News for February 11, 2008

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Christianity Today Proclaims Ancient Future Church At Hand Lighthouse Trails (February 11, 2008) - In the February issue of Christianity Today, the cover article titled "The Future Lies in the Past" proclaims that the "ancient future" church is now a reality. The cover photo shows a young man kneeling in a pile of sand (shovel sitting next to him), and he has just dug up a medieval looking Christian cross. The caption reads "Lost Secrets of the Ancient Church: How evangelicals started looking back to move forward." The article begins:

Last spring, something was stirring under the white steeple of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College. A motley group of young and clean-cut, goateed and pierced, white-haired and bespectacled filled the center's Barrows Auditorium. They joined their voices to sing of "the saints who nobly fought of old" and "mystic communion with those whose rest is won." ... [One speaker] gleefully passed on the news that Liberty University had observed the liturgical season of Lent.... Just what was going on in this veritable shrine to pragmatic evangelistic methods and no-nonsense, back-to-to-Bible Protestant conservatism? Had Catholics taken over?

The theme of this particular event held at Wheaton was called "The Ancient Faith for the Church's Future." Quoting CT senior editor Thomas Oden, the article says that this new generation is "rediscovering the neglected beauty of classical Christian teaching." Baylor University's D. H. Williams was also present at the ancient future conference and gave his support by saying: "Who would have thought, a decade ago, that one of the most vibrant and serious fields of Christian study at the beginning of the 21st century would be the ancient church fathers?" Calling the conference a kind of "coming of age" mile marker, the article acknowledges that this "worship renewal movement" began about 30 years ago and has caused evangelicals to enter "the new millennium by surging into the past ... All signs point to the maturing of the ancient-future church." Rightfully, the article credits Richard Foster (whose Celebration of Discipline came on the scene 30 years ago (1978)) with the "birth of the ancient-future movement." Others mentioned that helped fuel the new movement were the late Robert Webber (author of Ancient-Future Worship) and Thomas Oden (CT editor and professor at Drew University). It was the hope of Foster, the article states, to bring the church's "historical resources to bear on Christians' spiritual lives." The article points out that many "20- and 30-something evangelicals" are unhappy with both traditional Christianity (defined in the article as that which focuses on doctrine) as well as the seeker friendly, church-growth type churches.

Traditionals focus on doctrine--or as Webber grumps, on "being right." They pour their resources into Bible studies, Sunday school curricula, and apologetics materials ... For the younger evangelicals [emerging or emergent evangelicals, according to Webber] traditional churches are too centered on words and propositions [doctrine].

The article says these young emerging evangelicals are looking for a "renewed encounter with a God" that goes beyond "doctrinal definitions." The question is then asked,

So what to do? Easy says this young movement: Stop endlessly debating and advertising Christianity, and just embody it ... embrace symbols and sacraments. Dialogue with the "other two" historic confessions: Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Recognize that "the road to the church's future is through its past." And break out the candles and incense. Pray using the lectio divina. Tap all the riches of Christian tradition you can find.

The article points out that prior to now, evangelicals that wanted to "tap" all these ancient riches felt they needed to stop being Protestant and convert to Catholicism; "to read deeply in history is to cease being Protestant." But that has all changed, the article says. Scholars are now saying that "to read history is not to cease being Protestant ... and does not necessarily lead to conversion [to Catholicism]."

In short, the search for historic roots can and should lead not to conversion, but to a deepening ecumenical conversation, and a recognition by evangelicals that the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox are fellow Christians with much to teach us.

The article states that the new evangelicalism must learn the "ascetic disciplines" from "Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, and living, practicing monks and nuns." For those who understand the spirituality of Richard Foster and those who resonate with him like Dallas Willard and Brennan Manning, this article confirms all that Ray Yungen and Roger Oakland have been trying to warn fellow believers about. One, that the evangelical church is embracing contemplative spirituality, and two, it is an ecumenical drift toward Catholicism (and eventually a broader one world body of all religions). That is not a sweeping and exaggerated statement. It is happening before our very eyes, and Christianity Today has just acknowledged it. more...
| Apostasy |

Cardinals Hoping for a 5th Marian Dogma Zenit (February 11, 2008) - Five cardinals have sent a letter inviting prelates worldwide to join them in petitioning Benedict XVI to declare a fifth Marian dogma they said would "proclaim the full Christian truth about Mary." The text, released last week, includes the petition that asks the Pope to proclaim Mary as "the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, the co-redemptrix with Jesus the redeemer, mediatrix of all graces with Jesus the one mediator, and advocate with Jesus Christ on behalf of the human race." The signatories of the letter are five of the six cardinal co-sponsors of the 2005 International Symposium on Marian Coredemption, held in Fatima: Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India; Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez, retired archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, India; Cardinal Riccardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, Philippines; and Cardinal Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada, retired archbishop of Mexico City. Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, who died last August, was the sixth cardinal co-sponsor of the 2005 conference. He was the president of the Pontifical Council of the Family from 1974 until he resigned in 1990. The secretariat of the five cardinal co-patrons released the English translation of the letter, which includes a translation and the original Latin text of the "votum," or petition, that was formulated in 2005 and presented formally to the Pope by Cardinal Telesphore in 2006. The petition states: "We believe the time opportune for a solemn definition of clarification regarding the constant teaching of the Church concerning the Mother of the Redeemer and her unique cooperation in the work of Redemption, as well as her subsequent roles in the distribution of grace and intercession for the human family." Ecumenism: Pointing to ecumenical concerns, the petition continues: "It is of great importance [...] that people of other religious traditions receive the clarification on the highest level of authentic doctrinal certainty that we can provide, that the Catholic Church essentially distinguishes between the sole role of Jesus Christ, divine and human Redeemer of the world, and the unique though secondary and dependent human participation of the Mother of Christ in the great work of Redemption." The text adds that the move would be "the ultimate expression of doctrinal clarity at the service of our Christian and non-Christian brothers and sisters who are not in communion with Rome." In a press statement released along with the letter, the cardinal co-sponsors reiterated the same ecumenical concern and said the proclamation of a fifth Marian dogma would be a "service of clarification to other religious traditions and to proclaim the full Christian truth about Mary." The statement added, "This initiative also intends to start an in-depth worldwide dialogue on Mary's role in salvation for our time. [...] Should this effort prove successful, a proclamation would constitute a historical event for the Church as only the fifth Marian dogma defined in its 2,000-year history." Cardinal Aponte Martínez, one of the cardinal co-patrons said: "I believe the time is now for the papal definition of the relationship of the Mother of Jesus to the each one of us, her earthly children, in her roles as co-redemptrix, mediatrix of all graces and advocate. "To solemnly proclaim Mary as the spiritual mother of all peoples is to fully and officially recognize her titles, and consequently to activate, to bring to new life the spiritual, intercessory functions they offer the Church for the new evangelization, and for humanity in our serious present world situation."
| RCC | Apostasy |

'Arab view of deal close to Israel's' The Jerusalem Post (February 10, 2008) - The Arab world truly wants the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolved urgently, and many Arab leaders back terms for a permanent accord "very close to what Israel is wanting," Quartet peace envoy Tony Blair told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend. "I spend a lot of time talking to the Arabs," said Blair. "I have a genuine belief, and this is not shared by everyone in Israel: The Arabs genuinely want this settled now. There were Arab leaders, I don't want to say which, talking to me recently about the type of settlement, the type of agreement which they would accept. I would say it is very close to what Israel is wanting and on some of the most sensitive questions." Although Blair preferred not to identify which leaders he was referring to, he went on to speak about leaders in "Gulf and Arab states," and especially the younger leadership generation, who "want to be on the cutting edge of globalization; they want to be 21st century economies. And they realize their politics and their culture have got to start coming into synch with their economies." Blair described the Arab world as being "in transition." The question, he said, was what it would "transition into": either this modern, globalized, cutting edge vision or the Islamists' "battle to the death" against "the West and its allies including Israel." The would-be modernizers, he said, regard solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "as an important part in making sure that their vision beats the other vision." At a time when even Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad is saying that he does not believe a permanent accord can be reached this year, Blair remained insistent that the Annapolis timetable was "doable," provided there was sufficient "urgency, focus, determination and strategy." He faulted Israel for not acting with sufficient urgency to speed up a range of economic projects that could immediately benefit Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza. He also asserted that freedom of movement for Palestinians in the West Bank could be improved without compromising Israeli security. He said he was encouraged that the West Bank economy was now showing gradual growth. "It is limited and small, but it is there." And on the matter of PA security control, he noted that limited improvements in the Nablus area meant he had now been able to visit the city (on Thursday) whereas just months ago it would have been too dangerous. "The governor of Nablus was describing to me a situation where this time last year there were armed gangs going into his predecessor's office, shooting the place up. That's not happening now." At the same time, the former British prime minister said he completely understood that Israel could not dramatically ease its own security precautions in the West Bank for fear of an immediate upsurge in violence. But "no one is asking for a dramatic easing [of security controls]. People are asking for a step-by-step easing, as the Palestinians show step-by-step capability. "Now the Palestinians have to do a lot more on this," Blair went on. The PA had to properly plan and fund a security overhaul, retrain its security forces, "pension off" those who were unfit - "in other words, to start operating like the Jordanians operate. They are a way off that, which is why I'm not sitting here saying there should be a dramatic easing. But there can be some." Obviously, Blair elaborated, Israel insisted on checkpoints for people leaving Nablus "because of what happened" - a reference to suicide bombers and other terrorist attackers dispatched from the city. But he suggested that the checkpoints could be more efficient - "a lot quicker, a lot better... particularly for people who are trying to do business." Blair said he had been speaking to businesspeople who were routinely held up for hours at checkpoints, and that this undermined any optimism about a viable diplomatic process. "At the moment, if Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] stands up in front of them and says, 'Actually guys, we're going to have a state,' they'd say, 'You must be joking.'"
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | 1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

