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Christians Are a Minority for the First Time In Australian History

Atheists are cheering at the drop in religious affiliation in our nation. However, with Christians becoming a minority, those who have abandoned faith in God have embraced faith in other things — in modern ideologies.

Australian census data released yesterday shows that — for the first time in our nation’s history — Christians are in the minority.

News that just 44% of Australians now identify as Christian — down from 74.6% in 1996 — sent Christianophobes into a frenzy.

“Abandoning God” was trending on social media as atheists danced on Christianity’s grave.

To be fair, the godless needed something to cheer about after Pride Week ended with the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

Former journalist Mike Carlton wrote:

Now that “Christians” are a minority group, do you think they’ll stop telling the rest of us how to live?

Does he mean like the LGBTQ+ minority?

Christian minority

Dreadful Consequences

The massive drop in the number of people identifying as Christian coincides with a massive spike in the number of people with mental health issues.

There’s no connection, of course. It’s all pure coincidence.

Yes, we took a sponge to wipe away the entire horizon. And?

Sure, we drank the entire sea. But honestly, it hasn’t affected us.

And it’s true that we unchained the earth from its sun and are now plunging continually — backward, sideward, forward, in all directions; straying through an infinite nothing.

But we categorically deny that has anything at all to do with the fact that mental health is now the nation’s number one health concern. It’s all just random chance, like the universe.

Illogical

Many atheists were unhappy with the Sydney Morning Herald reporting that Australians were “abandoning God”.

You cannot abandon something that never existed, they argued.

‘We are not abandoning God so much as embracing common sense,’ wrote one.

To which I would reply: ‘What is a woman?

You have to love today’s progressive Left. They ridicule Christians for believing in “fairytales” while insisting that men can have periods.

And if you disagree, they’ll destroy you. Hallelujah!

New Religions

While it’s true that Australia is becoming less Christian, it is also true that we are becoming more religious.Bob Dylan

As the Pope of Folk, Bob Dylan, sang:

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

In other words, our brains have “religion hardware” built in from the factory. Specific religions or ideologies are just the software we choose to run.

Of course, the progressive Left will deny that they are religious, but that’s exactly what you would expect from a state-sanctioned religion. There is no separation of Woke and State.

The absence of divinity makes the progressive Left’s belief system no less religious. Godless Lefties define religion as only those belief systems that subscribe to the idea of a divine being in order to dismiss other religions as mere religions, and make theirs appear to be something greater.

Christian doctrines have simply been replaced by hardline secular ideologies, which are frequently more dogmatic, intolerant, and hostile to non-believers, blasphemers, and apostates.

Modern Taboos and Sacred Cows

These days you are more likely to lose your job for using the wrong pronouns than for using the Lord’s name in vain.

And you are more likely to lose friends and family for failing to get your 18th booster shot than for failing to get baptised.

John AndersonFormer Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, appearing on Sky News last night, made the salient point:

“To those who are dancing on the grave as they think they are of Christianity — what’s the alternative, where is your better way?”

Progressives on Twitter dismissed Mr Anderson as simply uptight.

If only his parents had taken him along to Drag Queen Story Time as a child, he’d be more inclusive and open-minded.

Christianity is in the minority now. The progressive Left is creating a brave new world without the old superstitions that old fuddy-duddies like Mr Anderson would have us cling to.

Forget the Apostle’s Creed and repeat after me: “Trans women are women” and “My body, my choice” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Holy Communion has been replaced by the new sacraments of abortion, and puberty blockers.

Slavery, and coal, are the original sins. Greta Thunberg and George Floyd are the new saints. Police and whites and TERFS are the new devils.

Welcome to Country, carbon offsets, taking a knee and diversity training are to be our penance.

Critical Race Theory is gospel. So are net-zero emissions.

Mainstream media are the priests.

Public schools are the youth groups (which is why progressives don’t want Christian chaplains anywhere near them) and Davos is the Holy City.

Forget blind faith in God. The new religion requires only blind faith in government.

John Lennon’s Imagine is the only religious hymn you ever need sing.

Oh, and if you disagree with any of this, you will be cancelled. It’s kind of like being condemned to hell, except that there is no chance of redemption. Ever. Amen.

As GK Chesterton famously quipped:

“When men stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.”

Or as the Apostle Paul put it:

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served the created things rather than the Creator… their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.”

That Christian belief is now in the minority does not mean Australia is less religious, only that a new religion is taking its place.

With the famous Irish poet William Yeats, many of us look apprehensively at the census results and wonder:

“What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

___

Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.
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SCOTUS Sides with High School Football Coach Fired for Praying on the Field

The Supreme Court on Monday sided 6-3 with a football coach who was fired for praying on the field after games, marking another win for religious liberty delivered by the conservative-leaning court.

The case surrounds high school football coach Joseph Kennedy and Bremerton School District in the state of Washington. Kennedy, a devout Christian who began working at Bremerton High School in 2008, was fired from his role as varsity assistant coach and as the junior varsity head coach after he refused to quit praying on the 50 yard line in full view of the public following games.

Kennedy asserted that the school district violated the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The district also used the First Amendment to justify its argument, claiming that Kennedy’s prayers in view of the public and students following a school-sanctioned event violate the Establishment Clause because his actions could be perceived as a district endorsement of religion.

Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the majority opinion, ruling that the Bremerton School District violated the Free Exercise Clause and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment by firing coach Joseph Kennedy for praying after games. Gorsuch further ruled that the district failed to prove that Kennedy violated the Establishment Clause and overruled the “Lemon test,” a measure of government coercion of religion which some justices have previously called outdated and misused.

Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic—whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head. Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment,” Gorsuch wrote.

Joseph Kennedy

Christian high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was fired in 2015 for refusing to stop kneeling and praying on the field after games. (Screenshot)

“And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination,” he continued. 

Gorsuch spoke against both the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which sided against Kennedy, writing that the lower courts’ interpretation of the Establishment Clause would make all school employee speech “subject to government control.” 

“On this understanding, a school could fire a Muslim teacher for wearing a headscarf in the classroom or prohibit a Christian aide from praying quietly over her lunch in the cafeteria,” he wrote.  

Gorsuch also clarified that the Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause, and the Free Speech Clause have complementary purposes, “not warring ones where one Clause is always sure to prevail over the others.” 

“In this way, the District effectively created its own vise between the Establishment Clause on one side and the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses on the other, placed itself in the middle, and then chose its preferred way out of its self-imposed trap,” he continued. “To defend its approach, the District relied on Lemon and its progeny. In upholding the District’s actions, the Ninth Circuit followed the same course.”

Gorsuch proceeded to eviscerate Lemon, noting the the district’s claim that Kennedy “coerced” students to pray with him were unfounded. The justice explained that the Lemon test “invited chaos” into lower courts and “created a minefield for legislators.”

“This Court has since made plain, too, that the Establishment Clause does not include anything like a modified heckler’s veto, in which . . . religious activity can be proscribed based on ‘perceptions’ or ‘discomfort,’  he wrote. 

“In place of Lemon and the endorsement test, this Court has instructed that the Establishment Clause must be interpreted by ‘reference to historical practices and understandings,’” he continued. 

Both Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito wrote concurring opinions; Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer, dissented. Sotomayor argued that the majority decision is a “disservice” to the separation of church and state, and is “no victory for religious liberty.”

First Liberty Institute, which represented Coach Kennedy, disagreed with Sotomayor’s assessment, calling the decision a “tremendous victory” for Kennedy, “and religious liberty for all Americans.”

“Our Constitution protects the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of getting fired. We are grateful that the Supreme Court recognized what the Constitution and law have always said – Americans are free to live out their faith in public,” Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO, and chief counsel for First Liberty said

“This is another tremendous victory for the Constitution and rule of law,” agreed former Ambassador Ken Blackwell, senior adviser at both the Family Research Council and the America First Policy Institute. “This highlights yet again the incredible contribution that President Trump made to our nation’s highest court, which in the same week it upheld the Second Amendment and returned abortion to the states has now also upheld the original public meaning of both free speech and religious liberty in the First Amendment.”

Paul Clement, former U.S. Solicitor General and First Liberty network attorney who argued Kennedy’s case, also celebrated the win.

“After seven long years, Coach Kennedy can finally return to the place he belongs – coaching football and quietly praying by himself after the game. This is a great victory for Coach Kennedy and the First Amendment,” Clement said. 

Coach Kennedy released a statement too, saying, “This is just so awesome.” 

“All I’ve ever wanted was to be back on the field with my guys. I am incredibly grateful to the Supreme Court, my fantastic legal team, and everyone who has supported us. I thank God for answering our prayers and sustaining my family through this long battle,” he said. 

The case is Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, No. 21-418 in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.

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The SCOTUS Abortion Decision: Courage and Clarity

What a momentous decision this was, a win for democracy and humanity. The SCOTUS judges responsible for overturning Roe v Wade are to be commended for their courage and clear legal thinking. While the pro-abortion Left threatens further violence, we must begin to rebuild the culture of life.

June 24, 2022 will go down in American history as Independence Day — freedom for Americans, at least for the unborn. After some 60 to 70 million American unborn babies were killed since Roe v Wade was passed in 1973, now we have the very real hope that far fewer babies will be killed in this way. That is terrific news. Let me say a bit more about this groundbreaking decision.

Restoring Democracy

First, as to the actual decision, the full title is this: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This had to do with an abortion provider challenging the state of Mississippi’s 2018 law that banned abortion after 15 weeks (with some exceptions). Thomas Dobbs is the state health officer.

What the June 24 Dobbs decision did was uphold the Mississippi law, and declared that there is no constitutional right to abortion, thus overturning two previous SCOTUS decisions: the 1973 Roe v. Wade case and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey case. You can read the entire decision here.

As I stated in yesterday’s piece, Dobbs simply returned things to the way they always were: the citizens of 50 US states — through their elected representatives — will decide how abortion is done in each state. No longer will a handful of unelected justices make those decisions for the American people.

This is, in other words, all about democracy in action — quite the opposite of what the raving pro-aborts are saying, claiming it is an assault on democracy. Lefties are even saying this is a “rigged” court! Translation: If the conservatives win in a ruling, it is rigged. If the lefties win in a ruling, it is democracy in action. Abortion policy is now going to be determined by the American people as it should be, especially given that this is all about important life and death decisions.

Composition of the Court

And let me clarify some confusion as to the decision. Some media reports yesterday spoke of a 6-3 decision, while others spoke of a 5-4 decision. So which is it? Well, it was sort of a 5-1-3 decision. Those in the majority were Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Trump of course appointed the last three judges.

Those in the minority — and who wrote a dissenting opinion — were Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. John Roberts in fact wrote a separate concurring opinion in which he basically agreed with the majority but argued for “a more measured course.”

