New Jersey ELCA ‘Church’ Holds ‘Renaming’ Ceremony for Female Leader Who Wants to Be Called Peter

HOBOKEN, N.J. — An assembly that is a part of the apostate Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) held a “renaming” ceremony on Sunday for their female pastor, who wishes to present herself as a man and now go by the name Peter—after one of Jesus’ disciples.

St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church in Hoboken, New Jersey, whose motto is “Where tradition and inclusivity meet,” held the ceremony during the Sunday morning service on a day that is known to Lutherans as Transfiguration Sunday.

“Today, we are creating sacred space that allows our pastor to live more fully into who God is calling [her] to be,” it said in an online announcement. “We take a bold step in witnessing to the inclusiveness of God’s love for those within our church and society. Bless Peter with grace as [she] takes this new name!”

The ritual was led by Tracie Bartholomew, the “bishop” of the New Jersey Synod of the ELCA, who “blessed” leader Rose Beeson with water from the baptismal fountain to commemorate the changing of Beeson’s name to Peter.

Beeson said she chose the name Peter because the disciple’s persistence “resonated” with her. She explained that she has struggled with her identity from her youth, and felt “queer.”

“I wrestled with sex and gender from my teens into my early 20s,” Beeson told NJ.com, claiming that her life has now taken her on a “journey toward greater integrity to be the most fully present for the congregation and more honest and authentic and live what God is calling me to be.”

In its Facebook post announcing the ceremony, the St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran attempted to apply Galatians 3 to the occasion, which reads, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

While many congratulated Beeson online, some have expressed sorrow over the continuing apostasy among professing Christians.

“Ignoring the fact that God has called her to be a woman by virtue of having created her as a woman, Rose is using words like ‘honest’ and ‘authentic’ in dishonest and inauthentic ways. Sadly, with her dishonest and inauthentic sinful lifestyle, Rose has misled her congregation,” wrote John Ellis for PJ Media.

“St. Matthew Trinity prides itself on being gay-friendly, and Bishop Bartholomew is hoping that this renaming ceremony will open the door for other churches to allow confused and sick people to openly deny the identity that God gave them. Sadly, she’ll probably get her wish,” he lamented.

As previously reported, Scripture states that those who turn God’s creation “upside down” are like the clay telling the potter that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Romans 9:20 says, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, ‘Why hast thou made me thus?’”

Isaiah 29:16 also declares, “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay, for shall the work say of Him that made it, ‘He made me not?’ Or shall the thing framed say of Him that framed it, ‘He had no understanding?’”

Deuteronomy 22:5 further outlines, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”


ACLU Sues Alabama to Force Sex Change on Driver’s Licenses of ‘Transgender’ Residents

Photo Credit: Alabama Law Enforcement Agency

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama has filed a lawsuit against a number of state officials in an effort to force the Licensing Bureau of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to allow residents with gender dysphoria to be able to change their driver’s license to the opposite sex without having a “sex-change” operation.

“Defendants are responsible for the establishment and enforcement of a policy that prevents transgender people in Alabama from obtaining a driver license that reflects their gender, unless they undergo surgical procedures and disclose information about those procedures to the government,” the complaint reads. “Under the policy, proof of surgery is required for an accurate driver license regardless of whether the surgery is necessary, desired, safe, or within the financial means of the individual.”

The organization filed the challenge on behalf of two men who identify as women, and one man who identifies as a woman, who state that they have not been permitted to change their licenses without providing proof of surgery. It acknowledged that gender dysphoria is a medical condition and that standard treatments “do not ‘change’ a person’s gender.”

“Instead, it brings a person’s social interactions, appearance, and body into greater alignment with the person’s already-existing gender identity, which helps to alleviate the distress associated with gender dysphoria,” the lawsuit states.

However, the ACLU contends that even though hormone treatments, changes in appearance and surgery do not actually change the person’s sex, requiring those with gender dysphoria to carry documents that don’t reflect how they feel can be harmful.

“Forcing transgender people to use identity documents that do not match their gender identity, or forcing them to go without identity documents, is inconsistent with medical protocols. It can cause anxiety and distress to the transgender person and result in discrimination and violence against them,” it asserts.

The ACLU claims that Alabama’s policies violate the complainants’ right to privacy, as well as their right to refuse medical treatment that is undesired as some do not wish to obtain sex-change operations or cannot afford the procedures. One of the plaintiffs has obtained surgery, but officials have still declined to change his driver’s license

The organization is asking the court to declare Alabama’s policy unconstitutional, and to issue a injunction against their enforcement while ordering the state to change the sex marked on the complainants’ driver’s licenses.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has declined to comment on pending litigation.

Read the lawsuit in full here.

As previously reported, Scripture states that those who turn God’s creation “upside down” are like the clay telling the potter that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Romans 9:20 says, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, ‘Why hast thou made me thus?’”

Isaiah 29:16 also declares, “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay, for shall the work say of Him that made it, ‘He made me not?’ Or shall the thing framed say of Him that framed it, ‘He had no understanding?’”

Deuteronomy 22:5 further outlines, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

“Doth not even nature itself teach you that if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him?” 1 Corinthians 11:14 additionally notes.


