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Friday, 31 October 2008

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Jewish Year 5769 The Challenge To Build The Work Of God

Zechariah's Visions:

VISION #1: THE MAN AMONG THE MYRTLE TREES

She bat - Jan - Feb (5Th month of the Jewish Year)

Red, Brown and white horses - angels

The myrtle tree - a sign of the messianic age; The Lord's blessing of a cursed land. Hadassah - Hebrew - myrtle tree (Queen Esther's Hebrew name)Isaiah 55:13, 41:19. It is still used to adorn the succah during the feast of tabernacles. Angels going through the earth - The Lord's total control of events through time.(The 70 years)

Jeremiah 48:11 - God's judgement of Judah's enemies.

Ezekiel 40 and Zech. 8 - Messianic age of rebuilding the temple.

VISION #2: FOUR HORNS AND FOUR CRAFTSMEN

horns - governments or empires that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem

Daniel 7 - Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome

Craftsmen - angels to throw down these nations.

once again after this happens - the messianic age

(we are God's reserves(army) to assist his angels)

VISION #3 - THE MAN WITH A MEASURING LINE

Nehemiah 2- 6 has a wall. Zech 2: 4-5 No wall. Fire of the Lord around it. - God will protect her- rebuilding under the rule of the messiah. The Jerusalem in the messianic age. (Zech 14:5-6; Is60:19; Rev22:5)

Rebuilding the church - we are his temple now. (Is 2: 6-7 - Most exiles were comfortable in Babylon and refused to endure the challenge to build a work of God)

These are Instructions from God:


COME OUT OF BABYLON!

Zech 2: 7-9 - God promises to punish those nations that plundered Israel.

Zech2:10 - Jesus standing on the earth - Zech 14:4; Is 11:10-12(regathering of the exiles); Is17:7-13(returning hearts to the Lord); Is 33:17-24(adjusting of our vision); Is52:8(watchmen)

Zech 2:11- (Knowing he was sent) Promises - Micah 4:1-5; Is 49:21-30; Is 60: 8-12 - All Promises Is40:2; Is32: 1-3; Is 60:10; Is 61:7-11

Zech 2:12 - The only time this is referred to as the Holy Land in the bible.

VISION #4 - CLEAN GARMENTS FOR THE HIGH PRIEST

Joshua - Present High Priest (restoration of the priesthood - sign of the coming messianic times)Haggai 1:1; Ezra 2:2 Joshua - Jeshua interchangeable.

He was dressed in filthy (means vile, loathsome) clothes (Having filthy clothes symbolizes mourning for the dead or national catastrophe) He was given new - taken away sin - only Jesus can do this. (angel of the Lord) Symbolic of things to come - the branch - Jesus (Is 4:2; 11:1; Jer 23:5; 33:15; John 15:5)

The Stone - 7 facets - 7 is God's perfection.

I will remove the sin of the land in a single day.(Jer 50:20; Is 10:20; Ez 36:27; 15; 43:25)

Zech 3:10 - Phrase used in 1 kings 4:25 - peace and prosperity - Is 36:16 the same; Micah 4:3-4 tranquility existing during the messianic age.

Spiritual Warfare -


Satan literally means adversary or opponent. God prevents his advance in the right season.

What to say - Our Authority:


Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? Joshua the High Priest had a place of high standing - next to the Angel of the Lord and protected against Satanic attack. Still, this place of high privilege was not based on Joshua's own goodness or merit; he himself was rescued as a brand plucked from the fire. This is even more boldly stated in that Joshua stands clothed in filthy garments. Satan had a lot to accuse Joshua of, but Joshua had an even greater advocate in the Angel of the Lord.

A brand is a burning, burnt, or smoldering piece of wood. Think of a campfire with a blackened, charred chunk of wood smoking in the ashes. It isn't worth much at all and will be consumed completely if it isn't plucked from the fire.

"So it is with the child of God. What is he at the best? Till he is taken up to heaven, he is nothing but a brand plucked out of the fire. It is his daily moan that he is a sinner; but Christ accepts him as he is: and he shuts the devil's mouth by telling him, 'Thou sayest this man is black - of course he is: what did I think he was but that? He is a brand plucked out of the fire. I plucked him out of it. He was burning when he was in it: he is black now he is out of it. He was what I knew he would be; he is not what I mean to make him, but he is what I knew he would be. I have chosen him as a brand plucked out of the fire. What hast thou to say to that?' Do observe that this plea did not require a single word to be added to it from Joshua." (Spurgeon)

"Such is the divine economy, that God makes much of brands, fragments, castaways. What others regard as unworthy of their heed is dear and priceless to the great Lover of souls." (Meyer)

"This question, as it appears to me, will bear three renderings; first, it may be looked upon as an exclamation of wonder: 'Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire!' Secondly, as an enquiry or hope: 'Is not this a brand' - this one particularly, 'plucked out of the fire?' And, in the third place, it is certainly a defiance for us, assured of our safety, to throw into the face of Satan, the accuser: 'Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?' " (Spurgeon)

When John Wesley was only six years old, he was trapped in a burning house and was only rescued when one neighbor climbed on another's shoulders and pulled him out of window. A picture of the scene was drawn for Wesley and he kept the drawing until he died, and wrote under it Zechariah 3:2: Is this not a brand plucked from the burning?

