02/8/21

Catholic Bureaucracy Bows to Biden

By: Cliff Kincaid

With “Catholic” Joe Biden declaring war on the unborn, heterosexuality, and traditional marriage, the Catholic Church bureaucracy in Washington, D.C. has surrendered to the forces of Cultural Marxism. Defying logic, common sense, and Catholic teachings, the Archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, has decided that Biden is a Catholic in good standing and deserves Holy Communion.

Perhaps the prospect of dipping into the $1.9 trillion pandemic “relief bill” is a factor.

On February 7, Gregory gave a completely uninspiring recorded address to the Catholic congregations of the nation’s capital that failed to address in any way the federal assault on the teachings of the church on human life issues. Instead, as part of a special appeal for funds to subsidize the bureaucracy (in addition to the $1.4 billion in Covid-19 relief money already provided to the Catholic Church), he repeated a few Bible verses about seeking and finding truth, while talking in general terms about separating light from darkness.

The New York Times has declared that Joe Biden “is perhaps the most religiously observant commander in chief in half a century” because he “regularly attends Mass.”

Biden, who actually presided over a same-sex “wedding,” is making a mockery of the teachings of the church and leading the United States into further darkness. But Gregory, an enemy of former President Trump, knows this.

Biden’s reversal of the Trump ban on transgenders serving in the military is only the latest example.

Since military recruiters have already been going to gay “pride” events, we anticipate this will include not only paying for sex-change operations but active recruitment of transgenders, of the Corporal Klinger variety. The MASH television spectacle of Corporal Klinger wearing women’s dresses to get out of the military may now give way to the Pentagon actually permitting transgendered male soldiers to openly wear women’s military uniforms.

What’s more, as James S. Corum argues in American Thinker, much-needed medical funds will be diverted from military families to confused transgenders desiring to look like members of the opposite sex.

Perhaps the Pentagon will announce the formation of the Barney Frank Brigade, named after the former Congressman who once got mired in scandal after ordering a prostitute through a “hot bottom” ad in a gay paper.

Our once-feared military will become a global laughingstock.

It will only be a matter of time before conservatives and Christians start leaving the military in droves.

Beyond the corruption of the military, the Transgender Law Center is demanding that Biden implement a wide-ranging Trans Agenda for Liberation, including a focus on black trans women.

The frequently incoherent Biden cited his faith as a Catholic in supporting transgender rights, quoting Christ as saying, “What you’re doing to the least of my children, you’re doing to me.”

However, a document issued by the Vatican department overseeing Catholic education features a biblical quote in bold letters, “MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM,” while even left-of-center Pope Francis said in 2014, “Gender ideology is demonic.”

As Biden prepares to push the so-called “Equality Act” to benefit homosexuals, Catholics and non-Catholics alike know that the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6-9 said, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality…”

Officially, the Catholic Church recognizes homosexuality as a disorder, but there are estimates that 25-50 percent of priests are homosexuals. What’s more, as numerous lawsuits and investigations have determined, the Catholic Church has failed to purge sexual predators.

Wilton Gregory’s predecessor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, resigned from his leadership of the archdiocese in 2018 after he was accused of covering up sexual abuse. His predecessor as archbishop of Washington was the disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic leader ever to be removed for sexually abusing a minor.

In an article, “How Joe Biden Will Open The Floodgates To Transgendering Public Schools,” Joy Pullmann noted that Biden “plans to quickly use executive power to push transgenderism in schools, farther than President Obama did.”

All of this is being done with the apparent official acquiescence of Catholic officials such as Wilton Gregory, even though Catholic schools will also be targeted.

Traditional Catholics such as Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute are outraged and he came on America’s Survival TV discussing the “moral evils” being advanced by the Biden Administration on issues like abortion and transgenderism.

Brian Burch of the group Catholic Vote says the “devout” Joe Biden has been celebrating his election “victory” with more child-killing through pro-abortion executive orders. “Joe Biden is an enemy of life, period,” he says. “While he once held to some semblance of coherency on the life issue, he has since fully sold his soul to the Democratic Party’s War on the Unborn.”

In another shocking development, Dr. “Rachel” Levine, a man who wears lipstick and a dress and has been Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, has been nominated by Biden as Assistant Secretary of Health, a Senate-confirmed post. In addition to the controversy over his/her sexual identity, Levine sent many old people to their deaths from Covid in Pennsylvania nursing homes while saving his/her own mother.

We can expect the top officials of the Catholic Church to fall on their faces in subservience to Biden/Harris. But will Republicans challenge this bizarre nomination?

Meanwhile, censorship of traditional Catholics is underway.

A Catholic World Report (CWR) journalist, Matt Hadro, was suspended by Twitter for posting this “hateful” comment: “Biden plans to nominate Dr. Rachel Levine, a biological man identifying as a transgender woman who has served as Pennsylvania’s health secretary since 2017, to be HHS Assistant Secretary for Health. Levine is also a supporter of the contraceptive mandate.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented, “If Twitter can silence such innocuous speech as this, the free speech rights of all Catholic media outlets and websites are in jeopardy.”

It gets worse. Professor and author Paul Kengor points out that ads for his book on the evils of communism, The Devil and Karl Marx, and Carrie Gress’s book, The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity, have been blocked by Facebook. In addition, he says Facebook ads have been blocked for a new TAN Books title on motherhood,  Motherhood Redeemed: How Radical Feminism Betrayed Motherly Love, and a children’s book on the Stations of the Cross.

Of course, those like Wilton Gregory who toe the liberal line will be encouraged to speak out for Joe Biden and be praised for doing so.

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. www.usasurvival.org

02/5/21

Sitting on Billions, the Catholic Church Got $3 Billion in PPP Taxpayer Money

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

The irony and fraud here are unspeakable. Keep in mind, that many Catholic churches have private schools that are open. Will there be a clawback effort at all as you read on?

AP:

When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal government’s signature small business relief program for more than $8 million.

The diocese’s headquarters, churches, and schools landed the help even though they had roughly $100 million of their own cash and short-term investments available last spring, financial records show. When the cash catastrophe church leaders feared didn’t materialize, those assets topped $110 million by the summer.

“I am gratified to report the overall good financial health of the diocese despite the many difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Bishop Peter Jugis wrote in the diocese’s audited financial report released last fall.

As the pandemic began to unfold, scores of Catholic dioceses across the U.S. received aid through the Paycheck Protection Program while sitting on well over $10 billion in cash, short-term investments, or other available funds, an Associated Press investigation has found. And despite the broad economic downturn, these assets have grown in many dioceses.

Yet even with that financial safety net, the 112 dioceses that shared their financial statements, along with the churches and schools they oversee, collected at least $1.5 billion in taxpayer-backed aid. A majority of these dioceses reported enough money on hand to cover at least six months of operating expenses, even without any new income.

The financial resources of several dioceses rivaled or exceeded those available to publicly traded companies like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, whose early participation in the program triggered outrage. Federal officials responded by emphasizing the money was intended for those who lacked the cushion that cash and other liquidity provide. Many corporations returned the funds.

Overall, the nation’s nearly 200 dioceses, where bishops and cardinals govern, and other Catholic institutions received at least $3 billion. That makes the Roman Catholic Church perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the paycheck program, according to AP’s analysis of data the U.S. Small Business Administration released following a public-records lawsuit by news organizations. The agency for months had shared only partial information, making a more precise analysis impossible.

Already one of the largest federal aid efforts ever, the SBA reopened the Paycheck Protection Program last month with a new infusion of nearly $300 billion. In making the announcement, the agency’s administrator at the time, Jovita Carranza, hailed the program for serving “as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses.”

Church officials have said their employees were as worthy of help as workers at Main Street businesses, and that without it they would have had to slash jobs and curtail their charitable mission as demand for food pantries and social services spiked. They point out the program’s rules didn’t require them to exhaust their stores of cash and other funds before applying.

But new financial statements several dozen dioceses have posted for 2020 show that their available resources remained robust or improved during the pandemic’s hard, early months. The pattern held whether a diocese was big or small, urban or rural, East or West, North or South.

In Kentucky, funds available to the Archdiocese of Louisville, its parishes, and other organizations grew from at least $153 million to $157 million during the fiscal year that ended in June, AP found. Those same offices and organizations received at least $17 million in paycheck money. “The Archdiocese’s operations have not been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak,” according to its financial statement.

In Illinois, the Archdiocese of Chicago had more than $1 billion in cash and investments in its headquarters and cemetery division as of May, while the faithful continued to donate “more than expected,” according to a review by the independent ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. Chicago’s parishes, schools, and ministries accumulated at least $77 million in paycheck protection funds.

Up the interstate from Charlotte in North Carolina, the Raleigh Diocese collected at least $11 million in aid. Yet during the fiscal year that ended in June, overall offerings were down just 5%, and the assets available to the diocese, its parishes, and schools increased by about $21 million to more than $170 million, AP found. In another measure of fiscal health, the diocese didn’t make an emergency draw on its $10 million line of credit.

Catholic leaders in dioceses including Charlotte, Chicago, Louisville, and Raleigh said their parishes and schools, like many other businesses and nonprofits, suffered financially when they closed to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Some dioceses reported that their hardest-hit churches saw income drop by 40% or more before donations began to rebound months later, and schools took hits when fundraisers were canceled and families had trouble paying tuition. As revenues fell, dioceses said, wage cuts and a few dozen layoffs were necessary in some offices.

Catholic researchers at Georgetown University who surveyed the nation’s bishops last summer found such measures weren’t frequent. In comparison, a survey by the investment bank Goldman Sachs found 42% of small business owners had cut staff or salaries, and that 33% had spent their personal savings to stay open.

Church leaders have questioned why AP focused on their faith following a story last July when New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote that reporters “invented a story when none existed and sought to bash the Church.”

By using a special exemption that the church lobbied to include in the paycheck program, Catholic entities amassed at least $3 billion — roughly the same as the combined total of recipients from the other faiths that rounded out the top five, AP found. Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Jewish faith-based recipients also totaled at least $3 billion. Catholics account for about a fifth of the U.S. religious population while members of Protestant and Jewish denominations are nearly half, according to the Pew Research Center.

