Saturday, August 29, 2015

Managing migration and financing a safer and more secure Europe: €2.4 billion to support Member States

European Commission - Press release

Brussels, 10 August 2015

The European Commission has this month approved 23 multiannual national programmes under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Internal Security Fund (ISF). The total funding for the agreed programmes is approximately €2.4 billion, for the period 2014-2020. Money will now be able to flow to frontline Member States such as Greece and Italy, and to other EU Member States also dealing with high migratory flows. The Commission has worked intensively with Member States to ensure that EU funds are released urgently. 22 national programmes were already approved in March, and an additional 13 programmes will be approved later this year.

Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Member States nowadays face unprecedented challenges in the fields of migration and security and the Commission is taking action in a spirit of solidarity. Through the European Agendas on Migration and Security, the Commission is taking bold steps to improve migration management, foster cooperation and make Europe safer from organised crime and terrorism for our citizens. The national programmes approved by the Commission provide significant financial assistance to the Member States to address these challenges. We are determined to continue to put solidarity into practice."

The AMIF funding supports national efforts to improve reception capacities, ensure that asylum procedures are in line with Union standards, integrate migrants at local and regional levels and increase the effectiveness of return programmes. Funding from ISF complements national efforts to improve Member States' border management and surveillance (in particular through the use of modern technologies). ISF funding is also used for cross-border law enforcement cooperation and strengthens Member States' capacity to effectively manage security-related risks such as terrorism and violent radicalisation, drug trafficking, cybercrime, trafficking in human beings, and other forms of organised crime.

In addition to the basic allocation (see Annex), most national programmes are complemented by additional amounts made available for the implementation of specific transnational actions. These can include joint return and reintegration projects under the AMIF or the setting up of consular cooperation under the ISF. Additional funding under the ISF will also be invested in the purchase of large-scale equipment that will be put at the disposal of Frontex. This resource will be available for joint operations whenever needed. Additionally, almost €37 million will be channelled through the AMIF programmes to support the Union Resettlement Programme in the period 2014-2015.

The Commission is working towards the swift approval of the remaining national programmes. With a total budget of almost €7 billion for AMIF and ISF for the period 2014-20, these Funds are the principal EU financial instruments for investing in an open and secure Europe.


EU efforts in the field of Migration and Home Affairs are supported by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Internal Security Fund.

The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund contributes to the efficient management of migration flows and the development of a common approach to asylum and migration.

The Internal Security Fund (consisting of the Borders and Visa and the Police Cooperation and Crisis Management Instrument) helps ensure a high level of security and crime prevention in the Union, while at the same time enabling legitimate travel and ensuring solid management of the Union's external borders.

85% of the Funds are channelled through the multiannual strategic national programmes: covering the 2014-2020 period. After Commission approval, these programmes are prepared, implemented, monitored and evaluated by the responsible authorities in the Member States, in partnership with the relevant stakeholders, including civil society. The resettlement and relocation schemes recently proposed by the Commission and endorsed by the Council will be implemented through the AMIF national programmes.

The remaining funds, accounting for around 15% of the total resources, are managed by the Commission, based on individual work programmes. It is through these Commission work programmes that Union Actions and emergency assistance to Member States are funded.

23 national programmes were approved by the Commission over the past weeks: 7 AMIF programmes (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden) and 16 ISF programmes (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain). Earlier this year, 22 national programmes were approved by the Commission: 17 AMIF programmes (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and the United Kingdom) and 5 ISF programmes (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France). The remaining 13 national programmes will be approved later in 2015.

Annex: Financial allocations per Member State
Member StateBasic allocationsSpecific ActionsResettlement and relocationTOTAL
AMIFISF BordersISF Police
Austria (ISF)14,162,727 €12,162,906 €220,500 €26,546,133 €
Bulgaria (ISF)40,366,130 €32,002,293 €391,500 €72,759,923 €
Cyprus (AMIF)32,308,677 €32,308,677 €
Cyprus (ISF)34,507,030 €8,117,257 €42,624,287 €
Estonia (ISF)21,781,752 €13,480,269 €35,262,021 €
Finland (ISF)36,934,528 €15,682,348 €360,000 €52,976,876 €
Greece (AMIF)259,348,877 €259,348,877 €
Greece (ISF)166,814,388 €20,489,650 €27,540,000 €214,844,038 €
Hungary (ISF)40,829,197 €20,663,922 €61,493,119 €
Ireland (ISF)9,243,080 €9,243,080 €
Italy (AMIF)310,355,777 €3,000,000 €313,355,777 €
Italy (ISF)156,306,897 €56,631,761 €31,950,000 €244,888,658 €
Lithuania (ISF)*178.704.873 €16,120,656 €1,125,000 €17,245,656 €
Luxembourg (ISF)5,400,129 €2,102,689 €7,502,818 €
Malta (ISF)53,098,597 €8,979,107 €12,600,000 €74,677,704 €
Poland (AMIF)63,410,477 €5,983,144 €69,393,621 €
Portugal (ISF)18,900,023 €18,693,124 €1,093,523 €38,686,670 €
Romania (ISF)61,151,568 €37,150,105 €180,000 €98,481,673 €
Slovakia (AMIF)10,980,477 €2,096,000 €13,076,477 €
Slovenia (ISF)30,669,103 €9,882,037 €635,040 €41,186,180 €
Spain (AMIF)257,101,877 €2,600,000 €259,701,877 €
Spain (ISF)195,366,875 €54,227,207 €12,528,000 €262,122,082 €
Sweden (AMIF)118,536,877 €4,410,000 €31,200,000 €154,146,877 €
 * Includes Special Transit Scheme for Lithuania (154.000.000 €)


