Friday, March 31, 2017

Babylon Gaining POWER - Church Unity and False Revival Coming!

Happy Sabbath

“Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready”

March 31

Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. Amos 4:12.

Suppose that today Christ should appear in the clouds of heaven, who ... would be ready to meet Him? Suppose we should be translated into the kingdom of heaven just as we are. Would we be prepared to unite with the saints of God, to live in harmony with the royal family, the children of the heavenly King? What preparation have you made for the judgment? Have you made your peace with God? Are you laboring together with God? Are you seeking to help those around you, those in your home, those in your neighborhood, those with whom you come in contact that are not keeping the commandments of God? ... Are we getting ready to meet the King? ...

If it were possible for us to be admitted into heaven as we are, how many of us would be able to look upon God? How many of us have on the wedding-garment? How many of us are without spot or wrinkle or any such thing? How many of us are worthy to receive the crown of life? ... Position does not make the man. It is Christ formed within that makes a man worthy of receiving the crown of life, that fadeth not away.

I was pointed to the remnant on the earth. The angel said to them, “Will ye shun the seven last plagues? ... If so, ye must die that ye may live. Get ready, get ready, get ready. Ye must have a greater preparation than ye now have.... Sacrifice all to God. Lay all upon His altar—self, property, and all, a living sacrifice. It will take all to enter glory.”

Christ is coming with power and great glory. He is coming with His own glory and with the glory of the Father.... While the wicked flee from His presence, Christ's followers will rejoice.... To His faithful followers Christ has been a daily companion and familiar friend. They have lived in close contact, in constant communion with God. Upon them the glory of the Lord has risen.... Now they rejoice in the undimmed rays of the brightness and glory of the King in His majesty. They are prepared for the communion of heaven; for they have heaven in their hearts.

If you are right with God today, you are ready if Christ should come today.

Maranatha, p.98.

Doodle 4 Google 2017 - US Winner Google Doodle

GC pt.8 Prepare to stand before Church,State.Pastors allowed to teach li...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

NGO Demands Changes to Laws Regulating Work on Sundays

Vedran Pavlic |

Leaders of the conservative U Ime Obitelji association (On Behalf of Family) submitted on Monday to Parliament a proposal for amendments to the Law on Labour, which would allow workers employed in the retail sector to decide whether they want to work on Sundays, and would also determine that the minimum hourly wage for employees who do accept to work on Sundays or public holidays should be at least 50 percent higher than the standard hourly wage, reports on March 27, 2017.

Association president Željka Markić told reporters in front of the Parliament building that the current Law on Labour had been written so poorly that it was possible for an employer to raise wages for just one kuna and fulfil their obligation to pay higher wages for working on Sundays or holidays.

She warned that in Croatia there were about 180,000 employees working in the trade sector, mostly women. Also, around 100,000 of them work in retail chains. “Eurostat data show that 35 percent of them work on Sundays, eight percent work every Sunday, and about 30 percent in cycles”, said Markić.

Krešimir Planinić explained that their proposal of changes to the Law on Labour promotes the principle of non-working Sundays and the day is regulated as the only day of rest. However, workers would be able to make a declaration to their employer that they want to work on Sundays, but would have to be paid at least 50 percent more than the standard hourly wage. “This model has been recognized in the European Union; it is a combination of the English and the Austrian model”, he said.

Paula Jurković, an employee in the trading sector who works on Sundays, advocates for the introduction of non-working Sundays in order to spend more quality time with her family and children. “It would be nice if the state were to enact legislation that would allow us to have the day for ourselves”, she said.

Asked whether employers could in some way force employees to declare that they want to work on Sundays, Planinić replied that determining the minimum hourly wage for working on Sundays has the goal of discouraging employers and, at the same time, motivating those workers who do want to work on Sundays. However, if employers were to use coercion, there are misdemeanour provisions and penalties should be draconian, he added.

Copyright © Total Croatia News

New Documentary on International Catholic Youth Gathering Coming to US

World Youth Day Kraków: A Pilgrimage of Mercy to air on eve of International World Youth Day

Contact: Joseph Cullen, Knights of Columbus, 203-415-9314,

NEW HAVEN, Conn., March 28, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- An inspiring new documentary, World Youth Day Kraków: A Pilgrimage of Mercy, will enable American viewers to share in the experience of young Catholics from around the world who participated in Pope Francis's international World Youth Day (WYD) in Kraków last year.

Photo: Pilgrims sing and pray in the Knights of Columbus-sponsored Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena during the World Youth Day Krakow celebration.

The 40-minute film is available for purchase in DVD format at Ignatius Press and Knights Gear. It will also air on television on Saturday, April 8, the eve of the annual World Youth Day with Pope Francis in Rome.

"This documentary captures the spirit of World Youth Day, and allows those who could not attend to have a window into this moving event," said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. "It brings to life the spirit of Divine Mercy, preached by Pope Francis in the town that is the epicenter of this devotion, and was home to St. John Paul II, his predecessor who also did much to spread that message."

The WYD Kraków theme, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy," united millions of Catholics from around the world as they traveled in the footsteps of Pope St. John Paul II and other great saints of Kraków, discovering new aspects of the rich heritage of their Catholic faith.

World Youth Day is celebrated with an international gathering every two or three years. The event in Poland was the 14th such gathering since WYD was first instituted by St. John Paul II in Rome in 1985. Annually, WYD is celebrated in dioceses around the world on Palm Sunday.

On this Palm Sunday, April 9, Pope Francis will meet WYD delegations from Poland and from Panama, where the next international celebration will be held in 2019. As part of the ceremony, the Polish young people will transfer stewardship of the official WYD cross to their Panamanian counterparts.

The documentary, produced by the Knights of Columbus, includes exclusive footage of the Night of Mercy Youth Festival, featuring music from Matt Maher and Audrey Assad, as well as a spiritual reflection by Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron and a panel discussion on religious liberty with Archbishop Bashar Warda from Erbil, Iraq, and Archbishop William Lori, the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty at the USCCB.

