The New Jesuit Pope & His Dark Past

JESUITPOPE

TheHuffingtonPost.Com

The election of Pope Francis, previously Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has resurfaced a decades-old controversy surrounding the kidnappings of two Jesuit priests.

Bergoglio was a high-ranking official in the Society of Jesus of Argentina when a military junta was installed in the South American country in 1976. According to the Los Angeles Times, priests Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics were kidnapped in May of that year by the navy. “They surfaced five months later, drugged and seminude, in a field,” the Times reported. A 2005 lawsuit accused Bergoglio of unspecified involvement in the abductions. Reuters explains that “the military government secretly jailed [Yorio and Jalics] for their work in poor neighborhoods.”

A spokesman for Bergoglio called the claims “old slander.”

Reuters has more details:

“According to “The Silence,” a book written by journalist Horacio Verbitsky, Bergoglio withdrew his order’s protection of the two men after they refused to quit visiting the slums, which ultimately paved the way for their capture.Verbitsky’s book is based on statements by Orlando Yorio, one of the kidnapped Jesuits, before he died of natural causes in 2000. Both of the abducted clergymen survived five months of imprisonment.

‘History condemns him. It shows him to be opposed to all innovation in the Church and above all, during the dictatorship, it shows he was very cozy with the military,’ Fortunato Mallimacci, the former dean of social sciences at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, once said.

Those who defend Bergoglio say there is no proof behind these claims and, on the contrary, they say the priest helped many dissidents escape during the military junta’s rule.”

Per the Associated Press, “Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads by declining to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jalics refused to discuss it after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.” Bergoglio discussed the incident with Sergio Rubin, his authorized biographer.

More from AP:

“Both men were freed after Bergoglio took extraordinary, behind-the-scenes action to save them – including persuading dictator Jorge Videla’s family priest to call in sick so that he could say Mass in the junta leader’s home, where he privately appealed for mercy. His intervention likely saved their lives, but Bergoglio never shared the details until Rubin interviewed him for the 2010 biography.”Bergoglio testified about the matter in 2010 after twice refusing to appear in open court, but “his answers were evasive, human rights attorney Myriam Bregman said.”

Related articles are listed below:

  1. Radical Takerover Pt. 5 – Rome’s Social Justice & Communism
  2. Giovanni Battista Nicolini’s History of the Jesuits (1854)
  3. Roman Catholic Church Opposing Same-Sex Marriage
  4. Little Horn Pt. 2

The New Real Talk Radio Show: Reaching the Cults with the Gospel

reaching the cults

The New Real Talk Radio Show

We change our focus to the conversion of the cults. There is much to be said about the psychological damage that occurs to cult members and must be overcome in order to reach those affected by cults. As always Double “L” will bring her wit and snappy humor to the table and Brian “The Doulos” Feaster joins us as we discuss the important issues of the day from a biblical perspective. The “LIVE” chat room and Skype line will be open for you to express your views on any topic. Come join us!

To listen to the show, click on the link entitled “Reaching the Cults with the Gospel

Religious Intolerance & Blasphemy laws Pt. 14 – Bangladesh: Culture of Impunity

Bangladesh Culture of Impunity

JourneyManPictures

Despite its many human rights violations, Bangladesh still receives European and international aid.

In Bangladesh, poverty and corruption have long been endemic. Yet religious intolerance is an ever-growing problem. Controlled by an Islamic state, religious minorities – such as Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and others – remain under constant threat, with “crimes against them rarely punished”. As Shahriar Kabir explains, “we have recorded more than 3000 incidents of minority persecutions ranging from killings, rape, arson, plundering and looting”. But how and why has Bangladesh been allowed to thrive as an “extremist haven”? After all, “a challenge of human rights violations in any place on earth is a challenge for the international community”. ~ Miles Roston

Related articles are listed below:

  1. Religious Intolerance & Blasphemy laws Pt. 2 – Burned Alive
  2. Religious Intolerance & Blasphemy laws Pt. 4 – Persecuted Christians take Shelter in Forest
  3. Religious Intolerance & Blasphemy laws Pt. 9 – Islamic Pandemonium

 

Catholicism Crisis of Faith

 

baalworship

The following link entitled “Catholicism Crisis of Faith” is a documentary of Catholics, and ex-Catholics, who speak about their beliefs, their concerns over the doctrines of Roman Catholicism, why they are no longer Catholics, and Catholicism’s contradiction to the clear teachings of Scripture about salvation.

Related are articles are listed below:

  1. Little Horn Pt. 3
  2. Papal Immunity for the Lawless One
  3. Radical Takerover Pt. 4 – Rome’s Crusade of Genocide in Rwanda

Little Horn Pt. 3

eucharist

The kingdom of the “little horn”, which came after the rise, and fall, of Medo-Persia, Greece, and pagan Rome, which are the kingdoms of silver, bronze, and iron, of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 2:27-45), is the Holy Roman Empire. The capital of the empire is Rome, which has been known as “the city of seven hills” throughout history. The religion of Rome, which is Roman Catholicism, ruled over the empire, and was used by Satan as a weapon against the gospel of Jesus Christ, his church, and the Jewish people, throughout its reign. This religious persecution has killed approximately fifty million people by way of its inquisitions, and crusades against Jews, Christians, and everyone who refused to submit t0 the religion of Rome.

