You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2019.

On February 21, 2019, the heretofore unknown actor Jussie (Empire) Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report in Chicago claiming he was the victim of a hate crime.

The charge came from the Cook County State’s Attorney office.

NBC News reported (emphases mine):

The state alleges Smollett filed a false report with Chicago police on Jan. 29, when he claimed he was assaulted by two masked men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, speaking at a press conference, skewered Smollett and false police reports generally. He said that while no violent crimes went uninvestigated as a result of Smollett’s claims, Johnson suggested that the hundreds of killings in Chicago represented a more serious problem deserving of national attention than a celebrity’s allegedly false police report.

Disorderly conduct is normally thought of as a low-level crime. In Illinois, however, making false reports to peace officers is actually a felony contained within the disorderly statute. A false report is a class four felony, punishable by up to three years in prison. The elements that make it such a felony are: any kind of transmission to a peace officer reporting a crime without reasonable grounds.

There is also the question of a hoax hate letter with his name on it that was sent to the set of Empire before the attack. That is potentially more serious, as the former sheriff of Milwaukee says:

For those who missed the running three-week saga, this is what happened. Click on the image to enlarge. Read the top three columns, then the bottom horizontal bar:

Sheriff Clarke tweeted more observations about this case:

On February 22, an editorial appeared in USA Today, ‘Hate crime hoaxes, like Jussie Smollett’s alleged attack, are more common than you think’.

The author is Wilfred Reilly:

an associate professor of political science at Kentucky State University, a historically Black institution located in Frankfort. He is the author of the upcoming book Hate Crime Hoax, as well as The $50,000,000 Question, a book dealing with how people value identity. 

Reilly says:

The questions here are obvious. How many Trump supporters even exist in the downtown of a city that went 83% for Hillary Clinton — and how many of them watch “Empire?” How many guys looking for a fight carry rope and bottles of bleach around with them? Almost every normal citizen had questions like these about this incident, and we were justified in having them.

That this case turned out to be a hoax shouldn’t come as too big of a shock. A great many hate crime stories turn out to be hoaxes. Simply looking at what happened to the most widely reported hate crime stories over the past 4-5 years illustrates this: not only the Smollett case but also the Yasmin Seweid, Air Force Academy, Eastern Michigan, Wisconsin-Parkside, Kean College, Covington Catholic, and “Hopewell Baptist burning” racial scandals all turned out to be fakes. And, these cases are not isolated outliers.

He went on to describe research in this area:

Doing research for a book, Hate Crime Hoax, I was able to easily put together a data set of 409 confirmed hate hoaxes. An overlapping but substantially different list of 348 hoaxes exists at fakehatecrimes.org, and researcher Laird Wilcox put together another list of at least 300 in his still-contemporary book Crying Wolf. To put these numbers in context, a little over 7,000 hate crimes were reported by the FBI in 2017 and perhaps 8-10% of these are widely reported enough to catch the eye of a national researcher.

Therefore, of the 7,000 real hate crimes, a small number actually make a researcher’s list. In order to make the researcher’s list, they have to appear in the media.

Ironically, it would seem that we hear more about the hoaxes than the real hate crimes.

It is also important to note that most real hate crimes are not inter-racial:

84% of white murder victims and 93% of Black murder victims are killed by criminals of their own race, and the person most likely to kill you is your ex-wife or husband. When violent inter-racial crimes do occur, whites are at least as likely to be the targets as are minorities. Simply put, Klansmen armed with nooses are not lurking on Chicago street corners.

This seems to be a good point to let everyone know that the last time a lynching took place — and by a Klansman, no less — was in 1981 in Mobile, Alabama. Wikipedia records that the defendants received maximum sentences for the murder of Michael Donald, and the Klan went bankrupt:

Henry Hay executed in the electric chair. James Knowles and an accomplice sentenced to life in prison. Civil suit against United Klans of America caused their bankruptcy.

Reilly points out that hoaxes do a lot of harm to community relations as well as waste precious police time:

what hate hoaxers actually do is worsen generally good race relations, and distract attention from real problems. As Chicago’s disgusted top cop, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, pointed out yesterday, skilled police officers spent four weeks tracking down Smollett’s imaginary attackers — in a city that has seen 28 murders as of Feb. 9th, according to The Chicago Tribune. We all, media and citizens alike, would be better served to focus on real issues like gun violence and the opiate epidemic than on fairy tales like Jussie’s.

How true.

Hoax hate crimes have proliferated in recent years, especially since Donald Trump was elected president. You can read more about them in the articles below. There is some overlap, but not much:

‘Here are 50 campus hate-crime hoaxes The College Fix has covered since 2012’

‘Nolte: From Trayvon to Jussie — Poll Shows Media Hoaxes Killed Race Relations’ (Breitbart)

‘Here’s A List Of Hoax “Hate Crimes” In The Trump Era’ (The Daily Caller)

Were it not for a diligent citizen social media, Jussie Smollett’s hoax could have run for much longer and done irreparable damage to the fabric of America.

As it was, good people everywhere put their heads together across the country and pieced the puzzle together online.

This is yet another example of citizen media doing the job of supposedly legitimate media.

Advertisements

On Monday, February 25, 2019, President Donald Trump left for Hanoi, where he is meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea:

The Governors’ Ball was held the evening before at the White House. Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Ambassador Bob Lighthizer, Attorney General Bill Barr and his wife Christine Barr also attended:

President Trump made the following remarks about his trip to Vietnam to broker peace with North Korea:

He began by discussing last week’s highly successful trade talks with China, which resulted in an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). Emphases mine below:

I see Steve Mnuchin’s here and Ambassador Lighthizer, we’ve just had a big meeting with China, we just put out a statement and we’re doing very well with China. It was a long weekend; they decided to stay for two and half more days. They’ll probably be leaving late tonight. They’re going back and if all works well, we’re going to have some very big news over the next week or two. And it’s really been terrific. I tell you that the whole relationship has been outstanding. We’ve put ourselves into a position of strength for the first time in about 35 years, or probably a lot more than that

China is everywhere and I think you’d really amazed with what you see. Maybe. Let’s see what happens. We still have a little ways to go. Would you say that’s correct, Mr Ambassador? We have a little bit. But I want thank you, Bob, you’ve been working 24 hours around the clock and I will say this publicly, when I was able to be lucky enough to win the presidency I called Bob Lighthizer because for years people have known he’s the greatest trader that we have on this type of trade – we have many different types of trade – and I really understand now why. Thank you very much. Fantastic.

Also, I was going to leave very early tomorrow, but now I’m going to do it a little bit later. I had an option to do it at six in the morning or 11 and I chose 11. I can spend a little bit of time with you tomorrow morning because you’re having a breakfast and I’ll come to the breakfast. But literally, I said what kind of an option is that, I can leave at six in the morning or 11? They said you can leave at six or anywhere between 11 and 12. I said I’ll take 11 to 12. But you’re having a breakfast so I’ll be with you at the breakfast.

Then he spoke about North Korea:

But we’ll be leaving for Hanoi, Vietnam, and we’ll be meeting with Kim Jong-un. It’s a very interesting thing to say but I’ve developed a very, very good relationship. We’ll see what that means but he’s never had a relationship with anybody from this country and hasn’t had lots of relationships anywhere.

The media sometimes will say, well, what have they given up? We’ve given up nothing. The sanctions are on, everything’s on, but we have a special feeling and I think it’s going to lead to something very good and maybe now. I think ultimately it will, but maybe not, and I’m not pushing for speed but we’re not removing the sanctions. And we’re going to have, I think, a very interesting two and half days in Vietnam and we have a chance for the total denuclearisation of an area of the world that was very dangerous.

When I first came in, or really more particularly at the end of the last administration, there were rockets going up, there were missiles going up, there were bombs going off, there were massive cannons being tested. If you ever saw the picture of the beach, I’ve never seen anything like it where you had literally thousands of cannons on the beach shooting out into the waters. And there was nuclear testing. In fact, they thought it was earthquakes. They said there are massive earthquakes and then they realised it was North Korea. They said wow, it’s maybe not an earthquake. Now there’s no testing, there’s no rockets, there’s no nuclear testing and we get along well, very well, so it will be very interesting to see.

As I tell Chairman Kim, he has a chance to have a country that is so vibrant economically. Maybe one of the most in the world. He’s got a location that’s unbelievable. As a real estate person, I’ve always done well with location, but he’s right between China, Russia and on the other side South Korea, so they can’t touch each other unless they go through North Korea. And I say, you have one of the greatest locations, they have incredible people, hardworking people, smart, energetic, and I think it could be really one of the great financial and economic countries anywhere in the world. So I tell him that but I said you can’t do that if you’re going to keep nuclear. If you do nuclear, that can’t ever happen.

And we see eye to eye, I believe, but you’ll be seeing it more and more over the next couple of days, one way or the other. What’s going to happen, I can’t tell you. I think eventually it would but I can’t tell you and I’m not in a rush, I don’t want to rush anybody, I just don’t want testing. As long as there’s no testing, we’re happy. So we’ve done really something, I think, very special with respect to North Korea and it’s a long flight and I’ll be back at the end of the week. But we have two very interesting days planned and I think it’s a very important thing.

