Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. —A.W. Tozer
Apr. 29, 2015
President Obama said he plans to visit Baltimore once the unrest in the city has calmed down to address underlying tensions after a black man was fatally injured while in police custody.
Unrest in Baltimore subsided as National Guard troops and police flooded the streets to enforce a curfew, preventing a second night of looting and violence.
President Obama’s plan to expand protections for waterways is in jeopardy as builders and farmers have won the support of even some Democrats in Congress to block it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to put under federal oversight any pond or stream that has a “significant nexus” to a navigable waterway, even if the smaller body of water flows just a few weeks a year. Opponents fear it could mean permission would be needed to even dig a small ditch or build a road.
Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. said, denying an earlier report that the seized vessel was American.
The economy in the U.S. barely grew at a 0.2 percent rate in the first quarter, buffeted by slumps in business investment and exports after oil prices plunged and the dollar surged.
The European Central Bank raised the amount of emergency liquidity available to Greek banks, while signaling that access to such funds may become more difficult if bailout talks remain deadlocked.
Less than four months into his reign, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is consolidating power around the next generation of leaders as the world’s top oil exporter plays a more prominent role in the region’s power struggles.
The share of middle-class families saving for college dropped below 50 percent for the first time in five years.
The number of Americans who signed contracts in March to buy previously owned homes climbed 1.1 percent after the biggest increase in more than four years, a sign for further progress in the housing recovery.
AP Top Stories
A Nepalese women pleaded for food, shelter and anything else the helicopter might have brought on an in-and-out run Wednesday to this smashed mountain village near the epicenter of last weekend’s mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people.
Indonesia faced a storm of international protest Wednesday for putting seven foreign drug convicts before a firing squad, but Filipinos rejoiced after a compatriot was spared at the last minute.
An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft, The Progress, ferrying supplies to the International Space Station is plunging back to Earth and apparently out of control, an official said on Wednesday. The Progress was carrying “1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,128 pounds of spare parts, supplies and scientific experiment hardware,” NASA said. The next delivery to the ISS is planned by SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship on June 19.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday asked the State Guard to monitor a U.S. military training exercise dubbed “Jade Helm 15” amid Internet-fueled suspicions that the war simulation is really a hostile military takeover.
North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un ordered the execution of 15 senior officials this year, including several who complained about the young leader’s policies, South Korea’s intelligence agency said Wednesday.
Texas A&M-Galveston Prof. Irwin Horwitz, has shaped many young minds in his 20 years of teaching at the university level. But this semester Professor Horwitz found himself doing something he has never done in his two decades in higher education: Failing his entire Strategic Management class. Horwitz cited students’ incompetency as young adults getting ready to enter the real world in his email to the class where he announced that everyone would be receiving a failing grade.
Two former small town police officers in South Carolina were sentenced to prison time Monday for unnecessarily shocking a mentally disabled woman with a Taser at least eight times.
Aid has begun to reach remote regions near the epicentre of Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Nepal. The 7.8-magnitude quake killed more than 5,000 people. Many survivors were in desperate need of food and water.
A faulty app caused American Airlines to ground dozens of its jets on Tuesday. The glitch caused iPad software, used by the planes’ pilots and co-pilots to view flight plans, to stop working.
There have been fresh evacuations in the area surrounding the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile after it started spewing ash again on Tuesday.
The Nigerian military said it has rescued 200 girls and 93 women from an area where the Islamist militant group Boko Haram is active. However, it said the girls abducted from a school in Chibok in April 2014 were not among them.
Saudi Arabia has arrested 93 people suspected of belonging to Islamic State (IS) and foiled several plots, the interior ministry has announced.
Just seven of 21 federal agencies that received identical Freedom of Information Act requests in January have provided full responses in the months since, despite a legal requirement to respond to such requests within several weeks of receiving them.
ISIS is taking advantage of racial tensions in the U.S. by attempting to recruit dissatisfied Muslims among the American black population.
ISIS terrorists have taken to subterfuge to root out homosexuals, get them to admit their homosexual tendencies – and then kill them.
Top News- 4/29/2015
Two CIA Agents Arrested by Minutemen while Crossing Mexican Border with 1300 Pounds of Cocaine
The incident took place…., in the Chihuahuan desert, near the Texan city of El Paso. A group of seven minutemen saw a large black SUV drive rapidly across the border. They chased the vehicle in their own trucks and achieved to immobilize it after a chase of more than 15 miles. The vigilantes arrested the two men on board and called the border patrol, who proceeded to search the vehicle. They discovered dozens of packages of cocaine, totalling an incredible 618.4 kilograms (1363 pounds).
‘We will not obey’: Christian leaders threaten civil disobedience if Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage
“We will not obey.” That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage.
6.2 Earthquake Rattles Fiji Islands
A strong earthquake shook the Fiji Islands and the area northeast of New Zealand Tuesday. The 6.2 magnitude quake struck at 8:39 a.m. Pacific time about 18 miles south of Fiji’s Ndoi Island and 223 miles west of Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa.
US Activist Attacks ‘Racist’ Liberals for Excusing Black Rioters
When the mayor of Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said her forces had tried to “deescalate” recent riots by allowing rioters to destroy property, many in the US were shocked.
Two-State-Solution? Try Baltimore
Considering Baltimore, the Obama Administration ought to think twice before lecturing Israel about adopting a “two-state-solution.” Baltimore is where an incident of alleged police brutality led to a fatality and to days of looting, burning and rioting. It’s still going on as we write. Inner-city unrest is something we will have to fix for ourselves and we do not need outsiders telling us what to do or how to behave.
Thousands of new Lerner emails found
Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA) said it found roughly 6,400 emails either to or from Lerner from between 2004 and 2013 that it didn’t think the IRS had turned over to lawmakers, the congressional committees said. The committees have yet to examine the emails, aides on Capitol Hill said.
