All of yesterday's US articles

June 19, 2018


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Bishop Timothy Doherty of Lafayette, Indiana, is the USCCB chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People. Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
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Bishops make clear the Church’s teaching on the ‘inviolability of the seal of confession’

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By Lisa Bourne

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference approved revisions to its Charter for Protection of Children and Young People last week, including reinforcing the primacy of the confessional seal.

The bishops voted in favor of the revision 185-5, with one abstention, at their Spring General Assembly.

In Article 4 of the Charter, the clause “With due regard for the seal of confession” was added in regard to the reporting of an allegation to public authorities “due to recent change and challenges to the inviolability of the seal of Confession.”

“The statement makes clear the teaching of the Church on this matter,” said Bishop Timothy Doherty of Lafayette, Indiana, the USCCB chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People.

There were a number of revisions, but none necessitating changes to the Essential Norms.

Among the other revisions were expanding the scope of mandatory reporters and those of whom it would be required to have a background check before working with children.

Language in Article 6 involving codes of conduct was changed to emphasize that all those who have contact with minors abide by the standards of behavior and appropriate boundaries, where formerly these articles were limited to those people in positions of trust who had regular contact with children and young people. Language in Article 12 was updated as well for consistency.

A change in Article 13 ensures that all those who come in contact with minors have background checks rather than limiting it to ongoing unsupervised contact with minors.

The phrase “other media” was added to Article 2 to expand on possible ways to promote the procedures to make an allegation of abuse. This change was to highlight the importance of using digital media to promote the reporting of allegations.

The charter was last revised in 2011. The revision process for the update began in 2013, and the next time for review will be in seven years instead of two years to better allow for legal and canonical review.

The inviolability of confession has been increasingly in the crosshairs, with governments and litigation here and abroad attempting to compel Catholic priests to reveal what they’ve heard in the confessional for the purpose of reporting abuse.

The Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) passed a law June 7 requiring Catholic priests to break the seal of confession to report child-sex abusers. It extends mandatory reporting of child abuse to cover churches and church activities, including the Catholic confessional. Priests could be jailed if they do not comply.

But priests cannot violate the seal of the confessional, meaning he cannot repeat what he is told by a penitent while confessing his or her sins, including discussing it with the penitent outside of confession,

Canon law states that “the sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.”

Priests who violate this seal of confession are automatically excommunicated.

Confession is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. The Church teaches that Christ is present to the penitent, and the priest hearing the confession simply functions as Christ’s conduit of forgiveness.

Priests have been martyred for refusing to break the seal.

A similar bill was introduced in Ireland in 2012 and attempted again in 2014.

There have also been attacks on the sacred nature or the confessional seal in the U.S.

A Louisiana priest fought for years recently to uphold the seal of confession despite being sued for not disclosing abuse.

ARTICLE 4. Dioceses/eparchies are to report an allegation of sexual abuse of a person who is a minor to the public authorities. Dioceses/eparchies are to comply with all applicable civil laws with respect to the reporting of allegations of sexual abuse of minors to civil authorities and cooperate in their investigation in accord with the law of the jurisdiction in question.

Dioceses/eparchies are to cooperate with public authorities about reporting cases even when the person is no longer a minor.

In every instance, dioceses/eparchies are to advise victims of their right to make a report to public authorities and support this right.

Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons, 2006

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Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts, is chair of Subcommittee for Health Care Issues. Lisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
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U.S. bishops clarify guidelines for Catholic, non-Catholic hospital agreements

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By Lisa Bourne

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Bishops approved revisions to their directives governing healthcare institutions last week at their spring meeting that deal specifically with partnerships between Catholic and non-Catholic entities.

The revised directives clarify the local diocesan bishop’s governing authority with regard to collaborative arrangements between Catholic and non-Catholic healthcare institutions and public juridical persons.

The revision entailed a complete restructuring of the introduction of Part 6 of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs), and the new introduction recalls the Church’s overall mission of healing as expressed through the ERDs.

Part Six of the ERD is in regard to Forming New Partnerships with Health Care Organizations and Providers.

Established in 2009, the ERDs instruct Catholic hospitals how to operate in accord with Church teaching, and they have been at the center of numerous attempts nationwide to force them to provide services in conflict with Church teaching, including abortion and sterilization.

