols:

Come let us surround him
On this magic night
Gather here around him
Wondrous Babe of Light.

That's from Sing We Now of Christmas. Those who know the tune will agree, I think, that the words and music were made for each other. We find the same thing in almost all of the traditional Christmas carols. The harmony between heaven and earth that the birth of Jesus brought is matched by a rare harmony of music and lyrics. Indeed, the lyrics to Pat-A-Pan make that very point:

God and man today become
More in tune than fife and drum
So be merry while you play,
Sing and dance this Christmas Day

Christmas carols also give us a glimpse of our heavenly destiny. Take these lyrics from Good Christian Men, Rejoice:

Good Christian men, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss;
Joy! Joy!
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has oped the heav'nly door
And man is blessed evermore.

"Endless bliss"? Blessed evermore"? But what kind of creature are we that we are meant for endless bliss? If we are honest, we think as Scrooge did (in that other Christmas Carol), "I don't deserve to be so happy."

Well, in our present condition, most of us don't deserve it. The good news is that we "are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Co 3: 18) so that we become "a new creation" (2 Co 5:17). In the words of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Christ was

Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth

The savior's birth makes possible a second birth by which we become a new and transformed self. But this concept of being born again is alien to Christianity's main competitors for the souls of men. Secular man is taught to have self-esteem. He thinks he's fine just the way he is, and the suggestion that he needs a new self is highly offensive to him. Besides, his spiritual needs are already fulfilled by regular yoga and meditation. Islam is not particularly interested in spiritual transformation either. In Islam, death signifies a transformation of one's circumstances, but not a transformation of one's self. You can end up in paradise (Allah willing) and remain essentially the same person you were on earth, lustful desires and all. Indeed, the surest way to get to paradise is to commit what, from a Christian perspective, are grave and even soul-destroying sins.

In both Christianity and Islam, heaven is viewed as a better place. But for Christians it is a better place because it is filled with better people – far better than they were on earth because they have died to their sins and risen to a new sinless existence. Consider this verse from As with Gladness, Men of Old:

So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin's alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to thee, our heavenly King.

This view of man, cleansed from his sins and gloriously transformed is remarkably different from the low estimate of man presented by secularism on the one hand, and Islam on the other. In the secular view, man's final destiny is to dissolve into the dust and take his place among the other particles on the periodic table of elements. To which the normal human response is, "Is that all?"

Islam seems to promise more, but it does not solve the problem of what C.S Lewis called the "inconsolable longing." Suicide bombers tend to be on the young side, because it eventually dawns on even the dullest mind that endless copulation with Islam's version of the Stepford Wives will not bring infinite fulfillment.

Men and women are meant for more. The proper response both to Islam's otherworld enticements and to secularism's bleak view of human destiny is the same: "Is that all there is?" Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring comes much closer to naming our deepest aspiration:

Jesu, joy of man's desiring
Holy wisdom, love most bright.
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring,
Soar to uncreated light.

The irony is that Christianity in the West is losing souls to secularism on the one hand, and Islam, on the other, even though both are essentially joyless belief systems. In America, increasing numbers are opting for atheism, agnosticism, or simply, "no belief." Meanwhile, according to several observers, Europe may be in the process of exchanging Christianity for Islam.

Whether you trade Christianity for Islam or exchange it for secularist "no belief," it's a bad deal either way. It's as though someone offered you a quarter in exchange for the ten-dollar bill in your wallet. The uncanny thing is that so many have fallen for these bad bargains.

Just compare Islam's hymns and carols to the Christian ones. What's that you say? There are no hymns and carols in Islam? Oh, yes, I'd almost forgotten. Muhammad wasn't keen on music. "Allah," he said, "commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes, and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance." Islam's rules for dhimmis (conquered non-Muslims), which are still in force today, also forbid Christians to ring bells or clang cymbals. Of course, there is the chanted Islamic call to prayer. Barack Obama said it was the sweetest sound he ever heard, but to most non-Muslims it seems quite a bit more ominous than sweet.

Islam's puritanism even extends to humor. As the Ayatollah Khomeini once said, "There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam." Islam, in essence, is like Scrooge before his encounter with the three ghosts. He chases carolers away and he has no sense of humor. Once he catches the spirit of Christmas, however, he becomes deliriously happy, dances a jig, and is transported by the peal of church bells. Scrooge's story of redemption is aptly titled "A Christmas Carol."

Of course, secular society does have music and jokes, but many of the jokes are not funny, and much of the music is so bad that one begins to sympathize with the idea of banning it. Islam under sharia law is a pretty grim affair, but in its attempts to take Christ out of Christmas and out of almost every other area of life, secular society has become increasingly grey. Traditional family ties have been shattered, abortions are counted in the millions, joyless promiscuity has become the norm, and tens of millions fall victim to depression, drug dependency, violence, and suicide.

Secularism doesn't offer any way out of our society's downward spiral, but Christianity does. Christ did admonish us, however, that we can't enter the kingdom of heaven unless we become as little children. Christmas carols are one way of recovering the awe and wonder that children have in the presence of the Most High:

Come let us surround him
On this magic night
Gather here around him
Wondrous Babe of light

Sing we Noel!
The King is born, Noel!
Sing we now of Christmas
Sing we here, Noel!

This article originally appeared in the December 22, 2017 edition of Crisis. It is published here with permission from the Turning Point Project.


Opinion

5 pro-life and pro-family wins for USA on world stage in 2019

Here are last year's high points in the international campaign to protect human life and the family.
Featured Image
Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com
By Susan Yoshihara

By Susan Yoshihara
Susan Yoshihara
By Susan Yoshihara

NEW YORK, January 2, 2020 (C-Fam) —

1. President Trump stands up for the rights of unborn children at the UN General Assembly.

The high point in the international campaign to protect human life came in September, at the opening of the 74th United Nations General Assembly when President Donald Trump delivered a fervent commitment to defend unborn children through American foreign policy. Some believe it was the most explicitly pro-life statement ever delivered at the UN by a head of state. The statement capped the year's intense work by Trump's political appointees, who faced stiff opposition from career staff members, the media, and hostile members of Congress, who bullied some of them into leaving government service this year.

2. The United States begins building pro-life coalition of states.

Preceding President Trump's statement were several supporting initiatives, including a U.S.-led coalition of twenty-one countries who delivered a detailed letter of commitment to promote international pro-life and pro-family policies and oppose abortion at the UN.

In August, the U.S. led the world's seven largest economies, the G7, in rejecting the recommendation of an advisory panel that abortion language be included among the group's final communiqués. The U.S. will take over the presidency of the G7 in 2020.

3. Nations expose and reject dangerous abortion-related language in UN documents.

The UN pro-life coalition celebrated as a victory the fact that so many nations recognized that "sexual and reproductive health" and "comprehensive sexuality education" are "ambiguous terms and expressions that cause confusion and have become associated with anti-family and pro-abortion policies." This follows years of research by many in civil society including C-Fam, publisher of the Friday Fax, demonstrating the terms' harmful consequences for women's and children's health.

4. For the first time ever, the U.S. threatened to veto a UN Security Council resolution because of abortion.

The U.S. veto threat forced Germany to remove "sexual and reproductive health" from a UN Security Council resolution on women in crisis and conflict settings. Belgium, along with permanent members France and the U.K., backed the German view. In November, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Kelly Craft stood up to the Europeans again on the same resolution. The U.S.'s willingness to part ways with NATO allies over abortion is a significant event and may presage a showdown in Geneva next May when the U.S. faces a review by other nations on its human rights record. France, the U.K., and European nations have used that venue to accuse the U.S. of violating both human rights and the Geneva Conventions because U.S. law prohibits taxpayer money for abortion overseas. They argued that pregnancy due to sexual violence in conflict is a type of war wound that can be healed by abortion, as a gangrenous leg is treated by amputation. There is no mention of abortion in either body of law, and no international agreement backs the European view.

