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News

Trump accuses Obama of ‘treason’ for ‘spying’ on his 2016 presidential campaign

'Treason. Treason. It’s treason.'
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 9:17 pm EST
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Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

WASHINGTON D.C., June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump accused former president Barack Obama of “treason” for “spying” on Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign in an interview aired yesterday with CBN News.

After referencing Trump’s claim that Obama had been involved in spying on his 2016 presidential campaign, CBN News political analyst David Brody asked Trump what crime could have been committed.

“Treason. Treason. It’s treason,” Trump replied.

“They were spying on my campaign,” Trump continued. “I told you that a long time ago. Turned out I was right. Let’s see what happens to them now.”

“I want to stay out of it because otherwise it’s going to look political,” Trump said. “Let’s see what they come up with.”

Trump praised Attorney General Bill Barr during the interview, saying, “he’s doing such a good job. He’s law and order.”

“I will say this: if it were reversed, and the other party were there in the Oval Office behind the Resolute desk and it was the opposite, two years ago, 25 people would have been convicted and they would have been sent to jail for 50 years,” Trump claimed.

Trump also touted his pro-life credentials during the interview, in contrast to his presidential rival Joe Biden, and appeared to express disappointment with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling to redefine “sex” and write transgenderism into 1964 law.

Asked what a Biden win in November would mean, Trump replied “that’s going to be the end of pro-life.”

“It means that you’re going to put a radical lefty on the Court and that’s going to be the end of pro-life, it won’t even have a chance,” he said.

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

When asked about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling and the support it received from Trump-appointed justice Neil Gorsuch and President George W. Bush’s appointee, Justice John Roberts, Trump replied, “Well, so far we’re not doing too well.”

“Look, we’ve had a lot of losses with a Court that was supposed to be in our favor,” he continued.

Trump said the ruling showed just how significant the appointment of judges would be in the coming years.

“You’ll probably have a couple of more judges in the next four years, it could even be more than that — could be three or four,” he continued.

“If you have a radical left group of judges, religion I think will be almost wiped out at America. If you look at it, pro-life will be absolutely wiped out. So if you have that happening, pro-life is going to be out. It’s going to be gone.”


  2020 presidential election, barack obama, donald trump, treason

News

Trump says he’d ‘love’ to appoint top LGBT activist to ‘high level’ in his admin

Richard Grenell, formerly U.S. ambassador to Germany, just finished a brief stint as director of the USA's intelligence agencies, where he prioritized hiring more homosexuals.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 9:12 pm EST
Featured Image
Richard Grenell. Sean Gallup / Getty Images
By Paul Smeaton

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — President Trump has said he would like to appoint former director of National Intelligence (DNI) and long-term LGBT activist Richard Grenell to a “high level” in his administration.

Grenell stepped down from his position as acting DNI earlier this month but is still serving in the administration as a special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations.

“Give him a breather, and I’d love to have him back,” Trump told the Daily Caller.

The Daily Caller article reports that “[d]uring his brief time leading the intelligence community, Grenell released documents showing that Former Vice President Joe Biden, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director James Clapper, and former DNI James Clapper all made requests to unmask Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn during the waning days of the Obama administration.”

“He’ll come back in some form, at a high level. He was fantastic, the job he did,” Trump said.

“He did a fantastic job. So I believe that justice will be served. I hope that justice will be served, and I believe justice will be served.”

Grenell was appointed as acting DNI in February this year, making him the first openly gay member of a White House Cabinet in history. In April, he sent a letter all the agencies under his auspices in which he seemed to demand the complete normalization of homosexuality and transgenderism within all Intelligence Community (I.C.) operations.

“While I will likely not be in this role for long, I plan to use this opportunity to drive lasting impact for the IC Pride community. And I am asking every member of the IC leadership team to join me,” wrote Grenell.

DROP Disney+: New teen film 'Out' features openly homosexual main character! Sign the petition here.

In a separate letter that he sent to Adam Schiff this month, Grenell said, “Diversity of the IC workforce should always be celebrated, and I am proud that we increased diversity within the ODNI’s senior ranks, to include more women and members of the LGBT community.”

In 2019, Grenell was asked by President Trump to spearhead a global effort to get countries to end their criminalization of homosexuality.

That effort has now resulted in a policy that would limit the intelligence that U.S. spy agencies share with nations that continue to criminalize homosexuality in order to strong-arm them into conforming with Western norms.

According to multiple reports, the Trump White House is supportive of the initiative.

“Rick Grenell has proven in his work for the Trump administration that he is a gay activist first and a loyal Republican second,” Peter LaBarbera, founder and president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH), told LifeSiteNews in February.

“He has made it his primary mission to work for the normalization of homosexuality worldwide, which would seem to be more of an Obama foreign policy goal than a Trump goal,” added the AFTAH head.


  donald trump, homosexuality, richard grenell

News

Trump says he was ‘surprised’ at SCOTUS transgender ruling: ‘We’ve had a lot of losses’

‘It says, look, we've had a lot of losses with a Court that was supposed to be in our favor,’ Trump said.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 9:07 pm EST
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Pete Marovich / Getty Images
Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

WASHINGTON D.C., June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump said he was “surprised” at the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling to redefine “sex” and write transgenderism into 1964 law, suggesting that it was a “loss” from a court that was “supposed to be in our favor.”

“Some people felt that it was a decision that they weren't as surprised as I was. Yeah, I was surprised,” Trump said in an interview with CBN News political analyst David Brody that aired yesterday.

When Brody asked him what he thought about Bush-appointed Justice John Roberts, who, along with the Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, voted for the recent ruling, Trump suggested that he is disappointed by the result.

“Well, so far we're not doing too well,” he said. “It says, look, we've had a lot of losses with a Court that was supposed to be in our favor.”

Trump said the ruling showed just how significant the appointment of judges would be in the coming years.

“You’ll probably have a couple of more judges in the next four years, it could even be more than that — could be three or four,” he continued. “If you have a radical left group of judges, religion, I think, will be almost wiped out in America. If you look at it, pro-life will be absolutely wiped out. So if you have that happening, pro-life is going to be out. It’s going to be gone.”

Last week, Trump indicated that his administration would not be moving to challenge or mitigate the Supreme Court’s ruling.

"I’ve read the decision, and some people were surprised," the president told reporters at the White House, The Hill reported. "But they’ve ruled and we live with their decision. That’s what it’s all about. We live with the decision of the Supreme Court. Very powerful. Very powerful decision actually. But they have so ruled."

Trump did not discuss any of the details of the ruling, and he did not address the fact that his own administration weighed in against the position Neil Gorsuch, one of Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, ultimately chose, by filing an amicus brief that argued that Title VII “simply does not speak to discrimination because of an individual’s gender identity or a disconnect between an individual’s gender identity and the individual’s sex.”

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

Later in the week, Trump announced that he will be releasing a new list of conservative Supreme Court Justice nominees, adding that “[b]ased on decisions being rendered now, this list is more important than ever before (Second Amendment, Right to Life, Religious Liberty, etc.) – VOTE 2020!”

Trump also touted his pro-life credentials during the CBN interview, contrasting them with his presidential rival, Joe Biden.

Trump claimed that a Democrat victory in November would mean “radical Left judges on the Supreme Court and all over the court system.”

“I think I'll have close to 300 judges by the time I finish my first term, hopefully, a lot more than that, but it's a record number and we have pro-life judges, and you look at the Supreme Court, they're pro-life, so we'll see what happens,” he said.

Trump stressed that a Democrat victory would also be bad news for religious groups in America.

“In terms of religion, in terms of Evangelical, in terms of Christian with or without evangelical, in terms of Jewish, in terms of anything, you’re going to have radical left judges appointed, and in terms of pro-life, you can forget it,” he said.


  bostock v. clayton county, donald trump, homosexuality, lgbt tyranny, neil gorsuch, supreme court, transgenderism

News

Trump promises executive order to ‘make the cities guard their monuments’

‘We’re going to do an executive order, and we're going to make the cities guard their monuments. This is a disgrace.’
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 9:01 pm EST
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Win McNamee / Getty Images
Clare Marie Merkowsky
By

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. president Donald Trump stated that he has plans to issue an executive order aimed at protecting statues from being destroyed by leftist protesters and rioters, in many cases while police stand by and watch.

EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo questioned Trump yesterday on the federal government’s response to the destruction of the statues of historical figures. “Mr. President,” he asked Trump, “this week we saw Columbus go down, Roosevelt is now going down, St. Junipero Serra who built all the missions along California. What can you and the federal government do about this?”

“It’s a disgrace,” Trump said. “Most of these people don’t even know what they’re taking down.”

“We’re going to do something very soon,” Trump promised. “We’re going to do an executive order, and we're going to make the cities guard their monuments. This is a disgrace.”

Trump’s pledge came in response to the destruction of public statues across the United States within the past weeks. Protesters led by members of the American Indian Movement in St. Paul, Minnesota toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus, claiming it was “a slap in the face to all Native people and all people of color.” Christopher Columbus, famous for discovering and bringing Catholicism to America, is often erroneously attacked and blamed for slavery in the United States.

In Baltimore, a statue of the first American president and famous general, George Washington, was defaced with red blood-like paint. Rioters had written “BLM” and “Destroy Racists” on the base of the statue.

A statue of Ulysses S. Grant, the man who led the victorious army in the Civil War to defeat slavery, was torn down in San Francisco on June 19.

Originally, the protesters targeted historical figures whom they labeled as “racist.” They are now targeting Catholic statues as well.

On June 20, protesters in San Francisco and Los Angeles tore down statues of St. Junipero Serra, a missionary to America in the late eighteenth century. Serra, a Spanish Franciscan, founded nine missions in California.

On top of this, a prominent leader in the Black Lives Matter movement, Shaun King, is now calling for the destruction of images of a “white” Jesus.

“All murals and stained-glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form [of] white supremacy,” he tweeted.

In his interview with Trump, Arroyo pressed the president if there was anything he could do.

“We’re seeing unprecedented violence across the country,” Arroyo said. “Is there anything you from this office can do to restore order and safety?”

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

Trump pointed out that the states that are suffering from the riots are Democrat bastions. “Take a look ... in Chicago. It’s Democrat,” he said. “All of these places are run by Democrats; 20 out of 20 are Democrat-run.”

“They don’t know what they're doing, and if Biden got in, this country would be a disaster,” Trump said. “Take a look at the way we’re running things; we’re running them good.”

“If I weren’t president, they would have overrun,” Trump continued. “We wouldn’t have any statues standing right now. Because I did things that you don’t know about to save a lot of them.”

“Now they ripped one down the other night right in front of the police headquarters,” he stated. “We have a Liberal Democrat mayor, and she should not have allowed that to happen.”

In a video responding to the destruction of American monuments, Fox commentator Tucker Carlson said that there’s a reason mobs are tearing down statues of American heroes.

“They know that if they can force you to watch as they topple your heroes, they have won. There is nothing they can’t do now. They can decide how you raise your children, how you vote, what you’re allowed to believe.”

“Once they've humiliated you, they can control you, and that’s why, across the country, mobs are tearing down America’s monuments.”

Carlson called the statue-destroyers a “serious and highly organized political movement.”

In his interview with Trump, Arroyo also mentioned Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s open letter to the president on the “children of darkness” and the “deep state.”

“Archbishop Viganò wrote your letter that you tweeted out,” Arroyo said. “In it, he said what you’re facing is a battle of the children of the light versus the children of darkness. He said these protests were infernal deceptions. How did you react to that letter? He asked people to pray for you, and is that an accurate reading where we are?”

The president characterized the letter as “a tremendous letter of support from the Catholic Church.”

“It was beautiful,” he added. “It was really three pages long, and it was a beautiful letter, and I appreciated it. Yeah, but he’s right in what he says.”

“I think he’s a great gentleman,” Trump said of Viganò. “He’s highly respected, as you know.”


  catholic, donald trump, george floyd, junipero serra, riots

News

‘It’s not right’ Canada has no law protecting pre-born from abortion: conservative leadership candidate Sloan

‘It is out of whack, and it is out of whack with other developed nations, it’s out of whack with most of the developed world.’
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 8:54 pm EST
Featured Image
Derek Sloan. Global News / YouTube
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

TORONTO, Ontario, June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leadership hopeful and member of parliament (M.P.) Derek Sloan said his fellow candidates would “agree with him” that “it’s not right” that Canada has no laws governing abortion in remarks he made during the CPC English leadership debate last week.

“I think it’s important to recognize that there is a lot of agreement within the party behind the scenes, even my two friends over here, Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole, would agree with me that it’s not right that Canada doesn't have any laws when it comes to abortion,” said Sloan last Thursday.

“It is out of whack, and it is out of whack with other developed nations, it’s out of whack with most of the developed world, and you know we can kid get ourselves and say ‘well, you know, if we talk about that, we’re going to lose.’ Everything the Liberals campaign on is divisive. We can’t ignore division.”

Canada having no law protecting babies from abortion means that the practice is permitted through all nine months of pregnancy.

Abortion was legalized in Canada in 1969 after a heavily criticized omnibus bill was passed to amend the criminal code to allow abortions to be done in hospitals under permissive circumstances.

This law was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada as unconstitutional in the 1988 Morgentaler decision and removed on a technicality. This left the Canadian Parliament to come up with replacement abortion legislation, which has not yet occurred.

Sloan was joined at the English debate by his fellow CPC leadership candidates, M.P. Erin O’Toole, Dr. Leslyn Lewis, and former M.P. Peter MacKay. O’Toole and MacKay identify as pro-abortion, Sloan and Lewis as pro-family and pro-life.

Neither MacKay nor O’Toole rebuked Sloan’s comments regarding the fact that there is no official abortion law in Canada.

In the French leadership debate held last Wednesday, O’Toole said he would defend women’s “right” to “choose for themselves” to have an abortion should he become prime minister.

MacKay also spelled out his pro-abortion position in the French debate, saying “I’m pro-choice. I agree with gay marriage.”

In Thursday’s English debate, Lewis said it’s important that the CPC “recognize” people with “traditional” values and that the party uphold these values.

“I saw that there was a potential that social conservatives would be ousted from the party, and I think it’s very important that we recognize that people with traditional values, people with religious values, that all of these parts are important to our great democracy. And that is what I would do, is uphold all of these values within our party,” said Lewis.

During the debate, Lewis went on to say there needs to be a “parental bill of rights” and that “we should allow children to just be children.” 

