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News

Trump-haters shock black American with vicious behavior, while Trump-supporters embrace him

'His face at the end is priceless.'
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 8:29 pm EST
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Millennial Millie / YouTube
Andrea Widburg
By Andrea Widburg

WARNING: The videos included in this post contain offensive language.

August 4, 2020 (American Thinker) — In August 2019, Millie Weaver (AKA Millennial Millie) went to a Trump rally in Cincinnati, Ohio. She carried with her a microphone emblazoned with Alex Jones's InfoWars logo. Whatever one feels about InfoWars is irrelevant. What is relevant, instead, is a 50-second-long clip of the video revealing that it is Trump's supporters, not the left, who truly embrace the idea that "love trumps hate."

Millie's goal last year was to get some of the anti-Trump protesters to walk over to the Trump-supporters and see if they were as bad as the protesters claimed they were. Eventually, Marco, a black American, took her up on the challenge. After he spent time with the Trump-supporters, Millie asked Marco to escort her back to the anti-Trump protesters so he could compare his experience with Trump-supporters to Millie's experience with the protesters.

The resulting video lasts 44 minutes and, if you have the time, is worth watching. The difference between the welcome Trump's supporters offer Marco and the spittle-flecked, obscene, threatening invective that the protesters hurl at Millie is shocking. It certainly shocked Marco.

But for many people, 44 minutes is a long time to commit to a video, especially one that's almost a year old. It scarcely seems relevant enough to justify the time commitment. Even though the Black Lives Matter movement, Marxist though it may be, has thrust racism to the forefront of everything happening in America today, people might still find it hard to bestir themselves to invest time in the video.

At Twitter, though, BIGDAVE did something clever. He reduced the video to a mere 50 seconds. In under a minute, anyone can see the generosity of spirit and the colorblindness on the Trump side and the frightening hatred radiating from the leftists.

We've seen this raw hatred before. We've seen it at Nazi rallies in 1930s Germany, we've seen it at KKK and white supremacist rallies in America, we've seen it when angry Alabamans tried to block black children from attending their schools in the 1950s, and we've seen it all over the Middle East as frenzied mobs shout about "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."

It is the mindless hatred of angry mobs that have been taught that the world is a zero-sum game and that the only way to survive isn't through liberty and ethics, but, instead, by using hatred to defeat the "other." This is what people on the American left have become. They don't act like respectable humans in a constitutional democratic republic. They act like ravening animals.

Unfortunately, Millie has lost track of Marco. It would have been interesting to see if his experience last year had any effect on him.

Here's the entire video:

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 presidential election, american thinker, donald trump, racism

News

Over 750 Canadians demanded to be killed in 2019 due to ‘loneliness’

A federal report documents that 5,631 Canadians died by lethal injection in 2019, with 13.7% of those deaths administered for 'isolation and loneliness.'
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 8:03 pm EST
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PhotobyTawat / Shutterstock.com
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

OTTAWA, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Canadians should be “deeply ashamed” of their government’s first annual report on euthanasia that reveals that 771 sick Canadians asked to be lethally injected in 2019 because of loneliness, says a well known American euthanasia opponent.

“Good grief. We are told that euthanasia is ‘compassion.’ But how compassionate is it when last year in Canada, hundreds of sick people were euthanized because of loneliness?” wrote Wesley J. Smith in the National Review.

Released in July by Liberal Health Minister Patty Hajdu, the federal report documents that 5,631 Canadians died by lethal injection, or Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), in 2019.

That accounted for two percent of all deaths in Canada that year and is a 26.1-percent increase from 2018 in the medically assisted killing of Canadians.

The report’s data were drawn from the federal monitoring system on euthanasia the Liberals launched November 1, 2018. Before this, provinces and territories voluntarily submitted records on euthanasia, which Canada legalized in June 2016.

Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, wrote a searing summary of the report’s findings that terminally ill Canadians requested euthanasia for the following reasons:

  • 82.1 percent for “loss of ability to engage in enjoyable activities”;
  • 78.1 percent for “loss of ability to perform activities of daily living”;
  • 53.9 percent for “Inadequate control of pain (or concern about it)”; 
  • 53.3 percent for “loss of dignity”;
  • 34 percent for being a perceived burden on family, friends, and caregivers;
  • 13.7 percent for “isolation and loneliness”;
  • 4.7 percent for emotional distress/anxiety/fear/existential suffering.

The percentage of those who cited “inadequate control of pain or concern about it” as a reason for requesting euthanasia is “scandalously high,” observed Smith.

“Palliative and hospice pain-control experts will tell you that most serious pain in terminal illnesses can be successfully alleviated,” he said.

The first, second and fourth most cited reasons for requesting euthanasia are all serious concerns but “can be overcome with appropriate care,” observed Smith.

“These statistics are scandalous and should make Canadians deeply ashamed.”

The federal report also makes no “attempt to uncover possible abuse of the law,” pointed out Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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Under Bill C-14, the medical practitioner who administers the lethal injection also reports the death, he told LifeSiteNews.

“And I always ask the question and it’s absolutely the correct question: Will people self-report abuse of the law? Will they write into the report that So-and-so was unconscious when I came to do it? That they were incompetent when I came to do it? Will they say that this person was unsure, but his wife really thought it was a good idea?” Schadenberg said.

“No, that’s not going to come into the report.”

He referred to the CTV-reported case of 61-year-old Allan Nichols, a physically healthy B.C. janitor who suffered from chronic depression and was lethally injected in the Chilliwack General Hospital in June 2019, despite pleas from his family.

They then asked the RCMP to investigate because Nichols did not have a terminal illness.

Bill C-14 stipulates that individuals age 18 and over who are capable of consent and make a voluntary request are eligible for lethal injection if they are diagnosed with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition.”

The law currently defines this as a serious and incurable illness or disability that results in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capability and causes intolerable physical or psychological suffering, with natural death being “reasonably foreseeable.”

However, Quebec Superior Court justice Christine Baudouin struck down the “natural death” criterion as unconstitutional in her September 2019 Truchon v. Canada decision and gave the federal and Quebec governments six months to amend their legislation.

In response, in February, the Trudeau Liberals tabled Bill C-7, which critics warned will make Canada the most permissive “euthanasia regime” in the world.

The bill not only dispenses with the terminal illness requirement, but, among other things, “permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to lethally inject a person who is incapable of consenting, if that person was previously approved for assisted death,” Schadenberg said.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, Parliament won’t debate Bill C-7 until September, and the Quebec court has extended its deadline to December, but Schadenberg is encouraging people to continue lobbying against the legislation and sign the EPCC petition against it.

He also suggested that the numbers of sick Canadians requesting euthanasia because of loneliness and isolation will surge this year because of the lockdowns.

“This is a significant issue,” said Schadenberg, noting that all available data for 2020 show euthanasia numbers rising.

Ontario reported 1,127 euthanasia deaths in the six months of 2020, a sharp increase from the 774 reported deaths for the same time period in 2019. Ontario recorded 1,015 euthanasia deaths in the second half of 2019, said Schadenberg.

“If the same percentage of people euthanized in Canada were killed by doctors in the U.S.A., it would add up to more than 50,000 medical homicides per year,” Smith pointed out. “Do we really want that?”

“This isn’t just about Canada,” he continued. “The country is our closest cultural cousin. If we swallow the hemlock as our northern cousins have, the same lethal pattern could unfold here.”


  assisted suicide, euthanasia, maid, modern medicine

News

Bishop: Vote for candidates who ‘respect life, morality, marriage, family’ and ‘our basic freedoms’

'It is critical that we keep eternal truths at the forefront as we vote,' wrote Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 7:54 pm EST
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Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas
Clare Marie Merkowsky
By

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TYLER, Texas, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On Wednesday Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas exhorted Catholics to vote “with a well formed conscience” for candidates who “respect life, morality, marriage, family [and] our basic freedoms.”

“It is critical that we keep eternal truths at the forefront as we vote,” he wrote. “Study the issues & choose candidates who respect FAITH.”

In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, Father Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, said that he felt compelled to speak out as the Democratic Party has “allied itself with evil.”

“The Democrat Party has made a covenant with evil. They are in bed with the abortion industry. They want absolutely no restrictions on abortion,” he continued. “They consider it a basic right, and they want us to pay for it.”

“This is a party now that does not respect the freedom of the Church,” Pavone added. “So if a party doesn't respect the freedom of the Church, how can the Church be neutral?”

Pavone told LifeSiteNews that “not only can Catholics not vote for [Joe] Biden in good conscience, but they can’t vote for Democrats, period.” Despite claiming to be Catholic, Biden’s pro-abortion and LGBT decisions have put him in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching.

He has made taxpayer-funded abortion on demand and enshrining into law the many demands of the LGBT lobby a key part of his 2020 presidential platform.

He has said that if he wins election, he will direct the Justice Department to “do everything in its power” to block state laws that place any restriction on abortion, including parental notification requirements, ultrasound laws, and waiting periods.

After the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, when restrictions were placed on various medical services, Biden said abortion is an “essential health care service” and that it is necessary “to ensure that women have access to all health services during this crisis.”

Earlier this year, Biden said on social media that “transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.”

As vice president, Biden officiated for two men attempting to marry each other.

The Obama-Biden administration notably tried to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to participate in the provision of abortion-inducing drugs and contraception and threatened schools with the loss of federal funding if they wouldn’t let boys in girls’ bathrooms and vice versa, among other things.

As president, Donald Trump has reinstated and expanded the ban on foreign aid to abortion-involved groups (including International Planned Parenthood Federation), banned groups that commit or refer abortions from Title X family planning funds, overturned Obama-era regulations that barred states from defunding Planned Parenthood, and issued rules protecting Americans from being forced to subsidize abortion in government-mandated health insurance plans.

The president has also forcefully denounced abortion, calling attention to Democrats’ opposition to anti-infanticide legislation and calling on Congress to send him a ban on late-term abortion to sign. Most of his judicial nominees have pleased pro-lifers as well.

In addition, the administration has consistently worked to defend life and oppose abortion at the United Nations, from resisting pro-abortion agenda items and resolution language to affirming that abortion isn’t a human right and promoting abstinence education. Trump also cut U.S. ties with the pro-abortion World Health Organization (WHO) due to its mishandling of the coronavirus crisis.

This year, Trump declared January 22, the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision imposing abortion on demand across the country, to be “National Sanctity of Human Life Day.” A few days later, he became the first U.S. president to attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.