Catholic institutions also received many times more than other major nonprofits with charitable missions and national reach, such as the United Way, Goodwill Industries, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Overall, Catholic recipients got roughly twice as much as 40 of the largest, most well-known charities in America combined, AP found.

The complete picture is certainly even more lopsided. So many Catholic entities received help that reporters could not identify them all, even after spending hundreds of hours hand-checking tens of thousands of records in federal data.

The Vatican referred questions about the paycheck program to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which said it does not speak on behalf of dioceses.

Presented with AP’s findings, bishops conference spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi responded with a broad statement that the Paycheck Protection Program was “designed to protect the jobs of Americans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they work for for-profit or nonprofit employers, faith-based or secular.”

___

INTERNAL SKEPTICISM

The AP’s assessment of church finances is among the most comprehensive to date. It draws largely from audited financial statements posted online by the central offices of 112 of the country’s nearly 200 dioceses.

The church isn’t required to share its financials. As a result, the analysis doesn’t include cash, short-term assets, and lines of credit held by some of the largest dioceses, including those serving New York City and other major metropolitan areas.

The analysis focused on available assets because federal officials cited those metrics when clarifying eligibility for the paycheck program. Therefore, the $10 billion AP identified doesn’t count important financial pillars of the U.S. church. Among those are its thousands of real estate properties and most of the funds that parishes and schools hold. Also excluded is the money — estimated at $9.5 billion in a 2019 study by the Delaware-based wealth management firm Wilmington Trust — held by charitable foundations created to help dioceses oversee donations.

In addition, dioceses can rely on a well-funded support system that includes help from wealthier dioceses, the bishops conference, and other Catholic organizations. Canon law, the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the global church, notes that richer dioceses may assist poorer ones, and the AP found instances where they did.

In their financial statements, the 112 dioceses acknowledged having at least $4.5 billion in liquid or otherwise available assets. To reach its $10 billion total, AP also included funding that dioceses had opted to designate for special projects instead of general expenses; excess cash that parishes and their affiliates deposit with their diocese’s savings and loan; and lines of credit dioceses typically have with outside banks.

Some church officials said AP was misreading their financial books and therefore overstating available assets. They insisted that money their bishop or his advisers had set aside for special projects couldn’t be repurposed during an emergency, although financial statements posted by multiple dioceses stated the opposite.

For its analysis, AP consulted experts in church finance and church law. One was the Rev. James Connell, an accountant for 15 years before joining the priesthood and becoming an administrator in the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Connell, also a canon lawyer who is now retired from his position with the archdiocese, said AP’s findings convinced him that Catholic entities did not need government aid — especially when thousands of small businesses were permanently closing.

“Was it want or need?” Connell asked. “Need must be present, not simply the want. Justice and love of neighbor must include the common good.”

Connell was not alone among the faithful concerned by the church’s pursuit of taxpayer money. Parishioners in several cities have questioned church leaders who received government money for Catholic schools they then closed.

Elsewhere, a pastor in a Western state told AP that he refused to apply even after diocesan officials repeatedly pressed him. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of his diocese’s policy against talking to reporters and concerns about possible retaliation.

The pastor had been saving, much like leaders of other parishes. When the pandemic hit, he used that money, trimmed expenses, and told his diocese’s central finance office that he had no plans to seek the aid. Administrators followed up several times, the pastor said, with one high-ranking official questioning why he was “leaving free money on the table.”

The pastor said he felt a “sound moral conviction” that the money was meant more for shops and restaurants that, without it, might close forever.

As the weeks passed last spring, the pastor said his church managed just fine. Parishioners were so happy with new online Masses and his other outreach initiatives, he said, they boosted their contributions beyond 2019 levels.

“We didn’t need it,” the pastor said, “and intentionally wanted to leave the money for those small business owners who did.”

WEATHERING A DOWNTURN

Months after the pandemic first walloped the economy, the 112 dioceses that release financial statements began sharing updates. Among the 47 dioceses that have thus far, the pandemic’s impact was far from crippling.

The 47 dioceses that have posted financials for the fiscal year that ended in June had a median 6% increase in the amount of cash, short-term investments, and other funds that they and their affiliates could use for unanticipated or general expenses, AP found. In all, 38 dioceses grew those resources, while nine reported declines.

Finances in Raleigh and 10 other dioceses that took government assistance were stable enough that they did not have to dip into millions they had available through outside lines of credit.

“This crisis has tested us,” Russell Elmayan, Raleigh’s chief financial officer, told the diocese’s magazine website in July, “but we are hopeful that the business acumen of our staff and lay counselors, together with the strategic financial reserves built over time, will help our parishes and schools continue to weather this unprecedented event.” Raleigh officials did not answer direct questions from AP.

The 47 dioceses acknowledged a smaller amount of readily available assets than AP counted, though by their own accounting that grew as well.

The improving financial outlook is due primarily to parishioners who found ways to continue donating and U.S. stock markets that were rebounding to new highs. But when the markets were first plunging, officials in several dioceses said, they had to stretch available assets because few experts were forecasting a rapid recovery.

In Louisville, Charlotte, and other dioceses, church leaders said they offered loans or grants to needy parishes and schools, or offset the monthly charges they assess their parishes. In Raleigh, for example, the headquarters used $3 million it had set aside for liability insurance and also tapped its internal deposit and loan fund.

Church officials added that the pandemic’s full toll will probably be seen in a year or two because some key sources of revenue are calculated based on income that parishes and schools generate.

“We believe that we will not know all of the long-term negative impacts on parish, school, and archdiocesan finances for some time,” Louisville Archdiocese spokeswoman Cecelia Price wrote in response to questions.

At the nine dioceses that recorded declines in liquid or other short-term assets, the drops typically were less than 10%, and not always clearly tied to the pandemic.

The financial wherewithal of some larger dioceses is underscored by the fact that, like publicly traded companies, they can raise capital by selling bonds to investors.

One was Chicago, where analysts with the Moody’s ratings agency calculated that the $1 billion in cash and investments held by the archdiocese headquarters and cemeteries division could cover about 631 days of operating expenses.

Graphic shows excerpt from Moody’s Investors Service analysis of the Catholic Bishop of Chicago. (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Graphic shows excerpt from Moody’s Investors Service analysis of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Church officials in Chicago asserted that those dollars were needed to cover substantial expenses while parishioner donations slumped. Without paycheck support, “parishes and schools would have been forced to cut many jobs, as the archdiocese, given its liabilities, could not have closed such a funding gap,” spokeswoman Paula Waters wrote.

Moody’s noted in its May report that while giving was down, federal aid had compensated for that and helped leave the archdiocese “well-positioned to weather this revenue loss over the next several months.” Among the reasons for the optimism: “a unique credit strength” that under church law allows the archbishop to tax parish revenue virtually at will.

In a separate Moody’s report on New Orleans, which filed for bankruptcy in May while facing multiple clergy abuse lawsuits, the ratings agency wrote in July that the archdiocese did so while having “significant financial reserves, with spendable cash and investments of over $160 million.”

Moody’s said the archdiocese’s “very good” liquid assets would let it operate 336 days without additional income. Those assets prompted clergy abuse victims to ask a federal judge to dismiss the bankruptcy filing, arguing the archdiocese’s primary reason for seeking the legal protection was to minimize payouts to them.

The archdiocese, along with its parishes and schools, collected more than $26 million in paycheck money. New Orleans Archdiocesan officials didn’t respond to written questions.

PURSUING AID

Without special treatment, the Catholic Church would not have received nearly so much under the Paycheck Protection Program.

After Congress let nonprofits and religious organizations participate in the first place, Catholic officials lobbied the Trump Administration for a second break. Religious organizations were freed from the so-called affiliation rule that typically disqualifies applicants with more than 500 workers.

Without that break, many dioceses would have missed out because — between their head offices, parishes, schools, and other affiliates — their employee count would exceed the limit.

Among those lobbying, federal records show, was the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Parishes, schools, and ministries there collected at least $80 million in paycheck aid, at a time when the headquarters reported $658 million in available funds heading into the fiscal year when the coronavirus arrived.

Catholic officials in the U.S. needed the special exception for at least two reasons.

Church law says dioceses, parishes, and schools are affiliated, something the Los Angeles Archdiocese acknowledged “proved to be an obstacle” to receiving funds because its parishes operate “under the authority of the diocesan bishop.” Dioceses, parishes, schools, and other Catholic entities also routinely assert to the Internal Revenue Service that they are affiliated so they can maintain their federal income tax exemption.

While some Catholic officials insisted their affiliates are separate and financially independent, AP found many instances of borrowing and spending among them when dioceses were faced with prior cash crunches. In Philadelphia, for example, the archdiocese received at least $18 million from three affiliates, including a seminary, to fund a compensation program for clergy sex abuse survivors, according to 2019 financial statements.

Cardinals and bishops have broad authority over parishes and the pastors who run them. Church law requires parishes to submit annual financial reports and bishops may require parishes to deposit surplus money with internal banks administered by the diocese.

“The parishioners cannot hire or fire the pastor; that is for the bishop to do,” said Connell, the priest, former accountant, and canon lawyer. “Each parish functions as a wholly-owned subsidiary or division of a larger corporation, the diocese.”

Bishops acknowledged a concerted effort to tap paycheck funds in a survey by Catholic researchers at Georgetown University. When asked what they had done to address the pandemic’s financial fallout, 95% said their central offices helped parishes apply for paycheck and other aid — the leading response. That topped encouraging parishioners to donate electronically.

After Congress approved the paycheck program, three high-ranking officials in New Hampshire’s Manchester Diocese sent an urgent memo to parishes, schools, and affiliated organizations urging them to refrain from layoffs or furloughs until completing their applications. “We are all in this together,” the memo read, adding that diocesan officials were working expeditiously to provide “step by step instructions.”

Paycheck Protection Program funds came through low-interest bank loans, worth up to $10 million each, that the federal government would forgive so long as recipients used the money to cover about two months of wages and operating expenses.

After an initial $659 billion last spring, Congress added another $284 billion in December. With the renewal came new requirements intended to ensure that funds go to businesses that lost money due to the pandemic. Lawmakers also downsized the headcount for applicants to 300 or fewer employees.

