All articles from October 17, 2020


News

Biden, Ginsburg used term ‘sexual preference’ — only Barrett was attacked for it

Leading Democrats have used the term without any criticism for years, and at a town hall event this week former vice president Joe Biden said he thinks children as young as eight who have ‘decided’ to be transgender ought to be supported in their confusion.
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 5:24 pm EST
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Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

WASHINGTON, D.C.October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett was attacked for using the term “sexual preference” instead of “sexual orientation” in the context of homosexual “marriage.” Meanwhile, leading Democrats, including presidential candidate Joe Biden, have used the same terminology without any criticism. 

In response to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Barrett had said during this week’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “I have never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference, and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference. Like racism, I think discrimination is abhorrent.” 

A little later during the same hearing, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) attacked Barrett for her comments. 

Not once but twice you used the term ‘sexual preference’ to describe those in the LGBTQ community,” she said. “And let me make clear: ‘sexual preference’ is an offensive and outdated term. It is used by anti-LGBTQ activists to suggest that sexual orientation is a choice. It is not. Sexual orientation is a key part of a person’s identity. That sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable was a key part of the majority’s opinion in Obergefell, which, by the way, Scalia did not agree with.” 

So if it is your view that sexual orientation is merely a preference, as you noted, then the LGBTQ community should be rightly concerned whether you would uphold their constitutional right to marry,” Hirono added. 

Conservative observers were quick to point out that Joe Biden himself has used the term “sexual preference” in the past, even just a few months ago.  

As reported by The Daily WireBiden said during a virtual roundtable event in May, “I’m going to need you to help this time rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class, but this time bring everybody along regardless of color, sexual preference, their backgrounds, whether they have any … Just bring everybody along. 

The Washington Free Beacon released a video compilation of prominent Democrats using the term. 

Two of the Democrats quoted in the video are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, namely Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). 

The video also features several Democratic members of the House of Representatives, as well as the former mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter. 

Pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the progressive icon who died in September, had talked about “sexual preference,” as well. 

Event the Washington Post — certainly not a conservative newspaper — admitted, “Plenty of figures on the left — including Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Barrett is hoping to replace on the high court — have also used the phrase, which was considered acceptable as recently as a decade or two ago.” 

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And during a townhall event just this week, Biden commented, “The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘you know, I decided I want to be transgender, that’s what I think I’d like to be, it would make my life a lot easier’ – There should be zero discrimination.” 

It is not entirely clear from the wording whether the former vice president was saying that a child makes a decision to claim to be a member of the opposite sex, which would indicate it’s a preference. 

His comments could also be interpreted to mean that it’s not a decision, as the child would not decide to make his or her life more difficult by claiming to be a member of the opposite sex. 

In any case, Biden “explicitly endorsed sex changes for children as young as eight years old,” as pointed out by Frank Cannon, president of the American Principles Project. 

In Joe Biden’s view, a child too young to go see an Avengers film can decide to have his or her body permanently altered through surgery and chemical injections,” he continued. “Second or third graders are too young to comprehend the basics of human sexuality, let alone make such irreversible decisions. To mutilate children in such a way is a form of child abuse, and Americans, by a huge margin, don’t believe children this young should undergo such procedures.” 

In a tweet, the American Principles Project noted that most children by age eight have reached the developmental milestones of being able to tie their shoelaces and draw a diamond shape. 

Barrett, meanwhile, simply said she “certainly didn’t mean to use a term that would cause any offense in the LGBT community.”


  2020 election, amy coney barrett, homosexuality, joe biden, mazie hirono, ruth bader ginsburg, transgenderism

News

‘Christian teaching would be interpreted as criminal acts,’ Canadian bishops warn of therapy ban

If Bill C-6 becomes law, parents could be subject to ‘criminal prosecution’ for private conversations with their children, and people seeking to ‘de-transition,’ live chastely, or overcome sexual trauma could be prevented from doing so. 
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 4:12 pm EST
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Victoria Gisondi
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CANADA, October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill banning therapy for unwanted sexual attractions could subject “private conversations between parents and their children on matters of human sexuality” to “criminal prosecution,” the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops warned in a new letter. 

Bill C-6 outlaws so-called conversion therapy, which it defines as “a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.” 

According to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the bill leaves no room for religious freedom in its language.  