Speaking of who voted how, we can of course dismiss the foolish claim made by the radicals and pro-aborts that a bunch of old white men make these abortion decisions. Um, while none of the justices are spring chickens (Amy Coney Barrett is the youngest at age 50), we had both a Black (Thomas) and a woman (Coney Barrett) voting to overturn Roe. And if the fems do not like men voting on such matters, will they dismiss the vote of Breyer who voted their way?

Courage

Given all the hate the conservative justices have been getting over the past month or two, including the attempted murder of Justice Kavanaugh at his own home, this was a very courageous decision indeed. Robert P. George put it this way:

Please take a moment to appreciate the courage of the justices who today overturned Roe v Wade. In doing what they did, they took their lives into their hands. Each knew that for the rest of his or her life he or she will have a target on his or her back. They and their families have witnessed the ugly scenes in front of their homes. They’ve heard the abusive chants.

They know that an armed man came to the home of Justice Kavanaugh intending to murder him. Life for the justices will never return to normal. There is no going back. The campaign of intimidation against them failed, but they will never again be safe. They know that. They knew it when they decided the case and authorized the release of the decision. It took guts.

With the pro-aborts taking to the streets and threatening even more violence and bloodshed, all pro-lifers will need the same sort of courage. Indeed, this is not just flesh and blood we battle against, but the very forces of spiritual darkness.

Insane Fury

The ironic thing is this: the biggest and baddest protests right now are in leftist states like New York, Illinois and California, where abortion will never be made illegal any time soon. Moreover, a majority of Americans prefer a ban on abortion after 15 weeks. So we have already seen some states move towards life.

Bans on abortion went ahead after the decision in states such as Oklahoma, South Dakota, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Missouri. Around a dozen US states had such ‘trigger laws’ in place, awaiting the SCOTUS decision. And places like South Dakota are putting the penalties for violating the new laws on doctors providing the abortions, NOT on the women seeking to get them.

But the pro-aborts are enraged nonetheless. Just imagine people being so irate and demonised that they are happy to riot and tear our cities down all because it will be easier and safer for babies to be born. What sort of people think and act this way? And even more bizarre, most of these angry protesters just a month ago could not tell you what a woman is!

Hypocrites

Not only should we not listen to these people, but we should also ignore them, since for the past two years they were insisting that you had to have foreign substances jabbed into your body against your will. Their mantra, “My body my choice,” is simply bogus.

And our leaders have been just as bad, be they Biden, Macron, Johnson, Ardern and others. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said American women can come to Canada to kill their babies. He actually said we must respect “bodily autonomy”. Um, this is the same miscreant who jailed people who demanded bodily autonomy over the past two years.

It is also quite amazing to hear all the angry pro-aborts whining: ‘What about poor people?’ What about them? Does being poor give you a right to kill babies? Besides, poor folks will be able to kill babies now just as easily as they could during the past 50 years. As my friend Mark Rabich put it:

“‘Do not murder’ is not qualified by economic status or the availability of free stuff. Some people don’t realise they openly broadcast their selfishness. Sex is not a licence to murder.”

One final thought: none of this would have happened were it not for Donald Trump becoming the 45th President of the USA. His appointment of three pro-life justices (and hundreds of conservative lower court judges) made all the difference. With Roe aborted, Trump will go down in history as America’s most pro-life President. “God made the decision” is what Trump said when asked if he played a role in the decision with his three conservative SCOTUS appointees.

Where To Now?

As I said in my previous piece, the war is definitely not over. We may have won an important battle, but the fight for life continues. The other side will NOT just roll over and play dead. They will intensify their pro-death crusade, including even more violence and hatred in the public arena. So we must keep on standing up for life.

And as George Grant put it in a recent piece, we must keep standing up for the Gospel as well:

The primary conflict in temporal history always has been and always will be the struggle for life by the church against the natural inclinations of all men everywhere. This was the case long before Roe and it will be long after, for as long as the Lord tarries.

So after Roe, what’s our job now? It is the same as always: we must be gospel advocates of all that is right and good and true. We must care for the poor, the hurting, and the marginalized. We must speak the truth in love. We must remind our magistrates of their responsibilities. We must disciple. We must be unflinching in the proclamation of the good news, which changes everything. Our intercessions and labors must be unceasing.

Our local crisis pregnancy centers need our support like never before. Our pulpits need to ring out with practical, pastoral, and prophetic urgency like never before. And we need to remember God’s glorious promise like never before:

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)

Two concluding quotes from pro-life Christians can be shared here: Eric Metaxas said this:

“UNCONSTITUTIONAL ROE IS OVERTURNED! Praise the Lord!!! Anyone who thinks prayer doesn’t work — or that America’s best days are over — needs to think again.”

And pro-life activist Scott Klusendorf said:

“Tomorrow: If your church says absolutely nothing about the monumental striking of Roe and Casey, you are most likely in a church that cares little about applying biblical ethics and a biblical worldview to its Christian witness.”

Quite so. In fact, if you belong to a church that is silent on this issue, or worse yet, is condemning the Dobbs decision, you clearly are in the wrong church. You need to get out now. Life really is that important.

___

Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo: George Rudy/Bigstock

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Trump: ‘God Made the Decision’

Donald Trump was instrumental in placing judges on the Supreme Court who acted on the fact that Roe vs. Wade was based on bad legal reasoning. Yet, he gives all credit to God for the astounding developments last Friday.

The unconstitutional decision of Roe vs. Wade has now been consigned to the dustbin of history. But not before over 60 million children have been aborted. And that’s just in the United States alone.

