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Saturday, May 4, 2019

Abortion in Kansas

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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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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

PREVIEW: Latest Remnant Newspaper

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PUBLICATION NOTICE: The April 30th issue of The Remnant Newspaper is in the mail and includes brilliant new writers and barnburner contributions from some of your favorite bylines:

Michael Matt...

Hilary White...

Greg Maresca...

Vincent Chiarello...

Father Celatus...

And more!

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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!

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Pope and Archbishop Diarmuid Pope and Archbishop Diarmuid

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!

"Easter worshippers"?

ranjkith

Outspoken defender of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, conducts funeral services for victims of the Easter Sunday Massacre in Sri Lanka
(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

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.

notre dame roof 2019 3 2019 04 16

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. 

notre dame interior 2019 3 2019 04 16

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. 

notre dame rose window 2019 3 2019 04 16

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!  

5cb58bccb0b0a.image

Staba Mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius. 

PUBLICATION NOTICE: The April 15th issue of The Remnant Newspaper is in the mail.

Subscribe today for more of your favorite authors, plus excellent new recruits:

Michael J. Matt...

Hilary White... 

Christopher Ferrara... 

Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M.... 

And everyone's favorite Father Celatus.

These bylines and more in the April 15th issue of The Remnant Newspaper--Read them all by subscribing to The Remnant right now!

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If you would like to read it right now online, SUBSCRIBE to The Remnant’s E-Edition, or access your current E-Subscription by clicking on the image below:

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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):

 

Over the weekend, Jim Tharpe, the former managing editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hometown newspaper, published an important piece in the Washington Post highlighting his own long experience with SPLC corruption. The entire piece is worth a read, but I want to highlight a key section:

"More than two decades ago, I was managing editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, which was located one block from the SPLC in downtown Montgomery, Ala. I proposed an investigation into the organization after ongoing complaints from former SPLC staffers, who came and went with regularity but always seemed to tell the same story. Only the names and faces changed. The SPLC, they said, was not what it appeared to be. Many urged the newspaper to take a look.

"We were, at the time, anything but adversaries with the center. Like other media outlets, we generally parroted SPLC press releases. We also became friends with SPLC staffers, occasionally attending the center’s parties. Some of my reporters dated staffers at the center.

"That relationship, however, suddenly soured when reporters Dan Morse and Greg Jaffe (both of whom now work for The Post) began making serious inquiries about the SPLC’s finances and the treatment of black employees."

In 1994, the Advertiser published the results of its investigation and exposed — a quarter-century before the SPLC’s current crisis — systematic financial misdeeds and racial tensions at the civil-rights law firm. Yet the reports had little effect on the organization’s national reputation. It kept raising money, and national media kept using the SPLC’s questionable research to discredit reputable individuals and organizations as hateful, bigoted, or extremist.

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.

The flim-flam man’s career is officially over, and Moser offers a few insights that open with an amusing but telling vignette:

I’ve been thinking about the jokes my S.P.L.C. colleagues and I used to tell to keep ourselves sane. Walking to lunch past the center’s Maya Lin-designed memorial to civil-rights martyrs, we’d cast a glance at the inscription from Martin Luther King, Jr., etched into the black marble — “Until justice rolls down like waters”— and intone, in our deepest voices, “Until justice rolls down like dollars.” The Law Center had a way of turning idealists into cynics.

Working in a building that “made social justice ‘look despotic,’” the earnest young leftist quickly learned that fighting hate involved a lot of hypocrisy and a lot more money.

Of the hypocrisy, Moser wrote, blacks at SPLC were almost uniformly “administrative and support staff — ‘the help,’ one of my black colleagues said pointedly.” But the “‘professional staff’ — the lawyers, researchers, educators, public-relations officers, and fund-raisers — were almost exclusively white. Just two staffers, including me, were openly gay.”

Of the money-making, Moser quotes another of Dees’s critics, who says Dees viewed “civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals.”

So beyond Dees’s having a “reputation for hitting on young women,” SPLC is just a storefront for selling the “fight against hate” to make a pile of money. “The work could be meaningful and gratifying,” Moser wrote. “But it was hard, for many of us, not to feel like we’d become pawns in what was, in many respects, a highly profitable scam.”

