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from zerohedge:

Would leftists actually target a Christian school church service with a sexualized drag show?  Of course they would.  

Students at Manhattan’s Grace Church High School say they were supposed to attend Wednesday church services on April 27th, 2021 when they were greeted with a surprise substitution show featuring a dancing drag queen in orange go-go boots called “Brita Filter” (the symbolism of the stage name is unknown).  The event was sponsored by “Spectrum,” the school’s LGBT support club and members of the school faculty.

The students allege they felt pressured to participate and had to pretend they enjoyed the event.  Some Spectrum club members tapped teens on the shoulders and ordered them to stand for the show, while others handed out pride stickers and stated “Take one or you’re homophobic.”  Other kids got involved in the show and began twerking in the chapel.

After the dancing was over, Brita discussed being “pansexual.”

Said one student, “It’s notable that this person consistently called themselves fabulous and talented and beautiful. Not just once or twice, but over and over this person reassured themselves that way…”

The inherent narcissism of the pride movement is easily observed.  

The school website details their pride related programs and Brita Filter’s performance. 

Beyond the obvious affront to Christian doctrine, the trend of sexualized drag performances for kids sponsored by schools has become an epidemic.  Numerous schools over the past year have been caught secretly hosting drag queen shows without asking parents for permission.  The wider media exposure of these events has been met with attacks from leftists, claiming that there is no sexualization agenda in schools.       

The gaslighting has been rampant and the goal behind trans indoctrination and school drag shows is openly admitted:  It’s about political activism and normalization.

On TikTok, Brita bragged about the event:

“I literally went to church to teach the children today…A Catholic High School here in NYC invited me to their Pride Chapel. Visibility matters and I’m so honored to have had the chance to talk to you about my work as a LGBTQ+ Drag Queen Activist.”

Grace Church Schools plan to introduce pride events to younger middle schoolers as well, with lessons on the “history of the pride flag” and what it symbolizes. 

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What many Christian Prophecy Teachers and Prophecy followers do not understand is that the Anti-Christ system IS being set up, and it will all be ready and functioning when the “Man of Sin”, the Anti-Christ emerges.

What is also not understood or accepted is that Israel will be tied into that Anti-Christ system before the “Man of Sin” is revealed!

Israel has had the most draconian of COVID restrictions, vaccination programs, and lock-downs, now it is going to be one of the most Draconian in moving from paper currency or cash to a digital currency!

from themedialine:

ash deals exceeding 6,000 NIS ($1,700) will be illegal, as part of the effort to fight against money laundering and criminal activity; the law will exempt charitable institutions and trade with West Bank Palestinians

A new law is set take effect in Israel starting August 1 that will ban payments of large sums of money in cash and bank checks. The goal of the reform, according to a statement issued by Israel’s Tax Authority, is to fight organized crime, money laundering and tax noncompliance.

Under the new law, any payment to a business above 6,000 NIS ($1,700) must be made using alternative methods, such as a digital transfer or a debit card. Trading between private citizens who are not listed as business owners will be limited to 15,000 NIS ($4,360) in cash. In both cases, deals exceeding these sums can include a cash payment worth up to 10% of the total value of the deal. This is another step in Israel’s fight against the use of cash. Previously, cash up to the amount of 11,000 NIS ($3,200) could be used in business deals.

“We want the public to reduce the use of cash money,” Adv. Tamar Bracha, who is in charge of executing the law on behalf of Israel’s Tax Authority, told The Media Line. “The goal is to reduce cash fluidity in the market, mainly because crime organizations tend to rely on cash. By limiting the use of it, criminal activity is much harder to carry out.”

For that to happen, there must be less cash in the market.

Attorney Uri Goldman, an expert in tax civil and criminal law, and money laundering who represented clients in an appeal against the cash law in 2018, claims the main problem with the law is that it is simply not efficient.

“We were in the discussions about the bill. The data we brought showed that since the first phase of the law was in effect, the amount of cash on the market only increased. So clearly, something’s not working,” Goldman told The Media Line.

Goldman also explained the downside of the law. “When the bill passed there were over a million citizens without bank accounts in Israel. The law would prevent them from conducting any business and would, practically, turn 10% of the population into criminals,” he said.

There are some exemptions to the new law: charitable institutions, which are most common in ultra-Orthodox society; and trade with Palestinians from the West Bank, who are not citizens of Israel. In the case of the latter, deals including large amounts of cash will be allowed, yet they will require a detailed report to Israel’s Tax Authority.

Bracha says these exceptions are limited in time and are meant to help institutions and populations that have no other alternative, by giving them time to change their payments methods.

Goldman does not think this will help. “I don’t think anyone will find a solution,” he said. “This part of the law basically promises Palestinians from the West Bank and ultra-Orthodox Jews a way out. It’s unfair to the rest of the people, and I’m doubtful it will change in the future.”

