Friday, September 22, 2006

Amway, Shady Dealings and the New World Order

(Pic is a scene of Satan Chained in Dante's Inferno)

Recently, I was listening to a Podcast of Culture Wars entitled “Agents of Influence”. When talking about the Acton Center (1)and its gay (not sure if chaste or practicing) Fr. Sirico.

Mentioned by its hosts in this program is the fact that one of the largest donors to the Constitution Center in Philadelphia is the DeVos family from Michigan, co-founders of Amway.

In an article by Jeremy Scahill, it is noted that the night after Hurricane Katrina, Blackwater USA hit the streets. It is noted that Blackwater was less an aid agency, more of a mercenary front, akin to Iraq special ops. They join other less than savory mercenary groups such as Wackenhut, DynCorp and ISI (an Israeli company). The co-founder of this company, Erik Prince, is a GOP fundraiser and a supporter of Rick Santorum and Tom DeLay. Prince’s father was a close collaborator of Gary Bauer. Prince’s sister, Betsy, is the wife of Dick DeVos. (2). It is apparent that to get around Posse Comitatus, the Bush mafia is using right-wing Christian Protestant zealots to institute a police state without scaring the population too much and directly. As one Blackwater mercenary said, "This is a trend. You're going to see a lot more guys like us in these situations."(3)

I remember in the early 1990’s, my family and I became Amway distributors. For years, we had used the products and looked to get these products for less, plus building up a profitable business.

Amway, back then at least, had 4 major all weekend functions a year. It was nearly mandatory-and unheard of-to miss these functions. It was an exhilarating mixture of rock concert and free market. The leadership of the business was up front and honest about their born-again experiences. The rallies and teaching sessions were infused with Biblical teaching sessions and a name-claim it type philosophy. It goes like this:

1. God needs you to build a strong and large business to aid him in salvation and good works.
2. A strong and large business is proof that God is happy with you and is blessing you.
3. Amway heads need to strongly take the lead in this nation and elect and run for office as Republicans. This is obvious in the White House level of Doug Weed, known as the Reluctant Diamond. He worked and was a player in the Reagan and Bush 1 administration. He was the one that taped-secretly-Bush 2, then turned around and seemed to do a Mea Culpa over it. (4)

Rich DeVos is a trustee on the board at Northwood University. His son Dick is active in GOP politics. DeVos is the Owner of the Orlando Magic. DeVos is also a past President of the Council of National Policy. Policies of this group are noted as similar to the Council of Foreign Relations. Membership is “strictly confidential” and guests must be approved by its executive committee. Though good, true Constitutionalists such as Howard Phillips were early members, the current lists reads like a who’s-who of the GOP/Dispensationalist, Pro-Israel Right. This includes Pat Robertson, Joseph Farah, Ken Starr, Richard Vigueris, Paul Weyrich, Tim LaHaye, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell and Gary Bauer.(5)

It should be noted all have gone on record for supporting the Bush Administration, in spite of its strong Pro-choice record (most of the cabinet is Pro-abortion), Pro-Sodomite (the record of Bush is clear) and completely unconstitutional track record.

Readers of my blog and those of my allies, including Culture Wars and Catholic Apologetics International, can see the dots coming together. As Dr. Robert Sungenis noted: “White, yes, but they are anything but Christian. They merely use Christ’s name to further their own political and religious fantasies”. (6)

Amway is a dominionist, name it-claim group. A good passage from Wikipedia is a good summation, from my research and personal experiences:

Commentators have often identified Amway as supporting the U.S. Republican Party, and it contributed $4,000,000 to a conservative 527 in the 2004 election cycle. [14] However, Amway Corporation claims to support no political party.

Many of Amway's best-known distributors, including Dexter Yager, have also declared themselves Republicans. Amway touts the environmental benefits of many of its products, and in June 1989 the United Nations Environmental Program's Regional Office for North America recognized it for its contributions to the cause of the environment.

Some senior distributors have been known to promote a world view encompassing Judeo-Christian values, and a general advocacy of boomer/50s values. Their training organizations, sometimes called Amway Motivational Organization's (AMO's), perception of the role of women, though, always includes successful women in awards, recognition and speaking engagements. One rarely, if ever, sees a male, married distributor speak on stage without his wife getting equal billing, and explaining her active role in the business. This is a reflection of the AMOs' strong advocacy of the 1950s style nuclear family model. Amway rules forbid promotion of any particular political or religious position within distributor organizations; however enforcement of this rule has not been strict. (Some ex-Amway members have in fact noted that some of the Amway uplines--in particular the Dexter Yager upline--are in fact used to recruit members to Pentecostal churches, and also have noted that Word-faith theology (better known as "name it and claim it") have been used explicitly in training materials for AMOs[15][16][17].)
A significant part of the Amway culture is the promotion and sale of training materials, as well as the attendance at meetings and rallies locally, regionally, and nationally. Training includes education about the topic of generalized, non-Amway specific

The purpose of this is to create interest and enthusiasm. They are intended to maintain and increase membership, and to inspire IBOs to be more successful in their businesses. To a casual observer, they have some resemblance to a religious gathering, due to the fact that meetings and rallies within some distributor organizations in the United States begin with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. (As noted above, exit counseling groups have expressed concern in regards to this.) By involving people in a regular schedule of meetings, people are encouraged to maintain their focus, and to not be distracted by critics and other nay-sayers.
Doug Wead, who was a Special Assistant to former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, is a successful IBO who is a regular speaker at group rallies.

Amway cofounder late, Jay Van Andel (in 1980) and later his son Steve Van Andel (in 2001) were elected by the board of directors of the United States Chamber of Commerce as chairman of that organization.

In May of 2005, former Amway President Dick DeVos, one of the wealthiest and largest charitable givers in Michigan, announced that he would run against Governor Jennifer Granholm in Michigan's 2006 gubernatorial election.

Former Amway CEO
Richard DeVos as well as his wife Betsy DeVos, son (and former Alticor CEO) Dick DeVos, and other members of the DeVos family are heavily connected with the dominionist political movement in the US[18][19]. The DeVos foundation is one of the single largest donators to specifically dominionist political groups in the US[20][21]; Betsy DeVos' mother Elsa Prince Broekhuizen is both major financial contributor to dominionist causes and a voting board member of the "Religious Right" group Focus on the Family[22][23]. Other members of the DeVos family known to be involved in rightwing politics include Betsy DeVos's brother Erik Prince, CEO of the controversial military contractor Blackwater USA[24]. Richard DeVos himself is known to be a member of the secretive Coalition for National Policy, an invitation-only group that is a "think tank" for both dominionist and Neoconservative groups. (7)

So, while putting up a good front as a 50’s style, Christian group, they are supporting the strangulation of America’s freedoms in lieu of the police state establishment and the support of the Bush/Neoconservative for the New World Order, a precursor for the rise of the Anti-Christ and the One World Govt. Both DeVos and Amway were convicted in the early 80’s of tax fraud. Apparently, they also tried to squash anti-Amway sites (8). So much for the 1st Amendment!

Jay Van Andel, who passed away in 2004, was the other co-founder of Amway. He at his death was a trustee of Hillsdale College and gave $2 million to the re-election of G.W. Bush(9). Apparently, he was satisfied with Bush record of doing nothing about abortion, helping to increase funding for Planned Parenthood and appointment of Homosexuals to high offices. Also, Bush’s Linconesque record of Constitutional violations and undeclared wars did nothing to suppress Van Andel’s enthusiasm.

Van Andel has also a member of the Heritage Foundation (10). Members also of Heritage Foundation were active in the Reagan Whit House and are partners with the NeoCon supporting Wall Street Journal and supportive of GW Bush(11). Heritage members have advised Newt Gingrich, now calling for all out war-undeclared and not in line at all with Just War-with “islamofascists”. Paul Weyrich, a Bush supporter, has been past president. Funding comes from Coors Beer.

Who also has been a member? Bush’s man in Iraq Paul Bremer. Also, media head Richard Scaife, Holland Coors, Midge Decter, Steve Forbes, Barb Van Andel-Gaby (a hyphen is not so 1950’s, eh) and Kay James. NeoCon blowhard Rush Limbaugh states: Some of the finest conservative minds in America today do their work in the Heritage Foundation (12). Their 2005 report and finances are of record (13)

So, why are Christian conservatives wrapped up into the globalist, Bush Administration? Because, largely today, the conservative movement is dead and largely a movement of either the status quo or actively moving America into a New World Order. Their agenda is about control, not patriotism or Christianity. As long as their side has the power, then all is right with the world.

So, what is the scoop on the Constitution Center?

