Varia — July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014

1. The Newsletter of the Cult of Moloch, er, I mean the Times, has discovered — gasp! — that those devious pro-lifers are actually using effective modern communication strategies to promote their insufferable messages: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/25/us/politics/republicans-abortion-midterm-elections.html.

2. Clinic regulation laws passed in Texas actually lead to a reduction in abortion rates: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/24/tougher-clinic-rules-lead-drop-texas-abortions/.

3. The recent corruption scandal means Governor Abortion’s true colors are finally being seen (as we have learned, over and over and over again): http://nypost.com/2014/07/24/scandal-exposes-cuomo-as-liar-and-phony/ And he can’t control it any more: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2014/07/8549571/situation-cuomo-cant-control-anymore. But do any voters care, or has NY’s toxic politics jaded them completely: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/GOP-jumps-on-Moreland-scandal-5645663.php?

4. Deacon Greg has some links to harrowing stories of the religious cleansing taking place in Iraq: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/07/religious-cleansing-in-iraq/. Yet there is some beautiful courageous Christian witness taking place: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2014/07/24/expelled-iraqi-christians-give-witness-to-isis-fascism/.

5. Five things we can do to support Iraqi Christians: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theanchoress/2014/07/21/5-things-you-can-do-right-now-as-isis-threatens-iraqi-christians-and-shiites/.

6. Andrew McCutcheon of the Pirates is a heck of a ballplayer, and he is a real mensch too: http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2014/7/23/5931207/pirates-make-a-wish-foundation-12-year-old-cancer-patient-one-day-contract. Kudos to the Pirate management.

Varia — July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014

1. The Administration seems to have finally gotten the hint from the Supreme Court (Little Sisters? Wheaton College?) and will allow religious non-profits to file a statement with the government in order to qualify for the accommodation: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/23/white-house-more-changes-contraception-mandate-com/. We have to wait to see the details, and it probably won’t settle all the religious liberty issues, but it finally may be a positive step.

2. An auxiliary bishop of Baghdad asks why the world is silent about the persecution of Christians: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/07/24/bishop_of_baghdad_why_is_the_world_silent/1103319. Please stand in solidarity with the suffering Christians by spreading the hashtag #WeAreN (referring to the mark placed on the doors of Christians, identifying them as "Nazarenes": http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/07/23/christians_worldwide_mobilize_for_iraqi_church_wearen/1103264 and http://www.christiantoday.com/article/wearen.thousands.unite.to.support.persecuted.christians.in.iraq/39026.htm.

3. I, too, am a Nazarene: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=3262.

4. Religious leaders, including the US Bishops, are speaking out on the immigration crisis, emphasizing the human element: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/us/us-religious-leaders-embrace-cause-of-immigrant-children.html?ref=us&_r=0 and http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/383535/being-human-border-kathryn-jean-lopez.

5. We hear lots of reasons why women take contraceptives, but rarely hear why they aren’t. Well, here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/why-women-are-not-using-birth-control/.

6. Beautiful ad with a new dad, a crying baby, and the message that technology can’t replace love: .

Varia — July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014

1. With all the controversy about immigration, I decided to tell my own story — the story of how my Grandma Sheridan became an American: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=3256.

2. No doubt realizing their increasingly untenable legal position, the Administration announces that it will promulgate new HHS mandate regulations, to broaden the accommodation for religious non-profits: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/government-drafting-birth-control-accommodation-24672249. The details will be crucial, but perhaps a positive sign?

3. Americans United for Life comprehensively debunks so many of the "women’s health" myths surrounding abortion: http://www.aul.org/2014/07/debunking-the-myths-of-foca-2-0/.

4. An overview of the strange ideology of "reproductive justice": http://www.nationalreview.com/article/383295/reproductive-justice-ian-tuttle.

5. Still more evidence of why New York politics — this time the blatantly corrupt behavior of our Governor — disgusts everyone who has even a slight modicum of an active living conscience: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/nyregion/governor-andrew-cuomo-and-the-short-life-of-the-moreland-commission.html.

6. The Holy Father’s brief, but very rich, remarks to the recent Vatican conference "Towards a More Inclusive Economy" emphasize the need to focus on the human person as the center of the economy: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2014/july/documents/papa-francesco_20140712_seminario-economia.html.

7. The Courage Apostolate has posted their powerful, beautiful inspirational film, "The Desire of the Everlasting Hills": http://everlastinghills.org/. Take the time to watch the whole thing — it’s worth it.

Varia — July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014

1. I try to think about the immigration problem, from a Catholic point of view: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=3250. No easy answers, but how we think about it is a key factor.