Thursday, 30 October 2008

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Covens And Temples Bands And Sessions
by Christopher Penczak I was simply asked on Duct by @Gardnerians about what it is adore above-board a Witchcraft Religious vs. traditional coven experiences. In the function of 140 inscription is not an easy place to get inwards solidity, I contemplation I would create about it via a blog post. Blatant, I wear to say I love animal one of many family connections, and arguably the most clear peculiar, blameworthy for above-board the Brow of Witchcraft. The grasp has definite been a stress each on the head of working with a big and disdainful at liberty community, and the completely mass of establishment it involves, from meetings, efficient debate, meaning collection, real sessions, and the set up figure affair with the oral cavity and national governement, and place of origin advisors and lawyers to gash our 501(c)3 nonprofit prestige as a legally-recognized church. But the rewards are tremendous as well. The foist, and really the piece of work, is to be fix structurally and get a hold protected establishment practices lacking losing the soul of our invent, the magick and mystery. Our meaning is the development of the variety, and the development of community, and any mold or establishment essential present to support that. Our piece of work in a good way creating opportunities for family connections to present second the traditional coven mold. Its been large to see many family connections leg up to individuals opportunities and quench in niches we sometimes didn't even know were expound. It's been fun to leg back from some aspects of community service and experience, to allow others to tinge, and wear opportunities to go deeper in my own wisdom and tongue, and in the same way get some introductions to disdainful advanced experience for ministers. We've done classes on communication, savoir-faire, suicide care, and wear some policy for classes on companionable legality and efficient stage management. My world has been lengthened. One of the reasons for starting the Brow of Witchcraft, and to mold it casing of the disdainful traditonal coven frame was to let somebody have opportunities for each advanced study and ministerial skills, and opportunities to pastor, to present, second how most family connections define a High Priest/ess. When I don't wear a stifling British Rank Wicca society, I wear been in groups that wear emmulated the mold. The coven unit becomes very familial, and to spare the years I've noticed that in such groups, the High Priestess and High Nun really desire on parental roles. In groups wherever that is to a great degree inferred and secure limits and path are maintained, it can be an fabulously healing time to work out genetic issues and become finely honed ample to exactingly imply the mysteries. I'm ruthless to say that most of the line I knew in that stage, each emmulating BTW groups and individuals with initiatory descent, didn't grow to restrain that space after I began my path. Boundaries were partial. Objects got very strange and expound was a high acknowledge of drama. I didn't really wish any part of it. I've had family connections ask why I didn't chase out initiation from these lineages nearer in my own experience, and the lack of seeing elders that I reception to simulate steered me in other orders, together with getting a lot of experience casing of traditional Witchcraft and Wicca circles. I gravitate headed for the definition of the Witch as vocational. It's a invent, a job in the community, and that job has been whittled away with the cancer of distinctive religions and the hustle and bustle of the character of the shaman to priest/priestess, to pastor and now separating futher inwards all admire of remedial practitioners, counselors, and coaches. But I looked for family connections and practice were practicing a magickal vocation. I explored shamanism, Theosophy, National magick, alchemy, astrology and hollistic health relating herbs, flower soul and gem psychoanalysis. I didn't even comprehend it was imaginably to work it in a really splendidly and healing way until many years afterward after I saw some tremendous BTW initiates restrain that space in such a way that it was finely honed and good. But the total manner is that you "develop up" and nearly third quantity, hive off, and start your own "genetic." I've friendly many skilled Witches, seekers of the mysteries and team of magick, who were not cut out to be coven leaders, teachers, and celebrants for others. In demanding to do so, I take up they bent many of the covens with the jumbled dynamics. Persons raising families second the coven find themselves clich, and expound are juicy dynamics if your partnering HP/S is your ensemble, and particular difficulties if your partnering HP/S is not. My own training was not coven based, but class based. I had no prohibitions against charging for teaching, as I was charged and, in many ways, it prepared the oscillate extreme cleaner and clearer than some of my peers' experience. I approached my Vessel extreme adore religious experience in a college collection. Put forward was a program, a course, and class kind and prospect for work. The class was as advertised. When I valued my elders, after the class was done, my stifling requisite was done unless I volunteered for something in community, or took another class to augment my experience. Put forward were no inappropriate genetic dynamics, innate roundabout nature, or tacit obligations and vows, and I jump at that. When some in my circle of friends and acquaintences asked me to modify a small study group inwards a class, I followed the typical case set for me and treated it adore a stifling course. That helped me in due course work in metaphysical stores and community centers introduce experience, and shore up secure limits in these settings. An unforseen riddle arose from this work to spare many years. I in due course found feathers my teaching in agreement souls to form a group, a disdainful Aquarian coven based mold of eligible priests and priesteses, distribution roles, responsbilities and duties, turning in diverse ways to spare the years. That mold was thriving filling for me. When I had a eager solitary practice, and recurrently accomplished with my handbag Steve, the coven in the same way provided a companionable support in our magickal studies. Yet not teaching in a coven endorsement, after family connections graduated, expound was a acknowledge of "what next?" Slightly continued studies with others, and persistent that perhaps a BTW devise, or perhaps even a whole other gratis path, was for them. Between a good at the bottom of, they required other arenas of experience and grasp. Slightly formed follow up groups, or accomplished solitary, and even took on their own students, which is bluntly what I envisioned would qualify. Slightly foundered, not experienced how to capture community on their own terms lacking crafting a coven or leading open circles. Oodles, seeking unity in the pompous community, started awkward phrases such as "Penczakian" or "Christopherian." I was a bit horrified by that. In foreign language with have a yen time students, friends and covenmates, it became finely honed that a new manner might be nice, a mold to let somebody have support wearing and in the rear training. Along with similar techniques, we were assemblage a group culture and mythos second a basic Wicca to fate, and with that would come an unity second any tradition named for its founder. Consequently, the if possible stirrings of the Brow of Witchcraft occurred. My select was not to provide a genetic dynamic, or the "nation" that many chase, but to investigate Witchcraft in the mold of an esoteric order. We are distribution community, and wear group techniques, but we each work a personal path. We can come together after secure, be solitary after secure, but wear the clone lay the blame on to self and self-development what in the same way statute this work in community. It's the paradox of the Age of Aquarius. When expound is mold and hierarchy to any body, we modeled ours on the web, a peripheral circling out from the central point, with projects directed by individuals with the fervor and request for each meaning, and receiving support in the fit together of strands listed our community web. As outrageous as it might protected, the manner of Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters in the widespread Notoriety Wars movies, was disdainful adore our manner than covens. We wear a lower house that guides, and a less significant group within the councel that takes the real responsbility. Oodles come together together and many do their own thing within the piece of work statements of the Brow. We wear stifling classes and experience programs, but lecturer programs wherever family connections cook one-on-one brain and training. We wear each a hoard, as I did after if possible learning, and a personal mentorship, another gratis combine of facade. Students and ministers are asked to consult back to the pompous community, but wear a wide category of options in regard to service. We bent a mold of twelve areas of service, based on the Zodiac signs. You don't adore to teach or lead ritual? That's fine. You can do jail ministry, community assemblage, failure carriage, grassy action, or healing, to name a few. And each possibly will be approaches as a part of a ministry. And you can wear combination roles, based upon your interests. But, changed the Jedi, as Witches we chase the tetragon among the light and the dark sides of the Stimulus. We understand the blessings of shadows and light, and the magickal time of sunset among them. I simply read a quote from Thelemite Soror Feiri Facias. "O.T.O. is humorless to Thelema in the role of it's a companionable laboratory for this spiritual science." The O.T.O. ("Ordo Templi Orientis") is a magickal order interconnected with the works of Aleister Crowley, what his system/religion is Thelema. He was a big pretend to have in Wicca, and on me. I take up each Witchcraft covens and temples playhouse a similar character. I was educated that Witchcraft is a science, art, and religion. The religious community is the frame, the holder wherever we research the science of our mystery school and provide the art of our lives. In the Brow of Witchcraft, we recurrently take in the total community "the cauldron," for it holds us, but we each destitution do our own "rations." I take up covens are a holder of a render, and can recurrently work out familial issues, and consult us opportunities to apply individuals spiritual principles in such a genetic collection. But they are restricted as covens fate such a similar unity together, basically adore a genetic. A pompous feature, an order, a temple, allows us to work with individuals who wear a glaring note views and unity. Not each person in the Brow of Witchcraft identifies as a Witch, or has a the extremely definition of Witchcraft. We adoration a wide category of gods, and what we fate practices, we wear a wide assortment of practices and how we perform them. We wear a companionable order that encourages argument and consideration, leading to some form of agreement to move throw. It's easy to be very "spiritual" after you are in isolation, but the chore is to apply these principles with individuals working in a somewhat a similar create, our spiritual community, after that apply them to the pompous world. I take up a Brow mold is an moderator leg among coven and pompous community. I don't really take up of the figure as an either/or grasp, coven vs. temple. At the the twinkling of an eye, I am no longer in a traditional (or even non-traditional) coven, but I wear been in some form of circle aspiring to be a coven or stifling coven mold having the status of 1993, and my arise coven grasp larger than in 2011. That's been the crowd of my magickal life. As the group evolved, many of the extremely family connections were concerned in most incarnations of the group. As many of us discussed our goals for community, experience, and the culture of our Vessel, and persistent to found the Brow of Witchcraft and put our energy towards manifesting our impression, the most full of life coven members were in the same way the most full of life members of the Brow. The nominal full of life members of the coven were the nominal concerned in the Brow, and many of us (but not all) felt that perhaps it was a excellent use of our time to transition out of one mold and drain on the new effort. Objects end, and the select to restrain on can be basically as toxic as letting go in advance it's to spare. In the function of after that, many of our lives wear poles apart extensively, perhaps in ways that would not wear occurred if the coven was level impart and I do take up these strike were requirement. We're all level friends, and individuals who are disdainful full of life in the community level practice together in diverse combinations, publically and without authorization as the select arises. Oodles members of the Brow, together with the Brow leadership, belong to covens focus and casing of the Brow mold what maintaining their work in the Brow. Oodles disdainful or less stifling groups come together for specific rituals, or a series of rituals and wisdom. In many ways, the Brow lower house acts as its own magickal group, undergoing training and statute magick together. The Ministerial Disconsolate Moon meetings, for former students of the training team, wear been come a key group for advanced practices, distribution, support, comraderie and magick. I love the fact we can be everyplace wherever the default postulation is that you are an hardened practitioner with your own practice and ministry, and we can go deeper. Involved on the Disconsolate Moons has been a big place of support and inspiriation for me. It's become a small "R&D" for much writings and books. And the line who fulfil our Achieve Moon rituals, open to the royal, wear bonded together in that lunar work. They are extreme less significant than our complete sabbat gatherings, and are finalize for forging coven-like bonds. A large priestess and magician in the St. Louis region, landowner of the store Pathways, Deborah Bourbon, prepared an clear match for me a few years back. She compared magick to music. Oodles of us start out in bands, from the high school garage bands to perhaps playing with some set musicians who help be in support of something each other's insolence. In a band, we learn a set style and work on "our protected." Put forward is a familial bond to the band. I know I was in a band in college, and we recurrently talked, in all sincerity, that the band was adore a marriage. Yet bands are recurrently drama-filled and volitile. And my band definite was. Thus we advance in our skills, care and extra our tastes. A set brilliant can rod in jam sessions with others of a category of skills to work in specific projects, and presently you can wear particular projects departure at after. You playhouse off of each other in warning, and help each other with goals and recordings. Between elegance comes a fineness and an casual to stylishness and support, as well as lead and provide. She after that rumored that the bands were the covens and the sessions were what happened in the rear the covens for many of us. You possibly will customarily be in a band, but set musicians possibly will do each, or basically playhouse in diverse combos to holder the requirements of a justification. After many years of animal in a band, or really a coven, I'm sack a bit of a break. I concern adore I've formed a musicians bash considerably, but for Witches. We wear group requirements and group goals, and are distribution the work. Unlikely a soundtrack sesson, we are creating something that request wear a mold to arise, yet a bounce to support and present many. It is hard? Hell, yes! Whatsoever relating twist, family connections, and interacting with the for all royal to be disdainful clear is customarily tiring. Is it rewarding? Truthfully. I can't perceive any other group with whom I'd adore to be playing the Glaring Telephone.