She also brought up the issue of euthanasia, saying it should not be “imposed” on Canadian seniors.

“We need to make sure we do not impose euthanasia on these seniors because some of them feel compelled to relieve suffering from this system and their family members,” said Lewis.

Sloan also said, “The Liberals are so radically far to the left of their ideas when it comes to conversion therapy and abortion that we can gain ground on these ideas.”

“Many new Canadians are social conservatives. They don’t believe that there’s 72 or 102 genders, they don’t want their kids to be confused. And remember when Stephen Harper cut funding for foreign abortions? We won a majority after that.”

A few weeks ago, Sloan came under fire for saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is legislating “child abuse” with Bill C-8, which, if passed, will prohibit parents from seeking to help their children overcome gender confusion.

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

In Thursday’s English debate, Sloan reaffirmed in his opening remarks that he would defund the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I will never sell out Canada, and I will always put Canadians first. I will never give an inch to political correctness. I won’t seed an ounce of our sovereignty to international organizations,” said Sloan.

“I’m the only candidate that is committed to defunding the World Health Organization and getting Canada out of the Paris agreement. I will never put the rich elite and international corporations before the Canadian worker in small business.”

In an email sent to his followers last week, Sloan said that if he becomes prime minister, he will defund foreign abortions, the WHO, Planned Parenthood, and “Pride” parades.

Lewis did not mention her pro-life position directly at any point in the French debate, but in her opening remarks, she did say there needs to be “compassion for vulnerable people” and that she wants to see the “family” as the “cornerstone of society.”

Sloan’s remarks regarding Canadian abortion laws in Thursday’s English debate come after reaffirming his pro-life stance in his opening statement in the French debate.

“Pregnancy is not a disease; abortion cannot be health care. As prime minister, I would prevent Canada from funding abortions internationally and encourage debate on this,” said Sloan in the French-to-English translation on CPAC.

As part of his platform, Sloan published a 12-point pro-life plan. He recently spoke about his proposals with Campaign Life Coalition as part of the 2020 Virtual March for Life.

Sloan’s plan includes a ban on sex-selective abortion, a ban on partial-birth abortion, freedom of conscience for health care workers, and a review of the current euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation.

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) praises Sloan and Lewis for their English debate performance

Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) director of political operations Jack Fonseca told LifeSiteNews that he was pleased with the “powerful” performance of Sloan and said Lewis “upped her game.”

“Sloan delivered another powerful performance, lamenting the fact that there’s no abortion law in Canada, framing the Liberals as being ‘radical’ on conversion therapy and abortion, pledging again to repeal transgender ideology bill C-16 and promising action to restore our dwindling right to free speech,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

“Sloan also skillfully destroyed the lie that being pro-life and pro-family hurts the Conservative Party in elections, pointing out that Stephen Harper won his only majority after defunding international abortions and that Doug Ford won a supermajority, including GTA ridings, by campaigning to repeal the Liberal sex curriculum.”

Fonseca noted to LifeSiteNews that he was happy to see that Lewis openly spoke about parental rights and euthanasia.

“Leslyn Lewis also upped her game with respect to moral issues, suggesting that Canada needs a parental bill of rights, lamenting the fact that society is putting pressure on seniors to see themselves as burdens and steering them towards euthanasia, and agreeing with Derek that Bill C-8 to ban conversion therapy is an affront to religious freedom,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

Fonseca said the kind of leaders “we need to see from Conservatives” are those who align with the “values of the majority of the party’s base.”

He said Sloan and Lewis proved in the English debate that they are not “one-issue candidates” and was pleased with their performance on other issues. 

“They were both very competent in fiscal, energy, sovereignty, foreign relations, and other policy areas that will be important to mushy-middle voters who don’t identify as socons. As a result, I think they both broadened their appeal to all voters, and thus, have put themselves more within reach of victory,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.

Fonseca added that a pro-lifer can win the CPC leadership, “barring any further ballot-rigging conducted by the corrupt party establishment, as an ‘insurance policy’ to maintain red Tory hold on power.

“We recently observed how the deep state in the US, including the FBI, ginned up an ‘insurance policy’ to try keeping Trump out of the White House,” Fonseca told LifeSiteNews.


  abortion, conservative party of canada, derek sloan, erin o'toole, leslyn lewis, peter mackay

News

German communist party erects Lenin statue despite town’s outrage

The municipal council tried in vain to prevent the cast-iron statue from being placed in a square in front of Germany’s tiny Marxist-Leninist Party (MPLD) headquarters.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 7:47 pm EST
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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

PETITION: Investigate George Soros' role in funding domestic terrorism! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A 6.5-foot high statue of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, who went down in history as Lenin, founder of the most deadly incarnation of Marxism and Soviet Russia’s first head of government after the October Revolution of 1917, was unveiled last Saturday in the German town of Gelsenkirchen near Dortmund, erected on private property by the German communist party. 

It is the first statue of Lenin to be erected in what was formerly “West Germany,” the Federal Republic of Germany that did not fall under communist rule in 1949, and remarkably, the event took place more than 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

By a strange coincidence, Lenin’s statue was honored by a public installation at a period in time when many statues of so-called white oppressors, from Christopher Columbus and St. Junipero Serra to Isabella the Catholic of Spain and Winston Churchill were tagged, vandalized or toppled.

This is despite the fact that Marxist-Leninist communism was responsible for more than 100 million deaths in the 20th century alone, according to the (conservative) academic estimate of French researcher Stéphane Courtois, and to the enslavement of millions more.

The municipal council of Gelsenkirchen tried in vain to prevent the cast-iron statue, produced in 1957 in former Czechoslovakia, from being placed in a square in front of Germany’s tiny Marxist-Leninist Party (MPLD) headquarters, on a piece of private land but in full view of the public.

“Lenin stood for violence, oppression and terrible human suffering,” the district council’s main parties stated in a resolution. The authorities of Gelsenkirchen also issued a construction ban based on the fact that the statue of Lenin would spoil the view of a historical building, a classified construction of the 1930s erected by a building society that actually belongs to the MPLD. The statement added that all legal means would be used to block the small communist party’s initiative. The council “will not tolerate such an anti-democratic symbol in its district,” added the statement, according to a report by Deutsche Welle.

But even the council’s esthetical objections were rejected by the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster last March, depriving the local council’s construction ban of its binding force. The official inauguration was supposed to take place later that month, days before the 150th anniversary of Lenin’s birth on April 22, but was postponed because of the coronavirus.

Finally, the inauguration took place on June 20, in presence of some “800” sympathizers, according to the MPLD, in a 2 1/2-hour ceremony with nonstop speeches in homage to the communist dictator. The speeches were delivered under a large red banner with the words: “Don’t give anticommunism, fascism, passeism and anti-Semitism a chance.” The statue itself was covered with a red cloth until its official unveiling.

The meeting took place under police protection. Two counter-demonstrations, including representatives of right-wing groups, took place, according to a police spokesman.

Gelsenkirchen has launched a historical initiative to counter the impact of Lenin’s statue in one of its squares. Under the tag “#keinplatzfuerlenin” (no place for Lenin), public figures have been encouraged to air their take on the statue.

Some, such as Dr. Rainer Eckert, historian and former director of the Leipzig Forum for Contemporary History, see Lenin as a true tyrant: “The murder of Stalin and the death in the GULag are slowly being forgotten today. But that will be delayed given the scale of these crimes. Another question, however, is what the memory of the ‘Great October Socialist Revolution’ and Lenin as its leader actually is. Too many are willing to take a largely positive view of both. This is wrong. (…) Stalin’s crimes followed up on Lenin’s misdeeds and increased them beyond belief. Therefore ‘Leninism’ and ‘Stalinism’ cannot be seen as opposites, but belong to the same kind of totalitarian exercise of power.”

Others are more lenient, such as Pr. Stefan Berger, director of the Institute for Social Movements, at the Ruhr University in Bochum, who wrote: “To my taste, there were too many anti-communist reflexes in the debate about the monument. Is it still necessary to hit a dead horse today? In short, I actually think that if we still have dozens of Bismarck monuments, we can also accept a monument to Lenin, even if we are not Leninists and are rather critical of Lenin. I think a democratic culture of commemoration has to endure these tensions.”

Regarding Lenin, however, there is a difference of nature and not of degree with other historical figures, controversial as they may or may not be.

Lenin was the inspirational force and active leader of the Bolshevik revolution, whose writings inspired many to use any kind of violence, lying and agitation to further the socialist and communist aims of Marxist theory, by transforming it into a “praxis” guided by revolutionary tactics and strategy.

During the first years of Soviet Russia and until his death in 1924, Lenin presided over the first mass killings, the overthrow and murder of Tsar Nicholas II and the Russian imperial family, the reversal of traditional morals, the first organized famine and the establishment of a cruel secret police under Felix Djerzinski, whom he saw as a hero of the Revolution. His favorite advice was to make prisoners at the infamous Lubianka “suffer as much as possible and as long as possible” in order to obtain “confessions.”

Djerzinski set up the Red Terror from 1918 to 1924 that killed both the “bourgeois” and rebellious workers, whose murder Lenin himself encouraged under the accusation of “sabotage” of the Revolution.

In a foundational book about Lenin, Inventor of totalitarianism, published in 2016, French historian Stéphane Courtois explained how Lenin differed from the actors of the “Terreur” during the French Revolution, such as Robespierre, because he went much further in his legitimation of revolutionary terrorism. Politics, according to Lenin, “is the continuation of war by other means.” Lenin’s aim was to abolish property and in order to do that he was prepared to order massive killing even at a time when the future of his revolution was not at stake.

As early as 1905, Lenin was already encouraging his circle of Bolshevik activists to prepare violently to confront a Russian “Vendée” during their first revolutionary attempts. The Vendée, which was subjected to the first modern organized genocide because it gave rise to the French army of peasants and local nobles who battled “for God and King” against the anti-Catholic Revolution of 1789, was in fact Lenin’s first inspiration, according to Courtois.

Many statues of Lenin are still standing in Russia and his Mausoleum remains on Red Square in Moscow. In the Soviet Union’s satellite republics, they have been overwhelmingly dismantled. That a new statue should have been erected and honored in Germany is a sad omen. No one would have accepted the same to have taken place for Hitler, another socialist tyrant. Such a move would have aroused international fury.


  communists, gelsenkirchen, germany, marxist-leninist party, russia, soviet union, vladimir lenin

News

‘Barbarians have returned’: Spanish bishop decries destruction of saintly statues by US mobs

Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla said the mobs want to ‘put an end to Christian civilization.’
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 6:31 pm EST
Featured Image
A statue of Queen Isabella stands in front of the Organization of American States headquarters in Washington, D.C. OAS, founded in 1948, represents the nations of the Americas. The statue was a gift from Spain in 1966. Shutterstock
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – One of Spain’s most outspoken bishops preached on Sunday against the defacement or destruction of statues of Catholic heroes and saints in the present “Black Lives Matter” agitation in the United States. 

Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcalá de Henares near Madrid said the attacks against Christian symbols marks “the return of the barbarians” and a great loss for all because only Jesus-Christ and the Catholic Church, which is His continuation, can give men the truth they need to follow to be truly free. His full sermon in Spanish can be watched here (read transcript of homily below).

Bishop Reig Pla spoke in particular of Isabella the Catholic, the Queen of Spain who commissioned Christopher Columbus to navigate to “India,” going West, and Junipero Serra, the canonized Spanish missionary of California.

He said that the present crisis is first and foremost a “crisis of the intelligence” and an “eclipse of truth” by which man no longer seeks what is true and no longer realizes his vocation to transcendence. Going a step further than Benedict XVI, the Spanish prelate said our time is not only that of “moral relativism” but of “nihilism.”

Reig Pla insisted that we must not be afraid of those who can only harm the body, because we must have the same destiny as Jesus Christ, who was persecuted and killed after an iniquitous trial but who defeated death; with Him, victory is certain.

Below is LifeSite’s transcript and translation of Bishop Reig Pla’s powerful homily.

***

The removal of the image of Isabella the Catholic from the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the overturning of the statue of St. Junipero Serra means that the barbarians have returned. We cannot simply call these facts ignorance. It is possible that materially, those who did these things may be ignorant. But behind the ignorant, in truth, are the barbarians. And what the barbarians want is to put an end to Christian civilization. These are mere signs, symptoms, there are many more of them in the West. (…)

Today we need to listen to the prophetic voice of the Catholic Church, not only to denounce these facts, which would be something simply negative, but to give the content of what truly gives dignity to the human person from the beginning of his natural life until death: what gives meaning to his life to live with hope, and those realities which are essential to him as a human person. These have all been made explicit in Christ, who is the true man. It is He who reveals to man the mystery of man.

Therefore, to harm Christian reality by means of this Christianophobia is the worst thing that could happen to us.

That is why we must be attentive, and like the Prophet, take refuge in God and feel with Him freedom itself. (...) We are experiencing a profound crisis of truth. Deep down, it is a crisis of intelligence that does not dare to seek the truth. Yes, it seeks the practical truth. A bridge, if it is not well built, collapses, and therefore it must be built with every possible guarantee.

But then there is man, man and woman ... There is no order for man as there are plans for buildings, bridges, trains and planes, because obviously these have no freedom. And the rest of us, why do we have freedom? To follow the truth.

If there is a crisis of truth, then freedom guides us. At the same time as the crisis of intelligence and the eclipse of truth, there is a perversion of freedom, because it does not know which path to follow. (...) It is as if there were an eclipse of the sun where we would all be in darkness, where there would only be opinions. “Where are we going?” we tell each other.

And this is what is happening in this jungle that is being formed, that exalts the individual to affirm his radical autonomy, to define himself even in his body and to break all the bonds that tradition has given him, starting with marriage, the family, Catholic tradition itself, love of one's land, love of the nation. All of this  is in a deep crisis.

Who will enlighten us? (...) Without light, freedom advances blindly, and you know what it is then reduced to: to the instincts of each person, to affects and emotions. And so in this technological and consumerist world, people's intelligence is constantly shrinking, reducing them to being mere consumers. This is the world we have before us, and – I insist – we need the prophetic voice.

(...) At the same time as the crisis, the eclipse of truth and of intelligence, together with the perversion of freedom, comes what is even worse: the darkness of moral conscience. This is what we call, not only as did Benedict XVI, moral relativism, but nihilism. So what does nihilism mean? Moral conscience is in the dark; it cannot distinguish between good and evil. When we ask it: Where are you going? It says: I'm not going anywhere, but I'm happy. I am simply conforming to the ordinary realities of each day.

