The government said on Friday that it is closely monitoring people who are advocating independence for Hong Kong, to determine whether any action needs to be taken.
The Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen, told a meeting of the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee that calls for independence are completely in violation of the Basic Law.
However Yuen stressed that the authorities will only take action if there’s a possibility that that a crime will be committed, saying that a breach of the Basic Law is not the same as a violation of criminal law.
That said, he stressed that law enforcement agencies must be allowed to collect evidence and conduct investigations.
Yuen also warned that there’s a limit to freedom of expression. “One cannot use freedom of speech as a shield to defend suggestions that are contrary to the fundamental principles expound in the Basic Law,” he said.
The Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, also said any promotion of independence for Hong Kong is a clear violation of the Basic Law and the “one country, two systems” principle that must be condemned.
The debate over the issue was sparked by the establishment of a radical party earlier this week. The Hong Kong National Party aims to transform Hong Kong into an independent republic, and said it would not recognise the Basic Law.
Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office has called the party a threat to national security.
But pan-democratic lawmakers warned that it would be a mistake to criminalise peoples’ beliefs.
Civic Party councillor Dennis Kwok, who represents the legal sector, questioned, “are we saying that their beliefs are so radical and so unacceptable that we should criminalise what they’re doing? I don’t believe that is in line with our constitution.”
Former security secretary, and New People’s Party chairperson Regina Ip, however, said this is not simply a matter of freedom of expression.
“This is not just talking about Hong Kong independence,” she said. “This is setting up a political party; and we all know political parties have objectives; have agendas, have action plans… to recruit supporters and to implement the agendas.” Ip said it’s a matter for concern because the party may have concrete action plans.
In a move aimed at sparing its students and faculty embarrassment, a Japanese private university on Friday ditched its distracting former English name for a more benign moniker.
With the new academic year starting the same day, the former Kinki University in Osaka Prefecture became Kindai University, with the school holding a ceremony to unveil a new English nameplate at one of its gates. School athletes wearing uniforms bearing the new name attended the ceremony.
The name-change decision was made two years ago. As the university had been placing greater emphasis on foreign languages and international studies, it believed the previous English name, pronounced identically to “kinky,” may have been off-putting to foreign students.
University President Hitoshi Shiozaki said at the time, “I did not feel good about the giggles which were caused when introducing myself at academic meetings abroad.”
“Kindai” is an abbreviation of the university’s Japanese name, “Kinki Daigaku,” which remains unchanged.
Mei Ichinose, a 19-year-old student whose father is British, welcomed the new name saying, “My (paternal) grandmother gave me a bewildered look when I told her Kinki University.”
President Shiozaki said during the ceremony that with the new name, Kindai will “keep plugging away to become more globalized.”
According to the university, “Kinki” derives from “Kinai,” which referred to a large administrative district in western Japan dating back to the 7th century, roughly corresponding to parts of the current Nara, Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.
“Kinki” means “the capital and surrounding areas.”
A new poll revealed that about a third of some one-thousand people surveyed plan to vote for a candidate of the ruling Saenuri Party at the upcoming general elections.
Polling agency Gallup Korea carried out the survey on one-thousand-two adults across the nation between Tuesday and Thursday.
Twenty-one percent of the respondents selected the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, while eight percent chose the People’s Party and three percent checked off the Justice Party.
The polling agency was quick to stress, however, that there is a big possibility that the figures will change as the number of candidates that each party has running in electoral districts is different and as some regions could witness unified opposition candidates.
The survey had a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus three-point-one percentage points.
Let’s review the facts of Corey Lewandowski-Michelle Fields dust up, shall we?
She wears high heels when she goes out reporting. And has fallen down before when she was covering Occupy Wall Street. Maybe she falls down a lot? Don’t know. Maybe she does it to get attention.
But I do find it odd that she says she’s never tried to make herself the story. That’s precisely what she always tries to do.
Here are some questions I have as she gets her media moment.
Why did Fields not ask a question of Trump at his forty-minute press conference?
Why was she waiting in an area that Secret Service was already clearing?
Why did Fields who did not see who tugged her arm ask Lewandowski if he was in the fact the person who tugged her arm?
Why did she not speak to a superior about the alleged incident instead of a speaking to a hostile news outlet and a romantic interest right away?
Why was her boyfriend (and Marco Rubio supporter from Florida) Jamie Weinstein the first person to tweet about the alleged incident? Was Jamie present?
And why did he call Trump’s people “thugs”? Doesn’t he know that’s a racial slur? Tsk, tsk, Jamie!
Why does no video of this alleged incident exist? A room full of reporters and police and secret service and no one takes a video or even a picture?