Stay tuned for part 2


(2) (3)






(10) Ibid

Humor and Light Side


Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?" "Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life." The child thought about this for a moment, then said, "So why is the groom wearing black?"

A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running as fast as she could, trying not to be late for Bible class. As she ran she prayed, "Dear Lord, please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't let me be late!" While she was running and praying, she tripped on a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and started running again. As she ran she once again began to pray, "Dear Lord, please don't let me be late...But please don't shove me either!"

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50."
The second boy says, "That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100."
The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!"

An elderly woman died last month. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, "They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead."
A police recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?" He answered "Call for backup."
A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: "They couldn't get a babysitter."
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."
At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs. Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and she said, "Johnny, what is the matter?" Little Johnny responded, "I have pain in my side I think I'm going to have a wife."
Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, "What do you think about all this Satan stuff?" The other boy replied, "Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sungenis Response to Michael Forrest

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

John Lofton;Confused or Double Minded

NOTE- Lofton, by and large, is a good and decent fellow. The following (which will be updated) is revelatory. Part 1 is articles found on him, part 2 is my email exchange. Read carefully what is said. My emails in this color, his in purple:


Some of what H.W. Crocker III had to say in his article is—how shall I put it charitably?—seriously off-base. The Renaissance was “a great Catholic moment” that “enlightened the world by seeing it afresh with both the light of faith and the light of classical civilization”? Not exactly.
The Renaissance was a revival of anti-Christian paganism, which taught us, falsely, that we could be good without God. As for Reformation Protestantism being “pretty despairing, too, with Calvin’s belief that it would have been better for most people if they had never been born, predestined as they are for damnation,” I know of no such view ever uttered by John Calvin concerning “most people.” In fact, I deny Calvin ever said this or believed it. I could, however, be wrong. To show that I am in error, please quote a source where Calvin said this, Mr. Crocker. In addition, likening Puritanism to “Talibanism” is simply name-calling, a cheap shot that should have been edited out.

As for the assertion that the Catholic Church has been “the most ardent defender of freedom in the history of the world,” this is nonsense. In England, it was those Puritanical, Calvinistic, predestinarians whom Mr. Crocker despises who fought tooth-and-nail against the absolutist, tyrannical Tudor-Stuart doctrine of the divine right of kings. And it was these same kind of Protestants who, by God’s grace, founded this country.

Finally, the damnable doctrine of so-called free will, as believed in by Mr. Crocker: He says it is the Catholic Church that “stands alone in radical defense of man’s free will” but Reformed Protestants and Muslims believe “that eternity is already written and that man has no free will.” Well, to be sure, eternity is “already written,” which is to say already decided by God.

But, it is not true that Reformed Protestants believe “man has no free will.” What we believe is that only Christian, saved, born-again, regenerated man has free will. To speak of unsaved man, dead in his sins and trespasses, as having a will that is “free” is absurd. An unsaved person is a slave to sin, a child of the Devil (John 8:44ff). An unsaved person has only a will to sin, to evil. As Scripture makes clear, it is only when Christ sets us free that we are free. There is true freedom only where Christ’s Spirit governs. John 8:36: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
John Lofton

Laurel, Maryland

CR note- Remember what Lofton said and I bolded!! He admits that there is free will!!

John Lofton is not a Catholic, which is perhaps why he is as offended by the Renaissance as Luther was. But to the Catholic sensibility, art and classical civilization are not antithetical to Christianity; in fact, no positive values are antithetical to Christianity. The Catholic is not afraid of dancing, theater, literature, painting, sculpture, manners, learning that goes beyond Sola Scriptura, reason, philosophy, and even romance, the way the Puritan is.

On the question of Calvin’s despairing view of humanity, it can be found in his Institutes of the Christian Religion. One example is when he affirms “the correctness of their opinion who considered it as the greatest boon not to be born, and, as the next greatest, to die immediately; nor was there anything irrational in the conduct of those who mourned and wept at the birth of their relations, and solemnly rejoiced at their funerals.” It is also implicit obviously in his denying salvation to the majority of Christians—who were Catholics then, and had been for a millennium and a half, as well as now—let alone non-Christians. All these were predestinedly condemned as idolaters.

Likening Puritanism to Talibanism is not so very difficult when we recall that the Taliban blew up Buddhist statues, just as the Protestant reformers went charging about smashing stained glass, altars, religious murals, crucifixes, and Madonnas with rather more violence than the ACLU. Moreover, the litany of things that the Calvinists banned is lengthy (too lengthy to be reproduced here), Talibanic, and absurd; it included prohibitions on popular (harmless) entertainment, dancing, singing, being late to church, clothes color, makeup, jewelry, and church bells. The Calvinists even dictated the names (they had to come from the Old Testament) that could be given to children. In my book Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, A 2,000-Year History, I refer to Calvin’s Geneva as the first and only Christian police state: In a Catholic country, a man confessed his sins to a priest and was given penance and forgiveness; in Calvin’s Geneva, a man confessed his sins to a magistrate in a court of law and faced the death penalty if convicted of adultery, pregnancy out of wedlock, striking a parent, blasphemy, heresy, or idolatry; the Calvinist program for erasing sin was erasing the sinner. Catholic countries were free in a way that Protestant countries were not; it’s just that Protestants called Catholic freedom “pagan,” “immoral,” “corrupt,” and the fruit of the “whore of Babylon”—and some still do.

On the question of defending freedom, let us remember that it was the Catholic Church that denied the supremacy of the state over religion, and Protestants who believed the authority of the state was scriptural while the authority of the papacy was not. That is why Reformation Protestants had state-run churches. Nationalism and the long-held desire of many crowned heads to rid themselves of Church checks on their power were the lethal force of the Protestant Revolt.

The divine right of kings over the Church was a Protestant doctrine that the papacy denied. But Luther affirmed it, and the kings in England who supported the doctrine were Anglicans—it was the keynote of the Protestant Anglican program. When England was Catholic, the Church was free and independent. Catholic men like Becket, More, and Stephen Langton—the Catholic archbishop of Canterbury who, along with the barons, compelled King John to sign the Magna Carta (which Langton largely wrote)—could oppose the king in a way that later churchmen could not. After the Protestant Reformation in England, that moral check on state power was gone, because the king was head of the church, by divine right established.

The reason Cromwell’s dictatorship—and one must assume that Mr. Lofton sides with Cromwell—could not be maintained between the period of the Stuart kings was that the English people could no longer abide the Calvinist program of banning and outlawing everything in the Puritan version of sharia law—that Talibanic tendency again.

When Charles II (an Anglican married to a Catholic) assumed the throne, England breathed a collective sigh of relief—and rejoiced that it could once more enjoy horse-racing, the theater, and other “Renaissance” freedoms that Puritans despise. Merrie England, which was Catholic England, was rediscovered. England was even allowed to celebrate Christmas again, which the Cromwellians had banned as a pagan debauch, and which the Puritans of New England would ban all over again until the celebratory example of Catholics and Episcopalians overturned the Puritan prejudice. In the case of America, it is interesting that of the first ten presidents of the United States, eight were either Episcopalians (inheritors of the Church of England, which is the Protestant church closest to Catholicism in doctrine and practice) or Unitarians and Deists (barely if Christian at all). The two exceptions are Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren (Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed, respectively). There are amazing things to be found if one actually reads history rather than assuming the Whig version of history (with a born-again gloss), as Mr. Lofton seems to.

Confusion Over Romans In his Guest Column “Confusion Over ‘God's Will '” (May 2006), Greg Krehbiel mangles Romans 8:28 and seriously alters its meaning. This is not a don't-worry-be-happy-whoever-you-are text as he quotes it: “God works all things for good.” The entire text reads in the New American Bible: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

John LoftonLaurel, Maryland

Greg Krehbiel responds: My old friend John Lofton is correct that Romans 8:28 specifically refers to God's promise to work all things for the good of believers, but it is also true that God works “all things” toward a final end that is “good,” which is what I intended to convey.

Commentary & News BriefsAugust 18, 2005Compiled by Jenni Parker ...A memo has surfaced, written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, in which he warned the Reagan administration to steer clear of the Religious Right and also criticized a leading Christian figure. John Lofton was editor of the Conservative Digest at that time and was preparing a series of stories on the hiring practices of the Reagan administration. "I was to meet with the Attorney General William French Smith," Lofton notes, but before that happened, he says John Roberts wrote Smith a memo, instructing him "as to how to obfuscate the issue, basically -- how to answer the questions that I would raise." In the memo, Roberts advised the administration to distance itself from the Religious Right, and he went on to say that Christian leader Paul Weyrich was "no friend of ours," Lofton adds. However, he protests, "All Weyrich was trying to do, and myself and many other conservatives, was to make Reagan and his administration keep the promises they made when they were elected. That's all." The former Conservative Digest editor feels that kind of fair-weather friendship has been the predominant attitude of the GOP towards its Christian base. "We've been wined and dined before the election," he says, "but the minute they're elected, suddenly we're not one of them." Lofton says that is one reason why he is no longer working for the Republican Party. [Bill Fancher]

Praying to saints revisited By JOHN LOFTON and MITCHELL PACW A, S.J.

