A Letter to the American Church

Letter to the American Church is the latest book by Eric Metaxas, author of fourteen other books including Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and If You Can Keep It.

He draws some significant parallels between what is happening in America with developments in the German Lutheran churches just prior or WW2, which significantly enabled Adolf Hitler and his minions to execute six million (6,000,000) Jews, not to mention hundreds of thousands of others deemed “deficient” by the Nazi regime.  These “others” included anyone not of “Aryan stock” such as Blacks, Latinos and Asians, as well as those they considered deviant, such as homosexuals, drug addicts, thieves and gamblers.

Lining up Critical Race Theory, Cancel Culture, Transgenderism and Abortion as the current sins of America, he points out the moral superiority claimed by those espousing these views.  “Part of what makes them so wicked is that they smilingly pretend to share the biblical values that champions the underdog against the oppressor.”  These were the same claims of Stalin, Hitler and Mao who butchered millions in the name of “fighting for the people.”

Further, he points out that while these issues are political, there is sufficient overlap with Gospel themes and Biblical values that any church that refuses to address them is tragically mistaken.  These “politics” are as demonically inspired as Hitler’s answer to “the Jewish Question,” and must be met by a Christ-honoring church that believes the Gospel touches on all areas of human life.  He challenges churches that feel we should mind our own business of spiritual matters, “as though the truth of God were a parochial, subjective idea that has no bearing on anything beyond our private prayer times and church meetings.”

This, he warns, was what paralyzed the German Church as Hitler pretended that he was with them, all the while quietly working to co-opt and undermine them.  Privately he actually despised the Church and Christianity generally, though he could not say so openly.  Just as the Three-Self-Churches of China today cannot preach the entire truth of Scripture without being shut down, Hitler’s program was to create a “Reich Church” subservient to the Nazi political agenda.  Enacting sweeping “emergency decrees” suddenly allowed Hitler to do things without the approval of the German Parliament… think “pandemic measures” to control the American population.  John Kerry, at last year’s World Economic Forum, noted that this could be an excellent model for enacting economic measures to control many national money streams.

“The Nazis controlled the media narrative and instantly whipped up a hysterical fear of… their opponents.”  Perhaps you have followed how mainstream media has been complicit with government agencies to further the fears of our population and fix on stories that support the “official” views of government and health agencies.

Many churches hung Nazi banners and flags outside their buildings and even inside their sanctuaries… It may be plausibly compared to well-meaning churches today displaying rainbow banners and BLM flags… They only wish to show that they are not like those other rigid and narrow-minded churches and that they are inclusive and generally mean no harm.  They don’t seem to know that the forces behind those banners are only smiling at them in order to deceive them; as soon as they have the cultural and political power, they will show their dedicatedly atheist colors, and will show clearly what they think of Christian virtues such as mercy and humility and love of one’s enemies.

Even a cursory reading of the Gospels will show that “Jesus was certainly not the nonjudgmental caricature that so many have made him to be.”  Did you know that the swastika that is now so despised in the west was actually borrowed from Hinduism, signifying “svas to’ ke,” meaning “conducive to wellness”?

There is a “Spiral of Silence” political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann described that asserts when one does not speak against an evil they witness, they are contributing to the success of that thing they refuse to name and condemn.  As people of conscience fail to speak against an evident evil, the price for speaking against it rises, i.e., eventually an entire nation or culture becomes silenced for fear of speaking.

This was in Chuck Colson’s mind as he helped frame The Manhattan Declaration in 2009.  Bolstered by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s stance against Naziism in 1932, the declaration calls on Christ-followers to be clear and vocal in their opposition to the idea that Christians should be “apolitical” and stick to “issues of faith.”  This, Metaxas says, is the mistake the German Lutherans made due to overcompensation against legalism that Martin Luther decried.  He specifies Luther’s avoidance of the letter of James in the Bible which clearly teaches that what one believes will affect the actions one takes.  Bonhoeffer called Luther’s stance on this “cheap grace,” an easy religion that avoids controversy and does not address the nuances of what it means to fully live out our faith.  He asks, “Does how I live show God that I actually believe that I claim to believe?  Or does how I live show God that actually I do not believe what I claim to believe.?”  Just as we cannot get to Heaven by doing good works, we cannot get to Heaven without good works, because if we have faith that will take us to Heaven, it will be a faith that is lived out inevitably in good works.

As recently as this book was published in 2022, Metaxas asks, “Shall we arrest the downward spiral, or will we go along with it until we can say nothing about anything?  Are we already very close to that?”

Of course, there is some truth in every lie that will make it believable, and Metaxas does not shy away from the fact that many Christians and their organizations have been “over-political.”  This thinking puts our hopes in a national policy, a particular candidate or party, or in legislation or courts, that if we can just get this law passed or that ruling overturned, everything will be all right.  This thinking, he says, makes an idol of politics rather than a mechanism by which Christians can share their good intentions and the love of Jesus.

Near the end of his text, he lays out the entire books premise: “Truth is truth. All truth is God’s truth, and sometimes it is those who are not bound up and crippled by entangling and confused ‘religious’ views who can see most clearly… Being a Christian is not about avoiding sin, but about passionately and courageously serving God.”

This is a book for every Christ-follower, pastor and church leader that will challenge you to reconsider, What is the Church?  Watch this 11 minute video of Francis Chan addressing this question:

Guest blog by B.G. O’Neal: God Will Turn It Around!

As we wrap out another year, let me encourage you with BG O’Neal’s blog of encouragement.  I also hope with Jews around the world who proclaim each Passover: “Next Year in Jerusalem.”  Perhaps we will attend next year in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21).  So as we end this year and move into 2023, consider where you are on your faith journey.  “When we all come to die, does it make the slightest difference which political party we belong to?  Does it matter whether we are rich or poor, learned or otherwise?  There is only one fundamental distinction, and that is whether we belong to the world or to Christ.“  (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)
Even so, come, Lord Jesus, come.
I’ve added some graphics and an additional YouTube link.

by Flip Side – Word Up, BG O’Neal 

We live in a most precarious time when trust seems to be pendulous. It feels like so much is just hanging in the air. There are so many variables to consider. Oh, the look on sad ashen faces! It is like a generation lost. And we thought we had it so bad growing up in the 50s to 70s.