Why didn’t she file a police report if it was “battery”? Why didn’t this Fields approach the police after the incident if it was in fact assault? (Seems like a fake rape style incident to me!)
Why is the alleged incident being used as a setup to attack a candidate at tonight’s debate?
Why did she wait so long to release a photo of the bruise? And why hasn’t it been submitted to the police?
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), whose stated mission is “to enable Canadians of all backgrounds to promote justice, development and peace in the Middle East, and here at home in Canada” lists as one of its goals the development of “credible and professional information resources useful to CJPME’s audience, constituency, and collaborators.”
How credible is CJPME?
CJPME Factsheet 186, published in September of 2014 provides an overview of Hamas -its emergence, its goals, and the source for its popular support.
Nowhere in the Factsheet does CJPME mention that Hamas, together with its military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and several charities it runs, have been designated by Canada, the European Union, United States, Israel, Egypt, Australia and the UK as a terrorist organization.
CJPME Factsheet: “Hamas is using sporadic indiscriminate rocket-fire, generally non-lethal, to retaliate against Israeli abuses.”
FACT: Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists have fired more than 11,000 rockets and mortars into Israel – from mosques, school, hospitals and other civilian areas – causing 33 deaths and over 1,900 injuries, which both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said amounts to war crimes.
CJPME: Since 2004, many Hamas leaders have repeatedly offered to accept a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict based on the pre-1967 borders.
FACT: In an interview with Al-Aqsa on March 6, 2014, Dr. Yunis al-Astal, a senior Hamas figure and Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament justified carrying out genocide against the Jews when he said: “What is the solution for this gang of people?…We must slaughter them, so as to break them and prevent them from spreading corruption in the world….We must return them to the situation where they are subjected to humiliation. They must be dhimmi [tolerated but with an inferior status] residents. This status must be imposed on them through war. They must pay the jizya security tax when they live among us….However, in Palestine, where they are occupiers and invaders, they cannot enjoy the status of dhimmis.”
FACT: On May 15, 2015, in a press statement on the 67th anniversary of Nakba, Hamas reaffirmed a set of national constants, which included, among others, “Resistance is the only way to achieve our national goals, the absurd negotiations are the way of weak people. The right of return is inalienable and scared.”
FACT: On November 2, 2015, Hamas issued a press release titled “Armed resistance a strategic choice against occupation” which explicitly stated that “the Palestinian people will never give up their rightful claim to the land of Palestine” and stressed the importance of backing the Jerusalem’s intifada.
FACT: On December 14, 2015, Hamas issued a press statement on Hamas’s 28th Anniversary which explicitly stated that “Hamas will never recognize the Israeli occupation, and confirms that Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean is an Arab, Islamic country” and reaffirmed that “The right of return is a sacred, nonnegotiable individual and collective right.”
CJPME Factsheet: 2006: Hamas drops its call for the destruction of Israel from its electoral platform
FACT: In 2012, top Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk, trying to market Hamas as pragmatic, told The Jewish Daily Forward that Hamas would agree to a cease-fire (hudna) with Israel. On the other hand, he emphasized that Hamas categorically objects to recognizing Israel and normalizing relations with it; would not permit the Palestinian Authority to sign a peace treaty based on the recognition of Israel;
did not intend to abandon the path of “resistance” [i.e., terrorism]; insisted on the realization of the so-called “right of return” of the Palestinian refugees living outside “Palestine”.
FACT: In December, 2014, Khalil al-Hayaa, a top Hamas leader, said: “This illusion called Israel will be removed. It will be removed at the hands of the Qassam Brigades”.
FACT: In a speech from Damascus, Meshaal said: “We will not accept a permanent truce, because it will take the right of resistance from the Palestinian people. The resistance is against occupation and military campaigns and therefore as long as occupation exists, resistance will too…”
FACT: In a speech in Gaza in 2012, Meshaal said: “Palestine is our land and nation from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river, from north to south, and we cannot cede an inch or any part of it.” “Resistance (i.e. terrorism) is the right way to recover our rights, as well as all forms of struggle – political, diplomatic, legal and popular, but all are senseless without resistance.”
FACT: In an interview with Al-Rai radio in November 2013, official Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida (full name is Hudayfa Samir Abdullah al-Kahlout) said that the ultimate goal of the Palestinian struggle is the conquest of the cities of Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Ramle, and Beersheba – in other words, the eradication of Israel
FACT: In May 2014, Al-Qassam Brigades posted a video calling on the Jews in Palestine to hurry and leave, warning that if they did not do so their fate would be death, as decreed by Hamas.
CJPME Factsheet: Hamas greatly reduces suicide bombings in 2003, and in 2005 halts the practice.