An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)
People often complain that they would love to boycott one of the many countries with horrible human rights, but cannot do so as those countries do not make or export anything of value. Well, here’s the good news: Qatar brings Al Jazeera direct to many homes in your country.
Iran Seizes Cargo Ship Under US Protection in Strait of Hormuz
Iranian naval forces have seized a commercial cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz and are redirecting the vessel to southern Iran, FARS news service reported late Monday. The ship, the M/V Maersk Tigris, is a Danish vessel flying under the flag of the Marshall Islands. The United States has full authority and responsibility under treaty for the security and defense of the Marshall Islands.
16 Year-Old: ‘Taliban Leaders Abused Then Sent Me to Suicide-Bomb Attack’
A 16 year old boy who was on the way to carry out a suicide bombing but was arrested en route, told the NDS that Taliban commanders gang-raped him before sending him out for the attack.
CME TO MISS EARTH
Yesterday, a massive filament of plasma exploded away from the sun’s northeastern limb. The CME it hurled into space (movie) is not expected to hit Earth.
Oil dips on oversupply after Saudi reshuffle
Oil prices slipped on Wednesday on oversupply after news that King Salman of Saudi Arabia had altered the kingdom’s line of royal succession in a dramatic reshuffle.
Saudi Arabia’s king announces new heirs to throne
Saudi Arabia’s new king has announced a major cabinet reshuffle that puts in place a new generation to succeed him. King Salman has appointed his nephew, the powerful Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as crown prince. The king’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been made deputy crown prince and the foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, has been replaced.
Forest fire breaks out near Chernobyl nuclear plant
A fire has broken out in woods near Ukraine’s disused Chernobyl nuclear plant, the site of a meltdown in 1986. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said about 400 hectares of forest was alight in the exclusion zone around the plant Up to 200 firefighters, along with scores of trucks and aircraft, were tackling the blaze about 15 to 20km (9 to 12 miles) from the nuclear plant.
France increases defence spending ‘to counter extremism’
French President Francois Hollande says defence spending will rise by nearly €4bn to tackle extremist threats “at home and overseas”. He said the increase would take place over the four years from 2016, and this year’s budget would be ring-fenced. A deployment of 7,000 soldiers to protect sensitive sites across France will become permanent, he said.
Israelis who hate Israel—and the Christians who fund them
…Zochrot, a tiny radical anti-Zionist group, was established with the aim of “rais[ing] public awareness of the Palestinian Nakba (“Catastrophe” in Arabic)” and “recognizing and materializing the right of return,” an agenda equivalent to calling for the abolishment of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. With no local support base or constituency, Zochrot operates only through generous funding from a coterie of foreign Christian aid organizations.
Chileans brace for volcano’s impact on livestock, farming
The eruption of Chile’s Calbuco volcano threatens to cause widespread and lasting economic damage, turning cattle pastures barren and choking fish with volcanic ash in one of the world’s top salmon-producing countries.
Saudi Arabia ‘arrests 93 members of Islamic State cells’
Saudi Arabia has arrested 93 people suspected of belonging to Islamic State (IS) and foiled several plots, the interior ministry has announced. The official Saudi Press Agency reported that the arrests had taken place since December and that all but five suspects were Saudi nationals.
Defying International Outcry, Indonesia Executes Eight Drug Convicts
Indonesia in the early hours of Wednesday executed eight men for drug offenses, including seven foreign nationals, but the life of Philippines national Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso was unexpectedly spared, media reports said.
How Will Greece Default? Let Us Count The Ways
What was once anathema has become conventional wisdom, and lately the only question when discussing the fate of Greece is not if but when it will default. Actually, there is another question: how? Because as the following UBS flow chart shows, when it comes to the matter of picking an obligation on which to not make a payment, Greece has a truly 5 star menu selection.
EU wants Iran to play ‘major but positive role’ in Syria
The European Union’s top diplomat on Tuesday voiced the hope that Iran would play an important but constructive role in a renewed United Nations push to restart negotiations aimed at ending the four-year civil war in Syria.
Iran diverts Marshall Islands cargo ship in Strait of Hormuz
Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ships intercepted a Marshall Islands-flagged commercial cargo vessel in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, forcing it “further into Iranian waters,” the Pentagon said. Multiple U.S. government sources said there were no Americans aboard the Maersk Tigris.
Top Headlines – 4/29/2015
Top US official intimates UN veto policy could change
Turkey joins Qatari bid to broker Israel-Hamas deal
Hamas Welcomes UN’s Blaming Israel for Attacks on UNRWA Schools
‘Israel won’t allow weapons transfer to terrorist groups’
No Israeli involvement believed in overnight strike on Hezbollah
Two projectiles fired from Syria land in Israeli Golan Heights
Syria accuses Turkey of aiding terror groups
EU wants Iran to play ‘major but positive role’ in Syria
Report: Iran opens fire at and detains US cargo ship in Gulf
US Navy called in after Iran fires at cargo ship in Persian Gulf
Saudi-led coalition bombs Yemen runway to stop Iranian plane landing
Official: Saudi-led raid on Sanaa hits airliner, damages airport
Saudi says foiled suicide car bombing plot against US embassy
State news agency: Saudi Arabia arrests 93 Islamic State suspects
300 rescued in Nigeria, but schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram still missing
Mali Tuareg rebels fire on UN peacekeepers outside Timbuktu
Massive outcry in Australia after ‘cruel and unnecessary’ executions in Indonesia
Analysis: No miracle in sight for nuclear-free Middle East
US to speed up warhead dismantling, issues warning to N. Korea
US, Japan boost defense relationship with eyes on threats from China, North Korea
Top Iranian general: America was behind 9/11 attacks
Police arrest New York protesters calling for destroying all nuclear arms
ISIS Spotted On The Streets Of Baltimore Smashing Police Cars?
