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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest


NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Mitch Smith - June 5, 2015
CHICAGO — Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges on Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.

The charges and accompanying civil petition, announced by the Ramsey County prosecutor, John J. Choi, stem from accusations by three male victims who say that from 2008 to 2010, when they were under age, a local priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, gave them alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.

The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by American authorities against a Catholic diocese.

“Today, we are alleging a disturbing institutional and systemic pattern of behavior committed by the highest levels of leadership of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis over the course of decades,” Mr. Choi said in a statement.

Mr. Wehmeyer, 50, who was dismissed as a priest in March, was sentenced to five years in a Minnesota prison in 2013 for criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography. He also has been charged with sex crimes in Wisconsin.

The six criminal charges filed Friday, misdemeanors with a maximum fine of $3,000 each, accused the archdiocese of failing to protect children. Mr. Choi also filed a civil petition against the archdiocese that he said was intended to provide legal remedies to prevent similar inaction from happening again.

The 44-page criminal complaint states that concerns about Mr. Wehmeyer date to the 1990s, when he was in seminary and supervisors suggested that his past sexual promiscuity and alcohol abuse made him a poor candidate for the priesthood.

Fellow clergy members and parishioners voiced repeated concerns about Mr. Wehmeyer after his ordination in 2001, prosecutors said. The archdiocese allowed Mr. Wehmeyer to continue as a priest, and even placed him in charge of his own parish, despite learning about his attempts to pick up young men at bookstores and his encounters with law enforcement at known “cruising” spots where men were known to meet other men for anonymous sexual encounters.

The charging documents also say that archdiocese officials knew that Mr. Wehmeyer used a boys’ bathroom at a parish elementary school instead of the staff restroom; tried to give an elementary-age boy a tour of the rectory in violation of policy; and took camping trips with boys where some of the sexual abuse was said to have occurred.

The archdiocese placed Mr. Wehmeyer in a monitoring program for priests facing complaints of abuse or other problems, but prosecutors said in court documents that the supervision and follow-through was “lax or nonexistent.”

“The archdiocese’s failures have caused great suffering by the victims and their family and betrayed our entire community,” Mr. Choi said in his statement.

Civil cases against the archdiocese and priests have poured in since 2013, when the Minnesota State Legislature passed the Child Victims Act, which opened a three-year window for filing lawsuits involving claims of sexual abuse that were beyond the criminal statute of limitations.

Many people have made such claims since that law’s passage, bringing new attention to decades-old cases, and creating public records of accusations against some priests.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said he was pleased by the indictment, “but the credit goes to Minnesota lawmakers, not this prosecutor.”

An auxiliary bishop for the diocese, Andrew Cozzens, said in a statement Friday, “We deeply regret the abuse that was suffered by the victims of Curtis Wehmeyer and are grieved for all victims of sexual abuse.”

He added that the archdiocese would continue to cooperate with prosecutors. “We all share the same goal: to provide safe environments for all children in our churches and in our communities,” Bishop Cozzens said.

Criminal prosecution of an entire Catholic archdiocese is rare, but not entirely unprecedented, in American courts.

An Ohio judge in 2003 convicted the Archdiocese of Cincinnati of failing to report sexually abusive priests in the 1970s and ’80s. The judge fined the archdiocese $10,000, the maximum allowed, after the archbishop entered a no-contest plea.

But the Minnesota allegations are especially stark because the sexual abuse is said to have occurred relatively recently, long after sexual misconduct by priests had been widely reported and after Catholic institutions implemented programs aimed at preventing further abuse.

“Naming the archdiocese as a corporation implicates the wrongdoing and the failure to protect children by all of the top officials, past and present,” Jeff Anderson, a lawyer in Minnesota who has represented clergy sex-abuse victims, said in a statement.

Laurie Goodstein contributed reporting from New York.

Unedited :: Link to Original Posting
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/06/us/catholic-archdiocese-in-minnesota-charged-over-sex-abuse-by-priest.html



FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Overview of Jacob’s Latest Book

Jacob’s latest book, titled “HARPAZO: The Intra-Seal Rapture of the Church” has been a work in progress for more than three years. It is no secret that Jacob’s technology and typing skills are so marginal that it gives us hope that he’s human after all, so we have come up with a system tailored to Jacob’s needs when it comes to writing his books, mainly that he temporarily relocates to my town for weeks at a time, literally dictating every word of every chapter to my furiously little typing fingers. Many within Moriel have expressed their envy that I have been present for every word, version and associated discussion that has gone into The Dilemma of Laodicea, Shadows of the Beast, and now Harpazo. As Jacob’s “stenographer”, so to speak, I have derived more benefit from this process than anyone else by literally typing and copy-editing these manuscripts over and over again. So I thought that those who are most familiar with Jacob’s teachings may appreciate an insider’s view of some of the things to expect from his latest and much anticipated work.

From the very outset, we purposely decided not to write this book using the usual format which it seems nearly all works on eschatology employ. Typically such books spend far too much of their time reviewing the eschatologies which its author does not support and devotes a tremendous amount of textual real estate in refutation of those things belonging to those “isms” which he/she does not believe to begin with. The reader is most often guided through an almost endless referral to various charts of competing views, not to mention having to know each eschatology well enough to set them apart from each other where appropriate, and at the same time understand how to keep them in alignment when they are congruous with the author’s particular view. An example I often cite is Marv Rosenthal’s Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, a seminal work on the Pre-Wrath position originally published in 1990. If it were pared down to contain just those pages exclusively devoted to the author’s eschatology, the book would probably only be about a third of its current size. This is typical of most treatments of eschatology.

Frankly, it is an overall bad teaching technique to focus more on what one does not believe versus what they do, and can probably be successfully argued that this is not a great approach if one’s goal is more oriented toward Bible exposition and discipleship. So we decided from the outset that the book would be written in two “halves”: the first half would be something akin to someone sitting down across the table from Jacob as he opens his Bible and simply teaches the doctrine of the Harpazo and Resurrection, completely focused on explaining Scripture; the second half would be devoted to a more academic refutation of the various competing eschatologies and address the more technical issues which are more the domain of scholars, scribes and professional critics. 

