Tag Archives: Barak Obama

2016: Beginning Badly

cologne fireworksWow! We’re just completing the first full week in 2016 and God help us, if this is merely a harbinger of more of the same to follow.

Let’s see, worldwide financial markets have sold off enough during this past week, due to the extreme volatility taking place in the Chinese markets, that some observers are saying we are now, officially, in a bear—that is declining—market. The Casey Research newsletter says that since Monday the world’s stock markets have lost US$2.5 trillion of their investors’ money! The newsletter quoted George Soros comment about what this first week in 2016 means:cartoon chinese stock

“I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

Of course, it’s not just the stock markets that have been falling. Commodity prices have also been plunging for a while. According to Stephen Poloz, Canada’s central bank governor:

“Since mid-2014—when oil prices started to free-fall—Poloz said the country has lost more than $50 billion in national income or about $1,500 per Canadian.” Times-Colonist, Victoria, B.C., Jan. 8, 2016.

poloz diceSince Canada is a major commodity producer its currency, the Canadian dollar, has also been under strong downward pressure on currency exchange markets, dropping from parity with the U.S.dollar in 2013 to being worth less the 0.71 U.S. cents today. This is why I’m paying $3 per pound for California broccoli when its on sale. Otherwise, it costs $5 per pound! Of course, the rising price of all food is not just due to unfavourable exchange rates.

I went to my local health food store the other day to replenish my supply of organic soft white wheat, which is great for making pancakes, dumplings, biscuits, or pie crusts. A forty-pound sack cost me CDN$69.00. Back in the 1980s I remember paying maybe $25 per sack for the same wheat. Oh yes, we know there’s inflation. But when I asked the store manager, whom I’ve know for a long time, whether $69 was a good price, or should I wait until a new supply comes in, he said that it’s not just a question of how much, but whether it’s even available in the first place. He said his wholesalers have been shorting him on what they’ll actually deliver on his orders. The wholesale suppliers are informally rationing what they’ll actually deliver to their retail store customers giving them only half of what they’ve ordered or none at all for some items. I purchased the last sack at the store that day. In short, the weather has not be favourable as it was previously and there is not the supply. Climate change?

And what about what’s going on in the Middle East? The United States under the leadershipobama1 of one of its worst presidents ever is continuing to betray its allies and appease its enemies. The Pax Americana that kept the lid on much of this world’s proclivity to violence since the Second World War is obviously breaking down. America’s enemies don’t take much of what Barak Obama says seriously, because they now know he’s just a paper tiger.

And then there’s the massive wave of 1.1 million Islamic migrants last year into Europe, especially Germany, that has unnerved a whole continent. The New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and rapes of women by “Arabic and North African-looking” men in German public places before cologne held handshundreds or even thousands of witnesses have provided some facts to fuel European anti-immigrant sentiment. According to Jürgen Falter, a political scientist at the University of Mainz.

“The fears and prejudices of people have thus been completely fulfilled, and much faster than expected. Those who have been skeptical feel themselves vindicated and those who have said ‘We can do it!’ [quoting Angela Merkel’s pro-immigrant sentiment] feel unnerved.”

And, of course, in France, Islamic terrorism keeps popping up as a North African immigrant shouting “Allah Akbar” tried to attack the guards in front of police station on the one-year anniversary of the jihadist massacres at Charlie Hebdo.

All these problems are out of the control and beyond the influence of the likes of you or me and they merely add more stress to whatever our personal circumstances have already thrown on our shoulders. What is the solution to our stress? How can you and I remain productive and positive in 2016? I’d like to quote from R.T. Brooks about the secret of how to not only cope but thrive in a time like ours.

“The New Testament is clear that a stress-free life is no part of the Christian promise. What is offered is a way of bearing stress—a way that makes the experience creative without its ceasing to be painful. Physical suffering, family tension, and social insecurity were all part of what the disciples were told to expect. But they were also told that in those experiences they would discover the power of God’s Spirit. The yoke is a natural image of stress and strain, and yet, Jesus offers his yoke [of loving God with all your heart and of loving neighbour as oneself] to the heavy laden, saying, ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’”

The solution to this world’s problems are spiritual. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Let’s all resolve to dig into the Bible to find not only a relief from stress, but also a plan of action for a dangerous time.

