NEWSMAX

Theocrat Trump Accusation Laughable, Unoriginal

Deal W. Hudson
July 19, 2017

There’s been much consternation following the publication of an article in Civiltà Cattolica attacking the alliance between Evangelicals and conservative Catholics in recent presidential elections. The authors, Antonio Spadoro and Marcelo Figueroa, don’t manage to produce a single charge that was not already thrown at President George W. Bush under the marquee heading of “Theocracy.”

The only reason this article is receiving attention is the close connection between Civiltà Cattolica and the Vatican, thus giving the impression that the co-authors speak with the support of the Curia and Pope Francis himself.

I was in charge of outreach to Catholic voters for George W. Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 elections, and subsequently wrote “Onward Christian Soldiers,” a 2008 book about the developing political alliance of Evangelicals and conservative Catholics. Catholics are the swing constituency in American politics, and delivered 14 percent more Catholic votes for George Bush in 2000 than Bob Dole received in 1996. That was a major factor in Bush’s victory.

In 2008 Catholics voted for Obama, but in 2016 they were plus seven for Trump, 52 to 45 percent. White Catholics were plus 23 for Trump, and this was crucially important in the rust belt states that put him over the top. The dynamics I described almost ten years ago in “Onward Christian Soldiers” were still churning in Trump’s direction.

The Democrats didn’t seriously campaign for Catholic votes in 2016, but liberals seem to have finally figured it out, and that’s what’s behind the charges of theocracy. As if Catholics and Evangelicals want to impose some kind of Holy Fascism, Iranian-style.

Spadoro and Figueroa cite three figures — Lyman Steward, Pastor Rousas John Rushdonny, and Norman Vincent Peale — to find Christian Trump supporters guilty of Fundamentalism. They suggest that that’s what Reagan and Bush secretly wanted. But anyone with the slightest acquaintance of either man would roll their eyes at this. Only Italian academics with the visceral hatred for American conservatism could come up with such nonsense over their lattes.

I once asked President Bush what he thought about Rushdoody, the founder of Dominionism, and he answered, “Rush-what-did-you-say?” I had to briefly explain to him that Dominionism taught that the Book of Genesis gave humanity “dominion” over creation. He didn’t seem interested in hearing much more about it. But our diligent co-authors use Dominionism to explain lack of enthusiasm for getting on the climate change bandwagon shown by Trump and his backers.

Nevertheless, our “political Manichaeism” is blameworthy because we employ a “political strategy for success becomes that of raising the tones of the conflictual, exaggerating disorder, agitating the souls of the people by painting worrying scenarios beyond any realism.” Perhaps the co-authors didn’t pay much attention to the highly charged rhetoric of President Obama, such as:

“Today we are engaged in a deadly global struggle for those who would intimidate, torture, and murder people for exercising the most basic freedoms. If we are to win this struggle and spread those freedoms, we must keep our own moral compass pointed in a true direction.” (Emphasis added)

If any one person or party is sounding apocalyptic at the present moment, it’s the Democratic Party and its leadership. Need I illustrate?

And speaking of Obama, the co-authors play the racist card by noting that the fundamentalism embraced by Reagan and Bush was born in the “deep American South” and was composed “mainly of whites.” I guess they’ve never heard of the greatest of all revival preachers during that period, Billy Sunday, who was born in Chicago. Or the fact, somewhat later, that Billy Graham’s career was launched by the Los Angeles Crusade held in 1949.

Attempting to put all Catholic Trump supporters in the worst possible light, the co-authors throw in a few quotes from an organization called Church Militant, led by the very marginal Michael Voris. The authors seem unaware that Voris has played no political role in any presidential election since 2000. In fact, Voris publicly scolded EWTN news director Raymond Arroyo and me for holding a conference call about Donald Trump with some Florida Catholic voters.

The real religious fanatics are people like Spadoro and Figueoa who want to demonize Catholic Republican voters in America. They suppose that American Evangelicals are the cartoonish bigots that our elite media portrays them to be, that they are Hillary’s “deplorables.” That’s nonsense, of course. They’re our neighbors, and we know them to be good and decent people. There was a time when Catholics took some heat from Protestants who worried that we’d take political direction from the Vatican. It turns out that that’s exactly what Spadoro and Figueroa are trying to do — dictate to American Catholic voters. They should be ashamed of themselves.