The K of C also sponsored the Mercy Centre at Tauron Arena Kraków, which served as the hub of many WYD activities and hosted the official WYD cross during Pope Francis's final meeting with the pilgrims who served as volunteers.

EWTN will air the film on April 8 at 2 p.m. EST, April 10 at 7 a.m. EST, and April 10 at 4 p.m. EST. The film will also air on Salt + Light television in Canada on April 9 at 8 p.m. EST.

For more information, visit

From Templars to Jesuits

Another round of damaging storms to strike south-central US Tuesday, Wednesday

Another round of damaging storms to strike south-central US Tuesday, Wednesday:

The unrelenting rounds of severe weather continue to take aim at the south-central United States with more damaging thunderstorms set to strike Tuesday into Wednesday.

The Unauthorized Biography of David Rockefeller

Audio issues may occur between the 5:00 and 10:00 minute time markers.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Students Confess Their Sins At ‘Masculinity Confession Booth’


Education Reporter

12:38 PM 03/27/2017

A university will be hosting a “Masculinity Confession Booth” along with a number of other workshops and screenings to combat “hypermasculinity.”

“We have all reinforced hypermasculinity one way or another regardless of our gender!!” explains the University of Regina event description. “Come and share your sins so we can begin to discuss how to identify and change our ways !!!”

The “Man Up Against Violence” initiative will be hosting these events at the University of Regina in Canada during the present week.

The Masculinity Confession Booth will be making its debut Monday, but is also listed on the schedule for Tuesday through Thursday — days on which students can also attend a “Healthy Relationships and Healthy Masculinity Workshop.” Yet another event will seek to redefine the phrase, “man up.”

“At the Man Up Against Violence initiative, we challenge mindsets and behaviors with regard to the social construction of masculinity and its relationship with violence,” details the “Who We Are” part of the site. “We work together to bring light to the causes of all types of violence related to gender, race, socio-economic status, ability level and beyond.”

Man Up Against Violence aims to reduce violence, but also challenges “social norms surrounding masculinity.” The group’s introductory video criticizes the stereotypical view of men as macho and unemotional, linking this to spousal abuse by asserting that men have violent outbursts as a result of pent-up emotions.

“We don’t have to continue to live in a misogynistic society,” says Tyler Perkins, a football player at the University of Regina, in the video. “I think [changing this] falls on everyone and especially men because quite frankly we are the problem right now.”

The Vatican and China Reach a Promising Accord


Catholics line up to receive consecrated wafers from a priest at a Catholic church near the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, March 2013.


March 27, 2017

The Deal Will Unify a Fractured Catholic Community

By Victor Gaetan

Compared in terms of state territory, economic power, or nuclear might, no two places differ more than China and Vatican City, the world’s largest and smallest countries. But measured as two empires with indelible historical presence, communal identity, and cultural wealth, China and the Holy See share a lot—including a sense of time in which decades are a standard planning unit rather than weeks or months. That is why Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pope Francis’ apparent resolution of a 70-year-old power struggle over who has the right to select Catholic bishops is so noteworthy.

As part of its effort to create an independent church free from outside interference in the 1950s, the Chinese regime exerted its right to appoint Catholic bishops, a sacrilege in the eyes of the Holy See, which considers ordination a papal prerogative. According to Catholic ecclesiology, bishops secure global unity and inherit a mission traced back to the 12 apostles; it is the pope who secures this divine apostolic succession. Believers who refused to renounce Rome or recognize a state-ordained leadership created a clandestine church. Into 2012, Beijing still unilaterally named a bishop and sequestered those who defied government oversight. But since the accession of Pope Francis, Beijing and Rome have worked out an ad hoc process of mutual approvals. Since it is informal, confusion remains, disunity festers, vacancies increase, and, in theory, either side could break the fragile equilibrium. Thus: semisecret negotiations over the last three years.

An Era Of Spiritual Darkness The Apostasy - The Great Controversy 191...

NWO and the United States: rejection of God, police state & biblical sig...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Info Graph New York Project

Your Case Coming Up!

March 26

Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.

Revelation 14:7.

In 1844 our great High Priest entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, to begin the work of the investigative judgment. Mar 93.2

As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life....

We are now living in the great day of atonement. In the typical service, while the high priest was making the atonement for Israel, all were required to afflict their souls by repentance of sin and humiliation before the Lord, lest they be cut off from among the people. In like manner, all who would have their names retained in the book of life, should now, in the few remaining days of their probation, afflict their souls before God by sorrow for sin and true repentance. There must be deep, faithful searching of heart.... There is earnest warfare before all who would subdue the evil tendencies that strive for the mastery. The work of preparation is an individual work. We are not saved in groups. The purity and devotion of one will not offset the want of these qualities in another.... Every one must be tested, and found without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life. The Lord declares, ... “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25

Maranatha, p.93

Make way for the Gospel: Vatican ensures media give the message

Cindy Wooden

March 25, 2017


Natasa Govekar, director of the theological-pastoral department of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication, says church communications involves creativity. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)

The Vatican is keeping close watch of its social media accounts, to analyse what people are reading, and what they are interested in
. Although it is counting “likes,” those statistics are not the key factor in determining success.

ROME - As the Vatican Secretariat for Communication works to unify Vatican media efforts, a key pastoral concern is to keep open all the channels that allow Pope Francis to speak to the world.

“With a pope who is so naturally communicative, if we don’t put obstacles in his way, we already are doing our job,” said Natasa Govekar, director of the secretariat’s theological-pastoral department.

While every large organization and government has a communications apparatus, the Vatican may be unique in having a department like Govekar’s. Her office focuses on the theological and pastoral implications of communications in general, as well as in the faith content of what the Vatican communicates.

The number of page views, clicks, followers and “likes” on Vatican websites and social media accounts is, of course, tracked by the Secretariat for Communication,
but those statistics are not the key factor in determining success, she said. The secretariat fulfills its mission when the Gospel message shines through the social media posts, photographs, videos and news stories.

