You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2017.

This post has recent news — real and fake — about President Donald Trump and American children as well as a first-person story.

Little boy wears suit on hot Sunday

On Sunday, July 30, 2017 a one-off Reddit contributor posted a photo of his son in a suit getting ready for Mass.

The Catholic father wrote in to The_Donald to say that his son insisted on wearing a suit in 83-degree (F) weather:

because he wants to look like President Trump.

Understandably, the father has since deleted the photo, but the boy, probably 9 years old, was all smiles posing for the camera. He hadn’t yet put on his socks and shoes.

The man said that his son watched the Republican debates in 2016 and did not like any of the candidates at that point because they did not raise their hands to speak. He was appalled that they talked over each other so much of the time.

It’s amazing how switched on children can be.

Someone else commented:

My little guy 6 years old LOVES DJT!

The father described his and his wife’s parenting method:

We found written reminders of good behavior to be really motivating at this age. It’s good reading practice and we’ve also found that saying “you are so good at staying quiet in Church” works better than “No talking in church”. Reinforcing good behaviour is more effective (and more fun) than punishing misbehavior.

I’m looking forward to this new generation of boys growing into men. Democrats, beware!

JK Rowling misleading people

On Monday, July 24, President Trump met with families adversely affected by Obamacare.

The White House issued a statement about their various plights, which are nothing short of nightmarish:

These victims of Obamacare shared stories of skyrocketing premiums, denied access, restrictions, and low reimbursement rates due to Obamacare’s failing infrastructure.

Among them was another adorable little boy wearing a suit. His name is Monty and he’s just turned three. This is his story:

Members of the Weer family from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina voiced concerns over the stability of the current healthcare system. Their three-year-old son Monty was diagnosed with Spina Bifida. Since his birth, he has been with two different insurance companies and healthcare plans which has made continuity difficult. Because Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurance company available in their area, the family is continually negotiating with clinics or traveling outside of the state.

After Vice President Mike Pence spoke, President Trump entered the room. Who did he give a special greeting to first, but young Monty (2:22 mark):

I don’t know what video JK Rowling was watching, but she created fake news that lasted all weekend. See her first three tweets here, here and here. The fourth and fifth are below:

JK Rowling also missed First Lady Melania Trump spending time with Monty and reading to him:

Chelsea Clinton believed the author until she found out the truth:

On Sunday, July 30, Monty’s mother posted a Facebook message. She is tactful but none too happy:

Uummmmm……If someone can please get a message to JK Rowling: Trump didn’t snub my son & Monty wasn’t even trying to shake his hand (1. He’s 3 and hand shaking is not his thing, 2. he was showing off his newly acquired secret service patch). Thanks.

I know plenty of people online and off who will say that JK Rowling is more credible than Donald Trump. To those people, I have a spot of advice: the next time fake news comes out about Trump, check the White House site.

UPDATE — July 31:

Rowling apologised on Twitter:

Trump donates salary to Department of Education

On July 26, President Trump donated his quarterly salary to the Department of Education, specifically to fund a STEM camp.

He is pictured with education secretary Betsy De Vos:

Excerpts from the White House statement follow:

… The funds will be used to host a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-focused camp for students. This announcement is the latest step that President Trump has taken in order to inspire interest in the STEM related areas of study and ensure that Americans are being trained for the jobs of the future.

Earlier in the year, President Trump signed the INSPIRE Act which encourages NASA to have women and girls participate in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and to pursue careers in aerospace. He also signed the Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act which aims to enable the National Science Foundation to support women in the sciences …

Since taking office, President Trump has been donating his quarterly salary to initiatives of national significance. In Quarter 1, President Trump donated his salary to the Department of Interior, and the funds went to the National Park Service to aid in its goal of preserving our country’s national security.

Trump meets with American Legion youth

I’ve never seen so many Americans at the White House as I have with President Trump, and so often I learn something from their visits.

It is really great that he opens the nation’s house to so many of her people.

On Wednesday, July 26, Trump welcomed a group I had not known about, the American Legion Boys & Girls Nation. The gathering was held in the Rose Garden:

He spoke about working hard, teamwork and uniting as Americans for the good of the nation — something, he said, they all have in common.

They are a diverse group. The video is worth watching.

Boy Scouts of America — Trump versus Obama

On August 9, 2010 Obama addressed the Boy Scouts of America at their national jamboree. The scouts booed him.

I found the video on July 25, 2017. Today, July 30, I see that — after seven years — CNN has taken the video down. It was on their own YouTube channel. CNN does not want you to know the truth.

Trump spoke to the scouts at their 2017 jamboree on Tuesday, July 25. Wow, what a difference a president makes!

The Gateway Pundit‘s headline about the event was in uppercase:

TRUMP ON FIRE! 40,000 BOY SCOUTS CHEER PRESIDENT TRUMP AT JAMBOREE! (VIDEO)

Trump was joined by some of his cabinet members. Earlier in the day, anticipation of the event created excitement at the White House. I realise that non-Americans will find that hokey, but there was a time when nothing represented solid American boyhood more than the Scouts. That is now changing.

Jim Hoft’s article begins (emphases in the original):

THIS WAS AMAZING!
There were THOUSANDS of Scouts at the president’s speech today in West Virginia.

The crowd was enormous – nearly 40,000 people!

The president spoke about believing in one’s dreams and working at what one loves doing:

Instead of reporting about the greater, inspirational content of his speech, an NBC reporter tweeted:

Other coverage of the event was equally slanted:

Like other presidents, Trump was supposed to avoid discussing politics, but when he briefly mentioned last year’s election victory, the scouts loved it. Someone at The_Donald received two text messages from a scout at the event, who couldn’t rein in his excitement. One of the messages you’ll have to look at yourself. The other reads:

Also I yelled “lock her up” when he was talking about the election and he paused his speech.

Again, I’m thrilled to read about this generation of boys. America, great days lie ahead.

Well, the kids loved it. As is so often the case in matters intergenerational, several adults did not and complained on the Boy Scouts of America Facebook page, which caused the organisation to issue a statement. Washington DC’s Fox5 has a summary:

According to the statement, the Boy Scouts of America is “wholly non-partisan”, and does not promote any one political position, candidate, or philosophy. The statement went on to say that an inviting the sitting U.S. President to speak at the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition, dating back to the Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937.

The statement ends with officials saying they will “continue to be respectful of the wide variety of viewpoints in this country“.

Again, the boys loved it — and that’s all that matters. Trump was speaking to them, not the adults.

Conclusion

This is not child-related, however, there are two things to keep in mind.

The first is that there was a time when Obama admired Trump. Trump’s campaign director for minority relations, Chicago attorney Brunell Donald-Kyei, tweeted this reminder. Obama was not being ironic, either:

The second, and perhaps more pertinent, is that fake news abounds, whether from JK Rowling or other sources:

Click on the image to enlarge. The Democrats’ techniques for Hillary’s 2016 campaign are there, including the emotion and messaging for online discourse by her CTR (Correct The Record) team.

Be aware of these techniques, because Big Media use them all the time.

This year, I have been running a series of posts on Percy Dearmer‘s 1912 volume, Everyman’s History of the Prayer Book, published by Mowbray.

These are the previous posts in the series:

Percy Dearmer on the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles of Religion

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer – part 1

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer – part 2

Percy Dearmer on the earliest church service manuscripts

Percy Dearmer’s interpretation of St Paul on prophecy and tongues

Percy Dearmer on elements of worship in the New Testament

Percy Dearmer: how several prayer books became one liturgical book

Percy Dearmer on Reformation, royalty and the Book of Common Prayer

Percy Dearmer: first Anglican Prayer Book ‘too fair-minded’ for a violent era

Percy Dearmer on the effect of Edward VI’s reign on the Church of England

Percy Dearmer on the Second Prayer Book’s Calvinistic bent

Percy Dearmer on the Third Prayer Book and Elizabeth I

Percy Dearmer blamed Calvinists for sucking the life-blood out of Anglicanism

Percy Dearmer on the Fourth Prayer Book and the King James Version of the Bible

Percy Dearmer on historical background to the Fifth Prayer Book, 1662

In that last post about the tumultuous events leading to the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Percy Dearmer emphasised the joy that Anglicans felt on being able to use their once-forbidden Prayer Book again. In fact, demand was so great that it was reprinted five times that year.

