Believe Evidence – Short Takes

 

By Charlie Johnston

“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see” – Winston Churchill

“Believe Women” is the latest mantra of the left – no matter how absurd an individual woman’s story is, you must believe it because she is a woman. We’ve been here before. In the antebellum and Jim Crow American south it was “Believe White Folks.” In the Germany of the 1930’s and 40’s it was “Believe Non-Jew Germans.” I could go on ad nauseum, but the point is the same: when you choose to systematically believe any class of people because of their privileged identity in contradiction to the evidence and facts, awful things – even atrocities – are unleashed. Certainly, you can give the benefit of the doubt to someone who you know and trust or some public figure who has a sterling reputation – but when you systematically believe someone because of their tribe, hell is about to be unleashed. “Believe Evidence.” That’s the only mantra that protects liberty rather than imperils it – and is the mantra the leftist atheists hate most.

*******

“Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” is now playing at 750 theatres nationwide. It is the story of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who routinely murdered born babies and in whose “clinic” many women died from unsanitary conditions and outright filth. It is the story of how Philadelphia and Pennsylvania authorities did not even inspect the clinic for almost two decades, fearful of triggering the ire of leftwing feminists for whom abortion is a sacrament that must be protected no matter how many are hurt or die. It is the story of how the establishment media worked steadfastly to ignore this story because it so refuted their narrative. The establishment media thinks its job is to hide the ugliness, brutality, and murderous barbarity of abortion while pretending it is a sacred right for women. The Hollywood distribution chain desperately tried to prevent this movie from being shown at all. The story on how it finally got distributed is a tale of heroic fortitude, in itself. How long it will stay in theatres depends on how many people buy tickets. The truth is light. Buy a ticket and let a little more light shine on this barbarity – for darkness cannot withstand the light of truth. Here is a list of all the theatres in America where it is currently playing.

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I saw a copy of William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” at a thrift store. I had last read it when I was a teenager, so I decided to pick it up to see how the 62-year-old me would react to it. Shirer’s perspective is a uniquely valuable one. He was a reporter back when that job lived a real code of honor and was respectable. He was initially sent to cover Germany in 1925. He was actually there for the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party, for the hideous years of power, for its downfall, and for the war crimes trials at Nuremberg. He knew most of the Nazi leaders. He was simultaneously journalist, contemporary witness, and historian. Almost 60 years after its initial publication, it remains a stunning tour-de-force.

As I read it anew, I regularly get chills – and see why so many who have lived through such terrors say America now resembles the early stages of such a horror. Identity politics is a mantra of the atheist left in America. In Austria at the beginning of the last century, the ruling Austrian-Germans were overwhelmed by competing internal nationalities; Czechs, Slavs, Serbs, Croats and others, all refusing to assimilate and demanding autonomy. Furious resentment at the suppression of Austrian Germans in their own country was the cauldron in which Adolf Hitler was formed. The American left is busy duplicating that cauldron in America. Promoting a society in which roving bands of rival warlords compete for supremacy does not end well – there or here.

Very early, Hitler had adopted the policy of riotous protests and violence to shut down speech that dissented from Nazi ideas. “The National Socialist movement will in the future ruthlessly prevent – if necessary by force – all meetings or lectures that are likely to distract the minds of our fellow countrymen,” Hitler promised in 1921. Ironic that, while people like Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker and such regularly accuse Trump of being Hitler, it is they who are literally using his playbook.

Within two weeks of taking power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933, Hitler started dismantling the autonomous power of the states which made up Germany. All was to be nationalized. By the first anniversary of his reign, Hitler’s interior minister said bluntly that, “The state governments from now on are merely administrative bodies of the Reich.” Cue American Democrats calling for abolishment of the Electoral College, destruction of the US Senate, all in order to centralize national power.

We’ve seen this movie before. Too bad the atheist left cannot look farther back in more than a superficial way to see what they are doing. Thank God they did not get Hillary Clinton in to preside over the final transformation of America into a totalitarian nightmare – the final putsch. The election that swept Hitler to power was the last free election Germany had until post-war reconstruction. We flirted with that in 2016, and we flirt again with it this year – and in 2020. I pray that Americans are not so decadent that we will fail to believe evidence and preserve liberty.

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Some have suggested to me that the Vatican’s concordat with China is akin to Popes JohnXXIII and Paul VI’s policy of realpolitik with communism. To the contrary, realpolitik, which sought to make deals with communists in order to protect Catholics in such countries, was revealed as a complete failure by the brilliant diplomacy of St. John Paul the Great. The intention was benign, but the reality a failure. But even realpolitik did NOT allow communist authorities to name their own Bishops, as the Vatican is allowing China. We’ve got more than a few anti-Catholic bigots holding the role of Bishop in the west: in China it will be nothing but anti-Catholic bigots. This is a betrayal of Chinese Catholics, a betrayal of everything the Church stands for, and a betrayal of Jesus Christ by top members of the hierarchy. In future generations, it will rank as one of the greatest, most crude, brutal betrayals in the history of the Church. Those who promoted it will be held in the sort of contempt that, until now, was reserved for the likes of Pierre Cauchon, the evil Bishop who dummied up the trial and presided over the execution of St. Joan of Arc.

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How I wish the radicalized atheist left did have the wit to look back at previous totalitarian movements. Whether it is the Jacobins of revolutionary France, the communists of Russia, the Nazis of Germany, the communists of China – or any other totalitarian movement that took power for a time, the movement starts by targeting opponents of the ideology. Shortly after it takes power, it begins targeting many of its erstwhile allies. A totalitarian movement ALWAYS consumes its own. Robespierre, who launched “The Terror” to purify revolutionary France, himself ended on the guillotine he had consigned so many to. Totalitarian movements always promise puppy dogs and fluffy bunnies while seeking power, then deliver scorpions, vipers, spiders, blood and iron once they attain it – even to most of their own followers. It is a great irony that even as we fight back against the leftist mobs, it is not just our freedom we defend, but theirs, as well. This is always the way it is when a substantial subset of the population embraces angry ignorance and calls it enlightenment.

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A woman who was once a frequent commenter at and friend of this site, Carole Tomlinson, has been in a prolonged battle with cancer. I put up a link to her gofundme page a few months back. I link again to it today.

223 thoughts on “Believe Evidence – Short Takes

  1. Lots to ponder here, again, Charlie, with the salient historical perspective which remains chilling.

    YES to allowing the evidence to speak. On that note, here’s a piece by Msgr. Pope, giving tribute to Cardinal Wuerl who has been hammered in the press, both secular and Catholic, for his errors: http://blog.adw.org/2018/10/40071/ Msgr. doesn’t say the Cardinal is perfect but there are certainly good things which Cardinal Wuerl accomplished. I find it especially noteworthy as it reminds us: while holding people to account, it is not license to totally blacken someone’s record and/or character.

    Persecution in China, since invaded and controlled by communists, has varied in degree by the region or province in which certain communist leaders have either been fierce or lenient. The Diocese of Wenzhou has suffered greatly and it is not letting up with the new agreement. Notice, in Hubei, the push to “re-educate the priests”: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/More-than-before:-persecution-continues-in-Wenzhou,-Henan,-Hubei-after-the-China-Holy-See-agreement-45185.html Oh China! How I love thee and your beautiful people who have suffered tremendously.

    Praying for our Chinese brothers and sisters. Praying, too, for you, Carole, and your dear ones supporting you through the battle. May Our Lady wrap Her Mantle around you, snug and secure in Her Immaculate Heart.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Agree with you, Beckita. My opinion of Cardinal Weurl has been negative. Msgr. Pope’s very balanced comments about the Cardinal brought me up short – mea culpa for my sin, my lack of charity.

      Yes, praying for dear Carole and the beautiful people of China. Enlisting the aid of the Souls in Purgatory for all our troubles, our suffering. They surely know suffering!

      Liked by 4 people

        1. You can, sadly, add me to the list. Read Msgr. Pope’s post as well. It gave me pause. I’m too much of an all or nothing person. Sadly, my temperament as a melancholic. Hold the bar high for myself and even higher for everyone else. Father in Heaven….have mercy on me!

          Liked by 4 people

          1. We all fall short, Becky. It takes a brave, honest and humble spirit to acknowledge what you’ve shared. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Venerable Bruno Lanteri’s style of spiritual direction. In moments like these, he simply advises us: “Begin again.” It’s so much more refreshing than the wasted energy of beating oneself up.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. You know, Bekita, as a young woman I was a rabid fan of Pearl Buck and felt a closeness with the Chinese people. I still remember a part of the book, Peony. In my senior English class in high school I got an a plus in an exam by explaining something I had learned from a book I had read. Peony’s omah had told her to expect nothing in life so that everything she got no matter how small wou[d be a blessing. I have lived my whole life with that in mind.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. A notice for all the people who follow Charlie’s Blog who also purchase seeds from us.

    Due to actions against privacy, suppression of free speech, and lack of ethics with Facebook, we have closed our Facebook account and opened an account at MeWe instead. If you would like to follow us on MeWe, please click the following link: https://mewe.com/join/st._clare_heirloom_seeds

    John and Sarah

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Several years ago we donated free seeds to the followers of TNRS blog so they could use them in case of an economic collapse. PLEASE NOTE: Seeds have a shelf life, they do not last forever. If you are still relying on these seeds in case of an emergency, you MUST do germination tests on them or purchase new fresh seeds.

      What is the average life of each Heirloom Vegetable Seed? https://www.stclareseeds.com/garden-help/average-life-heirloom-vegetable-seed/

      10 Tips for Storing Your Seeds https://www.stclareseeds.com/garden-help/10-tips-storing-your-seeds/

      If you have any additional concerns please contact us here: https://www.stclareseeds.com/garden-help/contacting-us/

      For our own thoughts, if the so called “Blue Wave” is just a “Blue Fizzle” the liberals or globalists might decide to take the economy down themselves. The Fed raising rates too fast might start things off. As has been mentioned before here, Charlie was right, just a little off on the timing.

      God Bless,
      John and Sarah

      Liked by 7 people

      1. That’s how I also see it playing out, John and Sarah. I have heard too many 1st and 2nd hand stories from people I know who either are liberal or whose friends are liberal, who are reporting that they are voting republican this year due to what they saw done to Kavanaugh, and the outright violence from the left, and repeated lies. And it continues today with more self inflicted wounds with Senator Warren and her ludicrous DNA result showing she’s more European White than all of us, good gravy!

        And when they get run over next month they will know the jig is up and that’s when the try the nasty stuff re. taking down the economy or heaven help us who knows what else. But that’s the key to remember, heaven is helping us so we continue to Trust God 🙂

        Liked by 13 people

        1. Awesome! We always like feedback knowing when peoples orders arrive safe and sound. 🙂 We try to ship out quickly. Hope you are well, Mick? We’re doing pretty well, here. The kids were excited over the bit of snow we’ve had. You had any snow yet, in MI?
          God Bless,
          Sarah

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hey, Sarah! We are all well. I’ve loved seeing all the photos of your beautiful children. When are you going to be home next? When you’re in town, it would be cool if we could get together. 🙂

            Nope, no snow yet here. I think they might have had some in the U. P. though.

            Weird question, but have you and John ever thought about carrying “potato onions” (yellow multiplier onions)? They are super easy to grow and harvest, they keep pert near forever, and I bet that the type of customer to whom you cater would buy out your entire supply every year. Just a thought. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hi, Mick! 🙂 I know I love all the photos John has been putting up! I love photos and taking pictures. It’s been something I’ve always loved. Our oldest has the same gene, and I’m letting her do our family Christmas Letter and photo collage this year. It’s hard to let that go, as that is one of my absolute favorite things to do each year, but she’s growing up and moving on in so many things and only has so much time left here, so I decided to offer it up and let her do it this year. 🙂

              Not sure when we’ll be back in MI. I would have loved to come at the end of the month for my Great Aunt’s wedding, but finances definitely won’t allow. Maybe we’ll come over at Christmas though, as sometimes we use the Christmas present funds sent from my parents for a trip over there instead of gifts. I know it would be fun to get together. There’s 2 other friends who used to go to St. Joe’s who I’d love to see too. We’d have to see how to co-ordinate a visit?

              Yeah, a lot of times the snow that we get turns to rain on it’s way over the Lake. 🙂

              Huh! Believe it or not I’ve never heard of potato onions. 🙂 We’ll have to look into them. If we can get seeds we definitely may carry them, if it’s only from sets, we probably wouldn’t carry them. We have kept away from carrying seed potatoes and onion sets so far, as they have different requirements for storage, and shipping, and have a greater chance of issues than seeds, so they’ve been kinda something we don’t want to deal with as of yet. Things are just way too busy in life right now. :-0 Thanks for the idea! We’re always open to new ideas and varieties to look into!

              Liked by 2 people

  3. Keep heart, Charlie. God’s hand is at work through Trump who has emboldened many good peopel to rise and say “enough!”. After their Kavanaugh debacle and other fascist over reaches, somewhere there’s a liberal with a good enough view of the forest seeing what Admiral Yamamoto saw in 1941, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

    Liked by 8 people

    1. I will put up a piece in a few days on this. When I look at the internals of polls I get access to, the samples are more distorted than I have ever seen. It is just absurd. Major polls are setting up samples with a 20-point advantage for Democrats, putting about ten points more women than ever before and showing them voting two-one Democrat. It is all horse hockey – desperately trying to create a reality and discourage Republicans.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. You would think they would have learned after the 2019 election not to do that. Like you have said before Charlie, “Dumb and Dumber” or like Wiley Coyote running into the same wall over and over again.
        Obama recently said “No political party has a monopoly on wisdom”. This is true, but the democrats seem to be trying their hardest to be the political party with a monopoly on stupid.

        John

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Distorted polls is a very good sign! Charlie, it feels like your prediction a few month back that we won’t have a blue wave in November is going to be on the money. Just a hunch.

        Skewed polls may lean toward Dems (Ha!), but the enthusiasm for Trump is real and as strong as ever…just look at his packed, energetic rallies. He is a master with an audience and his message is positive! Republicans are also motivated because of what was done to Justice Kavanaugh. Lefties overplayed their hand and are losing in ways they have yet to fully realize. They showed the world they are mean bastages…and who wants to be associated with that?

        Many Independents will also surely reject the disjointed Dems for their the insane anger, dirty politics, naked hypocrisies, and lack of positive direction. They have no platform. Also, I bet the black and Hispanic vote will swing a bit more right for several reasons. Perhaps Republicans will even pick up seats.

        Liked by 6 people

          1. That’s over half a football stadium worth of people. Awesome! And so unlike the past Hillary speeches where they had to close off 2/3 of the room because no one showed up…or they used a fake green screen to insert crowds. Hilarious.

            Liked by 2 people

      3. If these public polls were required to display a “nutrition information” label it would read something like:

        “This poll represents the results of the polling question ‘You’re not going to vote for the racist, sexist, bigoted Republican for Congress, are you?’ taken from a random sampling of 100 liberal arts college professors, mainstream media reporters and Antifa protesters nation-wide (in Seattle, Boston and Chicago)– weighted to reflect our expected 10 Democrat to 1 Republican turnout model, and then multiplied by the ratio of the number of darts hitting the donkey bullseye versus the number of darts hitting the elephant bullseye on our office dartboard. Margin of error +/- 5 points. “

        Liked by 9 people

          1. Statistics was one of my favorite courses in College. Partly because of the professor. He tried to make statistics fun! He started the course off by announcing that we were lucky to have him as our statistics professor. He stated that he was the second greatest statistician in the world. Second only to his father who was the greatest statistician in the world.