In a proclamation issued prior to the march, Trump declared that “every person — the born and unborn, the poor, the downcast, the disabled, the infirm, and the elderly — has inherent value” and said the U.S. “proudly and strongly reaffirms our commitment to protect the precious gift of life at every stage, from conception to natural death.”

Pavone said that although there have been morally questionable things about President Trump’s personal life, he still has the capability to be a good president.  

The priest likened choosing a president to choosing an auto mechanic: “When we’re making those kinds of choices, we’re not looking into the person’s personal history or virtues. I don’t ask the auto mechanic how many times he’s been married. I ask him if he knows what’s wrong with my car and if he can fix it at a reasonable price and in a reasonable time frame.”

President Trump, Pavone said, has defended the unborn and “fixed so many of the problems in our country unlike any other president has done.”


  2020 election, abortion, homosexuality, joe biden, joseph strickland, president trump

News

Catholic home for sex-trafficked girls to open after 3-year fight with state

Since filing a lawsuit in 2019, Children of the Immaculate Heart (CIH) reached a resolution with the California authorities after being denied a license for three years.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 7:50 pm EST
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Jamesboy Nuchaikong / Shutterstock.com
Clare Marie Merkowsky
By

SAN DIEGO, California, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic charity is preparing to open a home for underage victims of human-trafficking after reaching a resolution with California officials who refused for years to grant the charity a license to open a refuge.

Since filing a lawsuit in 2019, Children of the Immaculate Heart (CIH), a religious charity that helps women escape sex-trafficking, reached a resolution with the California authorities, allowing them to open a house for girls age 12–17 who have been victims of human-trafficking.

“We were able to meet the state regulations in a way that did not compromise our conscience as a Catholic agency,” Grace Williams, founder and executive director of Children of the Immaculate Heart, told Catholic News Agency.

“It’s a loss for girls that couldn’t be home sooner, but we’re happy we are where we are,” she said.

After three years of being refused a license, CIH decided to file a lawsuit accusing California officials of delaying the license for the project and violating the charity’s constitutional rights.

Licensing officials made it clear that they found CIH’s Catholic identity “offensive” and openly voiced their disagreement with the charity’s religious beliefs when it came to homosexuality and abortion.

Officials originally demanded that CIH certify that it would promote LGBT events, drive residents to get abortions, and support children while they received hormones to make them look like a member of the opposite sex. CIH refused to cooperate.

“Maybe the cultural milieu is not on our side, but the constitution is on our side, which is why we felt comfortable filing the lawsuit,” Williams said. “In the end, we didn’t even have to finish it in court.”

On June 10, the California Department of Social Services issued CIH a provisional license to operate the refuge as a short-term residential therapeutic program after settling the lawsuit out of court.

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This means that CIH may now offer therapeutic services and support for trafficked young people referred to the refuge by the San Diego County Department of Probation and Child Welfare Services.

CIH plans to begin staff training at the refuge next week and plans to open to girls referred from probation and child welfare officials in the third week of August.

“As an organization, our staff is doubling in size,” Williams said. “It’s a big push, operationally, financially, and everything.”

The Refuge, a four-bedroom home on two acres in Escondido in San Diego County, can house up to six girls, who may stay for up to two years. It will provide targeted mental health treatment, family relationship building, life skills development like self-care and job readiness, and individualized academic coursework.

“We want them to become economically self-sufficient and, of course, we want them to encounter the love of Christ, which gives meaning and direction to all of our lives, and eternal life,” she said.


  california, catholic, children of the immaculate heart, christian persecution, sex-trafficking

News

Bishop bans traditional community from distributing Communion on tongue

Catholics in Birmingham are instructed to stretch out their arms as far as possible to receive Holy Communion in their hands.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 7:41 pm EST
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Abp. Bernard Longley of Birmingham, United Kingdom. Shalom World / YouTube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Birmingham Oratory, a Catholic community in England celebrating Mass in Latin and English, has been ordered by the local archbishop no longer to distribute Holy Communion on the tongue.

“The Fathers are very distressed to have to tell you that His Grace the Archbishop of Birmingham has forbidden us to distribute Holy Communion on the tongue, for the present,” the community of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri wrote on its website. The current archbishop of Birmingham is Bernard Longley.

“The Fathers will comply with this instruction, at the present time,” the short statement continued. “The Fathers are praying and hoping that this instruction will be rescinded as soon as possible.”

Catholic scholars have emphasized that the faithful have a right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, as it was distributed for centuries. The reception of the Eucharist in the hand was formalized only as an act of disobedience to the Church’s teaching office following the Second Vatican Council.

The Catholic Church states clearly in Redemptionis Sacramentum that a Catholic “always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue,” a right that cannot simply be taken away.

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has argued that a bishop oversteps his authority in denying Catholics this right. “Many bishops are abusing their authority right now because … they’re supposed to uphold Canon Law and Canon Law is really clear that the faithful have the right to receive communion on the tongue. That's it,” he said in a July 2020 interview on The John-Henry Westen Show.

In a lengthy article published in May, Kwasniewski collected the statements of the magisterium on the manner of receiving the Eucharist.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which tells priests how to celebrate Mass properly, says, “If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the Priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, The Body of Christ. The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed, in the hand, the choice lying with the communicant.”

As far as the traditional Latin Mass is concerned, which is also celebrated at the Birmingham Oratory, the liturgical books “are to be used as they are.”

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Kwasniewski commented, “There has never been the slightest question about what these laws entail: at the Extraordinary Form, laity who approach to receive Communion must receive it on the tongue; no other way is envisaged or allowed by law.”

“To have a new custom established (quod Deus avertat), a bishop or episcopal conference would have to request and obtain a rescript from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, just as the bishops of different countries had to ask Rome for a rescript to permit Communion in the hand decades ago,” he continued. “Moreover, even if a bishop could obtain such a rescript, it would not change the layman’s right to choose the manner in which to receive.”

The Franciscan theologian Fr. Serafino Lanzetta pointed out that the permission to receive Holy Communion in the hand can never become an imposition on the faithful. In other words, the Church cannot say Holy Communion must be received in the hand, only that it is allowed.

More than 20 Austrian doctors argued in June, “From the point of view of hygiene, it is absolutely incomprehensible to us why oral communion has been banned in Austria. We also consider this form of distribution safer than hand communion.”

The doctors emphasized that most contaminations are the result of sullied hands, quoting Dr. Filippo Maria Boscia, the president of the Association of Catholic Doctors of Italy, who wrote in May, “What is certain is that the hands are the parts of the body that are most exposed to pathogens.”

In July, LifeSiteNews and Voice of the Family put on an online conference on the question of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue. A recording is still available to watch for free:

In spite of the theological, legal, and medical reasons to favor the reception of the Eucharist on the tongue, the official guidelines for the resumption of the public Masses, released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) in June, allow for Communion only in the hand.

“At the place where communion is to be distributed, a physical barrier should be placed, for example a prie-dieu (kneeler on the priest’s side) or small table to socially distance the priest distributing Holy Communion from communicants,” the document spelled out in great detail.

“Communion must be given silently in the hand only, with the communicant standing, and avoiding any physical contact. People should wait in their pews until instructed to move forward to the priest for Holy Communion by the Stewards, always aware of the regulations on social distancing in the orderly queue.”

To actually be given the consecrated Host, the faithful should approach the priest “with arms at ‘full stretch’ so that there is a good distance between the priest and the communicant. Their hands, palms upwards, one of top of the other, should be extended as flatly as possible. Having received Holy Communion, communicants should move back to their pews in an orderly manner.”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider recently called on the pope to ban Communion in the hand.

“The Pope should also forbid the practice of Communion in the hand, for the Church cannot continue unpunished to treat the Holy of Holies in the little sacred Host in such a minimalistic and unsafe manner,” he said.


  bernard longley, birmingham, catholic, communion in the hand, communion on the tongue, coronavirus, united kingdom

News

Authors of study showing benefits of ‘gender-affirming’ treatment issue ‘correction,’ admit they’re wrong

The authors now say that gender-confused people who undergo ‘gender-reassignment’ surgery are more likely to be treated for anxiety disorders than those who don’t have such surgery.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 7:08 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The authors of a study who claimed “gender-reassignment” procedures brought mental health benefits issued a correction to their 2019 findings, admitting that those who have had “gender-reassignment” surgery “were more likely to be treated for anxiety disorders.”

The study, published October 4, 2019 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, purported to show that “gender-affirmation” treatment improves transgender mental health. The study utilized data from the Swedish Total Population Register, with information from more than 9.7 million Swedes, or about 95 percent of the country.

The claimed findings from the study led to headlines in mainstream media outlets proclaiming things like “Long-Term Mental Health Benefits of Gender-Affirming Surgery for Transgender Individuals” (American Psychiatric Association), “Sex-reassignment surgery yields long-term mental health benefits” (NBC News), and “Transgender surgery linked with better long-term mental health, study shows” (ABC News).  

But University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regneus pointed out last year that the study “found no mental health benefits for hormonal interventions in this population,” and the claim that “gender-reassignment” surgery helped mental health hinged on the outcomes of only three people -- from a total dataset of 9.7 million people.

The authors of the study have now conceded that “the results demonstrated no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care.”

Moreover, the authors also note that gender-confused people who undergo “gender-reassignment” surgery are more likely to be treated for anxiety disorders than those who don’t have such surgery.

“Individuals diagnosed with gender incongruence who had received gender-affirming surgery were more likely to be treated for anxiety disorders compared with individuals diagnosed with gender incongruence who had not received gender-affirming surgery,” the correction read.

Writing at The Daily Signal, Dr. Ryan Anderson pointed out that such findings are consistent with previous studies in this area.

“It shouldn’t surprise us that the results of this most recent study — and its correction — show that hormonal and surgical transition procedures don’t bring the promised benefits,” Anderson wrote. 

“Even the Obama administration admitted that the best studies do not report improvement after reassignment surgery.”

Anderson cited a 2016 memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid that stated “the four best designed and conducted studies that assessed quality of life before and after surgery using validated (albeit non-specific) psychometric studies did not demonstrate clinically significant changes or differences in psychometric test results after GRS (gender reassignment surgery).”

Anderson pointed out that the same Obama-era memo cited a 2011 Swedish study that identified significantly increased suicide rates among those who had “gender reassignment” surgery.

A range of scientific literature indicates that reinforcing a patient’s gender confusion often fails to prevent significant emotional harm up to and including attempted suicide (with or without surgery), because fixating on “gender affirmation” tends to distract from exploring other issues that may be the actual root of a patient’s mental or emotional unrest.