FACT: CJPME makes it sound as though Hamas halted suicide bombings of its own volition. However, according to available statistics, the reduction in suicide bombings is directly attributable to the construction of the security fence, which proved to be highly effective measure for reducing terror attacks.
In conclusion, the credibility of any human rights organization must be based on accuracy, honesty, reliability and impartiality. This is particularly relevant with respect to the functioning of CJPME, whose stated goal is to be the “go to” organization for politicians, policymakers and the media and the development of “credible and professional information resources useful to CJPME’s audience, constituency, and collaborators.”
An organization which, whether intentionally or unintentionally, omits key facts about Hamas, including information which is readily available on Hamas’ own English-language website cannot claim to have any credibility whatsoever and should certainly never be relied on by anyone except agenda-driven hardened anti-Israel activists.
Augsburg College was once a conservative Christian school, but the salt has lost its savor (Matthew 5:13) and is now good for nothing. Founded in 1869 by Norwegian Luthern immigrants and named for the famous “Augsburg Confession” of 1530, the school was originally a seminary for the training of ministers and for its first 52 years of existence, Augsburg Seminary was a male-only institution. The school’s 20th-century conversion into a liberal arts college was accompanied by the slow-motion abandonment of its Christian heritage and mission. About 2,500 undergraduate students pay $34,431 annual tuition to attend Augsburg’s 24-acre campus on Riverside Avenue in Minneapolis.
Augsburg is affiliated with the ultra-liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) which was formed in 1988 after a schism among Lutherans that emerged in the 1970s. A specific point of contention was the ordination of women, which the ELCA’s predecessor, the Lutheran Church in America, had endorsed in 1970. About one-third of ELCA pastors are now women and, having thus “baptized” radical feminism, so to speak, in 2013 the ELCA elected a woman as its presiding bishop.
To convey a general idea of what sort of ideas nowadays prevail in ELCA circles, the election of Elizabeth Eaton to the denomination’s top post prompted this enthusiastic outburst from Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director of Women of the ELCA:
As the presiding bishop election process winnowed down nominees, three of the final four candidates were women. . . . As I’ve written before . . . it’s not just about numbers. To respond to the needs facing the church and society in the 21st century, a collaborative leadership style is needed, and studies show that women more naturally use this form of leadership.
See? It’s about “a collaborative leadership style . . . that women more naturally use.” In other words, women are superior to men, and therefore it is “not just about numbers,” but rather about women “naturally” taking control of every position of leadership, leaving men to do . . . what?
Questions like this are never supposed to be asked by those who ponder “the needs facing the church and society in the 21st century,” nor is anyone ever permitted to notice how the abandonment of biblical teaching is reflected by the collapse into secular decadence of formerly Christian schools like Augsburg College. Recall that it was Yale University’s abandonment of its own Christian heritage that was a major focus of William F. Buckley’s famous 1951 critique, God and Man at Yale.
We must wonder what the Lutheran founders of Augsburg College would think to see what the institution has become in the 21st century. The fate of Augsburg alumna Alison Rapp — the defender of child pornography who was fired from her public relations job at Nintendo Wednesday — makes this a “teachable moment,” we might say, for anyone concerned by contemporary trends in our culture. Ms. Rapp graduated from Augsburg in 2011 and wrote, in a 2014 proposal for a conference hosted by the International Communication Association’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies Special Interest Group, that she had “conducted research at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota on bisexuality in Tokugawa Japan, representations of women in Nintendo’s popular Legend of Zelda series, [and] depictions of gay and lesbian relationships” in pornographic Japanese manga cartoons.
Let the reader try to imagine what those 19th-century Norwegian Lutherans who founded Augsburg Seminary might have said about Ms. Rapp’s “research” and — when you have stopped laughing and caught your breath — think what a serious issue this really is.
Since 1974, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation has advocated for the full welcome, inclusion, and equity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their Church, congregations, and community. . . .
We are Lutherans working with the recognition that racism, sexism, ageism, able-ism, heterosexism, homophobia, and all the other artificial distinctions that seek to raise one group into privilege and preference over another, conspire together to diminish our world and church.
What we may call “The Gospel of Gayness” began to flourish among Lutherans not long after the ordination of women was accepted by the denomination’s liberal leadership. Was this a coincidence? What sort of theology and doctrine does the ECLA promote? Consider the Rev. Amanda Zentz-Alo of Portland, Oregon’s Central Lutheran Church:
Back when I started my ministry, I didn’t know I would be an ally to people who are LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual). I didn’t know the blessing that this work would be in my life and in my ministry. I had no idea that I would discover that I am called and convicted by Scripture to do it. In 2014, I staffed a “Sacred Space” booth at the Portland Pride Festival, a celebration of and for the LGBTQIA community. . . .
