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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

Friday, May 18, 2007

How media pervert Mideast reality

A case study in what's wrong with 'fair and balanced' reporting Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! *The following is an excerpt from WND founder Joseph Farah's latest book, "Stop The Presses! The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution." WORLDNETDAILY - By Joseph Farah - May 3, 2007 From 1903 through 1908, two young bicycle mechanics from Ohio repeatedly claimed to have built a flying machine. They demonstrated it over and over again to hundreds of people, obtained affidavits from prominent citizens who witnessed their efforts, and even produced photographs of their invention at work. Nevertheless, Orville and Wilbur Wright were dismissed as frauds and hoaxers in the Scientific American, the New York Herald and by the U.S. Army and many American scientists. But as Richard Milton points out in his entertaining book, "Alternative Science," the real shocker is that even local newspapers in the Wrights' home town of Dayton ignored the story in their backyard for five years. Despite the fact that witnesses repeatedly visited and wrote to the Dayton Daily News and Dayton Journal over those years asking about the young men in their flying machine, no reporters were dispatched. No photographers were assigned. Asked in 1940 about his refusal to publish anything about the sensational accomplishments of the Wrights during those years, Dayton Daily News city editor Dan Kumler said: "We just didn't believe it. Of course, you remember that the Wrights at that time were terribly secretive." When the interviewer pointed out that the Wrights were flying over an open field just outside of town for five years, Kumler grew more candid: "I guess the truth is we were just plain dumb." If you want to know the truth, a lot of journalism stinks today as badly as it did in the day of Orville and Wilbur Wright. At its worst, the problem is that journalists have the wrong goals, the wrong mission statement, the wrong objectives and methodology. Ask the average Columbia Journalism School graduate today what they try to do in their reporting and they'll probably tell you they want to be "fair and balanced." "Fair and balanced." Where have I heard that before? I guess it has a nice ring to it. It is, after all, the marketing slogan that lifted Fox News Channel to the top of cable news ratings heap. But does that make it good? Does that make it right? Does that make it the highest calling for the press in the twenty-first century? I say no. And I want to say it unequivocally and more emphatically in this chapter than I have said it before. As anyone who has read this far in my book knows, I deeply respect and revere the institution of the American free press. I believe it is vital to the future survival of our country as a free and self-governing society. Please don't mistake me for one of those outside agitators who is content to find fault with the way the news media do their job. I see the problems, all right. But better yet, I see solutions where no one else does. But to understand how to fix a problem, you've got to recognize not only that it exists, but why. How does it perpetuate itself? Why doesn't this problem go away by itself? I can think of no better way to illustrate this point than with a look at the myths and perceptions of the Middle East and the role the international media have played in ensuring the conflict gets worse and worse. But before we start, let me re-introduce myself. Until now, throughout the course of this book, you've come to know me as a journalist. You have no doubt surmised that I am a Christian. I have another identity, though – one that often has me appearing on television as an analyst or speaking around the country and around the world. I am an Arab-American. I would not normally identify myself as any kind of hyphenated American, except I got tired of seeing one professional Arab-American spokesman after another on television blaming Israel for all the problems in the Middle East. That's when I decided I would have to play the Arab heritage card too in order to get in on this debate. I have another distinction that qualifies me to talk about the Middle East. I covered the region as a correspondent. And I have immersed myself in the subject for the last 25 years. There are a few subjects I really know: -Baseball -Hollywood, which I also covered -"The Honeymooners" -Popular music of the 1960s -The media -The Middle East Let's face it. There is just no demand out there for Joseph Farah to talk or write about baseball, Hollywood, "The Honeymooners," or popular music of the 1960s. So, accordingly, this chapter will combine two areas of my solid expertise. But don't take my word for it. Listen to what Al-Jazeera has to say about me: "Farah is the number one Zionist Arab in the world today." I guess that's supposed to be an insult. For Jew-haters, you can't get much lower than that. When an anti-Semite bigot calls you a Zionist, that's the insult of insults. As for me, as long as I'm number one, I'll accept the condemnation from Al-Jazeera as the highest form of flattery. What is a Zionist, anyway? From my deep studies into this subject, I have come to the conclusion that a Zionist is anyone – Jew or non-Jew – who believes the Jews have a right and a duty to rebuild their ancestral homeland in the Middle East. If that's the definition, I can more than live with it. But it certainly shouldn't mean that you support every single thing the nation of Israel does. Because I don't. In fact, I think one of Israel's biggest problems is they don't have enough Zionists in their own government. However, I digress. I don't want to talk too much about the Middle East. We'll save that for my next book. We need to focus on this issue of the media like a laser beam – only using the Middle East as a reference point so we can all recognize the problem and work toward a solution. Diagnosis first, treatment second. Let me ask you this: Do you think the world's news media give Israel a fair shake? I'll prove to you they do not. The largest, most powerful and influential news-gathering organization in the world is the Associated Press. I've mentioned its importance earlier. It is a cooperative of the newspaper industry and has become even more pervasive in the last twenty years as private, full-service news services like United Press International have shrunk in size and scope, becoming virtually irrelevant – and leaving in their wake one gigantic media monopoly. In November 2003, AP put together a list of "recent terror attacks around the world." Here is that list in its