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News

Senator: Barrett’s opponents attack her not for who she is, but for who they imagine her to be

Senator Joni Ernst praised Judge Amy Coney Barrett as a defender of the U.S. Constitution.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 9:21 pm EST
Featured Image
Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Judge Amy Coney Barrett during the first day of the latter's Supreme Court confirmation hearing YouTube / screenshot
Emily Mangiaracina Emily Mangiaracina Follow
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In her opening statement for today’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) defended Judge Amy Coney Barrett against what Ernst described as unfounded attacks. 

According to Ernst, criticisms of Barrett are based on illusions of who Barrett is and how she would fulfill the role of Supreme Court judge. 

Ernst noted that Barrett’s leftist attackers treat the U.S. Supreme Court as a “super-legislature,” and then project their own vision of what they hope for in a judge – that is, a judicial activist – onto Barrett. 

What I hear from my colleagues on the left is about judicial activism and what they want to see in their nominees, which is that super legislature. They are projecting that upon you, Judge Barrett. But that is not what our founders intended the court to be,” said Ernst. 

Ernst maintained that Barrett’s record on the 7th circuit “demonstrated commitment [to] defending the Constitution,” which Ernst described as the true role of a Supreme Court justice. 

“At the end of the day, that’s my test for a Supreme Court justice: will you defend the constitution?” Ernst said. 

According to Ernst, Barrett’s opponents not only attack imagined projections of her “judicial activism,” they also attack an imagined caricature of a religious “radical.” 

“What your opponents want to paint you as is a TV or cartoon version of a religious radical, a so-called ‘handmaid’ that feeds into all of the ridiculous stereotypes they have set out to lambaste people of faith in America. And that’s wrong,” said Ernst. 

“They are attacking you as a mom,” she added, “and [as] a woman of faith because they cannot attack your qualifications.” 

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  amy coney barrett, joni ernst, supreme court, supreme court confirmation hearing

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar slam Mike Pence for being pro-life

The vice president had said, 'I'm pro-life. I don't apologize for it.'
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 9:03 pm EST
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Tom Brenner-Pool / Getty Images
Mary Werbaneth
By

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Democratic U.S. reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota attacked Vice President Mike Pence for the pro-life views he expressed during his debate with Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday.

Likewise, Omar tweeted, “Abortion is a constitutional right. We’re going to make sure it stays that way.”

Ocasio-Cortez and Omar were reacting to Pence’s unequivocal support for preborn children. He said how proud he was to serve a president who “stands without apology for the sanctity of human life.” Pence added, “I’m pro-life. I don’t apologize for it.”

Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Democratic U.S. reps. Ayaana Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are often referred to informally as “The Squad.” They are all young women who were elected for the first time in 2018 and are part of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.


  abortion, alexandria ocasio-cortez, ilhan omar, mike pence

News

Catholic doctors ask whether COVID policies outweigh ‘collateral damage’

‘Is it really worth it, some of these measures? That’s a question we need to ask,’ the Catholic Medical Association discussed in light of Catholic social teaching.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 7:27 pm EST
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Shutterstock
Emily Mangiaracina Emily Mangiaracina Follow
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October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic doctors gathered at the Catholic Medical Association’s 89th annual educational conference last month and tried to provide a thorough foundation of information for COVID-19 policy best practices before filtering it through the framework of Catholic social teaching.

According to Catholic social teaching, the good effects of a policy must, at minimum, “outweigh the rationally foreseeable bad effects,” said Dr. Anthony Flood, a professor of philosophy at North Dakota State University, at the conference. 

To determine whether “the treatment is worse than the disease,” the doctors had to bring both the reality of the coronavirus and the unintended damage of the COVID-19 interventions into sharp focus.

Dr. Paul Carson, an infectious disease specialist, began by discussing the Wuhan coronavirus itself. He said COVID-19 is significantly more dangerous than the seasonal flu, and has even been shown to cause persistent cardiac inflammation in asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. “We need to take this seriously,” he concluded.

Dr. Paul Cieslak, also an infectious disease specialist, presented a study that aimed to show the effectiveness of various COVID-19 interventions, which Dr. Cieslak noted “is almost impossible to do.” According to this model, mandatory mask wearing had almost no effect on the rate of transmission.

Dr. Thomas McGovern, who researched vaccines and biological warfare at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, then laid out the statistics on the “collateral damage” of COVID-19 interventions.

Dr. McGovern referenced the increase in physical isolation during COVID-19, both legally imposed and self imposed, and pointed out that isolation is used in prisons as part of their most severe punishment. 

Isolation is generally understood to take a mental toll, but the role it plays in physical disease is little-mentioned in the COVID-19 discussion. Dr. McGovern said isolation and loneliness result, on average, in a 32 percent increase in stroke, a 50 percent increase in dementia, and a 40 percent increase in diabetes.

Loneliness and physical isolation each lead to increased mortality, independent of each other. Physical isolation alone results in a 26 percent increased risk of mortality, and loneliness leads to a 32 percent increased risk of mortality, which, Dr. McGovern noted, is the same risk that comes from morbid obesity.

Dr. McGovern cited a morbidity and mortality weekly report from the CDC that showed in comparison to the same month in 2019 there was double the amount of suicidal ideation, triple the amount of anxiety, and quadruple the amount of depression in 2020.

Statistics suggest that the mental health decline stems in part from the baggage of pandemic-induced unemployment. Dr. McGovern noted that for every one percent increase in the national unemployment rate, there’s a one to 1.3 percent increase in the suicide rate, a 25 percent increase in child neglect, and a 12 percent increase in child abuse. During the great recession of 2008, pediatricians reported a 63 percent increase in infant head trauma due to abuse.

Dr. McGovern shared that domestic violence calls also increased in major cities after the lockdowns, as much as by 30 percent in New York. Aggravated domestic assault calls increased by 27 percent in Boston.

Dr. McGovern went on to share a personal story that testified to the ultimate collateral damage of physical isolation. He showed a picture of his mother-in-law’s funeral.

“She lived in a nursing home, in assisted living. She was the social butterfly of the place. 

In June, she just gave up eating and drinking. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t see her family. She died not of COVID but because of COVID,” Dr. McGovern said.

“Is it really worth it, some of these measures? That’s a question we need to ask.”

Dr. Flood refrained from giving specific, practical advice on how to approach COVID-19 interventions based on these facts, but discussed essential principles upon which to base policy.

“Catholic social teaching’s fundamental principle from which the rest flow is the inviolable dignity of the individual.” He went on to note, “Policies cannot violate basic human dignity, even if the ends of public health might be served.”

Dr. Flood explained a practical principle that stems from this first principle of human dignity: “The Catholic moral tradition contains a procedural principle for navigating cases where actions and policies have good intended effects, but also involve foreseeable unintended harms, risks, or simply what we’re calling collateral damage,” he said. This is the principle of double effect.

Referring to weighing the proportion of good effects to bad effects, he said, “Proportionality is the most data-driven element of double-effect reasoning, as the data gives grounding for predictions concerning both the good and bad effects.”

“If the assessment of proportionality indicates, for instance, that more people will die from isolation-based considerations, then the better option is not a full lockdown. On the other hand, proportionality may very well tip the scale in favor of any given (intervention) if enough lives are indeed protected,” he continued.

“And here’s the kicker. Catholic social teaching does not maintain that we must do everything possible to keep people from being infected, even those with a higher risk of death,” said Dr. Flood. 

He mentioned the possibility of choosing “not to enact a lockdown in order to better promote the whole spectrum of human goods.”

Dr. Flood concluded, “All of this speaks to the need for good data and decision makers not becoming myopically focused on just one good. Physiological health is a good of all human beings, and must be promoted as a basic individual and societal good, but it also must be promoted in keeping with individual dignity, and with a recognition of the need for community and love and a properly flourishing life.”

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  anthony flood, catholic, catholic medial, catholic medical association, catholic social teaching, coronavirus, covid-19, infectious diseases, lockdowns, mental health

News

LifeSite is back on Twitter after being locked out of account for nearly a year

We restored our account, with nearly 60,000 followers, this morning. However, we ensured that by agreeing to remove the supposedly offensive tweet, we did not admit to any wrongdoing.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 6:24 pm EST
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shutterstock.com
Rebekah Roberts Rebekah Roberts
By Rebekah Roberts

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – LifeSiteNews has been locked out of our main Twitter account (@LifeSite) since December 9, 2019 due to an “offensive” tweet regarding Jonathan Yaniv, who is famous for taking 15 beauticians to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal for their refusal to wax his genitals. The tweet was a link to a LifeSite article titled, “Trans activist Jonathan ‘Jessica’ Yaniv ‘shocked…confused’ gynecologist won’t see him,” which Twitter deemed was a “violation” of its “rules.” 

At the time, Twitter gave us the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that our tweet did not violate any rules, and we sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company. 

After close to a year of multiple appeals and many attempted communications with Twitter, we have decided to temporarily remove the tweet in order to gain access to our account. 

We determined that we must use every outlet to push out the truth, especially during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett and the upcoming presidential election. 

We restored our account, with nearly 60,000 followers, this morning. However, we ensured that by agreeing to remove the tweet, we did not admit to any wrongdoing. We simply stated that we would remove the tweet in order to gain access to our account. We plan to continue to share all the truth exactly as our Christian conscience dictates, especially on matters that much of the world seems to hold offensive right now such as on issues of gender. If this lands us in “Twitter jail” again, we will bear it as a badge of honor knowing He was persecuted before we were.

If you’re on Twitter, we encourage you to find and follow us on these four different accounts: 

  • @LifeSite – Our main LifeSite Twitter account.

  • @LSNCatholic – Our Twitter account with a focus on Catholic content. This has served as our back-up account for the past year.

  • @WCEA_LSN – The Twitter version of our very popular We Can End Abortion Facebook page, focusing on pro-life content.

  • @WCDM_LSN  – The Twitter version of our We Can Defend Marriage Facebook page, focusing on pro-family content. 


LifeSiteNews has launched a new series called Uncensored: Big Tech vs. Free Speech, which explores ongoing censorship of conservatives and what ordinary people can do about it.

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  big tech, big tech censorship, censorship, lifesite, lifesitenews, twitter censorship

News

France: New law would remove all restrictions on abortions up to 14 weeks

If the draft text becomes law,  abortion will become fully legal up to 14 weeks of gestation, midwives will be allowed to perform abortions – including surgical ones – up to 10 weeks gestation, and the special conscience clause covering doctors, nurses, midwives and other health personnel will be scrapped.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 1:26 pm EST
Featured Image
Franck Prevel / Stringer (November, 2011) GETTY
Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

FRANCE, October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A law aiming to extend the period of legal abortion without conditions in France was adopted on Thursday by the National Assembly by 86 votes against 73 during a sparsely attended session in which only 152 deputies out of 577 bothered to vote. 

If the draft text becomes law,  abortion will become fully legal up to 14 weeks of gestation, midwives will be allowed to perform abortions – including surgical ones – up to 10 weeks gestation, and the special conscience clause covering doctors, nurses, midwives and other health personnel will be scrapped in favor of the general conscience clause of medical doctors.

