Prophecy News Watch - Week In Review/June 29 - July 03
Keeping You Informed of World Events From A Biblical Perspective
Prophetic Trends & Headline News
1. Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?
The Most Dangerous Mountain In The United States: What Would Happen If Mt. Rainier Erupted?
Is the next major volcanic eruption in the United States just around the corner? Mount St. Helens and the Yellowstone supervolcano get most of the attention, but many geologists are actually far more concerned about the potential danger that Mt. Rainier poses. It has been called a “time bomb“, “the most dangerous mountain in the United States” and “one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world” due to its proximity to major population centers.
Scientists tell us that it is a matter of if, not when, the next eruption will happen, and even a minor eruption could result in tens of thousands of Americans being literally buried alive in super-heated mud. So what would a full-blown eruption do? It would potentially cause death and destruction on a scale that is almost unimaginable.
On May 18th, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted with the power of 500 Hiroshima bombs. At the time, very few scientists anticipated that Mount St. Helens was capable of such a powerful eruption. But Mount St. Helens is not even the most dangerous volcano in the state of Washington. If Mount Rainier were to erupt with the same force that Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, the loss of life would be far, far greater. The following comes from Wikipedia…
If Mt. Rainier were to erupt as powerfully as Mount St. Helens did in its May 18, 1980, eruption, the effect would be cumulatively greater, because of the far more massive amounts of glacial ice locked on the volcano compared to Mount St. Helens and the vastly more heavily populated areas surrounding Rainier. Lahars from Rainier pose the most risk to life and property, as many communities lie atop older lahar deposits.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), about 150,000 people live on top of old lahar deposits of Rainier. Not only is there much ice atop the volcano, the volcano is also slowly being weakened by hydrothermal activity. According to Geoff Clayton, a geologist with a Washington State Geology firm, RH2 Engineering, a repeat of the Osceola mudflow would destroy Enumclaw, Orting, Kent, Auburn, Puyallup, Sumner and all of Renton. Such a mudflow might also reach down the Duwamish estuary and destroy parts of downtown Seattle, and cause tsunamis in Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Rainier is also capable of producing pyroclastic flows and expelling lava.
Most people don’t even know what “lahars” are, but they can be exceedingly deadly. Just imagine a tsunami of super-heated mud that is hundreds of feet thick traveling at highway speeds. In fact, scientists believe that Mount Rainier is capable of producing massive lahars that could move at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour…
Heat from an eruption will melt ice and glaciers on the mountain and turn them into mudslides moving up to 50 mph, with the potential to be more than 400 feet deep in nearby valleys. Rainier has had a history of lahars, ranging from more than 5,600 years ago to only 500 years ago.
The largest of these debris flows – the Osceola Mudflow – occurred 5,600 years ago, covered 212 square miles of land from Rainier to Kent and was hundreds of feet deep.
The cities near Mount Rainier have early warning systems, but the truth is that once a lahar is unleashed it would be necessary to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people from the region in less than an hour. Does anyone actually believe that would be possible? Here is how one author described the danger that residents could potentially be facing…
The numerous towns and cities that occupy the surrounding valley would all be at risk for not only severe destruction, but complete annihilation. Residents of cities like Orting, Sumner, Buckley, and Enumclaw are estimated to have no more than 30 minutes before the lahar, speeding down from the many rivers that flow from Mount Rainier, buries their homes and businesses beneath as much as 30 feet of mud and debris. Even the larger cities like Auburn, Puyallup, and Tacoma itself are not safe. Auburn and Puyallup, with nearly 80,000 residents between them, would be covered in 20 feet of mud in less than an hour, and Tacoma, at almost 200,000, is estimated to be hit with nearly 10 feet from the lahar.
It is hard to even come up with the words to describe how horrific this would be. It would literally be a “river of death” hundreds of feet high burying everything in its path in super-heated mud. Once a lahar is within sight, there is no possibility of outrunning it. The only hope would be to get to high ground in time.
If Mount Rainier were to experience a full-blown eruption today, it would likely be the worst natural disaster in U.S. history up to this point by far. And scientists tell us that such an event is inevitable…
The nature of this impending and INEVITABLE tsunami is, this isn’t just water flowing, this is giant boulders, whole houses, a million huge trees, cars, ships, people, cows, we saw this in Japan recently, all smashing along relentlessly and not ending in a minute or an hour, but going on and on and on, piling into narrow bays and pinned in by high hillsides…this makes the tsunamis WORSE, not safer!
