Daily Archives: April 6, 2021

Fauci’s NIAID Shielded Wuhan Bat Research Grant From Government Oversight | ZeroHedge

In 2017, a subagency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci – resumed funding a controversial grant to genetically modify bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China without the approval of a government oversight body, according to the Daily Caller.

For context, in 2014, the Obama administration temporarily suspended federal funding for gain-of-function research into manipulating bat COVID to be more transmissible to humans. Four months prior to that decision, the NIH effectively shifted this research to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) via a grant to nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance, headed by Peter Daszak.

Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance

The first $666,442 installment of EcoHealth’s $3.7 million NIH grant was paid in June 2014, with similar annual payments through May 2019 under the “Understanding The Risk Of Bat Coronavirus Emergence” project.

Notably, the WIV “had openly participated in gain-of-function research in partnership with U.S. universities and institutions” for years under the leadership of Dr. Shi ‘Batwoman’ Zhengli, according to the Washington Post‘s Josh Rogin.

In 2017, however, the “Potential Pandemic Pathogens Control and Oversight (P3CO) Framework was formed within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),” which was tasked with evaluating the risks involved with enhancing dangerous pathogens, as well as whether proper safeguards are in place, before a grant into ‘gain-of-function’ or similarly risky research can be issued.

Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – the subagency which funded EcoHealth – didn’t think the grant needed review, and resumed their relationship with Daszak without flagging it for the P3CO committee, an NIH spokesperson told the Caller.

This is a systemic problem,” says Rutgers University professor of chemical biology, Richard H. Ebright, referring to the loophole in the review process – and adding that NIAID and NIH have “systematically thwarted–indeed systematically nullified–the HHS P3CO Framework by declining to flag and forward proposals for review.”

The NIH, however, says that the grant wasn’t flagged for review because “NIAID determined research in the grant was not gain-of-function research because it did not involve the enhancement of the pathogenicity or transmissibility of the viruses studied,” the spokesperson told the Caller, adding: “We would not submit research proposals that did not meet the definition, because otherwise we would need to submit everything.”

We’ll just have to take their word for it, as the P3CO framework didn’t require the HHS review committee to take a second look at the NIAID’s claim that the EcoHealth grant doesn’t cover gain-of-function research.

More via The Daily Caller (emphasis ours)

How Federal Oversight Of Gain-Of-Function Research Is Bypassed

The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is at the center of widespread speculation that COVID-19 could have accidentally leaked from a lab into the human population. EcoHealth’s grant to study bat-based coronaviruses in China included the transfer of $600,000 to the WIV.

Had EcoHealth’s grant been subjected to P3CO review, an HHS panel would have independently evaluated the grant and, if necessary, recommended additional biocontainment measures to prevent potential lab leaks — or even recommended that the grant be denied entirely.

The WIV is a biosafety level 4 laboratory, the highest level biocontainment certification, but U.S. Embassy officials issued two diplomatic cables warning about inadequate safety at the lab after a visit in 2018. One of the cables warned that the lab’s work on bat-based coronaviruses represented the risk of a new SARS-like pandemic, according to The Washington Post.

An annex to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 origin report released Tuesday describes the WIV’s work using “recombinant viruses” in tests involving bat coronaviruses, which Ebright said are descriptions of gain-of-function research.

The U.S. government paused funding of gain-of-function research in 2014 after lab workers were accidentally exposed to anthrax by the Centers for Disease Control, according to The New York Times. The incident came on the heels of widespread scientific outcry in 2011 when it was revealed that laboratories in Wisconsin and the Netherlands were intentionally modifying the H5N1 bird flu virus so it could more effectively jump between ferrets.

Federally funded gain-of-function research resumed in 2017 after new oversight procedures were implemented. The review framework split oversight responsibilities between two groups — the funding agency (the NIAID in the case of the EcoHealth grant) and the P3CO Review Committee, an interdisciplinary group convened by HHS.

The committee is responsible for recommending whether a research grant involving gain-of-function needs to include any additional risk mitigation measures, an HHS spokesperson told the DCNF. But the committee is kept in the dark on any grant until the funding agency flags one for its review.

The P3CO Framework doesn’t require the HHS review committee to take a second look at the NIAID’s determination following its review that the EcoHealth grant did not involve gain-of-function research.

The NIH spokesperson said it would be “misleading and inaccurate” to suggest NIAID was required to notify the HHS review committee of its determination.

An HHS spokesperson confirmed that the department’s P3CO Review Committee only reviews research grants that are flagged for additional review by funding agencies such as NIAID. The spokesperson did not answer when asked if the review committee had knowledge of the EcoHealth grant.

Ecohealth has a history of manipulating bat-based coronaviruses. The group’s president, Peter Daszak, said as much during a podcast interview filmed in Singapore just weeks before the first reported cases of COVID-19 in Wuhan in December 2019.

“You can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily,” Daszak said. “Spike protein drives a lot of what happens with the coronavirus. Zoonotic risk. So you can get the sequence, you can build the protein — and we work with Ralph Baric at [the University of North Carolina] to do this — and insert the backbone of another virus and do some work in the lab.”

Ebright told the DCNF that NIAID was wrong to determine that the EcoHealth grant did not involve enhancing the transmissibility of Chinese bat-based coronaviruses. He said the project’s abstract for the 2019 fiscal year, which referenced “in vitro and in vivo infection experiments” on coronaviruses, “*unequivocally* required risk-benefit review under the HHS P3CO Framework.”

Other scientists have said EcoHealth’s NIH-funded work in China involved gain-of-function research on bat-based coronaviruses.

“It is hard to overemphasize that the central logic of this grant was to test the pandemic potential of SARS-related bat coronaviruses by making ones with pandemic potential, either through genetic engineering or passaging, or both,” Drs. Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson wrote in June.

The NIH terminated the EcoHealth grant in April 2020. NIH deputy director for extramural research, Michael Lauer, told the group in a letter that the agency “does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities.”

Fauci said during a hearing before the House Energy & Commerce Committee in June that the EcoHealth grant was canceled “because the NIH was told to cancel it.”

“I don’t know the reason, but we were told to cancel it,” Fauci said.

Fauci told Politico following the hearing that former President Donald Trump’s White House ordered the NIH to cancel the grant.

*  *  *

Read the rest of the report here.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/faucis-niaid-shielded-wuhan-bat-research-grant-government-oversight

Biden Disapproval Soars As Over 170,000 Illegal Immigrants Flood The US In March, Most In A Decade | ZeroHedge

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Biden made a campaign pledge to fix the border with Mexico. Let’s investigate how he’s doing starting with polls then the hard facts.

Only 24% Approve How Biden Is Handling Border Kids

According to an AP NORC Poll few are satisfied with President Biden’s approach to immigration, border security, and particularly toward the recent surge of unaccompanied children at the southern border.

That question specifically addressed children. 

Overall, Biden has a 44% approval rating on his handling of the border, heavily skewed towards 74% of Democrats who say they like what he is doing.

That means 74% of Democrats and 44% of people overall are clueless or simply refuse to think.

Biden Blames Trump

Politico reports Biden Bets That He Can Change How America Thinks About Migration.

I bet he can’t, especially with millions of US citizens in search of a job. Meanwhile here’s a Q&A

Q: What do politicians do when facing a situation that’s out of control?

A: Blame their predecessor.

In calls with House lawmakers this week, Biden administration officials repeatedly stressed that they inherited a disaster from the Trump administration, and said that the solutions would not be painless or quick. In a separate call with Democratic communications aides on the Hill, White House officials reiterated that the “real crisis is in Central America,” according to several people on the call. Biden and his team are emphasizing the “root causes” of migration surges, and their renewed diplomatic efforts with Central American countries, which lapsed under the Trump administration.

The problem is complex, and Trump did not create it. It’s been ongoing for decades. 

Biden did downplay it just as Angela Merkel did with a huge surge of immigrants attempting to escape Mideast wars, especially in Syria.

Send Them Back

Biden roundly criticized Trump for sending them back and turning them away.

Q: What’s Biden doing?

A: Sending them back and turning them away. 

The number of unaccompanied children arriving at the border hit a monthly-high in March, exceeding the last record-high in May of 2019. In total, some 170,000 people were apprehended by border patrol last month. About 100,000 of those migrants were single adults, who have been routinely removed from the U.S. by the Biden administration under a Trump-era public health authority.

There’s also simmering Democratic and activist frustration with Biden’s continued use of the Trump-era authority — known as Title 42 — to expel the majority of people encountered at the border. Publicly and privately, the White House has told reporters and Hill staff that they have no timeline to stop using the authority.

Non Solutions

Proving he cannot think clearly, Biden wants to house illegal immigrants in churches, stadiums, and summer camps.

His administration is also racing to expand capacity to humanely house a growing number of child migrants in emergency intake sites — like stadiums, church facilities and summer camps — rather than keep them in tightly-packed border patrol facilities.

Three Q’s, Obvious Answers

Q: What happens to the numbers when the word gets out we are housing and feeding all comers in stadiums?

Q: What the hell do you do when the stadiums fill up?

Q: What happens to Summer camps in the Winter?

Hey, Let’s Put Kamala Harris On the Mission

In addition to bribing Central American countries and filling up stadiums, Biden put Kamala Harris in charge of the mission.

That brings another question to the forefront: Why did Biden put Harris in charge of the border crisis?

The average annual income in El Salvador is $4,000; in Guatemala it is $4,610; and in Honduras it is $2,310.

People are still leaving those countries to come here; moreover, there is little — if any — reason to think it ever will [stop]. The differences between conditions in Central America and the United States are too great, particularly economic conditions.

When asked on the second night of the 2019 Democratic debates if an undocumented alien should be deported if his only offense is not having documents, her response was, “I will say, no, absolutely not. They should not be deported.”

Is she an effective negotiator?

Harris’s record as a senator indicates that being able to change the minds of people she disagrees with isn’t one of her strong points, and she seems to be aware of this shortcoming. When she was a candidate for the presidency, she admitted that she would not be able to persuade Congress to pass immigration reform legislation. Her plan was to rely instead on executive actions.

She was one of just three Democrats who voted against a compromise that would have given the Trump administration billions of dollars for a border wall in exchange for a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

So why would Biden choose her to lead his administration’s efforts to work with the Central American and Mexican governments to stop the flood of illegal crossings?

Apparently, he doesn’t want to secure the border either. 

The Pledge

In December 2020, Biden told reporters that he would establish a more “humane policy” at the borders but that he would need “probably the next six months” to rebuild a system to process migrants and secure funding for immigration judges.

Three months down and three to go before the buzzer sounds. 

Not to worry. Biden is unlikely to last a full term anyway. Soon the problem will be someone else’s. 

Oh, wait a second. What will president Harris do?

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/biden-disapproval-soars-over-170000-illegal-immigrants-flood-us-march-most-decade

How To Have Hope — Wretched

Episode #2849

With the help of Dr. Stephen Yuille, Todd encourages believers to look to the cross, which reveals the measure of God’s love. So many people today are dealing with hopelessness – biblical counseling provides the remedy for emotional issues! When our circumstances are difficult, we must embrace Christ as our greatest treasure. You can get your copy of Drive By Biblical Counseling 3 at Wretched.org!

How To Have Hope — Wretched

Heavy Shelling Is Being Reported In Ukraine As Russian Television Discusses A Possible “Nuclear Strike” — The Economic Collapse

A new war in Ukraine would be bad for the entire globe, but we might just get one anyway.  Once the Biden administration took control of the White House, they decided to wage a campaign of maximum pressure against Russia, and Ukraine is one of the key tools that they are using.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky never would have signed Decree No. 117/2021 on March 24th without the encouragement of the Biden administration, and the extremely aggressive statements about Crimea in that document deeply alarmed the Russians.  Even more importantly, it appears that the Ukrainians were secretly preparing a massive offensive against areas of eastern Ukraine that are held by the separatists.  If those areas could have been captured before Russia could react, that would have been a massive victory for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Biden administration.  But the Russians caught wind of what was going on, and that is why they have been sending forces into Crimea and into separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine in numbers that we have never seen before.

If Zelensky and the Biden administration would have left things alone, we wouldn’t be on the verge of war today.

But now tensions in the region are extremely high, and a major conflict could break out at any moment.  The following is an example of how the current state of affairs is being viewed in Russia

After six years of an uneasy and at times violent truce, the specter of a new war is looming large in Russia-Ukraine relations. In retaliation for Kiev’s recent crackdown on pro-Russian media and politicians, Moscow is staging a large-scale and ostentatious military buildup along the Ukrainian border.

The situation is especially volatile in Donbass, where the ceasefire between the Ukrainian army and Moscow-sponsored breakaway territories has effectively broken down. Both sides accuse each other of provocations and regularly exchange fire, with the casualties mounting among both military personnel and civilians.

Zelensky made things even worse on Tuesday when he urged NATO to add Ukraine as a member as soon as possible

Ukraine’s president has called on Nato and key member states to hasten his country’s membership of the western military alliance in response to a growing buildup of Russian forces on his country’s borders.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke to Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, on Tuesday, and urged for Ukraine to be put on a pathway to future membership to halt the long-running conflict in the eastern Donbas region.

Everyone knows that Russia is desperate to keep Ukraine out of NATO, and so Zelensky had to know that his statements would result in even more stress in the region.

The Ukrainian people thought that they were voting for peace when they originally voted for Zelensky, but instead he has been a nightmare.

Within the last 24 hours, more shelling has erupted in eastern Ukraine.  According to the Ukrainian military, mortar fire was reported close to the village of Nevelske…

In particular, in the area of ​​responsibility of the operational and tactical group “East”, near the village of NEVELSKE, the enemy opened fire with 82-mm mortars, large-caliber machine guns and machine-gun anti-tank grenade launchers.

As a result of enemy shelling, one Ukrainian soldier received non-life-threatening injuries. In addition, in the area of ​​the Joint Forces operation, one serviceman died as a result of an explosion on an unknown explosive device.

