Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Australia Archbishop Rejects Sex-Abuse Exception to the Secrecy of Confession


Archbishop Denis Hart at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 2013. He said he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession. Credit Joe Castro/European Pressphoto Agency

It’s confidential and considered sacred — a conversation strictly between a confessor and priest, never to be divulged. The secrecy of the confessional, a centuries-old sacrament, is taken so seriously that some priests would die before disclosing what has been shared.

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, who as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference represents all Roman Catholic clergy in the country, said Tuesday that he would rather go to jail than breach the seal of confession.

“The laws in our country and in many other countries recognize the special nature of confession as part of the freedom of religion, which has to be respected,” Archbishop Hart told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

His comments came a day after religious institutions across the country were forced to defend the secrecy of confession after Australia’s Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended a sweep of legislative and policy changes, one of which would require priests who hear about sexual abuse in the confessional to report it to the authorities. The 85 recommendations were aimed at reforming Australia’s criminal justice system to provide a fairer response to sex-abuse victims, the commission said.

“There should be no excuse, protection nor privilege in relation to religious confessions,” the report said. “We heard evidence that perpetrators who confessed to sexually abusing children went on to reoffend and seek forgiveness again.”

Archbishop Hart responded on Tuesday, saying: “I think priests are men who are very carefully trained. Priests in my diocese in Melbourne are very conscious of the difficulties of the present situation.”

He continued, “We want to be faithful to God and faithful to our vows, but we do want to be responsible citizens, and we’re totally committed to that.”

Though the recommendation, made as part of the commission’s investigation into the church’s handling of sexual abuse allegations in recent decades, has drawn fierce opposition from the church authorities, it’s not the first time the issue has come up. In 2012, when the federal government announced the Royal Commission, the question of priests’ obligation to report any knowledge of child sex abuse to the police was already being discussed.

“Such an obligation would undoubtedly enhance protection of the rights of children,” Prof. Sarah Joseph, director at the Castan Center for Human Rights Law at Monash University in Melbourne, wrote in 2012. “It would also interfere with the freedom of religion of priests if they are compelled to reveal information conveyed during formal ‘confessions.’”

She continued, “In this clash of rights, which should prevail?”

It is not known what will become of the recommendation in the report on criminal justice, which was released just months before the commission is expected to publish its final report on its yearslong inquiry. But on Tuesday, Professor Joseph said legislative change was not out of the question.

“There’s a lot of sentiment on the side of the Royal Commission and a lot of disgust at a lot of the things that are being uncovered,” she said.

The Royal Commission examined abuse accusations in many of Australia’s religious institutions, including those associated with the Anglican Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Orthodox Judaism. It concluded that 7 percent of Catholic priests in Australia had been accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010.

The Library of Babel - Film, Literature and the New World Order

HOW MEDIA SHAPED THE GENERATIONS: Narcissus Narcosis & The New Age (2017)

REPORT: White Supremacist Leader in Charlottesville Jason Kessler Was Obama Supporter – Occupy Protester

Joshua Caplan Aug 14th, 2017 10:19 am

White supremacist and ‘Unite the Right’ leader, Jason Kessler, was once reportedly a supporter a former President Obama and the Occupy movement.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (an organization that is certainly no friend to Conservatives), Kessler revealed his political transformation around November 2016, the same month then candidate Donald Trump won the presidential election.

Southern Poverty Law Center reports:

Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.

At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.

Kessler himself has placed his “red-pilling” around December of 2013 when a PR executive was publicly excoriated for a tasteless Twitter joke about AIDS in Africa.

Regarding the incident, Kessler stated “… so it was just a little race joke, nothing that big of a deal, she didn’t have that many followers, she probably didn’t think anybody was gonna see it,”

Regardless of Kessler’s past politics, the rightward shift in his views was first put on display in November, 2016 when his tirade against Wes Bellamy began.

On Sunday, a violent leftist mob shut down a press conference by white nationalists Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler outside of Charlottesville City Hall.

The mob reportedly chased Spencer and Kessler back to their waiting vehicles.

Doug McKelway reported from Charlottesville.

Monday, August 14, 2017

CHINESE BANK RUN May Lead To Bigger Problems! - It's Just The Beginning

Georgetown Jesuit University - A Den of Demons

Tropical Storm Gert forms in the Atlantic

Drums, Dancing and Noise,

August 14

Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

The things you have described ... the Lord has shown me would take place just before the close of probation. Every uncouth thing will be demonstrated. There will be shouting, with drums, music, and dancing. The senses of rational beings will become so confused that they cannot be trusted to make right decisions. And this is called the moving of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit never reveals itself in such methods, in such a bedlam of noise. This is an invention of Satan to cover up his ingenious methods for making of none effect the pure, sincere, elevating, ennobling, sanctifying truth for this time.... A bedlam of noise shocks the senses and perverts that which if conducted aright might be a blessing. The powers of Satanic agencies blend with the din and noise, to have a carnival, and this is termed the Holy Spirit's working.... Those participating in the supposed revival receive impressions which lead them adrift. They cannot tell what they formerly knew regarding Bible principles.

No encouragement should be given to this kind of worship. The same kind of influence came in after the passing of the time in 1844. The same kind of representations were made. Men became excited, and were worked by a power thought to be the power of God....

Men and women, supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit, held meetings in a state of nudity. They talked about holy flesh. They said they were beyond the power of temptation, and they sang, and shouted, and made all manner of noisy demonstrations.... Satan was moulding the work, and sensuality was the result. The cause of God was dishonored. Truth, sacred truth, was leveled in the dust by human agencies....

I bore my testimony, declaring that these fanatical movements, this din and noise, were inspired by the spirit of Satan, who was working miracles to deceive if possible the very elect.

We need to be on our guard, to maintain a close connection with Christ, that we be not deceived by Satan's devices. The Lord desires to have in His service order and discipline, not excitement and confusion 

Maranatha, p.234.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Church of Cannabis has arrived in Denver

Mystery Babylon Grows - 1 More Pastor Down

A Brief History of Fake News

Ecumenism, influence-envy, and the real Manichean division

The honest engagement of differences in service to evangelical vigor is not advanced by the systematic misrepresentation of others’ views, by the puerile bullying of bishops, or by indulging in spasms of influence-envy.

August 9, 2017 George Weigel The Dispatch 

(CNS photo)

Defending the indefensible is never pretty. Or so we’re reminded by recent attempts from the portside of the Catholic commentariat to defend the madcap analysis of America’s alleged “ecumenism of hate” that appeared last month in the Italian Catholic journal, La Civiltà Cattolica (edited by the Jesuits of Rome and published after vetting by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See). The more sober-minded defenders admit that the article, jointly authored by Fr. Anthony Spadaro, SJ, and Pastor Marcelo Figueroa, contains errors of fact and tendentious interpretations of recent history – but then go on to suggest that it raises important questions. How, though, are serious questions raised, much less clarified or answered, by falsifications of both history and contemporary reality?

Other defenders of the Spadaro/Figueroa article, less chastened by the self-evident fact that the article would receive a thumping “F” in a freshman religious studies course at any reputable college, have taken the occasion of the article to scrape their various boils and indulge in the very Manichean division of the ecclesial world into children of light and children of darkness the article condemns. One of these boils involves a project I helped launch and in which I’ve been engaged for over two decades: the study group known as “Evangelicals and Catholics Together.”

