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Trump endorses PA Senate candidate Lou Barletta

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In an effort to increase the Red Tide, Trump tweeted an endorsement of Lou Barletta who is looking for a promotion to the Senate. It’s important to note that a Trump endorsement via twitter isn’t the most solid form of in writing. Kelli Ward of Arizona received such praise but that was before Joe Arpaio threw his hat in. Nonetheless, Pennsylvania is a winnable election for the GOP looking to increase their majority in the Senate as it swung for Trump in 2016. In Trump’s endorsement, he not only praises Lou Barletta but also tears at incumbent Democrat, Bob Casey.

Who is Lou Barletta?

Representing the eleventh District in Pennsylvania is Lou Barletta. The mention of the early support indicates that this is a loyalty move by Trump. If nothing else, Trump does consistently reward loyalty. However, is Trump loyalty synonymous with conservatism? Let’s dig deeper into his record. On social media the self-proclaimed resistance calls him a Nazi. But no evidence really exist for that, nor does his voting record indicate a belief in supremacy of the white race. On the contrary, Lou Barletta is an influential Congressman of issues of energy and coal. But his voting record is not one of limiting the size of government or fiscal conservatism. The Conservative Review scores Lou Barletta at 43% on his Liberty Score. For Pennsylvania that would be an improvement from Bob Casey who is at 8%. The Liberty Score compiles the previous fifty major votes and scores politicians. What’s not include thus far is the recent budget and debt ceiling talks. But there is the reauthorization of FISA which Barletta supported.

Barletta is loyal to Trump, likely as his record shows he is unwilling to buck the powers that be. He was loyal to John Boehner, uninterested in removing the IRS Commissioner, and a member of the GOP who would surrender to Obama on multiple occasions. By itself, Lou Barletta is unwilling to fund Planned Parenthood. In a bigger bill, Barletta votes in favor of abortion funding. On spending increases and subsidies, Barletta has stood in favor. I could dig deeper, but the overall picture shows Barletta’s unwillingness to go against the Whitehouse whether they are Republican or Democrat and a lack of conservatism in either case.

The Other Candidates

Barletta stands as the most formidable candidate. He has major endorsements and money. Number two on the list is a businessman, Paul Addis. This would be an political outsider running for office. His priorities is the military, but by his own website has few actual positions. There is not enough evidence to suggest that Addis is a conservative candidate. Looking for promotion is Jim Christiana, a state representative. Scorecards from the American Conservative Union and the National Federation of Independent Businesses ranks Christiana favorably. In the most recent scorecard, 2016, Christiana voted to protect the unborn and made efforts to kill a gun control measure. The other benefit is his youth!

My Take of the Race

Jim Christiana is the conservative choice in this race, but Lou Barletta stands the best chance to win because Jim Christiana doesn’t have a whole lot of cash. Barletta is also a fairly talented campaigner. But first and foremost, he is a loyalist. If the other candidates fail to up their social media game, Barletta could run away with this. And if he wins, we’ll just have a Democrat vs a RINO come November.

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Culture and Religion

The ‘church fathers’ and the Book of Enoch

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The church fathers and the Book of Enoch

This article first appeared in Torah Driven Life. The site appears to be down currently, so we’re including this page here for reference.

The following is a compilation of attestations to the authenticity and acceptance of the Book of Enoch as Scripture by the fathers of the early church. This list is, by no means, an exhaustive list of quotations from the church fathers, but is rather just skimming of the surface. At any rate, the case is clear, that even beyond Jude’s open reference to it, the Book of Enoch had some degree of acceptance in early Christianity.

Tertullian and the Book of Enoch

Tertullian, an early church father and founder of Latin Christianity, wrote a few positive things concerning the Book of Enoch. Tertulian writes as follows in his 2nd century work, On the Apparel of Women I 3:1-3.

“I am aware that the Scripture of Enoch, which has assigned this order of action to angels, is not received by some, because it is not admitted into the Jewish canon either. I suppose they did not think that, having been published before the deluge, it could have safely survived that world-wide calamity, the abolisher of all things. If that is the reason for rejecting it, let them recall to their memory that Noah, the survivor of the deluge, was the great-grandson of Enoch himself; and he, of course, had heard and remembered, from domestic renown and hereditary tradition, concerning his own great-grandfather’s ‘grace in the sight of God,’ (Genesis 6:8) and concerning all his preachings; since Enoch had given no other charge to Methuselah than that he should hand on the knowledge of them to his posterity. Noah therefore, no doubt, might have succeeded in the trusteeship of his preaching; or, had the case been otherwise, he would not have been silent alike concerning the disposition of things made by God, his Preserver, and concerning the particular glory of his own house.

“If Noah had not had this conservative power by so short a route, there would still be this consideration to warrant our assertion of the genuineness of this Scripture: he could equally have renewed it, under the Spirit’s inspiration, after it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge, as, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian storming of it, every document of the Jewish literature is generally agreed to have been restored through Ezra.

“But since Enoch in the same Scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord, nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that ‘every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired.’ (2 Timothy 3:16) By the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected for that very reason, just like all the other portions nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some Scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive. To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude.” (Jude 1:14-15)

Origen and the Book of Enoch

Origen appeals to the Book of Enoch as having the same canonical authority as he does the Book of Psalms. He writes as follows in De Principiis IV.