“The church has never had a problem with its content; the challenge is how to communicate the content in the best way for it to be heard and welcomed,” Govekar said.

For the Vatican, “the art of communicating today lies precisely in rediscovering the essence of who we are and what we have to communicate to the world and, then, how to do it. Creativity is always part of the process. You can never just cut and paste from the past and, even less, from the world.”



Pope Francis examines a copy of La Madonna del Soccorso nella Basilica Vaticana (Our Lady of Help in Saint Peter's Basilica) a new book documenting the restoration of an ancient and highly venerated image of the Blessed Mother, carried out during the Year of Faith by the Fabbrica di San Pietro with the sponsorship of the Knights of Columbus. It was the first such restoration undertaken during the pontificate of Pope Francis, and the book is dedicated in the Holy Father's honor.

Pope Francis received Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in audience at the Vatican on Feb. 16.

At that audience, Supreme Knight Anderson discussed with the Holy Father the Knights of Columbus’ many initiatives, especially its work on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Middle East. He also presented the earnings from the Knights' Vicarius Christi Fund, in the amount of $1.6 million.

The proceeds are given annually to the pope for his personal charities. Since the fund’s inception in 1981, more than $57 million in earnings has been donated.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Global Warming is Catholic Religion (In Disguise) - Climate Change SCAM,...

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Reminds Catholic Audience of Warning of Persecution after Obergefell decision


by Spencer Irvine on March 20, 2017

It’s rather ironic that the liberal media, which claims to be the gatekeepers of democracy, have forgotten about Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s warnings in the wake of the Obergefell ruling. In his dissent, Alito warned of accusations of bigotry being tossed at those who support traditional marriage. The ruling opened the door for legalization of gay/same-sex/homosexual marriage, and a plethora of other issues, such as religious liberty and religious discrimination complaints.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito spoke to an audience at an event hosted by a Catholic lawyers group, and reminded them of his warning in his dissent in the Obergefell case. Alito correctly deducted that his warning had become true since the court ruling. We went and dug up Alito’s dissent and italicized his words of warning:

Pope to EU:return to Papal roots to end Protestantism,use Solidarity to kill church/state’s #1 enemy

Are You Ready for the Coming New World Order Part 1

2520 Importance for Today - Bill Hughes

Destruction of Sodom - Patriarchs & Prophets, Chapter 14 - (1890) E.G. White

Friday, March 24, 2017

U.S.A becomes a Homosexual Nation - Full Film (The ForeRunner777)

Prepare to Meet Thy God - David Mould

The Great Image Time Square

Happy Sabbath

Live: Pope Francis to meet EU leaders in Vatican papa francesco milano 2...

Today the pope meets with all the leaders of the EU to promote the Europ...

Pope Francis to offer birthday counsel to troubled EU


March 24, 2017

Pope Francis has made his concerns over Europe's refugee crisis clear on several occasions (AFP Photo/Vincenzo PINTO)More

Vatican City (AFP) - European Union leaders will receive guidance from Pope Francis Friday, on the eve of the troubled bloc's 60th anniversary celebrations in Rome.

On past form, the Argentine pontiff is unlikely to pull his punches in a Friday evening audience with 27 heads of state or government tasked with charting a "common future" for a union soon to lose Britain from its ranks.

Francis has made it clear he believes that the EU's future should include a much greater emphasis on combatting social injustice than there has been in six decades of integration driven primarily by trade liberalisation and monetary union.

Today's Europe needs to adopt "new, more inclusive and equitable economic models, aimed not at serving the few, but at benefiting ordinary people and society as a whole," he said in a speech last year.

Some EU governments and also a significant bloc in the European Parliament agree with him.

But there is no consensus among the 27 member states on this or almost any other issue to do with the bloc's next steps.

The future, too, is clouded by the advances of far-right and populist parties -- a trend the pope has highlighted as a danger on both sides of the Atlantic.

- Migrant crisis -

"Crises provoke fear, alarm," he said in a January interview, recalling that the "obvious example of European populism" was Germany in 1933, the year Adolf Hitler seized power.

Francis's most senior lieutenant, Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, said this week that populism was a "sign of a profound malaise felt by many people in Europe".

This, he said, was based on genuine concerns about migration and the economic crisis to which the EU had to respond with concrete action.

Among the questions facing the EU is whether it should adopt a two-speed model, allowing some countries to deepen cooperation and pool sovereignty in various areas faster than others?

Is it time the EU finally realised the ambition of having some kind of military capacity?

Does the euro need to be underpinned by a banking union and greater fiscal harmonisation?

These issues form the backdrop to Saturday's anniversary summit, at which both Poland and Greece have threatened to block the final statement.

However, they are not the most pressing concerns as Francis sees it.

The 80-year-old pontiff reiterated again this week that Europe is currently confronted with its biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

And it seems inevitable that he will remind the leaders of his view that they have a responsibility to address it, with compassion, as he did at the European Parliament in November 2014.

- 'Dare to change' -

"I dream of a Europe where being a migrant is not a crime but a summons to greater commitment on behalf of the dignity of every human being," he told an audience of EU big-wigs, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, last year.

In that speech, delivered as he accepted the EU's Charlemagne Prize for his contribution to European unification, Francis implored today's leaders to learn from the bloc's founding fathers.

In the aftermath of war, they had inspired because they had "dared to change radically the models" that led to conflict.

Officially, the Vatican has always supported the idea of European integration, despite disappointment over repeated failures to enshrine an explicit commitment to Christian values in the bloc's founding treaties.

"The celebrations (this weekend) remind us that it is still possible today to work together because that which unites us is stronger than that which divides us," Parolin said.

"The vision of the founding fathers was rooted in the cultural, religious, judicial, political and human heritage of Europe, built over centuries. That is why Rome was chosen for the signature of the treaties. It is the symbol of this shared heritage in which Christianity was certainly a fundamental component.