Consensus was that a new Prayer Book was needed. The one in use dated from 1604.

Atmosphere during the Restoration

Even after the Restoration, memories of Charles I’s beheading and the oppressive Puritan Interregnum were still fresh in the minds of the English people.

The new Parliament passed laws ensuring that Puritans and other non-Conformists — called Dissenters during that new era — and Catholics were prohibited from holding public office and more.

In Chapter 10, Dearmer explains (emphases mine):

their worship forbidden by the Conventicle Act of 1664 under a final penalty of transportation, their extremer ministers refused permission to come within five miles of a town by the Five Mile Act of 1665, and their conscientious members debarred, in common with Papists, from all civil, military and naval office by the Test Act of 1673.

This was because many new Parliamentarians had returned:

to their native villages at the Restoration, to find the church smashed, the trees felled, and the home of their ancestors destroyed.

Although Dearmer, who wrote in 1912, was appalled by these draconian laws, he did acknowledge that:

The Puritan ministers also, who were ejected, were, after all, themselves intruders; for there had been a worse ejectment of Anglicans before. Above all this, there loomed in men’s minds the indelible memory of the martyrdom of King Charles.

Continued Puritan interference

The Puritans were not going to give up easily, however.

Before Charles II set sail for England in May 1660 — he had been in exile in the Spanish Netherlands — a delegation of Presbyterian divines (learned and pious theologians) went to meet with him at The Hague:

and asked that, as the Prayer Book had long been discontinued, the King should not use it when he landed. They also asked that his chaplains should give up using the surplice.

The new king replied:

with his usual keenness of wit, that he would not be restrained himself when others had so much indulgence.

Once Charles II was in England, the Puritans continued putting pressure on him and Anglican bishops, asking:

that the Prayer Book might be made like the liturgies of the Reformed Churches.

The nine surviving Anglican bishops replied that maintaining the status quo — holding on to existing elements of ancient Greek and Latin Liturgy — would give the Catholics less cause for complaint. (The Puritans had moved far away from ancient liturgy, parts of which were in the Anglican Prayer Book.)

In October 1660, King Charles declared that a conference would take place the following year to discuss a new Prayer Book.

The Savoy Conference

The Savoy Conference convened on April 15, 1661. It lasted over two months.

It was so called because the Bishop of London, Gilbert Sheldon, lived at the Savoy Hospital and held the conference in his lodgings there. (Today, the Savoy Hotel and Savoy Theatre stand on the site.)

In attendance were 12 Anglican bishops and 12 Presbyterian divines. Each side also had nine assistants, called coadjutors.

The Puritans expressed their usual complaints about the use of the word ‘priest’, the frequent participation of the congregation in prayers, kneeling for Communion, the use of wedding bands in the marriage ceremony, commemorating saints’ feast days, the Catholic nature of vestments and even the use of the word ‘Sunday’.

The Anglicans were not having any of it:

The Bishops replied to such criticisms as these by referring to Catholic usage, and to a Custom of the Churches of God, agreeable to the Scripture and ancient, and to the Catholic Consent of antiquity.

Dearmer gives us summary statements from both sides.

The Puritans said:

To load our public forms with the private fancies upon which we differ, is the most sovereign way to perpetuate schism to the world’s end. Prayer, confession, thanksgiving, reading of the Scriptures, and administration of the Sacraments in the plainest, and simplest manner, were matter enough to furnish out a sufficient Liturgy, though nothing either of private opinion, or of church pomp, of garments, or prescribed gestures, of imagery, of musick, of matter concerning the dead, of many superfluities which creep into the Church under the name of order and decency, did interpose itself. To charge Churches and Liturgies with things unnecessary, was the first beginning of all superstition.

If the special guides and fathers of the Church would be a little sparing of encumbering churches with superfluities, or not over-rigid, either in reviving obsolete customs, or imposing new, there would be far less cause of schism, or superstition.

The Anglicans said:

It was the wisdom of our Reformers to draw up such a Liturgy as neither Romanist nor Protestant could justly except against. For preserving of the Churches’ peace we know no better nor more efficacious way than our set Liturgy; there being no such way to keep us from schism, as to speak all the same thing, according to the Apostle. This experience of former and latter times hath taught us; when the Liturgy was duly observed we lived in peace; since that was laid aside there bath been as many modes and fashions of public worship as fancies.

If we do not observe that golden rule of the venerable Council of Nice, ‘Let ancient customs prevail,’ till reason plainly requires the contrary, we shall give offence to sober Christians by a causeless departure from Catholic usage, and a greater advantage to enemies of our Church, than our brethren, I hope, would willingly grant.

The Anglicans won.

The one thing both sides did agree on was including Scripture readings from the Authorised — King James — Version of the Bible.

The Savoy Conference ended on July 24, 1661.

Fifth Prayer Book, 1662

On November 20, 1661, a committee of Anglican bishops was appointed to revise the Prayer Book.

They completed their work on December 20. The Convocations of the Archbishops of York and Canterbury approved the Fifth Prayer Book.

On February 25, 1662, the new Prayer Book was annexed to the Bill of Uniformity.

After passing both Houses of Parliament, the Bill of Uniformity received royal assent on May 19.

The legislation then became the Act of Uniformity, and the Fifth Prayer Book — the Book of Common Prayer — was made mandatory for public worship in the Church of England. And so it remained until 1984.

Dearmer concludes:

It is sometimes said as a jibe against the Prayer Book that it is part of an Act of Parliament.

Yet:

our present Prayer Book was not one whit less the work of the Church, whose rights and liberties were most carefully safeguarded at every stage. The troublous century which we call the Reformation Period began with tyranny and oppression, but it ended with the establishment of constitutionalism in 1662; and the royalist Parliament which enforced the settlement, did at least represent the people.

The next entry will concern the 1662 Book of Common Prayer itself.

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.

Acts 9:23-25

Saul Escapes from Damascus

23 When many days had passed, the Jews[a] plotted to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall,[b] lowering him in a basket.

————————————————————————————————-

Last week’s entry discussed Saul of Tarsus preaching to converts in Damascus in their synagogues.

They had already been converted. He was originally going to the Syrian city to arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem for trial on charges of heresy.

On the way, Christ made sure Saul had his Damascene conversion, described in the posts below:

Part 1 of Acts 9:1-9: Saul’s — St Paul’s — conversion

Part 2 of Acts 9:1-9: Saul’s — St Paul’s — conversion (includes interesting info from John MacArthur on his own conversion)

Acts 9:10-19 — when scales fell from the eyes of Saul of Tarsus (final part of St Paul’s conversion story)

After his three days in spiritual solitary confinement, he immediately went to preach to the converts there.

Verse 23 tells us that ‘many days had passed’, then Saul had to leave Damascus.

How long a period of time is that? In Greek — St Luke’s language, and Luke wrote Acts — it was a very long period of time. For whatever reason, Luke omitted Paul’s three-year stay in Arabia, near Damascus.

Matthew Henry explains (emphases mine):

Luke here makes no mention of Paul’s journey into Arabia, which he tells us himself was immediately after his conversion, Galatians 1:16,17. As soon as God had revealed his Son in him, that he might preach him, he went not up to Jerusalem, to receive instructions from the apostles (as any other convert would have done, that was designed for the ministry), but he went to Arabia, where there was new ground to break up, and where he would have opportunity of teaching, but not learning; thence he returned to Damascus, and there, three years after his conversion, this happened, which is here recorded.

