Wake Up! We Are Sons and Daughters of Daylight

Wake Up! We Are Sons and Daughters of Daylight

Instead of sleepwalking through life, let us be awake and alert to the movement of God, preparing each day for the Second Coming of Christ.

The other day, I was reading in 1 Thessalonians 5 about the Lord’s second coming, a most familiar scripture:

You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:2 (MSG)

Then Paul goes on to say:

About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other — “We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!” — suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.

But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:3-8 (MSG)

Yes, these scriptures hit home. It’s as if Paul was writing directly to me in May, AD 2022. He is right: we are sons and daughters of daylight; we have been given the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). There need never be any reason for us to stumble, fumble and grope around in the darkness, unless we refuse God’s light of day.

Be Ready

Certainly, Paul is talking to the Thessalonians about Christ’s second coming, no question. He was urging those believers to be alert then, and now two thousand years later. So, perhaps, given the laws of probability, in our day, we are certainly much closer to Christ’s cataclysmic second coming than they were. Therefore, shouldn’t these scriptures hit home for us all the harder?

Yes, we must be men and women, with our eyes wide open. I have heard several suggest that the days we are living through are latterly the last days and the Lord is really coming very soon. I am not going there; I am not putting any date in my calendar; Paul explains that’s not for us to do. But it is for us to be constantly alert for the possibility, most exciting as that is.

Testing One, Two, Three

Paul was urging his readers to be alert, and that includes us today just as much as his first-century audience. But what does staying alert mean? Paul described sleep and drunkenness as the opposites of watchfulness and attentiveness. In both those scenarios our senses are switched off, we can’t see or hear anything, and we can’t remember anything afterwards (am not advocating drunkenness, but it paints a brilliant picture of the dangers of not being alert).

How do we know if we are asleep or drunk? I propose three self-tests that we can run:

1. The conscience test: I believe that God has deposited eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). I believe that this is, if you will, the divine DNA in every one of us. When we hear or see something that is opposed to God’s order, this genetic material within us is hurt, reacts and responds to the violation. We literally feel it.

I am not only talking about our conscience’s reaction to our own flaws and mistakes, but rather our conscience’s response to external tragedies and mistakes that violate the heart of God. For example, how do we react to our governments enacting abortion rights up to full term? Are we so asleep or anesthetised that this no longer causes a reaction in our conscience?

2. The peace test: The Lord calls on us to test the spirits to see if they are of God (1 John 4:1-6). I think this test is a proactive one, different from the conscience one which is passive. We are called to actively test what we see around us to see if it lines up with God’s will. If it does, we will know His peace; if not, we will sense God’s disappointment, grief, sorrow, and pain.

I use the analogy of holding up a lens to the question under review. This lens is primary the scriptures, but I also believe it should include the confirmation of spiritual leaders around us whom we trust, and also the Holy Spirit within us that also needs to align with the first two. If we receive confirmation from all three, then the issue can pass the peace test.

3. The responsibility test: Am I taking responsibility for this issue or this situation? If we say, ‘that’s not my responsibility’, that may well be the case, but should we be taking responsibility? Let me use the example of bullying or harassment. If we see or hear of some bullying or harassment in our workplace, school or college, and we don’t speak up.

The situation may not involve us directly at all — it may involve none that we know directly or work with directly; but we have still become aware of it, and if we don’t speak up, then we are not taking responsibility. Just imagine if everyone in sight and sound of the situation spoke up and took responsibility, the perpetrator(s) would soon be outnumbered and brought to justice.

In our society today, it is so easy, so natural and so accepted that others should take responsibility. We have come to expect others to take responsibility. Think back to earlier times in history when there were no big state corporations and big governmental institutions. The family literally took responsibility for the family, the individual took responsibility for the individual. I propose the responsibility test, is a great way to judge if we are awake and alert or whether we are asleep or inebriated.

Snooze Button

My concluding reflection is going to be a very hard saying (John 6:60). I believe, sadly, that there are many Christians today who are asleep. They don’t know they are asleep, naturally, especially as they can hear and see the world around them quite clearly. They are fully engaged with and conscious of many aspects of daily life, but they are blinded and unconscious towards many things that are coming on the earth (Luke 21:26).

My encouragement to us all is to pray that we stay awake (Matthew 26:40). Connect with anyone whom you perceive as having greater discernment of the things coming on the earth, and ask them to watch out for us, lest we drift into asleep again.

It grieves me greatly that so much of the Church of Jesus Christ, while under a wide-open sky, are still sleepwalking through life (1 Thessalonians 5:5). Let’s not grow weary in seeking to wake them up!

