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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://i2.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.

Bible readingThe 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 26:6-13

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,[a] a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

—————————————————————————————

Matthew 26 begins in Wednesday of Jesus’s last Passover Week, which corresponds to the Christian Holy Week.

Today’s passage, however, is a flashback. It recounts an event that took place on the Saturday before, after Jesus raised Mary and Martha’s brother Lazarus from the dead. Verse 13 gives us the reason for inserting this flashback — in Jesus’s own words.

Jesus was dining at Simon the Leper’s house (verse 6). Jesus had already healed him, otherwise, Simon would have been living outside of Bethany away from healthy people. John MacArthur tells us that this was a very special occasion (emphases mine):

Leprosy in that day was incurable. The only cure for leprosy was Jesus Christ. So it’s pretty obvious that Simon was a recipient of the healing power of Christ. And one way he could show his loving gratitude to Christ was to offer Him a supper. Oh the excitement would be unspeakable. You wouldn’t even believe it. Simon a former leper, outcast of outcasts, now having the Healer, God in human flesh, in his own home and hosting Him and inviting Mary, Martha, and Lazarus to be a part and all twelve of the disciples. This is a good group for supper, approaching twenty people. And there may have been others, we don’t know. But Mark writes of it, and Matthew writes of it, and so does John, because it is a very important occasion.

With Lazarus alive once again as well, the atmosphere must have been one of unspeakable joy and gratitude.

As everyone reclined at dinner, ‘a woman’ approached Jesus to anoint him with a precious ointment in an alabaster flask (verse 7).

There are a few things to explain about this verse.

Everyone in the ancient world reclined to eat. An article from ScienceNordic tells us that this might have been to aid digestion. It’s a bit like stretching out on the sofa but propping yourself up enough to eat and drink while watching television:

“We think pressure on the antrum – the lower portion of the stomach – has a lot to do with discomfort after a meal,” says [Jørgen] Valeur, a senior resident at Oslo’s Lovisenberg Diakonale Hospital …

According to the researchers, if you recline on your right side, the lower part of the stomach expands so you feel stuffed, but if you lie on your left side, the load on the antrum is reduced.

“It’s fair to assume that a person can actually alleviate the discomfort after a meal by lying on the proper side,” says Valeur.

Matthew left the woman unidentified, which poses difficulties for readers after his time, as we can see from Matthew Henry’s commentary:

The woman that did this, is supposed to have been Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. And Dr. Lightfoot [Bible scholar of the era] thinks it was the same that was called Mary Magdalene.

However, MacArthur says she is Mary — Martha and Lazarus’s sister — and not Mary Magdalene. A similar story in Luke 7:36-39 features another woman and a different Simon. Simon was a common name in that time. The Simon in Luke 7 was a Pharisee:

36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”

MacArthur says:

it’s a different incident in chapter 7. And the woman who does the anointing is different. It isn’t Mary; it’s a wicked, sinful woman, in that case. But Matthew, Mark and John record this incident.

The parallel accounts are Mark 14:3-9, and John 12:1-8, both of which are included in the three-year Lectionary. So, yes, this event is included in readings for public worship. Mark and Matthew did not name the woman, but John did. Mark has the scene at Simon the Leper’s house but John has it at Martha, Mary and Lazarus’s home.

Here is Mark’s version:

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,[a] as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Here is John’s:

Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3 Mary therefore took a pound[a] of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it[c] for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

About the mention and non-mentions of the woman’s name, MacArthur has this:

Matthew doesn’t tell us, and I don’t know why; we have no reason to know why he didn’t tell us except the Holy Spirit knew what John was going to say and it wasn’t repeated here for whatever reason. Some say it wasn’t mentioned by Matthew because he wrote so early in 50 that he was afraid there might be repercussions on Mary for what she had done. John, who wrote 40 years later, didn’t care because the scene had changed and she wouldn’t have been in such a difficult position. But that’s speculation.

Mark’s Gospel was written first, so Mary would have been alive and well, as she was when Matthew wrote his subsequently.