Prime Minister Abe of Japan said he can’t believe what’s happened in such a short period of time because rockets were being fired over Japan: rockets and missiles both. And now that hasn’t happened in long time, 16 months, 17 months, no more testing, no more rockets, no more checking to see whether or not this stuff works. So you’ll be seeing it and I think it’s going to be very interesting for people but there’s a chance to do something very, very special. It’s very exciting.

And likewise, if we can do a great economic deal, it will be the largest trade deal ever made by far if you look at it, our deal with China, and we truly are very close. So those are a couple of very interesting things. But our country’s doing incredibly well economically. We’ve pick up in terms of value worth $18 trillion. Now China – I don’t want this – but China has lost about $44 trillion. So they were catching us, catching us, catching us, and now we’ve zoomed out. And I can say this: as long as I’m president, they’re not going catch us, and they’re going to do well – but I want them to do well, they’re not going to catch us.

So I just want to give a toast to the incredible people in this room and to our unbelievable country. We have a very, very special country. I want to thank our First Lady for having done – this is such a beautiful job. Melania, thank you very much. And I would like to ask Governor Bullock to come up please from a very special place that I like very much for the obvious reason. And perhaps you could give a toast, please. Thank you, governor …

Governor Steve Bullock from Montana gave the toast.

A prayer was then said.

The White House published a statement about the meeting between the two leaders:

  • On February 27 and 28, 2019, President Donald J. Trump will meet with Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Chairman Kim Jong Un for a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • This summit aims to make further progress on the commitments the two leaders made in Singapore:  transformed relations, a lasting and stable peace, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
  • The President has made clear that should North Korea follow through on its commitment to complete denuclearization, we will work to ensure there are economic development options.
  • The United States and partners are prepared to explore how to mobilize investment, improve infrastructure, enhance food security, and more in the DPRK.
    • Robust economic development under Chairman Kim is at the core of President Trump’s vision for a bright future for United States–DPRK relations.

I hope that Kim has started feeding his starving people in the countryside. Man cannot live on a diet of dirt and dung.

More to follow.

On Thursday, February 21, 2019, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted a reception at the White House in honour of National African American History Month.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence were among the guests as were members of the Cabinet, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Pastor Darrell Scott, Catherine Toney (released under the First Step Act), former civil rights leader Bob Woodson and Clarence Henderson (who sat at a segregated Woolworth’s counter in 1960).

Look at the marvellous reception President Trump received:

President Trump gave an inspiring talk, inviting his honoured guests to the podium. Excerpts from the transcript follow, emphases mine.

AUDIENCE: Trump! Trump! Trump!

THE PRESIDENT: Wow. Thank you very much. Wow, what a good group this is. This is the future. This is the future. (Applause.) True. That’s true.

The First Lady and I are thrilled to host so many friends, and pastors, and government leaders. And our stage is being filled up with a bunch of winners like you. Because I’ve known you for a long time, Bob, and I want to thank you very much. A special — a special guy, a special friend for a long time. To be at the White House to celebrate African American History Month. (Applause.) Do you like the White House? Right?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah!

THE PRESIDENT: … From the earliest days of this nation, African American leaders, pioneers, and visionaries have uplifted and inspired our country in art, in science, literature, law, film, politics, business, and every arena of national life. The depth and glory of these contributions are beyond measure. You know it. I know it. And everybody knows it.

We especially pay tribute to the African American heroes who have sacrificed in the name of freedom, equality, and dignity for all Americans. (Applause.) Thank you.

Every citizen alive today, and generations yet unborn, are forever in debt of the brave souls who stared down injustice and championed the eternal cause of civil rights. (Applause.)

We’re joined for tonight’s ceremony by many distinguished guests, including Surgeon General Jerome Adams …

Thank you all, as well, to the young African American activists who are here today. You are really and truly the leaders of the future. (Applause.) And get in there and go get them.

Since the beginning of our republic, African Americans have given their heart, their love, and their very lives to the pursuit — and you know this better than anybody; you have worked so hard. I guess when you get right down to it, we’re all working very hard — but the pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

During the Revolutionary War, African American soldiers fought at the battle of Yorktown and helped our nation gain independence.

In the next century, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and countless others risked everything to end the evil of slavery and secure the sacred blessings of freedom. (Applause.)

And here we are, all together in the White House. This is a great thing. Right? This is a great thing. And this is a very, very special place.

A century later, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, and the immortal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged our nation to fulfill its founding promise that we are all created equal by God. (Applause.)

In every moment of our history, African Americans have called our nation to greatness. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jackie Robinson. How good was Jackie Robinson? (Applause.) How good was Jackie? As a baseball fan, Jackie was special. He had to be special because that was not an easy journey for Jackie. He was a special man. His courage on the field and off the field stands as an everlasting monument to the triumph of the human spirit.

African American scientists, artists, musicians, educators, faith leaders, and countless others have lifted our nation to absolutely incredible heights.

Today, we thank God for all of the blessings the African American community continues to give our nation, and we pledge our resolve to expand opportunity for Americans of every race, religion, color, and creed. (Applause.)

Under my administration, the African American poverty rate has fallen to its lowest level. And if you think about that, that’s a special category. The poverty rate for African Americans is the best it’s ever been. The lowest level it’s ever achieved.

Nearly one million additional African Americans have found new jobs. As a — really, and I think this — we can really attribute it to regulatory cuts or as a result of our tax cuts. The largest tax cuts in the history of our country.

More than 8,700 distressed communities are now designated as Opportunity Zones. And Mike Pence was just in South Carolina and he was talking about those incredible achievements, Karen — the incredible achievements that have been made with Tim Scott and everybody on the Opportunity Zones. (Applause.)

We have Pastor Darrell Scott. Will you come up here, Darrell? Darrell. Darrell, get up here. (Applause.) He’s always defending me on television. (Laughter.) And I’ll tell you, if you want somebody to defend you, this is about as good as you can get. I want to — he is brutal. Sometimes I say, “You’re a pastor?” You’re the toughest pastor I’ve ever — (laughter) — thank you, Darrell.

This long-awaited legislation reform — and it’s really the sentencing laws that nobody thought we could get this done. We worked with conservatives and liberals, and those in the middle. We worked with a lot of people and we got it done. Nobody thought this — you know, they’ve been trying to get this done for 25 years, but we got it done — criminal justice reform. The laws are disproportionately — as you know, they harmed African American communities, and far, far greater than anybody else. And it gives former inmates a second chance at life.

We are very proud to be joined tonight by a citizen who transformed her life while in prison and is now the first woman to be released under the FIRST STEP Act, Catherine Toney. Where’s Catherine? (Applause.)

Do you want to say something? Come on.

AUDIENCE: Catherine! Catherine! Catherine!

MS. TONEY: Yes, I just want to thank the President and everybody that worked so hard — Jared — for working so hard on this prison reform FIRST STEP Act. Because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be standing before you all today — (applause) — with my daughter and my granddaughter.

I’ve been incarcerated for 16 years, and it took the President and Jared and the CAN-DO and the Cut Five [sic], and everybody else to free me. And I’m so thankful. (Applause.) I’m so thankful to them. And I’m so thankful to God for the opportunity to be standing before you all. And thank you again, Mr. President. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s so nice. And I’ll tell you, as far as criminal justice reform — and other things — Jared, thank you. What a great job. (Applause.) What a great job. He doesn’t want praise. He doesn’t want praise. But it was so nice to have you come up. And, Jared, thank you. Like, you’re best friends. You probably know him a little bit, huh? (Laughter.)

MS. TONEY: Yes, I do. (Laughs.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s incredible. He’s incredible. Does so much. Thank you, Jared. That was amazing. That was a great tribute to you.

During the State of the Union Address, I also called on Congress to pass school choice. (Applause.) No child should be trapped in a failing school that stands in the way of their dreams. Every citizen, of every background, deserves a government that puts their needs first. (Applause.) …

Here with us today is an incredible leader. Some of you know him well. I do. And I know him, really, more than anything else, as an incredible leader. That’s exactly what he is. It’s Bob Woodson. Do you know Bob Woodson? (Applause.) You will. You will. Because he’s got an incredible story.

Bob joined the Air Force in the 1950s. You don’t look that old, I’ll tell you that. (Laughter.) 1950s? Really? Wow. You’re in good shape. (Laughter.) I want to talk to him later, find out what’s going on. (Laughter.)

While he was stationed in the Deep South, he confronted discrimination firsthand. He then became a Civil Rights leader, met Dr. King, and was jailed for leading a very peaceful protest. As Bob puts it, “Even when defeat was all around us, it was not in us.” That’s beautiful, right? Huh? That was just beautiful.

Over the last 50 years, Bob helped found social enterprise movements and to restore jobs, dignity, and hope within the heart of very, very distressed communities. Bob, I want to thank you very much. You are a very special man. And having you at our place in New Jersey for a little while, and you helped me so much with making a couple of our good choices. We really appreciate you being here. Thank you, Bob. (Applause.)