A QUESTION OF NEED

In other federal small business loan programs, government help is treated as a last resort.

Applicants must show they couldn’t get credit elsewhere. And those with enough available funds must pay more of their own way to reduce taxpayer subsidies.

Congress didn’t include these tests in the Paycheck Protection Program. To speed approvals, lenders weren’t required to do their usual screening and instead relied on applicants’ self-certifications of need.

The looser standards helped create a run on the first $349 billion in paycheck funding. Small business owners complained that they were shut out, yet dozens of companies healthy enough to be traded on stock exchanges scored quick approval.

As blowback built in April, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned at a news briefing that there would be “severe consequences” for applicants who improperly tapped the program.

“We want to make sure this money is available to small businesses that need it, people who have invested their entire life savings,” Mnuchin said. Program guidelines evolved to stress that participants with access to significant cash probably could not get the assistance “in good faith.”

Mnuchin’s Treasury Department said it would audit loans exceeding $2 million, although federal officials have not said whether they would hold religious organizations and other nonprofits to the same standard of need as businesses.

Graphic shows excerpt from a U.S. Department of the Treasury Paycheck Protection Program FAQ document. (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

The headquarters and major departments for more than 40 dioceses received more than $2 million. Every diocese that responded to questions said it would seek to have the government cover the loans, rather than repay the funds.

One diocese receiving a loan of over $2 million was Boston. According to the archdiocese’s website, its central ministries office received about $3 million, while its parishes and schools collected about $32 million more.

The archdiocese — along with its parishes, schools, and cemeteries — had roughly $200 million in available funds in June 2019, according to its audited financial report. When that fiscal year ended several months into the pandemic, available funds had increased to roughly $233 million.

Nevertheless, spokesman Terrence Donilon cited “ongoing economic pressure” in saying the archdiocese will seek forgiveness for last year’s loans and will apply for additional, new funds during the current round.

Beyond its growing available funds, the archdiocese and its affiliates benefit from other sources of funding. The archdiocese’s “Inspiring Hope” campaign, announced in January, has raised at least $150 million.

And one of its supporting charities — the Catholic Schools Foundation, where Cardinal Sean O’Malley is board chairman — counted more than $33 million in cash and other funds that could be “used for general operations” as of the beginning of the 2020 fiscal year, according to its financial statement.

Despite these resources, the archdiocese closed a half-dozen schools in May and June, often citing revenue losses due to the pandemic. Paycheck protection data show four of those schools collectively were approved for more than $700,000.

The shuttered schools included St. Francis of Assisi in Braintree, a middle-class enclave 10 miles south of Boston, which received $210,000. Parents said they felt blindsided by the closure, announced in June as classes ended.

“It’s like a punch to the gut because that was such a home for so many people for so long,” said Kate Nedelman Herbst, the mother of two children who attended the elementary school.

Along with more than 2,000 other school supporters, Herbst signed a written protest to O’Malley that noted the archdiocese’s robust finances. After O’Malley didn’t reply, parents appealed to the Vatican, this time underscoring the collection of Paycheck Protection Program money.

“It is very hard to reconcile the large sums of money raised by the archdiocese in recent years with this wholesale destruction of the church’s educational infrastructure,” parents wrote.

In December, the Vatican turned down their request to overrule O’Malley. Spokesman Donilon said the decision to close the school “is not being reconsidered.”

Today, the three children of Michael Waterman and his wife, Jeanine, are learning at home. And they still can’t understand why the archdiocese didn’t shift money to help save a school beloved by the faithful.

“What angers us,” Michael Waterman said, “is that we feel like, given the amount of money that the Catholic Church has, they absolutely could have remained open.”

01/14/21

Wasted Lives

By: Tabitha Korol

The Muslim Brotherhood produced The Project, a document that contains its plan for radical Islam to infiltrate and dominate the west. Among their aspirations is to make “Palestinians” a cause célèbre, and to instigate a constant campaign of inciting hatred against Jews, by any means. As a member of BDS (Boycott Divestment, Sanctions) and SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine), Susan Abulhawa, a jihada, advocates the economic and civilizational destruction of Israel. The inexact and skewed information in her book, Mornings in Jenin, is Da’wa, a strategy of silent jihad, designed to delegitimize Israel and invite Muslims to accept Islam as a peaceful religion.

***

Following their Prophet, Muslims may never accept the world’s transformation after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the birth of Israel. To delegitimize Israel, they must maintain that Palestine and Palestinians have always existed, yet there is no documentation of any governance, language, customs, currency, artifacts, or date and cause of its demise. These are Bedouin Arabs descended from nomads of the Arabian Peninsula and Syrian Desert living in Judea and Samaria, who yielded to the armies’ directions and were then abandoned, leaving their abused, traumatized children to wage jihad – Holy War. Abulhawa’s book follows the lives of four generations of the fictional terrorist family of Yehya Mohammad Abulheja.

In each generation, the Abulheja family is bound to wage jihad and establish their god’s authority on the earth. “The Holy War (Islamic Jihad) in Islamic Jurisprudence is basically an offensive war. . . the duty of Muslims in every age . . .” This story’s oldest generation, Grandfather Yehya traces his ties to the land since 1189, AD, its founding attributed to a general of Saladin’s. Had he gone further back, he’d have discovered the Jewish Kingdom that lasted for thousands of years, beginning with the reign of King Saul, 11th c. BCE. Had he gone forward, he’d have had to contend with the Saladin dynasty’s conquest by the Mamluks.

In 1953, Yehya dons his newly whitened clothes and his Bedouin kafiyyah. As an aside, I recognize this as the same attire worn by U.S. Army Major Hasan on his murderous rampage at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009. Despite his son’s plea to stay, Yehya leaves Jenin refugee camp for Ein Hod, returning with olives and fruit from property he owned years before. On his second foray, he is killed by residents of the artists’ colony, hailed as a martyr as his body is returned to his home by the Red Crescent. The author is deceptive with half-truths. Yehye did not have his clothes whitened for harvest. His first trip would have been an investigative mission. Though not disclosed, we can be certain that he was armed for his second venture, dressed for holy war, and prepared to die as a shahada, a martyr.

The next generation is his two sons. Darweesh is the first to meet beautiful Dalia, the 14-year-old Gypsy Bedouin, but her father prohibits the clandestine relationship and, to enforce his point, puts a hot iron to the palm of her hand, warning her not to scream or cry. She pulls her pain inward. In Islamic reality, her hand would have been chopped off or her father would have murdered her for his honor. Dr. Tawfik Hamid explains the severe suppression of conscience and desensitization to or acceptance of violence without remorse, as displayed by Dalia’s father.

Before long, Yehya’s other son, Hasan, announces he will marry Dalia. His mother blames the Zionists for his not accepting the family’s choice of bride and for the world’s turmoil.

Hasan’s best friend is Ari Perlstein who, with his parents, fled Germany in 1937, after his leg was permanently injured by a Brownshirt. Ten years later, the author predictably uses Ari’s Jewish voice to announce that the Jews are heavily armed and on the attack. Factually, Britain embargoed weapons for Jewish forces and surrendered strategic locations and arms to the Arab Liberation Army for Palestine.

Thousands of Jews arrived on the shores of what was then called Palestine. Having survived torture, starvation and disease, the loss of loved ones and belongings, the war-damaged Holocaust refugees wanted only to return to their G-d-ordained <c:\users\tybee\desktop\jewishvoice.org\read\article\where-did-it-all-start-origins-arab-israeli-conflict>sliver of land, two-tenths of one percent of the Islamic landmass. Ill-equipped to fight five armies with the remnants of WW II munitions, they suffered huge losses.</c:\users\tybee\desktop\jewishvoice.org\read\article\where-did-it-all-start-origins-arab-israeli-conflict>

War is upheaval. Those who reached Israel had to again fight for their survival. By the 1948 War’s end, 400,000+ Arabs flee the area and 450,000 Jews fled Arab lands. Abulhawa’s information is deficient.

The Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected recommendations of the special UN General Assembly in November 1947. When the British withdrew, the Arabs attacked the new state of Israel on May 14, 1948. Abdul Rahman Azzam Pasha announced, “This will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre,” and Israel launched a (retaliatory) massive artillery and aerial bombardment of villages, which Abulhawa, in her fiction, mischaracterizes. More than 400,000 Arabs heeded their leaders and evacuated, expecting to return victoriously. The <c:\users\tybee\desktop\1947 un=”” resolution=””>1947 UN resolution would have meant two states, no refugees, and full and equal citizenship in Israel. Cairo called for Holy War.</c:\users\tybee\desktop\1947>

In her novel, as the Israelis enter Ein Hod, Arab families flee on foot and with carts. Hasan carries five-year-old Yousef while Dalia follows, carrying baby Ismail, when he is swiftly ripped from her arms. She screams her deepest agony, but he is lost to them forever. The author conjures up an Israeli soldier, Moshe, who “believes himself on a mission from G-d” and “envious” of the Arab women’s many children. He impulsively snatches Ismail and flees home to his wife Jolanta, who’d been made barren by Nazi cruelty. She embraces the child and names him David. The author, in a moment of “creative genius,” calls the baby’s discerning feature, a scar on his cheek from a protruding crib nail, “the scar of David.”

The logicality of a soldier carrying a baby while dutifully looting the village with his unit is more than ludicrous; it is a case of projection. It was Mohammed’s warriors who kidnapped for slavery, conversion, and booty. Realistically, Moshe and Jolanta would have welcomed one of the many parentless children who were brought to Israel.

Considering her father’s brutality, her shock by an explosion and minor leg injury, and the kidnapping of her six-month-old son, Dalia begins displaying symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. She rallies with the birth of her daughter, Amal, in 1955, but gradually sinks into dementia, as her husband and first-born Yousef join the wars. Dalia eventually becomes unraveled, needing Amal’s constant care, and dies before Amal turns 14.