The law was presented by a dissident group of the ruling “République en marche” (LREM) party, EDS (“Ecologie, Démocratie, Solidarité) formed last May by the left wing of the presidential party, making it lose its absolute majority in the lower chamber of the French Parliament. While the balance of power within the National Assembly has not really changed because LREM can count on the support of other groups, EDS in its turn was able to mobilize  the votes of 48 LREM members out of the 58 present (on a total of 270) in order to obtain the adoption of its extremist abortion law. Extreme left-wing party members as well as two members of the opposition “Les Républicains” party also supported the law.

The text must now move on to the “Républicains” dominated Senate where it will probably be heavily amended, before moving back to the Assembly for a second reading.

In the meantime, French health Minister Olivier Véran has asked the National Advisory Ethics Committee to assess the law’s dispositions, stating on Thursday morning that it was a bad idea to rush such a serious issue through Parliament in a half day session without proper preparation and debate.

This does not mean, however, that the ruling LREM party, the French government or the French president have qualms about legal abortion. Earlier this month, Emmanuel Macron commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Beijing conferenceon women with these words: “Everywhere, women’s rights are under attack, starting with the freedom for women to control their own bodies, and in particular the right to abortion.”

But two days away from a national day of demonstrations against the planned bioethics law, that is taking place in all the major cities of France, EDS’s move came as an embarrassment, calling attention to the pervasiveness of the abortion “culture” at a time when Macron is trying to spread the idea that the bioethics law is a “balanced” and “appeased” text.

In a tweet following its adoptionafter a second hearing by the National Assembly, Macron said of the text on August 1 that it gives “equal access to assisted procreation for all women, secures children’s rights” and  “frames research in a debate that respected one and all.”

What is really happening is that artificial procreation is to be made available to lesbians and single women. The right to embryo research, including the creation of chimeras, will become the rule, and “medical” abortion right up to birth is said to become legal when a mother has “psychosocial” problems that doctors are willing to confirm.

This general law on bioethics is also yet to pass the hurdle of a second reading by the Senate. But in the long run the National Assembly has the upper hand and the addition of a new debate on “ordinary” abortion that is available without any conditions at all is expected to exacerbate the opposition, according to some commentators. 

Sadly, in political circles, the opposition is mainly aiming to preserve the status quo and promoting the original abortion law which allowed “voluntary interruption of pregnancy,” as it is called, up to 10 weeks gestation, provided the mother obtained recognition of the fact that she was in “distress” by a doctor and observed a seven-day cooling off period.

In practice, these conditions have always been very loosely observed, if at all, and the “distress” requirement was scrapped in 2014under François Hollande’s socialist rule. Slowly but surely abortion has become a “right” that to date has been extended to the first 12 weeks of gestation, available on demand and 100 percent funded by the French Social Security.

This first extension was obtained in 2001 on the pretext that “3,000 to 5,000” women were compelled to obtain abortion in neighboring countries every year because they were beyond the legal time limit in France. These same numbers are being bandied in order to obtain a further two weeks, although no document actually confirms this situation. Many promoters of abortion complain that it is ever harder to obtain in certain regions in France and that excessive delays are pushing many women over the edge of the time limit.

This is hard to believe. In 2019, France registered a record number of abortions since the beginning of the 1990s, with over 232,000 abortions in 2019, 8,000 more than the previous year. Besides, the majority of these abortions are now being performed by chemical means, access to which has been made easier during the COVID-19 lockdown (in France, from March 17 to May 11).

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Remarkably, the first extension from 10 to 12 weeks has led to the increase of conscientious objection to abortion and fewer practitioners are accepting to perform the act at all. But due to the sharp decrease in surgical abortions, this does not mean that fewer women are being allowed legally to kill their own child: quite the contrary.

In the days leading up to the debate on the 14 week gestation limit, the French National College of gynaecologists and obstetricians (CNGOF) explained that it was very much against the new extension, in particular because of the inhumanity of the procedure.

Its president, Israël Nisand – who is a personal supporter of legal abortion and “medical” abortion up to birth for babies with malformations – said that between 12 and 14 weeks, the unborn baby’s skull has formed: “In order to extract the head of the fetus from the uterus, it is necessary to crush it with a special clamp; this act of fetal dilaceration is not only dangerous [for the mother, according to the CNGOF] but one can understand that it can shock the majority of practitioners without reticence being marked by any religious or moral connotation.” He recalled that the unborn baby’s size doubles between 12 and 14 weeks gestation.

Nisand suggested that in the COVID crisis, with hospitals under pressure, it would be a good thing for a lot more public money to be spent on abortion and that “this action would be favorable to women’s rights.”

But Nisand’s graphic description of abortion beyond three months of pregnancy caught the imagination of many (not that abortion is fundamentally different when it is performed before or beyond the 12 week limit, but that’s another matter). 

But it seems as if Nisand’s description of the reality of a surgical abortion has suddenly allowed the debate on abortion to go public again. In recent decades public opposition to legal abortion has been so excluded from mainstream politics and media that many pro-life initiatives in France shy away from asking for the simple abrogation of the first 1974 abortion law, and instead merely call for a return to its stricter conditions. This is despite the fact that the number of legal abortions in France has not varied much since that time: from about 180,000 to 230,000 abortions each year. At the same time, “contraceptive coverage” in France is among the highest in the world.

Will the latest attempt to facilitate legal abortion be adopted, or will it backfire by attracting attention to the reality of abortion? Will it further encourage opponents to try to make their voices heard more clearly? Or will it lead to more promotion of the 1974 law which opened the door to the legal killing of unborn babies?

Only time will tell. The same is true of conscientious objection; already, objectors are required to refer their patients to more compliant doctors. If the specific legal right to conscientious objection is replaced by the merely administrative right to general objection, pro-life doctors and in a general way all health workers will be in a precarious situation.

Several bishops have voiced their opposition. Bishop Michel Aupetit of Paris stated on the official Catholic radio station of his diocese: “Abortion is truly a terrible act. The right to kill does not exist. It is really madness. Babies are being killed in their mothers’ womb as if it were an ordinary thing. (…) At 9 months! Do you realize what that is? It’s butchery! It’s an aberration!” 

On October 7, the permanent council of the French Bishop’s conference issued a statement voicing its concern about the bioethics law and the latest attempt to ease conditions of access to legal abortion, asking “all citizens, especially Catholics, to make their reticence and opposition known.”


  abortion, conscientious objection, emmanuel macron, france, french national assembly

News

Sen. Amy Klobuchar hits Judge Barrett’s pro-life views in dramatic rant

The former Democrat presidential hopeful said Barrett will impact 'who you can marry' and 'decisions you can make about your own body,' references to same-sex 'marriage' and abortion.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 1:00 pm EST
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YouTube / screenshot
Michael Haynes
By

WASHINGTON D.C, October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On the first day of Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) launched a scathing and dramatic attack on both Barrett and President Donald Trump. Opening her statement, Klobuchar claimed “we are dealing with a president who doesn’t think truth matters.” 

The Democrat senator argued that Barrett’s nomination should not have taken place before the election, and likened it to a breach of justice: “It has been said that the wheels of justice turn slowly. Injustice on the other hand, can move at lighting speed, as we are seeing here today.” 

Klobuchar made specific reference to Barrett’s pro-life and traditional values, claiming that they would have a profoundly negative effect on the lives of Americans. She claimed that there was a rush to “put in a justice, a justice whose views are known and who will have a profound impact on your life…who you can marry, decisions you can make about your own body.”  

“America, this is about you,” declared Klobuchar. 

Klobuchar continued by highlighting the importance of Barrett’s nomination in the light of the upcoming presidential election, connecting Barrett’s pro-life and traditional views to the election itself: “We cannot divorce this nominee and her views from the election.”   

“The truth matters,” protested Klobuchar, “and the truth is, America, that this judicial nominee has made her view so clear, and this president is trying to put her in a position of power to make decisions about your lives.” 

Referring to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a firm advocate of abortion and same-sex “marriage,” Klobuchar claimed that Ginsburg’s views were those which should guide the future of America. “When you look at her opinions, you realize she was not just writing for today, she was writing for tomorrow.” 

Accusing the president of wanting to “stack the deck,” the senator also dramatically said that “I think this hearing is a sham.” 

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  abortion, amy coney barrett, amy klobuchar, homosexuality, same-sex 'marriage', supreme court confirmation hearing

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Pro-lifers, pro-abortion protestors square off outside Amy Coney Barrett hearing

'Hey hey! Ho ho! Roe v Wade has got to go!' and 'Fill that seat!' chanted the exuberant crowd, many of whom had traveled across the country to cheer for Barrett. 
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 12:15 pm EST
Featured Image
Anti-Amy Coney Barrett protester’s face mask delivers obscene message. Photo: Doug Mainwaring
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The atmosphere was electric on Capitol Hill early this morning as Amy Coney Barrett’s (ACB’s) supporters streamed in from all directions to greet her as she arrived for the start of her Senate confirmation hearing. 

“Hey hey! Ho ho! Roe v Wade has got to go!” and “Fill that seat!” chanted the exuberant crowd, many of whom had traveled across the country to cheer for Barrett. 

A group of those opposed to Barrett’s confirmation gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and marched toward the Senate Office Building campus where ACB’s supporters and detractors briefly faced off.   

Image
Anti-Amy Coney Barrett protesters on march from the Supreme Court. (Photo: Doug Mainwaring)

Some anti-ACB protesters wore white hazmat suits as a means of suggesting that the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee hearing might needlessly risk spreading the Wuhan virus.   

Others wore LGBT abortion ‘clinic escort’ vests and carried signs, “Save Roe” and bright red face masks emblazoned with “F**k Trump.”  They beat drums and chanted “no confirmation until inauguration” and “Let the people decide.”   

Image
Anti-Amy Coney Barrett protesters wearing abortion ‘clinic escort’ vests. (Photo: Doug Mainwaring)

Still others carried signs that brazenly declared, “Abortion on demand without apology” and “Trump/Pence out now.”   

Image
Anti-Amy Coney Barrett protesters: “Abortion on demand & without apology.” (Photo: Doug Mainwaring)

But they were no match for the pro-lifers who vastly outnumbered and outshone them. 

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  2020 election, abortion-on-demand, amy coney barrett, supreme court vacancy, us supreme court

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Anti-Barrett protestors arrested for blocking access to Senate building

Today is the first day of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 12:09 pm EST
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An anti-Amy Coney Barrett protestor is arrested and led away after blocking the entrance to a Senate building Rev. Mahoney / Twitter
Emily Mangiaracina Emily Mangiaracina Follow
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A crowd of protestors gathered outside the Dirksen Senate building before 9:00 a.m. this morning to protest Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. A small group of them blocked the entrance to the building and were arrested. 

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A number of protestors were dressed in white hazmat suits to demand COVID-19 tests before the hearing. 

A few wore orange sweatshirts and carried signs that read “Trump/Pence OUT NOW!” One held in her other hand a sign that read, “Abortion on demand and without apology.” 

Several protestors wore rainbow-striped “Clinic Escort” vests that are sometimes worn by abortion activists outside abortion facilities. Others held signs reading, “Save the ACA,” in reference to the Affordable Care Act. 