The problem is that as the first “half” of the book began to exceed 500 pages, we saw how unrealistic it would be to include a second “half” which would have required publishing something like a “Volume 1, 2 & 3” in order to avoid a single 1,000 page book. And would such a voluminous work actually provide the benefits we wanted to impart of plain Bible teaching? Jacob is considering following up with a book specifically addressing the academic and scholarly perspectives most often associated with seminary-level and above discussions, but such will not be found in this book. While there are occasional and sparse references to these positions and the technical terms most associated with eschatology, they are very scarce overall. In fact, we are most proud of the fact that this may be very first book on eschatology ever which has absolutely no charts and is written for the benefit of the average believer, not the so-called expert. 

What Does “Intra-Seal” Mean? 

Every eschatology is first and foremost defined by its proposed timing of the Rapture in relationship to the Tribulation. We will find individual exceptions and nuanced positions, but in general, “Pre-Tribulationism” believes the Harpazo takes place before the entire final seven-year Tribulation, “Post-Tribulationism” asserts it occurs at the end (most usually transitioning from the Tribulation to the Millennial Reign), and “Pre-Wrath” that it takes place between the 6th and 7th seals. Eschatology books still give a passing nod to “Mid-Tribulationism” which believes it takes place at the exact midway point, but in truth it’s been a very long time since I met anyone actually holding this position, as they mostly seem to have migrated to the “Pre-Wrath” camp. 

Many of you familiar with Jacob’s teaching, as you read the above, may have nodded your head knowingly with the notion that Jacob teaches the Pre-Wrath position. Actually, he does not. The problem is that while the timing of the Rapture is the major defining event which gives each position their name, there are many, many, many other End Times events beside the timing of the Rapture which they all define differently. While Jacob is in fundamental agreement with the Pre-Wrath position as to its definition of “the day of the Lord” and the placement of the timing of the Harpazo between the 6th and 7th seal, there are a significant number of Pre-Wrath interpretations on a wide variety of other things with which he does not, and some of them result in important doctrinal distinctions. As Jacob overtly states more than once in the book, he shares common points of agreement to a degree with brethren holding each of these competing views, but at the same time experiences disagreement on many other issues, and such sometimes matter significantly to the point of shaping other areas of doctrine and theology. Eschatology is not only limited to the timing of the Rapture but embraces many related issues and events as well. 

For instance, as but one example, while Jacob provides that the Restrainer of 2 Thessalonians 2 is the Holy Spirit, it’s hard to find Pre-Wrath advocates who do not alternatively maintain that this is instead the archangel Michael. In other words, because of a large attraction to the Pre-Wrath position by many holding to Cessationism, there is a fundamental dissimilarity in theology when it comes to the Holy Spirit which, in our opinion, is no small thing. Likewise, there are those subscribing to other eschatologies who affirm that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, who subsequently speak of the Holy Spirit “returning” to heaven (which is impossible for a member of the Godhead) and yet asserting that in the Holy Spirit’s absence there will be those who somehow get saved without Him. This is but one example where a position on eschatology undermines the more fundamental doctrines associated with pneumatology (the Holy Spirit) and soteriology (salvation). 

So the intention of identifying the book as “Intra-Seal” is to call attention not just to the sole, singular issue of where the timing of the Harpazo falls within Jacob’s overall teaching, but to serve as a platform to establish the scriptural basis for all the elements related to the doctrine of the Harpazo and Resurrection, or more specifically what Scripture refers to as the “Parousia”—Christ’s appearing wherein “anastasia” (“resurrection”) of those asleep in Christ and “harpazo” of those alive at the time equals “episunagoge”—our gathering together with Him. If the only thing each eschatology addressed was the timing of the Harpazo, it would make the overall discussion much easier, but the fact is that each view proceeds from there to engage contrasting interpretations not just of the identity of the Restrainer, but of nearly every element of the Last Days such as the Two Witnesses, the role of Israel, the 144,000, the identity of the Antichrist, and on and on and on. 

All the Other Stuff 

“From six troubles He will deliver you, Even in seven evil will not touch you. — Job 5:19 
Those familiar with Jacob’s teachings on the Harpazo have long known Jacob’s position that the Harpazo takes places between the 6th and 7th seals, the 7th seal being the initiation of what Scripture prolifically describes as the onset of “the day of the Lord”. Jacob selected Job 5:19 as the main theme for the book because it describes the fact that the seals are very different in character and execution from the trumpet and bowl judgments unleashed by the 7th seal. The “six troubles” of the first six seals are judgments which everyone on earth experiences, believer and non-believer alike, all replaying the same kinds of judgments used by God repeatedly in the Old Testament for everyone. With the trumpet and bowl judgments, however, these all come about through angelic agency through divine direction and are no longer judgments to get mankind’s attention and possibly turn us back to Him, but become the wrath of God poured out on the kingdom of Antichrist. From this point on, things are very, very different both spiritually and doctrinally. 
For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. — 1 Thessalonians 5:9–10 
While one popular eschatology asserts believers will escape all the seal judgments and the whole of Revelation, another asserts we will go through the entire thing, but in yet another a distinction is made within the overall sequence between “judgment” and “wrath”. Here is but one example of what results from different interpretations of the biblical term “the day of the Lord”. There is near universal agreement that this describes the final outpouring of God’s wrath, and that Scripture specifically promises that although believers will be judged they will never experience wrath, but great disagreement as to whenthe day of the Lord” takes place as well as its overall definition. In this case, Pre-Trib insists that the whole final seven years and “the day of the Lord” are the exact, same thing while both Pre-Wrath and Intra-Seal see the 6th seal (Rev. 6:12-17) as literally fulfilling the oft-repeated descriptions in Scripture of what takes place on “the day of the Lord”. This is no small point of difference. But this is but the beginning. The fact is that each major side brings to the table certain presuppositions which we cannot confirm when examining them on the sole basis of Scripture alone, especially as they are taught in the many types and patterns of these things provided throughout the whole of God’s Word. 

Part One: Harpazo Rescues & Their Typology in Scripture 

The first third of the book explores the types and patterns which confirm the fundamental doctrine and theology of the Harpazo and Resurrection. The chapters in this section are: 
  • 1 • We Shall Be Changed As They Have Been Changed 
  • 2 • Them & Us 
  • 3 • The Rescues in the Old Testament 
  • 4 • The Rescues in Daniel 
  • 5 • The Rescues in the New Testament 
  • 6 • The Historical and Cultural 
  • 7 • Summary of Part One 
As Jacob has often stated and does so again repeatedly in this book, type and pattern can only illuminate doctrine, it can never serve as the basis for it. But Scripture has much to teach not just about how the Harpazo will take shape and be executed, but of the greater doctrinal purposes behind it. Even those familiar with Jacob’s teachings are going to encounter quite a bit of material in these examples they have not heard him exegete previously in this sizable list of examples. 