5. U.S. begins to close loopholes in the Mexico City Policy.

In Washington, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the U.S. is strengthening its stance against abortion, redoubling its efforts to stop "backdoor funding schemes and end-runs" around the pro-life Mexico City Policy by cutting funding to foreign organizations that sub-contract to other foreign pro-abortion groups. He said the U.S. would do more to enforce the Siljander Amendment to the foreign appropriations law, which bans U.S. funding from being used for abortion-related lobbying.

Published with permission from C-Fam.


Opinion

California pro-family activists get pro-LGBT flag removed from City Hall

To millions of people, the 'rainbow flag' represents a hatred of Christianity and the forced celebration of sexual perversions.
Featured Image
By Mass Resistance

By Mass Resistance
Mass Resistance
By
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A victory: The entrance to the Chula Vista, CA City Council chambers after the rainbow flag was taken down. Photo credit: MassResistance
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The LGBT rainbow flag was raised over the Chula Vista City Council entrance in a special 'ceremony' on Sept. 9. Photo credit: The StarNews
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Here's what greeted everyone who entered or left City Hall — until the MassResistance parents took strong action! Photo credit: MassResistance
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This woman, a retired Chula Vista schoolteacher, was relentless in her expressions of outrage that the city wouldn't fly a POW/MIA flag — but flies a homosexual flag. Photo credit: MassResistance
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Finally, in November, the City Manager announces that the flag has been taken down. Photo credit: MassResistance

January 2, 2020 (MassResistance) — It's not the biggest victory we've ever had. But it has symbolic importance for the larger fight and suggests an effort others may undertake elsewhere.

The City Council in Chula Vista, CA (a suburb of San Diego), finally took down the LGBT rainbow flag that was flying in front of City Hall after two months of outrage from local MassResistance parents and citizens.

To millions of people, the "rainbow flag" represents a hatred of Christianity, a radical ideology being pushed into schools and businesses, the loss of religious liberty, people being fired from their jobs and losing their businesses, and the forced celebration of sexual perversions.

(Aren't we all sick of seeing this propaganda everywhere? It's like living under the constant gaze of Stalin or Mao — or Big Brother! Time to say, ENOUGH!)

Sequence of events

On September 12, the Chula Vista City Council had the rainbow flag raised in front of City Hall in a special "ceremony" to commemorate a local LGBT event. According to news reports, it was to be up until the end of September — approximately two weeks.

As we've reported, a large number of local MassResistance parents in Chula Vista have been in a heated battle with the City Council over the "Drag Queen Story Hour" which was held in the library on Sept. 10. Two days after that, the rainbow flag was raised.

But after September ended it continued flying in front of City Hall. The flag seemed to be a purposeful message of harassment to the pro-family parents who continued coming to each City Council meeting to demand a stop to all future Drag Queen events in the library. (A childish tactic, but not surprising.)

The big rainbow flag greeted every parent who entered or left the City Hall.

But the parents didn't take it sitting down. At every City Council meeting, people spoke strongly and passionately about how disgusting and outrageous it is that the city refuses to even fly the POW/MIA flag for missing prisoners of war, but flies a flag for sexual perversion. The City Council members heard that message over and over at every meeting.

Finally, the politicians backed down. At the Nov. 12 City Council meeting, the City Manager publicly announced that the rainbow flag had been taken down and had been replaced by the "City USA" flag that had been flying on that flagpole previously.

This battle needs to be fought at every city hall and schoolhouse across the country where the rainbow flag harasses regular people.

The bigger fight continues in Chula Vista

The bigger prize in Chula Vista is a ban on all future "Drag Queen" events in the public library. We are just one vote away — a weak-kneed RINO Republican! — from getting the City Council to do the right thing.

That fight is raging! As we've reported, the city had to spend over $42,000 in "security costs" on the day of the Drag Queen Story Hour to protect the peaceful pro-family protesters from the angry, unhinged LGBT activists.

We'll keep you informed on this. In the meantime, let's get more rainbow flags across the country that your public officials are flying taken down!

Published with permission from MassResistance.


Opinion

Eastern Christians are going extinct, but the Vatican is obsessed with global warming

Why are Christians persecuted, and why are they forgotten?
Featured Image
serkan senturk / Shutterstock.com
By Ines A. Murzaku

By Ines A. Murzaku
Ines A. Murzaku
By Ines Murzaku

January 2, 2020 (The Catholic Thing) — A few days ago, I went to my trusted Lebanese-American mechanic for an oil change. The Christians of the East have always had a penchant for discussing theology, politics, and race — and as far as theology is concerned, the Easterners have all the theology they could want to discuss and contest. My routine car service, therefore, usually turns into interesting discussions on theology, Church history, and — most recently — the state of persecuted Christians in the East.

I guess this is one of the benefits of my being a Church historian. It happens that my mechanic was fresh back from Lebanon, which he had visited for his mother's funeral. He had a lot to tell me about the persecution and harassment Lebanese Christians are suffering at the hands of the Muslim majority and about recent protests — Hezbollah is currently the major political force in the country.

He and his family are Christians by birth, so they are officially allowed to worship freely. This is not always the case in practice, especially since the number of Christians in Lebanon is progressively diminishing and referring to Christians as a discrete minority has become the norm. According to statistics, in 1970, Lebanon was 62 percent Christian. By 2010, the Christian population in Lebanon was drastically reduced to about 36 percent. Maronite Catholics make up the largest Christian group, excluding the recent addition of Syrian refugees. Islam and Muslims have become the country's major religion and religious group, respectively.

Well, the conversation continued, and one of the main points my mechanic made was how the people of the West, and especially the Holy See and the Holy Father, have forgotten about the plight of the Christians in Lebanon and their fight for survival. Instead, the Vatican has been far more interested in climate change and other political issues than the extermination of Christians in the Middle East. He kept repeating: "We [Christians] are being erased," and the West has been turning away.

Long after I left his shop, I couldn't get over this conversation. The Church in the West has been going through sexual scandal, financial corruption, the Pachamama controversy, financial raids at the Vatican, political intrigue, controversy over the viri probati, and the ordination of women to the diaconate. Meanwhile, the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated to such a point that Christian brothers and sisters from the lands that gave birth to Christianity might be extinct in the next few years.

As the celebration of the controversial Misa por la tierra sin males (Mass for an Earth without Evils) was going on, and the Pachamama was being displayed at Saint Mary in Traspontina Carmelite Church, an important event was happening in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiber Island in Rome — though few have heard about it.

The event did not get the same attention the Pachamama and Amazon Synod received in the media. The pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need issued a new report, "Persecuted and Forgotten?," focusing on Christian persecution between 2017 and 2019. As that report amply demonstrates, Christians are the most hunted and persecuted religious community in the world.

 

It presents four case studies and twelve country profiles detailing Christian persecution in Burma (Myanmar), the Central African Republic, China, Egypt, India, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. The data are alarming, detailing accelerated persecution of Christians worldwide — a trend that does not seem to be changing course.

In July 2019, Islamists killed four Christians in Burkina Faso, and threatened to murder others, too, if they refused to convert. In India, "police in Uttar Pradesh's Jaunpur district charged 271 Christians with 'spreading lies about Hinduism' and using drugs to induce people to convert."

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, who presented the report, urged people to have the courage to call "the evil by its name" — the evil that rages in the hearts and destroys houses churches, feeding hatred and revenge.

Story after story rings alarm bells: Christians are being chased away from their lands; Christianity is being uprooted. In Iraq, for example, "the Christian population continued to decline. Christians had numbered 1.5 million before 2003 and yet by summer 2019, Christians in Iraq were 'well below' 150,000 and perhaps even below 120,000. This means that, within a generation, Iraq's Christian population has shrunk by more than 90 percent."