Clergy Gather to ‘Bless’ Late-Term Abortion Facility, Claim Abortion Staff Work for God’s ‘Glory’

BETHESDA, Md. — Four clergy members who profess to be Christians and one rabbi gathered outside of a late-term abortion facility in Maryland on Monday to “bless” the location, which is run by notorious abortionist Leroy Carhart.

“God of grace and God of glory, in whom we move and live,” prayed Carlton Veazey, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.,“… keep them safe and keep them strong. And may they always know that all that they do is for Thy glory.”

Cari Jackson, who is ordained in the United Church of Christ and also works with the Coalition, was likewise present at Wildwood Medical Center for the occasion. According to the Washington Post, which first broke the story, the clergy members sprinkled water in each room of the abortion facility, as well as in the parking lot.

“We give honor to all of these women who choose to come to this space,” Jackson said. “We sanctify this space, and we honor this as holy.”

“May the one who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, bless and heal those who are ill,” it states. “May the blessed Holy One be filled with compassion for their health to be restored and their strength to be revived.”

Charles Feinberg, who served as rabbi of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. from 2006 to 2015, claimed to those gathered that Jewish leaders have believed for hundreds of years that a baby is not a person, and that killing a baby is only considered murder once he or she is born.

“Jewish rabbinic authorities, starting with the Middle Ages, say that a fetus is not a person,” he asserted. “Judaism has always said abortion is never murder. It may not be permitted, depending on the circumstances—how far along the pregnancy is, how seriously ill the mother-to-be is—but it is never murder. It only becomes that once the baby is born.”

Veazy likewise asserted that God is not against abortion because it “affirms a woman’s moral agency.”

“The Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to choose an abortion. But before the Supreme Court did it, God had already done it, because it affirms a woman’s moral agency,” he claimed.

A Hindu priest was supposed to have attended the interfaith event, but was not present.

As previously reported, last October, Carhart—who also operates an abortion facility in Nebraska—announced that he would be opening an office in the Wildwood Medical Center for “advanced gestation abortion care.” Abortion is legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy in Maryland.

Word of the new facility drew opposition from pro-life groups nationwide, which held a protest and press conference outside of the location and urged those concerned to call for the cancellation of Carhart’s lease. According to PrayforBethesda.com, demonstrations are being held outside of the facility on a weekly basis. Organizers also state that other businesses in the medical complex object to having an abortionist in the building.

Morbelli

As previously reported, Carhart became the subject of controversy in 2013 after mother Jennifer McKenna Morbelli, 29, died following complications from the abortion of her 33-week-old daughter, who she named Madison Leigh. Morbelli opted to have an abortion because the baby had fetal anomalies, reports state.

An autopsy later revealed that Morbelli died “due to or as a consequence of Amniotic Fluid Embolism following Medical Termination of Pregnancy,” or the existence of amniotic fluid in her bloodstream, which resulted in clotting.

The Maryland Board of Physicians agreed to investigate the matter following a complaint, but ultimately decided to take no action in the situation.

Carhart was also captured during an undercover investigation that same year likening the lifeless and “mushy” bodies of aborted babies to “meat in a crock pot.”

Click to enlarge

“So, what makes the baby ‘mushy?’” the woman, who posed as an abortion-minded mother, asked.

“The fact that it’s not alive for 2 to 3 days,” Carhart responded.

“Oh, so I’ll have a dead baby in me?” the woman inquired.

“For three days, yeah,” Carhart said.

“Will it start to decay or something?” the woman asked.

“No,” Carhart said. “It’s like putting meat in a crock pot. Okay? It doesn’t get broken. It gets softer. It doesn’t get infected.”

“Okay, so the dead baby in me is like meat in a crock pot,” the woman repeated.

“Pretty much,” Carhart replied. “Kinda much.”

While Carhart claims to “strongly” believe in God and had previously attended a Methodist church, Christians have long decried abortion in America as being the savage murder of innocent children. Even in 1872, preacher Thomas De Witt Talmage wrote in his book “The Abominations of Modern Society:”

“Herod’s massacre of the innocents was as nothing compared to that of millions and millions by what I shall call ante-natal murders. You may escape the grip of the law, because the existence of such life was not known by society, but I tell you that at last God will shove down on you the avalanche of His indignation, and though you may not have wielded knife or pistol in your deeds of darkness, yet, in the day when John Wilkes Booth and Antony Probst come to judgment, you will have on your brow the brand of murderer.”

Ecclesiastes 11:5 also reads, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”

Abortion is Murder from I’ll Be Honest on Vimeo.


Govt won’t back Islamic parallel legal system

Sharia councils will not be given state backing, the Government has said, as it warned against appearing to have a parallel legal system.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd was responding to a new report which considered how the councils operate in England and Wales.

Rudd said ministers would, however, consider a proposal to ensure civil marriages are conducted alongside Islamic marriages.

Unequal treatment

Baroness Cox, who has consistently campaigned on protecting women from sharia councils, told The Christian Institute: “The review confirms that Sharia law is being used in the UK as an alternative to the proper legal process.”

The study, which has been running for more than a year, found that sharia councils are almost exclusively used by women – 90 per cent of the time for divorce.

Concerning practices included women being treated unequally, “inappropriate” questioning and some council members having a poor grasp of English.