Part Two: The Elements & Components of the Harpazo & Parousia 

The middle section of the book contains some titles very familiar to long-time followers of Jacob’s teachings, but there are also things never previously and formally taught. 
  • 8 • The Great Church Robbery 
  • 9 • Parousia 
  • 10 • The Vector 
  • 11 • The Ten & the Forty 
  • 12 • The Harpazo & Ministry of Elijah 
  • 13 • The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 
  • 14 • The Interlude Marking 
  • 15 • Interludes 
  • 16 • Prelude to “The Day of the Lord” 
  • 17 • What is “The Day of the Lord”? 
  • 18 • Summary of Part Two 
While there is new material interspersed throughout, entirely new ground is covered where interludes and the Two Witnesses are concerned. It is very enlightening to understand the important scriptural connection between particular things which some might say, at least initially, do not have a direct bearing on the Harpazo, but most certainly and exegetically do. 

Part Three: The Sequence of Prophetic Events Climaxing with the Harpazo 

This last section concentrates on the event itself and where it falls within the overall eschaton
  • 19 • The Apostolic Perspective of the Harpazo 
  • 20 • Daniel 9 and the Timing of the Harpazo 
  • 21 • These Are Those Who Have Come Out 
  • 22 • Immanency & the Harpazo 
  • 23 • Events Leading to the Harpazo 
  • 24 • The Sequence of Events 
  • 25 • Summary of Part Three 
One of the biggest points of contention in the field of eschatology is called by many the “Doctrine of Immanency”, and one of the most significant chapters in this book is Jacob’s exposition of 1 & 2 Thessalonians to show, exegetically, that one of the biggest problems associated with the Last Days is a prevailing false doctrine of immanency. This final section, as well, is filled with material Jacob has not directly covered in previously published sermons. 

Additional Materials 

There are several addendums as well as an “Epilogue” and “Appendix”, but the closing chapter is actually: 
  • 26 • The Anti-Climax 
This chapter is devoted to explaining what is to take place of major importance in the wake of the Harpazo, which is an incredible eschatological interpretation of the Book of Esther, and the figure of Mordecai in particular, which Jacob only realized in the final weeks working on the book. (I wouldn’t be surprised to hear him teaching this as a standalone sermon in the very near future.) 

But What Did I Learn? 

At the risk of launching into a full-blown sermon, I am going to pass along what I believe to be the most important and lasting lessons I’ve taken away from these past three years’ of work, and that has to do with hermeneutics. In researching all of the alternative positions and measuring Jacob’s interpretations against those arrived at by others, I kept coming back to the question, “Why does everyone seem to be wrong at some point? Why are Bible expositors who are right when it comes to most other doctrines so askew when it comes to eschatology?” I have come to believe that one of two things most commonly take place: errors come from so-called “experts” who have never really taught the whole Word of God but make an attempt to specialize only in certain aspects of prophecy, or those who are regular preachers of God’s Word who make exceptions to their own rules when it comes to prophecy. 

I believe that those within the Church who will take issue with Jacob over this book will try to make the argument about his hermeneutics, claiming that Scripture cannot be interpreted this way. In fact, we should all be prepared to hear this coming from many who have shared the teaching platform with Jacob over the years, and not just the usual suspects who are always antagonistic. There is going to be those who previously held Jacob’s hermeneutics in high regard when it came to non-eschatology teachings such as “Kashrut and Famine”, “The Rite of Ordeal”, “Simchat Torah”, or many other such signature sermons. But all of the sudden those who approved of previously of Jacob’s handling of Scripture are going to cry, “Foul!” when it comes to this book, because they themselves suffer from the problems I just identified most often having to do with changing their own hermeneutics when it comes to eschatology. They would never handle the Greek in the way for which they make an exception when it comes to an End Times interpretation, they would never normally lift a verse out of context in such an egregious manner, they would normally be able to identify when a presupposition is reading into Scripture (eisegesis) instead of drawing out what is actually there (exegesis), and a number of other similar things. Although they approved of Jacob’s hermeneutics in other areas of theology in the past, they will now make an exception for eschatology because they are in the habit of making such exceptions themselves. 

I consider this to have been my most important function, to constantly test Jacob’s hermeneutics to verify their consistency not only where eschatology is concerned, but that there is no conflict with any other teaching in which he has employed them. Regular readers and listeners of Jacob’s sermons are going to feel very comfortable with the book, but I predict angst, particularly among the “scholars” and self-proclaimed “experts” whose handling of Scripture overall is often found to be irregular at best. 

The Lesson of Synonyms 

However, to drill down ever more specifically, this was a great, multi-year exercise reaffirming the right hermeneutic where synonyms are concerned. 

Human writers know that they will lose a reader’s attention if they keep using the same word or phrase over and over again. The great writers make a name for themselves as wordsmiths who manage the most colorful and descriptive substitutes. I would get a failing grade if I turned in to my English teacher something like, “My really big nose, feeling a really big itch, experienced a really big sneeze, ejecting a really big booger.” Human writers know that they have to replace all the repeated uses of “really big” with much better synonyms to keep the writing interesting. I’d get a much improved grade if I wrote, “My Pinocchio-sized nose trembled at a rumbling itch in anticipation of a hurricane-like sneeze, catapulting into space a capacious booger.” (I don’t care who you are, that’s good writing.) Because there is such an emphasis in Western churches on grammatical-historical exegesis, Scripture is often handled just like any other literature. The problem is that the Bible isn’t “any other literature”, and in particular, the Holy Spirit does not employ synonyms like this. 

For instance, “sin” means “to fall short of the standard”, “transgression” means “to rebel against the standard”, and “iniquity” means “to twist the standard”. These are three completely different words in the original languages that have an overall general relationship to sin, but they are describing three independent situations. The Holy Spirit did not simply get tired of overusing the word “sin” and, like a human writer, decide to change it up and occasionally switch to “transgression” or “iniquity”. Bible translators would be doing us a great injustice if they did not literally translate each word exactly as given so we can understand the right and proper context. These are not synonyms which can be exchanged at will for each other, but unique descriptions of different actions with alternate motivations. 