Why are Christians persecuted and why are they forgotten? Obviously, Christians are persecuted for the very fact of being Christians and for following the prototype of martyrdom — the Son of God on the Cross. The world, which did not recognize God, persecuted Him. The same can be said of the world today: the secular, Godless and gutless, post-Christian world turns a blind eye to their plight and persecution.

Few stories of persecution filter through to the secularized West, which has almost turned into a conspiracy of silence and silencing. It seems that everything else is more important than the plight of Christians. The secularized West is too scared to call the evil of Christian persecution by its name.

Like my mechanic, many wish that the Church leaders would pay less attention to Pachamama and long-term climate change and more attention to an immediate threat: persecuted Christians who are on the brink of extinction. The Church could spend a great deal more of its energy on giving voice to the voiceless. The evil of Christian persecution and Christianity's forced disappearance from the Faith's ancient homeland should be called by its name, even if it is politically incorrect.

Defending defenseless Christians might not be fashionable, even in the Church these days, and may even lead to tensions with other faiths and various regimes. But it is the evil that is most neglected and, therefore, most cries out for action at this moment, not only by Christians but by the whole world.

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


Opinion

NBC’s political director: Religious people like Trump because they believe ‘fairy tales’

'Show me a person who believes in Noah's ark, and I will show you a Trump voter.'
Featured Image
Chuck Todd (right). Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
By Nicholas Fondacaro

By Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
By Nicholas Fondacaro

January 2, 2020 (NewsBusters) — On Sunday, NBC News political director Chuck Todd dedicated the final Meet the Press of 2019 to insisting President Trump had brought about a "post-truth society." The same network that pushed the totally-bunk Steele dossier for years and tried to sink Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination with the ridiculous allegations from Julie Swetnick, wanted to lecture the public about falling for and spreading lies and misinformation. In the process, Todd lashed out at Christians for believing in "fairy tales."

"This Sunday, alternative facts. The assault on truth (...) This morning, Meet the Press takes an in-depth look at our post-truth society and how a changing media landscape has created chaos out of order," Todd indignantly announced during the opening tease.

Todd began the show by lauding BuzzFeed News for discovering a "fake news farm" in the Macedonian town of Veles. "Some 140 websites pushing out made-up, pro-Trump, quote, 'news stories' written for Americans," he added.

Unfortunately for Todd, BuzzFeed News was itself a kind of fake news farm. They were the first news outlet to publish the debunked Steele dossier, which was maliciously used by the FBI to obtain spy warrants against a Trump campaign aide. They were also the subject of one of the rare public statements from the Special Counsel during the Russia probe. Robert Mueller rebuked reporting claiming Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was directed to lie to Congress by the President.

Todd would eventually bring on New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet and Washington Post editor Marty Baron to opine about fake news. In a conversation about the media's need to fact-check in the Trump era, Baquet seemed to admit his paper wasn't interested in fact-checking presidents until Trump came along: 

I mean, Marty has a very extensive fact check operation as do we. And those things didn't exist three or four years ago and they're an acknowledgment that one of the jobs of the news media is to sort through all of the BS, if I can say that.

In the midst of their conversation, Todd latched onto a random, almost year-old letter to the Lexington Herald Leader. It was a letter he held up as a "fascinating attempt to kind of explain why some people support President Trump." Reading from the letter, Todd proceeded to bash Christians, Jews, and Muslims for their religious beliefs:

"Why do good people support Trump? It's because people have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales. This set their minds up to accept things that make them feel good. The more fairy tales and lies he tells the better they feel. Show me a person who believes in Noah's ark, and I will show you a Trump voter."

"Look, this gets at something, Dean, that my executive producer likes to say, voters want to be lied to sometimes. They don't always love being told hard truths," Todd proclaimed.

In Todd's report about the evolution of fake news, he spoke with Ben Nim, from Graphika, a social media analysis company. According to Nim, there were "four Ds" when looking at how leaders try to deceive. As explained by Todd:

Number one, dismiss, attack critics to erode their credibility and invalidate the facts. (...) Number two, distort. If the facts are against you, make up your own facts. (...) Number three, distract. Whataboutism or the "I'm rubber, you're glue" defense. If are you accused of something, accuse someone else of the same thing. (...) Number four, dismay. Threats and intimidation.

Interestingly, the liberal media have done every one of those things. Todd and the CNN media team have attacked their critics and those who reject the narrative. In fact, later in the show, Todd would compare Fox News to Russian state media. On the second point, NBC and other news outlets were being sued for falsely labeling a 16-year-old conservative as racist because they wanted to invent a racist incident on the step of the Lincoln Memorial. Just to name a few.

Unwilling to admit the media have been actively campaigning against President Trump since before he was elected, Todd seemed to demand that they start a campaign to "market the truth." His plan was to go around the country and lecture people into believing the media.

But in the middle of those remarks, he seemed to make a critical slip up by angrily declaring: "by the way, if I utter a fact on TV on purpose I get fired." Obviously, he meant if he uttered a lie purposely he would get fired. But that was equally laughable since Lyin' Brian Williams and Joy 'a time traveler edited my blog' Reid were still his colleagues at NBC/MSNBC.

The transcript is below:

NBC's Meet the Press
December 29, 2019
10:30:22 a.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: This Sunday, alternative facts. The assault on truth

(...)

TODD: This morning, Meet the Press takes an in-depth look at our post-truth society and how a changing media landscape has created chaos out of order.

(...)

10:32:03 a.m. Eastern

TODD: Good Sunday morning. I hope you are having a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and are enjoying this holiday week. You've probably never heard of a town in Macedonia called Veles. This is the town where Buzzfeed discovered what was essentially a fake news farm; some 140 websites pushing out made-up, pro-Trump, quote, "news stories" written for Americans, not to help elect Trump the candidate but simply to make money on Facebook.

Well, since then, the idea of fake news has become a growth industry, morphing from simply a get rich quick scheme in a former Yugoslav republic to a political weapon in our nationalized politics. The terms "alternative facts" and "truth isn't the truth" debuted here on Meet the Press over the last couple of years, but these ideas are not new.

Russian's government, for instance, now disorients it's populist with so many version of "the truth" it creates what one former Russian TV producer called "the fog of unknowability." Well, this morning, we're going to hear from top players in journalism, diplomacy, and technology about combating truth manipulation and how Russian tactics have migrated right here to the United States.

(...)

10:34:43 a.m. Eastern

TODD: In a Pew survey this year, just 30 percent of Republicans had a great deal or fair amount of confidence that journalists will act in the best interests of the public, compared with 76 percent of Democrats. A 46-point gap.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you just listen to the main streammedia, it's pretty much slanted left.

(...)

11:35:44 a.m. Eastern

BEN NIM (director of investigations, Graphika): There are four things actors do if they want to attack their enemies or defend themselves against criticism. And you can think of them as the four Ds.

TODD: Number one, dismiss, attack critics to erode their credibility and invalidate the facts.

(...)

TODD: Mr. Trump has used the word "fake" on Twitter more than 800 times. Number two, distort. If the facts are against you, make up your own facts.

(...)

TODD: Number three, distract. Whataboutism or the "I'm rubber, you're glue" defense. If are you accused of something, accuse someone else of the same thing.

(...)

TODD: Number four, dismay. Threats and intimidation.

(...)

10:37:27 a.m. Eastern

TODD: Dean, let me start with this. This is what your chief White House correspondent, Peter Baker wrote very recently, "there are days in Washington lately when it feels like the truth itself is on trial." Well, help us make sense of that.

DEAN BAQUET: I mean, it's true. Of course, it's ridiculous to say that truth isn't truth, of course, that's a ridiculous construct. I mean, our job and it's a hard job, but our job and I think our newsrooms have been, sort of, rebuilt to do this, is to very aggressively sort out fact from fiction. And to very aggressively work to make sure that people trust us and understand that that's our job.

I mean, Marty [Baron] has a very extensive fact check operation as do we. And those things didn't exist three or four years ago and they're an acknowledgment that one of the jobs of the news media is to sort through all of the BS, if I can say that.

