Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Jesuit Alumni in Congress

More than ten percent of 110th U.S. Congress are Jesuit College and University alumni/aeThe Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) reports that among the 535 Members of the 110th U.S. Congress, 53 of them, or more than 10 percent, are alumni/ae of Jesuit colleges and universities. This is an increase of close to 15 percent compared to the 109th Congress when there was a total of 47 Jesuit alumni/ae in the House and Senate. There are nine Jesuit alumni in the Senate and 44 in the House of Representatives. Among the top leadership, both the Majority and Minority Leaders in the House of Representatives, Congressmen Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and John Boehner (R-OH) respectively, the Senate Majority Whip, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), and the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, are all Jesuit alumni. Of these 53 alumni/ae, 32 received graduate or professional degrees from Jesuit universities. There are 14 Jesuit institutions represented by alumni/ae in the U.S. Congress, and Georgetown University has the most alumni/ae with a total of 21.
"This number (of our alumni/ae in Congress) is an important reminder that a Jesuit education is meant to lead to lives of leadership and service," said AJCU President Fr. Charles Currie, S.J. "We are proud that that goal is realized at the highest levels of public service, as well as in countless other ways across the country and around the world. It is a privilege to work with these women and men, and with our other friends in Congress, in addressing the issues facing our nation. We appreciate the challenges they face as public servants and the many ways they reflect the competence, compassion and commitment we pursue on our campuses."
The following is the full list of the Jesuit college and university alumni/ae in Congress:


Senator Jim Bunning
(R-KY), Elected 1998
B.S. Xavier University (1953)
Senator Robert P. Casey Jr.
(D-PA), Elected 2006
B.A., Holy Cross College (1982)
Senator Richard J. Durbin
(D-IL), Elected 1996
B.S.F.S. Georgetown University (1966) J.D. Georgetown University (1969)
Senator John F. Kerry
(D-MA), Elected 1984
J.D. Boston College (1976)
Senator Patrick J. Leahy
(D-VT), Elected 1974
J.D. Georgetown University (1964)
Senator Robert Menendez
(D-NJ), Appointed & Elected 2006
B.A. Saint Peter's College (1976)
Senator Barbara A. Mikulski
(D-MD), Elected 1986
B.A. Loyola College in Maryland (1958)
Senator Lisa Murkowski
(R-AK), Elected 2004
B.A. Georgetown University (1980)
Senator Jim Webb
(D-VA), Elected 2006
J.D. Georgetown University (1975)


Representative Timothy H. Bishop
(D-NY), Elected 2002
B.A. College of the Holy Cross (1972)
Representative John A. Boehner
(R-OH), Elected 1990
B.S. Xavier University (1977)
Representative Vern Buchanan
(R-FL), Elected 2006
MBA, University of Detroit Mercy (1986)
Representative Michael Capuano
(D-MA), Elected 1998
J.D. Boston College (1977)
Representative Michael N. Castle
(R-DE), Elected 1992
L.L.B. Georgetown University (1964)
Representative Barbara Cubin
(R-WY), Elected 1994
B.S. Creighton University (1969)
Representative Henry Cuellar
(D-TX) Elected 2004
B.S. Georgetown (1978)
Representative William D. Delahunt
(D-MA), Elected 1996
J.D. Boston College (1967)
Representative John D. Dingell
(D-MI), Elected 1955
B.A. Georgetown University (1949)
J.D. Georgetown University (1952)
Representative Michael Ferguson
(R-NJ), Elected 2000
M.P.P. Georgetown University (1995)
Representative Jeff Fortenberry
(R-NE) Elected (2004)
M.A. Georgetown University (1986)
Representative Luis G. Fortuno
(R-PR) Elected (2004)
B.S. Georgetown University (1982)
Representative Vito Fossella
(R-NY), Elected 1996
J.D. Fordham University (1993)
Representative Wayne T. Gilchrest
(R-MD), Elected 1990
Attended, Loyola College Maryland (1990)
Representative John J. Hall
(D-NY), Elected 2006
Attended, Loyola College Maryland (1965-66)
Representative Stephanie Herseth
(D-SD), Elected 2004
B.A. Georgetown University (1993)
M.A. Georgetown University (1996)
J.D. Georgetown University (1996)
Representative Mazie K.Hirono
(D-HI), Elected 2006
J.D. Georgetown University (1978)
Representative Paul W. Hodes
(D-NH), Elected 2006
J.D. Boston College (1978)
Representative Steny H. Hoyer
(D-MD), Elected 1981
J.D. Georgetown University (1966)
Representative William J. Jefferson
(D-LA), Elected 1990
L.L.M. Georgetown University (1996)
He received his L.L.M. while serving as a Member of Congress
Representative Mark Steven Kirk
(R-IL), Elected 2000
J.D. Georgetown University (1992)
Representative Frank A. LoBiondo
(R-NJ), Elected 1994
B.S. St. Joseph's University (1968)
Representative Zoe Lofgren
(D-CA), Elected 1994
J.D. University of Santa Clara (1975)
Representative Daniel E. Lungren
(R-CA), Elected 2004
J.D. Georgetown Law School (1971)
Representative Donald Manzullo
(R-IL), Elected 1992
J.D. Marquette University (1970)
Representative Edward J. Markey
(D-MA), Elected 1976
B.A. Boston College (1968)
J.D. Boston College (1972)
Representative Thaddeus McCotter
(R-MI), Elected 2002
B.A. University of Detroit Mercy (1987)
J.D. University of Detroit Mercy (1991)
Representative Michael R. McNulty
(D-NY), Elected 1988
B.A. College of the Holy Cross (1969)
Representative Gwen Moore
(D-WI) Elected (2004)
B.A. Marquette University (1978)
Representative James P. Moran
(D-VA), Elected 1990
B.A. College of the Holy Cross (1967)
Representative Timothy F. Murphy
(R-PA), Elected 2002
B.A. Wheeling Jesuit College (1974)
Representative Jerrold Nadler
(D-NY), Elected 1992
J.D. Fordham University (1978)
Representative William J. Pascrell Jr.
(D-NJ), Elected 1996
B.A. Fordham University (1959)
M.A. Fordham University (1961)
Representative Robert C. Scott
(D-VA), Elected 1992
J.D. Boston College (1973)
Representative Albio Sires
(D-NJ), Elected 2006
B.A. Saint Peter's College (1974)
Representative Adam Smith
(D-WA), Elected 1996
B.A. Fordham University (1987)
Representative Lee Terry
(R-NE), Elected 1998
J.D. Creighton University (1987)
Representative Chris Van Hollen Jr.
(D-MD), Elected 2002
J.D. Georgetown University (1990)
Representative Peter J. Visclosky
(D-IN), Elected 1984
L.L.M. Georgetown University (1982)
Representative Peter Welch
(D-VT), Elected 2006
A.B. College of Holy Cross (1969)
Representative Frank Wolf
(R-VA), Elected 1980
J.D. Georgetown University (1965)
Representative Lynn Woolsey
(D-CA), Elected 1992
B.S. University of San Francisco (1980)
Representative Albert R. Wynn
(D-MD), Elected 1992
J.D. Georgetown University (1977)
Representative John Yarmuth
(D-KY), Elected 2006
Attended, Georgetown Law School (1971-72)

Bold names are new Members of Congress


From The Times
February 19, 2007

Churches back plan to unite under Pope

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope are to be published this year, The Times has learnt.
The proposals have been agreed by senior bishops of both churches.
In a 42-page statement prepared by an international commission of both churches, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are urged to explore how they might reunite under the Pope.
The statement, leaked to The Times, is being considered by the Vatican, where Catholic bishops are preparing a formal response.

Debate Should the Anglican and Catholic Churches unite?