Now as Jacob has pointed out in the course of many of his sermons, when the Holy Spirit uses what appears to look like a synonym, it is actually to highlight a different aspect of the same thing. Just as “sin”, “transgression” and “iniquity” differentiate between different actions taken toward “the standard”, an easy example to understand is when God calls His people “Israel” versus when He calls them “Jacob”. When He calls them “Jacob” in Scripture, He sees them in the character of their unsaved forefather before he wrestled with the Lord, coming into a face-to-face relationship with Him and forever changed going forward. “Jacob” is what He calls them when they act in the character of the backslidden conniver; “Israel” is used when they act as the saved person who has come into a right relationship with the Lord and received a new name in the character of a regenerate believer. They both refer to the same people group, but to completely different spiritual states. The same thing occurs in Scripture when it comes to “Jerusalem” versus “Zion”; one is the corrupt earthly version of the more perfect heavenly counterpart. The point is that we cannot simply alternate between what appears to be synonyms or terms which, on the surface, appear to be addressing the same thing. The Holy Spirit is communicating something very specific and unique in each term He repeatedly inspired many authors to employ in all areas of theology including eschatology. 

Seven Textual Terms & Eight Expressions of Math 

I have come to believe that no one’s eschatology can hope to be error free if they have not mastered this concept of synonyms and applied it to the key terms associated with Scripture’s explanation of the End Times. Specifically, there are seven textual terms which many expositors, more or less, all too often treat as synonyms and subject to interpretation in the light of human presupposition rather than according to God’s Word alone: 


  • Daniel’s 70th Week 
  • Tribulation 
  • Great Tribulation 
  • The Day of the Lord 
  • The Time of Jacob’s Trouble 
  • The Time of the Gentiles 
  • The Fullness of the Gentiles 


Even before the first chapter, Jacob provides a basic definition for these terms and then builds upon it throughout the book. Scholars and experts too freely switching in and out among these terms is, I believe, at the root of so much of the theological disagreement and resultant error, not to mention all the really bad and inaccurate charts graphically depicting the eschaton.

But sometimes connected to these textual terms, along with other notable End Times milestones, are eight mathematical expressions of time: 

  • “7 years” 
  • “time, times, and half a time” (3-1/2 years) 
  • “42 months” 
  • “1,260 days” 
  • “1,290 days” 
  • “1,335 days” 
  • “2,300 evenings and morning” 
  • “three years, six months” 

It is remarkable how often many of these terms are exchanged for one another as if they are synonyms for each other, or assumed to be equal because of the biblical use of a lunar calendar, when actually they are not. And even if they were, the Holy Spirit would still be using them to describe something spiritually unique and not merely employing synonyms which can be exchanged, one for the other. 

Yes, 3-1/2 lunar years could theoretically equal 42 months and 1,260 days, but in reality that is never the case. A lunar month may be 30 days, but it is very often 29 from moonrise to moonrise. So much so that when the Jewish Temple had to calculate such things in order to conduct the new moon sacrifices and keep the festal calendar, the Talmud explains that a lunar year was never calculated as having more than 10, nor less than 4, 30-day months. That means that a lunar year actually only had 350-356 days, not 360. During a typical 3-1/2 year period, therefore, in order to adjust for the actual solar years to keep the calendar straight, an additional leap month of Adar was thrown in to make things balance. This not only means that 3-1/2 lunar years in this situation is not usually “1,260 days”, but neither is it usually “42 months”—it’s actually 43 months! (“1,290 days” might simply just be a 3-1/2 year period with a leap month of Adar—1,260+30=1,290.) In other words, these are probably not all time periods starting and stopping at the same time but instead are used to communicate different aspects of the Last Days. (This brief synopsis does not do justice to what is more fully explained in the book, but I don’t want to permanently side-track us here.) 

Correcting Ourselves 

This all came about because one day, as I sat here taking Jacob’s dictation, he said something he has said a thousand times, I have said a thousand times, and probably all of us have said a thousand times: “…the 70th Week of Daniel, which is comprised of two halves of 1,260 days…” At the end of the day after Jacob left and I began to edit the text and insert the appropriate Scripture references, I went to look up the “1,260 days” in the Book of Daniel and, to my great dismay and distress, could not find it! Get your concordances out, kids, Daniel never uses either “1,260 days” nor “42 months”—they are exclusively used by John. And not only are they exclusively found in Revelation, but it turns out they are used only for very specific things. 

It turns out that John only used “1,260 days” with Israel’s escape from persecution in Revelation 12:8 (the woman in the wilderness) and the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11:3; he only rendered “42 months” in conjunction with the Beast in Revelation 13:4-7 and the Times of the Gentiles trampling Jerusalem in Revelation 11:2. When I showed this to Jacob, and after he’d picked himself off the floor after realizing our mutual error of using synonyms, he immediately saw something very significant that had eluded me completely: “1,260 days” is used only with “good” guys (Israel and the Two Witnesses) whereas “42 months” is only used with “bad guys” (Antichrist and the nations). 

As we did further research, we quickly discovered the common teaching that “42” is the number most often associated with apostasy. It was 42 youths taunting Elisha over the rapture of Elijah whom the bears came out and snacked on, 42 places the unfaithful generation stopped at in the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land, 42,000 apostate Benjamites whom the whole of Israel came against and killed, 42 sons of an unfaithful king of Northern Israel whom Jehu, God’s assassin, killed. “42”, derived at by multiplying the number of man (“6”) times the number of perfection (“7”) so as to represent spiritual corruption is assigned exclusively in Revelation by John to the Antichrist and rebellious nations’ trampling of Jerusalem. There is something very spiritually significant not only when these mathematical quantities overlap and stand apart between Daniel and Revelation, but are teaching us something worth paying attention to far more than just trying to make a calendric chart of the End Times balance out. 

If we are going to teach an eschatology devoid of biblical error, I believe it begins by no longer treating as synonyms these terms and quantities which were never actually synonyms to start. This hermeneutic replays itself throughout Jacob’s book not just in the area of these critical terms and expressions of time, but in almost every related area over and over again, but I nonetheless embrace the notion that this is a kind of litmus test we can employ to determine who is/is not properly exegeting Scripture. 

Oil In Our Lamps 

Ultimately this confirms the importance of the Olivet Discourse teaching of the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. (Mt. 25:1-13) Hopefully what this book will inspire is the desperate need for each individual believer to seek an ever-deepening understanding of Scripture by the anointing of the Holy Spirit—the greater meaning to the oil in the lamps. This book is not intended to address the esoteric arguments of the scholars and scribes, but hopes to generate within each rank-and-file believer the greater need to be ever more immersed in God’s Word so that the Apokalypsis—“the unveiling” will not merely be about timing, but take root in our most basic Christian behavior. 