In an October 7 letter to the Canadian government, the CCCB emphasized that coercive or involuntary means of conversion are unethical and do not respect the dignity of the person. However, the bishops argued that the language of the bill is filled with ambiguities which could render religious instruction and private conversations illegal and make it difficult for people seeking to reverse so-called “sex change” surgeries to do so. It would prevent those seeking to overcome intrusive and unwanted feelings from accessing the help they desire. 

The CCCB stated, “There is the possibility that within families, private conversations between parents and their children on matters of human sexuality will be deemed public and subject to criminal prosecution – which in turn raises serious questions regarding the legitimacy of government surveillance, professional confidentiality, and infringement of privacy. As principal educators of their children, parents have a right to raise them in accordance with their legitimate and ethical religious beliefs. Any state intervention should not override the primary parental right to care for their children and make decisions for their well-being.” 

“There is a real danger that Christian and other religious and ethical teaching with respect to human sexuality would be interpreted as criminal acts,” the Catholic bishops warned. “The Bill could even criminalize Catholic ministries and groups, religious leaders, or pastors who encourage individuals with same-sex attraction to live chastely and in conformity with the teachings of the Gospel, the moral principles of the Catholic Church, and the dictates of their own conscience.” 

Along with government intrusion into private family affairs, the bill is also problematic because it does not specify just how it will handle public speech and religious instruction on sexuality and gender, making them vulnerable to criminalization. There is no provision in the bill for religious beliefs, philosophiesor even scientific studies on human sexuality that might diverge from the government’s mandated ideology.  

If interpreted literally, the bill could prevent people from receiving medical treatment from physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health experts because it would compel medical professionals to withhold therapies under penalty of law.  

“For example, transgender persons who freely wish to de-transition could be unable to access the necessary professional assistance to explore this option. Similarly, medical practitioners could be inhibited from advocating a prudent and professionally supported approach towards young children with gender dysphoria, the CCCB wrote. 

The CCCB is not alone in its fight against thbill. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has also issued its own open letter to the current Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti. The EFC letter reads, “...[T]he terms ‘practice, treatment or service,’ while often used in a medical or therapeutic context, are not defined in Bill C-6 and can be interpreted and applied various ways. As written, these terms could include voluntarily sought out support groups for those who choose to live their lives in accordance with their religious beliefs.” 


  bill c-6, de-transition, free speech, freedom of speech, homosexuality, sex change regret, therapy ban, transgenderism, unwanted same-sex attraction

News

Rock legend Stevie Nicks: Without my abortion, there would’ve been no Fleetwood Mac

'There’s just no way that I could have had a child then, working as hard as we worked constantly...And I knew that the music we were going to bring to the world was going to heal so many people’s hearts and make people so happy.'
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 2:59 pm EST
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Rock legend Stevie Nicks performs onstage at MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall on January 26, 2018 in New York City. Michael Kovac / Getty Images
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A two-time inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has asserted that the world would have been deprived of the happiness and healing her singing career produced if she had not had an abortion four decades ago. 

Legendary singer Stevie Nicks said in a recent interview with The Guardian that if she hadn’t aborted the child she conceived with Eagles singer Don Henley in 1979, she's “pretty sure there would have been no Fleetwood Mac.”

“There’s just no way that I could have had a child then, working as hard as we worked constantly,” said Nicks.  

“And there were a lot of drugs, I was doing a lot of drugs … I would have had to walk away,” said the now-72-year-old singer. “And I knew that the music we were going to bring to the world was going to heal so many people’s hearts and make people so happy.” 

“And I thought: you know what? That’s really important,” she claimed. “There’s not another band in the world that has two lead women singers, two lead women writers. That was my world’s mission.”

“Abortion rights, that was really my generation’s fight,” said Nicks, who declared that recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was her hero. “If President Trump wins this election and puts the judge he wants in, she will absolutely outlaw it and push women back into back-alley abortions.”

Many were appalled by Nicks’ revelation, and disagreed with her assessment that her career was more important than loving and caring for the child she aborted.   

“Justifying murder. What da!?” tweeted talk show host Jesse Lee Peterson.   

Nicks, who reportedly has had a total of four abortions, is not without regret.  

“To give up four [babies] is to give up a lot that would be here now,” admitted Nicks in a 1992 Vox Magazine interview.  

“So that really bothers me, a lot, and really breaks my heart. But they’re gone, so…” she continued. “But I couldn’t because I was too busy. And I had all these commitments.” 