John MacArthur also refers to this period, similarly mentioning Galatians 1:16-17:

He says after his conversion, “neither went I up to Jerusalem to them who were apostles before me, but I went into Arabia and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and abode with him fifteen days.”

MacArthur describes this part of Arabia:

What was he doing in Arabia? Well, God sent him there, no question about it, but there’s several things to consider. That part of the world had an Arabia that’s a little different than the Arabia we know today. It’s much north of that and it was called Nabatean Arabia. And it is very likely that at this particular time in history Nabatean Arabia had actually included the city of Damascus. According to some geographical indications, Damascus would have actually been in what was known as Arabia. So that Damascus would be a city on the very frontier of Arabia which would be to the east of it.

We discover in verse 23 that the Jews plotted to kill him. Recall Saul’s powerful personality which made him a great Apostle, although he was not part of the original Twelve nor the replacement for Judas (that was Matthias, Acts 1).

Whatever happened in Arabia, his robust personality and fervent preaching sparked opposition from powerful people. Our commentators have their own theories.

Henry thought the Jews in Arabia were out to get Saul because he — a Pharisee and one of the best — converted to Christianity. Recall from last week’s reading that Saul did not preach about his conversion but Christ alone, saying that He is the Son of God. The more Saul preached, the greater his faith and sermons grew. The Jews did not want people seeing that. Saul was the greatest walking advert ever for Christianity.

Henry’s commentary tells us:

The Jews took counsel to kill him, being more enraged at him than at any other of the preachers of the gospel, not only because he was more lively and zealous in his preaching than any of them, and more successful, but because he had been such a remarkable deserter, and his being a Christian was a testimony against them.

MacArthur thinks differently, that Saul got under the skin of Aretas, who ruled over Nabatean Arabia:

Now this Nabatean Arabia as it’s called was ruled by a king by the name of Aretas. That’s indicated to us in 2 Corinthians 11:32. It tells us that. And Aretas, it says in that same verse, had put a governor in Damascus and put a garrison to guard the city. Now that’s interesting. Aretas lent his soldiers to the Jews to catch Saul. Now why? What does Aretas care about Saul? Why does he want to give a garrison of soldiers to stand at the gates to capture Saul? The only answer that I can come across in my own thinking and this is my own thinking, is that somewhere along the lines Saul has irritated Aretas.

However, by saying that Aretas lent his soldiers to the Jews, MacArthur makes Henry’s point. Aretas could have exercised his own power here. After all, these were his troops. Instead, MacArthur says he lent them to the Jews.

Saul discovered the plot against him and we discover that ‘they’ — the Jews — were watching the city gates around the clock (verse 24). Henry tells us:

they incensed the governor against him, as a dangerous man, who therefore kept the city with a guard to apprehend him, at his going out or coming in, 2 Corinthians 11:32.

It would appear then that the Jewish leaders goaded Aretas into lending them his troops to apprehend Saul.

As the Jewish leaders did with Jesus, so they were doing with Saul. The leaders in Jerusalem during Jesus’s time and those in Damascus during Saul’s time saw both as temporal threats to their authority and privilege. No doubt Aretas worked hand-in-glove with the Jewish hierarchy the way the Romans did in Jerusalem.

To recap, Saul left Damascus soon after his conversion to go to Arabia. He stayed three years. He had to leave because of the tension he caused to the Jews during that time, who then got the ruler involved. He returned to Damascus. The Jewish leaders were watching the gates continuously, with military guards, to capture Saul.

However, disciples in Damascus helped Paul to escape the city (verse 25). Saul crouched in a basket, and they let him down through an opening in the city wall.

In the final part of the conversion story, the Lord, in summoning Ananias, told him of his purpose for Saul (Acts 9:16):

16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

The Lord did not let Saul of Tarsus off easily. Saul had terrorised converts in Jerusalem and arranged for them to die by stoning (e.g. Stephen, the first martyr). He was now going to let Saul get a taste of his own medicine.

However, the Lord was merciful to Saul in making him aware of the plot — possibly through someone notifying him — and in delivering him — with other men’s help — safely outside the city walls.

God sends help in human form when we need it.

This reminded me of the story about the man trapped in a severe storm who needed to be evacuated. He prayed, ‘God, please rescue me!’ A rescue boat came by. The man refused to get in. The prayer-rescue offer-refusal cycle happened twice more before the man prayed once again, ‘Why, Lord, did you not rescue me?’ The Lord replied, ‘I sent you three boats and you still didn’t get in.’

Saul, on the other hand, knew the Lord was sending him help in getting out of Damascus. May we all have such discernment.

Next time: Acts 9:26-30

On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, after the G20 and before President Donald Trump’s trip to Paris for Bastille Day, the Trump administration met with a group of Evangelical pastors who are members of the Office of Public Liaison.

Later, they were invited into the Oval Office to meet President Trump. Among them were Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of Revival Ministries International and his wife Adonica.

The group prayed over the president.

Pastor Howard-Browne has got to know Trump over the past year or so, and he is also well acquainted with certain American politicians.

The following day, he received shocking news from a Congressman who has been in office since 1996. The two met privately for three hours that night.

The Congressman revealed to Howard-Browne that ‘news on the Hill’ is that a bi-partisan plot to ‘immobilise’ Trump is in the making.

And, there have been rumblings in the media that this is true. Here is a video of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewing John Brennan, Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency and James Clapper, Former Director of National Intelligence. The three appeared together recently at the Aspen (Colorado) Security Forum:

An accompanying article on Zero Hedge says that Brennan told Blitzer (emphases mine):

if the White House tries to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, government officials should refuse to follow the president[‘s] orders, as they would be – in his view – “inconsistent” with the duties of the executive branch …

“That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future,” Brennan told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum, effectively calling for a coup against the president should Trump give the order to fire Mueller.

Meanwhile, Pastor Howard-Browne relayed to his congregation what the Congressman told him. You can see what he said in this clip from Infowars which also features an interview with him that aired on Wednesday, July 26:

Howard-Browne told CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network, founded by the Rev Pat Robertson) of the story but they were afraid to run with it.

Howard-Browne is originally from South Africa and became a naturalised American citizen several years ago. He believes it is his civic duty to speak out and ask for people to support Trump, especially via prayer.

Howard-Browne told Jones that if he took no action, he would feel obliged to renounce his American citizenship!

If only more Americans felt that way!

On Monday, July 24, Infowars posted an article about the pastor’s conversation with the congressman:

He said there is a plot on Capitol Hill to take the president out, I said you mean by impeachment or by indictment – he said no, to take him out, he will be removed suddenly from office,” said Howard-Browne, before adding, “you can read between the lines”.

Howard-Browne said the congressman used the word ‘immobilised’.

Also:

The Congressman, who the pastor revealed had been in office since 1996, went on to tell Howard-Browne “there’s nothing we can do to stop it.”

Howard-Browne said there is always something we can do to stop it and started a two-week prayer vigil at his church. He said there are people there praying for Trump, day and night.

He urged all Americans to pray for the president from the privacy of their own homes — and to let people know about the attempted coup.

Howard-Browne understands, that, if it occurs, this removal from office, would take place within the next several weeks, no later than September.

Pastor Howard-Browne has informed the appropriate authorities.

Let’s get praying, folks. We are not out of the woods yet. There are more battles to be fought before Trump can settle comfortably into the White House.

On July 20, I wrote about Michael Caputo, one of Bill Clinton’s advisers during his presidency.

He explained one of his jobs to Tucker Carlson on Fox News:

You can see the full interview here:

Essentially, as I wrote on that post:

Caputo helped to ensure Yeltsin’s re-election.