SPLC, a former staff member said to Moser, was a “virtual buffet of injustices.”

Moser eventually admits that he and other staffers didn’t care enough about their own integrity to blow the whistle:

Outside of work, we spent a lot of time drinking and dishing in Montgomery bars and restaurants about the oppressive security regime, the hyperbolic fund-raising appeals, and the fact that, though the center claimed to be effective in fighting extremism, “hate” always continued to be on the rise, more dangerous than ever, with each year’s report on hate groups. “The S.P.L.C.— making hate pay,” we’d say.

It wasn’t funny then. At this moment, it seems even grimmer.

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

matt family 2Michael J. Matt (& Family)
 ‘Leader’ of One of Minnesota’s ‘Active Hate Groups’
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center
 
 

“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.) 

linda

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]

L
isa 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:

Dear Heather:

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:

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/1925-the-hate-industry-loses-a-round-southern-poverty-law-center-dissed-by-far-left-city-pages

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.  

Michael Matt
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:

    • In 2010, a group of Republican politicians and conservative organizations criticized the SPLC in full-page advertisements in two Washington, D.C., newspapers for what they described as "character assassination" because the SPLC had listed the Family Research Council (FRC) as a hate group.
    • In October 2014, the SPLC added Ben Carson to its extremist watch list, citing his association with groups it considers extreme, and his "linking of gays with pedophiles".[101] Following criticism, the SPLC concluded its profile of Carson did not meet its standards, removed his listing, and apologized to him in February 2015.[102] 
    • In October 2016, the SPLC published a list of "anti-Muslim extremists", including British activist Maajid Nawaz and ex-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali…Nawaz, who identifies as a "liberal, reform Muslim", denounced the listing as a "smear", saying that the SPLC listing had made him a target of jihadists. Mark Potok of the SPLC responded "Our point is not to make these people targets for violence... The point is to tamp down the really baseless targeting."[104] The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice has written a public letter to the SPLC to retract the listings.[105]

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. 

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Beauty, Goodness, and Truth

For the last seven years I’ve been involved in the organization of conferences focusing on the importance of sacred liturgy and music in the life of the Church. This journey began with my own longing for the sacred which led me to form Schola Cantus Angelorum in 2007 as a response to Pope Benedict XVI‘s request for liturgies to be celebrated with the beauty and solemnity of the traditional Gregorian chant.

From its modest beginnings in 2013 The Sacred Liturgy Conference has grown into a premiere annual event with participants coming from throughout the United States and beyond. The 2017 and 2018 conferences attracted nearly 400 participants and included Bishops, Archbishops and a Cardinal. So how did this happen? As Cardinal Burke said: “The growth of this conference is evidence of a great thirst in the people for the Truth of the Sacred Liturgy and its beauty.” It was exactly this thirst which caused the Sacred Liturgy Conference to come into being. How is it possible to study the encyclicals and writings of Popes and Saints throughout Christian history and not thirst for the depth and breadth and beauty of the liturgy? How is it possible to read the declarations of Councils of the Church on the importance of sacred music in the liturgy and not ask the question: “All of these documents prescribe Gregorian chant as the preeminent choice for the sacred music of the liturgy, why do we not hear it in our local parishes?”

slc Cordilione

Archbishop Alexander Sample Celebrates TLM

It was with these questions in mind that Schola Cantus Angelorum began sponsoring the first conferences on the sacred liturgy. From the very beginning they have been a combination of reverent Gregorian Masses, lectures focusing on liturgy and sacred music, and introductory workshops on how to chant. In the beginning I gave most of the lectures and taught the workshops. As the conference progressed, we’ve added a continually evolving international faculty made up of biblical, philosophical, theological and liturgical scholars. We now follow a protocol of 12 lectures following a theme for each year and hold Q & A sessions with the faculty. We also have both introductory Gregorian chant workshops and workshops for priests, deacons and seminarians on how to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. The highpoint of the conference is the celebration of four beautiful Gregorian liturgies ending with a Marian procession and Eucharistic Benediction. 