“Some women have no interest in becoming mothers, but that isn’t the case with Stevie Nicks,” explained National Review’s Kyle Smith.  

“She did want to be a mother, very badly,” wrote Smith. “Witness the gently horrifying soft-rock classic ‘Sara,’ the only rock song I can think of in which the singer muses about having actually killed another human being. Neither Bob Marley nor Eric Clapton really shot the sheriff, but Nicks did kill Sara, and that’s what infuses the song with a delirium of regret.”  


  abortion, amy coney barrett, fleetwood mac, ruth bader ginsburg, stevie nicks

News

Deaths by drug overdoses nearly double in Ohio county thanks to coronavirus lockdown

‘Addiction is a disease of despair and there’s a lot more despair lately in terms of unemployment and the isolation,’ said the Franklin County coroner. 
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 2:45 pm EST
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Charles Robertson
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews Many commenters warned there would be an increase in deaths due to suicide and drug use because of coronavirus lockdown measures. One place where this prediction has dramatically come to pass is Franklin CountyOhio, which has seen a massive increase in deaths caused by drug overdoses“Addiction is a disease of despair and there’s a lot more despair lately in terms of unemployment and the isolation,” said Dr. Anahi Ortiz, Franklin County coroner. 

The coroner told ABC6 that the number of overdose deaths in the first six months of 2020 have surpassed the previous year’s number of overdose deaths for the same period.  

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From May on, probably is when we started seeing...increases in those who were dying of overdoses,” said Ortiz. There were about 253 overdose deaths from January to June of last year. In contrast, there were 437 deaths in that time period this year. May and June accounted for much of the increase. 

Dr. Margaret Williams, a physician at Ohio State Universitywrote in July“The unintended consequences of social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak may be behind these [overdose] increases.” Like Ortiz, she mentions unemployment and isolation as “triggers for addiction, noting that “young adults are most affected, with death rates doubling over the last year.”  

This observation is echoed by the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, signed by over 9,000 medical professionals. According to its authors, the “devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” of coronavirus lockdown measures will disproportionately burden the young and the working class for years to come.   

An issue brief published by the American Medical Association chronicling the increase of drug use and overdose deaths during the coronavirus outbreak notes that “more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality.” Canada has seen a similar increase in overdose deaths over the course of the pandemic. 

RELATED:

Suicide deaths higher than COVID-19 deaths amid lockdown, CDC chief warns 

9,000 medical professionals criticize lockdowns, argue for ‘focused protection and return to normal life 


  coronavirus, coronavirus restrictions, drug addiction, lockdown, ohio, opioid addiction

News

Abortion activists want Dems to dump Sen. Feinstein from Senate Judiciary Committee

The 87-year-old California senator did not attack Barrett’s Catholic faith as she did in 2017.
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 12:54 pm EST
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Far-left Democrats and abortion activists are upset at Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who they think did not fight hard enough against Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. She also hugged Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Soon after the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, NARAL Pro-Choice America called for the Democrats’ ranking member, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to be replaced because she wasn’t sufficiently outraged that proceedings had taken place before the upcoming presidential election.

Liberals, fearful that with Barrett on the court Roe v. Wade might be overturned, were appalled that as the week of hearings concluded, Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) said, “This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.”  

Many liberals were no doubt disappointed that the 87-year-old California senator did not attack Barrett’s Catholic faith as she had previously (although a hot mic did catch Feinstein saying of Barrett: “She’s been pro-life for a long time...I suspect with her, it is deeply personal and comes with her religion...”). Feinstein also didn’t show the same doggedness displayed during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing

Feinstein compounded their agony when she then walked over to committee Chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and gave him a hug.  

For some liberal Washington observers and activist groups who already thought that Feinstein had not fought hard enough for the seat left empty by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, the hug was the final straw.

“I don’t care that Feinstein and Graham are friends,” tweeted Susan Hennessey, executive editor of the Lawfare blog, over a screenshot of the Feinstein/Graham embrace. “I care that Feinstein catastrophically mismanaged the hearings, was outwitted without realizing it, and did a grave disservice to the public.”

“Americans–whose lives hang in the balance–deserve leadership that underscores how unprecedented, shameful and wrong this process is,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “The Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, failed to make this clear and in fact offered an appearance of credibility to the proceedings that is wildly out of step with the American people. As such, we believe the committee needs new leadership.”

