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AOC Tweet scorecard: New Zealand attack: 14, Sri Lanka attack: 0

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AOC Tweet scorecard New Zealand attack 14 Sri Lanka attack 0

I’ll keep this short.

Nobody would accuse Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) of being shy on social media. Her Twitter account tends to be an endless flow of wicked idiocy, like a parody account making a mockery of false “deep thoughts.” But there are times when she tends to go silent on a topic. We now know one thing that will make her shut up is an Islamic terrorist attack on Christians.

Thus far, she’s mentioned the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks exactly zero times two days after the event.

If you think her silence is simply a reflection of her unwillingness to politicize tragic events, one need only look back a month to see she’s very capable of spewing rhetoric following terrorist attacks. Following the attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the freshman Congresswoman wouldn’t shut up. She Tweeted about it 14 times.

The difference, of course, is that one attack was against Christians and the other was against Muslims. For Christians, she has no sympathy or respect. For Muslims, she’s an advocate.

I’m not going to comment on the hypocrisy of this dangerous politicians. Either you see it or you’re among the sheep. She is either misguided on what makes America great or she willfully wants to destroy the nation. Which is it?

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Culture and Religion

Is the Shroud of Turin the burial cloth of Jesus?

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Is the Shroud of Turin the burial cloth of Jesus

The Shroud of Turin has been the center of controversy since 1898. We will discuss its history soon, but let’s first state the obvious. Those who believe it is authentically the burial shroud of Jesus Christ are unlikely to be dissuaded. Conversely, those who think it’s a fake will almost certainly maintain their skepticism despite evidence or faith.

Before we get into research regarding the shroud, it’s important to have the right mindset. Science cannot prove or disprove the divinity of Jesus Christ. Our Father has put all of the evidence we need in our hearts, through His teachings in the Bible, and within the clear cross-referencing of prophecies that have come true. If you are searching for truth, the Shroud of Turin can do little to persuade you in one direction or the other at this time because the individual can either have faith in the teachings of our Lord or the individual can adopt a worldview that excludes the Messiah. All the shroud can currently do is reinforce one’s faith or create a mystery in the secular mind.

Let’s explore some commentary about the shroud to see where it stands in today’s fight for the faith.

Clearing the biggest obstacle of authenticity

There is a way that many doubts could be taken away about the authenticity of the shroud. While it would not demonstrate clear proof that He is the Messiah who was resurrected as the first fruits, it could come very close to proving that the man who died on the cross in Jerusalem was wrapped in the shroud. The blood from the Sudarium of Oviedo can be compared to the blood on the shroud. This artifact is most likely the head covering that was used when Yeshua’s body was transported to the tomb and left there. Jewish tradition says that blood is part of the body and must be buried with it. Since the cloth had Yeshua’s blood, it would have been kept in the tomb.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

– John 20:6-7 (KJV)

Since the cloth has been tracked historically since the 7th century, it would be a clear debunking of the 1988 carbon-14 dating tests that The Telegraph and USA Today reported as being potentially reversed. Studies comparing the blood stain positioning between the two artifacts show the likelihood that they wrapped the same head. If the blood on the sudarium, which has been confirmed to be at least as old as the 7th century, is the same blood that’s on the shroud, it would leave no doubt that the carbon-14 dating placing the shroud between 1260-1390 AD is inaccurate.

One might ask why it’s so important to debunk the debunking. If, as I stated, the shroud is not a path to faith, why would we want it to be authenticated in the minds of the masses? To understand this, one must understand the tools and characteristics of the enemy. Today, so many people have used science as a reason to deny their faith and decry the teachings of the Bible. It is written on our hearts, solidified in our minds, and authenticated by the wonders of the world that we are created beings and that God is our Creator. Secular science has at its core the desire to explain the universe in terms that separate the creation from its Creator.

The shroud can be a powerful gateway into inquiry. Its presence, while proof of nothing, has a compelling story that could open up the minds of those seeking the truth to explore the Word and learn of God and Yeshua. The adversary does not need to disprove God. He simply needs to nurture the seeds of doubt that prevent us from exploring more deeply. This is why the carbon-14 dating results were tainted and its why an untold number of people have dismissed it as a fake. If the debunking of the shroud can itself be debunked, there’s an opportunity to plant a seed of curiosity in some people that can grow to a deeper exploration of the truth.

The only feasible explanation

To those who view the shroud as authentic, it’s a very clear indication of the resurrection. A deep dive into the scientific research and the faith that makes many believe it to be real tells an incredible story of mysteries that point to one feasible conclusion.

Scientists have spent a great deal of time trying to determine how it was created. One of the researchers, Barrie Schwortz, claims that their team spent hundreds of thousands of man hours with the goal of determining the way that the shroud was produced. He was skeptical at first, feeling that the mystery would be simple to solve once they applied modern science to it.

“Our team spent hundreds of thousand of hours and after that period of time, remembering that our primary goal was to determine how the image was formed, came back with nothing,” said Schwortz. “We could not answer that question, so in essence we can tell you what it’s not. We cannot tell you what it is.”

