"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information infotainment tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and partisan activist opinion/commentary reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell
“I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
Beecher was a minister, temperance promoter, abolitionist, social justice warrior, and the brother of famous novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe. He lived from 1813 to 1887. In his ministry, he developed a new oratorical style, in which he used humor, dialect, and slang, very rare for the time. Over his career, he developed a theology emphasizing God’s love above all else. He also grew interested in social reform.
You just know this won’t end well. Any man or women who does all of the three, it’s almost a death knell for his faith. The three again:
1. New approaches to preaching (or learning if you’re a layman)
2. Emphasizing God’s love only
3. Emphasis on social reform
Think of what is going on today with a sudden heavy emphasis on social justice and…
1 Samuel 14:1–52; James 3:1–12; Psalm 119:97–120Faith is often cast as a type of intellectual pursuit: It’s something our minds rise up to, conform to, or simply agree with. But in the Bible, faith is often portrayed as rather mystical: Jonathan somehow knew that God would act on his behalf if his enemies behaved in a certain way (1 Sam 14:1–15). We don’t know how Jonathan had this foreknowledge—prayer seems to be the only explanation for it—but we recognize that Jonathan had tremendous faith. Who else would take on a garrison of 20 men, armed with only one armor bearer and a hunch? Clearly God was at work.We see God’s work progress as the Philistines inadvertently turned on one another, and previous enemies of Israel joined in the charge against the Philistines (1 Sam 14:16–23). Jonathan’s simple act of faith served as the catalyst for victory. If he had analyzed his inclination and pursued faith without mystery, the Israelites likely would have failed in their campaign against the Philistines.Yet the real testimony of faith in this account belongs to the armor bearer. After hearing Jonathan’s plan, the armor bearer said, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul” (1 Sam 14:7). While the armor bearer was obligated to follow the king’s son on pain of death, when faced with what appeared to be inevitable death, he could have played his odds by saying no. This scene tells us more about Jonathan: He was known for his faith in God—so much so that his armor bearer took him at his word.I often wonder what makes a man heroic and others forever loyal to him. In Jonathan, we find the answer: a history of God working through your life and a dedication to follow the mystery of God’s work among us, no matter what stands against us.Is your faith primarily intellectual, or is it grounded in the mystery of God? How can you bring more of God’s mystical work into your life?John D. Barry
“You … are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).✧✧✧Christians share common spiritual characteristics with Old Testament priests.Peter identified believers as holy priests, but many Christians don’t really know what that means because priests aren’t part of our culture as a whole.The primary purpose of an Old Testament priest was to offer acceptable sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. Priests were chosen by God Himself, specially cleansed through prescribed ceremonies, clothed in a prescribed manner, and anointed with oil as symbolic of God’s Spirit upon them. They were expected to obey God, love His Word, and walk with Him.Faithful priests had a positive impact on believers and unbelievers alike. Malachi 2:6 says they “turned many back from iniquity.” Verse 7 adds that “the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.”Those qualifications are paralleled in Christians, whom God regards as the only true priests. You were chosen by Him from before the foundation of the world and were cleansed by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. You are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Your purpose is “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).Scripture tells you therefore to present your body as “a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1). Obedience, love for the Word, and communion with God should characterize your life; saints and sinners alike should see Christ in you and be affected by what they see.The priesthood of believers is a high and holy calling to which no one is suited apart from God’s grace and power. But be assured that He who called you will accomplish His good pleasure in you. Be committed to that goal each day as you lean on His resources and trust in His sufficiency.✧✧✧Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God for the priesthood He has entrusted to you. Ask Him to use you today to influence others in godly ways.For Further Study: Read Leviticus 8 and 9, which tell of the consecration and inauguration of the Aaronic priesthood.
DNC chairman Tom Perez said Democratic Socialists of America member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “represents the future of our party.” DSA chapter chairs have agreed that “communism is good.” One DSA caucus calls its members “revolutionary Marxists.” (Natural News) (Article by Peter Hasson and Joe Simonson republished from DailyCaller.com) A far-left group behind rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is…Source: Marxists and extreme radicals seek to take over the Democratic Party
So, how many people asked you to tell them about Jesus this week simply because you behaved nicely? Uh-huh. Evangelism by example doesn’t work that well for me, either. Perhaps reading Is Being Nice Enough? by Leslie A of Growing 4 Life will help you rethink that approach to evangelism.
If you read Elizabeth Prata’s blog, The End Time, you’ll know that her mission is Speaking up for prophetic scriptures. I think you’ll benefit from reading why she recommends reading prophetic passages in the Bible just as eagerly as you read other passages.
Belfast, Ireland – Day after day, we receive news of the Downgrade in the world’s Christian denominations when it comes to the issue of sodomy (unnatural affections). The Presbyterian Church USA, American Baptists, United Church of Christ, United Methodists, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Southern Baptist Convention’s ERLC and the Presbyterian Church of America (in the Revoice Conference controversy) and many more denominations have compromised on what – in their opinion – constitutes sin. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI), however, adopted a policy in June that reiterated homosexuals may not join the church and their children may not be baptized. The PCI also cut ties with the Church of Scotland because of their lax views on human sexuality and the nature of sin. During that June meeting of the general assembly of the PCI in Belfast, a debate was held on the topic of homosexuality for approximately an hour, with 20 individuals speaking on both sides of the issue. Ultimately, the PCI chose the Biblical and conservative path forward. The 220 thousand-member denomination decided rightly on the issue, a rare occurrence in Western Christianity today. The decision has not been without complaints, however, with hundreds of ministers writing a letter of opposition this week, which was published by the BBC and other European news outlets.
