The “Equality Act” Is a SOGI Accommodation Mandate at the Federal Level

Legislation recently (re)introduced in Congress could be the LGBT-left’s most ambitious agenda goal, and it has the support of many major corporations.

The Equality Act is essentially a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) accommodation mandate at the federal level. If implemented, sexual orientation and gender identity would be given special protection status under federal civil rights law. However, the impact would be disastrous for the First Amendment and Religious Liberty.

The Heritage Foundation has outlined seven ways the Equality Act would affect Americans:

  1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.
  2. It would compel speech.
  3. It could shut down charities.
  4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.
  5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.
  6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.
  7. It would enable sexual assault. 

SOGI accommodation mandates at the state and local level have often been labeled “bathroom bills” because they would compel business to allow individuals to use private facilities like bathrooms and changing rooms based on how they identify, not biological sex. While this would present considerable safety concerns as biological men would have unfettered access to women-only spaces, the “bathroom” aspect is just the tip of the iceberg regarding SOGI measures.

Business owners, like Colorado’s Jack Phillips, have suffered persecution for refusing to affirm same-sex marriage with his artistic talents. Ruling in his favor, the Supreme Court found the Colorado Civil Rights Commission used the state’s accommodation law to act with hostility towards Phillips’s religious beliefs.

But, it is not just business owners who would be devastated by Equality Act’s passage. Faith-based adoption agencies would lose their ability to determine where children should be placed, schools would have to allow biological boys to compete on girls’ athletic teams, surgeons would be forced to perform sex-change operations, and parents could be sued by their children for not supporting gender transition.

Yet, big business, at the behest of the liberal activists at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), has openly endorsed the Equality Act. The Business Coalition for the Equality Act is a collection of major corporations that support this legislation’s attempt to promote the LGBT agenda while undermining protections for religious liberty and the freedom of conscience.

Members of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act

Abercrombie & Fitch
Accenture
Adobe
Advanced Micro Devices
Airbnb
Alcoa
Amazon
American Airlines
American Eagle
American Express
Apple
Arconic
Automatic Data Processing
Bank of America
Best Buy
Biogen
Boehringer Ingelheim
Booz Allen Hamilton
Broadridge Financial Solutions
Brown-Forman
CA Technologies
Caesars Entertainment
Capital One
Cardinal Health
Cargill
Chevron
Choice Hotels
Cisco Systems
Coca-Cola
Corning
CVS
Darden
Delhaize
Diageo
Dow Chemical
Dropbox
EMC
Facebook
Gap
GE
General Mills
Google Inc.
Hershey
Hewlett-Packard
Hilton Worldwide
HSN Inc.
Hyatt Hotels Corp.
IBM Corp.
Intel Corp.
InterContinental Hotels Group
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase
Kaiser Permanente
Kellogg Co.
Kenneth Cole Productions
Levi Strauss & Co.
Marriott International Inc.
MasterCard Inc.
McGraw Hill Financial
Microsoft Corp.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Monsanto Co.
Moody’s Corp.
Nike Inc.
Northrop Grumman Corp.
Office Depot Inc.
Oracle Corp.
Orbitz Worldwide Inc.
PepsiCo Inc.
Procter & Gamble Co.
Pure Storage Inc.
Qualcomm Inc.
Replacements Ltd.
Salesforce
SAP America Inc.
Sodexo Inc.
Symantec Corp.
T-Mobile USA Inc.
Target Corp.
Tech Data Corp.
TIAA
Twitter Inc.
Uber Technologies Inc.
Unilever
WeddingWire Inc.
The WhiteWave Foods Co.
Williams-Sonoma
Xerox Corp.


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RELATED ARTICLE: HRC to Host Debate, Demand Dem Adherence to LGBT Policy Agenda

EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission.

What’s This Mantra Against “Thoughts and Prayers”?

Lately, wishing someone your “thoughts and prayers” has become supposedly meaningless—as if it is a substitute for actually doing something positive.

After last week’s horrific shooting in a mosque in New Zealand, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) sent out a tweet: “At 1st I thought of saying, ‘Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore.’ But I couldn’t say ‘imagine.’ Because of Charleston. Pittsburgh. Sutherland Springs. What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?”

The condemnation of “thoughts and prayers” is not unique to AOC.

  • Some of the Parkland school victims were also down on “thoughts and prayers”—if viewed as a substitute for action (which usually translates to strict gun control laws in an effort to turn the rest of the world into Chicago).
  • Christian actor Chris Pratt was attacked by the politically correct crowd for asking for prayers  for the health of a movie director who suffered a heart attack.
  • After living through a shooting in a newspaper in the greater Washington, D.C. area and hearing that the president and first lady said their “thoughts and prayers” were with the victims, one survivor used the f-word to say she resented such prayers if not accompanied by action.

It reminds me of what Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals and one of the key intellectual mentors of President Obama and Hillary Clinton, once said this about prayer: “[When someone] doesn’t do a d— thing but pray for mankind…when that person comes up for judgment…the judge is gonna’ sit there and say…‘You cruddy b—–d’.”

Of course, this is a straw man argument. Studies have shown that religious conservatives are actually also the first to act—doing the most charitable giving in America—and far more than secular liberals.

But beyond that, who would ever have thought that prayer—communicating with our Creator—would be so the object of such crude vitriol? And apart from the expletives, is there a valid point in the criticism? Are thoughts and prayers per se just meaningless? Especially prayers? If they mean by it that prayer is no substitute for action—as if it’s an either/or—then I understand. But why is it viewed as an either/or?

Prayer is deep in the American tradition—even praying as a nation.

During the trying days of the American War for Independence, the Continental Congress set aside several days of fasting and prayer, such as May 17, 1776—which was a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer. On that day, the Congress prayed, “that we may with united hearts confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life appease God’s righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ obtain His pardon and forgiveness.” And they felt God answered those prayers.

Abraham Lincoln said of prayer: “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”

Ben Franklin asked for prayer at the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787, and the founders adopted a variation of his request by meeting together for prayer at a local church service.

