The State of the Union?
Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ - to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are afier. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.
If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land - of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God's Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God's rule.
George Grant, The Changing of the Guard (Ft. Worth, TX: Dominion Press, 1987), pp. 50-51.
"In the United States, several million people have succumbed to an extraordinary delusion. In the 19th century, two immigrant preachers cobbled together a series of unrelated passages from the Bible to create what appears to be a consistent narrative: Jesus will return to Earth when certain preconditions have been met. The first of these was the establishment of a state of Israel. The next involves Israel's occupation of the rest of its "biblical lands" (most of the Middle East), and the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosques. The legions of the antichrist will then be deployed against Israel, and their war will lead to a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. The Jews will either burn or convert to Christianity, and the Messiah will return to Earth."
Their Beliefs Are Bonkers,
But They Are at the Heart of Power
By George Monbiot
God takes charge of US policy
"On Monday night, we heard the United States at its very worst with George W. Bush's caustic State of the Union address, in which he declared, over and over, that America is serving God's will directly and does not need "a permission slip" from other nations since "the cause we serve is right, because it is the cause of all mankind."
'It's just wrong what we're doing'
Neo-con christian Bigotry: Anti sexual freedom / Anti-Womens rights...
"... it's just like the Taliban, only with more references to Hustler and fellatio!
What, too extreme? Not by much. Ashcroft already has a 32-person task force hard at work on the crackdown, a group of increasingly miserable, sexually benumbed guys who sit around for 10 hours a day watching porn videos and surfing porn Web sites and trolling for porn pictures and lurking in porn chat rooms and gathering huge lists and logs and databases of prosecutable material. Talk about too much of a good thing.
And these poor saps, they are working day and night and spending millions of your tax dollars to recategorize everything in the delicious smut landscape as potentially illegal, essentially labeling anything with an exposed penis and open-mouthed moan as categorically punishable, prosecutable and sinful.
And why? Why now? Because it's an election year, silly. And the Christian Right that put BushCo in office is still pissy about the Texas sodomy thing and the same-sex-marriage thing and the fact that more than 1 million radiant unstoppable women marched in D.C. just a few days back, demanding that BushCo and his pious Christian lizards back the hell away from their reproductive rights, or else.
Is Your Porn Safe?
"The White House tried as hard as it could to denigrate the March for Women's Lives. Dick Cheney's top advisor, Mary Matalin, said it was
"Out of touch and irrelevant."
President Bush's closest confidante, Karen Hughes, compared pro-choice Americans to terrorists. When asked by CNN about the March, she responded:
"I think that after September 11, the American people are valuing life more and we need policies to value the dignity and worth of every life....Really, the fundamental issue between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life."
Pro choice America e-newsletter
"The "Constitution Restoration Act of 2004" is no joke; it was introduced last month by some of the Bush Regime's most powerful Congressional sycophants. If enacted, it will effectively transform the American republic into a theocracy, where the arbitrary dictates of a "higher power" -- as interpreted by a judge, policeman, bureaucrat or president -- can override the rule of law.
The Act -- drafted by a minion of television evangelist Pat Robertson -- is the fruit of decades of work by a group of extremists known broadly as "Dominionists." Their openly expressed aim is to establish "biblical rule" over every aspect of society -- placing "the state, the school, the arts and sciences, law, economics, and every other sphere under Christ the King." Or as Attorney General John Ashcroft -- the nation's chief law enforcement officer -- has often proclaimed: "America has no king but Jesus!"
According to Dominionist literature, "biblical rule" means execution -- preferably by stoning -- of homosexuals and other "revelers in licentiousness"; massive tax cuts for the rich (because "wealth is a mark of God's favor"); the elimination of government programs to alleviate poverty and sickness (because these depend on "confiscation of wealth"); and enslavement for debtors. No legal challenges to "God's order" will be allowed. And because this order is divinely ordained, the "elect" can use any means necessary to establish it, including deception, subversion, even violence. As Robertson himself adjures the faithful: "Zealous men force their way in."
The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 yurica report
`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'.
Constitution Restoration Act of 2004
U.S. House of Representatives Bill HR 3799, Feb. 11, 2004
William Boykin- head of the hunt for Bin Laden
Appearing in dress uniform before a religious group in Oregon in June, [Lt. Gen. William G]
Boykin said Islamic extremists hate the United States "because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christians. ... And the enemy is a guy named Satan."
CNN-Rumsfeld defends general who commented on war, Satan
"In June of 2002, Jerry Boykin stepped to the pulpit at the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow, Okla., and described a set of photographs he had taken of Mogadishu, Somalia, from an Army helicopter in 1993.
The photographs were taken shortly after the disastrous "Blackhawk Down" mission had resulted in the death of 18 Americans. When Boykin came home and had them developed, he said, he noticed a strange dark mark over the city. He had an imagery interpreter trained by the military look at the mark. "This is not a blemish on your photograph," the interpreter told him, "This is real."
"Ladies and gentleman, this is your enemy," Boykin said to the congregation as he flashed his pictures on a screen. "It is the principalities of darkness It is a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy."
LA times:The Pentagon Unleashes a Holy Warrior
"...Gen Boykin has repeatedly told Christian groups and prayer meetings that President George W Bush was chosen by God to lead the global fight against Satan.
He told one gathering: "Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."
God put Bush in charge, says the general hunting bin Laden
Top terrorist hunters divisive views
General Casts War in Religious Terms
Boykin's Satanic Convergence
"We know that this officer from the elite Delta Force was at all the wrong places in the 1980s and 1990s. He was part of the botched hostage rescue operation in Iran as well as of the notorious Black Hawk Down operation in Mogadishu, Somalia, which left 18 US elite troops dead in a fire-fight with Somali fighters. And he has a block on his shoulder. Mr Boykin has been making appearances at various gatherings of the Christian right and in the churches likening the US army to the army of God fighting the forces of Satan. This man is now hunting for the alleged terrorists. He is placed very high in the Pentagon hierarchy and is brimming with anger and religious zeal. By all accounts he is a loose cannon."
Pakistan Daily Times: Boykin Vs Bin Ladin
Is this freak just a one off? Or are the powers that be trying to goad 'Islam'?
ask yourself after reading these articles...
"Conversion is a "nice" word for Brainwashing...and any study of brainwashing has to begin with a study of Christian revivalism in eighteenth century America. Apparently, Jonathan Edwards accidentally discovered the techniques during a religious crusade in 1735 in Northampton, Massachusetts. By inducing guilt and acute apprehension and by increasing the tension, the "sinners" attending his revival meetings would break down and completely submit. Technically, what Edwards was doing was creating conditions that wipe the brain slate clean so that the mind accepts new programming. He would tell those attending, "You're a sinner! You're destined for hell!"
