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News

Pope Francis opens up formerly male liturgical roles to women

Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 9:28 pm EST
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giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com
David McLoone David McLoone Follow
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VATICAN CITY, Italy, January 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In a newly released motu proprio, “Spiritus Domini,” Pope Francis permits the liturgical institution of female lectors and acolytes, rewriting canon law in the process. The ministries of lector and acolyte (formerly minor orders) are important stepping stones on the journey of a seminary candidate towars his eventual receipt of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

The motu proprio, released Monday, effects a direct change on canon 230, §1, which, until Sunday, stated:

Lay men who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of the conference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical rite to the ministries of lector and acolyte.

Nevertheless, the conferral of these ministries does not grant them the right to obtain support or remuneration from the Church.

The law now reads:

Lay persons of suitable age and with the gifts determined by decree of the Episcopal Conference may be permanently assigned, by means of the established liturgical rite, to the ministries of lectors and acolytes; however, the conferment of such a role does not entitle them to support or remuneration from the Church.

The ministries of lector and acolyte are part of the priestly formation process in seminaries. It is required that candidates for the priesthood receive the ministries of lector and acolyte before they are admitted to Holy Orders as a preparation for serving at the altar, according to Pope Paul VI’s motu proprio Ministeria Quaedam.

Pope Paul writes that “Candidates for the diaconate and for the priesthood must receive the ministries of lector and acolyte, if they have not already done so, and exercise them for a suitable period of time, so that they are better disposed to future services of the word and the altar.”

Canon 1035, §1 confirms this with the following: “Before anyone is promoted to the permanent or transitional diaconate, he is required to have received the ministries of lector and acolyte and to have exercised them for a suitable period of time.”

While Pope Paul does also write that the laity are not excluded from these ministries “so that they are no longer considered as reserved for candidates to the sacrament of Holy Orders,” he adds that the “institution of the Reader and the Acolyte, according to the venerable tradition of the Church, is reserved for men.”

The former iteration of canon 230, §1 had taken its form from Ministeria Quaedam.

Paul VI, in creating the ministries of lector and acolyte, incorporated the historical major order of subdeacon, the stage immediately prior to deacon and then priest, into the role of lector and acolyte. Whilst this does not mean that the newly instituted ministries were ever considered major orders, it does mean that the functions associated with the now largely ignored major order of subdeacon were subsumed by lector and acolyte.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, popular Catholic writer Deacon Nick Donnelly explained the Church’s ancient tradition of male lectors and acolytes:

Even though girls and women have acted as readers and altar servers for decades in some countries, this is not the same thing as formal institution into the ministries of lector and acolyte.  It is an ancient tradition of the Church that institution into these ministries is reserved solely to men, reflecting Christ’s explicit choice of men as apostles. From the earliest days of the Church the ministries of lector and acolyte have been intimately associated with the sacred ministers of the altar — bishops, priests and deacons.

Continuing with his explanation of the Church’s tradition, Donnelly noted that “[t]his close association of lector and acolyte with the episcopate, presbyterate and diaconate is reflected in the fact that their reception remains a necessary requirement for candidates to Holy Orders.”

“It is therefore ‘technically correct’ but misleading for Pope Francis to state that these ministries are ‘essentially distinct from the ordained ministry received in the Sacrament of Orders.’” Donnelly expressed his fear that this could be “the first step in formally unraveling and discarding this sacred Tradition by incremental steps towards the long term goal of the faux-ordination of women. Ultimately, it could lead to the repudiation of Our Lord’s reservation of the apostolic ministry to men.”

Distinguished theologian and regular contributor to LifeSiteNews Dr. Peter Kwasniewski told LifeSite that Francis has let “the Zeitgeist inform the Church” in relation to the new motu proprio. “[T]he pope shows himself to be completely at the mercy of long-discredited liturgical ideologies that confuse egalitarianism with baptismal dignity and involvement in ministries with actual participation,” he added.

Kwasniewski sees the attempted move to incorporate women into liturgical ministry as “a kind of sop thrown to the feminists in the Church, which, of course, will not satisfy them, since the ‘holy grail’ is the priesthood or even the episcopacy.”

He does, however, see an unintended benefit arising from the change in canon law, insofar as it is “now clear past all doubt that the two ‘ministries’ of acolyte and lector are not, in fact, the historical continuation of the minor orders of the same names, but merely provisional substitutes. If anything, this will make it even easier to revive the minor orders across the Church when we have a pope someday who cares about continuity with Catholic tradition.”

To accompany the new motu proprio, Pope Francis penned a letter, addressed to the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Cardinal Ladaria. In his letter, the Pope asserts that there is “an ever greater urgency today to rediscover the co-responsibility of all the baptized in the Church, and especially the mission of the laity.”

Taking from the Amazon Synod, Francis urged “the need to think about ‘new paths for ecclesial ministeriality.’ Not only for the Amazonian Church, but for the whole Church, in the variety of situations.”

Focusing his attention on the institution of female ministers, Francis quoted again from the Amazon Synod, saying “it is urgent that ministries be promoted and conferred on men and women[.] ... It is the Church of baptized men and women that we must consolidate by promoting ministry and, above all, the awareness of baptismal dignity.”

Well known German Catholic theologian and canon lawyer Thomas Schüller claimed last year that Pope Francis is moving toward conferring on women “real leadership positions” in the Church, evidenced by his post-synodal exhortation Querida Amazonia (Q.A.).

In Q.A. section 101, the Pope speaks of the “two human faces” of God: “the face of his divine Son made man and the face of a creature, a woman, Mary. Women make their contribution to the Church in a way that is properly theirs, by making present the tender strength of Mary, the Mother.”

Drawing from Francis’s words, Schüller posits that “there had taken place a two-fold divine incarnational event, a male one in Jesus Christ with its continuation in those men who work as clergymen, and a female one in Mary which empowers women to be tender and powerful witnesses of the Gospel. Both are said to be faces of God.”

He adds that “the ordained men — excluding the deacons according to a decision by Pope Benedict XVI — are acting in persona Christi capitis, while the women are acting in persona Mariae, in order to rule with tenderness and proclaim the Gospel in an inspired manner.”

LifeSiteNews’s Dr. Maike Hickson notes that Schüller’s reading of Francis would lead to a restriction of men to ministers of Penance, the Eucharist, and Extreme Unction, giving way to women as “prominent figures even on the altar during the Holy Mass by giving the homilies and by other prophetic roles of proclamation.”

Schüller goes so far as to claim that Francis believes that “women, without doubt, are already and continue to be able to be bearers of authority of jurisdiction, that is to say of real authority of governance.”

Pope Francis has already appointed a number of women to important roles in the Roman Curia, such as Dr. Raffaella Vincenti as head of the Vatican Apostolic Library and Prof. Antonella Sciarrone Alibrandi as a member of the Financial Information Authority board, affording some credence to Schüller’s reading of Q.A.

The prominent liturgical role of women envisaged (and now legalized) by Francis stands in stark contrast with the authoritative and inerrant writings of St. Paul, teaching through the Sacred Scriptures. First Corinthians reads: “Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be subject, as also the law saith. But if they would learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church” (DRB, 1 Cor. 14:34-35).


  amazon synod, catholic, feminism, motu proprio, ordination of women, pope francis, spiritus domini

News

Supreme Court rules hospital may not kill baby girl on life support

The Texas hospital has been trying to cut off Tinslee Lewis's life-sustaining treatment, against her mother's wishes, for some time.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 9:14 pm EST
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Tinslee Lewis in Cook Children’s Medical Center, in Fort Worth, Texas.
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews)  — The Supreme Court of the United States rejected a preliminary plea of Cook Children’s Medical Center to pull the plug on Baby Tinslee Lewis against her mother’s will. Baby Tinslee’s fight for her life began November 2019 when the Fort Worth hospital moved to end the child’s life against her mother’s will under the deadly Texas 10-Day Rule. Her court case struck a massive blow to the anti-Life statute in a Texas appeals court, and Cook Children’s sought to overturn the decision. Every higher court since, including now the U.S. Supreme Court, has prevented the hospital from unilaterally removing Tinslee’s life-sustaining treatment over her mother’s objection.

The opinion against the 10-Day Rule still stands, and the case will now return to the lower court for final adjudication on the merits. 

During trial, a judge will consider: 

  • Are the rights of Baby Tinslee being violated?
  • Should a hospital have unilateral authority to withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment from a patient against the will of the patient/surrogate?
  • Do patients have any due process rights in these situations?
  • Is the 10-Day Rule of the Texas Advance Directives Act (Section 166.046 Health & Safety Code) unconstitutional?

The date of the trial has not yet been decided by the 48th District Court. If the district court rules in favor of Tinslee, the hospital will permanently be disallowed from removing the child’s ventilator and medical treatment against her mother’s will. Additionally, hospitals across Texas could no longer use the 10-Day Rule to hasten patients’ deaths. Texas Right to Life saw a massive increase in hospitals’ use of the 10-Day Rule during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now, as the Texas Legislature convenes tomorrow for the 2021 legislative session, all eyes look to state lawmakers to abolish the countdown placed on patients’ lives. Today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court signals to legislators they should be extremely skeptical of the current law, just like the Second Court of Appeals, the governor, the attorney general, and dozens of disability rights and faith leaders. Texans should contact their state legislators here to end the deadly 10-Day Rule to protect patients like Baby Tinslee.


  courts, euthanasia, good news, modern medicine, supreme court, texas, texas right to life, tinslee lewis

News

‘Protest against fascism’: Limbaugh, Levin, Gutfeld abandon Twitter after Trump booted

'I have suspended my own Twitter account in protest against Twitter’s fascism.'
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 9:07 pm EST
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rafapress / Shutterstock.com
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A number of prominent conservatives are expressing outrage over Twitter permanently suspending President Donald Trump’s account last week by voluntarily abandoning the social media platform.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh deactivated his Twitter account on January 8, the same day that Twitter permanently banned Trump from its social media platform, no longer allowing the president to reach his 88 million followers. Limbaugh had over half a million followers.

Fox host and conservative commentator Mark Levin stated on Friday that he had “suspended” his own Twitter, which has 2.6 million followers, in “protest against Twitter’s fascism.” He left his account active, however, and has not tweeted since his Jan. 8 announcement.

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld also abandoned his Twitter account on Saturday, saying in a tweet that this would be his “last tweet.” He also left his account active but said he would not use it anymore.

Fox hosts Lou Dobbs also stated on Jan. 9 that he was going to withdraw from Twitter and go to Parler but backtracked after Big Tech took Parler offline.

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“I don’t believe any American should ever tolerate those who deny us freedom of speech or who would ever be so arrogant as to censor our President,” Dobbs had tweeted on Saturday. “I’m withdrawing from Twitter as of right now.”

Conservative Twitter users have also noticed a dramatic plunge in the number of people following their accounts, with some suddenly losing thousands of followers. A number of conservative voices have also suddenly disappeared from the social media platform, such as the account for Stop the Steal.

Germany's Angela Merkel criticized Twitter for shutting down President Trump’s account, calling it “problematic.”

Shares of Twitter dropped 12 percent after the market opened on Monday. Twitter shares reached a low of $45.17 compared to $51.48 on Jan. 8. The social media company has lost $5 billion in market value.

A screen grab of Trump’s last tweets is available below. 

Image
Screen grab of President Donald Trump's last tweets before Twitter suspended his account on Jan. 8, 2021.

  angela merkel, parler, rush limbaugh, twitter, twitter censorship

News

The full list of President Trump’s accomplishments shows why leftists are so desperate to ‘unperson’ him

As the world focuses on the deletion of Trump’s accounts from the most prominent social media sites, LifeSite presents these lists so that Trump’s pro-life, pro-family accomplishments are not forgotten.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 8:32 pm EST
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President Donald J. Trump salutes and First Lady Melania Trump places her hand on her heart as the United States Air Force Academy Concert Band performs the National Anthem during a Fourth of July celebration Friday, July 3, 2020, at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, S.D. Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks / White House Flickr page
LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff

ANALYSIS

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite the fact that President Donald Trump has only 10 days left in office, the left is trying to impeach him yet again, saying that by urging protestors to “peacefully” march to the U.S. Capitol Trump “incited” an “insurrection.” There is also a coordinated effort banning him from almost all social media, showing that perhaps the leader of the free world isn’t necessarily the most powerful person in the world. Why is there such an effort to “unperson” him, to borrow a term from George Orwell’s prophetic 1984?

LifeSiteNews has reported on all aspects of Trump’s presidency as related to life, family, and culture issues. Despite Trump’s support of same-sex “marriage,” which we have never tried to sugarcoat or gloss over, he has nevertheless been a stalwart defender of unborn children, a thorn in Planned Parenthood’s side, and he has strongly defended religious liberty. Here we present a list of his accomplishments for the pro-life and pro-family movement as well as America in general. Much of this list is compiled using information from the Family Research Council, the Susan B. Anthony List, the Trump administration itself, and previous LifeSite coverage.

In addition to the below accomplishments, Trump also kept the U.S. out of new wars; brokered historic peace deals in the Middle East; oversaw record economic growth and employment numbers; axed the Obamacare individual mandate which forced people to buy expensive, low-quality, and often pro-abortion health plans; and signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in history. Under Trump, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history and many drug companies froze or reversed planned price increases.

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Also notable is the fact that Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord and the U.S.-Iran Deal, both of which were pushed by far-left radicals. The pro-abortion Paris Climate Accord includes language “designed to promote abortion and contraception,” as Voice of the Family put it. It is also premised on dubious “climate change” science and undermines national sovereignty.

Joe Biden has said he will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and has promised to implement the left’s long wish-list, which includes laws (particularly the so-called Equality Act) and/or executive orders protecting abortion on demand, transgenderism in civil rights law, and forcing Americans to violate their consciences as related to abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriage,” and transgender confusion.

Additionally, Trump has made numerous strong statements about national sovereignty and the role of Christianity in the public square. These include his pro-God Poland speech and Christmas messages about the birth of Jesus which have gone viral.

He has also pushed back against political correctness and the divisive, anti-human “critical race theory” that undergirds it. And during the coronavirus crisis as leftist governors tried to ban people from going to church (among other normal and necessary activities) while keeping marijuana shops and abortion centers open, Trump spoke out in favor of religious freedom, calling places of worship “essential.”

As the world focuses on the deletion of Trump’s accounts from the most prominent social media sites, LifeSite presents these lists so that Trump’s pro-life, pro-family accomplishments are not forgotten. They are long lists, but worth reading all the way through.

Broad pro-life accomplishments

An important part of being pro-life is protecting the rights of people with disabilities

The above-mentioned Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has taken many actions to protect the rights of vulnerable people, particularly those with disabilities. It is this office that was part of the Trump administration’s efforts to get California and Vermont to comply with laws protecting conscience rights in healthcare, and its intervention to ensure people hospitalized with the coronavirus had access to a priest and the Last Rites.

Below is a list from OCR of its many accomplishments in the area of protecting and helping Americans with disabilities. Many of these also intersect with bioethics, like the rationing of healthcare. OCR compiled this list in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Defending Rights and Supporting Critical Needs During COVID-19

  • Awarding Funding to Address the Needs of Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Responses: CDC has awarded $3 million in COVID-19 funding to support the development of resources for people with disabilities who have extreme low literacy and the creation of national standards to inform emergency response communications for reaching people with disabilities. CDC also awarded $10 million in COVID-19 funding to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities to address the needs of Americans with disabilities in COVID-19 preparedness, planning, mitigation, and recovery efforts.
  • Unprecedented Support for Independent Living: Through the CARES Act, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) awarded an unprecedented $85 million in direct funding to more than 350 Centers for Independent Living (CILs), community-based organizations led by individuals with disabilities. With this funding, individuals received food and prepared meals, personal care and basic home items, personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves to ensure continuity of support services, housing assistance, and alternative transportation for medical appointments. CILs also transformed direct services to include virtual options and supported people with disabilities by providing access to technology and the Internet.
  • Guidance on Disability Rights Protections: In March 2020, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Bulletin on Civil Rights laws and HIPAA during the COVID-19 pandemic, reminding covered entities of their obligations to provide effective communications and reasonable modifications to persons with disabilities. This follows emergency guidance issued in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
  • Preventing Disability Discrimination in Triage Decisions: In April 2020, OCR resolved a complaint against Pennsylvania after the state revised its interim Crisis Standards of Care to prevent disability discrimination in triaging of vital health care.
  • Preventing Disability Discrimination in Ventilator Allocation Decisions During COVID-19: In April 2020, OCR resolved a complaint with the state of Alabama concerning ventilator rationing guidelines that categorically excluded persons with profound intellectual disabilities.
  • Preventing Disability Discrimination in Hospital “No Visitor” Policies During COVID-19: In June 2020, OCR resolved a complaint with the state of Connecticut after the state issued an executive order on no-visitor policies in hospitals to ensure these policies do not deny reasonable access to needed support persons for people with disabilities. OCR also resolved a complaint with Hartford Hospital after it agreed to grant a 73-year-old woman with aphasia access to support persons to help with her communication and comprehension in her treatment.
  • Protecting Rights and Preventing Abuse in Long-Term Care: ACL began issuing guidance in March to help State Long-Term Care Ombudsmen continue working to protect the health, welfare, and rights of nursing home residents, most of whom are protected under the ADA.
  • Protecting Against Disability Discrimination in State Triage Plan: In June 2020, OCR resolved a complaint against Tennessee after it updated its crisis standards of care plan to ensure that the criteria does not discriminate against persons based on disability or age. Through technical assistance, the state updated its policies to ensure that hospitals do not deny life-saving care during a crisis based on stereotypes about disabilities or other impermissible factors.

Protecting Rights in Healthcare

  • Access to Health Care for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: In February 2019, OCR resolved a case in North Carolina alleging discrimination against an individual with autism who was deemed ineligible to be on a heart transplant wait list because of his disability. After OCR intervened in the case, the medical facility reversed course and allowed the individual to be eligible for the waiting list.
  • Access to Sign Language Interpreter for Deaf Child: In July 2019, OCR resolved a case with Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute to protect a 6-year-old patient’s rights to effective communication while attending physical therapy sessions.