One group of protestors demanded, “No confirmation until inauguration,” while on their way to the Hart Senate Office building, as they waded through pro-life supporters of Barrett, who chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go!” 

Just steps away from protestors outside the Dirksen building, a crowd of pro-Barrett women chanted “Women for Amy,” displaying pink signs that read the same. According to the Washington Post’s Melissa J. Lang, a number of them approached Capitol Hill police, asking if the anti-Barrett protestors had a permit. 


  2020 election, abortion, amy coney barrett, supreme court confirmation hearing

News

‘I believe in the power of prayer’: Amy Coney Barrett’s full opening statement for her confirmation hearing

Judge Amy Coney Barrett released her opening statements for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 8:46 am EST
Featured Image
Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool / Getty Images
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Senate confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, begins today. Barrett has released her opening statement, which she delivered to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee today.

The following is the full text: 

Opening Statement at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

Monday, October 12, 2020

Chairman Graham, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Members of the Committee: I am honored and humbled to appear before you as a nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

I thank the President for entrusting me with this profound responsibility, as well as for the graciousness that he and the First Lady have shown my family throughout this process.

I thank Senator Young for introducing me, as he did at my hearing to serve on the Seventh Circuit. I thank Senator Braun for his generous support. And I am especially grateful to former Dean Patty O’Hara of Notre Dame Law School. She hired me as a professor nearly 20 years ago and has been a mentor, colleague, and friend ever since.

I thank the Members of this Committee—and your other colleagues in the Senate—who have taken the time to meet with me since my nomination. It has been a privilege to meet you.

As I said when I was nominated to serve as a Justice, I am used to being in a group of nine—my family. Nothing is more important to me, and I am so proud to have them behind me.

My husband Jesse and I have been married for 21 years. He has been a selfless and wonderful partner at every step along the way. I once asked my sister, “Why do people say marriage is hard? I think it’s easy.” She said, “Maybe you should ask  Jesse if he agrees.” I decided not to take her advice. I know that I am far luckier in love than I deserve.

Jesse and I are parents to seven wonderful children. Emma is a sophomore in college who just might follow her parents into a career in the law. Vivian came to us from Haiti. When she arrived, she was so weak that we were told she might never walk or talk normally. She now deadlifts as much as the male athletes at our gym, and I assure you that she has no trouble talking. Tess is 16, and while she shares her parents’ love for the liberal arts, she also has a math gene that seems to have skipped her parents’ generation. John Peter joined us shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and Jesse, who brought him home, still describes the shock on JP’s face when he got off the plane in wintertime Chicago. Once that shock wore off, JP assumed the happy-go-lucky attitude that is still his signature trait. Liam is smart, strong, and kind, and to our delight, he still loves watching movies with Mom and Dad. Ten-year-old Juliet is already pursuing her goal of becoming an author by writing multiple essays and short stories, including one she recently submitted for publication. And our youngest—Benjamin, who has Down Syndrome—is the unanimous favorite of the family.

My own siblings are here, some in the hearing room and some nearby. Carrie, Megan, Eileen, Amanda, Vivian, and Michael are my oldest and dearest friends. We’ve seen each other through both the happy and hard parts of life, and I am so grateful that they are with me now.

My parents, Mike and Linda Coney, are watching from their New Orleans home. My father was a lawyer and my mother was a teacher, which explains how I ended up as a law professor. More important, my parents modeled for me and my six siblings a life of service, principle, faith, and love. I remember preparing for a grade-school spelling bee against a boy in my class. To boost my confidence, Dad sang, “Anything boys can do, girls can do better.” At least as I remember it, I spelled my way to victory.

I received similar encouragement from the devoted teachers at St. Mary’s Dominican, my all-girls high school in New Orleans. When I went to college, it never occurred to me that anyone would consider girls to be less capable than boys. My freshman year, I took a literature class filled with upperclassmen English majors. When I did my first presentation—on Breakfast at Tiffany’s—I feared I had failed. But my professor filled me with confidence, became a mentor, and—when I graduated with a degree in English—gave me Truman Capote’s collected works. 

Although I considered graduate studies in English, I decided my passion forwords was better suited to deciphering statutes than novels. I was fortunate to havewonderful legal mentors—in particular, the judges for whom I clerked. The legendary Judge Laurence Silberman of the D.C. Circuit gave me my first job in the law and continues to teach me today. He was by my side during my Seventh Circuit hearing and investiture, and he is cheering me on from his living room now.

I also clerked for Justice Scalia, and like many law students, I felt like I knew the justice before I ever met him, because I had read so many of his colorful, accessible opinions. More than the style of his writing, though, it was the content of Justice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me.

His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it
were. Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like. But as he put it in one of his best known opinions, that is what it means to say we have a government of laws, not of men.

Justice Scalia taught me more than just law. He was devoted to his family, resolute in his beliefs, and fearless of criticism. And as I embarked on my own legal career, I resolved to maintain that same perspective. There is a tendency in our profession to treat the practice of law as all-consuming, while losing sight of everything else. But that makes for a shallow and unfulfilling life. I worked hard as a lawyer and a professor; I owed that to my clients, my students, and myself. But I never let the law define my identity or crowd out the rest of my life.

 

 A similar principle applies to the role of courts. Courts have a vital responsibility to enforce the rule of law, which is critical to a free society. But courts are not designed to solve every problem or right every wrong in our public life. The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the People. The public should not expect courts to do so, and courts should not try.

That is the approach I have strived to follow as a judge on the Seventh Circuit. In every case, I have carefully considered the arguments presented by the parties, discussed the issues with my colleagues on the court, and done my utmost to reach the result required by the law, whatever my own preferences might be. I try to remain mindful that, while my court decides thousands of cases a year, each case is the most important one to the parties involved. After all, cases are not like statutes, which are often named for their authors. Cases are named for the parties who stand to gain or lose in the real world, often through their liberty or livelihood.

When I write an opinion resolving a case, I read every word from the perspective of the losing party. I ask myself how would I view the decision if one of my children was the party I was ruling against: Even though I would not like the result, would I understand that the decision was fairly reasoned and grounded in the law? That is the standard I set for myself in every case, and it is the standard I will follow as long as I am a judge on any court.

When the President offered this nomination, I was deeply honored. But it was not a position I had sought out, and I thought carefully before accepting. The confirmation process—and the work of serving on the Court if I am confirmed— requires sacrifices, particularly from my family. I chose to accept the nomination because I believe deeply in the rule of law and the place of the Supreme Court in our Nation. I believe Americans of all backgrounds deserve an independent Supreme Court that interprets our Constitution and laws as they are written. And I believe I can serve my country by playing that role.

I come before this Committee with humility about the responsibility I have been asked to undertake, and with appreciation for those who came before me. I was nine years old when Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman to sit in this seat. She was a model of grace and dignity throughout her distinguished tenure on the Court. When I was 21 years old and just beginning my career, Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat in this seat. She told the Committee, “What has become of me could only happen in America.” I have been nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat, but no one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led.

If confirmed, it would be the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside the Chief Justice and seven Associate Justices. I admire them all and would consider each a valued colleague. And I might bring a few new perspectives to the bench. As the President noted when he announced my nomination, I would be the first mother of school-age children to serve on the Court. I would be the first Justice to join the Court from the Seventh Circuit in 45 years. And I would be the only sitting Justice who didn’t attend law school at Harvard or Yale. I am confident that Notre Dame will hold its own, and maybe I could even teach them a thing or two about football.

As a final note, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank the many Americans from all walks of life who have reached out with messages of support over the course of my nomination. I believe in the power of prayer, and it has been uplifting to hear that so many people are praying for me. I look forward to answering the Committee’s questions over the coming days. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Thank you.


  acb, amy coney barrett, judge amy coney barrett, president trump, senate confirmation hearings, supreme court, supreme court justice

News

‘Purge’: Facebook wipes out page devoted to helping overcome same-sex attraction

With no explanation, Facebook has deleted the page of Restored Hope Network. This marks the culmination of the social media platform’s silencing.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 7:40 am EST
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Allmy / Shutterstock.com
Charles Robertson
By

UNITED STATES, October 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — With no explanation, Facebook has deleted the page of Restored Hope Network. This marks the culmination of the social media platform’s silencing of the network, described on its website as “a coalition of Christian ministries, pastors, and counselors in the US committed to serving those seeking Christ-centered answers for sexual and relational problems.”

Facebook’s censoring of the organization began in July of this year, when it began removing posts from Restored Hope Network’s most recent conference. Anne Paulk, the executive director of the umbrella organization, told The Christian Post that the removal of the page came without notice. “Their dismissive action — canceling our page as if it never existed, leaving a vague ‘the link may be broken’ message in its place — is shameful. Not even extending us the courtesy of a notification, a chance to offer our side of the very politicized story, is unconscionable.” Paulk is no stranger to cancelation, as her book was removed from Amazon in last year’s purge of titles devoted to helping people overcome same-sex attraction.

Paulk told The Christian Post that Facebook’s recent push to ban content promoting so-called “conversion therapy” is the likely reason for its action. Many states and jurisdictions have already passed laws prohibiting such therapies. She considers “conversion therapy” to be “a deliberately and misleadingly provocative term coined by the LGBTQ activist movement that does not describe any type of actual counseling assistance offered to men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction.”

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Restored Hope Network endorses a “Transformational Ministry” approach to helping individuals deal with unwanted same-sex attraction. This approach is based on a “transformational, life-changing experience of submitting to Jesus Christ as Lord,” together with pastoral support and professional counselling.”

Considering their clearly stated approach, Christian psychotherapist Andrew Rodriguez sees Facebook’s censorship of Restored Hope Network as an instance of persecution for religious views. He is urging people to “tell Facebook they are practicing discrimination against a minority group increasingly being persecuted by the media and government — ex-gays and non-LGB people with SSA, Questioning people, and trans-desisters and detransitioners.”

This is the purge I warned about.  Restored Hope Network is the largest umbrella organization for ministries that help...

Posted by Andrew Rodriguez Counseling Services on Thursday, October 8, 2020

RELATED

Why ‘conversion therapy bans’ are really about banning Christian preaching, teaching, pastoral support

These books helped thousands quit homosexuality. Amazon just banned them.

Ex-gays petition Amazon to stop banning books that help with unwanted same-sex attraction

Amazon bans books on gay ‘conversion therapy’. Is the Bible next?


  big tech, censorship, conversion therapy, facebook, freedom of speech, homosexuality, reparative therapy

News

New Fr. Altman video explains why Joe Biden is a fake Catholic

'Faithful Catholics do not support expanding the "right" to murder millions of unborn babies. Faithful Catholics do not personally celebrate same sex weddings.'
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Fr. James Altman in his Aug. 30, 2020 video 'You cannot be Catholic & a Democrat. Period.' Alpha News MN / Youtube
Victoria Gisondi
By

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews– Father James Altman, the priest in the viral video You Cannot Be Catholic and a DemocratPeriod has done it again. He is not only doubling down on the incompatibility of the Democrats’ pro-abortion platform with Catholicism, but he is openly calling out former vice president Joe Biden as a fake Catholic in his latest online message 

In his latest message, Altman states, “Joe Biden wants you to believe that he is a faithful Catholic. Faithful Catholics do not support expanding the right to murder millions of unborn babies. Faithful Catholics do not personally celebrate same sex weddingsFaithful Catholics do not vow to force nuns to provide contraception and abortifacients in insurance plans. And faithful Catholics do not remain silent while anarchists desecrate Catholic churches and statutes. 

Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former Bishop of La Crosse, Wisconsin – where Altmacurrently resides –also recently noted Biden is “not a Catholic in good standing” and should not approach to receive Holy Communion. 

Father Stephen Imbarrato of Life Ministries US echoed that sentiment.  

He told LifeSiteNews“There is no doubt that Biden is guilty of the grave sin of scandal. Our Catholic bishops are in danger of scandal through their silence and not catechizing the faithful on the Catechism the Catholic Church number 2287. It [clearly] indicates that a vote for a candidate like Biden is a mortal sin. We need to be concerned about Biden’s soul and the souls of our Catholic faithful by confronting Biden’s ‘obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin [Canon 915]. 

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  2020 election, abortion, canon 915, catholic, james altman, joe biden

News

Trump’s order on protecting preemies gives new hope to mom whose newborn twins were denied care

'I am so thankful to finally have acknowledgement [from] our government that what Riverside Methodist Hospital did is wrong. I am praying that they are held accountable for what they have [done] to my beautiful sons and everything they put our family through.'
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 6:00 am EST
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Created Equal / screenshot
Charles Robertson
By

COLUMBUS, Ohio, October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is under investigation for refusing to treat premature twins. Amanda Finnefrock gave birth to twin boys at 22 weeks and 5 days gestation. Both boys died after hospital staff refused to offer any treatment, despite Finnefrock’s pleas for help. The hospital sent her home, having classified the boys’ deaths as “stillbirths.” 

Finnefrock told The Federalist that the hospital’s neonatologist considered it “inhumane to try” to treat the infants, as it would supposedly cause them too much pain. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) investigated the case and found that hospital staff did not even conduct a screening to determine appropriate treatment. This serious omission violated 1986’s Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which obliges hospitals and emergency rooms to offer treatment to anyone who comes to them. The HHS Office for Civil Rights is continuing the investigation to see if any other laws were violated. 

Finnefrock has expressed gratitude to the HHS for its initial findings.  

“I am so thankful to finally have acknowledgement [from] our government that what Riverside Methodist Hospital did is wrong. I am praying that they are held accountable for what they have [done] to my beautiful sons and everything they put our family through,” she said. 

Finnefrock made these comments after President Donald Trump signed the Executive Order on Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children. This executive order is meant to “protect infants born alive from discrimination in the provision of medical treatment, including infants who require emergency medical treatment, who are premature, or who are born with disabilities.”  

Finnefrock expressed hope that Trump’s order will prevent other situations like hers.  

“I also hope that with this new Executive Order by the president, babies all around the country will be saved no matter the circumstances. They all have value and worth,” she said. 

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Created Equal, a Columbus, Ohio-based pro-life organization, gave exposure to Finnefrock’s story with a video and email campaign in May 2018. Recently, YouTube and Vimeo have censored the video on their platforms.

RELATED: 

Trump signs executive order to protect preemies, babies who survive abortions 

Trump announces executive order to protect babies who survive abortion 


  born alive, ohio state university osu, preemies, president trump, riverside methodist hospital

Opinion

Amy Coney Barrett could bring moral law back to the Supreme Court

The real issue with this week's confirmation hearings is not Amy Coney Barrett. It's the foundation of law in the United States of America.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 8:56 pm EST
Featured Image
Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Alex Edelman-Pool / Getty Images
John Horvat II
By

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Everyone knows that the Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings are not about Amy Coney Barrett, her qualifications, or the Constitution.

Of course, everyone goes through the theatrics of what the hearings are supposed to be. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s liberal members will dutifully cast themselves as the Constitution’s guardians. They will dramatically insist that the nominee declare her respect for the law of the land, which, so they believe, is in constant evolution.

The committee members will wrongly ask Mrs. Barrett to affirm that her personal beliefs and faith will not influence her decisions — even though their personal beliefs definitely are part of the interrogation. She must politely say she will respect precedent and settled law while carefully avoiding getting into specifics.

“Settled law” that unsettles everyone 

Intense as these Senate formalities always are, they merely cloak the real issue. Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court abortion decision, is definitely part of the issue but not its core.

As much as the left likes to insist that Roe v. Wade is settled law, the raging debate nearly fifty years afterward clearly shows that it is not. Elevating the decision to the infallible legal dogma level is a travesty that insults the millions of Americans who believe abortion is murder.

Moreover, leftists know that Roe is not settled law because they admit that it was a mistake, built upon shoddily crafted legal doctrine. None other than Ruth Bader Ginsburg declared in 1992 that the decision was ill conceived since it brutally imposed abortion upon states that were gradually tending to liberalize abortion. Indeed, some feminists now admit defeat and say, “The left has already lost the abortion fight.” They are ready to abandon Roe and quietly move on to other more gradualist strategies.

No one likes Roe v. Wade. On all sides, people reject it. It makes no sense to use a court decision that unsettles everyone as the litmus test for who becomes a Supreme Court Justice. 

Roe broke with the moral law

So why the uproar over Roe?

The left fears Roe’s demise because it raises fundamental legal issues that the left wants to keep buried. If Roe is overturned, other dominoes might come falling down. 

Indeed, Roe questions the basic assumptions of modern law theory. The positivist notion of law that dominates America today insulates the law from moral, ethical, or religious considerations. Law is considered a hierarchy of accepted value-free norms based on other norms for its validity.

This pragmatic approach claims to see the law as it is and not as it ought to be. Thus, it abstracts from the moral and metaphysical principles that long informed Western law. The State, not God, is the creator of law. A powerful State maintains this law while a decadent culture can take it to absurd extremes.  

The moral law returns

A reversal of Roe reintroduces the thorny moral question into the legal debate that liberalism had hoped would stay away. It does so with an argument so convincing that it takes great effort and malice to deny its validity: a tiny and frail baby.

The baby cries out against the injustice of this system of value-free norms that arbitrarily decrees his death. The baby’s beating heart appeals to a higher natural law that Saint Paul says is written on all hearts. Based on this higher law derived from human nature and towering far above Roe v. Wade, millions of Americans now realize that killing innocent babies is morally wrong.

If abortion can be banned appealing to this higher law, then similar issues might also be raised. The value-free legal infrastructure of the liberal order might just come crashing down.  

The fears of the left

Liberals do not fear Roe v. Wade, which could be made to die a silent death without overturning their legal system. They distrust a Catholic judge since the Church is the guardian of the moral law. They fear that the American public, awakened by the tiny baby’s cries, might demand a return to the moral law. 

The confirmation hearings are not about Amy Coney Barrett, her originalist philosophy, or her qualifications. The left knows that the hearings are not only about Roe v. Wade. They are about the moral law’s return to the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

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


  abortion, amy coney barrett, roe v. wade, supreme court

Opinion

Sen. Cory Booker claims pro-life laws ‘criminalize women’ in tirade against Barrett

Laws criminalize actions, not people. And even the strongest pro-life laws exempt from criminal or civil liability women who abort their children.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 4:14 pm EST
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YouTube / screenshot
Emily Mangiaracina Emily Mangiaracina Follow
By

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) used misleading and deceitful language to stoke leftist fears about the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade in his opening statement during Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing earlier today. 

Booker suggested a future without Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that along with Doe v. Bolton imposed abortion on demand across the U.S., would be some kind of authoritarian nightmareIt looks like state laws proliferating throughout our country that seek to control and criminalize women.” 

The claim that pro-life laws seek to criminalize women is disingenuous, as even in states with the strongest pro-life laws, women are not held criminally or civilly liable for aborting their children. Furthermore, laws criminalize actions – not people. 

Booker used every opportunity possible to mischaracterize the possible repeal of Roe v. WadeHe said women would be “denied the ability to make decisions about their own bodies” and “stripped of the right to plan for their futures.”  

Booker made no mention of the separate, unique, human bodies of the unborn, nor did he discuss whether they have a right to a future, let alone the right to plan for one. 

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  2020 election, abortion, amy coney barrett, cory booker, roe v. wade

Opinion

CNN butchers the facts on late-term abortions

During the vice presidential debate last week, Mike Pence accurately and straightforwardly described the positions of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden on late-term abortions, noting that they support such abortions up to birth and want them funded by taxpayers.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 10:12 am EST
Featured Image
GETTY IMAGES David McNew (January 2001)
James D. Agresti
By James Agresti

UNITED STATES, October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a so-called “fact check” of the vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, CNN reporter Caroline Kelly presents a barrage of disinformation that hides the realities of late-term abortion and the agenda of the Biden–Harris campaign.

During the debate, Pence stated that “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support taxpayer funding of abortion all the way up to the moment of birth, late-term abortion.” CNN, which begins each of its fact checks with the phrase “Facts First,” uses a flurry of falsehoods to undercut Pence’s factual statement.

 

The “Medical Term” Farce

CNN begins its fact check with an attempt to delegitimize the phrase “late-term” abortion by declaring it “is not a medical term.” This claim is flatly disproven by medical journals that have published articles with titles like:

These medical journals and others, along with Planned Parenthood, abortion clinics, and media outlets have used the phrase “late-term” on numerous occasions to describe abortions that are performed from as few as 14 weeks into pregnancy to as many as 35 weeks or later.

More importantly, a vice-presidential debate is not a medical forum, CNN is not a medical periodical, and journalism guidelines bluntly instruct reporters to avoid medical jargon:

  • The book English for Journalists emphasizes: “A common source of jargon is scientific, medical, government and legal handouts,” and “if you write for a newspaper or general magazine you should try to translate jargon into ordinary English whenever you can.”

  • The New Oxford Guide to Writing states: “Jargon is technical language misused. Technical language, the precise diction demanded by any specialized trade or profession, is necessary when experts communicate with one another. It becomes jargon when it is applied outside the limits of technical discourse.”

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  • The book Writing for Journalists drives home the point: “Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.”

In violation of that journalism standard, journalists selectively use medical jargon in ways that obscure the facts that:

A common example of how media outlets use clinical jargon to sanitize the facts of abortion is by inconsistently and incorrectly using the word “fetus,” a medical term derived from a Latin word meaning “offspring” or “newly delivered.” Reporters frequently use this term to describe the object of an abortion, but they use the word “mother” to refer to a pregnant woman instead of the clinically accurate term, “gravida.”

And when the topic is not abortion, journalists often shun the word “fetus” and use “baby” or “child” in its place. In fact, the ombudsman of the Boston Globe once apologized to its readers because the paper used the term “fetus” to describe an unborn child who was killed when his mother was shot in the stomach. The apology was sparked by a flurry of criticism from readers who objected that the Globe “truly dehumanized” the “child” and that “every other news channel, TV, and newspaper called it a baby.”

Beyond their double standards, reporters often misuse the term “fetus,” revealing that they are out of their depth. Per Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, a fetus is “the unborn offspring in the postembryonic period, after major structures have been outlined, in humans from nine weeks after fertilization until birth.” Simply put, the word “fetus” applies from nine weeks after fertilization until birth. Yet, numerous major news organizations have misapplied this term to both before and after this period.