MR. WOODSON: (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, please.

MR. WOODSON: I just want to thank God and also President Trump for turning the tables over in the temples — (laughter) — and attacking the status quo that is hostile to the interest of poor people. And I also want to bless you for your administration and the policies of Opportunity Zones and to giving low-income people an opportunity to help themselves. That’s all they want; they want an opportunity to achieve. And your administration is working with us to make that happen. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks, Bob. So nice.

MR. WOODSON: Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Great guy.

We’re also very proud to be joined by Clarence Henderson, who was among the first students to begin the Greensboro sit-in. You know what that is, right? In 1960, on the second day of the sit-in, Clarence was one of four students who sat at the long-segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter — very, very famous event — in Greensboro, North Carolina. He helped spark a national movement. In cities and towns all across America, students joined in the protest, and really, it was an incredible moment in the history of our country. The grave injustice of segregation was really spelled out loud and clear.

After more than 170 days of protest, the Woolworth lunch counter finally integrated. That was — doesn’t sound like such a big deal, Bob, but it was a big, big deal, right? As Clarence has said, “It doesn’t take many people to make a change. It just takes courage.” And, Clarence, you have incredible courage, and I want to thank you very much for being here. (Applause.)

MR. HENDERSON: I am delighted to be here with the President. You know, Nehemiah was told by God to build a wall. And that’s what you’re doing. (Applause.) Amen.

It is indeed a pleasure to be here with you this evening and to share this great hour and great time. I can tell you right now, with the Frederick Douglass Foundation, with the state of North Carolina, and the President, and we’re still moving forward to change America and make America great again. Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thanks, Clarence. So nice.

As we commemorate African American History Month, we remember the words of Dr. King. In 1964, he said, “When years have rolled past…children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization — because these humble children of God were willing to suffer [for] righteousness’ sake.”

And, you know, nobody said it better than Dr. Martin Luther King. And few people had words so beautiful as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Don’t you agree? Don’t you agree, Bob? (Applause.) He made us all look maybe not quite as good. Great man.

Today, we remember the heroic legacy of African Americans who bravely battled oppression to usher in a bright new dawn of freedom. It’s exactly what you’re doing. And you are at the forefront. You know, this is a new age. This is a very exciting time. It’s very exciting time for our country …

So we pledge, in the honor of our great African American community, to build a future when every American child can live in safety, dignity, liberty, and peace.

As Americans, we all share the same dreams, the same hopes, and the same magnificent destiny. We are now, and will forever be, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God. (Applause.)

I just want to say God bless you all and God bless America. Thank you for being at the White House. (Applause.) Thank you.

Here are four photos of this part of the evening:

And the video:

Then, it was time for a buffet and refreshments.

Young Trump supporter Joelpatrick videoed the table as best he could:

High schooler CJ Pearson, wise beyond his years, was also there. He is pictured below with Candace Owens, founder of the Blexit movement, which encourages blacks to leave the Democratic Party:

There were many other young guests who are actively engaged in politics and working to Make America Great Again:

Many of us feel badly that actor and comedian Terrence K Williams was unable to attend the White House event. He had looked forward to being there:

And he was so close to getting there, too.

He was on his way to Washington DC, when he was in a serious accident. The weather was bad, and he had taken Lyft:

Fortunately, he has been able to update his fans via Twitter. These were his first three tweets from hospital:

I hope he will make a full and swift recovery. It seemed to be taking an awfully long time for him to get a hospital room.

He had been following the Jussie Smollett hoax closely. No doubt, Terrence K Williams will make the doctors and nurses laugh with one-liners such as this one:

UPDATE — On Febraury 25, Terrence was being discharged from hospital:

Get well soon, Terrence!

The video in the tweet below is from 2013, but if, like me, you are relatively new to watching abortion clinic footage, then you might also find it instructive:

The woman from the clinic gives the prospective ‘patient’ (an undercover investigator for Live Action, a pro-life organisation) various scenarios for later-term abortion, presumably by injection, as she says two-day procedures are not uncommon.

If the patient goes to the clinic, the staff would put the live baby into a jar of solution to drown. According to the woman from the clinic, the baby wouldn’t feel anything. Hmm. Seems a bit hard to believe.

She counsels the patient about what to do if she has the baby at home before being able to make it into the clinic: either flush the newborn down the toilet or put it in a bag and take it to the clinic.

Yes, the woman actually says:

Flush it!

And:

Put it in a bag or something.

The woman from the clinic actually laughs at various points.

I had no idea abortion was so hilarious.

Bible penngrovechurchofchristorgThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

Acts 25:1-5

Paul Appeals to Caesar

25 Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul[a] that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.”

—————————————————————————————————–

Last week’s post concluded Acts 24 and recounted what happened to Felix at the instigation of the Jews.

Now Porcius Festus is in place in Judea. This is two years after Paul was imprisoned under Felix in a pleasant apartment at the Roman governor’s praetorium, formerly Herod’s palace.

Three days after his arrival, Festus travelled from Caesarea up to Jerusalem (verse 1). He was entering a hate-filled atmosphere, which Felix had exacerbated. Festus wanted to meet the Jews and see if he could calm down the situation he had inherited. John MacArthur explains (emphases mine):

Now, we have to feel a little badly for Festus because his predecessor’s incompetency left him a legacy of profound hate, and he had to suffer from the tremendous hatred that the Romans felt coming from the Jews. They hated any of their oppressors, and so the Romans got it. And then the incompetency of all the governors didn’t help it at all. So, Festus was definitely in a hot spot. Show you how he responds to his situation; begin in verse 1. “Now when Festus was come into the province” – that is, Judea was considered a Roman province – “after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.”

Now, Festus arrives on the scene in Caesarea, which of course was the Roman headquarters. They had taken over the palace of Herod and turned it into the Roman praetori[um], where the governor lived, and from where he ruled and operated. He spends three days there getting everything organized, and whatever he had to do – pushing the parchments around his desk and finding out who was doing what, whatever orientation he needed. But after a brief three days in Caesarea, he recognizes the need to go to Jerusalem.

So, he ascends – and that’s, as I say, always you’re going up to Jerusalem, since it’s elevation was so great. He ascends from Caesarea to Jerusalem, and he does this because he recognizes that the first thing he has to do in office is to conciliate the Jewish population. The animosity toward Felix, the animosity toward the Romans, was extensive, it was great, it was hot; there was hostility. He recognizes that he must go to Jerusalem, the national center of Israel. He must acquaint himself with the high priest, with the Jewish council, the Sanhedrin.

He must become well aware of the customs and the politics as it exists in the situation in which he has been thrust. He knows these contacts are important. He must establish a warm working relationship between the high priest and the Sanhedrin. Now, you see, the Romans were a little bit afraid of the Jews. You know, the previous Roman governors had been really cornered by the Jews. They were masters at blackmail; they had blackmailed Pilate into crucifying Jesus Christ.

The Sanhedrin laid out their case against Paul to Festus (verse 2). The favour they asked against Paul was to ask Festus to send him to Jerusalem so that they could ambush him and kill him along the way (verse 3). That is why I highlighted the words ‘two years’ above, to emphasise how hate festers. This is why the Bible tells us not to hate. It ends up like a festering wound to the soul.

Both John MacArthur and Matthew Henry point out the danger of religious hate, probably the worst type of hate mankind has ever known throughout history.

Henry’s commentary gives us the short version:

These inhuman hellish methods, which all the world profess at least to abhor, have these persecutors recourse to, to gratify their malice against the gospel of Christ, and this too under colour of zeal for Moses. Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum–Such was their dire religious zeal.

MacArthur has a lot more. Suffice it to say that religious conflicts, including this one, are the work of Satan. Atheists say religious conflicts have to do with religion, therefore, abolish religion. No, it is Satan inserting himself into men’s minds, filling them with malevolence and evil:

And here, folks, is the principle that I told you we’d arrive at: the hatred of religious people. Isn’t it amazing? They claimed to love God, and God is love, and they have murder on their minds. Oh, it’s amazing how ethical religion is until it comes into conflict with another system: the truth. Isn’t it amazing that the real struggle isn’t between all the false systems; have you ever noticed how wonderfully they get along? But it’s always that the false systems are fighting the truth. And so, here they come, and their only desire is a favor, not justice.

They wanted that new governor’s inexperience and desire to gain their favor to play to their benefit in the execution of Paul. Now, friends, any time you see hatred like this, it smacks of Satanic origin. The reason religious people hate the truth is because religious people are in Satan’s system, and Satan’s system is against Christ’s system. And they despised Paul, not because Paul was that kind of a person; no, he’d lived his whole life as a Jew before his conversion, and they had loved him, right?