“Make America Great Again” was the theme of Donald Trump’s campaign and now his administration. Where is the fear in that? The only fear it evokes is in the likes of Spadoro and Figueroa who would rather see the U.S. remain under the thumb of the Clintons, the Obamas, the United Nations, and George Soros.

Read Newsmax: Theocrat Trump Accusation Laughable, Unoriginal | Newsmax.com
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Trump, Pope Have Opportunity to Forge Meaningful Alliance

Deal W. Hudson
May 23, 2017

When the pope and the president meet in the Apostolic Palace — the official residence of the pope in Vatican City — this Wednesday, they will be setting a much-needed example for a nation convulsed by post-election tantrums. Conservative speakers are disinvited on college campuses, conservative professors become objects of career-ending derision, the major media is obsessed with destroying the Trump presidency. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership shouts curse words and raises their middle fingers at the man America sent to the White House.

But these two men, who have exchanged harsh words in the past, and differ on significant public policy issues, are going to meet, converse, while seeking a better relationship — and greater mutual understanding.

Yet, we can be sure that whatever is wise or hopeful coming out of this first meeting will be ignored by the press, which will have already scripted a narrative of disaster and disagreement. On July 23, 2001, President George W. Bush and Pope John Paul II (now St. John Paul II) met for the first time. Their meeting could not have been more amicable. I met with the president at the U.S. Embassy immediately afterwards. Bush was filled with enthusiasm at meeting “that great pope of yours.”

But, press accounts of the encounter focused on the one caution that Pope John Paul II expressed to the president; about his upcoming decision whether to allow federal funding for fetal stem cell research.

In his speech at Castle Gandolfo — just southeast of Rome — the Pope decalred, “In defending the right to life . . . America can show the world . . . (that) man remains the master not the product of his technology.” The BBC headline read, “Pope warns Bush on stem cells.” While The New York Times headline told the same story,”Pope Urges Bush to Reject Embryo Research.”

On Aug. 9, 2001 President Bush went on television for the first time, announcing his decision not to fund research on new lines but allow research on lines already in use to continue. His speech to the American people did not entirely conform to the wish of the pope, but President Bush made the basis of his decision loud and clear, “I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our Creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your president I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world.”

When President Trump arrives at the Vatican he faces a more complex scenario, but one not without parallels to Bush’s 2001 visit. The president has made his pro-life convictions extremely clear in campaigning, in his inaugural address, and with his executive orders.

In fact, President Trump has been noticeably more open about anti-abortion issues than the 43rd president. Pope Francis will find common ground with Trump on the defense of innocent life and some related issues — though not on immigration.

Unlike 2001, when both the pope and the president shared opening remarks with journalists present, this meeting will take place almost entirely in private with journalists having very limited access. Two journalists and five photographers will be permitted to witness them shaking hands in the antechamber to the Papal Library, and sitting at the opposite sides of a table in the library itself. After less than a minute, everyone will leave except for the pope, the president, and a translator.

Journalists will clock the length of the meeting, comparing it to the 50 minutes Obama spent with Pope Francis in March 2011, though visits normally run 20 to 30 minutes.

The press will then be allowed back in the library to watch the traditional exchange of gifts along with whatever words are used to explain the significance of the gifts. This will be, in my opinion, the most vulnerable media moment for President Trump since the Pope usually gives visiting dignitaries copies of his encyclicals, “Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si’,” and “Amoris Laetitia,” which contain any number of themes that could be used as headline fodder.

Even if the official statement from the Vatican press office contains nothing but a record of cordial conversation and exchange of ideas, the mainstream media will be scrutinizing every detail of the meeting for a hook upon which to hang their agreed-upon headlines about; perhaps headlines that would read, “Pope Francis Reminds Trump Not to Build Walls” or “Pope Francis Calls Upon Trump to Sign the Paris Agreement.” In other words, no mention of shared purpose or common ground will allowed into the reporting narrative.

Regardless of the subsequent headlines, I believe the meeting will be fruitful on many levels. Both President Trump and Pope Francis have outgoing, warm personalities which will immediately remove whatever tensions might be present at the beginning.

And the president has already shown a willingness (distressing to some) to reconsider strongly-articulated policy positions. Donald Trump is not afraid to compromise, for the sake of building a relationship important for the future of his administration.