Oversight

The first recommendation was to amend legislation to “ensure that civil marriages are conducted before or at the same time as the Islamic marriage ceremony”.

It also backed a public information campaign to inform Muslims of their rights under the law.

The review’s third recommendation was to create a state-backed body to oversee sharia councils – a group it said could be similar to Ofsted.

Careful consideration

Responding for the Government, the Home Secretary said it would “carefully consider the review’s findings” but could not support the third recommendation.

Amber Rudd added: “Britain has a long tradition of freedom of worship and religious tolerance and regulation could add legitimacy to the perception of the existence of a parallel legal system even though the outcomes of Sharia Councils have no standing in civil law, as the independent review has made clear.”

Lady Cox, who is a patron of The Christian Institute, warned that the proposals to regulate sharia councils could have “unintended consequences”. She said: “Urgent action is required. But the rights of Muslim women, and the rule of law, must be upheld.”

Denied

Simon Calvert, a Deputy Director at The Christian Institute, welcomed the Government’s decision, saying some Muslims are led to believe sharia councils are “real courts”.

“Giving these institutions their own regulator would have granted them formal state recognition, greatly increasing their power over the communities where they operate.”

He added: “Muslims have the same legal rights as everyone else in this country. They shouldn’t be denied those rights by some kind of UK-sanctioned system of sharia courts.”


WHAT IF NORTH KOREA NUKED CALIFORNIA?

nuclear-TW

The inner voices speaking to Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea, finally convinced him to attack America. Without further reasoning or advice, Kim pushed the red button on his desk. His action set in motion the launching of five intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads aimed at California.

North Korean scientists calculated the ICBM flight times to be 38 minutes for covering the six thousand miles to their targets. Kim looked at his watch − 11 a.m.

When the U.S. Strategic Command finally decided to launch 20 interceptor missiles to defend America against the ICBM invasion, there were only 21 minutes on the clock. The missiles were launched from underground silos in Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The interceptor missiles blew four of the ICBMs out of the sky somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, but the fifth one continued unharmed toward its target. The eighty percent accuracy rate was far above all of the success rates ever achieved in tests for the interceptor missile system. After all, it’s a bullet aimed at a bullet!

The North Korean ICBM detonated 8,000 feet above Los Angeles at 7:08 in the morning.

An intense burst of light, a thousand times brighter than a streak of lightning, lit up the morning sky over Los Angeles. Anyone who looked directly at the light within a thirty-mile radius suffered temporary blindness or even worse − permanent loss of sight.

A super shock wave expanded outward from the explosion with a force of 320 tons per square inch, knocking down everything in its way. Super typhoid winds of 270 miles per hour followed the initial shock wave. Seconds later, the winds reversed themselves with equal intensity.

A mushroom-shaped cloud formed in the air, rising upward for several minutes.

Structures vaporized. Buildings collapsed. Fires burned everywhere. Gas mains exploded. Fuel tanks burst. Firestorms erupted. Temperatures rose above lethal levels. Oxygen depleted itself. Suffocation followed for tens of thousands of people. And then it rained. But the large drops of moisture from the nuclear reactions brought no relief because they were mixed with deadly radioactive fallout.

The heaviest damage occurred in a 10-mile radius of the bomb’s detonation.

For many in the blast areas, death provided a merciful exit from further suffering. Their agonies ended. Far less fortunate were the injured and unscathed whose worst nightmares had just begun.

A nightmare that would go on and on.

Trucks, autos and debris clogged the interstate highways, expressways and streets around LA. There were no avenues of access to the injured and dying in the blast areas.

But even so, the radioactive fallout made it unthinkable for medivac units to fly helicopters loaded with medical personnel to help the victims. They ended up setting up triage units outside the dangerous radioactive areas, waiting for survivors to come to them.

The president and governor went on TV, promising help for the victims, but they failed to mention their calls to the Region IX Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team. DMORT teams loaded with tens of thousands of body bags were already on their way to Southern California.

Yes, I know! This is a fictional depiction of a worst-case scenario. Who knows whether this will ever happen, right?

What do YOU think? Do you worry about North Korea nuking California? Sound off in today’s WND poll.

Lt. Gen. Russell Honore wrote about Hurricane Katrina in his book, “Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save You and Your Family from Disasters.”

“Those who planned ahead of time for a hurricane did not plan for a disaster; they planned for minor inconveniences. … Plans must be based on worst-case scenarios.”

How is it that Christians have less prophetic insight than the average doomsday prepper? How is it that we can look at our rebellious society and continue to live like everything will turn out OK for us? Are we that spiritually dull?

Or maybe Christians think we will be raptured out of here before the stuff hits the fan. If so, this is exactly what the Chinese Christians thought in China when Chairman Mao and his communist thugs took over the government. Hundreds of thousands of Christians ended up being buried in mass graves. So much for using the rapture as an escape route!

Do you realize Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday? His prophecy came to pass almost 40 years later when the Roman army headed by Gen. Titus totally destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD, killing nearly one million people.

But here’s some good news: A believer prophesied to the Jerusalem church a few years ahead of time. In the prophecy, Christians were reminded of Jesus’ Palm Sunday prophecy and warned about the soon coming devastation of Jerusalem by Rome. All were advised to flee the city.