2. Some of our Muslim brethren are standing in solidarity with persecuted Iraqi Christians: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2014/07/21/Muslims-carrying-I-am-Iraqi-I-am-Christian-slogans-gives-us-hope-says-Iraqi-priest.html. We should do so too: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/07/n-is-for-solidarity.

3. The US Bishops respond to the President’s latest executive order, which ban sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination by federal contractors: http://www.usccb.org/news/2014/14-126.cfm.

4. Ryan Anderson on the religious liberty problems in the President’s order: http://dailysignal.com/print/?post_id=151361.

5. A profile of the Becket Fund, the great religious liberty public interest law firm: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/becket-fund-law-firm-gaining-a-reputation-as-powerhouse-after-hobby-lobby-win/2014/07/20/c28931a4-104c-11e4-8936-26932bcfd6ed_story.html. But a careful read of the article reveals some very interesting inverted attitudes about what religious freedom is: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/getreligion/2014/07/latimes-shreds-old-school-language-in-religious-liberty-story/.

Varia — July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

1. Kathryn Lopez offers an essential outlook on the border crisis — the human, and Christian, element: http://townhall.com/columnists/kathrynlopez/2014/07/19/fear-indifference-bordering-on-inhumanity-n1863677/page/full.

2. The last Christians have left Mosul under threat of death: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/world/middleeast/concern-and-support-for-iraqi-christians-forced-by-isis-militants-to-flee-mosul.html?ref=world&_r=0. The Holy Father mourns: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-laments-exodus-of-last-christians-from-mosul-48952/. Please pray for our persecuted brethren.

3. A doctor who supported euthanasia in Holland is now warning the UK against going down that same slippery slope: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2686711/Dont-make-mistake-As-assisted-suicide-bill-goes-Lords-Dutch-regulator-backed-euthanasia-warns-Britain-leads-mass-killing.html.

4. Radical intolerance for religion takes many forms, and the New York Times is happy to show us one of the uglier ones (I’m just going to link to a comment on the article by a religious liberty expert, not to the article itself, because I don’t want to drive up the NYT’s traffic): http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2014/07/new-york-times-columnist-hobby-lobby-majority-is-like-boko-haram.html.

5. A beautiful story about unaccompanied children, fleeing their country for safety from violence, saved by the compassion of one man: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/nicholas-winton-the-man-who-saved-children-from-hitler-1.2686198.

6. Pay a visit to probably the world’s only restaurant owned by a gentleman with Downs Syndrome: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2014/07/video-pay-a-visit-to-the-worlds-friendliest-restaurant/.

Varia — July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014

1. The Party of Moloch failed to move their Religious Freedom Revocation Act to the floor of the Senate: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/hobby-lobby-vote-senate-109001.html.

2. Governor Abortion is set to announce his new Abortion Party, er, I mean "Women’s Equality Party": http://nypost.com/2014/07/17/cuomo-to-announce-new-ballot-line-on-thursday/.

3. Here comes the "death panel app", which treats all cancer patients like objects, "rationalizes" the rationing of health care, and adds more victims to the Culture of Death: http://nypost.com/2014/07/13/the-cancer-death-panel-app/.

4. Prof. Mark Regnerus on the recent CDC study on sexuality, and the quality of such surveys in general: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/382899/governments-your-bedroom-time-its-okay-mark-regnerus.

5. When it comes to the risk of divorce, it’s the practice of the faith (particularly before marriage) that matters the most: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/382901/little-religion-terrible-marriage-heres-why-david-french.

6. More proof that commercial surrogacy is an awful commodification of human life: http://www.aleteia.org/en/technology/article/sherri-shepherd-decides-to-cancel-her-baby-order-5859656278736896.

7. Beautiful story about the visit of the relic of St. John Paul to the Cathedral, starring my friend Angelo: http://netny.tv/episodes/john-paul-ii-relic-arrives-nyc/#.U8a7IZRdWjs.

Varia — July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014

1. The Party of Moloch, er, I mean the Senate Democrats, push for their extreme abortion bill: http://www.aul.org/2014/07/senate-considering-federal-abortion-expansion-act-in-benign-sounding-bill-that-radicalizes-abortion-law/ and http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/15/democrats-move-to-protect-abortion-rights/.

2. The Governor is thinking about creating a new ballot line, just to promote his "women’s equality" agenda, which of course includes his abortion expansion proposal: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2014/07/15/cuomo-exploring-womens-equality-ballot-line/. No word on whether unborn women will be allowed to vote on that line.

3. The Temple of Moloch, er, I mean Planned Parenthood, is accused of covering up sexual abuse: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/suit-claims-colo-planned-parenthood-clinic-ignored-sex-abuse-52258/. All about women’s health?