Social media analysis suggests links between Baltimore and Ferguson violence
Intel report warns gang attacks on white cops could spread nationally
Brutal Baltimore Beatings Worry Press Advocates
Riots in Baltimore force Orioles to play game in empty stadium closed to public
Troops descend on Baltimore after riots
Baltimore Braces for Another Violent Night; Police Enforce Curfew
Baltimore mom who smacked son during riots: “I don’t want him to be a Freddie Gray”
President Obama Condemns Both the Riots and the Nation’s ‘Slow-Rolling Crisis’
Dr. Alveda King on Baltimore Riots: MLK Jr. Would ‘Be Heartbroken’
DHS: No regrets for bypassing Congress on immigration
Report: 36,000 foreign ‘birth tourists’ here to make U.S. babies
How Will Greece Default? Let Us Count The Ways
New Earth dawns: supercontinent slowly takes shape
Researcher says a sinking Santa Catalina could pose tsunami threat
At least 52 missing, feared dead in Afghanistan landslide
Chileans brace for volcano impact on livestock, agriculture and fishing industries
Chile volcano eruption costs region $600 mn: official
Colima volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft
Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 14,000ft
Earthquake swarm on Tjornes Fracture Zone near Iceland
6.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ndoi Island, Fiji
5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Palomares, Mexico
5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Yaguachi, Ecuador
5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Piis, Micronesia
5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Haebaru, Japan
Up to 250 missing after avalanche hits Nepal trekking route
Nepal’s PM says earthquake death toll could reach 10,000
UN says 1.4 million people victimized by Nepal earthquake need food assistance
Quake also devastates impoverished Nepal’s economy
White House omits Tibet from earthquake condolence list
Dozens of Israeli Gay Couples Seeking Surrogacy in Nepal Are Evacuated Home
U.S. top court divided on gay marriage, Kennedy appears pivotal
The 9 most awkward moments in the Supreme Court’s gay-marriage arguments
Analysis: On Gay Marriage, Will Five Judges Reject Deliberative Democracy?
Faith leaders demand that liberal justices sit out gay marriage case
‘We will not obey’: Christian leaders threaten civil disobedience if Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage
Pole Dancing Robots Draw Crowds to Major London Tech Startup Event
Genetic testing moves into world of employee health
California’s school immunizations bill passes another committee
North Carolina hospital admits patient with Ebola-like symptoms
New bird flu cases probable in Iowa, millions of birds affected: Iowa
Gov. Jerry Brown seeks fines of up to $10,000 a day for water wasters
Venezuela rations power as demand soars on hot weather
Forest fire threatens Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear zone
Vatican and U.N. team up on climate change against skeptics
UN chief praises pope for framing climate change as moral imperative, says encyclical
New York rabbi becomes Catholic knight
Jamal Bryant Doubles Down on Incitement: “Police have been ISIS to us”
Andy Stanley Removes Shame from Homosexual Sin
Powers: Saint Hillary seeks to save Christians from Christianity
Obama’s Lawyer: Religious Institutions May Lose Tax-Exempt Status If Court Rules for Gay Marriage
Why did the Baltimore riots seem like they were perfectly staged to be a television event? Images of police vehicles burning made for great television all over the planet, but why were there abandoned police vehicles sitting right in the middle of the riot zones without any police officers around them in the first place? Why was the decision made ahead of time to set a curfew for Tuesday night and not for Monday night? And why are Baltimore police officers claiming that they were ordered to “stand down” and not intervene as dozens of shops, businesses and homes went up in flames? Yes, the anger over the death of Freddie Gray is very real. Police brutality has been a major problem in Baltimore and much of the rest of the nation for many years. But could it be possible that the anger that the people of Baltimore are feeling is being channeled and manipulated for other purposes? The following are 12 unanswered questions about the Baltimore riots that they don’t want us to ask… (Read More….)
April 29, 2015
“Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion.” —John Adams, Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1812
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
In the oral arguments over the Supreme Court case that may institute same-sex marriage nationwide, the Court appeared to split along its usual lines, with Justice Anthony Kennedy once again becoming the justice on which the whole decision rests. Like many, Hot Air’s Allahpundit saw Justice Kennedy sympathetic to the arguments made by the pro-same-sex-marriage lobby. Allahpundit believes the Court will rule against traditional marriage; the only question now is by what vote. Nevertheless, some justices were cautious. For thousands of years, marriage has been defined as between a man and a woman. Then, the Netherlands changed its definition of marriage in 2001. “You’re not seeking to join the institution,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “You’re seeking to change what the institution is.” He added, “One of the things that’s truly extraordinary about this whole issue is how quickly has been the acceptance of your position across broad elements of society.” The plaintiffs’ attorneys have been practicing for months, running moot courts and rehearsing responses to Justice Antonin Scalia’s style of questioning. The goal, The New York Times reported, is not just win, but “win big.” If SCOTUS rules in their favor, then they already have. More…
The rioting Monday night in Baltimore left 19 buildings and 144 vehicles burned, 20 police officers injured and 235 people arrested. But what we saw by dawn on Wednesday is that Tuesday’s violence was subdued. Two thousand National Guard members and 400 state troopers enforced a 10 p.m. city-wide curfew. Baltimore was hesitant at first to crack down on the initial stages of unrest because many of the unruly were youth, but then the violence evolved. “When we deployed our officers yesterday, we were deploying for a high school event,” Baltimore PD spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalcyzk said. “I don’t think there’s anyone that would expect us to deploy with automatic weapons and armored vehicles for 13-, 14- and 15-year olds.”
