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‘Unnecessary’: Canadian province moves to repeal sweeping COVID powers law

In a statement, Alberta's health minister said it is 'clear' that the overwhelming government powers granted by Bill 10 are no longer needed.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 7:59 pm EST
Featured Image
Tyler Shandro, health minister of Alberta. cpac / YouTube
Anthony Murdoch
By Anthony Murdoch

EDMONTON, Alberta, October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — One of Canada’s largest provinces is set to scrap a controversial bill originally put forth to combat COVID-19. The bill has been called a “betrayal of the electorate and of the rule of law.”

Last Thursday, Alberta’s health minister, Tyler Shandro, announced that the United Conservative Government under Premier Jason Kenney will repeal Bill 10, the Alberta Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020.

In a statement about Bill 10, Shandro said that it is “clear” that such government powers are no longer needed.

“Over the last number of months, it has become clear that with the right safety protocols in place and standing orders that allow for the assembly to work quickly in an emergency situation, the power to modify legislation by ministerial order is unnecessary,” Shandro said in his statement.  

In May, the Alberta-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) filed a legal challenge over Bill 10 after having announced earlier in April its intention to do so.

The JCCF suit argued that Bill 10, which was passed in 48 hours in early April, gave the Alberta government and its ministers too much power, allowing them to enact laws with no legislative oversight or debate.

Jay Cameron, a lawyer for the JCCF, told LifeSiteNews that the repeal of Bill 10, along with another controversial law, Bill 24, came about because of the JCCF’s court challenge.

“The Special Committee on Bill 10 and Bill 24’s amendments to the Public Health Act was constituted in response to the litigation the Justice Centre launched, and the concerns that we have publicly expressed,” Cameron told LifeSiteNews.

“The substance of these concerns is that Bill 10 vests legislative power in Cabinet Ministers, meaning that one Minister can unilaterally create expansive new laws during a public health emergency.  This obviously nullifies the democratic process and the constitutional checks and balances on legislative power, which is highly alarming.”

In his statement about Bill 10, Shandro said a “Special Select Public Health Act Review Committee” was formed to review the Alberta Public Health Act “in light of our experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Shandro said a bill to “modernize the act” will be tabled in the spring of 2021, which will repeal Bill 10 and also sections added as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“In consultation with the government members of the select special committee, I have decided that our forthcoming amendments to the Public Health Act will repeal the Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act. In fact, our amendments will go further by repealing the power of a minister to modify enactments, which was added to the Public Health Act in 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said Shandro in his statement.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Shandro’s press secretary for a comment on his announcement, but as of press time, there has been no reply.

Cameron told LifeSiteNews that Shandro’s promise to repeal Bill 10 is a good but “insufficient” first step. He added that the JCCF will continue to move forward in its litigation against the Alberta government until the bill is repealed.

“Bill 10 was passed in 48 hours without public consultation but for some unknown reason, the UCP wants to wait until spring to repeal it. I'm not aware of any statements explaining the delay,” Cameron told LifeSiteNews.

“We intend to advance the litigation until Bill 10 is repealed. Statements that it will be repealed because it is unconstitutional are a good but insufficient first step.”

Cameron also noted to LifeSiteNews that some MLAs on the Special “Review Committee” have stated “on the record” that they are aware that “Bill 10 and Bill 24 are unconstitutional.” 

The JCCF legal challenge against Bill 10 is currently scheduled for a November 9 case management application date.

As for Bill 24, the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Amendment Act, 2020, in June, the JCCF issued a warning to the Alberta government regarding the latter’s passage of this bill.

At the time, the JCCF warned that the large and complex omnibus Bill 24, which amends 15 different laws at the same time, contains “power grab” provisions which “circumvents democracy” giving the Minister of Health and the Alberta government alarming new powers.

The repeal of Bill 10 comes after recent comments from Alberta premier Kenney saying his government is not going to “enforce our way out of this [COVID-19]” and not micromanage people’s lives. 


  alberta, big brother, bill 10, bill 24, coronavirus, jason kenney, police state, tyler shandro

News

Federal judge refuses to block COVID-19 restrictions on Diocese of Brooklyn

At the same time, the judge praised the diocese for ‘enforcing stricter safety protocols than the State required.’
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 7:33 pm EST
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Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
Charles Robertson
By

BROOKLYN, New York, October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A federal judge on Saturday refused a motion of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, to halt the implementation of new coronavirus restrictions, even as he praised the diocese for “enforcing stricter safety protocols than the State required at the given moment.”

In his ruling, Judge Nicholas Garaufis, a Clinton appointee, wrote, “if the court issues an injunction and the state is correct about the acuteness of the threat currently posed by hotspot neighborhoods, the result could be avoidable death on a massive scale like New Yorkers experienced in the spring.”

The number of daily deaths associated with COVID-19 in New York City, of which Brooklyn is a part, has been below 30 since mid-June. There haven’t been more than 10 daily deaths ever since August. Almost 10,000 of the 20,000 New Yorkers with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis were older than 75 years.

The daily number of people tested positive for COVID-19 has been consistently below 1,000 since early June. Roughly 8.4 million people live in New York City.

Both the Brooklyn Diocese and a group of Jewish communities have sued Governor Cuomo over the new restrictions. In announcing the diocese’s lawsuit on October 8, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio complained, “The State has completely disregarded the fact that our safety protocols have worked and it is an insult to once again penalize all those who have made the safe return to Church work.”

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The diocese had been extremely cautious when reopening in July. It had enforced strict mask mandates and social distancing measures and limited church services to 25% capacity. Many of the churches in the diocese can accommodate more than 500 people. In his response to court’s ruling, DiMarzio wrote that the “proof of our compliance is the fact that we have not had any COVID outbreaks or significant cases in either our churches or schools.”

At the same time, he emphasized that the diocese would abide by the State’s restrictions. Moreover, exceeding the State’s demands, he announced that all churches in the “red” zones will close. He wrote that 10 person “red” zone limits “are extremely difficult to implement because we never want to turn away worshippers.” Now, nobody will be allowed to attend Mass.

Despite the current ruling, the bishop is planning to press forward with the case. “We will also continue to advocate for places of worship to be classified as essential, for there is nothing more necessary today than a community of believers, united in prayer, asking the Lord to end this pandemic,” he wrote.

RELATED

NY Gov Cuomo blames ‘religious groups’ for uptick of COVID cases, singles out ‘ultra- orthodox’ community


  brooklyn, covid-19, lockdowns, new york women's foundation, nicholas dimarzio, nicholas garaufis

News

Melania Trump treated COVID-19 with ‘vitamins and healthy food’: White House

The First Lady's natural approach to overcoming the virus follows studies indicating the effectiveness of vitamin D.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 6:34 pm EST
Featured Image
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Patrick Delaney Patrick Delaney Follow
By

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – First Lady Melania Trump recovered from the coronavirus utilizing “a more natural route” focused on “vitamins and healthy food,” as stated in an official release from the White House on October 14. 

Though she experienced only “minimal symptoms,” she explains that they came upon her “all at once,” including “body aches, a cough and headaches,” along with feeling “extremely tired most of the time. 

Emphasizing the necessity for maintaining sound overall health as an implicit means of combatting the virus, she encouraged all “to live the healthiest life they can,” including “a balanced diet, fresh air, and vitamins,” which “really are vital to keep our bodies healthy. 

Though it is broadly acknowledged that proper nutrition and exercise will not prevent one from being infected with a virus, such measures will help mitigate its severity should it arrive.   

For example, one study on the effectiveness of vitamin D supplements found that COVID-19 hospital patients who were treated with high doses of calcifediol, a type of vitamin D, fared much better than those who were not. 

Another study confirmed the same, concluding that COVID-19 patients with sufficient vitamin D, or levels above a clinical deficiency, were less likely to have severe infections and difficulty breathing” and thus “were more likely to survive.”  

Consistent with these and other findings, many health experts and organizations advise people to ensure they are getting enough vitamin D from sunshine or supplements “not only as a precaution against coronavirus, but for general health too. 

Also included in Mrs. Trump’s statement was that the first couple’s son, Barron, tested positive for the virus as well, but as “a strong teenager” he “exhibited no symptoms.” 

Over the course of the spread of this novel disease, more knowledge regarding its lethality provides a sound justification for the return to normalcy for the non-vulnerable population, experts say.   

One recent study in the U.K. showed, that like Barron Trump, a “staggering 86 (percent) of people who tested positive for the coronavirus … did not have key symptoms.” 

The New York Times ran an article in September demonstrating that “up to 90 percent of people testing positive” carried “insignificant amounts of the virus” and “are not likely to be contagious. 

And Swiss Policy Research (SPR) affirms that “about 80 percent of all people” who are infected with the virus develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms.” 

Even among 70-79-year-olds,” SPR continues,about 60 percent develop only mild symptoms,” and “95 percent of all people develop at most moderate symptoms and do not require hospitalization.” 

With “the age and risk profile of deaths” essentially corresponding to normal mortality,” and a danger of death for the healthy general population of school and working age” being comparable to  a daily car ride to work,” thousands of medical and public health scientists, medical practitioners and concerned citizens advocate an approach called “Focused Protection.” 

With a goal “to minimize mortality and social harm (additional referenceuntil we reach herd immunity,” the recent Great Barrington Declaration affirms the “most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.” 

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And thus, while maintaining great vigilance in protecting the vulnerable, the Declaration confirms, “Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal … Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity. 


  barron trump, covid-19, donald trump, great barrington declaration, healthy food, melania trump, vitamin d, vitamins, white house

News

LifeSiteNews announces 2020 voter guides for Catholics, Evangelicals, Hispanics

America hangs in the balance.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 4:24 pm EST
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Danielle Zuccaro Danielle Zuccaro Follow
By

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — LifeSiteNews has officially launched our new 2020 presidential election voter guides. They can be found at www.lifesitenews.com/votelife.

America hangs in the balance this November, and we want all of our readers, family, and friends to be prepared and knowledgeable when heading to the polls.

Our voter guides feature:

  • Top things CATHOLIC voters should Know before the upcoming election

  • Top things EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN voters should know before the upcoming election

  • Top things HISPANIC VOTERS should know before the upcoming election

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John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief and co-founder of LifeSiteNews, said to Americans, “Now is the time to do everything we can to get out the vote for life. Call up friends and family and ask them as a personal favor to get out there and vote for life. One million innocent American children killed in the womb every year makes every other political issue pale in comparison. America, vote life!”

These election guides were created with undecided Catholic, Evangelical, and Hispanic voters in mind. The Hispanic voter guide is available in both English and Spanish. If you’re having a tough time convincing your friends and family to vote for life and family this November, then we hope these guides help you. They are conveniently packaged as attractive PDF files, so you can print, download, or email them as an attachment to all your friends and family.

We hope that all will check the box for life and family in November. The future of America depends on it.


  2020 election, abortion, lifesitenews voter guides, pro-life voting

News

Twitter locks out Trump COVID adviser Dr. Scott Atlas for exposing mask failures

Tweets pointing out areas where masks did not limit the virus and arguing against 'widespread mandates' resulted in a temporary suspension.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 3:37 pm EST
Featured Image
Dr. Scott Atlas. KUSI News / YouTube
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – After several days of controversy over Twitter’s censorship practices, the social media giant temporarily suspended White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas over the weekend for pushing back against the prevailing orthodoxy on mask wearing.

Atlas is a medical doctor, internationally recognized medical scholar, and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Conservatives have viewed Atlas as an antidote of sorts to the Trump administration’s previous point man for COVID-19 expertise, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is much more supportive of lockdowns and masking.

Twitter locked Atlas out of his account Saturday over two tweets (the first of which has since been deleted) citing places where masks have failed to contain COVID-19 and arguing that instead masks should be used “for their intended purpose - when close to others, especially hi (sic) risk. Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates.”

Like Facebook and Google, Twitter has assumed the role as a watchdog against COVID-19 “misinformation,” generally taken to mean anything that contradicts the opinion of the controversial World Health Organization (WHO). But in an email to The Federalist, Atlas cited several pieces of information that supported his tweets.

“Cases exploded even with mandates: Los Angeles County, Miami-Dade County, Hawaii, Alabama, the Philippines, Japan, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Israel,” Atlas wrote. He also cited material from Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and even the WHO itself, which conceded that “widespread use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence and there are potential benefits and harms to consider.”

Atlas returned to Twitter on Monday with a literary warning about the suppression of evidence in support of a favored narrative: 

This is not the first time internet giants have censored Atlas over COVID-19. Last month, Google-owned YouTube deleted a June interview in which he offered a detailed critique of government lockdown policies.

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This latest incident follows an ongoing uproar over Twitter censoring the New York Post after a bombshell report on emails that appear to show Hunter Biden selling access to his father, former Vice President and current Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, during the previous administration.


  anthony fauci, big tech, censorship, coronavirus, covid-19, free speech, mask mandates, masks, scott atlas, social media bias, trump administration, twitter

News

Trump, Loeffler urge Senate to confirm FCC nominee who wants to rein in Big Tech

Nathan Simington is expected to be much more aggressive and reform-minded than the commissioner he is set to replace.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 3:00 pm EST
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Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). Twitter
Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – As social media discrimination against conservatives ramps up in the final weeks before the 2020 elections, some conservatives are expressing frustration that Senate Republicans have been slow to act on the nomination of President Donald Trump’s latest nominee to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Nathan Simington.

The FCC is the federal agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, and other means, and is directed by five commissioners.

Breitbart reports that Trump nominated Simington to replace the outgoing Michael O’Rielly, a Republican appointed by then-President Barack Obama. O’Rielly has expressed doubts that the FCC has the authority to implement a Trump executive order meant to clarify how “good faith” is defined as it pertains to internet companies’ takedown decisions. Trump had originally re-nominated O’Rielly for the post, but withdrew his re-nomination after O’Rielly opposed touching the controversial Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act.

By contrast, it is believed Simington, an adviser within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, will be much more aggressive and reform-minded. His nomination is said to have already alarmed longtime insiders simply by virtue of their unfamiliarity with him. The Verge reports that Simington helped draft Trump’s executive order.

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Trump has urged the Senate to confirm Simington “ASAP,” but conservatives have accused the Senate Commerce Committee, headed by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), of being slow to act. Committee member Sen. John Thune (R-SD) initially suggested Trump should re-nominate O’Rielly instead, but committed to “moving forward as soon as possible” on Simington following coverage of his comments by Breitbart and others.

On October 15, following Facebook and Twitter taking steps to suppress the circulation of a bombshell New York Post report on emails that appeared to show Hunter Biden selling access to his father, former Vice President and current Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) said the committee “must confirm Nathan Simington as quickly as possible,” as “an independent voice who will always stand up for the First Amendment.” That day, the committee finally announced hearings on his nomination will begin on November 10.

“We know that Big Tech companies are biased against conservatives, and we know they are abusing their Section 230 powers,” Loeffler said. “Currently, these platforms claim to operate like a public forum, but their selective censorship against conservatives makes these platforms content publishers, and they should not be entitled to Section 230 protections. I have joined colleagues to ask the FCC chairman to re-examine this categorization, and I have introduced legislation to stop Big-Tech’s selective censorship cold.”


  big tech censorship, donald trump, federal communications commission, john thune, kelly loeffler, michael o’rielly, nathan simington, roger wicker, section 230, social media bias

News

UK set to pass bill allowing police, gov’t agents to break law when ‘necessary’

Human rights groups have criticized a U.K. bill likely to become law which will allow criminal actions by government agencies. 
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 2:24 pm EST
Featured Image
shutterstock.com
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
By

LONDON, United Kingdom, October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.K. Houses of Parliament look set to soon pass a controversial new bill which would allow public authorities to approve and commit crimes without any clarification or restraints. 

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill was introduced to Parliament by the Home Secretary Priti Patel, with the much-publicized intention of permitting undercover operatives to break the law.  

However, the bill is far more extensive in terms of who it extends such provision to, with a wide variety of governmental departments listed: “Any police force; The National Crime Agency; The Serious Fraud Office; Any of the intelligence services; Any of Her Majesty’s forces; Revenue and Customs; Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs; The Department of Health and Social Care; The Home Office; The Ministry of Justice; The Competition and Markets Authority; The Environment Agency; The Financial Conduct Authority; The Food Standards Agency; The Gambling Commission.” 

The bill proposes that criminal activity would thus be permitted for members of all these bodies. The summary of the document states that it is to: “make provision for, and in connection with, the authorisation of criminal conduct in the course of, or otherwise in connection with, the conduct of covert human intelligence sources.” 

The CHIS bill is deliberately vague about what crimes are to be permitted, stating that criminal conduct is necessary if it is “in the interests of national security; for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder; or in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.” 

Any government agent may grant permission for criminal activity, providing that he merely “believes” it to be necessary in accordance with the prescriptions mentioned. No substantial proof seems to be required. 

Whilst it purports to be in agreement with the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) which forbids murder and torture, the bill also provides the caveat that criminal action is allowed as long as it is proportionate to the end required: “that the authorised conduct is proportionate to what is sought to be achieved by that conduct.”   

briefing about the proposed bill, prepared by five human rights organizations, mentions some major concerns regarding the legislation. It warns that the new bill contains “no express prohibition on authorising crimes that would constitute human rights violations, including murder, torture (e.g. punishment shootings), kidnap, or sexual offences, or on conduct that would interfere with the course of justice.” 

This is in contrast to equivalent legislation in the U.S and Canada, which does forbid murder, rape, and torture. 

The briefing also points out that despite the CHIS bill apparently stating its alignment with the Human Rights Act, there is a loophole which could see the U.K. Government ignoring the act: “The Bill relies on the Human Rights Act as a safeguard, despite the Government making clear that it does not believe that the Human Rights Act applies to abuses committed by its agents, even torture.”  

Continuing, the briefing states: “the HRA cannot be seen as a safeguard against the authorisation of agent criminality because the Government has in fact taken the (fundamentally wrong) position that the HRA does not apply to crimes committed by its covert agents.” 