Pope Francis knows that, in November of 2016, more than half of Catholic U.S. voters supported Trump over his liberal rival Hillary Clinton. He also knows those same voters ignored both the pope’s and U.S. bishops’ attempts to make the presidential election about immigration.

Catholic voters simply didn’t care that Trump was at odds with church hierarchy on immigration. Both Pope Francis and the bishops should know well by now, that last year they didn’t fully comprehend how Americans really felt about the challenges facing America.

Pope Francis has some fence-mending of his own to do, and, I believe, he will.

Read Newsmax: Trump, Pope Have Opportunity to Forge Meaningful Alliance | Newsmax.com
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Some Don’t See Blessing in Trump’s Protecting Religious Liberty

Deal W. Hudson
May 17, 2017

Some conservatives were less than pleased by President Trump’s May 4 executive order on religious liberty. I guess they didn’t read it very closely. Had they done so, they would have realized that it was a promise of welcome changes to come. It doesn’t declare any new rights, but it does direct the administration to amend regulations and issue guidelines to protect the free exercise of religion from the power of the federal government. After what had seemed like a war on religion under Obama, that’s an enormous sea change.

Still, the executive order didn’t satisfy “Never-Trumpets” such as Princeton’s professor Robert George and Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation — who have always been quick to attack the president. They announced that it was “meaningless” and “woefully inadequate.”

Shamefully, George pointed the finger at the President’s Jewish daughter and son-in-law, “Ivanka and Jared won. We lost.” Such acrimony from a leading Catholic figure, and former Chair of the United States Commission on Religious Liberty, is both unjust and unbecoming.

Now let’s look at the record. President Trump has repeatedly declared his intention to remove the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which dramatically limited the political participation of houses of worship along with their priests, pastors, and rabbis.

As a first step towards that end, the executive order specifically instructs the Department of Treasury “not to take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues.  . . . ” We can expect Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to make sure that happens.

President Trump’s order also contains specific language on the ongoing litigation regarding the impact of Obamacare on Little Sisters of the Poor and other institutions refusing to provide contraceptive healthcare coverage to their employees. Trump ordered the Departments of Treasury, Labor (DOL), and Health and Human Services (HHS) to, “consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive care mandate.  . . . ” There can be no doubt that HHS Secretary Tom Price will be doing just that — and vigorously.

What is likely the most important section of the executive order is addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “In order to guide all agencies in complying with relevant Federal law, the Attorney General shall, as appropriate, issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law.” As head of the Department of Justice, which is still pursuing the case against Little Sisters of the Poor, Sessions has been effectively charged with realizing the promises made in the Rose Garden on May 4.

Given his conservative, pro-life record as an Alabama senator, no one doubts how Jeff Sessions will shape the Department of Justice. Session’s leadership is surely one of the reasons civil rights groups immediately announced their intention to oppose the executive order.

Not surprisingly, a group of atheists, under the banner of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, filed suit against the president and the IRS, fearing the IRS would “selectively and preferentially discontinue enforcement of the electioneering restrictions of the tax code against churches and religious organizations, while applying a more vigorous enforcement standard to secular nonprofits.”

The notion that the IRS would apply more “vigorous” standards to secular nonprofit organizations is of course bizarre. But again, much of the daily media bombardment of the Trump administration contains allegations based upon hearsay, leaks, unnamed sources, and postmodern paranoia. Today the progressive left has bought into the idea that freedom requires that all their opponents be silenced, even when they are exercising their sincere religious beliefs.

Sister Loraine Marie Claire Maguire, Mother Provincial of Little Sisters of the Poor has figured it out. Her statement was forthright and unqualified, “Today’s action by the government confirms that the government never needed to create this false conflict between women and religion.” One can imagine a smile coming to her face when she added, “The government never needed the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide these services,” that is, hand out contraception.

President Trump has been accused of making a media event out of his statement on religious liberty.

These critics should be asked: What is wrong with the president of the United States calling two of the Little Sisters of the Poor to the podium in the Rose Garden? How often have we seen a religious order of the Catholic Church featured in a nationally televised White House ceremony?

The image of President Trump, with a beaming Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. standing behind, welcoming the two sisters is a powerful affirmation to the nation’s 70 million Catholic citizens that they’re fully members of the American community.

You’ve have thought that that was pretty obvious. But apparently some people needed reminding.

