Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Religion

The Internet: Gutenberg Press 2.0

In a remarkable coalescence of time and circumstance, Michael Hart typed the Declaration of Independence into his computer on July 4th, 1971, Independence Day, and launched Project Gutenberg,

http://www.gutenberg.org/    Project Gutenberg

the world’s largest non-profit digital library available on the Internet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/business/michael-hart-a-pioneer-of-e-books-dies-at-64.html?_r=3&pagewanted=2   the world’s largest digital library

On his way home from a fireworks display, Hart stopped in at a grocery store and was given a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed on parchment. He typed the text into his computer, intending to send it as an email to his friends on Arpanet. A colleague persuaded him that his message would cause the system to crash and so Hart merely posted a note that the full text could be downloaded instead. And thus, according to the obituary noting his passing on September 6th, 2011 in the New York Times, “Project Gutenberg was born.”

http://www.gutenberg.org/   Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg, with more than 38,000 free eBooks available online, represents Hart’s goal to “encourage the creation and distribution of e-books to help break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy.” Even in its infancy Hart saw the potential, according to the Times, of “overturning all established power structures.” (emphasis added)

It is doubtful that Hart in 1971 had any idea of how the growth of the Internet would impact the world, just as the son of a cloth merchant in the small German town of Mainz, Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg   Gutenberg

would have any idea of how his invention of the moveable-type printing press in 1436 would impact his world. Not only is the Gutenberg press responsible for the printing revolution that spread across Europe and the world, it had enormous impact in the flowering of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. It was responsible for the formation of the basis for the modern market economy, the development and spread of the concept of national sovereignty, and the revolution leading to the Declaration of Independence and the establishment of the American republic.

Gutenberg’s first project was the printing of 180 copies of the Bible, each of which sold for much less than a handwritten Bible which could take a single scribe more than a year to complete. Within six years there were 1000 copies in print.

http://thedailybell.com/2645/Martin-Luther   there were 1000 copies in print

As his printing press was copied and spread throughout the continent,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_spread_of_the_printing_press   spread    through the continent

by the year 1500 one thousand printing presses were in operation and had already produced more than eight million books. By 1600 that number had grown more than twenty-fold to between 150 and 200 million. And the discovery and development of sea routes West (Christopher Columbus, 1492) and East (Vasco da Gama, 1498) greatly expanded the use of his printing press. By 1620 the impact of the Gutenberg press caused English philosopher Francis Bacon to remark that it “has changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world.” In America, Mark Twain wrote:

What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source, but we are bound to bring him homage…for the bad that this colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favored.

The press enabled friends of Martin Luther to distribute copies of his “95 Theses” across Germany within two weeks, all across Europe within two months, and within the year into France, England and Italy.

The challenge of the Reformation to the existing establishment led to The Thirty Years’ War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years’_War   Thirty Years’ War

which ended with the signing of a series of peace treaties summarized as the Peace of Westphalia, establishing vital concepts now taken for granted: sovereignty of states, right to self-determination, equality between states and the principle of non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westphalian_sovereignty  vital concepts

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion was propelled by the Gutenberg miracle so that by 1560 the Scottish parliament had repudiated the Pope’s authority and approved in its stead the Protestant Confession of Faith. The Scottish Reformation reached America and influenced the American Revolution. Calvin’s influence was so great that Leopold von Ranke,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_von_Ranke  Leopold von Ranke

one of the profoundest scholars of the times, concluded that “John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.”

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)   Common Sense

rode not only the revolutionary discontent of the colonies but the increasingly common printing press to become, according to historian Gordon S. Wood, “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era.” First published anonymously in January, 1776, the 48-page booklet sold 120,000 copies in its first three months, 500,000 in its first year, and went through twenty-five editions in its first year alone. George Trevelyan, author of History of the American Revolution, said,

It would be difficult to name any human composition which has had an effect at once so instant, so extended and so lasting…It was pirated, parodied and imitated, and translated into the language of every country where the new republic had well-wishers. It worked nothing short of miracles and turned Tories into Whigs.

