Where is Personal Responsibility in all those “harm reduction” strategies?

man-with-headIn Canada, and in British Columbia, we’re being told there is a public health “crisis” or “emergency” over the perils of addiction, over-dosing, and death. Recently, intravenous drug users having been dropping dead in significant numbers in B.C.–about two a day due to the appearance on the streets over this past year of the drug fentanyl–a cheaper, far more powerful, artificial opioid. This cheaply manufactured drug is being smuggled into Canada from China.

To counter this “crisis” among those ensnared in opioid addiction, many of the so-called experts are calling for more “harm-reduction” strategies. The governing liberal elite wants more supervised safe injection sites–I think they’re asking for 4 or 5 just on Vancouver Island! And now some druggie activists are calling for the Government to supply free heroin to the addicts in order to cut down on the number of deaths due to the flood of cheap opioid knock-offs like fentanyl. But this “harm-reduction” approach begs the question–Is it perpetuating rather than solving the addictions problem? For some time the liberal media’s gatekeepers have bought into the harm reduction strategy as the best way to go, pushing anyone who might raise an objection to this strategy onto the digital sidelines of what’s being touted as “wisdom” and “compassion.”  However recently, some respected Canadian media commentators like Les Leyne are now having some doubts about whether this “harm reduction” ideology is, in fact, just perpetuating addictions and making things worse!

This past week, CBC radio aired a “compelling interview about two young women who sounded like seasoned and,  from the voice of one of them, mentally scarred veterans of the illicit-drug scene. One of them was in her mid-30s and gushing with enthusiasm about her drug use, whether this was at a “safe” injection site or not. The other was an 18 year-old doper whose only goal in life seemed to be “get high and relax.”

Commenting on these CBC interviewees, Les Leyne noted, “Safe sites or no, they’re both staring death in the face. The question is whether the latest effort to protect them from themselves by reducing some of the danger associated with routinely using drugs mogueamounts to just perpetuating behaviour that leads in only one direction–an inevitable trip to the morgue subsidized by the government and generous private individuals.

“The concept of personal responsibility seemed so distant that you feel like an old fuddy-duddy just thinking about it” (Les Leyne, “Are we perpetuating addictions,” TC, Nov. 16, 2016)

Responding to Leyne’s newspaper column, a 61-year-old self-confessed “addict enabler” with more than 300 years of addiction exposure among family and friends wrote in a letter to the editor:

“Whether heroin, cocaine, meth, or medical marijuana, all levels of government actively support the illicit drug industry. The city (of Victoria) and Province of British Columbia can’t afford to eradicate hard street drugs because addiction and its related services and products is very big business here, employing many. Truly, neither the addict, nor community at large is protected.”

“Counsellors I saw about the addiction issues of my family members, and friends recommended tough love: stop financing the addiction destruction by paying bills, buying groceries, providing clean needles–and other cheap drug equipment— providing free clothing, meds, housing, furniture, transportation–and soon a safe place to shoot up, too.”

rising-heroin-deaths“It’s time for something completely different and revolutionary that’ll give addicts the tools and desire to care about themselves. Pay addicts to get clean and to stay clean–instead of using ridiculous amounts of money to keep them addicted. If we care about addicts, we must motivate them to heal and discontinue the self-destructive habits whatever way we can.”

Our governing elite would never embrace such an idea that explicitly insists on druggies taking personal responsibility for their situation.  I dare say Mr. Leyne has been taking a certain amount of flak for his comments because they just aren’t politically correct.

The Scriptures point out there is a big difference between those who subscribe to the concept of personal responsibility and those who don’t.

Proverbs 9:7-9 (AMP) 7 He who corrects and instructs a scoffer gets dishonour for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man gets insults for himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer [who foolishly ridicules and takes no responsibility for his error] or he will hate you; Correct a wise man [who takes responsibility and learns from his error], and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man and he will become even wiser; Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.

If you’d like to hear more about this subject, click on the following link to take you to an in-depth message on this subject entitled PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY—God’s Perspective.

Personal Responsibility – God’s Perspective

 

trump-on-elephant

True confessions from a journalist as the plain people change history

trump-with-armsIn the aftermath of the unexpected electoral trump of Donald Trump, leftists all around the world are in shock. They were all assured by the mainstream press that Hillary Clinton would become the 45th president of the United States. How could they get it so wrong? Well, I’ve decide to quote at length from a professional journalist who confesses that the pride and arrogance of the elite and the loonie left rendered them blind to the facts. But, of course, that’s not all! Hope you enjoy this refreshingly honest look at what’s really been going on in the newsrooms of our Western media. Be sure to see my conclusion at the very bottom for the real reason why Mr. Trump prevailed last night.

Quotes from Rod DreherSenior editor, The American Conservative at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37924687 accessed Nov. 9, 2016.

