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January 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Scripture readings for last weekend present some interesting parallels to the situation in which we find our country just now.
The first (Isaiah 55) is a product of the Babylonian Exile, a period of chastisement for the Children of Israel. In it the prophet calls out, “… turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, who is generous and forgiving.”
The Gospel reading (Mark 1) recounts Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan. The image at the center of the story — water — has always been understood to recall Moses’ parting of the Red Sea, by which the Hebrew slaves were delivered from bondage in Egypt, the land of sin and death. It’s a powerful symbol of salvation.
Even though they were headed for freedom, we know that they would undergo another period of punishment and purification, 40 years of wandering in the desert, before reaching the land God had promised them.
Each of these readings thus evokes a time of great darkness. I can’t help pondering them in terms of the darkness that has covered the world in recent months and seems to be growing thicker.
Right now, we’re experiencing chaos in our country. We’ve witnessed rioting in some of our major cities. Just a few days ago, we saw a number of protesters enter the Capitol building.
Such chaos suggests that the Evil One is present. And this suggestion is supported by many telling signs. For instance, one of the invaders of the Capitol was wearing a headdress with horns.
What can we deduce from that? Was this character just an exhibitionist? Perhaps he was mentally ill. Or maybe he was making a statement.
It could be that Satan was “outing” himself in this small way. After all, traditional representations of the Devil often show him as horned.
Whatever the case, it certainly seemed that the Evil One had his finger in this odd display. Expect his works to multiply in days to come.
It’s pretty much a given, for instance, that we’ll see an increase in abortions. Ample resources will be provided, both within our country and abroad. The Mexico City Policy, by which U.S. funding of abortions in other countries was prohibited, will be ended — as will the Hyde Amendment, which has blocked federal money from being used for abortions here at home.
Jesus is the Lord of life; Satan is the lord of death. You can guess whose lordship this will serve.
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.
As we urged prior, action must be taken to combat these efforts, and that is why we’ve joined the MRC in this fight.
Please take a couple of minutes to READ this LifeSiteNews article about MRC's initiative: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesite-joins-effort-asking-state-attorneys-general-to-investigate-big-tech-for-deceptive-trade-practices
Then, please SIGN and STOP using Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!
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.
Please SIGN this petition and STOP using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google (owner of YouTube) and Amazon to take back your privacy and freedom of speech!
We are not going to take this lying down!
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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.
Please considering SIGNING and SHARING this petition. Thank you!
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.
Please SIGN our petition-pledge to Dump Twitter and Big Tech, and take back your freedom of speech and privacy. [CLICK HERE for our "Goodbye Google" resources page to find good alternatives to Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Google!]
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.
But, this tactic will not work. Because Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon are not the only game in town! There are a good number of excellent alternatives which we list in our 'Goodbye Google' Resources page.
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.
So, at this point, the only way to stop Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon is to quit using their platform.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to pledge to stop using Twitter and Big Tech. Then, please CLICK HERE to find alternative search engines and social media platforms. Thank you!
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In addition, the Church will undergo persecution. We see it openly already in China, where churches are being closed, religious leaders imprisoned, Christians killed.
In our own country we can expect attempts to force on churches — on our Catholic Church, in particular — a morality that is inconsistent with what we accept as proper, and an ideology we find abhorrent. Under the guise of “equality,” we will be called upon to accept, in our schools and Catholic institutions, people who proclaim a lifestyle that contradicts what the Church teaches and believes. There will also be attempts to require religious organizations to provide contraception and abortion coverage in their medical insurance plans.
This attack on religious freedom is already in progress. Accompanying it is a concerted assault on freedom of speech.
Until recently, everyone of any political persuasion — be it libertarian, conservative, liberal, socialist, even communist — has had the right to express their views openly. This was ensured by the First Amendment to our Constitution, which was always seen as the cornerstone of American liberty.
No longer. The restrictions on opinion imposed by social media companies and the growth of the so-called “cancel culture,” in which people are losing jobs, financial services, professional credentials, and other basics because of their opinions and even their private comments is creating a climate of fear and intimidation unprecedented in this country.
It is not only affecting religion, it is bringing us to something very much like a totalitarian state. All of our rights are in jeopardy. All of our freedoms are in danger of being taken away.
There is darkness in the land. Satan is on the prowl.
I believe we are in another time of chastisement. Unpleasant as the word may sound to us, it’s a time of punishment for our sins and failings — as a society and as individuals.
Chastisement is a long process. There’s no quick fix for our national dilemma, no one figure who has the answer, not even the Church which has often failed to preach the Gospel clearly and consistently. We’ve all fallen short — the clergy, the laity — and many of us will not see a resolution of this crisis in our lifetimes.
But we mustn’t despair. Because even as the image of water in the Gospel reading evokes an earlier struggle, Mark describes Jesus emerging from the Jordan, the Holy Spirit descending, and the voice of God declaring, “This is my beloved Son.”
And that’s the solution to this current chaos: Jesus.
We must turn off the news, and listen to Him. We must stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated by parties and demagogues and “enlightened” entertainers. Those are all lethal to our souls.
Jesus does not bring chaos. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. There is no peace if Jesus is not present. So we must keep him before us always. We must open our Bibles, and strengthen ourselves through the Word of God.
And we must pray.
A priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, Rev. Michael P. Orsi currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Florida. He is host of “Action for Life TV,” a weekly cable television series devoted to pro-life issues, and his writings appear in numerous publications and online journals. His TV show episodes can be viewed online HERE.