And so, from the development of movable type in 1436 to the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in 1455, to the explosive duplication of Luther’s 95 Theses beginning in 1518, to the Scottish immigration to America in the 1600s, to the Peace of Westphalia in 1668, to the bursting forth of “Common Sense” in January 1776, to the Declaration of Independence, one can trace the impact that the Gutenberg Press had on political, social and religious institutions in just over three hundred years.

But it took just three years from the start of the commercialization of the internet in 1995 (the year the first sale on Echo Bay – later to become EBay – was completed)

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/    first sale on Echo Bay

that the political power of the Internet as the “alternative media” began to be felt. Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff had been investigating the relationship between Monica Lewinsky

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewinsky_scandal#Denial_and_subsequent_admission    Monica Lewinsky

and then-President Bill Clinton for nearly a year, and his story was about to be published on Saturday morning, January 17th, 1998. After listening to one of the taped conversations between Lewinsky and a friend, Isikoff’s editors decided to spike the story. Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Drudge_Report    The Drudge Report

an online news aggregator, learned of the decision to withhold the story, and ran his exposé with the headline: “Newsweek Kills Story on White House Intern: 23-Year-Old Sex Relationship with President,”

http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2002/01/17/20020117_175502_ml.htm   ran his expose

which instantly, profoundly and permanently transformed the Internet into an alternative to the mainstream media. By Sunday morning, so many individuals were seeking more information from Drudge’s website that it couldn’t handle all the traffic.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1998/clinton_scandal/50031.stm   couldn’t handle all the traffic.

According to BBC News, “This may be the first time that a story of such consequence developed on the Internet. Love him or hate him, Matt Drudge’s report on the Clinton scandal is the most visible sign to date of the changing nature of journalism.”

The Presidential campaign of 2008 is considered to be the first “Internet election”

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/The-Internet-and-the-2008-Election.aspx   internet election

with candidates using the Internet to promote their positions. PewInternet noted that “a record-breaking 46% of Americans used the Internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views, and mobilize others…[and] 6% of Americans made political contributions online, compared with 2% who did that during the entire 2004 campaign.” One of those enjoying the Internet’s capability to raise campaign funds was Presidential candidate Ron Paul whose “money bomb” raised a record $4.3 million in a single day, followed by another $4.4 million raised just a few days later.

The Internet had a significant role in the retirement of Dan Rather from CBS in 2005. In 1988 Rather interviewed six former servicemen, each of whom had witnessed horrible acts during their time in Vietnam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Rather    interviewed

Two of them said that they had killed civilians and each talked about the impact the war had on their personal lives, including periods of depression, unemployment, drug use, and homelessness. Unfortunately for Rather, authors B. G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley, in doing research for their book Stolen Valor

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Valor-Vietnam-Generation-History/dp/096670360X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316710624&sr=1-1   Stolen Valor

obtained the service records of all six of those interviewed by Rather and discovered that only one of them had actually been stationed in Vietnam, and that he had only served as an equipment repairer. Bloggers on the Internet had a field day.

http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=421    had a field day

And then in 2004 Rather reported on a series of memos he had obtained about President George W. Bush’s service with the Texas Air National Guard. The memos found their way onto the Internet and were declared by experts to be forgeries. The mainstream media reluctantly printed the story of the forgeries, forcing CBS initially to defend Rather’s report. Two weeks later CBS retracted the story. In 2005 Rather left CBS after being relegated to a corner office with few responsibilities.

