All articles from February 09, 2018


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Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
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Irish bishop promises ‘inclusive’ World meeting of Families after Vatican bars pro-LGBT politician

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DUBLIN, February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has pledged that the World Meeting of Families will remain “an inclusive event, open to all families and family members” after a flood of reports concerning the Vatican and a former Irish president, a dissident Catholic and LGBT activist, washed up at his door. 

Several news outlets have reported that Mary McAleese had hoped to speak at a conference next month to mark International Women’s Day that was to be held on Vatican grounds. But, when a list of proposed speakers that included McAleese was allegedly submitted to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, he struck her name from the list. Organizers have now moved the conference to a venue outside Vatican City.

McAleese, an outspoken supporter of homosexuality, has suggested that Catholic sexual teaching is a form of “child abuse.” 

With Farrell being an organizer of the upcoming Irish World Meeting of Families in August, LGBT advocates are now worried what the action against McAleese might mean to the event that some Irish bishops have promised will be open to attendance by homosexual couples. 

When Archbishop Martin was asked about the “ban” on McAleese, he denied having any prior knowledge of it. He went on to underscore that the World Meeting of Families “will be an inclusive event, open to all families and family members,” reported Irish Times last week. 

Martin 's statement comes in the wake of images of same-sex couples as well as pro-homosexual texts having been removed from a reissued booklet created by the country's bishops to prepare Catholic families for the upcoming event. 

The booklet had contained a picture of two lesbians on a bridge clinging intimately to one another and text that contained explicit promotion of homosexual relationships as a form of family.

One problematic line which is now deleted from the original program booklet stated, “While the Church upholds the ideal of marriage as a permanent commitment between a man and a woman, other unions exist which provide mutual support to the couple. Pope Francis encourages us never to exclude but to accompany these couples also, with love, care and support.”

In the new edition, six photos which either overtly portrayed gay couples were replaced with images displaying families consisting of father, mother and children. 

While the Irish Bishops offered no official explanation for the revisions to the WMF booklet, The Irish TimesIrish Independent, and the German Catholic bishops website are attributing the deletion of pro-LGBT images and text to a LifeSiteNews article critical of their inclusion in the booklet’s original edition.

A spokesperson for the pro-LGBT organization Dignity USA told Irish Times that it was disappointed that photos of same-sex couples had been removed from the conference’s preparatory booklet.

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Conservative MP Harold Albrecht, a dissenting member of the federal committee on euthanasia, speaks at the March for Life in May 2015. Patrick Craine / LifeSiteNews
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Canadian MP launches petition asking government to stop discriminating against pro-lifers

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OTTAWA, February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Conservative Members of Parliament (MP) are ramping up opposition to the Liberals’ controversial pro-abortion summer job grant attestation requirement, with one MP sponsoring a petition against it, and leader Andrew Scheer vowing his party “will fight the Liberal values test every step of the way.”

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is facing ongoing backlash against its new rule that employers sign an attestation that their core mandate respects abortion "rights" in order to receive Canada Summer Job grants.

Ontario MP Harold Albrecht has now sponsored an e-petition on the House of Commons website asking the Liberals to drop the attestation. The petition calls upon the government of Canada to "remove this discriminatory requirement and allow Canadians to continue to exercise their freedom of religion and freedom of expression without facing institutionalized discrimination by the Government of Canada."

The petition has been signed by over 1,250 people since its Tuesday launch, and will remain open until June 6. It can be found here.

Albrecht lambasted the Liberals in a Facebook video for implementing what he described as a “values test” that is divisive and discriminatory.

“This isn’t about the activities or services an organization is engaged in, this is about targeting the personal beliefs of the individuals who run those organization, and threatening to deny funding if those beliefs don’t line up with Justin Trudeau’s own values,” Albrecht says.

“This is Canada. It’s time for Justin Trudeau to stop deliberately dividing Canadians.”

Albrecht also warned the summer jobs attestation could set a precedent. 