IN THE JULY ISSUE of This Rock appeared an article titled "The Bible Supports Praying to the Saints." The author was Mitchell Pacwa, a Jesuit who teaches at Loyola University in Chicago. He is known best to readers of this magazine for his frequent appearances on Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network (his specialty is Old Testament studies) and for his debate, aired a few years ago on the John Ankerberg Show, against the late Walter Martin.The most sustained response we have received to Fr. Pacwa's article has been from John Lofton, a spirited defender of the Reformed position, a former columnist for The Washington Times newspaper, and a guest on many nationally-seen talk shows. We publish first Mr. Lofton's response, then a reply from Fr. Pacwa.

No prayers to saints, thank you

FR. MITCHELL PACWA, S.J., undoubtedly has many talents, but, to put it charitably, the ability to accurately exegete Scripture does not, alas, appear to be among them.In your July issue Fr. Pacwa asserts that the Church does allow "praying to the saints in order to ask for their intercession with the one true God." And he says that Protestants who say the Bible denies this are "incorrect."Well, the Roman Catholic Church does, indeed, allow prayers to saints. But the Bible does not.For openers, Fr. Pacwa never says, precisely, who the saints are. The Bible does, however. The Greek word used for "saint" in the New Testament is hagios, which means those set apart, those separate, those who are holy--in other words, all Christians, all those who are saved.IN FACT, even John A. Hardon, S.J., in his Pocket Catholic Dictionary (Image Books, 1985) says, on page 390, that the word "saints" was "a name given in the New Testament to Christians generally (Col. 1:2) . . . ." This is correct. This is biblical.To be sure, Fr. Hardon adds that the word "saint" was "early restricted to persons who were eminent for holiness," those "who distinguished themselves by heroic virtue during life and whom the Church honors as saints either by her ordinary universal teaching authority or by a solemn definition called canonization."But these latter assertions are extrabiblical. No such restricted definition of "saint" is from the Bible. And Fr. Hardon cites no Scripture to support such an expanded definition--though this expanded definition is, again, indeed, the definition of the Roman Catholic Church.In explaining who the saints are, Fr. Pacwa cites John 6:35, 48, 51, 53-56.

But in neither the Protestant Bible nor a Roman Catholic Bible (for example, the St. Joseph Edition of the New American Bible, published by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in 1970) is the word "saint" used in these passages.Furthermore, Fr. Pacwa says that the book of Revelation (4:10, 5:8, 6:9-11) shows "the saints" doing a number of things. But this is not completely accurate. Revelation 4:10, in the already-mentioned St. Joseph Edition of the New American Bible, makes no mention at all of "saints." What is mentioned are "elders"--from the Greek word presbuteros, which means "aged person." But "saints" are not mentioned. And the words "saints" and "elder" are not synonymous.

IN REVELATION 5:8 (again, in the New American Bible) the word "elders" is mentioned twice, but the word "saint" is not. There is a mention of "the prayers of God's holy people" at the end of this verse. But the allusion is to the prayers "of" these people. No mention is made of any prayers to these people.And it is here that Fr. Pacwa goes seriously awry.Fr. Pacwa says that because the saints are alive in heaven, "we believe that we can go to them to intercede for us with God. . . . [T]hey will pray for us in heaven . . . [A] saint in heaven may intercede for other people because he still is a member of the Body of Christ . . . . The Bible encourages Christians to approach the saints in heaven, just as they approach God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord."But the Bible does no such thing.To support his assertions, Fr. Pacwa quotes from Hebrews 12:22-24. But verse 24, again from the New American Bible, refers to Jesus as "the mediator of a new covenant." Note: Christ is called "the" mediator, not a mediator.

And in his own words following the citation of Hebrews 12:22-24, Fr. Pacwa also refers to our Lord as "the mediator," not a mediator.In fact, the only New Testament verses I can find regarding intercession are in Romans 8:26-27, in which "the Spirit" is said to make intercession for us; Romans 8:34, in which "Christ Jesus" is said to intercede for us; and Hebrews_7:25, in which "Jesus" is said to make intercession for "those who approach God through him" (again, all quotations here are from the New American Bible).

IN CONCLUSION, Fr. Pacwa, at the end of his article, seems to shift his ground. He asks the question: "Does the Bible say we should approach the saints with our prayers?" And he replies: "Yes, in two places," Revelation 5:8 and Revelation 8:3-4. But these passages allude only to, according to the Bible he quotes, "the prayers of the saints," "the prayers of all the saints," and "prayers of the saints."Nothing is said in any of these passages about "approaching the saints with our prayers" or praying to the saints to intercede for us with God.Fr. Pacwa says: "These texts give us a way to understand how the saints offer our prayers for us." He adds: "Because the saints are so close to the fire of God's love and because they stand immediately before him, they can set our prayers on fire with their love and release the powers of our prayers."But this is adding to the Scripture, which Scripture forbids.

This is Phariseeism plain and simple--that is, substituting the words of men for the Word of God.It's not "the saints" versus "us." No way.All of us who are Christians are saints. Thus, "our prayers," as Fr. Pacwa puts it, need no saints to get to God.I repeat: Fr. Pacwa cites no specific Scripture which says that anyone intercedes for us other than "the Spirit" or "Christ Jesus" or "Jesus." If I've missed a specific Scripture, please cite it.

Sorry, but you're wrong MR. LOFTON, your letter has three difficulties: You do not understand my article in places, you limit your theology to scriptural words without thinking through their ramifications, and you do not have a sufficient Greek and biblical background. As a result you do not understand the saints.You did not grasp my use of John 6:35, 48, 51, 53-56, where my point was that Christ bestows eternal life on all who eat his flesh and drink his blood. Therefore the redeemed in heaven are alive in Christ, not asleep or dead, as unbelievers would claim. My purpose did not require the text to mention the saints explicitly.You limit the meaning of "saint" to a term for Christians in general. The Church does not deny this sense; we just do not confine it to Christians living on Earth. A saint who dies in the Lord does not cease to be a saint by entering God's immediate presence.

Further, if Paul asks saints on Earth for intercessory prayer, it is logical to ask the saints already in heaven to continue their intercession.YOU OBJECT WHEN I call the "elders" of Revelation 4:10, 5:8, 6:9-11 "saints." Why? They are redeemed human souls, since they are in heaven, and therefore holy, since heaven can admit nothing unclean. The elders are saints. Your letter needlessly forces the term "saint" to exclude other meanings, such as "elder" and "spirits of the righteous ones made perfect."You claim that only Christ and the Holy Spirit make intercession, though 1 Timothy 2:1-2 commands everyone "to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all men." Christians on Earth--your "saints"--"pray" (synonymous with "intercede") for one another in 32 New Testament passages.Christ and the Holy Spirit intercede for us, as the Catholic Church proclaims. The official prayers of the Mass (see a sacramentary, our official Mass book) address the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit at every Mass, including feasts of Mary and the saints. Never do we pray these official prayers in the name of Mary or any other saint.Since we believe that death brings us to life with Christ, seeing him face to face and becoming like him (1 John 3:2), we still can pray and intercede for others. We are not deprived of that ministry. John saw a vision of the elders and the angels around God's throne offering incense--not ordinary incense, but the prayers of the saints, who, as you must admit, are the Christians on Earth.You are right. Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4 do not portray the earthly saints making their petition to the heavenly elders and angels, but that is implied by the text since the heavenly saints and angels have earthly prayers.

I AM NOT ADDING to these passages, as you accuse, but drawing out their logical conclusions. Yes, Scripture forbids us to add to the text, but it does not prohibit us from thinking about the meaning of the text. Your limited interpretation, in fact, detracts from Scripture.Since you do not know Greek, as the telephone conversation we had demonstrated, you are unaware that the manuscripts of Hebrews 12:24 do not have the definite article "the." They simply read "mediator."What's more, accusing me of Pharisaism (not "Phariseeism") because I supposedly added to Scripture (which I did not) displays your misinformation about the Pharisees.The Catholic Church does not force its members to have any particular devotion to the saints. It recommends such devotion on the basis of Scripture and prohibits anyone from condemning proper devotion. Scripture nowhere bans asking the saints in heaven for their prayers--so, please, do not add such a man-made ban.
(file:// )

Catholics against Christian Coalition On December 9, 1995, about 400 people gathered in Boston for the Christian Coalition's "Conference on Catholics and Public Policy." Part of the Christian Coalition's "Catholic Alliance," this arm of Pat Robertson is supported by a first year budget of $1.3 million.

