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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, July 10, 2009

Ethiopian church speaks out on Ark of the Covenant

Statement says Ten Commandments box won't be displayed WORLDNETDAILY - June 29, 2009 There was considerable confusion last week when the leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church apparently told an Italian news agency of an upcoming announcement about the possible public display of the Ark of the Covenant - the box holding the Ten Commandments - and then the prescribed time passed with no word. However, there was no equivocation today in an e-mail received by WND from the webmaster of a church website in response to an inquiry about the truth of the matter. "It is not going to happen so the world has to live with curiosity," said the statement, signed only "Webmaster" in response to the WND inquiry. The webmaster statement described the tempest as being caused either because of a translation mistake or "a slip [of the] tongue from the patriarch." WND reported first when the apparent "revelation" was to be announced and then again later when the scheduled time came and went without word. Ark hunters and Bible enthusiasts had been buzzing for days on the report from the Italian news agency Adnkronos that Patriarch Abuna Pauolos, visiting in Italy last week for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, was quoted, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries." He apparently had suggested the possibility the artifact might be viewable in a planned museum. "I repeat (the Ark of the Covenant) is in Ethiopia and nobody … knows for how much time. Only God knows," he said in the Adnkronos report available online. The report said Pauolos reported the artifact "is described perfectly in the Bible" and is in good condition. "The state of conservation is good because it is not made from man's hand, but is something that God has made," Pauolos said, according to the report. The agency had reported an announcement would be made at the hotel Aldrovandi in Rome, and a hotel spokeswoman told WND Pauolos had been in residence there, but no news conference or event was scheduled. "The Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia for many centuries," said Pauolos in the report. "As a patriarch I have seen it with my own eyes and only few highly qualified persons could do the same, until now." Bob Cornuke, biblical investigator, international explorer and best-selling author, has participated in more than 27 expeditions around the world searching for lost locations described in the Bible. A man some consider a real-life Indiana Jones, he has written a book titled "Relic Quest" about the Ark of the Covenant and participated in History Channel production called "Digging for Truth." Cornuke will travel to Ethiopia soon for the 13th time since he began his search for the Ark. He told WND he believes it is possible Ethiopia could have the real artifact. "They either have the Ark of the Covenant or they have a replica that they have believed to be the Ark of the Covenant for 2,000 years," he said. Cornuke said, if it is genuine, there's a plausible explanation of how the Ark may have come to the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Ethiopia. "The Ark could have been taken out of the temple during the time of the atrocities of Manasseh," he said. "We have kind of a bread crumb trail that appears to go to Egypt, and it stayed on an island there for a couple hundred years called Elephantine Island. The Ark then was transferred over to Lake Tana in Ethiopia where it stayed on Tana Qirqos Island for 800 years. Then it was taken to Axum, where it is enshrined in a temple today where they don't let anybody see it." Cornuke said he traveled to Tana Qirqos Island and lived with monks who remain there even today. "They unlocked this big, four-inch thick wood door," he said. "It opened up to a treasure room, and they showed me meat forks and bowls and things that they say are from Solomon's temple. When the History Channel did this show, they said it was one of the largest viewed shows. People were fascinated." He said Ethiopians consider the Ark to be the ultimate holy object, and the church guards the suspected artifact from the "eyes and pollution of man." "In Ethiopia, their whole culture is centered around worshipping this object," Cornuke said. "Could they have the actual Ark? I think I could make a case that they actually could." The webmaster earlier told WND that members of the clergy and indeed, members of the church, would never allow the Ark to be taken from their custody in order to be made public. "An (artifact) should not be shown or touched other than the clergies but to put it on display is a reckless comment let alone doing it," the statement said. "Not only the local clergies but the people of Ethiopia won't allow it and it is not going to happen." The webmaster noted there were artifacts moved from Ethiopia to Britain over the years, and even those are not allowed to be displayed. Pauolos in the Adnkronos report said any display would need the approval of the supreme court of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. A spokesman for a U.S. branch of the