The religious warrior of Abu Ghraib
Boykin told an evangelical gathering last year how this fostered his spiritual crisis. "There is no God," he said. "If there was a God, he would have been here to protect my soldiers." But he was thunderstruck by the insight that his battle with the warlord was between good and evil, between the true God and the false one. "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."
Boykin was the action hero side of his boss, Stephen Cambone, a conservative defence intellectual appointed to the new post of undersecretary of intelligence. Cambone is universally despised by the officer corps for his arrogant, abrasive and dictatorial style and regarded as the personal symbol of Rumsfeldism. A former senior Pentagon official told me of a conversation with a three-star general, who remarked: "If we were being overrun by the enemy and I had only one bullet left, I'd use it on Cambone."
The battle for your mind Dick Sutphen
|US soldiers in Iraq asked to pray for Bush
They may be the ones facing danger on the battlefield, but US soldiers in Iraq are being asked to pray for President George W Bush.
Thousands of marines have been given a pamphlet called "A Christian's Duty," a mini prayer book which includes a tear-out section to be mailed to the White House pledging the soldier who sends it in has been praying for Bush.
"I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops during this time of uncertainty and tumult. May God's peace be your guide," says the pledge, according to a journalist embedded with coalition forces.
The pamphlet, produced by a group called In Touch Ministries, offers a daily prayer to be made for the US president, a born-again Christian who likes to invoke his God in speeches.
Sunday's is "Pray that the President and his advisers will seek God and his wisdom daily and not rely on their own understanding".
Monday's reads "Pray that the President and his advisers will be strong and courageous to do what is right regardless of critics".
"Being baptized has everything to do with wanting to be obedient,"
Navy Lt. Alan W. Lenz, chaplain, Combat Service Support Battalion 7, Combat Service Support Group 11, 1st Force Service Support Group,
Blessed are the WARMAKERS?
U.S. Special Operations Command special printed bibles
Although the International Bible Society (IBS) indeed will crank out a limited-run, special edition of the New International Version Bible in the near future, it's unlikely that readers will discover, for example, a previously unreleased surprise ending to the Good Book. Rather, according to FedBizOpps.com, a site for federal government procurement opportunities, the Department of Defense intends to award the IBS a sole-source contract for the production of 10,000 Bibles containing military-specific messages and imagery. The Bibles - which will be distributed to soldiers of the elite U.S. Special Operations Command - will feature a "custom-designed cover" and "Army designed color photographs and text inserts."
It appears that IBS's crafting of the Special Ops Bible will rely on the "new package, same great taste" approach that the commercial sector often takes when introducing a new logo or easy-grip handle for an existing product. It's hopefully safe to assume that though the Bibles are new, they will not be "improved." IBS has an extraordinary task ahead of it, as they must juxtapose, hypothetically, Christ's "Blessed are the peacemakers" pronouncement with army-centric motivational messages and images. A tough job indeed, given the context of 100,000 "excess casualties" - consisting mainly of women and children - that U.S. and British military forces may have caused since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as indicated in the Oct. 29, 2004, edition of The Lancet, a British medical journal.
During the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, American evangelicals made no secret of their desire to follow the troops. Samaritan's Purse, the global relief organization led by the Rev. Franklin Graham -- who has called Islam an "evil and wicked" religion -- and the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, the country's largest Protestant denomination, were among those that mobilized missionaries and relief supplies.
Soon after Hussein's fall, they entered the country, saying their prime task was to provide Iraqis with humanitarian aid. But their strong emphasis on sharing their faith raised concerns among Muslims and some Christians that they would openly proselytize. - msnbc
"President George W. Bushs increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leaders state of mind.
In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as enemies of the state.
Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home."
Capitol Hill Blue
| Rapture already happened?
WASHINGTON, DC--When House Majority Leader Tom DeLay delivered a moving speech from the halls of Congress last week, in which he argued that his political enemies are persecuting him because of his religious faith, there was just one problem: he wasn't supposed to be there. Earlier this month, say observers, the 'Rapture,' the much-anticipated event in which God summons his faithful to the heavens, finally happened.
But instead of Mr. DeLay and millions of other believers making the skyward trek, the biblical bash appears to have been an exclusive, invitation-only affair. As of today, fewer than three dozen Christians are confirmed to have been 'raptured,' leaving their rejected brethren to deal with seven years of Tribulation, a turbulent period marked by the return of the anti-Christ.
For those who had hoped to be cashing in on their heavenly rewards, these are days of soul searching and regret. From Capitol Hill to the mega-churches of the south, disappointed travelers are asking the same questions: 'Why not me?' 'What did I do wrong?' and 'Was it something I said?'
The lucky few
David Dume, originally of Spring Hill, KS, appears to be among the lucky few who are currently enjoying the company of the world's most famous father. Mr. Dume, who had recently returned to Kansas from Hollywood, where he enjoyed a short but lucrative career in adult-themed films, was expected to attend a potluck supper and informal prayer session at the Spring Hill Baptist Church—but disappeared from site just minutes after reaching the building.
Stunned onlookers say that they watched aghast as Mr. Dume "flew up through the ceiling," leaving a pile of clothing, gold jewelry, an outsized diamond-covered crucifix, and several piercings and chains behind. Experts say that the fact that Mr. Dumé and others cast off such earthly accoutrements is another sure sign that they were indeed raptured.
April fools? No this article was posted March 29, 2005
Harris tells Christian group she believes God wants her in public service
By Brian E. Crowley Palm Beach Post Political Editor - Sunday, March 19, 2006
FORT LAUDERDALE - Finding inspiration from God, The Last of the Mohicans and The Lord of Rings, Katherine Harris told hundreds of conservative Christians Saturday that she is "a work in progress." Harris, who told a national television audience Wednesday that she would be spending $10 million to win Florida's U.S. Senate race, said she never would have entered politics if she did not believe that God wanted her to make public service part of her life. The Sarasota-area congresswoman's campaign for the senate has been in a free fall. She has struggled to raise money, and nearly all her top campaign advisers have left. Several tried to persuade the 48-year-old Republican to quit the race, saying she had no chance of winning. But during an appearance on Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes, Harris said she will not end her campaign and will instead spend "my legacy from my father" and "everything I have."
