The Real “Old-Time Religion”

People in the South who are intuitively attuned to its culture and history suspect that what passes for popular, evangelical religion in the region is not precisely what it has been in the past. Besides the fact that the South, like other parts of the country, is slowly giving in to the forces of secularism, those states from Maryland to Texas, and halfway up the Mississippi Valley, exhibit a kind of religion that is less distinguishable now, than earlier in their history, from New York, Minnesota, and California. The Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California, might just as well be in Atlanta. And the seeker-sensitive Willow Creek Community Church will find its imitators in Oklahoma City, Dallas, and New Orleans. The fundamentalist-liberal rift that once plagued Northern mainline Protestantism, now has its mirror image all across the South, especially in the Southern Baptist Convention.

In order to understand what has changed in the South, it is necessary to have clearly in view the kinds of disorders that the religious communities of the South, whether consciously and intentionally or unconsciously and intuitively, resisted. What they rejected at almost every significant point were three movements that had considerable impact in other parts of the country, and especially in the Northeast. These were (1) fundamentalism, (2) Puritanism, and (3) vulgar pantheism. All three of these have enjoyed some success in the United States, but until recently none of them have been favorably received in the South. That is not to say that they did not exist in the South: for each represents a kind of permanent temptation for all people everywhere. But each of them also represents something to which some cultures have developed a degree of resistance. The South has historically been somewhat resistant to the first, more resistant to the second, and until relatively recently almost untouched by the third….

It is worth mentioning that the very fact of the South’s brutal experience of war, and its humiliating defeat, played a part in that section’s resistance of a religious error that has otherwise seemed endemic to the United States. It is the same error to which ancient Israel was so prone: the belief that right religion would always triumph, and defeat is a sign of divine disfavor. This error belongs to the adolescence of religion, but not to its maturity, as the prophets Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, were to teach their people.

Southerners also had to deal with their own defeat and ruin, as well as with the eventual recognition of their own sins—even while the virtues of their oppressors were exaggerated and their sins ignored. Nevertheless, certain virtues can only come prominently into play under conditions that are mostly foreign to the bourgeois comforts of twentieth century America. Flannery O’Conner worried that Southerners were losing this sense of difference and alienation that has something in common with the very idea of holiness. She said once, “The Anguish that most of us have observed for some time now has been caused not by the fact that the South is alienated from the rest of the country, but by the fact that it is not alienated enough, that everyday we are getting more and more like the rest of the country, that we are being forced out, not only of our many sins but of our few virtues.”

By A.J. Conyers – Abbeville Institute –

EMBEDDED AND INSTITUTIONALIZED IRS CORRUPTION

As we continue our articles on corruption it has become readily apparent that there is almost nowhere to stop, in that waste, fraud, abuse and corruption are not ancillary to government, they are part and parcel of it. Most of the federal bureaucracies have not only grown into powers unto themselves with little oversight, they embody this culture of waste, fraud, abuse and corruption. This is the peril that each new nation faces as it ages, especially if the citizenry is wholly apathetic, as most Americans are today.

None in the list of the ever-growing federal bureaucracies epitomizes this waste, fraud, abuse and corruption more than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Its power to collect or to incarcerate, by virtually any means is almost absolute. As many Americans have found out the hard way, challenges to IRS power are met with silence, or the intransigence, arrogance and corruption of America’s judicial system that have become pitch hitters and enablers of IRS corruption, overreach and abuse. We wrote about this judicial corruption in our last article entitled:

“Corruption, Collusion and Cronyism, America’s Judicial System”

The history of the IRS is checkered at best and much of the blame of what the IRS has become can be laid directly at the feet of the U. S. Congress. Since its creation out of the 16th Amendment in 1913, the IRS Act was reconstituted every two years by Congressional legislation. Then in 1939, the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) was codified into statute under 26 USC. Several machinations and revisions to the code took place in the 50’s, then again in the 80’s and once more in the 90’s. Congress has toyed with it, manipulated it, revised it and bastardized it at almost every Congressional session with new laws to placate some special interest group, advance some social goal, or enhance some business interest.