In fact, he was chosen for their court. In fact, he was the leader of all the persecution. He was a friend of everybody, a student of Gamaliel; he was one of their top boys. But immediately when he became identified with Jesus Christ, they immediately hated him; not for his sake, but for Christ’s sake – The hatred of religionists toward the truth. That’s right. You read in the New Testament, and you’re going to find out that the greatest persecution that comes toward the truth comes from false doctrine, false teachers, who slander us so that the truth is evil spoken of, right? Paul said it to Timothy.

Satan’s hate goes on. Let me take you to a passage to illustrate it – John 15, our Lord speaking to his disciples. I want to show you several verses, so turn to it – John 15. Now, if you were to give me – and I’m not going to ask you to do it out loud. But if you were to give me a definition of the world – when I say the term world, which is the Greek word kosmos in the Bible, what do you think of? You think immediately, don’t you, of Satan’s evil system? But then I add this, folks – I hasten to add it.

When you think of the world as Satan’s evil system, don’t just think of bars, and crime, and prostitution, and immorality, and whatever else you think of – war, and anything else. When you think of the world, think primarily of religion. Because that is the pinnacle of the development of Satan’s system, for he is an angel of light, and his ministers are angels of light, 2 Corinthians tells us. So, when you think of the world, don’t necessarily think only of the immoral system, but of the “ethical religionists’” system.

Now you notice verse 18. “If the world” – or the system – “hates you, you know that it hated Me.” Listen, most of the hatred toward Jesus Christ did not come from atheism, it came from Judaism, right? Yes. “If the world hates you, you know it hated me.” What part of the world hated Him? Was it the prostitutes that hated Jesus? Was it the criminals that hated Jesus? You don’t read any of that; it was the religionists that hated Him, because Satan is behind all false systems. “If the world hate you, you know it hated Me. If you were of the world, the world would love its own.”

Festus told the Sanhedrin that Paul was in Caesarea and that he would go there shortly (verse 4). He was pouring cold water on their plot. Now, whether he said that because Paul was a Roman citizen or there was paperwork saying he was innocent of crimes against Rome, we do not know. In any event, Festus had an objective view of Paul’s case, and the Sanhedrin were not going to change his mind.

Both Henry and MacArthur say that God continued to work through the Romans to preserve Paul’s life.

Henry says:

whatever was his reason for refusing it, God made use of it as a means of preserving Paul out of the hands of his enemies … God does not, as then, bring it to light, yet he finds another way, as effectual, to bring it to nought, by inclining the heart of the governor, for some other reasons, not to remove Paul to Jerusalem. God is not tied to one method, in working out salvation for his people. He can suffer the designs against them to be concealed, and yet not suffer them to be accomplished; and can make even the carnal policies of great men to serve his gracious purposes.

MacArthur tells us:

Who is running the show? Festus? God. Now, I’m going to tell you something exciting. Did you know that God ordains the attitudes and actions of men to bring about His own ends?

Festus concluded his meeting with the Sanhedrin by inviting ‘the men of authority’ to go down from Jerusalem with him and to levy charges against Paul, should that be warranted (verse 5).

Interestingly, the King James Version words verse 5 as follows:

Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.

Our commentators provide two nuanced interpretations.

Henry says:

“Let those among you who are able, able in body and purse for such a journey, or able in mind and tongue to manage the prosecution–let those among you who are fit to be managers, go down with me, and accuse this man; or, those who are competent witnesses, who are able to prove any thing criminal upon him, let them go and give in their evidence, if there be any such wickedness in him as you charge upon him.”

MacArthur has this:

“Let them, therefore, who are among you who are able” – notice the phrase who are able, you who are able. That has reference to those who are powerful; the word is dunatoi. It means you who are powerful ones, or influential ones,” or position. “Now, Youwho are the chief ones, you come on down with me to Caesarea and accuse him there, if there be any wickedness in him.”

The story continues next week, with Paul going on trial yet once more.

The question arises why the Holy Spirit would have inspired St Luke to write about these ordeals, one after another. First, Paul was unable to evangelise on a broad scale, so this is what he logically would have documented. Secondly, these latter chapters of Acts show Paul’s consistency in defending the faith. He came up with the same truthful answer time and time again. Thirdly, perhaps most importantly, Paul did not grow impatient with the Lord or his circumstances. He faced his imprisonment rationally, yet prayerfully, always considering himself a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ.

His fortitude really does bring home the truth of his words to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:7-8):

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

These are verses worth contemplating with regard to our own Christian journeys.

Next time — Acts 25:6-12

The traditional period of Shrovetide began last Sunday. In old money, the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany was called Septuagesima Sunday.

February 24, 2019 is the Seventh Sunday after Epiphany and what would have been known as Sexagesima Sunday.

You can read more about Shrovetide and the three Sundays immediately preceding Ash Wednesday below:

Shrovetide — a history

The Sundays before Lent — an explanation

Last week’s readings were sombre, calling upon the faithful to consider their iniquity.

This Sunday’s focus on mercy and patience.

The readings below are for Year C in the three-year Lectionary used for public worship. Emphases mine below.

First reading

Joseph had a top position with Pharoah. He was known by an Egyptian name, Zaphnath-paaneah. In this passage, Joseph encounters his brothers who had sold him into slavery years before. He introduced himself by his given name, Joseph. He and his brothers reconciled. It was then time for them to tell Jacob about Joseph’s whereabouts and that the Lord would provide for the entire family during the famine.

Genesis 45:3-11, 15

45:3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.

45:4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.

45:5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

45:6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.

45:7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.

45:8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

45:9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.

45:10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.

45:11 I will provide for you there–since there are five more years of famine to come–so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’

45:15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.

Psalm

The Lectionary editors omitted a large chunk of Psalm 37. Before getting to those included in the Lectionary, here are those that are missing. As the Psalms so often say, ‘Selah!’ — ‘Pay attention!’:

12 The wicked plots against the righteous
    and gnashes his teeth at him,
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
    for he sees that his day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
    to bring down the poor and needy,
    to slay those whose way is upright;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
    and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is the little that the righteous has
    than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
    but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
    and their heritage will remain forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times;
    in the days of famine they have abundance.

20 But the wicked will perish;
    the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
    they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back,
    but the righteous is generous and gives;
22 for those blessed by the Lord[c] shall inherit the land,
    but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;
24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
    for the Lord upholds his hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously,
    and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good;
    so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice;
    he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
    but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land
    and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
    and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
    his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous
    and seeks to put him to death.
33 The Lord will not abandon him to his power
    or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
    and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
    you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
    spreading himself like a green laurel tree.[d]
36 But he passed away,[e] and behold, he was no more;
    though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
    for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
    the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

Matthew Henry’s excellent commentary says that Psalm 37 is a maschil — a teaching Psalm. David and the prophets were tasked with explaining God’s law to his people. This Psalm, Henry states:

is an exposition of some of the hardest chapters in the book of Providence …

True!

This is why the Lectionary editors gave us these milder verses which omit the harsh truths above:

Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40

37:1 Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,

37:2 for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.

37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.

37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.

37:6 He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

37:7 Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.

37:8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret–it leads only to evil.

37:9 For the wicked shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

37:10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.

37:11 But the meek shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

37:39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their refuge in the time of trouble.

37:40 The LORD helps them and rescues them; he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Epistle

Readings continue from 1 Corinthians with Paul painstakingly resolving a dispute in Corinth over the validity of a belief in the Resurrection and the life to come. This is just as important now as it was in Paul’s and the Corinthians’ era. Matthew Henry’s commentary helps clarify what is a rather metaphysical passage:

1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50

15:35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?”

15:36 Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

15:37 And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.

15:38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.

15:42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.

15:43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

15:44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.

15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

15:46 But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual.

15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

15:48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven.

15:49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

15:50 What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Here is what the Lectionary editors omitted — again, equally as important as the missing Psalm 37 verses are. It is possible they left this out to mollify pet owners. Paul seems to be saying there might not be a doggie heaven, or at least not one in which pet owners are reunited with their four-legged friends. Humans have souls, which is the unspoken crux of Paul’s discourse throughout this passage:

39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

Gospel

Last week’s reading from Luke began the Sermon on the Mount, continued below:

Luke 6:27-38

6:27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

6:29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.

6:30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.

6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

6:33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

6:34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

6:35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven;

6:38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

Those must be some of the most abused verses in the Bible and the hardest to live up to in this transitory life.

Ultimately, try to do better than an unbeliever. Pray for more grace and for more fortitude to become more Christlike.

Over the past few weeks, I have written posts about Covington Catholic High School boys who were wrongly maligned and harassed at the Lincoln Memorial after the March for Life in Washington, DC, on Friday, January 18, 2019:

A school chaperone’s role is an onerous one (January 18)

Covington Catholic: responsible media backtracked (January 20)

Covington Catholic: doxxing followed by support on a fateful weekend (January 20-21)

Covington Catholic: when the media narrative turned (January 21-22)

Today, I will look at the Diocese of Covington’s response as well as those from two archdioceses.

Instead of waiting to gather facts about the incident, the Diocese of Covington in Kentucky — and at least two archdioceses — were quick to condemn the high school students.