            One of his little tricks as he called them is etched in my memory. It goes like this:

            Everybody look up at the ceiling. Now imagine that there is a swarm of bees, hundreds and hundreds of them, flying around over your heads. Making a great buzzing noise. Now imagine that suddenly all those bees are frozen in space. Just hanging in the air suspended. Now I want you to go to the corner where I have placed an imaginary broomstick. Got it? Now I want you to walk around the classroom and place that broomstick inside that swarm of frozen bees and leave it hanging there in the air along with the bees. There’s just one thing you must do. Place that broomstick in such a way that the cumulative distance between the broomstick and each of the bees is the minimum possible distance. Which means you have to measure the distance between the broomstick and each of the bees and keep trying every combination of broomstick placement until you discover which one produces the smallest distance between your stick and all the bees combined.

            That’s statistics.

            I learned in that course that statistics arose out of the science of anthropology. Specifically, anthropology in Africa wherein human skulls were measured by a caliper device and compared to ape skulls measured in a similar way.

            I learned that modern statistics ballooned as an independent study came as a result of the industrial revolution. The need for quality control drove the need for some way to accurately detect when the machines were breaking down so the production line could be stopped and repairs made. Statistics as we know it is still ideally suited to this repetitive machine process.

            Measuring repetitive machine processes is a lot easier than measuring a moving, ephemeral perhaps deceptive social phenomena like political opinions. Opinions can morph and change on a dime. Political polling using statistical tools is an iffy prospect at best. Much opportunity for survey error. Think of the little thought experiment above. Tough enough task when the bees are frozen in place. Now set them in motion again and try to place your broomstick in that with any confidence you’ve got the answer correct. How quickly will your answer be incorrect? In the time that it takes you to write down your polling results.

            In the hands of political hacks with an ideology and a narrative and a strategy to manipulate opinion to promote the use of statistical techniques can be horribly abused. Opinion research businesses are for sale to the highest bidder. The client with the big bucks gets the answer he or she wants.

            This game of statistics for hire is particularly egregious early in the political calendar. As we get to one week out from the election you will see this political pimp polling con job begin to constrict toward the old too close to call fallback. They have a reputation to protect. They can’t get it “wrong” consistently every time and still retain their credibility. They will “poll” right through election eve to try to get an accurate assessment of how people are “likely” to vote. But ,like the bees, we can change our position even as we buzz into the voting booth.

            The only semi-reliable political opinion poll, IMO, is the one they take on Election Day. They get the whole population of data points on that day. Or perhaps even more depending on how many dead bodies get to the polls that day. See Lyndon B. Johnson who got his start in West Texas politics canvassing cemeteries registering dead people to vote and Richard Daily in Chicago who I believe dug them up and gave them a ride to the precinct on Election Day.

            How to Lie With Statistics. That’s about it.

            Liked by 5 people

            1. Statistics was my only D in my BS degree. To this day I don’t know how I even got that D. I was brain dead in that science. So I read your comment with attention. I think I saw only buzzing flying bees the entire course. The excuse I offer is that I can see a piece of fabric and visualize a quilt, a purse, an outfit,a pillow etc and know exactly what to do to get there. Ten years ago I comment on an Irish news blog on the anti Jewish rise in European sentiment that we were sinking into the same mistakes of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. I was dismissed on that blog. Of course it has only gotten worse. Dianne Feinstein today announced she will reopen the Kavanaugh case if the Dems take the Congress even after 6 FBI investigations and Ford’s 4 witnesses repudiating her testimony. Makes you wonder if this sitting Democrat senator even knows the Constitution she is supposed to defend.

              Liked by 4 people

              1. Hah! The frozen bees are about all I remember from that course. I still have the text on my bookshelf.
                Neter/Wasserman — Fundamental Statistics For Business and Economics
                Third Edition
                1966

                As I recall about half the book is devoted to sampling error and other kinds of errors endemic to the statistical trade and how to deal with them. It was a real challenge to me. To tell the truth if I had to do it all over again I think I would major in Statistics.

                Re: Feinstein — she is shameless. She is scrambling for votes and this is a shameless pander to the the wackiest fringe of the far left in California. What’s disturbing about it is that there are so many wackies in that fringe in California. She’s gonna win her seat and at age 85 is likely to die in that seat.
                This kind of obvious vote trolling to deceive the voters is disgusting.

                Will she “reopen” the Kavanaugh fiasco if the Dems take the House and Senate? As Charlie might say not a snowball’s chance. It’s all huff and puff. Three reasons:

                1. She is never going to run again. Even the wackies won’t put her in at age 91. She will never face the voters again. We know she is capable of lying to the public with a straight face. Given a life term the she will feel no compunction in blowing off the people who put her in.

                2. The Democrat money boys will tell her to forget about it because it puts all the rest of the House and Senate on the spot. Bad political play in swing districts and red states. Move along Diane, dear, move along. We done chewed that one over once already.

                3. She is too tired at 85 to rouse the incredible energy required to put such a proposition over the top with her own caucus and the nation at large.

                I wouldn’t lose a minute of sleep worrying about that fate for now Justice Kavanaugh. He is secure in his lifetime appointment.

                We are now praying daily the St Patrick’s Lorica prayer for Justice Kavanaugh.

                https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/st-patricks-breastplate.html

                Justice Kavanaugh is more in danger of the witches planning to put the hex on him on Saturday and every month thereafter then he does from poor Diane Feinstein.

                Liked by 2 people

  4. I may go to one movie a year so I am rather ignorant about what Hollywood is putting out. I went to the Gosnell movie last Saturday… it is so well done! The movie itself didn’t shock me (we all should know the horrors of abortion by now) as much as the previews of up coming movies. Garbage! I wouldn’t give a nickel to see any of those previewed. In fact I closed my eyes so as not to see the rot they were advertising.
    I find my stomach churning a lot as of late when I contemplate what is going on in the world and church. I find myself in constant need of reassurance that all is not lost. Thanks be to God for ASOH!

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Let’s promote this movie if we can. Wow, the portrayal of Gosnell is downright creepy.

      “….you will see what I see: an overly zealous, Catholic investigator…”

      For every 5,000 degenerate liberal movies, there seems to be just 1 or 2 substantive Christian movies. But this will eventually change.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. Speaking of evidence, it looks like The Cherokee Nation isn’t impressed with Elizabeth Warren’s *evidence* that she is part Native American (a term I’m not a big fan of but we’ll go with it for now).

    “A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, who ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

    – Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr.

    This is SO delicious!!!
    #FAIL

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Ha, Christopher. My great-grandfather WAS full-blooded American Indian – which makes me one-eighth. Back when I was doing radio I was talking about American Indians. A caller corrected me that I meant Native American. I told him about my great-grandfather…and added, “and I will thank you not to tell me what I can call myself, paleface.”

      Liked by 14 people

    2. It seems that Liz Warren has self-destructed overnight. She has tweeted over 20 attacks against President Trump because he called her out on her fakery. Good riddance to her. Her political aspirations are over after this. She should be ashamed of herself but I don’t believe she is self-aware enough for that.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Unfortunately, KarmyTrumpateer, Warren is in a three-way race, with one opponent being MAGA and the other being RINO. That will split the vote and probably let her be re-elected, sad to say. Even if the result is profoundly split, the vote would presumably end up in the Massachusetts legislature which would likely result in her being elected after all.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, KarmyTrumpateer, I’ve just gotten more up to date info about the Warren/Diehl/Whoever race and am somewhat heartened. Patricia is more knowledgeable about Massachusetts candidates than I ever will be. She tells me that I need to vote for Diehl who is not a RINO but an actual conservative. “Whoever” may be a plant and should be ignored. There is some hope now that enough people will vote for Diehl that Warren will lose. I’m certainly going to do my part! 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Charlie,
    lI am totally amazed at your post, only this morning I was struck by the comment of a reader on the previous post, who had mentioned the “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” It got me to thinking back to 1998 when I first went on the internet and became a fanatical pro-life activist. There was no media personality, politician, bishop, pope, cardinal whom I would not challenge with, as you say, “the ugliness, brutality, and murderous barbarity of abortion…” and I would add, “satanic.” There were some bishops with whom I had “words” and challenged them to enforce Canon Law 915, the denial of Holy Communion to politicians and all Catholics who were pro-abortion.

    I was called names by some and one prominent Archbishop, as “unkind.” I would have none of it and would return fire with the actual condemnation of abortion by the Early Church Fathers. I sent them official photos of aborted babies in the hope that it would shock them into acting according to their obligations. It was an exercise in futility with all of them. At that time 40,000,000 innocent, beautiful womb babies of God’s loving creation were murdered in the USA.

    However, this morning I remembered a VCR tape on abortion by a TV station that I had obtained and viewed it. There was a disussion between a priest and rabbi who were pro-life and a woman and a rabbi who were pro-abortion. But, horror of horrors, the camera would go to an actual abortion taking place! The scope would show the baby a boy in the womb, the lips, the nose, the actual taking of the baby in parts…blood flowing….I could only break down crying at the slaughter…..I had to stop…I could not go on…Words fail me to describe ….and we now accept this as part of our culture….we all must give an account to the Lord God as to our responsibility for this ongoing holocaust…O God have mercy on us!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Joseph Fabio: the abortion crowd use to say that only birth completed a baby and conferred on the baby rights. Obama put that lie to rest by advocating for the deaths of born alive late term aborted babies. Nurses wanted them treated as patients; Illinois State senator Obama killed legislation to protect those babies. Once a long time ago I went to a NOW meeting featuring an abortion doctor there to justify abortion. He voiced that exact point that only “birth completes a person”. I remember praying all the way to that event and asking the BVM to give me a voice and to make it effective. I argued with him that only death completes a person. Sadly the abortion crowd is way pass any points of philosophy and movies like the Silent Scream. The Gosnell acts were also prevalent in the Houston Texas area and the anti life government there fought against any changes. Gosnell got the attention because he caused the death of at least 2 women. Otherwise he would have continued. The death of those babies were a side story. He did many late term abortions and joked that some of those babies could have left his facility and taken a bus home because they were so big.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. News story reprint from https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1031890/christian-persecution-christianity-china-news

    TITLE: “Christianity crackdown: Cross TORN DOWN from church in fresh attack on worshippers.”
    By Alice Scarsi PUBLISHED: 19:34, Mon, Oct 15, 2018

    POLICE have torn down a cross in a Catholic church, in a blatant act of Christian persecution which has sparked a wave of outrage.

    The incident in China saw authorities rip down the cross, the latest in a string of examples of the Beijing tightening its grip on religious expression.

    The cross standing on the bell tower of Lingkun Catholic church was torn down by authorities in Wenzhou city, a port and industrial city in the Zhejiang province, on October 11. The representatives of the local government also demolished the wall standing in front of the church, according to International Christian Concern, a non-governmental human right watchdog.

    This aggression is the latest of a long series of abuses perpetrated against Christians in the area.

    Wenzhou was targeted in a particularly aggressive cross removal campaign in 2014, with thousands of crosses toppled and sacred buildings torn down.

    However, Wenzhou’s churches had enjoyed a long break since the end of that year, with the last cross removed in a local sacred place in late 2014. But the aggression at the Lingkun church sparked fears a new wave of attacks could be on its way after four years.

    The Lingkun church is led by bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who has experienced first-hand the clamp down on Christianity in the area. The bishop, who leads the church as part of the Yongqiang parish, in the diocese of Wenzhou, was arrested in 2017 and detained by local authorities for seven months before being released in April this year.

    According to an unnamed source who spoke to The Union of Catholic Asian News, the bishop was taken away by authorities in May 2017.

    During his seven-month long imprisonment, the source said authorities tried to force him into sign an agreement that would support the State Administration for Religious Affairs and the self-election and self-ordination of bishops.

    The source said: “What the government is doing is like the Cultural Revolution, arresting you and forcing you to sign documents to support the authority.” They continued saying the bishop did sign the agreement but he wrote as a footnote he did not agree with it.

    The election of bishops is at the centre of a long-lasting feud raging between Beijing and the Vatican, which struck a provisional agreement in a bid to settle down their problems in late September.

    Pope Francis recognised seven bishops appointed by China as part of a historic accord attempting to tighten ties between Rome and the communist country and improving the situation for the 10 million Catholics in the country.

    The deal could see in the future bishops being appointed by the Chinese government and then confirmed by Rome. However, the agreement didn’t prevent Chinese authorities from tearing down another cross in Henan.

    Branding the cross of Zhumadian church “too visible”, they tore it down on October 3, less than two weeks after the Sino-Vatican deal was signed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interest rates have been held down artificially for ten years now to hide the desperate state of the economy. After such a situation, you do not want to raise them too quickly for fear of triggering murderous inflation. But if you continue to artificially depress them long enough, you will get an implosion – similar to the great depression. Frankly, it’s a wonder and a tribute to our economic vitality that we did NOT implode during the Obama years. But raising them now is a sign of confidence that the economy is genuinely healthy enough to get them back to a level of stasis.

      Liked by 7 people

  8. One fears that Francis will allow China to stack the College of Cardinals with its own shills. That will effect the balance of power within the College. A proposition that he, and his leftist supports, no doubt, fully understand. Look for China to proclaim hundreds of millions of Chinese Catholics and demand that it get the requisite number of Bishops and Cardinals to minister to them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my Lord never thought about that. China was extremely afraid of what JPII did to communism in Easter Europe. So this makes perfect sense. I wonder about PF’s intelligence level often but then hope heaven’s plans are not of China’s or my ability to understand. Still a whole lot of suffering at China’s hands will happen.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. “But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve around me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.”

    — Herman Melville, Moby Dick

    Liked by 7 people

      1. I will never again be able to read “Call me Ishmael” without thinking (and laughing) about the Phoenix’s hilarious comment some time back, in which she did little riffs on several well known books and (if I remember correctly) movies. Phoenix, if you’re able and are so inclined, could you please do an encore and put that comment up again? I’m sure all of us could use the good laugh. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Heartfelt Cries… https://www.ucanews.com/news/vatican-must-act-as-china-sends-religion-to-cyber-limbo/83568

    Vatican must act as China sends religion to cyber-limbo

    Peter Liu
    China
    October 11, 2018

    On Sept. 10, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) solicited public opinion on what measures the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services could prepare to adopt to monitor religious activity online.

    Since the set of proposed measures were issued, the security and religious departments of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have been gathering responses from religious communities around the country to evaluate their feedback.

    The party reportedly aims to establish a joint set of regulations by five state agencies that will very likely be passed into law later. Network administrators have described the regulations as an “all round strangulation” of religion to curb evangelization.

    The agencies in question are SARA, the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of State Security.

    As formulating measures to regulate religiously themed network information services (NIS) lies beyond the jurisdiction of the SARA, the cyberspace agency and information technology ministry are required to assist.

    By including the other two aforementioned ministries, the party is able to make this a matter of national security. In this situation, these two bodies effectively serve as the “enforcement agencies” of the SARA.

    As such, what began as a political issue — the dissemination of religious information online — has now been elevated to a matter of national security, paving the way for a stricter crackdown with wider-ranging powers and more severe punishments.

    According to the proposed measures, Article 9 stipulates that with the exception of religious organizations, academic institutions, and venues for religious activities, no reference to religions like Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Taoism or Islam will be permitted in the official titles of news-issuing website domains.

    This is quite clearly an attempt to “eliminate” various religions from cyberspace by outlawing many of the key words and symbols associated with them, until finally there is nothing left.

    It is even worse than what China’s army of censors has been doing for years in helping to keep the so-called “Great Firewall” in place online by deleting any references to sensitive issues related to the likes of Tiananmen Square, Tibet and Taiwan among others.

    It is also worse than the restrictions the party has placed so far on social media vis-à-vis the promulgation of religion by making certain words, phrases or ideas “taboo.” In April of this year the party also banned sales of the Bible online.

    However, the ridiculous logic at play in trying to introduce Article 9 soon becomes apparent if we compare it to another proposal found in Article 5 of the same draft set of regulations.

    This states that, “the administration of religious information services on the internet is based on the principles of protecting what is legal, prohibiting what is unlawful, suppressing extremism, resisting infiltration, and fighting crime.”

