In 2008, many voters who did not cast a ballot for Barack Obama were disappointed but philosophical.

Life must go on, we figured.

We then hoped that a Republican would defeat him in 2012, but such was not the case. Again, we were disappointed but philosophical.

Now, finally, a Republican has won the election. Donald Trump’s voters are cautiously optimistic about the Electoral College vote despite the Jill Stein recounts and look forward to a safe inauguration in January.

Trump voters bear no ill will towards Hillary voters. We understand that some people are lifelong Democrats who still romanticise the party, recalling the days of FDR and Harry Truman. That’s okay.

However, Hillary’s voters are still apoplectic. The_Donald has a full list (language alert in comments) of the violence angry leftists have committed against people of all ages — including children — who like Trump. There were also leftists who didn’t physically or verbally lash out but lied about Trump supporters attacking them.

One of the incidents on the list concerns a news item published on December 1 in the Observer-Reporter in Washington County, Pennsylvania. A 27-year-old man brutally assaulted his 69-year-old neighbour in a block of flats. This took place just a few days before Thanksgiving (emphases mine):

Matthew Pugh, 27 … was arrested Wednesday on a warrant obtained by Donora police on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

Borough police were called to the apartment complex Nov. 20. Witnesses told police that Pugh and the woman, also a Donora Towers resident, were in the lobby when they got into a disagreement about politics, particularly the recent presidential election.

Pugh reportedly became enraged. He allegedly picked up a chair and hit the woman over the head, knocking her to the floor. The chair opened a gash on her head that bled severely, police said. The woman also suffered other injuries in the fall

The woman was taken to Monongahela Valley Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Police said Pugh was taken to the same hospital for an evaluation.

Pugh was arraigned before District Judge Larry Hopkins and placed in Washington County jail on $50,000 bond. He is scheduled for a Dec. 14 preliminary hearing before District Judge Mark Wilson.

An article by Dennis Prager for Townhall described the madness surrounding Thanksgiving celebrations. A number of Hillary voters decided to not participate with Trump-voting family members. This affected all generations and, yes, some parents disowned their Trump-supporting children.

This will probably recur at Christmas. I highly recommend everyone read Prager’s ’10 Reasons Left-Wingers Cut Trump Voters From Their Lives’. Excerpts follow:

… conservatives were not one whit less fearful of Clinton and the Democrats than Democrats were of Trump and Republicans.

Yet virtually no conservatives cut off contact with friends, let alone parents, who supported Clinton.

Exactly.

Here are 10 reasons left-wingers cut Trump voters from their lives.

1. Just like our universities shut out conservative ideas and speakers, more and more individuals on the left now shut out conservative friends and relatives as well as conservative ideas.

2. Many, if not most, leftists have been indoctrinated with leftism their entire lives …

There are far more conservatives who read articles, listen to and watch broadcasts of the left and have studied under left-wing teachers than there are people on the left who have read, listened to or watched anything of the right or taken classes with conservative instructors.

3. Most left-wing positions are emotion-based. That’s a major reason people who hold leftist views will sever relations with people they previously cared for or even loved. Their emotions (in this case, irrational fear and hatred) simply overwhelm them.

This is why I occasionally make the plea for less emotion, especially crying. It interferes with a rational thought process.

4. Since Karl Marx, leftists have loved ideas more than people. All Trump voters who have been cut off by children, in-laws and lifelong friends now know how true that is …

5. People on the right think that most people on the left are wrong; people on the left think that most people on the right are evil

That is a very important distinction: wrong versus evil. Wrong has to do with thoughts and beliefs. Evil implies dark immorality.

The next point elaborates on that notion further:

6. The left associates human decency not so much with personal integrity as with having correct — i.e. progressive — political positions. Therefore, if you don’t hold progressive positions, you lack decency. Ask your left-wing friends if they’d rather their high school son or daughter cheat on tests or support Trump.

That is an erroneous way of thinking — one that affects how leftists see others, including centrist or conservative family members.

There is more at the link.

Prager strongly encourages Hillary voters to make amends with those they have defriended and disowned.

I couldn’t agree more. Christmas is only a few weeks away. Advent is a time of preparation for Jesus’s earthly birth. John the Baptist exhorted his followers to repent and to exercise charity during this time. May we follow suit.

