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This is almost laughable. The "capitalist" government of the USA is guaranteeing bank loans. Do you realize what this means? Bankers can continue to lend money recklessly with NO risk! If the loan turns out good, they collect the interest. If the loan turns out bad, the government reimburses them. This is capitalism? What comes next, the singing of "The International" at ball games?
Let us remember that India holds a "most favored nation" status with the USA which has assisted India with becoming a nuclear power in the world. We have also made it profitable for American companies to relocate jobs to India. This is one reason why when you call "customer service" for everything from your computer to your banking needs, you are speaking with someone whose accent you can quickly define as "Indian". All of this has been in high gear since the "conservatives" and "patriots" and "Christians" of the current Administration have controlled these things. If those Hindus had gone to a Jewish group and gave such an ultimatum, this forum would light up like a Christmas tree. At some point it should begin to dawn on us that those who pay the greatest lip service to God and Country are in fact loyal to neither. They are concerned with having their muzzles in the trough sucking up every dime there is to me had. The patriotism and "Christian" beliefs and values are a smokescreen for the benefit of political victory. George Bush put us in bed with India last year with a disgraceful show of cowtowing in order to get access to India's markets for his businessmen friends. Let's see what "sanctions" we are going to put on India to correct this bigotry against Christians.
George Bush pulled the same stunt in Philadelphia in 2000. He enlisted the Rev. Herbert Lusk (a former Philadelphia Eagles Football player), pastor of Greater Exodus Baptist Church in North Philadelphia to introduce him as well. This was part of his "Faith Based Initiative" program which was designed to bamboozle the African-American communities of America (where "church" is the center of everything social, political, religious etc.) into believing that he was going to pump money into the neighborhoods via the churches. As ashamed as these pastors should be for participating, the President should be even more ashamed for his deceit in using this campaign ploy to dig into the traditional Democratic base. No President in history has used religion as George Bush has to bait his constituiency with the carrot of "let me tell you what me and God are going to do for you".
It's the same as Bob Jones and Albert Mohler supporting a Mormon for POTUS. This leaves Evangelicals open to a charge of hypocrisy. No woman in combat unless she is the Commander In Chief of the Army doing the work of a war, namely killing and breaking things ? To insinuate that Todd's giving permission for Sarah to delegate her wifely and motherly responsibility in order to be in politics is lame. No wonder many reprobates accuse us of having earthly rather than Biblical reasons for supporting the Republican ticket. Vote as you wish, but don't manipulate your theology in an attempt to sway other believers away from clear Biblical teaching! "Ye make your own traditions of more value than the Word of God".
The Reformation IS (yes "IS") an ongoing thing. The church constantly needs to be RE-FORMED, because men are always trying to drift from Biblical truth to suit their pride, greed and avarice. Luther did not go far enough and so along came Calvin who did not go far enough for Ulrich Zwingli, who did not go far enough for Menno Simmons etc. But Luther was the first to survive open rebuke of Popery abuse. The RCC and it's co-conspirators burned most of the predecessors including Tyndale, Cranmer, Ridley, Lattimer, Jan Huss, the Waldensians etc. They even dug up Wycliffe's body after he had the audacity to die before they could burn him and burned the bones. You could say that Luther's success was the first "score" that encouraged the other Reformers to press on. As to his propensity for vulgarity there can be no argument. But John the Baptist didn't make his omelette without breaking a few eggs either.
Even though I am a Calvinist Presbyterian, Luther has always been my favorite Reformer. I'll never forget the day in 1962 when I came home from my Roman Catholic High School and told my mother that Luther was right and the Pope was wrong. In ten minutes she was on the phone with the Rectory, and Father Kelly was dispatched to assure me that Luther was a renegade not worthy of being even read about. Even after nearly 500 years, he was still the "wild boar loose in the vineyard" to priests, bishops and cardinals everywhere. Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott! Here I stand. Amen!
Neil: The Italian women of my generation (I'm in my 60's) were devout RC mostly because they were very superstitious and all the icons, candles,etc play into that. The men were all the opposite. They only went to church to perpetuate tradition, and were all critical of priests, and other RC clerics. Modern Italians of both sexes are darn near agnostic if not out and out atheists. Witnessing to Italians is difficult because they can't discern between "Christianity" and Catholicism which they are very skeptical of. Subsequently you have to "unlearn" them before you can "teach" them. Barzini's book is good. He does not take a prideful approach and spends a lot of time laughing at the idiosyncracies of the Italian culture and tradition. It's an easy and entertaining read. On the same note as the other comment, I have a cousin who is an attorney in Rome. One day on Good Friday he asked a close friend of his if he wanted to accompany him to church. It is customary for Romanists to "walk the stations of the cross" on that day. My cousin's friend advised him that he was Jewish. In all those years my cousin never suspected. Such was the small part that religion played in both their lives and such was the extent to which the Jewish attorney had become unidentifiable as a Jew.
