Tag Archive for: God

Blessed Are the Persistent

History is filled with people who quit too early, and thus never fulfilled their key task in life.

With a new year upon us, it’s good to think about how God pours His blessings on those who persist. Even when facing adversity, when the time comes, they push forward with what they feel He has called them to do.

Of course, in the eight Beatitudes of Jesus (“Blessed are…”), He never said, “Blessed are the persistent.” But throughout the Bible, we do find encouragements to press on, to keep plugging away at doing the right thing.

America greatly benefitted from some of our nation’s founders doing just that. The colonial armies experienced one military setback after another, with only a few sporadic victories interspersed.

The victory over the British was a miracle. That we could become independent as a nation is an amazing story.

George Washington himself said in his First Inaugural Address in 1789, “it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States.”

Thus, Washington’s first act as president was to offer public praise and prayers to God.

He also said that nobody should be more grateful to Almighty God than the people of the United States because by His help that the founders were able to create this nation: “Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”

Of course, our liberties fought for by the founders are at risk today, primarily because we as a nation have forgotten God and flaunt our immorality in His face. As founding father Patrick Henry warned, “It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”

Committed Christians are called at this present time to persist in working against many of the evils that we face today, such as the totalitarian instincts of an ever-growing bloated government, or the educational establishment which so often provides more indoctrination than education for our children. The work on behalf of the unborn must continue.

The Pilgrims stated their goal in the Mayflower Compact in 1620. This sums up well a worthy goal for the committed believer. They came, they said, “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”

President Ronald Reagan warned us of the high stakes if we lose this nation: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

The hour is late and the need to get involved is great. During this time of New Year’s reflections, may God give us the resolve to persist in His calling. If each one did his or her part, we could help stem the tide.

Sometimes the urgencies in life crowd out the important things. Here are some inspirational thoughts to help persist in doing the right thing, come what may:

  • Motivator Earl Nightingale said, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
  • Highly underrated President Calvin Coolidge noted, “We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.”
  • Hotel magnate Conrad Hilton declared, “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
  • Founding Father Benjamin Franklin observed, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
  • Oscar Wilde said, “Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.” (I don’t see Wilde as an exemplary character, but the quote is good. As the saying goes, “A broken clock is correct two times a day.”)

But most importantly comes advice directly from the Bible, the Word of God. The Apostle Paul gives sound advice, for New Years’, and throughout the year, Paul says in Galatians: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

So in 2024, may God use us to labor for the greater good that much more diligently and wisely, as we continue to pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

©2024. Jerry Newcombe, D.Min. All rights reserved.

Defeating Manufactured Fear: How to Defuse the Left’s Most Powerful Tool

Fear has been shown to be a VERY effective way of getting people to be compliant.

Every day we are barraged with a slew of fears: inflation, national debt, terrorism, city riots, drug deaths (e.g., fentanyl), community killings, out-of-control immigration, school propaganda, legislative self-serving, executive branch incompetence, judicial bias, corporation corruption, climate, COVID-19, China, Russia, etc., etc.

A case can be made that we are living in really bad times so fear is warranted. But two quick thoughts:

a) what can the average citizen do about most of the threats we are dealing with? and

b) doesn’t this incessantly foreboding fear desensitize us?

Let’s back up a bit and consider what goes on internally in us that causes fear. Anxiety is typically at the root of this emotion, and anxiety is usually the result of a perception that we lack control (i.e., a comforting plan). Regardless of the threat, if we believe that we have a safe way out, our fear will be minimal.

Whether fear is a good or bad thing, has been debated for a long time. On the one hand, fear can be beneficial when it is a wake-up call. On the other hand, it is detrimental when it causes us to give up in the face of a perceived threat, or when it eats away at our health, relationships, enjoyment of life, etc.

Another significant matter here is when a fear-inducing claim is made, who is responsible for establishing its authenticity: the alarmist or us? Fear perpetrators almost always rely on deference to authority: these supposed experts say “do such-and-such.” In other words, you should toe the line and go along (be compliant).

This article has some good insights, like explaining the difference between stress and fear:

Stresses come in many varieties—viral, bacterial, parasitic, fungal, toxic, chemical, mechanical, emotional, physical, and spiritual. Many of the assaults on our bodies are just part of living in our modern world. We can’t avoid air pollution. We can’t stop all the germs that land on us in the elevator. We can’t change modern-day farming practices. There is much we can not control, but fear is a bit different.

It comes in one variety: thoughts that start with “what if,” and often end up with a worst-case scenario. The fear of loss in humans is very keen — a primary motivator that has made many advertisers rich. What if you lose your job? Or your child? Or your lover? Or your home? Or your reputation? Or your car? Or your wallet? Or your mind? Or your health? So many things to lose!…

There are two major worldwide fears we have been continuously bludgeoned with:

a) Climate Change. The basic message is: unless we make radical societal changes, the world will come to an end in 10± years. You might think this fear is the worst that we can be threatened with, but no…

b) COVID. The basic message was: unless you are willing to drastically surrender your rights and freedoms, you or your loved ones will likely die very quickly.

There are several tactics to counter these fear-inducing messages (like just ignoring them), and two (2) have proven to be very effective:

1 Critical Thinking

2 God

1 – CRITICAL THINKING regarding Climate or COVID would reveal that the media messages we are being fed are purposefully designed to create and feed fear. This should not be a surprise, as feeding fear has a long tradition in media — as they believe that bad news sells much better than good news.

Worse is that many of the media messages we are being fed are without merit. This also should not really be a surprise, as how many journalists writing about highly technical matters like Climate or COVID are bonafide experts (real scientists)? Almost none.

They might argue that they are just passing on what the “experts” are saying. That might sound sensible, but it is false, as they only endorse and pass on what SOME experts are saying. Since experts differ on both of these complex issues, how does a non-technical journalist decide which experts are right?

They do not have the technical background to make a science-based determination!

For example, there are experts on both sides of the issue as to whether black holes exist. If a journalist writes about this topic, they have no business taking a side. Instead, they should write objectively and thoroughly about the arguments made on BOTH sides — and let the reader make up their own mind.

None of that is happening regarding the mainstream media’s handling of technical matters (Climate, COVID, energy, etc.)!

One of their arguments would likely be that they are just passing on what the “majority” of experts are saying. That is more BS meant to fool non-critically thinking citizens. For example, do they have proof that the majority of climate experts believe that unless radical changes are made immediately, the planet will cease to exist in 10± years? Of course, they have no such thing!

That leaves citizens who want accurate information one choice: do their own investigation and apply Critical Thinking. Checking things out on their own, they will likely come across experts who are more interested in the Truth, rather than going along with what is politically popular. Citizens would do well to listen to such parties — but should still apply Critical Thinking to what they are told even from them. (My twice-a-month Newsletter is a free vehicle for such sources.)

The same would apply to multiple other societal issues. For example, we know that an eight-year-old does not have the maturity to: drive a car, own a gun, drink a beer, get married, decide whether or not to wear a COVID mask, etc., etc. So (critically thinking about this), what sense does it make to say that this same child has the maturity to make a sex change decision — that will have extraordinarily profound consequences on them for the rest of their life?

My last observations about Critical Thinking start with the reality that keeping things in perspective is a key objective for maintaining mental, emotional, and spiritual health… We need to appreciate that fear prevents an organized, rational resistance — which is exactly what the bad actors are hoping for… Manufactured (and exaggerated) Fear is intended to divide us (e.g., see here). To counteract that, surround yourself with quality people.

In other words: have strong personal relationships in your life. For example, if you are in a committed relationship with the love of your life, societal troubles will fade into the background.

2 – GOD. A powerful conclusion from a critical thinking analysis on these societal fears we are being subjected to, is that many of these are not simply a difference of opinion, but rather are just evil. Many of us tend to be skittish when it comes to taking a stand on moral issues, and that is exactly what our opponents want us to do: stay on the sidelines, be wishy-washy, etc. That leaves the playing fields open to bad actors to wreak havoc on America and our Judeo-Christian standards.

When we have a proper perspective on why we exist, God is the most logical answer. For example, as a professional scientist, I say that to believe that we are just a statistical part of a Big Bang, is stretching credulity beyond the breaking point.

