On May 19—and in the spirit of Pope Francis—St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park, Florida, will host an interfaith Ramadan dinner.
Why? Because, as is explained on St. Margaret Mary's website (which includes the graphic below), they seek to follow the example set by Pope Francis:
With his ominous looking goatee, shaved head, forearm tattoos and 6’8” frame, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman looks like he belongs at the end of the Philadelphia 76ers’ bench.
However, basketball isn’t his game.
Rather, Fetterman has been doing a lot of tacit dribbling throughout the Commonwealth on what he calls “a listening tour” on the legalization of “recreational” marijuana. The town-hall type meetings have been proceeding non-stop since February with its goal of visiting all of the state’s 67 counties by mid-June.
Last Wednesday evening, that tour brought Fetterman to the 2nd Street Community Center in Northumberland. In reality, this “listening tour” was over before it began and is simply a campaign for the impending legalization of marijuana.
Anyone familiar with the issue will tell you that when Gov. Tom Wolfe signed legislation legalizing medical marijuana back in April 2016, it was just a matter of time before Pennsylvania joined the other 10 states that have legalized both medicinal and recreational usage.
The only surprise is that it took this long to get the pot train moving along its well-greased tracks.
Fetterman claims he is unbiased and has no “pre-arrived-at conclusions,” but a striking one-minute video complied by the Pennsylvania Family Council proves otherwise, highlighting statements that he is steadfast about legalization: https://pafamily.org/2019/04/fettermanconclusion/. Fetterman is as raw as he is tall. He insists, “My expression is let’s go full-on Colorado in Pennsylvania. We’re arguing about @#$&ing marijuana.”
Fetterman, endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Equality PA
Facts are certainly stubborn things and according to the Denver Post and the Institute for Families, going “full-on Colorado” produces a plethora of problems. Since legalization, the crime rate in Colorado has increased 11 times faster than the rest of the nation. Colorado’s Bureau of Investigation reports an 8.3 percent increase in property crimes and 18.6 percent increase in violent crimes, while traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled.
A study by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice found of the 4,000 drivers tested for marijuana in 2016, 73 percent were found to have the drug in their system. Presently, Colorado holds the top spot for first-time marijuana use among youth in the country with more retail marijuana stores than Starbucks and McDonalds combined.
State Rep. Cris Dush, a Republican from Jefferson County and Pennsylvania Family Institute President Michael Geer insinuated Fetterman’s events are weighted in favor of legalization supporters. Fetterman disagrees, but claims there’s near-unanimous support for legalization.
In the DuBois Courier-Express, Dush said he did his own “16-year listening tour,” while working for the Department of Corrections as a correctional officer. Dush called marijuana “a stepping-stone drug and possible cause of mental health issues.” Northumberland County Rep. Kurt Masser had no comment and State Senator John Gordner did not respond to my inquiry. Here’s hoping that these two consistent conservatives are not sliding down that weed-filled rabbit hole.
All the drug and alcohol and law enforcement professionals I know agree with Dush and if that in itself isn’t a full-staffed red flag, what is?
Not only are marijuana users more likely to start using opiates, but the National Academy of Medicine reports that using “is likely to increase the risk of schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.” Between 2006 and 2014, emergency room visits for marijuana-induced psychosis tripled to 90,000.
It is stone-cold crazy that legalized marijuana is becoming a reality. Led by organizations like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), pot propagandists have been operating for over a half century to convince anyone who would listen that marijuana is harmless and healthy. Nationwide, folks like Fetterman and their political allies are doing everything they can to paint lipstick on the pig of drug addiction, while selling out for another revenue stream for state governments.
According to the Taxfoundation.org, the state of Washington levies a 37 percent sales tax. Leave it to politicians to be greedier than dope dealers. The growers, distributors and smokers have no say, which is clearly a case of taxation without inhalation.
Bill Clinton anyone?
There are plenty of folks who would have you believe that marijuana is not an addictive drug. However, the politicians that are hooked on the tax dollars it brings to their state coffers, tells a far different story.
Legalization, they claim, would end the illegal marijuana trade, but because of state taxes, adding to the cost, the illegal drug industry will endure and continue to profit as they will be able to undersell the competition while remaining tax free. The only difference between those lawmakers like Fetterman, who support its legalization and the dealers on the street, is that the dealers don’t need to lie about the poison they peddle.
If you are still unconvinced there’s Alex Berenson’s, “Marijuana, Mental illness, and Violence” in the January 2019 issue of ‘Imprimis’ – an exceptional publication produced by Hillsdale College that is available free online – https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/marijuana-mental-illness-violence. Berenson’s essay is sobering, and he pulls no punches on why this nationwide campaign for legalization is a debacle of the first-order and is perilous to those who use and debasing to the nation. Berenson explains that “in the 1970s and 1980s, marijuana generally contained less than 5 percent THC. Today, the marijuana sold at legal dispensaries often contains 25 percent.”