Remember all the time we spent in our homes; think of the good that could have come out of it, and I pray that it will. But who truly triumphs today? It's the big multinationals, it's Twitter, Facebook, Netflix: all things purely virtual – they've done big business. And what's left of the person? What is left of the reality of one's own identity as a person? What remains of people's original and compelling vocation to love? What remains of the greatness of marriage and the social good of the family? What remains of what it means to build social peace in justice so that we grow as a nation? I do not know. But we must at least ask the question.

What important factor can regenerate this situation? I don't know any other than Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the truth, He is the way, He is life. And when I say Jesus Christ, I am talking about Jesus Christ living in us and therefore continuing in His disciples. The Church is the discipleship of Jesus Christ.

(...) In His Apostolic Discourse Jesus vested the Apostles with authority. He gave them power over spirits and over demons. He said to them: I send you as lambs among the wolves, but now you must proclaim what I have taught you, whether in private or publicly, for there is nothing secret that shall not be revealed: what I have told you in secret, in private, you must proclaim from the rooftops. This means: this is the mission of the Church, to tell from every possible platform the truth of Jesus Christ that makes man grow, that makes him be considered personally in his bonds of communion, giving meaning to human life with the vocation to love, establishing the solid foundation of families and from there, the social good, in justice and fraternity. This is the voice of the Church which must not fail us. Having said that, Jesus adds: do not be afraid of men. And He repeats: do not be afraid.

What does this mean? That He is giving them some kind of psychological support? No, Jesus does not do that at all. He says to them: your destiny is mine. And what is my destiny? I have been persecuted, I have been judged in an iniquitous judgment, and I have been condemned. I was led to death and I was buried. But do not be afraid, for I overcame sin and the consequence of sin which is death. I have conquered the world. And therefore, do not be afraid, and do not be afraid of those who may simply harm your body.

Today, physical violence continues, but there is a more insidious violence, which consists in condemning the prophet to civil death. This is ridiculing his message. It is making it commonplace. And that is what the constant means of communication are doing to all those who dare to break with political correctness. Political correctness is what is peculiar to the things that are happening not only in the United States but also here in Spain: this may be the return of the barbarians.

That is why we need the prophetic voice, and why we need to lose fear. To lose fear, Jesus insists on it twice, we must realize that in Jesus there is the beginning of something totally new: He has come to re-create this situation that was a situation of death. We had no way out, we were condemned to death, and He initiated with His word and His testimony of extreme love towards us a reality that I call the new creation, the New Genesis. This is why the Church cannot remain silent. We cannot confine the Church. We cannot silence the voice of the prophets. And when we speak of the prophets in the plural, in fact we are referring to Jesus Christ who redeems the hearts of men. That is the most compassionate element, the one that gives the greatest consolation. He who does not know Jesus does not know himself. He who does not know the compassion and mercy of God is called to live in despair like so many people who even today do not know where to look or where to direct their steps…

Towards the Christian civilization which built the West and which is called to cry out from every rooftop and in every square of the world, because this is the Lord's will and the burden he has left us.

Fear those who can ruin your soul. This is very serious, dear friends. How can the soul be ruined? When God is killed in the heart. By denying the transcendence of what the person is, of what the human life of all people is. And how do we do that? By educational laws distorted by ideology, which teach everything to our children except what the vocation to transcendence is, the vocation to God, the vocation to virtues in order to gain freedom, and the dignity of human life at its beginning, at its end and in all its stages.

This is what the hypocrites are doing: the same people who have committed themselves to the elderly who die in retirement homes are preparing the law of euthanasia. These are the same people who have promoted the destruction of nascent life in the womb. These are the same people who promote laws for ignorance. And that is why we cannot remain silent. We must follow the Lord, knowing that his destiny is ours – but it is a destiny of victory.

The last word of the Gospel is wonderful: He who defends me before men, I will defend him before God my father. He who denies me ... it is a call to our responsibility. Today, we do not only need the voice of pastors, we need the voice of all, and especially the voice of lay Christians, so that everywhere with their personal responsibility, in the family circle or that of the company, of work, and in social life, trade unions, human institutions, politics, the voice of the Catholic must be present to offer, not to impose on anyone, the treasure that we have received. If Jesus and only He has given us the power to expel demons, who are the fathers of lies, it is so that the person can be reborn to hope, and he has assured us an eternal destiny, that is to say, the most serious thing in human life. "Who defends me before men:" this must be our will.

(…)

I started by mentioning Isabella the Catholic. Isabella the Catholic is not a saint, I don't know why. It's because of the complex of Spain, the decadence of our people: the holiness of this woman is more than established. Let us say nothing of Brother Junipero Serra ... Holiness is the splendid light of heaven that comes to us to illuminate us like lamps that light up in the face of the darkness of civilizations, which have walked in darkness because they have not known him who is the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ.


  black lives matter, christopher columbus, juan antonio reig pla, junipero serra, queen isabella of spain, statues

News

LGBT orgs sue Trump for axing Obama-era funding of ‘sex changes’

The definition of sex was restored to 'male or female as determined by biology' and not an person's 'internal sense of gender ... male, female, neither or a combination.'
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 6:00 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Several pro-LGBT pressure organizations filed a federal lawsuit Monday in hopes of reversing the Trump administration’s decision to roll back an Obama-era regulation that would allow healthcare providers that receive federal funds to perform “gender transition” operations and abortions.

In May 2016, the Obama administration redefined “sex discrimination” under the so-called Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) to include an individual’s “internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female.” The rule also covered “termination of pregnancy” under its definition of sex discrimination.

The rule was blocked in December of that year, meaning it hasn’t actually been enforced, but as long as it is on the books there remained the risk of a future court reviving it. So the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced this month that it will “enforce Section 1557 by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”

The decision “maintains vigorous enforcement of federal civil rights laws on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, and sex, and restores the rule of law by revising certain provisions that go beyond the plain meaning of the law as enacted by Congress,” HHS said.

Under this interpretation, the regulation would not entail a right to abortion or gender-reassignment surgery, nor would it force healthcare workers to violate their consciences by taking part in either procedure – prompting a coalition of “LGBTQ health care providers and advocacy groups,” including the [email protected] Coalition, to sue to preserve the Obama-era language, CNN reported.

HHS’s decision is “part of the Trump administration's concerted and aggressive effort to undermine protections for LGBTQ people, including Section 1557's nondiscrimination protections and the regulatory structure and administrative processes the 2016 Final Rule established,” the lawsuit states.

Although courts often find a way to invalidate such decisions on other grounds (as with the Trump administration’s efforts to undo its predecessors' actions on immigration), there is little serious dispute that an action unilaterally taken by one president can be unilaterally undone by another. 

And while there is no constitutional “right” to abortion, it remains to be seen how current Supreme Court precdent claiming otherwise, or the court’s decision last week to write “sexual orientation and gender identity” into the 1964 Civil Rights Act, will impact this case.


  abortion, barack obama, conscience rights, donald trump, gender-reassignment surgery, health and human services, lawsuit, lgbt, obamacare, transgenderism, [email protected] coalition

News

Doctors told this mom to abort her sick baby twice. She gave birth to a healthy ‘miracle’ baby

After her baby was diagnosed with two dangerous medical conditions, a young mother refused abortion and gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 4:47 pm EST
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Clare Marie Merkowsky
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WORCHESTER, England, June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A first time mother, advised “quite forcibly” multiple times to abort her baby due to fatal prenatal conditions, gave birth to a healthy “miracle baby.”

According to Metro, when Kimberly James, a veterinary nurse, had an ultrasound at 12 weeks at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, she was told that her baby had become dangerously swollen. 24-year old Kimberly was warned that her unborn daughter would not survive and should be aborted.

Kimberly’s unborn daughter was diagnosed with hydrops fetalis, abnormal buildup of fluids in the tissue around the lungs, heart, abdomen, or under the skin, which affects 1,000 pregnancies every year with a survival rate of 10%.

Although she had been advised by two doctors to abort her baby, Kimberly was determined to trust her instinct and go ahead with her pregnancy, despite her baby’s low chance of survival.

After the ultrasound, Kimberly and her husband, Jack, were referred to a consultant. “It was then we were offered a termination pretty much the second time we had seen her,” Kimberly said.

“We said no because it was absolutely not what we wanted to do. We asked them why and unfortunately they couldn’t give an answer,” she continued. “We thought if they don’t know what it is then we’ll say ‘no’, even if it was a really poor diagnosis.”

The parents decided to pay for private scans and blood tests to check for other issues; however, these all came back negative. At 16 weeks, the couple returned to the hospital for an ultrasound to learn that the hydrops fetalis had disappeared completely. The doctors marvelled at the disappearance as it was unheard of.

But a later ultrasound revealed a fetal diagnosis of cystic hygroma, an abnormal growth on the neck or head that can lead to birth defects. Kimberly was again pressured to abort her daughter, but she “just trusted that she would survive.”

After 20 weeks, the cystic hygroma had likewise completely vanished. “The doctors were really, really shocked because they weren’t expecting it to disappear and the consultant couldn’t believe it,” Kimberly described.

Kimberly was told “quite forcibly” multiple times that abortion would be her best option. However, Kimberly and her husband refused to submit to the pressure and decided to give their daughter life.

Giving birth in lockdown was “surreal” for Kimberly. She was unable to have visitors; however, this caused more unity between the women on the antenatal ward.

“Everyone had their curtains open and were chatting to one another,” Kimberly explained. “It was refreshing that we were all supporting each other through this bizarre time.”

On May 9, after a 13-hour labor, Kimberly gave birth to a perfectly healthy little girl, Penelope, at the same hospital which had formerly advised her to abort her baby. Penelope defied all odds, weighing 7lb and 6oz, with both her fatal conditions completely resolved. The doctors were stunned when they checked for signs of her former conditions and found none.

The cause of the two medical conditions and their disappearance are still unknown. Penelope’s parents call her “a little miracle.”

“We are so in love with her,” Kimberly said. “And so thankful that we continued with the pregnancy despite the extremely poor prognosis at the start.”

Kimberly continued, “We had a very rocky start to our pregnancy but had the most wonderful outcome and we couldn’t be more in love with our little girl.”


  abortion, culture of life, united kingdom

News

Black Lives Matter activist calls for destruction of images and statues of ‘white’ Jesus and Mary

The Black Lives Matter activist said that statues, murals, and stained-glass windows depicting Jesus and Our Lady as 'white' should be taken down for being forms of 'white supremacy'
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 4:22 pm EST
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Shaun King Shaun King / The Break Down
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By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As protests against alleged “systemic racism” continue to spread across the United States and have expanded to toppling statues of American historical figures, left-wing activists are now turning their attention to the supposed racial implications of religious imagery, and are calling for the destruction of images and statues of a “white” Jesus and Mary his mother.

Shaun King, a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, best known for claiming to be half-black despite both parents on his birth certificate being listed as white, declared Monday that statues, murals, and stained-glass windows depicting Jesus as white should be taken down for being “form[s] of white supremacy,” meant to be “tools of oppression” and “racist propaganda”:

Christ’s skin color and exact physical features are a subject — beyond the common-sense assumption that they were in line with the Middle Eastern population into which He was born — of frequent debate among historical and biblical scholars, as well as activists like King who derive racial or political significance from how He is depicted.

However, throughout history, Jesus has generally been depicted in alignment with the majority race of whichever culture produced a given piece of artwork, and not entirely for reasons of cultural bias. The Federalist’s Jonah Gottschalk notes that “when Christianity spread throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, independent churches made images of Jesus whose appearance and dress were familiar to community members. This includes 1500 years of Ethiopian depictions of a black Jesus.”

Such points tend not to matter to left-wing activists, who are also pressuring Christian institutions to support BLM in other ways, the Associated Press reports.

Last week, Villanova University professor Shannen Dee Williams wrote in the dissident National Catholic Reporter that statements from Catholic leaders condemning the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery “fall way short when it comes to acknowledging the church's role in the contemporary crisis and direct complicity in the sins of anti-Black racism, slavery and segregation in the modern era.”

In addition, she demands that the Catholic Church formally apologize for its role in past racial injustices; stop closing active black parishes; increase spending on black Catholic education and scholarship; require the teaching of “Black and Brown Catholic history”; and add “anti-racist women and members of the laity” to the formal church leadership; and that Catholics “take leading roles in campaigns working to protect Black lives, eliminate racism in the health care system, end mass incarceration and bail, and secure police reform and accountability.”

Her call was echoed in a letter signed by eight bishops representing Maryland and Washington DC. The bishops endorsed BLM’s stance that “the conscience of our nation is on trial as questions of race and equality confront each and every one of us,” and that “prayer and dialogue, alone, are not enough. We must act to bring about true change.”

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington DC, one of the letter’s signatories, went so far as to elevate BLM-style “racial justice” to same level as the fight to protect the sanctity of human life from abortion. “Birth is only the first moment of a person’s human dignity, which is never lost throughout the journey of life,” he wrote in an email to the AP.

Floyd’s killing was instantly and unanimously condemned, and the police officers involved have been charged with murder. As to BLM’s broader claim of “systemic racism” in law enforcement, research actually shows that police are not disproportionately likely to use excessive lethal force against black suspects. 

Further, BLM’s own stated values are intensely at odds with any authentic reading of Christianity. The group officially supports “reproductive justice that gives us autonomy over our bodies.” An estimated 40 percent of all U.S. abortions are sought by black women, meaning that Black Lives Matter supports the annual elimination of more than 344,800 black lives every year.

The group also pledges to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

“We foster a queer‐affirming network,” BLM continues. “When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).”


  art, black lives matter, catholic church, christianity, jesus christ, race, racism, shaun king, statues, wilton gregory

News

Virginia urges residents to anonymously report churches for congregating

In New York City, the creation of a similar tip-line backfired when angry citizens flooded it with obscene content.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 4:20 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

PETITION: No to mandatory contact tracing and government surveillance for the coronavirus! Sign the petition here.

RICHMOND, Virginia, June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Virginia Department of Public Health is urging residents to “snitch on” public gatherings and other activities that violate Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam’s coronavirus orders, including churches.

The Washington Free Beacon reports that the health department’s website has been updated to include the option to anonymously report to the state neighbors who exceed the emergency limits on building capacity or refuse to wear masks. The form allows users to specify the “type of establishment” they’re reporting, including “indoor gun range” or “religious service.”