Meanwhile, about 50 protesters were demonstrating in Ferguson, Missouri, last night when a man was shot in the lower leg. While it’s not clear if the shooting is connected to the demonstrations, police threatened to use “chemical munitions” to clear the crowd. Later, a group set fire to trashcans and a portable toilet. Even after all this time, violence still lingers in the St. Louis suburb. However, Barack Obama wasn’t about to say the riots are due to a malformed relationship between cops and citizens. No, for him, the problem is Republicans. He said at a press conference yesterday, “I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities … But if we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could.” Leftists believe the answer to everything is more money. More…
In pushing for a free-trade agreement with countries arrayed around the Pacific Ocean, Barack Obama has managed to enter the rare political situation of gaining opponents in both Democrat and Republican parties. Democrats, led by the likes of Elizabeth Warren, bray that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will hurt the middle class. Republicans, well, they have a right to be suspicious, because the administration that “led” the U.S. economy on its slowest recovery to date wants to negotiate a trade deal that will have huge economic implications. Furthermore, Obama is seeking approval for this treaty in a simple yes-no vote, a move that speeds up the negotiation process, but one that also cheapens Congress’ role in negotiating treaties. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Obama called the skeptics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership scared of a little globalization. After all, if the U.S. does nothing, then China will establish its trade agreements and earn influence over that corner of the globe. “What we can’t do, though, is withdraw,” Obama said. “There has been a confluence of anti-global engagement from both elements of the right and elements of the left that I think [is] a big mistake.” There is a reason why the Constitution grants Congress the power to approve treaties, and the argument that we’re running out of time is no excuse to trust the judgment of one man. More…
By John J. Bastiat
Since the very definition of marriage is up for grabs at the U.S. Supreme Court this week — SCOTUS entertained oral arguments Tuesday on a number of cases consolidated under the central issue of the un-constitutionality of states’ ability to deny gay marriage — we thought this an appropriate point to interject reason into the debate, strengthened by an understanding of history — Constitutional history. Let’s start with the basics: The Constitution of the United States has nothing to say about marriage, “gay” or otherwise. What does that mean?
Well, if you know nothing about civics, it means nothing. Unfortunately, that’s the take the religiously zealous supporters of same-sex marriage are trying to foist off on the Supremes this week. Their approach, of course, doesn’t admit to this, or even begin to touch on the truly core issue — Federalism — for the same reason abortionist supporters of Roe v. Wade did not: They would otherwise lose. Let’s walk through this Matrix together, Neo.
The Constitution is the foundational legal document governing our nation. For almost 200 years it served as the backbone behind the body of laws under which the lowliest individual to the U.S. President operated. All of that changed with the Progressive Movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s, FDR’s New Deal and a host of other progressive assaults on the concept of the Rule of Law. Wiser-than-the-rest-of-us progressives rejected this idea in favor of the arrogation that some people (read: them) are better suited to rule than others (read: you), and accordingly pushed to make the Constitution a “living, breathing document” (read: changeable to suit progressives’ needs). The practical upshot of this “breathing” is that Rule of Law is all but a dead letter in our nation. But we digress.
Since the progressives’ constitutional onslaught, the model formerly known as “federalism” has died yet another — virtual, if not actual — death. The Constitution originally gave power to the federal government to make and enforce certain, very particular laws across the land. These so-called “enumerated” powers were so called because they were very limited in scope, though unlimited within the span of that scope. Such laws were applicable to the entirety of the United States and evolved from the previous federal power failures of the former bedrock document, the Articles of Confederation. For example, the power to regulate commerce among the states — a power itself abused over the past century by an overly-ambitious SCOTUS interpretation of the term “interstate commerce” — is specifically granted to Congress under Article I of the Constitution. Likewise, the power to enter treaties — another power very recently abused, since the current office holder ignores the prerequisite Senate consent to such power (“He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties… “) — is specifically granted to the president under Article II.
However, the rest of governmental power is vested within the states. This structural component was codified under the Tenth Amendment, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
In a nutshell, the Tenth Amendment is saying if We-the-People didn’t give you-the-federal-government a particular power in the Constitution, we are keeping that plenary power for individual states to make those calls. The rationale behind this principle, as aptly annunciated in the opinion section of Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, is that the “Founders believed that social mores should be reflected in law through the democratic process, not judicial command.” Indeed.
Unfortunately, over a century of assaults on the Tenth Amendment have withered it to a bare thread of what it once was. Were this not the case, the issue before SCOTUS wouldn’t even be here. It would be among each of the 50 states to decide for themselves. Sadly, that option was foreclosed with SCOTUS’s unreasonable shoot-down of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), whose primary focus was the assertion of individual states’ rights to choose for themselves whether or not to recognize same-sex marriage. Ultimately, that means the decision of whether to recognize same-sex marriages rests not with individual states, but rather with an arbitrary and often-fickle Supreme Court.
The real issue is whether a state’s free people can decide for themselves whether they can choose one such path or another. The more the Tenth Amendment is eviscerated by the Court, the less likely they can. The Founders envisioned the states as political laboratories to experiment with governmental models. Those that worked encouraged people to move and join in the prosperity of successful models; those that didn’t encouraged people to vote with their feet. Let’s hope the Supreme Court learns its lesson from Roe v. Wade and decides the Founders’ model is best. If history is any guide, however, we’re not overly optimistic.
TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
OPINION IN BRIEF
Star Parker: “[I]f leaders in these various institutions of our nation’s left-wing elite look in the rearview mirror to their own family histories, histories of Christians and Jews arriving and settling in America, they most certainly, overwhelmingly, will find families — parents, grandparents, great-grandparents — defined by the very traditional values that their offspring today throw to the trash. Central to the propaganda being sold is the notion that embracing sexual behaviors that our religions prohibit represents progress. But in fact, these behaviors are more ancient than our religions. Our religions were the answer to these destructive behaviors. And no, this is not about freedom. Few do not believe or accept that every American should be free to live as he or she chooses. This is a battle about redefining the values of our nation’s culture and, hence, redefining our nation itself.”