It comes as the archbishops who lead the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in an attempt to avoid schism over gay ordination and other liberal doctrines that have taken hold in parts of the Western Church.
The 36 primates at the gathering will be aware that the Pope, while still a cardinal, sent a message of support to the orthodox wing of the Episcopal Church of the US as it struggled to cope with the fallout after the ordination of the gay bishop Gene Robinson.
Were this week’s discussions to lead to a split between liberals and conservatives, many of the former objections in Rome to a reunion with Anglican conservatives would disappear. Many of those Anglicans who object most strongly to gay ordination also oppose the ordination of women priests.
Rome has already shown itself willing to be flexible on the subject of celibacywhen it received dozens of married priests from the Church of England into the Catholic priesthood after they left over the issue of women’s ordination.
There are about 78 million Anglicans, compared with a billion Roman Catholics, worldwide. In England and Wales, the Catholic Church is set to overtake Anglicanism as the predominant Christian denomination for the first time since the Reformation, thanks to immigration from Catholic countries.
As the Anglicans’ squabbles over the fundamentals of Christian doctrine continue — with seven of the conservative primates twice refusing to share Communion with the other Anglican leaders at their meeting in Tanzania — the Church’s credibility is being increasingly undermined in a world that is looking for strong witness from its international religious leaders.
The Anglicans will attempt to resolve their differences today by publishing a new Anglican Covenant, an attempt to provide a doctrinal statement under which they can unite.
But many fear that the divisions have gone too far to be bridged and that, if they cannot even share Communion with each other, there is little hope that they will agree on a statement of common doctrine.
The latest Anglican-Catholic report could hardly come at a more sensitive time. It has been drawn up by the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission, which is chaired by the Right Rev David Beetge, an Anglican bishop from South Africa, and the Most Rev John Bathersby, the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia.
The commission was set up in 2000 by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, then head of the Vatican’s Council for Christian Unity. Its aim was to find a way of moving towards unity through “common life and mission”.
The document leaked to The Times is the commission’s first statement, Growing Together in Unity and Mission. The report acknowledges the “imperfect communion” between the two churches but says that there is enough common ground to make its “call for action” about the Pope and other issues.
In one significant passage the report notes: “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] as universal primate is in accordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth.” Anglicans rejected the Bishop of Rome as universal primate in the 16th century. Today, however, some Anglicans are beginning to see the potential value of a ministry of universal primacy, which would be exercised by the Bishop of Rome, as a sign and focus of unity within a reunited Church.
In another paragraph the report goes even further: “We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore together how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome might be offered and received in order to assist our Communions to grow towards full, ecclesial communion.”
Other recommendations include inviting lay and ordained members of both denominations to attend each other’s synodical and collegial gatherings and conferences. Anglican bishops could be invited to accompany Catholic ones on visits to Rome.
The report adds that special “protocols” should also be drawn up to handle the movement of clergy from one Church to the other. Other proposals include common teaching resources for children in Sunday schools and attendance at each other’s services, pilgrimages and processions.
Anglicans are also urged to begin praying for the Pope during the intercessionary prayers in church services, and Catholics are asked also to pray publicly for the Archbishop of Canterbury.
In today’s Anglican Church, it is unlikely that a majority of parishioners would wish to heal the centuries-old rift and return to Rome.
However, the stance of the Archbishop of Canterbury over the present dispute dividing his Church gives an indication of how priorities could be changing in light of the gospel imperative towards church unity.
Dr Rowan Williams, who as Primate of the Church of England is its “focus for unity”, has in the past supported a liberal interpretation of Scripture on the gay issue. But he has made it clear that church unity must come before provincial autonomy. A logical extension of that, once this crisis is overcome either by agreement or schism, would be to seek reunion with the Church of England's own mother Church.


'This goes no further...'

By Brian Wheeler
BBC News Online Magazine
Following revelations about bugging at the United Nations, is there any way of ensuring that your private conversations stay that way?
News that Kofi Annan and other senior UN figures may have been routinely bugged by US or British security services has caused a huge political row around the world. But it will also have caused alarm among other people in the public eye who deal with sensitive information - or anyone, indeed, who values their privacy.
If the secretary general of the United Nations cannot prevent his private conversations from being listened to by all and sundry, who can?
It seems if someone wants to listen to what you are saying badly enough, there is very little you can do to stop it.
"Technological advances, particularly in the fields of power supply and miniaturisation, mean that its now possible to bug almost anywhere and anything," says Charles Shoebridge, a former counter-terrorism intelligence officer.
"Similar advances have enormously improved anti-bugging capabilities too, and an enormous effort has gone into making communications secure - particularly those of governments and even large commercial organisations.
"However, if security is absolutely critical, it will always pay to assume that a conversation is at least capable of being monitored."
Mobile phones
According to security experts, the most common listening device remains the electronic bug.
But government agencies such as the CIA and MI5 have far more advanced systems at their disposal.
Powerful uni-directional microphones can pick up conversations through open windows.
If the window is closed, radio waves or a laser beam can be bounced off the glass. The vibrations detected can be translated into speech.
But potentially the most powerful tool for the modern spy is the mobile phone.
Mobiles that double as listening devices can be bought over the internet.
But today's spies are also able to convert conventional phones into bugs without the owners' knowledge.
Experts believe this is the most likely method used to gather information in the UN building.
Mobiles communicate with their base station on a frequency separate from the one used for talking. If you have details of the frequencies and encryption codes being used you can listen in to what is being said in the immediate vicinity of any phone in the network.
According to some reports, intelligence services do not even need to obtain permission from the networks to get their hands on the codes.
So provided it is switched on, a mobile sitting on the desk of a politician or businessman can act as a powerful, undetectable bug.
The technology also exists to convert land line telephones into covert listening devices.
Encryption technology
According to one security expert, telephone systems are often fitted with "back doors" enabling them to be activated at a later date to pick up sounds even when the receiver is down.
Telephone conversations are also routinely intercepted by spy satellites. The potency of key word recognition technology is often overstated, but it is still used to scan millions of conversations a day for potentially juicy information.
Encryption devices, which clip on to the base of mobile phones and scramble the voice data being sent from your phone, are available.
But those listening in may well be able to crack the codes.
Intelligence is a constant battle between the bugger and the bugged, says Michael Marks, of surveillance-equipment supplier Spymaster, and "at the moment the buggers probably have the upper hand".
Mr Marks' advice to anyone who thinks they may be under surveillance is to ensure their office is swept regularly for bugs, buy an encrypted phone and make sure no one in a meeting has a mobile phone on them.
Inside the tent
Another way of making sure you are not being bugged is to use a Faraday cage or shielded tent, which prevents radio waves entering or leaving.
Mobile phone calls are impossible from inside the tent, but no-one will be able to listen to your conversations using bugs or radio wave listening devices.
It will also prevent anyone intercepting radio emissions from computers, preventing them from seeing what you have on screen.
"[A Faraday cage] will stop you doing anything other than having a conversation. It is a very crude, but very secure, way of talking," says Michael Marks.
A more sophisticated - and expensive - method is to build a "clean room", of the type used by the military, to shield radio waves and electromagnetic signals.
Simple steps
But the hardest part, according to counter-surveillance consultant William Parsons, is trying to convince diplomats and politicians that there is a threat.

Find out where the bugs have been planted
Clickable picture"They think you are trying to cramp their style. Talking is what they do.
"The fact that someone might be listening doesn't actually come into their mind. It is not something that they actually comprehend."
There are a few simple steps anyone can take, Mr Parsons says, to throw would-be eavesdroppers off the scent.
Don't hold sensitive conversations in your office or boardroom. Or rather, give anyone listening enough to think they are getting the full picture and then save anything truly top secret for conversations in unusual locations, such as the basement.
It is better to use the office phone for secret conversations, Mr Parsons says, rather than a home phone, because with 20 or more lines leaving most buildings they are much harder to bug.
The big outdoors
Switching on the shower while you talk in the bathroom - a favoured method of celluloid spies - is also unlikely to work, as constant volume noise can easily be filtered out.
In fact, the only way to truly guarantee privacy, according to most security experts, is to take a walk in the park.
Charles Shoebridge says: "It remains the case today as it has always been, that probably the best way to avoid being eavesdropped is to pass information during a long, unpredictable and unannounced walk in the big outdoors.
"Word of mouth is always preferable to any form of electronic communication - assuming the information's recipient is entirely trustworthy, of course."


Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The New American Slavery

By Jolly Roger4-2-5

The average American in the year 2005 lives a fragile existence, in a struggle for survival that can be ended by missing a few paychecks. The carrot at the end of the stick which was formerly known as "the American dream" has been replaced by a whip that can best be described as the American nightmare of homelessness, and slow, early death. You no longer work to achieve a better life for yourselves and your children. You work to keep a roof over your head, and you pray that you don't lose it. You became a slave when fear replaced incentive as your motivation to work, but I still suggest that you work while you can, because if the company you work for can't send your job overseas, the U.S. government is allowing 2000 people per day to enter this country illegally, because they're willing to do your job for less. It doesn't matter if you're a "white collar" or "blue collar" employee. If you're an American, you're too highly paid. There are billions of people who want your job, and your government is doing all they can to see that you lose it to them. You see, we're not really Americans anymore. Now we're just anonymous faces in the "global village," because our government has sold our nation to foreigners and international bankers, and the new bankruptcy law has doomed the American citizen to a life of debt slavery. They'll insist that illegal immigrants are only doing jobs that Americans refuse to do, and you'll probably believe it, because if you're watching the TV that shovels that crap, you probably still have your job. The illegal immigrants are doing jobs that Americans always did, and every unemployed American I talk to can't find a job anywhere. And just like the European immigrants that flooded this country before the economic depression of the 1930's, today's illegal immigrants also have no gripe with a government that has allowed them work for high wages in America, and send billions back to their homeland. Nor do they care very much about our constitution, bill of rights, or way of life. They're only here for what they can grab, and our government has welcomed them with open arms, because they're grabbing it from you. You're already working much longer, and much harder, to achieve a much lower standard of living than the previous generation, and 25 percent of working Americans no longer even get a vacation. The Social Security retirement age has been raised to match the life expectancy of American males, so apparently, you're also expected to work until you're dead. When you do finally get a vacation, they only trip you'll be taking will be in a pine box, and that's only if you're one of the lucky ones. Most of us will only get the state-issued canvas bag that gets tossed into the pit with all the others. If you don't mind the fact that you'll be working until you're dead, you might also want to consider the fact that you'll get nothing for your labor, because this nation's economy is about to crash like a freight train, and when it does, everything you've worked for will vanish. After the depression gets ugly, and your family has made the adjustment from three meals per day to three meals per week, the newspapers will blame your hunger on "the economy," as if it were some magical force that uncontrollably ruined a couple hundred million lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Politicians and international bankers can manipulate national economies at will, much in the way the media manipulates your mind, and a decision has been made to impoverish Americans, because global government requires that everyone in the world have an equally low standard of living. Simply put, we're being robbed of all we've worked for, because our government wants us to be poor, hungry, and docile, dependant upon them for our existence, and in fear of them for our lives. The government of the United States is intentionally destroying the economy of the United States, because the politicians and the international bankers they work for have decided that the American way of life, and catering to the demands of the American constitution, is simply too expensive. Regardless of how wealthy you think you are, you actually have no real money at all. The "federal reserve notes" that are in your wallet, and your bank account, aren't really money, but are actually only paper on a debt that can never be paid, not even by combining all the assets and labor of every American alive today. Any loan-shark with a third grade education will tell you "the paper's no good," and naturally, the foreign investors who allow us to float this debt, have come to the same conclusion. What is commonly known as the "U.S. dollar," represents a debt that is owed by the U.S. federal government, to the federal reserve bank. The federal reserve bank happens to be the privately owned entity that lent the money that's represented by the paper in your wallet. The federal reserve act signed away everything you own, and the fruit of your labor as collateral on this debt, and as foreign investors are becoming increasingly unwilling to invest the $2 billion per day needed to cover the interest, our creditors will want to collect it. About 90 percent of all Americans are mortgaged to the hilt, and would have little or no assets left if all debts and liabilities were to be paid.* Most Americans have taken advantage of low interest rates, and are now paying a mortgage on their homes. The booming real estate market has made every purchase profitable, because the price of a home always rises. The problem is that the price of a home today is incredibly over-inflated, and the real estate boom that's been keeping the American economy afloat, is about to bust. Interest rates are going to rise, and the price of your home is going to drop drastically, which will leave you stuck paying for a house that probably wouldn't pay the interest on your debt if you sold it. If you're lucky enough to remain employed, inflation will shred your paycheck until you can no longer make mortgage payments. This is when you need to remember that when a nation's economy collapses, the wealth of the nation doesn't disappear, it only changes hands. Millions of Americans are about to be tossed into the street, and because we're a kinder and gentler America, from the street they'll be tossed into shelters. Once in the shelter, they'll be wards of the social service system, which will make sure they all have food, and a bed to sleep in. In exchange for that food and shelter, the "welfare reform" act will put them to work at jobs where they will collect no additional salary. I guess the idea of "welfare reform" is a lot more acceptable to Americans than "forced labor" but regardless of what you call it, many Americans will soon experience slavery once again, and the slaves are not just sweeping public streets. Under the welfare reform act, many Americans are being put to work for private companies for no wages other than the cost of their food and shelter, both of which constitute the bare minimum requirements of survival. By causing the economy to collapse, and then "saving" the poor, our government can legally force millions of Americans into slavery. The new slavery will be blamed on "the economy," and it will employ a much larger percentage of the population than it did before the civil war. To understand how they're accomplishing this, we need to turn our thoughts back to our monetary system, because due to the fact that it is no longer based on the gold standard, our government is in control of the money supply, and that gives them the ability to cause rampant unemployment, which is exactly what they're doing. The framers of the U.S. constitution protected us from this brand of tyranny, but because Americans were foolish enough to ignore and/or trust their government, they will become slaves, but most of them will blame themselves for their plight. Article 1, Section 10, of the U.S. constitution clearly states that "no state shall... make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts." The constitution's prohibition of "fiat money" (what's in your wallet) guarantees that the wealth of the nation remains in the hands of the people, which leaves the government incapable of stealing the population's wealth, as they're doing today. You can collect all the dollars that you like. Our government decides what they're worth, and by keeping the presses working overtime, they're insuring that the dollar will soon be worthless. The U.S. department of labor has also changed the way it collects data regarding unemployment, which allows for the fraudulent unemployment figures that are printed in the newspapers, and allows working Americans to believe that things aren't really that bad. Their new "household survey" system avoids counting most of the poor by basing unemployment figures on telephone surveys. A real estimate, based on population and payroll taxes, reveals that about 25 percent of the American workforce is presently unemployed, and that will eventually force them into the social service slavery system. Unless your mortgage and debts are completely paid off, and you can still pay your property taxes, there's a good chance you'll soon be joining them. Welcome to the third world, and to an American world, where slavery is legal once again. What are you going to do when your government forces you into slavery? You can't avoid it, because if you're homeless, you'll be rounded up and brought to a "shelter", where you'll be fed, and probably medicated if you're not happy to be there. With so many people becoming homeless, it will be easy for them to find an apartment for you, and social services will pay your rent, and give you food stamps. Soon after that they will find you a job, but naturally, you won't be taking home a paycheck because you're in debt to the social service system. They'll tell you that you're working your way back to independence, but since your salary will never be more than your expenses, you'll work for free until you're dead. If you refuse to work, the government "assistance" will be cut off, you'll be back out on the street, and you'll probably do your next job with a shackle around your ankle. I'm not asking that you waste the time or paper required to write your congressman, because they don't care what you think anyway. What I am asking you to do is to remember something. When the economy does crash, and you're forced into the street. I want you to remember that this isn't your fault, and it's not the result of a "bad economy." Please remember that you're poor, hungry and homeless, because that's where our government wants you to be, and they intentionally destroyed the U.S. economy because they want you to suffer, and beg. And regardless of how bad things get, never sell your rifle*. -- Jolly Roger "Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens..... Lenin was certainly right." - John Maynard Keynes* *90 percent of all Americans are mortgaged to the hilt, and would have little or no assets left if all debts and liabilities were to be paid. --- Rep. Traficant to U.S. Congress. **John Maynard Keynes is the economist for whom our present monetary system is named. Unlike this nation's wealth, anything written by Jolly Roger is the property of the American people, and the author hereby grants permission to anyone who so desires to post, copy, forward or distribute this letter as they see fit, and in fact, the author encourages you to do so.

* P.S. I wouldn't worry about any rifles; Can you fight a swat team with a rifle? Jesus turned the other cheek, follow his example. That's my suggestion.

Monday, February 26, 2007




Pope Benedict XVI meets Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung during their private audience at the Vatican, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007. Benedict XVI met with Dung Thursday in the highest-level encounter between both sides, a move which could boost the Vatican's hopes of establishing diplomatic ties with the communist government after decades of tension. (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)

Pope Meets With Vietnam's Prime Minister

Pope Meets With Vietnam Prime Minister After Decades of Tension Between Vatican, Government

VATICAN CITY Jan 25, 2007 (AP)— Talks on Thursday between Pope Benedict XVI and Vietnam's prime minister marked an important step toward establishing diplomatic relations, the Vatican said after the highest-level meeting between the Holy See and the communist government following decades of tension.
Benedict met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for a half-hour in the pontiff's private library, the Vatican press office said.
"The Holy See has expressed its satisfaction with the visit, which marks a new, important step toward the normalization of bilateral relations" between the Vatican and Vietnam, a statement said.
The Vatican also praised "concrete progress" in recent years toward "opening new spaces of religious freedom for the Catholic church in Vietnam."
Earlier in the week, a Vietnamese cardinal said there were no obstacles to establishing formal relations that have been strained for decades.
Usually, at top-level audiences, the pontiff meets alone with his visiting guest. But joining the pope and Dung for their talks was Vietnam's official in charge of religious affairs, Ngo Yen Thi.
Vietnam has 6 million Catholics, Southeast Asia's second-largest Catholic population after the Philippines.
There have been decades of tensions between the Vietnamese government and the church, particularly over Hanoi's insistence on having the final say in most church appointments.
There has been speculation that official ties with the church could advance Catholic assistance in medical care and other social services for the Vietnamese people, and the Vatican statement appeared to indicate real prospects for that.
The Vatican said it hoped dialogue would "lead to a fruitful cooperation between church and state so that Catholics can … make a positive contribution to the common good of the country."
It cited the promotion of moral values, especially among the young, as well as help for the needy.
During Mass on Thursday at Hanoi's St. Joseph Cathedral where worshippers spilled out into a courtyard a loud round of applause erupted among the faithful when Archbishop Ngo Quang Kiet mentioned Dung's visit to the Vatican.