“Given all of these concerns, why the media celebration of the study? Why the ‘consensus’ among the medical elite that transitioning benefits patients? Why the claim that it’s the only acceptable treatment?” Anderson asked.

“Why are children being ‘transitioned’? And why are parents being told puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries are the only way to treat their children?”


  american journal of psychiatry, american psychiatric association, center for medicare and medicaid, gender confused, gender-reassignment surgery, mark regnerus, mental health, puberty blocking drugs, ryan anderson, suicide, transgender surgery

News

Parish bans Catholics from kneeling during Mass in reaction to pandemic

A July 12 notice published to the church’s Facebook page lists 'do not use kneelers to pray' among a list of health rules for indoor services
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 4:26 pm EST
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A COVID-19 warning attached to the pews of St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Parish in Sinajana, Guam.
Calvin Freiburger
By Calvin Freiburger

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SINAJANA, Guam, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the United States’ island territory of Guam is forbidding the faithful from kneeling in prayer during church services in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A parishioner sent LifeSiteNews the above photo of one of the pews at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Parish in Sinajana, bearing a sign asking the faithful, “PLEASE DO NOT KNEEL.” The parishioner also said that a priest at the church had stopped administering Holy Communion on the tongue.

A July 12 notice published to the church’s Facebook page lists “do not use kneelers to pray” among a list of health rules for indoor services, which also includes mandatory face masks and temperature screenings, hand sanitizer at the entrances, and forbidding handshakes during the “sign of peace.”

“I didn’t go back the following Sundays because of the sign,” said one parishioner, who wished to remain anonymous. “I decided to go to another church that does not post such nonsense.” The parishioner added that posting the signs “indicates to me lack of faith in the Eucharist.”

LifeSiteNews has reached out to St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Parish for comment, and will update this report upon reply.

Across the world, many secular authorities have heavily restricted the right to religious assembly in the name of containing COVID-19, with a few specifically targeting distribution of Communion. But of arguably greater concern for the faithful are Catholic leaders voluntarily imposing such restrictions on their congregations. Bishops in parts of the United States, France, Malta, Jerusalem, Singapore, the Philippines, England, and Wales have all forbidden receiving Communion on the tongue.

Guam, an island of 165,768 people, has seen just 375 confirmed COVID-19 cases and five total deaths as of August 4.


  catholic, catholic church, catholicism, christianity, coronavirus, covid-19, faith, guam, kneeling, prayer, sinajana, st. jude thaddeus catholic parish

News

Democrat lawmaker calls for ban on history classes since they lead to ‘racist society’

Democrat state Rep. LaShawn Ford said that 'current school history teaching leads to white privilege and a racist society.'
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 3:56 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

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CHICAGO, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Illinois public schools must scrap their history lessons entirely until an alternative is developed out of alleged concern “that current school history teaching leads to white privilege and a racist society,” Democrat state Rep. LaShawn Ford demanded over the weekend.

“I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history,” Ford said in a press release, NBC Chicago reported. “Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved.”

“I’m also alarmed that people continue to display symbols of hate, such as the recent display of the Confederate flag in Evanston,” he added.

Ford, a former Chicago Public Schools history teacher, has also introduced legislation to require that elementary schools teach children about the U.S. civil rights movement.

Many argue that the real problem in U.S. public schools’ history education is not that it forms a racist society, but that it encourages children to resent America for allegedly being one.

For instance, Hillsdale College history professor Burt Folsom contends that The American Pageant, a prominent text used in Advanced Placement history courses across the country, is full of “flawed passages,” “distortions,” “contradictions,” and “defective historical methods that “mislead students into thinking that the United States is fundamentally corrupt, and that the world is often worse off because America exists and has so much global influence.”

“How can current students become effective leaders in America’s future if they think their nation has been evil during so many eras of history?” Folsom asked.

Even so, several districts are currently doubling down on the sort of educational changes that Ford advocates. As LifeSiteNews previously covered, districts in New York City, Philadelphia, North Carolina, and elsewhere have announced plans to adopt new lesson plans aligned with the far-left Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Among those plans are material encouraging students to become political activists, opposing “color-blindness” as a societal ideal, and declaring that “structural racism and persistent inequities exist not only in our education system but also in health care, law enforcement, housing, food distribution, voting rights, and so much more.”


  black lives matter, chicago, education, history, illinois, indoctrination, lashawn ford, public schools, race

News

Vatican academy defends dropping ‘God’ from pandemic document to reach ‘widest possible audience’

Critics such as Phil Lawler pointed out that the Vatican document 'does not mention God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, prayer, or even charity'
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 3:45 pm EST
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Abp. Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life. ROME REPORTS en Español / YouTube
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

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ROME, Italy, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican has defended one of its recently released documents on the coronavirus pandemic that didn’t mention God as an effort to reach “the widest possible audience.” The 8-page “Humana Communitas in the Age of Pandemic: Untimely Meditations on Life’s Rebirth” was published by the Pontifical Academy for Life on July 22.

“We are interested in entering into human situations, reading them in the light of faith, and in a way that speaks to the widest possible audience, to believers and non-believers, to all men and women ‘of good will,’” said Fabrizio Mastrofini, a spokesman of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

“I do not know, at this point, whether a philological ‘accounting’ work on how many times a few key words recur in a text is useful,” Mastrofini said in response to an article published by New Daily Compass on July 31 (Italian: July 28).

“Your readers are entitled to know something else: the criticism of the lack of the terms God, faith, religion, was first put forward by an American website, then repeated by Spanish websites, and finally also in Italy by some passionate blogger,” he pointed out, failing to explain how that fact was of any relevance.

Phil Lawler of Catholic Word News had called the document shortly after its release on July 22 a “shocking Vatican perspective on the pandemic” and “an embarrassment to the Catholic faithful.”

According to Lawler, a well-respected Catholic journalist, even the title of the document “is misleading; the document provides very little hard information. But I will grant this much: it is ‘untimely.’ There is never a good time for this sort of vapid rumination.”

“Despite stretching to well over 4,000 words, the Vatican document does not mention God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, prayer, or even charity; even the word ‘Christian’ does not appear in the text,” Lawler summarized. “There is admittedly a call for ‘moral conversion,’ but in context it is clearly a call for an ideological rather than religious conversion.”

He said that the Vatican should send a Christian message – which he suggested would have happened in times past, when “the Pontifical Academy for Life might have urged us not to be paralyzed by fear of sickness and death, nor to regard any interaction with neighbors as a dangerous imposition.”

While the document “makes a weak gesture in that direction,” it does not offer practical advice for regular Catholics, instead making “a grandiose call for worldwide solidarity and international cooperation, stipulating that the World Health Organization should have a ‘privileged place’ in the campaign.”

Doyen Nguyen, a lay Dominican and professor, also criticized the document in a July 29 piece published on LifeSiteNews. 

“Nowhere in the document is it mentioned that God is our final end, that Christ is our hope, and that we need the grace of the Holy Spirit for both our moral conversion and a good moral life. Nowhere is the Church – the dispenser of the sacraments as a source of grace – mentioned either. In passing over these in silence, in what way does the Academy’s call for solidarity, equality, and ‘access (to health care) for all without exceptions’ differ from that of secular ideologies? This is a document issued from a prestigious body of the Catholic Church, yet there is no mention of Christianity or Christians, let alone Catholics. That a document is destined for all men and women is certainly not a reason for bracketing out its Catholic identity or omitting any reference to God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Church,” she wrote. 

The Academy attacked Lawler via Twitter, calling his article “a deliberate misunderstanding to produce confusion.” Lawler, in turn, simply said “they didn’t need my help to produce confusion. Their own document did the job nicely.”

“Humana Communitas,” the document of the Pontifical Academy for Life, indeed stressed that only a global response would be sufficient, discounting calls for subsidiarity.

“Deeply rooted in its mission to lead international health work is the notion that only the commitment of governments in a global synergy can protect, foster, and make effective a universal right to the highest attainable standard of health,” the Academy wrote. “This crisis emphasizes how much is needed an international organization with a global outreach, including specifically the needs and concerns of less developed countries coping with an unprecedented catastrophe.”

On the other hand, the document referred to governments trying to protect their population from the virus with accusations of “narrow mindedness of national self-interests,” having led to “a policy of independence and isolation from the rest of the world, as if a pandemic could be faced without a coordinated global strategy.”

“Such an attitude might pay lip service to the idea of subsidiarity, and the importance of a strategic intervention based on the claim of a lower authority taking precedence over any higher one, more distant from the local situation,” the document continued. “In reality, the attitude in question feeds into a logic of separation that is, to begin, less effective against Covid-19.”

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia was nominated by Pope Francis to head the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2016, following the removal of all previous members of the institution founded in 1994. At the same time, new statutes were imposed on the Academy, no longer requiring members to defend life in accordance with Catholic teaching.

In an interview, Paglia doubled down on the alleged importance of the pro-abortion World Health Organization (WHO), saying, “The WHO seems indispensable, even if it certainly had some flaws: we must learn from its failures and improve its functioning. Only in this way can we put into effect the universal right to the highest levels of health care, as an expression of protection of the inalienable dignity of the human person.”

The WHO explicitly states on its website, “Every woman has the recognized human right to decide freely and responsibly without coercion and violence the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health (ICPD 1994). Access to legal and safe abortion is essential for the realization of these rights.”

“Contraceptive information and services are fundamental to the health and human rights of all individuals,” according to the WHO.

Gender is defined as “the roles, behaviours, activities, attributes and opportunities that any society considers appropriate for girls and boys, and women and men. Gender interacts with, but is different from, the binary categories of biological sex.”

Writing about “Humana Communitas” for New Daily Compass, Stefano Fontana pointed out, “Just like the preceding document, this one too says nothing: above all it says nothing about life, which is the specific competence of the Pontifical Academy, and it also says nothing Catholic, that is to say anything inspired by the teaching of Our Lord.”

“One wonders who actually writes these documents,” Fontana mused. “From the way these authors write, they seem to be anonymous functionaries of an anonymous institution of sociological studies. Their goal is to coin slogan-phrases in order to capture a snapshot of unspecified processes that are currently underway.”

In fact, Archbishop Paglia expresses himself like that, describing the relationship between the coronavirus and “the exploitation of the planet’s resources” by talking about interdependence.

“Deforestation brings wild animals into contact with human habitats where intensive farming subjects livestock to the logic of industrial production. This is done to meet the demand for meat for export, so that dishes for unbalanced and unsustainable diets can reach our dining tables. All this facilitates the spillover of pathogenic micro-organisms from one species to another, until they affect human beings,” he wrote.