The law, originally proposed in 2015, was initially approved in 2018. In its original form it included an article banning the private holding of large sums of cash money, and limiting the permitted sum to 50,000 NIS ($14,500). While this article did not pass at the time, Israel’s Finance Ministry intends to bring it to a vote in the country’s parliament again after the upcoming elections.

According to the Tax Authority, several other countries have parallel laws, and they have proven to be effective. Critics, however, think at least one aspect must change for the law to work.

“They should permit people, at least once, to declare all the cash money they have and put it in the bank. Otherwise, the cash might not be used like before, but it’s still out there, going around. If they find the legal way to do this, it could start a change,” Goldman said of the idea that he noted was suggested in the preliminary discussions about the law but was never approved.

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from zerohedge:

Most of the narratives surrounding the covid pandemic and the lockdowns were illogical and faulty, based in propaganda rather than science and fear instead of reason.  One key issue that was never addressed by lockdown proponents was the question of “risk.”  Doesn’t every individual have a natural right to take whatever risks they see as acceptable when it comes to their own health?  If a group of people want to go to a church service and take the risk that they might get covid, don’t they have the right to do that?

Of course, lockdown supporters will claim that those refusing to comply with mandates don’t have a right to put “other people at risk,” but how much risk from covid is there really?

According to dozens of independent and peer reviewed studies from around the world, the actual “risk” of death from covid is limited.  Studies indicate that the median Infection Fatality Rate (or Ratio) of covid is between 0.23% and 0.27% of the population.  This is the contrary mainstream science that the media rarely talks about.

So, 99.7% of all people (according to the science) on average face no mortal risk from the worst variants of covid.  IFR is in most cases the most accurate statistic on the death rate of a virus because it accounts for asymptomatic cases.  Case Fatality Rate (CFR), the stat often used more by the mainstream media, does not.  Even the World Health Organization notes on its website that:  “The true severity of a disease can be described by the Infection Fatality Ratio…”

When comparing covid to a virus like the Spanish Flu, which killed over 50 million people worldwide according to the CDC, one would think that there would be a measure of apprehension when it comes to violating the freedoms of the public.  Nope.  The relatively low level of risk associated with covid made no difference to governments or global institutions.  They charged forward like bulls in a china shop breaking everything in their path and treating unilateral “mandates” as if they were laws. 

Luckily, the tide has been slowly turning back and resistance to lockdowns and vaccine passports has been more pervasive than many officials seem to have expected.  In most conservative states within the US, the lockdowns ended quickly, within a few months in many cases, once it was realized that covid was not the population killer that the media, the CDC and the WHO had made it out to be.  Leftist blue states and countries like Canada were not so lucky.  

Canadian Pastor Artur Pawlowski experienced the full brunt of medical authoritarianism first hand when, on May 9, 2021, he sought to hold a church service for his congregants only to be arrested along with his brother Dawid Pawlowski for “inciting an in-person gathering.”  

In October of 2021, a Judge ruled that the Pastor was in violation of a covid health order.  The punishment was bizarre and Orwellian; he was heavily fined, and whenever he spoke publicly about covid he would be required to recite a government-approved statement saying that “most medical experts support social distancing, face masks, and vaccines.”  When the court says “most experts,” they are of course referring to government paid “experts.”  There are many medical experts that disagree with the efficacy of the lockdowns and other mandates.  

Researchers, with over 18,000 studies and after four levels of screening, found 24 papers that would provide a stringent comparison of lockdown effects. They found that lockdowns reduced covid mortality in the United States and Europe by only 0.2 percent on average. They also looked at forced shelter-in-place, which reduced mortality by only 2.9 percent on average.

The researchers had this final conclusion:

“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

This week an appeals court ruled that the Alberta Health Agency’s order prohibiting “illegal public gatherings” was “not sufficiently clear and unambiguous” in connection to the Pawlowskis.

“The Pawlowskis’ appeals are allowed. The finding of contempt and the sanction order are set aside. The fines that have been paid by them are to be reimbursed,” the three-member panel proclaimed in a 16-page ruling. 

Pawlowski grew up under communist rule in Poland and this is likely the root of his refusal to comply.  He’s seen all of this before, including the typical religious persecution inherent in communist societies. 

The legal victory is a clear reminder that the fear surrounding potential crisis events is often exploited and abused by governments to erase personal freedoms and legal protections.  It is these moments in history when individual rights are MORE important, not less, because whenever there is a crisis the worst types of tyrants tend to come out of the woodwork. 

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Peruse some the so called “Christian Blogs and you will see this is true:

“Almost nine out of 10 U.S. adults (88 percent) have an impure, unrecognizable worldview that is nothing more than a customized personal blend of disparate ideas adopted from multiple philosophies of life. This worldview is called Syncretism.