The Puget Sound bay is not that deep. So the resulting multiple high flood events pouring into several parts of the Puget Sound will cause a huge wave to jump ahead of the flood and the bulky mess of debris pouring in will displace more water and it will flood huge areas that are at sea level and even, like in Japan, make huge waves smashing up hillsides, wiping out everything, tearing down trees, rocks and buildings.
Once this wave of destruction hits, no one will be able to save others because it will go on and on and on for several hours at least.
Those that have studied Mount Rainier tell us that there is evidence that the mountain has produced at least 60 lahars in the past.
And according to the Seattle Times, there is a “one in seven” chance that Mount Rainier will produce another one within our lifetimes…
Chances are one in seven – worse than the odds of having a house fire – that a moderate lahar will happen in a person’s lifetime.
But these are not normal times.
Mount Rainier lies along the Ring of Fire, and right now volcanoes all along the Ring of Fire are waking up.
A couple of months ago, I wrote an article entitled “The Number Of Volcanoes Erupting Right Now Is Greater Than The 20th Century’s YEARLY Average“. Since that time, the number of volcanoes that are currently erupting around the world has grown even larger. At this point, 41 volcanoes are currently erupting, and the vast majority of them are along the Ring of Fire.
When Mount Rainier is ready to erupt again, scientists tell us that there will probably be an increase in earthquakes in the area first. And there have been about 20 earthquakes in the general vicinity within the past two months.
So let’s keep an eye on it.
Of course it is also possible that we could see a major eruption at Mount Rainier without any significant warning whatsoever.
In any event, a full-blown eruption of Mount Rainier would cause death and destruction on a scale that is absolutely unprecedented in modern times, and scientists assure us that such an event is in our future.
Joel Rosenberg: ‘Something Is Coming, I Don’t Know What, But We Must Be Ready’
Do you also have the feeling that something really big is coming? Recently, there has been quite a bit of chatter on the Internet about what the second half of 2015 will bring.
During the last six months of this calendar year, we are going to witness a remarkable confluence of circumstances and events, and this is something that I covered in a previous article entitled “7 Key Events That Are Going To Happen By The End Of September“.
But in addition to all of the things that we can point to outwardly, a lot of very prominent individuals are also really feeling an inner “urgency” regarding what is about to happen to this country. For example, Bible prophecy expert Joel C. Rosenberg just posted an ominous message on his own personal blog in which he stated that “something is coming” and that “we must be ready”…
I feel a tremendous sense of urgency about this column.
The United States is hurtling towards severe trouble, and the events of the past few months — and what may be coming over the next few months — grieves me a great deal.
Something is coming. I don’t know what. But we all must be ready in every possible way.
When I first read that, I thought that sounded remarkably similar to how I have been feeling.
Personally, I am feeling more of a sense of urgency about the second half of 2015 than I have ever felt about any period of time before.
And like Rosenberg, I am also convinced that “something is coming” and that this nation is hurtling towards severe trouble.
So what in particular has Rosenberg so concerned? The following are the items that he listed in his blog post…
Violence is exploding in our cities, schools and churches. The horrific mass murder inside the church in Charleston would be bad enough if it wasn’t just one of innumerable mass killings that have become epidemic in America.
Racism is tearing us apart, and it appears things are getting worse, not better.
The Supreme Court has now ruled on the definition and future of marriage — I believe this could cause the Lord’s hand to turn against our country in a severe and profound way according to the moral laws found in Romans chapter one.
Abortions are occurring at more than one million in year and have put America on the fast track to judgment. Since 1973, Americans have murdered 57 million children through abortions. The blood of 57 million babies is crying out for justice, and they will get it in God’s sovereign timing. Could that be soon?
If all this wasn’t bad enough, marriages and families are imploding all around us. Poverty is growing. Drug and alcohol use is epidemic. And that’s just here at home. Abroad, Iran is closing in on The Bomb.
ISIS is exploding across the Middle East, and gaining ground in Syria, Iraq and Libya.
The Kremlin is growing more aggressive.
Yet our politicians continue to bicker, stall, or golf, even as many abdicate their Constitutional responsibilities.
And many Americans have little or no hope for the future, have little confidence in government, little confidence in the media or academia, and far too little confidence in the Church. Indeed, many see little or no reason to go to church, and are drifting from whatever faith they might have once had in the Lord Jesus Christ.