"Today we have to rethink the EU along these lines, more a community on a journey than a static, bureaucratic entity."


Pope Francis to meet EU leaders in Vatican

Pope Francis greets Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, during the Charlemagne Prize award ceremony on 6 May 2016 - EPA
23/03/2017 15:30

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is set to receive 27 European Union heads of State and government at a private audience in the Vatican’s Sala Regia on Friday evening.

The encounter takes place on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

Leaders will be joined at the audience by representatives of EU institutions.

These include Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.

Pope Francis will address the group after speeches made by Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and Antonio Tajani.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

But can ye not discern the signs of the times?

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.
And he left them, and departed.

Matthew 16:1-4.

Monday, March 20, 2017

David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101

Michael Evans/The New York Times

David Rockefeller, the banker and philanthropist with the fabled family name who controlled Chase Manhattan bank for more than a decade and wielded vast influence around the world even longer as he spread the gospel of American capitalism, died on Monday morning at his home in Pocantico Hills, N.Y. He was 101.

A family spokesman, Fraser P. Seitel, confirmed the death.

Chase Manhattan had long been known as the Rockefeller bank, though the family never owned more than 5 percent of its shares. But Mr. Rockefeller was more than a steward. As chairman and chief executive throughout the 1970s, he made it “David’s bank,” as many called it, expanding its operations internationally.

His stature was greater than any corporate title might convey, however. His influence was felt in Washington and foreign capitals, in the corridors of New York City government, art museums, great universities and public schools.

Mr. Rockefeller could well be the last of an increasingly less visible family to have cut so imposing a figure on the world stage. As a peripatetic advocate of the economic interests of the United States and of his own bank, he was a force in global financial affairs and in his country’s foreign policy. He was received in foreign capitals with the honors accorded a chief of state.

He was the last surviving grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the tycoon who founded the Standard Oil Company in the 19th century and built a fortune that made him America’s first billionaire and his family one of the richest and most powerful in the nation’s history.

As an heir to that legacy, Mr. Rockefeller lived all his life in baronial splendor and privilege, whether in Manhattan (as a boy he and his brothers would roller-skate along Fifth Avenue trailed by a limousine in case they grew tired) or at his magnificent country estates.

Imbued with the understated manners of the East Coast elite, he loomed large in the upper reaches of a New York social world of glittering black-tie galas. His philanthropy was monumental, and so was his art collection, a museumlike repository of some 15,000 pieces, many of them masterpieces, some lining the walls of his offices 56 floors above the streets at Rockefeller Center, to which he repaired, robust and active, well into his 90s.

COMECE Secretary general met with Mairead McGuinness

latest press releases
Webnews 17/03/2017

COMECE Secretary general met with Mairead McGuinness

Fr Olivier Poquillon OP met with Mairead McGuinness, for the first time after her election as the new Vice President of the European Parliament in charge of the dialogue with Religions. They exchanged views on their main points of interest and discussed the best way to allow a positive contribution of the Church to on-going debates in accordance with Article 17 TFEU.

Alabama May Allow Church to Form Own Police Force

Mar 20 2017, 1:48 pm ET

by Corky Siemaszko

You can call it a God Squad.

An Alabama megachurch is seeking to establish its own police department — and a bill that would green light the force is already moving through the state senate.

The 4,100-member strong Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in suburban Birmingham, contends it needs its own police force to counter any potential threats because it is also home to a K-12 school and a theological seminary with 2,000 students and teachers.

The sanctuary at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, in Birmingham, Alabama, Feb. 26, 2017. Anthony Izaguirre / AP

"After the shooting at Sandy Hook and in the wake of similar assaults at churches and schools, Briarwood recognized the need to provide qualified first responders to coordinate with local law enforcement," church administrator Matt Moore said in a statement, referring to the mass murder of 20 first graders and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut by a deranged man with an AR-15 style rifle just before Christmas 2012.

"The sole purpose of this proposed legislation is to provide a safe environment for the church, its members, students and guests."

The church would pay the bill for its officers.

Unwavering Faith

Unwavering Faith, March 20

Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6.

Prayer and faith are closely allied, and they need to be studied together. In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his life-work a success must understand. Christ says, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24. He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God's will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal.

For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received. We need look for no outward evidence of the blessing. The gift is in the promise, and we may go about our work assured that what God has promised He is able to perform, and that the gift, which we already possess, will be realized when we need it most.

To live thus by the word of God means the surrender to Him of the whole life. There will be felt a continual sense of need and dependence, a drawing out of the heart after God. Prayer is a necessity; for it is the life of the soul. Family prayer, public prayer, have their place; but it is secret communion with God that sustains the soul life....

An intensity such as never before was seen is taking possession of the world. In amusement, in money-making, in the contest for power, in the very struggle for existence, there is a terrible force that engrosses body and mind and soul. In the midst of this maddening rush, God is speaking. He bids us come apart and commune with Him. “Be still, and know that I am God.” ...

Not a pause for a moment in His presence, but personal contact with Christ, to sit down in companionship with Him—this is our need.

Maranatha, p.87.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Israel reportedly launches strike on Syria as tensions rise

Israeli F-15
Ariel Schalit / Associated Press

An Israeli air force F-15 plane is shown in flight on Dec. 29, 2015, during a graduation ceremony for new pilots at the Hatzerim base near the southern city of Beersheba.
(Ariel Schalit / Associated Press)
Joshua Mitnick

An Israeli aircraft reportedly launched a strike into Syria on Sunday that left one person dead, in what appeared to be the second cross-border attack in three days as tensions between the neighbors escalated over the weekend.

The Israeli attack was reported by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said that the strike targeted a car traveling on a road between Damascus and Quneitra, a town in the Golan Heights near the border with Israel. An Israeli army spokesman declined to comment on the report.

What Does The Bible Say About Cremation?

Pastor's Corner

What Does The Bible Say About Cremation?