More than 800 conservative Christians were attending a two-day annual conference called Reclaiming America for Christ at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale. Harris received a standing ovation when she arrived at the pulpit. She told the crowd that she studied under Francis Schaeffer in Geneva, Switzerland. Schaeffer is considered a founder of the modern evangelical movement, which encourages advocating Christian beliefs in public life. Schaeffer, in his book A Christian Manifesto, called for Christian activists to demand "biblical morality" in government affairs.
Harris, a Presbyterian, said she "redirected my life to the Lord when I was only in the third grade." She said she was "blessed to be raised in a godly family." The two-term congresswoman is best known for her role in the 2000 presidential election when, as Florida secretary of state, she was called upon to make rulings over disputed ballots. Democrats said she helped President Bush win the election by not interpreting Florida law correctly. Harris and Republicans supporters say she was following the letter of the law. Many Democrats and Republicans believed that Harris would be able to use that fame to raise millions for her campaign to unseat Democrat Bill Nelson. But Harris has not been able to raise large sums. By the end of 2005, Nelson had more than $8 million in his campaign account, and Harris had more than $1 million. Determined to stay in the race, Harris said she is getting inspiration from Bill Bright's book, The Joy of Supernatural Thinking — Believing in God for the Impossible.
"Everything is possible with God," said Harris, who never directly mentioned her Senate campaign.
She said that, as a young woman, she was inspired by the movie The Last of the Mohicans because "people were willing to die for something bigger than themselves." Harris also was moved by the Lord of Rings movies, saying they, too, suggest that sometimes your mission in life is bigger than the individual. After her speech, Harris declined to meet with reporters. Later she visited the Palm Beach Seafood Festival, where she mingled with the crowd.
Antonin Scalia - Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
[as reported by Greg Sysmanski after Sherman Skolnick]
"The kingpin of the infamous five was Judge Antonin Scalia. He and three judges in the federal appeals court in Chicago, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, one step below the high court in Washington, three were professors together and one was law school dean at Rockefeller's University of Chicago Law School,"
said Skolnick about the similar judicial and educational past of present-day members of the Supreme Court.
"These four Rockefeller judges, while on the bench, continue to represent the several billion dollar investment portfolio of Rockefeller's University of Chicago. Included are stocks of major corporations whose litigation is ruled upon by these judges who do not disqualify themselves. Further, by failing to reveal this, these judges violate a federal law requiring a mandatory annual judicial disclosure of income which these judges sign subject to the penalties of perjury.
Moving to some of the dirty particulars behind the scenes of the Bush v. Gore decision, Skolnick added:
"Particularly arrogant is Judge Scalia. In the law trade he is known as a "go to hell judge". In December, 2000, presenting the position of George W. Bush in the high court case of Bush versus Gore, was Theodore B. Olson, at the time, a private law partner of Eugene Scalia, son of Judge Scalia. Some contend Olson is a "court bagman" in Washington and in the Federal Courthouse in Chicago.
"After George W. Bush was thus installed, Olson was made the Solicitor General. In that capacity, he perverted an intellectual property case in the High Court which benefited Mickey Mouse---Disney---by extending their copyright 75 years, worth many billions of dollars. And funds from Disney and Coca-Cola were involved in corrupting the unholy five on the high court."
Going even deeper into the web of corruption and influence peddling involved in the Bush v. Gore decision, Skolnick draws attention to some mysterious circumstances involving Olson and his estranged wife, Barbara Olson, allegedly killed on one of the four doomed 9/11 flights.
"In the 9-11 matter, there is a serious controversy whether Olson's estranged wife Barbara, with whom he apparently had not spoken to for some time, actually spoke from a supposed hi-jacked plane directly to Theodore B. Olson. Was it actually a conversation with a call center operator? Was the American CIA involved? Some think so," wrote Skolnick in a recent article on the subject.
"Some continue to aver that Barbara Olson did not perish and has a plastic surgeon new face and a wig. And. moreover, that she is parked in seclusion in an Embassy in Sweden. If so, her emergence some day would pulverize the fake story of 9-11 "Moslem terrorists" like the internal planted explosives that took down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center."
Photographer: Herald got it right
By Marie Szaniszlo - Thursday, March 30, 2006 - Updated: 09:39 AM EST
Amid a growing national controversy about the gesture U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward with the picture.
"It's inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment," said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.
Despite Scalia's insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper "got the story right."
Smith said the jurist "immediately knew he'd made a mistake, and said, 'You're not going to print that, are you?' "
Scalia's office yesterday referred questions regarding the flap to Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, who said a letter Scalia sent Tuesday to the Herald defending his gesture at the cathedral "speaks for itself." "He has no further comment," Arberg said.
Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese's weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.
"The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, 'To my critics, I say, 'Vaffanculo,' " punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.
The Italian phrase means "(expletive) you."
Yesterday, Herald reporter Laurel J. Sweet agreed with Smith's account, but said she did not hear Scalia utter the obscenity. In his letter, Scalia denied his gesture was obscene and claimed he explained its meaning to Sweet, a point both she and Smith dispute. Scalia went on to cite Luigi Barzini's book, "The Italians," which describes a seemingly different gesture - "the extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin" - and its meaning - " 'I couldn't care less. It's no business of mine. Count me out.' " "How could your reporter leap to the conclusion (contrary to my explanation) that the gesture was obscene?" Scalia wrote.
Quite easily, according to experts, even if the justice had offered more than a two-word explanation - "That's Sicilian" - Sunday. "There is no answer to 'what it really means,' because those gestures have different meanings in different locations, even in neighbouring locations," said Janet Bavelas, a University of Victoria, British Columbia, psychologist who has studied human gestures. The gesture typically means "I don't know" in Portugal, "No!" in Naples, "You are lying" in Greece and "I don't give a damn" in northern Italy, France and Tunisia, said David B. Givens of the Center for Nonverbal Studies in Spokane, Wash. - bostonherald.com
God's Justice and Ours
Before proceeding to discuss the morality of capital punishment, I want to make clear that my views on the subject have nothing to do with how I vote in capital cases that come before the Supreme Court. That statement would not be true if I subscribed to the conventional fallacy that the Constitution is a "living document"-that is, a text that means from age to age whatever the society (or perhaps the Court) thinks it ought to mean.