Anxiety & Fear: Good, Bad, Both

Be a Stress Survivor

Obama getting the worst of it with Putin

American President Barak Obama just can’t seem to deliver a TKO on the Russian President Vladimir Putin can he? In fact, for the last year it has seemed that Putin can go the distance in the ring with whatever Obama throws at him.

The unipolar world in which the United States of America is the sole superpower that can get its way in whatever it wants… is disappearing before our very eyes.

Nobody could really stand-up to the power of the U.S.A.’s displeasure in order to shelter NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden with all his revelations of American surveillance of everyone’s 27/7 digital communications…  but Putin was willing to take Snowden in.

Obama said that the Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria crossed a Red Line because they used  chemical weapons in that country’s Civil War… but Putin diplomatically out manoeuvred him and Assad’s regime survived and, today, has regained the battle field initiative on the ground.

The Obama administration stage managed a coup d’état in the Ukraine in February ousting the Russian-leaning president Viktor Yanukovych in order to firmly plant the Ukraine into the Western orbit of influence… but Putin broke off Crimea from the Ukraine and regained sovereignty over the strategically import home base of Russia’s warm water fleet. Presently, Putin has inspired several pro-Russian regions of Eastern Ukraine to declare independence from the Kiev government, making a massive headache for Obama and crew.

putin chinese pres2Obama and his allies try to use economic warfare tools like sanctions, travel bans, threats about boycotting Russian fossil fuel exports, and put pressure on global multi-national corporations to isolate and economically devastate Russia…  but at the beginning of this week Putin signed a colossal $400 billion, 30-year, natural gas export deal with the world’s #2 economic power—Communist China. And China deliberately went ahead and did this ignoring the pleas from the U.S. Secretary of Treasure Jacob Lew to not undermine the U.S.A.’s efforts to put an economic headlock on Russia.

And what does all this mean? According to the BBC’s analysis: “Thus this deal between Russia’s Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corporation could symbolize an important moment of transition – when both in economic and geopolitical terms, Russia’s gaze begins to look more towards the East rather than towards the West.”putin gas signing

But that’s not all! Consider this comment that appeared in the state-controlled Chinese press:

“If the Chinese-Russian energy trade switches to the [Russian] rouble and [Chinese] renminbi in settling transactions, the world economy will enter a new era. It could trigger a domino effect and encourage more countries to shun the US dollar in the international energy trade… The dominance of the US dollars would decline… challenging US control over global economic and political affairs.” – Cheng Yawen in Beijing’s Youth Daily.

crimea riverThe Russian president himself towards the end of this week’s St Petersburg Economic Forum, talked about the “end of the unipolar world,” meaning the end of the U.S. pre-dominance, its hegemony over the world’s affairs.

Obama hasn’t been able to deliver a knock-out punch on the wily Russian who sidesteps, bobs and weaves away from the American’s heavy handed jabs, biding his time until he can opportunistically press an attack on a desirable soft spot in order to achieve a notable success over his more powerful opponent in world affairs.

Oh yes, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations tried to pass a motion at the U.N. to open up proceedings by the International Criminal Court against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad on samantha powerwar crimes. But… Russia and China have vetoed (this week after the signing of the natural gas deal in Shanghai) a UN Security Council resolution that would have referred the conflict in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Did you hear that great whooshing sound of the Obama administration wildly swinging, failing to connect with their adversary in world affairs?

Well, the U.S. president and his staff can at least take some consolation in the fact that this week they did get some judges to overturn voter-approved laws in those conservative, red-voting states of Idaho and Arkansas who had the audacity to ban gay marriage. Hah! That will show them the ruling Washington elite always gets its way… at least over those Americans who take the Bible seriously.

How ironic it is then, as the BBC notes “that at times Mr Putin seems to be setting Russia up as an alternative pole in terms of what he appears to regard as the decadent values of the West.”

Who are the good guys with the white hats and who are the bad guys with the black hats, hatsanywise? Did somebody do a switcheroo?

In defense of our most ancient values & ideals

Towards the end of President Barak Obama’s second inaugural address he argued:

“You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”

I wholly agree with this inspiring proposition by the President. Barak Obama is indeed one of the most accomplished speakers of our time. Yet, I discovered as perhaps you did also that not all of Obama’s inaugural speech was equally inspiring.  Nevertheless, believing the President to be a fair and open-minded man, I lift up my voice in defense of my brethren’s most ancient values and enduring ideals and call upon the President to re-consider the logic and the spirit of some of the positions he has taken.