Said Franklin, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

Are prayers a substitute for action? I think prayers are very important—and can make a huge difference. The Bible, such as the Gospels, is filled with all kinds of amazing things that happened in answer to prayer.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This may be a cliché, but this motto applies here: “Pray like it all depends on God and act like it all depends on you.”

In a prayer breakfast in Dallas on August 23, 1984, Ronald Reagan remarked, “Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”

As a believer in the power of prayer, I do not understand this modern mantra against “thoughts and prayers.” Those who protest prayer seem to be shaking their fists at God Himself. The Bible reminds us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

The Democrats Missed Their Moment – What Now?

Democratic leaders have been cynical and slow in addressing Jew-hatred within their party, perhaps because they believe most Jews will remain Democrats regardless of how the party treats them or regards Israel.


Despite indignant denials, the Democratic Party has enabled anti-Semitism as progressives have embraced ancient stereotypes and asserted them against Israel.  Haters who push claims of undue Jewish influence, divided loyalties, and even blood libel are accepted under the mantle of inclusiveness, and partisan apologists sanitize bigotry by calling it political speech, mendaciously distinguishing contempt for Israel from hatred of Jews, and tolerating slanders against the Jewish State.

When challenged for permitting such conduct, they invoke free speech to defend those who make ridiculous accusations – e.g., that Israel engages in ethnic cleansing, controls international finance, or practices apartheid. But after the election of a few high-profile extremists last November, some Democrats finally began to admit they had a problem, although they failed to seize the moment, acknowledge responsibility, and pledge genuine change.

Not all Democrats can agree on whether a problem even exists; and those who do are divided over whether to punish the offenders or issue denunciations that specifically mention anti-Semitism.  The glaring hypocrisy is that Democrats would not tolerate such moral ambiguity from across the aisle. If Congressional Republicans were to repeatedly malign African Americans, gay people, or women, Democrats would demand that the offenders be publicly chastised as racists, homophobes, and sexists; and they would be outraged at any attempt to dilute the message to appease party extremists.

When it comes to anti-Semitism, however, too many Democrats seem to be ethically challenged and morally blind.

Their inability to condemn anti-Semitism without qualification should not be surprising, given their failure to confront the tide of Jew-hatred that surged during the Obama administration.  Or their tendency to deflect by blaming Republicans for intolerance that today comes predominantly from the left. The inconvenient truth is that the skyrocketing rate of bias incidents against Jews is not primarily the fault of conservatives or the political right, but increasingly of progressives and their constituencies.

The conduct of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D. Minn.) highlights the ethical ambivalence of her party.  Representative Omar has repeatedly insulted Israel and her supporters using traditional anti-Semitic tropes and stereotypes.  For example, she accused the Jewish lobbying organization AIPAC of using money to influence American Mideast policy, thus evoking the classical myth of disproportionate Jewish wealth and influence.  And during the 2012 Gaza War instigated by Hamas, she tweeted that Israel had “hypnotized” the world, implicitly raising the timeworn slander of Jewish mind control (which was often associated with the blood libel).  Despite issuing an empty apology at the insistence of others, she has continued to assert ugly stereotypes against the Jewish State with the apparent encouragement of party progressives.

The Democratic response to Omar’s outrageous words was a proposed resolution to condemn anti-Semitism.  Though there should be no dissension within a party that claims to stand against all forms of prejudice, the resolution could not be approved until its focus on anti-Semitism was watered down, allusions to Omar and her remarks were deleted, and references to racism, white supremacism, and Islamophobia were added to render any condemnation of Jew-hatred contextual.  Clearly, the party could not make anti-Semitism the focal point without enraging progressive members who have antipathy for Jews and Israel. As insulting as this moral cowardice was, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it worse by denying that Omar’s comments were biased, stating: “I don’t think our colleague is anti-Semitic. I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn’t understand that some of them are fraught with meaning, that she didn’t realize.”

Would Speaker Pelosi have been so charitable if a white supremacist had used traditional racial slurs to refer to any African nation?  Would she have absolved an unrepentant sexist for using his legislative platform to slander the character, talents, and abilities of women?  Would she have excused a right-to-life advocate for disagreeing with liberal abortion policy? The answer is certainly “no” on all counts.

Although a number of Republicans voted against the Democrats’ final resolution, they did so primarily because it eliminated the singular focus on anti-Semitism and failed to mention Omar by name.  They refused to endorse a resolution that was rewritten to avoid offending those who deny Israel’s right to exist or defend anti-Jewish stereotypes as political speech. In addition, Republicans were incensed that Rep. Omar was allowed to retain her seat on the influential Foreign Affairs Committee – unlike Rep. Steven King (R. Iowa), who was stripped of his Committee assignments for comments deemed racist by fellow Republicans.

Progressives often engage in historical revisionism to suit their political needs and seem to believe it is better to be morally correct (assuming one agrees with their morals) than factually accurate.  However, past history should bear on current events; and the conservative record of acknowledging anti-Semitism and seeking corrective change should inform the Democrats’ present situation.

Twenty-six years ago, the late William F. Buckley purged the “National Review” of contributors whose criticisms of Israel he came to believe were motivated by anti-Semitism.  He then wrote a magazine-length piece (republished in book form) entitled, “In Search of Anti-Semitism,” which represented a significant moment in political self-analysis and accountability.  Buckley did not deny the history of anti-Semitic bigotry, nor did he blame Jews for their troubles or offer revisionist justifications.  Rather, he recognized the existence and political impact of anti-Jewish prejudice and the role of partisan ideologues and intellectuals in shaping public thought and opinion.

Through this literary endeavor, Buckley provided a forum for discussion and analysis that made anti-Semitism a relevant and important subject for non-Jews.

Thereafter, conservatives became more sensitized to an issue that many had never before cared about, and the legacy is a Republican Party today whose support for Israel puts Democrats to shame and which is generally more vigilant against anti-Semitism and supportive of Jewish historical rights and values.  It is noteworthy that Republicans do not condition their Israel policy on Jewish support for their party, inasmuch as most Jewish voters have remained registered Democrats. In contrast, Democratic leaders have been cynical and slow in addressing Jew-hatred within their party, perhaps because they believe most Jews will remain Democrats regardless of how the party treats them or regards Israel.