Diocese of Covington

On Tuesday, January 22, Breitbart posted ‘Catholic Leaders Refuse to Retract Slander of School Boys at March for Life‘. The diocese unquestioningly followed the media narrative from the weekend (emphases mine below):

The boys’ school and the Diocese of Covington joined in the feeding frenzy, hastily issuing a statement of condemnation of the boys as well as a public apology without hearing the boys’ version of the story.

“This behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person,” Covington Catholic High School and the Diocese of Covington said in a joint statement. “The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.”

We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips,” the statement reads.

Bishop Foys created his Twitter account a short time ago in January 2019. The tone of his first tweet contradicts the above statement:

His second was this retweet of a President Trump message:

Conservative network OANN host Jack Posobiec reported that parents wanted a swift apology to the students on the March for Life:

Perhaps Bishop Foys thought the diocese’s strong statement would avert a protest in front of a Catholic church in Covington on January 22. If so, he was mistaken. Fortunately, the weather was cold:

Catholics across the country were frustrated, if not livid, with the condemnation of the students, especially as lengthy videos showing their innocence appeared that weekend:

The Daily Wire article says, in part:

The commissars in charge of Covington Diocese are not the only members of the American hierarchy behaving shamelessly during this railroading of innocent young boys. As of this writing, Cardinal DiNardo, president of the USCCB, has uttered not a word in the boys’ defense, nor has he rebuked priests like Father Edward Beck (CNN Commentator) who doubled down on his condemnation of the boys even after evidence proved them innocent.

On January 23, Gateway Pundit‘s Cassandra Fairbanks tweeted:

Fairbanks’s article states:

The students claim that after some of the kids spoke to Fox News and other outlets, the Bishop informed the school that he doesn’t want them doing any more interviews. The school faculty agreed, claiming they are worried about their safety.

While no punishment was made clear if they fail to comply, the students want to cooperate and plan to do so.

One of the mothers Fairbanks interviewed had said at the weekend (emphasis in the original, those in purple mine):

“Like I said, the Bishop here is literally victimizing the victims twice. They’ve already been victimized by the media, now they are being victimized again,” she added. “There is blood in the water and they are making it worse. They’re feeding the piranha frenzy from the liberal media. I just want people to understand that they need to wake up and stop believing the fake news and defend the kids.”

That day, Bishop Foys addressed Covington Catholic’s students. I’m so disgusted by some of the remarks, I won’t even comment (emphases mine):

I am the shepherd of this Church. I have to present not only to the people of our diocese but also to the world the facts. Not the facts that someone has imagined or the facts that someone thinks or facts that people might determine from seeing a video. I encourage all of you, especially the students who were there at the march, to cooperate with the investigators. This is with the permission of your parents. We’re not going to have you do anything without the permission of your parents. And the teachers and chaperones who were there, I am asking you, too, to be cooperative with this …

I’m going to ask you, as your bishop, to stay off social media in regards to this situation at least until it is resolved. Because the more you say — pro or con — the more you exacerbate the situation. You have to help, especially yourself, by getting off social media. Right now anything we say — you or I — anything we say is questioned. The devil is real; trust me. He has taken this good thing, this March for Life, and turned it into a media circus.”

Bishop Foys then talked to the students about the statements that have been released by the diocese and the school, which have been criticized.

Some people think our first statement was too strong, but in my mind with what we saw and what we heard at the time, we had to say what we said and we meant it. If that behavior is genuine then we have to condemn it.

“We issued a second statement yesterday. Regardless of what you heard or what you’ve read or what you think— I am on your side. I want you to come out of this in a positive light.

“In our second statement I asked people to pray that we will arrive at the truth. The only way we can do that in an objective way is through a thorough and in-depth investigation … If there was some wrongdoing we have to own up to that, too. Father Michael [Hennigen, school chaplain] is right, it is the truth that will set us free.”

“Know that I stand with you, that I join with you in that ‘Spirit that will not die’ and that together we will work through this. Thank you and God bless you.”

As Bishop Foys turned the podium over to Mr. Rowe, he expressed his confidence in the principal. “Mr. Rowe has done a wonderful job here in his leadership. I have full confidence in him and he will continue to lead you,” he said.

In his final remarks before dismissing the assembly Mr. Rowe said, “Bishop Foys supports us — now we need to support him.”

On January 25, Bishop Foys sent a letter to the parents of Covington Catholic High School students. In it was an apology to Nicholas Sandmann and his family. Foys admitted he thought the diocesan announcement of the third-party investigation into the Lincoln Memorial incident would placate venomous critics and acknowledged that did not happen.

Sadly, it took until Wednesday, February 13, for the boys to be exonerated:

If the diocese paid handsomely for this report, they were robbed. The Daily Beast reported:

The Washington Post reports Wednesday that a team of Cincinnati private investigators spent hundreds of hours reviewing footage and interviewing witnesses before concluding that there was no evidence that there were “racist or offensive statements by students to Mr. Phillips.” They did not, however, speak to Nathan Phillips or Nicholas Sandmann, the two people featured most prominently in the encounter. After the results were released, the Bishop of Covington reversed the diocese’s earlier condemnation of the students, noting that “my hope and expectation expressed in my letter to you of 25 January that the results of our inquiry … would exonerate our students so that they can move forward with their lives’ has been realized.” The report doesn’t offer any guidance on how to prevent similar encounters in the future.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore

Two days after the Lincoln Memorial incident, the Archdiocese of Baltimore — hundreds of miles east, in Maryland — got involved:

That tweet received a number of indignant responses, which outnumbered positive ones.

A Catholic priest tweeted:

Boomer Catholic clergy pass judgment on Catholic high school students before investigating all of the evidence. Why aren’t there more young people at Mass?

Someone recommended the archdiocese delete their tweet:

Very sad that a prominent archdiocese would rush to judgment and gullibly swallow a contrived, libelous attack on young Catholics. You’d do well to delete this tweet.

Someone else recommended amending the tweet in light of new facts:

You are WRONG!!! Get the facts. Watch the videos. And CORRECT this tweet. NOW!!!

Another noted that clergy love only the elite:

Love how the Catholic Church stands with elites instead of its children.

A mother tweeted:

I’ve been preparing my teens that we’ll likely see more aggression towards Catholics. Who knew it would come from a hierarchy that can’t even keep their own accountable for their sins? Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

A Catholic man said:

Would that the hierarchy was this quick to deal with molesters in its ranks…🙄

On January 21 — Martin Luther King Day — the archdiocese issued a clarification:

The statement reads in part:

The Archdiocese of Baltimore wishes to clarify its message condemning what was widely reported as disrespect toward a Native American elder during the March for Life in Washington, D.C. We reiterate our condemnation of disrespect and denigration toward any person or group based on the color of their skin, their religious or ethnic heritage, or immigrant status. The circumstances of this confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial are now being reported as more complex and it will be the responsibility of school authorities, parents and others involved to determine the actual circumstances, responsibility and consequences. Regardless, it is deeply unfortunate that the annual March for Life was marred by this confrontation.

That made their Twitter readers even angrier.

Risky business, that. Donations can dry up in an instant.

One Catholic tweeted:

Then let me respectfully clarify my position on the annual appeal letter I just received …until you apologize to those boys for rushing to judgement and condemnation, I’ll set the letter aside and will recommend that all Catholics in this Archdiocese do the same

Another Catholic responded:

You’ll never receive another dime from me.

A third Catholic said:

This is why we refuse to give to the Hope Appeal.Your quick to condemn these young people w/o all the facts yet you covered up pervert priest for years.. Apologize now.

A fourth sent them back to Catholic catechism:

Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, specifically paragraph 2477 “Respect for the Reputation of Others” and the definitions of “rash judgment” and “calumny.” You owe those students an apology!

A fifth wrote:

Apologize and stop attacking the laity.

A sixth said:

This explains why the Laity is taking the lead. Because the leadership is not Catholic.

And, finally, a Venezuelan Catholic wrote:

Still waiting s not an . These is the perfect example of why more and my re people is LEAVING the church.

On January 23, the archdiocese tried again. Money talks. They probably got a lot of angry phone calls, emails and letters:

This was a guarded — let’s just say, lame — apology. The statement reads in part:

It has become apparent, however, that initial reports of that incident were at best incomplete. Those incomplete reports led many, including the Archdiocese of Baltimore, to speak out too hastily. We apologize for doing so. It is our hope that the young people involved were in fact acting in accord with the truth and values that are foundational to Catholic education. We also hope that this sad incident will give to all a renewed determination to respect the life and dignity of every person without exception.

Only three people were happy. Everyone else was scathing. Responses from Catholics follow. Interestingly enough, all of the following are from women.

One lady wrote:

Nick Sandmann turned the other cheek and you stabbed him in the back. For once could you put the well-being of teenage boys ahead of your own ambitions?

She added:

That was such a quisling statement.

Another lady said:

How about having the courage to unequivocally state that these boys did nothing wrong? So sad that pro-life Catholic boys can’t even depend on their shepherds to stick up for them in the face of persecution.