Returning to real facts, in 1966, Soviet Intelligence incorrectly reported Israel’s imminent campaign against Syria, heightening tensions and causing fledgling Palestinian guerilla groups to increase in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, and Israel retaliated in the Jordanian West Bank in November. On May 14, 1967, Abdel Nasser mobilized Egyptian forces in the Sinai, requested that UNEF (UN Emergency Forces) leave, and, joined by Jordan and Iraq, blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping. To the endless overt threats, Israel launched a preemptive assault against Egyptian and Syrian air forces on June 5 and captured the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

In the fictional account, Hasan mobilizes to defend against Zionist aggression, and that contrary to reason and truth, Israel singlehandedly attacks Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. After removing his cache of 20 weapons from beneath the kitchen floorboards, Hasan and Yousef leave the twelve-year-old Amal and her friend Huda behind, hidden under the floor, with only each other for comfort through the terrifying sounds of war. It is this act that haunts Yousef for the rest of his life, the guilt that he was unable to stay and comfort them as they trembled until the bombing abated. Abulhawa fails to perceive that these children are steeped in dread, their lives consumed with war and death.

-Part Two-

1967: Despite being outnumbered, Israel regained Judea and Samaria. In the story, when Yousef returns briefly, he tells Amal that he has seen a scarred Israeli soldier, undoubtedly their lost brother Ismail, called David. David hears his own friend remark about their likeness, and Moshe is burdened with his secret, admitting it to David only on his deathbed, begging forgiveness. He is haunted by Dalia’s cries, the awful evictions, killings, and rapes.

The rape accusation is projection, customarily a Muslim action against their enemy’s women. Islam teaches and justifies violence against women. Quran 2:223, “Women are your fields, go, then unto your fields when and how you please.” Quran 8:60: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power . . . to strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of God.” Islamic rape is steeped in hatred and vengeance. Jihadis are trained to dehumanize and inflict great physical harm on women, one method being Taharrush. Islamic apartheid also fosters rape of boys by older men “of status,” an age-old, self-perpetuating Islamic practice of humiliation and emasculation.

Strangely, in 2017, an anti-Israel activist declared that Israelis are racist because they don’t rape Palestinian women! Notwithstanding military purpose, Israelis pursue a high moral culture, attested by Colonel Richard Kemp. All capable Israeli youths are required to serve in the armed forces, re-enter society to become devoted spouses and parents and contribute to their country’s growth.

Abulhawa has her creation, Amal, riding through Jerusalem and witnessing the destruction of ancient houses, but omits clarifying that this is not senseless injustice, but Israel’s way of punishing residents responsible for deadly terrorist attacks.

It is 1982, and the author brings her family to the next accusation, that Israel provoked the PLO to strike. The historical facts are that Israel had been harassed, shelled, attacked, and raided by PLO guerrillas in Lebanon, a major component of the Lebanese Civil War, which triggered Syria’s intervention and limited occupation. Israel provoked the PLO actions that would justify their full-scale invasion of Lebanon, in order to bomb the PLO targets in Beirut and southern Lebanon, headquarters for 14,000 armed fighters.

In August, the Christian Phalangist militia, the PLO’s bitter enemies, massacred as many as 3,500 Palestinians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Iranians, Syrians, and Algerians in Sabra and Shatila, 400,000 made homeless, infrastructure devastated. Women and children were evacuated to Lebanon, the PLO exiled to Tunisia. Had there been no raid, the Palestinians would have continued their homicidal jihad unimpeded. The author appears to be lacking in understanding.

Amal, now living in Philadelphia, receives a call from her brother, Yousef, screaming vengeance for the massacre in both refugee camps. He screams that his wife and daughter have been killed, as was Amal’s husband, Majid. Amal gives birth to Sara, and suffers from depression, remaining a traumatized, emotionally distant mother, as Dalia had been.

Amal is next contacted by her long-lost brother Ismail, now called David, who has come to America to meet his sister for the first time, and the author has a field day inventing unfound slurs against Israel. David is convinced that “Israel is a lie,” and that “Palestinians paid the price for the Jewish Holocaust,” the author’s vicious trope. No. Palestinians are paying the “price” for Mohammed’s desire for world triumph and the Palestinian all-or-nothing conquest strategy, with a strong faction that is unable to live in peace. The women suffer desperately for their inferior position in Islamic societies. Amal and David promise to meet again soon.

Amal and 19-year-old Sara visit “Palestine” and are met by David and his son, Jacob. They visit Dr. Ari Perlstein who suggests that Hasan was killed in the 1967 war and that Yousef bombed the US embassy in 1983. Amal sees the “Judaizing of Jerusalem,” never alluding to Jerusalem’s (Yerushalayim in Hebrew) being one of the oldest cities in the world, est. 4th millennium BCE), and the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah in 10th C BCE.

The four continue their drive to Jenin, population 45,000, an infamous den of terror, and visit Huda, whose husband and mute son, Mansour, were taken by Israelis for terrorist activities. Suicide bombings and attacks had been increasing in intensity, followed by two Israeli incursions, arrests, demolitions, and curfews. They hear the destruction of nearby homes and buildings, proving the Israeli policy of bulldozing homes of terrorists, when an Israeli soldier enters this terrorist home, aims his weapon at Sara and Amal runs to take the bullet. Amal is killed.

Israel had endured approximately 16 bombings, many of them suicide attacks. Following the Battle of Jenin, in 2002, however, there were cries worldwide of massacre and genocide, when Israel conducted two waves of incursions with ground troops, helicopters, tanks, and fighter jets. Of the camps’ 15,000 residents, 25 terrorists, 26 civilians, and 25 IDF soldiers were killed, far fewer than the thousands killed in Kosovo by Muslims or from the suicide bombing at an Israeli hotel (28 killed, 140 injured) by Palestinians. The IDF was ambushed with explosive devices in the Jenin homes and on the roads, and women helped to lure the soldiers into traps.

The next generation will live in Philadelphia. Sara and Jacob return to her mother’s home in Philadelphia, and Mansour, Huda’s only surviving son, will join them while also studying art. Yousef to remain unidentified and kill no more. Still, this author’s inaccuracies or misinformation, accusations, and slander, are stealth jihad, intended to encourage violent jihad. The ambition of a depraved warlord of the 5th century continues to waste the lives of Muslims and their victims in the 21st century.

After visiting Israel, John LeCarre wisely said, “No nation on earth was more deserving of peace — or more condemned to fight for it.”

12/24/20

A Battle Against Lies

By: Cliff Kincaid

The Christian existentialist philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, wrote about the corruption in the Danish State Church, declaring that everyone knew privately that the system was rotten and corrupt but they would not say so publicly. “Just as one says that death has marked a man, so we recognize the symptoms which demand to be attacked. It is a battle against lies,” he said.

The problem we face today is corruption in government, the media, and the church that runs so deep that it is uncomfortable for some to even talk about it publicly.

In his landmark 1975 book, The Corrupt Society, Robert Payne wrote, “There are many weapons that can be used to prevent the corruption of societies. The most powerful of these weapons are vigilance and knowledge. Hence the importance of the press, radio, and television to break through all imposed restrictions to discover how the government works, how it arrives at its decisions, how it manages its defenses, how it deals with traitors, especially the traitors in its midst.”

The tragedy is that, since Payne’s book was published, the press has become as corrupt as the government. I actually noticed this trend when I went to college and studied a textbook, Interpretative Reporting, by Curtis MacDougall, a communist fellow-traveler who admired Castro and hated anti-communist Senator Joe McCarthy. That’s one reason why I went to work out of college monitoring the media for Accuracy in Media.

My friend and former colleague at Accuracy in Media, Roger Aronoff, discussed the corruption in the media in a recent edition of my show America’s Survival TV.

Payne dedicated his book to Richard Nixon, a joke because Payne found Nixon and his administration to be corrupt. It was also a joke because Victor Lasky’s book, It Didn’t Start With Watergate, proved that Democrats were as corrupt, even more so than Republicans.

As we look deeper, we discover that Nixon was singled out for destruction because of his role in helping to expose Soviet spy Alger Hiss in the State Department, and a communist network inside the U.S. government. Ironically, Nixon had persuaded anti-communist Senator Joe McCarthy to avoid investigating communist penetration of one key agency — the CIA. McCarthy would go into Bethesda Naval Hospital with a sore knee and leave in a body bag, allegedly dead of hepatitis, before he could ever launch that inquiry. McCarthy’s strange death was examined in the J.C. Hawkins book, Betrayal At Bethesda.

Many liberals, even to this day, think Hiss was innocent or that the evidence against him is still in dispute. They also despise McCarthy for his investigations of communists in government. Liberal disgust for McCarthy has been adopted by such Never-Trump notables as Jonah Goldberg. Author J.C. Hawkins discussed Goldberg’s strange views during a recent episode of America’s Survival TV.

Goldberg is one of those “responsible conservatives,” in this case someone who achieved prominence because of his mother’s role in the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton scandal, who warns against investigations of what is truly happening behind-the-scenes politically.

Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr is another so-called “responsible conservative” who refused to do what is necessary to expose the Deep State, of which he is clearly a member. His service to the CIA continues.

We should remember that Nixon had won the 1960 election against John F. Kennedy but had that election stolen from him. He was persuaded to avoid contesting the election in the name of national stability. Subsequently, he was elected president in 1968 and re-elected in 1972.

The accepted history is that Watergate was a White House dirty tricks operation designed to gather dirt on Democratic Party officials by breaking into their offices in the Watergate hotel. In fact, the evidence shows it was a CIA operation, something suspected by “Deep Throat,” the major source for the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who turned out to be the FBI’s number two, Mark Felt. The CIA was investigating a high-class prostitution ring that was used by the Democrats and coordinated from their Watergate offices to “entertain” Democrat VIPs. Woodward and Bernstein failed to pursue that line of inquiry.

All of this is now on the public record thanks to John O’Connor’s book, Postgate. I recently interviewed him on America’s Survival TV. What the CIA was doing was later copied by one Jeffrey Epstein, an individual with intelligence connections whose death remains as mysterious as the politicians he videotaped and blackmailed. It was another scandal that Bill Barr failed to uncover.

Again, as we see possible parallels between the fates of Nixon and Trump, Postgate author John O’Conner and others are being featured in the film, “Plot Against the President,” about how the intelligence community targeted Trump in much the same way they brought down Nixon.