The United States of America is at a crossroads. Time is quickly running out for the world’s dominant superpower and number one economy to set its house in order. There are several startling trends afoot in the nation that will humble it, if not bring it down completely, if not effectively resolved.

But as you begin your second term in office, Mr. President, you seem to give every indication that you misunderstand just how gravely wounded the nation is financially and politically, certainly— but especially, morally. The secular press tends to overlook the fact that it will be of the Spirit if the Flesh [the nation’s material well-being & future] is to be saved from the gathering crisis. After all, what was it that sustained Abraham Lincoln and the Union in their time of trial?  Was it just their rifles and canons? Was it not the righteousness of their cause?

David Brooks, a conservative journalist working for the liberal New York Times, made this comment about your second inauguration speech:

I also think Obama misunderstands this moment. The Progressive Era, New Deal and Great Society laws were enacted when America was still a young and growing nation. They were enacted in a nation that was vibrant, raw, under-institutionalized and needed taming.

We are no longer that nation. We are now a mature nation with an aging population [Why we might ask? Is it because the vibrant potential of so many millions of our white, black, and Latino youth and their potential children have been sacrificed on abortion’s pagan altar of selfish convenience?].

Far from being under-institutionalized, we are bogged down with a bloated political system, a tangled tax code, a byzantine legal code, and a crushing debt [not to mention an appalling amount of fiscal corruption at the highest levels of American society]. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/opinion/brooks-the-collective-turn.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1358883569-pQYbbD/j2/ypooIiqVZgIg

Mr. President, what are you going to do to address this harsh, on-going, destructive reality sapping America’s strength?

Next is the urgently needed healing of the nation’s bitter political divide. Do you remember what Abraham Lincoln said: a House divided will fall? [Actually, Lincoln was just quoting Jesus Christ from Matthew 12:25]. Good will and a spirit of collaboration with a generous sprinkling of patriotism are absolutely necessary to enact desperately needed reforms. I sense that your speech fell short in this regard. It seems to me that it failed to reach across the blue vs. red divide. It did, however, stoke up the partisan spirit of your so-called “progressive wing” of the Democratic Party.  Maybe that’s all your speech was intended to do.

Still, I consider it a failure to rekindle the spirit of collaboration desperately needed throughout America. This failure was symbolically evident by who was NEITHER present NOR accounted for at your swearing in.  Where were former President George W. Bush, and the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney? Why weren’t they seated on the speaker’s platform beside you for the whole nation to see even a semblance of unity or brotherhood among the nation’s leaders? Couldn’t you find a few gracious words to speak in order to persuade them to come? Was extending the olive branch just too hard? Must it always be a zero-sum game? Is pride getting in the way of taking care of the nation’s urgent business? You know what they say about pride going before a….

The bad blood is obviously such that, ominously, most of the Republican delegation from the House of Representatives wouldn’t come to your big bash—even have a few free drinks!  Such political bitterness in Washington, D.C. is systemically weakening America’s ability to meet the long-term challenge posed by a rising geo-political competitor like China.

As for addressing the nation’s moral problems, The Washington Times newspaper noted in its January 22, 2013 editorial:

Though the theme of Inauguration Day 2013 was “faith in America’s future,” the United States has seldom chosen a president more determined to separate the nation from its traditional reverence for faith, family and freedom. The proposition that individuals “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, is harder to see in the vision of Mr. Obama’s America where administrative agencies make choices for individuals, even down to the details of dictating the design of everyday household appliances….

The signature achievement of his first term, Obamacare, established the precedent whereby the White House can force citizens to purchase a service that had previously been a matter of personal choice. The health care mandate goes so far as to override the distinct choices of religious organizations, forcing them to provide contraception and abortion coverage against their will. This is a clear attempt to undermine the previously sacrosanct respect for religious freedom in American political culture.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/22/inaugurating-leviathan/#ixzz2IjlLTXSy

Now please, carefully consider this final point Mr. President.  When you swore your oath of office with your left hand placed on the Bibles once used by Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln, you said:

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service.

You pointed out in your inaugural speech following this oath that the nation’s “freedom was a gift from God” though it “must be secured by His people here on Earth.”

