Wednesday 12th May 2021

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“Reverse Racism” Is Real — And Dangerous

May 12, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on “Reverse Racism” Is Real — And Dangerous

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

In 2008, Bishop Wilton Gregory welcomed the election of Barack Obama, the most radically pro-abortion president ever, as “a great step forward for humanity and a sign that in the United States the problem of racial discrimination has been overcome.”
Well, things didn’t really work out that way. Instead of ending racism in the United States, no one fomented it more than Barack Obama. And Joe Biden has picked up where Obama left off.
In early 2020, Biden wasn’t leading in the Democrat primaries. In fact, his opponents were condemning his own racism, citing his friendship with former Senate Majority Leader and Ku Klux Klan Grand Cyclops Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.).
In January 2020, Bernie Sanders defined the Left’s lexicon: President Trump “a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, and a religious bigot.” Well, Biden couldn’t afford to alienate “Bernie’s Leftist Legions” — how could he win without them? So he made a deal with Bernie: He’d talk moderate but act radical. And Sanders dropped out of the race on April 8.
A week later, Biden tweeted that “Trump is Fanning the Flames of White Supremacy and Hatred in Our Country.” Six weeks later, George Floyd died on the streets of Minneapolis, and ever since, Joe Biden has been all racism, all the time.
In his recent speech before a nearly-empty House chamber, Biden not only stoked, he threatened. “We have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues American life in many other ways,” he said, adding that “the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism.”
Now, ever since September 11, 2001, the war against terrorism has been America’s Prime Mandate. Joe Biden has decided to continue that war, only with a new enemy: the American people.

Tim Scott Says, “Not So Fast!”

Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.) delivered the Republican response to Biden’s House speech. “President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership,” he said. “He promised to unite a nation. To lower the temperature. To govern for all Americans, no matter how we voted. That was the pitch. You just heard it again. But our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes.”
Of course, two of those platitudes were Joe’s “racism” and “white supremacy” mantras. Scott targeted them directly.
“Hear me clearly,” he said. “America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present. . . . Race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants. It’s too important.”
Joe Biden had just called white Americans the new Osama Bin Laden, and Tim Scott called him on it. “Our best future won’t come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams,” he continued. “It will come from you — the American people, black, Hispanic, white, and Asian, Republican and Democrat, brave police officers and black neighborhoods. We are not adversaries. We are family! We are all in this together.”
Scott was specific. He lambasted the “powerful grown-ups” who kept black kids out of school for a year. “Kids like me were left behind,” he said. It’s “The clearest case for school choice in our lifetimes.”
“Powerful forces want to pull us apart,” he said. “A hundred years ago, kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic — and if they looked a certain way, they were inferior. Today, kids again are being taught that the color of their skin defines them — and if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor.”
“Nowhere do we need common ground more desperately than in our discussions of race. I have experienced the pain of discrimination,” Scott said. “I’ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance. I get called ‘Uncle Tom’ and the N-word — by ‘progressives’! By liberals!. . . Believe me, I know our healing is not finished.”
Scott shredded Biden’s bland banalities with sharp clarity. “From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress. By doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal.”
And then he committed the cardinal sin — he praised Donald Trump!
“Just before COVID, we had the most inclusive economy in my lifetime. The lowest unemployment ever recorded for African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. The lowest for women in nearly 70 years. Wages were growing faster for the bottom 25 percent than the top 25 percent. That happened because Republicans focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans.
“We passed Opportunity Zones, criminal justice reform, and permanent funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the first time ever. We fought the drug epidemic, rebuilt our military, and cut taxes for working families and single moms like mine.”
With that, the brains in the Blue Bubble exploded.

Tim Scott Must Be Destroyed!

The Left simply lost it. A fervid Bezos Blogger called him cynical, confused, ignorant, and a liar. “Scott didn’t even seem to believe many of the words he said. . . .”
And then: “The problem, at least on some level, was that Tim Scott is Black.”
Yes, that is definitely a problem for the Left. Tim Scott didn’t behave. Shame on him!
Without “Racism!” the Left has nothing but raw power lust. So the Post condescends to this black lackey who’s just a tool of racists anyway, mouthing a “pre-written” text that he’s too stupid to understand.
With that rank and racist hatred, the pirouetting Posties think they’ve shamed and silenced Tim Scott for good.
Yes, they really believe that. And they aren’t alone.
“Uncle Tim” — a slanderous version of “Uncle Tom” — trended on Twitter. “I had hoped that Scott might show some common sense, but it seems clear he is little more than an Oreo with no real principles,” wrote Lamar County, Texas Democrat chairman Gary O’Connor.
O’Connor later apologized, but no one else did. According to Newsbusters, whose reporters work off their Purgatory monitoring the Hate Media, MSNBC’s Christina Greer “defended the slur because it was a public display of ‘the internal conversations that many black people have about Tim Scott and the Republican Party’ since he supports the GOP and the Trump presidency. Greer then argued Scott should come to his senses and realize that his Republican Party was the reason why he grew up poor, began with a less-than-stellar education, and had an illiterate grandfather.”
The View’s co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, respectively, were “appalled” and “bothered” by how Sen. Scott didn’t address “systemic racism to their liking,” Rebecca Downs reported.

Calling All Bishops

America’s Catholic bishops should confront such vile hatred head-on. But they don’t. They are prisoners of their own twisted vocabulary. They proclaim that “racism is America’s original sin” — borne, of course, by whites only, except for the Woke. Since the 1970s, they have bought into the Marxist notion of class struggle. Racism is not a personal sin, it’s “systemic.” Like former Catholic Pete Buttigieg, their website embraces that amoral ideology. That’s how they can tell us that the majority of whites are racists whether we know it or not.
By that definition, Tim Scott is a racist too — not only because he rejects Biden’s working principle of White Supremacy, but also because he praises the real progress that blacks made under Trump that Biden seeks to reverse.
Let’s face it. Obama, Bernie, and Biden have moved their party beyond socialism. They’re consolidating power, and they’re using Racism! as their motivating force. Unfortunately, our bishops have confirmed the Democrats’ Marxist moral vocabulary instead of shredding it with the truths of the faith.
We await the brave bishop who will dare to defend Tim Scott and the Americans of all colors who are the targets of this vicious and racist assault.

A Beacon Of Light . . . Signs Of Spring And The Future Of The Faith

May 11, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on A Beacon Of Light . . . Signs Of Spring And The Future Of The Faith

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON JR.

(Editor’s Note: Fr. Richard D. Breton Jr. is a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Conn. He received his BA in religious studies and his MA in dogmatic theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

  • + + As the Easter Season continues, we see signs of new life all around us. As April’s showers turn into May flowers, the daffodils, lilies, and even the trees are sprouting with new life. Like the transformations happening in nature around us, the Easter Season calls us to an inner transformation that leads to conversion of heart. This transformation and conversion are especially needed in the present age in which we find ourselves.
    This statement is not something new — in fact, it was repeatedly expressed during the Pontificate of the late Holy Father, St. John Paul II. St. John Paul had a keen understanding of the times. His pontificate was most notably in touch with a desire to prepare for the future. This was so important to the late Holy Father that he wrote an apostolic letter precisely dedicated to this endeavor. On November 10, 1994, St. John Paul II published the preeminent document, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, on Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000.
    In this document, St. John Paul II gracefully presents before us an understanding of the need of conversion. This conversion is most easily attained when we allow ourselves the appropriate means of preparation. The road to conversion and inner transformation is seen in Jesus Christ. St. John Paul II was unique in the fact that he outlined how we must do this. In the apostolic letter mentioned above, St. John Paul II encouraged us to center ourselves on Christ, Son of God made man, and this centering must necessarily be theological, and therefore Trinitarian, in nature.
    He outlined for us the way to do this. First, we must reflect on Christ, the nature of faith, and the Sacrament of Baptism. Second, we must focus on the Holy Spirit and the theological virtue of hope, and Confirmation. Third, we must focus on God the Father, the gift of charity, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Lastly, we must dedicate ourselves to the Eucharist and “to giving glory to the Trinity” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, nn. 29-55). Interestingly enough, throughout all of salvation history Jesus Christ has been preparing the human race for this unique encounter.