To which another responded:

Totally agree! A pretty lame statement.

A second response rolled in:

Why was everyone so quick to judge the boys in the shortened video, but afraid to condemn the aggressive behavior of adults (towards kids!!) after seeing the full video? It boggles my mind. This is a cowardly, conforming statement, at best. We are lost.

I wonder if the archdiocese thought its tweets on Catholic schooling were somewhat misplaced the following week. I accept that it was Catholic Schools Week, but when Covington Catholic High School and the diocese weren’t defending their students, one wonders.

Even after Catholic Schools Week was over, the archdiocese was still at it. Meanwhile, Covington Catholic High School’s students were still under the cosh, as it were, awaiting judgement — for having done nothing wrong:

Two days later — after the Diocese of Covington found no wrongdoing on the part of the students — the archdiocese tweeted:

Oh so generously, the Archdiocese of Baltimore felt it could finally support the students. Pah.

Here’s the statement in full. Note what could be construed as a legal disclaimer in the second paragraph:

Citing the public release today by the Diocese of Covington of the Final Investigative Report into the January 18th incident at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Archdiocese of Baltimore joins Bishop Roger J. Foys, Bishop of Covington, in expressing its support for the students of Covington Catholic High School. The independent investigation, conducted by a third-party firm with no connection to Covington Catholic High School or the Diocese of Covington, found that “our students did not instigate the incident that occurred,” Bishop Foys said.

As previously related, the Archdiocese regrets communicating before all the facts were known about the unfortunate confrontation that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial with other demonstrators.  Furthermore, the Archdiocese of Baltimore again commends the students from Covington and across the nation who participated in the annual March for Life in witness of their active faith and defense of the sanctity of human life at every stage.

By then, Twitter readers must have been fed up. The tweet only garnered four responses: three negative and one positive.

First tweet:

At least you finally responded in the right way. My ongoing complaint and criticism remains: You act like pansies without a backbone unwilling to take a strong stance on any issue (esp Catholic issues) unless you have the support of a corrupted society. I keep praying for you.

Second:

didn’t support Needed an “independent investigation” in order to clear youths’ reputations. What a bunch of cowardly shepherds. Skulking under their skullcaps. Creeping behind their croziers. You should be embarrassed.

And finally:

When the ex-con fake vietnam vet got in this child’s face, his Indian friend yelled racial slurs at the white kids. The Indians then attempted a hate-crime by trying to disrupt a Catholic Mass. How sad you attacked these pro-life teens. SHAME!

The Archdiocese of Baltimore never should have said a thing.

The Archdiocese of Louisville

Closer to home, the Archdiocese of Louisville chimed in.

The Archbishop’s original statement of January 19 was replaced with one dated January 22:

Over the past few days, I have received many calls and email messages from people with many different viewpoints and seemingly opposite messages about the incidences involving Covington Catholic High School students at the March for Life. Many of these calls and messages have revealed the regrettable polarization in our Church and in our society

As many have noted, over the weekend, I joined Bishop Foys in a condemnation of alleged actions, not people. This post replaces that original blog entry with the additional information below from the Diocese of Covington.

I do not have jurisdiction in the Diocese of Covington. However, I have sought to act in solidarity with the Bishop of Covington, who is in a position to have the best information about what transpired and who has pledged an independent investigation of the situation. (See the statement from the Diocese of Covington below.) At this time, I am not going to get ahead of the Diocese of Covington’s independent investigation with additional comments.

I want to assure those who are concerned that I am confident that Bishop Foys and the school will reach out and respond to those who were impacted by these events and media reports

Whatever the investigation reveals, I hope that we can use this as a teachable moment, learn from any mistakes on the part of anyone involved, and begin the process of healing.

That, too, was pretty lame. The last sentence in particular suggests that, somehow, someone did something woefully wrong.

The Archbishop issued one further statement — a weak apology — on January 25:

I offer further reflections about the events at the March for Life involving Covington Catholic High School students.  Today’s letter sent by Bishops Roger Foys to Covington Catholic High School parents is a good description of what has transpired since the events at the March for Life.

Since I joined with Bishop Foys in condemning the alleged actions by Covington Catholic students, I apologize for what was a premature statement on my part based upon incomplete information. I very much regret the pain and disruption in the lives of the Covington Catholic community and in the broader Church and society.

I support Bishop Foys in his efforts to investigate fully what happened, to learn from mistakes, and to take any action needed to address the harm done to anyone from the events that occurred last Friday at the March for Life.

There is a great deal to be learned about the risk of responding to social media and media reports without additional analysis and especially the need to elevate our discourse and to foster the much-needed skills of listening, dialogue, and mutual understanding.

After the Covington Catholic High School boys had been cleared of wrongdoing, nothing to that effect was posted on the archdiocesan website.

One cannot help but think the Archbishop really wanted someone to be expelled. As if the boys hadn’t suffered enough — for doing nothing wrong.

If nothing else, this painful debacle proved the truth of the New Testament to the boys that followers of Christ will be persecuted.

It’s a pity that their own clergy had to join in that persecution: Pharisees, every last one of them.

I will look at the legal angles in another post.

Last week, I wrote ‘Senate Intelligence Committee: “no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia”‘.

On Sunday, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe appeared for a half-hour on CBS’s 60 Minutes in an interview with Scott Pelley.

McCabe is currently doing a book tour to promote The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.

On March 16, 2018, President Trump tweeted:

Two weeks earlier, Fox News reported that the Department of Justice’s Inspector General (IG), Michael Horowitz, was expected to (emphases mine):

criticize former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for approving a leak of information about the Hillary Clinton investigation to The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times reported late Thursday.

According to the Times, which cited four people familiar with the investigation into the department’s handling of the Clinton probe, McCabe will be censured for disclosing the investigation’s existence to the Journal.

The Journal report in question, which was published Oct. 30, 2016, recounts a conversation in which McCabe sparred with a senior Justice Department official over an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The Journal — which cited sources including “one person close to Mr. McCabe” — said McCabe insisted that the FBI should move forward with its investigation, while the Justice Department official expressed concern about its potential effect on the presidential election.

McCabe, a frequent target of President Donald Trump’s ire, left his position as FBI deputy director in January and is scheduled to retire later this month. He had served for several months as acting director following Trump’s firing last May of FBI Director James Comey.

Spokespeople for the Justice Department, the FBI and the inspector general had no immediate comment on the report Thursday evening …

Trump verbally attacked McCabe during the campaign and again as president because McCabe’s wife, during a failed state Senate run, had accepted campaign contributions from the political action committee of then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally.

David J Harris Jr and Real Clear Politics have more detail, dating from January 2018.

On March 14, a Fox producer for DoJ news tweeted:

On March 15, the Washington Examiner reported that McCabe was ‘still holding on to his retirement’:

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is holding onto his pension just days before he is set to officially retire.

McCabe was at the Justice Department to meet with Scott Schools, the most senior career attorney in the department, as well as other officials, for a majority of the afternoon Thursday, to make a case why he should be allowed to retire and not be fired.

Schools reports to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who in turn reports to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The decision to fire McCabe before Sunday, and thus strip McCabe of his full pension and benefits, is in Sessions’ hands.

The_Donald featured a fiery thread in response:

So, This Lying, Leaking, Lawless LOSER Is Pleading To The DOJ Today To Keep His Pension? WE, The Taxpaying Citizens Demand This CRIMINAL Receive NOTHING And Be INDICTED For His CRIMES!!

Then, the next day:

CBS News, in reporting McCabe’s meeting the previous Friday pointed out:

If McCabe is fired, it is believed his only avenue of appeal would be to file a lawsuit to try to reclaim his pension.

Twitter exploded.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) was indignant:

So was the former CIA director, directing his ire at President Trump:

Later that day, McCabe issued a lengthy statement (click on image to see it in full, also available at CNN):

His statement elicited this response:

. McCabe, you disgraced the oath you swore. You harmed the nation by your deceit. You took 1/2 million dollars for your wife’s campaign from Hillary’s guy, McAuliffe, the said you should be FIRED. You deserve it.

McCabe’s lawyer also issued a statement. (Apparently, his lawyer — a former Inspector General for the DoJ — supported the current Inspector General’s report until McCabe was implicated by it.)

The DoJ disagreed with McCabe and his lawyer:

I hope that FBI Director Christopher Wray received all of McCabe’s documentation about the 2016 election.

There were also newsy snippets:

On March 17, The Hill, among other media outlets, noted that McCabe’s weekend statement seemed to contradict James Comey’s testimony from May 2017 about relaying sensitive information to the media.

News emerged that McCabe wrote memoranda of his conversations with President Trump and gave those to Robert Mueller. CBS reported that details of James Comey’s firing were included.

Fox News correspondent Adam Housely said that McCabe’s dismissal was a morale boost to FBI agents.