In recent years, that philosophy has been particularly well enshrined in our Eighth Amendment jurisprudence, our case law dealing with the prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishments." Several of our opinions have said that what falls within this prohibition is not static, but changes from generation to generation, to comport with "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society." Applying that principle, the Court came close, in 1972, to abolishing the death penalty entirely. It ultimately did not do so, but it has imposed, under color of the Constitution, procedural and substantive limitations that did not exist when the Eighth Amendment was adopted-and some of which had not even been adopted by a majority of the states at the time they were judicially decreed. For example, the Court has prohibited the death penalty for all crimes except murder, and indeed even for what might be called run-of-the-mill murders, as opposed to those that are somehow characterized by a high degree of brutality or depravity. It has prohibited the mandatory imposition of the death penalty for any crime, insisting that in all cases the jury be permitted to consider all mitigating factors and to impose, if it wishes, a lesser sentence. And it has imposed an age limit at the time of the offense (it is currently seventeen) that is well above what existed at common law.
If I subscribed to the proposition that I am authorized (indeed, I suppose compelled) to intuit and impose our "maturing" society's "evolving standards of decency," this essay would be a preview of my next vote in a death penalty case. As it is, however, the Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead-or, as I prefer to put it, enduring. It means today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted. For me, therefore, the constitutionality of the death penalty is not a difficult, soul-wrenching question. It was clearly permitted when the Eighth Amendment was adopted (not merely for murder, by the way, but for all felonies-including, for example, horse-thieving, as anyone can verify by watching a western movie). And so it is clearly permitted today. There is plenty of room within this system for "evolving standards of decency," but the instrument of evolution (or, if you are more tolerant of the Court's approach, the herald that evolution has occurred) is not the nine lawyers who sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, but the Congress of the United States and the legislatures of the fifty states, who may, within their own jurisdictions, restrict or abolish the death penalty as they wish.
But while my views on the morality of the death penalty have nothing to do with how I vote as a judge, they have a lot to do with whether I can or should be a judge at all. To put the point in the blunt terms employed by Justice Harold Blackmun towards the end of his career on the bench, when he announced that he would henceforth vote (as Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall had previously done) to overturn all death sentences, when I sit on a Court that reviews and affirms capital convictions, I am part of "the machinery of death." My vote, when joined with at least four others, is, in most cases, the last step that permits an execution to proceed. I could not take part in that process if I believed what was being done to be immoral.
Capital cases are much different from the other life-and-death issues that my Court sometimes faces: abortion, for example, or legalized suicide. There it is not the state (of which I am in a sense the last instrument) that is decreeing death, but rather private individuals whom the state has decided not to restrain. One may argue (as many do) that the society has a moral obligation to restrain. That moral obligation may weigh heavily upon the voter, and upon the legislator who enacts the laws; but a judge, I think, bears no moral guilt for the laws society has failed to enact. Thus, my difficulty with Roe v. Wade is a legal rather than a moral one: I do not believe (and, for two hundred years, no one believed) that the Constitution contains a right to abortion. And if a state were to permit abortion on demand, I would-and could in good conscience-vote against an attempt to invalidate that law for the same reason that I vote against the invalidation of laws that forbid abortion on demand: because the Constitution gives the federal government (and hence me) no power over the matter.
With the death penalty, on the other hand, I am part of the criminal-law machinery that imposes death-which extends from the indictment, to the jury conviction, to rejection of the last appeal. I am aware of the ethical principle that one can give "material cooperation" to the immoral act of another when the evil that would attend failure to cooperate is even greater (for example, helping a burglar tie up a householder where the alternative is that the burglar would kill the householder). I doubt whether that doctrine is even applicable to the trial judges and jurors who must themselves determine that the death sentence will be imposed. It seems to me these individuals are not merely engaged in "material cooperation" with someone else's action, but are themselves decreeing death on behalf of the state.
The same is true of appellate judges in those states where they are charged with "reweighing" the mitigating and aggravating factors and determining de novo whether the death penalty should be imposed: they are themselves decreeing death. Where (as is the case in the federal system) the appellate judge merely determines that the sentence pronounced by the trial court is in accordance with law, perhaps the principle of material cooperation could be applied. But as I have said, that principle demands that the good deriving from the cooperation exceed the evil which is assisted. I find it hard to see how any appellate judge could find this condition to be met, unless he believes retaining his seat on the bench (rather than resigning) is somehow essential to preservation of the society-which is of course absurd. (As Charles de Gaulle is reputed to have remarked when his aides told him he could not resign as President of France because he was the indispensable man: "Mon ami, the cemeteries are full of indispensable men.")
I pause here to emphasize the point that in my view the choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted, constitutional laws and sabotaging death penalty cases. He has, after all, taken an oath to apply the laws and has been given no power to supplant them with rules of his own. Of course if he feels strongly enough he can go beyond mere resignation and lead a political campaign to abolish the death penalty-and if that fails, lead a revolution. But rewrite the laws he cannot do. This dilemma, of course, need not be confronted by a proponent of the "living Constitution," who believes that it means what it ought to mean. If the death penalty is (in his view) immoral, then it is (hey, presto!) automatically unconstitutional, and he can continue to sit while nullifying a sanction that has been imposed, with no suggestion of its unconstitutionality, since the beginning of the Republic. (You can see why the "living Constitution" has such attraction for us judges.)
It is a matter of great consequence to me, therefore, whether the death penalty is morally acceptable. As a Roman Catholic-and being unable to jump out of my skin-I cannot discuss that issue without reference to Christian tradition and the Church's Magisterium.
The death penalty is undoubtedly wrong unless one accords to the state a scope of moral action that goes beyond what is permitted to the individual. In my view, the major impetus behind modern aversion to the death penalty is the equation of private morality with governmental morality. This is a predictable (though I believe erroneous and regrettable) reaction to modern, democratic self-government.
Few doubted the morality of the death penalty in the age that believed in the divine right of kings. Or even in earlier times. St. Paul had this to say (I am quoting, as you might expect, the King James version):
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (Romans 13:1-5)
This is not the Old Testament, I emphasize, but St. Paul. One can understand his words as referring only to lawfully constituted authority, or even only to lawfully constituted authority that rules justly. But the core of his message is that government-however you want to limit that concept-derives its moral authority from God. It is the "minister of God" with powers to "revenge," to "execute wrath," including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakably a reference to the death penalty). Paul of course did not believe that the individual possessed any such powers. Only a few lines before this passage, he wrote, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." And in this world the Lord repaid-did justice-through His minister, the state.
