Tuesday, September 29, 2015


September 27, 2015 Steve Wohlberg

For over 100 years, Seventh-day Adventists have anticipated Sunday legislation in fulfillment of end-time prophecy. In 1888, a Sunday law movement arose in America, but it died. The time was not yet. Today, many among us doubt whether such a prediction will ever occur. Haven’t times changed? Yes, they have, but God’s “sure word of prophecy” (King James Version, 2 Peter 1:19) hasn’t. We must open our eyes, for a Sunday law movement has again resurfaced—led by Pope Francis—and daily grows in strength.

By the time you read this, Pope Francis has already arrived in America for speeches in Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. As you are about to see, this Pope is pushing Sunday, and he isn’t alone. This article is designed to be a valuable resource for Adventists. With divine insight, Ellen White wrote in “The Great Controversy” that eventually:

… as the question of enforcing Sunday observance is widely agitated, [and] the event so long doubted and disbelieved is seen to be approaching, [then] the third message will produce an effect which it could not have had before (605).

We are told that “Those who place themselves under God's control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady trend of the events ordained by Him to take place” (White, RH, Aug. 5, 1902). Notice this steady trend:
And on the Seventh Day We Rested? (Time, July 25, 2004).
Tightrope: Better take a break [keep Sunday], or you’ll break down (USA Today, Oct. 25, 2007).
German Court Enforces Day of Rest (ABC News, Dec. 3, 2009).
Slow Sunday: The simple solution to global warming. “Using Sunday as a day of rest and renewal would be good for our personal health as well as the health of the planet” (The Guardian, Sept. 17, 2009).
Let’s Make Sunday a day of rest, for God’s sake (FoxNews.com, April 22, 2012).
Keeping stores open on Sunday is not beneficial for society: Pope Francis (NY Daily News, July 6, 2014).
Pope: No Work Sundays Not Just for Faithful (Fox News, July 5, 2014, same story).
Arizona State Senator: Make Sunday Church Attendance Mandatory (CNN, March 27, 2015).
Sunday as a Mark of Christian Unity (Lord’s Day Alliance of the U.S., April, 2015).
Capitalism’s War on the Sabbath [Sunday] (Patheos, Sept. 7, 2015).

The “leopard-like beast” described in Revelation 13:1,2, “unquestionably points to the papacy” (White, GC 439). “The light we have received upon the third angel's message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be” (White, 6T 16). “...[W]hen Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome … will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome—‘the mark of the beast’” (White, GC 449).

Momentum picked up on June 18, 2015, with the release of Pope Francis’s 184-page encyclical on “climate change” entitled “Praised Be You: On the Care of Our Common Home.” Section 237 states, “Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world” (emphasis added). The same day this encyclical was released, President Obama declared:

I welcome His Holiness Pope Francis's encyclical, and deeply admire the Pope's decision to make the case—clearly, powerfully, and with the full moral authority of his position—for action on global climate change … I believe the United States must be a leader in this effort … ” (White House Press Release, June 18, 2015).

Prophecy is being fulfilled. Pope Francis represents the first beast of Revelation 13:1, whereas President Obama represents the second beast (13:11). Revelation 13:11-17 informs us that in the closing moments of time, the second beast (USA) will promote the first beast (the Papacy), and finally enforce its “mark.” In the above statement, President Obama stated that America “must be a leader” to implement the Pope’s suggestions in his encyclical—an encyclical that encourages the world to keep Sunday.

Significantly, an interreligious, grass roots movement is now seeking to influence public opinion to support the Pope’s encyclical. This has also resulted in increased Sunday law agitation:

Should Sunday Trading Be Reformed?
South News, Aug. 12, 2015
A spokesman for campaign Keep Sunday Special, made up of faith groups, retailers and unions, said that there was concern not just because of the religious principle of the Sunday rest, but also for the effect on family and community life with those who work on Sundays not able to make up the time spent away from their children.

The Religion of Climate Change: Lending the power of the pulpit to the cause of environ-mental politics (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 6, 2015). “Some 170 evangelicals—pastors, religion professors, nonprofit directors and others—sent an open letter to the president ‘to offer our support and encouragement for your efforts to overcome the climate challenge’ … This teaming up of church and state on environmental issues has become common."

California Resolution in Praise of Pope Francis Encyclical (July 16, 2015). The State of California recently voted to support the Pope’s encyclical. “Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) called the resolution ‘a classic example of mixing church and state.’” The encyclical states that grass roots movements should “… bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power …” (Francis, Praised Be, Section 206). This is happening now. Notice carefully:

… [papal] doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men … in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance (White, GC 581, 592).

The Pope’s strategy is brilliant, and devilish. In his encyclical he creates this dichotomy: on the side of evil he places “out-of-control” capitalism, selfish consumerism, idolatrous profits, greed, exploitation of “our common home” (the earth), and neglect of the poor; while on the side of good he places the proper care of our environment, concern for the poor, respect for God, family values, the need for rest, and keeping Sunday as part of his global solution to our human crisis.

The global influence of Pope Francis is reflected in this article, “Why the Pope Matters” (Huffington Post, Aug. 20, 2015). “There is no other religious, entertainment or political leader alive today who could garner anywhere near the kind of response inspired by the pope.” God’s word predicts, “All the world marveled and followed the beast” (New King James Version, Revelation 13:3).

Critical Points about the Third Angel’s Message of Revelation 14:9-12: 1) It is to be proclaimed by Seventh-day Adventists with a “loud voice” (see White, 9T 19), 2) Plainly exposes “the beast” (the Papacy), its “image” (in America), and its deadly “mark” (enforced Sunday observance, contrary to God’s law), 3) Warns of God’s just judgments unmixed with mercy poured out into “the cup of His indignation,” 4) Jesus Christ our Creator (John 1:3,10) drank this very same “cup” in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39) and on the cross—which places Christ, His love, His cross, and His mercy in the midst of the Third Angel’s message, 5) exalts “the commandments of God” (the Ten Commandments, God’s law of love which shows sinners their sins and need of a Savior; Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:24), 6) and uplifts “the faith of Jesus.” “What constitutes the faith of Jesus, that belongs to the third angel's message? Jesus becoming our sin-bearer that He might become our sin pardoning Saviour … faith in the ability of Christ to save us amply and fully and entirely is the faith of Jesus” (White, 3SM 172). Thus “justification by faith” from the pending “wrath of God” through faith in Christ’s blood (see Romans 5:9) is “the third angel’s message in verity” (White, EV 190). The “mark of the beast” is essentially a permanent stamp of commandment breaking upon one’s character. Forgiven, justified saints love Jesus Christ, and by His power, they keep His law (see John 14:15).

Proper positioning before the public: “We should endeavor to disarm prejudice by placing ourselves in a proper light before the people. We should bring before them the real question at issue, thus interposing the most effectual protest against measures to restrict liberty of conscience” (White, 5T 452). Seventh-day Adventists should stress: 1) That we are defenders of globally recognized moral principles as defined by the Ten Commandments, 2) that papal principles deny salvation by grace through simple faith in Jesus Christ alone, and 3) that the papacy, by its very nature as a church/state union, opposes liberty of conscience. Thus we are defenders of morality, the gospel, and of religious freedom. This will disarm prejudice and create favorable impressions, 4) We must teach “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) and reveal Jesus Christ’s compassionate character.