entirety: August 5, 2003: A suicide bomber kills 12 people and injures 150 at the J. W. Marriott in Jakarta, Indonesia. Authorities blame Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian group linked to al-Qaida. May 16, 2003: Bomb attacks in Morocco kill at least 28 people and injure more than 100. The government blames "international terrorism," and local militant groups linked to al-Qaida. May 12, 2003: Four explosions rock Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in an attack on compounds housing Americans, other Westerners and Saudis. Eight Americans are among those killed. In all, the attack kills 35 people, including 9 attackers. May 11, 2003: A bomb explodes at a crowded market in a southern Philippine city, killing at least 9 people and wounding 41. The military blames the Muslim separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front. December 30, 2002: A gunman kills 3 American missionaries at a Southern Baptist hospital in Yemen. Yemeni officials say the gunman, sentenced to death in May, belonged to an al-Qaida cell. November 28, 2002: Suicide bombers kill 12 people at an Israeli-owned beach hotel in Kenya and two missiles narrowly miss an airliner carrying Israelis. October 12, 2002: Nearly 200 people, including 7 Americans, are killed in bombings in a nightclub district of the Indonesian island of Bali. Authorities blame Jemaah Islamiyah. October 6, 2002: A small boat crashes into a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen and explodes, killing one crewman. October 2, 2002: Suspected Abu Sayyaf guerrillas detonate a nail-laden bomb in a market in Zamboanga, Philippines, killing 4 people, including an American Green Beret. Four more bomb attacks in October blamed on Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaida, kill 16 people. June 14, 2002: A suicide bomber blows up a truck at the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14 Pakistanis. Authorities say it is the work of Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen, linked to al-Qaida. April 11, 2002: A suicide bombing with a gas truck at a historic Tunisian synagogue on the resort island of Djerba kills 21 people, mostly German tourists. September 11, 2001: Hijackers slam jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and a fourth hijacked jet crashes in a Pennsylvania field, killing nearly 3,000 people. December 30, 2000: Explosions in Manila strike a train, a bus, the airport, a park near the U.S. Embassy, and a gas station, killing 22 people. Philippine and U.S. investigators link the attack to Jemaah Islamiyah. October 12, 2000: Suicide attackers on an explosives-laden boat ram the destroyer USS Cole off Yemen, killing 17 American sailors. August 7, 1998: Nearly simultaneous car bombings hit the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, killing 231 people, including 12 Americans. Do you notice anything strange about this list? It notes Islamic terrorism all over the world since 1998, but completely disregards all such terrorism directed at the citizens of one country and one country only – Israel. Worse yet, AP's worldview generally reflects the thinking – if you want to call it that – of the mainstream, establishment Western media. That's why hundreds of newspapers actually published this list without blinking an eye, registering a protest, or asking any questions. This was not the first time such a list was prepared and circulated by AP. The news organization published a similar list May 19, 2003 – again, no attacks on Israel were included. At the time this list was published, more than a thousand Israeli civilians had been killed by Islamic terrorists since the fall of 2000. Many thousands more had been injured. But none of this counts, according to AP. Let me give you some more evidence of this bias and how it manifests itself in the news coverage you read and watch. In 2002, following the 9/11 attacks, I was stunned to realize the New York Times no longer accepted as historical fact that a Jewish Temple once stood upon the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Beginning at that point, news stories began referring to "the Temple Mount, which Israel claims to have been the site of the First and Second Temples." In 2003, I noticed AP had followed suit. We have a term in the news business for a standard paragraph of historical background information that you see in stories over and over again. We call it a "nut graph." Here's what the new nut graph at AP says about the Temple Mount: "Jews believe the mosques sit on the ruins of the first and second Jewish Temples, and revere as their holiest site a nearby wall believed to have surrounded the sanctuaries. Muslims say nothing existed on the hill before the mosques." Let me get to the bottom line here for you: AP has lost its moral compass. The New York Times, a Jewish-owned newspaper, is leading the international, anti-Israeli pack journalism syndrome. And if you are reading virtually any newspaper in America today, you are tacitly supporting this kind of outrageous, vicious propaganda. But why has this happened? How has this happened? Aren't the media attempting to be "fair and balanced"? With the U.S. news media's growing infatuation with "fair and balanced" news presentations, it is losing sight of a principle far more important — truth. The Middle East is the perfect laboratory in which to view the failure of the "fair and balanced" experiment. Being "fair and balanced" in the Middle East prevents you from seeing or seeking the truth. In fact, I'm pretty sure it works this way everywhere. It's just easier to demonstrate the flaw in the Mideast. Facts are facts. Truth is truth. If the news media stick to the facts and seek the truth, they won't have to worry about phony issues like "balance" when it comes to the Middle East. How do you cover a murder with balance? Do we make sure we report the murderer's justifications for his crime? Do we investigate the victim to try to ascertain how he provoked the murderer? Nonsense. But that is how the U.S. and international news media approach coverage of the Middle East. On the one hand, we have a historical fact with thousands of proof texts from archaeology. What is that massive platform upon which currently sit the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem? We call it the Temple Mount because it is a historical fact – not an opinion – that the Jewish Temple once sat upon it. Weighed against that are the red-hot rhetorical incitements over the years by people like Arafat, who, in their hatred for the Jews, insist no Jewish Temple ever rested there. They don't cite any studies, any history books, any archaeological digs, no scientific reports. They just say they know it was never