As president, Hillary’s husband ordered — and got — interference in a Russian election.

I wanted to get that point across to anyone who thinks the Democrats are saintly.

However, Caputo made a second point to Tucker Carlson.

When Carlson asked him if he thought whom the Russians would have preferred as president of the United States, Caputo said Hillary Clinton.

Caputo said that the Russians consider Hillary Clinton ‘predictable’, and, therefore, easier to out-manoeuvre.

They are less sure about Trump because he is exactly the opposite. He is capable of outsmarting them.

That is important to know, especially as other world leaders are likely to have the same impression.

It has often been said that Trump plays 4-D chess. At least one world power thinks that is true.

Interestingly, Caputo ended up becoming Donald Trump’s communications advisor for the 2016 presidential campaign.

Leo Lyon Zagami is a Freemason living in Italy.

He often uses his middle name as his mother was related to the Queen Mother’s family, the Bowes-Lyons.

I first heard him on The Alex Jones Show on July 11, 2017 discussing the conflicts currently going on in the Vatican. It is unclear whether Zagami is still a practising Catholic — and, yes, I am aware of the Catholic Church’s proscription on being a Freemason. Regardless, he takes a keen interest in what is going on in Rome.

N.B.: This post explores adult themes and is not for children.

Zagami told Jones that there are two factions operating at the Vatican: Pope Francis’s group and the traditionalists. Paedophilia is common in both groups, and orgies take place in the Pope’s circle.

Today, July 26, 2017, Cardinal George Pell — a traditionalist — appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in Australia on charges of sexual abuse. US News reports:

Pell, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic and Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, is accused of sexually abusing multiple people years ago in his Australian home state of Victoria, making him the most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis. Details of the charges have yet to be released to the public, though police have described them as “historical” sexual assault offenses — meaning crimes that occurred years ago.

Pell has not yet entered a plea. But on Wednesday, his lawyer told the court that the 76-year-old cardinal plans to formally plead not guilty at a future court date.

“For the avoidance of doubt and because of the interest, I might indicate that Cardinal Pell pleads not guilty to all charges and will maintain the presumed innocence that he has,” lawyer Robert Richter told the court.

The court appearance lasted only minutes. Initially, it was believed these crimes were all committed by priests in his diocese. However, after Australian detectives flew to the Vatican in 2016 and as recently as last month to interview the elderly cardinal, it is thought that Pell, too, might have been directly involved.

Although members of victim advocacy groups were outside the court, so were Pell supporters who believe he has been unfairly targeted. Pell has long been a controversial figure at the Vatican for theological reasons. His defenders among the Catholic faithful believe he is shoring up the one true faith.

We shall see.

Leo Zagami writes (emphases mine):

The two men who made abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell say they are “over the moon” about the decision to lay charges. But their lawyer stated to the Herald Sun, they were not confident the case would be successful. It is up to us, the alternative media to build pressure around this very important case. So please dear readers, share this information on your social media accounts, before the largest disinfo operation in history, could send it into oblivion

Clergy sexual abuse survivor Andrew Collins stated that the fact that Cardinal George Pell had finally been charged, was something he never thought he would hear as “Cardinal Pell … is one of the most powerful men on the earth,”.

Well if Cardinal Pell falls, it’s only a matter of time before the Vatican pedophile network goes down with him, so let’s pray for this very important day for the future of humanity, the 26th of July 2017.

On July 19, Zagami wrote about the two paedophile factions in the Vatican, a topic he discussed on The Alex Jones Show:

One faction, closer to Pope Francis, and the Gay lobby, wants a more liberal Church, ready to embrace homosexuality for priests, and an open support for Islam and the upcoming One World Religion, that will gradually push for the acceptance of pedophilia. This faction is represented by Cardinals such as Coccopalmiero, involved in the Gay Orgy raid, or Godfried Cardinal Danneels of the St. Gallen Mafia.

St Gallen is a secret group of Catholic clerics from the Vatican that meets annually in that Swiss town. Zagami says it is a rogue Masonic lodge.

Then there is the traditionalist faction — Pell’s:

The other faction, the more conservative one, mostly controlled by Pope Ratzinger the Pope Emeritus, is instead contrary to any liberal change imposed on the Catholic Faith by the Jesuit Pope, but still hides terrible compromises and links to the infamous pedophilia rings that hide behind the Catholic hierarchy.

However, there is also a secular aspect to paedophilia outside the Vatican. Zagami alleges that a longtime Italian educator Rodolfo Fiesoli, arrested in 1985 and again in 2011, is a good friend not only of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi but may also have links to the Democratic Party in the US. Zagami alleges that Fiesoli is:

an influential figure in the international pedophile network connected to the US Democrats.

Fiesoli spoke at a TedX conference in Florence just a few weeks before his 2011 arrest:

After his arrest, Zagami says:

references to this pedophile monster connected to Matteo Renzi, head of the ruling Democratic Party, and the US Democratic Party, disappear from the online site of the initiative, and from YouTube but fortunately we still have a surviving footage of the event.

In 2015, Fiesoli was sentenced to 17 years in prison, but has not yet spent a day behind bars because of his powerful connections not only in Italy, but also, perhaps, in the United States.

Fiesoli first gained broad attention in Italy during the 1980s (emphasis in the original):

Fiesoli participated as a supposed “educator”, despite being condemned several times since the mid 80’s, for sexual abuse to minors, at his community called Forteto di Vicchio, established in 1977, to support his bizare theories on family, and the recovery of minors in distress. In the audience was the then-Mayor Matteo Renzi, who was smiling during Fiesoli’s speech, nodding his head several times and clapping to show his approval.

Zagami believes that President Donald Trump is the only person who can break this network wide open.

The Vatican’s opposition to Trump might be evidence that they also think he can expose the network, which is why they are taking such strong objection to him and his Christian supporters. An article appeared earlier this month in the English edition of La Civiltà Cattolica (Catholic Civilization), a Jesuit publication. The editor-in-chief is Antonio Spadaro SJ.

On July 14, Zagami wrote about Spadaro’s diatribe and translated some of it into English. An excerpt follows (more in Zagami’s post):

After reading the article I will add that the Jesuits are declaring war not only on Trump, but on American Christianity. Jesuits write about American Christians in the following way:

Theirs is a prophetic formula: fight the threats to American Christian values and prepare for the imminent justice of an Armageddon, a final showdown between Good and Evil, between God and Satan. In this sense, every process (be it of peace, dialogue, etc.) collapses before the needs of the end, the final battle against the enemy. And the community of believers (faith) becomes a community of combatants (fight). Such a unidirectional reading of the biblical texts can anesthetize consciences or actively support the most atrocious and dramatic portrayals of a world that is living beyond the frontiers of its own “promised land.”

They also attack Steven Bannon – a Catholic – and accuse him of being a “supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics.”

This is the final declaration of war against real America made by the Jesuits and Pope Francis, so it’s about time we openly declare war on their pedophile networks and Vatican Money Laundering Schemes.

Only a small percentage of Trump supporters think that way. In fact, most Americans who think like that are anti-Trump because he is not godly enough.

As for Steve Bannon, he would be the last to think in terms of apocalyptic geopolitics. He just wants people destroying America to be identified and dealt with through the proper legal channels.

Now we come to Zagami’s interview with Alex Jones from July 11, wherein he discusses the evil inside Vatican City. This is the segment I saw as it aired:

The following day, Zagami included it in his post ‘St Gallen Mafia Exposed!’ which also includes a video of the aforementioned Cardinal Godfried Danneels from Belgium discussing his time as a member of the St Gallen Mafia (subtitled in English):

The video is well worth watching and has a lot of information, considering it is less than three minutes long.

Zagami tells us that the St Gallen Mafia:

is leading the Church towards a schism pushing the the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of Catholics worldwide….

