Prophecy News Watch - Week In Review/May 11 - May 15

Keeping You Informed of World Events From A Biblical Perspective 

Prophetic Trends & Headline News

1. Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?

Countdown To 'Disaster': 4 Months To Shemitah

As the climax of the “Shemitah” year draws near, the man who popularized the once-obscure Hebrew word sees more cause than ever for concern.

America is in for a great “shaking,” says Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times best-sellers “The Harbinger” and “The Mystery of the Shemitah.”

The Shemitah year began on Sept. 25, 2014, and will hit its climax on Sept. 13, 2015. That is exactly four months away, when the Hebrew calendar lands on Elul 29, the same biblical day of reckoning that brought record stock-market crashes in September 2001 and September 2008.

The Shemitah comes once every seven years and, according to Cahn, can bring blessings or judgments. For a nation that started out dedicated to God but falls into apostasy, each Shemitah year can bring progressively worse judgments until the nation repents and turns back to God, he said.

Cahn remains cautious about making any specific predictions on how the Shemitah will play out over its final four months. He emphasizes that nobody can predict with absolute clarity what will happen as August turns into September and September into October.

But as he looks into the approaching storm, here are his main concerns:

President Obama continues to foster poor relations with Israel, reaching an agreement on Iran’s nuclear enrichment that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has characterized as a “bad deal” for his nation’s future security.

America continues to slide into the moral abyss, embracing homosexual marriages and pushing transgenderism in the public schools. A landmark Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage is expected in June.

At the same time Obama alienates Israel, ISIS continues to rise in the Middle East and recently carried out a brazen attack on the U.S. homeland with an attempted mass shooting at a free-speech event in Garland, Texas, last week.

The FBI now says it has active investigations into ISIS sympathizers in all 50 states. ISIS claims to have 71 fighters with targets in 15 states. It has threatened to infiltrate the ranks of refugees, which continue to flood into the U.S. from the Middle East and Africa by the thousands every month. 

Many are coming from known terror-supporting states like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. Mosques are rising in cities across the U.S., and the White House Task Force on New Americans is working feverishly in cooperation with governors and mayors to lay out the welcome mat.

While Islam is on the rise, Pew Research Center released a poll this week that found a stark decline in the number of Americans who consider themselves Christian, falling 8 percentage points in just seven years. Only 70 percent now call themselves Christian, and those self-identifying as agnostic reached an all-time high of 56 million.

Cahn sees a connection between what he calls “the apostasy” or falling away from God and Judeo-Christian values, the willingness to abandon Israel and the rise of Islamic terrorism.

A familiar enemy

“The pattern revealed in ‘The Harbinger‘ could be significant concerning America’s future,” he said.

“When ancient Israel was destroyed in 722 B.C., the agents of its destruction were the ancient Assyrians, the same ones who were responsible for inflicting a strike of terror on the nation years before. Assyria was the originator of terrorism,” Cahn told WND. “America’s first strike came on 9/11. Since America has followed the fatal pattern of ancient Israel in defiance and apostasy, since the harbingers of judgment have not stopped manifesting, I wondered whether this part of the pattern would also replay.”

That pattern is this: The same forces responsible for the first strike on ancient Israel returned years later to deliver another, more devastating attack.

In light of this pattern, Cahn sees the rise of ISIS, an outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq, as ominous.

“The agents of ISIS not only claim the same region as that of the ancient Assyrians, but they practice the exact same acts as savagery, mutilation of their victims, beheadings, and the publicizing of these acts to inspire terror throughout the world,” Cahn said. “The fact that America is now engaged again with the agents of terror, and in the days of its deepening apostasy from God is doubly ominous.”

And Cahn is not the only Christian leader who sees judgment on the horizon for America. Many others, from Franklin Graham to James Dobson to Joel Richardson have all spoken out with words of warning in recent months.

This week a new voice, Ann Graham Lotz, daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham, added her name to the list.

Lotz issued a “Mayday” alert for Americans to engage in a week of steadfast prayer and intersession for the country May 15-23. She believes the U.S. is careening headlong toward judgment “and it’s going to be ugly,” she wrote on her website.

“Institutions will collapse. Banks will close,” Lotz wrote. “The stock market will plunge. Planes will fall out of the sky. Cars will crash on the road. Government in America at every level will disintegrate. Families will be torn apart.”

Lotz even mentioned the tetrad of “blood moons” as major signs that judgment is coming, affirming the work of pastor Mark Biltz, author of “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs.”

Though the pattern of the Shemitah is that it’s most dramatic consequences tend to come at the end, Cahn believes the beginning may hold clues to the end.

In the Shemitah of 2007-08, for example, the beginning seemed uneventful. Yet on its opening day, there was a quiet clue that few even noticed. The first major bank collapse in more than 100 years occurred in Britain. This event foreshadowed the colossal collapse of the global financial system that would take place at the end of the Shemitah year.

As the current Shemitah began last September, Wall Street suddenly began reeling. It quickly stabilized and then gradually continued its ascent. All concerns were forgotten.

“Could it be a foreshadowing of the collapse of America’s economic and financial realms?” Cahn asks.

And there are other potential foreshadowing events that took place last September.

“An earthquake of over 6 on the Richter scale struck America – on Sept. 25 – the very opening day of the Shemitah. Could it be a foreshadowing of future natural disasters?” Cahn wonders.

And the first manifestations of the Ebola virus in America took place on Sept. 25, again on the opening day of the Shemitah.

Still, Cahn tempers his concerns, saying, “We can’t be dogmatic. God doesn’t have to do anything more in this present Shemitah. The dynamics of the Shemitah can manifest more strongly in one cycle and less in another.”

But, he advises, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

‘A great shaking is coming’

“I do believe a great shaking is coming to America – a shaking that will involve the collapse of the financial realm, the collapse of the economy, and a collapse even greater than these. This can take place within the parameters of the Shemitah or beyond, but I believe they are coming,” Cahn said.

Of the last seven cycles of the Shemitah, 100 percent of them have been linked to collapse, he said.