Another key headline: “Pope Francis: Sundays are a gift from God – don't ruin it” (Catholic News Agency, August 12, 2015). “Francis pointed to Sundays as a particularly important time for rest, because ‘in them we find God’” (emphasis added). He stressed this in the context of his September 26 speech in Philadelphia at the World Meeting of Families. Thus there is no doubt that stressing Sunday is high on the Pope’s agenda.

Conclusion: A grassroots “I Love Sundays” campaign leading to a September 20 “National Back to Church Sunday” offers additional evidence that what Seventh-day Adventists have been expecting for so long is “at the doors.” Truly, “the time is at hand!” Revelation 22:10. While we should not set dates, or act like mere alarmists, “those who place themselves under God’s control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady trend of the events ordained by Him to take place” (White, RH Aug. 5, 1902, emphasis added).

Related quotations from Ellen White:

We must proclaim the third angel's message … We are not to cringe and beg pardon of the world for telling them the truth: we should scorn concealment. Unfurl your colors to meet the case of men and angels. Let it be understood that Seventh-day Adventists can make no compromise (White, Manuscript 16, 1890).

But although we are to stand firm as a rock to principle, we should be courteous and Christ-like in our dealings with all men. In meekness and love we should tell the people why we cannot accept the papal Sabbath, because it is a mark of special dishonor to God, whom we love and worship (White, RH, Feb. 7, 1893).

As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel's message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position, and join the ranks of the opposition (White, GC 608)

But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor (White, 5T 79).

Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict (White, PK 725).

Recommended reading: These chapters in “The Great Controversy”: “Liberty of Conscience Threatened,” “The Impending Conflict,” “The Scriptures a Safeguard,” “The Final Warning.”

Timely resources: Pocketbooks: “The Antichrist Identified”; “The United States in Bible Prophecy”; “Discovering the Lost Sabbath Truth”; “Decoding the Mark of the Beast.” DVD: “Earth’s Final Crisis.” Sharing Newsletter: “The Time is at Hand!” Glow tract: “When Freedom Dies.” New tract: “The Pope and Prophecy.” Camp meeting sermon: “Get Ready for the Mark of the Beast.”


I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 10:1-18


At UN Summit, World Rulers Adopt Agenda for Global Socialism

Written by Alex Newman

Monday, 28 September 2015 11:59

A far-reaching United Nations plot to re-engineer civilization and impose global socialism on humanity, variously dubbed “Agenda 2030” and the “Sustainable Development Agenda,” was ushered in on Friday with a “thunderous standing ovation,” the UN Department of Public Information reported. Every one of the 193 UN member governments on the planet — from communist and Islamist dictatorships to those ruling what remains of the “Free World” — vowed to help impose the UN's controversial goals on their subjects. Indeed, according to the UN and the global agreement itself, not a single human being will be allowed to escape what one prominent internationalist ominously referred to as the next “Great Leap Forward.” 

That the UN Agenda 2030's 17 so-called “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) and its accompanying 169 targets are essentially a recipe for global socialism and corporatism is hardly open for dispute, as countless analysts have pointed out in recent weeks. Goal number 10, for example, calls on the UN, national governments, and every person on Earth to “reduce inequality within and among countries.” To do that, the agreement continues, will “only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed.” The brutal communist dictatorship ruling mainland China even boasted of its “crucial role” in creating the UN agenda. But as the UN document makes clear, national socialism to “combat inequality” domestically is simply not enough — international socialism is needed to battle inequality even “among” countries.
In other words, Western taxpayers: Prepare to be fleeced so that your wealth can redistributed internationally. Of course, as has been the case for generations, most of the wealth extracted from the productive sector in what remains of the free world will be redistributed to the UN and Third World regimes — not the victims of those regimes, impoverished largely through domestic socialist policies imposed by the same corrupt regimes that will be propped up with more Western aid. More than a few governments and dictators also announced that they would be “aligning their national development plans with the Sustainable Development Agenda,” essentially ensuring a growing supply of poor people to exploit as a pretext for more UN-led global socialism.
The UN document, formally entitled “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” was adopted on Friday, September 25, at the start of the UN's three-day Summit on Sustainable Development in New York. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the confab, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon hinted at just how far-reaching the plot really is. “The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere,” he explained, presumably conflating “leaders” with mass-murdering gangsters such as Kim Jong Un, Raul Castro, and Robert Mugabe who somehow managed to seize control over entire nations. “It is a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.”As with all socialist and totalitarian schemes, the UN's controversial agenda was marketed using vague, meaningless platitudes such as, for example, creating a “better” world, and “ending” poverty — common slogans among tyrants stretching back centuries. “It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms,” continued Ban. “It is an agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership [that] conveys the urgency of climate action [and] is rooted in gender equality and respect for the rights of all. Above all, it pledges to leave no one behind.” But the “true test of commitment to Agenda 2030,” he added, will be in its implementation. “We need action from everyone, everywhere,” Ban said, pointing to the “guide” offered by the 17 SDGs. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”

“Now,” Ban continued, “we must use the goals to transform the world.” “Institutions will have to become fit for a grand new purpose,” he said. “We must engage all actors, as we did in shaping the Agenda. We must include parliaments and local governments, and work with cities and rural areas. We must rally businesses and entrepreneurs. We must involve civil society in defining and implementing policies — and give it the space to hold us to account. We must listen to scientists and academia. We will need to embrace a data revolution. Most important, we must set to work — now.”
Whether the world's adults can be persuaded to willingly join the UN's bandwagon remains to be seen. But when it comes to children, the UN is taking no chances, devoting an entire “goal” in its agenda to ensuring that all children, everywhere, are transformed into what the UN calls “agents of change” ready to push forward the plan for the new global order. “Children and young women and men are critical agents of change and will find in the new Goals a platform to channel their infinite capacities for activism into the creation of a better world,” the UN goals explain.

The sort of activists that the UN hopes to make your children into is also explicitly defined in the unanimously adopted agreement. “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development,” the global plan for 2030 states. Considering what the UN means by “sustainable development” — population control, central planning, global governance, and more — the agenda for your children takes on an even more sinister tone.
It all sounded so wonderful to some of the world's most brutal dictators, though, that they could hardly contain their glee about the coming brave new world. “This agenda promises a brave new world [sic], a new world which we have to consciously construct, a new world that calls for the creation of a new global citizen,” gushed Marxist dictator Robert Mugabe, the genocidal mass-murderer enslaving Zimbabwe who also serves as chairman of the African Union. “I want to believe that we are up to this task that we have voluntarily and collectively committed ourselves to. Our success, and in particular the promise of a new world that awaits us, depends upon this commitment.” He also promised to vigorously impose the UN Agenda 2030 on the starving and impoverished victims his regime lords over. 