Preventing Discrimination in Human Services

Empowering Americans with Disabilities to Live in the Community

  • Helping Veterans with Disabilities Remain in Their Homes: ACL has worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand the Veteran-Directed Care program, which allows veterans to use VA benefits to work with ACL-supported aging and disability networks to access the services they need to live independently.
  • Training and Assistance under the ADA: ACL’s ADA National Network provides training and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2019, the Network hosted over 1,100 training activities and nearly 17,000 individual consultations with people with disabilities, agencies, businesses, and state and local governments. During the pandemic, the ADA Network has provided technical assistance to consumers and employers on the implications for disability-related services and return to work.
  • Promoting Innovation to Combat Isolation: In partnership with the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, ACL launched a prize competition to combat social isolation for people with disabilities, veterans and older adults. The Mobilizing and Empowering the Nation and Technology to Address Loneliness & social isolation (MENTAL) Health Innovation Challenge will award $750,000 in prizes for development of an easy-to-use online system that offers recommendations for programs, activities, and resources that can help users connect to others and engage in the community, based on their individual needs, interests, and abilities. The winning system will be announced and demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2021 and will become the centerpiece of a national public awareness campaign.
  • Improving Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS) in Medicaid: CMS issued several pieces of guidance to assist states in implementing the criteria defining a home and community-based setting, balancing the need to ensure settings facilitate and empower beneficiary autonomy and community integration with the need to ensure a workable implementation approach for states and providers. CMS has developed an HCBS quality framework, strategy, and work plan to align and coordinate activities within CMS and with other partners related to HCBS quality measurement, in order to ensure the health and safety of people receiving HCBS; promote high-quality and accessible HCBS; and promote value-based care and services for people receiving HCBS.
  • A New Center to Combat Health Inequities: In September 2019, ACL launched the Center for Human Dignity in Healthcare for Individuals with Disabilities to reduce life-limiting healthcare inequities faced by people with disabilities. The center, based at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center at the University of Cincinnati, increases education around four focus areas: Prenatal Genetic Testing, Mental Health and Suicidality, Organ Transplantation and Aging and End of Life. The Center is conducting an analysis to identify gaps and investigate the impact of discrimination and disparities on the medical treatment outcomes of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). In response to COVID-19, the Center developed two fact sheets on medical discrimination: one for people with disabilities and one for medical practitioners.
  • Promoting Physical Activity for Americans with Disabilities: ACL refocused the I Can Do It program, returning it to its roots as a program that partners with schools to encourage and support physical activity for children with disabilities.

Expanding Work Opportunities

  • A First-Ever Task Force to Boost Employment for Americans with Disabilities: ACL launched a historic government-wide task force focused on expanding employment for Americans with disabilities, to build on the historically low unemployment rates for Americans with disabilities in the booming Trump economy before COVID-19. Fourteen federal agencies actively participate in the task force’s work on key issues, particularly the removal of barriers that inhibit employment and, recently, the anticipated difficulty of post-COVID-19 employment and reentry.
  • A Prize to Boost Private-Sector Support for Employment: As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2019, ACL announced a national prize competition, Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Business, which drew nearly 60 applicants from the private and nonprofit sectors to create and operationalize innovative and market-disruptive approaches to recruiting, retaining, and advancing employees with disabilities. Five Round One prize winners were announced in April 2020 and are currently preparing to pilot their proposed models in the fall of this year.

Improving Healthcare

  • New Wheelchair Options in Medicare: Medicare expanded coding and increased payments for complex rehabilitative wheelchairs to ensure access to newer, expensive complex rehabilitative wheelchair options and accessories.
  • Broader Access to Therapy: Medicare allowed therapy assistants (rather than only therapists) to perform maintenance therapy under the Medicare home health benefit starting in 2020, helping to expand access to this important service for all beneficiaries, including individuals with disabilities.
  • Reforming Payment for Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries with Disabilities: Starting in 2017, CMS modified the Medicare risk adjustment model used to pay beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans to have separate factors for disabled (versus aged) beneficiaries, to better reflect their expected cost to the plans, allowing payments to be better targeted to plans based on the cost of their enrollees.
  • Expanding More Flexible Preventive Services: For 2018, CMS finalized billing codes for “prolonged preventive services,” allowing for additional Medicare payment for preventive service visits that extend beyond the typical time, which can be important for beneficiaries with mobility or cognitive disabilities who may take extra time to complete these visits.
  • Closing the Life Expectancy Gap: In June 2020, ACL announced a funding opportunity to improve health outcomes for the ID/DD population, who have significantly lower life expectancy than their non-ID/DD peers. Funding will support a national consortium that will build upon existing efforts to collaborate with medical and allied health schools to embed ID/DD content into their curriculum.

Expanding Research on Disability Issues

  • Establishing Prevalence of ID/DD: ACL is leading an interagency effort to establish and maintain valid and reliable prevalence rates of intellectual and developmental disabilities and to improve data about health status and factors that influence health outcomes of individuals with ID/DD.
  • A First-Ever Government Wide Inventory: A partnership between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and ACL’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) aims to create a government-wide inventory of all federally supported disability research, launching in the fall of 2020, housed at the NIH Library.
  • Building a Limb Loss and Preservation Registry: In 2018, NIH and the Department of Defense announced plans to establish a registry to document the number of people in the United States living with limb loss and to provide insights on their challenges and needs.
  • Studying Conditions that Affect Americans with Down Syndrome: In June 2018, NIH launched the INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) project to study conditions that affect both individuals with Down syndrome and the general population. The goal is to learn more about these conditions in both populations so that new treatments can be developed in both groups. People with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities have often been excluded from participating in clinical research and clinical trials because it was thought that it would be too difficult to include them in complicated research studies, or the process to provide informed consent would be too challenging. People with Down syndrome are now being invited to speak up about their research needs, and new clinical trials supported by INCLUDE focus on topics such as sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s disease, and treatment of co-occurring ADHD.
  • New Hope for Turning Thoughts into Speech: The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD) supported groundbreaking research on augmentative and alternative communication devices, which help people with voice, speech, or language disorders communicate. This includes people with ALS or brainstem stroke who lose their ability to move their muscles for writing or speaking, even as they are able to think and reason normally. In an important advance, NIDCD-supported researchers developed an approach to turn a person’s thoughts directly into speech. The scientists trained a computer algorithm that is typically used to interpret voice commands to decipher brain activity instead. Individuals with epilepsy undergoing brain surgery listened to sentences spoken by different people, and the researchers used the neural patterns measured from these patients to train the computer algorithm. When the patients simply thought of the words they had heard, the algorithm was able to accurately decipher the thoughts 75 percent of the time.
  • Making Hearing Aids More Accessible and Affordable: Approximately 28.8 million adults in the United States could benefit from using hearing aids, yet only one in four has ever used one. Research funded by NIDCD directly contributed to a measure included in the 2017 FDA reauthorization act to create a first-of-its-kind category of direct-to-consumer hearing aids for adults with perceived mild-to-moderate hearing loss, which is expected to spur innovation, reduce consumer costs, and improve hearing health care for millions of Americans who have hearing loss by making hearing aids more accessible and affordable.
  • Designing Visually Accessible Spaces for People with Low Vision: Mobility challenges are one of the most serious consequences of impaired vision, and one approach for dealing with this problem is to make public spaces more accessible for people with low vision. Building on the concept of environmental modifications that enhance physical mobility (such as ramps for wheelchairs), the National Eye Institute (NEI) supported a combination of empirical and computational research to extend the concept of environmental modifications to “visual accessibility” (i.e., to what degree one can use vision to travel safely through an environment). In the final phase of this project, the models developed to predict low-vision visibility and navigability of real-world spaces are being translated into a set of open-source software modules to enhance architectural and lighting design for visual accessibility. The intended use is for architects and lighting designers to submit a design to the software and get a labeled output indicating what is likely to be a potential mobility hazard for pedestrians with reduced acuity and/or contrast sensitivity.
  • Advances in Turning Thoughts into Computer Control: NEI is supporting work aimed at helping quadriplegic people use computer interfaces. By implanting recording electrodes in visual and motor areas of the brain, the researchers are able to turn the person’s intentions for cursor movements on a computer screen into action.
  • Progress on Restoring Visual Perception to the Blind: NEI is supporting work aimed at helping blind people achieve useable visual perception. By placing stimulating electrodes on the visual cortex of the brain, the researchers are able to turn images recorded by a camera mounted on the head into the sensation of a rough pattern of light and dark. This interface is being gradually improved by training computational algorithms to optimize the pattern of stimulation. The blind patient also has to be trained to work with the brain-machine interface, but good progress is being made.

Detailed list of accomplishments related to pro-life issues, religious liberty, and the family

The Family Research Council Action published this list of Trump’s accomplishments by year on issues social conservatives care about. It was last updated September 3, 2020. A PDF of this excellent FRC resource is available here.

2017

  • On January 23, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which blocks funding for international organizations that perform or promote abortion. This new program is known as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), which now covers $8.8 billion in family planning and global health funds that go to organizations abroad (none of whom may perform or promote abortion).
  • On February 22, the Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded President Obama's guidance that required public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and showers of their choice.
  • On April 7, President Trump's nominee Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Justice Gorsuch has already developed a reputation as an originalist who will rule the right way on religious liberty issues. Gorsuch is representative of President Trump's judicial nominees overall.
  • On May 4, President Trump signed an Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (known as the "Religious Liberty Executive Order"), broadly setting forth religious liberty as a policy priority of the administration, and requiring all federal agencies to take action to protect it. The order also more specifically addressed conscience protections, forthcoming guidance from the DOJ, and religious liberty in the context of free speech.
  • On August 25, President Trump announced changes to the Obama administration's Department of Defense (DOD) policy which had allowed military personnel to serve even if they openly self-identified as transgender. (A DOD study found the Obama administration's policy to be detrimental to military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion.)
  • On September 7, DOJ filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court defending the religious freedom rights of baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This filing is representative of other actions defending religious freedom taking place throughout the Trump administration DOJ.
  • On October 6, DOJ issued guidance and an implementing memo (as instructed by the Religious Liberty Executive Order) to all federal agencies explaining religious freedom law and how religious liberty must be protected. This guidance laid out a broad defense of religious liberty based on multiple statutes and provided each federal agency with guidelines for protecting religious liberty.
  • Also on October 6, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed two regulations to deal with the Obamacare "HHS contraceptive mandate" that had for years violated conscience and religious liberty. These new regulations exempt organizations that have moral or religious objections to purchasing insurance that includes coverage of contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs and devices.

2018

  • On January 16, DOJ filed an amicus brief with the District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on behalf of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. The Archdiocese had wanted to promote a religious message during the Christmas holiday but, had been denied advertising space within the District's public transit system.
  • On January 18, DOJ filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue defending the First Amendment rights of parents and students who attend a religious school, to participate in a private school scholarship program.
  • On January 18, HHS announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within its Office of Civil Rights (OCR). This new division was established to enforce federal laws that protect conscience rights and religious freedom.
  • On January 19, HHS issued a new proposed regulation on conscience protections related to abortion. Specifically, the regulation proposed to implement 25 laws that protect pro-life healthcare entities against discrimination by federal agencies -- or state or local governments receiving federal funds -- due to their objections to participating in abortion, sterilization, and other morally objectionable procedures.
  • On January 24, Sam Brownback was confirmed as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. In choosing Brownback for this role, President Trump demonstrated the administration's commitment to religious freedom by choosing someone with gravitas and experience on the issue.
  • On March 23, 2018, the White House and DOD issued a new policy allowing existing personnel to remain in the military while preventing those who have been diagnosed with "gender dysphoria" or had undergone gender transition surgery from joining the military. Those who are transgender and stable for 36 months could join so long as they serve in accordance with their biological sex.
  • On April 26, Mike Pompeo was confirmed as Secretary of State. In choosing Pompeo for this position, President Trump chose someone who cares deeply about religious liberty and will make it a priority to see the issue advanced through this administration.
  • On April 30, during a press conference with Nigeria's president, President Trump raised the issue of religious freedom and the killing of Christians in that country -- bringing attention to an issue that had largely been neglected by other government officials.
  • On May 22, HHS issued a new proposed regulation reversing the Title X family planning regulations implemented by President Clinton. The proposed regulation would restore the separation of abortion services from the federal Title X family planning program, which President Reagan first implemented. The proposed regulation would also ensure parents are more involved in the decisions of minors to obtain services from Title X clinics. It reverses the discriminatory abortion referral requirement the Clinton regulations implemented and is poised to put a dent into Planned Parenthood's roughly $60 million annual revenues from the Title X program.
  • On June 13, DOJ announced the Place to Worship Initiative, designed to increase enforcement and public awareness of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUPIA). This federal law protects places of worship and other religious uses of property. Through this initiative, federal prosecutors will receive training about legal protections for houses of worship.
  • On July 24-26, the State Department held the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Political and civil society leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C. for a three-day summit to discuss religious freedom issues and solutions. The Potomac Declaration, issued at the Ministerial, made a strong statement about the state of religious freedom around the globe and provided a plan of action for promoting global religious freedom. The U.S. also announced the International Religious Freedom Fund (to provide emergency assistance to victims of religiously motivated discrimination and abuse around the world) and the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Initiative (which has provided nearly $373 million to help persecuted ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq restore their communities). The U.S. was among 25 countries who signed a statement condemning terrorism and the abuse of religious believers by non-state actors.
  • On July 30, DOJ announced a Religious Liberty Task Force to fully implement religious liberty guidance and policy across all components of the DOJ.
  • On August 1, the Trump administration relied on Executive Order 13818 (which builds on Global Magnitsky Act authority) to sanction two Turkish officials over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson due to his Christian faith. This Executive Order ultimately resulted in Pastor Brunson's release.
  • On September 24, HHS terminated a $15,900 contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources to procure fetal tissue from aborted babies for research. The termination of this contract led HHS to announce an audit of all acquisitions and research involving human fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations.
  • On October 6, President Trump's nominee Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh is the second constitutional originalist the president saw confirmed to the Court.
  • On November 7, HHS finalized its two regulations to protect conscience and religious liberty from long-running problems with the Obamacare "HHS contraceptive mandate." These two final regulations exempt organizations with either a moral or religious objection to purchasing insurance with coverage of contraceptives and abortion-causing drugs and devices. The regulations took effect on January 14, 2019.
  • On November 9, HHS proposed a new regulation to address an abortion surcharge hidden in many plans purchased on the Obamacare exchange. This proposed regulation would enforce the requirement that abortion surcharges are to be collected separately from other insurance premiums. This requirement was not closely followed under the Obama administration, leading HHS to now more strictly enforce the separation of abortion payments from other payments.
  • On December 26, DOJ filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court defending a publicly-displayed cross-shaped veteran's memorial that had been challenged as a violation of the Establishment Clause. This position is representative of the Trump administration's originalist approach to the Constitution concerning First Amendment rights and other issues. Such an approach results in legal analysis that interprets the law rather than injecting policy preferences into it.

2019

  • On January 18, HHS notified California that its law requiring pregnancy resource centers to post notices about how to obtain an abortion violated the pro-life Weldon and Coates-Snowe Amendments. This marks the first time that the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS found a state in violation of these laws. This demonstrates the administration's commitment to enforcing conscience protections and its pro-life priorities.
  • On January 19, at the request of 169 members of Congress and 49 senators, President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which he promised to veto any legislation that weakens current pro-life Federal policies and laws. This letter was a message to the new Democrat ma jority in the House that longstanding pro-life protections like the Hyde Amendment and safeguards protecting the conscience rights of health care providers are not negotiable.
  • On February 22, HHS announced final rule changes governing the Title X family planning program. Consistent with federal law, these rule changes ensured that Title X clinics would be financially and physically separate from abortion facilities and would not refer patients for abortions. Since the implementation of the rule, Planned Parenthood and several pro-abortion states voluntarily decided to withdraw from the program rather than quit performing abortions or referring patients for abortions.
  • On March 8, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback criticized China's poor religious freedom record in a speech he delivered in Hong Kong.
  • On April 12, the Trump administration's policy on military service by those with gender dysphoria went into effect. This policy will help halt the deterioration of military readiness, lethality, and unit cohesion caused by social experimentation in the military.
  • On May 2, HHS announced a final rule to expand the structure in which federal conscience laws are enforced. In 2011, President Obama issued a rule that enforced only three federal conscience provisions. The new regulation under President Trump covers 25 existing statutes, which will be enforced by the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, part of the HHS OCR.
  • On May 5, at the World Health Assembly, the Trump administration issued a joint statement on behalf of the United States and eight other nations calling on other countries to join an effort to focus on women's health issues that unify rather than create dissension among members (like abortion and sexual and reproductive health). This statement was the first action taken under the administration's new Protecting Life in Global Health Policy (PLGHP), which seeks to build a global coalition to promote women's health while also protecting unborn life and strengthening the family. This policy works in conjunction with the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) program, which restricts funding for organizations abroad that perform or promote abortion.
  • On May 24, HHS proposed a new regulation that clarifies that discrimination on the basis of sex in section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act was to be interpreted under the plain meaning of the word. Therefore, it does not include "gender identity" or "termination of pregnancy" as set forth by a 2016 Obama administration regulation. The HHS regulation will continue to enforce existing civil rights protections; however, it makes clear that the federal government will not force physicians to participate in gender reassignment surgeries or abortions.
  • On June 5, after an extensive audit into fetal tissue research, the Trump administration announced a major change in the enforcement of research contracts. HHS would no longer conduct intramural (internal) research using tissue from aborted babies and would greatly increase the ethics rules and safeguards that govern extramural (external) fetal tissue research contracts. All new external contracts will be subject to a congressionally authorized ethics advisory board, making it much more difficult for fetal tissue research contracts to be awarded by the National Institute of Health.
  • On July 16-18, the State Department held the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new global initiative, the International Religious Freedom Alliance, meant to provide a way for like-minded countries to work together to advance religious freedom. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a compelling speech condemning the use of technology to track and control the lives of religious minorities. The United States was among 14 signatory countries on a statement of concern about technology and religious freedom. The U.S. was also one of 34 countries that signed a statement of concern on counterterrorism as a pretext for the repression of religious freedom; one of 27 countries that signed a statement condemning blasphemy, apostasy, or other laws that restrict religious freedom; and was one of 46 countries that signed a statement that called upon government officials to condemn attacks on places of worship and to work with religious communities to protect these places. At this event, the State Department and USAID also announced new religious freedom training programs for foreign service officers.
  • On July 16, the State Department placed targeted sanctions on Burmese military officials for their human rights and religious freedom violations committed against the Rohingya Muslim population.
  • On July 18, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued a joint letter on International Partnerships that called states to join a coalition of countries that seek to advocate against pro-abortion policies at the World Health Organization and the United Nations (UN).
  • In August 2019, DOJ filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court in two important religious liberty cases, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Bostock v. Clayton County/Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda. Through these filings, DOJ advanced a biologically binary definition of sex and those who operate accordingly, whether because of science or religious belief.
  • On August 15, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new regulation that would clarify the scope and application of religious exemptions for federal contractors. Under the Obama administration, the scope of religious exemption at the DOL was severely narrowed. The current DOL relied on the history of our nation's preservation of religious liberty, the First Amendment, and Supreme Court decisions to re-invigorate the exemption to its historical and constitutional parameters.
  • On August 28, the HHS OCR issued a notice of violation to the University of Vermont Medical Center for forcing a nurse to participate in an abortion despite a conscience objection. This marks the third time that the HHS Religious Freedom Division under President Trump has investigated a conscience complaint related to participating in or promoting abortion.
  • On September 10, the State Department placed targeted sanctions on Russian officials for their religious freedom violations and torture of Jehovah's Witnesses.
  • On September 23, President Trump hosted a meeting during the U.N. General Assembly and gave a speech solely on the topic of religious freedom. During the speech, he announced a U.S. policy initiative to protect places of worship, pledging an additional $25 million in funding to protect religious sites and relics. President Trump also announced the U.S. would form a coalition within the business community to protect religious freedom. This is the first time a U.S. president has hosted a meeting focused solely on religious freedom at the UN.
  • On September 24, President Trump discussed the need to protect religious freedom during his UN General Assembly speech, in which he also discussed China and Iran -- two major violators of religious freedom.
  • On September 25, HHS Secretary Alex Azar delivered a statement at the UN General Assembly stating that there is no international right to abortion, and that the U.S. does not support ambiguous terms like "sexual and reproductive health" in UN documents.
  • On October 7, the Department of Commerce blacklisted 28 Chinese companies whose surveillance technology products are used to systematically oppress and control -- and violate the religious freedom -- of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China.
  • On October 11, 2019, Attorney General Barr delivered a striking defense of religious liberty at Notre Dame Law School. He noted, "[t]he imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers' belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government." The Attorney General proceeded to remind the audience that religion gives us the "right rules to live by." Barr highlighted the recent attacks on religious liberty, and that the DOJ under his leadership has been fighting back and protecting religious liberty.
  • On November 14, the U.S. government lead a statement on behalf of itself and 10 other countries at the Nairobi Summit, once again calling upon the international community to focus on areas of consensus instead of divisive issues like abortion and sexual and reproductive health.
  • On November 19, HHS issued a rule removing burdensome requirements that all grantees, including those that are faith-based, must accept same-sex marriages and profess gender identity as valid in order to be eligible to participate in grant programs. This included the adoption and foster care space, where these requirements had been used to shut down faith-based providers of foster care and adoption.
  • On November 27, President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law, which affirms Hong Kong's semi-autonomous status and protects against Chinese government encroachment, which is a threat to Hong Kong's religious freedom.
  • On December 19, the Treasury Department sanctioned two Iranian judges responsible for human rights violations. One of the judges was known to violate the rights of Iran's Christian and Baha'i religious minority communities
  • On December 20, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final regulation to address the abortion surcharge hidden in many plans purchased on the Obamacare exchange. This final rule aligns federal regulations with section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that consumers know their health care plan covers abortion and that funding for abortion is kept separate from all other covered services.