During the decade-long debate over same-sex marriage, I often argued with other journalists about our openly slanted coverage of the issue, which amounted to cheerleading for the pro-gay side. Don’t we have a professional obligation to tell the other side of the story? I would ask. Well, came the reply, do you think the media had an obligation to be fair to the Ku Klux Klan during the Civil Rights struggle?

It was just that simple for so many journalists. We pride ourselves on being realists, but in fact media-arrogancewe have a fatal weakness for construing the world as crude morality plays. This left many of us in no position to understand why people might resent the Obama administration ordering public schools to open up locker rooms of the opposite sex to transgender students, or why white people might see the Black Lives Matter movement as a racist and illiberal response to the problem of police brutality.

The people who run newsrooms agonise over diversity. They will go to any length to increase racial, gender, and sexual diversity, but care nothing about viewpoint diversity. In one newsroom where I worked the only religious conservatives besides me were the African-American secretaries. Nobody there thought this was a problem. To the contrary, they believed that religious conservatives, among other undesirable demographic categories, were the problem.

hilarys-basket-of-deplorablesBut yesterday, these undesirables, Trump’s forgotten people, proved to be a majority of the electorate. If they believe that news coverage is – what’s the word? – rigged against people like them, well, they’re more right than wrong.

Will this catastrophic failure of the media cause soul-searching and, dare I say it, repentance? Forget it. To do so would require the press to face up to its worst prejudices, none more deeply held than the belief that its members are on the Right Side of History.

A confession

Yet I have to confess my own fault here. In the summer of 2015, I sat with my elderly, working-class parents at their rural house, watching Trump’s rally in Mobile, Alabama, carried live on Fox News. My folks watched it because they were eager to hear what he had to say. I watched it for laughs. Having worked for five years in the New York media, I was wise to Trump’s ways. It would take a while for the rest of America to catch on, but surely it would.

My folks thought Trump made a lot of sense. “Give it time,” I told them. “He’s going to destroy himself, just watch.”

On Election Night, after voting, I took my mother to dinner (my father died later in 2015). She voted enthusiastically for Trump, and said she thought he would win this thing. I did not cast a presidential vote, because I couldn’t bear either Trump or Hillary Clinton. But look, I told her, Clinton has this election won by a mile.

My mom is a widowed grandmother and former school bus driver who knows nothing about politics. Her son is a conservative pundit who writes about politics and culture for a Washington magazine. And yet – and yet! – the little old lady from the middle of nowhere got it right. For better or for worse, plain people like her just changed the history of the world.

Actually, Rod Dreher’s conclusion is only partly right. Again as I implied a few days ago, the liberals got it wrong because–shock of shock– God is not dead and He can and does intervene in history as it suits Him. He has the final word on any man or woman’s plans, including those of Hillary Clinton and everybody else. This is a bitter lesson for the lefties today.

Proverbs 19:21 (HCSB) Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.

 

hilary-donald

A Day of Decision

 

forkinroadProverbs 19:21 (HCSB) Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.

Last week a private Christian university  won a controversial victory over its enemies who have been trying to force out of the public sphere any institution that upholds Judeo-Christian morality. The Appeal Court of British Columbia, B.C.’s highest court, ruled unanimously, 5-0, in favour of Trinity Western University, describing efforts by the B.C. Law Society and sexual circus activists to deny the accreditation of the Christian university’s new law school as “unreasonable.” 

For years now, the dispute has revolved around the Christian university’s community covenant that bans its students from having sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage. The court held that to rule against Trinity Western would have a severe and negative effect on religious freedom that would far outweigh the minimal effect accreditation of the new law school would have on gay and lesbian rights, saying:

“A society that does not admit and accommodate differences”–in this case religious values that conflict with those of the politically correct sexual circus– “cannot be a free and democratic society: One in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisal,” said the 66-page judgment.

“This case demonstrated that a ‘well-intentioned’ majority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal,” (Geordon Omand, “Christian law school wins key legal victory,” Canadian Press, Nov. 2, 2016).

In a written reply, a disappointed B.C. Law Society spokeswoman, Vinnie Yuen, held that the Appeal Court decision added “another dimension” to an already complex issue. 

 “Lawyer and self-described queer activist barbara findlay, who doesn’t use capitals in her name,” was also disappointed by the Appeal Court’s conclusion, and takes issue with how the decision weighs religious liberties against freedom from discrimination. findlay retorted:

“In my view it is not acceptable to exclude gay and lesbian people from the discourse in that university”–a privately funded institution established on Christian principles–”by putting up a barrier of making them sign a discriminatory code” (Ibid).

The decision by any student to attend Trinity Western University is, of course, completely voluntary as is also agreeing to sign and abide by TWU’s community covenant. No one is forced or required to go to this private university. Yet it is certain that the enemies of Judeo-Christian morality will appeal this provincial appeals  court decision and take their arguments to Canada’s Supreme Court because they definitely want to impose their views on any institution or person who stands in the way of their activist agenda. Nevertheless, the inspired Word of God makes the point that while there are many contrary plans made in such people’s hearts, still it is the Lord’s decree that will prevail.