The brutal tyrants ruling Communist China, meanwhile, have also been enthusiastic cheerleaders for the UN goals — goals that the regime boasted it played a “crucial role” in developing. Among other “commitments,” the dictatorship promised to spend $2 billion in foreign countries to meet the UN goals in "education" and "health," with its funding increasing to $12 billion by 2030. While only contributing a small piece of the pie — the UN claims its agenda will cost somewhere between $3 trillion to $5 trillion per year — the fact that Beijing is so excited about the agenda is quite revealing. Echoing Chairman Mao's rhetoric, EU and NATO globalist Javier Solana said that, “With a sustained commitment from all countries, developed and developing alike, the world can ensure that it celebrates another great leap forward in 2030.”
The Obama administration, which apparently does not plan to present the UN scheme to the U.S. Senate for ratification as required by the U.S. Constitution, also offered a forceful defense of the UN agenda. Speaking to the UN summit on Sunday after purporting to commit the United States to the global plot, Obama claimed the UN blueprint “is one of the smartest investments we can make in our own future.” He told the assembled dictators and government representatives that 800 million people live on less than $1.25 per day, without, of course, mentioning the reasons for so much poverty: Big Government policies that are remarkably similar in many ways to the UN's new agenda. Obama, who has waged multiple unconstitutional wars, also claimed that “military interventions might have been avoided over the years” if governments had only taken better care of their hapless citizens.
Even the world's leading religious figure, Pope Francis, addressed UN member governments with a plea to support the UN goals. “The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the World Summit, which opens today, is an important sign of hope,” he said. It is worth noting, however, that not everybody within the Catholic Church hierarchy was quite as enthusiastic about the scheme. In their “Common Declaration of the Bishops of Africa and Madagascar” ahead of the UN summit, for example, Africa's bishops blasted the “agents of the civilization of death” and called for much of the scheming to stop. “We implore you to end the filthy campaigns that promote a civilization of death on our continent,” they said, slamming the “terrifying resurgence of a colonialist spirit under the guise of the appealing names of liberty, equality, rights, autonomy, democratization and development.”

Beyond governments and religious figures, much of the private sector also enthusiastically backed the new goals. Among the mega-corporations backing the scheme are the world's top three search engines: Google, Microsoft's Bing, and Yahoo. It was not immediately clear whether those corporations' support for the UN agenda would affect the supposed impartiality of search results, but critics of the UN plan expressed alarm nonetheless. As The New American reported in May, meanwhile, top media outlets around the world are also participating in a massive propaganda campaign to support the UN agenda.

Of course, Obama has no constitutional or statutory authority to commit the American people to the UN's radical blueprint for humanity. But unless the GOP majority in Congress is willing to stop funding the administration's antics, there can be no doubt that the White House will charge ahead using its pen, phone, and taxpayer funding provided by Republican members of Congress. Lawmakers who are serious about their oath of office must work to restrain the Obama administration, and ultimately withdraw the U.S. government's membership from the UN. Faced with a totalitarian UN agenda for global socialism under the guise of “sustainable development,” now would be an excellent time to get busy.

Photo of President Barack Obama speaking at the UN Summit on Sustainable Development Sept. 27: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent forThe New American, is normally based in Europe. 

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He can be reached at anewman​@​thenewamerican.com.

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Full text of President Obama's remarks before the U.N. General Assembly

Updated Sept. 28, 2015 at 12:32 PM

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the 70th session of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday held at the UN in New York City. Photo by Monika Graff/UPI

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks Monday before the United Nations General Assembly as prepared and distributed by the White House:

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: Seventy years after the founding of the United Nations, it is worth reflecting on what, together, the members of this body have helped to achieve.

Out of the ashes of the Second World War, having witnessed the unthinkable power of the atomic age, the United States has worked with many nations in this Assembly to prevent a third world war -- by forging alliances with old adversaries; by supporting the steady emergence of strong democracies accountable to their people instead of any foreign power; and by building an international system that imposes a cost on those who choose conflict over cooperation, an order that recognizes the dignity and equal worth of all people.

That is the work of seven decades. That is the ideal that this body, at its best, has pursued. Of course, there have been too many times when, collectively, we have fallen short of these ideals. Over seven decades, terrible conflicts have claimed untold victims. But we have pressed forward, slowly, steadily, to make a system of international rules and norms that are better and stronger and more consistent.

It is this international order that has underwritten unparalleled advances in human liberty and prosperity. It is this collective endeavor that's brought about diplomatic cooperation between the world's major powers, and buttressed a global economy that has lifted more than a billion people from poverty. It is these international principles that helped constrain bigger countries from imposing our will on smaller ones, and advanced the emergence of democracy and development and individual liberty on every continent.

This progress is real. It can be documented in lives saved, and agreements forged, and diseases conquered, and in mouths fed. And yet, we come together today knowing that the march of human progress never travels in a straight line, that our work is far from complete; that dangerous currents risk pulling us back into a darker, more disordered world.

Today, we see the collapse of strongmen and fragile states breeding conflict, and driving innocent men, women and children across borders on an epic scale. Brutal networks of terror have stepped into the vacuum. Technologies that empower individuals are now also exploited by those who spread disinformation, or suppress dissent, or radicalize our youth. Global capital flows have powered growth and investment, but also increased risk of contagion, weakened the bargaining power of workers, and accelerated inequality.

How should we respond to these trends? There are those who argue that the ideals enshrined in the U.N. charter are unachievable or out of date -- a legacy of a postwar era not suited to our own. Effectively, they argue for a return to the rules that applied for most of human history and that pre-date this institution: the belief that power is a zero-sum game; that might makes right; that strong states must impose their will on weaker ones; that the rights of individuals don't matter; and that in a time of rapid change, order must be imposed by force.

On this basis, we see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law. We see an erosion of the democratic principles and human rights that are fundamental to this institution's mission; information is strictly controlled, the space for civil society restricted. We're told that such retrenchment is required to beat back disorder; that it's the only way to stamp out terrorism, or prevent foreign meddling. In accordance with this logic, we should support tyrants like Bashar al-Assad, who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children, because the alternative is surely worse.

The increasing skepticism of our international order can also be found in the most advanced democracies. We see greater polarization, more frequent gridlock; movements on the far right, and sometimes the left, that insist on stopping the trade that binds our fates to other nations, calling for the building of walls to keep out immigrants. Most ominously, we see the fears of ordinary people being exploited through appeals to sectarianism, or tribalism, or racism, or anti-Semitism; appeals to a glorious past before the body politic was infected by those who look different, or worship God differently; a politics of us versus them.

The United States is not immune from this. Even as our economy is growing and our troops have largely returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, we see in our debates about America's role in the world a notion of strength that is defined by opposition to old enemies, perceived adversaries, a rising China, or a resurgent Russia; a revolutionary Iran, or an Islam that is incompatible with peace. We see an argument made that the only strength that matters for the United States is bellicose words and shows of military force; that cooperation and diplomacy will not work.

As President of the United States, I am mindful of the dangers that we face; they cross my desk every morning. I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known, and I will never hesitate to protect my country or our allies, unilaterally and by force where necessary.

But I stand before you today believing in my core that we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion. We cannot look backwards. We live in an integrated world -- one in which we all have a stake in each other's success. We cannot turn those forces of integration. No nation in this Assembly can insulate itself from the threat of terrorism, or the risk of financial contagion; the flow of migrants, or the danger of a warming planet. The disorder we see is not driven solely by competition between nations or any single ideology. And if we cannot work together more effectively, we will all suffer the consequences. That is true for the United States, as well.

No matter how powerful our military, how strong our economy, we understand the United States cannot solve the world's problems alone. In Iraq, the United States learned the hard lesson that even hundreds of thousands of brave, effective troops, trillions of dollars from our Treasury, cannot by itself impose stability on a foreign land. Unless we work with other nations under the mantle of international norms and principles and law that offer legitimacy to our efforts, we will not succeed. And unless we work together to defeat the ideas that drive different communities in a country like Iraq into conflict, any order that our militaries can impose will be temporary.