A Salvific Mindset

In a previous column, we stood with St. Stephen as he was stoned to death. Among those who were present that day was Saul of Tarsus. Saul was actively involved in the persecutions of that time. After Stephen was stoned, Scripture tells us that the people “placed their cloaks at the feet of one called Saul” (Acts 7:58). Even though Saul had persecuted the early disciples, he was still an important part of the Lord’s plan of salvation. The Lord would transform the barbarian mindset of Saul into a salvific mindset that would lead others to Jesus Christ. The Acts of the Apostles portrays Saul’s conversion in this way:
“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
“Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes, he could see nothing. So, they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind and did not eat or drink anything…. Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord — Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here — has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.”
The conversion of St. Paul is a distinct portrayal of the power of conversion. It also gives us a glimpse into the power of God. St. Paul was a man who had denied the Lord and persecuted the members of the Early Church. The Lord needed St. Paul to assist in the ongoing plan of salvation so He, in a sense, forced the issue by making St. Paul open his eyes to the faith he was persecuting. The bright light from Heaven that shone around him permeated the hardness of his heart and brought about a total renewal within.
This light caused a temporary blindness that was restored once St. Paul committed himself to the Lord. The experience of St. Paul’s conversion enabled him to fulfill the mission the Lord had destined for him. He traveled to far-off places like Damascus, Corinth, Thessalonica, Galatia, Greece, and Rome. In each of these places he proclaimed the faith with daunting courage and the resolve to bring many to Christ. In each of these occasions St. Paul used his own downfalls as a means of saving others.

Be Conformed To Christ

From the moment of our Baptism to the day of our death, the Lord is always preparing us to defend the faith he has given us. By our Baptism we become spiritually united to the Blessed Trinity, where we meet the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. In this unique encounter, we begin the preparation needed to create in us a lasting bond with the Lord. This is strengthened more fully when we receive the other sacraments. Each sacrament deepens us in the “trinitarian” nature of our faith.
Our souls are strengthened by the gift of faith. It is inevitable that at some time in our lives, we will need to undergo conversion. Living in this world presents us with a constant need to conform to Christ, rather than to the world. Unfortunately, many of our brothers and sisters have found themselves journeying on a path that is preparing them for earthly possibilities, instead of heavenly rewards. The reality of it all is that many don’t even recognize the wrong path they are on. As members of the Holy Catholic Church, we have an obligation to help those in need of conversion to “see the light” as St. Paul did, and recognize the Lord.
There is a worldwide need for conversion. The entire world has lost its way, but it is never too late to open oneself to the power of conversion. Sometimes we hear others say, how can I change the world? The answer to this is very simple! First, we need to change ourselves, then, we will have the power, courage, and determination needed to tackle the world. This is what the Early Church did through the heroic apostles along with St. Paul. We are no different than they were; actually, we have an even greater responsibility because there is much more at stake. The very civilization and society we are living in needs a total conversion.
May we be the present-day “disciples” and have the courage to change the world!

More Nuns Seek Supreme Court Protection

May 10, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on More Nuns Seek Supreme Court Protection

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

Several orders of nuns, both Catholic and Anglican, as well as a couple of Catholic dioceses, along with several other Christian churches and faith-based social justice ministries, are asking the Supreme Court to protect them from an insidious state rule in New York that will compel them to provide abortion coverage in their employees’ health-care packages.
Shades of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who successfully challenged Obama-era regulations that forced them to provide contraceptive coverage in their health insurance. Three times the court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters holding that the government could not force the Little Sisters to do so.
Ironically, in 2017 after the Little Sisters scored two of their Supreme Court victories, the superintendent of the New York department of financial services, Linda A. Lacewell, promulgated a regulation mandating that employer health-care plans cover abortions. The regulations, as originally proposed, contained a religious exemption. But after public pressure, Lacewell backtracked on the religious protection, limiting the exception only to religious employers whose work is, basically, with only members of their sect and who employ persons who share the religious beliefs of the employer.
Thus numerous religious organizations such as the Carmelite Sisters, who run a nursing home for the elderly and dying, and the First Bible Baptist Church, which serves the community through youth and deaf ministries (just to name two of the plaintiffs), who do not limit their ministry to just members of their own body, nor do they restrict hiring to members of their faith, do not qualify for the rule’s religious exemption.
According to the petition filed with the Supreme Court:
“The Superintendent abandoned the broader exemption after ‘request[s]’ by ‘hundreds of commenters.’ In the Superintendent’s view, ‘[n]either State nor Federal law require[d]’ any exemption. And the exemption she chose was analogous to existing state law.’ The Superintendent stated that she rejected the initially proposed religious exemption because ‘the interests of ensuring access to reproductive care, fostering equality between the sexes, providing women with better health care, and the disproportionate impact of a lack of access to reproductive health services on women in low income families weighs far more heavily than the interest of business corporations to assert religious beliefs’.”
In other words, the abortion lobby got to her. As a result she narrowed the exemption to protect only religious entities whose purpose is to inculcate religious values who primarily serve and hire co-religionists. The regulation imposes fines for employers who fail to provide abortion coverage: $2,700 per employee. In the case of the Carmelite Sisters, with over 200 employees of their nursing homes, those fines would reach over half million dollars a year.
So after losing their case in the New York courts, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and several private law firms, are appealing the matter to the Supreme Court on behalf of the religious plaintiffs.
“Our faith tells us that every life is precious from the moment of conception to the final breath. That’s why we spend our lives praying and serving to lift others’ burdens,” said Mother Miriam of the Sisterhood of Saint Mary, the oldest religious order founded in America in the Anglican tradition.
“New York has told us that if we want to hold our beliefs about the sanctity of life, we have to stop serving non-Anglicans. We cannot compromise on our religious beliefs, or in our service to people of all faiths or no faith at all. That’s why we need relief from the Supreme Court.”
In their petition asking the court to hear the case (Writ of Certiorari), the religious groups, which include the Catholic Dioceses of Albany and Ogdensburg, and Catholic Charities of Brooklyn, write:
“Needless to say, this regulation imposes enormous burdens on the countless religious entities opposed to abortion as a matter of longstanding and deep-seated religious conviction.”
The petition claims that the rulings against them in the lower courts stem from an improper finding in an earlier case which held that applying a neutral law of “general applicability” to a case does not require the reviewing court to subject the matter to “strict scrutiny,” which imposes upon the government the burden to show a compelling governmental interest using the least restrictive means possible, lest the law be found in violation of the challenging party’s First Amendment protections.
After a short history of how other courts and circuits have interpreted prior cases, the petition makes the claim that since there was a modified exception for certain religious institutions, the law is not, therefore, one of general applicability. Quoting recent case law, plaintiffs argue “that a regulation is not generally applicable if it has ‘any’ exception.”
Further, “That the abortion mandate undermines New York’s interest in ensuring comprehensive coverage by exempting some religious organizations but not others should thus be more than sufficient to trigger strict scrutiny.”
Additionally, petitioners argued, “Exempting only certain religious organizations while imposing burdens on other necessarily triggers strict scrutiny. No state can pass laws that prefer one religion over another. Imposing burdens on some religious entities while exempting others flouts the constitutional prohibition of denominational preferences.”
And they argued, “[T]hat the Abortion Mandate violates the Free Exercise Clause because it substantially burdens and discriminates among and against certain religious entities without justification. The Abortion Mandate was promulgated with the explicit intention of exempting some employers, while, at the same time, excluding other employers from the exemption. And the exemption ‘treats similarly situated individuals and organizations differently based solely on religious viewpoint’.”
“When New York instituted its abortion mandate, the Little Sisters of the Poor were already two Supreme Court victories into their battle against the contraceptive mandate. Now they’ve won for a third time, sending the clear message that the government can’t make nuns do its dirty work,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket.
“New York’s failure to learn from the Little Sisters’ saga that you can’t make nuns pay for abortions is beyond reason. The court needs to step in and teach New York that lesson.”
As I always caution in these cases, the Supreme Court has not agreed to hear this case yet, so the only petition filed at this point is an argument as to why the court should accept it. If it is accepted, the argument will turn on how the court should rule, and that could take a year or more before the case is finally submitted. So stay calm and pray the court accepts the case and grants the relief requested.
(You can contact Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to him every Thursday at 10 a.m. CT on Faith On Trial at IowaCatholicRadio.com.)