“When considering a collaboration, Catholic health care administrators should seek first to establish arrangements with Catholic institutions or other institutions that operate in conformity with the Church’s moral teaching,” the introduction states in part. “It is not uncommon, however, that arrangements with Catholic institutions are not practicable and that, in pursuit of the common good, the only available candidates for collaboration are institutions that do not operate in conformity with the Church’s moral teaching.”

“Such collaborative arrangements can pose particular challenges if they would involve institutional connections with activities that conflict with the natural moral law, church teaching, or canon law,” it goes on to state. “Immoral actions are always contrary to ‘the singular dignity of the human person, the only creature that God has wanted for its own sake.’”

The intro to part 6 continues:

“It is precisely because Catholic health care services are called to respect the inherent dignity of every human being and to contribute to the common good that they should avoid, whenever possible, engaging in collaborative arrangements that would involve them in contributing to the wrongdoing of other providers.”

In its discussion of the collaborative arrangements between Catholic and non-Catholic institutions and healthcare systems, the new introduction to Part Six also includes a description of the principles governing cooperation in evil. The language in the description is derived from the magisterial teaching of the Church, in particular Pope St. John Paul II and Evangelium Vitae #74.

Some of the existing directives were also reordered and revised, and the number of directives increased from six to 10.

“These changes address how cooperation should be evaluated morally when these partnerships are being affected,” said Worcester Bishop Robert McManus, chair of Subcommittee for Health Care Issues.

The issue that led to the revision was the governing authority of bishops over hospitals that belong to a trans-jurisdictional hospital system.

Bishop McManus detailed the action item’s history for the Bishops.

In 2013, the USCCB’s Doctrine Committee sent dubium to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with questions regarding the transformation of a Catholic health-care system into a non-Catholic system.

The CDF responded in 2014, not in the usual affirmative or negative to the dubium, instead with the document titled Some principles for Collaboration with Non-Catholic Entities in the Provision of Healthcare Services, with a total of 17 principles.

The Doctrine Committee then looked at incorporating the principles into the introduction to the Directives and the Directives themselves.

A November 2014 proposal implementing the process gained approved, and the vision team formed to begin the revision.

Over the next several years, several drafts were made and numerous parties consulted, including the USCCB’s Committee on Canonical Affairs, the Sub-Committee on Healthcare Issues, the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family, Life and Youth, the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Ad-Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Other Catholic medical entities involved have been the Alliance for Healthcare, the Catholic Health Association, the Catholic Medical Association and the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Also consulted in the process were the three largest healthcare systems in the country — Ascension Healthcare, Christus Healthcare, and Trinity Health.

The Bishops voted 183-2 in favor, with two abstaining, of the revised text of Part Six of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

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Matt Walsh: Here’s Satan’s simple plan to destroy Christianity in America

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

CROSS PLAINS, Wisconsin, June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic blogger and American pundit Matt Walsh outlined in a recent speech Satan’s tactic for destroying Christianity in America. 

Satan has two battle plans or “modes of attack” that he uses throughout history to attack Christians, Walsh explained in a speech delivered at St. Mary of the Pine Bluff Catholic Church in Cross Plains, Wisconsin on April 7. 

The first is the “old school”, “blood and martyrs” persecution.

“It’s very simple, very straightforward,” he said. “Kill the Christians.” 

Walsh told his audience that Satan is using this tactic on Christians who are being persecuted across the world on an “unprecedented scale.”  Although the media and the Church in the USA largely ignore it, “the reality is that the ground all over the globe is soaked in Christian blood.” 

“A recent report tells us that Christian persecution and genocide is worse now than it’s ever been in history, which … is an astounding fact,” he said.  

But Satan is using a different tactic to attack Christians in America. After describing the martyrdom of a party of Egyptian Christian pilgrims by Islamic extremists, Walsh compared their heroism to the laziness of Christians in the USA. 

“These Christians were willing to give up everything for Christ,” he said. “How many of us are willing to give up anything, let alone everything?” 

“Most of the so-called believers in this country will lash out angrily is you so much as suggest that they give up watching certain TV shows or listening to certain music,” Walsh continued. “They’ll explode in fury if you urge them to change their lifestyles to any degree whatsoever.”

“And yet we think we possess the conviction and the faith to just give up our lives for Christ. Let’s face it: most of us would grovel and weep at the feet of our Muslim captors and recite whatever Koranic prayer they want us to recite.” 