Isaiah 55:8-9

   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. [9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Does the Bible support cremation for the believer or teach burial? A careful examination of Scriptural evidence along with earnest prayer should lead us to an understanding of God's will.

Cremation has been practiced for thousands of years and was a method that was used by the Greeks and other ancient empires. When the Romans eventually adopted Christianity as their state religion, cremation was replaced by Christian burial. Early church saints did not practice cremation because of its pagan influence. Cremation was even prohibited by the Catholic Church in the late nineteenth century. Some other ancient cultures such as the Egyptians carefully embalmed their precious dead in preparation for an afterlife. During the new millennium however, cremation has become more popular here in America. Cremation seems to be a sensible answer to the limited number of available gravesites and the rising cost of burial. Before we draw a conclusion on this important subject, let us consider what the Bible has to say. 

I. The Patriarchs of the Bible were "careful." 

Genesis 3:19

   In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

A. Dust to dust, not dust to ashes. 

The Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. We are to return unto dust or to the dust. I believe this to mean that we are to be buried in the dust or dirt and not necessarily turned into dust. 

Adventist Leaders in Australia Call for Compassion in Foreign Policy

Adventist Review Online | Adventist Leaders in Australia Call for Compassion in Foreign Policy

The church leaders’ statement—one of over 9,000 public submissions to the government’s foreign policy white paper—was coordinated by Christian campaign group Micah Australia and is endorsed by signatories from the Adventist, Anglican, Apostolic, Baptist, Catholic, Chinese Methodist, Churches of Christ, Congregational, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Salvation Army and Uniting churches.


After outlining a biblical theology for justice and compassion, the submission addresses specific issues, including “the scourge of poverty, economic exclusion and rising inequality, grave breaches of people’s human and civic rights, and the vulnerability of our nation and our neighbours to natural disasters and the increasing impact of climate change.” The submission also made mention of the “unprecedented global displacement of people”. “More people on the face of the planet are either refugees or internally displaced than at any other time in human history…. Australia’s foreign policy must continue to make peace-keeping and conflict prevention an urgent priority.”

“The fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived”

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 00:01
Quotes and news

Fr Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Society of Jesus, said that “the fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived”. According to the National Catholic Reporter, Fr Sosa was speaking at the annual Voices of Faith event for International Women’s Day at the Vatican’s Casina Pio IV.

Sosa acknowledged that “Pope Francis has been quite outspoken about women making decisions and holding responsibility in the Church. He has also created a study commission on the women’s diaconate to explore the history and role of women in this Church structure. But if we are honest, we acknowledge that the fullness of women’s participation in the Church has not yet arrived.”

Sosa called for a new type of ecclesiology – or theology of Church structures – that “should push the Church to become the People of God as we proclaimed [in] Vatican Council II”.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mini-nukes and mosquito-like robot weapons being primed for future warfare

Fri, 17 Mar '17 | 10:32 AM

Morsa Images | Getty Images

Several countries are developing nanoweapons that could unleash attacks using mini-nuclear bombs and insect-like lethal robots.

While it may be the stuff of science fiction today, the advancement of nanotechnology in the coming years will make it a bigger threat to humanity than conventional nuclear weapons, according to an expert. The U.S., Russia and China are believed to be investing billions on nanoweapons research.

"Nanobots are the real concern about wiping out humanity because they can be weapons of mass destruction," said Louis Del Monte, a Minnesota-based physicist and futurist. He's the author of a just released book entitled "Nanoweapons: A Growing Threat To Humanity."

The Mena Connection - Exposing the CIA, Bush, Clinton, Iran Contra, And ...

Our View: Support Sunday closing referendum

Williston Herald Editorial board
Mar 17, 2017

With the failure earlier this week of a bill that would have repealed most of the state’s Sunday closing laws, it’s time for the public to take the matter into its own hands and support a petition to put the closing laws up to a vote.

We are pleased that Brandon Medenwald, a Fargo businessman, plans to do exactly that, and urge everyone to support the petition his group, North Dakota Open on Sundays, plans to have circulating this spring.

If the proposed petition gets 13,452 signatures, a measure to repeal those laws would be on the ballot for the 2018 general election.

In Harmony With Heaven

In Harmony With Heaven, March 18

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165.

Adam taught his descendants the law of God, and it was handed down from father to son through successive generations. But ... there were few who accepted it and rendered obedience. By transgression the world became so vile that it was necessary to cleanse it by the Flood from its corruption. The law was preserved by Noah and his family, and Noah taught his descendants the Ten Commandments. As men again departed from God, the Lord chose Abraham, of whom He declared, “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 25:5....

Concerning the law proclaimed from Sinai, Nehemiah says, “Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments.” Nehemiah 9:13. And Paul ... declares, “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Romans 7:12.

The whole world will be judged by the moral law according to their opportunity of becoming acquainted with it, whether by reason, or tradition, or the written Word.

We behold in it the goodness of God, who by revealing to men the immutable principles of righteousness seeks to shield them from the evils that result from transgression....

The law is an expression of God's idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin. “Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them”—cause them to stumble. There is no peace in unrighteousness; the wicked are at war with God. But he who receives the righteousness of the law in Christ is in harmony with heaven.

As received in Christ, it [God's law] works in us the purity of character that will bring joy to us through eternal ages.

The Faith I Live By, p. 83.

Pope changed God’s law, media cries fake news. Sunday pastors expose Jesuits, SDAs preach social gospel

Who is the Enemy? Pastor Bill Hughes

But without faith it is impossible to please God

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 11
King James Version (KJV)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Not So Lord! - 218

Reflections on the Maltese EU Presidency

Europe Infos - christian perspectives on the EU

Newsletter monthly of Comece and the Jesult European Office - eleven issues per year.


Malta’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union offers the Church the opportunity to revitalize faith in the European project, says the Archbishop of Malta Charles J. Scicluna.

The Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union takes place in very challenging times for the Union. Unfolding events could possibly change the Presidency’s planned tempo and dynamics.