“This nomination is illegitimate and this process is a sham,” claimed Hogue, echoing a liberal talking point which has proven impotent against the GOP White House and Senate’s intention to quickly approve and seat Barrett on the U.S. Supreme Court.  

“Tens of millions of Americans have already voted and majorities have said unequivocally that they want to choose the next President who should fill this seat,” said Hogue. “Amy Barrett and this power grab pose a grave threat to every freedom and right we hold dear and tears the very fabric of our democracy.”

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“That she can say this about this ongoing travesty is another sad statement about how poorly represented we are by Dianne Feinstein,” tweeted Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama and host of “Pod Save America.” 

“It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to step down from her leadership position on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” said Brian Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice, in a statement released on Twitter on Thursday. “If she won’t, her colleagues need to intervene.” 

“She has undercut Democrat’s position at every step of this process, from undermining calls for filibuster and court reform straight through to thanking Republicans for the most egregious partisan power grab in the modern history of the Supreme Court,” said Fallon in his blistering denunciation of Feinstein’s role on the Judiciary Committee.

“If Senate Democrats are going to get their act together on the courts going forward, they cannot be led by someone who treats Sunrise activists with contempt and the Republican theft of the Supreme Court seat with kid gloves,” said Fallon.


  2020 election, abortion, amy coney barrett, catholic, dianne feinstein, supreme court, supreme court confirmation hearing

News

Sec. general of Synod of Bishops: Following COVID, ‘we have discovered…a new theology’

Bishop Mario Grech appeared to relativize the singular importance of Holy Mass, as well as the priesthood. 
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 12:08 pm EST
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Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna and Bishop Mario Grech thechurchinmalta.org
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

ROME, ItalyOctober 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The new secretary general of the Synod of Bishops said that following the coronavirus lockdowns, “[w]e have discovered a new ecclesiology, perhaps even a new theology, and a new ministry,” as well as “a new vision of the Church.” Bishop Mario Grech also appeared to relativize the singular importance of Holy Mass, as well as the priesthood. 

Grech, who was appointed to his new position only in September, told Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica on Wednesday that the “new ecclesiology” lies “in rehabilitating the domestic Church and giving it more space, a Church-family consisting of a number of families-Church [sic].” 

According to the bishop, Catholics “must live the Church within our families. There is no comparison between the institutional Church and the domestic Church. The large community Church is made up of small Churches that gather in houses. If the domestic Church fails, the Church cannot exist. If there is no domestic Church, the Church has no future! The domestic Church is the key that opens horizons of hope! 

After these general remarks, he argued “clericalism” was responsible for the notion of the domestic Church being forgotten early on in the history of Christianity, playing off against each other the hierarchical structure of the Church and the domestic Church. 

Theology and the value of pastoral care in the family seen as domestic Church took a negative turn in the fourth century, when the sacralization of priests and bishops took place, to the detriment of the common priesthood of baptism, which was beginning to lose its value,” Grech said. “The more the institutionalization of the Church advanced, the more the nature and charism of the family as a domestic Church diminished.” 

It is not the family that is subsidiary to the Church, but it is the Church that should be subsidiary to the family,” he continued. “Inasmuch as the family is the basic and permanent structure of the Church, a sacred and cultic dimension should be restored to it, the domus ecclesiae. Saint Augustine and Saint John Chrysostom teach, in the wake of Judaism, that the family should be an environment where faith can be celebrated, meditated upon and lived. It is the duty of the parish community to help the family to be a school of catechesis and a liturgical space where bread can be broken on the kitchen table.” 

Asked by La Civiltà Cattolica who the “ministers of this ‘Church-family’” might be, Grech said, “For St. Paul VI, the common priesthood is lived in an eminent way by the spouses, armed with the grace of the sacrament of marriage. Parents, therefore, by virtue of this sacrament, are also the ‘ministers of worship,’ who, during the domestic liturgy break the bread of the Word, pray with it, and thus the transmission of the faith to their children takes place.” 

Grech expressed his hope that the notion of the domestic Church might be strengthened not simply as an encouragement to Christian families, like Pope John Paul II had done. Instead, he mentioned it in the context of the coronavirus lockdowns prohibiting the vast majority of Catholics in the Western hemisphere from attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion for months, and appeared willing to advance the “domestic Church” at the expense of going to Mass. 

For Grech, however, it was merely “curious that many people have complained about not being able to receive communion and celebrate funerals in church, but not as many have worried about how to reconcile with God and neighbor, how to listen to and celebrate the Word of God and how to live out a life of service.” 

