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15.8 million girls selectively aborted in India since 1990

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By LifeSiteNews staff

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Approximately 15.8 million girls have been selectively aborted in India since 1990, the Population Research Institute (PRI) finds. The figure is higher than previous estimates, indicating that the practice of sex-selective abortion in India may be greater than commonly believed. 

PRI’s new report Sex-Selective Abortion in India provides up-to-date estimates on the number of sex-selective abortions carried out in India over the past several decades. The report also offers a discussion of possible solutions to address this massive “gendercide.” 

Girls in India are selectively aborted because of culturally rooted son preference, gender bias, and poor enforcement of the country’s ban on sex-selective abortion. According to PRI’s new study, nearly 550,000 girls have been lost to sex-selective abortion in India every year since 2014. 

Some highlights from the report’s findings include: 

  • An estimated 15.8 million girls in India have gone ‘missing’ at birth since 1990, with a range from 11.1 million to 20.2 million depending upon sex ratio at birth assumptions.
  • Approximately 110.7 boys are born for every 100 girls in India today.
  • Sex-selective abortion has prevented 4.1% of all female live births since 1990.

“Sex-selective abortion is a clear affront to the fundamental rights and dignity of girls, and the extent to which the practice of prenatal sex selection has become widespread is alarming,” says Jonathan Abbamonte, a research analyst with the Population Research Institute and the author of the report. 

“Sex-selective abortion is one of the most pressing demographic and human rights issues facing India today,” Abbamonte says. “These sex imbalances will have lasting implications for women’s rights. An excess of single men may fuel the practice of child marriage and sex trafficking in the future.” 

“Sex-selective abortion is the worst form of discrimination against women and girls imaginable,” says PRI President Steven Mosher. “It is a discrimination that kills.” 

A full copy of the report is available here.

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Conservatives call on Amazon to bring back banned books on overcoming homosexuality

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By Martin Barillas
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WASHINGTON, D.C. July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Republican Study Committee, which brings together 70 percent of House Republicans, is urging conservatives to call on Amazon to end its ban of books aimed at helping people leave behind the LGBTQ lifestyle. 

According to VICE News, conservative Republicans received a handout on July 17 from the Republican Study Coimmittee (RSC) asking them to “contact Amazon with concerns” about “censorship” of certain books that counsel people who are experiencing same-sex attraction. This came after the mammoth online retailer announced that it would no longer carry books written by clinical psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, who is credited with originating reparative therapies that opponents call pseudoscientific. 

The late Dr. Nicolosi authored several books, including “Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality” and “A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.” A petition on Change.org denounced his books and requested that Amazon remove them from sale. Amazon did so on July 2. A search of Amazon for Nicolosi’s books failed to produce any results.

On the day before the handout was distributed, executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google answered questions before a House Judiciary Committee inquiring about antitrust issues raised by the social media giants’ control over online content and web searches. The company executives faced congressmen who expressed concern about the companies’ alleged misuse of market dominance.

Amazon confirmed that Nicolosi’s books were removed, saying they violated the company’s content guidelines. Amazon’s critics pointed out that the online retailer continues to sell books by racists, dictators, and terrorists, including Adolf Hitler, Timothy McVeigh, and David Duke. An article at The Federalist asked whether the Bible may be the next book that Amazon bans. 

According to the handout quoted by VICE News, RSC advised, “In recent days, Amazon has banned the sale of several books addressing unwanted same-sex attraction.” The handout said, “Catholic psychologist, author and therapist Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (deceased) penned multiple books to assist men struggling with unwanted homosexual attractions, feelings and lifestyles.” It said, “These books were available on Amazon until an LGBT activist repeatedly petitioned Amazon to remove the ‘homophobic books’ from the company’s website. Amazon removed Dr. Nicolosi’s books and those of several other authors on similar topics.” 

A petition emerged at Change.org requesting Amazon to reverse its decision about books penned by Dr. Nicolosi, and others whose works have been dubbed homophobic by critics. As of Monday, more than 17,000 signatures were added. Several books that advocate for leaving behind the LGBTQ lifestyle remain on the platform, however. 

Several members of the study committee had not yet heard of the initiative when asked about it Thursday by VICE News. That included the three co-chairmen of the Values Action Task Force, which focuses on promoting conservative values in Congress.

The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity, which succeeded the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (founded by Dr. Nicolosi), continues to advocate therapies directed at persons experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction. According to its website, the group is guided by three principles:

1. Client Self-determination

Mental health clients have the right to explore, with the assistance of a supportive therapist, questions or issues in their lives that may be causing them concern or distress and to participate in the setting of counseling goals that are compatible with their freely chosen personal or religious values.

2. Licensed, Trained and Ethical Therapists

Complicated life questions that are being addressed in a mental health context concerning a client's attractions, values, behavior, and identity require that a counselor or therapist be qualified by demonstrated training and experience to provide effective, ethical, and empathetic treatment.

3. Reliable Research and Viewpoint Diversity in Mental Health 

Individuals who seek therapeutic assistance, reflective of the larger society, are sociologically, culturally and politically diverse. To appropriately serve and appreciate clients with differing, yet equally healthy needs requires an equivalently diverse socio-political representation in academic, clinical, research, and professional association leadership in the behavioral sciences. 

In an email response to LifeSiteNews, Daniel Boland Ph.D -- a clinical psychologist with decades of experience -- wrote, "Any intrusion or legal action which works against the relationship between client and therapist -- and forbids the mutually-decided goals of that therapy which are initiated by the client -- is an unconscionable breach of civil and moral rights and professional confidentiality. To forbid the client's self-initiated desire to overcome his homosexual behavior in the therapeutic context tramples on the fundamental moral right of every self-determining individual to change. To forbid a therapist from assisting this client to change his homosexual behavior sullies the very heart of American legal tradition and cultural history." 

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More beauticians in court for refusing Brazilian waxes for gender-confused man

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By Lianne Laurence

VANCOUVER, July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canadian trans activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv, a male who claims to be female, is scheduled to be back in the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal this Friday to defend three more of an initial 16 discrimination complaints he filed against local beauticians for refusing to wax his male genitals.

The case made international headlines last week when the tribunal held a fourth hearing on Wednesday to deal with yet another of the multiple complaints, and tribunal judge Devyn Cousineau lifted the interim publication ban that hitherto protected Yaniv’s identity.

Yaniv is asking for $8,000 in compensation from the respondents and has privately settled with some for amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, according to the Post Millennial.

The Vancouver-based “male-to-female” transgender activist’s is also alleged to have engaged in disturbing online behaviour toward young girls and is known for his ability to de-platform his critics. Most recently, free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd was permanently banned from Twitter after a heated exchange with Yaniv.

Meanwhile, Yaniv is scheduled to appear before the Township of Langley Council tonight to request LGBT topless swim parties for young people at which parents and guardians will not be present.

In Wednesday’s hearing, Marcia Da Silva told the tribunal she was forced to shut down her home-based business after Yaniv launched his complaint because her husband was concerned for her safety, reported the National Post.

An immigrant from Brazil, Da Silva was represented by Jay Cameron of the Alberta-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms during the often “raucous” proceedings, in which Yaniv compared being denied a wax to neo-Nazism, the Post reported.

When Cameron asserted that Yaniv should have asked for a “bro-zilian,” not a Brazilian, Yaniv claimed he is “inter-sex” and has female body parts but would not elaborate. Cameron then accused Yaniv of a “fabrication” and “attempting to mislead the tribunal,” the National Post reported.

Cameron also pointed out that Yaniv’s complaints disproportionately target women from ethnic and religious minorities.

Rex Murphy highlighted this in a scathing denunciation of the tribunal agreeing to arbitrate “a degrading and narcissistic triviality.”

One of the “ironies” of the situation “has to be the publicly expressed disdain and contempt for immigrant women by the person filing complaints because that person insists — it is necessary to be blunt — they handle male genitals,” Murphy wrote.

“[W]hile posting under his masculine name, Jonathan Yaniv, put up this: ‘We have a lot of immigrants here who gawk, judge and aren’t the cleanest of people, they’re also verbally and physically abusive, that’s one reason I joined a girl’s gym, cause I DON’T want issues with these people … They lie about s---, they’ll do anything to support their own kind and make things miserable for everyone else’.”

Yaniv, for his part, argued that religious or cultural beliefs do not matter when it comes to providing a service, the Post Millennial reported.

“The people that discriminated against me are forcing their beliefs on society,” said Yaniv while cross-examining his mother, whom he called as a witness, it reported.

“Some of my clients have been very significantly affected on a personal level. [Another client also] closed her business, she has been depressed, anxious, sleepless and that has gone on for a period of many months,” Cameron told the tribunal Wednesday, as reported in the Post Millennial.

“It is a very serious thing to launch a human rights complaint against a person. My clients are people. They have a right to make a living and this has interfered with their livelihood, but also you have the stigma of being associated with this hanging over you.”

The JCCF has represented pro bono four other beauticians Yaniv targeted with his complaints.

On July 4, the JCCF defended Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and its owner, Sandeep Banipal, a practicing Sikh, who is not trained to wax male genitals and is not comfortable doing so “because of personal and religious reasons,” a JCCF press release states.

On July 5, the JCCF defended Sukhi Hehar Gill, whom Yaniv requested wax his “arms and legs,” at the tribunal. A Sikh, Hehar’s practice is “to provide waxing for female clients in their homes,” and she says travelling to a male client’s house “is contrary to my faith.”

The JCCF won a victory in September for Sheila Poyer, a single mother working out of her home, when Yaniv formally withdrew his complaint.

JCCF founder John Carpay wrote in the Post Millennial at the time that Yaniv had told Poyer he would not proceed to a hearing if she paid him $2,500.