Interestingly, Washington Post Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein’s parents were members of the Communist Party. His father had been questioned about a possible relationship with Louise Bransten, a member of a Soviet espionage network.

For his part, Post executive editor Ben Bradlee’s wife was the Post’s longtime religion reporter and Washington insider, elite party planner Sally Quinn, who admitted in her book Finding Magic to her belief in the occult, including casting spells on her enemies, reading Tarot cards, and using Ouija Boards. It seems like she was into something akin to the “spirit cooking” dinners mentioned in the Hillary Clinton emails.

Years, earlier, Jean Houston of the Foundation for Mind Research would try to help Mrs. Clinton, then First Lady,  “communicate” with Eleanor Roosevelt during a mystical “channeling” session.  Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward wrote about these sessions in a book on the 1996 presidential election but he didn’t seem to find anything unusually strange or bizarre about such practices.

Nixon’s resignation was so destabilizing that it led to the communist takeover of Vietnam, with 58,000 Americans having died in vain, and the communist genocide in neighboring Cambodia, costing 2 million lives.

Bringing all of this up to date, we learn that House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi once praised Dr. Carlton Goodlett as a civil rights activist. A communist associate of the Peoples Temple cult leader Jim Jones, whose more than 900 followers committed “revolutionary suicide” in Guyana in 1978, Goodlett was a Lenin Peace Prize winner and a central figure in the Democratic Party in San Francisco. Incredibly, there is a street in San Francisco, Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, named after this communist, where City Hall is located.

FBI documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the Soviet communist connections of Carlton Goodlett and his political influence in San Francisco.

The clever change in communist strategy has been to blame the Russians while the Chinese Communists, their partners in crime, take the lead as the “fundamental transformation” of the United States and the world proceeds. Hence, one of the leading progressives, Rep. Jamie Raskin, appearing several years ago at a Trump impeachment rally, blamed the Russians for supporting Trump while his own father, Marcus Raskin, was very close to the Russians when they were officially members of the Soviet Union.

In this way, through lies and skillful deception, Bolshevik Bernie Sanders becomes a respectable “democratic socialist,” someone worthy of being brought into the Biden/Harris camp. For his part, Rep. Raskin is a prominent member of the group “Secular Democrats” that is asking that some conservative “white nationalist” Christians be investigated by a Biden/Harris Administration as potential terrorists by the FBI.  Journalist Leo Hohmann broke this story and discussed it with me on ASI TV.

Don’t look for any guidance from the Vatican and Pope Francis, for they are staging a New Age Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square that looks like an illustration from the book, God Drives a Flying Saucer.

Equally bizarre, as my family was visiting Rome last February, we took a tour of the Colosseum only to discover a statue of Moloch, the pagan deity of child sacrifice, being displayed. The Colosseum is viewed by many Christians as a sacred site because early Christians were martyred there.

For my part, the yard signs and banners, “Mary was Pro-Life,” and “Unborn Lives Matter,” still remain for visitors to my home. It’s a small thing to do. But these signs send an appropriate message at this time and may just “trigger” somebody into waking up from the lies.

*Cliff Kincaid is president of America’s Survival, Inc. for updates, use the contact form at www.usasurvval.org

12/18/20

Christmas Magic

By: T.F. Stern | T.F. Stern’s Rantings

There was a challenge handed out the other day, what did your family do at Christmas?  A handful of memories floating around so I’ll start with writing a wish list.  This was done either on Thanksgiving or very soon thereafter.

We’d jot down, in our very best handwriting, items we considered worthy of asking Santa for. It didn’t matter if the requests were based in reality; but as a rule, these items had been seen on television or in one of the many catalogs, catalogs which many folks referred to as Wish Books.

After completing the assignment we’d place our lists on a plate along with some cookies and a bottle of Coca-Cola.  The idea was to make sure the Big Guy was rewarded for having traveled over to our house and considered our requests.  We were told that Santa wore magic mittens and that while holding up our notes to be read, those mittens would catch the pieces of paper on fire; proof that he’d read them would be ashes left on the plate.

We didn’t need an alarm clock to get up the next morning as we all raced to the dining room table to witness the miracle which had occurred during the night.  There would be a scorch mark on the china and a small clump of burnt up ashes.  It was the beginning of the Christmas Season, official and verified.

My folks must have been gluttons for punishment as they’d also told us that Santa was the one who decorated our Christmas Tree, that all we had to do was pick out a good one, keep it watered out behind the garage until Christmas Eve, and then haul it inside to the living room; Santa would do all the rest.  Once the tree was in the living room it was easy to convince us to get to bed.

I should mention that I learned some of my locksmith trade vocabulary from my father, who never was a locksmith, as he struggled to get the trunk of the tree to fit inside the classic tree stand.  Apparently, other trades, auto mechanics and carpenters come to mind, use similar vocabulary to express frustration.  I later found these magic words remarkably similar to terms used by police officers.

I can’t imagine how late my folks stayed up that night putting lights, ornaments, and tinsel on the tree as they also put together bicycles, dollhouses, wrapped and sorted gifts to be put under the tree, and… I almost forgot, fill our stockings and hang them at the end of our beds.  It makes perfect sense, now that I’ve gotten older, that my folks would want to sleep a little later on Christmas morning as our excitement level climbed slightly higher than the Empire State Building.

We were to wait in their bedroom while my father made sure Santa had actually come.  That translated means he went to the living room and plugged the extension cord into the wall so the Christmas Tree lights would be on when we came in.  Remember, the night before when we’d gone to bed that very same tree was bare; but as we entered the room it was dazzling pure magic.

In my teen years, having pretty much figured out the Christmas magic thing, I remember hearing my father carefully open the door to my room as he carried a stocking to place on the end of my bed.  As he did his best not to make a sound I smiled and respectfully called out to him as he exited, “Goodnight, Santa.”  He smiled back and accepted the fact that I was no longer a little boy, and, as I recall, he even winked back.

12/12/20

A Republic If We Can Keep It

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

(Image of Ben Franklin courtesy of factfile.org)

This past month has been a roller coaster ride for anyone trying to figure out which candidate actually won the election. I was tempted to use the term ‘earned’ rather than won; but that would give away my feelings about cheaters, swindlers, liars, and the rest of the Democrat Party.

Ben Franklin has been quoted when asked if we had a monarchy or a republic, “A Republic if you can keep it.” He may or may not have actually said those words exactly as history has claimed. Rather than share without having done my homework, I looked it up. The first reference that came up on Google was from the Washington Post’s coverage of last year’s phony impeachment hearings, a treasonous coup attempt to remove President Donald Trump.

The inclusion of Ben Franklin’s quote in that particular article is… interesting, well, actually far beyond interesting; but I can’t print my actual thought as it violates decency in many ways.

There was a coup attempt, masquerading as an impeachment hearing by the Democrat Party to remove the sitting President of our Constitutional Republic and they’re quoting Ben Franklin… un-bye-god-believable!

I can say it was a phony impeachment hearing because evidence has since come to light; the entire investigation into Trump’s dealings with Russia was in fact a creation, a fabrication, or a scheme cooked up by Hillary Clinton to take her out of the spotlight for her illegal private server, a felony.

An article by Steve Nelson in the New York Post dated October 6, 2020, explained the timing. That story didn’t make the rounds of the major news networks, gee-whiz; is anyone surprised?

“Ratcliffe’s initial disclosure said that, according to Brennan’s notes, Clinton allegedly approved the scheme on July 26. The minor inaccuracy shortens the window of time between Clinton’s alleged approval of the plot and the FBI opening its investigation of possible Trump-Russia collusion on July 31, 2016.”

Amazingly, the FBI and DOJ didn’t see any wrongdoing and Hillary Clinton walked away, free to continue as if nothing ever happened. I haven’t done the research; but somewhere down the line, the folks who didn’t see anything wrong with Hillary Clinton’s criminal behavior must have ties to the deaf, dumb and blind Justices on our Supreme Court.

This past week the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear a lawsuit contesting corrupt and fraudulent elections that affect all other states. Only two of the sitting Justices were willing to hear the evidence while the others did absolutely nothing to uphold the integrity of the election process which determines who will be President.

Saddened would be a mild description of how many American citizens feel at this time.

Here’s Allen West’s statement dated December 11, 2020, as Chairman of the Texas Republican Party’s official response:

“The Supreme Court, in tossing the Texas lawsuit that was joined by seventeen states and 106 US congressman, has decreed that a state can take unconstitutional actions and violate its own election law. Resulting in damaging effects on other states that abide by the law, while the guilty state suffers no consequences. This decision establishes a precedent that says states can violate the US constitution and not be held accountable. This decision will have far-reaching ramifications for the future of our constitutional republic. Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.”

Where does that leave us?

Some have suggested forming a new nation, one that actually follows the Constitution while the remaining nation of criminals, liars, and thieves go on doing business as usual.  Perhaps that would work, but a nation divided cannot stand.

My thoughts turned to Captain Moroni, the last prophet in the Book of Mormon in charge of the sacred plates around 400 AD (you’ll notice I refuse to refer to it as CE for Common Era). He was instructed by the Lord to bury the sacred records in the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York, so they could come forth in our day. Moroni witnessed the destruction of his people because of their iniquity and their refusal to repent, to follow the commandments, and come unto the Lord, Jesus Christ… and yet, he remained faithful, even joyful in his mortal life.

The honest hard-working individuals who try to do their best each day… have had the rug pulled out from under them, but will eventually understand what has happened. It is my hope we will endure in spite of the corruption that’s taken over, the attacks to destroy liberties that God has provided. Do we have the courage to be as Captain Moroni, to have hope, faith, and charity in spite of all that is going on around us? Ahhh, that’s a true test that we’ve been given.

With all that is happening, it makes me admire the wisdom of our founders, individuals like Ben Franklin who recognized the wondrous miracle of our newly formed Republic; that and his warning… if we can keep it.


t-f-stern-1Self-Educated American, Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer and, most recently, a retired self-employed lock­smith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since January of 2005.