The first time I read a gospel in seminary, my professor opened my eyes to the social justice call of our Savior.
This character — “Social Justice Jesus” — is the progressive mirror-image of “Patriotic Republican Jesus,” the All-American action-hero figure invoked as an object of praise by GOP activists for whom the secular and sacred merge. Liberals have long denounced the “Religious Right” as a menace to democracy, but what about the Religious Left? The Reverend Zentz-Alo, an idolatrous High Priestess in the Temple of Social Justice, proclaims what would seem to be a “salt-free” diet of theological inclusivity and diversity, indistinguishable from the platform of the Democrat Party. The home page of her church declares:
In response to the call in Romans 15:7 to “welcome one another therefore as Christ has welcomed you for the glory of God,” we, the members of Central, join hands with all our sisters and brothers grateful for the unique gifts that each of us has to offer, regardless of race, age, gender identity, marital status, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, national origin, or economic status. We celebrate together both the diversity of God’s family and our unity as God’s people.
Certain passages of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans might be cited by critics of the Reverend Zentz-Alo’s “diversity” doctrine, which very much resembles the Gnostic heresy. Giving heed to “seducing spirits,” and teaching “doctrines of devils” (I Timothy 4:1), heretics were a menace to the Church even greater than the persecution of Christians by the Roman authorities. Martyrs died gladly rather than to abandon the true faith, so that the Church might live, but Satan also attacked the early Church with enemies more subtle than pagan emperors. Perhaps no battle Christianity ever fought in its 2,000-year history was more crucial than its defeat of Gnosticism, a perverse cult that hypocritically pretended to be “Christian” while secretly promoting doctrines directly at odds with the true faith.
Among the deadliest weapons of Gnosticism were counterfeit scriptures like The Gospel of Thomas. Gnostic cult leaders also shrewdly attacked the Old Testament in treatises like The Hypostasis of the Archons (“The Reality of the Rulers”). Latter-day critics of Paul’s seemingly “sexist” insistence on all-male clergy have failed to comprehend how, even in the first century, false teachers were using “doctrines of devils” in their diabolic efforts to subvert Christianity through syncretism, attempting to corrupt the Church with anti-Christian pagan beliefs. A blasphemous denial of God’s sovereignty and righteousness, Gnosticism rejected the idea of Original Sin and thus rejected also the significance of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. If humans are sinless, we need no Savior, and what is necessary instead is for humans to get in touch with their inner divinity, to “become part of the universal whole by a process of self-knowledge and self-realization,” as Professor Peter Jones explained in his 1992 book The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back: An Old Heresy for the New Age.
Who Is the ‘Author of Confusion’?
Permit me here to digress and explain how easily erroneous teachings can sneak into even the most devout Christian church. More than 20 years ago, in the lobby of a Seventh-Day Adventist church in Rome, Georgia, I picked up a tract defending the King James Version against its modern critics. What the author called attention to was the way in which the proliferation of new English translations undermined the sense of biblical authority, giving credence to the often-heard skeptic’s argument that somehow errors in the translation of the Bible from its original languages means that we don’t actually know the truth of what Jesus said, et cetera. In addition, making a point incidental to his main argument, the author described a very common way in which Christians sometimes almost unwittingly adopt private or personal interpretations of scripture that are at odds with the actual text of the Bible. You see this often in Bible study groups, where a sort of round-robin discussion format prevails.
It is sadly too common for well-meaning Bible-study teachers, particularly those working with young people, to let their classes turn into a theological parliament, where students are permitted more or less to vote their consensus understanding of scripture. “What this verse means tome,” is a phrase one hears often from the members of such groups. Of course, this is nonsense; what matters is what the verse actually says, and what God means to teach us, and if what it means to you is something different from this actual meaning, then you are wrong.
There is a reason why, whenever I quote the Bible, it is always the King James Version, and I do not mean to say that other translations have no value. However, I think it is no coincidence that we have seen increasing confusion about the meaning of Christianity in the past century, as more and more new translations are pushed into print. Furthermore, neither do I think it is a coincidence that this confusion has been accompanied by a tendency toward the “collaborative leadership style” that the ELCA feminist Linda Post Bushkofsky celebrated as “more naturally” female. “For God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14:33), and perhaps some readers could cite the following passages of that chapter by heart. Paul’s concern that “all things be done decently and in order” (I Corinthians 14:40) has often been criticized by feminists, but what do we see when the alternative — the consensus approach and “collaborative leadership” — replaces a scriptural understanding of God’s creation?
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply . . .”