Therefore, to the Satan, American Christians simply aren’t worth killing, Walsh theorized. These "Christians" are so spiritually lazy and so comfortable with their sinful ways that they aren’t any threat to Satan. 

“This is Satan’s strategy for us,” he warned. “This is Plan B, and it is far more effective. This is how the Church has been subjugated in America. We have bent our knees in submission to the forces of evil, and they have not even fired a shot.”

“Why would the demons waste their time tormenting someone who’s already walking to hell of his own volition?” Walsh asked.  

He said that the situation is being made even worse because the Church in America has been infiltrated by its own enemies.

“‘Do what you want, don’t worry about sin, let’s be tolerant, let’s be welcoming, let’s be accepting’: this message is preached not just by the media and Hollywood, it’s preached from the pulpit,” Walsh stated. 

Faithful Christians who want to live according to Christ’s teachings are “alienated and disregarded” by their shepherds.

“Satan himself speaks from the mouths of many priests and many pastors in this country,” Walsh asserted, “urging their flocks to conform with the culture, making the orthodox feel silly, or even bigoted, for trying to rise above the standards of this world.” 

When Christians do drag themselves to church, he said, desperate for guidance, they are given “nothing” from most pulpits. 

Walsh blames American Christian softness on having, and fulfilling, too many competing material desires. This prevents us from desiring God, he said. Walsh added that he was very frightened that when such "Christians" meet God face to face, many will be forced to admit that they do not want God, only themselves. 

To stop this from happening, Walsh recommended prayer first of all. Prayer changes us, making us desire the sacred more and the sinful less. 

“..You start to find that a lot of music you listen to, that a lot of shows that you watch...no longer appeal to you,” Walsh testified.  “You find that certain sins and temptations have less of a hold on you.” 

“That desire [for God] ...  is kindled, and we know it, and we start to feel it. Adn that’s the crucial thing: for us to want the right thing,” he continued.

“Because I believe that the truth is, in the end, we will all be given exactly what we want, and that is a terrifying reality.” 

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Elite D.C. school board adopts ‘disturbing’ LGBT sex-ed, overrides parents

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By Doug Mainwaring

FAIRFAX, Virginia, June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A school board in an elite suburb of Washington, DC attracted national attention when it was disclosed that it intended to remove “Clergy” from its list of trusted adults.

A parental uproar ensued in Virginia’s Fairfax County when Catholic Bishop Michael Burbidge penned a letter to the editor of a local paper, saying, “What a great insult to our clergy who give their lives in service to God’s people, to God’s young people (helping) them to do what is good and right.”

The school board relented on that one point, but went ahead and voted to enact other controversial changes to its students’ Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum.  

“The list of changes reads like a page out of the gay rights agenda, so thoroughly out of touch with reality are they,” said Catholic League President, Bill Donahue, in an editorial.  He called the changes, “deeply disturbing.”

“The Advisory Committee sets anchor with the gay rights agenda by denying human nature,” continued Donahue.  “It says individual identity will be described as ‘sex assigned at birth, gender identity (includes transgender), gender role, and sexual orientation (includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual).’”

“Currently, students in the Fairfax County school district learn that abstinence is the one and only 100 percent effective method of preventing sexually transmitted diseases,” said the Catholic League President.  “The proposed change says abstinence is the ‘most effective’ method. There is no new scientific research that merits the change. Indeed, it is being done for purely ideological reasons: to conform to the gay agenda, the Advisory Committee wants to include drugs alongside abstinence.”

Donahue gave as an example the school board’s intention to teach about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a drug regimen designed for use by those who are engaged in risky sexual behaviors.  PrEP is used primarily by gay men who engage in sodomy. Yet as Donahue notes, “there no mention of the dangers of anal sex in this document.”

“Last night was a truly bizarre experience,” said Austin Ruse, author and President of The Center for Family and Human Rights, C-Fam, who is also an area resident.  “The conservatives cited scientific evidence all night long and the radicals literally cried and evoked God and Jesus.” 

“In the end, none of it mattered,” continued Ruse.  “The board's decision was preordained. And what they have done is to impose pure ideology on the kids of Fairfax County.” 