12/11/20

Taking Care of Families in Need

By: T.F. Stern | T.F. Stern’s Rantings

Several years ago, there was a story printed, or perhaps I might have heard it from the pulpit; some of the details have left my memory so I’ve taken ‘creative license’ to replace that which I’ve forgotten. Accept my apology for not remembering the original author.

A congregation was asked to donate an extra portion during the Christmas Season to help families that were struggling. The challenge was given the week of Thanksgiving with the intent of having enough money collected before Christmas to offer relief for several families; a fine meal with all the trimmings, new clothing, and shoes, some toys for the children, and such depending on how much money could be collected.

One family had a meeting when they got home from church to consider various ways they could help with this wonderful project. The father said that after getting home from work he’d collect firewood and sell it. The mother would take in laundry and use that income to add to their contribution. Their son said he’d collect empty soda bottles and redeem them at the store while the daughter would babysit.

They did this for the entire month of December leading up to the final week and collected a little over fifty dollars which they proudly handed over to their minister. The father knew their contribution was probably smaller than most since he wasn’t one of the more affluent members of their congregation; but he wanted to know how much had been collected, thinking perhaps he could figure out a way to make up the difference by cutting down on some of his regular expenditures.

The minister sat quietly considering the moment as he tried to explain the situation in a way that would make sense. “We’ve received just over forty dollars in contributions so far, you being the only ones to have taken up the challenge.” The minister sat silent for a few more moments before continuing his thoughts.

“You see”, he looked heavenward for assistance as he struggled to further explain, “…your family was on my shortlist of those who could have used a little help during the Christmas Season.”

I’m sure there are many among us who could use the message contained in this story as we approach the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

12/2/20

Palestine: A Self-Imposed Prison

By: Tabitha Korol

Hayaat loves her grandmother, Sitti, who always reminisces and sings about her previous home and their life before the Arab-Israeli War of 1948.  In an effort to restore Sitti’s health, Hayaat and her friend, Samy, set out on a journey to the other side of the wall to bring her a gift of Jerusalem soil.  This children’s book exchanges the customary propaganda for Palestinianism for a search for the truth.  This is my eighth children’s book review.

Thirteen-year-old Hayaat is the heroine in Where the Streets Had a Name, by Randa Abdel-Fattah.  She lives with her Mama and Baba, siblings – older sister Jihan, 7-year-old brother Tariq, 3-month-old Mohammed – and 86-year-old grandmother, Sitti Zayneb. The family is preparing to shop during the two-hour respite from the curfew imposed by the Israeli government.  Not explained was that the Israeli army sometimes places refugee districts in the West Bank and Gaza under army curfew as “collective punishment” and “environmental pressures” after a terrorist attack or when they are unable to control population unrest in the streets.  We learn nothing of the Israeli victims who are seriously maimed or killed, or of the families left to grieve, but this family is inconvenienced as they rush to the store, each with a list of items by aisles, load the car, and return home in time.  The Israelis “confiscated our land,” Sitti laments, and the family of seven must manage in a smaller apartment in a poor Bethlehem neighborhood.

Additionally, Hayaat’s school is closed for the curfew’s duration, and she is tired of comments about her face – the contorted skin she sees in her mirror.  Her older sister Jihan is engaged to Ahmad, an Israeli Arab from Lod, who found a reception hall for their wedding in Ramallah, the West Bank, where he works and where they will live as a couple.  They grumble about the roadblocks and checkpoints that could delay their timely arrival at the wedding, but similar conditions exist worldwide to maintain security from interlopers and terrorists.  In the case of Israel, it is to ensure that Palestinians are unarmed and not bent on a killing spree.

The West Bank is Judea and Samaria, part of what the Israelis re-captured when they defended themselves against the unlawful siege and blockade of Israel by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan’s armies in 1967.  Despite the rhetoric, according to international law, this land is not “occupied,” but “disputed.” Inasmuch as the territory never belonged to Palestinians or to any sovereign nation, Israel cannot be an “occupier.”  The territory’s ultimate ownership is to be determined by agreement.  Further, the “1967 borders” were only the demarcation of an armistice line, the final border to be established by agreement.

Hayaat enjoys spending time with Baba, hearing his stories of their vast property in Beit Sahour, the olive trees, and the harvest.  He speaks of the mountain, home to many Christian sites, and the time before the Israeli “settlements” (a term used to delegitimize Israel’s legal housing) and bypass roads were built.

Her only friend is a boy, Samy, who doesn’t seem to mind her scars; they are kindred spirits and share their stories.  Samy’s father had been dragged from their house by Israeli security services and imprisoned these past seven years.  He was a terrorist, and the boy often acts out at school, angry that his father chose activism over fatherhood. He said, “He traded me for the cause.”  His mother died of a heart attack and Samy lives with an aunt and uncle.  Hayaat tells Samy that she overheard her Mama speak about a deaf boy who had been killed by a bulldozer that was flattening his house.  The author failed to explain that it is Israel’s policy to destroy the terrorist’s family home – sometimes seen as a deterrent; the death was an unfortunate accident.

At home, Hayaat listens to Sitti reminisce about her home in Jerusalem, and the war of 1948, the fighting everywhere.  She was terrified of the Zionist fighting forces and pressed to leave, adding “200 men, women and children were massacred.”  Perhaps Sitti does not know, but surely the author who undertook this narration does, that the Palestinian Arabs proclaimed jihad against the Palestinian Jews in November 1947, just before the partition vote, and in defiance of the Palestine Commission’s resolution.  There were massacres and death throughout.  No doubt the Jews were also ill-prepared and terrified when 1,000 armed Arabs descended upon the communities in northern Palestine, as were the British who turned over their bases to the Arab legion, leaving the Jews to suffer severe casualties and devastating defeat.  The trapped 1,500 to 1,600 women and children were entrusted to the Red Cross.  At this point, the Hagganah, a paramilitary group of immigrants, was renamed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and succeeded in stopping the Arab offensive.

With minimal help from the West, the Jews won with sheer determination and their purchased or smuggled crude British Sten guns, French 65-millimeter howitzers, and other leftovers from World War II, as well as fighter aircraft supplied by Czechoslovakia.  Iraq promised, “It would be a war of annihilation,” but the Arabs wound up with less territory than was originally offered, which they’d refused.  The cost to Israel was enormous, with $500 million in expenditures and the death of 6,373 Israelis, one percent of their 650,000 Jewish population. An additional estimated 12,000 Jews were killed by Nazi sympathizer and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini in 1950.

Sitti explains that they fled and could not return to her old neighborhood until after the 1967 War, only to find her home occupied by a Jewish family, Holocaust survivors.  Known also as the Six-Day War, it was initiated by the Arab states of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.  Again, Israel won and re-captured the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, and West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Grandmother was of that warring population and permanently displaced, but the Palestinians are adamant about wanting Israel.  Therefore, when Sitti collapses and is taken by ambulance to the hospital, Hayaat devises a plan.  She tells Samy that she wants to get Jerusalem soil from the other side of the wall to make her grandmother happy.

And so begins Hayaat and Samy’s journey to Jerusalem, with money “borrowed” from Jihan and an empty hummus jar to collect Jerusalem soil for Sitti.  They meet several people along the way, including Wasim, a dirty boy from Aida refugee camp, who speaks of one day playing with a famous soccer team; a cab driver who helps the children, knowing they are illegals with blue passes; bus passengers David and Mali, the story’s requisite young Jewish couple against the occupation, who block bulldozers and dine with Palestinian families; and the checkpoint’s young Israeli soldiers who search cars and bags, delaying some passengers while allowing others to pass.  Hayaat does feel some humiliation, but she understands their need to search for weapons and explosives.

They continue their adventure when the driver stops suddenly in front of a six-foot-high, barbed-wire wall.  The children exit the bus and follow two others who jump the wall to enter Jerusalem illegally. While on their own, they meet Yossi, an Israeli cab driver who often helps to smuggle people into West Jerusalem.  When they reach a roadblock protest, Yossi tells them to jump out and lose themselves among the crowd of protesters.

With the noise of a grenade and smell of tear gas used to quell the crowd, she faints to the triggers of a repressed memory of soldiers, a bulldozer, and homes breaking and falling.  She has a flashback of her old friend Maysaa falling to the ground, hit by the rubber-coated bullets used to disperse the people, and feels again her own face oozing blood.  She awakens as Yossi carries her to his cab, Samy beside them.  Yossi fills Hayaat’s jar with soil and uses his cell phone to call her family to assure them that the children are safe in Jerusalem and he will drive them home.

The family welcomes them and Sitti is again sitting in her bed, singing about her homeland.  With the next news report about another curfew, the family readies their pots and pans to resound in solidarity.  With the TV announcement about the latest bombing in Tel Aviv,  Baba says “revenge does nothing.”  As the family dresses for Jihan’s wedding, Hayaat assesses what she has learned – that she wants to live as all human beings do, to be “a free people with hope and dignity and purpose.”

Hope alone cannot bestow freedom to a people who deny others theirs.  Hayaat’s own people invented demonstrably false slurs that the Jews live well at the expense of the Palestinians and that killing is permissible. Their differences are also cultural.  The Jews returned to their land of malarial swamp and desert, sacrificed blood and treasure to restore their history and ancient language, and toiled to create a successful country, whereas the Arabs, after losing the war they began, were made to abandon their original heritage (Egyptian, Lebanese, Syria, Transjordan, Iraq) and replace it with the false identity of “Palestinians,” and a victimhood mentality.  When they accepted the world’s donations, they were robbed of their pride.  Palestinian leadership keeps their own people subjugated, their children emotionally focused on envy and weaponized for revenge.  This book reveals that they are surrounded by anger and death, with only Baba’s one-time reflection on the consequences of their actions.

It is not the soil of the land that would bring dignity to the Palestinians, but the freedom to live and make choices for themselves. The Arabs have been given a scapegoat, Israel, and countless excuses for their failures, which become self-fulfilling prophecies.  Were they told that their opportunities are endless, that they must earn their own wage by building their country, homes, businesses, creating services or products, they would increase their purpose, pride, and individual wealth.  Instead, the masses are raised in conformity, rigidity, illiteracy, and fear.  They sacrifice their own lives and wellbeing to continue Mohammed’s revenge – a ceaseless condition of discontent.