If we really believe in — and are on good terms with — God, then the threat of a “worst-case scenario” is actually an illusion. If the world ends or we die, so what? All that has happened is that our time to get an eternal reward is accelerated. This is one of the main reasons that our country’s opponents want to undermine our Judeo-Christain beliefs, as they are a powerful anecdote to their fabricated fears

God is the guaranteed anecdote for the evil we are being subjected to, as God’s power is far greater than all the evil in the world combined. But there is a hitch: this power will not come into play until a) we acknowledge it, b) we ask for it, and c) we do our part: pray as if everything depends on God, but work as if everything depends on us.

Some people are resistant to accepting the God part because they say things like “How could God stand by and allow XYZ to happen?” The fact is that God understands the Big Picture of the world a thousand times more than any of us do — so for us to say we need to have it explained to us why God does something, is arrogant.

Following the logical plan of Critical Thinking + God will result in less stress and more comfort. It will also open the door to more happiness (see our recent discussion on that).

Some additional interesting thoughts on this topic:

I like this quote: “Fear is like heroin: it takes more and more to get the same high until it finally kills you.”

This is an interesting video of a discussion by four people from different backgrounds regarding Manufacturing Fear: American Culture Today.

Overcoming Manufactured and Authentic Fear has some powerful and practical insights.

Great: Social and Political Turbulence is Manufactured to Infantile Us.

A Primer for the Propagandized: Fear is the Mind-Killer is excellent.

©2023. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

‘It’s a New Day’: Mike Johnson Brings Principles and Purpose to Speakership

While D.C. politicos scramble to figure out who House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is, here at Family Research Council, we needed no introduction. To most of us, the young-looking Louisiana lawyer represents the best the movement has to offer. “He’s a social conservative’s conservative,” Politico pointed out in a lengthy piece about his relationship with FRC. But more than that, he’s a man who deeply loves God and this country. So as senators like Susan Collins (R-Maine) turn to Google to find out who the new speaker is, we can tell you simply: he’s the real deal.

My boss, FRC President Tony Perkins, met Mike more than two decades ago when the future speaker was just an up-and-coming law student at LSU. During Tony’s days in the Louisiana legislature, the two crossed paths a lot, eventually working together on a blockbuster bill that became one of the first abortion clinic regulation laws in the country.

“You mentioned how far back we go,” Johnson said in an interview on “Washington Watch” a couple years ago. “I saw you as a young state legislator, and I remember that your banner and your motto when you ran for office was ‘raising the standard.’ And that resonated with me, because I felt that same call on my life. And in so many ways, Tony, you were a huge influence on my life. I saw that you could do it. … [Other] people that I knew [also] did it right and did it well, and they followed the Lord first. And it showed in all their work and their life and their family. And that was a great encouragement to me.”

As Johnson alluded to in his speech before the House chamber Wednesday, the road to Congress was paved by his God-fearing parents. “I was blessed,” he emphasized to Tony. “I was raised in a Christian household, and my parents — I was actually the conception of a teenage pregnancy my parents’ junior year in high school. And they dropped out, decided to have me, and keep me. And that’s why I’m so pro-life today. I’m a living example of faithfulness. … They just trusted God.”

And made sacrifices. “My dad went to work early. They didn’t finish high school. Then he went back later, got his GED, but I don’t have any memory of not being a Christian,” Mike said. “I got saved when I was seven years old. I got baptized in a horse trough out behind our old country church in northwest Louisiana. And I was just raised to know and understand and believe that faith is very real. And it was just part of the fabric of our family, and who we are.”

But the fabric of that family was tested when Mike was just 12. His dad, an assistant chief for the Shreveport, Louisiana fire department, was a training officer. “And on September 17th, 1984,” he remembers, “he went into work on a hazardous materials leak in a cold storage plant. And the building blew up. He was burned 80% of his body, third-degree burns — and given a 5% chance to live. His co-captain died in the fire, so it was a terrible tragedy. [But] God miraculously saved my dad’s life.”

“He had a long journey back,” Mike said. “He lived another 30 years. And he was in pain every day — but he survived. … I was the oldest of four kids in my family,” he pointed out. “[And I learned that] our faith was real. … God saved my dad’s life … and I just knew that prayer worked. So that’s never left me. It’s been with me my whole life.”

When Tony asked Mike what surprised him most about his time in Congress, he replied that his answer was “kind of a sad one.” “I was surprised to see that many members of Congress are elected to serve, and they don’t truly have a fully formed philosophy of government. Some of them are not even crystal clear on what their worldview is, you know? And so it has an effect on their work and the decisions they make. … If you don’t have a fully formed philosophy of government, if you don’t have your principles set in stone … before you get there, then you’re going to be easy prey for all the influences that are out there.”

That’s why, he says, he’s been trying to encourage his colleagues to think about what it means to be a Christian in public service. “The only seedbed of virtue,” Johnson insisted, “is in religious faith. I mean, men have to understand that they owe an allegiance to a higher power, and they have a judge that is above all others. And that is what has guided our country since its founding. And that’s what’s going to continue to guide it. So we shouldn’t make apology for it. We should go out and live that boldly and encourage others to do the same.”

He owes that strength of conviction to a number of people who encouraged him along the way. “I had a mentor when I was really young, [and he] told me one time — he said, ‘Mike, you know what? Always remember this: What is popular isn’t always right, and what is right isn’t always popular.’ And we have to remember that even in politics, you know, highest levels of elected office in the country, that’s a pretty simple axiom that everybody needs to follow.”

Now, Johnson is passing that advice along to his four children — and all of the young leaders he meets. At the time, his son, Jack, was just starting high school, and he wanted to make sure that his son was firmly rooted in truth. “I said, ‘Listen, I want you to be real intentional about this. You know, the calling of a Christian young man or young woman is that you are not called to be a thermometer. You’re called to be a thermostat. What does that mean, Jack? You know, what does a thermometer do? Well, a thermometer goes into a new environment, takes a temperature, and adjusts to it. That’s not what we do. The Christian young man or woman is called to be an atmosphere changer, to be a thermostat. So you walk in, and you hold that standard, raise the standard.’”

At the end of the day, Mike said, “You live according to that truth that you know, and it will change the atmosphere you’re in. And people will look to you. … [They’re] dying for truth and authenticity. They want to know that there really is an absolute … that there’s a standard.” He pointed to Chronicles 6:9. “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the whole earth, seeking those whose hearts are holy, committed. There’s only a few in every generation, but if you’ll do that, God will give you His blessing. He’ll give you His platform. His promotion principles will set in place, and He’ll give you things that will amaze everyone.”

They were prophetic words for a man whose heart is holy, whose God has just given him that enormous platform he spoke of. And yet, back in January, Mike would have been the last to guess that when he and a handful of Republicans knelt in the House chamber to pray for the speakership, they would ultimately be paving the road to him.

As Tony said in a Newsmax interview Wednesday, America can be proud to have a man of substance at the helm. “That’s why he’s the first speaker, I think since 2011, to have unanimous support from his colleagues on the Republican side. … I’ve known Mike for 25 years, and he is going to be an excellent speaker for the times in which we live.”

Looking back on the arc of their long friendship, he said with pride, “He has a sense of purpose, and that comes from his faith. … And this is what’s important, because in politics this has gotten lost. It’s really about people. And he cares about people,” Tony insisted. “… He told me this morning, I was talking to him as he was working on his speech, and he said, ‘It’s a new day. They’re going to see a new thing in this Congress.’”

And those of us who admire him believe it.


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

RELATED ARTICLE: Tale of Two Speeches: Speaker Johnson, Minority Leader Jeffries Articulate Different Visions for America

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Faith in Jesus Christ Alone’: How Americans Agreed Christianity Is Core to Conservatism

In the years leading up to the birth of the nation we know as America, political discourse was exercised in pubs, in the pages of newspapers, in the town square, and on the steps outside courthouses. The patriots who forged America would define and refine together what liberty means and what responsibilities are carried with it, how men are governed and by what authority, and what a nation is and what it means to be an American.

Today, that same patriotic spirit that burns in the hearts of conservatives articulates itself largely on social media. On Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and even on less mainstream sites like Gab or former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social, conservatives carry on the work of their forefathers and clarify ideologies, debate traditions, and ask what it means to be an American conservative. Just as early American patriots made their voices heard in the streets of Boston, Philadelphia, and Annapolis, so American conservatives made their voices heard on Twitter last week, resoundingly declaring that Christianity is core to conservatism.