The Rev. Jean Le Trong Cung said Dung's visit underscored Vietnam's determination to be integrated into the world community.
"We have high hopes for this visit," the priest said. "We hope that it will strengthen the Catholic Church's role in Vietnam and allow us to contribute more to the development of education, health care and social welfare in Vietnam."
On Tuesday, the archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, Cardinal Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, said after holding talks with Vietnamese officials, including the president, that formal ties should follow soon.
Other positive signs for the church included the ordination in 2005 in Vietnam of dozens of priests in a ceremony led by a top Vatican cardinal.
Associated Press writer Ngo Yen Thi in Hanoi, Vietnam, contributed to this report.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



Cheney: 'All Options' Available for Iran

SYDNEY, Australia Feb 24, 2007 (AP)— Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday renewed Washington's warning to Iran that "all options" are on the table if the country continues to defy U.N.-led efforts to end Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
At a joint news conference with Prime Minister John Howard during a visit to Australia, Cheney also said Washington was "comfortable" with Britain's decision to withdraw troops from Iraq and that it was up to Australia to decide if it would do the same.
Cheney said the United States was "deeply concerned" about Iran's activities, including the "aggressive" sponsoring of terrorist group Hezbollah and inflammatory statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
He said top U.S. officials would meet soon with European allies to decide the next step toward planned tough sanctions against Iran if it continues enriching uranium.
"We worked with the European community and the United Nations to put together a set of policies to persuade the Iranians to give up their aspirations and resolve the matter peacefully, and that is still our preference," Cheney said.
"But I've also made the point, and the president has made the point, that all options are on the table," he said, leaving open the possibility of military action.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Thursday that Iran had not only ignored a U.N. Security Council ultimatum to freeze its enrichment program, but had expanded the program by setting up hundreds of centrifuges. Enriched uranium fuels nuclear reactors but, enriched further, is used in nuclear bombs.
The IAEA report came after the expiration Wednesday of a 60-day grace period for Iran to halt uranium enrichment.
Ahmadinejad said on Thursday it was of no importance if countries did not believe Iran's nuclear activities were peaceful, and said the country would resist "all bullies."
Howard said efforts to keep Iran in check would be hampered if the United States and its allies lose the Iraq war.
"I can't think of a country whose influence and potential clout would be more enhanced in that part of the world than Iran's could be if there were to be a coalition defeat in Iraq," Howard said.
On Iraq, Cheney sidestepped a question about whether the White House had asked the British government to redeploy troops into another part of Iraq rather than withdraw them.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has outlined a plan to withdraw about 1,600 troops from southern Iraq in the coming months, and to reduce Britain's 7,100-strong contingent further by late summer.
"They are going to continue to have a major presence there. They are also … beefing up their operations in Afghanistan," Cheney said. "So we are very comfortable with that decision."
Britain said Friday it will increase its troop strength in Afghanistan to bolster NATO forces battling Taliban militants, with media reports saying 1,000 soldiers will join the more than 5,000 troops already there.
Cheney declined to say if he had asked Howard during talks held Saturday to add to the 1,400 troops Australian has in and around Iraq.
"It's not for us to stress to our allies what their appropriate response might be," Cheney said, adding there would be no damage to the U.S.-Australian military alliance if Australia did withdraw its troops.
Cheney due to leave Australia on Sunday promised that an Australian who has been detained without trial at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than five years was "near the head of the queue" of possible military trials.
Howard said he had expressed Australia's concern at the length of time it was taking to bring David Hicks, a former kangaroo skinner who was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 on the Taliban side, to trial.
"I can assure you we will be doing everything we can to deal with these matters in as expeditious manner as possible," Cheney said.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


U.S. sent pallets of cash to Baghdad

By Jeremy Pelofsky
Feb 6, 2007 — WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve sent record payouts of more than $4 billion in cash to Baghdad on giant pallets aboard military planes shortly before the United States gave control back to Iraqis, lawmakers said on Tuesday.
The money, which had been held by the United States, came from Iraqi oil exports, surplus dollars from the U.N.-run oil-for-food program and frozen assets belonging to the ousted Saddam Hussein regime.
Bills weighing a total of 363 tons were loaded onto military aircraft in the largest cash shipments ever made by the Federal Reserve, said Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what our government did," the California Democrat said during a hearing reviewing possible waste, fraud and abuse of funds in Iraq.
On December 12, 2003, $1.5 billion was shipped to Iraq, initially "the largest pay out of U.S. currency in Fed history," according to an e-mail cited by committee members.
It was followed by more than $2.4 billion on June 22, 2004, and $1.6 billion three days later. The CPA turned over sovereignty on June 28.
Paul Bremer, who as the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority ran Iraq after initial combat operations ended, said the enormous shipments were done at the request of the Iraqi minister of finance.
"He said, 'I am concerned that I will not have the money to support the Iraqi government expenses for the first couple of months after we are sovereign. We won't have the mechanisms in place, I won't know how to get the money here,"' Bremer said.
"So these shipments were made at the explicit request of the Iraqi minister of finance to forward fund government expenses, a perfectly, seems to me, legitimate use of his money," Bremer told lawmakers.
Democrats led by Waxman also questioned whether the lack of oversight of $12 billion in Iraqi money that was disbursed by Bremer and the CPA somehow enabled insurgents to get their hands on the funds, possibly through falsifying names on the government payroll.
"I have no knowledge of monies being diverted. I would certainly be concerned if I thought they were," Bremer said. He pointed out that the problem of fake names on the payroll existed before the U.S.-led invasion.
The special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, said in a January 2005 report that $8.8 billion was unaccounted for after being given to the Iraqi ministries.
"We were in the middle of a war, working in very difficult conditions, and we had to move quickly to get this Iraqi money working for the Iraqi people," Bremer told lawmakers. He said there was no banking system and it would have been impossible to apply modern accounting standards in the midst of a war.
"I acknowledge that I made mistakes and that, with the benefit of hindsight, I would have made some decisions differently," Bremer said.
Republicans argued that Bremer and the CPA staff did the best they could under the circumstances and accused Democrats of trying to score political points over the increasingly unpopular Iraq war.
"We are in a war against terrorists, to have a blame meeting isn't, in my opinion, constructive," said Rep. Dan Burton, an Indiana Republican.
Copyright 2007 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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February 26, 2007

A Political War against the American People and its Institutions

by Rodrigue Tremblay []

Second sorrow: "A loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co-equal 'executive branch'of government into a military junta".Chalmers Johnson (Sorrows of Empire).
"Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny." Barry Goldwater, former Republican senator from Arizona.

"Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our (U.S.) Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us." Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th U.S. president.

“There are no hereditary kings in America.” Judge Anna Diggs Taylor.