To her credit, Abdel-Fattah reveals that the previous generation perpetuates the vengeance.   Grandmother has confessed her envy of those who live better than she, and we glimpse the trait in Hayaat.  Sitti expresses her bitterness and anger against the UN, the Arab countries, and their traitors.  The traitors remain undefined, but they must include the Arabs who began the wars as well as those who offered no sanctuary to the dispossessed, those who were abandoned and left for pawns.  She reveals that her son-in-law, Baba, had had bad things happen to him (TK: he has learned lessons from his acts of retribution).  His generation includes Samy’s imprisoned father, whose political activism destroyed his own family.

We learn of Hayaat’s past when she fainted in the Jerusalem crowd, relived her trauma and the death of her friend.  It may well have been the girls’ deeds that resulted in the demolition of their homes.

This story appears to be teaching that the Islamic system, with its lust for what belongs to others, keeps them in a constant state of dissatisfaction.   The numerous clues and lessons to be learned exist for the reader, but they may be too obscure for the designated audience of teens and young adults.

12/2/20

How The Bible Inspired The American Founding From The Beginning

By: Yoram Ettinger | CCNS

The depth and durability of the 400-year-old biblical roots among most Americans have been consistent with the separation of religion and state, but not the separation of religion and society.

The following essay is part of The Federalist’s 1620 Project, a symposium exploring the connections and contributions of the early Pilgrim and Puritan settlers in New England to the uniquely American synthesis of faith, family, freedom, and self-government.

Four hundred years ago, in late 1620, the 102 pilgrims of the Mayflower landed in Plymouth Rock, which they considered the modern-day Promised Land. They were inspired by the Bible, in general, and the Mosaic legacy, in particular, which features a civic covenant, cohesive peoplehood, 12-tribe governance, and a shared vision.

These beliefs and values planted the seeds of the Federalist Papers, the 1776 American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the overarching American political and justice systems to come. These seeds vaulted the United States into the leadership of the Free World, economically, technologically, scientifically, educationally, and militarily.

The 102 pilgrims of the Mayflower viewed themselves as “modern-day Biblical Israelites,” seeking freedom from the bondage of the “British Pharaoh,” King James I. They sought biblical-driven liberty, planting the roots of the uniquely thriving, mutually-beneficial kinship between America and Israel, historically, spiritually, culturally, technologically and geo-strategically.

Indeed, these roots eclipse the political beltway of Washington, D.C., transcend the pertinent role of the Jewish community, and run deeper than geostrategic considerations and formal agreements. They precede both the 1776 U.S. Declaration of Independence and the 1948 reestablishment of the Jewish state, Israel.

These critical bonds have yielded an exceptional bottom-up international relations phenomenon, whereby pro-Israel sentiments among most Americans have played a key role in shaping the mindset of their state and federal legislatures, as well as the actions of the person sitting behind the Resolute Desk of the Oval Office.

The First Pilgrims

The Bible was the most widely read book in colonial America, inspiring the early Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers, educators, the clergy, political leaders, and the public at large. The early Pilgrims referred to King James I as the modern-day Pharaoh; their departure from England as the modern-day Exodus; the sailing across the Atlantic Ocean as the modern-day Parting of the Sea; and the New World as the New Canaan and the New Israel. Truly, they considered themselves the modern-day People of the Covenant and Chosen People.

Hence, the litany of biblically named towns, cities, mountains, deserts, rivers, national parks, and forests throughout the United States for a total of 18 Jerusalems, 30 Salems (the original name of Jerusalem), 83 Shilohs (where the first tabernacle stood), 34 Bethels, 27 Hebrons, 26 Goshens, 19 Jerichos, 18 Pisgahs, and more.

William Bradford and John Winthrop, the leaders of the Mayflower (1620) and the Arabella (1630), were called Joshua and Moses, respectively. Moreover, the 1620 “Mayflower Compact” and the 1639 “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” highlighted the rights of the individual — and the limits of centralized government — and were partly inspired by the Mosaic laws and covenant.

In 2020, the 400-year-old roots of the special American-Israeli ties are reflected by the statues and engravings of Moses and more than 200 Ten Commandments monuments, which are featured in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the Justice Department, the National Archives, and throughout important buildings and landmarks across the United States.

Early America and the Hebrew Language

Familiarity with Hebrew was quite common among the early Pilgrims’s intelligentsia and the better-educated clergy. In fact, the initial ten colleges in the colonies offered Hebrew courses.

Moreover, the first two presidents of Harvard University, Henry Dunster and Charles Chauncy, were ardent Hebraists. So were Harvard’s 6th and 11th presidents, Increase Mather and Samuel Langdon, who proposed to make Hebrew an official language in the new colonies. Valedictory addresses at Harvard, Yale, and other institutions of higher learning were offered in Hebrew. King’s College (Columbia University) founding President Samuel Johnson installed Hebrew as a required course, and stated that “Hebrew was part of a gentleman’s education.”

Yale University’s 7th president, Ezra Stiles, spoke, read, and taught Hebrew in addition to astronomy, chemistry, and philosophy. He corresponded with Hebron’s Rabbi, Hayyim Carregal, and noted that “Moses assembled 3 million people — the number of Americans in 1776.” He urged graduate students to be able to recite Psalms in Hebrew, “because that is what St. Peter will expect of you at the Pearly Gates.”

The official seals of Yale University (“Light and Truth”), Columbia University (“Jehovah” and “Divine Light”), and Dartmouth College (“G-d Almighty”) feature key biblical terms in Hebrew. The official seal of Princeton University features an open Bible with the Latin inscription: Old and New Testaments.

The special role of Hebrew in the formation of American culture and university curricula was demonstrated by Prof. George Bush, the great grand-uncle of President George H.W. Bush. The first Hebrew professor at New York University, this Bush wrote books on the Bible and Hebrew, and urged the ingathering of Jews “to the Biblical Zion.”

Hebrew words have been integrated into the English language. For example, the origin of Jubilee is the Hebrew word Yovel (liberty in Hebrew), Jehovah is Yehovah (He was, He is, He will be), amen is a’men (faith in Hebrew), hallelujah is halleluyah (praise God in Hebrew), Abracadabra is Evra keDabra (creating while talking in Hebrew), evil is Eyval (the Biblical Mount of Curse), kosher is kasher (proper in Hebrew), etc.

The Founding Fathers and the Mosaic Covenant

The Bay Psalm Book was the first book printed in 1640 in the New World in Cambridge, Mass. One thousand, seven hundred copies were printed, containing Hebrew characters. In 2013, one of the 11 existing copies was sold for $14.2 million, a record for a printed book. Currently, some 20 million copies of the Bible are sold annually, making it still the best-selling book in America.

According to a February 2020 Pew Research Poll, 49 percent of Americans say the Bible should have at least some influence on U.S. law, including 23 percent who say it should have a great deal of influence.

Even the name of America’s political system — the federalist system — is a derivative of Foedus, which is the Latin word for the biblical covenant between God and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, as well as the civic covenant among the biblical Israelites during the 40 years following the Exodus.

Moreover, the inscription on the Liberty Bell is from Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land, unto all the Inhabitants thereof.” This inscription is the essence of the Jubilee, which is the biblical role model of liberty — freeing slaves and prisoners and returning land to original owners.

Furthermore, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” which was the moral and intellectual touchstone of the American Revolution, was influenced by the Old Testament: “For the will of the Almighty as declared by Gideon, and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by kings.” Harvard University’s 11th president, Samuel Langdon, opined:

The Jewish government … was a perfect republic. … Let us therefore look over [the Israelites’s] constitution and laws. … They had both a civil and military establishment under divine direction, and a complete body of judicial laws drawn up and delivered to them by Moses in God’s name. … Instead of the twelve tribes of Israel, we may substitute the thirteen states of the American union…

James Madison was deeply influenced by his study of Hebrew and the Old Testament at the College of New Jersey (Princeton University). In a 1778 speech at the General Assembly of Virginia, he stated, “We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity … to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

John Quincy Adams, the 6th president, asserted, “The Bible is the best book in the world. … The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code. … The Bible is the book to be read at all ages.”

The Abolitionist Movement and Moses

Moses and the Exodus played a key role in the formation of the Abolitionist anti-slavery movement. Thus, Harriet Tubman, who was born into slavery and escaped in 1849, was called Mama Moses, since she was among the initiators of the Underground Railroad, which freed black slaves through a network of secret routes and safe houses.

In 1862, the anti-slavery informal anthem of black slaves was composed of lyrics from Exodus 8:1: “Go Down Moses, way down in Egypt land, tell old Pharaoh to let my people go.” This black spiritual regained popularity in the 20th century when sung by Paul Leroy Robeson.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement from 1955-1968, based many of his sermons and speeches — including “I have a dream” — on Moses and the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt, as well as on the biblical books of Psalms, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Amos. His battle cry was: “Let My People Go” (Exodus 5:1).

President Abraham Lincoln was a student of the Bible, which bolstered his determination to abolish slavery. In his second inaugural address, he stated the Bible was “the best gift God has given to man,” and “The rebirth of Israel as a nation-state is a noble dream, shared by many Americans.”

The Bible, in general, and the Moses legacy, in particular, provided American slaves with much hope and strength, striving for their own Exodus, trusting that God opposes black slavery in the United States as he opposed Jewish slavery in Egypt.

400 Years of American Identification with the Jewish State

The chief engine behind the unique U.S.-Israel kinship was the spirit of the early Pilgrims and the Founding Fathers. They considered the idea of a Jewish commonwealth in the land of Israel an authentic implementation of the biblical vision. President John Adams, for example, supported the idea of a Jewish state in the land of Israel: “I really wish the Jews again in Judea an independent nation.”

Most notably, on March 5, 1891 — six years before the convening of the 1897 First Zionist Congress by Theodore Herzl, the father of modern-day Zionism — 431 American leaders, including the chief justice, House and Senate leaders and chairmen of congressional committees, governors, mayors, businessmen, clergy, professors, and editors, signed the Blackstone Memorial, which called for the re-establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel. Pastor William Eugene Blackstone was a Christian Zionist, who dedicated his life to the reestablishment of the Jewish commonwealth in its homeland.