Lizzie Marbach, a former Trump 2020 campaign staffer and current Ohio pro-life advocate, tweeted last week, “There’s no hope for any of us outside of having faith in Jesus Christ alone.” The tweet itself garnered a moderate amount of notice and many social media users agreed with Marbach, who was essentially repeating longstanding (and, honestly, pretty basic) Christian doctrine. And then along came Max Miller. The Republican congressman from Ohio and former Trump staffer reposted his fellow former Trump staffer’s tweet with his own derisive commentary, saying, “This is one of the most bigoted tweets I have ever seen. Delete it, Lizzie. Religious freedom in the United States applies to every religion. You have gone too far.”

First of all, it is important to note that Marbach is not a sitting legislator, nor even a government employee. Her tweet did not advocate, endorse, or even remotely suggest the suppression or persecution of any religious group or set of religious beliefs. This makes Miller’s comments all the more infuriatingly ironic: while claiming to support “religious freedom,” a sitting U.S. congressman told an American citizen to delete her profession of one of the most fundamental doctrines of her faith — a faith shared, by the way, by an estimated 70% of Americans.

Miller, who describes himself on Twitter as a “proud Jew,” was instantly ridiculed, shamed, and flatly contradicted by conservatives. Political commentator and podcast host Matt Walsh asked, “Do your constituents know that you consider basic Christian teaching to be ‘bigoted’? They do now I guess. Good luck in the next election!” Journalist Jack Posobiec, senior editor at Human Events, posted a meme reading, “[T]he best time to delete this tweet was immediately after sending it, the second best time is now.” Media personality and former GOP congressional candidate Lauren Witzke quipped, “Mask off moment.” Countless others commented simple variations of “Christ is King.”

Miller went further than merely airing his ignorance, though; he complained to Marbach’s employer, Ohio Right to Life, where his wife is a board member, and she was fired from her position as communications director. Ohio Right to Life stressed that Marbach wasn’t fired due to “any single event,” but even the ol’ post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy might be a bit of a stretch in application to this particular scenario.

In 2020, President Trump famously said, “It’s called ‘we do a little trolling.’” Well, trolling works. After the torrent of purely-digital backlash from Americans, Miller was forced to apologize. He said, “I posted something earlier that conveyed a message I did not intend. I will not try to hide my mistake or run from it. I sincerely apologize to Lizzie and to everyone who read my post.” Now, whether the apology was sincere or simply a PR necessity in the wake of denigrating the beliefs of over two thirds of Americans is not yet clear, though it’s worth noting that Miller did not delete his tweet calling expression of Christian thought “bigoted” and ordering an American Christian to “delete” her tweet, nor has he apologized for his role in having Marbach fired.

In fact, Marbach herself showed Miller just how “bigoted” and threatening Christians are by publicly forgiving him. She tweeted, “Max, I accept your apology 100%. However the truth is that it is not me from whom you need forgiveness, but God himself. I genuinely pray you seek him and find salvation!” She also posted the text of Matthew 18:21-35, in which Christ tells the parable of the unforgiving servant and instructs His disciples to forgive others not just seven times but “seventy-seven times.”

Aside from Miller’s appalling behavior and lackluster attempt at an apology, this episode demonstrates the commitment of conservatives to Christian ideals. Those who do not identify as Christian — atheists and agnostics, even some of Miller’s fellow Jews, were among his detractors — but as conservatives recognize the inherent truth that, without Christianity, there is nothing to conserve. The entirety of the conservative movement is founded upon distinctly Christian principles, traditions, and culture: liberty, order, virtue, duty, sacrifice, and all those noble ideals Americans have fought, bled, and died for over the past 250 years. These ideals were practiced, preached, preserved, clarified, and dogmatized by Christianity.

While nations and empires have risen and fallen, while the Roman republic decayed into tyranny, while kingdoms and races warred across medieval Europe, while European powers pioneered new lands, while the dream called America was realized, while bloody revolutions felled and founded new cultures and governments, while world wars raged, and even now into the present age, Christianity has stood strong, lovingly maintaining the doctrines laid out 2,000 years ago by a Carpenter from Nazareth, Who was also told, “Delete it,” in the parlance of the day, and lost far more than just His job.

Just as American patriots once agreed on what liberty is while sitting around their drinks in pubs, just as they once proclaimed what they knew to be true in the pages of their newspapers and gazettes, just as they once shouted their common beliefs in the streets, so too have today’s American patriots, speaking in today’s town square, agreed that conservatives must not condemn or denigrate Christianity but embrace it.

Hopefully, today’s patriots will continue following in the footsteps of their forefathers and will not be content with pub-table conversations, printed words, and marching in the streets, but will speak at the ballot box too and elect representatives who respect and even share their beliefs, the beliefs that this nation was built upon.


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Where are the Ark of Covenant and Holy Grail Buried?

We have always been interested in where the two most important and holiest relics in Christian history are buried—the Arc of the Covenant and the Holy Grail.

It is believed that it was the Knights Templar who took the Arc of the Covenant and the Holy Grail with them to keep them from being destroyed by the invading Muslim armies.

According to the History Channel,

The Knights Templar was a large organization of devout Christians during the medieval era who carried out an important mission: to protect European travelers visiting sites in the Holy Land while also carrying out military operations. A wealthy, powerful and mysterious order that has fascinated historians and the public for centuries, tales of the Knights Templar, their financial and banking acumen, their military prowess and their work on behalf of Christianity during the Crusades still circulate throughout modern culture.

After Christian armies captured Jerusalem from Muslim control in 1099 during the Crusades, groups of pilgrims from across Western Europe started visiting the Holy Land. Many of them, however, were robbed and killed as they crossed through Muslim-controlled territories during their journey.

Around 1118, a French knight named Hugues de Payens created a military order along with eight relatives and acquaintances, calling it the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon—later known simply as the Knights Templar.

With the support of Baldwin II, the ruler of Jerusalem, they set up headquarters on that city’s sacred Temple Mount, the source of their now-iconic name, and pledged to protect Christian visitors to Jerusalem.

Initially, the Knights Templar faced criticism from some religious leaders. But in 1129, the group received the formal endorsement of the Catholic Church and support from Bernard of Clairvaux, a prominent French abbot. Bernard authored “In Praise of the New Knighthood,” a text that glorified the Knights Templar and bolstered their growth.

In 1139, Pope Innocent II issued a Papal Bull that allowed the Knights Templar special rights. Among them, the Templars were exempt from paying taxes, permitted to build their own oratories and were held to no one’s authority except the Pope’s.

Many have searched for these holiest of holy relics and now it appears someone knows where the Knights Templar may have buried them.

In a July 30, 2023 article Jolt of Joyful reported,

A highly respected historian thinks he may have figured out where the Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grail were buried by the Knights Templar. No, we’re not talking about Indiana Jones. David Adkins, an anthropologist and historian, believes the two ancient relics may be found under a famous landmark in England. 

Adkins, who first proved his mettle when he tracked down a 10,000 year-old skull called “Greta,” argues that “the lost treasure of the Knights Templar could be concealed in a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers underneath Sinai Park House,” a historic building that dates back to the 13th century in the town of Burton.

The imposing landmark in Burton may be lying on caverns vast enough to contain Westminster Abbey, according to one geologist, writes The Brighter Side.

David is now keen to try and locate the treasures plundered by the Knights Templar during the crusades – which could potentially include the golden Ark of the Covenant, which housed the 10 commandments, and even the Holy Grail.

Read more.

WATCH: Historic England House Could Contain the Holy Grail

Ron Wyatt has also searched from 1979 into the 1980s and found what he believes to be the burial place of the Arc of the Covenant.

WATCH: Ron Wyatt summarizes original findings in ‘Ark’ chamber and performs sub-surface radar scans.

WATCH: Dangerous underground excavations explore radar anomalies.

WATCH: Ron Wyatt – Chromosome count in ‘blood’ sample.

We have Ron Wyatt who in the 1980s believes that he found the Arc of the Covenant. And we now have anthropologist and historian David Adkins who believes the that the Arc of the Covenant and the Holy Grail may be found under a famous landmark in England. 

Seeing is believing! And I hope that I get to see these two holy relics.

Israelmore Ayivor wrote, “It takes the trust of God for things that exist, to wait on him for the evidence of things that do not exist. Faith and hope make you to thank God for the invisible things by looking at the visible things which were once invisible too.