EU leaders meeting in Bratislava on 16 September 2016 agreed to reconvene in Malta in the beginning of this year and to use the March 2017 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, when the Heads of Government meet again in Rome, to set out orientations for the EU’s common future. Malta should take the opportunity to give a strong impetus to revitalise faith in the European Project.

The Catholic Church and European Christian Churches (CEC) urge the EU to return to the values of the EU founding fathers by solving common problems together building on their shared history, and to consider the European project as more than just a common market.

The single market is essential for economic growth. However, social inclusion should remain central to economic growth.

Many children in Europe live in poverty and young people are affected by high unemployment rates. There are also issues with long-term unemployment and workers who suffer deprivation from in-work poverty and precarious working conditions. The EU needs to act quickly to rescue the poor and the weak.

All efforts should include family-friendly measures. The family is the heart of the “culture of life”.

Energy security and climate change are closely related issues and concern the rights of present and future generations. Meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change provides a strong opportunity for integrating security of energy supply and accessibility, and sustainability.

The Maltese Presidency needs to urge all EU Member States to maintain the course towards achieving the post-2020 national climate action plans (INDCs) and to keep up the momentum of COP 21 and COP 22. The EU needs to maintain global leadership on climate change.

Malta should also consider promoting the proposal put forward by the European Group of Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) to the European Commission for setting up within its institutions an ‘ombudsperson’ structure to protect the interests of future generations.

The proposed reforms to the European Union’s Common Asylum System fall short of ensuring a fair, transparent and efficient asylum system based on high protection standards. Burden-sharing, or “responsibility sharing”, and reform to the Dublin Regulation are the two most important issues which have divided the EU and which exert most pressure on the Maltese presidency.

The Church in Malta hopes that the Maltese EU Presidency will continue to consolidate and implement the values of human dignity, democracy, human rights, justice, solidarity and the rule of law, cherished by the founding fathers of the European Union, in the areas of the six priorities adopted for its Presidency: migration, security, the single market, social inclusion, neighbourhood policy and the maritime sector.

+ Charles J. Scicluna

Archbishop of Malta

Download the Reflections of the Church in Malta on Malta’s EU Presidency

Senate defeats Sunday morning retail sales

A bill that would have allowed retailers to be open on Sunday mornings has failed in the North Dakota Senate.

Current law makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate a business before noon on Sundays. There are exceptions for businesses like restaurants, hospitals, hotels and gas stations. Opponents of the repeal of most of that law say workers need Sunday mornings to spend with their families - perhaps at church. One such opponent is Senator Robert Erbele. He calls the need for Sunday morning retail sales "selfish consumerism," and says everyone needs a moment to rest.

"Going to church is recreation, just like going to the lake or golfing. It's really a matter of how you pronounce the word. If you say recreation, or you say re-creation, it really amounts to the same thing. So we need that day to rejuvinate our mind, our spirit, and our body - that's the re-creation."

Senator Jessica Unruh says there are currently 39 exceptions to the Sunday sales prohibition. She says that list should either be expanded, or done away with to level the playing field for all businesses. Senator Judy Lee says the decision to open on Sunday mornings should be left to the businesses themselves.

"A store that is free standing is always going to have the ability to decide when to be open. The Franklin Covey stores have never been open on Sunday. Hobby Lobby has never been open on Sunday. And if I ran a store, I would have to decide if I was going to be open on Sunday - either at noon, or if this bill passes, at ten. So I think it's really important to recognize there are a lot of working people who do not work retail, who are working, at some point, shifts that are all a part of the 24 hour work schedule - and we all take them for granted in many ways."

The bill failed on a vote of 22 to 25.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The King of the North - Evan Sadler

Southern Baptist leaders tout unity amid rift that could cost church millions

Published March 15, 2017

Russell Moore on "Fox and Friends."

A show of unity this week by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) puts a happy, but perhaps temporary, face on a struggle over the direction of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

The head of the 15-million-member evangelical denomination’s public policy arm, Russell Moore, has criticized President Trump and – most provocatively – SBC leaders who openly support him.

Moore, who heads the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Frank Page, president of the SBC’s executive committee, made peace at a Monday meeting in Nashville to tamp down rumors of a split between the two and speculation that the tie that binds the massive denomination together is fraying.


While those ties may not be fraying, they have been strained. Moore has accused evangelical leaders who supported Trump of “normalizing an awful candidate,” according to published reports. Further, Moore said that Southern Baptist leaders who attended a meeting at Trump Tower last year had “drunk the Kool-Aid.”

Typing sentences by simply thinking is possible with new technology

Kucinich: I Was Wiretapped As A Congressman, They Can Certainly Tap Pres...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

U.K. men fined for 'abusive,' 'criminal' recitation of Bible

Sunday, March 12, 2017 |
Michael F. Haverluck (

Two Christian street preachers were fined what amounts to thousands of U.S. dollars for allegedly engaging in an “abusive” and “criminal” activity by quoting verses from the King James (KJV) Bible – an argument presented by a public prosecutor in the United Kingdom.

Last summer, Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell were arrested while they were preaching in the U.K.’s Bristol city center, and they were later charged with a Public Order Offense for quoting and speaking about the Bible to pedestrians.

Ever since July of last year, the two men have been caught in in a legal battle over what they describe as merely preaching the Gospel and answering questions posed by a crowd about the difference between Islam and Christianity, according to The Christian Institute.

Baseless argument, baseless ruling…

Michael Phillips, the attorney representing Overd and Stockwell, proclaimed before the court that the prosecutor’s allegations are completely out-of-line.

“[The prosecution was a] modern-day heresy trial – dressed up under the Public Order Act,” Phillips told the Bristol Magistrates Court.

In defense of the Christian men, their counsel argued that the two were legally exercising their democratic right to preach and quote from the KJV Bible in a public venue – a matter of free speech.

Reciting the Bible criminal behavior?