church, Mehereto Belete of Los Angeles, told WND he had been given no word of any major change in the status of the Ark. "It is news for us just as it is for you," he said. Cornuke explained that a special guardian lives inside the church which reportedly holds the Ark and never leaves. Once a guardian is appointed, he stays until he dies and another man replaces him. "We know for a fact that there have been 30 guardians in history who have never left that enclosure," Cornuke said. "I know the guardian. When CNN and BBC went over there, he wouldn't see anybody but me. So I went and talked to him, and he's getting very aged. He told me they have the real Ark and he worships 13 hours a day in front of it. When he gets through, he is covered in sweat and he's exhausted." He said he met a 105-year-old man who claimed to have seen the Ark 50 years ago when he was training a replacement guardian. "It frightened him to death when he got a glimpse of it." Cornuke said he also met with the president of Ethiopia nearly nine years ago and had a one-on-one conversation with him in his palace. He asked if Ethiopia had the Ark of the Covenant. According to Cornuke, the president responded: "Yes, we do. I am the president, and I know. It's not a copy. It's the real thing." However, Grant Jeffrey, host of TBN's Bible Prophecy Revealed and well-known author of "Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny," does not believe claims that the Ark is in Ethiopia. He told WND he spoke extensively with Robert Thompson, former adviser to former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. Jeffrey said Thompson told him the Ark of the Covenant had been taken to Ethiopia by Menelik, purported son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. When Menelik became emperor, he claims royal priests entrusted him with the Ark of the Covenant because King Solomon was slipping into apostasy. A replica was then left behind in Israel. "The Ethiopian royal chronicles suggest that for 3,000 years, they had been guarding the ark, knowing that it had to go back to Israel eventually," Jeffrey said. He claims that after the Ethiopian civil war, Israel sent in a group of commandos from the tribe of Levi and the carried the Ark onto a plane and back to Israel in 1991. "It is being held there secretly, waiting in the eyes of the religious leaders of Israel, for a supernatural signal from God to rebuild the temple," he said. "They are not going to do it before that. When that happens, they will bring the Ark into that temple." But author and Bible teacher Chuck Missler, founder of Koinonia House, told WND the theory of Menelik obtaining the Ark is not biblical, though he believes there is a possibility that the Ethiopians may have the real deal. "The fact that the Ethiopians may have been guarding the Ark of the Bible is very possible," he said. "They cling to a belief that is clearly not biblical in terms of how the Ark got down there. But that doesn't mean they don't have it." Missler said there is no biblical basis for the Menelik account, and he believes there was a reason for that version of events. "What everybody overlooks is that there's a reason that particular story was cooked up in early times," he said. "It was to give their kings Solomonic descent. There's reason why they would try to sell that. But just because the official belief in how it got down there is not biblical, doesn't mean they don't have it." Tennessee historian and "Time is the Ally of Deceit" author Richard Rives, searched for the Ark and participated in excavations beneath Mount Moriah outside the walls of ancient Jerusalem. His group was trying to verify claims by relic hunter Ron Wyatt that he actually saw the Ark there several decades ago after tunneling through a small passageway. While they found Roman ruins from the first century, Rives told WND they were unsuccessful in confirming Wyatt's account. Nonetheless, Rives does not believe the story of Menelik obtaining the artifact or that Ethiopia ever had the real Ark. "God's presence was on the mercy seat. That was the throne of God," he said. If the account were accurate, Rives said God would have been dwelling on an Ark replica in Jerusalem. "I just don't believe they could have persuaded him to sit on a fake Ark of the Covenant," he said. Many theories exist about the ultimate fate of the Ark, including that it has been hidden in a still unknown location, it was destroyed by enemies of the Israelites, taken by Egyptian invaders to Egypt or removed by divine intervention. The quest for the artifact received additional publicity in 1981 when actor Harrison Ford searched for it in Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Cornuke said Ethiopians claim their purported Ark is kept in a large stone sarcophagus lined in ornately hammered silver. The Ark itself is made of acacia wood and laminated with a thin veneer of gold. The mercy seat sits atop the Ark and is made of pure, hammered gold and includes two cherubim facing one another. Whether the artifact is real or simply a copy, Cornuke said an unveiling might leave the world with more questions than answers. "We have only typology to go on," he said. "We could probably have some people analyze the wood samples and come up with some kind of dating protocol on it because it is acacia wood to see if that is it." Rives said a close inspection of the Ten Commandments would be necessary to ensure they are in accordance with true text and not later versions of the Ten Commandments. Cornuke said experts would also need to determine whether the artifact itself fits biblical description and trace its path to Ethiopia. "We are peeking behind the veil of history," he said. "We're taking a glimpse of an artifact that could be a very holy object." http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102532 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, July 08, 2009