Deconstructing the school board’s new orthodoxy, Ruse said, “Sex is not inborn and immutable but gender is. Kids should use a gay sex drug called PrEP. And abstinence is merely being monogamous until your next sex partner comes along. Truly crazy and all done without input from parents, or with parental permission.”

“It is truly regrettable that a public school curriculum would deny scientific truth, the reality of how we are made,” continued Bishop Burbidge in his letter to the Fairfax County Times. “As a society, we must never forget the dignity of the human person, the true meaning of human sexuality, how God created us and taught us to live.”

What happened in Fairfax County, warned Donaghue, “may happen elsewhere.”

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Thomas Lifson

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Over 2,000 suspected pedophiles arrested; national media yawn

Thomas Lifson
By Thomas
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June 19, 2018 (American Thinker) – A massive nationwide round-up of suspected online child sex offenders by the Department of Justice has gone virtually unreported by the major national media. The Department of Justice is certainly proud of "Operation Broken Heart" and issued a press release June 12:

The Department of Justice today announced the arrest of more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders during a three-month, nationwide, operation conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces. The task forces identified 195 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 383 children who suffered recent, ongoing, or historical sexual abuse or production of child pornography.

The 61 ICAC task forces, located in all 50 states and comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated operation known as "Broken Heart" during the months of March, April, and May 2018. During the course of the operation, the task forces investigated more than 25,200 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes against children and delivered more than 3,700 presentations on Internet safety to over 390,000 youth and adults.  

"No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "And yet, in recent years, certain forms of modern technology have facilitated the spread of child pornography and created greater incentives for its production. We at the Department of Justice are determined to strike back against these repugnant crimes. It is shocking and very sad that in this one operation, we have arrested more than 2,300 alleged child predators and investigated some 25,200 sexual abuse complaints. Any would-be criminal should be warned: this Department will remain relentless in hunting down those who victimize our children."

The little publicity this did receive seems to be confined to local media, as seen in this Google News search for "operation broken heart." "Kent man faces child porn charge," "32 people arrested in Mississippi in national crackdown on child online sex crimes," and "Child sex crimes sting operation nets two Contra Costa County arrests" are typical entries.

Mike Cernovich ponders what this implies:

Hmmmm...

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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LifeSiteNews staff

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Christian dad sues school for Islamic indoctrination of teen daughter

LifeSiteNews staff
By LifeSiteNews staff
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June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Thomas More Law Center ("TMLC"), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced that it has agreed to represent Richard Penkoski in his fight with the Mountain Ridge Middle School, located in West Virginia, over the Islamic indoctrination of his 13-year old daughter. 

Mr. Penkoski, an evangelist who hosts an online Christian ministry, "Warriors for Christ," with an estimated 200K-300K followers, discovered the astonishing extent to which his daughter and her fellow classmates were being subjected to Islamic indoctrination under the guise of teaching about world religions. 

On May 14 of this year, his seventh-grade daughter brought home a packet of lessons and assignments which included the following:  

  • Write the Shahada, the Islamic conversion creed, "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah," in Arabic as part of "calligraphy" practice.
  • Fast for 24 hours and give lunch money and food to a food bank, to sympathize with Muslims going through Ramadan.
  • Read chapters from the Koran.
  • Learn the Five Pillars of Islam.

The lessons and assignments propagandized the students by downplaying the violent nature of Islam. 

When his daughter brought home the packet of information, Mr. Penkoski told her she was not going to do the assignment and he immediately complained to the principal. He also asked the Thomas More Law Center to look into the legal aspects of the matter. 

Mr. Penkoski felt that his daughter's teacher dedicated much more time on Islam than any other religion.  He said "most of the faith aspects of Christianity and Judaism were stripped from the lesson plan by the teacher. Students were not given calligraphy writing assignments in Judaism, or Christianity, only Islam."

Mr. Penkoski and his wife Amanda and 6 children refuse to shy away from the controversy. While it would be easy to remove his daughter from the school, Penkoski says, "We don't back down during persecution."

Richard Thompson, TMLC's President and Chief Counsel, commented: "This is typical of the public-school systems across the country.  Witless school officials have turned classrooms into Islamic indoctrination centers. They promote Islam in ways that would be unthinkable for Christianity or any other religion because they fear a lawsuit by the ACLU."