“The phenomenon of the Shemitah has been intensifying. In the last two cycles, the Shemitah’s dynamics have grown stronger in intensity and precision,” he continued. “At the end of the Shemitah 2001, in the month of September, the stock market collapsed in the greatest point implosion in history. The day of its collapse was Elul 29, the very last day of the Shemitah, the same day appointed by God as the day of financial nullification. In exact accordance with the mystery, in September of 2008, the stock market again collapsed in the greatest point crash in world history, and did so on the very same day, Elul 29, the day appointed in the Bible.”

There have already been several significant events having taken place in this present Shemitah.

As the Shemitah began, in its first week, the news came out that America had been overtaken as the world’s supreme nuclear power. That mantle now belongs to Russia.

“For years, I’ve warned that if America doesn’t return to God, the American age, as we have known it, will come to an end,” Cahn said.

Many historians believe the “American age” began around the year 1871, when the U.S. eclipsed the British Empire as the strongest economic power on earth.

In the second week of the Shemitah, more than 140 years from the 1871 benchmark, America’s crown was removed as the strongest economic power on earth as measured by gross domestic product. It passed to China last September as the Shemitah year opened.

“The American age has come to an end,” Cahn said. “The ramifications of this change in the days ahead will be enormous.”

Moral ‘fall’ and the race toward judgment

One of the meanings of the Hebrew word “shemitah” is “the fall.”

“A fall can come about in many ways,” Cahn said. “In 1973, in the year of the Shemitah, the Supreme Court ruled to make it legal to kill unborn children. That was a fall of a moral and spiritual nature. It was accompanied by the collapse of the financial realm and then the economic realm.”

The current Shemitah appears poised to usher in an equally significant moral fall. As it began in the autumn, the Supreme Court made the decision not to defend the striking down of gay marriage bans across the country. In the subsequent days, the number of states that had struck down the biblical definition of marriage went from a distinct minority, in the teens, to a distinct majority, now at 37.

In June of this year, the Supreme Court will issue its ruling concerning marriage.

“It will likely end the historic, traditional, universal, and biblical definition of marriage – the sign of a nation in the midst of a rapid spiritual apostasy and moral fall – the sign of a nation racing toward judgment,” Cahn said. “All this has and will all take place within the parameters of the Shemitah – ‘the fall.’”

Abandoning Israel heaps more judgment

One of the saving graces concerning America’s fall from God is that it has still blessed Israel, Cahn said. But the recent deterioration of relations between the U.S. and Israel is another ominous sign, he said.

“Abraham made covenant promises that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed. But now, even in this realm, the signs point to judgment,” Cahn said. “At the same time America is deepening its apostasy from God, we are witnessing the worst deterioration in relations between America and Israel in the history of both countries. The (Obama) administration has promised to reassess its relationship with Israel and has given an implicit threat that it may abandon the Jewish nation in future days. If we abandon Israel or place Israel in danger, should we then be surprised if in future days we find ourselves abandoned and in danger?”

Cahn believes America has been blessed as much as it has blessed Israel and the Jewish people. But if it ever turns away from that, there is no guarantee of blessings. “And to turn away from God and Israel at the same time, is a dangerous combination,” he said.

Cahn said he sees the American financial system as a house of cards – and one that could collapse at any time.

“There’s no single pattern the Shemitah must follow. In the Shemitah of 2008, it was building up, in a series of collapses, to the collapse of the financial realm in September. In the Shemitah of 2001, the collapse came suddenly, almost out of nowhere, with the event of 9/11, which caused the financial realm to implode.”

In the present Shemitah, the final day of Elul 29 will fall on a Sunday, when the stock market is closed. The last day the stock market will be open will be the 14th anniversary of 9/11.

“Another sign we are racing toward judgment is that the harbingers of which I wrote about in ‘The Harbinger’ have not stopped but have continue to manifest – at the same time the nation descends from God,” he said.

“When I speak of a great shaking coming, some people get scared,” Cahn added. “But we are not to fear. If we belong to God, if He’s first in our life, if we follow Him – there is nothing to fear. On the contrary, I believe that without a shaking, without something to intervene in America’s moral and spiritual implosion, there would be no hope. Through shaking can come revival, among those who will return.”

A nation can be shaken through financial and economic collapse, through natural disasters, through man-made disasters, through the breakdown of a nation’s order and infrastructure, or, as in the case of 9/11, through a terrorist attack.

“When people ask, ‘How can I be safe in days of judgment?’ Or, ‘What should I do to prepare?’ I believe it is wise to have essentials on hand, so that if systems break down, one would be ready,” he said. “Beyond that, the safest place to be is not the Midwest or the South. The safest place is the will of God. And for those who are not saved, the word for safety in Hebrew is Yeshua – the Hebrew word for Jesus. The only safe place to be, is inside Jesus – and to get everything in your life inside of His will.”

America Going Secular? Survey Says – Yes

Christianity is still the dominant religion in America, with seven in 10 claiming affiliation with the belief, but those touting no particular religion – the “nones” – are rapidly taking over the country.

The number of “nones” has grown to 56 million, a Pew Research Center study released Tuesday found.

Pew conducted two surveys between 2007 and 2014 on religion in America and discovered the number of Americans who claim atheism, agnosticism, or no particular faith grew from 16 percent to 23 percent. During that time frame, the number of Americans laying claim to Christianity fell from 78 percent to 71 percent.

Protestants are now only 47 percent of the country, a massive decrease in recent years, Pew found. By the numbers, Protestants decreased by five million, to 36 million, between 2007 and 2014.

“The findings point to substantive changes” said Greg Smith, Pew’s associated research director, in the Associated Press.

Among one noted change: Those with no religious affiliation or belief trend Democratic. Conversely, white evangelicals typically vote Republican, Pew said.

The survey of 35,000 people is called “America’s Changing Religious Landscape” and has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.6 percent.

It notes: “The drop in the Christian share of the population has been driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics. Each of those large religious traditions has shrunk by approximately three percentage points since 2007. … And the share of Americans who identify with non-Christian faiths also has inched up, rising 1.2 percentage points, from 4.7 percent in 2007 to 5.9 percent in 2014. Growth has been especially great among Muslims and Hindus, albeit from a very low base.”

North Korean Submarines 'Could Fire Nuclear Missiles At America Within TWO YEARS'

Dictator Kim Jong-un was pictured watching the offshore test launch at the weekend, which came just days after the volatile and secretive nation threatened to attack sworn enemy America with nuclear weapons.

