Posts Tagged 'Freedom'

On Veteran’s Day

It is the soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.
~Father Dennis Edward O’Brian

**

To all our Veterans on Veteran’s Day –

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice, in defending our freedoms against those foreign enemies who would seek to take them. In particular our  freedoms of speech and worship and public assembly. Without those,  we could not gather to worship our Lord, teach the Word or even tell others about the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again so we could have eternal life.

4 July 2012

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~ John Adams*

Today, as we celebrate the freedoms we’ve enjoyed as a nation for over three hundred years, freedoms which seem to be eroding away because of the very elements Adams notes in the quote above, let us remember that while human freedom is weak because it depends on fallen humans for its maintenance, the spiritual freedom we have in Christ cannot be touched by anyone.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17

*The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31

What Price Freedom?

090311-N-0696M-097
A lone U.S. Army bugler plays Taps at the conclusion of the First Annual Remembrance Ceremony in Dedication to Fallen Military Medical Personnel at Arlington National Cemetery, March 11, 2009

The following is excerpted from Freedom Through Military Victory by R.B. Thieme, Jr.,  Pastor of Berachah Church, 1950-2003:

“If a nation wishes to perpetuate inviolate the priceless privileges and blessings of independence, warfare is inevitable. Every generation must face the crucible of war.

Freedom is bought and paid for by the blood of individuals who set a higher value on their liberty than on life itself. If one generation is not prepared mentally and spiritually to defend such values, if enough individuals in a national entity reject the principle of freedom through military victory, liberty languishes.

Despite man’s zealous efforts to achieve freedom through peaceful means, wars will continue until the end of human history when Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, reigns on earth for one thousand years (Is 9:6 cf Eccl 3:8; Micah 4:1-3; Mark 13:7; Rev 20:4)…

Until then, any nation that desires autonomy, must maintain a military force trained and equipped for war.

The freedom the United States possesses has been purchased through the sacrifice and suffering of courageous men. We as a people have a right of self-determination because of military victory. We as Christians have the privilege to assemble in public worship services and to evangelize unbelievers without persecution courtesy of the military. Since 1776, we owe an immeasurable debt to all our gallant fighting forces, especially to those who gave their lives that we might remain a free people.”

Memorial day is a holiday set aside for us to remember the dedication and sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price for the many precious and amazing freedoms we still enjoy in these United States; and having remembered, to reaffirm our devotion to the cause for which they gave so much…

Liberty is a gift; nations whose people take it for granted, will eventually lose it.

Let us not lose by apathy, distraction, ignorance or political chicanery what so many of our men and women in uniform down through our history have giventheir lives to preserve for us.

 (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released, acquired through Beverly & Jack’s Photostream, Creative Commons, Flickr)

Quote of the Day: John Adams

He might be arrested in some states today. Oh how far we’ve come…

“We talk of liberty and property, but, if we cut up the law of self-defence, we cut up the foundation of both. . . . If a robber meets me in the street, and commands me to surrender my purse, I have a right to kill him without asking questions.”     ~  John Adams

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reallocated to Occupy

Today on the Drudge Report, I came across an article posted on Alex Jone’s Info Wars site about a new Rasmussen poll showing that Americans are now “pre-revolutionary.”  The article stated that only 17% of the population believes the U.S. government has the consent of the governed. The rest of us do not.   The article’s author, Paul Joseph Watson, cited Rasmussen pollster Pat Cadell as saying “there is a sea of anger churning” out there among Americans wanting to “take their country back.”

Watson also hearkened back to 2008 when InfoWars warned of coming economic troubles that would precipitate “global rioting,” which clearly we are seeing today with the riots that have gone on in Greece, the Middle East, France and most lately, London. There are signs as well of coming unrest here in America, not only from the aforementioned pre-revolutionary Americans, but in the rising incidences of crime and thefts, especially the flash mob violence that’s been occurring at various cities — most recently at a state fair in Wisconsin…

But the creepiest part of all was when Watson referenced, in conjunction with the warning of global rioting, an 2008  article in the Army Times  about a newly instituted program that “re-allocated”  US troops returning from Iraq to training programs that would teach them how to “occupy America” (Watson’s words), run checkpoints and deal with  “civil unrest and crowd control”.  The Army Times presented the new program as one wherein soldiers would be called on to provide aid and “protection”  during times of disaster like Katrina or a terrorist attack, but admitted the idea of using American soldiers to control Americans is a “first.”  According to Info Wars’ Watson, however, such a deployment is not just a “first”, but totally violates the principle of  Posse Comitatus, a US federal law passed in 1878 prohibiting military personnel from serving in a law enforcement capacity on non-federal property.