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Christian Zionism

In this section:

Christian Zionism
Jewish Zionism
Likud and Falwell
An Expanded Israel
The Settlements
Subsidizing The Settlements
Populating The Settlements
Influencing Washington
The Tragedy of the Settlements
Postmillennialism and Premillenniallism


Ariel is a Jewish settlement in the West Bank of Palestine, and Faith Bible Chapel is one of hundreds of Christian Zionist Churches funding settlements like Ariel. FromThe Christian Science Monitor, April 25, 1998:

Five years ago, Ariel was a town in the doldrums. Laying the groundwork for making peace with the Palestinians, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had frozen building plans and cut off preferential funding to Jewish settlements like this one, on land Israel occupied in 1967.
Depression set in here as the settlers came to be seen as peace's spoilers and began to fear for their settlement's future.

Then came faith. Faith Bible Chapel, that is, an Aurora, Colo., evangelical church whose members made it their mission to "adopt" Ariel.

Would Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip be able to survive without massive support from Christian Zionists in the United States? This is the question this web page is exploring.
Christian Zionism

Christian Zionism is based on God's covenant with Abraham from Genesis of the Old Testament of the Bible. To read about the early Christian Zionists, click here.
Jewish Zionism

Jewish Zionism was not based on Scripture. The early Jewish Zionists were reacting to the fierce anti-semitism that was rampant throughout Europe. By the late nineteen thirties, when millions of Jews were desperately trying to get out of Europe, no country would take in large numbers of Jewish refugees. Only one country offered -- the Dominican Republic, but it, too, fell far short of its promise. To read more about early Jewish Zionism, click here.

Establishment of the State of Israel was seen by Christian Zionists as fulfillment of God's Covenant with Abraham. In contrast, it was seen by most Jewish Zionists as a place where Jews would be safe. To read about the establishment of Israel, click here.

The early secular government of Israel agreed, for practical reasons, to leave the ancient Jewish lands of Samaria and Judea out of its borders. To read more about Israel's pre-1967 borders, click here.

After the War of 1967, which Israel won in just six days, Israel occupied the ancient Jewish lands of Samaria and Judea in the West Bank along with the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Desert to the South, the Golan Heights in the North. and all of the city of Jerusalem. That war was seen by Christian Zionists and some ultra-orthodox Jews as a sign that God was further fulfilling His promise to Abraham. To read more about the War of 1967, click here.

To read a chronology of settlement growth, click here.
Likud And Falwell

Government support of settlement building accelerated dramatically in 1977 when Menachem Begin became Prime Minister. Begin's ultranationalist notions had made him a figure on the fringe for the first three decades of Israel's existence, but his Likud Party had finally come to power.

Ironically, Begin won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1978, along with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, for signing the Camp David Accords. Thanks to skillfully managed negotiations on the part of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Begin agreed to return the Sinai desert to Egypt, but refused to discuss the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. And this is where our story begins - the same year that the Camp David Accords were signed.

That year, 1978, Begin invited The Reverend Jerry Falwell for his first official visit to Israel, and the following year, 1979, his government gave Falwell a gift -- a Lear Jet.

Begin's timing was perfect. He began working seriously with Christian Zionists at the precise moment that Christian fundamentalists in America were discovering their political voice.

The same year that Falwell received his Lear Jet, 1979, he formed the Moral Majority, an organization that changed the political landscape in the United States. What was Falwell's interest in Israel? He was a Dispensationalist. Dispensationalism is a system of theology that believes the Jews must return to Israel as part of God's plan for Christ to return. To read more about the history of Dispensationalism, click here.
An Expanded Israel

In order to fulfill Biblical prophecy, Dispensationalists have been working hard to ensure that the world's Jews return to Israel and occupy all of Palestine. To facilitate that process, Dispensationalists have been leading groups of pilgrims to Israel since Falwell's first visit in order to win financial and political support for the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The late Grace Halsell, author of Prophecy and Politics, participated in two Falwell-led pilgrimages to Israel in 1983 and 1985, and quotes a fellow Christian pilgrim on the tour:

"The Jews must own all of the land promised by God before Christ can return. The Arabs have to leave this land because this land belongs only to the Jews. God gave all of this land to the Jews." (p.87)

The late Ed MacAteer, considered to be the godfather of the Religious Right, talked about his expansionist dreams for Israel in an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes: Zion's Christian Soldiers.

"I believe that we are seeing prophecy unfold so rapidly and dramatically and wonderfully and, without exaggerating, makes me breathless. Every grain of sand between the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea belongs to the Jew." When asked if that includes the West Bank and Gaza, his answer was "Every bit of it."

Rapture Awaits in the Florida Panhandle, Toronto Star, February 12, 2005

Read about a Christian Coalition gathering in 2002 to witness the passion Christian Zionists, and some U.S. Republican legislators, feel about Israel.