Continued Thompson, "Teachers sugar coat Islam.  They don't tell students about Islam's barbaric brutality, where women and young girls are sold into slavery and used as sex-slaves, where men and women are stoned to death and burned alive – all in the name of Islam and the Koran."

The case involving Mr. Penkoski's daughter is one of several cases that the Thomas More Law Center has agreed to take on concerning Islamic indoctrination in American public schools.

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Actor Nick Robinson stars in the gay teen romance "Love, Simon."
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MTV gives ‘best kiss’ award to movie about gay teen romance

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By Calvin Freiburger

LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- MTV gave its annual “Best Kiss” award to a recent film about a teenage homosexual romance during its annual 2018 Movie & TV Awards airing Monday night.

The award, presented by the cast of the Netflix suicide drama “13 Reasons Why,” went to actors Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale for the climax of the 2018 film “Love, Simon,” about a teenager who comes out to his friends and family, the Washington Blade reports.

“I just want to say to every kid, you can live your dreams and wear dresses,” Lonsdale, who announced he was bisexual last year, said while accepting the award. “You can live your dreams and kiss the one that you love, no matter what gender they are. You can live your dreams and you can believe in magic. You can live your dreams and you can be yourself.”

The event also hailed another LGBT work, giving writer Lena Waithe a Trailblazer Award for writing an episode of the Netflix series “Master of None” in which a character comes out to her family, as well. In addition, singer Lady Gaga declared “Happy Pride Month” while accepting an award for Best Music Documentary.

“Lots of mainstream critics are hailing the way it normalizes teen homosexuality,” Paul Asay and Adam Holz wrote in their “Love, Simon” review at Focus on the Family’s Plugged In website. “And even though I might appreciate, on some levels, the film’s authenticity, that very quality also makes the movie’s quiet advocacy for homosexuality that much more problematic for families trying to raise their kids by truths rooted in Scripture.”

Asay and Holz further noted that film’s parents take a casual view of teenage heterosexual activity, as well, and that overall the film reinforces the importance of “self-love” over finding happiness on God’s terms.

“The idea is to twist adolescents, who are already susceptible to flattery and sycophancy, into false consciousness,” National Review’s Armond White added in his review. “The disrupter, Michael (a weaselly Logan Miller in the film’s best performance), uses ‘Donald J. Trump’ as his phone ID; an already out, femme black male, Ethan (Clark Moore), styles himself after Oprah and instructs Simon, ‘You think it’s easy?’; and a smiley black friend, Bram (Keiynan Lonsdale), wears a lei to a Halloween party and announces his guise as ‘post-presidency Barack Obama.’”

Fourteen major studio films featuring LGBT themes were released in 2017, according to a recent GLAAD report attacking Hollywood for decreasing its LGBT output from previous years, possibly a result of audience’s decreasing tolerance for “social justice” lecturing in movies.

This year, the Christian film “I Can Only Imagine” earned almost twice “Love, Simon’s” $41 million box office, despite a smaller budget and opening in far fewer theaters.

Despite Hollywood’s overwhelmingly secular nature, the awards ceremony did feature one overtly Christian message. While accepting a Generation Award, actor Chris Pratt used his speech to deliver “9 Rules for Life,” including multiple appeals to faith.

“You have a soul, be careful with it,” said Pratt, the star of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World” franchises. “Learn to pray. It’s easy. And it’s so good for your soul.”

“People are going to tell you you’re perfect just the way you are. You’re not. You’re imperfect, you always will be,” Pratt continued. “But there’s a powerful force that designed you that way, and if you’re willing to accept that, you will have grace, and grace is a gift. And like the freedom that we enjoy in this country, that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood. Do not forget it. Don’t take it for granted.”

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Governor Greg Abbott | Jeremiah Thomas speaking with the Governor
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Texas Governor promises to honor pro-life teen’s dying wish and ‘outlaw abortion’

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean
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Jeremiah Thomas Facebook / screen grab

TEMPLE, Texas, June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Governor of Texas has promised a pro-life teen dying from cancer that he will “outlaw abortion altogether in the state of Texas.”

Governor Greg Abbott, 60, called his constituent Jeremiah Thomas as the teen lay in the cancer ward of a children’s hospital. The Governor was connected to the teen through “Make a Wish,” a program that allows young people who are terminally ill to fulfill a personal dream. Many children choose to meet a personal hero, like a sports star. Thomas decided to use his "wish" to reach out to the governor and ask him to do something to end the killing of preborn babies. 