Daniel 8

9    And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.
10    And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.
11    He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
12    Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

The religion of Rome carried out the work of Satan, according to Revelation chapter 12, by claiming to be the church of Jesus Christ, and converting the European nations to a false religion that contradicted the gospel of Christ. During this time, the Bible was outlawed, and to be found with a Bible was punishable by death. The false religion of Rome was a, mystical, Gregor13sacramental religion, which claimed to continue the work of Christ by constantly atoning for the people’s sins, and even claiming that the priests were able to turn the bread and wine into the body, and blood, of Christ, without changing the appearance of the sacrament. In this way, Christ was to be continually offered, again, and again, for the people’s sins. This doctrine contradicts the warning from Scripture that teaches that Christ was to be offered once, and for all, for the sins of the people, and those who attempt to offer him up again cannot be forgiven, or restored to repentance. Therefore, this heresy of Rome serves to harden people to the true gospel, and prevent them from being saved by it.

Hebrews 10

4    For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5    and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6    if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
7    For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;
8    but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Hebrews 3

12    Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
13    but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Galatians 5

19    Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20    idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21    envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Rome’s religion has not only redefined Christ’s atonement, but it has changed the gospel of salvation by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus, to a works based religion, which also prevents people from believing the truth. This is done by redefining the order of salvation, and justification by faith. The Biblical order of salvation, and justification by faith is stated below.

  • Election by God, the Father, before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-11).
  • Called, and drawn, by God, the Father, and taught by him, through the preaching of the gospel (John 6:44-45, Matthew 11:25-27).
  • Regenerated by the word of God, and the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8, Romans 10:14-17, Ephesians 2:1-6, John 15:3, 1Peter 1:23-25).
  • Justification through repentance & believing the good news of salvation (John 6:34-40, Romans 3:19-26, Mark 1:15, Romans 10:6-13).
  • Sanctification through abiding in the teachings of Scripture, and not the Old Covenant law, nor man-made traditions (John 15:1-17, Galatians 3:22-27, Colossians 2:4-23, 2Peter 1:16-21).
  • Glorification when Jesus returns to raise his people from the dead to reign with him forever (1Corinthians chp. 15, Romans 6:3-8, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelation 20:4-6).

Rome’s false order of salvation does not justify sinners until the sinners have finished paying of their sins in purgatory, as seen below.

  • Baptism removes original sin from converts, and puts them in a right relationship with God.
  • Confirmation is when converts receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, and is also when they receive a patron saint into their lives, which is the equivalent of a spirit guide in occult religions.
  • The Eucharist is the sacrament, which is stated above, that converts partake of for the purpose of receiving forgiveness for venial sins, which are slight and pardonable sins.
  • Penance is confession of sins to a priest to receive forgiveness or punishment for sins.
  • Extreme unction is the anointing of dying converts for the purpose of preparing their souls for Heaven.
  • Cleansing by fire is purgatory, wherein the converts are to have their sins purged for an indefinite amount of time before entering Heaven.
  • Justification is when the converts finally is released from purgatory, and enter Heaven.

The religion of Rome has made its priests modern day pharisees throughout the church age by way of its false teachings, its hypocrisy, its exaltation of priests, and its greed.

Matthew 23

4    For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5    But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.
6    They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,
7    greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’
bxvi-calendar38    But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.9    Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
10    And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.
11    But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12    And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
13    “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
14    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
15    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
16    “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’
17    Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?
18    And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’
19    Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?
20    Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it.
21    He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it.22    And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
23    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
24    Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
26    Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.worship of the dead
27    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
28    Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous
,30    and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’
31    “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
32    Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.
33    Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?
34    Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city,
35    that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

Related articles are listed below:

  1. Little Horn Pt. 1
  2. Little Horn Pt. 2

Papal Immunity for the Lawless One

POPE-RESIGNATION-IMMUNITY

Reuters.Com

(Reuters) – Pope Benedict’s decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.

“His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn’t have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else,” said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It is absolutely necessary” that he stays in the Vatican, said the source, adding that Benedict should have a “dignified existence” in his remaining years.

Vatican sources said officials had three main considerations in deciding that Benedict should live in a convent in the Vatican after he resigns on February 28.

Vatican police, who already know the pope and his habits, will be able to guarantee his privacy and security and not have to entrust it to a foreign police force, which would be necessary if he moved to another country.

“I see a big problem if he would go anywhere else. I’m thinking in terms of his personal security, his safety. We don’t have a secret service that can devote huge resources (like they do) to ex-presidents,” the official said.

Another consideration was that if the pope did move permanently to another country, living in seclusion in a monastery in his native Germany, for example, the location might become a place of pilgrimage.

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE

This could be complicated for the Church, particularly in the unlikely event that the next pope makes decisions that may displease conservatives, who could then go to Benedict’s place of residence to pay tribute to him.