Even more alarming, video footage posted on social media shows “heavy shelling” near the city of Avdiivka…

Unfortunately, the fighting is likely to escalate in the coming days.

In fact, it is being reported that Ukraine is starting to call up reservists

Ukraine’s military has scrambled territorial defense units amid the unfolding threat of an all-out Russian invasion as masses of fresh regular forces concentrate near Ukraine’s borders, with NATO and United States ringing alarm.

Approximately 100,000 reservists could be called to duty, and that would definitely bolster the Ukrainian forces.

On the other side, the Russian military just announced that it will be holding more than 4,000 “training exercises” during the month of April…

Russia announced the start of mass military drills, ratcheting up tensions with neighboring Ukraine amid Western concerns about the risk of renewed fighting.

More than 4,000 training exercises will be held in military districts across Russia in April, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday, in comments posted on the ministry’s website.

Hopefully things will calm down soon, because events could spiral out of control very easily.

Earlier today, I was deeply alarmed to learn that there has even been a discussion about a potential “nuclear strike” on Russian public television

However, in a frightening public report, Russian public television “Russia 1” spoke of a nuclear strike. They said about:

“If there is a possible escalation in Ukraine, then a nuclear strike is on the agenda. This will make Americans afraid and we will do whatever we want.”

Hearing that should send a chill through your bones, because if nuclear weapons are used that will cross a line that will never be able to be uncrossed.

We are so close to a nightmare scenario, but most Americans continue to be completely and utterly oblivious to what is going on.

A hothead is in charge of our foreign policy, he is surrounded by a team of all-star warmongers, and we are now closer to war with Russia than we have been in decades.

And at this hour, even more forces are racing toward the conflict zone in Ukraine…


Heavy Shelling Is Being Reported In Ukraine As Russian Television Discusses A Possible “Nuclear Strike” — The Economic Collapse

On Vaccine Passports – CultureWatch

What are we to think of mandatory vaccine passports?

One of the hottest topics of debate in recent times is the issue of vaccine passports, and whether they should become mandatory. While concerns about public health and safety are of course legitimate, so too are concerns about freedom, human autonomy, and the rise of unchecked statism.

This piece cannot go into all those details, and further articles will be needed on this. But I can say that I am very concerned indeed with making such things compulsory. Here I will seek to do three things: give a brief overview of the issue; look at how various governments are dealing with this; and then offer some reasons why we should not support this.

What is it?

One piece from February said this about the matter:

For decades travellers have been required or advised to get certain vaccinations before travelling to different countries. These jabs are recorded in a small yellow card, formally known as the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP). Created by the World Health Organisation (WHO), these yellow cards are currently accepted as formal proof of vaccination for diseases such as yellow fever, cholera, rabies, and more. 

 

In this new post-pandemic world, however, experts are talking about a new, electronic version of a vaccine passport, which would replace the ICVP, and eventually allow the return of not only international travel, but events with large crowds like sporting events, concerts and conventions, that are still limited in many parts of the world….

 

What you need to know about a COVID-19 vaccine passport:
-Many airlines are introducing mandatory testing and proof of vaccine will likely follow
-Countries are looking at introducing proof of a vaccine for entry
-There are multiple organisations working on a vaccine passport, including the Australian government
-Denmark is the first country to introduce the use of a vaccine passport
-Cruise lines are looking at vaccines as an important step in reviving the cruise industry vaccinated http://www.flightcentre.com.au/travel-news/travel-news/what-is-a-vaccine-passport-and-how-will-it-affect-your-travel

How are different places responding to this?

Many jurisdictions around the world are saying no to vaccine passports. Individual American states for example are moving in this direction. Let me mention several of them. Texas just took this step:

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order prohibiting state agencies or political subdivisions in Texas from creating a “vaccine passport” requirement, or otherwise conditioning receipt of services on an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status. The order also prohibits organizations receiving public funds from requiring consumers to provide documentation of vaccine status in order to receive any service or enter any place. “Everyday, Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But, as I’ve said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” said Governor Abbott. “Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-order-prohibiting-government-mandated-vaccine-passports

And Tennessee is also ruling them out:

Tennessee Republicans are seizing on a conservative talking point that has taken hold in recent weeks: So-called “vaccine passports” and the need to prohibit them. Gov. Bill Lee on Tuesday joined other Republican governors who have taken public stands in recent days against requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, an issue widely discussed in conservative media. “I think vaccine passports are a bad idea,” Lee told reporters. “I do not believe governments should impose vaccine requirements or mandates in any way and I’m working with the legislature to support legislation that backs that up.” http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2021/04/06/tennessee-vaccine-passport-gov-lee-pushes-bill-banning-requirement/7107268002/

In New York there seem to be mounting problems with this:

Thanks to a combination of bungling authoritarians and decaying legacy corporations, these entities are simply too incompetent to pull off a functioning vaccine passport program. New York’s rollout of its vaccine passport already has the markings of a five alarm dumpster fire. The New York State “Excelsior Pass” vaccine passport system, which was created by IBM, has so many issues that I wouldn’t be surprised if the program was scrapped altogether before the end of the calendar year. It has massive security flaws, a shrinking customer base by design, it remains incredibly impractical, and it’s incredibly easy to manipulate. Excelsior Pass sucks, thanks to the idiocracy that was responsible for its design and implementation. http://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/new-yorks-vaccine-passport-program-is-already-failing

And federally, America, under Biden, has just said no to them:

The White House has ruled out introducing mandatory federal Covid-19 vaccination passports, saying citizens’ privacy and rights should be protected. Schemes to introduce such passports have been touted around the world as a way to enable safe circulation of people while fighting the pandemic. But critics say such documents could be discriminatory. The US said it did not and would not support a “system that requires Americans to carry a credential”. au.news.yahoo.com/covid-us-rules-vaccine-passports-213157295.html

Medical and scientific bodies have also spoken out about these matters, including the WHO:

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) on Tuesday said it rejects coronavirus vaccine passports for travel “at this stage” because of doubts over the efficacy of the injections as well as equity concerns. “We as W.H.O. are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission,” W.H.O. spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a news conference in Geneva, Reuters reports. “There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another,” Harris added http://www.breitbart.com/health/2021/04/06/w-h-o-rejects-vaccine-passports-cites-lack-of-fairness-medical-doubts/

And an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal said this:

In this context of inequitable vaccine availability, vaccine passports would limit the movement of millions of individuals from LMICs, reducing their opportunity to travel regionally or internationally for employment, education, and business opportunities. This would have a substantial impact on the economic and social development of these countries. Differential freedom of movement would likely result in unidirectional travel of people from HICs to LMICs reinforcing the economic reliance of LMICs on tourism rather than trade. At an individual level within LMIC, people from younger and higher socioeconomic demographics may seek vaccination for economic rather than exclusively health reasons. Given limited vaccine supply, “queue jumping” in LMICs may threaten, or at least delay, coverage in older and higher risk individuals sustaining risks for covid-19 related morbidity and mortality. In addition, there are an estimated 88 million more poorer people now globally, with the majority residing in South Asia and across Sub-Saharan Africa as a result of covid-19. [6] With decreasing domestic economic opportunities, increased economic migration may reinforce brain drain in LMICs as younger people leave to seek other opportunities. This may pose a pervasive challenge to sustainable development.

It concludes:

Ultimately, we need to facilitate the economic growth of emerging economies to increase the health, wellbeing, and security of all. Vaccine passports interfere with that future as they create a structural barrier to sustainable development, benefiting only the few at the expense of so many. blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/03/30/covid-19-vaccine-passports-will-harm-sustainable-development/

The ’No’ case

Much can be said about rejecting such proposals, and many have already spoken against this, including Ron Paul:

Ron Paul has warned that Covid-19 vaccine passports could be used by the US government to restrict freedoms, stirring up an already heated debate over whether such IDs are necessary. The former US congressman and physician said on Monday that requiring certificates to verify vaccination for international travel or daily activities would “solidify the whole idea that our lives belong to the government. They own liberty and now you are going to get permission to use a little bit of it. They are going to divvy it out a little bit. You’ll never get back what you should have,” he said while speaking on his program, the Ron Paul Liberty Report. http://www.rt.com/usa/520208-ron-paul-vaccine-passport/

And one website offers nine reasons why mandatory vaccine passports should be opposed:

  1. UNNECESSARY

The availability of effective vaccines means that those most vulnerable to covid-19, and soon anyone who wants and is medically eligible for a vaccine, will have a high level of protection from the virus. This means hospitalisations and deaths associated with the virus will drastically fall and overbearing controls on society cannot be justified. This means those who are vaccinated will be at a very low risk of becoming ill from Covid-19. Aside from the severe inequality and rights issues, it would make no sense to exclude unvaccinated people from public life as it is currently thought that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can transmit the virus. There is no conclusive evidence yet as to how the vaccines affect transmissibility of the virus.

 

  1. DISCRIMINATORY

The effect of covid passports would be to socially and economically exclude people without a covid vaccine or recent test result, and deny them basic freedoms. In doing so, some of the most marginalised in society would suffer discrimination. Under equality law, it is unlawful to discriminate against people with ‘protected characteristics’ – which include age, disability, pregnancy and religion or belief.

 

  1. COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE

Research from across Europe shows that compelling people to take vaccines does not necessarily result in higher uptake of vaccines. Further, statistics show that the UK has some of the most positive attitudes towards vaccines across Europe, and that the top 5 European nations for positive attitudes towards vaccinations all have voluntary vaccination policies. The European nations with the most negative attitudes towards vaccinations include those with mandatory vaccination policies: Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia.

 

  1. CHECKPOINT SOCIETY

The UK has a proud history of opposition to ID cards. We are not a papers-carrying country. But covid passes would turn us into a two-tier, checkpoint society where we each have to show an app or certificate simply in order to enjoy public life. This would be a serious break from our long-guarded democratic traditions and would disadvantage marginalised people.

 

  1. SURVEILLANCE STATE

The combination of apps with sensitive health data and the subversion of everyday businesses and events into checkpoints could constitute the biggest expansion of the surveillance state ever seen in the UK.

 

  1. MISSION CREEP

Covid Status Certificates would likely begin with limitations meaning they could only be used for covid-19 – but after the huge cost and reorganisation of society, this would never last. Covid passes would inevitably expand to be used for other purposes. The rationale underpinning the proposal would be applied to other vaccines, seasonal influenza and other health issues – and potentially much more. It is quite possible that biological risk scores could expand and morph over time.

 

  1. IRREVERSIBLE

It is also likely that the first proposals for Covid Status Certificates will claim to be time-limited – but this would never last. If we accept covid certificates, we will never be able to get rid of digital health passes. Almost every promise about ‘temporary’ measures over the past year has been broken as they have endured and expanded. As the saying goes, nothing is so permanent as a temporary government programme.

 

  1. DIVISIVE

This isn’t even as simple as a division between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. As more research emerges about the effectiveness of different vaccines against different coronavirus strains, it is feasible that covid passes could be used to put controls on people who received less effective vaccines or who require boosters.

 

  1. AUTONOMY

Bodily autonomy is an important aspect of the right to privacy. Compulsory vaccination, as an involuntary medical treatment, amounts to an interference with the right to a private life bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/campaigns/stopvaccinepassports/

As mentioned, this is a hotly contest topic, with plenty folks with strong views on the various sides of the debate. And as I also said, public health matters are legitimate areas of concern, but they must be balanced with great care in not recklessly eroding human freedoms and liberties, and in giving the State even more powers to control entire populations and restrict people unnecessarily.

One simply has to look at what is occurring in Communist China right now with its social credit system to see how frightening all this can become. Experts such as Steven Mosher have long been warning about this: it is bringing Orwell’s 1984 to reality. See this piece for starters: nypost.com/2019/05/18/chinas-new-social-credit-system-turns-orwells-1984-into-reality/

And former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton, Naomi Wolf has come out swinging against this, comparing it to what China is now doing:

I can not say this forcefully enough: This is literally the end of human liberty in the West if this plan unfolds as planned. “Vaccine passport” sounds like a fine thing if you don’t understand what these platforms can do. I’m the CEO of a tech company, I understand what this platform does. It is not about the vaccine or the virus, it is about your data. What people need to understand is that any other functionality can be loaded onto that platform with no problem at all. 

What that means is that can be merged with your Paypal account, digital currency, Microsoft is talking about merging it with payment plans, your networks can be sucked up, it geolocates you wherever you go. All of your medical history can be included — this has already happened in Israel. 

And six months later, we’re hearing from activists that it is a two-tiered society and basically activists are ostracized and surveiled continually. It is the end of civil society and they are trying to roll it out around the world. It is absolutely so much more than a vaccine pass, it is — I can not stress enough that it has the power to turn off your life, or to turn on your life, to let you engage in society or be marginalized. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2021/03/29/naomi_wolf_mandatory_vaccine_passport_could_lead_to_end_of_human_liberty_in_the_west.html

The truth is, when the government decides what rights the people can have, they can at any time take away such rights. That is not democracy – that is fascism.

— Read on billmuehlenberg.com/2021/04/07/on-vaccine-passports/

April 6 Evening Quotes of The Day

Belief the Beginning of All Knowledge
John 6:69; 10:38; 1 John 5:13

There is more of belief than reason in the world; all instructors and masters in sciences and arts require first a belief in their disciples, and a resignation of their understandings and wills to them. And it is the wisdom of God to require that of man, which his own reason makes him submit to another, which is his fellow-creature. He therefore that quarrels with the condition of faith must quarrel with all the world, since belief is the beginning of all knowledge; indeed, and most of the knowledge in the world may rather come under the title of belief than of knowledge.

STEPHEN CHARNOCK

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Not Seeking to Know More than the Word Says
1 Timothy 1:4; 6:4; 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9

On the whole subject of religion one rule of modesty and soberness is to be observed, and it is this: In obscure matters not to speak or think, or even long to know, more than the Word of God has delivered. A second rule is that in reading the Scriptures we should constantly direct our inquiries and meditations to those things which tend to edification, not indulge in curiosity or in studying things of no use. And since the Lord has been pleased to instruct us, not in frivolous questions, but in solid piety, in the fear of his name, in true faith, and the duties of holiness, let us rest satisfied with such knowledge.