Credit: pagan-wiccan.blogspot.com

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

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Gemstone Show And Lots Of Goodies
Pip Broadcast AND Lots OF GOODIESMerry Challenge :))) I towards the end had the scope to go to my excel gemstone establish. :)))) I manipulate been waiting for this establish to come for from first to last a rendezvous now and was onwards on fire to go. It was right amazing! Development time I heart trust to go two time, later with the children and later with a friend. :))) It was sincere a abruptly significantly on my kids. They esteemed it for the excel hour or so. Thus far, a lot of the displays were hands off. Ok about 95% of them. That's really eroded once you manipulate a 5 rendezvous old that loves stones and holding them. We did manipulate one tasteful endure that took the time to discourse to my kids about fossils and discrete stones and their properties, and let them cope with more readily significantly whatsoever. :))))) I manipulate a special story about that endure that I heart share with you tomorrow. :))))))Today whereas I sought after to share a drawback goodies that I got, and establish you a few pictures that I took in the establish. :)))))))This is the excel barrier I got and I am onwards on fire. A lot of you credibly know that the Moonstone is my outgoing inclination. :))))))))) It's right an remarkable stone for me. :)))) So once I found this ring I was really really jaunty. It's going on my excel link point in addition to to my eternity ring. :))))The excel ring is kyanite, for natives of you who strength be wondering. :)))) I got that one once I was being paid endorsed in tarot. The eternity ring is a few months old and was found with the help of my guides. :)))) For natives who manipulate been with me for awhile you may learn by heart the story on that one. :)))))) Moonstone is the stone of the Moon, and carries her lunar energy. :))))) It is very sedative and helps to ease any stress and or frightfulness. It alike enhances consideration and aids lightworkers. :))))) This in addition to beauty is a barrier of Angelite. :)))) Firm of you may learn by heart me writing about defective to guarantee a barrier for in person as I didn't yet manipulate one. This one was decently a few dollars and was handcut by an remarkable animal that I met hand over. You can see the milkiness of the casing of the stone globular the edges. :))))))) Cole actually picked this stone out for me. :))))) I had to gurgle once I asked him to get to know a marginal stone for me and he swiftly brought me from first to last this stone. There's a lot of time wherever he right baffles me with how well he knows me. :)))) This is a stone of warm feeling and uninterrupted, it's in any case reassuring to keep. It helps bolster methodology with the angels. :)))The one more is a abruptly park to see. It plainly is camera shy as this is fondness the 12th picture I've crazed and it right doesn't do it truth at all. It's a Herkimer Rhombus. I manipulate a abruptly tiny barrier that I got a few being ago, I got this one for remarkable estimate, it's fondness it was made-up for me. Herkimer Diamonds fundamental were from the Herkimer pit in New York. Towards the end they manipulate been found in other areas of the world which is portion them to become easier to guarantee, each one in availability and in the folder. ;) :))))) This is a powerful abruptly gemstone that amplifies the energy of other stones, helps one to stay ashore by the use of the Terrestrial Wink Chakra, and draws light, a few of the tons give support to. It's a textbook stone for lightworkers.Tomorrow I heart sale you what happened with Cole and how he managed to find a bloody stone that was recessed in the inappropriate bin. ;) It's a very out of the ordinary stone. :)))))))I'll status you with a few improved pictures I took at the establish. :)) I fantasize you enjoy!A great deal Gut reaction and Plentiful Blessings,Jasmeine Moonsong"Put A Down Magick in Your Day!"One-off back copy includes rag magickal correspondences, quotes, affirmations, tarot card, spell, and an make an objection teaching you improved about your path. :))) ""HTTP://WWW.WICCANMOONSONG.COM/MOONSONG-DAILY-MAGICK.HTML"

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

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Malaysian State Says It Will Enforce Mosque Attendance Law
Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) issued a statement today opposing the announced plans of the government of the Malaysian state of Kelatan to enforce a provision of a 1994 law that criminalizes the failure of Muslim men to go for Friday prayers in the local mosque three times in a row. Section 104 of "Enakmen Majlis Agama Islam dan Adat Istiadat Melayu Kelantan 1994" (Enactment of Religious and Malay Customs--Kelatan 1994) imposes a fine equivalent to 305 (US) and up to one year in prison for violation of the requirement. According to LFL the law violates Malaysia's Constitution:

The provision would be in serious breach of article 5 on liberty of the person; article 8 on equal protection of the law; article 9 on prohibition on freedom of movement; and arguably article 11 on freedom of religion.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

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The powerful story that has captivated the sports world and inspired many to believe in miracles

On October 16, 2010, Eric LeGrand's life drastically changed course in a single moment. Eric was known for his skill as a key Rutgers defensive lineman and as a much-loved teammate who could make anyone smile.

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Balticg
This file is courtesy of Yaz (yaz@phoeniz.oulu.fi)

Excerpt from the "Baltic Religion" article of the
Encyclopedia Britannica.

Transcription conventions.
I have used the following ascii characters "the
corresponding letter to indicate various Baltic letters
not found from ascii:

before a vowel. Should be macron, and indicates the

long vowel. E.g. "m ate" should be "mate".
. before an "e" is the Lithuanian e with dot above it.
^ before a letter, should be v above it. E.g. ^Zem.epatis
should be: v.
Zemepatis
, before a letter should be below it.

The gods. Dievs. The Baltic words Latvian dievs, Lithuanian
dievas, and Old Prussian deivas are etymologically related to
the Indo-European deiuos; among others, the Greek Zeus is
derived from the same root. It originally meant the physical
sky, but already in Old Indian and other religions the sky
became personified as an anthropomorphic deity. Dievs, the
pre-Christian Baltic name for god, was used by Christian
missionaries (and still is) to denote the Christian God.
The etymology of the word indicates that the Balts preserved
its oldest forms, which is also true of the functions and
attributes of the personified Baltic sky god Dievs, who lives
on his farmstead on the sky mountain but does not participate
in the work of the farm. Importantly, Dievs is a bridegroom
who rides together with the other gods to a sky wedding in
which his bride is Saule. Dievs' family is later development;
in the family, Dieva d eli (God's Sons) play the primary role.
Thus Dievs is pictured as the father of a family of sky gods.
Besides such anthropomorphic characteristics, another
characteristic that gives Dievs a universal significance may
be observed: he appears as the creator of order in the world
on the one hand, and as the judge and guardian of moral law
on the other. From time to time he leaves the sky mountain and
actively takes part in the everyday life of the farmers below.
His participation in various yearly festivals is vividly
described. In spite of this, the Baltic Dievs is similar to the
Old Indian Dyaus, the Greek Zeus, and other personifications of
the sky. Such divinities have a tendency, in comparison with
other gods of their religions, to recede into a secondary role.

P erkons. In Baltic, as in other Indo-European religions,
there is, in addition to Dievs, the Thunderer (Latvian P erkons,
Lithuanian Perk unas
) with quite specific functions. P erkons
is described in the oldest chronicles and in poetic and epic
folklore, but, though he is a primary divinity there is no
reason to believe that he is the main god. His abode is in the
sky, and, like Dievs, he sometimes descends from the sky
mountain. He has two main characteristics. First, he is a
mighty warrior, metaphorically described as the sky smith,
and the scourge of evil. His role as adversary of the devil
and other evil spirits is of secondary importance and has been
formed to a great extent under the influence of Christian
syncretism. Secondly, he is a fertility god, and he controls
the rain, an important event in the life of farmers. Various
sacrifices were made to him in periods of drought as well as
in times of sickness and plague. No other god occupied a place
of such importance at the farmer's table during festivals,
especially in the fall at harvest time. Like the other sky
gods, he also has a family. Even though his daughters are
mentioned occassionally, originally he had only sons, and
myths depicting sky weddings portray his role vividly, as a
bridegroom and as the father in his sons' weddings.

