SAN ANTONIO, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The city council of San Antonio, Texas voted unanimously last week to pass a resolution condemning “hate speech,” including use of the name “China virus” to refer to COVID-19, which came from China.
“COVID-19 is a public health issue, not a racial, religious or ethnic one, and the deliberate use of terms such as ‘Chinese virus’ or ‘Kung Fu virus’ to describe COVID-19 only encourages hate crimes and incidents against Asians and further spreads misinformation at a time when communities should be working together to get through this crisis,” the resolution declares, as reported by The Texan.
Only one community member showed up to comment on the proposal, local conservative activist Jack Finger. He asked it it would be similarly “discriminating” to use the name “West Nile virus” and used a pair of binoculars to theatrically identify council members who weren’t wearing masks. Councilor Manny Pelàez later dismissed Finger’s comments as “bad dinner theater.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) condemned the resolution as “nuts,” pointing out that the mainstream media routinely referred to COVID-19 by its place of origin until left-wing activists decided that doing so was “problematic”:
This is NUTS. SA City Council behaving like a lefty college faculty lounge, triggered by Chick-fil-A & the words “Wuhan virus.” If they want to investigate someone, start with NYT & CNN who both repeatedly (and rightly) referred to it as “the Chinese coronavirus.” #NoSpeechPolicehttps://t.co/a10BZAvleQ
As of May 13, the United States is estimated to have seen more than 1.4 million cases of COVID-19, with almost 85,000 deaths and more than 307,000 recoveries, although mounting evidence suggests far more of the public has contracted and recovered from the virus than the official count indicates. At the same time, state bans on “non-essential” activity across the country have caused massive job losses, with more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment and studies predicting that tens of thousands of small businesses that have closed down will never reopen.
Other medical experts argue that the evidence warrants a strategy more narrowly targeted toward protecting the elderly and immunocompromised while allowing the younger and healthier to go about their lives. “If we focus on the elderly, we will bring a death rate that is likely no more than 1% down to fractions of a percent,” says Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The bishop made it clear that no civil law can overturn the fundamental right of religious liberty. He pointed out that for Catholics, Mass is much more than a mere community gathering; it is the renewal of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.
His strongly worded letter received widespread attention in the French Catholic media.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and its “sanitary” measures (which Bishop Athanasius Schneider has called a “sanitary dictatorship”), Bishop Ginoux has been particularly outspoken and courageous.
In one of his most recent tweets reacting to an article in Le Monde about possible compulsory vaccination and nano-chipping, Bishop Ginoux said: “Watch out! Danger! The liberty of each person is being violated in the name of a good. We must say no.”
Last Sunday, in another tweet, he wrote: “#Mass. Yet another Sunday of suffering (despite the fact that we are in the joy of Easter) for all those who are unjustly deprived of the Eucharist. I am with you.”
In his pastoral letter, Bishop Ginoux commented at length on the continued prohibition of public worship, stating: “Our freedom is at stake and it is being seriously undermined.”
He added: “I denounce the violation of the rights of the Catholic faithful to participate freely in Mass; I denounce the denial of this right. Civil law, whose binding nature in this matter remains to be proven, cannot be imposed on my conscience as a pastor when it prevents me from fulfilling my duty. I am a priest and bishop in order to give Christ to the faithful in need. This is my mission and I want to tell them so. The Catholic Church has always recalled the right of the human person to practice his religion. Preventing the exercise of this right is an infringement of fundamental human rights that could lead to other abuses.”
Bishop Ginoux also insisted on the specific need for Catholics to join Mass physically, especially now the coronavirus epidemic is receding and at a time when many other activities are permitted.
Below is LifeSite’s full translation of Bishop Ginoux’s letter.
On May 11, 2007, I was appointed bishop of Montauban, and since my ordination on September 2, 2007, I have endeavored to fulfill my mission with dedication and concern for the common good. This mission is coming to an end as the canonical age of retirement draws near. The weeks that we have just experienced have been an ordeal that for some will have led to death and for others to the struggle with illness. Many have suffered because of measures of protection so rigorous that their mental health has been more severely affected than their physical health. I think of all the elderly who were not affected by this virus. Of course, they had to be protected from it, but was it necessary to cut them off from their natural ties to the point where grandparents were forbidden to see their grandchildren? If consistent preventive measures had been taken and if the necessary tools (such as masks) had been given from the outset, family tragedies would have been avoided. We are also well aware that some of these people allowed themselves to die. Among younger people, suicides were caused by accumulated tension. An honest assessment of these realities will have to be made.
But these facts do not detract from the work done by the caretakers, lives given in the service of others, efforts made by many anonymous people in their determination to fight COVID-19. The Catholic Church has not failed to be present on the most exposed fronts and in its permanent service of charity, especially with populations in difficulty such as migrants. She has also accepted the draconian measures which have not allowed us to live the great moments of our Christian faith, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, Holy Week, the heart and foundation of faith in Christ who died and rose again. We have accepted this despite the immense sense of loss that our faithful have surely experienced. Their suffering has been somewhat mitigated by broadcasts and all the audio-visual techniques. The fact remains that our faith is not nourished by these means; the Catholic faith is nourished by the real presence of Jesus Christ. The Church is realized unceasingly through the sacrifice of the Mass, where Christ's unique sacrifice on the cross is made present. The Mass introduces us to him, makes him present and makes us participate in what is the “banquet of the Lord”: we truly take our place at his table. It is not a time of prayer or even a simple listening to the Word of God, still less a fraternal gathering. We can do without all this, but we cannot do without the Eucharist, just as we need the other sacraments. Mass is the life of the Catholic Church. Even though we are united to Christ in many ways, we live by him through the Eucharist.
At a time when a very large number of activities are resuming, when we can find ourselves next to each other on an airplane, in supermarkets, or in outdoor activities such as at the racetracks, a part of the citizenry who have the freedom to practice their religion by participating in Mass is prevented from doing so under the pretext of a pandemic whose numbers are declining. The numbers speak for themselves. Moreover, most of our churches are very large, and we have all the means to comply with health measures. Our freedom is at stake, and it is being seriously undermined. I have heard from many people who are suffering, and I am speaking on their behalf.
I am a bishop in a place where, one day in August 1942, Bishop Pierre-Marie Theas dared almost alone to condemn the attacks on the freedom and dignity of French citizens. We have not reached this point of ignominy. But I denounce the violation of the rights of the Catholic faithful to participate freely in Mass; I denounce the denial of this right. Civil law, whose binding nature in this matter remains to be proven, cannot be imposed on my conscience as a pastor when it prevents me from fulfilling my duty. I am a priest and bishop in order to give Christ to the faithful in need. This is my mission, and I want to tell them so. The Catholic Church has always recalled the right of the human person to practice his religion. Preventing the exercise of this right is an infringement of fundamental human rights that could lead to other abuses. This letter is an appeal to the conscience of the Catholics of the Diocese of Montauban, which is dear to me and of which I have been the pastor for thirteen years. Knowing that you can live your faith freely will be a strong pastoral joy for me because, even in times of great epidemics, the Church, albeit with precautions, has always offered to the People of God the presence of the Savior through public worship.
I entrust to the Blessed Virgin Mary, honored in the Cathedral of Montauban under the name of Our Lady of the Assumption, the diocese and all its inhabitants. May she watch over us and keep us under her protection.
Euthanasia expert: Canada on track to become ‘worst’ suicide jurisdiction in world
Alex Schadenberg told Canadians on Day 3 of the virtual National March for life that Bill C-7 'needs to be stopped.'
Wed May 13, 2020 - 9:56 pm EST
By Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch
OTTAWA, Ontario, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Over a thousand people tuned in to view a screening of a powerful film about euthanasia and assisted suicide for day three of the 23rd annual National March for Life in Canada. The event is taking place virtually this year because of the coronavirus.
The screening of Kevin Dunn’s Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death, was preceded by a conversation with Campaign Life Coalition (CLC)’s Youth Coordinator Josie Luetke and Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Schadenberg also served as co-producer for Fatal Flaws.
“It was a joy to see people tuning in not only from all across Canada, from Athabasca, Alberta, to Dieppe, New Brunswick, but also from the United States,” said Luetke.
“I'd watched Fatal Flaws before, but even re-watching it, I was brought near tears once again — to see how fragile life is, and how we've inexcusably permitted physicians to decide just to throw it away if they deem someone weak and helpless.”
Debbie Duval, the national capital organizer for CLC, told LifeSiteNews that one viewer was struck by how “oblivious” Canadians are to the issue of euthanasia.
"What struck me the most about the movie Fatal Flaws is that we are oblivious to the potential dangers of euthanasia in Canada, and after watching the movie and seeing what happened in Belgium and the Netherlands, we should be motivated to stand up against euthanasia," said viewer G. Keenan.
The live stream of Day 3, and all other days of the 2020 Virtual National March for Life, can be seen on CLC’s YouTube channel.
Schadenberg noted in his conversation with Luetke that Fatal Flaws is the second film in a series, with the first film titled Euthanasia Deception.
He noted that Euthanasia Deception focussed on the issue from the perspective of Belgium and Canada, and after its debut, he said he faced criticism that it was “too one-sided.”
This prompted him to begin production on Fatal Flaws, which features interviews from individuals from both sides of the spectrum.
Euthanasia was legalized in Canada by the Liberal Party under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016 with Bill C-14. In their conversation, Schadenberg spoke with Luetke about Bill C-7, which was introduced in February and expands on Bill C-14.
“Bill C-7 is really bad; it’s really, really crazy. If it’s passed, it would make us [Canada] the worst jurisdiction in the world, and it needs to be stopped,” said Schadenberg to Luetke.
Bill C-7 came about as Trudeau's acceptance to a Quebec court decision last September. That ruling struck down the requirement that a person’s “natural death be reasonably foreseeable” to qualify the person for death by lethal injection.
In an analysis of Bill C-7, Schadenberg said the bill will further expand Canada’s euthanasia laws, allowing for the lethal injection of individuals who are not able to properly consent. This would be for those with dementia and who have issued an advance directive asking to be euthanized in the future.
For Sunday’s kickoff of the Virtual March for Life, more than 3,000 tuned in to view a free screening of global pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha’s documentary Strings Attached. Sunday’s event saw such a high demand that for a brief time, the site marchforlife.ca crashed.