Sotomayor Supported Censoring Biblical Verse on Homosexuality from New York City Billboard

CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE (CNSN.com) [Media Research Center] - By Adam Brickley - July 8, 2009 Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is again drawing fire from conservative groups, this time as the result of a 2003 ruling against a Christian group. In the case of Okwedy v. Molinari, decided in 2003, Sotomayor sat on a three-judge panel that upheld a lower court’s ruling (from 2001) against Keyword Ministries and its pastor, Kristopher Okwedy. The ministry had purchased billboard advertisements featuring Bible verses that condemned homosexuality. The ads were taken down after a local government official complained about their message to the company that owned the billboard, and Okwedy sued both the company and the government official who wrote the complaint. He claimed his rights were violated under the Free Speech, Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment; the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and several state laws. The advertisements featured various translations of Leviticus 18:22, which reads in the King James Version, “Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is an abomination.” Posted in the New York City borough of Staten Island, the messages were taken down after Guy Molinari, the borough president, sent a letter condemning them to PNE Media, LLC, which owned the billboards. His letter was printed on official New York City letterhead. “As Borough President of Staten Island,” Molinari wrote, “I want to inform you that this message conveys an atmosphere of intolerance which is not welcome in our Borough.” The advertisements were taken down later that day. In 2001, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed Okwedy’s lawsuit. An appeal was entered and the case went to a three judge panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in April 2002. The judges on the panel were Fred Parker, Chester Straub and Sonia Sotomayor. In their “summary order” the judges ruled that the district court was correct to dismiss Okwedy’s claim that Molinari’s letter violated free speech rights. “Plaintiffs contend that Molinari violated their rights under the Free Exercise Clause by criticizing the billboards’ message as unnecessarily confrontational and offensive, and by creating an atmosphere of intolerance. In order to prevail on a Free Exercise Clause claim, a plaintiff generally must establish that ‘the object of [the challenged] law is to infringe upon or restrict practices because of their religious motivation,’ or that its ‘purpose . . . is the suppression of religion or religious conduct,’” said the judges. They continued: “Plaintiffs have alleged no facts that suggest that Molinari’s purpose or the purpose of the New York law was to single out plaintiffs’ religious expression. In fact, plaintiffs acknowledge that Molinari acted pursuant to the general policy against ‘intolerance’ and ‘bigotry’ expressed in New York law and the New York City Administrative Code § 8-101. … Therefore, because plaintiffs have not shown that Molinari lacked a rational basis for enforcing that policy, the district court correctly dismissed the Free Exercise Clause claim." But Michael DePrimo, a former litigation counsel for the American Family Association’s Center for Law and Policy, which argued the case on behalf of Mr. Okwedy, told CNSNews.com: “The Establishment Clause requires neutrality in religious matters by the government. They can’t be pro-religion; they can’t be anti-religion. You can’t favor religion; you can’t be hostile toward religion.” Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council (FRC), slammed the appeals court’s opinion. “The case raises troubling issues,” he said in a statement. “[T]he church was posting a purely religious message with no statements regarding public policy. The opinion suggests that Sotomayor may view the First Amendment through the lenses of political correctness.” “Would a billboard proclaiming ‘gay pride month,’ which is offensive to many Christians, have been similarly treated?” Perkins said. “Sotomayor should be asked.” DePrimo, now allied with the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Alliance Defense Fund, said the way in which Sotomayor and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the case is questionable. “This was an issue of first impression in the Second Circuit,” he said. “I couldn’t find anything that was remotely like it.” In legal terms, “first impression” is used to describe an issue which