    Yet the most unacceptable provision is Article 18. This states that “no organization or individual can use text, pictures, audio or other visual material to broadcast live or show taped broadcasts of [people] worshipping the Buddha or burning incense, lay believers receiving Buddhist precepts, chanting, worshipping, giving Mass, providing baptisms or other religious activities.”

    This is a serious violation of the Chinese people’s freedom of speech and freedom of religion as it is so all encompassing.

    To cut through all the fog, what this means is that any information related to religion, regardless of form, cannot be published online without fear of punishment.

    Article 18 would also directly overrule Article 9, meaning that religious organizations would enjoy the kind of exemptions the earlier article implies.

    In seeking public opinion before the government “lays down the law,” the SARA is basically getting a picture of exactly who and where the biggest threats to its latest crackdown are.

    Surely, any feedback that opposes the draft regulations will be noted and those parties subject to greater scrutiny in future as they join a long list of perceived threats to the will of the party.

    It is highly doubtful their “feedback” will make one iota of difference as Chinese media have made it abundantly clear that this is the will of President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Chairman Mao Zedong.

    There can be no tolerance of dissenting voices when the orders come from the very top of the Chinese power structure hierarchy, a point neatly encapsulated in The Economist’s famous headline for its 2014 essay on the political backstory of the incumbent Chinese leader: “Xi Who Must Be Obeyed.”

    Xi raised the issue of how to manage religious content online in April 2016, two years after that article was published, at the National Conference of Religious Work.

    He also sanctioned additional provisions to the law in the newly-revised Regulations on Religious Affairs.

    As such, we can safely say the latest set of proposals will almost certainly be passed into law regardless of whatever feedback society gives the party. This so-called “consultation” with the public and religious organizations is nothing but a farce. It is procedural in nature. The real results (people’s opinions) will never see the light of day. This is how the party operates.

    All religions are being suppressed in China now. These measures are just the latest escalation of a crackdown that has been going on for years, but which has reached new heights this year, with churches being demolished and more prohibitions being put in place, including orders that the Chinese flag and national anthem be hoisted and sung, respectively, at various religious venues.

    Both the government and its official media mouthpieces are focused on promoting the ideology of the party, which is officially atheist, and they will not deviate from this position nor tolerate any threats to it.

    Meanwhile, after decades of wrangling over who gets to choose which prelates will get to officially represent China, the Vatican and Beijing signed a provisional agreement on Sept. 22 concerning the appointment of bishops.

    Many pundits (including the Vatican itself) saw this as an important milestone as it marked the party’s first formal recognition of the pope’s authority within the church. But it also worked the other way round.

    According to the terms of the deal, Pope Francis officially recognized seven bishops appointed by the party — figures the church had previously excommunicated as they had not received the blessing of the Holy See.

    Yet this was also seen as setting a worrying precedent by ceding more power to the party and potentially paving the way for the Vatican to later be coerced into cutting ties with Taiwan.

    But the latest set of cyber measures throws the validity of these moves by Beijing to ostensibly “mend fences” with Rome into doubt, as it is clear that the party is bent on suppressing religion even more and even attempting to eradicate it altogether from both the online and offline world within its borders.
    To me, as to many others, this whole charade seems quite ridiculous.

    In signing the agreement — and even more so if the provisional deal is made permanent — the Vatican has broken a multitude of hearts.

    It has let down those who have fought so courageously against the establishment in China to freely practice their religion, and made tens if not hundreds of thousands of Catholics lose trust in the Holy See.

    We could use the metaphor of children who are just hoping for a warm cuddle from their kind father, but instead receive the back of his hand or bootstrap — the Devil’s hand of tyranny.

    At this moment, at this darkest hour, believers of various faiths must stand firm and dare to challenge the hegemony of the party in laying down these tyrannical laws intent on squashing religion in China.

    Just as, if not more, importantly, the Vatican must make no more concessions to the party; rather, it must pressure Beijing to start righting its wrongs and return to the people of China the basic human rights that not only they but people all over the world are entitled to.

    This is not so much a choice as something the Vatican is morally bound to consider and carry out. There can be no religious compromise in the face of tyranny.

    Peter Lui is a journalist in China who writes about Catholic affairs.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I just feel as if the Vatican threw our fellow-Catholics to the Communist wolves. It just doesn’t sit well with me. I have frequently commented that Francis is the validly elected pope and I pray for him daily. I have never been a fan of anyone that needs a spin doctor trailing behind him saying , “This is what he really meant”. I feel a traitorous bent to his proclamations and I am deeply disturbed at the autonomous decisions being made as if he were a political figure instead of a spiritual father.

    Liked by 12 people

  12. Charlie I just finished reading your latest article,as always excellent. I am completely overwhelmed with the state of our country and world. I am currently studying the book of “Joshua” at BSF ant the words of GOD to Joshua “ Be Strong And Courageous” I keep repeating over and over in my mind as I literally cling to my Rosary.Yesterday I found out the hair salon I work at was locked up as the owners couldn’t meet their bills.A group of us all very faithful are desperately trying to find a place to work,I at65 and my Orthodox friend at 75 after working 46 years and her 56years have never been in this situation. I truly am sorry for my weakness as I know GOD is with us,after having survived breastcancer and 7 miscarriages..GOD blessed me with 2 beautiful sons. I truly know this is small potatoes yet on top of everything else I’m sitting here sobbing, May I please ask for prayers for us that GOD leads us to a place to work and to continue to hear GOD tell all of us tobestrong and courageous..

    Liked by 12 people

  13. Good ole Charlie, God bless you; keeps the treasures flowing.

    I was just thinking about the shock horror show around Justice Kavanaugh. These women must be believed without evidence is so much nonsense. And do you know the amazing thing.

    It was Eve in the Garden who was corrupted by the snake and believing the lie, led Adam to co-operate with satan and commit the Original Sin. The satan was hiding behind the apron/voice strings of the woman, still is it would seem.

    We are still at day one when you think of it. In the original sin at least six thousand years down the road.

    I don’t expect the Catholic Church to help the people in China, I think it will be like the Viva Christo Rey movement. God’s people crushed, and the blood of martyrs renews the Faith once again.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Julia, I sometimes ponder how different the Garden story would have ended had Adam exerted his free will and protective nature to resist the temptation and convince Eve that she needed to go to the Father, not hide from Him, but own the sin and seek His forgiveness. And should the tempter have struck down Adam first, that Eve would have his back by rejecting the temptation and encouraging Adam to seek out the Father to express his sorrow and ask for forgiveness. God bless you and all here.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’ve pondered this as well. I guess it falls to us now to run to the Father at the tempter’s approach. Run from those putrid words from the snake. And if we should fail, should we give into temptation, we should run to the Father especially fast. Always running to the Father as fast as we can. Makes me wonder why this should be so, that we have any distance to cover between us and the Father… at least to our habitual ways of thinking and acting. I keep telling myself that Jesus should be our only habit… that, and He probably wants our running shoes… because we shouldn’t need them. I like running (literally) though, so I’m hoping there’s something worthwhile in it.

        Liked by 5 people

          1. Okay, I know this is weird but has anyone but me given a thought to the “Prodigal Mother”? If that was my son I would be happy to have him back but I might be waiting in the kitchen with a frying pan to hit my husband upside the head. Seriously I know its a parable but IMHO that father went waaay over the top for the wayward son, Just saying…..

            Liked by 2 people

            1. SJM, God the Father has gone way OTT in forgiving my sins. I’m amazed at how many times He has turned the messes of my own making into something really good, as only He can do. Amazing Grace indeed. 😊🙃🤗

              Liked by 2 people

            2. If it makes you feel less weird, I thought about that too (probably for the first time ever) after looking at the picture B posted.

              Jesus wanted to share something important and simple to digest about the Father’s love, but, oh, what layers. I also heard a priest discussing that this could also be considered a parable about the prodigal father. Consider that neither of the sons was perfect, and how the human father had a hand in raising them. Always lots to ponder in Jesus words. But, yeah, how do we ponder Ma in this parable?

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I continue to come back to the truth, STM and MP, that we’re all made in the image of God, both male and female, and we’re called to act and strive – all the days of our lives – to become more and more like Him. Within the gender differences are myriad personalities formed by nature and environment. So, perhaps the maternal welcoming of the prodigal would look different in details while expressing the overarching theme of complete forgiveness saturated with the Love of the Good Shepherd who, even now, is looking day and night to find the lost sheep and bring them back to the fold.

                Liked by 2 people

            3. StJoanMusings: while I want to be judged as the Prodical Son at my judgement, I can’t help looking at the prodigal son’s brother and thinking,”Hey wait, doesn’t he deserve at least a pat on the back for staying faithful and helpful to his father and family?”

              Liked by 3 people

      2. Following on from that Beckita and in light of Charlie’s first Short Take “Believe Women” – what can we understand from this verse in Holy Scripture regarding earthquakes, drought, volcanic eruptions, etc?

        To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

        “Cursed is the ground because of you;……………..”

        I realize I am taking that last line out of context and I guess we can read much about the consequences of Original Sin from many sources but I personally have never meditated on those particular words.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. They’re actually words which I’ve pondered, especially, in these times, Karen, so rampant with a loss of the sense of sin. We know our sins ripple through the entire Mystical Body of Christ, affecting one and all. I do think there could well be some kind of connection between the plethora of disorders we have chosen in this era and what ails critters, such as animal and fish die offs, and the environment. In the beginning, Abba prepared this world to meet all our needs before He created us. And then He gave us dominion over all the earth.

          “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

          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, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

          Liked by 3 people

          1. It is interesting how we can directly see the results of the sin of Adam and Eve in ourselves but not so much in creation. Most people consider our world (as it is) important to “save” but rarely contemplate what nature was actually like “before” the Fall. We know by the fossil record that the world was very different than it is now. I have heard and made the comment that we have devolved not evolved after the Fall. Scripture says that “all creation is awaiting it’s salvation”.
            But from what? (Cursed is the ground because of you).
            The Fall?
            Corruption?
            Sin?
            All the above?
            If the sin of one man “Cursed the ground” how much more do these greater, more numerous sins effect it?

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Melville was apparently pondering along these lines too, intertwining two, maybe three distinct stories in Moby Dick.

              Your thoughts jogged a memory of fishing on a rock jetty in the Aleutians. In front, the vast expanse of the Pacific. Behind the Naval Air Station. I tend to think in terms of the earth ( a creation/creature of God) and the world (the collective of all creatures on said globe, plus all of our constructs, systems, etc… for good or bad). Just below (only yards away) in the waters, a very large dark shadow passed by. I thought it was maybe a sea lion. Moments later a magnificent Orca broke the surface about 50 yards away. Sad to read that the Orca’s are in danger of a die off too.

              Only caught some funny looking Japanese perch that day. Tried to fillet them for frying, but the meat was riddled with some sort of small blue worms. I tossed the whole lot to the crows.

              On the upside, the salmon runs were only about 2 months away at that time.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Funny thing, NP, but fish are the least changed in the fossil record. How quaint that the mystery of the sea and it’s unchanging scheme has weathered the test of time….so far.
                As pollution, radiation and plastic alter this ancient masterpiece that even No has flood failed to change, we may just be near to our final e

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Sorry, my phone just sent this post out before I finished it!

                  My last sentence should read:
                  “…that even Noah’s flood failed to change, we may just be near to our final end.”

                  Liked by 3 people

    2. Back to the future: Christians were martyred by Romans. 2000 years forward, The Chinese Christians are being martyred not by the secular state, not by the “Catholic Church”, not by the secular state, but by the Vatican godfather and mafiosi who are openly showing their evil faces and plans for the Church and the world. The battle lines of the Book of Revelation are forming, Archangel Michael vs satan and minions. We know how it ends: God wins, evil loses. But crucifixion before victory! God have mercy on us and grant us your salvation!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Joseph, I received an unusual penance at Reconciliation this week “Pray for Courage for those who are being persecuted”. It struck me deeply and has become a constant intention.

        Liked by 5 people

  14. Great piece again, Charlie! I hope you tooth is all better now. That had to be very painful. Everything is so upside down these days in politics. What a mess. I get curious very often as how it will all end up but then I remember…in the end…God wins! Boom! xoxo TNRS God save all here!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. More stuff in my Blogs today. Potential good news in IN? …. as for the rest ;-(

    MILINET: Articles for Christians
    =================
    Indiana asks Supreme Court to uphold abortion law
    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/10/15/Indiana-asks-Supreme-Court-to-uphold-abortion-law/3941539617021/?sl=6

    Suppression of the saints–WT Editorial
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/15/editorial-a-missionarys-return-belies-the-widespre/

    Russian Orthodox Church severs ties with Constantinople over Ukraine
    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/10/16/Russian-Orthodox-Church-severs-ties-with-Constantinople-over-Ukraine/5611539694497/?sl=9

    & below story below is still percolating “Out-There” and considering the numerous worldwide instances of Scandal Cover-Ups …….. ;-( …. Now!! Potential Disaster or Step on the Path of Great Cleansing???

    Raid at school for deaf in clerical abuse probe in Pope Francis homeland
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/09/06/clerical-abuse-alleged-school-pope-francis-homeland-argentina/1216360002/

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. As we all struggle through the shock and awe of what we are witnessing in our society, our government, in our families, among our friends, among the nations and most grievously in our Church at the highest levels, I offer this commentary of Pope Benedict XVI on the meaning of the Second Beatitude. It’s about the meaning of “mourning”. It will make you think.

    “Let us go back to the Second Beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted: (Mt 5:4). Is it good to mourn and to declare mourning blessed? There are two kinds of mourning. The first is the kind that has lost hope that has become mistrustful of love and of truth, and that therefore eats away and destroys man from within. But there is also the mourning occasioned by the shattering encounter with truth, which leads man to undergo conversion and to resist evil. This mourning heals, because it teaches man to hope and to love again. Judas is an example of the first kind of mourning: Struck with horror at his own fall, he no longer dares to hope and hangs himself in despair. Peter is an example of the second kind: Struck by the Lord’s gaze, he bursts into healing tears that plow up the soul. He begins anew and is himself renewed.

    Ezekiel 9:4 offers us a striking testimony to how this positive kind of mourning can counteract the dominion of evil.

    Six men are charged with executing divine punishment on Jerusalem — on the LAND that is filled with bloodshed, on the city that is full of wickedness. Before they do, however, a man clothed in linen must trace the letter tau (like the sign of the Cross) on the foreheads of all those “who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in the city”. Those who bear this mark are exempted from the punishment. They are people who do not run with the pack, who refuse to collude with the injustice that has become endemic, but who suffer under it instead.

    Even though it is not in their power to change the overall situation, they still counter the dominion of evil through the passive resistance of their suffering — through the mourning sat sets bounds to the power of evil.

    The mourning of which the Lord speaks is NONCONFORMITY WITH EVIL; it is a way of resisting models of behavior that he individual is pressured to accept because “everyone does it”.

    The world cannot tolerate this kind of resistance; it demands conformity. It considers the mourning to be an accusation directed against the numbing of consciences. And so it is. That is why those who mourn suffer persecution for the sake of RIGHTEOUSNESS. Those who mourn are promised comfort; those who are persecuted are promised the Kingdom of God —- standing under the protection of God’s power, secure in his love — that is true comfort.

    There is one further observation that we have to add here. Jesus’ words concerning those persecuted for Righteousness’ sake had a prophetic significance for Matthew and his audience. For them this was the Lord foretelling the situation of the Church which they are living through. The Church had become a persecuted Church, persecuted “for Righteousness’ sake”.

    RIGHTEOUSNESS in the Old Covenant is the term for FIDELITY TO THE TORAH, to the word of God, as the Prophets were constantly reminding their hearers. It is the OBSERVANCE OF THE RIGHT PATH shown by God, with the Ten Commandments at its center.