While, Rosenberg did not name a specific period of time in his article, other prominent voices have gone out on a limb and are pointing to the fall of this year. Just yesterday, I wrote about how Lindsey Williams, Martin Armstrong and Alex Jones are all warning about what is coming in just a few months.
But they are not alone. Like Joel Rosenberg, Ray Gano is also a Bible prophecy expert that is extremely concerned about what is rapidly approaching. In fact, Gano is convinced that we will witness an economic collapse “probably starting in the third quarter of 2015″…
If you have been a reader of mine, you know that I have been pointing to an economic collapse, probably starting in third quarter 2015.
Why third quarter?
US History shows that when the US suffers and economic meltdown of some sorts, it always seems to take place in September – October
Just look at history.
Black Monday – October 28, 1929 – the stock market starts to destabilize and crashes thus beginning the Great Depression.
Black Monday – October 19, 1987 — stock markets around the world crashed, shedding a huge value in a very short time. The crash began in Hong Kong and spread west to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already declined by a significant margin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 508 points to 1738.74 (1)
Black Friday – October 13, 1989
October 27, 1997 Mini Crash
September 11, 2001 – The economic effects arising from the September 11 attacks were initial shock causing global stock markets to drop sharply. The September 11 attacks themselves resulted in approximately $40 billion in insurance losses, making it one of the largest insured events ever. (2)
I strongly believe that 2015 will be a year that begins / creates financial crashes, economic chaos and possibly the start of the next great worldwide depression.
Last time around, not that many understood what was happening when the stock market crashed at the very end of the Shemitah year in 2008. But thanks to Jonathan Cahn’s work, this time around millions of people are talking about the Shemitah cycle that ends this September. For much more on all of this, please see my previous article on the Shemitah.
Others that take a more secular view of things are also deeply concerned about what is coming this fall. For instance, precious metals analyst David Morgan has been pointing to the month of September since the very beginning of this year…
When might the economy and the “debt bomb” explode? Morgan predicts this fall. Why? Morgan says, “Momentum is one indicator and the money supply. Also, when I made my forecast, there is a big seasonality, and part of it is strict analytical detail and part of it is being in this market for 40 years.
I got a pretty good idea of what is going on out there and the feedback I get. . . . I’m in Europe, I’m in Asia, I’m in South America, I’m in Mexico, I’m in Canada; and so, I get a global feel, if you will, for what people are really thinking and really dealing with. It’s like a barometer reading, and I feel there are more and more tensions all the time and less and less solutions. It’s a fundamental take on how fed up people are on a global basis. Based on that, it seems to me as I said in the January issue of the Morgan Report, September is going to be the point where people have had it.”
Jeff Berwick of The Dollar Vigilante is also warning about what is going to happen in September. The following is a quote from Berwick from one of his most recent interviews…
I think we’re getting very, very close to the next crisis collapse. I haven’t said that since 2008. I haven’t said it’s going to happen this year or next year… I’ve never really been warning that I think it really is now very close and I have been doing that lately… and I’ve actually predicted later this year in September.
There’s a number of reasons why I predicted that date. There are a lot of things going on… a lot of crazy things… to go into it all it’s just amazing how you can see these things being put into place.
So what does all of this mean?
Are we heading for a financial collapse (or something even worse) during the second half of 2015?
The New America - From Weeping To Celebrating Sin
Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. Jesus created sexuality, and has a clear will for how it is to be experienced in holiness and joy.
His will is that a man might leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6–9). In this union, sexuality finds its God-appointed meaning, whether in personal-physical unification, symbolic representation, sensual jubilation, or fruitful procreation.
For those who have forsaken God’s path of sexual fulfillment, and walked into homosexual intercourse or heterosexual extramarital fornication or adultery, Jesus offers astonishing mercy.
Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
But today this salvation from sinful sexual acts was not embraced. Instead there was massive institutionalization of sin.
In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage.
The Bible is not silent about such decisions. Alongside its clearest explanation of the sin of homosexual intercourse (Romans 1:24–27) stands the indictment of the approval and institutionalization of it. Though people know intuitively that homosexual acts (along with gossip, slander, insolence, haughtiness, boasting, faithlessness, heartlessness, ruthlessness) are sin, “they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:29–32). “I tell you even with tears, that many glory in their shame” (Philippians 3:18–19).