Did Tim LaHaye Just Call Israelis "Not-To-Be-Trusted Yids?," Talk To Action, December

Jews and the Christian right: Is the honeymoon over? Michelle Goldberg, Salon

The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy - Part Five, Talk To Action, December 26, 2005

The day after Christmas, Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind Prophecy Club" sent out its daily e-mail message with a 2005 "Year in Review" summary The teaser stated: "Are we living in the End Times? Could events of today signify that the Rapture and Tribulation could occur during our generation? Five important Signs from 2005 say yes!" read on
The Settlements

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, writing for the New Yorker magazine, estimates there are roughly 150 settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with a total population estimated at 243,000. [This article was written well before Israel's withdrawal from Gaza] Goldberg writes:

Perhaps three-quarters of the Jews in the West Bank and Gaza could be considered economic settlers ... The remainder of the settlers, fifty thousand or so, came to the territories for reasons of faith.

Goldberg's article, The Zealots, is based on interviews with settlers of faith. While Christian Zionists have formed strong working relationships with settlers of faith, this web site is concerned primarily with economic settlers, many of whom live in the settlements due to financial support from the Christian Zionists. A survey taken by the Israeli organization Peace Now in July, 2003

indicates that more than 70 percent of settlers, a significant increase from previous polls, would agree to eventually leave the West Bank and Gaza if they were compensated, while 29 percent are ready to leave right away. (From New York Times, August 2, 2003)Peace Now monitors settlement activity and provides detailed maps of the settlements and outposts.
Subsidizing Settlements

It's not known how much money for settlements comes from the Israeli government, supported by U.S. dollars, and how much comes from Christian Zionists. The financial support of Christian Zionists, however, appears to be substantial enabling settlers to buy attractive homes at a very reasonable price. Lawrence Shafer, a businessman, moved to the settlement of Ariel for economic reasons. He told television producer Bob Abeshouse on Bill Moyer's Now,

There's a lot of people in the outside world think that we all live here because we're all very right wing fanatics. No, we're people who do not have enough money to afford to buy a flat. But we want to leave something to our children. We've always wanted to buy our own house. And to buy a house inside inland Israel costs three times what it costs in Ariel.

Donald Wagner is Professor of Religion and Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University in Chicago and executive director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He wrote a series of commentaries on the phenomenon of Christian Zionism for the Lebanon Daily Star. This comes from Part 4:

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, led by a former Anti-Defamation League employee and Orthodox rabbi, Yechiel Eckstein, claimed to have raised over $5 million, mostly from fundamentalist Christian sources.

Christian Friends of Israeli Communities, based in Colorado, is one of the many organizations that runs an Adopt-a-Settlement Program. From their web site:

The focus of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC) is to link settlements in Israel with Christian churches and individuals throughout the world. These communities are located in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

$25 / month
Partner of CFOIC-Israel
$50 / month
Friend of Biblical Israel
$100 / month
Patron of Biblical Israel
$500 / month
Pillar of Biblical Israel
$1,000 / month
Guardian of Biblical Israel

The above opportunity to invest comes from Project Focus of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities.

Sondra Oster Baras is the director of the Israel office of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. She told the San Francisco Chronicle that she estimated "one-third of the 145 Israeli settlements receive funds from Christians."

The Jerusalem Prayer Team prays

.. for peace in Jerusalem because the Scriptures tell us to in Psalm 122:6. Also, the Great Commission proclaims that we would be a witness unto Him in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria.

From the Middle East Information Center, the goal of the Jerusalem Prayer Team

.. is to raise enough to give a gift of $55 apiece to 14,000 settlers.

Eventually we hope [to raise money for all] 200,000. But the best we can do now is 14,000....From Bridges for Peace:

Many Christians have felt this desire to reach out and help in the prophetic restoration of Israel, in a tangible way, by blessing individuals (new immigrants and veteran Israeli alike) with material gifts. Bridges for Peace has done just that.

From Prophecy and Politics, 1986, about the American Christian Trust headed by Mrs. Bobi Hormas:

"The trust enjoys 501(c)(3) status and receives funds from private individuals, estates and large evangelical-fundamentalist organizations. The Trust in turn gives this money to Israel, expressly for Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Mrs Hormas told me the Trust planned to raise a hundred million dollars to purchase land for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the present target area being in the Palestinian town of Hebron... This I was told would help fulfill biblical prophesy. (p,170-171)
Populating the Settlements: Funding Jewish Immigration to Israel

In addition to buying land and subsidizing settlements, Christian Zionists have played a major role in supporting Jewish immigration from the former Soviet Republics to populate the settlements. From Donald Wagner:

John Hagee, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, announced in February 1997 that his church was donating over $1 million to Israel. Hagee claimed the funds would be used to help resettle Jews from the Soviet Union in the West Bank and Jerusalem. "We feel like the coming of Soviet Jews to Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy," Hagee stated.

The Gratefully Grafted Ministries is one of the international organizations that supports immigration to Jerusalem and West Bank settlements through their Israel Fund:

All funds are used toward serving the Body of Messiah in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the Galilee and beyond ..

Their ministry sponsors the Ebenezer Emergency Fund and Operation Exodus:

From 1991 through the Fall of 2004, Ebenezer has brought more than 100,000 olim back to Israel.