“That would be very problematic,” another Vatican official said.

The final key consideration is the pope’s potential exposure to legal claims over the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals.

In 2010, for example, Benedict was named as a defendant in a law suit alleging that he failed to take action as a cardinal in 1995 when he was allegedly told about a priest who had abused boys at a U.S. school for the deaf decades earlier. The lawyers withdrew the case last year and the Vatican said it was a major victory that proved the pope could not be held liable for the actions of abusive priests.

Benedict is currently not named specifically in any other case. The Vatican does not expect any more but is not ruling out the possibility.

“(If he lived anywhere else) then we might have those crazies who are filing lawsuits, or some magistrate might arrest him like other (former) heads of state have been for alleged acts while he was head of state,” one source said.

Another official said: “While this was not the main consideration, it certainly is a corollary, a natural result.”

After he resigns, Benedict will no longer be the sovereign monarch of the State of Vatican City, which is surrounded by Rome, but will retain Vatican citizenship and residency.

LATERAN PACTS

That would continue to provide him immunity under the provisions of the Lateran Pacts while he is in the Vatican and even if he makes jaunts into Italy as a Vatican citizen.

The 1929 Lateran Pacts between Italy and the Holy See, which established Vatican City as a sovereign state, said Vatican City would be “invariably and in every event considered as neutral and inviolable territory”.

There have been repeated calls for Benedict’s arrest over sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

When Benedict went to Britain in 2010, British author and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins asked authorities to arrest the pope to face questions over the Church’s child abuse scandal.

Dawkins and the late British-American journalist Christopher Hitchens commissioned lawyers to explore ways of taking legal action against the pope. Their efforts came to nothing because the pope was a head of state and so enjoyed diplomatic immunity.

In 2011, victims of sexual abuse by the clergy asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the pope and three Vatican officials over sexual abuse.

The New York-based rights group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and another group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), filed a complaint with the ICC alleging that Vatican officials committed crimes against humanity because they tolerated and enabled sex crimes.

The ICC has not taken up the case but has never said why. It generally does not comment on why it does not take up cases.

NOT LIKE A CEO

The Vatican has consistently said that a pope cannot be held accountable for cases of abuse committed by others because priests are employees of individual dioceses around the world and not direct employees of the Vatican. It says the head of the church cannot be compared to the CEO of a company.

Victims groups have said Benedict, particularly in his previous job at the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal department, turned a blind eye to the overall policies of local Churches, which moved abusers from parish to parish instead of defrocking them and handing them over to authorities.

The Vatican has denied this. The pope has apologized for abuse in the Church, has met with abuse victims on many of his trips, and ordered a major investigation into abuse in Ireland.

But groups representing some of the victims say the Pope will leave office with a stain on his legacy because he was in positions of power in the Vatican for more than three decades, first as a cardinal and then as pope, and should have done more.

The scandals began years before the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005 but the issue has overshadowed his papacy from the beginning, as more and more cases came to light in dioceses across the world.

As recently as last month, the former archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, was stripped by his successor of all public and administrative duties after a thousands of pages of files detailing abuse in the 1980s were made public.

Mahony, who was archbishop of Los Angeles from 1985 until 2011, has apologized for “mistakes” he made as archbishop, saying he had not been equipped to deal with the problem of sexual misconduct involving children. The pope was not named in that case.

In 2007, the Los Angeles archdiocese, which serves 4 million Catholics, reached a $660 million civil settlement with more than 500 victims of child molestation, the biggest agreement of its kind in the United States.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the pope “gave the fight against sexual abuse a new impulse, ensuring that new rules were put in place to prevent future abuse and to listen to victims. That was a great merit of his papacy and for that we will be grateful”.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Additional reporting by Robin Pomeroy; Edited by Simon Robinson and Giles Elgood)

Related articles are listed below:

  1. Crackdown on Liberty Pt. 13 – Conspiracy Of Silence
  2. Radical Takerover Pt. 2 – Pedophiles in High Places & Their Influence
  3. Roman Catholic Sex Abuse Report on ‘Representative statistics on offenders and victims’
  4. Franciscan Friar Accuses Teens of Preying on Innocent Priests

Radical Takeover Pt. 7 – Cult of Green: UNEP’s Sabbath & Global Ethic

Earth-Worship1-1024x819

Worldview Weekend

Cult of Green:

The United Nations Environmental Sabbath and

the New Global Ethic

By Carl Teichrib (www.forcingchange.org)

 NOTE: This essay was first published in Forcing Change back in 2007. It is being reprinted here as an informational/educational service. If you appreciate the depth of research and scope of this essay, please consider an annual subscription/membership to Forcing Change – for your subscription support is what enables this research to continue. Go to Apply For Membership and check out the many options available. As a member you will receive each monthly edition of Forcing Change and have access to six years of back issues and reports.