Whatever the reason, liberals and Democrats have yet to engage in the kind of soul searching that conservatives did in the 1990s.  Rather, they continue to excuse progressive anti-Semitism as political speech and protect its purveyors – especially those legitimized beyond reproach through identity politics.  Whereas apologists try to attribute Democratic anti-Semitism to the “hard left,” it has clearly infected the party’s mainstream. This is illustrated by rank-and-file Democratic support for the BDS movement, rejection of Jewish historical rights, embrace of anti-Zionism, and refusal to ostracize compatriots whose venom clearly sounds in traditional anti-Semitism.

Though most Democrats believe liberalism is inherently more tolerant of Jews and Judaism than conservatism, such presumptions are nonsense.  Liberal tradition is fraught with anti-Semitic excess – starting with Voltaire himself, running through the European progressive, socialist and communist movements, and festering in a modern left-wing that rationalizes Islamism, justifies terrorism, and opposes the existence of a Jewish State.  It was no coincidence that Theodor Herzl’s quest for Jewish national revival began in response to the anti-Semitism that permeated liberal France at the time of the Dreyfus affair. The very hatred that Herzl encountered in nineteenth century Europe is currently playing out in twenty-first century America.

The Democrats had their moment to acknowledge and renounce anti-Semitism in their midst but failed to rise to the occasion.  They instead bowed to extremist pressure and let the opportunity slip by. But if there are truly any moderates left in the Democratic party – and if they wish to reclaim the classical values of free speech and equal treatment for all – they would do well to emulate the vision displayed years ago by conservatives who recognized anti-Semitism as a political and moral dilemma and dealt with it through honest discourse and intellectual analysis.  So far, they haven’t come close.

EDITORS NOTE: This Israel National News column is republished with permission.

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘The Kid’ is about confession and trusting the good guy with a gun

Lionsgate Movies released the film “The Kid.” According to the Lionsgate Movies YouTube channel:

In this thrilling Western, a young boy, Rio (Jake Schur), is forced to go on the run across the American Southwest in a desperate attempt to save his sister (Leila George) from his villainous uncle (Chris Pratt). Along the way, he encounters Sheriff Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke), on the hunt for the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid (Dane DeHaan). Rio finds himself increasingly entwined in the lives of these two legendary figures as the cat and mouse game of Billy the Kid’s final year of life plays out. Ultimately Rio is forced to choose which type of man he is going to become, the outlaw or the man of valor, and will use this self-realization in a final act to save his family.

If you are looking for a historically accurate film about Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett you will be disappointed. However, if you are looking for a positive moral messages this film is filled with them.

Watch the trailer:

The kid in this film is Rio. It is Rio who kills his abusive father and escapes his abusive uncle in order to go on a quest to save his sister. This is a western to be sure. It is in the older style of the good guy with a gun versus the bad guys with guns. There are no special effects in this film. It is gritty down to earth good guy versus bad guy film making with a twist. The plot twist is about sin, confession and redemption.

But more importantly is is about confessing ones sins, redemption and in the end an armed good kid killing bad guys with a gun. While the film tries to be politically correct, at times portraying some of the marshals as cruel, it gets past this with a morally redeeming message.

Three times Marshal Pat Garrett asks Rio to confess, three times Rio refuses. This reminded me of the three times Saint Peter disowned Jesus in Matthew 26:34-35:

34“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” 

In the end Rio confesses to Marshal Pat Garrett that he killed his abusive father. Garrett joins Rio in his quest. This confession leads to the freeing of his sister and a new beginning to both of their lives.

Our hope, at the end of the film, is that Rio, like Saint Peter, leads of life filled with valor, love and redemption. But more importantly that Rio and his sister go on to live a lives of repentance for one’s past sins. Prophetic indeed.

The Sinister Side of the Gender War

“But it’s just a phase!” How many parents have made that same desperate plea to a teacher, a counselor, or doctor? Deep down, they know their children weren’t born in the wrong body. They know the confusion about their teenager’s identity is coming from somewhere else — a struggle that doesn’t have to be permanent. But in a culture that’s determined to indulge these fantasy, at any cost, who will believe them?

The stories from parents are real-life nightmares. On a panel about gender ideology at the Heritage Foundation, attorneys shared one heart-wrenching testimony after another. Jennifer Chavez, a liberal with liberal clients, explained that she may disagree with conservatives on abortion or taxes, but the transgender movement is a place where every Americans can come together. Why? Because this ideology is no respecter of persons. It will haunt families — and rob futures — on both sides.

Chavez told the story of a 13-year-old girl, who came home and told her parents she was “transgender” after watching a presentation about it at school. “Without evaluation or therapy, the mother was told by a ‘gender therapist’ to buy her child a breast binder and put her on puberty-blocking drugs. If she didn’t comply, she was told, her child would face a high risk of suicide. She only realized later how inaccurate and baseless this clinical advice had been.” Furious, the liberal mom wrote, “Why are physicians medicalizing children in the name of an unproven, malleable gender identity? Why are lawmakers enshrining gender identity into state and federal laws?”

National Review’s Madeleine Kearns horrified people with the testimony of a family, whose 14-year-old girl accused her parents of “child abuse” because they wouldn’t use her male name. “Without my knowledge, a pediatric endocrinologist taught my daughter, a minor, to inject herself with testosterone. She then ran away to Oregon where state law at the age of 17 allowed her… to undergo a double mastectomy and radical hysterectomy… The level of outrage and rage I’m experiencing as a mother is indescribable. Why does Oregon law allow children to make life-altering medical decisions? …Why are doctors who took an oath to first do no harm allowed to sterilize and surgically mutilate mentally ill, delusional children?”

Why? Because America is being hijacked by an aggressive, take-no-prisoners LGBT agenda that doesn’t care about your rights as parents — or your children’s wellbeing. If they did, they’d know that “98 percent of gender-confused boys and 88 percent of gender-confused girls accept their biological sex after puberty.” Suggesting that these kids are anything other than their biological gender, the American College of Pediatricians argues, is “child abuse” that will scar them for life.