Read Newsmax: Some Don’t See Blessing in Trump’s Protecting Religious Liberty | Newsmax.com
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Returning to Hickory Golf Out of Love for the Game

Deal W. Hudson

April 27, 2017

A film about the lives of Old Tom Morris and his son, Young Tom, opened recently in selected theaters nationwide. “Tommy’s Honour” is directed by Jason Connery, son of Sean Connery, who is easily the most avid golfer among the world’s celebrities. The cast included Peter Mullen as Old Tom, Jack Lowden as Young Tom, and Sam Neill as Alexander Boothby, captain of St. Andrews Golf Club. The film won Best Feature Film at the 2016 Scottish BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards.

According to reports, Sean Connery, now 86, stalked the entire shoot, having to use his powers of persuasion to force Jack Lowden to shoot a scene in the driving rain. Bowden, who is quite brilliant as Young Tom, was a complete non-golfer and had to learn not just the golf swing but the golf swing of the late 1800s, when the irons had no grooves, the shafts were hickory, and the balls made of gutta percha, called “the Gutty.”

Lowden’s swing, like that of Peter Mullen as Old Tom, was quite convincing even to a golf curmudgeon like myself. (Shelia LeBoeuf’s swing in “The Greatest Game Ever Played” (2005) was a joke, as was Matt Damon’s in “The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000).) Both Bowden and Mullen worked with Jim Farmer, honorary professional at St. Andrews, who commented, “it actually made it easier that neither were golfers because there were no habits to break,”

But there is a much larger backstory to “Tommy’s Honour” that none of the media coverage has mentioned. Thousands of golfers around the world have put away their steel clubs in favor of playing with hickory shafted clubs, both those from the period of Old Tom Morris and the epoch of Bobby Jones Jr. who was 6-years-old when he won his first championship in 1908. Thus, hickory golf lasted from 1860 when hickory shafts were introduced, until 1935 when steel replaced them.

In the U.S., hickory golf began to develop in 1970 with the founding of the Golf Collector’s Society, where members would meet and play casual matches using their hickory equipment. Those matches grew into tournaments over the next thirty years, culminating in the founding of the Society of Hickory Golfers in 2000.

Within a few years, a split in the executive committee of the Society of Hickory Golf occurred because of an argument among hickory golfers about the use of replica, which had been pioneered by Tad Moore and later by Louisville Golf. The Society decided to allow the use of replica clubs and the modern golf balls, though the “mesh” ball introduced in the early 1900s in mandated for some events. Replicas of both the gutty and a variety of mesh balls are available from McIntyre Golf Company.

However, the tournaments sponsored by the British Golf Collector’s Society, founded in 1987, requires original equipment. Going even farther, the English Hickory Open requires all players wear jackets or suffer a 2-shot penalty! U.S. and UK golfers have started playing regularly in Scotland at the English Hickory Championship founded in 2005 by the late Lionel Freedman, a great ambassador of the game. An International Match was added in 2014, where various countries square off against each other. The 2017 World Hickory Open will be played at Scotland’s Kilspindie Golf Club in early October.

Speaking of other countries, in addition to the UK, there are now hickory golf societies in all the Scandinavian countries, with Sweden being the most active, and most European countries, lead by the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. Several years ago I played in the French Hickory Open at the great Morfontaine Golf Club outside of Paris and plan on playing this year in the German Hickory Open held south of Munich in late September.

There is one confusion about hickory golf which may have been unintentionally exacerbated by the film “Tommy’s Honour.” When I saw the movie with my son, he said, “Dad, they are not wearing plus fours!”

Up until the 20th century, a golfer wore long pants, with a jacket, vest, shirt, and tie. It wasn’t until after World War I that knickers or plus-fours (dropping 4-inches below the knee) came into style.

Thus, hickory event can be either pre-1900 or post-1900 hundred, each requiring different dress in addition to different clubs and balls. The 1920s style of play attracts the most adherents, but gutty tournaments have a very loyal following, such as the National Hickory Championship begun in 1998 by Peter Georgiady. I was initiated into gutty play by Georgiady last year, not expecting to like it much, but converted the moment I felt that gutty crunch off the smooth face of my mashie-niblick.

