Well, this sounds familiar…
Never-Trumpers and Liberal Christians (and even some supposedly Conservative ones) say that Trump isn’t really pro-life because “he’s an immoral jerk!” and “just look at how he treats immigrants!” They are “upset” and “embarrassed” to have him supporting their cause since he’s actually “bad” or that he’s “just faking it to manipulate voters.” (News Flash: he doesn’t have to live up to campaign promises; very few politicians bother.) Despite their pathetic whining and oh-so-convincing reasoning, Trump just might be the best pro-life president we’ve had.
I saw an intelligent comment about the President’s support of the Pro-life movement. The gist of it was this: it doesn’t even matter if it’s just “lip-service,” the fact that the President of the United States is willing to reach out and put even verbal support behind the movement is no small thing, and when/if no president is willing to even pay lip-service to the movement, the moral compass of our country is no longer just severely damaged, but entirely gone.
It shows that there are enough people left in the USA that care, enough pro-lifers to be worth speaking to and for.
Plenty of people in the Pro-life movement are happy to have the President’s support and consider it a lot more than just lip-service. Multiple organizations have lists of Pro-life victories achieved since Trump became president:
There is also widespread recognition that, in addition to the expected resistance and roadblocks created by the Democrats to delivering on pro-life campaign promises, Establishment Republican have been responsible as well. Fr. Hodges, writing for LifeSiteNews, puts it like this:
From the start, it was clear that Trump may have exaggerated his abilities, but he really meant it when he said he was pro-life.
In fact, as so many other true conservatives have pointed out, the main obstructionists to an all-out pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-family agenda sweeping the nation have been establishment Republicans already in position before the Trump juggernaut.
During his presidential campaign Trump promised to defend the innocent pre-born and his administration has followed through with many actions so far. He recently gave a speech for the March for Life. Following in the the footsteps of previous Republican (but not Democratic) presidents, he made a Proclamation of January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.
As one supporter put it, “Taken together, these statements and follow-up actions have defined him as the one of the strongest pro-life allies ever to occupy the White House.”
The Presidential Proclamation:
“Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity. Much of the greatest suffering in our Nation’s history — and, indeed, our planet’s history — has been the result of disgracefully misguided attempts to dehumanize whole classes of people based on these immutable characteristics. We cannot let this shameful history repeat itself in new forms, and we must be particularly vigilant to safeguard the most vulnerable lives among us.
“This is why we observe National Sanctity of Human Life Day: to affirm the truth that all life is sacred, that every person has inherent dignity and worth, and that no class of people should ever be discarded as “non-human.”
“Reverence for every human life, one of the values for which our Founding Fathers fought, defines the character of our Nation. Today, it moves us to promote the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children. It animates our concern for single moms; the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled; and orphan and foster children. It compels us to address the opioid epidemic and to bring aid to those who struggle with mental illness. It gives us the courage to stand up for the weak and the powerless. And it dispels the notion that our worth depends on the extent to which we are planned for or wanted.
“Science continues to support and build the case for life. Medical technologies allow us to see images of the unborn children moving their newly formed fingers and toes, yawning, and even smiling. Those images present us with irrefutable evidence that babies are growing within their mothers’ wombs — precious, unique lives, each deserving a future filled with promise and hope. We can also now operate on babies in utero to stave off life-threatening diseases. These important medical advances give us an even greater appreciation for the humanity of the unborn.
“Today, citizens throughout our great country are working for the cause of life and fighting for the unborn, driven by love and supported by both science and philosophy. These compassionate Americans are volunteers who assist women through difficult pregnancies, facilitate adoptions, and offer hope to those considering or recovering from abortions. They are medical providers who, often at the risk of their livelihood, conscientiously refuse to participate in abortions. And they are legislators who support health and safety standards, informed consent, parental notification, and bans on late-term abortions, when babies can feel pain.
“These undeterred warriors, many of whom travel to Washington, D.C., every year for the March for Life, are changing hearts and saving lives through their passionate defense of and loving care for all human lives. Thankfully, the number of abortions, which has been in steady decline since 1980, is now at a historic low. Though the fight to protect life is not yet over, we commit to advocating each day for all who cannot speak for themselves.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the value of our lives; to respond to others in keeping with their inherent dignity; to act compassionately to those with disabilities, infirmities, or frailties; to look beyond external factors that might separate us; and to embrace the common humanity that unites us.
“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.”
DONALD J. TRUMP
We’ve heard the talk of Cal-exit, where some folks want the whole state of California to leave the Union, but have you heard about “New California”? Apparently, the rural parts of the state want to stay in the USA, but separate from the more-liberal urban, coastal areas.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — With the reading of their own version of a Declaration of Independence, founders of the state of New California took the first steps to what they hope will eventually lead to statehood.
To be clear, they don’t want to leave the United States, just California.
“Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California,” said founder Robert Paul Preston.
The state of New California would incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.
But unlike other separation movements in the past the state of New California wants to do things by the book, citing Article 4, Section 3 of the US Constitution and working with the state legislature to get it done, similar to the way West Virginia was formed.