JOHN CALVIN

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

April 6 Evening Verse of The Day

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3:5 The command to put to death (2:20; Mt 5:29–30; Rm 8:13) refers to the practical outworking of seeking and thinking about heavenly things. Paul offered a fivefold catalog of vices explaining what he meant by what belongs to your earthly nature. These vices are listed moving from specific outward behaviors to general inward inclinations and thoughts.[1]

3:5 Some expressions of Gnosticism permitted the practice of license, based on the assumption that the deeds of the body could not corrupt the soul (cf. 2:8, note). Paul condemns such philosophy with the command to put to death that which is carnal within you, “your members which are on the earth.” With the words “put to death,” Paul does not suggest suicide (a supposed euthanasia to benefit and liberate the soul), but the mortification of the deeds of the flesh, a list of which follows immediately. The form of the verb in the Greek implies that Paul’s readers have not been putting to death the deeds of the flesh by faith but that they are to begin doing so (cf. 3:3, note). “Evil desire” is a translation of the same Greek word which is usually rendered “lust.”[2]

3:5 Put to death. The first of a series of behavioral imperatives that continue through 4:6. Although Paul rejects legalistic asceticism, he calls upon believers to become in practice what they are in principle: dead to sin and alive to God (Rom. 6:1–14). There is a way of living incompatible with life in Christ, and Paul calls for a rigorous departure from that old life. In v. 5 he lists five vices; four have to do with sex, the fifth is covetousness; in v. 8 he lists five more vices, all having to do with anger and abusive speech.[3]

3:5 put to death what is earthly The list of sinful actions in this verse echoes the deeds of the flesh in Gal 5:19–21.

Idolatry Paul associates idolatry with the consuming desire to possess more than others, regardless of actual need.[4]

3:5 Put to death. Because believers have died with Christ (2:20; 3:3), they can get rid of sinful practices (Rom. 6:11; 8:13). The language of putting to death indicates that Christians have to take severe measures to conquer sin. Watchfulness and prayerfulness against it will be the first steps (see Matt. 26:41), with self-discipline following (Matt. 5:29–30). Sexual immorality (Gk. porneia) refers to every kind of sexual activity outside of marriage. Five of the items that Paul lists have to do with sexual purity, stressing the importance of bringing this area of life under the control and lordship of Christ. which is idolatry. Greed, sexual sin, and other vices can intrude into one’s relationship with God, taking his place as a focus of devotion.[5]

3:5 consider … as dead. See note on Ro 8:13; cf. Zec 4:6; Eph 5:18; 6:17; 1Jn 2:14. This refers to a conscious effort to slay the remaining sin in our flesh. immorality. This refers to any form of sexual sin (see note on Gal 5:19; cf. 1Th 4:3). impurity. This term goes beyond sexual acts of sin to encompass evil thoughts and intentions as well (see note on Gal 5:19; cf. Mt 5:28; Mk 7:21, 22; 1Th 4:7). passion, evil desire. Similar terms that refer to sexual lust. “Passion” is the physical side of that vice, and “evil desire” is the mental side (see notes on Ro 1:26; 1Th 4:3; cf. Jas 1:15). greed. Lit. this term means “to have more.” It is the insatiable desire to gain more, especially of things that are forbidden (cf. Ex 20:17; Dt 5:21; Jas 4:2). which amounts to idolatry. When people engage in either greed or the sexual sins Paul has cataloged, they follow their desires rather than God’s, in essence worshiping themselves—which is idolatry (Nu 25:1–3; Eph 5:3–5).[6]

3:5. Therefore, Paul explains, put to death your members which are on the earth. Members refer to one’s physical body as he seeks to be gratified by his fleshly nature. Every believer is called to make a living sacrifice of his own desires, and these desires often revolve around physical pleasure. Paul lists several here: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which Paul explains is idolatry.

Fornication (porneia) is sex outside the marriage covenant. Today many men and women live together before getting married, a practice that serves only the flesh in its desire and goes against God’s command to keep the marriage bed holy (Heb 13:4). Uncleanness (akatharsia) or impurity conveys the idea of moral corruption and is the opposite of sanctification (1 Thess 4:7). Passion (pathos) simply means a strong desire, but here in this context it refers to the longing for sexual immorality. While the world desires for love and affection, it also behaves in sexual ways contrary to what is pure. These evil desires (epithymia) are evil not because they are sexual but because they ignore the sanctity of the marriage bed, applauding covetousness (pleonexia) or desire for a partner other than one’s spouse.[7]

3:5 In verse 3, we were told that we died. Here we are told to put to death our members which are on the earth. In these two verses we have a very clear illustration of the difference between a believer’s standing and state. His standing is that he has died. His state should be that of reckoning himself dead to sin by putting to death his members which are on the earth. Our standing is what we are in Christ. Our state is what we are in ourselves. Our standing is the free gift of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our state represents our response to God’s grace.

Here we should also notice the difference between law and grace. God does not say, “If you live a life of freedom from sin, then I will give you a position of death with Christ.” That would be law. Our position would depend on our own efforts, and needless to say, no one would ever attain that position. Instead of that, God says: “I freely give to all who believe on the Lord Jesus a position of favor in My sight. Now go out and live a life that is consistent with such a high calling.” That is grace!

When the apostle says that we should put to death our members which are on the earth, he does not mean that we should literally destroy any of the members of our physical body! The expression is figurative, and is explained in the phrases that follows. The word members is used to signify the various forms of lust and hatred that are enumerated.

Fornication is generally used to describe unlawful sexual intercourse or immorality, especially between single people (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21). Sometimes it is broader, and is translated sexual immorality. Uncleanness refers to impurity of thought, word, or action. It speaks of moral filth rather than physical dirtiness here. Passion denotes strong and unbridled lust. Evil desire speaks of intense and often violent craving. Covetousness in general means greediness or the desire to have more, but here it may refer especially to an unholy desire to satisfy sexual appetite which is idolatry.

The list begins with acts and moves on to motives. The various forms of sexual sin are described, then they are traced to their lair, namely, the covetous heart of man. The word of God is clear in teaching that there is nothing inherently wrong in sex. God made man with the power for reproduction. But the sin comes when those things which God has so graciously bestowed upon His creatures are used for vile, illicit purposes. Sexual sin was the cardinal offense of the pagan world in Paul’s day, and doubtless it still holds first place. Where believers are not yielded to the Holy Spirit, sexual sins often come into their lives and prove their downfall.[8]

5 Put to death recalls their union with Christ in his death (2:20; 3:3; cf. 2:11–12): they have died with him, therefore they are to deal a death blow to evil habits and thoughts. Two lists, each of five sins (cf. also v 8), similar to those found among pagan moralists and in the anti-pagan arguments of the Jews, are followed by five graces in v 12. The five sins which belonged to their pagan past are associated with their earthy nature (lit. ‘the members which are upon earth’). Paul practically identifies these members with the sins committed by them as he describes first the outward expressions of sin (sexual immorality) and then the inward cravings of the heart (‘ruthless greed’). The danger of greed is especially emphasized as a ‘gross sin’ for it is equated with idolatry. Such a person, instead of focusing his or her whole life on the things above, where Christ rules as King, is seeking the things below, and therefore worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). Paul knew the special deadliness of this sin (Rom. 7:7–8; cf. Mt. 6:24). Perhaps it is so dangerous because it may assume so many respectable forms. After all, are not those things we do not have but earnestly desire simply ‘necessities’? We deceive ourselves into making idols of our own demands.[9]

3:5  
NASB  “consider the members of your earthly body as dead”  
NKJV  “put to death your members which are on the earth”  
NRSV  “put to death whatever in you is earthly”  
TEV  “you must put to death the earthly desires at work in you”  
NJB  “you must kill everything in you that is earthly”  

This is an AORIST ACTIVE IMPERATIVE which denotes urgency (cf. 3:8, 12). It begins a section which emphasizes the need for believers to strip themselves of evil once and for all (vv. 5–11). Paul often used clothing as a metaphor for the spiritual life (cf. Rom. 6:6, 11; 8:13; Eph. 4:22, 24, 25, 31). Believers are to die to self, to sin and to worldliness. The next section emphasizes that Christians should put on Christlike virtues (vv. 10–17).

Paul often characterized the sins of the old life and old man in lists which in many ways were similar to the Greek moralists (like the Stoics) of his day (cf. Rom. 1:29–31; 1 Cor. 5:11; 6:9; 2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5:19–21; Eph. 4:31; 5:3–4; Col. 3:5–9).

© “immorality, impurity” This first Greek term (porneia) originally meant “harlot,” but it came to be used for sexual immorality in general (cf. 1 Cor. 6:9). We get the English term “pornography” from this word. The second term “impurity” (akatharsia), was also a general term for sexual immorality, though it was originally used in the OT in the sense of ceremonial uncleanliness or moral uncleanliness. Paul intended the second connotation.

© “passion, evil desire” These two terms are also used together in 1 Thess. 4:5 and translated “lustful passion.”

The first term, “passion” (pathos), is used in two very different senses: (1) of suffering and (2) of sexual desire.

The second term, “evil desire” (epithumia), is also used in two very different senses, a strong desire for something (1) good or (2) evil. Context must determine which aspect of a word’s semantical field is meant by the author.

This list of sexual sins may be related to the false teachers. Gnostic false teachers were of two types: (1) those who lived ascetic lives of self-abasement and (2) others who viewed the body as irrelevant to spiritual life and indulged the body’s desires. Often sexual and financial exploitation characterize false teachers.

© “greed” This term is usually used of desire for things, but in a context of sexual exploitation, it may have meant more and more sexual pleasure at any cost! Some see others only as objects for personal, sexual gratification.

© “which amounts to idolatry” Anything that dominates, controls or demands allegiance becomes an idol which replaces God. For some, sexual pleasure becomes the focus of their lives, thoughts, and plans.[10]

5. In close connection with the immediately preceding paragraph Paul continues, Put to death therefore your members that (are) upon the earth. Note the paradox, “You died” (verse 3) … “Put to death therefore your members …” (verse 5). A superficial judgment would be that the apostle is here contradicting himself. Some interpreters have, in fact, reached that very conclusion. It is as if on the one hand Paul is saying that the Colossians have already died, yet on the other hand is telling them that they must put themselves to death. How can both be true? The answer is that as long as believers are still living on earth their condition and their state do not wholly coincide. As to their state they are even now perfect, without any sin, wholly justified! Their old self is dead and buried (Col. 2:11–13). Now it is true that their condition is in harmony with this, but only in principle. In the words of the Heidelberg Catechism, “Even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience [that is, of obedience to God’s commandments]; yet so that with earnest purpose they begin to live, not only according to some but according to all the commandments of God” (Lord’s Day XLIV, Answer to Question 114). This progressive character of sanctification is also clearly taught by Paul (see below, on verse 10, and cf. 2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 1:6; 3:12, 13) and is in harmony with the rest of Scripture (Ps. 84:7; Prov. 4:18; Mark 9:24; also implied in 1 John 1:8–10). While with respect to the new life which was imparted to them by the Holy Spirit believers are so closely united with Christ that they are said to be with him in heaven (Col. 3:3), yet the old life is still of the earth as well as on earth. But there is no reason for despair. The very presence of the new life, the life “in Christ,” enables believers progressively to put to death the members that are upon the earth.

When the question is asked what is meant by the members that must be put to death the answer is: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. But how can members be vices? Some expositors regard this to be impossible. They suggest various solutions. Yet it would seem to me that the difficulty is not nearly as great as some would make it appear to be. John Calvin may be on the right track when he states that these vices are called members “since they adhere so closely to us.” Another very similar way of solving the difficulty, a way which does not imply a rejection of Calvin’s view but is clearly in line with it, would be to regard the use of the word members (= vices) to be an instance of the figure of speech called metonymy (“change of name”), in which, for example, the name of the cause or source is substituted for the effect it produces, the consequences that flow forth from it, the fruit or product it yields. Thus in Num. 3:16 (in the original) the word mouth is in the Hebrew substituted for the word command that issued from the mouth; or just as in American slang the expression, “I’ll have none of your lip” means, “I will not tolerate any saucy remarks that issue from your lips.” So here also the command, “Put to death therefore your members that (are) upon the earth: immorality, impurity,” etc., means, “Put to death therefore the effects produced by, and associated so closely with, the members of your body, such effects, products or works, as immorality, impurity,” etc. I am therefore in agreement with Bruce (op. cit., p. 268) when he says, “In Rom. 7:23 Paul speaks of ‘the law of sin which is in my members’; here [in Col. 3:5] he goes farther and practically identifies the readers’ members with the sins of which they were formerly the instruments. But what he is really thinking of is the practices and attitudes to which his readers’ bodily activity and strength had been devoted in the old life.” Thus also Ridderbos (op. cit., p. 207) states, “The `members’ are here identified with the sins committed by these members, which in a similar connection in Rom. 8:13 are called ‘the deeds of the body.’ ”

Lists of vices are of frequent occurrence in ancient literature, both pagan (moralistic) and anti-pagan. The recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls also have such lists. In the letters of Paul they occur in the following passages: Rom. 1:18–32; 1 Cor. 5:9–11; 6:9, 10; Gal. 5:19–21; Eph. 5:3–6; 1 Thess. 4:3–7; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; 2 Tim. 3:2–5; Titus 3:3. The difference between the Christian and the non-Christian treatment of these vices is that apart from Christ and the fullness of grace imparted by his Spirit there is no power in all the universe to overcome them. Christ, he alone, supplies that power.

As to arrangement, it is rather obvious that verse 5 lists five vices, and so does verse 8. However, whether there is any significance in this number five as here used is questionable, and if any special meaning attaches to it we must confess that we do not know what it is. It is true, nevertheless, that the first list enumerates vices that describe the sinner as he is in himself, while the second characterizes him in his relation to the neighbor. It is also possible to see in the first list a movement from the surface of life to its center, and in the second the reverse. This will become evident as the various items are studied one by one.