In a May 2018 ruling penned by Cousineau, the tribunal noted it was “improper” for Yaniv to withdraw a complaint once a respondent mounted a defence.

But Cousineau also asserted that Yaniv had a “genuine grievance” about “pervasive discrimination against transgender women,” and this “is the reason that the Tribunal exists.”

According to the tribunal’s schedule, it will hear three more of Yaniv’s complaints July 26. However, none of the three has responded to the tribunal, and the JCCF will not be in attendance.

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US Bishop calls out brother bishops: ‘Deposit of faith has been fragmented and corrupted’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, spoke out on Twitter over the weekend about how the Catholic Church’s moral teaching on sexuality and the family has been broken and tainted of late, and he called for a return to the truth of that teaching by Catholic laity and bishops. 

He said

Bishop Strickland told LifeSiteNews his tweet was prompted by the upcoming anniversary of Humanae Vitae, and that he has been trying to tweet periodically on the themes contained in the document. 

The 51st anniversary of the landmark encyclical on contraception and human life promulgated by St. Pope Paul VI is July 25.  

The document upheld the Church’s teaching on immorality of contraception and is considered prophetic by many for its prediction of many social ills that have come to pass, such as marital infidelity, a general decline of morality, increased disrespect for women, and population control.

“Our society is unraveling, especially with regard to marriage, family and sexual morality,” Strickland said. “This is all the more tragic because God has revealed the truth that we need to flourish in this world and share eternal life with Him after we depart this world.”

The bishop acknowledged that he and all bishops share the same call to shepherd their respective flocks, and he said he feels as he could do more to promote what he called “our beautiful Catholic teachings on these topics.”  

“I’m sure some of my brothers have done a much better job,” he said, “but I think we all need to ask ourselves how we can share the truth more clearly and more powerfully.”

The bishop had tweeted about Humanae Vitae last week, saying “It speaks of God’s glorious plan for marriage and it has been ignored for far too long.” 

“If you haven’t read it, please do so with a heart open to the truth,” he said.

The day before his tweet on the fragmenting and corruption of the deposit of faith, Strickland tweeted about Pope Pius XI’s 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii, which affirmed the Catholic Church’s doctrine on marriage. 

“If only humanity had listened almost 100 years ago,” he said. “May people of faith read this teaching with open hearts today.”

Strickland has given voice to the importance of the deposit of faith regularly in the past, whether on Twitter, in interviews, or from the floor of the USCCB General Assembly, including the promise bishops make to guard it upon their episcopal consecration.

The deposit of faith, or depositum fidei, is the truth of God’s Revelation as expressed in Sacred Scripture, which is the inspired and written Word of God, and Sacred Tradition, which is the Word of God as taught and transmitted through the teaching authority of the Church. 

At a bishop’s consecration, he is asked, “Do you resolve to guard the deposit of faith, entire and incorrupt, as handed down by the Apostles and preserved in the Church everywhere and at all times?” 

At last fall’s U.S. Bishops’ meeting, Strickland challenged his fellow bishops whether they as a conference were all on the same page with regard to the immorality of homosexual activity, considering the Theodore McCarrick scandal and the fact that some dioceses allow presentations of LGBT activism.

“It’s part of our deposit of faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral,” Strickland said. 

“The people, those that we label ‘homosexual,’ are children of God, and they need our great care,” he added. “But to me that real care comes from acknowledging the sin, and the reality that all of us are sinners called from sin to virtue.”

“How did this happen,” Strickland asked of the McCarrick scandal, “if we really believe that what was going on was wrong?” 

“There seem to be questions about that,” said Bishop Strickland. “And I think we have to face that directly – Do we believe the doctrine of the Church, or not?”

Strickland made the same comment with regard to abortion in June during an interview with LifeSiteNews.

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Pediatricians warn surgeon general: Hormones, surgery harm gender-confused kids

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By Martin Barillas

WASHINGTON, D.C. July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Leaders of the American College of Pediatricians warned the surgeon general of the United States about the use of “hormonal and surgical interventions” for children who are confused about their sex.

Addressed to surgeon general Jerome M. Adams, M.D., the letter was signed by Drs. Michelle Cretella and Quentin Van Meter of the American College of Pediatricians (ACP), among five others, and advised him that the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom has issued an “unprecedented warning to the public” about “harmful hormonal and surgical interventions”, whose effects on minors have not been subjected to long-term study.

The letter said that these interventions are “routinely prescribed to gender dysphoric youth as the new ‘standard of care’ in lieu of ethical psychotherapy.”

Gender dysphoria is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify.” It was known as “gender identity disorder” until 2013. Today, some trans activists argue that gender dysphoria shouldn't be considered a psychiatric disorder at all and should be seen as a normal human variation.

The ACP letter asserted that 61–98% of affected children will outgrow their gender dysphoria “if allowed to progress through natural puberty.” It noted that some states even allow children to “consent” to these sometimes irreversible “interventions” without parental involvement. The letter warned that hormone-blocking or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists are being given to prevent normal growth of sexual organs and other attributes during puberty. “This is typically followed by the administration of cross sex hormones with doses gradually increased to achieve adult sex hormone levels appropriate for the opposite sex.”

Moreover, the letter said that prior to reaching the age of majority, some interventions involve removal of gonads and breasts, while surgery is performed to “simulate genitalia of the opposite sex.” The signatories warned: “The deleterious consequences of these interventions include, but are not limited to, sterility, sexual dysfunction, surgical complications, thromboembolic and cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, malignancy, and persistently elevated rates of suicide.”

It said that while there are no psychological or medical tests to “differentiate between the majority of youth who will desist from” their gender dysphoria, “healthcare professionals are increasingly prohibited from investigating psychosocial factors which may contribute” to children questioning their gender identity. Health care professionals, it charged, are being required to “reinforce children’s choice to identify as something other than the reality of their biological sex” while pushing them towards the above-described “interventions.”

The signatories of the ACP letter called on the surgeon general to issue a warning to health professionals about the “serious and irreversible health risks” posed by “medical interventions for gender dysphoria,” while also calling for these health concerns to be included in Public Health Reports. Copies of the letter were sent to Health and Human Services secretary Alex M. Azar and attorney Roger Severino, who serves as the director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights.

U.K.: No evidence to support medical gender transitioning

In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of General Practitioners issued an unprecedented warning over the long-term effects of puberty-blockers being prescribed by the country’s National Health Service. In a strongly worded position statement, the College says “robust evidence” is lacking over the sometimes irreversible effects of interventions that include hormone therapy and surgery. Far more research is needed, the statement says, including studies into a “wait-and-see” approach to the surgical adjustment of sex organs.

The document claims that physicians are being pressurized into providing sex “reassignment” procedures that “lie outside the remit of a [general practitioner’s] generalist expertise.” It also calls on the NHS to record the “biological sex” of patients in addition to their chosen “gender identity” in order to prevent disastrous medical mistakes.

In England, there has been a huge increase of children seeking medical procedures to make them appear to be members of the opposite sex. At the country’s only child gender identity clinic, requests by 13-year-olds has risen by 30% in one year; referrals for 14-year-olds is up by 25%. There is also an emerging group of “detransitioners,” or people who regret having undergone procedures to obscure their sex.

Psychologist Kirsty Entwistle wrote an open letter to Dr. Polly Carmichael, the director of the London-based Tavistock Center, which offers sex-obscuring procedures for minors, in which she said she had grave “concerns” about Gender Identity Development Services. She alleged that some clinicians have been dishonest about the impact these procedures can have on minors. “I think it is a problem that GIDS clinicians are making decisions that will have a major impact on children and young people’s bodies and on their lives, potentially the rest of their lives, without a robust evidence base,” Entwistle wrote.

Entwistle said that despite clinicians’ reassurances to children and parents that the effects of puberty-blockers are reversible, she wrote that their effects are not fully understood. “GIDS clinicians tell children and families that puberty blockers/hormone blocks are ‘fully reversible’ but the reality is no one knows what the impacts are on children’s brains so how is it possible to make this claim?” Entwistle wrote.

Some staff members are afraid of being labeled “transphobic,” Entwistle wrote. She also wrote that she had been ridiculed for questioning the treatment regimen: “Shortly after starting at GIDS I was in a meeting with three other GIDS clinicians. I said that it was curious to me that there had been so little discussion on gender identity in the field of psychology.”

Entwistle wrote that the lack of research into gender identity is troubling, given the importance attached to the issue of late.

She expressed concerns over referrals made by “Mermaids” — a pressure group based in the U.K. that pushes for sex-obscuring procedures in children. She wrote that “Mermaids continues to receive financial support and endorsements from high profile people whilst not being subjected to any proper scrutiny of its practice.”

The power exercised by Mermaids was recently on display when Rev. John Parker, an Anglican vicar and Church of England school governor, was forced to resign when Mermaids gave LGBTQ indoctrination but refused to allow Parker to share his Christian viewpoint. Rev. Parker told Christian Concern: “I believe a real threat is posed to schools from organisations such as Mermaids. They implement a new ideological tyranny — and any disagreement is at best silenced, and at worst, punished.”

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Trump admin honors Muslim cleric who protected 262 Christians during terror attack

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By Lisa Bourne

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Trump administration honored a Nigerian Muslim Imam last week among its first-ever International Religious Freedom Award winners for his efforts that saved hundreds of Christians during a 2018 terrorist attack. 

“Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Nigeria selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention,” the proclamation from the U.S. Department of State said.

Abdullahi had hidden 262 Christians in his home and mosque when, “On June 23, 2018, ethnic Fulani herdsmen, who are predominantly Muslim, launched coordinated attacks on 10 villages in Barkin Ladi, killing hundreds of ethnic Berom farmers, who are predominantly Christian.”