Day 2 of Canada’s virtual March for Life featured two powerful pro-life films, Crescendo and Sing a Little Louder.
More than a thousand tuned in to view the films, which included a conversation with CLC’s global policy and advocacy adviser, Mattea Merta, and the producer of the film, pro-life activist and film producer Jason Jones, who is the founder and president of Movie to Movement.
CLC decided in April to hold this year’s March for Life virtually, as the coronavirus health restrictions on public gatherings made it impossible to conduct the march in Ottawa.
CLC is the largest leading national pro-life and pro-family political lobbying group in Canada. The CLC virtual Canadian March for Life started Sunday and will continue until May 15. This year’s theme is “Be not afraid Canada!”
Being in a virtual format, the 2020 March for Life will replicate some of the March’s usual mainstays, such as the candlelight vigil, Masses, and a rally.
The “virtual” march will take place on Thursday, May 14. This day is chosen for the March as it is the same day 51 years ago in 1969 when abortion was legalized in Canada. This was the day when then–prime minister Pierre Trudeau (Justin Trudeau’s father) passed a heavily criticized omnibus bill that amended the Criminal Code to allow abortions to be done in hospitals.
This law remained in effect until the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the 1969 law as unconstitutional in the 1988 Morgentaler decision. The law was removed on a technicality, however. The court ruled that it violated a woman’s Charter right to security of the person since the law could not be applied equally across the country.
The court encouraged the Canadian Parliament to come up with replacement abortion legislation. This effort failed when then–prime minister Brian Mulroney’s draft law failed in a Senate tie vote. Canada has since had no abortion law at all, thus abortion is permitted through all nine months of pregnancy.
Thursday’s program begins with the National Mass for Life from Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral starting at noon EST. It will be celebrated by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.
The Mass will be followed by a “Be Not Afraid” pro-life special hosted by EWTN’s Doug Keck. The virtual march will then take place from 2:30 to 4:40 P.M. EST, which will include a “great lineup of pro-life, religious, and political leaders,” according to the March for Life website.
The Virtual March for Life will end Friday, May 15, with a pro-life webinar organized by CLC’s Youth and Niagara Region Right to Life.
Before the evening ends, there will be a free one-time screening of the film Because of Grácia, which will include an interview with the film’s director, Tom Simes.
WÜRZBURG, Germany, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — German cardinal Walter Brandmüller criticized his country’s bishops for accusing their predecessors of being “complicit” during the Second World War, warning that today’s prelates, who he says are acting out of “current political correctness,” are themselves guilty of an “eloquent silence” when it comes to abortion, gender ideology, and homosexual practices.
“What will people say about this in the year 2100? Our generation is truly sitting in a glass house itself. It should not throw stones,” the cardinal wrote in an article first published by Die Tagespost (read full article below).
The German bishops’ conference stated in an April 29 23-page document, released 75 years after the end of World War II, that their predecessors, “by not countering the war” with an “unequivocal ‘no,’ instead most of them strengthening the will to persevere ... made themselves complicit in the war.”
“Both in September 1939 and afterwards the open protest of the German bishops against the National Socialist war of annihilation failed to materialize,” the bishops continued in their document.
“Even in view of the monstrous crimes against others, especially the Jews, who were discriminated against and persecuted as ‘racially foreign,’ hardly a voice was raised in the Church in Germany.”
For Brandmüller, today’s German bishops’ conference is trying “to come to terms with the past in the light of current political correctness.”
PETITION: Join faithful German Catholics in resisting bishops’ plan to ‘Protestantize’ Church Sign the petition here.
Ninety-one-year-old Cardinal Brandmüller, who for more than a decade led the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, warned the German bishops not to throw stones while sitting in a glass house.
Brandmüller, one of the four signers of the dubia on questionable aspects of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, said “there will be no small amount to understand and no small number of embarrassing questions to be answered by our generation.”
He gave several examples, first talking about Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, which upheld Church teaching that the use of contraceptives is immoral.
“Do we still remember the storm of protest, as furious as it was rabble-rousing, with which the 1968 ‘Katholikentag’ [a regular large gathering of Catholics] in Essen responded to Paul VI’s ‘pill encyclical’ Humanae Vitae, long since recognized as prophetic? At that time, only two of the German moral theologians — Gustav Ermecke and Bernhard Schöpf — had sided with the Pope.”
Cardinal Julius Döpfner, Brandmüller pointed out, even “embezzled” a letter representing the position of the bishops of East Germany, which was fully supportive of the pope.
Brandmüller, who is a recognized expert on Church history, especially the history of the councils, then turned to Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor, which talks about moral absolutes.
The German bishops, as well as many theologians, “did not want — in the sense of that fatal situation ethics — to admit any longer that there are actions which are always and everywhere reprehensible, independently of any situation, as for instance the killing of an innocent man. A burning problem, if one thinks of the mass killing of the unborn.”
While pushing an anti-Catholic agenda, “there is an eloquent silence about gender ideology while talking loudly and clearly about the recognition of homosexual practice — and other such things,” Brandmüller said.
He concluded, “What will people say about this in the year 2100?”
The German cardinal even questioned the wisdom of the famous penitential service of March 12, 2000, in which he asked for the forgiveness of all the sins committed by members of the Church in the last millennium.
“Was it possible to repent of the sins of past generations and ask for forgiveness for them? One could only beat one’s own breast and say mea culpa, but not confess the sins of others, people said at the time.”
Brandmüller appeared to compare the German bishops, who many decades after the end of World War II still feel obliged to talk about their predecessors’ alleged guilt, to a “scrupulous person who is nevertheless constantly tormented by the feeling of guilt, never coming to rest.”
“In particular, it would have been important to clarify whether it was at all necessary, useful, sensible for the German bishops’ conference to issue a declaration on the topic of World War II,” he said. “Did the episcopates of other nations affected by the war in any way do the same thing?”
Full text of Cardinal Walter Brandmüller’s article below:
The past appears quite involuntarily in the light of the present, and it requires the conscious exclusion of current events if history is to come into view. This means that the historian, indeed anyone who seriously deals with history, must consciously place himself in the horizon of experience of those whose – at that time – judgments, actions and omissions he wants to understand. This naturally requires a certain intellectual discipline. It is a demand of fairness, because the actors of that time could not know what effects their actions or omissions would have in the future.
On the other hand, today’s observer of the past often does not know what the actors of that time knew, what induced them to their actions in the first place. For these very reasons, the historian should be careful to avoid acting as the prosecutor, defense counsel, and judge of the past, but least of all to act as an executioner. For this, he is lacking conditions and competence. His role is more that of the investigator, the detective. Finally, the historian must not forget a principle already in force in ancient Rome. De internis non iudicat praetor: On the inner life of the human being, his conscience, the judge cannot make a judgment.
There, now, our attention turns to that exceedingly impressive penitential service of March 12 of the Holy Year 2000, in which Pope John Paul II asked for the forgiveness of all the sins committed by members of the Church in the last millennium. The Pope performed this act despite the reservations that had been raised against it.
Was it possible to repent of the sins of past generations and ask for forgiveness for them? One could only beat one’s own breast and say mea culpa, but not confess the sins of others, people said at the time. And today, similar questions are to be addressed to the authors of that paper of the German Bishops’ Conference that deals with the position of the German bishops on the Second World War. This text raises some questions that should have been asked before proceeding to publish it. In particular, it would have been important to clarify whether it was at all necessary, useful, sensible for the German Bishops’ Conference to issue a declaration on the topic of World War II. Did the episcopates of others nations affected by the war in any way do the same thing? This concerns the “why.”
Now the next question, “what for.” We remember well – one example is enough – the impressive exchange of request for and granting of forgiveness between the German and Polish bishops. That was a difficult but nevertheless successful coming to terms with the past. The fact that the German episcopate did not consist without exception of martyrs and confessors has also been recognized and confessed often. Even outstanding episcopal figures such as Graf von Galen, Johann Baptist Sproll, Graf von Preysing, even Michael von Faulhaber, Michael Rackl, and Matthias Ehrenfried – to name but those few – were “questioned” rather than adequately acknowledged.
But now, once again, we are probably beginning to come to terms with the past in the light of current political correctness – or why, for whatever reason. What it means from a socio-psychological point of view for a society – here we are referring to the Catholic Church in Germany – to deal with its own past in such a way would indeed be worth considering.
When it comes to the sin and failure of an ordinary human being, the following applies: once recognized, repented of, known and forgiven, the following applies: “Your sins are forgiven – go in peace.” The scrupulous person who is nevertheless constantly tormented by the feeling of guilt, never coming to rest: a case for the psychiatrist, not for the confessor. Does this apply not only to the individual, but also to communities? Peoples, the Church? What does “coming to terms with the past” mean in this context? Indeed, peoples can also recognize and rehabilitate injustices that have occurred in a similar way. The admission of Germany into the League of Nations after World War I and the sensational creation of three German cardinals – von Galen, von Preysing, and Frings – by Pius XII in 1946 were widely understood and appreciated in this sense.
That does not mean, obviously, that one does not have to learn from the past, and if necessary also make reparations. The latter has happened, for instance, as regards the foreign forced laborers who were used in church institutions during the war, or the so-called “Heimkinder” [children living in a children’s home]. Such considerations should finally also be decisive with regard to the research and appreciation of Church behavior in the Second World War.
So before one sits down on the judgment seat and breaks the stick, one should consider all this. Above all, one should not forget that – who knows how soon – our descendants will sit in judgment also about us today, as those who have so assiduously come to terms with the past and beat the breast of the fathers. Unless, unlike us, they prefer to understand first.
In that case, however, there will be no small amount to understand and no small number of embarrassing questions to be answered by our generation. Let us ask the crucial question, “What is your opinion of Rome?” Some bullet points may suffice: Do we still remember the storm of protest, as furious as it was rabble-rousing, with which the 1968 “Katholikentag” [a regular large gathering of Catholics] in Essen responded to Paul VI’s “pill encyclical” Humanae vitae, long since recognized as prophetic? At that time, only two of the German moral theologians – Gustav Ermecke and Bernhard Schöpf – had sided with the Pope. They were mercilessly punished for it.
Does one still remember that Cardinal Döpfner, chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, simply embezzled that letter from Berlin Cardinal Bengsch to the German Bishops’ Conference, in which the bishops of the East Germany committed themselves to the Pope’s encyclical? Only in this way could the “Königstein Declaration” have come about, in which the German Bishops’ Conference left the use of contraceptives to the judgment of the individual conscience.
