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Church Leaders Who Cancel Christmas Services Are Clinging To Government Lies, Not Christ


Church Leaders Who Cancel Christmas Services Are Clinging To Government Lies, Not Christ

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Wednesday against discriminatory targeting of religious groups with COVID-19 restrictions marked a significant victory in the ongoing battle to preserve religious liberty. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, hostile stakeholders in public office have assaulted the first freedom through superciliously labeling religious services “nonessential.” Christians in much of the country now find themselves in the demeaning and intolerable position of being allowed to worship only in the manner and on terms dictated by politically motivated governors.

Respecting authorities’ claims about an unknown disease made sense early in the outbreak, but now after better scientific information shows many initial fears are false. Yet politicians refuse to come clean while ignoring their own rules forbidding us from fulfilling our Christian duties. So it is time for us once again to assert that church is the most essential activity, period. Instead of valiantly fighting in the vanguard, however, many religious leaders have quickly retreated.

It is one thing for a church leader to prayerfully consider the individual needs of his church, striving to maintain unity among members in disagreements, protecting the health of the vulnerable, and offering stability amid uncertainty. It is quite another for shepherds to forsake the assembling of their flocks and enable the propaganda that congregating freely to worship God is selfish and “could kill grandma.” This unbiblical stance also overlooks the hypocrites in public office and the media who don’t even play by their own silly rules and ignore the data, for much lesser purposes than the health of our souls.

Many such religious leaders are neglecting the soul-saving mission of the church. The notion that being a good Christian requires indefinite cessation of communal worship — and for Catholics, the suspension of the sacraments — to prevent the spread of illness is a falsehood that has confused the faithful and undermined religious freedom.

Supreme Court Upholds Religious Liberty

In the case brought by the Orthodox Jewish group Agudath Israel of America and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Supreme Court held that “the restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.” In a concurring opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch posed a pertinent rhetorical question: “Who knew that public health would so perfectly align with secular convenience?”

Gorsuch held that “the only explanation for treating religious places differently seems to be a judgment that what happens there just isn’t as ‘essential’ as what happens in secular spaces.” He warned that “in too many places, for far too long, our first freedom has fallen on deaf ears.”

For several months now, elected officials and many church leaders around the country have flagrantly ignored religious liberty. States such as California, Oregon, and Washington have witnessed a new wave of post-election crackdowns on religious services. In San Diego County, churches are currently prohibited from holding indoor services. Meanwhile, a San Diego court just issued a temporary order exempting coronavirus restrictions from applying to a strip club, ruling that such entertainment constitutes “constitutionally protected speech.”

In Oregon, new restrictions limit faith-based gatherings to a maximum of 25 people regardless of church size but allow businesses to continue operating at a reduced percentage of their total capacity. Archbishop of Portland Alexander Sample rightly argued that allowing a measly 25 worshipers in a cathedral that can seat 1,000 isn’t data-driven and doesn’t make sense.

The Church Is Essential

expressed concern back in May about politicians labeling religious services “nonessential” and allowing the state to determine on what terms churches can hold services. At that time, Washington bishops effectively thumbed their noses at President Trump for declaring that state governments should allow houses of worship to reopen.

The bishops instead hitched their wagon to Gov. Jay Inslee’s rogue horse. Hence six months down the road, Inslee again targeted Washington churches as part of his latest round of arbitrary fiats. Church capacity is reduced to 25 percent, and congregational and choral singing is prohibited.

Meanwhile, the very authorities who tut-tut and wag fingers clearly don’t adhere to or believe in the merits of their own nonsense rules. Sanctimonious public officeholders have lectured us about keeping business closed, taking unemployment on the chin, staying home, and wearing masks while they visit salons, attend private dinners, and jet off out of state for holidays with family. The duplicity of notorious mask shamers such as CNN’s Chris Cuomo and White House correspondents Kaitlan Collins and Jonathan Karl has similarly been on display.

The hypocrisy is not limited to the secular sphere. Pope Francis condemned peaceful lockdown protests despite the World Health Organization’s warning against using lockdowns as the primary means of controlling the virus. Francis believes that closing churches, businesses, and schools, and forcing people out of work are all “necessary for people’s protection.” He has even canceled public celebration of Christmas liturgies at the Vatican.