And like previous American presidents, at the close of his inaugural address you invoked a blessing from America’s historic God, upon both people and nation, saying: “God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.”

I don’t think it would be too controversial to assert that the God you officially referred to was in fact the God of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. Not Allah. Not Buddha. Not one of the millions of the Hindu gods. Not John Lennon of the Beatles who once boasted that he was more popular than Jesus Christ, nor even the latest re-incarnation of some Marilyn Monroe Hollywood sex idol. America’s Founding Fathers and patriots overwhelmingly claimed the Bible’s God as America’s God. I’m sure you must know that.

But did you realize, Mr. President, that when you took this oath of office calling publicly upon the Bible’s God to be a witness and to hold you accountable, and  claimed in your inaugural speech to want to govern our people by “our most ancient values and enduring ideals,” that there would be negative consequences if you did all this just for show—hypocritically.

And make no mistake about it, the Bible’s ancient values and ideals are indeed enduring because they are the Truth and are essential reading for anyone who wants the Bible’s God to give him or her a blessing of hope and peace in this life and, eventually, the fullness of eternal life—rather than a cursing, heart-ache, and futility in this life and then the emptiness of eternal death. As Jesus of Nazareth said:

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth (John 17:17 Amplified Bible)

And…

“Man shall not live by bread [materialistic means] alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God [spiritual means]” (Matthew 4:4 English Standard Version). 

In the Judeo-Christian Scriptures we see that there is a clear and repeated historic pattern of bad consequences that come when either leaders or  people hypocritically claim God as their God, take oaths and invoke blessings using His name, but do not do what He commands. God does not consider such people to be guiltless even though they just say what they say because of tradition and the fact that they want to look good in public (Exodus 20:7). There are unpleasant consequences for such hypocrisy.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, freedom—we’re talking political, economic, and religious freedom—is always presented as being conditional upon obedience by the nation or leader who calls upon the Bible’s God. In other words, a leader or a nation that calls upon the Bible’s God as their God must be found living within the ancient values and ideals expounded in His law or face the consequences.

Consider, Mr. President Obama, this statement that you made in your second inaugural speech:

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

Is the physical expression of homosexual love in a marriage allowed by man’s law truly equal to that of a heterosexual one, which is sanctioned by the Scriptures, in the eyes of the Bible’s God? Does the Bible’s God have a preference, or none at all?

The New Covenant Scriptures tell us this: “For the whole law [God’s law] is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:14 English Standard Version

Well, someone might argue, surely this Scripture justifies your proposition, Mr. President, because of what that person may subjectively feel about someone else. But does it? Is God’s standard of Truth based on subjective human feeling? Is it correct to say that as long as I just feel “love” for my neighbour then surely I’m okay in God’s sight whatever I do homosexually or heterosexually—that it’s all equal?

To answer this question one needs to know just how the word “love” is defined by the Bible’s God in the original languages in which the Scriptures were written and in its actual usage. To answer this question, if you really want to know, check out my online, streaming archived sermon series on love at:

http://cogwebcast.com/sermons/video-archives/finding-true-love-love-your-neighbour/

and

http://cogwebcast.com/sermons/video-archives/finding-true-love-self-love-or-selfishness/

and

http://cogwebcast.com/sermons/video-archives/finding-true-love-our-love-for-god/

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

U.S.A.—already off the cliff and falling from greatness?

The financial market looked into the crystal ball when trading began the morning of Election Day, November 6, 2012, and predicted an Obama victory. The market’s prediction came about 12 hours before the TV networks made their predictions that evening. So how did the market decide that Obama was going to win? Well, it just looked at the money. And I’m not talking about flipping a coin.

After several soft weeks of declining, weak gold prices, in one hour during the morning of Election Day the rustless yellow metal spiked upwards $31.50 an ounce. This signaled that the market believed the Obama government’s inflationary, deficit-spending, quantitatively easing fiscal policies would continue as our status quo. While Obama’s slogan focused on change, and on protecting change, from the market’s perspective very little, if anything, was going to change.

It is ironic that while the majority of Americans want a change for the better, what they actually voted for is the preservation of a status quo characterized by many as divided, gridlocked government that’s failing to deliver that change for the better.

Despite the Obama administration having one of the poorest economic and unemployment records among all U.S. administrations over the last 100 years, a narrow majority of the American people decided to give Barak Obama another four years so that he could improve upon his prior failure. And, to insure this outcome, Americans also re-elected most of the incumbent Republicans as the majority in the House of Representatives. And, of course, they will assuredly “help” Obama achieve what Obama thinks is best for the nation?

Duh! Seems like Hollywood writer and director Peter Farrelly was being prophetic when he created the 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber. I’ll let you figure out which of the two American political parties is dumb and which is dumber. Why is this happening? Because the heart is sick, the head is foolish.

And, what did the obscene $6 billion spent by big American money on this last election really buy or accomplish, besides turning the U.S. of A. into a “bastardized democracy,” according to the Canadian MP Pat Martin?

Well, a political cartoon that appeared in today’s Times-Colonist newspaper (Victoria, B.C.) sums it up nicely.  In 2008, America was divided almost equally between smug Democrats and angry Republicans. The 2012 American political map is now divided between very smug Democrats and very angry Republicans. Wow! So U.S.$ 6 billion can only buy in 2012 a couple of adverbs on negativity?

There have been times over the course of the American republic during the last two hundred years when strong leadership would have been nice, but it wasn’t really essential for the nation’s growth, much less its survival.  Almost as if it was on automatic pilot, the American nation grew noticeably more prosperous and qualitatively stronger year after year. America’s ascendency to greatness seemed unstoppable, a genuine manifest destiny.

But that’s not the situation any more. Now America is in decline. See Sarah Boesveld’s article in the National Post: Canada rises to Top Five in Economic Freedom ranking as U.S. plummets to 18th  http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/18/canada-rises-to-top-five-in-world-economic-freedom-ranking-as-u-s-plummets-to-18th/ Accessed Nov. 8, 2012

 America is living on borrowed money and borrowed time. And far too many very smug Americans are living in denial about the seriousness of their situation. America, now, is more like Wiley Coyote who has just run off the cliff but his legs are still churning furiously in the air—while outside observers wait breathlessly for the inevitable to happen: the sudden plunge that always ends with a violent crash on the rocks at the bottom of the canyon.

Media commentators are talking about what is called the “financial cliff.” But Rep. Ron Paul, who unsuccessfully ran for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party during this last election cycle thinks we’re already over the cliff. We’re broke, he says. And beyond that, the nation can’t fill its leadership positions with enough people who will do the wise things necessary to avoid complete disaster. According to Rep. Paul:

 People do not want anything cut. They want all the bailouts to come. They want the Fed to keep printing the money. And they don’t believe that we’ve gone off the cliff or are close to going off the cliff. They think we can patch it over, that we can somehow come up with some magic solution. But you can’t have a budgetary solution if you don’t change what the role of government should be. As long as you think we have to police the world and run this welfare state, all we are going to argue about is who will get the loot.

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/ron-paul-on-fiscal-cliff-and-vows-to-compromise-MYkAiqYBTaiHwXZL9Tvxkw.html Accessed Nov. 8, 2012

During his victory speech on Election Night, Barak Obama insisted that the best days for America are yet in the future. Well, maybe. But not if the nation’s political leadership remains gridlocked and frustrated from formulating real solutions to America’s massive problems: its uncontrollable appetite for racking up more than U.S.$ one trillion of debt every ten months, its trade imbalance with the rest of the world, and its lack of energy independence. And that’s just for starters.

Most media commentators today aren’t talking about the massive and rapid growth in the nation’s deficit in morals and ethics. Even the phrase “social conservatism” seems to be anathema to the very smug among the governing class these days.

There was a period of time in America’s past, about 150 years ago, when Democrats and Republicans and the nation as a whole were similarly embittered and divided. We call that period of time the American Civil War. The occupant of the White House at that time was trying to hold a divided America together. Abraham Lincoln, however, unlike most of the 21st Century’s hypocritical American politicians, got his inspiration about the right things to do in his personal as well as public life from the Judeo-Christian Bible. He understood the truth and wisdom of the following the principles taught by the Scriptures. One of those principles that Lincoln was fond of is particularly pertinent at this exact moment to the America of the 21st Century:

 Then some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind and could not talk because he had a demon. Jesus healed the man, so that he was able to talk and see. The crowds were all amazed at what Jesus had done. “Could he be the Son of David?” [the Messiah who will rule in the prophesied Kingdom of God] they asked.