St NicholasMy post last year at this time discussed the life St Nicholas, legends associated with him and how the Dutch regard him.

St Nicholas’s feast day is December 6 and a French website, L’Internaute, had an excellent article about him. A summary follows.

St Nicholas became the patron saint of children thanks to the legends associated with him, which last year’s post explored. Most of them involved him rescuing young people: the poor man with three daughters, the three theological students or, as the French tell it, the three children who fell afoul of an evil butcher, and the boy from Myra kidnapped by pirates.

As the Dutch have Black Pete as a companion to Nicholas, the French have the Bogeyman (Père Fouettardfouetter means ‘to whip’). The French article says that in both cases, these two are alter-egos of the great bishop. There is the benevolent Nicholas who is kind to good children and the companion who punishes bad youngsters. Together, they mete out justice.

The French legend of Nicholas and the Bogeyman visiting homes on the night of December 5 into the morning of December 6 started in the Middle Ages. Nicholas would ask if the children had been good or bad during the year. A song even grew around this construct, the lyrics of which go like this (translation mine and, yes, the words rhyme in French). Here’s the first verse:

O great St Nicholas
Patron of schoolchildren
Bring me apples
In my little basket
I will always be good
Like a little picture
I will learn my lessons
To earn some sweets.

It’s not hard to see how Nicholas made the transition into Father Christmas, or, as the Dutch say, Sinterklaas, giving rise to the American Santa Claus who arrives at the time of the Christ Child.

Like the Dutch, the Belgians and a number of countries in Northern Europe, some French towns and cities hold local festivals on or near the time of St Nicholas Day. This is particularly true in the region of Lorraine in northeastern France.

The celebrations have extra meaning there, because in the late Middle Ages, an imposing German nobleman by the name of Hans von Trotha ruled over the area. He had a nasty reputation as a robber baron and a defiler of young girls. Over time, his evil reputation was extended to frighten children in the region to be good or ‘Hans Trapp’ or ‘Hans Trott’ would give them a good beating. The threats worked, as Hans in real life was a tall, robust man.

This year’s celebrations in eastern France are going ahead, despite the security threats. That said, authorities have forbidden firework displays because of the 2015 Paris attacks and the July 14 attack in Nice.

In closing, St Nicholas is also the patron saint of sailors (another legend), prisoners, lawyers, physiotherapists and single men.

Hand of God leedsacukThe Second Sunday in Advent is December 4, 2016.

Now is the time to find out more about Advent and also make sure your children can better appreciate this time of anticipation of and preparation for the Christ Child.

This post of mine has updated resources for Christians of all ages. My favourite for the children is the Road Trip film at the Paperless Christmas page (link in the post):

Advent resources for Catholics and Protestants

The following posts explore the themes of Advent and the pivotal presence of John the Baptist:

Advent reflections: John the Baptist and the Apocalypse

Advent: Make straight a highway

Advent: John the Baptist’s message of Good News — and repentance

Advent: Mary’s Magnificat and Zechariah’s prophecy in Luke 1

John the Baptist, charity and Advent

And finally, for those who enjoy history and traditions, there is this one:

Advent and Christmas in colonial America

Bible boy_reading_bibleThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

Matthew 26:26-29

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

———————————————————————————————

Now we are in Thursday of our Lord’s final Passover Week, which corresponds to the Christian Holy Week.

Before discussing this transition from Passover to the Sacrament, we can be sure this feast took place on a Thursday. John MacArthur says (emphases mine):

at that time in the history of Israel, Passover was celebrated both on Thursday and on Friday because the customs in Galilee differed from the customs in Judea.  And so, the Lord on Thursday evening celebrates a Galilean Passover Day, and yet there is another Passover Day on Friday which means that Jesus can keep the Passover one day and die during the Passover as the Passover lamb the next day.  And God had arranged history and tradition and custom and circumstance to make that a reality.