This is what the highest court in our land did today — knowing these deeds are wrong, “yet approving those who practice them.”
My sense is that we do not realize what a calamity is happening around us. The new thing — new for America, and new for history — is not homosexuality. That brokenness has been here since we were all broken in the fall of man. (And there is a great distinction between the orientation and the act — just like there is a great difference between my orientation to pride and the act of boasting.)
What’s new is not even the celebration and approval of homosexual sin. Homosexual behavior has been exploited, and reveled in, and celebrated in art, for millennia. What’s new is normalization and institutionalization. This is the new calamity.
My main reason for writing is not to mount a political counter-assault. I don’t think that is the calling of the church as such. My reason for writing is to help the church feel the sorrow of these days. And the magnitude of the assault on God and his image in man.
Christians, more clearly than others, can see the tidal wave of pain that is on the way. Sin carries in it its own misery: “Men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:27).
And on top of sin’s self-destructive power comes, eventually, the final wrath of God: “sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5–6).
Christians know what is coming, not only because we see it in the Bible, but because we have tasted the sorrowful fruit of our own sins. We do not escape the truth that we reap what we sow. Our marriages, our children, our churches, our institutions — they are all troubled because of our sins.
The difference is: We weep over our sins. We don’t celebrate them. We don’t institutionalize them. We turn to Jesus for forgiveness and help. We cry to Jesus, “who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
And in our best moments, we weep for the world, and for our own nation. In the days of Ezekiel, God put a mark of hope “on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in Jerusalem” (Ezekiel 9:4).
This is what I am writing for. Not political action, but love for the name of God and compassion for the city of destruction.
“My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” (Psalm 119:136)
2. Israel - God's Timepiece
The U.N.’s Treatment of Israel Summed Up in One Stunning Graphic
It probably won’t come as a shock to know that since its formation in 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country.
But more eye-opening is that it’s condemned Israel more times than every other country combined.
The Geneva-based U.N. Watch counted all of the resolutions out and summed up the findings in one stunning table:
UNHRC resolutions condemning countries that were not Israel totaled 55 over nearly a decade. By contrast, Israel was targeted 61 times.
U.N. Watch executive director Hillel Neuer compared Israel’s treatment with that granted to its Middle East neighbors who don’t exactly hold the most exemplary human rights records:
Total UNHRC Condemnations
Saudi Arabia 0
U.N. Watch accused the world body of engaging in “endemic selectivity and politicization” for nine years. Not only did the number of resolutions overwhelmingly target Israel, countries with poor human rights records have been awarded seats on the council.
“Sadly, with members like China, Russia, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Venezuela and Qatar, the UNHRC today may possibly rank as a more corrupt international organization than FIFA,” U.N. Watch said in a statement, referring to the scandal-ridden international soccer federation.
U.N. Watch compiled figures on other ways in which the Jewish state is held to a different standard than the rest of the world, including being targeted by “Country-Specific Agenda Items,” the appointment of a permanent Special Rapporteur on Israel’s alleged violations and holding “emergency sessions” to vote against Israel.
A Chicago Sun-Times opinion piece also noted the different treatment.
“Saudi Arabia has a horrendous human-rights record — recently a blogger was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for ‘insulting Islam’ — but not only is Riyadh not criticized, it’s given a seat on the council,” wrote Steve Huntley.
6. The Rise of Islam
ISIS Threatens Mass Slaughter Of Christians In Israel Before End Of Ramadan
Islamic militants claiming to be representatives of terror group ISIS in Jerusalem have threatened to "cleanse" Israel of all Christians and "non-believers" unless they leave the country. The extremists are accusing Christians of encouraging Muslims to abandon their religion.
"Those who work with the Zionists also encourage Muslims to leave their religion and become more secular and open, and they spread evil," Arabic-language leaflets warns, according to The Jerusalem Post. "They take these Muslims away from us. ... We know where they are, but we need help to find them all — all those Christian collaborators."
The message continues: "ISIS soldiers will work to kill these people so this country is clean of them and ... will clean this country and the Muslim Quarter from these Christians during this holy Ramadan."
And further warns: "Because the Christians violated the Pact of Omar [made when Muslims conquered Jerusalem], we will do this. So we tell our Christians and the nonbelievers: Go away now or you will be killed when the Id [al Fitr festival ending Ramadan] is near. And you will be slaughtered like the sheep. One month is enough for them to go away."