The Iraq war is turning into a war against theAmerican people and its institutions. According to the latest poll, an overwhelming majority of Americans (63%) want U.S. troops to be out of Iraq by the end of next year. This is the clear message[]the American electorate is sending to President GeorgeW. Bush. On February 16 (2007), 56 percent of themembers of the U.S. House of Representativeessentially said the same thing when they adoptedResolution 63, by a vote of 246 against 182, in whichthey stated that "... Congress disapproves of thedecision of President George W. Bush announced onJanuary 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000additional United States combat troops to Iraq." And,to make it complete, 56 percent of U.S. Senatorssignified their opposition to the war on February 17(2007). These clear democratic signals of the people'swishes came after the November 7 (2006) election, inwhich pro-war Republican candidates took a thumping.They also came after a blue ribbon study group,[] theBaker-Hamilton Commission, unanimously concluded thatthe solution in Iraq is political and not military,and unanimously recommended that the U.S. terminateits open-ended presence in Iraq and begin itsdisengagement and “redeployment” from that country.You would think that politicians who respect democracyand the people's right to govern themselves would payattention and listen to what the sovereign electorateis saying. —But to no avail. The Bush-Cheney regime,initially placed into power by one Supreme judge[] in 2000, afterpresidential candidate Al Gore[] won thepopular vote, went the other way and ordered amilitary build-up in the Persian Gulf, and, againstthe advice of the generals on the ground, ordered amilitary 'surge' in Iraq.[]It is a strange spectacle in a democracy when theinfluence of a few people trumps the will of themajority. The Bush-Cheney regime seems to be inclinedto follow the narrow advice of powerful lobbies ratherthan listen to what the electorate and electedofficials are saying. In Washington D.C., under GeorgeW. Bush and Dick Cheney, the American EnterpriseInstitute (AEI)[ more clout than the U.S. Congress. On January 14(2007), U.S. President George W. Bush[]expressed his personal conception of democracy when hesaid: "... they [the Congress] could try to stop mefrom doing it. But I’ve made my decision. And we’regoing forward." —And two weeks later, on January 25(2007), oil-man Dick Cheney[]reinforced this cynical point of view by saying, aftera Senate Committee adopted a resolution in oppositionto Bush's plan for a military escalation in Iraq: "Itwon't stop us"..."We are moving forward." ... "We needto get the job done." And Cheney added defiantly it's"hogwash to say Bush's credibility is at stake inIraq." It does not matter that the Bush-Cheney team has madecolossal errors of judgment,[]they feel they have absolute powers in their hands andthey intend to use them for whatever project they havein mind, and damn the American public, damn theelected Congress, and damn world opinion. Indeed, thisregime has resurrected President Richard Nixon's oldand infamous philosophy of 'executive supremacy' andhas even gone further in adopting the anti-democratictheory of an "imperial presidency."[].According to this dangerous theory, there are nolimits to presidential wartime powers, even when nosuch war has been declared by Congress. In suchcircumstances of his own choosing, a president couldthen stop recognizing the authority of the electedCongress and refuse to accept the courts as finalarbiters of constitutional rights, each time heconsiders this role to be at odds with his vision ofnational security. Of course, such an outright grasp for power smacksdictatorship and represents a direct attack on theU.S. Constitution, with its Checks and Balances andthe Rule of Law at its center, provisions which havebeen precisely designed to avoid the pitfalls ofdictatorship. Maybe people should have paid moreattention when George W. Bush joked aloud that "Ifthis were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a loteasier, just so long as I'm the dictator." (December18, 2000), or when he proclaimed that "I'm thedecider, and I decide what's best.“ (April 14, 2006)As President and Father of the U.S. Constitution JamesMadison (1751-1836) put it: "There are more instancesof the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradualand silent encroachments of those in power than byviolent and sudden usurpations." In fact, mostconstitutional experts believe that Bush's claim foran imperial presidency is prima facie unconstitutionaland is not supported by anything in the U.S.Constitution.[]. Inparticular, it has been pointed out that theBush-Cheney administration cannot invoke the October 22002 Iraq resolution[]as a blank check to claim absolute powers, becausethis resolution explicitly invoked the War PowersResolution (1976 War Powers Act),[]Section 2(b), which requires the President of theUnited States to gain congressional approval beforeany troop deployment abroad.Therefore, it remains to be seen if the Bush-Cheneyregime can go on challenging the American people,Congress and the courts for two more years, not evenconsidering international law and world publicopinion._______________________________________Rodrigue Tremblay[] isprofessor emeritus of economics at the University ofMontreal and can be reached He is the author of thebook 'The New AmericanEmpire'.[]Visit his blog siteat Author's Website: Check Dr. Tremblay's coming book 'The Code for GlobalEthics' at: http://www.moralitywithoutreligion.com_____________________________________Posted, February 26, 2007, at 5:30 amEmail to a friend: contact, comments or commercial reproductionrequests (in English or in French) to:bigpictureworld@yahoo.comN.B.: Messages may be published in our weblog, unlessyou request otherwise.Please register to receive free emails on new postingsof articles.Send an email with the word "subscribe"© 2007- Big Picture World Syndicate, Inc


Saturday, February 24, 2007


2 Timothy 4

1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
6For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
9Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:
10For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
11Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
12And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.
13The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
14Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
15Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.
16At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
17Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
18And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
19Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.
20Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.
21Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.
22The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.


Power Grab of the Pope - New Roman Emperor?

Sunday, 03 September 2006

Render unto the Pope...
Adrian Hilton says that the EU is a means of undoing the Reformation and extending Vatican sovereignty over Britain.
"Render Unto The Pope..." - The Spectator - UK
This realm of England is an Empire ...governed by one Supreme Head and King.' So proclaimed Thomas Cromwell in his most critical piece of legislation, the Act in Restraint of Appeals in 1533. By calling England an empire, he designated it a sovereign state, with a king who owed no submission to any other human ruler and who was invested with plenary power to give his people justice in all causes. Interestingly, the Act's critics in Parliament were not so much concerned by its doctrinal corollaries, as by the fear that the Pope might retaliate by organising a European trade embargo against England. The Pope, of course, laid claim to the ultimate divine right. He was, after all, the Vice-Christ, appointed to establish one unified empire under one emperor, belonging to one Church under one God.England finally rid itself of papal interference in the Bill of Rights of 1689, which declared that 'no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm.' It may have taken 440 years from Cromwell's foundational declaration, but entry in 1973 to the 'European Economic Community' brought England back into the Catholic fold, and exactly 460 years after the English monarch was declared sovereign, the present Queen was reduced to vassal status under the terms of the Maastricht Treaty, which rendered her a European citizen and thereby subject to 'foreign princes and potentates'.The issue of European religious union is one that has been concealed even deeper than the plans for political union, but the ratchet towards a Catholic Europe is just as real. The Pope's recent demand that 'God' be featured in the emerging European constitution has been echoed by many leading Catholic politicians and bishops. While on the surface such a reference may offend only Europe's atheist and humanist contingent, it must be observed that when the Vatican refers to God, she sees herself as God's infallible vice-regent upon earth, the leading organ of divine expression; indeed, according to its publication Dominus Iesus (5 September 2000), as the only mediator in the salvation of God's elect, insisting that all other Churches, including the Church of England, 'are not Churches in the proper sense'.The Roman Church is founded on a political dogma claiming that the Pope is 'supreme ruler of the world'; superior to all kings, prime ministers and presidents. These spiritual and temporal claims remain very much fundamental dogmas of Catholic teaching, permitting the Pope, through Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to issue clear directives to Catholic politicians on how they should vote. Since their obedience is considered a 'moral duty', devolve everything to the overwhelmingly Catholic European Council of Ministers, Commission and Parliament, and the ultimate Caesar is the Pope.Such would be the fulfilment of a Sunday Telegraph article (21 July 1991) which stated: 'Karol Wojtyla is calmly preparing to assume the mantle which he solemnly believes to be his Divine Right - that of new Holy Roman Emperor, reigning from the Urals to the Atlantic.' The Catholic Church is achieving this through its political wings - the Christian Democrat and Christian Socialist parties - with the EU's 'Founding Fathers' now reaping the ultimate reward: sainthood. The Pope has beatified Alcide De Gasperi, Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer for founding the Union 'on Roman Catholic principles'. A supporter of their canonisation said it shows that Europe 'was built upon a rock', adding, 'I think that the European Union is a design not only of human beings but of God.' The very act of bestowing sainthoods on politicians is purposely designed to inculcate that European unification is God's will, and that those who lead it govern by divine right.During the 1975 referendum campaign, Shirley Williams unambiguously associated the vision of Europe with Rome's goal of assuming political and religious authority over the lives of all Europeans. She observed, 'We will be joined to Europe, in which the Catholic religion will be the dominant faith and in which the application of the Catholic Social Doctrine will be a major factor in everyday political and economic life.' While the EU has adopted many symbols of nationhood (a passport, flag, anthem and currency) and is now moving towards the attributes of government (a president, foreign secretary, global ambassadors at the UN and G8), it follows that, since Europe has no unified demos, a 'deeper' cohesive force is necessary to hold the whole project together. When Cardinal Maria Martini of Milan addressed the European Parliament in 1997 in a symposium on Remembering the Origins of the Process of Integration, he identified this 'deeper' something - effectively a common state religion - reminding the Parliament that its true foundation was a religious one. He outlined the importance of a single faith (Catholicism), and emphasised that religions must not support nationalisms (i.e., the Church of England must not defend the English constitution), and Europe must recognise the 'primacy of the divine' (i.e., the primacy of the Pope). His address included demands for a new welfare state, in accordance with Roman Catholic social doctrine, and his contention that European integration was never about economic and monetary issues alone. He said, 'The Europe we must build is a Europe of the spirit.'When divinity rules, it is, of course, infallible. According to canon law, the Pope claims immunity from all moral and civil authority: 'The First See is judged by no one.' This is precisely the spirit in which the EU governs, with the Court of Justice deeming that political criticism of its leaders is akin to the most extreme forms of blasphemy. It is therefore possible to suppress it without violating freedom of speech, affording the EU an undefined and seemingly unlimited power to restrict political criticism. Like the Papacy, the Court is supreme, accountable to no one, and the sole arbiter of citizens' 'rights'. Lord Shore, in his book Separate Ways, observed that the Commission acts precisely 'like a priestly caste - similar to what it must have been in pre-Reformation days, when the Bible was in Latin, not English; the Pope, his cardinals and bishops decided the content of canon law'.Accordingly, any decision of the people which does not accord with the divine will has to be corrected. The very notion of 'destiny' is simply a euphemism for government by divine right, and this is the teleological explanation for three referendums in Denmark on the Treaty of Maastricht, two referendums in Ireland on the Treaty of Nice, and the suspension of democracy altogether in Belgium and Italy in order to ratify treaties or force through budgets. In each referendum, there is a 'wrong' and a 'right' outcome. It also accords with the EU's sanctioning and funding of 'acceptable' political parties, i.e., those who ultimately accord with its own aims. When the United Kingdom votes no to the euro, the wrath of God will be poured out again and again until the people repent and accept their predestined fate.Such a destiny can be foisted upon recalcitrant nations only when they are weakened. The Roman principle of divide and rule is resurrected in the 'Europe of Regions' strategy, which encourages each 'region' of Europe to look directly to Brussels for policy and funding, bypassing national parliaments in the process. This is a recreation of a mediaeval Europe of small, ineffectual states which can be easily dominated. The ecumenically minded Church of England has been complicit in the fracturing of England, with its bishops chairing regional conventions, but the Ecumenical Movement is in reality a parallel front to Rome's divide-and-rule strategy. When Cardinal Bea stated that 'no concessions in dogma can be made by the Church for the sake of Christian Unity', he was simply reiterating Rome's belief about itself. Any movement or concession is only ever on the part of the subsidiaries, since the centre is infallible.There are significant structural parallels between the Roman religious system and the political subsidiarity principle, which is itself a concept of papal origin. In the theory of ecclesial authority, an important part is played by the concept of the representation of One Christ, who combined in himself all the offices for the dispensation of salvation (prophet, priest and king). If the Church is ruled by God, then God must necessarily flow down from above, step by step, so at the apex of human order there must be a single channel, directed by God himself, and only at the lower levels could the streams of God's will begin to branch into subsidiary levels. Subsidiarity was designed not to permit the tributaries to 'claw back' what may best be performed at a lower level, but to permit the infallible centre to decide what freedoms to grant the subsidiary levels. Whether it be termed federalism or centralism, 'subsidiarity' denotes the downward devolvement of certain powers for the practical outworking of the Supreme Power's objectives.There is much debate about whether the EU is a democracy, a theocracy, an oligarchy or a collective dictatorship, but at root it is none of these. It is an amphictyony - a confederation of states established around a religious centre. A Catholic EU will inevitably result in the subjugation of Britain's Protestant ethos to Roman Catholic social, political and religious teachings. The Queen's coronation oath 'to govern the peoples of the United Kingdom according to their laws and customs' and 'to maintain the Protestant Reformed religion established by law' is negated by the process of deeper European integration. It is almost a symbolic confirmation of the Queen's vassal status that a 20p coin of Gibraltar bears an engraving of Mary crowned 'Our Lady of Europa' - the suzerain spiritual authority - while the Queen is stripped of her usual titles DG, REG., FD - Queen by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith.Under the constitution for Europe, the EU will have a Catholic Caesar presiding over the Protestant monarch. The former Belgian prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak once made a plea for 'a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people' and added, 'Be he God or the Devil we will receive him.' The allegiance of the Queen's subjects is usurped by the demand for allegiance to the suzerain power; a spiritually unifying allegiance which is primary, for without the unity of the demos, the European vision will die. Accession to the constitution for Europe would finally confirm that the United Kingdom yields to the suzerain European Ecumenical Community - an empire in which everything belongs to Caesar, and where Caesar is God. Rendering the euro unto him would be all that remains for this vassal state to perform.Adrian Hilton is a former parliamentary candidate and author of The Principality and Power of Europe. He teaches Philosophy and Religious Studies. He is an approved candidate for the Conservative party.
Pope on Good Terms with Leaders in Syria