Matthew’s account of the events of the Last Supper are briefer than Luke’s or John’s. We’ll look at Luke’s Gospel now. Incredibly, after this meal, the disciples got into another argument as to who was the greatest. Jesus once again brought them down to earth, telling them they were not to lord themselves over others. After all, He — the greatest of all — was serving them (Luke 22:24-27):

25 And he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

John’s Gospel gives us the washing of the feet. For whatever reason, the Twelve neglected to wash their feet when they entered the room, a social norm as discussed in last week’s post. Jesus humbled Himself to do it. Remember that Peter objected, and, in His reply, Jesus said that not all were clean (John 13:3-11):

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Returning to Matthew, at this point, Judas admitted that he had betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:21-25):

21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Matthew does not mention details of this moment, but John does. The Apostles asked Jesus who the betrayer was (John 13:26-30):

26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Many will want to know if Judas stayed for the main feast of the Last Supper. MacArthur says that he did not:

Jesus got rid of him before they actually ate the meal because he should have no part, should he, in the Lord’s Table.  So, he was dismissed.  What a scene of preparation as Jesus has the final Passover.  After that, of course, verse 26 says, “And as they were eating.”  They went back to the meal, back to the Passover.

Now on to today’s passage in Matthew. Verse 26 gives us the blessing and words still used today in Catholic and mainline Protestant prayers of consecration and remembrance. Christ’s giving of His own body meant that His ultimate sacrifice would replace the Jewish mandate of Passover. Matthew Henry explains:

Christ is to us the Passover-sacrifice by which atonement is made (1 Corinthians 5:7) Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. This ordinance is to us the passover-supper, by which application is made, and commemoration celebrated, of a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. All the legal sacrifices of propitiation being summed up in the death of Christ, and so abolished, all the legal feasts of rejoicing were summed up in this sacrament, and so abolished.

The words of Jesus in verse 27 are equally included in the aforementioned prayers of consecration and remembrance. Jesus went on to say that His was the blood of the covenant — the New Covenant — poured out for many — meaning Gentiles, too — for the forgiveness of sins (verse 28). This was not a one-time exclusive offer to the Apostles, but an everlasting one for those they would minister to and to the countless generations after them, wherever they were — and are — in the world.

Below are excerpts of Henry’s analysis of the Sacrament, the new ordinance.

First, of the bread, the body of Christ:

We have here the institution of the great gospel ordinance of the Lord’s supper, which was received of the Lord. Observe,

I. The time when it was instituted–as they were eating. At the latter end of the passover-supper, before the table was drawn, because, as a feast upon a sacrifice, it was to come in the room of that ordinance …

II. The institution itself. A sacrament must be instituted it is no part of moral worship, nor is it dictated by natural light, but has both its being and significancy from the institution, from a divine institution it is his prerogative who established the covenant, to appoint the seals of it …

1. The body of Christ is signified and represented by bread he had said formerly (John 6:35), I am the bread of life, upon which metaphor this sacrament is built as the life of the body is supported by bread, which is therefore put for all bodily nourishment (Matthew 4:4,6:11), so the life of the soul is supported and maintained by Christ’s mediation.

(1.) He took bread, ton aptonthe loaf some loaf that lay ready to hand, fit for the purpose it was, probably, unleavened bread but, that circumstance not being taken notice of, we are not to bind ourselves to that, as some of the Greek churches do. His taking the bread was a solemn action, and was, probably, done in such a manner as to be observed by them that sat with him, that they might expect something more than ordinary to be done with it. Thus was the Lord Jesus set apart in the counsels of divine love for the working out of our redemption.

(2.) He blessed it set it apart for this use by prayer and thanksgiving. We do not find any set form of words used by him upon this occasion but what he said, no doubt, was accommodated to the business in hand, that new testament which by this ordinance was to be sealed and ratified. This was like God’s blessing the seventh day (Genesis 2:3), by which it was separated to God’s honour, and made to all that duly observe it, a blessed day: Christ could command the blessing, and we, in his name, are emboldened to beg the blessing.

(3.) He brake it which denotes, [1.] The breaking of Christ’s body for us, that it might be fitted for our use He was bruised for our iniquities, as bread-corn is bruised (Isaiah 28:28) though a bone of him was not broken (for all his breaking did not weaken him), yet his flesh was broken with breach upon breach, and his wounds were multiplied (Job 9:17,16:14), and that pained him … [2.] The breaking of Christ’s body to us, as the father of the family breaks the bread to the children. The breaking of Christ to us, is to facilitate the application every thing is made ready for us by the grants of God’s word and the operations of his grace.