2020

  • On January 16, HHS Secretary Alex Azar hosted 34 countries for a meeting on how to promote women's health and protect the lives of the unborn. This meeting followed an invitation sent by Secretary Azar and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to 70 different countries inviting them to join a coalition to oppose international efforts to enshrine abortion as a human right.
  • On January 16, the Departments of Education and Justice issued guidance on constitutionally protected prayer and religious expression in public elementary and secondary schools. This guidance ensures that prayer in schools is properly protected and not unconstitutionally prohibited or curtailed.
  • On January 16, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent a memo to the heads of executive departments and agencies providing guidance on Executive Order (EO) 1379 8 "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty." In order to protect the ability of religious organizations to operate in the public square, this memo required the agencies to review the EO and publish policies on how they will comply.
  • On January 17, nine federal agencies (the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, Justice, Labor,Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development, along with the U.S. Agency for International Development) proposed rules leveling the playing field for faith-based organizations wishing to participate in grant programs or become a contractor. The rules eliminated two requirements placed on faith-based organizations that were not placed on secular organizations.
  • On January 22, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at HHS approved a family planning waiver for Texas to implement a state-run Medicaid program that excludes abortion providerslike Planned Parenthood. This makes Texas the first state to receive Medicaid funding for a family planning program that does not include abortion providers.
  • On January 24, President Trump became the first sitting president to give remarks in person at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. In his address he stated the eternal truth that every child is a sacred gift from God and reiterated his effort to defend the dignity and sanctity of every human life.
  • Also on January 24, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced live at Family Research Council's ProLifeCon event that HHS issued a notice of violation to California for violating the federal Weldon Amendment by mandating all health insurers provide coverage for abortion. California's abortion coverage mandate has deprived over 28,000 residents of plans that do not cover abortion. This marks the second time that HHS has issued a notice of violation to California for violating federal conscience laws and is the fourth enforcement action taken by the HHS OCR's Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.
  • In February, the Trump administration filled the role of Special Adviser to the President on International Religious Freedom within the National Security Council. This role was authorized by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, but has remained unfilled for over 20 years since that law's enactment. President Trump is the first president to dedicate a full-time staffer to this role and fill it on a permanent basis.
  • On February 4, during his State of the Union address, President Trump called on Congress to pass legislation that would ban late-term abortions. To highlight the need for this legislation, he invited special guest Ellie Schneider, who was born at just 21 weeks gestation.
  • On February 5, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the International Religious Freedom Alliance. The Alliance will unite government leaders from like-minded nations to strategize ways to promote religious freedom and protect religious minorities around the world.
  • On February 25, OMB issued a Statement of Administrative Policy strongly supporting two pro-life bills being voted on in the U.S. Senate: the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Had Congress passed these bills, the president's advisors would have recommended that he sign both into law.
  • On March 24, DOJ filed a statement of interest in a case protecting women against men intruding on their sporting competitions. The statement made clear that athletic qualifications on the basis of "gender identity" were harmful to women's sports.
  • On March 28, amid the coronavirus pandemic, HHS OCR issued a strong statement reminding health care entities of their obligation to treat persons with disabilities with the same dignity and worth as everyone else. OCR reiterated its duty to enforce current civil rights laws and has already worked with states to remove discriminatory practices from their pandemic health plans.
  • On April 2, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback held a special briefing. He called upon China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia to release their prisoners of conscience in light of the contagious coronavirus. Many of these prisoners were imprisoned for their religious faith.
  • On April 3, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a FAQ document confirming that churches and religious nonprofits are eligible for assistance like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the coronavirus relief legislation known as the CARES Act. These clarifying protections ensure organizations would not be discriminated against based on their religious affiliation and would not have to give up their religious freedom in order to participate in these programs. In addition, the administration used an affiliation rule to ensure that large abortion providers like Planned Parenthood would not be eligible for coronavirus relief in the CARES Act.
  • On April 14, DOJ filed a statement of interest protecting the religious liberty of church-goers in Greenville, Mississippi. During the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Greenville banned all religious services, even those that were able to abide by social distancing standards with drive-in church services.
  • On April 17, the Department of Homeland Security included "clergy for essential support" in its list of personnel and entities deemed "essential" for purposes of responding to the coronavirus. This designation allows clergy and pastors more freedom to continue to operate and serve those around them in need at this time.
  • On April 27, Attorney General William Barr directed federal prosecutors to monitor and, if necessary, take action to correct state and local policies that discriminate against religious institutionsand believers while battling the coronavirus pandemic.
  • On May 3, DOJ filed a statement of interest supporting the religious freedom of Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Chincoteague Island, Virginia. After the church held a 16-person worship service on Palm Sunday (following strict social distancing protocols), a criminal citation and summons were issued against the pastor pursuant to Governor Ralph Northam's executive order which banned in-person religious services but allowed large gatherings for businesses like liquor stores and dry cleaners.
  • As of May 12, the Trump administration has overseen the confirmation of 193 federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices and 51 federal appeals court judges. Counting seven other judicial confirmations for roles outside the federal court system, President Trump has confirmed 200 judges so far during his time in office. An overwhelming number of President Trump's judicial nominees have been constitutional originalists, who will interpret the law as written, rather than interpret it according to their personal policy preferences. As judges, these nominees will rule correctly on religious liberty and pro-life issues.
  • On May 15, the DOL issued guidance implementing the administration's Religious Liberty Executive Order and the DOJ religious liberty guidance. The DOL guidance also cited to the OMB memo from earlier this year which directed all grant-administering agencies to detail how they will protect religious liberty in the context of such grants, and included specific action steps to ensure that religious liberty is protected.
  • On May 18, USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa sent a letter to the UN Secretary General advocating that the UN not push abortion during the coronavirus crisis. Barsa noted that abortion is not an "essential service," and there are many actual health needs at this time. Therefore, the United States, which stands with the international pro-life community under the Trump administration, does not look kindly on these efforts to promote abortion.
  • On June 2, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Advancing International Religious Freedom, which recognized the promotion of international religious freedom as a moral and national security imperative for the United States.
  • On June 12, facing strong opposition from LGBT rights organizations, HHS finalized its regulation that clarifies that discrimination on the basis of sex in section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act is to be interpreted under the plain meaning of the word. Therefore, it does not include "gender identity" or "termination of pregnancy" as set forth by a 2016 Obama administration regulation. The HHS rule will continue to enforce existing civil rights protections; however, it makes clear that the federal government will not force physicians to participate in gender reassignment surgeries or abortions.
  • On June 19, the DOJ filed a statement of interest defending the constitutionality of Idaho's Fairness in Women's Sports Act. The Fairness in Women's Sports Act ensures that only biologically female athletes are permitted to compete in female sports. By restricting male athletes from participating, female athletes have a fair shot when competing.
  • On June 24, President Trump issued an executive order to strengthen America's foster care and adoption system. Among other things, this action seeks to increase partnerships with faith-based organizations to care for children and preserve families.
  • On June 29, the White House released a statement condemning the Supreme Court ruling on June Medical Services v. Russo. This ruling concluded that requiring individuals who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals is unconstitutional.
  • On June 30, the White House released a statement praising the Supreme Court ruling on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. This ruling is a victory for religious freedom, ensuring that religious schools are not discriminated against in state voucher programs.
  • On July 8, HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued a statement celebrating the Supreme Court ruling in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania. The ruling upheld the Trump administration's expansion of religious freedom protections under the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.
  • On July 9, the Treasury Department sanctioned four current or former Chinese government officials and one Chinese g overnment entity for their abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority in China.
  • On July 21, OCR resolved a religious discrimination complaint against the Prince George's Hospital Center of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS). Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the hospital denied a patient's request to have a Catholic priest visit the hospital to provide spiritual care. OCR worked with the hospital system to revise their visitor's policy to allow religious visitations during the pandemic.
  • On July 31, the Treasury Department sanctioned a Chinese paramilitary organization in connection to their human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in China.
  • On August 5, Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech on the importance of protecting life and reaffirmed the administration's pro-life positions. He also became the first vice president to visit a pregnancy resource center – these centers are valuable lifelines that offer abortion-free services for women facing crisis pregnancies.
  • On August 17, the State Department, in coordination with other federal agencies, released a second review of President Trump's PLGHA Policy, which requires U.S. global health funds recipients to certify that they will not promote or perform abortions. This report reaffirmed the policy's effectiveness and the U.S. government's ability to simultaneously protect unborn life and promote better health outcomes for women globally.
  • On August 18, the Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board—which was convened as a part of President Trump's June 5, 2019 fetal tissue research policy—issued recommendations on the ethics of fetal tissue research proposals. The board recommended against funding 13 of the 14 proposals because of ethical concerns with how fetal tissue from aborted babies would be used. This board will continue to review any new fetal tissue research proposals applying for federal funds.
  • On August 20, OCR resolved a civil rights complaint against the state of Utah, helping the state amend their crisis standards of care (CSC) guidelines to ensure the elderly and disabled are not discriminated against when medical resources are scarce. This is now OCR's seventh resolution helping states create CSC plans that value the dignity of all human life.
  • On August 25, USAID released its updated Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Policy with the purpose of "empowering women and girls to participate fully in and equally benefit from the development of their societies." The updated policy takes into account the biological differences between males and females and recognizes the importance of strengthening "families and communities" to achieving its goal.

And just today, the Trump administration proposed another rule to make it harder to experiment on aborted babies. 

RELATED

UPDATED: 68 more reasons to be grateful for President Trump


  2020 election, abortion, big tech, big tech bias, big tech censorship, catholic, homosexuality, jan. 6 capitol protest, joe biden, paris climate accord, paris climate change agreement, planned parenthood, president trump

News

Forbes editor to businesses: Don’t hire Trump press secretaries or we’ll ‘assume’ you’re liars

'Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away,' the magazine's Randall Lane warned.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 6:16 pm EST
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Kayleigh McEnany is President Donald Trump's press secretary. Shutterstock
Michael Haynes Michael Haynes Follow
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Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – As the Big Tech censorship of President Donald Trump spreads, the editor of Forbes magazine warned companies not to hire press secretaries who worked for the president.

Randall Lane, Forbes' chief content officer and editor, posted an article Thursday headlined “A Truth Reckoning: Why we’re holding those who lied for Trump accountable.” Referring to the protest march at the U.S. Capitol, Lane declared that it was based upon “lies.” 

“Yesterday’s insurrection was rooted in lies,” he claimed. “That a fair election was stolen. That a significant defeat was actually a landslide victory. That the world’s oldest democracy, ingeniously insulated via autonomous state voting regimens, is a rigged system. Such lies-upon-lies, repeated frequently and fervently, provided the kindling, the spark, the gasoline.”

He proceeded to attack Trump, saying he had “devolved from commander-in-chief to liar-in-chief.”

Not content with this attack, Lane next dealt with Trump’s various press secretaries, Sean Spicer, Sarah Sanders, Stephanie Grisham, and the current secretary, Kayleigh McEnany: “it’s been especially painful to watch President Trump’s press secretaries debase themselves.” 

McEnany “makes smiling falsehood an art form,” Lane wrote, citing a “need to return to a standard of truth” that would only occur by creating “repercussions for those who don’t follow the civic norms,” i.e. Trump’s press secretaries. 

He issued his threat to any businesses who looked to hire any of the president’s press secretaries: “Let it be known to the business world: Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.”

He claimed that his threat and personal attacks were not “politically motivated,” since Forbes is allegedly “in the right-of-center.”

Lane’s justification was rather that “in a thriving democracy, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.”

In words echoing those calling for the globalist “Great Reset,” Lane closed by calling for a national reset, based upon the expulsion from society of Trump’s staff, saying, “Our national reset starts there.”


  big tech, democracy, donald trump, forbes, kayleigh mcenany, randall lane, sarah huckabee sanders, sean spicer

News

The ‘pinnacle of irony’: Publisher cancels senator’s book on big tech censorship

Simon & Schuster’s move, spurred by Sen. Josh Hawley’s supposed “role” in the “deadly insurrection” at the Capitol, continues the very cancel culture that Hawley rails against.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 4:43 pm EST
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Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) Shutterstock
Emily Mangiaracina Emily Mangiaracina Follow
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  Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – American publishing company Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel the publication of Sen. Josh Hawley’s book “The Tyranny of Big Tech” due to what they describe as his “role” in the “deadly insurrection” at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Simon & Schuster tweeted on Thursday, “After witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book, THE TYRANNY OF BIG TECH.”

“We did not come to this decision lightly,” the company explained. “As publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints; at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”

In his book, Hawley makes the case that tech giants like Facebook and Google threaten American liberties through their control of information.

Hawley explained, “At a time when these platforms are determining elections, banning inconvenient political views, lining politicians’ pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars, and addicting our kids to screens, I want to draw attention to the robber barons of the modern era.”

Rodney Anderson, current Dallas County Republican Chairman and former Texas House Representative described the move as “the absolute pinnacle of irony.” The rationale for the decision by Simon & Schuster is similar to that often used by Big Tech for censoring conservative speech.

Within a day of Twitter’s censoring of President Donald Trump because of a purported “risk of violence,” even as he called for peace, Simon & Schuster claimed that Hawley played a “role” in what they describe as a “deadly insurrection,” without specifying what role he played and what connection he had to violence.

NBC News noted that Hawley drew heated criticism from the left when he “became the first senator to announce he would object to the counting of Electoral College votes.”

Indignation towards Hawley reached a fever pitch after Hawley was photographed raising a fist in support of the pro-Trump protestors a few hours before the breaching of the Capitol.

Hawley gestured his support towards peaceful protestors well before the breaching of the Capitol, and Hawley stated hours later on Jan. 6, “The violence must end, those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted.”

Despite his strong condemnation of law-breakers, many of his critics insisted he remained guilty of inciting pro-Trump protestors.

In comments to Simon & Schuster’s tweet announcing the decision to cancel Hawley’s book, a Biden supporter posted a photo of Hawley raising his fist, donning a photoshopped Nazi swastika and Hitler mustache, along with the reply, “You did the right thing [Sen. Josh Hawley] directly supported & encouraged a criminal attack on our Capitol & the overthrow of an election. Five people are dead, one a police officer. He’s unfit to serve in public office.”

Actress Patricia Arquette tweeted in response to Hawley’s call for an end to violence,

“They wouldn’t have had to risk their lives if you weren’t feeding disinformation to the angry mob. You are lucky and should get on you [sic] knees and thank God your colleagues were not murdered.”

The basis of Simon & Schuster’s decision is so tenuous that Politico journalist Jack Shafer, while accusing Hawley himself of hypocrisy, admitted, “Compared to Trump’s invitations to incitement, Hawley’s were fairly anodyne.”

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“It’s a shame that Simon & Schuster, a nonpartisan press that has welcomed writers and thinkers from across the political spectrum to help expand the scope of debate over the decades, chose this moment, when we need a deeper understanding of what people we don’t agree with think, to spike a book,” the Politico opinion piece continued.

“Whether Simon & Schuster did it because Hawley casts a temporary public relations shadow on its reputation or because some of its staffers don’t want to be associated with such a politician speaks poorly of the publisher’s commitment to open expression. If you’re a publisher and you fear controversy and flee from it on a few hour’s notice, you’re in the wrong line of work.”

Pending regulatory approval, Simon & Schuster will become part of Penguin Random House at some point this year, further narrowing down the number of major players on the publishing market.

 

  

 

  


  big tech, cancel culture, censorship, free speech, josh hawley, simon & schuster

News

ABC News politics chief scrubs article calling for ‘cleansing’ of Trump supporters

Rick Klein also deleted a tweet containing the original line, again without acknowledgement.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 4:07 pm EST
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By Calvin Freiburger

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January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – ABC News political director Rick Klein came under fire for an article that originally called for the “cleansing” of Trump supporters from American politics, at a time when national tensions are high and the political Left is accusing President Donald Trump and his allies of “inciting violence” through rhetoric.

“Even aside from impeachment and 25th Amendment talk, Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days,” Klein wrote in the original version of his January 7th “The Note” column, archived here. “The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.”

In the version currently published online, “cleansing” has been replaced with “cleaning up,” with no note letting readers know that the piece had been edited or apology for its original language. Klein also deleted a tweet containing the original line, again without acknowledgement:

Scores of protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol building last week, following the “March to Save America” rally where the president said supporters would march “over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” where “we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen-and-women” who were meeting to formally object to the certification of electoral votes from a handful of states.

As covered live by LifeSiteNews, viral videos showed groups of protesters engaging in physical altercations with police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through a window, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers. While many were allowed to enter by police and simply walked through the building (which is normally open to the public) after the initial breach, there were several deaths, including a protester shot by Capitol Hill police, a protestor trampled amid the chaos, a police officer whose death is being investigated as a potential murder, and several due to unspecified “medical emergencies.”