‘It’s hugely worrying that we’re a step closer to seeing this deeply dangerous bill become law. MPs are signing off on a licence for government agencies to authorise torture and murder.’

The document further warns that the safeguards which will be established in authorizing criminal activity are less stringent than those necessary for permitting phone tapping: “The arrangements for authorisation oversight and post-operational accountability are weaker than those for phone tapping or searches by law enforcement, despite involving potentially far more harmful conduct.”  

David Kurten, a prominent pro-life candidate for London Mayor election 2021, termed the CHIS bill as the “latest utter abuse of power” by the government.  

Amnesty International also condemned the bill at its introduction, and after it passed the third reading: “It’s hugely worrying that we’re a step closer to seeing this deeply dangerous bill become law. MPs are signing off on a licence for government agencies to authorise torture and murder.” 

The bill has come about as a result of a 2019 decision, dubbed the Third Direction case, which ruled that undercover agents and informants could legally break the law in certain occasions. The decision was made with a majority of 3-2, prompting the government to rush the CHIS bill through parliament before any legal challenge could successfully be made. 

After having passed the final stage in the House of Commons, by a vote of 313-98, the new CHIS bill will now proceed to the House of Lords for further debate. 

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  covert human intelligence sources bill, england, murder, rape, torture, united kingdom

News

Twitter, Facebook censored Trump at least 65 times, leave Biden untouched

Big Tech has caused serious damage to President Donald Trump’s ability to reach his followers on social media.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 11:56 am EST
Featured Image
Twitter and Facebook Shutterstock
Corinne Weaver and Alec Schemmel
By Corinne Weaver and Alec Schemmel

October 19, 2020 (NewsBusters) — Twitter and Facebook have censored the president’s social media accounts and the accounts belonging to his re-election campaign at least 65 times. In contrast, the companies have not censored former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his campaign accounts at all.

Twitter composes the bulk of the problem, with 98 percent of all the instances of censorship. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Twitter has made the decision to censor major headlines about the Biden family, particularly when it came to the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine.

The Media Research Center’s Techwatch department analyzed two years of social media posts from Trump, Biden, and their respective campaigns. The analysis did not include any ads from PACs or Super PACs that had made ads in favor of either candidate. It also focused on social media posts, not paid advertisements, from the campaigns. These numbers were collected from between May 2018 to October 16, 2020.

In addition, Twitter and Facebook employees have funneled money into Democrat campaigns. In a previous study released by MRC Business, the numbers showed that Facebook and Twitter had given over 90 percent of their political contributions to Democrats in 2020.

Twitter

Twitter has been far and away the biggest offender, labeling, fact-checking, and removing Trump’s tweets and the tweets from his campaign accounts 64 times since the president’s election. Tweets about the president’s concern over mail-in voting, COVID-19, and the Black Lives Matter protests have been given “public interest notices.”

Videos retweeted by the president depicting a satirical version of Biden walking on stage to the song “F*** Tha Police” have been deleted as well, after a fact-check from Poynter Institute’s PolitiFact. The actual video showed Biden playing the song “Despacito.”

Twitter fired first in the war between Trump and Big Tech when it completely deleted three tweets from the president on July 28, 2020. It removed tweets about the drug hydroxychloroquine.

Memes apparently are not allowed on the president’s account either.

A meme showing Trump saying “in reality, they’re not after me. They’re after you” was removed from his June 30 tweet.

Meme videos and meme creators who make pro-Trump content have suffered at the hands of Twitter.

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One instance is Carpe Donktum, the meme creator who made a video mocking the Democrats’ reaction to the 2019 State of the Union address. The video, retweeted by Trump, was removed after a copyright complaint. Donktum, whose real name is Logan Cook, was also removed in June 2020 after Trump had tweeted another one of his videos showing two toddlers hugging each other, with fake CNN chyrons at the bottom.

This censorship goes back as far as the beginning of the Trump presidency. A rogue Twitter employee in 2017 deactivated Trump’s account on his last day at work, leaving it offline for 11 minutes. Trump’s two tweets of Drudge headlines in 2018 were given the “sensitive content” filter over top of the tweets.

Users who have been retweeted by Trump play a game of censorship roulette as well. According to the Daily Beast, “Nearly 10 percent of the unverified accounts retweeted by President Trump since his inauguration are currently suspended from Twitter for various violations of the platform’s policies.”

One user was quoted in the Daily Beast as saying, “Twitter’s always been fair to me, until the president of the United States retweeted me.” Seventeen accounts at least have been suspended since Trump’s inauguration.

The Trump campaign’s accounts have also been struck by censorship on Twitter. Team Trump has had four videos removed, including one that talked about pro-life policies. In addition, the Trump campaign was also suspended for sharing the controversial Hunter Biden emails story from the New York Post.

Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a speech given at Georgetown University on Oct. 17, 2019 that Facebook would “continue to stand for free expression.” But since then, Trump and the Trump campaign have been censored on the platform five times. Instagram, Facebook’s sister company, removed one video as well. Each time, the platform has made the statement that it opposes whatever Trump and the campaign have said or stood for.

A video attacking Antifa was removed from the platform, because it violated the platform’s “organized hate policy” for featuring an upside-down red triangle. The ad asked supporters to sign a petition and “stand with your President and his decision to declare ANTIFA a Terrorist Organization.” The ad was removed from both the president’s page and his campaign’s page. However, multiple violent Antifa pages that have doxxed — published private information about — members of the Senate remain on the platform, unscathed.

Facebook fact-checkers, certified by the liberal Poynter Institute’s Independent Fact-Checking Network, also fact-checked a video that showed Biden saying, “We cannot win this re-election. Excuse me, we can only re-elect Donald Trump.” The video was labeled “partially false” and given an interstitial, or a filter, that suppressed the spread of the content on the platform.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.


  censorship, donald trump, facebook, mark zuckerberg, media research center, twitter

News

Anonymous FSSP priest: Catholics voting for Biden ‘would commit a grave sin’

An anonymous priest in the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) pointed out that 'any Catholic who supports' pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden 'would be in proximate cooperation with evil.'
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 11:30 am EST
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Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Martin Bürger Martin Bürger Follow Martin
By Martin Bürger

Update October 19, 2020 at 4:28 p.m. Eastern time: This article has been updated to make clear that although the article was published by the Fraternity of St. Peter, it does not necessarily reflect the view of the FSSP in general. The article the FSSP published was an opinion piece written by an anonymous FSSP priest.

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — An article published by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) pointed out that “any Catholic who supports” pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “would be in proximate cooperation with evil and would commit a grave sin, regardless if someone says he or she is ‘personally opposed to it’ also.”

The FSSP is a young community of priests attached to the traditional liturgy. The anonymous FSSP priest who authored the article emphasized that “Mr. Biden should have a firmer conviction and certainty of the natural law right every human being has to life.”

“His private ‘belief’ in this matter cannot be divorced from his public policy; he cannot observe a public stance that is either directly contrary or indifferent to it without committing grave sin and causing scandal,” Friday’s article stated.

“The stance on life is not a disagreement in perspective or approach between political parties. It is a moral absolute that admits no compromise, and is the issue that must rise to the top on election day. Abortion, which is the ugly daughter of a contraceptive and divorce-happy culture, must be eradicated, along with its own ugly daughters of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking, and child exploitation.”

The FSSP priest also asked that since “everyone should be treated with dignity,” as Biden put it in a recent ad, and “all confessional faiths” have this same goal, “where does he place Catholicism in the mix? Is it just one among many ‘equal’ faiths, one among many ‘equal’ paths to God?”

It is “most normal to want to know how seriously Mr. Biden believes, because it is legitimately expected that the Catholic Faith inform how Mr. Biden intends to govern if he were elected to the presidency,” the article assured its readers.

According to traditional Catholic teaching, “the Church is there to guide the administration and exercise of temporal power, to call out its abuse, but never to usurp it. While mindful of our Lord’s words to render to Caesar what is his, and to God what is God’s, the Church insists that, if there is a conflict between the two, the problem must be on the side of Caesar.”

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While “a Catholic president, or legislator, or judge” should not all of a sudden “proclaim Catholicism to be the national religion of our country,” as that would run contrary to the Constitution — an arrangement characterized as “not ideal” — he still has to act in accordance with the Faith.

“[A] Catholic president has the moral obligation to attempt to rid our land of immoral and evil laws and organizations on account of his profession of Faith, while also promoting the influence of the Church and her welfare,” the FSSP article explained. “If a Catholic candidate is on record in support of evil laws and organizations, either personally or by affiliation with a political party whose official platform supports these, he has a moral obligation to recant, abandon the party if he cannot immediately change it, and do whatever is within his power to correct any damage he has caused.”

The abortion issue is characterized as most fundamental in this context: “To say that there are more pressing moral and social issues that plague our country is to completely miss the point; poisoning the river at its source poisons the lake into which it flows.”

“There is a hierarchy of moral issues, and so a grave error on the fundamental right to life poisons how all life is regarded and demands correction, especially from a Catholic who has been given the power or influence from God, the source of all authority, to attempt to do so,” the article added.

The article concluded with a number of questions about Biden.

“Where is his moral compass then? Can he even have one? Is Jesus Christ True God and True Man, who died on a Cross and rose from the dead, to Joseph Biden? Or is Jesus Christ just some philanthropist who came to teach us how to be ‘nice’ to each other without pricking the conscience about the silent screams in the background?”

“Is Mr. Biden more a reed shaken in the wind of public opinion, a product of political ambition, in stark contrast to the fortuitous and convicted John the Baptist whom Herod had to put to death when his warnings became inconvenient?” the priest asked.

Earlier this week, Bishop Thomas Paprocki said that voting for Biden in the upcoming election would require “a proportionately grave reason that outweighs the killing of 860,000 babies per year,” adding that even the death penalty is no such reason.

On the one hand, Paprocki said, capital punishment, unlike abortion, is not intrinsically evil. “While abortion is considered to be an intrinsic evil, the death penalty has been called ‘inadmissible’ by Pope Francis, which is not the same as calling it an intrinsic evil, but is more of a prudential judgment about its efficacy,” he argued.

Additionally, far more people are killed by abortion than by capital punishment, the bishop explained. “While over 860,000 abortions took place in our country in the last reported year, there were a total of 22 executions of prisoners in seven states in 2019, with zero executions in the State of Illinois.”

Fr. Michael J. Stinson, the FSSP’s superior for North America, encouraged Catholics in his October newsletter to “pray for and defend their Church like they would their own mother.”

“Mindful of the lengths that a mother will go to care for her children,” Stinson explained, “it is most natural then that children have a similar instinct towards their mothers. While children can never return in full all their mother has given them (nor would a loving mother ever expect that), they must do something, and so Catholics must pray for and defend their Church like they would their own mother.”

Moreover, “[w]hile our first obligation and line of defense is remaining in a state of grace and cultivating a practical devout life by prayer and the Sacraments, other obligations arise when we see the Church (and country) threatened by anti-God, anti-religious, anti-life, and lawless forces, even from those who profess to be loyal to the Church,” Stinson explained.

“In the month ahead, we must summon the graces of our Confirmations and remind ourselves and others that Catholics are bound to believe the entire deposit of Faith and the moral teachings which flow from it, and so to vote accordingly,” he added. “In so doing, we speak in a way that clearly defines us as children truly loyal to the Church, and we will be assured of God’s blessing in having the courage to contribute to the cause of His right hand.”


  2020 election, abortion, fssp, joe biden, priestly fraternity of st. peter

Opinion

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? Here’s the proof

It is the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles on which our faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is founded.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 7:50 pm EST
Featured Image
Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.com
Msgr. Charles Pope Msgr. Charles Pope
By Msgr. Charles Pope

October 19, 2020 (Community in Mission) — If asked “How do you know that Jesus Christ rose from the dead?” most would answer, “Because it says so in the Bible.” While this is true, there is a much better answer: “We know that Jesus is risen from the dead because the Apostles said so.” They were eyewitnesses. Jesus Himself attested to this when He said,

Thus it is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and in His name repentance and forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:46–48).

And we read in Acts:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8).

The Apostles also said of themselves,

We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32).

And again, from Acts,

God raised Him up on the third day and caused Him to be seen—not by all the people, but by the witnesses God had chosen beforehand, by us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the One appointed by God to judge the living and the dead … (Acts 10:40–42).

So, it is the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles on which our faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is founded. Surely, too, the Holy Spirit assists us who have Faith to assent and cling to this truth.

Some may ask, “How can we know that what the Apostles, and later wrote, is true? What if they made the whole thing up or were delusional? What if, by Resurrection, they merely meant that Jesus lived on in their hearts and in their memory?”

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The best reply to such questions was given by St. John Chrysostom and was read by clergy and religious recently in the Breviary:

How could twelve uneducated men, who lived on lakes and rivers and wastelands, get the idea for such an immense enterprise [of spreading the Gospel worldwide]? How could men who perhaps had never been in a city or a public square think of setting out to do battle with the whole world? That they were fearful, timid men, the evangelist makes clear; he did not reject the fact or try to hide their weaknesses. Indeed, he turned these into a proof of the truth. What did he say of them? That when Christ was arrested, they fled, despite all the miracles they had seen, while he who was leader of the others denied him!

How then account for the fact that these men, who in Christ’s lifetime could not stand up to the attacks by the Jews, now set forth to do battle with the whole world if Christ was dead — if, as you claim, Christ did not rise and speak to them and rouse their courage? Did they perhaps say to themselves: “What is this? He could not save himself but now he will protect us? He did not help himself when he was alive, but now that he is dead he will extend a helping hand to us? In his lifetime he brought no nation under his banner, but by uttering his name we will win over the whole world?” Would it not be wholly irrational even to think such thoughts, much less to act upon them?

It is evident, then, that if they had not seen him risen and had proof of his power, they would not have risked so much (Hom. 4,3.4: PG 61,34–36).

Indeed, and not only did they risk so much, they suffered so much! Every one of them except perhaps John died as a martyr. I highly doubt that they would done this for a lie they had concocted or for some vague notion that Jesus lived on in some way in their hearts. Clearly, they were so convicted and moved by the Resurrection that their lives were profoundly changed. In modern slang, “It really rocked their world!” St. Paul, too, saw Christ not only risen but ascended and at the Father’s right hand. He was never the same and devoted his life to the relentless proclamation of the Gospel in spite of beatings, stoning, imprisonments, shipwrecks, and finally martyrdom. Who would do such a thing for a made-up story or a vague hope? The evidence is clear from the response of their lives that the Resurrection was something both real and profoundly animating. They could not help but speak of what they saw and heard:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life. And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard (1 John 1:1–3).

As for the charge of delusion, it may be possible for one man to be delusional, maybe even two, but twelve men collectively having the same delusion? To believe this would take more faith than simply to believe they were telling the truth. Recall that Thomas at first disbelieved the other Apostles, perhaps thinking them to be lying or even crazy. But then he, too, saw the Risen Lord and was forever changed. He traveled to far off-India to preach Christ and ultimately died for the truth he proclaimed.

It was not a lie nor a fanciful hope nor a delusion — only the actual occurrence of the Resurrection can adequately explain the heroics and tenacity of the Apostles in going forth to proclaim the truth. The Apostles are trustworthy eyewitnesses. Christ is risen indeed!

Published with permission from the Archdiocese of Washington.


  apostles, bible, catholic, resurrection, scripture

Opinion

If Pope Francis wants Catholics to fight euthanasia, he must speak out against adultery

If circumstance or conscience can’t make euthanasia good, how could they make an adulterous union good?
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 6:34 pm EST
Featured Image
Michael Campanella / Getty Images
Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek
By Fr. Timothy Vaverek

October 19, 2020 (The Catholic Thing) — With the pope’s approval, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has issued a letter entitled The Good Samaritan devoted to the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life. Those hoping to renew Christian moral awareness in response to the needs of our time will welcome its many affirmations of the Gospel and its critique of harmful cultural treads. Unfortunately, those contributions are undermined by the radically different approach to morality found in other statements coming from the Vatican and many bishops on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, contraception, and remarriage after divorce. This conflict is evident in their divergent understandings of moral acts, cooperation, conscience, and pastoral accompaniment.

The CDF’s letter affirms the human and evangelical truth that euthanasia and assisted suicide are intrinsically evil acts, that is, they are always violations of human life and the Gospel. The document denies that any consideration of other “goods or values” can alter the fundamental reality: the moral object chosen in euthanasia is “an act or omission which of itself or by intention causes death” to an innocent person (i.e., it is murder).

It follows that “any formal or immediate material cooperation in such an act is a grave sin.” This means in particular that those who approve euthanasia laws are “accomplices of a grave sin” and “guilty of scandal because by such laws they contribute to the distortion of conscience.”

The CDF acknowledges that requests for euthanasia may arise in circumstances that reduce or completely remove guilt. Nevertheless, “the error of judgment into which the conscience falls ... does not change the nature of this act.” Thus, the act is always harmful and never a real service to the person.

The letter calls Christians and others to follow the example of the Good Samaritan (who, ultimately, represents Jesus) by personally attending to those who suffer, enlisting others to assist in their care, and unfailingly doing good for them. It stresses the Christian duty to help them embrace unavoidable suffering by uniting themselves to the Crucified and Risen Lord. Notably, this pastoral accompaniment is said to require withholding sacraments from those who request euthanasia and avoiding anything that approves or appears to approve their decision, such as standing by while the person is killed.

These pastoral directives serve the good of the person, other Christians, and the civil community. The person seeking euthanasia, “whatever their subjective dispositions may be, has decided upon a gravely immoral act” and thus lacks “the proper disposition for the reception of the Sacraments of Penance, with absolution, and Anointing, and Viaticum.”

Such persons need, then, first to be guided to abandon their intention and to remove themselves from any organization that provides euthanasia. Withholding sacraments under these conditions serves a medicinal purpose: to lead the person to a deeper participation in the life of Christ. Similarly, avoiding the appearance of approving the killing prevents the scandal of misleading the person, those present, or others who may hear of it. These acts of pastoral accompaniment do not reject or abandon the person, but affirm their human dignity and the Gospel.