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Screenshot of https://redcap.vdh.virginia.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=Y4P9H7DTWA, accessed June 23, 2020 at 4:19 p.m EST

Additional types of establishments that can be reported are grocery or convenience stores, restaurants, brick and mortar retail stores, wineries or breweries, “personal grooming service[s],” gyms, and “other.”

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Screenshot of https://redcap.vdh.virginia.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=Y4P9H7DTWA, accessed June 23, 2020 at 4:19 p.m EST

“If you have observed violations of Executive 63 or Executive Order 65 and wish to file a complaint, fill out this report form as completely as possible,” the portal states. “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has the authority to enforce Executive Order 63 and section A of Executive Order 65. VDH will review your complaint and forward it to your Local Health Department.”

Under Northam’s Phase Two” rules, “religious services must be limited to no more than 50% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy of the room or facility in which the religious services are conducted. Individuals attending religious services must be at least six feet apart when seated and must practice proper physical distancing at all times” (with the exception of family members).

“These complaints can be made anonymously. There is nothing to prevent businesses from snitching on competitors, or to prevent the outright fabrication of reports,” Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain responded. “So, it appears that the full force and weight of the state government is poised and ready to drop on restaurants, churches and wineries for perceived violations of the Governor’s orders while the Governor equivocates and prevaricates when it comes to its enforcement in connection with protests, demonstrations and riots – as long as participants are his allies.”

As of June 23, the United States is estimated to have seen more than 2.4 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 122,000 deaths and one million recoveries. An estimated 40 percent of those deaths have come from nursing homes. Virginia has more than 58,000 cases and 1,645 deaths.

As in many states, the draconian restrictions Northam has imposed on public activity in the name of containing the virus has provoked a significant backlash.

“There’s a lot at stake,” Virginia Family Foundation president Victoria Cobb told LifeSiteNews earlier this month. “And we’re hoping Virginians realize there’s more at stake than ever.”

A Great Falls, Virginia Catholic family is suing Northam over his original March 30 order banning gatherings of more than 10 people.

Earlier during the coronavirus crisis, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tip line, to which New Yorkers were urged to text photos of violations of so-called social distancing rules, backfired. It was flooded with photos of genitalia, obscene hand gestures, de Blasio dropping the Staten Island groundhog (it later died of internal injuries), and Hitler memes about how turning neighbors in is the “Reich” thing to do.

Readers can click here for LifeSiteNews’ live updates on the coronavirus and its impact all over the world.


  coronavirus, covid-19, democrats, ralph northam, religious assembly, religious freedom, virginia

News

California bishops fail to condemn tearing down of saint’s statue in weak statement

The bishops even appeared to justify tearing down statues in certain circumstances
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 1:57 pm EST
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Saint Junipero Serra statue toppled in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA. @jrivanob / Twitter
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By Martin Bürger

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

SACRAMENTO, California, June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The bishops of California have issued a carefully worded statement on June 22 expressing their disapproval of the tearing down of several statues of St. Junipero Serra, who was canonized by Pope Francis in 2015. 

The bishops failed to condemn tearing down the statue of a Catholic saint who made heroic sacrifices to advance the welfare of the indigenous people of California. They only asked that for this process of tearing down statues is “to be truly effective as a remedy for racism, it must discern carefully the entire contribution that the historical figure in question made to American life, especially in advancing the rights of marginalized peoples.”

In other words, as long as this criterion is met, tearing down a statue, and thus destroying public or private property, could be justified, according to the bishops of California, which includes the current president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles.

The bishops did not distinguish between the mob destruction of a statue and its removal after a political debate, where both sides make their case, and elected officials then make a decision.

Regarding the statues of St. Junipero Serra, “protesters have failed that test” of discerning “carefully the entire contribution that the historical figure in question made to American life,” the bishops pointed out.

In recent days, rioters have pulled down and desecrated statues of St. Junipero Serra in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, after local authorities in Los Angeles approved the removal of another of his statues outside Ventura City Hall.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, along with representatives from the Barbareño/Venureño Band of Mission Indians and Father Tom Elewaut, a Catholic priest based at the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura, had issued a joint statement agreeing to take down the statue of Serra outside Ventura City Hall and have it “moved to a more appropriate non-public location.”

On Saturday, 100 people reportedly helped to topple a statue of the missionary saint with ropes on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. In a video of the incident, one participant can be heard saying “this is for our ancestors” as the statue came crashing down.

In Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, activists pulled down another statue of St. Junipero Serra. A video of the incident shows those in attendance cheering as the statue is toppled. One person can be seen hitting the statue with their fists and another person hitting it with a skateboard once it has fallen to the ground.

The careful statement of the California bishops was praised by Bishop Robert Barron, an auxiliary bishop for Los Angeles.

“Friends, I am very grateful to share this statement of the Bishops of California regarding the removal and destruction of statues of St. Junipero Serra,” Barron tweeted. “I have been advocating for this statement for the last several days and encourage you to share it with others.”

 

The bishops’ statement referred to another statement from June 20, made by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

He asked, “What is happening to our society?”

“A renewed national movement to heal memories and correct the injustices of racism and police brutality in our country has been hijacked by some into a movement of violence, looting and vandalism,” Cordileone continued, spelling out what happened during many of the protests.

Tearing down the statue of Junipero Serra “was mob rule,” the archbishop said, “a troubling phenomenon that seems to be repeating itself throughout the country.”

“Our dear city bears the name of one of history’s most iconic figures of peace and goodwill: St. Francis of Assisi,” Cordileone explained. “For the past 800 years, the various Franciscan orders of brothers, sisters and priests that trace their inspiration back to him have been exemplary of not only serving, but identifying with, the poor and downtrodden and giving them their rightful dignity as children of God. St. Junipero Serra is no exception.”

The Archbishop of San Francisco went on to briefly recount the saint’s achievement in his life. This section was later quoted by the statement of the California bishops.

“St. Serra made heroic sacrifices to protect the indigenous people of California from their Spanish conquerors, especially the soldiers,” Cordileone wrote. “Even with his infirmed leg which caused him such pain, he walked all the way to Mexico City to obtain special faculties of governance from the Viceroy of Spain in order to discipline the military who were abusing the Indians. And then he walked back to California.”

“And lest there be any doubt, we have a physical reminder to this day: everywhere there is a presidio (soldiers’ barracks) associated with a mission in the chain of 21 missions that he founded, the presidio is miles away from the mission itself and the school,” he pointed out.

“St. Junipero Serra also offered them the best thing he had: the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, which he and his fellow Franciscan friars did through education, health care, and training in the agrarian arts.”

Msgr. Francis Weber, a former archivist for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and author of several works on St. Junipero Serra, said in 2019, “Serra is one of the great heroes of California, and a great exemplar for young people. He was an outstanding person.”

“The Native Americans had no formal education, and the missionaries’ idea was to bring them to the missions, [introduce them to] agriculture and raise cattle and other livestock,” Weber said.

He emphasized that the saint did not mistreat any native Americans. “There’s no single recorded example in the official documentation of the period that Serra mistreated the Native Americans … in fact, he walked all the way to Mexico City to get a bill of rights issued for them.  He was a great man all around.”

The memory of St. Junipero Serra has been under attack for years now.

In 2015, two state legislatures in California proposed to remove his statue from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and replace it with that of homosexual astronaut Sally Ride.

In 2017, two statues of St. Junipero Serra in California were vandalized. One was beheaded, the other had the word “murder” written on it.

Archbishop Cordileone admitted that “historical wrongs have occurred, even by people of good will, and healing of memories and reparation is much needed.”

At the same time, “just as historical wrongs cannot be righted by keeping them hidden, neither can they be righted by re-writing the history. Anger against injustice can be a healthy response when it is that righteous indignation which moves a society forward. But as Christ himself teaches, and St. Francis modeled, love and not rage is the only answer.”

LifeSiteNews has launched a petition urging the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “to issue a statement rebuking the wanton destruction of statues of Catholic cultural and religious saints and heroes.”

The petition has been signed by more than 12,000 people so far. Readers may click here to support the petition.


  bishops, black lives matter, california, california catholic conference, catholic, junipero serra, native americans, statues, vandalism

News

Trump calls Abp. Viganò letter ‘tremendous letter of support from the Catholic Church’

'It was beautiful,' the president added. 'It was really three pages long, and it was a beautiful letter, and I appreciated it. Yeah, but he’s right in what he says.'
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 1:13 pm EST
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By Martin Bürger

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has praised Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò for his open letter to the U.S. president on the “children of darkness” and the “deep state,” explaining, “He’s right in what he says.”

In his powerful letter, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States had warned the president that the current crises over the coronavirus pandemic and the George Floyd riots are part of the eternal spiritual struggle between the forces of good and evil. Viganò had encouraged Trump to continue the fight on behalf of the “children of light.”

“In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies,” wrote Viganò. “And it appears that the children of darkness — whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days — have decided to show their cards, so to speak, by now revealing their plans.”

On June 10, the president had already tweeted, “So honored by Archbishop Viganò’s incredible letter to me. I hope everyone, religious or not, reads it!”

During a wide-ranging interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, the president characterized his letter as “a tremendous letter of support from the Catholic Church.”

“It was beautiful,” he added. “It was really three pages long, and it was a beautiful letter, and I appreciated it. Yeah, but he’s right in what he says.”

“I think he’s a great gentleman,” Trump said of Viganò. “He’s highly respected, as you know.”

Contrasting the praise in Abp. Viganò’s letter is a history of criticism from Pope Francis, who once evoked Herod in a talk about border security in “other parts” of the world and explicitly drew a parallel between the president’s border security policies and the Berlin Wall. When the pope and the president met in May of 2017, Francis presented Trump with copies of his encyclicals on the environment and adultery among other written works bearing the pontiff’s name.

The president addressed accusations that he is less pro-life than Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, given the latter’s support for ending the death penalty and his willingness to address the issue of climate change.

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

“I am totally in favor of the death penalty for heinous crimes,” Trump emphasized. “That’s the way it is.”

“I’m pro-life, he’s not,” he continued, talking about Biden. “And the Democrats, look who he’s putting on the court. They want to put people on the court, you have no chance.”

“It’s not just him, it’s the party, it’s the platform,” Trump said. “Take a look at the platform.”

Trump referred to remarks made by the Democratic governor of Virginia, who had said in 2019 that doctors should be free to refuse to resuscitate an infant born alive after a failed abortion, “if that’s what the mother and the family desire.”

“So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen: the infant would be delivered; the infant would be kept comfortable; the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desire, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother,” according to Northam.

Trump described this as an “execution,” adding, “That’s the Democrats. And that’s Biden.”

The president also talked about the tearing down of statues by rioters in recent weeks, including statues of Catholic missionary St. Junipero Serra, who protected the indigenous people of California.

“It’s a disgrace,” he said. “Also, remember, some of this is great artwork. This is magnificent artwork, as good as there is anywhere in the world, as good as you see in France, as good as you see anywhere.”

“Most of these people don’t even know what they’re taking down,” according to the president.

He promised to issue an executive order making the cities “guard their monuments.”

Talking about the riots taking place in various cities across the country, Trump said, “I want people to watch just for a little while.”

“It’s all Democrats,” he explained, “usually liberal Democrats. Take a look. Whether it’s Chicago, it’s Democrat, Seattle, it’s Democrat, the state of Washington, it’s Democrat, Portland, it’s Democrat. All of these places are run by Democrats.”

According to Trump, “They don’t know what they’re doing.”

Without elaborating on it, the president said he “did things that you don’t know about” to save many statues.

While mentioning last week’s Supreme Court ruling on DACA, which continues to allow children of illegal aliens who were illegally brought into the country to remain and apply for work permits, Raymond Arroyo did not ask the president about last week’s other Supreme Court ruling that was slammed by conservatives.

On Monday, the Supreme Court, led by Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch, redefined the term “sex” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act to mean not simply “male” and “female” as biological facts, but also “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

Among many others, Princeton University legal scholar Robert P. George referred to the ruling as “legislation,” predicting it to have “far-reaching consequences, including the eventual destruction of all-women’s sports.”

Other topics covered during the interview include police reform, Trump’s achievements for the black community, the comparatively low attendance at his rally in Oklahoma last week, the coronavirus restrictions, and John Bolton’s book about his time in the White House.


  carlo maria viganò, catholic, deep state, donald trump, raymond arroyo

News

NIH approves 70 new human embryonic stem cell lines for use in federally funded research

In 2018, pro-lifers called for NIH director Francis Collins to be ousted, but he remains in power.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 12:23 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved 70 new embryonic stem cell lines for use in projects eligible for federally funded research.

The new cell lines, which come from human embryos created and destroyed in a laboratory, were approved by the NIH last month. The new cell lines come from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel. 

Despite President Donald Trump’s many pro-life accomplishments, pro-lifers have expressed concern about NIH director Francis Collins, an Obama appointee who has defended research using tissue from aborted babies. In 2018, the March for Life and Live Action called for Collins to be ousted.

Collins’ replacement should be “someone who recognizes that children who are killed by abortion should be mourned, not experimented on,” Live Action President Lila Rose said at the time.

President George W. Bush’s administration banned public funding of research involving the creation of new stem cell lines through the destruction of new human embryos. In other words, he stopped taxpayer funding of the creation of new human beings in laboratories whose sole purpose for being created was so they could then be destroyed for research. 

During Bush’s presidency private funding of such research was not prohibited, and research using existing stem cell lines was permitted to continue. 

But in 2009, shortly after he first assumed office, via executive order, President Barack Obama reversed Bush’s ban on public funding for research involving new stem cell lines created through the destruction of new human embryos.

Last year the Trump administration removed funding from some projects using human fetal tissue from aborted babies. The administration also instituted a policy which had the effect of making it more difficult for projects which use fetal tissue from aborted babies to receive federal funding. However, federal funding applications for projects using embryonic stem cells or embryonic cell lines were not impacted and the policy specifically excluded them in its definition of research involving human fetal tissue.


  abortion, embryonic stem cell research, embryonic stem cells, francis collins, national institutes of health, nih

News

French bishop tells faithful to defy govt interference in right worship

'I proclaim that nothing is above God and that we are not to serve the State when it prevents us from serving God.'
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 11:59 am EST
Featured Image
Bp. Bernard Ginoux of Montauban, France. KTOTV / YouTube
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — As lockdown measures in France continue to be lifted, one of the most outspoken bishops in France against the “confinement” of public worship because of the COVID-19 crisis, Bishop Bernard Ginoux of Montauban, has given a interview to the independent television station TV Libertés.