Saule. The sun, Saule, occupies the central place in the
pantheon of Baltic gods. The divinity of the sun has been
recognized all over the world, and the Balts were no exception.
The Baltic description of the sun as divinity is so complete
and specific that it was one of the first to be studied by
scholars. Of greatest importance is the similarity in both
functions and attributes of Saule and the ancient Indian god
S urya. Similarities between the two gods are so great that,
were not the two peoples separated by several thousand miles
and several millennia, direct contact between them would be
indicated instead of only a common origin.
The representation of Saule is dualistic in that she is
depicted as a mother on one hand, and a daughter on the other.
Her attributes are described according to the role she plays.
As a daughter she is mentioned only when she is a bride to the
other sky gods. But as her daughters frequently are in the same
role, it is difficult to differentiate bteween them. As a mother,
however, she is depicted much more extensively and completely.
Her farmstead on the sky mountain borders that of Dievs, and
both Dieva d eli and Saules meitas (Daughters of the Sun) play
and work together. Sometimes Dievs and Saule become enraged at
each other because of their respective children, as, for example,
when Dieva d eli break the rings of Saules meitas or when Saules
meitas shatter the swords of Dieva d eli. Their enmity lasts
three days, which some scholars explain through natural
phenomena; i.e., the three days before the new moon when Dievs,
a substitute for the moon, is not visible.
That Saule, richly described in mythology, also had a cult
devoted to her is suggested by many hymns in her honour. They
contain either expressions of thanks for her bounty or prayers
seeking her aid, not only in relation to agriculture but to life
in general. In agriculture Saule is a sanctifier of the fertility
of the fields; in the life of the individual she is a typical
sky goddess, interfering in her omniscience. She has human moral
characteristics and punishes the immoral and aids the suffering.
Though the question of where Saule's places of worship were
located is not solved, the occassions for rituals pertaining to
Saule have been definitely established, the most important of
which was the summer solstice. Besides song, recitative, and
dance, a central place in the ceremonies was occupied by a
ritual meal, at which cheese and a drink brewed with honey
(later beer) were consumed.

M eness. M eness, the moon, also belongs to the sky pantheon.
Detailed analysis only recently has shown that he has a role as
a war god in Baltic religion. Such a role is indicated not only
by his dress and accoutrements but especially by his weapons
and expressions used in times of war. The influence of
syncretism, however, has erased the outlines of his
characteristics so far as to make a description of his role and
any cult he may have had very difficult. The sky wedding myths
furnish a somewhat more complete picture in which he is
represented as a conflict-creating rival suitor of Auseklis
(the Morning Star).

Auseklis, his sons, Dieva d eli, and Saules meitas form a
separate group of divinities. Although they are mentioned in
the sky myths, they have remained only as personifications of
natural phenomena, characterized by the most beautiful metaphors.
It is notable that a common characteristic of the sky gods,
and, in fact, of all Baltic divinites, is the express tendency
for each to have a family.
All the divinities mentioned above are closely associated with
horses: they either ride or are drawn in chariots across the sky
mountain and arrive on earth in the same fashion. The number of
horses is indeterminate but usually varies from two to five or
more. This trait also confirms the close ties between Baltic and
Indo-Iranian religions.
Although males form the majority of the sky gods, the chthonic
(underworld) divinities are mostly female. In both Latvian and
Lithuanian religions the earth is personified and called Earth
Mother (Latvian Zemes m ate, Lithuanian ^Zemyna). But the
Lithuanians also have ^Zem.epatis, Earth Master. Latvians in
general refer to mothers, Lithuanians to masters. Zemes m ate
is the only deity in addition to Dievs who is originally
responsible for human welfare. Based on the writings of the
Roman historian Tacitus, it has been asserted that she is the
mother of the other gods, but there is no support for this view
in other sources. Under the influence of Christian-pagan
syncretism, the Virgin Mary has assumed some of the functions
of Zemes m ate. Furthermore, some of these functions have been
acquired and differentiated by various other later divinities,
who, however, have not lost their original chthonic character.
Thus, a deity of the dead has developed from Zemes m ate, called
in Latvian Smil^su m ate (Mother of the Sands), Kapu m ate
(Mother of the Graves), and Ve,lu m ate (Mother of the Ghosts).
Libations and sacrifices were offered to Zemes m ate. Such
rituals were also performed in connection with the other
divinities at a later stage of development. The fertility of
the fields is also guaranteed by Jumis, who is symbolized by a
double head of grain, and by various mothers, such as Lauka m ate
(Mother of the Fields), Linu m ate (Mother of the Flax), and
Mie^za m ate (Mother of the Barley).

Forest and agricultural deities. A forest divinity, common to
all Baltic peoples, is called in Latvian Me^za m ate (Mother of
the Forest, Lithuanian Medein.e
). She again has been further
differentiated into other divinities, or rather she was given
metaphorical appellations with no mythological significance,
such as Kr umu m ate (Mother of the Bushes), Lazdu m ate
(Mother of the Hazels), Lapu m ate (Mother of the Leaves),
Ziedu m ate (Mother of the Blossoms), and even S e,nu m ate
(Mother of the Mushrooms). Forest animals are ruled by the
Lithuanian Zv.erin.e opposed to the Latvian Me^za m ate.
The safety and welfare of the farmer's house is cared for
by the Latvian M ajas gars (Spirit of the House; Lithuanian
Kaukas
), which lives in the hearth. Similarly, other farm
buildings have their own patrons - Latvian Pirts m ate (Mother
of the Bathhouse
), Rijas m ate (Mother of the Threshing House);
Lithuanian Gabjauja.

Because natural phenomena and processes have often been raised
to the level of divinities, there is a large number of
beautifully described lesser mythological beings whose functions
are either very limited or completely denoted by their names.
Water deities are Latvian J uras m ate (Mother of the Sea)" m ate (Mother of the Waters), Upes m ate (Mother of the
Rivers
), and Bangu m ate (Mother of the waves; Lithuanian
Bangp ut ys
), while atmospheric deities are Latvian V eja m ate
(Mother of the Wind), Lithuanian V.ejopatis (Master of the Wind),
Latvian Lietus m ate (Mother of the Rain), Miglas m ate (Mother
of the Fog
), and Sniega m ate (Mother of the Snow). Even greater
is the number of those beings related to human activities, but
only their names are still to be found, for example Miega m ate
(Mother of Sleep) and Tirgus m ate (Mother of the Market).

Goddess of destiny. Because of peculiarities of the source
materials, it is difficult to determine whether the goddess of
destiny, Laima (from the root word laime, meaning "happiness"
and "luck"
), originally had the same importance in Baltic
religion as later, or whether her eminence is due to specific
historical circumstances of each of the Baltic peoples. In any
case, a wide collection of material concerning Laima is
available. The real ruler of human fate, she is mentioned
frequently together with Dievs in connection with the process
of creation. Although Laima determines a man's unchangeable
destiny at the moment of his birth, he can still lead his life
well or badly within the limits prescribed by her. She also
determines the moment of a person's death, sometimes even
arguing about it with Dievs.

The devil. The devil, Velns, has a well-defined role, which
is rarely documented so well in the folklore of other peoples.
Besides the usual outer features, several characteristics are
especially emphasized. Velns, for instance, is a stupid devil.
In addition, the Balts are the only colonialized people in Europe
who have preserved a large amount of folklore that in different
variations and situations portray the devil as a German landlord.
Another evil being is the Latvian Vilkacis, Lithuanian Vilkatas,
who corresponds to the werewolf in the traditions of other
peoples. The belief that the dead do not leave this world
completely is the basis for both good and evil spirits. As good
spirits the dead return to the living as invisible beings
(Latvian velis, Lithuanian v.el.es), but as evil ones they
return as persecutors and misleaders (Latvian vad at ajs,
Lithuanian vaidilas
).

Monday, 20 October 2008

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Tiu Day Last Quarter Moon In Virgo
"I'm one with the Goddess

and open to Her Wisdom."

24th Day of the 11th Lunar Cycle


Ruled by Medusa

Lunar Tree Cycle ~ Gort/Ivy

Celtic Tree Cycle ~ Ngetal/Reed

Moon Phase: waning last quarter

Moon rises 12:12AM EST

Moon sets: 1:39PM EST

Moon enters the Mutable Earth


Sign of Virgo at 8:30AM EST

Ceridwen's Cycle of the Moon


Lunar Meditation: Journey's end.

Sun in Scorpion


Sunrise: 6:59AM EST

Sunset: 5:07PM EST

Solar Question for the Day: "In

which areas do you need most to grow?
"

Samhain (Calan Gaeaf) Quarter of the Year

November 10th, 2009

Yes, there she is in all her glory - Medusa. I have always been drawn to reading Medusa and what her lessons are. I feel she has often been given a bum rap by the Greek patriarchal panetheon. In her book "Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess" Demetra George explores Medusa in depth and gives us different views with which to look at Her. Medusa is given in the ruling goddesses of the days of a lunar cycle this time period when the moon has past the Last Quarter and is waning nightly in the late night skies. Medusa asks us to take this darkening time to examine ourselves and look at our self in the mirror of our soul. This is a time in the lunar cycle to begin preparing for the last few days of the waning crescent moon and when we move to Hecate's ruling days of the cycle.