While admitting that “the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life,” the bishop said “it is of concern that someone feels lost outside of the Eucharistic or worship context, for it shows an ignorance of other ways of engaging with the mystery. This not only indicates that there is a certain spiritual illiteracy, but is proof of the inadequacy of current pastoral practice. It is very likely that in the recent past our pastoral activity has sought to lead to the sacraments and not to lead — through the sacraments  to Christian life.” 

Grech also briefly talked about the concept of synodality, according to which the Church “‘walks together’ with men and women and participates in the travails of history,” cultivating “the dream of rediscovering the inviolable dignity of peoples and the service function of authority. This will help us to live in a more fraternal way and to build a world for those who will come after us that is more beautiful and more worthy of humanity.” 

The bishop said, recalling statements made by Pope Francis, that in a synodal Church “each person opens up to novelty, to a change of opinion, to rejoice in what others say.” 

Grech made headlines in 2017, when as Bishop of Gozo, Malta, he argued that so-called divorced and remarried could receive Holy Communion, contradicting Catholic teaching. Grech’s guidelines applied the Pope’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, an outgrowth of two synods of bishops. 


  catholic, coronavirus, mario grech, synod of bishops

News

Homes of gov’t officials who presided over France’s lockdown raided, investigation ongoing

The enquiry commission of the Court of Justice of the Republic, which judges penal complaints against high-ranking government officials while in office, organized the raids as part of the investigations related to the officials’ handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the first months of this year.
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 10:34 am EST
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Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
By Jeanne Smits

FRANCE, October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – On Thursday, hours after President Emmanuel Macron announced a COVID-19 curfew in eight major cities plus Paris and its region, the homes of the political and health officials who were at the helm during France’s full lockdown from March 17 to May 11 were searched. The enquiry commission of the Court of Justice of the Republic, which judges penal complaints against high-ranking government officials while in office, organized the raids as part of the investigations related to the officials’ handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the first months of this year. 

Over 30,000 deaths, nearly half of which occurred in homes for the dependent elderly, were attributed in France to illness provoked by the Wuhan coronavirus. At the height of the epidemic, people with symptoms of COVID-19, the disease linked to the virus, were asked to stay at home and fight fever symptoms with paracetamol, family doctors were prevented from prescribing treatment –including the commonly used hydroxychloroquine in association with azythromycine – despite lower hospitalizations and death rates. Patients were only treated in hospital when in severe respiratory distress. 

According to one of France’s leading infectiologists, Professor Christian Perronne, the majority of those 30,000 deaths could have been avoided if treatment had been given in a timely manner, as he wrote in his book titled: “Y a-t-il une erreur qu’ils n’ont pas commise?” (“Is there a single mistake that they didn’t make?”). 

It is some of these multiple errors that are now being investigated after some 90 complaints were filed against ministers at the Court of Justice of the Republic, some at the beginning of the epidemic and others later. A total of nine of these complaints were deemed admissible: among others, they are aimed at current Health minister Olivier Véran and his predecessor, Agnès Buzyn, former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, and the former spokeswoman of the government, Sibeth Ndiaye. 

The latter was the laughing-stock of the country during the confinement, having announced on March 5 that COVID-19 was a “big cold” and that there was no question of “bringing the country to a halt.” When many were clamoring for masks at the height of the crisis, and the government had banned the sale of masks to the ordinary public, she explained that they were “useless” against contamination and that nobody knew how to use them anyway. In this she was probably not far wrong, but it was very clear that her language was designed to dissimulate the fact that no masks were available because the health administration had failed to replenish the stock – not even for health professionals who genuinely needed them. Ndiaye also famously said that the World Health Organization had recommended testing of all suspicious cases “somewhere in April,” while the real recommendation had occurred on March 16 – and testing was virtually impossible because family doctors were not allowed to prescribe tests and hospitals refused to do so. 

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This mismanagement is what led to multiple contaminations both before and during the confinement, according to the complaints filed against government officials. Going forward with municipal elections one day before lockdown, which was postponed until the vote had taken place, was also an improper decision, according to the complaints. While lockdown can be severely criticized for not avoiding infections, bringing thousands of people together in voting offices could hardly be considered to be a prudent decision. 

Two high-ranking health officials, Jérôme Salomon, General director of Health, and the Director general of “Santé Publique France” (Public Health France) were also on the list of suspects whose homes were searched in the small hours of Thursday morning. 