a court has never taken up before. “So, instead of analyzing the issue and writing on it, and publishing it, and therefore setting a precedent that lower courts would be bound to follow, they took the unprecedented step of issuing a summary order that was unpublished” at the time DePrimo added. “How do you do that on an issue of first impression?” DePrimo also noted that the court issued two different opinions on the case, dismissing most of the case with the summary order, but writing a published opinion on one portion of the case that was sent back to the district court. “I have never seen before a court bifurcate an opinion,” he said. Asked whether Sotomayor showed a pattern of issuing summary orders on controversial cases, as she also did recently in the reverse-discrimination case of Ricci vs. DeStefano (involving firefighters in New Haven, Conn.), DePrimo said: “It appears to me that Judge Sotomayor simply refuses to analyze those questions or those issues that may result in a result that she doesn’t like.” He also asserted that the summary order cited a district court analysis that did not exist. The three-judge panel, including Sotomayor, “said that they relied upon the district court’s analysis of the Lemon test,” said DePrimo, referring to the guidelines set out for Establishment Clause cases in the 1971 case Lemon v. Kurtzman. “The district court didn’t analyze the case under the Lemon Test,” said DePrimo. “The district court made no mention of the Lemon Test. So to say that they were accepting the lower court’s analysis and reasoning obviously is not correct,” The three-pronged Lemon test, used to determine whether government violates the constitutional prohibition against government “establishment of religion,” requires the court to ask whether a government action has a secular purpose, has the purpose of advancing or inhibiting religion, or entangles religion and government. Had Sotomayor and the other members of the panel actually employed the Lemon Test, DePrimo claimed, Okwedy would have won. Furthermore, he claimed that Okewedy v. Molinari may actually present more issues than Ricci v. DeStefano. “In the Ricci case,” he said, “the reason that people are defending Sotomayor is they were saying the law in the 2nd Circuit was established, and therefore she was bound to follow the law, and therefore there was no reason for her to elaborately write on the issue in Ricci.” “That wasn’t the case in Okwedy,” he said. “There was no established law. This was a case of first impression. This is what courts of appeal do.” William Marshall , a professor of law at the University of North Carolina, expressed a different opinion of the case. Referring to the court’s written opinion, in which Okwedy’s free speech claim was returned to the lower courts for a new ruling, Marshall said, “The part that I saw, the speech piece of it, is a very pro-religious expression piece.” He went on to say, “I think what the per curiam opinion did was take the strongest count by the plaintiffs and remanded that for further consideration, overruling the district court. In that sense, it was pretty sympathetic toward the plaintiffs’ position.” Asked about the splitting of the decision into both an opinion and a summary order, Marshall said, “You see that occasionally. The Second Circuit does an awful lot of its business by summary orders.” Rob Boston, a senior policy analyst for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, agreed with the court’s decision. “If you look at this case from the perspective of more of a church-state separation case,” he said, “I think it still is a difficult one for the churches to win, and here’s why: This is a case essentially that deals with a political issue that has religious overtones. It’s not pure religion.” Boston also said, “This is different because it’s an issue that the church was claiming they feel very strongly about. They have a sincere religious belief that homosexuality is wrong. But that’s not going to rise to the same level of a direct attack on a religious denomination by a government.” When asked whether Molinari’s action constituted an attack on the Bible, due to the fact that there was nothing but a Bible verse on Okwedy’s billboard, Boston said, “I can understand their argument. It’s a creative one, but I also can understand why it failed, because obviously in the context of an ongoing discussion on gay rights or same sex marriage or what have you, that quotation was designed to make a statement about a political issue.” “Some of the conservative groups that don’t like Sotomayor are casting around looking for something to use against her,” Boston said, “and this is one of a couple of cases that they’ve brought up recently.” “But, to be honest, I think the facts of this case are somewhat esoteric, they’re not really easy to grasp,” said Boston. “I doubt it’s going to resonate with the public, and I think, barring any unusual revelations at the last minute, Sotomayor’s going to go on the Supreme Court.” http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=50678 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.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Bilderberg Group: Are the people who 'really run the world' meeting this weekend?