The Treasury Department and the IRS itself have added to this congressional injustice by piling rule on top of rule in the IRC with no attempt to remove the conflicts or the ambiguities. With Obama Care now being tied to it, the IRC has virtually made slaves of every single American that believes they must comply with its twisted, mangled, distorted, confusing and conflicting regulations.

The controversy surrounding the IRS and its underhanded tactics to collect the revenue needed to operate the government is never ending. Worse than that, the IRS is being used as a political weapon by this and past administrations. It’s not just the Lois Lerner’s in the IRS. It’s an embedded culture of corrupted power throughout the agency.

Attempts to get to the bottom of its corruption by Congressional oversight are stonewalled by the IRS, the Treasury Department, the Justice Department and the White House, thereby allowing the IRS to continue its illegal and abusive tactics unimpeded. No one is fined, fired, or sent to jail. As the IRS stonewalls, the questions surrounding the legality of the Internal Revenue Code rage on….

By Ron Ewart – News With Views –

Diversity is a Disaster!

Diversity is a disaster. Why people cannot see this is a mystery. A country can ignore an unfortunate reality, but it cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring it. Why governments allow and even encourage immigration of incompatible populations is a greater mystery. Few things cause more misery, hatred, death, and destruction than does diversity. One may wish it were not so, but it is so.

Some examples of diversity: Chechens and Russians. Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants. Tamils and Sinhalese. French and Moslems. Dutch and Moslems. Swedes and Moslems. Germans and Moslems. Turks and Armenians. Whites and blacks in South African. Ugandans and Indians. Cambodians and Vietnamese. Blacks, whites, and browns in the United States. Jews and Germans. Jews and the rest almost everywhere. Hindus and Moslems. Sunnis and Shias. Turks and Kurds. Tutsis and Hutus. Moslems and Israelis in Palestine.

Note that most of these have caused horrendous bloodshed. Diversity doesn’t work, as a rule catastrophically. Why would any country deliberately seek more of it?

If you point this out, the responses are automatic. “I know some really nice Mexicans/blacks/Moslems etc.” Or “Most Catholics/Protestants/Hindus aren’t terrorists.” True, well, and good. And irrelevant. There were really nice Germans and Jews in the Third Reich. How much did that help?

As a species we do not like diversity, though we may think that we should. People want to be with others like themselves. Difference breeds suspicion, friction arises, and the depraved or disagreeable nature of the other group is blamed.

Distaste for diversity of almost any kind runs through societies. Liberals associate chiefly with liberals, conservatives with conservatives, military people with military people, the rich with the rich, the highly intelligent with the highly intelligent, the young with the young. We may tolerate others if the distinctions are not too great, or if we are not forced into excessive contact. For example, while the Chinese in America are superficially very different from Euro-Americans, they are quiet, courteous, law-abiding, and studious, so little antagonism occurs. But the potential is there, as when they greatly outperform whites academically.

Men of all groups object to marriage of their women to other groups. The women are somewhat less clannish, more willing to marry out-of-group. This can cause bloodshed.

The tendency to drift into antagonism goes far beyond the rational—which just makes it intractable. For example, tens of millions of Hispanics live in the US and clearly are going to stay. Would not American patriots (patriotism being another form of the pack instinct) want them to prove smart, industrious, and eventually good and prosperous citizens? No. If I suggest that Hispanics may not be as awful as hoped, I get furious email (all from men: this too is built-in) insisting that Latinos are, are, are irremediably stupid, criminal, shiftless, hopeless, shriek. That is, distaste for diversity outweighs self-interest….

By Fred Reed – Fred On Everything –

Where virtual reality is going

Right now, companies are selling improved tech that allows a helmet-wearer to see landscape and people in a wider perspective, and hear layers of sounds to the left and right, and above and below him. He can also walk inside the virtual set up.

He can’t touch everything he sees yet, but that’s coming. And perhaps one day, he’ll be able to sit down at a lavish meal and smell and taste the food.

Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste. A five-sense envelope.

He’ll leap off a cliff, fly through the clouds, and attack a monster coming his way, and he’ll win. He’ll do this over and over, and begin to control his own attendant fear. (You can see the obvious military use.)

But…the money men behind virtual reality will want more. They’ll want to program the user’s reactions AHEAD OF TIME; his feelings, sensations, nervous-system responses, endocrine outputs, brain signals.

The full package.

“Press Button A on your remote and receive the complete experience as we give it to you.”

Eventually, there won’t be a button A. Buyers will want what they’re given.

That’s the threshold, the crossover:

Why try to imagine and create your own reactions? Why try to minimize your Pavlovian responses? The VR techs already have the answers for you.

And their answers are very much like a medical protocol.

Entrainment on multiple levels. This is where virtual reality is heading.

In the process, the basic principle of elite reality-building will be expanded: cut off the individual’s imagination; bury it; exclude it; make it unnecessary.

Why?

Because that imagination, and its ability to invent new unpredictable realities, is ultimately what stands between a locked-down planet and a planet that has a chance of freedom….

By Jon Rappoport – No More Fake News –

Franklin Graham: America’s ‘Culture of Death’: ‘Sinful, Godless Worldview Rejects Christ’

Reverend Franklin Graham, son of world renowned evangelical preacher Billy Graham, said that America is increasingly embracing a “culture of death” that echoes what has occurred in Europe, and which stems from a “sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ.”

A further problem in America, he added, is that “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”

“In places like Europe, where Christianity has been in decline as the deceptive forces of secularism and materialism have spread across the continent, it’s not surprising to find the practice of euthanasia so entrenched,” said Rev. Graham in a commentary for the January issue of Decision magazine. “Earlier this year, Belgium became the first country in the world to allow child euthanasia with no age limit.”

“I’m concerned that America is not far behind,” said Rev. Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. “The euthanasia movement—disguised now as ‘death with dignity’—is gaining ground in a number of states. And for every 1,000 live births in the United States, 219 pregnancies end with a murdered child, through abortion.”

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that this rise in the culture of death in our own country coincides with the embrace of an immoral, sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ,” he said. “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”

In addition to the push for euthanasia — the deliberate murder of the terminally sick, handicapped, elderly, or mentally ill – Reverend Graham noted that the social and entertainment culture seems fixated on death and gore.

Football used to be the dominant choice on television on Sunday evenings in the fall and winter but today, for example, 17 million people skipped the football game to watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead, a series about zombies (the walking dead) hunting and eating people.

A few weeks after that premiere on Oct. 12, “nearly 15 million people turned in to yet another episode, easily surpassing that night’s matchup” between the Broncos and the Chiefs, said Rev. Graham.

“That program is just one of numerous television programs that have garnered tremendous followings by fixating on gore and death,” he said. “At least half a dozen prime time shows are strangely enamored and captivated by it. These shows, when combined with hugely popular video games like Mortal Kombat, demonstrate how obsessed with death our culture has become.”

By Michael W. Chapman – CNS News –

Reaping the Whirlwind With Charlie Hebdo

A handful of Muslims brutally murdered some French cartoonists for blaspheming their holy man. Have we learned something new from this?

Yes, it turns out Muslims (well, the fundamentalist types, not many, but more than you’d think, although not the majority, but a significant number, in no way “all,” but in some sense “all”) don’t believe in free speech, although we Westerners know that God wrote “free speech” on tablets of stone, and emblazoned a desire for it onto all human hearts. And free speech is, of course, the cornerstone of Western society (whatever that now is). Ergo, the Muslims (some, not all, but a lot, though not too many) are attempting to destroy Western society, blasting away at the very foundation by silencing “journalists.”