On March 18, TownHall posted an editorial, ‘The Coming Collusion Bloodbath’. Nearly one year on, we could be at that point:

That Comey, McCabe, and others have practiced an obvious double standard in the email case of Hillary Clinton where ample evidence caused 106 of the case agents and attorneys working on the case to believe indictment would occur, and simultaneously going to such extraordinary measures through the assistance of essentially Hillary’s campaign operation to attempt to thwart the outcome of the election is more than enough reason to go after them on a criminal basis alone.

That McCabe reportedly lied to the low key Inspector General, while attempting to send General Michael Flynn to prison for lying to the same FBI is of highest hypocrisy.

Before McCabe was fired, Reddit had censored discussions about his ‘corruption issues’. Now that he was gone, they could be discussed freely once more.

Attention then turned to the McCabe’s connections with Hillary Clinton. A New York radio host tweeted:

The following 2017 video resurfaced. It shows that McCabe had (still has?) a home in Chappaqua, New York, where the Clintons live (start at 5:00 in):

On April 13, Inspector General Horowitz issued his report:

Fox News explained:

The report, handed over to Congress on Friday and obtained by Fox News, looked at a leak to The Wall Street Journal about an FBI probe of the Clinton Foundation.

The report says that McCabe authorized the leak and then misled investigators about it, leaking in a way that did not fall under a “public interest” exception.

[W]e concluded that McCabe’s decision to confirm the existence of the CF investigation through an anonymously sourced quote, recounting the content of a phone call with a senior department official in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of department leadership, was clearly not within the public interest exception,” the report says …

Sessions said that McCabe “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.”

James Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisory special agent said that, according to the IG’s report, firing McCabe was the right thing to do. He says that whether you are a Marine or a special agent of the FBI, the same rules apply:

In May, FBI agents wanted to be subpoenaed in order to testify against Comey and McCabe:

Questions arose in Congress. The Gateway Pundit reported that Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wanted answers about the FBI’s treatment of General Flynn.

Early in June:

Allegations arose about McCabe’s involvement in the 302s (FBI reports) regarding General Flynn:

On September 6, the Washington Post reported that a grand jury had been investigating McCabe ‘for months’:

an indication the probe into whether he misled officials exploring his role in a controversial media disclosure has intensified, two people familiar with the matter said.

The grand jury has summoned more than one witness, the people said, and the case is ongoing. The people declined to identify those who had been called to testify.

The presence of the grand jury shows prosecutors are treating the matter seriously, locking in the accounts of witnesses who might later have to testify at a trial. But such panels are sometimes used only as investigative tools, and it remains unclear if McCabe will ultimately be charged.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C., which has been handling the probe, declined to comment.

Michael Bromwich, a lawyer for McCabe, said in a statement after this report was published online that he had been confident McCabe would not be charged, absent “inappropriate pressure from high levels of the Administration.”

“Unfortunately, such pressure has continued, with the President targeting Mr. McCabe in numerous additional tweets,” Bromwich said. The lawyer also raised questions about the timing of the news report on the grand jury.

ZeroHedge had more (emphases in the original):

Specifically, McCabe was fired for lying about authorizing an F.B.I. spokesman and attorney to tell Devlin Barrett of the Wall St. Journal – just days before the 2016 election, that the FBI had not put the brakes on a separate investigation into the Clinton Foundation, at a time in which McCabe was coming under fire for his wife taking a $467,500 campaign contribution from Clinton proxy pal, Terry McAuliffe. 

In order to deal with his legal woes, McCabe set up a GoFundMe “legal defense fund” which stopped accepting donations, after support for the fired bureaucrat took in over half a million dollars – roughly $100,000 more than his wife’s campaign took from McAuliffe as McCabe’s office was investigating Clinton and her infamous charities.

On September 17, Trump tweeted about the two FBI employees who were part of the group working against his presidency:

On September 18, the Gateway Pundit reported on the press release for McCabe’s upcoming book, The Threat, mentioned above. The press release quoted McCabe as saying (emphases mine):

I wrote this book because the president’s attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole. He is undermining America’s safety and security, and eroding public confidence in its institutions. His attacks on the most crucial institutions of government, and on the professionals who serve within them, should make every American stand up and take notice.

On September 21 came the first mention of reports that Rod Rosenstein offered to wear or joked about ‘wearing a wire’ for a meeting with Trump:

A few weeks earlier, President Trump had intended to declassify various unredacted documents. By September 22, he had backtracked. The DoJ advised him that declassification could harm the Mueller probe. In addition, US allies warned against declassification for security reasons. Trump instructed IG Horowitz to review them instead. Had Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein any influence on Trump on this subject? Declassification would have been a huge risk for Rosenstein — and McCabe.

On September 27, the then-House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HSPCI) Chairman Devin Nunes (R-California) said that he planned to release testimony from 70 or more witnesses who were interviewed in the HSPCI’s own Trump-Russia probe. The Daily Caller reported:

Nunes said that between 70 and 80 percent of the transcripts do not contain classified information. The remaining transcripts would have to be reviewed by the office of the director of national intelligence. Nunes said that review process “would only take a matter of days.”

Nunes and other House Republicans have also led a push to get President Donald Trump to declassify and release documents related to the FBI and Justice Department’s collusion investigation.

It also transpired that McCabe and Rosenstein were feuding via the media. McCabe represented the faction that wanted to end Trump’s presidency. Rosenstein represented the people currently at the DoJ and FBI.

Rosenstein was using the Washington Post to get his story out. McCabe was using the New York Times.

One example of this was when the Rosenstein-wear-a-wire story appeared in The New York Times:

On October 9, The Hill‘s John Solomon reported that Rosenstein was desperate to downplay the story. However, released testimony from former FBI lawyer James Baker indicated that this was no joke:

Baker’s story lays bare an extraordinary conversation in which at least some senior FBI officials thought it within their purview to try to capture the president on tape and then go to the president’s own Cabinet secretaries, hoping to persuade the senior leaders of the administration to remove the president from power.

Even more extraordinary is the timing of such discussions: They occurred, according to Baker’s account, in the window around the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Could it be that the leaders of a wounded, stunned FBI were seeking retribution for their boss’s firing with a secret recording operation?

I doubt this is the power that Congress intended to be exercised when it created the FBI a century ago, or the circumstances in which the authors of the 25th Amendment imagined a president’s removal could be engineered.

This wasn’t a president who was incapacitated at the time. He was fully exercising his powers — but in a way the FBI leadership did not like.

And that makes the FBI’s involvement in the tape-record-then-dump-Trump conversations overtly political — even if Rosenstein believed the whole idea was farcical.

Also:

Keep in mind, this is the same FBI that, a few months earlier during the 2016 election, had its top counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok talking to Page — his lover and the top lawyer to McCabe — about using their official powers to “stop” Trump in the election and having an “insurance policy” against the GOP nominee. That insurance policy increasingly looks like an unverified dossier created by British intelligence operative Christopher Steele — a Trump hater himself — that was bought and paid for by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign through their mutual law firm.

You walk away from the Baker interview with little doubt that the FBI leadership in that 2016-17 time frame saw itself as far more than a neutral investigative agency but actually as a force to stop Trump’s election before it happened and then maybe reversing it after the election was over,” said a source directly familiar with the congressional investigation.

The following day, the Washington Post published an article outlining the tension between McCabe and Rosenstein. The FBI higher-ups did not like that Rosenstein had recommended in writing that President Trump fire James Comey. DoJ officials did not like that the FBI, McCabe in particular, opened an investigation on Trump immediately after Comey’s departure. WaPo reported that the two quarrelled shortly after Robert Mueller was appointed — in front of him.

Rosenstein, incidentally, had allegedly already made his ‘wear a wire’ comment.

The subject of the meeting in question was whether Rosenstein or McCabe should recuse themselves from involvement in the Mueller probe:

Rosenstein wanted McCabe out of the Russia probe, and McCabe felt differently, arguing that it was the deputy attorney general, not the head of the FBI, who should step away from the case.

Although neither recused himself:

The McCabe-Rosenstein relationship has only worsened with time …

The Rosenstein-McCabe relationship has come under renewed scrutiny as lawmakers have demanded answers about memos written by McCabe and his then-senior counsel, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, about the discussions on May 16, 2017, in which McCabe wrote that Rosenstein suggested recording the president and discussed the 25th Amendment.

Rosenstein was due to meet that week with The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees about the DoJ, but the meeting never happened.

On October 11, the Washington Examiner reported that the FBI was delaying publication of McCabe’s book, The Threat. It would not appear until February 2019:

McCabe was fired by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in March, less than 48 hours before his retirement day because of “allegations of misconduct” found by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General. McCabe, has disputed the IG report, and is now the subject of a grand jury inquiry.

According to the FBI’s employment agreement, all disclosure of information must be reviewed and adhere to the FBI’s “Prepublication Review Policy Guide,” made official in 2015.

Although there is more to cover on McCabe, this is a good point at which to bring us to the present day.

On Monday, February 18, 2019, President Trump pulled no punches:

Is this the first time President Trump has tweeted the letters ‘t-r-e-a-s-o-n’?

Here’s ‘treason’ again:

Trump was on fire:

We can only hope that the tables start turning soon.