One thing hickory golfers learn is that golf is golf, regardless of the equipment, the ball, or the course: you have to swing well, think well, and hold up under pressure, if you want to win. But hickory golfers have rediscovered something more important than winning, that golf is a game, a game with a stick and a ball, and it is meant to be enjoyed. You won’t see much gnashing of teeth at a hickory golf tournament, especially with a wee nip of single-malt whiskey after suffering a double bogey.

Finally, it’s difficult for most guys to admit they like dressing up for anything. But I’ll confess, as will most of my fellow players, to enjoying the sartorial challenge of playing hickories. A group of golfers in plus-fours, argyle socks, two-tone shoes, white collared shirt, a tie, and a sleeveless v-neck sweater look a heck of a lot better than their steel counterparts in Bermuda shorts, ill-fitting golf shirts stretched over the bellies, and silly sockettes peeking out from above their golf shoes.

In fact, I was first drawn to hickories when I saw a picture of about a hundred guys, all in plus fours and ties, many smoking cigars, smiling into the camera on the putting green at Mid Pines Golf Club. I said to myself, “Why aren’t I in this pictures?”

I had been smoking cigars and wearing plus fours for decades on the golf course and, all the sudden, I realized I was not alone! In two weeks I acquired a set of hickory clubs, an all-leather bag, and played in my first hickory tournament at, yes, Mid Pines.

Some of my best friends I now count among those I have met through playing hickories. Hickory golfers, I have found, are a special bunch of mwen and women, representing every possible social strata and point of view, but brought together by their sheer love of the game.

Over the past five years, I’ve never looked back, my steel clubs rarely leave my trunk. I’ve rediscovered the game I learned to love as a teenager, embraced again the joy of playing the game rather than making my enjoyment depend on reaching a certain number.

And you know what? Playing hickories is a “game improvement” experience, not only will you learn to swing better, you will learn to let go and allow the game to become fun again.

If you are interested in exploring hickory golf, please visit the Society of Hickory Golfers website at hickorygolfers.com.

Read Newsmax: Returning to Hickory Golf Out of Love for the Game | Newsmax.com
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Cardinal Dolan’s Praise for Trump Interrupts USCCB Pattern of Criticism

Deal W. Hudson
April 13, 2017

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has issued a statement that “welcomed the State Department’s April 4 announcement that it will withhold federal funding from the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) because UNFPA monies go to Chinese agencies that perform forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.” Cardinal Dolan goes on to praise the Trump administration, but without a specific mention of President Trump who is primarily responsible for the defunding.

“This is a victory for women and children across the globe, as well as for U.S. taxpayers,” Cardinal Dolan said. “We are so grateful to the Trump administration for taking this important action to end U.S. support for UNFPA so long as it remains committed to China’s coercive abortion and sterilization programs.”

Why mention the lack of President Trump’s name? In the month of January alone, during President Trump’s first 11 days in office, the USCCB issued five public statements critical of the president, by name, on the issue of immigration: January 25January 26January 27January 30January 31. However, Cardinal Dolan did praise President Trump for restoring the Mexico City Policy:

“We applaud President Trump’s action today to restore the Mexico City Policy, which withholds taxpayer funds from foreign non-governmental organizations that promote or perform abortions overseas (often in violation of the host country’s own laws).”

In the month of February, the USCCB issued two more statements critical of President Trump or his “administration” on immigration, February 17February 23, while on February 10 praising the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for overthrowing President Trump’s Executive Order for a 90-day moratorium on issuing visas from seven nations on the Middle East.

On February 16, the USCCB issued a statement complaining, “The President has not yet signed the executive order on religious freedom.” On February 16, the USCCB praised the “Message from Modesto,” which specially called for the “disruption” of administration policies, and on February 17, the USCCB urged the “Trump administration” to “Care for Creation.”

In March the basic pattern continues: On March 6, a statement from the USCCB says President Trump’s latest Executive Order still puts vulnerable populations around the world at risk. A “pastoral reflection” on March 22, reiterates the bishop’s concern about immigration policy. And on March 29, the USCCB states, “President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order on March 28, 2017 that rescinds and weakens numerous environmental protections, and effectively dismantles the Clean Power Plan (CPP)…”

Press statements are always carefully worded. The avoidance of addressing the president by name, or the substitution of “administration” or “Trump administration” signifies the unwillingness of the USCCB to treat the new president fairly. The attitude seems to be: use “President Donald J. Trump” when criticizing, but avoid the same when something positive has to be officially recognized. Among all the USCCB statements, only Cardinal Dolan has given the president the respect he deserves.