The letter’s approach to morality and to the pastoral response to evil is remarkable for the stark challenge it poses to contemporary approaches to other moral issues, particularly one theory claiming to have the pope’s support.

Consider that abortion, like euthanasia, is the direct killing of the innocent. Contraception and homosexual activity, too, are intrinsically evil acts. Jesus himself declared that remarriage after the divorce of a legitimate marriage is inherently adulterous. Yet for more than fifty years, bishops have allowed priests and theologians to teach that other “goods or values” and judgments of conscience can sometimes permit such actions.

During the same period, most bishops have failed to instruct Catholics that voters and politicians who approve abortion laws are accomplices in grave sin and guilty of scandal. Worse, bishops taught or allowed the public to believe that this cooperation isn’t sinful and refused to provide the medicine of withholding sacraments. Thus, their “pastoral accompaniment” slipped into approval or the appearance of approval which misleads others. They, not Catholic politicians, should be the first to atone publicly for this scandal.

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In recent decades, numerous bishops have permitted ministries for Catholic homosexuals that don’t declare the need to renounce sexual activity and membership in organizations that promote such behavior. In fact, some bishops have suggested that pastoral accompaniment should include blessings or ecclesial recognition for same-sex “partnerships,” ignoring the scandal of leading people to believe that God approves this behavior.

At present, bishops and theologians who claim to speak on the Pope’s behalf, such as Cardinals Cupich and Marx, assert that the Church may not withhold sacraments from those acting with a sincere conscience. They seem unaware that conscience can’t change the nature of an action and that the appearance of approving evil actions isn’t really pastoral care; it’s a scandal. True accompaniment patiently corrects consciences, withholding sacraments when necessary.

Regrettably, there are periodic claims that Pope Francis has spoken privately in favor of these distorted understandings of conscience and pastoral accompaniment. Some say this is the key to interpreting his much-debated Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, which speaks of various goods and values in second unions. But it never establishes the evangelical basis on which  these can alter the fundamental reality that the moral act chosen by such a couple is sexual relations outside a valid marriage (i.e., adultery).

If circumstance or conscience can’t make euthanasia good, how could they make an adulterous union good?

The pope’s continued resistance to settling questions regarding his alleged remarks and the moral foundations of Amoris Laetitia leave space for scandal. Now, he wishes to rally Christians to defend using an approach to morality that repudiates the theories he allows to spread in his name. A vigorous, unified Catholic response is currently impossible because “If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Cor. 14:8)

Published with permission from The Catholic Thing.


  abortion, amoris laetitia, assisted suicide, catholic, euthanasia, homosexuality, pope francis

Opinion

5 ways for pro-lifers in the modern world to overcome fear and witness boldly

Now, more than ever, we need pro-life witnesses to respond with courage, not cowardice.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 6:15 pm EST
Featured Image
Tithi Luadthong / Shutterstock.com
Stephanie Gray Connors Stephanie Gray Connors
By Stephanie Connors

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared at Love Unleashes Life on November 21, 2019. It is republished here with permission.

October 19, 2020 (Love Unleashes Life) — In the first film from Lord of the Rings, Frodo says to the wizard Gandalf, “I wish none of this had ever happened. I wish the ring had never come to me.” And Gandalf replies, “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Speaking to a medical audience of physicians, nurses, and medical students in early November, I used those words to capture the sentiment pro-life medical professionals often feel in this world that is increasingly hostile to a pro-life worldview. At a time when abortion is widespread, assisted suicide is increasing, and conscience rights are lessening, understandably the pro-life medical professional thinks,

“I wish none of this had ever happened.”

And of course, that’s a good wish. But the reality is — it has happened. All we have to decide is how we are going to respond. And now, more than ever, we need pro-life medical professionals to respond with courage, not cowardice.

The challenge? Fear.

Fear can be paralyzing but it doesn’t have to be. Fear is the tie that actually binds both courage and cowardice. What separates them, however, is how each responds to fear. Courage controls fear. Cowardice is controlled by fear.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., remarked, “There was a time when the church was very powerful — in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society…”

Ah. A thermometer versus a thermostat. One tells us the temperature. The other changes it. The courage we so badly need at a time like this involves being thermostats. It involves recognizing the temperature needs to change, and being the ones to change it, channeling any fear we feel into energy that drives change forward.

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What helps us be bold? What enables us to courageously change the temperature to the level it should be? In my presentation I focused on 5 things:

1) Know your why

2) Unleash the power of your mind

3) Study people who said no

4) Practise what you preach

5) Be magnetic

Know Your Why

Author Simon Sinek has given one of the most popular TED Talks and he speaks about the importance of knowing the reasons behind the positions we hold. Pro-life medical professionals need to make sure they know not simply what they believe but also why, and be trained to articulate that winsomely, as that will give confidence, and confidence is an ingredient for controlling fear and driving change. Clicking here and here and here and here are good places to start to know your why.

Unleash the Power of Your Mind

Have you ever gone car shopping, perhaps for a white Toyota Corolla, test driven one, and then the following week noticed white Toyota Corollas everywhere you go? It’s not that Toyota is following you and planting their cars so you buy one. Instead, what we think about — what we put in our minds — becomes part of our reality. There aren’t more Toyotas on the road the week after you test drove; instead, the car is in your mind and you are more prone to notice what you had previously ignored.

If the thoughts we put in our head are what we end up noticing, what thoughts are pro-life medical professionals putting in their heads? If it’s overwhelming fear of losing one’s licence, of possible complaints by patients, etc., then, well, that is more likely to come to fruition. If, instead, pro-life professionals focus on being the best doctor, etc., to their patients, of having the best bedside manner, of building an excellent rapport with patients, etc., then not only will they experience the good fruits that flow from that, but if there are complaints there will be an army of patients rising up to defend the beloved physician. Having said that, I’m not saying we should be naïve and unprepared for challenges or critiques that could come. I’m saying that we should be wise about the present reality, equipped for possible negative outcomes, while not being obsessed or overly focused on them. It’s the old adage, “Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.”

Study People Who Said “No”

If you were to ask a crowd of people what comes to mind when you say “Tiananmen Square” they will likely recall this photo. The quiet but steady defiance of one man against an army of tanks is an example for us all. Sometimes to unjust power structures we need to simply stand up and say “No.” Come what may. Rosa Parks, the black woman who refused to give up her bus seat in 1955, is another example of the power of saying no. So is Dr. Halima Bashir.

She’s a physician from Darfur who wrote the book “Tears of the Desert.” In it she shares her story of witnessing, in an emergency room, the results of genocide. When asked by media about what she was observing, she spoke. Several days later, a group of men showed up at the hospital to try to intimidate her into not speaking out again. Fast forward to when she moved to work in a small village. One day, people ran to her clinic carrying blood-covered children. Soldiers had invaded a school and gang-raped children as young as 8. Dr. Bashir did what she could to respond to what was a scene from hell. A short while later, as word spread about what happened, UN officials showed up to ask her if the reports of the gang rapes were true. Dr. Bashir could have been influenced by the intimidation and threats previously directed at her when she spoke up at her other job. She could have been silent. But she knew that silence in the face of the injustice was the wrong response. So she spoke. But it came with a horrifying personal cost: Dr. Bashir was kidnapped, beaten, tied in a dark room with rats, and gang-raped for days — all because she spoke up; all because she said no to corruption and to cover-up.

Practise What You Preach

What is at the heart of the pro-life message? What are we asking of women in crisis pregnancies? What are we asking of patients with illness or disability who don’t know when their life will naturally end? We are asking them to let go of control. We are asking them to ride the waves and float into the unknown. We are asking them to consider the long-term effects of their choices, not just the short-term. We are asking them to not create a false dilemma where it’s a) or b) — that sometimes c) “none of the above” can be their story. We are asking them to do the right thing even when it’s hard. We are asking them to remember that it is better to suffer evil than to do evil.

And so, for the pro-life medical professional who is scared about speaking out, about the risk to their job, etc., they need to heed those same messages about control, long-term focus, resisting false dilemmas, and doing the right thing.

Be Magnetic

Magnetism is an extraordinary ability, or power, to attract. Our pro-life professionals may have unpopular positions but if they are known for being experts in their field, and for having compassionate doctor-patient interactions, this will attract people. Sure, there will be an element of mystery (“I don’t get it; she’s such a great doctor but her view on abortion is so strange”); however, it’s that mystery that will draw people in more. And we want to draw people in, for it is probing that leads to discovery.

I am reminded of a TV show my mom and I used to watch together, Columbo. In this mystery series, a homicide detective’s work always leads to a discovery of who committed a crime, but it’s his personality and approach that is magnetic. He appears simple, and a little odd, but he’s actually quite shrewd. He asks lots of questions, draws people in, and in doing so, exposes the true criminal.

The person who asks the questions controls the conversation. When pro-life medical professionals come under fire, they should respond by asking questions of their interrogators, Columbo-style, compelling them to stay in conversation, to think through their claims, and to attempt to defend inconsistencies or problematic positions they hold — which will expose the false worldview for the shaky ground on which it’s built.

Another way to be magnetic is to be real, to not be afraid to show the fullness of your emotions. Jordan Peterson is an example of this. Although there are plenty of people who do not like him, he nonetheless has an aura of intrigue, even to his opponents. He’s an intellectual and academic but he’s known for frequently getting emotional. In fact, if you search “Jordan Peterson crying” you will get results like this, a 15-minute compilation of his various bouts of weeping.

When I neared the end of that clip I thought to myself, “What kind of person makes a video like that?” It seemed like such a strange thing to do. But the final screen put it all in perspective: “Jordan Peterson gets a lot of unfair and undeserved criticism. That’s why I created this video, to show that a man that breaks down when talking about the suffering of individuals and the way to overcome it, can’t have any other desire but the deep desire to reduce suffering in the world and to oppose anything that causes its increase….This video is the best way to show to those who oppose Jordan that what they think of him is wrong. This video has the potential to decrease the amount of criticism he gets, and show that he deeply cares about people.”

It is this blend between the head and the heart, the intellect and the emotion, this fullness of what it means to be human that attracts people to pay attention to him, even when they don’t always agree. It’s magnetic.

Note: The author is scheduled to debate prominent pro-abortion philosopher Peter Singer. Find more information here.


  abortion, culture of life, love unleashes life

Opinion

Follow the money: Why hydroxychloroquine may have been denied to COVID-stricken Trump

There may be a financial reason Trump was not given hydroxychloroquine, an exceptionally effective, inexpensive treatment for covid.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 4:37 pm EST
Featured Image
President Donald J. Trump address a gathering of peaceful protesters in support of law and order from the Blue Room Balcony on the South Lawn of the White House Saturday, October 10, 2020, in his first official event since recovering from the coronavirus. Shealah Craighead / White House Flickr
Joel S. Hirschhorn
By

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Narcissist Dr. Anthony Fauci is terrorizing the public again with endless media appearances.  Rather than talk about medicines that can cure the coronavirus, like those given to President Trump, he is peddling fear by talking about 300,000 to 400,000 deaths.  He pushes his favorite solutions, namely masks and lockdowns.  Leftist media can’t get enough Fauci.  [Interestingly, he is the highest-paid federal employee with a salary of $417,608 versus $400,000 for the president.]

There is some mystery about why hospitalized President Trump was infused with the dubious, ultra-expensive medicine remdesivir and an experimental antibodies medicine.  Why not use hydroxychloroquine?  He previously took it safely and correctly promoted it.  Mountains of evidence have vindicated him.  HCQ has proven, better health benefits than remdesivir for treating the coronavirus.

Perhaps the ill disrupter president’s doctors were convinced to use remdesivir by establishment interests – namely a large drug company Gilead, the Gates foundation and Fauci – rather than HCQ, used safely by millions of people worldwide.

Many physicians strongly believe that an HCQ cocktail makes more public health sense.  Remdesivir can only be used for hospitalized patients.  But millions of people could take HCQ to stay out of hospital.  If President Trump had been given HCQ it would have promoted its wide use.  Oops, but that would threaten the billions of dollars to be made from remdesivir.  Such wide use of HCQ would negate the need for devastating lockdowns, a benefit not offered by remdesivir.

Though President Trump took HCQ as a prophylactic without any issues, he apparently did not stay on a weekly low dose together with zinc every day as many physicians believe necessary.  Conservative pundit Dennis Prager has been doing this for months.  “Rudy Giuliani says he is taking hydroxychloroquine despite testing negative twice for the coronavirus.”  The two people sitting on either side of him at the White House Garden Amy Coney Barrett announcement event tested positive for covid. Rudy was negative. Representative Louie Gohmert also announced his use of HCQ.  Brazilian President Bolsonaro proudly announced his successful use of HCQ.

Call it speculation, but perhaps one reason HCQ was not given to the president is a mostly unknown lawsuit in federal court against the federal government (FDA) by the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons.  The goal is to protect medical freedom and unblock physician access to HCQ by releasing the government stockpile that could save thousands of lives weekly.  It invokes “release of the HCQ Stockpile could save 50,000-100,000 American lives.”  This is forward-looking, but the same numbers apply to past death numbers: As much as half or more of the over 200,000 deaths were preventable! Maybe some senior advisors warned the president that using HCQ might lose the case.  Just maybe.

For months articles appeared highlighting the competition between HCQ and remdesivir to fight the pandemic.  But the competition was lopsided, like a kite competing against a jet plane.  Why?  So much money and powerful people pushing remdesivir.  So little money to be made from using HCQ.

What about the medical and scientific proof?  It is like night and day.  Remdesivir has only been shown to modestly reduce hospital time by a few days.  In contrast, HCQ in countless studies has been shown to cut hospitalizations and deaths.  When remdesivir was in clinical studies the government (Fauci) and Gilead cleverly changed what measured outcome effectiveness.  The protocol was changed after the trial started.  Rather than measure death, length of hospital stay, a far less rigorous measure, was deemed to determine success against COVID-19.  Why?  Because remdesivir did not reduce the death rate.  With billions of dollars at stake, they needed a way to make the drug a market success, despite a cost of thousands of dollars per patient.

Also, the government approved the drug even though phase three of the randomized clinical study had not been completed.  Note that Fauci blocked HCQ because of a lack of an acceptable randomized study.

Data on remdesvir just published shows it “had little effect in patients with moderate COVID-19 in 105 hospitals in the United States, Europe, and Asia in a randomized, controlled trial… adding to a mixed picture of the drug in randomized clinical trials (RCTs), which are considered the gold standard for gauging interventions.”  Similarly, a physician on an emergency medicine blog presented a detailed analysis and concluded “Combining all the evidence we have thus far, remdesivir is far from a savior in COVID-19.”

In a strange timing coincidence, the same day that news hit about Trump catching the virus The Washington Post had a major story with the headline “Remdesivir may not cure coronavirus, but it’s on track to make billions for Gilead.”  What first appears as a puff piece promoting remdesivir reveals on close reading a number of points that should shake up people. 

Here are some examples:

  • An official with the Association of American Medical Colleges pointed out the “flattening demand” and “If it prevented people from dying there would be a different demand.”
  • A noted clinician and researcher said “Remdesivir is not the answer to the epidemic.  It’s going to play a role in helping a few people.”
  • Fauci was said to declare remdesivir a “modest weapon against the disease but said it would be the standard of care.”  But such a standard would not apply to the multitude of people not in a hospital.  Without allowing a standard of care for HCQ, it is largely doomed.
  • Another physician spoke of the drug probably offering “some benefit.”
  • The Post noted that the drug “reduces hospital stays from 15 to 11 days but does not significantly reduce the odds of dying of the coronavirus.”

As to granting standard of care recognition for remdesivir, it has been noted that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel had members with financial ties to the manufacturer, Gilead, and that the same panel ruled against HCQ as a standard of care.

Back in May, it was noted correctly that “there is no fair test of the two top contending treatments being conducted.”  Fauci was clearly seen as a promoter of remdesivir.  And, just as more work would show, this article correctly noted the serious side-effect, namely “abnormal liver function.” 

Indeed, the European drugs regulator said recently that its safety committee was reviewing reports of acute kidney injury in some COVID-19 patients who had been given remdesivir.  A noted researcher concluded: “Remdesivir can cause severe kidney failure (requiring dialysis, kidney transplant), liver failure, genetic mutation, heart problems up to cardiac arrest, among others. This is the truth.”

Another source said we “strongly believe that Veklury (remdesivir) is a harmful drug and that this evidence has been concealed by Gilead.  We believe that the lobbying operation conducted in the media and certain public health authorities in order to discredit hydroxychloroquine, specifically in hospitals, was intended to make Velkury (remdesivir) the only solution in this situation.”

Trump will have to be checked for some time for side effects from remdesivir.

In contrast, Dr. Scott Atlas who is on the White House pandemic task force has said: “What’s happened with hydroxychloroquine is that the system has gone mad.  … Hydroxychloroquine is super safe.”

Also, there are no health concerns yet about the still experimental antibodies medicine from Regeneron also given to President Trump.

Recently, a noted physician said, “Remdesivir’s fight against Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is somewhat symbolic of the fight of medical journals, of corrupt institutions against field medicine, of the many general practitioners who are at the bedside.”

Letting physicians use HCQ use would greatly reduce dependence on a vaccine.  It is perfectly consistent with the Great Barrington Declaration, a highly praised strategy to curb lockdowns and open up society and the economy.

Important new positive results on HCQ merit attention.  Recently a California doctor received attention when he went public that he had successfully used an HCQ cocktail to cure over 1,700 people of the virus without any deaths.  That could be done safely for millions of Americans.  Doctor Tyson said that between 75 and 80 percent of the over 200,000 deaths thus far could have been prevented by using HCQ.  If the leftist media was not biased, that would be national news. That some doctors are using HCQ despite the hazards they face helps explain the lower death rate despite rising cases of the coronavirus.

