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Giving the trumpet a certain sound

June 2004

Pope and Bush to Meet

Amid the continuing U.S. military presence in Iraq with its associated problems, a recent report indicates that President Bush will soon be meeting with the Pope:

On or about June 4, President Bush will meet with Pope John Paul II, and the symbolism will be quite surprising. No one in our time has done as much to put on the worldwide agenda as Pope John Paul II has the advancement of human rights and democracy. . . .

Meanwhile, George Bush is the first leader of the North Atlantic cultures, along with Tony Blair, to imagine a new age in which Muslim peoples, too, enter systems that respect their inherent dignity and civil liberties, and encourage their economic creativity and initiative. ("A Pope & a President," Michael Novak in NRO (National Review Online), May 18, 2004)

Novak speculated on what the president and the pope would talk about, but did not reveal an agenda.

Inspired Commentary

Pragmatic politicians who wish to retain their public office probably serve that goal well (if the distinct possibility of divine intervention is disregarded) by consulting with and paying attention to religious prelates who have a large following among potential voters. Inspiration, however, provides a longer perspective that suggests extreme caution:

The Roman Church now presents a fair front to the world, covering with apologies her record of horrible cruelties. She has clothed herself in Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every principle of the papacy that existed in past ages exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves. The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to honor is the same that ruled the world in the days of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity. She possesses the same pride and arrogant assumption that lorded it over kings and princes, and claimed the prerogatives of God. Her spirit is no less cruel and despotic now than when she crushed out human liberty and slew the saints of the Most High. (The Great Controversy, p. 571)

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. (Rev 13:4-9)

Judicial "Tyranny"

Some Christian groups who oppose certain trends in U.S. society have begun to focus on judges whose decisions tend to stretch the limits of moral standards. The Traditional Values Coalition has reported recently on "judicial tyranny" related to several specific issues, and recently in relation to the November 2003 decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalizing (and demanding) same-sex marriage in that state (the "marriages" began happening May 17).

In a raw display of judicial tyranny, the Massachusetts Supreme judicial Court issued a decree on November 18, 2003, legalizing same-sex marriage in that state. (Traditional Values Coalition Special Report: "Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage!" last modified 12/6/2003, at www.traditionalvalues.com)

In a previous report about "judicial tyranny' the same organization in providing action plans noted:

SECOND: Under Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution, Congress has the power to create or abolish federal courts. Congress can also cut off salaries to renegade judges and their staffs. Congress has the power to abolish federal judgeships if it wishes. Perhaps it should abolish a few judgeships to make it clear that judicial usurpation will not be allowed to continue. A judge who knew his position would be abolished might be more restrained in his rulings. . . .

FOURTH: State judges who are appointed, should be elected by the people in their states. They should not have lifetime positions. They should be forced to face the electorate so they will remain accountable.

FIFTH: We must elect local, state, and federal officials who respect the Constitution and who will curtail the power of renegade judges! Currently, we do not live under a rule of law but the rule of tyrants. (Traditional Values Coalition Special Report: "Judges: Our Robed Masters," last modified Oct. 28, 2003, at www.traditionalvalues.com)

Inspired Commentary

While appreciating civil liberties, it would be wise to consider the possibility that overwhelming public sentiment in any certain direction has the potential to overwhelm constitutional protections (although some of the current cases being discussed may not involve valid constitutional protections).

When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near." (Testimonies, v. 5, p. 451)

Slow Genocide in Sudan

The news from Sudan is not good:

Three times more people have died over the last 20 years of war in Sudan than were murdered in Rwanda. Most of those deaths have occurred in the south, where populations of African descent follow Christianity and traditional religions. And 400,000 more African Muslim Sudanese from the west of the country may well die by December in a famine created by the Khartoum government's military tactics and obstruction of aid.

Sudan is Rwanda in slow motion.

Inspired Commentary

The Apostle Paul quoted Isaiah on the sinfulness of mankind:

Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:15-18).

One day the cup of human iniquity will be full.

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