In two days there will be another day of decision. This time in the United States of America. The outcome of the elections on Tuesday will determine whether the pace of America’s degeneration will accelerate or perhaps, be slowed down somewhat. While I’m sure many have made many plans to push the outcome of these elections between Hilary Clinton and Donald valley-of-decisionTrump in the way they want, nevertheless, it will be the Lord’s decree that will prevail. Is destruction nigh or is the evil day to be delayed for mercy’s sake? We’ll soon find out. 

 

Globalism= Trade Deals = Ceding National Sovereignty

trade with teethThe Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) that Canada has been negotiating with the European Union (EU) is about far more than just products and service.  It’s also about ceding sovereignty, making our mere national laws subordinate to those of the EU’s.

The way it seems to work these day is that when a single nation state like Canada with 36 million inhabitants wants to make a trade deal with the supranational EU power block with 743 million residents,  it comes with strings attached. More and more It seems the EU is pushing its political goals on its wanna-be trading partners. So, when a  deal hinges not, on tariffs or quotas, but rather a sovereign nation’s welfare or immigration policies , what was touted as a trade deal has really morphed into an unequal negotiation over the surrender of that small nation’s sovereignty as the quid pro quo payment demanded to gain access to the much bigger foreign power block’s single market. It’s merely the updated 21st Century version of the ancient practice of a weaker vassal state paying tribute to a stronger domineering Empire. First comes the gold, then comes the forced labour or slaves.

Recently, of course, the British electorate voted to quit the E.U. after being in it for almost 40 years. The British woke up to realize that they were fast losing the sovereign power to control their own destiny. They were having to dance to the tunes called by the faceless E.U.bureaucrats in Brussels. The new British Prime Minister, Theresa May said on October 1 that she is going to introduce a “Great Repeal Bill” intheresa-may the next Queen’s Speech to the British Parliament, which will overturn the act of submission which took the U.K. into the E.U. This bill, a renewed political affirmation of the U.K.’s independence, will remove the European Communities Act from the statute books and end the supremacy of EU law over British law..

 But money being money, in Canada’s CETA negotiations with the EU, our international trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, completely caved to the EU’s demands to surrender bits of our sovereignty. She promised the EU’s Brussels bureaucrats that the Liberal government in Ottawa will change our Canadian labour and environmental standards in order to make them conform to the EU’s standards. Our current Liberal government in Ottawa seems content to walk the path of appeasement, surrendering some of our national independence for the supposed material benefits of a trade deal with the EU.
But changing our business practices to satisfy the EU — for example by compromising our nation’s econombeligerant-cartoony with carbon taxes or a carbon market that the European left demands — will erode our ability to compete with the Americans who  are far more important than the E.U. in our trading volume.  And this might become extremely important to Canada if Donald Trump is elected the U.S.’s president in the upcoming election.

Curiously, the book of Revelation has a terrible end-time prophecy about the rise to prominence of a great economic power, whose core is composed of 10 nations or groups of nations. The bible calls this power block “Babylon the Great.” This revived Babylon’s strategy to dominant the world seems to focus on using trade as the means to suck away the sovereignty of the world’s nations,  and subsequently the freedom of all individuals in those nations. All who want to mystery-babylontrade with it and within its single market must submit to its authority and receive what the Scriptures call a “mark” on their hand or in their forehead in exchange for the opportunity to buy and sell. Might this be an implanted computer chip of some sort to facilitate digital transactions because there’s no longer a cash-based society? This is pure speculation on my part. But such a means of digital control over the world’s population is now possible,although it was unimaginable during the time of the original Babylonian or Roman empires. What a neat proposition “Babylon the Great” seems to make! You follow my rules and grow wealthy and secure. You don’t really prefer the economic uncertainties outside of my wonderful single market do you?  

Read about it and wonder in Revelation chapters 17 & 18.

The EU in its present form is not “Babylon the Great.” This organization has very serious problems and its not even sure it will exist 10 years from now. But will a failed EU morph into a “new and improved” economic powerhouse that will then turn into a global oppressor of all who love freedom? One thing is for sure, the Canadian government is willing to trade our national sovereignty in return for trade access to a major economic power’s market. However, the EU is in a crisis. It cannot continue for long with its current problems. Big changes are in the wind.

ft mac fire at night

Helpless at Fort Mac

ft mac truck burntThe CBC newscasters say that Fort McMurray, Alberta, looks like a war zone, a place that’s been burnt out and destroyed. Three days ago more than 80,000 people, the city’s entire population–were ordered out by the authorities. A RCMP “SWAT” team has been sent in to make sure the diehard laggards comply. The 25,000 residents who had to initially flee north of Fort Mac are now being herded south in tightly controlled convoys run by the police—no turning off the main evacuation route allowed.ft mac car lines

There is irony in this disaster story. While Canada just finished accepting 25,000 Syrian civil war refugees, we now have better than 3x this number of our own internal refugees.