This was a breach in the dam. John Paul II’s repeated request to revise the fatal declaration was answered by the DBK with icy silence. The German-speaking moral theologians took a similar approach to the truly groundbreaking encyclical Veritatis splendor by the “Polish Pope,” which affirmed the timelessly valid principles of ethics. They did not want – in the sense of that fatal situation ethics – to admit any longer that there are actions which are always and everywhere reprehensible, independently of any situation, as for instance the killing of an innocent man. A burning problem, if one thinks of the mass killing of the unborn. But on the part of the German Bishops’ Conference, only a droning silence can be heard, while in the USA, for example, numerous cardinals and bishops lead the “marches for life.”
No wonder that the German Bishops’ Conference also supports the morally highly questionable activity of “Donum Vitae” [a counseling organization issuing declarations that allow women to get an abortion]. Where was the Catholic protest when Chancellor Helmut Kohl paid for the reunification of Germany by adopting the East German abortion law? Does one also still think of the fact that for decades the theological education of female candidates has been pursued – for now – for the ordained ministry of women – however that may be understood –, promoted by Cardinal Lehmann, among others? At the same time there is an eloquent silence about the gender ideology, while talking loudly and clearly about the recognition of homosexual practice – and other such things. What will people say about this in the year 2100? Our generation is truly sitting in a glass house itself. It should not throw stones.
Cardinal Walter Brandmüller’s article was originally written for Die Tagespost. It has been translated by Martin Bürger and is published here with permission.
LifeSite’s previous (and future) live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to issues our readers care about can be viewed HERE.
A May 10 Forbes article describes future air travel as possibly consisting of “no cabin bags, no lounges, no automatic upgrades, face masks, surgical gloves, self-check-in, self-bag-drop-off, immunity passports, on-the-spot blood tests and sanitation disinfection tunnels” (emphasis added).
“Digital technologies and automation will play a critical role in the future of air travel,” Forbes predicted. “The need to reduce ‘touchpoints’ at airports implies mandatory use of biometric boarding that allows passengers to board planes with only their face as a passport.”
“A number of airlines including British Airways, Qantas and EasyJet already are using the technology.”
Airports may use “thermal scanning to check crowds for fever-grade body temperatures.”
May 13, 2020, 7:45 p.m. EST: The Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reports: “The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down Gov. Tony Evers' order shutting down daily life to limit the spread of coronavirus — marking the first time a statewide order of its kind has been knocked down by a court of last resort.”
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara of Hawaii’s coronavirus response team said: “If we let the economy go the way it’s going, I feel there will be significant civil unrest that could lead to civil disobedience and, worst case, civil disturbance and rioting.”
Every year, nearly a billion people suffer from some form of hunger, brought about by war or climate change or simply a lack of means. But now, according to the United Nations, the number of people who are classified as having acute food insecurity—a level of hunger at which a person’s inability to consume adequate food endangers their life or livelihood—could rise from more than a hundred and thirty million to nearly three hundred million, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought world economies and supply chains to a standstill. And this estimate does not even begin to address the millions of people whose means of achieving a decent living have evaporated.
Pro-life activist and filmmaker Jason Jones has been warning about this since the beginning of the coronavirus.
Tesla’s Elon Muskagain expressed his displeasure with the lockdowns, saying they are unconstitutional.
“My opinion is, if somebody wants to stay home, they should stay home, and if somebody does not want to stay home, they should not be compelled to stay home,” he said. “That’s my opinion. And if somebody doesn’t like that, well, that’s my opinion.”
May 13, 2020, 1:49 p.m. EST: District attorneys in “a growing number of Pennsylvania counties say they won’t prosecute those who defy stay-at-home measures” ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf, The Epoch Times reports.
May 12, 2020, 5:09 p.m. EST: As more people finally begin to acknowledge the “deaths of despair” that are accompanying draconian lockdowns, Wesley J. Smith explained “New Jersey’s Suicide Confusion” at National Review:
New Jersey recently became one of the seven states (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize assisted suicide by statute. In effect, New Jersey sanctions suicide for some residents through its public policy.
Now, with COVID-19, New Jersey officials are worried about a spike in suicide caused by the shutdown, so for them, suicide is bad.
May 12, 2020, 3:22 p.m. EST: TheLos Angeles Times reports, “Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home orders will ‘with all certainty’ be extended for the next three months, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged during a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.”
May 12, 2020, 3:06 p.m. EST: In France, four Catholic priestly and religious associations, along with a lay Catholic group, will separately argue to the highest administrative court in France about overturning the continued ban against all public religious services.
And in Canada, Alberta’s health minister is allowing police access to confidential patient medical records. Alberta Health Services will be allowed to “provide information to police, confirming whether or not an individual has tested positive for COVID-19.”
Some jurisdictions in the U.S. – Florida, Massachusetts, Alabama, parts of North Carolina – have adopted similar measures.
May 12, 2020, 2:52 p.m. EST:
Sen. Rand Paul:
"The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction... As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end all, I don't think you're the one person that gets to make a decision." pic.twitter.com/SP9T638y2B
May 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – USA Today reports, “The federal mental health czar is calling for more money to expand services to help people suffering amid the social isolation imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, as a new study estimates related deaths from alcohol, drug overdose and suicide could reach 150,000” (emphasis added).
Elon Musk has reopened a California Tesla factory in defiance of the state’s lockdown.
“If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” he tweeted.
Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.
In San Jose, California, people have been advisednot to continue the practice of “drive-by” parades – typically done to greet a friend or celebrate a birthday or milestone without getting close to the person physically or entering his house – because it’s not considered “essential” and is technically a “violation of the shelter-in-place order issued by the county health officers.”
More than one million healthcare workers have lost their jobs as hospital revenues have plummeted, NPR reported last week.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the pro-abortion United Nations entity whose close relationship with communist China and poor handling of the pandemic are under international criticism and scrutiny, has complained that governments are not implementing enough surveillance techniques as countries re-open.
The WHO’s Dr. Michael Ryan “said that robust contact tracing measures adopted by Germany and South Korea provide hope that those countries can detect and stop virus clusters before they get out of control.”
He said “other nations exiting lockdowns have not effectively employed contact tracing investigators who contact people who test positive, track down their contacts and get them into quarantine before they can spread the virus.”
The spread of the coronavirus has been “taken off the streets and pushed back into family units,” Ryan said on March 22. “Now we need to go and look in families to find those people who may be sick and remove them and isolate them in a safe and dignified manner.”
FOX News’s Tucker Carlson found this “threat” ominous.
“Just so you know, we’re coming to your house, seizing your children and ‘isolating them in a safe and dignified manner,’ whatever that means,” he translated.
Ryan is not the only “public health” official to call for the state to remove people from their homes. Discussing massive “contact tracing” efforts, Ventura County, California Director of Public Health Dr. Robert Levin said people with the coronavirus would be taken from their homes if they didn’t have what the government considered enough bathrooms.
“We also realize that as we find more contacts some of the people we find are going to have trouble being isolated for instance if they live in a home where there's only one bathroom and there are three or four other people living there and those people don’t have COVID infection we're not going to be able to keep the person in that home,” he said. “Every person who we're isolating for instance needs to have their own bathroom and so we’ll be moving people like this into other kinds of housing.”
Levin’s comments, which he later walked back after public outcry, come as U.S. House Democrats push for the passage of H.R. 6666 to fund the tracing of individuals believed to have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus and require them to quarantine.
A South Florida barber who reopened his business in violation of lockdown orders explained why he did so: “I didn’t get no stimulus, I didn’t get no unemployment. Basically, we are just starving. I got a family, I have got kids – we are just starving.”
In Michigan, PJ Media reports that a “militia” has mobilized to prevent the arrest of a 77-year-old barber who reopened his shop.
The Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island told constituents that if they come across someone not wearing a face mask, “You should socially shame them, so they fall in line.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticized for suggesting children be microchipped so authorities can make sure they are not getting too close to each other when the lockdown ends.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in the hospital.
Recent LifeSiteNews articles on the coronavirus crisis include:
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On May 9, 18 Republican attorneys general asked Congress to investigate “the communist Chinese Government and its role in the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Congressional hearings are critical to our Nation’s understanding of the origins of COVID-19 and efforts by the communist Chinese government to deceive the international community,” they wrote.
The short letter was drafted by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, and subsequently signed by the attorneys general of 17 further states, including Texas and Missouri. It was addressed to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as to the Republican and Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress.
Wilson explained why only Republican attorneys general signed the letter.
“We wanted to get this letter out as quickly as possible. Obviously it was circulated as quickly as possible within our caucus, but it is not exclusive of Democrats. I know that many Democratic AGs have questions much like we do,” he said.
“We would certainly ask our Democratic colleagues to join us and I’m sure that many of them have the same questions that we do,” Wilson added. “I don’t want the letter to be viewed as a partisan letter because in the letter we’re not out there attacking anybody on a partisan level. We’re Americans, and we want to know what China did that led to this pandemic.”
The attorneys general wrote, “Recent reports suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus while simultaneously stockpiling personal protective equipment.” They explicitly referred to comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
According to Pompeo, there is “enormous evidence” that the coronavirus first came from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week” on May 3.
At the time, Pompeo did not comment on whether the virus was intentionally released by the Chinese institution, or whether it was an accident. “I can’t answer your question about that, because the Chinese Communist Party has refused to cooperate with world health experts.”
Throughout the interview, Pompeo went after the Chinese Communist Party for the way it handled information about the coronavirus outbreak.
“We can confirm that the Chinese Communist Party did all that it could to make sure that the world didn’t learn in a timely fashion about what was taking place,” the Secretary of State emphasized.
“China has a history of infecting the world, and they have a history of running substandard laboratories,” he said. “These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab. And so, while the intelligence community continues to do its work, they should continue to do that, and verify, so that we are certain.”
An intelligence report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed that China “intentionally concealed the severity” of the coronavirus in early January.
“Not classified but marked ‘for official use only,’ the DHS analysis states that, while downplaying the severity of the coronavirus, China increased imports and decreased exports of medical supplies,” the Associated Press reported. “It attempted to cover up doing so by ‘denying there were export restrictions and obfuscating and delaying provision of its trade data,’ the analysis states.”