Godfried Maria Jules Danneels  a Belgian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church openly involved with the St. Gallen Mafia wearing a rainbow inspired religious garment to celebrate mass.

On June 30, Pope Francis sacked German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller from his position as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to that post in 2012 and Pope Francis made him a Cardinal in 2014.

Zagami says that Müller and Pope Francis did not see eye-to-eye:

because he opposes pedophilia and the Jesuits’ liberal agenda for the CDF.

Heading the CDF is probably the most important position next to the pope. Pope Benedict had held that post years ago. It involves ensuring that Catholic doctrine stays unaltered. Of course, that wasn’t exactly the case decades ago when Benedict Ratzinger was pushing forward with post-Vatican II reform, but the principle remains.

Zagami explains the sacking:

The following information that will help us understand more comes from the report of a trustworthy German source, who spoke to the site OnePeterFive, on condition of anonymity. He quotes an eyewitness who recently sat with Cardinal Müller at lunch in Mainz, Germany. During that meal, Cardinal Müller is alleged to have disclosed in the presence of this eyewitness …

According to this report, Cardinal Müller was called to the Apostolic Palace on 30 June 2017, and he arrived with his work files, assuming that this meeting would be a usual working session. The Pope told him, however, that he only had five questions for him:

Are you in favor of, or against, a female diaconate? “I am against it,” responded Cardinal Müller.

Are you in favor of, or against, the repeal of celibacy? “Of course I am against it,” the cardinal responded.

Are you in favor of, or against female priests?

“I am very decisively against it,” replied Cardinal Müller.

Are you willing to defend Amoris Laetitia?

“As far as it is possible for me,” the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith replied: “there still exist ambiguities.”

Are you willing to retract your complaint concerning the dismissal of three of your own employees?

Cardinal Müller responded: “Holy Father, these were good, unblemished men whom I now lack, and it was not correct to dismiss them over my head, shortly before Christmas, so that they had to clear their offices by 28 December. I am missing them now.”

Thereupon the Pope answered: “Good. Cardinal Müller, I only wanted to let you know that I will not extend your mandate [i.e., beyond 2 July] as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith.”

Without any farewell or explanation, the Pope left the room, leaving Cardinal Müller in utter astonishment. He stood in shocked silence, waiting for the Pope to return, but strangely enough, it was Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who had to force him to leave the meeting, completely shocked by what had just occurred.

One week later, another German Cardinal made the news, Joachim Meisner, who was born on Christmas Day in 1933. Cardinal Meisner died mysteriously on July 5 at the age of 83. Zagami tells us that Meisner was a traditionalist:

He was considered a leader of the conservative wing of the German episcopate, and was one of the four cardinals who orginally presented the controversial letter “Dubia” to Pope Francis in September 2016, seeking up until June 2017, a clarification on the modernization of the Church in matters of faith, and the infamous Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation issued by Pope Francis called, Amoris Laetitia, without ever receiving an answer.

The aforementioned Cardinal Müller spoke to his colleague on July 4:

As the Passauer Neue Presse reports:

Müller had spoken over the phone with the former Archbishop of Cologne [Cardinal Meisner] the previous night [before he died the next morning]; and they also had spoken about the non-renewal of his former position. Meisner had shown himself to be “deeply saddened” by this dismissal. “That moved him personally and wounded himand he considered it to be a form of damage for the Church,” as the Curial Cardinal [Müller] himself described the reaction of Meisner and 1 well-informed source within the Vatican say[s] that perhaps Cardinal Meisner “died of a broken heart.” Or was he killed in traditional Vatican fashion with a poison coffee? …

Interestingly enough, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Prefect of the Papal Household very close to Pope Francis, and Obama, and a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1996, also happened to meet Cardinal Meisner shortly before his death. Only a coincidence? Of course not, nothing is a coincidence in the Vatican, but a well orchestrated maneuver.

According to the Passauer Neue Presse, Gänswein visited Bad Füssing (near Passau), on the 2nd of July, in order to give a talk at the “Bad Füssinger Gespräche” [Bad Füssing Talks]. Cardinal Meisner had been staying in Bad Füssing for a period of time for vacation, as his health was not considered at all a problem. So the two influential Vatican figures met in person there, but unfortunately, no details have been revealed about their conversation that eventually led to Joachim Meisner’s death, a mystery that needs further investigation, as it seems Pope Francis is clearing up the scene from any unwanted opposition before his summer vacation, and Meisner was on his hit list for a long time.

On July 2 — between Müller’s sacking and Meisner’s death — Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, Secretary of Cardinal Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, was arrested in a raid on what Zagami says was:

a drug-based gay orgy.

Zagami tells us:

The police later proved that Capozzi, who was on his way to becoming bishop, is now being forced to retire in a monastery by the Vatican. Capozzi used a car from the Holy See with a Vatican number plate to bring in big quantities of cocaine to the Holy City. Monsignor Capozzi is a big fan of Pope Francis, as is his boss Cardinal Coccopalmiero, who is one of Bergoglio’s biggest supporters and collaborators, and wrote an important essay on the 8th Chapter of Amoris laetitia, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, on love in the family …

In closing, Zagami offered this insight as to Trump’s lack of concern about visiting the UK:

The liberals are desperate to bring down Trump using any and all means, but now that the CIA and other agencies are finally tackling the pedophilia problem, because of Potus’ orders, he could be risking his life even more. LGBTQ rights advocates should support the president in this endevour, and distance themselves from the pedophilia reality.

In the meantime, President Trump has told Theresa May that he does not want to go ahead with a state visit to Britain, a country that as we know is the driving force of the global Pedophilia Network. UK children in the care of British institutions, are six times more likely to be assessed for abuse, than a child in the general population. Scotland Yard detectives were removed from a pedophile investigation, after naming politicians, so maybe the British public should change their brainwashed attitude and support his visit to the UK.

The world — and the Catholic Church — are in a deep mess right now.

Hence my warning the other day — Michael Crichton’s Gell-Mann Amnesia effect — about paying too much heed to what the media are telling us.

This year, I have been running a series of posts on Percy Dearmer‘s 1912 volume, Everyman’s History of the Prayer Book, published by Mowbray.

These are the previous posts in the series:

Percy Dearmer on the Anglican Thirty-nine Articles of Religion

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer – part 1

Percy Dearmer on the title page of the Book of Common Prayer – part 2

Percy Dearmer on the earliest church service manuscripts

Percy Dearmer’s interpretation of St Paul on prophecy and tongues

Percy Dearmer on elements of worship in the New Testament

Percy Dearmer: how several prayer books became one liturgical book

Percy Dearmer on Reformation, royalty and the Book of Common Prayer

Percy Dearmer: first Anglican Prayer Book ‘too fair-minded’ for a violent era

Percy Dearmer on the effect of Edward VI’s reign on the Church of England

Percy Dearmer on the Second Prayer Book’s Calvinistic bent

Percy Dearmer on the Third Prayer Book and Elizabeth I

Percy Dearmer blamed Calvinists for sucking the life-blood out of Anglicanism

Percy Dearmer on the Fourth Prayer Book and the King James Version of the Bible

Percy Dearmer wisely skipped over the turmoil that was going on not only in England but in Europe during King James I’s (James VI of Scotland) and Charles I’s respective reigns.

However, some historical notes need to be added to understand the civil and religious strife during this time. The two intermingled, causing much violence and uncertainty.

Before getting to Chapter 10 of Dearmer’s book, I shall try to sum this up as briefly as possible.

James I was Charles I’s father. When the latter was of marriageable age, the Continent was experiencing political struggles between Catholic and Protestant royal houses and emperors. Spain was a powerful player at this time. People today would find it amazing to know that Spain ruled the Low Countries, but the Spanish Netherlands did indeed exist between 1581 to 1714.