The internet’s video-sharing website, YouTube, has more than one billion videos in its online library

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/4458-the-power-of-the-internet    more than one billion

but none more damaging to the credibility of one of the establishment’s favorite institutions, The Federal Reserve System, than the confrontation between Congressman Alan Grayson and Fed spokesman Elizabeth Coleman. In five minutes and 26 seconds,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXlxBeAvsB8&feature=player_embedded   In five minutes and 26 seconds

on May 5th, 2009, Coleman stuttered and stammered and deflected and finally wilted under Grayson’s barrage of questions about the Fed’s off-book balance sheet activity. Her lack of preparation and inability to answer the simplest of questions has been viewed by more than four million people, doing irreparable damage to the prestige of the Fed. As noted by Anthony Wile

http://thedailybell.com/2024/Is-Anyone-Minding-the-Store-at-the-Federal-Reserve.html   noted by

“It is one of the single most astonishing moments (or minutes) ever manifested or preserved in this already amazing digital era.” Wile wrote:

During the questioning of Coleman, Grayson asks her over and over if there is a formal accounting available for the trillions in off-book balance sheet activity for the Fed. He asks patiently, and he repeats the question many times. Coleman stutters, makes statements that are obviously evasive and finally all but admits that she actually has no authority even to examine the Fed’s off-balance sheet activities. She admits this in a frazzled manner, but only after losing her way so badly that she has to ask Grayson to repeat the question (which he has already asked about ten times).

The whistle-blower website Wikileaks.org has proven the power of exposure as a disinfectant, especially in its leaking of the Kroll Report,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Moi    Kroll Report

an intelligence report commissioned by the Kenyan government in 2004. For political reasons the government sat on the report until Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, published the report on the Internet. Interviewed on TED TV by Chris Anderson, Assange said

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/4458-the-power-of-the-internet    Interviewed by

This report…became a dead albatross around [the president’s] neck.

Anderson: And…word of the report leaked into Kenya, not from the official media, but indirectly [via the Internet]. And in your opinion, it actually shifted the election?

Assange: Yes. This became front page [news] and was then printed in all the surrounding countries of Kenya, in Tanzania and South Africa…

It ran for 20 nights straight on Kenya TV [and] shifted the vote by 10 percent…which changed the result of the election.

Anderson: So your leak really substantially changed the world?

Assange: Yes.

The Internet revolution is reaching into the highest levels of the education cartel which for years has required students to pay enormous sums for the privilege of attending prestigious schools to obtain a piece of paper that many are finding of questionable value in today’s marketplace. In 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) started putting all of its courses’ lecture notes, videos and exams online where students could access them for free. In the ten years that followed nearly 100 million students have taken advantage of the opportunity. Recently, MIT introduced “MITx” which grants, for a small fee, a certificate of accomplishment to students proving their mastery of the subject. This innovation challenges at its very core the paradigm that only a wealthy few should have access to such learning. As Kevin Carey noted in The Chronicle of Higher Education,

http://chronicle.com/article/MIT-Mints-a-Valuable-New-Form/130410/  noted

“It is simply untenable [for traditional universities] to claim global leadership in educating a planet of seven billion people when you hoard your educational offerings for a few thousand fortunates living together on a small patch of land.”

The internet is also allowing citizens to stand up against corrupt politicians and police behaving badly. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) discovered how his attempts to keep people attending his town halls from taping them using cellphones failed miserably and led him to change his policy.

http://teapartyeconomist.com/2012/01/19/bonehead-congressman-who-confiscated-cell-phones-backs-off-too-late/  failed miserably

Said a chastened Chabot, “We will be modifying our policy to allow individual citizens to bring cameras to our town hall events…”

Simon Glik was walking by the Boston Common on October 1st, 2007 when he observed what he perceived to be an excessive use of force by three police officers in subduing a suspected drug offender. He used his cell phone to take pictures of the event and was arrested. He sued and courts ruled in his favor: “We conclude…that Glik was exercising clearly-established First Amendment rights in filming the officers in a public place, and that his clearly-established Fourth Amendment rights were violated by his arrest without probable cause.”

http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/10828-courts-and-dept-of-justice-agree-videotaping-police-is-ok  ruled in his favor

Last September the pro-life film “180” was released with expectations that it could change the abortion debate significantly. Producer Ray Comfort said that “knowledge is very, very powerful and when we have knowledge…it can change our whole perspective.” Comfort expressed the hope that the video would go viral. In the first 24 hours of its release on YouTube, there were 30,000 visits. By October 9th, there were 638,000 visits. As of February 15th, 2012, there have been more than 2,350,000 visits.