We agree.

We can’t wait for someone driven by the hand of God discover his Ten Commandments and the cup which His Son Jesus passed among his disciples as reported in Mark 14:24 saying, “And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.


©2023. Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

Reclaiming the Biblical Rainbow

Whether you’re browsing through a clothing aisle of Target or taking a walk through your neighborhood — especially during the month of June — it’s likely you’ll run into a symbol plastered on t-shirts or waving on flags: the rainbow. What do you immediately associate with the bold colors of red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet? Most would likely say LGBTQ Pride. It is easily identifiable due to the infiltration of Pride merchandise in stores, schools, and neighborhoods.

Within the last 50 years, LGBTQ+ culture has adopted the symbol to represent sexual identity, and it has become a staple in the Pride movement. The materialized association we make between the God-ordained rainbow with a so-called “pride” for sexual identity has become normalized as the symbol is often paired with the image of a same-sex couple or phrases like “love is love.”

How did this association come about? Who decided on the counterfeit rainbow as the staple image to represent the LGBTQ community?

The answer lies in the late 1970s when San Francisco artist and drag performer Gilbert Baker was asked to create a symbol representing the gay community. The Department of Mental Health claims that, “Baker collaborated with his friend Lynn Segerblom” to “design” the rainbow flag. The only difference from their design and God’s was two more colors: hot pink and turquoise. Although these two colors have since been removed — and other renditions of the flag continue to occur regularly — the design made its debut at the Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco in 1978.

According to History.com, “The most commonly used image for the burgeoning gay rights movement was the pink triangle,” a symbol that was pinned to people who identified as homosexual during World War II by Nazis. “Using a symbol with such a dark and painful past was never an option for Baker,” so instead he chose the rainbow as it was “meant to represent togetherness.” Each color maintained a significance: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic and art, indigo for serenity, and violet for spirit.

Since his creation of the rainbow Pride flag, Gilbert has been recognized by political leaders and praised for the strides he made in the movement. In 2016, former President Barack Obama presented Baker with a hand-dyed rainbow flag. Baker spent the remainder of his life “push[ing] boundaries and gender norms,” until his death in 2017.

With June being the designated “Pride Month,” the LGBTQ community and supporters push the sale of as much rainbow gear as possible. In preparation for the month, conservative leaders have spoken up, calling people to take the rainbow symbol back.

“The rainbow is and always will be a sign of the covenant God made with his people,” wrote conservative author and influencer David Harris. “The woke mob may try to twist its meaning, but we won’t let their foolishness prevail. It’s time to reclaim the rainbow for His purpose!!”

Similarly, pro-life advocate and author Abby Johnson posted some “reminders” on her social media page, encouraging her followers to remember the rainbow’s true meaning.

“I will not stop enjoying rainbows just because man has decided to attempt to usurp it,” she wrote. “God defines marriage because He created it. We don’t get to argue with Him about it or throw a tantrum. He made marriage, He gets to set the terms. It’s between a man and a woman.”

Why are these conservative leaders calling for people to take the rainbow back? What is so significant about different wavelengths of light striking water droplets, resulting in seven colors forming an arch? Let’s go back to some of the earliest days of creation to answer this question.

In Genesis 6, we are told that as the human population grew, so did their wickedness. Humans were so corrupt, that “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5). It says the Lord regretted creating humans. Within just five chapters of creation’s origin story, God went from nodding in approval and calling his people good to feeling remorseful over his creation. When Adam and Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit, sin entered the world and with it came separation from God: an unbearable consequence that all people deserve.

From the beginning of time, fleshly desires took over the human race and people turned their back on God. So, God sent a great flood in order to “put an end to all people” (Genesis 6:13), except for one family, headed by a man named Noah, who “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). The fate of the human race fell to the obedience of this one man.

As the story that we learned in Sunday school goes, God ordered Noah to build an ark and spared him and his family from the flood. In Genesis 9:11, He establishes a promise, saying, “Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” To seal this promise, God explained the significance of the symbol of his covenant.

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth” (Genesis 9:13-16).

From these few verses, we learn that in God’s mercy, he decided to give humanity a second chance to live in harmony with him, and he set a reminder in the sky.

If the original meaning of the rainbow was meant to represent God’s promise to never wipe out his people with a flood again, how come it is now associated with sexual orientation and gender fluidity? Doesn’t it seem ironic that a movement rooted in sexual anarchy — which stands in opposition to the Word of God — uses a biblical symbol to represent its anti-biblical ideology?

Baker designed a version of the rainbow as the LGBTQ symbol “because he saw flags as the most powerful symbol of pride.” As Christians, the rainbow represents something completely different and much more sacred: a symbol of hope. Hope of an everlasting life with a Just and Merciful Creator, despite our temporary and wretched state. As author of “God’s Covenant with the Earth” Peter Harris pointed out, “God’s covenant with Noah was a commitment to maintain the inherent relationship between Creator and creation.” Nothing can separate us from his love. There is room for forgiveness, and our nation must fight for a story of redemption.

As Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement Joseph Backholm put it, “It seems significant that the LGBT rainbow is a counterfeit of a real rainbow because everything about the sexual revolution is a counterfeit of good things God created. Satan has always been in the habit of taking good things and modifying them slightly so they have similarities to good things but are not good things.”

As we walk through the month of June, let us heed the instruction Peter wrote to God’s elect and remember to stand firm in our faith and convictions. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).


Abigail Olsson

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Good Friday and The War for Our Souls

The name of this holiday is always jarring to me.

Good Friday, the day we observe the crucifixion of Jesus, first leaps upon our senses as everything bad. An illegal trial gone wrong; a miscarriage of justice; extreme acts of violence; an innocent man stricken, smitten, and afflicted. Not only that, but there’s also the loss of hope, the triumph and cruelty of the mob, and a people sent into hiding. It’s bad, it’s evil, and it’s everything nefarious rolled into one.

We only know Good Friday as good through the lens of Sunday’s resurrection. That’s why pausing too long on Good Friday is dangerous for our souls. God in his mercy moved the focal point of the fullness of time from Friday to Sunday. If we lag too long on Friday, we miss the movement of resurrection. If it all ends on Friday, our souls are stunted, and Friday is not good. The only hope for our souls lies on Sunday with Friday behind it.

Followers of Jesus remind ourselves of this movement year after year because by it our souls have been saved. And therefore we celebrate Christ’s death — a celebration of mourning that, with resurrection, turns into jubilation. The celebration is continuous because our memories are not. At minimum, we need this yearly reminder of what God has done for us in Christ. We needed it in the years following Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension, and we need it in 2023.

Especially in 2023.

There is, of course, nothing new under the sun. Anything novel today has been seen before in one fashion or another. But still, 2023 has its unique challenges for Christians. There is a certain type of war being waged for our souls, and here in America, to say it’s under a microscope would be an understatement. It’s under the floodlights, and it’s by no means subtle.

Back in the 2020 presidential campaign, then-candidate Joe Biden said in his nomination speech at the Democratic National Convention, “This campaign isn’t just about winning votes. It’s about winning the heart, and yes, the soul of America.” Even the Trump campaign picked up on this language, producing a video mocking the rhetoric while asking people to give to their own campaign in order to “save America’s soul.” More recently, President Biden upped the ante on our nation’s soul during his infamous September 2022 speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Backdropped by ominous red lighting, a strangely imposing looking Biden railed:

“I ran for President because I believed we were in a battle for the soul of this nation. I still believe that to be true. I believe the soul is the breath, the life, and the essence of who we are. The soul is what makes us ‘us.’

The soul of America is defined by the sacred proposition that all are created equal in the image of God. That all are entitled to be treated with decency, dignity, and respect. That all deserve justice and a shot at lives of prosperity and consequence. And that democracy — democracy must be defended, for democracy makes all these things possible. Folks, and it’s up to us.”

The president made mention of “soul” eight times in that speech. And he’s continued to use the word gratuitously. In recent days declaring the Transgender Day of Visibility, he proclaimed, “Transgender Americans shape our Nation’s soul.” Make no mistake, while he may have grown up in suburban Pennsylvania, Joe Biden is most definitely a soul man.

Whether or not it’s Biden himself or one of his aides who is behind this overtly theological doctrine of the soul, it’s certainly a teaching at odds with the Bible’s concept of the soul. For Biden, “democracy makes all these things possible.” Contrast that with Paul: “For by him [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16, ESV).

For Biden, transgender Americans shape our nation’s soul. The Bible’s view of shaping comes from a radically different frame: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29, ESV).

We who follow Christ in America must live in Biden’s world, but we must not live as students of his doctrine. We live as expatriates, as citizens of a kingdom that is far away, but that is also already present but not yet fully realized.

On Good Friday, Jesus was crowned by his captors with a garland of thorns. But what was meant as mockery served as a coronation. King Jesus ascended not a throne there in Jerusalem, but a cross. Jesus’s substitutionary death for his people revealed that the battle for souls was far more than a battle for what makes us “us.” As the late John R.W. Stott, in his classic work “The Cross of Christ” observed, “What God in Christ has done through the cross is to rescue us, disclose himself and overcome evil.”

The good news of Good Friday is that this battle — this war — is ultimately one-sided. Victory for souls is won on the cross of Christ and only on the cross of Christ. And we as combatants in this battle must be captured by the cross to have any hope of Sunday’s resurrection. The alternative leaves us stranded on Friday, and that’s anything but good.


Jared Bridges

Jared Bridges is editor-in-chief of The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

What Will Persecuted Christians Face in 2023?

The Bible radically challenges the status quo. It speaks truth to power.

During a recent conversation with Margaret, a woman who suffered life-changing injuries after Islamists assaulted a Catholic church in Nigeria last Pentecost Sunday, I couldn’t help but reflect deeply on the words of Christ:

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5)

Indeed, who is it that can forgive their enemies and overcome hatred, violence and abuse of the kind suffered by Margaret but he or she who knows Christ?

In my work for the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) UK, I am frequently asked about how I deal with all the negative stories and the “doom and gloom”. But as St John’s letter reminds us, a strong faith in Christ’s ultimate victory upends this question: rather, how can I deal with all the pessimism and negativity without learning from the example of the modern-day martyrs?

Speaking to Margaret taught me two key lessons: that we in the West need the example of the persecuted Church, and they need us. The more that the opponents of the Church become emboldened in persecuting her, and the less we speak truth to power, the more severe will the persecution be this year. Our silence is a green light to violence.

2022 made this fact clearer than ever. More Christians suffer for their faith in Christ than any other religious group suffers for their faith, according to the Pew Research Center. This is borne out by fresh data from Aid to the Church in Need’s latest report Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2020-22.

The oppression or persecution of Christians increased in 75 percent of the 24 countries ACN surveyed. In Africa, the situation for Christians worsened in all countries reviewed amid a sharp increase in genocidal violence from militant non-state actors, including the jihadist groups Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram. Nigeria is in particular trouble. In the Middle East, continuing migration deepened the crisis threatening the survival of three of the world’s oldest Christian communities located in Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

State authoritarianism has been the critical factor causing worsening oppression against Christians in China, North Korea, Vietnam and Burma (Myanmar). Religious nationalism has caused increasing persecution against Christians in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, among other countries. Fashionable holiday destinations like the Maldives fare poorly when it comes to the treatment of Christians. Football-famous Qatar has also been on our radar.

A key trend we are witnessing in the West which aids and abets the persecution of Christians is civil authorities’ frequent denial of the extent of the problem. This can stem from ignorance of and outright unwillingness to alleviate the suffering of Christians, but also takes the form of dubious arguments that reject explanations of the crisis rooted in anti-Christian hatred, instead preferring economic justifications or cries of “climate change”. But climate change alone cannot explain Christian persecution, as the UK parliamentarian Sir Edward Leigh MP explained in a recent article.

2023 will see these trends escalate, ACN’s research suggests. Our work proactively identifies the trends Christians face early on, rather than being purely reactive. This call to justice is crucial to waking up governments, decision-makers and the Church to the plight of the most vulnerable. We defend the persecuted Church and stand in solidarity with her but, perhaps even more importantly, we provide support and pastoral care so that she can persevere in her mission to preach the Gospel to all nations, whatever the cost.

Speaking to ACN last year after her release from captivity in Mali, west Africa, Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez said: “My God, it is hard to be chained and to receive blows, but I live this moment as you present it to me … And, in spite of everything, I would not want any of [my captors] to be harmed.”

The Franciscan sister was held by Islamist militants for over four years, during which time she was repeatedly physically and psychologically tortured. Sister Gloria made clear that her Christian faith was the source of the animus against her, describing to us how her captors became enraged when she prayed. On one occasion, when a jihadist leader found her praying, he struck her saying: “Let’s see if that God gets you out of here. Sister Gloria continued: “He spoke to me using very strong, ugly words…My soul shuddered at what this person was saying, while the other guards laughed out loud at the insults.”

As Christ says to the persecuted Church and to us: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

When I read these words, the smiling portrait of a humble and persevering Nigerian woman comes to mind. This year, like so many other Christians, Margaret will continue to suffer and to triumph. This year truth and falsehood will be asserted variably in the courts of power.

Yet, however worldly justice deals with the cause of persecuted Christians, long may their suffering smiles ring out the joy of victory.


John Pontifex

John Pontifex is Head of Press and Information at Aid to the Church in Need (UK), an international Catholic charity which supports persecuted and other suffering Christians. More by John Pontifex

RELATED ARTICLE: Pro-Life Activist Mark Houck Found Not Guilty Months After Family Home Raided By Biden’s FBI

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Vortex — On a Mission From God

And we had better get to it.


We’re here to attend an annual conference by the Napa Institute and take the temperature — and if need be, help raise the temperature — on the topic of corruption in the hierarchy. The crowd that attends the Napa Institute is well-off, many of them very well-off. They are politically conservative certainly and socially polite.

It’s a Catholic country club crowd who love their Faith, as far as they have been schooled in it, depending on who they listen to. Of course, given the dominant dynamic at work, like all other human beings, they will listen to those who most appeal to their own psychologies and predispositions.

To be certain, the Blase Cupich contingent of prelates would not be welcome here, nor would they like to attend. The prelates who attend here instead have the reputation of being orthodox, mainly politically conservative, and are much easier to stomach because they too are socially polite and enjoy quiet interactions and so forth.

But there is where things can — and in many ways have — gone off the rails. Conservative personalities are very cautious, they don’t like rocking the boat, they are very slow to act and, when they do act, it is usually in a minimal way. This isn’t out of any malice or anything; it’s just their dispositions (like many of the wealthy attendees). Birds of a feather, as they say.

The problem in the Church these days, however — the complete crisis we are seeing unfold before our eyes in lightning speed — requires a different psychological approach. It requires a disposition to admit that past strategies and approaches have been too polite, too optimistic and have failed.

That’s not something that wealthy, conservative people like to face. There is a certain level of positive self-image that accompanies material wealth and admitting an unpleasant reality doesn’t fit too well with that mindset. But that mindset and its concurrent failing strategy need to be jettisoned pronto if there is any hope of saving the Church in the United States.

First, the wealthy backers and patrons of many orthodox bishops must come to realize that most of these men have, in their own way, actually contributed to the crisis in the Church. They have come very late to the game — they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the light of complete revelation that many of their “brother” bishops are actually wicked and have been actively engaged in taking over the Church and repurposing it into a globalist tool.

Many of the good bishops have, perhaps unwittingly, even gone along with this by not confronting loudly and clearly the false narratives of systemic racism, manmade climate change and illegal immigration. These are all communist talking points that wicked bishops have baptized (so to speak) and made out to sound somehow, in an intellectually tortured kind of way, Catholic.

They are not even remotely Catholic. However, even more alarming is that what passes as justice for society, which it is not, is promoted by not just bishops who are political Marxists, but who are actually morally degenerate and doctrinally deficient.

The wealthy crowd here at Napa just doesn’t want to hear that: It’s too much “boat-rocking.” Same with their allied orthodox bishops. It’s too scandalous for their ears (not to mention too threatening to their careers) to go down this path. So evil men in the hierarchy get a pass, capitalizing on the psychological dispositions of a very conservative crowd who simply do not want to face the music on all this theological and moral depravity among a certain subset of the episcopate.

This is precisely where the “orthodox” bishops, trapped in their own psychological and career dynamic, have failed miserably. Not only have they failed to openly, loudly and publicly challenge this evil, they have also failed to alert their wealthy benefactors, many of whom are here in Napa.