South Korean officials claimed the communist country could perfect the devastating ballistic missile technology - with capability of reaching US mainland from an undetectable distance - within two to three years.

Kim Min-seok, South Korea's defence ministry spokesman, said: “We urge North Korea to immediately stop developing submarine-launched ballistic missiles which hinder the stability of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.”

He said its isolated neighbour still needs time to develop additional equipment for the missile launcher to be fully operational.

Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defence and Security Forum and a policy adviser to the South Korean navy, added: "They need to build a new, bigger submarine."

However, an anonymous defence official in South Korea said the timeframe could be as little as two years and up to a maximum of five.

Both the United States and Japan reserve rights to conduct pre-emptive strikes on North Korean missile sites if a nuclear attack is viewed as imminent. 

Launching missiles from submarines could enable Pyongyang to hide them.

It was first reported by the communist nation's official news agency on Saturday that the country had successfully launched a rocket from a submarine.

Images showed a delighted Kim watching from nearby. 

The test meant North Korea had broken a United Nations sanction which banned it from using ballistic missile technology.

They added the particular weapon used would have a maximum reach of around 1,500 miles which would require a submarine to be at sea for around 60 to 90 days for it to be at a close enough distance to pose a threat to America.

FBI Director Says Islamic State Influence Growing In U.S.

In a dramatic assessment of the domestic threat posed by the Islamic State, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday there are "hundreds, maybe thousands" of people across the country who are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the U.S.

Comey said the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, is leveraging social media in unprecedented ways through Twitter and other platforms, directing messages to the smartphones of "disturbed people'' who could be pushed to launch assaults on U.S. targets.

"It's like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying 'kill, kill, kill,''' Comey said in a meeting with reporters.

The FBI director's comments come in the midst of a federal investigation into a foiled attack in Garland, Texas, involving two ISIL sympathizers, one of whom, Elton Simpson, was long known to federal authorities.

Comey said Thursday that hours before the attempted Garland attack, FBI agents sent a bulletin to local authorities indicating that Simpson may have been interested in traveling there from Phoenix to attend the conference featuring controversial cartoon depictions of the prophet Mohammed. At the time, Comey said, agents did not have specific information that Simpson had targeted the meeting.

The 30-year-old Simpson and associate Nadir Soofi, 34, were fatally shot by a police officer Sunday night after the pair launched a bungled attack on the conference.

Simpson had been known to authorities since 2006 when he surfaced in a separate terror investigation. He was subsequently convicted in 2011 and sentenced to three years probation. A new investigation into Simpson's activities was opened in March after he posted suspicious statements on social media, Comey said Thursday.

The FBI director declined to elaborate on why agents alerted Garland authorities to Simpson's possible interest in the local event, though he said there was "no reason to believe he would attack or that he had left'' his home in Phoenix.

Comey also said there was no information to suggest that police in Garland connected the information provided in the bulletin to Simpson at the time Simpson and Soofi were shot.

The director said the Texas case is emblematic of a larger concern facing counter-terrorism authorities related to ISIL's aggressive pursuit of U.S.-based and other converts.

Authorities have said that ISIL's recruiting strategy — its personal outreach efforts through Twitter and slick application of other social media — represents an unmatched level of sophistication demonstrated by terrorist organizations in the aftermath of 9/11.

Unlike al-Qaeda, for example, ISIL does not attempt to exert authority to vet attack plans proposed by its followers.

Bruce Hoffman, a longtime terrorism analyst and director of Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies, said in a recent interview that ISIL's multifaceted outreach and leveraging of social media is threatening to "outpace the government's capabilities across the intelligence community.''

"It's like the Dutch boy sticking his fingers in the dike,'' Hoffman said.

Indeed, Comey said that ISIL recruiters operating from safe havens in Syria are making initial contacts with recruits, mostly on Twitter, and are then "steering'' them into encrypted venues where their subsequent communications are "lost to us.''

"The haystack is the entire country,'' Comey said. "We are looking for the needles, but increasingly the needles are unavailable to us. ... This is the 'going dark' problem in living color. There are Elton Simpsons out there that I have not found and I cannot see.''

Comey said agents are working hundreds of investigations around the country involving suspected homegrown violent extremists.The director said the inquiries are open in all 56 of the FBI's field divisions.

"ISIL is a very popular fad among a lot of disturbed people,'' he said.

A New World Order? Putin And Xi Put Friendship On Display

At first sight, things look very different now. When President Xi Jinping of China took pride of place next to Vladimir Putin of Russia on Saturday, they looked like any other modern world leaders: pragmatic men-in-suits, full of smiles, temporary possessors of power rather than dictators-for-life.

Back in 1949, when Chairman Mao Tse-tung paid his first visit to Moscow to celebrate Comrade Joseph Stalin's 70th Birthday, it was a paean of old-school Communism.

Children in Young Pioneer uniforms paraded through the Bolshoi Opera House telling of their ambition to become tractor drivers. Mao wore a "Mao suit" and Stalin military uniform. Both men looked grumpy.

But the two events, six decades apart, have a clear parallel. Once again, the Russia-China axis is the main threat to the West's vision of peaceful and prosperous international relations.

The line-up of leaders alongside the two men was a walking representation of a new anti-American alliance that has formed bit by bit since the invasion of Iraq demonstrated the frightening ease with which Washington could destroy hostile leaders far away.

Alongside Mr Xi were Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Raúl Castro of Cuba, Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela: standouts against what Mr Putin called a unipolar world, his code phrase for the spread of western-style democracy.

In itself, there isn't much new to this. China has been railing against a "unipolar world" for a decade. Mr Putin and his allies all have their reasons for disliking the 

West's tendency to set a high store on open elections, a free press and "cooperative" foreign policies.

What is stark is that Russia and China are now openly stating their intention to stand together to lead such an alliance.

The history is a patchy one. In 1949, Mao felt snubbed by Stalin, who regarded him as just another leader of a Soviet-backed Communist satellite rather than an equal.

Mao's subsequent falling-out with Stalin's successors led to the US-China rapprochement following President Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972. The new détente helped defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

Twenty years ago, when both Presidents Bill Clinton and Jiang Zemin of China stood alongside Boris Yeltsin at the 1995 Moscow Victory Day parade, the power relations were self-evident.