So… it sounds good — send in US troops to help restore order, render aid, protect people during a terrorist attack…but with if the unrest comes from within? What if it comes from this rather large group (83%) of Americans who feel their elected officials have run off with their country and are driving it off a cliff?

Mount Pleasant frog, anyone?

Burning the Koran

I am fascinated by all the uproar over this pastor in Florida who announced plans to burn some Korans on Saturday, the anniversary of 9-11. Yes, apparently after pressure from the media, General Petraeus, our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, ex-President Clinton, Franklyn Graham, the FBI and President Obama, he has agreed to abort his burning, allegedly because he was promised the proposed mosque in NY would be moved. But to me the man himself is nothing compared with what his threat has revealed not about Islam, but about Americans. Or at least those of our new Ruling Class.

Does nobody in any position of authority or power in this country see anything wrong with the fact that because some little known guy in a small town in America is going to burn some Korans the entire Muslim world is now having a cow, demanding we forbid this desecration of their holy book … or else they are going to exact violent retribution? ? 

The media implies that because Muslims think their Koran is from God, then we all have to. But what if we don’t? In fact, I don’t. I think the Bible is the only book that’s actually the word of God. And if others want to burn it, I don’t have a problem with that. They are using their volition to reject truth and God can handle it. He’s not intimidated by any of it. His Word goes on, despite the antagonism of unbelievers. He will not only preserve it despite their attempts to destroy it, He will use their wrath to bring praise to Himself! 

“We can do nothing against the truth but only for the truth.” 2 Co 13:8

“For the wrath of man shall praise you…” Ps 76:10

And given that, just for a bit of contrast… in May 2009 Bibles translated into the local languages of Afghanistan were sent by an American church  to soldiers at Bagram AFB, Afghanistan, presumably to pass out to Afghani’s. They were confiscated because military regulations forbid any attempt at evangelizing the natives, which the church didn’t know and apparently some of the soldiers didn’t either. In any case, they were confiscated by military officials and… burned. Article here.

Muslims burn our flag, burn effigies of our presidents, kill people because they are Christians (in fact at one of the cow-having sessions, they chanted “Death to Christians.”) and I’m sure they’ve burned their share of Bibles.

People use the name of Jesus Christ as a pejorative all the time — as well as indulge in other demonstrations of complete disrespect and even hatred and disgust toward Him — and there are no riots, no chantings, no death threats. But make a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban and you are anathema, excoriated on the world theater and threatened with death.  Threaten to burn a few hundred Korans and ditto.

The media gasp and wring their hands. “Do you know what that Pastor said?? He said Islam is of the devil, and Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. Oh! Horrible! How hateful!”  The ABC reporter I watched seemed absolutely aghast. So I’m wondering… where is all this vaunted tolerance the left is forever promoting? If the guy wants to burn some Korans in what amounts to his backyard, what’s the big deal? Why does anyone even have to know about it? If they are so tolerant, why do they react in shock and horror and severe disapproval for Christians who say they’re the only ones who have the truth, even as they bend over backwards to tolerate muslims who say the same thing (ie, only they have the truth) and, if possible, back it up by killing anyone who disagrees with them.

And then today, tying in with my last post on Echelon, it turns out the Gainesville church has a website that provides information and the preachings of its pastor which was just shut down by its Internet host. According to a report on AFP

“GAINESVILLE, Florida — The small Florida church that has sparked global outrage with its plan to hold a Koran-burning event had its website pulled from the Internet on Thursday by its host.

Dan Goodgame, a spokesman for the San Antonio, Texas-based web hosting firm Rackspace, told AFP the evangelical Dove World Outreach Center church had, “violated the Offensive Content section of its Acceptable Use policy.”