Attempts to pre-empt the Internet or to restrict it are failing. When Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corporation, purchased MySpace for $580 million in July 2005, he intended on inserting Fox News political content into the site and thus help to redirect the political conversation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Space#Politics   inserting Fox News studio content

At the time, MySpace was the most popular social networking site in the United States, while Facebook, its primary competitor lagged behind. However, by April, 2008, Facebook surpassed MySpace based on monthly unique visitors, and Murdoch’s attempt to get political with his acquisition failed. With three-quarters of its workforce laid off, Murdoch sold what was left of the company in June 2011 for $35 million, taking a loss of half a billion dollars.

When it appeared that federal attempts to threaten the internet such as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Internet Privacy Act) were going to be enacted, users rebelled mightily and loudly. Millions of people signed online petitions, overloaded circuits with phone calls, and generally stood in the gap and said NO. As Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9223531/Twitter_Facebook_fuel_SOPA_protests?taxonomyId=70  said

“This is huge. [Social networks] pretty much drove the mass objections and stopped this bill from becoming law. I think we are actually seeing the beginning of a huge change in the political process worldwide that [has] social networks at the core.”

Even before the cratering of those efforts to regulate and emasculate the internet, clever individuals had been hard at work developing “work-arounds,” just in case. A Firefox add-on called, appropriately “de-SOPA” allows searchers to get past any sites that might have been censored by using IP addresses instead of web addresses.

http://lifehacker.com/5869665/desopa-for-firefox-bypasses-sopa-dns-blocking  deSOPA

And if that doesn’t work, there’s Pirate Bay Dancing

http://boingboing.net/2011/11/30/mafiaafire-teams-latest-brow.html Pirate Bay Dancing

that also was developed in anticipation of such attempts at regulation.

Telex is another of many innovations designed to foil attempts to restrict the flow of truth by Internet. The developer’s software turns the Internet itself into an anti-censorship device. Software that is installed on a computer connects with the Internet service provider that has Telex stations attached to the wires carrying the digital traffic. “So,” says the developer, “if you’re in China, and you want access to a banned site like YouTube, you just type YouTube.com into your computer, and the Telex station will see that connection, and disguise it as something innocuous. You might be watching YouTube, but to a censor, it will just seem as if you’re visiting a harmless, non-blocked site.” If governments pursue Internet censorship, they will find that the free-market innovators have gotten there first, in plenty of time to make such efforts not only fruitless but obsolete.

Because of the Internet, false renditions of history are exposed. Half-truths are uncovered. Statist assumptions are questioned. George Orwell’s Memory Hole has been illuminated. History, it is said, is written by the survivors. With more than 300 million websites feeding the Internet and billions of people seeking the truth, when this history is written it will proclaim the free unhindered flow of information via the Internet as the victor. With this new information, the final choice lies, where it always has, in the hands of an informed electorate. Writing to William Charles Jarvis on September 28th, 1820, Thomas Jefferson said:

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

All that the Gutenberg press did then, and all that the Internet is doing now, is informing the peoples’ discretion. The rest is up to them.

 

 

 

 

 

Deep State: Pulling Strings From Behind the Scenes, by Alex Newman

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 8, 2018. Its author, Alex Newman, will be speaking in Colorado Springs at 21C Library on Wednesday evening, February 7th, on the same topic. If you need a ticket, call me at 481-3890. 

Even a mere few years ago, many Americans would have scoffed at the idea of privately organized individuals controlling the levers of government. Now most people see it.