A closer look at the Johnson Amendment

Heather Greene — March 12, 2017 

WASHINGTON – On Feb. 2, President Donald Trump returned for a brief moment to a recurring issue facing his administration: the Johnson Amendment. At the National Prayer Breakfast, he told the attendees,“Among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own beliefs. That is why I will get rid of, and totally destroy, the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that — remember.”

[Public domain.]Repealing the Johnson Amendment has been one of the main focuses of Trump’s campaign, and it continues to find its way into current political discourse with regard to religious freedom. Trump began speaking out against the tax code early in his bid for the presidency. Then, during his acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, he said:

At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical and religious community in general who have been so good to me and so supportive.You have much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.

What is this Johnson Amendment, and what is its relationship to religious freedom? How does it affect the greater Pagan, Heathen, and polytheist communities in the U.S.?
History of the Johnson Amendment

The now-famous tax code change was implemented in 1954, after being passed by a Republican congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It’s name is taken from Lyndon B. Johnson who, at the time, was a senator from Texas. As the story goes, in 1954, Johnson was running for reelection against 30-year-old Dudley Dougherty. While Johnson had only won the previous election in 1948 by 87 votes, he was reportedly expected to easily to beat Dougherty in the primary race.

However, during the campaign process, Johnson vocally opposed the ongoing McCarthy trials and its related fear-mongering. Contrary to that, Dougherty was running on platform that supported the trials and the government’s aggressive attempts to stop the spread of communism in the U.S.

During the campaign, several large nonprofit organizations stepped in to back Dougherty, including Fact Forum and the Committee for Constitutional Government. These wealthy secular groups avidly supported the government’s anti-communist efforts and, as result, they publicly engaged in electioneering on behalf of Dougherty.

501c3 Facts

Most churches in America have organized as "501c3 tax-exempt religious organizations." This is a fairly recent trend that has only been going on for about fifty years. Churches were only added to section 501c3 of the tax code in 1954. We can thank Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson for that. Johnson was no ally of the church. As part of his political agenda, Johnson had it in mind to silence the church and eliminate the significant influence the church had always had on shaping "public policy."

Although Johnson proffered this as a "favor" to churches, the favor also came with strings attached (more like shackles). One need not look far to see the devastating effects 501c3 acceptance has had to the church, and the consequent restrictions placed upon any 501c3 church. 501c3 churches are prohibited from addressing, in any tangible way, the vital issues of the day.

For a 501c3 church to openly speak out, or organize in opposition to, anything that the government declares "legal," even if it is immoral (e.g. abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that church will jeopardize its tax exempt status. The 501c3 has had a "chilling effect" upon the free speech rights of the church. LBJ was a shrewd and cunning politician who seemed to well-appreciate how easily many of the clergy would sell out.

Did the church ever need to seek permission from the government to be exempt from taxes? Were churches prior to 1954 taxable? No, churches have never been taxable. To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Religion cannot be free if you have to pay the government, through taxation, to exercise it. Since churches aren't taxable in the first place, why do so many of them go to the IRS and seek permission to be tax-exempt? It occurs out of:
  • Ignorance ("We didn't know any better")
  • Bandwagon logic ("Everyone else is doing it")
  • Professional advice (many attorneys and CPAs recommend it)

Does the law require, or even encourage, a church to organize as a 501c3? To answer that question let's turn to what the IRS itself has to say.

Churches Need Not Apply

In order to be considered for tax-exempt status by the IRS an organization must fill out and submit IRS Form 1023 and 1024. However, note what the IRS says regarding churches and church ministries, in Publication 557:Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include: Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group. These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).

Churches Are “Automatically Tax-Exempt”

According to IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A):Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations. (a) New organizations must notify secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) status. (c) Exceptions. (1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to— (A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches.

This is referred to as the "mandatory exception" rule. Thus, we see from the IRS’ own publications, and the tax code, that it is completely unnecessary for any church to apply for tax-exempt status. In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-exempt.”

Churches Are “Automatically Tax-Deductible”

And what about tax-deductibility? Doesn’t a church still need to become a 501c3 so that contributions to it can be taken as a tax deduction? The answer is no! According to IRS Publication 526:Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations other than churches and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS.

In the IRS’ own words a church “is automatically tax-deductible.”

Churches Have a Mandatory Exception To Filing Tax Returns

Not only is it completely unnecessary for any church to seek 501c3 status, to do so becomes a grant of jurisdiction to the IRS by any church that obtains that State favor. In the words of Steve Nestor, IRS Sr. Revenue Officer (ret.):"I am not the only IRS employee who’s wondered why churches go to the government and seek permission to be exempted from a tax they didn’t owe to begin with, and to seek a tax deductible status that they’ve always had anyway. Many of us have marveled at how church leaders want to be regulated and controlled by an agency of government that most Americans have prayed would just get out of their lives. Churches are in an amazingly unique position, but they don’t seem to know or appreciate the implications of what it would mean to be free of government control."

from the Forward of In Caesar's Grip, by Peter Kershaw

North Korea Threatens U.S. and South Korea With ‘Merciless’ Strikes

March 14, 2017 10:36 a.m.

“Merciless.” Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

As F-18 fighter jets took off from the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in the seas off South Korea Tuesday, part of a joint military exercise staged by Seoul and Washington, D.C., North Korea issued a warning filled with its trademark bluster.

“If they infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater,” said KCNA, Pyongyang’s state news agency. It went on to describe the exercise as simulating “dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets.”

North Korea has been particularly sensitive this year to the military exercises, which have been going on for 40 years and have been described by the Defense Department as “defensive in nature.” That’s not how they’re viewed in Pyongyang, where the exercises are seen as a preparation for war, and last Monday North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the East Sea to make its displeasure known.

In response to that launch, the U.S., Japan, and South Korea are testing missile defense ships in the East Sea this week in what the U.S. Navy has called “a trilateral missile warning informational link exercise.”