These passages from Romans represent the consensus of Western thought until very recent times. Not just of Christian or religious thought, but of secular thought regarding the powers of the state. That consensus has been upset, I think, by the emergence of democracy. It is easy to see the hand of the Almighty behind rulers whose forebears, in the dim mists of history, were supposedly anointed by God, or who at least obtained their thrones in awful and unpredictable battles whose outcome was determined by the Lord of Hosts, that is, the Lord of Armies. It is much more difficult to see the hand of God-or any higher moral authority-behind the fools and rogues (as the losers would have it) whom we ourselves elect to do our own will. How can their power to avenge-to vindicate the "public order"-be any greater than our own?
So it is no accident, I think, that the modern view that the death penalty is immoral is centered in the West. That has little to do with the fact that the West has a Christian tradition, and everything to do with the fact that the West is the home of democracy. Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in post-Christian Europe, and has least support in the church-going United States. I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next? The Christian attitude is reflected in the words Robert Bolt's play has Thomas More saying to the headsman: "Friend, be not afraid of your office. You send me to God." And when Cranmer asks whether he is sure of that, More replies, "He will not refuse one who is so blithe to go to Him." For the nonbeliever, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence. What a horrible act!
Besides being less likely to regard death as an utterly cataclysmic punishment, the Christian is also more likely to regard punishment in general as deserved. The doctrine of free will-the ability of man to resist temptations to evil, which God will not permit beyond man's capacity to resist-is central to the Christian doctrine of salvation and damnation, heaven and hell. The post-Freudian secularist, on the other hand, is more inclined to think that people are what their history and circumstances have made them, and there is little sense in assigning blame.
Of course those who deny the authority of a government to exact vengeance are not entirely logical. Many crimes-for example, domestic murder in the heat of passion-are neither deterred by punishment meted out to others nor likely to be committed a second time by the same offender. Yet opponents of capital punishment do not object to sending such an offender to prison, perhaps for life. Because he deserves punishment. Because it is just.
The mistaken tendency to believe that a democratic government, being nothing more than the composite will of its individual citizens, has no more moral power or authority than they do as individuals has adverse effects in other areas as well. It fosters civil disobedience, for example, which proceeds on the assumption that what the individual citizen considers an unjust law-even if it does not compel him to act unjustly-need not be obeyed. St. Paul would not agree. "Ye must needs be subject," he said, "not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." For conscience sake. The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible. We have done that in this country (and continental Europe has not) by preserving in our public life many visible reminders that-in the words of a Supreme Court opinion from the 1940s-"we are a religious people, whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." These reminders include: "In God we trust" on our coins, "one nation, under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance, the opening of sessions of our legislatures with a prayer, the opening of sessions of my Court with "God save the United States and this Honorable Court," annual Thanksgiving proclamations issued by our President at the direction of Congress, and constant invocations of divine support in the speeches of our political leaders, which often conclude, "God bless America." All this, as I say, is most un-European, and helps explain why our people are more inclined to understand, as St. Paul did, that government carries the sword as "the minister of God," to "execute wrath" upon the evildoer.
A brief story about the aftermath of September 11 nicely illustrates how different things are in secularized Europe. I was at a conference of European and American lawyers and jurists in Rome when the planes struck the twin towers. All in attendance were transfixed by the horror of the event, and listened with rapt attention to the President's ensuing address to the nation. When the speech had concluded, one of the European conferees-a religious man-confided in me how jealous he was that the leader of my nation could conclude his address with the words "God bless the United States." Such invocation of the deity, he assured me, was absolutely unthinkable in his country, with its Napoleonic tradition of extirpating religion from public life.
It will come as no surprise from what I have said that I do not agree with the encyclical Evangelium Vitae and the new Catholic catechism (or the very latest version of the new Catholic catechism), according to which the death penalty can only be imposed to protect rather than avenge, and that since it is (in most modern societies) not necessary for the former purpose, it is wrong. That, by the way, is how I read those documents-and not, as Avery Cardinal Dulles would read them, simply as an affirmation of two millennia of Christian teaching that retribution is a proper purpose (indeed, the principal purpose) of criminal punishment, but merely adding the "prudential judgment" that in modern circumstances condign retribution "rarely if ever" justifies death. (See "Catholicism & Capital Punishment," FT, April 2001.) I cannot square that interpretation with the following passage from the encyclical:
It is clear that, for these [permissible purposes of penal justice] to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today, however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically nonexistent. (Emphases deleted and added.)
It is true enough that the paragraph of the encyclical that precedes this passage acknowledges (in accord with traditional Catholic teaching) that "the primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is 'to redress the disorder caused by the offense'" by "imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime." But it seems to me quite impossible to interpret the later passage's phrase "when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society" as including "defense" through the redress of disorder achieved by adequate punishment. Not only does the word "defense" not readily lend itself to that strange interpretation, but the immediately following explanation of why, in modern times, "defense" rarely if ever requires capital punishment has no bearing whatever upon the adequacy of retribution. In fact, one might say that it has an inverse bearing.
How in the world can modernity's "steady improvements in the organization of the penal system" render the death penalty less condign for a particularly heinous crime? One might think that commitment to a really horrible penal system (Devil's Island, for example) might be almost as bad as death. But nice clean cells with television sets, exercise rooms, meals designed by nutritionists, and conjugal visits? That would seem to render the death penalty more, rather than less, necessary. So also would the greatly increased capacity for evil-the greatly increased power to produce moral "disorder"-placed in individual hands by modern technology. Could St. Paul or St. Thomas even have envisioned a crime by an individual (as opposed to one by a ruler, such as Herod's slaughter of the innocents) as enormous as that of Timothy McVeigh or of the men who destroyed three thousand innocents in the World Trade Center? If just retribution is a legitimate purpose (indeed, the principal legitimate purpose) of capital punishment, can one possibly say with a straight face that nowadays death would "rarely if ever" be appropriate?
So I take the encyclical and the latest, hot-off-the-presses version of the catechism (a supposed encapsulation of the "deposit" of faith and the Church's teaching regarding a moral order that does not change) to mean that retribution is not a valid purpose of capital punishment. Unlike such other hard Catholic doctrines as the prohibition of birth control and of abortion, this is not a moral position that the Church has always-or indeed ever before-maintained. There have been Christian opponents of the death penalty, just as there have been Christian pacifists, but neither of those positions has ever been that of the Church. The current predominance of opposition to the death penalty is the legacy of Napoleon, Hegel, and Freud rather than St. Paul and St. Augustine. I mentioned earlier Thomas More, who has long been regarded in this country as the patron saint of lawyers, and who has recently been declared by the Vatican the patron saint of politicians (I am not sure that is a promotion). One of the charges leveled by that canonized saint's detractors was that, as Lord Chancellor, he was too quick to impose the death penalty.