Jeremiah asked the Governor to treat abortion “like an act of murder.” 

“For my wish, I wanted to talk to you and discuss a bill of abolition [to end abortion]” he said. 

Jeremiah told the governor that a recent poll showed that 68% of [Republican] Texans want abortion abolished.

“Sir, you would be representing the demands of Texans if you would pass this bill,” he said. 

“We could end abortion here and now.”

The boy’s face lit up at the governor's response, which was recorded on video and uploaded to Facebook. 

“Your wish is on the Republican party platform position,” Governor Abbott said, “and we’re going to be pursuing this…And that is to outlaw abortion altogether in the state of Texas”

“So, your wish is granted,” he added.

Jeremiah Thomas, 16, was an all-star, state champion athlete when he was diagnosed with cancer in March 2018. His father Rusty, the director of pro-life group Operation Save America (formerly known as Operation Rescue), has been reporting from his son’s bedside, not only to ask for lifesaving prayers, but to witness to his son’s love for God. 

Jeremiah was diagnosed with osteoblastic osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that is resistant to radiation therapy. The boy had two tumors on his spine and one on his chest. The cancer progressed, defeating treatment. Jeremiah has now become paralyzed from the waist down and is in constant pain. From the very beginning, he had only a 10% chance of survival. 

In July 2017, Jeremiah publicly accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior in an “Operation Save America” service. He expressed on film his eagerness to go home to Waco, Texas to share the Gospel with his friends. When he lost the use of his legs only a few months later, he said, “I can still preach from a wheelchair.”

“What was truly amazing to see was the ministry opportunity that was given to me when I got sick,” Jeremiah said on-camera. “As soon as I got sick, my testimony blew up [in size]. Constantly people were texting me, encouraging me, giving me their testimony and their blessings and prayers.”

Jeremiah encouraged viewers to join an Operation Save America event from July 14 to 21st in Indianapolis, Indiana to pray for an end to abortion. He knew he would not be able to be at the “From Justice to Victory” event himself, but he said he would be there in spirit. 

“We’ll have an awesome group of youth there,” he promised. “If you’re truly looking for change, you’re sick of what you see of your generation and culture, and you want to see God move in mighty ways, come join us.” 

“Let’s end this holocaust in the mighty Name of Jesus.”  

But on Thursday morning, Rev. Rusty Thomas updated Jeremiah’s many friends and fans with sad news: after a day home, Jeremiah had been rushed back to McLane Children’s Hospital with a fever. After checking the boy for the source of the infection, a doctor told his father that Jeremiah’s health was rapidly deteriorating.

“The cancer is growing. It’s growing on his spine. It’s increased on his lungs. He has more nodules, and they’re growing. And then, of course, there’s that tumor on his chest, and it’s an ulcerated tumor. That’s something that is very rare in cancer patients…. "

The prognosis is not good. 

“It is very obvious now that wherever we have gone and whatever we have done to try to save the life of our son … humanly speaking, it has not worked,” Rusty said, in tears. “The chemo, the radiation, does nothing to retard or to reduce this cancer. In talking with the doctor, we’re basically preparing Jeremiah to come home, to go home, to be with the Lord.”  

Rusty is now preparing for the loss of his son although he hasn’t given up hope in a miracle.

“Again, barring a miracle of God, and we’re not dismissing that,” he stressed. “God could intervene or interpose at any time. He actually waited four days after Lazarus was dead before He intervened and raised him from the dead. And I know our God is able to do that. And barring that miracle, we’re trying to get Jeremiah home, so we can have this gift as a family to love and serve and care for our son.”

Rusty indicated that his public broadcasts about his son’s illness will not be as frequent, but that he is grateful that God has used Jeremiah’s illness to change the lives of many people. 

“We are eternally grateful that God has used the plight and suffering of our son to touch hearts for Christ.”

Barring the much prayed for miracle, pro-life pastor Philip “Flip” Benham will preach at Jeremiah’s “homecoming service.”  