The Great Depression 2008 - It Can't Happen to Us....Can It? The Market Oracle (February 9, 2008) - Webster's defines complacency as “1.satisfaction or contentment 2. smug self-satisfaction” There is probably not a better word to describe the current state of perception with regard to economic and financial malady. I had an interesting conversation the other night about exactly this topic and the individual I was speaking with had an overriding belief that we cannot suffer economically simply because the current generation is not prepared to deal with it. While I certainly agree with the latter assertion, the former continues to baffle me. I am certainly not prepared to deal with a lengthy hospital stay as the result of a horrific car crash, but that alone doesn't cloak me in immunity from having an accident. The reasoning is so broken and flawed, yet it is often all we get in terms of a perception of what is going on. This disconnect begets a discussion of why exactly it is that society has chosen to believe itself to be immune from bad things. It is odd in itself that when you talk to individuals, they seem to be acutely aware of many of the challenges facing us, but when you put all the individuals together and create a society, we act as though the party will indeed last forever. We are certainly dealing with a situation in which the intelligence of the whole is by far less than the sum of all its parts. Here's a little bit of déjà vu for you, compliments of Wikipedia:

“In the 1920s, Americans consumers and businesses relied on cheap credit, the former to purchase consumer goods such as automobiles and furniture and the later for capital investment to increase production. This fueled strong short-term growth but created consumer and commercial debt. People and businesses who were deeply in debt when price deflation occurred or demand for their product decreased often risked default. Many drastically cut current spending to keep up time payments, thus lowering demand for new products. Businesses began to fail as construction work and factory orders plunged.”

Sound familiar anyone? See any price deflation going on? The Wilshire 5000 has only lost about 2.5 TRILLION dollars in value in the last two months or so. What about the loss in home equity? Another trillion or two? Who knows, but I think you get the point. We are seeing almost to the final utterance the same play we saw unfold in 1929. Were those folks any more prepared for the Great Depression than we are today? I'd argue that while they were perhaps a bit better equipped to provide for their own sustenance that American society in the 1920's was as complacent as we are today. When the realization of history's coup de grace hits, we will be caught as unaware as our ancestors were back in 1929. Here are some other examples of what Alan Greenspan likes to call ‘irrational exuberance' in the 1920's:

“We will not have any more crashes in our time.” | John Maynard Keynes in 1927 (The authenticity of this one is a little suspect) DOW ~ 175
“There will be no interruption of our permanent prosperity.” | Myron E. Forbes, President, Pierce Arrow Motor Car Co., January 12, 1928 – DOW ~ 200
“There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash.” | Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist, New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929 – DOW ~ 375
“All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S.” | President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933 – DOW ~ 65

Tuesday morning we received news that according to the Institute of Supply Management, the service portion of our economy underwent a significant contraction during the month of December. This is alarming given the fact that December is normally one of the busiest times of the year. Even still, a trip past the local mall provides a busy scene. People are streaming in and out, carrying boxes and bags of imported trinkets to their imported cars. They will then use imported gasoline to drive to their home, the mortgage of which is likely to be owned by a foreign investor. Yet the average American citizen sees nothing wrong with this picture. Or could it be that they don't even see the picture at all? The media has certainly been playing the role of absentee informant in recent years, choosing to focus on such insipid topics as Britney Spears' latest rehab stint rather than the important business at hand. Here now, are some quotes from this generation's 2007 and 2008:

“It is encouraging that inflation expectations appear to be contained,” | Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke – Testimony to Congress – March 28 th , 2007 – DOW ~ 12,500, Headline CPI-U ~ 2.8% Y/Y
“As I think you know, I believe very strongly that a strong dollar is in our nation's interest, and I'm a big believer in currencies being set in a competitive, open marketplace,” | Henry Paulson – Secretary of the Treasury – USDX ~ 81.50
“We are making history. What has passed the Congress in record time is a gift to the middle class and those who aspire to it in our country.” | House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the $168 Billion tax ‘rebate' while the middle class is spending their Wal-Mart Christmas gift cards on food and other necessities.

They're making history all right. Too bad it will end up being the WRONG kind. How can we ever hope to focus the population on the urgency of our current predicament when our leaders are willing to make it worse by handing our freebies, bailing out those who willingly make poor investment choices and telling us everything can be ‘free' if we'll only pull their lever on election day? Or am I putting the cart in front of the horse? Perhaps a contrarian opinion might be that our leaders are giving the public exactly what it wants. In either case, I am quite certain that our state of unpreparedness will not constitute a free pass from the negative effects of a recession or a retraction of any of the financial excesses we've enjoyed over the past few decades.
| NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |

"Comrad J" what björn (farmer) thinks (February 8, 2008) - In the book Comrade J, which is about the Russian master spy Sergei Tretyakov, Strobe Talbott is described as beeing duped by the Russian intelligence service and that the UN is penetrated by Russian spies. Read about it HERE. Does it surprise us, who easy it was for J. Solana to get the former Eastern-block States into NATO and how easy it was for him to talk Putin to open the gas-tap again for the EU states back in January 2006, despite the then very hesitating Austrian Presideny of the EU? (read about it here) Further back in 2000, when Talbott was named head of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, he was named “a key architect of U.S. foreign policy” during the Clinton years. From 2002-2007 headed the Brookings Institution. Strobe Talbott stated in Time magazine that U.S. sovereignty would cease to exist in the 21st century and that we would all answer to a single global authority, (“The Birth of the Global Nation,” Time, July 20, 1992). Shortly after making these statements, Talbott was elevated to the White House by President Bill Clinton, where he served as Deputy Secretary of State for the next seven years. Rhodes scholars Bill Clinton, Strobe Talbott and Richard Gardner were largely responsible for Javier Solana's appointment as head of NATO in 1995. "Talbott has been promoting his own book, The Great Experiment, about the need for “global governance” and expanding the power of the U.N. in foreign affairs. His book ignores the role of Soviet spy Alger Hiss in founding the U.N. but thanks George Soros and Walter Isaacson, formerly of Time but now with the Aspen Institute, for their input on his manuscript. Talbott also gives thanks to convicted document thief Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton’s national security adviser who now advises Hillary’s presidential campaign; Soros associate Morton Halperin, formerly of the ACLU; (Comrad) Javier Solana of the European Union; and Bill Clinton, “for helping me better to understand several aspects of his view of the world and America’s role in it.” link stay tuned!
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder | America |

While We Slept, Disaster Didn't Holly Deyo (February 8, 2008) - DISASTERS ROCKET UP - While were busy with life last year, upheaval raged. An astounding 950 natural disasters struck around the world according to Munich Re, the global reinsurance company. Though no mega-catastrophes developed as large as Hurricane Katrina, the number of devastating events shot through the roof. 'Unlucky' 2007 demolished 2006's numbers - the next highest disaster-rated year. It racked up another 100 events jumping 10%. WICKED COLD - January '07 brought a crippling widespread freeze to California dropping temps overnight into the 20s. In just two weeks, frigid weather killed off $1.5 billion of citrus, berries, and vegetables. Then a freak Spring freeze extending from the Midwest through the South, took another $2 billion of our fruit and wheat crops. Because these Arctic temps were accompanied by high winds, it rendered all the normal crop-protection methods useless. MEGA-DROUGHT - For the entire year of 2007, record drought severely impacted water supplies and reduced major food supplies around the world. Drought continuously hammered Australia killing crops and livestock. The most shattering effect was seen when Aussie farmers, unable to cope, committed suicide. GLOBAL HEAT - It might seem strange to talk about heat waves during 2008's unprecedented snows and bitterly cold temps, but rocketing temps struck worldwide just months ago. Not only did Greece, Italy, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey experience record-breaking temperatures, most of Asia sweltered in blistering weather too. Ditto for the Americas. more...
| Earth Changes |