The attorneys general also briefly referred to the World Health Organization (WHO) and its relationship to China. As a consequence of this relationship, President Donald Trump has already halted funding to the WHO, which is part of the United Nations.
While China was deceiving the world on the virus, the letter to congressional leaders continued, “COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our states and the Nation. We must all hold China accountable for the devastation and destruction caused by COVID-19.”
Speaking of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the attorneys general said, “Tens of thousands have died from the virus and millions have lost their jobs. Countless businesses, both big and small, will perish and our states will grapple with tough economic decisions for years to come.”
One of the 18 signatories, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, has already filed a lawsuit against China on April 21.
“COVID-19 has done irreparable damage to countries across the globe, causing sickness, death, economic disruption, and human suffering,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement at the time.
“In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real – thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table,” he continued.
“The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease,” Schmitt said. For that reason, he argued, China must be “held accountable.”
According to the state of Missouri, “the key factual allegations are that in the critical weeks between December 2019 and January 23, 2020, the Chinese Government engaged in misrepresentations, concealment, and retaliation to conceal the gravity and seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak from the rest of the world.”
What do you really know about the World Health Organization?
Here's why pro-lifers should be leery of the programs they promote.
Wed May 13, 2020 - 5:34 pm EST
PETITION: Thank President Trump for halting U.S. funding to pro-abortion World Health Organization. Sign the petition here.
May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The World Health Organization has been all over the news recently thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but how much do you actually know about the WHO?
In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Rebecca Oas from the Center for Family and Human Rights joins Jonathon to talk about the background of the WHO, their current work, and why pro-lifers should be leery of the programs they promote.
The Center for Family and Human Rights, C-FAM, focuses on how international institutions promote life and family and on how the debate around life and family is unfolding at the international level. Rebecca Oas is the Associate Director of Research for C-FAM and focuses on the research side of their work.
Watch the full interview:
Getting down to basics, the World Health Organization is the health arm of the United Nations. Since infectious diseases don’t respect borders, the idea is the WHO would facilitate information sharing and collaboration on widespread diseases to help save lives.
“As with any international institution, the problem [is] when it becomes politicized,” Oas tells Van Maren.
The WHO is funded by assessed contributions, required contributions from each country based on size and economic factors, and voluntary contributions. Voluntary contributions are beginning to account for more and more of the WHO’s overall budget as countries make voluntary contributions to push their own health agendas.
Van Maren shares the great example of smaller countries being forced to accept and promote programs that go against their morals in order to receive desperately needed health funding. We don’t see this as much in the U.S., Canada, and Europe because we have developed health systems, but many African countries rely on supplies and resources from the WHO for basic care.
There is currently no international consensus on the morality of abortion, only that in places where abortion is legal it must be “safe.” The WHO has begun to push the idea that not allowing abortion leads to “unsafe” abortions, and therefore, abortion should be legal everywhere.
Listen to the full interview:
“The World Health Organization, you know, it has interpreted this guidance not only to ensure that there are ways of doing it ‘safely,’ but they've also taken it upon themselves to issue policy guidance on, you know, basically the idea being that if you want to get rid of ‘unsafe’ abortion, the only alternative is to provide ‘safe’ abortion,” Oas tells Van Maren.
The essential medicine list published by the WHO, which is meant to serve as a list of essential medications, now includes abortion pills “where nationally appropriate.” Organizations then use this and other guidelines on abortion published by the WHO to get away with the distribution of abortion pills in countries where abortion is illegal.
Oas affirms the Trump administration’s decision to stop funding the WHO. She points out the fact that many of the policies being promulgated by the WHO, including their partnership with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, are outside of their mandated scope and are against U.S. foreign policy.
Oas does point out that it is important for the U.S. to continue to pay attention to the WHO and to engage in dialogue with them. The UN and the WHO have a significant presence and impact on countries worldwide, so staying engaged with the WHO’s policies and working to change the pro-abortion policies is important for pro-lifers.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As part of a phased-in relaxing of the nationwide shutdown, the government of New Zealand has passed new legislation into law that allows only 10 people to attend a religious service while allowing 100 people to gather in other public places such as restaurants, shopping centers, and movie theatres.
The legislation has now made it through all three readings in Parliament and has been granted Royal Assent.
At the last minute, funerals were granted a small carve-out allowing a maximum of 50 people to gather for no longer than two hours. More significantly, the revised measures that were supposed to be in full force for two years will now be up for review every 90 days.
The legislation, known as the COVID-19 Public Health Response Bill, was allowed to pass despite a public outcry, interventions by some members of Parliament — including the launch of a petition — and a joint effort of New Zealand Catholic and Anglican bishops urging the government to increase the limit on attendees at religious services.
“This is the most anti-democratic bill we’ve ever seen put before Parliament,” said MP Simon O'Connor in a video just before the bill became law.
“The bill gives extraordinary powers — unheard of powers — to the Prime Minister,” said O’Connor. “Basically, this bill allows one person in a democratic country the complete right to decide where you go, who you see, how you operate, when you open your business, whether you can go to church, (and) what sport you can play.”
“It allows the police, the New Zealand police, to enter your home without warrant” based simply on “the suspicion that there might be too many of you gathered in your home,” said O'Connor, noting that law enforcement has not previously had that power.
O’Connor also explained that the new law will allow the government to grant special powers to ordinary citizens known as “enforcement officers,” designated to “spy” on fellow citizens, and who have the power to shut down businesses or gatherings they deem to be too large.
The law shows “contempt for the very basics of human life: grieving, celebration, and faith,” he said. The freedom of religion addressed in the nation’s Bill of Rights was “completely ignored. I would suggest to you that it was deliberate and it is contemptible.”
In a separate speech delivered from the floor of Parliament, O’Connor said the omission of considerations “reflects a left-wing government view of religion and people of faith.”
“The bill is morally wrong. It is legally wrong. It is democratically wrong,” concluded O’Connor. “It is just not the Kiwi way.”
Another MP, Simeon Brown, said from the floor of Parliament that these new rules “go to the heart of what it means to be a Kiwi, and I find it abhorrent.”
Brown called for a more “proportionate” response. “This is not only an unfair change to the rules. It’s not only a misuse of the rules,” said Brown, “it’s an inhumane use of the rules.”
New Zealand’s original Level 4 State of Emergency was one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.
The new law will lift the more draconian elements of the State of Emergency – which has been in place since March 25 – and the country will now enter Level 2’s more relaxed restrictions at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, May 13.
“People were not free to move at all, other than daily walks outside their homes,” recounted one LifeSiteNews reader who lives in New Zealand.
“If that was not possible, then a very short drive was permissible,” she said. “One person per family at supermarkets. No travel across town. No ability to enter your business premises, even if alone. Complete lockdown.”
There are some who persist in believing that Jacinda Ardern is the “Prime Minister of Kindness” and really has our best interests at heart, but so many more see the problems arising.
I have heard there has been an increase in suicide because of the measures and the loss of people's livelihood. There are a good number of people awake to the socialist/globalist agenda. Unfortunately, many of them are not Catholic. Catholics, on the whole, tend to think that everything is just fine. Especially those who have brought the liberal social-justice agenda.
“When human societies lose their freedom, it’s not necessarily because tyrants have taken it away,” noted O'Connor, quoting English Lord Jonathan Sumption, a former UK Supreme Court Justice.
“It’s usually because people willingly surrender their freedom in return for protection against some external threat,” he said. “That's what I fear we are seeing now.”
May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Nearly 100 entertainment figures who promoted unsubstantiated rape allegations against future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have not held former Vice President Joe Biden to the same standard, according to a new analysis by a conservative media watchdog group.
Former Senate staffer Tara Reade alleges that in 1993, then-Senator Biden assaulted her in a “semi-private” stairwell on Capitol Hill. “He had me against the wall,” she says. “And then his hands were down my skirt and up my skirt. And I was wearing – I wasn’t wearing anything underneath. And then, with his hand, he went from there and entered me – with his hand – and as he was trying to kiss me, and saying things to me.”
Biden vociferously denies Reade’s claims, but has so far refused calls to unseal the University of Delaware’s records of his time in the Senate, which Reade says may still contain a copy of the complaint she filed with his office, as well as notes corroborating that she brought it up to former staffers of his at the time.
On Monday, NewsBustersreported that it has reviewed the public statements of 95 celebrities, including Alyssa Milano, Lady Gaga, and Jimmy Kimmel, and found that while they were quick to champion 2018 allegations that Kavanaugh had raped and assaulted multiple women in college, they have either downplayed or ignored Reade’s story.
Milano, for instance, went so far as to lead a sit-in at Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ office in hopes of pressuring her to vote against Kavanaugh. Last month, however, she wrote that while the Biden allegations “concern me, deeply,” she also “can’t picture (him) doing any of the things of which he’s accused,” and declared it “OK to be confused by the complexities progressive women face at every choice.”
Actress Bette Middler responded to the Kavanaugh claims by complaining that women were treated like “the n-word of the world,” yet attacked Reade by claiming someone was “paying to #SWIFTBOAT Joe Biden” (“swiftboat” is a left-wing term for making supposedly-false claims against a politician, coined to de-legitimize a group of Vietnam veterans who spoke out against John Kerry in 2004).
While the available evidence supporting Reade’s claims is far from conclusive, it is far stronger than that brought against Kavanaugh. The details include the fact that she has filed a police report (opening herself up to legal consequences if she’s found to be lying), the fact that a handful of former Reade associates say she told them about the incident in the 1990s, the discovery of a 1993 clip of Reade’s mother calling Larry King’s CNN show to discuss her daughter’s “problem” with a “prominent senator,” and a 1996 court document in Reade’s divorce corroborating that she had “related a problem that she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office.”
UPDATE (May 15, 5:25pm):LifeSite reached out to the WOOD-TV 8 newsroom on Thursday, May 14 to inform them they had “inaccuracies” in their report. The man who answered said that the newsroom already spoke with witnesses and the police and that they are "good to go” with the story. LifeSite asked him what witnesses he spoke with and he said, "well, it doesn't really matter." As LifeSite began informing the man we had video proof showing the women who were arrested did not enter the facility, the man hung up. Dr. Monica Miller called the newsroom earlier in the week requesting the story be updated as well but no change was made. However, on Friday, May 15, Heather Idoni, one of the women who was arrested, called the WOOD-TV 8 newsroom. Idoni told LifeSite the person who answered her call hung up on her when she began telling them they needed to correct their report. Idoni called again and said the woman who answered was more receptive and told her she would “look into it.” At 3:46pm on Friday, WOOD updated their report, noting that Idoni claimed she didn’t enter the building.