In 1770, William Pitt famously told the U.K. House of Lords that “there is something behind the throne greater than the king himself.” Today, in the face of what appears to be a broad and highly coordinated effort to destroy President Donald Trump, Americans are waking up in huge numbers to the fact that there is a hidden “power behind the throne” in America, too. Trump himself has helped to bring about this awakening. For instance, among other concerns, candidate and later President Trump warned his followers about the “swamp,” about a “cabal” seeking “global government,” and of course, about the “Deep State” seeking to sabotage the United States and especially his America First agenda. This view is now becoming mainstream, the evidence suggests.

In fact, an ABC News/Washington Post poll from April of 2017 shows that

Keep Reading…

Skeptics Over Decline of Patriotism Among Millennials in America, Take Heart

English: Detail of Preamble to Constitution of...

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Tuesday, December 26, 2017:  

Pollster George Barna, director of the American Culture & Faith Institute, reported some good news last week: the “lost” generation isn’t so lost after all. Millennials have been called the Peter Pan or Boomerang Generation because of the propensity of many of them to move back in with Mommy and Daddy after being unable to find a job that is “suitable” to their skill sets. They have been called lazy, narcissistic, and “trophy kids” thanks to receiving “participation” trophies just for showing up. The very last thing they have been called is “patriotic.”

Barna could have used Merriam-Webster’s definition of patriotism: “love for or devotion to one’s country.” Or he could have used Noah Webster’s definition from 1828: “Love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity. Patriotism is the characteristic of a good citizen, the noblest passion that animates a man in the character of a citizen.”

Instead Barna selected 15 criteria and asked 1,000 people to pick the best of them. These were the top six:

Keep Reading…

“Nashville Statement” Reviled, Attacked, Satirized

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, September 5, 2017:

English: Rainbow flag flapping in the wind wit...

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind

Michael Brown, one of the 150 signers of the Nashville Statement released last week, expressed surprise at all the attacks the statement was getting from those whom he supposed would be expected to support it:

If a group of astronomers issued a major document stating that the earth revolves around the sun and the moon revolves around the earth, it would be greeted with a shrug of the shoulders. Who didn’t know that?

 

Why, then, has [the Nashville Statement signed] by Christian leaders affirming the basics of Biblical sexuality been greeted with such protest from other professing Christian leaders?

 

It is because these other “Christian” leaders have rejected the authority of the Word of God.

Brown, the founder and president of the FIRE School of Ministry and author of 20 books on the Christian faith, noted satire by the Babylon Bee of the Nashville Statement with which he actually agreed. The Bee noted:

Keep Reading…

The Southern Poverty Law Center Hates God

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 25, 2017:

Julian Bond of the NAACP

Julian Bond of the NAACP

In a recent interview, Judge Roy Moore was asked about the Southern Poverty Law Center. He responded, “The Southern Poverty Law Center has had Ben Carson on their hate list. They’ve had Tony Perkins [of the Family Research Council] on their hate list. The truth is: they’re the ones that hate. They hate God, and they hate the acknowledgement of God.”

This should surprise no one who has even briefly looked into the background of the SPLC. It has hated God and His people for decades. When Morris Dees founded the outfit in 1971, he named his good friend Julian Bond as president. Bond, it will be remembered

Keep Reading…

Ministry Sues SPLC for Calling It a “Hate Group”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, August 24, 2017:

English: Southern Poverty Law Center. Montgome...

Southern Poverty Law Center. Montgomery, Alabama.

Citing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the National Center for Life and Liberty of the D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) filed suit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on Tuesday for “trafficking in false or misleading descriptions of the services offered under the ministry’s trademarked name; and for defamation pursuant to Alabama common law arising from the publication and distribution of information that libels the ministry’s reputation and subjects the ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public.”

Frank Wright, the CEO of the ministries, explained why it is suing the SPLC:

Keep Reading…

Churches Oppose Repeal of the Johnson Amendment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 20, 2017: 

Wilshire Christian Church

Part of a letter sent to top members of Congress earlier this month and signed onto by 99 churches says: “The charitable sector, particularly houses of worship, should not become another cog in a political machine or another loophole in campaign finance laws.”