Read Newsmax: Cardinal Dolan’s Praise for Trump Interrupts USCCB Pattern of Criticism | Newsmax.com
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Some on Left, Right Don’t Get Trump Is Anti-Abortion

Deal W. Hudson
April 5, 2017

President Donald Trump’s executive order to defund the United National Family Planning Agency (UNFPA) sends a message to political foes both on the political left and the right.

The pro-abortion left will should not be too surprised since President Trump has already cut $400,000,000 in population control funds when he reaffirmed the Mexico City Policy a few days after his inauguration.

Anti-abortion leaders across the country are deeply gratified and congratulate the president for his decision.President of the Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, calls the defunding, “a tremendous sign to the nation and world about what we value and what we abhor. Removing funds from involvement in China’s coercive abortion and sterilization policies is the humane thing to do.”

Trump’s decision to defund was made on the same basis used by both President Reagan and President George W. Bush: UNFPA actively “partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies.” It’s well known that China employs coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization to enforce its “One Child Policy.”

The One Child Policy, begun in 1979, was “officially” phased out in 2015, to be replaced by a “Two Child Policy.” But as the nation’s preeminent expert of China’s population control, Steve Mosher, has said, “The one-child policy in China may be over, but the two-child policy will still mean forced abortions of second and third children, it may mean forced pregnancy in years to come, and it will certainly mean other abuses.”

Asked for his comment, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., responded, “The United Nations Population Fund has been involved with deeply troubling practices. Why would we give American taxpayer money to an organization with limited accountability, who have used these funds to participate in coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization? Public money should never harm life and the flourishing of families.”

UNFPA funding approaches $1,000,000,000 so the loss of U.S. funding — $32,500,000 will have only a marginal impact, but combined with the money lost by the Mexico City Policy population controllers have suffered a serious setback.

With the defunding of Planned Parenthood’s $500,000,000+ already moving through Congress, there must be panic setting in among those organizations whose budgets blossomed under the terms of the Obama administration. That will eventually add up to over 1 billion dollars in lost revenue to the abortionists.

In the lost of UNFPA funding, however, there is another loss — public credibility.

With federal funding comes prestige, a prestige that opens doors to private foundations and major donors. These foundations and donors themselves can profit from being connected to an organization who enjoys a close relationship to the White House and Congress.

Austin Ruse, President of C-Fam, regards UNFPA defunding as an important step toward President Trump keeping his promises to his pro-life constituency, “This is a very good thing because UNFPA is a wicked agency and the US should not be involved with it.

“However, defunding UNFPA is a bare-minimum of the pro-life things we expect from President Trump. It is an easy thing, an important thing, but an easy thing. We expect more and bigger things.”

The UNFPA, on the other hand, regards the decision as based upon “an erroneous claim” that the organization “participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China.”

This is hard to swallow, given the evidence, but the more incriminating part of the statement is this, “We have always valued the United States as a trusted partner and leader in helping to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.” (Emphasis added).

First, a “young person” who is aborted will never have the opportunity to fulfill any potential. Second, the UNFPA does not have the power — no one does, to “ensure every pregnancy is wanted.”

What UNFPA really means is that they will supply abortions to all women who do not “want” their babies. Finally, making childbirth “safe” merely provides another excuse for UNFPA to provide abortion to women who live in poverty or in the undeveloped countries.

This press release serves to corroborate the decision made by President Trump about the character and intentions of the UNFPA.

To the Never-Trumpers on the right, such as the neo-cons at the National Review, anti-abortion fundamentalists, and those marching under the flag of surrender represented by the “Benedict Option” — President Trump has once again proven his bona fides as being anti-abortion.

However, the Never-Trump crowd all share one regrettable characteristic: they are not interested in counter-evidence, it’s an affront to their pride.

To their shame, they will ignore the half-billion dollars in federal funding President Trump has taken away from those who pro-abortion, marching under the banner of population control.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had not yet issued a statement when I contacted them yesterday, but I received a note that a statement would be issued today. Given that the USCCB has been consistently critical of the Trump administration, I was not surprised in the delay.