Significantly, when Donald Trump was asked if he thought he played a role in the legislation’s reversal — especially after having appointed three conservative justices to the high court — the former president is reported to have told Fox News:

“God made the decision.”

It wasn’t that long ago when in the midst of a violent demonstration, President Trump stood outside St John’s Church in Washington — historically referred to as ‘The President’s Church’ — holding a Bible and denouncing the actions of the protestors. Many evangelical Christians even declared how ‘offended’ they were at such actions.

Forked Tongue

Well, approximately two years later, here we are witnessing Joe Biden, a self-confessed Roman Catholic, saying that he’s going to do everything in his power to enshrine the right of a woman to be able to kill her unborn child. Whether she needs to access the abortive drugs through the mail, or travel interstate to do so. According to Joe Biden, being able to have an abortion is a woman’s constitutional right.

And yet, what is the response? Outrage at the blatant religious hypocrisy of someone who claims to belong to the Church? Indignation at the undermining of basic Biblical ethics? Possibly even being offended at not properly representing all people of faith? Maybe even a social media campaign complete with the hashtag #NotMyPresident?

Well, at least now everyone seems to be able to agree — without doing a degree in biology — on the definition as to what a ‘woman’ is! But that sound you’re hearing right now is the chirping of crickets. Because self-appointed cultural watchdogs are now noticeably silent.

Just in case you might have missed it — and you’re not sure what his unequivocal support of abortion looks like — President Biden said to the media:

Make no mistake, this decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort, over decades, to upset balance of our law.

It’s a realisation of an extreme ideology and tragic error of the Supreme Court in my view…

It’s a sad day for the country in my view. But it doesn’t mean that the fight’s over.

Let me be very clear and unambiguous. The only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose — and the balance that existed — is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe vs.     Wade as federal law. No executive action from the President can do that.

And if Congress, as it appears, lacks the votes to do that now, voters need to make their voices heard. This Fall you must elect more senators and representatives who will codify into law a woman’s right to choose into Federal law…

This Fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot. The right to privacy, liberty and equality. They’re all on the ballot.

Until then I will do all in my power to protect a woman’s right in states who will face the consequences of today’s decision.

Cowardly Watchmen

One of the passages I was scheduled to read in my yearly Bible reading plan — I follow the one by Robert Murray McCheyne — is Isaiah 56 and 57. It’s where God’s prophet says:

Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge;
they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark.
(Isaiah 56:10)

And then in the very next chapter we read:

Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue?
Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars?
You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree;
you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging rocks.
(Isaiah 57:4-5)

The problem with the watchmen of Israel is that they were silent. They were like dogs who refused to bark. What were the kind of things they should have been making a noise about? Well, the perennial pagan problem involved with the idolatry surrounding lust and child sacrifice. It’s that their children were being routinely and ritualistically slaughtered.

But, once again, the problem with the watchmen of Israel is that they were silent. For one reason or another, they refused to speak. Maybe it’s because they didn’t want to be hated (see John 15:18-20). Maybe it’s because they didn’t want to cause further division (see Matthew 10:34-39). Or maybe it’s because they just didn’t want to suffer (see 2 Timothy 3:12). Whatever their reason was, it’s good to remember the warning of Jesus in Luke 6:26:

Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

Think of Trump what you will. But history will record that when others remained silent, one US President had the courage to still bark.

___

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images 

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The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Vanquishing Roe v Wade

What a wonderful day! The end of the terrible, inhuman, unlawful regime instituted by the men of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) almost half a century ago.

Catholics: SCOTUS vs POTUS

Six out of nine of the current justices in the Supreme Court are Catholics; another, Justice Neil Gorsuch, was raised Catholic but may have become Episcopalian upon marriage. The remaining two are Jewish.

Four of the Catholics — Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and Samuel Alito — along with Justice Gorsuch were instrumental in this monumental judgement. As my Facebook friend Michael Fanelli observed, these judges are:

“Partakers of the Priestly, Prophetic, and Kingly functions of the Church.”

SCOTUS pro-life judges - Feast of the Sacred Heart

Fr John Trigilio Jr, host of the long-running Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) TV show Web of Faith, posted on Facebook:

“On this feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, SCOTUS overruled Roe v Wade. POTUS however made his unequivocal support of abortion this afternoon. Both President Biden and Nancy Pelosi risk excommunication and should not be given Holy Communion. (Canon 915)”

Indeed, the fake Catholics in the White House, along with those Catholic judges who were in opposition, are a disgrace with their politically correct support of abortion “rights”.

Dr Gerard M Nadal, president and CEO of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, wrote:

“The decision was rendered on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, a heart that burns with the fire of love for all involved in this great national tragedy. We need to pray for Biden and those who would further pervert our system of government and justice in the headlong pursuit of adding to the nation’s ghastly toll of lives prematurely ended, and parents left with the toxic residue of anger, guilt, and trauma.”

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Solemn Feast

Sacred Heart - Child JesusJune may have a certain significance to those of a progressive bent, but to Catholics, it is the Month of the Sacred Heart, when we have a particular focus on the burning love of Jesus for humanity. The Feast of the Sacred Heart popularised the common heart (❤) symbol which we use today, which dates from the Middle Ages.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can be traced to the writings of the early Church contemplating John 7:37-39 (Christ as the Living Water) and John 19:33-37 (the piercing of the crucified Christ), emphasising the infinite love of God bearing fruit in new life through our sanctification and salvation wrought by Jesus.