A post Spadaro-Figueroa editorial in the National Catholic Reporter charged that ECT, as it’s widely known, is a prominent example of “Catholic complicity in the politicization of faith;” that the participants in the original ECT statement, from which the study group takes its name, were on the “outer conservative edges” of their communities “before the landscape fades to irrational extremes;” and that the original statement “ill-served” Catholics, evangelical Protestants, the cause of the Gospel, and the health of American public life. Moreover, the NCR grimly warns “bishops and those who staff their offices” against conceding to “the visions of ideologues in think-tanks and institutes with an absolutist and narrow agenda.” For in doing so (by, presumably, embracing the ECT agenda) these bishops and staff “have squandered their standing and credibility in the wider culture.”

Oh, dear. Where to begin?

ECT is an ongoing project, which has now produced nine joint statements, with a tenth, an explanation of Christianity to its contemporary cultured despisers, coming soon. Five of the first nine—on justification, Scripture, the communion of saints, the universal call to holiness, and the Blessed Virgin Mary—were entirely theological in character and had nothing to do with political controversies. Those that touched on contested issues – the statements on the sanctity of life, on religious freedom, and on marriage—set the discussion of public policy in an explicitly biblical and theological context (as, indeed, did the initial ECT statement the Reporter editorial deplores).

The five theological statements measure up well against similar documents from other ecumenical dialogues of the past half-century; an honest Catholic liberal, Notre Dame’s Lawrence Cunningham, recommended all the ECT statements for “the pertinence of their concerns and the sophistication of their theological argument.” From the very outset of our joint work, ECT participants have made it clear that we speak from and to our various Churches and ecclesial communities, not for them. We have also scrupulously described our differences, with a concern for expressing the “other’s” views accurately.

But don’t just take my word for it. Get the book that collects the first nine ECT documents and explains both the genesis of the project and of each statement: Evangelicals and Catholics Together at Twenty: Vital Statements on Contested Issues, edited by Timothy George and Thomas G. Guarino (Brazos Press). Read it. Then compare what you read with the NCR editorial.

In his June address to the U.S. bishops, Archbishop Christoph Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, appealed for a Church that listens more, “even to those with whom we disagree,” because the honest engagement of differences helps us all “propose the…Gospel in a more persuasive, life-changing way.” True enough. The honest engagement of differences in service to evangelical vigor is not advanced, however, by the systematic misrepresentation of others’ views, by the puerile bullying of bishops, or by indulging in spasms of influence-envy. Moreover, the Nuncio’s welcome appeal to become a Church of missionary disciples—Pope Francis’s “Church permanently in mission”—will only be answered if we see today’s challenging, but evangelically exciting, situation clearly; and such clarity of vision requires something other than lenses ground in the 1970s.

Resurrection Did Not Consecrate Sunday

Married Celebrity Christians Take Center Stage in 'Black Love' Docu-Series

Sponsored by PureFlix Campaign

By Christine Thomasos , CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR | Aug 5, 2017 2:57 PM

(Photo: Courtesy of Omg! Publicity)
DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good release their first book, "The Wait" on February 2, 2016.

Married Christian couples will be the focus of a new OWN docu-series called "Black Love."

The series will explore five celebrity marriages with the goal of answering the age old question: "What is the secret to making a marriage work?"

The couples who will appear on the OWN series include Oscar winner Viola Davis and Julius Tennon; Hollywood power couple Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin; NAACP Image Award-winner Tia Mowry-Hardrict and actor Cory Hardrict; NAACP Image Award-nominee Flex Alexander and Grammy-nominated recording artist Shanice; gospel singer Erica Campbell and music producer Warryn Campbell; and NAACP Image Award nominee Vanessa Bell Calloway and Dr. Anthony Calloway.

The series which debuts on Aug. 29 was created by Codie and Tommy Oliver, husband-and-wife filmmakers who are known for films like "1982."

"Husband-and-wife filmmakers Codie and Tommy Oliver present real, honest, emotional and sometimes cringeworthy love stories from some of the most successful people in business and entertainment as well as everyday couples," according to OWN's description of the series.

Many of the Christian couples who will be featured on the show have spoken about their God-centered unions in the past. One of those people is Viola Davis who previously revealed that she prayed for her husband.

"I asked for a husband who was emotionally available, someone who was older, someone who maybe had a family before," Davis told Essence magazine during an interview in 2013. "I like older men. Someone from the South. Someone who loves God more than he loves himself."

Franklin and Good previously wrote a book about dating, celebacy, and marriage in their book, The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love. In an interview with The Christian Post the Hollywood power couple spoke about how they want their God-centered relationship to be an example and guide other people in love.

For more information about the OWN docu-series, click here.

It's 1984 at Google

David Limbaugh
Posted: Aug 11, 2017 12:01 AM

Google's firing of software engineer James Damore for daring to express politically incorrect ideas in an internal memo is the latest example of the political left's tyrannical propensity to suppress speech, thought and dissent.

Almost as troubling as the left's policing is its apparent obliviousness toward its own hypocrisy and the danger it poses to the liberal exchange of ideas. While constitutional issues may not be involved in the Google case because no state action is involved, moral shaming has become a chilling cudgel in the hands of leftist-dominated institutions.

In his memo, Damore notes that Google's political bias silences dissenting opinion supposedly to shield employees from offensive ideas and protect their psychological safety. "But shaming into silence," writes Damore, "is the antithesis of psychological safety. This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed."

Damore concedes that all people have biases but that open and honest discussion can highlight these biases and help us grow. He says he wrote the memo to encourage such a discussion about Google's biases, a discussion that is being silenced by "the dominant ideology."

Damore opines that both the political left and right have moral biases. "Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases," he says, "but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies."





In his annual address delivered at the 135th Supreme Convention in St. Louis, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced a new initiative to rebuild a town in Iraq destroyed by ISIS.

The new initiative is part of the Order's continuing efforts to help Christians and other minorities who have suffered genocide in the Middle East.

The supreme knight also cited the major accomplishments of the Knights of Columbus, such as the Order’s record levels of charity, with over $177 million in donations and over 75 million hours of volunteer service, growth in membership, and the continued strength of the insurance.

At the opening of his report, the supreme knight officially announced the convention’s theme.

“This year marks our 135th anniversary. We celebrate our anniversary in a city named for a great and saintly Catholic king, a city of missionaries, and a gateway city opening up the promise of a new continent. And, like those early missionaries, we come to St. Louis because, in the words of this year’s convention theme, 'We are convinced of God’s love and power.'"

In a Move Away From Tradition, Cremations Increase

Alfredo Angueira said he was surprised that his mother chose to be cremated, with her remains placed at Woodlawn Cemetery inside this bench.

AUGUST 10, 2017

An envelope was in Carmen Rosa’s desk in her apartment in Co-op City in the Bronx — an envelope that she had instructed her son not to open until after she died. Inside were more instructions, and they left her son, Alfredo Angueira, flabbergasted.

Ms. Rosa, the longtime district manager of Community Board 12 in the Bronx who died in March 2015 at age 69, directed that she was to be cremated and her remains placed at Woodlawn Cemetery. Mr. Angueira called that “a shocker.”

“Never in a million years would I have thought that this is what she would have wanted,” he said, explaining that he had expected her to say she wanted a traditional burial at St. Raymond’s, a Roman Catholic cemetery near the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge where celebrities like Billie Holiday and Frankie Lymon are interred. So are at least four of Ms. Rosa’s relatives, including her mother.