Fortunately, a brave group of young adults is coming forward to make that case themselves. As teenagers, they identified as transgender. Now, they want the world to know what a mistake that was. The founders of the Pique Resilience Project talk about their journeys in an interview with NRO, each drawing the same conclusion: transgenderism is a false and dangerous ideology.

“Helena had a history of not fitting in and feeling uncomfortable with her body. She had been badly bullied and was feeling very low when she turned to transgenderism. She took high doses of testosterone, which has altered her voice. At the age of 18, she wasn’t thinking about her long-term future. She wasn’t thinking about the serious risks and possible infertility. Now, she has some advice for other young people who think they might be transgender:

‘Step back from the activism, the ideology, the community — think about the reasons why you might feel this way about your body. Because there’s just a lot of people with just glaringly obvious reasons why they don’t like their body…'”

Read Helena’s story and powerful testimonies at National Review. Then, make sure you download FRC’s “A Parent’s Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission.

Muslims Are Safer In The United States Than In Muslim Countries

The brutal, hate-filled slaughter of 50 Muslims in mosques in New Zealand garnered worldwide news coverage for days as the outrage was real and visceral. But the reaction belies a broader issue that is generally buried for ill-fitting the narrative: Muslims are not only extraordinarily safe in the United States, they are thriving.

First, it’s worth noting what some conservative sites have pointed out: While the world was rightly indignant over the New Zealand killings, the world and media seemed largely indifferent to the slaughter of three times that many Christians in one Africa country in a three-week period, or the 23 Christians killed by the Fulani, or the ongoing killing of Christians for being Christians around the globe — particularly by extremist Muslims. Here is an extensive example of that from The New American.

That is all true. Christianity is the most persecuted religion worldwide. Pretty much all agencies agree on that. There just isn’t much outrage as it is largely Islamist extremists doing the killing. Islamists kill even more fellow Muslims.

But there is another element to the difference in the coverage in New Zealand and in Africa, and some ears will not want to hear this: Killing people, particularly over religion or ideology, is wildly unacceptable in Christian and post-Christian countries in the West. It is far more accepted as just part of life in many other cultures, particularly Islamic countries. A lot of violent death can and does create a hardened acceptance.

Dutiful disclaimer: Islamists slaughtering the “wrong” kind of Muslims, along with any Christians and non-Muslims readily available to be killed, are not the majority of Muslims. In the West and particularly in the United States, violent Muslim extremists are a very, very small minority — perhaps the lowest in the world. But in some countries, from the Palestinian territories stretching through Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and back to Egypt and Libya, extremists and Islamists are very sizable minorities by their own self-professed opinions.

So in those countries where attacks against civilians are accepted by between 8 percent and 20 percent of the population (and between 90 percent and 100 percent of the population is Muslim) the violence is more common and more accepted, if not actually desired.

That is not the case in the United States or New Zealand or other western Christian or post-Christian countries. And it is far more rare. Despite all the blather about the rise of Islamophobia in the United States, more mass attacks are carried out by Islamists in the name of Islam than against Muslims. Far more.

Further, the United States is one of the safest countries, perhaps the absolute safest country, in the world to be Muslim and practice Islam.

In a report that came out last September by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change tracking the roots, spread and effects of violent Islamist extremism, researchers found that 121 terrorist groups sharing portions of an ideological form of Islam are now operating around the globe. Their deadly actions in 2017 alone resulted in the deaths of 84,000 people — about 22,000 of them civilians — in 66 countries.

Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in September that Islamist extremism is “global and growing,” adding that it “didn’t begin with al Qaeda; nor will it end with the defeat of ISIS.”

The “Global Extremist Monitor,” which was produced by Blair’s non-profit, used hundreds of news sources that reported on incidents of violent extremism in 2017. According to a CBS News report from the time:

“There were a total of 7,841 attacks – an average of 21 per day –in 48 countries, it said, with war-torn Syria topping the list of countries most affected by violent extremism. Overall, Muslims were the most frequent victims of deadly attacks. Twenty-nine violent Islamist groups were actively engaged in conflict in Syria in 2017, the report said, with ISIS responsible for 44 percent of all attacks. Half of all civilian fatalities recorded globally were documented in Syria.”

In a National Geographic article by a Muslim who is an NPR correspondent covering race and diversity (politics are more than obvious) we see that despite the best attempts to paint America as bigoted, Muslims that are not activists largely don’t think it is a big problem. The article, “How Muslims, Often Misunderstood, Are Thriving in America,” talked to a lot of Muslims around the country. Here is a tidbit:

“That’s what Musa loves about being Muslim in America: The rights of expression and worship are protected. Here, he says, he can choose to be the kind of person, the kind of American, the kind of Muslim he wants to be. He points to his shelves at his rustic home on a sheep farm. They’re filled with books written by Shiite and Sunni scholars, reflecting the many schools of thought under those two main Islamic sects. “This is the place to be a Muslim, scholarship without intervention,” he says. “In Malaysia I could go to jail because I have Shiite literature in my house, and in Malaysia that’s the equivalent of being a commie in America.””

So despite the hand-wringing by the media, Democrats and some Muslim activists, such as CAIR, the U.S. is not only one of the safest countries in the world to be a Muslim, but Muslims may also thrive here more than any other place when including overall freedoms and economic opportunities — all of which probably explains why the percentage of Islamists among American Muslims is so low.

EDITORS NOTE: This Revolutionary Act column is republished with permission.

VIDEO: Panel on “Why Anti-Zionism is a Form of Anti-Semitism and a Threat to National Security”

The Center for Security Policy hosted a panel at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) titled “Why Anti-Zionism is a Form of Anti-Semitism and a Threat to National Security.”

Speakers included Center President Fred Fleitz, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz of the National Council of Young Israel, Dan Pollak of the Zionist Organization of America and investigative journalist and author James Simpson.

During his opening remarks Fleitz noted that, “There is an effort right now to dress up supposed criticisms of the Israeli government and Prime Minister Netanyahu as just criticisms of their policies, that there’s nothing against the state of Israel. This is not right. This is repackaged anti-Semitism. It is repackaged Israel hatred to delegitimize the state of Israel and the state of Israel’s very right to exist.”