This devotion is founded on the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. As Jesus is fully human as well as fully divine, every aspect of His human nature is worthy of adoration. At the same time, the Sacred Heart devotion encompasses the whole mystery of Christ, His entire being, and His Person as the Son of God, Who is Love.

In 1856, Pope Pius IX designated the Friday following the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ/the Eucharist) as the Feast of the Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart trumps JohnOrdinarily, 24 June is the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, born six months before his cousin Jesus (since his mother Elizabeth was six months pregnant when Mary went to visit her — Luke 1:36). The Bible records that when John was a preborn child in the womb, he bore witness to the presence of the Messiah in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:44), leaping for joy at the voice of Mary, the vessel bearing the Holy One, just as David leapt for joy before the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6:16).

However, as Our Lord takes precedence, John’s feast was moved to the day preceding the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart this year.

What an appropriate day this is for the vanquishing of an evil law! God’s love triumphs over the selfishness of men and women, leading us along the path of life, not death.

[embedded content]

Celebrations

Fr Blake Britten of Orlando, Florida, rejoices:

“My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is with joy on this feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that we celebrate the overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the United States Supreme Court. After more than 50 years of prayer and fasting, the Lord has yet again reminded us that He is faithful to those who love Him and His mercy last from generation to generation. This is a great day for our nation as we take the first step towards respecting the liberty of individual states as well as restoring an appreciation for the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. Let us now begin the work of converting hearts and healing wounds with a continued spirit of steadfast love, compassion, understanding and peace. Praised be Jesus Christ now and forever! Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us!”

Matt Fradd chimed in:

“Today, on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, countless prayers were answered as the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v Wade. Let us now continue in prayers of thanksgiving and ask for peace in light of this decision. The darkness will never prevail!

Glory to Jesus Christ!

O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You!”

giants fall on the Feast of the Sacred HeartCatholic evangelist Paul Kim wrote:

‘I can’t believe it. The day has finally arrived. Thank you God!

This doesn’t end abortion completely in our country, but it is an incredible blow against the silent genocide that has been taking place for the last 49 years and has destroyed the lives of over 60 million of our family members, friends, and neighbors who never got the chance to live. 13 states have automatic trigger laws that make abortion illegal immediately (or within a month). Now all of those babies who were in danger of being terminated have a fighting chance and moms who need support from pregnancy centers can actually get it instead of being told that “abortion will solve their problems”. It’s time to pray and work hard for those last 37 states to follow suit.

“You formed my inmost being. You knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works!” //
Psalms 139:13-14’

prolife Gorsuch

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever! May the Lord grant our American brothers and sisters the grace, strength and resources to rebuild a culture of life in their nation, a light for the world to see and follow.

___

Photo: Belmont Abbey College

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New York Bishops ‘Give Thanks to God’ for Roe v. Wade Reversal

The Catholic Bishops of New York issued a statement Friday on the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, declaring that the historic ruling “will save countless innocent children simply waiting to be born.”

“We give thanks to God for today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” reads the statement, signed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and seven of his brother bishops from New York state.

In their statement, the bishops express their gratitude to “the millions of heroic Americans who have worked tirelessly toward this outcome for nearly a half-century” and who have been “a charitable and compelling voice for the voiceless.”

“With the entire pro-life community, we are overjoyed with this outcome of the Court,” the bishops said while calling on the pro-life community to be charitable to those who do not share their convictions, “even as we celebrate an important historical moment and an answer to a prayer.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrates Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on June 28, 2020 in New York City. St. Patrick's is celebrating its first public Mass since March due to the global pandemic. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrates Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on June 28, 2020, in New York City. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

The bishops also note that the culture “remains deeply divided on the issue,” and much more work needs to be done to win over the hearts and minds of all Americans in defense of life.

“To change the culture and build a culture of life, we need to enact family-friendly policies that welcome children, support mothers, cherish families and empower them to thrive,” the statement reads.

Building a culture of life means that all of us “need to respect the dignity and sanctity of human life in everything we do: in how we treat our children, spouses and parents; in the way we behave in our place of work; in sum, how we live Jesus’ two great commandments to love God and love our neighbor,” they state.

“Love, charity and reverence for human life from the moment of conception through natural death – these will build and sustain a culture of life,” they add.

“Millions of Americans have worked tirelessly for almost 50 years towards this outcome. We thank them with every fiber of our being. Their vital work continues, and we commit ourselves to it,” they conclude.

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Supreme Court Overrules Roe v. Wade in Dobbs Decision – Returns Abortion to State Lawmakers

WASHINGTON, DC – The Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding in the Dobbs case that the Constitution does not include a right to abortion and returning the issue of abortion laws and regulations to state legislatures.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the Supreme Court in Friday’s 5-4 decision:

Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return the authority to the people and their elected representatives.

Roe was handed down in 1973 in a 7-2 decision, holding that the U.S. Constitution includes a constitutional right to abortion, despite the fact that abortion is not found in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution, and the nation went more than 180 years without ever noticing it existed. It has been one of the most divisive legal issues in American history.

An early draft of Alito’s opinion leaked in May, the first such leak of a full opinion in the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, leading the left to violent protests, including destroying a pro-life center in Wisconsin, vandalizing churches, and threatening protests at the home of conservatives justices in violation of federal law.

These threats have culminated in what was almost an assassination attempt of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which went seemingly unnoticed by President Joe Biden – who did not speak out to condemn it – and has led to rapid action on a new federal law to protect the justices. The court majority evidently stood firm against the threats and public pressure, overruling Roe and the later revision of Roe in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

With Roe overruled, the issue of abortion now goes back to the states to pass whatever restrictions on abortions the voters of each state choose to adopt.