James hoped to broker peace with Spain by marrying Charles off to Princess Maria Anna. However, as the Wikipedia account of Charles I‘s life and death tells us (emphases mine):

Unfortunately for James, negotiation with Spain proved generally unpopular, both with the public and with James’s court.[19] The English Parliament was actively hostile towards Spain and Catholicism, and thus, when called by James in 1621, the members hoped for an enforcement of recusancy laws, a naval campaign against Spain, and a Protestant marriage for the Prince of Wales.[20]

The Spanish Court — including Princess Maria Anna — opposed the match, and it never took place.

However, Charles did marry a Catholic, France’s Princess Henrietta Maria, in 1625, which did not stand him in good stead in England. He had succeeded his father as king in 1624 and was crowned formally on February 2, 1626. Tensions ran high:

Many members of the Commons were opposed to the king’s marriage to a Roman Catholic, fearing that Charles would lift restrictions on Catholic recusants and undermine the official establishment of the reformed Church of England. Although he told Parliament that he would not relax religious restrictions, he promised to do exactly that in a secret marriage treaty with his brother-in-law Louis XIII of France.[41]

Things were not well in the royal household at that time:

Disputes over her jointure, appointments to her household, and the practice of her religion culminated in the king expelling the vast majority of her French attendants in August 1626.[58]

However, not long afterwards, diplomacy with Spain ensued and his marital problems were resolved. In fact, Charles and his Queen consort:

embodied an image of virtue and family life, and their court became a model of formality and morality.[73]

That said, the religious issue of Henrietta Maria’s Catholicism did not disappear.

Taxes were high so that Charles could finance war. He also granted monopolies, which companies paid for. One of them was for soap:

pejoratively referred to as “popish soap” because some of its backers were Catholics.[108]

Another religious issue was the determination of Calvinists — Puritans — to become the dominant religious force. Yet another — on the opposite side of the aisle — was the popularity of Arminianism, which posits that man can accept or reject salvation. In addition, Charles’s diplomacy with Spain was viewed with suspicion, as a way of bringing in Catholicism via the back door.

Charles was concerned about the direction the Reformation was taking in England. The action he took proved to be unpopular:

In 1633, Charles appointed William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury.[118] Together, they began a series of anti-Calvinist reforms that attempted to ensure religious uniformity by restricting non-conformist preachers, insisting that the liturgy be celebrated as prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer, organising the internal architecture of English churches so as to emphasise the sacrament of the altar, and re-issuing King James’s Declaration of Sports, which permitted secular activities on the sabbath.[119] The Feoffees for Impropriations, an organisation that bought benefices and advowsons so that Puritans could be appointed to them, was dissolved.[120] To prosecute those who opposed his reforms, Laud used the two most powerful courts in the land, the Court of High Commission and the Court of Star Chamber.[121] The courts became feared for their censorship of opposing religious views, and became unpopular among the propertied classes for inflicting degrading punishments on gentlemen.[122]

Conflicts arose in Scotland and Ireland. Parliamentarians in England were also furious with Charles. They impeached Archbishop Laud in 1640 and accused the king of tyranny.

On January 3, 1642, Charles entered the House of Commons to have five members of Parliament arrested on charges of treason. (Word had reached the men, who escaped by boat.) When Charles made his demand, Parliament refused to comply.

It should be noted that the monarch never enters the House of Commons. That Charles did so sealed his fate.

The result was the English Civil War which lasted from 1642 to 1651. It was fought between the Roundheads (Parliamentarians) and Cavaliers (Royalists):

The overall outcome of the war was threefold: the trial and execution of Charles I (1649); the exile of his son, Charles II (1651); and the replacement of English monarchy with, at first, the Commonwealth of England (1649–1653) and then the Protectorate under the personal rules of Oliver Cromwell (1653–1658) and his son Richard (1658–1659). The monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England ended with the victors’ consolidating the established Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament‘s consent, although the idea of Parliament as the ruling power of England was only legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688.[2]

The period between Charles I’s death and Charles II’s accession to the throne is called the Interregnum, which had strong religious overtones:

The Interregnum was a relatively short but important period in the history of the British Isles. It saw a number of political experiments without any stable form of government emerging, largely due to the wide diversity in religious and political groups that had been allowed to flourish after the regicide of Charles I.

The Puritan movement had evolved as a rejection of both real and perceived “Catholicisation” of the Church of England. When the Church of England was quickly disestablished by the Commonwealth Government, the question of what church to establish became a hotly debated subject. In the end, it was impossible to make all the political factions happy. During the Interregnum, Oliver Cromwell lost much of the support he had gained during the Civil War.

Puritans dominated the landscape:

After the Parliamentarian victory in the Civil War, the Puritan views of the majority of Parliament and its supporters began to be imposed on the rest of the country. The Puritans advocated an austere lifestyle and restricted what they saw as the excesses of the previous regime. Most prominently, holidays such as Christmas and Easter were suppressed.[2] Pastimes such as the theatre and gambling were also banned. However, some forms of art that were thought to be “virtuous”, such as opera, were encouraged. These changes are often credited to Oliver Cromwell, though they were introduced by the Commonwealth Parliament; and Cromwell, when he came to power, was a liberalising influence.[3]

Interestingly, independent Protestant churches flourished during this time:

The breakdown of religious uniformity and incomplete Presbyterian Settlement of 1646 enabled independent churches to flourish. The main sects (see also English Dissenters) were Baptists, who advocated adult rebaptism; Ranters, who claimed that sin did not exist for the “chosen ones”; and Fifth Monarchy Men, who opposed all “earthly” governments, believing they must prepare for God’s kingdom on earth by establishing a “government of saints”.

Despite greater toleration, extreme sects were opposed by the upper classes as they were seen as a threat to social order and property rights. Catholics were also excluded from the toleration applied to the other groups.

When Oliver Cromwell died in 1658, his son Richard succeeded him. However, Richard lacked authority and his rule was brief, 264 days:

The Protectorate came to an end in May 1659 when the Grandees recalled the Rump Parliament, which authorised a Committee of Safety to replace Richard’s Council of State. This ushered in a period of unstable government, which did not come to an end until February 1660 when General George Monck, the English military governor of Scotland, marched to London at the head of his troops, and oversaw the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II.

Understandably, no one in Britain wants a repeat of this, including the religious restrictions that took place during these years.

History lesson concluded, let us turn to Percy Dearmer.

He informs us that the Book of Common Prayer was abolished in 1645:

and its use made penal.

With Charles II’s accession to the throne, there was much rejoicing:

ENGLAND turned with shouts of joy from the rancour and violence of the Commonwealth, from the spiritual despotism of the Presbyterians and of the Independents who ousted them, and from the resulting distraction and impiety, to the Restoration of Church and King, and of free Parliamentary institutions …

However, the mood turned against non-Conformists, who were persecuted.

With the Church of England re-established, there was great hunger for the previously banned Prayer Book:

So great was the demand for Prayer Books that, before 1660 had reached its close, five editions of the old Book were printed.

But the Prayer Book had not been revised since 1604, and many agreed at least in this — that a new revision was needed.

This brings us to the theological background of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the subject of the next post in this series.

Most of you are no doubt familiar with the late Michael Crichton, best known for his books — especially, The Andromeda Strain — although he also wrote screenplays and was a film director.

He was a man of amazing intellect, particularly in matters scientific. In the quote below, he refers to another man of immense intelligence, the physicist Murray Gell-Mann, with whom he discussed news coverage.

In 2002, Crichton (pron. ‘cryton’) wrote an essay called ‘Why Speculate?’ It featured this warning about Big Media (emphases mine below):

Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect …

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

The complete essay is here.

Crichton pointed out that if you heard inaccuracies from someone first-hand, you would tend to discredit them.