Friday, February 23, 2007


Acts 10

1There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
7And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.
9On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
18And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
25And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
30And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
39And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
41Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
42And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter

Note: Below is only a portion of Steve Wohlberg's popular little sharing book, Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter. The entire booklet may be purchased on this web site (it's only 95 cents!), or by calling (866) 862-6334. All rights reserved. No part of this manuscript may be duplicated without the Author's permission.

An Amazing Fact: The Japanese word for it is, "tsunami." Phonetic breakdown: "Tsu," meaning, "harbor or port," and "nami," meaning, "wave." Often translated: "Ocean wave," but most commonly, tidal wave.

One of the largest tsunamis swept into history May 22, 1960. Off the coast of Chile - on the western edge of South America - a 9.5 earthquake jolted earth's crust far below unsuspecting fishing boats. That deadly seismic shift resulted in a massive tsunami, with waves rising up to 100 feet, which within 15 minutes caused devastation for miles along the South American coast. That wasn't all. A gigantic, swirling ripple began rolling its way across the entire Pacific Ocean. Fifteen hours later it smashed into Hawaii. Within 22 hours, the tsunami struck Japan. The whole Pacific basin was affected, resulting in over 2,000 fatalities, half a billion dollars in damage, and over two million homeless.

Like A Rolling Tidal WaveWithin the realm of books, another tsunami of gigantic proportions is now rolling like an unstoppable tidal wave across the entire surface of Planet Earth. The name of this incredibly powerful current is composed of two simple words, Harry Potter. The facts are unbelievable.
Written by Scottish author, Joanne Kathleen Rowling - now the richest woman in England (1) - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone first splashed into bookstores in September of 1998 with an impressive first print run of 50,000 copies. The next volume (number two in a seven-part series), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, broke out in June of '99 with an initial printing of 250,000. A mere three months later (September, 1999), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban swept across Earth's surface with 500,000 copies. Yet the tsunami had just begun.

The fourth title, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (July, 2000), became "the fastest selling book in history" (2). Its initial run was 3.8 million copies, with the majority entering eager hands in only one weekend, an all-time publishing record. Believe it or not, this was easily topped by the fifth installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (June, 2003), which the publisher cranked out to the profitable tune of 8.5 million books. At the date of this writing, over 200 million copies have been sold worldwide (with translations in over 55 languages), with two more books still looming on the horizon. How big will this tidal wave get? Only God knows.

PottermaniaHere's a few more fast facts:

· The legendary Warner Brothers, Inc. has committed to producing seven full-length Harry Potter movies to coincide with each book. Two have been released so far, grossing about $3.8 billion (including DVD and video sales), with the next film slated to air June 2004.

· sold over one million DVDs of the second movie in only one day. Before the release of the fifth book, it received advance payments for 1.3 million copies. The world's largest online
bookseller, Amazon has made more money from Potter products than from any other line, ever.

· In June of 1999, Sorcerer's Stone became #1 on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestsellers lists - at the same time. By September, book three was not only #1 on The Wall Street Journal list, but books one and two carried the #2 and #3 slots, a first in U.S. publishing history.

· Harry Potter books have not only been incorporated into the U.S. public school curriculum (with teachers manuals and discussion guides), but they have also spawned a vast, multi-million dollar line of Potter merchandise, which includes games, puzzles, posters, toys, clocks, shirts, hats, costumes, eye-glasses, towels, blankets, playing cards, markers, pens, lunch boxes, bookmarks, jelly beans, etc. etc. etc.

Get the picture? Potter Power - as a retail phenomenon and cultural force in the 21st century - is staggering.

What's it all about anyway? Why has Harry Potter become "as addicting as chocolate" (The Denver Post), especially to kids? Is it all harmless fun, or is there legitimate cause for concern among parents and educators? Beyond this, from a spiritual perspective, can humanity's all-time bestselling volume - not Harry Potter, but the Holy Bible - provide any penetrating insights into Pottermania? Let's find out.

The Harry Potter StoryIt all began on an apparently uneventful day as Rowling was traveling by train. Suddenly - like a revelation out of nowhere - she saw "very, very clearly" the crystal clear image of Harry as it popped into her mind. "The character of Harry just strolled into my head… I really did feel he was someone who walked up and introduced himself in my mind's eye" (3). She saw an odd-looking black-haired boy, on the homely side, with big spectacles. Somehow she understood he was a wizard who didn't know he was wizard. After pondering the idea, Rowling soon began writing what was destined to become "the most popular children's series ever written" (4).