————————-

 “Christianity rescued the world from this lunacy. Today, Christian Churches may be in need of rescue.” – Robert A. Sirico.[1]

   Environmentalism and religion are indelibly linked. At times this connection is subtle, such as when it’s clothed in the often-bureaucratic language of sustainable development. Other times this marriage is openly acknowledged. The late actor James Coburn, in an Earth Day interview with Caryl Matrisciana at Malibu Beach, enthusiastically proclaimed,

james coburn

    “Mother Earth is the Mother. She’s the Mother Goddess. She’s the one we should be praising rather then raping.

   I mean, all of these people here today are here for one reason, because they are concerned about what’s happening to the Earth, what Mankind is doing to the Earth. I mean the negative emotion we carry around a lot of us is another contributor to it. It all feeds the Moon. What we have to do is be true to ourselves, if we are true to ourselves we’ll be true to Mother Earth.

Mother Earth is going to be bountiful. She’ll give us everything we need. She has for a long time.

We’ve lost our way. The pagans used to know how to do it. And the Indians, some of them still remember how to do it.

The Earth is a living organism. We’re killing the one we love the most, and she loves us. We’ve got to praise our Mother Goddess!”[2]

 

At the world’s political gathering place, the United Nations, eco-spirituality has been embraced in a variety of forms. One example is the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a short document hardly amounting to twenty letter-sized pages. Taken at face value, the CBD appears benign in almost every respect, with little in the text that could be construed as religious-in-nature.

   Yet when the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) interpreted the CBD, resulting in an oversized United_Nations_Environment_Programme1100+page work titled the Global Biodiversity Assessment, eco-spirituality was included as a global asset. In fact, eco-spirituality was deemed so important that a second massive volume was published, aptly titled Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity: A Complementary Contribution to the Global Biodiversity Assessment (700+pages on oversized paper).

   So why would the CBD, a minuscule document with no real reference to religion foster such a huge interpretive response, including one text specifically on the spiritual aspects of biodiversity? UNEP published the answer,

“…the UN has turned increasing amounts of time and energy to articulating practical measures for meeting the global environmental crisis and to forming an international consensus around a global environmental ethic. Much of this effort came to fruition at the 1992 Earth Summit through the passage of Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration, and the Convention on Biological Diversity [CBD].”[3]

   In case you missed it the answer is found in the middle of the above quote; the formation of “a global environmental ethic.”

   Elaborating on this point, J. Baird Callicott, a UNEP contributor and Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Religion Studies at the University of North Texas, writes in Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity,

“With the current and more ominous global dimension of the twentieth century’s environmental crisis now at the forefront of attention, environmental philosophy must strive to facilitate the emergence of a global environmental consciousness that spans national and cultural boundaries…In part, this requires a more sophisticated cross-cultural comparison of traditional and contemporary concepts of the nature of nature, human nature, and the relationship between people and nature…a new paradigm is emerging that will sooner or later replace the obsolete mechanical world-view and its associated values and technological esprit.

   What I envision for the twenty-first century is the emergence of an international environmental ethic based on the theory of evolution, ecology and the new physics…Thus we may have one world-view and one associated environmental ethic corresponding to the contemporary reality that we inhabit one planet…”[4]

According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary, the term “ethic” means “a set of moral principles.” Ethics, and its twin sister, Morality, historically turn on the hinges of religion and philosophical thought. Hence, if a new set of global ethics is to arise, religion as a whole – and spiritual leadership in particular – must be included in this transformative process. But which religions and spiritual practices are deemed valid in creating a new global, Earth-centric morality?

   By seeing which religions are vilified in the United Nation’s system, and by examining which worldview the UN deems important, the answer avails itself. A glimpse of this exists in the two aforementioned CBD interpretive texts. In these volumes Christianity is castigated, while pagan practices and Eastern religions are upheld as positive models.

   According to the Global Biodiversity Assessment,

“…the Judaeo-Christian tradition, set humans not as part of a wider community of beings, but apart. It came to view nature as totally dedicated to the fulfilment of human wants, at the pleasure of people. Eastern cultures with religious traditions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism did not depart as dramatically from the perspective of humans as members of a Hinduismcommunity of beings including other living and non-living elements. So Hindus continue to protect primates…Buddhist shrines in southeast Asia have temple groves attached to them, as do Shinto shrines in Japan. This does not at all mean, however, that these Asian societies have not permitted large-scale erosion of their biological diversity, whether in India or Thailand.

Societies dominated by Islam, and especially by Christianity, have gone farthest in setting humans apart from nature and in embracing a value system that has converted the world into a warehouse of commodities for human enjoyment. In the process, not only has nature lost its sacred qualities, but most animal species that that have a positive symbolic value in other human cultures have acquired very negative connotations in the European culture. Conversion to Christianity has meant an abandonment of an affinity with the natural world for many forest dwellers, peasants, fishers all over the world.”[5]

   After laying basic blame for environmental problems at the feet of Christianity, the Assessment continued its chastisement by giving the negative example of sacred grove destruction.