So, why don’t we discredit Big Media based on the inaccuracies they are telling us?

Even more important are the omissions. On holiday in Cannes, I watched CNBC Europe by default (British channels were not coming in well) to get Prime Minister Theresa May’s post-election statement on Friday, June 9, 2017. Whilst waiting for two hours, I heard only two news stories repeated over and over! More was going on in the world that day. Why not cover it?

These channels — and other media outlets, such as the press — are highly economic with the truth, including the traditional television news and newspapers. We now know that because we have a raft of websites giving us more news items — and better analysis.

Why do we persist in giving Big Media our time and money? It’s time we stopped trusting them!

Part 1 discussed the events of Presidents Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron meetings and dinner on Thursday, July 13, 2017.

Today’s looks at the events Bastille Day — July 14 — and why this trip is so important not only for the two men but also for Europe.

I have been reading Hillary is 44 — renamed The Trumpet — since the summer of 2008. The author of the site — known only as Admin and Staff — has been incredibly precise with accurate predictions and political analysis since the 2008 presidential campaign. The author was a Hillary supporter in 2008 and, like many others, turned against the Obama team once they began bullying and threatening Hillary’s delegates that year prior to the Democratic National Convention.

If you think I’m big on Trump, you haven’t read The Trumpet. Excerpts below come from ‘Crusade In Europe: President Trump Liberates The West’. Emphases mine below:

Power narrative. The great President Donald J. Trump is building a power narrative and taking little President of France Macron along. Think about all the roads that led to today. The American revolution in 1776 inspires the French revolution in 1789 which begins with the attack on the infamous imperial prison The Bastille. The Bastille is brought down by French revolutionaries so every year on July 14 the French commemorate Bastille Day the way we remember 1776.

Today is also the centennial marker for the day the United States entered “the great war” World War I. World War I was the most brutal war America has been in topping even the horror of the Civil War. World War I was really World War Part I and was continued by World War Part II. So there is President Donald J. Trump in Paris watching as for the first time ever American troops lead the Bastille Day parade.

The French felt something, because even the left-wing panellists on RMC’s (French talk radio) Les Grandes Gueules (Big Mouths) show thought Trump’s visit was a good thing. No one among this small group of socialists objected. Au contraire.

Most of the photos that follow are from the military parade down the Champs Elysées to the majestic Arc de Triomphe.

Presumably, this first photo, showing a bit of levity, was taken before the parade started:

American troops led the parade this year. The French wanted to show their gratitude for US troops arriving in France in 1917 during the Great War, hence the invitation to Trump and the soldiers marching in period uniforms below:

The Conservative Treehouse has more information:

The President and First Lady will be joined in the ceremony by troops from the United States Army’s First Infantry Division as well as three heroic United States veterans of the Normandy Invasion. Also, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds will conduct a flyover with planes from the French Air Force.

This tweet shows the troops rehearsing at the break of day on July 12.

The Trumpet describes Trump’s address that day as one of narrative building:

As he did in Warsaw … President Donald J. Trump is in Paris at the biggest event in France on the day that marks the anniversary of the Muslim terror attack on Nice.

In one stunning historic moment President Donald J. Trump weaves together the historic paths America and the French people have traveled. Independence Day/Bastille Day. World War I/World War II. 9/11 Muslim Terror attacks/7-14 Nice Muslim Terror attacks. As he wove a narrative in Warsaw which echoed FDR and JFK, President Donald J. Trump wove a vast historic landscape in France today.

Macron tweeted the same sentiment earlier that day, saying that nothing would separate France from the United States — an enduring friendship:

In his early morning — shades of Trump — Twitter sermonette, he also reminded France why they have a military parade: to remember the price that the country has paid for the rights that bind them together as one people. He wrote that, although the history of France began long before July 14, 1789, that day determined the values the French people wanted to embrace. He concluded by wishing the French people a joyous and peaceful fête nationale, which is what they call Bastille Day.

Macron inspected French troops.

The Trumps sat with the Macrons to watch the parade:

This is what they saw:

Trump saluted the US military as they marched past:

The national anthem was played:

Macron inspected French troops.

The London Evening Standard has a video of a French military band playing, oddly, a medley of Daft Punk numbers. Daft Punk are French. The New York Times explained that one of the tunes was originally done in collaboration with Pharrell Williams, showing French-American co-operation.

The Trumps no doubt enjoyed seeing the legendary French Legionnaires:

There were tanks and armoured vehicles:

There was a flypast:

Trump thoroughly enjoyed it:

On July 19, the New York Times published a transcript of an interview three reporters conducted with him in the Oval Office. Trump was so effusive about Paris that his remarks even made RMC’s news on Friday, July 21. The French especially liked that Trump said the Bastille Day parade was better than the Super Bowl’s:

TRUMP: And it was one of the most beautiful parades I have ever seen. And in fact, we should do one one day down Pennsylvania Ave.

HABERMAN: I wondered if you were going to say that.

TRUMP: I’ve always thought of that.

HABERMAN: Really?

TRUMP: I’ve always thought of that. I’ve thought of it long before.

TRUMP: But the Bastille Day parade was — now that was a super-duper — O.K. I mean, that was very much more than normal. They must have had 200 planes over our heads. Normally you have the planes and that’s it, like the Super Bowl parade. And everyone goes crazy, and that’s it. That happened for — and you know what else that was nice? It was limited. You know, it was two hours, and the parade ended. It didn’t go a whole day. They didn’t go crazy …

It was a two-hour parade. They had so many different zones. Maybe 100,000 different uniforms, different divisions, different bands. Then we had the retired, the older, the ones who were badly injured. The whole thing, it was an incredible thing.

HABERMAN: It was beautiful.

TRUMP: And you are looking at the Arc [de Triomphe]. So we are standing in the most beautiful buildings, and we are looking down the road, and like three miles in, and then you had the Arc. And then you have these soldiers. Everyone was so proud. Honestly, it was a beautiful thing. I was glad I did it.

This short video no doubt encapsulates some of Trump’s memories not only of the parade, but the entire trip:

The parade included a remembrance of those who died in Nice on July 14, 2016, victims of a crazed terror attack by a man in a truck mowing people down that night:

When the parade ended, the Trumps left Paris. Macron was going to Nice for their solemn commemoration (see photo and video, more here, here, here and here).

The Trump-Macron farewell was the most unusual and, perhaps significant, part of the day, in many ways:

The farewell handshake and embraces from the Macrons were lengthy. The final handshake between the two men including lasted 25-seconds: Macron did not want to let go of Trump!

Then it was time to leave:

The Trumpet analysed the Paris trip as follows:

And the Trump triumph does not end there. With this visit President Donald J. Trump helps little French President Emmanuel Macron grow in stature. How? Well, the invitation to President Donald J. Trump from President Macron is a direct challenge to the German leadership of Europe and to the decayed Angela Merkel.

And still it does not end there. The fact that the French still assert their nationalist pride in the face of German government hostility to President Donald J. Trump brings to the fore the hopeless task the European Union’s attempt to end nationalism on the continent faces. Macron’s embrace of President Donald J. Trump is a slap in the face (dare we say “schlonging”) to Merkel and an assertion of leadership by the untested, untried, apprentice Macron.

A grateful Macron loves hisself some Trump (and once again Melania does America proud) …

Trump discussed Macron with the New York Times:

HABERMAN: He was very deferential to you. Very.

TRUMP: He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand.

HABERMAN: I’ve noticed.

TRUMP: People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.

_________

TRUMP: I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.

The day before Trump arrived, Macron’s government announced plans to ‘systematically’ deport illegal immigrants. This is probably what Trump had in mind when he said Macron was tough but has to be that way.

The world definitely noticed the handshake.

The New York Times said:

They repeatedly grabbed each other’s arms, gripping hands for several moments before parting.