Fontana emphasized that “Humana Communitas” reads like any other document written by secular international institutions or non-governmental organization: “the same abstruse expressions, the same lack of any guiding principles that are not generic, the same winks made to the powers of the world while boasting about defending the weak, the same indecipherable phrases like ‘risk ethics’ or empty rhetorical phrases like ‘coordinated global strategy’ and ‘multi-dimensional ethical challenge.’”

“Conversion is called for, but with respect to the environment and a more widespread solidarity, not as a return to God,” Fontana added. “There is never a call for prayer, because according to the document God can act against the pandemic only through man. The pandemic is seen as a human product, the fruit of man’s disordered relationship with nature, and calls for conversion to new human behaviors.”

Defending the Pontifical Academy for Life’s document, spokesman Fabrizio Mastrofini said there are “three texts that should be read together,” namely the letter “Humana Communitas” by Pope Francis, addressed to the Academy, the document of March 30, and the document of July 22, which took its name from Pope Francis’ letter.

In response, Fontana said “the document of the Pontifical Academy makes the pandemic a problem of ethics and the functioning of institutions.”

“That is too little,” he commented. “Any social agency could understand it that way. To solve [the problem], if it were really only that, there would be no need for Christ, but it would be enough to have willing doctors, European Union money and a government that is not exactly clueless.”

Fontana also called out Mastrofini for his claims the Pontifical Academy for Life wanted to reach “the widest possible audience.” If that really was the case, he argued, the document wouldn’t have used a “strangely sociological style, far removed from a clear Christian language.”

As an example, he quoted, “We emerge from a night of mysterious origins: called into being beyond choice, we come soon to presumption and complaint, asserting as ours what we have only been vouchsafed. Too late do we learn consent to the darkness from which we came, and to which we finally return.”

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life and the chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences, is a highly controversial character in Pope Francis’ Vatican.

In July, Paglia tweeted an image of a naked man and woman lying on the ground surrounded by naked children. Even though Twitter warned, “The following media includes potentially sensitive content,” Paglia defended his tweet.

“The photograph, as it has been amply highlighted by the articles that came out on the subject, portrays a Catholic family model and contains nothing erotic, ambiguous or inappropriate. Therefore, it can only disturb a deeply morbid gaze, as it was written: ‘omnia munda munids’ [sic],” a statement published on Paglia’s website reads.

“Omnia munda mundis” is Latin for, “To the pure, all things are pure.”

Some years ago, Paglia had commissioned a homosexual artist to paint a homoerotic mural in his cathedral church. The mural includes an image of the archbishop himself, and depicts Jesus carrying nets to heaven filled with naked and semi-nude homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes, and drug dealers, jumbled together in erotic interactions.

Paglia has also claimed, “We must also remember that, for the Catholic Church, if someone says that Judas is in hell, he is a heretic.”


  catholic, coronavirus, fabrizio mastrofini, pandemic, phil lawler, pontifical academy for life, vincenzo paglia, world health organization

News

Feminists threaten legal action after Scottish government recognizes gender-confused men as women

‘This Act raises significant concerns for the status of women in Scotland.’
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 3:12 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

SCOTLAND, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A women’s rights group is considering legal action against a Scottish government guidance which recognizes gender-confused men as women. 

For Women Scotland says that it’s considering seeking a judicial review, after the Scottish government released statutory guidance in June changing the definition of “woman” for the purposes of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act 2018

The statutory guidance states that men who are either planning to or have begun so-called “gender-reassignment” processes and who are “continuously living as a woman” will be considered women for the purposes of the Act.

“This would not require the person to dress, look or behave in any particular way,” the guidance says. 

“However, it would be expected that there would be evidence that the person was continuously living as a woman, such as – always using female pronouns; using a female name on official documents such as a driving licence or passport, or on utility bills or bank accounts; using female titles; updating the gender marker to female on official documents such as a driving licence or passport; describing themselves and being described by others in written or other communication as a woman.”

The guidance also makes clear that a person “reassigning their sex from female to male would not be included in the definition of woman for the purposes of the Act.”

For Women Scotland, which says it believes that “women’s rights should be strengthened” and that “sex is immutable and is a protected characteristic” has released a legal opinion which says that the guidance “goes against the very grain of the Equality Act 2010 and decades of anti-discrimination law” and “is not compatible with EU law.” 

“It beggars belief that the Scottish Government has introduced new legislation that contravenes the very essence of what a ‘woman’ is in law. This is just the introduction of self-identification of sex by the back door,” Marion Calder of For Women Scotland said.

Although the purpose of the Gender Representation on Public Boards Act 2018 is to ensure that 50 percent of non-executive board members of listed Scottish public authorities are women, the guidance states that “the Act does not require an appointing person to ask a candidate to prove that they meet the definition of woman in the Act.”

The guidance says that the “provision only relates to the meaning of ‘woman’ in the Act” and that it “does not have the effect of creating a new legal definition of woman in any other context.”

“We believe this Act raises significant concerns for the status of women in Scotland,” the For Women Scotland press release states. 

“As a tool for increasing the representation of women, it is rendered ineffective and may be used as precedent to undermine legal protections for women in a manner which runs counter to UK and EU equality law.”


  for women scotland, public boards act 2018, scotland, transgenderism

News

LifeSite is hiring journalists! Join our team to fight for life, faith, and family

We are seeking journalists to join us in the fight for Christian civilization. Apply today!
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 1:29 pm EST
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LifeSiteNews.com
By LSN

Are you passionate about the battle for life and family?

We are facing a growing assault on all that is good and true in our world, and we need passionate, faith-filled men and women to come and join us in the fight to restore the Christian foundations of our society.

If you’re ready to give your life for the cause, then you’re in the right place.

Apply to join our team as a journalist here: https://lifesitenews.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=57

Please apply by August 10, 2020.

Journalist

LifeSiteNews is seeking a passionate, faith-filled professional to serve as a full-time journalist covering crucial news in the battle for life, family, and the restoration of Christian culture.

The successful applicant will be tasked with finding, investigating, and writing news pieces to inform and inspire readers. Candidates must be highly motivated, have top-notch writing skills, and have the ability and humility to work with our editing team to learn the tools of online journalism.

A successful candidate will have:

  • excellent research and writing skills
  • a meticulous eye for detail and accuracy
  • comfortability doing telephone interviews
  • knowledge of the global pro-life and pro-family movements
  • knowledge of Catholic teachings and traditions
  • a keen interest in current events in the Church and world
  • high self-motivation, and ability to thrive in a high-stress, fast-paced environment with constant rolling deadlines
  • facility and experience with web publishing platforms, Microsoft Office, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • willingness to take direction and adapt, and ability to work well on a team
  • excellent communication skills
  • willingness to work hours as needed, including occasional nights and weekends

Salary is negotiable based upon need and experience. Keep in mind that while LifeSite aims to meet our employees' financial needs, we are a mission-based non-profit.

Your application should include a resume, cover letter, at least three references, five or more samples of your journalism, and answers to the list of questions provided.

The cover letter should explain your interest in working for LifeSite, and outline how your experience has proven both your commitment to LifeSite’s mission and your ability to succeed in the position. It must show knowledge of and interest in LifeSite’s mission and reporting.

The references are important. Please be aware that at a later stage of the application process, you may be required to arrange calls for us with your references.

We will contact successful applicants for an interview. Prior to a hiring decision, applicants will be required to take on several assignments at a freelance rate. Normally, new employees are required to fly to Ontario for a week of training around the first month on the job, however this may not be possible due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Please email writing samples to [email protected].

Application deadline: August 10, 2020

LOCATION: While LifeSiteNews has offices in Front Royal, Virginia and Toronto, Ontario, many of our staff telecommute from home offices. As such, this position is open to telecommuters.


News

Singapore introduces electronic tags to track compliance with COVID-19 quarantines

The device will alert the government if its wearer tries to tamper with or turn it off.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 12:52 pm EST
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Paul Smeaton Paul Smeaton Follow Paul
By Paul Smeaton

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

SINGAPORE, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The city state of Singapore will require some incoming travelers to wear electronic monitoring devices to make sure they adhere to coronavirus quarantines.

Since March, Singapore has required all incoming travelers, including Singapore citizens and permanent residents, to serve a 14-day quarantine or “Stay-Home-Notice” (SHN).

Depending on where the traveler has been in the past 14 days, these quarantine periods are either served at a dedicated government SHN facility or at the person’s normal place of residence.

According to a Reuters report, the city state issues “tough punishments for breach of its quarantine and social distancing rules with fines of up to S$10,000 ($7,272) or imprisonment of up to six months, or both.” The government has also reportedly cancelled the work passes of foreigners who break the coronavirus rules.

The Reuters report says that the devices will use GPS and Bluetooth signals and that when those wearing the devices reach their home they will receive notifications on the device which they must acknowledge.

“Any attempt to leave home or tamper with the device will trigger an alert to the authorities,” the report adds.

Since April, the Singapore government has employed about 3,000 Enforcement Officers to ensure that “those outside of their homes wear their masks properly, and keep a safe distance from one another.”

“Strict enforcement action will be taken against those who breach the requirements of the SHN,” the government has warned.

“The long and short of it is the fight against COVID-19 is not over,” government official Laurence Wong said in a July 17 address.

Singapore has thus far only reported 27 coronavirus deaths, with just over 53,000 reported cases and more than 47,000 of those cases reported to have made a recovery. 

Singapore is the third most densely populated place in the world, with a population of almost 6 million and more than 18,000 people per square mile.


  coronavirus, singapore

News

Double standard? DC mayor exempts from quarantine lawmakers returning from Lewis funeral

'Exempt from quarantine order. Exempt from social distancing. Exempt from limited gathering size. They can hold a funeral but we can't have more than a handful of mourners for our loved ones. Double standards.'
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 12:28 pm EST
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Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser visits a coronavirus testing site in the Anacostia neighborhood June 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. Win McNamee/Getty Images
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, DC, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Capitol Hill lawmakers who traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for Rep. John Lewis’ funeral last week were, upon their return, exempted from the strict quarantine restrictions D.C. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser had put in place a few days earlier. 

Bowser’s quarantine directive stated: “All residents and persons traveling to or from ‘high-risk areas’ within the prior fourteen (14) days for non-essential travel must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days following their return or arrival to the District.”

The state of Georgia, where the Lewis funeral took place, had been identified by the Mayor’s office as one of those “high-risk areas.”

Among the reported attendees exempted from the D.C. mandate are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC).  

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton were also present at the funeral service. 