Is the euro becoming the new greenback? Axcess News (February 8, 2008) - Some merchants in New York have begun accepting the euro as currency, citing the ever-growing weakness of the dollar. While the stores are taking foreign currency, they're still required to exchange it at the appropriate rate when deposited at their banks. But some fear that the euro could become the new American currency of choice. Not so, says New Yorkers, the greenback will also be tops. Well, at least to us anyway, to Europeans its a cheaper currency and that's turned New York merchants into a global class of business owners now in tune to foreign currency exchange rates and the advantages of accepting it. Part of New York shop owners move in accepting Euros is because of the flood of the European vacationers showing up at their shops, Euros in hand wanting to buy cheap American goods. The European tourists showing up at their shops have gone up in numbers since merchants started displaying signs in their shop windows saying they accept Euros. The convenience of not having to exchange them when they reach New York is becoming a mixed blessing for the merchants who have made slightly more by hanging on to the foreign currency and depositing less often as the dollar has sagged in value. "It's no windfall, in exchanging Euros," one shop owner explained. "But we are getting more Europeans coming into our store because of we accept their currency." Since the dollar began dropping and the euro rising, coming to America for vacation, or in some cases just to shop, has turned into a boom for those New York merchants who've been savvy enough business owners to cash in on the rush. But the euro isn't the only currency finding its way into the hands of New Yorkers. Canadian and British tourists are pouring into the Big Apple as well. During the holiday shopping season, there were hundreds of Britons arriving in New York just to shop on a daily basis and their level of visits didn't stop after the holidays either. Here, they could buy goods for less than fifty pence to the dollar, or in our language, a half buck bought a dollar's worth of goods. Canadian's too were flooding over the border to shop in the United States as the Canadian dollar, called the 'Loonie' surpassed the dollar in valuation. Gasoline was less, food in restaurants and vacation hot spots like Las Vegas, all saw a rise in Canadian tourism beginning in the fourth quarter of last year when the dollar began to weaken.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |

Big Media and the New World Order Global Research (February 7, 2008) - For Big Media, truth is a scarce commodity and in times of war it's the first casualty, or as esteemed journalist John Pilger noted: "Journalism (not truth) is the first casualty (of war). Not only that: it('s)....a weapon of war (by its) virulent omission (and its) power....can and death for people in faraway countries, such as Iraq." Famed journalist George Seldes put it another way by condemning the "prostitution of the press" in an earlier era when he covered WW I, the rise of fascism, and most major world and national events until his death in 1995 at age 104. He also confronted the media in books like "Lords of the Press." In it and others, he condemned their corruption, suppression of the truth, and news censorship before the television age, and said "The most sacred cow of the press is the press itself, (and the press is) the most powerful force against the general welfare of the majority of the people." Orwell also knew a thing or two about truth and said telling it is a "revolutionary act in times of universal deceit. " Much else he said applies to the man this article addresses and the state of today's media. He was at his allegorical best in "Animal Farm" where power overwhelms freedom, and "All animals are equal but some....are more equal than others." And he observed in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" that "Those who control the present control the future (and) Those who control the future control the past." Today's media barons control the world as opinion makers. Like in Orwell's world, they're our national thought control police gatekeepers sanitizing news so only the cleansed residue portion gets through with everything people want most left out - the full truth all the time. They manipulate our minds and beliefs, program our thoughts, divert our attention, and effectively destroy the free marketplace of ideas essential to a healthy democracy they won't tolerate. None more ruthlessly than Murdoch and the info-entertainment empire he controls. Its flagship US operation is Fox News that Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) calls "the most biased name in news....with its extraordinary right-wing tilt." In response, Murdock defiantly "challenge(s) anybody to show me an example of bias in Fox News Channel" because in his world the entire political spectrum begins and ends with his views. For him and his staff, "fair and balanced," we report, you decide" means supporting the boss. Alternative views are biased, verboten and rarely aired. But they're hammered when they are as the "liberal" mainstream that's code language for CNN and other rivals at a time all media giants match the worst of Fox and are often as crude, confrontational and unprofessional. Distinguished Australian-raised journalist Bruce Page wrote the book on Murdock called "The Murdoch Archigelago." It's about a man he calls "one of the world's leading villains (and) global pirate(s)" who rampages the mediasphere putting world leaders on notice what he expects from them and what he'll offer in return. It's "let's make a deal," Murdock-style that's uncompromisingly hardball. Acquiesce or get hammered in print and on-air with scathing innuendo, misinformation and outright lies. Few politicians risk it. Others with alternative views have no choice, and world leaders like Hugo Chavez are used to this type character assassination. He mostly worries about the other kind and with good reason as long-time Latin American expert James Petras reported November 28. Four days before a crucially important constitutional reform referendum, he published an article headlined: "Venezuela's D-Day - The December 2, 2007 Constituent Referendum: Democratic Socialism or Imperial Counter-Revolution." In it, he reported that the Venezuelan government "broadcast and circulated a confidential (US embassy) memo to the CIA" revealing "clandestine destabilize (the referendum) and coordinate the civil military overthrow of the elected Chavez government." It's because independent polls predicted the referendum would pass even though they proved wrong. The dominant media readied to pounce on the results but instead went into gloat mode on a win Chavez called a "phyrric victory" but Murdock headlines trumpeted "Chavez's president-for-life-bid defeated." This is the type vintage copy Page covers with reams of examples in his book. Its central theme is that the media baron wants to privatize "a state propaganda service (and manipulate it) without scruple (or) regard for the truth." In return he wants "vast government favors such as tax breaks, regulatory relief, and monopoly" market control free from competitors having too much of what he wants solely for himself and apparently feels it's owed to him. Because of his size and media clout, he usually gets his way and mostly in places mattering most - in the biggest markets with greatest profit potential in a business where truth is off the table and partnering with government for a growing revenue stream and greater influence is all that counts. more...
| Technology | NewWorldOrder |

Ecuador volcano blows its top, forces 1,450 from homes (February 6, 2008) - Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano exploded into action Wednesday, spewing red-hot lava, rocks and a 10-kilometer (six-mile) high plume of ash that forced 1,450 people from their homes, officials said. "The eruption is going on right now and continues to generate pyroclastic flows" of red-hot gas, ash and rocks down the volcano's western flank, Geophysical Institute director Hugo Yepez told reporters. The 5,029-meter (16,500-foot) mountain, 135 kilometers (84 miles) south of the capital Quito, began erupting with a series of loud explosions in the pre-dawn hours, waking more than 20,000 people living in 10 towns and villages in its surroundings. The eruption so far has caused no injuries or damage, outside of tonnes of ash deposited on buildings and roads in Quero forcing its inhabitants to wear masks. But some 400 families living closest to the volcano have been evacuated as a precaution. "Most of the population has left, but we've got 12 families in Bilbao who refuse to leave and we're talking to them. If necessary, we'll use force" to evacuate them, said Tungurahua Province Governor Fernando Gonzalez. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has put the region under a state of emergency to release federal funds and assistance programs. Shelters and emergency centers in Tungurahua and nearby Chimborazo and Bolivar provinces have been put on standby in case the eruption takes a turn for the worse, said Internal and External Security Minister Gustavo Larrea. "The volcano has now gone into a period of zero-activity, and that's not good news. It could mean a bigger explosion is in store in the next minutes or hours. But we're ready," Larrea told reporters. The Tungurahua volcano has been active since last month, with up to 30 explosions, earthquakes or rumblings per hour that forced 1,000 people to relocate to safer areas. Wednesday's eruption, however, was similar to an August 2006 eruption that killed six people, buried several communities under ash and made 6,500 people homeless, the Geophysical Institute reported.
| Earth Changes |

Bad News in Gaza? Look For Tehran World Jewish Congress Newsletter (February 6, 2008) - Wherever you find bad news in Gaza or bad news in the West Bank, you will find Tehran and its proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups who receive their money and marching orders from the Iranian regime and do its bidding. Take the case of the fence in Gaza. In these last weeks, the fence and border between the divided city of Rafah and Gaza was blown up by Hamas, causing a refugee flood into the Sinai for, we were told, flour and toothpaste. In fact, the cause was a deliberate, preplanned provocation. This process started about one to 3 months ago as Hamas, under the electronic gaze of the Egyptians, utilized torches to cut the base supports of the fence and cause its collapse. Sick of incessant rocket attacks emanating from Gaza, Israel was considering re-entering and re-taking the Philadephi route to stop the weapons smuggling through the tunnels. Hamas then began undermining the fence to prepare explosions to kill the Israelis who might be coming into the area. When that did not happen, they hatched this plot of fabricated fuel shortages. The Egyptians knew about this for weeks since they had the surveillance pictures but did not share the information. It is interesting to note that Mubarak and Ahmadinejad had a conversation the day before the fence fell. Also interesting is the fact that this fall coincided with a conference in Damascus of Arab rejectionists of the Annapolis peace conference. Over 300 Palestinian terrorists leaders were convened by Iran and Syria in a gathering originally slated to take place during the Annapolis meeting but which was postponed when Syria decided to actually go to Annapolis. So it was held precisely at the time of the breaking down of the wall in Gaza. The tunnels were not constructed in such a way that could convey large-sized ordinance into Gaza. But now that the wall is destroyed, we hear of large anti-aircraft weapons, katyushas and other arms being transferred uninterrupted. Not transfers of fuel - that "shortage" was an excuse manufactured to justify the breach in the wall. Hamas will now be able to increase the striking range of its katyushas and its anti-aircraft weapons. There is a new chilling possibility of Hamas hitting Ashkelon. One wonders if Egypt fully anticipated what problems might be created to its own detriment. Many of those who flooded into Egypt are going to remain there. Now that there are terrorists in the Sinai with large amounts of explosives and other weapons that could not fit into a tunnel, cities in Egypt as well as in Israel may become targets. The policy of letting Israel bleed a little in order to appease the Muslim radicals could backfire. Allowing this to go on encourages Hamas to continue its violent provocations, so that Israel is again forced to be on the defensive. Another Hamastan may be born in the Sinai, which would provide them with a base from which to operate in Egypt and expand their influence. Iran's proxies would have an even greater leg up over Abbas. With the transfer of katyusha rockets into Gaza, what we now have is a baby Bek'aa, situated four miles from Ashkelon, like the baby Hezbollahstan in the north that was created with the same technology and money coming from Iran, through Hezbollah. This is a long-term change - the whole paradigm of the Middle East changes in the region because of what happened in Gaza. Now the question is what can Israel do about it? Frankly, its options are limited. One and a half million people in Gaza are miserably abused by their leadership, the Hamas leaders, who are committed to following the orders of Tehran's leaders who make apocalyptic promises to wipe Israel off the map. Now they have established at least the possibility of a firing platform about four miles from the electric grid in Ashkelon, within easy shot of the Jewish residents living there. The international community must take notice: Gaza-Hamastan is a serious threat to the comity of the region - engineered and financed by Tehran.
| Iran | Gog/Magog | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