___

Photo by Kampus Production.

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Elon Musk vs. The Malthusians

Elon Musk vs. The Malthusians

Elon Musk wants you to have more kids. Or, at least, that’s what I think he’s saying.

And according to Wikipedia, Musk has eight children. His youngest, X Æ A-Xii — pronounced, “my dad is an unfathomably wealthy eccentric”— was born in 2020. Musk, whose offspring are scattered across numerous nations, continents, and mates, is doing his part.

Historically speaking, Musk is correct. The affluent tend to have fewer kids. Perhaps they wait too long as they pursue careers. Perhaps they see too many children as a burden. Whatever the reasons, the West finds itself under replacement levels (due to lockdowns, birth rates rose ever-so-slightly in the United States last year for the first time since 2014, but that almost surely won’t become a trend). While it’s unlikely that political factors are the leading cause of declining rates, or that Musk would frame the debate this way, we shouldn’t ignore the decades-long effort to stigmatize large families and normalize abortion.

The Malthusian case for treating human beings as if they were a disease was popularized in the 1970s. Abortion was no small part of the early environmentalist movement. The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn’t joking when she infamously claimed that she always assumed Roe v. Wade was “about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” The now-debunked fearmongering of “The Population Bomb” was folded into existing attitudes popularized by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who believed that life under difficult circumstances wasn’t worth living at all. Well, if you happen to be a minority.  

An iteration of this outlook remains popular among contemporary abortion advocates. “Arkansas already struggles to support vulnerable children,” Dana Bash recently told Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “Nearly 1 in 4 children in Arkansas lives in poverty. More than 4,600 kids are already in your state’s overloaded foster care system. Do you really think that your state is prepared to protect and care for even more children if abortion does become illegal there?” The left has anesthetized the abortion issue to the extent that a television personality feels comfortable arguing that fewer “children” born to the lower classes would be beneficial for society.

Poor people have always had more kids, and yet America has consistently gotten wealthier. There is little correlation between poverty and fertility, as some of the wealthiest places are also some of the densest in the world. A baby born in Lagos has a far better chance of ending up in poverty than a child born in Seoul despite both having virtually the same density. Certainly, capitalist nations like our own have an abundance of resources. Setting aside the economic benefits of having more children, they also help create more vibrant communities and a more dynamic nation.  

Climate change alarmism has given anti-humanists another pretext to push antinatalism. A recent Science magazine piece argues that “[b]y choosing to have one fewer child in their family, a person would trim their carbon footprint by a whopping 58.6 metric tons—about the same emissions savings as having nearly 700 teenagers recycle as much as possible for the rest of their lives.” In 2020, more than 11,250 scientists signed a declaration saying the best thing anyone can do is have fewer kids.

“There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told her 2.5 million followers a few years ago. “And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?”

There is no such consensus. AOC’s generation is the safest and most prosperous that’s ever lived. And despite continued high fertility rates in developing nations, we see fewer hungry people than ever, fewer people dying in conflicts over resources, and fewer perishing from extreme climate. So it’s refreshing to see someone as famous as Musk, a techno-optimist and environmentalist, argue that humans are the ones propelling a decent world rather than the ones holding it back.


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CNN’s Dana Bash’s Solution To Child Poverty: Kill The Babies

CNN’s Dana Bash’s Solution To Child Poverty: Kill The Babies

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson went on CNN Sunday to defend his decision last year to sign a near-total ban on abortion with exceptions limited to medical emergencies that jeopardize the life of the mother.

“I signed it because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” Hutchinson said last year, telling CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” Sunday that he now wants the law revisited to include exceptions for rape and incest after a similar law in Mississippi provoked the challenge instead.

“Those are two exceptions I have recognized, I believe are very appropriate,” the governor explained. “And what will happen as time goes on, if Roe v. Wade is reversed, these are going to become very real circumstances.”

Bash, however, took issue with the uncertain prospects of caring for more children altogether in a state ranked 48th in child poverty.

Bash warned that “Arkansas already struggles to support vulnerable children” who, judging by the question, she apparently thinks might be better off dead. “Nearly 1 in 4 children in Arkansas lives in poverty. More than 4,600 kids are already in your state’s overloaded foster care system. Do you really think that your state is prepared to protect and care for even more children if abortion does become illegal there?”

Hutchinson acknowledged his state’s “historic challenges with poverty” while touting the expansion of Medicaid and foster programs to enhance childcare.

