Monday, January 31, 2011

Threat of US Municipal Default

The debt being carried by state and municipal governments in the United States generates a risk massive financial problems for the U.S. economy, according to one widely published banking analyst. Meredith Whitney manages her own advisory firm, and is a frequent contributor to CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg News programs.

The state and local governments have been getting by on the billions of dollars handed out by the federal stimulus programs, but the debt is making investors on Wall Street nervous about another big bailout.

“It has tentacles as wide as anything I’ve seen. I think next to housing this is the single most important issue in the United States, and certainly the largest threat to the U.S. economy,’ Whitney said.

Whitney added that people are not paying attention to the state of the local governments, “Cause they don’t pay attention until they have to.”

“There’s not a doubt in my mind that you will see a spate of municipal bond defaults,” Whitney predicted, which could include 50 to 100 defaults adding up to hundreds of billions worth of damage to the financial system (Meredith Whitney: State Economic Crisis Is being Ignored; Crisis on the Way,”, Dec. 20, 2010).

In a rebuttal, a spokesperson for the National League of Cities wrote:

“The municipal bond market remains strong for a variety of reasons: Local and State debt levels are low; borrowing is longer-term and predictable; local and state governments have balanced budget requirements; rules require preemptive steps to prevent defaults.

“Sky-is-falling reports about the municipal bond market are a distraction from a much more common and economically significant story about cuts in other arenas – cuts in services that impact the quality of life in communities; job losses in the public sector; cuts in pension and health care benefits for employees and retirees as local and state governments seek to rein in liabilities” (“Crying Wolf On Muni Defaults: 60 Minutes And Wall Street Analyst Miss The Real Story,” press release from PR Newswire quoted on, Dec. 22, 2010).

Inspired commentary

There is no doubt that money, representing security can be a major motivating factor the the behavior of individuals and groups. Some future crisis will ignite a call for a Sunday law to try to win God’s favor:

Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order, as breaking down the moral restraints of society, causing anarchy and corruption, and calling down the judgments of God upon the earth. ... Ministers who deny the obligation of the divine law will present from the pulpit the duty of yielding obedience to the civil authorities as ordained of God. In legislative halls and courts of justice, commandment keepers will be misrepresented and condemned (The Great Controversy, p. 592).


Interfaith Harmony Week to be celebrated


Participants of the “Transforming Communities” international consultation on Muslim-Christian relations engage in dialogue with the local Christian communities during a visit to Geneva's St Pierre cathedral.

The annual observation of a world-wide Interfaith Harmony Week has been scheduled for the first seven days of February beginning in 2011. One of the groups that has endorsed the initiative was a global consultation of Muslim and Christian organizations addressing the topic “Transforming Communities” in November 2010. The consultation was convened at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva and was jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Islamic Call Society and A Common Word.

In his opening speech of the meeting in Geneva on 4 November, Jordanian Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad bin Talal invited participating organizations to become involved in the UN-supported Interfaith Harmony Week. The prince observed that “His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein proposed before the United Nations General Assembly the establishment of a World Interfaith Harmony Week.” On 20 October, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved the resolution and adopted the first week of February as Interfaith Harmony Week. Prince Ghazi described the concept as “an idea which epitomizes the best of what this conference is striving to do.”

The Transforming Communities conference members agreed to support and commit themselves to promote the initiative.

The goal of the interfaith week, which is to be celebrated each year in February, is to recognize “the imperative need for dialogue among different faiths and religions in enhancing mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people,” according to the UN resolution, which is posted on the World Interfaith Harmony Week website.

“This is an important time for all of us involved in interfaith dialogue,” said the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches. “By recognizing this week in our faith communities through prayer, public statements and other expressions we will move toward promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue.”

“This is vital in times when there are many who seek to divide people of faith instead of finding ways to enhance our lives together through the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination,” he said in comments on Monday.

The effort has received wide-spread support including endorsements from religious and political leaders around the world.

Events being held around the world include interfaith luncheons in Australia, prayers for peace and bell ringing in Austria, inter-religious seminars in Pakistan, and an interfaith breakfast in Canada with Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran and Hindu leaders.

“We invite the member churches of the WCC to celebrate this week of interfaith harmony by reaching out to people of other faiths in their communities and thus showing the love of God and love of neighbour, the primary themes of the week,” Tveit said.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Increasingly powerful GOP congressman from Maryland still cutting his own path

By Ben Pershing
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 21, 2011; 10:22 PM

Rep. Bartlett in the thick of things
The Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives puts Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in a senior position on two committees, and in the middle of heated debates over the future of the U.S. military and the need to address climate change.


The Seventh-day Adventist and father of 10 is a trained scientist, a former teacher and business owner and a current goat farmer.

Bartlett, 84, has a PhD in human physiology and holds several patents on respiratory equipment used by pilots and firefighters, among others. He worked for two decades as a scientist for the military and NASA and also owned a home-building company.

He got into politics relatively late in life. He was elected to the House in 1992 at age 66, having lost one previous race for the same seat a decade earlier.

Bartlett has since been reelected with ease, representing a district that comprises some of the most conservative territory in Democratic-leaning Maryland.

Read more

Who owns the word 'Adventist,' or 'Catholic'?

Who owns the word 'Adventist,' or 'Catholic'?
By Julia Duin

Do religious groups have the right to sue you if you use their name, logo or so-called branding color?

Maybe so. On Monday, this blog ran a report that mentioned an Adventists for Life Facebook page for Seventh-day Adventists who oppose abortion.

The SDA headquarters, based in Silver Spring, Md., reacted quickly, asking Facebook to remove the offending page. I contacted Facebook on Wednesday to ask why no one checked with the folks behind the page before killing it. I received a copy of their policy that says once someone lodges a plausible claim of trademark infringement, Facebook removes or disables access, no questions asked.

Mark Price, a Canadian SDA'er who was in charge of the page, alerted the 600 members of the group that he'd been silenced. "The Adventists For Life group is not an organization but an informal gathering of Seventh Day Adventists who are pro-life," he wrote me. "I am very concerned, as you are, about this kind of power that the Adventist leadership have to shut people up."

I called SDA spokesman Garrett Caldwell to see what was up. He told me his organization had complained about trademark infringement; that is, the unauthorized use of the SDA brand.
"We are working hard to try to protect the name and organization associated with the name," he said. "Both 'Adventist' and 'SDA' are trademarked and registered names. We want to make sure the use of the name is connected with our organization."

If the originator of the page called SDA headquarters and asked permission to use the SDA name, "We'd say absolutely [yes]," he added.

Hmmmmm. I was sent a copy of a terse cease-and-desist letter written by Andrea Saunders, associate general counsel for the SDA, and there was no mention whatsoever of asking permission. The letter not only wanted the Facebook page renamed, it also wanted its originators to deregister the domain name for, which the originators owned but were not using.

Now the page has existed on Facebook for some time. Only now did the SDA go after it. This whole situation brings up an interesting conundrum. What if other religious groups did the same thing? In this age of marketing, brand names and search engine optimization, are words such as "Jewish" or "Mormon" or "Catholic" now trademarks?

If so, someone had better call the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. They've been after the group Catholics for a Free Choice for more than a decade, informing anyone who will listen that CFFC "is an arm of the abortion lobby" and "is not a Catholic organization, does not speak for the Catholic Church, and in fact promotes positions contrary to the teaching of the Church as articulated by the Holy See."

Or how about many Jewish groups, which have resented the group Jews for Jesus ever since its 1973 founding partly because of its name?

Or the word "Mormon"? Surely the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn't appreciated all the ways that word has been used.

Trademarking an ultra-common name, adjective or phrase may sound ridiculous, but look how the Susan G. Komen Foundation has threatened to sue more than numerous charities over the words "for a cure." That is, if you're a group of figure skaters that sponsors an event called "Skate for a Cure" to help fight cancer, you'll hear from the Komen lawyers. They'll also warn you against using the color pink, Komen's trademark hue.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation has taken a similar position with the color yellow, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It's only a matter of time before the world's religions pick up on this trend. The possibilities are endless. An enterprising Islamic group can claim it has exclusive rights to the world 'Muslim' and the color green. Hindus can certainly lay claim to the color saffron.

So the Adventists may be ahead of the times, not behind. They have been defending their name for some time, most notably in 1987, when they sued SDA Kinship, a group of gay Adventists, also charging trademark infringement. US District Judge Mariana Pfaeizer ruled against the church in 1991, saying the group's title did not infringe on the denomination's use of the name.
The SDA did not appeal that ruling, but it's been fighting the unauthorized use of its name ever since.

Should religious denominations be able to sue groups that use their name or logo without permission?

By Julia Duin January 30, 2011; 12:28 PM ET


Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14 in Arabic

ثُمَّ رَأَيْتُ مَلاَكاً آخَرَ يَطِيرُ فِي وَسَطِ السَّمَاءِ، مَعَهُ بِشَارَةٌ أَبَدِيَّةٌ يُبَشِّرُ بِهَا أَهْلَ الأَرْضِ وَكُلَّ أُمَّةٍ وَقَبِيلَةٍ وَلُغَةٍ وَشَعْبٍ،6

7 وَهُوَ يُنَادِي عَالِياً: «اتَّقُوا اللهَ وَمَجِّدُوهُ، فَقَدْ حَانَتْ سَاعَةُ دَيْنُونَتِهِ. اسْجُدُوا لِمَنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاءَ وَالأَرْضَ وَالْبَحْرَ وَالْيَنَابِيعَ».