“What we don’t know is whether or not other government services may also be subjected to the same values tests,” he said.

Indeed, the Liberals have banned activities or projects that do not respect “reproductive” or LGBTQ “rights” from receiving funding from the Canadian Service Corp, the youth volunteer initiative.

Albrecht said the Liberals have extended the deadline to apply to Canada Summer Jobs program from February 2 to February 9, but have not removed or altered the attestation.

Indeed, Trudeau and Employment Minister Patty Hajdu remain adamant the attestation does not affect religious groups, even though they have received a letter signed by 87 faith leaders asking them to drop it. 

The religious leaders say the attestation is an “ideological test” that violates their Charter rights, and they cannot in conscience sign it.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer echoed this in a video posted to Facebook Tuesday.

In bringing in the attestation requirement, Trudeau is “telling Canadians he won't defend their Charter rights unless you agree with him. This has no place in our tolerant, diverse society,” noted Scheer.  

“The government does not have a right to force people to sign a form that violates their conscience or beliefs in order to qualify for government programs or funding,” he said. 

“To allow the government this power would be to threaten our fundamental human rights.”

Scheer said the Conservatives will “fight the Liberal values test every step of the way.”

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Cardinal Cupich at The University of Chicago Institute of Politics Nov. 6, 2017. Facebook / University of Chicago IOP
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Cardinal Cupich lays out why Amoris Laetitia is ‘revolutionary’ for Catholic teaching

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CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Amoris Laetitia is “nothing short of revolutionary,” a “hermeneutical shift,” and is “[forcing] a paradigm shift” in Catholic practice, Cardinal Blase Cupich said today.

Cupich told this to the Von Hügel Institute for Critical Catholic Inquiry at Cambridge University today and made additional brief comments about it to the dissident National Catholic Reporter.

Pope Francis’ letter to Argentine bishops approving their interpretation of Amoris Laetitia “offered a pathway forward” in regards to unrepentant adulterers being given Holy Communion, Cupich said.

Notably, the publication of “in Acta Apostolica Sedes of his letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires...confirms that their interpretation of Amoris authentically reflects his mind as being official Church teaching,” he said. "It will now be up to all in the Church ... to respond in a spirit of affective and effective collegiality with the Successor of Peter."

Because the Catholic Church teaches that Holy Communion is the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, only practicing Catholics in a state of grace may receive it. Therefore, the Church has always taught that someone who unrepentantly persists in sin – such as sleeping with someone who is not their spouse – should not receive it.

Cupich implied that the Catholic Church’s traditional teachings and pastoral practices have been inadequate. He said sometimes "the voice of God" will tell people to continue living in situations that do not meet the moral “ideal.”

'New direction' of 'accompaniment'

According to the cardinal, Amoris Laetitia rejects “an authoritarian or paternalistic way of dealing with people that lays down the law, that pretends to have all the answers, or easy answers to complex problems, that suggests that general rules will seamlessly bring immediate clarity or that the teachings of our tradition can preemptively be applied to the particular challenges confronting couples and families."

"A new direction will be required, one that envisions ministry as accompaniment," said Cupich. This "accompaniment" will be "marked by a deep respect for the conscience of the faithful."

He condemned “pretending to have a general rule that’s going to satisfy every particular case” about people living in invalid sexual unions receiving Holy Communion.

Instead, Cupich said, “I think that accompanying means first of all that you have to get to know the person and walk with them. It would be against the accompaniment model of ministry if in fact you began to speak about particular questions in general ways.”

‘Doctrinal development’

Cupich argued that the radically changes the Pope has instituted through Amoris Laetitia are in fact a fruit of “doctrinal development.”

“Doctrinal development is about remaining open to the invitation to see our moral teachings on marriage and family life through the lens of God's omnipotent mercy,” he said. “Doctrine can develop as a result of the Church's merciful accompaniment of families because God has chosen the family as a privileged place to reveal all that the God of mercy is doing in our time.”