The marijuana lobby has been blowing smoke for years about the drug’s safety. Advocates say marijuana is a medicine, not an intoxicant, and that legalization can slow the opioid epidemic. Not true, Berenson argues, pointing to an American Journal of Psychiatry study that shows “that people who use cannabis are more likely to start using opioids later.”
Even the house organ of Liberaldom, the New York Times, in an op/ed said: “the legalization of marijuana is a serious and growing threat to public health and public safety.”
We have gone past permitting, and now endorse debauched societal behavior.
The growing political train of legalizing marijuana, will continue as the tax windfall will be too much to pass up, while states ignore its established social and health problems.
Marijuana use will find its place as another risk-free exercise under the ideological eccentricities of the ever-emerging Nanny States of America. The counterculture has become the culture and the Left isn’t going to let the facts, science or common sense inhibit its onslaught.
American society has smoked the peace pipe with marijuana, while making war on tobacco and it’s only a matter of time before you reap what we sow.
We need to stop pretending marijuana is a benign and innocuous drug.
If you can’t catch up with Fetterman’s tour, you can voice your concerns online: https://HYPERLINK "https://default.salsalabs.org/Ted98bd84-6bcb-4023-a8bc-8e27c3fe7f0c/8d5116dc-9c42-495a-9d25-c751e85b7b9d"governor.pa.gov/recreational-marijuana-feedback. Moreover, you can also contact your State Senator and State Representative.
Fetterman has aspirations to run once again for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, but would be a slam-dunk as an advocate for NORML.
There is nothing more abnormal than NORML.
During Easter week, a bill was passed which beggars belief. Minnesota House Democrats voted in favor of teaching pornography and sexual perversion as part of the Minnesota House Education Omnibus Bill, HF2400, the offending section of which is a two-page mandate requiring “Sexual Health Education” curriculum, also known as Comprehensive Sex Ed (CSE).
Simply put, CSE is pornographic. And by "pornographic" I don't mean in the hyperbolic sense of an exaggerated description of something which maybe a few Mormon or Fundamentalist Christian groups might find offensive. No, this is the real thing, i.e., sketched images of men and women engaging in what back in the 1980's was known as "kinky sex"-- what civilized people (if they mentioned it at all) would have called perversion, a word which no longer seems to phase anyone.
But if teaching 4th grade kids the ins and outs of sodomy does not rise to the level of perversion, then quite obviously "perversion" has no meaning.
On Easter Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court filed an opinion which held abortion is a "natural right." Hodes & Nauser, MDs, P.A., et al. v. Derek Schmidt, et al., Case No. 114,153 (Kan. Sup. Ct., April 26, 2019).
The opinion is remarkable for its legal fluency. Anyone familiar with the Court's output must wonder at its author. The opinion was filed "Per curiam," meaning it was authored collectively by the Court. But the gaps in law and logic are deftly handled, and the thing conveys such a diabolical confidence in deceit that it appears to flow from a power beyond the justices.
A detailed refutation of the opinion would be pointless. It is evident by now that American constitutional law is largely a matter of will, not reason. The desired result can be gained by any means necessary. One example here will suffice.
The Court explained that this sentence of the Kansas Constitution implicitly recognizes a natural right to abortion: "All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The Court did not once in its 87-page opinion examine the right to "life" which is explicitly protected in the same sentence. This is pure power, not legal judgment.
The opinion is nevertheless an interesting exercise in power, revealing more than the Court probably intended. As already mentioned, the Court did not posit a constitutional right so much as a natural right.
According to the Court, the Kansas Constitution merely recognized the natural right to abortion already held by the people who drafted and ratified the document. The Court's approach therefore grounded abortion in human nature, which the Court assumed does not change, rather than in constitutional law, which of course changes all the time!
The Court's strategy accomplished two things, rhetorically speaking. First, it allowed the Court to scorn any rejection of abortion as impossibly regressive. The only justice to dissent, the Hon. Caleb Stegall, properly noted that in the Court's "imagined world, the Liberty Bell rings every time a baby in utero loses her arm."
Second, it allowed the Court to play passive-aggressive. No, the Court claimed, its exercise of jurisdiction over innocent human life was not an aggressive use of government power. No, the Court claimed, its rejection of the "majoritarian" opinion in Kansas favoring restrictions on abortion was not aggressive in the least. The Court instead posed as a passive barrier to unreasonable actors who would otherwise attack the natural right to abortion.