The 83-year-old cleric was one of five people honored at a July 17 ceremony with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and International Religious Freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback. 

This was the first time for conferral of the award, which honors advocates of religious freedom around the world. The award to Abdullahi, who was not present to accept, and the four others was covered in a report from The Daily Wire.

The State Department proclamation additionally states:

As Imam Abdullahi was finishing midday prayers, he and his congregation heard gunshots and went outside to see members of the town’s Christian community fleeing," the State Department added. "Instinctively, the Imam ushered 262 Christians into the mosque and his home next to the mosque. The Imam then went outside to confront the gunmen and he refused to allow them to enter, pleading with them to spare the Christians inside, even offering to sacrifice his life for theirs. Although the gunmen killed 84 people in Nghar village that day, Imam Abdullahi’s actions saved the lives of hundreds more.

"Instinctively, the imam gave refuge to his Christian neighbors, sheltering 262 Christians in his mosque and his home,” Brownback told those attending the award ceremony. “Imam Abdullahi stood outside the doors confronting the Muslim attackers, pleading with them to spare the lives of the Christians inside, even offering to exchange his own life for theirs."

"His actions bear witness to true courage, true selflessness, and true brotherly love," stated Brownback.

Pompeo said of the five awardees, “They’ve risked their own reputation, their personal comfort, their own well-being, and in some cases even their lives to help strangers, many of whom practice faiths that are different from their own.”

Pompeo also tweeted a photo from the award event, saying,

Privileged to present five extraordinary #religiousfreedom advocates with the @StateDept’s first-ever #IRFAwards today. Their heroic efforts to build bridges & protect vulnerable religious minorities, often at their own personal risk, are an inspiration to us all.

More than 80 people were killed in the June 23, 2018, attacks, according to a report form CNN, which said violence in central Nigeria between the mostly Muslim Fulani herdsmen and mainly Christian farmers dates to 2013.

“Armed herders have unleashed mayhem on communities in central states to evict farmers in a conflict said to be deadlier than the Boko Haram insurgency,” the report said.

The State Department’s other 2019 International Religious Freedom Awardees were:

  • Mohamed Yosaif Abdalrahan of Sudan has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of the country’s religious minorities, both in his legal casework and through public advocacy.

  • Ivanir dos Santos of Brazil worked exhaustively to support interfaith dialogue, combat discrimination, and create mechanisms for the protection of vulnerable groups.

  • William and Pascale Warda of Iraq have devoted their lives to advancing religious freedom and other human rights causes in their country.

  • Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud of Cyprus has fully committed herself to working with religious leaders, faith-based organizations, and religious communities on a broad range of issues, including religious freedom. She is also one of the architects and facilitators of an unprecedented peacebuilding initiative in Cyprus known as the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden based in Nicosia, Cyprus.

     

The State Department released a Statement of Concern the following day along with some 30 other nations calling on all governments to respect the right of the individual to practice any faith tradition or none at all, and condemning “horrific acts committed in the name of religion.”

President Trump pledged permanent support to a multi-faith delegation of survivors and victims of religious persecution from more than 16 different countries who visited the Oval Office on Sunday. 

The visit, statement and International Religious Freedom Awards were all in conjunction with the administration’s second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. 

“It’s really an honor to be with you and I will stand side by side with you forever,” Trump stated, according to a report from The Washington Times. “You’ve been through a lot -- more than most people could ever endure, and I want to congratulate you.”

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Elon Musk gears up to merge human brains with computer chips, clinical trials in 2020

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By Doug Mainwaring

SAN FRANCISCO, California, July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Futurist Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, recently explained that the mission of his latest visionary endeavor, Neuralink, is to develop an implantable brain-computer interface (BCI) that will soon have revolutionary medical applications. More importantly, Musk said it will serve to protect humankind against the threat of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

Neuralink’s new technology, Musk promises, will in the near future enable paralyzed individuals to control a computer or smartphone with their thoughts. Musk also envisions the human brain “merging with AI,” creating access to superhuman intelligence as well as allowing a symbiotic relationship with A.I.

Musk delivered his remarks at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

'Existential threat' of A.I. is akin to 'summoning the demon'

For some time now, Musk has been warning that humanity may be in peril due to the rapid development of A.I. Speaking at MIT in 2014, he said A.I. is humanity’s “biggest existential threat” and compared the adoption of A.I. to “summoning the demon” in a horror movie.

“If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be,” said Musk in a 2017 tweet.

Musk warned in 2018 that A.I. could create an “Immortal Dictator” that could govern the entire world. “As AI gets probably much smarter than humans, the relative intelligence ratio is probably similar to that between a person and a cat, maybe bigger,” Musk told Rocode’s Kara Swisher. “I do think we need to be very careful about the advancement of AI.”

The ultimate goal of Neuralink is “to secure humanity’s future as a civilization relative to AI,” Musk told his audience in San Francisco.

“After solving a bunch of brain related diseases there is the mitigation of the existential threat of AI,” he continued. “This is the point of it.”

“This is something I think that’s going to be really important at civilization level scale,” said Musk.

“I’ve said a lot about AI over the years, but I think that even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind.”

Musk believes that unless humans are able to interface with computers in this way, A.I. will evolve beyond our ability to control it. He believes that “merging with A.I.” is the only way for humans to avoid becoming irrelevant.  

Musk called attention to the difference in the rate of input and output in the way most of us currently interface with machine intelligence. He explained that although humans already have access to vast amounts of information through our computers and smartphones, we are limited by the slowness of our output — i.e., the speed at which our fingers can type.

A neural implant would bypass the use of our digits, allowing for near instantaneous, wireless communication between brain and computer.

Musk showed a brief video (08:32–09:36) that explains how the Neuralink system would work with the human brain:

“The system that we’ve designed in version one, is capable of on the order of 10,000 electrodes,” said Musk, noting that this contrasts with current FDA-approved systems for helping patients with Parkinson’s Disease, which have just 10 electrodes.

“So the version which we are going to unveil today is capable of a thousand times more electrodes than the best system out there.”

Musk envisions that the process would be affordable and commonplace because insertion of the receptors into the human brain would be a process akin to the now widely used LASIK eye surgery, which involves a short visit to a doctor, rather than invasive surgery requiring a lengthy, expensive hospital stay.

Human brain implant trials begin soon

Up until now, experimentation with the new BCI technology has been limited to laboratory rats, but Musk said that the first human clinical trials will begin next year. 

Musk and his team appear to think that their newly developed technology will quickly deliver successful medical applications for those with serious neurological illnesses or brain damage, spinal cord injury, or stroke.  

Just beyond the noble aim of medical applications, however, is Musk’s ultimate goal: to make Neuralink’s device available to everyone.   

“It’s not going to be like suddenly Neuralink will have this incredible new interface and take over people’s brains,” Musk assured his audience, and yet that is precisely what many people fear regarding advancing BCI technology.  

“It will take a long time, and you’ll see it coming,” he said.  “Getting FDA approval for implantable devices of any kind is quite difficult and this will be a slow process.” 

July 23, 2019 3:45 PM EST update: This report has been updated with additional quotes from Musk. 

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Oregon mandates K–12 LGBT identity curricula in civics, geography

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By Martin Barillas

SALEM, Oregon, July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Oregon’s Democrat-controlled House passed legislation that will ensure that LGBTQ issues are included in public school curricula, including elementary grades.

A summary of House Bill 2023 indicates that public school children will be exposed to content regarding sexuality in all courses dealing with civics, economics, geography, government, and history. The “roles and contributions” of historical personages would be highlighted in course-work for their sexuality and gender identities rather than their accomplishments or contributions.

Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed the bill into law on June 4. It goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

The Family Policy Alliance declared on its website that “teachers will be forced to teach radical identity politics in the classroom, whether or not it has anything to do with the subject being taught.” Furthermore, FPA stated that “history textbooks that do not include mention of sexual identity will be censored from the classroom!”

The summary of the bill states that by September 30, 2026, textbooks and instructional materials for the above courses should include “perspectives of individuals who are of Native American, African, Asian, Pacific Islander, Chicano, Latino or Middle Eastern descent; are women; or are disabled; immigrants or refugees; or are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.” Furthermore, Oregon’s state board of education would be required to review all existing academic content standards no later than the above date to ensure that the bill’s goals are met.

The summary published by Oregon’s legislature cites California as a model to follow when reviewing whether K–12 textbooks reflect the histories and contributions of the identified minority groups. It was noted that California’s board of education adopted historical curricula that “provide[] more detail on Latinos, Filipinos, the United Farm Workers movement, Californian Indians, Chinese and Japanese immigrants, and the challenges these groups faced before and after World War II.” As with the sex education curriculum in the Golden State, there is no available opt-out for students who do not wish to be exposed to the material.

Prof. Bruce Gilley of Portland State University, who presides over the Oregon Association of Scholars (OAS), warned against the legislation. In a May 2019 op-ed in The Oregonian, he wrote that the “certain classifications of individuals” cited in H.B. 2023 “are not defined as the brave, the courageous, the public-spirited, the kind and generous, the innovative, the powerful and influential, the lucky, and the fascinating.” He went on to write that the “already small and shrinking amount of classroom time that students have to learn basic facts” must now be “reallocated according to an ideological entitlement program.” He posited: “Not satisfied with wanting to distribute income, housing, jobs and street names according to the imperatives of the new identity politics in Oregon, legislators now want to redistribute history as well.”

In a summary submitted by the OAS denouncing the bill, the group stated that H.B. 2023 “politicizes the teaching of history and related subjects in Oregon,” “subverts school board autonomy in choosing curricular materials,” “will worsen discrimination and stereotyping in schools,” “turns public education into a political spoils system,” and “will contribute to the decay of excellence in public education in Oregon.”