TODD: Yeah.

BAQUET: And come to some -- and come -- do the kind of deep reporting that we all grew up doing. To come so some sort of understanding of what's actually happening in the world. And I think that's one of our largest new jobs.

(...)

10:41:09 a.m. Eastern

TODD: Dean, do we have to market the truth? And what I mean this is, you know, he's out there a lot essentially delegitimizing our professions. We don't fight back like a candidate. We don't fight back like a campaign. Do we need to start campaigning around the country to say, "No, no, no, here's how facts work. Here's what reporting is. Here's what journalists are. And oh, by the way, if I utter a fact on TV on purpose I get fired."

(...)

10:43:41 a.m. Eastern

TODD: I want to read you guys a letter to the editor that we found in the Lexington Herald Leader. It was a fascinating attempt to kind of explain why some people support President Trump. Here's what he said. "Why do good people support Trump? It's because people have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales. This set their minds up to accept things that make them feel good. The more fairy tales and lies he tells the better they feel. Show me a person who believes in Noah's ark, and I will show you a Trump voter." Look, this gets at something, Dean, that my executive producer likes to say, voters want to be lied to sometimes. They don't always love being told hard truths

(...)

Published with permission from NewsBusters.


Opinion

British pro-lifers hail closure of 50-year-old abortion facility with horrific history

Over 30 years of persistent prayer were answered today in Birmingham.
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By March for Life UK

By March for Life UK
March for Life UK
By March for Life UK

BIRMINGHAM, U.K., January 2, 2020 (March for Life UK) — Pro-lifers in Birmingham rejoiced today as over 30 years of persistent prayer were answered. The Calthorpe Clinic abortion centre in Edgbaston closed its doors for the last time as their business came to a halt after performing terminations for 50 years. Originally run as an old people's home, in 1969 the centre became the first in the UK to exist exclusively for abortions.

'People have been praying there for decades' said Stephanie Pyne who, along with many other dedicated Christians, has herself participated in peaceful vigils for nearly 30 years. For over 8 years the international prayer campaign 40 Days for Life has been running a witness twice a year outside the gates of this centre, offering alternatives and helping over 100 women to choose life. Some of the women told volunteers immediately of their change of heart and asked for support to continue their pregnancy whilst others returned years later to give thanks. Campaign director Isabel Vaughan-Spruce recounted the story of a lady who pushed her toddler in a pram towards the volunteers praying there and told them 'For a long time I've been meaning to come this way to say thank you. My daughter came here 3 years ago to have an abortion but changed her mind after seeing you. She never told anyone on the day why she left but I want to say thank you because without you my grandchild wouldn't be here'. An abortion minded couple said 'We prayed for an angel to stop us having an abortion. The volunteer we met that day was our angel'. Another has become firm friends with the volunteer who encouraged them to choose life. 'If it wasn't for you we would have had an abortion' said one couple. 'You are our family now. We are calling our baby girl "Miracle" because that is what she is.'

News of the centre's closure was announced by the manageress who came out of the facility on 12th December to speak to a prayer volunteer, Patrick, outside. She handed Patrick a doughnut and told him that the centre was closing down at the end of the month and that consequently staff would be looking for new jobs. It was a particularly special moment for Patrick, a Catholic, as on Dec 12th Catholics celebrate the feast day of 'Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn'. Patrick had been born on the feast day of St Juan Diego who was the Mexican who saw 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' depicted as a pregnant woman, an event which converted some 9 million Aztecs to Christ and turned them away from their practice of human sacrifice.

During campaigns there was a Catholic priest outside the centre every day offering up prayers of deliverance (sometimes referred to by Catholics as a minor exorcism). Young men training for the priesthood, nuns, students, lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers, truck drivers, mums and dads, young and old all came together in solidarity. Archbishop Bernard Longley, who had himself prayed outside the facility, on hearing the news said: 'For a number of years I have joined the 40 Days for Life group praying in Edgbaston for those affected by the issue of abortion. With the closure of the Edgbaston clinic it is important to continue to pray for all parents facing difficult decisions, that they will cherish God's gift of life.'

The campaign was by no means exclusively Catholic with people from various Christian denominations uniting in a common cause. On occasions Muslims showed their support in various ways, if not by joining in themselves then by offering gifts to those who witnessed there. 'It really was a community effort' said Isabel. 'I became good friends with many passers-by and local residents who stopped to give a kindly word of encouragement or bring us refreshments.'

The private business, Calthorpe Clinic, was reported in 2007 to be the single largest abortion facility in the UK with an annual caseload of around 10,000 clients. In 2012 it was taken over by Marie Stopes, an international abortion provider, and even recent statistics have shown it to still be in the top 5 busiest abortion centres.

The abortion centre has a chequered history having made the news on more than one occasion. In November 2000 when operating as a private centre, one of the abortionists there, Dr Andrew Gbinigie, caused horrific injuries, on his first day at work, to a young woman seeking an abortion. Whilst performing the operation on the 21 year old he tore a hole in her womb, removed an ovary, ripped away part of a kidney and pulled down a piece of her bowel before questions from the assisting theatre nurse eventually caused him to realise his catalogue of mistakes. The suffering woman needed five hours of emergency surgery to save her life. Father of 3 Dr Gbinigie was found guilty of professional misconduct but was kept on the register, still being allowed to practice under certain conditions.

A further 35 women eventually came forward claiming to have suffered at the hands of the abortionist. Fifteen of these women gave evidence but Dr Gbinigie was still allowed to keep his place on the medical register.

In 2008, whilst Calthorpe Clinic was still a private centre, a nurse failed to check a client's personal details and consequently gave a chemical abortion to the wrong woman. The nurse later realised her mistake and contacted the client but the drug had already taken effect.

More poor conduct came to light in 2012 when Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan, whilst working at Calthorpe Clinic, was caught on camera in an undercover sting offering to carry out abortions on the grounds of gender. Although Dr Rajmohan himself admitted 'It's like female infanticide, isn't it?' he still agreed to state on the forms that the woman was too young for pregnancy so as to avoid legal problems. Pro-life activist Aisling Hubert, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, launched a private prosecution of the doctor but was left with a bill of £47k after the Crown Prosecution Service used its powers to quash the case saying it 'would not be in the public interest' to pursue the case further.

Also in 2012 a routine inspection at Calthorpe Clinic revealed doctors were presigning abortion forms which certified that women could have their pregnancies terminated. Legally, except in emergencies, a decision to abort a baby must be agreed by 2 doctors but at this location one doctor signed forms without ever having even met the women, leaving the second doctor to effectively make a solo decision.

Later that same year the centre changed hands and became Marie Stopes International but the problems hadn't ended. In 2016 MSI Birmingham along with other MSI centres around the country had some of their 'services' suspended due to concerns raised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). These included concerns that the right protocols weren't in place to ensure girls under 18yrs old and vulnerable women were able to give informed consent to their abortion as well as concerns relating to all surgical abortions after 12 weeks. Consequently any terminations carried out under general anaesthetic or sedation after 12 weeks were suspended. Recent inspections revealed that between March 2018 and Feb 2019 there were 18 incidents where patients had to be transferred from the location to an NHS hospital. Volunteers praying outside stated it was not uncommon to see 2 or 3 ambulances lined up outside the building.

Thankfully no one has to worry about any more horror stories from this location. Rachel Mackenzie who herself once had an abortion at this centre went on to become a regular prayer volunteer outside the gates as well as running 'Rachel's Vineyard' in the Midlands (an organisation to help people find healing after involvement in an abortion). She stated 'I am so relieved that no more children will have their lives ended here as my son once did.' Linda Hope who also became part of 40 Days for Life Birmingham said she regretted her decision to have an abortion at the centre: 'I want other women to know there's a better option than that pain. No one told me, so I want to be the voice that tells them'.