(4.) He gave it to his disciples, as the Master of the family, and the Master of this feast it is not said, He gave it to the apostles, though they were so, and had been often called so before this, but to the disciples, because all the disciples of Christ have a right to this ordinance and those shall have the benefit of it who are his disciples indeed yet he gave it to them as he did the multiplied loaves, by them to be handed to all his other followers.

(5.) He said, Take, eat this is my body, Matthew 26:26. He here tells them,

[1.] What they should do with it Take, eat accept of Christ as he is offered to you, receive the atonement, approve of it, consent to it, come up to the terms on which the benefit of it is proposed to you submit to his grace and to his government.” Believing on Christ is expressed by receiving him (John 1:12), and feeding upon him, John 6:57,58. Meat looked upon, or the dish ever so well garnished, will not nourish us it must be fed upon: so must the doctrine of Christ.

[2.] What they should have with it This is my body, not outosthis bread, but toutothis eating and drinking. Believing carries all the efficacy of Christ’s death to our souls. This is my body, spiritually and sacramentally this signifies and represents my body. He employs sacramental language, like that, Exodus 12:11. It is the Lord’s passover … We partake of the sun, not by having the bulk and body of the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body.

Of the cup, the Blood of Christ:

2. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine to make it a complete feast, here is not only bread to strengthen, but wine to make glad the heart (Matthew 26:27,28) He took the cup, the grace-cup, which was set ready to be drank, after thanks returned, according to the custom of the Jews at the passover this Christ took, and made the sacramental-cup, and so altered the property. It was intended for a cup of blessing (so the Jews called it)

This cup he gave to the disciples,

(1.) With a command Drink ye all of it. Thus he welcomes his guests to his table, obliges them all to drink of his cup …

(2.) With an explication For this is my blood of the New Testament. Therefore drink it with appetite, delight, because it is so rich a cordial. Hitherto the blood of Christ had been represented by the blood of beasts, real blood: but, after it was actually shed, it was represented by the blood of grapes, metaphorical blood so wine is called in an Old-Testament prophecy of Christ, Genesis 49:10,11.

Now observe what Christ saith of his blood represented in the sacrament.

[1.] It is my blood of the New Testament … The covenant God is pleased to make with us, and all the benefits and privileges of it, are owing to the merits of Christ’s death.

[2.] It is shed[:] it was not shed till next day, but it was now upon the point of being shed, it is as good as done. “Before you come to repeat this ordinance yourselves, it will be shed.” He was now ready to be offered, and his blood to be poured out, as the blood of the sacrifices which made atonement.

[3.] It is shed for many. Christ came to confirm a covenant with many (Daniel 9:27), and the intent of his death agreed. The blood of the Old Testament was shed for a few: it confirmed a covenant, which (saith Moses) the Lord has made with you, Exodus 24:8. The atonement was made only for the children of Israel (Leviticus 16:34): but Jesus Christ is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2.

[4.] It is shed for the remission of sins, that is, to purchase remission of sins for us. The redemption which we have through his blood, is the remission of sins, Ephesians 1:7. The new covenant which is procured and ratified by the blood of Christ, is a charter of pardon, an act of indemnity, in order to a reconciliation between God and man for sin was the only thing that made the quarrel, and without shedding of blood is no remission, Hebrews 9:22

Jesus concluded this institution of the New Covenant by saying that the next time they will share ‘this fruit of the vine’ will be in His Father’s kingdom (verse 29).

Therefore, although He ate with the disciples after the Resurrection (Acts 10:41), this was a significant feast in which He instituted a new ordinance — the Sacrament — for the New Covenant.

MacArthur explains verse 29 this way:

there’s a reaffirmation in verse 29 of His Kingdom promise.  I’ll do it with you in My Kingdom.  And I believe when Jesus comes, and we enter into His Kingdom, we’re going to do this with Him.  We’re going to celebrate this with Him.  We’re going to remember His sacrifice together and I’m not sure that we won’t do that forever and ever and ever and ever throughout all eternity in some marvelous way that He has designed, for it’s an unforgettable and glorious redemption, never, never to be ignored, always to be celebrated.

