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Thirty Things That Caught My Eye Today: Religious Persecution & Liberty & More

1. At least 110 dead in Nigeria after suspected Boko Haram attack

2. ProPublica: “We Don’t Even Know Who Is Dead or Alive”: Trapped Inside an Assisted Living Facility During the Pandemic

The New York State Department of Health advises adult care facilities to inform residents about confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases. But inhabitants of Bronxwood said they were kept in the dark. In the absence of official communication, it was difficult to sort out hearsay from fact. “I was told that it was 42 people,” said Renee Johnson, who lived on the floor above Varahn. “But honestly we don’t know. They are not telling us anything.” When for a couple of weeks Renee herself was bedridden — fatigued and wheezing — there were rumors that she, too, had passed away.


4. National Catholic Register: Pope Francis Encourages Argentine Women Opposing Legal Abortion



7. Andrea Picciotti-Bayer: Supreme Court Halts New York’s Enforcement of Severe Restrictions on Attending Religious Services

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the court enjoined New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo from enforcing an executive order that imposed very severe restrictions on attendance at religious services in critical areas of the state affected by the coronavirus. In “red zones” no more than 10 people could attend religious service. In “orange zones” attendance was capped at 25.  

Fair enough, you may say — but these numerical caps on attendance at houses of worship do not apply to some secular buildings in the same neighborhoods. In red zones, grocery stores, pet stores, acupuncture facilities and big-box stores are not subject to the 10-person limit. In orange zones, there are no attendance caps on many “non-essential” businesses. Both the Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America (an organization representing Haredi Jews) sued, claiming a violation of the First Amendment. While these lawsuits work their way through the judicial system, the Catholic diocese and ultra-Orthodox Jewish community also sought an injunction to prevent the continued enforcement of the Cuomo order. 

8. John Allen: Getting beyond politics on Brooklyn’s religious freedom fight

9. AP: Court orders France to rethink 30-person limit on worship

France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person attendance limit for religious services put in place by the government to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

The measure took effect this weekend as France relaxes some virus restrictions, but it faced opposition by places of worship and the faithful for being arbitrary and unreasonable. Even before the ruling, several bishops had announced they would not enforce the restrictions and some churches were expected to defy it.

The Council of State has ordered that Prime Minister Jean Castex modify the measure within three days.

10. Charlie Camosy: Who should get COVID-19 vaccine first?

11. Elizabeth Bruenig: When Churches Rescue Americans From Crushing Medical Bills


13. AP: “as president-elect, Biden is making sweeping promises to LGBTQ activists, proposing to carry out virtually every major proposal on their wish lists.” 

14. Suzanne Moore: Why I had to leave The Guardian

So, I finally get to write a piece on trans issues. And 338 “colleagues” write a letter of complaint to the editor, alluding to that column.

. . .

There were no such upset letters organised regarding the various hot Tory takes about difficult subjects that we sometimes publish. Seumas Milne even reprinted a sermon by Osama Bin Laden. What about that? Not a word. So what did I do that was so terrible? I stepped outside the orthodoxy.



17. Nicole Winfield: Cardinal’s prison diary explores suffering, solitary lockup

18. Evita Duffy: It Is Not ‘Humane’ For the Atlantic To Sympathize With Killing Babies With Down Syndrome, Like My Little Sister

Yes, Zhang tries to “humanize” the pro-life and pro-abortion views. That might seem fair on the surface, but there is nothing “humane” about the pro-eugenics side of the argument. Lest we forget, the greatest human rights causes in history, such as slavery, were fought and won by people willing to draw a line in the sand and call evil by its name.

This article is a perfect example of the selectivity of leftist outrage. Think about the moral arguments generated by a smirk from a 16-year-old Covington Catholic school boy. Compare that to Zhang’s rationalization for a real-time genocide of arguably the weakest and least powerful population in the world. Not only has Zhang not been criticized for her moral ambivalence towards eugenics, she has been applauded by countless blue check-marked liberal elites for her “humanity’ in handling this moral issue.