In 1917, the Blackstone Memorial influenced President Woodrow Wilson’s support of the Balfour Declaration, and on March 3, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson stated: “… In Palestine shall be laid the foundation of a Jewish Commonwealth,” and “The Bible is the Magna Charta of the human soul.”

In 1918, President Theodore Roosevelt wrote in his best-selling “History of the American West”:

It seems to me entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem. … Many of the best backwoodsmen were Bible-readers. … They looked at their foes as the Hebrew Prophets looked at the enemies of Israel. … No man, educated or uneducated, can afford to be ignorant of the Bible.

Highlighting the potency of these roots, on June 30, 1922, Congress passed a joint resolution, introduced by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Henry Cabot Lodge, R-Mass., and Rep. Hamilton Fish III, R-N.Y., which was signed by President Warren Harding on September 21, 1922. It states its purpose as “Favoring the establishment, in Palestine, of a national home for the Jewish people.” The resolution was opposed by the State Department and the New York Times, which also opposed the re-establishment of Israel in 1948.

On June 10, 1943, Alabama Gov. Chauncey Sparks signed a unanimous Joint Resolution of the Alabama State House and Senate, which called for the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish homeland, following the 1917 Balfour Declaration, as was approved by the 1922 joint congressional resolution and the 1924 Anglo-American Treaty.

On May 12, 1948, during a critical session at the White House, Clark Clifford, a special assistant to President Truman (and defense secretary under President Lyndon Johnson), confronted Secretary of State Gen. George Marshall, who opposed the recognition of the Jewish state: “Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore unto your Fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them (Deuteronomy, 1:8).”

On May 14, 1948, during a special broadcast upon Israel’s declaration of independence, American radio icon Lowell Thomas stated: “Today, as the Jewish state is established, Americans read through the Bible as a historical reference book.”

The Biblical Effect on Modern American Leaders

While the U.S. Constitution does not require presidents to be sworn in on a Bible, almost every chief executive since George Washington has chosen to do so. Furthermore, almost all American presidents have integrated biblical verses in their inaugural addresses and major speeches.

In just one example, on May 3, 1925, President Calvin Coolidge said: “Hebraic mortar cemented the foundations of American democracy … If American democracy is to remain the greatest hope of humanity, it must continue abundantly in the faith of the Bible.”

Still more instances abound. On February 15, 1950, President Harry S. Truman told the Attorney General’s Conference:

The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days…

On September 10, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson told a B’nai B’rith conference, “Bible stories are woven into my childhood memories as the gallant struggle of modern Jews to be free of persecution is also woven into our souls.”

In his 1969 inaugural addresses, President Richard Nixon referred to the book of Isaiah: “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:4).”

President Ronald Reagan was known for his biblical references, such as when he said, “Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face. … Of the many influences that have shaped the United States of America into a distinctive Nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.”

President Bush’s deep biblical conviction was evident during his May 15, 2008 speech at Israel’s Knesset:

When Israel was declared independent, it was the Redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham, Moses, and David. … The source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. … It is grounded in the shored spirit of our peoples, the bonds of The Book, the ties of the soul. When William Bradford stepped off the ‘Mayflower’ in 1620, he quoted the words of Jeremiah: ‘Come let us declare in Zion the word of God.’ The Founders saw a new Promised Land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem and New Canaan. And, in time many Americans became passionate advocates for a Jewish State. … Our alliance will be guided by clear principles, shared convictions rooted in moral clarity, and unswayed by popularity polls or the shifting opinions of international elites.

President Barack Obama frequently used biblical quotes, such as when reciting Psalm 46 at the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial upon the 10th anniversary of that Islamic terror attack on the United States: “God is our refuge and strength … therefore we will not fear.”

America’s Civil Religion

The depth and durability of the 400-year-old biblical roots among most Americans have been consistent with the separation of religion and state, but not the separation of religion and society. It is demonstrated by the institutionalization of “In God We Trust,” inscribed above the seat of the speaker of the House of Representatives, and since 1974, Congress opens daily deliberations with a prayer. In 2020, the state constitutions of all 50 states refer to God.

In 2012, the National Democratic Convention reinstated God and Jerusalem into its platform. On October 31, 2011, the House of Representatives voted 396:9, reaffirming “In God We Trust” as a national motto, as did Joint Resolution #396 (July 30, 1956), and a May 26, 1955, resolution to inscribe “In God We Trust” on all U.S. currency.

According to an NBC May 2019 poll, 86 percent of Americans favor “In God We Trust” and retaining “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. An April 2018 Gallup poll showed that 45 percent and 39 percent of Protestants and Catholics attend church each Sunday. About 20 million copies of the Bible are purchased annually in America, there are more than 300 Christian TV (nine in 1974) and 3,000 Christian radio stations across the United States.

On June 28, 2005, Chief Justice William Rehnquist ruled that the Ten Commandment monument on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol was constitutional, underlining the effect and the legacy of Moses and the “Ten Commandments” on American culture and civic life:

Since 1935, Moses has stood, holding two tablets that reveal portions of the Ten Commandments, written in Hebrew, among other lawgivers in the [Supreme Court’s] south frieze. … Moses sits on the exterior east façade, holding the Ten Commandments. … Since 1897, a large statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments alongside a statue of the Apostle Paul, has overlooked the rotunda of the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building. A two-tablet-medallion depicting the Ten Commandments decorates the floor of the National Archives.

In the Justice Department, a statue entitled ‘The Spirit of Law’ has two tablets representing the Ten Commandments. In front of the Ronald Reagan Building stands a sculpture that includes a depiction of the Ten Commandments. A 24-foot-tall sculpture, outside the Federal Courthouse [in Washington, D.C.], depicts the Ten Commandments and a cross. Moses is prominently featured in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives … a lawgiver, and a religious leader, and the Ten Commandments have undeniable historical meaning.

The Lasting Kinship

While there has been a gradual erosion of the 400-year-old roots of the shared, core values that created the healthy foundation of relations between Israel and the United States, they have been notably resilient and broadly cultivated by the state of mind of most Americans.

The recent dramatic enhancement of such a unique and mutually beneficial relationship — militarily, industrially, technologically, agriculturally and medically — has evolved in response to mutual threats and challenges, but in defiance of the State Department bureaucracy and much of the “elite” media, which opposed Israel’s establishment in 1948.

Israel remains the top unconditional ally of the United States in the Middle East and beyond, wholeheartedly reciprocating the value-driven heartfelt identification by most Americans with the Jewish State. And, as “The Ethics of the Fathers,” a second-century compilation of Jewish ethical teachings suggests: “Conditional love is tenuous; unconditional love is eternal.”

This article was originally published at The Federalist.

11/8/20

Avoid the Appearance of Evil

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

Call me ‘Old School’ if you wish, but certain principles of conduct from another era seem to have been lost along the way.  Let me explain…

Several years ago I was given the assignment to check up on a woman from church whose husband had recently died.  She moved into our area and was still in the middle of grieving for her loss while at the same time she had nobody locally to lean on when her emotions got the better of her.

I made it a point to drop by regularly during the month, no scheduled appointment; just a neighborly check by to let her know someone was thinking about her.  She would invite me into the house, but this is where avoiding the appearance of evil comes in.  Instead, I’d suggest we sit on the front porch where her neighbors could see that nothing inappropriate was going on.

That brings me to the handling of votes and the appearance of impropriety, whether it exists or not, can be proven in court or not; red flags of danger have caught the public’s attention.  Perhaps that should be re-worded, red flags of danger have been ignored by those whose motto is, “Win by any means and to hell with anyone who says otherwise”.

I realize that being a supporter for your political party means hoping your candidate wins; but does that mean ‘at any cost’, to include destroying the fabric which holds your nation together as a constitutional republic?

When I watched a news clip showing poll workers covering up the windows so nobody could see them counting the votes, ignoring the protocols which call for members of the opposing party to be in attendance while the votes are counted, refusing to allow poll watchers during the election and other actions which would lead a critically thinking person to wonder if possible voting irregularities were being carried out.

When I was in college taking a course in Insurance which involved actuarial statistics to determine risk factors along with other issues that comprised that industry, it became fairly clear that some statistics form the limitations of reasonability and allow for the determination of what is unreasonable.  That’s why people over eighty years of age don’t purchase life insurance; the cost would be prohibitive, that assumes you could find a company dumb enough to sell the policy.

The use of statistics is important when looking at votes.  Certain polling places shut down in the wee hours of the morning following the election and then opened up a couple of hours later proclaiming they’d found thousands of votes…all for one candidate; the laws of statistics chimed in and proclaimed in unison, “Male Bovine Excrement!”.  There’s no way, statistically speaking, that all the votes which mysteriously appeared during the night were all cast for the same candidate, at least not legally.

That said, there are folks jumping up and down cheering for their candidate’s presumptive win, closing their eyes, ears, and minds to the likelihood of massive voter fraud; instead, euphorically caught up with, “He did it! We’ve won the White House!”

I’m having a difficult time congratulating the presumptive winners and those who’ve sold out this nation’s constitutional republican form of government for a cheap copy of a banana republic complete with bought and paid for election results.

Some might claim ‘sour grapes’ because my candidate hasn’t been re-elected.  My gut reaction tells me I’m watching an election process that steals a victory at any price and a public that will not only tolerate evil; but blindly congratulate those involved.

Putting it all in perspective with lessons learned from the Come Follow Me home study course, which only this past week covered Mormon’s witnessing the destruction of his people, a people ripe with iniquity who delighted in flaunting their evil ways rather than repent.  I had to wonder, did the Lord know this week’s lesson would be a duplicate of what is going on in America nearly two thousand years later?

The idea occurred to me that regardless of the outcome of this election, the steady downward spiral our nation has taken towards socialism along with accepting, tolerating, or even so many of our fellow citizens boasting of their evil ways; in spite of all these warning signs, we must place our faith in Jesus Christ and find joy in our knowledge of the gospel.  We have enjoyed the easy life; but the refiner’s fire proves us in our trials, whether we endure to the end is us to us.


t-f-stern-1Self-Educated American, Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer and, most recently, a retired self-employed lock­smith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since January of 2005.