Earlier in his illness, Jeremiah published the following prayer on Facebook: 

“I don’t deserve Your healing but Lord You will always deserve my praise. Through death or life, may Your great name be lifted up and everything that is of me fall to the waste side. Oh Lord, strengthen me that I may fight the battle with a courage Satan cannot tamper with. If You take me home or leave me here to fight a little longer, may it be Your breath in my lungs and Your song on my tongue. Lord I consecrate myself to the full advancement of the Kingdom of God! Lord, I love You and I can’t wait to see You face to face. Amen. Christ is not for sale and non-negotiable. To God be the glory, no matter what the future holds.”

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Quilliam founder Maajid Nawaz receives UN Watch's 2018 Morris B. Abram Award for Human Rights. Credit: UN Watch
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Far-left law center settles defamation suit with public apology, $3.4 million payment

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By Calvin Freiburger

June 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A nonprofit group frequently accused of anti-Christian bias and misrepresenting conservatives as bigots has settled a defamation suit brought by an organization it falsely labeled “anti-Muslim extremists.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) bills itself as a “civil rights” watchdog that monitors “hate groups and other extremists.” But while it does identify some actual racist organizations on the political fringes, many of its targets are mainstream Christian, pro-family, and conservative groups.

Last week, SPLC President Richard Cohen issued a public apology to the British-based Quilliam Foundation and its founder Maajid Nawaz, for including the group in a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.” On Monday, SPLC confirmed it had paid $3.375 million to the foundation as part of the settlement agreement. The group will also remove the field guide from its website and social media.

“It should be noted per the Settlement Agreement that Media Matters, the Center for New Community and ReThink Media were co-publishers of the defamatory falsehoods in issue,” Power Line’s Scott Johnson added. “The settlement agreement includes the claims against them.”

Quilliam describes itself as the “world’s first counter-extremism organisation,” dedicated to advancing human rights, religious pluralism, and democratic values in Muslim countries. Nawaz is a former leader within a global Islamist group, who has since converted to being a “secular liberal Muslim” and now dedicates himself to criticizing Islamic extremism.

SPLC originally included Nawaz and Quilliam in the guide for tweeting a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad, condemning the use of face veils in certain public places, and listing several British Muslim groups in a report for a security official, the Washington Times reports.

“Since we published the Field Guide, we have taken the time to do more research and have consulted with human rights advocates we respect,” Cohen said. “We’ve found that Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam have made valuable and important contributions to public discourse, including by promoting pluralism and condemning both anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamist extremism.”

“With the help of everyone who contributed to our litigation fund, we were able to fight back against the Regressive Left and show them that moderate Muslims will not be silenced,” Nawaz responded in a statement. “We will continue to combat extremists by defying Muslim stereotypes, calling out fundamentalism in our own communities, and speaking out against anti-Muslim hate.”

Conservatives who have also been targeted by SPLC met the news with celebration.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center has long been the Left’s pit bull --- resorting to smears and a hate map to advance its liberal political agenda,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said. “But its falsehoods and dangerous tactics have finally caught up with them.” Perkins expressed hope that SPLC’s admission of guilt would leave the mainstream media and other companies “with no excuse in continuing to use the SPLC as an objective, independent source.”

SPLC declared that it is “committed to redoubling our efforts to ensure that our work is always carried out with the utmost care and integrity,” but social conservatives say it still has many other falsehoods to answer for.

The group’s campaigns have gotten the online donation processing service Vanco (which is affiliated with Wells Fargo) to cut ties with the Ruth Institute, a pro-children think tank critical of the Sexual Revolution; convinced the charity monitor GuideStar to label 46 conservative organizations, including FRC and the American College of Pediatricians, as “hate groups”; inspired “hard news” reports from ABC, NBC, and others to identify the religious liberty firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) as a “hate group”; and more.

Last August, D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJMK), formerly known as Coral Ridge Ministries, filed a defamation suit against SPLC for applying the “hate” label to it as well. Floyd Lee Corkins, the man who shot a FRC security guard and intended to kill more staffers for being “anti-gay” in 2013, said SPLC’s “hate map” helped him select a target, but CNN promoted the map in 2017 anyway. James Hodgkinson, who shot House Republican Whip Steve Scalise last summer, followed SPLC on Facebook (SPLC condemned both crimes).

Conservative groups have also expressed alarm that Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon all partner with SPLC to varying degrees, to help identify alleged “hate groups” to restrict or block from their services.