Breaking News Israel claimed that ISIS does not have an operational presence in Israel, but has a number of Islamist supporters, some of which have joined its self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
There have also been reports of ISIS' flag being flown atop the Temple Mount, a historic holy site for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a Tempe Mount activist, described the situation as "very worrying."
"The situation in general among Muslim leadership where, for some reason, celebrations like Ramadan are immediately interpreted as a celebrations of violence and terror is something that is very sad, mostly on the Muslim side," Glick said.
"Of course, in terms of the State of Israel, we think the government of Israel should implement order on the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount should not be a place for demonstrating, and definitely not ISIS. I do hope that the authorities and police make sure it doesn't happen again."
There has been an increase of ISIS attacks outside Iraq and Syria during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, following the directive of ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who said that it should become "a time of calamity for the infidels ... Shiites and apostate Muslims."
Dozens were killed on Friday in three separate attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility.
Hostility against Christians in Israel has been on the rise recently, with The Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha, located on the shores of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus is believed to have fed the 5,000, burned in an arson attack earlier in June. Anti-Christian graffiti written in Hebrew and found at the site read: "May the false gods be eliminated."
8. Christian Worldview/Issues
The Decline Of Religion In The West
David Cameron's attack on Islamic extremism at this month's Slovakia security conference included the charge that groups such as Islamic State believe "religious doctrine trumps the rule of law".
The phrase is revealing in a way the prime minister probably did not intend: it underlines how far the role of religion has been eroded in British life.
For most of our history, most people in this country would have taken it for granted that God's laws should trump those made by man - indeed they would have assumed that "religious doctrine" provided the proper basis for "the rule of law".
Take Magna Carta, which we have heard so much about recently.
In the Preamble, King John states that he is accepting limits to his power "having regard to God and for the salvation of our soul, and those of all our ancestors and heirs, and unto the honour of God and the advancement of his holy Church" and he acknowledges that he is acting on the advice of "our venerable fathers" the bishops.
So this cornerstone of law and liberty was explicitly laid on religious foundations.
The idea of an inherent conflict between law and religion is a very modern one.
But then Mr Cameron leads a country where religious faith, in particular as expressed through the established Church, is in precipitous decline.
Could churches in Britain be empty in 20 years' time?
The Spectator recently published a cover story about what it called "the death rattle" of Christianity in Britain, in which the Catholic journalist Damian Thompson speculated that "Anglicanism will disappear from Britain in 2033".
He cites British Social Attitudes surveys, which suggest that the number of Anglicans here "fell from 40% of the population in 1983 to 29% in 2004 to 17% last year".
The decline among Roman Catholics is less marked - from 10% of the population to 8% over the same period - but Mr Thompson puts that down to immigration.
It used to be thought that the United States was immune to this kind of secularisation, but a survey published by the Washington-based Pew Foundation last month calls that into question.
It found that the percentage of Americans who described themselves as Christian had dropped from 78.4% to 70.6% between 2007 and 2014.
And while those figures of course show that America is still an overwhelmingly Christian country, the Pew Religious Landscape Survey also suggests that the decline is a trend. It concludes that "the drop in religious affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults".
Distribution of Christian population by region
Americas: 804 million
Europe: 566 million
Sub-Saharan Africa: 516 million
Asia-Pacific: 285 million
Middle East-North Africa: 13 million
Religious boom in Asia
Contrast that to what is happening in, for example, China, where a Pew study put the number of Christians at 67 million in 2010 - a huge increase from the one million or so when Communist rule was established in 1949.
Tracking Christianity's growth in China is difficult (not least because many Christians are still reluctant to admit their affiliation), but it is widely thought that the number of Chinese Christians now exceeds the number of Communist Party members.
Some projections suggest that China will have the largest Christian population in the world (some 250 million) by about 2030 - so at about the moment when the Church of England will, if the Spectator is right, expire altogether.
What's behind the growth in Christianity in China is open to interpretation. The power of the Gospel? Filling a vacuum left by the collapse of faith in communism? Your explanation will depend on who you are.
But this is all the more remarkable because since the 19th Century, Christianity has been closely associated in Chinese culture with unwelcome meddling by foreign powers, and it suggests - at a minimum - that societies do not automatically become more secular as they become richer.
Elsewhere in Asia, religion is booming too, and not always in a benign manner.