The alabaster ‘flask’ is translated as ‘box’ in older editions of the Bible. Some foreign languages, such as French, use ‘box’ (boîte) for a squat jar, e.g. of jam or olives.

The flask’s ointment was very expensive. MacArthur tells us:

It’s really a bottle made out of alabaster, very thin, and it would be a very fat or round bottle with a very narrow neck, and it would be corked or plugged at the top. And inside of it was very precious perfume. How precious? A year’s wages, Mark tells us, 300 denarii, which would be a year’s wages…very, very costly.

You say, “Why did they even have it?” Well, they must have been a somewhat wealthy family to even have something like that …

Because of the lack of hygiene, hosts put this on their guests before eating in a group so no one would offend others with their odours. Recall that when people entered a house the first thing they did was to remove their sandals and wash their feet. The next thing would have been the application of a perfumed oil or ointment, or nard, as Mark and John wrote.

It is possible that the nard in all four accounts was so highly concentrated, hence the expense, that a little went a long way. Perhaps the contents in the flask would have lasted for years. Therefore, to put all of it on Jesus’s head looked wasteful and extreme (verse 8). Naturally, the disciples reacted the way we would today (verse 9): ‘That could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor!’

Jesus disapproved of their reaction, praising the woman (verse 10). We would do well to highlight verse 11:

For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.

The woman was worshipping her Lord and Redeemer. We should be worshipping more rather than putting all our effort into serving the poor. While we can lessen the effects of poverty, we will never be able to eradicate it.

What does every catechism say about our purpose on earth? My childhood catechism says: ‘God made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this world.’ Before service we have the concept of worship in ‘know Him’ and ‘love Him’. Service comes third. Matthew Henry says:

Sometimes special works of piety and devotion should take place of common works of charity. The poor must not rob Christ[;] we must do good to all, but especially to the household of faith.

Note in this story that Mary performed an act of worship in her anointing of Christ. Henry explains:

1. As an act of faith in our Lord Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the anointed. To signify that she believed in him as God’s anointed, whom he had set king, she anointed him, and made him her king. They shall appoint themselves one head, Hosea 1:11. This is kissing the Son.

2. As an act of love and respect to him … Note, Where there is true love in the heart to Jesus Christ, nothing will be thought too good, no, nor good enough, to bestow upon him.

MacArthur explains this generous worship:

Most of us worship…let’s see, what can I afford this week; I’ll give that, that won’t affect me. We know very little about this, this unrestrained adoration where you just crush the narrow neck of that alabaster bottle and pour its contents all over Jesus effusively, profusely. She was pouring out her love, her heart of compassion, her devotion. She was honoring the One that was going to die and rise again for her salvation, to bear her sin. She did it for you, for me; we all should have done it. We all, if we had been there, knowing what we now know, would have poured out everything on Him, too. She understood what the disciples didn’t want to understand. She wasn’t bound up in wanting to get right into the kingdom and have the glory. She apparently understood more of Jesus’ teaching then they did. She symbolizes the effusive, profuse, magnanimous outpouring of love that God desires.

Jesus went on to say that Mary was preparing Him for burial (verse 12). Did she really know that He was going to die very soon?

I mean, why shouldn’t she know He was going to die and rise, His enemies knew that. His enemies said, “Look out for this guy. He says He’s going to die, and He says if He dies in three days He’ll rise.” If they knew it, why shouldn’t she know it? She knew. She couldn’t prevent His death, she wouldn’t prevent His death. His death was for her and for all other sinners, so she poured out her love. And the word “half poured” is a very strong term—lavish, profuse.

It is ironic that the Twelve, who spent three years with Him, did not understand this. Yet, Mary did.

You would have thought that the Apostles would have been the ones worshipping Jesus to the extreme. They did not. They thought of the waste of fragrant ointment.

Mary was the one who worshipped Him more fully than can be imagined.

And even afterwards, they still did not grasp what she had done in that sense — or what was about to happen in a week’s time.

Jesus concluded by saying that wherever the Gospel is preached, this story will be told in her memory (verse 13), meaning that hers is the example Christians are to follow. This is why the Epistles all emphasise worship of Jesus Christ over everything else.