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Bruce Walker

Opinion, , ,

Preventing totalitarianism means defending individual freedom

Bruce Walker
By Bruce Walker

June 19, 2018 (American Thinker) – The left has created a macabre myth that runs counter to the whole experience of mankind. The left has persuaded the gullible masses of America, including, sadly, most conservatives, that "discrimination" by individuals and businesses is wrong and that it violates the Constitution.

Precisely the opposite is true. All serious cognition and all honest moral judgments involve discrimination. When individuals and businesses are not free to discriminate, then the power to determine what is true and false and good and bad becomes the sole property of the state – or that even more odious creature, that lobotomized Frankenstein monster, "society."

Instead of diverse opinions and actions freely manifest, which are what happens when the state and society are denied the power to force a certain viewpoint down the throats of private citizens and enterprises, what happens is that all debate, all differences, and all individuality are crushed based upon what those who run the state or manipulate society deem sacrosanct.

Consider the "facts" upon which the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled against the Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for the same-sex couple. The thick-necked bigots and ignoramuses on that commission stated as historical "facts" that religion – which always means Christianity to leftists – was used to justify the Holocaust and slavery.

In fact, as anyone with an open mind and a modest knowledge of modern history knows, the Holocaust was the direct consequence of the de-Christianization of Germany. This was generally accepted by Jews in the West as well, and the "racialism" upon which Nazi hatred of Jews grew was rejected by Christians throughout virtually all history. Germany, in which Christianity was almost dead by 1914, provided naturally the most fertile soil for the evil precepts of racialism, which is why Nazism took root only in Germany..

Beyond that, the only people who resisted Nazi anti-Semitism and the Holocaust were the Christians of Europe – a fact noted by many Jewish authors writing at the time, like Rabbi Stephen Wise, who wrote in 1934: "I thank God that in America and England above all and in other lands as well, the voices of Christians have been heard in protest against the unutterable wrongs of Hitlerism against the Jewish people." Rabbi Morris Lazaron in 1938 wrote:

Never in history has organized Protestantism throughout the world bestirred itself so in defense of the Jew and to protect the Jew. More Catholic leaders than ever before have lifted their voices in condemnation of the racial fixation that dictators have used to bait the Jew[.] ... No more glorious page is being written in Christian history than that which Christianity is writing in Germany today. Christianity may yet be the rock on which the German dictatorship will destroy itself.

The chief rabbi of Rome, the rabbi of the oldest synagogue in the world, converted to Christianity after the Second World War ended because he was so moved by the courageous and unflinching actions by Christians in Europe to save Jews from the Holocaust, often at the cost not only of their lives, but of the lives of their families.

Even more bizarre is smearing Christianity with the defense of slavery. This relates solely to blacks being considered the "Children of Ham," an argument no Christians outside the South accepted and most devout Christians in the South rejected. 

Slavery had existed everywhere in the world and was condoned by every religion except Christianity, albeit Judaism provided protections for Jews that other faiths did not. The crusade to end slavery was an exclusively Christian endeavor, and this included every branch of Christianity. Even the simplest leftist simpleton at one time or another must have heard the Battle Hymn of the Republic, the song on the lips of Union soldiers fighting and dying in battle: "As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free. Our God is marching on."

Christian opposition to slavery extended not simply to lands within Christendom, but to the rest of the world, wherever Christian power or influence held sway, to free the slaves of Islam or Buddhism or American Indian tribes or African tribes, who held more slaves than Christendom ever possessed.

If forcing people to accept the conception of truth and morality by raw political power were right, then the state and society ought to compel the world to accept the Christian or Judeo-Christian value system. That is something that neither Christians nor Jews have sought.

When individuals and businesses can discriminate, then common sense and the marketplace will diminish stupid and wicked opinions and amplify wise and good opinions, all of which is done without laws, judges, or dullards like the members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

This does not mean all malignancies in consensual human interactions are magically cured, but surely even the slowest mule in the leftist pack train accepts that the lash of the state seldom makes any social problem better. We cannot make Heaven on Earth, and when the state tries to do that, it invariably makes Hell on Earth instead.

Individual discrimination thwarts that greatest evil of our age: totalitarianism. The heart of liberty, which is the heart of all decent government, is the right to discriminate according to what each individual mind and soul thinks best. It is proper and timely for conservatives to quit sheepishly defending this right and to instead boldly proclaim that the individual alone, not the state, has the moral prerogative to discriminate.

Published with permission from the American Thinker.

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