According to Bible prophecy, Isaiah 17, Damascus is destroyed and people leave the cities because of the children of Israel. We can see the divide amongst many of the Muslim nations along the very lines drawn out in the Bible. Iran and Syria have a clear relationship passing weapons through to Gaza and elsewhere while others make the appearance of wanting a dual-state solution more aligned with the West. I think the dividing of Israel is going to be viewed by the radical Muslims as a victory leading to the planning of a full-scale invasion prophesied in Ezekiel 38,39. I think Israel will catch wind of these plans resulting in the destruction of Damascus triggering the defense agreement that Syria and Iran have to bring the Magog invaders with hooks in their jaws to the mountains of Israel. These kind of stories just further lay out the alliances that lead me to the above conclusions having studied Bible prophecy.

"Euros Accepted" signs pop up in New York City Reuters (February 6, 2008) - In the latest example that the U.S. dollar just ain't what it used to be, some shops in New York City have begun accepting euros and other foreign currency as payment for merchandise. "We had decided that money is money and we'll take it and just do the exchange whenever we can with our bank," Robert Chu, owner of East Village Wines, told Reuters television. The increasingly weak U.S. dollar, once considered the king among currencies, has brought waves of European tourists to New York with money to burn and looking to take advantage of hugely favorable exchange rates. "We didn't realize we would take so much in and there were that many people traveling or having euros to bring in. But some days, you'd be surprised at how many euros you get," Chu said. "Now we have to get familiar with other currencies and the (British) pound and the Canadian dollars we take," he said. While shops in many U.S. towns on the Canadian border have long accepted Canadian currency and some stores on the Texas-Mexico border take pesos, the acceptance of foreign money in Manhattan was unheard of until recently. Not far from Chu's downtown wine emporium, Billy Leroy of Billy's Antiques & Props said the vast numbers of Europeans shopping in the neighborhood got him thinking, "My God, I should take euros in at the store." Leroy doesn't even bother to exchange them. "I'm happy if I take in 200 euros, because what I do is keep them," he said. "So when I go back to Paris, I don't have to go through the nightmare of going to an exchange place."
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | America |

Tornadoes rip through South, killing 48 Associated Press (February 6, 2008) - One man pulled a couch over his head. Bank employees rushed into the vault. A woman trembled in her bathroom, clinging to her dogs. College students huddled in dormitories. Tornado warnings had been broadcast for hours, and when the sirens finally announced that the twisters had arrived, many people across the South took shelter and saved their lives. But others simply had nowhere safe to go, or the storms proved too powerful, too numerous, too unpredictable. At least 54 people were killed and hundreds injured Tuesday and Wednesday by dozens of tornadoes that plowed across Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. It was the nation's deadliest barrage of twisters in almost 23 years. "We had a beautiful neighborhood. Now it's hell," said Bonnie Brawner, 80, who lives in Hartsville, a community about an hour from Nashville where a natural gas plant that was struck by a twister erupted in spectacular flames up to 400 feet high. The storms flattened entire streets, smashed warehouses and sent tractor-trailers flying. Houses were reduced to splintered piles of lumber. Some looked like life-size dollhouses, their walls sheared away. Crews going door to door to search for bodies had to contend with downed power lines, snapped trees and flipped-over cars. Cattle wandered through the debris near hard-hit Lafayette (pronounced luh-FAY-et). At least 12 people died in and around the town. "It looks like the Lord took a Brillo pad and scrubbed the ground," said Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, who surveyed the damage from a helicopter. Hundreds of houses were damaged or destroyed. Authorities had no immediate cost estimate of the damage. President Bush gave assurances his administration stood ready to help. Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were sent to the region and activated an emergency center in Georgia. "Loss of life, loss of property — prayers can help and so can the government," Bush said. "I do want the people in those states to know the American people are standing with them." Students took cover in dormitory bathrooms as the storms closed in on Union University in Jackson, Tenn. More than 20 students at the Southern Baptist school were trapped behind wreckage and jammed doors after the dormitories came down around them. Danny Song was pinned for an hour and a half until rescuers dug him from the rubble. "We looked up and saw the funnel coming in. We started running and then glass just exploded," he said. "I hit the floor and a couch was shoved up against me, which may have saved my life because the roof fell on top of it." more...
| America | Earth Changes |

Embryos created with DNA from 3 people Associated Press (February 5, 2008) - British scientists say they have created human embryos containing DNA from two women and a man in a procedure that researchers hope might be used one day to produce embryos free of inherited diseases. Though the preliminary research has raised concerns about the possibility of genetically modified babies, the scientists say that the embryos are still only primarily the product of one man and one woman. "We are not trying to alter genes, we're just trying to swap a small proportion of the bad ones for some good ones," said Patrick Chinnery, a professor of neurogenetics at Newcastle University involved in the research. The research was presented at a scientific conference recently, but has not been published in a scientific journal. The process aims to create healthy embryos for couples to avoid passing on genes carrying diseases. The genes being replaced are the mitochondria, a cell's energy source, which are contained outside the nucleus in a normal female egg. Mistakes in the mitochondria's genetic code can result in serious diseases like muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, strokes and mental retardation. In their research, Chinnery and colleagues used normal embryos created from one man and one woman that had defective mitochondria in the woman's egg. They then transplanted that embryo into an emptied egg donated from a second woman who had healthy mitochondria. The research is being funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, a British charity. Only trace amounts of a person's genes come from the mitochondria, and experts said it would be incorrect to say that the embryos have three parents. "Most of the genes that make you who you are are inside the nucleus," Chinnery said. "We're not going anywhere near that." more...
| Technology |

Economist: Expect Fed to lower Dow to 8,000 WorldNet Daily (February 5, 2008) - Consumers should expect a deep recession, triggered by the "stealth methodology" of the Federal Reserve to "depress" the market even while lowering interest rates in an ostensible effort to stimulate economic growth, an economic analyst is charging. "The Federal Reserve is directly involved in manipulating the stock market," said economic analyst Mike Bolser in a telephone interview with WND yesterday. The New York Stock Exchange finished the day down 108.03 points, closing at 12,635.16, much as Bolser predicted, despite recent emergency Fed rate cuts of 1.25 percentage points aimed at stimulating the economy. "Fed wants the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other financial indicators to descend in a managed way," Bolser said. "The Fed wants to drive the DJIA toward the 8,000 level, or below, in order to help create a deep recession which will have the effect of slowing consumption across the board, and dampening the otherwise harmful effects of inflation. "A falling DOW is only one element of the recession effects of the excessive Fed-created housing and credit creation, whose bubbles are now bursting," he added. "Without this recession, we would be on quick trip to hyper-inflation," Bolser, the author of an internationally followed newsletter published in conjunction with his website, said, "and the Fed wants to prevent this." In his twice-daily subscription newsletter, Bolser has devised a quantitative methodology for utilizing Federal Reserve repurchase agreements to predict upward and downward movements of the DJIA, measured on a 30-day moving average. Yesterday, Bolser noted the Fed added $18 billion to repurchase agreements, edging the pool up to a total of $153.158 billion in unexpired temporary repurchase agreements. Repurchase agreements involve a sophisticated use of government securities issued every day by the Fed, but little understood or followed, even by sophisticated investors. A repurchase agreement, as defined by the Fed, is a government security offered by the federal government to a small list of specified primary government securities dealers, for a limited period of time, usually 28 days or less, with overnight return being the most common. The government securities are "rented" by the primary dealers and they can be added to the primary dealer's portfolio or collateralized and then used in the open market to implement the Fed's open market policy. At the end of the repurchase agreement, the Fed obligates itself to take back the government securities from the primary dealers, effectively canceling the contract. Meanwhile, while holding the government securities let out by the Fed in the repo agreement, primary dealers are free to utilize the liquidity provided by the repurchase agreement to manipulate the economy in accordance with the Fed's true monetary policy, whether publicly declared or not. Primary dealers use the funds provided by the government securities they hold under the repurchase agreements to buy dollar exchange futures contracts, stock market futures, or to buy commodities contracts, including gold mining shares, all in accord with implementing Federal Reserve monetary policy to manipulate currency, commodity and stock markets up or down, depending what goals the Fed wants to accomplish at any particular time, the economist alleges. Over the past several months, however, the Fed has implemented a policy to issue smaller amounts of daily repurchase agreements, with the goal of reducing the total pool of repurchase agreements available to the Fed's short list of 20 banks that are qualified by the Fed to serve as primary government securities dealers participating in the Fed's Open Market Operations. Only the 20 banks specified in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's list of primary government securities dealers are allowed to participate in Fed repurchase agreements. more...
| NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |

Uniquely Bizarre Gloria Center (February 5, 2008) - The Arab-Israeli conflict definitely holds the record for the most bizarrely treated issue in modern history. It is easy to forget just how strange this situation is and the extent to which it is understood and handled so totally different from other, more rationally, perceived problems. Let's take a very simple example and examine the surrealistic, bizarre way in which normally sensible people and institutions respond. On February 4, 2008, two terrorists attacked the quiet town of Dimona in southern Israel. One blew himself up near a toy store in a marketplace, killing an elderly woman and wounding forty people. The other was injured in the first blast and, before he could detonate his own bomb, was killed by a policeman. At first, some Fatah officials claimed that one of the men was theirs, from that group's al-Aqsa Brigades; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said the second belonged to them. Such are the bare facts. But from here it gets far stranger. Apparently, Fatah and the PFLP did dispatch a two-man terrorist team, but they were apparently caught before crossing into Israel. At the exact same time, Hamas sent another duo, and they succeeded in reaching Dimona. Thus, through no fault of their own, Fatah and the PFLP did not actually commit the attack. But they tried and would have preferred to have carried out the terrorist assault. From here, a number of conclusions should be obvious:

  • The nature of Fatah. Why is Fatah, the organization routinely described as moderate by Western governments and media, involved in constant terrorism attempts--and sometimes successes--against Israel? The al-Aqsa Brigades are an integral part of Fatah. The Brigades' founder and leader is Marwan Barghouti who has been head of Fatah on the West Bank. Many of the Brigades' gunmen are on the Fatah payroll in various ways, often as members of security forces which are supposed to prevent...terrorism. Of course, the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and in effect Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas "condemned" the attack. That is, he said he didn't like it. But no member of Fatah has ever been expelled from the organization or fired from the security forces for involvement in terrorism. The PA's media regularly broadcasts incitement to commit terrorism. It does not transmit television, radio, and newspaper demands on its members not to attack Israeli civilians. So is Fatah a terrorist organization? Well, apparently not. Granted, Abbas personally would prefer these attacks not occur. In the Fatah spectrum he is at the moderate end. Nevertheless, he presides over a group that is terrorist and which regards itself as fighting a war against Israel whose main tactic is deliberately murdering civilians. It uses its funds for this purpose and encourages such behavior through program and propaganda. A Reuters' dispatch about the attack, when it was thought to be perpetrated by Fatah, said it was a challenge for Abbas to control "rebels within his own Fatah faction." The point, however, is that they aren't rebels at all but rather members in good standing who probably have more support in Fatah than does Abbas himself.
  • International policy toward Fatah. Therefore, if Fatah, and the PA, should not be shunned at least they should be subjected to serious international pressure, right? If only for their own good since presumably the world believes that they are better off if they abandon terrorism? Again, apparently not. Fatah is the group which is being given well about $7 billion by international donors. And there are no strings attached to that aid: no measure of whether Fatah uses or advocates terrorism whatsoever. It gets the money no matter what it does. There are good reasons for the West to work with, and even aid, the PA and Fatah but there are no good reasons for that support and aid to be unconditional. more...

| Israel | Islam |

Mercury’s Araneidal Terrain (February 4, 2008) - “Spiders” appear where you least expect them. Some are found on Mars and now they have been seen on Mercury. Are electric discharges responsible for both? In our last Picture of the Day article about Mercury, the chaotic topography and the massive cratering was attributed to some kind of extensive plasma discharge in the past. Images from the MESSENGER spacecraft, however, reveal a scarred surface that has undergone Electric Discharge Machining (EDM) and ion beam erosion on a massive scale, although Mercury is not experiencing that level of flare-up today. So-called “spiders” are found on Mars in abundance. They are concentrated in south polar latitudes and appear when the deposits of carbon dioxide frost sublime back into gas during the Martian summer. The morphology of the various spider-like features exposes their positive and negative impressions in the rocky terrain that is buried every winter by dry-ice precipitation. Some “spider” formations are raised above the mean elevation of their surroundings, while others are deeply cut into the bedrock. Venus exhibits a similar pattern of branching, filamentary trackways called “arachnoids”. They are massive in extent, some covering several hundred kilometers, and closely resemble giant Lichtenberg figures. Previous Thunderbolts Picture of the Day articles reported that NASA scientists believe the Martian “spiders” could have been created by liquid erosion, perhaps water flowing in “dendritic drainage channels” over the now bone-dry planet. But what to do about “drainage” on planets whose surface temperatures exceed 400 degrees C? On Earth, structures very much like those on Mars and Venus (and now Mercury) can be seen in arid environments where rain and wind erosion cannot be the cause of such remarkable scenery. Spider Crater in Australia appears to be the namesake for what we see on the other planets – it is located in a region where EU theorists propose that giant electric arcs touched down and excavated the landscape. more...

Watch Thunderbolts of the Gods for more info.

PA's Message: In English – Coexist; In Arabic – Destroy Israel The Parliament (February 4, 2008) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) is delivering two very different messages to the Western and Arab world. The message to the West, declared in English in front of media microphones and cameras, glorifies an independent Palestinian state coexisting peacefully beside Israel. But according to documented videos of PA TV programs monitored by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA is telling its Arab audience that there will be no Israel at all, rather one large Arab Palestine will rule the entirety of Israel. In the video above, PMW Director Itamar Marcus explains that translated speeches and interviews of Palestinian leaders reveal their true intentions. Even "moderate" PA leaders have no intention of actually making peace with Israel or even recognizing its right to exist. Marcus says that hate-filled messages are rampant in PA culture and even in children's textbooks, which tell young minds that Islam demands the destruction of Israel. Video at link...
| Israel | Islam |

EU treaty to be ratified by France The Parliament (February 4, 2008) - Nearly three years after French voters shocked the political establishment and stunned the rest of Europe by rejecting the EU constitution, deputies and senators will gather in a special session at the palace of Versailles to approve the EU’s Lisbon treaty, reports the FT. Ratification of the treaty will be concluded in four days and without a public vote, marking a dramatic turnround in the French debate; a recent opinion poll showed that 58 per cent want a plebiscite on the new treaty.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder |

EU to act in Gaza if solution is reached, Solana says (Roundup) Monsters & Critics (February 3, 2008) - On a two-day-visit in Egypt, European foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the European Union (EU) is ready to take up its role in the Gaza Strip, if a political solution is agreed on, sources said on Sunday. Egyptian presidential spokesman Soliyman Awad said Solana promised President Hosny Mubarak that EU representatives would return to monitor Rafah crossing border, security sources told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa. Awad said that during their short meeting, Mubarak and Solana agreed on the fact that the current situation in Gaza is a result of the Israeli blockade of the enclave and asserted that the Palestinian sufferings should reach a swift end. A member of Solana's delegation, who requested anonymity, told dpa that Solana's meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Abu al-Gheit covered regional issues, including Lebanon's political crisis, and the upcoming EU-Arab Summit in Malta. Solana, who next heads to Israel, plans to meet with Israeli envoys to discuss the latest developments in the Gaza Strip. Earlier, Hamas had rejected the US-brokered 2005 deal which allowed the Rafah monitoring post to be activated with Palestinian Authority personnel serving alongside European Union monitors. But the crossing point has been closed since June 2007, when Hamas seized control of the Strip after its gunmen routed forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas in five days of savage fighting. In late January, Hamas militants blew huge holes in the concrete and metal border fence between Gaza and Egypt, enabling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flood through the breach and mostly head for al-Arish, 50 kilometres away, to stock up with supplies made scarce by the Israeli economic blockade. The Israelis imposed the blockade as a means of pressure to stop Palestinian rocket attacks.
| Israel | Islam | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | 1st Seal | Dividing the Land |

Interesting how the situation in Gaza is blamed on Israel's blockade which is done because of incessant rocket attacks.

Re-Thinking Revised Understand the Times International (February 2, 2008) - Over the 30 years I have traveled the road of life as a born-again, Bible-believing Christian, I have experienced a number of significant events that have provided inspiration and direction for the ministry God has given me. The Rethink Conference held at Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, January 17-19, 2008 can now be listed as one of those watershed events. While I was not able to attend the entire conference because of a missionary trip scheduled to the Philippines, the opening day of Rethink: new perspectives from global influences provided ample evidence to evaluate the significance of the event. For nearly two thousand years, most professing Christians have seen the Bible as the foundation for the Christian faith. The overall view at the Rethink Conference, however, is that Christianity, as we have known it, has run its course and must be replaced. Co-hosted by Erwin Mc Manus and Robert Schuller, the conference declared that a paradigm shift is now underway. Speakers insisted that Christianity must be re-thought and re-invented if the name of Jesus Christ is going to survive here on planet earth now that we are in the twenty-first century.