Justice Stegall devoted most of his dissent to this pose. He argued the case was not "not only about abortion policy," but was "more elementally about the structure of our republican form of government." According to him, "[t]he structural idea that gave birth to Kansas as a political community, which has achieved consensus support across most of our history, is that the proper conditions for just rule are met via participatory consent to secure and promote the common welfare." (Emphasis in original.) The justice concluded his dissent as follows:
At the outset, I noted that this case isn't just about the policy of abortion, it is more basically about the structure of our government. While true, this description fails to account for a strange but persistent symbiosis between the two. Abortion has become the judicially preferred policy tail wagging the structure of government dog. For the majority, the settled and carefully calibrated republican structure of our government must give way, at every turn, to the favored policy. But in my considered judgment, constitutional structure is the very thing securing and guaranteeing the full range of human liberty. History and reason suggest that those who, in the name of liberty, tear down that edifice will wind up out in the political elements, unsheltered and exposed to the cold wind of every arbitrary power. (Emphasis in original.)
Justice Stegall's argument for limited government is noble, but it feels passed-by. The Roman gods which gave life to the ancient Republic (or so the Romans believed) could not be bothered to save the Republic once it passed to Empire. Such Romans as mourned the loss of the Republic were not heard. The Roman gods first created the Republic, and they then created the Empire—the gods moved on.
Here as well, the American gods have moved on. It turns out that government power based on social contract, one American god Justice Stegall invokes, is actually at the core of the Court's opinion. Justice Stegall is of course correct that the people of Kansas have not given the Court power to establish abortion as a natural right. But the Court is correct that the people of Kansas cannot give any branch of government a power they themselves lack, specifically (in the Court's view) a power to restrict abortion. What else could a natural right to abortion mean, but that the people cannot give government power to restrict that right? The Court is further correct that the people established it to decide disputed cases.
So, despite the truth found in the dissent, the overwhelming power of the Court remains unchanged. The Court's power can be exercised with restraint by virtuous people, as Justice Stegall asks, but power is available to the vicious as well. The Court has spoken on abortion in Kansas, and under the current system of government, the rest will listen.
Praying to the American gods therefore will not bring limited government back to Kansas. Just as the Roman government was ultimately restrained not by increased devotion to the pagan gods, but by increased devotion to the True God, the governments of Kansas and the rest of the country will be restrained only when they acknowledge the true source of their power.
Government power cannot come from the people, contrary to the common piety. Individuals lack the most basic power over others, such as taxing and incarcerating. Since individuals lack such power, a multitude are in the same boat. The interesting thing about the Court's opinion is that it tends toward agreement. If the people cannot give what they by nature lack, in this instance the power to restrict abortion, the same is true for all government functions.
In contrast, a Power which creates the common order may logically grant government subsidiary power over that order. Most governments throughout history have seen it that way. Revelation further teaches that the True God gives power to government under certain terms. See Mt. 28: 18-20; Rom. 13:1-7. Those terms do not include jurisdiction over innocent human life, a power God retains to Himself. See Ex. 20:13. Therefore no government may claim jurisdiction over innocent human life, even when purporting to hand that life to another.
Taking God's offer of power without God's intended limits is characteristic of sin. Sin began with Lucifer, whose intellect exceeded the combined intellects of all justices who have ever lived. Yet Lucifer's great intellect did not stop him from falling. Anyone who similarly grasps at God's power risks following Lucifer into damnation. The Kansas Supreme Court cannot stop it.
Even the law of murder can be changed:
Say "therapeutic", and the thing's arranged:
Pattern of heroic sacrifice,
Star of devotion in her children's eyes,
The pregnant mother summons good advice
It is not murder if the child's not seen;
This is what sentimental ethics mean.
—James McAuley, "A Letter to John Dryden"
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On October 15, 2018, Canons William Avis and John O'Connor of the Institute of Christ the King formally began oversight of our Traditional Latin Mass parish here in Pittsburgh, which until then had been under diocesan control. They offered a Solemn High Mass on their first Sunday with us, followed by a social to enable us to welcome them to Pittsburgh. Since then, at every Mass we benefit from their meticulous and reverent manner of offering the Holy Sacrifice, and have found them to be quite personable and very dedicated to serving their flock.
We were blessed to have Fr. James Dolan as our pastor for the previous six years. We are grateful for his dedication to the traditional Mass and to us, and we miss him. But given the ongoing implosion of the diocese, all of the steadily falling number of priests are needed to prop up the NewChurch model a little bit longer. The powers that be are no longer willing, or perhaps even able, to spare a priest for us.
While all of the novus ordo parishes are now in clusters, and many more church closings are in the offing, all under the Orwellian-sounding diocesan slogan of “On Mission For The Church Alive”, our numbers increased significantly immediately upon the Institute's arrival, and we continue to grow. We see more and more new faces, new young families, and even some folks who used to attend years ago are now reappearing.