Entitled, “A Cry From the Heart,” these 200 or so clergy members wrote to express their “profound sense of hurt, dismay and anger currently being expressed in the wake of decisions taken at our 2018 General Assembly.” Signers include several large church pastors, a former moderator and clerk of the general assembly, and the denomination’s first female bishop.
As teaching and ruling elders in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, we acknowledge, and indeed share, the profound sense of hurt, dismay and anger currently being expressed in the wake of decisions taken at our 2018 General Assembly. This level of feeling is unprecedented in our pastoral experience.
We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that the decisions which have prompted such a level of concern will be subject to the urgent attention they deserve, and for which many in the Church are calling.
We gladly acknowledge that we ourselves have been constantly enriched and challenged by the diversity of views found in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Therefore, as we participate in this work of critical engagement and discernment, we hold that any unnecessary narrowing of the range of acceptable theological perspectives within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will damage our credibility and limit our future.
We make this statement: as a prayerful expression of appropriate loyalty to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland at this moment in our history; as a necessary consequence of our ordination vows, which we take with the utmost seriousness; and by the grace of God, as an imperfect yet credible witness to our trust in Jesus Christ alone.
To God alone be the glory [emphasis ours]
The letter says, in no uncertain terms, that to narrow the range of “acceptable theological perspectives” (IE, whether or not homosexuality is acceptable) will damage their credibility. Oddly enough, the ministers claim that not limiting the range of perspectives on the issue is a part of their discernment.
In a Church with over 6,400 ministers and elders, we recognise that many will hold different views and some will choose to express them publicly in this and other ways. In a recent pastoral letter to ministers following this year’s General Assembly, the Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Charles McMullen said that ‘…the mind of our General Assembly was very clearly expressed at the end of debates which, I believe, were conducted fairly and sensitively. Sadly, however, considerable hurt has been caused among various members of our denomination…’
As the Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Trevor Gribben, said in his accompanying letter – and repeated in a recent BBC interview – people are free to debate in public, but it is the nature of the discourse that is important. Therefore it is worth positively noting that the 200-plus ministers and elders who were signatories, state that they were making their statement ‘as a prayerful expression of appropriate loyalty to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’. Discussions will also, no doubt, take place within the structures of the church, in presbyteries and kirk sessions. Indeed in his letter the Clerk also gave guidance as to how any decision of the General Assembly could be changed.
The PCI’s response was woefully weak in exercising moral authority, but kindly reminded the ministers that they had not been overlooked, and no one was being censored or silenced, a claim that was made by some opposing the measure.
Democrat Socialist darling Ocasio-Cortez sent shock waves through the Democrat Party when she defeated the fourth most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives, Rep. Joe Crowley, in the New York primary in June.
The Democrat Socialists of America support no borders, no profit, no prisons and no cash bail.
But now Ocasio Cortez is coming under fire for fudging her bio page on her campaign website.
Ocasio-Cartez claimed she commuted to school everyday 40 minutes from her home in the Bronx.
“She ended up attending public school 40 minutes north in Yorktown, and much of her life was defined by the 40 minute commute between school and her family in the Bronx.”
But after she got caught the Socialist Democrat changed her bio to reflect that she was not commuting 40 minutes a day which was a complete lie.
She ended up attending public school in Yorktown—40 minutes north of her birthplace. As a result, much of her early life was spent in transit between her tight-knit extended family in the Bronx and her daily student life. It was clear to her, even then, that the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny.
The Democratic Socialist candidate seeking to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District is facing backlash over her working class “Bronx girl” campaign narrative.
As the Journal News reported, the original online bio for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — the 28-year-old Bernie Sanders protégé who defeated longtime Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley on June 26 — seemed to suggest that she commuted to a school in the suburbs from her family’s home in the Bronx borough of New York City.
But after critics noted that she and her family left the Bronx when she was 5 years old, the bio was changed to imply that the Bronx was home to her “extended family,” the newspaper reported.
Still, no mention was made that her family moved to Yorktown, north of the Bronx, where records indicate Ocasio-Cortez lived with her mother and brother until their home was sold in 2016 for $355,500, according to the report.
Ocasio-Cortez fired back at her critics.
“Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things,” she tweeted.
The candidate has built her campaign on a laundry list of socialist ideas such as universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
RT’s Boom Bust show is looking into problems with infrastructure upgrades in the United States. The show is going to investigate America’s infrastructure from roads and rails to gas pipelines and the electrical grid. Read Full Article at RT.com
Ignorant of history, the gun-grabbing Left never lets us down whenever there is some tragedy involving a gun. Google “repeal the Second Amendment” and you get almost 2.5 million hits. If anything, this illustrates the stupidity and ignorance of those espousing those ideas.
While still British subjects, colonial Americans recognized the “right to bear arms” as a natural right. These are rights granted by God or nature that cannot be restricted by any government or official. The concept did not begin with the Bill of Rights, but was enforced in the psyche of 18th century colonists and rooted in English history from whence they came. During the Middle Ages and through the 17th century, every Englishman was not only allowed to own a firearm, but they were expected to own one. The individual right to own a gun had been settled in 1689. Further, it was understood that this referred to an individual, not a collective right as some argue. The British Declaration Bill of Rights in 1689 listed among other grievances, the British throne’s violating the individual right to own firearms. From contemporaneous notes from Parliament, the debate centered on the 1662 Militia Act which focused on the confiscation of private arms.