Insight: “The real freedom of any individual can always be measured by the amount of responsibility which he must assume for his own welfare and security.” —Author Robert Welch (1899-1985)
Non Compos Mentis: “I’m under no illusion that under this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities. And so we’ll try to find areas where we can make a difference around school reform, and around job training, and around some investments in infrastructure in these communities trying to attract new businesses in.” —Barack Obama, faulting Republicans for the rioting in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore
“The fact is that al-Qaida was not in Iraq prior to President Bush’s decision to commit significant American resources on the ground in that country. That is a historical fact.” —Obama spokesman Josh Earnest, shooting back at George W. Bush after he criticized his successor’s foreign policy
Dezinformatsia: “You get into Baltimore, you can’t find a job with a short commute. And that’s, to me, the problem that’s behind all of this [rioting]. … [The jobs] went to the right-to-work states … where the unions didn’t have any power. You could get people to work for nothing and the stuff wasn’t that good that was made down there.” —MSNBC’s Chris Matthews
Village Idiots: “[Baltimore] policemen and firemen have the right to work in the city and live in the suburbs. Some live as far away as … Pennsylvania. And so they come in as an occupying force, not as neighbors. So, often people are afraid of them, because they’re not taxpaying neighbors whose children go to school with their children. So there is this gap between police and people. And you really ought to have residential requirements for policemen and firemen. Those who get nectar from the flower should sow pollen where they pick up nectar.” —Jesse Jackson
And last… “Sixth-year president blames fourth-month GOP Congress for blocking agenda which would’ve aided city run by Democrats for decades. #Baltimore” —twitter satirist @hale_razor
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
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Forest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant
Posted: 29 Apr 2015 07:14 AM PDT
The Ukrainian National Guard has been put on high alert due to worsening forest fires around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. “The forest fire situation around the Chernobyl power plant has worsened,” a statement on Avakov’s Facebook page says. “The forest fire is heading in the direction of Chernobyl’s installations. Treetop flames and strong gusts of wind have created a real danger of the fire spreading to an area within 20 kilometers of the power plant. There are about 400 hectares [988 acres] of forests in the endangered area.”Police and National Guard units are on high alert. Ukraine’s Prime Minister personally went to the affected area to oversee the firefighting. He says the situation is under control, “but this is the biggest fire since 1992.”
However, in comments to Russia’s Moscow Speaks radio, a representative of Greenpeace Russia said that the situation is much worse: “A very large, catastrophic forest fire is taking place in a 30-km zone around the Chernobyl power plant. We estimate the real area of the fire to be 10,000 hectares; this is based on satellite images. This hasn’t been officially acknowledged yet.” The potential danger in this fire comes from the radioactive contaminants the burning plants have absorbed, ecologist Christopher Busby told RT. “Some of the materials that were contaminating that area would ahve been incorporated into the woods. In other words, they land on the ground in 1986 and they get absorbed into the trees and all the biosphere. And when it burns, they just become re-suspended. It’s like Chernobyl all over again. All of that material that fell on the ground will now be burned up into the air and will become available for people to breathe.” Christopher Busby is the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks. MORE
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|AT&T will now charge customers for opting out of internet surveillancePosted: 29 Apr 2015 07:07 AM PDT
In response to Google’s rollout of its advanced “Fiber” network, which reportedly delivers internet browsing speeds of up to 1,000 megabits (1,000 Mbps), or 1 gigabit (1 Gb), per second, AT&T has announced the rollout out its “GigaPower” fiber optic service as part of U-verse that offers this same high-speed internet access to customers in select markets. But reports indicate that users of the service will have to opt out of having their internet surfing habits monitored by “Ma Bell” for the purpose of targeted advertising and emails. According to ITProPortal.com, GigaPower subscribers who choose not to allow AT&T to track their browsing habits for customized advertising will have to pay at least $29 more than other customers for access.
The idea behind the tracking program is to see what GigaPower users are searching for and doing online in order to deliver this data up to third parties for marketing purposes (and data will presumably be shared with government agencies). If a GigaPower user searches for cycling equipment, for instance, AT&T may sell this data to marketers who will target the user with customized biking equipment ads. GigaPower service is already quite expensive at $139 per month, which is decreased to $110 for users who agree to AT&T’s so-called “Internet Preferences” package. But if you want to use GigaPower service in anonymity (and even this is questionable under the opt-out program), you’ll have to pay more and be treated like a second-class customer. “[T]he media may be lauding AT&T for putting a $29 monthly price on the value of consumer privacy. But when I look at the practice, I see a company that has little competition, manipulating consumers into choosing to give up their privacy,” wrote Stacey Higginbotham about the service on Gigaom.com. MORE
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|Huge crowd of concerned Texas citizens protest Jade Helm at Bastrop Commissioners CourtPosted: 29 Apr 2015 07:00 AM PDT
A diverse array of Americans was present at the Bastrop County Commissioners Court at 9:00 AM on April 27, 2015. Citizens filled the seats in the courtroom, lined the walls and crowded the hall outside. Most of them were anxious to attend the meeting that would take place two hours later, where Operation Jade Helm 15 would be discussed. By 11:00 AM, the crowd had more than doubled. Veterans, concerned citizens and even the county commissioners were astonished by the huge turnout, especially by how many younger persons showed up, informed through alternative and social media.