So, He says, do this, in effect, until I do it with you in My Father’s Kingdom.  But the emphasis is: I’m going to come back and drink it with you again.  All three gospels, by the way, state that the Lord said that.  This is a wonderful, wonderful thing that He assures us all that He’s coming to set up His glorious Kingdom.  And then, in verse 30 it says they sung a hymn.  Literally, the Greek says they hymned, they hymned.  What was that?  Well, they had already sung Psalm 113 and 14.  They probably sung another 15 maybe, 16.  Then, there was a fourth cup and then they might have sung 117, 118 and went to the Mount of Olives.  And so, the final Passover; and so, the institution of the Lord’s Supper. 

Receiving the Sacrament, Communion or the Supper — however we might refer to it in our respective churches — is the most powerful and greatest available means of grace Jesus Christ gave us through His one, sufficient oblation on the Cross.

Having asked forgiveness of our sins and reconciled with our neighbours as necessary, let us not hesitate to receive this divine nourishment for the soul on a regular basis with humility and thanksgiving.

Next time: Matthew 26:30-35

On Tuesday, November 29, Donald Trump took Mitt Romney and Chief of Staff (and GOP chairman) Reince Priebus to dinner.

They dined at Jean Georges (Vongerichten) in the Trump International at 1 Central Park West.

A word of explanation is in order for my overseas readers. Mitt was one of the top people in the NeverTrump movement. He was never on board with Trump’s candidacy and made it known publicly in no uncertain terms. Now that Trump is forming a cabinet, he has been meeting with Mitt. The Secretary of State position is rumoured, but Trump said he would also be meeting with other hopefuls.

Conservative blogs are exploding with ‘Never Mitt!’ but Trump enjoys his negotiations and bringing people together. Big Media won’t tell you that, but it’s true, and it’s one of the reasons why he won on November 8.

For those reasons, this dinner attracted more Big Media tweets and videos than one could reasonably expect. The times might be off on the tweets below (because I’m reproducing them), so I’ve put everything in chronological order from the time stamps I’m viewing. The original time stamps show up when you click on the tweet.

The three arrive for dinner. Everyone applauds (5:32 p.m.):

Several minutes later (5:47):

Then (5:54):

A short time later (6:10):

Here’s the Jean Georges menu. Three courses for $128. Each Caviar Creation has a $40 supplement.

What they ordered:

Big Media grab a video. Trump doesn’t look too happy:

Here’s an interesting photo collage (courtesy of The_Donald). Trump’s enjoying this on several levels.  Not so sure about Romney, but, then, he lost in his presidential bid in 2012, so he is unaccustomed to being filmed and photographed at dinner:

https://i.sli.mg/cWQtHt.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, Mitt spoke to the media (7:50 p.m.):

He did not answer any questions:

Conclusion:

I think Trump’s overriding message — in the nicest of ways — was, ‘It’s my party now.’ That partly explains Reince’s presence. Also, a third person is a witness to a conversation between two people, in this case, Trump and Mitt.

This is an exciting time for the Republican Party. Trump injected a lot of life and young blood into it through his voters. Reddit’s The_Donald — a youthful and enthusiastic, if somewhat salty, news site — is testament to this new unity among Americans of all ages, creeds and circumstances. Everyone is welcome there. What’s more, they’re always first with news and analysis. Most have no party affiliation, but they are 100% behind Donald Trump.

Onwards and upwards, Republicans! This is the first time in decades you’ve got the wind in your sails! Carpe diem!

The next four years will be fascinating!

On Monday, November 28, an Ohio State University (OSU) student drove a car into a group of students before exiting the vehicle and stabbing them, leaving 11 people injured.

Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, is a Somali refugee who fled to Pakistan with his family in 2007. They arrived in the United States as legal permanent residents in 2014.

Prior to attending OSU, the attacker attended Columbus State University. In August, he gave an interview to the OSU paper, The Lantern. He was quick to criticise OSU concerning prayer facilities and said he was scared.

It would be interesting to find out why he left Columbus State University.