While it is only a minority of houses and structures in Fort Mac that have burned, key parts of the infrastructure like hydro-electricity powerlines have been destroyed. The true cost of this fierce wildfire at Fort Mac will not be known for some time. Insurance companies are ft mac apartmentsbracing for a potential hit of $9 billion in claims—making this fire the most expensive disaster in Canadian history. Economists are saying they’ve revised down by 1 percent the entire Canadian economy’s GDP to just 0.5 percent for this second quarter due to oil production facility shutdowns, lowering production about 1 million barrels of oil per day. These are huge losses. This is a major hit to the nation.

Why did this happen? Lack of moisture always turns the spindly conifers surrounding Fort Mac into overgrown matchsticks waiting to be struck. And when a fire breaks out and the winds roar ft mac treesthe results always have the potential to be disastrous. Why didn’t the Fort Mac planning department insist on creating a 2 kilometre-wide belt of prairie grasslands around the city to protect it by having an effective firebreak?

The writer of the biblical book of Proverbs notes: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he (Proverbs 29:18 King James Version).

The “law” in this case can certainly include natural law. Some environments, like the conifer forests surrounding Fort Mac, are meant to burn from time to time. A lack of forethought and action got one of Canada’s most important economic hubs into its current problem.

But there’s more to say about why our leaders lack vision. Let’s look at how another Bible version renders Proverbs 29:18:

Where there is no ·word from God [L vision; prophecy], ·people are uncontrolled [T the people perish],
 but those who ·obey what they have been taught [L guard the law] are ·happy [blessed].

During the last few day of March this year my video production company had a contract to cover a conference put on by an Aboriginal group in the northern B.C. city of Prince George. We noticed how bone dry the north was. even though it was so early in Spring that many lakes were still partially frozen. (BTW: There are currently about 50 fires burning in N.E. British Columbia. My province, unfortunately, doesn’t have any firefighters to spare to help out our neighbours in Alberta, so they say.)

The keynote speaker at this conference made a remark about how public schools in Canada used to strengthen the moral character of their students by starting the day with a reading from one of the Psalms of the Bible to give the young people both vision and humility. On the other hand, the speaker remarked, the teachers also had a leather strap to discipline students who stepped beyond the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Sadly, the speaker noted, since our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect in 1982 Canadian young people have been deprived by our politically correct politicians of both this vision and discipline.

ft mac trudeauEveryone is agreed that the fierce wildfires of Fort McMurray will only be contained and then extinguished with rain. Who is it that causes drought or provides rain? You can find this answer in the Bible. Check out in the Old Covenant scriptures 1 Kings chapters 17 & 18. We don’t have to be helpless in the face of wildfires. Instead of egotistically turning our backs on the Bible’s God, maybe we should return to Him in humble prayer and ask for both forgiveness for our increasing sinfulness and, rain! Yet somehow, I don’t think our leaders in Canada could publicly humble themselves before the Bible’s God and actually do this. So I guessft mac fire at night we’re going continue to burn for a while.

Mossack

How You, too, Can Avoid All Taxes!

MossackThe media this week has been full of chatter about corporate inversions, the Panama papers, Mossack Fonseca, shell companies, and the mountains of $$$$ and other currency units that the world’s elite has anonymously stashed in some 70 to 92 swarmy tax havens worldwide. We’re talking about maybe $21 to $32 trillion according to the Tax Justice Network, an international research and advocacy organization.

Oh yeah, for years, governments have talked about cracking down on the elite tax cheats. The U.S. government famously requires all “U.S. persons” to report annually all their foreign-based financial accounts and assets and has conducted a high profile shakedown campaign against a variety of large overseas banks that had previously provided their American clientele with banking privacy, i.e. tax avoidance. But while Uncle Sam self-righteously collects $billions in fines from those cheating foreign banks, it overlooks the tax-avoiding shell game run by its own states of Delaware, Nevada, and South Dakota! Talk about hypocrisy.

Most nations’ governments realize that they just can’t keep up with the high-priced and highlysecreting cash creative “financial gunslingers” that the rich and infamous hire in order to keep their money safely beyond the reach of national revenue agents. So the tax man often resorts to making deals in order to collect even a token amount from the wealthy elite. As the CBC journalist Don Pettis noted:

“If you have enough money to move your funds overseas, you have enough money to retain lawyers and accountants and, rather than fight, because of a lack of resources the revenue agency folds like a cheap suit,” said PEI Senator Percy Downe in a CBC interview. Governments need revenue to go on operating. If corporate tax goes abroad and rich people’s taxes go abroad, who is left paying the taxes? Well, you and me, of course.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/inversions-panama-revenue-quandary-1.3521358

It’s painfully easy for governments to collect their taxes from us. We can’t hide our salaries, pensions, property, or the daily goods and services we need in order to live. For the most part, the ordinary citizen is pretty transparent, while the wealthy elite is mostly opaque to the government’s tax man. The core message about ubiquitous taxation in the Beatle’s 1960s song “Taxman” remains contemporary.