A self-confident America knew that Russia was no longer a threat, while China was dependent for its economic growth on American spending power and investment.
Yesterday in Moscow there was no America – something Washington may come to regret – and there was no doubt whose smile was most confident.

Mr Xi finds himself in a diplomatic sweet spot. It is Mr Putin who gets the flak for standing up to Nato in Ukraine, for supporting the Assad regime in Syria, for threatening to sell air defence systems to Iran.

But it is China who is the ultimate winner, as America's attention is diverted from Beijing's expansion across the South China Sea.

China is openly developing a naval strategy aimed at challenging American dominance of the western Pacific, including in the waters around Japan and Taiwan.
Unlike Chairman Mao, Mr Xi is happy to be seen to play second fiddle on the podium in Moscow. With China now the rising power, he has no doubt as to where the balance of power will lie between China and Russia in years to come. Shows of Russian strength like yesterday's serve his interests, as much as Mr Putin's. 

2. Israel - God's Timepiece

Temple Mount Faithful To Commemorate Jerusalem Day With March For Rebuilding Third Temple

On Sunday, May 17, 2015, 28 Iyar, 5775, the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will conduct an historical event that will on one hand commemorate the greatest moment in the history of Israel and the entire world. It was the great victory that G-D gave to His people Israel in June 1967 when G-D, together with His brave Israeli soldiers, liberated the Holy Temple Mount and Biblical Jerusalem. 

The intention of the G-D of Israel was to complete the end-time redemption of His people Israel that began in the year 1948 and that would open a new end-time age in the history of Israel and the entire world exactly as the prophets of Israel prophesied. 

On the other hand, the Faithful Movement will call on Israel to immediately fulfill the expectation of G-D for His people Israel when He liberated and returned the Holy Temple Mount and Biblical Jerusalem to His people Israel: to immediately build the Holy Third Temple with no delay in order to fulfill the prophetic dream of G-D and His people Israel.

The march of the Faithful Movement will start from Jaffa Gate of Biblical Jerusalem. We shall march carrying the flags of Israel with the star of David through the historical streets of Biblical Jerusalem to the Holy Temple Mount. 

In front of the Holy Temple Mount we shall demonstrate. Gershon Salomon, the chairman of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will call the people of Israel and the government to not waste any more time. Forty-eight years since the greatest moment in history are quite enough. Let us immediately start the building of the Holy Third Temple that will change the face and image of mankind just as G-D planned since He created man. 

We shall walk up to the Holy Temple Mount with a prayer for the fulfillment of this call to Israel with no delay. This will be another major step of the Faithful Movement towards her campaign and holy work for the rebuilding of the Holy Third Temple in our lifetime and the fulfillment of the biblical call of G-D to His people Israel to be: '...a kingdom of priests, a holy nation and a light to the nations'. 

Israelis and visitors who are staying in Israel on this day are all invited to participate in our march. The march will start on Sunday, May 17th, 2015 at the front of Jaffa Gate in Biblical Jerusalem at 11:00 am. This will also be a day of thanksgiving to the G-D of Israel for the godly miracles of the Six Day War in 1967.

3. A Revived Roman Empire?

Our Goal Is An EU Army Says Germany's Defense Chief

An EU army is Germany’s ‘long term goal’ according to one of its ministers. Ursula von der Leyen called for defence cooperation to be strengthened so that the continent can respond quickly to international crises. But her comments will raise fears the German government will back the call by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for an EU-wide fighting force.

In March, Mr Juncker said the EU needed its own army to address the claim that it is not ‘taken entirely seriously’ on the international stage.

He said such a move would help send a message to Russia that the EU was serious about defending its values. Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband have insisted they will not sign Britain up to an EU army. Miss von der Leyen made her remarks following a meeting with her Dutch counterpart in The Hague last week.

She spelled out her wishes for a continental force capable of reacting swiftly to a situation anywhere in the world.She said: ‘The European Army is our long-term goal’ she said ‘but first we have to strengthen the European Defense Union.

‘The United States also wants us Europeans as a powerful force within NATO.’

‘To achieve this, some nations with concrete military cooperation must come to the fore - and the Germans and the Dutch are doing this.’

‘The Ebola crisis alone, or the attack of ISIS on the Yazidi has shown that Europe must be more flexible and have faster access anywhere in the world in the event of a crisis.

‘Well-rehearsed structures within a European Defence Union could help to shorten coordination processes and speed up the help that is needed.’

She added: ‘All over Europe we will need to invest more if our alliances can reliably take responsibility. ’She insisted such a project remained a long-term goal and would ‘probably only be something that my children would experience.’

In March Mr Juncker expressed his desire to build a Euro-Army to be commanded by Brussels. He said: ‘Such an army would help us to build a common foreign and security policy, as well as jointly assume the responsibilities of Europe in the world.’

He has insisted any Euro Army would not be in competition with NATO. ‘Rather a European army would bring an intensive cooperation in the development and the purchase of military equipment and bring substantial savings,’ said the former Luxembourg prime minister.

‘You would not create a European army to use it immediately,’ Juncker told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. ‘But a common army among the Europeans would convey to Russia that we are serious about defending the values of the European Union.’

David Cameron has repeatedly insisted that Britain would ‘never support’ any form of EU army.

In response to Mr Juncker’s comments, a government spokesman said: ‘Our position is crystal clear that defence is a national, not an EU, responsibility and that there is no prospect of that position changing and no prospect of a European army.’

During a TV election debate between party leaders last month, Ed Miliband denied accusations from Nigel Farage that a Labour government would ‘sign up to an EU army’.

5. Apostate Christianity

'Prophetesses' Who Claim They Can Predict the Future and Heal the Sick Are the Focus of New Lifetime Reality Show Titled 'Preach'

'Lifetime network has announced the premiere date for a new reality show, or "docuseries" featuring four Christian women who believe God has given them powers "to heal the sick, see the future and rid people of their addictions."

"Known as 'Prophetesses,' these women speak as interpreters through whom the will of God is expressed. In order for their legacy to continue, they must enlist protégés and teach them how to carry on their gift. These 'Queens of the Church' each have different styles and their own special way of delivering God's message, but all are united in their love of the Lord," Lifetime states in a press release.