Alito’s majority opinion is 79 pages long. This is a developing story, and will be updated throughout the day.

The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392 in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Ken Klukowski is an attorney who formerly served in the White House and Justice Department and is a Breitbart News contributor.

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Pope Francis Answers Putin’s ‘Satan-2’ WMD Sabre-Rattling

Pope Francis insists that we do not require nuclear weapons or the lose-lose policy of mutually-assured destruction to maintain world peace and security. There is a better way forward than holding threats of total annihilation over the heads of humanity.

An ailing Pope Francis has dusted off rumours about his potential resignation due to his health.

Speculation continued to circulate this week after the 85-year-old acknowledged his struggle with age-related health issues, some of which have resulted in surgery, and an overseas trip cancellation.

A New York Post article fuelled the speculation, which was later written off by the Vatican as “fake news.” Addressing a gathering of bishops from Brazil, Francis spoke about his health, reassuring them that “resigning hadn’t crossed his mind”.

Asked about his plans, Francis replied,

“I want to live my mission as long as God allows me and that’s it.”

The moderate, theologically progressive Latin-American pope doesn’t appear to be giving up his tenure any time soon. He was also active this week in poking international social consciousness over nuclear weapons.

Free from Fear

Addressing the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Francis took to task the concept of mutually-assured destruction (MAD).

MAD is, Francis said, an inadequate way of keeping “collective security and peace”, asserting that “a world free from nuclear weapons is both necessary and possible.”

The Vatican boss gave the treaty’s President-designate Alexander Kmentt his full backing, recommitting the Catholic Church to “promoting peace between peoples and nations and fostering education for peace throughout its institutions.”

Pope Francis further argued that nuclear weapons “were a costly and dangerous liability”, only offering the “illusion of peace.”

He then damned the use and ownership of nuclear weapons, as “immoral,” stating,

“[The act of] trying to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security and a ‘balance of terror’, sustained by a mentality of fear and mistrust, inevitably ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing any possible form of real dialogue.”

“Existing disarmament treaties,” he explained, “were more than just legal obligations. They are also moral commitments based on trust between citizens and their governments.”

As such, these treaties have “ethical consequences for current and future generations of humanity.”

Remaining true to his push for the abolition of extinction-level weaponry, Pope Francis recalled remarks from his February protest against the war in Ukraine, exclaiming, “those who wage war… forget humanity!”

Deadly Developments

The Catholic Church leader’s comments are not devoid of context.

Three months into his war on Ukrainians, Russian President Vladimir Putin, escalating the prospect of a nuclear winter, “bragged” that his “Satan-2” (the NATO designation for Russia’s RS-28 Sarmat) heavy ICBMs, will be “put on combat duty by the end of 2022.”

Popular Mechanics rates the RS-28 as being capable of “delivering up to ten thermonuclear warheads anywhere on Earth.”

The existence of RS-28, and Putin’s threats to deploy them in combat, give weight to Pope Francis’ disarmament demands.

Likewise, Pope Francis’ demand for the abolition of nuclear weapons is relevant to Iran’s quest for weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Aside from Putin’s Eastern European powder keg, should Israel pre-emptively strike a weaponised nuclear facility in Iran, there is real potential for war in the Middle East.

It’s no secret that Israel is keeping the Biden administration at an arm’s length from its national security prerogatives. A likely reason for this is Team Biden/Obama’s face-saving attempts at a political resurrection of Barack Obama’s shady “Iran deal.”

Putin’s WMD sabre-rattling against Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, and others, is an example of what Israel, and the West, could expect from a nuclear-armed Iranian jihadist regime. A regime already on record for threatening to destroy Jews, supporters of Israel, and the nation of Israel itself.

Despite the hopes and assurances of the current Pope, it is unlikely that nuclear-armed nations are going to lay down their arms while the world is being threatened by the ambitions of militant authoritarians.

The WMD pale horse cannot be corralled after it has already bolted.

The answer to eye-for-an-eye mutually assured destruction is eye-to-eye conduct. If the West’s fraternal policy of “peace through strength” is abandoned for a policy of appeasement, with it goes the conditions for relationship and respect. The outcome would be a world inevitably thrown back into the “old world balance of power” Pope Francis decries.

___

Photo: Paul Haring/CNS

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What Tori Hope Petersen Wants You To Know About Being ‘Fostered’

The foster care system gets mentioned in discussions by people who have little to no knowledge of its reality. Tori Hope Petersen gives a firsthand account of the system and how it shaped her in her debut memoir, “Fostered.”

Petersen is a wife, a mother to three, and has also been a foster parent. She is also a former foster youth and foster care advocate. Over her years in the system and working with the system, her faith and passion have given her the strength necessary to serve these less-than-fortunate children.

Petersen took the time to talk with The Federalist during a short break from helping her younger sister move in. The sisters spent their early days together in foster care before being separated. This year, they were reunited and Petersen welcomed her sister into her home where they now live together. During a follow-up conversation, Petersen’s son hung out on the side while enjoying a bowl of spaghetti as the two sat in the summer sun. It was apparent her family is her everything.

Petersen talks about her upcoming book, “Fostered,” and how her journey through the foster care system and faith journey have shaped her.

Fostered” will be available for purchase on Aug. 30, 2022 on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, or Target.

Why did you initially decide to write “Fostered”?

