TCA Radio Podcast – “Conversations with Consequences”

Episode 12: “Get Out Now,” with Mary Hasson and Theresa Farnan

Public education in America is in a sorry state; maybe it’s time to “Get Out Now.” The greatest threat to our children is not poor academic performance but the push for ideological conformity in the classroom. Promoting gender ideology, kicking God out of the classroom, and encouraging a victim mentality are pillars of today’s “progressive” curriculum for public school students in America. Parents can’t opt their children out. Even teachers feel compelled to go along. What is the answer? Mary Hasson, the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Kate O’Beirne Fellow, and Theresa Farnan, Phd. in philosophy, argue that the best answer is to GET OUT NOW! These two delightful women join TCA colleagues Dr. Grazie Christie, Ashley McGuire and Andrea Picciotti-Bayer to discuss the exhaustively researched new book “Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It’s Too Late.”

1. Is God the Answer to the Suicide Epidemic?

By Erika Andersen, The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2019, Pg. A15, Houses of Worship

The rate at which Americans take their own lives has been climbing for 20 years, prompting policy makers and medical experts to search for novel suicide- prevention practices. But one approach is as old as civilization itself: religious faith. Encouraging the most vulnerable Americans to attend religious services could reduce the suicide rate, and a new type of church growing in the U.S. shows particular promise.

A 2016 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that American women who attended a religious service at least once a week were five times less likely to commit suicide. The findings—based on data from 90,000 women from 1996 to 2010—are consistent with 2019 Pew Research findings that regular participation in religious community is clearly linked to higher levels of happiness. It’s true that correlation doesn’t prove causation, but there’s strong evidence that people who attend church or synagogue regularly are less inclined to take their own lives.

People living in our increasingly secular culture are hungry for spiritual wisdom and transcendent purpose. For the already vulnerable, this drought of meaning and connection can have deadly consequences. For thousands of years, practicing a shared faith was a principal way to meet these spiritual needs. It can be again.

2. Church Offers to Settle—With a Catch, Accusers in sexual-abuse cases can opt for compensation but must agree not to sue.

By Ian Lovett, The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2019, Pg. A1

Amid a recent wave of sexual-abuse investigations and allegations against the Catholic Church, Mr. Pliska wants to sue the Diocese of Scranton, which employed the priest. But the case is too old to bring to court. Although state lawmakers have proposed lifting the statute of limitations on the sexual abuse of children, it is unclear when—or if—that will happen.

The diocese, meanwhile, has set up a program to financially compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse.

“While no financial compensation can change the past, it is my hope that this program will help survivors in their healing and recovery process,” Joseph C. Bambera, the Scranton bishop, said when the diocese launched its program last fall.

The programs, which are run by third-party administrators outside the church, offer swifter resolution than trials, and alleged victims are less likely to walk away empty-handed. They also shield the church against lawsuits that could cause greater damage.

3. U.S. and Britain putting a new emphasis on religious freedom abroad.

By Charles Collins, Crux, July 12, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will host the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington.

Last year’s event was the largest ever global meeting on religious liberty, and Pompeo said it was evidence that the administration of President Donald Trump has made religious freedom “a true priority.”

The meeting comes just a week after Pompeo’s British counterpart – Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt – presented the final report from an independent inquiry he commissioned into worldwide anti-Christian persecution.

4. Incomparable Parents and Church Builders.

By Fr. Roger Landry, The Anchor, July 12, 2019
Fr. Roger J. Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts and the National Chaplain of Catholic Voices USA.

This Friday, July 12, is the feast of Saints Louis and Marie-Azélie Martin, canonized together by Pope Francis in 2015. July 12 was chosen as their feast because it was on this day in 1858 that they were married at Notre Dame Basilica in Alençon, France, and committed themselves together to living to the full the Sacrament of Matrimony and its two-fold call not just to human, but eternal, love and life.

The sacraments are signs and means of intimate communion with God: they bring him to abide in us and us in him; and because God’s life is eternal, the sacraments are all aimed ultimately at heaven. The Sacrament of Matrimony is directed toward the mutual sanctification of the spouses and the procreation and education of children to be saints as well.

We see that very clearly in the life of the Martins. They were both already seeking holiness prior to their marriage: Louis had spent time in an Augustinian monastery but couldn’t master Latin, and Zélie had sought to become a Sister of Charity, but, because of respiratory difficulties and migraines, was not accepted. God had another holy vocation for both of them in mind.

But on the feast of the first married couple canonized together, it is a chance to celebrate God’s power working through the Sacrament of Marriage to sanctify marriages and families, make them true domestic Churches, and thereby build up the Church on earth and the communion of saints in heaven.

5. Chile Removes Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse Amid Church Crisis.

Reuters, July 11, 2019

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera signed into law on Thursday a bill to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes involving children amid a sex abuse crisis that has rocked the country’s Catholic Church and claimed more than 200 victims.

The law, which first was proposed in 2010, ends impunity in cases that would have previously had a statute of limitations that varied between five and 10 years, depending on the nature of the crime. The new law is not retroactive.

6. Court denies stay against Title X Protect Life Rule.

Catholic News Agency, July 11, 2019, 3:00 PM

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday that a new Title X rule banning organizations in reciept of funds from co-locating with abortion facilties can go into effect. Planned Parenthood called the decision “devastating” and “crushing news.”

The court refused to grant an emergency stay of its June 20 decision allowing the rule to be enforced. 

This decision means that organizations that receive Title X family planning funds must maintain a physical and financial separation from facilities that perform abortions. Fund recipients are immediately prevented from referring patients for abortion services. By March 2020, health clinics must be located separately from abortion facilities in order to be eligible for continued funding.

7. The Church Challenging Washington State’s One-Size-Fits-All Abortion Requirement.

By Alexandra DeSanctis, National Review Online, July 10, 2019 3:01 PM

In Washington State, it is not enough that women have nearly unlimited access to legal abortion. Last year, the state took things a step further, enacting S.B. 6219, which requires all health plans that cover maternity care to cover abortion procedures, too.

This is a problem for Jay and Sandy Smith, who lead Cedar Park Church in Kirkland, Wash., a Christian church in the Assemblies of God denomination. “We have a deeply held view, as informed by the Scriptures, that life is a gift from God,” Jay tells National Review in an interview. “Any means by which we’re asked to or compelled to or forced to participate in ending life, we see it as in opposition to the Scripture.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of Cedar Park Church this spring in federal court, challenging the statute as unconstitutional on religious-freedom grounds. S.B. 6219 doesn’t grant any religious or conscience exemptions to the abortion-coverage requirement, although it offers 13 other types of exemptions.

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