“Yes. We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” said founder Tom Reed.
And despite obstacles, doubters, and obvious long odds the group stands united in their statehood dream.
The group is organized with committees and a council of county representatives, but say it will take 10 to 18 months before they are ready to fully engage with the state legislature.
One wonders if these attempts will be just as successful as the those of the Catalan in Spain. Or will it even get that far?
Also, even the rural parts of California are probably too liberal to be able to actually succeed at this or govern themselves any better than the current state of California is. Remember this map? I’m seeing way too many blue counties even in the “rural” parts of the state.
I ran across an invitation for an “online community book club” and it sounds like more fun than… maybe a root canal? The book club proclaims that it is:
focused on self-education surrounding issues of historical and modern enslavement, racial injustice and white privilege, and other similar topics that lead to a better understanding for the purpose of transforming race-relations. We will be reading “The Warmth of Other Suns,” the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Isabel Wilkerson about the epic story of America’s Great Migration from the perspective of three unique African American citizens.
I know nothing about their choice of book, but after a lead-up like that I have no interest in doing even a quick search about it. The person behind posting about this book club is… wait for it… a white “Christian” woman. And I thought Christianity had moved away from self-flagellation as a spiritual practice. Oh how wrong I was. It’s just taken another less-physical form (that’s probably a lot less healthy and spiritually rewarding).
Recently, a Christian acquaintance told me that her family doesn’t celebrate Christmas at all. How sad. I felt sorry for her children. I can understand trying to celebrate differently than the secular materialistic way that is typical in our culture (my family certainly does), but to skip it entirely seems almost disrespectful of our Lord. This family does celebrate their kids’ birthdays; why not the birth of their Savior? Along with Easter, it is a crucial Christian event. The incarnation is vital to our Faith, a pivotal moment that changes everything. We didn’t get into the why of their decision not to celebrate, but I suspect it’s similar to what I’ve heard before: Christmas is really pagan in origin. But is that true?
I’ve never been bothered by this idea that the date for Christmas and several of its holiday traditions were, or might have been, co-opted from various pagan traditions. Christ surely has the power to redeem and baptize anything. Unless you’re Jewish, your ancestors were once pagan. I don’t think the “it was once pagan, has its origins in paganism, therefore it is still evil and Christians should have nothing to do with it!” argument matters much. I’d never bothered to do much reading up about it, but since it seems to matter a lot to some people, I thought I’d do a little research. Just a little turns up some interesting answers, like this: maybe it was the pagans who were co-opting celebration ideas from the Christians, not the other way around. It turns out that Christmas Isn’t Secretly Pagan at all.
The point is, it’s Christmas… The time of the year when we celebrate the miracle of the God of the universe being born as a tiny child! When we marvel at the incarnation and prepare for the glorious Second Coming! When we meditate on the mystery of God becoming man so that man can become like God! Or, actually, none of that. Since, as you’ve probably heard, CHRISTMAS IS SECRETLY A PAGAN HOLIDAY.
…or, at least, this is what you frequently hear from a strange, motley, seasonal coalition of atheists, Neo-Pagans, and fundamentalist Christians who seem intent on making sure that nobody (except maybe them) has any fun in December. The 25th isn’t actually Jesus’s birthday, it’s the Saturnalia! Or the Sol Invictus! Or… something (you can choose from a cornucopia of completely made-up December 25 celebrations if you’re one of the enlightened few who’ve seen the faux-documentary Zeitgeist)! When you put up a tree, you’re not worshiping Jesus, YOU’RE SECRETLY WORSHIPING SATURN OR WODEN OR THE SUN OR SATAN OR WOOD GNOMES OR LIKE THE BUBBLE GUPPIES OR SOMETHING.
Your entire religion is founded on a pile of LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIES!
If you actually dig into the primary sources from the era of early Christianity, you’ll find no evidence at all that Christmas was “stolen” from pagan solstice festivals, and at least some evidence that the exact opposite occurred. Everyone living today may think Christmas is the ripoff, but it’s actually the original…
There are two pagan festivals that are usually pointed to as the origin of Christmas, but the evidence for both is pretty thin. The first choice is usually the Saturnalia, the Roman celebration of the god Saturn, which does pre-date Christmas, but leaves one big, gaping hole in the plot: the Saturnalia kicked off on December 17 every year, and only went up to the 23rd—so if Christmas began as an attempt by Christians to co-opt the Saturnalia, they were literally two days late to the party. Telling people to fast when their friends are partying and then party when their friends are nursing hangovers makes for a lousy way to ease the transition from paganism to Christianity, if that was the intent.
The other usual suspect is the Sol Invictus, the “Feast of the Unconquered Sun,” which looks like a better choice at first, since it did actually take place on December 25. The problem with the Sol Invictus, though, is that literally no one celebrated it until Roman emperor Aurelian instituted it in A.D. 274, and Christian references to Christ’s birth falling on December 25 date all the way back to the early A.D. 200s. So if anyone was stealing holidays from anyone, you pretty much have to conclude the pagans were stealing them from the Christians.