Money, by the millions, tens of millions, needs to be poured into efforts to root out these wicked prelates, expose them and take control of the narrative. When the news broke earlier this week that the most senior cleric in the United States who is not a bishop, USCCB general secretary Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, is actually leading a double life of active homosexuality — in and out of gay bathhouses, homosexual hookups and all of it through a phone app he was on every day — people were shocked, and it blew up all over social media.

But why would people be shocked? Church Militant has been saying this same thing for over 10 years, earning the scorn of the gay clergy and the contempt of the polite-society crowd of Catholics, where such “distractions” aren’t discussed among the elites.

“Sure, people sin, but we need to move on” is the response from the well-heeled crowd. That is beyond belief that such an attitude would dominate the response of people who might be actually able to do something about it. Bad clergy need to be exposed. That costs money. Private eyes are not cheap.

Data mining is also not cheap. Round-the-clock surveillance, flying people around who are in the know and need to deliver documents personally — every bit of this is costly.

Yes, it’s distasteful, but nowhere near as much as looking into the wet eyes of an abuse victim molested by these gay men in miters and collars, nowhere near as much as listening to the families of young men who killed themselves. Talk to the good priests who have been ground up under the wheels of this lavender mafia choking the life out of the Church right now.

Sit down with the would-be seminarians who have been driven out because the gay formation team (from whom the bishops look the other way) has its say in who gets in and who doesn’t. What about the countless families — mothers and grandmothers, dads — who mourn constantly that their children have left the Faith because they were never instructed properly after all those years of tuition at Catholic schools.

The Church is in what is perhaps Her worst crisis ever, a massive disbelief by both clergy and laity. And no amount of beautiful scenery and pleasant company, cigars and good food can erase that reality. So Church Militant has come to Napa to see if the events of the past three years as well as those which keep happening have red-pilled any of the crowd which is generally resistant to being red-pilled.

We’re here, as we said, to take the temperature as well as raise it if need be. Wealth provides comfort, and comfort can prevent seeing plainly what is right in front of your eyes. The Church is not loved by hobnobbing with bishops. The Faith is not restored by a somber chat over a fine martini.

The Church is aided by rolling up your sleeves and getting in the fight, as nasty and dirty as it may be. The sodomite stranglehold on the Church must be broken. The corruption and quietism among the hierarchy must be banished. These are the driving forces why Church Militant is organizing the “Bishops: Enough Is Enough” prayer rally and protest in November in Baltimore.

Already, over a thousand people have signed up for the event in less than a week, with more coming in every day. Just click on the provided link to reserve your spot. We are all on a mission from God to stand up for the Church in this Her most desperate hour. God knew from all eternity this evil would arise at this point, and He created us for this moment.

The scandals in the Church don’t end — and are actually increasing — because the men and women who have the power and influence to end them don’t want to. They will not look evil in the eye and confront it, and, therefore, evil runs wild snatching souls and allowing the culture to be destroyed.

One day, perhaps soon, even a lot of money will not preserve otherwise faithful Catholics from the onslaught of Marxism in the Church. Time is quickly running out. The facade of “things are not that bad” is dissolving rapidly.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

We Have Forgotten God

It’s a cliché to say that this is the most important election in our lifetime. But I really feel strongly that this is the most important election in our lifetime.

There is so much at stake. Above all is the question of whether we will continue as one nation under God. Will we embrace America as founded or will we completely jettison all pretense of our national motto—In God we Trust?

I think our problems can be traced back to this simple truth: We have forgotten God. That’s why all these bad things are happening to us.

Founding father Patrick Henry warned, “It is when a people forget God, that tyrants forge their chains.”

The late Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was the great chronicler of what President Ronald Reagan rightfully called, “The Evil Empire,” i.e., the failed Soviet Union. The Nobel-prize winning author spent about a decade of his life in the Soviet Gulags (for a veiled criticism of Stalin in a private letter).

Solzhenitsyn said, “While I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

As simple as those peasants’ statements were, the great novelist noted that no one diagnosed the problem better than they did. He continued: “Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Why is America seemingly sinking into the abyss? We have forgotten God. And the results of this rejection we can see on the streets of America:

  • We have strangers shooting strangers because they disagree politically.
  • We have daily riots and looting, with criminals immediately let back on the streets, thanks in many cases to George Soros money.
  • We have mobs chanting, “F*** your Jesus.”
  • We have liberal governors shutting down churches as “non-essential” during the COVID-19 crisis, while encouraging rioting, with or without social distancing or masks.

In America today people have forgotten God, and we’re living out the descent of man, as seen in Romans chapter 1. When people reject God and His righteousness and refuse to thank Him, He turns them over to their own devices.

Dennis Prager of PragerU once told me in a TV interview: “The Supreme Court changed America with the 1962 decision that prayer in school was unconstitutional. That was the decision that began the end of America as we knew it.”

The prayer ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court was this: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country.”

Prager continued: “It’s as universal a prayer and non-denominational as you could have. And as I often point out, within one generation, kids went from blessing their teachers to cursing their teachers.” [Emphasis added]

Many of our presidents throughout history have called on God and have called on Americans to set aside a time (usually a day) of prayer. For example, FDR, in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, called for January 2, 1942 to be, “a Day of Prayer, of asking forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, of consecration to the tasks of the present, of asking God’s help in days to come.”

Today, how much more are we in need of “asking forgiveness for our shortcomings”?

President Harry Truman even systematized the National Day of Prayer as an annual event. Truman declared in his proclamation (June 17, 1952): “From the earliest days of our history our people have been accustomed to turn to Almighty God for help and guidance.”

When there is no God to whom we must give an account, then the state can become god. That is certainly true in the minds of many a totalitarian dictator.

If we continue down this godless path, we will not remain free. How we vote will not change our national make-up. But it will make a difference in pushing away tyranny or rushing toward it.

Reagan once noted, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

©Jerry Newcombe, D.Min. All rights reserved.

THE RETURN: National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance on September 26, 2020

The Return is a movement, an appointed time, and a specific day set apart for one purpose – the return to God by coming before His presence in humility, in sincerity in prayer, and repentance.

The movement begins now and will continue through the entire year of 2020 leading up to 10 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance – Starting with the Biblical Feast of Trumpets and ending with the Day of Atonement (September 18-September 28). The central day of The Return will be Saturday, September 26, 2020 on the National Mall and throughout the nation and world.

Come to the Live Event in Washington or take part by Live Simulcast wherever you are – In your Home, Church, Town, or City!

The Return will reach beyond the borders of America and gather all nations for a Global Day of Prayer and Repentance. For those who wish to experience this solemn assembly in person, The Return will hold a live event on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Saturday, September 26. There is no charge to attend, but tickets will be required. Tickets will be on a first come first serve basis.

GET UPDATES HERE                         BRING A GROUP                   TRAVEL INFO

©The Return. All rights reserved.



“The Devil and Karl Marx”: A Review

Robert Orlando: In his new book, Paul Kengor plunges a stake into the heart of the devil and Karl Marx. But as we know, such vampires are not so easily killed.

Paul Kengor is a teacher and writer who has always had an eye for the spiritual dimension in history, politics, and economics. (He was the perfect partner for me in our book and documentary film, The Divine Plan: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Dramatic End of the Cold War.)

Prof. Kengor’s new book, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration, is a hammer and sickle dismantling of the diabolical character of Karl Marx (1818-1883). As Michael Knowles writes in the book’s foreword, “Kengor knows, like few others writing today, that terms such as collectivism and individualism only take the debate so far. . . .Ultimately the fight comes down to spiritual warfare: good versus evil.”

Indeed, Kengor’s book is all about the clash of the modern, devilish forces of socialism and communism – the key Marxist systems – against the eternally divine force of faith.

The book opens with a portrait of Marx’s formative early years, an approach similar to Paul Johnson’s in Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky (1988). Johnson was accused of being moralistic for judging Marx’s ideas through the lens of his character. Of Marx’s writings, Johnson says their “actual content can be related to four aspects of his character: his taste for violence, his appetite for power, his inability to handle money and, above all, his tendency to exploit those around him.”

Professor Kengor goes even further, depicting Marx as possibly under the Devil’s spell. The young Marx wrote some very dark poems filled with the sort of anti-religious sentiments that would inspire his Communist Manifesto. “It is in part, a tragic portrait of a man,” Kengor writes, “but still more broadly so, an ideology, a chilling retrospective on an unclean spirit that should have never been let out of its pit.”