Perhaps the new attorney general, Bill Barr, will set things in motion.

CNN — and Democrat politicians — say that America was never great.

Joel Patrick, a teenager from Ohio, provides a chronology of American greatness from the time of the Underground Railroad in the 19th century up to the present day:

Kudos to him for packing so much history into 45 seconds!

I am pleased to say that Joel Patrick will be attending dinner at the White House in honour of Black History Month on Thursday, February 21.

His contemporary, the redoubtable CJ Pearson, will be joining him.

I am sure they will have the evening of their lives.

Below are two views of abortion.

The first is Bill ‘Science Guy’ Nye presenting his opinion, strongly objecting to the pro-life movement and stupid men of ‘European’ extraction who legislate against it. Nye, an atheist, disapproves of the Bible, which he mentions here as ‘a book around 5,000’ years old, and, clearly, outmoded. He does not present one salient fact about abortion. Essentially, if you don’t like abortion — tough. You’re probably too dumb:

The second is from a former abortionist, Dr Anthony Levatino, who still works as an obstetrician and gynaecologist. He testified in 2015 before the House Judiciary Committee hearing about Planned Parenthood’s medical procedures. The YouTube description adds:

Planned Parenthood has been under fire after videos were released showing how the mega abortion provider sold fetal tissue to researchers.

Regardless of where you stand on the subject, I strongly recommend watching — not just listening to — Dr Levatino’s description of what happens during a second-trimester abortion. This video is especially important for those who call foetuses/developing babies ‘whatchamacallits’:

During his career as an abortionist, he performed over 1,200 D&Esdilations and evacuations — as abortions done between 13 and 24 weeks are known in the medical profession.

The instrument he is holding in his hand is a Sopher clamp. That is used to remove all the body parts. Watch him describe how the abortionist has to use it ‘blindly’ in search of a leg, then an arm, then the head.

The Sopher clamp purposely has rows of sharp metal teeth on it so that the doctor can grasp all of the body parts as efficiently as possible.

He says that all the body parts must be set aside on a table and be accounted for. Anything left in the former mother can cause infection, haemorrhaging and, possibly, death.

He then related his own family experience. He met his wife while at medical school in Albany. Interestingly enough, they wanted to start a family, but they had an infertility problem. They adopted a baby, Heather, in 1978. Incredibly, his wife became pregnant a month later.

Just before Heather turned six, she was fatally injured in an automobile accident. Levatino thought he could get through the mourning period and go back to work.

He did, for a time.

Then, one day when he was beginning another abortion, he pulled out a limb and got sick. He composed himself and finished the abortion, but when he looked at all the assembled body parts:

All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter.

That was the last D&E he ever performed.

Several months later, he stopped doing abortions altogether.

————————————————————————————

In November 1987, Levatino spoke at the first ever Meet the Abortion Providers conference.

Pro-Life Action has an edited transcript of what he said. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

He said that the private clinic where he worked in Albany was about the only one performing D&Es:

My partner and I, however, were relatively important in the Albany area for one infamous fact, which to this day I regret. Our group was just about the only group that was performing late abortions, D & E procedures, Dilatation and Evacuation. And we received referrals from all over the area in our part of the state, even from neighboring counties 70 to 80 miles away. We had a lot of patients.

He explained why OB-GYNs perform abortions:

It’s profitable, there’s a lot of money in it! But there’s philosophical things that come first. As I’m fond of telling people, if you are pro-choice and you happen to be a gynecologist, then it’s up to you to take the instruments in hand and actively perform an abortion. It’s the most natural association in the world.

Along the way you find out you make a lot of money doing abortions. In my practice we were averaging between $250 and $500 for an abortion, and it was cash.

The pro-choice movement helped a lot, too:

There are other reasons; they’re perhaps no less important. I’ve heard many times from other obstetricians: Well, I’m not really pro-abortion, I’m pro-woman. How many times have you heard that one? The women’s groups in this country, they’re not alone, but they’ve done a very good job selling that bill of goods to the population. That somehow destroying a life is pro-woman. But a lot of obstetricians use that justification to themselves, and I can tell you, a lot of them believe it. I used to. It’s not hard to be convinced of it.

There is a gynaecological procedure known as a D&Cdilation and curretage — which is performed when a woman has a uterine ailment. However, it is also used for early-term abortions. Levatino described his residency period, which required that he perform several D&C suction abortions twice a week. Despite the fact that they are first-trimester abortions, they can also present risks to a woman. And, in case anyone is still unconvinced, there is more than ‘a mass of cells’ afterwards:

When the abortionist finishes a suction D & C he has to literally reassemble the child.

When the abortionist finishes a suction D & C, he has to open a little suction bag and he has to literally reassemble the child. He has to do that because he wants to make sure he didn’t leave anything behind.

I had complications, just like everybody else. I have perforated uteruses. I have had all kinds of problems — bleeding, infectionLord knows how many of those women are sterile now.

I remember getting called down to my chairman’s office because a young lady that I had done an abortion on showed up, and the abortion had been incomplete. I had not done my job right, and she passed an arm or a leg and she freaked out because she didn’t realize what had happened.

He also performed saline procedures. This was during the time he and his wife were going through their period of infertility. Saline is painless, right? Saline is harmless, right? After all, ‘it’s just a mass of cells’, right? Levatino describes what he experienced during his residency:

My discomfort came at that point because there was a tremendous conflict going on inside me. Here I was doing my D & Cs, five and six a week, and I was doing salines on a nightly basis whenever I was on call.

I wish one of these people would just let me have their child. But it doesn’t work that way.

The resident on call got the job of doing the salines and there would usually be two or three of those. They were horrible because you saw one intact, whole baby being born, and sometimes they were alive. That was very, very frightening. It was a very stomach-turning kind of existence.

Yet, I was doing that at the same time that my wife and I were trying to have a child, and we were having difficulty with that. We had been married a couple of years at that point — and no baby. Suddenly, we realized we had an infertility problem.

I kept doing abortions, I didn’t stop. But it was tough. We started desperately looking for a baby to adopt, and I was throwing them in the garbage at the rate of nine and ten a week. It even occurred to me then: I wish one of these people would just let me have their child. But it doesn’t work that way. So the conflict was there.

Remember that Levatino also helped pregnant women have their babies. I cannot fathom how one can rejoice with an expectant mother one moment, then perform an abortion the next. Yet, these men and women do it. Levatino said:

As a doctor, you know that these are children; you know that these are human beings with arms and legs and heads and they move around and they are very active. But you get reminded — every time you put that scanner down on somebody’s uterus — you are reminded. Because you see the children in there — hearts beating, arms flinging.

We have a ball with it. It is a lot of fun. We have people coming in who have bleeding and who are afraid they may have a miscarriage — now this is someone who wants to have their child. There is no better news for me than to put that scanner on them at seven and eight weeks and show them a heartbeat and say: Your baby is okay. You do that as an obstetrician all the time.

And then, an hour later, you change your clothes, walk into an operating room and do an abortion. If you have any heart at all, it affects you.

Having graduated and being the proud adoptive father of baby Heather, he joined a gynaecologist in the Albany area who did D&Es. Levatino learned how to perform them. By then, his wife was expecting their first child:

Again, I didn’t particularly like doing abortions, but my partner did abortions and I didn’t object to it morally, so we worked together. I was on salary at the time, as a new partner, so it made not a whit of difference on my income. I did it to be agreeable. It’s a lousy reason in retrospect, but that was my reason. That was our business for years to come.

In 1984, his daughter Heather was hit by a car in front of their home and died:

Everything changes. All of a sudden, the idea of a person’s life becomes very real. It is not an embryology course anymore. It’s not just a couple of hundred dollars. It’s the real thing. It’s your child you buried.

His relationships at home and in the office became strained:

Every time I was asked to schedule an abortion, I got very angry. I began feeling that people were doing something to me. That was ridiculous — I was doing it to myself.

After a few months of that I started to realize — this is somebody’s child. I lost my child, someone who was very precious to us. And now I am taking somebody’s child and I am tearing him right out of their womb. I am killing somebody’s child.

Eventually, he turned his revulsion on himself:

My own sense of self-esteem went down the tubes. I began to feel like a paid assassin. That’s exactly what I was. It got to the point where it just wasn’t worth it to me anymore. It was costing me too much personally. All the money in the world wouldn’t have made a difference.

So, Levatino stopped performing abortions:

I slept a lot better at night after that.

I really like hearing male doctors present the case against abortion, and I particularly liked Levatino’s staccato, matter-of-fact delivery in the video above. He presents his case objectively. Any men who are fence-sitting on abortion would do well to watch his video.

I hope that someday that Dr Levatino meets Bill Nye and teaches him a thing or two about abortion.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post — not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 — resolved

Creative Commons License
Churchmouse Campanologist by Churchmouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://churchmousec.wordpress.com/.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,273 other followers

Archive

Calendar of posts

February 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728  

http://martinscriblerus.com/

Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory
Powered by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Blog Stats

  • 1,474,383 hits
Advertisements