The crowd was too large for the courtroom, so a separate viewing room was set up downstairs, where a TV relayed the court proceedings via Skype, which cut out intermittently to the immense frustration of the local citizens, many of whom never heard their questions answered or concerns addressed. County Judge Paul Pape presided over the meeting and said its purpose was to inform and answer questions about Jade Helm, not entertain conspiracy, advocate political viewpoints or try to change constituents’ minds on the matter. Judge Pape began the meeting and introduced two representatives for Operation Jade Helm, which he referred to as “this project.” Director of Public Affairs of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria would be providing most of the information during the meeting, and he was joined by Thomas Meade, the operations planner for Jade Helm. MORE
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|Starving sea lions now fight U.S. fishermen for food as West Coast ecosystem collapsesPosted: 29 Apr 2015 06:54 AM PDT
The West Coast ecosystem is in a state of dire collapse. The Southern California sea lion population is dwindling to new lows as countless hungry and emaciated pups wash ashore. There’s simply not enough food to go around for the mammals. Some believe the acidity of the waters is intensifying, not allowing certain species of fish to survive. The sudden decline in sardine biomass off the West coast is directly impacting larger animals in the food chain like the Southern California sea lions. A record number of these beautiful sea mammals have been rescued since 2013, when an unusual “mortality event” was declared.
As the animals struggle to find food, some appear to be getting vicious and may now attack humans for food. In fact, a fisherman recently had a violent altercation with a sea lion at a San Diego marina. As he was holding a large fish and posing for a picture, a sea lion jumped from the water, hopped on deck and lunged at the man and his prized catch. The sea lion effectively took the fish and pulled the man into the ocean. Authorities said the man was injured. San Diego Fire Rescue spokesman Lee Swanson reported that the violent altercation resulted in the fisherman being carried underwater for 15 breathtaking seconds. When the man was rescued, he was taken to a local hospital and treated for cuts on his arm and hand. Official sources may propose that global warming is causing mass migration of fish away from the West coast, resulting in starving sea lions, but slight fluctuations in water current temperature may be part of larger cycles and shifts that naturally occur in the ocean. MORE
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|Negative interest rates put world on course for biggest mass default in historyPosted: 29 Apr 2015 06:46 AM PDT
Here’s an astonishing statistic; more than 30pc of all government debt in the eurozone – around €2 trillion of securities in total – is trading on a negative interest rate. With the advent of European Central Bank quantitative easing, what began four months ago when 10-year Swiss yields turned negative for the first time has snowballed into a veritable avalanche of negative rates across European government bond markets. In the hunt for apparently “safe assets”, investors have thrown caution to the wind, and collectively determined to pay governments for the privilege of lending to them.
On a country by country basis, the statistics are even more startling. According to investment bank Jefferies, some 70pc of all German bunds now trade on a negative yield. In France, it’s 50pc, and even in Spain, which was widely thought insolvent only a few years ago, it’s 17pc. Not only has this never happened before on such a scale, but it marks a scarcely believable turnaround on the situation at the height of the eurozone crisis just a little while back, when some European bond markets traded on yields that reflected the very real possibility of default. Yet far from being a welcome sign of returning economic confidence, this almost surreal state of affairs actually signals the very reverse. How did we get here, and what does it mean for the future? Whichever way you come at it, the answer to this second question is not good, not good at all. MORE
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|Could religious institutions lose tax-exempt status over Supreme Court’s gay marriage case?Posted: 29 Apr 2015 06:38 AM PDT
The Supreme Court Tuesday considered whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, raising questions about how it would affect religious institutions. During oral arguments, Justice Samuel Alito compared the case to that of Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian university in South Carolina. The Supreme Court ruled in 1983 the school was not entitled to a tax-exempt status if it barred interracial marriage. Here is an exchange between Alito and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., arguing for the same-sex couples on behalf of the Obama administration. Justice Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to taxexempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating.
So would the same apply to a 10 university or a college if it opposed same-sex marriage? General Verrilli: You know, I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is it is going to be an issue. Bob Jones received national attention when then-presidential candidate George W. Bush visited in 2000, prompting the school to drop its ban on interracial dating. The case has been a cause for concern among religious institutions that hold that marriage is between a man and a woman. Justice Antonin Scalia asked attorney Mary L. Bonauto, who is representing gay couples in the case, whether it is it conceivable that a minister could decline to marry two men if indeed the Supreme Court holds that they have a constitutional right to marry. MORE
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|Huckabee: ‘We Are Moving Rapidly Toward the Criminalization of Christianity’Posted: 29 Apr 2015 06:14 AM PDT
The persecution of Christians because of their moral opposition to homosexual behavior and so-called gay marriage is on the rise in America, to the point where “Christian convictions are under attack as never before” and “we are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity,” said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister.
During an Apr. 23 conference call with conservative pastors arranged by the Family Research Council (FRC), Gov. Huckabee and FRC President Tony Perkins talked about persecution of Christians in the U.S. military, in the business world, and how homosexuality as a “civil right” and same-sex marriage are affecting the social and legal climate. “I think it’s fair to say that Christian convictions are under attack as never before, not just in our lifetime, but never before in the history of this great republic,” said Huckabee, who was governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. MORE
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|Earthquake experts got it right about Nepal. What about Japan, California and Mexico?Posted: 28 Apr 2015 09:31 PM PDT
Writing about seismic risk is frustrating: The experts know that big earthquakes are going to happen, but not exactly when and where. The ensuing articles are laced with hypotheticals. There is an airy, foamy quality to these stories; as a writer, you long for solid facts and certainties, and wonder whether any of this stuff makes a difference on the ground, in lives of actual human beings who are at risk. For example, here’s a story I wrote five years ago: The next Big One could strike Tokyo, Istanbul, Tehran, Mexico City, New Delhi, Kathmandu or the two metropolises near California’s San Andreas Fault, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Or it could devastate Dhaka, Jakarta, Karachi, Manila, Cairo, Osaka, Lima or Bogota. The list goes on and on …
For years, earthquake scientists have shouted their warnings about the strong likelihood that a major quake would level an impoverished city and kill hundreds of thousands of people. They have said, for example, that Kathmandu, where masonry structures expand so haphazardly that some eventually cantilever over narrow city streets, is every bit as vulnerable as the surrounding Himalayas are majestic.For years, scientists have talked to me about the very high likelihood of a Kathmandu earthquake. It happened Saturday. The experts called it. But being right hasn’t made them any less horrified and saddened by this disaster. In fact, they sounded dismayed, as if overcome with a sense of powerlessness. Tectonic forces are massive and implacable, and human societies are often poor and fragile. MORE
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|U.S. Sends Destroyer After Iran Detains ShipPosted: 28 Apr 2015 09:22 PM PDT
The United States Navy sent a destroyer toward the Persian Gulf on Tuesday after Iran took control of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship it accused of trespassing in territorial waters, American military officials said. The ship, the Maersk Tigris, with 24 crew members, was intercepted by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps patrol boats on Tuesday morning while traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, a Pentagon official said. The Iranian forces fired shots across the ship’s bow, the official said, after its captain declined an order by the forces to divert farther into Iranian waters.