    The term that in the New Testament concept of Righteousness is FAITH. The man of faith is the “righteous man” who WALKS IN GOD’S WAYS. (cf. Ps 1; Jer 17:5-8). For FAITH IS WALKING WITH CHRIST, in whom the whole Law is fulfilled; it unites us with the righteousness of Christ himself.

    The people who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake are those who live by God’s righteousness —- by faith. Because man constantly strives for emancipation from God’s will in order to follow himself alone, faith will always appear as a contradiction to the “world” — to the ruling powers at any given period of history. This word of comfort is addressed to the persecuted Church of all times. In her powerlessness and in her sufferings, she knows that she stands in the place where God’s Kingdom is coming.”
    Pope Benedict XVI ….. Jesus of Nazareth

    I have referred to the word Halaka. Halaka refers to a school of thought or a “way to walk in life” to maintain fidelity to the Torah and the traditions of the prophets. There were at least 3 or 4 distinct Halaka schools in Jesus’ time. Jesus was raised in the Halaka of the Pharisee Hillel whose life was contemporaneous with Jesus’ own life for the first few years of Jesus’ life.

    Jesus brought his own Halaka school or “way to walk” that challenged existing norms. Jesus knew that this new Way which he claimed in his own person would lead to persecution and hatred for those who followed him and practiced this new Way.

    Today the Halaka of Jesus is perhaps even more persecuted than in the early days of the Christian community in Jerusalem, Galilee and beyond. Today we are increasingly feeling the effects of being the “other” in society. Persecuted for the reasons so well described above by Benedict XVI.

    We are being hit by a tsunami of shocking events … struck with horror … as Benedict put it. We are “those who mourn” in 2018. Confused. Depressed. Not quite knowing what is happening to us. Not quite knowing where we are going and what is to become of us.

    We are exactly the people Jesus had in mind when he gave voice to the Second Beatitude.

    Our challenge is to not succumb to Benedict’s first type of mourning. Despair and loss of hope … The first is the kind that has lost hope that has become mistrustful of love and of truth, and that therefore eats away and destroys man from within …

    Our challenge is to work our way through the second type of mourning. …. the mourning occasioned by the shattering encounter with truth, which leads man to undergo conversion and to resist evil. This mourning heals, because it teaches man to hope and to love again. ….

    We are the ones sighing and groaning under the weight of the wickedness we find ourselves in. We must steel ourselves to be the … “people who do not run with the pack, who refuse to collude with the injustice that has become endemic, but who suffer under it instead.” Be a sign to the world around us. Be an instrument of passive resistance which sets the boundaries to evil.

    That is going to draw persecution, ridicule, humiliation, discrimination and expulsion from society’s Kool Kids club. It happened to Jesus’ contemporaries who dared “walk with Christ” and his revolutionary Halaka.

    Jesus never promised anybody a rose garden.

    So what is in it for us? We will be accompanied in our days of mourning. We will be comforted by Jesus who will be right at our side walking OUR walk today. Then there’s this: Jesus promises that we will be counted with the Blessed.

    Think on that.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. Amen, Ed. TNRS-ASOH, springing from Charlie’s heart and soul, were established that we would navigate the waters of this Storm in solidarity, that is, traverse the second type of mourning side by side.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. “Our challenge is to work our way through the second type of mourning. …. the mourning occasioned by the shattering encounter with truth, which leads man to undergo conversion and to resist evil. This mourning heals, because it teaches man to hope and to love again”.

      Beautiful, S.T. Ed. All of it. The above especially touched me as I believe it (my challenge) starts with my own conversion. “Holy Spirit, bring me to a deeper conversion to the person of Jesus Christ”!!

      Liked by 6 people

  17. Charlie, Thank you for this brilliantly incisive review of the current mob mentality advocated and pursued by liberal, progressives. The intemperance displayed reminds me of the tortured personality syndrome explained by Eric Hoffer’s True Believer ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Hoffer ). It would be helpful to our country if you could get this note (and many others you have written) published as Op Eds in the NYT and WSJ.

    As an applied scientist (retired now), I have to emphatically endorse your emphasis on real evidence, instead of artificial authority figures. However, after intensive study of math and science, I have also concluded that we just never can be sure of the eternal truths as mortal. Recently I posted a note about this on the major web site addressing the Near Death Experience phenomenon ( http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Articles/jackphilosophy.htm ). I’ll try copying it below for your convenience.

    An absolute limitation to the rational analysis of experience
    Jack H Hiller, Aug 22, 2020

    Rene Descartes famously declared his own reality by acknowledging that if he found himself to be thinking, then he must surely exist, whatever the form of existence might be (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito,_ergo_sum ). As a technical philosophical matter, the “I” that thinks is vague, and the nature of the thought is ambiguous, because the hidden, subjective nature of thought is not available for direct, objective, scientific scrutiny. However, while the subject and action of Descartes’ proposition, as a first principle of philosophy, are nebulous, the action of thinking does point to an existence, whatever its true nature. This note takes the very opposite tact from Descartes’ line of reasoning to declare instead that we can truly know nothing from reasoning.
    We start our analysis from a wonder about what the reality of existence is truly about by wondering about how any reality may exist. There are two main lines of philosophical thought about the origin of our world, the world that we perceive and think about: Creation by God, and random materialism, as held by atheists and agnostics.
    The atheist position (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism ) is that there exists no supernatural God or deities, so that the world is an unguided machine that randomly acts; this perspective is supported by Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle in which quantum mechanics recognizes that at the sub atomic level, precise measurement of fundamental qualities is impossible, so what happens has a random basis. The origin of the material world is of no special concern. The world may have always existed, or it may have originated in some Big Bang from an indescribable singularity, and it may even pass thru cycles of birth, death and rebirth. No matter how it came to be, it just is.
    The religious perspective is that a supernatural being, God, created the world. The philosophical issue about that concerns the origin of God, as Creator. As a logical matter, either God always existed (a strange thought for mortals who experience causation in which a given existence changes by an act to a new status of existence), or God somehow came into being from nothingness, a stranger yet explanation.
    The argument made by this note is that whether one accepts God as the Creator of the world, or holds that the world is a non-rational machine, we cannot possibly reason about the true nature of existence—we cannot possibly know the truth of how our world exists, regardless of whether it is static (always having existed) or transitional, from an inexplicable origin.
    Consider that we cannot humanly, reasonably, imagine how something could originate from nothing. So, we cannot in principle fathom how God or any mechanical universe could come into existence from nothing. This line of reasoning is dead in its formation.
    Let’s alternatively consider that God or the mechanical universe always existed, given that the form of God or the material universe may not be static. Well, how can anything have “always” existed, granted the form of the existence may not be static. In principle, we cannot imagine a situation in which the world always was there, always existed. We can state the proposition that the world always existed, but it defies human understanding.
    Science and mathematics are not helping either, as both have admitted to irreducible uncertainties of knowledge, as well as the impossibility in principle of predicting the future based on past knowledge. As alluded to above, quantum mechanics had demonstrated in the lab a difficulty in pinning down with precision the measurement of momentum and position for the electron, because as the measurement apparatus was adjusted to measure one variable better, measurement of the other lost precision; Heisenberg ultimately realized that the phenomenon of uncertainty was not merely a fault of lab equipment, but was inherent in the nature of subatomic existence. The Schrodinger wave equation representation of quantum phenomena (Heisenberg had initially used a form of matrix algebra that he invented) formalized the uncertainty as intrinsic to quantum phenomena. In the study of cosmology, consensus is that approximately 95% of the matter and energy in our universe is currently not directly observable, thus termed “dark,” so that we observe less than 5% of existence. In mathematics, Kurt Godel ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Gödel ) proved that for non-trivial logico-mathematical systems (such as arithmetic), there will be theorems that cannot be proved, and that within seemingly internally self-consistent systems (which encompasses today’s massive computer programs) there may be lurking inconsistencies that may only be found by trial, just as computer programming bugs are discovered by running them with data.

    Conclusion
    We have the predicament that both of the two available explanations for the reality of existence are in principle not understandable to the human mind, whatever the nature of “mind” is. To restate this dilemma, we cannot rationally understand or explain how either explanation for existence, i.e., it always existed or, instead, it sprang from nothingness (e.g., God the Creator always existed, or a non rational mechanistic universe always existed, or either sprang from nothingness), can be true.
    Given that we cannot comprehend the nature of existence, there is nothing about “it” that we can conclude by reasoning about what we humanly perceive or what we scientifically observe and measure. We are reduced to acknowledging that what we experience, perceive, and believe we know about the world may only be the mind’s “imaginary” construction of an apparent reality.
    In sum, as Human, we are at a loss to be able to understand the nature of the reality we experience. In religion, there is a reliance on faith. In science, there is only the pretense of certainty about empirical knowledge. Perhaps the one remaining source of knowledge we may have that skirts science and religion comes from the Near Death Experience in which God is said directly to share all of knowledge about existence.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jack you have presented a concise explanation for the limitation of human reasoning. We don’t know because we can’t know. See Heisenberg on the limits to scientific observation and measurement. See the lack of scientific instruments of observation, like the Hubble Space Telescope, to peer into the supernatural and take its measurements.

      So you are at a loss. You are stuck between the horns of the proverbial dilemma. You have wandered down a box canyon of science and logic and bumped into the wall. You are stuck at the insurmountable wall of “I don’t know because I can’t know.”

      I have a presumptuous question which is none of my business or anybody else’s business and which you don’t have to respond to if you find it offensive. I don’t mean to be impertinent.

      The question: Are you a theist, an atheist, or sitting on the fence in between awaiting further data and “evidence”?

      From your piece I would put you in the third bucket.

      …… ” However, after intensive study of math and science, I have also concluded that we just never can be sure of the eternal truths as mortal. ….”

      For my entire twenties I was in a different bucket that might be labeled: If God doesn’t bother me I won’t bother Him. God may or may not exist but so what I get along just fine without Him.

      But I am a Christian theist today and I’ll tell you why.

      I attended a Jesuit college. One day I was in religion class when the Jesuit lecturer presented a challenge to the hundred or so sophomores in attendance all just shuffling feet and wishing his class would end so we could get about our other pursuits of the day. His challenge:

      Why are you a Christian?

      Just like that. Right out of the blue. Dropped it on us. Boom. Could have heard a pin drop. Not one sophomore raised a hand. Nobody could explain why they are a Christian.

      After a a long, long, long pause of dead silence in the room that Jesuit said something that I will take to my grave.

      “Some day you are going to find yourself on your knees peering into a dark empty tomb. And you will have to answer a simple yes or no question …. “I don’t know” can only delay your yes or no but in the end it has got to be yes or no …. DID HE OR DID HE NOT GET UP OUT OF THAT TOMB?

      If your “final answer” is NO then you can be on your way. You are not a Christian. If your answer is YES then everything is changed. The Universe is not merely star stuff. You have a lot to think about.

      You may not make the call today, or tomorrow or 10 years from now but if you are to be a Christian it is a call you must make.”

      I have long thought that the name should be changed from the Catholic Church to the Church of the Empty Tomb. A more evocative and descriptive name that would focus the mind on the essential question.

      …… for we walk by faith, not by sight ….

      I would venture at the very least you would concede that just because we can’t measure or see something or even “understand” or wrestle something to the ground of certainly by means of reason doesn’t mean that something does not exist.

      “…. The argument made by this note is that whether one accepts God as the Creator of the world, or holds that the world is a non-rational machine, we cannot possibly reason about the true nature of existence—we cannot possibly know the truth of how our world exists, regardless of whether it is static (always having existed) or transitional, from an inexplicable origin.”

      About that “we cannot possibly reason …. we cannot possibly know the truth…”

      I disagree. We have revealed religion. We have eyewitness testimony. That is called evidence. HE DID get up out of that tomb. We know the truth because God became man and bore witness to the truth.

      Personally, I have a hunch that the limits to science and human reason are deliberately placed there by God. The greatest sin is the temptation to make God prove himself. Thou shalt not put God to the test. It’s not PROOF that God is interested in. It’s LOVE. KNOWING God, seeing Him face to face, is reserved for a later place after our journey here is through. LOVING God is something real right here and right now.

      Faith is a gift. Yes is a gift. I think you have to ask for it.

      Here’s how I asked for it to get me out of the fourth bucket. I put it to God: “God, I don’t KNOW whether you exist or not but I would like it if you did.”

      God took care of the rest. The gift of Faith is a great thing.

      Anyone who finds himself trapped in bucket three or even my own bucket four might try my approach when you find yourself on your knees in front of the empty tomb. It might make all the difference. Spending an entire lifetime hung up on the horns of a self imposed dilemma based on the limitation of certainty imposed by science and reason is a hard way to go.

      Liked by 12 people

      1. Beautiful witness, Ed! For anyone who is wrestling with one or many questions about faith – and for those with great faith – I cannot recommend enough the wondrous work of Fr. Robert Spitzer S.J. His Apostolate, the Magis Center, was initiated when Father read the stats on the hordes of young teens bolting from the Church as they grappled with faith and reason, thinking them dichotomous. They are not. In Fr. Spitzer’s voluminous writings, he – an astrophysicist – asks and responds to the overarching issue: “Are faith and science in conflict? Actually there has never been a better time to unite the two. Contemporary science is giving us the tools to test our reasons to believe, and is leading us to some surprising conclusions.” Those who think deeply, cerebral types, will not want to miss the work of Fr. Spitzer. His Magis Center website is here.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. I think it is definitely a good default position to have that we (individually, or humans generally) know and understand much less about any given topic or situation than we think we do. It’s a particular temptation for an intelligent person who has a strong mind for reasoning to believe that he understands something more than he really does. Of course i’m not saying that it’s impossible to made reasoned decisions, because God gave us a “share” of His reasoning nature. It’s just a risk that we overestimate our own reasoning or even the appropriate application of reason in general. In the end, the most important things are faith, hope and charity. These are gifts and they transcend reason. Satan has vast powers of reason and mind, but zero faith, hope and charity. Just knowing that itself should tell us which is more important

        Liked by 5 people

          1. Ditto!

            Brings to mind the camel’s gate and the eye of the needle. Jerusalem had a lot of gates. Here is a picture of the Camel Gate and the Eye of the Needle in the Camel Gate.

            http://www.best-travel-deals-tips.com/jerusalem-eye-of-the-needle-gate.html

            “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
            ~Matthew 19:26-24

            One of the gates was the Sheep Gate near the Pools of Bethesda also known as the Sheep Pool where the sheep were processed through right next to the wall of the Temple. Presumably to be used in the Temple as sacrifices. I visited that place. It is the birthplace of Mary. Right next to the Sheep Pool and the Sheep Gate.

            I’m guessing that all commercial traffic was taxed on the way through the gates. Boundaries seemed to have tax posts associated with them.

            It is believed that the Tax Collector Apostle Matthew had a border tax post near the town of Capernaum on the Via Maris. Had to walk right by his tax post on the side of the road to get anywhere.
            It was located smack dab on the border between the territory ruled by Herod Antipas and the territory ruled by his brother Herod Phillip. Taxes. Borders. Let’s see what you got. “That will be $100 please.” The fisherman on the Sea of Galilee had to pay tax on the fish as they passed from the ports to the towns like Tiberias. Tariffs. We know about Tariffs. There was a different tax on the different modes of transportation. A tax for walkers. a tax for donkeys, a tax for horses, a tax for Camels, a tax for two wheeled carts, a tax for four wheeled wagons, etc.

            Same for the camel’s gate. Couldn’t sneak a camel and its rich load into town without paying the tax. How did they prevent that? The gates were too narrow for a loaded camel to pass through. Had to unload the cargo and have the boys look through the goods and pay up.

            I’m guessing that the Kingdom of God has a Scientists Gate somewhere along the walls.

            “It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle gate than it is for a really tight scientific mind to enter the Kingdom of God.” Gotta unpack the load to get through. Not impossible. Just difficult. Very, very difficult for a tight scientific mind. See atheist Carl Sagan. See atheist Stephen Hawking.