Even before the Christian Coalition launched its outreach to Roman Catholics, mainstream Catholics began to organize against the Christian Coalition. In Virginia, Robertson's backyard, Catholic bishops forbade the Christian Coalition from handing out voter guides in Catholic Churches. As a result, religious conservatives fared poorly in those elections last November.
A "Statement Opposing the Christian Coalition and its 'Catholic Alliance'" is attracting hundreds of signatures of Catholic organizations and individuals, including bishops. Copies of the statement are available from Catholics Speak Out at (301) 699-0042.

Explicitly Christian politics Christian Reconstructionist columnist John Lofton recently announced in Chalcedon Report that he is starting a political consulting firm to "reconstruct, to redeem politics." He said he will help candidates for public office, at all levels of government, "who want to run as explicit Christians." Lofton formerly wrote for The Washington Times.
"I want to help such Christian candidates," he said, "by writing speeches for them, position papers, and by giving them advice as how to handle the anti-Christian media, and much more." Lofton says that "for too long Christian candidates for public office have, in effect, by using mushy language about 'traditional values' and how they are 'people of faith,' failed to shine their God-given light."

Lofton believes that the two-party system has failed. "Never have more Americans, today, been so interested in a possible third-party or independent candidate." He adds, "Theocracy is not an 'idea.' It's a reality. God does rule. And this is what 'theocracy' means: Godly rule. Are you against this? I hope not."

"I predict," Lofton concluded, "that the next stage in politics is that you're going to see, by God's grace, more Christians taking an explicitly Christian/Biblical stand in what has heretofore — in modern times — been a godless area of American life. And I want to be in the forefront of that blessed effort."

CR note-hmmm..that is why he quickly ski-daddled from the CP??

A good point he doeth make: Heathen Schools Regarding an item about John Derbyshire (While We’re At It, December 2003), I have what I hope is a helpful suggestion: If Mr. Derbyshire doesn’t want the commemoration of his Savior’s birth “mucked about with”—as it was at his son’s Christmas program—he should take his son out of that godless, anti-Christian public school and enroll him in a Christian school that truly honors our Savior. I’ll never understand Christian parents who place their children in heathen schools and then complain that these schools are insufficiently Christian. Weird.
John LoftonLaurel, Maryland


Man in Washington Washington, DC — "Today, though polls show millions of us are 'Christians,' who spend billions and billions of dollars, there is no Biblical/Christian media," according to columnist John Lofton. "There is no Biblical/Christian radio-TV network, no Biblical/Christian wire service, no such national news magazine (such as cite>Time/Newsweek)," he added.
One might respond, what about the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trinity Broadcasting Network, World and the New American magazines? "And those that purport to be such media are a joke, but not funny," Lofton says.

Writing in the Christian Reconstructionist magazine, Chalcedon (November 1996), Lofton suggests that God has constructed an "information highway" called the Internet, "over which can go the Gospel and solidly Biblical teaching regarding all areas of life."

Lofton has appealed to conservative Christian activists that he be their "Man in Washington," a "one-man Christian/Biblical news bureau." For a fee, he plans to e-mail subscribers a weekly Biblical perspective on the news. "There is no longer any excuse," Lofton wrote, "for serious Christians having to rely on our enemies for our news." Readers interested in contacting John Lofton may do so at



Caught part of your show, though I had to choke down on the Depraved belief as it is alien to the Bible (but believeable if you follow Calvin's dark hatred and self loathing)...


Popular Mechanics crank can't admit defeat The Truth Will Set You Free September 13 2006
What a loser.

Rather than admit that he's wrong and we're right, the man who thinks he 'debunked' the Truth, with his empty commentary in Popular Mechanics last year, wails and whines about being compared to a Nazi.

ON Feb. 7, 2005, I became a member of the Bush/ Halliburton/ Zionist/ CIA/ New World Order/ Illuminati conspiracy for world domination. That day, Popular Mechanics, the magazine I edit, hit newsstands with a story debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories. Within hours, the online community of 9/11 conspiracy buffs - which calls itself the "9/11 Truth Movement" - was aflame with wild fantasies about me, my staff and the article we had published. Conspiracy Web sites labeled Popular Mechanics a "CIA front organization" and compared us to Nazis and war criminals.

For a 104-year-old magazine about science, technology, home improvement and car maintenance, this was pretty extreme stuff.

Boo-hoo. Where's the beef? There is none.

Unable to admit that he was discredited because his piece lacked substance, he wants readers to believe that he was persecuted because he conducted 'research.' The man is in absolute denial and suffers from paranoid delusions. Instead of accepting the fact that 9/11 Truth theories are now mainstream, he insists we 'inflitrated the mainstream' as if through some voo-doo powers and not simply through logic and reason.

"Conspiracy theorists want to pick and choose which facts to believe," he cries. Yeah, so what? Judges do it all the time. Witnesses present evidence, the Judge decides which facts to believe and which to discard as incredible.

Then he has the nerve to characterize the mickey mouse evidence upon which the official version relies as 'a huge preponderance of evidence' and the glaring gaps that could fit a herd of elephants as 'a small handful of anomolies.' What a joke.

These anomalies include the claim that the hole in the Pentagon was too small to have been made by a commercial jet (but just right for a cruise missile); that the Twin Towers were too robustly built to have been destroyed by the jet impacts and fires (so they must have been felled by explosives), and more. If true, these and similar assertions would cast serious doubt on the mainstream account of 9/11. "But they're not true," he cries. And to prove it, he attacks two inconsequential quotes, which even if false, only discredit the quotes, not necessarily the underlying facts. More importantly, he doesn't come any where near the gaping holes and impossibilities in the official story that prove it's a LIE.

The American public has every right to ask hard questions about 9/11. And informed skepticism about government and media can be healthy. But skepticism needs to be based on facts, not fallacies. Unfortunately, for all too many, conspiratorial fantasies offer a seductive alternative to grappling with the hard realities of a post-9/11 world. I couldn't agree more - the most seductive (and absurd) of which is the conspiracy theory that 19 hijackers with box-cutters collapsed three colossal buildings into their footprints by hitting them with two planes.
Give it up, Meigs - like it or not, the Truth will prevail.

Keep up the fine work Michael and John-despite differences, you guys are doing good w/show.

JL: Original sin is in the Bible as is the wickedness of the human heart. JL-- "Accursed is that peace of which revolt from God is the bond, and blessed are those contentions by which it is necessary to maintain the kingdom of Christ." -- John Calvin.

CR:True-to a certain degree, but Depraved like an animal we are not. Free will is clear throught out Bible. Otherwise, I would be out robbing, killing and fornicating. I feel like doing none of these 3, let alone fighting with it internally as if I was depraved.

I disagree w/you, but still like you John!!!!

JL:I said nothing abt being like an animal and you cannot quote one Bible verse containing the words "free will" -- NOT ONE! JL


So, if only the "saved man" has free will, how did he chose to be "saved"? when did free will leap into him?

Is this where man has irrestible (read-forced)grace to-what is it you always say?-Choose ye this day whom you will serve!

Sounds like man chose something, not that choice was forced on him!!

BTW-how is your consulting company??

JL:No more replies until you show me "free will" words in Bible. JL-- "Accursed is that peace of which revolt from God is the bond, and blessed are those contentions by which it is necessary to maintain the kingdom of Christ." -- John Calvin.

CR:Gee, well I cannot find a lot directly stated-word for word-in the bible:
1. Bible
2. Trinity
3.Calvin or Luther's name
4. Irressitable grace
5.Man is deparaved

BTW-if you do not now believe in Free will, well, see the email I just sent to you, from your old letter to CRISES magazine (a Neocon funded outlet BTW). You apparently did then!!!!!!

CR response 2:


In YOUR statements I copied to you, you stated-without reservation-that you believed that the saved man has free will. If you will not accept it as it is not in the Bible, then why did you then??

Double minded or confused?

I will not answer further until you can show me-explicitly-in the Bible where it says:
1. Everything I am to believe has to be in the Bible
2. Where the word Trinity is found in the Bible in regards to Father/Son/H.S
3. Where the words "man is depraved" is found word for word (whether we are or are not not relevant)

I await the impossible, an anwer to these questions. If not, we know that your system of hopelessly flawed and as apologist John Martigioni once stated "Protestantism is razor thin".