Late-Term Abortions Are Not Rare

According to CNN, “Doctors say abortions performed later in pregnancy are exceptionally rare.” In truth, late-term abortions are far more common than deaths that the media portrays as frequent occurrences like firearm homicides, young adult Covid-19 fatalities, and murders committed by police officers.

2013 paper in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health estimates that “more than 15,000” abortions are performed each year in the U.S. “at 21 weeks or later.” The authors note that this amounts to about 1% of all abortions, “but given an estimated 1.21 million abortions in the United States annually,” “later abortions” add up to “a substantial number of abortions.”

Hence, these “exceptionally rare” late-term abortions are more numerous than the:

  • 12,000 murders per year committed with guns.
  • 6,000 Covid-19-related deaths of people under the age of 45.
  • 50 people per year who are executed under the death penalty
  • police officers per year who are arrested for murder or manslaughter in an on-duty shooting, and the 1–2 officers who are ultimately convicted of such crimes.

 

Most Late-Term Abortions Are Not for Medical Reasons

CNN claims that “abortions performed later in pregnancy” are “often” because “of a fetal condition that can’t be treated or in cases of maternal health endangerment.” This is a common talking point of abortion proponents, but the disclosures of abortion providers reveal just the opposite:

  • Martin Haskell, who is credited with inventing the partial-birth abortion procedure stated, “I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…. In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective.” 
  • Renee Chelian, president of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, said of late-term abortions, “The spin out of Washington was that it was only done for medical necessity, even though we knew it wasn’t so.”
  • Doctors at two New Jersey abortion clinics independently revealed that each of their clinics was performing roughly 3,000 late-term abortions per year and nearly all of them were elective and not for medical reasons.
  • Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, stated that late-term abortion are “primarily done on healthy women and healthy fetuses.”

The statements above are corroborated by a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute—a research organization whose “Guiding Principles” include support for legalized abortion. As summarized by the New York Times, the study found that “only 2 percent of abortions done after 16 weeks of pregnancy are done because of fetal abnormalities,” and such abortions are “most often performed to end healthy pregnancies because the woman arrived relatively late to her decision to abort.”

Biden and Harris Support Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Up Till Birth

According to CNN, Pence’s statement about Biden and Harris is “partially misleading and partially false” because “a Biden campaign official told CNN that Biden supports Roe v. Wade—the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, as amended by Planned Parenthood v. Casey.”

However, the plain words of those court decisions prove that Pence’s statement is entirely accurate. This is because these rulings prohibit states from banning abortions at any stage of pregnancy if any abortionist claims it is for “the health of the mother.”

Importantly, Roe defines threats to a mother’s health so broadly that they can include practically anything. Some eye-opening examples of what Roe deems to be hazardous to “health” are the work of “child care,” the “stigma of unwed motherhood,” and “the distress” of parenting “an unwanted child.”

In Casey, the Supreme Court ruled that “Roe’s essential holding be retained and reaffirmed,” including “a confirmation of the State’s power to restrict abortions after viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies endangering a woman’s life or health.”

Furthermore, Roe places all decisions about what constitutes “health” into the hands of abortionists. It does this by mandating that Roe“be read together” with Doe v. Bolton, a companion case that the Supreme Court issued on the same day. In Doe, the Court ruled that all abortion providers have full authority to decide if an abortion is necessary to protect a woman’s “health” based solely on their “best clinical judgment.”

Many states have passed laws that defy Roe and Casey, and Biden and Harris say that they will overturn all of them through a federal law that codifies Roe. They also support “repealing the Hyde Amendment,” which has restricted taxpayer funding of abortion for more than 40 years except in cases of rape, incest, and if the life of the mother is endangered.

CNN also alleges without evidence that “no candidate in either political party supports abortion ‘up to the moment of birth’,” but the fact is that Democrats blocked a bill in 2019 that would have required healthcare providers to “preserve the life and health” of children who are aborted and born alive. Harris was among the 42 Democrats who filibustered this bill in the Senate.

Summary

During the vice presidential debate, Mike Pence accurately and straightforwardly described the positions of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden on late-term abortions, noting that they support such abortions up to birth and want them funded by taxpayers.

Yet, CNN deceitfully claimed his statement is misleading in an article that it titled “Pence Echoes Trump’s False Claims at Vice Presidential Debate.” Furthermore, CNN laced its “fact check” with other canards that hide the harsh realities of late-term abortion and the fact that they are performed more than 10,000 times per year on healthy, conscious humans with healthy mothers.

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a think tank dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.


  2020 election, cnn, fake news, joe biden, kamala harris, late term abortion, mike pence, us politics

Opinion

WATCH: Trump denounces KKK, white supremacists over and over

The next time you see journalists, or some friend on Facebook, ask why Trump hasn't condemned hate, show this video.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 9:56 am EST
Featured Image
MRCTV / YouTube
NewsBusters Staff
By NewsBusters Staff

October 12, 2020 (NewsBusters) — The next time you hear some liberal journalist solemnly demand that Donald Trump reject the KKK, David Duke and bigots of all stripes, remember that he has. Over and over. But it’s never enough for hack journalists who pretend the President hasn't condemned hate. 

Here are a few examples of Trump doing just that: 

“David Duke is a bad person who I disavowed on numerous occasions, going all the way back to 2000. 

“I totally disavow the Ku Klux Klan. I totally disavow David Duke.... You’re about the 18th person that asked me the question.”  

“How many times do I have to reject? I’ve rejected David Duke. I’ve rejected the KKK.”  

If that wasn’t enough, watch this video and see it happen 19 times. 

Oddly these same journalists don’t demand that Joe Biden repeatedly denounce Antifa. Have you heard them call on the Democrat’s campaign to fully explain his false claim that Antifa is an “idea not an organization”? 

The next time you see journalists, or some friend on Facebook ask why Trump hasn't condemned hate, show them this MRCTV video!  

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Published with permission from NewsBusters.


  2020 election, donald trump, mainstream media, newsbusters, white supremacists

Opinion

Ex–MSNBC star Keith Olbermann rants: Amy Coney Barrett must be ‘removed from our society’

Among many others, Olbermann said, 'the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try and rebuild it.'
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 9:23 am EST
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Keith Olbermann in 2013. Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Scott Whitlock
By

October 12, 2020 (NewsBusters) — In case you were wondering: Yes, Keith Olbermann is still an unhinged lunatic. The former MSNBC host, former ESPN host is now relegated to making “Worst Person in the World” YouTube videos. Normally, we would ignore them. But his insane rant posted Thursday afternoon deserves to have sunlight shined on it. The bully Olbermann foamed that he wants to “remove” “handmaid” Amy Coney Barrett from society and “prosecute” the “mass murderer” Donald Trump. 

Here’s Olbermann shouting hate into the void about “devouring” people like Barrett.

Trump can be and must be expunged. The hate he has triggered, the Pandora’s box he has opened, they will not be so easily destroyed. So, let us brace ourselves. The task is twofold. The terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box and then he and his enablers and his supporters and his collaborators and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs and the Sean Hannitys and the Mike Pences and the Rudy Giulianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try and rebuild it. 

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This disturbed man was actually given shows on MSNBC and he hosted it off and on for over a decade. The day before, in the October 7 debut of his new set of YouTube posts, he had repeated a lie about Barrett: 

A note about the Handmaid Supreme Court Justice. Amy Coney Barrett was not just in the fundamentalist sect that The Handmaid’s Tale was based loosely. She was in fact, her title was, in fact, handmaid, we are told.

...

She should resign and she should withdraw, but she won’t. Roe v. Wade will have to be protected by new laws or the number of judges on the court changed. 

Apparently the secular Olbermann isn’t aware that the term “handmaid” actually predates the HBO show and is used in the Bible. Also, Olbermann is lying. Even Handmaid creator Margaret Atwood said the show is not based on the group Barrett was in. 

The title of the ex–MSNBC star’s video is “Donald Trump: Mass Murderer Who Will Kill 150,000 More Of Us This Year.” This is the kind of stuff YouTube wants on its site? 

A partial transcript of the rant is below. 

Worst Person In the World with Keith Olbermann
October 8, 2020

KEITH OLBERMANN: This long since stopped being political. Those who ignored this pandemic and the simple, almost comically simple measures to mitigate it are not conservatives or Republicans or fascists. They are selfish scum. 
...

Trump can be and must be expunged. The hate he has triggered, the pandora’s box he has opened, they will not be so easily destroyed. So, let us brace ourselves. The task is twofold. The terrorist Trump must be defeated, must be destroyed, must be devoured at the ballot box and then he and his enablers and his supporters and his collaborators and the Mike Lees and the William Barrs and the Sean Hannitys and the Mike Pences and the Rudy Giulianis and the Kyle Rittenhouses and the Amy Coney Barretts must be prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society while we try and rebuild it and to rebuild the world Trump has nearly destroyed by turning it over to a virus. 

Remember it. Even as we dream of a return to reality and safety and the country for which our forefathers died that the fight is not just to win an election, but to win it by enough to chase at least for a moment Trump and the maggots off the stage. And then try to clean off what they left. Remember it. Even though to remember it means that the fight does not end November 3. But in many ways will only begin that day.  

And in his October 7 video:

A note about the Handmaid Supreme Court Justice. Amy Coney Barrett was not just in the fundamentalist sect that the Handmaid’s Tale was based loosely. She was in fact, her title was, in fact, handmaid, we are told.

...

She should resign and she should withdraw, but she won’t. Roe v. Wade will have to be protected by new laws or the number of judges on the court changed. 

Published with permission from NewsBusters.


  2020 election, amy coney barrett, keith olbermann, mainstream media, msnbc, newsbusters, supreme court

Opinion

Creepy handmaid? Washington Post floats strategy to derail Amy Coney Barrett nomination

Abortion-boosting feminists are warning that Amy Coney Barrett belongs to a charismatic, mostly Catholic group that reeks of patriarchy.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 9:12 am EST
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Nicole Glass Photography / Shutterstock.com
Scott Whitlock
By

October 12, 2020 (NewsBusters) — The Washington Post pushed the Religious Extremist button on Wednesday's front page with a story headlined "Barrett long active with insular Christian group: Community preached subservience for women, former members say."

Beware! The abortion-boosting feminists warn Amy Coney Barrett belongs to a charismatic, mostly Catholic group that reeks of patriarchy!

A 2010 People of Praise directory states she held the title of 'handmaid,' a leadership position for women in the community, according to a directory excerpt obtained by The Washington Post.

Also, while in law school, Barrett lived at the South Bend home of People of Praise's influential co-founder Kevin Ranaghan and his wife, Dorothy, who together helped establish the group's male-dominated hierarchy and view of gender roles. 

The lead reporter on the Post story was Emma Brown — a reporter who wrote about Christine Blasey Ford's unfounded sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist — whose book Justice On Trial exposed the vicious smearing of Kavanaugh — tweeted: "Democrats are laundering their (admittedly weak) anti-religious smear of Amy Coney Barrett through Emma Brown, the same reporter they used to launch their massive and media-coordinated anti-Kavanaugh operation that so many Americans found so despicable."