Read Newsmax: Some on Left, Right Don’t Get Trump Is Anti-Abortion | Newsmax.com
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Bishops, Vatican Cardinal Declare War on Trump

Deal W. Hudson
February 19, 2017

On February 19, 24 bishops and a cardinal from the Vatican published and signed the “Message from Modesto,” which in practical terms amounts to a declaration of activist war on the new administration of President Donald Trump. This is no exaggeration. The document explicitly calls for “Disrupting oppression and dehumanization.” And just what do the bishops have in mind? The document quotes Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego:

“We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our communities to deport the undocumented, to destroy our families. We must disrupt those who portray refugees as enemies. We must disrupt those who train us to see Muslim men and women as a source of threat rather than children of God. We must disrupt those who would take away healthcare, who would take food from our children.”

In short, the bishops and a high-ranking Vatican cardinal have signed a pledge to “disrupt” the Trump administration over immigration, the fight against terrorism, and healthcare. The cardinal who signed, Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the new Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development is a close adviser to Pope Francis, who is quoted at the beginning of the “Message from Modesto,” who describes the “system that causes enormous suffering to the human family, simultaneously assaulting people’s dignity and our Common Home in order to sustain the invisible tyranny of money that only guarantees the privileges of a few.”

Cardinal Turkson and the 24 U.S. bishops attending the event consider this an “urgent message to popular movement members, and leaders in the United States and globally, and to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Francis.” At the time of this writing, no specific response has been made by any individual bishops, the USCCB, or Pope Francis. But given Turkson’s relation to the Holy Father, it is safe to assume Pope Francis is in full agreement with the strategy to cause disruptions.

In fact, Pope Francis wrote a lengthy letter of congratulation prior to the meeting, which was remarkable for two phrases:

“I know that you have committed yourselves to fight for social justice, to defend our Sister Mother Earth and to stand alongside migrants.”

“I feel is important to say it again: no people is criminal and no religion is terrorist. Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist.”

As a longtime student of Catholic theology, it has been my assumption that deifying the Earth was the habit of pagan polytheists. And, as someone who reads the news daily, it has also been my observation that Muslim terrorists have cut off the heads off fellow Muslims, at least one Catholic priest, and slaughtered thousands more in acts of violence around the globe, always proclaiming “Allahu Akbar,” Allah is the greatest.

The same bewilderment of thought is found throughout the “Message from Modesto.” Thus, it comes as no surprise that more and more lay Catholics are growing increasing bewildered themselves by this pontificate.

As I wrote last week, it is my urgent hope that individual bishops and cardinals repudiate the document for what it is: a distorted use of Catholic social teaching to not merely challenge the policies of the new administration but to engage as activists in disruptive protests and, presumably, lawsuits. John Zmirak has written a scathing analysis of Modesto document, but adds his own particular flavor to the argument: “What’s asserted in the Message from Modesto is madness, plain and simple. It is shrill, moralistic nonsense you might expect from an angry teenager who’d been reading Marxist websites and going through hormone surges.”

Other signers include Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin (Newark, New Jersey), Bishop Shelton J. Fabre (Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana), Bishop Oscar Cantu (Las Cruces, New Mexico), Bishop David Talley (Alexandria, Louisiana), Bishop Stephen Blaire (Stockton, California), Bishop Armando Ochoa (Fresno, California) and Bishop Jaime Soto (Sacramento, California), and Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez, however, tried to caution the attendees not to become “just one more partisan voice on this issue.” I hope the good Archbishop realizes there’s is absolutely no chance it will turn out any other way. And the Soros-funded Catholic Left is, predictably, thrilled with “Disrupting the Donald.”

What I find particularly disheartening are the opening words of the “Message from Modesto,” “We believe that every human is sacred…” when a supporter of infanticide, Barack Obama, was elected president in 2008, and again in 2012, there was no outcry from the bishops. When President Obama set out immediately to dismantle all the protections of unborn life put in place by the administration of President George W. Bush, not a single bishop or cardinal talked about “disrupting” the most pro-abortion administration in American history. When Obamacare included federal funding for abortion, the USCCB published a pro forma complaint but supported the legislation behind the scenes.

As a Catholic, I cannot explain or justify the treatment of President Trump, especially when President Obama got a “free ride” from the bishops on his abortion policy and $500,000,000 of funding for Planned Parenthood. It’s nothing less than shameful. The moral authority of our bishops is being lost, and if the “Message from Modesto” is not publicly repudiated that authority will erode even further.

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