Frankly, he should have asked about a prayer room before enrolling. I am certain that university officials would have gladly discussed the topic with him.

It is unclear why the attacker harboured such hate of the United States, which so generously took him and his kin in, giving them permanent residency. The Daily Mail reported on his Facebook post, made shortly before the attack:

Authorities are currently investigating the posts, allegedly made by Artan, which mention radical cleric Anwar Awlaki and accuse America of ‘interfering’ with other nations.

‘I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE,’ it stated. ‘I can’t take it anymore.

‘America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially Muslim Ummah (communities)… [if] you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks.’

He must have become radicalised. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

However, ISIS issued videos shortly before the attack encouraging Muslim radicals to employ Nice-style methods (July 14) — using a motor vehicle — and use knives, which was exactly what this guy did.

Gateway Pundit has the ISIS videos in question.

Luckily for all concerned, Officer Alan Horujko arrived very quickly. He fatally shot the attacker. The officer deserves a medal. Unfortunately, he will probably be in for a lot of abuse from social justice warriors and leftist pundits. Here’s documentary film maker Tariq Nasheed with Tucker Carlson on Fox News:

Horujko was checking out a chemical leak on campus at the time. Hmm. That’s curious, too, but the OSU spokesperson who discussed the attack with Tucker Carlson viewed them as unrelated incidents (first interview in the video):

The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) has an excellent post on records from Catholic Charities which indicate that they helped the attacker and his family settle into the United States (emphases in the original):

There are currently estimated to be more than 100,000 Somalian refugees living in the United States. (link)  […]  Between 2013 and 2015 alone, the United States accepted more than 25,000 Somalian refugees.  […]  The suspect, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, lived briefly in a temporary shelter in Dallas before settling in Ohio, according to Catholic Charities records, obtained by NBC

CTH rightly points out that these Christian humanitarian outreach efforts could be putting the United States in danger — and taxpayers are footing the bill for attacks on themselves.

This beggars belief (purple highlight mine):

The potential for Unvetted Islamic Refugees becoming ISIS terrorists was a hot-button issue within the 2016 Presidential race.  Candidate Donald Trump promised to halt the program; candidate Hillary Clinton and President Obama promised to increase the refugee influx.

In addition, various religious “humanitarian” organizations have been at the tip of the spear promoting refugee and illegal immigration status.  The business model for ‘Baptist Child and Family Services’ as well as ‘Catholic Charities’ are dependent on hundreds of millions from the taxpayers via immigration/refugee resettlement programs.

To give you an idea of the scope: so far in 2016 BCFS has been granted over two hundred million.  $201,069,016 to be precise.  The scope of awards given to Catholic Charities is even more jaw dropping (SEE HERE)

This is further evidence that Donald Trump is not scare-mongering or being discriminatory. He is absolutely correct in saying that there must be a ‘temporary’ halt to migration from certain countries until officials figure out what is going on.

He’s been proven right time and time again. San Bernardino in December 2015 was the first attack during the campaign. Then there was Orlando in June. Then the mall incident in Washington state in September. Now this one.

Here’s an idea: why not take in Christians from Muslim countries instead? No Western country is making them a priority. In fact, they’re almost prohibited from entering as refugees. Why is that?

Maybe Trump can stop the trend in 2017. Let’s hope that he does.

In the meantime, I pray the wounded make a full recovery.

Canisius College, named after Counter-Reformation leader St Peter Canisius, is located in Buffalo, New York. It is a Jesuit institution of higher learning, founded in 1870.

One of their professors is Dr René De la Pedraja, who has been teaching there since 1989. His speciality is Latin America. He lived in the region for 20 years, mostly in Colombia and Cuba.

On Monday, November 28, 2016, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson interviewed De la Pedraja for his views on Fidel Castro’s death. This is a must-see interview in which, among other things, the professor claims that Cuba under Fidel symbolised freedom.

He says that Castro cracked down on dissidents because they were doctors educated for free who wanted to move overseas to earn more money. Other than that, there was no political oppression. When Carlson pressed him about refugees fleeing any way they could manage, the professor said those people were bored with their wives and families, nothing more. What he says is so absurd, it has to be heard to be believed.