This past Holy Week, it was the first time for all but the oldest of us to experience the pre-1955 Holy Week liturgies, as they were before Bugnini and Co. had begun their dirty work some fifteen years before the novus ordo. The Institute is one of the traditional apostolates which had been granted permission by the PCED to use these liturgies on an experimental basis.
All this is laying the groundwork for an exciting future for one of the oldest TLM congregations in the nation. Although we have occupied St. Boniface Church for 25 years, we share it with the novus ordo, and have had to operate under their restrictions and with very limited facilities. Moreover, from the beginning our priests have never been allowed to live in the onsite rectory, unjustly forcing them to commute. But eventually we will be on our own. Rumor has it that we will be moving to another traditional church a few miles away, where the Canons are already in residence. But wherever our new church home is, and whenever we move there, once we are established, with the Canons living onsite, we anticipate a gradual flowering of parish life and activities, as is often seen in other traditional apostolates. Deo Gratias!
The God of 'Ultimate Inclusion'
An April 15 article on Cruxnow.com’s website is entitled, Irish archbishop: A church that marginalizes is a ‘God-less church.’ It states that the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, “was speaking April 13 during the celebration marking the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Ireland. According to Crux, “Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said God is not ‘a God just of rules and norms,’ but a God ‘who prizes the freedom that enables each one of us to be the person that we are created to be.’”
The 2019 Easter Sunday Massacre in Sri Lanka has left at least 300 Christians dead and as many as 500 wounded. Sri Lankan government officials blamed the Islamic group National Thowheeth Jama'ath for the senseless bombing that has rocked the country and terrorized the Christian minority community.
The victims—mostly Catholic—of the Massacre were attending Easter Sunday Mass as St. Sebastian's Catholic Church in Negombo and St. Anthony's Catholic Shrine in Colombo. The evangelical victims were attending Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa.
Yes, the victims of the Massacre were Christian. Does it violate hate crime laws to report what actually happened in Sri Lanka? Must we come up with more euphemisms? Judging from the bizarre reportage thus far, it's difficult to tell.
I don't remember the mainstream media telling us that "worshippers" were slaughtered by an unnamed "extremist" in Christchurch. In that case, the world was immediately informed that fifty Muslim worshippers in two Christchurch mosques were slaughtered by Brenton Tarrant--a 'suspected white supremacist'. Within in a few hours of that horror, we had the shooter's name, nationality, photos and even his date of birth.
Not so much in the case of the Easter Sunday Massacre in Sri Lanka, where mainstream media have been bending over backwards not to report the facts. Mustn't upset the prevailing Christophobic narrative, after all.
Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton took the subterfuge to a point well beyond the absurd when they tweeted out how sorry they were that "Easter worshippers" were slaughtered by....er.... well they were slaughtered and isn't that too bad!
This is getting truly ridiculous! As images of Christians lying dead in streets everywhere become more or less par for the course, the faithful watchdog media never miss an opportunity to warn their gullible viewers against those hateful Christians and Trump-supporting "terrorists" out there who are, apparently, the only real threat left in the world.
But when Muslim extremists blow up Christian churches the Christian victims are treated like anonymous pariahs.
Say what you will about Fox News, by the way, but in a country whose mainstream media would make Joseph Goebbels blush, Tucker Carlson is, well, a sworn enemy of lying pomposity, smugness and group-think:
We offer our prayers and solidarity to our Christian brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. May the Risen Christ and His Blessed Mother comfort the survivors and welcome to paradise the victims of this satanic attack on the Mystical Body of Christ.
The Paris fire brigade knew exactly what they were doing. They knew they could not save the roof, and so they went inside and saved the building. And, voila! It worked.
Incredibly, it begins to appear at least from preliminary reports, that all the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is going to need is a lot of love and a new roof.
The City Hall of Paris released photos of the interior today which show massive amounts of debris from an 800-year-old wooden-beamed roof that, sadly, is no more.
Still, the medieval stone masons' genius saved Notre Dame some 800 years after she’d been built. The roaring flames quickly compromised the many-ton wooden structure of the attic, which collapsed onto the vaulted ceiling of the cathedral, threatening to fall through and down into nave below. And then, what of the walls themselves? But the great gothic buttresses and flying buttresses did their job. They held, until the fire on the roof had burned itself out.
And if the wind had shifted and fanned the flames into the twin bell towers, the huge bells (such as the 13-ton Emmanuel) would have come crashing down, bringing their fortress-like towers with them.
Many are calling this miraculous, and indeed it well could be. But perhaps we should also admit that the Paris fire brigade knew exactly what they were doing after all. They knew they could not save the roof, and so they went inside and saved the building. And voila!
The interior was saved, under the watchful eye of the pieta, now covered with ash but otherwise unharmed.