there. And that's enough for the New York Times, in its quest to be "fair and balanced," to begin addressing this issue simply as a matter of opinion. Think about it this way. Let's pretend you're a reporter. You cover a traffic accident. You interview the two drivers involved. One tells you the truth, the other lies through his teeth. A "fair and balanced" report will give equal weight to the lie as the truth, right? Sometimes that may be the best we can do as journalists. But this illustration shows why we must never settle for "fair and balanced." It falls far short of our mission to seek the truth. Contributing to the distortion that results from the "fair and balanced" model of coverage in the Middle East is Israel's own semi-suicidal quest for peace at almost any price. Israel's concessions to Arab myth-making and the wholesale fabrication of reality has backfired. Israel's gravest mistake has been yielding to international pressure to compromise its own security for peace with people who have no desire to live with them in peace and harmony. Today, as a direct result of that mistake, most people in the world believe that Israel represents the gravest danger to peace in the world – or so the polls tell us. How can anyone in their right mind believe the tiny sliver of a land called Israel, with fewer than seven million people, could actually represent the gravest threat to peace in the world? We're living in a time when right is wrong and wrong is right, when truth is seen as a lie and lies are seen as truth. Clearly, to a great extent the world has gone mad. But at least part of this moral blindness is fed by the failure of the "fair and balanced" international press. Here's the irony: Israel has done what no other nation in the world has done in the last three decades – sacrificed over and over again its own security interests and concerns in a breathtaking, selfless, and often ill-advised crusade for peace with duplicitous neighbors. For that, it is perceived not only as a pariah nation, but the biggest threat to peace in the world today – worse than Iran, worse than North Korea, worse than Syria. The more efforts Israel makes for peace, the more it is seen as a warmonger. The further Israel goes in making concessions to its enemies, the more it is seen as the aggressor. The more evidence mounts that Israel is an embattled target in the Mideast, fewer can see the truth. The term "moral relativism" often comes to mind in the discussion of certain domestic "social issues." But I've been seeing more and more evidence of it in the context of the Middle East conflict. During the years I did a daily radio show and during some of my television interviews, I've had the opportunity to debate the Middle East issues with some of the best distortion artists and apologists for fascism Arabian-style. When the moral relativists suggest that Israel is the real oppressor in the region, I usually try to ask a short series of questions. (You can play along at home or use this technique with your moral relativist friends): Do Arabs in Israel have the right to vote? Do Arabs in Israel have full citizenship rights in every way? Do Arabs in Israel have the right to speak out, dissent, publish newspapers? Do Arabs in Israel have the right to worship as they please? In case you don't know, the answer to all these questions is yes. Then I ask if Arabs in most Arabic countries have these same rights. In case you don't know, the answer to that question is a big, fat negatory. From there, all you need to do is ask if Jews in most Arab countries have any of these rights. The answer is clearly no. Nevertheless, despite the answers to these questions and all they suggest in terms of an ultimate settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, there are still those who say we need another Arab country in the Middle East – a homeland for the "Palestinians," to ensure that these disfranchised people have the right to self-determination. As an Arab-American, I am not without compassion for my brothers and sisters in the Arab world. What I want for them is freedom – the kind of freedom they know in no other country in the Middle East but the Jewish state. Usually, what my opponent will say at that point is something like this: "You have an unbalanced view of the region and both sides have blood on their hands." Why? Because that is where the moral relativists want to take the debate. It is where they need to take the debate. Because, ultimately, there is no right. There is no truth. There is only compromise. Is it technically true that both sides in the conflict have blood on their hands? Sure. It is also technically true that both the U.S. and al-Qaida have blood on their hands. The nature of conflict and war is that both sides get blood on their hands. But it is an argument designed to suggest there is no good guy and no bad guy – no right and wrong. I know there are people who believe this. But it is still shocking to me nonetheless. I can understand how someone truly uninformed about the Middle East would chalk up the debate to "both sides have a legitimate grievance" or "both sides have blood on their hands." But when people who have actually studied the history and viewed the present reality come to that conclusion, there are only three possibilities: -They are guilty of incredibly bad analysis of the facts. -They are evil and want to excuse evil and rationalize it. -They are moral relativists. Even many Israelis can't face the truth. They are so well-conditioned in the art of moral relativism that they are just plain uncomfortable saying they are right – even when they are. This is probably why I got fired from the Jerusalem Post a few years ago. It all started when I wrote a column for WND. But, of course, I write a column every single day for WND. When I wrote this particular one for publication October 11, 2000, I didn't think it was anything special. But I was wrong. It was called "Myths of the Middle East." And its 750 words became some of the most well-read in my long writing career. Several weeks earlier, an uprising began in and around Israel – an Arab uprising called an intifada. This rioting and mayhem and violence has never ended – not even six years later. I didn't think there was much point in trying to explain why the riots began or what caused it. I decided it was time to back up and deal with so much of the distortion that had been peddled by media and accepted by people around the world regarding this conflict. For whatever reason, the column struck a chord. Within days, the piece was making its way around the world, being translated into dozens of foreign languages. I was hearing from people I hadn't seen for decades who got a copy of this piece