Of the five vices mentioned here in Col. 3:5 the first four are also listed in 1 Thess. 4:3–7, the last four also in Rom. 1:24–29. The first is immorality (“fornication”; see 1 Thess. 4:3; cf. Matt. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; John 8:41, etc.). Though referring basically to unlawful sexual intercourse, it probably includes illicit, clandestine relationships of every description. The emphasis, however, is on evil in the sexual realm, particularly evil deeds.

These evil deeds spring from evil thoughts, that is, from uncleanness, which is mentioned next (Rom. 1:24; 1 Thess. 4:7; cf. Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21, etc.). It is not necessary, however, to limit uncleanness to that which is filthy in thoughts. The intents of the heart are undoubtedly also included (cf. Heb. 4:12).

That it is the evil disposition of the heart and will of man which is the source of his wicked thoughts and deeds is clear from the two vices that are mentioned next, namely, passion and evil desire. It is not easy to distinguish between these, though there may be some merit in Lightfoot’s suggestion that the former describes this vice more from its passive, the latter more from its active side. For passion see also Rom. 1:26; 1 Thess. 4:5 (“passion of lust”), etc.; for evil desire, Rom. 1:24; 1 Thess. 4:5, etc. The word evil is added because desire as such is not necessarily wrong. The word used in the original may also refer to legitimate desire, for example, Christ’s desire to eat the Passover with his disciples. But evil desire is the inordinate craving for sexual satisfaction, or for other things, such as idol-worship, material possessions, renown, etc. The emphasis, in the present context, is, however, on illicit sex relationships, but not to the exclusion of other wicked yearnings. Out of this evil craving arise all kinds of sins. It is therefore basic, and is so regarded by Paul himself in Rom. 7:7. In this connection it is also interesting to note that in the Decalogue the sin of coveting is mentioned last (Ex. 20:17), as being the source of all the others, and that Jesus, too, considers the lustful heart, that is, the heart filled with evil desire, to be the root whence springs the evil deed, for he says, “Every one who looks on a woman to lust for her has already in his heart committed adultery with her” (Matt. 5:28).

But though by mentioning passion and evil desire the apostle has, as it were, reached the very bottom of every sin, he adds one more vice, one in which all the others are summarized, namely, self-seeking or greed (cf. Rom. 1:29, etc.). Every sin is basically selfishness, the worship of self instead of the worship of God, the substitution of self for Christ, in one’s affections (cf. Col. 3:1–3). It is for this very reason that Paul adds, “which is idolatry” (cf. Eph. 5:5). The young man who gets a girl in trouble may call this “love.” He is mistaken. It is self-seeking, greed, at least to a considerable extent. This young man wants “to have more than his due.” He is overreaching, going beyond what is proper (see N.T.C. on I and II Thessalonians, pp. 100, 101). However, the apostle is not thinking particularly about a young man but rather about “the old man,” (see 3:9) that is, the carnal nature of any man, regardless of age, the nature of man as it is apart from saving grace.[11]

5. If Christians have already died and risen again with Christ, whatever belongs to your earthly nature must be put to death. The word therefore shows, as so often in Paul, that the command is dependent on the previous statements. The new life, to be revealed fully on the last day (v. 4), is to let itself be seen in advance, in the present time, in Christian behaviour. ‘Your earthly nature’ is a potentially misleading phrase. Paul is not advocating a sort of Buddhist abstraction from ordinary human life, but rather the abandoning of a way of life that is ‘earthly’ as opposed to ‘heavenly’ in the sense indicated by verses 1–4, i.e. that belongs to the old age and not to the new. Literally the phrase could be translated ‘the members (or ‘limbs’) which are upon the earth’; Paul probably intends this as a vivid metaphor, as in Matthew 5:29–30; 18:8–9. Practices such as these are like a gangrenous limb to the eyes of a surgeon: they must be cut off before they infect the whole person.

The list moves from the specific to the general. The word here translated sexual immorality refers to any intercourse outside marriage: in the ancient world, as in the modern, intercourse with a prostitute would be a specific, and in pagan culture a frequent, instance of this. Impurity highlights the contamination of character effected by immoral behaviour. The word rendered lust could refer to any overmastering passion, but regularly, as here, indicates uncontrolled sexual urges. Evil desires (the word ‘evil’ is added because ‘desire’ by itself, which is what the Greek word means, could be used in a neutral sense) is the state which logically precedes lust. It is perhaps important to note, as is clearly implied by Hebrews 4:15, that experiencing sexual temptation is not itself sinful. Sin begins when the idea of illicit gratification, presented to the mind in temptation, is not at once put to death, but is instead fondled and cherished. Behind this stage, in turn, there is greed: another general term, here it refers to unchecked hunger for physical pleasure, which is the breeding-ground for more specific evil desires. Paul boldly unmasks this covetousness: it is idolatry. Literal idol-worship, of course, formed the setting for a good deal of the sort of behaviour here criticized, but that is only an illustration of the basic point. All such greed places at the centre of one’s attention and devotion that which is not God. In turning from the source of life, those who follow other paths are actually pursuing death (cf. Rom. 1:21ff., 32; 6:21), as the next verse indicates.

If these vices are not, eventually, to kill the one who practises them, they must themselves be ‘put to death’. The old word ‘mortify’, used here in av, has now acquired exactly the wrong sense, implying just such a regime of ascetic discipline as Paul has declared to be worse than useless (2:20–23). ‘Mortification’ like that avoids dealing directly with the sin itself. Paul’s recommended treatment is simpler and more drastic. To put something to death you must cut off its lines of supply: it is futile and self-deceiving to bemoan one’s inability to resist the last stage of a temptation when earlier stages have gone by unnoticed, or even eagerly welcomed. This does not mean setting up a new hedge around the law, such as branding all theatrical performances (or whatever) as inherently ‘sinful’. Rather, every Christian has the responsibility, before God, to investigate the lifelines of whatever sins are defeating him personally, and to cut them off without pity. Better that than have them eventually destroy him.[12]

3:5 / The imperative tone that characterized 3:1–2 (“set,” “keep”) is picked up again in 3:5, but this time in a negative way: Put to death, therefore.… This list of prohibitions belongs to a category of vices that are scattered throughout the nt (cf. Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21, 22; Rom. 1:24, 26, 29–32; 13:13; 1 Cor. 5:10–13; 6:9–10; 2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5:19–21; Eph. 4:31; 5:3–5; Col. 3:5, 8; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10; 6:4–5; 2 Tim. 3:2–5; Titus 3:3; 1 Pet. 2:1; 4:3, 4; Jude 8, 16; Rev. 9:20, 21; 21:8; 22:15). Later, in 3:12, Paul mentions a list of virtues that a Christian is to “put on.” This, too, belongs to a catalog—of virtue (Matt. 5:3–11; 2 Cor. 6:6, 7; Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 6:14–17; Phil. 4:8; Col. 3:12; 1 Tim. 3:2, 3; 6:11; Titus 1:7, 8; James 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:5–7).

Of all the lists of vices and virtues in the nt, the lists in Colossians, Ephesians, and 1 Peter are the most similar. Scholars who have researched these “catalogs” have concluded that the lists that appear in these three epistles belong to a traditional body of instructional material of the early church and would have been passed on to new Christians on the occasion of their baptism. But even though Colossians, Ephesians, and 1 Peter contain a significant amount of baptismal language and theology, they probably were not written solely for that occasion and should not be regarded as baptismal tracts.

The command (imperative) put to death is a clear reference to the “death” that these believers have already experienced in baptism. They now are called upon to appropriate that death by removing all earthly desires from their life. The Greek uses the term “earthly members” (ta melē ta epi tēs gēs) because it was believed that such vices were located in certain parts of the body. In Romans 6:13 Paul uses the same word when he says: “Do not offer the parts [ta melē] of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body [ta melē] to him as instruments of righteousness.”

The list in this verse includes five vices that are related to sexual sins. As such, they are manifestations of evil desires and are harmful to other people. Sexual immorality (porneia) includes all kinds of unlawful sexual behavior, including deviations (1 Cor. 5:1, 10; 6:9; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; 1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Tim. 1:9, 10) such as prostitution and fornication. Impurity (akatharsia) is almost synonymous with porneia and is used in the nt to describe immoral intent as well as the practice of sexual vices.

Lust (pathos), in this context, probably implies some kind of sexual passion, that is, passion or lust that leads to sexual sin. Its counterpart, evil desires (epithymian kakēn), is used for the desire of something that is forbidden but is pursued in order to satisfy one’s desires. Galatians 5:16, for example, says “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires [epithymia] of the sinful nature.”

The last vice to be mentioned is greed (pleonexia), or covetousness (rsv), literally, a desire to have more, to appropriate another’s possessions. Since the nt has many warnings against this sin (cf. Mark 7:22; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:3), it is not clear whether its occurrence here is linked with sexual immorality or with all areas of life. Both ideas could be in the apostle’s mind. The parenthetical which is idolatry, paralleled in Ephesians 5:5, underscores the idea that greed, along with the other vices, is an illicit evil desire (1 Cor. 5:10, 11; 6:9; Gal. 5:20). Greed is idolatry because it leads one to focus attention and affection on things other than God. This can happen in sexual life as well as with material things. The solution to such idolatry has already been given: “Set your hearts … set your minds” on heavenly things! In other words, give Christ preeminence in your ethical life as well.[13]

5  While the first of the four ethical paragraphs contains the catchword “put off” (v. 8), the paragraph is introduced by the equivalent injunction “put to death” or, as it might be rendered, “reckon as dead.” “Reckon as dead those ‘members’ of yours which partake of the nature of the old earthly life.” Paul is not talking here of the actual members of the human body, nor is he expressing himself in quite the sense intended by Jesus when he said that the offending hand or foot should be cut off or the offending eye plucked out, if entrance into life could not otherwise be gained. This seems plain from the apposition of the noun “members” with the following list of vices.50 Yet this apposition is so abrupt that attempts have been made to ease the difficulty of the construction by expedients which nevertheless are unconvincing. Thus Lightfoot puts a heavy stop after “treat your earthly members as dead” and regards the following nouns (“fornication, impurity, …”) as “prospective accusatives” governed by some such verb as “put off” in v. 8. On this showing, Paul intended to make the accusatives directly dependent on the verb “put off,” but before he reached the verb he introduced intervening clauses which led to a change in the structure of the sentence. To be sure, such breaches of construction (anacolutha) are by no means uncommon in Paul’s epistolary style; but in this place, if he had meant to make the accusatives directly dependent on the verb “put off,” he would almost certainly have put that verb in front of them. Even less convincing is Charles Masson’s expedient: he takes “members” as vocative and interprets the passage thus: “You members [of the body of Christ] are therefore to reckon as dead the things which are on the earth—fornication, impurity, etc.”53

What we have here is rather an extension of the ordinary sense of “members.” Since these people’s bodily members had been used as instruments of sin in their former life (cf. Rom. 6:19), they are viewed here as comprehending the various kinds of sin which were committed by their means. In Rom. 7:23 Paul speaks of “the law of sin which dwells in my members”; here he goes farther and practically identifies the members with the sins of which they had once been the instruments. But what he really has in mind is the practices and attitudes to which his readers’ bodily activity and strength had been devoted in the old life. Of these he mentions first of all fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, proceeding from the more overt to the less overt. These things had to be regarded as dead. Since believers have died with Christ, the domination of the old habits and instincts has been broken. But this severance of the old relation by reason of death can equally well be expressed the other way around: if, from one point of view, believers have died to these things, then, from another point of view, these things are dead so far as believers are concerned: they are no longer able to enforce their claims as they once did. So, in Rom. 6:11, Paul exhorts his readers to reckon themselves as dead to sin but alive to righteousness, while in Rom. 8:13 he says, “if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live” (the “deeds of the body” being such things as are listed here in Col. 3:5).

It has been said that, in his oscillation between the idea of the Christian’s having died with Christ and the idea of his still having to “put to death” the old bad habits, or to reckon himself as dead, Paul can be charged with inconsistency. “He is working with an abstract theological idea which does not fit in with the facts of life, and in his effort to assert it he is involved in constant trouble.” This criticism does less than justice to the reality of the believer’s union with Christ and reception of new life in him, which is much more than an “abstract theological idea.” The difficulty arises rather from the circumstance that believers, in fact and in conscious experience, exist on two planes so long as mortal life endures: spiritually they already belong to the age to come, while temporally they are involved in this present age; spiritually they are united to Christ at God’s right hand, while temporally they live on earth. The impartation of the new nature by Christ does not effect the immediate annihilation of the old hereditary nature; so long as they live in this world, the old nature persists like a dormant force which may spring into activity at any time. Hence the tension, which arises not from any inconsistency between Paul’s premises and his recognition of the facts of human life, but from well-known conditions of Christian existence.

The believer is dead to the world with Christ (Col. 2:20; 3:3), having put off the old nature in him (Col. 2:11; 3:9) and been liberated from sin (Rom. 6:6–7, 11, 18, 22); on the other hand, the believer is still in the world in a mortal body and exposed to sinful temptations. Hence this antinomy in the apostle’s thought; hence his transition back and forth between the indicative and the imperative: “Be what you are!”58

In moving from the outward manifestations of sin to the cravings of the heart—from improper acts to their inner springs—Paul proceeds in the manner of our Lord, who in the Sermon on the Mount traces murder back to the angry thought, and adultery to the lustful glance (Matt. 5:21–22, 27–29). Catalogues of vices were common form among pagan moralists and in the antipagan polemic of Jewish propagandists. Such lists appear repeatedly in Paul’s letters (cf. Rom. 1:29–31; 1 Cor. 5:11; 6:9–10; Gal. 5:19–21; Eph. 5:3–4), receiving a special significance from the Christian context in which they are set.