If we truly and fully understood what our Lord Jesus did for us via His death and resurrection we, too, would be worshipping the way Mary did that evening.

That’s something for many of us, myself not least, to seriously think about.

We can worship outside of church as well, in our private devotions. I can better understand why some great preachers got up at dawn to pray for four hours before beginning their day. It was not a tick-in-box activity of ‘doing something’ but something they wanted to do — every day. The Holy Spirit was working through them, revealing the Eternal Truth. Perhaps we shut out the Spirit a bit too much. We’re too busy or too distracted by worldly things.

Until today, I never really grasped what Jesus said about Mary and His criticism of Martha earlier in His ministry. To my mind, ensuring Jesus had something to eat and drink was just as important as sitting in His presence. Now, thanks to this event, which happened days before the Crucifixion, I understand. MacArthur reminds us:

In chapter 10 of Luke, and verse 42 it is, Jesus said about Mary that Mary has chosen the better part. You remember that. Worship is better than service. Learning better than doing. Sitting at the feet of the Savior, better than business.

If only more Christians — especially clergy in their sermons — explained Mary in this manner, we would all understand. May we learn and follow her example.

Next time: Matthew 26:26-29

For anyone who celebrated Thanksgiving and is not going out to shop this weekend, below is a set of films allowing you to revisit the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (Sorry, no Clint here, only politics.)

I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which.

These will keep you occupied for a day. So, grab a turkey sandwich, a piece of pumpkin pie and settle in for hours of revealing information.

Donald Trump

The following Objectified programme was broadcast on Friday, November 18. TMZ wanted to do a companion piece on Hillary Clinton, but she refused. The original idea was to show two Objectified episodes, one with each candidate, prior to the election so that voters would have a better idea of who Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in private life.

I highly recommend everyone see this episode, especially if they do not particularly like Trump. You’ll see and hear a fascinating story of his life from Trump Tower (39 min). The interviewer chooses various objects in his home, and Trump discusses their significance:

The following clip (41 sec) is from Rona Barrett’s show in 1980. Rona Barrett interviewed all the celebrities that decade. Her programme was very popular. Here, Trump explains why he doesn’t want to run for president — he’d have to be nice all the time:

Here is a clip from Oprah Winfrey’s 1988 interview with Trump on the subject of the presidency. Note how quiet and interested the audience is (3 min):

Reddit has a fascinating post with endless contributions from people who knew or met Trump from his schooldays to the present. I only read half of it, and that took three hours. Once you start reading (be sure to click ‘load more comments’), you can’t stop. Everyone said he was really nice.

Also included in that thread are anecdotes about Mitt Romney. Everyone said he’s also very nice.

Billary Clinton

I had not seen the following films until a few weeks ago. I highly recommend them in the following order.

These involve input from Larry Nichols, who is dying from cancer. He was a Clinton insider in Arkansas for several years and helped them to hone the election and PR strategies they still use today.

First, an overview of the Clintons from their Arkansas days through to 1994, the second year of Bill’s administration (1 hour, 44 min):

Next, a shocking, in-depth look at Bill’s time in Arkansas and elsewhere, revealing not only murder but also unusual political leanings in his university days (1 hr, 52 min):

Finally, an update from 2015 (33 min), narrated by Larry Nichols in which he describes the ’86 Plan he created with the Clintons — playing the long game. Note that, as early as last year, he said that the New York Times was the PR machine for the couple. Even though they were the first paper to break the email scandal, they would then turn that around to make Hillary look like the underdog. Nichols says in the film that nothing would ever come of the email scandal. And, lo, it came to pass in 2016:

 

George Soros

The following video is of the 1998 60 Minutes interview with George Soros.

In 2016, the Hillary campaign’s Correct The Record (CTR) team said that Soros never betrayed the Jewish people during the Second World War. Yet, here he is, admitting his sins with a smile. As he tells the interviewer, if he hadn’t done it, someone else would have. He has done that throughout his life, as the film shows.

He clearly states that he meddles in other countries’ business with no view of social or economic consequences (13 min):

Words fail me, so I’ll sign off here.

Enjoy the films. You won’t be disappointed. I look forward to comments!