Trump told the breachers to “go home in peace” via tweets and video message, yet a coalition of Democrats and establishment Republicans quickly decided that Trump had “incited” the violence, some by blaming his support of marching to the building (which was a pre-planned part of the event, advertised prior to Trump’s remarks), others by blaming Trump’s refusal to concede in the first place.

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Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) threatened Sunday to move forward with impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence did not back removing Trump via the 25th Amendment (a process meant to replace a president incapacitated by medical emergencies, not for conduct his opponents deem outrageous or dangerous), and on Monday House Democrats unveiled the official resolution for “incitement of insurrection.”

“It is the height of hypocrisy for those in the media to condemn others for violent acts that are dwarfed in comparison to the consistent violence of the far-left — one act doesn’t justify the other — and then go out and call for something like a ‘cleansing’ of people and think there’s nothing wrong with a statement like that,” the Media Research Center’s Nick Kangadis writes. “The derangement and violence of the left has never been something up for debate. The difference is that the radical media will literally make up excuses for the left’s violence while standing in front of a burning building.”


  abc news, conservatives, donald trump, left-wing hate, liberal media bias, rick klein

News

Marriott, Facebook, Ford, banks suspend donations to Republicans challenging election results

Numerous major companies announced they’ll no longer donate to some Republicans. Others stopped political donations altogether.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 3:55 pm EST
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By Anthony Murdoch

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January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Marriott, one of the largest hotel chains worldwide, says it suspended all political donations to Republican members of Congress who voted in opposition to certifying Joe Biden’s electoral college votes last week, given some protesters turned violent and entered the Capitol building last Wednesday. Numerous other companies have announced similar measures.

“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election,” said a Marriott spokesperson, as first reported by Popular Information, a political newsletter, on Sunday.

In addition to Marriott, the Popular Information report pointed out that BlueCross BlueShield and Commerce Bank were also “suspending PAC donations to the 147 Republicans who objected to the Electoral College vote.”

According to Craig Holman, who works as a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, the moves by the corporations to ban donations is something that could “alienate” an “important” base for them.

“I’ve never heard of this happening before,” said Holman.

Recently, JPMorgan, a bank and financial service provider, reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that the company will suspend all political donations for a time frame of six months.

According to a Bloomberg report, Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., have also said they will pause all political contributions as a result of the events which took place at the Capitol on January 6.

On Monday, Ford Motor Co. said it, too, will be suspending all political contributions while they conduct a review.

“In order to give these important discussions the time and reflection they deserve, the Ford PAC will be suspending new contributions for now,” said Rachel McCleery, director of government relations for manufacturing policy for Ford.

“Ford condemns the violent actions that happened this week, which contradict the ideals of a free and fair election and a peaceful transition of power.”

Facebook has also announced it will suspend all donations from its PAC through the first quarter of 2021.

“Following last week’s awful violence in DC, we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone was quoted as saying by CNN.

Kim Keck, who serves as BlueCross BlueShield’s president and CEO, said in a statement that in light of “this week’s violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol,” along with the votes of “some members of Congress to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results,” his company will “suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy.”

The head of corporate responsibility for JPMorgan Peter Scher was quoted as saying in the CNN report that the country is facing an “unprecedented health, economic and political crises.”

“The focus of business leaders, political leaders, civic leaders right now should be on governing and getting help to those who desperately need it most right now. There will be plenty of time for campaigning later.”

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Last Wednesday, after a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump at the Ellipse in Washington D.C. on election fraud, the vast majority of participants marched peacefully to the Capitol building to voice their concerns.

A small number of protesters stormed the Capitol building, some with alleged ties to Antifa, with a few of them making it inside.

In the early hours of January 7, Congress confirmed the electoral vote for Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. Trump subsequently said he would commit to an “an orderly transition” of power.

Trump called for the protestors to leave “in peace” and later denounced those who entered the U.S. Capitol, calling the act “heinous.”


  campaign finance, donald trump, election fraud, eyeball, facebook, ford, marriott, political donations

News

Food and fluids once again restored to comatose Polish man facing passive euthanasia in the UK

The patient has now had his clinically assisted hydration and nutrition removed and subsequently restored three times, with members of his family fighting for his life on his behalf
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 3:50 pm EST
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Dorothy Cummings McLean Dorothy Cummings McLean Follow Dorothy
By Dorothy Cummings McLean

LONDON, England, January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A disabled Polish man has once again been reattached to a tube or tubes providing him with hydration and nutrition. 

Today a U.K. Court of Appeal directed another stay of the December 15 order to remove the severely brain-damaged patient from life-supporting treatment. The patient, who has now been removed from clinically assisted hydration and nutrition three times, began to receive food and water late last night after his birth family applied for today’s hearing. 

Thanks to a transparency order, the names of patient, the members of his family, his doctors, and at least two of the experts cited, may not be published. 

Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson agreed that the stay would last only until January 13 at 18:00 GMT, giving another opportunity to for those who wish RS to continue living to make a substantive case before the European Court of Human Rights. 

The agreement followed an hours’ long hearing today in which a new barrister for RS’s birth family argued for an appeal of Mr. Justice Jonathan Cohen’s December 31 decision to uphold his own earlier order to a National Health Service (NHS) Trust hospital to discontinue life-sustaining treatment to RS. Cohen had also rejected requests that RS be examined by an expert chosen by the family and that he be airlifted to Poland for treatment there. The appeal, strenuously opposed by a barrister for the NHS Trust, and slightly less opposed by the barrister representing the Official Solicitor acting in RS’s best interests, was rejected by the court. 

The hearing also considered a second opinion that RS is moving into a minimally conscious state. A Polish neurologist, known to the court as “Dr. S”,  viewed controversial video footage of RS and gave his opinion, in a letter dated January 6, that RS is moving into a minimally conscious state. 

The videos are controversial because they were taken by RS’s family members during a Zoom call with a neurologist now known to the court as “Dr. P” without the permission of either RS’s wife or his doctors. On December 31, Mr. Justice Cohen was strongly critical of the clandestine way RS’s family members and Dr. P had obtained the video footage. He also put no weight on the evidence Dr. P put before the court on December 30, noting that Dr. P had not spoken to RS’s doctors, seen his file, or conducted a proper examination of RS.

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Mr. James Bogle, the barrister representing RS’s birth family, argued that objections to Dr. P and his evidence did not apply to Dr. S, as the latter had been involved in conversations with RS’s doctors and had written a letter on December 6 indicating that he agreed with their assessment of the patient’s condition. Dr. S’s January 6 letter indicated a change in his opinion, suggesting that RS is improving. 

RS’s doctors do not agree that RS is improving and is in a minimally conscious state. After an examination at the end of December, at least one of them testified that the patient was moving into a merely vegetative state.  

Dr. S. was not present at the hearing, which was the second in which RS’s case was brought before Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson. A representative of the Polish Embassy was present. 

RS, a middle-aged husband and father, has been lying in an English hospital since November 6, when he suffered a heart attack that resulted in severe brain damage. His doctors told his wife that he was unlikely to recover consciousness and had only a small chance of moving into a minimally conscious state. At the same time, however, the doctors believe that on life-support RS could live for five or more years in that state.

The NHS Trust responsible for RS’s care applied to the Court of Protection for permission to remove RS from life-support. RS’s wife supported this application, but his birth family, including his mother, two sisters and niece, opposed it. While testifying that RS was a devout Catholic who was anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia, RS’s wife also said that he would not want to be a “burden” to his family. RS’s birth family have consistently argued that RS would not want to be dehydrated to death and had objected to the court decisions leading to the death of infant Alfie Evans. 

RS is able to breathe without clinical assistance. 

The RS case has become a cause celebre in his native Poland, where conservative and Catholic newspapers have voiced opposition to his passive euthanasia. The revelation that RS’s doctors had wanted to remove his organs for donation added fuel to the media fire. It is being reported in Poland as truth that RS is in a minimally conscious state.

In the United Kingdom, clinically assisted hydration and nutrition are considered medical treatment, and a death resulting from their removal from a comatose patient is not legally considered euthanasia. 

A separate appeal for the continuation of RS’s life-supporting treatment has been made to the United Nations Committee for Persons with Disabilities by a Polish legal foundation called Ordo Iuris.

UPDATE, Jan. 11, 2021, 7:03 p.m. EST:

Dr Filip Furman of Ordo Iuris told LifeSiteNews via email that he believes the stay of the dehydration order shows that “ethical reflection” is not entirely absent from the British judicial system.

“The continuation of life support — although very short and withdrawn earlier — is, in my opinion, a sign that some kind of ethical reflection still exists within the people representing British judicial system,” Furman said.

“Although the appeal to the European Court of Human Rights was previously rejected, the new facts concerning the case (like today’s decision or another opinion of a Polish neurologist concerning the state of the patient, issued last week) will bring another — hopefully successful — appeal to the ECHR,” he continued.

Furman, who is the the Director of the Center for Social Sciences and Bioethics for the legal institute, says he hopes for more action from the Polish government.”They’ve already done a lot, but in these new circumstances there is a new opportunity for their actions before the ECHR.”


  echr, euthanasia, poland, rs case

News

Pope Francis uses stronger words against violence at US Capitol than violence caused by Black Lives Matter

This is the second occasion in which the Pope has addressed social unrest in the U.S.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 3:49 pm EST
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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

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January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis stated in a recent interview that he was “very astonished” about recent scenes of political-driven conflict in the United States given the country is “such a disciplined people, a democracy, no?”

The Pope, in an interview with Fabio Marchese Ragona of the Italian news program Tg5 — broadcast in Italy on Sunday evening — said that it is a “reality” that even in the “most advanced societies, there is always something wrong, something about people who take a path against the community, against democracy, against the common good.”

Francis thanked God during the interview for the events that “erupted” since they allow people to see clearly the problem and how it is “to be remedied,” according to a translation by National Catholic Register’s Edward Pentin.

Such “violence,” the Pope added, “must be condemned, irrespective of the people,” and that “sooner or later” groups that are “not included in society will cause these situations of violence.”

On January 6, the day when Congress was scheduled to certify the Electoral College votes that had Joe Biden as frontrunner for the presidency, a number of violent people along with Trump supporters entered the Capitol building. There was destruction of property. There were five deaths connected to the event. One of those who died was a police officer. This happened on the same day of a Save America Rally in Washington, D.C., where Trump addressed hundreds of thousands of his supporters. The violence was condemned by Trump and his administration.

This is not the first time Pope Francis has addressed social unrest in the United States.

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During his June 3, 2020, General Audience, the Pope criticized, but did not outright condemn, the violence and destruction provoked by Black Lives Matter aftervthe death of George Floyd. The violence included the murder of five police officers, multiple citizens being shot, some of them dying, as well as the looting and burning of businesses and police buildings. The riots happened in about a dozen or so cities across America. In some cities, certain streets were hijacked and turned into so-called autonomous zones where the official arms of law and order were not allowed to enter.

“Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr George Floyd,” the Pope said at that time.

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life. At the same time, we have to recognize that ‘the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost,’” he added.

While Pope Francis has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump and his policies (see for example here, here, and here), he appears to have a more accommodating relationship with Joe Biden, a man who claims to be Catholic while supporting unrestricted abortion.

Biden related last month how he and the Pope had talked on the phone after the Nov. 3 presidential election and how the Holy Father had extended “blessings and congratulations.” In a short press statement released on the Biden-Harris transition website, Biden “thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’ leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world.”

Last month, the Pope included in a tweet the words “build back better,” a phrase that is central to Joe Biden’s plan to remake America in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  black lives matter, catholic, jan. 6 capitol protest, january 6, pope francis, violence, violent crimes

News

Congressman wants Big Tech investigated for racketeering following Parler ban

Rep. Devin Nunes says Apple, Google and Amazon CEOs ‘should be prosecuted criminally.’
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 2:51 pm EST
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Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has called for a racketeering investigation of tech companies which appear to have moved in a coordinated manner against Parler, a relatively new social media platform that is friendly to conservatives.

Parler was forced offline when Amazon removed hosting services after Apple and Google’s earlier move to ban the Twitter alternative in their respective app stores.

The three technology giants’ actions followed explosive use of Parler after Twitter banned President Trump’s account, alienating his tens of millions of followers. Parler became the top downloaded app in Apple’s App Store, with 1.5 downloads on Saturday.

“This is clearly a violation of antitrust, civil rights, the RICO statute. There should be a racketeering investigation on all the people that coordinated this attack on not only a company but on all of those like us, like me, like you, Maria,” Nunes told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo on Fox News.

“I have 3 million followers on Parler,” continued Nunes. “Tonight I will no longer be able to communicate with those people, and they’re Americans.”

“Republicans have no way to communicate,” he added.

With Parler removed from the internet, Nunes said that there is no longer a social media platform available for people who “don’t want to be regulated by left-wingers that are at Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, where you get shadow banned, nobody gets to see you, they get to decide what’s violent and not violent.”

“It’s preposterous,” declared Nunes.

Nunes is the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and author of the book “Countdown to Socialism,” published just before the election.

Big Tech is controlled by the Democrat socialist party

“Legislatively, you have to understand, this is not about Big Tech and that they’re just in Silicon Valley and they’re just trying to make money. No, they’re working for the Democratic socialist party,” said Nunes. “They’re being cheered on by this. They are state-run media and really it’s the communication system.”

“That’s how people are receiving their information is through this funnel of very few companies that are being controlled by the Democrat socialist party,” he added.

“All of these moves certainly feel like Communist China, where there is this crackdown on free speech,” observed show host Bartiromo.

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Parler CEO John Matze suggested that Google, Apple and Amazon were engaged in “obvious collusion” to “stifle free speech and competition in the marketplace.”

In response, Parler has reportedly taken legal action against Amazon.


  amazon, devin nunes, facebook, free speech, instagram, john matze, parler, social media censorship, twitter

News

Cdl. Gregory has history of collaboration with pro-abortion future Sen. Raphael Warnock

Both are keen advocates for combating climate change, achieving social justice, and Black Lives Matter, and Cardinal Gregory has already signaled he is open to compromise on the issue of abortion.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 2:34 pm EST
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ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The archbishop of Washington, D.C., Wilton Cardinal Gregory, and recently elected pro-abortion Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), have a long relationship of collaboration and shared ideology. Both are keen advocates for combating climate change, achieving social justice, and Black Lives Matter, and Cardinal Gregory has already signaled he is open to compromise on the issue of abortion.

History of collaboration in Georgia

Back in 2010, The Georgia Bulletin, which is the Catholic paper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, noted Warnock was a speaker at a weekend conference calling for an end to the death penalty. “The death penalty is the third rail of American politics. Faith communities will have to lead the way,” he said.

Gregory served as Archbishop of Atlanta between 2004 and 2019, when Pope Francis moved him to the nation’s capital, and has himself often spoken out against the death penalty. In a 2019 op-ed in America Magazine, Gregory argued strongly against the death penalty, calling on the government to “turn back from the path of death and forgo all executions.”

Warnock is the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, the “spiritual home” of Martin Luther King Jr. and his father. Research done by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) showed that the archdiocesan group Catholic Charities Atlanta (CCA), was a major financier of a new community complex at Ebenezer church, named the Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resources Complex.

The Georgia Bulletin noted that there would be “four Catholic Charities staff members” working there, and that it would be CCA’s largest joint project to date.

In fact, Warnock was one of the honored guests, alongside Gregory, at the CCA’s 60th anniversary gala dinner in 2013, receiving the Archbishop John F. Donoghue Award. The award is given annually to “a person who demonstrates qualities of selfless service and devotion to helping others in need.”

Archbishop Gregory was in attendance as an honored guest, along with his two auxiliary bishops, Luis R. Zarama and David P. Talley. Warnock received the award due to serving as head of the Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resources Complex, and in his speech thanked the Church for its leadership in the community, adding that “Archbishop Gregory makes us all proud.”

Climate change

The two religious leaders also share a common drive in the area of climate change, as Gregory has championed Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si, drawing up a diocesan plan to implement the encyclical, promoting the themes of “recycling, conservation, family and faith,” and looking to “create a more sustainable world in harmony with God.”

Gregory received strong support from Warnock for the plan, and the National Catholic Reporter noted that Warnock’s Ebenezer Church was among various churches and dioceses which adopted Gregory’s environmental plan. Sr. Hortensia Del Villar, chair of the San Bernardino, California, diocesan Laudato Si Committee, which also adopted the plan, hoped that through using it, the Church would become known for its “care for the earth as it is for its care for the poor.”

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Gregory himself welcomed the wide-spread, ecumenical adoption of the plan, mentioning Warnock by name, adding that Warnock saw how Laudato Si was “a letter written to all people of good will of every faith and those who might profess no particular religious faith.” Gregory hailed Warnock’s strong endorsement of the diocesan plan, calling Laudato Si “a letter written to every person on the planet that we share.”

Back in November, it was noted how Gregory had “distinguished” himself among his fellow bishops “with his embrace of Pope Francis’s landmark encyclical on the environment and climate change.” The same site also commented favorably on Warnock, calling him a “leader in a growing movement among American Black churches to embrace environmental activism.”

Warnock himself said that it was “past time” to correct “environmental wrongs and provide communities on the frontlines of our climate crisis a voice and a means to fight back against the pollution that threatens their children and families.”

Social and racial Justice

Warnock has devoted himself to so-called “social justice issues,” saying that his priorities will be built on “moral imperatives central to Black theology,” claiming he will champion “the economically disenfranchised” and work “against the racial and gender inequalities interwoven into our politics.” His actions are mirrored by Gregory, who uses his homilies as a means of promoting racial justice, saying, “We are at a pivotal juncture in our country’s struggle for racial justice and national harmony.”

In light of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots, Warnock expressed his own support of the movement, and BLM subsequently supported both Warnock and fellow Democrat Senate candidate John Ossoff, by raising $500,000 for the Georgia campaign. When Warnock’s victory was declared, BLM tweeted, “Black voters and organizers did that.”

Gregory, too, has aligned himself with the BLM ideology, claiming “we tragically still see repeated incidents of police brutality against African Americans,” and that the “virus of racism” had spread throughout the country.

Abortion

Warnock has previously called himself a “pro-choice pastor,” clearly asserting his alignment with the abortion lobby. In the wake of his message, over two dozen black pastors sent a letter to Warnock, calling him out for his pro-abortion position and asking him to reconsider his support.

Whilst Cardinal Gregory has not come out in favor of abortion, he has signaled a future compromise with Warnock, by stating that he would not refuse giving Holy Communion to heavily pro-abortion Joe Biden.

Speaking before he was made a cardinal, Gregory expressed a wish for a “conversational relationship” with the pro-abortion politician, saying: “I hope it’s a real dialogue, because I think that’s the mantra of Pope Francis — that we should be a church in dialogue, even with those with whom we have some serious disagreements.”

After being made a cardinal, Gregory reissued his words about Biden, saying he wants a “serious conversation, knowing full well that there are issues that he and I will be diametrically opposed to, but hopefully also being able to capitalize on issues that we can advance together.”