Pushback to President Donald Trump’s promises to repeal the Johnson Amendment was expected from the American Humanist Association and American Atheists, and he got it. But from Baptists?

Trump said at a campaign event in Virginia in October, “I think [the Johnson Amendment is] very unfair, and one of the things I will do very early in my administration is to get rid of [it] so that our great pastors and ministers, rabbis … and priests and everybody can go and tell and participate in the [political] process.”

This became part of the Republican Party’s platform:

Keep Reading…

Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch Lands in Middle of Three Vital Cases

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 10, 2017:

Operating at full strength for the first time since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, the Supreme Court will hold a private conference on Thursday morning to determine whether the court will address three separate but vital appeals.

The first is an appeal brought by the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, over the denial by Missouri of the church’s request to participate in a grant program

Keep Reading…

Princeton Seminary’s Hypocrisy

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 24, 2017:

Witherspoon Hall, Princeton University, Prince...

Witherspoon Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

It all sounded so high and mighty: the liberal Princeton Seminary was going to award its Kuyper Prize to a conservative pastor, despite his Calvinist theology. The Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Witness is awarded each year to someone whose contribution “reflects the ideas and values of the Calvinist vision of religious engagement in matters of social, political, and cultural significance” according to The Layman.

In its announcement, Princeton said that

Keep Reading…

Liberal Seminary Rescinds Award to be Given to Conservative Pastor

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, March 23, 2017: 

In announcing that it would award popular conservative pastor Tim Keller the prestigious Kuyper Prize in early April, Princeton Theological Seminary said earlier this week that Keller “is widely known as an innovative theologian and church leader, well-published author, and catalyst for urban mission in major cities around the world.”

Keller is the founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and author of more than a dozen books including New York Times Best Sellers The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, and Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. He began Redeemer in 1989 from scratch in downtown New York.  Today the church serves more than 5,000 worshipers every week.

Princeton president Craig Barnes further explained why his staff selected Keller for the award:

Keep Reading…

Here’s What Those 500 Evangelical Pastors Actually Said

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 15, 2017:

The full-page ad that appeared last Wednesday in the Washington Post was paid for by World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, and offered prayers and support by some 500 Christian leaders for President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence as they worked to craft an immigration policy:

We live in a dangerous world and affirm the crucial role of government in protecting us from harm and in setting the terms on refugee admissions….

 

As Christians, we are committed to praying for our elected officials. Our prayer is that God would grant [you and the Vice President] and all our leaders divine wisdom as they direct the course of our nation.

This is what Carol Kuruvilla, the Huffington Post’s Associate Religion Editor, thought it said:

Keep Reading…

Can the American Dream be Revived?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 9, 2017:

English: Statue of Liberty Gaeilge: Dealbh na ...

The term American Dream was coined by James Trustow Adams in 1931, just as the economy was entering the worst of the Great Depression. In The Epic of America, Adams wrote:

[It is] that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement….

 

It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

In 2012, American cultural historian Lawrence Samuel, author of The American Dream: A Cultural History, echoed Adams:

Keep Reading…

Obama Presents Presidential Medal of Freedom to DeGeneres, Others

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 25, 2016:  

President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday to 21 individuals, telling them how impressive they are in their life experiences and adding: “These 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way…. Everyone on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine.”

The award is the highest civilian award offered by the United States and is supposed to recognize those who

Keep Reading…

City Council Votes to Put “In God We Trust” Plaque in City Hall

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 1, 2016:  

Dwight D. Eisenhower, official portrait as Pre...

Dwight D. Eisenhower

When then-President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the country’s motto “In God We Trust” on July 30, 1956, he stated, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

Last week, the City Council of Chesapeake, Virginia, agreed with Eisenhower, unanimously voting to

Keep Reading…

Dutch Pol Geert Wilders Refuses to Attend His Trial; Says It’s “Political”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 31, 2016:

Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician best known for his criticism of Islam, won’t attend his own trial that begins Monday. He asserted,

Monday, the trial against freedom of speech begins … against a politician who says what the politically correct elite does not want to hear.