So why has the conference prospered?  Clearly there is a great thirst as Cardinal Burke observed, and we can never discount the guidance and blessings of the Holy Spirit. But the conference has also grown because of the support and encouragement of many prelates including Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Alexander Sample, Bishop Robert Vasa, Bishop Athanasius Schneider and many priests including Fr. Gerard Saguto, FSSP, Fr. Vincent Kelber, OP and Fr. Gabriel Mosher, OP, Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth of ICEL, Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB (the Benedictine professor from Norcia, Italy), and Fr. Theodore Lange, Missionary of Mercy.

The combination of lectures designed to enlighten the intellect about the grandeur of the sacred mysteries and the actual experience of the Gregorian liturgies has brought about interior transformation to many participants. Some return each year to drink from this fountain of living water and to taste the purity of divine truth, wisdom and beauty. “A spring time of the church and a foretaste of heaven” is the way Bishop Athanasius Schneider described the 2018 Sacred Liturgy Conference.

Each year we focus on a specific theme revolving around the Holy Sacrifice. This year’s theme explores “The Living Waters of the Eucharist” and will take place May 28-31, 2019 on the beautiful campus of Gonzaga University. The liturgies will be held at the nearby Churches of St Aloysius and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes and will be celebrated in the Roman Rite, both Usus Antiquior and Novus Ordo, and in the Dominican Rite.

The opening Mass of the conference on May 28th at St. Aloysius Catholic Church will be a Gregorian sung Novus Ordo celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Thomas Daly, Bishop of Spokane. Wednesday the Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form of The Roman Rite will be celebrated by Msgr Andrew Wadsworth for the poor souls of the Spokane Diocese. The high point of the conference will be the Roman Rite Extraordinary Form Pontifical High Mass of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Thursday May 30th at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes. His Excellency Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco will be the celebrant. The concluding Mass on Friday will be The Queenship of Mary celebrated as the Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite at St. Aloysius and will be followed by a Marian Procession through the Gonzaga University campus. The conference will conclude with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.

The mission of the Sacred Liturgy conference is to promote the beauty, goodness, and truth of the liturgy. The liturgy is a gift from God to His Church for the right and just worship of God and as the efficacious path to holiness. It brings us to divine life in union with the Holy Trinity. The liturgy should be beautiful and totally oriented toward God. We want to show forth the profound depths of our rich liturgical and theological heritage through a combination of lectures, workshops, and sung Gregorian liturgies. The Sacred Liturgy Conference is open to anyone interested in the treasures of the Catholic Faith and we encourage laity, religious and priests alike to attend.

To register please visit: www.sacredliturgyconference.org.

Space is limited, so be sure to register today

 

Fr. John Berg, FSSP Fr. John Berg, FSSP

St. Mary Parish, the FSSP apostolate in Providence, Rhode Island, was recently featured in a news segment on WPRI, a local Rhode Island station.

The video features interviews with Fr. John Berg, FSSP, pastor of St. Mary’s, and parishioners of the church.

A church which, prior to the arrival of the FSSP in late summer of last year, was facing dwindling attendance and a very real danger of closure. 

One of those interviewed is a parishioner who has been attending St. Mary’s for ten years and saw it go from flourishing to just surviving, and now has witnessed its revival under the administration of the FSSP.

He was a little skeptical of the Latin Mass at first, but now seems to have embraced the liturgy that has drawn faithful from all over the region and filled the pews once again. “It will never close now,” he says with a grateful smile. 

REMNANT COMMNET: In case anyone has somehow failed to notice, the FSSP apostolates are booming all across this country. The story is always the same: Church scheduled to be shuttered, flourishes after traditional fraternity takes over.  

It's the exact same story with the Church of All Saints here in Minneapolis. The parish was all but dead a few years ago. The FSSP came in and now the place is teeming with young families, two priests, some nuns, a huge home-school co-op and hundreds of faithful refugees, in desperate search for what Holy Mother Church has been offering her children for almost two thousand years.

This is fast becoming a traditional Catholic national revival.

God is good, and this thing is far from over. 

AB Wilton Gregory AB Wilton Gregory

For Immediate Release March 29, 2019

Catholic Laity for Orthodox Bishops and Reform
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Catholic Laity for Orthodox Bishops and Reform (Catholic Laity) has grave reservations about the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory as Archbishop of Washington.

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