The official said the ship was traveling through “an internationally recognized maritime route.” After being fired on, it issued a distress call, prompting the United States Navy to direct a destroyer, the Farragut, to the area and to put aircraft on standby to monitor the situation. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, in Tehran in 2011.Yemen Crisis Looms as Kerry Meets With Iranian Counterpart on Nuclear DealAPRIL 27, 2015. The episode threatened fragile negotiations over reining in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but American officials were quick to play down its significance, correcting initial reports out of Iran that it had seized a United States ship. The Marshall Islands, in the Pacific, have been independent of the United States since 1986 but have a “free association” relationship with the country. MORE
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|This map shows where the strongest earthquakes are expected to strikePosted: 28 Apr 2015 09:05 PM PDT
In the past 24 hours, there have been 25 earthquakes around the world. Many of them are of low magnitude, but at least nine were a magnitude of 4.5 or stronger. Earthquakes can potentially occur anywhere (the small earthquake that shook the US East Coast in 2011, an area considered not at risk, is proof of that); however, the likelihood that an area be hit by an earthquake and its strength vary. The map above, based on data from the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program (GSHAP), highlights the areas where there is an increased risk of seismic activity. The GSHAP ran from 1992 to 1999 (as part of the United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction), and the data shown in the map have not been updated since.
While still accurate overall, the data have a few issues. USGS’s National Regional Coordinator Mark Petersen told Quartz that, for instance, the seismic hazard in Haiti, which was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2010, is underestimated in the map. However, Petersen confirmed this is the most accurate global hazard representation available and, while there is detailed information available regionally, updates to the global representation will be made in the next several years.
On the map, Central and South Asia emerge as the areas of the world where earthquakes are more likely to strike, and with greater intensity. A closer look at the map shows Nepal, as well as parts of northern India, as one of the areas with a higher risk of strong earthquakes, which routinely hit the area. The strongest earthquake recorded in Nepal in the past century had an intensity of 8.2, and killed 10,000 people. In the past 15 years, the area has been hit by several strong earthquakes, including in 2001 in Gujarat, India, when 20,000 died, and in 2005 in Pakistan and Kashmir, where 130,000 died. FULL REPORT
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Things Getting Weird As Pope Francis Joins The UN To Declare Jihad On Climate Change Skeptics
The Vatican and the United Nations teamed up to warn the world of the effects of climate change on Tuesday, coming down firmly against skeptics who deny human activities help change global weather patterns.
“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:5 (KJV)
From a spiritual and prophetic perspective, things are starting to get weird with Pope Francis. Very weird. Revelation 17 and 18 says that, in the last days, the Catholic Church once again becomes a world political power, just like the Rome of old. This is why we see the pope, who is a religious figure, suddenly getting very involved with movements and causes as a political figure. Francis has no problem using his global influence over 1.2 billion Catholics to get them to believe that man-made climate change is not only a real thing, but that if they don’t support it they are somehow out of the will of God. In essence, Pope Francis is declaring a jihad against any and all people who would dare say that man-made climate change is false, and using religion to do it. Francis is starting to understand who he is now, and the role he was born to play. The False Prophet.
Here is the permanent “climate change” that God is planning on performing:
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 peter 3:10 (KJV)
Talk about your global warming. Ahh…if only Pope Francis believed the Bible.
Vatican City – U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon discussed climate change with the pope before opening a one-day conference of scientists and religious leaders called “The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development“. The pope, who is due to make a major address on sustainable development at the United Nations in September, has said he believes man is primarily responsible for climate change and is writing an encyclical on the environment.
Ban, opening the conference of some 60 scientists, religious leaders and diplomats hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, urged industrialized countries to invest in clean energy and reduce their carbon footprints.
“Mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects are necessary to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequality and secure equitable, sustainable economic development,” he said.
The gathering’s joint declaration said “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive control is a moral imperative for all of humanity”. Ban said he and the pope discussed Francis’ keenly awaited encyclical, which is expected to address the issue of man’s responsibility for climate change.
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1) Supreme Court oral arguments on gay marriage reveals more than marriage at stake
Gay Marriage Arguments Divide Supreme Court Justices, New York Times (Adam Liptak)
Supreme Court hears arguments in same-sex marriage case: Highlights from oral arguments, Washington Post (Fred Barbash, Mark Berman, and Sandhya Somashekhar)
Supreme Court Transcript, New York Times (Supreme Court)
The Case Against Gay Marriage: Top Law Firms Won’t Touch It, New York Times (Adam Liptak)
In other news…
Are You Attending the Church of Laodicea?
I can just hear the evil one whispering to church leadership “If you would just make it more fun, more worldly, you would attract more people. They won’t even feel like they’re in church!”