I am therefore happy to learn from the canonical experts I have consulted that the position set forth in Evangelium Vitae and in the latest version of the Catholic catechism does not purport to be binding teaching-that is, it need not be accepted by practicing Catholics, though they must give it thoughtful and respectful consideration. It would be remarkable to think otherwise-that a couple of paragraphs in an encyclical almost entirely devoted not to crime and punishment but to abortion and euthanasia was intended authoritatively to sweep aside (if one could) two thousand years of Christian teaching.
So I have given this new position thoughtful and careful consideration-and I disagree. That is not to say I favor the death penalty (I am judicially and judiciously neutral on that point); it is only to say that I do not find the death penalty immoral. I am happy to have reached that conclusion, because I like my job, and would rather not resign. And I am happy because I do not think it would be a good thing if American Catholics running for legislative office had to oppose the death penalty (most of them would not be elected); if American Catholics running for Governor had to promise commutation of all death sentences (most of them would never reach the Governor's mansion); if American Catholics were ineligible to go on the bench in all jurisdictions imposing the death penalty; or if American Catholics were subject to recusal when called for jury duty in capital cases.
I find it ironic that the Church's new (albeit nonbinding) position on the death penalty-which, if accepted, would have these disastrous consequences-is said to rest upon "prudential considerations." Is it prudent, when one is not certain enough about the point to proclaim it in a binding manner (and with good reason, given the long and consistent Christian tradition to the contrary), to effectively urge the retirement of Catholics from public life in a country where the federal government and thirty-eight of the states (comprising about 85 percent of the population) believe the death penalty is sometimes just and appropriate? Is it prudent to imperil acceptance of the Church's hard but traditional teachings on birth control and abortion and euthanasia (teachings that have been proclaimed in a binding manner, a distinction that the average Catholic layman is unlikely to grasp) by packaging them-under the wrapper "respect for life"-with another uncongenial doctrine that everyone knows does not represent the traditional Christian view? Perhaps, one is invited to conclude, all four of them are recently made-up. We need some new staffers at the Congregation of Prudence in the Vatican. At least the new doctrine should have been urged only upon secular Europe, where it is at home.
Antonin Scalia is a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. This article is adapted from remarks given at a conference sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life at the University of Chicago Divinity School. -
|"That is what the Third World War is all about - the war of ideology."
top Moon executive Bo Hi Pak
The return of the MOONies
The money-losing [Washington] Times is paid for by the $1 billion [Moon has] sunk into it, along with untold funding for conservative policy foundations like the American Family Coalition.
"...this March, Moon was telling guests at the Dirksen Senate Office Building that Hitler and Stalin, having cleaned up their acts, had, in a rare public statement from beyond the grave, called him "none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent."
In Moon's speeches, a "peace kingdom" is envisioned, in which homosexuals whom he calls "dung-eating dogs" would be a thing of the past. He said in January: "Gays will be eliminated, the three Israels will unite. If not, then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring, but this is what happens. It will be greater than the communist purge but at God's orders."
And ignoring every mainline Christian denomination's rejection of the idea of Jewish collective guilt, Moon's latest world tour calls on rabbis to repent for betraying Christ, the Jerusalem Post reported last week. Speaking in Arlington, VA in 2003, Moon said Hitler killed six million Jews as a penalty for this rejection. And he's frank about calling for democracy and the U.S. Constitution to be replaced by religious government that he calls "Godism," calling the church-state separation the work of Satan. "The church and the state must become one as Cain and Abel," he said in the same sermon.
Towards this end, Moon's "Ambassadors for Peace" have been promoting his goal of a "Religious United Nations" organized around God, not countries. In the June 19, 2003 Congressional Record, Rep. Davis joins Rep. Weldon in thanking Moon and the Ambassadors for "promoting the vision of world peace." He praises their plan to "support the leaders of the United Nations" through interfaith dialogue. Much of the dialogue has consisted of getting Moon's retinue of rabbis, ministers and Muslim clerics to hug each other, and be photographed handing out awards to politicians. The Ambassadors have addressed the United Nations and the British House of Lords. They have also honored at least one neo-Nazi, William Baker, former chair of the Holocaust-denying Populist Party.
search 'victims of the moonies
Rev. Moon's submarines, sold to Kim Jong-Il: nuke threat?
Rev. Moon "funnels" $250,000 for Bush inaugural bash
Rev. Moon, purported "Messiah" and "cult leader" of the Unification Church has "funneled" $250,000 to help pay for President Bush's inaugural festivities reports John Gorenfeld of I approve this messiah.com.
The $250,000 cash contribution, which represents the limit set for such gifts, comes from the Moon-controlled Washington Television Center. The Center is a $55 million dollar building at 650 Massachusetts Ave. in Washington D.C. and it is home to such Moon-controlled enterprises as Atlantic Video and the "Nostalgia Network," now known as "American Life TV."
Apparently another tenant is the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), which may be a good fit considering that the Moon family is also in the gun business.
The Bushes do have a long-standing and fruitful relationship with Rev. Moon, which is why the South Korean religious leader makes it a point to attend their inaugurations and he can count on good seats.
Bush Sr. has raked in millions through accumulated honorariums paid out for speaking engagements at Moon-linked events. The George H. Bush Presidential Library also was the recipient of a hefty gift from Rev. Moon and of course there is an appropriate plaque honoring the distinguished donor. However, this donor is also distinguished by his criminal record, which includes a tax fraud conviction.
Could it be that Rev. Moon and his followers are lining up a presidential pardon for the future to be granted right before the current President Bush leaves the White House? "The donation may signal the beginning of an effort to secure a pardon for Moon," says Larry Zilliox a private investigator and concerned Moon-watcher.
Is there reason to believe that Bush II can be counted on for such a favor? Well maybe so, after all "Dubya" has so far tapped two long-time Moon devotees for political appointments, one to head AmeriCorp at Vista and another to serve as a US Trade Deputy. Perhaps George W. Bush will once again follow in the footsteps of another president, but instead of his father this time it might be Bill Clinton, who handed out a few controversial pardons just before he left the White House. After all if a criminally convicted former Arizona governor and wanted fugitive can get a pardon, why not a would-be "messiah"? - cultnews.com
Standing center left, Neil Bush. Standing second from the right, the Korean Rev. Sun Myung Moon.