Gregory also said that he would like to see Biden’s “position on the environment, on equality, racial justice,” calling for “openness and dialogue” to “foster a spirit of collaboration and understanding.”


  abortion, catholic, climate change, raphael warnock, social justice, wilton gregory

News

BREAKING: Parler sues Amazon after being dropped from web hosting servers

Before Amazon’s ban took Parler offline, hackers conducted a breach of around 70 terabytes worth of data, including private and deleted messages, from Parler users. 
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 2:33 pm EST
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Major Parler shareholder Dan Bongino Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock
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January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) –Parler, a social media alternative to Twitter, has sued Amazon after the platform was blacklisted from Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Sunday.

Employee activists had pushed Amazon to “deny Parler services until it removes posts inciting violence, including at the Presidential inauguration” and effectively blamed Parler for violence at last week’s U.S. Capitol protest.

In a letter to Parler, Amazon claimed that the platform experienced “a steady increase in … violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms.” “You remove some [content] when contacted by us or others, but not always with urgency,” the letter reads.

Amazon also hosts Twitter, which allows a wide range of anti-Trump, anti-Semitic, and other violent messaging. Twitter, like Facebook, was used to organize the protest at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, as well. 

 “AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus,” the complaint filed by Parler in the U.S. District Court of Seattle states.

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“It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter,” the suit continues, charging Amazon with violations of antitrust law.

“Last Month, Defendant Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“AWS”) and the popular social media platform Twitter signed a multi-year deal so that AWS could support the daily delivery of millions of tweets,” the filing said, noting Twitter CEO’s apparent endorsement of Amazon’s ban. 

Parler is also suing Amazon for breaking its contract, “which requires AWS to provide Parler with a thirty-day notice before terminating service, rather than the less than thirty-hour notice AWS actually provided,” according to Parler’s lawsuit.

Before Amazon’s ban took Parler offline, hackers conducted a breach of around 70 terabytes worth of data, including private and deleted messages, from Parler users. 

“These are original, unprocessed, raw files as uploaded to Parler with all associated metadata,” claimed one of the hackers. Roughly 110,000 video URLs, totaling 57TB of data, were affected by the breach and subsequently uploaded to The Internet Archive.

“Bad news. Left extremists have captured and archived over 70TB of data from Parler servers. This includes posts, personal information, locations, videos, images etc. The intent is a mass dox and a list to hold patriots ‘accountable’. It is too late to scrub your data, and its already archived. There is nothing you can do to prevent what’s already happened. All you can do is prepare for the fallout,” reads a message allegedly from North Central Florida Patriots Telegram and quoted by The Independent.


  amazon, big tech censorship, parler

News

Democrats introduce new article of impeachment, claim Trump ‘incited’ an ‘insurrection’

A successful impeachment would disqualify Trump from seeking and holding public office in the future
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 1:22 pm EST
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Calvin Freiburger Calvin Freiburger Follow Calvin
By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Congressional Democrats are moving forward with a last-minute article of impeachment against President Donald Trump, hoping to bar him from a future candidacy less than two weeks before his term of office expires.

Scores of protesters broke into the US Capitol Building last week, following the “March to Save America” rally where the president said supporters would march “over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” where “we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen-and-women” who were meeting to formally object to the certification of electoral votes from a handful of states.

As covered live by LifeSiteNews, viral videos showed groups of protesters engaging in physical altercations with police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through a window, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers. While many were allowed to enter by police and simply walked through the building (which is normally open to the public) after the initial breach, there were several deaths, including a protester shot by Capitol Hill police, a protestor trampled amid the chaos, a police officer whose death is being investigated as a potential murder, and several due to unspecified “medical emergencies.”

Trump told the breachers to “go home in peace” via tweets and video message, yet a coalition of Democrats and establishment Republicans quickly decided that Trump had “incited” the violence, some by blaming his support of marching to the building (which was a pre-planned part of the event, advertised prior to Trump’s remarks), others by blaming Trump’s refusal to concede in the first place.

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened Sunday to move forward with impeachment if Vice President Mike Pence did not back removing Trump via the 25th Amendment (a process meant to replace a president incapacitated by medical emergencies, not for conduct his opponents deem outrageous or dangerous), and on Monday House Democrats unveiled the official resolution for “incitement of insurrection.”

“In the months preceding the Joint Session [to count the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election], President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials,” the article reads. “Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, DC.”

“There, he reiterated false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide,’” the article continues. “He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’. Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”

The article does not cite any examples of Trump advocating, encouraging, or implying violence; the closest substitute is Trump’s use of the word “fight,” which is ubiquitous among political rhetoric and is virtually never interpreted as a call to physical conflict.

Further, over the weekend Andrew Egger, a reporter with vehemently “NeverTrump” publication The Dispatch, acknowledged that the violence appeared to be instigated by people who either skipped Trump’s speech or left it early, who took matters into their own hands because they found Trump’s speech too passive and ineffectual.

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While a successful impeachment’s only short-term effect would be to remove Trump from office a few days ahead of schedule, in the long term it would also disqualify him from seeking and holding public office in the future. It is doubtful that enough Republicans would join Democrats to make it happen, however, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has come out against the impeachment push as a stunt that “will destroy the country even further.”

“Pick up the phone, call Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the squad and tell them ‘stand down,’” Graham implored incoming President Joe Biden in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “Joe Biden said it’s up to Congress regarding impeachment. No, President-elect Biden, it’s up to you.”


  capitol hill, congress, democrats, donald trump, house of representatives, impeachment, jan. 6 capitol protest, lindsey graham, nancy pelosi

News

Payment service Stripe stops processing donations to Trump campaign

Stripe is blocking the president’s campaign from accepting donations by credit or debit card, and thus, for the most part, from accepting donations online.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 12:55 pm EST
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Raymond Wolfe
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Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Stripe, an online payment service, has shut down the Trump campaign’s payment processing services, blocking the president’s campaign from accepting donations by credit or debit card, and thus, for the most part, from accepting donations online.

The company stated that President Donald Trump violated the policy against “encouraging violence” with his comments regarding the protest at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday. In fact, Trump never encouraged violence in his statements to protestors either before or after the Capitol breach.

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” the president said in his speech at the March to Save America.

On Thursday, the president strongly condemned violence at the Capitol as “heinous” and promised punishment for those involved.

Nevertheless, Stripe said that Trump broke their rule against activity that “engages in, encourages, promotes or celebrates unlawful violence or physical harm to persons or property.”

Campaign Monitor, an email service used by the Trump campaign, also suspended the campaign’s account last week. The company claimed that the emails sent from the Trump campaign’s account are “likely a very small portion of total email activity from the campaign.”

Major social media companies and tech services, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, have blacklisted President Trump and organizations connected to him since the Capitol protest. Shopify banned TrumpStore.com, which is run by the Trump campaign and Trump organization.

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Several companies have paused donations to Republicans who challenged electoral votes at Wednesday’s joint session of Congress, as well.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said it would suspend contributions to the 147 Republican members of Congress who voted to reject the certification of the Electoral College results. The group said that the lawmakers “voted to undermine our democracy.” Marriot International, Ford, and FedEx followed suit.

Democratic members of congress have raised objections to every Republican presidential victory since at least 2001 without corporate retaliation.

Democrats also have yet to face retaliation for their encouragement of social unrest amid the deadly Black Lives Matter riots this summer that left more than a dozen dead, over 1,000 police officers injured, and countless businesses and other property destroyed.


  censorship, donald trump, free speech, stripe, trump campaign

News

President Trump receives pro-life group’s top award for defending unborn

'President Trump has done more to build a Culture of Life in the U.S. than all previous presidents combined,' said Operation Rescue's president.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 12:35 pm EST
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By Operation Rescue staff

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2021 (Operation Rescue) — Operation Rescue is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2020 Person of the Year Malachi Award is President Donald J. Trump.

The Malachi Award is given by Operation Rescue every year to recognize individuals who sacrificially work to advance the cause of protecting the pre-born.

During President Trump’s Administration, he has done more to protect unborn lives than any other President in U.S. History.

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When he first took office, he immediately set out to defund those that promote abortion worldwide. He established policies at the Department of Health and Human Services that completely changed the philosophy of government from one that favored abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, to one that promised to protect life “from conception until natural death.”

His new Protect Life Rule blocked Planned Parenthood and other abortionists from receiving millions in Title X Family Planning grants.

Most recently, the Trump Administration withheld $200 million from the State of California for requiring all health insurance policies to include abortion coverage, which forces those who object to fund abortions.

Earlier this year, President Trump pulled out of the pro-abortion United Nations’ World Health Organization. The WHO is one of the world’s top promoters and funders of abortion internationally.

President Trump has also appointed three Supreme Court Justices during his first term, including conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, the first openly pro-life Justice on the Supreme Court. This has produced the first conservative majority on the High Court in decades.

President Trump’s over 300 judicial appointments give pro-life supporters new hope that life-affirming legislation will withstand legal challenges. These appointments have created a climate where the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade now exists, and has placed the nation on a course toward building an Abortion Free America.

President Trump has strengthened conscience clauses so no one can be forced to participate in an abortion who has moral objections to it. Just recently, the Department of Justice, acting under these strong conscious protections, sued a Vermont hospital for forcing a nurse to participate in an abortion against her conscience.

He has also protected religious liberties that ensure Americans can continue advocating on behalf of the unborn in freedom.

“President Trump has done more to build a Culture of Life in the U.S. than all previous presidents combined,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It is my honor to acknowledge these accomplishments and relay my deep gratitude to him for keeping and exceeding all his promises when it comes to the matter of abortion. He is a worthy recipient of the 2020 Person of the Year Malachi Award.”

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.


  abortion, department of health and human services, donald trump, malachi award, operation rescue

News

BREAKING: Ohio gov. signs ban on telemed abortion pills

Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 12:28 pm EST
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By LSN

Columbus, Ohio, January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – On Saturday, January 9, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law Senate Bill 260 which bans Ohio doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs through the use of telemedicine.

“Abortion-inducing drugs kill innocent, preborn humans and are very dangerous to mothers,” said Mark Harrington, President of the Ohio-based pro-life group Created Equal. “These drugs have led to the deaths of hundreds-of-thousands of human beings, including two dozen mothers. Allowing abortionists to prescribe these life-threatening drugs using telecommunications, instead of seeing patients in person, will only increase the complications.”  

According to the FDA, the 22 women died from a range of complications induced by the abortion drugs as part of the greater 2,740 cases of reported complications associated with the abortion drugs. The use of telemedicine will likely promote the unsupervised and dangerous sale of abortion drugs. Abortion supporters readily promote unregulated online pharmacies that sell and ship dangerous abortion drugs to women across the world, even in countries where abortion is illegal. The majority of these websites have no physician oversight. The only physician-ran website that the pro-abortion group “Plan C” promotes is in direct violation of the authority of the FDA.

The dangers of ordering abortion pills online have already led to shocking cases in Ohio. Kalina Gillum, 21, and Braden Mull, 25, appeared in court in Licking County, facing charges after they ordered medications online to abort their 28-week old baby who was left in a trash bag.


  abortion, abortion pill, created equal, mike dewine, ohio, telemed

News

Report shows 45 abortion facilities closed in 2020, plus 1 abortion-free state

Operation Rescue surveys every abortion facility annually. Here are the results for 2020.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 12:28 pm EST
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Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger
Image

January 11, 2021 (Operation Rescue) — A total of 45 abortion facilities closed or halted abortions nationwide in 2020, leaving one state without an active abortion facility, according to a survey conducted by Operation Rescue.

Missouri has become the first Abortion-Free State — at least in practice for now. The embattled Reproductive Health Services Planned Parenthood in St. Louis was the last abortion facility in Missouri. It remains open, but Operation Rescue has confirmed that no abortion appointments have been available there for months, and none are available anytime in the foreseeable future. All abortion appointments are now being referred to the Fairview Heights Planned Parenthood facility across the Mississippi River in Illinois.

RHS Planned Parenthood won a dramatic licensing battle with Missouri in May after an Administrative Court judge ordered the facility relicensed despite the objections of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, which found the facility to be unsafe and out of compliance with state abortion regulations. The DHSS had documented several cases of life-threatening abortion injuries, but their investigation into those incidents were stone-walled by uncooperative Planned Parenthood employees. Shortly after being relicensed, the facility voluntarily halted surgical abortions in Missouri. It had earlier voluntarily halted the distribution of abortion-inducing pills due to an unwillingness to comply with Missouri laws regulating the drugs. (Read more about this licensing battle at this link.)

“While the RHS Planned Parenthood remains open and licensed for abortions, we confirmed that none are being done there. That means this facility is currently acting only as an abortion referral center. There is no operational abortion facility in the State of Missouri, making it the first Abortion-Free State at this time,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It is obvious that Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, which operates RHSPP, seeks to avoid having to comply with Missouri’s strong pro-life laws, and has opted to abort in Illinois where abortion facilities are essentially unaccountable. This shows a gross disrespect for the lives and safety of the women Planned Parenthood purports to serve.”

Other noteworthy facts were revealed by Operation Rescue’s survey of every U.S. abortion facility.

  • There are currently 706 active abortion facilities in the U.S.
  • Since Operation Rescue began tracking the number of abortion facilities in 2009, surgical abortion facilities have decreased in number by 255
  • Since 1991, there has been an incredible 79 percent drop in the number of surgical abortion facilities nationwide.
  • There was a net loss of four U.S. abortion clinics overall in 2020.
  • The number of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities decreased in 2020
  • 2020 was the first year that Operation Rescue tracked the number of facilities that distributed abortion drugs via telemedicine. The survey found that 69 locations, representing 9.78 percent of all abortion facilities, now operate telemedicine abortion programs.

Methodology

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Each year, Operation Rescue conducts a nationwide survey that involves contact with each abortion business in the U.S. The information gathered about the abortion clinics and their practices represents the most current and accurate data available.

This most recent data was compiled by Operation Rescue from November 16 through December 16, 2020.

Operation Rescue defines “abortion clinics” as those businesses that conduct abortions outside a hospital setting. There are two categories of abortion clinics:

  • Surgical Abortion Clinics: These offices conduct surgical abortions. Almost always, surgical facilities also distribute abortion-inducing drugs.
  • Abortion Pill Clinics: These offices supply abortions through the administration of drugs (pills) or other chemical means. They do not conduct surgical abortions.

Abortion facility totals

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Today, there are a total of 706 U.S. abortion facilities, down a total of four facilities over last year. This marks a return to the downward trend in numbers of abortion facilities nationwide after a slight uptick in 2019 due to an expansion in chemical abortion facilities.

The number of surgical abortion clinics continues to decline with six fewer today than last year at this time.

In fact, the number of surgical abortion clinics has fallen each year for at least the past decade from 713 in 2009 to a record low of 458

That represents a decrease of 255 surgical facilities — 36 percent — over the past ten years.

“The decline in surgical abortion facilities continues to be bad news for the Abortion Cartel, but is great news for women and their babies,” said Newman. “Surgical abortion facilities are still the most numerous and the most profitable, so when they shut down, it is great news that means lives are being saved.”

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In contrast, abortion pill facility numbers have been steadily on the rise over the past decade, increasing 47.2 percent in the past eleven years.

Today, there are 248 facilities that abort only using chemical means — an increase of only three clinics nationwide in 2020 compared to 15 in 2019. This has slowed Planned Parenthood’s push to expand abortion pill facilities nationwide. 

Facilities That Closed or Halted Abortions in 2020

In all, 45 abortion facilities closed or halted abortion services in 2020. Twenty-four of those were surgical facilities, while 21 were abortion pill facilities. This number does not include facilities that temporarily halted abortions, but reopened later in the year.

Interestingly, the largest Democrat states, California and New York, had the most closures or facilities that stopped all abortions. These states were also among the hardest hit with restrictive China Virus lock-downs. There is anecdotal evidence that the restrictions contributed to the inability of some facilities to conduct abortions, but the extent of that impact is unknown at this time.

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Of the 45 facilities no longer in the abortion business, at least seven indicated that they hoped to begin offering abortions again at some point in 2021. One facility indicated they could not offer abortions until 2021 at the earliest, because they had no abortionist due to the China Virus. There is a likelihood that at least some of those facilities will never resume abortions.

Some notable facilities that closed or stopped conducting abortions are highlighted below.

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RHS Planned Parenthood, St. Louis, Missouri — As already mentioned, this notoriously dangerous Planned Parenthood facility remains open but has stopped conducting all abortions. With the help of local pro-life activists, Operation Rescue documented 75 medical emergencies that required patient transport directly from RHS Planned Parenthood to hospital emergency rooms — some of which threatened the lives of the women involved. 

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Hilltop Women’s Reproductive Center, El Paso, Texas — This facility, operated by Franz Theard, closed after he and his staff were wracked with the China Virus, which led to the death of his long-time nurse, Gloria Martinez and her husband in November. Theard, who also operates an abortion facility in New Mexico, was sued there on December 22, 2020, for an alleged assault and battery.

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Naples Health Center Planned Parenthood, Naples, Florida — In 2015, Operation Rescue, which once operated a fleet of Truth Trucks, caused a ruckus in the upscale community of Naples, Florida, by parking two of the vehicles at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility. This surgical facility halted abortions in 2020, and is now closed “until further notice.”

States

Since Missouri is now without an active abortion facility, there are five states with only one abortion facility left. Those states are Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, which saw its only surgical facility close in 2020.

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Rhode Island fell off the single-clinic list in 2020 when an independent business, Early Options, opened in Providence in competition with Planned Parenthood.

Of the single-clinic states, four are surgical abortion facilities and the one in Wyoming is an abortion pill facility. South Dakota’s abortion center is the only one operated by Planned Parenthood. The other four are independent abortion businesses.

The total number of abortion facilities increased in ten states over the past year, with California seeing the largest net gain three new facilities.

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There was a net decrease in abortion facilities in nine states in 2020, with biggest loss in New York, which dropped nine abortion facilities since 2019.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia, had no net change in the number of abortion clinics in the past year. (See map at the top.) 

Planned Parenthood

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Of the 706 abortion facilities currently open for business, 379, or 52 percent, are Planned Parenthood facilities.  

Planned Parenthood’s 171 surgical abortion facilities represent just 37 percent of all surgical abortions facilities. But Planned Parenthood also operates 208 abortion pill facilities84 percent of that type of facility currently in operation.

While those statistics seem impressive, in all, Planned Parenthood’s share of the nation’s abortion facilities shrank by two percent in 2020.

While Planned Parenthood operates more facilities than independently owned clinics, it is the independent clinics that still conduct the most abortions, according to a report published in 2020 by the Abortion Care Network.

There are currently six states with no active Planned Parenthood abortion facility. Those states are Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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Corona Virus Impact

In 2020, abortion facilities and pro-life activists were forced to contend with new restrictions due to the China virus pandemic. In some Democrat-controlled states, abortion facilities were allowed to remain open while legitimate businesses were ordered to close, churches were shuttered, and people were ordered to stay home.