With that in mind, it is not enough for us to denounce the evil that is the coldblooded murder of mortal men, no matter what their line of work, by Muslim terrorists. No, the nature of the crime behooves us to identify with the pornographers at the now-understaffed French smut magazine Charlie Hebdo. Conservatives naturally begin with the caveat that we may find some of the products of their free speech—the ones that depict incest among the Holy Trinity, for example, an image I refuse to insert here—to be distasteful. (The pornographic depictions of Muhammad, on the other hand, we may qualify as “insults real or perceived.”) Yet even if you happen to find some of the journalistic enterprise of Charlie Hebdo to be distasteful, you must nonetheless stand with Charlie Hebdo and say “I am Charlie Hebdo” in French, or at least “you can and should be in solidarity with those dead journalists . . .”

Ultimately, we are being told that the Charlie Hebdo massacre teaches us the vital importance of pornographic insults, both to the Muslim god and to ours. Celebrating shockingly dirty, blasphemous magazines is our way of standing fast in the liberty wherewith the Enlightenment has made us free. How can we not identify personally with French cartoonists who depicted our Savior as a ravening sodomizer of His (and our) Heavenly Father? To do otherwise would be to undercut the very foundation of a free society, would it not? (One pauses to reflect on what it was that motivated David to take up his sling.)

….T.S. Eliot, in Notes Towards the Definition of Culture, asks “whether any culture could come into being, or maintain itself, without a religious basis.” Our civilization has rejected Christianity and now finds such things as “blasphemous or offensive speech” to be sacred. This is the illogical ideology of Western liberalism. Today, the false religion of Western liberalism is clashing with another false religion called Islam, because their people wish to occupy the same spaces. Neither is tolerant of the other, and both are intolerant of Christianity. One has Pussy Riot to desecrate churches, and the other has imams who preach murder in the name of Allah. But Western liberalism is not only a false- but a pseudo-religion. Its platitudes derive not from divine revelations real or imagined but from denatured Christian morality. No culture can “maintain itself” on the basis of Western liberalism. Instead, the very ideology that demands abstract “free speech” with no divine revelation, even vestigially, to restrain it is the same ideology that cannot say no to Muslim invaders who wish to kill the purveyors of the sickest incarnations of “free speech.” We have sown the wind, and now we are reaping the whirlwind.

Today’s Charlie Hebdo episode is yesterday’s The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Western liberalism’s celebration of transcendent porn for freedom’s sake. In response to that film and its message, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg presciently wrote that

The argument from supposedly liberty-loving liberals goes like this: We protect “extreme” and unpopular speech because if that is safe, they’ll never get to our core liberties. If they can ban trash, argue the slippery-slopers, what’s to stop them from banning criticism of politicians?

Goldberg also said that “the notion that smut is the canary in the coal mine of our liberties is a profoundly asinine and dangerous myth, and it may be costing us the things that really matter.”

I couldn’t agree more. And yet, unfortunately, we are now getting the same argument from liberty-loving conservatives. Out of the dankest clap-ridden cesspool of the Playboy Mansion’s grotto has crawled a dogma of conservative ideology. In this ideology, to refuse to celebrate the “journalism” of Charlie Hebdo is to suggest that its staff deserved to die. That, of course, is absurd. In addition to the Muslim killers, what really deserves to die is the liberal notion that free speech is guaranteed by unfettered obscenity.

By Aaron D. Wolf – Chronicles –

10 Signs Your Church Has Been Secularized

The Bible teaches that the church is supposed to influence the world as salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16), but instead the church has often been influenced by the world. Ezekiel 22:26 sends a stern rebuke to believers who make no distinction between that which is common and that which is holy (by common we mean worldly things and values) in this article the word secular refers to worldly rather than holy and set apart for God’s purposes:

Truly any congregation that has no distinction from the world is close to extinction! The reason so many evangelical churches have grown so rapidly is not necessarily because of a true spiritual revival but because of cultural accommodation. The following are 10 signs your church has been secularized:

1) They preach only what is popular and avoid what is culturally controversial.

Often secularized pastors stay away from preaching on the standards of biblical morality so as to stay in the societal mainstream and avoid offending visitors. The result is a membership that only hears a partial gospel without the power to renew minds which leaves them as secular saints….

