Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Relic of the 18th Century

From The Monarchist:
 After much searching. I actually found a picture of an 18th century person still wearing their wig. Gentleman and Ladies, I present Martin Routh, born in 1755 and died in 1854. He was president of Magdalen College, Oxford from 1791 until his death. This daguerreotype was made in his final years, and it shows him still wearing a Dress Bob wig that looks to be of white horse hair. (Read more.)

Shooting the Messenger

Instead of prosecuting Planned Parenthood for breaking the law by selling human body parts, the authorities are shooting the messenger. From Life Site:
The California Superior Court has issued a narrow temporary restraining order preventing the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a pro-life group, from releasing further undercover video footage taken of three top-level staff of StemExpress.

CMP is the organization behind the series of three videos released over the past three weeks exposing the alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood – body parts that are then purchased by StemExpress.

CMP has alleged that the fees paid by StemExpress to Planned Parenthood violate federal law prohibiting the sale and trafficking of human tissue.

While Planned Parenthood has claimed that the fees paid to them by StemExpress merely cover their costs, and fall within the bounds of the law, the video footage released so far has appeared to show Planned Parenthood employees seeking profit as part of the transaction.

In the most recent video, released Tuesday, a Planned Parenthood affiliate vice president was caught on video describing how the abortion organization can maximize profit. “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” Dr. Savita Sinde said of the aborted baby.

The Associated Press, which broke the news about the court order, reports that the undercover videos of the Stem Express staff were filmed at a restaurant in May.

It is unclear just how significant an impact the court order will have on the release of subsequent videos in the series. David Daleiden, the lead researcher with CMP, has said that at least nine more videos are slated for release. (Read more.)

The Romance of the Tower

From Nancy Bilyeau:
On a December night in 1840, a sizable group of writers, editors, publishers, printers and illustrators gathered at the Sussex Hotel, in the fashionable town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, for a dinner party. It is possible that Charles Dickens, the young author of Oliver Twist and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby,  was invited to the party. Most definitely in attendance was George Cruikshank, the talented illustrator of Oliver Twist. 

The host of this lavish affair was the famed 35-year-old novelist William Harrison Ainsworth. The occasion: the successful serialization over the last year of his fifth novel, The Tower of London: A Historical Romance, which told the story of the tragic Lady Jane Grey, beginning with her arrival by barge at the Tower to launch her nine-day-reign and ending with her decapitation on Tower Green on July 10, 1553. (Read more.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

I posted on Alison Weir's The Lady in the Tower when it first came out, before I was able to read it, HERE and HERE. Since then I have learned a great deal more about Henry VIII's tragic second wife, the mother of Elizabeth I. I now appreciate what Gareth Russell was trying to explain to me in the first post about the papal dispensation from the pope for Henry to remarry, which made the entire situation a good deal more muddled. I once likened the fall of Anne Boleyn to a Greek tragedy. After reading Weir's book on the subject, I see it as more than tragic; it is positively occult. It is as if a Pandora's box had been opened by Henry's lust for Anne; the evil released inundated the entire country, including Anne herself.

Weir's book gives an almost day by day account of Anne's fall, beginning with the loss of her baby boy, which set off the series of events. The accusations against Anne of adultery with five men, including her own brother, as well as plotting to kill the king, were invented by Cromwell, who knew his job was to get rid of Anne so Henry could marry his new love, Jane Seymour. The heinous charges, of which Anne was almost certainly innocent, not only destroyed her but the five men, innocent as well. The fact that Cromwell enabled so much blood shed makes any lionization of him in novels or films an obscenity.

The most moving part of the book was Anne's time in prison, in which she showed herself to be a Catholic, hearing Mass, confessing and receiving communion. She asked that the Blessed Sacrament be reserved in her rooms and she spent hours in prayer. She said before she died that while she was not guilty of the charges of which she was accused, she did believe that God was punishing her for her treatment of Princess Mary, whom some claim she planned to poison. She wanted to send word to the "Lady Mary" of her repentance. Ironically, Mary was one of those who had been waiting upon Anne's daughter Elizabeth, and Mary cared for the toddler with great love.

