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(LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of the SCOTUS decision on the Texas Heartbeat Act, many accuse Texas of legalizing “vigilantism.” The left paints the new law as a sinister manipulation aimed at eviscerating compliance in Texas with Roe v. Wade.

Undoubtedly, the act, which allows private individuals to bring a civil suit against anyone aiding and abetting an illegal abortion, used a novel approach.

Many pro-life conservatives enthusiastically support SB 8, as it is known, despite its complex nature. Others express reservations, saying they do not understand the law and therefore, find it hard to defend.

The left lies by mischaracterizing the Texas Heartbeat Act as the enactment of vigilantism. There is nothing in it that is alien to our legal system. It is perfectly in line with our long common law tradition. It is not a chaotic or anarchical legal trick, but something that harks back to the very foundations of law and our common life together as a society.

Law as the keeping of the peace

Historically, we are heirs to a system developed from medieval customary and common law. We can trace it back to long-accepted usages and the customs of the people that were handed down by tradition over centuries. These rich traditions are still intertwined with our present legal system. This Heartbeat Act taps into mechanisms that have been in use from time immemorial.

We also come from a tradition that sees the purpose of law not just as the suppression of crime but as the keeping of the peace. Society seeks peace because it is the fruit of justice. Public immorality and crime harm the common good. Their violation of the peace justifies the intervention of secular authorities to restore it. When the peace is broken, ancient usages prescribe ways in which public authority can enlist the assistance of any suitable person to reestablish order.

Customary law was not made but found

The rule of law is crucial to securing the peace. Indeed, in medieval times, the common people were the true legislators since law was based on their tried-and-true usages adopted over time. The role of the ruling class was not to make law but to “find” it. Its task was to inquire, articulate, and uncover what had always been done and believed, and apply it to the concrete circumstances.

Law was also found in natural law (part of our legal tradition at the time of the nation’s founding) and God’s law, which governs the practice of justice and secures the peace. This tradition of “finding” law involved all whom the law affected and facilitated the discovery of creative and organic solutions that helped maintain order.

In the Heartbeat Act, the Texas legislature has not imposed its arbitrary will on the populace. It has “found” law by inquiring, articulating, and uncovering what has always been done and believed, applying it to the concrete circumstances. It has creatively utilized these measures as a means of securing the peace.

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PETITION: Urge U.S. Bishops to publicly excommunicate Joe Biden (and other pro-abortion politicians)
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PETITION UPDATE (9/3/21)

Following the US Supreme Court's decision to allow Texas' Heartbeat Law to go into effect, Joe Biden made the announcement that he would initiate a "whole-of-government" response against the new pro-life statute which could ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

This is yet another, outright confirmation of Biden's openly pro-abortion policies, policies which have the main objective of ensuring that women will continue to be able to kill their own children without impediment.

This anti-life, anti-Catholic stance needs to be urgently addressed and condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For the good of the Church, for the good of pre-born babies, for the good of the faithful, and, indeed, for his own good, Joe Biden needs to be publicly rebuked by the bishops and excommunicated until such time as he repents from his pro-abortion policies.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.

After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.

The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000

Thank you!

_____________________________________________________________________________

"No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24

In the lead-up to their meeting in mid-June, we call on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to exclude Joe Biden and other “Catholic” politicians (like, Nancy Pelosi) from Holy Communion over their public, obstinate, and scandalous promotion of abortion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks the USCCB to act to stop the abuse of the reception of the Holy Eucharist by politicians who promote the murder of innocent pre-born babies.

We know that making a decision to exclude public figures from Holy Communion is not easy. But, sometimes, this is the only way to make them understand the error of their ways, and to preserve the Church from serious scandal.

Indeed, Canon Law (Canon 915) declares that those who persist in manifest, grave sin should not be admitted to Holy Communion

Beyond that, at this point, public excommunication appears as the only suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of promoting abortion.

In doing so, we do not hold ourselves up as judges over Joe Biden's eternal soul, but we encourage the bishops to make known one of the consequences of public and obstinate support of abortion by our 'Catholic' politicians.

The fact is, in terms of the manifest, grave sin of abortion, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be before the election.

Therefore, it is cold comfort that the USCCB is only preparing to discuss this issue only now.

But even now, if the USCCB publicly excommunicate Biden for his pro-abortion stance (as well as other pro-abortion politicians), the Conference could reclaim some of the moral authority which they lost by their largely silent assent to Biden's candidacy.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition, now.