He said that, “The point that I want this panel to make is that anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel is soaring on the left and this is a real danger for this country.”

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) noted that the U.S. reaps tangible benefits from its relationship with Israel. Citing an example from his own experience, he said that when he served as an Apache helicopter pilot he utilized Israeli-developed technology.

The Pennsylvania Congressman said that “there’s one democratic nation in the Middle East that believes in Western values, and it’s Israel.” He described the Jewish State as a “little oasis of freedom” in the region.

During his remarks, Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz stated:

From my perspective the greatest existential threat to the Jewish people in this country is the liberal progressive Jewish community. I think that what they’ve done is that they’ve replaced Judaism with liberal progressivism. It’s become practically speaking a religion for them,” he explained, saying that “in order to push forward their liberal progressive agenda, they are willing to throw Israel under the bus.

Watch a recording of the event below:

VIDEO: West Virginia AG Sues Disgraced Bishop, Diocese Over Sex Abuse Cover-up

Suit alleges Bp. Michael Bransfield knowingly employed ‘credibly accused pedophiles’


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (ChurchMilitant.com) – In an unprecedented legal move, the state of West Virginia has filed suit against Catholic authorities over sex abuse cover-up.

On Tuesday, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a civil action against the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its disgraced former bishop, Michael J. Bransfield, for allegedly “deceiving consumers and claiming their schools were safe when they were employing credibly accused pedophiles.”

Diocesan officials are accused of violating West Virginia consumer protection laws by marketing Catholic schools as safe for children even as they “chose to cover up and conceal arguably criminal behavior of child sexual abuse.”

The announcement follows six months of investigation into whether “Catholic priests who were active or had been employed in West Virginia had been accused of sexually abusing children.”

Morrisey launched the inquiry in September after the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed that 301 priests — including one who had worked in Wheeling-Charleston — were responsible for abusing more than 1,000 children across the Keystone State.

The suit notes that “although the state has not fully completed its investigation” — which it blamed in part on “the lack of cooperation from the Diocese” — justice officials have learned that Wheeling-Charleston “has engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices by failing to disclose to consumers of its educational and recreational services that it employed priests and laity who have sexually abused children, including an admitted abuser who the Diocese nevertheless allowed to work in a Catholic elementary school.”

According to the lawsuit, Wheeling-Charleston officials “knew of sexual abuse complaints against priests of the Diocese, but, did not disclose the conduct to criminal law authorities or to parents paying for educational or recreational services.”

The complaint alleges, for example, that after confessing to homosexually abusing a student at St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary High School in Vienna, Fr. Patrick Condron was sent away for “evaluation and treatment” at two different facilities. After these stints away, without notifying parents, the diocese reassigned Fr. Condron to Wheeling Catholic Elementary School, where he worked from 1998 to 2001.

“Parents who pay and entrust the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese and its schools to educate and care for their children deserve full transparency,” Morrisey said Tuesday. “Our investigation reveals a serious need for the diocese to enact policy changes that will better protect children, just as this lawsuit demonstrates our resolve to pursue every avenue to effectuate change as no one is above the law.”

Observers are suggesting West Virginia’s action could set a new precedent for combating clerical sex abuse.

“This is the most that we’ve seen so far in terms of prosecution, in terms of someone in the higher levels of the hierarchy,” said Marci Hamilton of CHILD USA. “This is the first time we’ve seen a comprehensive claim against a whole diocese and a bishop.”

Tuesday’s announcement is the latest in a barrage of bad news for Bp. Bransfield, who in September resigned in disgrace amid credible allegations he sexually harassed adult males.

After investigating the accusations, last week, Baltimore Abp. William Lori, apostolic administrator of Wheeling-Charleston, declared that Bransfield can no longer exercise his priestly function.

Bransfield is also being scrutinized over his close association with serial sexual predator Theodore McCarrick. The former West Virginia bishop was consecrated by McCarrick in 2005 and later served as president of the board of trustees for the Papal Foundation, a multi-million-dollar enterprise co-founded by McCarrick and wracked by scandal over its questionable grant making practices.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant column with video is republished with permission.

Guess Which Abrahamic Religion Shut Down Public School ‘LGBT Rights’ Classes in England?

QUESTIONS:

  1. Who are the victims in this case, those who are gay or those who follow the teachings of Mohammed?
  2. Which is worse Islamophobia or Homophobia?

It appears that in “tolerant” England there is a serious clash of cultures arising. Multicultural Great Britain created and funded the No Outsiders Project. According to the UK’s Economic and Research Council:

This [No Outsiders project] is a 28-month project (September 2006 to December 2008), supporting primary teachers in developing strategies to address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in their own schools and classrooms.

The goals of the No Outsiders project are:

  • To add to the understanding of the operation of heteronormativity (the assumption that heterosexuality is normal, so anything else is abnormal) in school contexts.
  • To create a community of practice within which teachers can develop effective approaches to addressing sexualities equality within the broader context of inclusive education.

The No Outsiders “inclusion” classes are now being taught throughout Great Britain.

Merriam-Webster defines heteronormativity as, “of, relating to, or based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality.”

Islamophobia versus Homophobia

The three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) all believe sodomy is a sin. Ash-Shura 25:165-166 states:

Do you approach males among the worlds (165). And leave what your Lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people transgressing.”(166)

Quran 4:16 reads, “And the two who commit it [sodomy] among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful.”

Who will win this argument in the end? The followers of Mohammed or those UK teachers of No Outsiders “inclusion”?

Intersectionality at a Crossroads

Intersectionality always hits a road block when two self-identified “oppressed minority groups” get into who’s the greater victim fight. So it is with the Muslim ummah and the LGBT community in Great Britain. In a BBC column titled “LGBT lessons row: More Birmingham schools stop classes

Four more schools in Birmingham have stopped teaching about LGBT rights following complaints by parents.

Leigh Trust said it was suspending the No Outsiders programme until an agreement with parents was reached.

Earlier this month the city’s Parkfield Community School suspended the lessons after protests were held.