Answering the questions of Jean-Pierre Maugendre, of “Renaissance catholique,” Bishop Ginoux insisted that the French State should not have interfered with the way in which Catholics worship and how Masses are organized.

Beyond this point of law, Ginoux accused the French State of having forgotten “the spiritual dimension” of the crisis and further underscored the specificity of Catholic worship in which Christ is truly present on the altar in the “bloodless sacrifice” of the Mass.

This point was in fact brought up by traditional priestly institutes and lay associations that obtained the reopening of public worship by a decision of the Council of State after a first series of lifting of lockdown measures on May 11 ignored that aspect of French citizens’ lives.

Bishop Ginoux also complained that discussions between the Catholic Church and the government were conducted bringing together not only the different religions present in France but also Freemasons and secularist organizations as well as the scientific council that dictates sanitary measures relative to the Wuhan coronavirus, although these last groups are against religious worship.

Bishop Ginoux raised other important issues such as the spiritual accompaniment of the sick and the dying and the “disturbing” symbolism of wearing face masks.

COVID-19 infections and related deaths have slowed dramatically in France, and many collective activities have been re-allowed over the last weeks. However, in a number of dioceses, assistance at Mass is still subject to prior registration; limited to one third of churches’ capacity; and, in theory, dependent on wearing masks.

In a ringing phrase, Bishop Ginoux said: “As a Christian, I proclaim that nothing is above God and that we are not to serve the State when it prevents us from serving God.”

Here below is LifeSite’s transcription and translation of Bishop Ginoux’s interview. He first commented on his letter to the faithful of his diocese on May 12, which was published by LifeSite here.

* * *

Bishop Ginoux : I wanted to show at a time when everything was going to open up again that we were still in the midst of a great discussion about the resumption of public worship. While the churches have always been able to remain open, and I was very insistent that our churches in the diocese of Montauban should be open – I mean the main churches of course – and that there should be funeral celebrations whenever possible, in other words, all the time, we did not have the possibility of welcoming people for public worship. On the one hand, I wanted to reassure the faithful of the diocese, on the other hand, I wanted to remind them that everything was going to open up, such as supermarkets and activities, but that there were still uncertainties about the opening of our churches to the public. It was a distinct shortcoming; the State was forgetting the spiritual dimension of this crisis and the right of the human person to practice his religion fully, in a country of rights and freedom. My letter insisted on what religious freedom means, recalling also that the Second Vatican Council, sometimes misunderstood on this point, also mentioned this religious freedom. That is the summary of my letter to the faithful of the diocese of Montauban, to remind them that the Mass is the life of the Catholic Church.

Jean-Pierre Maugendre: What exactly do these three months of confinement teach about the relations of the Church and the State in 2020?

Bp. Ginoux: When looking at the relations between Church and State we see that there are a number of glitches. There were the words of a minister who showed a lack of understanding of what the Catholic Church is all about. There is also, since 2010, this is not new, the assimilation of all religions in a common dialogue with the State. The President of the Republic had a videoconference with all the representatives of religions and schools of thought: Freemasonry, the Secularist committee, et cetera, were part of it, and so was the scientific committee. Therefore atheists, people who do not want religion at all, are also part of the discussion, so that the specificity of each religious tradition is not taken into account.

This is particularly true for us Catholics: the specificity of the Mass, of the Holy Mass, that is to say the sacred presence of the Risen Jesus that we live out in every Eucharist and that we can also bring to sick people, to people at the end of life. This unique quality of the Mass is that it is not just any gathering, it is not a gathering to pray together. Of course we pray together, but it is much more than that. Minister Castaner said that we could pray at home – and of course we are in full agreement with that – but the Mass is not just a prayer, it is not just the paschal meal, it is the bloodless sacrifice of Christ on the cross; it is the foundation of our faith. The mystery of the faith is great. The mysterium fidei is present there, that is where we live the mystery: “This is my Body, this is my Blood.” And we need the spiritual food, the food that is the Eucharist.

Some days ago we celebrated the feast of the Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Domini. It is to remind us that Jesus is there and that we celebrate His presence, and that He is there for us to give Himself to us so that we may give ourselves to others. This is what should have been expressed.

The lockdown has led in the Church's relations with the State to a certain attenuation, not to say equalization, of the state's behavior with regard to all religions and all their forms. Above all, it has put in second place the participation of religions in the crisis, i.e. the spiritual help that we can provide, particularly the Catholic Church at the moment of death. The Catholic Church in its accompaniment of the end of life, the Catholic Church in its accompaniment of the sick has been put aside, since in most of EHPADs [nursing homes for the dependent elderly) it was forbidden for priests to visit the sick at the end of life. This is non-assistance to persons in spiritual danger. These people were left to die alone, and this is not appropriate, it is not humanly just.

J.-P. M.: Civil legislation includes the obligation that civil marriage must precede religious marriage. By the simple fact of prohibiting civil marriages, the political authority has prohibited religious marriages, in a way interfering in an aspect of religious worship. What are your comments?

Bp. Ginoux: Yes, this dates back to Napoleon. It reminds us that there is a discrepancy between religious commitment and civic commitment and that there are people who would like to avoid having to pass through the town hall in order to get married. In fact, that is what happens with other religions. The so-called customary law marriage, which is recognized and takes place in foreign countries, is exactly that: it’s a marriage that is only religious. So we could consider changing the law. This law is not an obligation. But doing so would call into question the sacrosanct law of 1905 that proclaimed the separation of Church and State. What is disturbing is that in these times of crisis, some people have had to postpone their marriage, and that is all the more troublesome because even in civil matters, marriage has lost much of its raison d’être, particularly with the PACS [civil unions which are overtaking marriages in France]. Here too, we are witnessing what is indirectly a way for the State to govern religious denominations and to put itself above them. But as a Christian, I proclaim that nothing is above God and that we are not to serve the State when it prevents us from serving God. We need to have a reserved attitude. It is not a question of wanting to place ourselves outside the law, but of keeping the right degree of reserve and the necessary distance. The State has no right to oblige us, for example, in the way we worship. Some people thought that we should no longer celebrate Mass, not because of the lockdown but rather because of the number of people participating. This is totally wrong: the State should not intervene in the way we celebrate a person’s funeral, with or without Mass.

J.-P. M.: As a bishop, what is your assessment of this ordeal?

Bp. Ginoux: As in all trials, there are joys and sorrows. As regards the joys, there were the gatherings by videoconference, by technical means, of a certain number of people, even priests. They allowed me to hear very directly from each priest... oh, there are not many of them in this diocese, but it was a need both for them and for me. It was also a joy for some priests to pray together by Skype or by videoconference.

There were also signs of charity, of help. The Diocese of Paris served a very large number of packed lunches to destitute people because the crisis also has this very painful economic consequence that we are going to see a lot of new poverty, in fact we are already seeing it.

What remains negative is the great panic. Most of the doctors I meet and know are alarmed by the panic that has gripped the public. We see it in our Masses: people are masked, they don't dare move. Of course, precautions have to be taken, still a few. But gestures of fraternity could not be made because of the panic, while the systematic announcement of the count of deaths every evening was a way of demoralizing people, as if every day the deaths of cancer or myocardial infarction were being announced.

J.-P. M.: It is totally anxiety-inducing, and even more so for people who are alone.

Bp. Ginoux: The treatment of the elderly in EHPADs was shameful and out of all proportion to what was happening. The same goes for the suspension of public worship: we saw that with the decision of the Council of State, which explained that the suspension was disproportionate, and overturned the government's decision, in the same way that it overturned the decision to send drones to monitor what we were doing.

On the other hand, there have been double standards. Look at the demonstrations we have seen in recent weeks, which are beyond comprehension, in the face of the crowds they entail, and the promiscuity that develops there. There is really a great deal of inconsistency.

Also, contrary to what is sometimes said, there have been denunciations and suspicious attitudes which have shown that man often remains a wolf to man. These are situations that develop an individualistic tendency which opposes others and which causes people to turn inwards to themselves. Masks mean that the other is my potential enemy since he can potentially harm me. Symbolically, this is very disturbing. That is why as a celebrant I refuse to wear this kind of thing when I celebrate Mass.

There is truly a fracture, a fracture in the relationship between people and in the construction of society.


  bernard ginoux, catholic, coronavirus, france, freedom of religion, separation of church and state

Opinion

America’s descent into rebellion and anarchy is largely due to absence of fathers

‘Too many men who have fathered children don’t take their responsibilities as fathers seriously.’
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 8:33 pm EST
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Fr. Michael P. Orsi
By

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The recent celebration of Father’s Day occurred at a time when our land is experiencing chaos, anarchy and rebellion, all of which can be summed up as lawlessness.

We didn’t reach this point overnight. The past few decades have seen traditional precepts of law — that is to say, natural law, God’s law — set aside in favor of an array of highly questionable individual rights.

Our legal system has normalized abortion for the sake of an imagined right to total personal autonomy. The character of marriage (which had always been understood as a legal / social / economic bond between a man and a woman ) has been stretched to include “loving” relationships between persons of the same sex. And now, the Supreme Court has ruled that “same-sex attraction” and “gender identity” are natural characteristics protected from discrimination.

Even the definition of religion itself has been altered to accommodate such spiritual aberrations as Satanism. Diabolic images have been set up as civic monuments. This past weekend, devil worshippers staged marches in nearly 20 cities, trying to establish the Kingdom of Satan as a publicly recognized faith.

At the same time, we’ve seen precipitous declines in many of the institutions we once depended upon to shield our freedom from the encroachments of state power: churches, schools, the news media, social and fraternal organizations, and most tragically, the family.

Today, almost a quarter of children under the age of 18 live in single-parent households. In most of these cases, the missing parent is the father.

Family life today is caught in a great irony. The need for fathers to protect their children from the effects of chaos, anarchy and rebellion has never been greater. Meanwhile, the absence of fathers is, itself, a principal cause of the lawlessness undermining family life.

Too many men who have fathered children don’t take their responsibilities as fathers seriously. Moreover, the social and legal structures that once encouraged men in responsible fatherhood no longer function to buttress fatherly dedication.

We’ve come to accept out-of-wedlock births as common, removing the pressure to “do the decent thing” and get married. Extensive social welfare programs have exacerbated the problem by easing the financial obligation of child support.

We’ve accepted divorce as a ready solution to marital stress and discord. Marriage is no longer assumed to be lifelong and sacred because it was ordained by God. Instead, freedom and personal fulfillment are held up as preeminent values. And if a marriage relationship doesn’t provide them, then that marriage can be cast off.

Such assumptions militate against secure family life. They are evil. And the results of that evil are troubled and insecure children, increases in mental instability, over-dependence on psychotherapeutic medications, and ultimately, lawlessness.

The deep metaphysical roots of our current dilemma are in Satan himself — “the man of lawlessness,” as St. Paul calls him in the Letter to the Thessalonians — the being who breeds hatred, anger, and division.

We all face evil in our own lives. We all eventually must grapple with Satan. But it is the duty of a father to directly confront the forces of evil that attack his family. A father must embrace his responsibilities as the head of the family, make sure that his marriage stays intact, and protect his children.

These days, one of the things he must protect them from is school. Our public education system, and many private schools as well, have long since abandoned their essential mission of preparing young people to be balanced, contributing members of society. Today, schools tend to be conduits of ideology, steeping children in distortions of history and warped sexual propaganda.

A father must be alert to what his children are being taught. And he must counter untruth when he spots it, teaching his children properly and privately at home. The failure of so many fathers to do that is evident right now on the inflamed streets of our cities.

Fathers must reassert themselves in the life of the family. They must live their faith, obey God’s laws, go to church, and serve as role models for their children.

They must be holy men.

In this way, they accomplish the most important aspect of fatherhood — not just raising their children to be successful in this world, but saving their immortal souls. 

A priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, Rev. Michael P. Orsi currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Florida. He is host of “Action for Life TV,” a weekly cable television series devoted to pro-life issues, and his writings appear in numerous publications and online journals. His TV show episodes can be viewed online here.


  abortion, family, fathers, lawlessness, monuments, satan

Opinion

Natural law judges are the only way to save the judiciary 

A complete change of judicial perspective is urgently needed.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 12:56 pm EST
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John Horvat II
By

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – One reason conservatives give major importance to elections is that they know the selection of judges can impact law for decades. Thus, when President Trump selected two Supreme Court judges, many hoped that the Court would shift to the right. 

The June 15 Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia decision dashed these hopes. What legislators could not obtain in the halls of Congress, the conservative-dominated Court imposed on the American people. 

The 6-3 court decision extended workplace protections to include sexual orientation and transsexual “identity.” It arbitrarily inserted these categories into Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Thus, it transforms sinful behavior into a civil right protected by law and imposes second-class citizenship on those whose religious beliefs run contrary.  

Betrayal by ‘conservative’ judges

What made matters worse is that conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion that gave the LGBT lobby its victory. Bush nominee Chief Justice John Roberts also voted with the majority in the now-infamous ruling. 

Even the feared Justice Brett Kavanaugh approved the merits of the move but said that Congress should have made the decision. No dissenting judge questioned the right or wrong of the matter. Their dissent only criticized judicial overreach. From a moral perspective, the decision was 9-0. 

Thus, many are asking what went wrong with the process by which judges considered solid on major conservative issues, suddenly broke ranks and voted with the liberals. Others wonder how judicial candidates vetted by conservative groups like the Federalist Society could end up reading into the Constitution and American law things that were never there. 

The decision makes clear that a complete change of judicial perspective is urgently needed.

Defective interpretations of American law

The reason why conservative judges have failed is that they have adopted defective schools of interpretation. Their role should be to apply the immutable principles of the law to the changing concrete circumstances of the day. 

However, modern justices interpret the law by other means. Some take a constitutionalist approach to American law, based on a strict reading of the Constitution. Originalist and textualist judges interpret the law according to what they consider was the original intent of the founders or legislators. 

While these and other approaches do tend to conserve some traditions, they are not anchored to an objective moral law but only in documents, opinions, and intentions. Judges come to believe that the law finds its origins in their opinions and speculation about these documents, not unchangeable norms of justice. 