            Personally, I pray every day there is a Knucklehead Gate in the walls of the Kingdom of God in Heaven. I pray it for my knucklehead family members and friends. I pray it for myself. “Forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing.” Just a hunch but I think Mary is in control of and is in fact the gatekeeper of the Knucklehead Gate.

            “All you Knuckleheads line up on the left. Quickly, now, move through quickly and go see my Son. Tell Him I sent you. And mind the Scientists crowding through that Gate on the right!”

            Yup, my plan is to look for the Knucklehead Gate and the kind lady holding the key. Hope to see my family there in the line on the left. What a grand thing that will be.

            Liked by 3 people

      3. Storm Tracker, Thank you for asking, and you will be surprised by my answer– we are in agreement. Note that my conclusion is that we cannot adequately reason to understand creation, but we nonetheless may know about it. Repeating the last line, ” Perhaps the one remaining source of knowledge we may have that skirts science and religion comes from the Near Death Experience in which God is said directly to share all of knowledge about existence. ” Now, let me amplify.

        A few years ago I saw a Discovery Channel tv program guided by Stephen Hawking that attempted to explain Creation by resort to Big Bang theory. That struck me as ridiculous, because even if it were true, there remained the questions about where the singularity mass came from, and its energy (there are also many good issues implying the Big Bang may not have happened (see https://www.amazon.com/Big-Bang-Never-Happened-Refutation/dp/067974049X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539076887&sr=8-1&keywords=big+bang+never+happened ). After a few weeks of fussing to myself about Hawking’s mistake, I decided to write a rebuttal.

        As I was organizing my thinking about how to refute the adequacy of the Big Bang to explain Creation, it occurred to me that the Near Death Experience (NDE) reports might provide an insight. However, I was leery about the NDE, because the bizarre features of the Out of Body Reports (OBE) implied that they might merely reflect hallucinations induced by trauma or drugs. Studying the research literature, I discovered that there was good empirical evidence that the NDE could not be dismissed as hallucination, because on the order of 100 cases were checked for reporting accuracy and found highly accurate–people were “seeing/hearing” activities too distant from their traumatized body to have acquired the information from the bodily senses. This presentation by Bruce Greyson, MD makes the case for disembodied consciousness operating when the brain is dysfunctional ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aWM95RuMqU ). In my research, I read each of the over 4000 NDE cases reported on NDERF, as well as all of the major texts about it. I then wrote about my findings in a paper posted on the NDERF website, Frozen Time Theory, FTT ( http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Articles/frozen_time.htm ).

        The FTT paper explains that conscious perception is not produced by the brain, although normal perception is fed thru the body’s sense. I found that the bizarre features of the OBE reported, e.g., time does not run, and everything perceived appears to be made of light, are actually consistent with Relativity Theory and quantum mechanics. In a second paper, Universal Consciousness Underlies all of Reality ( http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Articles/universal_consciousness.htm ), I offered a tripartite domain theory about the nature of the world. This paper also explains that the phenomenon of quantum entanglement, what Einstein termed “spooky action at a distance,” provides striking evidence that materialism does not provide an adequate paradigm for science, because the underlying strata is God’s consciousness.

        Both papers have also been published as book chapters (by Brad Steiger, recently passed), but are available freely from the NDERF web site (i.e., I had no intention of earning money from my research, and do not).

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Jack one of the things I have always wondered about Hollywood is why they have never really explored the depths of Love in their artistic efforts. They certainly have plumbed the depths of hate, fear, vengeance, sin, crime, betrayal, vice etc. etc. etc. ad naseam. All that stuff has been covered to the point of boredom. Admittedly, hate, violence and sin are one unfortunate component of human experience. Negative stuff sells. But so is Love. I mean real Love. That whole area remains almost a barren wasteland in popular culture and the “the movies”. But Love sells, too.

          Same goes for Science. Why hasn’t delved deeply into an investigation of the phenomena associated with Love.

          We can see the effects of the hate and the evil and the violence and dysfunction. Much of it is documented. Like an ill wind. We can’t see it but we can feel those effects.

          Same is true for Love. But Love has never been studied either medically or otherwise scientifically to a large extent as far as I know. Maybe because there is no money in it.

          It seems as if for some strange reason a whole critical aspect of human existence has escaped serious investigation.

          Liked by 2 people

  18. For anyone living in the Alexandria, VA area, CWIA is an excellent apostolate which does fine work: This event will be led by Stella Davis, A woman with great expertise in coming against evil forces, Stella is consulted by exorcists and those in deliverance ministry from all over the world.

    Dear CWIA Family,
    CALLING ALL CHRISTIANS!!!
    If you’ve been listening to the news this week, you know that we have an URGENT CALL TO ACTION!!! Join us for a Jericho walk around the White House and the Department of Justice – this FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19th, 2018.
    You can leave your car at 2907 Popkins Lane, Alexandria Virginia and ride with us in our bus to Washington DC. There is no charge to ride, but pre-registration is required so that we know how many busses to get. Call Stella at 703.971.3633 or email us at cwiaholyspirit@gmail.com. We will be leaving at 10:30am.
    Blessings,
    CWIA

    You can find info on all of the major news stations, but one such article is below. This is what we’re marching against. No weapon formed against us shall prosper.
    Oct 13 from Breitbart News

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2018/10/13/dozens-witches-gather-place-public-hex-brett-kavanaugh/

    A large group of witches is meeting in Brooklyn this month to place a curse on Judge Brett Kavanaugh “and upon all rapists and the patriarchy which emboldens, rewards and protects them.” “We will be embracing witchcraft’s true roots as the magik of the poor, the downtrodden and disenfranchised,” states a website advertising the October 20 event, “as often the only weapon, the only means of exacting justice available to those of us who have been wronged by men just like him.” On Oct 20 at 7 pm Approximately 1,000 people have said they will attend the sold-out event, which will also be live-streamed on social media. A quarter of the proceeds will be donated to abortion giant Planned Parenthood, organizers stated.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Beckita! I read your comment regarding Stella Davis. I am wondering if you could tell me more about her. I had an encounter with her sixteen or seventeen years ago and often wondered about it. It left me confused.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello, Lynne. I brought Stella to Missoula on two occasions and we also brought her to China with us on our last evangelization journey. She addressed an international conference for exorcism and deliverance ministers for many years. She has s beautiful book about spiritual warfare and she not only travels throughout this country, evangelizing and praying with and over people for healing and deliverance, she has also had international events. I have personally seen the Lord work through Stella and know of her deep spirituality and prayer life. She’s a woman who has given selflessly of her time to tend to others. So grateful for her and her loving service.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. Lynne, if ever you’d like to personally make contact with Stella via email to discuss and, hopefully, resolve your discomfort, just send me an email at TNRSA. Stella is very approachable. God bless you.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Regarding Breitbart article:

      $old out event of 1,000 minus 1/4 proceeds to PP = $$$ for deluded harpies.

      I hope Justice Kavanaugh doesn’t lose any sleep over this.

      Like

  19. Yes, the principalities and powers have been playing us against each other since the beginning of human history. Human against God, men against women, ethnicity against ethnicity, etc…

    Rev 12:7 “To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.’

    It’s hard to ignore the strong feminist overtones of the harlot in the Book of Revaltions, abortion the demonic sacrament, drunk on the choice to spill innocent blood of children, human sacrifices to the demons of “choice”… Social media, especially the metoo movement being a weapon for the purpose of evil will…

    It’s a very difficult time for women, who are lured the promise of power by the spirit of the harlot; the pride, the devil’s cry of “I will not serve”, the hatred, the need to rebel and overthrow both God and man…

    This demonic evil spirit of Hartley cannot defeated by mortals, we need to pray for help from God against it, I pray God will end it’s end it’s destructive tyranny against humanity.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. It’s difficult to stand up to a unkillable abomination that can easily smite you, but we must not be scared into silence and non-action, we should fear God more if evil scares us.

        Feminism and other abomination groups are eroding away at our free speech & rights, how much more silent & scared into non-action will we be when we have no more free speech & rights.

        The harlot spouts lots of hate speech against men & patriarcy. The talk shows on television; I see a woman speaking, but demonic hate speech coming out of her mouth proposing overthrowing all patriarchy in favour of mainstreaming sin & evil.

        We can’t ingnore this demonic threat.

        Liked by 5 people

    1. San San, I’ve read the messages and additional literature of Direction for Our Times since 2004. I see really good things happening with this apostolate under diocesan approval with the guidance of a diocesan assigned spiritual director. Since I don’t have sixty minutes – sorry – to vet the video at this time, let’s direct people to search at Vimeo for Anne a lay apostle and Dr. Mark Miravalle that those who are interested can access the discussion which comprises the footage. Also, please feel free to add any commentary you wish to make since you’ve already viewed the video. God bless us all.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. SanSan, wish you were able to post a link to Anne and Dr Mark Miravalle talk.

    I have a link on my favourites to the Lay Apostles site; but can’t see any videos there.

    There used to be videos with Anne and Dr Miravalle discussing messages from Jesus and I watched them over and over again when they were available on the site, and wonder if they are available anywhere on the internet.

    Sister Bridge McKenna had at one time said Anne was not genuine for some reason, and I thought we had to ignore her, even though her Bishop has ok’d her. It is so confusing these days. I love the messages and feel they are genuine. They certainly lift the spirit that is for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Julia,

      I was able to find it after some searching under the DFOT Vimeo home page.

      There are both a short and a long version. The longer video, Mark and Anne review/discuss 5 messages, two from 2004 that tell about the crises we are now facing and three from this year that speak of how to keep our peace in the storm.

      In summary, we should not engage in futile arguments, mind our own holiness, trust God, defend the Church and do what we do with love.

      Sounds very much like what we’ve been reading and putting into practice at TNRS/ASOH all along. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Beautiful summation, Jen. To be fair, I removed the link, just as I had done with San San. Thanks for giving Julia another way to search Vimeo, in addition to the way I suggested yesterday. I have very much appreciated the Apostolate of Direction for Our Times and facilitated a Lay Apostle prayer group for many years.

        Liked by 2 people

  21. Wow, this video has me thinking. Something I need to do! I am pulled this way and that way, what with some of the strings Pope Francis has pulled! I have a really hard time with him but now I know, or at least I think I know, after watching this long version video that he is, in our lifetime, here and now for a reason and that God was there….
    I do not like the way he seems to be protecting the perverts in the church, oh I will not go on, although I could. My heartstrings are with the Church but I have a really hard time now with Pope Francis, God forgive me….Maybe I am tuning into the wrong sources, sources I trusted….

    Liked by 2 people

  22. There is a talk on UTube by a Father Hesse titled ‘Martin Luther Saint or Sinner’ I was blown away by it. Wanted to post the link but don’t know how TRNS might feel about a talk by a traditional Latin Mass Priest.

    The talk is an hour long, and at the end Fr. Hesse testifies that a trusted Priest friend related how after intense prayer his friend was in a room with a group of people, there was a knock on the door and in came two demons with Martin Luther in flames chained to the demons. Now that has to be a sure sign of where he ended up.

    My reason for bringing this up is because this talk amazed me at how similar Martin Luthers loss of the true Faith is to the homosexual denial of Sixth Commandment of God in our day. It seems like history is repeating itself again. It is like breaking One Commandment leads to breaking the rest as in dominoes falling. Just my humble opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Julia, the challenge with vetting videos lies partially in their length. It’s a lot easier to speed read an article than to take an hour of time (which amounts to many hours should many commenters send lengthy vids) to responsibly vet video footage. I continue to do the bulk of the moderating and happily so. Charlie is wonderfully and mightily busy with duties right now. When Mick is on moderating duty and finds something that takes a more lengthy look to vet, she who is a busy mother of young and older children rightly leaves it for me.

      As for a talk by “a traditional Latin Mass Priest” who is faithful to the Teaching Magisterium there’s not a bit of a problem. But we know that not every priest who loves the Latin Mass IS faithful to the Church’s teachings. And that is a BIG issue with Fr. Hesse’s teachings. He’s talking up a storm in disobedience to the Church in regards to the changes that have come with Vatican II. He most likely says some things which are consonant with Church teaching but to send people to his work leaves them open to another kind of wolf – the one that casts aspersions on the validity and purpose of the Novus Ordo Mass.

      Amazing how Fr. Hesse can peddle such disobedience to legitimate Church authority as the titles and subtitles of his videos reveal, such as this title: “Fr. Hesse on the New Mass: Illicit, Deficient, Worse than Protestant Services, Reject!” Then he smears the valid order, the FSSP with another talk’s subtitle: “Why the New Rites are valid but schismatic; why the SSPX uses the 62′ Missal and why you cannot fulfill your Sunday obligation in the heretical/schismatic Novus Ordo sect. Not even a pseudo trad group like FSSP.” As I did a mini search, I discovered that Fr. Hesse subscribes to the theological thinking of the already schismatic Marcel Lefebvre and the break-away Pius X group.

      Julia, I so appreciate your presence and wonderful contributions here. In the future, however, I will clear no references to the disobedient Fr. Gregory Hesse who is stirring the waters of division and confusion in regards to Church teaching.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Beckita, thank you so much for taking the trouble to let me know poor Father Hesse RIP was an over the topper. I had not heard of him until coming across the video mentioned in my post. Looked him up and found he died in 2006 of a diabetic related problem. I hope he is in God’s Kingdom.

        I got the impression he was in the Pius X group. Yes, I noticed his opinions on FSSP on another talk. Not to mention the opinions about who and what Pope might not be genuine since God knows when. Some of these things need to taken with a pinch of salt these days sadly.

        But I was curious if what he said about the slippery slope Luther had embarked on was at least fairly accurate. I do believe a Pius X Priest would be sensitive to keeping the Ten Commandments and thought he would not lie about the known facts about Luther.

        There are worse reports of Luthers behaviour out there than talked about on the tape. It was the sin against purity Luther could not overcome, and how it smacks of the sins against purity driving men and Priests today away from God. And ironically Luther was supposed to have hung himself like Judas. These were the things that caught my attention to be honest. Thank you dear Beckita.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. God bless you, Julia. Actually, all the capital sins have been part of our spiritual warfare since the fall in the Garden. It is well documented that Luther had a major problem with lust. So did King David, yet, David had a deeply repentant heart. Praying earnestly that prayer which Our Lady does with Mirijana on the 2nd of each month: May ALL come to know how very much God loves us, each and every one, for there is no sin that keeps Him from ever failing to love us. From a platform of dignity, that is, knowing deep within our core identity – each one is a beloved child of the Father – we can fall on our knees, returning to HIM, allowing HIS Holy Spirit to do within us what we simply cannot do alone in overcoming addictive-like sins. May all come to know God’s Mercy. Amen.

          Liked by 2 people

  23. Rottentomatoes, a top movie review site, has completely hidden Gosnell from their homepage and from their current movies list. Like that leftist professor who silenced my conservative voice from reaching my classmates, aptly named RottenTomatoes is attempting the same.

    I HATE politically-active liberal-supporting organizations. (The list of planned-parenthood-worshipping companies is extensive: Exxon, Kohl’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Adobe, Dockers, Cliffbar, Intuit-TurboTax, Nike, Verizon, etc.)

    Speaking of…I’m going to try a new coffee shop today that’s in direct competition with PP-supporting Star@ucks.

    I usually get an Americano with an extra shot. Pow!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. With regard to Starbucks and other sellouts: “In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.” Melville, Moby Dick

      With regard to you thoroughly enjoying your morning coffee at the new coffee shop: “Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are forever wedded.” Melville, Moby Dick

      Ah, I’ve been enjoying a good reread of Moby Dick lately, as you can plainly see. Every now and again it’s good to pick up a classic.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve read Moby Dick twice. I recently reread Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom” and loved it. It is the only work of fiction I’ve encountered that examines the etiology of those who have been unfortunately called “poor white trash”, “hillbilly”, “cracker”, etc. And that is only a sub-theme of this story so sprawling yet personal it has to be told by a host of characters.