“The fire was really limited to the roof, and because it’s conceived structurally as a separate system, it can burn without affecting what’s underneath it to a large extent,” said Kevin D. Murphy, professor of art history at Vanderbilt University
It's now official. This today from the Paris mayor's office:
Even though the flames swept over the cathedral so intensely, much of the interior was saved Notre Dame's two medieval bell towers were still intact, and its stained-glass rose windows appeared mostly unscathed.
After a lot of speculation, rumors and fake tweets about a government-sponsored "reconstruction project" that would be in conformity with "diversity" and "multi-cultural" secularist standards (whatever that means), one wonders how much architectural leeway would even be possible, given the facts that the walls still stand, the buttresses held, the towers are secure and the interior was saved.
Five years and a billion dollars to restore Notre Dame? Sounds fairly reasonable, at this point.
But given the horrors we all witnessed just two nights ago, is it really so absurd to suggest miraculous intervention? Even the "experts on TV" said the fire could well spread across the Ile de la Cite and that there was really no hope of saving the Cathedral. Fox News' Shephard Smith said Notre Dame would 'burn to the ground."
And, indeed, that is exactly how it looked. Even the mayor and a spokesman for the fire department had said they might not be able to save any of it. Notre Dame appeared to be burning to the ground.
And, yet, here she is--Notre Dame--wounded and weeping for her wayward children, but still standing like the stone metaphor for a mother waiting for her lost little ones to come home. And as long as she stands in silent, if charred, maternal reminder, there is hope for them and for us all. Chez soyez Reine, nous sommes a Vous!
Staba Mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.
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Morris Dees is the co-founder and former chief litigator of the Southern Poverty Law Center. His employment was terminated on March 13, 2019 after rumors and allegations of sexual misconduct, discrimination and suspicious fundraising had found their way into several mainstream media reports.
According to SPLC President Richard Cohen, the notorious SPLC was merely: “Bringing in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure our talented staff is working in the environment they deserve—one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected.”
Cohen stated that Dees’s dismissal over misconduct was effective on Wednesday, March 13, but declined to elaborate further.
Gee, wonder why the SPLC finally got rid of Morris Dees. . .
A quick Google search reveals more smoke than most serious journalists can handle: The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far-Left fundraising group whose co-founder, Morris Dees, dubbed the 'King of Fearmongers' by the Weekly Standard in 2013, was accused by Washington Times editor, Wesley Pruden, of being “nothing more than a scam artist”, and even his Wikipedia entry includes that Dees has been dismissed as “a con man and fraud”, who “has taken advantage of naive, well-meaning people–some of moderate or low incomes–who believe his pitches and give to his $175-million operation.”
Various well-respected news organizations have rightly cited the Dees dismissal as vindication for what so many respected commentators have been saying for so long--the SPLC has a massive credibility problem that should preclude any legitimate news agency from taking their "findings" seriously.
Take the National Review, for example, (A Washington Post Op-Ed About the SPLC Illustrates Three Truths about the Media, by David French):
The New American's R. Cort Kirkwood also provides details on this latest scandal to hit the SPLC--this time served up by a gay former SPLC staffer (certainly no conservative!) who'd seen more than he could un-see while working for the SPLC
Former SPLC staff member Bob Moser took to the New Yorker yesterday to elaborate on what we’ve known for some time: The SPLC is, again, a money-making scam. But he revealed that truth from the inside.
Until Justice Rolls Down Like Dollars
A detailed report in the Los Angeles Times explained that SPLC fired Dees likely because of the long-term abuse of women and blacks at the organization.
Stephen Bright, a Yale law professor and former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, told the Times that SPLC’s fundraising is “fraudulent,” and called Dees a “flimflam man and he’s managed to flimflam his way along for many years raising money by telling people about the Ku Klux Klan and hate groups,” he said. “He sort of goes to whatever will sell and has, of course, brought in millions and millions and millions of dollars.
For the record, The Remnant has been targeted by the SPLC as a 'hate group' for over ten years. And over the course of that time, if there's one thing we've learned it's that the SPLC is not invincible. They traffic in intimidation and fear, and if they can't achieve that desired effect, they've got nothing!
We have fought back every time a local mainstream media outlet, using the SPLC material, has come after The Remnant. And I would argue that we've not lost a round yet.
From 2017, here's an example of The Remnant refusing to back down in the face of the SPLC's hateful efforts to destroy everyone with whom they disagree:
A Profile in Fake News
by Michael J. Matt
WCCO TV Links The Remnant to Charlottesville White Supremacists
“Southern Poverty Law Center has been criticized in the past for having too broad a definition of hate.” (WCCO TV reporter, Heather Brown, August 14, 2017) So there’s your 2017 Understatement of the Year. But then why did WCCO TV rely on an obvious Fake News source to concoct a nothingburger story like this? Let us consider this textbook example of Fake News.