PETITION: Break up Big Tech tyrants and defend free speech! Sign the petition here.

To people from D.C. and across the nation who have been prevented from attending or holding funerals for their loved ones because of coronavirus restrictions, or who have been unable to be at the bedside of a loved one who is dying, the move by the D.C. Mayor reveals yet another double standard for liberals amid the ongoing, often onerous coronavirus measures.  

“On behalf of every family who lost a loved [one] to Coronavirus and couldn't have a funeral for them, thank you Mayor Muriel Bowser, for making our sacrifice meaningless,” said Twitter user Janet C.  

On the day of Lewis’s funeral ––an event attended by many Democratic members of Congress–– conservative radio show host Buck Sexton wondered on Twitter:   

Georgia is on Washington DC Mayor Bowser’s list of states that require 2 week mandatory quarantine for 14 days 

Are these politicians going into quarantine, or are rules just for the little people?

The talk show host’s Tweet clearly hit a nerve, garnering more than 90,000 likes and nearly 40,000 retweets and comments. 

Sexton and his followers didn’t have to wait long for an answer.  

Bowser Press Secretary Susana Castillo told Just the News on Friday, “Government activity is essential, and the Capitol of the United States is exempt from the Mayor’s Order.”  

“The mayor’s office still deems the funerals of regular people non-essential activity, however,” reported the news outlet.  “When asked whether attendees of non-government funerals in high-risk areas are still required to self-quarantine under the mayor’s order, Castillo responded simply, ‘Yes.’”

“Us peons are the target of the crushing lockdowns and quarantines, along with fines and arrests for violating the pandemic orders from Blue states and cities,” tweeted one critic. 

“The Top Brass of the Marxist/Socialist Democrat Party are exempt and privileged to make up their own rules on the fly!” the critic added. 

“Exempt from quarantine order.  Exempt from social distancing.  Exempt from limited gathering size,” tweeted Paul, a retired military & Afghan veteran and traditional Catholic.  “They can hold a funeral but we can't have more than a handful of mourners for our loved ones.  

“Double standards,” he added.  

 “Due to COVID my mom couldn’t go in the hospital today to be with my dad when he was rushed via ambulance barely responsive.  I’m pissed,” said another Twitter user.   “So many can’t have funerals or go to church.”  

“And this is shoved in Americans [sic] faces,” added the Twitter user.  

“Time to make these people follow the same rules that we do. How do they get off making up their own rules for them while they dictate to us what we must do?” asked Twitter user Veronica.  

“Term limits and take away EVERY single perk from them and do it now. They should NOT be making their own rules,” she added. 

“Typical Democrat tyrants,” wrote The Gateway Pundit’s Christina Laila. “Rules for thee, but not for me.”

The Lewis funeral had already come under fire from conservatives for failing to observe so-called social distancing and other measures which they had insisted are necessary for all other funeral services conducted in Georgia and throughout most of the country.  

Images from the service shared to social media show a packed church with many members of the congregation not “social distancing.”


  coronavirus, john lewis, muriel bowser, quarantine

News

Members of NIH human fetal tissue research ethics advisory board revealed

11 out of 15 are pro-life.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 12:05 pm EST
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The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center (Building 10), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne
By Lianne Laurence

PETITION: Pres. Trump don't give federal funds to COVID-19 vaccines made from aborted baby cells! Sign the petition here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Members of the National Institutes of Health’s advisory board on the ethics of research using tissue obtained from abortions were revealed Friday when they met for a day-long virtual hearing.

Eleven of the 15 members of the Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board are known to oppose the use of aborted baby body parts in research.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last June it was canceling another contract that funded research using aborted baby parts at taxpayer expense, and that it would establish new ethics guidelines for review of future proposals.

In February, HHS Secretary Alex Azar established the advisory board to review NIH research grant applications and research and development contract proposals involving human fetal tissue, and to report to him whether this use is ethical and should be funded by the HHS.

The board will also submit its recommendations to the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The advisory board is required to submit its findings no later than August 18, according to an HHS spokesperson, and it will dissolve 30 days after it does so.

Under the law, the HHS secretary is charged with appointing the membership of the board.

The pro-life members of the advisory board are: 

  1. Chair Paige Comstock Cunningham, PhD, JD, Interim President, Taylor University, Indiana; 
  2. Greg Burke, MD, Catholic Medical Association Ethics Committee, Pennsylvania;
  3. Maureen Condic, PhD, associate professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah; 
  4. G. Kevin Donovan MD, MA, Professor and Director, Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center,Washington, D.C.;  
  5. Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD, Associate Director, Center for Bioethics, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Ohio State University College of Medicine/Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio; 
  6. C. Ben Mitchell, PhD, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University, Tennessee; 
  7. Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, PhD, Director of Education, National Catholic Bioethics Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 
  8. David Prentice, PhD, vice president and research director Charlotte Lozier Institute, Arlington Virginia; 
  9. Kathleen Marie Schmainda, Department of Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 
  10. Ingrid Skop, MD, partner, Northeast Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates, Texas; 
  11. H. Joseph Yost, PhD, vice chairman for basic science research, department of pediatrics, University of Utah Molecular Medicine Program, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dr. Lawrence Goldstein is one board member who supports using human fetal tissue for research. He is a distinguished professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego and scientific director of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine in La Jolla, California.

Other board members are: 

  • Ashwini Lakshmanan, MD, MS, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, USC Keck School of Medicine Section Head, Epidemiology and Outcomes, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Fetal and Neonatal Institute, Division of Neonatology, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA; 
  • Thomas Meade, MS, PhD, The Eileen M. Foell Endowed Professor of Cancer Research, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Radiology, Director of the Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging, Northwestern University, Illinois; 
  • Susan Kay Murphy, PhD, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chief, Division of Reproductive Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina.

The board received written comments from the public on the subject, and also heard five oral presentations before it went into closed door sessions.

Professor Irving Weissman, head of regenerative medicine at Stanford University, Professor Robin Alta Charo, law and bioethics professor at the University of Wisconsin, and Dr. Tom Mariani, professor and vice chair for research in pediatrics at the University of Rochester, who presented on behalf of the American Thoracic Society, all argued in favor of using aborted baby body parts for research.

“Human fetal tissue research is the gold standard,” Weissman maintained, and Mariani agreed, stating that there are “currently no alternatives can replace the use of human fetal tissues for many contemporary research applications.”

“Almost every American has benefitted from the use of this tissue in the form of vaccines for polio, chicken pox, and rubella and research curing blindness and cancer,” likewise contended Alta Charo.

“Throwing up barriers will only limit our hope for curing devastating diseases and make innocent Americans collateral damage in the abortion wars,” said Alta Charo, a member of President Barak Obama’s transition team and one-time honoree of the National Abortion Rights Action League.

But two other public commentators disputed the need for and the ethics of using human fetal tissue.

“In the case of research that utilizes tissues and cells procured from electively aborted fetuses, the question of benefit to the research subject has an obvious answer: there is none,” said Dr. James Sherley, founder of adult stem cell research firm Asymmetrex and associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

While there are “strong ethical arguments against such research, even if it does not motivate fetal death,” he said, “if research with human fetal tissue is in any way, even in a small part, contributory to motivating elective abortions, then the ethical assessment is straightforward. Such research would constitute ethical misconduct that should not be funded by the U.S. government or allowed by a private agency either.”

He and his colleagues had provided “substantial evidence such ethical misconduct occurs frequently,” added Sherley.

“History is repeating itself as we exploit one group of human beings for the benefit of another group,” Dr. Maria Feeney told the board.

“This advisory board can choose to be at the forefront of promoting non-controversial tissue and cell sources. Science has only scratched the surface of what is possible with induced pluripotent stem cells,” said Feeney, who has a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry and is also an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

The board is undertaking its review as the Trump administration faces allegations its ban on using human fetal tissue is blocking coronavirus treatment research.

Notably, Kim Hasenkrug, an immunologist at the NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, told the Washington Post in March that the pandemic “warrants an exemption to a ban imposed last year prohibiting government researchers from using tissue from abortions in their work.”

In April, more than 130 members of Congress urged Trump to maintain the “current fetal tissue research policy and to redirect funds toward ethical, successful alternatives to combat COVID-19,” and thanked the President for his “decisive actions to protect human life and human dignity on every front.”

Last month, however, the NIH approved 70 new embryonic stem cell lines for use in projects eligible for federally funded research. 

The June 2019 HHS policy specifically excluded projects using embryonic stem cells or embryonic cell lines in its definition of research involving human fetal tissue. 


  abortion, fetal tissue, fetal tissue research, nih, vaccines

Opinion

Mail-in voting could delay 2020 ballot count for months, making Nancy Pelosi president

Professor Lawrence Tribe of Harvard floated a new rationale behind Democrats' push for mail-in voting, invoking the 20th Amendment as the scheme's foundation.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 8:18 pm EST
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Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Brian C. Joondeph
By

August 4, 2020 (American Thinker) — Mail-in ballots are the latest talking point for Democrats and their media allies. They claim this will keep voters safe from the Wuhan virus, even though it is burning itself out quite nicely on its own.

The surges in cases we are seeing across the country mean that more and more of the population have been exposed to the virus. The vast majority are not getting sick; in fact, most don't even know they are ill, and they are getting tested due to potential exposure, for return to work or travel or simply because the tests are widely available and free under most insurance plans.

Once the virus tears through a population, there are fewer left to infect, and it goes away. A summer surge in positive tests brings us closer to herd immunity, and this will likely burn itself out by fall. Normal colds and seasonal flu may complicate things, but that's another story.

The compassionate Democrats say it's too dangerous to wait in line to vote. Yet it was fine for hundreds to wait in line for John Lewis's funeral procession. Hypocrisy is on full display when it comes to the Chinese coronavirus.

The all-knowing, all-caring Dr. Anthony Fauci donned a large mask while standing all alone on the pitcher's mound waiting to launch his ill fated pitch closer to the dugout than home plate. Yet in the bleachers, he was yukking it up with some pals, forgetting all about masks and social distancing.

Aside from mail-in ballots being ripe for cheating, there are other more subtle forces at play here. CBS did its own vote-by-mail experiment and, surprisingly, at least to CBS, discovered "potential problems" such as that "3 percent of voters were effectively disenfranchised." That could be enough to tip a close election.

RealClearPolitics reports, "28 million mail-in ballots went missing in the last four elections." Someone should ask Mitt Romney for comment, if he is not too busy marching with the Black Lives Matter Marxists. How many of those ballots had his name on them? Or John McCain's?