The four Ohio women at the center of the new six-episode series are: Belinda Scott, described as a "Major Prophetess" and who co-pastors the New Spirit Revival Center Ministries; Taketa Williams, dubbed the "Beyonce of the Preaching World," leads along with her husband, Apostle Roderick A. Williams, Impact Christian Center; Linda Roark, referred to as the "Blue-Eyed Soul Sister," is said to have a "passion is to see people saved, healed, and delivered;" and Kelly Crews, who was described by the network as just developing her own ministry.

As the video indicates, the four women are Charismatic Christians who believe the Holy Spirit is still working today like He did in the early days of the church, when Jesus' followers performed miraculous healings and spoke in tongues. Some prominent modern-day Charismatics include evangelist Benny Hinn and preacher Kenneth Copeland.

Not all Christians believe that the Holy Spirit empowers Christians today in the same way He did first century Christians, who the Bible describes as having spiritual gifts to prophesy, raise people from the dead, and speak in tongues (glossolalia).

Reactions to the 30-second teaser for "Preach" shared beneath Lifetime's post of the video on Facebook were diverse.

"Wow. What a way to make fun of the Gospel, but we ARE in the end times and the Word DOES say in the end false prophets will rise (I take that to mean any and every one that makes light of God's word)," wrote Lorena Baracchi, who had nearly 2,000 other viewers give a "thumbs up" to her comment.

Leslie Sierra wrote, "OK, this is a bit much. This makes religion look like it's all a show. Non-religious people don't understand speaking in tongues or having the Holy Ghost. It's a special gift and this makes lightly of it. Stop looking for reality shows to air and go to church if you want to spread the Gospel." Nearly 1,500 people indicated that they agreed with her comment.

Some lesser-agreed-with responses came from two men, one calling himself a prophet.

"I take my assignment as a prophet very seriously; I'm not looking to broadcast nothing GOD is doing through me! They really need to stop playing! Lifetime you've gone to far this time!" Reginald Walton wrote.

Another man, Brent Foster, suggested that viewers who responded negatively to the "Preach" teaser video were betraying their embarrassment over long-practiced Christian traditions.

"So, the church has been doing this for years, but now that TV cameras are in the picture, and it's being shown to the masses, all of a sudden, people are having a problem with it?" Foster wrote. "Are church folks now embarrassed by their traditions?"

"Preach" premieres at 10 p.m. ET Friday, June 5 on Lifetime, which also airs other religion-based series such as "Preachers' Daughters" and "The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns."

6. The Rise of Islam

Concerns Of Muslim Immigration Surge Into Western World Come Into Focus

The Washington Post reported that immigration from Africa is a contributing factor to the increased Muslim immigrant population: “The number of African-born residents in the United States has doubled every decade since the 1970s, with the greater Washington region remaining among the most popular areas for them to live, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday.”

The large number of Muslim immigrants has already impacted public schools and communities throughout America. Due to the large number of immigrants from the Middle East, the Department of Justice required a school in Michigan accommodate the growing Arab immigrant student population by hiring more Arab teachers.

Minnesota, like Michigan, has also had to accommodate the growing Muslim population within its community.

Somali refugees in Minnesota demanded the local government provide a special food zone free of pork to comply with their faith. In fact, Somali use of the state’s public food assistance program has doubled over the past five years.

Additionally, the Minneapolis School District has had to hire instructors to teach in both English and Somali since the Somali student enrollment increased 70 percent since 2011.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a moderate Muslim reformer, came to America from Somalia. She recently warned in an op-ed in Time Magazine that she worries about the attitudes of the majority of Muslim immigrants coming to the United States, typically from the three countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iraq.

Ali writes that many “people in these countries hold views that most Americans would regard as extreme.”

For example, she notes that a number of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Iraqis believe conversion away from Islam should be punished by death.

“More than 80 percent of Pakistanis and two thirds of Bangladeshis and Iraqis regard sharia law as the revealed word of God. Only tiny fractions would be comfortable if their daughters married Christians,” she warns. “Only a minority regards honor killings of women as never justified.”

She also notes that roughly 25 percent of Bangladeshis believe suicide bombings defending Islam are justified.

“People with views such as these pose a threat to us all, not because those who hold them will all turn to terrorism. Most will not. But such attitudes imply a readiness to turn a blind eye to the use of violence and intimidation tactics against, say, apostates and dissidents – and a clear aversion to the hard-won achievements of Western feminists and campaigners for minority rights,” wrote Hirsi Ali.

In addition to the immigration from the African Continent, the nation’s student visas program also contributes to the growing number of Islamic immigrants. “Nearly 81,000 subjects of the Saudi kingdom are studying in the U.S. this school year, up from about 5,000 in 2000-01,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Several national security leaders in recent interviews with Breitbart News have said that they believe the reason why there’s such a problem with the high levels of Muslim immigration to the United States is because people aren’t assimilating to American culture like previous waves of immigration throughout this country’s history did.

“What we need to do is make sure everyone coming into the United States understands who we are and that we are founded on Judeo-Christian values, that there is one rule of law and that’s what’s on the books and it’s not Sharia and we need to make sure we don’t engage in the same kind of mistakes in Europe where they did not engage in assimilation,” former House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), now retired from Congress, said in an interview with Breitbart News last September.

“They [the southern border and insecure visa system] are all potential avenues for terrorists to get into the U.S.,” Hoekstra added.

I think you missed two of the biggest ones out there which are very very difficult to control and one is social media-what’s happening on social media, where they can cross the border and we’ll never know it. The other one is influence or people with ties to Europe or America who have been actively involved in the fight in Syria or Iraq and then coming back.

Will we be able to identify who they are when they’ve been radicalized and what will be the consequences when they come back? My belief should be that if we don’t have the legal capability we ought to develop the legal capability that if people who have fought with radical Jihadist groups overseas are coming back into the United States their citizenship should be revoked and they shouldn’t have access and the capability to come back.

Dinesh D’Souza, the conservative filmmaker, said in a previous interview with Breitbart News that America isn’t serving as the melting pot it once was for immigrants—and that’s what leads to this high level of concern with regards to assimilation.

