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Culture

Twenty-Five Things That Caught My Eye Today: Bari Weiss, Abortion & More (July 14, 2020)

1.  Crux: Christians dying in Nigeria ‘in vast numbers’

A recent report from the Nigeria-based International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) claims 620 Nigerian Christians were killed in the first six months of 2020.

. . .

“The atrocities against Christians have gone unchecked,” the report said, “with the country’s security forces and concerned political actors looking the other way or colluding with the Jihadists.”

2. WSJ: Daniel Lewis Lee Is Executed; Focus Turns to Other Death Row Inmates

3. Resignation Letter — Bari Weiss

4. Wesley J. Smith: Democrats Want to Establish an Absolute Right to Abortion

5. Judge: Women can get abortion pill without doctor visits

U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland concluded that the “in-person requirements” for patients seeking medication abortion care impose a “substantial obstacle” to abortion patients and are likely unconstitutional under the circumstances of the pandemic.

. . .

Chuang’s ruling will allow healthcare providers to arrange for mifepristone to be mailed or delivered to patients during the public health emergency declared by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone to be used in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy or manage a miscarriage.

6.

7. in The Guardian:  The pro-choice movement is in tatters. Planned Parenthood is part of the problem

Like many major non-profits, Planned Parenthood seems more concerned with hobnobbing with the powerful, paying the CEOs of its regional chapters salaries in the mid-six figures, making symbolic gestures and coming up with a catchy slogan to sell on T-shirts than with providing care for the people who need their services. They’ll send out a fundraising appeal whenever a new restrictive law is passed, but that fundraising doesn’t often seem to translate into grassroots-level advocacy to make it understood healthcare is a human right, and reproductive justice is a necessity if a person is going to live with dignity and autonomy.

8. NPR: Migrant Mother Given A Choice: Leave Her Newborn In U.S. Or Return To Mexico Together

A Border Patrol spokesman said the mother has no “legal right” to be in the United States and that the mother could have simply chosen to turn her newborn son over to child services in California.

Immigrant advocates in San Diego say this isn’t the first time the Border Patrol has tried to separate a mother from her newborn. Last December, immigration lawyers say an asylum-seeker was told she’d be sent back to Mexico without her U.S.-citizen child. Her lawyers intervened to stop the separation, and the mother was allowed to pursue her asylum case from inside the U.S.

9. Crux: Robbers invade convent in Uganda, beat nuns while taking valuables, cash

One of the victims, Sister Sylivia Namulondo, said in an interview that the women were sleeping when the men broke in.

“They beat us demanding for money,” she explained. “We told them that we did not have much money and all we had were rosaries and portraits of Holy Mary, but they could not let us free.”

10. Park Sang Hak: We send food and information into North Korea. Why is Seoul trying to stop us?

Four weeks ago, Kim Yo Jong, sister of dictator Kim Jong Un, denounced human rights activists who send balloons across the border. “Human scum,” she called us. The fury and rage of the regime, seeing its monopoly of information threatened so overtly, are palpable. South Korea, however, is a democracy, and distributing leaflets is a basic act of free speech. It is nonviolent and educational and allows citizens to engage in direct communication with those suffering under North Korean oppression.

11. In the NICU, both parents are essential and need to be at their child’s bedside

12. Millions of Americans going hungry as pandemic erodes incomes and destroys communities

“The demand is unprecedented and unlike any challenge that we’ve faced in food bank history in the United States. We’ve really never seen the level of need that we’re seeing now, and having seen it come about as quickly as it’s come about, it’s been a real shock,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer at Feeding America. “It’s been a perfect storm in that the demand has been unprecedented and the supply of food has been pretty significantly disrupted.”

. . .

The Brookings Institution found that, by the end of April, roughly 40 percent of families with children younger than 13 were food insecure, and the widespread school closures brought about by the pandemic have put an added strain on families’ grocery budgets.

13.

14. Kathleen Porter-Magee: Catholic schools are reeling: Coronavirus has dealt a massive blow to religious educational institutions

While traditional public and charter schools can navigate this crisis assured of a continued stream of public revenue, the urban Catholic schools that serve our nation’s neediest communities face a dramatic decline in revenue — not because parents don’t want to pay tuition but because they simply can’t.