Hence, the 1689 Declaration did not create a new individual right. It recognized a previously established natural right and it specifically addressed the individual right to bear arms. Parliament, in fact, specifically considered and rejected any language about a “common defense,” or collective right. The great British legal authority, Blackstone, described the right as absolute and belonging to the individual. It had both a collective purpose (common defense) and an individual purpose (self defense), but the collective purpose could not be realized absent the individual purpose.
It is no surprise that the first battles of the American Revolution occurred because the British attempted to confiscate the firearms of the colonists at Lexington and Concord. The Declaration of Independence states there are inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This necessitates the right to own guns to secure both life and liberty. And before the Second Amendment, English common law adopted in the colonies dictated private ownership of firearms.
It isn’t hard to find Baptists and other Protestants who believe Mormons are not Christians. But about half of all Americans and nearly every Mormon believe they are, the Pew Research Center has found. So who is right? Well, what…
When one observes President Obama’s unwillingness to accommodate America’s four-century long religious conscience protection through his attempts to require Catholics to go against their own doctrines and beliefs, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Catholic. But that characterization would not be correct. Although he has recently singled out Catholics, he has equally targeted traditional Protestant beliefs over the past four years. So since he has attacked Catholics and Protestants, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Christian. But that, too, would be inaccurate. He has been equally disrespectful in his appalling treatment of religious Jews in general and Israel in particular. So perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews, and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as anti-Biblical. And then when his hostility toward Biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-Biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-Biblical actions.
Listed below in chronological order are (1) numerous records of his attacks on Biblical persons or organizations; (2) examples of the hostility toward Biblical faith that have become evident in the past three years in the Obama-led military; (3) a listing of his open attacks on Biblical values; and finally (4) a listing of numerous incidents of his preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions, including letting his Islamic advisors guide and influence his hostility toward people of Biblical faith.
1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:
December 2009-Present – The annual White House Christmas cards, rather than focusing on Christmas or faith, instead highlight things such as the family dogs. And the White House Christmas tree ornaments include figures such as Mao Tse-Tung and a drag queen. 
May 2016 – President Obama appoints a transgender to the Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships — an act of overt disdain and hostility toward traditional faith religions. 
September 2015 – For White House and State Department dinners, the president deliberately invites guests that he knows will be offensive to the Pope and who openly opposed his message, but he and the State Department very carefully avoid inviting guests that oppose or would offended the dictators of countries such as Cuba and China. 
June 2013 – The Obama Department of Justice defunds a Young Marines chapter in Louisiana because their oath mentioned God, and another youth program because it permits a voluntary student-led prayer. 
February 2013 – The Obama Administration announces that the rights of religious conscience for individuals will not be protected under the Affordable Care Act. 
January 2013 – Pastor Louie Giglio is pressured to remove himself from praying at the inauguration after it is discovered he once preached a sermon supporting the Biblical definition of marriage.
February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. 
January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. 
December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. 
November 2011 – President Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial.
November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. 
August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. 
April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. 
February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. 
January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. 
November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. 
October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. 
May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. 
April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. 
April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. 
February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011. 
April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” 
2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:
October 2016 – Obama threatens to veto a defense bill over religious protections contained in it.
June 2016 – A military prayer breakfast whose speaker was highly decorated Delta Force Lt. General Jerry Boykin (ret) was cancelled because Boykin was a traditional value Christian who has voiced his support for natural marriage and his opposition to Islamic extremism. (The atheist critic behind the cancellation had complained that Boykin as a “homophobic, Islamophobic, fundamentalist Christian extremist.”)
April 2016 – At the orders of a commander, a 33-year Air Force veteran was forcibly and physically removed by four other airmen because he attempted to use the word “God” in a retirement speech.
February 2016 – After a complaint was received, a Bible was removed from a display inside a Veterans Clinic.
March 2015 – A decorated Navy chaplain was prohibited from fulfilling his duty of comforting the family (or any member of the unit) after the loss of a sailor because it was feared that he would say something about faith and God. He was even banned from the base on the day of the sailor’s memorial service. 
March 2015 – A highly decorated Navy SEAL chaplain was relieved of duty for providing counseling that contained religious views on things such as faith, marriage, and sexuality. 
June 2014 – Official U. S. government personnel, both civilian and military, in Bahrain (a small Arabic nation near Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran) must wear clothing that facilitates the religious observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. 
March 2014 – Maxell Air Force Base suddenly bans Gideons from handing out Bibles to willing recruits, a practice that had been occurring for years previously. 
December 2013 – A naval facility required that two nativity scenes — scenes depicting the event that caused Christmas to be declared a national federal holiday — be removed from the base dining hall and be confined to the base chapel, thus disallowing the open public acknowledgment of this national federal holiday. 
December 2013 – An Air Force base that allowed various public displays ordered the removal of one simply because it contained religious content. 
October 2013 – A counter-intelligence briefing at Fort Hood tells soldiers that evangelical Christians are a threat to Americans and that for a soldier to donate to such a group “was punishable under military regulations.” 
October 2013 – Catholic priests hired to serve as military chaplains are prohibited from performing Mass services at base chapels during the government financial shutdown. When they offered to freely do Mass for soldiers, without regard to whether or not the chaplains were receiving pay, they are still denied permission to do so. 
October 2013 – The Air Force Academy, in response to a complaint from Mikey Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation, makes “so help me God” optional in cadets’ honor oath. 
August 2013 – A Department of Defense military training manual teaches soldiers that people who talk about “individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place” are “extremists.” It also lists the Founding Fathers — those “colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule” — as examples of those involved in “extremist ideologies and movements.” 
August 2013 – A Senior Master Sergeant was removed from his position and reassigned because he told his openly lesbian squadron commander that she should not punish a staff sergeant who expressed his views in favor of traditional marriage. 
August 2013 – The military does not provide heterosexual couples specific paid leave to travel to a state just for the purpose of being married, but it did extend these benefits to homosexual couples who want to marry, thus giving them preferential treatment not available to heterosexuals. 
August 2013 – The Air Force, in the midst of having launched a series of attacks against those expressing traditional religious or moral views, invited a drag queen group to perform at a base. 
July 2013 – When an Air Force sergeant with years of military service questioned a same-sex marriage ceremony performed at the Air Force Academy’s chapel, he received a letter of reprimand telling him that if he disagreed, he needed to get out of the military. His current six-year reenlistment was then reduced to only one-year, with the notification that he “be prepared to retire at the end of this year.” 
July 2013 – An Air Force chaplain who posted a website article on the importance of faith and the origin of the phrase “There are no atheists in foxholes” was officially ordered to remove his post because some were offended by the use of that famous World War II phrase.
June 2013 – The U. S. Air Force, in consultation with the Pentagon, removed an inspirational painting that for years has been hanging at Mountain Home Air Force Base because its title was “Blessed Are The Peacemakers” — a phrase from Matthew 5:9 in the Bible. 
June 2013 – The Obama administration “strongly objects” to a Defense Authorization amendment to protect the constitutionally-guaranteed religious rights of soldiers and chaplains, claiming that it would have an “adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.” 
June 2013 – At a joint base in New Jersey, a video was made, based on a Super Bowl commercial, to honor First Sergeants. It stated: “On the eighth day, God looked down on His creation and said, ‘I need someone who will take care of the Airmen.’ So God created a First Sergeant.” Because the video mentioned the word “God,” the Air Force required that it be taken down. 
June 2013 – An Army Master Sergeant is reprimanded, threatened with judicial action, and given a bad efficiency report, being told he was “no longer a team player,” because he voiced his support of traditional marriage at his own promotion party. 
May 2013 – The Pentagon announces that “Air Force members are free to express their personal religious beliefs as long as it does not make others uncomfortable. “Proselytizing (inducing someone to convert to one’s faith) goes over that line,” affirming if a sharing of faith makes someone feel uncomfortable that it could be a court-marital offense — the military equivalent of a civil felony.
May 2013 – An Air Force officer was actually made to remove a personal Bible from his own desk because it “might” appear that he was condoning the particular religion to which he belonged. 
April 2013 – Officials briefing U.S. Army soldiers placed “Evangelical Christianity” and “Catholicism” in a list that also included Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas as examples of “religious extremism.” 
April 2013 – The U.S. Army directs troops to scratch off and paint over tiny Scripture verse references that for decades had been forged into weapon scopes. 
April 2013 – The Air Force creates a “religious tolerance” policy but consults only a militant atheist group to do so — a group whose leader has described military personnel who are religious as ‘spiritual rapists’ and ‘human monsters’ and who also says that soldiers who proselytize are guilty of treason and sedition and should be punished to hold back a “tidal wave of fundamentalists.” 
January 2013 – President Obama announced his opposition to a provision in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act protecting the rights of conscience for military chaplains. 
June 2012 – Bibles for the American military have been printed in every conflict since the American Revolution, but the Obama Administration revokes the long-standing U. S. policy of allowing military service emblems to be placed on those military Bibles. 
May 2012 – The Obama administration opposed legislation to protect the rights of conscience for military chaplains who do not wish to perform same-sex marriages in violation of their strongly-held religious beliefs. 
April 2012 – A checklist for Air Force Inns will no longer include ensuring that a Bible is available in rooms for those who want to use them. 
February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. 
February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). 
February 2012 – The Army ordered Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. 
November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. 
November 2011 – President Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial.
November 2011 – Even while restricting and disapprobating Christian religious expressions, the Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans at the Air Force Academy. 
September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. 
September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” 
August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except now, America). 
June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery. 
January 2010 – Because of “concerns” raised by the Department of Defense, tiny Bible verse references that had appeared for decades on scopes and gunsights were removed. 
3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:
October 2015 – The administration attempts to pick opponents for court cases dealing with Obamacare contraception mandate. 
March 2014 – The Obama administration seeks funding for every type of sex-education — except that which reflects traditional moral values. 
August 2013 – Non-profit charitable hospitals, especially faith-based ones, will face large fines or lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t comply with new strangling paperwork requirements related to giving free treatment to poor clients who do not have Obamacare insurance coverage. Ironically, the first hospital in America was founded as a charitable institution in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin, and its logo was the Good Samaritan, with Luke 10:35 inscribed below him: “Take care of him, and I will repay thee,” being designed specifically to offer free medical care to the poor. Benjamin Franklin’s hospital would likely be fined unless he placed more resources and funds into paperwork rather than helping the poor under the new faith-hostile policy of the Obama administration.
August 2013 – USAID, a federal government agency, shut down a conference in South Korea the night before it was scheduled to take place because some of the presentations were not pro-abortion but instead presented information on abortion complications, including the problems of “preterm births, mental health issues, and maternal mortality” among women giving birth who had previous abortions. 
June 2013 – The Obama Administration finalizes requirements that under the Obamacare insurance program, employers must make available abortion-causing drugs, regardless of the religious conscience objections of many employers and even despite the directive of several federal courts to protect the religious conscience of employers. 
April 2013 – The United States Agency for Internal Development (USAID), an official foreign policy agency of the U.S. government, begins a program to train homosexual activists in various countries around the world to overturn traditional marriage and anti-sodomy laws, targeting first those countries with strong Catholic influences, including Ecuador, Honduras, and Guatemala. 