++UPDATE since 9/20/06-Message received afterward++

JL:Fine, so you admit words "free will" not in the Bible. Thank you. JL

CR:As you say "fine" I am assuming that you admit that Sola Scriptura is not biblical and that no scripture allows for the bible alone theology. Otherwise, Christ and/or his Apostles would have clearly told us so, without any ambiguities and questions.

Yes, "free will" is not a phrase in scripture, nor do the words, to my knowledge, appear together. Neither does bible, bible alone, faith ALONE, man is depraved, etc.

Thank you, I am glad we agree on a point in this stimulating talk.

Best ot you and Michael, esp as I can see you are moving to the Bible alone American Heritage Party.

As you cannot prove my point (see my last email to you) that Sola Scriptura is a biblical concept, I guess we are at an end on this topic.

JL:Excellent! Progress being made. So, since words "free will" not in Bible where are the words in the Bible that make you think man has "free will?" JL

CR:The clear indication of free will (you should look at my blog discussion on it) is clearer then the doctrine of the trinity. but, you have not answered my questions either, you are side stepping:

1. WHere in the Bible is the word "bible"?
2. Where in the Bible is the word "depraved"?
3. Where in the Bible is the words "man is depraved"?
4. Where in the Bible does it specifically say that we are to go by the Bible ALONE?
-as it is a pillar of Protestantism, it shoud be spelled out by the Apostles without question.5. Where in the bible is the word Trinity?
-this was hashed out of 3 centuries, cultimting-more or less-at Nicea.

You have not given me definitive answers on this. Also, you have not answered my question as to religious tests for immigrants.
-who is to ask them
-what standard are they to be asked
-who decides who gets in, etc

You stated more than once, including on air in your programs the quote 'Choose ye this day whom you will serve"

-sounds to me like a man is making a choice, which is clearly indicative of free will, not forced submission. IF you do not choose God, you will at death be sent to Hell. If you chose God, eternity.

Read my short post:

Until you can answer the above numbered questions, we really cannot move forward.

I am out-of-town all next week, so I will await your responses when I return. Have a good show Saturday!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Man is NOT Depraved

(Depiction of St. Thomas Aquinas from The Demidoff Altarpiece by Carlo Crivelli )

Biblical Passages Contradicting Calvinism

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. (1 Cor 2:7)

This verse does not support unconditional election.

It is God's plan of salvation which was predetermined, not an individual believer's salvation.

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. (2 Thess 2:13)

This verse does not support unconditional election.

It is the gospel message which is predetermined, not an individual believer's salvation.

Who will have all men to be saved. (1 Tim 2:4)

This verse refutes total depravity, unconditional election and irresistible grace.

Calvinism asserts that God only chose some, but this verse refutes that. Under Calvinism, if God really wanted all men to be saved, He would elect all men for salvation. But this verse states clearly that God does want all men to be saved.

Man has free will to reject God.

Man has free will to accept God's grace. Original sin doesn't prevent man from responding in faith. This implies that man is not totally depraved.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Tim 6:12)

This verse refutes total depravity, unconditional election and irresistible grace.
Lay hold -- Man has free will.

Calling does not guarantee man will respond. This refutes the notion of irresistable grace. Man can resist God's call but God calls all.

Called as a result of his confession (profession).

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Pet 1:10,11)

This verse refutes total depravity, unconditional election, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints.

Make -- Man has free will.

Sure, never fall -- Salvation is not certain even for the elect.

Note that this passage is referring to salvation which we see by the reference to the "entrance . . . into the everlasting kingdom."

If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard. . . . (Col 1:23)

This verse refutes total depravity, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints.

If ye continue in the faith -- Man has free will and can choose to persevere.

Salvation is not certain; man must persevere.

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. (Heb 3:14)

This verse refutes total depravity, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints.
Hold -- Man has free will.

Salvation requires perseverance.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (1 Cor 9:24)

This verse refutes total depravity, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints.
Man has free will.

Perseverance comes from man, not from God. (But we should ask God to continuously help us).

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not. (1 John 5:18)

This verse refutes total depravity.

This verse refutes the notion that man is totally depraved.

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. (Acts 2:23)

This verse refutes unconditional election.

God's plan (counsel) and His foreknowledge go together. Calvinists must of necessity separate them.

Calvinists typically believe that God has elected [chosen] only some for salvation. Anti-Calvinists counter this argument by saying that God "elects" those who He "foreknew" would accept Him. In this passage, God's plan and His foreknowledge are equated, which refutes the Calvinist view. Note that I am not saying that God "elects" those who He "foreknew" would accept Him, but merely that God's plan (counsel) and His foreknowledge are in some way related.

Other Good Refutes:

Who else doubts Free Will?

there cannot be any such thing as free-will; the very words are a contradiction".
-A quotation from Swami Vivekananda, a Vedantist

Monday, September 18, 2006

Cardinal Vlk reports Trads to USA/Zionist Govts

Cardinal Reports Traditionalists to American and Israeli Ambassadors
Press Release
Michal Semin of St. Joseph Institute, Prague

On Thursday, September 14, the Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, issued a public statement, in which he condemned "extremism". By that he meant the visit to Prague and a talk given by Prof. John Rao, President of Roman Forum, titled "Novus Ordo Seculorum and the War on Terror" under the auspices of St. Joseph Institute and Katolík Revue.

Another person mentioned in Cardinal Vlk's statement was Dr. E. Michael Jones, who took part in the panel after John Rao's talk. Both gentlemen were accused by the Prague Archbishop of coming to Prague to "instruct political extremists, Lefebvrites, nationalists, anti-Semites, Islamists and neo-Nazi’s in the spirit of "anti-Americanism". Cardinal Vlk met both the American and Israeli ambassadors in Prague and assured them that the groups organizing the talk and the "anti-Americanism" of the speakers do not represent the view of the Catholic Church.

Obviously, the Cardinal Vlk's statement is a mere piece of propaganda, a series of insinuations and calumnies. We, as traditional Catholics, strongly oppose neo-Nazis for being a neo-pagan ideology with racist overtones, as we oppose every kind of nationalistic hatred, including anti-Semitism, if by that term is meant the hatred of the Jewish nation. We have nothing to do with "Islamism", which is alien to our culture and Catholic heritage.

This statement of Cardinal and the related fact, that the American and Israeli embassies are monitoring the activities of traditional Catholics might be a sign of future obstacles for disseminating the traditional Catholic social and moral teaching, at least in the Czech Republic.
Please, our dear friends in Christ, keep us in your prayers.

Michal Semin, Director, St. Joseph Institute
Martin R. Cejka, Katolik revue
P.S. The statement of Cardinal Vlk, which is in Czech, can be read at

In Defense of Pope Benedict

See my past blogs:

In Defense of Pope Benedict
The Catholic Church is an enemy of the War Party by Justin Raimondo

What is an erudite and perhaps overly scholarly pope to do in the face of a news media that insists on cherry-picking his pronouncements – buried amidst references to obscure Byzantine emperors and abstruse theological constructs – and making of them blazing headlines?

There isn't much he can do, and perhaps this is for the best. Benedict XII is blunter and more assertive than his predecessor, and if I were a practicing Catholic – which I am not – I would be glad of it. In an era dominated by relativism and political correctness, where all religions are supposedly equal and truth is a matter of opinion (usually someone else's), it is refreshing to see someone uphold what they believe and defend it against all comers.

Clearly, Benedict had no idea that, in returning to the University of Regensburg, where he once taught theology, and delivering a lecture with the supremely inoffensive title of "Faith, Reason, and the University – Memories and Reflections," he would be charged with launching the Tenth Crusade. Yet that is plainly happening.

Out of a complicated and thoroughly delightful narrative on the relationship between faith and reason – intended to illustrate his point that Catholicism is the only authentic alternative to the "primitive" irrationalism of Protestant and Islamic mystics, on the one hand, and godless rationalism on the other – the fanatics (egged on by the media) have latched on to a few paragraphs, which are citations and not even the words of this pope. What is fascinating is his point that the long-term trend within Christian circles, Catholic as well as Protestant, has amounted to a process of "de-Hellenization," i.e., an attempt to divorce Christianity from what the "reformers" regard as alien accretions of the Hellenistic period. Yet the gospels were written in Greek, notes Benedict, and he goes on to explain, in so many words, how the Christian concept of the logos – in the beginning, writes Saint John, was the Logos – assumes a rational, benevolent God.

After reflecting on his experience at the university, where theology was put on a par with philosophy and the other disciplines, and noting that, within the university, no one thought this at all odd, Benedict continues:

"I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by professor Theodore Khoury (Muenster) of part of the dialogue carried on – perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara – by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both."It was probably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than the responses of the learned Persian. The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Koran, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship of the 'three Laws': the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Koran."