So the usual Schumer-soldier hit squads at the Post and The New York Times can't accuse Barrett of beer-soaked high-school sexual assault, so they'll try her creepy belonging to a "charismatic Christian community" that preaches "subservience for women." 

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A pull quote on page A-20 establishes the theme: 

"It is important for you to verbalize your commitment to submission: —Jean DeCelles, wife of People of Praise co-founder Paul DeDelles, in a 1980s talk given to women that was reprinted in a 2015 magazine issue.

Brown & Co. hyped the "handmaid" lingo, although they had to note the group dropped in after all the Handmaid's Tale propagandizing:

In 2010, Barrett was one of three handmaids in the South Bend branch's northwest area, according to the directory obtained by The Post. She and 10 other area handmaids were overseen by the branch's principal handmaid...

Connolly said in an email that the group replaced the title of handmaids with "women leaders" in 2017.

Connolly said in a 2018 statement that the title was dropped out of a recognition that its meaning had "shifted dramatically in our culture in recent years." The phrase took on a particular meaning in popular culture after Margaret Atwood's dystopian 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale was adapted for television in 2017. Atwood said in a tweet last month that she was inspired by "a different but similar" group.

Conservatives are pushing back on this sleaze campaign, as Mary Margaret Olohan at the Daily Caller noted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the word "handmaid" is used all over the Bible. "It was good enough for the Virgin Mary. But now, because one liberal author put it in the title of an anti-religious novel in the 1980s, the press tries to imply that one of the most brilliant and powerful women in the legal world is anti-woman."

The Post doesn't push the Religious Extremist button when they're covering Democrats like radical Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). They complain right-wingers dig into her personal life (which they're totally not interested in now, since Omar wrecked her white campaign strategist's marriage).

Conservative blogs dug into her complicated marital history. She and the father of her three children split temporarily in the 2000s but still filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, when Omar was legally married to someone else.

It may sound odd, but it's true. Emma Brown was more generous in her eulogy to Puerto Rican terrorist Lolita Lebron than she is to Judge Barrett.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.


  2020 election, amy coney barrett, ephesians 5, newsbusters, supreme court, the handmaid's tale

Opinion

Amazon’s upcoming ‘Lord of the Rings’ series hints at nudity, sex scenes

'Comfortable with Nudity?' a casting call reads. 'Up to $500 per day. Use reference NUDE.'
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 9:02 am EST
Featured Image
Yudi Kristanu / Shutterstock.com
Matt Philbin
By Matt Philbin

October 12, 2020 (NewsBusters) — J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings epic has been pretty much perfect since The Return of the King finished out the trilogy in October 1955. The tale’s imagination — buttressed by sublime moral imagination — is timeless. Catholics loved it. Fantasy nerds loved it. Hippies loved it. Led Zeppelin (unfortunately) loved and referenced it often. LOTR made it more or less unscathed through a bad cartoon adaptation and a series of big budget Hollywood movies.

But can Tolkien’s masterwork stand up to an entity as evil as Sauron, as duplicitous as Saruman, as craven as Wormtongue, and as rapacious as a band of ravaging Orcs? I speak, of course, of Amazon. 

You see, Amazon is producing a LOTR television series and it may feature “some unexpected nudity” according to Comicbook.com:

The massive project resumed filming in New Zealand in September after a pandemic-induced halt. Now a casting call has gone out for various actors, including those "comfortable with nudity." The casting call from the BGT talent agency caught the eye of Lord of the Rings fansite TheOneRing.net. It reads, "Comfortable with Nudity? Up to $500 per day. Use reference NUDE. We need Nude people based in Auckland - age 18 plus, all shapes and sizes (Intimacy guidelines will always be followed on set)." 

Okay, maybe the Orc enslave humans to work in mines or something, and there are going to be sweeping long shots of them toiling naked … er, no. Comicbook.com again:

The production also has an intimacy coordinator on its team, suggesting the series could include sex scenes.

Oh. 

With admirable understatement, Comicbook.com noted that “This listing has some fans worrying that the Amazon show may be taking inspiration from HBO's hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, which never shied away from sexual content.”

No. It gloried in depicting sex and incest and rape and gay sex — Westeros was a cesspool. Is Amazon really going to do that to Middle Earth? 

If so, Frodo failed after all. Amazon has The Ring.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.


  amazon, game of thrones, hollywood, lord of the rings, newsbusters, nudity, pornography

Opinion

High-profile conservative lawyer suggests Trump may have been deliberately infected with COVID

Lin Wood, a high-profile lawyer representing Nick Sandmann and Kyle Rittenhouse, tweeted about 'what almost appears to almost be targeted strike of Covid-19.'
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 8:24 am EST
Featured Image
Lin Wood. Apu Gomes / Getty Images
Deborah Franklin
By Deborah Franklin

October 12, 2020 (American Thinker) — The dramatic events of the last week will be studied for decades, and much information remains unknown. In the early morning of Friday, October 2, President Trump tweeted that he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID. That evening, after reports that the president was running a fever, he checked in to Walter Reed National Medical Center for treatment. Immediately, speculation began about how he caught the virus and the nature of its severity.

Image

President Trump addressed the nation from Walter Reed Hospital October 4, 2020 (YouTube screen grab).

Image

President Trump drove by supporters gathered outside his hospital, October 4, 2020 (YouTube screen grab).

However, as numerous Republicans in key positions also tested positive, the nature of the speculation began to change. The issue shifted from whether or not the president wore a mask to why so many important Republicans simultaneously got the virus. Among those testing positive were Trump's campaign manager, the chair of the Republican National Committee, the president's senior counselor, and two senators on the Judiciary Committee who will vote on the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett.

Lin Wood, a high-profile lawyer representing Nick Sandmann and Kyle Rittenhouse, tweeted, "Many leaders in administration of @realDonaldTrump are quarantined by what almost appears to almost be targeted strike of Covid-19." He later tweeted, "There are no coincidences. Zero. None. Hard stop." Deanna Lorraine, who ran for Congress against Nancy Pelosi, also picked up the theme of a "targeted strike" in her tweet, "Does anyone else find it odd that no prominent Democrats have had the virus but the list of Republicans goes on and on?" And Omar Navarro, a Republican politician in California, developed the theme: "1.RBG dies. 2. Trump announces he will nominate new justice before election. 3. Pelosi makes "Arrow in our quivers" comment to stop him.' Week later Trump, his top aide, his campaign manager, two Senators all come down with COVID 5. Schumer immediately requests to delay nomination." He added, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

Where did the infection occur? Attention turned to the Cleveland Clinic, where the presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden was held on September 29. On Friday, the city of Cleveland reported that 11 cases of COVID had been linked to the planning and set-up of the September 29 presidential debate. Some commenters on social media speculated that the Republican debate area had been saturated with the virus in a biological attack, coordinated with China.

The sudden illness of so many prominent Republicans brought to mind a mostly forgotten incident in January 2018. A chartered train carrying Republican lawmakers and their families to a retreat collided with a garbage truck that inexplicably was stranded on the track. The front car derailed, killing one person. The media displayed no interest in the story and offered no follow-up articles explaining the unlikely scenario.

Seven months before the train crash, a gunman opened fire on members of the Republican congressional baseball team, severely wounding Steve Scalise, who was then serving as House majority whip. NBC reported: "Witnesses told investigators that when the gunman arrived at the ballfield, he asked people, 'Are these the Republicans or the Democrats?'"

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In the almost four years since Trump has become president, Republicans have suffered three potentially mass fatality events. The coming months may finally bring some answers about these incidents. It's time for the American people to understand what's happening to them.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.


  2020 election, american thinker, coronavirus, democratic party, donald trump, lin wood

Blogs

The Democrat narrative on ‘court-packing’ is deceiving everyone

Leftists are gaslighting everyone. Here’s how.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 8:55 pm EST
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Amy Coney Barrett
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Progressive politics these days often takes the form of gaslighting. Thus, politicians who believe that destroying the most vulnerable members of society  those in the womb  are “pro-life” because they believe in the expansion of the welfare state, whereas those who believe in protecting those human beings are not pro-life. Those who claim that men cannot get pregnant or that women do not have penises are no longer graduates of Grade 8 science class, but bigots.  

The trick is an easy one. Take a term that has a specific meaning, change the meaning, and then accuse your opponents of doing the exact thing you’re doing (or plan to do).  

“Court packing,” for example, is a specific term referring to the expansion of the current number of justices or judges. So expanding the Supreme Court from the current nine justices to 11 or 15 justices —presumably with nominees sympathetic to progressive causes like abortion  would be, by definition, court packing. The term originates from the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, which was a proposal by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to add more justices to the Supreme Court due to Court’s irritating habit of voting against his New Deal legislation. 

For weeks now, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been refusing to answer direct questions about whether they intend to pack the Supreme Court should Amy Coney Barrett be successfully confirmed (ostensibly tipping the Court in a conservative direction). Harris, who told a New York Times reporter that she is “absolutely open” to packing the Court, would not answer the question at the vice-presidential debate.  

Biden, on the other hand, has been responding to questions with a combination of lies, prevarication, and total contempt. “The only court packing going on right now is going on with the Republicans packing the court right now,” he responded to one reporter. “I’m going to stay focused on it so we don’t take our eyes off the ball here.” The Republicans aren’t packing the Court  by very definition  but that has not prevented the Democrats from turning this obvious lie into campaign talking point to distract from their own intentions. 

When pushed, Biden has simply stated that it is nobody’s business if he intends to change the rules both sides have been playing by for well over a century. Asked if voters deserved to know what he plans to do, Biden was blunt: “No, they don’t deserve (to). I’m not going to play his game.” To another journalist, he took it a step further: “You’ll know my opinion of court packing when the election over  the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that.” In other words: Yes, but I don’t need to be defending that right now. 

In short: The Democrats are considering expanding the Supreme Court to protect abortion and other causes (which have been primarily protected by their successful campaigns against candidates like Robert Bork), but do not want to spend the campaign explaining why they are willing to trash norms while accusing President Trump of being the norm-trashing candidate. So instead, they have invented a fictitious version of the phrase “court packing,” and are accusing Republicans of currently doing the thing they plan to do if elected. Gaslighting at its finest. 

As Harvard Law professor Adrian Vermeule noted sarcastically on TwitterLol the gigantic megaphone of progressive media’s going to redefine ‘court-packing’ as ‘Republicans making judicial appointments, and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.” 

Progressive media figures have been quick to jump on the narrative. Dan Rather tweeted: “Can we at least recognize that ‘Court Packing’ at all levels of the judiciary has been the Republican playbook for decades? Asking for Merrick Garland.” Jonah Goldberg responded: “It is stunning how fast this propaganda is spreading. That’s simply not what court-packing means. Filling existing vacancies – even with ample bad faith, cynicism, skullduggery whatever  is not ‘court packing.’ It’s amazing to watch people who know this say otherwise.” 