The Bilderberg group, the topic of many conspiracy theories, is now meeting behind closed doors in Greece. HAARETZ [Schocken/DuMont Schauberg] - By Adam Abrams - May 14, 2009 From today until May 17, approximately 150 of the most influential members of the world's elite will be meeting behind closed doors at a hotel in Greece. They are called the Bilderberg Group or the "Bilderbergers," and you have probably never heard of them. The group, co-founded by Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, has been meeting in secret every year since 1954. This year, says the British broadsheet The Times, they are meeting at the Nafsika Astir Palace in Vouliagmeni. The individuals at the meeting come from such power houses as Google and the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Senate and European royalty. Governments, the banking industry, big oil, media and even the world of academia are amongst the Bilderberg ranks. Those reportedly in attendance at last year's conference in Virginia include former U.S. senator Tom Daschle; Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and his predecessor Henry M. Paulson; former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice; Microsoft executive Craig Mundie; senior Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot; World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. There is no official list of who's who in Bilderberg and there are no press conferences about the meetings. This is because the group operates under the "Chatham House Rule," and no details of what goes on inside are released to the press. This secrecy has led to many claims that the Bilderberg Group are the world's real "kingmakers," and, some even suggest, behind the global financial crisis. There are also rumors concerning Bilderberg's 2008 conference in Virginia, claiming that the recent U.S. presidential election was decided upon in a secret meeting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, courtesy of Bilderberg. Those involved in Bilderberg reject such claims outright, arguing that the forum offers a chance for world leaders to discuss international affairs openly and honestly. Former British cabinet minister, Lord Denis Healey, who was one of the founders of the group, branded assumptions of world domination as "crap!" and said that the group's aims were much purer. In an interview to journalist Jon Ronson of the Guardian, Healey said: "Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing." Veteran Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin says that the big topic on the agenda for this year is the global depression. Estulin quotes sources connected to the group as saying that the group is looking at two options, "either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline, and poverty... or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency." As the BBC's Jonathan Duffy noted in 2004, the air of mystery has fueled the increasingly popular conspiracy theory that the Bilderberg meetings are where decisions affecting the entire world are made. "No reporters are invited in and while confidential minutes of meetings are taken, names are not noted," Duffy wrote. "In the void created by such aloofness, an extraordinary conspiracy theory has grown up around the group that alleges the fate of the world is largely decided by Bilderberg." Recently, mainstream press coverage of the Bilderberg meeting has grown, largely due to the internet. This year's conference may have been covered by British broadsheets, but don't expect to see any coverage from U.S. news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post - they will most likely be at the conference. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1085589.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.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Dark Roots of the EU

THE BRUSSELS JOURNAL [Society for the Advancement of Freedom in Europe (SAFE), a Swiss non-profit organisation] - From the desk of Paul Belien - December 5, 2005 Belgium was founded exactly 175 years ago, in 1830. The cover of A Throne in Brussels, the book I wrote for its anniversary, depicts the map of the European Union in the Belgian colours. This is no coincidence. As Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt recently said: “Belgium is the laboratory of European unification. Foreign politicians watch our country with particular interest because it can teach them something about the feasibility of the European project.” Two peoples live within the Belgian state: Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons. In 1830 the country was part of the Dutch-speaking Netherlands. The Belgian revolution was the work of French-speaking rebels who wanted to have it annexed to France. The international powers stepped in and, by way of compromise, decided to make Belgium an independent kingdom with at its helm a German prince, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, who was a member of the British royal family. The French diplomat Talleyrand described the new country as “an artificial