Mail-in ballots have been in effect in my home state of Colorado since 2013. Local media described this as "smart." It was certainly smart for Democrats. A couple of years later, not coincidently, the Daily Beast observed that Colorado is "starting to look more blue than purple." Aside from an anemic Colorado GOP, ballot-harvesting is quite easy with mail-in ballots, turning Colorado blue.

Is the Democrat-media push for mail-in ballots simply so they can cheat and steal the election from President Trump? Perhaps, but suppose Trump is headed for a landslide victory, as some of us have suggested. Even cheating may not be enough to drag Dementia Joe across the finish line.

Über-left Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe let the cat out of the bag with this tweet.

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Another tweet from Time further connects the dots.

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Screen shot, Twitter.

The Democrats don't have to cheat in the casting of ballots. They simply don't have to count the ballots at all. It's quite clever, and Professor Tribe, along with the U.S. Postal Service, provided the roadmap.

Democrats will push mail-in ballots, for voter safety, they say — as in it's safe to attend John Lewis's funeral without distancing, but try that for your own family member's funeral. The media will fan the flames with exaggerated case counts and deaths. Democrat governors will keep their subjects in fear with increasing mandates – masks, face shields, school and business shutdowns — such that everyone is afraid to leave his house for anything, including voting.

The Postal Service will conveniently shut down, unable to deliver the ballots. If some post offices remain open, they will misplace or lose ballots. If ballots cannot be delivered, they cannot be counted. The election will not be decided, not on election night, not the next day, next week, next month.

It will be a repeat of Al Gore's hanging chad story, with lawsuits and Soros-funded state and county officials unwilling to certify any election results. Democrats have been preparing for this scenario.

CNN reported, "Joe Biden's campaign is assembling hundreds of lawyers nationwide to monitor potential voting issues as part of its extensive voter protection efforts heading into the general election."

There will be mass chaos and confusion. The virus will be long forgotten, and the new narrative will be that there is no way to declare a winner as too many ballots were lost and unable to be counted.

Enter Professor Tribe's prediction. Section 3 of the 20th Amendment.

If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

Amid the chaos, enough states won't be able to certify their electoral votes, and neither candidate will have a majority. Voilà: it will be up to Congress to decide, the Democrat-controlled House choosing a president and the Senate choosing the irrelevant vice president.

And not necessarily House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as she is only a half-step behind Dementia Joe in age and cognition. How about Hillary Clinton? Michelle Obama? Mayor Pete? Take your pick. Mitt Romney for V.P.? How about Susan Collins? Bipartisan in name only.

It is certainly clever and now obvious how the Democrats plan to steal the election and install a president of their choosing, without the messiness of an actual campaign and election. If I figured this out, certainly, the very stable genius president has, too. And he is ready, based on this recent tweet.

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Trump merely suggested the possibility of delaying the election, and the media, Democrats, NeverTrumps, and everyone else went ballistic, saying there is no way this can be allowed. Check and checkmate to Professor Tribe's scheme of delaying the election results.

They will still try, and the media will cheerlead the effort, but Trump is prepared, and this latest Road Runner vs. Coyote scheme will fail, just like all the others. Enjoy the show!

Brian C. Joondeph, M.D. is a Denver-based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedInTwitterParler, and QuodVerum.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 presidential election, american thinker, democracy, donald trump, nancy pelosi, u.s. constitution, voting

Opinion

San Francisco encourages return of gay ‘sex clubs’ to help economy after COVID

The clerk reading out the wording of the proposed ordinance could not stop herself from giggling as she read about the new requirement to stop monitoring patrons' sexual activities.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 8:10 pm EST
Featured Image
Rebecca Griffith / Shutterstock.com
Andrea Widburg
By Andrea Widburg

August 4, 2020 (American Thinker) — On July 21, by unanimous vote, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance to amend the city's existing health code to do away with two rules for sex clubs. These rules were put in place in 1984, at the height of the AIDS crisis. One was a requirement that the clubs could no longer have private rooms or locked doors in areas reserved for sex. The other was that management had to monitor sexual activity. The ostensible reason, believe it or not, was to help San Francisco's economy. 

The meeting at which the supervisors voted is available online. It's notable for the fact that the clerk reading out the wording of the proposed ordinance could not stop herself from giggling as she read about the new requirement to stop monitoring patrons' sexual activities. The new ordinance was passed without discussion.

The proposed ordinance itself gives a little of the history behind the vote. The 1984 limitations on bathhouse conduct (i.e., no locked doors, supervised sex) meant that most bathhouses closed. New public health rules in 1997 put similar restrictions on all commercial sex clubs and sex parties. However, thanks to modern medicine, HIV is less transmittable and more treatable. (It is still transmittable and incurable, of course.)

The ordinance also says researchers think monitoring patrons does little to change their behavior. This makes sense. People who go to bathhouses for sex must have exhibitionistic tendencies. Having someone watch is a bonus, not a problem.

Rafael Mandelman, who sits on the Board of Supervisors, had the best interest of the city in mind when he proposed the new ordinance:

"What this ordinance will do is allow for adult sex venues to be a part of our economic and cultural recovery when it is safe to do so," Mandelman said in a July 9 meeting. "During the '70s and early '80s, bathhouses were a focal point of gay social life in San Francisco, and were important community meeting places for friends to gather to share stories, dance to the latest disco hits, or watch a live show."

Mandelman's age isn't listed in Wikipedia, so it's not immediately obvious, but I'd say he's no older than his late 30s, maybe his early 40s. In other words, he's too young to have had any personal experience with those bathhouses. That might explain his sweet, nostalgic view of the places. 

Let me hasten to add that I don't have personal experience, either. However, I happen to know a lot about them because I worked for some virologists in the early 1980s, when AIDS was first making itself known. The researchers hadn't yet isolated HIV, so the disease was still quite mysterious. They did know one thing, though: this mysterious "gay disease" was running like wildfire through the gay community, especially in the bathhouses.

It was while working for the virologists that I learned what was going on in the bathhouses: these weren't little kaffee klatches of dancing, storytelling, and watching "live shows." Instead, men used poppers (isoamyl nitrite) so they could have some form of sexual contact with dozens of other men per night. The men weren't just trading HIV; they were trading every existing sexually transmitted disease. Moreover, the "live shows" weren't theatrical spectacles. They were orgies in which participants rested up while watching each other.

I won't go into more detail here. If you want to know what goes on in those bathhouses, you can read Surviving Gay...Barely. The author is Joseph Sciambra, a born-again Catholic who gave up the gay lifestyle he practiced during the late 1980s and 1990s when it destroyed his body and disgusted his soul. In addition to writing about the obsessive sexual contacts in anonymous venues, Sciambra describes the way his body rebelled against the realities of anal sex (warning: graphic, indeed stomach-churning, physical descriptions of the reality of gay orgies).

This video gives a little insight into the bathhouse scene:

Think about this: the City of San Francisco has been subjecting everyone to the most stringent shutdown requirements for months, destroying the city's economy and ruining people's livelihoods. Meanwhile, it's already getting its ducks in a row to enable gay men to engage in the type of behavior that spread a disease that has killed 692,790 Americans, almost all from the narrow demographic of gay men. (AIDS has killed around 32 million people worldwide since the early 1980s.) Currently, around 1.1 million people in America are HIV-positive, with 6,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2018 alone.

Re-opening the bathhouses will also see other sexually transmitted diseases ramp up. Chlamydia can lead to sterility for both men and women. HPV causes cancer. The medical world anticipates that gonorrhea is on the verge of becoming antibiotic-resistant. Even more scary, syphilis is heading that way, too. Gonorrhea is seriously unpleasant; syphilis is deadly.

It's not just diseases that kill. Political correctness and leftist panic kill, too.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  american thinker, california, coronavirus, homosexuality, san francisco, sodomy

Opinion

Catholic University of America has become ‘Catholic in name only’: Former employee

Leftist propaganda now holds sway over traditional Catholic ideals at CUA, says a former administrative assistant to the university.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 10:48 am EST
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Abp. Wilton Gregory, chancellor of the Catholic University of America. Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Theresa Nixon
By Theresa Nixon

August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Deus Lux Mea Est (“God is My Light”) is the motto of The Catholic University of America, the only higher education institution founded by the United States bishops. Promoting itself as the papally chartered national university of the Catholic Church, it was officially established in 1887 as a graduate and research center. Following its first principle that “the teaching of the University should be faithfully Catholic, conformed in all things to the creed of the Church and the decisions of the Holy See,” the University still bills itself as faithfully Catholic today, stating that service and faith are at the heart of their mission. Yet evident in CUA’s recent programs and hiring of faculty is an increasingly leftist bent.

John Garvey, the president of CUA (or Catholic-U, as it is now being touted), appointed left-leaning Jo Ann Coe Regan as the new dean of the National Catholic School of Social Services (NCSSS) on June 4, 2020, replacing William Rainford, who lost his job as dean of the school in November 2018 after committing the faux pas of using his @NCSSSDean tweet handle to tweet against Christine Blasey Ford (the accuser of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who alleged sexual improprieties against him during his supreme court appointment hearings in September 2018). Rainford was immediately placed on suspension by Garvey after faculty and students loudly demanded that he be fired. Unsurprisingly, Rainford resigned after making a public apology. But long before Professor Rainford made his fateful tweets, the writing was on the wall. Faculty at NCSSS, made up mostly of left-sympathizing women, had been pushing to get Rainford out because of his conservatively held views and opinions and had been demanding that Garvey appoint a woman in the role of dean. The Rainford–Blasey Ford tweets were the opportunity they had been looking for.

This is not the first time that leftist propaganda has held sway over traditional Catholic ideals at CUA. Approximately a year before Rainford’s dismissal, leftist pundits and LGBT-supporters expressed outrage at Theological College’s decision to rescind its invitation to Father James Martin to speak at its Alumni Days festivity. This rescission was brought about by a backlash of faithful Catholics who questioned the seminary’s pick of the controversial priest to speak during the celebration because of his pro-homosexual and pro-transgender viewpoints. Theological College (CUA’s seminary, which is often jokingly referred to as “Theological Closet”) was inundated with protests from these loyal Catholics, many whose sons and daughters attended CUA. Likewise, Garvey’s office was bombarded by proponents of the left, who slammed those opposing Martin as right-wing homophobes and threatening to boycott CUA. Garvey immediately sided with the left by issuing a stinging statement against those concerned Catholics, comparing their protest tactics to the left’s, thereby extricating CUA from any involvement with the decision.

PETITION: Urge Catholic bishops to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion Biden! Sign the petition here.