Anywise, we already knew that the rich and powerful elite who run this world — these One and Two Percenters who also own the majority of this world’s assets — avoid much of their lawful tax obligation. After all, they’re the aristocracy of this present society, and we’re just the peasants. We are made to pay the bills. This has been the story throughout the history of humanity. Kings and their ruling elite make ordinary “Joes” pay the taxes. Jesus of Nazareth understood this perfectly:

“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax (a tax equal to two days’ work) came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”  “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offence, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours,” Matthew 17:24-27 (NIV).

Jesus’ point to Peter was that for now, in this world of darkness held captive by the Adversary and his collaborators, we, the people of God, pay taxes and put up with what is unfair. This is not our kingdom. And that’s a good sign because we’re looking for a new world in which righteousness dwells and a never-ending life of peace and prosperity that no amount of the ruling elite’s money could buy. Consider, once again, this updated story about Jesus and taxes:

Ben FranklinThe rich and the powerful of the world’s ruling elite sent some of their agents, along with some of the national government’s tax collectors and informants, to meet with Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favourites. Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus knew their evil motives [they were looking for grounds to accuse him]. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used to pay your tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, [like a U.S. $100 bill with Ben Franklin’s image on it]  he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”  “Caesar’s,” they replied.“Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply amazed them, and they went away. Matthew 22:16-22 (my paraphrase).

There is a spiritual payoff for those who now give God His due. In the coming Kingdom of God they will become the children of God the Father, and brothers and sisters of the King of kings [Christ] and so will be far freer from the exaction of every debt and obligation than even this world’s elite is today from the tax man.

green beer

Was St. Patrick a “good” Catholic?

green beer

Was St. Patrick a good Catholic? Most would say that you might as well say is the Pope Catholic! But often truth is indeed stranger than fiction, or even green beer.

Many of the tales and lore associated with St. Patrick come from Tirechán’s LIfe of Patrick, which was written about 700 A.D., or roughly 250 years after Patrick’s death. Unfortunately Tirechán’s book is not only completely revisionistic but also primarily fictitious. Tirechán’s work mostly reflects the priorities of an 8th century Catholic hierarchy who were at that point desperately trying to claim Patrick’s missionary legacy as their own in their campaign to pressure the remainder of the stubbornly independent Celtic Christian congregations in Ireland who were refusing to “enter into unity with Rome,”

Far from being a part of the Roman hierarchy, Patrick of Ireland ran a self-funded independent ministry. He never answered to Rome’s direction. Patrick was a part of the 5th to 7th century Celtic Christian movement in the British Isles, which followed a decentralized form of church organization. Deliberately maintaining isolation for over 150 years from the Catholic form of Christianity on the continent, the Celtic Christians of Britain and Ireland steadfastly refused to obey the Roman church’s hierarchy either administratively or doctrinally, according to York University professors Michael W. Herren and Shirley Ann Brown in their book Christ in Celtic Christianity.

It’s noteworthy that Patrick’s own grandfather, a married Christian priest, and his father, a married Christian deacon, did not buy into the Catholic Church’s Augustinian theology about original sin and infant baptism. Patrick’s family did not baptise him as a baby, according to Patrick’s own testimony. Rather Patrick’s family followed the theology of Pelagius, Augustine of Hippo’s theological nemesis. Pelagius taught that Adam’s sin at the Garden of Eden did not result in human nature becoming utterly depraved and, consequently, sexual intercouse did not transmit Augustine’s fictitious “original sin.” (This was the origin of the “sex is evil” idea in Catholicism.) Consequently,  baptism, according to Pelagian theology, was only for those with mature minds who could fully appreciate the level of commitment required from one who repents of a sinful lifestyle.

Leslie Hardinge in his book The Celtic Church in Britain notes that unlike the strongly anti-Semitic leprechanattitudes held by the Roman church, the Celtic Christian churches strongly valued their faith’s Hebrew roots. Accordingly, the Celtic Christians held their Pascale (Passover) ceremony of taking the Lord’s Last Supper with the bread and the wine on “the 14th moon” (Nisan 14 on the Hebrew calendar) rather than following the Roman churches calculations based on the pagan Roman Julian calendar. The Celtic Christians continued to “remember the Sabbath to keep it holy” on the 7th day of the week, which the Roman Christians did not.

Hardinge also writes, “Wherever Patrick established a church he was believed to have left a copy of the books of the Law and the Books of the Gospel. The Leber ex Lege Moisi is the only work surviving from Celtic sources which answers to the description “books of the Law.” Each of the four extant manuscripts of this work has an Irish provenance. The earliest has been dated about 800, and had apparently been copied from an earlier manuscript. It commences with the Decalogue and contains selections from the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which are filled with citations from the Old Latin.” (Hardinge, pp 49-50).