Carlson is a great interviewer, far from the usual Big Media type. He is not afraid to disagree with crackpots. According to people who watch his show regularly, he seeks out leftists and asks them all the questions sensible people would ask. He gives no quarter, but does it conversationally.

At the end of the interview about Castro, he had this exchange with the professor:

Carlson: Well, Cuba is a hellhole. That’s why nobody moves there.

Professor: I’d have to disagree with you.

Carlson: Well, you’re still here, so I doubt that.

On a similar note, here’s a great graphic:

https://i1.wp.com/cdn.acidcow.com/pics/20120605/extremely_funny_graphs_and_charts_08.jpg

 

What a week and it’s only Tuesday! Lots of news to cover in the days ahead.

On Monday, November 28, 2016, Cardinal Joseph Zen, a former bishop of Hong Kong, warned that Pope Francis:

may not know the Communist persecutors who have killed hundreds of thousands.

The Guardian reported that the Pope is working on an agreement whereby Chinese officials could have a hand in approving Catholic bishops.

Zen criticised the move, pointing out that it would be:

a surrender

and

betraying Jesus Christ.

Zen made his remarks at the Salesian English School in Hong Kong, where, at age 84, he is still a teacher. He added:

Maybe the pope is a little naive, he doesn’t have the background to know the Communists in China. The pope used to know the persecuted Communists [in Latin America], but he may not know the Communist persecutors who have killed hundreds of thousands.

It’s amazing that anyone the Pope’s age would not know the statistics and nature of Chinese Communists, but perhaps the Cardinal was being charitable.

Currently, Chinese Catholics are free to worship at state-approved churches. The state-controlled China Catholic Patriotic Association appoints their bishops.

However, an underground network of Catholic churches also exists, thought to attract many more Catholics than the state churches.

Why does the Vatican seek this new agreement? Zen explained:

With “fake freedom” under a proposed deal, priests could more easily preach and more churches would open, Zen predicted, but “it’s only the impression of freedom, it’s not real freedom, the people sooner or later will see the bishops are puppets of the government and not really the shepherds of the flock.”

“The official bishops are not really preaching the gospel,” Zen added “They are preaching obedience to Communist authority.”

That brings to mind the warning from Jeremiah about leading one’s flock astray. The Pope and clergy agreeing with him on this subject might have a lot to answer for one day.

Oddly, some Chinese Catholics welcome the proposed Vatican agreement, still under negotiation for the foreseeable future:

“If they could really strike a deal, not only would us Catholics be happy, but all of the Chinese people should rejoice,” said Zhao, 36, who has been a Catholic for 20 years and works at the oldest Catholic church in China, close to Tiananmen Square in Beijing. He declined to give his full name because of the sensitivity of discussing religion.

“Chinese society needs faith right now,” he added, saying a warming of ties would increase the number of Catholics, “which is a benefit to all society”.

The Guardian says that China has an estimated 10m Catholics and 90m Protestants. The New York Times gives a more conservative estimate of 60m Christians.

Protestant churches are also required to be registered with the Chinese state and operate within government rules.

Unregistered Protestant churches are actively vandalised by the state:

a recent campaign by authorities in eastern China has seen more than 1,200 crosses removed from buildings and churches demolished.

The New York Times has more on vandalism and arrests concerning the Salvation Church and the Living Stone Church, both of which are unregistered and deemed to be dangerous to the state.

My reader undergroundpewster — an Episcopal layman — wrote about Jeremiah 23:1-6, one of the readings for the last Sunday of the Church year on November 20, 2016.

‘Did You Preach on Jeremiah’s Prophecy Today?’ is a short and particularly powerful post about bad shepherds of the flock. Please read it in full. Excerpts and a summary follow. Emphases in the original.

These are the relevant verses:

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord. The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

The Gospel reading for that day was about the thieves on the Cross (Luke 23:35-43) which includes this important verse. Jesus told the thief who recognised Him as the Son of God:

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Undergroundpewster says that it is much easier to preach on that verse than on Jeremiah’s. The message is positive and redemptive.

However, bad shepherds ignore Jeremiah at their peril. The post explains how and why. Ultimately:

I pray that the false teachers among us will come to the realization that there are some criminal acts, such as driving away God’s flock, which put them in jeopardy of God’s punishment and that they repent before they wind up like the less fortunate criminal who derided our Lord as he hung beside Jesus.

It is up to laypeople to know how to discuss and explain Scripture when clergy do not. We have many bad shepherds in varying degrees, especially in the Episcopal/Anglican Church. I know. That’s my denomination.

This is partly the fault of seminaries, but also of those men and women themselves who rarely look beyond what they are taught. Unfortunately, their bishops encourage spiritual blindness, which extends to their congregations, not unlike the Pharisees of Jesus’s time towards their faithful.

Pray regularly and study the Bible.

Over the weekend, it became clear that Jill Stein of the Green Party may well be able to have a recount of November 8 votes in Wisconsin.

Pennsylvania and Michigan are her other targets.

Donald Trump won all three states. Together, they represent 46 electoral votes.

Stein claims her petition concerns the integrity of the voting system. It is also an opportunity to raise funds for her party even if the recounts do not proceed.

However, the aftermath of the election has been destructive and divisive. Jill Stein is fanning the flames and fuelling the fire. I might discuss this more in a future post.

So far, we have had protests galore over the past three weeks. Policemen are also shot — some fatally — at random, although those are unrelated incidents. We also know that the Democrats and powerful people like George Soros (thought to be involved behind the scenes in the protests and recount petitions) do not want to see America made whole again. That would not be in their interests.

Someone at The Conservative Treehouse posted a link to the relevance of 2 Chronicles 13 and 14 to the situation in the United States at present. Holding Forth His Word posted ‘Fight’, which I encourage everyone to read. Excerpts follow, emphases in the original (mine in purple):

Jill Stein who praises communist Castro should be sued for her frivolous recount efforts!  America must defeat these foes who fight against our great nation, our electoral process and our duly elected President!  As we defeat them by God’s power and enabling we will see peace and prosperity return to our land …

America and Americans must overcome the evil leftist forces in our nation trying to destroy our country and who have made US vulnerable to attacks both foreign and domestic.  This is serious business; we must pray and work diligently to see it all turned around!  Like king Asa and Judah America must live lives of integrity, honesty and goodness with one another …

9 Then Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah.  10 So Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude, O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”  12 So the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.  13 And Asa and the people who were with them pursued them to Gerar.  So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and the could not recover, for they were broken before the Lord and His army.  And they carried away very much spoil.  14 Then they defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord came upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them.  15 They also attacked the livestock enclosures, and carried off sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.  2 Chronicles 14:9-15    

Judah was attacked by overwhelming forces, but God brought about a great deliverance and victory for Judah. Beloved all the harm the left has done the last eight years under Bara[c]k Obama may seem overwhelming but as we look to the Lord Jesus Christ relying on His deliverance while we fight we can overturn all the evil we see extant in the land and then gather in the resources set aside for evil purposes and instead use them for good.  There is so much encouragement for US in this passage out of the Old Testament.  Of a truth, God’s Word is a great encouragement to our hearts as we fight against evil in the land relying upon Him to deliver US from evil.  Faithful believers in Jesus Christ let us work for the prosperity, peace and healing of the United States of America through obedient faith and reliant prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus Christ we ask that You not allow our enemies to prevail against Your beloved children and this mighty nation.  We ask that You would give US the victory over its foes and keep your children safe who live here.  We praise You and trust You to save US.  Amen!   

“Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” 1 Samuel 17:47

Please pray for the safety of the Great Republic, the president-elect and those around him as well as for the American people in the weeks ahead. Please pray that the Lord delivers the United States from enemies within.

These recounts, should they proceed, are meant to destabilise the United States. If voting systems were so precarious, wouldn’t Jill Stein, computer experts and legal counsel have advised action earlier this year rather than now?

In closing, in case anyone doubts the Left’s — including Big Media’s — admiration for the late Fidel Castro, these tweets prove otherwise:

Then, there is this:

Wait to see if anyone from the current administration attends Castro’s funeral. If they do, you know where their true allegiances lie.

In closing, while this is hypothetical, I’d like to see Jill Stein get a vote recount in Cuba.

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