Neil Bush Meets the Messiah
By John Gorenfeld, - alternet.org. Posted December 5, 2005.
Why is the President's younger brother, Neil, touring with the leader of the Moonies?
"Those who stray from the heavenly way," the owner of the flagship Republican newspaper the Washington Times admonished an audience in Taipei on Friday, "will be punished." This "heavenly way," the Rev. Sun Myung Moon explained, demands a 51-mile underwater highway spanning Alaska and Russia. Sitting in the front row: Neil Bush, the brother of the president of the United States.
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the South Korean giant of the religious right who owns the Washington Times, is on a 100-city speaking tour to promote his $200 billion "Peace King Tunnel" dream. As he describes it, the tunnel would be both a monument to his magnificence, and a totem to his prophecy of a unified Planet Earth. In this vision, the United Nations would be reinvented as an instrument of God's plan, and democracy and sexual freedom would crumble in the face of this faith-based glory.
The name Peace King Tunnel would allude to the title of authority to which Moon, 86, lays claim, and to which U.S. congressmen paid respect on Capitol Hill in last year's controversial "Crown of Peace" coronation ritual.
Moon's lobbying campaign is "ambitious and diffuse," as the D.C. newspaper The Hill reported last year, and the sheer range of guests revealed just how many Pacific Rim political leaders the Times owner has won over, including Filipino and Taiwanese politicians. And the head of the Arizona GOP attended a recent stop in San Francisco. But perhaps the most surprising VIP to tag along is Neil Bush, George H.W. Bush's youngest and most wayward son, who made both the Philippines and Taiwan legs of the journey, according to reports in newspapers from those countries and statements from Moon's Family Federation.
While Neil Bush and Moon's church couldn't be reached for comment on the tunnel or his speaking fees, a brochure from Moon's Family Federation underscores that the project is "God's fervent desire," dwarfing such past wonders as the Chunnel and heralding a "new era of automobile travel."
Moon, reviled in the 1980s as the leader of a group that separated young recruits from their families, says he is the Messiah. His far-flung business empire includes the UPI wire service, Washington, D.C. television studios, a gun factory, and enormous swaths of real estate, and he donates millions to conservative politics. In 1989, U.S. News & World Report linked his group to the Heritage Foundation and other conservative organizations. "Because almost all conservative organizations in Washington have some ties to [Moon's] church," wrote reporter John Judis, "conservatives ... fear repercussions if they expose the church's role."
The billionaire Moon has never been one to pander to the Sierra Club, having subsidized the anti-environmental "wise use" movement. Likewise, his group anticipates an anti-tunnel backlash by those who "demand the preservation of the polar region's ecosystem and the protection of polar bears and seals," and proposes an aggressive media strategy: "[P]ublic opinion polls must be carried out all over the world and it is absolutely essential that a public relations campaign to educate environmental groups, concerned organizations and residents near the proposed construction sites be carried out as well." (Moon has said in the past that Caucasians are descended from polar bears.)
In addition to the Taipei report, the Bush brother also surfaced in an article last week from the Manila Times, which placed him at a similar dinner in Manila attended by Washington Times president Dong Moon Joo and respected Filipino House Speaker Jose de Venecia. (It's unclear if Bush attended an intermediate stop in the Solomon Islands.) According to the Manila Times piece, Venecia proposed Moon's idea for a trans-religious council to President Bush in a 2003 meeting; President Bush was said to have called it "a brilliant idea."
The Taiwan paper similarly revealed high-powered support for Moon, describing Republic of China Vice President Annette Lu as listening "rapt" to his speech.
In the United States, Moon's end-of-democracy vision has been honored on the floor of Congress. According to the Congressional Record, on June 19, 2003, Democrat Danny K. Davis joined Republican Curt Weldon in recognizing Moon's "effort to create an international council of religious leaders ... this body will provide a direct link between international leaders and the various religious peoples in their constituencies," Davis said. "We are grateful to ... the Reverend and Mrs. Sun Myung [Moon] for promoting the vision of world peace, and we commend their work."
Davis later took part in Moon's March 23, 2004 Capitol Hill ceremony in which he was brought a gold crown and royal robe to coronate him Peace King. The sponsor of the event was the Virginia Republican Senator John Warner, who later told the Washington Post he'd been "deceived" into hosting the event, a charge that organizers rejected, saying the ritual was taken out of context.
While Moon's proposal has been deliberated by politicians around the world as a mere religious council, church promotional materials make clear that it's intended to forge "God's fatherland," and not just idle talk. A video from his group stresses that the U.N. will give way to a "Peace United Nations," as Moon terms it, with fantastical reverberations.
"Like a candle that burns down, sacrificing itself to give light to the world, the light of wisdom and hope will shine from the headquarters of world governance -- the "Peace United Nations" -- into all realms of life," a narrator says in a Family Federation video (available here via BitTorrent). "This light will radiate beyond the high barrier separating nations and will illuminate the road to peace, the path to the fulfillment of humanity's hopes -- and dreams ..."
Moon has frequently gone on the record against Western-style democracy and individualism, calling them results of the fall of Adam. "There are three guiding principles for the world to choose from: democracy, Communism and Godism," he said in a 1987 sermon. "It is clear that democracy as the United States knows and practices it cannot be the model for the world."
"Individualism," he also said at the speech -- entitled "I Will Follow With Gratitude And Obedience" -- "is what God hates most and what Satan likes best."
Neil isn't the only Bush to attend Moon events. In 1996, his father, President George H.W. Bush, traveled to Buenos Aires with the Reverend in one of several such fundraising expeditions. "The 41st president, who told Argentine president Carlos Menem that he had joined Moon in Buenos Aires for the money, had actually known the Korean reasonably well for decades," writes former top GOP strategist Kevin Phillips in his book "American Dynasty." "Their relationship went back to the overlap between Bush's one-year tenure as CIA director (1976) and the arrival in Washington of Moon, whose Unification Church was widely reported to be a front group for the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency." Moon and his aides have called such claims bogus, saying his accusers were controlled by "Satan" to distract from his campaign to destroy communism.
Reverend Moon is the latest in a line of unusual partners for Neil Bush in recent years, including the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and fugitive Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who has been promoting the younger Bush's educational software company, Ignite!, according to the Washington Post.
A messy divorce case in 2003 exposed his dalliances with prostitutes in Asia. Moon's group didn't return e-mails asking how this bore upon Neil Bush's contributions to last week's events, whose central theme was "Ideal Families."
John Gorenfeld is a freelance writer in San Francisco. He has a blog focused on Rev. Moon and his church: I Approve This Messiah.