“To deny this, the Holy Father warns, would make us guilty of the ‘worst way of watering down the Gospel,’” Cupich ironically warned. Critics of Amoris Laetitia say it majorly “waters down” the Gospel by undermining the Sixth Commandment.

If people look at the “whole document” and the “principles of interpretation” called for by Pope Francis, and follow “where the paradigm shift goes...then you're going to be able to have a means by which you can deal with particular cases, rather than pretending to have a general rule that's going to satisfy every particular case.”

The principles in Amoris Laetitia “force a paradigm shift,” Cupich said.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin made nearly identical comments recently about the exhortation representing a “new paradigm” in the Church.

Those comments earned a strong corrective from St. John Paul II’s biographer, George Weigel. “The Catholic Church doesn’t do ‘paradigm shifts,’” Weigel responded in a searing First Things essay.

The approach of Pope Francis in the controversial exhortation, about which the pontiff has not answered formal questions on its compatibility with Catholic morality, “involves creating a culture of care, hospitality and tenderness in the parish community on behalf of those who have been wounded,” Cupich said.

Catholic leaders need to find “a new way of relating to the lives of families today,” Cupich said, and the Catholic hierarchy need “to respond in a spirit of affective and effective collegiality with the Successor of Peter.”

Implying Amoris Laetitia is part of the “authentic magisterium,” Cupich cited the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, which says: “Submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff.”

Individual conscience “demands a profound respect for the discernment of married couples and families,” said Cupich, who has previously said Holy Communion for pro-abortion politicians can be a good thing.

People’s “decisions of conscience represent God's personal guidance for the particularities of their lives,” said Cupich. This means that “the voice of God...could very well affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church's understanding of the ideal.”

This is “not relativism, or an arbitrary application of the doctrinal law,” he claimed, “but an authentic receptivity to God's self-revelation in the concrete realities of family life and to the work of the Holy Spirit in the consciences of the faithful.”

Cupich cited the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes to defend his claims that individual "conscience" needs to be given more prominence.

"Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel," Cupich said. "It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal."

He continued: 

The starting point for the role of conscience in the new hermeneutic is Gaudium et Spes 16 (2), which identifies conscience as “the most secret core and sanctuary of a man…(where) he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths.” When taken seriously, this definition demands a profound respect for the discernment of married couples and families. Their decisions of conscience represent God’s personal guidance for the particularities of their lives. In other words, the voice of conscience—the voice of God— or if I may be permitted to quote an Oxford man here at Cambridge, what Newman called “the aboriginal vicar of Christ”—could very well affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal, while nevertheless calling a person “to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized” (AL 303).  

"By fully embracing the understanding of conscience found in Gaudium et Spes, Pope Francis points not only to the possibility of accompaniment in the Church’s ministry with families but also to its necessity," Cupich said.

However, Cupich left out the fact that Gaudium et Spes 16 emphasizes the need for a "right conscience" that is "guided by the objective norms of morality."

All Synod proposals passed by 2/3 vote?

Cupich also claimed that during the Synod on the Family, the participating bishops voted "for all the proposals by over a 2/3 vote and in most cases nearly unanimously." 

Three paragraphs did not obtain the 2/3 vote, but were kept in the Extraordinary Synod's final report anyway by order of Pope Francis. These paragraphs addressed permitting Holy Communion for "remarried" Catholics, invoking a deeper call to understanding of the issue of spiritual communion for the divorced and remarried, and receiving homosexuals "with respect and gentleness."

'Enormous change of approach'

A “limit[ed]” and “idealistic understanding of marriage and family” should be rejected and instead Amoris Laetitia critics should consider the “present reality of people’s lives today in all of its complexity.”

People who “minister to families” need “to open their eyes to see, and to help families discern where God is calling them.”

“All of this represents an enormous change of approach, a paradigm shift holistically rooted in scripture, tradition and human experience,” the cardinal asserted.

Cupich's full speech can be read here. His comments to the National Catholic Reporter can be read here.