How does a person, young or old contend with the affairs of this day? Political unrest! Church attendance! Divorce rates! And sadly a society that loves to escape to fantasy! Be whatever you feel like! Be a furry, be a dog! That may provide a temporary mirage of an escape. Wait until you get treated like a dog!!!

A dog’s life is not always about being loved and cared for. Sometimes they get abused, starved, killed. What about just being what your loving Creator, “Yahweh,” made you to be? Man up! Woman up! No wonder the world is so forlorn, so torn, so sad! But are we praying for our world, or do we seek only our own good?

Please realize that we are not alone in facing the issues in our world. The same rain falls on us all! The same sun shines on us all! We all have to deal with life! We all face the same perplexities. They have not changed much but rather intensified: suicide rates; political unrest; a broken economy with unfathomable debt!

So many broken marriages. Unemployment on the rise! We live in a lazy co-dependent society. Lack of customer service and disrespect is one of the results of a godless society. Anger and hatred against God and Christ is rampant! Have you ever seen such rudeness and ignorance? It’s sad to say that these same attributes exude from our pulpits at times! No wonder there is so much anxiety in the world!!!

I know it seems that I have painted a very bleak picture. However, there is hope! God was in Christ reconciling the world back unto himself. This same Jesus is still the way, the truth, and the life! He is the Savior for all who accept him. As the song says, “The only real peace I have dear Lord is in you!” You also can have that peace of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior!

Accept him today and be filled with the Holy Spirit who gives true peace. Life will still be tough! Things will at times be difficult to understand! You will make it through your trials! And oh, the joy that God gives!!! The ‘pseudo’ happiness the world offers is just that! Fake! Would you now consider praying and seeking the Lord for salvation?

Let God turn some things around for you. Experience His grace and mercy! Rest in his ever abiding peace and love! Listen to the heart cry of the Psalmist in this passage below:

“I’m worn out with my weeping and groaning. Night after night I soak my pillow with tears, and flood my bed with weeping. My eyes of faith won’t focus anymore, for sorrow fills my heart. There are so many enemies who come against me! Turn from me, all you troublemakers! For Yahweh has turned to hear the sound of my weeping. Yes! Yahweh my healer has heard all my pleading and has taken hold of my prayers and answered them all.” Psalms 6:6-9 (TPT).

 

 

The Coming CBDC – Guest Blog from All Israel News

The Coming CBDC – The End of Money As We Know It – Part I
by Cookie Schwaeber-Issan – November 29, 2022 – All Israel News
[minor editing and additional links by c.a.post]

For years most of us have heard about an impending threat to do away with our monetary system as we know it.  Yet perhaps because it sounds like end-time, apocalyptic doom and gloom stuff, it is easy to ignore.

Well, continue to ignore it – but at your own peril, because it might be implemented a lot sooner than any of us think.

Up until now our monetary system has been overseen by government authorities which print paper currencies and determine its value.  This money, called fiat currency, is not backed by any commodity, such as gold.  Its advantages include giving economic players greater control over the economy, as well as being easy and cheap to produce, and convenient to use.

But in recent days the monetary system has been misused and mishandled in such a seemingly deliberate way that it’s almost as if it’s been orchestrated cleverly to facilitate the establishment of a new system.  For example, despite warnings by many experienced and savvy economists, the U.S. government chose to print too much money and gave massive handouts, factors which definitely contributed to high inflation and the current dismal economy.

 According to Business Insider, “Fiat money is currency that’s backed by the public’s faith in the government or central bank that issued [it], but it has no intrinsic value, unlike commodity currency which is linked to the price of a commodity.  Instead, fiat money derives its value from the trust people place in the government that issues it.”

Simultaneously, you might have noticed that there seems to be a push to no longer trust the present monetary system, which was one of the major reasons for the birth of cryptocurrency – a currency not based on a fiat monetary system.  Crypto is not issued, controlled or backed by any government or bank.  However, cryptocurrency has had its share of problems, the latest being the total collapse of the FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange, which has caused many investors to lose millions.

If fiat money and cryptocurrency are problematic, what’s the solution?  Introducing Central Bank Digital Currency, known as CBDC – the digital form of fiat currency. 

Rather than printing money, a central bank would issue electronic coins that are guaranteed and backed by the government.  You’d be furnished with a digital wallet or bank account and directly interact with the central bank.  Sounds great, right?  But wait, there’s more!

What exactly is that “direct interaction”?  The CBDC will be able to create a reliable profile of each individual based on their spending and saving habits.  In other words, pretty much all of your transactions will be observed, noted and assessed.  Then you will receive recommendations based upon your individual habits.  While that might sound helpful, it’s also a major invasion of one’s financial privacy.

How long does anyone think it will take before personal monetary choices are evaluated as good or bad?  And what will the consequences be if you are deemed to be making purchases seen as undesirable by your government?  In other words, central banks will be able to take money out of people’s accounts to conduct monetary policy.  The truth is, CBDCs are government’s attempt to protect its privileged position and to exert more control over people’s money.

All one needs to do is to take a look at the credit system China imposed upon its citizens – a system of rewards and punishments that accord with “moral ranking” by the Chinese Communist Party.  Individual behavior can be monitored to determine who shares the government’s values and who doesn’t.  And what determines a bad score?  Anything from purchasing too many frivolities to being accused of sharing misinformation.

What happens to those who violate the terms?  They can be banned from traveling, purchasing property or getting a loan.  In China, “Once you’re in a low category, it makes [life] difficult.  Such a system could further divide society, creating classes of people depending on their social credit.”

So much of this is reminiscent of the COVID-19 green pass, which, if you think about it, was also based on a social credit system.  If you complied with the government directive of being vaccinated, you were able to take part fully in all that society offers – going to restaurants, traveling, being permitted into events and so on.  Those who refused the vaccine were relegated to eating at home or remaining homebound entirely.  Here in Israel, the government considered requiring the unvaccinated to identify themselves by wearing a colored bracelet just to obtain mall access – a plan quickly struck down due to public outcry.

There is no doubt that the CBDC will be presented as a much more effective way to safeguard your money.  It will be touted as being in your best interest, and a way to make life less complicated.  Of course, that’s how it has to be portrayed in order to convince people to leave a system they’ve used all their lives.