Fornication, which appears first in the list of sins, receives the same preeminence among the “works of the flesh” enumerated in Gal. 5:19–21. It means primarily traffic with harlots; it is found also as a near-technical term for sexual relations within prohibited degrees and, more widely, of sexual irregularity in general. In its primary sense it was so common in Graeco-Roman antiquity that, except when carried to excess, it was not regarded as especially reprehensible. Some of Paul’s churches had difficulty in abandoning their former pagan tolerance of it; hence his specific warnings against it: “Shun fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18); “abstain from fornication” (1 Thess. 4:3).

Impurity has a wider range of meaning than fornication. It includes the misuse of sex, but is applicable to various forms of moral evil: Demosthenes, for example, uses it of one who, pretending to be a man’s friend, commits perjury to do him an injury.63

The word translated “passion” covers a variety of emotion and affection, but when it appears in this kind of context it denotes “dishonorable passions,” as it is put explicitly in Rom. 1:26. So also the word translated “desire” denotes strong desire whether good or bad, but here it is expressly qualified as “evil.” (Even if the adjective be omitted, as it is in some textual witnesses, the context would be sufficient to indicate that evil desire is meant, which indeed is the usual significance of the word in Paul’s writings.)

The climax of the present list is covetousness, which is equated with idolatry, as in Eph. 5:5. Covetousness is idolatry because it involves the setting of one’s affections on earthly things and not on things above, and therefore the putting of some other object of desire in the place which God should occupy in his people’s hearts. So, in Phil. 3:19–20, the contrast is pointed between those whose minds are “set on earthly things” and those whose citizenship is in heaven. The exceeding sinfulness of covetousness was revealed to Paul, according to Rom. 7:7–13, when he became aware of the commandment “Thou shalt not covet” (and even if that passage is not truly autobiographical, the validity of his argument is not affected). The sins which precede covetousness in the catalogue appear regularly in such lists, and certainly they were sins against which converts from paganism needed to be put on their guard; but covetousness is the more dangerous because it may assume so many respectable forms.[14]

5 Paul explicitly begins his ethical instruction (the conjunction oun, “therefore,” marks the transition; cf. Ro 12:1; Eph 4:1) by enjoining the Colossians to “put to death” their earthly members (lit., “the parts which are on the earth”). On the one hand, believers have died with Christ (2:12, 20; 3:3); on the other hand, they must slay (former) patterns of behavior that are not in keeping with their new existence in Christ (Ro 6:13; 8:13; 2 Co 5:10). Unlike the “philosophy,” Paul does not advocate an asceticism that requires the mortification of one’s physical body (cf. 2:20–23); rather, he calls the congregation to a sober evaluation of their sinful tendencies and to a self-conscious termination of their past practices.

In this first vice list (cf. 3:8), the focus falls primarily on sexual sins. Given Paul’s Jewish ethical orientation and the congregation’s Gentile composition, this string of sexual vices to be avoided comes as no surprise. It was not uncommon for Jews to perceive “pagans” as having lax sexual mores and to scorn them for the same (cf. O’Brien, 181; Dunn, 213–14). Even though some Jewish depictions of Gentile sexual perversion and participation in immoral practices are clearly overdrawn (for a discussion of representative primary texts, see John M. G. Barclay, Jews in the Mediterranean Diaspora: From Alexander to Trajan [323 BCE–117 CE] [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1996], 146, 175–76, 187, 220, 339, 388), it is no stretch to say that “there existed in the Greco-Roman world of Paul’s day a very tolerant attitude toward sexual conduct, particularly sexual activity outside marriage” (so Jeffrey A. D. Weima, “ ‘How You Must Walk to Please God’: Holiness and Discipleship in 1 Thessalonians,” in Patterns of Discipleship in the New Testament, ed. Richard N. Longenecker [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996], 104). In the course of his epistles, Paul frequently exhorts his assemblies to sexual chastity (cf. 1 Co 5:1–13; 6:12–20; 1 Th 4:3–8). In the apostle’s ethical framework, sexual activity was to be confined to monogamous, heterosexual, marital relationships (Ro 1:24, 26–27; 1 Co 7:2–5); correlatively, he viewed all extramarital sexual involvement as sinful.

The first vices that Paul calls the Colossians to jettison are “sexual immorality” or “fornication” (porneia, GK 4518) and “impurity” (akatharsia, GK 174). While the former term can refer to both adultery and intercourse with prostitutes in particular, the latter connotes unspecified sexual sin. The words porneia and akatharsia appear together elsewhere in Paul (2 Co 12:21; Gal 5:19; 1 Th 4:3, 7). Following on in this particular context, “lust” or “passion” (pathos, GK 4079) would also carry a negative sexual connotation (1 Th 4:5). “Lust” and the penultimate item in this list, “evil desires” (epithymian kakēn, GK 2123, 2805), seem to refer to unbridled, misdirected sexual urges. Paul urges the church to abandon sexually immoral actions and calls them to purge their minds of sexually immoral thoughts.

The final vice in this catalog that Paul implores the Colossians to slay is “greed” or “covetousness” (pleonexian, GK 4432). A person who is gripped by greed and characterized by covetousness desires to get more and, in effect, turns gain into a god. Paul depicts greed here as tantamount to “idolatry” (cf. Ro 1:29; Eph 5:5). Even if Paul does not explicitly state so here, he may well have considered misdirected sensuality to be a form of covetousness in that it often reduces a person to a possession to be used and then discarded. Furthermore, like many of his fellow Jews, Paul would have regarded sexual immorality as a type of idolatry (Ro 1:22–27; see Dunn, 215–16, for textual parallels). Paul calls on the Colossians to cultivate gratitude (3:15–17) and to eradicate greed.[15]


[1] Köstenberger, A. J. (2017). Colossians. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1897). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Col 3:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (pp. 1732–1733). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Col 3:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2298). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Col 3:5). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[7] Leach, S. R. (2010). The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 921). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (pp. 2008–2009). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[9] O’Brien, P. T. (1994). Colossians. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1272). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

[10] Utley, R. J. (1997). Paul Bound, the Gospel Unbound: Letters from Prison (Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, then later, Philippians) (Vol. Volume 8, p. 42). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[11] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Colossians and Philemon (Vol. 6, pp. 143–147). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[12] Wright, N. T. (1986). Colossians and Philemon: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 12, pp. 138–140). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[13] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (pp. 72–73). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[14] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 140–144). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[15] Still, T. D. (2006). Colossians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 326). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

How Heretics Help Establish the Historicity of Jesus — Cold Case Christianity

Whenever I make the case for the reliability of the New Testament, I trace the New Testament “Chain of Custody” to demonstrate how early Church Fathers (like Polycarp, Ignatius and Clement) helped establish the reliability of the Resurrection account. I typically recount the writings of many of these early Church leaders as they described what they learned from the original disciples and eyewitnesses of Jesus’. Historic claims related to the life of Jesus and the Resurrection can also be traced in the writings of men like Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, Tatian, Justin Martyr and many others.

I am sometimes asked, however, how I can reference these sources given that some of the Church Fathers in my “Chain of Custody” actually held heretical positions related to Christian doctrines., and all of them are identified within the historic role-call of Roman Catholic leaders. How can I accept their testimony related to what they learned about the historicity of Jesus if I’m not willing to accept their “Roman Catholic-ish” beliefs about things such as the role of sacraments, the existence of purgatory or the nature of Mary. Can people who hold different theological views still play an important role in establishing the historicity of Jesus? Yes they can.

In every criminal trial, we call witnesses who hold theological, philosophical, or political views differing from our own. We don’t have to agree on these issues (even if some of these points are critically important to our worldview) in order to contribute as a witness in a limited, focused way. Witnesses are asked to describe what they saw or heard at a particular point in time. Little more will be allowed by the judge. Imagine, for example, a witness observes a suspect to run to his car, enter on the driver’s side, start the engine, but then hesitate just prior to speeding from the location. At the trial, the witness will be asked to describe what he or she saw related to the actions of the suspect. But a question like, “Why do you think he hesitated before he fled the scene?” is beyond the scope of the witness’ knowledge and testimony. It’s one thing to testify about what you’ve seen, it’s another to testify about what you think it means. If an attorney was to ask, “Why do you think he hesitated before he fled the scene?” the opposing lawyer would surely object and rightly declare the answer to be nothing more than speculation on the part of the witness. How, for example, could the witness know what the suspect was thinking (or even experiencing) to explain why the suspect hesitated as he did?

When examining the lineage of historic Church leaders, my focus is simply on their descriptions related to what they were taught by those who preceded them related to the facts of Jesus’ life and ministry. As a result, I am primarily concerned with their descriptions of the Gospels and the details included in these historical narratives. When a Church Father begins to pontificate on a theological position or interpretation, I recognize this as outside the scope of his testimony. An early Church leader may try to infer something about the nature of Jesus, for example, from the virgin conception, but this is not what concerns me. I am simply interested in the earliest accounts about the birth of Jesus and how these accounts were transmitted to those who came after the authors of the Gospels, not what these accounts imply. When examining an early Church Father, I am only interested in, “What were the facts about Jesus’ life you received from those who preceded you?” not, “What do you think all this means?”


We don’t have to agree with every theological position of an Early Church Father to recognize his value in helping us make the case for the accurate transmission of the Gospels.
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Witnesses are called for specific, limited purposes. What someone believes about God, where they stand politically, and what they believe about social issues is of no importance to me. “What did you see or hear?” This is what matters. When it comes to the Early Church Fathers, I really don’t care what they believed about eschatology, sacraments, Church authority, transubstantiation, purgatory or baptism. I simply want to know, what were they told about Jesus’ life, actions, and words by those who came before them? The theological ramifications and interpretations can be studied later. Many of my witnesses hold differing views about a variety of important secondary issues. I may never become close friends with some of them, given these differences. But I don’t have to be best friends with someone to recognize their value in helping me make the case. In a similar way, I don’t have to agree with every theological position of an Early Church Father (especially if he held a heretical position) to recognize his value in helping me make the case for the accurate transmission of the Gospels. Yes, even heretics can help establish the historicity of Jesus.

For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

How Heretics Help Establish the Historicity of Jesus — Cold Case Christianity

April 6 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

What Distinguishes Christians from Other People
Matthew 5:11; John 15:20; 16:33; 2 Corinthians 4:12; 6:9–10; 10:3; Philippians 3:20; 1 Peter 2:11

The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity.… They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children, but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

EPISTLE TO DIOGNETUS

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Guilt Punished Through Desire
Leviticus 18:25; Psalm 89:32; Jeremiah 30:15

Guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain which is sustained purely as such.… Guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love, and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul.

CATHERINE OF SIENA

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

6 Apr 2021 News Briefing

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Rumors of War – Will The US Help Ukraine If Russia Invades?
Could this be the spark that causes World War 3 to erupt? At this hour, Russian and Ukrainian military forces continue to rush toward the conflict zone, and to say that things are “tense” in the region would be a tremendous understatement. When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed Decree No. 117/2021 on March 24th, it was essentially a declaration of war against Russia. Since that time, Russian forces have been massing along the borders in numbers that we have never seen before.

Beijing Accelerating Timeline for Possible Invasion of Taiwan, Expert Warns
TAIPEI, Taiwan—The Chinese communist regime is accelerating its plans to invade Taiwan, an expert warns, as Beijing ratchets up military maneuvers against the island. Twenty Chinese military aircraft—including four nuclear-capable H-6K bombers, 10 J-16 fighter jets, two Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, and a KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft—entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on March 26, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense. It was the largest incursion ever reported by the ministry. The CCP sees Taiwan as a part of its territory and has threatened war to bring the island under its fold. The self-ruled island is in reality a de-facto independent country with its own democratically-elected government, military, constitution, and currency.

Have scientists at CERN found evidence of brand new physics?
So our new paper from LHCb, one of the four giant LHC experiments, is likely to set physicists’ hearts beating just a little faster. After analysing trillions of collisions produced over the last decade, we may be seeing evidence of something altogether new – potentially the carrier of a brand new force of nature. But the excitement is tempered by extreme caution. The standard model has withstood every experimental test thrown at it since it was assembled in the 1970s, so to claim that we’re finally seeing something it can’t explain requires extraordinary evidence. The big question was whether these anomalies would get stronger as more data was analysed or melt away into nothing.

At least 7 people killed in shootings on Easter Sunday in Chicago, police say
At least seven people were shot to death in Chicago on Easter Sunday in separate attacks across the city, according to Chicago police.

Japan Poised To Allow Coast Guard To Fire On Chinese Vessels In New Legislation
New legislation being considered that would radically alter current Japan Coast Guard policy toward how it engages foreign vessels in Japan’s waters could inadvertently hurl the region toward a hot conflict involving China.

Sen. Rubio Hammers Hypocrite MLB Commish, Asks: Will You Give Up Augusta Golf Club Membership?
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) on Monday penned a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred asking him if he plans to continue his membership at an exclusive Georgia golf club amid of the league’s decision to withdraw its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest the state’s divisive new election law.
The senator said the decision to pull the game out of the state “reeks of hypocrisy” .

Clarence Thomas pushes brilliant way to control social-media giants
In a concurring opinion Monday, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said social-media companies have too much power over public speech, suggesting they be treated as utilities so they can be regulated by the government.

East Africa deploys huge volumes of ‘highly hazardous’ pesticides
The desert locust infestation, described by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2020 as a “scourge of biblical proportions,”

EU expresses ‘severe concern’ over Russian troops’ Ukraine border moves
The European Union has pledged its “unwavering” support for Ukraine’s government, with the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, expressing major worries over Russian troop movements, The Guardian reports. “Following with severe concern the Russian military activity surrounding Ukraine,” Borrell wrote online after a phone call with Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba. “Unwavering EU support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

On eve of Iran talks, Netanyahu warns Tehran against harming Israel
On the eve of talks to revive the Iran deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran that it faced “grave danger” if it harmed Israel, as he recalled the battle for Jaffa in the 1948 War of Independence.

Israel challenges Biden on Jerusalem, plans to advance Har Homa project
Israel plans to advance a 540-unit extension to the contentious east Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa in its first direct challenge to the Biden administration on Jerusalem.

Israel reveals it has the Ability to ‘Completely Destroy’ Iran’s Nuclear Plan
the new unit formed last year to deal with Iran and strategic issues—the Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate. According to Kalman, 2020 was a good year for the battle against Iran. “I don’t want to call it a turning point year, but it was a year of major changes,” he said.

NYT Blames Evangelicals for potentially extending Covid ‘Pandemic’
in the New York Times, faith and religion reporters Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham published a piece entitled: ‘How White Evangelicals’ Vaccine Refusal Could Prolong the Pandemic’. The article, which was focused on Caucasians exclusively,

Rescuers hampered by damaged roads, more rain in Indonesia
Rescuers were hampered by damaged bridges and roads and a lack of heavy equipment Monday after torrential rains caused multiple disasters on remote eastern Indonesian islands as well as in East Timor. At least 133 people died and dozens were missing in Indonesia, and 27 deaths were reported in East Timor. A tropical cyclone causing the damage is expected to continue affecting the Southeast Asian nations for days while moving south toward Australia.

Easter message: U.S. senator claims ‘we are able to save ourselves’
U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., a former pastor, said in a now-deleted tweet that “the meaning of Easter is more transcendent” than the resurrection of Jesus. “Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves,” he wrote.

Cancer-causing chemical found in hand sanitizers made during the pandemic 
) Some hand sanitizers made to meet the surge in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic contain high levels of a cancer-causing chemical known as benzene, according to a study conducted by the online pharmacy, Valisure.

Massive U.S. food shortage coming – get a backup supply ready RIGHT NOW
The hunger-relief organization Feeding America estimates that our country will be short eight billion meals in the next four months. Their food banks put out three times the usual this year, due to Covid-19 joblessness and homelessness, totaling over 17 billion pounds of food. On average, at least 10 percent of Americans cannot afford food that contains actual nutrition (organic whole food and non-GMO).

Fauci is a dangerous sociopath who must be held accountable for committing crimes against humanity 
Fake doctor Anthony Fauci is now trying to claim credit for the experimental gene therapy injections for the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) that were actually created by Donald Trump through Operation Warp Speed (OWS). Consequently, Fauci is now receiving flack from Trump supporters like Peter Navarro who say that Fauci is nothing more than a lying sociopath.

WEF globalist Klaus Schwab declares unvaccinated people to be a threat to humanity
Several dozen heads of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Economic Forum (WEF), and various other globalist bodies have declared that the “Great Reset” needs to include the establishment of a global “pandemic” treaty to ensure that all humans are “vaccinated” in accordance with government edicts.

Insurers say death from coronavirus vaccination will not impact life insurance payouts 
A group of life insurers has clarified that getting the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine will not affect people’s policy payout in case of death. The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) released a statement debunking alleged rumors circulating on social media platforms. The rumors asserted that getting a COVID-19 jab could play a role in claiming death benefits from insurance firms.

Message to Mayor Nenshi: The Lion Has Turned
Look out, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, there’s a lion on the loose and he won’t be caged until you stop your War on Christianity

China Becomes First Nation On Earth To Create A Digital Currency In Move That Could Threaten The Global Dominance Of The United States Dollar
It is obvious that the world is on the cusp of a complete and total, once-in-a-millennium paradigm shift with regards to national and global currency, and it is equally obvious that digital money like cryptocurrency is readying itself to replace paper money. But for the bible believer, we’ve seen this coming for the last 30 years, why? Because the Mark of the Beast from Revelation 13 shows us that the Mark is implantable, digital currency that allows you to buy and sell things. See? Not so hard to understand Revelation, is it? The Mark of the Beast is cryptocurrency that goes inside your body.

NY Senate just passed a concentration camp bill to forcibly throw people in camps, just like the Nazis did in World War II
The Democrat-dominated New York state Senate has passed a bill “allowing” government officials to throw people in concentration camps indefinitely if they are deemed to be a public health threat.

America Remains In A State Of War As Democrat-Run Media Unleashes Assault Against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
If you thought that the Democrats were going to be ‘gracious in victory’ after calling for a time of ‘national healing’ you would be completely mistaken. The Democrats are ramping up relentless assaults against all patriots on every level, and defying anyone to stop them. Case is point is today’s story about how ’60 Minutes’ unleashed a brutal attack on Florida governor Ron DeSantis, with lies so egregious that even some other Democrats called them out on it.

Dick Morris: Biden’s “Infrastructure Bill” Is a Lie – It’s a Ploy to Collectivize the Entire US
Joe Biden has no idea what he is doing and this is good for those behind the scenes running the operation.  They can push the most insane and inefficient laws and regulations in history and Biden and half the American people won’t know it.

UK Government Has Planned For Vaccine Passports All Along
Despite consistently denying it, the UK government has planned for the rollout of vaccine passports all along, prompting charges that the “Covid passes are shrouded in government cover ups, lies and shady contracts.”

VAX THE BLACKS: Vermont says only “people of color” can receive jab for Covid-19 unless they’re over 50 
The “progressive” state of Vermont has established racial exclusions within its Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) injection schedule that allow for “people of color” (POC) to be jabbed before “white” people.

Source: 6 Apr 2021 – Rapture Ready

Apostasy Watch Tuesday 4-6-21

Darrell B. Harrison – The Era of the Angry Black Christian

Joseph Prince’s Petulant, Spoiled Brat Christianity – God Loves Greedy Christians!

Revoice Introduces ‘Semi-Celibate Throuple’ to Christendom

John Gray secures Atlanta area location for new Relentless Church campus

While two-thirds of Americans profess to be Christians, only 10% hold to a Biblical worldview

LA Times Op-Ed: Why America’s record godlessness is good news for the nation

Video – Juanita Bynum meltdown over Jezebel comment (5:28)

Christians in Indian village beaten, forced to reconvert to tribal religions

Source: Daily News and Commentary (apostasywatch.com)

Active shooter down in Frederick, Maryland, ‘multiple victims’ have been shotPosted: 06 Apr 2021 07:31 AM PDT(DEVELOPING) RT – There are reports of another shooting in Frederick, Maryland, this morning that has resulted in at least two victims that have been shot and police reporting that one suspect is “down.”We are on scene responding to an active shooter in the 8400 block of Progress Drive. Currently there are two victims and one suspect is down.— Frederick Police (@Fred_MD_Police) April 6, 2021According to RT News, A SWAT team had been deployed, and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office told local media that “multiple victims” were reported. Continue reading Active shooter down in Frederick, Maryland, ‘multiple victims’ have been shot at End Time Headlines.
Navy’s top officer says ‘Mysterious Drones’ that swarmed destroyers still remain unidentifiedPosted: 06 Apr 2021 07:15 AM PDT(ETH) – Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday, who is the U.S. Navy’s top officer, was recently questioned about a series of mysterious and concerning incidents that took place back in July of 2019 which has been described as ‘drones’ swarming American destroyers off the coast of Southern California.The incident was first reported by The War Zone in detail on this series of mysterious and yet-to-be-explained events after the incident was originally uncovered by filmmaker Dave Beaty. Continue reading Navy’s top officer says ‘Mysterious Drones’ that swarmed destroyers still remain unidentified at End Time Headlines.
Woman describes seeing Heaven after doctors declare her deadPosted: 06 Apr 2021 06:53 AM PDT(OPINION) ETH – A woman named Barbara has recently made headlines after she was pronounced dead of COVID-19. Only, minutes later, coming back to life. It was what happened while she was dead that has many left amazed as she shares her experience.Barabara claims that when she died she was taken momentarily to Heaven and saw things she can only describe as “beautiful”  “Beautiful, everything was beautiful and peaceful and I’m grateful,” Barbara said.Continue reading Woman describes seeing Heaven after doctors declare her dead at End Time Headlines.
Is The Countdown To Our “Point Of No Return” About To Come To An End?Posted: 06 Apr 2021 06:32 AM PDT(OPINION) MS – Do you feel like we are on the verge of a major tipping point?  If so, you are definitely not alone.  I felt like the first few months of this year would be a time of relative stability, but now I believe that global events will really start to heat up again in a major way.  Interestingly, Saturday was the only day when the calendar will read 4/3/21 for the next 100 years.Continue reading Is The Countdown To Our “Point Of No Return” About To Come To An End? at End Time Headlines.
Putin just signed a law allowing him two more terms as Russia’s leader, Military buildup in Arctic includes ‘Superweapon’ Poseidon TorpedoPosted: 06 Apr 2021 06:23 AM PDT(ETH) – A new report is revealing that Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that will allow him to potentially hold power well into 2036.According to details of the report from CBN News, The vote included a provision that reset Putin’s previous term limits, which will allow him to run for president for two more terms. This new change was made concrete by the Kremlin-controlled legislature and the relevant law signed by Putin was posted Monday on an official portal of legal information.Continue reading Putin just signed a law allowing him two more terms as Russia’s leader, Military buildup in Arctic includes ‘Superweapon’ Poseidon Torpedo at End Time Headlines.
Where Is The Outrage? Every Single Day, Christians Are Being Tortured, Beaten And Killed All Over The GlobePosted: 05 Apr 2021 07:10 PM PDT(OPINION) MS – As you read this article, Christians all around the world are facing absolutely horrific persecution.  They are forced to work as slave labor in concentration camps in North Korea, they are being chased from their homes in some parts of India, they live in constant fear of Islamic terror attacks throughout vast stretches of Africa, and countless numbers of believers are suffering in secret brainwashing facilities in China right now.Continue reading Where Is The Outrage? Every Single Day, Christians Are Being Tortured, Beaten And Killed All Over The Globe at End Time Headlines.
Japan just recorded its earliest cherry blossom bloom in 1,200 years, Scientist warn of major upheaval of ecosystemPosted: 05 Apr 2021 04:11 PM PDT(ETH) – Japan has just recorded its earliest cherry blossom bloom in over 1200 years and scientists are saying it is not a good sign for humanity!In the spring cherry blossoms, also known as “sakura” — white and pink flowers, bloom across cities and mountains, leaving petals covering the ground. These flowers experience what is called a “peak bloom” that only lasts a few days, and have been revered in Japan for over a thousand years.Continue reading Japan just recorded its earliest cherry blossom bloom in 1,200 years, Scientist warn of major upheaval of ecosystem at End Time Headlines.
Popular internet pastor tells his Church to “take them stupid masks off’ during Easter servicePosted: 05 Apr 2021 03:10 PM PDT(OPINION) ETH – A popular pastor from Tennessee has stirred some controversy after telling some members of his congregation to “take off their stupid masks” during a service this past Sunday during Easter.The move came despite federal guidance urging the wearing of masks to control the spread of COVID-19. Locke, who leads the Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee, reportedly mocked some of his congregants for following that advice “like sheep”. Continue reading Popular internet pastor tells his Church to “take them stupid masks off’ during Easter service at End Time Headlines.
In World’s first for Major Economy…China has created its own Digital Currency .. Could threaten US DollarPosted: 05 Apr 2021 02:48 PM PDT(ETH) – In what is being deemed as a first for the World’s economy, the Chinese government has reportedly created its very own digital currency, that some say could shake a pillar of American power.According to the report from the WSJ, China is turning legal tender itself into computer code. This version of digital currency is said to be controlled by its central bank, which will reportedly issue the new electronic money.Continue reading In World’s first for Major Economy…China has created its own Digital Currency .. Could threaten US Dollar at End Time Headlines.
Chinese Christians are being tortured in ‘Brainwashing’ campsPosted: 05 Apr 2021 11:06 AM PDT(ETH) – A new heartbreaking report regarding our Christian brothers and sisters in China is revealing that they are reportedly being detained in what is being deemed as secretive, mobile “transformation” facilities where they are being subjected to brainwashing, torture, and continuous beatings in order to force them to renounce their faith.According to the report from the Christian Post, a member of an underground “House Church” in the southwestern province of Sichuan recently told Radio Free Asia that he was being held in a facility ran by the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department for 10 months after a raid on his church in back 2018.Continue reading Chinese Christians are being tortured in ‘Brainwashing’ camps at End Time Headlines.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 6, 2021

Mid-Day Digest

THE FOUNDATION

“If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it.” —Benjamin Franklin (1789)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

‘60 Minutes’ Runs Fake News Hit Piece Against DeSantis

The CBS News program deceptively edited footage to peddle a false pay-to-play scandal against the Republican governor.

Thomas Gallatin

Why anyone still takes CBS’s “news” show “60 Minutes” seriously after its long history of blatantly deceptive promulgation of demonstrably false narratives is anybody’s guess. That “60 Minutes” is still considered reputable journalism by many is a testament to the manipulative power of popular media. In truth, the show is nothing more than a leftist propaganda program masquerading as investigative journalism. This reality was once again brought home over the weekend when the program was exposed for deliberately spinning a false narrative against Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis via a deceptively edited interview.

The “60 Minutes” story is nothing other than an anti-DeSantis hit piece aimed at smearing the governor’s impressive and successful leadership in handling the ChiCom Virus pandemic and specifically vaccine distribution. CBS’s Sharyn Alfonsi, who covered the segment, claims that DeSantis engaged in “pay-to-play” schemes for COVID vaccine distribution that favored white and affluent areas.

None of the allegations are true, and DeSantis throughly debunks them when questioned by Alfonsi during a press conference.

“Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign, and then you reward them with exclusive rights to vaccination in Palm Beach,” Alfonsi asserts. DeSantis explained, “You had the counties, you had some drive-thru sites, you had hospitals that were doing a lot, but we wanted to get it into communities more. So we reached out to other retail pharmacies: Publix, Walmart, obviously CVS and Walgreens had to finish that mission, and we said we’re going to use you as soon as you’re done with that.” However, rather than showing DeSantis’s full response, CBS deceptively edited out the majority and most significant portions of his answer, and then continued parroting its demonstrably false narrative. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

In fact, so blatantly misleading and downright false was the “60 Minutes” “reporting” that a local Democrat official, Jared Moskowitz — who happens to be the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and no friend of DeSantis — blasted it as “absolute malarkey.”

Another Democrat, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, stated unequivocally, “The reporting was not just based on bad information — it was intentionally false. I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and ‘60 Minutes’ declined. They know that the governor came to Palm Beach County and met with me and the county administrator and we asked to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to Palm Beach County.” Kerner further noted, “The media is making it worse. They are hellbent on dividing us for cheap views and clicks. ‘60 Minutes’ should be ashamed.”

Publix also criticized “60 Minutes” for false reporting, stating, “The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine efforts is absolutely false and offensive.”

Fox News’s Brit Hume observed, “It’s worth noting that one of the reasons DeSantis [is praised] is that Florida has been mostly open … for most of the year and yet its infection and death rates are no worse in states like California that had all the draconian lockdowns that did such terrible damage to their local economies not to mention the secondary effects of those lockdowns.” Indeed, Florida has shunned the extreme lockdowns, but as DeSantis said, “There are 26 states that are higher than Florida, per capita mortality, and 40 states that are higher in 65 and up mortality rates.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, call your office.

It’s clear that mainstream media outlets like CBS, which have long been political action committees for Democrats, fear an effective Republican leader like DeSantis gaining in popularity, thus the baseless hit piece. If this weren’t the case, then “60 Minutes” would have been banging on Cuomo’s door long ago, as his is a real scandal that any genuine investigative journalist worth his salt would be champing at the bit to expose.

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Mitch McConnell Lays Into Corporate America

When it came to calling out the new “woke” corporate America, the Kentucky senator didn’t pull any punches.

Douglas Andrews

Much has been made of the rift between Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, but there seems to be precious little daylight between the two of them when it comes to corporate America’s craven capitulation to the woke Left and its simultaneous abandonment of its traditional Republican allies.

Over the weekend, the former president called for boycotts of Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS, and Merck, all of whom have given to swapping spit with the woke Left. “For years,” Trump said, “the Radical Left Democrats have played dirty by boycotting products when anything from that company is done or stated in any way that offends them. It is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back.”

And yesterday, in the wake of Major League Baseball’s utterly disgraceful boycott of Georgia, whose democratically elected officials had the temerity to pass a modest and sensible series of anti-fraud voter reform measures, Senate Minority Leader McConnell came out swinging — and his first punch was a straight right hand to the chops of Joe Biden, who lately has proven himself to be a race-baiting scoundrel of the first order.

“We are witnessing a coordinated campaign by powerful and wealthy people to mislead and bully the American people,” McConnell began. “The President has claimed repeatedly that state-level debates over voting procedures are worse than Jim Crow or ‘Jim Crow on steroids.’ Nobody actually believes this. Nobody really thinks this current dispute comes anywhere near the horrific racist brutality of segregation. But there’s an old cynical saying that ‘history is just the set of lies agreed upon.’ And a host of powerful people and institutions apparently think they stand to benefit from parroting this big lie.”

For the normally reserved McConnell to have attacked a sitting U.S. president — a president who was for decades his Senate colleague — in such a way is telling. But Biden deserves every bit of it. Indeed, it’s hard to recall a more despicable series of utterances from a sitting president than Biden’s “Jim Crow” and “un-American” and “sick” and “atrocity” smears regarding Georgia’s voter-integrity law. Not even the hard-left Washington Post could keep from giving him four Pinocchios.

Nor did McConnell spare corporate America, whose relationship with the Republican Party is now publicly unraveling. “It’s jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied,” he said, “but join in the bullying themselves. Wealthy corporations have no problem operating in New York, for example, which has fewer days of early voting than Georgia, requires excuses for absentee ballots, and restricts electioneering via refreshments. … Our private sector must stop taking cues from the Outrage-Industrial Complex. Americans do not need or want big business to amplify disinformation or react to every manufactured controversy with frantic left-wing signaling.”

What’s behind the Left’s efforts to both bully and woo corporate America? To drive a wedge between its political enemies and the business sector? HR 1, that’s what — and real, honest-to-badness voter suppression. As McConnell continues, “This disinformation has a purpose. Washington Democrats want to pass a sweeping bill that would let them rewrite all 50 states’ election laws and turn the Federal Election Commission into a Democrat-run partisan body. This power grab is impossible to defend, so the left wants to deflect. Instead of winning the debate, they want to silence debate by bullying citizens and entire states into submission.”

The time for choosing is upon us — and more than that, it’s on corporate America. Will you respect the political beliefs of all Americans? Or will you continue to segregate us by political color?

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Ignoring the Big Lies Is Not an Option

The Left continues to hatefully and falsely slander the Right about pretty much everything.

Harold Hutchison

The recent decision by Major League Baseball to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta is a form of economic sanctions. Those sanctions, costing the Atlanta area over $100 million, are based on a big lie — that wanting fair, secure elections is somehow supporting the next iteration of Jim Crow.

For those who know American history, Jim Crow is rightly viewed with repugnance. That regime of discriminatory laws (passed by Southern Democrats) treated millions of Americans as second-class citizens (if not as subjects) based on the color of their skin. Obviously, it was wrong to mandate segregation based on one’s skin tone. Yet Georgia’s new law is nothing like the voter suppression employed against blacks in America until 1965.

It replaces the subjective signature verification with a more objective means of verifying one’s identity. It allows Sunday voting. It permits ballot drop boxes more liberally than was the case in 2018.

On that note, when it comes to absentee balloting, Georgia’s law should be strengthened. It should ban drop boxes (as was the case in 2018 and prior) and ballot harvesting entirely and instead require the use of certified mail with return receipt for applications and ballots both ways — with the postage for the applications and ballots to be returned via certified mail being prepaid by state and local election authorities while being tied to the certified mail tracking number — to strengthen the chain of custody for these ballots and reduce the possibility of bulk-mail vote fraud.

That quibble with Georgia’s law aside, this is not the first time such big lies have been told, often without consequences. While leftists often harp about words having consequences when it comes to the exact terminology President Donald Trump used to describe COVID-19 and tie it (falsely) to hate crimes against Americans of Asian descent, there is remarkable silence on the likely consequences of the big lies that have been told about conservatives.

We’ve heard them, from phony comparisons to Nazis, to being called racists, to seeing our support for the Second Amendment making us domestic terrorists, to being called sexists for opposing abortion on demand. The late John Lewis famously made a frivolous play of the Nazi card in the 1995 debate on welfare reform.

Letitia James campaigned to be New York’s attorney general by claiming the National Rifle Association was a domestic terrorist group, and she is now seeking its dissolution on dubious grounds. Anyone with common sense knows the NRA’s real “crime” is its advocacy for the Second Amendment.

Loyal Patriot Post readers need to only re-read what Dennis Prager noted multiple times to see the potential consequences. The constant lies that Republicans are the next iteration of Nazis/Jim Crow segregationists who embrace white supremacy and are secretly plotting an insurrection while driving LGBT youth to suicide arguably convinced certain people in positions of power to “fortify” the 2020 election. After all, a lot of otherwise decent people would agree that getting the next iteration of Nazis out of power would certainly justify a departure from the norms.

One of the biggest litmus tests going forward for those who seek to lead Republicans, conservatives, and grassroots Patriots is going to be a willingness to confront those big lies. Trump was taking those lies on and earned a lot of loyalty from grassroots Patriots as a result. Perhaps others will learn this lesson before it’s too late.

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Manchin’s Calculated ‘Objections’ to ‘Infrastructure’ Bill

The good cop, bad cop routine Democrats are playing will still lead to massive debt.

Nate Jackson

Does anyone out there still care about the national debt? Not really, even if a bipartisan group of lawmakers is rather half-heartedly highlighting the fact that the debt has reached $85,210 per person. “I’m concerned about it in terms of generational equity, the long-term implications for your generation and the generation that comes after,” said Maine Senator Angus King, an “independent” who caucuses with the Democrats. “And it bothers me from a sort of ethical point of view that where my generation is … spending your money.”

Does it bother him or any other Democrat enough to oppose the latest spending sprees? Nope.

Just ask Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia (Donald Trump by 39 points). He’s come out with a show of harrumphing about the Democrats’ “infrastructure” boondoggle, saying, “As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed.”

But Manchin’s quibbles are small potatoes. He said last month that increasing the corporate tax rate to “at least” 25% would be necessary to “pay for” the spending, even though we noted last week how woefully inadequate and wrongheaded the tax hike to 28% is. Manchin objects to 28%, saying, “There’s six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive, and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind.”

Somebody ask him what he thinks about the estimated $200 billion in unemployment fraud in the Not COVID Relief spending. Or ask him about King’s remarks regarding generational debt.

Meanwhile, Alabama Congressman and Senate candidate Mo Brooks took the debt comments even further: “We’re going to blow through the $30 trillion debt mark sometime this year. And after a while, citizens’ eyes tend to get a little bit glassy. But they need to understand that American citizens are responsible individually for paying that entire debt and each citizen’s share … is $90,000.” And if you really do the math of who pays the taxes, he says, “$720,000 is the average debt burden of each family of four in the United States of America.”

That is stunning. Or it should be.

Manchin gave away his own power play when he said, “If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere.” But make no mistake, this is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s plan, too. Indeed, Manchin’s objections are all part of the strategy. Democrats roll out their big plans, allow him and a couple of others to say slow down a tad, make some adjustments to show how moderate and careful they’re being, and then pass it without any Republican support.

Doubt that’s what will happen? Consider that the Senate parliamentarian ruled Monday that Democrats can pursue reconciliation on additional spending legislation, meaning they can circumvent the filibuster without eliminating it. That means massive spending bills that enact hugely consequential shifts in big sectors of the economy, all without needing a single Republican vote.

Is this a setup for passing the grossly misnamed “For the People Act”?

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Homicide Spike Tied to Democrats Defunding Police

It turns out undermining police in big cities has deadly consequences for Americans.

Thomas Gallatin

We’re three months into 2021 and there’s ample evidence that defunding the police has only resulted in a higher rate of violent crime and homicides. Across the nation, 20 major metropolitan areas collectively have seen a 28% jump in homicides from this time last year. Of these cities, nine followed the Left’s social justice anti-police narrative and significantly cut their law enforcement budgets, producing the sadly predictable result: spiking homicide rates.

The city with the highest jump in homicides from this period last year was Portland, Oregon, which has witnessed a whopping 1,900% increase in killings over the first three months of 2021. The raw numbers aren’t huge — one murder as of April in 2020 compared to 20 homicides this April — but the change is drastic. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Portland cut $16 million (7%) of its police budget and has witnessed 66 homicides since. Over that same time span in 2019, Portland had 17 homicides.

Austin, Texas, which cut its policing budget by $20 million (23%), has seen 19 homicides this year, a 35% jump from last year.

Philadelphia cut $33 million (5%) of its policing budget only to see homicides increase by 25% to 120.

Similarly, Minneapolis cut $9 million (5%) of funding for its law enforcement and saw 19 homicides, a surge of 46%.

Los Angeles eliminated $150 million (2%) from its police budget only to have LA County officials unanimously vote last week to add $36 million in police funding following 77 homicides this year, a 28% rise over this time last year.

That these homicide rates have jumped is as predictable as rain falling from storm clouds. Randy Peterson, a former police officer and senior researcher at the Center for Effective Justice, observes, “When you give up on the idea that the police are going to hold people accountable, it is not surprising that there will be more violence.”

One of the biggest casualties of the “defund the police” movement has been departments cutting back on proactive policing, which has proven effective in dissuading violence before it starts. Temple University criminology professor Jerry Ratcliffe notes, “Defunding is not taking place in huge levels, but pedestrian and traffic stops are down significantly. There are more opportunities for crime because there is less deterrence.”

The Left has sought to blame the spiking homicide rates on everything from the coronavirus pandemic to gun sales, but as far as COVID is concerned, Ratcliffe points out that other countries such as Italy, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have actually witnessed a decrease in homicides and violent crimes since the pandemic hit.

The mere existence of laws does not a lawful people make. Rather, the enforcement of those laws for a moral people does. Without police, the criminally minded have little to fear. Or, as the adage says, when the cat’s away the mice will play.

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EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Justice Clarence Thomas argues it’s time to rein in Facebook, Twitter, and Google censorship (Examiner)

“A person always could choose to avoid the toll bridge or train and instead swim the Charles River or hike the Oregon Trail. But in assessing whether a company exercises substantial market power, what matters is whether the alternatives are comparable. For many of today’s digital platforms, nothing is. We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.” —Clarence Thomas

  • Arkansas ban on “sex changes” for youth foolishly vetoed by Governor Asa Hutchinson (AP)

“The Republican Legislature could still enact the measure, since it only takes a simple majority of the House and Senate to override a governor’s veto in Arkansas. Hutchinson said he believed an override was likely.”

Government & Politics

  • “Not safe anymore”: Andy Ngô reacts to becoming antifa target, leaving the U.S. (Fox News)

Editor’s Note: Or as Managing Editor Nate Jackson quips: Son of Vietnamese boat people who came to U.S. leaves U.S. as a refugee.

  • Man accused of trying to extort Matt Gaetz admits he asked for cash (NY Post) | “A bridge too far for the power-hungry hypocrites”: Gaetz defends himself in op-ed (Examiner)
Other Notables
  • 1 in 4 plan to bolt job post-pandemic (Axios)
  • UBS predicts 80,000 store closures by 2026 (CNBC)
  • Russia threatens U.S. with Arctic military buildup (Examiner) | Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin signs law that could keep him in Kremlin until 2036 (Reuters)

“Non Compos Mentis” Award

  • There, I fixed it! MLB moving All-Star Game from 51% black Atlanta to 76% white Denver (Fox News)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: U.S. enters multilateral minefield in indirect nuclear talks with Iran (Daily Signal)
  • Policy: Why slashing the Pentagon budget would be a disaster (DefenseNews)
  • Satire: All-Star Game moved from Atlanta to Uyghur prison camp yard (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

Debunking Journalist for Claiming ‘Whiteness Is a Pandemic’ — He claims white supremacy is a public health crisis, and the only way to stop it is by isolating, extracting, and killing the virus.