But Garvey’s statement served to pander to the left, a direction in which Garvey has steadily helped to drive the university throughout his tenure as the president of CUA. Faculty and guest speakers, whose opinions, statements, or beliefs adhere to conservative or traditional Catholic teachings, are not accorded the same platform as their liberal peers. You will rarely, if ever, see prelates like Bishop Athanasius Schneider or Cardinal Gerhard Müller (who last spoke at the university on October 24, 2014) invited as speaking guests. Instead, favor is given to more liberal prelates such as Cardinal Blase Cupich, Cardinal Timothy Dolan (both of whom serve on CUA’s Board of Trustees), and Cardinal Luis Tagle (a particular favorite of the university), as well as Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was given an honorary Doctor of Theology degree on November 14, 2017 after presenting an address on the positive fruits of the Second Vatican Council in a speech entitled “The Council: A Prophecy that Continues with Pope Francis.”

With the appointment by Pope Francis in 2019 of Archbishop Wilton Gregory to succeed Cardinal Donald Wuerl as overseer of the Washington, D.C. archdiocese and chancellor of CUA, the tenor at the university has become progressively politically correct. After a blistering public attack against President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump while visiting the John Paul II National Shrine on June 2, 2020 in honor of Saint John Paul II’s birthday and preceding the signing of the executive order to preserve religious freedom, Gregory sent out what many considered a summons to all clergy within the archdiocese, as well as to CUA, to rally in solidarity against the Trump White House. In compliance, President Garvey sent out a campus-wide email through the Communications Department of the university urging all clergy, faculty, and staff members to join in the protest, cloaking the message as an invitation from the archbishop to all faithful Catholics to publicly witness against institutional racism. The email, dated Monday, June 8, 2020 at 6:57 A.M., mirrored the message sent out by the archdiocese:

Archbishop Gregory has invited local clergy and the Catholic lay faithful to publicly witness against institutional racism and to pray for the soul of George Floyd and the soul of this country at noon today. Participants will gather at 11 a.m. in Lafayette Park and proceed to the White House for prayer at noon. I encourage interested staff and faculty to join the gathering to rededicate ourselves to the defense of all life and to recommit ourselves to pray for an end to racism. If your duties permit you to join the event, the time away from the University will not be charged as leave or vacation time.

Purportedly a peaceful prayer vigil, priests and nuns in requested full habit, as well as many faculty, staff, and students from CUA, carried signs and protested alongside Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists who openly condemned President Trump. One Dominican nun carried a sign proclaiming, “I repent of my racism. #Black Lives Matter.” The call to protest by the archdiocese set off a chain reaction at CUA resulting in clusters of protests on campus and prompting at least one prominent associate professor to display on his official CUA email signature block the raised fist sporting an evil-looking Red, the University’s mascot, along with a link to a retail manufacturer selling tee shirts displaying the same logo and proudly proclaiming Cardinal Solidarity.

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There are many who still remain loyal to CUA, long-timers who remember the days of a tight-knit, familial community under Reverend David O’Connell (now bishop of Trenton, New Jersey), whose 12-year leadership pulled the university back from a spiritual malaise and loss of faith identity. He remained devoted to traditional Catholic teachings despite sharp criticism from the gay community and was well loved on campus, going out of his way to learn the names of staff and students. Under President Garvey’s tenure, many have left or are leaving the growing toxic environment at CUA in an exodus of employees fed up with empty promises and unfair practices from a top-heavy management more intent on pleasing the left than addressing the concerns of staff and faithful Catholics who have long supported CUA.

Maybe the new motto for CUA should be Tantum in Nomine Catholica (“Catholic in Name Only”).

Theresa Nixon began a writing career in Los Angeles as a freelance writer reviewing local bands and interviewing celebrities, spending over ten years working in the entertainment industry before seeking a more spiritual path and returning to her Catholic roots. Most recently, she spent nearly five years at The Catholic University of America as an administrative assistant working at various departments, including the Office of the President, and earned a Master’s degree in management while at CUA in 2018.


  catholic, catholic university of america, donald wuerl, john garvey, lgbt tyranny, wilton gregory

Blogs

WATCH: New ministry helps Catholic students keep faith while in college

These engaging evenings gear students up for living virtuous Catholic lives on college campus.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 5:51 pm EST
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Danielle Zuccaro Danielle Zuccaro Follow
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PETITION: Urge Catholic bishops to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion Biden! Sign the petition here.

August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The college campus has become a battleground for souls. Battles for the souls of the young are waged in the classroom, in the dorm room, on sports teams, and in the frat house. The sobering reality we're left with is that nearly 80 percent of Catholic college-aged young people (students between the ages of 18-24) leave the Church by young adulthood.

After working day in and day out in the apostolate of college-aged students for the past several years now, I can attest to the fact that the wave of secularism, temptation, and competing ideologies is indeed a powerful wave. It is vying for the soul of the Catholic and Christian students on every campus from the moment they arrive there. 

These students may have grown up in solid Catholic families that went to Mass on Sundays and prayed together. They may have even been homeschooled or were extremely active in their church youth group. But when they arrive on campus, they are not immune from the sheer pressure to "fit in," to "not be too religious," to "not be the lame one who doesn't drink on weekends." 

This is the battle.

I witnessed this battle and continue to witness it when I serve at the Catholic campus ministry at the school where I graduated. But what gives me hope is the frontline work to combat this trend.

You see, I was not always engaged in apostolate work. In fact, "apostolate" was not even a word I knew until about six years ago when I was in my junior year of college. Our Catholic campus ministry got a new chaplain, who instilled in the campus ministry the need to evangelize and bring Christ to the souls sinking in the pit of sin on our campus.

The spark of evangelization, lit in my heart at baptism, burst into a flame, and my life has never been the same. From that time on, I have dedicated my time, my prayer, my resources, and my efforts to the salvation of souls on the college campus.

Enter the Associates of St. John Bosco.

The new chaplain at my campus ministry in college had — a few years ago — started a non-profit that sought to aid students in the transition from high school into college because he knew that the statistics of young people leaving the Church in college were staggering. He founded the Associates of St. John Bosco (ASJB) after the patron of the young, in order to help students in the northern Virginia area to network and form connections with other Catholics before heading off to college. 

I am now blessed to run the College Nights, which are the main student outreach events of the ASJB. The events take place in the summertime before students leave for college. These engaging evenings gear up students for living virtuous lives on campus by featuring five student testimonies from current or recently-graduated Catholic college students, small group discussions divided by students' university (so that students are forming friendships and community with other Catholics before stepping foot onto campus), and the presentation of a Bosco Bundle of classic Catholic books as a toolkit of the faith. The ASJB initiates and fosters connections and community. It helps in the continued formation of these students throughout their college years.

This frontline work is entirely run by young people for young people. Student volunteers learn the gift and the joy of the apostolate and what it means to truly serve and love their peers. One recently wrote to us saying, "Not only did the College Night (that I attended last year) teach me about the importance of faith in college, but it provided me with the confidence to embrace my faith and grow in all aspects of my life. I am grateful that the Associates of St. John Bosco provided me with the preparation and resources necessary to maintain a strong faith in college and I became an Associate to share that with others."

In the short nine-year history of this organization, the ASJB has served hundreds of college students and thousands of high school students before they make their way to college. And despite a pandemic summer that threw us all for a loop, the ASJB had its second-largest summer of rising college freshmen ever. 

God has abundantly blessed our work and the testimonies show for it. Students come back all the time from college and tell us how a single connection made at a College Night changed the entire trajectory of their college faith experience. In fact, we also just celebrated our first ASJB engaged couple, who met last year serving these college students together! 

Despite the tidal wave in evil's direction, the current of good is steadily flowing. And when goodness spreads, it is lasting. 

And that is a good reason to have hope.


  apostolate, associates of st. john bosco, campus ministry, catholic, colleges

Blogs

Alexander Tschugguel discusses Catholic history of Austria, receiving Communion on tongue

'As Austrians, especially traditional Catholic Austrians, we all have a great devotion to the House of Habsburg itself,' he said.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 3:09 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A couple weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with my good friend Alexander Tschugguel for the “Love and reverence to Our Lord: Let’s always receive Holy Communion on the tongue” conference.

It was an amazing conference I was happy to be a part of. If you haven’t been able to watch it yet, click here to watch it in full.

Because Alexander is Austrian, I wanted to ask him about the famous Habsburg dynasty that ruled Europe for so many centuries. We also talked about the devotion in his country to the Blessed Sacrament and how he himself receives Communion.

“As Austrians, especially traditional Catholic Austrians, we all have a great devotion to the House of Habsburg itself. So it's a great honor to be able to speak a little bit about this,” he said.

He proceeded to tell me a remarkable story about King Rudolf, the first Habsburg to be named king of the Holy Roman Empire. He said that King Rudolf gave his horse to a priest who was on his way to administer the Eucharist to someone who was about to die. The priest wanted to return the horse to the king but he said he was not worthy to ride it because it had carried Our Lord. 

“This story shows which ideals were carried through the centuries by this family,” Alexander said.

He also shared a story about how Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria received Holy Communion on his deathbed. Alexander also went into detail with other examples of Catholic rulers in Austria and Europe. 

“In every generation, there was someone with at least tried to be a little bit more faithful than...what the average was.”

He commented that the lives of his countrymen show that “it is possible to maintain the faith, even though everyone wants to abolish it.”

Alexander also said that when he was converting to Catholicism he was fortunate to have a conservative priest teach him to only receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

"Since becoming a Catholic in 2009, I never received communion any other way than kneeling on the tongue.”

Alexander, you may recall, was stricken with the coronavirus several months ago. He said that a priest gave him Communion on the tongue and that the priest did not contract the virus.

Alexander recounted how in the past priests in Europe found creative ways to administer the Eucharist during times of plagues, but never to the point of giving Communion on the hand.

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

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  alexander tschugguel, austria, blessed eucharist, holy communion, the john-henry westen show

Blogs

Liberal media can’t handle Kanye West’s pro-life statements, so they call him crazy

To write West’s anti-abortion statements off as part of a bipolar episode or a manifestation of mental illness is contemptuously dishonest.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 10:20 am EST
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Kanye and Kim West. Rich Fury / Forum Photos via Getty Images
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

URGENT PETITION: Tell the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade! Sign the petition here.