Every Jerusalem Christian heeded the prophecy before 69 AD. They left their homes, their livelihoods and their Jewish friends, relocating to Pella and other Transjordan cities, 65 miles away.

Today’s Christians need to pay attention to the words of Lt. Gen. Russell Honore by making our survival plans based on worst-case scenarios. At the very least, we can stock a two-week supply of food, water, other needed supplies and potassium iodide tablets in our homes.

But also, we need to learn how to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit because who knows? Maybe someone will prophesy for all Christians to leave California.


PERSECUTION Palestinian kids’ TV makes hero of murderous jihadist

Kirkuk child bomber

Continuing the trend of making heroes out of cold-blooded killers, Palestinian children’s television recently aired a program that declares an Islamic terrorist who has murdered more than 100 Israeli Jews a “role model.”

In the kid’s 10-minute From My Country TV show, arch-terrorist Abu Jihad – who the Palestinian Authority (PA) credits with murdering at least 125 Israeli Jews – is touted as a “role model to be followed.”

“The opening of the weekly 10-minute program – which has been broadcast twice so far – shows a cube with photos of six different Palestinian personalities,” Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported. “One of them is terrorist Abu Jihad, who orchestrated numerous terror attacks against Israelis, among them the most lethal attack in Israel’s history – the Coastal Road Massacre – in which Palestinian terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 37 civilians, among them 12 children.”

‘Hometown’ hero?

In the Palestinian television program broadcasted with the goal of recruiting future jihadists to brutally take over Israel in the name of the Islamic god, Allah, the young host of the show introduces the latest installment by inciting nationalism through portraying Palestinians’ selfless commitment to improve their so-called “homeland,” despite their “struggle” with Israeli Jews.

“Hello, my dear friends, and welcome to the program From My Country,” the Palestinian host opens up, according to PMW. “You certainly know how beautiful our country is: its villages, cities, historical, religious, archaeological and tourist sites. The most beautiful thing is that all of this beauty of our country is reflected by great personalities who have given and are giving much to the homeland, whether in the political, literary, artistic or scientific struggle.”

He then colors the aggression against the Israelis as being motivated by oppression, insisting that “weapons” are a valuable tool for Palestinians to artistically express the depth of their plight and pride in “their” land.

“The prominent personalities struggled by way of pens, paintbrushes, words, weapons, and knowledge … to express our appreciat[ion] and follow the example of these symbols,” the host continued. ”Let us always keep them in our memories.”

Like clockwork, the children’s TV show ties militant Islamic personalities with their hometowns to instill a sense of pride and duty in Palestinian youth, with the first episode featuring PA President Mahmoud Abbas, of Safed, and the second installment noting that late Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-Ali was born and raised in Al-Shajara, where he accrued his jihadist beliefs.

“Each episode of From My Country is about a specific famous Palestinian personality and the town or city in ‘Palestine’ in which that person was born,” PMW’s Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Itamar Marcus announced on Wednesday. “The other ‘symbols’ included in the opening of the new PA TV children’s program are current PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Safed), former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat (Gaza), the Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish (Al-Birweh), and female singer Rim Banna (Nazareth). The opening lists the birth place of Abu Jihad as Ramle and Kanafani’s as Acre.”

Furry friends encourage brutal jihad

Abu Jihad is not the only character Palestinian children’s TV has used to motivate youngsters to take their place on the jihadist battlefield.

The long history of promoting jihad includes the use of Assud – a bunny character who was “martyred” in the name of jihad after he called for Palestinians to occupy Israeli cities to initiate an Islamic takeover of the land.

“We should teach our children that we have a land to which we must return: Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, and Tel Aviv,” the bunny character incited parents, according to WND. “We will return to all these cities, Allah willing.”

The use of animated and costumed characters to produce cold-blooded Muslim killers is nothing new.

“Palestinian television also featured the ‘martyrdom’ of Farfour, a Mickey Mouse-lookalike,” WND’s Bob Unruh reported.

Terrorist twos and sinister sixes

As early as two years old, Palestinian youth are told via their TV sets to annihilate their Jewish neighbors.

It was reported back in 2015 that a two-year-old Palestinian boy was broadcasted on official PA TV singing a song about his hope to become a martyr in the name of jihad – a tune that the Palestinian faction group, the Fatah Central Committee, claimed was instrumental in instilling a sense of belonging for Palestinians.

“Daddy, buy me a machine gun and a rifle [so I can kill Israelis],” the two-year-old sang, according to WND.

Another PA TV show around the same time featured two six-year-olds being interviewed in military fatigues, which each bragging that they aspired to “blow up the Jews” with ruthless determination. The questions were being asked by a girl just a little older than the boys, who posed the following inquiry to Muhammed – one of the two six-year-olds – about his poetry.

“Who taught this poem, Muhammad?” the young girl asked.

After the boy’s mother interjected that “Muhammad Ali Zakariya Al-Astal” taught the poem, the boy started reciting the following verses:

“Oh Jerusalem, I shall redeem you with my soul and my blood,” the boy orated the first verse before chanting two more. “I shall liberate you from the Jews by means of the Al-Qassam Brigades, of course. I bring glad tidings to our prisoners: Salvation is near.”