 

This trial is a political trial, in which I refuse to cooperate.

The trial concerns two public utterances that he made back in 2014, including one where he spoke to political supporters at The Hague. He asked them if they wanted fewer Moroccans in the country, and they responded “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” Wilders responded, “Well, we’ll take care of it, then.”

Some 6,400 complaints were filed with local police, mostly from Moroccans living in the country. The court sorted through them and found 35 that were valid to bring charges of discrimination against Wilders.

Wilders was also charged in 2011 with criminally insulting Islam and inciting hatred as a result. Those charges stemmed from articles that he had penned and statements that he made calling for a ban on the Koran, warning against an “Islamic invasion” of his country and the coming “tsunami of Islamization.” He described Islam as fascist, Moroccan youths as instigators of violence, and compared the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

He authored the script for a 2004 film entitled Fitna, a 17-minute-long argument that Islam encourages acts of terrorism, anti-semitism, violence against women, subjugation of infidels, and sanctions against homosexuals. Wilders explained his intentions, saying that the film (which is free on the Internet) was “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamisation.”

When he was acquitted of all charges in that trial, Wilders called it victory not only for himself but for freedom of speech.

The present trial is a variation on the same theme: Wilders is being charged with discrimination against a group, not a religion, which in the Netherlands is considered a hate crime. Frans Zonneveld, a spokesman for the prosecution, explained the difference:

Islam is an idea, a religion, [and] according to the public prosecution service, you have a lot of room to criticize ideas. But when it comes to population groups [Moroccans make up about two percent of the 17 million citizens in the Netherlands], it’s a whole different matter. His remarks touched the very being of this population group.

 

You cannot choose to be a part of a population group or not; it’s a group that’s decided by birth, so it’s a whole different matter.

Wilders responded: “It is a travesty that I have to stand trial because I spoke about fewer Moroccans [in the Netherlands]. It is my right and duty as a politician to speak about the problems in our country.”

In the Netherlands, Wilders does not have the guarantees provided Americans under the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, specifically those spelled out by the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Instead he is faced with a greater likelihood this time around of going to jail, or at least paying a fine or doing some community service, for his “crime.” However, his Freedom Party will face the Netherlands’ ruling party in elections in March. At present the race is too close to call. A conviction of Wilders in this case could work to his party’s advantage, as an increasing number of Dutch citizens are becoming aware of his warnings and potential threats to their culture.

GOP Platform: Repeal the “Johnson Amendment” Inhibiting Pastors’ Free Speech

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 25, 2016:  

English: North Church steeple in Portsmouth, N...

The week before he was to give his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last Thursday, Donald Trump phoned the president of Liberty University to tell him that the GOP’s platform called for repeal of the “Johnson Amendment.” Said Jerry Falwell, Jr.:

Keep Reading…

ACLU Preparing to Sue Trump If He Wins

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, July 18, 2016: 

American Civil Liberties Union

Perhaps recognizing the increasing likelihood of a Trump victory in November, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released last Friday “The Trump Memo” — a virtual legal action plan against many of Trump’s statements and proposals.

The release was preceded by a letter published in the Washington Post two days earlier written by Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, which said in part,

Keep Reading…

Somalia Bans Christmas Again; Says It’s “Not Relevant” to Islam

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 24, 2015:  

Despite a population of approximately 1,000 Christian believers in a country of 10 million, the threat of the message of Christmas is too much for the Islamic regime in Somalia. Mohamed Khayrow, the director general of Somalia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, announced on Wednesday that “All security forces are advised to halt or dissolve any gatherings. There should be no activity at all.”

As cover, Khayrow claimed that such celebrations would be potential targets for terrorists. But Sheik Nur Barud Gurhan, deputy chairman of the Supreme Religious Council of Somalia, was clearer:

Keep Reading…

Explaining San Bernardino: Massacres by Trousered Apes

Massacres by Trousered Apes, by Joseph Sobran, This column was published originally by Universal Press Syndicate on May 13, 1999.