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China’s state-run paper praises Pope Francis’ ‘wisdom’ in making concessions on bishop appointments

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BEIJING, February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A newspaper controlled by the Chinese government has praised Pope Francis for making "concessions" to the Communist regime that have effectively resulted in the Vatican legitimizing excommunicated bishops loyal to the regime while forcing legitimate bishops of the underground Church into retirement. 

The Global Times told its readers in a February 5 editorial titled China-Vatican relations take clearer shape that the Roman pontiff had made “substantive concessions to China on bishop appointments.” 

It called the on-going Beijing-Vatican negotiations "tremendously beneficial to Catholics,” without specifying that it was likely referring to those Catholics who belong to the government-run Patriotic Catholic Association, what Chinese Cardinal Zen called a "new...schismatic Church." 

The Beijing-Vatican negotiations are not yet finalized. The Global Times suggested that the Vatican allowing Communist China to appoint bishops would "reflect Catholics’ ability to adapt to changes.” 

The article praised the "wisdom" of Pope Francis, saying that the negotiations are taking a “clearer shape” despite the opposition of “Western media and certain radical religious groups opposed to enhanced Sino-Vatican ties.”

The article comes at a time when the Vatican is receiving heavy criticism from Catholics around the globe for what Cardinal Zen says amounts to "selling out the Catholic Church in China." Critics say that the Vatican’s negotiating strategy in China is nothing more than "simply negotiating the surrender of the underground Church" to the false church created by the Communists.

China expert and director of the Population Research Institute Steve Mosher called the Global Times' article "propaganda." 

He explained to LifeSiteNews that the Global Times is the “mouthpiece” of the Chinese communist government, directed at the outside world. 

Mosher said he does not believe the Vatican should trust China’s new “god-emperor” Xi Jinping, saying that the whole thrust of Xi’s activities has been to consolidate his own power. 

“Xi Jinping has more power than Mao had at his height,” he said. 

Xi is not only the leader of China, but the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, the head of the military and of a dozen leading groups.

“He’s basically done a power grab,” Mosher said. 

Mosher said he, like many Catholics around the world, cannot understand Pope Francis' dealings with Xi Jingping’s regime. 

“Obviously the ten million to twenty million Catholics in the underground Church have voted with their feet to stay underground," he said. “Why not just let the underground spread the Gospel?” 

Mosher observed that Matteo Ricci and his fellow Jesuits, the 15th-16th century missionaries to China, sought to convert the Chinese Emperor to Christianity so that his subjects would follow suit. But today, in Xi Jinping’s negotiations with Francis, the roles seem to have been reversed.

“It’s not the Jesuit missionaries convincing the Emperor,” Mosher said. “It’s the Emperor convincing the Jesuit missionaries.” 

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Justin Trudeau Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews.com
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News

Canadian Press: Trudeau’s accusations against pro-life groups are ‘baloney’

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February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – When Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government announced that applicants to the Canada Summer Jobs Program would now be forced to sign off on an “abortion attestation” in order to be eligible, it is safe to say that Trudeau considered this a politically 'safe move.'

After all, as Trudeau so often likes to claim, abortion is a Charter "right," and he and the Liberals were simply doing their part to ensure that everyone in the country agreed with him.

Except that, for the first time in years, the media suddenly decided to go public with some facts they’d been sitting on for a long time – like the fact that abortion is not a Charter right, for example.

Further to that, The Canadian Press has become the latest in a string of media outlets to make the point that Trudeau’s assertion that the attestation is necessary to weed out groups that might “violate the Charter” is, in their words, “a lot of baloney.” The article has been picked up by Huggington Post, CTV News, Winnipeg Free Press, and others. 

Writes Andy Blatchford in a February 8 article titled Trudeau's Jab At Anti-Abortion Groups Over Charter Rights Contains 'A Lot Of Baloney':

From a strictly technical perspective, the prime minister's suggestion that these groups violate the charter isn't possible, a couple of experts said when asked about his statement.