In Him, 

Danny Isom 
Servant@WalkWithTheWord.org







Thursday, November 06, 2014

ISIS or Isis: US Hegemony and Redrawing the Middle East

Addendum for Be Alert!


The Middle East as it is Currently



The Middle East as it could be in a map drawn by Lt. Col. Ralph Peters in 1996



FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Original Report of John Paul II calling Evangelicals and Protestants "Rapacious Wolves"


Santo Domingo Journal; Shepherds, or Wolves? Whatever, Flocks Grow

NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Peter Steinfels - October 27, 1992
To believe Pope John Paul II, Bienvenido Alvarez-Vega is one of the Protestant "rapacious wolves" who are increasingly stealing Latin Americans from the Roman Catholic flock.

After the Pope used that phrase in a speech to a meeting here of Latin American bishops in mid-October, Mr. Alvarez talked about religion in his roomy office at the Santo Domingo daily paper El Siglo.

Wearing a pink shirt and casual slacks, Mr. Alvarez did not look either rapacious or wolflike. But as an articulate, university-educated Pentecostal Christian who directs one of the Dominican Republic's major newspapers, he certainly represents the dramatic progress of evangelical Protestantism in lands that have been historically Catholic.

Adherents of Protestant evangelical or Pentecostal churches, often with roots in the United States like Mr. Alvarez's Assemblies of God or the Church of God based in Cleveland, Tenn., are estimated at 18 to 21 percent of the population in Brazil, 16 percent in Chile and 20 percent in El Salvador. Estimates for Guatemala range from 18 to 33 percent. The estimate for Latin American generally is 6 to 7 percent. A Topic for the Bishops

This growth, a major item on the agenda of the Latin American Episcopal Conference meeting here in October, has been bitterly attacked by many Catholic leaders. They have portrayed what they call "sects" as everything from Communist infiltrators to agents of Yankee capitalism, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency.

One passage of the Pope's official text echoed this vision of a well-orchestrated, well-financed religious invasion by outsiders: "We must not underestimate a certain strategy whose objective is to weaken the links that unite the countries of Latin America and in this way erode the strength born of unity. Important economic resources are allocated toward this goal, to finance proselytizing campaigns aimed at destroying Catholic unity."

But Mr. Alvarez said the Pope's speech actually represented a moderation of the Catholic attitude. The Pope, Mr. Alvarez noted, had also attributed the success of Protestant groups to shortcomings in the Catholic church's own pastoral efforts, including the shortage of priests.

Protestantism in the Dominican Republic has actually lagged behind that in other nations, although the ranks of evangelical and Pentecostal Christians here have included Cabinet ministers and a presidential candidate, Mr. Alvarez said.

Most of the growth, now encompassing about half a million of the nation's 11 million people, was occurring among the poor. The new Protestant groups are egalitarian, he said, breaking social barriers and sharing power in the congregations in a way that Catholicism did not.

"Anyone can talk, sing or give testimony," Mr. Alvarez said. "The service is spontaneous and indigenous," with local songs and rhythms.

Asked whether his Protestant faith made him feel like an outsider to Latin American culture, Mr. Alvarez said, "Exactly the opposite."

Mr. Alvarez grew up in a Catholic home in La Romana, a sugar town with a large number of English and American residents and "a lot of Protestant influences," he said. He joined the Assemblies of God at 12. When he went to the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo to study communications, he joined an evangelical group affiliated with Intra-Varsity Christian Fellowship.

"My origins were Pentecostal," he said. "But I received my most solid formation in traditional Protestantism -- Lutheranism and Calvinism but with a Latin American perspective." He met his wife, a member of the Free Methodist Church, through the Intra-Varsity Christian Fellowship.

"Nobody has made a greater effort to have a Latin American theology than evangelicals," he said, and before Catholics "we had the liturgy in our own languages."

The fact that evangelical services were in Spanish was one of the things that attracted the Rev. Kerry Gonzalez when he was a boy in Cuba. Today he and his wife, Ethel, a native of Kansas, are missionaries with the Assemblies of God at the Trinity Evangelical Church in Santo Domingo.

Mrs. Gonzalez took leave of an evening Bible lesson, led by a 34-year-old former drug addict who once lived in New York, to explain that the church began in the 1970's in a carport and then moved into rented halls. It now meets in a simple but spacious concrete building seating 300. It runs a dispensary with five doctors and a school attended by 1,000 children in two shifts daily.

Mrs. Gonzalez said that only the salaries of her and her husband came from the Assemblies of God in the United States. The Santo Domingo church also welcomes gifts for schoolbooks, medical supplies and other specific items from North American friends and local congregations. But most of the church's funds are raised from its Dominican members, she said.

While the Bible lesson went from plodding repetition to a shouting, singing crescendo, Mr. Gonzalez spoke of his disappointment with the Pope's words. "He has come from Poland and gone through persecution," the 60-year-old minister said, "Anyone who has gone through that should have a better sense of religious freedom."

At the offices of El Siglo, Mr. Alvarez acknowledged that in some countries the evangelical churches, which "often think more of heaven than of earth," he said, had been favored by military leaders and conservative forces as a counterweight to grass-roots protests backed by Catholic groups. But he warned that with the Catholic Church still enjoying special privileges in many Latin American countries, the conflict with Protestants was apt to intensify as the latter grew more numerous.

Mr. Alvarez criticized his fellow evangelicals, most of whom, he said, do not recognize Catholics as genuine Christians. "I think that's a tragedy," he said. "It shows a spiritual arrogance, a sense of having a monopoly on the truth which is not real.

"I think there are important differences of theology and liturgy, but what unites us is bigger than what separates us, and both paths are sincere searches for God."

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/27/world/santo-domingo-journal-shepherds-or-wolves-whatever-flocks-grow.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm



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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Israeli Crisis

STRATFOR - By George Friedman - August 14, 2012
Crises are normally short, sharp and intense affairs. Israel's predicament has developed on a different time frame, is more diffuse than most crises and has not reached a decisive and intense moment. But it is still a crisis. It is not a crisis solely about Iran, although the Israeli government focuses on that issue. Rather, it is over Israel's strategic reality since 1978, when it signed the Camp David accords with Egypt.