8 وَتَبِعَهُ مَلاَكٌ ثَانٍ يَقُولُ: «سَقَطَتْ، سَقَطَتْ بَابِلُ الْعُظْمَى الَّتِي سَقَتْ أُمَمَ الْعَالَمِ مِنْ خَمْرِ زِنَاهَا الْجَالِبَةِ لِلْغَضَبِ!»

9 ثُمَّ تَبِعَهُمَا مَلاَكٌ ثَالِثٌ يُنَادِي بِصَوْتٍ عَالٍ: «جَمِيعُ الَّذِينَ سَجَدُوا لِلْوَحْشِ وَلِتِمْثَالِهِ، وَقَبِلُوا عَلاَمَتَهُ عَلَى أَيْدِيهِمْ أَوْ عَلَى جِبَاهِهِمْ،

10 فَلاَبُدَّ لَهُمْ، فِي حَضْرَةِ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ الْقِدِّيسِينَ وَفِي حَضْرَةِ الْحَمَلِ، مِنْ أَنْ يَشْرَبُوا مِنْ خَمْرِ الْغَضَبِ غَيْرِ الْمُخَفَّفَةِ، الْمَسْكُوبَةِ فِي كَأْسِ غَضَبِ اللهِ، فَيُكَابِدُوا عَذَابَ النَّارِ وَالْكِبْرِيتِ الْمُتَّقِدِ،

11 وَيَتَصَاعَدُ دُخَانُ عَذَابِهِمْ إِلَى أَبَدِ الآبِدِينَ. لاَ رَاحَةَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَلاَ فِي اللَّيْلِ لِلَّذِينَ عَبَدُوا الْوَحْشَ وَسَجَدُوا لِتِمْثَالِهِ وَقَبِلُوا عَلاَمَةَ اسْمِهِ.

12 وَهُنَا يَظْهَرُ صَبْرُ الْقِدِّيسِينَ الَّذِينَ يُحَافِظُونَ عَلَى وَصَايَا اللهِ وَالإِيمَانِ بِيَسُوعَ!»

Now I Belong to Jesus - Living Waters

heatherleewillis July 05, 2009
Norman Clayton 1943

"Jesus, my Lord will love me forever,
From Him no pow'r of evil can sever,
He gave His life to ransom my soul;
Now I belong to Him;

Now I belong to Jesus,
Jesus belongs to me,
Not for the years of time alone,
But for eternity. "

Friday, January 28, 2011

Former Adventist Church President Neal Wilson Passes Away

Tue, 12/14/2010 - 14:17 Alexander Carpenter

From Orville D. Parchment, Assistant to the President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church:

It is with sadness we communicate to you the passing of Pastor Wilson’s father, Elder Neal C. Wilson, earlier this afternoon. Pastor Wilson, his sister Shirley, and his wife, Nancy, had been caring for him during the last few days. The family will have a private graveside service later this week. A Memorial Service is being planned for a date to be determined. Details will be shared as soon as they are available. Please keep Elder Wilson and his family in your prayers during this very difficult time.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be sent to: Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Adventist Heritage Ministry, Adventist World Radio or Christian Record Services for the Blind.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Secrets of Rome.m4v

PresenttruthHD | March 01, 2010

Graz reelected Secretary of the Conference of the Christian World Communions

PARL Updates » November 29, 2010

Graz reelected Secretary of the Conference of the Christian World Communions
On Wednesday November 3, 2010, the Secretaries of the Christian World Communions elected Dr John Graz Secretary for the 5th time at their meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The Secretaries of the Christian World Communions is a group of senior Christian religious leaders from across the Christian denominational spectrum. The leaders represent Christian denominations that, when added together, amount to roughly 2 billion Christians worldwide.

"It is privilege to play a role at this critical gathering that provides space for fellowship and exchange of ideas among Christian leaders" said Graz. "The Conference as a great opportunity to promote a better understanding and to discuss the challenges to common values like religious freedom and respect for others in spite of differences."


Christian World Communions

"Christian World Communions" (CWCs) is the term commonly used to describe the globally organized churches or groupings (families) of churches with common theological and historical roots, confessions, or structure. This definition itself demonstrates the fact that there are different kinds of Christian world communions. The term came into common use only around 1979. Other terms used in the past to name these groupings were even less adequate in describing the families of church groupings. They include "world confessional church groups", "world confessional groups", "world confessional bodies" and "world confessional families".

Each Christian world communion consists of churches belonging to the same tradition and held together by a common heritage; they are conscious of living in the same universal fellowship and give to this consciousness at least some structured visible expression. They may or may not be tied to particular creeds or confessions. The forms of "structured visible expressions" of confessional organizations vary greatly. One Christian world communion has many employees and a large annual budget. Several have small staffs and moderate budgets. Some have origins which precede the modern ecumenical movement by several decades. Others were formed or assumed their present level of activities since the World Council of Churches was officially founded in 1948. Their fields of interest can be quite varied. However, they form linkages that strengthen the common witness in their churches in areas such as mission and evangelism, justice and service and promoting Christian unity.

Since 1957, with a few exceptions (1960, 1961, and 1975), the conference of secretaries of Christian world communions has met annually. It usually gathers the general secretaries of these bodies for fellowship and comparing notes together. In some years, they have also been able to discuss various mutual concerns including bilateral dialogues, the relationships between Bible societies and the CWCs, religious liberty and human rights, and the CWCs' commitment to the future of the ecumenical movement.

The annual meetings usually gather representatives of the following: The Anglican Communion, Baptist World Alliance, Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council, The Ecumenical Patriarchate (Eastern Orthodox), General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, International Old Catholic Bishops' Conference, Lutheran World Federation, Mennonite World Conference, Moravian Church Worldwide Unity Board, The Moscow Patriarchate (Eastern Orthodox), Pentecostals, The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Catholic Church), Reformed Ecumenical Council, The Salvation Army, Friends World Committee for Consultation, World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World Convention of Churches of Christ, World Evangelical Fellowship, and the World Methodist Council. The World Council of Churches is usually represented at the meetings.

Even in their totality, the Christian world communions do not represent all branches of Christianity. At least three groups of churches in particular exist outside a worldwide Christian world communions framework: the Oriental Orthodox churches, the independent or indigenous churches, especially in Africa, the united and uniting churches which came into existence from the 1920s onwards.

Varied as they are in their structure and purpose, the Christian world communions are very much alive and must be seen in their relationship with the ecumenical movement. In their beginnings they were in fact the principal existing forms of the ecumenical movement, giving the members of their churches a new consciousness of universality through an understanding of the worldwide dimensions of their own fellowships. Many of their leaders participated in the formation of the World Council of Churches and from 1948 until today have held positions of leadership in it.

In the past, in some quarters, Christian world communions have been viewed as antithetical to ecumenical engagement. Often this has been done by labelling Christian world communions as promoting confessionalism or denominationalism at the expense of promoting Christian unity. This is rather shortsighted. In fact, many Christian world communions are key ecumenical organs and have supported the World Council of Churches in its role as the privileged ecumenical organization. This was recognized as early as the second assembly of WCC in 1954 where, in a report to the assembly in Evanston, Illinois, USA, the then central committee stated: "It may be noted with satisfaction that almost all world confessional associations have gone on record wishing to support the ecumenical movement, and it is suggested that the General Secretary shall arrange for informal consultations from time to time with three or four representatives from each association, to discuss the implementation of that desire and other common problems."1

Almost thirty years later, the sixth assembly of the WCC (Vancouver, 1983) recognized the ecumenical importance of the CWCs and of the conference of secretaries of CWCs as partners in the quest for the full visible unity of the church, and encouraged the development of closer collaboration between the WCC and the CWCs. It recommended that both should pursue the task of seeking clarity as to the goal of the unity which Christians seek within the one ecumenical movement, and in identifying steps and possibilities in achieving that goal. It also expressed the hope that a new series of ad hoc meetings of the Forum on Bilateral Conversations would be held, and made the specific request that attention be given to the reception of the Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry text and to its relations to the bilateral dialogues among CWCs. The question of the relationship between the three concepts of unity - "organic unity", "conciliar fellowship" and "reconciled diversity" - remains crucial.

These 1983 affirmations built upon earlier efforts to address some questions which were beginning to emerge vis-à-vis the relationship between the WCC and Christian world communions as well as questions related to how younger churches in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific could move beyond denominationalism to ecumenical engagement. The Nairobi WCC assembly (1975), for example, made a number of proposals aimed at both the WCC and CWCs finding "a constructive and complementary way of contributing to the advance of the ecumenical movement". 2

A major contribution of Christian world communions to Christian unity has been the theological bilateral dialogues. Several CWCs have come to some significant agreed statements that have removed some historical suspicions and condemnations. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches for example has developed close relations with Lutherans and Disciples of Christ, and come to some significant agreed positions with Roman Catholics and Anabaptists as a result of these dialogues. The Joint Declaration on Justification signed by Lutherans and Roman Catholics is a major result of such bilateral dialogues.

In 1974, the Christian world communions conference of secretaries welcomed an initiative of the WCC Faith and Order commission to hold forums to reflect on the dialogues. This was confirmed by the 1975 WCC assembly in Nairobi. Eight such forums were held between 1978 and 2001 with the participation of representatives of Christian world communions. Such forums have provided space for reflection on results and reception of the dialogues at national, regional and global levels and helped to assess their impact on the quest for Christian unity.

As the ecumenical family searches for new models of ecumenical engagement and inter-church collaboration, Christian world communions have often worked within different processes to further this cause. Since 1997, they have been actively engaged in the global Christian forum process. In recent years CWCs have also discussed among themselves and participated in processes related to the call for a reconfiguration of the ecumenical movement.