Yet Francis didn’t appear particularly worried about Wuhan virus transmission when, free from any semblance of social distancing and masks, he enjoyed a cozy chat about poverty and social justice with a group of handsomely paid NBA players and fellow pals of the Chinese Communist Party. Evidently, on protecting the freedom to assemble, to provide for one’s family, and even to freely worship, government-imposed restrictions are non-negotiable, but when it’s about racial and economic politics, the holy grail of neo-Marxists, lockdowns are a suggestion only.

Against this backdrop, Christians should be prepared for the usual suspects in public office and the press, facilitated by an array of religious leaders, to crack down on Christmas celebrations. We will no doubt hear more of the “we do this not out of fear but out of love” mantra. Given, however, that the survival rate is 94.6 percent for those 70 years and older and between 99.5-99.997 percent for those 69 and younger, rapid breakthroughs in therapeutics have been announced, three reportedly effective vaccines are on the way, and government authorities are flouting their own restrictions, the “love thy neighbor” lecture is becoming as tedious as it is false.

Christians Need Church to Obey God’s Commands

The Gospels tell us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We cannot fulfill the second greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves if that love is not solidly founded in an encounter with God. This means gathering with the faithful in sung praise and thanksgiving, as we read in Psalms and was the custom from the earliest church, as well as explicitly commanded in scripture.

The Greek word for church, “ekklesia,” comes from the Old Testament and originally referred to the assembly of the people of Israel. When St. Paul first used the term, he intended it as the new community of believers in Christ. This “ekklesia” is not a human association borne of common interests and beliefs but a summoning by God himself.

For Catholics, the encounter with God is achieved even more profoundly through the sacrament of the Eucharist. Jesus is literally and wholly present — body and blood, soul and divinity — under the appearances of consecrated bread and wine. Whatever way you look at it, religious services are essential, and church leaders should say so.

Religious leaders must get their priorities straight. No doubt, pastors are genuinely concerned for the health of the most vulnerable in their communities and trying to accommodate the confusion and fears of their congregants. Some must feel their hands are tied by unsupportive leadership. Still others, I suspect, find themselves effectively cornered by congregants whose political indoctrination runs deeper than their catechesis.

Nevertheless, the role of preachers is to win souls for Christ, not to protect us or themselves from physical infirmity. St. Paul urges a return to God through Christ and cautions against domination by earthly pleasures and preoccupations. In other words, if, as St. Ambrose of Milan taught, we have a wound to heal, Christ is the doctor; if we are parched by fever, he is the spring; if we fear death, he is life; and if we are in darkness, he is light.

After a dismal year, and in sober anticipation of Joe Biden’s threatened “dark winter,” it is more important than ever for Christians to unite in praise of the Light that shines in the darkness and which the darkness has never put out. We should demand that our religious leaders mark the Nativity with fitting pomp and ceremony and refuse to support churches whose pastors spread or cower behind the lie that the celebration of Christmas is nonessential.

ABOUT TYHE AUTHOR:
Carina Benton is a native Australian living in Washington state. She is a practicing Catholic and has taught for many years in Catholic and Christian schools. She is a mother of two young children.
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Science As God: Tech Hearing And COVID Show Us Exactly Where Censorship Is Headed


Science As God: Tech Hearing And COVID Show Us Exactly Where Censorship Is Headed

In all the back and forth of Tuesday’s Big Tech hearing, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons’ exchange with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey stood out most starkly, offering a window into the next step of the left’s long-championed Big Tech censorship of scientific dissent from liberal orthodoxy.

“You do, Mr. Dorsey, have policies against deep fakes or manipulated media, against Covid-19 misinformation, against things that violate civic integrity,” the Delaware senator began, “but you don’t have a standalone climate change misinformation policy. Why not?”

Our policies are living documents,”Dorsey replied. “They will evolve, we will add to them, but we thought it important we focus our energies and prioritize the work as much as we could.” And then:

Well, Mr. Dorsey… I cannot think of a greater harm than climate change, which is transforming literally our planet and causing harm to our entire world. I think we’re experiencing significant harm as we speak. I recognize the pandemic and misinformation about Covid-19 manipulated media also cause harm but I’d urge you to reconsider that because helping to disseminate climate denialism in my view further facilitates and accelerates one of the greatest existential threats to our world.