Isabel Vaughan-Spruce said 'We have faithfully waited many years to hear this news. We are so grateful to God for letting us see the fruit of our prayers.' She went on to recount how 'On my last day of prayer during the 40 Days for Life a beautiful white dove walked out of the drive from the abortion centre and sat at my feet for 2 hours, I felt it was a symbol of all the pure, innocent lives which had been snuffed out there and I dared to hope it might be a sign of peace to come. Now this place has closed it's time for us to move on to another abortion facility. While abortion is happening in our city we will never be silent.'

Read Rachel's story here

Read Linda's story here

Published with permission from the March for Life UK.


Blogs

A sincere note of thanks from the LifeSite team

Your generosity will help LifeSite continue to span the globe to bring readers the truth.
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Steve Jalsevac By Steve Jalsevac

Steve Jalsevac By Steve Jalsevac
Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

Happy New Year to one and all!

The LifeSite team wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to all who donated during the Christmas campaign period -- both as direct donors to the campaign and as regular monthly (sustainer) donors.

The campaign goal was achieved and exceeded by almost 10 percent! For that we thank you and we thank God.

As we note during each campaign, the goal that is set is only a minimum amount needed, so when the goal is exceeded we are especially relieved. The constant pressures of what we can or cannot afford to take on are gratefully lessened and we are therefore able to serve you better than ever. That is all we ever want to do.

Every day we go through a morning assignment call and many important story proposals have to be shelved because we don’t have enough journalists. Thankfully, however, that has been becoming less of a problem because of your generosity.

As well, and thanks again to you, we have now reached a stage where we are finally able to pay our staff more reasonable wages than the sacrificial wages they had to cope with for many years. And, because of that, we are also able to attract even more competent persons to this mission to make it the best in the world of its type.  

Hopefully, our campaign letters gave you a good idea of the enormous amount of complex work and long, intense hours our team members put into this mission day in and day out. Most of them are married with young children and many of them are sole providers for their families, several of whom have five or more children.

Your generosity allows us to retain these incredibly committed and talented persons and to hire more to fill in the gaps that still exist in our needs list.

One of the next projects that we need to tackle is the development of a fund to ensure that LifeSite will be able to continue through periods of financial downturns in the economy or other large, unexpected financial hits to LifeSite. We usually, at the beginning of each campaign, only have sufficient funds in the bank to keep us going for about a month at best, and often less.

If any of you are able to become involved in a long-term financial stability program for LifeSite, we would love to hear from you. Living on the edge all of the time does take somewhat of a stress toll.

But once again, we are extremely grateful for all of the financial, prayer and other support that we have received from loyal readers.

In reality, you are the engine that drives this mission. Your numerous messages of support assure us that we are doing the right thing and greatly help us to confidently endure the attacks from those who accuse us of all kinds of unjust things because they are repelled by truth that they don’t want or can’t bear to hear and don’t want anyone else to be exposed to as well.

Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Life and the Truth.” We are totally committed to Truth, which is the greatest way to love our neighbor, through our news reporting.

Thank you ever so much for permitting us to do this wonderful work for you. It is a great privilege.

 

God bless,

Steve Jalsevac
Co-founder and president
LifeSite


Blogs

How Francis may be vindicating the ‘inopportunists’ of the First Vatican Council

Today, the pope is frequently exalted above the very Church that makes him what he is while his ability to teach on matters of faith and morals has become diluted and inefficacious.
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Peter Kwasniewski By Peter Kwasniewski

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The 150th anniversary of the opening of Vatican I on December 8, 1869, which came and went even more quietly than did the 50th anniversary of the imposition of the Novus Ordo Missae on November 30, 1969, prompts us to seek answers to the increasingly urgent question: Can we find a healthy way to think about the pope and the papacy, considering how much damage a certain “papolatry” has caused to the life of the Church in recent times?

It is more than a little intriguing to think about the fact that at Vatican I there was a sizable minority of bishops, with many sympathetic theologians behind them, who considered the definition of papal infallibility “inopportune” (hence their name: “inopportunists”). They did not necessarily dispute the dogmatic content; they disputed the timing of it as well as the manner in which it would be likely to be (mis)understood and (mis)applied. Indeed, this is the sole grounds on which anyone could reasonably oppose a definition of something already known to be true. For example, we know that Our Lady is the Mediatrix of All Grace and the Co-Redemptrix, that is, the one who perfectly participates in the redemption won by her Son on the Cross — sub et cum Christo, with and beneath Christ. It is therefore a blasphemy to dispute that these titles belong to Our Lady. But people may legitimately disagree about when and how, and even if, they ought to be officially declared by the Church.

Let us look for a moment at the benefits and liabilities of Vatican I’s teaching on papal prerogatives (obviously a huge subject, but here we are concerned with larger patterns discernable over the past 150 years).

As regards what we might call “one-off events,” the only teachings of the pope the Holy Spirit will absolutely protect are, of course, the infallible ones. As Vatican I defines, the pope enjoys the infallibility with which Christ willed to endow His Church when he is declaring a doctrine of faith or morals in the exercise of his role as supreme shepherd of the universal Church, and makes it clear that he is doing so. This is an act of the extraordinary Magisterium, and, as such, not likely to be easily missed when it happens — which is not very frequently. The obvious examples are the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and of the Assumption in 1950.

But we should keep in mind that the Holy Spirit will protect the Church’s ordinary Magisterium, and so, the general “drift” of non-infallible teachings over the centuries — potentially leading to a cumulatively infallible teaching, that is, something that is seen as universally taught in such a way that it cannot be mistaken — is also protected. Examples would include the restriction of holy orders to men and the prohibition on contraception. In fact, when Our Lord says “the gates of hell will not prevail” against the Church, He has the ordinary Magisterium more in view than the extraordinary one, since it is far more common a guide to Christian faith and life. An encyclical like Humanae Vitae or an apostolic letter like Ordinatio Sacerdotalis has a much greater immediate impact than the Marian dogmas, as sublime and central as they are.

The bishops at Vatican I thought they were erecting an effective bulwark against modernity when they defined papal infallibility, but, in point of fact, the defining of papal infallibility has brought about a detrimental result: the general devaluing of the Church’s day-to-day teachings, since they do not rise up to the lofty level of an extraordinary act. Hence the phenomenon of liberal dissenters who say: “Apart from the two Marian dogmas, nothing popes have taught is binding on us.” (It is no less true that a pope’s teaching must be consistent with that of his predecessors, or else it loses its status.) I will not be so bold as to say that Vatican I should not have defined this papal prerogative, but it does tend to distract people as they think about the meaning of Our Lord’s promise to Peter. 

Vatican I also declared that, in matters of governance, the pope has universal jurisdiction — something that was seen in a piecemeal way throughout Church history from early on. Yet now that the fact has been defined, the pope over the past 150 years has come to exercise his universal jurisdiction more extensively than is needful or helpful, pressing even beyond his real jurisdiction to being every nation’s primate and every Catholic’s personal spiritual director via daily meditations and tweeted messages. This is not the kind of “immediate jurisdiction” Vatican I had in mind. To be fair, they could never have imagined the reach and impact of modern media.

In regard both to teaching and governance, the reality is that the pope carries in himself the Church’s ability to teach and to govern — abilities that cannot be exercised in a state of separation from the pope. Our Lord’s promise was that the Church would not fail in its teaching and governance in union with Peter the foundation, which only obliquely addresses the fact that Peter will not fail when acting solo. 

To take Peter’s solo actions as the focus when pondering Our Lord’s promise distorts the nature of the promise and the role of the papacy. We end up simultaneously underestimating Peter’s teaching role (by limiting it to infallible statements) and overestimating his governance (by pushing it to the details of life in every parish). 