In India, something as apparently non-controversial as last week's International Yoga Day became a source of religious tension, with some Muslims accusing the government of pursuing a divisive pro-Hindu agenda. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka and Burma have seen the rise of intolerant and nationalist Buddhism, a bewildering development for many in the West.
And the overwhelming - and often malign - power of religion in the Middle East is of course all too apparent.
In the week of David Cameron's Slovakia speech, the former Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, published a book which makes an explicit link between the extremism that concerns the prime minister and the growing gulf between a secular West and a religious world.
Lord Sacks believes the world will be more religious in the coming decades
In the West, Lord Sacks argues, "the old marriage of religion and culture has ended in divorce". Our societies offer no clear values that appeal to young people looking for meaning, so religiously minded youths turn to the world beyond our borders where religion remains such a compelling force.
And very often radical Islam offers, as Lord Sacks told us on BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme, "the sharpest, clearest voices they are hearing". He has coined the term "altruistic evil" to describe the phenomenon of profoundly evil acts committed for idealistic motives.
It is persuasive analysis. Of course the West has powerful values to offer, but they are largely "post-religious"; tolerance and democracy involve respecting the opinions and feelings of others, a more complex and less obviously dynamic process than the kind of message projected by those Mr Cameron called the "firebrand preachers online".
And this is why it matters. If you live within a secular society, it is easy to assume that religions will simply wither away, but Lord Sacks offers the opposite view.
"The world will be more religious a generation from now, not less," he says. "The more religious people are, the more children they have. The more secular they are, the fewer children they have... the religious will inherit the Earth."
Pentagon Urged To Boot Chaplains Who Oppose 'Gay' Marriage After Supreme Court Ruling
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage in all 50 states, the Pentagon is now being urged to “cleanse itself” of chaplains who refuse to support same-sex marriage.
Activist Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is demanding the U.S. military conduct a purge of chaplains who holds to the traditional teaching of homosexuality and marriage espoused by the first commander in chief, George Washington.
Weinstein claims chaplains who are “maintaining the state of antagonism between their religion and the sexual/gender identities of service members” have no business serving in the military.
“Nobody is arguing that these losers don’t have a right to their religious beliefs,” wrote Weinstein in an op-ed.
“At this stage, the only honorable thing that these losers can do is to fold up their uniforms, turn in their papers, and get the hell out of the American military chaplaincy. If they are unwilling or too cowardly to do so, then the Department of Defense must expeditiously cleanse itself of the intolerant filth that insists on lingering in the ranks of our armed forces.”
While Weinstein frequently calls for the court-martialing of military members who attempt to share their faith with others, he is now calling for an entire class of chaplains to be fired regardless of whether their beliefs affect their job performance or not.
Brig. Gen. Doug Lee, now chairman of the executive committee for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, said Weinstein’s views are extreme, showing a lack of understanding of a chaplain’s mission.
“His comments are so vitriolic and dividing that they are hardly worth responding to. He seems to feel the need to push his conspiracy theory about certain chaplains in the military,” Lee told WND. “In addition, I don’t think he understands that the job of chaplain exists in a pluralistic military so that people have religious support, and to do away with a certain group of chaplains in its entirety is just ridiculous.
“It’s like he never learned a thing in law school about the Constitution and about why chaplains exist.”
Lee contends one cannot say chaplains have no right to oppose homosexuality based on the teachings of their faith while also supporting their right to stand by other tenets, such as refusing to marry those outside of their faith.
“A chaplain cannot do something against his faith tenet such as marrying someone who has different religious beliefs if that is a tenet of their faith. They cannot be asked to do it, and they cannot be required to do it.”
Lee told WND that those who think a chaplain must affirm or support the beliefs of everyone who comes for counseling or teaching misunderstand the purpose of chaplains.
“The job of a chaplain is to provide religious support or perform religious support. The ‘provide’ part is to help a person find someone who can meet the individual’s spiritual needs. For example, I would not prepare a Passover meal for a Jewish service member, but I will direct them to a rabbi who can address that area. But when I do perform religious support, whether it be to teach, preach or counsel, I do so from my faith perspective.”
For his part, Weinstein said he’s looking forward to ending the conservative influence in the military.
“What will become of their once-ironclad dominance of fundamentalist Christian privilege within the Department of Defense?” said Weinstein.