Judges must confront and reject modern law theories

The conservative judges must also confront the liberal conception of values-free law. American law is influenced by Enlightenment thought that tends to turn the legal order into systems of value-neutral contracts. These are supposed to work mechanically to keep society in order. 

Within this amoral framework, a liberal judiciary is free to imagine its own legal orders based on distorted visions of freedom that now allow people to create their own realities. Court decisions then provide the tyranny to impose these fantasies upon the whole population.  

When the law has no firm moral anchor, anything is possible, including granting privileged, protected status to immoral gender ideology. If this notion is not changed, important decisions will always be 9-0.

A law valid for all times and all peoples

At least, the disastrous decision makes clear the only path to victory. 

The only alternative is to return to America’s higher law tradition anchored in natural law norms that do not change. 

America was founded on a higher law tradition that reaches back to the Ten Commandments, which summarizes natural law. This perspective holds that the source of all law—whether customary, common, Roman, or statutory—is God and His eternal law.

Whether a person believes in God is immaterial, since this law is found in the nature of things, not in a sacred text. It was known by ancient peoples. Its universal character can be seen in Cicero, for example, who used the terms “eternal law,” “moral law,” or “natural law” to describe an objective moral compass that makes social order possible. 

This natural law is the same for all peoples, places, and times, although its applications vary. It can be perceived in society by unaided reason. Saint Paul says it is written on the hearts of all, Christian or pagan (see Rom. 2:15).

Returning to America’s higher law tradition

The American legal system inherited a strong higher law tradition from English common law. Thus, a proposed change to a higher law is not an innovation but a return to what once existed. 

It is not an invention like those now being imposed as law, as seen in the Bostock decision. Leftist ideologues are constantly proposing new legal changes based on socialist, ecological, and sexual agendas. History has shown how proposals like these run counter to human nature and result in socio-political disasters like communism and Nazism.

A natural law perspective comes from a proven order well-suited to human nature. It is not imposed but relies upon those natural regulating institutions inside society that always emerge when individuals resolve to unite in pursuit of the common good. Unlike the left’s ideologies, it cannot be regulated, stimulated, or legislated into existence. It is rooted in the social institutions of family, community, and faith. And although it applies to everyone, the Church is its best and most secure guardian.

The Bostock decision makes it clear that the only way to save the judiciary is through correctly oriented natural law judges. Present judges need to be informed by natural law. This involves returning America to whence she came. There needs to be a moral compass to counter the immoral one that now dominates and distorts all law and leads the country to anarchy and ruin. 

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.


  bostock v. clayton county, homosexuality, natural law, transgenderism, us supreme court

Opinion

An explanation and defense of Red Rose Rescues

As a manifestation of love for them the Rescuers stay with the abandoned unborn, recognizing that unborn children, as members of the human family, have a right to be defended. The rescuers will not leave the unwanted, but must be 'taken away.'
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 11:18 am EST
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Pro-lifers in Washington, D.C. distributed these red roses with miraculous medals and pregnancy help information on December 2, 2017. Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews
Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph. D.
By Monica Miller Ph. D.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On May 13, 2020 a Red Rose Rescue (RRR) was conducted at the Heritage Women’s Center abortion facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan. LifeSiteNews reporter Stephen Kokx was present and reported on the event. Five Red Rose Rescuers were arrested after they entered the abortion center parking lot to counsel women arriving for their scheduled abortions. I was among them. We were charged with “trespassing” with a first court appearance scheduled July 14.  

Red Rose Rescue is a new initiative that began in September 2017. The RRR is not a protest of abortion. The mission statement posted on the Red Rose Rescue website states: 

The ministry flows from and is strengthened by prayer and laboring in love to save the most vulnerable among us. We live the Gospel of Life by responding to and putting into practice Proverbs 24:11: “Rescue those being dragged to death, and those tottering to execution withhold not. If you say ‘I know not this man!’ does not He who tests hearts not perceive it?”

During a Red Rose Rescue a team of pro-lifers enter the actual places where the innocent unborn are about to be ”dragged to death.” In the words of Saint Mother Teresa, they enter the ”dark holes of the poor.” Red Rose Rescuers peacefully talk to women scheduled for abortion, with the goal of persuading them to choose life. They offer to them red roses as a sign of life, peace, and love. Should the unborn still “totter to execution” Red Rose Rescuers stay in the place of execution in solidarity with their abandoned brothers and sisters performing a non-violent act of defense through their continued presence inside the killing centers remaining with them for as long as they can. 

As a manifestation of love for them the Rescuers stay with the abandoned unborn, recognizing that unborn children, as members of the human family, have a right to be defended. The rescuers will not leave the unwanted, but must be “taken away.”

The RRR is capped at no more than six pro-lifers who seek to quietly “blend” into the waiting room and talk to the mothers about to kill their unborn children. As long as pro-lifers remain in the abortion center the killing process is halted.       

During the Grand Rapids RRR, two Sidewalk Advocates for Life (SAFL) counselors showed up who, concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, had been absent for several weeks. SAFL vehemently disagrees with RRR. Apparently distressed that RRR honorably credited one of the SAFL counselors for helping turn a couple away from the Heritage clinic the day of the rescue, SAFL apparently felt a need to distinguish itself from RRR. To this end, one month after the May 13 rescue, SAFL posted on Facebook a four-page treatise critical of Red Rose Rescue that presented arguments against what it derogatorily refers to as “law breaking tactics.” 

This article will present a response to accusations and criticisms of Red Rose Rescue and thus serve as a general explanation of what Red Rose Rescue is all about. 

RRR has chosen to “abandon the constitutionally-protected activity of sidewalk counseling.” Not true. Indeed, every RRR partners with local sidewalk counselors who are present outside of the abortion facility, before, during, and after the rescue. A RRR is a multi-leveled defense of the unborn that incorporates the rescue, sidewalk counseling, and those who support the RRR in prayer. 

RRR has never confirmed that “a woman inside the abortion facility accepted their help at a life-affirming pregnancy center.” This criticism of RRR is lame and perplexing. Several news stories have reported that during various RRRs women indeed left the abortion facility, some actually carrying the roses given to them by the rescuers. And on May 13 a woman arriving for her scheduled abortion during the Grand Rapids RRR also left the clinic accompanied by her boyfriend as noted above. Formal documentation exists that several women did not go through with their scheduled abortions during Red Rose Rescues—up to as many as 12 women during the RRR that that took place December 2, 2017 at the Women’s Center abortion facility in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Court testimony was entered, complete with a chart, by the abortion clinic manager herself under oath that due to the RRR 12 women did not go through with their abortions that day. By any sidewalk counseling standard, 12 babies spared abortion in one day would be considered an enormous pro-life victory! One of those 12 left the clinic during the RRR specifically after rescuer Patrice Woodworth talked to her—and was noted on the chart as having done so. 

RRR “often counts anyone who simply leaves that day as a ‘turnaway’ without any knowledge of the woman’s heart or her plans for her pregnancy.” This is exactly what a clinic “turn-away” is all about. This statement is an attempt to belittle the success of Red Rose Rescues. Women have at least “turned away” from abortion due to Red Rose Rescues. If we knew that the woman decided to not abort her baby because she directly indicated she had changed her mind, we would be able to say “the baby was saved” in which case that is a “save” and not a “mere” turn-away. If the woman who left the clinic indicated she still intended to get the abortion, she might be a “hopeful” and not a “turn-away”—as we can hope she will make a decision not to come back. But if a woman who was scheduled for an abortion left the clinic, especially after being talked to, or who accepted a pamphlet from a sidewalk counselor, but never indicated why—that indeed is a turn-away! 

Moreover, why must a “save” or a “turn-away” be confirmed by local pregnancy help centers? Many women who opt to leave an abortion clinic never check in with local pro-life PHCs. Sidewalk counselors rarely, if ever, rely on reports from PHCs to verify that women turned-away from the abortion clinic.

RRR admits that: “After everyone inside the abortion facility has apparently refused their help” rescuers “switch from a help-oriented disposition to one of protest by staging a sit-in and/or refusing to leave, leading to their arrest.” This is a mischaracterization of Red Rose Rescues. The RRR is not a protest. It is a peaceful, prayerful presence in the abortion facility in defense of the unborn scheduled for extermination. Indeed, it is confirmed that as long as pro-lifers maintain a presence inside the abortion facility the killing is halted. The unborn deserve this act of defense and act of witness to the sacredness of their lives. Moreover, choosing to remain in the abortion facility is to place ourselves in solidarity with the unwanted and rejected. We are with them and will stand with them in those “dark holes of the poor” for as long as it is possible. When women reject help offered to them by sidewalk counselors outside the abortion center, and continue to reject help offered to them by Red Rose Rescuers inside the abortion center—the rescuers make a decision not to simply walk away from the unborn who will most likely now go to their deaths.  

During the May 13 rescue, RRR prevented SAFL counselors “from fully conducting outreach to abortion-minded mothers.” The fact is that full outreach was accomplished by other sidewalk counselors who were in full support of the RRR and by the Red Rose Rescuers who were willing to step beyond the boundaries set up by those who kill the unborn, by entering the actual lot that serves as a serious obstacle to that more personal, meaningful engagement with abortion-minded women. By doing so, women were given more opportunity to choose life, not less. In the Grand Rapids RRR the rescuers did nothing more than what a sidewalk counselor would normally do—except they did it on the “turf” of the abortion facility itself. RRR is the extension of the sidewalk into the abortion clinic.

Right Brain Research studies demonstrate that the “tactics” of RRR are “ineffective as women need a calm, supportive environment to trust our offer of help and choose life.” Right Brain Research studies were conducted through the Vitae Foundation in 1997. These were studies of women facing unwanted pregnancies many of whom were abortion-minded. The summary of the research was published in a 1998 First Things article. The studies are excellent and anyone who wishes to dedicate themselves to helping women choose life over abortion should read the First Things article. The study provides valuable insight into the minds of women seriously considering abortion and rightly concludes most are concerned about “self preservation.” Thus the pro-life counselor must first empathize with the women’s own needs, fears, and self-perception. Testimonials from actual women provide evidence that: “Women who experience regret after an abortion say they wish that they had sought kind, loving guidance when struggling with their decision. Many report that they would never have aborted if they had found such guidance.”    

The fact is, nothing in the Right Brain Research studies indicate that the kind of counseling Red Rose Rescuers offer to women inside abortion center waiting rooms is not effective. The abortion-bound woman needs a person of understanding who offers her hope and reassurance—exactly what a Red Rose Rescuer attempts to do. Years ago I wrote a booklet entitled “Effective Sidewalk Counseling” that lays out principles consistent with Right Brain Research available at the Citizens for Pro-life Society website. 

During an RRR abortion clinic staff will eventually “round up” its clients and sequester them in a back area and are now “away from life-saving assistance.” This sequestering of abortion clinic clients doesn’t happen before rescuers have had a chance to engage these women and give them pro-life pamphlets and the red roses. Moreover, the women were already “away from life-saving assistance” the moment they entered the abortion facility. Yes, sometimes women will exit the clinic making it possible for sidewalk counselors to speak to them again. But there is no guarantee that once inside, women will come out, and most do not.  

RRR is subject to “grave legal risks” especially the possibility that “jurisdictions” will “unjustly pass bubble and buffer zones across cities or states, among other laws.” There is absolutely no evidence that buffer zones will be put in place due to Red Rose Rescue. Indeed, after three years and 19 RRRs there has not been even a whisper of the threat that jurisdictions seek to implement buffer zones against anyone because of RRR activity—absolutely none. To sound this alarm is to foment fear over a problem that simply does not exist.

Those who participate in RRR and others associated with an RRR could be charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. FACE has to do with impeding access to reproductive rights, blocking ingress and egress to an abortion facility. Red Rose Rescuers do not block doors. Indeed, they do not block anything. Such kinds of physical impediments are not necessary to provide an effective defense of the unborn. All that is needed is a simple pro-life presence in the clinic. And again, after three years and 19 RRRs, there has not even been the whisper of a threat that Red Rose Rescue is subject to the FACE law. 

Red Rose Rescuers, and those associated with the rescues, could face the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act. Very unlikely! Pro-lifers have achieved significant vindication on this very point, due to the famous 2002 pro-life Supreme Court victory in NOW v. Scheidler. This case was litigated for 20 years, at considerable expense to the pro-abortionists, a case in which they did not prevail. It is hardly likely abortionists will bring RICO charges against pro-life rescuers now. Moreover, even if the FACE act and RICO were brought against Red Rose Rescuers other pro-lifers would not be affected in any way. Only the pro-lifers against whom such charges are brought would be affected. It is up to them to stand up in court and witness to the world that their peaceful acts of defense against the killing of the unborn were morally right and just. 

Pro-lifers standing trial in court is “useless litigation.” This attitude dismisses the powerful public witness provided by pro-lifers when they go to court. They witness to the humanity of the unborn to judges, the jury, bailiffs, police officers, court clerks, abortion clinic staff who attend these trials or even take the witness stand, and the media who cover the RRR trials. Other pro-lifers are encouraged by this witness and emboldened in their own pro-life work. None of this constitutes “needless litigation”—no more needless than the acts of defense offered on behalf of the unborn inside the abortion center that leads to the court trials.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that virtually every single pro-life law passed, no matter how moderate, ends up being litigated in court. Does this mean it’s never worth passing anti-infanticide bills or bans on late-term abortion?  

RRR believes that “sidewalk counseling and prayer [are] insufficient or even ineffective at abortion facilities.” This is absolutely false. Red Rose Rescue stands behind the necessity of sidewalk counseling.  I have been a sidewalk counselor since 1978, with over 40 years experience, and can argue that sidewalk counseling is the backbone of pro-life activism.  Red Rose Rescue agrees that “our primary audience at the abortion facility is the mother, not the preborn child.” That’s why rescuers go into the abortion facility to make a final attempt to persuade women in the waiting room who did not accept the help offered by sidewalk counselors outside. And here is where the spiritual and philosophical principles Red Rose Rescue need to be understood. The vast majority of women scheduled for abortion sadly, tragically will kill their unborn children no matter how much love and compassionate help is offered to them. Now, we are dealing with the unwanted unborn—those innocents who will literally be cut to pieces and thrown in the trash.  