“It’s been a high priority,” the governor said. “Obviously there’s always opportunity to do more. And we have to address this issue with compassion because of the difficult circumstances and the fact that you’re dealing with most vulnerable populations.”

The governor’s brief remarks failed to push back on the premise of the question, however, that children in poverty could have avoided their circumstances had impoverished mothers opted to forgo the gift of life to begin with.

Cautionary tales of extreme poverty have become a signature argument of the pro-abortion lobby under the same logic that justifies pregnancy termination for children expected to have genetic conditions such as Down syndrome. Bash ought to ask a child with Down syndrome whether he or she would have rather been aborted. The answer would certainly be no.

While their explicit reasons for doing so are grotesque, leftists aren’t entirely wrong in pointing out high levels of child poverty preceding a post-Roe baby boom. It’s true that a vast number of women who pursue the deadly procedure are themselves below the federal poverty line, and kids are more expensive than ever. Toss runaway inflation into the mix when child poverty is already on the rise, and it’s conceivable millions of children will be born into less than preferable circumstances. But to suggest a child born into poverty is worse than no child born at all not only dismisses the sanctity of life and insults every individual with a rags-to-riches story, but it also ignores efforts among pro-life activists to enhance the affordability of childcare or life-saving alternatives like adoption.

Pro-life policymakers can and should be preparing for a post-Roe America with substantive solutions on childcare, especially as the nation’s population grows at its slowest pace since the Declaration of Independence was written. America needs more babies, and Republicans such as Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley are already working on ways to make childcare more affordable so that abortion, which will remain legal in states such as California even after Roe is gone, is no longer viewed as an attractive financial incentive.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

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CNN’s Dana Bash’s Solution To Child Poverty: Kill The Babies

CNN’s Dana Bash’s Solution To Child Poverty: Kill The Babies

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson went on CNN Sunday to defend his decision last year to sign a near-total ban on abortion with exceptions limited to medical emergencies that jeopardize the life of the mother.

“I signed it because it is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” Hutchinson said last year, telling CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” Sunday that he now wants the law revisited to include exceptions for rape and incest after a similar law in Mississippi provoked the challenge instead.

“Those are two exceptions I have recognized, I believe are very appropriate,” the governor explained. “And what will happen as time goes on, if Roe v. Wade is reversed, these are going to become very real circumstances.”

Bash, however, took issue with the uncertain prospects of caring for more children altogether in a state ranked 48th in child poverty.

Bash warned that “Arkansas already struggles to support vulnerable children” who, judging by the question, she apparently thinks might be better off dead. “Nearly 1 in 4 children in Arkansas lives in poverty. More than 4,600 kids are already in your state’s overloaded foster care system. Do you really think that your state is prepared to protect and care for even more children if abortion does become illegal there?”

Hutchinson acknowledged his state’s “historic challenges with poverty” while touting the expansion of Medicaid and foster programs to enhance childcare.

“It’s been a high priority,” the governor said. “Obviously there’s always opportunity to do more. And we have to address this issue with compassion because of the difficult circumstances and the fact that you’re dealing with most vulnerable populations.”

The governor’s brief remarks failed to push back on the premise of the question, however, that children in poverty could have avoided their circumstances had impoverished mothers opted to forgo the gift of life to begin with.

Cautionary tales of extreme poverty have become a signature argument of the pro-abortion lobby under the same logic that justifies pregnancy termination for children expected to have genetic conditions such as Down syndrome. Bash ought to ask a child with Down syndrome whether he or she would have rather been aborted. The answer would certainly be no.

While their explicit reasons for doing so are grotesque, leftists aren’t entirely wrong in pointing out high levels of child poverty preceding a post-Roe baby boom. It’s true that a vast number of women who pursue the deadly procedure are themselves below the federal poverty line, and kids are more expensive than ever. Toss runaway inflation into the mix when child poverty is already on the rise, and it’s conceivable millions of children will be born into less than preferable circumstances. But to suggest a child born into poverty is worse than no child born at all not only dismisses the sanctity of life and insults every individual with a rags-to-riches story, but it also ignores efforts among pro-life activists to enhance the affordability of childcare or life-saving alternatives like adoption.

Pro-life policymakers can and should be preparing for a post-Roe America with substantive solutions on childcare, especially as the nation’s population grows at its slowest pace since the Declaration of Independence was written. America needs more babies, and Republicans such as Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley are already working on ways to make childcare more affordable so that abortion, which will remain legal in states such as California even after Roe is gone, is no longer viewed as an attractive financial incentive.


Tristan Justice is the western correspondent for The Federalist. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.