"Individuals and organizations cannot violate the charter -- the only entity that can violate the charter is the government," said Emmett Macfarlane, a political science professor at the University of Waterloo.

However, he noted that the government is free to decide which activities and organizations won't receive funding under the summer-jobs program.

"I think they're trying to frame their perfectly justifiable policy decision by using the charter as a shield to defend it," he said. "This directly appeals to their core base."

Macfarlane said Trudeau's statement is misleading because it suggests that organizations expressing their views on abortion are somehow out of line with the charter.

Now there’s one of Canada’s best-kept secrets: the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is intended to protect the people from the government, not to be used by the government as a tool against people or groups that it disagrees with. Another expert quoted by CTV pointed out that there is no legal right to abortion in Canada. 

Queen's University law professor Nicholas Bala said the charter doesn't explicitly guarantee a woman's right to an abortion, even though the courts recognize the security and liberty of women and require they be given substantial access to abortion services.

Bala said the government's policy for the summer-jobs program has been developed in a way that could be tricky for Ottawa to defend in court because of the charter's guarantees for freedom of religion, thought and conscience.

"I think that at least as worded ... there's certainly the likelihood of it running into grave difficulties," he said of the policy.

Trudeau seems to have forgotten the fact that the Charter protects freedom of expression and freedom of conscience.

So to sum up: Even Canada’s generally left-leaning media seems to agree that Trudeau, in his supposed zeal to protect the Charter, has conjured fake Charter rights out of thin air—and violated an entire laundry list of them in the process. 

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2016 March for Life in Washington, D.C.
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‘I truly hate these people’: Disgraced FBI agents trashed pro-lifers, wanted to stop March for Life

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WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Text messages recently released between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress FBI attorney Lisa Page — both of whom are anti-Trump — reveal them saying that they "hate" pro-lifers and wanted to find an excuse to cancel the 2016 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

In what was intended to be a private message, Page told Strzok that "I truly hate these people," referring to pro-lifers attending the January 22, 2016, March for Life in the nation's Capitol. Strzok then replied that that the authorities should lie about a “snow emergency” to "cancel the permit" and stop the march.  

Below is a transcript of their conversation: 

FBI agent Strzok: "F*cking marchers making traffic problems." 

FBI attorney Page: "Yeah, some extremely offensive video screens set up in front of district. I truly hate these people. No support for the woman who actually has to spend the rest of her life rearing this child, but we care about 'life.' Assholes."

FBI agent Strzok: "...Hey, I have an idea! Snow emergency, cancel the permit." 

On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the chief oversight committee of Congress, released thousands of text messages in its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of government email and the FBI looking into it.

While a great deal of political fodder was gleaned, pro-lifers are concerned about the denigrating way two people within the FBI texted each other about those who defend the lives of preborn babies. 

“It’s not surprising that these people would hate pro-lifers so much that they would want to abuse their authority to cancel the March for Life,” Operation Rescue President Tony Newman told LifeSiteNews. “Given their extreme political bias against those who hold pro-life views, one can only expect them to stoop to criminal conduct.”

Strzok and Page were reportedly carrying on a two-year extramarital affair, and texted each other frequently (Strzok is married to Melissa Hodgman;  Page to Peter Burrow).  The Senate investigation found at least 50,000 messages the couple shared.  

The texts, along with many cursing and disparaging President Trump and other conservative values, has led to concerns over bias on the part of the one-time lead investigator under Special Counsel Robert Mueller.   

Strzok also softened the language of the FBI’s official characterization of Clinton’s email mishandling. Page was also briefly on Mueller’s probe into unproven allegations of Trump helping the Russians influence the U.S. election.

Newman says the FBI is tainted as both anti-life and anti-Trump. “That is the same company that worked with Planned Parenthood to produce a phony report discrediting the undercover baby parts videos,” Newman pointed out.  