Pols Will Parade Their Charades Forever . . . If They Think They’ll Get Away with Them

May 9, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Pols Will Parade Their Charades Forever . . . If They Think They’ll Get Away with Them

By DEXTER DUGGAN

The morning after Lyndon Baines Johnson was inaugurated in his own right as president in January 1965, the top of the front page of the major daily New York Herald Tribune was dominated by a two-line banner headline: “Johnson sworn in, predicts victory over poverty and injustice in America within this generation.” The subhead was, “He takes oath on mother’s Bible.”
Strictly, “this generation” ended 20 years later, in January 1985 — nearly 36 and one-half years ago. How have you been enjoying these decades of blissful equality and justice delivered by Johnson’s Democrats?
Johnson and his kind only want the money and power for themselves that come with such big talk, while leaving the public on the hamster wheel of futility.
And what a perfect touch, that a wheeler-dealer who paid as much serious attention to the Bible as a buzzard does would haul out his mother’s for his presidential inauguration.
Politics, thy name is pride. Which goes before a fall.
Johnson had been John F. Kennedy’s sleazy vice president who, some speculation suggested, would be dumped from the Democratic ticket before JFK’s re-election race in 1964. But Kennedy never lived to see November ’64 election results because he was assassinated in Johnson’s home state of Texas a year earlier, on November 22, 1963.
It was debatable if “LBJ” could have been elected president on his own. But as vice president he became the incumbent by jumping into JFK’s vacant saddle while dominant media of that day glued their customary epithets to the back of his Republican presidential foe, Arizona’s Barry Goldwater — warmonger, fascist, Nazi.
Having seen JFK gunned down a year earlier, Goldwater went down in an inglorious electoral blaze of his own. Johnson was elected in a landslide and had comfortable Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate for the four years of his term.
But before that four years finished, in March of 1968 LBJ shocked the nation by announcing he wouldn’t seek a second term of his own. An Asian war, riots, unrest. The dominant LBJ of 1964 was no more.
Such are the uncertain fortunes of politics — and a warning to the physically, mentally, and morally impaired Democrat and bad Catholic Joe Biden, fond of fancying his allegedly undeniable greatness while habitually unable to speak coherent sentences. If the mighty LBJ crumpled before long, what of the mumbling old man who spends many hours in White House seclusion?
Might the archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, have laid the groundwork for a way to end the charade by Catholic faker politicians like Biden, back when Cordileone was auxiliary bishop of San Diego, before being called north by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Diocese of Oakland in 2009?
Cordileone had made some headlines at a USCCB meeting, a young bishop speaking up about worthiness to receive the Eucharist, so I left a message at his San Diego diocesan office to request an interview for The Wanderer. Would my message go through channels? But I received a voicemail from Cordileone himself inviting me to come by.
So off I went to the pastoral center on Paducah Drive to interview a prelate willing to say what all of the Church’s hierarchy at least supposedly believed. This was back when Biden as a U.S. senator had only failed in his aspirations to become president.
But now pro-abortion fanatic Biden sits, or slumps, in the White House, furthering the scandal long promoted by none other than San Francisco bad Catholic, pro-abortion fanatic, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Is their time expiring as the royalty of a charnel house?
Without naming any of the vile offenders, Cordileone issued a powerful pastoral letter on May 1, “Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You: A Pastoral Letter 0n the Human Dignity of the Unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in Public Life.” (See additional coverage elsewhere in this issue of The Wanderer.)
Cordileone is talking about hardened pro-abortionists who have no intention of changing without the prospect of certain punishment.
“In the case of public figures who profess to be Catholic and promote abortion, we are not dealing with a sin committed in human weakness or a moral lapse: this is a matter of persistent, obdurate, and public rejection of Catholic teaching,” the archbishop writes. “This adds an even greater responsibility to the role of the Church’s pastors in caring for the salvation of souls.”
He goes on to remind Catholic public figures: “God has entrusted you with a prestigious position in society. You have the power to affect societal practices and attitudes. Always remember that you will one day have to render an account to God for your stewardship of this trust. You are in a position to do something concrete and decisive to stop the killing….
“And please stop pretending that advocating for or practicing a grave moral evil — one that snuffs out an innocent human life, one that denies a fundamental human right — is somehow compatible with the Catholic faith. It is not,” Cordileone says. “Please return home to the fullness of your Catholic faith. We await you with open arms to welcome you back.”
Necessary strong advice, but Biden will need to drop the loads of nonsense he routinely carries around so he could have his arms free for that welcome. Hardly had the West Coast archbishop delivered his lesson than Biden stuck both feet in his own mouth again.
What misplaced joy Biden gave to workers when he goofily announced in early May that under his tax plans, no one earning less than $400,000 — hey, nearly a half-million dollars — “will pay a single penny in taxes.” Of course, he didn’t mean to say that.
On the other hand, the president whom Biden had served as veep, Barack Obama, had assured voters that they could keep their doctors, keep their medical plans, and save lots of money, too, with his Obamacare. Just lie after lie, but if Obama got away with that long enough for Congress to pass it, who knows what whoppers Biden has yet to trot out for his socialist schemes.
On a related front, on May 1 the Washington Examiner posted an article expressing what probably had been on many Americans’ minds. What’s Biden doing with his frequent trips home to Delaware? No visitors’ logs to show who sees him? Including doctors with injections of super-vitamins or something else for the 78-year-old man who more than shows his age?
The Examiner headlined, “Again at home in Delaware, Biden’s weekends are mostly a mystery.” The story said, “The White House has so far released very little information about what he does on Saturdays and Sundays, providing the public with scant details about whom he spends time or speaks to,” and the descriptions are “becoming increasingly vague.”
The story quoted Eric Schultz, a former press spokesman for Obama, about the need for Biden to “recharge” — “None of us want the president running on empty — so the trick for every president is to find ways to clear their minds, release some tension, and stay well.”

