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June 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — When we speak of family, we are dealing with a rich and subtle reality that can be grasped only by reflecting on many experiences and aspects of life. We cannot give a cut-and-dried definition without in some way ignoring the ambiguity and depth of the mystery of what it means to be “kin,” to share blood and culture and love, to live as one-in-many. Gabriel Marcel writes:

Contrary to the persistent humanistic illusion, we have good reason to assert that family relationships, like human matters in general, afford no consistency, no guarantee of solidity. It is only when they are referred back to a superhuman order, which here below we cannot grasp apart from its signs and indications, that their truly sacred character becomes apparent.

In other words, they afford no consistency or solidity if they are severed from the superhuman order that endows them with their sacredness.

In its race to be as liberated as possible, the modern age has forgotten that the most important things in human life are complex and duty-bound. Fatherhood may be the most perfect example of this fact. If we were to reduce paternity to a mere biological episode with a genetic aftermath, it would have very little moral, religious, or transcendent meaning. Calling God “our Father” would be absurd if we limited ourselves to speaking in a physiological way.

To understand what fatherhood means, we must move out of the limited spheres of thought marked off by the world. Intimately bound up with human fatherhood are the irreducible realities of domus, the home or household, and munus regale, the kingly office that the man receives from the Almighty Father, to rule and govern, to protect and provide, to love and to serve.

What exactly is the reality of fatherhood? The longer we look at the external signs of a uniquely human reality, hoping to define it in terms of what it does or how it usually appears, the blurrier and darker it becomes. Such a shift for the worse happens if we try to isolate the “look” or “operation” of paternity. For a man is not simply what he does, but rather, he acts according to what he is. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Lk 6:45). Anything can be stamped and sent along with a definition, if we are content with a bundle of items tied together by ephemeral circumstances.

Knowing the being of a thing requires more than knowing all the havings and doings that belong to it. The man who happens to be a railway conductor is not defined in his being as a ticket-puncher, nor the athlete as a field-goal kicker. Personhood transcends functionality. “The word ‘tabulation’ or ‘repertory’ is the best word for describing what the self is not” (G. Marcel, Metaphysical Journal [Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1952], 177).

Fatherhood is not, first and foremost, a physiological, psychological, legal, or social phenomenon. To stuff it into any one of these boxes would be either to reduce it to a hard fact — like the betrayal of personality seen in statistics and anatomy lessons — or to drape it in sentimentality and convention.

If we try to define fatherhood in strictly biological terms, we are really not talking of it at all, but of procreation. If we introduce considerations of a judicial or sociological order, we expose ourselves to no less a danger; it is that of allowing fatherhood to be absorbed in a conception which is relative, for, from this point of view, it could only be defined in relation to a given historical civilization whose religious and judicial institutions are transitory. (G. Marcel, “The Creative Vow as Essence of Fatherhood,” Homo Viator: Introduction to a Metaphysic of Hope [Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1951], 99).

The reality of being a father cannot be whittled down to biology or legal obligation. It is not a bodily transaction, a contract or a code, a temporary interruption of one’s life, a subjective state of seeing oneself as related by ties to which one must remain “faithful” out of a sense of obligation.

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PETITION UPDATE (5/5/2021) - BREAKING: Facebook permanently removes LifeSiteNews’ page

Facebook has just permanently banned LifeSiteNews’ Facebook page. This apparently is not a temporary measure: It is gone for good.

"Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” noted LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts.

"Facebook has been silencing any voice that goes against their beliefs and agenda," continued Roberts. "Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots. We’ve also been tagged for the numerous articles we have shared making the connection between the COVID shots, and really all vaccines, and aborted baby cell lines."

"This all comes down to another case of Big Tech silencing free speech on their platform," she added.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/23/21) - 

LifeSite has signed on to a Media Research Center (MRC) letter to all 50 state Attorneys General, calling for an investigation into Big Tech.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter have monopolized the industry, and are using their influence to collect user data, suppress content, and silence those who voice ideas and beliefs counter to their own.

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PETITION UPDATE (2/9/21) -

YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a ban, every single one of our videos is completely gone. Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to 300,000+ followers.

This is the latest and appalling affront to free speech which is happening to many conservative and Christian organizations.

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PETITION UPDATE (1/26/20) -

Twitter has again locked LifeSiteNews out of two of our accounts on the platform for displaying a message noting that President Joe Biden’s newly named Assistant Secretary of Health “Rachel” Levine is a man.

Both accounts displayed a simple message which read: “Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health. ‘Rachel’ Levine is a father of two who divorced his wife in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.” The tweets also included a link to LifeSite’s article Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health, and contained part of the opening sentence of that article, “Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint a gender-confused man” as Assistant Secretary of Health.

For stating biological or Biblical truths, Twitter and Big Tech are trying to shut down conservative voices.

Therefore, it is now more important than ever to consider dumping Twitter, Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook. To be clear: LifeSite is still using Twitter and Big Tech to encourage others to migrate away from these illiberal platforms.

This is not the first time that LifeSiteNews has been censored by Twitter. In December 2019, Twitter indefinitely suspended our account for a tweet that linked to an article on transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.

At the time, Twitter gave LifeSite the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that the tweet did not violate any of the company’s “rules and policies,” and sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company.

And, while LifeSite's account was eventually restored, we must now consider what course of action we will pursue in this case, over and above appealing the ban.

Meanwhile, since taking office on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden has already signed an executive order which will force women’s athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to be open to men. He has also turned back the Trump administration’s policy protecting women’s sports programs in schools.