   “The northeastern hill states of India bordering China and Myanmar supported small scale, largely autonomous shifting cultivator societies until the 1950s. These people followed their own religious traditions which included setting apart between 10 and 30% of the landscape as sacred groves and ponds. Most of these people were drawn into the larger market economy and converted to Christianity by the late 1950s. On so converting to a religious belief system that rejects assignment of sacred qualities to elements of nature, they began to cut down the sacred groves…”[6]

   The second UNEP interpretive volume, Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity, takes an even more challenging approach to Christianity and Western positions. It proposes that world religions, “especially those in the West,” redefine their ultimate purpose to align with a more radical Earth view; suggesting that Western religions compare their cosmology with the Assisi Declarations,[7] which propagates world unity and universal harmony as the answer to Mankind’s globally destructive tendencies.[8]

   Moreover, the “Christian philosophy of the white man” is referred to as “the ego-driven hegemony of Christian doctrine.”[9] Instead of these negative “white man” philosophies, other more harmonious world-views are to be encouraged, such as the sacredness of the soil: “The soil is our Goddess; it is our religion.”[10]

   Eco-feminism, antagonistic to Christianity and the image of “God as single, male and transcendent,”[11] is also brought to the forefront. The UNEP contributor on eco-feminism suggests a number of “interconnected transformations of our world-view.”

  1. “A shift from a conception of God as holding all sovereign power outside of and ruling over nature; to a conception MotherEarthof God who is under and around all things, sustaining and renewing nature and humanity together as one creational biotic community.”
  2. “A shift…to a view of the world as an organic living whole, manifesting energy, spirit, agency and creativity.”
  3. “A shift from an ethic that non-human entities on the earth, such as animals, plants, minerals, water, air and soil have only utilitarian use value…to a view of all things having intrinsic value to be respected and celebrated for their own being.”
  4. “A shift…to a holistic psychology that recognizes ourselves as psychospiritual-physical wholes in interrelation with the rest of nature as also psychospiritual-physical wholes who are to mutually interdepend in one community of life.”
  5. “A shift from a view that patriarchal dominance is the order of ‘nature’…to a recognition that patriarchal dominance is the root of distorted relations…”
  6. “A shift from the concept of one superior culture (white Western Christian) to be imposed on all other peoples to Eco-feminism‘save’ and civilize’ them; to a respect for the diversity of human cultures in dialogue and mutual learning, overcoming racist hierarchy and defending particularly the bioregional indigenous cultures which are on the verge of extinction.”
  7. “A shift from a politics of survival of the fittest that allocate resources and power to the most powerful; to a political community based on participatory democracy, community-based decision-making and representation of the welfare of the whole bio-region in making decisions.”[12]

Fitting with these alternative views, Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity presents the Gaia idea as a cornerstone paradigm. This “scientifically” favored hypothesis entwines various co-evolutionary and Mother Goddess concepts around a self-organizing Earth principle,[13] forming a united foundation to serve the call of planetary interdependence. Conversely, in reference to the Judeo-Christian order of nature as found in the first chapter of Genesis, the UNEP volume contends that “a culture built on ‘domination of the earth, and the animals therein’ is doomed to disappear.”

   So it’s no surprise to read,

  “…primitive religions and cultures, often conceived of as constituting one single and earliest form of religion, have constantly functioned as the positive or negative counterpart to Western civilization and life. In the period of environmentalism they have predominately functioned as positive, sometimes even paradisiacal, models for an ecologically sound world-view and society. The period of environmentalism coincides with a period of New Age thinking…”[14]

          Obviously the religious foundation for the coming global ethic, which is designed to save the planet from calamity, must be built on pagan/Eastern cosmologies. Christianity maligned – with its Western consumption and development patterns, it’s dominance over gender and nature, and its racially “superior” cultural mindset – must “disappear.”

   But “Christianity,” or a form of it, can have its place at the international table. In a metaphorical way a spot for it has been set, along with place mats for the other monotheistic faiths. However two unspoken, simple requirements first need to be met.

   First, abandon the fundamentalist aspects of the Biblical faith, rife with its talk of sin and salvation, and reject the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ – which separates and divides. And secondly, join the world in re-forging society so that the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God prevails. In other words, turn your back on the narrow, foundational tenants of the Bible and partner to create a unified world, recognizing that all religions are valid expressions of the Living Cosmos. And it doesn’t really matter what order this is done in, as long as the end result of a new global ethics is attained.

   And to make sure that the place at the table is filled, assistance from the international community is available.

   For almost forty years UNEP has sponsored the World Environment Day (WED). Each June 5th, a host city sponsors the WED with a specific environmental theme. This year (2007) the host city was Tromsø, Norway, with the theme: “Melting Ice – A Hot Topic?”

World Environment Day (WED)

   Other themes have included, “Give Earth a Chance” (2002), “We the Peoples: United for the Global Environment” (1995), and “Only One Earth, Care and Share” (1992). Cities that have hosted the event include San Francisco (2005), Moscow (1998), and Nairobi (1987), among others (see the sidebar “World Environment Day: Hosts and Themes” at the end of this article).

   It’s in this context of the World Environment Day that the UN Environmental Sabbath was launched, specifically designed to fall on the weekend closest to the WED. As one writer for the Earth Island Institute noted, “The approach of World Environment Day also signals the return of another unique UN-conceived event – the Earth Sabbath – a day of worship that transcends denominations and welcomes all faiths to participate in a day of global reverence for the Earth.”[15]

      Leigh Eric Schmidt, writing for The Harvard Theological Review in 1991, provides some of the historical details of this unique, annual Earth worship event.

 “The first Earth Day in 1970 provided an occasion within the churches for expressing concerns over the environmental crisis. Religious involvement in this ecological awakening was substantial. Both the president and the general secretary of the National Council of Churches endorsed Earth Day in mailings to church leaders in March 1970; they also encouraged the observance of an Environmental Sabbath the weekend before…

   …Despite the call in 1970 for an Environmental Sabbath, the idea did not develop until the United Nations Environment Programme appropriated it in 1986, linking it with World Environment Day…Interreligious in its construction, the Environmental Sabbath is intended to be a time ‘to contemplate our bond with nature’ and to cultivate ‘a more caring, knowing and responsible attitude toward our use of Earth’s gifts.’ With an estimated ‘25,000 groups of celebrants’ in 1990 – in churches, synagogues, colleges, and youth organizations – the Environmental Sabbath is explicitly liturgical and religious in its inspiration (in contrast to the more politically oriented activities of Earth Day)…”[16]

   Although UNEP adopted the Sabbath in 1986, it wasn’t until the following year that the program went public. According to John J. Kirk, co-founder of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment, an organization established by UNEP in to work on the Sabbath, the target audience was initially North American churches.

   “It began in the fall of 1986 when a few of us met at UN headquarters in New York with leaders of several faith communities. With guidance and support from the United Nations Environment Programme, we began developing a project that would inform North American congregations about the serious environmental problems facing life on Earth, so we could work to protect this magnificent work of the Creator.

   In June of 1987, our first Environmental Sabbath kit went to congregations across the United States and Canada. The goal was to create a sabbatical for our beleaguered planet – an Earth Rest Day to be celebrated annually by faith communities…”[17]

   Noel J. Brown, the UNEP Director during the 1990 Earth Sabbath, presents us with deeper reasons then just informing North American congregations. In a letter dated March 28, 1990, Brown wrote,

   “Once again, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) is pleased to invite you to join us in celebrating the ‘Environmental Sabbath/Earth Rest Day’ in your ceremonies, rituals and prayers…

   …The need for establishing a new spiritual and ethical basis for human activities on Earth has never been greater – as the deterioration of our Planetary Home makes the protection of the human environment a new global imperative.”[18]

   Less then six months before his letter went public, Brown was candidly seeking the complicity of religious leaders in his quest to create a new global ethic. Consider these statements made while the UNEP Director was visiting the Los Angeles Interfaith Council,

   “Now we need to work more closely with the religious and spiritual community. We need to create an ecumenical movement – I call it an ‘eco-menical’ movement – in the service of the Earth. It’s time for us to think again, and to think anew…

…We would also like to suggest other challenges that you in the religion and faith community might help us with. The first is a new vision, and supporting institutions, to help us move through this transition. We in the United Nations cannot hope to solve the problems of the future with only the institutions and the mentality of the past. We need a vision that encompasses all human rights to freedom, equality and conditions of life; and an environment that promises life, dignity and well-being. We need also a new legitimacy, a new ethic, and new metaphors.

…we must create a new vision and an institution that can help us to deal with these new realities.

   One of the new metaphors that I am eager to produce and promote is that of a covenant ­– a new covenant with the Earth. You in the religious communities can help us do that…

… That is the challenge facing all of us, and that is the challenge to which I ask you to work with us as allies. We can create a new order, and if we are to survive, indeed we must.”[19] [Italics in original]

 

At the time of the 1990 event, Christian denominations sitting on the Environmental Sabbath interfaith board included the American Baptist Church, the Protestant Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ.[20] Moreover, a special Earth worship resource book was prepared by UNEP for the Sabbath, suitably titled Only One Earth.

   Focusing on changing the current religious paradigm towards a new ecological way of thinking, Only One Earth was a source book filled with meditative readings, prayers, and songs for congregational use. Even worship service suggestions were included, such as the excerpted recommendations listed below.

             The Sermon:

  • “Describe the crisis. Use scientific data. Highlight the urgency of the situation.”
  • “Speak of the essential earth-human relationship. What is it? What is our responsibility to it?”
  • “Point to various sources of inspiration: to scripture, to wisdom and spirituality; and to the Earth itself. Show how they are all important, and tied together.”

The Service:

smokeythebear

  • “Decorate your sanctuary with photographs of the Earth as seen from outer space, and with other Earth images.”
  • “Invite guest speakers or ‘representatives’ from other species, i.e. plants and animals.”