An Italian said that Macron is a gerontophile. True, that:

It’s an Oedipal thing. The handshake is all “Look dad figure, I married mother figure and got all Freudian with her, who’s laughing now?”

Another tweeter saw it differently. I tend to agree — and this is more important than Macron’s peculiarities:

Interesting dynamics here, for certain, which go far beyond hugs and handshakes.

This is geopolitical.

It will be fascinating to see how this relationship develops — and where Angela Merkel, up to now Macron’s political elder, fits into this new landscape.

Bible spine dwtx.orgThe 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.

Acts 9:19b-22

Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues

For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

————————————————————————————–

Last week, I wrote three lengthy posts on Paul’s conversion based on the first half of Acts 9. These are important, because only by carefully studying his Damascene conversion can we come to appreciate and understand how the Holy Trinity worked through Paul and made him such a pivotal Apostle, even though he was not of the original, or even replacement (Matthias, Acts 1), Twelve:

Part 1 of Acts 9:1-9: Saul’s — St Paul’s — conversion

Part 2 of Acts 9:1-9: Saul’s — St Paul’s — conversion (includes interesting info from John MacArthur on his own conversion)

Acts 9:10-19 — when scales fell from the eyes of Saul of Tarsus (final part of St Paul’s conversion story)

People say that Paul was much ‘greater’ than Peter. He certainly left his stamp on the Church and the New Testament. That said, God gave the two men different types of ministries.

Peter actually had the blessing of being with Jesus for three years. Paul did not.

Whilst foolhardy at times during Jesus’s ministry, Peter did not commit the sins that Paul did, requiring a brutal conversion. If Paul did not actually participate in murdering Christians, he certainly engineered and approved of it e.g. Stephen (Acts 7 and 8). He was pure evil before the Light of Christ struck him off his horse.

Ultimately, both died together as martyrs in Rome at the same time although in different ways, which is why their names are so often linked together. Their feast day is June 29 in the Western Church. They are the patron saints of Rome.

Now on to today’s verses. After he received the Holy Spirit and was baptised, Paul — still Saul — immediately began his ministry in Damascus (verse 19b). The city had a large Jewish population, possibly up to 20,000, and the Christian converts — ex-Jews — there, as elsewhere at that time, worshipped in the synagogues. So he had many new Christians to address.

Wherever he went in the city, Saul preached that Jesus is the Son of God (verse 20). He did not talk about his own dramatic testimony, only Christ and Christ crucified.

Matthew Henry elaborates:

When he began to be a preacher, he fixed this for his principle, which he stuck to ever after: We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus our Lord; nothing but Christ, and him crucified. He preached concerning Christ, that he is the Son of God, his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased, and with us in him, and not otherwise.

Martin Luther emphasised that principle and it holds true today.

John MacArthur clarifies what the words Son of God mean (emphases mine):

Jesus is God, He is very God of God in human flesh. He is only called Son in the sense that as the second person of the Trinity He came to earth. He is a Son in the sense that He was born. He is not a Son in terms of rank in the Trinity. He’s not less than the Father. He’s only a Son in an incarnate sense. Before His incarnation He was God the second person of the Trinity. The title Son belongs to His incarnation …

He is not a Son in the sense of inferiority to God the Father in any way, shape, or form. And I only say that because you’ll run into some people who’ll deny that He is God because He’s called the Son of God. Since we only know Christ from our standpoint in terms of incarnation, we call Him the Son of God and so did Saul, because we know Him in His incarnation. We call Him Jesus too, but that’s an incarnation name as well. We call Him Christ and that’s an incarnation name as well. So he began to preach that he is the Son of God.

The alternative to preaching Christ and Him only is a subjective testimony. MacArthur warns:

Now there’s nothing wrong with your testimony, it’s just that your testimony is relatively inconsequential in terms of the importance of the presentation of who Christ is, you see? Your testimony as a supplement is fine. Your testimony as a witness itself isn’t any good at all because it’s got to be more than that. All good preaching and witnessing is doctrinal. And really, you know, the church has gone overboard on people’s testimonies and people’s experiences and we have created, what I’m afraid, is almost a subjective approach to Christianity.

Now subjectivism is a curse that man has had to live with for a long time. Ever since the Garden of Eden when man sinned, immediately God started looking for man and man started looking at man. He ran in the Garden, I’m naked, I better cover myself. Man became man centered or subjective. God’s always been looking at man. Man’s always been turning inside. And man creates religions that are totally subjective. It’s all experiential. And even today the cultured philosophical men of our world have found an experiential religion, you know. The leap of faith. The upper story, whatever you call it.

But religion is subjective, but not Christianity. Romans 10, “Faith comes by hearing a speech about Christ.” Did you hear that? “Faith comes by hearing a speech about Christ.” Not a subjective analysis of what’s going on in me. Now it’s all right to talk about your own experience in certain context and it’s all right to include your testimony in terms of presentation, but never to the exclusion of the actuality of the presentation of Jesus Christ.

It is interesting that Saul’s own testimony, being so dramatic, rarely entered into his preaching. It did briefly later on, as documented in Acts 22 and 26. However, from the start — immediately upon beginning his ministry — he did not take that route.

Bear in mind that, from an early age, as a Pharisee, Saul was educated in Scripture and philosophy in Tarsus. Later, in Jerusalem, he continued his studies under the famed Gamaliel. He was blessed with a gift for sound logic and argumentation. Now he was using that blessing to preach to new Christians. MacArthur imagines the sermons:

And boy I imagine he unlocked that Old Testament, and it was exciting. And that’s how he became known his whole life as a preacher of Jesus Christ.

Recall that Saul originally went with his men to Damascus to round up Christian converts and take them back to the temple in Jerusalem for trial on charges of heresy. Now he is preaching to them, full of the Holy Spirit and knowledge of Christ.

It is no wonder then that the people were ‘amazed’ at hearing Saul before them preaching to them (verse 21). No wonder they were abuzz asking, ‘Isn’t this the man who was persecuting converts brutally in Jerusalem?’ And, as verse 21 tells us, they knew he was coming for them.

Yet, now he was one of them.

Matthew Henry says that the people would have found his conversion as a massive proof that Jesus is the Messiah:

Doubtless this was looked upon by many as a great confirmation of the truth of Christianity, that one who had been such a notorious persecutor of it came, on a sudden, to be such an intelligent, strenuous, and capacious preacher of it. This miracle upon the mind of such a man outshone the miracles upon men’s bodies; and giving a man such another heart was more than giving men to speak with other tongues.

St Luke, the author of Acts, wanted us to know that the more Saul preached, the stronger he became in faith and oratory (verse 22). As such, he was able to argue his case with Jewish opponents. ‘Confound’ in that verse means to frustrate.

Henry explains:

He grew more bold and daring and resolute in defence of the gospel: He increased the more for the reflections that were cast upon him (Acts 9:21), in which his new friends upbraided him as having been a persecutor, and his old friends upbraided him as being now a turncoat; but Saul, instead of being discouraged by the various remarks made upon his conversion, was thereby so much the more emboldened, finding he had enough at hand wherewith to answer the worst they could say to him. (2.) He ran down his antagonists, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus; he silenced them, and shamed them–answered their objections to the satisfaction of all indifferent persons, and pressed them with arguments which they could make no reply to. In all his discourses with the Jews he was still proving that this Jesus is very Christ, is the Christ, the anointed of God, the true Messiah promised to the fathers. He was proving it, symbibazon–affirming it and confirming it, teaching with persuasion. And we have reason to think he was instrumental in converting many to the faith of Christ, and building up the church at Damascus, which he went thither to make havoc of. Thus out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong sweetness.

Saul must have known it would not be long before he would be hunted down and persecuted.

More on that next week.

Next time — Acts 9:23-25

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