A new report looked at five randomized controlled clinical trials enrolling 5,577 outpatients in the US, Canada and Spain; it found HCQ used for prophylaxis or early treatment was associated with a 24 percent reduction in COVID-19 infection, hospitalization or death without serious adverse events.  If zinc had also been used, more success would have been likely.  This is the latest of 133 studies of early treatment with HCQ, all positive with a median improvement of 64 percent.  Follow the science, not Fauci!  Give our doctors medical freedom to prescribe their patients what they believe most effective.

In sum, the president has been given three prescription medicines, including a new antibodies cocktail (from Regeneron) that the president has spoken about very positively [and which Fauci immediately downplayed], a traditional steroid as well as remdesivir that the president has not talked about.  But no HCQ.  One can only imagine the demand from ordinary Americans for such a powerful VIP treatment regime.  The president deserved a powerful approach, and it seems totally effective.  But the nonuse of HCQ merits discussion. 

Dr. Hirschhorn has a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering. He has a long history of working on health issues, including being a full professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a senior official at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the National Governors Association.  He has authored a number of books and hundreds of articles and has served as an executive volunteer at a major hospital for over ten years. 


  anthony fauci, coronavirus, donald trump, hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir

Opinion

Why abortion will end in America the moment Catholic bishops say it ends

Catholic bishops need to start calling out the Democratic Party over its support for the murder of preborn children via abortion
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 3:16 pm EST
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Patrick Yanke
By

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Church doesn’t take partisan positions in elections. However, standing against evil isn’t a partisan position, it’s a primary duty. The Church has a duty—a moral obligation—to speak publicly and proclaim the truth about those who are attacking our culture, families, marriages, and the most vulnerable—babies in the womb. Religious duty only seems to be a political statement when evil is sponsored by a political party—but that just makes the situation more grave and urgent. The consequences of this battle are both temporal and eternal.

“The grave danger today is not religion in politics but politics in religion.” — Venerable Abp Fulton Sheen

The Democratic Party supports five non-negotiable intrinsic evils of abortion, homosexual "marriage", embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, and human cloning in their platforms or through public policy. On page 32 of their 2020 National Platform, they promise to remove all Federal and State restrictions on abortion. Pages 82-83 lay out their plan to remove every impediment to tax-funding of abortion—domestic and international. Nancy Pelosi, a baptized Catholic who should be publicly excommunicated for her very public offenses against Catholic teaching on abortion and the sanctity of life, has promised to undo the Hyde Amendment in 2021 if Democrats gain power in this election. The Hyde Amendment is a decades-old bipartisan deal that currently limits Federal funding on abortion. Joe Biden made it clear in June that he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment. The Biden-Harris presidential ticket is one of the most radically pro-abortion in history even though Joe Biden is also Catholic.

What does someone have to do to receive a rebuke from the bishops?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” — sometimes attributed to Edmund Burke

Politicians are campaigning for a job, nothing more. Do not hire those who stand against the moral and religious values of the Church to make the laws we live under. The bishops should call them out in the model of our Lord Who decried the leadership of the Scribes and Pharisees (Matt 23). Although political from their perspective, this is a moral and religious duty. Is it wrong to name the political party in condemnation? Is that painting with too broad a brush? No one is saying “Democrats are evil.” Abortion is evil and it is a significant agenda item for the Democratic Party.

Catholics represent about 20% of the electorate overall—down 5% from just a few years ago. No politician should be able to advocate for intrinsic evil and expect Catholic votes—no politician can be elected without Catholic acquiescence in a national or state election. Yet, Catholics have split their vote down the middle for a number of election cycles. No one respects Catholic priorities because Catholics don’t stand for them, as a group. Unfortunately, most bishops have done next to nothing to correct this problem. Too many bishops waste political bandwidth explaining the priorities of the Church regarding immigration reform, publicly-funded healthcare, and climate change. The Church must speak as one about real and threatening evil to human life and dignity.

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This situation, with its lights and shadows, ought to make us all fully aware that we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life’. We find ourselves not only ‘faced with’ but necessarily ‘in the midst of’ this conflict: we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life.” — Pope John Paul, II, “Evangelium Vitae”

In the month before the election, Pope Francis produced a 43,000 word letter that has already sown confusion among many faithful Catholics. Notably, it includes a forceful condemnation of the death penalty. This is an ecclesial October surprise that further muddies the waters for Catholics forming their consciences, especially Pope Francis’ recent attempt to change Church teaching regarding the death penalty. It’s important to note, though, that intrinsic evil is wrong at all times, in all situations, and in all ways. Abortion fits that definition. The death penalty does not. God Himself gave prescription for the death penalty for a number of offenses. God does not command us to commit evil. This is a false equivalency that speaks more to political bias than fidelity to truth.

There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” — Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect for the Doctrine of the Faith and Dean of the College of Cardinals (before he was Pope Benedict XVI)

Scripture tells us there are four sins that cry out to God for vengeance: murder (Gen 4:10), sodomy (Gen 17:20-21), oppression of orphans and widows (Ex 2:23), and cheating laborers of their due (James 5:4).  The first two are fundamentally in conflict with the moral law and always wrong no matter how they are conducted. There is no “right” way to do either of them. The latter two are subjects for public policy debates. No political party has a plank in their platform advocating for the oppression of orphans and widows or the cheating of laborers. These sins are only an issue in any election to the extent of conflicting perspectives on public policy. Those in the Church arguing for the “Seamless Garment” approach err in giving equal weight to all of these issues.

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

Dissenting bishops and priests say they need to maintain the Church’s tax-exempt status. How free is the Church when She considers Herself subject to the rules of government? The Church isn’t tax-exempt because of 501c3. She was tax-exempt from the beginning—before churches were added to the code in 1954. The Church is tax-exempt because She pre-dates the government and our Founding Fathers did not want to have government control of churches. It’s that simple. The 501c3 code is a primary example of the way government takes control… government says it is merely codifying an existing relationship and nothing will change. However, once codified, the government holds the threat to rescind the code. What should exist after the rescission is what existed for 200+ years before that… churches are still tax-exempt. That is not what the government says will happen, though, so the Church complies.

Churches were added to the 501c3 code as a tool of control and specifically to silence the Church and other non-profits. Sen. Lyndon Johnson did not like such organizations having a significant influence in shaping public policy. The direct result of this action is the Church has a greatly reduced influence in public life and intrinsic evil has become a staple of public policy. Churches do not have to apply for 501c3 qualification. Almost all qualifying organizations must fill out IRS Forms 990, 1023, and 1024. Churches are not required to file for qualification because they are considered covered by 501c3 automatically. Donations to churches are automatically tax-deductible. Churches have a mandatory exception to filing tax returns. IRS code automatically exempts churches from its requirements.

In short, the bishops of the Catholic Church are voluntarily silent… and misguided. It is not an endorsement of the GOP to point out the evil supported by the Democratic Party. Opposing the sponsors of evil seeking public office doesn’t compromise the authority of the Church. Authority has been compromised by their failure to do so. Will the GOP benefit from such condemnation in a two-party system? Yes. Should this potential benefit silence the bishops? No.

If I say to the wicked, you shall surely die—and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade the wicked from their evil conduct in order to save their lives—then they shall die for their sin, but I will hold you responsible for their blood. – Ez 3:18

The Democrats have made it clear that their priority is preserving Roe v Wade through the Supreme Court. To that end, they oppose anyone proposed by a GOP president—even before the name has been released. When the name is released, it’s axiomatic that the nominee will be mercilessly vilified in Senate confirmation hearings and the Press. Kamala Harris even made issue of a nominee’s membership in the Knights of Columbus. If they take the Senate, they will prevent any more pro-life judges—and try to block faithful Catholic nominees. If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed prior to the election, Democrats have indicated they will pack the court with left-leaning justices to overcome a conservative tilt. That’s not how our system of government is supposed to work.

For their support of intrinsic evil, the Democrats should lose elections—and lose badly. Bishops should make support for evil the next “third-rail” of politics that no politician or party would ever dare touch again. It isn’t enough that abortion be narrowly defeated in its next Supreme Court challenge. The challenges will simply continue until the court is sympathetic again—or the Democrats pack the court with ideologues. The sponsors of the culture of death must know that the Church will stand against them as long as they promote abortion and other intrinsic evils. They must know this will doom any campaign. This is a lasting message to them and any other party seeking power. That is a pro-life legacy for generations.

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other? ... A nation that kills its children in the womb has lost its soul.” — St Mother Theresa

Unfortunately, the reality is that many bishops and priests are publicly giving support to the Democratic Party. While the Democrats vow in their national platform to cut every barrier to taxpayer funding of abortion, Bishop Stowe of Lexington, KY, called President Trump “anti-life”… because he’s selfish. Bishops have called for canonical penalties for those enforcing immigration laws under this administration. When President Trump advocated for religious liberty at the John Paul II Shrine, Archbishop Gregory called his visit “reprehensible.” Can there be any wonder at the confusion sown among the faithful?

Liberal Catholics don’t listen to conservative voices. They listen to the biased press and the lying politicians. In the absence of truth coming from the bishops, they are acting on those lies. They have been taught to believe that they should form their own consciences and the USCCB’s voting guide has been written vaguely enough to give cover to any position and rationale. Buried near the end of the guide is the statement, “Abortion, the deliberate killing of a human being before birth, is never morally acceptable and must always be opposed.” This should be in the front of the guide as the first hurdle any candidate or party must cross before soliciting Catholic votes. Readers should only go past page one for any political party not supporting abortion and other intrinsic evils. The Democratic Party is one of the greatest advocates for abortion outside of China and they should be opposed by Catholic voters according to the guide published by the bishops. It’s the truth! Bishops should teach it—or at least not silence those who do!

So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin. – James 4:1

Some bishops have spoken out—but none have done so directly. Many note the “pre-eminence” of the issues of life but then water down their statements with other priorities… to be balanced and nuanced. How many issues can be pre-eminent at the same time? Their words are carefully chosen to condemn the issue of abortion while making no mention of the sponsors of abortion. Bishops seem to be in competition with one another to see who can get closest to the full truth of the situation... without crossing that line. In a representative republic, it makes no sense to fight against policies rather than the champions of those policies.

The most direct statement so far was by Fr James Altman of the Diocese of La Crosse who made it very clear that being a Catholic is incompatible with being a Democrat. His message was endorsed by Bishop Strickland of Tyler, TX and “corrected” by his own bishop… for his tone. Despite his correction, Bishop Callahan noted the truth of Fr Altman’s statement. Is there another instance where a priest was publicly reprimanded for his tone in speaking the truth? Once a clear statement has been endorsed, is there any further barrier to an ecclesial proclamation of truth? Why stop there?

It’s good to have priests speaking out... but their views lack the level of authority that comes when a bishop speaks. When a bishop speaks from the authority of his See, then the Church will have spoken… and pray that bishop won’t speak alone. Abortion ends in America the moment the bishops say it ends. They have had the authority, the power, and the responsibility to end it for almost 50 years. There will be cries of “scandal!” when they speak. The real scandal is their silence until now.

What are the bishops waiting for? The enemy of life is right in front of them! Speak the truth and let Christ, Who is Truth personified, go forth in defense of His Bride, the Church!

Patrick Yanke is the author of Defeating the Culture of Death: the Pro-Life Vote


  2020 election, abortion, democratic party

Opinion

NY Times attacks satire site for ‘misinformation under the guise of comedy’

The Babylon Bee’s brand of satire mocks political figures and ideas other than Donald Trump and Republicans.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 1:20 pm EST
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Headquarters of The New York Times Shutterstock
Clay Waters
By Clay Waters

October 19, 2020 (NewsBusters) — Thou shalt not mock the left, certainly not with an election looming.

In Saturday’s New York Times, tech reporter Kevin Roose talked with Times reporter Emma Goldberg about her previous humor-impaired article regarding The Babylon Bee’s brand of satire, which is controversial among the left and the media because unlike The Onion it mocks political figures and ideas other than Donald Trump and the GOP.

Roose’s piece appeared under the hostile but representative headline “How The Babylon Bee, a Right-Wing Satire Site, Capitalizes on Confusion.” The paper blurbed Roose’s story on Saturday’s front page under the heading “Distortions.” The print headline was no less hostile: “A Right-Wing Satire Site That Sometimes Tricks a Bit Too Well.”

The site recently received renewed interest after Trump forwarded a Babylon Bee piece that referenced the social-media squelched New York Post story on Hunter Biden.

Goldberg actually came off more sympathetic to The Babylon Bee’s satirical strategy than Roose, who always managed to discover, or at least suspect, sinister conspiracies afoot on the right. His treatment strongly hinted that previous social media moves to fact-check the Bee had validity:

On Friday, President Trump tweeted a story from an unusual source: The Babylon Bee, a right-wing satire site that is often described as a conservative version of The Onion.

“Twitter Shuts Down Entire Network to Slow Spread of Negative Biden News,” read the story’s headline. The story was a joke, but it was unclear whether Mr. Trump knew that when he shared the link, with the comment “Wow, this has never been done in history.”

(…)

I chatted with Ms. Goldberg about her article, The Babylon Bee’s habit of skirting the line between misinformation and satire, and how it capitalizes on its audience’s confusion.

Some of Roose’s clueless questions are in italics, followed by Goldberg’s almost-as-silly replies:

KR: So this is a blog about distortions and misinformation, and one thing I’ve noticed recently is that a lot of The Babylon Bee’s most successful articles in terms of online engagement are the ones that are … less obviously satirical.

EG: Totally. And that’s landed them in some hot water.

KR: Like, one from the other day was called “NBA Players Wear Special Lace Collars to Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

EG: People were sharing that thinking it was real.

The very fact that Roose considered the NBA-RBG tribute story believable suggested his own leftist gullibility.

He also huffed about how The Babylon Bee being “a satire site” was some kind of dodge the Bee was using to avoid Facebook’s “fact-checking” program, which of course is tilted toward Biden, accusing the Bee of “misinformation under the guise of comedy.”

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Such judgmental handwringing over that rare bird — a right-wing satire site — has become even more newsworthy, now that Facebook has apparently blocked a Babylon Bee story claiming Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) had accused Amy Coney Barrett of witchcraft during her Senate hearings.

The supposedly misleading headline: “Senator Hirono Demands ACB Be Weighed Against A Duck To See If She Is A Witch.” The smart folks at Facebook evidently can’t recognize a Monty Python tribute, or that there were no ducks involved in the hearings.

Roose and Goldberg blamed The Babylon Bee for the stupidity of Snopes and the gullibility of some online readers:

KR: I’m wondering the extent to which being a satire site — which makes them exempt from Facebook’s fact-checking program has allowed them to traffic in misinformation under the guise of comedy. Do you think that’s a deliberate strategy?

EG: Well, that’s a great question, because it’s been a big source of controversy for them. They’ve had a few articles that were fact-checked by Snopes and rated “false.” Which The Bee’s writers and editors claim prompted Facebook to threaten them with being demonetized (Facebook denies this). The Bee’s founder, Adam Ford, has claimed that Snopes fact-checked them in ways that were “egregious,” with standards that wouldn’t be applied to, for example, The Onion.

The Bee feels that they’re being targeted unfairly. But Snopes has poked at the fact that their pieces can sometimes be easily mistaken for real news — which might fall on them, not their readers.

Before putting us out of our misery, here was Roose’s last question: “So what I’m taking from this conversation is: The Babylon Bee is not a covert disinformation operation disguised as a right-wing satire site, and is in fact trying to do comedy, but may inadvertently be spreading bad information when people take their stories too seriously?”

What?! Can you imagine this lecturing disapproval about liberal satire sites like The Onion or The Hard Times?

Published with permission from NewsBusters.


  babylon bee, misinformation, new york times, satire

Opinion

Bishops’ ‘Seamless Garment’ talk gives moral cover to murder millions of babies

The Seamless Garment is lethal pharisaical legalism. It poisons and destroys everything of human value.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 12:36 pm EST
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Bp. Robert Barron, auxiliary of Los Angeles. Bishop Robert Barron / YouTube
Joseph Alexander
By Joseph Alexander

This article is by Joseph Alexander, the pen-name of a long-time pro-life activist both in southern California and in Central California where he now lives.

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Every four years on Election Day, authentically pro-life Catholics share yet again the experience of the man with the withered arm (Mk. 3:10), the man born blind (Jn. 9:16), and the man crippled for 38 years (Jn. 5:10), who all drew the Pharisees’ wrath when Jesus healed them on the Sabbath. Approaching the Catholic establishment — bishops, “theologians,” diocesan and national bureaucrats, and the like — we metaphorically place before them the bodies of the next 4.4 million babies who will be legally murdered over the next presidential term. We plead, adjure: join us in one voice: stop the mass, legalized baby-murder now! And their response? You can’t do that! It’s Seamless Garment Day!

The Pervasive, Not Single, Issue

The Seamless Garment (S.G.) — also called the Consistent Ethic of Life — is lethal pharisaical legalism, in other words, that strains the gnat and swallows the camel, meanwhile also providing proponents their ritual moral purity in the voting booth. A recent commentary by Bishop Robert Barron at his Word on Fire website provides a useful example. Barron opens with the ritual purity: “Every four years, Catholics face an intense dilemma in regard to the vote,” he agonizes. Really? Intense? Then he quickly pivots to the legalism. The legalism consists in the S.G.’s very listing of mass, legalized baby murder as a “single” issue among numerous other “life,” or “social justice,” issues, and on this basis to effectively smother the cause of the babies.