But I do not have all gloom and doom to talk about during this waning moon time. On http://mothermoonsmessage.blogspot.com/

there is a wonderful November giveaway in progress. She is offering a beautiful set of wooden runes carved and a beautiful box in which to put them. Take a look:

Now isn't that a beautiful work of art! So check out Mother Moon's Message blog and enter the giveaway. While there you will have several great entries to read if you haven't been there before.

I find her blog to be wonderful.

S.

Last Quarter Moon: Keywords - realignment, revision, integration, cleansing. It is the time in a cycle to take closing action, to follow-up and complete the activities begun at the New phase. During this phase you become aware of what is and is not workjing with repect to the achievement of your goal for the cycle. The movement is toward integration. Open to your success. MANIFEST YOUR GOAL. Be responsible.

Moon in Virgo - Mutable Earth Sign - 'I analyze'


During this transit, important issues are practicality, organization, cleaning up your diet or your house,

healing your body or offering healing to others and attending to loose ends. After the Leo party time

transiut, it's time to clean up our act and turn our attentions to the matter of our health and hygiene.

Practical Virgo cleans the house, sets things in order, washes the dog (which actually I am thinking

of doing
), and harvests the vegetables. She purifies and organizes our diet which sets us on the

healthy road for the month/lunar cycle. It is a time of taking responsibility and cleaning up the

messes we've been leaving. Virgo brings painstaking attention to detail: housecleaning is a good

way to work through a Virgo transit.

During Virgo Moon transit, women are mentally active but there is a tendency to excessive criticism

both of oneself and others. Emotionally it's an inward time, when we can reflect on personal relationships and perhaps look into Medusa's mirror/face.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

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Truth
"By Nvrgoingbk"

I searched among the Mayan ruins.

I traveled there alone.

I hoped to find it among the ghosts

Of worshippers now gone,

And when I came up wanting

I journeyed to a different shore.

I hoped to find it in a grand old mosque

And within the Muslim lore.

It was not there, and so I hurried

To a land not far away.

Now it was the Jewish Sabbath,

So I bowed my head to pray.

I left the temple wondering

Just where the truth could be.

I traveled by air, by foot, by bus...

I sailed an endless sea.

I read the Bagahvad Gita,

The Annalects divine

I learned the proper chanting...

Showed my respects at the Buddhist shrine.

Still, I wandered aimlessly,

Not finding what I sought.

I studied the philosophers

And the highest of human thought.

I gave my heart to Jesus

I made him Savior and Lord.

I was born again, spoke in tongues,

But on Sundays I was bored.

I tried my hand at the Ouija Board

I summoned the spirits of old

I stopped in to see my psychic, my shrink...

Wherever the truth was sold.

I smoked Peote with Geronimo

And entered a spiritual trance.

I lived among his people

And learned their tribal dance.

So many years I hunted

For what eluded me.

I voyaged to lands both near and far,

Studied Yoga and Tai-Chi.

I woke beside a pool of blue,

A lake amid the trees.

I pondered the lessons I had learned,

The things that I had seen.

I laid like that for quite sometime.

The evening came, then morn.

I wearied of this sole expedition now,

My traveling shoes long worn.

"I thirst," I said, and so I leaned

To serve myself a sip.

I saw within that mirror an image

Raise water to its lips.

And that's where I found it,

The truth I had tracked and hounded for so long.

"What a fool I've been," I screamed to the sky,

"How could I have been so wrong?"

The truth was never to be found within

Temples made of stone.

Cathedrals, with all their splendor,

Could never be its home.

Finally at peace, I journeyed back;

My friends, they greeted me.

"Did you find what you were looking for?

Pray tell, what did you see?"

"What is the truth, wise-man," they asked.

"Here is not where it can be found."

"Then where Master? Can we travel there?

To that place of Holy ground?"

"You must visit the shrines and the mosques," I said.

"You must consult the wisest seer.

You must dabble in philosophy,

Face your darkest fears"

"You must learn the Koran and the Bible

You must pray to every god

You must bow in every temple

Your tired feet may trod,

And when you've come to the very end

Of the answers man has found

You will see an image of yourself and know

It' is there that truth resounds.

Origin: wicca-teachings.blogspot.com
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Friday December 28 2012 Daily Correspondences

Artist - Moonchild ljilja

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2012 Piece CORRESPONDENCES

Moon Quarter: 2nd

Moon Sign: Cancer

Void-of-course: 9:43 am EST, plow moon enters Leo at 2:45 am EST on Sunday, December 30

Lunar Phase: Resonant Moon at 5:21 am

Piece Fascination Influences: Friday (Venus) - love, friendship, reunion, beauty

Feel ashamed Correspondence: Few

Lunar PHASE: Resonant Moon - best time for magick

Sparkle QUARTER: Begins in the middle between the new moon and the full moon, once upon a time the sun and moon are at respectable angles, or a ninety-degree conformist, to each other. This partially moon rises thereabouts twelve noon and sets thereabouts midnight, so it can be seen in the western sky during the new partially of the night. The sec field is the time of advance and expression of notes that ahead of happen.

MOON IN CANCER: Stimulates easily upset affiliation between people. Chains advance and crop growing. Control to dwelling concerns.

MOON VOID-OF-COURSE:Just previously the Moon enters a new sign, it incentive make one supreme aspect (angular relationship) to fresh globe. Among that consider aspect and the access of the Moon in vogue the adjoining sign it is thought to be void-of-course. Actions begun once upon a time the Moon is void-of-course uncommonly come to fruition, or they turn out very differently than proposed. The moon goes in vogue void-of-course at 9:43 am EST and relic near until Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 2:45 am EST once upon a time it enters Leo.

"Source: Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2012"

"Lilac"

Friday, 17 October 2008

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Cme January 2013 How Will It Affect Me
We last a gargantuan CME due to hit tomorrow. This stands for Coronal Cadaver Elimination, these CMEs are cleanly an confiscation of unique and electromagnetic radiation. The CME occurrence tomorrow is directed towards our earth so we may find it affects us instead a lot. A lot of us may find we come across a portion unproductive all through this time. Put forward last been studies that last outmoded how these CMEs can paint us approximately and ardently. The CME this January thrust bring it a aptitude of observing the aurora borealis convalesce south than is instinctive, so part of the UK may last the ask for of seeing this stunning phenomena.

So be install to look at any changes you may be central part at the peninsula. We are serene in a waxing moon so spiritual energy is on the secure. Via this CME in the mix, morally we may come across full of energy but conceivably a portion troubled too. Try and use this anxiety to good effect, go for a yearning twist or well-built out a kitchen cupboard!

A recent study published today in the NewScientist, indicates a declare limit in the midst of the Sun's astral storms and material geographical effect. The department store which facilitates the charged particles from the Sun to material tumult -- is the very exceedingly department store which steers Earth's weather

The Alluring Section. Yes, birds and humans last a fascinating prospect which surrounds them -- in the very exceedingly way the fascinating prospect surrounds the Earth as a warden.

More or less is what the NewScientist broadsheet says: "Regular birds can think a lot of the Earth's fascinating prospect, so why not land, asks Oleg Shumilov of the Establish of North Infomercial Green politics Problems in Russia. Shumilov looked at leisure activity in the Earth's geomagnetic prospect from 1948 to 1997 and found that it grouped happening three seasonal peaks every year: one from Stride to May, new to the job in July and the in the wake of in October. Rarely, he as well found that the geomagnetism peaks in step up with peaks in the table of puff disorders i.e. sway, trial, bi-polar (PUFF SWINGS) and even suicides in the northern Russian metropolitan area of Kirovsk silent the exceedingly though."

The NewScientist study goes on to state: "THE MOST PROTECTED TRADE FAIR FOR THE ASSOCIATION IN THE MIDST OF GEOMAGNETIC LEISURE ACTIVITY AND SWAY AND SUICIDE IS THAT GEOMAGNETIC STORMS CAN DESYNCHRONIZE CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS AND MELATONIN BACK COPY," says Kelly Posner, a disappear at Columbia Moot in the US. The pineal gland, which regulates circadian rhythm and melatonin back copy, is approachable to fascinating fields. "THE CIRCADIAN RIGID SCHEME DEPENDS UPON FIXED RURAL CUES TO [CONVENTIONAL"] INTERIOR CLOCKS," says Posner. "Alluring fields may be one of these rural cues."http://www.earthchangesmedia.com

So be unbending and install for some in all probability pebbly days to the fore, twirl the cost to go between waters in a few days time!