August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On July 9, I noted in this space that I believe that it is dangerous to appoint celebrities as spokespeople and to hold them up as examples in the service of a social cause, especially for the pro-life movement. There are celebrities who have expressed anti-abortion sentiment over the years, but nearly all of them are still part of the industry that did so much to create and promote our culture’s carefree attitude toward abortion and promiscuity in the first place. The temptation to promote anyone who expresses hesitancy about our abortion culture should be resisted.

That said, I cannot help but notice something strange about the reactions to rapper Kanye West’s recent revelations that he and his wife Kim Kardashian seriously considered aborting their first child.

Almost universally, West has been condemned as “crazy.” The media have trawled for West friends willing to say he is unstable. His new position on abortion has gone totally unaddressed and has instead been written off has an unfortunate side-effect of a bipolar episode. His “emotional outburst” when talking about the fact that his daughter North was almost aborted apparently indicates that he needs his meds.

Now, I’m not saying that West doesn’t struggle with mental illness. It appears to be obvious that he does and that some of his recent outbursts are related to bipolar disorder. But that doesn’t mean that his comments on abortion have not been consistent or that they don’t deserve thoughtful responses from his detractors. He told Forbes, for example, that “Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work” and that “I am pro-life because I’m following the word of the Bible.”

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Later, he tweeted and then deleted a screenshot of a Google search for “what does a 6 month fetus look like.” Along with the now deleted image, he wrote, “These souls deserve to live.” The last two tweets on his timeline at the moment are from July 31. One is a New York Post article on a New York City Planned Parenthood removing racist and eugenicist Margaret Sanger’s name from the facility. The other is a fact that the abortion industry does not want discussed, which has thus far been tweeted over 48,000 times: “Over 22,500,000 black babies have been aborted over the past 50 years.”

To write West’s anti-abortion statements off as part of a bipolar episode or a manifestation of mental illness is contemptuously dishonest. All of his statements are factual and challenging and genuinely deserve a response from those who support the industry that has killed “22,500,000 black babies” while currently wrapping itself in the banner of Black Lives Matter. It is also true that those babies in the womb are babies — and the reason the abortion industry and her celebrity allies are panicking is because it is extremely inconvenient to have one of the world’s music superstars consistently pushing this fact out to 30.6 million impressionable followers.

West summed it up succinctly in a statement that has already been retweeted over 68,000 times: “I cried at the thought of aborting my first born and everyone was so concerned about me... I’m concerned for the world that feels you shouldn’t cry about this subject.”

That is precisely it. Kanye West is too big of a celebrity for Hollywood or the music industry to simply write off, so instead they must pretend that everything coming out of his mouth right now is crazy and that he needs professional help. That may be true, but certainly not for his astonishingly articulate and powerful statements on abortion. West has flipped, and the rapper who produced thousands of filthy lyrics is now attacking abortion with the same enthusiasm with which he once promoted promiscuity to a massive audience. That, for the abortion industry, is dangerous.

So prepare to see many more statements over the coming months about Kanye West’s pro-life statements being evidence not that he is grappling with the implications of the human rights issue of our time, but that he is truly unstable and in need of help.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews Rob Hoogland, who was ordered by a judge to call his daughter a boy or face “family violence” charges. Hoogland’s daughter was undergoing testosterone treatment against his wishes after being convinced by her school counselor that she was a boy. To top it off, Hoogland couldn’t even share his story or seek help outside his lawyers due to a gag order placed on him by the court. You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  abortion, kanye west, mainstream media, mental illness, planned parenthood, racism

Blogs

Why Vatican II cannot simply be forgotten, but must be remembered with shame and repentance

Vatican II must be remembered as a moment in which the hierarchy of the Church, to varying degrees, surrendered to a more subtle (and therefore more dangerous) form of worldliness.
Tue Aug 4, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

August 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — It is certainly a “sign of the times” to see so many discussions today of the Second Vatican Council, most of which are much more realistic in their assessment of its possible defects than has ever been the case in decades past, when it was obligatory to celebrate the Council as a veritable new Pentecost, or at very least as a moment of rectifying the problems bequeathed by four centuries of Tridentine Catholicism. We have Archbishop Viganò to thank for re-igniting a discussion that one might characterize as “better late than never.”

Unfortunately, many of the responses published since Viganò’s piece seem motivated by a desire to “save ecclesial face.” George Weigel takes refuge in benign generalities and Wojtyłan hero-worship. Adam De Ville appeals to Volkanology to write off critiques of the Council as time-collapsing “chosen trauma.” Bishop Barron provides tidy sound-bite answers to massive questions. John Cavadini expresses sympathy with Viganò but, after cataloguing all the wonderful things he finds in the Council, simply takes refuge in Benedict XVI’s assertion that it was not the Council documents at fault, but their one-sided application or development by postconciliar theologians — not acknowledging that it was the same theologians who had drafted or influenced the conciliar documents and knew precisely what novelties and ambiguities had been lodged in them. To my mind, only Anthony Esolen and Hubert Windisch have shown that they grasped Viganò’s points: for Esolen, “the Council’s time in history has passed,” and it needs to be “de-throned,” while for Windisch, the roots of the crisis are clearly to be seen in the “re-positioning” of the Church vis-à-vis the world that was the central concern of the pastoral strategy of the Council.

Joining the discussion most recently is Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Capuchin, with an essay titled “Vatican II and the Work of the Spirit,” bearing the subtitle: “His has been a severe-grace, but also a beneficent-grace.” For Weinandy — whose principled stance against the deviations of Pope Francis earned him both the enmity of officialdom and great respect from Catholics concerned with the current crisis — Vatican II looks as though it precipitated a crisis because it exposed long-simmering and hidden evils, which was a necessary evil, like lacerating a boil or cauterizing a wound. For example, he writes: “It is naïve to think that so many priests, prior to the Council, were men of deep faith, and then, overnight, after the Council, were corrupted by the Council or the spirit of the Council, and so jettisoned their faith and left the priesthood.” Fr. Weinandy also claims that Vatican II set into motion many good processes and initiatives that are bearing fruit today.

To Fr. Weinandy’s point that the evils we see after the Council were present before the Council and simply revealed by the Council, I would respond:

(1) We have to distinguish among three groups in the Church before the Council. There were the corrupt, the confused, and the righteous. What was the effect of the Council on all three groups? Fr. Weinandy’s point concerns mainly the corrupt: the Council brought them out into the open. But he does not address the effect on the confused, which was to give them the impression that the way of the corrupt was legitimate. Nor does he address the effect on the righteous, which was to reduce their ability to challenge the corrupt or influence the confused. Over a very long time, Fr. Weinandy’s point may hold — namely, that it was a grace to expose all this evil, but that is entirely compatible with saying that bringing all this evil into the open also increased the evil.

(2) One must not succumb to a subtle subjectivism. Suppose there were, all through the Church, corrupt priests thinking corrupt thoughts while they celebrated the Mass; suppose their celebration of the Mass was subjectively bad, although outwardly good. It is in fact a worse evil to have their Masses also outwardly bad. That is to say, adding the corruption of visible ritual is in fact the addition of an evil. It would be like having lots of people who inwardly crave to be mass murderers (pun intended) and then act on their cravings: the net amount of evil does not remain the same just because intentions have not changed.

To Fr. Weinandy’s list of positive fruits of the Council, I would respond:

(1) Some of his list is true, because God always brings good out of evil. This covers, for example, the fact that imploding religious orders made way for new and better ones.

(2) Some of his list is true, because in fact the Council was not all bad. In the great scheme of things, I expect that John Paul II’s pontificate will bear more theological fruit for the Church than the Council itself, but Fr. Weinandy is probably right that the Council was a condition of his election.

(3) Some of his list is not quite true, because there were many good fruits germinating in the Church before the Council, and the Council echoed rather than squashed them. This is a key point: if Fr. Weinandy wants to say the evils already present but exposed after the Council cannot be attributed to the Council, then he will have to say the same for the goods that follow the Council. Not all good things that happened after the Council can be attributed to it; this would be a case of the same post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy that anti-traditionalists love to hurl at traditionalists! For example, the renewed use of Scripture in theology and the renewal of patristics were well underway before the Council and can be readily seen in the work of many theologians who, translated into today’s ecclesiastical scene, would no doubt find themselves most at home among the traditionalists.

In short, Fr. Weinandy has overstated the case for keeping the Council relevant to the daily life of the Church.

I would not subscribe to the view that the Council should be “forgotten” as though it never happened. That is not how history works. Rather, it must be remembered with shame and repentance as a moment in which the hierarchy of the Church, to varying degrees, surrendered to a more subtle (and therefore more dangerous) form of worldliness. Moreover, the errors contained in the documents, as well as the many errors commonly attributed to the Council or prompted by it, must be drawn into a syllabus and anathematized by a future pope or council so that the controverted matters may be laid to rest, as former councils have wisely and charitably done in regard to the errors of their times.

Just as Viganò has exposed the Vatican’s and much of the hierarchy’s complicity with evil in the case of Theodore McCarrick, so too he has turned a bright light on the doctrinal and liturgical evils that plague the Church because of the orientations, decisions, and texts of the Council. He must be taken seriously. It’s no longer enough to point to some nice things Vatican II said, or some good things that have happened in the past half-century. We know that already. It’s also more than a bit silly at this point to say, “You know, the Church wasn’t perfect before the Council,” as if anyone asserted that it was.

Most of those who have “responded” to Viganò have, to varying degrees, walked right past the most important questions. It’s as if they’ve arrived very late to a party where an in-depth conversation has been going on for a long time — in this case, ever since Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Trojan Horse in the City of God and Romano Amerio’s Iota Unum, down to Henry Sire’s Phoenix from the Ashes and Roberto de Mattei’s The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story — and they burst in with observations that were taken up and thrashed out hours before. After an awkward pause, the conversation resumes among the serious participants, while the interrupters stroll away for a cocktail, feeling satisfied that they’ve “made their point.” Alas, it was beside the point; it didn’t advance the discussion, but merely interrupted it.

What cannot be denied by any objective evaluation is that, between 1962 and 1965, there took place a “paradigm shift” with regard to the intimate relationship of identity, continuity, tradition, and culture. These were dissociated in a way that was radically uncatholic — and radically unstable. 

Just as I completed this article, my attention was drawn to Fr. Serafino M. Lanzetta’s “Vatican II and the Calvary of the Church” (Catholic Family News, August 3). I highly recommend it as one of the best interventions in this debate yet to be published — an example of the kind of intervention, the nuanced handling and depth of thought, called for by the gravity of the subject.

Correction 08-24-2020 09:34 EDT: The name of the priest in the above paragraph has been corrected. LifeSite regrets the error.


  catholic, thomas weinandy, vatican ii

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