We authentic pro-lifers have never cordoned off legalized baby-murder as a single issue, not even a “pre-eminent” one. Instead, we have screamed for decades, rather, that legalized baby murder — yes, murder, as St. John Paul insisted we must sometimes call out abortion’s moral savagery — can never be “cordoned off” from any other political issue, that corrupts society altogether. But Barron writes:

The Democratic Party advocates a number of ... principles reverenced by the Catholic tradition: concern for the underprivileged, for the migrant and refugee, and for the environment, as well as opposition to capital punishment and to all forms of racism[.] ... [B]roadly speaking, the Republican Party sides with Catholic teaching [on] opposition to abortion and euthanasia, defense of the traditional family, advocacy for conscience protection and freedom of religion. (Word on Fire, 10/6)

Barron thus reinforces a poisonous twofold lie. First, who says that only Democrats and not Republicans oppose racism or have concern for the underprivileged? Democrat candidates and their media echo chamber do, of course. But why does Barron uncritically parrot their talking points? A startling number of black Democrats have joined the burgeoning #WalkAway and Blexit movements, denouncing their party for inciting fear to gain black votes only to ignore their needs once the election is over. Unprecedented numbers of black Americans now also support Donald Trump, due in large part to the record number of black and other minority workers now employed under his economy, thus helping the underprivileged as well. Black Republican candidates in liberal Democrat-run hellholes like Baltimore and South Central L.A. furiously denounce the abysmal, decades-long failure of Democrat policies. Barron thus tells the “even-handed” lie, both for the sake of his electoral ritual purity and to retain his “credibility” with the liberal media elite who would not only crush the lives of the pre-born, but hate the Catholic Church in any event. Sill worse, he surreptitiously imposes on pro-lifers the onus of “proving” that pro-life Republicans aren’t racist before we can demand support for candidates who will end mass legalized baby murder. But since you can never prove a negative, how convenient for Barron’s deadly legalism.

The deeper and most destructive lie that Barron repeats is the S.G.’s constitutive, structural lie: its originating deception that mass legalized baby murder can be politically or morally cordoned off from any other political, cultural, or social justice concern issue. Five decades of political history since Roe v. Wade shows the utter dishonesty of that notion.

Take immigration. Under the Mexico City policy, every Republican president from Ronald Reagan through Donald Trump has cut off U.S. funding of international groups that commit or fund abortion. The two intervening Democrat administrations, Clinton and Obama/Biden, both set the blood money flowing again. The money does not target Canadian, Japanese, or white European babies, moreover. As the prohibiting policy’s name indicates, it targets poor, uneducated, jobless Mexican, Honduran, Pakistani, Ugandan, Filipino, and other “babies of color”: precisely the potential future immigrants that Democrats so superciliously claim they love and Republicans hate. Kill them before they see the light of day, much less catch sight of the U.S. border! Kill enough, and the immigration “issue” — tissue, we might say — disappears. Pay for a “clinic” in Ciudad Juárez (nota bene, Bishop Steitz); one in Tijuana (you, too, Bishop McElroy); in Nogales, too (Bishop Kicanas). That’s where liberal Democrats’ immigration policy begins. The birth canal is the world’s most lethal border crossing; data from the U.N. and other agencies show some 40 million global abortions annually, 160 million over a presidential term. Joe Biden wants to pay for more. Donald Trump opposes all such funding.

The same murderous duplicity pertains to liberal claims about “the underprivileged.” Recently deceased pro-abortion Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — whom then-senator Joe Biden voted to confirm — gave away that deadly fraud here decades ago. Speaking to the New York Times Magazine about a Court decision that upheld the Hyde Amendment that annually prohibits federal funding of abortion in the United States, she said, “Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding of abortion.” Medicaid funding: She means kill poor babies. Joe Biden, who once opposed it, sold his Catholic soul to keep climbing the greasy pole of Democrat party political success. Donald Trump adamantly opposes the funding.

It’s the same with — supposedly — opposing racism. Aborting “poor” babies is liberal code-speak for racially targeted abortions. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger made no secret of her racist intentions, and Planned Parenthood still follows her mandate. Its baby-murder-for-hire centers are targeted to poor, inner-city, mostly black and now Latino neighborhoods — and, all too tragically, “successfully.” Black Americans, who constitute just 13% of the U.S. population, have had 33% of U.S. abortions since Roe v. Wade: 20 million of 60 million dismembered children. Joe Biden supports funding Planned Parenthood, which in turn vehemently endorses his election. Donald Trump has done more to successfully defund Planned Parenthood than any previous president, and it hates him for it.

The list goes on. Medical care? Biden supports Obamacare, the government-subsidized health care that currently subsidizes 700 health care plans that, in turn, subsidize abortion. Women’s health? Abortion significantly increases the risk of infertility, complications in future pregnancies, breast cancer, depression, and suicide, the data overwhelmingly show. Pre-existing conditions? Abortion is routinely used as a prenatal search and destroy mission against children with Down syndrome, those with spina bifida, or any other disability. Family policy? Legalized abortion culturally destroys the parental-child link; dissolves the maternal-paternal connection; and inherently dissolves paternal responsibility altogether, reducing young males to, effectively, sexual adventurers, even predators. “We had sex, but you had the baby” is increasingly the default reaction of young men to women they impregnate, an attitude especially acute in poor, urban black neighborhoods, where some 70% of black children are now born to single mothers, an almost guaranteed path to intergenerational poverty. Or as Joe Biden might put it, “Poor kids are just as smart as white kids.” (Notice again, that “poor” is a Democrat dog whistle for “black”). Abortion also increases — it does not decrease — the likelihood of child abuse in the future because it culturally declares that children exist to please parents; “unwanted” children must die.

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Crime reduction? That’s another supposed “benefit” of mass legalized baby murder. (Yes, liberals do say so, even though mostly sotto voce, in “academic” studies and among themselves. Don’t rile the deplorables.) But those same 13% of Americans who are black and have 33% of abortions now commit 47% of U.S. murders and are 52% of murder victims, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics. How tragically are thus confirmed St. Teresa of Calcutta’s prophetic words: “Any nation that allows abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to kill to get whatever they want.”

Let’s close the loop by returning to immigration. One of uncontrolled immigration’s most vicious consequences is the large-scale sex-slavery trafficking it enables — a plague now almost epidemic in the United States. But this satanic industry is, in turn, enabled here by legalized, tax-funded abortion. Pregnant sex slave? Just take her in for a tax-funded abortion at Planned Parenthood, which will conveniently ignore the ages of the girls — not even teenagers yet — who are sex-trafficked along with adult women and teenagers. Abortion-enabled sex slavery also undergirds the spreading the plague of pornography that now destroys tens of millions of lives. Pregnant porn sex slave? Again, just take her in and have her vacuumed out. Joe Biden will pay for it.

Barron’s whole premise, the S.G.’s foundational premise, is a wicked, manipulative lie — a complete and total fraud. Legalized baby murder is not, has never been, and cannot ever be a “single” political issue cordoned off from any other social, political, or culture concern. Perniciously, it poisons and destroys everything of human value.

Abetting the Mass Suicide and Mass Murder of Consciences

But why? Why can’t it be cordoned off? Because the human conscience cannot endure the wicked reality of direct or indirect participation in child murder. As Abraham Lincoln said about slavery, intoning with Jesus’s own words.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.

The house of human conscience is not at all different. Both those directly involved in mass child murder and those implicitly guilty by their votes, must anesthetize their consciences or go mad. “Out, out, damned spot,” at it were.

And because legalized baby-murder is a public matter, these consciences can suppress themselves only by silencing, co-opting, or forcing participation by all public opponents. Why else does Bishop Barron suppose that the Obama/Biden administration declared legal war on the Little Sisters of the Poor for refusing often abortifacient contraception in employee health plans? Their consciences must be destroyed. Legalized abortion inexorably, necessarily becomes a war of annihilation against all consciences.

And the toll is horrific. The suicides come first. Americans have committed some sixty million abortions since Roe v. Wade. A third, perhaps, are the mother’s second or more, meaning some 40 million women have murdered a child. And while fathers are often excluded altogether, not even informed of the pregnancy, and others try futilely to save their children, tens of millions of men have also participated, even pressured and coerced their children’s mothers into killing them. Authentic pro-lifers also know that grandparents are often the primary drivers of an abortion, and millions of “friends” are complicit in the murder. That totals perhaps 100 million ravaged consciences. We can only wonder how Seamless Garment proponents propose to build social justice on that pulverized foundation.

The Seamless Garment does even more evil, however; it was invented, it is constructed, to enable the political complicity of tens of millions of more consciences: to constrain, hobble, and even murder the consciences not only of those of Catholics, but of others who hear and internalize to this political moral scam. For the S.G. is, at root, designed to enable a classic case of compartmentalization. That is the usually subconscious psychological defense mechanism that people use to avoid — to suppress — conflicting notions or values: like being a Catholic and a de facto participant in mass legalized baby-murder by virtue of the candidates one supports in the voting booth. Its moral self-delusion works like this. Start — as cannot be emphasized too often about this deadly fraud — with the S.G.’s deceitful listing of multiple “pro-life” issues that makes legalized child-murder just one politically separate, compartmentalized “single” concern. Next, make a column for each candidate; then assign each a rating as “pro-life” or “not” on each “separate” issue. Add up the results and — mirabile dictu! — I can in good Catholic conscience vote for the pro–mass legalized baby-murder candidate because, well, the math says so! Some more slightly self-aware Catholic consciences, like Bishop Barron’s, make a layover at “Oh, it’s so difficult to choose!” But the destination is the same: a compartmentalized, hence deadened conscience.

The Seamless Garment’s structure thus goes beyond abetting these suicides already mentioned. It intends and attempts the outright murder of vastly more consciences. It impinges, would cripple the consciences of the very, very many Catholics who cannot in good conscience vote for legalized baby-killing candidates, oppressing them with the false claim that they are morally wrong to make their vote pivot on ending the mass murder. How do we know? “Single issue” voting was never a moral concern when American Catholics made our first great electoral impact from the 1880s to the 1950s by voting overwhelmingly for candidates pledged to make workers’ rights the supreme, definitive “single” social justice issue of all American politics. Nor was such concern evident into the 1960s and ’70s when securing black civil rights or ending the Vietnam War became the sine qua non of Catholic voting morality, precisely among the morally self-preening, liberal, big-government, overwhelmingly Democrat party Catholic ecclesial elite who would shortly weave the Seamless Garment in the late 1970s and 1980s. Thus, for example, famed (infamous, for some) Notre Dame president Theodore Hesburgh stopped mentioning abortion as a civil rights issue in the 1960s after being hissed at a Yale University speech for linking the two.

No, “single issue” voting became a “moral” concern only when this liberal Catholic elite who had long preened themselves as moral heirs of earlier heroic “single issue” pro-labor and pro–civil rights voting now saw substantial numbers of Catholics abandoning the liberal, big-government Democrat party political consensus that had long dominated Catholic voting over the “single issue” of mass legalized baby-murder. Only then did they suddenly “discover” — invent, really — and try to enforce on the consciences of recalcitrant Catholic pro-lifers the Seamless Garment’s utterly fraudulent moral claims. For the S.G. was never about morality — and here we reach the taproot of its wickedness. From the start, it was purely and intentionally a political strategy. It was crafted, one might say, to suffocate Catholic consciences: to enable, on one hand, or enfeeble, on the other, them into voting for liberal Democrat, pro–mass legalized baby-murder candidates. It was woven as a winding sheet — a political burial shroud — for pre-born babies. The Seamless Garment moral claims, to employ another image, are a “whitewashed tomb, which outwardly appears beautiful, but within is filled with” dead babies’ still pitifully malleable “bones” (cf. Mt. 23:27). It is inherently evil, pure political calculation posing as moral “consistency.”

Proponents continue to this day the S.G.’s assault on Catholic consciences. Take the death penalty. Is Bishop Barron actually serious that Democrats oppose the death penalty? In truth, they and their abortion business allies impose pre-emptive capital punishment against tens of millions of the most innocent humans of all. These poor babies are executed because they — might, someday — commit actual crimes (like petty theft?), because they are “guilty” of having poor parents, being disabled, potentially jobless, or badly educated, or for the capital crime of being “unwanted.” Let’s also run the numbers. In the early 1970s, the Supreme Court briefly halted, then restored, use of the death penalty, and since then, about 7,800 criminals convicted of capital crimes have been executed, according to government statistics. Meanwhile, since Roe v. Wade, also in the early 1970s, more than 60 million completely innocent American pre-born children have been summarily executed by private persons and agencies. That’s a ratio of 7,700 innocent babies executed to 1 convicted capital criminal. Opposition to the death penalty today begins with stopping mass legalized baby murder. But not a single Democrat in Congress in either house opposes the slaughter, and one of 24 Democrat governors. But Barron deliberately misuses his magisterial status to oppress the consciences of Catholics who realize the truth of the matter.

And, yes, deliberately. If not with malice aforethought, by his astonishingly culpable negligence he does so. Bishop Barron is supposed to be the bright one among the bishops, the shining light of the USCCB’s latest iteration of the New Evangelization. How could he be so stupid, so mindless, as to fail to connect these most obviously linked dots? Actually, he’s not. Like far too many bishops: He. Just. Doesn’t. Care. Not really. If he’d ever actually been actively pro-life, he’d know how to think about the matter; he’d have seen how legalized baby-murder corrupts everything from politics to language to medicine to society as a whole; he’d at least have learned of legalized abortion’s inherent entanglement in racism, murdering the poor, the immigrant, as well as its horrifying imposition of pre-emptive capital punishment. But Barron has plainly never bothered. His attained knowledge and careful consideration of this “single issue” is as shallow as his thinking. “This people honors me with their lips, but their actions are far from me,” as Jesus might put it (cf. Mt. 15:8).

Barron is far from alone in the Seamless Garment episcopal assault on pro-life Catholics’ consciences. To name just two of far too many more, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego and Bishop John Stowe of Knoxville have waxed indignant in this election year about the supposed electoral threat of “single issue” anti-abortion fanaticism submerging the matter of climate change.

But democracies exist in part on the premise that the wisdom of the many is superior to the wisdom of the few. The same moral logic also undergirds our system of trial by a jury of one’s peers. Expert testimony is necessary in both instances. But in both cases, it is given to ordinary people to assess not only the credibility of the evidence, but that of the experts themselves, and the more arcane the evidence, the more the experts’ credibility is the crux. In neither case, moreover — the jury room or the voting booth — can Catholics shirk our legal and moral responsibility to make that judgment for ourselves.

But that is exactly what McElroy and Stowe would have us do: check our consciences at the voting booth door when it comes to climate change; surrender wholesale and unquestioningly to the “experts.” But there are two fatal flaws with their insidious demand. First, scientific claims about “climate change” have become symbiotically connected to demands for huge political power, as everyone knows. There are vast amounts of government money for studies that affirm climate alarmism, virtually none for failing to do so; conversely, the studies that get funded serve to propagandize vast increases in government power and tax collection. But why should voters take a climate scientist’s demands for certain political solutions, such as carbon taxes? Why should we morally invest scientific expertise in politicians like former vice president Al Gore (who has made lots of money from his climate change crusade, and gee, won an Academy Award) or media figures like David Attenborough? It is our task as voters to assess the proper types of political responses. Carbon taxes disproportionately burden the poor, for example; they are powerfully regressive because the poor spend a far greater portion of their income on gasoline — used by hundreds of thousands of immigrants on their way daily to and from the ag fields of Central California in sometimes 100-mile round trips — and household energy costs. “Energy tax poverty” is now a real thing in California. That’s a political dilemma if one is concerned about both climate change and the poor, a dilemma about which Catholic voters must employ our consciences — which McElroy and Stowe implicitly denounce us for doing.

Even more to the point, science always progresses by proposing hypotheses and then seeking evidence that verifies them or not. But for almost half a century, repeated dire warnings of only ten (or twelve or fifteen) years before climate Armageddon have proven false — have failed to be supported by the data of actual events. At this point, most American voters have thus made the most scientific judgment that the climate alarmists have cried wolf too often. Even the endless name change, from Global Cooling to Global Warming to (the oh, so conveniently vague) Climate Change raises the suspicion that the politicians and experts are playing us with a three-card monte political con designed to separate us from our money and our liberty. Good conscience demands we make this assessment.

Still more concerning for Catholic consciences, every major “climate change” figure or organization is vehemently anti-human. Attenborough, for example, calls humanity “a plague upon the earth.” Bill Gates wants to reduce the world population by up to a third, by more than 1.5 billion. Every U.N. proposal on climate change also includes plans for still more abortions, especially in third-world countries. (Catch the racism again, Bishop Barron?) Does this not raise still greater moral suspicions about the “climate change” agenda? And again, the numbers, the human data, are horrifying. Data indicate that over the last 70 years, 1.4 billion pre-born babies have been legally murdered by abortion; in the next ten years, another 400 million are going to be murdered. That’s almost 2 billion. And the climate change toll? Not so much. Despite the angry moral fulminations of bishops like McElroy and Stowe, Catholics dare not surrender our electoral consciences wholesale to climate change “experts” and their — repeatedly proven — anti-life agenda.

Unable to contain his bitter, left-wing, big-government indignation, however, McElroy launches the most brutal frontal assault possible on Catholics’ electoral consciences. In an appallingly dishonest and truly evil attack, he recently inveighed, “To reduce that magnificent, multidimensional gift of God’s love to a single question of public policy is repugnant and should have no place in public discourse.” One is left almost speechless at his dishonesty. One could well ask: well, what about the Church’s “magnificent, multidimensional teaching on God’s love” on the grave, inalienable duty of governments to legally protect authentic marriage, between one man and one woman, as the very foundation of a just and healthy society? As soon as McElroy makes that duty an equal element of his Seamless Garment, equal even to climate change, and declaims it with equal vehemence, we might believe his goodwill. But he won’t, ever. So neither will we. McElroy’s hypocrisy is what’s repugnant.

The Destruction of Government, the Death of Civilization

Finally, the sum impact of this abetting the mass suicide, and attempting the mass murder, of consciences that is inherent in the Seamless Garment is the destruction of the moral foundation of government as such, as well as the dissolution of civilization itself. All governments have their basic justification in the task of protecting the right not to be murdered. That is why every government has the final legal authority to determine the justified use of force. Citizens always retain our natural law right to self-defense, whether by kitchen knife; baseball bat; or, in the United States, firearm. But governments always determine whether the force, the violence, is legally justified in individual cases.