UPDATE (May 14, 10:45am): A Freedom of Information Act request has been submitted to the Grand Rapids Police Department in order to learn what the specific charges against Heather Idoni and Caroline Davis were. At present, their case is still considered “open,” which may delay the request. LifeSite has also reached out to the lead detective in the case, William Recor. All individuals who received trespassing citations will be pleading not guilty. This story has also updated what happened to Idoni and Davis after they were taken into police custody. The Grand Rapids police told local media that the pair entered the facility and shouted at women, which is what lead to their arrest. But Idoni and Davis did not enter the building. More updates will be provided as they become available.
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Two arrests and five trespassing citations were issued this week Wednesday during a Red Rose Rescue performed at an abortion mill in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The rescue, the fourth held in Michigan since September 2017, was organized by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, a Michigan-based anti-abortion group led by veteran activist Dr. Monica Miller.
Approximately 35 pro-life protestors appeared outside Heritage Women’s Center at 320 Fulton Avenue today beginning at 8:00 a.m. Dr. Thomas Gordon commits abortions inside the facility. Pamphlets with a list of Gordon’s prior civil and health code violations were distributed outside. Some protestors held signs with pro-life messages on them while some prayed silently and others shared Christian messages of hope and love to pregnant women as they entered the facility’s side door.
Miller was joined in the rescue effort by Matthew Connolly, Ann Norton, Robert “Doc” Kolavy, Caroline Davis, and Heather Idoni, ranging in ages 21 to 70. Dozens of local pro-lifers, including Rebecca Cooper of Protect Life Michigan, Grand Rapids Right to Life President Laura Alexandria, and long-time sidewalk counselor Leisa Snow, were also present.
The six rescuers took turns walking into the parking lot behind the facility and offered to help women in any way they could with their pregnancies. Several men, presumably boyfriends and husbands, were also seen leaving the property. One of them told Miller there was “something wrong with the baby” and that abortion was “the only choice.” A rosary could be seen hanging on the rear view mirror of his car as he sped away.
Dr. Gordon immediately confronted the rescuers when they started their activism, sticking his head outside the center’s door on multiple occasions to yell at them. At one point he threatened to kill Ann Norton, an elderly woman. “‘If you don’t get off my property — and then he put his hands in the shape of a gun — then I’m going to shoot you!,” she said he told her.
It was around the time of that incident when two officers from the Grand Rapids Police department showed up to warn the rescuers that they were trespassing. The rescuers, however, were undeterred. As more cars pulled in, they walked up to them and offered women red roses as a symbol of life. Attached to the roses was a card stating: “You were made to love and to be loved... your goodness is greater than the difficulties of your situation. Circumstances in life change. A new life, however tiny, brings the promise of unrepeatable joy.” The cards also featured the phone numbers of local pregnancy help centers.
Approximately 12 vehicles pulled into the parking lot this morning. Leisa Snow told LifeSiteNews that that number was half of what normally occurs. She said that the presence of the protestors on the sidewalk likely deterred “a good number” of women scheduled for abortions today.
Most of them likely decided to just keep on driving by when they saw the large crowd, she remarked. “This was a total disruption to their daily operations.”
Police showed up again to warn the rescuers that they were trespassing. Clearly frustrated, one officer began raising his voice, telling this journalist, who was photographing the rescuers as they pleaded with the pregnant women, that he needed to get off private property or else he would be detained. I had been momentarily standing in a grassy area behind the center’s parking lot.
Police then placed Miller, Kolavy, and Connolly into the back of their vehicles, although they were never handcuffed. Miller, who had momentarily entered the facility’s stairwell earlier in the morning, says she successfully talked the officer out of arresting them. She told LifeSite that the officer was complaining to her about having to be at the abortion center because there were “homicides” in the area he needed to focus on. Miller agreed with him, but pointed out that there are “homicides taking place right here inside this facility right now.” She and Kolavy were eventually issued a ticket for trespassing. Connolly did not receive a citation. Neither Miller nor Kolavy stepped foot on the parking lot again the entire morning.
For the next half hour activity outside Heritage Women’s Center seemed to calm down. Fewer cars were pulling in and police had not been around to check up on the rescuers. An egg, however, was thrown at the protestors standing on the sidewalk from a passing vehicle. One witness claims it came from a car that had previously been parked behind the abortion facility. Two counter-protestors eventually showed up as well.
Around 10:30 a.m. police were called back to the location, likely due to phone calls they received from a woman who was sitting in her car in the parking lot and waiting for her friend inside the center. Caroline Davis, 21, had been preaching the Gospel non-stop in a loud voice from the sidewalk in front of the facility.
The abortion center’s counseling supervisor, Kelly Benzin-Brinks, also came outside and could be seen complaining to the officers, who were not the same ones from earlier in the morning. The new officers, Timothy Fischer and Jordyn Smith, informed the protestors that the driveway to the parking lot must remain clear and unobstructed. The pro-lifers agreed and thanked the police, who left but parked in a nearby elevated parking lot adjacent to a Masonic Temple a half block away where they could still see the abortion center.
Soon after that warning was issued and the police left the premises, Heather Idoni approached a woman in the parking lot around 10:45 a.m. The two police officers returned. Without any warning they handcuffed and patted Idoni down. She was then placed in the back of the police vehicle.
As Idoni was being arrested, Davis, who hails from the state’s east side, was begging the officers to not arrest her and to listen “to God’s law” and not enforce laws that allow abortion to occur. Davis, like all of the other protesters, was standing on the sidewalk witnessing Idoni’s arrest as she spoke. Despite that, the male police officer singled her out. He came up to her and without any warning grabbed her arm, lead her to his vehicle, patted her down, and handcuffed her. LifeSiteNews repeatedly asked the police officer what the charge against Davis was but received no answer. Both Idoni and Davis were taken away in the back of the police vehicles.
Miller and the other rescuers remained at the facilty until 12:00 p.m. Both Idoni and Davis were brought to the Kent County Jail, where they remained in the booking area. Idoni told LifeSite that they were released around 1:00pm. She said it felt like they were trying to get them released “very quickly.” They were let go on a $500 personal recognizance bond. They, as well as the other rescuers, will be appearing at the 61stDistrict Court at 8:30am, Wednesday, May 20.
MLive.com, a local media outlet, reported the incident in this way:
“[Sgt. Dan] Adams said he believed officers ‘didn’t have much of a choice’ in making arrests after two of the protesters stepped inside the clinic despite repeated warnings.”
WOOD-TV 8, the Grand Rapids NBC affiliate, originally reported the story this way:
“Sgt. Dan Adams with GRPD said after officers repeatedly tried to instruct and warn protesters not to enter the facility if they weren’t welcomed, three people were ticketed for trespassing.
Despite the warning, two more people went into the building and yelled at employees and others inside, police say. The two people were arrested and taken to the Kent County Jail.”
WOOD updated it’s original report on Friday, May 15 after Idoni called them to clarify she hadn’t entered the building. The updated report includes the following sentence: “However, an organizer with the protest says no one entered the building."
No warning was ever given to Idoni or Davis individually by police and neither entered the facility. Idoni did tell LifeSite that she approached the center’s door at one point but did not enter it because the clinic director was standing on the other side. Davis herself stepped on the parking lot on mulitple occasions throughout the morning but was never given a warning by any police officer to not do so again. She was on the sidewalk outside the facility when she was arrested, having never entered the facility the entire time she was there.
May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The long-running game show The Price Is Right took a hit to its reputation as unifying family entertainment Monday evening with its guest host, Emmy-winning drag queen RuPaul, donating nearly $100,000 to the notorious abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
The host of RuPaul’s Drag Race joined the show’s current regular host, comedian Drew Carey, for the CBS special The Price is Right At Night, during which RuPaul pledged to give Planned Parenthood a donation matching the final total of prizes won by contestants.
RuPaul "coming on down" to play for Planned Parenthood on @PriceIsRight is what we NEED right now! Thank you, @RuPaul ��
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had some tough words Tuesday for the top infectious disease expert advising the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, questioning why so much decision-making has seemingly been delegated to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared via teleconference before a hearing of the Senate Health Committee.
“The history of this will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction,” said Paul, who is an ophthalmologist as well as the only senator confirmed to have had the coronavirus. “I think we ought to have a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what's best for the economy, and as much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all. I don't think you're the one person that gets to make the decision,” about when schools and businesses may reopen.
Paul expressed particular concern for the danger that, “if we keep kids out of school for another year, what's going to happen is the poor and underprivileged kids who don't have a parent that's able to teach them at home are not going to learn for a full year.”
“I have never made myself out to be the end all,” Fauci responded. “I'm a scientist, a physician, and a public health official; I give advice, according to the best scientific evidence.”
“I don't give advice about economic things [or] anything other than public health,” he said. He added that he didn’t want to be “cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects” of the coronavirus.
During Fauci’s tenure advising President Donald Trump, critics have raised concerns over several of his public comments, from suggesting the possibility of requiring Americans to carry “certificates” documenting their immunity to COVID-19, to implying that the public might have to wait for a vaccine to be developed, tested, and released before regaining their freedoms.
Fauci has also called for the practice of handshaking to be abolished but says sex with strangers remains alright if “you’re willing to take a risk.”
“It depends on the level of the interaction that you want to have,” Fauci said when asked about sex hookups via the dating apps Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr. “If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on, and you know, chat a bit. If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk.”
Acting on Fauci’s advice, Trump has been generally supportive of locking down, but in recent days has been leaning more strongly in the direction of reopening, last week rejecting proposed reopening guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the grounds that they imposed too many conditions on states and individual liberty, and could do further damage to the economy.
As of May 13, the United States is estimated to have seen 1,411,370 cases of the coronavirus, with 83,567 deaths and 298,643 recoveries, although mounting evidence suggests far more of the public has contracted and recovered from the virus than the official count indicates. At the same time, state bans on “non-essential” activity across the country have caused massive job losses, with more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment and studies predicting that tens of thousands of small businesses that have closed down will never reopen.