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Justin Trudeau and Gerald Butts in 2016. Gerald Butts / Twitter
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Opinion

Trudeau’s top advisor: Those who laughed at ‘peoplekind’ comment are Nazis

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February 9, 2018 (The Bridgehead) – Justin Trudeau has now come out—very briefly—to say that his interruption of a young woman during a town hall meeting to correct her use of the word “mankind” to “peoplekind” was a bad joke, attempting to interrupt the global gale of mocking laughter he managed to incur.

I joined in the fun with a few of my friends, attempting to get the hashtag #peoplekind trending on Twitter (which, after a few hours, it was.) From Ben Shapiro to Piers Morgan and across the political spectrum, the consensus seemed to be that Trudeau had managed to morph into a parody of himself. And if he was joking—something most people still very much doubt—the point stands, as many have already highlighted, that everyone believed Justin would definitely say something like that.

Most people in Trudeauland are ducking their heads and hoping that the whole thing will blow over. Town halls usually play very well for the prime minister—his skill at handling hecklers generally make him look pretty good—so the hammering he sustained by comparing refugees to returning ISIS fighters, telling a Canadian war vet who lost a leg in Afghanistan that veterans were asking the government for too much, and mansplaining “peoplekind” to a young woman—seems to have accomplished the opposite effect. And that has obviously gotten a few of Trudeau’s people, including his old college buddy and now jack-of-all-trades advisor Gerald Butts (known as the “shadow prime minister” in some political circles) quite bent out of shape.

Butts likes to spend a lot of time on Twitter trashing anyone who disagrees with his boss, but is also hyper-sensitive enough to block anyone who responds to anything he says, myself included. His response to the general hilarity incurred by his boss’s stupid “peoplekind” comment apparently really got his goat, because shortly, he tweeted out this: “The lesson to take from this joke being torqued by Infowars and other alt-right nazi friends of the Rebel is they’re paying attention. Game on, #TeamTrudeau.”

Got that? If you think that Trudeau’s peoplekind “joke” was stupid, funny, or just ridiculous—you’re a Nazi. Or a “alt-right nazi friend of the Rebel,” which is Ezra Levant’s online commentary outfit. So Ben Shapiro, Piers Morgan, PragerU, and thousands of others—all Nazis, because they had the guts to laugh at Gerald Butts’ buddy. Or perhaps Butts was just attempting to draw fire from Trudeau, considering the fact that he immediately managed to draw bipartisan fire to his own asinine comments, which presumably led to another round of Butt-hurt Twitter blocking.

Hilariously, it was Piers Morgan who decided he’d had enough of Butts attempting to call journalists who laughed at Trudeau Nazis, noting that: “a) I’m not a Nazi. b) It wasn’t a joke. c) If you’re one of @JustinTrudeau’s chief advisors, no wonder he’s making so many gaffes.”

He then followed that up by pointing out that, “The whole world laughed at your boss & his absurdly politically correct, virtue-signalling #peoplekind nonsense. If you choose to condemn everyone who did so as being a Nazi, then I politely suggest you’re a complete & utter halfwit.”

He ended by referring to Butts as “’one sandwich short of a full picnic.’ Incredible that someone so close to your Prime Minister is able to spout such dangerously inflammatory nonsense on his behalf.”

So. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have said that we should say “peoplekind” instead of “mankind.” But his advisor and good friend Gerald Butts says that those who found this hilarious or ridiculous are Nazis. It would appear that bad judgment is a running theme on #TeamTrudeau.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at The Bridgehead. It has been reprinted with permission from the author. 

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Blogs

Shame: 2018 Winter Olympics allows men claiming to be ‘women’ to compete against real women

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February 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – For the first time in Olympic history, men who identify as "women" are being allowed to compete against women during the Winter Games in South Korea.

Reports Larry Brown Sports: 

For the first time, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] has ruled that transgender athletes can take part in the Olympics. Female-to-male athletes can compete “without restriction,” while male-to-female athletes must undergo hormone therapy. Previously, IOC guidelines called for athletes to have reassignment surgery followed by at least two years of hormone therapy in order to be eligible. The only remaining regulation is that male-to-female athletes must demonstrate that their testosterone levels have consistently been below the cutoff point for at least one full year prior to competition.