Lectionary lectionaryorgThe season of Advent means the beginning of a new Church year, which, in 2016, starts on November 27.

Those churches following the three-year Lectionary will be using readings for Year A.

The Vanderbilt Divinity Library maintains a helpful page of Sunday Lectionary readings by season. It is useful for both personal and teaching purposes.

Best wishes to all my American readers for a very happy Thanksgiving!

We have much for which to be thankful on this day.

Wherever you find yourselves in the world on Thursday, may your hearts overflow with love and may you enjoy a delightful dinner!

(Image credit: Folk Wisdom)

The extent to which American universities have gone to placate students after the presidential election is both bemusing and appalling.

The Episcopalian site Stand Firm has a post called ‘Cry Me A River’ which begins:

Does anyone recall being coddled when any of the liberal/progressives were elected to office in the last 20 years?

Leftists, please. There is nothing liberal or progressive about them.

The link in the quote is from Zero Hedge which had a round up of post-election therapy sessions at institutions of higher learning — including graduate schools — around the United States.

The prestigious University of Michigan Law School held a ‘post-election self-care’ event complete with snacks, colouring sheets and Play Doh.

The University of Pennsylvania, Donald Trump’s alma mater, brought in colouring books and puppies for their students. Tufts and the University of Kansas also made puppies available to the traumatised.

The University of Michigan’s Flint campus and Stanford made counselling available for students experiencing ‘uncertainty, anger, anxiety and/or fear’.

Cornell held a ‘cry-in’:

As the event took place, students — roughly 20 or so, according to the Sun’s video — wrote their reactions and emotions on poster boards with colored markers, or with chalk on the ground. A chilly day on the Ithaca campus, at one point the demonstrators huddled together as what appeared to be a barista brought them warm drinks. Several adults, most likely professors, stood around the group. The event appeared to take on the atmosphere of a funeral wake.

Yale had a ‘group scream’ and at least one professor made arrangements for students who could not bear to take an upcoming Economics exam.

Jon Victor is the managing editor of the Yale Daily News and tweeted this on November 8:

However, the psychologically wounded students at Yale were not so kind to Trump supporters. A Yale Daily News article reported:

A senior Trump supporter in Berkeley College, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of backlash, said the distraught reaction to Trump’s victory highlighted a double standard in Yale’s political culture.

“[Students] talked about Trump not being able to graciously change over our democracy if he lost,” the student said. “Well, we’ve gotten five or six ‘F–k you’s just walking around this evening [in “Make America Great Again” caps].”

This is the big problem. By perpetually indulging hurt feelings, adults in positions of authority as professors, teachers and parents have created a generation of angry children of majority age who cannot accept loss or defeat.

As my reader Undergroundpewster commented on Stand Firm:

This is what happens when you raise a generation of kids that never have to learn the agony of defeat. These are the same kids who when they were little did not keep score in ball games and were not strictly graded in school.

The ‘prizes for all’ and the excessive ‘hurt feelings’ philosophies (for lack of a better word) in education and at home must go. These two notionally caring practices have created a generation of violent, monstrous bullies who care nothing about anyone but themselves.

Fireworks Barking Park londonevents2011_comOn Sunday, November 20, Churchmouse Campanologist reached its 1,000,000th view!

2016 is turning out to be a banner year for me in so many ways. My Silver Wedding Anniversary, the Cubs winning the World Series after 108 years and Donald Trump winning the presidency all preceded this personal milestone.

Thank you to everyone — long-standing supporters, all subscribers and all readers — for making this possible. Particularly gratifying are my 119 new subscribers since March 17, 2016, this site’s seventh birthday.

The number seven is a significant one in the Bible. It is also significant that the 1,000,000th view came on a Sunday. A lot of prayer has gone into crafting this site. Everything good comes through our Creator, and I will continue with prayers of thanks, especially as my better half and I sit down to roast turkey on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.

Thank you to all my readers. May God bless you abundantly!

POSTSCRIPT: The election has slowed down my blog visits to loyal readers. I will be visiting very soon. In the meantime, please accept my sincere apologies for the delay.

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