Other medical experts argue that the evidence warrants a strategy more narrowly targeted toward protecting the elderly and immunocompromised while allowing the younger and healthier to go about their lives. “If we focus on the elderly, we will bring a death rate that is likely no more than 1% down to fractions of a percent,” says Dr. Donald Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
HERTFORDSHIRE, England, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A man who helped lobby the UK government on behalf of the Catholic bishops to close their churches to private prayer is a convicted thief and lifelong LGBT activist who once left his Catholic faith and served as a Protestant minister.
A LifeSite investigation has uncovered that Jim G. McManus, 54, the Vice-Chair for the Healthcare Reference Group for the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW), is James Gough McManus, the former minister of an LGBT church who was convicted in 1999 of 11 counts of theft against Northern Counties Trust, a HIV/AIDS charity he reportedly helped to found. He also was named in a legal investigation into his role at the National Health Service’s Barking and Dagenham Primary Care Trust.
After LifeSiteNews contacted McManus about these and other aspects of his multifaceted career, he did not respond personally. Instead we received an email from his solicitor Shubha Nath. An article at the Barking and Dagenham Post about McManus’ 2010 trial was also taken down. (At time of publishing this article, it was still available on Google cache here, but that has now been removed. LifeSite has saved a copy here.)
In late March the CBCEW explained that McManus played a key role in convincing the government to close churches after guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government directed that “places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer” during the current coronavirus lockdown. In addition to serving as Vice-Chair of the CBCEW Healthcare Reference Group, McManus is the Director of Public Health for the Hertfordshire County Council.
“Professor [sic] Jim McManus has spoken with a senior civil servant and it was quite clear they just had not thought through the issues of infection and security of churches and when he made these points clear, they were appalled and agreed they had made a mistake,” the Archdiocese of Westminster stated.
In an April 1 article on the church closures, published in The Tablet, McManus explains that he had attended a briefing with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson less than a week before the churches were closed.
But now Catholics are questioning the wisdom of the CBCEW in relying so heavily on the judgement of a man who has twice been in serious trouble with the law.
LifeSite has confirmed with Teesside Crown Court that James Gough McManus was convicted by a jury of 11 counts of theft against Northern Counties Trust on March 9, 1999 and sentenced on the same date to 21 months’ imprisonment. He was found not guilty on a charge of theft against his former employer Cleveland County Council.
The English LGBT magazine “Gscene” recalled the trial in its May 2019 edition. In its “Twenty Years Ago This Month” retrospective, the magazine wrote:
Big news in May [sic] 1999 was the jailing of the former Director of the Sussex AIDS Centre, Jim McManus, who received a 21 month prison sentence for stealing £15,000 from Northern Counties Trust, an AIDS Charity he helped set up in Cleveland [Middlesbrough, England]. The judge Michael Taylor told McManus that his defence had been a “tissue of lies,” and there were "no redeeming features” to his case.
McManus’ trial in 1998 attracted attention for an unusual reason: according to the BBC, it was the first time a witness was allowed to give testimony from home. LifeSiteNews reached out to the witness, LGBT “Pride Radio” personality Jonathan Morrell, but did not receive a response.
McManus does not currently list his role with Cleveland County Council on his online CV but includes on his Hertfordshire University page references to publications in which he identified himself as a Cleveland County Council HIV worker. Two of the articles are in Health Education Journal, June 1994 and September 1994. A 1995 article, entitled “Promoting sexual health: the local government contribution” is not listed on his academic page.
Eleven years after his conviction, in April 2010 the Barking and Dagenham Post reported that McManus was due to stand trial in September that year for obtaining money from his then-employer, the NHS’s Barking and Dagenham Primary Care Trust, “through deception” and failing to inform them that he had “awarded contracts worth over £8,000.” It is unclear whether the trial in fact took place. The original link to the Barking and Dagenham Post article (here) is now dead. At time of publishing this article, it was available on Google cache here, but that has now been removed. LifeSite has saved a copy here.
According to his LinkedIn profile, McManus worked for the Barking and Dagenham PCT from January 2005 until October 2008. McManus also mentions his fellowship in the Faculty of Public Health, using the post-nominal title FFPH. In 2008, he was cited by the FPH as a “New Fellow” in the name “James Gough McManus,” the name under which he was convicted in 1999. (See page 19.)
LifeSiteNews has written to McManus to inquire about the eventual outcome of the scheduled trial reported by the Barking and Dagenham Post.
LGBT activism included pastoral ministry in gay church
Last month LifeSiteNews reported that McManus, who displays both the Vatican flag and the rainbow “pride” flag on his Twitter profile, has a history of LGBT activism and support for LGBT education in UK schools.
However, LifeSiteNews can now reveal that McManus, the Secretary of the Scottish Homosexual Rights Group in 1985, had by 1995 given up his childhood Catholic faith and become a clergyman in the LGBT-centered Metropolitan Community Church (MCC).
In 1995 the Newcastle Evening Chronicle interviewed young Reverend Jim McManus about a film featuring a sexually active gay Catholic priest. The MCC pastor explained that when growing up as a Catholic, he “had always been told that homosexuality was wrong.”
“It was not until I was at university in Glasgow studying Theology that I decided I could not stay in the Catholic Church,” McManus told the Evening Chronicle.
“I thought God made me this way, and there must be a reason why.”
He began to train as an Anglican minister but left his first assignment after Anglican parishioners “did not accept the fact he is gay.”
McManus explains in that article: “I spent years defending why I am gay and Christian. Now I couldn’t care less what people think about my sexuality or my Christianity. I’m living my life the way I think God wants me to.”
He condemned Catholic doctrine about homosexuality, stating: “Telling people its alright to be gay so long as they remain celibate is like putting them in front of a sweet shop [i.e. candy store] and saying, don’t go in. It really is pathetic.”
LifeSiteNews has spoken to a clergyman at Edinburgh's Augustine United Church, the Rev. Max Reay, who confirmed that the former Rev. James Gough McManus is Jim McManus, the current Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire County Council.
Reay confirmed that Rev. McManus had come to Edinburgh in 1995 as part of a pastoral team from the Newcastle MCC. According to an online history of the Edinburgh MCC, McManus took part in Edinburgh's first gay Pride parade and encouraged the new congregation’s establishment. The Edinburgh MCC community has now merged with Augustine United Church.
A 1995 issue of “Pulse,” a “monthly magazine for Gay Men,” reported that McManus performed extra-legal “marriage” ceremonies at Pride Scotia that year.
“Some performances were being conducted well away from the main stage. Such as the marriages being conducted by the Rev James McManus, team pastor with the Metropolitan Community Church Newcastle. Maybe next year someone will be lining up to do the divorces - honest only kidding folks,” Pulse reported.
McManus also quotes Goss saying “[a] queer liberation theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified with the liberation goals of its community.”
In the same article McManus describes “coming out” as “sacramental,” arguing that “God is the one who makes me ’come out’.”
“The process of coming out, coming into acceptance of self, and of coming into relationship, are all things which have a significance which can truly be called sacramental,” he writes.
“In a lesbian and gay context, sanctification can be seen as a part of the process of coming fulfilment, of coming to be oneself, of coming out,” McManus says in another part of the article.
“It is not whether but how we can be lesbian or gay and Christian that is the question for the next century,” McManus wrote.
An online edition of Scottish LGBT publication “ScotsGay” dated 1997 claimed that McManus was eventually suspended by the MCC for “action unbecoming a minister.” LifeSiteNews has attempted to confirm this suspension with the Governing Board of the MCC, but has not received an answer.
Gay porn in ‘safer’ sex campaign
During this part of McManus’ career, he was working as an HIV/AIDS worker for Cleveland County Council and the Northern Counties Trust for People Living With AIDS. LifeSiteNews has obtained photographs of the pornographic “Safer Sex” posters sponsored by McManus’ Northern Counties Trust in the early 1990s. They are available for viewing online at Wikimedia Commons and in the archives of the Wellcome Collection museum and library.
LifeSiteNews has chosen not to link directly to the pages due to the nature of their content. They include full male nudity, exposed genitalia, and homosexual sexual acts. The obvious intent of the posters is to arouse sexual excitement in homosexual male viewers.
LifeSiteNews has asked McManus if he advocated the use of the images in the Safer Sex campaign.
Advocacy for same-sex ‘marriage’
In 2002, McManus published an article in which he identified himself as both a “gay man” and a Catholic. In 2003 he became the Vice-Chair of the Health and Social Care Advisory Group to the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW). Nevertheless, McManus continued his LGBT activism and in 2006 publicly opposed Catholic doctrine concerning marriage, saying there were no “grounds” for restricting marriage to “differently-sexed couples.”
In July 2006, the Gay & Lesbian Psychiatric Review (Vol. 7, No. 2) published a statement by Jim McManus, together with Peter Hegarty and Meg Barker, on behalf of the Committee of the Lesbian & Gay Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. Titled “Public Statement on the Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships,” the article commended the British government for establishing Civil Partnerships but demanded legal recognition for same-sex “marriage.”
“In conclusion,” they wrote, “we welcome the recognition of same-sex civil partnerships in the UK, but do not recognise the restriction of marriage rights to differently-sexed couples as valid or defensible on psychological or other grounds.”
Strangely, an online version of this statement has been posted with McManus’ name removed from the byline. His name remains, however, in the original edition of the Gay & Lesbian Psychiatric Review, as does the information that McManus was a member of its editorial board, as well as of the “Directorate of Public Health, Barking & Dagenham Primary Care Trust.”
Despite his continued roles in the Catholic Church, McManus is still an LGBT advocate. Last year, he gave the following speech prior to the raising of the rainbow “pride” flag at Hertfordshire County Council.
A copy of his prepared notes was subsequently posted to Twitter.
We are celebrating our first official item in our new LGBTQ+ archive! This speech, complete with handwritten notes, was given by Jim McManus, Director of Public health @hertscc at the official raising of the rainbow flag above County Hall last August #LGBT#LGBTQ#Queer#archivespic.twitter.com/o3MyUI12Wc
“Hertfordshire CC is working locally to put one building block of that in place through our LGBT+ Allies Scheme, which was developed by the county council’s LGBT+ Staff Group last August. An ‘ally’ is a worker who pledges to be a visible supporter and advocate for LGBT+ co-workers by wearing a noticeable rainbow-coloured staff ID lanyard. With over 530 supporters in just six months, we are fostering a more open and supportive working environment.”