8) The congregation espouses a culture of entertainment more than biblical discipleship.

When the primary objective of a congregation is to attract crowds on Sunday by giving them an “experience” rather than making committed disciples, then they have espoused a culture of entertainment and have been secularized.

9) The congregation espouses a culture of opulent greed and narcissism instead of sacrifice and giving.

If the preaching appeals to the narcissistic desire of using faith for personal affluence more than the biblical call to surrender and sacrifice all for the Lord, then that congregation has been secularized.

10) If Jesus is only presented as a personal Savior rather than Lord of all.

When folks only want Jesus to save them without transforming them, they have been secularized. When Jesus is continually presented in a church only as a personal Savior without the injunction for all people to surrender to His Lordship, then that congregation is focused on individual salvation more than on the glory of God. Secular humanism is all about centering life upon the needs and desires of autonomous humanity without any concern or submission to the Creator God.

By Joseph Mattera – Charisma News –

Islamic State not only kills Christians in Iraq, their history is erased

“This is the last link to a culture that is not going to be there anymore,” Iraqi-born professor Amal Marogy stated while showing a picture of an older Christian woman in Iraq at a December 2 Hudson Institute presentation. “The Race against ISIS: Efforts to Preserve Ancient Christian Culture in the Middle East” discussed Christian communities disintegrating under Islamic history’s latest wave of repression before a luncheon lecture audience of about 35.

Hudson’s Nina Shea introduced Marogy by referencing a “phenomenal catastrophe” in which the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist movement has destroyed over the past summer the remnant of “Biblical Christianity” in Iraq. The last of Iraq’s Aramaic Christians who trace their ancestry to the apostle Thomas have fled their homes before ISIS’s murderous Muslim marauders for a meager refuge among tents in Iraqi Kurdistan. While infrastructure such as the Mosul Dam can be retaken from ISIS, the years needed to defeat ISIS in cities such as Mosul place in doubt any reconstitution of expelled Christian communities there. While only recently receiving attention in the United States, “this…eradication of the Christian presence” in Iraq means the “end of a peaceful civilization” that “has been there for millennia.”

Because the “Middle East has been ruled by fear,” Marogy described recent Iraqi events as reflecting a “crisis of culture.” The historical pattern of the region’s societies is that a dictatorial “one man rules them all” à la the Lord of the Rings. Yet “peace will be a mirage” as long as this trend continues.

Marogy noted that the Middle East has “no homogenous culture” while emphasizing the importance of preserving the region’s many minorities. “Otherwise it is not going to be the Middle East.” While Christian culture itself is “really enrichment for everyone” in the Middle East, Marogy warned that “after the Christians come the other minorities” as targets of religious fanaticism and nihilism.

While showing pictures of ruined Christian homes and churches in Iraq, Marogy discussed her efforts to preserve elements from the “rich and ancient past” of Aramaic, one of the oldest known languages. Marogy described elderly Aramaic Christians in a picture as being part of the “last fluent generation” in an “endangered language.” Thereby the culture’s accompanying “customs and traditions…are equally endangered.”

Recent violence has ravaged Aramaic heritage in the region, destroying documents such as baptism records. Marogy’s own Aramaic relatives in Belgium have found no documentation of their Aramaic past in Belgium. “Christians don’t need a church for praying,” Marogy said while citing a bombed Syrian church, but structures like Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddha statues, destroyed by the Taliban, represent humanity’s heritage. This sense of a universal human legacy motivated one broad-minded man to repair a stone inscription on a bombed church photographed by Marogy, even though he did not understand the Aramaic.

By Andrew Harrod, PhD. – Religious Freedom Coalition –

Is it now OK to have sex with animals?

I have a very 2014 question for you: How would you respond if you found out that a man living down the street regularly has sexual intercourse with a horse?

Would you be morally disgusted? Consider him and his behavior an abomination? Turn him in to the police? (This would be an option in the roughly three-quarters of states that — for now — treat bestiality as a felony or misdemeanor.)