Let's stop here, and note one error. The dialogues set down by Manuel did not occur during the siege of Constantinople, but much earlier, during the emperor's youth, when he was held as a hostage at the court of the Turkish sultan; his father, John V, was a Turkish vassal, who paid yearly tribute to the sultan. At the Turkish court, young Manuel passed the time by engaging in a series of dialogues with a scholarly Persian, and later recorded them from his notes. This historical context is important, in view of the controversy that has arisen – and arise it did, when the pope got around to his point:

"In this lecture I would like to discuss only one point – itself rather marginal to the dialogue itself – which, in the context of the issue of 'faith and reason,' I found interesting and which can serve as the starting point for my reflections on this issue.

"In the seventh conversation ('diálesis' – controversy) edited by professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that sura 2:256 reads: 'There is no compulsion in religion.' It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under [threat]. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Koran, concerning holy war."

Much is being made of the pope's alleged error in citing this particular sura as being of "the early period," but, contra Andrew Sullivan, it is not central to his point – which is that Islam lacks a moderating Hellenistic influence, and therefore doesn't rule out the vision of a capricious and irrational deity presiding over a universe based on reason. Nature, says the pope, reflects its Creator, yet some deny this:

"Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the 'Book' and the 'infidels,' [the Emperor] turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words: 'Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"

The German translation of this paragraph differs from the English one, as Wikipedia notes: "According to the German text, the pope's original comment was 'He addresses his interlocutor in an astoundingly harsh – to us surprisingly harsh – way.'" This is important, given the earsplitting brouhaha arising from this citation.

It doesn't matter to the pope's critics – not all of them Muslims, by any means – that this is a citation, and, taken in context, clearly doesn't reflect the pope's personal views. And it surely doesn't matter that Manuel was speaking from the bitterest of experiences: that he personally lived through and witnessed the Turkish invasion of the medieval Balkans, where many thousands were faced with the choice recently offered to those two Fox News employees by their captors in occupied Palestine – convert or die. The pope's accusers could care less that Benedict is here concerned chiefly with rescuing the Hellenistic spirit of theology as philosophical inquiry from the assault of various fundamentalists, both Christian and Muslim. To the Catholics, both Greek and Roman, not to act in accordance with reason is alien to God's nature. To the devout Muslim, however – and, the pope would doubtless aver, to Protestant sects as well – God is utterly transcendent. To buttress this point, Benedict cites the leaders of the Reformation as well as "the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practice idolatry."

This nightmare universe ruled over by a malevolent God, where reason is overthrown, is a Bizarro World, where good is evil, godliness is mass murder, and anything is permitted. All wars, in such a world, are "just" wars. The same theology that rejects this vision and required the Vatican to come out against the American invasion of Iraq has inspired this pope to underscore the Hellenistic roots of a Christian faith anchored in a vision of a rational universe:

"The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. 'God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably ("syn logo") is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats…. To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death….'"

These words of the Emperor Manuel II Paleologus might well be addressed to George W. Bush, a mad Emperor intent on spreading the "democratic" faith through violence. The Turks gave up forcible conversions some centuries ago: today, the United States has revived this abhorrent practice and made it the principal element of its foreign policy of "regime change." Unfortunately, no one has read that far into Benedict's speech: the critics stopped near the beginning, where the sensationalistic quote has been ripped out of its proper context and emblazoned in headlines from Cairo to Canberra.

It is nonsense to characterize the Vatican as the enemy of Islam and the ally of Bush and the neocons in their efforts to spark a disastrous "clash of civilizations." Just as the Catholic Church was perhaps the most authoritative and powerful voice raised against the invasion of Iraq, so the Vatican clearly put the onus on the Israelis for launching an unjust war against Lebanon – and for essentially the same reasons. The Church has consistently condemned the brutalities of the Israeli occupation of the Holy Land and clearly sympathizes with the plight of the Palestinians. John Paul II characterized the Iraq war as "a defeat for humanity," and, citing the massive antiwar demonstrations that occurred all around the world on the eve of the invasion, called on Catholics to fast in protest. Benedict is not deviating from these stances, but is, instead, seeking to buttress the intellectual foundations of the doctrine – based on the interplay of faith and reason – that gives rise to the Church's antiwar, albeit not pacifistic, stance.

This may be too complex for a newspaper headline, but I doubt the pope is much concerned with this, even after being scolded for his apparent naiveté by the New York Times editorial board. If speaking up for the timeless principles of the Church is considered too provocative and an argument against forcible conversion is now "controversial," then one wonders how we can possibly avoid the world war we all fear.

The current controversy is being compared to the tasteless caricatures of Muhammad that appeared in many European newspapers, but the reality is quite different, almost the complete opposite: the cartoons were a deliberate provocation, whereas the pope's comments were not intended to give offense. Indeed, in its defense of reason and dialogue as the alternative to violence, the pope's lecture was and is a valuable contribution to the cause of peace.

That extremists of every stripe – including Western secularists, who hate the Catholic Church – are rejecting the Vatican's explanations and condemning the pope's remarks as "insensitive" is hardly surprising. These people disdain the restraints imposed on their actions by the logos, or the rule of reason, and prefer to believe that their ideological and religious views transcend the need for rational or moral justification. As long as the Vatican stands against this worrying modern trend, it opposes the War Party of every nation. Apologize? This pope has had to face a veritable storm of demands for apologies from the beginning of his tenure, but has yet to have any cause for contrition.

I would add that the War Party ought to resist the temptation to make of Manuel II Paleologus a saint. He was the third to last emperor of Byzantium, a capable and ceaselessly beleaguered ruler, who – through a combination of shrewdness and good luck – managed to preserve the Empire a good 50 years beyond its natural life span. His strategy was to avoid confrontation.

By currying favor with the Turks and playing off the Venetians and the Genoans against the various sultans and would-be sultans, Manuel took advantage of the divisions among the many predators who came to feed on the decaying remnants of the Eastern Roman Empire. By neocon lights, Manuel was hardly an exemplar, since he pursued a policy of submitting to vassalage to the Turkish sultans as the price to be paid for continued Byzantine suzerainty.

He was, in short, a practitioner of what the neocons call "appeasement," and what historians of the period point to as some pretty adept diplomacy. And, by the way, it wasn't the Turks who really destroyed the Empire of the East, but the marauding Crusaders, who took Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade: after that, old Byzantium never regained its former power and grandeur. Western intervention, ostensibly launched to save Christendom and the Holy Land, wound up paving the way for the invasion of Europe by the Turks. So forget Manuel II Paleologus, guys – and drop the Byzantine analogy before it's even raised.

He stood up to the War Partyby Justin Raimondo
December 29, 2003

Even as Glenn Reynolds, Supreme Pontiff of the Blogosphere and hater of all things Catholic, was demanding an apology from Pope John Paul II for opposing the "liberation" of Iraq, rumors were rife that the Vatican was threatened by a possible terrorist attack launched by Al Qaeda. All the bad guys, no matter what branch of evil they adhere to, hate the Holy Father because he represents the one force with international stature that stands against them.

On the eve of the Iraq invasion, the Vatican carried out a full-scale diplomatic, political, and theological assault on the War Party. The Pope sent his representative to Baghdad, and tried to arrange a peaceful settlement: the Iraqis, as we now know, were amenable. But this effort was disdainfully rejected by Washington – and viciously attacked by the neoconservatives, who initiated a round of anti-Papist demagoguery not seen since the 1880s, when the Republican party rallied the nation against "rum, Romanism, and rebellion."

Just imagine the uproar if this had happened to a rabbi.

As millions mobilized in the streets, the Pope sent a message to Catholic military chaplains endorsing the antiwar movement in rather explicit terms: this showed, he said, that a "large part of humanity" has rejected war, except in self-defense against an aggressor, and, he added, the peace movement gave him a great deal of "comfort and hope."

In his 2002 Christmas message, John Paul had called on the governments of the world to make an urgent effort "in the Middle East, to extinguish the ominous smoldering of a conflict which, with the joint efforts of all, can be avoided." This year, with resistance to the American occupation growing, and domestic antiwar sentiment persisting, the War Party was nervously anticipating his annual "Urbi et Orbi" (the City and the World) message, and he did not disappoint:

"Save us from the great evils which rend humanity in these first years of the third millennium. Save us from the wars and armed conflicts which lay waste whole areas of the world, from the scourge of terrorism and from the many forms of violence which assail the weak and the vulnerable. Save us from discouragement as we face the paths to peace, difficult paths indeed, yet possible and therefore necessary; paths which are always and everywhere urgent, especially in the Land where You were born, the Prince of Peace."