— Genesis 1:27-28 (KJV)
You can sit around pondering the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts or engage in whatever other approach to scriptural exegesis suits you, but you cannot evade the clear meaning of God’s word here: First, that the division of humanity into male and female was part of the divine plan and, second, that the blessing came with a commandment to procreate — a commandment that has never been rescinded. Obviously, not every man or woman must marry or have children to serve God, but no one who takes the Bible seriously would ever dare to blaspheme by invoking religious authority to attack the created order.
We may watch the fools of the world go to Hell in their usual way, saying in their hearts there is no God (Psalm 14:1), but how will anyone be saved if God’s people no longer speak the truth? When the Church refuses to cling to truth, and instead becomes “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2), who will stand apart from the world’s sin and folly? Progressive denominations like the ELCA have abandoned the gospel truth and, exchanging it for a counterfeit neo-gnostic doctrine of “diversity” and “inclusion,” have joined the parade of fools marching down the highway to Hell. Whatever else you may think of the Reverend Zentz-Alo, she is not a Christian minister. She is a liar and a fool teaching falsehood and folly. These heretical High Priestesses in the Temple of Social Justice will call you a “bigot” and accuse you of “hate,” if you teach the Word (John 1:1) and proclaim the Way, the Truth and the Life.
What a dreadful curse must fall on these “progressive” fools! They are servants of sin (Romans 8:34) who do the work of Satan, the father of lies (Romans 8:44), as they advocate abortion, endorse fornication, and sacrilegiously confer their blessing on sin. But I digress . . .
‘Lustful Gratification of the Flesh’
Feminists have long understood, far better than most of their opponents, that destroying Christianity is necessary to feminism’s success. In the introduction of her 1993 book The Creation of Feminist Consciousness, Gerda Lerner takes aim at the “mental constructs” of Western civilization and “the major assumptions about gender in patriarchal society.” Foremost among these, according to Professor Lerner, is the belief that men and women “are essentially different creatures” in terms of “their needs, capacities and functions.” Professor Lerner, who as a teenager in the 1930s studied Marxist theory under J.B.S. Haldane, specifically targets the belief that men and women differ “in the social function assigned to them by God.” Like every other Marxist, Professor Lerner believed the exact opposite of Judeo-Christian theology. God did not create man in His own image, the Marxist believes, but rather man created God, this fiction serving as a supernatural source of secular authority. Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver warned, and Marxism’s reversal of Christianity led to the deaths of an estimated 100 million people under the tyranny of Communism in the 20th century.
Despite the bloody costs of this nightmare, Marxism’s deadly ideas have persisted, thanks to the influence of feminists like Professor Lerner. Chapter 5 of her book is devoted to a number of women whose claims of mystical insight served to cloak their proto-feminism in religious authority. These included Margaret Fell, a follower (and subsequently the wife) of George Fox, founder of the Quakers, as well as Ann Lee, who played a crucial role in the Shakers, a sect that split from the Quakers. While serving a jail sentence in 1772, Ann Lee claimed to have a vision and, asserting this as the word of “Christ who dwells in me,” proclaimed that “lustful gratification of the flesh” (i.e., sex) was “the source and foundation of human corruption.” This vision became the basis of a doctrine of celibacy among her Shaker followers who “called her Mother Ann Lee of the New Creation,” as Professor Lerner explained on page 102 of The Creation of Feminist Consciousness:
To escape persecution Ann Lee and eight followers traveled to New England and soon settled near Albany, New York, where she founded a utopian colony and continued her preaching and proselytizing missionary work. . . .
Ann Lee’s doctrine revitalized the concept of an androgynous God — Sophia, Holy Wisdom of the Bible, was the female element in God; in Christ the masculine side had been made manifest and in Mother Ann Lee the feminine side had been reincarnated. Ann Lee’s revelations indicated that the millennium was at hand and that the Shakers, with their celibate, pious life would hasten its coming. . . .
In line with Mother Lee’s theology, Shakers believed in the equality of the sexes. In their communities leadership was shared between men and women and they practiced their belief that women, as well as men, could be teachers and preachers.
Unfortunately for the Shakers, these revelations of the millennium were not only premature, but in disparaging “lustful gratification of the flesh,” Mother Lee’s celibate followers ensured that the cult members would not have any children to continue their “utopian colony”:
At its peak in the mid-19th century, there were 6,000 Shaker believers. By 1920, there were only 12 Shaker communities remaining in the United States. In the present day, there is only one active Shaker village, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, which is located in Maine. Their celibacy resulted in the thinning of the Shaker community, and consequently many of the other Shaker settlements are now village museums, like Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts.
There are today exactly four known Shakers dwelling in their Maine village, and perhaps the “revitalized the concept of an androgynous God,” as Professor Lerner described the Shaker theology of Ann Lee’s vision, did not come from Christ, but rather from Satan himself.
“Ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5) was the false promise of Satan’s original lie, and the sinful idea that human beings can defy God, living according to our own beliefs without respect to God’s law, has been a cause of violence and evil in the world ever since. What the Shakers condemned as “the source and foundation of human corruption” is in fact merely obedience to the commandment of God, that mankind should “be fruitful and multiply.” The beauty of God’s design — man and woman together, accepting the new lives of their children as God’s blessing — should never be scorned. Ann Lee stands condemned as a blasphemer. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
Goddesses, Androgyny and the Anti-Christ
What shall we say of “the concept of an androgynous God” that Professor Lerner credits Ann Lee with having “revitalized”? Its origin was paganism, “the metaphysics of the ancient Mother-Goddess religions,” as Professor Lerner explains in The Creation of Feminist Consciousness:
In the earliest centuries of Christianity the worship of the harvest goddesses Ceres and Demeter was widespread in the Mediterranean area. In Europe, heathen practices like the celebration of festivals outdoors near certain stones and springs previously identified with goddesses, continued for centuries after the acceptance of Christianity. . . . The mysterious life-giving forces of the Mother-Goddess continued to be celebrated in folklore and folk memory, such as the custom of drawing the goddess in a wagon around the fields to ensure the success of the crops.
The corruption of Christianity by the infusion of pagan beliefs is known assyncretism, and the “ancient Mother-Goddess religions” mentioned by Professor Lerner include the gruesome and perverse cults of Canaan. To cite one Baptist theologian’s description, the Canaanites practiced “a crude and debased form of ritual polytheism . . . associated with sensuous fertility-cult worship of a particularly lewd and orgiastic kind.” Any secular reader who has made it this far in my essay should pause to contemplate the irony here. Feminists generally denounce Christianity not just as patriarchal, but also as “unscientific,” yet we see that the atheist Professor Lerner celebrated these “ancient Mother-Goddess religions,” an ignorant system of superstition historically associated with the utmost cruelty of primitive savagery. How is it that a renowned academic would welcome a revival of the pagan cult of Astarte (also known as Ashtoreth or Ishtar) in the name of “feminist consciousness”?
Goddess-worship is now widely practiced in ECLA churches. The denomination ordains lesbians as ministers, and what is called “feminist spirituality” is promoted at Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco where, on Christmas Day 2015, Pastor Stacy Boom posted this “prayer”:
Sophia our Goddess,
As a full moon rising,
You unveil your vision of love
for the universe
and work within us
to bring about your healing purposes.
Sophia our Goddess,
as a full moon rising,
give us the wisdom to understand
that your justice exceeds
even our best intentions,
and your love is a cosmic quality
we only begin to discern:
that, trusting in your moon-risings,
in your birth-giving powers,
we celebrate and embody the coming
of your peace on earth;
Sophia our Goddess,
As a full moon rising,
You are the One Sacred Thread
and Source for All Times,
Grandmother, Mother, and Child,
This is definitely not a Christian prayer. Any student of the occult would recognize the reference to “Grandmother, Mother, and Child” as an invocation of the so-called “Triple Goddess” (Maiden, Mother, Crone) of modern neo-pagan Wicca. So far gone is the ELCA in its abandonment of biblical truth that it accepts witchcraft in its “Lutheran” pulpits.
“There are many different ways of looking at the Divine Feminine within the same liturgical setting. Darkness is another image for the Divine Feminine, reclaiming Darkness as being as holy as Light. . . . The mission of Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran is to be a prophetic voice within the patriarchal church. Inclusion of the Divine Feminine will change the whole structure of the church. Eventually the clergy structure will be dismantled.”
— Pastor Stacy Boom, 2011
Certainly we should take this seriously, because such teachings will“change the whole structure” of the church — or rather, would do so, in any “church” that follows the ECLA down the road toward pagan worship of “the Divine Feminine.” The list of “Recommended Reading” on the website of Ebenezer Lutheran Church includes The Creation of Feminist Consciousness by the Marxist Gerda Lerner. Coincidence? I think not.
“All expressions of gender identity are a blessing!” What this ECLA church celebrates is a denial of God’s created order, a latter-day expression of the ancient Gnostic belief in which “the divine being is . . . best expressed by androgyny . . . the erasure of the male-female distinction,” as Peter Jones observed in 1992. Gnostic believers sought “the attainment of an androgynous or sexless state,” Jones wrote in The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back. This “radical refusal of sexual differentiation” was an expression of a “refusal of creational sexuality as presented in the Genesis account,” according to Jones. “The inversion of sexual roles leads to sexual confusion” and, because “true divinity is androgynous, it follows that the true Gnostic will finally seek androgyny.”