When the Pharisees heard this, they replied, “He drives out demons only because their ruler Beelzebul gives him power to do so.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and so he said to them, “Any country that divides itself into groups which fight each other will not last very long. And any town or family that divides itself into groups which fight each other will fall apart. So if one group is fighting another in Satan’s kingdom, this means that it is already divided into groups and will soon fall apart! (Matthew 12:22-26 Good News Translation)

It is neither money, military strength nor “political correctness” that makes a nation great. To back away from the edge of the cliff, America’s leaders and people need to change their vicious partisan spirit that has infected the whole nation with bitterness, rancor and backbiting.  The whole political dialogue needs to change. As Jesus of Nazareth said to the political slanderers and mudslingers of his day,

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34 English Standard Version)

The American people and its leaders need to re-embrace the motto that their ancestors once believed in so strongly that they even had it inscribed on their money: In God We Trust.  Unless the nation returns to its roots, America like Wiley Coyote, will eventually plummet and crash on the rocks below, being bankrupt not only financially but also morally. And the world will marvel at how the leaders of what was once the greatest nation on Earth destroyed it bit by bit foolishly, all by themselves, as Abraham Lincoln warned so long ago.

For the full text of Abraham Lincoln’s House Divided speech see: http://www.angelfire.com/my/abrahamlincoln/HouseDivided.html

Replacing brute force with the rule of law


Was the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the Navy SEALs, who were acting under the orders of President Barak Obama, justifiable? Or, as decorated WWII war veteran and sole surviving prosecutor at the Nuremberg genocide trials, Benjamin B. Ferencz, asks, was it a pre-meditated illegal assassination?

Ferencz, now 92, would like our world to be more humane and secure. His hope for a better future has led him to be a strong supporter of the work being carried out by today’s International Criminal Court. Ferencz wants to see the world’s present political ethos favouring the “rule of force” replaced by “the rule of law.” Consequently, the former Nuremburg prosecutor would have greatly preferred seeing Osama Bin Laden put on trial for mass murder rather than summarily dispatched with a couple of bullets to the head. He notes:

Nuremberg taught me that creating a world of tolerance and compassion would be a long and arduous task. And I also learned that if we did not devote ourselves to developing effective world law, the same cruel mentality that made the Holocaust possible might one day destroy the entire human race. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/es/article.php?ModuleId=10007155

However, Michael Newton, a Vanderbilt University professor, argued in a CBC interview broadcast on May 12, 2011, that the killing of Bin Laden was both appropriate and justified under the International law and the customs of armed conflict, i.e. the Geneva Convention, etc. These laws of warfare hold that a party to an armed conflict can’t summarily execute prisoners of war in custody, but may kill opposing participants to the conflict in battle.

Despite their differing opinions on the best way to have dealt with the al-Qaida terrorist mastermind, neither Ferencz nor Newton have any doubt about Bin Laden having the blood of innocents on his hands.

Osama Bin Laden kept a personal journal in which he contemplated how to kill as many Americans as possible, including possible terrorist attacks against Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., according to U.S. officials…. The official described the private journal as full of planning ideas and outlines of potential operations, aspirational guidance on how to kill the maximum number of people, rather than specific proposals or plots. Ken Dilanian and Brian Bennett, Times Colonist, May 12, 2011.

Frankly, I don’t know what safeguards and legal procedures the United States security/intelligence/special ops services have to follow before they can authorize a “hit” of a major target. But from what I understand, Israel’s Mossad actually holds a clandestine trial to weigh the evidence before members of its legal department to determine guilt and sentence of specific high profile enemies. Only then, will a kill order be authorized. If I’m wrong about this, I’m willing to be corrected by someone who knows. But when it comes to hauling a 21st Century Terrorist Shadow War combatant into court to face a standard criminal trial like some garden variety of murderer, well, this war isn’t being fought on conventional battlefields by soldiers in uniform. And even in the Second World War there were plenty of spies and traitors who were quietly but fatally put to rest in dark places.

Nevertheless, the biggest problem with the Ferencz’s idea of replacing the “rule of force with the rule of law” is that there is no consensus, for instance, between the Muslim world and the Western world as to whose law should be supreme and authoritative.

For Osama Bin Laden and millions upon millions of similar-minded people only Islam’s Sharia law can be authoritative and morally righteous. For such people Western secular law is a joke with only immoral brute force to back it up. The fact is, the Islamic world looks at some of our “politically correct” social policies enshrined by our more recently enacted legislation and both the radical jihadis and the average religiously conservative Muslim can only feel disgust for such laws and the societies that pass them.

The liberal Western secular democracies and decent people like Benjamin Ferencz are going to have an ever more costly fight on their hands if they try to force the Islamic world to embrace what are seen as decadent Western legal codes as the authoritative worldwide standard of behaviour.

So who does have the right to authoritatively define what is right or wrong? Surprisingly, the ancient prophet Isaiah addressed the liberal Western secular democracies and the Islamic world about this very issue.

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil,
 that dark is light and light is dark, 
that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. 
What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes 
and think themselves so clever.
 What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine
 and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.
They take bribes to let the wicked go free,
 and they punish the innocent. Therefore, just as fire licks up stubble 
and dry grass shrivels in the flame, so their roots will rot 
and their flowers wither.
 For they have rejected the law of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 5:20-24 NLT).

If we want to have a more peaceful and secure world, then we are going to have to return to the source of the true gold standard of justice as defined by the Judeo-Christian scriptures. Justice, one true justice for all humans and nations will eventually come to administered throughout the whole earth in the World Tomorrow. It will come neither through the International Criminal Court at the Hague, nor by Islam’s Sharia, nor by the brute force of the liberal Western secular democracies! But come it will by divine providence!

In the future, the mountain with the LORD’s temple
will be the highest of all. It will reach above the hills;
every nation will rush to it. Many people will come and say,
“Let’s go to the mountain of the LORD God of Jacob and worship in his temple.”
The LORD will teach us his Law from Jerusalem, and we will obey him.
He will settle arguments between nations. They will pound their swords and their spears into rakes and shovels; they will never make war
or attack one another (Isaiah 2:2-4 Contemporary English Version).

Picture this… the Second Coming of Osama Bin Laden

In a CBS News interview yesterday, U.S. President Barak Obama rejected releasing grisly death pictures of the al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden, saying,

“We don’t trot this stuff out as trophies… The fact of the matter is, this was somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received, and I think Americans and people around the world are glad that he is gone. But we don’t need to spike the football” (referring to the iconic athletic enthusiasm exhibited by American footballers when they score touchdown points).

Yes, Bin Laden was indeed worthy of the death penalty as he led the terrorist organization responsible for the massacre of many thousands of innocent people. As the Judeo-Christian scriptures explicitly teach in the Law:

However, if someone deliberately kills another person, then the slayer must be dragged even from my altar and be put to death (Exodus 21:13 New Living Translation).

A few bullets to the head administered by a Navy SEAL, however, is just the beginning of the justice process for Osama Bin Laden.

In this, President Barak Obama, a self-professing Christian, seems to be ignorant. While acknowledging in the CBS interview that some people will indeed deny the certainty of Bin Laden’s execution without the release of convincing pictures, Obama asserted:

There is no doubt that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Certainly there is no doubt among al-Qaida members that he is dead…There are going to be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you will not see Bin Laden walking on the Earth again (Sheldon Alberts, Postmedia News, May 5, 2011).

Well, the real fact of the matter is, and this will be news to President Obama and perhaps many readers, Osama Bin Laden will yet again walk on the Earth! Yes, you read that correctly. There will be a “Second Coming” of this killer. And I’m not just talking metaphorically as when some other murderous Muslim fanatic commits similar crimes under the inspiration of Osama Bin Laden’s example.

How can I make such an assertion? Well, the fact of the matter is, as explained in multiple places in the Holy Scriptures, such a “Second Coming” is precisely what is going to happen to Osama Bin Laden. Notice this biblical prophecy foretelling what shall take place in the End Time:

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people [He is one of God’s archangels]. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:1-2 English Standard Version).

Even the New Covenant’s Apostle Paul asserted that bad men like Bin Laden will come to life again and walk on the Earth:

…there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust (Acts 25:15 ESV).

Why would God bother to bring back the bad guys? Well, God has a plan for every mortal human being including you, and me:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27 King James Version).