Inciting violent jihad through poetry is not the only way Palestinian children are taught to unload their indoctrinated hostility against Israeli Jews.

Zakaria, another interviewee, was asked about the reasoning behind his occupational choice on PA TV.

“[I want to be an engineer] so that I can blow up the Jews,” Zakaria proudly stated.

The program’s hostess then clarified to boy’s response.

“You want to blow up the Jews? No, we want to blow up the Zionists,” the TV personality corrected the boy. “You mean the occupation, right? Okay, so that is why you want to become an engineer?”

The use of Disney-like characters to incite jihad is not off limits to the Palestinians, either.

“In 2010, the terror group Hamas’ Al-Aqsa Television ‘martyred’ Assud and knocked off a Mickey Mouse-lookalike for the cause of jihad,” Unruh recounted.

Hellish holiday greetings

The same year, a “holiday song” credited to the world-recognized Palestinian terrorist group Hamas was performed by children and aired on Hamas Al-Aqsa TV.

The song, called “Give Us Our Pocket Money to Buy Guns and Wage Jihad,” or “Holiday Gun,” was sung by Palestinian youth MuhammadAl0Madhoun and Ibrahim Shek Khalil, and below is the script obtained by MEMRI:

Children’s choir: Dad, we put on our new clothes.

Give us our pocket money. Today is a holiday.

Dad, we put on our new clothes.

Give us our pocket money. Today is a holiday.

Me, my brother, and the neighborhood kids want to arm ourselves with guns.

Dad: My children, I’m worried about you.

This toy might harm your eyes.

My children, I’m worried about you.

This toy might harm your eyes.

Think about another toy.

You are the apple of my eye, may Allah protect you.

Child: Dad, we are a steadfast people.

These guns need hands to carry them.

Dad, we are a steadfast people.

These guns need hands to carry them.

Today we play, tomorrow we will wage Jihad.

How joyous my heart will be on the Day of Return.

Children’s choir: Dad, we put on our new clothes.

Give us our pocket money. Today is a holiday.

Dad, we put on our new clothes.

Give us our pocket money. Today is a holiday.

Me, my brother, and the neighborhood kids want to arm ourselves with guns.

Dad: Your words have filled my heart with joy.

How fortunate Al-Aqsa is to have boys like you.

Your words have filled my heart with joy.

How fortunate Al-Aqsa is to have boys like you.

Here’s your pocket money.

Go and buy yourself a gun.

Don’t shoot anyone but the enemy.

Child: Okay, Dad. Have a happy holiday.

How joyous my heart is when you put your hand in mine.

Okay, Dad. Have a happy holiday.

How joyous my heart is when you put your hand in mine.

I keep my light for my loved ones and my fire for the enemies.

What happiness!

What happiness!

Children’s choir: What happiness!

What happiness!


Man Accused of Assault Claims to Be a Boy Trapped in an Adult’s Body

Man Accused of Assault Claims to Be a Boy Trapped in an Adult’s Body

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities).

The stock market has added $6.9 trillion to US wealth since the 2016 election. According to the New York Times, “Every major economy on earth is expanding at once, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent.”

But while the economy is booming and prosperity is rising, another expansion is changing lives as well.

“The Gay Rights Movement Is Undoing Its Best Work”

Joseph Roman, age thirty-eight, has been charged with predatory criminal sexual assault. Prosecutors say he repeatedly attacked three girls who were six to eight years old at the time. During a hearing last week, prosecutors said Roman admitted to some of the attacks and told Chicago police “he is a 9-year-old trapped in an adult’s body.”

As our culture continues down the “truth is what you believe it to be” road, we can expect more people to claim the right to define themselves by whatever age, gender, or race they choose.

Practitioners of polyamory (“many loves” or non-monogamous relationships) are attempting to normalize their lifestyle in our culture. One writer now claims that “we need to question the limits we have placed on what counts as a ‘romantic’ relationship” (her emphasis). She is calling for the “freedom to love” as many people as we choose.

Andrew Sullivan is an openly gay conservative political commentator. He recently wrote a column for New York magazine titled, “The Gay Rights Movement Is Undoing Its Best Work.”

Sullivan celebrates the movement that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage. However, he warns that “the movement is now rhetorically as much about race and gender as it is about sexual orientation.”

In addition, it “prefers alternatives to marriage to marriage equality, sees white men as ‘problematic,’ masculinity as toxic, gender as fluid, and race as fundamental.” In his view, “live and let live” became “if you don’t believe gender is nonbinary, you’re a bigot.”

And a new study profiled in Time shows that married people who start watching pornography are twice as likely to be divorced in the following years than those who don’t. Women who start watching porn are three times more likely to get divorced.

“A massive upheaval designed to make man anew”

Steve Soukup is Vice President and Publisher of The Political Forum. In a recent column, he addressed the background of the sexual revolution transforming our culture.

He noted that, for centuries, our behavior was “constrained by fear of God, fear of societal rebuke or shame, and fear of the law.” This worldview began to crumble with the Enlightenment. The French Revolution sought to replace religion with reason, but the laws it constructed and enforced led to the execution of forty thousand people.

Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong each tried “to enforce ‘proper’ behavior through the force of law alone, with traditional social and moral constraints laid low.” Along the way, Lenin and Stalin murdered some thirty to forty million people; Mao nearly doubled those numbers in his “cultural revolution.”