City.Journal.org warns that “Few likely paid much attention when, on March 9, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the government to begin developing a Central Bank Digital Currency to be issued by the Federal Reserve, alongside a framework to regulate private cryptocurrencies.”  On Sept. 16, the Biden administration “released a framework outlining the regulation of digital assets including cryptocurrency and other items of value that exist only in digital form,” a framework which suggests the creation of a CBDC, according to Jim Probasco, writing for Investopedia.

City.Journal.org wrote in March that CBDCs have the potential to become an unprecedented totalitarian nightmare.  Why?  Again, we have only to compare it to what already exists in China: jaywalking, speeding or other infractions land citizens heavy fines – fines which can be deducted automatically by the centralized bank account.

Who will stop the government from deducting whatever else it wants from your account?  Because, in effect, it’s a “joint account,” where access is available to your governmental benefactor.  The options would be endless in terms of what could be moved from one account to another.  And if the system is linked to desired standards and values, including many you don’t share, what happens to your financial outlook?  Doesn’t this smack of programmed behavior or forcing a desired outcome?  After all, being able to access your money is paramount.  Controlling each person will be made simple.

We’ve already had a foreshadowing of this, when PayPal recently threatened to fine users who, by their standards, were guilty of spreading misinformation – a totally subjective parameter.  They would only have to seize the funds accessible to them in your personal PayPal account.  Or, what about the freezing of 280 personal bank accounts in Canada, during the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker protest in February?

The bottom line is that the CBDC has the frightening potential to curtail financial freedom, with the added bonus of making sure everyone is fully compliant with whatever we are being told to do.  If you aren’t, losing access to your own money might be the consequence.  In short, the new slogan could be, “My Money, If I Only Follow Your Demands!”

CBDC: What Will The Consequences Be If Israel Adopts the Central Bank Digital Currency? – part II
November 30, 2022


You might be surprised to learn that in June, the Bank of Israel shared details about its first set of technical trials for a central bank digital currency.  CBDC One trial tested smart contracts, raising the issue of who should be allowed to write and police them.

In September, Israel teamed up with Norway and Sweden to explore the implementation of a centralized digital currency, engaging together to test technical systems through which this might work.  The teams are expected to reveal their findings during the first quarter of 2023 as they relate to retail payments.  So, the short answer is ‘yes.’  Israel is not only thinking about jumping on the CBDC bandwagon – along with 100 other countries exploring this direction – but already has begun to investigate and engage in trial enactments to determine its viability.

In fact, Israel began imagining the viability of CBDC as far back as 2017, conducting a pilot test in 2021, and already considering the possibility of calling the digital shekel currency “SHAKED” (the Hebrew acronym for Digital Shekel).

But as mentioned in Part I, there is no doubt that such a dramatic change in our monetary system would have to be preceded by a slick, enticing and attractive campaign to convince everyone that this is being done with their best interests in mind – taking into consideration their protection, benefit and convenience.

So, how predictable are the words of Bank of Israel’s CBDC project manager, Yoav Soffer, who claims that, “under the right conditions, the Digital Shekel could ‘allow for more freedom.’”  He assures us that there is justification since, “It is in the public interest to fight the illicit black economy and tax evasion.”  But when confronted with the warnings of critics who claim that CBDCs will monitor people’s spending habits and could have far-reaching political consequences for those who may not support the government, Soffer is quick to say, “Israel’s CBDC policy would be in the ‘public interest’ and subject to that country’s democratic processes.”

That abstract comment opens up a plethora of questions, such as:

  • What happens if democracy, as we know it, changes into a more autocratic system under the control of one person?  Does anyone remember that it was one person who made the exclusive deal between Israel and Pfizer, on behalf of the Israeli people, eventually to mandate the deal for all Israel’s citizens?
  • What happens if digital banking requires a certain code of behavior and ethics by its citizens – one which might be unacceptable to many?
  • What happens to your hard-earned funds for which you labored throughout your entire life?  Do they become limited or are they even accessible without full compliance with the new digital monetary system?
  • What happens if you belong to a group, or contribute to a group, seen as undesirable or unsupporting toward government actions?  Will you be fined or penalized for your association with them?  Will you be afforded a defense, or any type of democratic hearing, or will money be arbitrarily withdrawn from your account?
  • Will you be obligated to comply with certain medical or social demands intended to prop up your standing or which, if you choose to opt out, will injure your ability to access your funds?

This leads to my next questions:

  • Do Israelis have any right to privacy as it concerns the use of their own personal funds?  If part of the function of a central bank digital currency is to track usage, and analyze spending habits to determine their legitimacy and worthiness, whose money is it ultimately?  The moment your spending choices come under question, it has ceased to be solely your money.
  • Given the fact that Israel boasts the most ethical army in the world, as well as being one of the few countries to swiftly offer humanitarian help to any country that needs and desires it, why would we decide to join a global banking system which intends to spy on the spending habits of its citizens, as well as be the judge and jury as to how we might conduct ourselves concerning our life choices?

For now, Israel has not spoken much about the possibility of launching a digital currency, but the Bank of Israel continues to research and be active in its development and planning.  However, given its claim that the digital shekel “will not pose a threat to the national financial system,” it might not be too long before CBDC is widely introduced to the Israeli public as a fait accompli.

Lastly, it should be noted that “blockchain,” the technology under which cryptocurrencies operate, will serve as the basis for a central bank digital currency.  Blockchain is defined as “a technology which allows assets to be exchanged electronically, recording the facts and details of a transaction without the ability to make any changes to those records later.  It is information recorded in a distributed ledge with identifiers for the sender, recipient, time and transfer amount.  In effect, it is an unbroken sequence of blocks, so that anyone can track the entire transaction history of a particular asset, all the way back to its origin.”

Try digesting that definition for a few minutes!

It might be the best and most convincing argument as to why CBDC is likely to turn into giant government overreach into personal wealth, giving it the capacity to become the ultimate puppet master when it comes to making people do whatever it is that it demands from them.  Seize their money, and now you own them.  Whether they eat, pay their bills or are allowed to participate in life is now in the hands of the ones who can see their payment history and determine if they get a passing grade.

So why should that threaten anyone?  Just a reminder to Israel . . .  in the words of one of our own prophets, Micah 6:8, “The LORD has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Israel needs to think carefully as to whether CBDC can be enacted and, at the same time, allow us to follow the wise counsel given to God’s chosen people!