Eighty specialized law enforcement and enquiry personnel joined the operations that aim to find out how and why the French government came to make certain decisions – misguided decisions according to the plaintiffs – in view of the information at their disposal since the beginning of January when the existence of the sanitary crisis was becoming obvious in China. The police teams that raided the ministers’ and officials’ homes hailed from a body charged with fighting attacks against the environment and public health and another that deals with corruption and financial and fiscal offences. 

During the searches, both private and work computers and hard drives were investigated and the contents of the officials’ smartphones was “aspired,” allowing in particular for access to crypted messages between ministers. It has already been announced that if classified material is involved it will be excluded from the proceedings. 

Regarding Health minister Véran, the complaint against him was opened on July 7 under the heading: “Failure to combat a disaster.” 

A group of doctors, C19, initiated one of the complaints under the accusations of “incoherent actions” and “absence of implementation of WHO recommendations.” Whatever the harmfulness of this international body, it is now clear that in France as in so many other countries the normal steps required in the face of a pandemic under international treatises and agreements signed under the authority of the World Health Organization – that include the preservation of personal liberties and economic activity – were completely set aside. 

Should the searches, timed to practically coincide with President Macron’s drastic announcement of a curfew and other attacks against civil liberties, be considered as a genuine attempt to reveal the full truth about COVID-19 mismanagement? Many observers believe the judiciary is truly on the warpath; others say the spectacular operation is just a smokescreen that was set up eventually to proclaim the innocence of Macron’s government at a time when so many lies are being spread and so few questions answered. But these are merely conjectures. Only time can tell. 

While the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) works on these files other complaints filed with ordinary penal courts are also progressing. The Prosecutor’s office of Paris opened an enquiry on June 9 for “manslaughter” and “exposure of a third party to a life-threatening risk.” “Coronavirus Victims France” is also pursuing the present Prime Minister, Jean Castex, before the CJR since mid-September. 

Meanwhile, Olivier Véran continued to appear on television on Thursday and Friday. When reminded that Sweden has visibly mastered the epidemic with virtually no new cases at preset and very few daily deaths since mid-July despite not having imposed a confinement, masks, or the closing-down of bars and restaurants, he angrily said and repeated this Friday that Sweden has registered the highest proportion of deaths in Europe. 

Internet users obligingly fact-checked the minister’s statement: Belgium registered 850 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, England: 767 deaths per million,  Spain 710, Italy 605 and Sweden 590, just ahead of France with 502 deaths per one million inhabitants. 


  coronavirus, emmanuel macron, france, lockdown

News

University of Northern Iowa bans pro-life club, labels it a ‘hate group’

University of Northern Iowa Student Government engages in viewpoint discrimination against fellow students, school’s Supreme Court backs them up
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 10:17 am EST
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Students for Life of America
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa, October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The student government at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) has rejected the request for approval of a UNI Students for Life group.

The rejection came after a long and charged discussion in which the members attacked the views of fellow pro-life students, including calling them a “hate group,” and this week the public university’s student body’s Supreme Court joined in that effort to block the pro-life group.

A video released by Young America’s Foundation shows UNI students complaining over Zoom that the pro-life club “engages in hate speech.”

“We cannot support diversity and be complicit in its destruction at the same time,” one student says.

“Approving this bill [to allow the pro-life club] is the same thing as approving a white supremacist group that’s trying [to] make an organization on campus,” another adds. “You’re basically saying you support them to violate women [sic] rights. And, like, um, I’m sorry but I don’t want a group on campus that’s gonna, like, when I – just an example – if I’m pregnant, they’re gonna try to force me not to abort my child.”

“I would argue that not all opinions are equal. There are opinions, and then there are opinions that get people killed, in many cases,” said another student without a hint of irony. “There’s really no middle ground here.”

Students for Life of America (SFLA) President Kristan Hawkins said that legal counsel had been contacted on behalf of the group as the appeal process continues, now headed to the university president. 

“Despite the school’s own rules that viewpoint discrimination is not acceptable, student government leaders attacked fellow students for their pro-life views and denied a request for a new club based on their personal support of abortion,” noted Hawkins. University of Northern Iowa student leader Sophia Schuster has been advocating for a Students for Life club this school year and appealed the NISG’s decision to the school’s Supreme Court this week, which ruled against the pro-life students.