Helpful Blessings, Alison


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

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The Guarantee Clause
THE GUARANTEE CLAUSE: CONGRESS' DUTY TO OPPOSE THEOCRACY IN THE UNITED STATES

by Robert M. Petrusak

[Editor's note: New Gingrich has called for a Federal ban on Sharia law in America.]

Theocracy is inherently oppressive and contrary to America's core values. It regards God as the sovereign and source of law. It therefore places the coercive power of the state--including interpretation and enforcement of law--in the hands of believers. It excludes non-believers from the body politic and brings them suffering. In total contrast, the Declaration of Independence regards God not as a source of coercive power, but as a guarantor of inalienable rights including liberty and equality. The Declaration states that government derives its sovereign authority or "just powers" not from God, but "from the consent of the governed." This concept of popular sovereignty is reflected not only in the preamble of the Constitution, but also in the "Guarantee Clause" of Article IV, Section 4 which obligates the federal government to preserve a republican form of government in every state. The Constitution also precludes theocracy through the First Amendment's ban on laws respecting establishments of religion or prohibiting "free exercise" of religious beliefs.

Political Islam or "Islamism" is theocratic. It may be defined as a belief that Islam should control society and politics, not simply personal religious life. Accordingly to the eminent scholar Bernard Lewis, the ideal Islamic polity recognizes God as sole sovereign and law-giver and assigns believers the task of spreading His revelation until the entire world accepts it. This is to be achieved by extending the authority and membership of the community that follows God's law, the Shariah, which deals with the acquisition and exercise of power and the duties of ruler and subject. Accordingly, Shariah is not simply a prescription for exercising personal belief through activity such as prayer and diet. It is a system of laws that affects the conduct of both believers and non- believers in Islamic theocracies. More ominously, expansion of the community that regards God as sovereign suggests contraction and disempowerment of the community which does not.

Political Islam therefore challenges the United States Constitution, particularly its embrace of liberty, equality, and popular sovereignty. There is concern that this challenge includes not only violent terrorism but an ideological struggle against non-Islamic courts and legal systems and the principle that the people, not God, are the source of political and legal authority.There is similarly concern that Islamists seek to establish "functionally Islamic governments" in every nation and that toward this end, they will create divisive alternative communities by insinuating Islamic rules of conduct for the temporal world into courts and other institutions. There is even concern that Islamism will limit traditional free speech through application of its restrictions on defamation of religion or blasphemy.

Such concerns have resulted in "anti-shariah legislation" in various states and subsequent court battles over whether such laws violate the constitutional rights of Muslims. However, such concerns raise issues of national importance because efforts to make public institutions Shariah-compliant may violate not only the First Amendment's provisions on religion or free speech but also the Fourteenth Amendment and Article VI of the Constitution. The former guarantees due process and equal protection; the latter proclaims the supremacy of federal statutes, treaties and constitutional provisions. Moreover, Article IV, Section 4 creates an affirmative federal obligation to guarantee a non-theocratic, "Republican Form of Government" in every state.

The very essence of republican government is the belief that sovereignty rests with the people. . Our Constitution is derived exclusively from the people and alterable only by them through elected representatives. Similarly, elected representatives and elected or duly-appointed judges, not religious leaders, enact and interpret our statutory law. These principles of popular sovereignty support the Article IV guarantee of republican government and are related to the concept of equality. Thus, the guarantee clause would be invoked in the struggle against slavery and in the post-Civil War struggle to include freed slaves in the body politic. In this regard, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection evolved from our concept of republican government, and a state that denies this fundamental right similarly violates Article IV, Section 4. The introduction into American courts, of laws or legal principles derived from a sovereign God or religious texts cannot be tolerated and the federal government has a clear responsibility to keep theocracy out of state courts and other public institutions.

The guarantee clause of Article IV was authored by James Madison to protect our Republic from the disintegration which would begin if even one state were to become an enclave of anti-republican government. While Madison feared the tyranny of unchecked popular majorities, he also believed that individual states could revert to monarchal rule. His concern that establishment of anti-republican principles in one state could eventually threaten the entire nation remains highly relevant in a contemporary world troubled by Islamists seeking implementation of Shariah. In fact, the monarchy which Madison feared was based on the divine right of kings and would have brought religious principles into any provincial monarchist regime. Not surprisingly, Madison was also the primary contributor to the First Amendment's prohibition of an establishment of religion. [10] This amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights were not initially applied against the states.[11] However, after the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment's "establishment clause" would eventually become a means of protecting equality from religious sentiment in state governments and their local subdivisions.[12] This preserved the republican form of such governments.

Efforts to bring specific laws or obligations derived from religious authority into secular government are neither new nor inconsequential.[13] However, authority to define and prohibit anti-republican violations lies primarily with Congress, not the judiciary.[14] After the 1841-42 Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island, the Supreme Court held that the enforcement of the guarantee clause raised political questions not justiciable by the courts.[15] Accordingly, a dearth of judicial decisions finding establishments of religion in violation of the guarantee clause does not prevent Congress from concluding that introduction of religious law undermines republican government. To the contrary, the Supreme Court's position that enforcement of the guarantee clause is a political rather than a judicial decision, obviously places responsibility on Congress to protect the various freedoms associated with our democracy. Such freedoms unquestionably include the right to be free from religious authority that could limit free speech or free exercise of a different faith, or similarly determine the rights of parties in court.

Congress has authority under the guarantee clause to curb the growth of any ideological system that would subvert or destroy representative government. [16] As defined above, Political Islam constitutes such a system and promotion of an alternate legal system based on religious law will eventually divide this nation into separate communities. Evidence of Islamist intentions to subvert our society from within and support a theocracy or "global Islamic state," was introduced in federal court in a relatively recent terrorism-funding trial.and Islamic extremists have conducted subversive and terrorist activity on American soil.[17] As a friendly loan shark is abetted by the violence of local mobsters, non-violent political activists can benefit from violent terrorism as the intimidating tactics of the latter make the seeming moderation of the former more palatable. In other words, "without the climate of intimidation created by the terrorists, the non-terrorists would be ignored, not appeased."[18]

There is concern that the ultimate objective of an Islamic state or nation may be pursued through infiltration of existing state and federal institutions to create shadow governments. [19] Establishment of such alternative authorities could be extremely divisive particularly if they serve communities that follow an alternative legal system. In this regard, at least one state regards the formation of "any government" outside of existing lawful authority as a form of treason. [20]

State courts will only exacerbate the divisive tendencies of religion if they allow religious laws or legal interpretations to determine rights of certain parties such as Muslim husbands accused of spousal rape. [21] The creation however gradual, of alternative legal standards based on religion similarly violates the Fourteenth Amendment as well as Article IV, Section 4.

The United States needs a Congressional resolution declaring all theocracy to be contrary to the various principles of republican government set forth in the United States Constitution. The resolution would similarly declare that religious authority is a constitutionally prohibited basis for legislation, for the interpretation of law and for the adoption of any official rule or policy in all legislatures, courts and agencies of government. Far from being a radical departure from core values, such a resolution would give effect to what the founders intended in Article IV, Section 4. It would maintain our character as a cohesive nation undivided by theocratic communities which could attain significant influence in certain states or regions. Criticism that such a resolution could restrict judicial use of the natural law principles that built the Anglo-American common law would be meritless. The principle of popular sovereignty represents a new era of positive law based on representative government. Such law is derived from secular needs for criminal codes, commercial codes and the many other statutes that govern our society.

Apologists for Shariah and Islamism will undoubtedly wave the banner of religious freedom and denounce such congressional action as "Islamophobic" and contrary to America's core values. However, it is surely not "Islamophobic" to oppose all theocracy particularly since our nation has an equally strong tradition of preserving the secularism of our public life. The Supreme Court upheld this tradition in the latter nineteenth century when a member of the Mormon faith claimed that a divinely-ordained obligation to practice polygamy exempted him from criminal responsibility.[22] In holding that religious beliefs may not trump the application of our criminal law, the Court effectively upheld the supremacy of our Constitution and prevented religious communities from becoming enclaves of national disintegration.

The constitutional principles which prevented Mormon polygamy in the nineteenth century apply equally to Islamist Sharia in the twenty-first. These principles hold that while Congress or state legislatures lack power over religious opinion or belief, they remain free to prohibit practice of religious beliefs which violate social duties or subvert good order.[23] In other words, religious beliefs are beyond the reach of government until they are converted into activity --including conspiracy, criminal solicitation and other inchoate offenses-- which violate society's laws, regulations or policies.