It’s not really amazing, of course. These are the folks who say the Constitution is living and that a baby in the womb is not; that there are dozens of genders; and that a Catholic who believes a child in the womb can be killed up until birth is a “practicing” Catholic. These are the people who claim, with a smirk, that Kamala Harris is a “person of faith.” When you realize that, the fact that they are lying about what court packing is and brazenly stating that the voters have no right to know whether they intend to do so is par for the course. 

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  abortion, amy coney barrett, catholic, court packing, donald trump, joe biden, kamala harris, u.s. supreme court

Blogs

Was the chief architect behind the New Mass a Freemason? New evidence emerges

Last week, a major exposé appeared, containing pointed revelations about Annibale Bugnini worth every Catholic's attention.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 6:00 pm EST
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Angel Soler Gollonet / Shutterstock.com
Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Last week, a major exposé appeared as two Moynihan Letters (#26 and #28) at Inside the Vatican and was then republished at the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli. It takes the form of a lengthy interview conducted by Kevin Symonds with Fr. Charles Theodore Murr (b. 1950), author of The Godmother: Mother Pascalina: A Feminine Tour de Force (2017), and a former secretary to Edouard Cardinal Gagnon who worked at the Vatican in the 1970s. During this period, Murr became close friends with Mother Pascalina Lehnert (1894–1983), Eugenio Pacelli’s housekeeper for 41 years, from his time as papal nuncio in Germany in the 1920s through his papal reign as Pius XII until his death in 1958. In the interview, Murr discusses a large number of personalities, including Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and particularly Annibale Bugnini (1912–1982), as well as Vatican II, the liturgical reform, the infiltration of Freemasonry into the Vatican, and Fatima. Fr. Murr divulges what he saw or heard from the very people involved, including cardinals who discovered the Masonic connections of high-ranking prelates.

For decades, Annibale Bugnini, the secretary of the Consilium for liturgical reform and the key figure in its execution, has been suspected or accused of being a Freemason. The matter remained doubtful to such an extent that the eminent French historian Yves Chiron, in his judicious biography of Bugnini, judged that the rumor was inadequately supported by facts. The situation began to change last May, when Kevin Symonds presented credible details, courtesy of Fr. Brian Harrison, naming Cardinal Dino Staffa as the one who brought Paul VI the “smoking gun” information on Bugnini’s Masonry, which precipitated the latter’s sudden fall from grace. It is therefore of major significance that Fr. Murr offers more and better evidence that independently confirms the same sequence of events.

Fr. Murr met Cardinal Gagnon in 1974. Soon, the cardinal would be assigned by Paul VI to do a Papal Visitation of the Roman Curia, during which Murr assisted Gagnon with documents and other practical matters. Asked what the Visitation concerned, Murr replies:

In 1975, toward the end of his pontificate, Pope Paul VI seemed convinced, finally and thoroughly, of what he himself declared in 1972, that “the smoke of Satan had entered the Church.” Some of the most high ranking members of the College of Cardinals — the Pope’s closest advisors — had gone to him personally and leveled some very damning accusations against key members of his own central government, that is, the Roman Curia. Very damning accusations — the consequences of which are still with us today. The Pope was so shaken by these accusations that he ordered an in-depth investigation, top to bottom, of the entire Roman Curia. He chose Gagnon for this assignment and it lasted three full years.

Murr goes on to reveal who the cardinals were who made these accusations:

Cardinals Dino Staffa, Silvio Oddi and Archbishop Giovanni Benelli. Staffa was a very powerful Curia official. At the time, he was Prefect of the Apostolica Signatura — more or less, the “Chief Justice” of Catholicism’s Supreme Court. Silvio Cardinal Oddi was another powerhouse. He later became the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in 1979.

The mention of Cardinal Staffa dovetails with the personal experiences of both Eric de Saventhem and Michael Davies (consecutive presidents of the International Federation Una Voce).

When Symonds reminds Murr that, as reported in The Godmother, Mother Pascalina Lehnert believed Archbishop Annibale Bugnini to have been a Freemason, Murr furnishes further details:

Bugnini stood seriously accused by Staffa, Oddi and Benelli of being a Freemason and carrying out Freemasonic designs against the Church. Bishop Gagnon and Don Mario Marini also knew about the matter. For her part, Mother Pascalina — as with most of the “older and wiser” personages I knew — was on the Vatican’s inside track. She was close to [Cardinals] Ottaviani, Siri, Spellman and to Archbishop Fulton Sheen, etc., as well as to many others around the world and in the Roman Curia[.] ... Not until sometime after the Second Vatican Council did people start waking up to what Bugnini was doing and then to what Bugnini was. Nothing of any consequence was mentioned about Monsignor Bugnini until the mid-1960s. Only after Pius XII’s death (and John XXIII’s) did Bugnini show his true colors. When Paul VI made him a bishop in 1972, people knew — or thought they knew — that he was in the Curia to stay.

Symonds then asks, “If Archbishop Bugnini was somehow involved with Freemasonry, what can we say, then, about Bugnini and the Conciliar liturgical reforms?” To which Murr replies:

I think it is better to ask whether “Freemasonic designs” had something to do with the liturgical reforms that Bugnini decided the Second Vatican Council desired. Were Bugnini’s reforms concerned with a more perfect adoration and worship of God, or with celebrating the Freemasonic concept of the brotherhood of man? When certain Council Fathers insisted that not one word of the 1,600-year-old Roman Canon be touched, by any stretch of the imagination, could that be taken to mean they wanted to concoct entirely new canons?

Symonds recounts the story told in the Memoirs of the eminent theologian and sometime member of the Consilium, Louis Bouyer (1913–2004), who learned directly from his friend Paul VI that Bugnini was “running interference” between the pope and the Consilium by lying to both sides about what the other wanted, and asks Murr point blank: “Once Bugnini’s shenanigans were discovered, why wouldn’t Paul VI ‘reverse course’ on the liturgical reforms?”

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Murr responds:

To your question, I can only offer an educated guess. Freemasonic influences were hard at work in the Vatican during those critical post-conciliar years (and continue to be). This explanation, however, is insufficient to describe the present malaise within the Church because it is not balanced with the reality of sin and human frailty. The latter have real consequences for the Church when it comes to hierarchs[.] ... Paul VI liked to put opposite personalities together such as the Frenchman Jean Cardinal Villot as his Secretary of State with Archbishop Benelli as the sostituto. I suspect it was because Paul hoped that the path of virtue or a via media would emerge from the subsequent conflicts. ...

He tried to speak to everyone and to pacify different factions within the Church, most notably the so-called “progressives” and “conservatives.” How successful he was in this endeavor will be debated by historians and theologians. The fact remains, however, that the character of Paul VI demonstrated a weakness of will and this goes to the heart of your question.

Archbishop Benelli finally convinced the Holy Father to “deal with” the Bugnini affair. Benelli had the idea to combine two Vatican Congregations — Divine Worship and Rites — into one: The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments [actually, in July 1975, The Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship, with its present name dating from 1988 — PAK]. Villot arranged for Bugnini to be named Nuncio to Iran as well as acted upon Benelli’s idea of combining the two liturgical dicasteries. Villot, however, continued to defend Bugnini’s “reforms.” Instead, then, of dealing with the obvious shadows cast upon Bugnini’s work, Paul VI simply retreated further into himself, not wanting to be involved any further in the conflict.

To the obvious question of why Bugnini was not more severely punished once his Freemasonic membership was discovered and revealed to Paul VI, Murr explains:

Paul VI was a lifelong career diplomat. In the Vatican, where international diplomacy was created (along with all the rules), a bishop and member of the Roman Curia is never “fired” — evidently, even when that bishop is a Freemason. Bishops are off-limits. Prior to the defrocking of Theodore McCarrick, this was a fundamental rule of Vatican diplomacy. Moreover, if the Holy Father had excommunicated or even “fired” Bugnini, that would raise questions with Bugnini’s work. Paul VI was unwilling to do this.

Instead, explains Murr, Paul VI followed the classic adage promoveatur ut amoveatur, let him be promoted so that he may be removed from the situation.

The merger of those two congregations was the answer. It was announced in 1975 along with Bugnini’s “promotion” as Vatican Nuncio to Iran. Iran: a Muslim theocracy with 18,000 tolerated Roman Catholics. I guess Paul VI concluded that Bugnini could do the least amount of harm under those rather stringent conditions.

(It should be noted that at first Bugnini was assigned to the post of nuncio to Uruguay; when he protested that he knew no Spanish, Iran was decided on instead, where the diplomatic language was French, which he knew. See Chiron’s biography, pp. 167–77.)

Symonds continues: “Archbishop Bugnini denied to his dying breath that he was a Freemason. If he was a Freemason, why do you think that he would directly lie about it?” Whereupon Murr says: “If that’s the question the answer is simple: because he was a Freemason!”

When asked if he has anything more to add about Bugnini, Murr discloses hitherto unknown details:

Yes, it was Benelli and Marini, not Gagnon, who played a major role in Bugnini’s “promotion” to Apostolic Nuncio to Tehran. Too many prelates and Church officials — very much including Virgilio Noè (who had the Pope’s ear daily and who stood next in line for Bugnini’s position, “should ever there be an opening”) — complained unashamedly about Bugnini to Paul VI. The Pope was pressured into taking action, and sending Bugnini into exile took much of the blame for many liturgical anomalies off himself. Also, there was some sort of a “last straw” when thousands of newly-printed Roman Missals had to be recalled (and destroyed) due to Bugnini’s “additions,” some unauthorized. This happened during Christmas vacation (while his supporters were away on vacation), 1975–76.

Clearly, this interview opens up many new lines for research. For example, Murr notes that Sebastiano Cardinal Baggio was certainly a Freemason — and Baggio played an important role in the selection of bishops for the worldwide Church from 1973 to 1984. According to Murr, Cardinals Staffa and Oddi possessed a dossier of corroborating evidence on Baggio which they shared with Paul VI; Gagnon, Mario Marini, and Benelli also knew of it. At the end of the interview, Murr mentions that he is currently writing a book on Baggio, “based upon conversations to which I was privy with Gagnon, Marini and Benelli.” If that book turns out to be nearly as interesting as The Godmother, it will be worth the wait.

Some people have already objected to the Murr interview as giving us “nothing better than rumors” and have said that unless we have direct documentary evidence, we cannot make historical assertions. This, however, is a rule that no professional historian actually operates by.

Historical certitude is achieved not only by means of primary documents, which are the most valuable sources, but also by a consistent mosaic of reports from figures involved in the events. Reasonable assumptions often need to be made to make sense out of a situation. For example, all history books include statements of this form: “Madame so-and-so was the mistress of King so-and-so.” But were they ever observed in flagrante delicto? No; it’s just that “everyone knew it.” Perhaps they only ever read novels to each other, or played chess, or recited Matins. Nevertheless, there are reasonable assumptions that can be made on the basis of human nature and the signs we know how to interpret. Similarly, when it comes to these new claims about Bugnini and the figures that surrounded him and Paul VI, we are capable of putting two and two together. The quality of the sources is sufficient to engender confidence and the internal coherence of the information with what is already known is undeniable.

It is thus fair to say there is no longer reasonable doubt that the single most dominant figure in the liturgical reform was, indeed, a Freemason. This may also explain, at least in part, why Bugnini’s private papers are kept under lock and key, inaccessible to any scholars, although perhaps it is too much to believe that incriminating materials have not already been destroyed by now.