Just as force alone cannot impose order internationally, I believe in my core that repression cannot forge the social cohesion for nations to succeed. The history of the last two decades proves that in today's world, dictatorships are unstable. The strongmen of today become the spark of revolution tomorrow. You can jail your opponents, but you can't imprison ideas. You can try to control access to information, but you cannot turn a lie into truth. It is not a conspiracy of U.S.-backed NGOs that expose corruption and raise the expectations of people around the globe; it's technology, social media, and the irreducible desire of people everywhere to make their own choices about how they are governed.

Indeed, I believe that in today's world, the measure of strength is no longer defined by the control of territory. Lasting prosperity does not come solely from the ability to access and extract raw materials. The strength of nations depends on the success of their people -- their knowledge, their innovation, their imagination, their creativity, their drive, their opportunity -- and that, in turn, depends upon individual rights and good governance and personal security. Internal repression and foreign aggression are both symptoms of the failure to provide this foundation.

A politics and solidarity that depend on demonizing others, that draws on religious sectarianism or narrow tribalism or jingoism may at times look like strength in the moment, but over time its weakness will be exposed. And history tells us that the dark forces unleashed by this type of politics surely makes all of us less secure. Our world has been there before. We gain nothing from going back.

Instead, I believe that we must go forward in pursuit of our ideals, not abandon them at this critical time. We must give expression to our best hopes, not our deepest fears. This institution was founded because men and women who came before us had the foresight to know that our nations are more secure when we uphold basic laws and basic norms, and pursue a path of cooperation over conflict. And strong nations, above all, have a responsibility to uphold this international order.

Let me give you a concrete example. After I took office, I made clear that one of the principal achievements of this body -- the nuclear non-proliferation regime -- was endangered by Iran's violation of the NPT. On that basis, the Security Council tightened sanctions on the Iranian government, and many nations joined us to enforce them. Together, we showed that laws and agreements mean something.

But we also understood that the goal of sanctions was not simply to punish Iran. Our objective was to test whether Iran could change course, accept constraints, and allow the world to verify that its nuclear program will be peaceful. For two years, the United States and our partners -- including Russia, including China -- stuck together in complex negotiations. The result is a lasting, comprehensive deal that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, while allowing it to access peaceful energy. And if this deal is fully implemented, the prohibition on nuclear weapons is strengthened, a potential war is averted, our world is safer. That is the strength of the international system when it works the way it should.

That same fidelity to international order guides our responses to other challenges around the world. Consider Russia's annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That's the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It's not a desire to return to a Cold War.

Now, within Russia, state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia -- a view shared, by the way, by a number of U.S. politicians and commentators who have always been deeply skeptical of Russia, and seem to be convinced a new Cold War is, in fact, upon us. And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians.

Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world -- which is why we continue to press for this crisis to be resolved in a way that allows a sovereign and democratic Ukraine to determine its future and control its territory. Not because we want to isolate Russia -- we don't -- but because we want a strong Russia that's invested in working with us to strengthen the international system as a whole.

Similarly, in the South China Sea, the United States makes no claim on territory there. We don't adjudicate claims. But like every nation gathered here, we have an interest in upholding the basic principles of freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce, and in resolving disputes through international law, not the law of force. So we will defend these principles, while encouraging China and other claimants to resolve their differences peacefully.

I say this, recognizing that diplomacy is hard; that the outcomes are sometimes unsatisfying; that it's rarely politically popular. But I believe that leaders of large nations, in particular, have an obligation to take these risks -- precisely because we are strong enough to protect our interests if, and when, diplomacy fails.

I also believe that to move forward in this new era, we have to be strong enough to acknowledge when what you're doing is not working. For 50 years, the United States pursued a Cuba policy that failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people. We changed that. We continue to have differences with the Cuban government. We will continue to stand up for human rights. But we address these issues through diplomatic relations, and increased commerce, and people-to-people ties. As these contacts yield progress, I'm confident that our Congress will inevitably lift an embargo that should not be in place anymore. Change won't come overnight to Cuba, but I'm confident that openness, not coercion, will support the reforms and better the life the Cuban people deserve, just as I believe that Cuba will find its success if it pursues cooperation with other nations.

Now, if it's in the interest of major powers to uphold international standards, it is even more true for the rest of the community of nations. Look around the world. From Singapore to Colombia to Senegal, the facts shows that nations succeed when they pursue an inclusive peace and prosperity within their borders, and work cooperatively with countries beyond their borders.

That path is now available to a nation like Iran, which, as of this moment, continues to deploy violent proxies to advance its interests. These efforts may appear to give Iran leverage in disputes with neighbors, but they fuel sectarian conflict that endangers the entire region, and isolates Iran from the promise of trade and commerce. The Iranian people have a proud history, and are filled with extraordinary potential. But chanting "Death to America" does not create jobs, or make Iran more secure. If Iran chose a different path, that would be good for the security of the region, good for the Iranian people, and good for the world.

Of course, around the globe, we will continue to be confronted with nations who reject these lessons of history, places where civil strife, border disputes, and sectarian wars bring about terrorist enclaves and humanitarian disasters. Where order has completely broken down, we must act, but we will be stronger when we act together.

In such efforts, the United States will always do our part. We will do so mindful of the lessons of the past -- not just the lessons of Iraq, but also the example of Libya, where we joined an international coalition under a U.N. mandate to prevent a slaughter. Even as we helped the Libyan people bring an end to the reign of a tyrant, our coalition could have and should have done more to fill a vacuum left behind. We're grateful to the United Nations for its efforts to forge a unity government. We will help any legitimate Libyan government as it works to bring the country together. But we also have to recognize that we must work more effectively in the future, as an international community, to build capacity for states that are in distress, before they collapse.

And that's why we should celebrate the fact that later today the United States will join with more than 50 countries to enlist new capabilities -- infantry, intelligence, helicopters, hospitals, and tens of thousands of troops -- to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping. (Applause.) These new capabilities can prevent mass killing, and ensure that peace agreements are more than words on paper. But we have to do it together. Together, we must strengthen our collective capacity to establish security where order has broken down, and to support those who seek a just and lasting peace.

Nowhere is our commitment to international order more tested than in Syria. When a dictator slaughters tens of thousands of his own people, that is not just a matter of one nation's internal affairs -- it breeds human suffering on an order of magnitude that affects us all. Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, that's not a single nation's national security problem -- that is an assault on all humanity.

I've said before and I will repeat: There is no room for accommodating an apocalyptic cult like ISIL, and the United States makes no apologies for using our military, as part of a broad coalition, to go after them. We do so with a determination to ensure that there will never be a safe haven for terrorists who carry out these crimes. And we have demonstrated over more than a decade of relentless pursuit of al Qaeda, we will not be outlasted by extremists.

But while military power is necessary, it is not sufficient to resolve the situation in Syria. Lasting stability can only take hold when the people of Syria forge an agreement to live together peacefully. The United States is prepared to work with any nation, including Russia and Iran, to resolve the conflict. But we must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the pre-war status quo.

Let's remember how this started. Assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing that, in turn, created the environment for the current strife. And so Assad and his allies cannot simply pacify the broad majority of a population who have been brutalized by chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing. Yes, realism dictates that compromise will be required to end the fighting and ultimately stamp out ISIL. But realism also requires a managed transition away from Assad and to a new leader, and an inclusive government that recognizes there must be an end to this chaos so that the Syrian people can begin to rebuild.