In Soukup’s view, the sexual revolution is no different: “It too started with a massive upheaval, designed to make man anew, to change the human condition, and specifically to destroy the old ways, the old institutions, and the mores and the taboos that had existed since time immemorial.”

The moral consensus that existed prior to this “revolution” has been abolished. There are now no restraints on our behavior except those of arbitrary laws. And as we have seen, laws can be changed whenever our moral standards change.

“The victory that has overcome the world”

The catastrophic sexual revolution of recent decades generates daily headlines that can easily dishearten us. But know this: “The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty” (Psalm 29:4).

We see the power of God’s word at work in Mark 1: Jesus rebuked an evil spirit, and the crowd was astonished at his “new teaching with authority” (v. 27). As a result, “at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee” (v. 28).

In a Roman culture even more hedonistic than ours, the word of God, spread by the people of God, advanced the kingdom of God to the glory of God. They “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) and sparked the mightiest spiritual movement the world has ever seen.

Now God has called us to be his “ambassadors for Christ.” Our message is simple: “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20).

When we live by biblical morality, we can claim God’s promise: “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!” (Psalm 119:1). And when we stand publicly for biblical morality, we can claim his promise: “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

Let’s pray daily for the spiritual and moral awakening our culture needs. Let’s ask God to use our influence as examples and ambassadors for that awakening. And let’s remember that “this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Helen Keller was right: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”


Cuba: Christian Man is Arrested, Told ‘Our God is Fidel Castro’

Cuba: Christian Man is Arrested, Told 'Our God is Fidel Castro'

“Political police” allegedly beat a Cuban Christian man after his arrest last year for “pre-criminal social dangerousness,” according to a watchdog group’s report.

Watchdog group NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide says that Misael Diaz Paseiro was arrested on Oct. 22. State security agents confiscated two bibles, crucifixes and five rosaries from his house.

“Misael, in addition to being a counter-revolutionary, you are also a Christian,” CSW quoted a police official as telling Paseiro. “You should look at us, we are revolutionaries and we don’t believe in your God. Our god is Fidel Castro.”

Initially, Paseiro was not allowed access to his bible while in prison. He also was not allowed to have a priest visit.

In response, Paseiro’s wife, Ariana López Roque, went on a 19-day hunger strike.

 According to CSW, she ended her hunger strike after being told that her husband would have more rights while in prison.

In a report released this month by CSW, there were some 325 religious freedom violations in Cuba in 2017.

“CSW is deeply concerned by the growing number and severity of [religious freedom] violations reported by a wide variety of denominations and religious groups, which seem to show that the government is attempting to tighten its control over the activities and membership of religious groups,” the CSW report reads.

“It is essential that the European Union, the United States, and other governments in dialogue with Cuba use their positions to press for improvements to religious freedom and the general human rights situation in the country.”


Church of England Urges ‘Unconditional Affirmation of Trans People … Within the Church’

LONDON — The House of Bishops for the Church of England is urging its churches to affirm those who have gender dysphoria and says that “everyone’s Christian journey—like the journey to find one’s true identity—is unique.” The development has raised concern among evangelical groups, which state that the notion is an affront to the Creator and the gospel.

William Nye, the secretary for the House of Bishops, released a document this past week that provides an update on talks among Anglican leaders regarding the welcoming of “transgenders” into the assembly.

As previously reported, last July, the General Synod voted to approve a motion that “recognizing the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call[ed] on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”

Chris Newlands from Blackburn, Lancashire proposed the motion, stating, “I hope that we can make a powerful statement to say that we believe that trans people are cherished and loved by God, who created them, and is present through all the twists and turns of their lives.”

“I said, ‘Once you’ve been baptized, you’re baptized,’” Newlands recalled to the Guardian at that time. “[But] he said, ‘But I was baptized as a girl, under a different name.’”

“I said, ‘Let me have a think about it.’ So we did, and then we created a service, which was an affirmation of baptismal vows where we could introduce him to God with his new name and his new identity,” he said.

In this month’s guidance, the House of Bishops noted that a number of synod members agreed with Newlands, and pointed to the words of member Lucy Gorman, who asserted that the matter is ultimately about “having a church that is eager to make sure you feel safe and accepted.”

“The House of Bishops welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people, equally with all people, within the Church, the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that one body, into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit,” Nye wrote in all bold to emphasize the statement.

He also noted, in light of discussions as to whether a person’s “new identity” should be marked or recognized in any way in worship, that it had been decided by the House that individual ministers can use the existing Affirmation of Baptismal Faith, which it called “an ideal liturgical rite which trans people can use to mark this moment of personal renewal.”

“The Affirmation … gives priority to the original and authentic baptism of the individual, and the sacramental change it has effected, allowing someone who has undergone a serious and lasting change to re-dedicate their life and identity to Christ,” Nye stated.

“In inviting ministers to use this rite, the House wishes to point out that everyone’s Christian journey—like the journey to find one’s true identity—is unique and encourages ministers to treat these possible pastoral encounters accordingly,” he also asserted. “This approach, familiar to all who care for people during other major life events, takes into account each person’s unique experiences.”

Read the document in full here.