Methinks that if yon water be "purified" by "reverse osmosis" it be no longer "NYC 'tap' water". It be something else all together. This is the same thing that Aquafina (PepsiCo) and Dasani (CocaCola) do already.
I can assure you that as a student in Roman Catholic parochial schools and high schools in the 1950's, if you even suggested that evolution was remotely possible, you would have gotten your knuckles bruised by a yardstick wielded by a infuriated nun. The R.C. position was that such belief was anathema. Read page one of the old Baltimore Catechism. "Who made me?" "God made me". But to be fair to the Papists, they are far from alone in drifting with the prevailing winds of the ungodly world systems.
I wonder who the greater threat to world peace really is, that bag of hot air in Iran, or Christian Zionists attempting to bring about WW3 in order to hasten Christ's return? God is sovereign. He will deal with Christians, Jews, Iranians and even Democrats and Republicans in His own good time. He doesn't need red heifers, new temples, Harold Camping, or John Hagee to accomplish the second coming. The International Christian Assembly In Jerusalem needs to spend more time witnessing to Israelis bound for eternal hellfire without Christ, and less time petitioning political leaders. Neil, you might be interested in the book "The Italians And The Holocaust" by Susan Zuccotti (1987). For some reason Jews in Italy have always acclimated to the culture better than in any other host country. You can't tell them apart. They use Italian names, eat Italian food etc. My great uncle hid Jewish neighbors from Nazi occupiers in Abruzzi during WW2. It wasn't until he came to America that he began to experience a twinge of anti Semitism. Go figure!
A) Jesus said "no man cometh unto the Father except by me". B) In so called "Marian Apparitions" she tells people to pray to her, pray the roasary, build her shrines etc. C) In essence she leads people toward her rather than Christ. D) Thus she leads people from the only "way". E) Same game plan as Satan. F) Who comes not with horns, warts, hooves and tails but "as an angel of light", in other words attractive and doing attractive appearing things (like healing people, making roses grow in snow, making the sun spin etc.) G) Only rational conclussion is that these apparitions are the work of Satan. Mary is in heaven with her Savior like all saved people. She is NOT appearing in visions, she was NOT "assumed" into heaven bodily, she was NOT conceived without sin. Her rotting body is in the ground awaiting the final ressurection.
"Behold he travaileth with iniquity and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit and digged it and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate". Psalm 7 vs. 14-16 KJV
Being from Southeastern Pennsylvania and close to the Lancaster County Amish I have some qualms about the claim to "dominion over cattle and beasts". The Amish are notorious out here for puppy mills. The Commonwealth has taken to prosecuting them for the horrible conditions employed. In a recent incident an Amish man shot over 80 dogs to keep them from being inspected by the Commonwealth because he knew that they were blind, deaf, and otherwise maimed because of overbreeding and inbreeding. The Commonwealth is considering action against him anyway, not for the slaughter (it's legal to shoot your dog in Pennsylvania) but because he threw the carcasses into the compost pile he uses to fertilize his crops. Apparently he has been doing this for years and none of this is an isolated incident in warm, fuzzy, homey, quaint Amishland Pa. Many non-Amish neighbors testify to the results of the Amish understanding of the "dominion" mandate in Genesis. They work animals to death, deny them vet care, leave them unshaded in heat and unsheltered in winter. In other words they use them as commodity which is their understanding of Scripture. Although I fear "big government", I believe the state has the responsibility and right to utilize technology to protect citizen & animal health.
Max: I doubt that you will hear McCain say that Jesus is the only way either. Every candidate from both parties during the primary campaign paraded themselves before Israeli political action committees (A.K.A. "lobbies"). They weren't doing that because they like the way the yarmulke flattered their receding hairlines. They all know that without the support of the American-Jewish controlled media, entertainment industries and financial institutions they have a snowball's chance in hell to get elected. To quote a belief in John 14:6, a political candidate in the USA might as well circumcise his throat. George Junior learned that lesson very well. The reason his father lost re-election was because he tried to cut American aid to Israel in his term of office, a fact conveniently forgotten by the media and sadly most Americans. A look at Junior's cabinet and you should quickly realize that "NeoCon" is "Newspeak" for Zionist.
Churches and other houses of worship and their leaders should have the right to express any political opinion they want and to encourage their flocks to follow their lead. They should also have to pay taxes like everyone else. Tax exemption is the way that governments use the inbred greed of man to stifle man's reaction to unjust laws. Let the churches pay and speak their minds. Christ brought forth a coin from the fish's mouth to pay the Temple tax to Jewish leaders and ordained us to "render unto Caesar". Churches that covet tax exemption status are doing so out of lust for filthy lucre. When you accept Uncle Sam's money you dance to the tune his banjo plays.