1 The Evanston Report, 1954, pp. 184-85.

2 Breaking Barriers: Nairobi 1975. Geneva, WCC, pp. 196-98.

Is not the LORD among us?

Micah 3

1And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?

2Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones;

3Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron.

4Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

5Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.

6Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

7Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.

8But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

9Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.

10They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.

11The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

12Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gamaliel and the Barack Obama Connection

Photo (Courtesy)

by Gregory A. Galluzzo

President elect Barack Obama has throughout his political career made repeated references to his time as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. It is important that we all understand the connection between Barack and Gamaliel. In l980 Mary Gonzales and I created the United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago.

In l982 we decided that we needed some expertise from someone who had done faith based community organizing. A person who had worked as such an organizer in Illinois and in Pennsylvania approached me about joining our organizing team. His name was Jerry Kellman. Jerry helped Mary and myself become better organizers. While he was working for us, he connected with a group called the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) operating on the South Side in the South Suburbs of Chicago, and in Indiana. CCRC had been formed in response to the massive shut down of major industry and the resulting job loss and all of the concomitant social tragedies.

Jerry and I reached an understanding that we would support his work in the South Suburbs so that he could become director of his own project. It was Jerry Kellman who put an ad in the New York Times about an organizing position in the Chicago area. Barack responded; Jerry interviewed him and offered him a position. Barack accepted. Almost at this very time, Jerry propositioned an old friend of his to return to Chicago from Texas and work with him in this new organizing venture. His friend was Mike Kruglik. Mike and Jerry were the first mentors of Barack in organizing.

CCRC, which spanned communities in Northwest Indiana, the South Suburbs and parts of the City of Chicago proved to be unwieldy. Jerry and I decided to split it into three parts. Barack would work to found a new independent project in the South side of Chicago, Mike Kruglik would be the director of the South Suburban Action Conference and Jerry Kellman would develop organizing in Northwest Indiana. At that point Jerry asked me to become Barack’s consultant.

And at this time we were just creating the Gamaliel Foundation. I met with Barack on a regular basis as he incorporated the Developing Communities Project, as he moved the organization into action and as he developed the leadership structure for the organization. He would write beautiful and brilliant weekly reports about his work and the people he was engaging.

When Barack decided to go to Harvard Law School, he approached John McKnight, a professor at Northwestern and a Gamaliel Board member for a letter of recommendation. When Barack was leaving he made sure that Gamaliel was the formal consultant to the organization that he had created and to the staff that he had hired.

Barack has acknowledged publicly that he had been the director of a Gamaliel affiliate. He has supported Gamaliel throughout the years by conducting training both at the National Leadership Training events and at the African American Leadership Commission. He has also attended our public meetings.

We are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel.


Gregory Galluzzo, a former Jesuit priest, is the Executive Director of the Gamaliel Foundation. In 1980 Galluzzo co-founded, along with his wife Mary Gonzalez, a Chicago Latino activist organization called the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO). Today, Ms. Gonzalez is the Gamaliel Foundation’s Director of Western Territory. UNO, also modeled after Alinsky’s methods, is known for using aggressive organizing and confrontational tactics to push for change.

A Sputnik Moment

That is old hat, isn't it?

State of the Union? The picture says it all: A Prophetic scenario.

The men behind the President -

Top left: [Vice-President (D)]
Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania,[1] the son of Joseph Robinette Biden Sr. (1915–2002)[2] and Catherine Eugenia "Jean" Finnegan (1917–2010).[3] He was the first of four siblings[1] in an Irish Catholic family with roots in County Londonderry.[4][5]

Top right: [Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (R)]
attended Cincinnati's Moeller High School and was a linebacker on the school's football team, where he was coached by future Notre Dame coach Gerry Faust.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] Graduating from Moeller in 1968, when U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was at its peak, Boehner enlisted in the United States Navy but was honorably discharged after eight weeks because of a bad back.[13] He earned his B.A. in business administration from Xavier University {Jesuit} in 1977, becoming the first person in his family to attend college, taking seven years as he held several jobs to pay for his education.[4]

A Sputnik Moment - Yes, this is really out of sight. It really blows my mind!

How about a Dupnik moment, instead?

Clarence William Dupnik (born January 11, 1936) is an American law enforcement official. Dupnik was appointed Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, in February 1980 to fill a vacancy rising from the resignation of his predecessor, Richard Boykin. He won election in his own right in September 1980, and has been re-elected every four years since. Dupnik is a member of the Democratic party.
Dupnik's office oversaw local response and investigation of the 2011 Tucson shootings. Dupnik stated that he felt that the level of vitriol in political discourse created an atmosphere where violence was likely. "It's not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included. That's the sad thing about what's going on in America: pretty soon we're not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office."[7]

Dupnik, who turned 75 on Tuesday, grew up in a Catholic family in Bisbee, a small mining town near Arizona's border with Mexico. His parents taught by example, he said, something he sees as rare in an age when people are fond of talking about their own greatness.

"We were taught to respect authority, and parents and, basically, everything," he said. "And, in my opinion, that's one of the most basic things that has changed in our society: People don't have much respect for anything. They use foul and vulgar language. Violence is -- it fills all the movies. It's hard to watch a movie that's not filled with violence and vulgarity and sex."

This right-and-wrong discipline was reinforced in school.

"I went to a Catholic school for eight years, and we were not allowed to behave in a deviant way. When we did, we paid a price," he said. "I had my oily hair pulled once by nuns, and I have been slapped across the wrist a couple of times."

Note: All other bio's were found at wikipedia.

BTW: In memory of the Tucson shootings (to reduce the vitriol): The Congressmen were asked to sit together for the State of the Union Speech; instead of the usual, Republicans to the Right, and Democrats to the Left. That sure sounds good. The Reds and the Blues all mixed up in one big PURPLE bunch.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jesuit Superior General in East Asia

Father General in East Asia

(18-Jan-2011) From 20 to 28 January, 2010, Father General will visit various places in East Asia. His primary objective will be to participate in the regular meeting of the Major Superiors of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (of which he used to be President), to be held in Singapore from January 23 to 28. Taking advantage of the long trip from Rome to the East, Father General will also visit Bangkok, Thailand from January 20 to 21, to meet with Jesuits and our collaborators in the Dependent Region of Thailand. From January 21 to 22, he will make a brief visit to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he will meet with the Jesuit Community and our collaborators in Cambodia. While in Singapore, in addition to attending the sessions of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific, and receiving the manifestations of the Major Superiors, Father General will also spend some time with the Jesuits and collaborators of the Dependent Region of Malaysia-Singapore. Visits with the Archbishop of Bangkok, the Bishop of Phnom Penh, and the Archbishop of Singapore are also included in Father General’s full schedule.


Europe infos, a Christian perspective on the European Union

COMECE and the Jesuit European Office are pleased to introduce a new version of Europe infos, in a new online format in colour.

Europe Infos is a monthly journal produced over the last fourteen years by the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and the Jesuit European Office (also known as OCIPE). This joint publication was preceded by two separate journals: L’Europe au fil des jours (1982-1996) published by COMECE, and OCIPE’s Objectif Europe (1981-1998).

Europe Infos aims to make the European project more accessible and comprehensible to Europe’s citizens, and in particular to local churches, by offering interpretations of the legislative and political activities of the EU (its institutional affairs, but also the underlying ethical and social themes of fundamental rights, social cohesion, migration and refugees, education, bioethics and so on).

Through this commentary, Europe Infosseeks to promote among the EU’s Christians, a more active interest and participation in the life of the EU.

Europe Infos is available in English, French and German. From this issue onward, the subscription is free, and may be taken out here. is the new website through which articles may be read, and printed out individually. The complete version of Europe infos, in English and French, may be downloaded and printed out as a pdf document through the website.

In order to receive the next issue, that of February 2011, subscribe here.

For any question concerning subscriptions, please be free to contact the following address:


Food prices to rocket by 50% as global hunger epidemic causes riots and famines

By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 11:03 PM on 24th January 2011

'Perfect storm' of issues will bring widespread starvation if nothing is done

Food prices to rise by 50 per cent over the next decade

GM crops will be needed to feed the world

Global population to grow to 9billion by 2050

The cost of food will soar by 50 per cent over the next few decades as the world becomes racked by famine, mass migrations and riots, experts have warned.

The increase will be triggered by the exploding world population, rising cost of fuel and increased competition for water, according to a leading Government think-tank.

Spiralling food prices will push hundreds of millions of people into hunger, trigger mass migration and spark civil unrest, the report warned.

Food crisis: A leading Government think tank has warned scaremongering over GM farming is no longer acceptable

And in the UK, the price of basics such as bread, rice and milk will spiral to inflation-busting record prices within the next few decades.

The report, from Foresight, a think-tank set up to predict future crises, called for ‘urgent action’ to prevent food shortages, and said genetically modified crops may be needed to prevent famines.

Even a ‘modest’ rise in food prices could push 100million people into hunger, the report warned.

The world is facing a commodities crisis that could leave millions unable to afford the rising costs of food as population levels soar

Global food prices are already at a record high. Last month the price of cereals, sugar and meat soared on the world’s markets after a series of crop failures caused by bad weather.

Foresight predicted that the world’s population would rise from 6.9billion today to around 9billion by the middle of the century.

Bleak outlook: Sir John cited swelling population levels, energy shortages and climate change will make 'perfect storm' forcing widespread starvation

As the world gets more crowded and more wealthy, demand for food, water and energy will soar.