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Dying Political Parties and Dying Babies

Dying Political Parties and Dying Babies

The dilemma of real conservatives in fake conservative political parties. Bernie Finn is being ditched by his own party for supporting the basic right to life of babies in the womb.

For years now I have bemoaned the fact that the Liberal party in Victoria — as well as in much of the rest of Australia — is on a slow but certain decline. And it is a self-caused decline. Instead of being a conservative party, or even a centre-right party, it is in fact neither of them. Increasingly, it simply seeks to be a pale image of Labor and the Greens.

And one of the key indications of this has to do with one of the finest Liberal Party politicians Victoria has ever known: Bernie Finn. A week ago, I wrote about his strong prolife views and how his own party so thoroughly disapproves.

Kicked Out

Sadly, things have gone from bad to worse for this 23-year veteran of the Libs. Not only has he been hated on by his leader and many of his own colleagues for the crime of believing that we should not be involved in the mass killing of babies, but now they want to ditch him altogether. As one news outlet puts it:

Under fire Liberal MP Bernie Finn says he found out his party was planning to expel him through the media. Mr Finn told the Herald Sun that no one in the party had bothered to tell him about the motion next week. “It seems to me that the leadership is communicating with me via the media these days,” he said.

“Perhaps I should start responding to them through the media. “I’m a bit bemused. I’m yet to be told exactly what the situation is, but what I’m gathering from you good people is that there is something afoot.” A partyroom meeting is expected to be held next Tuesday morning to vote on a motion to remove the upper house politician.

It comes just days after Mr Finn resigned as the opposition whip in the upper house in the wake of his “abhorrent” abortion views, declaring the Liberal Party had displayed a “degree of disloyalty” to him. In a statement, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said: “It is imperative that Liberal Members of Parliament must be solely focused on recovering and rebuilding Victoria.

“A continued lack of discipline and repeated actions detrimental to the party’s ability to stand up for the interests of Victorians has left no other option but to consider Mr Finn’s eligibility to represent the Liberal Party,” he added. Mr Finn said he hadn’t yet considered a future outside the Liberal party.

“I have given that zero thought. This was thrown at me late this afternoon. I’ve been in meetings with constituents, which, I have to say it’s been a bit hard to concentrate,” he laughed. “If I am thrown out for expressing a policy view, you’ve got to wonder where this all ends up. I have always been a great believer of freedom of speech. I think a Liberal party that does not believe in freedom of speech has lost its meaning.”

Hard Cases

The media has repeatedly used the word “abhorrent” to characterise his views, claiming this is just what his Liberal colleagues are saying. So let me get this straight: to want to slaughter countless babies is just fine and a terrific Liberal party value, but believing babies should be given the right to life is abhorrent.

Indeed, he is standing strong, even after all this hate, abuse and betrayal from his own party. On social media, Bernie doubled down. In one of his latest posts, he simply said this: “Killing babies is abhorrent.” Absolutely right, Bernie.

challenge of abortion bookIt especially seems that his comments about rape victims keeping their babies have especially freaked out some of his fellow MPs — and of course the secular left media. But in my 2015 book on abortion, I spoke at length about this issue. Here is part of what I had to say:

As repellent as all rapes are, why must the innocent child have to pay the price? As ethicist Patrick Lee explains, “the unborn child is not the one who committed the violence. The unborn child is innocent, and is moving and growing in a way that is simply natural for him or her. The child came to be through a violent act, but that is now irrelevant for how the child himself or herself should be treated. That is, the child deserves no less consideration on the grounds that he or she came to be through a horrible and violent act of his or her father.”

Even though the woman has been violated does not morally justify the killing of the innocent third party — the baby. Lee continues, “Suppose someone illegally dumped garbage into my yard. May I then rake the garbage into my innocent neighbour’s yard? Or may I pass counterfeit money to an innocent party because I innocently received it myself? No, in both cases.”

And compounding one problem with another hardly is very helpful. “One wrong is not corrected by another wrong. One act of violence is not solved by another violent act.” Indeed, aborting this child simply compounds the problems, and deepens the turmoil. As Curt Young writes:

“Abortion promises only to compound the trauma of rape with yet another experience of violence. In pursuing this course, the victim may assume to herself guilt for the entire episode. In an attempt to overcome the violation of her own person, she does violence to another, submitting to the added humiliation of abortion. This brings no peace of mind and no healing, only more pain and more regret. In the words of one experienced counsellor, ‘Abortion does not unrape a woman’.”