The reality is… there is plenty of evidence that the selection of the date was nothing other than a good-faith attempt by early Christians to discern the actual date of his birth. Sources from the early Christian era show a great deal of debate among Christian thinkers over the most likely day for the nativity, and while a lot of the reasoning is fairly convoluted, none of it acknowledges anything the pagans may or may not have been doing. In brief, the reasoning that appears to have won the day goes like this:
- It was generally agreed that Jesus died on March 25. (Because there were half a dozen competing calendars in the first century A.D., it’s hard to say that with a lot of certainty, but there it is. The second-most-popular choice for the date was April 6.)
- There was a popular belief in first-century Christianity and Judaism that all true prophets died on the same day they were conceived. This meant that March 25 was also the date of Christ’s conception. (This is why, for those of you following the liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Anunciation falls on March 25, unless March 25 falls in Holy Week, in which case… never mind.)
- Adding nine months to March 25 gets you December 25. (Then, mostly because of the March 25 / April 6 controversy, Epiphany, which celebrates the arrival of the magi, was set nine months after April 6, on January 6, as a sort of compromise…)
So there it is. Convoluted, sure, but not “stolen from the pagans…” And even if you don’t buy that particular explanation for the date, you still have to contend with the fact that there’s no evidence at all of early Christians plotting to co-opt pagan holidays. So, if that’s the case, how did we arrive at the “everybody-knows” factoid of Christmas being a re-purposed pagan festival?
As usual with questions like this, the answer turns out to be “Englightenment-era Protestants just making stuff up.”
The idea that Christmas is OMG SECRETLY PAGAN comes not from first-millennium sources, but from Paul Ernst Jablonski, an 18th-century Calvinist theologian and amateur historian who (like all good Calvinists) was looking to discredit the Catholic Church. Without citing any real evidence, he just sort of asserted the stuff about Christmas being a re-skin of the Sol Invictus and called it a day. A lot of people—including some Catholics—just took him at face value on this, and the rest, as they say, is pseudo-history. But, as popular as Jablonski’s ideas managed to get, no one has ever been able to cite any real evidence for them.
None of that is to say that Christmas didn’t absorb any pagan customs (of course it did—just like Hanukkah has absorbed some Christmas-y customs), or that Christians were the first people in history to bring trees inside and cover them in sparkly things…
There are even more reasons to be found as to why Dec. 25 was set as the date to celebrate Christ’s Mass such as how the date can be tied to Zechariah’s serving in the Temple and the subsequent conception of St. John the Baptist, and that early church fathers such as St. John Chrysostom (c.344-407) were certain that Dec. 25 was the date of the Nativity and referred to historical records in Rome as proof (since destroyed by barbarian invasions of Rome). See more here and here and here.
The AP reports that the superintendent of the Virginia State Police is retiring… but it’s “not Charlottesville-related” we promise! Neither were those other two “retirements” in the previous two days.
The superintendent of the Virginia State Police announced his retirement Tuesday after decades of service, a move an agency spokeswoman said was unrelated to this summer’s violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
Authorities have faced unrelenting criticism for their handling of the rally, and Col. W. Steven Flaherty’s retirement marks the third announcement in two days of the departure of a top public official with a role in responding. But state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Flaherty had been planning to step down at the end of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration.
The city of Charlottesville announced earlier Tuesday that City Attorney Craig Brown will be leaving at the end of January. And Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas, 50, announced his retirement Monday after less than two years on the job.
If it’s all so unrelated, one wonders why the AP writer choose to make the majority of the article’s content about the “Unite the Right Rally” and subsequent riot/disaster that it turned into. She had to bring up the one death and James Alex Fields too. Despite the title (State police: Leader’s departure not Charlottesville-related), it seems that it is, in fact, all about Charlottesville.
Another interesting piece of “reporting” from the Babylon Bee.
LYNCHBURG, VA—Liberty University has announced its next set of Convocation speakers for the coming semester, and among several prominent athletes and political figures is the ancient, brooding cosmic entity known as Cthulhu, sources confirmed Tuesday.
The horror from beyond time and space will address the student body, giving his remarks on living moral lives and voting Republican, according to Liberty reps.
“We’ve got a really special treat for all Liberty students: the Sleeper of R’lyeh from the unknown reaches of the stars,” Jerry Falwell Jr said in an announcement video. “It’s important to us that our students get a well-rounded experience while attending our university, and that includes hearing from varying perspectives, like various conservative politicians as well as the Great Dreamer from the blackest depths of the sea.”
“Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!” he added, his eyes glazing over in a trancelike stare.
According to Falwell, an expedition was sent to the murky waters of the South Pacific to extend an invitation to Cthulhu, who was taking a nap in his house at R’lyeh at the time, waking up to warmly accept the invitation to speak at the school.
Liberty University personnel claim rumors that Cthulhu will devour all of humanity after the event are unfounded.