At the same time, climate change will increase the risk of droughts, floods and crop failures – creating a ‘perfect storm’ of food shortages and above-inflation rises in prices.

Co-author Prof Charles Godfray of Oxford University said: ‘There is a very large risk of a quite substantial increase in prices over the next 30 or 40 years.

‘We are going to have to produce considerably more food. So, inescapably, we are going to have to produce more food from the same amount of land without wrecking the environment.’
The report, written by 40 scientists in 35 countries, calls for a ‘green revolution’ to boost production using traditional, organic and genetically modified crops – designed to be resistant to drought or salt water – and better training for farmers in less well-off countries.

It also called for a massive crackdown on food waste. A typical British household wastes £500 to £700 a year on food that they buy and then throw away.

More...Was climate change responsible for the rise and fall of the Roman Empire?

'We can live on bread and water... but not with this ruling party,' say Tunisia protesters as they take to the streets again

How to slash the cost of your weekly food shop (

Professor Sherman Robinson of Sussex University, one of the report’s authors, said food prices could go up by 50 per cent over the next few decades.

‘The robust conclusion is that the long run decline in food prices is over,’ he said.
Swelling: Sir John said he world's population will reach a total of around 9,000 million by 2050, with around 60% living in cities

Professor John Beddington, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, said the food system was failing.

‘Firstly it is unsustainable, with resources being used faster than they can be naturally replenished,’ he said.

‘Secondly a billion people are going hungry with another billion people suffering from “hidden hunger”, whilst a billion people are over-consuming.'



The State of the Onion


"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders"

Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. — Hermann Goering

Monday, January 24, 2011

Indian Christians urged to serve others

Published Date: January 24, 2011

Some 10,000 people attended a Mass led by a top Vatican official on Jan. 23 in Bangalore, southern India.

Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in his homily urged them to become true disciples of Jesus Christ by serving others.

“Do not keep the love, goodness and graciousness of Jesus to ourselves, but share them with others,” said the cardinal.
Cardinal Levada came to India with a team of Vatican officials on Jan. 16 to attend a weeklong colloquium between bishops and theologians in the country.



Spontaneous Rash of Police Officers Shot

Today -

2 officers killed, third wounded while seeking suspect at Florida home

Yesterday -

Gunman wounds 4 officers in Detroit police station
Reuters) - A gunman opened fire inside a Detroit police station on Sunday, wounding four police officers, including a commander, before the attacker was shot and killed, Police Chief Ralph Godbee said.

Last Week -

2 Miami Officers Killed in Shootout
New York Times - Timothy Williams - ‎Jan 20, 2011‎
A murder suspect was killed. One of the police officers, Roger Castillo, a 21-year veteran, died at the scene in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood, ...

What a bad combination: police shootings, gun control and politics?

What's next? Speeches and laws? It's election time all over again. Deja vu...

Counterfeit of Truth

Counterfeit of Truth—There are but two parties. Satan works with his crooked, deceiving power, and through strong delusions he catches all who do not abide in the truth, who have turned away their ears from the truth, and have turned unto fables. Satan himself abode not in the truth; he is the mystery of iniquity. Through his subtlety he gives to his soul-destroying errors the appearance of truth. Herein is their power to deceive.

It is because they are a counterfeit of the truth that spiritualism, theosophy, and the like deceptions gain such power over the minds of men. Herein is the masterly working of Satan. He pretends to be the saviour of man, the benefactor of the human race, and thus he more readily lures his victims to destruction.—SpT Series A, No. 9, Sept 24, 1897. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 365.)

A People Who Keep God’s Law

The Faith I Live By, Page 307

A People Who Keep God’s Law

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:12.

We are standing upon the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecies are fulfilling. Strange, eventful history is being recorded in the books of heaven. Everything in our world is in agitation.... Only a moment of time, as it were, yet remains....

Satan is busily laying his plans for the last mighty conflict, when all will take sides....

Men in their blindness boast of wonderful progress and enlightenment; but to the eye of Omniscience are revealed the inward guilt and depravity. The heavenly watchers see the earth filled with violence and crime. Wealth is obtained by every species of robbery, not robbery of men only, but of God. Men are using His means to gratify their selfishness. Everything they can grasp is made to minister to their greed. Avarice and sensuality prevail. Men cherish the attributes of the first great deceiver. They ... have become imbued with his spirit.

But the cloud of judicial wrath hangs over them, containing the elements that destroyed Sodom. In his visions of things to come the prophet John beheld this scene. This demon worship was revealed to him, and it seemed to him as if the whole world were standing on the brink of perdition. But as he looked with intense interest he beheld the company of God’s commandment-keeping people. They had upon their foreheads the seal of the living God, and he said: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

This distinctive banner ... [Revelation 14:12 quoted] is to be borne through the world to the close of probation.

This is not a time to haul down our colors, to be ashamed of our faith.

Every man is to stand in his lot and place, thinking, speaking, and acting in harmony with the Spirit of God.

Obama’s speech problem

The president, it turns out, is not a great communicator

(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama spoke at the event "Together We Thrive: Tucson and America" honoring the January 8 shooting victims at McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus on January 12, 2011.

By Peter S. Canellos
January 23, 2011

In those breathless days between Barack Obama’s victory and inauguration, his young speechwriter, Jon Favreau, jogged by the Lincoln Memorial and felt the tug of history. He was at work on Obama’s inaugural address, and here, at the feet of the Great Emancipator, more than 3 million people would gather to hear his and Obama’s words.

Brilliant. Moving. Eloquent. The adjectives used to describe Obama’s previous speeches sparkled like quotes on a movie marquee.

“Dude, what you’re writing is going to be hung up in people’s living rooms!” Obama aide Bill Burton reportedly enthused to Favreau.

Those who came craving Obama’s soaring references to America’s past and promise would not go home empty-handed. There was a long anecdote about Valley Forge. A tribute to “a parent’s willingness to nurture a child.” A call to listen to “the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington [and] whisper through the ages.” A reminder of “the bitter swill of civil war and segregation.”

When it was over, the audience applauded lustily. By the end of the day, copies of the speech were rolling off the presses, and commemorative booklets began rocketing up the bestseller lists.

Much later, though, writers led by The New Republic’s John B. Judis would focus on other aspects of the speech, such as the line that declared, “Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.”

As Obama spoke, Democrats were preparing to defend the bank bailout and extend it to Detroit, where overfed executives and intransigent unions had driven the auto industry into the ground. Also in the offing was a financial-reform bill that banks would oppose with all their power. These initiatives depended on voters believing that Obama’s policies would punish those whose caused the crisis and assist those who suffered.

Yet here was Obama, spreading the blame beyond the executives, beyond the Bush administration, to a collective failure to grapple with new realities. The line may have projected Obama as a national father, dispensing wisdom and facing up to hard truths. But it failed utterly in advancing the program that Democrats were preparing. Pretty soon, the public was blaming Obama for subsidizing failed bankers.

Then, when the deficit began to grow, Obama stressed the need for belt-tightening while making a lawyerly distinction between the long-term and short-term deficit; what he failed to drive home was that the programs that temporarily ballooned the deficit were emergency measures to cure the economy.

Then, when the administration focused on health-insurance reform, the administration and its allies adopted the easy, emotional shorthand of rescuing those without insurance, rather than stressing that health care costs were strangling the economy. Thus, to many, the Democratic plan seemed a discretionary item, a new kind of welfare, and Obama, despite studies showing that the health bill would actually cut the deficit, was unable to correct that impression. Continued...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SpirituallySmart.Com's Blog: Total Onslaught

In November 2010, I (re) posted an article (, and today someone sent me a link to this personal assault:

SpirituallySmart.Com's Blog
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Arsenio Lembert Jr. promotes messages from drug addicts, pedophile supporters and insane people
Arsenio Lembert Jr. creator of a blog called EndrTimes (sic) has shown his spiritual blindness in reposting material from a marijuana addict (or that may be his CIA cover), Douglas Willinger and another nut named Bruce Hallman of the religious cult called FMH Children's Club International.
Arsenio Lambert Jr. is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist cult which follow a false prophet named Ellen G White. Ellen G White espoused many kinds of heresies and had many failed prophecies and also has her roots in Freemasonry and many man made doctrines. One of her doctrines even directly condemns Jesus Christ Himself. She stated that MEAT ie FOOD contaminates the blood of humans. Therefore she states that Jesus's blood was contaminated as well because Jesus ate meat and taught us that eating meat was okay and even recommended certain meats above other meats.

When looking at Arsenio's blog I see he even continues to promote Tony Alamo who is a convicted child molester. And Arsenio also supports at least two other child molester supporters. One Tom Friess, and the other who I mentioned above, Arthur Bruce Hallman.
...Instead, you could have had me as a friend. You could have perhaps made me sympathetic toward you and your cult. But unfortunately you follow in the same spirit that caused me to expose the root of your religion which ties directly to Satan himself.

Seventh Day Adventist Documentary Plus Commentary By me


This wasn't a blog article, it was a personal indictment!
Wow, where did all this vile come from? This was an unwarranted personal attack. What does Ellen G. White, The Sabbath, Seventh day Adventists - 'the cult', Arthur Hallman, drug addicts and pedophile supporters have to do with me? This reveals more about the person who wrote this Thomas Richards (or whatever his name really is), than it does about me, Endrtimes, or Ellen G. White. With all this malice expressed; Are we fighting against men or principalities?