Making mass murder a purely private matter, then, destroys the moral cornerstone of government. It is also why — to reiterate yet again the critical point — mass legalized baby murdered cannot be cordoned off as a “single issue.” Once government allows privatized murder, it not only looses social chaos; government cannot restrain itself from resorting to the same means it allows private individuals in pursuing its ends. Legalized murder is just too convenient, too powerful a “tool” to be left in the hands of individuals alone. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely,” both for governments and societies; legalized murder is the ultimate social power.

The Seamless Garment is thus a theology, a political religion, of child sacrifice, offered to the idol of omnicompetent government. Every four years, it tells us by design: just a little more mass child dismemberment — well, four of five million sliced and diced fetal corpses tossed as “medical waste” to be incinerated — and we’ll have paradise on Earth! Just vote for Joe Biden! Vote for the legalizers of mass baby murders and this time, we promise, there will never again be the need for it. As if lust, greed, pride, manipulation, and the like are at last going to be purged from our hearts — by politics! by the Provider State, as St. John Paul II labeled its vile moral pretentiousness.

Ultimately, our whole civilization is being destroyed by this annihilation of basic human decency. It’s the conscience count, not the body count, that most threatens us who live among the moral ruins. Many, perhaps most bishops voiced public support of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer. Even after at least some BLM activists and Antifa-followers descended into rioting; into looting — of black owned businesses; arson that destroyed many black neighborhoods; took numerous black lives; targeted sometimes black police officers execution-style — still, these Seamless Garment paladins could not bring themselves to invoke that very garment to condemn the violence. Even more frightening, the U.S. bishops apparently fail to see the truly demonic rage in the faces of so many BLM/Antifa rioters and arsonists. So many of them are not even black, but middle- and upper-class, often college-educated, mid-20s whites. Why are they destroying black businesses, rendering black neighborhoods “food deserts” where no grocery stores can now be found?

Exorcists have long lamented unhinged rage as a clear sign of demonic influence, even possession. Moreover, for more than a decade, they have increasingly warned that demonic possessions are becoming more resistant to exorcism, taking many more sessions and more time to accomplish. Do our bishops really fail to see the demonic in many of these Antifa/BLM faces? Still more telling, can they possibly imagine that even one of these faces belongs to an active, committed pro-lifer, an actual opponent of baby murder? These same exorcists tell us that Satan is a confirmed legalist, who thus not only submits to the orders given with episcopal mandate in God’s name by an exorcising priest, but who also demands his “due” from God regarding the psyches, souls, and lives of those who plunge themselves into his power by this horrifying sin. Sixty million U.S. abortions since Roe v. Wade have beyond reasonable doubt loosed a horrific demonic comeuppance. We have sown the wind 60 million times, and we are now reaping the whirlwind. In at least one diocese, the bishop has approved monthly exorcisms outside a local abortion mill. Would that the rest of the bishops would raise their voices to exorcise the voting booth, too, release it from the satanic power of mass legalized baby-murder for profit of Christ’s littlest ones.


  2020 election, abortion, catholic, climate change, global warming, immigration, joe biden, john stowe, robert barron, robert mcelroy, seamless garment

Opinion

‘Crying shame’: Aggrieved father makes comprehensive case against bishops on sex ed

With bishops' cooperation, 'liberal comprehensive sex education and LGBT agendas are being imposed, often ruthlessly, against the will of parents.'
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 11:04 am EST
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Evgeny Atamanenko / Shutterstock.com
Tom Rogers
By Tom Rogers

Editor's note: The following talk was given as part of an online conference title "Fathers' Call to Bishops: Help us to defend our children's purity." The virtual event was organized by Voice of the Family and made available via LifeSiteNews on October 9, 2020.

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Amidst all the serious problems we can see within church today — the apostasy, heresy, faithlessness and over compromise with world — those of us who are parents are, of course, particularly concerned about the impact on our children and how we raise them, which has become more of a challenge than ever.  God has given us that sacred responsibility to raise our children in the faith — to know, love, and serve him — as Proverbs 22.6 tells us, to teach our children "in the way they should go." The Church has always recognized the parents' role as primary educator of their children — for in participation with God's work of creation, the mother and father have conferred life on their children and have the closest natural relationship with them.

Even secular international human rights law recognizes this too — the UN Declaration of Human Rights (Article 26) — states that parents have a right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children, and the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 2) declares that "the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching [that their children receive] is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions."

We've seen in many cases, especially under totalitarian regimes, how the state has overridden or usurped that right of parents — often to make sure the nation's children are educated according to the official state ideology, what the Government wants them to think, do and say, rather than be raised according to the particular values of their parents — religious  or otherwise.

Disturbingly, however, we're now experiencing this state takeover of parenting through the education systems of western democracies, particularly in the area of sex education, where the liberal comprehensive sex education and LGBT agendas are being imposed, often ruthlessly, against the will of parents. This is a very real material threat to our children's temporal and spiritual welfare — especially their eternal salvation. Let's face it, most of our young people leave the faith today, not because they're rejecting the faith per se (in many cases, they haven't been taught much about what it's really about anyway) — but because they want to follow the world's rejection of Christian morality — of the importance of natural marriage and the family; and particularly to follow the illusion of sexual freedom — and then contraception and abortion, every further sin that must prop up and facilitate that lifestyle.

What's most disturbing of all is that so many of our Church leaders, who should be championing the rights of parents to defend their children from this agenda, have actually, in recent times, supported the state's right to impose such education, or indoctrination, on our children. The situation has considerably worsened under the pontificate of Pope Francis, who has often taken a controversially ambiguous or conflicting stance on the matter. In his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, for example, he talks in chapter six about the role of educational institutions, rather than parents, as being the ones with the responsibility to provide "a positive and prudent sex education to children." And during one of his notorious off-the-cuff plane interviews, returning from World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019, he undermined parents further by explaining how sex education at school "makes up for the fact" that parents don't always know how to do it properly. That's a very dangerous position for him to take because it's also the justification that the modern state uses, in most cases, to impose compulsory sex education against the will of parents.

I'd like to concentrate for the rest of this talk, however, on the situation with the Catholic Church in England, where the bishops of England and Wales publicly supported the UK Government in imposing compulsory pro-LGBT relationships and sex education on ALL schools in England. The situation is serious all over the UK, but as time is short I want to concentrate on what's happened in England, and that serves I know as an example and wake-up call to how church leaders have acted in many other countries.  Just to briefly explain that the different countries that make up the UK — England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland — all have devolved powers over their own education systems (as well as in many other areas) and there are separate bishops' conferences for Scotland, the whole of Ireland (including the North) and a joint conference for England and Wales.

The bishops of England and Wales oversee the mission of Catholic schools through their agency, The Catholic Education Service (CES), and they have facilitated the promotion of the liberal sex education and LGBT agendas in Catholic schools for over a decade. Under the chairmanship of Archbishop (now Cardinal) Vincent Nichols (from 1999 to 2008) the CES developed a policy that resulted in providing children in Catholic schools, including adolescents under the legal age of consent, with access to abortion and contraception services, without parental knowledge or consent, through a state run confidential advice agency, named "Connexions."

Also under Nichols's chairmanship the CES joined the pro-abortion Sex Education Forum — which since the mid-1980s has been one of the UK's foremost pressure groups pushing for compulsory amoral sex education and promoting the anti-Christian LGBT agenda and sexual immorality to school children. In 2010, the CES, now under the chairmanship of Bishop (now Archbishop) Malcolm McMahon, supported an attempt by the outgoing Labour government to make sex and relationships education (SRE) compulsory, and helped draft statutory guidance for the new subject which would have presented to school children many of the positions and values of the Sex Education Forum. The attempt to make SRE compulsory, for various political reasons, at that point did not succeed.

One of the enthusiastic supporters of that legislation, however, was a Labour Member of Parliament called Greg Pope. Despite professing himself to be a Catholic he had a long and extensive anti-life and anti-family voting record in Parliament, which included support for abortion, euthanasia, population control and contraception, no-fault divorce and cohabitation rights, as well as virtually every facet of the LGBT agenda. Despite all this, on leaving Parliament at the call of General Election in 2010, he was immediately appointed by Bishop McMahon as deputy director of the Catholic Education Service — after a "rigorous selection process."

Only by means of a completely revisionist idea of what it means to be a Catholic could a man promoting such policies be deemed fit to hold a position of responsibility over Catholic education. However, he was in fact eminently suitable to help further the agenda the CES was already pursuing. Acting also as "head of Parliamentary relations" for the bishops of England and Wales, for instance, he wrote to all Catholic MPs in 2014 to reassure them they would not be denied Communion for voting in favor of imposing on Britain same sex "marriage." 

The crowning glory of his career with the agency was the CES's role in supporting compulsory pro-LGBT Relationships and Sex Education in ALL schools in England with the passing of the Children & Social Work Act in March 2017. Thereafter Pope was immediately rewarded by the bishops for such services to the faith with his promotion and new appointment as Assistant General Secretary (later Executive Director of the Catholic Trust) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales.

Compulsory RSE comes to English schools

The Children & Social Work Act (2017) made the new subjects of Relationships Education compulsory in ALL English primary schools, and Relationships & Sex Education compulsory in ALL English secondary schools. With another compulsory new subject, "Health Education," later added to the mix the new regime would further the state takeover of parenting in an attempt for the school to cover virtually every aspect of a child's moral formation, health and well-being. The Government stated that parents would be able to withdraw their children only from the "sex education" parts of RSHE at secondary school, and even this much compromised right was later replaced only with a "right to request withdrawal," with the final decision given over to the head teacher. In a final slap in the face to parents, their children were given the legal right to overrule their parents' wishes, if the head teacher had not already done so, and opt into sex education classes when the child reaches 15 years of age (though ironically they are not able to opt themselves out). From the outset, Government spokespersons, including the Prime Minister, stated that Relationships Education was intended to be "LGBT inclusive."

CES Support

The CES publicly and consistently voiced nothing but unwavering support for the legislative changes and Government RSE policy. Following the passing of the Children & Social Work Act in March 2017, the then Chair of the CES, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, issued a statement welcoming the changes to the law and "the government's commitment to improving [sic] Relationships and Sex Education in all schools." He also welcomed the "government's commitment to protect parental right of withdrawal," even though that right was specifically limited, even at this early stage. The RSE Regulations and Statutory Guidance which would govern the general content and delivery of the new subjects, were the subject of two major public consultations, before having to be ratified by Parliament.

Catholic leaders did absolutely nothing to encourage the faithful's participation in these consultations, despite the potentially strong influence the resulting curriculum is likely to have on the moral development of our nation's youth, both Catholic and non-Catholic. Rather, the Catholic Education Service continued its mini-PR campaign in support of the Government, even when its intentions for the new RSE regime became clearer. Aside from the effective removal of the parental right of withdrawal, other key dangers contained in both the Draft and Final RSE Guidance and Regulations (2019), included:

  • The Promotion of abortion, contraception and facilitation of underage sex. Secondary school children should be provided with "the facts about the full range of contraceptive choices and options," and signposted as to where and how to obtain abortion and contraception services without parental knowledge or consent. Carrying an unborn child to term is presented simply as one of the possible "choices" when pregnant, alongside that of having an abortion — "about which pupils should receive medically and legally accurate, impartial information."
  • LGBT content is expected to be "fully integrated" into the children's program of study, which should present homosexual relationships and family structures in a positive manner.
  • Real marriage and the natural family unit are sidelined. Redefined to include same sex "marriage" (and on a par with civil partnerships), marriage is simply presented as one possible relationship option. The emphasis is on the diversity of different "healthy" relationships and family structures.

With Church leaders supporting the Government, the mobilisation of Catholic voters to best influence the consultation process was therefore left to the various pro-life and pro-family organisations, including SPUC, and the many new groups, including from the various faith communities, that were now springing up as part of the rapidly growing parental rights movement. This awareness campaign proved successful in that the majority of submissions to the public consultations on the Draft Regulations and Guidance were firmly against the Government's proposals. But with the backing of the education, media and church establishments, the consultation results could more easily be ignored, and the Final RSE Guidance and Regulations were published virtually unchanged (if anything, slightly worse) in March 2019; and shortly afterwards passed by an overwhelming majority in the House of Commons (538 to 21). And just in case enough salt hadn't already been poured onto the wounds of the faithful, the Catholic Education Service issued yet another press statement to 'welcome' this development.

Besides the betrayal of parents and children, the political significance of the bishops' support for the Government's measures cannot be overemphasized. Firstly, it undermined the efforts of Parliamentarians supportive of parental rights. Lord Elton, for instance, in a letter to one of our supporters, noted how since the legislation had been passed with such a large Commons majority, but also accepted by the Church of England and welcomed by the Catholic Church, there was no possibility of rejecting it in the House of Lords — through which it had to pass before becoming law.

The Catholic bishops support for the new RSE regime was also considered important by the Government itself, and often referred to by ministers and officials. For example, Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards, commented in a Parliamentary debate in June 2019 how the Government was "very content that we have secured the support of the Catholic Church, the Church of England and organisations such as Stonewall for the guidance we have created."

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Stonewall is the country's leading LGBT pressure group — and so the fact that the same state guidance on RSE could meet with the approval of both LGBT pressure groups, such as Stonewall, and "the Catholic Church" would certainly mean that at least one of those factions is over-compromising on their core values. However, as well as being adamant that this guidance leaves scope for Catholic schools to teach "according to the tenets of the faith," and leaving aside the fate of the 90% of children who don't go to a Catholic school, CES statements in support of the changes also trumpeted the "high quality RSE" which Catholic schools already offer, and boasted of "the fact that the Government had used the Catholic model curriculum as examples of best practice." In other words, it all just means business as usual for Catholic schools so there is nothing to worry about.

The Catholic Education Service's model RSE curriculum is likely able to meet such approval from Government, because, despite parading its commitment to the Catholic faith with a great deal of uncontroversial orthodox-sounding content, there are enough ambiguous loopholes inserted to ensure that the LGBT and comprehensive sex education agendas can be taught wherever necessary, or desired. So, for example, in Catholic primary schools, children aged 5-7 are to be taught about the "different family structures" and "how they should be respected," which is how the LGBT agenda is usually now promoted to this age group.  Children of this age are also taught to "identify and correctly name their private parts," and children aged 7-11 are taught about the "similarities and differences between people" in relation to the "protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010," which therefore means teaching those children about "gender reassignment," same-sex "marriage" and same-sex civil partnerships, and all about "sexual orientation."

The CES's model RSE curriculum for secondary schools (or "high schools," for pupils aged 11-18) builds on this foundation, and seems to work on the assumption of a "new normal." It takes the validity of LGBT ideology for granted, and could be used to help facilitate active pupil exploration of destructive and mortally sinful life choices.  Despite foregrounding the need to teach children about the Church's teaching with regards marriage, fertility and the sanctity of life, pupils are also taught to be "respectful of their emerging sexual identity," as well as the concepts of "sexual identity, gender identity and sexual orientation." They are to be taught throughout secondary school "about diversity in sexual attraction and developing sexuality, including sources of support and reassurance and how to access them." They are also to be taught "where and how to obtain sexual health information, advice and support," including "who to talk to for accurate, advice and support in the event of unintended pregnancy."

One of the key principles running through the model Catholic RSE curriculum, as explained in its introduction, is that it aims to be "balanced" — in that, "as well as promoting Catholic virtues," it provides pupils "with clear factual, scientific information when relevant and meets the statutory requirements placed on schools. In secondary schools this includes teaching students about the laws relating to [things like] abortion and equalities legislation, including same-sex marriage."

This echoes what the Government have explained about how the new law is intended to work in relation to faith schools. That whilst such schools are free to teach pupils what their faith says about sex and relationships, including related matters like abortion, "in all schools, teaching should reflect the law (including the Equality Act 2010) as it applies to relationships, so that young people clearly understand what the law allows and does not allow," so they can "make decisions for themselves about how to live their own lives, whilst respecting the right of others to make their own decisions and hold their own beliefs."  The clear impression the Government Guidance gives is that it is the law of the land (informed by the official state ideology), rather than the law and values of God, that should be the overriding influence in this "balanced" curriculum, and be the main arbiter for children in judging between right and wrong.

Whilst it is theoretically possible that a good solid Catholic school could teach these subjects in a way that ensures pupils clearly receive the teachings of the Catholic faith, this necessary element of "balance" and "respect" for mortally sinful lifestyle choices means pupils will likely receive a very mixed message; and in the present cultural context, leaves those opposed to Christian morality clear inroads to pursue their agenda with children in Catholic schools (not to mention the majority of other schools). The bishops, who have been the cheerleaders of (and even instrumental to) changes to the law, now claim that they must be bound by that law. It's a kind of strange neo-Pharisaism where bishops are claiming Catholics must be bound by the perverse law of man over the infallible law of God.

Other documents published by the Catholic Education Service on behalf of the bishops unashamedly distort Catholic teaching to promote homosexuality, often using the teachings of Pope Francis to add a kind pseudo-doctrinal credence to what are clearly heretical positions. Learning to Love (2017), an RSE guide for Catholic educators, refers to same sex relationships as "an exalted form of love" and states "we applaud the great progress that has been made in countering all forms of discrimination against homosexuality [as opposed to homosexual persons], and wish to collaborate with efforts to make such discrimination obsolete" (p.17).

One such "collaborative effort" to enforce acceptance of homosexuality is this document, Made in God's Image: Challenging homophobic and biphobic bullying in Catholic schools (2018) — a joint venture between the CES and the Aquinas Centre for Theological Literacy, St Mary's University.  It's also a collaboration with certain LGBT groups, such as Stonewall and LGBT Youth Scotland, in the sense that they have copy and pasted much of the content of Made in God's Image out of documents from these organisations.   The document gravely misrepresents both Scripture and Catholic teaching, as well as UK law, to intimidate Catholic schools into promoting the LGBT agenda.