in their e-mail inbox and located me as a result. Suffice it to say this column was read by millions. Shortly after it was first published, the Jerusalem Post asked permission to reprint it, which I gave them. About a week later I received an e-mail from the very excited publisher of the Jerusalem Post. Here are his exact words, save for spelling corrections I made to save further embarrassment: "My name is Tom Rose. I am the publisher and CEO of the Jerusalem Post. We ran a piece of yours yesterday that has turned this country upside down. Our phones have been ringing all day. Hundreds of people. It is being discussed on Israeli talk-radio shows. How do we get you to write for us? There is a huge market for a syndicated column for you. Huge. The Jerusalem Post is owned by Hollinger International, publishers of the Daily Telegraph (London), Chicago Sun-Times, National Post, and on and on. How can we help you? You say what we can't. Just as only a Jew is free to criticize Israel without fear of being branded a racist, only an Arab can point out discrepancies and hypocrisies in the Arab world. You would be huge hit in our paper. Our U.S. weekly edition of the Post has 180,000 readers. It is very influential. You have the potential to be huge. To have incredible influence on American opinion and American policy. You must realize that. You and I need to talk. Tell me how and when. I am waiting to hear from you." So I wrote to him. And we talked. Within a few days I had agreed to write a weekly column for the International Edition of the Jerusalem Post for a very modest fee. Two years later, my editor – a very amiable chap – told me I would be sending my column to a new editor. After that, I noticed my column stopped appearing with any regularity – even though no less than the publisher and chief executive officer of the Jerusalem Post had commissioned it. I sent e-mails repeatedly to Rose, my new editor, and my old editor. Rose never responded. Straight answers were not forthcoming for days. Finally, I was informed that I had been fired – without notice, without explanation. The Arab-American who had turned the country upside-down just as suddenly had worn out his welcome. What do I think happened? I think the Jerusalem Post wimped out. I think the paper caved. I think the publisher, who obviously couldn't even face communicating with me by e-mail any more, yielded to pressure. I think the editors lost their nerve. I knew it wouldn't last at the Jerusalem Post because I'm not predictable. And the Jerusalem Post obviously wanted predictable. Sooner or later I was bound to rub someone the wrong way. Sooner or later I was going to skewer some sacred cow. Sooner or later the very same people who hired me on the basis of one commentary were going to fire me on the basis of one commentary. And that's too bad. Not for me – but for Israel. Because it needs to hear a voice of reason. It needs to be reminded that it has not outlived all the empires that sought to destroy it because it is so smart, or so well-armed. It needs to hear that it is still around because it is blessed – and because God has promised it a future. It needs to hear and read and see the truth. Imagine if that local Ohio paper actually had dispatched a reporter out to interview Orville and Wilbur Wright. How do you suppose the journalist would have covered the story? Would he have sought the truth? Or would he have used the "fair and balanced" method of reporting? Would he have watched the airplane soar with his own eyes and relayed that exciting news to others? Or would he present "both sides"? I like to think I'm the kind of journalist who would recognize a flying machine when he sees one and not be afraid to report it because of scoffers. We need more journalists like that in the Middle East. We need more journalists like that in Israel. We need more journalists like that in the U.S. We need more journalists like that around the world. I think it would be amazing to see what would happen if truth became the new standard of the news media. Excerpted with permission from, "Stop The Presses! The Inside Story of the New Media Revolution" by Joseph Farah. - - - - - - - - - - Joseph Farah is editor and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily.com. http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55495
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MinistryWatch.com issues Donor Alert on TBN

Transparency Grade falls to "F"; Reiterates call for new leadership The Falling Away Ephesians 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them John 12:3-5 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, *said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?" Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice. MINISTRY WATCH PRESS RELEASE - April 16, 2007 Matthews, N.C.--MinistryWatch.com has issued a Donor Alert on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), lowering its Transparency Grade to "F", because of TBN's continued questionable financial practices and due to its apparent attempt to mislead donors in its response to criticism of TBN's use of donor funds raised by a recent episode of the ABC News program 20/20. MinistryWatch.com founder Rusty Leonard, CFA, was featured on the 20/20 segment, which aired Mar. 23. During the broadcast, 20/20 highlighted TBN's failure to fully disclose its financial information and its lavish spending for the benefit of TBN's leadership. The Donor Alert provides a detailed rebuttal to TBN's flawed response (click here for TBN's press release) to the 20/20 segment, and reiterates MinistryWatch.com's call for the current leadership of TBN to step down and be replaced with an independent commission of respected Christian leaders. TBN's press release contained numerous inaccuracies and resorted to unsubstantiated name-calling of its critics. MinistryWatch.com's Donor Alert seeks to inform donors about these distortions so that donors might not be confused by TBN's response. The Donor Alert rebuts TBN's contention about 20/20 misrepresenting the facts, answers its statement that 20/20 used unreliable sources of information, refutes TBN's claims of MinistryWatch.com theological bias and addresses TBN's questionable assertions about its financial transparency and accountability. Furthermore, it responds to Paul Crouch's quote contained in the 20/20 program that TBN's critics just want Christians to be poor. This Donor Alert can be found by clicking on this link: TBN Donor Alert. In the days immediately following the airing of the 20/20 program, traffic to MinistryWatch.com increased from 4,000 user sessions per day to almost 80,000 user sessions per day as donors, hungry for unbiased information on Christian ministries