Cookie Schwaeber-Issan A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust.  Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.

Still As Dumb As Ever – Get Rid of DST!

It’s that time of year again when everyone has to mess with any clocks that are not synchronized to some satellite to “wake up” an hour earlier.  There are very few things our Congress has done that are dumber than Daylight Saving Time.  However, Senators Mark Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida have devised one to up the ante!  They introduced and the Senate passed the “Protect the Sunshine Act” last spring, 2022.

2022-07-30 King Canute and the Uncooperative TideThe hubris of the name of this proposed law rivals the efforts of King Canute who sat his throne by the Aegean Sea and commanded the tide to stop coming in.  And we know how THAT turned out.  The King finally relented and declared, “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.”  If he were alive today, he would have simply moved the high-tide markers and declared, “There, I stopped the tide,” much as Congress does with our clocks: “There, we gave you an extra hour of sunshine.”  🤪

But that did not stop the idiots in the Senate from passing this absurd bill on March 16, 2022.  The bill is intended to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent as of November 5, 2023.  That is the day before we are supposed to return to normal standard time.

2022-07-30 DST InsanityThe asininity of this proposed law boggles the mind!  Are Floridians, and by extension, all Americans, so lame-brained that we cannot just get up an hour earlier if that is what we wish to do!?  How does this law “protect the sunshine!?”  AND why are our Senators and Representatives wasting time messing with our clocks, instead of addressing inflation, illegal immigration/oppressive visa constraints, fuel regulation, voter integrity/freedom of voter access, and concerns of normal Americans?  While many of Senator Rubio’s and Scott’s proposals and views line up well with conservative values, this one came out of the wild blue yonder as inane government overreach.  If you are an American citizen, let me encourage you to write to your Congressperson in the House of Representatives and urge common sense!  The Senate abdicated any measure of sanity and passed this already.

To find your representative, try this link: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.  To assist you in your effort to get the House to use common sense, here is a sample letter.  Feel free to copy and paste or develop your own appeal to your Representatives to use their brains for a change.
____________________________________

Dear Representative Barr,

In March, 2022 the Senate passed a bill to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent!  This is one of the dumbest things Congress has attempted to do since instituting DST in the first place.  It is true that most normal Americans and Europeans hate moving our clocks back and forth with the seasons, and the loss of productivity for the weeks after each change is substantial.

However, rather than make DST permanent, PLEASE, now that we have changed back to UTC+/-, the “normal time” most of the world uses, stop DST from ever plaguing us again!  Primarily, the US and Europe are the only ones dumb enough to use DST.

You have much more important issues facing our nation than some idiot’s idea to force our clocks out of sync with the rest of the world.  If we are going to mess with the clocks this way, why not move them BACK FIVE HOURSThat way we could all sleep in until noon and go to work “later” in the day.  This makes as much sense as making DST permanent!!

I will be watching for your vote or non-vote on this issue next spring before the 2024 election cycle kicks in.
yours truly,
c.a.post
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“Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brace Yourself, We’re All Gonna DIE in 12 Years!  Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, a former bartender, said so in 2019!

But first let’s get some perspective.  In the 1970s, it was “settled science” that an ICE AGE was imminent!

“‘The trouble with almost all environmental problems,’ says Paul R. Ehrlich, the population biologist, ‘is that by the time we have enough evidence to convince people, you’re dead. … We must realize that unless we are extremely lucky, everybody will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years.’”The New York Times, 1969.

“No real action has been taken to save the environment, [Ehrlich] maintains. And it does need saving. Ehrlich predicts that the oceans will be as dead as Lake Erie in less than a decade.”Redlands Daily Facts, 1970.

“Scientist Predicts a New Ice Age by 21st Century: Air pollution may obliterate the sun and cause a new ice age in the first third of the next century. … If the current rate of increase in electric power generation continues, the demands for cooling water will boil dry the entire flow of the rivers and streams of continental United States. … By the next century ‘the consumption of oxygen in combustion processes, world-wide, will surpass all of the processes which return oxygen to the atmosphere.’”The Boston Globe, 1970.

“The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. … ‘In the next 50 years,’ the fine dust man constantly puts into the atmosphere by fossil fuel-burning could screen out so much sunlight that the average temperature could drop by six degrees. If sustained ‘over several years’ — ‘five to 10,’ he estimated — ‘such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!’”Washington Post, Times Herald, 1971.

“Dear Mr. President: … We feel obliged to inform you on the results of the scientific conference held here recently. … The main conclusion of the meeting was that a global deterioration of climate, by order of magnitude larger than any hitherto experienced by civilized mankind, is a very real possibility and indeed may be due very soon. The cooling has natural cause and falls within the rank of processes which produced the last ice age. … The present rate of the cooling seems fast enough to bring glacial temperatures in about a century.” Brown University, Department of Geological Sciences, 1972.

“However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing.
“Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ICE AGE. Telltale signs are everywhere — from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest. Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7
F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data. When Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and his wife Helena analyzed satellite weather data for the Northern Hemisphere, they found that the area of the ice and snow cover had suddenly increased by 12% in 1971 and the increase has persisted ever since. Areas of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, for example, were once totally free of any snow in summer; now they are covered year-round.” Time magazine, 1974.
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However, the NEW alarms are not for a coming Ice Age.  What we “know” (🙄) so far:

“A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”Associated Press, 1989.

“Unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.” Vice President Al Gore, 2006.

“The world is going to end in 12 years if we do not address climate change.”January 21, 2019, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D- Rep from NY and former bartender.
__________________________________

In the text, Inconvenient Facts, Gregory Wrighthouse points out that the coming Ice Age was “settled science” in the 1960s and 70s.  What a difference a day (or politician) makes!

Wrighthouse accurately points that “Unlike religion, science is not a belief system…. Science is not consensus and consensus is not science.”  He goes on to quote Michael Crichton, “There is no such thing as consensus in science.  If it’s consensus, it is not science.  If it’s science, it is not consensus.”

Maimonides wrote, “Truth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.”  

He also points out the most feared calamity associated with global warming is sea-level rise, predicted in 2005 by the UN Environmental Program to produce 50 million climate refugees by 2010, displaced by sea-level rise.  Well, we know how that panned out.  The Bahamas, St. Lucia, Seychelles and the Solomon Islands were to be some of the worst affected but are now thriving very nicely in spite of the horror of climate change.