The brief submitted by the OAS warned that H.B. 2023 is “redolent of Soviet-style rewriting of history according to predetermined pseudo-Marxist categories intended to serve political purposes through ‘mythologized representations’ of certain groups. It has no place in a free society.”

In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Stephanie Curry of the Family Policy Alliance said that in California, textbooks and textbook authors “have been known to speculate about the sexual orientation of historical figures and they tend to slap our modern labels onto people of the past merely to meet these standards in the law.” She said that the harm to children using the textbooks lies attributing the importance of historical figures to their assumed sexual preferences rather than to their contributions to American history.

The Colorado-based Family Policy Alliance is a pro-life advocacy organization that provides tools to citizens who seek to resist the abortion and LGBTQ agendas.

Citizens who wish to respectfully express their concerns to Gov. Brown can do so via the information below, or by clicking this link: Office of Gov. Kate Brown.

Phone

Governor’s Constituent Services Office
(503) 378-4582

Mail 

Governor Brown
Attn: Citizens' Representative
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4047

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Infamous pro-abortion Wendy Davis announces run to challenge House GOP incumbent

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By Calvin Freiburger

TEXAS, July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Wendy Davis, the former Texas state lawmaker who made a national name for herself filibustering on behalf of late-term abortion, is throwing her pink sneakers back in the political ring with a new bid to join the U.S. House of Representatives.

Davis announced Monday that she is running in the Democrat primary for Texas’ 21st congressional district, the Texas Tribune reports. The party’s nominee will go on to face the Republican incumbent, freshman Rep. Chip Roy.

“I'm running for Congress because people's voices are still being silenced," Davis declared in her announcement. “I'm running for our children and grandchildren, so they can live and love and fight for change themselves.” She claimed that if elected, she will “work to end divisiveness and to create the kind of unity that really helps to solve problems.”

Roy responded by dismissing the notion that her left-wing views would appeal to a majority of the district:

“It’s beyond parody that Wendy Davis is attempting to make her political comeback in a district she lost by 20 points last time around,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Bob Salera responded. “Texans resoundingly rejected Davis and her socialist agenda 5 years ago, and will do so again in 2020.”

Davis rose to national prominence in 2013 by engaging in an 11-hour filibuster against a bill to ban abortions beyond 20 weeks, when preborn babies can feel pain. She failed to stop the bill from becoming law, but succeeded in becoming a national celebrity in pro-abortion circles. 

While left-wing figures declared her a hero for “women’s rights,” pro-lifers seized on her subsequent comments, such as claiming that women who oppose late-term abortion “don’t really understand” the issue, and admitting she was largely ignorant about the case of Kermit Gosnell’s largely unregulated abortion business.

Other Democrats who have filed to run so far include Llano County party chairwoman Jennie Lou Leeder and educator Bruce Boville. But the Tribune notes that Davis will have strong backing for the nomination; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and most of the Democrats in the Texas House delegation are throwing an event for her in the nation’s capital.

Cook Political Report and Inside Elections rank Texas’ 21st district as “Lean Republican” and “Likely Republican,” respectively. Roy’s predecessor, Republican Lamar Smith, consistently held the seat since 1986.

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Atlanta’s NFL, NBA teams sponsor Drag Queen Story Hour at City Hall

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By Doug Mainwaring
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Harry the Hawk, mascot of the Atlanta Hawks, at Drag Queen Story Hour at Atlanta’s City Hall

ATLANTA, Georgia,  July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Two of Atlanta’s professional sports teams – the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Falcons – have been credited with co-sponsoring a Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) event at Atlanta’s City Hall to cap Pride Month.  

“We want to thank our friends at the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons, Whole Foods, Georgia Beverage and Atlanta Pride for partnering with us for Drag Queen Story Hour,” tweeted One Atlanta, the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.    

The Atlanta Hawks sent their mascot, ‘Harry the Hawk,” wearing pride flag plumage, to the event.  

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms invited ‘Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker,’a.k.a., Steven Igarashi-Ball, to perform in City Hall after a DQSH he was scheduled to perform in at a nearby Fulton County Library branch was removed from the library system’s event calendar.  

While the event wasn’t canceled, the library’s decision to halt all promotion of the event was perceived as a snub to the drag queen.  

“Thank you to everyone who joined us at today’s Drag Queen Story Hour with Mayor Keisha Bottoms and Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker,” read a tweet posted by the City of Atlanta’s Official Twitter account.  

“‘It’s Okay to be Different’ and ‘Mary Had a Little Glam’ were read to Atlanta’s kids and families at Saturday’s Drag Queen Story Hour,” tweeted Paulina Guzman, global Engagement Officer at the Atalnta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs. “It’s important to share positive messages of acceptance and confidence in our communities!” 

Local TV station CBS 46 reported that the event was attended by mostly gays, lesbians, and their children, saying “dozens of folks in the LGBTQ community went here to City Hall to take part in Drag Queen Story Hour.”   

Many of the kids who are brought to the DQSH events are children of gay and lesbian parents, who hope the exposure to other children of gays and lesbians will give their kids the impression that their family situation is normal.  

“We’re a lesbian couple so we like out kids to come out and interact and see that there are other kids like them,” said one woman interviewed in the report.    

“The goal is to normalize abnormal, sexually deviant homosexual behavior by enticing children to first: question their sexuality,” pro-family activist Georgia Kijesky recently told LifeSiteNews. “The more children see men dressing up as women, the more normal it will become.”

In addition to the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Falcons, Whole Foods (owned by Amazon) and Georgia Beverage were cosponsors of the event. 

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Jesuit priest James Martin: It’s ‘stupefying to me that women cannot preach at Mass’

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By Claire Chretien
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July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – It’s “stupefying to me that women cannot preach at Mass,” LGBT activist and Jesuit priest Father James Martin tweeted today, despite biblical admonitions, canon law, and Church teaching against the practice.

Martin linked to an America magazine piece written by a Santa Clara University lecturer who lamented that the “clock” was “turned back” at her parish in 2009 and 2013 when new bishops prohibited women from delivering homilies and then post-homily “reflections,” respectively. 

“In our parish in Northern California, lay women began to preach the good news during the Sunday liturgy in 1996. The practice emerged from within the faith community,” Jean Molesky-Poz, who has also authored a book on Mayan spirituality, wrote. “Several women had approached our pastor and spoke of the devastating lack of women’s spiritual wisdom and leadership in the church for 2,000 years.”

“The faithful during Mass, as well as the presiders, are missing out on the wisdom, experience and inspired reflections of half of its members,” the Jesuit tweeted, suggesting that women should be instructing priests during Mass. “St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us.”

“Just think. Women with PhDs in theology. Catholic sisters with decades of experience. Women spiritual directors. Authors. Mothers. Physicians. Attorneys. Teachers. Grandmothers. Women who work with the poor and marginalized,” mused Martin in a follow-up tweet. “And on and on. The church needs their voices at Mass.”

Martin, who is also a Vatican communications consultor with a large social media following, has over the past several years made a name for himself pushing to normalize homosexuality and transgenderism in the Catholic Church. He has said men in sodomitical partnerships should be able to kiss during Mass, suggested that a Catholic going to a same-sex “wedding” is tantamount to a Catholic going to a Jewish wedding, and supports giving boys access to girls’ bathrooms and vice versa.

He recently celebrated a “pride” Mass before one of the world’s largest LGBT demonstrations. The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are "intrinsically disordered."

Such acts “are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (CCC 2357).

The left-wing cleric’s clamoring for female preaching comes as the Church prepares for a synod on the Pan-Amazonian region, which is widely expected to feature attempts by progressivist prelates to abolish the priestly celibacy that is a hallmark of Roman Catholicism and push the idea of female “deaconesses” despite the Church’s teaching that the diaconate is an ordained office and only men may be ordained. The synod’s working document even went as far as to intimate women’s ordination – which the Church’s perennial teaching states is an ontological impossibility – may be on the table.

The Church must “promote vocations among indigenous men and women in order to respond to the need for pastoral and sacramental care,” the document said, while calling on the Church to “identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, considering the central role they play today in the Amazon Church.”

The German bishops’ official website recently floated the idea of women preaching homilies at Mass.

Doing so would be “about giving women a more important role at the celebration of the Eucharist,” a Benedictine monk, Father Nikodemus Schnabel, wrote in an article they published.

“The urgent question poses itself to me as to why it is necessary that a clergyman has to deliver the homily at the celebration of the liturgy?” commented Schnabel.

During the two synods on the family, the German bishops were one of the primary forces pushing for official approval for Communion for those in what the Church teaches are adulterous unions. The culmination of those synods was Amoris Laetitia, the apostolic exhortation that led four cardinals – two of whom are now dead – to ask Pope Francis to officially clarify if it’s aligned with Catholic morality. The pontiff has not answered their formal request, called the dubia.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and dubia signer Cardinal Walter Brandmüller have both criticized the Amazon synod’s working document.

“The structure of the text presents a radical u-turn in the hermeneutics of Catholic theology,” the former said.

Brandmüller blasted it for pushing the “abolishment of celibacy” and introducing a path to “female priesthood.”

Homilies from laity a common post-Vatican II liturgical abuse

As Molesky-Poz mentioned in the America article Fr. Martin tweeted, lay preaching at Mass already happens in some places despite the Church’s prohibition on it. This liturgical abuse seems to have begun in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. 

In the Diocese of Rochester, for example, there was an uproar in 2014 when Bishop Salvatore Matano ended the practice, described by a local newspaper as a “custom” from the 1970s that was “praised for its inclusiveness.” Lay preaching is also common at some U.S. university parishes run by left-wing baby boomer priests.

“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,” St. Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 14:34-35. 

As LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen recently noted, the Church followed that command until various interpretations of Vatican II saw women reading the Scriptures at Mass but not the Gospel.