Or would you perhaps suppress your gag reflex and try hard to be tolerant, liberal, affirming, supportive? Maybe you’d even utter the slogan that deserves to be emblazoned over our age as its all-purpose motto and mantra: Who am I to judge?

Thanks to New York magazine, which recently ran a completely nonjudgmental 6,200-word interview with a “zoophile” who regularly enjoys sex with a mare — unironic headline: “What it’s like to date a horse” — these questions have been much on my mind.

They should be on yours, too.

Because this is a very big deal, in cultural and moral terms.

I have a very 2014 question for you: How would you respond if you found out that a man living down the street regularly has sexual intercourse with a horse?

Would you be morally disgusted? Consider him and his behavior an abomination? Turn him in to the police? (This would be an option in the roughly three-quarters of states that — for now — treat bestiality as a felony or misdemeanor.)

Or would you perhaps suppress your gag reflex and try hard to be tolerant, liberal, affirming, supportive? Maybe you’d even utter the slogan that deserves to be emblazoned over our age as its all-purpose motto and mantra: Who am I to judge?

Thanks to New York magazine, which recently ran a completely nonjudgmental 6,200-word interview with a “zoophile” who regularly enjoys sex with a mare — unironic headline: “What it’s like to date a horse” — these questions have been much on my mind.

They should be on yours, too.

Because this is a very big deal, in cultural and moral terms.

By Damon Linker – TheWeek.com –

The New World Order: A Battle For Your Soul?

From its very inception, the Leninist/Marxist ideology of the Soviet Union made it a central priority to dispel and subjugate religious and spiritual expression. The state was “god.” No other god could be allowed to flourish, for if the people were given license and freedom of belief in something beyond themselves and beyond the establishment, they would retain a sense of rebellion. The collectivist philosophy requires the utter destruction of all competitors; otherwise, it can never truly prevail.

Atheism became the cult of choice among the communists, for in an atheist world there is nothing beyond the veil. There is no greater goal and no inherent self. There is no true individualism, only self interest (not the same thing), the trappings of environmental circumstances, and the constant substantiation of the greater good. By extension, there is no inborn moral compass or conscience, only the social fashions and mores of the moment. In such a world, tyrants reign supreme because atheism allows relativism to flourish; and any crime, no matter how heinous, can be rationalized. Beyond this, if you know and study the real history of the rise of communism, you know through great researchers like Antony Sutton that the very fabric of the system would never have existed without the monetary and military aid of international financiers (i.e. the NWO).

The atheist position uses the same arguments I have just made as a reason to remove religion and spirituality from our cultural influences. And in some respects, atheists are right. Religion is a tool that can be exploited to manipulate the masses. Any system of belief that is faith-based can be misinterpreted and abused in order to lure unwitting dupes and mindless followers into the fray of an engineered disaster. Atheists commonly argue that it is the encumbering nature of faith that causes mankind to destroy itself in the name of zealotry and self-righteous ignorance.

The difference, however, is that religious zealots are still required by the confines of their dogma to at least appear as though they follow a moral code. Therefore, they can be exposed as violators of this code and weakened over time. The atheist/collectivist system, though, thrives on the concept that there is no such thing as a moral code and that one is vindicated and heroic if he takes extreme action to prove that traditional morality is a vice, rather than a virtue. Atheists in positions of power often make no attempt to affirm their actions; rather, they demand that society abandon all conscience and sense of natural law. They do not ask for forgiveness; they order you to apologize for your moral compass. Are some atheists good and honorable people? Surely. The point, however, remains; atheism is the new flavor of the era, the increasingly predominant gravitational center of modern culture, the philosophical soil in which the NWO has chosen to grow its globalist experiment.

What atheists don’t seem to grasp is that atheism is itself based on an act of faith: faith in the idea that there is nothing beyond our perceptions of existence. They have no more factual knowledge of what lay at the center of life than any of the religious acolytes they so fondly attack, yet their own hypocrisy is apparently lost on them.

By Brandon Smith – A Nation Beguiled –