Lee insists chaplains don’t use their pulpit and position to call on service members to disobey orders regarding the treatment of “gay” service members.
“For the vast majority of chaplains in the military, their faith groups believe that homosexuality is a sin and so they believe marriage is between a man and a woman as Christians have believed for thousands of years,” Lee explained to WND. “But the chaplains are saying that if someone comes to them for counseling with the homosexual partner they won’t ignore that person’s concerns, instead they will refer them to someone who can help with their specific needs because that’s part of providing religious support.”
WND reported how the military tried to silence opposition to repeal of the Revolutionary War ban on homosexuals serving in the military during a lame-duck session of Congress, after tea-party voters gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives in 2010.
In 2013, soldiers were given a training brief stating evangelical Christians were the No. 1 extremist threat to America, ahead of groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Ku Klux Klan, Nation of Islam, al-Qaida and Hamas.
Catholicism and ultra-orthodox Judaism were also on the list of religious extremist organizations.
As WND reported, Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, told the Washington Post in 2013 the biggest problems faced by the military were sexual assault and what he described as proselytizing by Christians.
Wilkerson’s comments were made to Sally Quinn in an interview that also featured former ambassador Joe Wilson and Weinstein as they were on their way to a meeting at the Pentagon.
Wilson told Quinn that if a chaplain would proselytize, it would be a workplace violation. Weinstein went even further and said it was a “national security threat” and amounted to “spiritual rape.” He said the chaplain’s role is to minister to spiritual needs.
Weinstein said military leaders need to understand “there is systematic misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the military.”
“What the Pentagon needs to understand is that it is sedition and treason. It should be punished.”
After Same-Sex Marriage, Is Polygamy Next?
Before last Friday's Supreme Court ruling, many of us argued that same-sex marriage could or would lead to polygamy. Gay marriage proponents were quick to dismiss our warning. But consider Chief Justice Roberts's dissent to the court's decision:
"Although the majority randomly inserts the adjective 'two' in various places, it offers no reason at all why the two-person element of the core definition of marriage may be preserved while the man-woman element may not. Indeed, from the standpoint of history and tradition, a leap from opposite-sex marriage to same-sex marriage is much greater than one from a two-person union to plural unions, which have deep roots in some cultures around the world. If the majority is willing to take the big leap, it is hard to see how it can say no to the shorter one. It is striking how much of the majority's reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage."
Here's the argument I believe we'll see for polygamy.
One: as with gay marriage, society has shifted its opinion on plural marriage. Supporters of polygamy have more than doubled since 2001. Younger demographics are even more affirmative.
Two: if the courts have no right to legislate what gender you can marry, they have no right to regulate what number you can marry. A Tylenol commercial recently claimed that "family isn't defined by who you love, but how." To extend the company's logic, family isn't defined by how many you love, either.
Three: the law should not discriminate against minorities, including those whose belief systems incorporate polygamy. As many as 50,000 to 100,000 Muslims in the United States already live in polygamous families. (A man marries one wife in a legal ceremony, then two or three others in religious ceremonies.) Do laws forbidding polygamy discriminate against them?
Slate author Jillian Keenan recently claimed that "legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice" and concluded: "The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less 'correct' than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults."
And why would the sexual revolution stop with polygamy? The next step will be "consensual marriage," the belief that anyone should be able to marry anyone, regardless of age or biological relationship. If those in love are entitled to marriage, why not fathers and daughters (or sons)? Why not adults and children? If federal and state marriage benefits are owed to anyone who marries, why would a young man not marry his grandfather to secure medical care and inheritance rights?
In fact, why have "marriage" at all? According to lesbian activist Masha Gessen, "The institution of marriage should not exist. . . . Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we're going to do with marriage when we get there. Because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change. And that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change and it should change. And again, I don't think it should exist."
Philosopher Auguste Comte noted that the only safe way to destroy something is to replace it. Are we witnessing the destruction of marriage?
Another Sign In The Heavens? Star of Bethlehem To Appear In Night Sky June 30
Jupiter and Venus will merge into a dazzling "super-star" in the Western horizon by the end of June, NASA says.
The conjunction of the two planets has been building during the month of June and will culminate in a spectacular display on June 30. “Every night in June, the separation between Venus and Jupiter will visibly shrink,” says NASA.
A conjunction is when two or more objects appear very close together on the sky.