The Observable Evidence

With the risk of being labeled a negative divisive critic who is against everything, I am compelled to tell you what I witnessed at this conference. This commentary will paraphrase the actual statements made by the speakers as I took extensive notes. The conference opened with an on-stage dialogue between Schuller and McManus. Schuller gave a brief overview of his accomplishments through his many years of ministry. He explained how pleased he was to be able to look back at the tremendous leaders he had mentored over the years, which include Willow Creek’s seeker-friendly pioneer pastor Bill Hybels, the six million member Church of God in Christ’s Bishop Charles Blake, and Rick Warren who has pioneered the purpose driven church and the purpose driven life. While Schuller said he was very pleased with all the great accomplishments of the past, his vision to impact the world in the future is even bigger and better. He told the audience that even though he is now over 80 years old, he believes there is even a greater potential to succeed now at a time in his life when he is no longer subject to “temptation.” Erwin Mc Manus, a much younger version of Robert Schuller, offered a solution to anyone in the audience that might have that problem. He mentioned there were “pills” available on the market to curb “temptation.” Schuller quickly retorted that he knew there were other pills available for those who were supposedly over the hill. While some of the people sitting around me were noticeably bothered by such out-of-place comments, the majority of the people in the auditorium seemed to enjoy these opening remarks.

Re-thinking Think Tank

Following this brief introduction by the two hosts, Bishop Blake was scheduled to speak. For reasons not announced to the attendees, Bishop Blake did not appear on the platform when his name was announced. Schuller then reappeared, joking that he was Schuller and not Bishop Blake. It was difficult to know whether this was a pre-planned moment of silliness or not. A moment later, Mc Manus reappeared on the platform and told the audience there would be a slight change in the schedule. At this point a coat rack was brought out on the platform with three hats hanging on it. A skit was performed which involved an off- screen person asking questions of an onstage actor. I later found out the talent for this drama was provided by Mc Manus. The drama was obviously designed to set the tone of the conference and was of professional quality. The actor played three characters who represented different well-known men throughout history. The first was Copernicus. The second was Christopher Columbus, and the third was Martin Luther. These three men were revolutionary in their thinking at that particular time in history, and each was going up stream against the mainstream of society. The actor who played the three different characters finally appeared as himself. He announced to the audience that he was a new Christian. However, he said he had a problem with Christianity now that he was a Christian and was disgusted with how hypocritical traditional Christianity had become. He suggested that the church as we know it today needs to be re-thought. Of course, we know the Bible teaches that the traditions of man are a hindrance to faith when they are not based on the Word of God. Jesus made it clear that when tradition supersedes the truth of the Word, it is imperative to toss away tradition and get back to the Word. The actor in the drama left the impression that Jesus was referring to our present generation when he spoke these words. I am reminded of the ecumenical nature of the emerging church, which is driven by contemplative spirituality that traces back to ancient Roman Catholic mystical practices. Contemplative spirituality provides a mystical formula also known as “spiritual formation” in order to get closer to Jesus. The problem is that this state of silence achieved is similar to that which is reached through eastern meditation, and the realm reached is not the presence of God but the possible presence of demons. The Bible is very clear in its warning against practicing divination, which uses mystical methods to conjure up the spirit world. Yet, a growing number of evangelical churches are incorporating contemplative into their church body. During my day at Rethink, I interviewed a number of men and women. I was often amazed at their comments. Most of them had no idea what the term emerging church meant (even though they were right smack in the center of it), and they had no idea why the conference was called “Rethink.” When I asked them what they thought about the fact that President Bush senior (a member of a secret society), Rupert Murdoch (a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and who profits from pornographic tabloids) and Larry King (I was told Schuller has been witnessing to him and he is almost a Christian) had been enlisted to provide input to help Christians re-think, they were not able to answer why this would have been so. more...
| Apostasy |

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Goes Live The 70th Week (February 2, 2008) - If you are familiar with Bible Prophecy then you are aware that towards the middle of the 70th week, the False Prophet will require all to take a mark on their right hand or forehead, and without this mark they will not be able to buy or sell. Who ever does not take this mark and worship the beast will be killed. Many have speculated over the years as to what this will be and what it will look like. Here is a scriptural reference to review.

Revelation 13:15-17
And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

A couple of days ago the Single Euro Payments Area or SEPA went live. This could be highly significant. You see SEPA is a brand new way to conduct cashless transactions throughout the EU. Not only is this another step in the integration of the EU but it is a huge step towards a single market. If the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet were able to be in charge of this future single market, it would make implementing the mark of the beast that much easier. Is SEPA the beginning or the framework for the Mark of the Beast? Well, time will tell, but one thing is for sure, it is worth watching. Please take the time to read the article below.

SEPA goes live European Central Bank (January 28, 2008) - Speech by Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB Launch event organised by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Payments Council Brussels. The countdown is over! Today, 28 January 2008, SEPA goes live! I am pleased to welcome you all to the launch of SEPA. First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the European Commission for hosting today’s event and for its cooperation over the last few years, the fruit of which can been seen today as SEPA comes to life. Those who have made SEPA a reality, the banks and the service providers are here tonight and I would like to congratulate them all. Let me also mention the work of the Council and the European Parliament that has contributed to making SEPA a reality. Nine years ago we introduced the single currency. Today, we launch SEPA – another important step in European integration. But let me assure you: today is only just the beginning! SEPA is all about integration, harmonisation and modernisation. It is a natural consequence of the single currency and a major step in the creation of the Single Market. That is why the ECB has supported the project closely over the past six years. Today’s launch is the first visible result. A single currency – with a single set of payment instruments – in a single euro payments area. With SEPA, this becomes a reality. And we, as euro area citizens, will be able to make euro payments as cheaply, as easily and as safely as we do national payments. All euro payments will be “domestic”; finally, there will be no difference between sending a payment from Rome to Dublin or from Brussels to Antwerp. We can now make payments not only with euro notes and coins, but harmonised electronic payments by European credit transfer, direct debit and payment card as well. An important milestone has been reached today with the launch of “SEPA Credit Transfer”. We are now able to send euro payments quickly, and in the same way, to any beneficiary in Europe. This will be followed by “SEPA Direct Debit” before the end of 2009. As a result, we will be able to make direct debit payments across Europe, as if no borders existed. With the “SEPA Cards Framework”, extensive changes await the European cards market. The ECB expects a new European card scheme to emerge, harmonising card payments across Europe. That said, efficient national card schemes should not vanish, leaving the cards market entirely to international card schemes. Let’s work together and use the experience of the national schemes to devise a new European card scheme. Together, these three payment instruments make up SEPA, our key to a door behind which many opportunities lie. Once the door is open we will still have a mountain to climb. But if we are willing to take up the challenge and use SEPA with innovative thinking, we can reap the full benefit. Let me stress: we do not envision opening the door only to sit back and admire the great many opportunities on the other side. Let’s climb the mountain, discover the opportunities and progress onwards and upwards. Let’s complement the SEPA instruments with innovative services, such as online and mobile payment initiation, e-invoicing and e-reconciliation. By combining these services with SEPA instruments, we eliminate paper and the payment process becomes fully electronic. End-users will spend less time on payments – and, as we all know, time means money. But how will you benefit from SEPA?

Corporates – make fast European transactions, simplify your payment handling and consolidate your liquidity management. SEPA’s harmonised services can optimise your payment process. So, request these services from your banks and service providers.

Public administrations – you will experience the same benefits as corporates. But that’s not all. SEPA can help drive e-Government and e-procurement, thereby promoting efficient public services. By adopting SEPA at an early stage, you will extend its benefits to society at large.

Consumers – one bank account and one set of payment instruments is all you need. As with euro notes and coins, there will finally be no difference between payments across Europe – all euro payments will be ”domestic”.

And banks – you have developed and will form the basis of SEPA. And SEPA can help you expand your business, as integration and harmonisation will encourage competition. It is now up to you to use the opportunities SEPA brings.

The launch of SEPA today is a major step in creating the Single Market and represents a significant contribution to the Lisbon agenda and a more competitive Europe. It has not been easy to arrive at where we are today – SEPA has been a formidable challenge, but formidable challenges make us stronger. It is not time to sit back in admiration; it is time to use SEPA. So, let’s rise to the challenge; let’s use SEPA, our key; and let’s discover the great many opportunities that lie on the other side of that door.

| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder | Mark of the beast |

Please keep in mind that if the implementation is ready for Europe by then, you can bet the bankers will be planning ahead to be able to implement this globally as well and with the infrastructure already in place, a global collapse financially could provide the reason. Remember also that this time during the great tribulation the wrath of God will be poured out as well, laid out in the seven trumpets and seven bowls as great upheavals on the earth that will shake what is, possibly helping to bring many to accept this new system, what other choice will they have?