The Littleton murders are still provoking “solutions” for the problem of youths who choose to shoot their classmates. The usual method of these “solutions” is to imagine how this particular horror could have been prevented, and then to generalize the answer into some sort of national law or social program. More gun control, better counseling, spotting “early warning signals,” and so forth.

But if any measures could have prevented these murders, they may not apply to others. The next crime to shock us as Littleton did won’t duplicate Littleton; it will be something else, something different in all the details the supposed “solutions” address. The uniqueness of this crime — and of many other crimes — gets lost in bogus analysis. A couple of specific teenagers were determined to do evil. If they had been prevented from doing it the way they did it, they could have found another way.

Maybe the real trouble is that modern culture simply refuses to face the fact of evil. “If God does not exist,” as Dostoyevsky wrote, “everything is permitted.” As if to underline his words, one of the killers fatally shot a girl when she said she believed in God.

If God does not exist, right and wrong are reduced to subjective preferences; even human life loses its dignity. “Thou shalt not kill” means no more than “I hope I won’t get shot.” Laws become the amoral collective preferences of the majority.

But what if the killers, as at Littleton, are prepared to die in the course of their crimes? There are always those who won’t be deterred by laws. This is a fact of life. Christian culture has always recognized original sin, man’s eternal and irrational inclination to do wrong. But to the denizens of modern culture, the idea of original sin is nonsense.

Modern culture is a negative, not a positive thing. It’s what is left when you subtract Christianity from Christian culture — so it’s a barren, bloodless, desiccated, and uninspiring thing, sometimes called “secular humanism.”

Modern culture recognizes nothing above man, so there is nothing worth dying for and sacrifice is absurd. It recognizes no God and denies the soul, the afterlife, and ultimate justice.

It tells us we should fight against Hitler (or some Hitler-of-the Month like Slobodan Milosevic), but it can’t explain why a young man should be prepared to give up his short life, the only existence he will ever know, when “sacrifice” means no more than suicide.

In a secularized universe, nobility and honor have no meaning. Neither does chastity. Yet these are virtues recognized by most other cultures. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought honor and chastity were worth dying for; they worshiped the virgin goddess Diana, and they praised the chaste matron Lucrece for killing herself, for honor’s sake, after having been raped.

Secularized culture, being negative, is only legalistic. It can’t move the heart or fill the imagination. It merely encourages grievances about an ever-widening range of supposed civil wrongs, under the general heading of “discrimination.” All social relations become legal and political relations.

We can even amend Dostoyevsky in light of the twentieth century: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted, especially to governments.” The state that recognizes no absolute right or wrong will keep trying to enlarge its own power, even to the point of declaring some people subhuman if they get in the way of social engineering or even personal pleasure.

Our own government has made abortion a legal right, while pretending to be “neutral” about religion and morality. Deciding that some lives may be taken at will is anything but “neutral.” It assumes that unborn children are nothing but biological matter. At bottom, it assumes the same thing about the whole human race. It assumes that for human beings, there is no higher happiness than unrestrained sexual pleasure; after all, “higher” and “lower” are only relative terms.

For some people, there may be something sweeter than sex: revenge. That was what drove the Littleton killers. And why not, if God does not exist? The Littleton killers were products of the very culture that is trying to disown them — a culture that has ignored Baudelaire’s words: “Satan’s cleverest wile is to convince us that he doesn’t exist.”

Keep Reading…

Lawsuit Against Gun Shop’s “Muslim Free Zone” Tossed

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 27, 2015: 

300pxs

Following the shooting of four servicemen in Chattanooga by a Muslim terrorist on July 16, Andy Hallinan, the owner of Florida Gun Supply, posted a video to his shop’s Facebook page declaring his store would immediately be a “Muslim-Free Zone,” adding:

Keep Reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann