Friday, December 31, 2010

Con Te Partiro, Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli, Live at Royal Albert Hall, 1997

Farewell to 2010.  Thank you for reading!  My gift to you:

The Lutheran Hour Float - 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade

The Lutheran Hour Float
2011 Tournament of Roses Parade

Float Theme:
The theme for the 2011 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade is "Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories" and this year's float theme is "What A Friend We Have In Jesus." 2011 marks our 61st year of participation in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The Lutheran Hour Float stands as the only Christian float participating in the world's most famous media event and will be seen by more than 450 million people around the world.

The theme, "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories," suggests that this is what we should be doing in our lives; living in such a way as to surround ourselves with dreams, friendships and memories. In John 15:13, Jesus tells us, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." As the ultimate friend, Jesus died for us on the cross and then rose from the dead fulfilling one of mankind's greatest dreams—life everlasting. For all those who call on the name of Jesus Christ and believe in Him, He gives eternal life in heaven. Thanks to Jesus, the year of our Lord 2011 can be filled with dreams of what is to come for those who love God and are called according to His purposes, friendships that are rooted and grounded in His love for the world, and memories of His sacrificial life that opens hope and heaven for all who believe in Him. Our float depicts this truth as it shows Jesus welcoming His friends through the work and ministry of the church, as we bring Christ to the Nations and the Nations to the Church.

The 2011 Lutheran Hour Float riders are going to be lead by Harold Melser, Director of Ministry Advancement for Lutheran Hour Ministries and Joseph Snyder, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for Lutheran Hour Ministries. Joining him will be LCMS members from Southern California Lutheran churches including
the Rev. Dr. Elroi Reimnitz, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks. Reimnitz will portray Jesus in a white and red robe.

TV Viewing Tips (Home & Garden Channel is Best):
While the Tournament of Roses Parade is on most network channels, (ABC, CBS, NBC), the Lutheran Hour Float is not guaranteed coverage due to commercials and/or other TV commitments. For the best viewing of the parade, the Home and Garden channel shows the parade in its entirety on cable TV. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Week 2010 - Attacks from Islamists


So far this Christmas, Religion of Peace devotees have bombed a
church in the
Philippines, blown up 45 flood refugees waiting in line
for Western food aid, plotted to bomb a
Christmas tree lighting in
and a recruitment center in Maryland, massacred 86 innocents
 in attacks on
Nigerian churches, planned to poison American food
and implant bombs in human bodies, plotted the slaughter
 of civilians in
Holland, London and a newspaper office in Denmark... and even set off the first suicide blast in Sweden,
which was intended for
Christmas shoppers.
So when do we stop pretending that Islam is just another religion?

Kosovo: Muslims beat, harass, intimidate Christians

Kosovo: Muslims beat, harass, intimidate Christians

They'll get you in the end: "The Muslims then say, you can become Protestants, but in the end you have to come to us to get buried, because there is no other place to go." Islamic Tolerance Alert from that model of Islamic moderation, Kosovo: "Kosovo Protestants tell of hardship, survival," by Linda Karadaku for
Southeast European Times, December 22 (thanks to Julia Gorin) from

The small Protestant church in downtown Pristina has been around since 1985. Since then, its flock has grown to around 6,000 faithful, and 21 additional churches have been built around Kosovo.

But the denomination faces ongoing barriers in a country where the majority religion is Islam, says the community's spiritual leader, Pastor Arthur Krasniqi.

"In this part of the Balkans, among Albanians as well, religion has always played a role in, or [rather] has been abused by, politics for electoral or other purposes," he told SETimes.

Protestants, he said, have to deal with an atmosphere of unease. "They are visited at home, threatened there will be no place for them to be buried when they die, and their families are frequently isolated," he said.

Sometimes, the pressure takes the form of physical violence. In Prizren, Krasniqi says, Muslim extremists beat a Kosovo Protestant, Besim Ajeti, earlier this year. Six people were arrested but released for lack of evidence.

In what the Protestants say was another example of intimidation, the Islamic community in Gjakova decided to post a list of Protestant missionaries and leaders, together with their addresses, on a website.

The information was taken down after complaints to authorities.

According to Krasniqi, Protestants face legal obstacles when they seek to build churches and, in some cases, do not even have the right to bury their dead.

Instead, he said, they must ask Islamic imams to perform the burial and pay a fee to the Islamic Community for this service.

"The Muslims then say, you can become Protestants, but in the end you have to come to us to get buried, because there is no other place to go," he said.

The community has challenged what it says are onerous restrictions and is presenting its case before the Supreme Court. A particular concern, Krasniqi says, is the current law on religious freedom.

"The law clearly says religious communities aren't legal entities in Kosovo. That means we don't have the right to have properties or employ people."

Similarly, the group plans to challenge the education ministry's financing of an Islamic madrasa in the capital. Calling for clear separation of religion and state, they say the government should not be in the business of funding religious communities.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

If Muslims were treated like Christians in America

If Muslims were treated like Christians in America...from

Pointing out a glaring and largely unnoticed double standard. "If Christians Were Treated Like Muslims," by Gary Bauer in Human Events, December 28:
  • [...] If Muslims were treated like Christians in America, Muslims would have to tolerate the defamation of their holiest images in our national museums, acts which would be called "artwork" -- and, if particularly provocative, even given taxpayer-funded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. They would also have to accept Korans being burned and thrown into toilets, which instead of inciting worldwide outrage and retribution would provoke a collective shrug of the shoulders.
  • If Muslims were treated like Christians, Muslims would be mocked by late night TV talk show hosts and lampooned in crude cartoon parodies. If Christians were treated like Muslims, conspicuous Christianity would be celebrated by our elites as a sign of our diversity and open-mindedness, not disparaged as an embarrassment, a nuisance and a breach of the law. 
  • If Christianity were treated like Islam, our students would be taught a white-washed version of Christian history, with the troubling bits miscast or omitted from textbooks and lesson plans. 
  • If Christianity were treated like Islam, if an evangelical Christian committed an evil act in the name of his faith, he would be portrayed in the media as a deviation from, not a personification of, the Gospel message. Meanwhile, our political and media elites would hasten to assure the public that evangelical Christianity is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of evangelical Christians do not support terrorism. 
  • If Christianity were treated like Islam in America, our president, a professed Christian, would proudly attend Christian-themed dinners and events while skipping Ramadan dinners, not vice versa. And Muslim politicians would go out of their way to assure people that their faith would not affect their policy-making. 
  • If Christianity were treated like Islam, Christmas and Easter would be publicly celebrated for what they are -- the signature events of Christianity, marking the birth and the death and Resurrection of Christ -- not stripped of all their theological meaning and transformed into secular holidays devoted to crass consumerism. 
  • If Christians were treated like Muslims, NASA would be tasked with reaching out to Christians and recognizing their faith's profound achievements and contributions to science, math and engineering, instead of being told to make Muslims feel good about their rather meager scientific accomplishments. 
  • If Christians were treated like Muslims, the Catholic Church's stances on sex, contraception and human life would be revered as welcome departures from our over-sexed, self-obsessed culture, not condemned as a cause of disease and death in the less-developed world. And if Muslims were treated like Christians, the application of Sharia law around the world would be met not with stony silence but with the outrage it deserves. 
  • If Christians were treated like Muslims in America, amusement parks would celebrate "Christian Family Day," (Six Flags recently celebrated "Muslim Family Day"), and Christians would be asked to embrace, not set aside, their religious convictions at the door when they entered the public square. Meanwhile, Muslim imams, not Christian pastors, would fear hate crimes lawsuits for preaching orthodox views of sexuality and sin. 
The notion that American Muslims face discrimination, even to the point of violence, is often posited by America's elites. But that idea evaporates under scrutiny. Remarkably few hate crimes are reported against Muslims (fewer than one-eighth those against Jews). What's more, Muslim immigration to America has risen sharply since September 11, 2001, and Muslims thrive, economically and educationally, once they arrive.
In fact, it is Christians, not Muslims, who increasingly encounter cultural elites who are hostile to their beliefs and values....

Immanuel Lutheran Church Cuts Ties to ELCA

Immanuel Lutheran Church cuts ties to ELCA, Posted: December 28, 2010 - 5:40pm at By Sarah Nelson, Staff Writer

After 1 percent of ELCA churches elected to cut
ties with their denomination, Immanuel Lutheran
Church in Crosby followed suit.
Change is never easy, especially difficult when it comes to questions of faith.

The August 2009 Evangelical Lutheran Church of America decision to allow non-celibate gay ministers to fill lead pastoral roles in ELCA churches created a major stir in ELCA churches nationwide. Congregations in many cases were set at odds over the change including Immanuel Lutheran Church in Crosby.

After 1 percent of ELCA churches elected to cut ties with their denomination, the Crosby church, pastored by the Rev. Paul Mattson, was left with a decision to make.

Last spring, the church held a series of formal meetings to allow its members to discuss their viewpoints on the ELCA decision. The congregation elected to move forward with a formal vote to decide whether Immanuel Lutheran would remain part of the ELCA or join another Lutheran body of churches.

After a final meeting with Bishop Tom Aitken, head of the Northeast Minnesota Synod in Duluth, to discuss Immanuel’s impending decision, the church voted on May 23 to terminate its affiliation with the ELCA.

Since the May decision the church has changed its affiliation to the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.

In November, Immanuel Lutheran Church member and retired ELCA Pastor Jim Walth led a series of conversations with Lutheran church-goers to discuss the possibility of starting a LCMC Church in Brainerd. With interest building, Walth moved forward in seeking help from Immanuel in launching the new Brainerd church.

With the full support, including financial sponsorship, of Immanuel Lutheran in Crosby, the Brainerd church held its inaugural service on Dec. 12 at the Brainerd Hotel on South Sixth Street.

SARAH NELSON may be reached at or 855-5879.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hawley Lutheran Church votes to leave the ELCA

Hawley Lutheran Church votes to leave the ELCA
By: WDAY Staff Reports, Published December 20 2010

Hawley, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Another area church is leaving the ELCA. Yesterday, Hawley Lutheran Church voted overwhelmingly to leave the denomination.

The vote came after a year-long debate sparked in part by the ELCA's decision to allow gay clergy members who are in same-sex relationships. There are 11-hundred members at the Hawley church.

It's the third time the church has held a vote. This timed passing with the needed two-thirds majority, 239-to-60.

Double Dutch Dutchess

Jumping rope is the best exercise.  Go ahead Google/Bing it.  It's cheap too - $10 for a rope and another $10 for a rubber mat.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heritage Lutheran Church formed in Brandon SD

Area Lutherans come together to form new church in Brandon

By By Jill Meier, December 27. 2010 6:00AM,
Bruce Baartman travels nearly 20 miles one way each Sunday to attend church.
The Luverne, Minn., man and his family are one of several area families that have broken away from their Evangelical Lutheran Church in America-member (ELCA) congregations to form a new church in Brandon, Heritage Lutheran Church.

The new Lutheran church members say, has been organized on heritage and faith.
“With Christ and the Word as our cornerstones, we honor heritage and pass on our faith,” is the mission statement the congregation is following.

“It would’ve been easy for me to stay in my hometown of Luverne but I have found a place that truly inspires me,” said Baartman, one of six elected to serve on the church council.

Many of Heritage Lutheran Church members left their congregations after delegates to the ELCA biennial assembly in Minneapolis last August voted to allow gays in committed relationships to serve congregations that choose them. They say the ELCA became “too political” and instead want to focus their beliefs on the following principles:

• Jesus Christ is the Way – proclaiming the Gospel and administering the sacraments;

• The Word is the ultimate authority in all matters of faith and life;

• Teaching and learning about Christ and the Word across all generations;

• Welcoming, faith-based fellowship for adults and youth in God’s family; and
• Word Alone. Christ Alone. Faith Alone. Grace Alone.

Organization of the new church began in early September. Since that first meeting three months ago, the congregation has come a long ways.

“There’s a credible opportunity that exists right now in the Lutheran Church in America,” said Michael Nitz, a church council member. “We see great opportunities to get back to essentials of the faith, that Christ is central and the Word is taught. We’re not focusing on being a political organization.”

Members of the newly organized church have come from four different congregations in Brandon, Luverne and Sioux Falls.

For Tom Ode, his move to Heritage Lutheran is a “reformation of my religious belief,” he said. “It’s a very stimulating experience to be around people so like-minded,” he said.

Council member Jess Boyle looks forward to Sunday morning worship services. “I have never felt so excited to go to church in my life. It’s just a very dynamic, exciting time,” he said.

Heritage Lutheran Church members began worshipping weekly at Heartland Funeral Home, which is located on Brandon’s western edge, on Sept. 12. Eighty-nine people were in attendance at the first service. Since that time, the weekly attendance averages between 115-120.

“It’s fun to see all the excitement here and we have all sorts of great things happening here,” Nitz said.

Among those “great things” is the formation of several support organizations of the church. Committees have been established for finance/support, worship, fellowship and outreach, education, a womens group known as the Women of Heritage, a mens group, the Men of Heritage, a youth group, Prayer Partners, and the six-member church council.

The Men of Heritage recently completed their first endeavor, creating over 250 wooden toys that were made in Ernie Swier’s woodshop over a four-week time period. The toys were recently distributed to the Brandon Area Food Pantry, The Banquet in Sioux Falls, and the Salvation Army and the church’s own MOPS group just in time for the holidays.

“It’s been somewhat of a dream of Ernie’s to make toys, so when the church came about, Ernie stepped up and said, ‘Boys, I need some help,’ ” explained Boyle.

Swier has also constructed communion trays, a cross for the altar, the pulpit and a cabinet for hymnal storage. Hymnals were donated to the congregation by two of its members.

“One of the things I equate this to is the start-up of an entrepreneurial business,” Ode said.

The worship committee meets every Tuesday night to plan the Sunday worship service.

“This is such a lay-led ministry that the pastor can walk in and give a sermon that gives everybody goose bumps,” Boyle said.

Members have also stepped up to lead the children’s Christmas program and to direct the choir.

“He (Steve Wetrosky) just said, ‘let’s get together and do a choir.’ That’s all it took,” Ode said.

The Women of Heritage have been meeting Wednesday evenings for Bible discussion, and the Teen MOPS group is their main outreach at this time.

The youth group recently had their first outing, a gathering that drew 13 youth to the local Pizza Ranch.

“For them, it’s more or less getting comfortable outside the Sunday church environment to have some fun together and to focus on fellowship,” said Baartman.
Confirmation is scheduled to start in January.

When it came time to elect a church council, 17 members expressed an interest in serving in that capacity.

“People are stepping forward, not because they need to, but because they want to,” said council member Dan Hindbjorgen.

Following their Dec. 12 worship service, the congregation adopted their constitution and by-laws.

“Yesterday was another example of positivity,” Hindbjorgen said. “Two-thirds of the congregation stayed and unanimously approved the constitution and bylaws and affiliating us with two larger Lutheran church bodies, the Lutheran Congregations In Mission for Christ (LCMC) and North American Lutheran Church (NALC).”

Nitz said both of those church bodies are keeping the focus where it should be, on the Word, he said.

During their Dec. 12 service, the congregation held its first welcoming ceremony, in which 97 members were officially added to the church roster.

The congregation recruited Pastor Thomas Walker as their part-time minister. In addition to his pastoral duties, he is the vice president of WordAlone Ministries, a service organization that supports the development of confessional Lutheranism in North America.

Pastor Walker graduated from Luther Seminary in 1980, initially serving congregations in Montana before coming to South Dakota. He and his wife, Kristin, who live in Sioux Falls, have three grown children.

For now, members are content to worship at Heartland Funeral Home in Brandon. They say owner Todd Winkels has been a very gracious host.

“He has been so gracious and helpful,” Pastor Walker said. “Last Sunday he went out of his way to clear the parking lot and road.”

Heritage Lutheran Church members aren’t focusing their immediate attention on building their own stand alone church. That, they say, remains in God’s hands.

“It’s not one of those things that is the end all, do all,” Baartman said.

“It’s God’s will,” adds Nitz. “If we do what Matthew 28 teaches us, people will come and God will provide.”

“Our focus is on the Word, not a structure,” said Pastor Walker. “It really is about being together in the Word. ‘Go. Make. Baptize. Teach.’ is really the goal.”

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Peace Lutheran Church votes to leave ELCA

Devils Lake church votes 87-0 to leave ELCA

Peace Lutheran in Devils Lake becomes third ELCA congregation in the Eastern North Dakota Synod to leave since 2009 change to allow gay clergy.

By: Herald Staff and Wire Report, Grand Forks Herald, Dec 26, 2010

Members of a Devils Lake church voted unanimously to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

According to the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, the Rev. Rafe Allison, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, said all 87 members who voted recently in the second of two required ballots were in favor of leaving the 4.5-million-member denomination.

According to the ELCA’s 2009 yearbook, Peace Lutheran had more than 300 baptized members.

Peace will affiliate with the newly formed North American Lutheran Church, made up mostly of former ELCA congregations that want to continue traditional practices, including not allowing unmarried clergy, whether gay or straight, to live in relationships.

Peace is the third congregation in the ELCA’s Eastern North Dakota Synod – which now has about 230 congregations – to quit the denomination since the August 2009 ELCA assembly in Minneapolis that voted to allow clergy to live in committed, long-term same-sex relationships.

The Northwestern Minnesota Synod, based in Moorhead, has had about 17 congregations quit the ELCA in the past year, leaving the synod with about 250 congregations.

The Chicago-based ELCA has slightly more than 10,000 congregations and plans to start at least 70 new ones in 2011, church officials have said.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jihad Bells from Bethlehem by LatmaTV

A Merry Christmas from 1946!

WISCONSIN COLLECTION: “Christmas Pageant at Zion Lutheran Church” (1946)

Christmas Pageant at Zion Lutheran Church. The angels are (left to right): Arlene Jenkins, Mary Sachtjen, Elsa Splett, Shirley Schumann, Joanne Groff, Joan Scheiwe, Dorothy Schultz, and Mitzi Schultz. Mary was portrayed by Alberta Smith. At the manger are Rochelle Dommershausen, Shirle Ann Becker, and Carole Schrotz.

Photographer: Vinje, Arthur M., 1888-1972

From the
Vinje Collection, Wisconsin Historical Society

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Pastor goes from ELCA to NALC

From the ELCA to the NALC
Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 2:24 PMRussell E. Saltzman at

I finally have applied to become a member of the clergy roll of the North American Lutheran Church, which means leaving the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (Here is the NALC’s site.) About time, too, inasmuch as the NALC made me a dean back in early September. I am a sort of acting proto-bishop for NALC parishes in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Pretty easy job in the moment; the NALC has but one congregation in the entire four-state region. There are others pending. The one NALC congregation. however, is not the one I serve as pastor.

In my congregation, we are a mixed lot in the moment, as is the case with numerous ELCA parishes. While there is a lot of unhappiness with the ELCA, there is equally a lot of indifference and even some support for what the ELCA did on gay sexuality and gay pastors. I have not pushed my congregation for a vote to leave the ELCA and I have no plans to do so, so I cannot say what direction the parish will eventually take. But my displeasure with the ELCA is well known, and I did make sure the parish council voted permission for me to join the NALC. The vote was six in favor, one opposed, one abstention (my own), and the one absent member indicated she would have voted yes.

There is a wrinkle. ELCA congregations are served by ELCA pastors, period. Which I am not or soon won’t be. Otherwise, an ELCA congregation served by a non-ELCA pastor is subject to expulsion.

But the ELCA has been rather lax about enforcement heretofore. A number of gay pastors ordained by what was called the
Extraordinary Candidacy Project – in the run-up time before gay pastors could be ordained in the ELCA – were serving ELCA congregations. The local bishop would issue a pro-forma reprimand and censure and decree the congregation would no longer be allowed to send representation to church conventions (boy, there’s a worry). But they were not expelled. We are warned that this practice is possibly subject to change, because leaving the ELCA is not an instance of an irregular call to a pastor, but a case of schism. I won’t bother trying to answer that charge. Besides, as I see it, the ELCA left me.

My real disaffection with the ELCA didn’t start with sex. It began in earnest over the ELCA abortion statement and the subsequent decision by the national council to treat elective abortion for pastors and dependents as a reimbursable medical expense under the church health plan. From the abortion statement, the church said to value my baptism as an infant regards my conception by step-siblings as a morally justifiable reason for terminating the pregnancy that became me at the baptismal font. From the schedule of benefits by the health plan, had my birth-parents in any way been covered under the ELCA health plan,
my church would have paid to do it.

I took what steps I could at the time to distance myself: I dropped out of the health plan. It does not help that my present ELCA bishop had, before becoming bishop, been pastor to the late George Tiller, the Wichita, Kansas, late term abortionist murdered in May 2009, and regarded it as less than problematic.

If it was abortion that created the distance between me and the ELCA, the decisions on gay sexuality from August 2009 have only convinced me to seek a somewhat further distance and, Brother, at last I’m taking it.

Of course the ELCA bishop isn’t too happy, but then I have never made it part of my career to make him happy. I suspect he will get over it. Since he has not made any reply to my letter, I am guessing he is dealing with my loss very well. Which is good; one should stay cheery around Christmas. Soon, then, I shall receive a letter from the secretary of the ELCA telling me I am no longer a pastor, cannot dress like a pastor, and of a fact I may no longer do any of the usual things a pastor does. My reply, if I bother making one, will be: yes I am; I will if I want to; and yes, I may.
Spiritual Sickness Among Socialists, Leads to Mental Defection

By Bill Miller post 12/22/2010 at

Socialism is not stupidity nor is it a mental aberration, although, in truth there is much of both to be found among the adherents of Socialism. Socialism is rather a spiritual illness that leads to insanity and antisocial thinking. I must be clear on this point, not every form of mental illness begins in Socialistic thinking, that individuals who are spiritually well can still suffer from deviations caused by chemical imbalances. They can also be spiritually ill because of trauma or other contributory factors. Again, there is more than a little proof that even many chemical imbalances are again caused by the mind itself. We are just beginning to understand the workings of the mind, however, what is clear is the state of the mind is crucial to the mind’s well-being and that the brain can cause all manners of illness to the individual from psychosomatic to physiological.

Many people believe that Socialists are stupid, since the philosophy is illogical to the rational mind and cognitive thinking. Literally Socialism makes no sense from either a historical or economical view point. It seems to be based in utopian, juvenile simplicity and emotionalism, but these manifestations are symptoms of the spiritual illness rather than the mental disease itself. The disease is based on a spiritual infirmity. Indeed, the oft witnessed mental aberrations themselves are again another outward symptom of the inner soul sickness pervasive in Socialists. These symptoms run the gambit from the lack of responsibility and envy on one hand, to Olympian control issues and murderous genocide on the other. It really is an interesting case study.

The brain is powerful. It can cause all manners of illness to both itself and to the body. There is so much clinical evidence for the brain causing stress, hypertension, high blood pressure, lesions and cancers, and can even end the individual’s life from strokes and/or heart attacks. The brain can literally shut the body down or cause contributory illness to death.

In the various studies of Psychology (the study of the mind and behavior) whether the approach be Humanistic, Cognitive, Existential, Clinical or Counseling, the underling feature is the preventing of distress or dysfunction and the promoting of subjective "well-being. Returning the science full cycle to its roots, which are contained in its etymology. The name Psychology means "study of the soul." (The Greek and Latin words for soul, breath and spirit are interchangeable)

It is truly amazing that no major study has been done to psychoanalyze the political leaders of the International Socialists in the Democratic Party. It would also be very interesting to compare the results with studies of other advocates for a Centralized Collective Authority whether the "authority" is political, racial or religious. I would surmise that there would be relative salient traits to be found in Socialists, Communists, Nazis, monarchists etc. . . and that the underlining aberration would be a spiritual sickness.

It can be said that Socialism is the blind leading the blind. One needs only to look at Nancy Pelosi to see that she is sick in heart and in her soul. But Nancy Pelosi isn’t stupid, neither is President Obama, nor is his primary ideological base in the University Faculty. George Santayana wrote in 1905, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." We can call the history professors who fail to learn from history as, "the blind who lead."

Let us look at some of these University types. I have broken them into several subgroups, but truth be told there is plenty of generalization to cross the arch types. As loathe as I am to use generalizations, the fact that so many University educated have not learned from history is a phenomena that just can’t be overlooked. Type one; I have met some real mental midgets who are a product of our University system. They lack a well-rounded education, are not cleaver enough to employ what they learned and are lacking in practical real world experience and their knowledge is limited to their field. Let’s put them on the side for a moment and look at the truly brilliant ones first. Type two; there are others who can employ what they’ve learned, they have high IQ’s, and lack only real world experience. They are products of and have spent their entire lives in the bubble. Type three; finally, the educated who have real world experience.

The third type is truly disconcerting in that they usually are not from the inside the bubble world or have had at least considerable experience from without it. These types are to disregard their "outside" the bubble experience to assimilate with their Type 2 peers. Like all Socialists, they are spiritually ill and while allegedly advocating for the "greater good," share a trait discovered among many Nazis after the war, which is a real lack of empathy to others suffering. "Can’t create a new world order without breaking some eggs, huh." We can join in the first type now, they know they don’t know it all but are psychologically reinforced by their peers. They actually often do have some real empathy and add this human characteristic to the group, which adds some genuine emotions to the others’ sterile coldness.

Together as a group, they represent the "John Gills." On the Star Trek episode "Patterns of Force" The crew of The Enterprise is sent to a planet to see why Captain James T. Kirk’s old history professor has failed to call into Federation superiors. He had been sent to an alien planet to study as a cultural anthropologist. The crew arrives on the planet to find to their horror and dismay, Nazis carrying out a replication of what they did on Earth, and then to their further dismay that it was Kirk’s old history professor, John Gill, that initiated the chain of events and was himself the Fuhrer. After confronting Gill and saving the day, Mr. Spock says, "Perhaps, Professor Gill thought such a system run benignly would work?" The story’s moral was "Even History Professors fail to learn from history." Kirk’s ending lines are, "The problem with the system was not just that the Nazis were brutal and sadistic they were, but it was the leadership principle." With Dr. McCoy chiming in, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Quite cleaver these Earthmen." Finally Spock retorting, "Earths whole history is filled with such incidents." Earth’s whole history is filled with this truth, one type of Centralized Collective Authority or another, all hindering the true minority of "one," the individual, from living in a state of grace with nature. Since the French revolution, Earth has experienced one type of John Gill or another who think they’ve overcame the "bugs" in the system. They believe that if a Centralized Collective Authority were imposed based on their refinements, things would be different; that utopia would be on Earth. This is the height of arrogance, an oversized ego manifestation. Many have ego problems but if the soul of the egomaniac is also suffering from secularism, the soul of that individual can become extremely distorted and dangerous. The secularist has an overwhelming drive to create utopia on Earth because their lack of faith denies that there is a heaven. The blind leading the blind can also be called the spiritually ill, leading the spiritually ill.

The trouble is how that Star Trek episode ended. On the planet once the evil is exposed, the people on the planet request the Crew of The Enterprise, "Leave us now! We must begin to live the way the fuhrer wanted us too." So not only did professor Gill fail to learn from history, the people who just lived through the nightmare failed to learn, also. This brings us to the blind that are to lead.

Winston Churchill once said, "If you’re under forty and you’re not a liberal you’re heartless, if you’re over forty and you’re not a conservative you’re brainless." There is a lot of truth in this statement. The young, who are coming from a self and parental focus on their wants and needs, tend to be inclined to a liberal "me, myself and I" centric type of thinking. It is an emotionally based immature type of thinking which is often outgrown. Another interesting age/maturity of thinking analysis that ties the concept of spiritual conditioning to the argument was made among a study of alcoholics. When A.A. was quite young, a number of eminent psychologists and doctors made an exhaustive study of a good-sized group of so-called problem drinkers. The doctors weren’t trying to find how different the alcoholics were from each other, but what similarities of personality traits they shared. The conclusion they came to was that alcoholics were still childish, emotionally sensitive and grandiose. The entire recovery program of A.A. is based on the use of the "Twelve Steps" to create a paradigm shift in thinking through use of spiritual principles. A.A. has had a wonderful success rate using this program in turning dependent, dysfunctional individuals into a useful, productive, stabile member of society. This has worked so well that the courts and most modern medical experts recognize Alcoholics Anonymous potential for this social service; the concept of A.A.’s "Twelve Steps" has been adopted to correct many other dysfunctional group’s spiritual imbalances.

The blind that are being lead, often are believers as opposed to an overwhelming number of secularists who are Socialistic leaders. Again, vacating generalizations, this doesn’t mean all the rank and file Democrats believe in God, but the numbers indicate that many individuals who have strong spiritual of religious principles adhere to the Democratic Party, whose leaders are overwhelming Secular Progressives and Socialists. They may attend mass regularly and could probably quote chapter and verse as well or better than many Tea Party or conservative adherents. So what keeps them tied to the Socialists? I believe the answer is clearly an emotional immaturity fed by dependence on the party to deliver something to them, either directly through entitlements or because of their union ties. They have been indeed harmed by their supposed benefactors like a prostitute is harmed by her pimp, her supposed protector.

There is so much disconnect among the Democratic rank and file. It truly is a party of dysfunction. What logic is there for the labor unions of heavy industry to be in a party that has accepted as two of its primary tenets the International Socialists concepts of Global Warming (Radical environmentalism and income redistribution) and International Labor (transfer of their lively-hood overseas), both of which endanger their sole source of income, or where a majority of Jewish voters support and finance a party dedicated to the destruction of Israel, or where unions and corporations lay in bed together with government, or where a welfare system that destroys the family values of entire communities and subjects the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to the penal existence of public housing.

The Roman author Tacitus said, "It is a human trait to hate those you have injured." The Socialist leadership despises its constituents; it can be the only reason that they talk down to it. Why they call the public stupid and feed their own superiority complex, and the class and racial warfare rhetoric that their acolytes in the main stream press vehemently spread, is meant to stoke what are classically called the seven deadly sins. Including and loudest of which is pride, but equally important for various reasons of maintenance of dependence are sloth and envy. Sloth feeds the addiction of entitlements, and envy, the class war rhetoric. It is truly evil to feed someone’s sickness to maintain one’s own power as it is to murder babies too young to be thrown into the fires of Ba’al Hammon, as a birth control method. It doesn’t take too far of a leap of morality to move from this form of evil to the mass murders of the Einstzgruppe or the Czcha. Of course, not every union member is spiritually ill, many vote in opposition to their labor leaders’ orders. Just as there are always individuals born into the public housing in the ghettos who on their own, or with committed parents, work their way out. However, the Socialist construct makes this difficult for them to do, not just by them only providing entitlements at subsistence level, but by creating a plantation mentality by their rhetoric supported by peer pressure. This is meant to retard the growth of the spirit and to forestall the individual from recovering their equilibrium and maturing, thus keeping the individual forever, childlike and dependent on the Socialist leaders.

"I believe in myself." Was what Napoleon said as his armies marched back and forth over Europe, dripping in blood. That is the flip side of the dependent constituency the "I can remake the world" Socialistic leaders have two variations of ego problems, one is, I am capable of doing anything (I am worthy and if it’s not me it’s no one) the other is, I need help with everything (I am worthless) Like Napoleon, it has been ego driving the Socialists; they are as imbalanced as their constituents. After he was finally defeated, Napoleon Bonaparte also said, "They (meaning the French people) wanted me to be another Washington." Washington was the polar opposite of a leader from Napoleon, Washington was incredibly centered.

Washington did not want to dictate; he wished to serve and was always open to council. He refused ultimate power several times and honorably relinquished what he had without being asked. Washington believed in Natural Law, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Natural Law and the Principles of Unalienable Rights being spiritual in nature is the answer to the needs of all. It provides for the subjective spiritual "well-being" sought by the psychologists, cares for the self-actualization process, through self determination to help the individual "live in a state of grace" with nature, and is compatible with the religious and secular world views. Furthermore, Natural Law is a spiritual remedy for Socialism.

The rank and file of the Democratic Party need only start by saying no, (this method can work for the Socialist leaders as well but it can be a more difficult spiritual journey for the leader types to make) by demanding their natural Human right to dignity and freedom to choose. They can achieve the ultimate life goal of happiness by reaching for their highest aspirations. But it will take a spiritual awakening within them; call it a paradigm shift or an epiphany. It will require a decision and the willingness to accept responsibility for their lives. All they need to do is look at the unfulfilled promises of the Socialists, feel the emptiness inside, and have fortitude to place their posterity before themselves, then this simple act of selflessness and the process of maturity will carry them to the happiness found in the Unalienable Rights that God however, they conceive of God) has endowed us with (the rights are always there but you must believe in them for them to work) through God’s tool of Natural Law; the spiritual malady and the malady’s outward manifestations (symptoms of the disease) of Socialism can be erased from their souls.

I believe, that one day, Natural law will cure most the evil isms that currently plague our planet. It will never cure them all, because Natural Law is about acceptance of the larger Spiritual nature of things; that life itself is a spiritual battle; that there is right and wrong, good and evil. The subjectiveness in things is still about doing no harm; that there is my business and none of my business. It is about the proper use of dependence, dependence on God in whatever way the individual conceives of God, not the dependence on temporal (evil) creations of man. It also is a matter of acceptance that the soul sick, always being with us, have to find their own way; their own path that is their business. But when they interfere and try to impose themselves between my relation with Nature however, I conceive then it is my business to fight them tooth and nail. Because, what also applies, is another old spiritual axiom "faith without works is dead." Leading by example is as most parents acknowledge, the best way to teach opposition to Socialism, which causes mental diseases, soul sickness and spreads evil, and is the fundamental responsibility of all spiritually well individuals of all Americans. God bless the United States of America!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s Speech in Paris Dec 18, 2010

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s Speech in Paris on Saturday December 18, 2010
reposted from the original at

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here in Paris, the birthplace of modern European secular governance. And I am especially delighted to have been invited here by Gandalf, who founded the Alliance to Stop Sharia. Gandalf has been instrumental in shifting the focus of the European Counterjihad from Islam as a religion to the evils of sharia law.

Have you been accused of being an Islamophobe? A nazi? A xenophobe? A bigot? A misunderstander of Islam (copyright R. Spencer)? Have you been verbally attacked by well-meaning friends who belong either to the Leftist/Liberal spectrum and believe in the Religion of Respect and Anything Goes, or who in principle agree with you, but are sooo very afraid for you and suggest that you stop what you’re doing to stay alive. (What does that tell us about the Religion of Peace?)

I think I can safely assume that most of you, if not all, have at one point or another been subjected to some or all of the aforementioned accusations. I can certainly testify to that. But I can also tell you that I have been hauled into court to face trial for saying what I believe is the truth; a truth that many, especially those of the ruling elite, do not like to hear. Sadly, it seems that in a discussion, when one side has no real argument, he or she resorts to personal attacks. “This woman [as if I didn’t have a name!], she is a hate preacher. She can’t say that! She may be right, but she can’t say that!” Can’t say what? That sharia law is contrary to any of our secular laws? That its legal provisions include gender apartheid as well as killing of those who leave Islam or exercise the right to free speech. That sharia prescribes amputation of limbs and crucifixion even though Article 5 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights postulates that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Well, guess what? That is precisely what was eventually found in the charges!

In fall 2009, I was asked by the largest Austrian opposition party to hold a three-part seminar on the topic of Islam and the Islamization of Europe. I did this by quoting from the Quran, the hadith, the sunna. I also quoted well-known Muslim politicians like Erdogan, Ghadafi, Arafat, or the former Algerian prime minister. Little did I or the attendants know at the time that a young journalist had infiltrated and recorded the first two seminars without my knowledge. The left-wing magazine then decided to report me to the authorities, who in turn charged me with incitement to hatred. Let me quote the relevant paragraph:

By virtue of § 283 of the StGB, a person is deemed culpable of incitement:

(1) who incites or instigates in a manner liable to jeopardise public order an inimical act against a church or religious community established in the country or against a group determined by their affiliation to such a church or religious community, or to a race, people, tribe or state, or

(2) who agitates against or insults in a manner defamatory to human dignity or endeavours to condemn one of the groups defined in para. (1).

The crime is liable to a term of imprisonment of up to two years.
The outcry among the ruling elite in Austria was ear-splitting. High-ranked politicians, bishops, rabbis, and imams were asked to comment about the contents of a seminar they had never attended. A well-known Muslim university professor, asked by the magazine to analyze some of my controversial statements, even came to the conclusion that I am just like Osama Bin Laden!

In a matter of hours, my personal life was turned upside down. Some of my friends distanced themselves from by asking me to stay away from gatherings where Muslims may have shown up. The media completely ignored me and found the story of a Kosovar family blackmailing the government into granting them humanitarian asylum, after the umpteenth denial of the same, more interesting and captivating. “We do not see the need to report the idiocies of this woman [again, no name],” one liberal left-wing newspaper answered a curious enquirer. What does it matter that the Kosovar family broke the law and that I merely quoted the Quran? You can’t say that!

Interestingly enough, instead of silencing me, the magazine’s questionable actions have made me popular. All of a sudden, many people were outraged by what had happened to me and wanted to hear my side of the story. However, no one in Austria wanted to hear me; it was the Americans who were shocked, which was not surprising given the provisions of the 1st amendment of the US Constitution guaranteeing absolute freedom of speech, something we Europeans are in sore need of. I was invited to speak at the launch of the Freedom Defense Initiative, at the National Conference of ACT! for America, both in Washington DC. I spoke in Berlin at a rally for the Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa, as well as at the European Freedom Initiative rally in Amsterdam. The Danish Free Press Society in Copenhagen wanted to hear my take on freedom of speech. Just two weeks ago, I conveyed to my Israeli hosts the importance of Israel in the fight against Islamization. And today I am here in Paris to tell you about my trial. I was not silenced, nor will they ever succeed in silencing me!

By November 28, 2010, the member states of the European Union were required to implement an innocuous-sounding legal provision known as the “Framework decision on combating racism and xenophobia”, or, more fully, the “Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.” According to the final article of the Framework Decision, “Member States shall take the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of this Framework Decision by 28 November 2010.”

Why does this matter to the cause of free speech in Europe?

If you read the full text of the Framework Decision (which may be found in the legislative section of the EU’s website), you will learn that “Each Member State shall take the measures necessary… to ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable”. Such “intentional conduct” includes “conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.”

Based on what has recently happened to Geert Wilders and me — and earlier to Gregorius Nekschot, Jussi Halla-aho, and numerous others — we can all guess who will be punished under this provision of the Framework Decision: those who criticize Islam.

It was not until October that a court date was set for my case. I had to discover this fact in the press — in NEWS, the same left-wing magazine that brought the original complaint against me. I was not officially notified of my hearing date until several days later.

The evidence used against me at my trial several weeks ago was a transcript of a tape of my lecture, provided to the court by the same socialist magazine. It included words that were not spoken by me, and words that were not spoken in public, which therefore were not a violation of the law.

But my case is not really about the law. It is a political trial, and like the trials of Geert Wilders and Jussi Halla-aho, it is intended to silence someone who speaks out against the barbaric nature of sharia law.

Above all else, it is intended to discourage anyone who might consider following in my footsteps. The oligarchs who rule Europe are determined to prevent any frank discussion among their citizens of Islam and its legal doctrines.

These are the methods of a totalitarian state.

They are more successful than those of the Nazis and the Fascists and the Communists because they are accomplished quietly and peacefully, with no need for concentration camps or gulags or mass graves or the shot in the back of the neck in the middle of the night.

They are surgical strikes executed via our legal systems, and they are quite effective. Between the summary punishment carried out against Theo Van Gogh and the EU Framework Decision applied though our courts, there is no room left for us to maneuver.

We are systematically being silenced.

I am not a victim. I intend to stand up for what is right. I will defend what needs to be defended. Above everything else, I will exercise my God-given right to speak freely about what is happening. Freedom of speech is the single most important freedom we possess.

I am doing this for my daughter, and for her children, for those who will have to live in the world we are now preparing for them. I am doing what our grandparents should perhaps have done during the 1930s, when their own freedoms were under threat.

This is our time. This cup will not pass from us.

I am reminded of a passage in J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.

It is an exchange between Frodo the hobbit and Gandalf the wizard, and it concerns the perilous quest on which Frodo and his friends have been sent.

Frodo says: “I wish it need not have happened in my time.”

Gandalf responds: “So do I, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

It is time for us to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

In speaking these words, I might be subject to arrest. I could be charged under the provisions of the Framework Decision, and extradited to the country that charged me using a European Arrest Warrant, escorted by the European Gendarmerie.

This is not an imaginary scenario; it is a very real possibility.

It is true that only a few people are likely to undergo such an ordeal. But it only takes a few people.

How many people have to endure what Mr. Wilders and I are enduring before everyone else gets the message?

How many examples have to be set before the rest of the European population understands the new rules, and is cowed into submission?

And we must remember to whom they will be submitting in the end. They will be submitting to our successors in Europe. They will be submitting to our replacements.

We must remember that the word for submission in Arabic is Islam.

When there are enough Muslims living in Europe — and it doesn’t have to be a majority of the population, just somewhere around fifteen or twenty percent — we will be living under Islamic law, and not the laws that presently govern us.

We will no longer enjoy what constitutional rights remain to us now. Our rights will be completely prescribed and delimited by sharia. Women will become the virtual chattel of men. Christians and Jews will be driven out or forced to convert to Islam. Atheists and homosexuals will be killed.

The European Union would consider these words to be “hate speech”. Under the Framework Decision, they would be classified as “racism and xenophobia”, and I could be prosecuted for saying them.

But they are in fact the simple truth.

Anyone can verify them by studying history. Anyone who chooses can read the Koran and the hadith and the Sunna of the Prophet.

Widely available official treatises on Islamic law confirm that my description is not “hate speech”, but a plain and accurate reading of the tenets of Islamic law.

It has become obvious that to tell the truth about Islam is now considered “incitement to religious hatred”.

It is now clear that non-Muslims who reveal the tenets of sharia law to the public are “denigrating religious teachings”.

If we meekly accept these rules, then we are acquiescing in the imposition of sharia law in our own nations. And I, for one, will not sit silently while this happens.

I don’t want my daughter to live under sharia.

Our time is short. If you and I do not envision an Islamic future for ourselves, then we must speak out now.

If we wish to preserve the right to speak and publish freely, then we must exercise it now.

I wish this need not have happened in my time. But it has.

We must make full use of the time that remains to us.

Thank you.

Nuns with Guns II

Nuns with guns - always fun

Bishop Harrison on Don' Ask Don't Tell

An Important Appeal from the President of The LCMS
December 17th, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In a surprising turn of events in the waning days of the current Congress, the effort to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has gained new momentum with the announcement today of support from Republican senators Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Olympia Snowe (Maine). The repeal may be voted on in the Senate as early as tomorrow. For a number of reasons, we encourage you to let your elected leaders know that The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a clear biblical position on this important issue.

In terms of our spirituality, we are all alike sinners (
Rom. 3:9ff.) in need of repentance and forgiveness. For 2,000 years the church has welcomed sinners, but refused to affirm sin. The saving grace of Jesus Christ and His Gospel are for all people (2 Cor. 5:19), and the only thing that separates us from this forgiveness is a lack of repentance or sorrow over our sin. We believe the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will sorely inhibit our military chaplains’ ability to call all sinners to repentance.

If the government normalizes homosexual behavior in our military branches—a behavior that we believe God’s Word identifies as intrinsically sinful (
Rom. 1:26ff)—the implications are profound. Military chaplains striving to carry out their responsibilities for preaching, counseling, and consoling will find themselves under the strain of having to question whether to obey God or men (Acts 5:29).

Lastly, we express our concern as citizens that a move by the government to essentially affirm homosexual behavior within the armed forces will endanger the morale or esprit de corps—the unit cohesion and the primary mission of the military, namely, to prosecute and win the war—of the men and women who serve and willingly place themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we urge you to share this message today with your colleagues, congregational members, and any others whom you believe would benefit from it and be moved to contact their government representatives.

You may find the contacts for your senators and representatives here: and

For more information on this issue, see The Lutheran Study Bible, Page 1911, on Romans 1.

God bless you.

Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Dr. Mark J. Schreiber,

CAPT, CHC, USN, (Ret.)

Director, LCMS World Mission’s Ministry to the Armed Forces

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Snake of Kosovo

The Snake of Kosovo

For more than a decade the media snow job on Kosovo has been remarkably uniform: Serbs bad, Kosovars good.

According to conventional wisdom, the Serbs attempted genocide against the Albanians in Kosovo, who were innocent victims until they became valiant freedom fighters with the help of the United States Air Force. This fairy tale is remarkably resilient, and has enjoyed bipartisan support in the United States for the last eleven years. Back in 1999 there were a few dissenting voices among American conservatives, but they never came close to dislodging the mainstream message: the evil Serbs got what was coming to them.