A Nauseating Double Standard

The Wanderer asked three of its sources to comment on the Examiner story. One declined to speculate but the other two agreed that Biden frequently ducking out to Delaware raised questions.
Conservative GOP political consultant Constantin Querard said sarcastically on May 3: “It is odd, and to the degree that there is a real mystery about how the president of the United States spends his weekends, the media is likely to get very busy trying to solve the mystery and race to be the first to dig and dig and dig until they find out the answer.
“Unless the president is Joe Biden,” Querard added, “in which case they’ll mostly just ignore the story because they don’t want to do him even accidental harm by covering his health and ability to do the job.”
Mary Ann Kreitzer, a Catholic commentator who runs the Virginia-based Les Femmes — The Truth, blog, told The Wanderer on May 4: “Well, it is certainly strange. We have a serious humanitarian crisis at the border. The virus is still an issue. And Biden is going off many weekends back to his Delaware basement.
“It reminds me of Obama going to bed so he could be fresh as a daisy for a fundraiser during the Benghazi crisis,” Kreitzer said. “The ambassador and some of our courageous soldiers were killed while Obama slept and Hillary twiddled her fingers and refused to send air support.
“Think of all the criticism of Trump if he dared to play a round of golf (Obama was frequently on the golf course, but he got a pass). Think of the criticism of Ted Cruz for leaving Texas during the winter storm,” she said.
“The double standard is nauseating,” Kreitzer said. “Biden’s weekends could lead to some interesting speculations about what’s going on. But he really isn’t in charge anyway, so it doesn’t matter where he is. Meanwhile, they tell us not to travel or associate with our families. Head-shaking hypocrisy!”
The Times of London posted its own suggestion on May 2 of who’s in charge: Biden’s wily chief of staff, Ron Klain.
Would this mean that Biden just nods along while it’s really Klain who’s responsible for massive tax-funded abortion, tax-paid grotesque experimentation on aborted babies, enforcement of sexual disorientation, just for starters? But who gave Klain his job? Biden. Or did Klain just hire himself and inform Biden when the prez awoke from another nap?

Unhinged

Meanwhile, national radio talk host and commentator Dennis Prager offered a theory to his audience about the outbursts of today’s left-wing political extremists and their delusions that go under the names of “global warming,” “anti-racism,” and “police brutality,” unhinged from the facts.
Prager said that when there’s affluence and secularism, boredom results that leaves “gigantic holes” in people who lack belief that they seek to fill with this activism.
He said nothing else elicits anger in the comments section of his Prager U. website like religion.
One might size these protesters up as religious fanatics without religion. As the aphorism says (whose originator is disputed): When men do not believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing. They become capable of believing anything.
A final political thought for this week: Even if Democrats were to expand the Supreme Court to 13 members to give themselves an unfair advantage, what’s to prevent a future Republican Congress and White House from expanding it to, say, 17 members, to regain their edge?
The answer is that no matter how many Republican-appointed members the High Court gets, if they’re led by someone like Chief Justice John Roberts — who lives in the same “My Big Legacy” fantasy world of Biden — they often won’t have the gumption.
If, on the other hand, Clarence Thomas laid down the law as chief justice, there’d probably be little problem for conservatives, no matter how few or many the court’s members.

A Brave Archbishop Issues A Call To Arms

May 8, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on A Brave Archbishop Issues A Call To Arms

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

“A rising group of right-wing U.S. Catholic Bishops is colliding with a very Catholic president who supports abortion rights,” The Washington Post tweeted April 29.
These days the Post assumes that its remaining readers can’t think for themselves. They must be trained, in this case through the lens of the lazy “right-left” trope so dear to Social Justice Warriors.
The Post’s lesson plan continues: “Having a U.S. president who attends Mass week after week and talks about his faith is powerful to millions of American Catholics.”
This mandatory postulation appears in the “news” section, of course. And it is directed not only to Washington’s Blue Bubble, but also to any “rising” bishops who don’t want any bad press. With scant subtlety, the Post warns them that “we represent those ‘powerful millions,’ and you’d better be prepared for a frontal assault if you betray them at your annual meeting in June.”
This is not an idle threat. Jeff Bezos’ Billionaire Blog hates the true faith, and will savage those who defend it. Remember how they welcomed Biden’s inauguration with this treacle?
“Joe Biden’s Catholicism is all about healing. Now, he will lead a suffering America.”
The Post knows that our bishops have been derelict for years – ever since Wilton Gregory, now D.C.’s cardinal archbishop, worked hand in glove with Ted McCarrick to cover up the exploding homosexual abuse-and-coverup scandals in 2002.
Will our shepherds follow orders, shut up, and stick to “Social Justice”?

The “Pre-Eminent Issue” Comes Out Of Hiding

Well, one American prelate has finally had enough. On the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone published his first pastoral letter, Before I Formed You in the Womb I Knew You (full text at inthewomb.org). It addresses the “Human Dignity of the Unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in Public Life,” and gets right to the point: Abortion is a grave evil; cooperating with it is evil too; reject that teaching, or ignore it, and you shouldn’t receive the Eucharist; if you’re in public life, you run the risk of scandal, another objective evil. (The Wanderer will be publishing the full text of Archbishop Cordileone’s pastoral letter in two parts, in our next two issues.)
Upon reading it, one is inclined to suspect that Joe Biden might not be “very Catholic” after all.
“Abortion is the axe laid to the roots of the tree of human rights,” the archbishop writes. “When our culture encourages the violation of life at its youngest and most vulnerable condition, other ethical norms cannot stand for long.”
Carefully and charitably, Cordileone acknowledges that many choose to avoid the issue. But we can’t ignore it, and neither can you, he writes. Abortion is “a genocide against the unborn,” so we’re going to talk about it.
“The topic is swathed in sophistries by [pro-abortion] advocates and discussion about it is forbidden in many venues. It is my conviction that this conspiracy of disinformation and silence is fueled by fear of what it would mean to recognize the reality with which we are dealing. How can we face the enormity of this outrage?”

Here Are The Facts. Now What?

Then comes the action item, which America’s bishops have desperately avoided for years. It is “powerful,” indeed:
“When other avenues are exhausted, the only recourse a pastor has left is the public medicine of temporary exclusion from the Lord’s Table. This is a bitter medicine, but the gravity of the evil of abortion can sometimes warrant it.”
Oh, you don’t have ears to hear? The pastoral helpfully includes a sidebar on “The Medicine of Excommunication.”
And the duties of bishops are not optional either: “I tremble that if I do not forthrightly challenge Catholics under my pastoral care who advocate for abortion, both they and I will have to answer to God for innocent blood.”
We pray that Cordileone’s brother bishops will respond with fortitude and solidarity. But what about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most outspoken public advocate of abortion under the archbishop’s “pastoral care”?
Time will tell.

Will Our Thought Police Soon Be Speaking Chinese?

Facebook’s “independent” Oversight Board has confirmed that Donald Trump’s account, which had over 80 million followers, will be permanently terminated. Twitter, where Trump had 88 million followers, has done the same. Snapchat, Twitch, and YouTube, have also banned the former president.
Of course this censorship is not aimed at Trump; it’s a hate crime aimed at his millions of supporters. In a classic bait-and-switch, Big Tech had convinced Deplorables years ago that we could rely on their promise of a dependable way to stay in touch with one another. Once our habits were ingrained (“It’s so easy! And it’s free!”), Big Tech pulled the plug.
The Stasi, the KGB, and the Red Guards would undoubtedly admire such brazen fraud.
We the People are the real targets of this Classic Cancel Campaign. Pro-life organizations have noticed for some time that their social media communications channels have been constricted, then strangled, by corporate Thought Police. Now it’s almost old news when one after another pro-life, pro-family organization is banned altogether. (Our friends at LifeSiteNews.com reported Tuesday, May 4 that Facebook had “permanently banned [them] from the site.”)
Except that it isn’t news at all, since there are no longer any means to report it. Relying on those popular platforms, we didn’t think we’d have to build bombproof back channels that we could turn to.
New social media services like Gab, Telegram, and Parler struggle to supply new avenues for Deplorable communications, but they’d better hurry. Countless other conservative and pro-life groups are being canceled as well. Major server and storage providers like Amazon are also joining the Blitzkrieg. “Woke” leftist groups are now demanding that MasterCard and Visa join in and refuse to allow Deplorable sites to use them as payment options.
Everybody’s asking: “Where can we find a dependable server? Kartra cut off our conference right in the middle, with 50,000 listeners. Will Zoom be any better?”
As we scramble for new servers, channels, and providers, the constant question is, “How do we get back online?”
But wait — “online” to what?
The Internet, of course.
And what if we lose the Internet?
What if everything we wrote, said, or videoed were subject to Thought Police review before we could even get an Internet signal?
That’s our future, if Communist Chinese Premier Xi Jinping gets his way.