“I do think what makes immigration different today is that immigrants came in the past who embodied the spirit of 1776-a spirit to build this country,” D’Souza said last September.

Now we’re getting some immigrants who far from wanting to pull the bandwagon, just want to sit in the bandwagon-and that’s a big change-not to mention people who actually want to do harm to the country. Look if our government can monitor our every phone call and our every email and our every motion, you can be very sure they have the technology to spot every single person coming across the border. The problem is they don’t want to.

The issue—as a national security matter, an immigration matter, and a big picture question about the sovereignty of the United States and the nation’s identity—is quickly spilling over into the 2016 presidential primaries, especially on the Republican side.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)81%, a GOP presidential candidate, introduced legislation that would likely increase Muslim immigration to the United States. His legislation creates an uncapped green card program for the foreign students and triples the H-1B visa program for foreign workers.

Meanwhile, one of his likely biggest competitors for the GOP nomination, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, has been outspoken about the threat of the growing Muslim immigration.

“They want to use our freedoms to undermine that freedom in the first place,” Jindal said in a past interview with the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch where he discussed Muslim immigrants.

“This is a place where you have freedom of self-determination, freedom of religious liberty, freedom of speech. This is an amazing place and we’re a majority Christian country,” Jindal said.

Jindal added that he is sure to be called a “racist” for his comments by the “politically correct crowd.”

Few candidates or potential candidates have zeroed in on the issue yet, but with terrorism and national security concerns on the rise—heading into an election season where immigration is a top-tier issue according to every honest pollster—this is likely to burst onto the scene as a major 2016 front burner issue.

If Syria Falls The Middle East Will Get Even More Complicated

As the Middle East picture becomes more complex, Israel will probably not be allowed to focus on housing and grocery prices.

The already extremely complex Middle East may be on the verge of becoming even more so. At this point, the Sh'ia northern arc of Iran, Iraq, Assad and Hezbollah is in confrontation with the southern Sunni arc of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States (with the partial exception of Qatar). Adding to the confusion are the attempt on the part of Iran to outflank the Sunni arc in Yemen, and the rampaging Sunni Islamic State athwart the Sh'ia arc.

It would appear that the northern arc may be about to suffer a further rupture. Reports indicate that Assad's forces are on their last legs and may soon disintegrate. Such a development would have the following implications:

(1) Syria would break up into ethnic/religious enclaves and disappear as a state entity. The Sunni majority would host a variety of warring factions, including Islamic State, Al-Qaida-related Nusra Front and other factions, some allied with the West and/or the Sunni arc states. The Alawite minority would try to protect itself with Iranian help. The Kurds would join Iraqi Kurdistan.

(2) Hezbollah would move into the Alawite enclave to help protect it. Some of its forces would return to Lebanon. The Lebanese political and refugee crisis would escalate to the point that Lebanon also may disappear as a state and divide into ethnic/religious enclaves, including Sunni, Sh'ia, Christian and Druze. The Sunni, Christians and Druze would be caught between the Alawites to the north and Hezbollah in the south. The remnants of the Lebanese army, heavily armed by Saudi Arabia and the US, may act as the militia of the non-Sh'ia enclave.

(3) Hezbollah may be ordered by its Iranian masters to create a diversion by attacking Israel with rockets from Lebanon and the Golan Heights. Israeli response would be massive and all this would lead to an even more serious refugee crisis, overwhelming international humanitarian efforts.

Direct involvement by Iranian forces would put them in frontal conflict with Islamic State. Allied bombing of Islamic State would presumably continue, benefitting Iran and its allied forces.

With an allied Egypt and Jordan and a newly-friendly Saudi Arabia on its southern and eastern borders, Israel would be able to concentrate military strength in the north.

Before the six powers and Iran reconvene on June 30th, the map of the Middle East puzzle may have been extensively redrawn. That in turn is likely to cause further aggressive behavior on the part of an embattled Iran. Even though such behavior may not influence an Obama Administration totally dedicated to making any kind of deal with the Iranian regime, it may well give some of the other countries involved, such as the French, second thoughts or even induce a refusal to sign any such agreement.

At that point, all bets are off, Iran will devote itself to regional mischief and achieving nuclear capability. The next Israeli government may wish to concentrate on housing and grocery prices, but it will not be permitted to do so.

7. Increase in Knowledge/New Technologies

Iris Scanners, Widely Used By US Military, Could Be Coming To A Police Department Near You

Iris scans could become part of a routine traffic stop, thanks to technology being developed by researchers at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University that can grab an image from a distance of 40 feet. The technology would allow police to take an image the second a driver glances into the rear-view mirror.

“It’s no different than a camera taking a picture of you,” said Marios Savvides, a research professor at CMU’s computer engineering department and the director of the CyLab Biometrics Center. “You could be anywhere within a 6- to 12-meter radius and it will find you and zoom in and capture your iris.”

The technology would be a major development for iris biometric scanners, which have been hampered for years by accuracy at long distances. But adoption also would create legal questions by relying on technology that's similar to the local license plate databases that have been in use in Virginia, California and other municipalities. 

“It could be used surreptitiously,” said Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is monitoring the development of the technology. "That could lead to the ability of law enforcement officers to collect a person’s biometric information without their knowledge."

The U.S. military has been using iris scan technology for more than a decade in the Middle East, in part to help determine who is authorized to enter military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. U.S. soldiers in combat zones often take a snapshot of an individual 6 inches from their face, at which point the data is uploaded to a wide-ranging database that includes everything from scar information and mug shot images to height and eye color data.

The Department of Homeland Security has a similar database on foreign nationals and Americans working abroad, though the existence of a domestic database hasn't been reported outside of the FBI's Next Generation Identification system. The government has given CMU millions for its iris scanner research, and Savvides is in talks with Seraphim Global, a Virginia-based nonprofit dedicated to fighting human trafficking, about identifying suspected missing and exploited children from a distance.

But in order to effectively identify someone, the scanner would need to compare its just-captured iris to a database of stored information. That’s where the privacy concerns come in.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed multiple lawsuits against U.S. law enforcement with the goal of finding out about existing facial scanning technology. The problem, according Lynch, is that unlike fingerprints, police could collect information about someone’s physical body without legal authorization. If this kind of technology was deployed in an area like Manhattan, where tens of thousands of surveillance cameras are filming, it could enable real-time spying on people not suspected of any wrongdoing. "As a democratic society, I think we should all be concerned about this," she said.