I wanted to write the book because I wanted youth in foster care to understand that they weren’t victims, that they were victors, that they could overcome the hardest things that were set up against them through Christ. As I wrote the book, and as I began to write on social media, I realized that I was educating foster parents, child welfare workers, lawyers, people who worked in the child welfare space, and just people who have an interest in foster care. I didn’t intend for the audience to be what it is now. I just really wanted to write a book that was kind of like the book that I needed when I was in care. Now knowing my audience is broader than I anticipated, I now hope that the book encourages people to step into the hard parts of foster care and to love those around them in an unbridled, fearless kind of way. As people read, they will see that’s what was done for me by others.

What is your experience interacting with your audience who’s learning about your story and about the foster care system for the first time through your story?

It’s mostly just from my social media platform. When it comes to social media in general, the people who read and probably take the most from my posts are just the general population and people who have been interested in foster care, but I think have been scared. I get a lot of messages and I mean, it’s just like, so amazing, so many messages of people saying, “We’ve been interested in foster care for a long time. We’ve been scared or we haven’t done it because X, Y, and Z. Because of your post or your story, we’re getting involved.”

One of the themes that you taught and touched on in your book is just the importance of strong mother and father figures and a strong family. Could you talk a little bit more about that?

I don’t even know what to say about it. It seems so obvious that when we have those supports, the kind of unconditional love that parents give at home, that’s what a strong family is. Then, we don’t go searching for it in other places. When we don’t have to go searching for it in other places, it feels like there’s more stability around our self-worth and who we were created to be. And research shows there’s so much that supports this. I just think that a strong faith and family is really the foundation of a person, but that doesn’t mean a person can’t be strong if they don’t have a strong family either. That’s why it’s important that we have strong communities.

In your book, you recount when you met your father’s side of the family and you felt that sense of community even though you hadn’t really known them up until then. That, along with other things that you touched on in the book, was a very emotional and personal moment. What was it like revisiting those memories?

There were moments that it was hard, but honestly, it was so healing. When people say writing memoirs is cathartic, I didn’t really know what that meant. I always used to have this recurring dream that I was locked in someplace—in the post office or my house or jail—and I couldn’t get out and my mom was yelling at me like how she yelled at me when I was a kid. I’ve had that dream since I went into foster care, probably at least once a month. After I finished writing my book, I had that dream where I was locked somewhere and my mom was yelling at me, and I walked out. I’ve never had the recurring dream since, and I feel like that encompasses what this book has done for me. It’s just been healing. I think that’s kind of what counseling does for us. It helps us process things, and I think that’s what the book helped me do in a deeper way than I already had. It helped me process things all over again.

Unfortunately, not everyone can make that same peace with the past, and some people don’t even have the resources to rehabilitate their minds after traumatic experiences. This is especially true for children in the foster care system. What’s one of the biggest changes you would like to see in the foster care system going forward?

Every foster kid has a file, and that file follows them everywhere they go. It usually says the worst things that have ever happened to them and the worst things they’ve ever done. We know that first impressions are so important, right? Like when we go into a job interview and we have a bad first impression, we think, “Oh how do I fix that?” When a kid has a file, they can’t fix that. It’s just the same things that get brought up to the person that they want to form a deep relationship with. They never get a new start. They never truly get a new beginning. I think how we see children is so valuable for how they’re going to see themselves. I think that we need to do something with the file so that children don’t have that following them around in a way that plagues their identity, because healing really begins and ends with identity.

Poor conditions in the foster care system are a big part of the pro-abortion argument. What is your response to that?

My response is that any real social justice advocacy or any real social justice movement, it aims to end the suffering, not the potential suffering.

What do you hope your readers walk away with after reading through “Fostered”?

My greatest hope behind the book is that youth who read it, parents who read it, and people who read it understand the value that each individual has, that there’s a purpose and plan for their life, and that no matter what they’ve been through, God loves them. And knowing that, they love others. People and God loving me is my motivation to love others the best I can. I want that love to just continue. I think it goes back to that piece of identity that no matter where you come from, no matter what’s been done to you, no matter how you were conceived, you have value, you can be loved, you can love. There’s a plan and purpose for your life. I just want people to know who God is and who God has created us to be.


Elise McCue is an intern at The Federalist and student majoring in multimedia journalism and professional and technical writing. She also reports on the Southwest Virginia music scene for The Roanoke Times. You can follow her on twitter @elisemccue or contact her at mccueelise@gmail.com

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Above the Cacophony

Let us summon the strength and discipline to tune out of the spiritual and cultural white noise that daily assaults us from every direction, and listen to God’s voice in the silence of our hearts, reading His Word and abiding by His ways.

“What? I can’t hear you!”

“If you turned it down, maybe you would!”

“What?”

Such are the words flying around the homes of Australia today — we are assaulted by so many noises and voices vying for our attention. Convincingly, they infiltrate the airwaves via TV sets, computers, social media, newspapers.

Are all voices worthy of our ear? Is every noise constructive? No. Intrusive as they are, or even some seemingly benign, they influence us. Positively or negatively.

White Noise

According to Wikipedia, white noise is commonly used in the production of electronic music, usually either directly, or as an input for a filter to create other types of noise signals. It’s used extensively in audio synthesis, typically to recreate percussive instruments such as cymbals or snare drums which have high noise content in their frequency domain. A simple example of white noise is a non-existent radio station, i.e. static.

In tinnitus treatment, it is used for sound-masking. White noise machines are sold as sleep aids to mask tinnitus. Alternatively, the use of an FM radio tuned to unused frequencies is a simpler, more cost-effective source of white noise.