At the writing of Wrighthouse’s book, the UN had adjusted its prognosis to the same number of climate refugees by 2020.  Printed in 2017, well, that did not quite work out, either.

The most recent headlines in National Geographic report unnamed NASA scientists, as well as some who put their names in, saying the ocean will rise between 11-38 inches by 2100, and possibly as much as 18 feet in a couple more centuries!
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/150827-NASA-climate-oceans-seas-greenland
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/greenland-ice-sheet-predicts-sea-level-rise-climate-change

In State of Fear, a novel by Michael Crichton, he noted the advantages of creating a constant drumbeat of fear in populations to get cooperation.  And Mr. Wrighthouse begins his very readable text with a quote from H.L. Menken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

The more things change, the more they remain the same.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
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For more on the absurdities of “climate science by consensus,” read on from way back in 2012 before we “understood” the danger:

UN Climate Report Reveals the Crisis Is About Truth, Not Climate
by Jason Isaac, August 12, 2012, Epoch Times

The United Nations’ latest climate change report sparked predictable hyperventilating. You’ve seen the headlines crying, “Code Red for Humanity” and clamoring about “extreme” and “unprecedented” warming likely to be “irreversible” — accompanied by fear-mongering images of raging wildfires and flooded towns.

Fortunately, the true state of our climate is far from disastrous. In fact, both climate science and thousands of years of human history show this is the best time yet to be alive. The UN is continually moving the goalposts when its apocalyptic predictions fail to come true.

The problem with climate science today is not so much the science as shoddy reporting that over-simplifies and over-dramatizes — and a toxic political climate (pun intended) that forbids deviation from the politically correct narrative.

The computer models used by the UN and every other climate-focused entity around the world are statistical projections, not precise calculations. The specific models cited in the latest UN report are designed to offer a broad range of possible outcomes and formulated using highly suspect and outdated criteria. Yet the report focuses heavily on the model scenarios known to be extremely unlikely — garnering over 40 percent of mentions and almost 100 percent of media coverage.

These same models show that even totally eliminating fossil fuel consumption would have a microscopic influence on global temperatures — less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius even if the full Green New Deal was enacted immediately.

In reality, we know remarkably little about the effect of human activity on the climate. What the vast majority of us know about climate change we get from the news, and it sure seems like natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, and the recent heat waves in the Pacific Northwest are getting more common. But perception does not equal reality.

Global weather data shows hurricane activity and frequency have not increased over the long term. News articles fueling climate anxiety usually cite spurious graphs that start the timeline in the 1980s. But the world did not begin in the 1980s, and there have been several periods in history that saw the same, or worse, hurricane activity as we’re experiencing now.

Similarly, although you would not know it from the news, wildfires and floods are on the decline, and recent heat waves in the Pacific Northwest are small potatoes compared to the 180- and 240-year megadroughts the planet experienced between 800 and 1400 A.D.

The even better news? You and I are 99% less likely to die in a severe weather event than our great grandparents. In 1920, global climate-related disasters killed almost 500,000 people every year. Today, even though the world’s population has quadrupled, fewer than 20,000 die from climate-related disaster. In fact, cold-related deaths are over 40 times more common than heat-related deaths in the United States and Canada.

If we are becoming more resilient to disasters that are happening less often, what is the crisis?
It is not a climate crisis, but a crisis of truth.

The climate activists who demand “follow the science” appear remarkably uninterested in the nuances and uncertainties of the research they believe supports their ideology.

Science has never been about marching in lockstep with the mainstream. Its purpose has always been curiosity, testing new ideas, and striving to understand more about how the world works—even, and especially, if it proves a previous theory wrong. Even schoolchildren know to shake their heads in disdain at the politicians who persecuted Galileo for having the audacity to publish his theory about the solar system. Yet the same abuse of science is occurring every day as the left exploits misunderstandings of climate research (deliberately or not) to push a political agenda.

While activists march against fossil fuels and let their children believe their future has no hope amid rising seas and dying rainforests, they have turned a blind eye to the fact that humanity is better off now than it ever has been. Extreme poverty is at its lowest rate in recorded history, and people are living longer, healthier, freer, and more comfortable lives than ever before. Climate change or no climate change, the future is bright if we only look past the hysteria and seek to truly understand the world around us.

As former Obama-era undersecretary for science Steve Koonin explains in his book, Unsettled, climate reporting is like a game of telephone. The UN’s Sixth Assessment Report is a 3,949-page PDF! It is easy to understand why reporters on deadline fail to meticulously comb through the entire document or the catalog of research it cites. They simply do not have time to dig past the simplistic talking points, so they select the most shocking and click-inducing claims without delving into the methodology or scientific uncertainties. It is understandable, but it is also a disservice to the public. Something needs to change.

Instead of fixating on our climate, which is likely to remain mild and manageable as our resilience continues to improve, we should focus on sharing the affordable, reliable energy resources our nation is blessed with to fight poverty, improve environmental quality, and spread prosperity around the world.

The Honorable Jason Isaac is director of Life:Powered, a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation to raise America’s energy IQ. He previously served four terms in the Texas House of Representatives.

Dumb and Dumber – Protect the Sunshine? Riiiight.

There are very few things our Congress has done that are dumber than Daylight Saving Time.  However, Senators Mark Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida have devised one to up the ante!  They proposed and the Senate passed the “Protect the Sunshine Act” last spring, 2022.

2022-07-30 King Canute and the Uncooperative TideThe hubris of the name of this proposed law rivals the efforts of King Canute who sat his throne by the Aegean Sea and commanded the tide to stop coming in.  And we know how THAT turned out.  The King finally relented and declared, “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.”

But that did not stop the idiots in the Senate from passing this absurd bill on March 16, 2022.  The bill is intended to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent as of November 5, 2023.  That is the day before we are supposed to return to normal standard time.

2022-07-30 DST InsanityThe asininity of this proposed law boggles the mind!  Are Senators Rubio’s and Scott’s constituents so lame-brained that they cannot just get up an hour earlier if that is what they wish to do!?  How does this law “protect the sunshine!?”  AND why are our Senators and Representatives wasting time messing with our clocks, instead of addressing inflation, illegal immigration/oppressive visa constraints, fuel regulation, voter integrity/freedom of voter access, and concerns of normal Americans?  While many of Senators Rubio’s and Scott’s proposals and views line up well with conservative values, this one came out of the wild blue yonder as inane government overreach.