Perhaps the deepest aspect of the crisis is that Israel has no internal consensus on whether it is in fact a crisis, or if so, what the crisis is about. The Israeli government speaks of an existential threat from Iranian nuclear weapons. I would argue that the existential threat is broader and deeper, part of it very new, and part of it embedded in the founding of Israel.

Israel now finds itself in a long-term crisis in which it is struggling to develop a strategy and foreign policy to deal with a new reality. This is causing substantial internal stress, since the domestic consensus on Israeli policy is fragmenting at the same time that the strategic reality is shifting. Though this happens periodically to nations, Israel sees itself in a weak position in the long run due to its size and population, despite its current military superiority. More precisely, it sees the evolution of events over time potentially undermining that military reality, and it therefore feels pressured to act to preserve it. How to preserve its superiority in the context of the emerging strategic reality is the core of the Israeli crisis.

Egypt
Since 1978, Israel's strategic reality had been that it faced no threat of a full peripheral war. After Camp David, the buffer of the Sinai Peninsula separated Egypt and Israel, and Egypt had a government that did not want that arrangement to break. Israel still faced a formally hostile Syria. Syria had invaded Lebanon in 1976 to crush the Palestine Liberation Organization based there and reconsolidate its hold over Lebanon, but knew it could not attack Israel by itself. Syria remained content reaching informal understandings with Israel. Meanwhile, relatively weak and isolated Jordan depended on Israel for its national security. Lebanon alone was unstable. Israel periodically intervened there, not very successfully, but not at very high cost.

The most important of Israel's neighbors, Egypt, is now moving on an uncertain course. This weekend, new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi removed five key leaders of the military and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and revoked constitutional amendments introduced by the military. There are two theories on what has happened. In the first, Morsi -- who until his election was a senior leader of the country's mainstream Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood -- is actually much more powerful than the military and is acting decisively to transform the Egyptian political system. In the second, this is all part of an agreement between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood that gives Morsi the appearance of greater power while actually leaving power with the military.

On the whole, I tend to think that the second is the case. Still, it is not clear how this will evolve: The appearance of power can turn into the reality of power. Despite any sub rosa agreements between the military and Morsi, how these might play out in a year or two as the public increasingly perceives Morsi as being in charge -- limiting the military's options and cementing Morsi's power -- is unknown. In the same sense, Morsi has been supportive of security measures taken by the military against militant Islamists, as was seen in the past week's operations in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Sinai remains a buffer zone against major military forces but not against the paramilitaries linked to radical Islamists who have increased their activities in the peninsula since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Last week, they attacked an Egyptian military post on the Gaza border, killing 16 Egyptian soldiers. This followed several attacks against Israeli border crossings. Morsi condemned the attack and ordered a large-scale military crackdown in the Sinai. Two problems could arise from this.

First, the Egyptians' ability to defeat the militant Islamists depends on redefining the Camp David accords, at least informally, to allow Egypt to deploy substantial forces there (though even this might not suffice). These additional military forces might not threaten Israel immediately, but setting a precedent for a greater Egyptian military presence in the Sinai Peninsula could eventually lead to a threat.

This would be particularly true if Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood impose their will on the Egyptian military. If we take Morsi at face value as a moderate, the question becomes who will succeed him. The Muslim Brotherhood is clearly ascendant, and the possibility that a secular democracy would emerge from the Egyptian uprising is unlikely. It is also clear that the Muslim Brotherhood is a movement with many competing factions. And it is clear from the elections that the Muslim Brotherhood represents the most popular movement in Egypt and that no one can predict how it will evolve or which factions will dominate and what new tendencies will arise. Egypt in the coming years will not resemble Egypt of the past generation, and that means that the Israeli calculus for what will happen on its southern front will need to take Hamas in Gaza into account and perhaps an Islamist Egypt prepared to ally with Hamas.

Syria and Lebanon
A similar situation exists in Syria. The secular and militarist regime of the al Assad family is in serious trouble. As mentioned, the Israelis had a working relationship with the Syrians going back to the Syrian invasion of Lebanon against the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1976. It was not a warm relationship, but it was predictable, particularly in the 1990s: Israel allowed Syria a free hand in Lebanon in exchange for Damascus' limiting Hezbollah's actions.

Lebanon was not exactly stable, but its instability hewed to a predictable framework. That understanding broke down when the United States seized an opportunity to force Syria to retreat from Lebanon in 2006 following the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. The United States used the Cedar Revolution that rose up in defiance of Damascus to retaliate against Syria for allowing al Qaeda to send jihadists into Iraq from Syria.

This didn't spark the current unrest in Syria, which appears to involve a loose coalition of Sunnis, including elements of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. Though Israel far preferred Syrian President Bashar al Assad to them, al Assad himself was shifting his behavior. The more pressure he came under, the more he became dependent on Iran. Israel began facing the unpleasant prospect of a Sunni Islamist government emerging or a government heavily dependent on Iran. Neither outcome appealed to Israel, and neither outcome was in Israel's control.

Just as dangerous to Israel would be the Lebanonization of Syria. Syria and Lebanon are linked in many ways, though Lebanon's political order was completely different and Syria could serve as a stabilizing force for it. There is now a reasonable probability that Syria will become like Lebanon, namely, a highly fragmented country divided along religious and ethnic lines at war with itself. Israel's best outcome would be for the West to succeed in preserving Syria's secular military regime without al Assad. But it is unclear how long a Western-backed regime resting on the structure of al Assad's Syria would survive. Even the best outcome has its own danger. And while Lebanon itself has been reasonably stable in recent years, when Syria catches a cold, Lebanon gets pneumonia. Israel thus faces the prospect of declining security to its north.

The U.S. Role and Israel's Strategic Lockdown

It is important to take into account the American role in this, because ultimately Israel's national security -- particularly if its strategic environment deteriorates -- rests on the United States. For the United States, the current situation is a strategic triumph. Iran had been extending its power westward, through Iraq and into Syria. This represented a new force in the region that directly challenged American interests. Where Israel originally had an interest in seeing al Assad survive, the United States did not. Washington's primary interest lay in blocking Iran and keeping it from posing a threat to the Arabian Peninsula. The United States saw Syria, particularly after the uprising, as an Iranian puppet. While the United States was delighted to see Iran face a reversal in Syria, Israel was much more ambivalent about that outcome.