they support prepared from an independent perspective, became more aware of the free information available to them on MinistryWatch.com. "We're gratified that both the media and the public continue to be interested in our work to help donors," said Leonard. "It's our prayer that the recent increased interest will result in Christians becoming more effective stewards of the money God has entrusted to them. There is no reason that even one penny of the Lord's money should be diverted to store up worldly wealth for ministry leadership that has forgotten the Lord's teaching about the dangers of wealth and greed. It's our further prayer that MinistryWatch.com will help people see that true Christian ministry service is not about money, power, and material possessions as seen in a very visible, yet fortunately few, ministries. We are happy to report, however, that the vast majority of Christian ministries operate with integrity, humility and faithfulness thereby bringing honor and glory to our Lord." http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/H_Home.asp

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shrine of False Messiah in Turkey To Be Razed

1 John 2:22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. FORWARD - By Jay Michaelson - May 18, 2007 Far away from the eyes of the Jewish mainstream, in modern-day Turkey there live hundreds, if not thousands, of crypto-Jews — and today, one of their most sacred shrines is in danger. This is the hidden, fascinating tale of the doenmeh, descendants of the faithful followers of the 17th-century false messiah Sabbetai Tzvi, who converted to Islam in 1666. Tzvi’s own conversion came under duress: The Ottoman sultan demanded that he don the turban or die after nearly one-third of European Jewry had come to believe he was the messiah and had begun swarming into Turkey, expecting the long-awaited triumph of the Jews. Tzvi chose to convert, and most of his followers lost hope — but not all of them. Many saw the conversion as a heroic act of tikkun, or repair, and followed their messiah’s lead by outwardly becoming Muslims while secretly maintaining their messianic Jewish faith. They were called doenmeh, meaning “turncoats”— a pejorative term not unlike marrano (“pig.”) Among themselves, they were called ma’aminim, “believers.” Sabbateanism did not die out in 1666, or even 10 years later when Tzvi himself died. There were subsequent messiahs — largely forgotten men like Baruchiah Russo and Jacob Frank — and, as recent scholarship has shown, Sabbateanism greatly influenced the 18th-century emergence of Hasidism. And then there are the doenmeh, who live on until the present day, in secretive communities, at first primarily in Salonika and today almost entirely in present-day Turkey. A move to tear down the Turkish home where Tzvi is said to have lived, however, may now disturb the balance the community has cultivated for centuries. Over the years, most of the doenmeh assimilated into Islam; many more were annihilated during the Holocaust, and still more have, in modern-day Turkey, come to see their background as a curious but largely irrelevant heritage. But even those who did assimilate usually maintained some knowledge of their ancestry, and doenmeh were among the founders of the secular Turkish republic. Today, many doenmeh are among Turkey’s elite, though it is taboo to speak their names; since doenmeh are regarded as traitors by both Muslims and Jews, it is scandalous to accuse a person of being one of them, even if his or her identity is an open, unspoken secret. (Recently-deceased Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem, for example, was “outed” by several Turkish newspapers, but he denied being a Sabbatean, and Iglaz Zorlu’s best-selling 1999 memoir, “Yes, I am a Salonikan,” stirred controversy throughout the country.) But the secret is open, like the doenmeh cemeteries outside of Istanbul, with their distinctively unadorned gravestones, and the mosques where doenmeh are known to pray. Barry Kapandji is one of the few doenmeh descendants willing to openly acknowledge his ancestry — and even he wouldn’t use his real name (“totally out of the question,” he said). Kapandji, 33, was told by his father that he was a doenmeh when he was nine years old. Since then, he has been fascinated by his heritage. Kapandji first contacted me a few months ago, when he learned that the house in Izmir (formerly Smyrna) in which Tzvi is believed to have lived was slated for demolition by the municipality to make way for a park. No one would help him: The doenmeh he knew were afraid of going public, and the Jewish community wanted nothing to do with this sect of heretics. “This is a crime against culture, history and my heritage,” Kapandji told me. “The Jewish community elders do not want the house turned into a museum.… They would like Sabbetai’s name to be eradicated from history.” The Forward was not able to obtain a comment from the Izmir Jewish community, but it is true that in traditional Jewish circles it is customary to add the epithet “Yemach shemo,” “May his name be blotted out,” to the names of Sabbetai Tzvi and other heretics. Usually, the epithet works: Few know their names today. Yet, Kapandji said, “Sabbetai Tzvi, for better or for worse, helped shape the history of the Jewish people, and we should acknowledge him for that.” But is the house at 920 Agora Girisi, half-ruined and barely distinguishable from others in the old Jewish neighborhood (now mostly destroyed), really the birthplace of Sabbatai Tzvi, the “mystical messiah”? Yes, according to Dr. Cengiz Sisman, an expert on Sabbateanism who received his doctorate from Harvard University. Sizman cited a wealth of evidence, including 1925 and 1940 newspaper reports of the house (the architecture of which is clearly described) being used as a “visiting site by believers,” a 1935 book by noted historian Abraham Galante, and a 1961 account by writer John Freely of a group of believers lighting candles and performing a ritual on the third floor of the building. By the 1990s, however, few doenmeh were maintaining the old rituals, and the house, like the rest of the area, had fallen into disrepair. It appeared briefly in a French-language documentary on the doenmeh by filmmaker Michel Grosman, but only a few interested parties, like Sisman and Kapandji, were even aware that it had been slated for demolition. Last month, Kapandji interceded with the Izmir municipality and, on the basis of testimony by elders from the Sabbatean and Jewish communities, temporarily halted the destruction of the house — or at least what remains of it. Today, Sisman said, “neither the Jewish nor the Sabbatean groups are particularly keen to utilize the