China Joe’s Real Crisis

“Chinese leader Xi Jinping personally directed the communist regime to focus its efforts to control the global internet, displacing the influential role of the United States,” the Epoch Times reported on Monday, May 3. Xi said that the “power to control the internet” had become the “new focal point” of China’s strategic planning, and identified the United States as the “rival force” in the “strategic contest.” Xi’s goal of “using technology to rule the internet” would give China “discourse power” over communications and discussions on the world stage, he said.
But didn’t the United States develop the original Internet? Don’t we control the core operations that guarantee transparency and legitimacy of domain names and IP addresses?
Well, we did — once. However, in 2014, Obama’s Commerce Department began preparations to transfer that control to a “nonprofit organization governed by an international board.” In spite of objections from conservatives led by Ted Cruz (R., Texas), the transfer was finalized in 2016.
CCP Leader Xi has just donned the mantle of “The Great Helmsman,” a sobriquet not proclaimed since Mao himself. Xi’s “Social Credit System” rules every aspect of Chinese life with an iron hand. Evidently, he wants to impose that system worldwide through control of the Internet.
One wonders whether Joe Biden is capable of confronting Xi’s offensive at all. Daily life in America would collapse without a reliable Internet. If Xi’s “strategic contest” turns into all-out cyber warfare, that reliability will undoubtedly be Xi’s primary target in his quest for “discourse power” over worldwide communications.
Is China Joe paying attention?

The Deceptive Lion

May 7, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on The Deceptive Lion

By JOE SIXPACK

There was once a lion that had grown too old to be able to hunt for his food, so he decided instead to acquire his prey by trickery. He would lie in his den and pretend to be very sick. He made certain everyone knew the king of beasts was ill so they would all come and pay him homage. Each animal of nature would come to visit the lion to honor the old king, but the lion took advantage of their trust and naiveté and would devour them.
After many of the animals had disappeared, the sly fox figured out what had happened. He, too, went to visit the lion to pay homage, but remained outside the cave. “How are you?” asked the fox.
“I’m very ill,” replied the lion. “Won’t you please come in and sit with me a while?”
“No, thank you,” said the fox. “A lot of my friends are missing, and I can’t help but notice that there are many footprints entering your cave, but I see none coming out again.”
In 1 Peter 5:8-9, our first Pontiff wrote: “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.”
The lion in our story is like the Devil. Satan is a trickster, and he always has been. Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and he has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan is a deceiver, and his favorite deception is to convince mankind he doesn’t exist — that he is merely a boogeyman, a myth made up to frighten children into behaving themselves. The world no longer believes in Satan, but his evil is evident all around us.
The Devil tempts us with great subtlety. Examples in modern times are found in the legalization of abortion and same-sex unions. Playing on our sympathies, the Devil told us that surely it would be cruel for a woman to have to carry the “product” of rape or incest, or that the life of the mother is certainly more important than a life that hasn’t yet seen the light of day. The play on our sympathies about rape or incest seemed reasonable at first glance, but as Catholics who obey God’s commands we know that compounding one mortal sin with another of taking a human life is wrong and a crime worthy of eternal punishment.
We learned that the threat to the life of a mother who is pregnant is defined as her emotional health, which tells us the Devil tricked us from the beginning. Notice how the Devil leads people to change our language: a woman isn’t carrying a baby in her womb, but rather a product of conception — dehumanizing the preborn child so it becomes easier to abort, like excising a tumor.
The Devil used the homosexual lobby to lie to us. Homosexuals first told us they only wanted to live out who they were free from the fear of being discriminated against. They told us they would never ask for special rights, that they only wanted to feel safe in society. That was a lie. They next began to demand special rights on the basis of how they choose to pervert themselves in their sexual activities, telling us we must accept how they live. Then they demanded the right to be “married,” something that is not possible either theologically or philosophically.
And the Devil uses his deceptions to make us feel like bigots if we oppose the destructive force of homosexuality as something normal. It’s not normal. Sodomy is one of the three mortal sins that cry out to God from the earth for justice, which is why God destroyed two cities for this perversion. They changed the language, just like the abortion lobby. They hijacked the word “gay” to mean homosexual, but that isn’t at all what it means. Until the 1970s, “gay” meant lighthearted, carefree, and happy.
I’ve worked with many homosexual men over the last thirty years, leading some of them to a chaste life as Catholics. I have never met a practicing homosexual who is happy. Many put on a good front of happiness, but it doesn’t take long in listening to them to realize they aren’t at all happy. Indeed, no one living in a state of chronic mortal sin is happy, whether homosexual or heterosexual.
Not only does Satan tempt us as a society, but he very subtly tempts us individually. It’s easy to justify what we want to do so as to avoid what we ought to do. The man who says to himself that he works hard all week, so there is nothing wrong with getting hammered after work on Friday night is justifying doing what he wants, despite the fact that God’s law tells us drunkenness is a sin. The woman who tells herself the summer weather is hot and nobody any longer believes exposing bare flesh is wrong dresses in grave violation of the Sixth Commandment, tempting men by dressing in ways that would have landed them in jail fifty years ago and labeled them as loose women. It doesn’t matter what modern society thinks, but rather only the unchangeable laws of an unchangeable God.
We Catholics have bought into the modern culture’s lies, which are the Devil’s lies. We have accepted the moral errors of situation ethics and the fundamental option.
Situation ethics is an error that contends moral decisions shouldn’t be based on moral laws, but on the specific particular situation in which a person finds himself. Since this situation is unique and unrepeatable, the person’s conscience alone is to determine the right moral decision, apart from any principle or law. The fundamental error of situation ethics is that it is incompatible with the fact that God gave us an objective moral norm to judge what is right and wrong: the Ten Commandments.
The Church has always taught there are some acts which are intrinsically good and some which are intrinsically evil, apart from any circumstances. A good example of situation ethics would be for a newlywed couple who use contraception because they are not yet financially capable of caring for children. Yet contraception is always morally evil, no matter the circumstances.
The “fundamental option” is the theory of those who hold that a person commits mortal sin only when he has the intention of rejecting God. An example of this would be when a couple engages in premarital sex, believing themselves to be expressing love rather than rejecting God. However the Church teaches that when a person knowingly and willfully does anything which is seriously against God’s law, a mortal sin is always committed, no matter the sinner’s intention.
As Catholics, it’s our responsibility to have a positive impact on culture and society, to change it however we can in a way that leads mankind to God. Our individual acts that seem insignificant work in a conglomerate way to change the world. But for us to do that, we must first work to change and improve ourselves. It is our responsibility to form a right conscience in accordance with Christ’s teachings, as passed on to us through His Holy Catholic Church.
We have to stop justifying what we want and begin doing as we ought, and have frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Penance. The counterculture has become the prevailing culture, and it’s our responsibility to become the new counterculture to bring the return of a Christian culture. Our modern culture is the Devil, and we must “resist him, firm in our faith” in order to stop him. It’s time to stop caring about what is politically correct or about what society thinks and care more about what God thinks.
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.
Hey, how would you like to see things like this article every week in your parish bulletin as an insert? You or your pastor can learn more about how to do that by emailing me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

Cardinal Cupich . . . Essentially Turns The Blessed Sacrament Into A Magical Amulet

May 6, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Cardinal Cupich . . . Essentially Turns The Blessed Sacrament Into A Magical Amulet

By JOSEPH SHAW

(Editor’s Note: Dr. Joseph Shaw is the chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales and secretary of Una Voce International. He teaches philosophy in Oxford University and lives nearby with his wife and eight children. This article is reprinted from LifeSiteNews. See related article on page 1A of this week’s issue.)