If their numbers are accurate, and if most of their "olim" end up in the settlements, they could have brought into the West Bank and Gaza Strip as much as 41% of the settlers. (Author's note - Gratefully Grafted Ministries' website changes from time to time, so the quotes on this page my no longer exist in their site.)

Christians for Israel

is helping the Jews home to Israel from the former Soviet Union. This is an international project known as Operation Aliyah. It is more than just a humanitarian project - it is a divine calling for the Church to assist the Jewish people in their physical return and restoration of the land of Israel.

Why does Operation Aliyah exist?

In the fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy. The Jewish people were scattered throughout the nations according to God's word, because of their disobedience. God beckons to the gentiles to assist in the return of the Jewish people to Israel. Jeremiah prophesied that the return will be of greater magnitude than the exodus from Egypt and will involve all the tribes of Israel. This time they will remain in their land. I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. Amos 9:15
Influencing Washington

Akiva Eldar, journalist for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, claims that Christian Zionists are pouring money into Israel. "But that's not the only way they are supporting Israeli settlement of the West Bank."

The most important thing is that they have so much influence in Washington, that they are so influential in the White House and in Congress. (Bill Moyer'sNOW, June 6, 2003.)

Jerry Falwell told 60 Minutes:

There are 70 million of us. And if there's one thing that brings us together quickly it's whenever we begin to detect our government becoming a little anti-Israel.

Pastor John Hagee's Cornerstone Church raised $1 million dollars in 1977. When asked if he realized that support of Likud's policies and the increase in Jewish settlements was at cross-purposes with US policy, Hagee answered:

I am a Bible scholar and a theologian, and from my perspective the law of God transcends the laws of the United States government and the US State Department.

The Village Voice, May 18, 2004, documented that National Security Council Near East and North African Affairs director for President George W. Bush, Elliott Abrams, actually met with the Apostolic Congress, a dispensationalist organization, to discuss their theological concerns. Three weeks after that meeting President Bush reversed long-standing U.S. policy, endorsing Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank in exchange for Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

From Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy In Focus, June, 2004:

It appears, then, that right-wing Christian Zionists are, at this point, more significant in the formulation of U.S. policy toward Israel than are Jewish Zionists, as illustrated by three recent incidents.

After the Bush administration's initial condemnation of the attempted assassination of militant Palestinian Islamist Abdel Aziz Rantisi in June 2003, the Christian Right mobilized its constituents to send thousands of e-mails to the White House protesting the criticism. A key element in these e-mails was the threat that if such pressure continued to be placed upon Israel, the Christian Right would stay home on Election Day. Within 24 hours, there was a notable change in tone by the president. Indeed, when Rantisi fell victim to a successful Israeli assassination in April 2004, the administration-as it did with the assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin the previous month-largely defended the Israeli action.

When the Bush administration insisted that Israel stop its April 2002 military offensive in the West Bank, the White House received over 100,000 e-mails from Christian conservatives in protest of its criticism. Almost immediately, President Bush came to Israel's defense. Over the objections of the State Department, the Republican-led Congress adopted resolutions supporting Israel's actions and blaming the violence exclusively on the Palestinians.

When President Bush announced his support for the Road Map for Middle East peace, the White House received more than 50,000 postcards over the next two weeks from Christian conservatives opposing any plan that called for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The administration quickly backpedaled, and the once-highly touted Road Map essentially died.

The Tragedy of the Settlements

Soon after the war of 1967, Israel's founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, by that time retired, spoke to the Knesset, Israel's Parliament. His prophetic words were recorded by Jewish scholar Arthur Hertzberg in The Tragedy of Victory. Ben Gurion said:

All of the territories that had been captured had to be given back, very quickly, for holding on to them would distort, and might ultimately destroy, the Jewish state.

A delegation of United States church leaders visited Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine in 2002. They declared:

We emphasize the urgency of the crisis in the region and our sense that the Middle East and, indeed, the entire world, stands on the brink of a catastrophe if a comprehensive peace is not achieved soon.

For Jews and Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, life has become cycles of violence, fear and hatred. Much of the world has come to see Israel as an occupier nation, a perception that has isolated Israel in the United Nations and led to anti-semitism around the world.

Amidst all the tensions created by the settlements, Jerry Falwell told 60 Minutes, "The Bible Belt in America is Israel 's only safety belt right now." Falwell and the movement he helped create have played a major role in supporting the construction and maintenance of the settlements. They helped bring tens of thousands of Eastern European Jews to Israel to increase the population of the settlements. They have made it politically risky for any American president to promote a peace plan.

Because of their passion to see Israel permanently expand its borders, Christian Zionists have added fuel to the flames of anti-semitism worldwide. Their work has also served to isolate Israel, particularly in the United Nations. And then Falwell has the chutzpah to say, "The Bible Belt in America is Israel 's only safety belt right now."

Esther Kaplan writes in The Nation, July 12, 2004, The Jewish Divide on Israel, that "American Jews are at least evenly split on how to secure Israel."
Postmillennialism and Premillennialism

Postmillennialists are not Christian Zionists. They are adherents of Christian Reconstructionism or Dominion Theology. They represent the most extreme constituency of the Religious Right. They are the activists who claim the United States is a "Christian nation," calling for the United States to return to Old Testament Biblical law.