Last week, LifeSite was banned for two weeks from our YouTube channel, after the site determined that one of our videos about vaccines violated YouTube’s “community guidelines.” We are also in the middle of appealing this ban.

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Twitter just deplatformed President Trump premanently! And, other conservatives, including General Flynn and Sidney Powell, were also summarily deplatformed.

Conservatives, Christians and freedom-loving Americans of all political persuasions must now take a decision to preserve their free speech AND their ability to peaceably assemble by dumping Twitter and Big Tech, and by finding other good alternatives to communicate with each other and share their opinions.

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When you use Twitter or Facebook to communicate, and, or, Google and Amazon to search for something online, these companies can stifle your ability to share your thoughts and opinions and manipulate your search results, threatening your privacy, your freedom of speech, and even our democracy.

Evidence suggests that Twitter and Facebook's 'community guidelines' are selectively enforced against conservatives and Christians, while Google rigs their search algorithms to direct traffic away from conservative and Christian websites, effectively choking traffic to those sites.

Simply put, Twitter, Facebook, Google (who owns YouTube) and Amazon appear to be actively suppressing access to pro-freedom, pro-family and pro-life news and opinion.

Don't contribute to this assault on democracy: Stop using Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon as your default social media platforms and search engine! [CLICK HERE to find a good alternative to Google.]

To repeat: a few liberal and completely unaccountable computer programmers in Silicon Valley are dictating what we do and do not see in our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and in our Google searches.

We, here, at LifeSite, also recently had our Twitter account suspended by the company over "misgendering" a man who claims to be a woman.

LifeSite has also experienced a fall-off in Google search-related traffic since the company updated its search algorithms at the beginning of May.

And, since the November election, Twitter and Big Tech appear to have dramatically INCREASED their censorship of conservatives and Christians as the President Trump disputed the results of the election and when evidence of election fraud began to mount.

Now, it seems likely that they are trying to cut-off conservative leaders (like President Trump) from conservatives on the ground, and effectively exclude us from the national conversation.

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The great irony is that, while Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon executives talk a lot about maintaining freedom of speech and diversity, in fact, these hypocrites are ATTACKING free speech point-blank!

This kind of manipulation poses a lethal threat to our democracy, but as we see so clearly now, Twitter and Big Tech have shown no hesitation in excluding conservatives and Christians from the public square.

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Rather, of its nature, fatherhood has a divine origin and a sacred purpose. “For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man” (Eph 3:14–16).

The family engendered and nurtured by husband and wife is an irrevocable community, unable to be replaced by a substitute or imitation. In spite of a diversity of customs and practices in different societies, the roles of father and mother are stable in their nature and necessary in their purpose. Even as the essence of human nature remains one, regardless of the immense variety of man’s thoughts, passions, and inventions, so too the nature of fundamental realities cannot be changed or buried by any degree of effort.

Despite their intrinsic and complementary differences, the vocations of man and woman meet in the love that results in self-denial, self-overcoming, and self-gift. “Leading the kind of life in which a Christian conquers the ‘rule of sin’ in himself by means of self-denial,” wrote Karol Wojtyła as Cardinal of Krakow,

is thus clearly a question of sanctity in the moral sense, of dominion over evil, in which, in a sense, man’s own kingliness is displayed … Every Christian who conquers sin by imitating Christ achieves the royal self-dominion that is proper to human beings; by so doing he shares in the munus regale of Christ and helps to bring about Christ’s kingdom. (Sources of Renewal [San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980], 263)

The circle is closed: every time a man rightly exercises his paternity, in begetting and educating, chastising and rewarding, modeling endurance in labor and strength in principles; every time a woman rightly lives from within her maternity, bearing and nursing, training and instructing; every time husband and wife join efforts to rear the fruit of their love, they are sharing in the kingly office of Christ, his munus regale, which is a gift from “the Father of lights” (Jas 1:17) to the faithful Christian. It is only through the prophetic and royal priesthood of Jesus Christ that the countless sacrifices and labors of life make any sense in the end. It is only in Him that human love, so often obscured and tarnished, becomes aware of its own immortal dignity and beauty. The father and the mother share in the redemptive mission of the Lord. If they have “redeemed the time” (Eph 5:16), they will share in His salvation.

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Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California (B.A. Liberal Arts) and The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC (M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy). He taught at the International Theological Institute in Austria and the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Austria Program, then helped establish Wyoming Catholic College in 2006. There he taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history and directed the choirs until leaving in 2018 to devote himself full-time to writing and lecturing.

Today he contributes regularly to many websites and publications, including New Liturgical Movement, OnePeterFive, LifeSiteNews, Rorate Caeli, The Remnant, and Catholic Family News, and has published thirteen books, including four on traditional Catholicism: Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (Angelico, 2014, also available in Czech, Polish, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Belarusian), Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness (Angelico, 2017), Tradition and Sanity (Angelico, 2018), and Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright: The Genius and Timeliness of the Traditional Latin Mass (Angelico, 2020). His work has been translated into at least eighteen languages.

Kwasniewski is a scholar of The Aquinas Institute in Green Bay, which is publishing the Opera Omnia of the Angelic Doctor, a Fellow of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, and a Senior Fellow of the St. Paul Center. He has published over a thousand articles on Thomistic thought, sacramental and liturgical theology, the history and aesthetics of music, and the social doctrine of the Church.

For news, information, article links, sacred music, and the home of Os Justi Press, visit his personal website, www.peterkwasniewski.com.

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