Here’s an example from Marx’s poem, “The Pale Maiden” (1837):

Thus Heaven I’ve forfeited,
I know it full well.
My soul, once true to God,
Is chosen for Hell.

Kengor (like Johnson) makes the case that Marx, a self-absorbed intellectual, never lived out his own convictions when it came either to money or the redistribution thereof, evidenced by his dismissive attitude towards providing for those under his care. For instance, Marx exhausted the resources and goodwill of his parents, and instead of becoming remorseful or apologetic, he defiantly disowned them once they were no longer of value to him.

When it came to money, everything Marx touched turned to straw. His combustible life was filled with tragedy, debts, and, with the exception of the death of his wife Jenny, an apparent lack of regret in the face of his greatest losses. Family suicides, sexual exploits (including the possible abuse of a family maid) enflamed his life with bloody anger and fueled his revolutionary spirit. In this troubled background are the origins of his communist worldview – a complete rebellion against anything traditional or sacred. Thus the title of Kengor’s book.

Although I agree with the inescapable connection Kengor makes between Marx’s life and his philosophy, I might not place so much emphasis on the man’s early life. Many historical figures were wayward in youth, even some of our saints. Paul the Apostle aided and abetted murder as he tried to violently eradicate the Early Church. We don’t define Augustine by the reckless years prior to his conversion. In fact, these men are saints precisely because they changed.

In Marx’s case, of course, he never changed. He drank the nectar of the devil (my words), and it poisoned him – just as communism poisoned so much of the world.

The middle sections of the book track the rise and fall of the Left’s great messiah and his closest apostle, Friedrich Engels. It continues with a history of Marx’s disciples, from Vladimir Lenin in Russia to Saul Alinsky in the United States.

Kengor also explains how these and other henchmen have assaulted the Catholic faith. Although vigorously opposed by Catholic leadership, Marxism would nonetheless gain a foothold in parts of the Church. Kengor highlights Pope John Paul II’s success in his confrontation with Marxism and communism. Having lived much of his life in a communist regime, St. John Paul knew well Marxist ideas, which enabled him to deal effectively with the liberation theologians in South America.

I think of Kengor as plunging a stake into the heart of the devil and Karl Marx. But as we know, vampires are not so easily killed. Marxism in the 20th century used class warfare, and that was mostly a failure. In the 21st century, Marxists are employing identity politics, lately with some success. But the aim is the same: to sow cultural destruction. If this doesn’t make you angry, you’re not breathing.

Bizarrely romantic revolutions – from Mao’s China to Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone – Marx’s ill-conceived utopias aren’t just destructive, they’re murderous. The death toll of communism worldwide exceeds 100-million! Kengor calls it “nothing short of diabolical – truly a satanic scourge, a killing machine.”

Without question, America has had its share of betrayals and unrealized ideals, but what other country has made such progress with the rule of law, individual freedom, and shared prosperity?

Marx believed religion was a drug (the opium of the people) used by the wealthy to maintain disproportionate power. In retrospect, of course, communism peddles its own drug: an idealized global world, in which inequality disappears in the obliteration of all human distinctions. Kengor sees the seeds of our current flirtation with Marxism in the promotion of sexual freedom, “that plagues us to this today.”

Scripture teaches that, after the Resurrection, Lucifer was left only with the power to accuse, with rhetoric his only weapon. This is why Satan and Marxists prey on the most vulnerable: those least sure of their own identity. Satan comes as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:1), but he and his disciples, Marxist groups such as Antifa and the founders of the Black Lives Matter organization, bring only darkness.

Paul Kengor shows us the light.


Robert Orlando

Robert Orlando is a filmmaker, author, and entrepreneur. He’s the founder Nexus Media, and his latest films include The Divine Plan, and Citizen Trump. He also has a new book, The Tragedy of Patton: A Soldier’s Date with Destiny, forthcoming in November. His work has been published in HuffPost, Patheos, Newsmax, and Daily Caller. As a scholar, he specializes in biography, religion, and military history.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

DNC Committee Omits ‘Under God’ From The Pledge Of Allegiance

Godless. monsters.

DNC Committee Omits ‘Under God’ From The Pledge Of Allegiance

By Kylee Zempel, The Federalist, August 19, 2020:

A Democratic National Convention moderator omitted sacred words from the Pledge of Allegiance during a panel discussion Tuesday: “under God.”

During the Muslim Delegates Assembly, the video of the livestreamed event shows A.J. Durani led the pledge but left out an important part, saying, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Durani was elected to be a super delegate for the 2016-2020 term of the Democratic National Committee.

The pledge has included the phrase “one nation under God” since Congress passed a law, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1954 to add it to the recitation. So, regardless of this 2020 panel’s objectives, the official pledge includes the religious phrase. “Under God” was added largely in response to the Cold War era’s threats of communism and the ideas of Marxist-Leninist countries. Ironically, many leaders of the Democratic Party are once again advocating Marxism through revisionist history and the Black Lives Matter organization.

Anyone who has watched the trajectory of the Democratic Party, now with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at the helm, shouldn’t be surprised at the omission. After all, this presidential nominee pledged to go after nuns for refusing to violate their consciences in providing abortifacients. Catholic churches denied Biden Holy Communion for his aggressively pro-abortion policy positions, and he signaled support for using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, directly contradicting the most basic of biblical principles.

Biden’s running mate is arguably leagues worse with regard to religious bigotry. Harris’s anti-Catholic posture led her to fight the confirmation of Judge Brian Buescher over his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service order. As attorney general of California, Harris also launched an intrusive investigation into citizen journalist David Daleiden for taking undercover videos that exposed abortion giant Planned Parenthood for trafficking aborted baby body parts. Congress continues to do nothing about this appalling atrocity.

All this is also to say nothing of the Democratic Party’s increasing disdain for traditional religious teaching on marriage, the family, and church, to name a few.

As the convention progresses, we shouldn’t be surprised when Democratic Party and committee leaders take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. They’re usually trying to take Him out of everything else.




Fox News Host Ends Interview After Black Lives Matter Leader Refuses To Answer Question About Looting

LeBron James And Other Members Of The Lakers Mock MAGA

American Ahmadi Man Accused of Blasphemy Under Islam Shot Dead in Court

Black Lives Matter Defends Chicago Looting

HA! GOP congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik’s viral ad dwarfs viewership of Michelle Obama speech

Bold, Outspoken Young Conservatives Loomer and Paulina Luna Decisively Win Primaries In Florida

RINO GOP Goes DNC: Quisling Line-Up Is Old Guard GOP Establishment from 1996 RNC

RIOT DECLARED: Fire set inside Portland’s Multnomah Building during unrest

Senate Intelligence report finds NO RUSSIA COLLUSION

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Politics of Heaven and Hell

Robert Royal: Heaven is in Heaven and the New Jerusalem cannot be brought to Earth by our efforts; only God will bring perfect justice at the Second Coming.

Shortly after I arrived in Washington years ago, I reviewed a book with the same title as this column. A friend warned about reviewing books by that particular author – our late lamented colleague James V. Schall, S.J. – because if you start, he said, you won’t have time for anything else. And that was before the supernova of titles that Schall the Great turned out in his seventies, eighties, and even nineties.

Ignatius Press is republishing The Politics of Heaven and Hell this fall with an introduction by another incisive and prolific writer, Robert Reilly. A good thing, too, because in our current chaos, when it seems almost impossible to get sure footing about anything, this relatively neglected volume not only uncovers sure foundations. It explains the ways by which we’ve mixed up eternal and temporal things – and put the times out of joint.

Schall’s central insight is that our central traditions of both faith and reason agree that politics is an important, but circumscribed realm. If we were the highest beings, politics would be the highest science, said Aristotle. That wise pagan – Dante calls him “the master of those who know” – knew that we are not the highest beings. There’s God, for starters, and His Creation, to which we owe deference. Ignore them, and the inevitable result is chaos, suffering, servitude, tyranny, and death.

The ancient Hebrews learned this well before Aristotle. Schall notes how little attention political theorists pay to the Old Testament, the history of a small and obscure nation – Israel – that survived, improbably, down to our own time, with incalculable influence on the history of the whole world. It did so not because of any special policies or virtues: Jewish history is a record of graces given and refused, of return and consequent flourishing, of many rounds of ignoring God, decline, and renewal through Him.