Some Catholics may find themselves asking: why, in 2020, is this topic even important anymore? The year 1962, when the Council opened, or 1975, when Bugnini fell from grace — that’s a long time ago, and so much water has flowed under the bridge. The revised liturgical rites were approved by Paul VI and are used almost everywhere. Shouldn’t we just focus our energy today on how we can celebrate them better, and let the dead bury the dead?

Such a way of thinking greatly underestimates the gravity of what Fr. Murr’s interview reveals. Let us step back and consider the magnitude of the revelation.

Annibale Bugnini was one of the few constant “players” in liturgical reform at the Vatican over a very long period of time, from 1948 to 1975. He held successively more important positions until he was appointed principal secretary of the preconciliar committee that drafted the constitution on the sacred liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) for Vatican II, in which capacity he craftily advised his associates to take refuge in vagueness and procedural mechanisms so that the Council Fathers would not block their daring plans (see Chiron, p. 82). Paul VI, who shared his liturgical vision almost entirely, appointed him the principal secretary of the body entrusted with implementing this constitution. In that capacity, he was unquestionably the architect, or, perhaps better, the general contractor, of the liturgical reform in all its dimensions (the Mass, the sacraments, the papal rites, the Divine Office, the calendar, etc.). He largely controlled the committee membership that worked on the various tasks; he scheduled and ran the Consilium’s meetings, distributed the minutes, put the “right” people in contact with each other, offered private counsel and guidance, and, most influentially, regulated the flow of information between the Pope and the Consilium: what the Pope knew about the Consilium’s intentions, he heard largely from Bugnini; what the Consilium heard about the Pope’s wishes, they heard largely from Bugnini. Practically nothing that happened in the liturgical reform did not first pass through his mind and his mouth, to be imprinted with his attitudes and agendas. During his exile in Iran, he wrote a nearly 1,000-page book, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948–1975, in which he explains, step by step, how thousands of changes were made to Catholic worship and expresses his agreement with these changes.

It appears ever more certain that this man was a Freemason, and that what pleased him about the reform is analogous to what pleases the Freemasons today about almost everything Pope Francis says and does. It is, or should be, no news that Freemasonry and Catholicism are implacable enemies, with diametrically opposed creeds and cults. If this is not reason enough, then, to be skeptical about the liturgical reform as it played out, to distance oneself from it as much as possible, and to return wholeheartedly to the enduring tradition that was scorned and suppressed by the revolutionaries, I am not sure what could ever make a difference. Would we need to find out that Bugnini was a child-molester? A Satanist? For certain ultramontanist conservatives, nothing, it seems, can displace the blinders they have chosen to fasten to their heads. But for Catholics who, prompted by the Holy Spirit, seek out reverent, authentic worship in keeping with our centuries-old inheritance of faith, the traditional Roman liturgy is still present and always will be present in medio Ecclesiae, in the midst of the Church, where Our Lord will sustain its integrity until His coming in glory.


  annibale bugnini, catholic, freemasonry, novus ordo, paul vi

Blogs

2020 election is Trump/Viganò vs. Biden/Francis for future of global order

Was Fratelli Tutti deliberately released to coincide with the U.S. election?
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 10:15 am EST
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Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen
By Stephen Kokx

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A decade ago, journalists could barely contain themselves when news of misbehaving clergy came across their desk.

Almost every time Pope Benedict said something publicly about homosexuality or abortion, the media pounced, immediately reminding their viewers that the Catholic Church was full of pedophiles and molesters and that it was a blatantly hypocritical organization.

Fast forward to today. Despite the fact that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has blown the lid off rampant homosexuality and even criminal activity in the church, news networks the world over have largely remained silent on his claims. 

NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent Richard Engel drew some attention to Viganò a year ago. (I blogged about that here.) But Engel’s reporting on His Excellency was more of an attempt to link the archbishop to what Engel called the “far right” of the Catholic Church. In other words, it wasn’t a serious investigation into Vigano’s allegations. It was a hit piece meant to delegitimize him.

The reason why our Marxist media has zipped its lips on Viganò’s abuse claims is because it sees, under Pope Francis, the Catholic Church as a willing partner to its globalist, liberal agenda. As a result, they’ve been running interference for it. They know that if they were talking about the corruption going on during Francis’s reign, they’d be undermining his open-borders, environmentalist message. 

Fortunately, Donald Trump is president of the United States. And likely thanks to the First Lady, he's clued up on the crisis in the Catholic Church and its sinister partnership with the new world order. He’s already expressed thanks for Archbishop Viganò for warning him about the “Deep Church” and the Deep State. He’s also quoted Dr. Taylor Marshall on Twitter. And he’s directed his state department to take a hard stance on communist China — something the Vatican wholly disagrees with. 

Pope Francis’s latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti is a planting of the church’s flag firmly in the Joe Biden camp against President Trump, whom Francis has already scolded for “building walls and not bridges.” In it, Francis waxes romantically like an elderly John Lennon about a utopian brotherhood of man all the while portraying Our Lord and Savior as nothing more than a good-hearted humanitarian. The document uses the name “Jesus” but never His divine titles (Son of God, Christ the King, etc). Mary is also denied the honor of being called “the Blessed Virgin.” Instead, she’s simply called “the Mother of Jesus.” No doubt this was done to not offend Protestants.

Sounding more like leftover lecture notes from a social justice course at UC-Berkeley, Fratelli Tutti is not merely a list of Democratic talking points about diversity and immigration (although it is that). It's a blueprint for the socialist world order Pope Francis and his allies want to help usher in should Joe Biden become president. Without a doubt, it was deliberately released to coincide with the U.S. election. The Vatican desperately wants Sleepy Joe to win. He’d fulfill many of Francis’ goals on environmentalism, immigration, China, and more.

It’s been said that this election is the most important election in our lifetimes. That’s undoubtedly true. Not only is the fate of the American republic at stake but, quite possibly, the fate of the entire Westen world. As Archbishop Viganò has already remarked, “if Trump loses the presidential election, the final kathèkon [withholder] will fail (2 Thess 2:6-7)...and the dictatorship of the New World Order, which has already won Bergoglio over to its cause, will have an ally in the new American President [Joe Biden].”

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  2020 election, catholic, fratelli tutti, joe biden, pope francis, president trump

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Secular journalists don’t know much about Christianity. Amy Coney Barrett can teach them

Christianity is strange — very strange. But it's time for mainstream journalists to get up to speed.
Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 8:01 am EST
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Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

October 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — As the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett gets underway, a little instruction on the Catholic faith might go a long way to prevent secular journalists and pundits from making embarrassing claims.

And so, to you, I offer this very brief primer. 

Christianity is strange — very strange — so nothing about the teachings of our faith should surprise you. Most of you will be freaked out:

  • We believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that God created the universe and everything in it. 
  • We believe that God created mankind, male and female.
  • We believe that although it was written by the hands of men, the Bible is the Word of God, as if God himself had written every word of it.
  • We believe that through sin, humanity is separated from God, but God sent His only Son — the Second Person of the Triune God — to redeem us from sin and restore our relationship with God.
  • We believe that prophets of the Old Testament foretold His coming and that many personalities found in the Old Testament prefigured Him.

Now here’s where it gets really weird:

  • We believe that the Second Person of the Trinity entered time and space, conceived by the Third Person of the Trinity — the Holy Spirit — in the womb of a young virgin named “Mary,” who remained a virgin for her entire life.
  • We believe that after Jesus Christ entered public life, He worked many miracles  — everything from turning water into wine to healing lepers and restoring sight to the blind to raising the dead to life.
  • We believe that far more than a teacher or a role model, He is Himself God —true god and true man.
  • We believe that after He was convicted as a criminal by religious and civic authorities, He was beaten, tortured, nailed to a cross, and crucified, as foretold by Old Testament Prophets.

But wait! It gets even weirder:

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  • We believe that on the third day following his death, He rose from the dead.
  • We believe that forty days later, He ascended into heaven.
  • We believe that ten days after that, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within his disciples, imparting to them a share in the divine nature, making them adopted sons and daughters of God. 
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit’s presence in the believer’s life yields a confidence in one’s divine sonship that exceeds human understanding.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit bestows “spiritual gifts.”
  • We believe that as the Church, we are the Body of Christ, while also believing we are the Bride of Christ.
  • We believe that during the Mass, bread and wine are actually turned into the real  Body and real Blood of Jesus Christ, which we then consume.
  • We believe that Jesus’s Blood cleanses the stain of every sin we confess.
  • Finally, we believe that we are to evangelize every person in the world. This includes you, and it may be the most significant result of ACB’s very public confirmation hearing.

Weird, right? There is nothing mainstream about Christianity or Catholicism, other than the watered down social justice aspects that don’t come close to defining Christianity in any substantive way. 

On the contrary, Christianity is the most radical counter-cultural movement the world has ever known. 

So it’s completely OK to be shocked. The Gospel is meant to shock and offend, and then convict you of your absolute need for salvation through Jesus Christ, in, through, and for whom you were created, and whose sacrifice on the Cross is the only means of salvation available to you and every other human being ever born.

Here are some immutable truths that you no doubt will regard as both heresy and hateful. For us, these are not just articles of faith; they are solidly based in science and nature:

  • What you are tempted to identify as “transphobia” is the solid, grounded knowledge that men are men and women are women. There is no migrating back and forth between sexes.
  • What you call “homophobia,” which is basically defined as disagreement with anything that the Human Rights Campaign asserts, is merely the recognition of the scientific fact that the complementarity of the sexes exists throughout nature.
  • Marriage is between one man and one woman, displayed in the complementary natures of our bodies and beings, again, throughout nature and history. 

If you resent and disagree with these truths, that’s unsurprising, especially for those who are products of public and higher education.  

That’s OK. Nobody is perfect. 

Dr. Russell D. Moore once alluded to the old TV show town Mayberry, which many remember fondly as a period in time in which Christianity seemed to flourish — a wistful nostalgia for something that never actually existed. 

We don’t have Mayberry anymore, if we ever did. Good. Mayberry leads to hell just as surely as Gomorrah does. But Christianity didn’t come from Mayberry in the first place, but from a Roman Empire hostile to the core to the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah. We’ve been on the wrong side of history since Rome, and it was enough to turn the world upside down.

Christianity isn’t normal anymore, and that’s good news. The Book of Acts, like the Gospels before it, shows us that the Christianity thrives when it is, as Kierkegaard put it, a sign of contradiction. Only a strange gospel can differentiate itself from the worlds we construct. But the strange, freakish, foolish old gospel is what God uses to save people and to resurrect churches (1 Cor. 1:20-22).*


  amy coney barrett, catholic, christianity, mainstream media, supreme court

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Episodes Mon Oct 12, 2020 - 3:05 pm EST

No Catholic school should take a penny from the government

By Mother Miriam
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To help keep this and other programs on the air, please donate here. In today’s episode, Mother Miriam talks about the grave importance for parents to teach their children the truth about the Catholic faith. You can tune in daily at 10 am EST/7 am PST on our Facebook Page. Never miss a show! Subscribe to Mother Miriam Live email updates here.