Campaigner Amir Ahmed said some Muslims felt “victimised” but an LGBT group leader said No Outsiders helped pupils understand it is OK to be different.

Watch this YouTube video “Muslim Parents Livid over LGBT Sex Education Lessons at their Children’s School“:

As parents begin to understand that their children are being indoctrinated on values that they find abhorrent we will see more of these kinds of programs dismantled. Religious beliefs trump sin every time.

RELATED ARTICLE: Transgender Professor Unhappy Some Believe Biological Males shouldn’t be Allowed to Compete in Women’s Sports

Questions on Two Abuse Cases – and a Good Development

Fr. Gerald E. Murray: With more work needed, accountability and transparency about sexual offenses by bishops seem to be the new order of the day.


The Archdiocese of Baltimore recently announced the finding of credible accusations of sexual abuse of adults committed by two bishops: Michael Bransfield, former bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, WV; and Gordon D. Bennett, retired bishop of Mandeville, Jamaica (and earlier, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore).

Bransfield was investigated regarding “multiple allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties.” The final determination of guilt or innocence lies with the Holy See. Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, who was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of Wheeling-Charleston by Pope Francis when Bransfield retired last September, stipulated: “Bishop Bransfield is not authorized to exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry either within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston or within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.” (Pope Francis had asked Lori to investigate when he accepted Bransfield’s request for retirement at age 75.)

What first strikes me here is Lori’s provision that Bransfield may not exercise episcopal or priestly ministry in the Baltimore or Wheeling-Charleston. I can only guess that this provision was imposed or consented to, in some way, by the Holy See.

Lori does not have authority in canon law to prohibit a fellow bishop, who is not subject to a canonical penalty or to restrictive disciplinary provisions publicly imposed by the Holy See, from exercising his priestly and episcopal ministry.

The Holy See and the Baltimore Archdiocese should clarify this. I am not opposed to restrictions being placed on Bransfield. But Archbishop Lori’s authority does not extend that far. Only the pope can place such restrictions on a bishop.

Lori could have prohibited Catholic institutions in his two dioceses from inviting Bransfield to exercise any public functions. But he does not have the authority, for instance, to prohibit, in a universal way, Bransfield from hearing confessions or anointing the sick in Wheeling if such priestly ministrations are requested.

The announcement also revealed that “[a]s part of recently announced protocols governing the conduct of bishops in the Archdiocese, Archbishop Lori determined that similar restrictions were warranted in the case of former Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, Gordon Bennett, S.J. . . .In May 2006, the Archdiocese learned of an allegation of sexual harassment of a young adult by Bishop Bennett. . . .the Archdiocese immediately reported it to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. . . .As a result of these restrictions, which the Holy See recently gave permission to the Archbishop to announce, Bishop Bennett is prohibited from exercising any priestly or episcopal ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.”

In this case, the Holy See has imposed these restrictions on the bishop and allowed Lori to announce it publicly. But questions remain about what happened back in 2006, and why we are only learning about this now.

An AP story posted at the America magazine website comments: “Bennett was cleared of the sexual harassment allegation in 2009 and reinstated to limited episcopal ministry subject to oversight, the Jesuits’ USA West province said in a statement Monday. But amid ongoing questions about how misconduct allegations were handled in the past, Bennett’s case was re-examined last year and the Congregation for Bishops in Rome recently determined he shouldn’t exercise episcopal ministry, the province said. The future of his priestly ministry is up to his Jesuit superiors.”

So Bennett was cleared in 2009, but nevertheless was at the same time put under some form of restriction and supervision. Why was he subject to this provision if he was found not to be guilty? And then last year his case was re-examined and he was found to be unsuitable for the exercise of episcopal ministry, presumably because he was now found guilty of the serious canonical offense of sexual harassment of a young adult.

Yet, his further exercise of priestly ministry, as opposed to strictly episcopal ministry, is an open question to be decided upon by “his Jesuit superiors”? This is puzzling for two reasons.

First, Gordon Bennett is a bishop, thus he is not under the authority of the Jesuit superiors of the province to which he formerly belonged. He is under the authority of the Holy See alone. If he has, in fact, been deprived of the exercise of his episcopate, then the Holy See should state that and indicate that he has been placed under the authority of the Jesuits.

Second, why would he even be considered eligible for the further exercise of priestly ministry if his past actions have led the Holy See to prohibit him from exercising his role as bishop? Why would the Holy See make this split decision? A clarification is very much needed.

This double announcement marks an important step in the ongoing abuse crisis, even given the canonical questions that remain. A bishop (Bransfield) was subject to a thorough investigation by lay experts assisting the archbishop (Lori) who had been asked by the Holy See to look into serious allegations of sexual harassment of adults.

The Holy See is clearly responding to the widespread dissatisfaction with the way similar charges were dealt with in the past, as was the case of a bishop (Bennett) who was allowed to resign quietly in 2006 after the papal nuncio was informed of an allegation of sexual harassment of an adult.

The bishop was allowed in 2009 to continue his episcopal ministry in a new location under some form of private, unpublicized restriction and oversight, even though the Holy See, according to the Jesuit provincial, had “cleared” him of the charge of sexual harassment. That decision has now been set aside by the Holy See, presumably because it could not be defended – if it came to light publicly.

The bottom line here is: accountability and transparency regarding episcopal sexual canonical offenses with adults are the new order of the day. The grave injustice of the protection of sexual predator bishops by the Holy See when the victims were above the age of 18 years has been acknowledged. This is a very positive development. Let’s hope we see many more.

COLUMN BY

Fr. Gerald E. Murray

The Rev. Gerald E. Murray, J.C.D. is a canon lawyer and the pastor of Holy Family Church in New York City.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Media Ignores Slaughter of Nigerian Christians

At least 120 killed in recent attacks as deadly violence continues for over a year.


ABUJA, Nigeria (ChurchMilitant.com) – International news is nearly silent as Muslim militants continue killing Christians in Nigeria.

At least 120 Nigerian Christians have been killed since early February in a string of violent attacks that are being attributed to Fulani militants.