On the evening of June 30, Venus and Jupiter will appear in the sky just a third of a degree apart. “That's less than the diameter of a full Moon. You'll be able to hide the pair not just behind the palm of your outstretched hand, but behind your little pinky finger,” NASA enthuses.
Sky & Telescope suggests that a similar rare conjunction of Venus and Jupiter may have been what's been called the "Star of Bethlehem" in 3-2 BC.
While the conjunction is certainly visible with the naked eye, Sky and Telescope says viewing it with a telescope or binoculars will offer a different perspective: “Both planets will crowd into same telescopic field of view, Venus appearing as a fat crescent and round Jupiter accompanied by its four large moons. The two planets will appear nearly as the same size, but Jupiter, though much larger in reality, is much farther away.... Their globes will contrast dramatically in brightness, with Venus’s crescent appearing dazzling white compared to Jupiter’s duller, striped cloud deck.”
Pat Hartigan, an astronomer at Rice University, says the conjunction on June 30 is the best one we will have for over a decade, rivaled only by one on March 1, 2023, which will not be not quite as close.
So where and when should we look for it? Look to the west-northwest as soon as it gets dark, says Dr. Hartigan. "After about two hours for most latitudes the objects will become difficult to observe as they begin to set. They are bright. You might mistake them for airplanes."
9. Other Events To Watch
The World Is Defenseless Against The Next Financial Crisis, Warns BIS
The world will be unable to fight the next global financial crash as central banks have used up their ammunition trying to tackle the last crises, the Bank for International Settlements has warned.
The so-called central bank of central banks launched a scatching critique of global monetary policy in its annual report. The BIS claimed that central banks have backed themselves into a corner after repeatedly cutting interest rates to shore up their economies.
These low interest rates have in turn fuelled economic booms, encouraging excessive risk taking. Booms have then turned to busts, which policymakers have responded to with even lower rates.
Claudio Borio, head of the organisation’s monetary and economic department, said: “Persistent exceptionally low rates reflect the central banks’ and market participants’ response to the unusually weak post-crisis recovery as they fumble in the dark in search of new certainties.”
“Rather than just reflecting the current weakness, they may in part have contributed to it by fuelling costly financial booms and busts and delaying adjustment. The result is too much debt, too little growth and too low interest rates.
"In short, low rates beget lower rates."
The BIS warned that interest rates have now been so low for so long that central banks are unequipped to fight the next crises.
“In some jurisdictions, monetary policy is already testing its outer limits, to the point of stretching the boundaries of the unthinkable,” the BIS said.
Policymakers in the eurozone, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland have taken their interest rates below zero in an attempt to support their economies, contributing to a decline in bond yields.
Extraordinarily low interest rates are not a “new equilibrium” said Jaime Caruana, general manager of the BIS, rejecting the theory of so-called “secular stagnation” which some economists blame for the continued decline in global lending rates.
“True, there may be secular forces that put downward pressure on equilibrium interest rates … [but] we argue that the current configuration of very low rates is neither inevitable, nor does it represent a new equilibrium,” he said.
Mr Caruana said that interest rate hikes “should be welcomed”, as global economies have started to grow at close to their historical averages, and a slump in oil prices has provided the global economy with a boost.
The BIS report described the threat of a new bust in advanced economies as a “main risk”, with many reaching the top of the economic cycle.
The economies worst hit by the last crisis are now suffering the costs of persistent ultra-low rates, the organisation said, which could “inflict serious damage on the financial system”, sapping banks and weakening their balance sheets and their ability to lend.
And the continued misallocation of resources during busts prompted by central banks’s rock-bottom interest rates has also hammered productivity growth, the BIS said, as a prolonged reliance on debt had been used in its place.
This problem is compounded as the world’s populations continue to age, the organisation warned, making debt burdens harder to bear. Yet politicians have relied too much on temporary growth boosts by using debt, rather than making painful choices, said the BIS.
Mr Caruana said that during booms, workers and capital are shifted to slow-growing sectors, with a “long-lasting negative” impact on productivity growth. “Misallocated labour needs to move from these sectors to other parts of the economy,” he said.
The BIS said that the current turmoil in Greece typified the kind of “toxic mix” of private and public debt being used as a solution to economic problems, rather than making the proper commitment “to badly needed” structural reforms.
Mr Caruana said that policymakers must now focus on the supply side of the economy, introducing the right reforms, rather than continue to lean on debt which will inevitably undermine growth.