Vatican I, in a way, seems to have led to a doubly ironic result: on the one hand, the pope is frequently exalted above the very Church that makes him what he is, considers himself free to depart from the teaching and holy example of his predecessors, and encroaches almost continually on the God-given office and responsibilities of his brother bishops, while on the other hand, his ability to teach on important matters of faith and morals has become diluted and inefficacious owing to a flood of excessive and often trivial verbiage, broadcast 24/7 around the globe, because commenting on everything is somehow seen as “expected” of him. The pope is, at once, far greater than ever, and far more negligible.

What is necessary, above all, is to recover the properly ecclesial and episcopal context of the papacy, so that we see the pope as an officer of the Church, under the same twin measure of orthodoxy — that is, right teaching and right worship — as every other Catholic, and not as the Church’s lord and master.

My next two articles will continue exploring questions concerning the papacy.


Blogs

Dear non-Catholic Christians, we need your help in the Catholic Church like never before

I wanted to reach out to you and beg you to consider coming home to the Catholic Church
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John-Henry Westen By John-Henry Westen

John-Henry Westen By John-Henry Westen
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By John-Henry Westen

January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — It's great to be back from a joyful celebration of the birth of the Savior with family and friends. I pray you've all had a much needed break from work and found time for the peace and joy that the Christ-child brings.

To kick off 2020 I wanted to reach out in a special way to all of LifeSite's non-Catholic readers and supporters. Firstly, I want to thank you for all you've done in the battle for life and family. There are thousands of spirit-filled Christians across the world that have given me so much inspiration, especially those I've been privileged to work with in the battle for life and family.

It is precisely because of the great respect, love and admiration that I have for you non-Catholic soldiers for Christ that I wanted to reach out to you and beg you to consider coming home to the Catholic Church. For one thing your ardent faith and willingness to defend the truths of Christ are sorely needed in the battle for the soul of the Catholic Church that is raging today.

But more than that, you are such good and Christ-loving people. You deserve the riches of the Catholic faith much more than a sinner like me. 

So I've tried to put together this show to explain from a Biblical perspective one of the most troubling aspects of Catholicism for most non-Catholic Christians... namely Mary the Mother of Jesus.

I explain in this episode with Scriptural backing why Catholics call Mary their Mother, why Catholics have statues of Mary in their Churches and much more.

Please watch this very important episode of The John-Henry Westen Show for more on the Catholic teaching on Mary. You can also read the show's transcript below. Please know that you are in my prayers. And happy new year!

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

It is also available in audio format on platforms such as SpotifySoundcloud, and ACast. We are awaiting approval for iTunes and Google Play as well. To subscribe to the audio version on various channels, visit the ACast webpage here.

We’ve created a special email list for the show so that we can notify you every week when we post a new episode. Please sign up now by clicking here. You can also subscribe to the YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified by YouTube when there is new content.

You can send me feedback, or ideas for show topics by emailing [email protected].

***FULL TRANSCRIPT***

This episode is a call out to all sincere non-Catholic Christians who love Christ and want to serve Him above all else. To those Evangelical, non-denominational, Reform, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist and other Christians who love the truth of Christ in this day and age which rejects it and are willing to stand for Christ’s truth despite the rejection of the world. 

Let’s begin as we always do with the sign of the cross.

Wait! To all my non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters in Christ, wait! Before you leave this page, I want to say that the Catholic Church needs you to join its ranks now like never before. There is a war going on for the soul of the Church and those in the Church who love the immutable truths of Christ on life and family are in desperate need of reinforcements from Bible-believing Christians who know the truth of Christ and are willing to stand up for it despite the costs and despite the pressures of the world to conform to it’s anti-Christian anti-life, anti-family doctrine.

In the whole 2000-year history of the Church there has never been more internal pressure to conform to the world as there is today. Christ prayed for his future disciples prior to his death. He said, “Father may they be one even as You and I are one.” That oneness goes far beyond having differences in being able to pray comfortably together without hesitation let alone more fundamental differences such as around the breaking of Bread in commemoration of the Lord or baptism.

But for me, the deepest reason why I want to reach out especially to you good good believers and lovers of Christ. I’m privileged to know some of you whose faith, commitment, and devotion I’ve admired and tried to emulate. You are committed to Jesus, you are such good people, such generous, kind, loving, caring, willing to give till it hurts, self-sacrificing and awesome soldiers for Christ. You deserve the fullness of truth so much more than the miserable sinner that I am.

So as is typical for LifeSite, instead of starting with the easier doctrines in the Church, I want to start with what is, at least for most non-Catholic Christians, the biggest stumbling block when it comes to Catholicism, namely, Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Let’s begin with a title for Mary that causes some Christians much discomfort -- Mother of God.

This title understandably has many Christians confused. It may sound like Catholics believe that Mary is somehow superior to God being His Mother. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The greatest Catholic teacher on Mary, universally recognized as such, was Louis de Montfort, a French priest who died in 1716. In his greatest work on Mary he said this:

With the Church, I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God, is, in comparison with His Infinite Majesty, less than an atom; or rather is simply nothing, since He alone can say, ‘I am He who is.’ Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and  To do all things, He has only to will them.

The title ‘Mother of God’ is actually logical and scriptural. Jesus was God from the moment of His conception, not only after His birth. Have a look at Luke 1:43, it’s the account of Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth after she learned from the Angel Gabriel that her cousin, despite her old age, was with child. When Elizabeth greets Mary she proclaims (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – see verse 41): “And how has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

The Bible talks about not making graven images and worshipping them, yet nearly every Catholic Church has at least one statue of Mary in it. 

In 2 Chronicles 33:6-7, we read: “He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger Then he put the carved image of the idol which he had made in the house of God.” 

So what can we make of that?

Well, we also read in the Bible that God actually commanded the making of graven images for use in the temple – right on the ark of the covenant in fact. We read in Exodus 25: 18 “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.”

You might say though that those were just meant as decoration and Catholics look at statues in Churches as much more than that, even as part of a religious ceremony. But that’s scriptural too. 

Remember when the Israelites were being killed by serpents because of their infidelity? God commanded Moses to fashion a bronze serpent and raise it on a pole. In Numbers 21:8-9 you’ll read: “And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”

Obviously God didn’t intend the Israelites to think a bronze serpent had some sort of power, but to think of Him and give Him glory for having saved them. And that’s exactly what Catholics do with statues or pictures of the saints. They see them and think of the saints and the God who made them and saved them, and expect from the saints in heaven that they would pray to God for us. Just the same way we are told in the Scriptures to ask other brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for us.

If we actually believed Mary were somehow superior to God we definitely wouldn’t be asking her to pray to God for us, but that’s exactly what Catholics do.

Catholics also consider Mary not only the Mother of Jesus but also the Mother of all believers. And believe it or not that’s totally scriptural too.

I came across this in an awesome book I’d recommend called ‘Rome Sweet Home’ by Scott and Kimberley Hahn who were at one time staunch anti-Catholic Christians but then were led from study of God’s word into the Catholic Church.

If you read Revelation 12:17 it talks about Mary in a mystical kind of way, but it is clear that it is Mary since she gives birth to Christ. Let’s go to verse 17. “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.”

Wait a minute, the serpent was angry with the woman? And went to make war with the rest of her children — not the child that she already gave birth to who went up to God — the rest of her children who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus. And that's us!

So we, the Christians who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, are the Children of Mary, having Mary for our Mother just as our head – Jesus Christ – did. 

He is the head of the mystical body, the Church, and we are the members of his mystical body thus we too have God as our Father and Mary as our mother, as we read in Revelations 12:17

In fact, many non-Catholic Christians sing a song of ‘Father Abraham’...why do they do this? Because of his faith, of course. 

Paul in Romans 4:11 calls Abraham the “father of all them that believe.” And what faith did he have to make him the father of the faith? It was the faith that had him believing that his way-too-old-wife would bear a son and also his consent to the sacrificial death of that same son Isaac. Mary is much more deserving of the title of Mother of the Faith since she was asked to believe that she would bear a child not in her old age, but as a virgin! And she too was faced with the sacrificial death of her child, but unlike with Abraham whose son was spared at the last minute, Mary was asked to endure that sacrificial death of Her Son as she watched under the cross. She fulfilled the prophecy of Simeon in the temple that a sword would pierce her own heart too.

Catholics fulfill the Biblical prophecy made by Mary under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when she said “from henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed.” (Luke 1:48)

To get a Biblical understanding of the type of reverence Christians should have for Mary, let’s take at look at the reverence given to the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. The Ark of the Covenant was sacred because God ordained it’s construction. According to Hebrews 9:4 it was the housing for a golden pot containing some of the manna from heaven, and the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the rod of Aaron. Moreover, it was called the footstool of God and meant God’s presence when it was in the temple.

Recall that it was so sacred that it was never allowed to be touched except by certain Levites. This was reinforced when Uzzah touched the Ark to stabilize it after the oxen carrying it stumbled and was struck dead since no one was permitted to touch the Ark except those whom God had ordained. You can read that account in both 2 Samuel 6:1-7 and 1 Chronicles 13:9-12. The Ark was revered in the temple. It was carried in ceremony. It was considered holy.

How much more reverence should then be given to Mary the Mother of God? She wasn’t only fashioned by Men according to God's design. She was fashioned by God, as we all are, in the womb of her mother. But also, she is the new Ark of the Covenant and she carried in herself not just the tablets of the law but the lawgiver Himself. Not just the manna from heaven but the actual bread of heaven which was prefigured by the manna, Jesus Christ himself. And He is the ruler of the world which the rod was to signify. 

So, God the Father chose Mary to give Jesus to the world. He also chose to do the first miracles of Jesus through Mary. The first miraculous recognition of Jesus in the womb of Mary by her cousin Elizabeth. The first public miracle of Christ at the wedding at Cana. We read that after Mary suggests that Jesus provide more wine for the wedding feast He tells her that his time has not yet come. Nevertheless he does perform the miracle at her behest.

We are called in the scriptures to ask others to pray for us. How Much more sense does it make to ask Jesus’ own mother to pray for us? Naturally we can ask the saints in heaven to pray for us too. Remember when Moses and Elijah appeared with the Lord at his transfiguration? They spoke with Him. And our Lord told the Sadducees that God is the God of the living, not of the dead. So, surely if we can communicate across the planet with our devices, God can arrange for communication of his children in heaven with his children on earth.

And finally, I can tell you from my own personal experience that My heavenly Mother Mary has been the greatest help in bringing me to love Jesus, to serve Him, to make Him Lord of my life and recognize Him as my savior. I’m a sinner and I know it. God has given me and you a heavenly Mother to bring us to His Son. Going to Jesus through Mary is the same way God the Father gave us Jesus – through Mary.

Think of the hymn ‘The Church's one foundation’ which many of you sing. It speaks of “mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.” That’s exactly what we’re talking about here!

To my dear brothers and sisters in Christ who love the Lord and have made Jesus Lord of your hearts, ask Him, ask Jesus your dearest love to give you the same love for Mary which He Himself had. She was the humblest of all creatures, as we learn from her under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit why she was chosen. She would never want to detract from the glory due to Her Son, but she doesn’t at all. No painter is offended when someone admires his painting, and Mary is a beautiful creation of God who gives glory to God like no one else does. Her soul ‘magnifies the Lord’ as we again read in the Scriptures.

She’s your mother too. She loves you and wants nothing more for you than for you to love Her Son with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Catholics only quote Scripture when they say what many of you deem quite offensive. Read with me the words of God’s messenger Angel in Luke chapter one. “Hail full of Grace the Lord is with thee.” Let’s repeat with Elizabeth, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” These are quotes from Scripture. When Roman Catholics say ‘Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death,’ we are obviously asking her to pray to God for us.

My dear non-Catholic Christian friends whose love for Christ and readiness to sacrifice for Him has so inspired me I want you to have the riches awaiting you in the Catholic Church, your great love for Jesus is overwhelming and compels me to offer you what I can give – a rather poor intro to that last gift Jesus gave us on the cross – His Mother for our own. 

There are many ways to learn about the Virgin Mary and the Catholic Faith. I’d recommend something called Catholic Answers, which you can search for online.

In addition, we need you soldiers for Christ in this fight for the soul of the Church right now. We need a division of marines in this war. Your heavenly mother is calling you to love Her Son and His Church. It’s where you belong. Please, please come home.

If nothing else I hope I’ve helped you to understand from a biblical perspective why Catholics have Mary as a Mother, just like the Jews had Abraham as a Father.

If this was of help to you at all please let me know in the comments section and I’ll do more on this subject.


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Population expert: I stand accused of causing a ‘progeny calamity’ for being ‘pro-natal’

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January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Like all public figures, I get my share of crank letters in the mail.  Most of these go right where they belong—spiraling downward into the circular file that sits on the floor by my desk.  

But every so often one comes in that catches my attention, like the “Certificate of Recognition” I recently received from a former Stanford colleague of mine.  

In it, he hammers me for my “Pro-Natal Conduct” and my “reprehensible ignorance” of “Climate Change Science.” Don’t I know, he says, that more people means “an Unraveling Social, Economic and Environment, Extreme Weather Events, Massive Midwest Flooding, Rising Oceans, Never-Before-Seen tornado and Hurricane Seasons.”

Running out of room on the “Certificate”--but not out of words--he ranted on for three more pages about how I was “betraying my grandchildren.”  Among other things, he claimed that “the world is adding 87 million people a year,” “a billion people have no access to fresh clean water,” “energy resources are finite,” and “minerals will definitely run out.”

Such is the value of a Stanford education these days that he is completely, absolutely, and fundamentally wrong on every single point.

“Climate Change”

My hysterical colleague (along with every single Democratic candidate for president) apparently believes that global temperatures are reaching the boiling point.  But the best evidence, published recently in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, shows a warming rate of just 0.095C per decade over the last 38 years.  One-tenth of a degree every ten years is about half the rate predicted by the computer models on which the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and various government agencies rely for their predictions of climate doom.

Why is that significant? Because it suggests that someone is tinkering with the models--the only basis for predictions of future temperature—to suggest that the warming will be much more dramatic than it actually is.  This is what happens when scientific questions are heavily politicized--as questions concerning the cause, extent, and threat of global warming have been.  

“ … An Unraveling Social, Economic and Environment.” 

My colleague echoes AOC in suggesting that “The end is near.”  But by every available metric, from life spans to caloric consumption, human beings are better off than they have ever been in human history.  Over the past 250 years or so, living standards have improved so dramatically that the average person on the planet now lives longer, eats better and enjoys better housing than European nobility in the Middle Ages. What would King Henry VIII of England have given for a refrigerator, much less for a smartphone or penicillin?

We live in the best of times, not the worst of times.

“ … Extreme Weather Events, Massive Midwest Flooding, Rising Oceans, Never-Before-Seen tornado and Hurricane Seasons.” “

To listen to my hysterical colleague, we are experiencing the last days of the Planet Krypton.  But the evidence simply does not bear this out.  Take the issue of hurricanes, for example.  Even the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was forced to admit in 2012: “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.” 

“Low confidence” is science-speak for “there is no evidence.” 

“ … The world is adding 87 million people a year,”

Typical exaggeration on the part of the gloom and doom types.  The world actually added 81 million people in 2019.  Global population numbers may be somewhat inflated as well.  There is some evidence that China, for example, has overcounted its population by some 100 million people. 

The more important fact is that fertility rates are falling worldwide, including in the United States, which long had the highest birth rates in the developed world. 

Many countries are currently literally dying — filling more coffins than cradles — and many more will soon follow. Even populous China has one foot in the grave, demographically speaking, as its aging population begins dying off.  The population of the entire world will start shrinking shortly after mid-century.

