The Supreme Court has taken up the case of an 8-foot white cross atop Sunrise Rock memorializing U.S. soldiers who fought in the First World War.
After the war, several veterans moved to the Californian desert as a respite for their emotional and physical wounds. In 1934, they erected the white cross memorial to honor their fallen comrades who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
They chose the memorial site because the sun casts a shadow on Sunrise Rock at a certain time of day that resembles a WWI doughboy. The memorial stood serene for more than 75 years until the Park Service was asked and refused to build a Buddhist sanctuary nearby. See video below:
Having firmly affixed his Catholic faith to his sleeve, the PEER zealot smartly marched over to the ACLU (American Communist Lawyer’s Union), and they joined together in a lawsuit to tear down the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial.
After the U.S. Government acquired the land on which the memorial sits as part of the Mojave Desert Federal Preserve, Congress designated Sunrise Rock a national memorial and barred its dismantling. A year later, Congress voted to trade the acre of land containing the memorial to the veterans, who had maintained it for decades, for five acres.
Even though public military memorials and cemeteries have been adorned for decades with crosses and religious symbols and the one-for-five acre deal satisfied both the government and the veterans, the ire of the Park Service pantywaist and surrogate remained. They declared the deal intolerable, and persisted in filing motions to tear down the memorial and overturn the land transfer.
In 2000, the Southern California ACLU announced the cross would be down within the next few months, but Congress voted not to allocate federal funds to remove it, an action that drew a lawsuit from the ACLU.
In 2002, a federal district court ruled that the memorial violated the “wall of separation” that the Constitution maintains between church and state; consequently, Congress attempted to transfer the land underneath the cross to a local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars by using a clause in the Department of Defense budget, but the district court ruled against it.
In 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling to remove the cross in spite of numerous appeals from the U.S. Justice Department.
As if to commemorate an ACLU victory, a federal judge ordered the cross covered and hidden from view while the case is on appeal. A curious-looking plywood box, resembling a condemned building, now sits atop a desolate rock symbolizing the triumph of one man’s intolerance over the sacrifices of those who inspired the memorial.
Currently, the Supreme Court’s nine justices are divided on the issue along progressive and conservative lines. Progressive justices view the Constitution as a living, breathing document emanating meanings from ethereal penumbras of the actual text, which often contradict the plain understanding of the words themselves; and conservative justices focus on a strict interpretation of the text of the Constitution based on the originally intended meaning of the text.
When it comes to the Establishment Clause, progressive justices have interpreted the emanations from the clause to mean government hostility toward religion in general and Christianity in particular; whereas conservative justices have interpreted the clause to mean government neutrality toward religion and accommodation for Christianity in particular.
However, the final battle won’t be won until the Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of Ninth Circuit’s ruling, and that could take weeks. It’s also quite possible the high court will ignore the broader question of whether the presence of the cross on a federal preserve establishes a religion, and will address the narrower question of whether Congress was right to transfer the land on which the cross sits to private ownership.
Clearly, the PEER gent and the ACLU know the military’s long history of using a cross as marker for the war dead of all faiths and as a symbol to represent honor, courage, and sacrifice. They have not employed such a Herculean effort for nearly ten years just to tear down an unadorned cross in some remote area of the Mojave Desert; theirs is a sinister purpose, to put an end to the principles of religious liberty as grounded in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:
“So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.”
Voltaire’s words combined with those of the Preamble to the California Constitution, “We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom,” serve as a sad reminder for the cosmic irony in this a petty, mean-spirited lawsuit.
Gamaliel is actually a more dangerous group than its corrupt cousin ACORN for it actually embodies the dreaded union of church and state, and, if left unchecked, will emasculate individual liberty in the name of God and sacred community and will sacrifice religious freedom on the advocacy altar of social justice and the greater good.
Brietbart TV has recently unearthed a 2:00 minute video of a Gamaliel International Leadership Assembly “prayer meeting” held December 4, 2008, in Washington, DC, which has created a bit of a stir.
In the video, people hurriedly enter a room while chanting, “Everybody in! Nobody out!” an apparent reference to universal health care. The group then gathers to offer a scripted prayer for “all of us who face health care without good health care insurance.”
In liturgical fashion, a woman leads a responsive reading, and the group purportedly responds at appropriate intervals “Hear our cry Obama” and “Deliver us Obama.” Whether the respondents clearly say “Obama” or “O God” is open to debate, but what is not debatable are the current and historical ties that Brother O has to the Gamaliel Foundation.
Alinsky’s organization was based in Chicago, and it trained a cadre of community organizers for such groups as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the Gamaliel Foundation in the political strategies outlined in Rules for Radicals. To build left-wing political coalitions within inner city neighborhoods and black churches, Alinsky-style organizing specialized in ideological stealth, deception, and camouflage.