On March 11 alone, a string of attacks left 53 dead and 143 homes destroyed in the villages of Inkirimi and Dogonnoma in the Kajuru Local Government Area in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

Just a day before that, an attack on the village of Ungwan Barde killed 17 people and destroyed dozens of homes. One month prior, about 16 people had been killed in Ungwan Barde village in a series of attacks on Feb. 9 and 10.

The governor of Kaduna State imposed a curfew last week on the local government area owing to the deadly outbreak of violence.

On Feb. 26, some 32 Nigerian Christians were killed in the Maro district of the Kaduna State. The attackers burned down an evangelical church and shot people fleeing. This violence was also suspected to be the work of Fulani militants.

Local lawmakers say the recent attacks have displaced at least 3,000 locals, with many people’s homes destroyed and many others fleeing for safety.

In Benue State, Fulani attacks on several villages on March 4 left 23 dead.

Violence by Fulani militants in Nigeria exploded over a year ago. The Fulani are a majority-Muslim ethnic group, and many Fulani live as semi-nomadic herdsmen.

Christian communities in rural parts of Nigeria are commonly the victims of violence by Fulani militants.

In addition to the ethnic and religious differences, some trace the violence to changes in Nigerian law that made it harder for Fulani herdsmen to find land for their herds.

In November 2017, the Nigerian government banned herdsmen from having their livestock graze on other people’s property. The law was aimed at avoiding clashes between the Muslim herdsmen and Christian villagers — but the explosion of violence seems to prove that the policy change only escalated tensions.

Fulani gunmen in Benue State shot up a Catholic church during an early morning Mass in April 2018, killing two priests and about 15 laity. The priests’ deaths sparked protests in the weeks that followed, with Catholic clergy calling on the Nigerian government to better protect its citizens.

In May 2018, suspected Fulani militants attacked a Catholic seminary. Gunmen assailed two priests and a handful of seminarians at Sacred Heart Minor Seminary in Jalingo, the capital city of Taraba State in Nigeria. The attackers beat the priests with rods, shooting one of them in the leg, and did damage to an automobile and other property.

In June 2018, some Christians farmers allegedly attacked Fulani herdsmen. In the series of retaliatory attacks that followed, Fulani gunmen killed about 120 people in Plateau State in central Nigeria. There were apparently disputes regarding the exact body count; it could be as low as 86 people or as high as 200.

The outbreak of violent clashes with Fulani militants came just as Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram was on the decline in Nigeria. Government forces beat back the terror organization with significant help from overseas powers — including the United States.

Amid the Fulani violence, some Nigerians have laid blame on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is of Fulani descent.

Bishop William Amove Avenya of the diocese of Gboko in Benue State warned last year that Fulani violence could quickly become a full-fledged genocide against Christians in central Nigeria.

“Please don’t make the same mistake as was made with the genocide in Rwanda,” Bp. Avenya told Aid to the Church in Need in June last year. “It happened under our noses, but no one stopped it. And we know well how that ended.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant column is republished with permission.

Democrat Party meeting about anti-Semitism features anti-Semitic jokes, Omar won’t affirm Israel’s right to exist

This meeting makes it clear that the Democrats are not going to be able to remove anti-Semitism from the party. Hatred of Jews and Israel, and uncritical acceptance of “Palestinian” jihad propaganda, is shared among too much of their base. And whenever they’re challenged, Omar and Tlaib claim victim status and cry “Islamophobia.” It has worked well for them so far, so expect much more of it.

“Dem Lawmakers Admit During Private Meeting They Don’t Know What Anti-Semitism Looks Like,” by Mikhael Smits, Washington Free Beacon, March 18, 2019:

A meeting of Democratic lawmakers about anti-Semitism in the party included anti-Semitic jokes and unapologetic members of Congress, the Washington Post reports.

In the wake of anti-Semitic comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and several closed-door conferences by Democrats to discuss related issues within the party, Rep. Andy Levin (D., Mich.), a former synagogue president, organized a meeting as “a more formal event that would focus on anti-Semitism.” The March 5 meeting of Muslim and Jewish lawmakers was a “moment meant to be about listening and learning” about the “raw experiences” of the elected officials, according to the Post….

During the meeting, some Democratic members “admitted they didn’t know what anti-Semitism looks like,” according to the Post.

To help manage the conversation, which was previously unreported, Levin invited Bend the Arc, a left-wing organization deeply critical of Israel and Republicans. In a recent tweet, the group called for Americans to “reject the Islamophobic policies our government is built on.”

When a Bend the Arc organizer in the room made a joke “about Jews and money,” Rep. Jahana Hayes (D., Conn.) questioned why the facilitator could talk like that when someone like Hayes could not. She later told the Post no one should be making comments of the sort.

“It’s not okay,” Hayes said when asked about the specific exchange. “These [sorts of jokes] are off-limits. It’s confusing for someone like me who is trying to learn.”

It took nearly two hours before a Democrat brought up the repeated anti-Semitism of Omar, the impetus for the entire conversation. The congresswoman, a member of the Progressive Caucus, has drawn scrutiny and condemnation since taking office in January for a series of anti-Semitic remarks.

Rep. Dean Phillips (D., Minn.), a Jew who represents a district neighboring Omar’s, told the room he considered her comments to be “tips of the arrow” of Jew hatred in America. According to “several participants” who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, Phillips asked Omar to apologize and “publicly affirm Israel’s right to exist and protect itself.”

Phillips’s request that Omar support the right of Jews to exist in the Jewish state and in the United States “stunned the three Muslim Democrats in the room.”

Omar did not reply to the Jewish member’s request. Instead, one of her allies responded by changing the subject to the Palestinians. Tlaib “grew emotional and started to cry as she spoke of her grandmother’s suffering in the West Bank at the hands of Israelis,” according to the Post….

Tlaib defended Omar then, too. She claimed calls for Omar to leave the House Foreign Affairs Committee were a form of “Islamophobia,” not a proper response to anti-Semitism. Likewise, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) defended Omar, claiming the outrage, much of it voiced by American Jews, was really a scheme “designed to prevent us from taking on the question of our foreign policy toward Israel.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission.