In his 1755 encyclical Allatae Sunt, Pope Benedict XIV wrote:

Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: “Women should not dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry.” We too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21.” (Pope Benedict XIV, Encyclical Allatae Sunt, July 26, 1755, n. 29) 

Canon law: Only priests and deacons can preach homilies

Something Fr. Martin didn’t mention – and was quickly pointed out by an observer on Twitter – is that unordained men are also prohibited from preaching during Mass.

“Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year,” says canon 767 of the Code of Canon Law (emphasis added).

“Preaching by the lay faithful may not take place within the Celebration of the Eucharist at the moment reserved for the homily,” the U.S. bishops have reaffirmed in their norms on “lay preaching.” 

The same norms also indicate that lay “preaching” inside a Church or oratory – which would not be taking place during Mass – can occur “if necessity requires it,” such as during a spiritual conference, and the lay person speaking is “orthodox in faith”:

If necessity requires it in certain circumstances or it seems useful in particular cases, the diocesan bishop can admit lay faithful to preach, to offer spiritual conferences or give instructions in churches, oratories or other sacred places within his diocese, when he judges it to be to the spiritual advantage of the faithful.

In order to assist the diocesan bishop in making an appropriate pastoral decision (Interdicasterial Instruction, Ecclesiae de Mysterio, Article 2 §3), the following circumstances and cases are illustrative: the absence or shortage of clergy, particular language requirements, or the demonstrated expertise or experience of the lay faithful concerned.

The lay faithful who are to be admitted to preach in a church or oratory must be orthodox in faith, and well-qualified, both by the witness of their lives as Christians and by a preparation for preaching appropriate to the circumstances (emphasis added). 

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VIDEO: 10 signs Pope Francis is moving toward women’s ordination

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Man who identifies as ‘female’ asks city to approve LGBT pool party for ‘topless’ 12-year-olds, no parents

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By Lianne Laurence
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WARNING: This report contains content that is not suitable for children

VANCOUVER, July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canadian transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv, a biologically born male who now claims to be "female," will be at the Township of Langley council tonight asking for permission to host “topless” LGBT swim parties for “people aged 12+” at the municipality’s public swimming pools. He is also requesting that parents be “prohibited” from attending the events where 12-year-old girls could be present. 

Yaniv states in a delegation request to appear before the Township Council that he seeks “permission for LGBTQ2s+ organizations to be allowed to host an ‘All-Bodies Swim’ at TOL civic pools (WG Rec, WC Clair, Otter) for all people aged 12+ where these events will be restricted to LGBTQ2S and individuals will be permitted to be topless (at their leisure), in compliance with the laws of Canada and where parents and caretakers will be prohibited from attending these events as it’s considered safe and inclusive.”

While the B.C. Supreme Court agreed in 2000 that women can show their breasts in public, siding with a woman who challenged a bylaw against toplessness at a public pool, a vast majority of women, however, choose to cover themselves.

The trans activist, who calls himself a "proud lesbian," is behind discrimination complaints launched against 16 beauticians for refusing to wax his male genitals, as can now be revealed after the BC Human Rights tribunal lifted an interim publication ban last week during Yaniv’s latest hearing Wednesday. Yaniv represented himself at the hearing. 

But there’s much more to Yaniv’s story than his waxing crusade, including a fixation in wanting to encounter menstruating girls in public bathrooms.

Screenshots of Yaniv’s social media posts showing a disturbing interest in the menstruation of 10 and 12-year-old girls have been circulating online for more than a year. He has long been the subject of online allegations that he uses his self-declared “female” status to gain access to women-only spaces and contact young girls where he asks them leading questions.

Indeed, so persistent have the allegations been that Yaniv’s fellow trans activist Ronan “Morgane” Oger — vice president of the B.C. New Democratic Party — alleged in an April 19 blog that Yaniv is guilty of “predatory” and “inappropriate” online behavior.

“The things people have told me Jessica Yaniv has done to them are awful and can’t be swept out of our consciousness,” wrote Oger.

Yaniv is also notorious for reporting his critics to social media sites like Twitter and having them thrown off the site — another instance of which happened last week. He was behind well-known Canadian free speech advocate Lindsay Shepherd being banned from Twitter four days after their heated exchange July 14, reported in the National Post

Yaniv, who runs the Vancouver-based tech consulting business Trusted Nerd — where he reviews sex toys such as the “Shegasm Intense 2 in 1 Clit Stimulator” — taunted Shepherd about her condition of a septate uterus, which increases the chance of pregnancy loss, the National Post reported.

“At least I have a uterus, you fat, ugly man,” tweeted Shepherd, who had a baby in April, and is engaged to the Post Millennial’s Cosmin Dzsurdzsa.

Shepherd, a Free Speech Fellow at the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom, later deleted her tweets because she knew Yaniv's history of reporting critics, but doesn’t regret them, she told the National Post.

Twitter has prohibited “misgendering” or “deadnaming” under its terms of service since October 2018.

“Because this is a trans individual they are untouchable … they are allowed to mock and taunt me about my biology, they can say whatever crude things they want,” said Shepherd, who had 76,000 followers on her NewWorldHominin Twitter account.

“But when it comes to me wanting to take a shot back at that person and wanting to stand up for myself — or for my womanhood so to speak — I am permanently kicked off.”

Moreover, Yaniv evidently had Canadian feminist blogger Meghan Murphy permanently banned from Twitter, as he told a Township of Langley council meeting in December. He lamented then that Vancouver police have not yet charged Murphy with hate crimes. Murphy, who was reportedly banned after referring to Yaniv as “him,” is suing Twitter in a California court under the state’s unfair competition law, CNet reported in February.

Yaniv also boasted in May — to @ElectronicCrikt (whose account is now suspended) and others — of his power to silence his critics, which now include Oger, who in March won his own $55,000 BCHRT discrimination claim against Christian activist Bill Whatcott. Yaniv tweeted: "I meant I have power. And lots of it. I know how to use my words, and really shut down the haters one, after, another. Just look at Oger, she chickened out cause she LOST the fight against me, and she admitted it too LOL."

Online predatory behavior

Allegations that Yaniv used his self-declared “female” status to contact young girls surfaced in October 2018 on Gender Trender blog, and is now archived on breakingnews.ca.

Gender Trender alleged that in May, June, and July of 2018, a number of teenage girls took to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to claim Yaniv “pretended to be transgender” in order to access private Facebook groups for adolescent girls “where he spewed his creepy sexual fetishes about young women, menstruation, toilet and locker room fantasies.”

Gender Trender published screenshots allegedly from Yaniv which are now easily accessed on the Internet.

“If there’s like 30 girls in the change room, how many would you say are out there changing with their vaginas and t*ts out?” Yaniv wonders in one message. “Do you ever see t*ts or p*ssy?” he asks in another. 

“If she wants a tampon though, should i give her one and instruct her on how to use it?… like, would i go into the stall with her and help her? that sounds so weird,” he ponders in another message.

“[H]ave you ever seen a tampon string hanging out of another girls thing?” he asks in another post. “Is it weird to ask a 10 year old for a tampon?” he asks yet again. 

Yaniv claimed in an audio recording his intentions were misrepresented, as captured in a video and tweeted by a cultural commentator who has not yet been banned from Twitter:

Yaniv, however, told LifeSiteNews that the screenshots of his social media conversations are “fake.”

“Considering they’re all fake, any publication is defamation and will be acted on,” Yaniv told LifeSiteNews in an email.

Oger wrote in April blog that he “tracked down and heard witnesses with first-person accounts of Jessica’s online behaviour spanning 2013 to 2018.” 

Of four women he spoke to, three “had awful experiences with Jessica Yaniv. All were young women and girls at the time,” Oger said. “They are all adults now. I urged each woman to make a complaint with police on the basis of the things they said happened. I hope this has an effect and with enough police reports there may be a case.”

Oger said he finally commented on the allegations, despite advice not to, because Yaniv is still “actively campaigning about the topic of menstrual products and girls, the focus of years of her negative behaviour,” and “seems to be still engaging in programs that target young women.”

Earlier this year, Yaniv was a contestant in the Miss B.C. Pageant, but he has since dropped out.

When LifeSiteNews asked him at that time why he dropped out, he responded: “Why don’t you leave me alone? You’re harassing me now.”

Email contact information for Council of Langley: 

Mayor Jack Froese

Councillor Petrina Arnason

Councillor David Davis

Councillor Steve Ferguson

Councillor Margaret Kunst 

Councillor Bob Long

Councillor Kim Richter

Councillor Blair Whitmarsh

Councillor Eric Woodward 

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Pregnant teen shot in face for refusing abortion survives, now has a healthy baby

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By Lisa Bourne
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Baby Landyn GoFundMe

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Florida teen shot in the face by her boyfriend last year after refusing to abort her unborn child has recovered, had her baby, and wants to make a difference for other young people facing abusive situations.

Naomi Rosado considers her son Landyn, now around eight months old, to be a miracle, and has plans to go into schools to talk to other teens about domestic violence.

“Landyn is such a perfect, happy baby,” she said. “I'm so thankful I’ve been given a second chance and I’m seizing it with both hands.”

Two years ago when she was 17 and in high school, Rosado had been fighting a lot with her mother Robin, and she moved out to live with her girlfriend Kaitlyn and Kaityn’s friend Charles Tenpenny.

Beginning a few months later, Tenpenny would coerce her into a violent relationship, according to her account given to The Sun

He would later become increasingly more abusive, and one year ago, shoot her in the eye while she was pregnant with his child. 

Rosado and her son miraculously survived, and after multiple surgeries, losing her eye, and giving birth to Landyn, she faced her attacker in court.

She continues to rebuild her life, grateful it and for her son.