  • + + (LifeSiteNews) — Following an article in America by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, in which he reiterated the Church’s teaching on the importance of approaching Holy Communion with the right dispositions, Blase Cardinal Cupich of Chicago wrote a curious admonition to Aquila (to which the archbishop then responded):
    “I respectfully note that to claim that we can do anything to diminish the Eucharist, or its effects, is contrary to the church’s longstanding teaching. Catholic sacramental theology is based on the premise that the sacraments are the work of Christ, which is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation at Trent (DS 1608) that the sacraments act ex opere operato, or, as St. Thomas wrote in the Summa, III, 68,8: ‘The sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.’ Owing to the nature of God, Christ and His works can never be diminished by any act on our part.”
    Here, Cupich points out that an unworthy recipient of Holy Communion genuinely receives the Body of Christ, and erroneously infers that he also receives the grace which should accompany Holy Communion. But God does not force His grace on us. As the ancient chant composed by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi expressed it: “Sumunt boni, sumunt mali, sorte tamen inaequali, vitae vel interitus — The good take, the bad take, yet with unequal destiny, of life, or of ruin.”
    It is difficult to believe that Cupich really thinks that communicants receive graces entirely irrespective of the state of their souls and their good dispositions. Such an attitude would be superstitious: It would make the Blessed Sacrament into a magical amulet which saves people without their knowledge or consent.
    Again, take the Sacrament of Matrimony. The efficacy of the sacrament does not depend on the worthiness of the ministers, which in this case are the spouses themselves. If they fulfill the conditions for validity — essentially, they are free to marry and intend to marry before an authorized witness — they will indeed marry, no matter if they are marrying for unworthy motives (money, for example), or are in a state of mortal sin. The couple will be bound to each other by the marriage bond, yes, but that does not mean that they will enjoy the graces which the sacrament offers. They will be joined, as Shakespeare described such a couple, “as winter to rough weather”: indissolubly, but not happily.
    The actions of the sacraments are indeed objective, as the actions of Christ, but if we are to benefit from them we must not create barriers to grace. Babies, of course, do not create such obstacles, but we won’t see the effects of this grace until they have grown up to an age in which they can cooperate with it.
    Baptism does not make it impossible for us to go to Hell: There, indeed, it will be a mark of shame. Reception of any of the sacraments without the right dispositions is a sin against these holy things: It is sacrilege. We do not receive graces through sins, but lose those we had before.
    Something else Cupich’s words obscure is the distinction between God’s intrinsic and extrinsic glory. He wrote that “Christ and his works can never be diminished by any act on our part,” and this is true of the glory intrinsic to Christ. But consider activities which, as we might say, “give glory to God”: teaching children the faith, building a beautiful church, taking part with fervor at a Mass celebrated in a truly worthy way by a holy priest.
    These things do something: They give to God glory which He ought to have, but too rarely receives, on Earth, from us. If those things stop happening, God’s glory is diminished on Earth. It is not diminished in Heaven: The glory which is intrinsic to Him cannot be diminished or augmented by anything we can do. But we can certainly make more, or less, of an effort to give Him the glory which He deserves here. In the words of George Herbert, “In my heart, though not in Heaven, I can raise Thee.”
    By the same token, when the Blessed Sacrament is received unworthily, when the liturgy is celebrated in a slapdash or ugly way, when rioters burn down or desecrate churches, or when priests are so unworthy of their orders that they abuse children, these things make a real difference to God’s extrinsic glory.
    God is not harmed, certainly, but acts of desecration and calculated insult towards God are things to which Catholics must respond, with greater efforts to restore to God some measure of the honor which is His due, from the human race. It is perhaps convenient to think of God as being entirely above the fray, but we are called on to build God’s Kingdom on Earth: to build up His Church, and His reign in the hearts of men. As we know, this is a project which can go backwards as well as forwards, according to the efforts of Catholics, and of the Church’s enemies. They don’t let up. Neither must we.

Eyes On Arizona… Election Audit At “Madhouse” Captures National Attention On Accuracy Of 2020 Results

May 5, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Eyes On Arizona… Election Audit At “Madhouse” Captures National Attention On Accuracy Of 2020 Results

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Like marks on ballots themselves when they’re recounted or audited after an election, the meaning of “the Madhouse on McDowell” could be understood in more than one way.
The big “madhouse” arena at the Arizona State Fairgrounds on West McDowell Road here originally meant a place of crazy excitement when the Phoenix Suns Major League Basketball team made Veterans Memorial Coliseum their home from the late 1960s through the early 1990s.
The Suns were growing Phoenix’s first major-league sports team and gave some rabid fans an object for their affections other than the various well-established, formidable Sun Devils teams at Arizona State University, in suburban Tempe. Major-league football, baseball, and hockey arrived here later.
But a “madhouse” also might indicate a focus of boiling anger, which has turned out to be the way certain mad media view the audit being conducted of the 2.1 million November 2020 ballots in Maricopa County, which has Phoenix as county seat.
Maricopa is by far the most populous of the state’s counties, most of them large in area but rural in population. Although Arizona is the sixth-largest state in square miles, it has only 15 counties.
Media, often having a leftist slant, resolved that Democrat radical Joe Biden’s supposed presidential victory here in 2020 should be left alone rather than be more closely examined in the audit sought by the Grand Canyon State’s Republican-majority Senate.
Like some other battleground states, Arizona’s narrow win for Biden seemed hard to explain unless a person noticed other factors like the powerful McCain political machine, which survived the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, supporting the Democrat nominee. Both widow Cindy McCain and McCain’s former Senate teammate Jeff Flake strongly endorsed Biden.
However, leading backers of the audit said they weren’t seeking to overturn the declared election result, but to lay people’s doubts to rest and to see if technical improvements were needed for future elections.
Perhaps the ballots that Maricopa County’s other voters and I cast have turned out to be the focus of unprecedented national attention for political consequences from the Grand Canyon State.
In an April 26 video, Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward, D.O., said that “the nation’s eyes are focused right here on Arizona,” with the fight continuing not only in court but also the arena of public opinion, with Democrats “and their cronies in media” waging nationwide propaganda to stop the audit.
Raquel Teran, Arizona Democratic Party chairwoman and a state representative, said, in part, “We are calling on Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich to put an end to this madness and protect our election systems from conspiracy theorists.”
Both Ducey and Brnovich are Republicans.
Not so strangely, the executive editor of the liberal-slanted Arizona Republic, the state’s largest news platform, was as strong in his language against the audit as was Democrat Teran.
On April 24 the conservative national Just the News website headlined, “Bias alert: Top Arizona newspaper editor says election audit in hands of ‘conspiracy theorists’.”
The story said executive editor Greg Burton “claims the state’s ongoing election audit in Maricopa County has been ‘bought and sold’ and is in the hands of ‘conspiracy theorists,’ incendiary remarks from a supposedly neutral journalist overseeing coverage of the event. . . .
“‘It’s clear this audit has been bought and sold by hyper partisans intent on sowing doubt,’ Burton said in a Republic report. . . . ‘Senate leaders have throttled legitimate press access and handed Arizona’s votes to conspiracy theorists’,” Just the News quoted Burton.
Burton makes appeals in the declining Republic for more people to subscribe to it, without acknowledging that its slant may be a reason for keeping them away.
Rob Haney, a retired chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, wasn’t optimistic that positive results would come after “huge voter fraud during the election.” Haney told The Wanderer on April 27 that it’s like a politburo rules the nation instead of the people.
A politburo is the executive committee of a nation’s Communist Party.
“I think we’re living under a politburo government, politburo institutions, politburo bureaucracy and business industry…controlled by the leftists of our country and the world,” Haney said. “. . . And nothing is going to change.”
He said maneuverings against the audit are “disinformation or distraction,” following “huge voter fraud during the election….And they’re seizing all the chokepoints that used to be our constitutional republic, and they’re cutting it off. And we, as the underlings, can’t do anything about it.”
In an April 26 video that included GOP chairwoman Ward, Ken Bennett, the liaison for the audit, said that despite claims to the contrary, this is the first “complete forensic audit” of the results.
Previously, Bennett said, there was “kind of like a logic and accuracy test” that only checked on how voting machines were working at one specific point in time, but didn’t see if a thumb drive was plugged in at another point, or the Internet was connected.
Typical of media misinformation, a Wall Street Journal story posted April 27 said in its first sentence that this audit is an “extra review…despite prior audits having confirmed President Biden’s victory in the state.”
Bennett, a Republican, previously was Arizona secretary of state, whose job includes serving as chief election officer and certifying state election results. He said that as soon as Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, asked him to be the liaison to the Senate for the audit, he phoned the state Democratic Party to ask them to name a co-liaison, but he was turned down.
If the Democrats won’t officially participate, “that’s their own choice,” he said. Some Democrats are involved in the audit, Bennett said, but only as individuals.
On this same video, Ward said this isn’t a Republican audit, “it’s an American audit.”
An article by The Epoch Times posted April 28 said: “John Brakey, co-founder of Audit USA and a progressive Democrat, was appointed by Bennett as assistant liaison to try to stem some criticism from the left of the audit. Brakey told reporters that the 2020 election was not audited before.”
President Trump kept an eye on the audit from his side of the nation, viewing it as very important and urging in emails that it continue in the interests of accuracy.
On April 28 Trump emailed: “Over 100 Democrat lawyers were sent to fight against this audit. The results will be very interesting for the U.S.A. and the world to see! Why are the Democrats fighting so hard to hide the facts? I know why, and so does everyone else!”