“But some one will perhaps inquire whether we can obtain out of Scripture any grounds for such an understanding of the subject. Now I think some such view is indicated in the Psalms, when the prophet says, ‘My eyes have seen your imperfection;’ (Psalm 139:16) by which the mind of the prophet, examining with keener glance the first principles of things, and separating in thought and imagination only between matter and its qualities, perceived the imperfection of God, which certainly is understood to be perfected by the addition of qualities. Enoch also, in his book, speaks as follows: ‘I have walked on even to imperfection;’ which expression I consider may be understood in a similar manner, viz., that the mind of the prophet proceeded in its scrutiny and investigation of all visible things, until it arrived at that first beginning in which it beheld imperfect matter existing without ‘qualities.’ For it is written in the same book of Enoch, ‘I beheld the whole of matter;’ which is so understood as if he had said: ‘I have clearly seen all the divisions of matter which are broken up from one into each individual species either of men, or animals, or of the sky, or of the sun, or of all other things in this world.’”

These quotations which he attributes to Enoch are not found in the Ethiopic text of the Book of Enoch, upon which our modern translations are based. There are, however, two sufficient reasons to believe that Origen is still quoting from the Book of Enoch. First, notice how Origen mishandled Psalm 139:16, “My eyes have seen your imperfection,” as if to indicate that God had imperfections which could be seen. Psalm 139:16 is more accurately translated, “Mine unformed substance Thine eyes saw.” (YLT) So it is very possible that Origen was simply incorrectly quoting passages that do exist in the Ethiopic text. Second, it is known from the discovery of Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts of Enoch found in the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran that there are large portions of text that are not present in the Ethiopic manuscripts. (See 4Q209 and 4Q211) So it is also possible that he was quoting from portions of Enoch that may have not been translated into the Ethiopic text, and hence have not survived to today.

Irenaeus and the Book of Enoch

Irenaeus, in his work The Proof of the Apostolic Preaching 18, records a condensed retelling of Enoch 6-8. He does this without directly citing the Book of Enoch, yet the citation here is unmistakable.

“And for a very long while wickedness extended and spread, and reached and laid hold upon the whole race of mankind, until a very small seed of righteousness remained among them: and illicit unions took place upon the earth, since angels were united with the daughters of the race of mankind; and they bore to them sons who for their exceeding greatness were called giants. And the angels brought as presents to their wives teachings of wickedness, in that they brought them the virtues of roots and herbs, dyeing in colours and cosmetics, the discovery of rare substances, love-potions, aversions, amours, concupiscence, constraints of love, spells of bewitchment, and all sorcery and idolatry hateful to God; by the entry of which things into the world evil extended and spread, while righteousness was diminished and enfeebled.”

The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas and the Book of Enoch

The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas is frequently ranked among the Apostolic Fathers, i.e. the founding documents of gentile Christianity. This letter contains several blatant quotations from the Book of Enoch, citing it as “Scripture” in Barnabas 16:5-6.

“Again, it was made manifest that the city and the temple and the people of Israel were to be delivered up. For the Scripture says, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days that the Lord shall deliver the sheep of His pasture, and the sheep-fold, and their tower to destruction.’ (Condensed from Enoch 89:54-56) And it took place according to what the Lord said. But let us inquire if a temple of God exists. Yes, it exists, where He Himself said that He makes and perfects it. For it is written, ‘And it shall come to pass when the week is ended that a temple of God shall be built gloriously in the name of the Lord.’ ” (Similar to Enoch 93:6-7)

Given that the writing style of Pseudo-Barnabas does not always give exact quotes from the Scripures, but frequently handles them in a very midrashic style, it is probable that the author is giving a condensed paraphrase of the passages in question from the same version of Enoch we have in our possession today.

Athenagoras and the Book of Enoch

Athenagoras of Athens, in his work 2nd century work Legatio, claims to regard Enoch as a true prophet, and this same work relies heavily upon the angelic cosmology presented in the Book of Enoch.

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Ethiopia readies ‘massive offensive’ on al-Shabab in Somalia

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Ethiopia readies massive offensive on al-Shabab in Somalia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The Ethiopian National Defense Force is confirming an ambush by al-Shabab extremists on an Ethiopian peacekeeping convoy in neighboring Somalia and says Ethiopian forces are preparing a “massive offensive” in response.

A statement on Saturday rejects reports and an al-Shabab claim that several Ethiopian troops were killed. It does not give further details on casualties.

The ambush was reported as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the deadly hotel assault in Nairobi and deadly attacks on forces inside Somalia. The statement does not say exactly when the ambush occurred.

Ethiopia contributes troops to a multinational African Union peacekeeping mission.

The statement says the ambush occurred when the Ethiopian convoy was traveling Burhakaba to Baidoa in Somalia’s southwest.

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Media

Mueller’s office debunks Buzzfeed’s report

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Muellers office debunks Buzzfeeds report

That didn’t take long.

After a flurry of reports surrounding a Buzzfeed article that claimed then-candidate Trump ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, a statement from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has debunked it.

Spokesman Peter Carr says, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

As we noted yesterday, Buzzfeed is not credible. Now, any remnant of credibility they had left is evaporating away. This is not a serious news outlet. They’re just a click-bait farm.


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