“People who are driven by this unique, highly individualized mishmash of ideas simply combine them into what is usually an inconsistent, sometimes internally contradictory, hot mess of a worldview. Syncretism reflects the superficial thinking and feelings-based decision-making that prevails in our cut-and-paste society.”

From Pajama Media:

This will perhaps come as a shock to them, but the doggedly secularist elites of 21st century America and Europe view Christianity, especially in its Evangelical and traditional Catholic assemblies, in much the same way as the Roman elites of the second-century empire viewed a movement that was then but a minor irritant.

Or to put it another way, George Soros and your buddies with the Davos Great Reset crowd, meet Emperor Marcus Aurelius and the Pax Romana.

For one thing, both eras feature widely diverse religious groups professing multiple understandings of and approaches to living a good life. As George Barna puts it in his latest American Worldview Inventory:

“Almost nine out of 10 U.S. adults (88 percent) have an impure, unrecognizable worldview that is nothing more than a customized personal blend of disparate ideas adopted from multiple philosophies of life. This worldview is called Syncretism.

“People who are driven by this unique, highly individualized mishmash of ideas simply combine them into what is usually an inconsistent, sometimes internally contradictory, hot mess of a worldview. Syncretism reflects the superficial thinking and feelings-based decision-making that prevails in our cut-and-paste society.”

The America that not so long ago was predominantly made up of people who considered themselves to be Christians, mostly of a Protestant persuasion but a great many Catholics as well, has degenerated into a “hot mess” that includes New Age spiritualism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Islamists, Buddhists, “Nones” and Atheists.

Compare that with the religious demographics of the second-century Roman Empire. In his The Patient Ferment of the Early Church, Alan Kreider tells us that “the Roman religious world was extremely tolerant, and many Roman citizens cobbled together religious lives as they participated in a wide range of religious observances.”

And remember, the Roman Empire of the second century stretched from Spain and Eastward across the entire Mediterranean Sea, covering most of Western and parts of Eastern Europe, as well as the entire expanse of North Africa from Morocco to Egypt, and thence throughout the Holy Land and into and somewhat beyond Mesopotamia.

Literally hundreds of tribes and dozens of nations, as well as countless local and national deities, languages, and traditions, were encompassed within the boundaries of the empire. Rome was tolerant of all of these so long as the Emperor was honored as divine and his governing authority respected.

But what of those Christians who refused to bow down to Marcus Aurelius and acknowledge him as one of the many gods? That inevitably led to frustration, then punishment, and finally persecution that saw Christians thrown to the lions simply because they admitted to being followers of Jesus Christ.

“But wait a minute,” you might be thinking, “nobody in the West today is murdering Christians by putting them in arenas to be torn apart and eaten by wild animals, so where’s the parallel here, Tapscott?” You’re right, of course; Christians aren’t being thus treated, at least not today, but that just indicates we haven’t quite reached the persecution stage.

But it takes little observational effort to see there are widespread and systematic efforts to punish Christians who refuse to bow to the secular agenda of the Great Reset elites in the United States and Europe.

Yes, the Supreme Court recently in a unanimous decision instructed Boston authorities that they cannot bar the display of a Christian flag on the public square simply because it represents a particular faith. But that case took years to make its way through the judicial system and cost thousands of dollars and hours to make a point that not so long ago nobody in America would question.

And consider the censorship that is endemic on social media of Christians who express agreement with the Biblical view that marriage is solely between a man and a woman. Of all the secular orthodoxies, the gay agenda is all but sacrosanct, and to dissent from it is to subject oneself to a variety of punishments.

Finally, are you aware that thousands of members of the U.S. military — men and women who have sworn to give their lives to protect your freedom and mine — are being tossed out of the service because they claimed a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine? The majority of these men and women are Evangelical Christians.

In Rome, tolerance meant as long as you bowed down to the Roman god, you could worship any other deity you chose. In America and Europe today, according to the International Institute for Religious Freedom, the fear of punishment for publicly expressing views consistent with traditional Christianity is so pervasive that there is a “widespread chilling effect” on such speech……

read the full article here.

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Webster’s Dictionary Goes Woke!

from The Dissenter:

In an era of subjectivism and confusion unlike any time in recorded history, one thing we’ve always been able to rely on is the objectivity of language. Historically, language has bound people groups together as they are able to communicate effectively and understand the thoughts and intentions of others through the words they speak.

Sadly, that is no longer the case as the woke crowd has been fighting long and hard to destroy objective truth.

In the midst of this war against truth has been the LGBTQ mob’s battle against gender. In the eyes of the woke camp, gender no longer has anything to do with one’s objective biological sex—it is nothing more than an expression of one’s subjective sexuality. In this imaginary world they’ve created, anything goes, and along with it, goes the language used to describe reality.