Continuing In Court

Conservative GOP political consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer on April 27 that he didn’t think Democrats actually wanted to stop the audit because that would make them look bad.
“The audit will likely last longer than 10 days, but that may not matter,” Querard said. “The Senate has jurisdiction and the courts are likely to pay deference to that. For the Democrats, they are more interested in muddying the reputations of those conducting the ballot as a way of eroding confidence in its results.
“I don’t think they actually want to stop it at this point, because then it looks like they have something to hide,” he said.
The audit began April 23 and is expected to conclude by the time the audit’s lease of the coliseum expires on May 14.
Querard said he didn’t think Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin wanted to stop the audit. “I don’t. Most judges prefer the safe route, and he’d likely be overturned on appeal in any case. It is the Senate’s audit to run how they want, and that separation of powers likely wins the day.”
Martin had been appointed to Superior Court by Democrat Gov. Janet Napolitano, an open-borders leftist whom Barack Obama quickly named to be his secretary of Homeland Security when he began his first presidential term in 2009.
As of April 28 Martin declined to put a temporary restraining on the audit. Proceedings were to continue in his court the following day, when this issue of The Wanderer went to press.
An April 28 Associated Press story quoted Bennett: “We are going to be able to tell every Arizonan in a few weeks that they can have complete integrity and trust in their elections, or we have some parts of the election that need to be improved.”
On April 19 the Gateway Pundit website, which closely followed the attempts to have an audit, said it appeared that the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors “accepted almost $3 million in Zuckerbucks in 2020 — grant money dumped from progressive Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan’s foundation — as well as from other Big Tech billionaires and radical philanthropists — into the hands of somebody in Maricopa County through a 501(c)(3) ‘nonpartisan charity,’ the Chicago-based Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL).”
The Republican-majority supervisors fought against turning over the ballots to have the audit, but a Superior Court judge said the State Senate could proceed with it.

A Beacon Of Light… St. Stephen, The First Martyr

May 4, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on A Beacon Of Light… St. Stephen, The First Martyr

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON JR.

(Editor’s Note: Fr. Richard D. Breton Jr. is a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Conn. He received his BA in religious studies and his MA in dogmatic theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

  • + + Continuing our Easter journey, we have found ourselves walking alongside the early Christians in their formation of the Church. Last week we turned our attention to certain figures who played an important role in the development of the Christian faith. St. Peter was the “rock,” the solid foundation on which the new Church would rest. St. Peter became a pivotal collaborator in the Church’s infant years.
    Along with St. Peter, the apostles and many disciples participated in the early days of the Church. As the Church grew it began to receive the recognition of the people. As time went on, the Church began to increase in numbers. Many were drawn to Christianity and began professing the faith of Jesus Christ. This was not without its difficulties. From the many arrests and imprisonments, the Early Church would begin to feel the pangs of persecution.
    None, however, played a more pivotal role in the early persecutions than St. Stephen. Why do I single out St. Stephen? Precisely because he was the first who gave up his life for the emerging Church.
    If we look back at the early moments of the Church, we know that Jesus died around AD 30. It was not too long after that the new Church emerged and began to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, was the birthday of the Church and not long after this, the persecutions began.
    Imagine for a moment, the new Church was running on a high from the Holy Spirit, and suddenly, it endured its first persecution that ended in the death of one of its faithful members.
    The Acts of the Apostles records the horrific death of St. Stephen. “When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’
    “At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:54-58).

A Turning Point

Following the persecution and death of St. Stephen, the Early Church was scattered. The Christians fled Jerusalem and began settling in other parts of the region. This was a turning point for the Church because now she was called to go out and gather those who were scattered and eventually attract others to living the newly founded faith of Jesus Christ.
Today we find ourselves surrounded by persecution every day. Over the last year we have found our faith persecuted by a worldwide pandemic. This kind of persecution has led civil officials to overstep their authority by forcing the closing of our churches, while leaving liquor and package stores open. The last year has opened our eyes to what is really happening in the world. What makes this even more disheartening is that some of our Church hierarchy have succumbed to the pressure of government authorities. We are experiencing a “pandemic of religious persecutions” being thrust upon us by the government.
This “pandemic of religious persecution” has affected living our faith by denying the faithful the essential necessities of the faith, most especially the Eucharist.
The Gospel reading for Friday of the Third Week of Easter, is part of the Bread of Life Discourse. In this Discourse Jesus teaches His disciples, and all of us, that we need the Eucharist in the journey of the faith, but most especially in the persecutions we are facing. In the Gospel reading it says: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him….This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:52-59).
We need the Eucharistic “Bread come down from Heaven” as a means to assist us in all the persecutions being thrown at us. Not only has this “pandemic of religious persecution” included a mysterious virus, but it has also allowed the faithful to lose track of what journey we are on.
We see this in the immense confusion there is regarding the sanctity of human life. This is compounded by, for example, Cardinal Archbishop Wilton Gregory publicly stating on November 24, 2020 that he would have no problem giving Holy Communion to President Biden. It seems that the “pandemic of religious persecution” is even creeping into the Church.

Blessed Carlo Acutis

As Catholic Christians we are on a journey that ultimately leads us to the heavenly Kingdom. This journey requires nourishment along the way. That nourishment is the Eucharist. Recently, the beatification of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a teenager from Milan, was recognized as a special blessing for the Church in our time. Blessed Carlo had a very special relationship with the Eucharist. On October 10, 2020, the day of the beatification, Agostino Cardinal Vallini, the papal representative for the beatification, said:
“Since he was a child…he had his gaze turned to Jesus. Love for the Eucharist was the foundation that kept alive his relationship with God. He often said, ‘The Eucharist is my highway to heaven’.” During the beatification Mass, Acutis’ parents processed behind a relic of their son’s heart, which was placed near the altar.
An apostolic letter from Pope Francis was read aloud in which the Pope declared that Carlo Acutis’ feast will take place each year on October 12, the anniversary of his death in Milan in 2006. Blessed Carlo Acutis is a model for us all to follow. We need to all have a strong relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
For over 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has endured many persecutions. From the early years of the Church’s foundation, from the martyrdom of many of those in apostolic times, to the persecutions of today, we need strength to endure the present and future situations that arise. The martyrs found their strength in the faith they were so fiercely protecting. They loved the faith.
A question that should be asked of today’s Catholics is: Do you love your faith so much that you would give your life? Sadly, I wonder how many would say yes. I have seen an increase in the faithful living more of a worldly life, versus a life focused on the spiritual journey that leads to Heaven.
How do we change this “pandemic of religious persecution”? We do it best by following the example of Blessed Carlo Acutis by maintaining a strong union with the Eucharist. St. Clare used the Eucharist to protect the convent from violence and destruction, and we can use the Eucharist to protect us from the persecutions we endure in the current moments of our lives and to protect us from whatever the future has in store.
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!