The overall lesson: nations are great not because they accumulate power or wealth. Power and wealth come and go. And aren’t all they seem anyway. Nations are made great, however insignificant they may be in earthly terms, because God makes them so and they conform themselves to God.

Christianity, of course, limited politics in a special way, beginning with Jesus’ famous distinction between the things that are Caesar’s – the arrangements necessary to human flourishing (even, sadly, taxes) – and the things that are God’s. Those few words had immense, cascading effects in the Christian tradition.

And not only in thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, Suárez, Bellarmine, etc. Countries historically touched by Christianity still mostly protect beliefs about ultimate things from control by politics – indeed, believe that right can and should challenge might. That separation is absent from Muslim societies, ideological regimes like China, or traditional societies where the ruler is regarded as a kind of mortal god.

But it’s not only on high intellectual or social planes that these truths prove themselves. As we’ve seen only too clearly in modern times, when politics becomes the “highest science” men become not philosopher kings, but beasts. The totalizing political systems of Communism, Nazism, and Fascism were killing machines on an unprecedented scale.

And recent decades have given birth to what the Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko calls the “demon in democracy,” a new totalitarian temptation wherein everything is defined by political ideology. We worry over “polarization,” but there’s a deep geological fault in our politics, far more radical than that. The absence of religion in the public square, with its moderating effects, is a large factor in this development, since once the true God departs the false god of the state arrives.

Even good public impulses then become poisonous – and unlimited. For example, we’ve just seen what can happen when a proper effort to right racism, a historic wrong, is made the measure of everything. Everything becomes “racist” that is not explicitly “anti-racist” – according to someone’s definition, which may differ from someone else’s. Not surprisingly, demands for absolute political justice then turn into “canceling” and anathematizing people who show the slightest deviation from an ideological line – i.e., injustice.

Historic racial inequities need to be fixed, but does injustice only involve race – with occasional bows to gender and class? Andrew Sullivan, a brilliant writer, recently resigned from New York magazine because it couldn’t bear his criticism of “cancel culture,” despite his being gay and liberal on some issues, conservative on others (and somehow also aspiring to be Catholic).

He pointed out that it’s places like the New York Times that really don’t understand a just “diversity.” The Times seems poised to cave in to employee demands that staff reflect the racial makeup of New York City: 24 percent black and more than half “people of color.” And there must be “sensitivity training” – i.e., ideological indoctrination – for everyone.

Sullivan notes that there are other underrepresented groups at the Times. Only 37 percent of New Yorkers, for example, are college graduates – who are overrepresented in the newsroom – as are Asians and Jews. Should some of them resign?  If you wanted fairer proportions of New Yorkers, 10 percent of staff would have to be Republicans, 6 percent Hasidic Jews, and 33 percent Catholic.

It may be a long wait for that because ideologues only care about certain “facts” and rarely have a sense of irony – or humor.

Which takes us back to the politics of Heaven and Hell. Heaven is in Heaven and the New Jerusalem cannot be brought to Earth by our efforts; only God will bring perfect justice at the Second Coming. The road to human hells, however, always lies wide open.

The larger perspective that religion affords us – including elements like human imperfection, sin, forgiveness, tolerance, the limits of earthly politics – does not mean that we need to be any less passionate in pursuing justice and fairness. But it does mean we have to be vigilant and measured about our own motives and the results of our actions. We have on good authority: “Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.” (Lk. 11:3)

Robert Royal

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press. The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

The Decline of Christianity Since the Reformation

David Carlin: The decline of Christianity is found not just in those who claim no Christian faith, but also in those who claim to be liberal Christians.

Modern history (by which I mean the history of the western world since about the year 1500) tells many stories.  I suspect that these many stories are subplots in one big story, and for years I’ve been trying to guess what this one big story may be.  My guess (but it’s only a guess) is that the one big story is the story of how the western world has been trying to get rid of Christianity.

The story begins with the Protestant Reformation.  None of the reformers intended to do away with Christianity.  Just the opposite.  Regardless of anybody’s intentions, however, a divided Christianity would be easier to destroy than a united Christianity.

This divided Christianity led in the 16th and 17th centuries to the rise of skepticism, especially in France.  But skepticism, while it continues even to the present day to erode Christianity, is too purely negative a thing to replace the old faith.  And a replacement is needed.  You can’t just get rid of Christianity and leave the world with nothing to believe in.

Skepticism was succeeded by a more positive thing in the 18th century, Deism, which professed to hold on to the good elements of Christianity (afterlife, morality, etc.) while getting rid of its bad elements.  But Deism was too “thin” a thing to replace Christianity.  Besides, it stopped well short of the ultimate aim of anti-Christianity, namely the complete eradication of the old religion.

Deism helped bring about the French Revolution, which showed for the first time that a powerful state could be used as a tremendous anti-Christianity machine.

In the second half of the 19th century, there was a great intellectual movement on behalf of agnosticism.  But agnosticism was simply another name for the old skepticism, still too negative a thing to get the anti-Christianity job done.

In the 20th century, two gigantic anti-Christianity movements took the stage, and each of them came to control an enormously powerful state: Nazism and Communism.  The former intended to get rid of Christianity while thinly disguising its intention; it deceived many Christians who wanted to be deceived.  The latter didn’t stoop to disguise; it was quite frank about its intention.  Both of them did great damage to Christianity, and when they failed (Nazism in 1945, Russian Communism in 1991) they left behind them a Christianity that had been greatly weakened.

In the postwar period (1945-present) the western liberal democracies (U.S.A., U.K., France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain [after Franco], Portugal [after Salazar]) have been subject to a non-statist kind of anti-Christianity.  These countries all experienced, some of them sooner, some of them later, the growth of an anti-Christianity public sentiment.

These countries all experienced the gradual asphyxiation of Christianity by the gradual growth of anti-Christian feelings.  For decades the state played little or no part in this smothering process – though this has changed recently.

This liberal-democratic, anti-Christianity got a tremendous boost beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the coming of the sexual revolution.  This “revolution” was about sex – but it was about much more than sex.  Sexual restraint and even downright chastity had been an essential element of Christianity from its beginning in the first century AD.  Get rid of Christian sex morality, and you’re well on your way to getting rid of Christianity altogether.

Once the average person decides that Christianity has been wrong about fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, etc. for almost 2,000 years, it will be relatively easy for that person to believe that Christianity has also been wrong about many other things – including all the articles of the Nicene Creed.

Many would-be Christians – I have in mind “liberal” Catholics and Protestants – believe it is possible to have a “new and improved” Christianity that embraces and endorses the values of the sexual revolution.  They are mistaken – as certain a priori considerations should have persuaded them decades ago, and as experience has abundantly demonstrated over the last fifty years.

Throughout the western world (the world that used to be called Christendom), including the United States, Christianity is in steep decline today.  Evidence of this decline is found not just in those who claim no Christian faith (the “Nones”).  It is also found in those who claim to be liberal Christians – which means that they have dropped most of Christianity’s orthodox “baggage.”  And it is also found in those who, while claiming to be orthodox, really don’t take their orthodoxy seriously.

Two questions:

  1. Does one have to be an atheist to be anti-Christianity? Strictly speaking, no. For instance, the Deists of the 18th century were anti-Christianity without being atheists.  But if you want to get rid of Christianity, it helps to be an atheist.  A lot, because atheism is the most thoroughgoing kind of anti-Christianity.  If you want to get rid of the old religion, why not go all the way?  Why not destroy the very foundation of Christianity?
  2. Does one have to be a supporter of abortion to be counted among the haters of Christianity? Yes. For the right to abortion – and not just the legal right but the moral right as well – is essential to the sexual revolution.  If we don’t have abortion as a back-up when mistakes are made or accidents happen, how can we have a moral regime of sexual freedom?

Practically speaking, we can’t.  Think about it.  If abortion were to be banned throughout America, the next thing you know we’d have people recommending chastity.  And once people recommend chastity, guess what? – they’ll start recommending Christianity.

Well, we can’t have that, can we?  And therefore we must make sure that abortion is legal and is considered to be morally unobjectionable.  Indeed we must make it a praiseworthy thing – the kind of thing which, like public education and police and fire protection, everybody who needs it should have free of charge.

For what it’s worth, that’s my reading of the last 500 years.

David Carlin

David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

RELATED VIDEO: Spike in anti-Catholic attacks.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.