The Corner

Culture

Twenty-Five Things That Caught My Eye Today: Freedom, Life & More

1. Reuters: Egypt says freedom of expression “stops” when Muslims offended

2. Hate crime bill: Hate talk in homes ‘must be prosecuted’

Conversations over the dinner table that incite hatred must be prosecuted under Scotland’s hate crime law, the justice secretary has said.

3. Montse Alvarado: The Next Four Years: Religious freedom needed for a ‘culture of encounter’

4. 45 missing children found, 109 human trafficking survivors rescued in Ohio operation

[Ohio Attorney General David] Yost said the operation focused on four main points:

  • Rescuing victims of human trafficking and referring them to social services
  • Recovering missing and exploited children
  • Apprehending those seeking to have sex with a minor
  • Arresting male johns seeking to buy sex

5. Catherine Glenn Foster: I was pressured to abort my children. For my first baby, I gave in.

In 2001, when I was 19 years old and a sophomore in college in Georgia, I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I was embarrassed and scared.

. . . 

I remember that week vividly. I was wearing my boyfriend’s oversize sweatshirt and tried to comfort my baby — and myself — as I walked around campus. I named her. And then walking through the doors of that abortion business, nothing felt right.

No information, no care, no compassion. I was still making up my mind, and I asked to view the ultrasound they performed to see how far along I was. The technician refused. It was against their policy. Nothing about that day restored my choice, my autonomy or my sense of empowerment. They were just stripped from me over and over. I aborted my first child that day. And that decision has been with me every day since. 

6. Pope calls for Poland to protect life amid protests over abortion law

7. Charlie Camosy: Your dread of the 2020 election and coronavirus will end. What will you obsess about then?8. Chelsea Follett: Neo-Malthusianism and Coercive Population Control in China and India: Overpopulation Concerns Often Result in Coercion

China and, to a far lesser extent, India still have troubling policies. After softening its one‐​child policy to a two‐​child policy, China continues to brutally enforce family size limits and to require birth permits from prospective parents and parents seeking to expand their families. Coercion continues to define an unknown share of the country’s 9 million annual abortions.

Neo‐​Malthusian policies aimed at limiting family size have increased female infanticide and sex‐​selective abortion in China and India, skewing the world’s sex ratio at birth to 107 boys per 100 girls. (The natural ratio is 105 boys per 100 girls.)

8.

9. The Federalist: China to Christians: We’re Rewriting The Bible, and You’ll Use It or Else

A textbook for a class on professional ethics and law at the government-run University of Electronic Science and Technology Press quotes the Bible’s book of John, chapter eight. In this passage, an adulterous woman is brought to Jesus, and her accusers ask if she should be killed by stoning for her sins.

In every authentically translated version of scripture, Jesus responds, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” These words disperse the angry crowd, and Jesus tells the woman, “Go, and from now on sin no more” (ESV).

The Chinese Communist Party’s version takes a different turn. In this telling, the crowd leaves, but Jesus tells the woman, “I too am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead.” Then Jesus proceeds to stone the woman.

10. Jonathan Butcher: In Staying Closed, Schools Ignore Low COVID-19 Rates, Needs of Families

The latest figures from Brown University researchers found a confirmed case rate among students of 0.14% in a database of nearly 1,300 schools. As explained in The Wall Street Journal this week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers show hundreds more fatal cases of the flu among school-aged children than COVID-19.

Two studies profiled on NPR recently found “no consistent relationship between in-person schooling and the spread of coronavirus.”

Yet, are these low numbers the result of keeping schools closed? Findings from international studies and the available evidence from K-12 private schools in the U.S. that are open to in-person learning suggest that’s not the case.

. . .

Teachers unions in some areas are ignoring those facts.

11. George Weigel: Prudential Voting in Bad Times

America needs time to renew itself by creating a more sober, rational, and decent public square.

That renewal will be more difficult if the Democratic party wins the presidency, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives—and is thus able to enforce the agenda of lifestyle libertinism and intolerant “tolerance” to which its platform commits it, especially in matters of the sanctity of life and the conscience rights of believers. As the House will certainly have a Democratic majority in 2021-2022, prudence dictates maintaining a Republican Senate, irrespective of who is elected president. 

12. Ed Mechmann: Voting with a Clear Conscience

13. The Wall Street Journal: A Black Lives Matter Republican

Ms. Klacik has bought billboard ads, commercials and campaign mailers and has hired staff to engage and register voters. She slams Democrats for Baltimore’s failing schools, supports vocational training, and promises in a campaign ad to “end the school-to-prison pipeline with school choice.” She believes law and order is a winning issue here: “I haven’t met anyone around in West Baltimore that wants to defund the police. They actually do want more policing.” She also sees violent crime as an economic issue: Businesses won’t invest in Baltimore unless they think it’s safe.