In January 2018 Tenpenny declared himself Rosado’s boyfriend, she said, though she’d never consented to this.

“Deep down, I was terrified of the guy,” she said. “He would ply me with booze so he could have his way with me and, although he could be very kind, I knew what a nasty piece of work he really was.”

However, Rosado thought she couldn’t go back home and face her mother after they way she’d left, so she stayed.

“This was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my life,” she stated.

Tenpenny became verbally abusive by the end of March of that year, she said, calling her nasty names and slapping her around.

She was too frightened to seek help.

After realizing in April of last year she’d missed a period and been sick a few times, she told Tenpenny she thought she might be pregnant.

She said, “He erupted in fury, saying, ‘If you are, you are going to get rid of it! You would be an awful mother!’”

“I cried,” Rosado recounted. “I knew it was no use, so I put the pregnancy to the back of my head as if it wasn’t real. It was easier that way.”

In the meantime, Tenpenny’s alcohol-abetted advances continued.

By the time July arrived, Rosado realized she could not ignore the pregnancy any longer. When she had bad stomach pains and difficulty standing, a friend rushed her to hospital.

“While I was there, the doctors did an ultrasound scan,” she recalled. “‘There’s definitely a baby in there,’ the doctor told me.”

“When she said I was expecting a boy, I burst out crying,” said Rosado. “I was thrilled, even though it was Charles’ baby.”

Tenpenny came to the hospital and Rosado confirmed she was pregnant, and she said he seemed excited to hear it was a boy.

She thought everything would be okay. 

Her mother learned of the pregnancy and welcomed her back with open arms, said Rosado, wanting her to come home.

Afraid it was upset Tenpenny, Rosado declined and stayed with him.

“I looked after myself and my unborn child,” she recalled, “refusing to touch a drop of alcohol even when he insisted.”

Last July 17 the violence reached a new height.

Rosado heard that Tenpenny was telling people the baby wasn’t his, and she confronted him about it.

“Enraged, he hit me in the head with the barrel of a gun – knocking me out,” she said.

When she came-to the next morning, angry, she screamed at him, asking, “Why did you knock me out last night? Why would you want to hurt me like that?”

Tenpenny replied yelling that she’d cheated on him and that she wasn’t keeping the house clean.

Rosado said she began crying and realized she had to get out.

“I was sitting on the sofa as he walked towards me, holding the same gun he used to knock me out the night before,” she said. “Charles please don’t,” I cried. “Think about the baby!”

“As the words left my mouth, he shot me at point blank range in my left eye,” Rosado said. “I fell onto the floor and he left me to bleed for a while, before finally calling the police.”

Rosado said she heard Tenpenny lie to police, telling them that someone had broken into the house.

She was taken to the hospital and then airlifted to the nearest facility offering specialist care.

Tenpenny came to the hospital and stayed with her family, Rosado said, crying, and her mother comforting him.

Rosado was put into a medically induced coma with the bullet still lodged in her head, but miraculously having missed her brain.

She said she has memories from this time, and felt terrified whenever Tenpenny was in the room.

“Sitting with me, he would whisper in my ear:’“If you tell anyone what I did, I will hurt your mum worse than I’ve hurt you,’” she stated. “‘And I will make sure she stays alive so you can see the damage you have done.’”

Rosado said her mother noticed her heart rate monitor would go up markedly whenever Tenpenny spoke to her. Her mom told police she feared he was involved, and they agreed, but said they needed additional evidence.

A few days later, Tenpenny would tell Rosado’s grandmother he’d accidentally shot her. Her grandmother didn't believe him and immediately informed the police, who arrested Tenpenny.

As this was going on, Rosado remained in a coma, lasting three weeks.

She awoke in August, to have multiple surgeries and be given a prosthetic eye.

“I could have died and I lost my eye, but miraculously my baby was fine,” she said.

“While it was a shock to lose my eye,” she said, “my baby was safe and I was alive and that’s all that mattered to me. I’d been given a second chance.”

Her son Landyn was born via C-section in November 2018.

Rosado had to be put under general anesthesia to give birth due to pressure in her head from the injury.

She recalled that it was an emotional experience finally getting to hold her son. 

“As I looked at him, I couldn't stop crying and my family were all crying with me,” she said. “My miracle baby who could have died just a few months earlier.” 

“I felt so much love for my little boy,” she said. “It was overwhelming.”

Rosado faced Tenpenny in court later that month, when he took a plea deal and admitted to shooting her in the face. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Looking back a year later, she said she wished she hadn’t accepted that plea deal, and pushed for a life sentence. But she wanted to move on. 

It was empowering to face him, she said, the end of the nightmare relationship.

Rosado said she is going back to school and plans to reach out to other young people about domestic violence.

“I want them to recognize a bad relationship and know how to get out, because I really didn’t,” Rosado said.

“I’m so thankful that I’m here,” she said. “I feel like I was meant to survive to make a difference.”

A GoFundMe account has been established for Rosado and Landyn.

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Trump admin delays enforcement of rule slashing Planned Parenthood funding

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By Calvin Freiburger

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration revealed over the weekend it would delay enforcement of its new rules to ensure Title X dollars don’t go to abortionists, giving abortion-involved facilities more time to comply with the regulations. 

In February, the administration finalized a rule that will require “clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning,” ban “referral for abortion as a method of family planning,” eliminate a “requirement that Title X providers offer abortion counseling and referral,” and require “more complete reporting by grantees about subrecipients and more clarity about informal partnerships with referral agencies.”

The rule is projected to cut almost $60 million from the $563.8 million Planned Parenthood received during the most recent fiscal year, and redirect it to women’s health providers that aren’t involved in abortions. This has provoked intense anger among abortion supporters and lawsuits from 21 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Planned Parenthood and the American Medical Association (AMA).

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the rule could take effect while the case’s merits are litigated, leading the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to announce that the rule would take effect immediately. Over the weekend, however, it sent out notices that HHS “does not intend to bring enforcement actions” right away against facilities making “good-faith efforts to comply,” the Associated Press reports.

Instead, the administration will require facilities to submit a plan for how they intend to comply with the rules in August, demonstrate implementation of most of the new rules by mid-September, and have their health centers and abortion facilities physically separated by March 2020.

The delay appears unlikely to make a long-term difference. Planned Parenthood announced last week it would reject the funds for other services so it can continue committing and referring for abortions, and other abortion providers remain unwilling to attempt to comply.

The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which represents the affcted organizations and one of the groups suing the administration, called the delay “wholly insufficient,” the AP notes. Kaiser Family Foundation senior vice president and director of women’s health policy Alina Salganicoff told the Washington Post that “at the end of the day, the decisions [of abortion groups] I think are going to remain the same.”

Regardless, there will remain abundant taxpayer funds available both for the abortion industry and for legitimate health providers.

Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report shows the organization not only enjoyed almost a billion dollars in annual private revenue and contributions, but that it will continue to receive over $500 million from taxpayers even without the Title X money. Pro-lifers argue that redirecting Title X money to other providers will more than make up for the cuts, as Federally-Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics dramatically outnumber Planned Parenthood locations.

The 9th Circuit will hear arguments and issue a ruling on the merits of the abortion lobby’s case against the HHS rule at a later date.

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LifeSite is now on Apple News

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July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – LifeSiteNews is excited to announce we’re now on Apple News. After a long period of waiting for approval with no explanation for the delay, we have finally been approved. You can now receive our pro-life and pro-family news directly on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or other Apple product. 

(To follow LifeSite on Apple News, click here on your Apple device.)

This is just one more way for us to reach more people and provide them with crucial news on life, marriage, and family. Expanding our reach by providing more readers with the truth in love will help us to continue to change the culture one person at a time. 

Please take a moment to follow LifeSiteNews on Apple News. Increasing our following will help us to have a greater presence on the platform and touch more lives. It only takes a few moments to follow LifeSiteNews and ensure you never miss a story.

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Vatican bishop is now poised to remodel JP II Institute for Marriage and Family on Amoris Laetitia

Riccardo Cascioli
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ROME, July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A time of “purging” has been set in motion at the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences, in the name of Amoris Laetitia.

This is the most obvious meaning of the approval of the Statutes and of the Order of Studies of the Institute commissioned by Saint John Paul II in 1982, and revolutionised by Pope Francis’s Motu Proprio Summa Familiae Cura (September 2017). When the Motu Proprio was published, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana wrote that the official line and objectives were clear, but that the decisive play would be over the statutes, since this is where the articles for the course structure, subjects taught and teachers are stipulated.

Even if the statutes, now approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education, have not yet been made public, recent statements made by the Insititute’s dean, Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeri, along with events the of the last two years and the first rumors, paint a fairly clear picture of what’s going on. Primarily, the concentration of power in the hands of the Grand Chancellor Vincenzo Paglia, the true lord of the operation, authorizes him to pick and choose his teachers and staff at will.

To have a comprehensive idea of the situation, we need to review the events that led up to the new statutes. The Motu proprio in 2017 was in evident discontinuity with what St. John Paul II intended for the institute. This is also clear from the way the current dean, Monsignor Sequeri, presented the new statutes in the Osservatore Romano. St. John Paul II had a clear awareness of the attack on the family, and which he repeatedly referred to as an apocalyptic battle. The John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family – as it was called until 2017 - was to be a center of excellence for the scientific study of the truth about marriage and family, as part of the Church’s duty to “declare to all peoples God’s design for marriage and the family, for which the Church is bound to ensure with full vigour and human and Christian promotion.”