December 2012 – Despite having campaigned to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Obama once again suspends the provisions of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which requires the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the American Embassy there. 
July 2012 – The Pentagon, for the first time, allows service members to wear their uniforms while marching in a parade – specifically, a gay pride parade in San Diego. 
October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. 
September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 
July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. 
March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. 
February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 
September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. 
August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. 
July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion. 
September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” 
July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 
May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions. He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. 
May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. 
March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. 
March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. 
March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. 
January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. 
January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. 
4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:
April – September 2015 – The administration negotiates a deal to stop economic sanctions of Iran because of nuclear power development, despite the warnings and concern of Israel. 
February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do. 
October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. 
August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. 
August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. 
April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. 
April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. 
May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. 
2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. 
Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.
 Elisabeth Bumiller, “Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy,” New York Times, July 22, 2011; George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934), Vol. XI, pp. 83-84, from General Orders at Valley Forge on March 14, 1778.
 “WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation,” Fox Nation, April 25, 2011; “President Obama ignores most holy Christian holiday; AFA calls act intentional,” American Family Association (accessed on February 29, 2012).
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.Matthew 4:19–20 We live in a land noted and favored for its freedom; a country where Protestant Christianity is popular and well accepted.I noted this to speak of one of the great spiritual dangers inherent in Protestantism, the fact that there is no discipline involved. Anyone in our churches is pretty much free to do anything he wants to do. If he does not like one church, he has only to cross the street and go to another. If he does not like the preacher, he can leave and soon be attending a church where he is quite pleased with the preacher and with the music and with the atmosphere.You see, he is demanding Christianity without discipline. He is refusing to acknowledge that the Christian faith makes its own demands of obedience to God and humility of spirit.When his personal desires take the upper hand, the voice of the Spirit of God is stifled and silenced. There can be only one result—the human soul will become starved and deformed! Lord, forgive me for putting my personal desires above Your Spirit’s rule in my life. Sometimes this happens so subtly, but it always ends in frustration. Speak to me, Lord. I’m listening with a renewed attentiveness.
Tough and honest Representative Jim Jordan from Ohio is a potential candidate for Speaker of the House and is a tenacious member of the House Freedom Caucus. Jordan again shows that if you are an outstanding voice of the American people and you love this country and want to make it great again, then you are a target of the Democrat Party, Fake News MSM and the Democrats top legal firm, Perkins Coie.
Representative Jordan is under attack because he is on to the many crimes committed by Rod Rosenstein and others in the corrupt FBI and DOJ cabal. He destroyed Rosenstein last week in an interview at the Capital.
Jordan is a former two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion in college. If you ever met an NCAA All-American wrestler you know that they are some of the toughest individuals you will ever encounter in your lifetime. This explains Jordan’s demeanor on the House floor.
Because he is so good and a candidate to take over the Speaker of the House from the current retiring and ineffective anti-Trump Speaker Paul Ryan, Jordan is now under attack. This past week Jordan was accused of covering up a sex scandal by the Democrats and their favorite law firm Perkins Coie while Jordan was an assistant coach during graduate school at (The) Ohio State University while he .
According to a post on Reddit (with minor grammar and spelling edits) –
Perkins Coie was announced as the OSU investigative partner relative to a potential cover up of sexual abuse and misconducts allegedly perpetrated by Dr. Richard Strauss who was employed by the Ohio state University from the mid-1970 to the 1990. Strauss died in 2005.
The OSU, like any other American colleges, has its fair share of monsters. The latest being Christopher Pelloski, the guy who was treating children with cancer while trading in child porn from his college computer for six years till he got busted.
Unlike Pelloski, Richard Strauss had a full career and NEVER was bothered by the authorities. Which is weird. Not unusual but weird that the good doctor spent 20 years abusing University students, mostly from the wrestling team and nothing filtered out until today?
I won’t blame the victims if they’re out there however isn’t it convenient to bring up a dead physician, accuse him of molestation and by proxy turn Jim Jordan into a witness and accomplice of sort.
As many have noticed these allegations conveniently surfaced the moment the position of Speaker of the House was rumored to go to Jordan.
One of the alleged victims, Shawn Dailey claims GOP congressman Jim Jordan knew about the abuse and chose to ignore it
“I participated with Jimmy and the other wrestlers in locker-room talk about Strauss. We all did,” Dailey, 43, told NBC News, referring to Jordan. “It was very common knowledge in the locker room that if you went to Dr. Strauss for anything, you would have to pull your pants down.”
We are not talking of little boys like in the Penn State scandal. These were grown adults practicing a violent sport who apparently were defenseless against Strauss?
The Reddit post continued by noting that Perkins Coie has numerous sinister actions involving the Democrat Party, for example –
…Perkins-Coie was the hub used by the Democratic Party to funnel money to Fusion GPS.
Obama for America paid $972,000 to Perkins Coie from April 2016 to August 2017. The payments were presented as “Legal Services” but it’s highly suspected the money was financing the phony Steele Dossier. Hillary for America paid $5.1million to Perkins Coie. The DNC paid $5.4million to the Perkins Coie.
Perkins Coie is also the law firm you can thank for producing the “original” Obama long form birth certificate. You know the birth certificate that proves Trump, Arpaio and all of us are crazy ’cause he’s truly an American citizen.
Jordan has denied the allegations and points out the questionable witnesses used by Perkins Coie and promoted by the liberal MSM –
See video about Jordan’s response here –
President Trump is behind Representative Jordan. Even far-left MSNBC notes this –
Sadly, one party in America today (the Democrats) have no agenda and only use fake news and slander as their political weapons just like the Nazi and communist regimes of the past and present. Americans see through this. Jim Jordan is a patriot and a winner. The Dems agenda to smear him will fail. America was built by winners not slimy slanderers!
“[Tom] Fitton told Fox News host Pete Hegseth that the memos provide proof of ‘an out-of-control investigation that is really abusive in its targeting of not only President Trump, but people around him.’”
(Kathryn Blackhurs – LifeZette) A new report revealing top FBI officials’ “hurry the F up pressure” to obtain warrants surveilling former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page shows the Russian collusion investigation “was infected by the hyper-political bias” against President Donald Trump, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Friday on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“Oh, it’s further confirmation that the Trump-Russia investigation was infected by the hyper-political bias against President Trump where they’re looking for excuses to target his team,” said Fitton (pictured above right), referencing the emails reported by The Hill’s John Solomon.
Solomon, an opinion contributor and The Hill’s executive vice president for video, noted that the FBI is finally producing documents to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) inspector general and congressional committees that have long sought the information.
Solomon found that “sources involved in the production, review or investigation” described the memos “to me as ‘damning’ or ‘troubling’ evidence” of anti-Trump bias within the DOJ and FBI “affect[ing] official actions.” View article →
An Internet body language expert (Bombards Body Language) reviewed the recent Congressional Hearings with corrupt Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and his accomplice FBI Director Christopher Wray. Her analysis shows that Rosenstein confirmed to Congress through his body language that the Obama Administration spied on the Trump Campaign long before they state the spying began (July 2016).
The expert from Bombards Body Language again released an excellent analysis of the corrupt left wing members and this time it was of dishonest Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and his accomplice FBI Director Christopher Wray in front of Congress.
During her 45 minute analysis, the expert points out at the 15 minute mark that Rosenstein confirms that the Obama Administration spied on the Trump Campaign before the date they earlier stated was when their illegitimate spying began.
Rosenstein’s actions show that he either has no conscious or is on some sort of drug. This is either the case or Rosenstein is the ‘the devil’ as pointed out by the Internet expert.
The days of Obama’s crooks and cronies are numbered. President Trump and the America loving members of Congress are taking them on.
Do not be anxious then, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “With what shall we clothe ourselves?” For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (6:31–33)Worry is inconsistent with our faith in God and is therefore unreasonable as well as sinful. Worry is characteristic of unbelief. Ethnoi (Gentiles) literally means simply “peoples,” or “a multitude.” In the plural form, as here, it usually referred to non-Jews, that is, to Gentiles and, by extension, to unbelievers or pagans. Worrying about what to eat, drink, and clothe themselves with are things the Gentiles eagerly seek. Those who have no hope in God naturally put their hope and expectations in things they can enjoy now. They have nothing to live for but the present, and their materialism is perfectly consistent with their religion. They have no God to supply their physical or their spiritual needs, their present or their eternal needs, so anything they get they must get for themselves. They are ignorant of God’s supply and have no claim on it. No heavenly Father cares for them, so there is reason to worry.The gods of the Gentiles were man-made gods inspired by Satan. They were gods of fear, dread, and appeasement who demanded much, promised little, and provided nothing. It was natural that those who served such gods would eagerly seek whatever satisfactions and pleasures they could while they could. Their philosophy is still popular in our own day among those who are determined to grab all the gusto they can get. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” is an understandable outlook for those who have no hope in the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:32).But that is a completely foolish and unreasonable philosophy for those who do have hope in the resurrection, for those whose heavenly Father knows that [they] need all these things. To worry about our physical welfare and our clothing is the mark of a worldly mind, whether Christian or not. When we think like the world and crave like the world, we will worry like the world, because a mind that is not centered on God is a mind that has cause to worry. The faithful, trusting, and reasonable Christian is “anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving [lets his] requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). He refuses in anyway to “be conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2).Within this series of rebukes Jesus gives a positive command coupled with a beautiful promise: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. The cause of worry is seeking the things of this world, and the cause of contentment is seeking the things of God’s kingdom and His righteousness.De is primarily a conjunction of contrast, for which but is a good rendering. In the present context it carries the idea of “rather,” or “instead of.” “Rather than seeking and worrying about food, drink, and clothing like unbelievers do,” Jesus says, “focus your attention and hopes on the things of the Lord and He will take care of all your needs.”Out of all the options that we have, out of all the things we can seek for and be occupied with, we are to seek first the things of the One to whom we belong. That is the Christian’s priority of priorities, a divine priority composed of two parts: God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness.As we have seen in the discussion of the Disciples’ Prayer (6:10), basileia (kingdom) does not refer to a geographical territory but to a dominion or rule. God’s kingdom is God’s sovereign rule, and therefore to seek first His kingdom is to seek first His rule, His will and His authority.Seeking God’s kingdom is losing ourselves in obedience to the Lord to the extent that we can say with Paul, “I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). To seek first God’s kingdom is to pour out our lives in the eternal work of our heavenly Father.To seek God’s kingdom is seek to win people into that kingdom, that they might be saved and God might be glorified. It is to have our heavenly Father’s own truth, love, and righteousness manifest in our lives, and to have “peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). We also seek God’s kingdom when we yearn for the return of the King in His millennial glory to establish His kingdom on earth and usher in His eternal kingdom.We are also to seek … His righteousness. Instead of longing after the things of this world, we are to hunger and thirst for the things of the world to come, which are characterized above all else by God’s perfect righteousness and holiness. It is more than longing for something ethereal and future; it is also longing for something present and practical. We not only are to have heavenly expectations but holy lives (see Col. 3:2–3). “Since all these things [the earth and its works, v. 10] are to be destroyed in this way,” Peter says, “what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Pet. 3:11).
33 In view of vv. 31–32, this verse makes it clear that Jesus’ disciples are not simply to refrain from the pursuit of temporal things as their primary goal in order to differentiate themselves from pagans; instead, they are to replace such pursuits with goals of far greater significance. To seek first the kingdom (“of God” in some MSS) is to desire above all to enter into, submit to, and participate in spreading the news of the saving reign of God, the messianic kingdom already inaugurated by Jesus, and to live so as to store up treasures in heaven in the prospect of the kingdom’s consummation. It is to pursue the things already prayed for in the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer (vv. 9–10).To seek God’s righteousness is not, in this context, to seek justification (contra Filson, McNeile). “Righteousness” must be interpreted as in 5:6, 10, 20; 6:1. It is to pursue righteousness of life in full submission to the will of God, as prescribed by Jesus throughout this discourse (cf. Przybylski, Righteousness in Matthew, 89–91). Such righteousness will lead to persecution by some (5:10), but others will themselves become disciples and praise the Father in heaven (5:16). Such goals alone are worthy of one’s wholehearted allegiance. For any other concern to dominate one’s mind is to stoop to pagan fretting. “In the end, just as there are only two kinds of piety, the self-centered and the God-centered, so there are only two kinds of ambition: one can be ambitious either for oneself or for God. There is no third alternative” (Stott, Message of the Sermon on the Mount, 172). Within such a framework of commitment, Jesus’ disciples are assured that all the necessary things will be given to them by their heavenly Father (see comments at 5:45; 6:9), who demonstrates his faithfulness by his care even for the birds and his concern even for the grass.
A climactic positive command reinforces the lesson that one should place his trust entirely in the heavenly Father: 33. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be granted to you as an extra gift. Over against the Gentiles, who crave food, drink, garments, etc., Christ’s followers are urged to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. The verb seek implies a being absorbed in the search for, a persevering and strenuous effort to obtain (cf. 13:45). The form of the verb that is used also allows the rendering, “Be constantly seeking” (cf. Col. 3:1). Note: seek first; that is, give God the priority that is his due (2 Cor. 4:18).The object of this seeking is “his kingdom and his righteousness.” The listeners are exhorted, therefore, to acknowledge God as King in their own hearts and lives, and to do all in their power to have him recognized as King also in the hearts and lives of others, and in every sphere: education, government, commerce, industry, science, etc. For the concept “kingdom of heaven” see pp. 249, 250. It stands to reason that when God is recognized as King, righteousness will prevail. For this concept see pp. 274, 317. These two (kingdom and righteousness) go together. In fact, “the kingdom of God is [means, implies] righteousness” (Rom. 14:17), a righteousness both imputed to men and imparted to them, both of legal standing and of ethical conduct.Now it is true that the kingdom and its righteousness are gifts, graciously bestowed. They are his kingdom and his righteousness. They are, however, also objects of continuing, diligent search; of ceaseless, strenuous effort to obtain. These two are not contradictory. An example from nature will clarify this. Of itself a tree has no power to maintain itself. Its roots are, as it were, empty hands stretched out to the environment. It is dependent on the sun, the air, the clouds, and the soil. It does not even have the strength to absorb the nourishment it requires. The sun is the source of its energy. But does this mean that the tree is therefore inactive? Not at all. Its roots and leaves, though completely receptive, are enormously active. For example, it has been estimated that the amount of work performed by a certain large tree in a single day to raise water and minerals from the soil to the leaves was equal to the amount of energy expended by a person who carried three hundred buckets full of water, two at a time, up a ten-foot flight of stairs. The leaves, too, are virtual factories. They, too, are tremendously active.The same holds also with respect to the citizens of the kingdom. They receive the kingdom as a gift. Yet, after the new principle of life has been received, the recipients become very active. They work very hard, not by means of anything in themselves but by the power that is being constantly supplied to them by the Lord’s Spirit. They “work out their own salvation,” and are able to do this because “it is God who works in them both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12, 13. See also Matt. 7:13; cf. Luke 13:24; 16:16b). They trust in God’s promises, pray, spread the message of salvation, and out of gratitude perform good works to benefit men and to glorify God.The reward of grace: “all these things will be granted to you as an extra gift.” While they are concentrating their attention on the kingdom and its righteousness, God’s gift to them, their heavenly Father sees to it that they have food, drink, and clothing. For further elucidation see 1 Kings 3:10–14; Mark 10:29, 30; and 1 Tim. 4:8.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 425–427). Chicago: Moody Press. Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 217). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 354–355). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
A preliminary report published Friday by the Organization for Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found no traces of any nerve agent at the site of a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma. The OPCW report states this unambiguously as follows:
“No organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties.”
Was that, was that the news? What about Douma? The chemical weapons attack? The nerve agent bombs that rained down on Douma that took us to the brink of World War 3?
The OPCW have just reported, well two hours ago… There was no nerve gas attack on Douma. There was no nerve agent deployed on Douma. We were taken to World War 3’s brink on a crock. A crock of vile propaganda. Ring any bells?
No Nerve Agents, Concludes OPCW Report
The April 7th alleged chemical attack, widely blamed by Western countries and the media on Assad’s forces, resulted in massive US-led retaliatory airstrikes mostly concentrated on suspected chemical production facilities in Damascus.