Last night, WCCO TV attempted to forge a link between white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA and—wait for it! —The Remnant. As the primary source for this “exposé”, WCCO reporter Heather Brown trotted out the 2006 Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report on hate groups in America.
Regurgitated for the umpteenth time were the old SPLC scare claims that a number of ‘hate groups’ (including The Remnant) are active here in Minnesota, and thus by implication form some sort of threat to the common good along the lines of the violent protesters in Charlottesville.
I have no desire to defend the lunacy of whatever actual hate groups may exist in my home state, but the existence of a least some of these alleged groups seems suspect at best.
According to investigative reports published by conscientious local reporters over the past few years, local police chiefs in Minnesota counties where the SPLC’s hate groups are alleged to reside have, in fact, never even heard of said hate groups. So either they don’t exist at all, or they’re comprised of one or two obscure nutters that present no actual threat, which is why they’ve never registered so much as a blip on law enforcement radar.
In his 2015 article in City Pages (sardonically titled “Minnesota’s Eight Active Hate Groups Are Struggling”), for example, reporter Cory Zurowski refers to interviews he conducted with local law enforcement during the course of his investigation of these same SPLC claims:
But if Forest Lake harbors villainy in its midst, Police Captain Greg Weiss is unaware. ‘This is the first I’ve heard of it,’ he says…
If there’s a notorious band of racists in St. Paul, however, their presence has gone unnoticed. Police Sgt. Paul Paulos has called the city home for the last half-century. It’s been three decades since he last saw a skinhead. "We had skinheads in South St. Paul, but that was back in the '60s and '70s," he says. "Our database shows nothing about these guys, and it dates back to 2001. I can honestly say I haven't heard about them and there's no reason for me to tell you otherwise."
Adds Sgt. John Eastham of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department: "I personally have never heard of that group."
Despite local police skepticism, the SPLC is sticking to its claim.
The City Pages exposé sums up with an overall dismissal of the SPLC’s witch hunt, citing the downright laughable case of a SPLC “hate group” leader named Dean:
As best as anyone can tell, Dean's once-mighty movement now consists of a middle-aged man with a calf tattoo, a keyboard, and an internet radio show. Consider him emblematic of Minnesota's struggling state of organized hate.
The SPLC Intelligence Report is a Fake News source. And yet WCCO went with the story anyway, after attempting to add legitimacy to it by soliciting the testimony of a local sociologist, Lisa Waldner (pictured right), from the University of St. Thomas. (Yes, our most venerable Catholic university is now a character reference for one of the most radically Leftist special interest groups in America. Go figure.)
In any case, even the expert from St. Thomas had to admit during the course of the WCCO broadcast that: “You have to be somewhat cautious at using their [SPLC] labels…even though they’re still a good source”.
Really? A good source of what—Fake News? And why would a reputable news agency give a second thought to a source that tends to get its labels wrong? Correctly labeling the subjects of your investigation is sort of Journalism 101 stuff, isn’t it?
[UPDATE: After this article was posted, Dr. Waldner was kind enough to answer our request for further clarification on the remarks she made in this WCCO TV segment. Here is the comment she gave us, and we’re posting it with gratitude:
“Heather Brown [of WCCO TV] and I discussed the inclusion of “The Remnant” and I indicated that I wouldn’t have included this newspaper on a “Hate group” list. In fact, I talked quite a bit about the role of “watchdog” groups like the SPLC and how they are not a neutral organization. While not all of this conversation was recorded, my points about watchdog groups were part of the recorded conversation. They didn’t use that part of our interview in its entirety for the on-air piece. I don’t believe in using SPLC list uncritically or in assuming that the list is accurate. I am not the only social scientist that feels this way. No source is perfect. Nonetheless, SPLC is a go-to source to get a general view of the types of hate groups that operate nationwide.” [emp. added]
Lisa K. Waldner, Ph.D.
Associate Dean College of Arts and Sciences
University of St. Thomas | stthomas.edu
To her credit, Ms. Brown admits that the “Southern Poverty Law Center has been criticized in the past for having too broad a definition of hate.” True enough, but evidently Ms. Brown’s journalistic curiosity was not sufficiently piqued to look into the grounds of that criticism.
The SPLC tactics were cited as prompting at least one fan-turned-violent-vigilante to go on a shooting spree a few years ago. Back in 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins II, a self-appointed executor of the SPLC’s implicit will, entered the lobby of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., and started spraying bullets all over the place. Building manager Leo Johnson stopped him but only after taking a bullet in the process.
Mr. Corkins pleaded guilty to three felonies, including terrorism while armed and assault with the intent to kill. He informed investigators that he’d gotten the bright idea to go on the murderous rampage from the SPLC website. Inside his backpack police also found the address of the D.C.-based Traditional Values Coalition—another group listed on the SPLC “hate map.” Take a look:
We sent this link to WCCO TV, but it didn’t deter them from doing a story based solely on the authority of the same out-of-state and out-of-control SPLC.