Such a practice clearly reveals that Patrick had a strong “Scripturalist” approach to his religious understanding. The Scriptures were his authority. According to Profs. Herren & Brown to be a Scripturalist was typical of the Celtic Christian movement but radically atypical of those who supported the bishops of Rome and their hierarchy.

patrick peopleIt would appear from the evidence that Patrick of Ireland would not have been considered by his early Medieval contemporaries to be a “good” Catholic. Even the foremost Catholic church historian of the British Isles of the early Medieval era, Bede, knew nothing about a “St. Patrick.” In this case, the truth is indeed stranger than fiction or even green beer. Cheers!

cartoon chinese stock

2016: Beginning Badly

cologne fireworksWow! We’re just completing the first full week in 2016 and God help us, if this is merely a harbinger of more of the same to follow.

Let’s see, worldwide financial markets have sold off enough during this past week, due to the extreme volatility taking place in the Chinese markets, that some observers are saying we are now, officially, in a bear—that is declining—market. The Casey Research newsletter says that since Monday the world’s stock markets have lost US$2.5 trillion of their investors’ money! The newsletter quoted George Soros comment about what this first week in 2016 means:cartoon chinese stock

“I would say it amounts to a crisis. When I look at the financial markets there is a serious challenge which reminds me of the crisis we had in 2008.”

Of course, it’s not just the stock markets that have been falling. Commodity prices have also been plunging for a while. According to Stephen Poloz, Canada’s central bank governor:

“Since mid-2014—when oil prices started to free-fall—Poloz said the country has lost more than $50 billion in national income or about $1,500 per Canadian.” Times-Colonist, Victoria, B.C., Jan. 8, 2016.

poloz diceSince Canada is a major commodity producer its currency, the Canadian dollar, has also been under strong downward pressure on currency exchange markets, dropping from parity with the U.S.dollar in 2013 to being worth less the 0.71 U.S. cents today. This is why I’m paying $3 per pound for California broccoli when its on sale. Otherwise, it costs $5 per pound! Of course, the rising price of all food is not just due to unfavourable exchange rates.

I went to my local health food store the other day to replenish my supply of organic soft white wheat, which is great for making pancakes, dumplings, biscuits, or pie crusts. A forty-pound sack cost me CDN$69.00. Back in the 1980s I remember paying maybe $25 per sack for the same wheat. Oh yes, we know there’s inflation. But when I asked the store manager, whom I’ve know for a long time, whether $69 was a good price, or should I wait until a new supply comes in, he said that it’s not just a question of how much, but whether it’s even available in the first place. He said his wholesalers have been shorting him on what they’ll actually deliver on his orders. The wholesale suppliers are informally rationing what they’ll actually deliver to their retail store customers giving them only half of what they’ve ordered or none at all for some items. I purchased the last sack at the store that day. In short, the weather has not be favourable as it was previously and there is not the supply. Climate change?

And what about what’s going on in the Middle East? The United States under the leadershipobama1 of one of its worst presidents ever is continuing to betray its allies and appease its enemies. The Pax Americana that kept the lid on much of this world’s proclivity to violence since the Second World War is obviously breaking down. America’s enemies don’t take much of what Barak Obama says seriously, because they now know he’s just a paper tiger.

And then there’s the massive wave of 1.1 million Islamic migrants last year into Europe, especially Germany, that has unnerved a whole continent. The New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and rapes of women by “Arabic and North African-looking” men in German public places before cologne held handshundreds or even thousands of witnesses have provided some facts to fuel European anti-immigrant sentiment. According to Jürgen Falter, a political scientist at the University of Mainz.

“The fears and prejudices of people have thus been completely fulfilled, and much faster than expected. Those who have been skeptical feel themselves vindicated and those who have said ‘We can do it!’ [quoting Angela Merkel’s pro-immigrant sentiment] feel unnerved.”

And, of course, in France, Islamic terrorism keeps popping up as a North African immigrant shouting “Allah Akbar” tried to attack the guards in front of police station on the one-year anniversary of the jihadist massacres at Charlie Hebdo.

All these problems are out of the control and beyond the influence of the likes of you or me and they merely add more stress to whatever our personal circumstances have already thrown on our shoulders. What is the solution to our stress? How can you and I remain productive and positive in 2016? I’d like to quote from R.T. Brooks about the secret of how to not only cope but thrive in a time like ours.

“The New Testament is clear that a stress-free life is no part of the Christian promise. What is offered is a way of bearing stress—a way that makes the experience creative without its ceasing to be painful. Physical suffering, family tension, and social insecurity were all part of what the disciples were told to expect. But they were also told that in those experiences they would discover the power of God’s Spirit. The yoke is a natural image of stress and strain, and yet, Jesus offers his yoke [of loving God with all your heart and of loving neighbour as oneself] to the heavy laden, saying, ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’”

The solution to this world’s problems are spiritual. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Let’s all resolve to dig into the Bible to find not only a relief from stress, but also a plan of action for a dangerous time.