But cremations are quickly becoming the choice for more and more families. And now, for the first time, more Americans are being cremated than having traditional burials, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. The cremation rate in 2016 achieved a milestone, edging past 50 percent to 50.2 percent, up from 48.5 percent in 2015, according to a report issued recently by the funeral directors’ association.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Catholicization of America (Bob Trefz)


RUSSIA: "Anti-missionary" punishments full listing

9 August 2017

By Victoria Arnold, Forum 18

More than 180 individuals and communities have been brought to court in the year since "anti-missionary" punishments came into force on 20 July 2016. Forum 18's list of known cases documents the wide range of people and communities across Russia subjected to such punishments.

More than 180 cases to punish individuals and communities for violating Russia's "anti-missionary" restrictions are known to have reached court in the year since they came into force on 20 July 2016. Prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4, and 5 have steadily increased throughout this 12 month period. Activities as diverse as holding prayer meetings in private homes, posting worship times on a religious community's website, and giving a lecture on yoga have all been interpreted by police and prosecutors as "missionary activity", due to the broad definition now enshrined in the Religion Law (see a full analysis at F18News 8 August 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2305).

Article 5.26, Part 3 punishes "Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label".

Article 5.26, Part 4 punishes "Russians conducting missionary activity". Part 5 punishes "Foreigners conducting missionary activity" (see Forum 18's general Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2246).

Forum 18 found 181 cases against 129 individuals and 52 religious communities which reached court between 20 July 2016 (when the amendments entered legal force) and 20 July 2017. Of these, 133 resulted in initial convictions, with 130 fines being imposed. Of the foreigners prosecuted, 5 were ordered deported (though one of these had the deportation order overturned on appeal). More than half the regions in Russia have seen at least one prosecution. Russian citizens comprise the majority of defendants (see a full analysis at F18News 8 August 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2305).

Russia has also imposed this legislation in Crimea, which it occupied in March 2014. Forum 18 found 27 administrative cases in the year of the "anti-missionary" punishments there, resulting in fines in 16 of the cases so far (see F18News 24 July 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2299).

All prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4 and 5 known to have reached court between 20 July 2016 and 20 July 2017 are listed below, ordered by date of court hearing. The list is based on court decisions and court records seen by Forum 18. For a full analysis, see F18News 8 August 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2305.


- Known Article 5.26, Part 3 cases ("Implementation of activities by a religious organisation without indicating its official full name, including the issuing or distribution, within the framework of missionary activity, of literature and printed, audio, and video material without a label bearing this name, or with an incomplete or deliberately false label")

A fine of 50,000 Roubles (about 6,600 Norwegian Kroner, 710 Euros or 835 US Dollars) represents about six weeks' average wages for those in work or 15 weeks' average state retirement pension.

1) 10 November 2016
Name: Administrative Centre of the New Apostolic Church in Russia
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Donskoi District Magistrate's Court No. 245, Moscow
Circumstances: during Justice Ministry inspection of organisation's documents, it was found that the Centre was not using its full name in its activities, including in its contract with the Beeline phone and internet company, on its audio discs and magazine, and on its website
Appeal: none

2) 10 November 2016
Name: Sharypovo Jehovah's Witness community
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 164, Krasnoyarsk Region
Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness community held a members meeting for Bible study "without specifying its official full name" – monitoring by the inter-district prosecutor's office found that the building's sign read "Jehovah's Witnesses' Kingdom Hall", rather than "Local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of the town of Sharypovo"
Appeal: unsuccessful – 19 December 2016, Sharypovo City Court

3) 10 November 2016
Name: Igor Osipenko
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Sharypovo Magistrate's Court No. 164, Krasnoyarsk Region
Circumstances: Jehovah's Witness community chair "committed an administrative offence in the form of inaction, as expressed in the implementation by the local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of activity (a members meeting for Bible study) without specifying its official full name" - monitoring by the inter-district prosecutor's office found that the building's sign read "Jehovah's Witnesses' Kingdom Hall", rather than "Local religious organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses of the town of Sharypovo"
Appeal: unsuccessful – 22 December, Sharypovo City Court

4) 24 November 2016
Name: Jehovah's Witness community, Khabarovsk
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Industrial District Magistrate's Court No. 13, Khabarovsk
Circumstances: prosecutor's office inspection of Jehovah's Witness premises on 29 October found lack of signage or other information indicating official name of the organisation; representatives M.Yu. Tridtsatko and S.S. Sergeyev explained that between 2015 and October 2016 the building's facade had been undergoing repairs and argued that organisation carried out no activities during inspection – this was disregarded by judge; prosecution insisted that the sign was absent before repairs
Appeal: unsuccessful – 26 December, Industrial District Court

5) 28 November 2016
Name: Jehovah's Witness community of Zelenogorsk
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Zelenogorsk Magistrate's Court No. 30, Krasnoyarsk Region
Circumstances: FSB security service inspection of Jehovah's Witnesses' religious activities found that they were holding meetings for worship in rented premises without displaying their full official name
Appeal: unsuccessful – 18 January 2017, Zelenogorsk City Court

6) 16 December 2016
Name: Word of Life Pentecostal Church, Samara
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Soviet District Magistrate's Court No. 54, Samara
Circumstances: accused of not displaying full name on religious literature; church argued that literature sold by individual entrepreneur in same premises (local deaf society), who obtained it from separate Pentecostal organisation
Appeal: unsuccessful – 10 March 2017, Soviet District Court, Samara

7) 20 December 2016
Name: Salvation Army
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation and destruction of literature, incl. bibles
Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 4, Vladivostok
Circumstances: a prosecutor's office inspection of the community's premises found books and magazines without a stamp/logo showing the organisation's official full name
Appeal: by prosecution re. destruction order – 30 December, Lenin District Court; but destruction order lifted at request of prosecutor (also requested that literature not be confiscated, but this was denied)

8) 30 December 2016
Name: Vitaly Shmidt, pastor
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation of literature
Court: Lenin District Magistrate's Court No. 3, Ulyanovsk
Circumstances: Cornerstone Protestant church pastor accused of distributing religious literature without official stamp – the literature was left on a table for members to take as they wished, in the foyer of their rented premises; "anti-extremism" police officer claimed that non-members of the religious organisation were present at the meeting for worship and anyone could have picked up the literature
Appeal: unsuccessful – 8 February 2017, Lenin District Court, Ulyanovsk

9) 12 January 2017
Name: Salvation in Jesus Evangelical Church
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles
Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chita
Circumstances: community accused of distributing a brochure which did not display the full official name of the organisation
Appeal: sent for re-examination – 31 January 2017, Central District Court; acquitted on retrial – 10 February 2017, Central District Magistrate's Court No. 2, Chita

10) 19 January 2017
Name: Faith, Hope, Love Seventh-day Adventist Church
Punishment: 30,000 Roubles plus confiscation (but not destruction) of literature
Court: Central District Magistrate's Court No. 1, Chita
Circumstances: during a planned inspection of legal entities, the church submitted literature and newspapers to the regional Justice Ministry branch as part of information on its missionary activities – this allegedly did not bear the church's official full name or official stamp
Appeal: unsuccessful – 20 February 2017, Central District Court, Chita; supervisory appeal unsuccessful (returned without consideration) – 4 April 2017, Zabaikalsk Regional Court

Protestantism And Contemporary Anthropocentrism: Dialoguing with Tom Regan (1938-2017)

9 August 2017 | Hanz Gutierrez

This year the Christian World commemorates the five-hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, an event that tradition tells us began on October 31, 1517 when Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. At the center of this movement stands Luther’s rediscovery of the Gospel message: human beings do not earn their salvation by doing good works; rather, God freely offers salvation to all who believe. In last month’s column, I considered some protestant theological tenets (e.g. the “Sola Scriptura” principle) that facilitated the emergence and reinforcement of modern “Linear Rationality” as a positive but also an ambivalent sociological event—one that deeply conditions today’s societies and churches and urgently demands a new theological and cultural reformulation.