        Nabokov said “Curiously enough, one cannot read a book: one can only reread it”. (OK – I read “Lolita” 49 years ago, mea culpa. But I never reread it!)

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Melville. Wild squash. I meant to take some liberties with that excerpt: “…meditation and coffee are forever wedded,” but got distracted as a young mom walked by toting a car seat. Naturally had to go see the baby within, and thus it comes full circle.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. Hey, Patrick, your rosary is all done and all blessed. Do you want me to send it to wherever you are stationed for your “clinicals” (is that what they’re called?)? 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I can’t wait, Mick. So my clinicals on the Rez resume Monday Oct 22 until Nov. 2. How about mailing it around All Hallow’s Eve? I should be back home in time to get it. Thank you so very much!

        It’s interesting that I ended up here. My first time to (thru) Cheyenne River was on my drive back to Rapid from Aberdeen after meeting Charlie there for his last talk on his 2015 tour. I remember liking the area a lot, but of course I didn’t know about all the serious problems that exist in this community like I do now.

        I’m taking Mimi cat along this time cuz it’s a 2-week stretch. It’ll be nice at night snuggling with my fuzzy little buddy, especially if it gets cold. We already had a mini snowstorm last week. It’s expected to be a rough winter.

        Liked by 3 people

  24. Another GoodOne for These-Days!!

    HeartLight Daily Verse – 18 October

    Psalms 27:14 –

    “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

    Thoughts on today’s verse:
    If there is anything we don’t like to do, it’s wait. Maybe that is why God is so interested in us learning to do it! There is something purifying about remaining strong in tough times and remaining faithful when ill winds blow. So God gives us times of waiting to see if our search is really for him or merely for something new.

    Prayer:
    Loving Father, I know you have waited for me so many times — for me to show my faith, repent of my sins, grow in holiness, come to you in prayer, act more mature, give to those who cannot return my care… Help me as I wait for you to show me the way with my decisions, to meet my needs, and reveal your presence in my loneliness. I really do seek you with all my heart. Through Jesus I pray. Amen. Visit heartlight.org for

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 5 people

  25. I wish we all understood the Book of Revelations better, but these times are getting too dark to simply just leave it collect dust on the shelf.

    Rather than worry about the specific details of Revelations, we should at least read into the spiritual, ethical, moral truths it contains, as God’s word of truth doesn’t change nor expire, this approach might help guide us in these dark times.

    The Book of Revelations should not be used to divine the future for benefit of self. If anything, it’s a book of hope for the dark times.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Book of Revelation makes such heavy use of symbolism, Al, that there are many interpretations of its meaning which brings me to remember a foundational piece that Charlie brought to us as it reminds us we can only see: Through a Glass Darkly. Surely God designed His Ways to be so, that we would rely more completely on him. Charlie has mentioned we’re living this book and Our Lady has affirmed this from Medjugorje. Just as the Old Testament writings foreshadowed the New Testament figures and stories, I see that we’re living the Book of Revelation in our times as a foreshadowing of what will be fulfilled in its content at the very end of time on earth. God bless you, Al.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Symbolism aside, even if don’t understand every single detail, the book does put things in perspective. The book of Revelations would be pointless if John didn’t write about the 100 year reign of evil? Fatima happened at the beginning (chapter 12), the only thing that looks like a rescue is (chapter 19), so we must be living the events of (chapter 18).

        If we’re only starting (chapter 12), then we should be despairing, because it will be a long haul before any rescue. Mind you chapters 12 to 18 seem to overlap, as events are looked at from different vantage points, so l suppose chapter 12 came to it’s conclusion last year, but started at least 100 years ago, as times is nothing to God.

        That’s all I got…

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Yes, and I believe much of the events prior to Ch19 of Revelations are behind us, not in front of us.

    Those who blaspheme God (globalists, NWO, globalist bankers, communists, believers of evolution) all share a beast spirit. They seek to control the world with globalist controlled money (marked money), but it could of been worse with microchipping people (thank God people blew the whistle on that).

    I believe we have reason to hope, because the fall of Babylon with the beast turning on the harlot could of happened at “9/11”. The buildings became pyres where the bodies burned, that section vividly described worldwide trade.

    Western living of democracies & republics were once pristine virgins at the beginning when they were created and Christianity controlled them, but all became harlots over time when they gave up their Christianity in favor of other pursuits. And just as God punished the Israelites for straying, so has God punnihed the nations for staying away from the light of Christianity.

    It’s probably too much to fully understand Revelations, but as little children, we can figure out a few pieces of massive puzzle, especially if those events are behind us.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. If you talk to Christians long enough you realize that for most of them their belief in Jesus of Nazareth as the Creator and Master of the universe is not primarily based on scholarship or historical evidence but on their own personal experiences involving this belief.

    “Jesus has performed amazing miracles for me.  There is no way they could have been coincidences.”

    “Jesus dramatically changed my life.  I could never have become the person I am today without Him.”

    “I was very sick.  I prayed to Jesus and shortly thereafter I was healed.  There is no explanation for my healing other than:  Jesus healed me!”

    The problem with this “evidence” is that people from every other religion, sect, and cult (Heaven’s Gate, for example) on the planet say the very same things!  Can they all be right?  Either Jesus is answering prayers, changing lives, and performing miracles for millions of people who don’t believe in him, or, all these religious people are delusional:  their personal experiences and changed lives have nothing to do with an invisible superhero in the sky!

    Check out this video for the evidence disproving this very common Christian delusion:

    Like

    1. Interesting video, Gary. God created us with all our faculties and wired into each human the desire to seek Him, know Him, love Him and serve Him and, the Scriptures tell us, He has written His Law on every human heart. So, to your point, I hear and see people in the video witnessing in ways that reflect how they feel and it is but one dimension to be employed when seeking spiritual truth. God created this world with objective truth present in both the natural and supernatural realms. When Christ ascended He gave us the clear command to go out to all the world and proclaim the good news of His Gospel and He is the only Savior of the world. (I love that line in the Catholicism series created by Bishop Barron wherein he states: “To Buddha’s eternal credit he did not say he could offer salvation.”) And for many of us, that mission territory is right across the fence or street with our neighbors, at the workplace and even in our own parishes as conversion is an ongoing, ever-deepening process.

      When I viewed this video, I thought of our Catholic theological teachings which tell us a person may be in error but not guilty and there’s a term for this: “invincible ignorance.” God alone can judge each one as to the degree s/he chooses willful ignorance. Jimmy Akin gives a short description of these states: “Moral theology divides ignorance into a number of categories. The two I will consider here are invincible and vincible. Ignorance is invincible if it a person could not remove it by applying reasonable diligence in determining the answer. Ignorance is vincible if a person could remove it by applying reasonable diligence. Reasonable diligence, in turn, is that diligence that a conscientious person would display in seeking the correct answer to a question given (a) the gravity of the question and (b) his particular resources.”

      It may well be time to dust off the documents of Vatican II which are beautifully written and convey the principles and intent of the Church in regards to ecumenism and evangelizing. The document UNITATIS REDINTEGRATIO, Decree on Ecumenism, is foundational to this discussion and begins: “1. The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided.(1) Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.”

      Another document, AD GENTES, ON THE MISSION ACTIVITY OF THE CHURCH, speaks to the Church as being missionary in nature. It’s preface: “1. Divinely sent to the nations of the world to be unto them “a universal sacrament of salvation,”(1) the Church, driven by the inner necessity of her own catholicity, and obeying the mandate of her Founder (cf. Mark 16:16), strives ever to proclaim the Gospel to all men. The Apostles themselves, on whom the Church was founded, following in the footsteps of Christ, “preached the word of truth and begot churches.”(2) It is the duty of their successors to make this task endure “so that the word of God may run and be glorified (2 Thess. 3:1) and the kingdom of God be proclaimed and established throughout the world.

      In the present state of affairs, out of which there is arising a new situation for mankind, the Church, being the salt of the earth and the light of the world (cf. Matt. 5:13-14), is more urgently called upon to save and renew every creature, that all things may be restored in Christ and all men may constitute one family in Him and one people of God.

      Therefore, this sacred synod, while rendering thanks to God for the excellent results that have been achieved through the whole Church’s great – hearted endeavor, desires to sketch the principles of missionary activity and to rally the forces of all the faithful in order that the people of God, marching along the narrow way of the Cross, may spread everywhere the reign of Christ, Lord and overseer: of the ages (cf. Ecc. 36:19), and may prepare the way for his coming.”

      Our call to witness to the fullness of truth is real and so very needed in our times. As we proclaim Christ’s teachings, in ordinary ways, in our ordinary lives, there’s a need to develop a certain art, if you will, of evangelizing. (I especially love one of Father’s catechetial books written for the Chinese. In each chapter, he discusses the good attributes of a certain Chinese custom or figure. Then he introduces a Christian counterpart and has found words that convey in respectful truth that the Christian person, thing or act will draw down supernatural grace for this life and the life beyond.) Many an apostolate exists to support people in developing skills to evangelize. Encounter Ministries does fantastic work in teaching the lay faithful to proclaim Jesus and His Kingdom. Their website is here. Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ has a dynamic apostolate which stresses evangelizing via a fusion of faith and reason and his website for the Magis Center is here.

      What a great time to be alive and evangelizing!

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Gary, Thanks for your interesting note. One thing you cynically wrote was, ” If you talk to Christians long enough you realize that for most of them their belief in Jesus of Nazareth as the Creator and Master of the universe is not primarily based on scholarship or historical evidence but on their own personal experiences involving this belief. ” Such belief is precisely a personal matter not capable of any externally objective evidence to determine validity.

    Now, your cynicism appears to be supported by the video in which people appear to have alleviated person stress by adopting a variety of “religions,” some of which appear to be fraudulent, and some of which were in fact discredited as phony. But, the fact that people may adopt mistaken beliefs proves only that people may make mistakes, and thus fails to provide any evidence refuting what Christ told us, as represented by the NT.

    As a general skeptic about all religions, I have discovered late in life an intriguing harmony between what Christ said about the nature of the world, and modern physics (quantum mechanics and Relativity Theory). My insight was stimulated by what I had read in thousands of Near Death Experience reports when people claimed to have their consciousness separated from their body at the instant of trauma, the Out of Body Experience, OBE. As an applied scientist, I had supposed that the OBE reports surely reflected hallucinations induced by trauma or drugs, but what I discovered was a substantial amount of empirical research that had checked on what people reported they saw from their OBEs that was accurate, but not explainable when their brain had ceased to function from trauma.

    I have posted two reports about what I found on the NDERF website for NDE research:
    Frozen Time Theory ( http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Articles/frozen_time.htm ), and Universal Consciousness Underlies All of Reality ( http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Articles/universal_consciousness.htm ).

    As Bekita mentioned, the Buddha never claimed to be God or God-like. The NDE research literature, with over 4000 reported NDEs on NDERF alone, contains no reports of meeting Buddha, Muhammad, or any other God-like entities, only Christ fairly frequently, and God the Father at a lower frequency.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting stuff, Jack. One of the things that struck me when I was first reading St. Augustine’s “Confessions,” (which was the catalyst for my conversion), was that near the end of the book, he went into a soliloquy on what “time” is. I was astounded as I realized that this was VERY similar to how Albert Einstein described it in his theory of relativity. I laughed as I realized that it only took science 1,500 more years to discover what was deduced from a sound theological base by that great genius and saint, Augustine.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Jack, thank you for these thoughts. One of the reasons I ended up coming back toward Christianity and Chris was because of the recurring theme in so many NDEs of a Being of Light who was so often identified as Jesus, while no other people provided similar appearances. One author of an NDE book credibly stated that many NDE reports that included contacts with a “Being of Light” were left as “Being of Light” to make the reports more palatable for publication, when in fact privately the authors said it was Jesus they saw. This is largely independent of the religion of the people reporting the encounter in their NDEs.

      Liked by 4 people

  29. What I find interesting about NDE’s is that people in Saudi Arabia, India, and Japan do not see Jesus in their NDe’s, but something culturally relevant to their culture. This evidence indicates to me that something is going on in the brains of people involved in brain trauma that we simply do not understand, at least not yet.

    Contrary to what was said above, the brains of persons who have suffered trauma do not cease to function. Just because someone is unconscious does not mean that their brain is not functioning. Persons with non-functioning brains, otherwise known as “brain-dead” do not regain consciousness. Once the cells of the brain are dead they cannot be rejuvenated. I suggest that the best answer for NDE’s at this time is: We don’t know. Too often in the past when humans did not know something, they pretended to know it by saying, “A God did it”. Let’s be patient and wait for more evidence, shall we?

    “Now, your cynicism appears to be supported by the video in which people appear to have alleviated person stress by adopting a variety of “religions,” some of which appear to be fraudulent, and some of which were in fact discredited as phony. But, the fact that people may adopt mistaken beliefs proves only that people may make mistakes, and thus fails to provide any evidence refuting what Christ told us, as represented by the NT.”

    How do you know what “Christ” has said? Aren’t you making assumptions about your belief system as are many of the people in the video? There is no agreement among scholars and historians that any of the alleged statements of Jesus of Nazareth as stated in the Christian holy book are historical. The reality is that you believe these statements in the Christian holy book to be historical statements of the Creator of the universe based primarily on faith. But the people in the video all believe the truth claims of their religions based on faith too. Who is right? You will say Christians are right because Christian experts have proven all other religions false. But Jewish and Muslim experts believe that they have proven Christianity to be false.

    Many of these belief systems (religions) are exclusive. You cannot be a devout Muslim, a devout Jew, and a devout Christian at the same time. So it seems to me that faith is not a reliable method for determining universal truth claims (such as the identity of the Creator). What do you think about the reliability of faith?

    Like

    1. Gary, I do appreciate your presenting your views, which earn a proper response.

      Regarding the truth value of any specific individual’s “faith,” as I attempted to explain in my initial note, it is clear that we do not know enough, and do not have anything like perfect perception of our world, so we truly live with uncertainty as a natural part of life. It is also true that if anyone were to walk in a crowd or drive on a high speed, crowded highway, for example, if our performance were to be conditioned to act or react only when we were 100% certain, then we would soon die from inaction. At a philosophic level, Kant did a fine job explaining that we cannot perceive any objects as they might truly exist, because our sense-perception is limited to very partial information. But life goes on, and we make the best of it. If you demand perfect certainty, you cannot find that in mortal life. Faith, more or less, is a natural condition for living in a world that only hints at the nature of its existence.

      Regarding the death of the brain as a requirement for determining a true NDE/OBE, you are both right and far wrong. As Dr. Parnia has stressed in his medical research reporting on the NDE, given the treatments enabled by technologies for resuscitation available to modern medicine, initial indications of death are best interpreted as forming scale values, instead of a binary decision of death or no death. Where you do loose the bubble is on the empirical research of specific NDE cases on the order of a hundred (the main research source is cited in the Frozen Time Theory paper) in which the OBE reports were accurate about activity witnessed that was physically beyond sense-perception for a normal body. There are also numerous reports from child NDEs in which a long departed relative is met during the OBE, with the resuscitated children able to name and spot the relative in old photo albums. This presentation by Dr. Greyson about evidence for disembodied consciousness may be helpful ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aWM95RuMqU ).

      Re the form that God, Christ, or angelic or demonic entities take during the OBE, there is a general consensus that God is experienced as an enormous source of a light like energy that exudes love. Likewise, Christ is often experienced as an entity of light that also exudes love. Those who report experiencing Christ as a discrete personality at times see him in human form; there are wonderful paintings of Christ drawn by Akiane Kramaric as a child (see https://art-soulworks.com/pages/heaven-is-for-real-painting ). Isn’t it reasonable that God, Christ, and or angels would appear in a form that is culturally natural during the brief NDE, so that folks in the West would have images they are comfortable with, and likewise for the East, and for different religions? By the way, reports about meeting Christ typically state that he asks if they have been following the Golden Rule as their most important behavior in life.

      In academic psychology, which has attempted to emulate the physical sciences, with only minor success, there has developed a concept of “convergent validation” to deal with the iffiness of behavioral theory. A serious effort is made by researchers to construct and test multiple different hypotheses that all ought to be correct (i.e., converge) if a given theory were true. It’s my own judgement that what Christ is reported to have told us in the NT is in fact supported by multiple NDEs and by principles from quantum mechanics and Relativity Theory, as I cover in the two papers I cited, Frozen Time Theory, and Universal Consciousness.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “Faith, more or less, is a natural condition for living in a world that only hints at the nature of its existence.”

        Maybe we should each give our definition of faith. I use the definition given by the author of Hebrews: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence for things not seen.” Faith in this definition is hope in the reality of something even if the evidence for its reality is invisible.

        Hoping something is true does not seem to me to be a reliable method of evaluating universal truth claims.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Gary, I have read pretty extensively in the NDE literature since Moody’s first book in the 1970s. To the extent that there is evidence one way or the other, my readings showed exactly the opposite. Although imagery was often culture-specific, the Being of Light was more often than not identified as Jesus regardless of religious background, much to the surprise of non-Christians oftentimes. I have never heard of an NDE that reported the Being of Light to be anything other than either unnamed or Jesus, but I might have missed it. This is consistent with the myriad of current-day stories of visions of Jesus and Mary mostly among non-Christians (often muslims) all over the world, with nary a single story of the Buddha or Muhammad appearing (credibly or otherwise) to anyone. However, perhaps I missed something somewhere.

      Of interest is that Iran is said to have had 379 Christians in-country in 1979. Due to many Iranians having visions and visits of Jesus (some stories are amazing), there are now far more Christians in Iran today. I have seen projections that at current rates of conversion, Iran may well be a majority-Christian country by 2030. That would be a cultural earthquake in that country and for its neighbors.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Is Jesus appearing to numerous non-Christians in Saudi Arabia, India, and Japan? If yes, please provide me with a link to a reputable source. What I would want to see is this: Did the person in question have any familiarity with Christianity? If the person had zero knowledge of Christianity and yet claimed that Jesus appeared to him or her, that would be compelling evidence to me.

        I would also like to see the figures regarding the predominant experience in NDE’s in Muslim regions, Hindu regions, Shinto regions compared to NDE’s in the western world. If 95% of NDE’s in each region reflect the beliefs and culture of that region of the globe, we should not be surprised that 5% of the NDE claims in that region involve alleged sightings of persons and events outside that culture.

        Like

        1. By the way, Jesus is considered a prophet in Islam. Jesus is therefore part of Islamic culture. So occasional NDE’s involving Jesus in the Islamic world should surprise no one. I am more interested in seeing NDE’s in Hindu India and in Japan.

          Like

          1. Gary, I appreciate and respect your point of view. A dear friend of mine, the late Rob Sherman was, for a time, the national spokesman for the American Atheists. We often debated publicly – and worked together privately on several initiatives – including pro-life work. (When I expressed surprise to Rob that he was pro-life, he told me, “Charlie, I think this is all we get…so it is only logical that I would think it a sin to deprive anyone of it.” When he realized what he had said, his face reddened and he added, “so to speak.” He was almost as passionate about pro-life as he was about his atheism).

            This site, however, is not the place for any extended debate on whether religion is real or whether it is all just cultural conditioning. Some comments on the subject from time to time are welcome and relevant. But this site is primarily a place for believers, primarily all Christians and Jews, to refine their faith, prepare to help each other and non-believing neighbors in difficult times, and to discuss and examine our faith together.

            I will tell you that, a few years ago, Fr. Mitch Pacwa told me privately that an untold story is that over a million a year in the Middle East are converting to Christianity from Islam, despite the death threats they receive (which are often carried out) and that in the last decade, more credible apparitions of Jesus and of Our Lady are occurring there than anywhere else in the world. Since that conversation, I have seen this article from the National Catholic Register’s Patti Armstrong and this from Townhall’s Michael Brown. And of course, there are the actual words of Albert Einstein, surely a respectable man of science. He was NOT a traditional Christian or Jew as some try to make him out to be…but he was most emphatically NOT an atheist as many more try to make him out to be. He was more similar to the Deists who were prominent in the founding of this country. But he most emphatically believed that both religion and God are real, if he was fuzzy on exactly how to describe the concepts.

            To be clear, there is nothing inherently offensive in your arguments at all. It is just that they do not mesh with the main thrust of this site. I ask you to dial it back for the same reason I would ask someone who thought this was a great website to give stock tips or sporting news to do the same. Now, having joined the argument somewhat, I give you the last word. But let it genuinely be the last word for a while on this particular subject.

            Liked by 4 people

        2. Gary, I’ve spent decades looking into these various issues and coming to my conclusions (as has Jack Hiller). You are welcome to accept or reject my conclusions as you see fit. At this point all I will say is that the information is out there in books and online. It’s time for you to do some homework. I can assure you that if you go looking, you will find the information you need to refine your own opinions.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. SteveBC, I have also read virtually all of the NDE literature and support your observation that the Buddha and Muhammad never get reported during the NDE, while God and Christ do appear regardless of prior religion (including atheist and agnostic) or nationality. Gary’s lack of any acknowledgement that consciousness may persist without a functional brain also implies an over-zealous effort to deny there is a soul despite empirical evidence. I do however “hope” that he may eventually see the light before passing.

        Liked by 2 people

  30. Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for the conversation. The reason I left my original comment is because I have just started learning a new form of atheist “evangelism” called “street epistemology”. It’s primary goal is to encourage polite, courteous discussions regarding the methods we each use to evaluate truth claims. The idea is to avoid arguing over evidence as it usually leads to stalemate, frustration, and even anger at your interlocutor.

    In the past I have engaged in debates with theists regarding the evidence, so this is a very different approach for me. Thanks for letting me try it out. I obviously didn’t do so well because I took the bait to debate evidence (NDE’s) instead of sticking to a discussion of methods of belief.

    I wish you well!
    Gary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gary, My PhD concentration was in design and analysis of behavioral research. The best overall text I studied was by Fred Kerlinger, and it includes an excellent section on how people think they “know” something to be true. Even met Fred as a grad student (he is now 108), and he paid me the complement of including two of my published studies in an update of his text (one on characteristics of classroom teacher effectiveness, the other on computerized scoring of student essays), to be studied as exemplars for conducting Multiple Linear Regression Analysis. The text is affordably available from Amazon ( https://www.amazon.com/Foundations-Behavioral-Research-2nd-Second/dp/B002MZUQGY/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540869796&sr=1-2&keywords=fred+kerlinger+foundations+of+behavioral ) .

      Without attempting to prolong a discussion that Charlie rightly asked to be curtailed, can you briefly explain how any useful discussion of purported knowledge could divorce itself from the contents of knowledge. While it is true that Immanuel Kant did a classic analysis of such an issue in his texts, Critique of Pure Reason, Critiques of Practical Reason, and Critique of Judgment (I did not see any texts by Kant in your web site reading list), such deeply philosophic analysis is nothing that lends itself to simplified analysis about the nature of knowledge, as shown below.

      The flavor of Kant’s analyses is nicely captured in this paragraph from the wiki:
      ” Kant builds on the work of empiricist philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume, as well as rationalists such as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Christian Wolff. He expounds new ideas on the nature of space and time, and tries to provide solutions to Hume’s scepticism regarding human knowledge of the relation of cause and effect, and René Descartes’ scepticism regarding knowledge of the external world. This is argued through the transcendental idealism of objects (as appearance) and their form of appearance. Kant regards the former “as mere representations and not as things in themselves”, and the latter as “only sensible forms of our intuition, but not determinations given for themselves or conditions of objects as things in themselves”. This grants the possibility of a priori knowledge, since objects as appearance “must conform to our cognition . . . which is to establish something about objects before they are given to us”. Knowledge independent of experience Kant calls “a priori” knowledge, while knowledge obtained through experience is termed “a posteriori”.[2] According to Kant, a proposition is a priori if it is necessary and universal. A proposition is necessary if it could not possibly be false, and so cannot be denied without contradiction. A proposition is universal if it is true in all cases, and so does not admit of any exceptions. Knowledge gained a posteriori through the senses, Kant argues, never imparts absolute necessity and universality, because it is always possible that we might encounter an exception.[3] ”

      Lastly, it appears extraordinary that any properly skeptical seeker of truth would disdain actual efforts at acquiring empirical knowledge, such as found in the large NDE/OBE research literature. It’s as if “street epistemology” is saying, “do not annoy my reasoning by attempting to insert any factual information.”

      Charlie, really sorry about this, but Gary’s last comment was provocative and worthy of attention.

      Finally

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi, Jack. I’m a newbie at street epistemology so I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in what I say on the subject, but here is my two cents: Street Epistemology (S.E.) does not claim that evidence is not important. However, the reason that S.E. teaches its “evangelists” not to engage in discussions of evidence is that the topics in question are not considered facts, only beliefs. Is the existence of a Creator God an accepted fact? No. It is disputed. Is the existence of the resurrected Lord Jesus an accepted fact? No. It is disputed. Therefore a discussion regarding evidence for these claims will almost always end in stalemate.

        However, a discussion of HOW we evaluate these and other truth claims can be much more productive. So the first step in S.E. is to ask the Christian or other theist how he (she) would rate his confidence on a scale of 0-100% in his belief, for instance, that a Creator God exists.

        The goal of S.E. is to encourage everyone to use reliable methods for investigating universal truth claims.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have to say I reject some (if not all) of the predicates to this approach, Gary.

          In 1994, there was a public debate on the existence of God held at Willow Creek Church in Chicago (a mega-church). A few days after it aired, my friend I spoke of, Rob Sherman, called to ask me if I had watched it. I said I had and found it very un-edifying. He told me that we could do better than that and proposed we schedule a three-hour debate on my show. I agreed on both counts and scheduled it.

          I read a ton in preparation. I know Rob was expecting me to give a traditional Christian apologetics narrative. But I kept my focus narrow, only on giving specific logical and philosophical evidence to show that belief in God is entirely rational. Like you, I knew it would be a dry hole to try to prove the fact with empirical certainty. My go-to handbook as we got closer to the debate was Peter Kreeft’s marvelous “Summa of the Summa,” a masterful editing with commentary on St. Thomas Aquinas’ key theological writing. At the close of the program, Rob re-ieterated that he remained an atheist, but conceded that there is a serious rational basis for belief in God. (The national association of atheists, for which he was chief spokesman, was NOT pleased with him – but however showy and provocative, Rob was an honest man.)

          A big problem is that, culturally, we have become hideously ignorant in the areas of philosophy and logic. You can’t reliably prove God with a data sheet…but you CAN show profound evidence of his existence by using data and extrapolating coherent inferences and conclusions from it. Next to no one knows how to even frame such an approach any more.

          I have said before that reading St. Augustine’s “Confessions” triggered my serious examination of the Catholic Church, which was the occasion of my conversion. Near the end of the book, using just such philosophical and logical approaches to Scripture and the Magisterium, Augustine described what “time” is in nearly identical terms to what Einstein would figure out some 1,500 years later with his theory of relativity.

          I completely agree that we have to evangelize in ways that bring down barriers rather than raise them. Too many would-be Christian apologists so insult people at the start that those listeners will hear nothing they have to say. So these “apologists” compound the problem of disbelief by acting as pushy, arrogant jerks. However, arguing like an accountant won’t win anyone either. We need to recapture the science – and art – of philosophical reasoning, which is powerful, but difficult to wield well. We need to recapture it not just to win arguments, but to train and discipline our own minds. I consider it an absolute duty, for we are asea in a flood of undisciplined minds – all of which like to argue from mere willfulness and are baffled at why they cannot find happiness. Recapturing the capacity for disciplined philosophical reasoning is a formula for relieving real misery in a world desperately in need of such relief.

          Liked by 3 people

    2. I appreciate it, Gary. It seems, with this comment, you are aware of and respectful of the primary emphasis of this site, so I am going to leave some latitude here to explore this. You and Jack are handling it well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our Creator, God exists. In one instant, He saw everything, including this discourse here. Is God Love? If so, whom did He love?

        We (hopefully) have all felt love. We say it and through our actions, demonstrate it.

        Can you ‘prove’ love?

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Charlie’s comment here is precisely right: ” You can’t reliably prove God with a data sheet…but you CAN show profound evidence of his existence by using data and extrapolating coherent inferences and conclusions from it. ”

      Furthermore, Charlie’s complaint about the annoying tendencies of some Christian apologists, ” So these “apologists” compound the problem of disbelief by acting as pushy, arrogant jerks. ” appears equally applicable to the practice of Street Epistemology, as may be seen in this “how to do it” you tube video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic8O-m1lAZo ).

      The essence of SE appears to derive from the fact that God does not routinely appear to us in our mortal form directly telling us, or showing us, he is the Creator. From this lack of God’s direct, visible claim to be the Creator, SE supposes that there is in fact no empirical support possibly available for any claim made about a supernatural creator. Thus, atheist SEs delights in their role of superiority by poking holes in all forms of religious faith, as demonstrated on the you tube video.

      The SE advocate does not bother to inquire about why God, if truly existing, does not obviously advertise His authority. However, it struck me that that is a good question, and I believe I found an answer embedded in the NDE reports.

      My conclusion, simply expressed, is that God “originally” existed alone by Himself, and I cannot begin to fathom how that was possible, as I explained in my earlier note posted here. God then created the realm of light in which God manifests as light, and all of his creations likewise manifest as light; of logical necessity, everything that God created was made from God’s own essence, and that is why the OBE reporting is consistent that, not only was every entity experienced in Heaven made of light, but everything exuded consciousness, even rocks, water, plants and animals. Heaven is experienced as a place of perfect joy with no stresses whatsoever. All of God’s creations in Heaven have no basis for evolving in any way for lack of any motivating stressors– an ideal, but essentially static existence. The material realm with all of its harshness was next created, therefore, to enable spiritual development in a manner unavailable in Heaven– and that leads to an answer about why God remains hidden from direct view during our mortal lives, as the certainty of a loving Creator would deprive us of the motivating stresses we experience here, such as illnesses and the loss of loved ones at death.

      Thus, I appreciate Sean’s post above, and, unlike an SE advocate who would chose to taunt him for his “blind faith,” I share his positive outlook.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But does faith (as defined in Hebrews 11:1) play any roll in your belief in this universal truth claim (that Jesus is the Creator and Lord of the universe) or is your belief based solely on evidence?

        Like

        1. Hebrews 10:1-39 speaks eloquently, much more than I. I recommend reading in its entirety as much may be explained, particularly the Holy Sacrifice of the mass.

          Catholic Study Bible

          Hebrews 10:15-17

          15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
          16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
          17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.”

          Hebrews 10:19-20

          19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,
          20 by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,

          Hebrews 10:22-23

          22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
          23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful;

          Catholic Study Bible

          Hebrews 10:37-39

          37 “For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry;
          38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”
          39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. So when I read Hebrews, I get the impression that the author’s definition of faith is: Hope that something is true for which there is no visible evidence. Would that describe your faith, Sean? I know that other Christians view faith as: “belief based on trust in past performance”. This type of faith would be similar to having “faith” that your American-made and maintained airplane will not crash based on the evidence of past performance statistics. To me, this would better be described as “confidence” or “trust” and not “faith”.
            This type of faith doesn’t sound like the faith spoken about by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Would you agree?