A belief that a global state under religious law should replace the United States Constitution can remain a protected exercise of religion until it becomes action, agreement, or solicitation of action to destroy our Republic. Similarly, religious authority or obligation may not constitutionally override the laws created by representative government or influence judicial interpretations of such law. As theocracy contradicts the core values of America's founding, the insinuation of Shariah similarly subverts republican government. Accordingly, the time for national action through Congressional initiative not available to the courts is long overdue.

"The author served as a deputy district attorney, police administrator and assistant state attorney general in Colorado. Since retiring, he received a master's degree

in American History from George Mason University, with emphasis on American foreign policy in the Middle East.

1. Lewis, Bernard, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, pp 7-8

2. McCarthy, Andrew C., The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, p. 145, passim

3. Hagmann, Douglas J., "Obama advancing Islamic Sharia Law Prohibiting Criticism of Islam,"

http://homelandsecurityus.com/archives/3532

4. Toren, Jonathan; "Protecting Republican Government from Itself, The Guarantee Clause of Article IV, Section 4," 2 New York University Journal of Law and Liberty 371, 372, 387-90; Amar, Akhil Reed, "The Central Meaning of Republican Government, Popular Sovereignty, Majority Rule and the Denominator Problem," 65 U. Colo. L. Rev. 749, 755-764 (1994)

5. See Duncan v. McCall, 139 U.S. 449 (1891) (people are source of all political power and have right to have it exercised through elected representatives); See also United States v. Downey, 195 F. Supp. 581 (S.D. Ill. 1961) (republican form of government includes right to an independent judiciary whose rules of procedure are made by duly constituted state officials, not outside authorities).

6. Amar, supra., at 770-782; See also: Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) (secession viewed as violation of republican government guaranteed by Article IV)

7. Amar, supra, at 755; See also: Hoxie School District No. 46 of Lawrence County, Arkansas v. Brewer, 137 F. Supp 364 (E. D. Ark. 1056; aff'd 238 F. 2d 91 (state officials invoked guarantee clause when threatened during efforts to implement Fourteenth Amendment with regard to school desegregation)

8. Toren, supra, at 371, 372-74, 377-79

9. Ibid, at pp. 378-85

10. See e.g., Alley, Robert S. ed., James Madison on Religious Liberty, pp. 37-94

11. Barron v. City of Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 (1833)

12. Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet, 512 U.S. 687 (1994), Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962); Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 15-16 (1947); See also, Gelman, Susan and Looper-Friedman, Susan, "Thou Shalt Use the Equal Protection Clause for Religion Cases (Not Just the Establishment Clause)." 10 U. Pa.J.Const.L 665; http://www.law.upenn.edu/journals/conlaw/articles/volume10/issue4/GellmanLooperFriedman10U.Pa.J.Const.L.665%282008%29.pdf

13. See: Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878) (religious duty to practice polygamy not a defense to charge of bigamy); See also: McCarthy, supra., at 345 (at taxpayer expense, state of Minnesota established system of interest free mortgages in accordance with Islamic ban of usury).

14. State of Ohio ex rel Bryant v. Akron Metro Park District for Summit County, 281 U.S. 74 (1930); Luther v. Borden, 48 U.S. 1 (1849)

15. Luther v. Borden, supra.

16. Oil Workers International Union v. Elliot, 73 F. Supp 942 (N.D. Tex. 1947)

17. See "An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America," introduced in United States v. Holy Land Foundation, Crim No. 3:04-CR-0240-P, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, available as Appendix II in Report of Team B II, Shariah: The Threat to America: An Exercise in Competitive Analysis, An example of substantial subversive activity specifically, seditious conspiracy, was established in United States v. Rahman, 189 F. 3d 88 (2nd cir. 1999); substantial terrorist activity against the United States need not be established in footnotes

18. McCarthy, supra. pp. 27-28

19. See Report of Team B II, supra., pp. 124-25

20. Code of Virginia, 18.2-481 (3)

21.A New Jersey appellate court overturned the ruling of a trial judge who had declined to issue a restraining order after having concluded that a Muslim husband did not act with the requisite intent for sexual assault because of religious belief. Nonetheless, an excerpt from the appellate decision illustrates the conflict between religion and law enacted by representative government to criminalize spousal rape. http://volokh.com/2010/07/23/cultural-defense-accepted-as-to-nonconsensual-sex-in-new-jersey-trial-court-rejected-on-appeal/

22. Reynolds, supra.

23. Reynolds, supra., 98 U.S. at 164

Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam

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Friday, 10 October 2008

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Was Peter Ever In Rome
Lorraine Boettner's 1962 book "Roman Catholicism" is notorious for its egregious distortions of history and outright falsehoods. Nevertheless, it remains popular amongst some Fundamentalist circles, because hey, it speaks ill of Catholicism, so how could it be wrong? Here's a sample of the sort of thing I'm talking about:

THE REMARKABLE THING, HOWEVER, ABOUT PETER'S ALLEGED BISHOPRIC IN ROME, IS THAT THE NEW TESTAMENT HAS NOT ONE WORD TO SAY ABOUT IT. THE WORD ROME OCCURS ONLY NINE TIMES IN THE BIBLE, AND NEVER IS PETER MENTIONED IN CONNECTION WITH IT. THERE IS NO ALLUSION TO ROME IN EITHER OF HIS EPISTLES. Paul's journey to that city is recorded in great detail (Acts 27 and 28). THERE IS IN FACT NO NEW TESTAMENT EVIDENCE, NOR ANY HISTORICAL PROOF OF ANY KIND, THAT PETER EVER WAS IN ROME. All rests on legend. The first twelve chapters of the book of Acts tell of Peter's ministry and travels in Palestine and Syria. SURELY IF HE HAD GONE TO THE CAPITAL OF THE EMPIRE, THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN MENTIONED. WE MAY WELL ASK, IF PETER WAS SUPERIOR TO PAUL, WHY DOES HE RECEIVE SO LITTLE ATTENTION AFTER PAUL COMES ON THE SCENE?All three of the claims Boettner makes here are false. Let's take them one by one:

I. "THERE IS NO ALLUSION TO ROME IN EITHER OF [PETER'S] EPISTLES"

Wrong. In 1 Peter 5:13, Peter sends greetings to the global Church on behalf of the Church "in Babylon," which is used elsewhere in the New Testament (specifically, The Book of Revelation) to speak of Rome. Boettner knows that "Babylon" is often a reference for Rome -- in fact, he quotes Alexander Hislop's book "The Two Babylons", which tries to argue that "modern Rome" is the fulfillment of ancient Babylon. When it suits their fancy, the likes of Hislop and Boettner are ready to say that the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican are the same as modern Rome, that modern Rome is the same as the capital of the Roman Empire, and that these are what "Babylon" refers to in Revelation. When it doesn't suit their fancy, Babylon can't mean Rome.

Boettner even goes so far as to try and use 1 Peter 5:13 to "prove" that Peter went east to the literal city of Bablyon. There are some glaring problems with this. Fred Zaspel, of Word of Life Baptist Church, rejects the papacy, but concedes that 1 Peter 5:13 proves Peter to have gone to Rome. He first showed why it couldn't have literally meant Babylon:

IN 309 B.C. ANTIGONIS I OF MACEDONIA LEVELED BABYLON. LATER, IN 275 B.C., ANTIOCHUS I TOOK AWAY THE REMAINING CIVILIAN POPULATION AND DEPORTED THEM TO OTHER CITIES. PAUSANIAS, A GREEK WRITER AND GEOGRAPHER OF THE ROMAN PERIOD, SAID THAT THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WITHIN THE WALLS OF BABYLON. THE CITY WAS LATER RE-FOUNDED BY ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES AROUND 160 B.C., AND IT WAS LATER CAPTURED BY THE PARTHIANS IN 127 B.C. IN THE 30'S B.C. HERCANUS II WAS IN RESIDENCE THERE FOR A WHILE AND FROM HIM IT IS KNOWN THAT THERE WAS NOT MUCH TO THE CITY AT THAT TIME. THE ROMAN GEOGRAPHER, STRABO, WRITING ABOUT THE TIME OF CHRIST SAID "THE GREAT CITY BABYLON HAS BECOME A WILDERNESS." Evidently, the Euphrates River dried up during the time of the Parthians; after that, Babylon was no more (see Jeremiah 51:41-43). From Strabo to Trajan there is no mention of the city extant. Trajan (the Roman Emporer), eager to visit the infamous Babylon, was disappointed when he arrived at the site; IT WAS ONLY A WASTED PILE OF RUBBLE. Add to this observation that THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO TRADITION THAT PETER EVER WENT TO BABYLON AND THAT THERE WAS NEVER A STRONG MESOPOTAMIAN CHURCH, it seems rather obvious that the Babylon of 1 Peter 5:13 can not be Babylon of Mesopotamia, the city of the exile.So even the few people living in the ruins of Babylon didn't claim that 1 Peter 5:13 referred to them literally.