Meanwhile, China is trying to play peacemaker. “North Korea has violated U.N. Security Council resolutions banning its ballistic missile launches; on the other hand, South Korea, the U.S. — and now Japan — insist on conducting super-large-scale military drills,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday.

For Beijing, this is not just about keeping the peace. The Chinese government fears the missile-defense system’s “powerful radar can probe deep into its territory and compromise its security,” Reuters reports.

As if that weren’t enough drama, the U.S. beat its chest again Monday with the announcement that Gray Eagle attack drones have been deployed to South Korea. In a press release, the military said the drones add “significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” abilities to forces in Korea. More importantly, they’re one more reason for Kim Jong-un to think twice before his trigger finger gets itchy.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rep. Steve King: ‘We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies’

Congressman Steve King has a history of stirring controversy. (Chris Keane/Reuters/File) |

Iowa Rep. Steve King is facing a fierce backlash over a tweet critics say is an open embrace of white nationalism.

On Sunday, King retweeted a political cartoon featuring Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician whose anti-Muslim rhetoric and blown-out hairstyle have drawn plenty of comparisons to Donald Trump. The cartoon depicts Wilders, chairman of the far-right Party for Freedom and a member of the Dutch parliament, plugging a hole in the wall protecting “Western Civilization” as a flood of water bearing the star-and-crescent symbol of Islam comes crashing over the top.

“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King wrote on Twitter. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

It isn’t entirely clear whose “babies” King was referring to, and his office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, Wilders recently thanked a different cartoonist for “an excellent cartoon” urging Europe to “stop Islamization.”

“We must indeed stop the Islamization of our societies!” he wrote.

King’s tweet was retweeted by David Duke, former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

“Sanity reigns supreme in Iowa’s 4th congressional district,” Duke tweeted, adding: “GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!!”

Evan McMullin, the former independent U.S. presidential candidate, was quick to condemn King’s tweet.

“GOP Congressman @SteveKingIA promotes the un-American ideas of white nationalism,” McMullin tweeted. “Will any Republican congressmen condemn his bigotry?”

California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, also condemned King’s message.

King is no stranger to stirring controversy.

In early 2008, King predicted that al-Qaida would be “dancing in the streets” if Barack Obama became president, in part because of Obama’s middle name, Hussein.

“His middle name does matter,” King said. “It matters because they read a meaning into that.”

In 2012, King defended his Republican colleague Todd Akin’s controversial suggestion that women couldn’t get pregnant from rape, saying he hadn’t heard of such cases.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King said. “And I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

And during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, King wondered aloud what contributions nonwhite citizens have made to society.

“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired,” King said in an appearance on MSNBC. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people … where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

King is also well-versed in the Trump administration’s controversial rhetoric.

Last week, King told the New York Times that he believes in the existence of a “deep state” that’s attempting to undermine President Trump.

“We are talking about the emergence of a deep state led by Barack Obama, and that is something that we should prevent,” King told the Times. “The person who understands this best is Steve Bannon.”

King added that Trump “needs to purge the leftists within the administration that are holdovers from the Obama administration, because it appears that they are undermining his administration and his chances of success.”

WikiLeaks’ CIA dump makes the Russian hacking story even murkier — if that’s possible

Sunday, Mar 12, 2017 06:00 AM EDT

WikiLeaks' new trove suggests the CIA could easily fake a Russian hack. It's no smoking gun, but it's disturbing Danielle Ryan

Enlarge(Credit: AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Reuters/Lucas Jackson/Salon/Mireia Triguero Roura)

Russia hacked the election. Russia didn’t hack the election. Russia sort of, maybe, possibly hacked the election.

Is your head spinning from this story yet?

The latest WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the CIA’s hacking abilities has further complicated the hall of mirrors that is the Russian hacking story. The “Vault 7″ leaks are believed to be authentic and reveal a few uncomfortable truths about the overreach of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Reactions to the leaks have varied from those who think they could be more significant than the Edward Snowden revelations to those who think it’s all a bit of a non-story. Basically, it’s a pretty clear split between those who regard WikiLeaks’ editor Julian Assange as a trustworthy whistleblower and those who regard him as a tool of the Kremlin.

Among other things, the leaks revealed that the U.S. government is essentially paying out to exploit the vulnerabilities in software without telling companies and, disturbingly, that they could be using your iPhone or Samsung TV as a microphone — even when it’s supposedly switched off.

One of the most interesting disclosures concerns how the CIA can cover its tracks by leaving electronic trails suggesting the hacking is being done in different places — notably, in Russia. In fact, according to WikiLeaks, there’s an entire department dedicated to this. Its job is to “misdirect attribution” by leaving false fingerprints. If you’ve been at all skeptical about the recent levels of Russia-related hysteria, promoted heavily by U.S. intelligence agencies, alarm bells are probably going off in your head.

Keeping these tactics in mind, the evidence presented to prove that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee in an effort to throw the presidential election to Donald Trump becomes flimsier than it was before. And it was pretty flimsy to begin with.

Recall, for example, that cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike conveniently concluded within one day that the Russian government was behind the attack on the DNC servers. I say conveniently, because the DNC paid for CrowdStrike’s services — and it’s fair to say the DNC had an unhealthy fixation on all things Russia for the duration of the election cycle.

The evidence provided by CrowdStrike included the fact that malware found on DNC servers was the same as malware believed to be used by Russian intelligence units, that metadata files included information in Cyrillic text, and that emails had been sent using the Russian email service Yandex. In other words, it was nothing the CIA couldn’t have done itself in order to “misdirect attribution.” What’s more, CrowdStrike actually admitted that it deliberately left out evidence that didn’t support its claims that Russia was responsible.

FireEye, a competitor of CrowdStrike, made similar claims on thin evidence. The hackers, they explained, “appeared to cease operations on Russian holidays, and their work hours seem to align with the UTC +3 time zone, which contains cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg.”

In a thorough and thought-provoking piece on Russian hacking, investigative journalist Yasha Levine picks this “evidence” apart: