What Is at Stake in the Battle to Redefine Marriage?
The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
What is at stake in the battle to redefine marriage?
We should be involved in this battle, and I think it is right to put in place-if possible-a legal definition of marriage that makes it one man and one woman.
The stakes are very very high, not so much because God is going to bring judgment on our country if we legally endorse the impossibility of homosexual togetherness called marriage, but because judgment has already come upon America. The fact that we are so tolerant and so approving of homosexual behavior is the judgment of God, according to Romans 1. God has already given us over in large measure to a debased mind.
But rather, the reason the stakes are high is because if we don’t socially agree on the structure of marriage, the ripple effect for child-rearing and for the modeling of what Christ and the church are like-even unwittingly by unbelievers-is going to collapse. And the spiritual, cultural, and social effects of that are untold. We can’t put our finger on all that will happen.
I was reading statistics the other day of all the negative things that come from growing up in a home of two men or two women. It has happened enough now for years, so that people can begin to accumulate statistics on what becomes of these children. And as much as the other side may say they turn out to be happy, well, statistically-and I encourage you to go to the internet to find them-the problems are huge and many.
So I think it will be good for us as a culture to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman for a lifetime, and to keep at the margins the relationships that we believe are sinful, rather than endorsing them with legal definitions of marriage.
Do you think most Christians understand what will happen if we let go of the Bible’s definition of marriage?
Probably more people in the church realize it than those outside; but no, probably most Christians don’t realize what will happen.
I think we have fallen in the last two centuries (and the last fifty years especially) into such a sense of individualism and tolerance that about the only vice that some people can conceive of is not tolerating other people’s lifestyle choices.
If you don’t embrace a lifestyle then you’re viewed as being a hate-monger and promoting hate speech. I wouldn’t be surprised if things were to turn around so that my preaching on certain sins becomes illegal and I face legal reprisals of jail or a fine for preaching on, say, homosexual behavior as sin. Because it will be said, “OK, you call it sin. You’re encouraging wild fanatics at the edge to do cruel and physical things. Therefore, you’re responsible for their behavior. This is hate speech, and you go to jail for talking that way.”
The demand for approval is a very ominous thing.
Churches’ Dilemma: 80 Percent of Flock Is Inactive
Pastors must go after lost sheep to increase church participation
There is a secret inside many churches. According to researchers Scott Thumma and Warren Bird, most churches – mega-sized and small, black and white – are actually run by 20 percent of the congregation. The other 80 percent, they say, tend to act like spectators: they are minimally involved and attend infrequently or not at all.
A National Congregation Survey shows the Southern Baptist Convention had a membership of 16,160,088 people in 2008, but a yearly attendance rate of 38 percent. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had a membership of 4,542,868 in 2009, but the yearly attendance rated rested at 28 percent.
Though many churches are struggling to boost attendance and participation, Thumma states, pastors and church leaders rarely address the issue.
“So many pastors that I’ve talked to recognize the problem, don’t know what to do about it and then instead of trying to tackle it, they kind of put it aside,” described Thumma.
He and Bird traveled to 12 different churches, interviewing congregants to learn why some are involved in church ministry and others are not. Thumma said they found that “almost all congregations were operating below their potential because they (the churches) weren’t finding ways to invigorate and keep their own membership interested, involved and committed.”
In the book The Other 80 Percent, the researchers use their findings to help church leaders find the root of the problem.
Pastors, Thumma says, put too much of their ministries’ focus on bringing new people in to the church.
According to a 2010 Barna survey, 46 percent of 600 senior pastors reported that outreach/evangelism is the area their church or ministry would like to develop in 2011. The poll also showed that outreach/evangelism ranked higher in priority than any of the other nine areas.
Those churches that focus primarily on the new people walking through the front door may be leaving the back door wide open, Thumma cautions.
“If you’re not thinking about hospitality at the front door as well as at the back door, they (members) will all just flow through, and that’s not what God is calling the church to do,” he states.
The authors refer to the parable of the good shepherd as an ideal example. The good shepherd is troubled by one stray sheep and pursues that sheep until he is able to bring it back to the 99 members in his fold.
However, the book portrays most pastors as shepherds who dismiss the lost sheep because they think “Not to worry … I still have ninety-nine.” As the number of sheep decreases, the pastors of today try to entice sheep from their neighbor’s flock or search after wild rams to enter into their folds rather pursuing their lost lambs.
The book calls on pastors to pay greater attention to the 80 percent of the congregation who are lost and uninvolved. To do that, Thumma recommends pastors refocus their church to offer continued spiritual growth through greater engagement.
Only 28 percent of pastors reported that spiritual growth was an important area of development in 2011 in the Barna poll. Even fewer pastors –19 percent – reported that engagement was an important area for development.
Spiritual engagement, however, becomes more important the longer a congregant remains in the church, Thumma stresses. The top reason given for decreased participation in the last two years is faith has gotten weaker, according to a cited Parish Inventory Survey. Yet very few churches have programs for long-standing members, he says.
“Once you’ve been at the church for five years, 10 years, 20 years, 40 years, there’s hardly any programs aimed at those groups to continually keep them engaged,” laments Thumma.
The book recommends churches first correct this error by forming a listening team. The goal of the team is to conduct individual interviews with members to find out how they want and need to be nurtured spiritually.
When authors Thumma and Bird employed this approach to write The Other 80 Percent, inactive congregants shared that issues such as no close friendship, and a lack of adult classes led to their decreased role in the church.
Second, churches are urged to create a learning team to uncover the external social and cultural dynamics in their communities hampering members’ church involvement. The team may learn that a Sunday morning sports league is keeping church youth and their parents from service. The learning team can also discover new areas for ministry such as a food assistance program to reach a low-income community.
Once both groups have finished collecting information, Thumma says, “Each church needs to contemplate their own context and come up with their own strategy based on what God wants for their congregation.”
Thumma says that pastors will not be able to get 100 percent of their congregation involved all the time, but pastors are called to care for every member of their flock, not just the active 20 percent.
Another Step Closer To A One World Religion: 50 U.S. Churches To Read From
The Quran On Sunday
The three main pillars of the “New World Order” that the global elite want to bring about are a one world economy, a one world government and a one world religion. A lot of attention gets paid to the development of the first two pillars, but the third pillar gets very little attention. But the truth is that a one world religion is getting closer than ever. “Interfaith” conferences and meetings are being held with increasing frequency all over the globe. Major global religious leaders are urging all of us to focus on our
“shared” religious traditions. The belief that all religions are equally valid paths to the same destination is being taught in houses of worship and at religious institutions all over the globe. This “interfaith movement” is being promoted by NGOs, “charitable foundations” and top politicians and it is being backed by big money all over the planet.
Now some U.S. churches are trying to take things to another level. On June 26th, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and approximately 50 other churches in 26 U.S. states will publicly read from the Quran during their Sunday worship services.
This is all part of an interfaith project being promoted by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First. The theme of this Sunday is “Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding”, and the goal is apparently to show how much Christian churches in the United States respect Islam.
The following are some of the other prominent U.S. churches that will be doing Quran readings this Sunday….
*Christ Church in New York City
*All Saints Church in Pasadena, California
*Park Hill Congregational in Denver
*Hillview United Methodist in Boise, Idaho
*First United Lutheran in San Francisco
*St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Honolulu
In all, churches in 26 U.S. states will be participating.
But these Quran readings are just supposed to be the beginning of something bigger. The following is from a description of the Quran reading project on the website of Human Rights First….
At its core, this project will bring together Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy to read from and hear from each other’s sacred texts. In doing so, they will serve as a model for respect and cooperation and create a concrete opportunity to build and strengthen working ties between and among faith communities moving forward.
The truth is that all Americans have the freedom to read the Quran whenever they want. But should Christian churches be reading from it during Sunday worship and should they be seeking to “build and strengthen working ties” with Islamic groups that are seeking to promote the spread of another religion?
Obviously, many Christian leaders are not pleased with this development. Worldview Weekend President Brannon Howse recently made the following comment regarding the reading of the Quran in U.S. churches….
“They have denied the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. They have denied the inerrancy of Scripture; they’ve denied the inspiration of Scripture.”
Sadly, this is not a new trend. The truth is that the “interfaith movement” has been building momentum for decades and some of the most prominent religious leaders in the world are involved.
For example, the following excerpt from a CNS article talks about a huge “interfaith event” hosted by the Pope when he visited Washington D.C. in 2008….
When Pope Benedict XVI comes to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington for an early-evening interfaith meeting April 17 with Buddhists,
Hindus, Jews, Muslims and representatives of other religions, space will be at a premium.
Many top U.S. Christian leaders have been very involved in the “interfaith movement” as well.
For example, Brian McLaren, one of the top leaders of the emerging church movement, actually celebrated Ramadan back in 2009.
Rick Warren, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has been a guest speaker at the national conference of the Islamic Society of North America.
Some time ago, a virtual “who’s who” of evangelical Christian leaders that included Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Brian McLaren, Richard Cizik and Bill Hybels all signed a letter to the Islamic community that was entitled “Loving God And Neighbor Together”. This letter made it abundantly clear that these Christians leaders consider Allah and the Christian God to be the same entity.
Let’s take a quick look at a couple of quotes from the letter….
Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One
In Islam, “the All-Merciful One” is one of the key names for Allah.
So in this letter the Christian leaders were praying to Allah and were asking for his forgiveness and were acknowledging that he is God.
Here is another quote from the letter….
If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.
Very strangely, in the letter the Christian leaders claim that their “eternal souls” are at stake if they do not make every effort to “come together in harmony” with the Islamic community.
Once again, people in America are free to believe whatever they want, but Christian leaders should not be trying to develop religious ties with Islam.
The truth is that Jesus would not have wanted anything to do with this one world religion that the New World Order is trying to bring in.
In John 14:6, Jesus made the following statement…..
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
You would think that would be so clear that no Christian leader would ever be able to misunderstand it.
In fact, the very first two of the Ten Commandments are about how no other gods should ever be worshipped except for the one true God. In Exodus 20:3-6 it says the following….
Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
But today everybody wants to be “politically correct”.
That is especially true of religious leaders.
But this is exactly what the global elite want. They want everyone herded into one giant “global religion” that they will be able to take charge of and control.
Of course once the global religion is established, they won’t have much use for the real Jesus Christ or for the Bible.
Even if you are not a Christian, you should be deeply troubled by these developments.
Yesterday, I wrote about Agenda 21 and the radical population control agenda of the global elite. The reality is that they want to use “climate change” and environmentalism as social engineering tools in order to reconstruct society in the way that they see fit.
I have also previously written about the globalization of the world economy. The global elite eventually want to merge us all into a one world economic system that they will totally dominate.
So even if you are not of any faith, you should be alarmed when you see attempts being made to merge the major religions of the world into one global faith.
So what do all of you think about the trend toward a one world religion? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below Last Days News in the comments section….
12 Things That The Mainstream Media Is Being Strangely Quiet About Right
As the mainstream media continues to be obsessed with Anthony Weiner and his bizarre adventures on Twitter, and everry other distracting bit of nonsense that does not impact people’s lives much more serious events are happening around the world that are getting very little attention. In America today, if the mainstream media does not cover something it is almost as if it never happened. Right now, the worst nuclear disaster in human history continues to unfold in Japan , U.S. nuclear facilities are being threatened by flood waters, the U.S. military is bombing Yemen, gigantic cracks in the earth are appearing all over the globe and the largest wildfire in Arizona history is
causing immense devastation. But Anthony Weiner, Bristol Palin and Miss USA are what the mainstream media want to tell us about and most Americans are buying
In times like these, it is more important than ever to think for ourselves. The corporate-owned mainstream media is not interested in looking out for us. Rather, they are going to tell us whatever fits with the agenda that their owners are pushing.
That is why more Americans than ever are turning to the alternative media. Americans are hungry for the truth, and they know that the amount of truth that they get from the mainstream media continues to decline.
The following are 12 things that the mainstream media is being strangely quiet about right now….
#1 The crisis at the Fort Calhoun nuclear facility in Nebraska has received almost no attention in the national mainstream media.
Back on June 7th, there was a fire at Fort Calhoun. The official story is that the fire was in an electrical switchgear room at the plant. The facility lost power to a pump that cools the spent fuel pool for approximately 90 minutes. According to the Omaha Public Power District, the fire was quickly extinguished and no radioactive material was released.
The following sequence of events is directly from the Omaha Public Power District website….
- There was no such imminent danger with the Fort Calhoun Station spent-fuel
- Due to a fire in an electrical switchgear room at FCS on the morning of June
7, the plant temporarily lost power to a pump that cools the spent-fuel pool.
- The fire-suppression system in that switchgear room operated as designed,
extinguishing the fire quickly.
- FCS plant operators switched the spent-fuel pool cooling system to an
installed backup pump about 90 minutes after the loss of power.
- During the interruption of cooling, temperature of the pool increased a few
degrees, but the pool was never in danger of boiling.
- Due to this situation, FCS declared an Alert at about 9:40 a.m. on June 7.
- An alert is the second-least-serious of four emergency classifications
established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- At about 1:15 p.m. on June 7, FCS operators declared they had taken all
appropriate measures to safely return to the previously declared Notification of
Unusual Event emergency classification. (See first item above.)
But the crisis at Fort Calhoun is not over. Right now, the nuclear facility at Fort Calhoun is essentially an island. It is surrounded by rising flood waters from the Missouri River.
Officials claim that there is no danger and that they are prepared for the river to rise another ten feet.
The Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, Nebraska is also being threatened by rising flood waters. A “Notification of Unusual Event” was declared at Cooper Nuclear
Station this morning at 4:02. This notification was issued because the Missouri River’s water level reached 42.5 feet.
Right now the facility is operating normally and officials don’t expect a crisis.
But considering what has been going on at Fukushima, it would be nice if we could have gotten a lot more coverage of these events by the mainstream media.
#2 Most Americans are aware that the U.S. is involved in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. However, the truth is that the U.S. military is also regularly bombing Yemen and parts of Pakistan. If you count the countries where the U.S. has special forces and/or covert operatives on the ground, the U.S. is probably “active” in more countries in the Middle East than it is not. Now there are even persistent rumors that U.S. ground units are being prepared to go into Libya. Are we watching the early stages of World War 3 unfold before our eyes in slow motion?
#3 The crisis at Fukushima continues to get worse. Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, recently made the following statement about the Fukushima disaster….
“Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind”
TEPCO has finally admitted that this disaster has released more radioactive material into the environment than Chernobyl did. That makes Fukushima the worst nuclear
disaster of all time, and it is far from over.
Massive amounts of water is being poured into the spent fuel pools in order to keep them cool. This is creating “hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive sea water” that has got to go somewhere. Inevitably much of it will get into the ground and into the sea.
Arnold Gundersen says that the scope of this problem is almost unimaginable….
“TEPCO announced they had a melt through. A melt down is when the fuel collapses to the bottom of the reactor, and a melt through means it has melted
through some layers. That blob is incredibly radioactive, and now you have water on top of it. The water picks up enormous amounts of radiation, so you add more water and you are generating hundreds of thousands of tons of highly radioactive water.”
The mainstream media is not paying as much attention to Fukushima these days, but that doesn’t mean that it is not a major league nightmare.
Elevated levels of radiation are being reported by Japanese bloggers all over eastern Japan. There are reports of sick children all over the region. One adviser to the government of Japan says that an area approximately 17 times the size of Manhattan is probably going to be uninhabitable.
Of course the mainstream media has been telling us all along that Fukushima is nothing to be too concerned about and that authorities in Japan have everything under control.
If the mainstream media is not going to tell us the truth, how are they going to continue to have credibility?
#4 Members of Congress continue to mention Christians as a threat to national security. For example, during a recent Congressional hearing U.S. Representative
Sheila Jackson Lee warned that “Christian militants” might try to “bring down the country” and that such groups need to be investigated.
#5 China’s eastern province of Zhejiang has experienced that worst flooding that it has seen in 55 years. 2 million people have already been forced to leave their homes.
China has already been having huge problems with their crops over the past few years and this is only going to make things worse.
#6 Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act, over the counter trading of gold and silver is going to be illegal starting on July 15th. Or at least that is what some companies apparently now believe. The following is an excerpt from an email that Forex.com recently sent out to their customers….
Important Account Notice Re: Metals Trading
We wanted to make you aware of some upcoming changes to FOREX.com’s product offering. As a result of the Dodd-Frank Act enacted by US Congress, a new regulation prohibiting US residents from trading over the counter precious metals, including gold and silver, will go into effect on Friday, July 15,
In conjunction with this new regulation, FOREX.com must discontinue metals trading for US residents on Friday, July 15, 2011 at the
close of trading at 5pm ET. As a result, all open metals positions must be closed by July 15, 2011 at 5pm ET.
We encourage you to wind down your trading activity in these products over the next month in anticipation of the new rule, as any open XAU or XAG
positions that remain open prior to July 15, 2011 at approximately 5:00 pm ET will be automatically liquidated.
We sincerely regret any inconvenience complying with the new U.S. regulation may cause you. Should you have any questions, please feel free to
contact our customer service team.
Sincerely,The Team at FOREX.com
Apparently, Section 742(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits anyone “from entering into, or offering to enter into, a transaction in any commodity with a person that is not an eligible contract participant or an eligible commercial entity, on a leveraged or margined basis.”
So what impact is this going to have on the gold and silver markets?
Nobody is quite sure yet.
#7 All over the world, huge cracks are appearing for no discernible reason. For example, a massive crack that is approximately 3 kilometers long recent appeared in
southern Peru. Also, a 500 foot long crack suddenly appeared recently in the state of Michigan. When you also throw in all of the gigantic sinkholes that have been opening all over the world, it is easy to conclude that the planet is becoming very unstable.
#8 According to U.S. Forest Service officials, the largest wildfire in Arizona state history has now covered more than 500,000 acres. But based on the coverage it is
being given by the mainstream media you would think that it is a non-event.
#9 There are reports that North Korea has tested a “super EMP weapon” which would be capable of taking out most of the U.S. power grid in a single shot. The North Koreans are apparently about to conduct another nuclear test and that has some Obama administration officials very concerned.
#10 All over the United States, “active shooter drills” are being conducted in our public schools. Often, most of the students are not told that these drills are fake.
Instead, students often go through hours of terror as they think a hostage situation or a shooting spree is really taking place.
#11 NASA has just launched a “major” preparedness initiative for all NASA personnel. The following is an excerpt about this plan from NASA’s own website….
A major initiative has been placed on Family/Personal Preparedness for all NASA personnel. The NASA Family/Personal Preparedness Program is designed to provide awareness, resources, and tools to the NASA Family (civil servants and contractors) to prepare for an emergency situation. The most important assets in the successful completion of NASA’s mission are our employees’ and their families. We are taking the steps to prepare our workforce, but it is your personal obligation to prepare yourself and your families for emergencies.
#12 Over the past week over 40 temporary “no fly zones” have been declared by the FAA. This is very highly unusual. Nobody seems to know exactly why this is happening.
So what do all of these things mean?
It would be nice if the mainstream media would examine some of these important issues more closely and do some honest reporting on them.
Genetic Modification Gone Wild: 10 Signs That Our World May Be Destined To
Resemble A Really Bad Science Fiction Movie
Did you know that today scientists are actually producing mice that tweet like birds, cats that glow in the dark, “monster salmon”, “spider goats”, cow/human hybrids, pig/human hybrids and even mouse/human hybrids? The very definition of life on earth is changing right before our eyes. Many scientists believe that genetic modification holds the key to feeding the entire planet and healing all of our diseases, but others are warning that genetic modification could literally transform our environment into
a desolate wasteland and cause our world to resemble a really bad science fiction movie. For decades, scientists around the globe have been fooling around with DNA and have been transplanting genes from one species to another. But now technology has advanced so dramatically that just about the only thing limiting scientists are their imaginations.
The things you are about to read about below are truly bizarre. In recent years, science has really “pushed the envelope” and scientists all over the planet are quite eager to push it even farther.
But is genetic modification really safe? Just because we have discovered that we can do something does that mean that we should rush forward and do it?
Recent films such as “Splice” have highlighted some of the potential dangers of genetic modification, but most scientists don’t see any reason to be concerned.
In fact, in most countries scientists seem very eager to push regulators to allow them to go farther and farther. In quite a few countries there are very few boundaries left.
This is a point that I made in an article I authored for another blog called The Future….
At this point there are very few restrictions remaining on fields such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, synthetic biology, cloning and genetic modification. All over the world, scientists are feverishly combining different kinds of animals together, adding plant genes to certain animals, and even putting human DNA into plants and animals. Life as we know it is literally changing, and it is very hard to tell what the future is going to look like if all of this continues.
Sadly, most people have no idea what is going on out there. Most people believe that scientists only have our best interests at heart and that they would never do anything “weird” or “dangerous”.
Well, read the following examples of genetic modification below and decide for yourself whether or not things have gotten out of control.
The following are 10 signs that our world may be destined to resemble a really bad science fiction movie….
#1 In China, scientists have inserted human genes into the DNA of dairy cow embryos. At this point, approximately 200 hybrid cows have been successfully produced. These cows can produce milk that is virtually identical to human breast milk. The scientists hope to have huge herds of these cows producing an alternative to
human breast milk soon, and they hope to have this “milk” sold in global supermarkets within 3 years.
#2 In Canada, scientists at the University of Guelph in the province of Ontario have produced what they are calling “enviropigs“. These “enviropigs” have had genes from mice spliced into them, and according to the scientists they produce less phosphorous in their poop so they are being touted as environmentally friendly. Authorities in both the U.S. and Canada are evaluating whether or not to allow these “enviropigs” into the food supply.
#3 Scientists in Japan have created a genetically modified mouse that tweets like a bird.
#4 One U.S. corporation can now produce a very muscular “monster salmon” which can grow up to three times as fast as normal salmon do.
#5 Science can now produce cats that glow in the dark. A genetically modified cat created by scientists named Mr. Green Genes was the very first fluorescent cat in the United States. But Mr. Green Genes was not the first “glow in the dark cat” in the world. That honor went to a cat created by a team of scientists in South Korea.
#6 In Japan, scientists have discovered that they can grow rat organs inside of mice. The researchers hope to use the same technology to grow human organs inside of pigs.
#7 But Japan is not the only one doing this kind of research. In Missouri, entities that are part pig and part human are being grown with the goal of providing organs for human transplants.
#8 Scientists at Rockefeller University have injected human genes into mice. These “humanized mice” are being used to study the spread of the hepatitis C virus.
#9 U.S. scientists have discovered that they can actually “grow” new human organs from scratch. The following is a quote from a recent Newsweek article….
It might sound like science fiction, but growing new organs from scratch has already become reality. In addition to bladders, scientists have engineered
new skin, bone, cartilage, corneas, windpipes, arteries, and urethras.
#10 Believe it or not, a company in Canada known as Nexia has actually taken goats and has genetically modified them to be part spider. The genetic modification process causes these “spider goats” to produce spider silk protein in their milk. This spider silk protein is collected, purified and spun into incredibly strong fibers. These fibers are apparently more durable than Kevlar, more flexible than nylon, and much stronger than steel.
As frightening as all of those examples may sound, the truth is that the genetic modification of plants has gone even farther than the genetic modification of animals has gone.
Today, approximately 93 percent of all soybeans and approximately 80 percent of all corn in the United States have been genetically modified.
Considering the fact that corn is literally in thousands upon thousands of our food products, there is a really good chance that you consumed some genetically modified food today.
Are you certain that it was safe?
Genetically modified crops have been linked to organ disruption in at least 19 different studies.
In addition, there is also an increasing body of evidence that suggests that genetically modified food actually alters our digestive systems.
Do we really know everything that we need to know about genetically modified food?
Perhaps we should have investigated all of this sooner. The truth is that once genetically modified crops get out into the wild it is just about impossible to put the genie back into the bottle.
A while back, a genetically modified strain of maize that was banned in the EU was accidentally sown all across Germany.
But once it got out there was no way of totally eliminating it. In fact, in many areas of the world genetically modified crop strains are breeding natural crop strains out of existence.
We are permanently changing the natural order of things.
Is that really a great idea?
Sadly, things are only going to become much more bizarre in future years.
DARPA’s current budget actually includes money that is allocated for the development of this kind of technology. Apparently the goal is to someday produce “super soldiers” with “edited DNA” and implantable microchips.
In this article I have only talked about the stuff that we know about and that is admitted in the mainstream media.
So what is going on out there that we don’t know about and that the mainstream media is not admitting?
In past decades, genetic engineering was extremely expensive and it was only done by top scientists.
Today, even college students are transplanting genes and creating new lifeforms. There seems to no longer be any taboo on monkeying around with the fabric of life. The field of “synthetic biology” is extremely hot right now and very small companies are “creating” new plants, new animals and even new microorganisms in garages and basements all over the globe.
So what will the future bring?
Will genetic modification enable us to feed the entire world and will it enable us to heal all of the horrible diseases which afflict us?
Or will genetic modification result in a nightmarish world where “man-made life” and twisted human-animal hybrid creatures are free to roam and breed?
Will our bizarre experimentation destroy the environment and turn this planet into a bizarre wasteland?
Only time will tell.
Jews Not Welcome to Buy Delta Tickets to Saudi Arabia
Delta Air Lines is adding Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam Alliance. This will make it easier for Americans to fly to Saudi Arabia — unless you’re Jewish. Saudi law bans Jews from entering Saudi Arabia, and Delta’s partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines requires it to accept that law. That means if you’re Jewish or hold a passport from Israel and try to get on a flight to Jeddah out of New York or Washington, Delta employees will stop you.
Saudi Arabia is not the only country in the Middle East that forbids people with Israeli passports, as well as people who have simply visited Israel, from entering. Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and others don’t let Jews in, either. So Delta is respecting the entry regulations of Saudi Arabia, not adopting consciously discriminatory policies against Jews.
Why was the world up in arms over apartheid in South Africa but never says anything about this? Why isn’t there a global boycott of Saudi Arabia over its religious and gender apartheid? The world could afford to be self-righteous about South Africa, but needs Saudi oil — and Obama is doing nothing to drill here or open up our own oil reserves.
He should. These Saudi rules are not worthy of respect, and no U.S. company should accommodate them. It is illegal in the United States to discriminate on the basis of religion, and that’s the only law that Delta should respect.
And so Colby M. May, director and senior counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, said that his group was going to take action: “As we learn more about the issue and facts, we are determined to ensure that American citizens do not face discrimination by airlines like Delta that are passenger code-sharing with Saudi Arabian Airlines. We will be communicating our position with members of Congress, the State Department and Delta Air Lines to ensure that the rights of American citizens are protected.”
If Delta airlines can adopt the “no Jews” policy of a Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, would it not be fitting, and in the spirit of reciprocity and mutual respect, to adopt a “no Muslims” policy on certain airlines? Lord knows, travel would be so much easier and enjoyable again, and cheaper (with security costs dramatically cut). And we certainly would have no need for the TSA.
Once we accept these racist Sharia-compliant regulations, it is a slippery slope. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is doing just that, forcing American companies to give special break times to Muslim workers for prayers, and inconveniencing the non-Muslim workers who have to work longer hours to make up for the Muslims’ special breaks.
A federal judge awarded 1.35 million dollars to Somali Muslims. The gripe? Not receiving adequate prayer time. Forget the fact that these some of same Muslim workers have been violent against their co-workers and the city itself. Forget their Ramadan violence. Forget the fact that some of these Muslims have vanished off the street, recruited to go to jihad and join the holy war in Somalia, with Americans living in fear of their return. Forget all that. What happened to no special classes for special people? This is America — there should be no special rights for special classes.
The EEOC is the willing dhimmi for creeping Sharia in the workplace, at the behest of the Hamas-tied Muslim Brotherhood group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Would they do this for complaints from Christians, Jews, and other non-believers in Islam? Christians and Jews go to churches and synagogues to pray, not to their workplaces. Yet now Hamas-tied CAIR, with the aid of tough Somali advocates, is turning workplaces into de facto mosques.
Mind you, it is not necessary for a Muslim to pray at a certain time. These actions are merely devices in which to impose Islam on non-believers. Prayer is not required on a strict schedule if a Muslim is unable to pray at the specified time; Muslim prayers are commonly “made up” after work or school. This is true even in Muslim countries, including Iran.
Muslim footbaths in airports and universities, Muslim cab drivers who refuse to take passengers with dogs or alcohol, prayer times in public schools, prayer times in the workplace, colleges forced to have separate swimming times for Islamic men and women so not to offend Muslims…this is how you lose your country. These “initiatives “are to impose their will upon us, not to enable them to honor ironclad religious responsibilities.
Delta should have refused to partner with the Saudis rather than accommodate their Jew-hatred. At a certain point we must draw the line and stand up for our values. Otherwise we will find that there is always more Sharia to accommodate — with each new demand more hateful and anti-Semitic than the last.
Rick Perry: Drawing the Lines Clearly
Rick Perry may just be the guy. The country’s longest tenured governor, from its second-largest state, is generating a lot of buzz in conservative circles as he contemplates entering the wide open Republican presidential primary. There are plenty of reasons that Perry is an attractive option: he is a no-nonsense decision-maker with solid conservative credentials. A man who not only speaks about family values, but lives them, Perry’s power to persuade voters to see things his way is proven — battle-tested in a state known for independent-minded citizens.
But what serious political analysts on both sides of the aisle will acknowledge as perhaps Perry’s strongest attribute heading into 2012 is the stark contrast that would be evident in a potential Perry-Obama showdown. While Republican front-runner Mitt Romney capitulates to the left on global warming, refuses to sign a pro-life pledge, and ridiculously defends the RomneyCare failure in Massachusetts, the media is working overtime to tout their choice, former Utah Governor and Obama administration official Jon Huntsman, as the Republicans’ best hope. What nonsense.
While Huntsman or Romney might please the same Republican establishment that brought us the mesmerizing campaigns of John McCain and Bob Dole, the best thing for the Republican Party — and the country — is for there to be a sharp distinction between the two parties’ nominees. If there were any question about whether Rick Perry would provide a clear alternative to Obama, look only to the left’s reaction to Perry’s recent speech at the Republican Leadership Conference.
Following his remarks (which, though well-prepared and delivered, were nothing outside mainstream conservative thought), MSNBC’s liberal commentator Mika Brzezinski proclaimed that she “felt like an alien” watching the speech. While others may recoil at such an outlandish declaration about what was a fairly benign, if fiery, conservative speech, I found myself applauding Mika’s refreshing candor about the perspective of the American left.
It’s high time Americans know that ideas like the ones Perry addressed — American exceptionalism, the sanctity of life, states’ rights, personal freedom — are foreign concepts to the modern left. They can’t make sense of them and can’t imagine that anyone actually believes that way.
Remember Barack Obama’s take on the concept of American exceptionalism was to interpret it as nothing more than an aggressive form of nationalistic pride. “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism,” he famously stammered. That’s why he prostrates himself before foreign leaders and thinks that becoming more respected in the world means diminishing our power and influence to be on par with everyone else. And it’s also why when hearing Rick Perry proclaim that America must return to global “preeminence because our values…are the world’s greatest hope,” he and Mika feel like aliens.
And to what values does Perry refer? Those enshrined in the Declaration of Independence — the world’s foremost statement on human liberty and freedom, where life, liberty, and property are protected as inalienable. While the Texas Governor makes an unapologetic appeal to those principles, demanding that “we need to stop apologizing for celebrating life,” Mika and the left look through the dingy windows of Planned Parenthood’s abortion mill and scratch their heads.
Americans need to see this contrast in 2012. After experiencing a liberal administration’s heavy-handed, central planning philosophy on government, pursuing policies that greatly expand the power and influence of Washington into their daily lives, Americans need to hear a candidate who views such an approach as, “an affront to every freedom-loving American and a threat to every private sector job in this country.”
After watching Obama act as a perpetual thorn in the sides of the states, suing them (Arizona), threatening them (South Carolina and Indiana), or crippling them (Louisiana), Americans need to hear from one who believes in allowing the states to be what Jefferson called the “laboratories of democracy,” and calls to, “displace the entrenched powers in Washington, [and] restore the rightful balance between the state and federal government.”
It’s instructive that Mika’s alien comment came on the heels of fellow liberal commentator Chris Matthews complaining that conservative Christians who disapproved of disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner’s sexcapades were “culturally backwards.” To the left, it wasn’t Weiner’s behavior that was backwards. No, that distinction belonged to those who expect honesty, integrity, and morality from their lawmakers. The disparity between the views of the right and left is as obvious as ever. Maybe this is what the Democrats’ criminally indicted former Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards meant all those years he spent talking about there being two different Americas.
Put succinctly, I’m with Mika. The ideological distinction has never been so clear in this country. So let’s make sure that reality is reflected and highlighted in glaring detail during the 2012 campaign and allow the American people to decide who the aliens are.
Iran’s big Great Prophet Mohammad War Games 6 was launched Monday, June 27, ahead of a Turkish operation against Syria’s Assad regime which is anticipated
by its military and Revolutionary Guards chiefs. debkafile reports Tehran expected the Turkish army to have US air and naval support in case of Iranian reprisals
against them both. On Day One of the exercise, Iran unveiled its first underground missile silo immune to air strikes. It held what looked like a Shahab-3 ballistic missile.
Israel has responded to Iran’s military exercise and the spiraling regional tension by positioning one of its new Iron Dome rocket interceptor batteries in the northern city of Haifa.
Last week, Iranian warships and submarines deployed in the Red Sea tracked the movements of two big US aircraft carriers, the USS Enterprise and USS George H. W Bush, which crossed each other in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait on June 21 heading in opposite directions through this strategic chokepoint between the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean.The USS Enterprise, the world’s largest aircraft carrier, was on its way from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean via the Red Sea and Suez Canal, while the
USS George H.W. Bush, the US Navy’s newest carrier with the greatest fire power of any of its warships, left the Mediterranean and headed in the opposite direction for the Persian Gulf with a crew of 9,000 and 70 fighter bombers.
On the same day, Iranian naval surveillance picked up the arrival of the Los Angeles-class USS Bremerton nuclear-powered attack submarineoff Bahrain opposite Iran.
Strategists in Tehran see danger in these crisscross movements by US war fleets. According to our military sources, the Enterprise, which is older, slower and has less fire power than the Bush, was moved to the Mediterranean because there it is supported by American air bases scattered across western and central Europe, whereas the Bush was consigned to waters opposite Iranian shores because it is virtually a single-vessel fighting machine capable of operating without support.The Iranian exercise has two primary objectives:
1. To spread Iran’s ballistic missiles to their maximum operational extent in support of Iran’s signals to Washington and Ankara in the past two weeks warning that an attack on Syria by a US-backed Turkish or NATO force would spark Iranian missile reprisals against Turkish and US military targets on Turkish soil and other parts of the Middle East.
2. Iran has fanned its fighting forces out across the country, with the densest concentrations on its Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea coasts, ready to repel any American attack that might follow an Iranian missile assault on US, Turkish or allied targets.
The ground-air-naval exercise is scheduled to last 10 days – unusually long for a military drill – so that Iran stands ready for a decision in Washington and/or Ankara to attack Syria.
The announcement of the exercise by Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force commander Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh Sunday, June 26, made Tehran’s intentions clear: He said the exercise was being staged in response to the “growing US military presence in the region” and noted that the missiles practiced would include the Saijil and the Fateh 110.He did not need to spell out the facts that the Saijil-2 has a range of 2,000 kilometers and can reach any point in the Middle East and further – up to the Black Sea
region, for instance, where US air and naval units are posted; or that the improved Fateh 110 has been supplied to Syria and Hizballah for use against
Israel.Iran would expect to be joined by both in any military flare-up.
U.S. soccer team booed in their own country as Mexican fans turn LA into an
- Majority of 93,000 fans supported Mexico
- U.S. goalie Tim Howard swears after trophy ceremony in Spanish
Last updated at 3:50 PM on 27th June 2011
Speaking after the game, Howard said: ‘[tournament organisers] CONCACAF should be ashamed of themselves.
Tempering his comments, the ex-Manchester United keeper added: ‘It was a good crowd today.
The 37-year-old Monrovia resident reflected the sentiment of most of the 93,000 strong crowd when he added: ‘But yet, I didn’t have a choice to come here, I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be.’
Despite the remarkable support for the Mexican side, head coach of the U.S. team Bob Bradley told reporters after the game his team were expecting the hostile crowd.
Speaking to the Times, American fan Roy Martinez was one of the few supporters present actually supporting the U.S.
He said: ‘I know, it’s strange, and when we got here, we were a little worried.
It is the first time that this has been the case and the change reflects a growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and predominantly minority youths that could reshape government policies.
The American’s were not even spared in the trophy ceremony after Mexico’s 4-2 win – booed for one final time as they were announced as runners up.
Speaking after the game, another fan summed up the mood for many American-Mexican fans.
He said: ‘We’re not booing the country, we’re booing the team.
‘There is a big difference.’
My journey from homophobe to equality activist
This month I am walking 160 miles to repent for my former homophobia and to encourage the church to support equality
In 1997, I described opposition to same-sex relationships as being a matter of “God’s opinion”, rather than my own. I made the remark to my colleagues in the Christian youth centre where I worked. One of them was gay. That same year, I nearly told a teenager to reject her lesbian feelings. And I voted against the ordination of “practising homosexuals”. I also harmed my integrity by denying my own orientation. The majority of people I find attractive are women, but some are men.
This month, I am walking 160 miles from Birmingham to London as a pilgrimage of repentance for my former homophobia. I left Birmingham on 16 June and will arrive in London on Friday 1 July. After speaking in central London that evening, I will join the capital’s Pride march the next day. I am not claiming my walk will undo the hurt I have caused. Nor is it an attempt to earn God’s favour. It is part of an attempt to live out my repentance by encouraging the church as a whole to support equality.
The fundamentalist campaigner Stephen Green, director of Christian Voice, has accused me of encouraging homosexuals “on their walk to hell“. At the same time, I have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve been offered and by the hospitality enthusiastically provided along the route. I feel rather undeserving of the supportive emails I’ve received. The journey from homophobe to equality activist is not such an unusual one.
My opposition to homophobia is not motivated by a desire to conform to society’s norms but by a belief in the radical nature of Jesus’s message. Jesus’s teachings have little, if anything, in common with the “family values” lobby. Jesus redefined family, insisting that “whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister, my mother”. He challenged the sexual values of his time, allowing women to make physical contact with him in a society that found it shocking. He criticised divorce in a context in which only a man could initiate a divorce, throwing his wife into social disgrace or poverty. He socialised with prostitutes. This is not to say that he condoned prostitution, but he saved his harshest words for the rich, the powerful and religious hypocrites who promoted legalism over love.
No wonder Jesus has been such a profound embarrassment to Christianity. Or at least an embarrassment to Christendom. The term “Christendom” describes a situation in which official forms of Christianity are politically and culturally privileged. Christendom is fading in multicultural Britain. For some Christians, this is an exciting opportunity to reject churches’ collusion with wealth and power and turn to Jesus’s revolutionary teachings.
For others, post-Christendom is frightening. They cling on to privileges, such as bishops in the House of Lords and opt-outs for faith schools. Some have latched on to same-sex relationships as the issue to fight over. Last year, a campaign by Christian Concern prompted the House of Lords to water down a provision in the Equality Act that would have protected workers in religious organisations from discrimination.
Trevor Phillips was right to say that some Christians have become extreme in opposing homosexuality. But he was wrong to generalise. There are many other Christians campaigning against the arms trade, militarism and the government’s vicious cuts agenda. Many are opposing homophobia. These struggles go hand in hand. Christ calls his followers to radical lifestyles rooted in love. Jesus encouraged people to relate to each other through love rather than power. This seems relevant to both sexual relationships and political ones. Jesus’s ethics stand in sharp contrast to the values of corporate power and military might that dominate our world.
When speaking in Oxford yesterday, I was asked why the media report on Christians who are homophobic but rarely mention those who are not. The media cannot take all the blame for this. Pro-equality Christians have often failed to speak up out of a misplaced desire for unity. We have been too ready to accept crumbs from the anti-equality table, such as the Church of England’s feeble decision to allow gay people to become bishops – as long as they never have sex. I believe passionately that it is important to approach our opponents with love and to accept that we can learn from each other however much we disagree. But love involves a commitment to justice. There are times when we must choose between the idol of unity and the God of love.
A new type of gene therapy allows scientists to fix DNA defects directly. That’s a potentially revolutionary improvement on present gene therapy techniques, which introduce working genes to cells — but not into the genetic library itself.
“This is a major leap of the technology,” says John Rossi, a molecular geneticist at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, Calif.
Working with newborn mice, researchers led by Katherine High at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that molecular editors called zinc finger nucleases can correct a genetic mutation that leads to the blood-clotting disorder hemophilia. Fixing a mistake in the gene for blood coagulation factor IX allowed the animals to make about 3 percent to 7 percent of normal levels of the protein, High and her colleagues report online June 26 in Nature. Even such modest increases are therapeutically meaningful, High says. People who make about 5 percent of normal levels of the clotting factor have mild cases of hemophilia.
“I always say that someone with mild hemophilia can play on the college tennis team, but they cannot play on the football team,” High says. By contrast, a person with severe hemophilia may develop bleeding in the knee just by sitting in a chair.
Traditional gene therapy uses viruses to deliver healthy copies of genes into cells. But because the viruses don’t insert themselves into the cell’s DNA, that sort of gene replacement therapy is not a permanent solution, Rossi says.
The new method repairs defective genes using molecules called zinc finger nucleases. These molecules are designed by researchers to recognize a particular gene and then, working in pairs, snip it out of the DNA. The cell’s repair machinery takes over, repairing the break and the typo using a healthy copy of the gene inserted by the researchers as a template.
Zinc finger nucleases have edited mistakes out of cells grown in the laboratory, but no one had previously reported success with correcting typos in an animal. Refinements to the technique must still be made before it could be used in patients, says High. The researchers don’t yet know whether typos can be corrected in adult mice or in larger animals such as dogs and people. And the editing system doesn’t fix the mistakes in many cells, so the researchers would like to boost the correction rate. If the process can be optimized it may provide a way to cure many different genetic diseases, she says.
Ultimately, gene repair might be the best choice for treating genetic diseases, but traditional gene therapy still has its place, High says. “I see no reason to put gene replacement therapy on hold while you try to refine this.”
Before Hoover Dam was built, Colorado River floodwaters may have triggered small earthquakes in southern California. These tremors coincided with — and perhaps helped kick off — at least one big temblor on the nearby San Andreas fault, researchers report online June 26 in Nature Geoscience.
Daniel Brothers, a marine geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Massachusetts, and his colleagues mapped out several faults beneath southern California’s Salton Sea, which sits in a basin at the southern tip of the San Andreas fault. They also used sound waves to probe layers of lake bed sediment that record ancient floods from the nearby Colorado River. Sharp tilts in the sediment revealed past motion on the faults, including four slips that happened at the about the same time as quakes on the San Andreas.
At least four out of 17 small fault slips in the lake bed records coincided with floods, though whether earthquake or deluge came first is anyone’s guess. In at least one case, a big quake on the San Andreas occurred at about the same time.
“Overall, it’s a story that makes sense,” says Ken Hudnut, a geophysicist at the USGS Pasadena field office in California.
In the geologic past, floods periodically transformed the area studied by Brothers’ team from a dry basin into Lake Cahuilla, Salton Sea’s ancient predecessor that was at one point more than six times deeper than the present-day lake. The weight and pressure of this water could have stressed the underlying faults, just as reservoirs in dammed-up rivers can trigger seismic events. In worst-case scenarios assessed by the team’s computer simulations, this stress was enough to rupture the faults.
“The physics supports the idea that Lake Cahuilla would promote failures of these faults,” says Brothers.
But several researchers say they were unconvinced that floods have ever affected activity on the San Andreas.
“When you take a hard look at the data,” says Ray Weldon, a geologist at the University of Oregon, “you have to ask yourself: ‘Is this just a coincidence?’”