At first, lines of women were observed that reached out the doors and down the street at several abortion businesses as women rushed to the facilities for panic-driven abortions.

Because of the virus, there was an increased desire to obtain abortions with minimal personal contact. This led to an expansion of telemedicine programs that were used to dispense abortion pills to women.

While telemedicine programs were restricted to a handful of abortion facilities prior to the pandemic, in 2020, Operation Rescue documented 69 facilities that now use telemedicine to dispense abortion-inducing drugs. 

However, that expansion was limited to existing facilities, for the most part. In fact, facilities that added telemedicine abortions had a minimal effect on the number of abortion facilities nationwide. In fact, there has only been an increase of two in abortion pill “facilities” nationwide over 2019.

Those two new abortion businesses — Just the Pill, based in Minnesota, and Choix in California —operate exclusively over the internet and have no physical address and distribute abortion drugs to women solely through the U.S. Mail. They can only prescribe to women who reside within the business’ home states.

Due to the China Virus, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed a 2000 law that required women to visit a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital before they could receive the two-drug abortion cocktail. Just the Pill and Choix operate as they do only because of the temporary lifting of that law.

The Trump Administration has sought to have that law reinstated, and filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on December 15, 2020. If the High Court rules in favor of reinstatement, it would likely put the internet/mail pill distributors out of business, unless they change their practices. 

However, should the Democrats resume control of the White House, it is possible that the FDA restriction will never be reinstated. Operation Rescue predicts that would allow the internet sale of abortion drugs and distribution through the U.S. Mail to increase exponentially in 2021. 

Yet, there are still eighteen states that completely ban the use of telemedicine to distribute abortion drugs. Those state laws have so far hindered the widespread expansion of telemedicine abortion businesses, and should continue to do so.

Political influences

Pro-life legislative advances have traditionally been much more numerous and effective at the state level than the Federal level, and 2020 was no different.

Six states enacted 17 life-affirming laws that added protections to women and their unborn babies, strengthened parental rights, and added new protections for minors from abuse. Those states were Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

Pro-abortion legislation that expanded abortion was enacted only in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

It usually takes time for legislation passed on the state level to have an impact, especially if the enactment of new laws are delayed by challenges in court, as is the case with most pro-life legislation.

Nevertheless, pro-life legislation passed in previous years continues to contribute to clinic closures, as was seen this year in Missouri, and is providing necessary road-blocks to keep the rapid expansion of abortion chains in check nationwide.

On the Federal level, President Donald J. Trump handed pro-life supporters several victories through rules changes, policy decisions, and Executive Orders.

Image

His 2019 Protect Life Rule took effect in 2020, denying Planned Parenthood approximately $60 million in tax-payer funds. This led to the closure of several Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide.

However, the impact has been less than some predicted. This is because several Democrat-controlled states replaced the lost federal funding with state tax dollars. Monitoring of news reports has showed reason to believe that private donations to Planned Parenthood also increased to compensate.

President Trump made the decision in mid-December withhold $200 million from the State of California because it requires all health insurance policies to include abortion coverage. The impact of that decision won’t be felt until 2021.

But perhaps President Trump’s most potentially impactful pro-life acts in 2020 were his appointments of Federal judges that have transformed the judiciary. Since his term began, he has appointed over 300 new conservative Federal judges. This gives pro-life legislation that is known to affect the ability of some abortion facilities to operate a better chance of surviving future Constitutional challenges.

Also this year, President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, the first openly pro-life Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court — his third pick for the High Court since he took office. This has created the first conservative majority on the Supreme Court in decades and paved the way for Roe v. Wade to be reversed at some future time. 

Currently 10 states have trigger laws that would immediately ban abortion should Roe be overturned. Those are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Missouri, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Utah.

The impact of Trump’s judicial appointments and other pro-life policies are sure to be felt for years to come.

Factors Contributing to Fewer Abortion Facilities

The decrease in the number of abortion facilities in 2020 is attributable to at least three factors.

  • State laws.
  • Regulatory issues.
  • The China Virus.

In past years, a decrease in demand for abortions played a role in clinic closures; however, what effect the China Virus has had on abortion demand remains unknown for now, until state abortion numbers for 2020 are released.

Also in past years, the retirement of abortionists played a role in abortion facility closures. While at least one facility in California closed due to abortionist retirement, that trend is fading due to the rapid training of new abortionists through programs affiliated with the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. That organization claims to have trained 7,100 abortionists worldwide from 1999 through 2018.

In 2020, Operation Rescue published an exposé about Bixby’s U.S. abortion training programs, their funding, and their globalist depopulation goals. (Read that exclusive report.)

Conclusions

Since 2020 has been a troubled and unpredictable year, there has been a bit of a shake-up in some abortion industry trends, there has been stability in others. For example, surgical abortion facilities continue to dominate at 65% of all abortion facilities. That percentage is unchanged from 2019, and down just two percent since 2018.

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Operation Rescue’s survey also found that most abortion pill facilities continue the previously documented trend of being comprised primarily of part-time facilities, whereas surgical facilities tend to have more abortion days available. The survey found that some abortion pill clinics are only open to dispense abortion drugs as infrequently as once a month. 

There is no doubt that the China Virus was responsible for a new trend toward expanded telemedicine programs that distributed abortion drugs with minimal contact. However, this expansion did not lead to any substantial increase in the number of abortion facilities nationwide.

The increase in abortion pill distribution through the U.S. mail was also noted in 2020. This trend was predicted by Operation Rescue in an exposé published in May 2019. While we considered this a back-up plan to be implemented should Roe v. Wade be overturned, the China Virus accelerated that timeline, with the aid of the FDA’s decision to “temporarily” relax distribution guidelines. Whether this trend continues to hold after the China Virus subsides remains to be seen.

“Overall, we are grateful for fewer active abortion facilities in 2020 and for the 45 clinics that closed or halted abortions. With all the turmoil in our nation, 2020 could have been much worse for the unborn,” said Newman. 

Current events will undoubtedly play a part in future abortion trends.

“I predict that 2021 will be a crossroads of sorts for the Abortion Cartel and the Pro-Life Movement alike,” said Newman. “National politics could have a greater impact than ever this year. If the Republicans maintain control of the Executive Branch, we could see huge pro-life gains. If the Democrats assume power over the Executive Branch, we could see an abortion expansion not witnessed since the early years after the Roe v. Wade decision decriminalized abortion nationwide. So much remains in limbo at this moment. But whatever challenges 2021 holds, Operation Rescue will continue to work toward our goal of building an Abortion-Free America and a bright future of the children of tomorrow.”

Up next: The Status of American Abortion Facilities in 2020, Part 2, which will reveal trends in abortion costs, wait times, gestational age limits, and more.

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.


  abortion, operation rescue, planned parenthood

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Follow LifeSiteNews on censorship-free platforms: Parler, Rumble, and more

Big Tech is ramping up censorship of conservative and pro-life voices.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 12:09 pm EST
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Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – As Big Tech censorship of conservative and pro-life voices has ramped up significantly in the last few days, it is more important than ever to stay up to date with LifeSiteNews’s reporting.

The most well-known social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube — went so far as to permanently ban President Donald Trump’s account as well as a number of other prominent conservative voices on the platforms.

LifeSiteNews has already received warnings about a potential complete ban from YouTube, and in the wake of the recent online “purge” of conservative voices and accounts, it is very possible that LifeSiteNews could soon be similarly banned from these mainstream social media platforms. 

Already on Friday, Buffer, the social media scheduling platform which LifeSite has used for years, suspended LifeSite’s account for an unspecified “violation of our terms of service.”

In order to keep up to date with our daily news articles and comments, make sure to bookmark LifeSiteNews.com (or save as a “favorite”). We urge our readers to subscribe to our email list, but also warn that there is a chance our current email marketing platform may join the Big Tech purge of conservatives. Should this happen, we will change email marketing platforms as soon as we are able to do so. We have been anticipating a possible purge of pro-life voices by Big Tech companies and so are prepared for this day. We also urge our readers to make a habit of regularly going straight to LifeSite’s homepage. This will prevent any censorship from getting in the way of your reading the hard-hitting reporting we provide.

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In addition, LifeSite is using alternative social media platforms which are defending the right to free speech and are without the censorship seen on the more popular platforms. Set up an account on these censorship-free sites, in order to stay up to date on our news coverage and hear the news the mainstream media is trying to silence:

Telegram: https://t.me/lifesitetelegram (Please note this is the official LifeSite Telegram channel. There is another one that posts LifeSite articles and appears to be based out of Germany. It is not affiliated with us.)

Gab: https://gab.com/LifeSiteNews

MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/lifesitenewscom1

Rumble, for LifeSite’s videos: https://rumble.com/user/LifeSiteNews

Parler: https://parler.com/profile/lifesitenews (Parler is currently down as a result of a decision by Amazon to suspend the company’s website hosting. Parler CEO John Matze is currently working on a resolution to the issue, describing Amazon’s move as an “attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet.”)


  facebook, free speech, gab, instagram, mewe, parler, rumble, social media censorship, telegram, twitter, youtube

News

Melania Trump: American freedom means being able to express ‘viewpoints without persecution’

'As an American, I am proud of our freedom to express our viewpoints without persecution.'
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 11:58 am EST
Featured Image
First Lady Melania Trump, Nov. 26, 2019 Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – First Lady Melania Trump warned citizens today that the “paramount” American ideal of having freedom to express “viewpoints without persecution” is now under assault.

“As an American, I am proud of our freedom to express our viewpoints without persecution,” the First Lady stated. “It is one of the paramount ideals which America is fundamentally built on. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect that right. With that in mind, I would like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives.”

Melania Trump’s comments come in the wake of her husband President Donald Trump having his social media accounts permanently removed from social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Trump supporters such as Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and General Michael Flynn were also purged from Twitter as well. Mainstream conservative commentators have also reported mysteriously losing huge portions of their followers.

Melania Trump’s comments also come in the wake of Joe Biden using the label “domestic terrorists” in reference to Trump supporters. 

Melania Trump said she was “disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” referring to violent people who entered the Capitol building on the same day of a Save America Rally where Trump addressed hundreds of thousands of his supporters. There were five deaths connected to the event.

“Most recently, my heart goes out to: Air Force Veteran, Ashli Babbitt, Benjamin Philips, Kevin Greeson, Rosanne Boyland, and Capitol Police Officers, Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. I pray for their families comfort and strength during this difficult time,” stated the First Lady about the victims.

Melania Trump condemned the violence while calling for “healing” in “our country and its citizens.”

“Our Nation must heal in a civil manner. Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable,” she stated.

The First Lady also implored citizens to not use violence to solve problems.

“I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness. We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us.”

“It is inspiring to see that so many have found a passion and enthusiasm in participating in an election, but we must not allow that passion to turn to violence. Our path forward is to come together, find our commonalities, and be the kind and strong people that I know we are,” she stated.

She thanked the millions of Americans who have “supported my husband and me over the past 4 years.”

“Most importantly, I ask for healing, grace, understanding, and peace for our great Nation. Every day let us remember that we are one Nation under God. God bless you all and God bless the United States of America,” she concluded.

Catholic priest Father Jeffrey Kirby, a moral theologian and philosopher, is warning Americans who believe in God of the “dark” four years they have before them under a Biden administration that he says will commence an all-out assault on religious freedom that will especially target Christians, resulting in persecution.

RELATED: 

Parler goes offline after Amazon removes hosting services following Google and Apple bans


  jan. 6 capitol protest, january 6, melania trump, persecution

News

Biden compares GOP senators questioning 2020 election to Nazi propaganda chief

‘It’s one thing for one man, or one woman, to repeat the lie over and over and over again,’ Biden said, apparently referring to Trump. ‘But the acolytes that follow him, like Cruz and others, they are as responsible as he is.’
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 10:02 am EST
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Joe Biden LifeSiteNews / Rumble
Raymond Wolfe
By

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated as president on January 20, compared GOP legislators who challenged the 2020 presidential election results, led by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as well as President Donald Trump, to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels during an announcement on Friday.

“I was being reminded by a friend of mine, and maybe you were with me, I can’t recall, when we told that, you know, Goebbels and the great lie, you keep repeating the law, repeating the lie,” the 78-year-old former vice president said in a rambling, error-filled statement to a reporter.

“Well, there was a print that when [German city of Dresden] was bombed, firebombed [during the Second World War], there were 250 people that were killed — was it 2,500 people that were killed?”

“And Goebbels said, no, 25,000 — or 250,000 were killed. And our papers printed that. Our papers printed it. It’s big lie [sic],” Biden added.

35,000 people actually have been estimated to have perished in the Allied firebombing of Dresden, and some counts put the death total higher, according to the National World War II Museum.

Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, also has not been shown to have used the term “big lie” in reference to himself. “The quotation usually seems to be used by those on the political left and right, who find it helpful in associating those they don’t like with the Nazis,” Randall Bytwerk of Calvin University has said.

Biden continued, “It’s one thing for one man, or one woman, to repeat the lie over and over and over again,” apparently referring to President Donald Trump. “But the acolytes that follow him, like Cruz and others, they are as responsible as he is.”

The former vice president has repeatedly compared President Trump to Goebbels, often citing the same erroneous “big lie” anecdote. Biden and his campaign have been condemned by Jewish groups and lawmakers several times over comparisons of Republicans to Nazis, although Biden has never apologized.

As the head of the Berlin Nazi Party, Joseph Goebbels facilitated the deportation of 60,000 of Berlin’s Jews, nearly all of whom were murdered, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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The Jewish Virtual Library has described Goebbels as, “one of the chief secret abettors of the ‘Final Solution,’” personally supervising the deportation of Jews from Berlin in 1942 and proposing that Jews along with gypsies should be regarded as “unconditionally exterminable.”

Neither Trump nor Cruz and Hawley have been found to have publicly expressed directly racist or antisemitic views. Biden, however, was once an ardent defender of racial segregation for public schools.

Biden also espouses a radical pro-abortion platform that would lead to an increase of at least 60,000 killings of babies by abortion in the U.S. every year, experts estimate. Over 61 million babies have been aborted in America since 1973, in what many have termed a “genocide.”

The “big lie”?

While Biden slammed Sens. Cruz and Hawley for “repeating the big lie,” none of the senators’ public statements regarding their electoral objections appear to contain falsehoods, or even any seriously disputed allegations about the highly problematic 2020 election.

Hawley’s objection to Pennsylvania’s electors centered almost entirely around Act 77, a state law that authorized “a new option to vote by mail without providing an excuse,” according to the governor’s office.

The Pennsylvania constitution only permits mail-in voting in four narrowly-defined cases. Republican candidates challenged Act 77 in court two months ago, although their suit was rejected based on technical issues, as Hawley noted in his speech on Wednesday.

Sen. Cruz did not discuss specific incidences or allegations of election fraud or illegality in either his public statements about his objection to Biden’s electors or in his speech on the Senate floor.

Cruz and Hawley both have faced blistering criticism and calls to resign from Democrats and the media over their electoral vote challenges. Democrats nevertheless have objected to electoral votes after every Republican presidential victory since 2001.

Sen. Cruz has condemned Biden’s comments, calling them “vicious partisan rhetoric,” that “tears our country apart.” 

Hawley also responded, saying that all Democrats should “be asked to disavow” Biden’s “disgusting comments.”


  2020 election, donald trump, election fraud, joe biden, joseph goebbels, ted cruz, voter fraud

News

Parler goes offline after Amazon removes hosting services following Google and Apple bans

Parler CEO John Matze initially said the platform would be offline 'for up to a week,' but earlier today said 'we will likely be down longer than expected'
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 9:53 am EST
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John Matze, CEO of Parler. American Thought Leaders - The Epoch Times / YouTube
Raymond Wolfe
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January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Amazon has removed its hosting services from Parler, forcing the Twitter alternative offline.  

The move comes after Google and Apple both banned the social media platform with loose restrictions on speech from their app stores.  

Leftist activist groups have stepped up attacks of Parler in recent days, effectively blaming them for Wednesday’s breach of the U.S. Capitol. 

A letter sent to Parler by Amazon states: 

Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in … violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. 

It also seems that Parler is still trying to determine its position on content moderation. You remove some [content] when contacted by us or others, but not always with urgency. Your CEO recently stated publicly that he doesn’t ‘feel responsible for any of this, and neither should the platform.’

Google had banned Parler from the Google Play Store on Friday, effectively blacklisting the app from all Androids. Google told Parler that it will not be reinstated unless it takes up Google’s demands of “robust moderation” of users’ content. 

“We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US,” Google alleged.

“In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues,” they added. 

Apple also removed Parler from their App Store, after having given them a 24-hour ultimatum to commit to demands similar to those made by Google.

“We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021,” Apple said in a note to Parler’s developers.

“Please remove all objectionable content from your app and submit your revised binary for review” they said.

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Apple further required “detailed information about how you intend to moderate and filter this content from your app, and what you will do to improve moderation and content filtering for your service for this kind of objectionable content going forward.”

“Apple is no different than the Chinese communist party in their preference for totalitarian thought control,” Parler owner Dan Bongino responded.

Neither Twitter nor Facebook have faced retaliation from Google or Apple for permitting widespread violent messaging and organizing, including by terrorist dictators and radical Antifa groups. 

Parler CEO John Matze had said that there “there is a possibility Parler will be unavailable on this internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch,” but earlier today said that “we will likely be down longer than expected.”

“Amazon’s, Google’s and Apple’s statements to the press about dropping our access has caused most of our other vendors to drop their support for us as well. And most people with enough servers to host us have shut their doors to us,” he said.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, Matze confirmed that Parler’s lawyers had also dropped the company. 

“Every vendor, from text message services to email providers to our lawyers, all ditched us too, on the same day.”


  big tech censorship, jan. 6 capitol protest, parler

Opinion

Twitter head gloats about suppression of free speech–supporting competitor

There was a furious reaction to Jack Dorsey's tweet about a competitor that posed a threat to his monopoly.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 1:07 pm EST
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Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com
P.J. Gladnick
By P.J. Gladnick

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January 11, 2021 (NewsBusters) — One thing that could be said for Standard Oil's John D. Rockefeller. Although he was a monopolist, he never openly gloated nor mocked the competitors that he suppressed or destroyed. The same cannot be said of the twenty-first century blatant monopolist, Jack Dorsey of Twitter. Not content to act in tandem with other social media monopolists in order to attempt to destroy his competitor, Parler, he rubbed salt in the wound he helped create by  gloating about it with a mocking tweet. 

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Because Twitter permanently banned President Trump  along with its general crackdown on free speech, many Twitter users have begun switching to Parler which for awhile made it the number one free app download.  

This obviously did not sit well with the Orwellian social media giants so acting in tandem, Apple and Google removed access to the Parler app followed by Amazon removing Parler from its web hosting service. Soon afterwards, Parler fell from its download ranking due to the suppression by the social media monopolies leading to this gloating tweet by Jack Dorsey:

There was a furious reaction to Dorsey's Tweet about a competitor that posed a threat to his monopoly.