Anxiety & Fear: Good, Bad, Both

Be a Stress Survivor

police scene isis flag

Santa Klaus, Islamic Jihadis, Western leaders and You? Make the Connection!

San-Bernardino-Terror-Victims“How much more needless blood must be spilled in the Western world before its leadership comes to its senses? When Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, walked into a Christmas party with Syed’s coworkers in San Bernardino, California, they didn’t bring along some egg nog and cookies. No, those joy sucking Grinches took automatic rifles, pistols, and pipe bombs. In cold blood they killed 14, and wounded another 17. They even took along a video camera to record their massacre for the Internet-viewing pleasure of their fellow jihadis.

Speaking to the media, Syed Farook’s father described his son as “very religious… He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.” Farook’s neighbor told a newspaper reporter that over the past two years, Farook exchanged his Western dress for Islamic robes bernardino-nightmare-20151203-001and grew a beard, while his wife pledged her loyalty  to the Islamic State on Facebook, under an assumed name.

But did Farook and his wife commit mass murder in the name of a so-called peaceful religion?

How about the coordinated series of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th, the deadliest in France since World War II in terms of the number of civilians slaughtered and wounded? Was this not also done in the name of that so-called peaceful religion? Wasn’t responsibility for this massacre claimed by the Islamic State (IS)… whose self-proclaimed Islamic caliph represents himself as the only true leader of all police scene isis flagMuslims in the world? And weren’t the February mass murder attacks at Charlie Hebdo in Paris  also done in the name of Islam? And what about the jihadi attacks at Fort Hood, Boston, and Chattanooga?

I’ve heard the Parisian attackers described in the media as native French speakers and Europeans by virtue of the fact that most of the identified, slain attackers were born there. But again, the attackers were all self-identifying Muslims whose ancestors came from Islamic world of the Middle East or North African and whose families had only immigrated into Western Europe during the recent past.

And yet our leaders stand practically shoulder-to-shoulder like a solid phalanx to vigorously obama wimpreassure us in the West that this mass murder of ordinary Americans, French, and others who were merely attending a party, or eating at a restaurant, or drawing cartoons, or buying groceries at a kosher supermarket, or attending a concert or sporting event, is not the result of any of the teachings of this so-called peaceful Islamic religion. Does anyone remember what George Orwell meant by “double-speak”? Shall we discuss what is meant by willful blindness?

trumpFox News’ O’Reilly asked U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump, “Is there a Muslim problem in the World?” We all know Trump’s answer and the subsequent politically correct firestorm that is still rattling the media’s cage.

“But in America of December 2015, natural conclusions are considered irresponsible, at best….. Perhaps the shooters in San Bernardino were just mad at their boss. Maybe Farooq suffered from clinical depression or ADD, or PTSD, or something…. But if facts are to be taken seriously, then the fact is that in December 2015, the US is acting with pathological devotion to ideological narratives that bear no relationship to reality. ” Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, “America’s Pathological Denial of Reality,” http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-One-Americas-pathological-denial-of-reality-436278

The apostle Paul when writing about the guilt of this world’s ruling political and cultural elites, said this:

For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18 Holman Christian Standard Bible 

Paul, of course, composed this statement originally in Greek. The Greek word he used for truth was alétheia (pronounced al-ay’-thi-a). It meant what was “true to reality, true to fact.” The biblical definition of truth is, that which is reality, as opposed to illusion or deceit. There is truth and there are lies. Your leaders are willing to risk your life for an illusion. How about you?

santa cokeDon’t you be caught up in pathological devotion to clever illusions and deceitful ideological narratives that bear no relationship to reality. Around this time of year many people pay lip service to Jesus Christ. Yet the real Jesus of the Bible had no time for either supposedly “harmless illusions” told to children, nor the deliberate, willful lies told to subvert whole nations. Reality, according to Jesus requires a straightforward pursuit of the truth:

So Jesus was saying to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word [continually obeying My teachings and living in accordance with them, then] you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth [for example, about loving your neighbour, which does not include either murdering him or telling him lies], and the truth will set you free [from the penalty of sin which is both physical and spiritual death].”  John 8:31-32 Amplified Bible

As terrorist attacks increase, we need to understand that we are truly living in dangerous times when our leaders are quite willing to put our lives at risk due to their “pathological devotion to ideological narratives that bear no relationship to reality,” as Caroline Glick says. funeralTherefore, I would encourage you to make sure to put your affairs in order and get your priorities straight. After all, the next moment of consciousness for the people recently killed in San Bernardino and Paris will be before the judgment seat of God. Be prepared, as Jesus would have you be, should evil touch your life or those whom you love.

About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.” Luke 13:1-5 New Living Translation

flood refugees

Will the flood of migrants occupy and change us?

flood refugeesThe flood of some 800,000 migrants and refugees streaming into Europe in 2015 are stretching the Old World’s civic resources and in some places the public’s civility. And this flood of new arrivals is showing no signs of slowing down. Some officials are now speculating that about 3 million people will come to search for a better life in the West over the next few years. Will the status quo of the West be disrupted and undermined by the cultural/religious baggage that these millions of newcomers are bringing with them?