In fact in these 37 years, the institute has responded effectively to this call by training thousands of priests, religious and laity; by engaging in debates and discussions of the highest theological and philosophical level; by publishing hundreds of volumes, accessible to everyone and not only experts: the latest publication, only days ago, is the Dizionario su sesso, amore e fecondità (Dictionary on Sex, Love and Fertility) with the contribution of dozens of international authors. Moreover, the institute has grown internationally over the years and established twelve centres - between branches and associated branches - in different countries of the world (just in the last two years under Paglia-Sequeri management, three associated branches have ceased to exist: Australia, South Korea and Colombia).

But none of this counts for the heralds of the new course, who believe a different and more up to date approach is now required. We need to "understand the family," explains Bishop Sequeri, it’s time to stop getting bogged down in doctrine, thus implying God's plan for the family is abstract and unrealistic. Instead, considerable attention is paid to sociology, psychology, history of cultures; multiplying and fragmenting studies, as if that will help us to understand what the family is.

But how does one go about changing an institution where the teaching staff, formed under Saint John Paul II, are particularly motivated and very united? First step: substitution. What was initially sold as an update or as a development, proved to be merely a smoke screen. In reality, the Motu Proprio Summa familiae cura with article 1, clearly states that the institute specifically desired by St. John Paul II “ceases to exist” and is replaced by a new one. This means that for the last two years, the institute has been living in limbo waiting for the statutes to be approved.

This takes us to the second step, which is the most tricky. Precisely the aforementioned explanation indicates that the purpose for change is not reform, but revolution: the statutes are not designed to provide an updated version of the previous ones, but as the first of a new institute, which has severed all ties with the past. In May 2018, at the Roman Institute board meeting and in June following the International board meeting, Monsignor Paglia presented statutes which concentrated power in his hands, giving him the right to choose teachers and subjects, thus cancelling the old procedures whereby the teaching body was involved in all the institute’s most important choices. Notably, they stipulated a veritable upheaval in the order of studies. Moreover, it is unprecedented, that academic power is concentrated in the hands of one figure, the Grand Chancellor, who in any academic institution acts as a guarantee, without any direct influence on teaching matters.

Monsignor Paglia’s proposal provoked a revolt by the teaching staff and put to death almost forty years of serious work. Faced with the risk of public scandal, Monsignor Paglia immediately withdrew his proposal and agreed that an internal commission would be formed - chaired by the dean Monsignor Sequeri - to draw up a set of new statutes, with the inclusion of contributions from the various international branches. After a few months the work was completed. Last March, the counter-proposal was presented to Monsignor Paglia for his approval. Obviously, the Grand Chancellor was expected to give his feedback; he had given his word that the new version of the statutes would be submitted to all the academic bodies before its approval would be sought from the Congregation for Catholic Education.

It proved to be a wait in vain. Only a month ago, at the last board meeting, there was still no mention of the statutes. Then a few days ago, there was a big surprise, the statutes had already been approved. Even if they are not public yet, Monsignor Sequeri’s announcement and the first rumours clearly indicate that in substance the statutes follow Monsignor Paglia’s original proposal, concentrating an abnormal amount of power in his hands. A definite mid-summer coup, a recipe for success to advance the revolution.

At this point it is easy to imagine what will happen next: since it is a new institute, all the staff, both teaching and non-teaching, will cease to be employed. Everyone will receive a letter indicating their destiny: there will be those who will be re-employed by the new institute, while the “unpopular members” will be sacked or found alternative employment. New compliant teachers will be introduced and gradually they will take control of the institute. Probably, only a few will be got rid of or relocated to start with, so as not to attract too much attention. In any case, one thing is clear: Monsignor Paglia is there to make a clean sweep of the institute and now has all the power he needs to reach that goal.

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Why support for unrestricted abortion could doom Dems at 2020 election

John Horvat II
By

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – It is not often that you see political strategy so clearly expressed. However, The New York Times recently published an article by Obama adviser Michael Wear about the state of the 2020 elections. He warned that Democratic candidates need to soften their approach to abortion. 

He confirmed what is becoming increasingly evident in the battle against abortion. The pro-life movement is winning. The war is far from over, but anti-abortionists are defining the terms of the debate. Liberals must retreat before a public that is increasingly scandalized by the brutality of pro-abortion rhetoric.

Nothing has changed in the opinions of those in the Democratic Party establishment. They still support unrestricted abortion, yes, until and even after birth. However, Mr. Wear says they must not say so.

Mr. Wear’s message is that the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are out of step with their voter base…and they don’t seem to care.

Compelling numbers

The numbers supporting this conclusion are compelling.

Many polls are showing that for the first time, as many Americans consider themselves pro-life as pro-abortion. A recent poll showed that only 18 percent of Americans support the 2020 Democratic candidates’ position of abortion at any time during pregnancy.  A P.R.R.I. survey revealed that a majority of Hispanic and black Americans consider abortion to be “morally wrong.”

Significant portions of Democratic voters support abortion restrictions. Majorities or near majorities of women and minorities are in favor of mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods and other such restrictions. Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates bitterly oppose them.

Finally, many voters support the Hyde Amendment that does not allow tax dollars to pay for abortion. According to a Morning Consult/Politico survey, some 42 percent of Hispanics support the Amendment while 36 percent of African-Americans favor it. Mr. Wear finds it perplexing that Joe Biden changed his pro-Hyde position to join all the other candidates to defy voters on this issue. 

Hardened hearts

The candidates’ response to such numbers is to disregard them. They have hardened their hearts. They are “more ready to exclude voters who are uncomfortable with their abortion policies than to reach out to them.” 

No longer are candidates calling for abortions that are “legal, safe and rare.” All the candidates enthusiastically support abortion on demand. They now celebrate abortion with loud (and macabre) applause as was seen and heard when New York state legislators passed their abortion bill that allowed the killing of the unborn until birth. 

Candidate Senator Kristen Gillibrand broke with Senate tradition in choosing judges. She declared that support of Roe v. Wade would be a litmus test to decide future Supreme Court judges since “we have, as a society, decided the other side is unacceptable.” 

Mr. Wear finds it worrisome, as indeed anyone human should, that no Democratic candidate has given “a clear, compelling message that will help persuadable voters see that he or she does not in fact support infanticide.”

Assumed positions

Perhaps the most disconcerting part of Mr. Wear’s message is his solution, which suggests not a change of policy but an adjustment of “tone, rhetoric and feeling.” Once Democrats have unmasked themselves, he wants them to hide once again their real position and present a false one.

Thus, he suggests that candidates need to do a bit of nuance: “Support and defend Roe v. Wade, but express moral reservations about abortion itself.” He suggests candidates must show themselves to be open to more restrictions on abortion, including a ban on late-term ones with limited exceptions. Candidates should seek to reduce abortions by expanding social programs and birth control access. In this way, they can brand themselves as more compassionate and understanding. 

This was the Obama strategy that played to the center and helped secure his election. By adopting this plan, Mr. Wear “helped him [Obama] overcome attacks that he was ‘pro-abortion.’” 

There is a dark cynicism in such advice since it implies that abortion is just perception, as if it does not snuff out a human life. He encourages candidates to be dishonest, to pretend to moderate their extremist pro-death agenda change just to get elected.

 A Dangerous position

Mr. Wear warns that the failure to adopt his strategy can be dangerous for Democrats. Past Democratic candidates, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton underestimated the pro-life opposition. They did not calculate well the damage that their radical abortion positions would do to their campaigns. The 2020 Democratic candidates embrace abortion on demand and without apology at their electoral peril.

Meanwhile, anti-abortion activists are working toward humanizing the life message with “heartbeat” bills that would prohibit abortion on unborn children that register heartbeats. It may well be that those helpless babies with beating hearts will decide the next general election.

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Two ways Catholic leaders can help stop people leaving Church

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — I have now written short reviews here of both of Professor Stephen Bullivant’s books: one on a recent survey of lapsed Catholics for the Diocese of Portsmouth in England, the other an in-depth discussion of the sociology of Catholics leaving the Church. These form the background to my consideration, today, of what the Church can do to stem the tide of lapsation, which continues, notwithstanding Catholic immigration into both the U.K. and the USA, which flatters the overall numbers.

Prof. Bullivant asked the lapsed Catholics who completed the Portsmouth survey the simple question: “Can you imagine yourself returning to the Church? If so, what specific things might the Church do to help towards this?”

Unsurprisingly, respondents who thought their return was conceivable proffered conflicting advice. For some, the Church was too traditional, for others too liberal. For some, Masses were not family-friendly; for others, they were too “family focused.” And so it goes on.

Out of this confusion, I would like to make two suggestions. The first is that the Church needs to take her own teaching seriously. The failure to explain and defend her own teaching on difficult subjects is one obvious problem. Another is the failure to respond to scandals, such as the clerical abuse crisis, in a serious, humble, and above all spiritual way. In different ways, the evasion of questions about hot-button issues and slippery-lawyer statements about abuse cases both give the same message: bishops, priests, and other leaders in the Church are not serious about the Faith. They do not believe in the overriding importance of truth and justice. They are hypocrites.

Instead, what bishops and others need to do is to address the issues clearly, fairly, with intellectual seriousness, and with passion, and they need to ensure that this is done at every level of the Church: in seminaries, in parish catechetical programs, and in schools. This may seem a lot to ask, but there are actually many apologists (including some brave bishops and priests) who have been doing exactly this on all these issues, who have, along with their arguments and their whole approach, been consistently shunned, sidelined, ignored, and even silenced. I’m not suggesting the impossible, simply the alternative approach, which, up to now, the majority of the Church’s leaders have known about and rejected.

My second suggestion is about the conception of community being used in the Church. Prof Bullivant’s Mass Exodus explains how things that made for strong Catholic communities up to the middle of the 20th century were undermined by social trends beyond the Church’s control, but he adds that the situation was made worse by the deliberate erasure of markers of Catholic identity and solidarity, such as all Catholics eating fish on Fridays; the distinctiveness of Catholic worship; and shared values, life commitments, and understanding of history.