If you are an American citizen, let me encourage you to write to your Congressperson in the House of Representatives and urge common sense!  The Senate abdicated any measure of sanity and passed this already.

To find your representative, try this link: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.

To assist you in your effort to get the House to use common sense, here is a sample letter.  Feel free to copy and paste or develop your own appeal to your Representatives to use their brains for a change.

____________________________________

Dear Representative Barr,

In March, 2022 the Senate passed a bill to make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent!  This is one of the dumbest things Congress has attempted to do since instituting DST in the first place.  It is true that most normal Americans hate moving our clocks back and forth with the seasons, and the loss of productivity for the weeks after each change is substantial.

However, rather than ‘permanentize’ DST, PLEASE let us change the clocks one more time on November 6, 2022 to UTC+/-, the “normal time” most of the world uses.  THEN, stop DST!

You have much more important issues facing our nation than some idiot’s idea to force our clocks out of sync with the rest of the world.  If we are going to mess with the clocks this way, why not move them BACK FIVE HOURS; that way we could all sleep in until noon and go to work “later” in the day.  This makes as much sense as making DST permanent!!

I will be watching for your vote or non-vote on this issue this November before the election.
yours truly,
c.a.post
________________________________
“Cowardice asks the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good News Comes Too Rarely These Days

2022-03-31 Päivi Räsänen Religious Freedom Victory

But here is one story of a victory for freedom of speech in Finland that arrived in my email, but keep Finland and Dr. Räsänen in your prayers as the story may not be Finished (pun intended 😉):

Press release 30.3.2022
Member of Parliament, Dr. Päivi Räsänen: 

The Helsinki District Court has acquitted me of all the three charges

The Helsinki District Court has today acquitted me of all the three charges. The ruling of the court was unanimous. I am relieved, happy and grateful to God and to all the people that have supported me. The ruling was what I expected – Not for a second did I believe that I had committed anything illegal in my writings and statements.

The bishop of the Mission Diocese, Juhana Pohjola, was prosecuted because he was responsible for publishing and making my pamphlet accessible on the internet. I am thankful that the court acquitted him also.

I am grateful for having had this chance to stand up for freedom of speech, which is an essential right in a democratic country. This has been my honor. I greatly appreciate that the court recognized in its ruling the importance of free speech. I hope that this ruling will help prevent others from having to go through the same ordeal.

This court process and the decision are historical with regard to freedom of speech and religion. The court has had to for the first time to take a stand on whether it is legal or not to cite the Bible and to agree with it. The judges have had to weigh the relations between the fundamental rights and the criminal law and the interrelationship between different fundamental freedoms.

The interest in this case rises from the concern that if this kind of questioning of free speech is possible in a country like Finland, which has a good reputation regarding free speech internationally, the same is possible anywhere. In the latest Rule of Law Index, Finland ranked 3rd. It is alarming that in a country that ranked so high in the Rule of Law Index, I have been criminally charged for voicing my deeply held beliefs that are based on classical Christianity.

This process has been long, it has lasted for three years, and it has not only consumed time and resources on my part, but also of the police and the court. On the other hand, I have felt joy about being able to speak about the Gospel and the atonement of Jesus during these couple of years.

I had hoped that the prosecutor would have settled for this ruling, but today afternoon I heard that the prosecutors will very likely appeal to the Court of Appeal. I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion in all necessary courts, also in the European Court of Human Rights. I want to encourage others to use these basic rights also.

Päivi Räsänen
paivi.rasanen@eduskunta.fi

Evamaria Kyllästinen
Ryhmäavustaja, Assistant to MP
Kristillisdemokraattinen eduskuntaryhmä, Christian Democratic Parliamentary Group
00102 Eduskunta
Tel. 050 574 1675|09 432 4065

For more on this story, see The Daily Signal’s report here:

Finnish Court Clears Christian Politician, Bishop of ‘Hate Speech’ Charges

Guest Blog about the Ukraine Crisis

This is a guest blog from Christianity Today; always good reading and accurate information.
As Russia Invades Ukraine, Pastors Stay to Serve, Pray … and Resist

(UPDATED February 24, 2022 01:55 PM) Prayer requests from Donetsk: “First, to stop the aggressor. But then for peace of mind, to respond with Christian character and not from human hate.”
by Jayson Casper

2022-02-26 Death in Ukraine

As Russia invaded Ukraine today, pressing near even to the capital of Kyiv, a Baptist home was destroyed and a seminary shaken by nearby blasts. Local sources told CT, however, that no churches or Christian buildings had been attacked so far. Top of Form

President Vladimir Putin announced his forces were targeting only military installations. He also asserted that Ukraine does not truly exist as a nation.

Igor Bandura, vice president of the Baptist Union, the largest Protestant body in Ukraine, heard about collateral damage to the home of a Baptist in Donetsk during a Zoom call with his 25 regional superintendents. Minus one. On the front lines of the eastern Donbas region, the Baptist leader from the occupied territory of Luhansk was unable to join.

But from the town of Chasov Yor on the front lines in neighboring Donetsk — in an area then still under Ukrainian government control — Bandura learned the local assessment.

He was told, “People don’t want to be under Russian control. But they feel helpless. What can ordinary people do? Pray and remain calm.”

This was the message put out by the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO), a day after its appeal to Putin went unanswered. Ukraine’s chief rabbi invited Christian leaders to recite Psalm 31 together.

The UCCRO stated, “We urge you to remain calm, not to give in to panic, and to comply with the orders of the Ukrainian state and military authorities. The truth and the international community are on the Ukrainian side. We believe that good will prevail, with God’s help.”

Thousands of Ukrainians fled west as Russian missiles hit targets throughout the nation. Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs reported hundreds of instances of shelling.

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced by video shortly after midnight that 137 Ukrainians died during the invasion’s first day. “They are killing people and transforming peaceful cities into military targets. That’s villainous and will never be forgiven,”  he said, according to The New York Times.

Valentin Siniy, president of Traviski Christian Institute (TCI) in Kherson, about 50 miles from Crimea, had to evacuate his seminary along with a team of Bible translators as Russian helicopters attacked local targets.