Such is the case with Merriam-Webster’s latest iteration of caving to the woke mob’s language demands. Merriam-Webster, one of the English-speaking world’s foremost dictionaries for everyday language, especially in the United States, has now redefined the word “female” to include men.

As you can see from a previous snapshot of Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, the term female included the following definitions:

Now, its current definition of female includes men who “identify” as female as its second definition, defining it as “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.”

Webster also defines “gender identity” as “a person’s internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male nor female,” which would include men who “identify” as women, or, as in its definition of female, “the opposite of male.”

We are at a turning point in society with the divide between the rational and the irrational continuing to widen. Society cannot continue to exist where such irrational behavior prevails. Sooner or later, something will have to give, and either the entire world caves to the ever-growing side of the irrational woke, or by the grace of God, a miracle would have to turn things around and bring this world back to sanity. Sadly, I see no evidence of that happening anytime soon. Pray that the Lord returns soon!

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from The Christian Post:

Seattle police arrested a street preacher on charges of being a risk to public safety for reading his Bible aloud at a public park near an LGBT pride event.

Matthew Meinecke, who identifies himself as The Seattle Preacher on Twitter, was surrounded by Seattle police officers as he was reading his Bible and was subsequently arrested and fingerprinted at a police station before being released.

“SPD has enough resources to send 10 police officers to arrest a preacher reading his Bible in a public park. Because it’s such a horrible crime now!” Meinecke wrote on Twitter, posting a video showing his arrest.

“So at this point, we can no longer stand by. The risk that you pose for public safety by remaining here can be mitigated if you leave. It’s your last chance,” a police officer can be heard saying.

The preacher told the officers, “I don’t want to leave because I’m not in danger.”

“I was at the Seattle Center, reading the Bible, not aggressively preaching, not stirring people up, not anything. People throwing things. People vandalizing our property. I think about 10 police officers showed up,” the pastor told journalist Jonathan Choe with the Discovery Institute.

“Your job is not to silence me and move me. Why are they so offended by words? I just believe in using the word of God.”

The preacher also posted a video showing a protester seizing his Bibles and ripping pages while shouting, “Get the f— out of here! Get your holy water off my ovaries, b—-! Get the f— out!”

Another person shouted at him, saying, “Forget about your imaginary fairy in the f—ing sky.”

Meinecke said he saw “a bunch of naked people walking around over here, not even 200 feet away. … Naked grown men around little children.”

Last weekend, Meinecke was also arrested during a Roe v. Wade protest, Choe added on Twitter. “Far-left extremists ripped up his Bible and assaulted him. But they got away.”

In a video Meinecke shared online, he added: “We’ve got a city full of crime. We’ve got needles all over the place. Lawless homeless camps everywhere. We’ve got assaults. We’ve got broken glass. We’ve got Antifa running the place. But they’ve got time to send in 10 police officers to arrest a street preacher reading his Bible in a park.”

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Prophetic!

from National Interest:

It seems increasingly likely that Israel will strike Iran to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran, Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett warned on June 12, “is dangerously close to getting their hands on a nuclear weapon.” In an interview with The Telegraph, the premier pointed out that “Iran is enriching uranium at an unprecedented rate.” Bennett added: “Iran’s nuclear program won’t stop until it’s stopped.”

Bennett isn’t alone in expressing concern.

The United States has also raised alarm. In a March 2022 hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) observed that “Iran has made key advances” and has “decreased its [nuclear] breakout time to several weeks from a year” compared to what it was under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal. Indeed, in April 2022, U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said that Iran’s breakout time was “down to a couple of weeks.”

On June 6, 2022, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said that Tehran was “very close” to crossing the nuclear threshold and that it “cannot be avoided at this point.” Grossi also presented the board with a report “showing that Iran effectively already has enough enriched uranium for three bombs,” the news service JNS reported.

Grossi also told the IAEA’s board of governors that “Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible in relation to the Agency’s findings at three undeclared locations in Iran.” Grossi noted that Iran has also failed to provide the IAEA with “the current location, or locations, of the nuclear material and/or of the equipment contaminated with the nuclear material” that was moved from the site of Turquzabad in 2018.

Adding to concerns, the Islamic Republic has begun installing advanced IR-6 centrifuges at its underground enrichment plant in Natanz and has said that it plans to install more at other sites. The centrifuges will enable the Islamic Republic to increase enrichment by as much as 50 percent.

The agency formally censured Iran for its activities.

In response, the Islamic Republic called the IAEA “ungrateful” and cut off the agency’s camera feeds which monitor Tehran’s nuclear activities at declared facilities. This, Grossi asserted, was a “fatal blow” to negotiations between the United States and Tehran over its nuclear weapons program. But this overlooks some key points.