The kind of community being promoted in many parishes today has got nothing to do with markers of identity, shared values, or the solidarity which leads to mutual help. In the absence of these things, many pastors seem to have turned to involvement in “parish ministries” as a substitute. They calculate that if people are doing the flowers or the children’s liturgy, or are on the rota for cleaning the church or distributing Holy Communion, they are “involved in the parish,” and they seem to believe that this is what “community” means.

But real communities are not formed in this way; they are formed around shared values and markers of identity. What is created in many parishes is actually an elite of clericalized laity — however well meaning and even self-sacrificing they may be — who come to be seen as the important people in the parish but cannot realistically make up more than about 20% of regular worshipers. Sometimes the rotas are expanded to ridiculous lengths in an attempt to include practically everyone, but people due to read the Second Reading every four months or sweep the floor every eight are not really “involved” at all; in reality, the “involved” people are the ones leading the ministries, who have privileged access to the pastor. The more these individuals are made to feel special, the more everyone else is left out in the cold.

Another result of this approach is that people don’t do the jobs for which they have the necessary skills: they are simply “found a job.” It will surprise no one to learn that some people in the Portsmouth survey complained about poor liturgical music. Why does the Church put up with badly performed music? In large part because the purpose of the music group is not to produce good music, but to “involve its members in the parish.”

Moving from a so-called community based on the privilege of being “involved” to a real community based on shared beliefs and a commitment to living the gospel may be painful, but it is absolutely necessary if our parishes are to survive.

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Cardinal Marx proposes men and women preach at Mass

Maike Hickson Maike Hickson Follow Maike
By Maike Hickson

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – German cardinal Reinhard Marx has suggested that the time is ripe for the laity, men and women, to preach homilies at Mass. 

Last Saturday, the Cardinal delivered a talk to a diocesan assembly of lectors in his Archdiocese of Freising-Munich where he said that he was “a bit disappointed” about some of the homilies he has heard in some parishes. He wondered if the laity might have a  better gift for preaching.

"How does the homily of the future look like? May only the priest preach? Things have to develop further," he said. 

These words come in the wake of an article that was just published on the news website of the German bishops – whose president Marx is — where it was proposed that women should become preachers during Mass. Father Nikodemus Schnabel, the author of this article, asked: “what speaks against a true re-discovery of the liturgical office of the lector and of the female lector, with which only non-clergymen can be tasked?” 

These lectors would then be not only tasked “with the proclamation of the Word of God, but also with its exegesis.” 

Thus, he was clearly proposing a new liturgical office that would include female preachers.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx seems to be going in that same direction when he stated on Saturday that sometimes, he misses an exegetic discussion of the biblical texts in homilies, saying that “it is not being questioned what really is meant [in the text].”

Since “talents are different,” the German prelate raised the question of lay preachers. “Do we not want to say: he who has a talent, he shall speak?” he asked. “May only the priest preach?” In general, Cardinal Marx hopes for “a greater diversity of that which is the homily.”

These comments come shortly after a private and unannounced pre-Amazon Synod meeting took place near Rome, at which several German prelates and theologians participated, among them Cardinal Walter Kasper and Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck. An official summary of that meeting called for the introduction of female deacons. The authors of this summary state about women that they "propose that their leadership be recognized, promoting various ministerial forms of exercising service and authority, and in particular, that reflection on the female diaconate be taken up again in the perspective of Vatican II (cf. LG 29, AG 16 IL 129 c2).”

At that gathering also was present Bishop Erwin Kräutler who, on July 14, expressed his hope in an interview with the Austrian TV channel ORF that the upcoming 6-27 October Pan-Amazon Synod would bring forth “at least female deacons,” next to the married priesthood. If it were for him, female priests would be the goal, however. He asked in this interview: “When two-thirds of these parishes [in his Brazilian diocese of Xingu] are led by women, why can they then not also obtain ordination and preside on Sundays over the Holy Eucharist?”

As LifeSiteNews reported on 19 July, a well-placed source affirms that the female diaconate is the main goal of the Amazon Synod's organizers. “One will demand two things [at the Amazon Synod]: female diaconate and abolishment of celibacy. These are two colossal things. When one cannot push through both, then one will preserve celibacy and will be content with the female diaconate,” the source stated.

Peter Winnemöller, a well-known Catholic journalist and commentator in Germany, was alarmed by Cardinal Marx' remarks about lay preachers. ​​

“And now also lay preachers. The highly active archbishop of Munich and president of the DKB [German Bishops' Conference] does not tire to push forward with his program of destruction,” he wrote on his blog,

He points to the connection with the newly started “synodal path” in Germany which turns the Church in Germany into “a Church of epochal changes.” This “Church of epochal changes,” adds Winnemöller, “will bring most probably not only lay homilies, but also lay celebration [of the Holy Eucharist].”

In light of the newly published numbers of Church membership in Germany – with more than 200,000 Catholics leaving the Church in 2018 (which is an increase of 27%) – some observers wonder why the German bishops are so eager to continue their agenda of reform when it seems to have detrimental effects on the Church.

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Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen

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Why Republican party must focus on nationalist, socially conservative agenda to win 2020 election

Stephen Kokx Stephen Kokx Follow Stephen
By Stephen Kokx

ANALYSIS

July 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A 2017 report by an organization called The Democracy Voter Study Group found that in the last presidential race Donald Trump won socially conservative, economically liberal voters who previously supported Democrats.

The upcoming 2020 elections present the Republican Party with an historic opportunity to build on this newly forged coalition of blue-collar moderates and religious Americans.

If the GOP chooses to ignore these voters’ concerns about the effects of hyper-globalization and growing economic inequality and instead treats Trump’s presidency and the populist re-alignment he’s ushered in as a mere blip on the screen the party will fade into obscurity. Demographic changes alone will ensure that that occurs.

However, if Republicans embrace the president’s nationalist conservative agenda and focus their energies on fixing unfair trade deals, endless wars, abortion, rising medical costs, social media censorship, sex trafficking, infrastructure, transgenderism, and unchecked immigration the party of Lincoln has the potential to dominate American politics for decades to come.

National Review editor Rich Lowry spoke about the future of conservatism at the Aspen Ideas Festival several weeks ago.

“The Republican Party is never going to be the same,” he said. “And I don’t think it’s going back to what it was. I don’t think there will ever be a figure like Trump again…but I do think the party will have to be more populist, will have to be more nationalist, socially conservative, not quite as libertarian.” It will “have to think through what it means to be a working-class oriented party. Not just the white working classes.”

Lowry is absolutely right. Republicans have to run candidates in the 2020 elections who can solidify for the party the blue-collar, working class voters Trump convinced to support him instead of Hillary Clinton. Tucker Carlson, the Buckley-esque de facto leader of this populist brand of conservatism, implicitly endorsed that strategy last month on his Fox News show.

“There isn’t a caucus that represents where most Americans actually are: nationalist on economics, fairly traditional on the social issues,” he lamented.

“Imagine a politician who wanted to make your healthcare cheaper, but wasn’t ghoulishly excited about partial birth abortion. Imagine someone who genuinely respected the nuclear family, and sympathized with the culture of rural America, but at the same time was willing to take your side against rapacious credit card companies bleeding you dry at 35 percent interest.”

“Would you vote for someone like that?” he asked. “My gosh. Of course. Who wouldn’t? That candidate would be elected in a landslide. Every single time. Yet that candidate is the opposite of pretty much everyone currently serving in congress.”

Carlson made similar comments at the recently concluded National Conservatism conference in Washington D.C. where during his talk, “Big Business Hates Your Family," he excoriated libertarian economic principles.

Protecting blue-collar workers and their families

Perhaps it’s my Catholic faith that attracts me to Bobby Kennedy (by far the most devout of all the Kennedy brothers), but I can’t help but think he can act as a sort of guide for nationalist conservativism in the years ahead. 

I could be wrong about that but consider that in 1968, Kennedy, who by then was the father of 10 children, gave a speech at the University of Kansas about his opposition to the Vietnam War. The most frequently cited part of his now famous remarks is when he shared his thoughts on economics.

While praising America’s schools, families, and civic patriotism, Kennedy also observed that, “too much and for too long America seems to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.” Our gross national product, he added, “if we judge the United States of America by that…counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.”

The GDP, he continued, does not consider “the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play...it measures neither our wit nor our courage...it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

Kennedy was a man of vast wealth from Massachusetts but he appealed to working class folks and non-whites because his populist message spoke to their hearts and made them feel part of something bigger, something purposeful. He was loved by the African-American community. He spent time with Cesar Chavez (a vehement opponent of illegal immigration). And he stood up for workers abused by corporations. 

Why are Republican lawmakers, many of whom claim to be Christian, not doing more of this? Why are conservatives who say they are “pro-family” and “pro-Trump” accepting campaign contributions from groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the loudest voices in Washington for open borders and cheap, illegal immigrant labor

Republican elites seem to prefer talking only about market share, dividends, stock swaps and the consumer price index instead of addressing the harmful effects of, say, internet porn consumption, our nation-wide addiction to Facebook, the impact absent dads have on young boys, how universal daycare is bad for families, and how drag queen story hours warp the minds of children.

Conservatives should be as concerned with big business as they are with big government. A truly free market respects the human person as a creature of God instead of viewing him or her as a piece of machinery in service of maximizing capital gains for shareholders. The Republican Party must elect nationalist politicians with a more tradition-minded, solidarity-focused outlook. They must run candidates passionate about protecting middle-class American workers and their communities. Not only is a victory in 2020 likely assured for the party if it does that, blue-collar voters squeemish about the extreme pro-infanticide, pro-LGBT policies pushed by the Democratic Party would become its new base, probably for good.

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