Most likely, Peter is using the coded term "Babylon" so that the Roman authorities don't realize that he's "in Rome itself". As Zaspel notes, the fact that Peter's companion in "Babylon" has the Roman name Marcus supports this, as does the Roman see's own claims (as we'll see in part two). An article seeking to disprove that Peter was in Rome actually gives a good reason for thinking he "was "there:

THE LATE CARSTEN THIEDE IS ONE SCHOLAR WHO SOUGHT TO PROVE THAT THE CODE WORD WAS IN USE PRIOR TO 70 C.E. AND THUS BEFORE PETER'S EPISTLE WAS WRITTEN, AND THAT PETER WAS ATTEMPTING TO VEIL HIS WHEREABOUTS. BUT THIEDE HIMSELF POINTED OUT THAT "FOR AN INHABITANT OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE IT WAS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE, AND INDEED QUITE NATURAL, TO COMPARE THE ANCIENT BABYLONIAN EMPIRE WITH THAT OF ROME IN TERMS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE SIZE, SPLENDOUR AND POWER, AND EQUALLY IN A NEGATIVE SENSE, IN RELATION TO THEIR DECADENCE AND DECLINING MORALS." Thus, though Babylon may indeed have been used for Rome before 70 C.E., the purpose was not to veil the capital of the empire but to elevate its position in the world by emphasizing its lineage. So Thiede's claim that Peter used the term Babylon to hide the fact that he was actually in Rome lacks credibility.Vision Magazine thinks that this point disproves that Peter was in Rome. It does the exact opposite. Whether the term Babylon was a code name known only to Judeo-Christians, or a nickname known to the whole Empire is irrelevant: either way, it establishes that saying one was in "Babylon" meant that one was in Rome.

II. "THERE IS IN FACT NO [...] HISTORICAL PROOF OF ANY KIND, THAT PETER EVER WAS IN ROME"

This is one of those claims that Boettner just asserts without evidence, and it's blatantly false. The Vision article I quoted above actually acknowledges that one of the two possible graves of Peter is under the high altar in St. Peter's. Once again, they treat this like it hurts the Catholic case, when it helps it:

Embarrassingly, in the 1950s Roman Catholic archaeologists discovered a tomb in Jerusalem containing an ossuary-a bone box used in first-century Jewish burials-that bore the engraved name "Simon Bar Jona" (a name by which the apostle Peter is known in the Gospels). Not to be outdone, the Vatican soon produced its own archaeological evidence that Peter's tomb and remains were buried under the high altar in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. At the heart of its argument was a sarcophagus discovered in the first half of the century, which authorities began examining more closely in the years after the Second World War.So we know that a first-century man in about his sixties was buried in Rome, that he was proclaimed to be Peter, and that within a few centuries after his death, they moved his bones from the Catacombs into St. Peter's to better honor him. The idea that this was just some other guy is sort of silly.

On the other hand, look at the treatment given the "Simon, son of Jonah" (Simon bar Yonah) of Jerusalem. His gravesite was obscure, and none of the ancient Christians upheld the site as of the Apostle - nor did Jerusalem advance any serious claims to be the place where Peter died. Simon and Jonah weren't exactly uncommon names, so the idea that another Simon bar Yonah existed is not exactly "embarassing." What Vision doesn't mention is that there's another ossuary nearby to someone named Jesus. Of course, the author of this article knows that the Jesus buried there isn't the Son of God, but another man by that name. Likely, we're dealing with a Christian gravesite Even today, if you look at cemeteries in Latin America, you'll see a lot of graves for those named in honor of Jesus, as well as Peter and the other great Saints.

After bringing up this evidence which it claims embarrasses the Church, Vision tries to call it a draw:

UNFORTUNATELY THERE IS NO WAY OF PROVING WHETHER EITHER SARCOPHAGUS OR OSSUARY CONTAINS THE TRUE REMAINS OF PETER. IT MAY THEREFORE BE MORE FRUITFUL TO LEAVE ARCHAEOLOGY ASIDE AND FOCUS ON THE HISTORICAL LITERATURE THAT IS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE TO CONSIDER.NOW VISION, WHICH DECIDED TO PUNT ON SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE, THEN CLAIMS THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S "CLAIM TO APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY, IT TURNS OUT, STANDS ON NO REAL EVIDENCE AT ALL." THAT'S JUST NOT TRUE. EVEN THOUGH IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW TO A SCIENTIFIC CERTAINTY THAT IT'S REALLY PETER (THERE WAS NO DNA TESTING AT THE TIME, SO LITERALLY NO POSSIBLE EVIDENCE WOULD BE ABLE TO MEET THIS STANDARD), ALL THE AVAILABLE EVIDENCE says it is. He's of the right age and ethnicity, he died at the right time, he was recognized as Peter by those who knew him, and they moved his bones into a church named after him. You might just as well argue that Grant isn't buried in Grant's Tomb.

But let's move past the physical evidence, because we also have a massive amount of testimonial evidence that Peter was there, and that he died there. To take only those examples from before 200 A.D.:

* In 110, Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Romans, and admitted his inferiority to those who came before him, Ss. Peter and Paul: "I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant."

* Eusebius, writing in about the 320s, tells of how Peter and Paul were killed under Nero and buried in Rome. He says that this "account of Peter and Paul is substantiated by the fact that their names are preserved in the cemeteries of that place even to the present day." But even better, he quotes a priest named Caius, writing in the early part of the 100s, who says, "I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you will go to the Vatican or to the Ostian way, you will find the trophies of those who laid the foundations of this church." So Peter and Paul were not only buried in Rome, but their relics ("trophies") were preserved, just as in life (see Acts 19:11-12 for the healing power of Paul's relics).

* In about 170, Bishop Dionysus of Corinth wrote to the Romans: "You have thus by such an admonition bound together THE PLANTING OF PETER AND OF PAUL AT ROME and Corinth. For both of them planted and likewise taught us in our Corinth. AND THEY TAUGHT TOGETHER IN LIKE MANNER IN ITALY, AND SUFFERED MARTYRDOM AT THE SAME TIME." This fragment also comes to us through Eusebius.

* In 190, Irenaeus wrote in "Against Heresies" about the origins of the Gospels, saying, "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while PETER AND PAUL WERE PREACHING AT ROME, AND LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CHURCH. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter." The "depature" in question is the martyrdom of the two, as Dionysus' account confirms.

To call this "no real evidence" and the lack of "any historical proof of any kind" is absurd. "MOST "of what we know from history, including about Jesus Christ Himself, comes to us through written testimonies like these. Ignatius, a student of the Apostle John's, is mentioning "to the Romans" about Peter and Paul's commanding the Romans during their lifetimes. He's writing, mind you, while those who lived during Peter and Paul's lifetime are still alive and in Rome. If he's mistaken or lying, it'd be easy to call him on it. Certainly, if Peter had been on the other end of the known world in Babylon, Ignatius would have known this.

III. "IF PETER WAS SUPERIOR TO PAUL, WHY DOES HE RECEIVE SO LITTLE ATTENTION AFTER PAUL COMES ON THE SCENE?"

This one's easy. Boettner's arguing that the Book of Acts shifts from focusing on Peter to focusing on Paul. But Acts is written by St. Luke. In Luke 1:3, he says he's writing this to Theophilus. In Acts 1:1, he says he's writing to Theophilus to pick up where his last Book left off. Obviously, it's the same St. Luke. And what do we know about St. Luke? Namely, that after being in Peter's company, he went to work for St. Paul. Colossians 4:14, 2 Timothy 4:11, and Philemon 1:24 all contain express mentions of Luke working alongside Paul. No great mystery here.

Likewise, if a priest studies in Rome, and then moves back to serve a parish in Tulsa, his diary would probably include a lot of stuff about the hierarchy in Rome, then a lot of stuff about the church in Tulsa. Does that mean that Rome's inferior to Tulsa in rank? But now the argument's reached its breaking point: the evidence shows clearly that Peter described himself in Rome ("Babylon") in the Bible, and that the early Christians knew he was there and that he died there. His body still exists for the world to see. I can think of no other evidence that opponents could want. A massive number of Protestant historians and scholars concede the point, because it's pure foolishness not to.