Or as another commentator puts it, “post-abortion trauma in many rape cases appears to be no less pronounced than post-abortion trauma in non-rape cases. Rape followed by pregnancy followed by abortion leaves three victims: the woman who was traumatized initially by the rape; the unborn child who is traumatized by the abortion; and, for a second time, the woman who is traumatized by her decision to have an abortion.”

I continue:

Furthermore, we need to hear from the two parties themselves: those who were raped, and those who were conceived by rape. Concerning the latter, there are many such individuals who were the product of rape who are so very glad their mothers allowed them the choice of life. Mary Rathke for example used to be pro-abortion until she learned that she was conceived through rape. She says this: “Even those in the pro-life movement think it’s OK to abort me. Because I hear all the time, ‘I’m pro-life, except in the case of rape.’ I’m really hearing, ‘I’m pro-life, except in the case of Mary Rathke. Just because my father was a rapist doesn’t mean I don’t deserve life.”

There are even entire organisations which have now been set up by those pleading for the right to life for those conceived via rape. There are many examples of this. Consider the conceived in rape-survivor Rebecca Kiessling. She has a website devoted to putting a human face on this issue. As she has stated:

“Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, ‘I think your mother should have been able to abort you’? It’s like saying, ‘If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.’ And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life ‘except in cases of rape’ because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts. But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue — for them abortion is just a concept — with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.”

Yes, plenty of women and organisations exist to help those who have been raped, to navigate through this difficult period. Consider just one: my social media friend Juda Myers — who was conceived in rape — and her superb organisation: Choices4Life.

Whither Bernie Finn

Getting back to Bernie, some of us have differed with him over the years. That is because while his views on most issues have been terrific and rock-solid, that could not be said about his own party. So we often wondered if he should stay or find greener pastures. Until now, he had been fiercely loyal to the Libs. That is commendable, but this loyalty needs to be a two-way street.

It is quite clear that the leader Matthew Guy and the party are NOT loyal to Bernie. While it is great to see that a politician stays loyal to his team, even if it is a sinking ship, eventually, and for the good of all, it is time to leave that ship and go where one is appreciated.

So we need to keep Bernie in our prayers. This is a very tough time indeed. We hope he stays in politics and fights the good fight. For now, it looks like he will be a cross-bencher as of next week. Whether he stays on as an independent, or joins one of the smaller pro-life parties remains to be seen.

But we need even more champions like Bernie Finn in politics. There are far too many useless wonders like Matthew Guy and most of the Libs. God bless you, Bernie.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo: Eugene Hyland

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San Francisco Archbishop Prohibits Nancy Pelosi from Receiving Holy Communion Over ‘Extreme’ Abortion Stance

San Francisco Archbishop Prohibits Nancy Pelosi from Receiving Holy Communion Over ‘Extreme’ Abortion Stance

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced on Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is forbidden to receive Holy Communion because of her increasingly “extreme” pro-abortion views.

Cordileone wrote:

After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion “rights” and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance. I have accordingly sent her a Notification to this effect, which I have now made public.

In his letter, Cordileone said he wrote to Pelosi on April 7, telling her that she must publicly disavow her pro-abortion stance “or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Cordileone said since sending that letter that Pelosi has not abided by his request. He wrote:

Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.

He also said a Catholic legislator who supports abortion after knowing the teaching of the Church, “commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others.  Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly bans both obtaining an abortion and assisting with one, saying “since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion….”

“This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the catechism says.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a press conference with pro-abortion activists on May 13, 2022, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. (Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

Cordileone wrote in his announcement that he has received many letters over the years “expressing distress over the scandal” of Catholics in public life — like Pelosi and President Joe Biden — promoting “such grievously evil practices as abortion.” He said in part:

I have responded that conversion is always better than exclusion, and before any such action can be taken it must be preceded by sincere and diligent efforts at dialogue and persuasion.  With regard to Speaker Pelosi, I have striven to follow this wise route, as delineated by then-Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) in a letter to U.S. bishops regarding Holy Communion and Catholic politicians who cooperate in the grave evils of abortion and euthanasia.

The announcement continues:

Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months.  Just earlier this month she once again, as she has many times before, explicitly cited her Catholic faith while justifying abortion as a “choice,” this time setting herself in direct opposition to Pope Francis: “The very idea that they would be telling women the size, timing or whatever of their family, the personal nature of this is so appalling, and I say that as a devout Catholic”; “They say to me, ‘Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the Pope.’  Yes I do.  Are you stupid?

Cordileone said he took “no pleasure whatsoever” in fulfilling his pastoral duty and said his action is “not political.”