The overriding message that is conveyed to children through the eight-part scheme-of-work is that being "lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender" is part of their God-given purpose and identity, an integral part of being "made in God's image," something that must be celebrated, and that any true Catholic should act to report and help robustly stamp out any traces of "homophobia" —  helpfully defined for children, in one of the word games they are given to play, as:

A range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs. (p.16)

Adolescent boys and girls are consequently being given the message by the Catholic Education Service, on behalf of the bishops, that a feeling of "aversion" to "homosexuality" (including homosexual acts and advances?) means that there's something wrong with them — they are guilty of "irrational fear" or "hatred." Is this not what's called "grooming"?

It's also been reported that at least 10 Catholic primary schools in the Liverpool Archdiocese alone have been using a notorious secular LGBT indoctrination program called No Outsiders — which made national headlines last year because it sparked protests by parents when it was introduced into predominantly Muslim schools in Birmingham. The express aim of No Outsiders is to convince young children that to be "gay, lesbian, transgender or bi-sexual is normal, acceptable and ok," that they may identify or may not identify as LGBT as they grow up, and that "whoever they grow into as an adult is also perfectly normal and acceptable." The current Archbishop of Liverpool, who presides over these schools, is Malcolm McMahon, who, whilst Chair of the CES, had supported and welcomed the Government's imposition of compulsory pro-LGBT relationships and sex education on all children in the country.

So, overall, the situation that Church leaders have helped put faithful Catholic parents in is very dire. However, there have been signs lately of what might be the start of a possible change in direction on the part of the Catholic Education Service, which is now under the Chairmanship of Bishop Marcus Stock. When the Welsh Government announced last year that they were proposing to remove the parental right of withdrawal from the new compulsory Relationships & Sexuality Education, due to come into force in September 2022, the response from the bishops was quite out of character — in a positive way. In fact, the CES launched a small campaign opposing the Welsh Government's moves, encouraging Catholics to write to register their disapproval of them with their Assembly member.

It might be contended that the hand of the CES was forced in this respect as the Welsh Government were more brazen and explicit about their intentions to remove the parental right to withdraw one's children from RSE, whereas in England they'd been able to go along with the pretence that it had been retained in the shape of the "right to request withdrawal." However, Bishop Stock also issued a statement for the December 2019 General Election urging Catholics to challenge their Parliamentary candidates on a range of issues relating to Catholic education, including "the right of parents, as primary educators of their children, to be fully consulted and to maintain their ability to withdraw their children from [RSE] lessons." Whilst maintaining (without irony) that Catholic schools deliver RSE in accordance with the teachings of the Church and the wishes of parents, he said "the same cannot be said for other schools. Hence for Catholic parents who do not have the option to send their child to a Catholic school, it is vital that this parental right remains in place."

What a crying shame therefore that the CES had been so instrumental in supporting through the changes in England that it now stands to oppose in both England and Wales. Please God, however, this represents the start of a positive change of approach for the CES under new leadership which must be encouraged.

As expected, the Welsh Government announced in January 2020 that they intended to go ahead anyway with their plans to remove the parental right of withdrawal when their new RSE regime comes into force in 2022. And from September 2020, the new compulsory subjects come into force in England. However, due to disruptions caused by the Coronavirus lockdown, the Government is allowing schools, where necessary, the opportunity to delay the full implementation of the new subjects until the start of the Summer term (April) 2020. This therefore presents us with a small window of opportunity to come together to build an even stronger and greater movement in opposition to the new RSE regime before it comes fully into force and entrenched in all of our schools.  Parents wanting to make a stand at schools where they are already facing compulsory RSE will also need our help and support. With recognition of positive signs in the right direction, we call on Church leaders now to robustly and publicly come out in support of such parents, and actively support the campaign to reinstate the right of withdrawal.

Our efforts on that front could also be aided by a Judicial Review currently being pursued by the Let Kids Be Kids Coalition, and supported by SPUC, which is challenging the RSE legislation over its violation of human rights law which guarantees parents the right to choose an education for their children "in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions." 

There is also much to be done in challenging the growing stronghold of LGBT ideology in our schools, including an increasing number of Catholic schools. Pro-family groups including SPUC, the Latin Mass Society, and Catholic Man UK have formed the "Coalition in Defence of Primary Educators," with the aim of protecting children and encouraging Church leaders to now be a true prophetic voice in this critical area. They are calling on lay Catholics to pray and offer sacrifices that the country's bishops will turn fully away from the betrayals of recent times and help lead the resistance in this most crucial of battles for the lives and eternal souls of our children.


  abortion, catholic, catholic bishops of england and wales, child abuse, homosexuality, lgbt tyranny, pornography, propaganda, sex education, transgenderism

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German priest says new papal encyclical has ‘Masonic’ tone, links it to St. Gallen group

'In this apocalyptic time of the False Prophecy,' he writes, 'in which the diabolical lie is limping around, the Church of the Lord has the duty to proclaim Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the only Savior and true Redeemer.'
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 7:54 pm EST
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Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Father Frank Unterhalt, a diocesan priest of Paderborn, Germany has written an analysis of the new papal encyclical Fratelli Tutti, whose tone of religious indifferentism and the call to universal fraternity reminds him of the language and program of Freemasonry. He also reminds us all that the so-called Sankt Gallen (St. Gallen) Group – a group of progressivist cardinals who unsuccessfully tried to elect then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope in 2005 – played a major role in electing Pope Francis in 2013 and that their goals are now being implemented by Francis.

In his new statement (see full text below), Father Unterhalt makes it clear that this new papal document that is promoting a sense of equality among religions and downplays Catholic beliefs and positions is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching on the unique role of the Catholic Church for the salvation of man.

Reminding us of Nathan the Wise, a play written by the German poet Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Unterhalt points out that it is the goal of Freemasonry to establish a new “brotherhood” in which all religions are equal. This idea also appeared during the French Revolution which was, at its core, deeply anti-Catholic.

These congruences are for Fr. Unterhalt a sign for our “apocalyptic” times.

“In this apocalyptic time of the False Prophecy,” he writes, “in which the diabolical lie is limping around, the Church of the Lord has the duty to proclaim Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the only Savior and true Redeemer.”

Thus, he refuses to follow such a teaching from Pope Francis that does not proclaim Jesus Christ as the only Savior.

For Fr. Unterhalt – a priest who has repeatedly made his public witness against the weakening of the faith – Catholics need to turn to Our Lady, the Mother of God, as a refuge of sinners and a protector against heresies.

He states: “In the lived consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of God, who alone ‘conquered and destroyed all heresies’, we will be able to preserve the purity of faith and clarity of thought and be ready to follow faithfully our crucified and risen Lord, who sent his own to bear witness to the one God and the true Gospel.”

In an August 15 statement published by LifeSiteNews, Unterhalt had pointed out that Our Lady of Fatima already warned us of an apostasy that was to come in the Church and that that apostasy was to start “at the top.”

With this statement and critique of Fratelli Tutti, Father Unterhalt joins the voices of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, both of whom have pointed to resemblances between this new papal document and Freemasonic thought. Both have also rejected the tone of religious indifferentism found in this new text.

Father Unterhalt has been making strong statements in the last years pertaining to the preservation of the Catholic faith. He and his priestly group Communio veritatis opposed, for example, the idea of intercommunion with Protestants; he publicly rebuked the head of the German bishops, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, for adapting the Catholic Church to the zeitgeist; and he condemned the practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand while standing. Unterhalt also rejected Pope Francis’s new rule of giving Holy Communion to adulterers. Once before he encouraged us to remain close to Our Lady, saying, “Many faithful are asking themselves today how one can withstand the current storm of the great test and remain in the true Faith. I would like to answer that with the famous words of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima: ‘My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which leads you to God!’”

Below is the full statement by Father Frank Unterhalt:

A Document in Masonic Mode

The new letter from the Vatican is here — signed politically correct in a sterile manner with the exclusion of the faithful to a large extent. After surfing on the immanent ecowave of the secular climate religion and the pantheistic vision from the fairy-tale Amazon, now the very thick board is to be drilled. In continuation of the embrace with the Grand Imam from Cairo, the present paper Fratelli tutti proclaims the brotherhood of all people.

The brochure delivers — entirely in the spirit of the self-proclaimed “St. Gallen Mafia”[1], whose program was handed over to the author. Even his choice of name and the supposed connection with the saint from Assisi were planned. Cardinal Danneels had testified to this as a member of the circle at a press conference in loquacious hubris.[2]

Later, during the official presentation of his biography, both the massive agitation against Pope Benedict XVI and the enforcement of the selected candidate organized by a network were explicitly mentioned.[3] As a reward at the time, the election coordinator[4] Danneels was allowed to be on the loggia on March 13, 2013. Furthermore, the man from Brussels, who was known as an activist for abortion, homosexuality, same-sex “marriage”[5] and the cover-up of abuse[6], was able to present his intentions as a special envoy (!) at the so-called family synod[7], the consequence of which became the unacceptable text Amoris laetitia.

A major theme of the conspirators from St. Gallen was also syncretism, disguised as “interreligious dialogue in a global framework,” with a striking affinity to Islam and what is called the “Sacred Scriptures.”[8]

Thus we are within the dimension of the present paper Fratelli tutti. Expressly mentioned at the beginning and at the end (Numbers 5 and 285) is the direct connection with the Abu Dhabi Declaration. There, according to the analysis of the renowned philosopher Prof. Josef Seifert, no less than the sum of all heresies was proclaimed[9] and sealed by signature — in the assertion, namely, that the pluralistic diversity of religions corresponds to the will of God. This Magna Charta of ultimate relativism then led to the neo-pagan madness of sacrilegious and blasphemous Pachamama worship in the Vatican[10].

Fratelli tutti tries at the beginning (numbers 1-4) and at the end (number 286) to claim St. Francis of Assisi as the patron saint of a supposed interreligious brotherhood “without borders” by completely distorting his visit to the Sultan in Egypt 800 years ago. This path with the readiness to martyrdom had precisely not the goal of throwing itself at Islam in the desire “to embrace everyone” (number 3), in the noncommittal concealment of the Gospel in a weakening way, but rather in concern for the eternal salvation of souls to call for conversion to the true faith. The Poverello was imbued with the Word of God: “Go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creatures! Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). For this he was literally ready to go through the fire. St. Bonaventure reports that Francis of Assisi “preached to the Sultan with such fearlessness, spirituality and fervor the one triune God and the Savior of all men, Jesus Christ”[11] that the hearer was enormously impressed. The Bulled Rule therefore testifies to the zeal for mission, “that we, always subdued and subjected at the feet of this holy Church, established in the Catholic faith, […] may observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we have firmly promised.”[12]

The author of Fratelli tutti, on the other hand, has repeatedly used his dreaming of “a single human family” (number 8) as an occasion to propagate a religious relativism. This intention was particularly striking in the context of the so-called prayer intention for January 2016, which was combined with a telling video. The symbols of the different religions were shown, equally placed next to each other. The child Jesus was also present — held in a circle next to the other signs in the camera and lined up in sayings of faith in Allah and trust in Buddha.

Former Israeli President Shimon Peres testified on September 4, 2014, after his audience in the Vatican, to his proposal to the Bishop of Rome to “found the ‘United Religions’” — developed out of the United Nations.[13]

The Grand Lodge of Spain, in view of the Christmas address of December 25, 2018, in the Vatican, has already expressed its enthusiasm and, in the name of all Freemasons, has joined the proclaimed “fraternity between men of different religions.”[14] In view of the latest brochure, the same Grand Orient is currently raising an even louder cry of euphoria when it states that in Fratelli tutti “universal fraternity, the great principle of modern Freemasonry,”[15] is now welcomed.

This idea has already been well advanced in the context of the Abu Dhabi Declaration. The Bishop of Rome, following up on the same document, established the so-called “Higher Committee for Human Fraternity” to implement it. The construction project “Abrahamic Family House” has already been launched in Abu Dhabi — an interreligious house with mosque, synagogue and church. The three buildings of the so-called “Abrahamic religions” look similar, are designed with identical dimensions and create the impression of equality. The common ground floor with teaching center connects the temples. The next step to the world-unifying religion is thus not far away.[16]

The Bishop of Rome recently proclaimed that man is obliged to obey the United Nations.[17] Praising its charter, Fratelli tutti has again emphasized this postulate (number 257).

The agenda that took shape in Abu Dhabi is, of course, not new, but the exact implementation of the Masonic ideology in Lessing’s drama “Nathan the Wise,” which is based on the lodges’ creed that truth and religion are relative. In the struggle against the claim to absoluteness of Christ and his Church, Lessing painted in the Parable of the Ring[18] the picture of the supposed fraternal unity of the three so-called “Abrahamic religions,” which in their historical conditionality were only of relative importance and interchangeable — in a manner typical of the rationalist dictate of tolerance of the Enlightenment.

The striving for universal ecumenism of religions has always been a concern of Freemasonry on the way to its actual goal, namely to bring about the breakthrough of that self-constructed religion in which all human beings are supposedly in agreement.[19]

Bishop Dr. Rudolf Graber accurately described the pertinent plan to make religious coexistence “an ecumenical interweaving and thus prepare the one-world-religion in the one-world-state.”[20] The decisive term here is the so-called “synarchy” on the way to a “unified government planned as a counter-church.”[21]

The French Revolution is of particular importance in Masonic strategy. It is striking that Fratelli tutti literally adopts its slogan when the headline of numbers 103 to 105 reads “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.”

A glance at history makes it clear that the aforementioned “Great” Revolution came upon us only externally as a political and social upheaval, but its innermost essence must be described as anti-Christian.[22]

The late Enlightenment philosopher Sylvain Maréchal was one of the initiators of the “Manifesto of Equals” in 1796.[23] He regarded the French Revolution and its bloody reign of terror as merely the “forerunner of another, much larger, much more serious revolution, which will be the last.”[24] The Manifesto already proposed socialism as practical politics at that time and provided decisive ideas to later social revolutionary movements. Karl Marx had been convinced since his Parisian exile years that 1789 was only the prelude to the actual, the communist revolution.[25]

When Fratelli tutti explicitly uses the crisis brought about by Covid-19 as an occasion to express the call “Let us dream, then, as a single human family” (number 8), one should be well aware of the clear statements of those behind the scenes who have already spoken out with the aim of a globalized New World Order.[26]

Bishop Dr. Rudolf Graber aptly summarized the corresponding strategy at the time: “Politically, synarchy strives for the integration of all social and financial powers, which this world government under socialist leadership naturally has to support and promote. Catholicism, like all religions, would therefore be absorbed by a universal syncretism.”[27]

The letter Fratelli tutti makes itself the advocate of all religions in the eighth chapter, when it praises them by emphasizing the plural in “the service of fraternity in our world” (number 271). The concept of religion is here reduced to its immanent function in terms of building a supposedly humane society.

The reader is practically invited to indifferentism when the author quotes the message of the film made about himself, that God’s love is “the same for everyone, regardless of religion. Even if they are atheists, his love is the same” (number 281). Which “God” and which “love” are meant? Here the all-decisive question of truth is completely ignored.

Based on the testimony of Holy Scripture (cf. 1 Tim 2:4), the Declaration Dominus Jesus proclaimed in the Holy Year 2000: “God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth.” [28]

The indifferentism underlying the eighth chapter of Fratelli tutti was sharply rejected by St. John Paul II in his encyclical Redemptoris missio, because that attitude “is characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another.’”[29]

In this apocalyptic time of the False Prophecy, in which the diabolical lie is limping around, the Church of the Lord has the duty[30] to proclaim Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as the only Savior and true Redeemer.

St. Pope John Paul II has pointed this out with great emphasis: “Nowadays the call to conversion which missionaries address to non-Christians is put into question or passed over in silence. It is seen as an act of ‘proselytizing’; it is claimed that it is enough to help people to become more human or more faithful to their own religion, that it is enough to build communities capable of working for justice, freedom, peace and solidarity. What is overlooked is that every person has the right to hear the ‘Good News’ of the God who reveals and gives himself in Christ, so that each one can live out in its fullness his or her proper calling.”[31]

In this time of great apostasy from the true faith (cf. 2 Thess 2:3-8), it is necessary to confess Christ, the king of eternal glory, faithfully and fearlessly with St. Peter before the Sanhedrin: “In no one else is salvation to be found. For there is no other name under heaven given to us men by which we shall be saved” (Acts 4:12).

In the lived consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of God, who alone “conquered and destroyed all heresies,”[32] we will be able to preserve the purity of faith and clarity of thought and be ready to follow faithfully our crucified and risen Lord, who sent his own to bear witness to the one God and the true Gospel: “All power is given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore to all nations, and make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. Be sure: I am with you always, until the end of the world” (Mt 28:18-20).

October 13, 2020
Anniversary of the last apparition in Fatima of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary and Victor in all God’s battles
Fr. Frank Unterhalt

Translation by LifeSite’s Martin Bürger

[1] Cf. Jeanne Smits, “Cardinal Danneels admits being part of clerical ‘Mafia’ that plotted Francis’ election,” in: LifeSiteNews, September 25, 2015.

[2] Cf. Jürgen Mettepenningen, Karim Schelkens, Godfried Danneels: biographie, Dutch edition (e-Book), Kalmthout 2015, chapter 26.

[3] Cf. Amand Timmermans, “Danneels und der Mafiaklub 'Gruppe von Sankt Gallen,'” [“Danneels and the Mafia club 'Sankt Gallen Group'”] in: Katholisches.info, October 5, 2015.

[4] Cf. Walter Pauli, “Godfried Danneels a oeuvré pendant des années à l'élection du pape François,” [“Godfried Danneels has worked for years for the election of Pope Francis”] in: Le Vif, September 23, 2015.

[5] Cf. Jeanne Smits, “Cardinal Danneels congratulated Belgian gvmt for legalizing gay 'marriage,'” in: LifeSiteNews, September 23, 2015.

[6] Cf. Mark Eeckhaut, „En als we nu eens vergiffenis zouden schenken? Hoe kardinaal Danneels probeerde het schandaal-Vangheluwe geheim te houden“, in: Het Nieuwsblad, August 28, 2010.