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. .Ephesians 6:12

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Church, Congregations Increase Focus on "Spiritual Formation"

ANN Feature: Church, Congregations Increase Focus on "Spiritual Formation"

Spiritual formation is a topic being raised by many pastors and church leaders in a growing number of Christian denominations. It's no longer enough to just know doctrine and facts--in today's hectic society people are searching for something deeper and...

3 Feb 2004,

Spiritual formation is a topic being raised by many pastors and church leaders in a growing number of Christian denominations. It's no longer enough to just know doctrine and facts--in today's hectic society people are searching for something deeper and more meaningful, something that makes sense in their whirlwind lives.

For the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a "wake-up call" was sounded after a 2002 survey showed that though doctrinal understanding was high, there were several "areas of concern," including low involvement in daily prayer and Bible study, active Christian witness to the community, and participation in community service (see ANN October 9, 2002).

These concerns can be linked to how the church rates in the area of spiritual formation, which has been defined by one Adventist Church pastor as "the process of becoming a mature Christian disciple of God." Another person describes it as "whatever you do to specifically nourish your relationship with God."

Today this subject is receiving serious emphasis in Adventist institutions, as well as in local congregations. Though the church doesn't have an accredited educational program dealing with spiritual formation at any of its theological schools, it's seeing this subject become more common in today's modern, seeking world.

Spiritual formation is not a new idea or concept, and "a lot of Protestants are in the same boat--we are rediscovering it," says Dr. Jon Dybdahl, president of Walla Walla College, an Adventist institution in Washington State. And, he adds, the Adventist Church has some work to do.

"Traditionally the Adventist Church has emphasized intellectual truth and accepting certain facts and ideas about God," Dybdahl says. "At least in many places it has not talked so much about the importance of directly experiencing God. The difference is between knowing about God and knowing God. Sometimes what we teach people is knowing about God ... That's part of the nature of things. It's much easier to communicate a fact than it is to wield people to experience."

Pastor Martin Feldbush, associate director for Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries whose work brings him in contact with leaders of several other denominations, says that the Adventist Church is not alone in its quest for deeper spiritual formation among members. "A lot of churches out there are struggling with the same issues as we are. We're not in isolation as though there's something wrong with us. I think churches particularly that are conservative in their orientation and take their mission very seriously, and I believe we should do all of that, may have a tendency to stress the 'doing' as opposed to the 'being' and the formation."

But why is there a need for spiritual formation? If people are part of a religious organization, shouldn't they already be at a certain level of spiritual formation?

John Jenson, pastor of the 150-member South Bay Adventist Church in Torrance, California, says, "There's a need for spiritual formation with the [Adventist] Church because we have been so doctrinally oriented that people might be able to quote some or all of the 27 fundamental beliefs [of the church], and may have neglected having daily devotions that day or week or month." He explains that there's an overload of knowledge and information, but how to translate that into meaningful instruction and "marching orders" for daily living is key.

Jenson says that without spiritual formation, a person would be "spiritually uncivilized." It "is the process by which they can go from being a spiritual infant to spiritual maturity ... developing the potential that God's put within you."

Dybdahl adds that people need to "Begin to recognize that knowledge without life experience can be dead. [They need to] recognize how crucial it is to people's lives [and] how much the younger generation values experience."

Dr. Jane Thayer, assistant professor of Religious Education and coordinator of the Religious Education Program at Andrews University, adds, "We have a big blank when it comes to taking care of people once they have accepted the Lord ... I think what people need to know is 'how do you live the life.' Spiritual formation or discipleship needs to show how you live like Christ."

Nikolaus Satelmajer, from the church's Ministerial Association responsible for continuing education for Adventist clergy, believes there's now a shift from emphasis on doctrine to more emphasis on spiritual formation within the Adventist Church. He also says that, "We're finding a serious lack of knowledge of our people [church founders], our doctrines ... I think we have de-emphasized them." Satelmajer says this is true particularly with the younger generation, and the cause of any spiritual formation growth stunt is not because of a focus on doctrine.

Though it's not a concept that's easy to grasp for an organization as a whole, spiritual formation is something each individual member can work on, Feldbush says. "When you think about it as an individual, we're so used to gearing our spiritual experience on the 'wow' moments--the ones [in which] we can see the great things happening, whether it's personally or organizationally. It's easy to see God's movement in those times. Real spiritual formation is a process of growing more and more in tune to discernment of God's voice as well as more and more tuned to discernment of God's moving in my life, in the ordinary of life, as well as even in the difficult times of life. That's where real spiritual formation, or at least the value of spiritual formation, is seen."

Spiritual formation is not about what one does, but what the motivations behind one's actions are. Dr. Roger Dudley, professor emeritus of Christian Ministry and director of the Institute of Church Ministry at Andrews University Theological Seminary, and the 2002 survey coordinator, says there are stages of moral development. "A person who studies the Bible every day because he'll be lost if he doesn't has a low level of moral development; or a person who pays tithes and offerings because he expects an extra blessing. Higher levels would be a different level of motivation."

"That overemphasis on doing to the detriment of being and particularly the detriment of being in the spirit and being in Christ as the very formational and foundational experience of the individual member and the church itself, I think that's one of the big challenges," says Feldbush. He adds that the three strategic values of the church--unity, growth and quality of life--adopted in 2002, demonstrate personal spiritual growth.

Spiritual formation takes on several forms: "There are disciplines of devotion, meditation, prayer, listening and so on," Feldbush explains. "It's a discipline which can be heeded through the assistance of a person who is trained in helping people grow in these ways." But, he says, it's mostly "growing more and more tuned to God's movement in my life here and now." And, he says, spiritual formation is not something that happens overnight.

"We [as a church] think that spiritual formation comes through socialization. But we need to be intentional about it," says Thayer. "The culture we live in is so pervasive that the models there are more persistent and prevalent than the little models we have just in terms of the time we've spent." Thayer refers to a need for showing others how to live like Christ in the real world.

Dudley adds that if more members are encouraged to study and pray more and are able and willing to share their faith, there may be spiritual development for the church as a whole. "Spiritual development is something that happens with individuals."

Satelmajer adds, "And within congregations as well. Spiritual formation is the implementation of spiritual principles in my life and in my actions," he says. "I think we're missing something. It's not just learning how to 'meditate'--spiritual formation is learning how to implement spiritual things that I know or am learning or experiencing into my life and then into my everyday life..."

The Adventist world church created the International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education (IBMTE) in September 2001, designed to provide overall guidance and standards to the professional training of pastors, evangelists, theologians, teachers, chaplains and other denominational employees involved in ministerial and religious formation, or spiritual formation, in each of the church's 13 regions around the world.

Silver Spring, Maryland United States,
Wendi Rogers/ANN
Source: Adventist News Network©

Bishops Manipulate Congress

Bishops Manipulate Congress · July 01, 2010 [click to listen] W

Dear friends,

A warm welcome to you and your family. We are truly nearing the end. Recently the Wall Street Journal commented that the Roman Catholic Church in America has “emerged as a major political force… Behind-the-scenes lobbying, coupled with a grassroots mobilization of Catholic churches across the country,” has led a decidedly liberal, democratically dominated U.S. House of Representatives to enact a law in harmony with conservative Roman Catholic policy.

Though generating howls of protest, the Catholic Church played a central role in one of the most sweeping changes in legislative history in the United States. The Bishops forced their will on the House of Representatives and the President to act against their own will. When you see what they did, you will be amazed at the power of Rome in the United States. From a prophetic point of view, this is astonishing, regardless of where you might stand on the issues embedded in the legislation.

Article on the Legislation

Before we go any further, I want you to be aware that Keep the Faith is dedicated to documenting fulfilling prophecy. We are not interested in promoting politics or weighing in on partisan issues. We respect our government leaders because God has appointed them a certain amount of time to do their work. In discussing prophecy and its fulfillment, we do not in any way intend to show disrespect to them or to the offices which they hold.

However, we also recognize that they are free moral agents and that God does not dictate how they think or act, though everything they do must have His permission, and ultimately fulfills His purposes. He may hold back the consequences of their decisions for a time. He may defeat their efforts by using opposing forces. But no one can do anything “against the truth but for the truth.” That’s what II Corinthians 13:8 says. He may even send angels in the form of men to argue His case before legislative assemblies.

The same goes for religious leaders. We do not disrespect them, and we believe that they have free choice just like anyone else. But today there is an undercurrent that is moving us toward a Sunday law. Bible prophecy tells us that both groups have a large part to play in the final movements.

Remember the scripture admonition in Revelation 16:15, which says, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” This verse reminds us of the nearness of Jesus’ second coming and that He will come as a thief, or at a time when we do not expect him. Because of that, it also reminds us that we are to watch. The only way to watch is to open your eyes and see the fulfilling prophecy. Then the verse reminds us to “keep our garments,” in other words, don’t let go of the righteousness of Christ, lest you be shamed by sin which brings nakedness of character. Friends, this is vital counsel for the last generation. Notice the combination of watching and righteous living. More than ever we need righteous living through the righteousness of Jesus, for the time is at hand when the prophecies are being fulfilled in rapid succession. Your eternal destiny is at stake at this very moment. Don’t delay the necessary preparation.

I am going to read a powerful prophetic statement from scripture. It is one that you may well recognize, especially if you are one of our regular subscribers, because I have quoted it before. It is from Revelation 17. Beginning with verse one, the scripture says, “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

Then the apostle John describes a woman in scarlet sitting on a scarlet colored beast full of blasphemy, etc. This beast and woman represent Roman Catholicism, both a civil power, represented by a beast, and a church represented by a woman. There is no other entity on earth that can meet the description given here than the Roman Catholic Church. But I want you to notice that the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication, or her doctrines. Fornication is when someone is unfaithful. This church has doctrines that are unfaithful to the Lord and to scripture.