19. Pro-life student in midwife program receives apology and payout

The Daily Telegraph reported Nov. 24 that Julia Rynkiewicz, a  25-year-old Catholic, had reached a settlement with the University of Nottingham in the U.K. 

She was blocked from entering her program’s hospital placement phase after the university learned of her leadership of a pro-life student group. She faced a four-month-long fitness-to-practice investigation in 2019.

. . .

“The settlement demonstrates that the university’s treatment of me was wrong, and while

I’m happy to move on, I hope this means that no other student will have to experience what I have,” she told the Telegraph.

“What happened to me risks creating a fear among students to discuss their values and beliefs, but university should be the place where you are invited to do just that.”

20. Pope Francis tells Orthodox leader: I am confident we will achieve full unity

21. National Catholic Register: Two Newly-Elected Pro-life Catholic Congresswomen Discuss Abortion, Faith, and Outreach

Both women are Catholics, and they told the Register about how their faith has informed their pro-life views. McClain commented that she has “prayed about this issue” and said that “the Lord has gifted an individual with life, and no one else has the right to take that away from someone that hasn’t developed a voice themselves.” 

Fischbach said that, for her, the right to life “is something that runs deep, deep in our family and in our beliefs and it’s one of those core issues that means so much that when first and foremost you respect the right to life, a lot of other things fall in place.”

22. Adrienne Schweer: A cure for working mothers during COVID-19 and beyond

23. Myth: Most Marriages Go Downhill and Improve When the Kids Leave Home

24. Luma Simms: Thinking Is Self-Emptying

25. Gary A. Anderson: The Supernatural Foundation of Charity: The Supernatural Foundation of Charity

The sociologist Christian Smith has recently argued that the concern for the poor which is so prominent in Western democracies had its origins in biblical religion, and Peter Brown’s Through the Eye of a Needle (Princeton, 2012) has provided massive documentation of the truth of this claim. Though thinkers such as Immanuel Kant and John Rawls have made arguments for why secular societies should retain these values, their arguments always presuppose the moral virtues they wish to justify. It’s like trying to move a stalled bus forward while standing within it. This raises an alarming possibility: Do we have any guarantee that a concern for the poor will remain a commitment of Western cultures once Christianity has fully receded into the background?

. . .

One might think that saving money for the future will allow one to navigate safely the uncertainties of what the future might reveal. But our proverb rejects this piece of common sense. The only thing that you can really count on are the monies you have given away to the poor and suffering.  At this point, we could paraphrase our proverb:

1. The goods you hoard in treasuries won’t provide the benefit you expect;

2. Only charity toward the poor delivers from death.

26. No game days. No bars. The pandemic is forcing some men to realize they need deeper friendships.

27. “The price of our love for another is our profound grief when they pass away.”

28. I Don’t Want You to ‘Believe’ Me. I Want You to Listen.

29. Sohrab Ahmari: Why We Need Cluny Media

Cluny was founded in 2015 by Leo and Kathleen Clarke, a Seattle lawyer and homemaker, respectively, and their friend Gellert Dornay. It began as a hobby with a grave purpose: to combat the aggressive secularization they saw around them in the Emerald City. Soon, the Clarke’s son John, a former Heritage Foundation staffer, took over the business full-time, with his friend Scott Thompson. The pair moved operations to Rhode Island (both had attended Providence College).

“We’re almost 99 percent republications,” John Clarke tells me. “We thought, let’s really go for the stuff that’s been forgotten or neglected.”

Hence the name and company logo, which features a monk transcribing a text (alongside a contemplative cat). The Benedictine monks of Cluny Abbey transcribed and preserved the pagan classics, as well as Islamic texts. At a time when “there was an active movement in Christendom to jettison pagan wisdom as an impediment to progress,” Clarke says, “their work was preservational, it was to recover the pagan classics.”

30. Joy Pullmann: Christmas Gift Guide For All Ages, From Smaller, High-Quality Sources


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