house for any kind of Sabbatean or Jewish purpose.” For the Jews, it is the home of a heretic best forgotten; and the few doenmeh still aware of their ancestry fear being branded as traitors if they are exposed. Surely, though, if this house is what Sisman and Kapandji believe it to be, it is an important relic of a key episode in Jewish history. Of course, as shown by Israel’s many Crusader tombs doubling as the supposed burial places of prophets and rabbis, the fact that a place is venerated by believers does not mean that it is what they believe it to be. Then again, there are reasons to think that this instance might be different. The doenmeh, after all, have lived in the same place, continuously, since the time of Tzvi himself, and have maintained a secret tradition of belief, liturgy, ritual, even recipes. Kabbalah scholar Avraham Elqayam recently published an article describing the mystical significance of a newly unearthed doenmeh cookbook, and Zeek, an online journal of which I am an editor, is publishing translations of Sabbatean hymns and first-person accounts of Tzvi at prayer, compiled by David Halperin, professor emeritus of religion at the University of North Carolina. So perhaps it’s not as much of a stretch to suppose that a secret community, living continuously in one place, might preserve historical memory more accurately than, say, Jews returning to the Land of Israel after centuries away — or, for that matter, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, who is supposed to have identified most of the Christian holy sites in Israel while on a pilgrimage of her own. “I come from a family of academics,” Kapandji said. “We aren’t accustomed to claiming things without any evidence.” Kapandji wants to see the house as some kind of museum, though he acknowledged that openly discussing Tzvi himself is still taboo in Turkish society. Sisman thinks the house should be preserved for Turkish reasons, as a testament to that country’s “multicultural heritage.” Perhaps the house is of significance to Jews, as well. Sabbateanism was a dynamic, mystical and progressive movement — it was the first to put women in positions of leadership and to question the authority of normative Judaism — that was, according to many, an antecedent of Zionism. (Israeli presidents Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and Zalman Shazar were both scholars of the movement, and Theodor Herzl’s opponents labeled him a “new Sabbetai Tzvi.”) In an age in which many people are seeking alternative forms of Jewish expression, perhaps it is worth remembering those that did not survive. Or rather, those that still, secretly, endure. http://www.forward.com/articles/shrine-of-false-messiah-in-turkey-to-be-razed/ 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.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Murdoch pastor gets heat for mogul's porn channels

Christian leaders question Rick Warren for church's cozy ties with Fox owner The Falling Away Matthew 24:10-13 "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. WORLDNETDAILY - May 10, 2007 Mega-pastor Rick Warren is being challenged by other Christian leaders for not disciplining a prominent member of his California Saddleback Church flock for being one of the world's leading pornographers. That would be Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., which, in addition to building a media empire on the chests of topless models and edgy, pushing-the-envelope Fox TV network shows, recently began building a stable of hard-core porn channels for its BSkyB subsidiary. "Rupert Murdoch is a born-again Christian and Rick Warren claims to be his pastor," says Chris Rosebrough, head of the Christian Accountability Network. "As a Christian, Murdoch is committing an egregious sin by owning, expanding and profiting from pornographic channels, and Rick Warren, his pastor, has a biblical duty to call Murdoch to repentance and/or put him out of the church." He is supported in that call by Jim Lupacchino of the Christian Research Network, Pastor Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries, and a growing list of others who have the Internet buzzing with stories about the pastor and the porn purveyor. Rosebrough said Murdoch's decision to run porn channels represents "a clear case of a Christian openly committing a monstrous and unthinkable sin." "Sadly, Murdoch's actions have already damaged his credibility as a Christian," added Rosebrough. "If Pastor Warren does not act swiftly and call on Murdoch to dismantle his porn distribution network, then the credibility of the Christian message will be compromised around the globe." The ties between Warren and Murdoch go beyond the spiritual. Murdoch also owns Zondervan, the company that published Warren's explosive bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." "We hope that Warren's business ties to Murdoch's company haven't clouded his judgment and impacted his resolve to carry out his biblical duty as Murdoch's pastor," added Rosebrough. News of Murdoch's hard-core porn venture broke in the London publication The Business late last year. The story alluded to the seeming contradiction of a "born-again Christian" building a hard-core porn network. Multiple WND messages left with News Corp. seeking a response were unanswered. Warren, who did not respond to WND's email requests to address the controversy, has at least twice publicly claimed Murdoch as a member of his church. In a New Yorker interview published in September 2005, Warren is quoted as saying: "I had dinner with Jack Welch (former chief executive officer of GE) last Sunday night. He came to church, and we had dinner. I've been kind of mentoring him on his spiritual journey. And he said to me, 'Rick, you the biggest thinker I have ever met in my life. The only other person I know who thinks globally like you is Rupert Murdoch.' And I said, 'That's interesting. I'm Rupert's pastor! Rupert published my book!" In a Nov. 12, 2006, Orange County Register story, Warren was asked about pastoring a man who publishes tabloids featuring topless women. He responded: "I don't have to agree with 100 percent of what another person does in order to work with them on the 20 percent that we do agree on." The article also points out Murdoch was among the first patrons to support Warren's PEACE plan, contributing $2 million. Even Warren's critics point out he maintains an otherwise exemplary record in speaking out against pornography and its effects. His church's website, Pastors.com, regularly publishes condemnations of porn and urges Christians to battle it in their communities. Yet, even before the BSkyB venture into hard-core porn, Murdoch's News Corp. was steeped in the business. "News