Image

The result of this collusion among the big social media corporations to suppress competitors means that they have now boxed themselves into a corner where they are forced to go all out to continue to support the Democrats in the future in order to avoid antitrust actions should the party they control lose power.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.


  big tech, censorship, donald trump, freedom of speech, jack dorsey, newsbusters, parler, social media, twitter

Opinion

Is ‘nice’ ever really the right word to describe Jesus?

Of course Jesus was loving, but does love equal 'nice'?
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 12:46 pm EST
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Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.com
Steve Ray
By Steve Ray

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January 11, 2021 (Defenders of the Catholic Faith) — I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, “That was not very Christ-like.” This response usually comes after being honest to the point of making someone upset. The implication is that Jesus was a cuddly little nice guy who was always smiling, always accepting with kind words — in short NICE.

In America we tend to be pretty nice, except maybe if you live in New York City. But in contrast to the rest of the world we tend to be very polite, genteel, gracious and nice. Tour guides in other countries say that Americans are the nicest people. We transpose our niceness onto Jesus and think he was a lot like us.

But does LOVE = NICE?

Of course Jesus was loving. He is God after all and God is love (1 John 4:8). We also know that love does not always equate to NICE. God allowed Paul to have a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble (2 Cor 12:7). Three times Paul prayed for it to be removed. God said NO. God was not acting very American. He certainly wasn’t very nice about it.

Nice is defined primarily as “pleasant or commendable, kind or friendly” (Collins English Dictionary). It originally comes from the Latin meaning “simple, silly or ignorant.”

There is such a thing as “tough love.” It is the kind of love that cares enough to be honest, to confront, to discipline, to cause temporary pain to bring about eternal glory. On the surface “tough love” does not always appear to be nice. How often has a child, sent to the corner blurt out “You are not very nice!”

Was Jesus nice?

Like Aslan the Lion in C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Jesus is approachable and loving, but don’t ever consider him “tame” or too cuddly. Jesus is God as well as man. He expressed the wrath and anger of God as well as the mercy and love of God.

Imagine coming to the Temple in Jerusalem one day to pray. You hear a great commotion and run over to see an angry man throwing over tables, grabbing the money from the merchants and throwing the money on the ground.

But worse, you see him make a scourge of cords — a whip — and striking people with it. You are shocked that anyone would be so rude and destructive, so inconsiderate and mean to lash people with a whip. People ran in fear! Everyone was upset. Jesus was red in the face and scowling. It certainly wasn’t very “Christ-like.” How nice was that?

Jesus was always loving, but he was not always nice, as we Americans count niceness. Here is just one example. Jesus spoke very harshly to his fellow Jews.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. . . . You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? (Matthew 23:27, 2833).

Ouch! It doesn’t sound very kind and courteous: not very thoughtful or nice!

So, maybe there is more to WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) than we’ve been led to believe. Maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about being nice, being liked, acting like genteel Americans. Maybe we ought to be more honest and forthright about the things that really matter. Maybe we should be more willing to hurt some feelings, step on some toes, show tough love to those in sin.

Maybe we should be more Christ-like.

Published with permission from Defenders of the Catholic Faith.


  defenders of the catholic faith, jesus christ, new testament, scripture

Opinion

These 5 explosive pro-life investigations made a huge difference in 2020

More than ever, Operation Rescue exposed the political corruption that keeps abortion businesses open.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 10:42 am EST
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Sergii Gnatiuk / Shutterstock.com
Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger

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WICHITA, Kansas, January 11, 2021 (Operation Rescue) — This was a tumultuous year for Americans, from the China Virus that affected all of our lives to the contested election that still has not been resolved as of this writing. Nothing seemed normal in 2020, and that was true for us at Operation Rescue as well.

More than ever, Operation Rescue took a deep dive and connected the dots between Planned Parenthood and America’s power brokers. We exposed the political corruption that keeps abortion businesses open, and revealed how the Abortion Cartel affected big stories in 2020 — sometimes in surprising ways. 

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Operation Rescue’s exposés do more than inform the public. They affect outcomes, as you will see in our Top Five Exposés from 2020.

1. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton’s abortion connections exposed.

Image

Operation Rescue’s most read reports in 2020 were from a series of exposés that we began posting in 2019, focusing on Amy Acton and her appointment as Executive Director of the Ohio Department of Health. We had uncovered Acton’s secret move to prevent Women’s Med Center in Dayton from closing despite a court order resulting from four long years of litigation between the Ohio Department of Health — before Action arrived on the scene — and the late-term abortion facility over a licensing dispute. 

We kept digging and found that she had worked on Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign in 2008, and managed fundraising accounts of Ohio’s abortion-related non-profits. 

Our deep dive finally connected her and Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine to a group called Partners in Health, which was hired by Acton to manage Ohio’s China Virus contact tracing program. That led to links with the world’s wealthiest supporters of global population control, and their efforts to bring China-like depopulation programs to the U.S.

To our surprise, Acton’s estranged mother contacted Operation Rescue and gave a powerful interview that she hoped would set the record straight about her “troubled” daughter. One week later, Acton resigned her post as the Executive Director of the ODH and has since returned to work in the private sector. 

Read the full Acton series of reports:

2. “List of Disgrace” goes viral after Federal Born Alive Abortion Survivors Bill goes down in defeat.

Image

Operation Rescue has long advocated for adding criminal penalties to the toothless Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2003, which mandated abortionist provide care to infants born alive during abortions. We saw up close and personal the failure of that act during our coverage of the 2013 Kermit Gosnell murder trial, where he was convicted of three counts of First-Degree Murder for killing late-term babies who had been born alive at his squalid West Philadelphia abortion mill.

But it was the Florida case of Baby Shanice Denise Osborn that broke our hearts. Those responsible for her murder were never held accountable, and we used her story to support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivor Protection Act, S.311, and a companion bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S.3275 that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks gestation in the U.S.

When those two bills failed in the U.S. Senate in February, 2020, Operation Rescue published a “List of Disgrace” that named each and every Senator — all Democrats or Independents — who voted to allow late-term babies to suffer horrific and painful abortion deaths, and failed to protect newborn babies who were living and breathing after abortions. That list went viral and remains high on the “most read” charts at www.OperationRescue.org.

3. Operation Rescue supported the Re-election of President Trump, our most Pro-Life President, and exposed corrupt influences that helped rig the election.

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During the election, we were active cheerleaders for the re-election of President Donald J. Trump and focused on his pro-life accomplishments while exposing the pro-abortion policies and support of the Democrat Biden-Harris ticket.

After Election Day, Operation Rescue again took a deep dive into the impact of Planned Parenthood political cronies on the election and published exposés on Perkins Coie and SKDKnickerbocker, both high-powered firms that have connections to Planned Parenthood, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris, and others, then showed how they helped rig the election and silence the media on breaking Biden Family scandals.

In Kansas, we exposed one SKDK Democrat Senatorial Candidate, Barbara Bollier, and helped set in motion her eventual defeat, which saved an important Senate seat that contributed to the GOP maintaining control of the Senate.

Read our best election-related exposés:

4. China Virus impacts the Abortion Cartel

Image

The China Virus had an impact on both abortion facilities and pro-life efforts. The abortionists were not immune to contracting the virus. Operation Rescue’s report on three abortionists who admitted to COVID-19 symptoms while still working at abortion facilities was one of our most read reports of 2020.

Read some of our China Virus-related series of reports:

5. Abortion abuses that shocked us.

Reporting on abortion abuses, including abortion injuries and deaths, and demanding enforcement is the focus of much of Operation Rescue’s work. We recorded 65 medical emergencies at abortion facilities so far in 2020, despite China Virus lock downs that hindered pro-life efforts and the ability to closely monitor the clinics.

We also celebrated when a dangerous California abortionist surrendered his medical license after Operation Rescue lodged a complaint about his involvement in a spate of near fatal botched abortions.

Here are a few of our most notable reports on abortion abuses from 2020:

Operation Rescue extends its thanks to all who read and shared our reports, contributed to them, and supported this work throughout this difficult year. We continue to work toward an end to abortion in America, and for the freedom to continue advocating on behalf of the unborn in the New Year, no matter what challenges it may bring.

Published with permission from Operation Rescue.


  abortion, amy acton, coronavirus, mike dewine, ohio, operation rescue, planned parenthood

Blogs

Danish children’s TV show sinks to new low in perversion

The cartoon for kids ages 4-8 features a man who has an enormous penis of tremendous abilities.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 7:32 pm EST
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John Dillermand
Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon Van Maren

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January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) -- As the LGBT movement achieves cultural dominance, they have long abandoned the fiction that promotion of their worldview constitutes “adult” material. The Cartoon Network is now providing helpful educational comics for kids on new pronouns and an assortment of genders. Clifford the Big Red Dog is being relaunched with lesbian characters. Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, got gay-married. Now that it is culturally safe to do so, Disney rolls out LGBT characters regularly. I’ve referred to this phenomenon elsewhere as the colonization of childhood.

None of that, however, compares to what the Danes have just rolled out. Socialists are fond of slavering over whatever the Scandinavians are up to lately, but perhaps their latest children’s show — a new animated cartoon series presented by the DR, the Danish version of the BBC — goes too far. The show, which is targeted at children ages four to eight, features a man named John Dillermand, who has a unique problem: an enormous penis of tremendous abilities. Dillermand’s member, which breaks all world records, can be used to paint murals, perform tasks, and rob children of their ice cream.

It’s hard to understand how anyone thought this was a good idea. I, for one, would like to watch a reality show based on the behind-the-scenes work that went into the show. What did the pitch meeting look like? Did nobody wonder whether putting a man with a penis capable of stealing from children into a children’s show might be an issue? Why would someone put a penis into a children’s show to begin with? What ideas got left on the cutting room floor if this pedophile’s dream made it through?

Unsurprisingly, the mainstream media appear incapable of simply coming out and stating that this is disgusting and reprehensible.

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Instead, according to The Guardian, a gender researcher at Roskilde University was concerned that the show is “perpetuating the standard idea of a patriarchal society and normalising ‘locker room culture’ … that’s been used to excuse a lot of bad behaviour from men. It’s meant to be funny – so it’s seen as harmless. But it’s not. And we’re teaching this to our kids.” 

I have no idea what all of that post-modern drivel means, but none of it says “it is grooming to make a show about a man with a huge penis for kids,” so maybe The Guardian can find someone who can state the obvious next time.

Of course, The Guardian also found some idiot to defend this stuff. Erla Heinesen Højsted, a clinical psychologist who apparently works with children, had this to say: “John Dillermand talks to children and shares their way of thinking – and kids do find genitals funny. The show depicts a man who is impulsive and not always in control, who makes mistakes – like kids do, but crucially, Dillermand always makes it right. He takes responsibility for his actions. When a woman in the show tells him that he should keep his penis in his pants, for instance, he listens. Which is nice. He is accountable.”

The TV broadcaster DR refused to apologize, noting that they could also have developed a children’s show about a woman with no control over her genitals, apparently assuming that this is a defense. In the meantime, the sexualization of childhood continues and those who condemn it are told to calm down and get over it. Nothing, it seems, is beyond the pale anymore — not even a children’s show about a man with a huge penis that he enjoys exposing around kids. The creators of this entertainment are deeply disturbed people, and those who defend it should not be allowed anywhere near children.


  arthur, cartoon network, clifford the big red dog, denmark, dr, lgbt, penis, the guardian

Blogs

The vilification and purge is not so much about Trump as it is about you

The left won't stop with the president. They are preparing to come after all of us.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 2:34 pm EST
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John-Henry Westen John-Henry Westen Follow John-Henry
By John-Henry Westen

January 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Joe Biden has compared Trump supporters to Nazis. Nancy Pelosi — besides trying to wrestle the nuclear football from President Trump — has declared those concerned with the election fraud to be racists. And Big Tech has taken cancel culture to a whole new level. The bottom line is: they are coming after you!

Former Vice President Joe Biden recently compared those who challenge the 2020 presidential election results to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda.

This is a sickening accusation. As the head of the Berlin Nazi Party, Joseph Goebbels facilitated the deportation of 60,000 of Berlin’s Jews, nearly all of whom were murdered, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Biden is fomenting hatred against Americans who value democracy and free elections.  

Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have both faced blistering criticism, as well as calls to resign, from Democrats (and the media) over their electoral vote challenges. This despite the fact that Democrats have objected to electoral votes after every Republican presidential victory since 2001. 

And if that wasn’t enough, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said those who are concerned about voter fraud are racists!  I kid you not. Speaking on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, she said: 

I thought it was going to be an epiphany for those who were in opposition of our democracy to see the light. Instead, it was an epiphany for the world to see that there are people in our country, led by this president, for the moment, who have chosen their Whiteness over democracy. That’s what this is about.

Pelosi is so extreme in her views, and so pompous and self-righteous, she actually spoke with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, about “available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”

The New York Times reports that in a letter to her Democrat colleagues Friday, Speaker Pelosi said, “The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”

According to the Times, Pentagon officials told her, “Mr. Trump is still the commander in chief; unless he is removed, the military is bound to follow his lawful orders. While military officials can refuse to carry out orders they view as illegal — or slow the process by sending those orders for careful legal review — they cannot remove the president from the chain of command. That would amount to a military coup. 

Since she was unable to compel Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare Trump incapable of governing, Speaker Pelosi will be leading the charge for another attempt to impeach President Trump a mere 9 days before the inauguration.  

Why do all this for nine days? Why waste all this time? Why foment such hatred in an already divided nation?  

What you’ve got to realize, my friends, is that this is about you — not President Trump. 

Yes, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all scandalously banned the sitting president of the United States. Stripe, which is a payment processor, also is no longer allowing donations to the Trump campaign to be processed.

But look at what else is happening. Many other conservatives have also been banned on Twitter and Facebook. Parler, the new freedom-preserving platform, was just put offline as Amazon servers refused to host them. Moreover, Buffer — a social media posting giant — just canceled services to us here at LifeSiteNews. And the alternative scheduling platform we switched over to just two days ago has canceled us, too. 

Again, this is not about Donald Trump. This is about you.  

What do the leftists most care about? Is it really about the poor, is it really about the environment? Absolutely not! Just look at Biden with his posh billionaire lifestyle while he was supposed to be on a politician’s salary for his whole life. And look at Bill Gates with his flying over 200,000 miles in one year, making him one of the biggest polluters on the planet. 

But one thing they are ready to set aside everything for is for their sacred right of abortion. Instead of admitting the overwhelming evidence of illegal activity done by Planned Parenthood to sell aborted baby body parts, then California Attorney General Kamala Harris attacked the reporter who exposed the truth about it all, David Daleiden!

Just watch what happens to the demonstrators that went to the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to protest. We were on the ground with three reporters. We have film and evidence of the peacefulness of the massive rally. Here is the testimony of Gualberto Garcia Jones, one of our reporters on the ground:

As I covered today’s events in person in Washington, D.C., I saw a portrait of middle America: overwhelmingly Christian, but racially diverse, with people of every age group and from every corner of the country. Yes, people were upset at the blatant voter fraud and election law abuse that happened under the cover of COVID-19. Yes, people understood that the majority of the GOP was not going to back Trump in his demands (after all, Trump was elected precisely because he had the spine most GOP politicians lack). Yes, there were young men and women who looked like they wouldn’t much mind a brawl with Antifa. But I did not see a single Trump supporter calling for chaos and mayhem like we witnessed with BLM all this summer. 

 

What I saw was a lot of people who love God and love their country. And the vast, vast majority of them truly were overwhelmingly peaceful. 

When it comes to the breach of the Capitol building, yes, there was obviously violence there. But how much of that violence was instigated by bad actors posing as Trump supporters?  Surely, as video evidence attests, there was some of that. 

We at LifeSite have condemned that violence — as has, by the way, President Trump! Those who hurt police officers, and the tragedy of the death of one police officer, must be punished. 

However, after the initial breach was made, video evidence is also clear that many people walked in peacefully. They took pictures just like tourists, they prayed, some consecrated the halls of Congress to our Lord. They sang, they prayed.

Cell phone companies are now handing over to authorities the data of private citizens who were in the Capitol building. They may all face massive prosecution.  

What is this all about? Why impeach Trump with only nine days left? Why go after the peaceful, no-harm intending protestors who went into the Capitol just as so many sit-in protestors have done in the Capitol for decades? What makes these protestors so different? 

It is about crushing any questioning of the power of the left.

As that same reporter on the ground for LifeSite, Gualberto Garcia Jones, who is also the Vice President of LifeSiteNews, said in his report:

LifeSiteNews reports on matters of life, faith, family, and culture. Since 1973, the United States has lived under a deformed law that dehumanized an entire segment of humanity and has resulted in at least 60 million dead babies. Let that number sink in. 

More recently, unelected judges have decided that the fundamental reality of biologically determined gender is unlawful. Just this week, Democrats in the House of Representatives banned the use of terms such as mother and father, son and daughter. 

LifeSiteNews has never condoned political violence in any way — indeed, the whole pro-life movement is an anti-violence movement, opposing violence committed against defenseless humans — but we also realize we cannot be blind to the terrible legal, political, and cultural damage that has been and continues to be perpetrated by the radical left. Theirs is a totalitarian mindset which allows no dialogue, no debate, no law, and no order. 

What we are facing now is an enemy beyond that which we can bear. It is beyond Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, Bill Gates and George Soros. It is the Father of Lies, the prince of this world. And we must realize that, before this power, we are helpless on our own.

However, with God we are not helpless. In fact, with God we are assured of victory, but on His time. The Good Lord remains in charge of time and all of the circumstances on earth. We we will never be given a cross we cannot bear with His Almighty help. 

What, then, should we do? We can be at peace. We can discern what we are called to in this war with the powers of darkness. We are surely called to fight in this war. Our primary weapon is prayer, and then, whatever we are called to do thereafter. This is first and foremost a battle between the children of light and the children of darkness. The key to this battle is the same as it was when The Light entered the world at the Incarnation. The Scriptures tell us Jesus came into the world because of the humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us repeat with Her, making her words our own, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.”

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

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  2020 election, big tech, facebook, joe biden, president trump, twitter, u.s. election

Blogs

Pope Francis’s inclusion of ‘female ministries’ continues his pattern of rupture

It is, one might say, another nail in the coffin of the Novus Ordo, detaching it still further from the patrimony of Latin-rite worship.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 12:47 pm EST
Featured Image
Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com
Peter Kwasniewski Peter Kwasniewski Follow Dr. Peter
By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — I am not among those who said they knew, the moment Jorge Mario Bergoglio stepped out on the loggia of St. Peter’s, that we were in for a terrible time. However, within the first year, there was already evidence that the cardinals had elected a modernist, a proponent of rupture, of liberation theology and socialism; and as the years went on, it became ever more obvious that his pontificate would embody all the worst tendencies of Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, but without their redeeming qualities.