That drunkenness which inebriates the inhabitants of the earth spiritually is already happening. Rome has so successfully developed her popularity in Western countries that most people living in those countries don’t have much objection to her doctrines or to her power, except a very few secular people, or those who have rather liberal lifestyles and beliefs. Of course those that understand Bible prophecy and who accept Jesus and all the truth into their hearts and lives would not be drunk with her wine either. But they too are really a small minority.

Note also that the kings of the earth have committed fornication with Rome. The rulers of this world seek Rome’s counsel. They are also influenced by Rome in making their decisions. Rome in many ways has developed very powerful influence. This power is reflected in many different ways.

For instance in 1989, Germany was reunited and the Berlin wall separating east and west was no more. This was engineered by John Paul II working together with Ronald Reagan and other world leaders, and was reported in Time magazine as a clandestine campaign which was one of the “greatest secret alliances of all time.” In other words, they were in a conspiracy against communism, and amazingly without knowing it, they were fulfilling prophecy. Rome could never recover old Europe and thereby resurrect the Holy Roman Empire without the dissolution of Eastern European communism, particularly that which controlled Central and Eastern Europe. It was one of Rome’s key political achievements under John Paul II which then paved the way for the European Union to be melded together, which is now a federated block of nations with an overriding supranational constitution and government. This is essentially the way Europe was in the middle ages when Rome controlled it. There are new people. There are new documents, and new agencies, but the principles are the same. And Rome is working very hard to rebuild the ancient relationships that will put her on the throne of Europe. Even the European Union President is a Jesuit trained Roman Catholic.

Time Magazine Article

Independent News Article

What happened between John Paul and Ronald Reagan was an alliance, a cooperative effort. Rome had a lot of power in Poland because more than 90% of its people are Roman Catholic. John Paul II was also a Pole. This made it very difficult for the polish communist government to overrule him. In fact, they were utterly unsuccessful.

But that was 1989. Since then the popularity of Rome in America has dramatically increased. Americans are awed by Rome. This gives Rome tremendous influence and power. Now Rome has expanded her political efforts and is determined to influence the nation’s laws whenever possible. Once Rome has power to dictate the laws she wants, she will influence lawmakers to enact her ultimate geopolitical objective, Sunday laws.

The Holy See, which is the official name of the Vatican among the nation states, has bragged that she has considerable greatness. “According to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, the Holy See is “small but great; the greatest in the world from any point of view,” quoted Zenit on February 13, 2009.

Bertone was speaking at a conference marking the 80th anniversary of the Lateran Treaty of 1929 which established the current Vatican as an independent city state and recognized its sovereignty. This was also the beginning of the healing of the deadly wound mentioned in Revelation 13:3.

“Cardinal Bertone noted in a special way the funeral of John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI, ‘which brought to Rome the top political authorities of the world and massive crowds.’”

The pontificate of John Paul II, the second longest in history, and perhaps the most influential in recent times from a global perspective, elevated the popularity of the papacy to unprecedented levels which greatly enhanced its political influence and power.

The Bible also identifies the papacy as great, particularly in regard to her arrogance and sins and her blasphemy against God, all in the name of God, and of Christ.

For example, Daniel 7:25 says that the Holy See “speaks great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws.” If ever any organization was great in changing God’s law, it is the Catholic Church. If ever any organization wore out the saints of the Most High by persecuting them, it is the Papacy, even while creating a great many so-called “saints” of her own.

The Bible even speaks of the Vatican City State: “What city is like unto this great city!… wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness!” (Rev. 18:18, 19) And speaking of the great whore it says: “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

The Vatican is indeed great. Cardinal Bertone was not speaking idly when he said that the Holy See is the “greatest in the world from any point of view.” Perhaps he wasn’t referring to the Bible’s definition of the greatness of the Vatican and the Holy See, but from the prophetic point of view, he inadvertently confirmed the words of sacred scripture nevertheless.

Zenit News Article

That greatness is reflected in so many aspects of Rome’s relationships with nation states too. Leaders of most nations, when in Europe on official business stop in Rome for an audience with the Pope. And Rome knows that this gives her political power on a global scale. But perhaps for Rome, there is no greater prize than to manipulate the United States, which was originally founded on Protestant principles. Rome has been patiently working to strengthen her power in the United States so that she would be able to influence its laws and policies. That day has now come.

Listen to this powerful statement from the book Great Controversy, page 581. “God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men.”

Perhaps we could say that Rome has silently grown into power! This prophecy has been largely fulfilled. But it has more to go. Rome has not yet influenced the United States to pass a Sunday law. But note also that her doctrines are gaining acceptance and influence in legislative halls too.

Today, I’m going to show you a direct fulfillment of this prophecy, and the prophecy about the kings or rulers of the earth committing fornication with Rome, and specifically her doctrines.

But before I do, let us read the rest of the paragraph in Great Controversy, page 581. It goes like this: “She [meaning Rome] is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectingly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.”

I wonder why the author linked Rome’s popularity and legislative influence with persecution of those who follow God’s law. Isn’t that interesting? Perhaps the reason is self-evident. Laws are made by nations. When Rome gains popularity and influence she gains political strength. Then she pressures lawmakers to make laws that suit her. Note that there will come a time for her to strike. I wonder why the author used this term “strike.” It reminds us of a snake coiled up and ready to strike the innocent little mouse that is minding his own business doing what God made him to do.

The passage I read says that “Rome is strengthening her forces.” This is talking about her influence, and particularly in democratic Western countries, it is talking about votes. She is doing this in many ways. For instance, she does this through Catholic immigration into Western Europe, the USA and other Western nations. She also has her bishops conferences close to the centers of power in Western nations. In the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is in Washington DC, not far from the White House and Congress. Needless to say, the bishops designed it that way so that they can influence these individuals and legislative bodies and the votes they cast for legislative actions. She also promotes causes that advocate for the poor, which, while a good thing in itself, Rome uses to strengthen her own power and influence with the people. This translates into votes for and against those individuals or laws that Rome endorses or does not endorse. Her Jesuit institutions influence generation after generation of congressmen and congresswomen and other political leaders who are trained in them. This list of her “forces” could go on and on.

But Rome’s influence was powerfully manifested in a recent vote in the United States House of Representatives, and subsequently forced the President to take action to support Rome’s demands. Remember that the Speaker of the House is a Roman Catholic named Nancy Pelosi. Though she is liberal, she has very good relations with the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States and abroad, particularly in Rome as you will soon see. Also, remember that the majority leader of the House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, is also a Roman Catholic. And again, the minority leader of the House of Representatives is John Boehner, another Roman Catholic. Moreover, Roman Catholics make up essentially 30% of the U.S. Congress, many of whom were trained at Jesuit institutions, the most notable of which is Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

The decision that I am referring to is the health care bill that was recently enacted by Congress so that there can be universal health care in the United States. It is really a bill which is a dramatic step toward the socialization of American health care. It has been a key platform of President Obama’s administration. Interestingly, the Catholic Church, since 1963 has supported the concept of universal health care at public expense. The church and the liberal administration have found common cause.

Herald Sun Article

Cleveland Article

Faith Magazine News Article

While I don’t want to get into all the ramifications of this particular law, I do need to tell you just one piece of information that will help you understand the rest of what I am going to say. Originally this bill had provisions in it that would allow the government to pay for abortions as part of the health care plan.

The bill delegated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to make abortion an essential benefit in all health plans, and in any ‘public plan’ created by the legislation. But the final House of Representatives version of the bill does not have that provision. In fact, abortion was specifically excluded from the House version in spite of the fact that President Obama is a strong supporter of liberal abortion laws, as is Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House. How the bill was changed is the story you need to hear.

CNA News Article

Her position on abortion is one of Rome’s doctrines on which God’s people can agree. Nevertheless, Rome uses this doctrine for her own ends. In this case, Rome saw her opportunity to pressure liberal abortion-supporting lawmakers into removing the abortion funding in order to pass the law.

The original bill created a firestorm of opposition which stemmed from various aspects of the legislation. The health care bill ran into problems in subcommittee. Conservatives, especially Catholic members of Congress, had introduced an amendment to prevent federal money from paying for abortions. But the committees dropped the amendment, much to the dismay of the Catholic Church. It appeared as though the health care bill was in trouble. Conservatives in Congress were strong enough to defeat the whole bill if it did not prevent support for abortion.

Then the bishops weighted in. Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia who is the chairman of the bishops Pro-life Committee, wrote Congress a letter on July 29 which vowed that the bishops would “vigorously” oppose a health care bill that provided funding for abortion. “No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion,” the letter said. “We sincerely hope that the legislation will not fall short of our criteria,” the letter also says. “However, we remain apprehensive when amendments protecting freedom of conscience and ensuring no taxpayer money for abortion are defeated in committee votes,” they said. Clearly the Bishops were planning to use their influence to lobby congress to comply with Rome’s doctrine. Remember that the issue is not about whether you agree with Rome’s position. It is about Rome’s increasing power to enforce her doctrine.

CNN Article

New York Times Article

EWTN Article

Medical News Article

CNA News Article

But as the debate wended its way through Congress, I wondered if the Catholic Church would get more involved in some way. Little did I know that they were actually going to mobilize a major campaign to engineer a coup d‘état and force liberal democrats to vote in favor of conservative amendments against abortion funding in the bill.