This weird heretical cult belief has been revived in our time in large part because modern feminism specifically rejects Jesus, the Son of God, a male incarnation of divinity sent by God the Father. This anti-Christian attitude led Professor Mary Daly to propose “castrating God.”
In her 1973 book Beyond God the Father, Professor Daly called for “cutting way the Supreme Phallus” (p. 19) so that “Christianity itself should be castrated” (p. 71), because “the role of liberating the human race form the original sin of sexism would seem to be precisely the role that a male symbol cannot perform. The image itself . . . functions to glorify maleness” (p. 72). Daly endorses “an ethic which transcends the most basic of role stereotypes, those of masculine/feminine,” bringing about an “androgynous world” free from “the archaic heritage of psycho-sexual dualism,” a liberation made possible by women “castrating the phallic ethic” (pp. 105-106). As bizarre as all that may sound, Daly furthermore called for a “renaming of the cosmos” by a feminist sisterhood she called the “Antichurch . . . the bringing forth into the world of New Being” (pp. 138-139). Daly continues on pg. 140:
There is a bond, then, between the significance of the women’s revolution as Antichrist and its import as Antichurch. Seen in the positive perspective in which I have presented it, as a spiritual uprising that can bring us beyond sexist myths, the Antichrist has a natural corrrelative in the coming of the Antichurch, which is the communal uprising against the social extensions of the male Incarnation myth, as this has been objectified in the structures of political power.
Daly describes this as “the Second Coming of female presence not only as Antichrist but also as Antichurch,” as a “rising woman-consciousness” that “has an organic consequence in the rejection of sexist rituals” (pp. 140-141). Daly sees this “spiritual dimension of feminist consciousness” as unleashing chaos and terror by destroying the “Christocentric cosmos”:
This women’s revolution as Antichurch represents this terror of chaos and says it will no longer kept at bay. It rejects not only the myths of patriarchy but their externalization in ritual.
Dismiss this as the ranting of a maniac, if you wish, but ask yourself: Can anything else explain what has happened to Augsburg College?
Augsburg College [in 2014] was named to Campus Pride’s list of the Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges. Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization aimed at creating more LGBT-friendly colleges, compiled the list using schools that achieved the highest ratings in categories such as LGBT academic life, LGBT student life, LGBT housing, and more. In 2013, Campus Pride awarded Augsburg College a perfect score of 5 out of 5 stars on its LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index.
What would those 19th-century Norwegian Lutherans have to say about the Queer Pride Alliance at the college they founded as a seminary? Does anyone think Augsburg College’s founders would be pleased to know that it was rated one of the Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges? Can we imagine those Lutheran founders congratulating the winners of Augsburg’s“LGBTQIA Student Leadership Awards”?
Obviously, this was not at all what the founders of Augsburg College had in mind, so how did it happen? Probably the decision to admit women students in 1922 — immediately after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women’s right to vote — reflected the willingness of Augsburg’s leaders to be “conformed to this world.” Drifting along with the political trend, Augsburg next abandoned its status as a seminary to become a liberal arts college. This transition, from an all-male institution training Lutheran ministers to a coed college, was accomplished in the span of a single generation, so that the Lutheran pastor who graduated from (all-male) Augsburg Seminary in 1921 might live to see his daughter graduate from Augsburg College in 1963.
The More-Is-Better Mentality
We see in operation here the modern idea of History as Progress. As G.K. Chesterton said in 1905, “Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative.” By 1923, Chesterton remarked, “My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.” The direction of Progress, to the modern mind, is always toward continual improvement, a society becoming more democraticaccording to an ideal of increasing equality. The great engine of modern Progress is education, and if education is Good, then more education is Better. This modern more-is-better mentality of Progress is also applied to the idea of democratic equality. No matter how much equality and democracy we may have now, the advocates of Progress always want more. Once women got the vote, and were admitted to formerly all-male schools like Augsburg College, the More is Better principle required that some new manifestation of equality must be adopted as proof of the continual improvement necessary to History as Progress.
So it was that Lutherans began ordaining women as ministers, and the young Lutheran who had been present on that occasion in 1970 would likely live to see a woman elected as presiding bishop of the ELCA, by which time (a) lesbian ministers would be preaching pagan goddess-worship from “Lutheran” pulpits, and (b) Augsburg College would brag about its five-star rating as an “LGBT-Friendly” campus.
This, you see, is how modern Progress operates.