Go Further:

  • “In regular services, insert a portion that focuses on reverence and care for the Earth.”
  • “Organize an interfaith ceremony.”
  • “Organize an Environmental Sabbath concert or festival…”
  • “Write letters to the national and regional leaders of your faith, encouraging them to take action.”[21]

For religious leaders who were so inclined, churches could participate through a variety of listed meditations and reflections. Hindu, Buddhist, Judaic, North American Indian, Islamic, and Christian prayers were suggested; all with an Earth-centric and/or mystical tone. Topping it off, at the back of the UNEP Sabbath worship book was the Earth Covenant, a type of “citizens’ treaty” that could be copied and distributed to the worshipers (see “Earth Covenant” sidebar).

   The response to the Environmental Sabbath of 1990, the kick-off year of Only One Earth, was noteworthy. Not only did many churches and groups embark on this Earth-first journey, estimated at 25,000 by Leigh Eric Schmidt, it added real momentum towards acceptance of an environmental theology. And over the years, the program, according to John Kirk, has spawned “more than 130,000 religion and ecology projects…worldwide.”[22]

   Granted, the Environmental Sabbath never reached the tremendous general popularity held by the April 22nd Earth Day. But it wasn’t designed for the general public. Rather, the Environmental Sabbath program was target specific: religions and spiritual leaders, churches, and entire denominations.

   In the year 2000, Only One Earth was revamped and re-released as Only One Earth: A Book of Reflection for Action. On page 3 of this new and enlarged edition, UN Under-Secretary-General Klaus Töpfer offered some words of eco-wisdom,

“We have entered a new age. An age where all of us will have to sign a new compact with our environment…and enter into the larger community of all living beings. A new sense of our communion with planet Earth must enter our minds.”[23]

   Today, New Age eco-spirituality is sweeping through the Christian community, influencing para-church organizations, local congregations, and up into the leadership of entire denominations. If one where to catalogue the situation only in North America, it would take an entire book to list all the ministries and churches that have adopted this ideology either by naivety or by consent.

   Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Robert A. Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, penned these words regarding the Earth Sabbath, paganism, and the embracement of these ideas by religious leaders.

   “Consider the ‘confession’ of environmental sins offered by the National Council of Churches (NCC): ‘We are responsible for massive pollution of earth, water and sky…We are killing the skies: as the global atmosphere heats up from chemical gases, as the ozone layer is destroyed.’

Scientists say most of these concerns are overblown. But let’s just say these assertions are true. At most, they are technical matters to be addressed by specialists in the public or private sector. They shouldn’t have far-reaching spiritual relevance. No one is in Hell for using aerosol hairspray.

Only if we jettison traditional teachings can we agree with the words of NCC’s eco-celebrant, who says in one proposed prayer: ‘We must say, do, and be everything possible to realize the goal of the Environmental Sabbath…We cannot let our mother die. We must love and replenish her.’

Describing the earth as our living mother either constitutes a pagan form of earth worship or comes dangerously close. An ‘Environmental Sabbath’ isn’t a Christian goal, even though the United Nations has a program to promote it. Neither should we attempt to create an ‘Eco-Church’…

The Genesis account of creation provides enough theological evidence to counter the greening of theology. After God created man and woman in His image, He said: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish and the sea, the birds of the air and all the living things that move on this earth’ (Gn 1:28).

The earth hasn’t been given dominion over people. We have souls which are in need of salvation; rocks, rivers, squirrels and salmon do not. We have been given the gifts of reason and revelation; plants and animals have not. There are right and wrong ways to have dominion over nature, which the well-formed conscience can discern.”[24]

   In closing this article, it would be wise to consider the words of Samantha Smith from her 1994 book Goddess Earth. A critic of eco-spirituality, she exposed the core of this issue and its disquieting implications for Christianity,

“Much of the social and environmental activism in the churches today is based on Socialist beliefs promoted in the name of ‘stewardship,’ which encompasses everything from social justice to passionate earth protection. Green theology overlooks God’s commands to fill the earth and subdue it, while caring for its beauty and resources. Instead, it would have Christians believe their noblest calling is to serve their ‘interconnected’ earth. In so doing, they play into the hands of the pagan Greens, who desire to have dominion over man.”[25] FC

earthday

Carl Teichrib edits Forcing Change, a monthly journal detailing the worldview changes now sweeping our Western culture, and the challenges and opportunities this presents to Christendom.

 

Related links are listed below:

  1. David Suzuki Foundation
  2. The New Christianity Pt. 12 – Alice Bailey & The Christian World Servers
  3. Evangelical Environmentalism
  4. Authors of Confusion Pt. 24 – Rick Warren & the ‘Seeker Sensitive, Purpose Driven, Emergent, World-Church’

Abusive Lamas

Kagyu Ling

TheGuardian

‘The Dalai Lama has warned against being seduced into Tibetan Buddhism by its exotic tantric aura.

A senior monk at Kagyu Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist centre near Dijon in France, has become the first ordained lama in the developed world to be imprisoned. Lama Tempa Dargye is being held in provisional detention, following allegations of rape and sexual violence by four women. One woman alleged that she was aged nine when she was raped. French police have also launched an investigation into financial irregularities at the centre.