So when some nut comes to my office and starts spraying lead, exactly why will WCCO TV not be responsible for their fire-in-the-theatre “journalism”?
Briefly, let’s look at how it works: They dig up scary-sounding names of little-known racist clubs or lone nuts on the Internet. Then they associate those groups with reputable conservative organizations they don’t like. Then they designate all of the above as ‘hate groups’. Finally, they employ various scare tactics to raise money to “stop the hate” coming from such “dangerous” groups as Focus on the Family, Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, Judge Andrew Napolitano, the American Family Association, Tony Perkins, the John Birch Society, World Net Daily, The Remnant. You name the conservative pro-family group and the SPLC has got them targeted and most often listed on its trusty “hate map” right alongside lunatical neo-Nazis and octogenarian Klansmen.
Last year the SPLC went so far off the rails as to include presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on their hate watch list. While Dr. Carson had enough power and influence to finally get his name removed, the damage was already done.
This is textbook Fake News. Throw as much mud as you possibly can at a given person or organization, wait to see if any of it sticks, and then hope nothing untoward happens to force a retraction.
The SPLC Hate Map is a joke, of course. But in a society like ours, where racial tension is at an all-time high, such jokes present a threat to innocent people that’s no laughing matter.
And what does all of this have to do with Traditional Catholics?
Just for good measure, the SPLC’s hate map includes a category called ‘radical traditionalist Catholics’. So back in 2007, Father Nicholas Gruner, the Fatima Center, the SSPX, CFN, The Remnant, and many other traditional Catholic groups found themselves targeted on the SPLC Hate Map. There was no due process, of course. No trial. No hearing. In the fascist world of the SPLC, everyone with whom they disagree is simply guilty until proven innocent. And the folks at the SPLC don’t seem to care too much about truth. Back in 2007 they flat out refused our lawyers’ requests to meet with them in person, to explain who and what The Remnant is. Demagoguery and polarization are the name of their game—not dialogue and peace making.
The Remnant was just another victim of the SPLC’s high-powered bullying/fundraising scheme, with their lawyers always careful to avoid any accusations against us of actual violence, as this would guarantee a SPLC defeat in a court of law.
It all comes down to a radical and willy-nilly definition of ‘hate’. If you think marriage is between one man and one woman, for example, you’re a dangerous homophobe. If you accept the Catholic dogma that all men will be saved only through Jesus Christ, well you’re anti-Semitic and guilty of ‘religious supremacism’. If you’re concerned about ISIS and terrorism, you’re guilty of Islamophobia. That sort of thing. Hyperbolic hate baiting at its worst, with no basis in reality, no room for debate, and no serious attempt to prevent the violence against innocent people that can and often does result from witch-hunt tactics.
By the way, of the ‘hate groups’ targeted in Minnesota, The Remnant was evidently the only one to readily agree to cooperate with the WCCO TV investigation. Ms. Brown asked us for a comment and I gave her one, which turned out to be the only one referenced in the newscast (minimally and out of context, of course). Here’s our entire comment:
Thanks for your inquiry. I’m not sure what more I can say, over and above what I’ve said many times to other reporters since the SPLC put The Remnant on their hate map back in 2006: The Remnant is not a hate group. The Remnant is not a “group” at all, in fact. It’s a Roman Catholic newspaper that’s been going to press every two weeks in this Archdiocese for 50 years.
My grandfather, Joseph Matt, KSG (made a papal knight by Pope Pius XI) was on the planning committee for the city of St. Paul, and was later honored as America’s Editor Emeritus after he retired, having had another one of our family newspapers, The Wanderer, specifically banned by the National Socialists in Adolf Hitler’s Germany for his weekly opposition to the Nazi scourge.
The founder of The Remnant, Walter Matt, is a decorated World War II vet who spent 3 years of his life fighting Nazis in Europe with the 323rd Service Group of the U.S. Air Force.
And I’m a happily married 50-year-old who’s raising his kids here in Minnesota, loves life, loves his neighbors, feels blessed to be alive, and doesn’t hate anyone. And yet according the SPLC, I’m the ‘leader of a hate group.” Question: Who hates whom here?