As Reuters, among others, has noted, the IAEA hasn’t had access to the data collected by the cameras for more than a year. The agency “hopes that it will gain access to that data, which remains with Iran, at a later date.”

Hope, however, is not a good basis for policy—particularly when it’s a policy designed to prevent the world’s leading state sponsor of terror from acquiring nuclear weapons.

But while several analysts have pointed to a stall in U.S.-Iran negotiations as increasing tensions and making a breakout possible, it is worth noting the following: the very terms of the JCPOA did not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. And Israel will not allow the Islamic Republic to become such a power. It is that simple.

The JCPOA’s sunset provisions and poor verifications regime enabled Iran to eventually join the nuclear club. Indeed, in a 2015 interview, then-President Barack Obama admitted that the deal would enable Iran to have “near zero” breakout time in as little as thirteen years—or six years from now.

But even this assessment was overly optimistic: the JCPOA did not require Iran to come clean about its past nuclear behavior—thus preventing an accurate benchmark of its progress. Similarly, the JCPOA only allowed inspections at “declared” facilities. And it didn’t fully restrict research and development in key areas, thereby allowing Iran to reduce the time of a nuclear breakout potentially further. This, of course, is to say nothing of the decision by JCPOA architects not to address Iran’s other “malign activities”—code for its support for terrorism and development of intercontinental ballistic missiles, among other things.

The limits of that policy were highlighted in 2018 when Israel revealed that it had broken into Iran’s so-called “nuclear archive.” The findings, later authenticated by the United States, showed that Iran not only lied about its nuclear program but was engaged in hiding it during negotiations with the United States and others.

Iran may lie about its nuclear activities, but it doesn’t always hide its intentions.

Regime apparatchiks from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on down have called for Israel’s destruction. The history of both the Jewish people and the Jewish state show that such calls aren’t to be taken lightly.

In June 1981, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) successfully took out Iraq’s nuclear reactor. And in September 2007, the IDF carried out a strike against Syria’s nuclear program. Israel has been clear: it will not tolerate a hostile power acquiring nuclear weapons. But this time promises to be different.

Unlike the 1981 and 2007 strikes, Israel faces a more difficult security predicament. The Islamic Republic has proxies wrapped around Israel like a snake. Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Gaza’s Hamas are funded, trained, and equipped by Tehran. And both have documented histories of using human shields.

Hezbollah alone is widely regarded as the most well-armed terrorist group in the world and maintains a global presence with operatives in dozens of countries. And it has carried out attacks against Jewish communities worldwide, murdering hundreds.

Similarly, Iran is also deeply embedded in both Syria and Iraq, with capabilities to strike Israel from these satrapies.

In recent weeks, Israel has carried out several targeted assassinations in Iran itself, taking out top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) operatives as well as nuclear scientists. It is not the first time that Israel has taken out high-level targets inside Iran. But the increase in strikes—nearly half a dozen in less than a month—suggests a shift.

Ditto for Bennett’s vow to implement the “Octopus Doctrine.” The Israeli prime minister recently stated: “We no longer play with the tentacles, with Iran’s proxies: we’ve created a new equation by going for the head.” By letting Tehran know that it can and will be struck, Israel is changing the rules of the game. Jerusalem is no longer content to “mow the grass”—an expression for strategically limited strikes—but is upping the ante in response to what it sees as a growing threat.

Israel has also stepped up the scale and scope of its strikes in Syria, recently hitting the Damascus airport. The IDF recently held the largest military drill in decades, dubbed “Chariots of Fire.” In its own words, the exercises “aim to both increase the IDF’s defensive readiness and examine its preparedness for an intensive and prolonged campaign.”

In late May 2022, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) conducted drills which included “long-range flights, aerial refueling and striking distant targets.” It was, the Times of Israel noted, meant to simulate striking Iranian nuclear facilities. According to Israel’s Channel 13 news, the exercises spanned more than 10,000 kilometers and included more than 100 aircraft and navy submarines.

The IAF, the Jerusalem Post reported in early June 2022, can now fly F-35 fighter jets from Israel to Iran without refueling. And now they can be equipped with a new one-ton bomb “that can be carried inside the plane’s internal weapons compartment without jeopardizing its stealth radar signature.”

The IDF is, of course, an exceptionally well-trained military. It isn’t a stranger to major drills and exercises. But it seems clear that something is afoot and the parameters of the long-running conflict between Israel and Iran are changing. Coupled with Tehran’s imminent “nuclear break out,” such developments indicate that Jerusalem is doing more than mowing the grass—it might be preparing to get rid of the entire yard.

Should Israel strike Iran’s nuclear facilities it would likely bring about the worst war that the Middle East has seen in decades—if not longer. The conflict that would follow would look nothing like many of the recent wars between Israel and Iranian proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah. For both Israel and the Islamic Republic, it would be an existential battle, with the fate of both the Jewish state and the regime in Tehran hinging on the war’s outcome. The losses and destruction would be devastating.