Yes, the first goal of sidewalk counseling is to “reach the heart of a troubled mother” in order to “rescue those who may be at risk of death.” But, RRR also believes that those about to be dragged off to execution according to Prov. 24:11, need someone to stand by them, and continue to advocate for them—rather than simply permitting them to be exterminated. The unborn are the true victims of abortion. Red Rose Rescuers seek to do for the unborn what we would want someone to do for us should we face execution. The lives of the unborn count, even should their mothers not listen to us. Their lives matter and Red Rose Rescue is a pro-life effort that seeks to witness to that truth. The Red Rose Rescuer says to the abortionists: “You have to remove us, before you can kill them.”  The words of Monsignor Philip Reilly of Helpers of God’s Precious Infants applied to sidewalk counselors also apply equally to Red Rose Rescue when he said: “The way of Christ is to use the overwhelming power of love.” 

Monica Migliorino Miller, Ph. D., is Director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, a Founding Member of Red Rose Rescue, and the author of Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars (Saint Benedict Press, 2012).


  abortion, pro-life resources, red rose rescue

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Is racism the norm in America?

Race is not what’s dividing us.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 8:56 pm EST
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Michael L. Brown Michael L. Brown Follow Dr. Michael
By Dr. Michael Brown

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – My fellow Americans, we are being sold a bill of goods. Race is not what is dividing us. Rather, we are being divided by competing ideologies. Let us put our focus where it belongs.

Listening to the news, you would think that racism is deeply entrenched in every neighborhood in our country. That racial hatred is the norm. That judging people by the color of their skin is what the average American does.

But I do not believe that for a second – and I say that while fully acknowledging the very real racial issues we continue to face.

A caller to my radio show on Monday said he was born in Hong Kong. Then he lived in Ghana, in West Africa. Then in Ireland. And now in America.

He said that America was by far the least racist place he lived. (The call starts here.)

One week earlier, I had interviewed Professor Craig Keener, a dear friend and one of the world’s foremost New Testament scholars.

He is white but was ordained into the ministry in a black church in America, and he is married to an African woman and they have a son. Craig has also co-authored two books on race relations, together with a black co-author.

He is acutely aware of racial issues and does not downplay them for a minute.

But he said that his wife, a highly educated woman who speaks fluent French, suffered real discrimination while living in France. She would arrive for a job interview, for which she was well qualified. But when they met her, they would say, “We don’t hire blacks.”

She never experienced that here in America.

Not only so, but Craig told me that the worst racism she ever faced was within her home country in Africa, where the racism had nothing to do with skin color, since everyone was black. It had to do with where you came from or what strata of society you lived in.

Racism knows no bounds. 

That being said, I do not believe racism is the norm in America.

On June 11, I polled my Twitter followers, asking, “Would you be completely at home having a neighbor of a different race?”

Now remember, even though my Twitter followers (a little over 41,000, so not particularly large) are roughly equivalent to the national averages when it comes to demographics, they are quite conservative. The strong majority are probably Trump supporters as well.

How did they respond to the poll?

Just under 97 percent said “Absolutely.” (The exact number was 96.8 percent.) Yes, almost 97 percent said they would absolutely “be completely at home having a neighbor of a different race.”

Only 2 percent answered with “Depends on which race.” Only 1.2 percent said, “Absolutely not.”

And remember: this is an anonymous poll, so people can vote freely.

As for the results, they didn’t surprise me in the least, especially in Christian circles. (The vast majority of my social media followers identify as Christian.)

Many of our churches are multi-racial, especially if they are in multi-racial locations. And when they are not, joining together for multi-racial gatherings is often considered a highlight. And in cities across America, pastors work together in multi-racial coalitions.

And just ask yourself about your own circle of friends or co-workers. How common is racism in your midst?

Getting back to the poll, I was inspired to do the “neighbor” poll by a 2013 article by Max Fisher in The Washington Post. It was titled “A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries.”

Fisher reported the results of a major study by two Swedish economists who felt the number one way to determine racial attitudes was this: “The survey asked respondents in more than 80 different countries to identify kinds of people they would not want as neighbors.”

What were their findings?

“Anglo and Latin countries most tolerant. People in the survey were most likely to embrace a racially diverse neighbor in the United Kingdom and its Anglo former colonies (the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and in Latin America.”

Conversely, “India and Jordan by far the least tolerant. In only two of 81 surveyed countries, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not want a neighbor of a different race. This included 43.5 percent of Indians and 51.4 percent of Jordanian.”

So, America is one of the least racist countries on the planet?

To repeat: This does not mean that we do not have problems to address. And, as I have stated before, to the chagrin of some of my conservative friends, I have no problem asking if there is still systemic racism in America. (If not systemic racism, then system inequity.) 

My point in this article is to stress that our biggest issues in America are not race-based. They are ideologically based. And right now, those pushing a radical leftist agenda are the most divisive among us, by far.

Of course, if the radical right (which includes the “alt-right”) had a bigger platform today, they would be just as divisive. But they do not. They have been largely marginalized, and for that I am glad.

Instead, it is the radical left (which includes the BLM movement and its Marxist-fueled agenda) which has become dominant, championed by a complicit (or foolishly naïve) media. They are the ones dividing us.

On a personal level, I will continue to listen to people of color as they share perspectives with me (like a caller on Monday who told me he started picking cotton at the age of 5 and that I had no idea what his life experience was like; he is correct). And I will continue to ask God to show me my blind spots.

But I will not allow cultural radicals to paint a false picture of our nation. 

We are far from perfect. But we are hardly a country that is deeply divided by race.

Let us join together then and stand as one for what is right. 

I truly believe that is what the great majority of Americans want to do.

Do you agree?


  african americans, america, blm, racism

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Why Ocasio-Cortez is simply wrong in accusing Trump of being a ‘white supremacist’

‘Let us call out this ugly accusation for what it is: slanderous, libelous, and dangerous.’
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 7:36 pm EST
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Dr. Ben Carson, President Trump, and Dr. Alveda King at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. NBC News YouTube Channel
Michael L. Brown Michael L. Brown Follow Dr. Michael
By Dr. Michael Brown

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – This past Saturday, after President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally did not draw the expected capacity crowd, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID.”

“Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud. ☺️”

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to claims that TikTok, with apparent help from within China, flooded the Trump campaign with fake reservation requests, discouraging others from attending. 

But what was most telling in her tweet was the reference to Trump’s “white supremacist open mic.” This dangerous and ugly accusation is now standard fare for the left. Trump is a white supremacist, as are his white supporters.

Of course, you could see this building for several years now. 

First, the left-wing media branded candidate Trump a white supremacist, based especially on his comments about Mexican immigrants and Muslims. 

Confirmation for this was found when men like David Duke endorsed him. 

Then, there was the misrepresentation of his words about Charlottesville, where he allegedly said that there were some “very fine people” among the neo-Nazi demonstrators.

To the contrary, he categorically condemned those very people, saying, “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.”

But the misrepresentation continues to this day, repeated regularly by presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The next step in the left-wing media’s strategy was to brand you a white supremacist if you were white and supported Trump. In fact, in some circles, it is assumed that, for white supporters of Trump, MAGA really means, “Make America White Again.” (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made this very claim.)

For people like Ocasio-Cortez, this is simply taken for granted.

I documented these accusations in my new book Evangelicals At the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? 

In the book, I meticulously lay out the case against Trump, including the charges that he is an unashamed racist. And I do this, not to whitewash such charges but to examine them carefully and fairly. Is Donald Trump a white supremacist and racist?

Some of Trump’s statements have certainly lacked precision, leading to further misunderstanding and confusion. And I recognize that, in many ways, he has been highly divisive. I have no desire to defend those aspects of his speech or conduct.

Still, as I demonstrate in my book, the charges of “white supremacy” have no substance at all. (According to Merriam-Webster, a white supremacist is “a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.”)

White supremacists do not go out of their way to meet regularly with black leaders for input and wisdom. 

White supremacists do not pass major criminal justice bills that largely affect non-whites.

White supremacists do not gain stories in The New York Times like this one, from September 10, 2019, headlined, “Trump Focuses on Black Economic Gains and Support for Historically Black Colleges.” As the Times reported, “Since the beginning of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the administration has, in fact, made an effort to support historically black schools, increasing investment in their programs by 14.3 percent.” (For further documentation of these points, see Evangelicals at the Crossroads.)

White supremacists do not immediately call for the FBI and the Department of Justice to look into the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white cop, Derek Chauvin.

And white supremacists do not call for special forums titled “transition to greatness,” where the focus is on listening to black leaders address the problem of racism in America.

Cynics would say, “He’s a politician. He’s just doing this for votes.”

But real white supremacists do no such things, especially white supremacist politicians, whose very reputation depends on their racism. (When it comes to politicians doing things for votes, which politician does not do things for votes?)

Yet, as bogus as the charge of “white supremacist” is when it comes to Trump, it is even more bogus for the vast majority of his white supporters. 

Many of them would have voted for Ben Carson in a heartbeat had the elections been between Dr. Carson and Hillary Clinton. White supremacists would not do this. (Of course, white Trump supporters would have voted for Hispanic candidates like Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio had they run against Hillary.)

And the vast majority of white Trump supporters opposed President Obama because of his policies, not because of the color of his skin. (The last I checked, both Hillary and Biden are white, so our rejection of them has nothing to do with skin color.)

Not only so, but some of Trump’s most prominent white evangelical supporters have been involved in interracial ministry for decades, with a long history of opposing racism. And of the many white Trump supporters I know, not a single one of them fits the definition of “white supremacist” cited above.

Let us, then, call out this ugly accusation for what it is: slanderous, libelous, and dangerous. Shame on those who use such ugly words as a political and ideological tool.


  2020 presidential election, alexandria ocasio-cortez, donald trump, white supremacists

Blogs

Ex-gay man: Why Cardinal Sarah is right that pro-LGBT churchmen are ‘doing work of prince of lies’

The Cardinal said that 'churchmen who deliberately entertain ambiguities about the Christian view of homosexual behavior...are doing the work of the prince of lies'
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 3:21 pm EST
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Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vaticans Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

PETITION: Urge U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference to defend Catholic heritage and statues! Sign the petition here.

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As a same-sex attracted man who practices his Catholic faith, I can state unequivocally that Robert Cardinal Sarah, and not the likes of pro-LGBT Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin, is the Church’s greatest champion for the same-sex attracted.

I said so in The Wall Street Journal in 2017: 

While Cardinal Sarah is often described by detractors as being an enemy of LGBT rights, the contrary is true. Those who experience same-sex attraction have no greater advocate, no greater pastor, no greater friend than this man who is uncompromising with the truth.

Cardinal Sarah rightly warns that we cannot be more compassionate or merciful than Jesus. 

Yet forces within the Church — powerful western prelates, celebrity priests, and those within the vast bureaucracy of the Roman Catholic Church — increasingly seek to normalize homosexuality and even have the Church bless same-sex relationships. They display more faith in modern secular political correctness than they do in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God.

In his recent book, The Day Is Now Far Spent, Cardinal Sarah analyzes the spiritual, moral, and political collapse of the Western world.  He pays particular attention to how the Church cares for those who experience same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. He has harsh words for clergy who depart from the Church’s clear sexual teachings and instead promote “ambiguities.”

“I think that the first victims of the LGBT ideology are the persons who experience a homosexual orientation,” writes Sarah “They are led by its militants to reduce their whole identity to their sexual behavior.”

“I beg Catholics who are tempted by homosexuality not to let themselves be shut away in this prison of LGBT ideology,” he urges.  “You are a child of God by baptism! Your place is in the Church, like all Christians. And if sometimes the spiritual combat becomes too hard, fraternal charity will support you.” 

I know from experience that this is true.  

Cardinal Sarah then turns his attention to clergy who dim the light of the Gospel’s perfect message for the same-sex attracted.  He does not mince words. 

“As for the churchmen who deliberately entertain ambiguities about the Christian view of homosexual behavior by saying that, morally speaking, all forms of sexuality are strictly equal, I tell them that they are doing the work of the prince of lies,” asserts Sarah. 

“They lack charity toward the persons involved,” he adds. 

“Why such statements?” he wonders.  “Is it to justify their own behavior? Is it because they seek popularity?  How can they offer ideological talk to those who ask us for the Word of God?”

These are questions that many chaste same-sex attracted Catholics have for such clerics.   

“We do not have the right to abandon those who expect us to show them the way to holiness, including in the area of sexuality,” he emphasizes.

“Using one’s authority to preach a human doctrine and not the Catholic faith,” writes Sarah, is a behavior that denies the profound truth of the priesthood and endangers the salvation of the faithful.  

“When the faith of the clergy grows weak, something like an eclipse takes place: the world is plunged into dark shadows,” declares Sarah. 

Sarah asserts that conversely, priests and religious who faithfully live out their vows and promote the Gospel day in and day out are “unbearable to the prince of lies” and “make the world tremble.”

“Satan has a fierce hatred of priests. He wants to defile them, to make them fall, to pervert them,” he explains.  “Why? Because by their whole life they proclaim the truth of the Cross. Priests and consecrated persons cannot leave the world indifferent. They proclaim down to the flesh this truth of the Cross. They will always be a subject of scandal for the world. They take Christ’s place.”

“All you hidden and forgotten priests and religious, you whom society sometimes despises, you who are faithful to the promises of your ordination, you make the powers of this world tremble! You remind them that nothing can resist the strength of the gift of your life for the sake of truth. Your presence is unbearable to the prince of lies. You are not the defenders of an abstract truth or a party. You have decided to suffer for love of the truth, for Jesus Christ. Without you, dear brother priests and consecrated religious, humanity would be less great and less beautiful. You are the living rampart of the truth because you agreed to love it even to the Cross”

Cardinal Sarah is the Vatican’s most senior African prelate and has served as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship since 2014.


  catholic, homosexuality, james martin, robert sarah, satan

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SNEAK PREVIEW: Introduction to ‘Patriots: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Pro-Life Movement’

I touched down in Dublin two weeks before the Irish abortion referendum with my wife Charmaine, my daughter Charlotte, and two of my colleagues.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 8:45 am EST
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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

This is the introduction to my new book Patriots: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Pro-Life Movement. If you’re Irish, you can order your copy here. If you’re from North America, you can order your copy here

Introduction

On Thursday I had a strange sense that the day had the tenor of a Holy Saturday—a day lifted out of history. Except that here, history seemed to have gone into reverse: the Resurrection behind, Calvary in front. On Friday, the Irish people climbed Calvary backwards, in the name of progress.

