TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 86 – Ashley Mcguire On Xavier Becerra And Rebecca & Tim Shah Discuss Religious Freedom In India
Dr. Grazie Christie and TCA colleague Ashley McGuire discuss the alarming news of President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for HHS Secretary, breaking down Xavier Becerra’s long history of assault on people of faith and religious freedom. We also focus on religious liberty issues around the world, first looking at the persecution of Christians in Nigeria with RFI expert Eric Patterson, and then a lens on issues facing Catholics in India with Rebecca and Tim Shah–they’ve found a real connection between religious beliefs and economic prosperity. Father Roger Landry also joins with a homily for this Sunday’s Gospel during this season of Advent. Make sure to tune in every Saturday at 5pm ET on EWTN radio!
1. Abortion medication restrictions remain blocked, By Ann E. Marimow, The Washington Post, December 11, 2020, Pg. A9
A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s effort to reinstate rules requiring women seeking abortion medication to visit a doctor’s office or clinic in person during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Maryland said the health risks have “only gotten worse” since he first blocked restrictions in the summer in response to concerns about exposure to the coronavirus.
Requiring an in-person visit to a medical facility to obtain the drugs needed to induce abortion, Chuang said, is unduly burdensome. He initially issued a nationwide injunction against the Food and Drug Administration rule in July, and stood behind his earlier decision this week.
2. Has Biden picked a family-friendly Secretary of the Treasury?, Janet Yellen is an acute analyst of the effects of the sexual revolution., By Ashley E. McGuire, Mercatornet, December 11, 2020, Opinion
President-elect Joe Biden’s selection of Janet Yellen for his Secretary of the Treasury marks not one, but two, historic firsts. Not only will she be the first woman to serve in the role, but she would also be the first to have explicitly criticized certain lightning rod social policies for the economic devastation they have caused for women and the family.

Undoubtedly there are plenty of Democrats who wish they could “disappear” an article that Yellen co-authored with her husband George Akerlof for The Quarterly Journal of Economics in 1996. An adaptation of the article, entitled, “New mothers, not married: Technology shock, the demise of shotgun marriage, and the increase in out-of-wedlock births,” was featured by the Brookings Institution and is a relic of a day when, despite increasingly liberal social policy, honest discussion of its impacts was not censored, labelled with trigger warnings, or a cause for “cancellation.”
It’s almost unthinkable today that a progressive would criticize the impact of abortion, contraception, and the concurrent rise in single motherhood on family stability, and consequently, the economy. And yet that is exactly what Yellen and her husband did, and their warnings have proven devastatingly accurate.

Yellen and Akerlof’s policy conclusions were surprisingly tepid in contrast with the boldness of their assertions, ranging from a call for a more “child-oriented welfare” to more stringent financial requirements for fathers and calling any reduction in access to contraception or abortion “counterproductive.” And it’s possible that her handlers will encourage her to entirely “evolve” on her positions, as did former President Barack Obama on other family-related policy issues when his views went out of vogue.
Ashley E. McGuire is a Contributing Editor at the Institute for Family Studies, a Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association, editor-in-chief of AltCatholicah, and the Richard John Neuhaus Fellow at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, among others, and she has appeared on CNN, FOX News, PBS, CBS, and the BBC.
3. Justices rule Muslim men can sue FBI agents over no-fly list, By Mark Sherman , Associated Press, December 10, 2020 , 11:32 AM
A unanimous Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Muslim men who were placed on the government’s no-fly list because they refused to serve as FBI informants can seek to hold federal agents financially liable.
The justices continued a string of decisions friendly to religious interests in holding that the men could sue the agents under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act for what it calls “appropriate relief.”

Lori Windham, senior counsel at the public interest law firm the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said governments too often change policies to avoid court judgments. “We’re glad the Supreme Court unanimously emphasized that the government can’t expect to be let off the hook by simply changing its tune at the last second. This is a good decision that makes it easier to hold the government accountable when it violates Americans’ religious liberties,” Windham said.
2. Argentina’s lower house approves draft legalizing abortion, By Almudena Calatrava, Associated Press, December 10, 2020, 7:29 PM
Lawmakers in Argentina’s lower house on Friday passed a bill that would legalize abortion in most cases, a proposal from President Alberto Fernández in response to long-sought demands from women’s rights activists.
The bill, which needs approval from the country’s Senate in a debate expected before the end of the year, allows for voluntary abortions to be carried out up to the 14th week of pregnancy.
The proposed law was approved in a 131-117 vote with six abstentions after a marathon debate that extended from Thursday into the early hours of Friday morning.
5. Colorado lifts church capacity limit, asks Supreme Court to drop lawsuit, By Catholic News Agency, December 10, 2020, 12:00 PM
The Governor of Colorado has asked the Supreme Court to drop a church’s lawsuit against the state after he lifted COVID-related capacity limits on churches.
On Wednesday, Gov. Jared Polis (D) asked the Supreme Court to drop the appeal of High Plains Harvest Church in Eaton, Colorado, against the state’s COVID restrictions. The church had asked for an injunction on the state’s order that limited indoor worship to 50 people, in certain areas where the virus was spreading.
6. Cardinal Zen: Jimmy Lai arrest is part of campaign of ‘political intimidation’, By Ed Condon, Catholic News Agency, December 10, 2020, 11:00 AM
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun has warned that the recent arrest of Jimmy Lai shows a rise in “political intimidation” against journalists in Hong Kong, part of a systematic erosion of basic freedoms, including religious freedom, by the Chinese government in recent months.
In an interview with CNA, the emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong said the arrest of Jimmy Lai, a Catholic, pro-democracy advocate and the founder of the Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, was just the most recent example of Communist authorities attempting to stifle a free press.
Lai was charged Dec 2. with breaching the terms of a lease for his company, Next Digital Media. Lai has previously been arrested and jailed for pro-democracy advocacy, under the terms of the new Hong Kong National Security Law, imposed on the territory in July.

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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