And it's unclear whether police departments want or need the technology. Thanks to a license plate scan, police officers already know who’s in the car before they approach, said Rich Roberts, a spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations. If that doesn’t work, the police officer can call in the license plate number to dispatch.

“There’s an awful lot of high-tech stuff out that’s available to law enforcement. However, a lot of it is not well proven and there are a lot of policy issues here,” Roberts said. 

China Preparing For Drone Warfare

China asserts its policy on nuclear war is not to be the first to use nuclear arms in a conflict, but the report said there is “ambiguity” about whether or not China would be the first to fire nuclear missiles.

The military, unlike most other nations’ armed forces, remains an arm of the ruling Communist Party and its top priority is not to defend the nation but preserve the power of the party, the report said.

Four ballistic missile submarines, known as the Jin-class, have been deployed and another is under construction. The submarines will carry JL-2 missiles and their first patrols are expected this year.

The People’s Liberation Army is also developing military “information operations” for a future conflict that will involve cyber attacks to create an “information blockade using both military and non-military attacks against space satellites.”

“China’s investments in advanced EW systems, counterspace weapons, and cyberspace operations—combined with more traditional forms of control historically associated with the PLA and CPC systems, such as propaganda and denial through opacity—reflect the emphasis and priority China’s leaders place on building capability for information advantage,” the report said.

Offensive cyber attacks will be used to support other high-tech weapons and will strike “critical nodes to disrupt adversary networks throughout the region.”

On cyber warfare, the Pentagon said China’s cyber warriors will be used for intelligence and offensive cyber attacks, slowing an enemy’s military actions, and that they will be used in combination with conventional or nuclear weapons.

China’s military has identified information warfare as “integral to achieving information superiority and an effective means for countering a stronger foe,” the report said.

China’s government last year was directly linked to cyber attacks on Pentagon networks, including the U.S. Transportation Command.

The cyber penetrations “are similar to those necessary to conduct offensive cyber operations,” the report said.

China’s space warfare capabilities continue to expand. Beijing, in July 2014, conducted an anti-satellite missile test that was similar to the one in 2007 that destroyed a weather satellite and left thousands of pieces of dangerous floating debris. The July test, however, did not create debris.

The U.S. government protested the test “due to the evidence suggesting that this was a follow-up to the 2007 destructive test,” the report said.

The report also confirmed that the May 13, 2013 anti-satellite missile test reached 18,641 miles into space—enough to hit all U.S. spy and communications satellites.

“The launch profile was not consistent with traditional space-launch vehicles, ballistic missiles or sounding rocket launches used for scientific research,” the report said. “It could, however, have been a test of technologies with a counterspace mission in geosynchronous orbit.”

The test of what the Pentagon calls a DN-2 ASAT (anti-satellite) missile was first reported by the Free Beacon.

The report sought to highlight increased military exchanges between the United States and China but noted that “there are still incidents that highlight the need for continued dialogue in order to reduce risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding.”

Notable was an August 2014 incident involving a PLA Navy fighter jet that flew within 30 feet of a Navy P-8 maritime patrol aircraft on a routine mission in international airspace over the South China Sea.

“The United States protested the dangerous intercept,” the report said, adding, there have been no similar intercepts reported since.

On submarines, the report said China has placed a high priority on building up its submarine forces. China’s submarine fleet currently includes four nuclear missile submarines and 53 diesel attack submarines.

Other elements of China’s submarine fleet include 13 Song-class and 13 Yuan-class vessels. The Yuan has quiet running air independent propulsion, and 20 more are scheduled for production.

For its Jin-class missile submarines, up to five are additional vessels are being built, and an entire new class of missile submarine also being developed.

Aircraft include two new stealth fighters, the J-20 and J-31.

“The prototype, referred to as the J-31, is similar in size to a U.S. F-35 fighter and appears to incorporate design characteristics similar to the J-20,” the report said.

Regarding regional maritime disputes, the report said China is using its military and coast guard for “low-intensity coercion” in the South China Sea against Vietnam and Philippines and against Japan in in the East China Sea over the disputed Senkaku Islands.

The report also revealed that China’s reliance on imported energy resources is increasing, raising concerns China will continued to expand its power to control waterways and areas of the world that provide oil and gas resources.

China last year imported about 60 percent of its oil supply and the figure is expected to grow to 80 percent by 2035.

Chinese nationalism is also on the rise. The report said Communist leaders are exploiting nationalist sentiment among the Chinese “to bolster the legitimacy of the Party, deflect domestic criticism, and justify their own inflexibility in dialogues with foreign interlocutors.”

Tracking Kids Via Microchip 'Can't Be Far Off,' Says Expert

It's a thought that is just a little too Orwellian for most people -- putting a microchip inside your body. But there are people who are doing just that already.

For most of those who have, it's a matter of convenience. Now, they can log onto their computer, lock or unlock their front door, or even start their car with a wave of a microchip implanted in their hand.

Now let's take the technology one step further.

What if you could implant a chip in your child which could help bring him or her home in the event they were lost or worse -- kidnapped?

Experts are working on that possibility right now. There are already working on products you can buy, like watches or bracelets or tracking bug,s to drop into a backpack which can be tracked by GPS. But tracking a microchip, placed inside a human body is another matter.

"I just might be one of those mothers who would do it", says Trish Dickerson. Her 3 and a half-year-old son, Elliott, never stops.

"He has no fear, of anybody or anything. He has no stranger danger," Dickerson said.

Are human microchips in our future?

Dickerson said she though one day, "I microchip my dog, why couldn't I microchip my son?"

Stewart Lipoff said that's the "ick factor" most people cannot get over.

Lipoff is an electronics engineer who is an expert in Radio Frequency ID, or RFID, technology. RFID is what operates the chips in our pets, as well as the chips in our smart keys, credit cards, fobs for electronic locks, and dozens of other electronic devices.

Lipoff said right now the technology to track a microchip with GPS isn't available, but it can't be far off. He said you could track a human, with an implanted chip. All it would take is strategically placing scanners or portals at key locations like doorways, counters or even on street corners.