God save us from George W. Bush. Save us from his neocon advisors, who would rather plunge us into what they call World War IV than ask Ariel Sharon to give an inch of ground. Save us from a Vice President who sends out a creepy Christmas card citing Benjamin Franklin's remark to the Constitutional Convention:

"And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?'

The Church stands foursquare against the hubris of earthly kings who delude themselves into thinking they can act like gods. It is the main organized obstacle to any nation with pretensions of universal hegemony, and the papacy of John Paul II has exemplified the role of the Church as the protector of humanity against the depredations of the State. What is astonishing to see is the sheer superhuman strength of this man, whose suffering is a modern-day reenactment of the Stations of the Cross.

Here we have an 83-year-old burdened by a series of physical ailments that would have any ordinary human being curled up in a fetal position, yet he has just finished up a grueling years-long schedule of trips that took him to at least three continents. This Pope is the peace party's Gandalf: no matter how battered, incapacitated, and beaten down he may seem, he always comes back at Sauron.

If John Paul is Gandalf, then Michael Novak, the neocons' pet "theologian," is Saruman, the liar and deceiver. Novak and a delegation – including William Bennett and Andrew Sullivan, two of the biggest sinners in the Western world – were sent to Rome by the U.S. State Department to convince the Vatican to support the war: or, at least, to neutralize Catholic opposition. During the course of a two-hour symposium attended by some 150 invited guests, including lower-level Vatican officials, Novak made the transparently spurious argument that the war was not a preemptive one, but rather a war for self-defense:

"On one side, Iraq maintains weapons of mass destruction, and on the other, international terrorists are seeking to procure them.

"'All that is lacking between these two incendiary elements is a spark of contact,' Novak said."
"'Given Saddam's proven record in the use of such weapons, and given his recognized contempt for international law, only an imprudent or even foolhardy statesman could trust that these two forces will stay apart forever. At any time they could combine, in secret, to murder tens of thousands of innocent and unsuspecting citizens,' he said."

Only U.S. government officials, he argued, have the inside knowledge about Saddam's possession of such weapons, and we must trust in them – and not in the Pope – to make these decisions. That these officials were lying, and their case for war a web a deceit, does not have Novak begging the Holy Father's forgiveness. Novak and his cohorts, far from repentant, are walking arguments in favor of the Pope's power to excommunicate heretics.

Although I was raised a Catholic, I am not a believer. But I must recognize the moral stature of a man like John Paul II, who stood up to the Communist would-be hegemon and is now standing up to another. As he said in a speech to the Vatican diplomatic corps:

"What are we to say of the threat of a war that could strike the people of Iraq, the land of the prophets, a people already sorely tried by more than 12 years of embargo? War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations. As the Charter of the United Nations Organization and international law itself remind us, war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations."

Even the most hardcore militant atheists in the antiwar movement must recognize and salute the moral authority of the Church, whose foreign minister, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, expressed the view of those of us in the U.S. who resist the rise of an American empire:

"A single member of the international community cannot decide: 'I'm doing this and you others can either help me or stay home.' If that were the case, the entire system of international rules would collapse. We'd risk the jungle."

Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Peace and Justice Commission – known as the Donald Rumsfeld of the Vatican because of his tough-as-nails approach to promulgating the Pope's mission of peace – put it succinctly and well:

"We cannot think that there is a universal policeman who takes it upon himself to punish those who act badly.... The United States, being part of the international assembly, has to adapt to the exigencies of others."

There is no universal policeman and ruler of mortal mien worthy of the task, and any scheme to set one up is necessarily Satanic.

This may come as news to militantly secular antiwar lefties, and nasty left-libertarians willfully ignorant of all things theological, but the institutional power of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic hierarchy has been a mighty weapon in the arsenal of peace.

Pope John Paul II, a giant among men, who has single-handedly taken on the power of the War Party – and who towers so far above his critics that the distance can only be measured in light years – is our Man of the Year.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Example of Satanic Protestant Hatred of Mary

Note- this is a rare individual, not indicative of all or even most Protestants. See whoe is calm and even in this, who is unhinged in a dangerous manner. John Salza defends our Lady's honor, Patron is our potentially possessed friend.

Anti-Catholic attacks on Mary

Patron: I was reading your defense on the Assumption of Mary and your argument is rather weak friend. You had mentioned that since they don't know where she is buried and did not have her bones she was assumed into Heaven. Let me ask you this: Where was the Apostle John buried? You don't know because there is not even a single historical record of his death. We then will assume he was assumed to Heaven also. You are also taking the references to Revelations out of context and even your Catholic theologians disagree on Mary being the woman with the crown and twelve stars. You must examine all your tradition against scripture to see if it contradicts. You just can't believe anything Rome comes up with. I am a skilled debator and an expert on Catholacism. I was in your church for over 20 yrs until Jesus woke me up to truth.

J. Salza: Thank you for your message. We don't believe that Mary was assumed into heaven because we can't find her bones. We believe in the assumption of Mary because that has been the teaching tradition of the Church for 2,000 years. While this teaching is not explicitly found in Scripture, it certainly was prophesied in Psalm 132:8, and made evident to John in his revelation when he sees “the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under feet and on her head a crown with twelve stars” (Apoc 12:1-2). There is also nothing in Scripture that precludes Mary’s assumption. Indeed, if sin is what leads to death and Mary had no sin, then we can surmise that she was taken up into heaven, body and soul.

You have indicated that you are "a skilled debater and an expert on Catholacism" (it is actually spelled “Catholicism”). I will safely assume that this means you believe that the Bible is the sole and exclusive authority for God's word, and that your interpretation of the Scriptures are always correct. As a skilled debater, please explain to me where this is stated in the Bible?

Patron: My friend, I believe it is you who needs to research the early fathers better. Here is a little history lesson for you. I suggest you brush up on your Greek also. In ublic debate you would be rather simple to defeat. You still have not given me one single document or witness to the assumption of Mary. I have researched this extensively and have found nothing. There was not even one mention of this false doctrine in the first 500 yrs of the church (see attachments).

J. Salza: Friend, your cutting and pasting from Protestant web sites is painfully evident. Please come up with your own material. I have been through these debates many times. Your argument below presupposes that there must be biblical evidence or a witness to something or else it is not true. Yet, you are unable to prove your presupposition from the Bible. Hence, any response is a non sequitur.

P.S. Who saw the resurrection of Christ? No one. Yet it is true. Yeah, I know, but the apostles saw Jesus after he rose from the dead. This still does not support your presupposition. Nevertheless, while no one saw Mary assumed into heaven, John saw her in heaven as he writes in the book of Revelation. While he writes about the "souls" in heaven before the throne of God, he also writes about a woman clothed with the sun, on her "head" a crown of 12 stars, and under her "feet" the moon. This means a woman with a body, not just her soul. Yes, I know its apocalyptic literature unique to the 1st century, and yes I know the woman can also be a reference to the Church. But the fathers and doctors all agree that the woman principally signifies Mary, the new Eve and Queen Mother of the Davidic Kingdom. In fact, let's see if you can come up with a father or doctor of the Church who says it is NOT Mary. I am waiting.

Patron: Friend, you need to study your Catechism more. If you read number 969 you will she Mary is called Advocate, Helper, Benefactress and Mediatrix.

J. Salza: Yes, it is true that Mary is all of these. Mediatrix simply means that she can mediate, or pray to God, on our behalf. If I would ask you to pray for me, you would be mediating for me. But all of our mediation, including Mary's, is subordinate to Christ. Christ is the reason. He allows us to participate in his mediation, just like he allows us to share in his sufferings (Col. 1:24), to further the work of his redemption. If you look at my links on subordinate mediation and intercessory prayer, you will see the Scriptures replete with verses supporting these positions. So do the Church fathers and doctors.

Patron: Number 971 tells us to give devotion and prayer to her. Last I knew friend that when you pray to someone, kneel down in front of a statue of her or light candles to her I call that worship. I don't know what you call it.

J. Salza: You confuse devotion with worship. Mary herself, under the divine inspiration of God, predicted that "all generations will call me blessed." That is called devotion. Catholics call Mary blessed because of the unique role she played in our salvation. This has nothing to do with worship. The paragraph even distinguishes the devotion we give to Mary from the latria we give to God and God alone. Looks like you are not part of the family of generations that calls Mary blessed.

Patron: Let us now consider Catechism number 841. What does your church say about Muslims and salvation? It says that together us they adore the one and are part of the Christian community. You need to defend this statement also.