Like ACORN, the Gamaliel Foundation is a politically active organization with Marxist goals and differs only in its narrowly-focused outreach for infiltrating local church communities rather than entire neighborhoods. Once infiltrated, the Gamaliel Foundation hijacks the church leadership to combine a Marxist agenda with a smattering of Christian doctrine and push leftist political issues through methods of intimidation and agitation. Gamaliel organizers quietly share the same anti-American liberation theology brought to the limelight through the guttural discharges of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Gamaliel stands at the center of a well-coordinated, well-funded, and complex campaign to take back the debate and move Obamacare forward. Almost thirty denominations including mainstream Episcopal, Presbyterian USA, and United Methodist churches have joined Gamaliel and the Whitehouse to sell Obamacare through a nationwide TV ad with local clergy and lay leaders supporting reform, prayer rallies and in-district meetings, petition drives, and a call-in Webcast that featured Brother O and diverse faith leaders.
Alinsky created partnerships among faith-based community organizations as a means to seize power to realize his utopian dream of equality, justice, and peace. In Chicago, Brother O learned how to use power at the feet of some of the most radical socialists in America and to advance the Alinsky agenda into the highest levels in government.
Now that America is in the throes of an Alinsky dream, Americans may wish to examine what the Reverend John C. Welch and Gamaliel acolytes say about the man into whose hands the governance of this nation has been placed:
“He is Gamaliel. He is African American. He is one of us. He is the 44th President of the United States of America!”
The times, they are a changinâ€™.Â Â Olâ€™ Bob Dylanâ€™s done some changinâ€™ along the way.Â I donâ€™t know where he is today, but a few years ago, when he called Christ his Lord, the music certainly changed.Â Â It got real upbeat, positive, encouraging, even inspired.Â Â Sad to say, olâ€™ Bob seems to have drifted back into the shadowy world of nightclubs and smoky sessions and cynicism.Â
Ah, well, more sadness.Â Â The spiritual war rages on, as always: millions of souls in the balance.Â But notice now how the war intensifies, how mass media define truth, how scholarship is twisted or ignored.Â Â The God of love, inviting us to reason, is actively opposed by clusters of talking heads mouthing sensation, speculation, slander.
Not long ago it was the movie The Last Temptation of Christ, whose director was recently honored by Hollywood, a hero of tinsel town, making his mark, in part, driving more nails into the hands of compassion.
More recently the novel, then the movie, The Da Vinci Code crucifying again the Son of glory.
Now comes Cameron and his documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, like so many weak and empty assaults gone by, another installment in trashy scholarship, lurching misrepresentation, outright deception, all for money, all for vain glory.
This comes as no surprise.Â Â The Deceiver is the master of lies, half-truths, deception and propaganda.Â How easily humans fall prey.Â Â From the day Jesus was born, even before, the Enemy sought his destruction, first through Herod, then the Jews, then Rome, now via secular humanism, religious traditions, and atheism: same quest, different weapons.Â
Deliverance Day in the war for souls happened about 2,000 years back when the carpenterâ€™s son stood in the synagogue in Nazareth, reading from the ancient book of Isaiah, fulfilling one of many prophesies specific to his life, his mission, his Deity, as recorded in Luke chapter 4:
The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: Â ”The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Â Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Those in attendance that day knew very well what this man Jesus was saying.Â Â They were familiar with the text, written some 700 years before.Â They understood he was proclaiming himself Messiah: very God, very Man.Â First, they tried to shout Him down (still in evidence today), then they tried to throw him off a cliff, and for three years thereafter, at various times and places, they either threatened to kill him, or mounted assassination attempts.
Imagine, the everlasting essence of love, incarnate, the Grand Artist of all creation, in human form revealed, announcing he has come to earth, as prophesied, to preach good news, soothe the brokenhearted, set the captives free from sin and death, release all prisoners from darkness, comfort all who mourn, make everything beautiful by lifting every spirit of despair in this life, and the next, and what do we do?Â Â
We try to kill him.
Can there be any greater evidence of our own depravity?Â
For 2000 years, from every corner of the world, from every tribe and clan, theyâ€™ve tried to resist him, destroy him, deny him and repudiate him, but â€œlight has come into the world, and the darkness has never overcome it.â€
Here is this One, the Light of the World, who only did good each day of his life:
this One even Pilate found innocent,
this One, the greatest single figure in all human history,
this One, the source of the most profound, wonderful, transforming power exercised for our betterment down through the ages,
this One, worshipped by billions of people and called Most High, God with us, Immanuel, despite all his sacrifice for us, all his work to save us, all his agony to retrieve us, still today, we spit on him, tear his beard out by the roots, drive thorns into his skull, insult him and beat him, stab and crucify him.