Pope Francis’s decision, with his motu proprio Spiritus Domini, to modify canon law so that the “ministries” of lector and acolyte are now open to women fits snugly into this larger pattern of rupture from Catholic tradition. While previously women were allowed to read the readings and assist at the altar, canon law permitted only men (viri) to be “installed,” in a permanent and stable way, as lectors and acolytes. It is, one might say, another nail in the coffin of the Novus Ordo, detaching it still further from the patrimony of Latin-rite worship.

For well over 1,700 years, the Roman Church knew the existence of four “minor orders” (porter, exorcist, acolyte, and lector) and three “major orders” (subdeacon, deacon, and priest). All of these roles are either liturgical or have liturgical implications, and therefore were reserved to men. Paul VI attempted to abolish the minor orders and to replace them with what he called the “ministries” of acolyte and lector, but to maintain some semblance of continuity, he too limited them to men. At the ground level, of course, the same kind of disobedience that led to communion in the hand led also to the routine use of women and girls as servers and readers (i.e., not officially instituted acolytes and lectors); John Paul II, in one of the worst moves of his pontificate, recognized the practice as allowable, albeit not required.

Thus, while Pope Francis’s motu proprio may look like a technicality—and surely would have no effect on all those places in the world where the sanctuary is already overrun with females—it represents, in fact, a tectonic shift both in theology and in praxis. For the first time ever, Francis is saying that the Catholic Church should officially institute women as liturgical ministers, i.e., not as substitutes for ministers, but as ministers simply speaking. 

While such a decision does not logically demand an opening to women deacons or women priests, it is, at the same time, intelligible only against the backdrop of the pervasive feminism that has equated the worth of women with their taking-on of roles traditionally reserved to men. In that sense, it continues to stoke the flames of a false egalitarianism that will never stop agitating for women deacons and priests. Moreover, it reflects a failure to understand why ministries were reserved to men in the first place, and why the inclusion of women in these roles is contrary to the very nature and structure of the Catholic liturgy. Many have argued these points over the years; I myself have done so in several articles that now take on a new relevance:

Leila Marie Lawler commented on Facebook:

I’m a housewife. I’m not an academic. But I can read. Not one theologian or academic I’m aware of (please prove me wrong) read Querida Amazonia and reported on what IT DOES NOT SAY. It does not mention the family and the woman’s irreplaceable role in it, as every previous reflection on the Church in the world has done. It does not mention mothers and their role in forming children. It does not mention fathers as providers and protectors. But it does speak of women as sort of parallel apostolic agents who ought to be recognized as such. In other words, it speaks—very clearly for those who have ears—of a new ecclesiology in which traditional apostles—men who are priests—must give way to and work with, and often under, women in apostolic roles. This ecclesiological vision is what is behind Cardinal Ouellet’s letter on women being given equal roles in seminaries. And it is behind this move reported here (QA is referenced by Pope Francis in his letter to the CDF) to codify in Canon Law the long-established role of women as lectors and women and girls as acolytes. (As always with progressives, praxis precedes formal legislation.)

So no, Querida Amazonia was not the anodyne letter proving that the orthodox needed to apologize for worrying about Pope Francis’s destructive tendencies. In fact, it was one more wedge in the modern fissure threatening the bulwark, the Church. When women start to think of their “baptismal dignity” as being proven in the sanctuary, the work of these corrupt shepherds will have been accomplished.

Apart from its egregious departure from Catholic tradition—not a problem, apparently, in the mind of a pope who already modified the Church’s universal catechism on a matter of no small importance—many practical problems are likely to emanate from this latest change to canon law.

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In the United States, and here and there elsewhere in the world, we have seen a slow return to the custom of male-only altar service, which, even under Spiritus Domini, remains fully legitimate (there is no requirement that women be lectors, acolytes, readers, or servers). To have only males in the sanctuary is not the majority practice, to be sure, but it has shown a surprising tendency to reassert itself. This new motu proprio will equip liberal bishops and pastors with a tool for opposing such efforts. According to the liturgical law that governs the Novus Ordo, if an instituted lector or acolyte is present, he (or now shemust be used in preference to anyone else. Previously the decision to use women lectors or servers was left up to the individual priest, but Pope Francis’s change of law could be utilized to “plant” female acolytes and lectors in parishes so that they must be employed. That would be an effective way to terminate efforts at restoring a more traditional praxis.

Some Catholics attached to the traditional Latin Mass have been wondering if this change in law will affect them. The answer is no, because—at least for now—this authentic form of the Roman rite is governed by its own laws, namely, those that were in force in 1962 (and, increasingly, by the customs present prior to 1955). Therefore, just as communion in the hand and “extraordinary ministers of holy communion” are impossible to introduce to the TLM, so too the rules about lectors and acolytes cannot affect it, since they are crafted for the Novus Ordo alone. 

When I said earlier that Pope Paul VI “attempted to abolish the minor orders,” I chose my words carefully: the fact that the minor orders continue to be conferred in priestly and religious communities that make use of the classical Roman rite indicates that they have not, in fact, been abrogated, any more than the usus antiquior itself was abrogated. In short: each of the two “forms” of the Roman rite has its own specific liturgical legislation, and never the twain shall mix. It seems to me far more likely that Pope Francis or a future pope would attempt to outlaw the usus antiquior altogether than that he would order the rubrics and laws of the Novus Ordo to be observed in the celebration of the old rite. (Again, I say “attempt” because it would be impossible for a pope to outlaw the immemorial liturgy of the Roman Church, fulminate though he may.)

Given this decision, conservatives can say goodbye to their dream of reestablishing continuity between the immemorial Latin liturgical tradition and the brave new world of the Novus Ordo. Francis has indicated—indeed, I would say all of the popes since the reform have indicated—that they care nothing for such continuity in and of itself, in its deepest root; at best, a few external reminiscences of the past might be tolerated for those who “like” such things. But it is not about “smells and bells”; it is, and has always been, about the inseparable bond between lex orandi and lex credendi, the content of our worship and the content of our faith.

Thank you, Pope Francis, for once again reminding us that what we need is not a “hermeneutic of continuity” at the mercy of its intrepid hermeneuts, but simply the reality of tradition, which is what you and all modernists despise.


  pope francis, women lectors

Blogs

Obama’s playbook plays out: Inflict maximum pain on Americans

Virtue signaling is out, contempt and malicious power displays are in.
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 11:38 am EST
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Former President Barack Obama Shutterstock
Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug
By Doug Mainwaring

Big Tech is censoring us. Subscribe to our email list and bookmark LifeSiteNews.com to continue getting our news.  Subscribe now.

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — For years, forces on the left have let it be known that they aim not only to silence conservatives; they aim to punish and outlaw those who oppose their inhuman ideology.

Shortly after retaking the White House in 2013, President Barack Hussein Obama initiated a plan to win back Democrat control of the U.S. House of Representatives in order to enable his Administration to, according to The Washington Post, “push forward with a progressive agenda on gun control, immigration, climate change and the economy during his final two years in office.”

His goal at the time was simply to exterminate any vestiges of Republican power in the nation’s capital.

“The Obama strategy is maximum pain for political gain,” observed Newt Gingrich at the time in a radio interview with Sean Hannity. “[Obama] is deliberately deciding to impose the worst possible cuts in order to maximize the pain level on the American people.”

“For perhaps the first time in the history of the United States, it is in the political interest of a president to inflict maximum pain on the American people,” wrote the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll.

Image
October 2013 Veterans Rally at the WWII Memorial (Photo: Doug Mainwaring)

Despite the efforts of Republicans in Congress, Democrats shut down national parks and memorials, and sabotaged funding for the National Institutes of Health and programs for America’s Veterans.

The maliciousness of Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid was vividly displayed when WWII veterans came to D.C. in October 2013 to protest the denial of access to health care and other services.

When they arrived they found that Obama had ordered the U.S. Park Service to shut down and wall off all of D.C.’s open-air war memorials on the National Mall to prevent WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam Vets in their sixties to their nineties, often in wheelchairs, from paying homage to their fallen comrades.

And when private citizens, aghast at the inhumane treatment of our aging veterans, had earlier pitched in to provide porta potties for the vets because of the locked public restrooms, delivery was denied by the U.S. Park Service, preventing access to the most basic of human needs.

Image
Don’s Johns delivered Port-A-Johns to the World War II Memorial. National Park Service Rangers refused to accept the delivery. (Photo courtesy of Michele Tennery)

“Human dignity be damned. Care and compassion be damned. Let elderly vets soil themselves,” I wrote at the time in an American Thinker article. A Creators Syndicate commentary called the action “sadistic.”

For months, vets and active military were the focus of the administration’s contempt, suffering one indignity after another. Yet Democrats clearly did not care. The vets and the rest of America were nameless casualties of the progressives’ insatiable hunger for power.

Virtue signaling is out; contempt and malicious power displays are in

But now we are witnessing something much bigger than the Democrats’ petulant, adolescent fit of 2013.

After years of using the device of public “virtue signaling” in order to display their self-deceived moral superiority as a means to influence society, progressives are now unselfconsciously showing their raw contempt for Americans who don’t think like they do.

It’s no longer just politicians shutting down healthcare and restrooms. The entire progressive government-Big Tech/social media-corporate complex has arrayed itself against conservatives and all Americans who resist them.

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During his 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Obama sent red flags up all over the country when he strongly proposed “a civilian national security force.”

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set,” Obama said. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

That plank in the future president’s platform was quickly removed, but evidently not discarded. Antifa and Black Lives Matter have served that purpose very well. Democrats who praised them and refused to condemn their violence and destruction, essentially kighted them as their personal “civilian national security force,” even as cities burned and normal Americans were brutally attacked.

Major roadways have been blocked, business owners doing nothing more than protecting their property were assaulted, and elderly people enjoying dinner at outdoor cafes were berated and threatened by what is for all intents and purposes the Democrats’ “civilian national security force.”

Progressives no longer whisper their disgust for normal Americans who disagree with them; they are now shouting their hatred from the rooftops.

Friday Night Massacre

Progressive forces have gone further in recent days: The Kraken has been released — not by conservatives, as many had hoped for, but by progressives who have suddenly turned social media and America’s nearly universal reliance on it into a weapon of mass conservative destruction.

The American people’s well-intentioned but sheepish compliance with pandemic lockdowns and mask requirements have apparently emboldened the titans of tech working in conjunction with government overlords to take drastic steps to beat back and squash their adversaries.

Beginning Friday night, social media giants began killing off conservative voices from their platforms. President Trump’s presence was banned from virtually every social media platform, and other prominent conservatives saw their followers drastically reduced.

Corporate America quickly joined in and began exerting its muscle.

  • Parler was sentenced to death (but vowed to rebuild from scratch) by an Amazon, Apple, and Google firing squad;

  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) revealed that publishing giant Simon & Schuster canceled his book contract;

  • Forbes’⁩ chief content officer issued a warning against hiring ⁦Kayleigh McEnany or any other Trump administration official;

  • Delta Airlines reportedly ejected Trump supporters from one of its flights simply for having a private discussion about their support for President Trump.

Expect the public condemnations and expulsions of conservatives and conservative influence to continue for the foreseeable future.

Do not allow yourself to become demoralized.


  barack obama, big tech, social media censorship, virtue signaling

Blogs

If the Capitol was burned to the ground, how come it’s still there?

The media has spent countless hours in the past few days telling us about 'the enormous damage suffered by the Capitol.'
Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 10:57 am EST
Featured Image
shutterstock
Steven Mosher Steven Mosher Follow Steven
By Steven Mosher

January 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – According to the Democrats and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself), Trump supporters went on a wild rampage last Wednesday, leaving the Capitol a pillaged smoking ruin. You will be forgiven for believing that it was the worst assault on American democracy since 1812, when British Marines stormed ashore and burned the Capitol to the ground.

Except that it wasn’t.

More and more eyewitnesses are coming forward to give a true account of what happened that day.  Their accounts, not surprisingly, bear almost no resemblance to the mainstream media narrative.  The same media outlets which for three years lied about the Steele Dossier, Russian Collusion, and the Phony Impeachment are, not surprisingly, lying to us again. 

The Capitol Police allowed the crowd in past the first row of barricades.  There are videos, now being taken down by Big Tech, showing police opening up the outer barricades.  One actually shows a policeman shouting “go, go, go!” to the demonstrators, seemingly urging them to run to the Capitol steps on the west side, where a second set of barricades was set up.

As the crowd grew, those in front were inexorably pushed forward.  Now the police tried to hold the crowd back, using pepper spray, tear gas, and in some cases their batons.  Witnesses say those in charge never declared an unlawful assembly, or gave any other orders to the crowd beforehand.  

Nevertheless, videos show that the crowd did not, in general, retaliate.  Unlike the Leftists mobs that we have grown all too familiar with over the past year, they did not attack the police with sticks, bricks or other weapons. 

The MAGA rallygoers, unlike their Leftist counterparts, are law and order types, and respect the men and women in blue who serve to protect them.  Those in the front of the crowd could not easily retreat in any event, because of the press of the crowd behind them.

One does not have to be a history buff to remember that the Capitol has been “stormed” many times before. One of the leaders of the 2018 Women’s March, Sophie Ellen-Golman, triumphantly tweeted, “Women’s March just took the Capitol. … walked straight past the police, climbed over the barricades, and sat down on the Capitol steps.”  

What did the police do in the face of this flagrant violation of the law?  Nothing.  

On January 6th, as the Capitol building was surrounded by peaceful protesters, the Capitol Police inexplicably opened the doors and began letting the demonstrators file in. I remain puzzled as to why anyone would order them to do this.  Obviously the building should have gone into lockdown, with all entrances and exits locked and guarded.

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I have heard that the Capitol Police invited the demonstrators in “in an effort to minimize the damage being caused by the rioters.” This is absurd on the face of it.  Would Target and Macy’s open their doors to violent rioters to “minimize the damage” caused by rioting and looting?  Obviously not.  

There are videos, now taken down by Twitter, showing black-garbed agitators beating on the locked doors of the Capitol only to be stopped by other demonstrators.  Millie Weaver has posted evidence on Parler of Antifa/BLM activist John Sullivan “illegally entering the Capitol through a broken window, inciting others saying “Burn it all down!” Sullivan is seen breaking a window” and, strangely, filming the fatal shooting of U.S. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt by security. 

Once the doors were opened, a steady column of demonstrators streamed in.  Not only did the police make no effort to stop them, some literally waved demonstrators in, and were seen giving them directions while inside the building.  There are even pictures of police taking selfies with the demonstrators.  

The media has spent countless hours telling us about “the enormous damage suffered by the Capitol.”  This is the same media, by the way, who for three years running told us that “Russian collusion” was real.  It wasn’t.

I have looked in vain for pictures of graffiti-covered walls, toppled and broken statues, or burned-out offices.  There were a couple of windows broken inside the Capitol, reportedly the work of agitators like Sullivan. And there were a few water bottles left on the marble floor of the Rotunda.  But the worst thing I have come across is a picture of an office with papers strewn all over the floor and a picture of an idiot, now arrested, with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk.  But to characterize this as “enormous damage” is simply ridiculous. 

If you want to see what real damage to the Capitol looks like, consider the below picture.  Convicted terrorist Susan Rosenberg planted a bomb outside the US Senate chamber in 1983 in an effort to assassinate Republican senators.  Rosenberg was pardoned by Bill Clinton on the advice of Democrat House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY).

Image

As recently as June 2020 Rosenberg was listed as being a board member for an organization called “Thousand Currents,” which manages fundraising for the Black Lives Matter Global Network. When Rosenberg’s connection to BLM was made known last year, the webpage listing her as a board member was deleted.

Regarding Rosenberg’s activities, the mainstream media “fact-checking” service, Snopes, has this to say:

In the absence of a single, universally-agreed definition of “terrorism,” it is a matter of subjective determination as to whether the actions for which Rosenberg was convicted and imprisoned — possession of weapons and hundreds of pounds of explosives — should be described as acts of “domestic terrorism.”

Almost everyone who entered the Capitol after the doors were opened wide simply walked through the vast building.  Instead of toppling the statues of American heroes, they took pictures of themselves with them.  Instead of taking down the American flags and burning them, they waved their own proudly beside them.  For many, it was more of a self-guided tour of the Capitol than anything else.

I deeply regret the two deaths, a police officer and a protester, 14-year veteran Ashli Babbitt, that have been most widely reported on.  A federal “excessive force” investigation has been opened into Babbitt’s death. 

The FBI, supine for years in the face of the corruption of the Biden Crime Family and massive election fraud, has now suddenly gone into hyperdrive arresting people all over the country.  Their crime?  Entering the Capitol building after the police opened the doors to them.  

Activist John Sullivan, on the other hand, who may have actually “breached” the Capitol by breaking a window, was overheard by Weaver saying that he is not being charged.  

If it weren’t for double standards, the leaders of the FBI would apparently have no standards at all.

After looking at the evidence, and talking to eyewitnesses, I believe that what happened at the Capitol was more than just a “mostly peaceful protest.”  It was an almost entirely peaceful protest by ordinary Americans upset that Congress would certify electoral votes from the half dozen states which experienced massive fraud.  

They were exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully protest for a redress of grievances, which grievance in this case involved the violation of their rights, as American citizens, to a free and fair election.

For this, the demonstrators are being viciously slandered by the man who will soon occupy the White House.  In one of the most outrageous lies in American political history, Joe Biden actually accused them of being insurrectionists and domestic terrorists.

According to Biden, “They weren’t protesters.  Don’t dare call them protesters.  They were a riotous mob—insurrectionists, domestic terrorists.  It’s that basic.”

Here Biden seems to be confusing the Capitol demonstrators with some of his own supporters.

By now, most Americans know what a “riotous mob” actually looks like.  After all, for months on end we have seen left-wing mobs allowed to rampage through Democrat-run cities.  We have seen rioters assaulting police and citizens alike, along with looters who ransack stores and then set them on fire.  We have also seen the burned out buildings and shuttered stores they have left in their wake.  

All the while, we have seen them celebrated by everyone in the Democrat party from Biden on down as “mostly peaceful protesters.”  Harris and Biden have even encouraged their staff and supporters to bail these criminals out of jail, in effect freeing them to riot again the following night.

I believe that the wild accusations and over-the-top rhetoric that we are hearing from the Left is a sign of weakness, not of strength.  

They know they stole the election and are terrified that the American people will wake up to their fraud. 

They are right to be worried, because tens of millions of Americans are already “woke.” 

They are also waking up to this: that the trifecta of Democrat operatives, Deep State actors, and tech tyrants who stole it constitute the greatest threat to freedom and liberty that this country has seen in several generations. 

The Left may call us whatever names it wants, from deplorables to insurrectionists, but this is our country, and we are not going to let them steal it.


  jan. 6 capitol protest

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Episodes Mon Jan 11, 2021 - 3:59 pm EST

If Joe Biden is installed as president, America is in for evil ‘never seen before’

By Mother Miriam
By

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In this episode, Mother Miriam speaks about the current crisis in America, and how it is more important than ever to pray for our nation.

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