Corp. is a major owner of DirecTV, which sells more pornographic films than (Hustler magazine founder and porn film producer Larry) Flynt," says porn fighter Gail Dines, professor of American Studies at Boston's Wheelock College. "In 2000, the New York Times reported that nearly $200 million a year is spent by the 8.7 million subscribers to DirecTV. Among News Corp.'s other media holdings are the Fox Broadcasting and cable TV networks, 20th Century Fox, the New York Post and TV Guide. Welcome to synergy: Murdoch also owns Harper Collins, which published pornography star Jenna Jameson's best-selling book, 'How To Make Love Like a Porn Star.'" Murdoch built his media empire as an Australian newspaper heir who added topless, alluring Page 3 girls to the mix – a practice some of his papers, including the British holding the Sun, still follow today. Last week he made a bid to buy the Wall Street Journal. Silva says Warren does not seem to be living up to his own convictions about how pastors are to deal with people in sin. He points to an article by Warren dated May 1 of this year in which he writes: "Sin is to be confessed only as widely as it affects others. Private sin requires only private confession to God. Personal sin that involves others requires interpersonal confession to the people involved. Public sins (those that affect a large group of people in our congregation) regrettably must be dealt with publicly as a warning to others." "One would certainly have to think that 'owning and expanding a network of pornographic channels in Europe' has to qualify as 'public sins,'" concludes Silva. "Since Rupert Murdoch's flagrant and obvious 'public sins' have now been brought before the church, and because Warren is a pastor-teacher who is very well known to the public himself, then Warren simply must deal with Murdoch publicly 'as a warning to others.'" Saddleback Church, with 30,000 members, was begun by Rick and Kay Warren in 1979 and now has more than 200 ministries in the Orange County, Calif., area. "The Purpose Driven Church" has now sold about 23 million copies. http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55616 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.

Think tank's globalism developed under Paulson

Treasury secretary made dozens of China trips promoting business Building the Global Beast Revelation 13:1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. WORLDNETDAILY - By Jerome R. Corsi - May 11, 2007 A Washington think tank's multi-national agenda including what Canadians fear will become a huge grab for their water resources cites the globalist vision of investment bank Goldman Sachs while Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was its chief as the source of its priorities, WND has learned. A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies recently was leaked to the press, and included suggestions that a predicted shortage of water in the United States and Mexico might be addressed by the vast fresh water resources in Canada, prompting a negative reaction from several Canadian groups. The CSIS's "North American Future 2025 Project," WND has reported, prompted Canadian activists to organize over what they anticipate will be a CSIS-driven U.S. grab for Canadian fresh water resources. The study itself cites the globalist views of Jim O'Neill, Goldman's head of Economic Research, who defined the "BRIC" economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China as the growth opportunities of the future. His conclusions came during a period when Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson served as chairman and CEO at the corporation. The stated goal of the CSIS project is to make strategic recommendations on "long-range policy decisions about North America, with an emphasis of future scenarios." The underlying concept is that an integrated North America is required to be competitive in the coming global economy projected for 2025. The CSIS concerns in the North America 2025 Project report are typically expressed as continental concerns and references. The United States is rarely mentioned in the report as a separate economic or political entity. For example, on the future of "North American labor mobility," CSIS observes that "changes in the global economy have led to the creation of a new international division of labor – the shifting labor markets that arise from changing the geographic specialization of global production patterns." Noting that nine percent of Mexican-born individuals are now living in the United States, the CSIS report commented that, "The free flow of people across national borders will undoubtedly continue throughout the world as well as in North America, as will the social, political, and economic challenges that accompany this trend." Commenting that by 2030, energy consumption in China and India will be more than quadruple their 1990 level, the CSIS report recommends that, "Trilateral coordination of energy policy is crucial to assuring North America's future competitiveness and regional security." CSIS also applies a continental perspective to its suggestions for the environmental future of North America in 2025. What is implied is continental management of environmental factors ranging from the atmosphere to fresh water. How will North America foster technological innovation to remain competitive in 2025 to capitalize on increased global demand for high technology? How will North America foster "the development of human capital" by pursing policies "designed to educate new generations of future laborers and to improve the skill-set of the current workforce?" These are typical CSIS questions. The CSIS Research Plan CSIS is planning to hold a series of 7 closed-door roundtable discussions with governmental officials (both administrative and legislative), business leaders, and academics. The number of participants will be limited to between 21 and 45 individuals, with an even number from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. CSIS roundtables are being held now and CSIS anticipates final release of its conclusions on September 30, 2007. There is no discussion anywhere in the CSIS report on the North American Future 2025 Project that expresses a concern to stop the outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China or in the need to preserve an economically strong U.S. middle class. WND has already reported the CSIS report was secret until the Council of Canadians advocacy group obtained a copy and leaked it to the press. WND cannot find the CSIS report posted or archived on the CSIS website. The Goldman Sachs priorities were established by Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson while he served as chairman and CEO at