It remains unclear if there are, in fact, any openly transgender athletes competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

Speaking as a former amateur boxer, I am all agog at the thought of a female-to-male transsexual actually qualifying for an Olympic spot. “Faster, higher, stronger” is not only the motto of the Olympics, it sums up the relationship of elite male athletes to elite female athletes. For example, Florence Griffith Joyner of the USA ran 100 meters in 10.49 seconds. Usain Bolt of Jamaica did it in 9.58 seconds.

In sports, that’s a big margin. 

No woman has broken Flo-Jo’s record since she set it in 1988, which underscores what an accomplishment it was for a woman to reach that speed. The first men recorded running the 100-meter dash in under 10 seconds did so in 1968. Scores of men have finished the Men’s 100-meter faster than Flo-Jo finished the Women’s. So, really, I am not expecting a female-to-male transsexual to give Usain Bolt a run for his money anytime soon. 

But neither am I expecting Flo-Jo’s record for the women’s 100-meter to stand much longer, especially when men who claim to be "women" are attempting to break the record.

It will fall, perhaps by an impressive amount, but the victor won’t inspire girls around the world. The victor, although identifying as a woman, will probably never have been a girl. The most likely athlete to break the women’s record will be the athlete who has had the incomparable advantage of having once been a teenage boy. And when teenage girls see that, they may well wonder whether all the work and sacrifice that goes into an Olympian will be worth it. 

I can imagine a much, much different kind of Olympics in future, one that features elite male athletes and “female” athletes who, like eight members of Iran’s women’s football team, were not born women.

The International Olympics Committee is not insisting that “Transgender” athletes undergo what some call sex-reassignment surgery but what is more aptly called genital mutilation. However,  it is insisting that athletes who participate in women’s sports not have had over 10 nanomoles of testosterone per litre of blood in their bodies for a year before competing. 

This is supposed to make competition in women’s sports fair for, you know, women – women who are just women, with women’s standard physiology, not intersex, like South Africa’s Caster Semenya, and not transsexual, like New Zealand’s weightlifting Laurel Hubbard (born Gavin). However, it’s not just the current, or very recent, ownership of testosterone that makes the difference between male and female athletic ability: it’s also the presence of that testosterone as a teenager. The long-term effects of having high testosterone, and a male body, cannot be discounted.

I’m glad the IOC isn’t insisting that biological-men-who-identify-as-women have themselves surgically altered to resemble biological women more closely, but at the same time, I wonder what is left to stop scores of cynical men hungry for fame and advertising contracts to enter women’s sports. 

Recently I read a fascinating book about how the British Women’s Olympic Team was transformed. Team GB recruited women who had only a nodding acquaintance with the sports they were ultimately to compete in but had superhuman levels of the will to win. I am sure there are no shortage of men who, lacking the ability to compete against elite men, nevertheless, have the will to win against women.  

The losers will, of course, be women, and women’s sports, and, in fact, all women lose. 

I played hockey as a teenage girl, and nothing I experienced on the ice suggested that playing hockey against teenage boys would be wonderfully safe. And, as I mentioned above, I was an amateur boxer, and nothing I experienced in the ring led me to think I could fight any male boxer older than 12.

What parent would want to encourage his or her daughters to enter into high-contact sports against teenage boys or men?

And what parent would now support wholeheartedly a 10-year-old girl’s dream of becoming an Olympic gold medallist, knowing that the awarding of the women’s gold medal will now largely depend on whether or not a man, who says he's a "woman," wants to try for it? 

I love women’s sports, which is to say, any sport done by women, in competition with other women. That there are any women’s sports at all is thanks to women proving to men that athletic games and training wouldn’t hurt our supposedly delicate insides.

Being able to play at all, to play well and to win against each other was the point. Only rarely have we been that interested in besting the boys at their games.

What a shame that some of the boys now want to best us at ours.

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