The readers or portals would decode the information emitting from a microchip by the RFID signal, if the individual passed close enough to a reader.

Right now, the technology is in it's infancy, which means parents like Dickerson will continue to have their hands full. "For now, I just have to keep my eye on him" says Dickerson, but i have to be honest I have thought about it."

Denmark Is Set To Become The First Country In The World To Make Cash Payments Obsolete

Denmark is on track to become the world’s first cashless nation, with its government pushing to free some stores, restaurants and petrol stations from accepting cash payments.

The proposal to scrap cash transactions is part of a package of cost-saving measures being introduced ahead of the Danish election in September, the Independent reports.

It is understood the government is hoping to get rid of the option to pay by cash by as early as 2016.

Nearly a third of all Danish citizen prefer to use Danske Bank’s official app, MobilePay, to pay for services and transactions, and it is expected that the proposal will be met with little opposition.

Financial institution lobbyist Finansraadet said that going cashless would save retailers money on security, in addition to time when counting money at closing of business day.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) also supported the move, saying it was time shops were given the option of going cash-free.

“Society has changed so much that there is no longer a need for requirements on cash payments,” spokesman Henrik Hytolft told broadcaster DR.

“Plus, cash has become tremendously expensive to handle due to security reasons.”

However, there are fears that with electronic transactions, the risk of fraud will also rise. Opponents ahve cited the case of Sweden — a country with the highest number of bank transactions per person in the European Union — where fraud has doubled in the past 10 years.

Last year, Juniper Research forecast that smartphone payments would hit 9.9 billion by 2018, with one in five phones acting as digital wallets.

The technology is already available in Australia, though banks, businesses and PayPal are paving the way individually, making it more difficult to understand.

MasterCard Australasia market development and innovation head Matt Barr said Australia led the world in tap-and-pay credit card transactions, paving the way for smartphone payment technology.

“With contactless technology, every second transaction in Australia is a tapper now,” Mr Barr told News Corp Australia.

Other digital pay options such as Google Wallet, Apple’s Passbook and England’s Paym are starting to become more commonplace, with experts predicting that Nordic nations could become cashless by 2030.

8. Christian Worldview/Issues

Christians Who Have Avoided The Culture Wars May No Longer Have A Choice With Religious Freedom In Jeopardy, Legal Scholar Says

Christians who have so far avoided controversial "culture war" issues will likely be pulled into those battles as their religious freedom becomes threatened due to gay marriage, Dr. John Inazu warned Monday.

Theologically conservative Christian non-profit organizations, including churches, could face losing their tax exempt status or being shut down, and Christian doctors, lawyers, counselors and other professionals could be forced out of their professions, he explained.

Inazu, associate professor of law and political science at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, was delivering a presentation, "Religious Liberty and the American Culture Wars," at the Ethics and Public Policy Center's "Faith Angle Forum."

Even though his personal beliefs often align with conservative Christianity, Inazu explained that he often thought of himself as a "civilian" in the culture wars and he thinks a lot of other Christians feel the same way. These Christians serve their communities and work through ministries that "do a lot of good for society — in education, social services, hospitals, mercy ministries, and many other areas."

To illustrate, he spoke about Focus on the Family and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Focus, he pointed out, used to be considered part of the Christian Right while it was led by James Dobson, but that is no longer the case under its new leader, Jim Daly. Recently, for instance, it partnered with the Gill Foundation, a gay rights group, to help pass an anti-human trafficking bill in Colorado.

As a member of its board, Inazu is even more familiar with the work of InterVarsity. Since its founding in 1946, Inazu explained, InterVarsity has sent tens of thousands of students all over the world to help build infrastructure and serve the poor, sick and dying. The student group has never "really been fighting the culture wars," he noted, and is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse groups around. But InterVarsity has recently found itself on the culture war front lines as some colleges and universities have forced it off campus. Last year, for instance, all the state universities in California required the group to allow non-Christians to be leaders to remain a campus group.

If the Supreme Court rules in June that the U.S. Constitution requires all 50 states to recognize same-sex marriage, Inazu believes that the resulting religious freedom issues will depend much on how the opinion is written. He pointed to an amicus brief in the case submitted by Douglas Laycock, a religious freedom expert and law professor at the University of Virginia law school.

Laycock argued in favor of same-sex marriage, but warned the Court about the religious freedom issues that would inevitably follow.

He wrote, for instance, "Must pastors, priests, and rabbis provide religious marriage counseling to same-sex couples? Must religious colleges provide married student housing to same-sex couples? Must churches and synagogues employ spouses in same-sex marriages, even though such employees would be persistently and publicly flouting the religious teachings they would be hired to promote? 

Must religious organizations provide spousal fringe benefits to the same-sex spouses of any such employees they do hire? Must religious social-service agencies place children for adoption with same-sex couples? Already, Catholic Charities in Illinois, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia has closed its adoption units because of this issue.

"Religious colleges, summer camps, day care centers, retreat houses, counseling centers, meeting halls, and adoption agencies may be sued under public accommodations laws for refusing to offer their facilities or services to same-sex couples. Or they may be penalized by loss of licensing, accreditation, government contracts, access to public facilities, or tax exemption." (For brevity, all footnotes have been removed.)

During the Court's recent oral arguments on gay marriage, Inazu recalled, President Barack Obama's solicitor general acknowledged that some of these challenges are "going to be an issue" if the Court favors gay marriage. How much of an issue it will be depends on what Inazu calls the "Bob Jones question."

In Bob Jones University vs. United States (1983), the Supreme Court ruled that the Internal Revenue Service was correct to revoke the Christian school's tax exempt status over its interracial dating prohibition. The analogy is important because gay marriage supporters often claim that opposition to gay marriage is bigotry motivated by hatred. If the Supreme Court suggests the same in its ruling, lower courts will be less likely to uphold the religious freedom of traditional marriage supporters.

"Now is a good time to be thinking about the implications of the Bob Jones question: whether we really think Gordon College in 2015 is like Bob Jones in 1983, that InterVarsity is like a neo-Nazi group, and that Tim Keller is like the Grand Wizard of the Klan. If we think there are meaningful differences, then now is a good time to think harder about the rhetoric fueling some of these debates," Inazu said.