PODCAST: IISS vs INSS — David vs Goliath

Readers will recall that several weeks ago, I began a series of comparative analyses between our hard-pressed IISS and the well-heeled INSS, highlighting the huge imbalance in the resources that we each have at our disposal to advance our respective agendas.

But the difference is not only in the massive imbalance in resources but in the substance of the countervailing policy paradigms that each institute endorses.

To help redress this imbalance, click HERE to make a donation. 

EDITORS NOTE: This column with The Israel Connexion podcast is republished with permission.

VIDEO: ‘Jexodus’ encourages Jewish people to leave the Dem Party

Jewish millennials launch liberation movement from the Democratic Party after the Rep. Ilhan Omar controversy.

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Sodom: The Official Guide

Brad Miner on a book by a French author claiming the Vatican is 80% “gay” and asserting the pope needs to change theology because of it. Nonsense.


Although there’s nothing in it about Roman weather or the various sites you might like to visit on a trip to the Vatican, French journalist Frédéric Martel’s In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy is a curious sort of Baedeker to the ins and outs of the Vatican City State. To read it is a little like stepping through the door of Professor Lewis’s wardrobe, except it’s not Narnia you enter but Sodom.

Mr. Martel’s book purports to be an objective exposé that is the result of “1500 interviews in the Vatican and in 30 countries” over four years, during which Martel and his team of 80 “researchers, correspondents, advisers, fixers and translators” spoke to “421 cardinals, 52 bishops and monsignori, 45 apostolic nuncios and foreign ambassadors.” All were in-person interviews. (A note of skepticism: there are currently just 222 living cardinals, so unless Martel was doing séances . . .)

Nearly all those interviewed are members of what, according to Martel, they themselves call “the Parish,” which is what Pope Francis, in that famous (“who am I to judge?”) interview on the flight from Rio to Rome, denied even existed: a “gay lobby.” According to Martel’s accounting, it’s not just a lobby, it’s a small city.

How large is it? Martel says the Vatican has a homosexual “community” larger than the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. Not for nothing is the book’s French title Sodoma – no need for translation.

Look, I’ve been so wrong about this “lavender mafia” for so long that I’m tempted to think Martel may be right, although his purple prose threatened to make my eyes bleed. To wit: “Never, perhaps, have the appearances of an institution been so deceptive; and equally deceptive are the pronouncements about celibacy and the vows of chastity that conceal a completely different reality.”

And then, referring to papal selection, my hemorrhage:

Many cardinals and priests who officiate at the Roman Curia, most of those who meet up in conclave beneath the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo – one of the most grandiose scenes of gay culture, peopled with virile bodies, surrounded by the Ignudi, those robust and beautiful naked young men – share the same “inclinations.” They have a “family resemblance.”

If from that paean to pederasty you surmise that Martel is homosexual, you’re right. The text of his gossipy book is remarkably self-referential and self-congratulatory. I quipped above about the book being a guidebook, but it’s really a manifesto.

And the author has chutzpah. Many “gay” activists want to change culture and have succeeded as well as any revolutionaries in doing so. But Martel isn’t interested in simply normalizing homosexuality by exposing the hypocrisy those who hide the fact that they are “gay.” No, his book seems intended to force the pope to realize the extent of homosexuality in the priesthood and, therefore, change Church teaching to accommodate that fact.

Of course, that is what you would want if you are homosexual and believe same-sex activity is equal in every way to heterosexual activity. Martel clearly believes so. But he’s a fantasist if he imagines Pope Francis either will or – more to the point – can revolutionize Roman Catholic moral theology just because the Parish, on Martel’s reckoning, controls pretty much all the dicasteries.

And this is typical of the Left: they want to democratize everything, but they look to powerful individuals to accomplish the leveling – to men like President Obama or Pope Francis – who are (or might be) willing to trample on the will of the people or obliterate law and tradition.

But it’s all for the good! As Martel writes, with the robustness of a moral anarchist, “the Vatican is the last bastion still to be liberated!”

As people have talked and written about In the Closet of the Vatican, a phrase frequently pops up: “if only half of what Martel writes is true . . .” Half? Homosexuals comprise between 1 and 5 percent of the population. So, if you found that 10 percent of clergy were “gay,” you’d be curious to know why. At 25 percent, you might begin to be alarmed; 50 percent, you’d conclude there’s a crisis. Martel claims that for priests in Rome it’s 80 percent and that the higher a man rises in the Church, the more likely he’s homosexual.

Martel is hardly the first to seek exposure of the Vatican’s “gay” cabal. Panorama, an Italian magazine controlled by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (Italy’s Donald Trump), did a similar exposé in 2010, complete with entrapment and hidden cameras. Martel’s work is different only in its scale and advocacy. (One insider interviewed by Panorama put the number of Vatican homosexuals at a literally incredible 98 percent.)

But without naming names (except for a few men who were already “out”) – without sources speaking on the record – you might as easily assert that 80 percent of priests are space aliens.

Martel describes the “stains” that have besmirched the Church: Humanae vitae’s dismissal of artificial contraception; the “rejection of condoms . . . and the strict obligation of celibacy on the priesthood;” not to mention the disavowal of liberation theology; the Vatican-bank and Vatileaks scandals; misogyny in the hierarchy; Benedict XVI’s resignation (caused by the Parish); and the right-wing rebellion against Pope Francis.

He admits that rampant homosexuality in the hierarchy explains the coverup of sex abuse but also claims it’s behind the attacks against Francis. How? Because, of course, the pope’s critics are closeted: “Those conservatives, those traditionalists, those ‘dubias’, are in many cases the famous ‘rigid people leading a double life’ of whom Francis speaks so often.”

Those space aliens again.

Of course, the pope’s closest advisers often say – with similar implausibility – that the attacks arise, especially in America, because of his opposition to capitalism, not his ambiguities and departures from doctrine and discipline.

A fair summary (in his own words) of Martel’s thesis is this: “Have the pope and his liberal theologians [not] realized that priestly celibacy was a failure?” But, Monsieur, celibacy hasn’t failed; faithless priests have.

COLUMN BY

Brad Miner

Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and Board Secretary of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His new book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with George J. Marlin, is now on sale. The Compleat Gentleman, is available on audio.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.