Pro-life credentials in doubt
McManus, who is also the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Catholic Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford, is a high-ranking member of the pro-abortion Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH).
On March 30 the Westminster government authorized women in England to kill their preborn children at home by using both pills for a chemical early abortion. A government spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care said that the change was being made on a temporary basis only and is time-limited for two years, or until the coronavirus crisis is over. It was the third time the abortion law had changed in the space of a week; the government had first announced the change and then reversed the decision within 24 hours.
On April 8 the ADPH, of which McManus is Vice-President, stated in a policy document that it was “essential” that this policy was delivered.
The ADPH document also calls for such “essential services” to be “extended across the United Kingdom.”
The same ADPH document also links to another policy statement published on March 26 (before the re-instatement of permission for home abortions) which called for a “[t]emporary transition to provide extensive range of sexual and reproductive care through remote (online/telephone/postal) ways of working.”
A celebrated, influential figure within the Catholic Church in England and Wales
The source who first alerted LifeSiteNews to McManus’ colorful internet footprint stated that McManus “will need to resign from his position as the Vice-Chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales healthcare group and cease all formal and informal ties to the Bishops’ Conference―immediately.”
But Vice-Chair of the Healthcare Reference Group is not the only role McManus has recently played in the Catholic Church. LifeSiteNews has ascertained that McManus was a Knight and then a Grand Knight of the Knights of St. Columba sodality in Birmingham between November 2008 and July 2012.
Jim McManus stated on his LinkedIn CV that he was a Trustee of the Diocese of Birmingham from 2009 to 2014. A spokesman for the Diocese told LifeSiteNews that a Jim McManus was indeed a Trustee from October 2011 to February 2015 but would not confirm that it was the same man. The spokesman had no further comment.
McManus has also stated on his LinkedIn CV that he has been a Companion of the Knights of Malta since 2008. However, Philippa Leslie, a spokeswoman for the Companions of the Knights of Malta would neither confirm nor deny that McManus belongs to the auxiliary group.
The award was granted to McManus less than four years after the Good Samaritan Medal was given to Thomas Williams, the Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool and then-Chair of the CBCEW’s Healthcare Reference Group, by Cardinal Barragán. According to Zenit, McManus gave a paper at the July 2007 event.
This may not have been the first time all three men were together. According to Independent Catholic News, Cardinal Barragán, Bishop Williams and McManus were all scheduled to take part in the annual Catholics in Healthcare seminar on June 28, 2003.
Bishop Williams told LifeSiteNews Tuesday morning that he didn’t know that McManus had been convicted of theft, had served as a clergyman in the Metropolitan Community Church, had reportedly performed extra-legal “marriage” ceremonies in Edinburgh in 1995, or made a statement in favour of same-sex “marriage” in 2006.
“This is dreamland, as far as I’m concerned,” Williams said. “I haven’t heard any of that.”
The auxiliary bishop also said, “As far as I know, Jim is extremely pro-life.”
At least two of McManus’ academic honours are in doubt. Although he is styled “Prof” or “Professor” and in some news reports and academic websites “Dr”, LifeSiteNews has been unable to ascertain which academic institutions granted him these honorifics. Although he lays claim to many diplomas, McManus does not cite any university degree more advanced than a Bachelor of Divinity from Glasgow University.
St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, lists a “Professor Jim McManus, University of Hertfordshire” as one of its trustees, but the University of Hertfordshire would not confirm to LifeSiteNews that he is their “Professor”. The London School of Economics acknowledges him as a “Visiting Professor in Practice with CPEC (Care Policy and Evaluation Centre) at LSE,” but did not specify from what organization he was visiting.
A “Dr. Jim McManus” claiming membership of the now-defunct “Heythrop College, University of London” is listed as a member of the Centre of Philosophy and Theology at the University of Nottingham. McManus has elsewhere stated that he was a “Visiting Research Fellow” at Heythrop College. A spokesman for the Centre of Philosophy and Theology could not confirm where Dr. Jim McManus received his title.
Attempts to contact the archives of Glasgow University to establish McManus’ earliest academic achievements were inconclusive, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown in Scotland. And despite the pleas of Catholic laity in England, Wales, and Scotland, the churches across the UK also remain shut.
LifeSiteNews has reached out to the CBCEW, the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and Bishop Paul Mason for comment. Jim McManus’ solicitor has indicated that McManus will answer our questions within 7 to 10 days.
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski died in 2016.
To respectfully and charitably communicate your wishes to your bishops, please use this search engine to find contact details for Catholic bishops in England and Wales. Cardinal Nichols, the president of the CBCEW, can be contacted at [email protected], 020 7798 9033.
US bishop: You can’t be Catholic and ‘pro-abortion’
'Just saw a headline in a Catholic newspaper with the phrase 'pro-abortion Catholic,'' noted Bishop Thomas Tobin. 'Sorry. That's a contradiction in terms.'
Wed May 13, 2020 - 10:00 am EST
By Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The bishop of the smallest U.S. state strongly criticized those who claim to be Catholic yet think it’s no problem to defend abortion.
In a tweet sent out on May 7, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island said one cannot be an “authentic” Catholic and hold a pro-abortion position.
“Just saw a headline in a Catholic newspaper with the phrase ‘pro-abortion Catholic.’ Sorry. That’s a contradiction in terms. You can’t be a Catholic, at least not an authentic one, and be ‘pro-abortion.’ Or ‘pro-choice.’ It’s the same thing,” said Tobin.
On May 7, the National Catholic Registerran an article with the headline “Running for President as a Pro-Abortion Catholic, Is Biden a Problem for US Bishops?”
PETITION: Support pro-lifers threatened and arrested for praying outside of abortion facilities! Sign the petition here.
Former vice president Joe Biden, who says he is a practicing Catholic, is the Democratic Party’s de facto nominee for president and is pro-abortion.
While many prominent celebrities and politicians who say they are Catholic openly support the pro-abortion Democrat Party, Tobin in the past has held firm in his resolve to hold Catholics to account to the teachings of the Church.
In 2009, Tobin made headlines after asking then–U.S. representative Patrick Kennedy not to receive Communion because of his pro-abortion political stance.
In 2016, Tobin asked faithful Catholics to vote pro-life in Rhode Island’s primary election, saying “never to vote for any candidate, of any party, who supports abortion.” He also drew the ire of LGBT activists in 2019 after he said in a Twitter message that “Pride Month” activities are harmful to kids.
WARNING: This article contains graphic material of a sexual nature.
May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Amazing what one can discover about American public schools through a public records request.
In California, Karen England, head of Capitol Resource Institute, sought the documents of 900 school districts through a FOIA request and found a number of smoking guns where students are subjected to lessons and activities conveying dangerous, obscene and medically inaccurate information.
Among the shocking revelations involved CA elementary schools. With a heads up from a concerned parent, Capitol Resource confirmed her suspicions through retrieved documents.
It’s bad enough that schools throughout the state are allowing “sex ed squads” and have student-privacy-invading contracts with Planned Parenthood (more on that later). If Gov. Gavin Newsome is looking to trim the strapped state budget, cancelling school contracts with abortion providers might be a good place to start.
But England was shocked at what she discovered about the PTA. Yes, that same PTA, the one we thought focused on bake sales and playground fundraisers.
At one Sacramento-area grade school, the PTA contracts with Planned Parenthood to present assemblies to fifth graders, which are actually sex education discussions called “Puberty Talks.” These have taken place over the past two years and are planned for next year as well.
Isn’t it a blessing that children are home right now and can escape being subjected to pro-abortion, pro-promiscuity lessons? In fifth grade? Unless all this outrage is conducted online instead.
But youngsters in California will be forced to sit through such lessons next year if the PTA’s “assemblies” budget line item is fulfilled as planned with a speaker from the abortion giant.
Programs like this are fallout from the 2016 agenda-laden California Healthy Youth Act, which is anything but healthy, pushing proudly pro-abortion propaganda. There’s no “opt-out” for lessons promoting “LGBT” behavior, which are required. And teaching abstinence-only is prohibited in this law that normalizes high-risk, early sexual activity even for middle schoolers.
During the fifth grade PTA puberty presentation, the Planned Parenthood representative addresses boys and girls together with details about erections and ejaculation. Children are told they should talk to a “trusted adult” about these matters. And, of course, they are hearing this from the largest abortion provider in America, seeking to gain trust from 10- and 11-year-old future clients.
This curriculum funded by PTA also teaches these children about gender identity by claiming that sex at birth is simply “assigned.” A PowerPoint slide shows children a version of the infamous “Genderbread Person” graphic, where genitals differ from “sexual orientation” and “gender expression.” During the anatomy lesson, the process of puberty is described for “bodies with a penis” or “bodies with a vulva,” instead of “boys” or “girls.”
And this, they claim, is “medically accurate.” The life-destroying ideology of Planned Parenthood leaves room for infinite levels of destructive fantasy.
Parents have not been fully advised about the PTA’s actions. Let’s recall that PTA stands for “Parent-Teacher Association,” although the rights of parents to direct the sexual instruction of their children were disrespected by the PTA when a representative testified recently against a California bill, SB 673, which proposed an “opt-in” provision for elementary sex ed. The bill did not pass out of its committee in January 2020.
This instruction is ongoing at several Sacramento-area grade schools. Meanwhile, what’s happening in California middle and high schools is enough to make a parent’s head explode, and Capitol Resource recently uncovered that as well.
“Sex ed squads” are operating at a number of schools in the Golden State as an activity for students. These are essentially sex-ed clubs, and some even operate “sex-ed bootcamps.” They teach kids detailed condom use with penis models, lots about “lubrication” and how to use dental dams for anal and oral sex. One dialogue has the instructor explaining to kids that they are about to have a lesson about flavored condoms. The dialogue goes like this: “What are flavored condoms for? Oral sex on a penis!”
Sex ed squads are an approved after-school activity, apparently, in Bay area California high schools like Westmoor, Terra Nova, Jefferson, Oceana and also high schools in the Los Angeles area. The goal is to train participants to become “peer educators,” with stated goals to “talk about sex and sexuality every week after school,” “teach about condoms and STIs in freshman health classes,” “participate in fun stuff like sex-ed bootcamps,” and “learn more about their bodies and become more responsible when it comes to being safer.”