We know that ISIL -- which emerged out of the chaos of Iraq and Syria -- depends on perpetual war to survive. But we also know that they gain adherents because of a poisonous ideology. So part of our job, together, is to work to reject such extremism that infects too many of our young people. Part of that effort must be a continued rejection by Muslims of those who distort Islam to preach intolerance and promote violence, and it must also a rejection by non-Muslims of the ignorance that equates Islam with terror.

This work will take time. There are no easy answers to Syria. And there are no simple answers to the changes that are taking place in much of the Middle East and North Africa. But so many families need help right now; they don't have time. And that's why the United States is increasing the number of refugees who we welcome within our borders. That's why we will continue to be the largest donor of assistance to support those refugees. And today we are launching new efforts to ensure that our people and our businesses, our universities and our NGOs can help as well -- because in the faces of suffering families, our nation of immigrants sees ourselves.

Of course, in the old ways of thinking, the plight of the powerless, the plight of refugees, the plight of the marginalized did not matter. They were on the periphery of the world's concerns. Today, our concern for them is driven not just by conscience, but should also be drive by self-interest. For helping people who have been pushed to the margins of our world is not mere charity, it is a matter of collective security. And the purpose of this institution is not merely to avoid conflict, it is to galvanize the collective action that makes life better on this planet.

The commitments we've made to the Sustainable Development Goals speak to this truth. I believe that capitalism has been the greatest creator of wealth and opportunity that the world has ever known. But from big cities to rural villages around the world, we also know that prosperity is still cruelly out of reach for too many. As His Holiness Pope Francis reminds us, we are stronger when we value the least among these, and see them as equal in dignity to ourselves and our sons and our daughters.

We can roll back preventable disease and end the scourge of HIV/AIDS. We can stamp out pandemics that recognize no borders. That work may not be on television right now, but as we demonstrated in reversing the spread of Ebola, it can save more lives than anything else we can do.

Together, we can eradicate extreme poverty and erase barriers to opportunity. But this requires a sustained commitment to our people -- so farmers can feed more people; so entrepreneurs can start a business without paying a bribe; so young people have the skills they need to succeed in this modern, knowledge-based economy.

We can promote growth through trade that meets a higher standard. And that's what we're doing through the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a trade agreement that encompasses nearly 40 percent of the global economy; an agreement that will open markets, while protecting the rights of workers and protecting the environment that enables development to be sustained.

We can roll back the pollution that we put in our skies, and help economies lift people out of poverty without condemning our children to the ravages of an ever-warming climate. The same ingenuity that produced the Industrial Age and the Computer Age allows us to harness the potential of clean energy. No country can escape the ravages of climate change. And there is no stronger sign of leadership than putting future generations first. The United States will work with every nation that is willing to do its part so that we can come together in Paris to decisively confront this challenge.

And finally, our vision for the future of this Assembly, my belief in moving forward rather than backwards, requires us to defend the democratic principles that allow societies to succeed. Let me start from a simple premise: Catastrophes, like what we are seeing in Syria, do not take place in countries where there is genuine democracy and respect for the universal values this institution is supposed to defend.

I recognize that democracy is going to take different forms in different parts of the world. The very idea of a people governing themselves depends upon government giving expression to their unique culture, their unique history, their unique experiences. But some universal truths are self-evident. No person wants to be imprisoned for peaceful worship. No woman should ever be abused with impunity, or a girl barred from going to school. The freedom to peacefully petition those in power without fear of arbitrary laws -- these are not ideas of one country or one culture. They are fundamental to human progress. They are a cornerstone of this institution.

I realize that in many parts of the world there is a different view -- a belief that strong leadership must tolerate no dissent. I hear it not only from America's adversaries, but privately at least I also hear it from some of our friends. I disagree. I believe a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength; it is showing weakness and it is showing fear. History shows that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble, but strong institutions built on the consent of the governed endure long after any one individual is gone.

That's why our strongest leaders -- from George Washington to Nelson Mandela -- have elevated the importance of building strong, democratic institutions over a thirst for perpetual power. Leaders who amend constitutions to stay in office only acknowledge that they failed to build a successful country for their people -- because none of us last forever. It tells us that power is something they cling to for its own sake, rather than for the betterment of those they purport to serve.

I understand democracy is frustrating. Democracy in the United States is certainly imperfect. At times, it can even be dysfunctional. But democracy -- the constant struggle to extend rights to more of our people, to give more people a voice -- is what allowed us to become the most powerful nation in the world.

It's not simply a matter of principle; it's not an abstraction. Democracy -- inclusive democracy -- makes countries stronger. When opposition parties can seek power peacefully through the ballot, a country draws upon new ideas. When a free media can inform the public, corruption and abuse are exposed and can be rooted out. When civil society thrives, communities can solve problems that governments cannot necessarily solve alone. When immigrants are welcomed, countries are more productive and more vibrant. When girls can go to school, and get a job, and pursue unlimited opportunity, that's when a country realizes its full potential.

That is what I believe is America's greatest strength. Not everybody in America agrees with me. That's part of democracy. I believe that the fact that you can walk the streets of this city right now and pass churches and synagogues and temples and mosques, where people worship freely; the fact that our nation of immigrants mirrors the diversity of the world -- you can find everybody from everywhere here in New York City -- the fact that, in this country, everybody can contribute, everybody can participate no matter who they are, or what they look like, or who they love -- that's what makes us strong.

And I believe that what is true for America is true for virtually all mature democracies. And that is no accident. We can be proud of our nations without defining ourselves in opposition to some other group. We can be patriotic without demonizing someone else. We can cherish our own identities -- our religion, our ethnicity, our traditions -- without putting others down. Our systems are premised on the notion that absolute power will corrupt, but that people -- ordinary people -- are fundamentally good; that they value family and friendship, faith and the dignity of hard work; and that with appropriate checks and balances, governments can reflect this goodness.

I believe that's the future we must seek together. To believe in the dignity of every individual, to believe we can bridge our differences, and choose cooperation over conflict -- that is not weakness, that is strength. It is a practical necessity in this interconnected world.

And our people understand this. Think of the Liberian doctor who went door-to-door to search for Ebola cases, and to tell families what to do if they show symptoms. Think of the Iranian shopkeeper who said, after the nuclear deal, "God willing, now we'll be able to offer many more goods at better prices." Think of the Americans who lowered the flag over our embassy in Havana in 1961 -- the year I was born -- and returned this summer to raise that flag back up. One of these men said of the Cuban people, "We could do things for them, and they could do things for us. We loved them." For 50 years, we ignored that fact.

Think of the families leaving everything they've known behind, risking barren deserts and stormy waters just to find shelter; just to save their children. One Syrian refugee who was greeted in Hamburg with warm greetings and shelter, said, "We feel there are still some people who love other people."

The people of our United Nations are not as different as they are told. They can be made to fear; they can be taught to hate -- but they can also respond to hope. History is littered with the failure of false prophets and fallen empires who believed that might always makes right, and that will continue to be the case. You can count on that. But we are called upon to offer a different type of leadership -- leadership strong enough to recognize that nations share common interests and people share a common humanity, and, yes, there are certain ideas and principles that are universal.

That's what those who shaped the United Nations 70 years ago understood. Let us carry forward that faith into the future -- for it is the only way we can assure that future will be brighter for my children, and for yours.