Harry Potter books are a highly imaginative, can't-put-them-down sequence of fantasy novels chronicling the adventures of an orphan boy named Harry whose parents (a wizard and a witch) were brutally murdered by "the greatest Dark sorcerer of all time, Lord Voldemort" (5), when Harry was one year old. The King of the Dark Arts tried to kill baby Harry, too, but somehow the toddler survived - as a result of his mother's love - his only wound being a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. The death-curse Voldemort cast upon Harry unexplainably rebounded back on himself, stripping him of his powers, before he vanished into thin air.

Shortly after the horrible death of Harry's parents (who were much-loved in the wizard world), Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of the prestigious 1000-year-old Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, leaves baby Harry inside a basket on the doorstep of his non-magical relatives - the Dursley family - with a note in the child's hand explaining what happened. Reluctantly, the Dursleys raise the boy but withhold the contents of the letter.

On Harry's eleventh birthday (after an awful childhood during which he was forced to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs), the Dursley family is unexpectedly visited by Hagrid, the Keeper of the Keys at Hogwarts, who is sent by Headmaster Dumbledore to prepare the boy for his first semester at wizard school. To Harry's utter amazement, Hagrid tells him he is a wizard and is even famous throughout the world of witches and sorcerers because he is the only one to have ever survived an assault from "He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named." Happily packing his bags, Harry heads to Hogwarts.

Thus the plot is laid, and it intensifies with each sequential book and high-budget film. Around the globe, on every continent, millions of young readers can hardly wait for the next book as the captivating drama not only follows the development of Harry's magical abilities but moves steadily toward some sort of on-the-edge-of-your-seat, blood-curdling showdown between Harry Potter and Mr. Blackness himself who is determined to regain his power, finish Harry off, and rule over the entire wizard world.

Many Parents are ConcernedHarry Potter supporters praise the series for its ability to get a generation of twenty-first century, MTV kids to actually read books, and for its supposedly timeless insights into the classic struggle between "good and evil." The fact that witchcraft and wizardry form the framework for the entire drama is simply seen as a benign teaching device used to capture the active imaginations of children, leading to moral lessons. This is why the novels are being introduced into the U.S. public school system and why some teachers are even decorating their classrooms Hogwarts-style. Beyond this, the series is touted as good ol', harmless fun.

But is it all really harmless? If so, then why has the American Library Association ranked Harry Potter books as "the most challenged in the country," and why is it that "more parents have requested that Harry be banished from bookshelves" than any other book in U.S. history? (6). Here's the reason: Many parents are concerned about a Dark Side behind the craze. The purpose of this little book is not only to explore those concerns, but also to uncover a hidden menace behind the magic.

Problems and Muggle MessagesFirst of all, the very beginning of the Potter drama blurs the line between fantasy and reality when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone opens with the Dursley family living in England and refers to actual places like Kent, Yorkshire, the Isle of Wight and the famous Kings Cross subway station in London (from which Harry later catches a train to Hogwarts). The Dursleys are also portrayed as real people who fight traffic jams, watch the nightly news, own computers and VCRs and are incorrigibly prejudiced against anyone who practices magic.

In contrast to the stick-in-the-mud Dursley family is Albus Dumbledore, "the greatest wizard in the world" (7), whose "blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles" (8). Albus first appears out of nowhere - by using supernatural power - as a representative of a vast and adventuresome underworld filled with hidden knowledge. Harry's life also blazes with adventure and intrigue, except when he returns from a semester at Hogwarts to spend the summer with the unimaginative Dursleys.

Here's a key point: Throughout the Potter drama there is a definite contrast made between friendly, exciting and intelligent wizards who have access to supernatural power - like Dumbledore, Harry and his friends - and stuffy, boring, unintelligent "members of the non-magical community" (9) whom all wizards refer to as Muggles. The idea being communicated to kids is: Being a wizard like Albus Dumbledore or Harry Potter is fun, cool and exciting, while being part of "the dark Muggle world" (10) and seeing through "Muggle eyes" (11) is the pits.

Are children being confused by this mingling of facts with fiction? Yes they are. Rowling herself confessed to Newsweek:
I get letters from children addressed to Professor Dumbledore, and it's not a joke, begging to be let into Hogwarts, and some of them are really sad. Because they want it to be true so badly they've convinced themselves its true. (12)
How about Harry Potter's Wizards vs. Muggles message?

The ordinary person is typified as being bad because they have no (magic) powers, and heroes are the people who are using the occult. [This] is an inversion of morality… (13)

Thus children are not only being confused by Harry Potter, but they are also reading books that turn moral standards upside down by portraying witches as wise and all non-wizards (Muggles) as stupid.

Real WitchcraftNext point: Witchcraft. It's true, Rowling's series is filled with fantastic things kids know don't exist, like fire-breathing dragons, goblins, elves and even a sporting event called Quidditch where wizard teams compete on flying broomsticks. Yet beyond the obvious fantasy, Potter books are also jam-packed with mysterious information about witches, warlocks, sorcerers, crystal balls, spells, curses, potions, charms, numerology, divination, astrology, palmistry, out-of-body travel, and communication with spirits - all of which reflect actual beliefs and practices in the real world of both ancient and modern occultism.

In fact, much of the occult information inside the Potter novels is so real that during one call-in radio interview Rowling was asked by an eager inquirer if she herself was a member of the "Craft." When she said no, the caller replied, "…you've done your homework quite well." This man then expressed his deep love for Harry Potter because it not only portrayed his own beliefs positively but also made his daughter more comfortable with his involvement in real witchcraft (14).

This cannot be overemphasized: Many of the occult practices so tantalizingly depicted in Harry Potter are actually performed by living members of the Black Arts throughout the world. Potter books are also speckled with the names of real historical people, like Nicholas Flamel (15), a French alchemist who lived in the 1300s (16), and Adalbert Waffling, whose book, Magical Theory, is on Harry's list of required reading at Hogwarts (17). Adalbert Waffling was a real person convicted of practicing real sorcery in 744-745 A.D. and was imprisoned in the monastery of Fulda (18). Thus Rowling, a graduate of mythology studies from Exeter University in England, is not only an imaginative writer, but a thorough researcher, with "an extremely well-developed and sophisticated knowledge of the occult world, its legends, history and nuances" (19). In another interview on The Diane Rehm Show, Rowling admitted that fully one-third of her material is based on actual occultism (20).

The most popular form of real occultism now spreading rapidly around the globe is Wicca witchcraft, or simply, The Craft. Its adherents literally call themselves "wiccans," "witches," or "wizards." Countless books such as The Wicca Source Book: A Complete Guide for the Modern Witch by well-known witch Gerina Dunwich (1988), or Witchcraft: Exploring the World of Wicca by Craig Hawkins (1996), explain this mysterious, real-life, growing movement. In the U.S. alone, the sale of occult books (in bookstores or online) has become a multi-million dollar industry.

What makes real witchcraft so appealing today - especially to young people from broken homes who are searching for guidance - is its claim to offer a degree of personal power, strength-to-cope, adventure and inner fulfillment not accessible to the average Joe (the uninitiated). Wicca says all of these perks come through access - via occult techniques - to supernatural powers which trained witches can "tap into." Such power supposedly comes from three primary sources: From within oneself, from nature, or from contact with the spirits of dead people. That's what Harry Potter's life is all about. He's a young wizard-in-training studying occult techniques at Hogwarts who becomes increasingly powerful through learning the arts of the "Craft."

Fiction Affects Children I know, Harry Potter is mostly fiction, but does this mean it has no effect on its readers? The truth is: Fiction is a powerful communicator of ideas which can affect human behavior. One need only think of John Bunyan's immortal classic, The Pilgrim's Progress (1684). Bunyan's book is an imaginative allegory about a young man named Christian who, upon leaving the City of Destruction, embarks on a dangerous journey toward the Celestial City (representing Heaven). En route, he encounters friends - like Prudence, Piety, Hopeful and Faithful - and subtle foes - such as Worldly Wise Man, Ignorance, Flatterer, Vain Confidence, and Giant Despair who lives in Doubting Castle.

As Christian meanders along the Narrow Way, he eventually meets a hideous, scaly fiend named Apollyon (who represents the Devil), and after a fierce fight, finally pierce its heart with his Sword (representing the Bible) delivering the death blow. Of course, The Pilgrim's Progress is also entirely fiction, yet for over 300 years it has inspired young people to turn from sin and to live upright, righteous lives by the grace of God.

Potter Fans Turning to WitchcraftHow does Harry Potter affect young people? Obviously, its impact is varied, and it's true, there are positive lessons within its pages about the struggle between good and evil, yet Robert Night of The Family Research Council warns that in the midst of the fun and magic, Harry Potter also "gives children an appetite for the occult" (21).

Here's proof: The Pagan Federation, a well-organized promoter of Wicca in England (22), finally decided to appoint a special youth officer to deal with the "flood of inquiries following the success of the Harry Potter books" (23). A British publication, This is London, reported the phenomenon in an article titled, "Potter Fans Turning to Witchcraft," in which the Federation's official media officer, Andy Norfolk, explained:
In response to increased inquiries coming from youngsters we established a youth officer… It is quite probably linked to things like Harry Potter, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Every time an article on witchcraft or paganism appears, we have a huge surge in calls, mostly from young girls (24).
Kids themselves have testified how Harry Potter has drawn them toward witchcraft.
I thought the story really made you feel like you could be a witch or a wizard. - Lily, eleven years old (25)
I like what they learned there [at Hogwarts] and I want to be a witch. - Gioia Bishop, ten years old (26)
From Fantasy to Dangerous RealityHere's one way a young person can transition from Harry's world into real witchcraft: Joe Teenager loves Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, and all the other Potter books. As Joe is increasingly hooked by Rowling's intensely dramatic story-telling abilities, the magical world of Harry Potter seems awesome compared to his unhappy, boring life in a single-parent home with an alcoholic mother and mean brother. One dark night (after another bout with Math and English), Joe quietly sits down before his refurbished Sony computer, boots up, logs onto the Net through an inexpensive dial-up connection, and types in, In the blank field he pecks, HARRY POTTER, and clicks, "Find." As Yahoo's search engine instantaneously scours the vast world of internet cyber space, it quickly registers 4,240,000 (I just did it) Potter-related web sites to surf around in.

Of course, Joe finds Warner Brother's official site filled with fantastic images of Hogwarts and the magical world of the homely, dark-haired, orphaned wizard-boy with big spectacles (whom he can relate to). Yet in the midst of apparently harmless fun, Joe becomes curious to learn about real witches and the actual things his spell-casting hero is into. Returning to Yahoo, he types in, WITCH, which quickly registers 2,310,000 web site options. The very first site reads, "We are the right place for all your Witchcraft, Wiccan, Pagan, Occult, and ritual supplies … receive our free catalog." With a click he enters an online store with 4,000 fascinating occult products easily shipped UPS Ground Services and paid for by Visa, MasterCard or Pay Pal.

After a bit more surfing, Joe discovers other witchcraft books specifically targeting his age group, such as Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation by Silver Ravenwolf (Llewellyn Publications, 1998), or Spellbound: The Teenage Witch's Wiccan Handbook (Ulysses Press, 2002). One reviewer commented, "Spellbound is a great book for teens who are still unsure of the religious path they want to follow. It gives a good background of where Wicca originated, tells of ancient traditions and then gives suggestions on how teens can incorporate these ideas into their lives in the 21st century."

Hmm, Joe ponders, After thinking a few moments, he logs onto one of many online booksellers and orders a copy of Teen Witch which he can informatively read along side of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. After finishing Teen Witch, Joe surfs a bit more. Soon he discovers one of many online "Simple Steps to Becoming a Witch" study courses claiming to offer him supernatural power to cope with his unahppy life, deal with his mother's alcoholism, cast a spell on his nasty brother, and even entice a girl he may like. He chooses one, zips through it, and soon becomes a real initiate, thus joining thousands of other curious and unhappy teenagers intrigued by the idea of becoming powerful wizards-in-training, just like their hero, Harry Potter.

Richard Abanes, author of Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace behind the Magick, warns:
Ultimately, only a short distance needs to be covered in order to cross over from Harry's world into the realm of real occultism (27).
Linda Beam with Focus on the Family echoes a similar concern:
Any time the dark side of the supernatural world is presented as harmless or even imaginary, there is the danger that children will become curious and find out too late that witchcraft is neither harmless nor imaginary (28).
What Does the Bible Say?It's time to shift into the sobering reality of what the Bible literally says about "wizards," "witchcraft," and "sorcery." Unlike the Potter series, it describes no battle between good and bad wizards; between practitioners of "white magic" (Albus Dumbledore or Harry Potter) and those who have yielded to the "dark side" (Lord Voldemort). And all "non-magical folks" are certainly not classified as Muggles. Yet there is a real Dark Side created by a non-fictitious Sinister One - a being vastly more wicked than "He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named."

The exact word, "Wicca," is not in the Bible, but there are many references to "witches," "wizards," "witchcraft," and "sorcery." It seems the "Craft" has been around for centuries, and even in Bible days there were witches and wizards living near the Israelites. Are any of these occult practitioners presented as wise, insightful adventurers like Albus Dumbledore whose "blue eyes were light, bright, and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles"? Far from it!

Here's a brief survey of just a few Old Testament passages:
You shall not permit a sorcerer to live (Exodus 22:18).
Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 19:31, KJV).
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them (Leviticus 20:27, KJV).
Now for the New Testament:
Now the works of the flesh are evident … sorcery … those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
These are from "Revelation," God's last book at the end of the Bible:
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).
But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie (Revelation 22:15)
There's no getting around it, God's Word categorically condemns sorcery and witchcraft in the strongest language possible. In the Old Testament, all witches were to suffer the death penalty. The New Testament says they will "not inherit the kingdom of God." In Revelation, sorcery does not lead to an exciting life of fantastic adventures through accessing supernatural powers unavailable to Muggles, but to an infernal place in "the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." And again, the Bible doesn't differentiate between white and dark magic. In Scripture, even Hogwarts itself leads to hell.

Why are sorcery and witchcraft so bad anyway? Is God the ultimate Muggle-in-the-Sky who enjoys preventing us from learning the secrets of the universe and from having fun? Not at all! Rather, He is the Supreme Lover of our souls who sees hidden dangers beneath the magic. The Bible condemns sorcery because God wants to protect us from real Dark Forces led by a very real - yet invisible - being whose power, cunning and expertise in deception make Lord Voldemort look like a mini-action figure on a Toys "R" Us shelf (which is all he is anyway).

You may order the complete book, Hidden Dangers in Harry Potter, on this web site, or by calling (866) 862-6334.


(1) Time Magazine, June 23, 2003, p. 67
(2) Newsweek, June 30, 2003, p. 52.
(3) Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick, by Richard Abanes. Horizon Books (2001), p. 21. J.K. Rowling, quoted in Reuters, "Harry Potter 'Strolled into My Head,'" July 17, 2000.
(4) Time Magazine, June 23, 2003, p. 63
(5) Chamber of Secrets, p. 4
(6) Time Magazine, June 23, 2003, p. 63
(7) Chamber of Secrets, p. 314
(8) Sorcerer's Stone, p. 8
(9) Chamber of Secrets, p. 341
(10) Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 31.
(11) Chamber of Secrets, p. 150
(12) Malcolm Jones, "The Return of Harry Potter!," Newsweek (Online), July 1, 2000, 4. Quoted by Abanes, p. 124.
(13) Robert Frisken of Christian Community Schools Ltd in Australia, quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, March 27, 2001.
(14) WMUR interview J.K. Rowling, Oct. 12, 1999, available at Quoted by Abanes, p. 24.
(15) Sorcerer's Stone, p. 193
(16) Maurice Magree, Magicians, Seers, and Mystics, (Kessinger Publications, 1997; transl. Reginald Merton, available at
(17) Sorcerer's Stone, p. 66.
(18) Leslie A. Shepard's, Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Detroit: Gale Research, 1991, Ch. 1, pp. 6-7.
(19) Abanes, p. 24
(20) Rowling interview on The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU, National Public Radio, October 20, 1999, available at
(21) Robert Night, quoted in Deidre Donahue, "Are Parents Pushing 'Potter' on the Young," Tulsa World, June 20, 2000; cf. USA Today article of the same title, available at
(22) See
(23) Reported in This is London, in an article entitled, "Potter Fans Turning to Witchcraft," August 4, 2000, available at Referenced from Abanes, p. 66.
(24) Andy Norfolk, quoted in This is London (ibid).
(25) Lily, "Reader Comments,"
(26) Letters to the Editor, "What Readers Think about 'Goblet," San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 2000, available at
(27) Abanes, p. 173.
(28) Linda Beam, in an article entitled, "Exploring Harry Potter's World," Teachers in Focus, Dec. 1999, available at

Other fascinating books by Steve Wohlberg
The Left Behind Deception
Exploding the Israel Deception
The Antichrist Chronicles
End Time Delusions
Will my pet go to Heaven?
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