A third main characteristic of the Reformation is represented by its radical defense of the “Sola Gratia” principle. According to this principle, there is no relationship between any human dimension and God’s redemptive action. The Reformers believed that the Catholic salvation model was a mixture of reliance upon the grace of God and confidence in the merits of one's own works, performed in love. They pejoratively called it legalism. They posited that salvation is entirely embodied in God's gifts (that is, God's act of free grace), dispensed by the Holy Spirit according to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, alone. By upholding this principle, Protestantism corrected two religious anomalies. First, it purified a medieval religion encumbered with numerous intermediary mechanisms that, instead of mediating, ended up drawing God away from people. Second, it facilitated the emergence of a new religion whose strength resided in immediacy between God and the believer, under cover of a new sense of trust and surrender.

But, beyond the undoubted religious benefits which the “Sola Gratia” principle brought and beyond a more inclusive understanding churches and believers might have of it, this principle also provoked an important shift from “Creation” to “Salvation,” introducing a huge cultural revolution. This theological transformation allowed for and paradoxically also facilitated the emergence of Anthropocentrism (the belief that human beings are the central or most significant species on the planet). By detaching humanity from its natural cosmological roots and substituting the positive “arbitrariness” of God’s Grace alone, the door was open to the centrality of man himself in the Cosmos. Because God’s Grace finally and specially manifests itself in man’s absolute inwardness, it does not matter that contemporary humanity is not especially interested in “Salvation” but rather in economic, industrial, or technical “Progress”. The detachment from the “Cosmos” (Creation), facilitated by the Reformers’ soteriology (doctrine of salvation), was caught up in an unstoppable, modern trend.

‘Religion Belongs to the Nature of Man,’ Stresses Cardinal Tauran

L’Osservatore Romano Publishes a Reflection of the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue

August 11, 2017

© PHOTO.VA - Osservatore Romano

“Religion Belongs to the Nature of Man,” headlined the Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano on August 9, 2017, which published a reflection of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

For the Cardinal, to “exclude religion from reason is equivalent to amputating man created in the image of God,” and he reminds that “there can’t be disagreement between faith and reason,” echoing ideas of Benedict XVI’s address at Regensburg in September 2006.

“We should be proud of our faith, because it offers a future to humanity,” explains Cardinal Tauran, thus situating the inter-religious dialogue, which “always begins with the profession of one’s own faith, always avoiding syncretism.” “Christianity is not a thought but a fact: God became man.” The dialogue “in truth” is to “promote a world where justice and peace dwell.”

A Violent and Precarious World

The Cardinal from Bordeaux begins with the constant that “we live in a violent world that divides and kills. A precarious world: anything can happen, suffice it to think of the danger that terrorism represents. It’s difficult to foresee what the evolution of the 21st century will be. Many political leaders are looking for ideas and many of our companions in humanity wonder if there is a control room. One wonders if the States will be up to the measure of guaranteeing the security of societies and the safeguarding of Creation.”

Therefore, Cardinal Tauran asks the question: “In this world, can one believe in God? Can one believe in man?” And he answers: “We are in a full paradox.”

And the Cardinal explains: “This world of technology, which only sees the power of what is useful, is also a world in which cultural and religious pluralism, the privatization of religion, the lack of transmission of values and models have made the ‘sacred’ and a certain transcendence come under the spotlights.”

He also notes that “if religious practice, at least in Western societies, is in decline, there is no doubt that one understands increasingly better that one can’t understand today’s world by disregarding religions.”

Violent clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville (Virginia)

The Washington Post
Joe Heim

32 mins ago

Bands of white nationalists were met by counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12. (Reuters)


Bands of white nationalists were met by counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12. Bands of white supremacists were met by counterprotesters Charlottesville, Va. on Aug. 12. (Reuters)

© REUTERS/Joshua Roberts A white supremacists carries the Confederate flag as he walks past counter demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017.

CHARLOTTESVILLE -After a morning of violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protesters, police ordered hundreds of people out of a downtown park - putting an end to a noon rally that hadn’t even begun.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m.

 Using megaphones, police declared an unlawful assembly at about 11:40 a.m., and gave a five-minute warning to leave Emancipation Park, where hundreds of neoNazis, Ku Klux Klans members and other white nationalists had gathered to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. They were met by equal numbers of counterprotesters, including clergy, Black Lives Matter activists and Cornel West.

But fighting broke out way before the noon rally, starting Friday night and then again Saturday morning.

Men in combat gear, some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields fought each other in the downtown streets, with little apparent police interference. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air.

A large contingent of Charlottesville and Virginia state police in riot gear were stationed on side streets and at nearby barricades but did nothing to break up the melee.

A group of three dozen self-described “militia” - men who were wearing full camouflage and were armed with long guns - said they were there to help keep the peace, but they also did not break up the fights.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe had placed the National Guard on standby but they, too, were not in the downtown area where the morning clashes were occurring.

There were vicious clashes on Market Street in front of Emancipation Park, where the rally was to begin at noon. A large contingent of white nationalist rallygoers holding shields and swinging wooden clubs rushed through a line of counterprotesters.

By 11 a.m., several fully armed militias and hundreds of right wing rally goers had poured into the small downtown park that is the site of the planned rally.

At about 11:40 a.m., police appeared and ordered everyone to vacate the park. Columns of white nationalists marched out of the park, carrying Confederate flags and Nazi symbols, and headed down Market Street in an odd parade, as counterprotesters lined the sidewalks and shouted epithets and mocked them. At various points along the route, skirmishes broke out and shouting matches ensued.

Charlottesville officials, concerned about crowds and safety issues, had tried to move the rally to a larger park away from the city’s downtown.

But Jason Kessler, the rally’s organizer, filed a successful lawsuit against the city that was supported by the Virginia ACLU, saying that his First Amendment rights would be violated by moving the rally.

Tensions began Friday night, as several hundred white supremacists chanted “White lives matter!” “You will not replace us!” and “Jews will not replace us!” as they carried torches marched in a parade through the University of Virginia campus.

The fast-paced march was made up almost exclusively of men in their 20s and 30s, though there were some who looked to be in their mid-teens.

Meanwhile, hundreds of counterprotesters packed a church to pray and organize. A small group of counterprotesters clashed with the marchers shortly before 10 p.m. at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the university’s founder.

One counterprotester apparently deployed a chemical spray, which affected the eyes of a dozen or so marchers. It left them floundering and seeking medical assistance.

Police officers who had been keeping a wary eye on the march jumped in and broke up the fights. The marchers then disbanded, though several remained and were treated by police and medical personnel for the effects of the mace attack. It was not clear if any one was arrested.

The march came on the eve of the Unite the Right rally, a gathering of groups from around the country whose members have said they are being persecuted for being white and that white history in America is being erased.

The Saturday rally was scheduled for noon at Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, home to a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that the city of Charlottesville voted to remove earlier this year. The statue remains in the park pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month.

Many city leaders and residents have expressed concern about the prospect of violence at Saturday’s event.

Saturday marked the second time in six weeks that Charlottesville has faced a protest from white supremacist groups for its decision to remove the statue. On July 8, about three dozen members of a regional Ku Klux Klan group protested in the city.