The book sifts through every breath of rumor, every possibility of guilt or innocence, and every nuance of the trials, so as to make it a monumental work and one which is a must-read for Tudor scholars. The heaviness of the horror which befell one raised so high is conveyed by quotations of contemporaries, a few friends but mostly enemies. Although Anne's arrogant and haughty ways had made enemies even of relatives and former friends, it is still impossible for me not to pity her, but mercifully she received the grace to die with courage and piety.


More Horror from Planned Parenthood

The third video. God have mercy on us. To quote:
The video features Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist who unsuspectingly took a job as a “procurement technician” at the fetal tissue company and biotech start-up StemExpress in late 2012. That’s the company that acts as a middleman and purchases the body parts of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood to sell to research universities and other places.

I thought I was going to be just drawing blood, not procuring tissue from aborted fetuses,” says O’Donnell, who fainted in shock on her first day of work in a Planned Parenthood clinic when suddenly asked to dissect a freshly-aborted fetus during her on-the-job training.

For six months, O’Donnell’s job was to identify pregnant women at Planned Parenthood who met criteria for fetal tissue orders and to harvest the fetal body parts after their abortions.

O’Donnell describes the financial benefit Planned Parenthood received from StemExpress: “For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage. The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

In the video, O’Donnell describes her work and the profit motive behind Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted babies.

David Daleiden, Project Lead for The Center for Medical Progress, which has released also three videos, told, “Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts is an offensive and horrifying reality that is widespread enough for many people to be available to give first-person testimony about it.”

He added: “CMP’s investigative journalism work will continue to surface more compelling eyewitness accounts and primary source evidence of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking and selling baby parts for profit. There should be  an immediate moratorium on Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding while Congress and the states determine the full extent of the organization’s lawbreaking.” (Read more.)

Taking a Stand

One family takes a stand. From The National Catholic Register:
When Paul and Teresa Wieland, Catholic parents of three daughters, filed suit against the Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate, MSNBC ridiculed their legal challenge.

“One Missouri lawmaker has taken the fight against birth-control coverage to a new and very personal place: his own daughters, two of whom are adults,” reported MSNBC, in a September 2014 story that referenced then-Missouri state Rep. Paul Wieland.

Wieland, of Imperial, has since won a seat in the Missouri state senate, where other pro-life lawmakers have also been forced onto a health plan that provides cost-free contraception, surgical sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, as required under the HHS mandate.

But while the cable network framed the lawsuit as an attempt by the Wielands to ask “the federal government to enforce their parental guidelines on their daughters,” Wieland offered a different take.
“My daughters are free to make any choice they want, but my wife and I should not be required to enroll in a plan that includes these drugs,” he told the Register.

Now, more than a year after the Wielands filed their initial lawsuit in November 2013, their attorney will get a chance to test that argument in court.

The Wielands’ legal challenge stalled after a lower court ruled that the couple did not have standing to challenge the mandate. But on July 20, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the couple did have “standing to sue.”

Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, which represents the Wielands, celebrated the unanimous decision as a key milestone in the ongoing legal battle to broaden the mandate’s narrow religious exemption.

After Hobby Lobby, a closely held company run by a Christian family, won its lawsuit against the mandate at the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2014, said Brejcha, it was past time for individual believers to step up and defend their right to opt out of health plans that violated their sincerely held beliefs.

The issue of standing did not arise when Hobby Lobby filed its lawsuit, because the plaintiff was an employer challenging a federal law that required business owners to provide the new coverage authorized under the Affordable Care Act. But the Wielands are not employers, so their standing posed a challenge to their lawyer. (Read more.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Duc de Penthièvre and Family

From Vive la Reine: "From left to right: the prince de Lamballe; Marie Victoire de Noailles; the princesse de Lamballe; Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon; the duc de Penthièvre."


Interview with Dr. Janet Smith

From Homiletic and Pastoral Review:
There are many situations in this world where it is tempting to think that truth and love are incompatible. Christians, however, know that it is never loving to compromise on the truth. We are concerned not only with people’s “happiness” in this world, but with their eternal happiness.  Christ made it very clear that we will not attain eternal happiness unless we live in accord with the truth. His life made it clear that confronting those who are living lives incompatible with the truth is not easy: people easily dismiss the truth-teller, and can actually hate the truth teller, because those living lives incompatible with the truth often don’t want to know the truth, for they would then have to change their ways. (Read more.)