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing orders and bills which facilitate the destruction of unborn human life.

  • In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.
  • Biden also signed (instead of vetoing) the COVID relief bill, which, for the first time in 44 years, contained funding for abortions in America, using taxpayer dollars.
  • Biden said that he wouldn't defend Hyde, and he hasn't.

And, if he and the Democratic Party get their way, a lot more of the same regarding abortion is on the way.

Strong action must be taken lest anyone, especially young people, be confused by the scandal of a "Catholic" in Biden's position aggressively promoting abortion, enabling the killing of innocent human beings.

American rank-and-file Catholics don't want any more compromise and equivocation from the Bishops Conference on this "pre-eminent" life-and-death issue.

We want clear action, not twenty more years of dithering and "dialoguing."

50 million babies have been lost to abortion in the U.S. since Roe!

So, we will NOT accept any more lives lost as a result of dithering and "dialoguing." [**Please see "Notes" below about how it has been reported that some senior U.S. clerics are trying to prevent this discussion from even taking place.]

And, we will especially NOT accept one life lost to abortion by politicians who claim the Catholic Faith, but who promote grave evil. God forbid!

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by not imposing public canonical penalties on a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

The bishops are now at a crossroads and must choose either God or mammon.

We call on them to choose God and choose Life!

And we also continue to encourage those brave, true and good bishops who have done well to warn Amercian Catholics about the perils to the unborn and the Faith resulting from Biden's promotion of abortion!

SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.

After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.

The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Biden administration has opened the way for ‘abortion by mail on a massive scale’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-administration-unleashed-by

‘Catholic’ Biden marks Roe v. Wade anniversary with pledge to make abortion available for ‘everyone’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-biden-marks-roe-v-wade-anniversary-with-pledge-to-make-abortion-available-for-everyone

BREAKING: DC archbishop affirms he will give Holy Communion to pro-abortion Joe Biden - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-dc-archbishop-affirms-he-will-give-holy-communion-to-pro-abortion-joe-biden

Vatican puts brakes on US bishops confronting problem of pro-abortion Biden receiving Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-puts-brakes-on-us-bishops-confronting-problem-of-pro-abortion-biden-receiving-holy-communion

Abp. Aquila backs call for pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Joe Biden to be denied Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion

Cardinal Burke floats ‘excommunication’ for Biden over his ‘aggressive’ abortion promotion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-floats-excommunication-for-biden-over-his-aggressive-promotion-of-abortion

Biden’s HHS is lying about Title X to push abortion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/bidens-hhs-is-lying-about-title-x-to-push-abortion

List of US bishops for and against denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians like Biden, Pelosi - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/list-of-us-bishops-for-and-against-denying-communion-to-pro-abortion-politicians-like-biden-pelosi

Notes about USCCB's June Meeting:

For nearly twenty years, the US bishops have been dithering about whether or not to excommunicate pro-abortion politicians by formally withholding Holy Communion from them.

Their indecision on this gravely scandalous matter is a scandal in itself, but one of the biggest obstacles has been internal opposition from senior U.S. bishops.

And, although the faces have changed in the last 20 years, their morally-and-intellectually-challenged arguments against excommunication have not changed.

Liberal bishops of the USCCB say that excommunicating Biden (for example) would divide the Church, divide the bishops, and would politicize the reception of Holy Communion.

Indeed, in the name of “unity,” it is reported that some senior U.S. clerics, including Cardinal Blase Cupich (Chicago), Cardinal Wilton Gregory (Washington, DC) and Cardinal O’Malley (Boston), have been working overtime to prevent any substantial discussion of so-called “Eucharist coherence” (that is, what qualifies as worthy reception of Holy Communion).

It is also reported that at least 57 other American bishops allegedly joined these Cardinals in a recent letter to the Head of the Bishops Conference, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, to try to pressure him to drop the planned discussion at the full meeting of bishops in June.

And now, even the Vatican is getting involved, with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggesting that even more “dialogue” is needed.

These same clerics may mistakenly believe that any attempt to suppress the objective connection between a politician’s promotion of abortion and his unworthy reception of Holy Communion will fool anyone.

But, it will not.

Rank-and-file Catholics are not stupid and can smell compromise a mile away, and we’ve had enough.