“I wasn’t really surprised by how NISG (Northern Iowa Student Government) reacted because I know abortion is a controversial topic, but I was shocked by how they allowed their emotions and personal opinions to influence their decision,” said Schuster. “Students for Life met all of requirements for being approved set forth by UNI, but they completely ignored that fact. I think they have overstepped their role and tried to use their power to silence us just because they disagree. This is a direct attack on free speech and of due process of law and an example of abandoning standards that they claim to hold.”

Schuster noted that during this week’s hearing, the NISG plead guilty to not having a legitimate case against the SFL group; however, the school’s Supreme Court did not do their job of protecting “minority viewpoints.” Instead, they added a new rationalization for the NISG decision that was not a part of their original decision. The student Supreme Court rejected the appeal, stating that the new group was not being formed “in good faith” or with “a lawful purpose.”

Sarah Minnich, SFLA’s Regional Coordinator who was assisting Schuster in starting the pro-life club, stated, “Student government and student organizations are meant to assist students in promoting change and ideas and to shape their character as leaders. It is difficult enough to go beyond classwork and be involved in civil dialogue on campus. The decision of the NISG and the Supreme Court demonstrates that they put their ideological affiliations above fellow students and at the cost of productive dialogue on campus. In addition, the SFL group was forming to promote the dignity of the preborn and aid pregnant and parenting students on campus which should qualify as a ‘good faith’ reason to start any club. Their decision is unacceptable and should be overturned by the university's president.”

Contact information for respectful communications:

University of Northern Iowa
President Mark A. Nook
1 Seerley Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0705
[email protected]
(319) 273-2566


  abortion, iowa, students for life, students for life of america, university of northern iowa

Opinion

Facebook censors pro-life marketing agency

As paying customers of Facebook, it is appalling our account was locked without reason and their only answer for us is it might take weeks to hear back from them.
Sat Oct 17, 2020 - 11:39 am EST
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shutterstock.com
Marcie Little
By

October 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – I work for a pro-life marketing agency called Choose Life Marketing. We provide marketing services to pro-life pregnancy centers all over the country, helping them reach abortion-minded women in their communities with life-affirming services and help.

On October 15, we logged into our Facebook Business Manager account like any other day to check on the ads we run for these pregnancy centers. At the top of the screen was a notice that our account had been restricted because we apparently “violated Facebook’s advertising policies.”

Immediately, we reviewed all of the policies and could find none that we had violated. Confused, we submitted a request to have our account reviewed. Shockingly, we received a notice that it could take weeks for us to receive an answer.

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This means for weeks, we won’t be able to run Facebook or Instagram ads for the pregnancy centers we serve. As paying customers of Facebook, it is appalling our account was locked without reason and their only answer for us is it might take weeks to hear back from them.

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But the real victims of Facebook’s actions are abortion-vulnerable women.

When women find out they are pregnant unexpectedly, they often panic and feel pressure immediately from their partner, friends, and/or family to abort. They also begin searching for abortion information online.

Our inability to run ads on two of the largest social media platforms these women use means they may not find out about the alternatives to abortion available to them. They won’t hear about the compassionate, caring pregnancy center staff who can listen to their fears and concerns about an unplanned pregnancy. They won’t learn about the free resources available to them if they choose life.

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The only option they’ll hear about is abortion, which has lasting negative impact on their lives — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Facebook will be responsible for women missing out on the care they need and deserve in one of the darkest, scariest moments of their lives.

But that’s not all.

Our pregnancy center clients also utilize our social advertising services to reach their donors, people who help fund their life-saving work. In 2020, like other organizations and businesses, pregnancy centers have felt the economic impact of the lockdowns for COVID-19 and need to raise money now more than ever. For many of our clients, Facebook has taken away part of their ability to do so. 

Facebook’s censorship of pro-life companies like ours and nonprofit organizations like the Susan B. Anthony List is troubling. It is also costing lives. We hope other senators and congressmen will join Senator Josh Hawley in calling out Big Tech for their discrimination and unreasonable restriction of our advertising accounts and social media posts. And we hope they do it soon, so lives can continue being saved and women can continue learning about the life-affirming resources available to them.

Marcie Little is the Content Marketing Manager at Choose Life Marketing. She oversees all content-writing and social media efforts at Choose Life to help pregnancy centers serve more abortion-minded women.

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  abortion, big tech, big tech censorship, facebook