Yet, he hangs there, willingly, not even recognizable for the brutality of it, praying the Fatherâ€™s forgiveness . . . and we sneer.
He grieves for the Dylans, and the Camerons, the Browns, the Scorseses, the Pilates and the Herods, saddened over each soul resisting his love, even to the end, and eternal separation.
The One in whom we live, breathe and have our being, declares, â€œI am the Way, the Truth and the Life.Â No man comes to the Father, but by me.â€
And we try to kill him, calling ourselves essentially good.Â The talking heads cluster and chatter. We drift away on a sea of impressions, and good intentions, feelings and preferences, ignoring the incarnation of Truth, working overtime to silence his dear voice.
In the end, we will have no excuse, whatsoever, for when we finally realize and acknowledge his glory on that day, it will be too late to change our minds, to late to take back all the vicious things said and done, all the hate and murder committed in the name of selfish ambition, too late to drive back the waters of the Red Sea, too late to avoid the final judgment, too late even to answer him when he asks:
â€œWhy do you hate me?â€
“Freedom” is the most brilliant word among the radiant words existing in the world….
Since taking power in 1979, the Iranian theocracy has been systematically martyring members of the Baha’i faith in that country. The Baha’is are Iran’s largest religious minority with about 300,000 adherents and suffer continuous persecution. They remain courageously committed to their faith, even though it costs them all the ordinary benefits such as education and job opportunities.
Several score Baha’is, including women and teenage girls, were imprisoned in the fall of 1982 because of their faith by the Islamic Revolutionary authorities in the Iranian city of Shiraz. The prisoners endured months of abuse, interrogation and torture as the Islamic judges and their revolutionary guards attempted to force them to deny their religion. All refused.
Particularly shocking to the international community was the execution of ten of the women who were Baha’i children’s school (equivalent of Christian Sunday School) teachers. They were secretly sentenced to death by hanging on June 18, 1983. In a final effort to break their wills, the authorities hanged the women one by one as the others were forced to watch.
The youngest was a beautiful sixteen year old girl named Mona Mahmudnizhad. Mona asked to be the final victim executed so that she could pray for the strength of each one who was hanged before her. When her turn came, she kissed the rope and put the noose around her own neck. Before she died, Mona said, “What makes me happy is that I see that we have been chosen by God to be strong.” The popular theater play A Dress For Mona is based on her story.
While Mona was still in high school, she wrote an essay protesting the persecution of her family’s Baha’i faith. School authorities promptly confiscated the paper, her home was raided, and all copies and remnants of the work were thought to have been suppressed. First Mona’s father, and later Mona herself, were hanged by the authorities. But her first notes for the essay were smuggled out of Iran by members of the Baha’i community and published in the west. Here is Mona’s Message:
‘Freedom’ is the most brilliant word among the radiant words existing in the world. Man has always been and will ever be asking for liberty. Why, then, has he been deprived of liberty? Why from the beginning of man’s life has there been no freedom? Always, there have been powerful and unjust individuals who for the sake of their own interests have resorted to all kinds of oppression and tyranny…
Why don’t you let me be free to express our goals in this community; to say who I am and what I want, and to reveal my religion to others? Why don’t you give me freedom of speech so that I may write for publication or talk on radio and television about my ideas? Yes, liberty is a Divine gift, and this gift is for us also, but you don’t let us have it. Why don’t you let me speak freely as a Baha’i individual? Why don’t you want to know that a new religion has been revealed; that a new radiant star has risen? Why don’t you push aside that thick veil from your eyes?
Perhaps you don’t really think that I should have freedom. God has granted this freedom to man. You, his servant, cannot take it from me. God has given me freedom of speech. Therefore, I cry out and say, “His Holiness Baha’u'llah is the Truth!” God has given me freedom of speech. Therefore, in clear words, I write, “Baha’u'llah is the One whom God has made manifest! He is the founder of the Baha’i religion and His Book is the Mother of Books…”
The western press ignores the brutality of the Islamo-facist regime in Iran, and parrots their press releases as accurate news without investigation. By treating them as a legitimate government, equivalent to the leaders of civilized countries in the rest of the world, the mainstream media are, in effect, lying to their readers and viewers. The fact is, the mullahs are a theocratic dictatorship, who maintain their rule with intimidation, torture, and killing reminiscent of Stalin.
The mainstream media will not tell the stories of the Iranian martyrs. They will not put a face on the human suffering. They will not reveal how ordinary and how inoffensive the victims are. Take a good long look at the sweet faces of these ordinary women, who showed extraordinary resolve in facing death:
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