Hezbollah is estimated to have 130-150,000 rockets and missiles and Hamas is thought to have at least 30,000. Both hide their arsenals behind human shields.

Indeed, according to a 2021 study by the Alma Center, numerous Hezbollah military sites in southern Lebanon are “located in buildings within populated villages and areas very close to villages.” Researcher Tal Beeri found that “each of the 200 Shi’ite villages in the area south of the Zaharani River up to the border with Israel and the adjacent areas have become part of Hezbollah’s military infrastructure,” constituting part of the terror group’s “regional defensive plan.” Further away, Hezbollah is also firmly ensconced in major cities like Beirut.

And costs will likely extend beyond the Middle East. Iranian proxies have shown themselves to be capable of attacking both Jewish and American targets throughout the world. It also seems likely that a war will fuel anti-Semitic attacks in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere—just as the conflict between Iranian proxies and Israel did in the spring of 2021.

And, of course, a major war will also upset already-strained global energy markets. It will also usher in a harsh verdict on both U.S. nonproliferation policy and credibility in the region.

The Middle East isn’t short of kindling or matches. And it looks ready to explode.

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from Got Questions:

The Bible never specifically addresses the issue of abortion. However, there are numerous teachings in Scripture that make it abundantly clear what God’s view of abortion is.

Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb. Psalm 139:13–16 speaks of God’s active role in our creation and formation in the womb. Exodus 21:22–25 prescribes the same penalty—death—for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb as for someone who commits murder. This law and its punishment clearly indicate that God considers a baby in the womb to be just as much a human being as a full-grown adult. For the Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose to have a baby. The baby is already present and living. Abortion is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27; 9:6).

What does the Bible say about abortion? Simply put, abortion is murder. It is the killing of a human being created in the image of God.

A common argument against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about cases of rape and/or incest?” As difficult as it would be to become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, is the murder of a baby the solution? Two wrongs do not make a right. Intentionally killing the unborn child is not the answer. Also, keep in mind that having an abortion is a traumatic experience. It seems nonsensical to add an additional trauma to the woman. Too, abortion can be a means of rapists covering up their crimes. For example, if a minor is molested and becomes pregnant and then is taken to have an abortion, the molestation could continue without penalty. Abortion will never erase the pain of rape or incest, but it very well may add to it.

A child who is conceived through rape or incest is as much made in the image of God as any other human. That child’s life should be protected just as much as the life of any other human being. The circumstances of conception never determine the worth of a person or that person’s future. The baby in this situation is completely innocent and should not be punished for the evil act of his or her father. Depending on the situation, the mother might choose to raise the child. If she does not already have a community of support, there are many organizations and local churches ready to walk alongside her. Or she might place the child for adoption. There are many families, some unable to have children on their own, who stand ready to receive and love a child from any background.

It’s also important to keep in mind that abortions due to rape or incest account for a very small percentage of total abortions: only 1 percent of abortions can be traced to cases of rape or incest (Torres and Forrest, cited by Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health and the Alan Guttmacher Institute in An Overview of Abortion in the United States, October 2001, www.abortionfacts.com/facts/8#cite-1, accessed 9/9/21).

Another argument often used against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about when the life of the mother is at risk?” Honestly, this is the most difficult question to answer on the issue of abortion. First, let’s remember that such a situation is exceedingly rare. Dr. Landrum Shettles, a pioneer in the field of in vitro fertilization, wrote, “Less than 1 percent of all abortions are performed to save the mother’s life” (Landrum Shettles and David Rorvik, Rites of Life, Zondervan Publishing House, 1983, p. 129). Dr. Irving Cushner, Professor of Obstetrics at the UCLA School of Medicine, when testifying before the U. S. Senate, was asked how often abortions are necessary to save the life of the mother or to preserve her physical health. His response: “In this country, about 1 percent” (testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution of the United States on October 14, 1981, quoted in The Village Voice, July 16, 1985).

Other medical professionals go further, stating that abortion is never necessary to save the mother’s life. Over 1,000 OB-GYNs and maternal healthcare experts signed a statement in 2012, saying, in part, “As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion—the purposeful destruction of the unborn child—is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman” (Dublin Declaration on Maternal Health, www.dublindeclaration.com, accessed 9/9/21). Further, in 2019, “medical leaders representing more than 30,000 doctors said intentionally killing a late-term unborn baby in an abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life” (www.lifenews.com/2019/03/05/30000-doctors-say-abortion-is-never-medically-necessary-to-save-a-mothers-life, accessed 9/9/21).