The policy forbids content or links to material that is “excessively violent, incites violence, threatens violence, or contains harassing content or hate speech; and creates a risk to a person’s safety or health, creates a risk to public safety or health, compromises national security, or interferes with an investigation by law enforcement.”

By the way they are applying this, my church at gbible.org could also be seen as violating the offensive content section of an acceptable use policy, especially when back in 2001 my pastor did a series on the Arab-Israeli conflict that included direct quotations from the Koran showing exactly what it preached.

Whether he intended this or not, I think Terry Jones is making a very good point. When he, small as he is, cannot burn a few Korans without out the whole world throwing a tizzy — “Oh, no! the muslims are going to react. They might riot, they might kill people. They will hurt our soldiers. This will make them really mad…”

 Helloo? They’re already mad, they’re already hurting our soldiers and killing people. They already think we’re the Great Satan, so… we’re going to quiver in fear because of their threats? Over something as petty as all of this?

In fact, the FBI is concerned because already there have been reactions from home grown terrorists vowing retribution. But then again, they are concerned on a daily basis about terrorist attacks, not because of cartoons, or some guy burning Korans but because they already hate us because we aren’t them. We are wicked and degenerate and evil in their sight. We need to be converted or killed…that’s their agenda.

So it really doesn’t matter what the spark is, the fire is already smouldering and has been for a while. And furthermore, every time we do something they don’t like or don’t do what they want us to do (as with the Cordoba House Mosque project) they threaten us with “oh no, the terrorists will be upset. We don’t know how they’re going to retaliate…”

Isn’t that extortion? And appeasement and wimpiness in the extreme on our part?

Whether Terry Jones ever actually burns any Korans, he has made it clear just what sort of religion we are up against. One that freely admits its purpose is to make everyone on earth submissive to it, that kills and persecutes people of other faiths in all the countries where it has power and wants to someday do the same in the countries where it doesn’t. Jones agrees what he’s doing is provocative, but I believe it’s not so much the muslims he wishes to provoke, but us. Because, says he,  “If we don’t [burn these Korans], when do we stop backing down?”

Addendum: Rush has a lot to say on this and the mosque issue, along with what I think was a hilarious conversation with a completely clueless caller about the Koran burning thing HERE.

Rush was masterful in the way he handled it.  Afterward he noted that there was never a country called Palestine, that after WWII the British owned (by way of victory in combat) what was at the time called Transjordan. They gave the land to the Jews. However, if there never was a country with the name of Palestine, there was a Roman province of that name — the former province of Judea, renamed after the Bar Kokhba rebellion of 136 AD when the emperor got ticked off with the Jews who just wouldn’t stop trying to take back Jerusalem (even after it had been razed in 70 AD) and banned them from entering the city at all. He also renamed the province “Palestine” after their old enemies the Philistines. All of this several hundred years before Mohammed had his Visitation.

Which I think is a rather cool irony in present times.

UPDATE:  Michelle Malkin’s column on The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage provides a list and retrospective of all the things that have sparked outbursts of Muslim Outrage: underwear, sneakers, teddy bears, dresses, fast food snack packaging, cartoons, religious frescos and even beauty pageants.

ALSO: Flashback to 2007 when Muslims destroyed crosses and Bibles and an entire church.  Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives…

Early Warning

Over the weekend I started reading a book called Early Warning by Michael Walsh, who used to be music critic for Time magazine. (It shows – he sneaks in all sorts of musical references, like naming a character after a character in the opera Turandot or using Elgar’s Enigma Variations to introduce a discussion about cryptology). The biographical material at the back of the books says Walsh was born on the US Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, comes from a long line of American servicemen dating back to the Spanish-American War, and grew up among veterans and intelligence officers in duty stations around the world. Which grants him a degree of credibility for what he’s writing about.

Early Warning is a “Jack Bauer novel”… that is, its set-up is very much the same as that of 24 — the hero, supersecret operative “Devlin” is part of a supersecret security agency buried in the National Security Agency, a man who pretty much answers to no one but himself and has direct access to the president whenever he wishes. I’m only about a third of the way through, and the story is apparently a continuation of earlier tales, but it seems Devlin may have as traumatic a history as Bauer has ended up with. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying it.