construction, consisting of different peoples.” His Austrian colleague Count Dietrichstein said that the Belgian nationality was “a political attempt rather than an observable political reality.” These are descriptions that fit the European project today. In 1865, the year of his death, Leopold I, the prince who had been given the crown of Belgium, told his son that “nothing holds the country together” and that “it cannot continue to exist.” To his secretary, Jules Van Praet, he said “Belgium has no nationality and […] it can never have one. Basically, Belgium has no political reason to exist.” Belgium’s history is the dramatic search of its leaders for unifying elements which would be able to compensate for the lack of nationhood and the absence of genuine and generous patriotic feelings in their country. By the late 19th century the Belgian political elite developed the ideology of “Belgicism.” This “Belgicism” bears a striking similarity to contemporary “Europeanism.” Just listen to what the Belgicist ideologue Léon Hennebicq, a Brussels lawyer, wrote in 1904: “Have we not been called the laboratory of Europe? Indeed, we are a nation under construction. The problem of economic expansion is duplicated perfectly here by the problem of constructing a nationality. Two different languages, different classes without cohesion, a parochial mentality, an adherence to local communities that borders on the most harmful egotism, these are all elements of disunion. Luckily they can be reconciled. The solution is economic expansion, which can make us stronger by uniting us.” His words foreshadow the Europeanist project of the 1950s which aimed for political unification through economic integration. Apart from a Belgicist, however, Hennebicq was also a socialist. He did not attach importance to economic growth for its own sake - the creation of wealth which would benefit the people - but because Belgium needed economic expansion in order to be able to literally buy the adherence of the Flemings and the Walloons to their artificial state. The Belgicists were aware that Belgium could only become a viable country, if it was turned into a huge redistribution mechanism, a welfare state. After the first World War the Belgicists imposed a social-corporatist system on Belgium. Since 1919, economic and social policies are no longer decided in parliament, but in consensus between the so-called “Social Partners.” These Social Partners include the Federation of Belgian Employers, which is the official representative of the employers versus the state. In addition it includes three specific trade unions (a Christian-Democrat, a Socialist and a Liberal one), which are recognised by the state as the only official representatives of the employees. The social partners are by nature Belgicist institutions: they operate in both Flanders and Wallonia and have huge financial and political interests in both parts of the country. Already at a very early stage, it dawned on the Belgicists that they could as easily apply their state-building experiment to Europe. Between 1900 and 1932, the Belgicist historian Henri Pirenne published a seven volume history of Belgium. Pirenne claimed that Belgium was not a 19th century “artificial construction” as Talleyrand had said. On the contrary, he described it as one of the oldest nations in the whole of Europe. Indeed, Charlemagne, the 8th century Frankish leader, had been a Belgian, Pirenne said. In Charlemagne’s Frankish Empire, people of Latin and Germanic origin had lived together. According to the Belgicists, Belgium, this union of Germanic Flemings and Latin Walloons, was the very core of the state of Charlemagne which in 1830 had reappeared like a phoenix. In order to fulfil its destiny it would have to expand into a united Europe, with the Germans in the position of the Flemings and the French in that of the Walloons. Pirenne created the myth of Charlemagne as the first Belgian and the first European. In the 1930s the idea of transplanting Belgicism to the European level, by creating a unified pan-European corporatist welfare state, was further elaborated on by Henri De Man, the leader of the Belgian Socialist Party, and by his deputy Paul-Henri Spaak. De Man called himself a national socialist, but explained that this had nothing to do with nationalism at all. In fact, one of his major books was called “Au delà du Nationalisme” (“Beyond Nationalism”). De Man knew that Belgium, as an artificial construct, did not really exist as a nation. The Belgian state was no more than the corporatist welfare system run by the “social partners.” All that being a Belgian nationalist meant was that one was attached to the Belgian welfare state. In a february 1937 interview De Man said: “What Spaak and I mean by national socialism is a socialism that attempts to achieve all that can be achieved within the national framework.” He went on to state that the Belgian welfare system could - and should - eventually be replaced by a pan-European or even a global welfare system. “I insist on being a good European, a good world