They don't believe in the rapture theory, or that we are living in the End Times before Christ returns. Leading Reconstructionist author, the late David Chilton, explains that the last days ended with the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D:

the expression "the last days" and similar terms, are used in the Bible to refer, not to the end of the physical world, but to the last days of the nation of Israel, the "last days" which ended with the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. (Paradise, p12)

Gary North, a prolific Christian Reconstruction writer points out in The Unannounced Reason Behind American Fundamentalism's Support for the State of Israel:

In order for most of today's Christians to escape physical death, two-thirds of the Jews in Israel must perish, soon. This is the grim prophetic trade-off that fundamentalists rarely discuss publicly, but which is the central motivation in the movement's support for Israel. It should be clear why they believe that Israel must be defended at all costs by the West.

Postmillennialists believe that Christians must take domionion, or control over most of the secular institutions in the world in order for Christ to return. Therefore, they encourage Christians who share their biblical worldview to become politically active.

From George Grant, a leading postmillennial writer in The Changing of the Guard , Biblical Principles for Political Action:

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.

But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.

It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.

It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.

It is dominion we are after.

World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less... Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land -- of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. (pp. 50-51)

Christian Zionists Are Premillenniallists

Of the many theories about when Christ will return, the most popular is called premillennial dispensationalism. It is depicted in the best-selling Left Behind novels by the Reverend Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

Premillennialists believe that since God has a plan, the future is already set in motion. It might seem logical that if events taking place on earth are part of God's pre-ordained plan, then political activism is unnecessary. But the Reverend Tim LaHaye explains why Christians who share his Biblical worldview should be politically active.

LaHaye named humanism as the great evil threatening to destroy America and coined the term "pre-tribulation tribulation" to characterize what will come about if humanists are allowed to take control of the government.

In 1980 LaHaye published The Battle for the Mind where he asked, "Is a Humanist Tribulation Necessary?" LaHaye answered that the Great Tribulation,

is predestined and will surely come to pass. But the pre-Tribulation tribulation -- that is the tribulation that will engulf this country if liberal humanists are permitted to take control of our government -- is neither predestined nor necessary.

But it will deluge the entire land in the next few years, unless Christians are willing to become much more assertive in defense of morality and decency than they have been during the past three decades." (Battle for the Mind, 1980, pp. 217-218)

Susan Friend Harding, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has published widely on fundamentalist Christianity. She wrote Chapter 3, Imagining the Last Days, the Politics of Apocalyptic Language in the fourth Volume of the Fundamentalism Project. The Fundamentalism Project was sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to study the rise of fundamentalism worldwide. The volumes are published by the University of Chicago Press. Harding writes:

LaHaye urged Christians to pray and witness as usual and also to help the victims of humanism ... to join the national drive to register Christian voters ... to run for public office ... (pp. 69)

[Falwell] argued that unless born-again Christians acted politically ... they would lose their ... [ability] to fulfill Biblical prophecy. (p. 70)

In other words, political involvement is required to get raptured. While pre and post millennialism differs on the subject of Israel, adherents share similar political goals for the United States government: dominion by those Christians who share their Biblical worldview. People of both belief systems support political candidates who support their narrow theocratic agenda, and they oppose the secular government, or godless Constitution that our founders gave us.

What does George W. Bush believe? It's not clear. Unlike former President Ronald Reagan, who talked openly about his fascination with Armageddon, President Bush has not mentioned the Rapture or Armageddon. His road map for peace calls for a Palestinian state -- something opposed by Christian Zionists. His domestic policies, however, are consistent with Dominion Theology. (See video by Joan Bokaer about dominionism available to download for free on this web site.)

CBS 60 Minutes, Christian's Zion Soldiers, October 6, 2003

Washington Post, The Evangelical-Israeli Connection, March 24, 2004

On The Road to Armageddon, Beliefnet, 2004

From Bill Moyer's Now
Christian Zionists in the Holy Land
Troubled Lands1
Troubled Lands2

The Jewish Divide on Israel, The Nation, July 12, 2004

The New Yorker, Among the Settlers , May 31, 2004

Frontline, Israel's Next War? April 5, 2005

Destined To Clash: Zionism and the Settlements, The Forward, March 4, 2005

Evangelical Children's Novels Push Conversion of 'Spiritually Empty' Jews, The Forward, March 18, 2005

Israel, on Its Own, Is Shaping the Borders of the West Bank, New York Times, April 19, 2005

Part IV: Pie in the Sky, Truthout, April 26, 2004

Threat to Divest Is Church Tool in Israeli Fight, The New York Times, August 6, 2005

Evangelicals Get a Piece of the Promised Land, IPS News, October 3, 2005

Discontent among Christian Zionists, Talk To Action, December 9, 2005Updates and more articles

Last updated: December-2005


Published on Aug 14, 2015


The World’s Most Mysterious and Controversial Book Is Now Unveiled! No other book in the Bible has been more misunderstood or misrepresented than Revelation. For ages, its mysterious symbols and ominous predictions have perplexed millions and sparked wild speculation. But now, that all changes with Revelation: The Bride, The Beast & Babylon!

Going to the very heart of the Bible’s most challenging book, this 90-minute documentary decodes the visions of Revelation 12 and 17 for everyone to understand. Journeying from the birth of Christ through the Christian era, this amazing video pulls aside the veil of hidden history to reveal the rise of Babylon, the persecution of the bride of Christ, and the real-world identity of the beast.