There is evidence that white noise exposure therapies may induce maladaptive changes in the brain that degrade neurological health and compromise cognition.

Work Environment

The effect of white noise on cognitive functions is mixed. Recently, a study found that white noise background stimulation improves cognitive function among secondary students with ADHD, while decreasing the performance of non-ADHD students. Other research indicates it is effective in improving the mood and performance of workers by masking background office noise, but decreases cognitive performance in complex card-sorting tasks.

Similarly, an experiment was carried out on 66 healthy participants to observe the benefits of using white noise in a learning environment. The experiment involved participants identifying different images while having different sounds in the background. Overall, the experiments showed that white noise does in fact have benefits in relation to learning. The experiments showed that white noise slightly improved the participants’ learning abilities and their recognition memory.

If you suffer from insomnia or have little children, you have probably heard about white noise. Just like the old “watch the watch” scenario, it lulls us, almost hypnotically, to phase out noises that are unsettling, and gives our brain a rest.

Much of our population seems to be willing participants in white noise therapy. They don’t discern what’s happening around us. When we get to the stage of not being able to cope, the human being goes into a ‘fight or flight’ mentality.

Many Australians are subjecting themselves to white noise in the spiritual sense. Pulling the sheet up over our heads, however, will not save our society. The paths on which we tread are leading to the destruction of many things we hold dear. Are we acceding to the whims of governments and bureaucracies bent on socialism at any cost?

Are we weary? Bone-weary, I would say.

Thrash Metal Music

This stuff will hit you fair in the face. It comes at you with ferocity. Love it or loathe it, you know what it is. It’s not masked, hidden, or disguised. It might as well be saying, “Get the hell out of my way, I’m coming!”

If one listens, that’s the message you will get from the Greens, the socialists, the left-leaning Labor globalists, the trendy left wing of the Liberal party, the progressives Nationals and the ‘wokeists’. “Get out of our way!”

Everything is beautiful in its own way.

That’s a line from a lovely old song, but not everything is beautiful in its own way. As a matter of fact, a lot of it is just plain putrid. However, it will be pushed as the new normal, the new beautiful; and if you happen to disagree with this premise, the firing squad of social opinion is waiting. I will expect the same people who normally have something to say about everything I write will do so again, thus revealing the side they’re on.

Take these two subjects. The march is on:

‘In the state of Tasmania, oppressive laws are being proposed that would ban you from talking to your child about a biblical view of sexuality and gender.

In the ACT, a draft bill proposes big changes to the Discrimination Act. If passed these changes will have a significant impact for churches. Essentially, the bill weakens all protections for religious organizations. It will allow courts to intervene in the ordination process and determine who can take communion!

It could also force Christian organizations to use their property against their religious conscience. This is yet another attempt to undermine religious freedom it’s a significant overstep by the state into the life of the church.’

— Martyn Iles, Australian Christian Lobby

The Small Still Voice

Sadly, this particular sound is being searched for less and less on the airwaves of our minds, our spirits. When I first came to Christ back in the ’80s, an old friend, indeed a mother in Christ, said to me, “Leonie, I think you’ve gotten in 10 minutes to midnight.” Quite a few years ago now, yet not forgotten.

My grounding was under a good minister who preached the word without apology, and who taught from the word — a trait that sadly seems to be dying out across many a denomination and church pulpit today.

How watered down does the Gospel need to get to become totally ineffective?

Just how compromised do these supposed shepherds of the flock become before everything is tainted with the filth of ‘wokeism’ and towing the governmental hand-out line?

‘Broad is the way, the path that leads to destruction, and many are travelling on it.
Narrow is the way that leads to life, and few find it.’

If we are bold enough to look at the truth of the persecution of Christians across the world, would we be completely naive to believe it could not happen here? Let’s face facts: those who boldly oppose Faith, Family and Freedom must salivate at the thought of how well it’s going for them!

The voice of the Holy Spirit still speaks today, for those who would listen.

“So, the Jews surrounded Him and began saying to Him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you really are the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed, tell us so plainly and openly.”

Jesus answered them, “I have told you so, yet you do not believe. The works that I do in My father’s name testify concerning Me [they are My credentials and the evidence declaring Who I am]. But you do not believe Me [so you do not trust and follow Me] because you are not My sheep.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
~ John 10:24-30 (AMP)

The Word of God still speaks, if we read it. The Holy Spirit still speaks if we tune out the white noise that would lull us into a stupor of complacency. Turn off the thrash metal determined to assault us at every “briefing”, nightly news, ABC broadcaster (pretending to be a journalist). Believing that everything is beautiful, acceptable and the new normal will lead both you and your family into misery, should you be lulled by the siren song of supposed love you are hearing.

The Enemy Within

Are we brave enough to address the noise coming from our pulpits?

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a service where the pastor shared a story. He spoke of his time in polling booths and campaigns. When the opportunity arose to speak to other pastors in his travels, he was aghast to hear some saying words to the effect: “You don’t still read your Bible, do you? We have the Holy Spirit now, we don’t need the Bible. We listen to the Holy Spirit.” This article makes clear where this deception comes from.

I was gobsmacked! Is it any wonder our country, our churches, and our denominations are in such wreckage?

From Genesis to the final page of Revelation, the same God is revealed. Jesus was the fulfilment of everything written. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.” He quoted scripture all the time. He went to the temple and read from the scrolls. What was good enough for Jesus, should be good enough for us! He IS the Word!

So much noise competes for our attention. Use selective hearing.

___

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom.

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