the corporation. At that point, investments in China and India were identified as first tier opportunities, followed by Brazil, Russia and Mexico. Paulsen Earns Millions with Goldman Sachs in China In 2006, Goldman Sachs set a record by earning $4 billion from a six-month-old investment of $2.6 billion for approximately 5 percent of the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's largest bank. This profit was the largest for Goldman on any trade since the investment bank was founded in 1869. Reporting this news on Oct. 23, 2006, the International Herald Tribune said, "The China bonanza is the result of more than 70 visits by Paulson, the former Goldman chief executive, who became the 74th U.S. Treasury Secretary last June." Reports said Paulson also was well paid for the economic success of his globalist preferences. In 2007, Goldman Sachs paid Paulson $110 million to cash out his outstanding stock options and restricted stock. In 2005, Paulson received a $38.3 million bonus for the year. And coming on as Secretary of Treasury, Goldman Sachs paid Paulson an $18.7 million cash bonus for his half year of work in 2006. The Goldman Sachs BRIC Agenda Goldman's attention to China can be traced to a 2001 report by O'Neill, in which under Paulson's supervision he defined the "BRIC" opportunities. In "Dreaming with BRICs: The Path to 2050," an October 2003 study, O'Neill argued, "Over the next 50 years, Brazil, Russia, India and China – the BRICs economies – could become a much larger force in the world economy." Of these four countries, Goldman has consistently been most enthusiastic about the prospects for China and India. In October 2003, Goldman projected that India's economy could be larger than Japan's by 2032 and that China's economy could be larger than the U.S. by 2041 (and larger than everyone else as early as 2016). "In US dollar terms, China could overtake Germany in the next four years, Japan by 2015 and the US by 2039. India's economy could be larger than all but the US and China in 30 years," the report said. O'Neill's optimism over China and India was rooted in his globalist view that the world's currently dominant economies, especially the United States, would continue outsourcing jobs to the cheaper labor markets available in China and India. Goldman has not argued that as a result of the growth in their economies China or India would develop affluent middle classes any time soon. On this point, the October 2003 Goldman BRIC report commented that by 2030, China's per capita income could be roughly what Korea's is today and by 2050, China's per capita income could be similar to where the developed economies are now (about US $30,000 per capita). In 2007, O'Neill redefined the acronym "BRIC" to "BRICM." to include Mexico along with Brazil and China in the second tier of what he saw as developing countries with great global growth prospects. http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55647 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.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thoughts On the "Does God Exist?" Debate

APOSTASY ALERT - By Sherry Neese - May 12, 2007 I have been asked my take on the recent debate. If you missed the debate on Nightline or would like to see it in its entirety, you can view it at Nightline Faceoff: Does God Exist? Ray and Kirk are certainly to be admired and respected for their courage and their passion for reaching out. Seeing the hatred and disdain the atheists have for Christians was revealing and disturbing. To get an idea of just what Ray and Kirk were up against, go to The Blasphemy Challenge. It is a real eye-opener. The mockery defies description. These are not all fringe people – there are many "normal-looking" folks who were formerly professing Christians, apparently tares growing among the wheat. It should give us pause to be certain that professions are genuine to the best of our ability. Unfortunately Ray stepped out on a limb by boasting that he could prove the existence of God outside of the realm of faith and the Bible. This in my view was a HUGE mistake. In a sense they went into battle unarmed. The Word of God is our weapon and THAT is where the power is, not in the words of men. He broke his own rules during the debate by bringing up the Bible and his own faith in Christ which the opposition jumped on like a turkey on a June bug. Some of their dialogue came across as preaching which went against the rules of the debate. Kirk brought out some good points in rebuttal that should have been presented in the opening statement, such as the existence of DNA. Only the Lord knows if there will be fruit from this event and it is easy to be an armchair quarterback. But I think it is fair to say that it would be best for brother Ray and Kirk to stick to evangelism. I can only wonder if Ray and Kirk’s judgment has been clouded by associating themselves with TBN. If the atheists considered them in the same camp as the TBN flash and trash, then that was one strike against them from the get-go. I don’t believe for a moment that Ray and Kirk endorse the heresies on TBN, but by airing their program there and appearing on TBN’s Praise the Lord, they are compromising and endorsing it by proxy, pragmatically thinking the means justifies the ends. The "Way of the Master" style of evangelism, judging from their program, seems to be a bit on the confrontational side, and that was played up in the promos for the debate. That is not to say there is not a time or place for that style, and this is in no way intended as a criticism of our brothers as they are certainly preaching the true uncompromised Gospel. But I can’t help but recall the story that a close friend tells about a mission trip he took to Mexico. He wanted to go to go into the community they were visiting to share Christ, but time had run out and there was only opportunity to go to one home. He had some friends with him and he so much desired for them to see someone come to the Lord to encourage them to share the Gospel. Lo and behold, a big, burly, tattooed, hard-looking guy came to the door. My friend’s heart sank as he had fervently prayed for the Lord to give him a receptive soul. But he forged ahead, greeted the man and asked permission to share with him. To his surprise the man agreed and he was given the opportunity to share Christ’s love and the good news of the Gospel. That man melted before their eyes and tearfully gave his life to Jesus Christ. It is the Word of God carried with love and compassion that reaches people. God’s Word and His Holy Spirit have the power and do the work – we are merely messengers. http://www.apostasyalert.org/Sherry/god_debate.htm 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.