Thank you very much.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Pope Pushes Malthusian Elite Agenda In Historic Call For New Global Order

Government corruption by lobbyists to silence the voices of the people, staged war on terror, endless illegal wars of aggression, ongoing false flag operations with crisis actors, out of control police state, creation and arming proxy terrorist armies like ISIS, geoengineering ongoing crimes against humanity and the planet, ongoing GMO poisoning of the human race’s DNA, the list goes on and on of all the issues ‘Pope Francis’ did NOT address in his “historic” visit to the U.S. this week. The rote ceremonies, staged political speeches and propaganda have been ongoing particularly after the Pope’s visit and speech to Congress where he officially endorsed the coming “sustainable” new world order.

That’s right. Instead of addressing the problems humanity faces mentioned above, Pope Francis conveniently echoed almost all the key talking points consistent with the desires of the controlling oligarchs who want to rule the world. The most important message being to endorse the anthropogenic global warming turned climate change issue by talking about the “environment”. The environment issue as it relates to the original global warming CO2 lie, is the most important issue as without it the global elitists will never be able to force Agenda 21 and thus “sustainability” on humanity. Without it, they will never get their global carbon taxes to fund the global government for which the Pope seems to be speaking on behalf of. And thus they will never get their new world order. This IS the most important issue, and I would argue is possibly the primary reason for this whole Pope staged visit to the U.S. with corresponding national, global 24/7 mainstream media coverage. Summarizing some of the topics covered by the Pope MSN writers stated:

Taking a rostrum never before occupied by the bishop of Rome, the pontiff issued a vigorous call to action on issues largely favored by liberals, including a powerful defense of immigration, a critique of the excesses of capitalism, an endorsement of environmental legislation, a blistering condemnation of the arms trade and a plea to abolish the death penalty.
As you can see the other (secondary) agendas on the Pope’s list include issues to promote the ideas of globalization and the Malthusian Eugenics ideology of scarcity. Most people familiar with the global elitists long-term plan for global domination know that the plan links back to the Club of Rome
and the Committee of 300 among other entities. And listening to Pope Francis one cannot help but to notice that almost every issue he raised just happened to coincide perfectly with the agenda of the Club of Rome and the Committee of 300.

Walking a fine line trying not to make it too obvious that his main goal is political, Pope Francis lightly touches some issues related to religion, spirituality and individuality, but more heavily emphasizes other collectivist issues aside from the environment such as immigration, and poverty. As MSN themselves puts it:
While he checked boxes in calling for religious liberty and defending the family, the heart of his address, and the most time, was dedicated to aspects of Catholic teaching embraced by progressives, especially the overriding need to help the poor and destitute. He was at his most passionate in embracing immigration, alluding to his own family’s history of moving from Italy to Argentina, where he was born.

Even segments of liberal mainstream media were not impressed by the Pope’s attempt to sound “progressive”. Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman charged the Pope with wanting to be “president of the world“:
As devout as he is, and as focused on the faith and practice of the Catholic Church, Francis is also campaigning to lead public, secular, political discourse worldwide. He is arguing that the two realms of faith and politics are one, and that the moral and spiritual teachings of faith should inform and guide political decisions for “our common home.”
What we have seen the last few days during this Pope visit media frenzy is a horrific attempt by the globalists to reinforce the collectivist “greater good” ideas in our collective consciousness in preparation for what they hope will be a “sustainable” prison planet where they (the global oligarchs) will rule the world by controlling every aspect of it. All of this will be perceived to be for the sake of the collective and of course the planet whose health is apparently in the hands of the controlling politically-divinely appointed rulers.

They need this new world order now and they’ve chosen the Pope as the messenger of their plans. He was chosen probably because they hope the Pope will appeal to Catholics (and perhaps non-Catholics) around the world. There’s no question in my mind he’s being used as a mouthpiece for the roll-out of the new world order in every sense.

And just in case you are not convinced this is about pushing the new world order based on Malthusian Eugenics principles? Then it may interest you that the mainstream media made sure to put out several other stories just to keep the Agenda 21-style new world order
theme brewing strongly in our heads. In another story mainstream media is talking about how “Investors are mining for water” and how this is the “next hot commodity“. We again see how the Malthusian principle of scarcity is being pushed in perfect timing with the Pope’s visit.

Investing in the water industry is one of the great opportunities for the coming decades,” said Matthew J. Diserio of Water Asset Management, a New York firm that is a major backer of Cadiz. “Water is the scarce resource that will define the 21st century, much like plentiful oil defined the last century.”
We should not be surprised seeing that all of these issues have been clearly defined and stated as the go-to issues for creating the coming global order.

In another story recently posted to coincide with the Pope’s visit we’re told that China is scheduled to “launch a national cap-and-trade” plan by 2017 again reminding people of the need for reducing carbon output. Again, all part of the original Al Gore false “anthropogenic global warming” claims.

Also in yet another not-so-coincidental move another story was posted that reminds readers that this coming Sunday September 27, 2015 Paris will go “car-free” as a gesture to help with the environment.

Again, we all knew this was coming. Many of us have been covering the planning of these new world order/Agenda 21 ceremonial-like events and the events are now here. These are truly historic times we live in and unlike previous global government events of the past, today we have the Internet and worldwide alternative new media to expose all of these lies and deceit.

We know what the globalists are up to. It doesn’t matter who they choose as their mouthpiece, we will see through their lies and deception. Let’s not be fooled by these recent Pope ceremonies which is just the latest propaganda the global elite have rolled out on humanity to sell their long-term plans for permanent global enslavement.


Stay informed. If you are still not sure why over 30,000 scientists and researchers sued Al Gore for fraud then ask and do your own research. Also do your research and find out about groups like the Club of Rome and the Committee of 300 and confirm their documented goals of controlling all of humanity by introducing an environmental-related crisis which humans would have to be responsible for cooperating in.

Read about the concept and the history of Malthusianism and try to see if the message sounds familiar with today’s “sustainable” message. Try to connect the dots and see the truth for yourself. That’s the knowledge part of the solution. Then share this knowledge and takes steps in your personal life to focus on strengthening and expanding your own sovereignty and your freedoms. Focus on your own family network and friends and realize the value. Focus on taking action at the local level to protect your town and city from the top-down control of government. We must find ways to promote government from the bottom-up. Everyone must realize as soon as possible that every form of top-down governance leads to tyranny. There is no other way. For this reason bottom-up governance is the only form of government that can be considered if we’re going to have a government at all.

Secret blueprint for surviving the economic collapse (Ad)

For some people removing your consent altogether may be the best option. We’re all in this mess by consent after all and each and every one of us has an option of acquiring the knowledge we need to start taking steps toward detaching ourselves from our legal fictional characters created for us since birth. If enough people truly wrap their heads around this reality we may be able to nullify the new world order on the spot. Are we ready for this? That is the bigger question. Hopefully we are because it is here now.

Image Credit



Papal speeches at the U.N., Joint-Session of Congress, and White House

Watch Pope Francis' full address to the UN General Assembly

Published on Sep 25, 2015

In his speech to the United Nations on Friday, Pope Francis said there is a "right of the environment" and that mankind didn't have the authority to abuse it.

View the full story/transcript: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/f...