He said:

I have been very clear in my words and actions about this.  Speaker Pelosi has been uppermost in my prayer intentions ever since I became the Archbishop of San Francisco. It was my prayer life that motivated me to ask people all around the country to join me in praying and fasting for her in the “Rose and Rosary for Nancy Campaign.”  I especially pray that she will see in the roses she has received a sign of the honest love and care that many thousands of people have for her.

Cordileone has previously publicly called out both Pelosi and Biden for supporting abortion while claiming to be devout Catholics.

Pro-life activists demonstrate outside outside of a Catholic mass attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 3, 2007, in Washington, DC. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

“You cannot be a good Catholic and support expanding a government-approved right to kill innocent human beings,” he wrote in a Washington Post op-ed last year about Texas’ six-week abortion ban, lamenting the hysterical reactions of Biden and Pelosi. “This is hardly inappropriate for a pastor to say. If anything, Catholic political leaders’ response to the situation in Texas highlights the need for us to say it all the louder.”

National faith-based advocacy organization CatholicVote praised Cordileone for his action, and said they are praying for Pelosi to change her view of abortion.

“Catholics across America commend Archbishop Cordileone and his pastoral leadership in handling the scandal posed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. For too long Catholic public officials have created confusion and disunity by advocating for policies that destroy innocent human life – in direct contradiction of the teachings of the Catholic faith,” President of CatholicVote Brian Burch said.

“The persistent disobedience of these public officials is a source of enormous sadness and scandal that begged for a response.  The Church has no choice but to protect itself and to encourage all of its members to live in communion with its teachings. For the sake of Speaker Pelosi and the rest of the flock in his charge, Archbishop Cordileone is right to call her to return to full communion with the Church.  We hope and pray she will do so,” he continued.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.

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How A Republican Congress Can Protect Health-Care Workers From The Biggest Federal Erasure Of Their Conscience Rights Ever

How A Republican Congress Can Protect Health-Care Workers From The Biggest Federal Erasure Of Their Conscience Rights Ever

Thanks to the leaked opinion in the Dobbs case, abortion “rights” have become a hot topic on the left. But what about the rights of health care workers to refuse to abort babies? Or to refuse participation in other referrals or procedures (such as euthanasia or gender reassignment surgeries) to which they object on moral or religious grounds?

Under a proposed rule removal by the Biden administration’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS), health care workers will have little recourse if their medical school, employer, or state insists that they participate in procedures or referrals to which they object. The rule in question has been a political football for the last four presidential administrations, but the current action on the part of HHS is potentially more extreme than the actions taken by even the Obama administration, and it threatens to leave federal conscience protections — which are required by federal law—without enforcement.

If Republicans sweep the midterm elections in November, they should overturn this decision and force all future administrations to defend conscience rights for doctors and nurses.

Congress first established conscience protections for medical providers in the Health Programs Extension Act of 1973 — passed less than six months after the Supreme Court announced its opinion in Roe v. Wade — and has subsequently passed numerous similar provisions. The current protections are all tied to federal spending and effectively make it illegal for any health care providers receiving federal funds (which includes nearly all health care providers at this point) to require participation in or referrals for abortion or assisted suicide.

Using its spending power as a means of extending its control well beyond the limits of Article I of the Constitution is a common practice, but not one that affords Congress much direct control. In this case, Congress hasn’t even bothered to establish an enforcement mechanism. Health care providers receiving federal funds cannot require participation in an abortion, but if they do so in violation of law, the consequences are unspecified, as is the enforcing authority.

Trump and Biden Administrations’ Actions

The last several presidential administrations have written regulations intended to bring clarity to how federal conscience protections will be enforced, and to whom complaints should be made. In 2018 the Trump administration strengthened related regulations after an astronomic jump in the number of conscience cases filed with HHS, apparently as a result of an information campaign — ensuring that doctors and nurses were aware of their rights under law — and a sense that the Trump administration would actually enforce the law.

The Biden administration has decided to rescind the 2018 regulation, and it currently sits with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review and discussion. We should expect the rescission to continue, although we don’t yet know if the Biden administration expects to replace it with a weaker rule or simply leave conscience protections without any clear enforcement mechanism.

Congress has undoubtedly been sloppy by failing to include any real protections or penalties in its conscience provisions, but it is the responsibility of the executive — as the enforcer of the laws — to meet those shortcomings with reasonable procedures to ensure that the laws are followed, especially when there are federal tax dollars on the line. And there’s evidence that those laws are not being followed, that doctors and nurses are being forced to participate in abortion and sterilization procedures against their moral and religious objections.