Judges: 'Gay' exposure OK for kindergarteners WorldNet Daily (February 1, 2008) - In a case that could wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court, an appeals panel upheld dismissal of a lawsuit by Massachusetts parents seeking to prevent discussion of homosexual families in their children's elementary school classrooms. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday agreed with a judge's decision last year that a school can expose children to contrary ideas without violating their parents' rights to exercise religious beliefs. "Public schools," wrote Judge Sandra L. Lynch, "are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas, or even participate in discussions about them." Lynch reasoned that schools must accept the Massachusetts high court's groundbreaking 2003 decision ruling "that the state constitution mandates the recognition of same-sex marriage." As WND reported in 2006, U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed the civil rights lawsuit by David and Tonia Parker of Lexington, concluding there is an obligation for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality. The Parkers' lead attorney, Jeffrey Denner, declared after yesterday's ruling the parents are preparing to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. "We are fully committed to go forward," he said, according to the non-profit advocacy group MassResistance. "We will continue to fight on all the fronts that we need to." David Parker said the ruling "will surely embolden and enable the schools even more on this if it's not fought." "There's going to be an accountability, you can count on it," he said. The dispute began in the spring of 2005 when the Parkers then-5-year-old son brought home a book to be shared with his parents titled, "Who's in a Family?" The optional reading material, which came in a "Diversity Book Bag," depicted at least two households led by homosexual partners. The Parkers filed suit against the Lexington school district in 2006 and later were joined by Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, whose second-grader's class was read a story about two princes who become lovers. more...
| Signs of the Times | America |

Power in the Prayers of Children in Kenya WWJDTube (February 1, 2008) - Ever since the children started praying together, the pastor says there have been no deaths, houses burned or even violence in their section of this slum. Adults recite this fact in amazement. The children, however, don't even mention it because it's exactly what they expected to happen. "Pastor told us that there is power in prayer. He said we can change the country through prayer," says 12-year-old. "So that is what we are doing, changing the country." (Kenya)—In the latest edition of Missions Catalyst, Sue Sprenkle, an overseas correspondent for the International Mission Board, who has been reporting from Africa for 10 years describes a scene inside the small, tin shack of a Baptist church filled with children. "After three weeks of post-election violence, it's good to hear the sounds of children laughing and playing—especially in the hard-hit slums of Nairobi," she says. "My heart overflows with emotion as I hear a sound even more precious than laughter—a child's sweet, innocent prayer." "Father, our country is in trouble. We pray for peace to come," an 11-year-old boy prays. "Protect us, Father. Teach people to love one another and not to fight anymore." For the last two weeks, Sprenkle says, children in this small slum area have gathered to pray for their country. "The church's pastor says the children started gathering on their own, so he let them in the church. The daily prayer meeting now attracts more than 200 children ranging in age from three to 17." Ever since the children started praying together, the pastor says there have been no deaths, houses burned or even violence in their section of this slum. Adults recite this fact in amazement. The children, however, don't even mention it because it's exactly what they expected to happen. "Pastor told us that there is power in prayer. He said we can change the country through prayer," 12-year-old Boniface explains. "So that is what we are doing, changing the country." more...

Ah, the faith of children...
Matthew 18:1-7
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Mark 10:14-16
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Dozens of U.S. banks will fail by 2010: analyst (February 1, 2008) - Dozens of U.S. banks will fail in the next two years as losses from soured loans mount and regulators crack down on lenders that take too much risk, especially in real estate and construction, an analyst said. The surge would follow a placid 3-1/2 year period in which just four banks collapsed, all in the last year, RBC Capital Markets analyst Gerard Cassidy said in a Friday interview. Between 50 and 150 U.S. banks -- as many as one in 57 -- could fail by early 2010, mostly those with no more than a couple of billion dollars of assets, Cassidy said. That rate of failure would be the highest in at least 15 years, or since the winding down of the savings-and-loan debacle. "The initial round of failures will come from smaller banks with limited access to capital and overexposure to commercial real estate," Cassidy said. "Could banks with $75 billion or $100 billion of assets fail? That's hard to say, but it depends on the severity of the economic downturn and the real estate decline," he added. Banks are under pressure as a slowing economy, the housing crunch, weak job growth and rising energy costs make it harder for individuals and businesses to pay their bills. Compounding the problem has been the seizing up of capital markets that has led to more than $130 billion of write-downs worldwide, including at lenders such as Citigroup Inc , Bank of America Corp and Washington Mutual Inc. On Wednesday, Standard & Poor's said financial industry losses linked to mortgages may reach more than $265 billion. Analyst Tanya Azarchs expects the pain to spread to regional banks, and especially "some of the smaller players that have yet to feel the full extent" of the credit crunch. more...
| NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |

'Palestinian state temporary ruse to destroy Israel' WorldNet Daily (January 29, 2008) - The Palestinian goal of a Palestinian state is just a temporary ruse until "all of Palestine" can be "liberated," declared a leader speaking yesterday on the official television network of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization. Saleh Raafat, a member of the executive committee of Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organization, was interviewed on PA television about the death last weekend of infamous terrorist leader George Habash, who strongly opposed signing peace agreements with Israel. In comments screened by WND, Raafat told his interviewer: "Habash was a very positive Palestinian leader who used democratic tools to express opinions. He disagreed with [late PLO leader Yasser] Arafat regarding the present temporary vision of a Palestinian state, but he never used weapons to express his disagreement." Raafat said the Palestinians would accept "22 percent of Palestine" as a "temporary and not permanent" state until "all of Palestine" can be liberated. While Raafat described Habash as "democratic" and as "never" using weapons, Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine has carried out scores of notorious deadly terrorist attacks. Raafat was speaking as part of a mourning series on PA television for Habash, the PFLP leader who died in Jordan at the age of 81. Habash's PFLP gained notoriety in 1970 for hijacking four Western airliners over the U.S., Europe, the Far East and the Persian Gulf. The aircraft were blown up in the Middle East after passengers and crews disembarked. The PFLP in 1972 then gunned down 27 people at Israel's Lod airport. The PFLP continues operating from Syria, Jordan and the West Bank. More recent attacks include scores of deadly shootings against Israelis, the 2001 assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rechavam Zeevi and suicide bombings on an Israeli highway and in Tel Aviv's well-known Karmel Market. According to Israeli security officials, the PFLP is the Palestinian terror group most proficient in carrying out successful drive-by shooting attacks. Habash also led the second-largest faction of the PLO, next to Yasser Arafat's. Habash strongly opposed interim agreements with Israel and throughout his life advocated terror attacks against the Jewish state. Arafat numerous times said peace accords signed by Israel were part of a "phased plan" for the ultimate destruction of the Jewish state.
| Israel | Islam |

MEPs issue wake up call on EU diplomatic service EU Observer (January 28, 2008) - The European Parliament is starting to question the make-up of the planned EU diplomatic service, believing it risks changing the nature of the Union to favour larger member states. The service is meant to give some clout to the post of foreign minister - created by the EU's new Lisbon treaty - and due in place at the beginning of next year. But MEPs fear that the service could become a body that is essentially run by large member states, and where the European Commission and smaller countries are sidelined. "To what extent is the commission aware that this is about its own destiny?" asked German centre-right MEP Elmar Brok during a committee debate on the matter last week. Andrew Duff, a British liberal MEP, accused the commission of "not showing its normal cohesion" when it comes to the EU diplomatic corps. There is a "degree of uncertainty on quite how the commission should play this one," he noted. The new EU Reform Treaty states that the corps should work in "cooperation" with national diplomatic services and that it will consist of EU officials working on external relations issues from the commission and the council (member states body) as well as experts from the member states. But it leaves all the organisational - but highly political - detail about how it should be funded, where it should sit and the ratio of the different officials to be decided by member states. Finnish centre-right MEP Alexander Stubb suggested the tussle over the exact set up of the body could see a "potential institutional war that could turn out very sour." While one MEP suggested it could be the "greatest opportunity to strengthen our foreign policy," Belgian centre-right MEP Jean-Luc Dehaene warned "there are going to be a lot of conflicts" around its setting up. The core of the problem is that some member states - particularly the UK - fear losing foreign policy sovereignty if the foreign minister and his or her diplomatic corps is not firmly anchored to national capitals. Both the new EU foreign minister as well as the diplomatic service are to be in place by January 2009, when the new treaty is supposed to come into force. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | Solana | NewWorldOrder |

That this foreign policy chief position will be created and there is fear that he will have too much power should raise some eyebrows given Bible prophecy and the coming man of sin who will be a little horn (king) coming from 10 horns (WEU) who give him their power. Moreover, the timing of Israel's judgment history places the timing of this global seizing of power at the same timeframe that Europe is planning to have a legal framework in place for one man, Mr. Europe, to have control over European policy to speak with one voice for Europe. He will have the WEU, the military wing of the EU, under his authority and, at his discretion, a state of emergency can be declared which will finalize the power shift into his hands.
Revelation 13:3-8
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Could we really be that close? Moreover, could we be that close and hardly anyone recognizes it? Help spread the news, it's time to wake up!
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Top Economist Warns Of "Serious Breakdown" In World Financial System Prison Planet (January 22, 2008) - Father of Reaganomics and former editor of the Wall Street Journal Paul Craig Roberts today warned that the Fed's shock 75 basis points interest rate cut would only succeed in putting average families through the ringer and could even portend the collapse of the dollar as the world reserve currency. Speaking on The Alex Jones Show, Roberts said that average hard working families, and not money casino cowboy shareholders, would be the biggest victims of the latest downturn as a recession looms on the back of the surprise rate cut. "The more important thing is the hardship for the average American family - many of them have not had any real increase in their income for years and they've lost jobs to offshoring, they've lost jobs to work visas for foreigners and now they're confronted with losing jobs to recession," said Roberts. "They also are heavily indebted and have used up their home equity in consumption and many of them now have mortgages that threaten them with being homeless and so I think the worst part of this will not be felt by Wall Street and banks and shareholders but by the average American family - I think they're now going to go through the ringer," he concluded. Roberts speculated on the impact that today's rate cut would have on the dollar, further undermining its position as the world reserve currency. "It is true that in the long run the decline of the dollar could cause it to lose its reserve currency role and if another currency has a rythm to take its place, it would be very hard to conduct international trade on the basis that it is now where you have a reserve currency that one accepts in payment," said Roberts, adding that the massive interest rate cut today only signalled more inflation despite the tax rebate. Roberts said that he expected the economic decline to be slow and gradual, but that it was inevitable that the living standards of Americans would drop, similar to when the pound lost 80 per cent of its value during the two world wars and lost its status as a world reserve currency. Roberts said that the only solution to the current crisis was to cut the current defense budget in half and halt the offshoring of jobs by U.S. corporations. "If they can't do anything about that the world is going to conclude that the dollar is not going to be the reserve currency forever and they'll start getting out from under it in larger ways and then that pressure on the dollar will mount and become stronger and it will completely cancel the ability to do anything about the domestic economy - whether it's in recession or depression," said Roberts, adding that a "real serious breakdown," the likes of which have not been witnessed so far, will occur if these issues are not addressed. Roberts said that it was difficult for ordinary people to diversify and find a safe haven because if they bought gold they would become a target for government theft just as happened in 1933. Roberts added that a total breakdown of the global economy would take place, "If the destruction of the dollar's role as world reserve currency continues and there's not a clear alternative that arrives to take its place," warning that it was the biggest danger and there would be "no way to survive" its impact.
| NewWorldOrder | America | Economic Crisis |