We’ve defended ourselves against the SPLC smear campaign many times, most recently when Cory Zurowski of City Pages did his piece on hate groups back in 2015. I did a follow-up on our encounter with City Pages, which may answer whatever questions you have:
The City Pages piece on Minnesota hate groups, by the way, ended up debunking and even mocking the SPLC case against The Remnant, so absurd are the charges and so shoddy was the original “investigation”. But for the record, here’s The Remnant’s position one more time:
The Remnant deplores, denounces and condemns without reservation any and all forms of racism, violence and hatred against anyone for any reason—be it race, gender, ethnicity, religion, skin color, sexual orientation or any other factor seen or unforeseen. We condemn all hatred—past, present and future—on religious, moral and theological grounds. Jesus Christ told His followers to love everyone, to see Christ in everyone, even those with whom they disagree—and this revolutionary idea is at the heart of everything we as Christians try to do here at The Remnant. Hate has no place here. It’s what the old priests used to call a “mortal sin”—a grievous offense against God. By the way, we have no affinity whatsoever with the so-called Alt-Right (in fact, there’s a new Remnant expose of the Alt-Right on our homepage right now).
So in your story, if you quote the above paragraph, obviously my credibility as the “leader of a hate group” will be instantly destroyed with the very people I supposedly represent. So, please, don’t hesitate to quote me.
Thanks for checking with us before doing your story—something the SPLC never did, by the way. They slapped our newspaper on their hate map without even contacting us beforehand.
Editor, The Remnant
You see what happened there? An alleged “leader of a hate group” just denounced his own alleged hate group to a local TV station, thus thoroughly destroying his credibility with the very nutters in white hoods he allegedly leads. He’s through. He’s finished. It’s burning crosses on his front lawn from now on. Ms. Brown had the chance, in other words, to out (and thus eliminate the “threat”) the infamous leader of one of Minnesota’s ‘hate groups’ by simply quoting his own words in toto and in context. But instead, her audience were trusted with only this much of my statement:
“For example, one of the hate groups identified in Minnesota is called the Remnant Newspaper. The SPLC says the radical Catholic group publishes anti-Semitic material. Michael Matt, the head of the organization says it is simply a Roman Catholic newspaper and “denounces and condemns without reservation any and all forms of racism, violence and hatred against anyone for any reason.”
I’m sorry, Ms. Brown—but few are likely to be convinced by the accused guy’s protestations of innocence. Of course, I’m going to deny the charge that I hate people. But you’re a journalist with a mountain of evidence against the credibility of the source of the false charges leveled against an innocent man. Why did you bury it, when you as a professional reporter had to know very well The Remnant is the farthest thing from a hate group?
Instead you went with the SPLC—arguably the largest hate group in America, whose reckless witch hunts even Wikipedia can’t quite cover up. Here are just a few points listed under the Southern Poverty Law Center Wiki entry:
Your point, Mr. Potok, is NOT to make these people targets of violence? No doubt their widows will be comforted to know that.
And let’s keep in mind that if this much incriminating evidence survived the SPLC’s WIKI editors (constantly at work, trying to keep their mounds of dirty laundry off Wikipedia), there’s obviously a lot more that didn’t make the cut. So, again, why is WCCO TV so eager to close an eye to a “source” mired in this much controversy? Can they blame anyone for calling ‘Fake News’ on WCCO TV?
This is all old news too, of course, but it’s not just about The Remnant. They’ve been at it for years. And this is how the voice of conservatism in America will eventually be silenced, if not criminalized, if somebody somewhere doesn’t stand up and object.
If you’re worried about this, you should be. If left unchecked, it will eventually impact you, your homeschool, your private school, your church, your priest, your family—anyone the radical Left wishes to silence. It’s certainly taking its toll on The Remnant. Immediately after this story broke yesterday, a Remnant subscriber here in Minnesota sent us the following email:
“Today I learned that The Remnant is listed among Minnesota's hate groups, compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center for every state of the nation. Today I make my request [to cancel The Remnant subscription] more urgently because there is no place for hate in my life. Please see to it that I no longer receive it. Feel free to pass this along to Michael Matt. Thank you.”
So, it’s working— this campaign against conservatism and especially faithful Catholics who accept the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and morality and salvation—something the mainstream media now routinely castigate as hateful “religious supremacism”.
This isn’t some paranoid fear reserved for others and for the future. The Remnant is being attacked right now by powerful far-Left special interest groups and their lapdog accomplices in the mainstream media.
Take a moment to imagine how my wife and seven children felt this morning when phone calls began coming in from friends, neighbors and people at church who’d seen the evening news last night, and learned that their husband and father is the ‘leader of a hate group.’ Imagine this happening to your family, especially right now, in the midst of a dangerous climate of hate, unrest and even violent protests that are claiming the lives of innocent people.
I’m sorry, but joke or not, we’re not going to allow the SPLC and MSM to get away with this without a fight. I’ve been in contact with The Remnant’s lawyers all day today, exploring our legal options against this defamation by mainstream media. If they’re going to try to take The Remnant down, I promise you we will not be intimidated.
Pray for us, and please help me defend The Remnant and all traditional Catholics against this institutionalized hate and media witch hunt. Please donate to The Remnant’s tax exempt foundation today, and help us stop the real hate groups from completely silencing America's Christian voice.