Irish journalist John Waters, May 28, 2018, three days after the abortion referendum

***

I touched down in Dublin two weeks before the Irish abortion referendum with my wife Charmaine, my daughter Charlotte, and two of my colleagues from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, Nick and Maaike Rosendal. We had heard that Irish officials were turning back foreigners who had come to join the pro-life movement’s final push before the deciding votes were cast on May 25 but my eight-month-old daughter’s beaming face warded off any awkward questions. Who would take a baby on a political campaign, after all? We were waved through into a country in the throes of a culture war.

We left the city and headed out into the countryside, our surroundings exploding into a hundred hues of green. We wound our way down twisty roads lined with slumping stone walls once intended to fence in the sheep picking their way across the pastures and around the bunches of yellow flowers dotting the rolling hills. Ancient stone houses and outbuildings almost disappeared behind creeping ivy. And everywhere, the signs: If abortion at six months horrifies you, vote NO. Another, featuring a baby in the womb sucking her thumb: A Licence to Kill? Vote NO to abortion on demand. A similar sign simply cited facts: I am 9 weeks old. I can yawn and kick. Don’t repeal me.

It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that there were signs affixed to every lamppost, traffic light, and road sign in the country. The signs urging voters to bring abortion to the country were more Orwellian, remaining conspicuously vague as to what they were actually advocating for: Vote YES for Compassion, For Dignity, For Care. And: Vote YES: Care, Compassion, Trust. The first victim of a war on children is always truth, and the Yes campaign seemed acutely aware that they were unlikely to score points in their battle for legal abortion by actually mentioning abortion. It was far wiser, they had decided, to appeal soothingly to vaguely positive human emotions.

Signs of resistance to the threat were everywhere. A clergyman was balanced precariously atop a stepladder in front of his grey stone church, affixing a “Vote No to Abortion on Demand!” sign to his flagpole, the Irish tricolor flapping in the wind above him. Further down the road, someone had used black spray paint to turn the back of a traffic sign into a message urging voters to protect life, an enormous “NO!” followed by a spray-painted X in a ballot box. When I stopped at a gas station and asked a white-haired man behind the counter what he thought of it all, he replied that he hoped Ireland could “keep the Eighth,” but shook his head worriedly: “But the media, you know. They are so biased.”

Coming from a nation where politicians consistently insist that the abortion debate is closed and local authorities often attempt to suppress pro-life activism, it was hard for a Canadian pro-life activist like myself not to be encouraged by the vibrancy and volume of the Irish abortion debate. Not only that, but there seemed to be something different about the Irish pro-life activists that we joined on the Vote No Roadshow caravanning across the country and the men and women we went canvassing with in Dublin and the passionate young people we campaigned with in front of the bullet-scarred General Post Office.

It took me days to figure out what it was: They had an innocence that North American pro-life activists lacked. Not naivete, not at all—they certainly knew that they could lose the referendum. That is why they were pounding the streets, manning the phones, and working from door to door. It was the sort of innocence one has when they possess both the courage to fight evil and the faith that good can defeat it. More than that, it was the faith that good could defeat evil again. Abortion activists had been striving to destroy and undermine the Eighth Amendment for decades, but always the pro-life movement had fended them off. Time and again, the sweaty panic of the final countdown to the campaign’s end had given way to an explosion of celebration.

This time, it had to be that way, too. The dragon had to die, the knight had to win, and the innocents had to be saved. In some ways, any other result was almost unfathomable. Those of us from America and Canada lacked this faith simply because we were accustomed to evil winning the day. Betrayal by politicians is the rule rather than a rarity. Working alongside the Irish pro-lifers of the Vote No Roadshow and feeling their beautiful optimism, I genuinely envied them their lack of cynicism. I said as much to Tim Jackson, the leader of the Vote No Road Show that had been criss-crossing Ireland for weeks. He smiled wryly. “Be careful,” he said. “This country’ll break your heart.”

On May 25, 2018, Ireland became the first nation on earth to bring abortion to her shores by popular demand. Her citizens knew what they were voting for. They had been warned by the tireless men and women who worked themselves to the bone to plead for the lives of pre-born children and warn of the grotesque horrors that are spawned when an abortion regime takes root. They were tragically ignored by 66.4% of those who cast their votes. The grief that followed was raw and awful, and the depression was deep and dark. It felt, as one pro-life activist said shortly afterward, like a death in the family. In so many ways, that is precisely what it was.

Over the months that followed, I kept in touch with many of the pro-lifers I had been privileged to work with during my short time in Ireland. The triumphalism of the media was nauseating, and the emerging narrative in not only the Irish press but around the world was a simple one: Legalized abortion is inevitable. Ireland’s Eighth Amendment had merely been a hangover from a different time, and Ireland’s pro-lifers were the last defenders of a nation that no longer existed. The tide of what is today perversely called progress is unstoppable, the media declared, and those few Western nations clinging to protections for pre-born children were put on notice that they would fall next. The eye of Sauron swung to Northern Ireland within hours.

The story that the media, the politicians, and the abortion activists want to tell about the abortion referendum of 2018 is the story of scrappy progressives and feminists who wanted to modernize their country, and succeeded after years of blood, sweat and tears (and there will be much, much more of all that to come in the years ahead). Because the elites own the media, the entertainment industry, and every major political party, that is the only story being told. They must persuade us all that they are on the right side of history, and delude themselves into believing that a future can be built by shedding the blood of generations unborn. Their triumphant shouts and cheers of celebration at Dublin Castle on May 26 were perhaps just loud enough to drown out their own whispering consciences.

The inverse of that story, of course, is that the pro-lifers who fought so hard were simply the flagging vanguard of the patriarchy, those who wished to oppress women and drag Ireland back to a different time. The media ignored the fact that those on the frontlines were fighting for the children of other people–they had nothing to personally gain for their sacrifices. I met students who were skipping university courses to hit the streets from dawn ‘til dusk, elderly men and women who had been stiffly walking from door to door each evening for years, a middle-aged man who had sold his business so he could live off the proceeds and campaign against abortion. Young parents were out pushing children in strollers with others strapped to their backs. The passion of these people was not rooted in the desire for a totalitarian society that is a figment of the feminist imagination. It was rooted in a genuine, palpable, love for little children. But that the media could not report on, because that would draw attention to the fact that it was, in fact, little children who were at stake in the referendum.

“What about the babies?” one elderly woman asked a Yes voter sorrowfully as she walked door to door in the Dublin suburbs with our canvass team a week before the vote. A shrug, and the door closed. That was a question that only the pro-lifers seemed to want an answer to. Loving both the mother and the child, it seemed, was not something many abortion supporters thought possible or desirable.

This story is being ignored. It is being ignored because it is an inconvenient and far different narrative, and also because pro-life activists have become masters at telling the stories of the babies lost to abortion and the men and women left broken in their wake, but have never quite learned how to tell their own stories. We often look back to other social reform movements: the abolitionists, the civil rights activists, the Holocaust rescuers. But we seldom tell the stories of those ordinary men and women, those unlikely heroes, who fought in anonymity for years to save children not their own, persevering in the face of a hostile culture, a contemptuous media, and an entertainment industry selling death with glamour and a smile.

That story is the story of men and women who responded to the news of Roe v. Wade in the United States by fighting to insert protections for pre-born children into Ireland’s constitution with the Eighth Amendment, saving hundreds of thousands of lives over the ensuing decades while nation after nation succumbed to the abortion juggernaut all around them. It is the story of the thousands of people who put boots on the ground to fight tooth and nail for the life of every pre-born baby—while abortion was still illegal. It is the story of the men and women who fought with their ancestors at their backs and their children in their hearts, fired by the rock-solid conviction that Ireland’s babies were worth fighting for.

It is time to tell this story. In the wake of death’s temporary victory, it is essential. Upcoming generations of not only Irish pro-life activists but pro-lifers around the world should know that for thirty-five years, babies in their untold tens of thousands ended up in bassinets instead of dumpsters because there were champions willing to speak for them. They should know that abortion activists right around the globe despised the pro-life Irish activists precisely because their defensive war on behalf of the pre-born proved that an abortion regime is never inevitable, and that a culture that loves both mothers and children is possible if we only love hard and fight harder. They should know that the true heirs of Ireland’s ancestors are those who fought for her future, not the gloaters who believe her children can be sacrificed on the altar of sex and selfishness.

The loss of the Eighth Amendment was a crushing one, and the Irish pro-life movement will need encouragement in the years ahead. That encouragement can be found in the examples of the very men and women who made up her ranks in years past, and those who make up her ranks today. To see glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel, the patriots of today must climb onto the shoulders of the giants who went before. On many days, it may seem as if the pro-life cause is a lost cause. But there is perhaps nothing as Irish as a lost cause, and nothing as Irish as defying those odds.

It is, after all, what Irish patriots have always done.


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Sci-fi legend praised eugenics: ‘Injurious to the race of man’ to let ‘inferiors’ breed

The author's writings reflect an arrogant contempt for human life, connected with evolutionism.
Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 7:00 am EST
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Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) -- The news cycle seems never to be lacking novel horrors in the battle against the sanctity of human life, as when we heard that Chairman Cuomo’s regime had approved the rental of wombs and the sale of babies. One insane idea after another is floated by people who have no moral or metaphysical bearings, in a relentless quest to inaugurate the “brave new world” of limitless possibilities — which proves to be a world of limitless exploitation.

Sound arguments in defense of moral absolutes and the fundamental right to life are always needed, and it is important that these arguments be given philosophically, not just on the basis of religious convictions, even where such convictions are a deeper and firmer foundation for the truth. The right to life includes the right to be born of the natural union of husband and wife — the context within which human beings are most fittingly welcomed and brought up in love, in accordance with their dignity. Children are the gift par excellence of marriage; they define it as the type of communion of persons it is, and give it its inherent structure and duties.

In an earlier article, I looked at British philosopher Stephen R.L. Clark’s new book Can We Believe in People? Human Significance in an Interconnected Cosmos (Brooklyn, NY: Angelico Press, 2020), in which he spells out why protecting the innocent and the weak is distinctive to our humanity and separates us from the beasts of the field who, in many cases, care little or nothing for their offspring. I wish now to look at Clark’s exposé of the eugenicism of H.G. Wells, which he cites as an example of the evils to which so-called “scientific” reasoning will lead among those who are blindly led by it.

Clark notes that Wells and his circle thought that “living in accord with nature” meant imitating a “kill or be killed” mentality of the wild, and that this, in turn, meant ridding the world of those they considered inferior or inconvenient or defective:

The New Republicans (a term from Wells’ A Modern Utopia) will have no pity for such “contemptible and silly creatures” and “to make life convenient for the breeding of such people will seem to them not the most virtuous and amiable thing in the world ... but an exceedingly abominable proceeding. … The procreation of children who by the circumstances of their parentage, must be diseased bodily or mentally ... is absolutely the most loathsome of all conceivable sins.” (Clark, p. 50)

He reminds us that the Scopes Trial in 1925, which is now remembered as a contest over evolution, concerned a textbook that expressed an extreme eugenicist point of view: George William Hunter’s A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems (New York: American Book Co., 1914). In a section called “Parasitism and its Cost to Society,” this textbook stated:

Hundreds of families such as those described above exist today, spreading disease, immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other plants or animals, these families have become parasitic on society. They not only do harm to others by corrupting, stealing, or spreading disease, but they are actually protected and cared for by the state out of public money. Largely for them the poorhouse and the asylum exist. They take from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true parasites. The Remedy. — If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with some success in this country. (cited in Clark, p. 50)

H.G. Wells gave consummate expression to this way of thinking:

It has become apparent that whole masses of the human population are as a whole inferior in their claim upon the future to other masses, that they cannot be given opportunities or trusted with power as the superior peoples are trusted, that their characteristic weaknesses are contagious and detrimental in the civilizing fabric, and their range of incapacity tempts and demoralises the strong. To give them equality is to sink to their level, to protect and cherish them is to be swamped in their fecundity. … There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to smallpox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. (cited in Clark, pp. 95–96)

This side of Wells is expounded in Dr. Jerry Bergman’s article “H.G. Wells: Darwin’s Disciple and Eugenicist Extraordinaire.” Also illuminating is Peter Kemp’s H. G. Wells and the Culminating Ape: Biological Imperatives and Imaginative Obsessions (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996).

How often do we hear people say they oppose racism, when in fact they support organizations like Planned Parenthood that trace their origins directly to Wellsian eugenicism, and when they continue to target the poor, needy, vulnerable, and underprivileged, getting rich off of their woes, and preventing “their kind” from reproducing? It is one of the most disgusting examples of hypocrisy and cynicism to be met with in human history.

Clark cites approvingly what Pope John Paul II formulated with precision the fundamental problem of a subjectivist equation of highly functional rationality with personhood:

The theory of human rights is based precisely on the affirmation that the human person, unlike animals and things, cannot be subjected to domination by others. We must also mention the mentality which tends to equate personal dignity with the capacity for verbal and explicit, or at least perceptible, communication. It is clear that on the basis of these presuppositions there is no place in the world for anyone who, like the unborn or the dying, is a weak element in the social structure, or for anyone who appears completely at the mercy of others and radically dependent on them, and can only communicate through the silent language of a profound sharing of affection. In this case it is force which becomes the criterion for choice and action in interpersonal relations and in social life. But this is the exact opposite of what a State ruled by law, as a community in which the “reasons of force” are replaced by the “force of reason,” historically intended to affirm. (Evangelium Vitae, §19, cited in Clark, 100–1).

Clark reasonably objects to the word “cannot” in the first sentence, the use of which is factually untrue; probably the intention was to say “may not be subjected to domination by others,” as in: no one has the right to do this. Those who choose to subject human persons to domination lose their own dignity and plummet into a sickly caricature of humanity. Force is not and can never be the “criterion for choice and action in interpersonal relations,” as it was for H.G. Wells and Margaret Sanger, and as it remains for Planned Parenthood, Andrew Cuomo, and many others who, day by day, undermine the “force of reason” by “reasons of force.”


  abortion, andrew cuomo, eugenics, families, h.g. wells, john paul ii, marriage, planned parenthood

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Episodes Tue Jun 23, 2020 - 1:20 pm EST

Catholics have ceased being salt and light to the world, we need to change that

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Watch Mother Miriam's Live aired on 6.23.2020. In today’s episode, Mother reminds listeners of the importance of truly living our faith, not just calling ourselves Catholic. She reminds us that we need to live each day as if it were our last. She also reminds us that the devil’s greatest trick is to make us think we have time to repent, time to be more faithful, and time to devote our hearts to God.

 

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