Jesus Christ himself, the Son of God, taught there is indeed coming a time of reckoning for all who have ever lived, including wicked men like Osama Bin Laden and all his al-Qaida crew of cutthroats:

Do not be surprised and wonder at this, for the time is coming when all those who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and they shall come out–those who have practiced doing good [will come out] to the resurrection of [new] life, and those who have done evil will be raised for judgment [raised to meet their sentence] (John 5:28-29 Amplified Version).

The fact of the matter is, the real judgment day is still to come when Bin Laden will stand in the docket to fully answer for his behaviour. I’m looking forward to having a courtroom seat to witness such an event. But in the meantime I’m making it my business to be among those whom God will call righteous rather than unrighteous. How about you?

Is Islam of the Devil?

Terry Jones, leader of a small Protestant church (Dove International Outreach Church in Gainesville, Florida) with about 30 members managed to capture worldwide attention, some would say notoriety, over his plan to burn copies of the Koran, the Islamic holy book on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington that killed almost 3,000 people.

Mr. Jones asserts that Jesus would have approved of his plan for “Burn a Koran Day”– if he had gone ahead with his symbolic protest. Some people have dismissed Terry Jones’ proposal to burn the Koran as merely an attention-seeking stunt by that preacher to help promote his book entitled “Islam Is of the Devil.”

Nevertheless, this non-event did occupy a significant amount of space in the media both in the West and the Muslim world. As of Sept. 13th, 16 protesters (14 Muslim Indians in Kashmir  plus two Afghanis in Afghanistan) and two Indian policemen have been killed, and scores injured as demonstrators attacked government buildings and burned a Christian school in a protest against the Koran burning that never took place.

One reader of Canada’s National Post newspaper blogged this reaction to a story about the widespread fears of Muslim violence voiced by many Western leaders such as Barak Obama who seem to be more willing to appease Muslim anger through self-censorship rather than defend their own citizens’ free speech rights:

“A Christian’s reaction to someone who burns a Bible: “I forgive you!” A Muslim’s reaction to someone who burns a Koran: “I will kill you!” Now you understand the basic difference between Christianity and Islam.”

Muslims presently account for 22% of the world’s population or 1.5 billion people. By the end of the 21st Century due to their polygamy and greater birth rate, they will account for about 50% of the world’s population.

Unfortunately, Islam and the Koran allow for neither freedom of conscience nor freedom of expression. Just ask yourself, “How many Christian cultural centres/house of worship have been built in or near the historic Ground Zero (Saudi Arabia) of the Islamic politico-religious movement during the last 50 years in order to take care of the spiritual needs of hundreds of thousands of Christian ex-pats working there? The answer is ZERO! And, did you know that any Saudi Arabian Muslim who converts to Christianity is automatically sentenced to death! Should freedom-loving Christians be concerned about such Muslim hypocrisy? Is Islam of the Devil as Pastor Terry Jones maintains?

For secularists this is an impossible question to ask much less answer since their knowledge and experience is limited to mere materialism. Consequently, spiritual understanding is beyond the grasp of most of our Western politicians. However, there is a Middle Easterner who can and did answer this question. His name is Jesus of Nazareth who is popularly called the Christ by Christians.

Surprising, we can simply answer the question of Islam’s moral parentage by answering the question as to Jesus’. Was Jesus the Son of God as well as the Son of Man?

The official Islamic point of view is as quoted:

“And they [Christians] say: ‘The Most Merciful [God] has taken [for Himself] a son.’ Assuredly you [Christians] utter a hideous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruin; that they [Christians] ascribe unto the Most Merciful a son, when it is not suitable for [the Majesty of] the Most Merciful that He should take a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Merciful as a slave,” (Koran 19:88-93).

The official Christian response is given in the gospel of the apostle John who personally worked with Jesus of Nazareth and wrote down his teachings. I will quote this passage substituting the name of one monotheistic people, the Jews, who claim Abraham as their ancestor (through Isaac and Jacob) for another, the Muslims,  (through Ishmael and Esau). See if this helps you answer this question.

John 8:31 (NKJV) Then Jesus said to those Muslims who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.   

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”   48 Then the Muslims answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

52 Then the Muslims said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

57 Then the Muslims said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” [Jesus was saying that pre-existing His human birth that He was the God of the Old Covenant who delivered the ancient Israelites from the oppressive hands of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. See Exodus 3:14.]

59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the [mosque], going through the midst of them, and so passed by.