On November 11, 2009, the Associated Press published an article entitled “Catholic Bishops Shape Health Care Bill.” The opening statement is very revealing. “Catholic bishops have emerged as a formidable force in the health care overhaul fight, using their clout with millions of Catholics and working behind the scenes in Congress to get strong abortion restrictions into the House bill.”

Notice that the bishops used their clout with millions of Catholics in America, 68 million of them in fact, to pressure Congress to do their will. They worked behind the scenes – stealthily I might add, just as prophecy predicted. The second sentence in the article is just as revealing… “[The bishops] don’t spend a dime on what is legally defined as lobbying, but lawmakers and insiders recognize that the bishops’ voices matter — and they move votes.”

The Wall Street Journal revealed much of the powerful campaign conducted by the bishops. Listen. “At least four representatives of the [Bishop’s Conference] worked the House…, holding private meetings with lawmakers and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The group distributed talking points to priests across the country and gave fliers to churches featuring the headline, ‘Health Care Reform Is About Saving Lives, Not Destroying Them.’ A prayer circulated to churches supporting an overhaul of the health-care system included the phrase: ‘We will raise our voices to protect the unborn.’” But that’s not all they did, as you will see in a few minutes.

Here is a little history. In the United States, there has been a long-standing open relationship between the leaders of government and the Roman Catholic bishops. Ever since at least the Carter Administration, presidents and popes began to cavort together and work in secret alliances to accomplish mutual geopolitical goals. These successful alliances have also opened the door for the bishops to become increasingly involved in direct intervention in domestic government affairs in the intervening years. As the Roman Catholic population in the United States has increased dramatically through immigration, and as the Catholic Church has become dramatically more popular in the last 30 years, the bishops have gained tremendous political clout. Almost all Americans have no objections to a foreign geopolitical power strongly influencing U.S. politics, if it is the Roman Catholic Church.

The Journal revealed what really happened secretly behind closed doors. “Representatives for the bishops were in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol suite negotiating with top officials… as they reached final terms of the agreement.”

CBS News Article

Earlier in the day, Pelosi, a Catholic and an abortion rights supporter, had been contacted by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Washington’s former archbishop, now in Rome. He called her from Rome to discuss the abortion restrictions that he and Rome wanted in the bill. “It was just one element of an intensive lobbying effort orchestrated by the nation’s Catholic bishops,” wrote, “who have emerged as a formidable force in the health care negotiations.”

Breibart News Article

But this was only the beginning of the bishop’s intervention. They had a well planned strategy. I’ll quote again from the article. “It wasn’t the first time a high-ranking Catholic had weighed in with a key player on writing strict abortion curbs into the health measure. Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley personally appealed to President Barack Obama about it near the church altar (of all places) at the early September funeral for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. [In addition] Bishops quietly called their congressmen and senators to weigh in.”

Rome worked every angle she could. The Stupak amendment, by which the abortion restrictions are known, was the tool used to pressure Congress. It was designed and introduced by Representative Bart Stupak, D-Mich., a Roman Catholic, and a strong abortion opponent even though he is a Democrat. The Stupak amendment wasn’t even considered to be viable until the Catholic bishops got involved the week before the vote with a massive campaign to pressure the House of Representatives to take out the abortion funding. Listen to Bart Stupak’s own words; “The Catholic Church used their power — their clout, if you will — to influence this issue. They had to. It’s a basic teaching of the religion…”

“It was [actually] Stupak” said the AP report “who told Pelosi… that if she wanted a deal on the health bill, she’d be well advised to invite the bishops’ staff, who were already in his office, to her table. ‘I said, ‘Well, they’re here, and they’re one of the key groups you want to have on your side, so why don’t we just bring them in and work this out,’’ Stupak said.” Pelosi did, and the result revealed what really went on behind the scenes. The bishop’s conference convinced Nancy and other leading Democrats that the only way to get the House version of the health care bill passed was to include the anti-abortion Stupak amendment. The Stupak Amendment passed the House 240-196, leading to the narrow passage of the entire bill.

MSNBC News Article

The amendment was co-sponsored by Joseph Pitts, an evangelical from Pennsylvania, and a strong abortion foe as well. This is an example of Catholics and Evangelicals working together to achieve Rome’s political goals.

MSNBC Article on Health Reform

CBS News Article

Bart Stupak Biography

The battle had became intense, both over the involvement of the Catholic Church and the amendment. There were actually up to 40 Democrats that were dissatisfied with the bill. They would have been enough to stop Pelosi’s health care bill if they were all unwilling to vote yes. Pelosi and her fellow Democratic leaders were working behind closed doors, scrambling to forge a compromise right down to the 11th hour to save the legislation. Rome obviously took advantage of this situation.

Several Democrats, including Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pennsylvania, said they are in touch with their Catholic bishops back home. Altmire said he must have the approval of his bishop in Pittsburgh before he can vote yes. Imagine having to ask your pastor’s approval to vote for something like this. How is it that the Catholic Bishops have such powerful influence?

Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio, said he’s “trying to get to yes,” but said he won’t vote for the health care bill unless it says “no federal funds used to pay for abortions and so that means no federal funds used to pay for abortion in the public option.” Dreihaus is a Roman Catholic who worked closely with Jesuit Xavier University for a time as a teacher of political science, and as one time director and now consultant to the Community Building Institute, a collaborative effort of Xavier and United Way. Dreihaus is very friendly with the Jesuits and no doubt understands how to work with them.

CNN Article

Jason Altmire Biography

Steven Driehaus Biography

Fox News 4 published an editorial by radio commentator Bill Press entitled Congress of Catholic Bishops. “Consider this scenario, wrote Press. “After months of debate, the national legislature is set to cast an historic vote. But, before legislators can vote yea or nay, the bill must first be sent to the country’s Supreme Religious Council for its approval. Only after unelected clerics give their blessing are elected politicians permitted to vote.

“Did that happen in Iran? No, it happened right here, in the House of Representatives, during [the] vote on health care reform.

“A carefully crafted piece of legislation — the result of months of debate by three different House committees — was before the House for a final vote. But, at the 11th hour, lobbyists for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops descended on the Capitol, declared they could not accept provisions in the bill restricting federal funding of abortion, demanded that the language be made tougher — and dutiful Democrats did just what the bishops ordered.”

In other words, the conservative Catholic vote in the House of Representatives was so vital to Nancy Pelosi that she knew, ultimately, that she had to have the bishop’s support. She needed 218 votes. Considering that the bill lacked 19 votes up until that time, it is astonishing that the bill narrowly passed, suggesting that the arm-twisting was very intense. The final count was 220 in favor of the bill, just two votes to spare. It also suggests that those 21 votes were holding up the voting in favor of the demands of the Catholic Church.

Health Care Bill Clears House

Obviously my friends, the Catholic bishops convinced Nancy Pelosi and certain other Democratic leaders that they would lose the whole health care reform bill if they didn’t make the abortion changes.

Bill Press continued; “In so doing, they might just as well have tossed the First Amendment, and its separation of church and state, right out the window. Civil liberty advocates should be equally angry over such a blatant violation of the Constitution,” he said. “In effect, members of Congress gave Catholic bishops a veto over federal legislation: power that no group of religious leaders should hold over a secular, popularly elected Congress. Who elected the bishops, anyway? And whom do they represent?”

My friends, the “stones” are crying out. Though Mr. Press, a Catholic, is on the other side of the abortion question from the bishops, and even though many of God’s people would agree with the bishops concerns, students of prophecy should not miss the importance of what happened.

Listen to the prophet Daniel in speaking of the power of Rome. It’s from Chapter 7:7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it…” While we have not seen this power in its fullest strength, we are beginning to see how Rome does this. She devoured the Democrats and broke them down. This is only the beginning folks, but we must see that this is a partial fulfillment of this prophecy. Rome is getting ready to devour God’s people if she can, and “destroy the mighty and the holy people,” Daniel 8:25 says. Those are the ones who keep all of God’s commandments and have the Holy Spirit in latter rain power. Rome is demonstrating her power as she rises to the height to which prophecy destines her.

Bill Press made another very interesting point. “Why is there special treatment for Catholic bishops?” he asked. “Can you imagine the complaints from Democrats if religious conservatives James Dobson and Pat Robertson had been given the same access? Or the howls of outrage from conservatives if Congress first took time out to ask Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for their blessing? Not to mention the universal uproar [there would be] were a group of Muslim clerics consulted before the vote. No other group of religious leaders would have been given that special access to the corridors of power…”

While any American Catholic, even a bishop has the right to speak out on political matters in America as an individual, it is another thing however, for the bishops to lobby Congress as a religious entity or church, and then go on a full throttle campaign to pressure Congress through Catholic Church members. This is a violation of the intent of the first amendment, separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution, if not of the constitution itself. The reason the bishops have such powerful influence is because of the dual nature of the Catholic Church. No other church has the kind of power that Rome has because they are not a mixture of Church and nation state. The Bible tells us this in Revelation 17 by describing this entity as both a beast and a woman. There are other nations that mix religion and politics, but none of them have the global clout that Rome has.

Bill Press concluded; “If Catholic bishops are going to demand a voice in legislation, then they must do what all other special interests in Washington do: register as lobbyists and pay their taxes. If they insist on playing politics, then we should insist on taking away the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt status.”

Fox Article

In other words, the nation’s laws are being influenced and manipulated by a powerfully influential church that is doing so without paying taxes. This is illegal in the United States.