With all due respect to the Cardinal, bishops, and the Vatican…those who fail to act diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by “dialoguing” with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging the bishops Conference to take action at their June meeting to exclude pro-abortion Joe Biden and other abortion-promoting “Catholic” politicians from Holy Communion.

***Photo Credit: Claire Chretien / LifeSiteNews

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The Texas Heartbeat Law as an application of common law

The Texas Heartbeat Act applies this common law tradition. It uses already existing legal mechanisms to address a great disruption of the peace—procured abortion. Well aware of the insufficiency of public authorities to secure the peace, the law enlists the help of others, conferring on them lawfully delegated government powers.

Vigilantes set themselves up as the law. The Texas Heartbeat Act empowers private individuals to enforce the law. It is apples and oranges.

Thus, the Texas Heartbeat Act relies on private citizens to enforce it in civil courts. It allows them to sue abortion providers and facilitators for violating the law. Since Texas authorities are not the enforcement instrument, the law cannot be struck down through suits against state officials. The private citizens bringing suit become a lawful extension of government. All the elements of the rule of law remain intact.

The law was duly passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into effect by the governor. Hence, there can be no discussion about the law’s legislative legitimacy. In all probability, the Heartbeat Act will be emulated soon by other states.

The common use of delegated governmental power

Most rabid opposition cites the delegated governmental powers as a novel concept bent on circumventing Roe v. Wade’s enforceability. There is nothing novel in enlisting the help of private citizens to secure the peace. Such provisions are already part of our legal traditions. They are embedded in present law.

Our legal system has numerous examples of lawfully delegated government powers.

Consider, for example, the use of citizen’s arrest. Most states have codified the common-law rule that a private person may make a warrantless arrest for a felony, misdemeanor, or “breach of peace.” Such lawful actions are not harassment, false arrest, assault and battery, although these criminal actions may present certain analogies with the use of citizen’s arrest.

Consider posses. A sheriff has the legal authority to summon the residents of his county into a posse, to assist him in keeping the peace, using force, if necessary, for legitimate ends. Some jurisdictions even criminalize the refusal to render this assistance. This lawful action cannot be compared to the anarchic crimes of a lynch mob.

Bounty hunters are another example of delegated government powers. They capture fugitives or criminals for a commission or bounty. Most of the terrorists in Guantanamo Bay were captured by this means. This lawful action is not to be confused with the crimes committed by kidnappers.

Government has always rewarded individuals for acting on its behalf in the control of pests. We see this today in the rewarded hunt of feral pigs, for example. These destructive animals disturb the peace and harm the common good. Their lawful and rewarded hunting cannot be conflated with the crimes of poaching or illegal hunting.

The sounding of the “hue and cry,” of ancient origin, required every able-bodied man to drop what he was doing and join in the hot pursuit of a criminal suspect. Those who did not join the chase violated the law. Such lawful pursuit is never to be mistaken for mob justice.

These are just a few of the many examples of delegated governmental powers. They uphold the rule of law and are an integral part of the nation’s inherited legal system. The empowering of private citizen civil lawsuits in the Texas Heartbeat Act fit seamlessly into America’s legal tradition.

The process of law enforcement under the Heartbeat Act is transparent. Private citizens initiate civil action cases using the standing and authority granted them by the State government. Their suits are brought in Texas civil courts. These suits take action against an illegal act defined in the law: the illegal abortion performed after a detectable heartbeat and without a medical emergency.

Rewarding the defense of the innocent

The Texas Heartbeat Act is not impartial between good and evil. Since the citizen’s action is done to stop something intrinsically evil — procured abortion — it is rewarded. The law stipulates that civilian plaintiffs are to be awarded at least $10,000, plus court and attorney costs, for every successful case.

These amounts are not collected from the aborted child’s mother but the illegal abortion facilitator. Defendants are not allowed to collect court and attorney costs from unsuccessful plaintiffs. The law’s objective is to restore the peace violated by the murder of an innocent unborn child.

Thus, the Texas Heartbeat Law upholds public morality.

Fury on the left

Leftists’ rage underscores more than just their irritation at the efficacy of this proper use of law in halting procured abortions in Texas. The rare fury in the howls heard from the White House down confirms that the bolt hit the target.

Thanks to its efficacy, the new Texas law may well force the abortion debate back to the moral arena where the left has no hope of winning.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

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