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Anti Christ power 666 to come to Philadelphia 2015


Published on Aug 20, 2015

FMDBN Presents The Philadelphia Project Part 3 2015
Bolden Productions


Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy Sabbath

Former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski dies ahead of paedophilia trial

LIVE SCORE IND 50/2 15.0 Ovrs

Aug 28, 2015 15:46 IST

Vatican City: Former Polish archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who would have been the first high-ranking church official to go on trial on paedophile charges, died overnight, the Vatican announced on Friday.

Wesolowski, 67, had suffered from health problems that last month caused postponement of his criminal trial, which was to be the first of its kind initiated by the Vatican against a church official.

Wesolowski had been charged with possessing child pornography in Rome in 2013-14, and the sexual abuse of minors during his 2008-13 stint as the Vatican nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic.

He was secretly recalled from his posting in 2012 after the church hierarchy was informed that he had regularly paid young Dominican boys for sexual services.

Wesolowski was defrocked by a church court in June 2014. He was placed under house arrest in September 2014 following a decision to pursue criminal charges against him. Both moves were personally ordered by Pope Francis, according to Vatican officials.

The disgraced prelate fell ill on the eve of the opening of his 11 July trial.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why Can't We Bet On U.S. Elections?

Why Can't We Bet On U.S. Elections?

Blame 16th Century Rome

AUGUST 26, 2015 5:06 AM ET


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You can spend millions on lobbyists or ads to influence the presidential election, but it is mostly illegal to bet on who will win the White House. But centuries ago, people bet on the papal election.


It's never too early to bet on the presidential election. Oddsmakers and websites are perfectly ready to take your money now. And you may recall that betting made news in the 2012 election. Many people were convinced the polls were wrong and that Mitt Romney was going to win. But a betting site called Intrade suggested a majority of the money was on President Obama. Gambling on something as vital as an election sounds unseemly. But it has an upside, as David Kestenbaum of NPR's Planet Money team found when he learned a little history.

DAVID KESTENBAUM, BYLINE: In 16th-century Rome, people bet on all kinds of things, foot races, horse races, tennis matches, also whether a pregnant woman from the neighborhood was going to have a boy or a girl. The big bets, though, were on a very important election, the election of the pope.

JOHN HUNT: For Rome, that's the be-all-end-all event.

KESTENBAUM: They're betting on who the next pope is going to be.

HUNT: Yeah, it's called scalmezzi de fare il papa.

KESTENBAUM: This is historian John Hunt at Utah Valley University who just published a paper about this. Just like today, the cardinals electing the pope would all go to the Vatican palace. And the doors would be locked behind them. But while the cardinals were in there working out the will of God, outside the walls there was gambling - lots of gambling on who the cardinals were going to pick.

HUNT: A small-time artisan might bet, you know, five, 10, 20 scutti, which is a lot of money. Three scutti was three gold coins. That's a salary for a month.

KESTENBAUM: That was at the low end. Some bets were truly huge, tens of thousands of gold coins.

HUNT: Let's just say that would be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

KESTENBAUM: This caused problems for the church. In part because people had all these bets on the outcome, information from the secret deliberations kept leaking out. The palace was locked, but there were holes. You had to get food in and out, after all. Food, supplies all that got passed through a turning wheel in the wall - like a Lazy Susan.

HUNT: Somebody passed a glove through the turning wheel. And inside the glove was a note. And another good case is Cardinal Antonio Barberini, he actually carved a little hole out near his cell that gave him a little crack so he could talk to the outside world.

KESTENBAUM: These handwritten newsletters circulated in town, reporting the latest gossip and also the latest betting odds. The church tried all kinds of things to stop the leaks. They fortified the palace.

HUNT: More guards. They would also reinforce all the doors.

KESTENBAUM: They told the clergy in the Vatican, no more leaking - got everyone to promise.

HUNT: They swore on a Bible that, you know, they will desist from leaking information, not talk to the outside world, not spread any more gossip.

KESTENBAUM: Does it work?

HUNT: I would say no. Information is still leaking out. They even made an example of a few people by, you know, having some people tortured. And it didn't stop.

KESTENBAUM: In 1592, Pope Gregory XIV pulls out the big guns, says bet on an election and you will be excommunicated. That does it. The betting goes away. John Hunt says looking back, the gambling was not all bad. For ordinary people on the streets of Rome, it gave them information about what was going on inside the Vatican.

HUNT: People knew what was going on in the election. So it made the election process more transparent.

KESTENBAUM: In a way they might not if the gambling hadn't existed.

HUNT: Exactly. And that was perhaps a good thing.

KESTENBAUM: It is tempting to think of elections as something that should be pure and free from outside influence. But as with our presidential elections today, Hunt says there was a lot of wheeling and dealing behind the scenes - kings trying to get their way, a French pope or maybe a Spanish pope. The betting at least brought some of that out into the open. David Kestenbaum, NPR News.

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Kentucky County Clerk’s Office Defies Court, Again Refuses Marriage License to Gay Couple


U.S. Court of Appeal on Wednesday rejects Kim Davis’s arguments for refusing to issue documents


Associated PressAug. 27, 2015 1:06 p.m. ET

MOREHEAD, Ky.—A Kentucky clerk’s office on Thursday again refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple, only a day after a federal appeals court upheld a rulingdirecting the clerk to follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue any marriage licenses, citing her Christian faith and constitutional right to religious freedom.