J. Salza: The Church says that Moslems, and all people, are included in God's plan of salvation because that is true. God wishes that all people will be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. The paragraph does not say, as you suggest, that Moslems are part of the Christian community. They are not. It is true that Moslems, like Christians, hold Abraham to be their father in faith. Moslems hence worship the creator of the universe. The issue, of course, is that their understanding of God is in error. Everyone, including Jews and Moslems, have a moral obligation to join the Catholic Church to be saved. But remaining outside the Church, if it is due to their invincible ignorance, does not automatically prevent their salvation. God will judge them based upon what they know.

Patron: Mary as the Ark of the Covenant has got to be the most STUPID thing I have ever heard.

J. Salza:Then you disagree with 2,000 years of Church teaching, as well as the early Church fathers, and have set yourself up as your own arbiter of truth. See my link on this - Luke deliberately makes comparisons between Mary and the Ark of the Covenant as described in the book of Samuel. John links the Ark of the Covenant in Revelation with Mary, the woman clothed with the sun. Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant because she bore the Word of God. I set forth these comparisons in my book The Biblical Basis for the Catholic Faith (pp. 130-131).
Patron: Mary is not the Ark of the Covenant, because the Covenant was not made through Mary. It was made through Jesus by His Death.

J. Salza: The ark of the covenant has nothing to do with the maker of the covenant, so this argument is irrelevant.

Patron: Secondly, Mary is not an Ark, she is a human being -- and the Bible clearly tells us that ALL humans sinned without exception. (Romans 3:23 --ALL humans that have been conceived by a man and woman WILL eventually commit sin).

J. Salza: Mary is described as the Ark because she contained the eternal Word of God. Of course Mary is not an ark of wood, but Jesus (being the Word) was not stone tablets either. If the word of God became incarnate, then His ark can be of flesh as well. Also, I have a link on Romans 3:23. Your reading of the verse is erroneous. Not all human beings sin. Babies, the retarded, the senile cannot sin. Paul means that all were born of original sin. Paul also tells the Romans that all have sinned, so all were made righteous. But not all were made righteous because not all people will go to heaven. This is because the Greek word for all is "pantes" and pantes does not mean every single one. In Romans 5:19, Paul says "many" (in Greek, “polloi”) have sinned, which means when Paul says “all,” he really means “many.”

Patron: Do yourself a favour and gain some WISDOM before it's too late.

J. Salza: Do yourself a favor and read Scripture in light of the teachings of the Catholic Church who gave you them.

Patron: Queen of Heaven? What a joke! Show me in the Bible where it says Mary is the queen of Heaven?

J. Salza: Show me in the Bible where it says that it has to be in the Bible to be true. You can't, because it doesn't. The fullness of Christian truth comes from both the oral and the written word of God. See 2 Thess. 2:15. This is the sacred Tradition of the Church. Please investigate why you believe in the Bible. Why do you accept the declaration of the Catholic Church that the 27 books of the New Testament are divinely inspired, but not her other teachings about Mary? Sounds like you are a cafeteria Christian, caught in the snares of Bible-alone, private judgment theology. That is error. Please continue to investigate the teachings of the true faith of Christ, the Catholic faith.

Patron: Look up the word "mother" in the Dictionary. What is a mother? My mother gave birth to me, suckled me, nursed me, cleaned me, held me, taught me, loved me. When did Mary ever do any of these things for me? She never did. So then how can Mary be my mother?

J. Salza: Mary is your spiritual mother because she loves you and prays for you in heaven. Read Revelation 12 - Mary is the woman clothed with the sun, and at the end of the chapter, she is called the Mother of all Christians - those who follow Jesus. If you are a Christian (and it is hard to tell based on the venom in your messages), then Mary is your mother. Don’t look to secular dictionaries when you try to exegete Scripture; look to the Scriptures and the Fathers who interpreted them for us.

Also, God the Father did not “suckle” you, “nurse” you, “clean” you, and “hold” you. So how can He really be your Father? Are you arguing that He is not your Father? If you are, then you gravely contradict Scripture and demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of Christianity. If you are not, then you have to reformulate your position by advancing other reasons why Mary isn’t your heavenly mother, just as God is your heavenly Father.

Patron: Surely I would have to be a complete IDIOT to believe that a woman who did absolutely NOTHING for me is my mother. What a load of BULLCRAP!

J. Salza: Very charitable. I wonder why certain Protestant Christians get so angry when we tell them that Mary is their mother? This is likely due to the fact that the have had bad relationships with their earthly mother. They have a tendency to equate their earthly mother with their heavenly mother, and they don’t want to do this if their earthly mother has mistreated them. People often do this with God the Father as well, if they have had bad earthly fathers.

Patron: So Jesus gave Mary to John. SO WHAT? How does that make Mary our mother? You Catholics must all have SHIT for brains if you can't see that John was supposed to look after Mary in her old age!

J. Salza: Evidently, you don’t think much of the words Jesus uttered in agony on the cross right before He died? All words Jesus said on the cross had a divine purpose. While Jesus was asking John to take care of Mary, Jesus was asking Mary to take care of John as well, even “in her old age.” That is because Jesus was giving Mary to all of us, and asking us to give ourselves to Mary in return. You obviously are ignorant of what the early Christians believed about this. Your 21st century perspective is good enough for you. Mary is our Mother because she is the new Eve, just as Jesus is the new Adam. Mary is the mother of the new creation in Christ.

Patron: Your Marian doctrines are a load of BULLSHIT. Mary is NOT my mother, never was, and never will be. My mother is here with me NOW, and she is the ONLY mother GOD gave me. And I can assure you that MY MOTHER LOVES ME MORE than Mary ever will. The woman of Revelation 12:1 is the same woman of Ezekiel 16 -- and that woman is ISRAEL. You people think you are very clever to twist, contort, and pervert the Holy Word of God to make them fit to your own ideas, but you are nothing but a DEN of VIPERS, SONS of SATAN, because only Satan would dare to pervert the Holy Word of God as your evil Church has done. And to top it all off, you pray to sinful HUMAN BEINGS in defiance of Christ's Commandment which command you to pray to His Father in Heaven. You have to be mentally retarded to believe that a human being can hear or answer your prayers!

J. Salza: You obviously lack the Spirit of God and Christian charity using that kind of language. Get a grip on yourself. When people use that kind of language, it demonstrates that they can’t fight their own intellectual battles, so they instead resort to name-calling. This is unfortunate.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. You are assuming that the Bible is the sole rule and guide of faith, and that God has revealed nothing outside the Bible that is necessary for our salvation. This is wrong. How do you know what books belong in the Bible? How do you know what is divinely inspired, using the Bible alone? You don't, because the Bible does not include an inspired table of contents. Yet you would agree that knowing what books are inspired can only come from God, and knowing what books are inspired is necessary for our salvation. But since the Bible does not say what books belong in the Bible, this forces you to look outside the Bible to learn how the canon of Scripture was selected. This determination was made by the Catholic Church at her various councils in 382, 393 and 397 A.D.

This is a truth that you Protestants simply cannot refute. Therefore, start becoming familiar with history, and abandon your private judgment, non-biblical "Bible-only" fallacy and listen to the Catholic Church, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). This dialogue is over until you can effectively address this issue - but you can't unless you become Catholic. That, of course, will require you to empty yourself and seek the truth.

++Good Q&A on Mary++

Question 49- Perpetual Virginity of Mary

I have a question concerning proving the perpetual virginity of Mary--
I know that one of the Catholic Biblical proofs for this is in reference to Christ passing his Mother on to John the Apostle during His death on the cross. I have heard that according to the Jewish culture, Christ would have had to pass His Mother on to a sibling if He indeed had one--hence, it is proven that the "brethren" and "brothers" of Jesus in the Bible were cousins or other kinds of relatives, but not brothers/sisters strictly.

What I need your help on is if you can please explain to me a source of some kind to show a protestant that explains/demonstrates that this practice of passing one's parent on to a brother was indeed a part of Jewish culture or the law or what have you. In other words, what can I show this person to prove that this indeed was the case with the Jews, and not something that Catholics have made up in order to justify their position. Obviously, a non-Catholic source--perhaps simply some historical or Jewish source dealing with their culture--would be best.

Look forward to your answer, thanks

B. Douglass: Dear Sir,
In Jewish law a man's heirs are morally obliged to care for his widow. This is part of the Ketubbah, or marriage contract. See the Encyclopedia Judaica's article on widows. It would be quite an insult to Mary's other children if Jesus prevented them from fulfilling this moral obligation, by having one of His disciples fulfill it instead.

In any case, it is simply common sense that in any culture a widow's children should take care of her before family friends take on the job.