In essence the Vatican actually passed judgment on civil legislation in the United States Congress before the vote was taken, and in effect, delivered Catholic votes for it once their demands were met. The outcome of the legislation in the House demonstrates that while the Republicans don’t have the votes to stop proposed legislation, the Vatican has the power to get it passed in harmony with its own agenda.

Notice that the Roman Catholic Church, a foreign nation, is now in a position to judge at least some of America’s laws. This should not go unnoticed by students of prophecy. When the Catholic Church has the power to successfully pressure the U.S. House of Representatives against their own majority, we have come to an unprecedented moment in history. It makes you wonder how long it will be until Rome will reach critical mass, so that any law that impinges in her principles, will ultimately be “engineered” or “fixed” by the Catholic bishops. More dangerously, how long will it be until Rome is capable of getting laws initiated and passed that restrict God’s last generation of Sabbath keepers, such as Sunday laws.

While you and I may agree with Rome’s position concerning abortion, this process in Congress to politically pressure legislative representatives to do her will, even though the vast majority disagree with Rome concerning abortion, is extremely significant.

There were enough conservative Democrats, mostly Catholic, who oppose abortion and would not vote in favor of the legislation unmodified, that the liberal and most powerful Democrats had to forego one of their key principles to bring the conservatives over to support the health care bill. The fact that the bill passed by only two votes, tells us that Rome has enough power to influence the outcome if it is one of Rome’s key principles, even when there is a wide margin of votes against her. It also tells us that Rome doesn’t yet have full throttle power if the House is more united against her positions. But she is well on the way to having it.

Not that long ago Republicans held the power of Congress. Democrats were very weak for most of the years between the Reagan administration and the present. The Democratic Party had to get more conservative Democrats elected into congressional office. Listen to the Wall Street Journal.

“The bishops’ success” wrote the Journal “served as a reminder that Democrats’ strategy over the past two election cycles of recruiting more conservative candidates to run in competitive House and Senate seats can have unwelcome policy consequences for liberals among the party’s base. About 40 House Democrats are opposed to abortion rights.”

Do you see what happened? Once there were enough conservative Democrats in Congress that were opposed to abortion, the Catholic Church could then use them to manipulate Congress into legislating in harmony with her religious principles. That is dangerous, my friends. What would happen if more conservative Democrats were elected to the U.S. Congress.

“The bishops have a history of political activism,” continued the Journal. “In the 2004 presidential race, some bishops said they would refuse to grant communion to Democratic nominee John Kerry, a Catholic who favored abortion rights. In 2005, the bishops’ conference backed efforts by then-President George W. Bush and Republican lawmakers to intervene in the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case. But rarely has the church entered the fray with such decisive force [as it did with the health care reform bill].”

More on the Health Care Reform Bill

Remember that of the members of Congress, 30 percent are Roman Catholic. Most of them are liberals. But should that change and more conservatives get voted into office over time, the landscape could change, giving Rome additional power. However, even now full power could arise on a specific issue if almost the whole nation were united concerning it. For instance, if massive disasters occurred and the bishops, mainstream pastors and evangelical preachers began promoting Sunday observance as a way to get the nation back to God, Sunday laws could easily pass through the House and the Senate rather quickly.

“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops…” continued the Associated Press, “derives its power in large part from the sheer number of Catholics in this country… but also from the special moral and religious standing of its members. Many of them are in regular contact with lawmakers, weighing in on issues from immigration policy to benefits for low-income people.”

Note the point about special moral and religious standing of the Catholic Church members. The suggestion here is that they have more power and influence than other people when Roman Catholic members speak.

Kathy Saile, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops made a very telling comment that was quoted in the AP article mentioned earlier. After pointing out that the Democrats are keenly aware of the power of Catholic voters, more than 50% of whom voted for President Obama, the AP reported that Kathy Saile said, “This was a lot of members of Congress listening to their constituents.” Of course she means that mainly Roman Catholic constituents were being listened to by Democrats that are keenly aware of their power. This comment coming from the Catholic Bishops spokesperson suggests that the bishops had been working behind the scenes urging their people to contact their elected officials, even telling them what to say.

This is, in fact, exactly what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops did. They engaged in an outright, all-out campaign, largely out of sight of the public press by distributing “fliers to every parish in the nation asking people to pray for abortion restrictions and to call their congressmen and senators asking them to ‘fix these bills with pro-life amendments,’” said the AP report.

Moreover, continued the AP article, “the conference staff got elbow-deep in the legislative machinations on the health measure, even having bishops intervene with Republicans — who were loath to help Democrats pass their bill — to make sure they supported the abortion provisions.”

In other words, the bishops worked both sides of the political isle to get the legislation passed with provisions satisfactory to themselves. Incidentally, they weren’t as successful with Republicans as they were with Democrats. Only one Republican voted for the bill.

His name was Jospeh Cao, a Roman Catholic from New Orleans, LA. Once the anti-abortion provisions were included, he was prepared to support the health care reform bill. Cao studied for six years at a Jesuit seminary to become a Jesuit priest, but eventually abandoned that to pursue Philosophy and Law. Cao attended both Jesuit Fordham University in New York, and Loyola University in New Orleans to acquire his masters degree and his law degree respectively. Loyola had him teaching undergraduate philosophy classes while in law school there. No doubt Cao is very familiar with Catholic teaching and the Church’s positions concerning universal health care and abortion. Moreover, one would expect that he could be depended on to assist Rome in her efforts to get the legislation passed in the House of Representatives.

Joseph Cao Background

Joseph Cao Biography

Fordham University Website

Fordham University Background

Loyola University of New Orleans

Loyola University Background

The AP article went on to say that “The outcome [of the health care vote in the House of Representatives] left abortion-rights supporters, who couldn’t muster enough votes in the House to head off Catholic… intervention, fuming. The bishops ‘essentially got signoff. They dictated this, and it’s totally inappropriate — it’s blatant interference between church and state,’ said Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority. ‘The women’s movement and the pro-choice forces feel like they were had.’”

MSNBC Article

Los Angeles Times News Article

I want you to think about those comments for a minute. Can you see what is happening? Those who are defending the separation of church and state in this case, are the feminists and pro-abortionists. Will those who defend the separation of church and state on the grounds of Bible principle get lumped in with these? When the best solution to a national or international emergency is a religious solution that sounds very pious and righteous, but is actually overturning the separation of church and state, and compelling people to break the law of God, how effective do you think God’s faithful people will be in arguing in favor of separation of church and state, and against Sunday laws, when linked with people that press progressive liberal agendas? Friends, in more than one way, God’s Sabbath keeping people have also been “had” by the Roman Catholic bishop’s intervention. It is only a matter of time.

“Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, an evangelical group that tends to side with Republicans, said Saturday’s vote ranked among the most important victories for abortion foes since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing the procedure, because it came under Democratic leadership,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

Speaking of the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference, “We’re glad to take responsibility for this bill, and the credit.” But the real credit goes to the Catholic Bishops whose aggressive campaign handed the vote to the Democrats. When the Vatican has the ability to turn liberal Democrats on their heads, my friends, we can see that Rome has largely fulfilled its prophetic destiny to become perhaps the most powerful religious and political influence in American politics.

Listen to this statement from the book Great Controversy, page 588. “The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of Spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.” The United States is perhaps toward the end of the process of reaching across the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power.

Friends, we are in the state of orange alert, and not far from red alert. “The evidence indicates that the Bishops-and the Vatican itself-are calling the shots behind the scene,” wrote Accuracy in “In fact, as many media organizations are now reporting, they engineered the “compromise” that deleted abortion funding so the bill could pass the House.”

AIM News Article

Huffington Post News Article

The Bishops also went after the Senate, but were not able to get an amendment to the Senate version of the bill to eliminate abortion funding. Apparently, the Senate doesn’t have enough abortion foes yet for the Catholic Church to do what it did in the House. That is why Rome has clearly not reached the zenith of her power. However, during the reconciliation process between the two versions of the bill, the Bishops again pressed hard for the removal of the funding. Again, the conservative members of the House held out for abortion restrictions. This in turn forced President Obama to issue an executive order to restricting funding for abortion in the reconciled bill. Only then did enough conservatives vote in favor of the bill.
The Bishops were not satisfied with an executive order because it can be sassily changed. No doubt, they will keep putting pressure on the legislative bodies until they get what they want. Because of other constitutional issues in the bill, there are already a number of states that have filed lawsuits against the U.S. Federal Government to challenge the whole law. Certainly the Bishops will use their clout to influence the outcome if they can.

CNA News Article
Alternate CNA News Article

US Catholic News Article

Life News Article

Washington Times News Article

Friends, as we get closer to the time of the close of probation, do you think there are some things that you should do to get ready for the crisis? I hope you are taking these things seriously and doing what you have to do to have a very close relationship with Jesus. Now is the time; not sometime in the future. Today is the day of salvation. We must be spiritually prepared if we want to be protected by God’s grace when there is no human law to do so.

Want to read more? Feel free to read more about this subject by clicking the links below:

Do Catholic Bishops Run the US Government?

NPR News Article

Any one else want to sell us out?

NY Times Article

CNA Article on Faith Groups

CNA News Article on Abortion

New York Times Article

Zenit News Article

USCCB Article

Zenit News Article

CNA News Article

CNS News Article

CNA News Article

NPR Article on US Congress

Life News Article

Bishops Warn Against Health Care Abortion Expansion

Life News Article

We hope you have been greatly blessed by this month’s message. Your prayers and gifts mean much to us. Thank you for your support.

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