Though at the time both UN and OPCW officials urged caution in the rush to blame “animal Assad” for “using nerve agents” as many world headlines breathlessly concluded a mere moments after videos purporting to show scores of chemical attack victims first surfaced (and though CW experts themselves warned that not a single neutral observer was on the ground to verify such claims when it happened), the latest OPCW report flatly contradicts the narrative that quickly solidified in the mainstream.
Like dozens of others, the story uncritically promoted the following:
The pro-opposition Ghouta Media Centre alleged that a helicopter had dropped a barrel bomb containing sarin, and another organisation claimed that a hospital had been hit by a chlorine bomb.
With images of women and children foaming from the mouth and nose circulating on social media, the death toll from Saturday evening’s attack on the town was said to have risen to at least 49, with some observers saying more than 150 people have been killed.
This as the White House said it had “very high confidence” the Syrian government carried out the attack, basing its assessment, as MSNBC reported at the time, in part on the following: “blood and urine samples obtained by the U.S. from victims of the chemical strike tested positive for chlorine gas and a nerve agent.”
A significant body of information points to the regime using chlorine in its bombardment of Duma, while some additional information points to the regime also using the nerve agent sarin.
Media Headlines Debunked
Throughout April and subsequent months, journalists and pundits continued to connect the suffering of victims in Douma with the deadly sarin nerve agent, as one NPR piece with the emotionally gripping headline, Syrian 7-Year-Old: ‘I Want To Be A Doctor So I Can Help In A Chemical Attack’, suggested: “The U.S. says it’s highly confident that evidence points to the use of chlorine and possibly a nerve agent, perhaps sarin.”
The White House began building its case against Assad upon this mysterious blood and urine “data”, ultimately leading to President Trump unleashing over 100 tomahawk missiles on Damascus, was nowhere to be found in the OPCW’s findings released Friday.
Here’s CNN reporting in the days after events at Douma:
But again, Friday’s OPCW preliminary report, which unlike most others among its assessments included a verified full OPCW chain of custody for most samples as its investigators actually studied the site (notably, the April 2017 Khan Sheikhoun alleged CW attack site was never visited by investigators), reads as follows:
OPCW designated labs conducted analysis of prioritised samples. The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.
“Chlorinated Organic Chemicals” But No Chlorine Confirmation
The word “chlorine” is only used twice in the OPCW interim report, both in characterizations of social media and does not contain any declaration “confirming” chlorine allegations, in spite of current media reports wrongly suggesting the OPCW has found victims at Douma that died from chlorine exposure.
Apparently both Reuters and the BBC were forced to quickly correct their reporting of Friday’s OPCW document, as both initially claimed that OPCW investigators confirmed chlorine used at Douma, whereas the document reads various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites (Reuters issued the following correction: Corrects to “various chlorinated organic chemicals” instead of chlorine; and the BBC changed its headline from “chlorine gas” to “possible chlorine”).
The “various chlorinated organic chemicals” are unsurprising. Chlorine is widely used for water purification and cleaning and “chlorinated organic chemicals” will be found in any household.
In the technical notes of the OPCW report note that one of its laboratory found “Dichloroacetic acid”, “trichloroacetic acid”, “chloral hydrate”, “trichlorophenol” and “chlorphenol” in some of the samples its fact finding mission took at the claimed incident sites. These are all substances that are no surprise in any upbuild environment and especially within any home.Dichloroacetic acid” is for example “a trace product of the chlorination of drinking water”. Chloral hydrate is likewise “a minor side-product of the chlorination of water when organic residues such as humic acids are present”. The other substances are also not uncommon and of various household uses.
And importantly, the interim report does not include indications of quantities or concentrations in which these common substances were found, making it impossible to conclude further whether they were part of a chemical attack or were weaponized.
The OPCW report for example, concludes of a separate alleged chemical attack site in the same report: “the FFM [Fact-Finding Mission] cannot confidently determine whether or not a specific chemical was used as a weapon in the incidents that took place in the neighbourhood of Al-Hamadaniyah and in the area of Karm al-Tarrab.”
“Non-persistant, irritating substance”
The report did have this interesting line, however: “The FFM noted that the persons affected in the reported incidents may, in some instances, have been exposed to some type of non-persistent, irritating substance.”
Fisk identified the doctor by name — Dr. Assim Rahaibani — which is notable given the fact that all early reporting from Douma typically relied on “unnamed doctors” and anonymous opposition sources for early claims of a chlorine gas attack (which had quickly morphed into an unverified “mixed” chlorine-and-sarin attack).
“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night–but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia–not gas poisoning.”
Major pro-rebel outlet said ‘mass asphyxiation’ after shelter collapse
The doctor’s testimony was consistent with that of the well-known Syrian opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which initially reported based on its own pro-rebel sourcing that heavy government bombardment of Douma city resulted in the collapse of homes and underground shelters, causing civilians in hiding to suffocate.
According to SOHR, which has long been a key go-to source for mainstream media over the course of the war, “70 of them [women and children] have suffered suffocation as a result of the demolition of home basements over them due to the heavy and intense shelling.”
Though outlets from The Guardian to The Washington Post to The New York Times had quoted SOHR on a near daily basis throughout the pior six years of war, the anti-Assad opposition outlet’s reporting of mass asphyxiation due to collapse of shelters remained notably absent from the same publications.
Though the mass asphyxiation theory is speculation at this point (we weren’t there and neither were the hundreds of journalists claiming while writing from hundreds or thousands of miles outside Syria that “Assad gassed his own people”), it will be interesting to see what the future full and complete OPCW report includes.
But at least at this still somewhat early point in what will likely be a continued lengthy investigation, we have absolute scientific confirmation from the OPCW that the White House once again lied us into bombing yet another Middle East country based on spurious “nerve agent” claims.