On Sept. 7th Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that the “breathtaking” flow of migrants into Germany will “occupy and change” the country in the coming years. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34173720merkel selfie

Yes indeed! But will it be for the better or the worse? With a general EU unemployment rate hovering close to 11%, most European nations are struggling to create new jobs for their existing population much less millions of newcomers. And the current financial gurus of these same  European nations are struggling to balance their budgets and pay their sovereign debts. Austerity is the word for the financial situation for a significant number European nation states. Consequently, the disadvantaged and unemployed among the established population of Europe viscerally fears the additional competition for scarce jobs and the shrinking welfare benefits that the arrival of this tidal wave of new migrants will herald.  No one in the EU is talking about how much it will cost the various European governments to take care of this tidal wave of asylum seekers.

Here in Canada our new Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is eagerly trying to make good on its election promise to let in 25,000 Syrian refugees this year. How they will do this, and how much is it going to cost us, has not been announced. With the price of oil dropping to U.S.$40 a barrel, Canada’s export earnings and tax revenues are tanking. Oil and gas companies in Alberta, the heartland of our oil patch, have already cut more than 36,000 direct jobs so far in 2015. I haven’t seen any figures giving the knock-on effects of these lay-offs and the dozens of cancelled oil sands development projects with the exception of the skyrocketing commercial office vacancy rate. The financial writer, Doug Casey, says Canada is in denial, as to how badly we are being hurt by the incredible collapse of the oil prices.

Yesterday, I was listening to a CBC radio interview with a variety of administrators of immigrant resettlement NGOs who were saying that, as it presently stands, they lack the personnel, housing, and financial resources to deal with such a large number of new immigrants. No money=no capacity for them to help these new people to resettle.

And what about security and domestic terrorism concerns? At present all the media wants to talk about here in Canada is: logistics. Only occasionally is there a comment that slips by the media gate-keepers from someone expressing a concern about “security” or the culture conflict from people who’ve lived all their lives in nations that have traditionally persecuted Christians and other religious or ethnic minorities, not to mention the LGBTQ crowd.  Security is really the elephant in the room everyone refuses to acknowledge. Is anyone really paying attention to what is going on throughout the Middle East and the top half of Africa? If Islam is really such a peaceful religion, why is it that all those Islamic dominated regions are in flames?

manal omarThe Foreign Policy magazine has recently featured in its argument section a debate entitled: Is Islam to Blame for Its Extremists? On one side is Manal Omar arguing that this religion isn’t the cause but rather socio-economic conditions, while on the other side is Aayan Hirsi Ali who argues that Islam is both explicitly and directly to blame for ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and all the other head-chopping, sex slaving jihadi Muslims who capture the media’s attention whenever they perpetrate some new nightmarish brutality. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/11/11/is-islam-to-blame-for-its-extremistaayaan ali

Recently, Frederica Mogherini, who is the European Union’s head of foreign affairs and security policy, dismissed the whole notion of a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, when responding to some recent brutal Islamist terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France. Smarting under the criticism of those who have the temerity to suggest that this mass immigration of Muslims to Europe might not be a good thing, Mogherini countered:

“Islam belongs in Europe. It holds a place in Europe’s history, in our culture, in our food and – what matters most – in Europe’s present and future. I am not afraid to say that political Islam should be part of the picture. Religion plays a role in politics – not always for good, not always frederica mogfor bad. Religion can be part of the process. What makes the difference is whether the process is democratic or not.”

Nevertheless Journalist Paul Joseph Watson in his story about Mogherini observes, “Mogherini’s comments will do little to dispel concerns that world leaders are hesitant to fully acknowledge, the threat posed by ISIS, and the fact the group’s campaign of terror is very much Islamic, for fear of appearing politically incorrect. Indeed, the current debate about how to stop ISIS is not centered around combating the ideology (lifted straight from the Koran) that motivates ISIS’ thousands of fighters and its millions of supporters, but an obsession with not calling the group “Islamic”. http://www.infowars.com/eu-security-head-political-islam-is-the-future-of-europe/

This is why a true prophet, Isaiah, warns us in poetic language to beware, for only dystopia is going to result from our leaders lack of understanding and vigilance:

All you ·animals [beasts] of the field, all you animals of the forest, come to ·eat [devour]. ·The leaders who are to guard the people [L His watchmen] are blind; they ·don’t know what they are doing [lack knowledge; are ignorant].

All of them are like ·quiet [mute; or muzzled] dogs that ·don’t know how to [cannot] bark.

They lie down and dream and love to sleep.

They are like ·hungry [greedy; ravenous] dogs that are never satisfied.

They are like shepherds who ·don’t know what they are doing [lack understanding; are ignorant.

They all have gone their own way; ·all they want to do is satisfy themselves [each seeks their own gain/profit]. Isaiah 56:9-11 Expanded Bible