14. Fr. Raymond J. de Souza: Amy Coney Barrett’s Confirmation Signals New Chapter for Catholics and Legal Abortion

Now in 2020, Biden is hoping to return at the pinnacle of executive power. And the battle for the Supreme Court that he won 30 years ago will have to be fought again. The man he almost took down in 1991, Clarence Thomas, was there on Monday night, swearing in Justice Barrett, who may finally get to do on the court what Robert Bork would have done decades ago.

15. National Catholic Register: Blind Catholic Lawyer Laura Wolk Discusses Breaking Barriers and Amy Coney Barrett’s Mentorship

Wolk on Judge Barrett’s confirmation process: “I thought she did so well. I kept hearing the word — even by folks who are not happy about her nomination — that she’s “gracious”; and that’s it. I mean, I think that really came across. The big way that this came out to me was most of the Democratic senators asked the same question, over and over and over again. And I think anyone, even people who are looking to criticize her, would have found it acceptable if at a certain point she said, “Look, I’ve already answered this question, if not to you then to your four other colleagues,” but she never did that. She answered the questions like they were asked to her for the first time and treated the senators with a lot of respect. I think that it caused them to treat her more respectfully than perhaps might otherwise have been the case.”

16. 6 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices are Catholic

To date, there have only been 15 Catholic justices — out of 115 justices total — in the history of the Supreme Court

17. The partisan marriage gap is bigger than ever

18. The New York Times: The Salt Lake Tribune Ends Daily Print Edition After Nearly 150 Years

The economic decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic has pummeled a local newspaper industry already struggling with declining revenues, layoffs and pay reductions in newsrooms across the country.

David Noyce, the interim editor of The Tribune, told readers in an email that the paper was making the change to position itself financially for the future and that the change would not result in any reduction to its newsroom staff.

19. Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P.: The Primacy of the Spiritual and the Obligations of the Church: On the Suspension of Public Worship

The sacraments are essential to life during a widespread pandemic. They are essential means of salvation and sanctification that the Church can and must provide if she is to rightly respond to the needs of human persons, in light of their supernatural destiny.

. . .

. . . Aquinas claims that we should love our neighbor’s soul more than our own body. Thus, we can rightfully lay down our lives, our bodily health, or our possessions, if it aids the eternal salvation of our neighbor. Here one may think of martyrs who witness publicly to Christ by shedding their blood, or of chaplains during times of epidemic or war who give their lives in the service of the sick or the dying. Aquinas thinks these are warranted acts of charity. They may well be heroic, insofar as charity moves a person to act beyond the natural duties of justice or friendship and according to a higher standard of divine love.

20. Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George: Pope Francis, Civil Unions, and Moral Truth

It has now become clear that the Pope’s remarks were made back in 2019. And while we still don’t have the full context (and it appears that the documentary maker spliced and diced several different quotes from the pope to make them appear as if they formed one single quotation), there is a plausible interpretation of Pope Francis’s comments under which they are consistent with historic Catholic teaching and moral reality.

. . . 

As this context suggests, Pope Francis was making the entirely uncontroversial point that people with same-sex attractions are children of God and members of families—brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins. That children with same-sex attractions should not be thrown out of the house, and adult relatives with same-sex attractions should not be excluded from family activities (though obviously consideration should be given to how they or indeed any relatives or friends by their conduct and example might support or undermine efforts of parents to form children in the truth).

21. The Wall Street Journal: How Next-Door Neighbors With Opposing Political Views Stayed Friends

The Trump sign was gone, too, but not stolen. Jill said she felt pressured to take it down when once-friendly people started walking past her without saying hello. “I was being shaded, and I knew it was because of my Trump sign,” says Jill.

The more they talked that evening, the more disappointed and upset they became about the growing hostility nationally and locally, and the impact it could have on their own children.

“I’m going to make a sign,” Chris recalls saying, one that showed they loved their Trump-supporting neighbors. Jill said she wanted to make one, too, declaring affection for their Biden-supporting neighbors.

Along with making a public statement, they wanted to show their children that people can choose to get along despite their differences. “Our fundamental job as parents is to be a good role model for our children,” says Bart. ”We don’t see them as Democrats. They’re the Mitchells. We know they are good people who live next door. We love them.”

22. Throw-Pillow Theology

23. Dr. Tod Worner: Invitations From the Frost of Autumn

Since I first encountered the poetry of Robert Frost as a trembling fourth grader standing desk side and reciting Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening to Mrs. Duffy and my entire class, he has become a comfort to me. In crafting his poetry, he understands my plight, as it is his as well. Though startling in his apprehension of my broken nature, he doesn’t leave me in terror. Instead, he helps me through it. In the wind and the chill, through the dark woods and falling leaves, he accompanies me to the other side. He recognizes my nature and grapples with it; he explores me for who I am, with a quietly tender voice whispering who I ought to be.

24. How my church has ministered to me during quarantine

25. Let Love Lead: Retreat where you are for women — The Sisters of Life and Fr. James Brent, O.P. (all terrific)

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