Pope Francis addresses Joint Session of Congress – FULL SPEECH (C-SPAN)

Published on Sep 24, 2015

Pope Francis addressed a joint meeting of Congress, the first pontiff in history to address both chambers. Watch more online here: http://cs.pn/1VaKgcy


Pope Francis complete remarks at White House (C-SPAN)


Published on Sep 23, 2015

Pope Francis delivers remarks at the White House Welcome Ceremony. Watch the complete video here:http://cs.pn/1j9HfYN


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis Claims Jesus Failed My On The Cross (InfoWars)

27.9.2015 Bible Prophecy - Pope Francis Claims Jesus Failed My On The Cross

Published on Sep 27, 2015

Book of Revelation 14:9-12

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.


The Pope Addressed A Congress That's Much More Christian Than America

SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 5:03 AM ET


 Listen to the Story

Morning Edition


Members of the House of Representatives bow their heads for a prayer as they gather for opening session of the 114th Congress in January.  Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

When Pope Francis addressed Congress on Thursday, he faced a body that is more Christian than the U.S. public as a whole — and also more Catholic.

First the numbers: Whereas nearly a quarter of the U.S. population says they have no religious affiliation, it's less than 1 percent in Congress.

More than nine in 10 members of Congress identify as Christian, including 31 percent who are Catholic. That's higher than the share of Americans who identify as Christian or Catholic.Pew Research Center

Congress is "disproportionately religiously affiliated," said Alan Cooperman, director of religion research at the Pew Research Center. "That is, the share of members of Congress who say they have a religion is considerably higher than the share of all American adults."

In the halls of Congress, the question of why this might be was greeted with puzzlement and some theories:

"Maybe it's because we need the solid grounding and good guidance that we get from above," said Shelley Moore Capito, a senator from West Virginia.

Nearly a quarter of American adults are religiously unaffiliated or responded "don't know/other."Pew Research Center

"Maybe it has something to do with the magnitude of issues we deal with up here and people realize that you can't do that without a degree of reliance on spiritual need," said Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina.

Surveys show that the public overwhelmingly wants their presidents to have religion in their lives. So it makes sense that it would carry over to congressional elections, too. Sen. Gary Peters from Michigan is Episcopalian, and he said his spirituality is important to him and "gives me comfort in rough times."

He figures, at least for some voters, knowing that he has a religious grounding helps them trust him.

"They want to look you in the eye," he said. "They want to get a sense of what sort of man or woman that you are. ... I think it's that intangible quality ... you have to just be who you are and if your spiritual soul is part of that, then that's ultimately how they're going to make decisions as to who they support."

Maybe it's because we need the solid grounding and good guidance that we get from above.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito

Another possible reason — members of Congress are often asked to state their religion. Chris Murphy, a senator from Connecticut, checks the box "unspecified/other Protestant."

"I grew up in a congregational church," he said. "I'm not a regular churchgoer these days, in part, because of kids. In part because of a busy schedule."

Pew found members of Congress are more religiously affiliated, but it doesn't say anything about whether they are actually more religious than the rest of America. The Senate's longtime chaplain, Barry Black, thinks they are, based at least on the popularity of his weekly interfaith prayer breakfasts.

"So I think there is something about affliction — and, trust me, going through the legislative process can be an experience of affliction — that probably helps people to be more spiritual," Senate Chaplain Barry Black said. 
Drew Angerer/AP

"Now I don't think you'd get a similar percentage from normal churchgoers if you were having an hour prayer breakfast each week during the workweek," he said.

Black cites the Psalm 119: Before I was afflicted, I went astray but now I obey your word.

"So I think there is something about affliction — and, trust me, going through the legislative process can be an experience of affliction — that helps people to probably be more spiritual," he said.

What he seems to be saying is you'd be more religious, too, if you had to serve in Congress.


TEXT: Papal Mass and Canonization of Blessed Fr. Junipero Serra


3 days ago


Getty Images

Pope Francis blesses attendees at a prayer service prior to a Canonization Mass more


Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, rejoice! These are striking words, words which impact our lives. Paul tells us to rejoice; he practically orders us to rejoice. This command resonates with the desire we all have for a fulfilling life, a meaningful life, a joyful life. It is as if Paul could hear what each one of us is thinking in his or her heart and to voice what we are feeling, what we are experiencing. Something deep within us invites us to rejoice and tells us not to settle for placebos which simply keep us comfortable.

At the same time, though, we all know the struggles of everyday life. So much seems to stand in the way of this invitation to rejoice. Our daily routine can often lead us to a kind of glum apathy which gradually becomes a habit, with a fatal consequence: our hearts grow numb.

We don’t want apathy to guide our lives… or do we? We don’t want the force of habit to rule our life… or do we? So we ought to ask ourselves: What can we do to keep our heart from growing numb, becoming anesthetized? How do we make the joy of the Gospel increase and take deeper root in our lives?
Jesus gives the answer. He said to his disciples then and he says it to us now: Go forth! Proclaim! The joy of the Gospel is something to be experienced, something to be known and lived only through giving it away, through giving ourselves away.

The spirit of the world tells us to be like everyone else, to settle for what comes easy. Faced with this human way of thinking, “we must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and for the world” (Laudato Si’, 229). It is the responsibility to proclaim the message of Jesus. For the source of our joy is “an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of our own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy” (Evangelii Gaudium, 24). Go out to all, proclaim by anointing and anoint by proclaiming. This is what the Lord tells us today. He tells us:
A Christian finds joy in mission: Go out to people of every nation!

A Christian experiences joy in following a command: Go forth and proclaim the good news!

A Christian finds ever new joy in answering a call: Go forth and anoint!

Jesus sends his disciples out to all nations. To every people. We too were part of all those people of two thousand years ago. Jesus did not provide a short list of who is, or is not, worthy of receiving his message, his presence. Instead, he always embraced life as he saw it. In faces of pain, hunger, sickness and sin. In faces of wounds, of thirst, of weariness, doubt and pity. Far from expecting a pretty life, smartly-dressed and neatly groomed, he embraced life as he found it. It made no difference whether it was dirty, unkempt, broken. Jesus said: Go out and tell the good news to everyone. Go out and in my name embrace life as it is, and not as you think it should be. Go out to the highways and byways, go out to tell the good news fearlessly, without prejudice, without superiority, without condescension, to all those who have lost the joy of living. Go out to proclaim the merciful embrace of the Father. Go out to those who are burdened by pain and failure, who feel that their lives are empty, and proclaim the folly of a loving Father who wants to anoint them with the oil of hope, the oil of salvation. Go out to proclaim the good news that error, deceitful illusions and falsehoods do not have the last word in a person’s life. Go out with the ointment which soothes wounds and heals hearts.

Mission is never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organized manual. Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven. Mission is born of a constant experience of God’s merciful anointing.

The Church, the holy People of God, treads the dust-laden paths of history, so often traversed by conflict, injustice and violence, in order to encounter her children, our brothers and sisters. The holy and faithful People of God are not afraid of losing their way; they are afraid of becoming self-enclosed, frozen into élites, clinging to their own security. They know that self-enclosure, in all the many forms it takes, is the cause of so much apathy.

So let us go out, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ (Evangelii Gaudium, 49). The People of God can embrace everyone because we are the disciples of the One who knelt before his own to wash their feet (ibid., 24).

The reason we are here today is that many other people wanted to respond to that call. They believed that “life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort” (Aparecida Document, 360). We are heirs to the bold missionary spirit of so many men and women who preferred not to be “shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security… within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving” (Evangelii Gaudium, 49). We are indebted to a tradition, a chain of witnesses who have made it possible for the good news of the Gospel to be, in every generation, both “good” and “news”.

Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life. He learned how to bring to birth and nurture God’s life in the faces of everyone he met; he made them his brothers and sisters. Junípero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people.

Father Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work, a saying he lived his life by: siempre adelante! Keep moving forward! For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anesthetized. He kept moving forward, because the Lord was !!waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let’s keep moving forward!


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Leaders call for 'less conversation, more action' after adopting U.N. global goals

Fri Sep 25, 2015 | 11:51 PM EDT

Pope Francis addresses attendees in the opening ceremony to commence a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 25, 2015.

By Ellen Wulfhorst

UNITED NATIONS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - World leaders on Friday adopted the most sweeping agenda ever of global goals to combat poverty, inequality and climate change, capping years of debate and saying now is the time for "a little less conversation, a little more action."

Described by the United Nations secretary-general as "a to-do list for people and planet," the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, are to be implemented over the next 15 years with a big global push to win public and political support.

The 193 U.N. member nations formally adopted the goals in the shadow of the worst refugee crisis since World War II, calling for shared peace and prosperity.

Pope Francis called the adoption of the SDGs "an important sign of hope."

"Solemn commitments, however, are not enough, even though they are a necessary step toward solutions," said the Pope as the Vatican flag flew for the first time outside the United Nations where security was heightened for his visit.

He said world leaders must follow through with "a will which is effective, practical, constant, with concrete steps and immediate measures" to protect the environment and end social and economic exclusion.

The adoption comes after three years of brainstorming among member nations to draw up the comprehensive slate, but supporters say now work must start on the bigger task of implementation into practical programs, policies and parliaments.


From the Pope to Malala: Quotes on the U.N.'s new global goals

Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, a strong supporter of the goal calling for affordable, sustainable energy, said lyrics from a song by "the famous philosopher Elvis Presley" were a fitting description of what must happen next.

"A little less conversation, a little more action please," she said.

The objectives replace the previous U.N. action plan, the Millennium Development Goals, that were adopted in 2000.

Supporters say the SDGs go much further by addressing root causes of issues such as poverty and looking at means as well as ends. They also are intended to be universal, not just for the developing world.

"They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after an opening ceremony with performances by Colombian singer Shakira and Benin's Angelique Kidjo, U.N. goodwill ambassadors.

"For the first time ever, we have a transformative set of global goals agreed by all countries and that apply to every nation," he said.

Implementation, requiring trillions of dollars in investment, will be monitored and reviewed using a set of global indicators to be agreed by March 2016.

While critics have described the SDGs as too broad and ambitious, supporters argue the agreement is a positive step as a shared vision to improve lives globally.

"There is a huge gap between the world we live in and the world we want. These goals represent people's aspirations and rights and they must and can be realized," said Salil Shetty, secretary-general of Amnesty International.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by xxxx.; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit www.trust.org)



UN Summit Approves15-Year Blueprint to Eradicate Poverty

SEPTEMBER 25, 2015

UNITED NATIONS — With the bang of a gavel, international leaders approved an ambitious 15-year plan Friday to tackle the world's biggest problems, from eradicating poverty to preserving the planet to reducing inequality. Now comes the tough part: Drumming up support and money to achieve the goals and transform the world.

Pope Francis gave his backing to the new development agenda in an address to the U.N. General Assembly before the summit to adopt the 17-point plan opened, calling it "an important sign of hope" at a very troubled time in the Middle East and Africa.

When Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen struck his gavel to approve the development road map, leaders and diplomats from the 193 U.N. member states stood and applauded loudly.

Then, the summit immediately turned to the real business of the three-day meeting — implementation of the goals, which is expected to cost $3.5 trillion to $5 trillion every year until 2030.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set the stage, saying the agenda "embodies the aspirations of people everywhere for lives of peace, security and dignity on a healthy planet."

The goals "are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success," Ban said.

The document, titled "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development," not only outlines 17 broad goals but sets 169 specific targets.

The non-binding goals succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by world leaders 15 years ago. Only one of those has been achieved: halving the number of people living in extreme poverty, due primarily to economic growth in China. At least one other is close — cutting in half the proportion of people without access to clean water — and there are still three months until the goals expire.

The new goals include ensuring "healthy lives" and quality education for all, clean water, sanitation and reliable modern energy, as well as making cities safe, reducing inequality within and among countries, and promoting economic growth and good governance.

Critics say they are too broad, lack accountability and will lead to disenchantment among those most in need of hope.

Supporters say there is no choice but to go big in a world of expanding population, growing inequality, dwindling resources and the existential threat from global warming. They note that while the millennium goals were developed by then secretary-general Kofi Annan and his staff, the new goals are the result of years of negotiations by all 193 member states, which means they should all have a stake in their achievement.

Sweden announced that a group of nine leaders from different regions will work to ensure implementation of the goals. It includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Liberia, South Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia and the prime ministers of Sweden and East Timor.

Speaker after speaker pointed to the spread of extremist groups as barriers to development, perhaps none more eloquently than Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousefzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012 for campaigning for girls' education.

Standing in the assembly chamber's balcony surrounded by 193 young people representing every country, Malala told the leaders: "The future generation is raising their voice." Each teen held a lantern, which she said symbolized their hope that the new global goals will be achieved.

Millions of children are suffering from "terrorism, displacement and denial of education," Malala said, noting the heartbreaking photo of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi lying drowned on a Turkish sea shore and the tearful parents of girls abducted from their school in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram.

"Promise peace to all children in Pakistan, in India, in Syria and in every corner of the world," Malala implored the leaders.

"Promise that every child will have the right to safe, free and quality primary and secondary education," she said. "Education is hope. Education is peace."

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said the international community has to deal with global challenges that hinder development — "especially terrorism" which isn't confined to Arab nations but has spread worldwide.

In pursuing development, he said, the Egyptian people are facing "the most dangerous extremist terrorist ideology."

Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by Sinai militants allied to the Islamic State group. At the same time, security forces have cracked down on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists since the military — then led by el-Sissi — ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood figure, in 2013 after massive protests against Morsi's rule. Hundreds of Islamists have been killed and thousands arrested.

El-Sissi also expressed concern that "the tools" to achieve the goals are insufficient, and stressed that richer nations have a responsibility to help poorer ones.

Afghan leader Abdullah Abdullah, whose country is one of the world's poorest, urged "political commitment and revitalized partnership" to achieve the goals.

The head of Amnesty International used his speech to make an impassioned critique of mass surveillance, the arms trade, income inequality and human rights abuses.

"You cannot launch these goals and in parallel deny a safe and legal route to refugees, a life with dignity," Amnesty's Salil Shetty added.

Merkel told fellow leaders there is no quick solution to the migrant crisis that has seen hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war, poverty and persecution flood into Europe and safe havens closer to home.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said eliminating poverty is the top priority in his country, which has the world's largest number of people living in extreme poverty.

Modi confirmed plans for a fivefold boost in renewable energy but added two years to the time frame, saying it will take seven years instead of five.

As for finding the trillions needed to implement the goals, Kenya's U.N. Ambassador Macharia Kamau has insisted it can be done. But Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said Thursday "we'd be doing very well to have anywhere near that amount of money available by 2030."


Associated Press writer Cara Anna contributed to this report from the United Nations.