[7] Cf. Dr. Benjamin Leven, “Wenn Vertuschung scheitert,” [“When Cover-up Fails”] in: Römische Korrespondenz, September 7, 2018.

[8] Cf. Mettepenningen, Schelkens, chapters 22 and 24.

[9] Cf. Dr. Maike Hickson, “Pope asks universities to disseminate his claim ‘diversity of religions’ is ‘willed by God’,” in: LifeSiteNews, March 25, 2019.

[10] Cf. Contra Recentia Sacrilegia. Protest against Pope Francis’ sacrilegious acts.

[11] Bonaventura von Bagnoregio, Legenda Maior – das Große Franziskusleben [The Great Life of Francis], chapter IX,8,6, in: Franziskus-Quellen, Kevelaer 2009, page 745.

[12] Bullierte Regel, chapter 12,4, in: Franziskus-Quellen, page 102.

[13] Cf. Giuseppe Nardi, “Das Video vom Papst – “Das mir nicht gefällt,'” in: Katholisches.info, January 7, 2016.

[14] El Oriente, “Todos los masones del mundo se unen a la petición del Papa por 'la fraternidad entre personas de diversas religiones,'” Segunda época – Número 243.

[15] El Oriente, “El Papa abraza la Fraternidad Universal, el gran principio de la Masonería,” Segunda época – Número 409.

[16] Cf. Giuseppe Nardi, “In Abu Dhabi entsteht der Tempel der Welteinheitsreligion – mit Unterstützung von Papst Franziskus,” [“In Abu Dhabi, the Temple of the One World Religion is being created with the help of Pope Francis”] in: Katholisches.info, November 21, 2019.

[17] Cf. Jeanne Smits, “Vatican gives nod to ‘Abrahamic Family House’ that equates Christianity, Judaism, Islam,” in: LifeSiteNews, September 25, 2019.

[18] Gotthold E. Lessing, Nathan der Weise [Nathan the Wise], Stuttgart 1948, pages 89–97, 3. Aufzug, 7. Auftritt.

[19] Cf. Manfred Adler, Die antichristliche Revolution der Freimaurerei [“The anti-Christian revolution of Freemasonry”], Jestetten 1994 (5th edition), page 166.

[20] Bischof Dr. Rudolf Graber, Athanasius und die Kirche unserer Zeit [“Athanasius and the Church of Our Time”], Abensberg 1987 (11th edition), page 38.

[21] Id., S. 31.

[22] Cf. Manfred Adler, page 24.

[23] Cf. Chronique de la Révolution, [“Chronicle of the Revolution”] Paris 1988, pages 37 and 520.

[24] Heinrich August Winkler, “Zur Wiederholung nicht empfohlen,” [“Not recommended for Repetition”] in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 8, 2017.

[25] Heinrich August Winkler, “Marx und die Folgen. Gedanken zum Wandel der Revolution 1789–1989,” [Marx and the Consequences. Thoughts on the Change of the Revolution”] Opening talk in the series “Nach dem Ende der Illusion: Was bleibt vom Kommunismus im 21. Jahrhundert?,” [“After the End of the Illusion: What Remains of Communism in the 21th Century?”] Humboldt-Universität Berlin, February 7, 2017.

[26] Cf. Dorothy Cummings McLean, “Kissinger: Failure to establish post-Covid new world order ‘could set the world on fire,’” in: LifeSitenews, April 7, 2020; Cf. Martin Bürger, “Bill Gates: Life won’t go back to ‘normal’ until population ‘widely vaccinated,’” LifeSiteNews, April 6, 2020.

[27] Bischof Dr. Rudolf Graber, page 33.

[28] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Dominus Jesus. On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, August 6, 2000, number 22.

[29] Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Redemptoris missio, number 36.

[30] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 851; Cf. CIC, can. 781.

[31] Papst John Paul II, number 46.

[32] Louis de Montfort, Abhandlung von der Wahren Andacht zur allerseligsten Jungfrau Maria [“On the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary”], II, 2, in: Das Goldene Buch, Feldkirch 1987, page 120.


  catholic, fratelli tutti, freemasonry, germany, pope francis

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China has bought and paid for Joe Biden and his entire family

Even if Joe Biden comes to understand the mortal threat the Chinese Communist Party poses to America, he’s in too deep to extricate himself and his family.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 5:28 pm EST
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Vice President Joe Biden meets Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013. Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
Steven Mosher Steven Mosher Follow Steven
By Steven Mosher

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In the classic movie The Manchurian Candidate, an American prisoner of war is brainwashed by the Chinese Communist Party into becoming an unwitting assassin of an anti-communist presidential candidate.

Leave it to Hollywood to sensationalize everything. 

While the Chinese Communist Party is a master at brainwashing, and is certainly not averse to assassinations, it has long followed a simpler script where American politicians are concerned. The preferred ploy is for Party operatives to offer a politico’s immediate family members sweetheart business deals. The expectation is that the paterfamilias will then toe Beijing’s line — or else.

Both 2020 presidential candidates have been offered such barely disguised bribes. One candidate’s son-in-law was offered a half-billion-dollar “investment” into his family’s real estate firm. Jared Kushner — recognizing a bribe for what it was — sent the CCP operative packing. The other candidate’s son accepted a $1.5-billion “investment.” Then Hunter Biden went back to China at least five times for more.

Nobody pays useless money to a drug addict. The intended recipient of this largess was obviously “Pop” Joe Biden.

Now “Pop” says that he knows nothing — zip, zilch, nada — about his son’s business dealings in China and elsewhere. Son Hunter, on the other hand, complains in an email extracted from his defunct laptop that he has to give half of his earnings to “Pop.” 

Dead computers don’t lie. 

There’s one fact that jumps out from Biden’s record as vice president: wherever Obama puts him in charge of foreign policy as “point man,” whether it be Iraq, Russia, Ukraine, or China, America loses, and the Biden Family wins. 

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, doesn’t mince words about what he calls the Biden Crime Family. “What Hunter Biden is is a bagman,” says Giuliani. “I’ve prosecuted many cases like this. He’s collecting Joe’s bribes that come to about $12 million from the Ukraine and $3.5 million from Russia. But the really big money comes from China. And the amount of money involved is literally in the tens of millions of dollars.”

One leaked investigative report summarizes Hunter’s many business deals in China. To take just one example, his private equity deal called BHR, originally worth $1.5 billion, is now worth an estimated $6.5 billion. BHR is probably generating about $130 million a year in fees, of which 10 percent, or $13 million, would go to Hunter. According to Hunter’s email, half of this — or $6.5 million — would have to be turned over to “Pop.”

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But the real big money will come when the Bidens sell their 10-percent stake in BHR, which at current valuations would be worth some $650 million. In actual fact, however, it will be worth whatever the CCP decides to pay the Bidens for it.

Giuliani sums up by saying, “[Joe Biden]’s asking to be president of the U.S. and he’s in partnership with the Chinese Communist Party. The Biden Family is owned by the Chinese Communist Party.”

What did the Chinese Communist Party receive in return for its investment in the then–vice president?

First of all, they bought the services of a first-rate propagandist. Vice President Biden eagerly spread the the myth not only that China’s rise was inevitable, but that the United States should welcome it. In fact, he has spent most of the past quarter-century attempting to sell Americans on the idea that “a rising China is an incredibly positive development for not only China, but for the U.S. and the rest of the world.”

At the same time, Biden took a dive on the human rights front, soft-pedaling the CCP’s many abuses. When he did speak out in public, it was often to apologize for the CCP’s misbehavior, as when he said on a visit to China that he “understood” the need for the brutal one-child policy.

Biden delivered again as the “point man” on the “Pivot to Asia,” which was intended to reassure our allies in the region that the U.S. was there to stay. Yet as China militarized the South China Sea and tried to bully smaller neighbors such as the Philippines and Vietnam into accepting its claims, Biden was missing in action. By the time he left office, the CCP had fortified its artificial islands, and the U.S. was widely regarded as in retreat. 

Another payback to the CCP came in May 2013, when the then-V.P. helped engineer a “memorandum of understanding” with the PRC that exempted Chinese corporations from U.S. securities statutes and regulations. This gave CCP-controlled firms an advantage over American firms listed in U.S. stock exchanges by exempting them from independent audits. This meant that the Party could raise trillions from our debt and equity markets on preferential terms. To put it bluntly, it allowed CCP corporations to cheat unsuspecting U.S. investors out of their money by cooking their books.

Since leaving office, even as the danger that China poses to the United States and the world has become ever more apparent, the former vice president has continued his apology tour on behalf of the PRC. Right now, as China steals our jobs and our technology and sickens the world with the coronavirus, Joe Biden still won’t stand up to it. He has dismissed China’s threat to American national security and jobs, claiming as recently as 2019 that China is not bad and not competition.

Instead, he seems bent upon surrendering to China. He intends to lift President Trump’s tariffs on China without getting anything in return. He will tax American companies at a higher rate than Communist China does, which will lead to millions of American jobs shipped to Beijing. He has even promised to restore funding to the World Health Organization — the same WHO that collaborated with the CCP in covering up the spread of the coronavirus.

Even if Joe Biden comes to understand the mortal threat that the CCP poses to America, he’s in too deep to extricate himself and his family. The CCP could easily leak the details of the deals it has struck with the Biden Crime Family if he tries to get tough on China. Worse yet, it could leak the sex and drug tapes that it reportedly has of Hunter Biden in China doing what Hunter Biden does.

Biden is the real Manchurian candidate. His assignment is not to assassinate his anti-communist opponent, but to defeat him in the upcoming election. 

If Biden wins, China wins, and America loses.

Steven W. Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.


  2020 election, china, joe biden

Blogs

USA Today article by former pro-lifer shows ignorance of pro-life position

Pro-life apologists have spent an enormous amount of time dealing with precisely the issue the Shannon Dingle accuses the pro-life movement of ignoring entirely.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 4:10 pm EST
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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On October 11, USA Today published a hard-hitting editorial titled “I was in the pro-life movement. But then, widowed with 6 kids, I prepared for an abortion.” The piece was clearly intended to be both a rebuke to the pro-life movement as well as evidence that pro-lifers are primarily motivated by ignorance of real-world situations, and timed to sync up with the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, in which Roe v. Wade would predictably take center-stage.

The column, written by Shannon Dingle, is heartbreaking to read. On vacation with their six children last summer, her husband was killed in a freak accident at the beach after a wave knocked him over and broke his neck. Widowed with a young family, Dingle was grief-stricken and overwhelmed. And then she discovered that she was pregnant, with chronic health conditions that would complicate things further.

Her response was immediate: “I knew I couldn’t have this baby. I didn’t know how to be a single mom of six, so a seventh child was unthinkable, if I even survived the pregnancy. And my kids couldn’t lose another parent.”

Dingle’s point in this is not that there are incredibly difficult circumstances facing pregnant women, and that there are scenarios in which a pro-life ethic means treating women even though the treatment could threaten the life or health of her pre-born child. Rather, the point of her column is that pro-lifers are allegedly unaware of these circumstances. Her evidence for this, it turns out, is that she had apparently been involved in pro-life events without actually thinking about the implications of the pro-life worldview or considering real-world situations.

“I had been a pro-life speaker for events sponsored by Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission,” she wrote. “By mid-2016 my views had begun to change, yet three years later, some of that rhetoric rose within me. I worried, what if people offering us help would rescind those offers if they found out what I was considering? I wondered, would my living children hate me because I chose us over the pregnancy of another child?”

In short: “This is how you think when you’ve been groomed by the pro-life movement to see pregnancy in black and white with no room for gray … I’m not pro-life anymore, not in the political sense. I firmly believe that decisions regarding pregnancy should be between a patient and doctor, not predetermined impersonally by a mostly male governing body. My body shouldn’t be up for public debate.”

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I’m not sure which pro-life movement Dingle was involved with, but her ignorance regarding the pro-life position should not be taken as an accurate representation of what pro-life apologists have to say on the matter. The organization I work for, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, lays out ethical responses to dangerous pregnancies on our website and we regularly discuss these situations with people we speak to on the streets. Pro-life apologists like Randy Alcorn, Stephanie Gray, Scott Klusendorf, Robert P. George, and numerous others have spent an enormous amount of time dealing with precisely the issue Dingle accuses the pro-life movement of ignoring entirely.

If Dingle was “groomed” by the pro-life movement to believe that there are no difficult circumstances, or that people would hate her if she made the wrong choice, or that people would abandon a widow for doing something she disagreed with, then I feel genuinely sorry for her. That is not the pro-life movement I know, and if she had reached out to almost any group that I know of, she would have received the advice and the help that she sought. That advice would have been informed by ethics — and real-world situations.

Dingle then writes that she lost the child through miscarriage, and ends her column with a declaration that any pro-life activist could have written: “Caricatures make for good propaganda but terrible policy. People, real people, become pregnant. And those people each carry their own stories, nuanced and unique. Propaganda is easy. Twitter insults from anonymous accounts are too. But people, real people, have real stories, like mine. My story is heartbreaking. Telling it is tender. But I need you to understand that real people like me are living real stories.”

Dingle’s story is both tragic and heartbreaking. But I wish she understood that in the real pro-life movement—not the one she caricatured in her column--pro-life activists are speaking with tens of thousands of real people every single day. We are hearing their real stories. They tell us those stories. And we are there to help in any circumstance. Perhaps it came as a shock to Dingle that there were soul-crushing circumstances that could push someone into considering abortion even when they shuddered at the thought. It would not have come as a shock to any of the frontline pro-life activists that I know.

We’ve heard all of these stories before. Those stories are the reason we keep on doing this work.

Jonathon’s podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, Dr. Michael New, a research scholar, joins Jonathon to discuss how a Democratic Presidency impacts abortion rates, and what would happen is Joe Biden was to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below:


  abortion, pro-life movement, shannon dingle, usa today

Blogs

Big Tech censorship of political news could undermine 2020 election

The hubris of the technology companies at this point is staggering, and it seems to have blinded them to some pretty obvious problems with what they are doing.
Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 12:01 pm EST
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By Dr. Joseph Shaw

October 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Some weird things have been happening online recently. If you search for certain words or phrases on Google, you are directed not to the website or news story about the thing you are searching for, but a series of sources attacking or debunking it. When you try to post about certain things on Twitter or Facebook, your followers see your words accompanied by a link to an article attacking what, according to some algorithm, you may be promoting, or else you can find yourself suspended or banned from the platform.

I’m not talking about searching for racist political parties, pornography, or how to make a bomb. This happened to the ‘Great Barrington Declaration’, a statement by a group of scientists about government policy on the coronavirus. Even with the weight of the New York Post behind it, a major story about Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, disappeared from social media and Google results. Even tweets by President Donald Trump have been vanishing. Rather than expressing concern over this, or countering its effects, mainstream media outlets have in many cases been following the tech companies’ lead in burying particular stories.

This is not wholly new. If you type ‘Hillary Clinton’ into Google, masses of suggested searches pop up. If you type “Hillary Clinton e”, the suggestions suddenly disappear. It’s because you might be about to search for a forbidden topic: the 2016 Presidential candidate’s alleged carelessness with confidential emails.

One odd thing about this is that because it is all done by algorithms—even if the algorithms have themselves been manipulated—it makes no difference if you want to read people defending Hillary Clinton or attacking her on the emails issue. Twitter doesn’t know if you are praising the Great Barrington Declaration or criticizing it. The effect is less to direct a specific debate, but to silence it, which itself serves to distort the wider debate. It means, in fact, that an open debate about the pros and cons of different strategies to combat the epidemic, or the best presidential candidate, is rendered impossible.

As I have written on LifeSite before, I am far from being a free-speech absolutist. My view is that these questions have to be addressed on the basis of prudence. Is this kind of censorship a good idea? What are the effects going to be? 

The hubris of the technology companies at this point is staggering, and it seems to have blinded them to some pretty obvious problems with what they are doing. Assuming they want to help Joe Biden win the presidential election, they really need to think a little further than election day and ask themselves if they want a lot of people who’d supported the other side to come away with the impression that the election had not been won fairly. In any reasonably close election there will be parts of the country overwhelmingly opposed to the winner, and it is essential to the functioning of any state that they accept the legitimacy of the outcome, even if they don’t like it. Wholesale censorship by partisan, private actors who have found themselves in the position of gatekeepers of the internet is going to undermine the popular mandate of their favored candidate, even if he wins.

Similarly, whether it is the coronavirus, global warming, or the safety of vaccines, a widespread impression that our digital masters have stifled the debate is a terrible outcome, because it creates the ideal environment for conspiracy theories.

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On none of the substantive issues I have mentioned do I, personally, have the expertise to judge who is right and who is wrong. Then again, I don’t have the expertise to know what the best washing machine might be, let alone what car to buy, and I could easily be deceived by a clever salesman. The way we manage this problem is to allow a debate between experts, and indeed people claiming to be experts, and commentary on their arguments by journalists and popular writers who may know a bit more than we do. In this way a wide range of considerations have some chance of influencing decision-making, from ordinary folks choosing a car, to politicians determining policies. Perhaps Big Tech thinks it can do us a favor by taking one side out of certain debates because it is wrong, but even if it iswrong, the effect of this censorship is to deprive us of the debate.

I never thought I’d have to defend the right of journalists, scientists, and politicians, to argue out the most important issues of the day, about ordinary, empirical, topics. But we have got to the point where it is not the government, but corporations keen to protect elite views from criticism, who are posing a threat, a threat not to some outlandishly extreme conception of free speech, but to the basic mechanisms of civil society.


  2020 election, big tech, big tech censorship, google censoring, online censorship, social media bias, twitter censorship

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Episodes Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 4:37 pm EST

The age of martyrdom is coming to US Catholics

By Mother Miriam
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To help keep this and other programs on the air, please donate here.

Watch this episode of Mother Miriam's Live originally aired on 10.19.2020. In today’s episode, Mother Miriam shares an article written by Fr. John Hardon on the age of martyrdom of the 20th century. Mother points out that this article still applies today as society continues to make it more and more difficult to truly live our Catholic faith.

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