However, the release of the update from the synod drew concern from evangelical groups in the UK, including the organization Christian Concern, which opined that Nye’s words were an affront to the gospel.

“This is collusion with the blasphemous notion that someone can be ‘born in the wrong body.’ It is blasphemous because it claims that God gave a person ‘the wrong body,’ when the bodies of people suffering with gender dysphoria are usually perfectly healthy. Rather, it is their minds and souls that are the site of suffering and confusion,” it said in a statement.

“It is also collusion with hatred and resentment of the male or female body, something that goes directly against what God said when He created everything, namely that it was ‘very good’ (Genesis 1: 31),” the group also noted. “It is therefore an attack on the triune God as Creator of all things. The Christian faith makes no sense at all without the history of creation and fall.”

“Gender transition is actually a moment of personal rebellion against the way the person has been made by God. It is therefore a moment of personal rebellion against God. This should not be celebrated or marked by the church at all, let alone described as a ‘moment of personal renewal,’” it lamented.

Gavin Ashenden also wrote for Anglican Ink in July that the Church of England has presented a false Jesus to the world in matters of both homosexuality and transgenderism—which is especially dangerous and damning to those who are perishing.

“Where the real Jesus saves us from our sins and offers us renewal in the image and furthers the likeness of God, the fake Jesus offers to make us comfortable in our skins, cozy with our sexual appetites and untroubled by having the central areas of who we are off limits to the interference of God,” he outlined.

“This comes under the historic categories of both blasphemy and heresy,” Ashendon continued. “It interferes with peoples’ salvation. It replaces faith in the Living Christ with pseudo-therapy. It is an abandonment of the heart of the gospel; and this is done by people who when they use the words ‘Jesus, holy, love and acceptance,’ have twisted the words to mean very different things from what the Church has always intended.”

God’s law reads in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”


Illiterates, no-shows, all seniors graduate at DC high

Related image

Every single student – including students who do not show up for class for months and cannot read or write – received their diplomas at Ballou High School in Washington, D.C.

This liberal graduation trend is by no means a rare occurrence on high school campuses in the nation’s capital.

“Students across the city graduated despite having missed more than 30 days of school in a single course, findings from the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent investigation found,” Townhall reported. “The investigation is still ongoing, but parents’ demand for answers prompted city officials to share some initial findings.”

Schools for scandal


WAMU radio and NPR conducted an investigation exposing the reason why D.C. high schools – including the longtime academically challenged Ballou High School located in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods – had overwhelmingly high graduation rates. Soon after, a city-wide audit was conducted exposing what really went on behind school gates.

All 164 seniors at Ballou received diplomas – with dozens of them issued to students with excessively high rates of unexcused absences – and to top that off, every single graduate of the school applied to college and was accepted. This marvel – in an area of the nation that was amongst the lowest in high school graduation rates for years – was celebrated and covered by national media across the nation.

After scrutinizing hundreds of documents, chronic unexcused absenteeism was prevalent for numerous students, with half of Ballou’s graduates missing more than three months (60 days) of school.

“We reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a district employee shared the private documents,” NPR reported. “Half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present – missing more than 90 days of school.”

This fact – in and of itself – should have precluded most students from being eligible to receive diplomas.

“According to district policy, if a student misses a class 30 times, he should fail that course,” NPR’s Kate McGee informed. “Research shows that missing 10 percent of school – about two days per month – can negatively affect test scores, reduce academic growth and increase the chances a student will drop out.”

Unbelievable

Ballou High School history teacher Brian Butcher said that during his 20 years of teaching at low-performing schools from New York City to Florida, he never saw 12th-grade students who could not read and write, but admits that this was not the case at the D.C. school, where many students fit this description, yet nonetheless received diplomas and college acceptance.

“You saw kids walking across the stage, who, they’re nice young people, but they don’t deserve to be walking across the stage,” Butcher told NPR. “It was smoke and mirrors. That is what it was.”

After speaking with about a dozen current and recent teachers at Ballou, along with four recent graduates, a consistent story was uncovered by NPR and WAMU – that administration pressured teachers to pass students who were chronically absent … a fact of which students were well aware and took full advantage.

Feeling compelled to violate their conscience, Ballou teachers argue that moving students forward who do not deserve to be passed is a huge disservice to the school’s youth.

“It’s oppressive to the kids because you’re giving them a false sense of success,” a current Ballou teacher wishing to remain anonymous to keep her job contended.

Another Ballou teacher speaking on the condition of anonymity addressed the problem as a moral issue.

“To not prepare them is not ethical,” the D.C. high school instructor stressed, according to NPR.

Over the past two years, Morgan Williams taught health and physical education at Ballou and maintains that even though the gym was always full because students skipping other classes would congregate there, many of her students were chronically absent – despite her ignored pleas to administrators and counselors to remedy the situation.

“They’re not prepared to succeed,” Williams insisted, noting that students were being set up for failure because of the staff’s lack of expectations. “If I knew I could skip the whole semester and still pass, why would I try?”

Playing dumb is rewarded at Ballou – for teachers and students alike.

“Either you want your professional career on paper to look like you don’t know what you’re doing or you just skate by – play by the game,” a Ballou teacher wanting to remain anonymous to protect her job shared with NPR.”