Second, let’s remember that God is a God of miracles. He can preserve the life of a mother and her child despite all the medical odds being against it. Third, even in the small percentage of abortions performed to save the life of the mother, most of those abortions can be prevented by an early induced delivery of the baby or a C-section. It is extremely rare that a baby must be actively aborted in order to save the life of the mother. Ultimately, if the life of the mother is genuinely at risk, the course of action can only be decided by the woman, her doctor, oftentimes the father of the child, and God. Any woman facing this extremely difficult situation should pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) as to what He would have her do.

The overwhelming majority of abortions performed today involve women who simply do not want to have the baby. As indicated above, just 2 percent of abortions are for the reason of rape, incest, or the mother’s life being at risk. Even in these more difficult 2 percent of instances, abortion should never be the first option. The life of a human being in the womb is worth every effort to preserve.

For those who have had an abortion, remember that the sin of abortion is no less forgivable than any other sin. Through faith in Christ, all sins can be forgiven (John 3:16; Romans 8:1; Colossians 1:14). A woman who has had an abortion, a man who has encouraged an abortion, and a doctor who has performed an abortion—all can be forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ.

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from The Federalist:

The right has come to expect transgender accolades in the corporate media, with networks such as CNN and MSNBC perpetually promoting that left-wing ideology. But conservative viewers were stunned on Friday to see that radical narrative being pushed by the only major cable network still sympathetic to their views: Fox News.

As part of its push for Pride Month, Fox aired a segment about a family who transitioned their now-14-year-old daughter when she was only 5 years old because, as Fox said, “before Ryland could even speak, ‘he’ managed to tell his parents that he is a boy.”

The entire segment, about Ryland Whittington and the rest of the family, was trans propaganda. It legitimized the idea that incoherent toddlers can discern their sex, that sterilizing children is compatible with “Christian faith,” that pumping wrong-sex hormones into young bodies protects them from suicide, and that pretending a girl is actually a boy is what “living authentically” looks like.

Fox News viewers felt deep betrayal — not only because the segment promoted the abuse of children and flew in the face of everything they stand for, but because in a culture where the left controls virtually every major institution, corrupting the few remaining places conservatives have a home with lies throws the game away.

Aside from a shrinking batch of good churches that still preach the gospel and the remaining nuclear families that have prevailed against societal odds, the left dominates all major institutions.

It controls universities, which it uses to pump out political activists with otherwise-useless degrees and silence students who dissent.

The left dominates health care, where conservatives are made to quit or violate their consciences over experimental vaccines, gender-bending procedures, and the killing of the unborn.

The left owns big tech, which routinely censors any deviation from the leftist script and props up Democrat political candidates and policies.

It controls taxpayer-funded public schools, which are weaponized to instill radical ideas about race and sex in young minds.

It dominates the FBI and the rest of the deep state, which it uses to harass and intimidate conservatives.

It’s captured the military, which now prioritizes nonsense diversity and inclusion quotas over ability and preparedness.

The left even controls language, with leftists deciding how words are defined in the dictionary and how media are instructed to communicate (such as using the plural pronoun “they” to refer to a singular person who rejects the realities of sex).

Likewise, the left controls corporate media, from print newspapers at The Washington Post and The New York Times to a plethora of cable news networks that shape the way Americans across the country see the world through both overt left-wing rhetoric and subtle framing. Every day, the left-wing media tells the country what they should care about through what they cover versus what they conceal.

Fox News, along with a few online conservative publications, was one of the few remaining places normal Americans, abandoned and despised by every other institution, could count on to give it to them straight. Fox was a network conservatives could trust to give them cultural courage: To say, no, violent riots are not peaceful protests; yes, critical race theory has infiltrated classrooms; no, boys are not girls and girls are not boys. But on Friday, viewers were betrayed.

By lying that a 14-year-old girl is actually a 14-year-old boy, Fox News threatened its spot as a trustworthy network — for now. But the network has a choice.

First, it must not allow rogue producers and so-called reporters to call the shots and lean into lefty gimmicks like Pride Month. Those who greenlighted a transgender-accolades segment should be called to account and probably fired. Otherwise, honest employees and contributors should resign — and Americans will stop watching.

We can be force-fed trans fodder from anywhere. Why on earth would we put up with it from Fox?

But because the right has so few safe harbors, Fox News has a real opportunity here, and it must meet the moment. If it cares about its viewers, and therefore its revenue, it must own up to its mistake.

Americans crave the type of call-it-like-you-see-it programming they could count on from Fox. They need the one network that’s willing to air anything but the sham Jan. 6 show trial that nobody but Liz Cheney and Nancy Pelosi cares about. The one network where someone can say, no, actually we shouldn’t go to war with Russia. No, the Capitol riot wasn’t an insurrection. No, the president isn’t cognitively fine. This is the way.

The left owns way too much cultural ground for conservatives to watch one of its few remaining harbors like Fox News give the game away. It’s time for Fox to come back to its viewers so its viewers can come back to Fox.