4. So, what percentage of the population describes themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual? Just 2.3%, according to a new survey by the CDC: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/15/gay-lesbian-bisexual-cdc-survey/12671717/ (full report here: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr077.pdf) But by all means, let’s completely transform our entire law and culture to accommodate them.

5. Weird Al is literally a genius, as evidenced by his new video, "Word Crimes": http://www.vevo.com/watch/weird-al-yankovic/word-crimes/USRV81400343.

Varia — July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

1. My blog on the grave new threat to religious liberty that’s coming from the Democrats in Congress: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=3227.

2. Very insightful analysis of some of the reasons for the hard feelings after the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood case: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-07-07/who-s-the-real-hobby-lobby-bully.

3. Faith-based social service organizations are seeking exemptions from a proposed gay rights executive order: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/us/faith-groups-seek-exclusion-from-bias-rule.html?ref=us&_r=0.

4. Interesting fallout from the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood case — gay rights groups are withdrawing their support for the proposed federal gay rights bill ("ENDA"): http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/07/new-fallout-from-hobby-lobby/.

5. An important reminder that to reduce the number of abortion, we have to make sure to reduce the demand for it, including alleviating poverty: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/pro-life-anti-poverty/.

6. Remote control contraception, powered by a chip made by Microsoft, the makers of the wondrous Windows 8 and Bob (remember him?). What could possibly go wrong? http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gates-foundation-funds-remote-controlled-contraceptive-microchip-that-can-w.

Varia — July 2, 2014

July 2, 2014

1. My blog on the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood decision: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/?p=3201.

2. Tons of other commentary. Here are a few good ones. Kathryn Jean Lopez: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/supreme-court-decision-win-religious-freedom-catholic-voices-director-article-1.1850154. Prof. Marc DeGirolami, one of the most insightful legal academics on religious liberty: http://www.libertylawsite.org/2014/07/01/the-deeper-meaning-in-the-hobby-lobby-opinion/. Matt Bowman, an ADF attorney who represented Conestoga: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381668/conestoga-and-hobby-lobby-aftermath-begins-matt-bowman and http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381719/hobby-lobby-ruling-applies-more-just-abortifacients-matt-bowman. Hannah Smith, an attorney for the Becket Fund, which represented Hobby Lobby: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/381720/making-pluralism-more-hobby-kathryn-jean-lopez.

3. More religious organizations get relief from the HHS mandate in the lower courts: http://www.christianpost.com/news/following-hobby-lobby-decision-6-catholic-groups-wheaton-college-win-relief-from-contraception-mandate-122541/.

4. Women who use donated eggs through IVF have a higher chance of pregnancy complications, including death: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2676228/Older-women-pregnant-using-egg-donors-greater-risk-potentially-fatal-complications-study-finds.html.

5. Kentucky: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/02/us/kentucky-gay-marriage-ban-rejected.html?ref=us&_r=0. Utah: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2014/06/10th-circuit-says-utahs-same-sex.html. Indiana (although the order has been stayed pending appeal): http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2014/06/indianas-same-sex-marriage-ban.html.

6. Happy Real Independence Day: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/congress-votes-for-independence.

Varia — July 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

1. The Hobby Lobby/Conestoga decision, explained in plain English: http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/06/court-rules-in-favor-of-for-profit-corporations-but-how-broadly-in-plain-english/ and http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/06/30/the-hobby-lobby-majority-summarized-in-relatively-plain-english/.

2. Some good commentary on what it means: http://clrforum.org/2014/06/30/a-pretty-narrow-decision/, http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2014/06/what-hobby-lobby-means, and http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/06/30/prof-mark-rienzi-a-good-day-for-hobby-lobby-and-for-the-little-sisters-of-the-poor-and-mr-muhammad-too/.

3. EWTN and the Diocese of Cheyenne win temporary relief against the HHS mandate while their appeals are pending: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2014/07/10th-and-11th-circuits-grant-injunction_1.html.

4. What’s next for the HHS mandate from Congress or the Administration: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/06/30/what-comes-next-for-contraception-coverage/.

5. For the first time in 1600 years, no Mass was said in Mosul, the Iraqi city recently taken over by Islamists: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/no.mass.said.in.mosul.for.first.time.in.1600.years.says.archbishop/38493.htm. Please pray for the suffering Christians in the Middle East.

Sincerely in Christ,

Edward T. Mechmann, Esq.

Director of Public Policy

Archdiocese of New York

1011 First Avenue

New York, NY 10022

646-794-2807

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Cor. 10:31)

"Each of us, in accordance with his or her state of life, is called to work for the advancement of God’s Kingdom by imbuing temporal life with the values of the Gospel. Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person." Pope Benedict XVI, Address at the Prayer Vigil on the Eve of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, September 18, 2010.

Check out my blog: http://blog.archny.org/steppingout/


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