And so goes the slippery slope in the Seeker Sensitive churches. The Word of God becomes obscure — almost obsolete. Surely people know how to pack their church pews, right? They make sure that the name of Jesus is mentioned, at least a few times. But the main thing is that everyone has a good time. After all, we want them to come back!
Global Warming to replace Gospel at church
The New Green Religion of Global Warming/Climate Change is coming out of the closet to begin preaching from the pulpit.
In the lib-left world timing is everything. Now that Christianity is being persecuted worldwide with the many slings and arrows sent its way flashing out in neon, it’s time for ‘sustainability’ to squeeze out Salvation at Sunday church services.
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is spending $84,000 to study how churches can be used to combat climate change.
A.D. The Bible Continues: “The Spirit Arrives” Review
Author(s): Ken Ham
The A.D. The Bible Continues mini-series continues on American television and, unfortunately, it continues downward. We previously mentioned how there’s been a complete neglect of the gospel so far, and last week’s episode just made it worse. Episode three, “The Spirit Arrives,” built on Christ’s ascension and His command for the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit as the series moved into Acts 2 and the arrival of the Spirit at Pentecost. What should have been the perfect opportunity for a powerful presentation of the gospel ended up being a completely missed opportunity….
Christians are leaving the faith in droves and the trend isn’t slowing down
by Marsha West
According to the Business Insider:
An extensive study done by the Pew Research Center has yielded some fascinating information regarding the trajectory of world religions over the next four decades.
As of 2010, Christianity was the dominant world religion with roughly 2.2 billion adherents and Muslims were second with about 1.6 billion adherents. If current demographic trends continue however, Islam is expected to catch up to Christianity midway through the 21st century.
U.S. Supreme Court Expresses Hesitancy as Justices Hear Arguments Over Same-Sex “Marriage”
by Marsha West
According to Christian Research Network:
The U.S. Supreme Court was divided on Tuesday as it heard oral argument over states’ rights surrounding the definition of marriage, with some justices expressing a hesitancy to change the definition for one particular type of relationship.
As previously reported, the court was set to hear argument in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, as well as several other cases that were on appeal after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that states had a right to decline to recognize arrangements outside of the male-female marital union.
Civil Unrest Has Begun In Baltimore And This Is Only Just The Start Of Something Much Bigger
On Saturday night, the city of Baltimore resembled a warzone as protests over the death of Freddie Gray turned wildly violent. One eyewitness reported watching the streets around him and his friend “turn into madness” as they left a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles …………. Click here for full story
Why Is JP Morgan Accumulating The Biggest Stockpile Of Physical Silver In History?
Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than 55 million ounces of physical silver? Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 million ounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver. So why is JP Morgan doing this? Do they know something that the rest of us do not?……….. Click here for full story
Obama Mocks Bachman Over End Time Beliefs
The “mock Michele Bachmann for her religious beliefs” train ride seems to be gaining passengers among those on the left. And now even the president of the United States has jumped aboard, making Bachmann the butt of his jokes during Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner ……….. Click here for full story
‘We Will Not Obey’: Christian Leaders Threaten Civil Disobedience If Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage
“We will not obey.” That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage ……….. Click here for full story
Smart Policing To Come Dubai With Robo-Cops
In the next two years robots will be used to bolster police forces patrolling malls and other public areas. Dubai Police will be turning into “robo-cops” in the next few years. According to the Chief Information Officer and General Director of the Dubai Police HQ Smart Services Department ………. Click here for full story
Christian Headlines Daily – Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Nepal Earthquake: Man Explains How He Survived in Rubble for 82 Hours
Nepal’s Long-Delayed Transition to Democracy Worries its Christians
Islamic State’s Sophisticated Recruiting Campaign Poses Persistent Threat in U.S.
Franklin Graham Helps Christian Bakery through Samaritan’s Purse Donations
Baltimore Riots Leave 15 Officers Injured as Church Leaders March for Peace
Nigerian Troops Rescue 200 Girls, 93 Women, Says Military
Video Mocking IS Causes Riots in Egypt
Nepal Prime Minister: Earthquake Death Toll Could Reach 10,000
Supreme Court Hears Gay Marriage Arguments
Two Shot and Four Wounded in Shooting outside Brooklyn Church
In Defense of Marriage, the Rule of Law, and Ordered Liberty
Why Religious Conservatives Want the Supreme Court to Consider Other Nations in Its Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court: A Critical Fact
Catholic College Refuses Government Funding in Favor of Religious Liberty
Genocides and Holocausts: Never Again
Will Obama Pick Another Fight with Israel? :: Rosen in Washington Times
by Steven J. Rosen
The Washington Times
April 27, 2015
EPA Spends $84,000 to Study Churches That Preach Climate Change
by Marsha West
ChurchAccording to Elizabeth Harrington, staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon, the EPA is “developing workshops to teach pastors and other religious leaders how to change the behaviors of their congregants” to help combat so-called global warming. The fact cannot be ignored that many men and women in the scientific community believe that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever imposed on modern man.”
Legal Group Seeks Recusal of Justices as Supreme Court Considers Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Case
by Marsha West
The Christian News Network reports:
Supreme Court Justices
A Christian legal organization in Alabama has filed a motion urging the recusal of two U.S. Supreme Court justices who have officiated same-sex “weddings” as the high court hears oral argument today surrounding states’ rights regarding the definition of marriage.
As previously reported, liberal Justice Elena Kagan, nominated to the bench by Barack Obama, officiated her first same-sex “wedding” last September, participating in a ceremony for her former law clerk Mitchell Reich and his partner Patrick Pearsall. The event was held in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb just outside of the nation’s capital.
“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime
9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.
The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?
There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Our Time is Short
Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)
Ready to start your new life with God?
Who do you think that I am?
With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.
Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more
Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!
30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.
New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
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