I remember reading detailed investigative reports about the KLA back in 1999, and that’s when it became obvious that we were on the wrong side. It was clear that we were pushing for the establishment of a well-armed Saudi-bankrolled gangster state in the Balkans, and that is exactly what we got.

Now the chickens have finally come home to roost. Someone in the European establishment obviously had second thoughts about Kosovo, and has allowed a devastating report to escape from the Council of Europe. What used to be a paranoid fringe theory — that Kosovar gangsters were systematically harvesting human organs and selling them on the black market — now has the imprimatur of a respectable rapporteur at the CoE.

The alleged ringleader of this ghastly criminal enterprise is none other than Kosovar prime minister Hashim Thaçi, known to his detractors as the “Snake”. Balkan Studies has a detailed report:
Hashim Thaçi, Kosovo’s Organ Trafficking Boss

by James George Jatras

The Council of Europe’s rapporteur Dick Marty has accused Hashim Thaçi, Kosovo’s self-styled “prime minister,” of heading a mafia-like operation that included murdering captives, mainly Serbs, to sell their organs on the black market. But will it matter? asks James Jatras.

One can’t help but wonder how many times we have to be hit over the head before it begins to sink in that America’s intervention in Kosovo was based on a pack of lies from the start. The “accepted” narrative of Kosovo as the great success story parades under the headline: U.S. and NATO Allies Nobly Stepped in to Stop Genocide by Evil Serbs. The reality was U.S. Dragged NATO Allies Kicking and Screaming Into Support for Muslim Mafia Committing Genocide Against Christian Serbs.

Comes now the Council of Europe’s human rights investigator Dick Marty with damning accusations that Hashim Thaçi, a/k/a Gjarpër (“Snake“), currently masquerading as “prime minister” of the illegal separatist administration in Pristina, heads a “mafia-like” operation that included murdering captives, mainly Serbs, to sell their organs on the black market. Is even that ghoulish revelation enough to force a reconsideration of the preening self-justification of a “humanitarian” intervention most Americans have long since forgotten? We can hope. But did the plotted attack on Fort Dix changes any minds? No. Now we have organ trafficking. Let’s remember the organ-trafficking story first broke over two years ago and seemed to be withering away in the face of brazen stonewalling by “authorities” in Pristina and Tirana (with full backing from Washington, of course.)

Release of Mr. Marty’s report, just as Thaçi is claiming victory in Kosovo’s recent elections, suggests that somebody in Europe wants to jump off this bandwagon to disaster. But for Americans, the question is: How horrible do the facts need to be before we start looking behind the curtain to see what our government is so desperate to conceal?

In the unfortunate partisan myopia that plagues American politics, some of my fellow conservatives might be tempted to blame it on Bill Clinton and leave it at that. Of course, it was largely a “Clinton problem” back during the 1999 NATO war against Serbia. To their credit, most Congressional Republicans voted against the war, which our Razorback Rommel illegally launched even though the House of Representatives had voted down the authorization to use military force. But while Republicans mainly voted No, the neoconservative establishment was whipping up support for the Clinton White House. Unfortunately, with neocon domination of the George W. Bush administration’s foreign policy, and their desperation to win Islamic friends after 9/11, the Bush policy on Kosovo was even more Clinton than Clinton, leading to the decision to try to force the issue of Kosovo’s independence in violation of every principle of international law and national sovereignty.

So, what will Washington do now about “our” guy Thaçi? Do a Google Image search for his name with almost any top U.S. figure of either party you can think of and you’ll see him in a warm handshake, often a chummy embrace with a virtual Who’s Who of the American establishment: George W. Bush, Condi Rice, Bill Gates, Clinton (both of them), Joseph Biden, Madeleine Albright, Wesley Clark, etc. (See “Snake and Friends“ at the end of this message.) One would like to think some one of these worthies would now have the decency to say (even if only in virtuous hypocrisy), “What? I didn’t know! I’d never have supported these guys if I had!” But the problem is, even aside from these organ-trafficking peccadilloes, the U.S. establishment did know — from Day One — that Thaçi and Co. (the “Kosovo Liberation Army,” KLA) were a bunch of thugs. So did the intelligence services of our allies. (And make no mistake — it’s not just Thaçi. If Thaçi needs to be dumped, we can guess that “Plan B” will be to install in his place another of his equally vicious KLA colleagues.) They — our government — knew the KLA were criminals running the drug, slave, and weapons rackets throughout Europe. They knew the KLA was supported by Osama bin Laden (with whom Thaçi met personally in Tirana in 1998 to plan the jihad in Kosovo, according to the former head of Albanian intelligence), the Iranians, the Saudis, the Turks, and other supporters of an Islamic re-re-conquest of the Balkans. And we supported them anyway, shredding every rule of law and decency in the process. Now what? In all probability, circle the wagons, hope it will blow over, and keep twisting arms around the world in support of the illegal separatist terrorist entity “KosovA.”

As for Serbia — if there were a respectable government in Belgrade, instead of a group of quislings, they wouldn’t be preparing to meet with representatives of Thaçi’s “government” in direct negotiations. Instead, conspiring with their U.S. and European supporters and collaborators in the Serbian Orthodox Church, Belgrade’s recent “contribution” to the Kosovo fiasco is their persecution of Vladika Artemije, Bishop of Ras and Prizren and Kosovo and Metohija, who over two years ago was calling for then-President Bush to refuse to meet with Thaçi and demanding an accounting for the organ-selling outrage!

Let us hope that Mr. Marty’s fine work doesn’t get thrown down the Memory Hole with any and all other facts inconvenient to Washington’s policy. But it’s not enough just to track down the individual perpetrators, or even to pack Thaçi off to jail (though both would be a good start). It’s time for the lies that have undergirded our entire Balkan policy to be exposed, for the United States to stop its obsessive support for Islamic jihad against the indigenous Christian population, and specifically to back off from our absurd and destructive global lobbying on behalf of the KLA regime.

Some might argue that “we’ve come too far” to reverse course now, that American commitment to “KosovA” is irreversible. But it’s never too late to stop doing the wrong thing and start doing the right thing. If Mr. Marty’s organ-trafficking revelations can be a catalyst for a truthful reassessment of American policy and of the events of recent years, the victims will not have died in vain.

Go over to Balkan Studies for more, including numerous photos of respectable world leaders being very, very friendly with Hashim Thaçi.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

St Lucia's Day - Lutherans and Sicilians cross paths

Commemoration of St. Lucia: Martyr, December 13 – Antidote to Holiday Escapism

Domenico Beccafumi, Saint Lucy. Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena. 16th century.

During this time of Advent and Christmas, there are an ever cascading series of commemorations of various Christian saints, and various minor feasts and festivals, providing us with a good “reality check” to what can only be described as escapist types of celebrations of Christmas. What do I mean by that? Many miss the true joy of the season: which is found in prayerful reflection on the Incarnation of our Lord, the light that the darkness does not overcome.

Into a world of sin-filled darkness, comes the One who is our light and our life. We do not escape from the realities of evil that confront us in this present age, rather, we meet them head one: not with endless parties and drinking and gluttony, but with the watchful and waiting perspective of those who recognize that in this world there will be trouble, but we take heart, because Christ has overcome the world. And so, even in the face of a horrible death such as experienced by St. Lucy, we remain steadfast and immoveable in Christ. This is why these various commemorations and minor feasts and festivals are important for us to observe along with the main Sunday festivals of the season. Here is more information about Lucy.

One of the victims of the great persecution under the Roman emperor Diocletian, Lucia met her death at Syracuse on the island of Sicily in the year A.D. 304, because of her Christian faith. Known for her charity, “Santa Lucia” (as she is called in Italy) gave away her dowry and remained a virgin until her execution by the sword. The name Lucia means “light,” and, because of that, festivals of light commemorating her became popular throughout Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. There her feast day corresponds with the time of year when there is the least amount of daylight.

O Almighty God, by whose grace and power Your holy servant Lucia triumphed over suffering and remain ever faithful unto death, grant us, who now remember her with thanksgiving, to be so true in our witness to You in this world that we may receive with her new eyes without tears and the crown of light and life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A virgin and martyr of Syracuse in Sicily, whose feast is celebrated by Latins and Greeks alike on 13 December.

According to the traditional story, she was born of rich and noble parents about the year 283. Her father was of Roman origin, but his early death left her dependent upon her mother, whose name, Eutychia, seems to indicate that she came of Greek stock.

Like so many of the early martyrs, Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God, and she hoped to devote all her worldly goods to the service of the poor. Her mother was not so single-minded, but an occasion offered itself when Lucy could carry out her generous resolutions. The fame of the virgin-martyr Agatha, who had been executed fifty-two years before in the Decian persecution, was attracting numerous visitors to her relics at Catania, not fifty miles from Syracuse, and many miracles had been wrought through her intercession. Eutychia was therefore persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Catania, in the hope of being cured of a hæmorrhage, from which she had been suffering for several years. There she was in fact cured, and Lucy, availing herself of the opportunity, persuaded her mother to allow her to distribute a great part of her riches among the poor.

The largess stirred the greed of the unworthy youth to whom Lucy had been unwillingly betrothed, and he denounced her to Paschasius, the Governor of Sicily. It was in the year 303, during the fierce persecution of Diocletian. She was first of all condemned to suffer the shame of prostitution; but in the strength of God she stood immovable, so that they could not drag her away to the place of shame. Bundles of wood were then heaped about her and set on fire, and again God saved her. Finally, she met her death by the sword. But before she died she foretold the punishment of Paschasius and the speedy termination of the persecution, adding that Diocletian would reign no more, and Maximian would meet his end. So, strengthened with the Bread of Life, she won her crown of virginity and martyrdom.

This beautiful story cannot unfortunately be accepted without criticism. The details may be only a repetition of similar accounts of a virgin martyr’s life and death. Moreover, the prophecy was not realized, if it required that Maximian should die immediately after the termination of his reign. Paschasius, also, is a strange name for a pagan to bear. However, since there is no other evidence by which the story may be tested, it can only be suggested that the facts peculiar to the saint’s story deserve special notice. Among these, the place and time of her death can hardly be questioned; for the rest, the most notable are her connexion with St. Agatha and the miraculous cure of Eutychia, and it is to be hoped that these have not been introduced by the pious compiler of the saint’s story or a popular instinct to link together two national saints. The story, such as we have given it, is to be traced back to the Acta, and these probably belong to the fifth century. Though they cannot be regarded as accurate, there can be no doubt of the great veneration that was shown to St. Lucy by the early church. She is one of those few female saints whose names occur in the canon of St. Gregory, and there are special prayers and antiphons for her in his “Sacramentary” and “Antiphonary”. She is also commemorated in the ancient Roman Martyrology. St. Aldhelm (d. 709) is the first writer who uses her Acts to give a full account of her life and death. This he does in prose in the “Tractatus de Laudibus Virginitatis” (Tract. xliii, P.L., LXXXIX, 142) and again, in verse, in the poem “De Laudibus Virginum” (P.L., LXXXIX, 266). Following him, the Venerable Bede inserts the story in his Martyrology.

With regard to her relics, Sigebert (1030-1112), a monk of Gembloux, in his “sermo de Sancta Lucia”, says that he body lay undisturbed in Sicily for 400 years, before Faroald, Duke of Spoleto, captured the island and transferred the saint’s body to Corfinium in Italy. Thence it was removed by the Emperor Otho I, 972, to Metz and deposited in the church of St. Vincent. And it was from this shrine that an arm of the saint was taken to the monastery of Luitburg in the Diocese of Spires–an incident celebrated by Sigebert himself in verse.

The subsequent history of the relics is not clear. On their capture of Constantinople in 1204, the French found some of the relics in that city, and the Doge of Venice secured them for the monastery of St. George at Venice. In the year 1513 the Venetians presented to Louis XII of France the head of the saint, which he deposited in the cathedral church of Bourges. Another account, however, states that the head was brought to Bourges from Rome whither it had been transferred during the time when the relics rested in Corfinium.

Source: Catholic Encyclopedia

The Lutheran Song

The Lutheran Song by Lost and Found...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - James Brown

An excellent 1965 music video

Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists - OH MY!

Breakaway Anglicans talk with conservative Lutherans
December 7, 2010 View Comments from

“The Background and Identity of our Churches” was the theme of the first dialogue session held recently between representatives of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) and the new Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). ACNA comprises former members of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and The Episcopal Church in the US (TEC) who have left their former church bodies over differences of conviction on core Christian teaching. Formed in 2009 and based in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, the group now numbers 700 parishes

Dr. John Stephenson, professor of Historical Theology at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, represented Lutheran Church–Canada at the meeting, held November 10-11 at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. Stephenson explains that ACNA’s formation in 2009 came as a result of “absolutely momentous and unpredictable developments in world Anglicanism over the past 10 years and more.” On the surface, these changes concerned non-celibate homosexual clergy and same-sex unions, but at a deeper level they have to do with the authority of Holy Scripture and classical Christian doctrine.

Full communion, altar-and-pulpit fellowship, is not the intent of the discussions. Stephenson notes, “Both sides simply want to get together and compare notes to see to what extent they can make common affirmations and statements. The discussions are in their infancy.”

At the St. Louis session, faculty from the seminary gave presentations on the identity of the LCMS in the 21st century, its history, and historical connections between Lutherans and Anglicans. Representatives of ACNA addressed topics such as Lutheran influence on the important Anglican theological statement, The 39 Articles, Anglican history, and the identity of the church body in the current century.

Dr. Stephenson says the session was “friendly and open,” noting that many traditional Anglicans feel traumatized by the recent upheavals in their church, but are “very glad to find some friends” with similar convictions and values in the LCMS and LCC.

Dr. Stephenson says the dialogue is noteworthy for the LCMS, as previously it has not been a self-starter in ecumenical discussions. He is also looking forward to being present at the three further sessions of the dialogue, the next of which is scheduled for May 12 to 13, 2011 at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The topic chosen for this meeting is Authority in the Church. The church bodies have also scheduled two subsequent sessions to take place in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Nashotah, Wisconsin. “I’d ask for the people of our synod to pray for God’s blessing,” says Dr. Stephenson about the ongoing dialogue between the LCMS, LCC and ACNA.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Concordia Ranks #1 in Community Service

Concordia Ranks #1 in Community Service

Washington Monthly Ranks Colleges Contributions to the Public Good

Concordia University Portland ranked #1 for student participation in community service among U.S. universities with master's programs, according to Washington Monthly's 2010 national universities ranking.

New to this year's rankings, the service category measurement reflects both the number of students participating in community service, as well as the total number of service hours performed, both relative to school size. The measure is based on data reported to the Corporation for National and Community Service by colleges and universities in their applications for the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Washington Monthly rates and ranks colleges based on their "contribution to the public good" in three categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).

On average, Concordia's faculty, staff, and students contribute more than 223,000 hours of practicum, internship, and service learning hours per year, serving more than 10,000 community members, 5,000 of whom are youth. For the past two years, Concordia was named to the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America's communities.

In the overall Washington Monthly rankings, two of the ten Concordia Universities nationwide - Portland and Chicago - ranked within the top 100 of over 500 institutions, as numbers 87 and 96, respectively.

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