Doctors and Nurses Forced to Act against their Conscience

The Committee on Ethics for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explained in 2007 and reaffirmed in 2016 the following position on abortion and medical care:

Some experts have argued that in the context of pregnancy, a moral obligation to promote fetal well-being also should justifiably guide care. But even though views about the moral status of the fetus and the obligations that status confers differ widely, support of such moral pluralism does not justify an erosion of clinicians’ basic obligations to protect the safety of women who are, primarily and unarguably, their patients.

While no one is arguing about the responsibility of doctors to attend to the safety of their adult patients, the same statement makes quite clear that this duty of care is based upon the well-being of the patient “as the patient perceives it” — which not too subtly includes abortion. So, in case you missed it, the official position of the trade organization for obstetricians and gynecologists is that moral and religious objections to abortion are “moral pluralism,” and they mean that in the most euphemistic and pejorative sense. Meanwhile, abortion is treated as the norm.

Doctors and nurses are paying attention to this kind of pressure. A 2019 survey (replicating a 2009 survey) of more than 1,500 nurses and physicians connected to Christian professional organizations found that 76 percent of respondents believed pressure to compromise their moral or religious beliefs had increased over the course of their professional careers.

More than half of respondents believed that health care professionals face discrimination for refusing to participate in procedures for which they have moral or religious objections, and 23 percent believed that they had personally been subject to discrimination for their moral or religious beliefs. Of the 20 percent of respondents who claimed that they had decided against pursuing a career in a particular medical specialty because of potential moral and religious objections, the overwhelming majority (80 percent) identified obstetrics and gynecology.

Doctors and Nurses Cannot Bring Suit

For health care providers who have been forced to act in violation of their moral or religious beliefs, the laws and their current enforcement leave few options for recourse. As noted in the background to the 2018 conscience rule passed by the Trump administration, “In lawsuits filed by health care providers for alleged violations of certain of these laws, courts have generally held that such laws do not contain, or imply, a private right of action to seek relief from such violations by non-governmental covered entities.”

So, in most cases, a doctor or nurse pressured to participate in a morally or religiously objectionable procedure cannot bring suit. That leaves enforcement to the federal government, which, under the Biden administration, has already shuttered the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and is pushing a heavily pro-abortion agenda instead.

Medical conscience concerns are too serious to be allowed to fluctuate according to the whims of the current presidential administration. Everyone knows that there’s a deep divide between the American people on the matter of abortion, and a growing divide that includes matters like euthanasia and transgender surgeries.

Doctors, nurses, and medical students ought not be required to participate in those procedures or referrals for those procedures simply by virtue of their station. This is not a matter where religious medical workers should need to claim a special exemption: abortion and euthanasia are clear violations of the Hippocratic Oath, and a perfectly reasonable person can believe that they are outside the scope of health care.

The track record for cross-sex hormone therapies and reassignment surgeries is also weak when compared to the “do no harm” standard. On a defined and short list of morally contentious concerns, medical students and workers ought to be afforded reasonable conscience protections.

States Could Do More Than Federal Government to Protect These Rights

If the Dobbs leak is consistent with the final decision of the Supreme Court, then state legislatures will be more relevant to the matter of abortion than at any time in the last 50 years. State legislatures should similarly recognize their authority to protect health care workers and to ensure that they are informed of any rights and enforcement procedures provided by state law.

Unlike the federal government, states are not limited to protecting medical workers by merely withholding funds: they can even use criminal law to protect the conscience claims of doctors, nurses, and medical students. As states rediscover their powers under our federal system, they should protect both unborn babies and health care workers alike.

Given its reaction to the Dobbs leak, the current Democrat-dominated Congress is not likely to be of much assistance in the near term. But if Republicans gain a majority in the midterm elections, they should begin adding clear enforcement mechanisms to existing federal conscience protections.

They can start with strengthening the Weldon Amendment, which has been included as part of congressional appropriations for health care for many years. Congress should use the 2008 and 2018 conscience rules as a template for enforcing conscience protections. Those who violate those long-standing protections should, at the very least, lose their access to federal funds.


Eric Coykendall is director of operations for the K-12 education office at Hillsdale College and a fellow of the Claremont Institute. He holds a B.A. in politics from Hillsdale College and an M.A. in American politics and political philosophy from the Claremont Graduate University. He is working on a dissertation examining Supreme Court jurisprudence on the free exercise of religion.

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How The Left Has Poisoned What It Means To Be Healthy, And Why It Matters

How The Left Has Poisoned What It Means To Be Healthy, And Why It Matters

In a little public school on Capitol Hill, kindergartners are banned from campus nearly every single week. School policy on the matter is simple: If a child in a class tests positive for Covid, every unvaccinated child in that child’s class must quarantine at home for 10 days — or return “early” if their parents produce a negative test on the morning of the sixth day.