The Purposes and Principles of the Shadow Government A Time, Times, and Half A Time (January 20, 2008) - Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Part IV Previous:

  • Part I Killing with a Clear Conscience
  • Part II Dictator at the Door
  • Part III Big Brother on Stage: What Kind of Actor is the EU)

In April 2007, the Council of Europe Counter-Terrorism Task Force conducted a comprehensive conference aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. The Why Terrorism conference reinforced the efforts of the Council of Europe’s convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the initiative of the Alliance of Civilizations, and the Club of Madrid’s counter-terrorism agenda. The outcome document called for the international community to:

  • rapidly conclude the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism;
  • strengthen regional organizations to combat terrorism; and
  • conduct the global war on terror within the framework of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (otherwise known as “shared universal values”).

As I’ve covered in previous blog posts, the EU presents itself as the gravitational point in the system of world government. By enshrining human rights into the framework of its foreign policy, the Union believes it can export its interpretation of human rights values without legal constraint. This far-reaching policy compounded with a unique interpretation of human rights has most dangerous consequences--for we have seen that the Alliance of Civilizations’ initiative is the global implementation of the EU’s social cohesion policy. The EU’s rotational president Danilo Türk addressed this at the recent Alliance of Civilizations Madrid Forum. Alliance of Civilizations High Representative Jorge Sampaio describes this policy as the global governance of culture. As we have seen, the Alliance of Civilizations social cohesion policy is the core component of the United Nations’ global counter-terrorism strategy. The strategy places a great deal of emphasis on regional organizations for they are key in the implementation of AoC objectives. An example of AoC-regional organization cooperation is the Tripartite-Plus agreement in which the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Council of Europe have united to combat “extremist” ideology. States that have bound themselves by treaty to these regional organizations are politically bound to abide by the organization’s decisions. For example, the United States as an OSCE signatory state is expected to implement OSCE decisions bypassing the approval of our national legislature. In its document The Role of Religion and Belief in the Fight Against Terrorism, pertaining to restrictions on religion or belief, the OSCE tells us:

"Let us restrain to affirm that: ‘The legal binding force of these documents is not seriously doubted…A commitment does not have to be legally binding in order to have binding force; the distinction between legal and non-legal binding force resides in the legal consequences attached to the binding force, not in the binding force as such.’"

Similarly, Russia and its former satellite (eastern block) countries are bound to Council of Europe decisions. Stanford University’s Europeanisation as a Gravity Model of Democratisation notes that:

“For democracy and human rights the Council of Europe is important as a norm setting organization and codifier of law, Membership of the Council of Europe requires adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms…”

Stanford University later explained that it is probable that these countries did not realize what they were getting themselves into when they bound themselves to the Council of Europe. Note the significance of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR is modeled after the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is said to be the cornerstone of every counter-terrorism strategy we have examined thus far. Article 29 states:

  1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

The limitations as determined by international law and the purposes and principles of the United Nations are of particular interest to me for they are companions to the social cohesion policy. In this context, human rights are based upon the adherence to a set of common beliefs and values having the intent to ensure social inclusion. This theory is seriously flawed for it introduces governance in which thought and belief become strictly controlled thereby negating the very diversity they claim to protect. The quest to build a new common civilization further contradicts the notion of diversity and a free society. Take, for example, the inter-religious dialogue aspect of the social cohesion policy which recognizes that all religions’ gods are equal. If an individual’s belief system requires they reject this premise, their belief system then becomes a violation of another person’s human rights where they further stand accused of exhibiting an ideology of hate or one that contributes to social exclusion. Worse yet, that individual’s belief system categorically becomes one associated with violent radicalization and terrorism. Article 5 of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Terrorism addresses the public provocation to commit a terrorist offence as such:

“For the purposes of this Convention, "public provocation to commit a terrorist offence” means the distribution, or otherwise making available, of a message to the public, with the intent to incite the commission of a terrorist offence, where such conduct, whether or not directly advocating terrorist offences, causes a danger that one or more such offences may be committed.”

The Council of Europe has provided legal analysis for article 5:

“The Committee therefore focused on the recruitment of terrorists and the creation of new terrorist groups; the instigation of ethnic and religious tensions which can provide a basis for terrorism; the dissemination of "hate speech" and the promotion of ideologies favourable to terrorism, while paying particular attention to the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the application of Article 10, paragraph 2 of the ECHR, and to the experience of States in the implementation of their national provisions on "apologie du terrorisme" and/or "incitement to terrorism" in order to carefully analyse the potential risk of a restriction of fundamental freedoms.”

There are many documents within the European Union that identify religious ideologies considered to be hate speech and conducive to the spread of terrorism. Among them are the ideological foundations of Europe: unity in diversity which warns us that we must embrace redefined humanistic versions of our faiths:

“…The fundamentalist, let him be Christian, Israelite, Muslim is the follower of his own truth, regards those belonging to his group as good and everybody else as bad or evil. He is not willing to learn and not able to conduct a dialogue. Fanatic violence is born from fundamentalism, which wants to force his own “truth” upon others. The shallow nihilism feeds the spread of such fundamentalism very effectively. Hence the danger that it would proliferate, entailing the rejection of the essential elements of the European heritage. Thus, we have to look for another solution. The Christian humanism and Christly humanity, which basically reformulate the Christian and Greek elements of the European intellectual heritage.”

Not only is religious belief attributed to violent radicalization but also political dissent. How could one possibly oppose globalization without adoption of an “extremist” ideology? In communication from the European Commission to the Parliament and the Council, the final paragraph of Terrorist recruitment: addressing the factors contributing to violent radicalization states:

“…Individuals, particularly young people from poorer, or excluded backgrounds, may feel a strong attraction for the “certainties” of extreme (or antiglobalisation) ideologies, although of course it is not only individuals in these categories who are found to have turned to violent radicalisation.”

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), article 10, paragraph 2, modeled after the United Nations’ human rights declaration, establishes a framework which would place restrictions on individuals accused of advocating “extremist” ideologies:

“The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.”

Now let’s back up to article 9 of the ECHR which pertains to religious freedom. Here we read similar language where restrictions may be imposed on religious freedom:

“Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”

In its conference The Role of Religion and Belief in the Fight Against Terrorism, the Organization for Security and Co-Operation of Europe provides interpretation of plausible restrictions.

"…it recognizes that in democratic societies, in which several religions coexist within one and the same population, it may be necessary to place restrictions on this freedom in order to reconcile the interest of various groups and ensure that everyone's beliefs are respected. Indeed, the fact that the freedom of religion is an element of a democratic and pluralistic society entails the placing of limitations thereupon in order to protect everyone's rights. Nevertheless, unlike Article 18 of the ICCPR, Article 9 is not included among the rights that cannot be derogated from in times of war or public emergency that threatens the life of the nation, arroding to Article 15 of the ECHR. But this may be done only to "the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation."

Note that the commentary indicates that if the state believes that others’ religious beliefs are not respected, restrictions on religion are permissible. Recall that religious fundamentalists have been described as those who reject another’s belief system as being equally valid. By definition, this constitutes disrespect. Additional clarification may be found in the Council of Europe’s counterterrorism document written by UNESCO’s Rosa Guerreiro, program specialist for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue. Guerreiro warns that religious fundamentalism constitutes disrespect and violates article 4 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity thereby violating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

“UNESCO promotes respect for all dimensions of cultural diversity since it is the very fabric of humankind and the “common heritage of humanity”, as stipulated in the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, unanimously adopted in 2001. The Declaration furthermore aims at preserving cultural diversity as a living, and thus renewable treasure that must not be perceived as static but rather as a process guaranteeing the survival of humanity. At the same time, the Declaration is dedicated to preventing segregation and fundamentalism which, in the name of cultural differences, could sanctify those differences and in doing so, counter the message of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is extremely important to stimulate the respect of all cultures including religions. As we can read in the article 4 of UNESCO’s Declaration on Cultural Diversity: “the defence of cultural diversity is an ethical imperative, inseparable for human dignity. It implies a commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms…..No one may invoke cultural diversity to infringe upon human rights guaranteed by international law, nor to limit their scope.””

To further combat religious fundamentalism is the United Nations’ Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | NewWorldOrder |