Does Harvard (And Academia) Discriminate Against Asians?

May 3, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Does Harvard (And Academia) Discriminate Against Asians?

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

To answer the question above, a lot of Asians not only think so, but also believe that Asians are being discriminated at all levels of education and many put the blame on Critical Race Theory (CRT) and affirmative action, provoking lawsuits against the offending schools. The gist of the litigation is that Harvard, Yale, other colleges, and elite schools have been using illegitimate racial quotas to cap the number of Asians granted entry.
And all of this is leading many to call for an end to affirmative action and Critical Race Theory in academic admissions.
A suit against Harvard, which is now on the Supreme Court pending list, claims the school, by manipulating evaluation criteria for applicants, disfavors Asian students. According to the Harvard suit, back in December of 2012 a report in The New York Times alleged that the school had an Asian student quota. The school responded by asking its Office of Institutional Research (OIR) to investigate. The Internal OIR report found “evidence that Asians are disadvantaged in the admissions process” and placed the blame on Harvard’s use of a personal rating to evaluate a prospective student. It also reported that being an Asian applicant “negatively correlated” with admission.
To place this in perspective, the Harvard admission process uses race at every stage, including recruitment. There, Black and Hispanic high school students with a PSAT score of 1100 and up are invited to apply, but Asian applicants must score 1350 or above, higher than all other racial groups, including whites. There comes a point when those tentatively approved for admission are placed on a “lop list” list to winnow the field.
Those who are placed on that list are then evaluated using four data points: legacy status, recruited athletic status, financial aid eligibility, and race. Race was to be considered by creating a “personal rating” score for each applicant by evaluating them four areas: leadership, self-confidence, likability, and kindness. Black and Hispanic applicants are then awarded racial preferences, but Asian applicants are not. It was in this process that Asians scored the lowest.
In November of 2014, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (SFFA), filed a federal suit in Massachusetts on behalf of its members and Asian students who were denied admission. Students for Fair Admissions, according to its webpage, “is a nonprofit membership group of more than 20,000 students, parents, and others who believe that racial classifications and preferences in college admissions are unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. . . . A student’s race and ethnicity should not be factors that either harm or help that student to gain admission to a competitive university.”
According to the SFFA’s Supreme Court appeal, at the district court, “Harvard’s admissions data revealed astonishing racial disparities in admissions rates among similarly qualified applicants.” Yet in September of 2019 the district court ruled Harvard’s use of race was consistent with applicable Supreme Court precedents, the leading one being a 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the Supreme Court, in a case over racial preferences at the University of Michigan Law School, ruled 5-4 that an admission process that favors “underrepresented minority groups” is constitutional. On appeal the First Circuit affirmed.
The petition for review (writ of certiorari) was filed February 25 and as of this writing 20 amicus briefs have been filed on the issue of certiorari.
In its petition, SFFA asks that the court overturn its ruling Grutter. That holding, “that schools can use race in admissions to pursue student body diversity is plainly wrong,” and “Harvard’s admissions program does not comply with (the) court’s precedents.” At Harvard, the petition states, “race is not ‘plus’ that is always ‘beneficial’; it’s a minus for Asian Americans.”
In arguing that the Grutter decision should be overturned, the certiorari petition argues that it is “grievously wrong” since the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment “contains no exceptions: it protects ‘any person’ from the denials of ‘the equal protection of the laws’” and that “free governments demand the abolition of all distinctions founded on color and race. . . . Grutter’s diversity rationale is not only uncompelling; it flouts basic equal-protection principles.
“If a university wants to admit students with certain experiences (say, overcoming discrimination), then it can evaluate whether individual applicants have that experience. It cannot simply use race as a proxy for certain experiences or views.”
It also argues that Grutter has “spawned significant negative consequences” in that it “sustains admission programs that intentionally discriminate against historically oppressed minorities. Jewish students were the first victims of holistic admissions, and Asian Americans are the main victims today.”
This is not the only suit SFFA has filed. Edward Blum, president of SFFA, said in a press release, “Yale, Harvard, the University of North Carolina, the University of Texas, and many dozens of other highly competitive colleges and universities employ admissions practices that are discriminatory, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Students applying to undergraduate and post-graduate programs should be judged on their individual talents, character, academic skills, extracurricular achievements, and socio-economic background but not the color of their skin.”
Of course, this is not new to the Asian-American community which is facing the bulk of academic discrimination.
In Fairfax County, Va., for example, Asian-American parents are taking action against a local high school. Former Wall Street Journal reporter and parent, Asra Q. Nomani, is part of a movement which is confronting the elite Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology for lowering its rigorist standards for admission to the detriment of Asian students. She writes:
“To understand what’s behind this conflict, look no further than the controversial ideology of critical race theory, which praises or blames members of a particular race solely because they happen to be that race and seeks to interpret all forms of perceived injustice through a racial lens. This ideology has swept through America’s educational system at every level and is erasing our different narratives as Asian-Americans from different backgrounds and — to our shock — marginalizing our children and us.
“The ugly truth about critical race theory is that it inevitably seeks to fight racial hierarchies by instituting new forms of racial hierarchies. And Asian-American parents are increasingly taking notice. . . . County school officials set out to correct the supposedly problematic over-representation of Asian American students at TJ by watering down the strict admission standards.”
And in an echo of the SFFA case against Harvard, she adds, “Although the new process states it will ‘use only race-neutral methods,’ in practice this subjective set of standards allows them to pick and choose the students they prefer to achieve their desired racial balance and keep out too many Asian-American students.”
Similar cases are now proceeding against schools in New York City, Boston, and Washington State. Whether this movement will be able to curb race-based admissions programs is yet to be seen. One of the problems the Asian community faces, according to Nomani, is that as Asians have overcome discrimination and achieved upward mobility, “we are now white by adjacency.” She points to recent Black Lives Matter rioters who assaulted a rally supporting merit-based education.
“Education is the main area where CRT attacked us,” she wrote. “CRT, naturally, demands automatic preferences for blacks in admissions to selective institutions and programs. That is unacceptable to us: Such racial preferences come at the expense of our children, at the expense of academic standards, and at the expense of basic fairness.”
She continued in reference to the Harvard suit: “Despite never having met the applicants, Harvard admissions officers somehow conclude that Asian applicants lack integrity and courage — directly contradicting evaluations from interviewers who met the applicants, and from teachers who’ve known the applicants for months if not years. If smearing Asians this way isn’t hate speech, then what is? Call it diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
If blocking affirmative action in admissions is something in which you are interested, this might be your time. But as I always caution, if you are relying on the legal system, it will take time, and even then, the Supreme Court has not even agreed to review the case, much less overrule the Grutter precedent.
Time will tell.
Update: Just after the above column was submitted, Senate Democrats voted down an amendment from Senate Republicans to a hate crimes bill which would have barred federal funding for any institution of higher education that discriminates against Asian-Americans in recruitment, applicant review, or admissions. The vote was 49 Republicans for and 48 Democrats against. It needed 60 votes to pass.
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to him every Thursday morning at 10 CT on Faith On Trial on IowaCatholicRadio.com).

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