Kemp: Understand the Bill, Not the President’s Lies — Clay Travis is joined by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to discuss the state’s voting law and MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “No one is fit to be trusted with power. … No one. … Any man who has lived at all knows the follies and wickedness he’s capable of. … And if he does know it, he knows also that neither he nor any man ought to be allowed to decide a single human fate.” —C. P. Snow (1905-1980)

Observations: “It is galling to see the same people who sounded the klaxons about Russians undermining faith in the American system for years themselves spread — or at least casually accept — progressive narratives based on poisonous lies about our own country. The Russians are never going to stop running their information campaigns against the West, which date back to the Soviet Union. But they must occasionally be tempted to stand back in envy and awe at all that the U.S. promoters of woke narratives have been able to accomplish without them.” —Rich Lowry

For the record: “[Major League Baseball] ditched Atlanta for a less diverse city in a state that has more restrictive elections over a bill that has a plurality of support.” —Lisa Boothe

Upright: “Taking the All-Star game out of Georgia is an easy way to signal virtues without significant financial fallout. But speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party would involve a significant loss of revenue and being closed out of a lucrative market. I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values. Similarly, I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club. To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All Star Game from Atlanta.” —Senator Marco Rubio to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred

A blind squirrel finds a nut: “Delta, Coke, Major League Baseball, they all work in China, a country now committing genocide. What standards do we hold people to?” —NY Times columnist David Brooks

He definitely has Trump Derangement Syndrome: “I think we’re all dealing with some post-Trump stress disorder.” —CNN’s Jim Acosta

And last… “How is it that every covid variant is immediately referred to by the geographic location of their country’s variant discovery, but it’s racist to refer to covid based on its origination in China? I don’t think Americans understand how much our country’s media is owned by China.” —Clay Travis

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

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Deputy Border Chief Estimates ‘Way Over 100,000’ Illegal Border Crossers Evaded Capture This Year

A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official said Monday that well over 100,000 illegal border crossers have evaded capture by patrol agents so far this year, adding to the alarm already raised around the growing number of monthly apprehensions.

Source: Deputy Border Chief Estimates ‘Way Over 100,000’ Illegal Border Crossers Evaded Capture This Year

Russia’s Army Begins Massive ‘Combat Readiness’ Inspection As Ukraine Tensions Soar | ZeroHedge News

At a moment of soaring tensions over the renewed Ukraine crisis and amid accusations out of Kiev and the Biden administration that the Kremlin is saber-rattling over heightened fighting in the Donbass region, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Tuesday the start of combat readiness checks, according to RIA.

This is expected to involve armed forces exercises across all military districts of the country, according to his statement. Typically such preparedness drills and inspections assess the ability of the military to ensure the nation’s security for a potential heightened state of alert.

While this particular readiness check is being described as “planned” (as opposed to prior ‘surprise’ or ‘snap’ inspections) – there’s little doubt the Pentagon and US allies will be watching very closely, given the Kremlin was this month charged with provocatively transferring some 4,000 troops to Crimea and the border region with Ukraine. This has resulted in threats and counter-threats between Moscow and Kiev, with the Russians further warning NATO not to send any Western forces into Ukraine as it would trigger a severe reaction.

Via AP

Military analysis site Defence Blog has further details as follows:

The ministry described the drill as a “massive inspection”, to check combat readiness on the territory of all military districts and the Northern Fleet, in the Far North, on the Kuril Islands and Kamchatka.

The tests began amid concern over Russian military activity in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Currently there’s widespread speculation and debate over just what Putin’s intentions are with the latest armed forces build-up. The additional forces essentially stayed in the region following recent military exercises.

Of course, Washington hawks took it to mean nefarious imminent moves against Ukraine are in the works – or at least additional support to Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east. Here’s where things stand as explained by Defense One, which maintains the latest maneuvers are all about “warning” and “messaging” the West in a preemptive manner:

Recent ceasefire violations by Russian-backed forces in Ukraine and reinforcements of regular troops on the Russian side of the border don’t mean Moscow is preparing a major advance or even seriously trying to move the line of conflict, Ukraine officials and experts said. But they do show Vladimir Putin’s continued efforts to exercise control over Kiev’s affairs and peel off its international support

Over the last several weeks, unverified social media posts show Russian heavy equipment moving closer to the Ukranian border, including howitzersadvanced anti-aircraft missiles and radar, and even an advanced air assault division The moves prompted a Friday phone call between the U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky as well as calls between the U.S. State and Defense senior officials and their Ukranian counterparts.

The Russian government has called this  mobilization part of routine exercises, an explanation that has failed to impress many observers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a repeat of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. 

Meanwhile military drills in Crimea have been ongoing…

And a senior Ukrainian government official was cited in the same report as saying, “This is nothing but the usual Russian tactics—to escalate tension in order to gain momentum and to dissuade the West from supporting Ukraine.”

The official further concluded with this caveat: “You can always expect that such a major buildup of military forces may lead to a serious escalation of hostilities provoked by Russia. But we always prefer diplomatic and political solutions.”

Source: Russia’s Army Begins Massive ‘Combat Readiness’ Inspection As Ukraine Tensions Soar

Spirit Airlines Installs Ejection Seats For Toddlers Who Take Off Their Masks — The Babylon Bee

MIRAMAR, FL—In order to crack down on the growing pandemic of toddlers not wearing masks after takeoff, Spirit Airlines has announced that all aircraft will now be fitted with ejector seats to quickly remove dangerous maskless babies from the plane.

“We’re not messing around anymore,” said company CEO Edward M. Christie. “We’ve had it with these uppity passengers and their uppity babies walking on like they own the place.”

Sources confirmed that flight attendants will be given big scary red buttons that can eject any passenger at will. Buttons will be used as an enforcement tactic against unmasked children, people who don’t put their tray table in the upright and locked position when asked, and orthodox Jews. 

Spirit also threatened that those who further refuse to comply will be forced to fly on Spirit Airlines again.

Spirit Airlines Installs Ejection Seats For Toddlers Who Take Off Their Masks — The Babylon Bee

Ron Paul divides social media after urging Americans to ‘wake up’ and reject vaccine passports | RT USA News

Ron Paul divides social media after urging Americans to ‘wake up’ and reject vaccine passports

Ron Paul has warned that Covid-19 vaccine passports could be used by the US government to restrict freedoms, stirring up an already heated debate over whether such IDs are necessary.

The former US congressman and physician said on Monday that requiring certificates to verify vaccination for international travel or daily activities would “solidify the whole idea that our lives belong to the government.”

“They own liberty and now you are going to get permission to use a little bit of it. They are going to divvy it out a little bit. You’ll never get back what you should have,” he said while speaking on his program, the Ron Paul Liberty Report.

The Biden administration has acknowledged that it is collaborating with tech companies to develop a variety of potential vaccine passport apps. At the state level, New York has already created its own digital certificate that grants entry to venues.

Paul warned that the initiative could be used to regulate nearly all aspects of life, including where you will be allowed to go and what kind of activities you will be permitted to participate in. He said he hoped Americans would “finally wake up” and oppose vaccine IDs. If people don’t “take a stand” now things are going to get “bad,” the former Texas lawmaker predicted.

He called on his supporters to reach out to family and friends in order to start a grassroots movement against identification programs, adding that those who choose to do so should understand “what life and liberty is.”

The message resonated with many. Some commenters echoed Paul’s fears that the initiative could be used to usher in a dystopian nightmare.

Others said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ pledge to ban the use of vaccine passports should be emulated nationwide and expressed hope that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule the IDs unconstitutional.

One observer said they opposed storing personal health data in a digital device but saw nothing wrong with doctors issuing paper certificates showing vaccination status.

There were plenty who disagreed with Paul, however.

“The government is there to serve & protect us,” argued one Twitter user, adding that while passports could potentially lead to discrimination, the spread Covid-19 poses a greater threat to our freedoms.

Another critic pointed to the use of Yellow Fever vaccination certificates in Africa and other parts of the world, saying that such systems are not an “inconvenience” and are necessary to safeguard public health.

While vaccine passports are a long way from being fully implemented in the United States, they’ve already been adopted in other parts of the world. Some countries, such as China, require digital certificates for international travel. Other nations, like Israel, require ‘green passports’ for domestic activities as well, preventing people without a vaccine ID from entering ‘non-essential’ businesses and venues.

Also on rt.com

CNN analyst fears Americans may ‘enjoy freedoms’ without getting Covid jabs, unless Biden ties re-openings to vaccination

Source: Ron Paul divides social media after urging Americans to ‘wake up’ and reject vaccine passports

Moscow holds emergency talks with US over fighting in Donbass as Ukraine says NATO exercises will train troops for war with Russia | RT – Daily news

Moscow holds emergency talks with US over fighting in Donbass as Ukraine says NATO exercises will train troops for war with Russia

Amid fears of worsening clashes in eastern Ukraine, Russian and American diplomats have held unscheduled bilateral talks in an effort to forestall an all-out conflict, which Moscow has warned could spell disaster for the region.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday that “we have had contact with the US administration on the situation in the Donbass, and we have exhaustively explained to their side what is happening.” He added that Western rhetoric over Ukraine is striking an increasingly belligerent tone, and that “Washington should be concerned about the consequences of this coordinated policy.”

The day before, US State Department spokesman Ned Price warned of credible reports of Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine, which some in Kiev have claimed to be a precursor to an invasion. He added that Washington is “open to engagement with Moscow” to prevent a crisis and issued a “call on Russia to refrain from escalatory actions.”

Also on rt.com

Russian army movements on border with Ukraine not a precursor of war, Kremlin says, citing need to defend against NATO buildup

The Kremlin has denied that troop movements in western Russia are a preparation for war, with press secretary Dmitry Peskov saying that the country’s army “moves around Russia in whatever direction it considers necessary to ensure the security of our country.” He added that the deployments are within the context of “increased activity of the armed forces of NATO countries, other associations, individual countries.”

Over the weekend, Ukraine’s representative in talks over the future of Donbass said that the US-led military bloc was preparing itself for a potential conflict with Russia. “A large-scale NATO exercise has begun, called DefenderEurope 2021,” Aleksey Arestovich said, adding that “this basically translates to Defend Europe.” The envoy said that the drills will focus on areas “from the waters of the Baltic to the Black Sea, to put it bluntly, armed confrontation with Russia.”

As part of the wargames, Europe is expected to see the largest deployment of US forces since the start of the 21st century. Around 20,000 American troops will participate, along with a 17,000-strong contingent from NATO member states and non-members like Ukraine.

Also on rt.com

Kremlin says situation in Donbass ‘frightening’ as Ukraine calls on NATO & Washington for support in event of conflict with Russia

The bloc says the drills “provide an opportunity to promote the benefits of NATO’s partnerships to increased security and stability.” An official statement for last year’s smaller-scale initiative said it would bolster “Alliance-wide readiness and capability to deploy and respond decisively against any adversary in a multinational, multi-domain, high-intensity conflict… executing large-scale ground combat operations against a near-peer adversary in Europe.”

Source: Moscow holds emergency talks with US over fighting in Donbass as Ukraine says NATO exercises will train troops for war with Russia

Ron Paul: Why Is The Biden Administration Pushing Ukraine To Attack Russia? | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

On March 24th, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky signed what was essentially a declaration of war on Russia. In the document, titled Presidential Decree No. 117/2021, the US-backed Ukrainian leader declared that it is the official policy of Ukraine to take back Crimea from Russia.

The declaration that Ukraine would take back Crimea from Russia also followed, and was perhaps instigated by, President Biden’s inflammatory and foolish statement that “Crimea is Ukraine.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was a chief architect of the US-backed coup against Ukraine in 2014, continued egging on the Ukrainians, promising full US support for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine. Many Americans wonder why they are not even half as concerned about the territorial integrity of the United States!

Not to be outdone, at the beginning of this month US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – who previously served on the board of missile-maker Raytheon – called his counterpart in Ukraine and promised “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” As the US considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory, this is clearly a clear green light for Kiev to take military action.

Washington is also sending in weapons. Some 300 tons of new weapons have arrived in the past weeks and more is on the way.

As could be expected, Moscow has responded to Zelensky’s decree and to the increasingly bellicose rhetoric in Kiev and Washington by re-positioning troops and other military assets closer to its border with Ukraine. Does anyone doubt that if the US were in the same situation – for example, if China installed a hostile and aggressive government in Mexico – the Pentagon might move troops in a similar manner?

But according to the media branch of the US military-industrial-Congressional-media complex, Russian troop movements are not a response to clear threats from a neighbor, but instead are just more “Russian aggression.”

The unhinged US “experts” behind the 2014 coup against the elected Ukrainian president are back in power and they are determined to finish the job – even if it means World War III! The explicit US backing of Ukraine’s military ambitions in the region are a blank check to Kiev.

But it is a check that Kiev would be wise to avoid cashing. Back in 1956 the US government pumped endless propaganda into Hungary promising military backing for an uprising against its Soviet occupiers. When the Hungarians, believing Washington’s lies, did rise up they found themselves all alone and facing Soviet retaliation.

Despite the cruel US propaganda, at least Eisenhower was wise enough to realize that no one would benefit from a nuclear war over Budapest.

Why is it any of our business whether Crimea is part of Ukraine or part of Russia? Why is it any of our business if the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine prefer being aligned with Russia?

Why, for that matter, are unproven allegations of Russian meddling in our elections a violation of the “rules-based international order” but an actual US-backed coup against an elected Ukrainian government is not?

We are seeing foreign policy made by Raytheon and the other US military contractors, through cut-outs in government like Austin and others. Feckless US foreign policy “experts” believe their own propaganda about Russia and are on the verge of taking us to war over it.

It seems as if Americans are sleepwalking through this dangerous minefield. Let us hope they soon wake up before we’re all blown up.

Source: Ron Paul: Why Is The Biden Administration Pushing Ukraine To Attack Russia?