He told CT, “The majority of old pastors of the churches stayed in the cities. Youth leaders started evacuating young people. We managed to purchase a van with 20 seats in order to evacuate people. About 30 people are in a safe place now, in western Ukraine. There are about 40 more people driving west [in] vehicles that are in bad condition.” Meanwhile his church has opened its basement to shelter neighbors living in multi-story buildings from bombings.

Yuriy Kulakevych, foreign affairs director of the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church said, “I and all ministers stay in Kyiv. We continue our intercessory prayers, talk to people to reduce panic, and help those in need.”

In Kamyanka, 145 miles south, Vadym Kulynchenko of Our Legacy Ukraine reported that his church had already started to receive refugees from the east. Temporary shelter will be provided, and the main needs are food, medicine, fuel, hygiene products, and air mattresses. Bombs hit three infrastructure centers in his city.

Kulynchenko asked, “Please pray for disciple-making in the country, safety for our people, and generosity in the midst of war, and also for discernment, as there is a lot of fake news.”

Kyiv Theological Seminary (KTS) had earlier issued a general warning. A communications professor wrote on Tuesday, “Generating panic through the spread of manipulative false information is exactly what the enemy seeks. This war is not as much for our territories, as it is for our soul and our mind.” On Thurs, KTS cited Isaiah 41:10 as it urged its Facebook audience “not to panic, but to remember how many times God in His Word says ‘don’t be afraid.’” The seminary noted that fear equals paralysis, while prayer, trust in God, and love of neighbor all give strength.

With a “leaden heart,” Taras Dyatlik. the Overseas Council regional director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, wrote to supporters of theological education of the many prayer needs currently facing his fellow church and seminary leaders in Ukraine — including receiving refugees into their dorms. “Many of them are thinking about evacuation of their workers and faculty and students within Ukraine, and some do not have any possibility to evacuate.” He asked for prayer for families, including his own, as Ukraine’s announcement of total mobilization “means many students, graduates, faculty will be called for military duty to serve in the army and participate in the combats.” And he requested prayer for the spouses of male leaders. Since all men ages 18 to 60 are no longer allowed to leave the country, he said many wives are staying as well. “Today I talked to [my wife] about evacuation out of Ukraine. She immediately refused and said: ‘I will be with you to the very end.’”

Students at Ukraine Evangelical Theological Seminary (UETS) outside Kyiv were instructed to shelter in place as military battled at a nearby airport, according to the school’s director of English language services, Josh Tokar. Those on campus are scared but not panicked, he said. The seminary president sent out a message from Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?”

Bandura did not resonate with the call for calm. He said of Putin’s rhetoric, “Who are you to say our nation doesn’t exist? The truth is with us, and God is with us. We want to live in peace, but if Russia wants to take this from us, let us fight.”

While some Ukrainians favor Russia, he said, half the population is ready to personally defend their nation. Pictures have circulated of grandmothers with guns. A recent CNN poll, meanwhile, found 13 percent of Ukrainians in favor of Russia’s use of force to reunite the two nations. Only 36 percent of Russians were in favor. (73 percent and 43 percent disagreed, respectively.)

The Russian Evangelical Alliance (REA) conveyed its support for the UCCRO appeal for peacemaking initiatives. Vladimir Vlasenko, REA general secretary stated, “All evangelical Christians pray every day and ask the Almighty to give wisdom to all, to preserve the fragile peace and not to plunge our countries into fratricidal conflict.”

“We see no justification for these actions and are deeply distressed by the death, destruction, chaos, and misery that will result,” stated Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance, according to Evangelical Focus. He stated, “The invasion of Ukraine is both unjustified and unprovoked. It has been claimed that the attack is necessary to protect ethnic Russians within Ukraine and to stop Ukraine from threatening Russia. These claims are untrue. This disaster has been provoked into being by President Putin for wider geopolitical purposes.”

In Rivne in western Ukraine, local officials directed all churches to remain open, with church leaders staying in touch with residents to help coordinate aid as well as military equipment as needed. Many in Ukraine are showing resilience.

Siniy said, “Our prayer today is that God’s will spreads on Earth as it is in Heaven. I encourage my staff and other Christian leaders that the mission stays the same even if we have to change geography.”

Staff at New Life Radio in Odessa, on the Black Sea coast, watched missiles fly past their homes. They told Evangelical Focus they are taking actions to hide equipment and preserve broadcasting, in case the station is raided in the near future.

Vasyl Ostryi, a pastor at Irpin Bible Church 18 miles northwest of Kyiv and a KTS professor of youth ministry, has also decided to stay. He wrote for The Gospel Coalition, “When this is over, the citizens of Kyiv will remember how Christians have responded in their time of need. We will shelter the weak, serve the suffering, and mend the broken. And as we do, we offer the unshakable hope of Christ and his gospel.”

YouVersion noted a spike among Ukrainian and Russian users of its popular Bible App over the past three weeks: searches for “fear” increased 11 percent; searches for “peace” increased 44 percent. People are praying in city streets.

2022-02-26 Ukrainians Praying in the Street

“We printed Bibles for 2022 and we are now in second month of the year and the stock in our warehouse is almost gone,” Anatoliy Raychynets, deputy general secretary of the Ukrainian Bible Society, told Eternity News shortly before the invasion. “In our churches — whether it is Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, or Evangelical churches — there are more new people. Not only on Sundays or Saturdays, but also during the week,” he told the Australian Bible Society news service. “On evenings when we have a Bible study, new people are coming. They want to pray, to hear something that brings hope or comfort.”

Rick Perhai, director of advanced degrees at KTS, said the international church he pastors in Kyiv has several leaders recommending the congregation continue its worship this coming Sunday. Some of their expat members have fled; others want to stay and join the fight. He laments that the enemy is seeking to destroy Ukraine as its Christians grow more and more poised to carry the gospel to surrounding nations. Nonetheless, he is praying for the Russians, asking for God to grant them repentance.

But his petition is also imprecatory. He said, “Pray that the nation of Russia would tire of their tyrant’s rantings at home and abroad and that they would remove him.”