This has been ongoing for years in corporate media. In 2019, Chuck Todd pompously announced his show would no longer “give time to climate deniers.” Two years before that, when The New York Times’ Bret Stephens used his debut column to call out “The Climate of Complete Certainty” that seeks to shut down completely reasonable dissent, the paper faced vicious backlash labeling Stephens a “climate denier.” For more than a decade before this, more of the same — often trickling up, from activists to the reporters who sympathize to the powers that can truly silence voices.

Four years ago, reporters demanded then-President Barack censor fake news, pushing Press Secretary Josh Earnest into the awkward position of having to remind apparent journalists of the First Amendment four times. The targets that day were the Bat Boy-like farces they blamed for Her 2016 loss, but it was already obvious the definition of “fake news” would rapidly expand. Once President Donald Trump assumed office, corporate media and allied politicians bypassed the White House and turned to Silicon Valley, which fell in line quickly enough.

COVID-19 provided the first preview of the new alliance, where even doctors and scientists were censored for carefully — we once said “scientifically” — questioning the alarmists’ narrative of the day. At the same time, Democrats, corporate media, and even corrupt, foreign bodies like the World Health Organization have been permitted to push whatever information supports that day’s goal post.

Completely rational appeals are met with absurdities like “the science is decided,” as if constantly evolving experimentation in search of knowledge can be bottled into some oracle-like decree to support the mob’s latest demand. Rather than decided science, these decrees are mere hypotheses susceptible to support and opposition, but through the alliance of Democrats, corporate media, and Silicon Valley, they become unquestionable edicts ranging from No Business to Eternal Mask-Wearing to No Family For Thanksgiving.

Coons’s comments are a good reminder that what is COVID today is climate tomorrow. Indeed, COVID policy has offered Americans a perfect preview of what will happen if climate alarmists get their way: Science not as method, but as god. And not the strong and mysterious God of the Jewish and Christian faiths, but a shifting one, whose every dictum and desire is whispered to the kings and enforced at their whims.

Do you have a problem with that? You can take it up with The Science. And The Science is decided.

Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, the vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at the National Journalism Center, and the author of The Art of the Donald. Follow him on Twitter.

Facebook, Google/YouTube, Twitter Censor Viral Video of Doctors’ Capitol Hill Coronavirus Press Conference


Reported by ALLUM BOKHARI |

Facebook has removed a video posted by Breitbart News earlier today, which was the top-performing Facebook post in the world Monday afternoon, of a press conference in D.C. held by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. The press conference featured Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and frontline doctors sharing their views and opinions on coronavirus and the medical response to the pandemic. YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Twitter subsequently removed footage of the press conference as well.

video source: Matt PerdieThe video accumulated over 17 million views during the eight hours it was hosted on Facebook, with over 185,000 concurrent viewers.

The livestream had accumulated over 17 million views by the time of its censorship by Facebook. 

In terms of viral velocity, the post was beating content from many other prominent accounts on Facebook today, including Hillary Clinton, Rev. Franklin Graham, and Kim Kardashian.

Over 185,000 viewers were concurrently watching the stream when it aired live Monday afternoon.

The event, hosted by the organization America’s Frontline Doctors, a group founded by Dr. Simone Gold, a board-certified physician and attorney, and made up of medical doctors, came together to address what the group calls a “massive disinformation campaign” about the coronavirus. Norman also spoke at the event.

“If Americans continue to let so-called experts and media personalities make their decisions, the great American experiment of a Constitutional Republic with Representative Democracy, will cease,” reads the event’s information page.

The event was organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots.

“We’ve removed this video for sharing false information about cures and treatments for COVID-19,” a Facebook company spokesman, Andy Stone, told Breitbart News. The company did not specify what portion of the video it ruled to be “false information,” who it consulted to make that ruling, and on what basis it was made.

Stone replied to New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose on Twitter regarding the video:

Stone then added that the platform would direct users who had interacted with the post to information on “myths debunked by the WHO.”

Facebook’s decision to censor the livestream was quickly followed by YouTube, the Google-owned video-sharing platform. The video had over 80,000 views on YouTube prior to its removal.

Following Facebook and YouTube’s removal of the video, Twitter followed suit, removing Breitbart News’s Periscope livestream of the press conference. Jack Dorsey’s platform also then limited the Breitbart News official account, indicating that tweets containing links to multiple stories about the press conference violate the platform’s COVID-19 policies.

Twitter limits Breitbart News account

Twitter limits Breitbart News account

Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address allumbokhari@protonmail.com

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His book #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election is out in September. 

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