citizen, as much as on being a good Belgian,” de Man said. He reckoned that if one had to live in an artificial welfare state, it would be better to live in one on as large a scale as possible. The Belgian model had to be applied at a European level. When Hitler invaded Belgium and France in May 1940, De Man saw this as a unique opportunity to establish a united Europe. He asked his followers not to oppose the German victory because “far from being a disaster, it is a deliverance. The Socialist Order will thereby be established, as the common good, in the name of a national solidarity that will soon be continental, if not world-wide.” In a speech in Antwerp on 20 April 1941 (Hitler’s birthday), De Man warned against Flemish secessionists who collaborated with the Germans in the hope that Berlin would abolish Belgium and grant Flanders its independence. De Man stressed that it was necessary to “transform Belgium, not abandon it”, through “an Anschluss to Europe.” What was needed, he added, “was as much federalism and as little separatism as possible,” so that “Belgium, exactly because it is not based on a unique national sentiment, can become the vanguard of the European Revolution, the principle on which the new European Order hinges.” De Man’s deputy, Paul-Henri Spaak, who had fled to France in May 1940, tried to return to Belgium during the Summer, but was not allowed in by the Germans. Hence, against his wishes he ended up in Britain. At the time he deplored this. Later it would turn out to have been his good fortune. Otherwise, like De Man, he would have ended up as a Nazi collaborator. Instead, Spaak survived the war on the winning side. Though Henri De Man is now forgotten by history, his political legacy is very much alive. Spaak remained loyal to De Man’s vision of Belgium as a multi-national social-corporatist welfare state that was to be elevated to the European level. Spaak became one of the Founding Fathers of the European Union. Though he was an arch-opportunist, with few loyalties, he did not betray De Man’s dream of one single European welfare state. According to Spaak’s 1969 memoirs, De Man was “one of those rare men who on some occasions have given me the sensation of a genius.” In 1956, Spaak authored the so-called Spaak Report which laid the foundation of the Treaty of Rome the following year. It recommended the creation of a European Common Market as a step towards political unification. From the beginning the views of the people about all this was deemed unimportant. In his memoirs, Spaak admits that “political opinion was indifferent. The work was done by a minority who knew what they wanted.” Given the roots of Europeanism in Belgicism, there is a lot to be learned from Belgium’s characteristics as an artificial non-national state. Verhofstadt is right when he says that foreign politicians watch his country with particular interest because it can teach them something about the feasibility of the European project. The European superstate shares more than just its capital with Belgium. If the so-called Europeanists have their way, it is also going to be a Greater-Belgium. In my book I describe three characteristics of Belgium that have already infected Europe. Firstly, as there is no genuine patriotism, the state has had to buy the adherence of the people by literally corrupting them. The absence of the virtue of generous patriotism forces the political leaders to make hard-headed calculated self-interest the foundation of the state. It is not a coincidence that Belgium is plagued by corruption to a degree that is higher than in neighbouring countries. It is not a coincidence that corruption is plaguing the European institutions also. A second characteristic of Belgium throughout its history has been the absence of the rule of law. If the existence of the state is at stake, laws and even the constitution will be ignored in order to secure the continued existence of Belgium. As the state is an artificial construct that is unloved by the people, this happens quite regularly. Many examples are to be found in Belgium’s 175 years of existence. In fact there never was a majority in the Belgian parliament to introduce the social-corporatist model of the Belgicists in 1919. About this episode the historian Luc Schepens wrote: “It is not inappropriate to state that the worst war casualties in Belgium were the Constitution and the parliamentary democracy - albeit out of necessity and in the name of the continuity of the State.” Today, out of necessity and in the name of the continuity of the European project, Europeanists want to ignore the rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty by the peoples of Europe. The third characteristic of an artificially constructed state is its unreliability in international relations. A state that is not committed to the rule of law, is not committed to its friends and allies either. Original Report http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/542 FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. 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