Amid their more-is-better celebration of continual improvement in democratic equality, however, some Christians have lost sight of God. We might also suspect that Lutherans (and many other Americans, whether Christian or not) should have taken more seriously the lunatic rants of Mary Daly, who was clearly crazy, but not necessarily wrong. Can we now see in hindsight that the influence of “rising woman-consciousness” — feminism as the Antichurch of the Antichrist — has been exactly what she said it would be? Feminism’s radical theology, “castrating God,” has brought forth the “terror of chaos” of an “androgynous world,” unstructured by the “psycho-sexual dualism” that sees men and woman as naturally different, each necessary to the other in the created order.
the pervert lobby targeting children while they are young
One 4-year-old girl was pulled out of her Colorado preschool classroom last month when her parents pressed the administration on why their daughter was reading books about same-sex couples and worms unsure of their gender identity.
R.B. Sinclair, the little girl’s mother, saw the books as a form of sex education and wanted the option to keep her daughter from having those discussions at such an early age, according to the Denver Post.
Sinclair informed the school that her daughter, who is part of a biracial family and has been raised with both Muslim and Western cultures, is too young to reason the concepts taught in the books because she doesn’t yet understand the differences between anatomy and identity.
But the school administration gave Sinclair an ultimatum. She could either pull her daughter from the classroom, or allow her to sit under the teaching about gender issues and sexual preferences.
School officials at Montview Community Preschool & Kindergarten in Aurora, Colorado, which is run as a private, parent cooperative institution, told Sinclair that the stories are part of the school’s anti-bias curriculum and, since the discussions are scattered throughout the school day, her daughter could not opt out of it.
The school’s anti-bias curriculum is intended to expose the young children to diverse depictions of families and gender roles before they have the opportunity to form opinions or beliefs that are contrary to accepting those lifestyles.
“Biases start as kids get older and start to see differences as negative,” Kim Bloemen, director of early childhood education for the Boulder Valley School District, told the Post. “At a young age, kids are exploring all different kinds of things. It’s about just providing them with all these experiences.”
In a letter sent to parents, the Montview administration defended the books and offered a newsletter suggesting ways for parents to discuss the controversial issues at home. But that was not satisfactory to Sinclair.
“I think at this age they don’t know what bias is,” Sinclair said. “They could have kids from Mars, and they would still play with each other. It’s not that she isn’t exposed to diversity, because it is the world we live in, but how are they having these conversations?
According to the Post, all area public preschool teachers went through training earlier this year, equipping them with techniques to integrate more discussions about gender identity and sexual preferences with young children.
“This is a fairly new topic to be discussing. We as leaders are learning as well,” Bloemen said.
An initiative started by the School of Education at the University of Colorado known as A Queer Endeavor has helped train 2,500 teachers over the past three years, because according to the group’s co-founder, instructors “have been really under-supported” when it comes to the issue.
“Times are changing,” Bethy Leonardi, a research associate and co-founder of A Queer Endeavor, said. “The only hesitations we’ve seen is that teachers have been really under-supported. They wonder, ‘Am I doing it right,’ [and] what language to use. There’s a real willingness to do the work.”
The initiatives are there to help teachers keep the focus on family structures and on remaining positive about alternative lifestyles. And though the topics are not intended to delve into discussions about sex and anatomy, teachers have to be prepared to answer whatever questions the young students might ask.
“Kids might say, ‘My mommy is this’ or ‘My daddy doesn’t live with us,’” Bloemen said. “Or preschoolers go, ‘How come you’re brown’ and another child will say, ‘I don’t know.’ They’ll ask the teacher, who might say, ‘We are all alike, and we are all different.’
But Sinclair is not comfortable with the way the teachers are talking about these issues with her daughter. In fact, one day, Sinclair said her daughter came home concerned that her father may no longer be interested in women.
Additionally, Sinclair fears the focus on sexual preferences and gender identity may teach children to prioritize one type of diversity over another. And, two days after meeting with the principal, Sinclair determined the school was no longer “a good fit” for her daughter.
Sinclair took the school’s ultimatum and decided to pull her daughter from the classroom.
“There was no consideration for the bias against my family’s culture, faith and concerns,” she said.
The young man who sparked the evacuation of several blocks of Pierrefonds Tuesday will be asked to sign a peace bond so police can keep a careful watch over him — lest he attempt to commit a terrorist act.
Omar Elabi, 20 — the little brother of known jihadist Sami Elabi — was taken into custody Tuesday morning, once a wide-enough perimeter had been established around his home on Laurin St. and even Sunnybrooke train station had been cleared.
Elabi was suspected of posting a threatening video online in which someone appears to be preparing a bomb.
“The threat was done in a way to make us believe there was an explosive device,” Montreal police Commander Ian Lafrenière told the Montreal Gazette. “We have to take such threats seriously. We’re better safe than sorry.”
A subsequent police search of the family home yielded no explosives or anything else of importance, however, and neighbours were allowed back into their homes.