And then on p100 I came to a part about wiretapping, which is no longer about faux telephone servicemen connecting wires in boxes, but is in fact, more like the Kraken released from its lair (we saw Clash of the Titans recently)… a many tentacled beast far beyond our ability to control. I knew we were on our way to this situation; I did not realize we were there.

Here’s what Walsh says, writing in the thoughts of one of his characters, the director of the NSA:

“The Black Widow was the in-house nickname fo the NSA’s Cray supercomputer at Fort Meade. Forget privacy — no matter what the sideshow arguments in Congress were about the FISA laws or civil liberties, the Black Widow continued to go remorselessly about her job, which was to listen in on, and read, all telephonic and written electronic communication, in any language, anywhere in the world. It was the old Clinton-era “Echelon” project writ large, able to perform trillions of calculations per second as it sifted and sorted in its never-ending quest for key words, code words, patterns…

[snip]

“…The Black Widow not only heard all and read all, she could sense all: the technology had advanced to such an extent that the Widow and other Cray supercomputers like her — including the Cray XT4, known as the Jaguar, and the MPP (Massively Parallel Processor) housed at the University of Tennessee– could read the keystrokes of a given computer through the electrical current serving the machine. And all linkable.”

Well at that point I put down the book and went Googling. I’d thought the Black Widow might have been made up but what about the Cray XT4 Jaguar?

Real. Even has its own Wiki article here.

The Massively Parallel Processor?

Also real.

And so, to my surprise, is the Black Widow. Here. And here.

Note in both of these  latter references, one of which is the Cray Press Release, there’s nothing directly said about spying, other than the fact that these highly advanced supercomputers are provided to the government… presumably for research, since that’s all that’s mentioned in the release.

I did find some references to spying in a book review in the Baltimore Sun by David Wood. Reviewing The Shadow Factory by James Bamford, Wood says,

“Most convincingly, Bamford guides the reader through the NSA’s greatest challenge: staying ahead of the explosive growth in volume and types of communications.

“Voice traffic alone increases 20 percent a year. Digital cell phones and fiber-optic cables vastly complicate the eavesdroppers’ job. Today, the NSA’s colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the “Black Widow,” scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. That’s harder than it sounds: For purposes of speed and encryption, many of these communications are transmitted in fragments. The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages. Storing all this data, Bamford reports, is already an enormous headache for the NSA.”

Full article here.

Since this was not an article on the NSA but a review of a book about the NSA, and since it seemed these words were only here reported as having been written by Bamford in the book, which I’ve not read, I went looking for corroborating information.

And came across ECHELON : ” a term associated with a global network of computers that automatically search through millions of intercepted messages for pre-programmed keywords or fax, telex and e-mail addresses. Every word of every message in the frequencies and channels selected at a station is automatically searched. The processors in the network are known as the ECHELON Dictionaries. ECHELON connects all these computers and allows the individual stations to function as distributed elements an integrated system. An ECHELON station’s Dictionary contains not only its parent agency’s chosen keywords, but also lists for each of the other four agencies in the UKUSA system [NSA, GCHQ, DSD, GCSB and CSE]“

So it does seem to be credible. I found the above link through Elizabeth Pratt’s blog The End Time where in one post she writes about Echelon and the computers and how easy it will be for a one world dictator to force everyone to carry the mark of the beast. With GPS and satellite surveillance, with the government having the ability sift through all electronic communication…they will be – maybe already are — able to keep tabs on everyone, and I would even guess using satellite surveillance and/or infrared they could find those without the mark (since they’d show up as a warm body without the proper signal from their implanted microchip”) so they can round them up for “beheading”. Elizabeth quoted from Rev 20:4 “…And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand…”and when I read it, I thought, Does it really say beheaded? Indeed, it does.

Well, I can see how a preference for caves and paper communication might develop in such times!

In any case Ms. Pratt has a lot of interesting thoughts and information, charts, maps, etc, so if you’re interested in seeing how close we are to being able to keep track of absolutely everyone as well as everything they are saying to each other, electronically, at any rate, I recommend her post

Thankfully, all who’ve believed in Christ won’t be here for the actual Tribulation where they’ll be forcing everyone to get a Mark, but it’s amazing to see things that 50 years ago were unheard of, developing right in line with Biblical prophecy.


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