The Israelis are always opposed to the rising regional force. When that was Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, they focused on Nasser. When it was al Qaeda and its sympathizers, they focused on al Qaeda. When it was Iran, they focused on Tehran. But simple opposition to a regional tendency is no longer a sufficient basis for Israeli strategy. As in Syria, Israel must potentially oppose all tendencies, where the United States can back one. That leaves Israeli policy incoherent. Lacking the power to impose a reality on Syria, the best Israel can do is play the balance of power. When its choice is between a pro-Iranian power and a Sunni Islamist power, it can no longer play the balance of power. Since it lacks the power to impose a reality, it winds up in a strategic lockdown.

Israel's ability to influence events on its borders was never great, but events taking place in bordering countries are now completely beyond its control. While Israeli policy has historically focused on the main threat, using the balance of power to stabilize the situation and ultimately on the decisive use of military force, it is no longer possible to identify the main threat. There are threats in all of its neighbors, including Jordan (where the kingdom's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is growing in influence while the Hashemite monarchy is reviving relations with Hamas). This means using the balance of power within these countries to create secure frontiers is no longer an option. It is not clear there is a faction for Israel to support or a balance that can be achieved. Finally, the problem is political rather than military. The ability to impose a political solution is not available.

Against the backdrop, any serious negotiations with the Palestinians are impossible. First, the Palestinians are divided. Second, they are watching carefully what happens in Egypt and Syria since this might provide new political opportunities. Finally, depending on what happens in neighboring countries, any agreement Israel might reach with the Palestinians could turn into a nightmare.

The occupation therefore continues, with the Palestinians holding the initiative. Unrest begins when they want it to begin and takes the form they want it to have within the limits of their resources. The Israelis are in a responsive mode. They can't eradicate the Palestinian threat. Extensive combat in Gaza, for example, has both political consequences and military limits. Occupying Gaza is easy; pacifying Gaza is not.

Israel's Military and Domestic Political Challenges
The crisis the Israelis face is that their levers of power, the open and covert relationships they had, and their military force are not up to the task of effectively shaping their immediate environment. They have lost the strategic initiative, and the type of power they possess will not prove decisive in dealing with their strategic issues. They no longer are operating at the extremes of power, but in a complex sphere not amenable to military solutions.

Israel's strong suit is conventional military force. It can't fully understand or control the forces at work on its borders, but it can understand the Iranian nuclear threat. This leads it to focus on the sort of conventional conflict it excels at, or at least used to excel at. The 2006 war with Hezbollah was quite conventional, but Israel was not prepared for an infantry war. The Israelis instead chose to deal with Lebanon via an air campaign, but that failed to achieve their political ends.

The Israelis want to redefine the game to something they can win, which is why their attention is drawn to the Iranian nuclear program. Of all their options in the region, a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities apparently plays to their strengths. Two things make such a move attractive. The first is that eliminating Iran's nuclear capability is desirable for Israel. The nuclear threat is so devastating that no matter how realistic the threat is, removing it is desirable.

Second, it would allow Israel to demonstrate the relevance of its power in the region. It has been a while since Israel has had a significant, large-scale military victory. The 1980s invasion of Lebanon didn't end well; the 2006 war was a stalemate; and while Israel may have achieved its military goals in the 2008 invasion of Gaza, that conflict was a political setback. Israel is still taken seriously in the regional psychology, but the sense of inevitability Israel enjoyed after 1967 is tattered. A victory on the order of destroying Iranian weapons would reinforce Israel's relevance.

It is, of course, not clear that the Israelis intend to launch such an attack. And it is not clear that such an attack would succeed. It is also not clear that the Iranian counter at the Strait of Hormuz wouldn't leave Israel in a difficult political situation, and above all it is not clear that Egyptian and Syrian factions would even be impressed by the attacks enough to change their behavior.

Israel also has a domestic problem, a crisis of confidence. Many military and intelligence leaders oppose an attack on Iran. Part of their opposition is rooted in calculation. Part of it is rooted in a series of less-than-successful military operations that have shaken their confidence in the military option. They are afraid both of failure and of the irrelevance of the attack on the strategic issues confronting Israel.

Political inertia can be seen among Israeli policymakers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to form a coalition with the centrist Kadima Party, but that fell apart over the parochial Israeli issue of whether Orthodox Jews should be drafted. Rather than rising to the level of a strategic dialogue, the secularist constituency of Kadima confronted the religious constituencies of the Likud coalition and failed to create a government able to devise a platform for decisive action.

This is Israel's crisis. It is not a sudden, life-threatening problem but instead is the product of unraveling regional strategies, a lack of confidence earned through failure and a political system incapable of unity on any particular course. Israel, a small country that always has used military force as its ultimate weapon, now faces a situation where the only possible use of military force -- against Iran -- is not only risky, it is not clearly linked to any of the main issues Israel faces other than the nuclear issue.

The French Third Republic was marked by a similar sense of self-regard overlaying a deep anxiety. This led to political paralysis and Paris' inability to understand the precise nature of the threat and to shape its response to it. Rather than deal with the issues at hand in the 1930s, the French relied on past glories to guide them. That didn't turn out very well.

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/israeli-crisis 

 
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Judge orders B&B owners to pay 'gays' for hurt feelings

WND [WorldNetDaily] - October 20, 2012
A judge in the United Kingdom has ordered the owners of the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Berkshire to pay nearly $6,000 to two homosexuals for hurting their feelings by not allowing them to occupy a double bed.
The stunning penalty was delivered yesterday to Mike and Susanne Wilkinson, who explain the family lives their Christian life, “not just on a Sunday in church, but in every area of my life – as Jesus expects from his followers.”

The Wilkinsons were ordered to pay 1,800 British pounds, or about $2,900, each to homosexuals Michael Black and John Morgan.
In 2010, they tried to book a double bed in the inn, which also is the private home for the Wilkinson family. When they were refused, they sued under the U.K.’s discrimination laws.

The case was funded by the Christian Institute, which said the Christians have been given permission to appeal.
Susanne Wilkinson said she is thinking about doing that.

“Naturally, my husband and I are disappointed to have lost the case and to have been ordered to pay 3,600 pounds in damages for injury to feelings. We have the option to appeal, and we will give that serious consideration.”
Susanne Wilkinson said: “We believe a person should be free to act upon their sincere beliefs about marriage under their own roof without living in fear of the law. Equality laws have gone too far when they start to intrude into a family home.

“People’s beliefs about marriage are coming under increasing attack, and I am concerned about people’s freedom to speak and act upon these beliefs,” she told the institute.
She said all she was trying to do was live as a Christian.