The torchlight parade drew sharp condemnations from Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer and U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan.

Sullivan described herself as “deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior”shown by the marchers.

Signer said he was “beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus.” He called the chanting procession a “cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance.”


Saved To Serve coming to Atlanta, GA. August 25 - 27, 2017

Protestants to Meet Pope to Heal Wound Quickly.{GC24}Trump threatens NKor...


Hillary Clinton's pastor compared her election loss to Jesus' death and resurrection

by Anna Giaritelli | Aug 10, 2017, 4:10 

Hillary Clinton's pastoral adviser urged her to keep her head up following her unexpected Election Day loss in November and compared the election to Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified.

"It is Friday, but Sunday is coming ... This is not the devotional you wish to receive this day. While Good Friday may be the starkest representation of a Friday that we have, life is filled with a lot of Fridays," wrote United Methodist City Society Executive Director the Rev. Bill Shillady in an email to Clinton obtained by CNN. "Friday is the day that it all falls apart and all hope is lost. We all have Fridays. But, as the saying goes, 'Sunday's coming!'"

Faith leaders gather on the eve of 'hate-driven' Unite the Right rally

7 hrs ago

A couple holds each other during a Mass Prayer Service Friday at St. Paul's Memorial in Charlottesville, Va. Dr. Cornell West was the featured speaker at the event. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress

Dr. Cornel West was the featured speaker during a Mass Prayer Service Friday at St. Paul's Memorial in Charlottesville, Va. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress

Praying during a Mass Prayer Service Friday at St. Paul's Memorial in Charlottesville, Va. Dr. Cornell West was the featured speaker at the event. Photo/Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress

Friday, August 11, 2017

CNN Panelist, Phil Mudd, Says Deep State 'Will Kill' Trump

The 'three-parent baby' fertility doctor needs to stop marketing the procedure, FDA says

On Friday, FDA sent him a letter notifying him of his violations

by Rachel Becker@RA_Becks Aug 5, 2017, 3:05pm EDT

Photo by Eugene Ermolovich (CRMI)/Wikimedia Commons

The doctor who created a genetically modified “three-parent baby” has been reprimanded by the Food and Drug Administration for aggressively marketing the unapproved experimental procedure.

John Zhang, CEO of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, famously combined the DNA of three people to help a mother who was a carrier for a genetic disease conceive an apparently healthy baby boy last year. Now, Zhang and his company are marketing the pricy procedure as the “first proven treatment for certain genetic disorders and a successful solution to age-related infertility.”

However, the FDA does not allow clinical research in people that would involve genetically modifying an embryo. And because Zhang’s technique and the one child it produced are both still in their infancy, we don’t know how well the treatment really works, or if it comes with any unforeseen consequences. On Friday, the FDA posted a letter to Zhang online, informing him that marketing the procedure is illegal, since the FDA hasn’t given him permission to test it in people. The agency asked him to correct his violations, and respond in writing.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Breaking Trump Evangelical advisor Biblical Advice for Trump on Kim Jong...

Guam reacts to North Korea nuclear threat with faith in U.S. military

Chloe Babauta, Pacific (Guam) Daily News

19 hours ago

Corrections and clarifications: A previous version of this story misstated when the U.S. gained control of Guam.

HAGATNA, Guam — As North Korea threatened a ballistic missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam, residents expressed concern Wednesday.

Tourists enjoy the beach in Guam's capital of Hagatna on July 14, 2017.
Mar-Vic Cagurangan, AFP/Getty Images

"The threat is pretty scary," said Graceful Fiden, 28, of Tumon, Guam. "It's going on further, so we should worry about it."

But, he said, "I believe in the military on Guam, together with the U.S."

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

It's Official: This Is Straight out of Orwell's 1984...

Rising tensions with North Korea

The Catholic Reformation

Posted 20 June 2017

Christian History Institute has released the fourth and final issue in their magazine series on the Reformation. The final issue is on “The catholic reformation”.

From Ignatius of Loyola and the founding of the Jesuits to the Council of Trent’s far-reaching decrees, the church returned to a focus on piety and prayer, often expressed through vibrant art. You’ll find plenty of beautiful art in these pages, alongside the struggle to address abuses, the devastating Thirty Years’ War, and Protestants dividing and immigrating. Christian History Magazineconcludes the four-part series of Reformation issues with a forum on ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Protestants today.

More information

Hillary Wants to Preach

Religion is playing a big role in Clinton’s post-election tour. What does she have to gain from sharing her faith now?

Hillary Clinton speaks at Union Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina, in October 2016.Carlos Barria / Reuters


AUG 6, 2017

Hillary Clinton wants to preach. That’s what she told Bill Shillady, her longtime pastor, at a recent photo shoot for his new book about the daily devotionals he sent her during the 2016 campaign. Scattered bits of reporting suggest that ministry has always been a secret dream of the two-time presidential candidate: Last fall, the former Newsweek editor Kenneth Woodward revealed that Clinton told him in 1994 that she thought “all the time” about becoming an ordained Methodist minister. She asked him not to write about it, though: “It will make me seem much too pious.” The incident perfectly captures Clinton’s long campaign to modulate—and sometimes obscure—expressions of her faith.

Now, as Clinton works to rehabilitate her public image and figure out the next steps after her brutal November loss, religion is taking a central role. After long months of struggling to persuade Americans that she is trustworthy, authentic, and fundamentally moral, Clinton is lifting up an intimate, closely guarded part of herself. There are no more voters left to lose. In sharing her faith, perhaps Clinton sees something left to win, whether political or personal.

Personality of the Holy Spirit

We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds.—Manuscript 66, 1899 (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.).

The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God....

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”—Manuscript 20, 1906.

 Evangelism, p.617.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

" Terrible”: Pope Francis blasts schools teaching transgenderism


Posted at 12:01 pm on August 07, 2017

Update: Or depending on the year. An astute reader saw what I missed — that this is from August 2016. When I got this on e-mail, I missed that it came from exactly a year ago. My apologies, but … it’s still an ongoing topic.

Update, On the other hand … perhaps it’s timelier than we realize. “Transgender day camp welcomes preschoolers“?

Original post follows:


Depending on the week, the media treats the Catholic pontiff as either the voice of sweet reason or the top of a benighted patriarchy intent on taking the world back to the Middle Ages. Guess which narrative will be in play this week? Speaking to a private gathering of Polish bishops for World Youth Day, Pope Francis blasted transgender education in schools:

Speaking to a group of Polish bishops, Pope Francis delivered a harsh critique of teaching children they can choose their gender identity.

“Today, children are taught this at school: that everyone can choose their own sex,” Francis said last week, according to the Catholic Herald and other news organizations that read a Vatican transcript of the closed-door meeting. “God created man and woman; God created the world like this and we are doing the exact opposite.”

Teaching children that they can pick their gender, Francis said, is “terrible.”

Trump’s evangelical advisers want a meeting with Pope Francis over controversial article

Acts of Faith

By Michelle Boorstein

August 7, 2017 at 10:14 PM

Pope Francis listens to President Trump during a private audience at the Vatican on May 24. (Evan Vucci/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump’s evangelical advisory board is asking Pope Francis for meetings with him and other high-level Vatican officials to discuss “efforts to divide evangelicals and Catholics.”

The request, which was first reported in Time, comes a few weeks after two of Francis’s closest allies published an extremely critical article about the shared political activism of conservative evangelicals and Catholics, saying it has “an ideology of conquest.”

The piece attracted wide attention because of the connection that the authors — an Italian Catholic priest and an Argentine Presbyterian pastor — have to the pope and because of its range: It disparaged everything from conservative evangelicalism and prosperity gospel to the popular idea that the United States is blessed by God. It was published mid-July in the influential Rome-based Jesuit publication La Civilta Cattolica.

It was the latest in a series of rocky back-and-forths between Trump’s circle and the pope’s, over issues including a U.S.-Mexico wall and climate change.

The letter, dated Aug. 3, was signed by Johnnie Moore, a former vice president of Liberty University who now serves as a spokesman for a few dozen evangelicals who informally advise Trump and who represent the faith group seen as having the most regular access to the White House since the election.

People who have been in group meetings at the White House include Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church in Dallas and Paula White of New Destiny Christian Center in Florida.

The La Civilta Cattolica piece set off intense debate. Many Trump critics loved to see Francis’s name attached to a piece that lashed out by name at White House leaders including Steve Bannon, a Catholic, whom it called “a supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics.” Others felt it painted a caricature of American religion, and signaled that the pope and his advisers misunderstand the issues.

Related: Why so many white pro-Trump evangelicals are skeptical of climate change

Asked if the group would take up the criticisms in the Jesuit article, given how close the authors are to Francis, Moore said in an interview that perhaps there is an “understanding gap” at the Vatican.

“I am and a lot of us are genuinely surprised that a pope who has principally a reputation as a bridge builder, if he did know about this, that he’d allow something like this to be published. Whether his bridge-building extends even to those in his own church and the greater church or the extended church that disagree with this piece,” he said.

Only parts of the evangelicals’ letter to the pope were made public.

“It’s in this moment of ongoing persecution, political division and global conflict that we have also witnessed efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals. We think it would be of great benefit to sit together and to discuss these things. Then, when we disagree we can do it within the context of friendship. Though, I’m sure we will find once again that we agree far more than we disagree, and we can work together with diligence on those areas of agreement,” Moore wrote.

It was impossible to immediately gauge the impact of the letter, which for some religious leaders was the equivalent of a hot potato.

The archdiocese of Washington, to whom the letter was given, declined to comment, as did the Vatican press office. Various Catholic and evangelicals leaders declined to comment, including the National Association of Evangelicals, on whose board Moore sits.

Denomination has become less and less important to American Christians, and the faith alliances that are more powerful in American life today tend to focus on policy aims. Conservative Catholics and evangelicals work very closely together on things such as opposing gay marriage and advocating for Christian refugees from the Middle East. More progressive Catholics and evangelicals work closely on things such as immigration and health care — both areas where their partnerships have them fighting the Trump White House.

Related: Not naming names, Pope makes appeal “not to create walls, but to build bridges”

Many religious institutional leaders have been sharply critical of Trump, but this is an era when traditional religious institutions have been declining in public influence. The one glaring exception to that has been Pope Francis, with polls regularly showing him among the leaders most respected by Americans. However he also has spurred intense dislike among certain groups of conservatives, particularly those who oppose his view of environmentalism and a limited free market.

Trump won white evangelical voters 80-16 percent over Hillary Clinton, and white Catholic voters 61-37 percent. Nonwhite evangelicals went 72-24 percent for Clinton, while nonwhite Catholics went approximately 67-25 percent for her.

An overwhelming number of white, evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, 81-16 percent, according to exit poll results. Facebook Live host Libby Casey talks to religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey about how Trump appealed to this group and what they expect from him once in office. (The Washington Post)

Clarification: An earlier version of this story failed to note with prominence that Time first published news of the letter from Johnnie Moore to Pope Francis. This post has been updated to make that point earlier and to link to Time’s piece.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

In our opinion: Communities yearn for religious and secular Sabbaths

By Deseret News editorial boardPublished: Aug. 6, 2017 6:05 a.m. Updated: 8 hours ago

Stuart Burford
"While many expressed disappointment in the private company’s decision, what’s remarkable is there are still so many businesses in today’s secularized environment that still shut their doors on Saturday—the Jewish Sabbath—or Sunday."

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A local grocery store long known for keeping its doors closed on Sunday has decided to open in select locations on a day considered sacred within numerous Christian traditions, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns this paper.

While many expressed disappointment in the private company’s decision, what’s remarkable is there are many businesses in today’s secularized environment that still shut their doors on Saturday — the Jewish Sabbath — or Sunday.

Private companies are certainly entitled to make these decisions in order to compete for customers. For example, at the media companies like the Deseret News, round-the-clock news coverage demands a certain number of people are working to stay current and relevant and to deliver a morning report to your phone, computer or doorstep on Sunday and Monday. And the sacrifices of our emergency personnel as well as those who care for the infirm or less fortunate allow for others to enjoy this day of respite.

That’s why it’s all the more remarkable when companies put ethical and moral considerations above pure maximization of profits. Those companies should be commended. RC Willey Home Furnishings, for example, famously negotiated with a boss as big as Warren Buffett to keep its doors closed in Utah and elsewhere on Sundays. The famously family-friendly Maddox Ranch House in Perry, Utah, not only stays closed on Sunday but doesn't serve alcohol.

Utah, of course, is a diverse state, and not everyone shares Latter-day Saint values or a religious conception of the Sabbath. Indeed, long gone are most of America’s so-called blue laws — or Sunday laws — that restricted certain activities on Sunday. But that’s not to say that a societal day of rest is no longer needed.

In the famous Supreme Court case McGowan v. Maryland, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in defense of Maryland's "blue law" prohibiting commerce on Sunday.

“The state’s purpose is not merely to provide a one-day-seven work stoppage,” he wrote. "The State seeks to set one day apart from all others as a day of rest, repose, recreation and tranquility — a day which all members of the family and community have the opportunity to spend and enjoy together, a day on which there exists relative quiet and disassociation from the everyday intensity of commercial activities, a day on which people may visit friends and relative who are not available during working days."
We don’t advocate for a return to blue laws. But, in an age of digital devices and constant consumerism, the secular case couldn't be stronger for a day during which society takes a break from earning a buck and buying a widget. Now, more than ever, communities yearn for fellow residents to take one day to look at each other first as friends and fellow human beings before neighbors once again become customers and cashiers come Monday morning.

No one should shame a local grocer for its private business decisions — after all, for the better part of a century they sacrificed to stay closed on Sunday when their competition remained open. What’s more, they are still continuing to stay closed on Sunday in many locations throughout the state.

But, we concur with former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who writes: “The Sabbath is an old but beautiful idea that, in our frantically harried and meaning-starved culture, cries out to be rediscovered and enjoyed by people of all faiths” or, we would add, none at all.

Breaking: Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie, Revenge Against Trump

By Eric Zuesse

Global Research, August 02, 2017

During the later portion of a phone-call, by the world’s greatest investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, Hersh has now presented “a narrative [from his investigation] of how that whole f**king thing began,” including who actually is behind the ‘RussiaGate’ lies, and of why they are spreading these lies.

In a youtube video upload-dated August 1st, he reveals from his inside FBI and Washington DC Police Department sources — now, long before the Justice Department’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be presenting his official ‘findings’ to the nation — that the charges that Russia had anything to do with the leaks from the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to Wikileaks, that those charges spread by the press, were a CIA-planted lie, and that what Wikileaks had gotten was only leaks (including at least from the murdered DNC-staffer Seth Rich), and were not from any outsider (including ’the Russians’), but that Rich didn’t get killed for that, but was instead shot in the back during a brutal robbery, which occurred in the high-crime DC neighborhood where he lived. Here is the video, and here is the transcript of it:

Seymour Hersh

I’ll tell you what I know:

(Mumble) comes off an FBI report, don’t ask me how, I can figure out, I’ve been around long enough:

The kid gets — I don’t think he [Seth Rich] was murdered [because of this] I don’t think he was murdered because of what he knew, the kid was a nice boy, 27, he was not an ITS person, he learned stuff, he was a data-programmer, but he learned stuff, and so he was living on one street, somewhere, he was living in a very rough neighborhood, and in the exact area where he lived, there had been about, I am sure you know, there had been about 8 or 9 or 10, violent robberies, most of them with somebody brandishing a gun, and I am sure you know, his [the kid’s] hands were marked up, the cops concluded [HERSH SAW THE POLICE REPORT] he fought off the people, he tried to run, and they shot him twice in the back with a 22, small-caliber, and then the kid that did it ran, he got scared.

‘Mark of the beast?’ Microchipping employees raises apocalyptic questions

August 5, 2017

(USA Today) The apocalyptic “mark of the beast” prophecy in the Bible makes some wary of a Wisconsin company’s recent decision to embed microchips into the hands of willing employees. The end times account in the New Testament’s Book of Revelation warns believers about being marked on the right hand and the forehead by the Antichrist. But inserting rice-sized microchips under the skin of Three Square Market employees does not fulfill the prophecy, said Chris Vlachos, a New

Testament professor at Wheaton College in Chicago. “I think that this is more of a fulfillment of end times novels and movies than the Book of Revelation itself,” Vlachos said. Earlier this week Three Square Market, the Wisconsin firm that makes cafeteria kiosks to replace vending machines, brought in a tattoo artist to embed microchips into the 40 employees that volunteered. CONTINUE

Reaching the Height of Christian Perfection

August 6

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Ephesians 3:20.

If you make God your strength, you may, under the most discouraging circumstances, attain a height and breadth of Christian perfection which you hardly think it possible to reach. Your thoughts may be elevated, you may have noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth, and purposes of action which shall raise you above all sordid motives.

Both thought and action will be necessary if you would attain to perfection of character. While brought in contact with the world, you should be on your guard that you do not seek too ardently for the applause of men and live for their opinion.... Cultivate the grace of humility, and hang your helpless souls upon Christ.... In the midst of confusion and temptation in the worldly crowd you may, with perfect sweetness, keep the independence of the soul.

If you are in daily communion with God you will learn to place His estimate upon men, and the obligations resting upon you to bless suffering humanity will meet with a willing response. You are not your own; your Lord has sacred claims upon your supreme affections and the very highest services of your life. He has a right to use you, in your body and in your spirit, to the fullest extent of your capabilities, for His own honor and glory. Whatever crosses you may be required to bear, ... you are to accept without a murmur....

Many are without God and without hope in the world. They are guilty, corrupt, and degraded, enslaved by Satan's devices. Yet these are the ones whom Christ came from heaven to redeem. They are subjects for tenderest pity, sympathy, and tireless effort; for they are on the verge of ruin. They suffer from ungratified desires, disordered passions, and the condemnation of their own consciences; they are miserable in every sense of the word, for they are losing their hold on this life and have no prospect for the life to come.

You have an important field of labor, and you should be active and vigilant, rendering cheerful and unqualified obedience to the Master's calls.

Maranatha, p.226.

INCREDIBLE: What India Just Did Will GUARANTEE A Global Cashless Socety!

INCREDIBLE: What India Just Did Will GUARANTEE A Global Cashless Socety!

World Alternative Media

Published on Jul 7, 2017

Josh Sigurdson sits down with author and economic analyst John Sneisen to talk about the ramped up efforts by India towards a centrally planned cashless system following their past moves towards eliminating 86% of cash and coin in circulation.

India has already desecrated (free) black markets, shoved countless individuals into poverty and have forced hundreds of millions of Indians into the banking system.

As Business Insider reports,
"Before 2009, half of all Indians didn’t have any form of identification, not even a birth certificate...
Then In 2009, India launched Aadhaar.
Aadhaar is a biometric database based on a 12-digit digital identity, authenticated by finger prints and retina scans.
As of 2016, 1.1 billion people (95% of the population) had a digital proof of identity.
In 2016, India added another component to its digitized system called India Stack.
India Stack allows citizens to open a bank account or brokerage account, buy a mutual fund, or share medical records anywhere in India with just a fingerprint or retinal scan from Aadhaar.
Put simply, India Stack could be the framework for a new digital society."

So this is the technocratic age we've been warning about!

If your money's in the bank, it's not yours, it's the bank's. If your money is solely going through the bank via digital transaction and you can't hold it, it's never your money, it's ALWAYS the bank's. This puts you in complete servitude to the banking system. You never own money. They own you.

This centrally planned digital currency system is being pushed on a global scale, from India to China as well as many G20 countries. At the last Davos meeting we heard countless globalists talking about creating a global cashless society. This is not a conspiracy "theory", but simply a conspiracy.

The plan is to implement the cashless system into the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) world currency at the IMF and they're already well on their way. Technocracy is rising as author Patrick Wood notes and it's about time people start understanding what this entails.

Modi is a great globalist deception and people are falling for it. It's hard to free fools from the chains they revere.

Stay tuned for more from WAM!

Video edited by Josh Sigurdson

Josh Sigurdson
John Thore Stub Sneisen

Graphics by Bryan Foerster and Josh Sigurdson

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

William Guy Carr - Pawns In The Game - FULL SPEECH

Occult Symbolism in "In A Heartbeat" LGBT Short Film

Sodom | As in the Days of Sodom & Gomorrah.

Compassionate acts restore faith in humanity

Wed., Aug. 2, 2017

The nation is pretty grumpy these days. Cynicism is running high. Political polarization has hampered civil discourse. Anger abounds.

It’s difficult to be positive about much of anything, but good people are still out there grinding away at tough problems and turning compassion into solutions. If the measure of a society is how it treats the least among us, there are some hopeful signs close to home.

On Monday, the city of Spokane announced it had housed 102 young homeless people in 100 days with the help of organizations such as SNAP, Catholic Charities, Excelsior Youth Center. A Way Home Washington, a statewide group, organized the effort, with financial support from the Schultz Family Foundation and the Raikes Foundation.

Along with housing, the recipients will be been connected to services such as family counseling and job training. Young homeless people can be tough to reach, because many prefer to “couch surf” or fly under the radar. The city hopes this effort helps it land a transitional service center for this population.

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities is building 316 apartments for the homeless, the elderly and struggling families on land near the Spokane River, east of Spokane Falls Community College. The site, called Holy Names Haven, used to be a convent.

Catholic Charities has built four other apartment complexes for the homeless in its remarkable effort to see that homeless people get the stability of a permanent address. The city also benefits from this “housing first” effort, because it costs more to police the homeless than it does to house them. Residents are encouraged – but not forced – to access services to help people get back on their feet.

The Holy Names Haven project includes Rising Strong, a Catholic Charities and Inland Health Foundation partnership that provides housing to parents who might otherwise lose their children to the foster care system.

The feel-good news doesn’t end there.

Catholics, Mormons and Seventh-day Adventists recently teamed up to move 200 bed frames and mattresses into Pope Francis Haven, a recently completed apartment complex in the Spokane Valley for the homeless.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided $50,200 for the bedding after the Spokane Valley Stake asked Catholic Charities how it could help. Seventh-day Adventists run a nearby garden to feed impoverished people.

Then there is 13-year-old Cooper Cervelli of Nine Mile Falls, who for his Eagle Scout project, collected an astonishing 562 pieces of furniture for the Catholic Charities Furniture Bank. The furniture goes to the recently homeless and other low-income families. Cooper has worked every day for many months distributing fliers and delivering furniture to the bank, with help from his father.

Extraordinary acts of compassion occur every day, and most of them don’t make headlines. Just something to remember when your faith in humanity begins to wane.

The Secret Ingredient in Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Is Seventh-Day Adventism

America’s favorite processed breakfast was once the pinnacle of healthfulness—and spiritual purity

By Howard Markel, Zócalo Public Square
July 28, 2017

The popular singer and movie star Bing Crosby once crooned, “What’s more American than corn flakes?” Virtually every American is familiar with this iconic cereal, but few know the story of the two men from Battle Creek, Michigan, who created those famously crispy, golden flakes of corn back in 1895, revolutionizing the way America ate breakfast: John Harvey Kellogg and his younger brother Will Keith Kellogg.

Fewer still know that among the ingredients in the Kelloggs' secret recipe were the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church, a homegrown American faith that linked spiritual and physical health, and which played a major role in the Kellogg family’s life.

For half a century, Battle Creek was the Vatican of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Its founders, the self-proclaimed prophetess Ellen White and her husband, James, made their home in the Michigan town starting in 1854, moving the church’s headquarters in 1904 to Takoma Park, outside of Washington, D.C. Eventually, Seventh-day Adventism grew into a major Christian denomination with churches, ministries and members all around the world. One key component of the Whites' sect was healthy living and a nutritious, vegetable and grain based-diet. Many of Ellen White’s religious experiences were connected to personal health. During the 1860s, inspired by visions and messages she claimed to receive from God, she developed a doctrine on hygiene, diet and chastity enveloped within the teachings of Christ.

The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek

From the much admired medical historian (“Markel shows just how compelling the medical history can be”—Andrea Barrett) and author of An Anatomy of Addiction (“Absorbing, vivid”—Sherwin Nuland, The New York Times Book Review, front page)—the story of America’s empire builders: John and Will Kellogg. Buy

In May of 1866, “Sister” White formally presented her ideas to the 3,500 Adventists comprising the denomination’s governing body, or General Conference. When it came to diet, White's theology found great import in Genesis 1:29: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.’” White interpreted this verse strictly, as God’s order to consume a grain and vegetarian diet.

She told her Seventh-day Adventist flock that they must abstain not only from eating meat but also from using tobacco or consuming coffee, tea, and, of course, alcohol. She warned against indulging in the excitatory influences of greasy, fried fare, spicy condiments and pickled foods; against overeating; against using drugs of any kind; and against wearing binding corsets, wigs, and tight dresses. Such evils, she taught, led to the morally and physically destructive “self-vice” of masturbation and the less lonely vice of excessive sexual intercourse.

The Kellogg family moved to Battle Creek in 1856, primarily to be close to Ellen White and the Seventh-day Adventist church. Impressed by young John Harvey Kellogg’s intellect, spirit and drive, Ellen and James White groomed him for a key role in the Church. They hired John, then 12 or 13, as their publishing company’s “printer’s devil,” the now-forgotten name for an apprentice to printers and publishers in the days of typesetting by hand and cumbersome, noisy printing presses. He was swimming in a river of words and took to it with glee, discovering his own talent for composing clear and balanced sentences, filled with rich explanatory metaphors and allusions. By the time he was 16, Kellogg was editing and shaping the church’s monthly health advice magazine, The Health Reformer.

The Whites wanted a first-rate physician to run medical and health programs for their denomination and they found him in John Harvey Kellogg. They sent the young man to the Michigan State Normal College in Ypsilanti, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York. It was during medical school when a time-crunched John, who prepared his own meals on top of studying round the clock, first began to think about creating a nutritious, ready-to-eat cereal.

Upon returning to Battle Creek in 1876, with the encouragement and leadership of the Whites, the Battle Creek Sanitarium was born and within a few years it became a world famous medical center, grand hotel, and spa run by John and Will, eight years younger, who ran the business and human resources operations of the Sanitarium while the doctor tended to his growing flock of patients. The Kellogg brothers’ “San” was internationally known as a "university of health” that preached the Adventist gospel of disease prevention, sound digestion, and “wellness.” At its peak, it saw more than 12,000 to 15,000 new patients a year, treated the rich and famous, and became a health destination for the worried well and the truly ill.

There were also practical factors, beyond those described in Ellen White’s ministry, that inspired John’s interest in dietary matters. In 1858, Walt Whitman described indigestion as “the great American evil.” A review of mid-19th-century American diet on the “civilized” Eastern seaboard, within the nation’s interior, and on the frontier explains why one of the most common medical complaints of the day was dyspepsia, the 19th-century catchall term for a medley of flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and “upset stomach.”

Breakfast was especially problematic. For much of the 19th century, many early morning repasts included filling, starchy potatoes, fried in the congealed fat from last night’s dinner. For protein, cooks fried up cured and heavily salted meats, such as ham or bacon. Some people ate a meatless breakfast, with mugs of cocoa, tea, or coffee, whole milk or heavy cream, and boiled rice, often flavored with syrup, milk, and sugar. Some ate brown bread, milk-toast, and graham crackers to fill their bellies. Conscientious (and frequently exhausted) mothers awoke at the crack of dawn to stand over a hot, wood-burning stove for hours on end, cooking and stirring gruels or mush made of barley, cracked wheat, or oats.

It was no wonder Dr. Kellogg saw a need for a palatable, grain-based “health food” that was “easy on the digestion” and also easy to prepare. He hypothesized that the digestive process would be helped along if grains were pre-cooked—essentially, pre-digested—before they entered the patient’s mouth. Dr. Kellogg baked his dough at extremely high heat to break down starch contained in the grain into the simple sugar dextrose. John Kellogg called this baking process dextrinization. He and Will labored for years in a basement kitchen before coming up with dextrinized flaked cereals—first, wheat flakes, and then the tastier corn flakes. They were easily-digested foods meant for invalids with bad stomachs.

Today most nutritionists, obesity experts, and physicians argue that the easy digestibility the Kelloggs worked so hard to achieve is not such a good thing. Eating processed cereals, it turns out, creates a sudden spike in blood sugar, followed by an increase in insulin, the hormone that enables cells to use glucose. A few hours later, the insulin rush triggers a blood sugar “crash,” loss of energy, and a ravenous hunger for an early lunch. High fiber cereals like oatmeal and other whole grain preparations are digested more slowly. People who eat them report feeling fuller for longer periods of time and, thus, have far better appetite control than those who consume processed breakfast cereals.

By 1906, Will had had enough of working for his domineering brother, who he saw as a tyrant who refused to allow him the opportunity to grow their cereal business into the empire he knew it could become. He quit the San and founded what ultimately became the Kellogg’s Cereal Company based upon the brilliant observation that a nutritious and healthy breakfast would appeal to many more people beyond the San’s walls—provided the cereal tasted good, which by that point it did, thanks to the addition of sugar and salt.

The Kelloggs had the science of corn flakes all wrong, but they still became breakfast heroes. Fueled by 19th-century American reliance on religious authority, they played a critical role in developing the crunchy-good breakfast many of us ate this morning.