“… A billion people have no access to fresh clean water,”

Another gross exaggeration.   According to the World Health Organization, since 1990 some 2.6 billion people have gained access to an “improved” drinking water source, that is to say, one that is designed to protect against contamination.  By 2015 the number of people who still drank water from unprotected sources had been reduced to 663 million, and that number has been reduced in the years since as global poverty is reduced.

At the same time, we are becoming far more efficient where the use of water is concerned, especially in agriculture. This in turn leaves more water available for basic human needs. 

Notice what my Stanford colleague isn’t saying.  He’s not talking about famine, because hardly anyone starves to death any more.  He’s not talking about child mortality, because fewer and fewer children die in infancy.  And he’s not talking about disease, because such scourges as malaria, polio, and heart disease are all on the decline.  

“… Energy resources are finite,”

Fossil fuels are theoretically finite, although we keep discovering new reserves, and more ways to extract existing ones, with each passing year.  

Other sources of energy, however, are clearly not finite.  Environmentalists constantly hector us on the need to use wind and solar.  Leaving aside the difficulties of capturing such diffuse forms of energy, do they think that the wind will stop blowing, or the sun will stop shining?  And what about the virtually infinite amount of energy that can be generated by clean nuclear energy from fission or, one day soon, fusion?  

My colleague can’t have it both ways.  Either energy resources are finite or they are not.  And they are not.

“… Minerals will definitely run out.”

This claim has definitely passed its “sell by” date.  It owes its origins to a book called The Limits to Growth published almost 50 years ago which asserted that the world would run out of silver, zinc, copper, mercury and--well, just about everything--by the year 2000.  Stanford ecologist Paul Ehrlich and others argued from this that radical population control programs were the only answer. 

My friend Julian Simon disagreed, arguing that if any metal grew scarce human ingenuity would enable us to find substitutes.  After all, he noted, the Stone Age did not end for lack of stone.  He bet Ehrlich that any five metals that he (Ehrlich) picked would cost less—not more--in 1990 than they did in 1980.  Prices fell over the decade, as Simon had expected, and he won the bet hands down.  Ehrlich paid up, but not without taking a parting shot at Simon, saying “The one thing we’ll never run out of is imbeciles.” 

I’ll let you judge for yourselves who the imbecile is in this equation, given that, thirty years further down the road, none of the metals Ehrlich picked has run out or even significantly risen in price.   

Another happy but unheralded fact comes from MIT scientist Andrew McAfee, whose book More from Less documents how we are using less water, less land, and less metal to produce more food and more goods.  In other words, the future promises to be greener and more abundant without denying people the right to drive their own cars, own and heat their own homes--or have as many children as they want.  

In fact, the anti-people crank who wrote me got things exactly backwards.  Our long-term problem is not going to be too many people, but too few people.  

That’s the real “Progeny Calamity” and it is occurring right before our very eyes.Steven W. 

Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order


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Did 2019 mark a decline in the power of the transgender mob?

J.K. Rowling, of all people, has licensed wholesale dissent from Woke orthodoxy.
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Jonathon Van Maren By Jonathon Van Maren

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January 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Back on December 19, I wrote a column in this space on J.K. Rowling’s decision to tweet out her support of Maya Forstater, a 45-year-old tax expert who was recently fired for expressing her view that women could not become men and men could not become women simply by saying so. An employment tribunal rejected her case, with the judge stating that her views could cause “enormous pain” to transgender persons and that Forstater’s view—still held by the majority—is “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.” 

In an encouraging turn of events, this ruling appears to have been a bridge too far for many staunch progressives, and even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, a woman with impeccable left-wing credentials, appears to have had enough. 

“Dress however you please,” Rowling wrote. “Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”

The transgender movement promptly exploded into action, and Rowling’s Twitter feed was swarmed by LGBT activists spewing a firehose of hate, accusing her of placing trans lives at risk, calling her a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and demanding that she retract her statement. As I wrote at the time, I thought it was likely that Rowling would back down once she realized that the LGBT movement isn’t about #LoveWins, but is very willing to do everything in their power to destroy her for violating our culture’s new blasphemy laws. The script is a familiar one: The mob descends, the target retracts and apologizes, and the LGBT mafia’s power is cemented further.

But rather shockingly, Rowling decided not to play along. She posted the tweet and left it there. When the LGBT lobby group GLAAD contacted Rowling’s people to arrange a meeting in which they would explain to the author why she was wrong, Rowling declined the opportunity. The thought pieces bemoaning Rowling’s apparent destruction of her literary legacy are still popping up, but Rowling is ignoring everyone. As Princeton professor Robert P. George noted: “The gender gnostics invite JK Rowling to re-education camp and she says no. They realize that there’s now a lot at stake and they must bend her to their will. If she refuses to cave & survives cancellation she licenses wholesale dissent from Woke orthodoxy. This is now a Big Deal.”

Others have come to her defense. Comedian Ricky Gervais’s Twitter missives fairly dripped with sarcasm: “Those awful biological women can never understand what it must be like for you becoming a lovely lady so late in life. They take their girly privileges for granted. Winning at female sports and having their own toilets. Well, enough is enough.” Ayaan Hiris Ali also tweeted her support: “Very brave J K Rowling for standing up for women.” Trans activists were watching their grip on the public conversation slip before their very eyes. 

And so it appears that in the waning days of the decade, J.K. Rowling (of all people) may have done enormous damage to the most powerful tool the LGBT lobby has to control the public narrative and enforce their new dogmas: Cancel culture. As Megan McArdle noted in the Washington Post

Institutions reward the mob by firing employees, yanking advertising or inflicting other punishments. Those in the mob-ridden middle quietly think this insane but also quietly think the better of saying so out loud. Which is how the Terrible Tens became the decade of the online mob.

It would be too neat a bit of plotting if the decade ended with the discovery of the antidote to this proscription plague. Yet I wonder if that isn’t what happened when the mob decided to cancel J.K. Rowling, and she demurred.

Rowling’s tweet earned her all the denunciations and anguished think pieces that a good mobbing entails. The usual script for what would follow: Rowling vanishes the tweet, apologizes and goes on a listening tour until she had been sufficiently reeducated to explain how wrong she’d been. But Rowling didn’t recite her lines…The censorious power of Mrs. Grundys always depends on the cooperation of the governed, which is why their regime collapsed the moment the baby boomers shrugged off their finger-wagging. If Rowling provides an unmissable public demonstration that it is safe to ignore the current crop, we can hope others will follow her example, and the dictatorship of the proscriptariat will fall as quickly as it arose.

Rowling has now proven that high profile figures can announce their dissent from our new sexual orthodoxies, get “cancelled,” and survive it with little effect. Cancel culture only works when everyone plays along and agrees to actually cancel the person being targeted, and trans activists are fully aware that if their attempts fail, others will take notice. They tried to get Jordan Peterson fired, and he got rich and famous. They tried to force Rowling to back down, and she ignored them. They’re complaining that Ricky Gervais is a “transphobe” and as such should not be allowed to host the Golden Globes, but no cancellation has been forthcoming. 

If this keeps up, their threats may soon fall on deaf ears. And if that happens, we’ll know that 2019 was the highwater mark of their cultural power. 

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 Gianna Jessen, a well known abortion survivor and pro-life advocate. Ms. Jessen has been mentioned in speeches by President George W Bush. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster have said that her story could impact the abortion debate. Jessen survived a saline abortion and now uses her story to show people what an abortion. “I am alive. Just by the miraculous power of Christ.”

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below:


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Dear non-Catholic Christians, we need your help in the Catholic Church like never before

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It is precisely because of the great respect, love and admiration that I have for you non-Catholic soldiers for Christ that I wanted to reach out to you and beg you to consider coming home to the Catholic Church. For one thing your ardent faith and willingness to defend the truths of Christ are sorely needed in the battle for the soul of the Catholic Church that is raging today.


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