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Deuteronomy 22:5

“A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

from The Spectator:

In a new poem, a gender-bending minister for the nation’s third-largest denomination says that queerness is divine.

Last year, the United Methodist Church accepted Isaac Simmons, who regularly preaches dressed as a drag queen under the name Ms. Penny Cost, as a candidate for ordination. Since that time, Simmons, who serves as an associate pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Illinois, has challenged basic theological concepts, projecting a worldview where divinity rests not in God but in queerness. 

In a church preparing to split over LGBTQ issues, the drag queen pastor, who embraces queer theology while barely attempting to plaster on the basic tenets of Christian theology, has become a lightning rod. Conservatives argue that Simmons’ role as a celebrated figure among progressive Methodists proves the church has become so radically liberal as to forswear Christ. Progressives promote Simmons and invite him to preach in drag as a way to challenge the conservative position on sexuality that the denomination officially still takes. 

The United Methodist Church was ready to split in 2020, but that has been postponed until 2024 because its quadrennial general conference was canceled due to COVID-19. The liberal wing will retain the denomination’s name and permit same-sex marriage while the conservatives will join a new denomination where same-sex marriage is forbidden.

Simmons has published a new video of himself performing slam poetry in what may be his most provocative repudiation of traditional Christianity and embrace of queer spirituality.

“God is nothing,” the self-described “dragavangelist” repeats throughout the poem, adding, “the Bible is nothing” and “religion is nothing.” In the end, he concludes God and the Bible are nothing “unless we wield it into something.”

“God must be f***ing nothing,” he says, “if her boundaryless, transubstantiated bodies of color are run down, beaten, and strewn in the streets of America instead of ruling the runways of life.”

He speaks of God not as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but rather as the source of queerness, describing him as “nothing but a drag queen with a microphone of biblical f***ing proportions,” “nothing, but if she were, she would be ‘yes, queen’-ing her way down the runways of Paris and Montreal,” and “nothing, but if she were, she would be a seamstress of divide couture, weaving together string theory and self portraits to form the fiercest gowns of queer existence.”

He believes humanity, then, is an emanation of that divine queerness: “From under a shroud of secrecy came the beauty of humanity, humanity made in the gender-bending, identity-breaking, system-shaking image of God, the imago Dei.” He refers to humanity as “God’s queerly anointed creation.” 

Simmons writes that the poem is “directed to those who actively and passively cause harm against the LGBTQIA2S+ Community due to their understandings of Scripture.”

The formation of the new Methodist denomination for fleeing conservatives, the Global Methodist Church, was announced May 1. Conservatives are pointing to Simmons to encourage individual churches to join. A church court ruled that individual churches, not conferences, must be the ones to leave the United Methodist Church, even though whole conferences in Georgia and Florida wanted to join the Global Methodist Church. One hundred seven churches in Florida have already left even though the split has not yet officially occurred. 

Simmons said he has received hateful comments as a result of the conservative backlash. A group is trying to get his name removed from the list of candidates certified for ordination in the Methodist Church, he said Monday. The Institute on Religion and Democracy, which advocates for conservative theology in mainline Protestant churches, reported on his approval for ordination, generating wider attention (Simmons recently accused it of defamation).

At the same time, Simmons says he has received copious support. Many official bodies of the church are promoting him and inviting him to speak. He was featured in glowing terms, for instance, in a video produced by the United Methodist News Service. 

Simmons’ slam poem is where he declares most clearly his disbelief in the God of traditional Christianity, but he has repeatedly preached sermons where he upholds LGBTQ identity as divine. 

He describes drag as a spiritual experience that allows him to connect with God. “Drag allows me to process the mystery of myself, the mystery of God, the mystery of love, and the mystery of pain,” he said. “When I walk the streets in six-inch heels and wear four pounds of hair, double-stacked wigs, the power which lies within my mystery is released into the world. When I paint my face, meditating upon those who came before me, my spiritual ancestors, I can reach into a deeper part of my soul.”

“Drag allows me not only to celebrate the divine surety that dwells within me,” Simmons said, “it allows me to show others how to celebrate it themself.”

In this theology, baptism and repentance are replaced by coming out of the closet: “There is holy liberation occurring when folks feel they can release the mysterious secret shrouded by society,” he preached. “There is holiness in queerness.” 

In April, a Southern Baptist pastor, Al Mohler, said the United Methodist Church’s decision to make Simmons a certified candidate for ordination was “an intentional refutation and revolt against the very order of creation that God has given us, and a direct violation of the clear teachings of Scripture concerning the fact that those whom God has made as men should identify as men.”

“This is open revolt,” Mohler said, “and of course, you’re going to see a division between those who are appalled by it, deeply troubled by it, deeply concerned by it and opposed to it on the one hand, and those who celebrate it and say that it’s arrived far too late on the other hand.”

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