15. The Washington Post: Richard Gelles, scholar of family violence and child-welfare system, dies at 73

“All things being equal, I think it would be great for kids to be brought up by caring biological parents. And two of them,” [Gelles] told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1995. “But that doesn’t mean by definition that every biological parent is equipped to be a caring, nurturing parent. Some kids do better in foster homes; some kids do better in adopted homes. There are some households where kids ought not to be.”

16. MonseigneurRichard Antall: What AP left out in its hit job on the Church

Under the guise of a news analysis, the AP article seems to me a “hit job” ordered by an editor who said, “Tie in the settlements and anything else we can to make the Church look like it is taking advantage of taxpayer money.”

AP interviewed legal “experts” who spoke of “structural favoritism” in the Paycheck Protection Program, implying that by giving money to the Church, the program unjustly excluded other groups. But no evidence is provided to prove any such “structural favoritism.”

Marci Hamilton, a University of Pennsylvania professor and attorney who has represented sex abuse victims, said that allowing religious nonprofits to receive help from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (aka CARES Act) eroded the wall between church and state provided in the First Amendment. There is no such “wall of separation” language in the First Amendment, of course.

17. Catholic News Service: PPP loans have had direct benefits for church communities, recipients say

“The PPP money enabled us to confidently keep our staff in place and immediately assign them with ad hoc work in our city and we became an important player in our city,” Judy K. Orr, executive director of the Catholic Charities of Tennessee in Nashville, told Catholic News Service.

. . .

“It was critical to the city to process these applications for emergency assistance,” Orr said of the Nashville program. “We normally help about 200 families a year and instead we helped 500 in one month. Not only did the PPP keep our people working but we were working harder, working remotely and really apropos to the times.”

18. Reason: Museum Curator Resigns After He Is Accused of Racism for Saying He Would Still Collect Art From White Men

This accusation—that Garrels’ choices as an art curator are guided by white supremacist beliefs—is a very serious one. Unsurprisingly, it does not stand up to even minimal scrutiny.

The petitioners cite few examples of anything even approaching bad behavior from Garrels. Their sole complaint is that he allegedly concluded a presentation on how to diversify the museum’s holdings by saying, “don’t worry, we will definitely still continue to collect white artists.” 

19. New York Times: The Hajj Pilgrimage Is Canceled, and Grief Rocks the Muslim World

“It is the dream of every Muslim believer to visit Mecca and do the hajj,” said Mr. al-Akoum, 61, a village official. “But the pandemic came with no warning and took away that dream.”

The Saudi announcement sent shock waves of sadness and disappointment across the Muslim world, upending the plans of millions of believers to make a trip that many look forward to their whole lives and which, for many, marks a profound spiritual awakening.

. . .

A 72-year-old retired port worker in Pakistan will stay home, despite his six children having pooled their money to finance his trip. A mother in Kenya will forgo visiting sites she has long dreamed of seeing. An Egyptian school administrator named Zeinab Ibrahim burst into tears.

“It was my only wish,” Ms. Ibrahim said. “To cancel it completely is such a shame. May God relieve us of this burden.”

20. Associated Press: Blame game? Cuomo takes heat over NY nursing home study

Scientists, health care professionals and elected officials assailed the report released last week for flawed methodology and selective stats that sidestepped the actual impact of the March 25 order, which by the state’s own count ushered more than 6,300 recovering virus patients into nursing homes at the height of the pandemic.

21. John J. Miller: Nonsense and disorder in ‘The Order’

For Silva, who is a convert to Judaism, these lines in Matthew are the toxic wellspring of two millennia of anti-Semitism, culminating in the Holocaust. The Nazis, explains one character, “could not have carried out the Final Solution unless Christianity had first plowed the soil. Hitler’s willing executioners had been conditioned by centuries of Catholic and Protestant teachings about the evils of the Jews.”

Later on, another character puts it this way: “There is a straight line between the teachings of the early Church and the gas chambers and crematoria of Auschwitz.”

22. Fr. Steve Grunow: Kateri Tekakwitha and the Crucible of Sanctity

23. ‘She Was Worth Fighting For:’ Pennsylvania Family Finishes Two-Year Adoption Process

24. Priest donates kidney to help mom lead life she imagines for her family

25. No One Pronounces These 10 Words The Same

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