With less than one-third of children aged 11 and younger vaccinated, the policy casts a wide net. And with Centers for Disease Control information showing Covid infections currently higher among vaccinated children than unvaccinated children, those children allowed by the policy to remain in school provide a rolling drumbeat of asymptomatic classroom positives.

The result? Mass de facto suspensions rolling through grades, with children across the city missing five, 10, or more days of school this spring already. Quarantine letters are sent home sometimes multiple times a week. Working and single parents count themselves lucky if their child was already kicked out of class the day the next positive pops.

These policies aren’t confined to Washington, D.C., either. In leftist school districts across the country, the same draconian rules keep children already robbed of years of education and social interaction from ever hoping to catch up.

Amazingly, the Centers for Disease Control supports these policies. In fact, they wrote them. Why? All in the name of keeping children “healthy” (or, rather, the teachers who demanded them happy).

Today, the CDC recommends keeping kids masked and away from their peers because of a disease that doesn’t threaten them. Indeed, one of the earliest things we learned — more than two years ago — is the disease doesn’t threaten children. Still, the CDC and its adherents keep kids under tighter lockdowns than adults anywhere in the country hold themselves to. All in the name of health.

So what does the word “healthy” even mean today? Increasingly, it means whatever those in power want it to. Take a look at this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition:

The image is supposed to be bold; to generate conversation. How? A catalog traditionally dedicated to celebrating extremely fit women is instead celebrating an obese woman; is instead promoting what the woke left claims is a “healthier” body image.

Celebrating “plus-sized” models is all the rage these days. Companies that don’t get in on the fad are themselves shamed for having “fat shamed” — a term to used keep our increasingly unhealthy citizenry comfortable in their own unhealthiness.

Regardless of whether you think “fat is beautiful,” it’s not healthy. The “brave” discussion Sports Illustrated generated isn’t about that, though. While plenty of writers and reporters were eager to condemn philosopher Jordan Peterson’s misdirected criticism of the model, far fewer were eager to mention the deadly side effects of gross obesity; among them, diabetes, heart disease and — interestingly enough — the dreaded Covid.

For years now we’ve known that, far from “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Covid is rather a pandemic of the fat, who have suffered far higher fatality rates per infection.

But even while fear of Covid keeps our kids out of school for sometimes years at a time to protect “their health,” those same health concerns are quickly ejected in the name of what progressives recharacterize as “body positivity.” The word “healthy” doesn’t enter the media conversation, except to hang its wreath on the “body image” debate.

It’s strange, but old rules don’t apply when words are deployed in the service of the woke left.

“Sexual health,” for example, is used to justify all sorts of perversions in the classroom.

“Mental health” is used to justify feeding hormone suppressants to vulnerable children.

“Reproductive health” is used to justify abortion.

The list goes on, and “health” is just one among many other words (“science,” “gender,” “disinformation,” “protest,” etc.) so casually twisted in the service of the woke left.

The modern American left has made great use of this tactic: taking broadly accepted words and norms, then twisting them to mean a very different thing from what they once meant. It’s a current tactic for sure, but it’s hardly a new one. The word heresy has long been used to describe a fatally incorrect interpretation of religion, but the word itself comes to us from the ancient Greek word, “hairesis” — meaning “to take, or choose.”

What made the old heresies so alluring to the unsuspecting faithful is that they didn’t simply expunge whole ideas — or even whole-cloth invent new ones. Rather, they took, or chose, certain ideas or beliefs from their hosts, elevating or subverting them in such a way as to subtly — but substantively — change the original philosophy into something sneakily different: into a heresy.

Children’s social and intellectual health, for example, have been sacrificed on the altar of teacher’s paranoia.

Americans’ physical health has been sacrificed to alleged emotional health.

School kids’ mental health and moral wellbeing have been sacrificed to adults’ perversions.

Teenagers’ futures have been sacrificed to gender ideology.

The lives of children have been sacrificed to the independence of their mothers.

Again and again, one aspect of human life is taken, or chosen, for aggrandizement or debasement to the detriment of the whole truth.

It’s an old trick, and a dangerous one, but the cure has remained the same. The woke left is intent to wield words as weapons, using our own good things against us. Don’t buy it; don’t adopts the definitions, or use the phrases they demand.

The cure to heresy is now as it was then: simple truth. Don’t be afraid to use it; it will serve you well.


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