Dyatlik also requested prayer for “the truth,” citing all the “perspectives” in the media. “We did not invite the war. The Kremlin and Vladimir Putin brought it to Ukraine. … There is moral evaluation of the acts of aggression like this,” wrote the theological educator. “These acts have biblical definition and biblical evaluation. Please pray for the spiritual discernment about these things.” Dyatlik closed his prayer letter with requests for believers on both sides of the conflict:

“Please pray about Russian Christians that they would raise their prayers and voice toward Russian government to stop the aggression; [that they] would not keep silent; please pray for the Western governments, of the US and European Union.

“Finally, please pray about Ukrainian Christians, that we will serve and live as the community of hope in a full sense of this term; that during these terrible times we would invite more and more people to the relationships with God and His children, to the relationships of love, hope, encouragement, support; that our minds and characters would continue to transform into the character of Jesus Christ.”

Western nations have roundly condemned Putin, and readied sanctions. Reports circulated of Russians lining up at ATMs to withdraw their cash, fearful the nation would be cut off from the international banking system.

Meanwhile in Donetsk, where 25 missionary teams have been working to establish churches, gas lines require a wait of hours for a rationed supply of five gallons. Grocery stories suffer empty shelves, as Ukrainians stock up on emergency food and water.

Bandura conveys his supervisor’s two main prayer requests: “First, to stop the aggressor. But then for peace of mind, to respond with Christian character and not from human hate.”

Guest Blog: Biden Administration Making Lists of Religious Vaccine Objectors – And So It Begins

According to Aaron M. Renn’s analysis of contemporary evangelicalism as he reported in “The Three Worlds of Evangelicalism,” there have been three distinct stages in the secularization of American culture.  Views on Christianity and, I believe, religion in general have followed the culture.

  •       Positive World View of devout religionists (Pre-1994): Society at large retained a mostly positive view of Christianity.  Publicly being a Christian was a status-enhancer both for business and political aspirations.  Christian moral norms were the basic moral norms of society and violating them resulted in negative consequences.
  •       Neutral World View (1994–2014): In the late 1990s, society began to take a neutral stance toward Christianity.  Being a good, church-going person no longer held privileged status, but it was not particularly disfavored.  Being known as a Christian had neither a positive nor a negative impact on one’s social or political status.  Christian moral norms retained some residual effect, but were considered along side of other moral norms for other religions and atheists.
  •       Negative World View (2014–Present): However, by 2014 American society developed a negative view of Christianity.  Being known as a Christian has now become a social negative across large swaths of the country, particularly in the elite domains of ­society.  Christian morality is expressly repudiated in main stream media, in universities and across almost all grades of education.  A Christian is seen as bigoted, closed-minded and a threat to the public good and the new public moral order.  Subscribing to Christian moral views or repudiating the secular moral order can have significant negative consequences, from job loss, dis-invitation to speaking venues, failure to get elected or even subjected to vandalism or attack without consequences for the perpetrator, similar to what happened to Jews in Germany just prior to WW2.

So now we are on the cusp of such severe negative views of Christianity that it is being targeted by government agencies for identification as to who claims exemption from government mandates based on religious convictions.  While this discrimination may apply to many religious views, Christianity is being carved out as a special case of resistance to ‘normal moral orders.’
___________________
And So It Begins:  Guest blog by Sarah Parshall Perry  & GianCarlo Canaparo
@SarahPPerry / @GCanaparo / January 11, 2022

2022-01-15 Vaccine Registration

The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia announced a new records system that will store the names and “personal religious information” of all employees who make “religious accommodation requests for religious exception from the federally mandated vaccination requirement.”

A tiny administrative agency in the District of Columbia announced a new policy Tuesday that will likely serve as a model for a whole-of-government push to assemble lists of Americans who object on religious grounds to a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia — a federal independent entity that assists officers in the District of Columbia courts in formulating release recommendations and providing supervision and services to defendants awaiting trial — announced a new records system that will store the names and “personal religious information” of all employees who make “religious accommodation requests for religious exception from the federally mandated vaccination requirement.”

The announcement does not explain why the agency needs to create this list except to say that it will “assist the Agency in the collecting, storing, dissemination, and disposal of employee religious exemption request information collected and maintained by the Agency.” In other words, the list will help the agency make a list.

The announcement also does not say what the agency will do with this information after it has decided an employee’s religious accommodation request. And neither does the announcement explain why the Biden administration chose to test this policy in an agency with a majority-black staff, who are both more religious and less vaccinated than other groups. So much for the president’s commitment to “racial equity.”

We are starting to suspect that President Joe Biden is not keeping his promise to have the most transparent administration in history.

What is really going on with this announcement at this tiny agency? Likely, the Biden administration is using it to stealth test a policy it intends to roll out across the whole government. Almost nobody has ever heard of the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia, and very few people pay close attention to it or are covered by its policies. Indeed, at of the time of publication of this article, the announcement has been viewed only 16 times.

However, had Biden announced, for example, that the Department of Labor intended to adopt this policy, it would be big news. The Federal Register where announcements like this are made would be flooded with comments that the department would have to address. That would, of course, delay the policy’s rollout. With the Pretrial Services Agency, Biden likely expected that the policy would land quickly and without a splash. As it is, the notice of a new announcement provides less than 30 days for public comment. Biden may not be winning points for transparency, but he is doing his best to win first place in subjecting Americans with sincerely held religious beliefs to differential treatment.

Take the Department of Defense, for example — which has failed to grant a single religious exemption on behalf of any service members requesting one for the federal vaccine mandate. A group of Navy SEALS was recently successful in its federal lawsuit against the Biden administration on claims that its conscience rights under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act were violated.

From the outset of his administration, Biden voiced support for passage of the patently faith-hostile Equality Act — a bill that would gut the Religious Freedom Restoration Act entirely when it intersects with LGBTQ+ protections and entitlements in public accommodations.

The president also swiftly revoked the Mexico City policy that had been reinstated by former President Donald Trump, thereby ensuring that religious Americans would be forced to fund abortions overseas by way of their tax dollars, despite their religious objections to the act.

While employers, employment agencies, or unions with 100 employees or more are prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from engaging in disparate treatment and from maintaining policies or practices that result in unjustified disparate impact based on religion, this administration does not seem to have received the memo.

That, at the bottom, is what this policy is about.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

Sarah Parshall Perry and GianCarlo Canaparo are legal fellows in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

An update on January 15 revealed that 18 other agencies in the US government are also tracking people who maintain religious objections to covid vaccinations.  These include the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Treasury, to name only a few.