“It’s quite wrong to punish me for that, especially after enduring over two years of vile abuse and threats,” she said.
Wilkinson and her husband say they have received “hundreds of emails an hour” and threatening phone threats and texts because of their faith.

Mike Wilkinson said, “One was hand-delivered and handwritten in capitals and said, ‘I am coming to burn your house down.’”
“We find this a strange justice in a society that aspires to be increasingly tolerant,” said Susanne Wilkinson.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “Yes, Mrs. Wilkinson’s B&B is a business, but it’s also a family home. The law should be more flexible in allowing people to live according to their own values under their own roof. A bit more balance is needed, rather than allowing one set of rights to automatically suppress another.”
They said they experienced not only arson and death threats, but obscene messages, bogus reviews, canceled bookings and other harassment. They said previously that in a Google review, someone encouraged others to come and smash up the house. ...

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/judge-orders-bb-owners-to-pay-gays-for-hurt-feelings/



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New York Times accused of Catholic bashing, double standard on religion

FOX NEWS [News Corporation/Murdoch] - March 15, 2012
The New York Times is being accused of having a double standard when it comes to questioning religion, after it ran an ad calling on Catholics to leave their church, but nixed an ad making the same plea to Muslims.
The newspaper published an ad from Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation on March 9 which asked Catholics, “why send your children to parochial schools to be indoctrinated into the next generation of obedient donors and voters?” The ad went on to call loyalty to the faith misplaced “after two decades of sex scandals involving preying priests, church complicity, collusion and cover-up going all the way to the top.”

But in a story first reported by The Daily Caller, when Pamela Geller, a blogger and executive director of Stop Islamization of America, offered the same $39,000 for the Old Gray Lady to run an ad making a similar appeal to Muslims, the newspaper passed.
"This shows the hypocrisy of The New York Times, the "gold standard" in journalism, and its willingness to kowtow to violent Islamic supremacist intimidation," Geller told FoxNews.com.

Geller said her anti-Shariah ad was designed to mimic the anti-Catholic one. In calling on Muslims to quit their religion, the ad asked “Why put up with an institution that dehumanizes women and non-Muslims …
Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy referred requests for comment to the letter the paper sent Geller when it declined to publish the ad.
"We have not made a decision not to publish the ad you refer to," stated the letter. "We made a decision to postpone publishing it in light of recent events in Afghanistan, ... It is our belief that fallout from running this ad now could put US troops and civilians in the region in danger and we would like to avoid that."

Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, called the first ad “vile.” But he said running it was a “judgment call.” However, the decision not to run Geller’s ad shows an agenda, he told FoxNews.com.
“It shows the disparate treatment and the duplicity of The New York Times,” Donohue said. “You can trash some religions, like Roman Catholicism, with impunity, but you cannot trash Islam?”

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/15/new-york-times-accused-catholic-bashing-double-standard-on-religion/
 


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Court: Christians can be ordered to violate beliefs

WND [WorldNetDaily] - By Bob Unruh - June 5, 2012
A ruling from Judge Tim L. Garcia in the New Mexico Court of Appeals says states can require Christians to violate their faith in order to do business, affirming a penalty of nearly $7,000 for a photographer who refused to take pictures at a lesbian “commitment” ceremony in the state where same-sex “marriage” was illegal. ...
The women complained under the state’s anti-discrimination requirements and a state commission, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, imposed the penalty, which now has been affirmed by the appeals court judges. The judges explained in the 45-page ruling that the photography company is a “public accommodation” and those cannot discriminate under state law based on “sexual orientation.”

“The owners of Elane Photography must accept the reasonable regulations and restrictions imposed upon the conduct of their commercial enterprise despite their personal religious beliefs that may conflict with these governmental interests,” the judges wrote.
Officials with the Alliance Defense Fund, which has been representing Elane, said there would be an appeal. ...
The judges continued, “The act of photographing a same-sex ceremony does not express any opinions regarding same-sex commitments, or disseminate a personal message about such ceremonies.”
They called the state requirement “a neutral regulation of commercial conduct” and said that it does not “infringe upon freedom of speech or compel unwanted expression.” ...

The judges suggested the interesting scenario of the photographer accepting the job, and vocally condemning the women while taking pictures.
“The owners are free to express their religious beliefs and tell Willock or anyone else what they think about same-sex relationships and same-sex ceremonies,” they said. ...

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.wnd.com/2012/06/refuse-to-photograph-lesbians-get-fined-7000/
 


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Obama minions: Gov't 'can override your religion'



Ed. Note: This is an interesting case because we may be witnessing what the initial battles between a “beast system” and Mystery Babylon could look like. Legatus is one of the most powerful Roman Catholic organizations tied to business and funding in the US. It has also been tied to a number of stock market crashes by some observers due to enormous and sudden withdraws of funds, which were then transferred to Rome.
BE/\LERT!

Court brief says corporations not allowed to reflect faith of their owners
WND [WorldNetDaily] - By Bob Unruh - September 6, 2012

The Obama administration today argued in court that the government can make a requirement that violates religious beliefs and that a company cannot reflect the religious faith of its owners.
The administration’s statements came in a court filing that asserts the federal government has the authority to order private companies to provide abortifacients for their employees.

A case against the order was brought by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Legatus, the nation’s largest organization of top Catholic business leaders, and Weingartz Supply and its owner. ...
The plaintiffs argue that the federal order conflicts with the U.S. Constitution by requiring them to violate their religious faith.

The Michigan case is just one of dozens nationwide that raise similar issues.
The federal attorneys contend that allowing employers to direct the activities of their entities with a respect for their own religious faith would be unworkable.

“It would also cripple the government’s ability to solve national problems through laws of general application,” they wrote.
Erin Mersino, the Thomas More Law Center attorney handling the case, said the federal attorneys’ arguments essentially suggest that a Christian faith is just fine as long as it’s inside a private home or private worship center, but not in society.

The brief contains “a complete and utter disregard” for religious rights, she said.
The next step, she said, could be for the government to demand that private companies not only pay for abortifacients, but under Obamacare’s “counseling” provision to pay for those who would try to convince employees to have abortions - at company expense.

“It’s very frightening, facing this,” she said. “We just hope the judge makes the right decision.”
If such a concept would be upheld by a court, it could have a far-reaching impact, such as on the decision by Chick-fil-A owners to close their stores on Sundays to allow their employees to go to church. ...

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/obama-lawyers-govt-can-require-what-religion-forbids/?cat_orig=us



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