Kagyu Ling was founded in 1976 by the late Kalu Rinpoche, in response to a surge of interest in Tibetan Buddhism among western spiritual seekers. Kalu Rinpoche died in 1989. Within the last two years his reincarnation, the present Kalu Rinpoche, has assumed responsibility for the institutions set up by his predecessor. But during Kalu’s childhood the situation at Kagyu Ling allegedly deteriorated to the point where it no longer functioned as a Buddhist centre. The young Kalu sacked Lama Tempa and five other resident Bhutanese monks, replacing them with westerners and a “collegiate” system of control and responsibility.

Controversy over Kagyu Ling might then have died down – except for the fact that a woman known as Sandrine decided to tell her story of rape and sexual violence to the gendarmerie. At first she was a lone voice, but recently three more women decided to testify; Lama Tempa was arrested and the police investigation is ongoing.

The events at Kagyu Ling are currently making headlines in France, but Tibet-watchers worldwide are aware that many more scandals have surfaced since the lamas fled their homeland in the late 1950s, following the Chinese takeover of Tibet. Some examples: in America followers of the late Trungpa Rinpoche were horrified to learn that his appointed successor, the late Thomas Rich appeared to have infected several people with HIV.

In 1994 the high-profile lama Sogyal Rinpoche was sued in California for sexual assault by a woman known as Janice Doe. The suit was settled out of court with substantial damages paid to the plaintiff. Rumours about Sogyal’s sexual exploits have circulated on the internet ever since. In Canberra, Australia, a respected Tibetan guru called Lama Choedak was forced to make a public apology after multiple affairs with his female students came to light.

In the UK Michael Lyons, aka Mohan Singh, is serving 10 years in prison after being convicted of rape. He posed as a Tibetan lama, but had no authentic qualifications. The followers of an American, Geshe Michael Roach, ordained as a Tibetan monk, attracted media attention when one of them died in bizarre circumstances after being ejected from a three-year retreat at a remote mountain centre in Arizona. “Michael Roach teaches an extremely exaggerated, and from a Buddhist perspective somewhat dubious, form of tantrism,” says Lama Jampa Thaye, an Englishman from Manchester who has been teaching Tibetan Buddhism for more than 30 years.

The Shangri La factor is undoubtedly significant in the explosion of interest in Tibetan Buddhism around the world. The Dalai Lama’s Nobel prize and his saintly reputation is another. His Holiness has an impressive track record in favour of nonviolence and as a champion of human rights – and he has warned against being seduced into Tibetan Buddhism by its exotic tantric aura, with hints of arcane sexual practices. Although he has never named and shamed any individual lama, he has recently publicly acknowledged that “some tulkus have behaved badly”. He also cautions against rushing into commitment to a lama. “In Tibet”, he says, “it could take 12 years before a lama-disciple relationship was established.” He points out that it is a big responsibility and should not be undertaken lightly by either party.

So if you are attracted to Tibetan Buddhism, have read some books and learned some meditation techniques and now want to delve in deeper – how do you guard against being fooled by a charismatic charlatan? What criteria do you apply to your search for an authentic teacher? Lama Jampa Thaye’s advice reflects a commonsense approach:

“Although one may come across examples of authentic Buddhist masters who dress or speak unconventionally, there is no licence in Buddhism for unethical behaviour. Thus oriental or occidental masters who claim their selfish and abusive behaviour is a display of ‘skilful means’ or ‘crazy wisdom’ are to be given a wide berth – unless we want to jump over a cliff hand in hand with them.”

Church Of Scientology former Member Speaks Out about Cult

SCIENTOLOGY-LA_012

HuffingtonPost.Com

Former Scientologist Jenna Miscavige Hill joined HuffPost Live Thursday to share her personal story of growing up in the church and to explain how she escaped from it.

Hill, the niece of church leader David Miscavige and author of Beyond Belief, told HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin about the oppressive practices of the church, which include forced abortion and abuse.

“If you do become pregnant when you’re there, you get kicked out,” she said. “Or many of my friends were actually Jenna Miscavige Hillcoerced into having abortions.”

Hill also described tales of forced labor and abusive teachers, and said she knew she had to leave the church after being exposed to the outside world on a mission trip abroad.

“When we went back to LA after that mission, it was like, everything was in plain view,” she said. “Back to fifteen minute meals, you can’t go to bed before 1:00 AM, you have to stay up all night even though you did yesterday…It put a lot of things in plain sight. There was no denying it. They started taking away your phones, your internet access…that was a big turning point for me.”

Watch the full segment at HuffPost Live.

Make it Plain

makeitplain

The video below is a documentary of the life, and work of civil rights leader, Malcolm X. It details the civil rights movement from the perspective of African American Muslims, and their approach to addressing the injustices perpetrated by the white establishment It also documents the difference in philosophy within the Nation of Islam between, its leader, Elijah Mohammad and his young disciple, Malcolm X, and its tragic conclusion.

Related articles are listed below:

  1. The Movement
  2. The Counter-Movement