Psyops as abuse - designed to stir up more Muslim action
The Cartoon dispute -
Clash of civilisations, presented in technicolor by NATO, Bilderberg, the Neocons & Hizb-ut-Tahrir via The Muslim Brotherhood,
The controversy started with a series of caricatures in a Danish newspaper in September. But last week popular outrage and a boycott of Danish goods spread across the Muslim and Arab world after some European newspapers reprinted the caricatures. The Right-wing Danish government defended the newspaper that initially published the cartoons, and newspapers in Norway, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Iceland and Hungary, both conservative and liberal, defended the right to reprint them...
The crisis appears to have become a rallying cry for other grievances and a convenient pretext for hardline governments and groups to advance their political agenda.The US accused Syria, where the Danish and Norwegian embassies were set alight on Saturday, of exploiting anger over the cartoons for political purposes. In Lebanon too, the burning of the Danish consulate in Beirut was seen by many politicians as a deliberate attempt by Syrian agents to provoke sectarian unrest.
What is not being mentioned n the Media is that the Editor of the Danish Paper has links to both US Neocons & The Bilderbergers...This Stratgey of Tension is an obvious attempt to Manipulate Religious fevour in exactly the way Leo Strauss taught his students...Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Paul Wolfowitz & John Bolton...So what do you get if you add Neo-liberal Bilderbergers to US neo-cons? NATO: which coincidently [!] has a security conference in Munich
in this timeframe... "In this new world, solidarity is the key: political, military and financial solidarity..." NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
more on this new page i put together
||Flashback: Holy shrine bombed in Iraq
An explosion in Iraq has destroyed the golden dome of one of the most revered shrines in Shia Islam sparking nationwide protests and sectarian reprisals against Sunni mosques despite appeals for calm from government and religious leaders. The early morning blast at the Askariya shrine in Samarra, 150km north of Baghdad, devastated the tombs of the tenth and eleventh of the 12 Imams believed by Shia to have been infallible successors to the prophet Mohammad.
The Askariya shrine in Samarra is the tomb of both Imam Ali bin Mohammad, who died in 868AD, and Imam Hassan bin Ali, who died in 872AD and was the father of Imam Mohammad bin Hassan, whom Shia believe went into hiding in 941 and will return one day as 'the Mahdi' to inaugurate a period of just rule on earth before the Day of Judgement.
attacks in iraq in Feb 2006
Sunnis are being blamed... but ...
are US forces rattling Iran by Proxy & setting up the Middle East for the final war?
Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Ambassador to Iraq, said that IRAN is providing weapons and training to militias and extremist groups in Iraq, "Iran has a mixed policy towards Iraq," he told a news conference. "Iraqis are increasingly concerned about the role Iran is playing."
linked: Irans Ahmadinejad believes The Mahdi is coming:
All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days. A common rumour - denied by the government but widely believed - is that Mr Ahmadinejad and his cabinet have signed a "contract" pledging themselves to work for the return of the Mahdi and sent it to Jamkaran. Iran's dominant "Twelver" sect believes this will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad. He is said to have gone into "occlusion" in the ninth century, at the age of five. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace. This is similar to the Christian vision of the Apocalypse. Indeed, the Hidden Imam is expected to return in the company of Jesus.
|Bono & Bush
"...I have in my hand a piece of paper..."
George W. Bush & Bono attend National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton, along with Jordan's King Abdullah, Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman, Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Pat Robertson, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, Watergate felon Chuck Colson, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Mullen, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, Mauritania's military junta's foreign minister Ahmed Ould Sid Ahmed, and Bono.
The National Prayer Breakfast is the brainchild of one Doug Coe leader of The Fellowship foundation, a shady Multi Religious Dominionist Cult - They wish to see Armageddon bring about a false rapture event spawned from a clash of civilisations [see Danish Cartoon psyops & Iraq]
Hate: an equal opportunity affliction|
It's nice to know that irrational hatred of gay people isn't confined to Christian extremists in the good old U. S. of A. A ten day gay pride festival is being planned for the city of Jerusalem in August. And the NYT reports:
Now major leaders of the three faiths - Christianity, Judaism and Islam - are making a rare show of unity to try to stop the festival. They say the event would desecrate the city and convey the erroneous impression that homosexuality is acceptable.
"They are creating a deep and terrible sorrow that is unbearable," Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sephardic chief rabbi, said yesterday at a news conference in Jerusalem attended by Israel's two chief rabbis, the patriarchs of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches, and three senior Muslim prayer leaders. "It hurts all of the religions. We are all against it."
Abdel Aziz Bukhari, a Sufi sheik, added: "We can't permit anybody to come and make the Holy City dirty. This is very ugly and very nasty to have these people come to Jerusalem."
Listen to that language: "very ugly and very nasty" for "these people" to set foot in Jerusalem. Because they will make "the Holy City dirty." That is not even "hate the sin, love the sinner" language (for which I don't have much patience, but it's at least a gesture). That is just out and out hate, and it's terribly sad that that seems to be the one thing that Israeli "religious leaders" of the three major faiths can agree on.blue mass group
"...as I've clicked the channels for days on end, I haven't heard a single person question the 'man of the peoples' rabid anti-abortion stance, his aggressive anti-condom platform, or his intense demonization of gay marriage as "a new ideology of evil, perhaps insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man." Of course maybe someone's death might not seem like the right time to say, 'He furthered sexual guilt, disease spreading, and hate crimes,' but actually, when there's exhaustive, weeks-long coverage of a man's life, what better time could there be? (At least a pundit on an ABC special did note that the pope may have disliked democracy as much as he hated Communism.)
The reality is that, as the world—and even the church—started inching forward and becoming more accepting, John Paul II tried to hold things together with a moral vise that often proved intolerant and unrealistic. As women gained more control over their bodies and gays developed some rights of their own, he was frantic to push down the progress by promoting absolute respect for human life, except for individualists and "deviants." This was no shock—religion has traditionally specialized in messages of love that double as tools of persecution, and fanatics have always picked sections of the Bible at random in order to oppress unpopular people, while ignoring other parts that might put a damper on their own fun.
Just recently, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders all got together to denounce the upcoming Jerusalem WorldPride march and to agree on one thing—gays suck. The protest was an eye-popping reminder that so many of the different gods people pray to seem to have the very same queers-are-the-devil message. Even these groups' usual distaste for each other was effectively buried as they united in fear of the common gay enemy. "
Michael Musto - village voice