            Like

            1. One of the big problems we seem to have here is that your definitions of theological terms does not match up well with their actual definitions. “Faith” is NOT magical thinking. It really has a lot to do with the “philosophical reasoning” I spoke of earlier. I really recommend that you read Kreeft’s “Summa of the Summa” to get an idea of what the terms actually mean and how philosophical reasoning actually works. If this is what your “Street Evangelization” method teaches you, I really think it is a clever tool of the devil to ultimately rid you of faith altogether by accepting such banal premises and such profoundly anti-intellectual understanding of rich theological terms. “Faith is the evidence (or in some translations, “substance”) of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen. If you read any of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s pieces on faith and reason, you would be much closer to the mark. Faith is NOT merely magical thinking nor is hope merely wishful thinking. These are specific theological terms with specific meanings that bear no resemblance to how you are using them.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I agree, Charlie. We need to use terms for which we agree on their definitions.
                Would you kindly give me a clear, concise definition of “faith”? The author of Hebrews doesn’t seem to suggest that one needs to understand Greek/western philosophy to understand what he is talking about.

                Like

                1. Well, actually, no I won’t Gary. It is not my job to do your basic studying for you. I have directed you to several places where you can get the requisite knowledge necessary to discuss these things coherently. One does not need to have a deep knowledge of theology and philosophy to comment here. But if you choose to discuss those things, you do have the obligation to get up to snuff. Right now, you sound more and more like a fellow who got a German-English dictionary and fancies that he now speaks fluent German. You don’t. Questions which I suspect you think are provocative are merely banal. I had hoped you were serious and knowledgeable, for I do like serious, learned discussions and disputes, but that is not what is happening. Even in your reply to Sean (which I will not clear independently, though will quote here. Would you say then, “…in this definition of faith, God gifts you knowledge; he instills you with it (you don’t need to consider the evidence or think about it); God simply “pours” it into your brain/soul? Or, does God gift you empirical evidence, so that you are then able as a mature adult to study it; evaluate it, and then come to a conscious, intellectual decision to believe?” ) you pre-suppose some magical event involved in faith coming. I am sorry, but this line of conversation is now over. We have made it very clear the line between faith and reason – and you just continue to ignore it in order to advance a rather impoverished narrative you think is rich. We are done with this.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I checked my S.E. notes and realized I had made another mistake. The street epistemologist should never volunteer HIS definition of faith. He should always ask his interlocuter for his (or her) definition of faith, and work from there.

                    Lesson learned!

                    However, I do find it odd that the authors of the Gospels quote Jesus as saying that unless one has the FAITH of a little child, one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. I don’t know too many little children who are versed in philosophy and theology. Are you sure, Charlie, that you aren’t making faith more complicated than what Jesus and the evangelists meant it to mean?

                    Like

                    1. No, I am not making it more complicated. From a purely human perspective, Jesus was amazing because of how simply and concisely He expressed amazingly complex things. St. Paul was astonishingly sophisticated, subtle and deep. The faith of a little child is in his trusting…that his parents will give him bread rather than a stone when he is hungry. Jesus certainly commends and recommends that faith. But He does NOT recommend that little children act as teachers of the faith…the blind leading the blind, as He said. He encourages us NOT to stay blind, but to study and learn. In 1 Corinthians 3, St. Paul notes that when people knew little, he could not address them as spiritual men, but had to treat them as babes in Christ – so he gave them milk because they were not yet prepared for solid food. So how could they prepare? By listening, contemplating, and learning.

                      I taught RCIA for six years – and often got questions like yours. I did what I do here…I responded simply with “milk,” then gave them recommendations on how to prepare themselves for solid food. I do appreciate your enthusiasm for some new learning you have, but one text does not a solid evangelist make. You worry me when you speak of making it more complicated: would you dismiss the accumulated wisdom of 2,000 years from some of the greatest saints and geniuses in history to sate your desire that it not be hard? My friend Jack Hiller here has put in decades of hard study to fit himself for solid food, as has my friend Steve BC, and as have I. That, alone, does not make any of us right or decisive…but it does allow us to speak coherently in the same language to each other about such things. I ask that you begin the same path. I recommended “The Summa of the Summa” because I know nothing that will so speed you on your way to what you seek. To declaim authoritatively on such matters after a volume or two of study is an enthusiasm, not a discipline or a faith.

                      You ask some questions that I like to hear from someone beginning on a path of real study. Now you need to feed yourself with the writings of the geniuses and saints who have considered these same questions, that you might fully form your search for truth.

                      Liked by 3 people

                    2. That the hard work must be done by each as they are called… absolutely. Hard work always has its reward.

                      That there are giants (“geniuses”) of the Faith… yes, some of them quite conspicuous in the rich treasures of the Church… writings and traditions and such.

                      That Jesus never recommended children as teachers… hm. Certainly He let their example teach, when appropriate, not to shame the adults but to illustrate how easily pride takes root and flourishes in the adult if left unchecked. To become as little children again. Not simply an example of their trust, but also their innocence. And what a great consolation that must have been/is to Our Lord.

                      “But He does NOT recommend that little children act as teachers of the faith… the blind leading the blind, as He said.” Maybe this was just a little sloppy. I’m unclear of your meaning.

                      That children see, often quite clearly in the physical AND spiritual sense, is without question. Often blurting out, without preamble or pretenses, what they ‘see.’ Don’t know about you, but I’ve been put in my place on numerous occasions by mere kids. Quite the learning moments, and I’m all to happy to acknowledge these little teachers in the Faith.

                      Among the Gospel writers, I also can’t help but think of St. John. Surely John exemplifies the childlike qualities Jesus was talking about, and the Gospel of St. John bespeaks a real poetic genius not found in the other three. A difference in paths maybe. St. John… the path of love alone. Gosh, his writings are almost swoons… ecstasies of childlike love rising higher and higher towards the Beloved… lifting us too if we let Him.

                      Oh, I invite everyone to revisit John’s Gospel. Imagine, all that from the youngest of the Apostles… a simple fishermen from Bethsaida on the shores of Galilee. I doubt he was all that educated or sophisticated, but he was quite the prodigy in love. A real genius having picked the surest and straightest path. Still, I can’t help but think that it was a lot of hard work.

                      Liked by 5 people

        2. Gary, Apostle John speaks directly to your question. I thank you for promting me in this time of prayer, reading, contemplating and meditating on the Word made flesh.

          Catholic Study Bible

          John 14:10-11

          10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

          11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.

          John 14:20-23

          20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

          21 He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

          22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”

          23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. I like data, but ultimately prefer a good metaphor. We could parse, analyze and interpret data quite efficiently for a limited span, but I don’t think it would ever be effective without some metaphors seeded in there. A bridge over the infinite river, as it were. That may disqualify me from the science of the discussion, but I don’t think from the spirit of it.

        Liked by 2 people

  31. Gary,

    Thank you for asking. I do not think you have said anything wrong. I do think your probes for hard evidence to support faith are overly simplistic, as is SE as an endeavor– actually, I admit that SE strikes me as sophomoric and intrinsically obnoxious.

    Because you asked, I will tell you I’m not a student of the Bible. In reading the OT, I could never get past all of those begats. However, I have read enough from the NT to believe that Christ was who he said he was, and that what he said is consistent with modern physics.

    I also have to admit that your question keyed to Hebrews 11:1 struck me as funny, given that I do not frame my beliefs on religious dependence on any particular textual passages (although I do esteem the Sermon on the Mount, and the Golden Rule). Instead, in my long life, now at 80, I have had personal experiences which support my belief in God.

    I was alone with my Mom as she passed away after a house fire. My Dad passed away the day of the fire (I was about 60 miles away finishing up on my PhD at the time). A few weeks later, when Mom learned that Dad had already passed, her vitals rapidly declined, and I was called to the hospital. In her last few moments, she said that I needed to start to think about getting married. I was not even dating as I was by then workaholic for my degree. She then said that–she hesitated and seemed to be looking toward the ceiling– the girl could even be sort of Chinese. Being NYC Jewish, that was obviously strange, and it soon slipped from memory.

    It was not until I was reading about the NDEs some thirty years later that I thought again about that bedside experience with Mom. It turned out that around seven years after Mom’s passing, I had met a Filopino/Chinese girl, was struck with love at first sight, and married her about two months later.

    In 2006, we had an African Grey parrot, Shakespeare, we called Shaky. The parrot was with us for three years, was quite smart and talkative, and so was regarded more as a child then an animal pet. We avoided clipping his wings, so he was free to fly around. On the day of moving into a new house, I stumbled by an open garage door, so Shaky flew off of my shoulder, but then instead of coming back, flew out of the garage, circled, and then flew off past a culvert to the roof of a house about 300 feet away. By the time I was able to drive over to that house, Shaky was gone. I searched day and night for a week with no success. On a Saturday morning, I got an idea to place a wanted ad to recover Shaky. When I got the idea, I then thought it was ridiculous to hope that Shaky could be recovered thru any ad, so I let it go. But the idea nagged at me, so I called the wanted ad section of the major local newspaper (in Albuqurque). The nice lady I talked to asked if I had seen the tv news Friday night in which an exotic bird recently brought to an animal shelter was shown. I had not, and she got me the shelter’s tele number which I immediately called and scheduled to visit that afternoon.

    When I got to the shelter, a tv news crew was present to watch the reunion. The folks at the shelter said they had the bird for a week, and it never made any sound, just sat still. My wife Becky went over to the cage while I went to the desk to sign papers. With the cage opened, Shaky imeddiately flew over to me, and started to kiss me all over my face, while singing a happy song. As we went to leave by the front door, Shaky, now in his carrying cage, turned to face the tv crew behind us and shouted, “Au revoir.” Now, you might apply SE to ask if I regard that Shaky’s recovery constituted evidence of divine intervention, but you would know my answer without posing the question.

    I also experienced an intervention when I was seconds away from a head on crash, when my auto was shifted sideways (no way for the car to have done that by itself) enough for me to feel the motion, avoiding the crash. There were other interventions too. I did not realize the meaning of these events till I got to reading the NDE literature.

    I suggest that you take the time to read from the NDE research literature to gain information you appear to be dissing out of hand. Here is a good collection of reports, and it’s freely acessible ( http://www.nderf.org/Archives/exceptional.html ).

    I am sorry for you that you lost your faith, and hope you may regain it while it can aid your living a good life, with the Golden Rule applied as a major principle for living.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Historical evidence and philosophy can be used to SUPPORT one’s supernatural beliefs, but for most believers, the fundamental basis for their belief is not history and philosophy, but subjective experiences and perceptions. Studies have demonstrated time and time again that subject, personal, feelings and perceptions are NOT reliable methods for evaluating universal truth claims.

    Thanks for the discussion!

    Like

    1. Yes they have. They teach it in philosophy 101 – that anecdotal evidence, while often useful, is not dispositive and can be deeply misleading. My issue with you is not over that obvious fact, but your assumption that those are the only types of arguments Christians use – and that those are the types serious evangelists routinely use. No studies were ever actually needed for such an obvious point. It is taught in introductory philosophy courses everywhere. Using a study to prove it is as silly as funding a study to prove water is wet.

      I really do hope you launch into some serious study. If nothing else, it will spark in you a new respect for serious Christian evangelists as you see they are not at all what you think they are.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Gary, There are indeed nominally two ways to know about the world, as you wrote here, distilled as what we know by direct, observational experience (which you superficially dismiss as merely “subjective”), and by what others tell us thru communication (based on inherently individual subjective understanding of the language used), whether oral or written, plus conveyance of pictures and audio/video, presented real time or by recordings– which must yet be interpreted by the visual system –which too is necessarily personal and thus subjective.

      Thus, the philosophic analysis of knowledge demonstrates that any and all knowledge that may be gained in life is ultimately personal and thus subjective. This unavoidable limitation to the nature of knowledge was well developed by the ancient Greeks (apparently starting with the pre-socratic sophist Gorgias writing about the idea of solipsism) and in the Hindu Upanishad. There is no logical rebuttal of the solipsistic issue that all knowledge is limited by the individual, subjective, mind (or for foolish materialists, by the individual’s own brain). Your SE’s smug references to “subjectivity” are naïve in the extreme.

      Meaningfulness in language is itself a complex topic (one that I’ve published about under the rubric of Vagueness). Perception is a complex topic too with conventional neurologists baffled by what philosophy has termed the issue of qualia, i.e., how the brain’s neurons are able to generate the distinctively different qualities of vision, hearing, olfaction, (and kinesthesia; and in Frozen Time Theory I’ve posed the solution that conscious perception is NOT produced by the brain). These two important topics drive home the fact that all externally acquired knowledge is ultimately subjective.

      As Charlie has been gracefully explaining, there is much more to understand in the philosophy of epistemology than your acquaintance with SE has apparently equipped you to discuss. It would seem that a basic grounding in philosophy and psychology ought to be prerequisite to evangelizing others to adopt atheism, even a simplistic or naïve form of atheism, over the inescapable fact that all personal knowledge is by straightforward analysis ultimately subjective.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. BD, Good to “see” that, as “chuckle” is 180 degrees superior to “sad.”

          Had a temptation to try to explain for Gary in my last note that he might expand his careless use of “that’s Subjective” gotchas to include “idiosyncratic” to refine his critiques, but there is so much more for him to learn, as Charlie pointed out, that I let that trifle go.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Glad that it was only a temptation, JH. I think it’s possible to effectively evangelize the poor and hungry, but only if we recognize our own poverty and hunger first.

            Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi Jack. Thank you for the detailed comment.

        My response would be this: Is is necessary for the average person to understand philosophical principles in order to make reasonable decisions on basic universal truth claims? Must the average man and woman take a college course or purchase and read philosophy and psychology books to make basic truth decisions?

        I would humbly argue, no. And here is why: Our advanced, industrialized society is based on a very fundamental principle: respect for consensus expert opinion. When the overwhelming majority of experts in a particular field believe that something is true, most educated people in western society accept that consensus expert belief as true without investigating the issue themselves. Imagine if our society expected each one of us to study in detail every issue of fact. Life would be impossible and unbearable.

        We trust the experts. It is only on issues that the experts do not have a consensus that we non-experts are left with a choice: accept the position of one group of experts on a position or study the issue ourselves and make a non-expert judgment on the issue.

        The experts have not reached a consensus on whether or not your spouse really loves you, the best breakfast cereal, or the best flavor of ice cream. These are not universal truth claims. They are preferences. These choices are subjective. What may be true for one person may not be true for another. My favorite ice cream is Vanilla Swiss Almond, your’s might be Rocky Road. Neither one of us is wrong.

        However, whether or not a Creator God exists is not a preference. This is a universal truth claim. Whether of not Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead is a universal truth claim. They are true for everyone or not true for everyone. It is these types of universal truth claims, made by theists such as yourselves, that I am interested in probing. What is the basis for your belief in these claims? Is it 100% evidence? Is it part evidence part faith?

        Now as philosophers you may respond that the expert consensus is still subjective! And that may be true from a philosophical perspective. But that is not how society functions. Society functions as if expert opinion is fact…until new evidence comes along which proves it false…and then a new fact on the issue is presented. Scientific facts are really “theories”. They can always be proven false, amended, or revised.

        So again I ask, should your personal experiences and subjective feelings, in our society, be used to establish universal truth claims?

        Like

        1. I am going once more, Gary. I have already told you THREE times where you can get the answers – by starting with the Summa of the Summa. Your description of what modern society is is largely accurate, which is also why modern discourse is so utterly banal. If it is important to know something on this, it is worth studying and contemplating on it. People once knew that, but now want everything handed to them without any significant effort on their part. If you only want immediate gratification, you will never know much of anything. If you are not willing to expend the time to read the material, there is nothing we can do for you here.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Charlie–Bingo cubed.

            Childish prattle is being offered as intellectual sophistication with simplistic questioning, and resort to “superior” atheist authority about the quality of knowledge. Such nonsense to be asserting that any current consensus is adequate to establish the truth about a complex topic; with such a defeatist view of intellect, we could all now be accepting that the Earth is flat and no vehicle could ever be made to fly.

            Gary, truly consider that your sad SE atheism is objectively superficial and trivial. Please do as Charlie has politely suggested.

            Liked by 1 person

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