On Thursday morning, a deputy clerk in her office refused to issue a marriage license toWilliam Smith Jr. and James Yates. It was their third attempt to get a license.


Appeals Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ruling in Kentucky (Aug. 26)
Kentucky Clerk Defies Court Order, Won’t Issue Gay Marriage Licenses(Aug. 13)
After Gay-Marriage Ruling, Tensions, Questions Ripple in States With Bans(July 9)

They said they would not give up. “They just don’t like gay people, they don’t want us to get married,” Mr. Yates said. “And they’d rather burn the earth and not let straight people in Rowan County get married either.”

On Wednesday, U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Ms. Davis’s’ arguments for refusing to issue the licenses, upholding a federal court judge’s order that the licenses be granted..

“It cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court,” judges Damon J. Keith, John M. Rogers and Bernice B. Donald wrote for the court. “There is thus little or no likelihood that the clerk in her official capacity will prevail on appeal.”

Two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge David Bunning had ordered Ms. Davis to issue marriage licenses. He later delayed that ruling until Aug. 31 or until the appeals court issued a ruling.

But a deputy clerk in Ms. Davis’s office told Mr. Smith and Mr. Yates on Thursday that the office believes Judge Bunning’s delay remains in effect until Aug. 31. The deputy clerk refused to give his name or give them a license.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Ms. Davis last month on behalf of April Miller and Karen Roberts, a second gay couple and two straight couples. A U.S. district judge ordered Ms. Davis to issue the marriage licenses, but later delayed his order so that she could have time to appeal to the 6th circuit.

April Miller, right, and her partner Karen Roberts on Wednesday embrace after reading the decision of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to hear Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis' appeal ordering her to issue marriage licenses because of her religious beliefs in Morehead, Ky. PHOTO: TIMOTHY D. EASLEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ms. Miller said they felt vindicated by the federal court ruling. They got out the boxes holding their matching wedding bands, bought days after the Supreme Court’s decision in June. They are simple white gold bands, ringed in diamonds. “One step closer,” Ms. Miller said. “We might be able to get married in September.”

Mat Staver, an attorney for Ms. Davis, said he was disappointed with the ruling. He said he plans to discuss options with Davis, including an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The court of appeals did not provide any religious accommodation rights to individuals, which makes little sense because at the end of the day it’s individuals that are carrying out the acts of the office,” Mr. Staver said. “They don’t lose their individual constitutional rights just because they are employed in a public office.”

Ms. Davis testified in federal court last month she would “deal with that when the time comes” Last Saturday, she spoke to thousands of supporters at a religious freedom rally at the state capitol, saying: “I need your prayers…to continue to stand firm in what we believe.”

“Regardless of what any man puts on a piece of paper, the law of nature is not going to change,” Ms. Davis told the crowd.

‘Religious liberty certainly does not allow public officials to deny government services to the public based on their personal beliefs.’—William Sharp, legal director of the ACLU of Kentucky

Ms. Davis has said she won’t resign. She can only be removed from office if the state legislature impeaches her, which is unlikely. If she continues to defy a federal court order, a judge could hold her in contempt and order hefty fines or jail time.

“Certainly none of those are appealing to my client,” Mr. Staver said. “No one wants to be fined or go to jail and she’s always been a law-abiding citizen. She’s just caught in a very difficult situation.”

William Sharp, legal director of the ACLU of Kentucky, said he believes the case is simple. “Religious liberty certainly does not allow public officials to deny government services to the public based on their personal beliefs,” Sharp wrote in a statement. “All that Davis is required to do in her official capacity as clerk is issue a form. In no way is she being forced to endorse anyone’s marriage or beliefs.”

Ms. Miller and Ms. Roberts said they know the legal fight will stretch on. Ms. Davis continued to refuse to issue marriage licenses even after Judge Bunning ordered her two weeks ago to do so. The couple expects she will continue to refuse.

“We get all excited. But we know a letdown is coming again,” Ms. Miller said. “It’s going to keep going. It’s gonna be a long haul.”

“But it felt so good for a minute,” Ms. Roberts added.

—Copyright 2015 Associated Press

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Vatican and Cuba: A look back at how the Church helped mend ties with the USA

Published on Aug 24, 2015

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Despite their stark differences, the Holy See and Cuba never broke off their diplomatic ties.


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Wall Street Invokes Obscure Rule to Prevent Crash

Joshua Krause 

August 24th, 2015

After taking several major hits on the stock market last week, Wall Street had every reason to believe that Monday would be a bloodbath. They’re currently doing everything in their power to prevent the panic selling that was expected to occur as soon as the stock market reopened.

The first thing that the New York Stock Exchange did today, was invoke the obscure “rule 48″ which is designed to stabilize volatile markets before they open. Rule 48 essentially suspends “the requirement that stock prices be announced at the market open.” The rule has existed since 2007, and has only been applied on two separate occasions. So far, this measure has only been moderately successful. Nasdaq immediately fell by 378 points on the opening bell, while the Dow fell by 1000 points. Both markets have recovered but are still fluctuating heavily.