Safer? Not so much. Being guided away from underage sexual activity would be truly safe.
The sex ed squads also teach students about “pleasure” through vaginal, oral and anal sex, in pornographic detail. Click here to see what the Daly City high schoolers are offered. High school sex-ed squads (sometimes simply called “sex squads”) are a project of UCLA.
Capitol Resource’s document request unearthed even more child corruption activities in California schools. Planned Parenthood has contracts (“a memorandum of understanding”) with numerous middle and high schools to teach sessions that line up with the California Healthy Youth Act. These agreements allow PP to both administer “assessments” to students (i.e., tests and questionnaires) and also to retain the student responses and demographic information about age, gender, and ethnicity (Lipman Middle School; Orick School District; Stellar Charter School).
Although parental opt-in is permitted for elementary grades, passive opt-out for parents can be the procedure for grades 7 through 12, the agreement states. Yet few parents seem to know any of this is taking place.
No photos or videos are permitted during the sessions taught by a representative of Planned Parenthood of Northern California, according to the agreement.
Has the California Healthy Youth Act resulted in positive “health” for the state’s students? Or is it just a tool for child corruption backed by adult, sex-oriented special interests?
Parents need to kick these deviants out of schools, now.
May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — As the debate over whether the cure is worse than the disease with regard to the COVID-19 lockdowns grows, progressives are responding to the suggestion of some that it may be time to loosen restrictions by leveling their favorite criticism at Republicans and conservatives: See? You’re not pro-life at all!
The headlines are nearly nonstop, with Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post leading the charge. Rubin is one of those commentators who, for entirely mysterious reasons, gets called “conservative” despite the fact that she holds no conservative positions on social issues, fawns embarrassingly over Joe Biden, and loathes Donald Trump so much that her Twitter feed often prompts genuine concern from those who peruse it. In fact, I would have had no idea she was conservative if her Twitter bio hadn’t told me.
Rubin, who is herself pro-abortion, has decided that tearing into conservatives over the alleged hypocrisy of being both a) opposed to aborting babies in the womb and b) skeptical that sweeping lockdowns will not cause more harm than good is a fruitful line of attack. On April 14, for example, she produced a column titled “The GOP is not a pro-life party,” apparently assuming that that could persuade readers that she is a good judge of who is and who is not pro-life.
A few days later on April 20, she penned another angry column titled “Rolling back the curtain on the not-all-that-pro-life movement.” And then, just in case we all hadn’t gotten the point, Rubin inflicted another fresh portion of confusing accusations on her editors with a May 6 column titled “At least we can dump the pretense that the GOP is the ‘pro-life’ party.” This column, too, made the same tired point: Republicans who disagree with Rubin on the best way to respond to the COVID-19 crisis are obviously pro-death, mostly because they disagree with her. And because they oppose butchering babies in the womb while disagreeing with her, this makes them hypocrites.
This accusation is so boring and clichéd that I’m somewhat surprised that it took Rubin three columns to articulate it. As leading pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf, the author of The Case for Life and Pro-Life 101, noted on my podcast last week, the pro-life position is that we can never intentionally kill an innocent human being. That’s it. Pro-lifers can radically differ (and do) on the best economic models, foreign policy, taxes, and the welfare state, just so long as they oppose killing innocent human beings. The idea that declining to endorse Jennifer Rubin’s preferred economic reopening strategy (and it is unsurprising that a woman who can work and earn her paycheck from home isn’t in much of a hurry to end the lockdowns) means that someone isn’t pro-life is idiotic.
Progressives like Rubin — especially those claiming to be conservative in order to get on the payrolls of media organizations who then pay them to attack and berate their “fellow” conservatives — like to accuse pro-lifers of hypocrisy because it kills two birds with one stone. First, they get to discredit opponents of killing pre-born children, which they very much want to do. Second, they get to distract people from the fact that they do support killing pre-born children in the womb by pretending they are pro-life because they support preferred policy X and the anti-abortion folks do not. Win-win.
Jennifer Rubin and the rest of the pundits who support the legal destruction of human beings in the womb appear to think it is a clever gotcha move to take the slogan of a movement dedicated to fighting the legal destruction of human beings in the womb and turn it against us. If they weren’t so blinded by partisan rage, or capable of attempting to understand the motives and positions of their ideological opponents, perhaps they wouldn’t produce such drivel.
Being “pro-life” means one thing: opposing the killing of innocent human beings. It does not mean “having a policy disagreement with Jennifer Rubin.” Somebody should tell her that.
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 Scott Klusendorf about the fundamental flaw Klusendorf sees in the idea of locking down the country under the guise of preventing people from getting coronavirus.
You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below:
May 13, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – With the reopening of kindergartens and primary schools in France this week (secondary schools are to follow later) as “deconfinement” measures are progressively implemented, schoolteachers are facing extremely detailed list of dos and don'ts that include preventing children from approaching each other at less than 1 meter, even during recess, and banning any form of ball games because – government booklets say – teachers cannot be expected to clean the ball each time a pupil has touched it.
But beyond the Kafkaesque rules and regulations aimed even at 3- to 5-year-olds, a system of surveillance and denunciation is already in place that openly encourage school personnel to trace “sectarian deviance” or talk of “conspiracy theories” regarding the COVID-19 crisis and its management by public authorities.
Two official documents were published ahead of the reopening of schools. One, titled “Listening to what returning students have to say after the COVID-19 confinement,” aims at rebuilding “resilience” in what is presented as a return to a “secure” environment – as if being at home, together with their parents, could be considered as a trauma. The document is available here on the official site for teachers, Eduscol.
The second document, on the same website, bears the title “COVID-19 and risks of sectarian deviance.” It speaks even more clearly about a possible change in students’ attitudes because of “exterior or family influence.”
Taken together, the two sets of guidelines will establish a clear framework in which teachers in public schools and in state-funded private schools are clearly being encouraged to identify deviant opinions, thoughts and attitudes and even report families they suspect are questioning official propaganda on the coronavirus pandemic. In other words: thought police.
The first document, which is all about “listening,” presents the monitoring of pupils as a way of helping them get over a difficult period that they perhaps did not understand, in which they were confronted with illness and death. It presents itself as aiming to offer psychological help after a traumatic experience. The document insists that schoolchildren must understand that the end of confinement is not a “return to normal.”
This revolutionary vocabulary can be found in the idea that we are in a “moment of personal and collective transition,” a new “construction” or “reconstruction” that will require “adjustments and transformation.”
A whole plan of action will be installed in schools, including identification of pupils who find themselves in a fragile or traumatic situation, and interventions on the part of school nurses or outside speakers in charge of “listening” to the students. It is suggested that when “necessary,” students can be directed to have an appointment with a nurse, a social worker, psychologist or public school doctor, nothing being said about the right of parents to know about such a direction.
Group activities are also encouraged, “in full respect of the sanitary doctrine,” to allow students to express themselves. Reading between the lines, this sounds a lot like group therapy in which predefined answers are prompted by the person leading the group.
The second document about “sectarian deviance” speaks more specifically of what youngsters may have heard at home during the nine weeks in which they were free from the influence of state education. According to the documents’ introduction, dozens of reports related to the COVID-19 crisis have already been received by the official agency (MIVILUDES) in charge of supervising “sectarian deviance.”
These guidelines complement the “listening” guidelines that are in fact emphatic about repeating the official line on the coronavirus pandemic, lockdown and further regulations linked to the sanitary crisis. The present message is that there could soon be a “second wave” of infections and that an emergency lockdown will then take place.
Infectologist Didier Raoult of Marseille has repeatedly said the current curves of infection, illness and fatalities are more or less the same the world over, with or without lockdown, and that in that respect, COVID-19 is reacting like most viral attacks and is in fact rapidly fading away.
In schools, pupils are instead expected to learn to identify “fake news” and “disinformation,” which means anything that contradicts the official public discourse on the Chinese coronavirus.
Among ideas that are presented as being linked to dangerous cults preached by “gurus or ideologists” are those that suggest that the pandemic is “a revealer of divine will and power,” “a warning from ‘Nature,’ obscure forces or divine spirits” (so much for Pope Francis’ repeated statements about Nature responding to man’s neglect of the Earth’s needs), “a ‘chastisement sent by God’ and a sign of the imminence of the apocalypse,” “a return to believing as the only saving response.”
It will be up to the teachers to identify children whose legal responders have certain ideologies or beliefs that lead them to neglect or oppose public health advice or who “circumvent confinement measures in order to join meetings, refuse treatment, medical tests or blood tests, etc.”
Teachers must also watch children back from several weeks at home for signs of a change of behavior, which in certain circumstances should be signaled to competent authorities, the document explains.
Ironically, the guidelines encourage teachers to watch out for those who “manipulate fear” and use social media to spread videos and advice regarding the crisis, as well as “conspiracy theories that are added to nearly erroneous information in order to participate in the loss of control of public opinion.”
That last phrase is most interesting because it suggests that public opinion needs to be controlled …
While the document encourages teachers to explain to their students that cults often recommend inefficient practices, foods or regimens that are purported to build immunity from COVID-19, it adds that it is important to tell them that there is no “miracle treatment” that can prevent or heal COVID-19.
The French government has systematically ridiculed or minimized possible treatments that can reduce the viral load of the Chinese virus and the gravity of disease linked to the infection, such as hydroxychloroquine associated with antibiotics, or an antibiotic together with anti-asthma and anticoagulant medication that doctors in France and Belgium say have allowed them not to send a single COVID-19 positive patient to hospital since they started using them.
Instead, government guidelines tell patients to stay at home if they have symptoms without any other treatment than Paracetamol and only go to hospital when they are in acute respiratory distress.
Apparently, raising doubts about this policy is already a sign of “sectarian deviance.”
The government is also telling teachers to listen to a state-controlled radio program together with their students about “Rumours and misleading information at the time of the coronavirus.” Other activities that are purported to develop a “rational, autonomous and enlightened” mind are also encouraged.
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The World Health Organization has been spotlighted in the news recently thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but how much do you actually know about the WHO?
In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Rebecca Oas from the Center for Family and Human Rights, joins Jonathon to talk about the background of the WHO, their current work, and why pro-lifers should be leery of the programs they promote.
Oas and Van Maren discuss the how the WHO has come to be more of a political organization than a health organization, especially with their promotion of abortion.