And those who stay in the game score a win – at least in their bank account.

“If an evaluation score is high enough to reach the ‘highly effective’ status, teachers and administrators can receive $15,000 to $30,000 in bonuses,” McGee explained. “D.C. Public Schools wouldn’t tell us who gets a bonus, but teachers we spoke with didsay the possibility of such a large bonus increases the pressure on teachers to improve student numbers.”

Who’s accountable?

At a press conference addressing the graduation scandal on Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser appeared shocked and upset that students have erroneously been taught that they can move forward in life without making an effort.

“Our biggest responsibility is knowing that showing up half the time doesn’t work anywhere in life,” Bowser insisted, according to Townhall. “The huge investments we have made in our schools only work if students are sitting in the seats.”

The mayor claimed she is “not happy” about belatedly being told about the problems existing in the D.C. school system, maintaining after the superintendents’ review that it is “clear” that more in-depth evaluations must be made regarding what is truly going in inside high school gates.

“I’ll hold the chancellor accountable,” Bowser promised, Townhall reported.

The city is looking to replace Ballou High School Principal Yetunde Reeves after she was put on administrative leave following the scandal, and major changes are being made to reconfigure the faculty at the school, as well.

Local viewers were skeptical and blasted the school system and D.C. leadership in the comment section.

“Dr. Reeves should be prosecuted,” a local viewer demanded in the comment section, where many were skeptical about the announced changes that are being made, according to Townhall.

Another commenter lashed out at D.C. leadership and the school system over the scandal.

“Revoke every diploma of every student who failed to meet grad requirements,” one comment read. “Otherwise this is a cruel joke that will have a lasting impact on every DCPS graduate.”

Some commentators suggested that local parents homeschool their children and give up on the public education system in the nation’s capital altogether.

Early signs: Spiked test scores

What was happening at Ballou should come of little surprise to those keeping abreast of the changes – at least on paper – that have been taking place in D.C.’s public education system for some time.

“[On] July 13, 2010. Michelle Rhee, then D.C. schools chancellor, proclaimed at a news conference that Ballou High School was no longer ‘a symbol of what was going wrong in public education’ in the nation’s capital, but a sign of what was going right [because] standardized test proficiency scores had risen from single digits – though to still-failing rates,” the Washington Post reported last November. “Rhee’s patron, then-Mayor Adrian Fenty, stood at her side and called for ‘a big round of applause’ for Ballou’s teachers.”

But claps later turned to jeers.

“Fast-forward to Nov. 29, 2017: A new D.C. schools chancellor, Antwan Wilson, an admirer of Rhee, stood by his patron, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), a Fenty ally, at a news conference to defend allegations that many students who did not qualify for a diploma graduated from Ballou in 2017 – including some who could not read or write well,” the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss reported at the time. “Neither Wilson – who succeeded Kaya Henderson as chancellor in February – nor Bowser could refute the revelations about Ballou, outlined in an investigation by WAMU and NPR, but promised to investigate.”

Manipulating test scores to present a false perception that students were learning and excelling academically was a major component of boosting the graduation rate and padding salaries.

“Started by Rhee in 2007 and carried on by Henderson, the reforms relied on the use of standardized tests to evaluate students, schools and educators,” Strauss added. “They also included a groundbreaking performance pay system paid for by philanthropists, and chronic churn in teachers and principals. These reforms have not only failed to fix some long-standing problems in the system, but exacerbated others.”

Numbers speak volumes, and education officials in D.C. took full advantage of this fact.

“District officials like to tout rising standardized test scores as evidence of progress – as Bowser and Wilson did repeatedly,” Strauss pointed out in late November. “But the proficiency rates of D.C. district students today would still be considered failing in a high-performing district – and the D.C. system retains a stubborn, gaping achievement gap.”

Turning performance scores and graduation rates upside down was made possible by Rhee, who also used improved numbers to increase pay.

“A key reform was the employee assessment system known as IMPACT was spearheaded under Rhee by Henderson, her deputy, and initially relied heavily on student standardized test scores to evaluate every adult in the system, including custodians,” Strauss noted. “Although changes have been made, IMPACT still rewards teachers with bonuses based on student achievement, which is problematic for a few reasons.”

She went on to demonstrate that the evaluations were merely used to work toward the advantage of school district employees – not students.

“Assessment experts have warned against using test scores for high-stakes decisions on teachers, saying they are unreliable for those purposes, [a]nd Wilson, probably unwittingly, underscored another reason during the news conference,” Strauss continued. “He said that the Common Core test known as PARCC – given to D.C. students in different grades for annual accountability purposes – doesn’t actually assess what students learn in their classrooms. Later, however, he cited the dramatic rise in PARCC scores in the system as proof of progress. Progress of what?”

Turns out, instead of students learning from the tests, they were just used as pawns to forward the school system’s agenda to improve scores – and increase pay.

“Not surprisingly, he didn’t mention past episodes during the Rhee and Henderson administrations in which teachers were caught helping students on high-stakes standardized tests,” Strauss emphasized. “IMPACT provided an incentive for some to do that.”

With the manipulated test scores, chronic absenteeism and perfect graduation rate still under review, major changes are expected to take place at Ballou High well after probe results unfold when the district-wide investigation results are announced at the end of the month.