But that’s not the only stop-gap measure being implemented. If the S&P 500 falls by 7% before 3:25 PM Eastern Time, then thousands of companies on the NY Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will stop trading for 15 minutes. If the S&P 500 plunges by 20% at any point, the entire stock market will be shut down for the rest of the day. Much like a casino, when the house is losing, all bets are off.


Gerald Celente: Global Crash Will Force More Money Printing

August 24th, 2015

Greg Hunter: Top trends researcher Gerald Celente has recently predicted a market crash between now and the end of the year.

It looks like that prediction is unfolding now, and Celente contends, “It’s very simple. You have a global slowdown, and this is after central banks have pumped in trillions of dollars, yen, yuan, euros and you name it to propping it up.”

“We are in unprecedented territory. This has never happened before in the history of the world. Even the Wall Street Journal came out last week with a front page story and said the Fed used up all its ammunition.”

“They have nothing left to do because they have record low interest rates, but I disagree with them.”

“I believe they will come out with another round of quantitative easing (QE or money printing). They will do anything they can. It looks pretty sure they are not going to raise interest rates in September.”

“What is going to create jobs? The jobs they are creating stink. Here’s a number for you. Medium household income is 6% below where it was in 1990.”

“Look at the new home buyers. In good times, first time buyers are usually around 40%. It is down to 28%. Look at the amount of people who own homes.”

“It’s back to 1960 levels. Look at the labor force participation rate. It is back to late 1970’s levels. There is no recovery. It’s been a cover-up.”

Celente sees stocks and bonds taking a big hit, while gold prices spike.

Celente explains, “By the end of the year, the equity markets will be down by more than 20%. Look at the NASDAQ. It’s below 5,000. The last time the NASDAQ was at 5,000 was March of 2000.”

“That was 15 years ago. I am bullish on gold. I believe when gold prices go up, they are going to spike up. We believe, and we are on record, that the bottom in gold is between $1,000 per ounce to $1,150 per ounce. ”

“That was the downside risk because it doesn’t pay to pull it out of the ground at any level lower than that. It’s not like oil where you have to keep pumping just to keep things going. Now, we believe that when gold prices go up, they are going to skyrocket up.”

“We are looking for gold to beat its 2011 level when it was $1,927 per ounce. We believe it is going to go over $2,000 per ounce. We are not as bullish on silver because silver is used for production, and we don’t see production increasing.”

“Silver is a manufacturing metal, as well. However, having said that, it will not go down along with other raw materials. It will probably rise, but not at the pace we see gold rising. Gold has been looked upon as when all else fails, there is gold.”

“People will be looking for a safe haven commodity when this all begins to collapse. You are going to see riots in Brazil and more riots in Venezuela. I just got back from Italy. There are migrants everywhere. You got a war in Libya.”

“You got a war in Syria. You got a war in Iraq. You got a war in Yemen. You got a war in Afghanistan. You have destabilization from Mali to the Congo, central Africa to Sudan to Somalia. These people are flooding out into Europe.”

“There is no way of stopping this wave because besides the wars, you have crashing commodity prices. Commodities were holding these countries together as they were exporting it to China when China was manufacturing.”

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Americans awarded France’s highest honor after stopping European train attack


Men who disarmed gunman get France's highest honor

Play Video 1:48

French President François Hollande awarded France's highest honor, the Legion d'honneur, to three Americans and a British man who helped disarm a machine gun-toting suspected Islamist militant on a train bound for Paris. (Reuters)

By Michael Birnbaum August 24 at 6:15 AM

BRUSSELS — One of the Americans who prevented a bloodbath on a high-speed European train serves in the Air Force. Another is in the Oregon National Guard. On Monday, the enlisted men became knights of the Legion of Honor — along with two others who took part in the rescue, as French President François Hollande awarded them France’s highest decoration.

In a solemn ceremony held in France’s glittering Elysée Palace, the seat of the presidency, Hollande said the four men had averted a catastrophe when they tackled and trussed a heavily armed man who had opened fire on the train.

The men have resisted being labeled as heroes, saying that they gave little thought to their actions until after the heat of the moment. At the ceremony, the trio of Americans, friends since childhood, dressed modestly in polo shirts and khakis. But Hollande said their coolness under fire was a lesson to all of France — and the world.

“You have shown that in the face of terror, you can resist,” Hollande said before he pinned the ribbons on the men’s chests. “So you have given us a lesson of courage, of determination and therefore of hope.”

“There were over 500 passengers on that train. Ayoub el-Khazzani possessed over 300 bullets. And we realize now how close we were to a tragedy and a massacre,” Hollande said, formally identifying the suspect in the shooting for the first time, a Moroccan man just short of his 26th birthday.

Gunman taken down by Americans aboard a French train 

A gunman opened fire on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday, wounding two people before being subdued by three American passengers.

The men who were awarded the medals were Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, of California; Specialist Alek Skarlatos, just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan; their childhood friend Anthony Sadler, and British businessman Chris Norman. Hollande said he also intended to award the honor to Mark Moogalian, a dual French-American citizen who also took part in the rescue and was severely wounded, and a French citizen who was the first to try to disarm the shooter and has asked to remain anonymous.

Hollande pinned the red ribbons and five-pointed medal on each man’s chest, then kissed each on one cheek, then the other. The two servicemen plan to proceed with their families to Germany for further medical treatment, while Sadler plans to return home to California to start his senior year of college, they said Sunday.

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