It is only when one goes in with the assumption that the Shroud of Turin is likely the cloth covering of the body of Yeshua after His crucifixion can they see the evidence as clearly pointing in that direction. To me, it’s compelling. To others, it’s simply beyond science’s ability to discern at this moment. The videos below go into greater detail about the evidence, but here’s a quick recap of some of the things that demonstrate its potential authenticity:

  • Rare Damascus Gate Dirt Found on Shroud: In 1978, a sample of dirt taken from the foot region of the shroud was examined at the Hercules Aerospace Laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah. The calcite in the dirt is rare, though it is in abundance around the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. This does nothing to prove authenticity but does point to the detail that would have had been put into its creation if it were a fake since there would be no reason in medieval times to believe that future generations would be able to tell the difference in dirt types from different regions.
  • Photo-Negative Nature of the Image: The controversy behind the shroud started in 1898 when amateur Italian photographer Secondo Pia photographed it. While processing the film, he was shocked to see that the negative established a much clearer image of a face than the positive itself. This means that whatever created the image did so in a way that was extremely improbable when producing a hoax but makes perfect sense from an authentic perspective, something we’ll talk about below.
  • AB Blood and Bilirubin: If we stay true to the scientific study, then we can draw a couple of conclusions. First, it’s definitely blood on the shroud as well as on the sudarium. Even skeptical scientists admit that ancient blood is present in the right areas. The presence of bilirubin makes it very likely that severe bruising and lacerations were present on the body when it was covered. These facts alone mean that it must be either an extremely elaborate hoax or a real burial cloth of a harshly scourged man.  Second, a close look at the debunking of the presence of blood demonstrates the uncanny depth to which the adversary will go to delude people. One, for example, says that a particular plant could be used to create a paint that mimics the characteristics of blood. That’s a pretty amazing coincidence if it was created in medieval times to fool the ages – they were very lucky to have selected the exact right flower that could stand up to 21st century microbiological scrutiny.
  • The Blood Goes Through the Shroud while the Image does Not: As they discovered when shining a light through the cloth and cataloging the other side, the blood stains go all the way through while the image on the front side does not. In fact, the image itself is only on the microscopic surface of the shroud, two microfibers deep. It’s either real or the artist was trying for an epic level of hyper-realism. Skeptics have suggested that, in order to produce a viable fake that could stand up to scrutiny, that they used real human blood to produce the effect. This is absurd, of course, because the blood soaks through in a way that shows it was truly lain over a body and not manually placed on a piece of linen for effect.
  • The Image Has Depth: This is one of the toughest pieces of evidence to explain. One of the videos below does a pretty good job at it, but here’s the quick layman’s version. Paintings and pictures do not have appropriate depth that can be measured with modern equipment such as the VP8 Image Analyzer. They become distorted. When the shroud was analyzed in this manner, it created a 3D image that corresponded with the face of a man as if the shroud image was created while draped over a man.
  • Pollen and Flowers: 58 pollen types are on the shroud and nearly half of them can only be found in the Middle East. One in particular pollen from a plant called gundelia tournefortii, is found in abundance near the head region of the shroud. It is a very thorny plant that could have been used as the crown of thorns. Many flower images can be found on the shroud, including Zygophyllum dumosum. This is an important discovery because it is only found in one place – near Jerusalem.

There are plenty of other points that could be covered, but perhaps the most compelling is the form of the image itself. It shows a man with wounds that match what would have been seen from a scourging with a Roman flagrum. There is a also wound on the wrist where a crucified man would have been held to the cross. There are blood spots that surround the head in a way that would have come from wounds caused by a crown of thorns. Lastly, there is an area near the 5th rib where a lot of blood gathered that matches what a spear wound would have yielded.

This last piece of evidence demonstrates that this is definitely not another crucified man. The similarities to the story of Yeshua’s crucifixion are too perfect.

Authentic or not, it points to one conclusion

There are only two ways that the Shroud of Turin could have been formed.

It’s Real

If you believe the shroud is authentic, then you will probably believe that Joseph of Arimathea purchased a linen cloth to use as the burial shroud for the crucified Yeshua. At the time of resurrection, our best guess from a scientific perspective is that the body dematerialized and the burst of energy that resulted created the image on the shroud. This is backed up by the fact that the image is present, though lighter, at points where the shroud is not touching the body.

The pristine nature of the blood wounds indicates the shroud was not removed. For them to appear as they do, the points on the body where blood is touching the cloth would need to suddenly disappear or there would have been clear smudging.

Light is the most popular theory for the creation of the image. Heat or other sorts of radiation are less likely, but light of some sort has been shown to work to produce the effect. In a recent study, scientists created similar results using UV laser pulses. Lastly, if the origin of the light was within the shroud (within the body, perhaps) then the effect could have produced the negative image.

Those who believe that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Yeshua can latch onto the scientific data that hypothesizes His resurrection as the moment that the image was imprinted onto the shroud.

It’s a Tool of Deception

With all that we now know, this cannot be an artist’s rendition. It is extremely unlikely that it could be another man who happened to be killed in the same manner. Does this mean that it must be authentic?

The evidence points to a supernatural origin, which means that if it is a fake, then it was created through forces and with knowledge that greatly exceeds science today, let alone in medieval times. This would mean that demonic forces have gone through a ton of trouble over the centuries to make it stand up against all scrutiny. The presence of the Catholic Church makes this a possibility as well. It’s not that the Catholic Church is universally bent towards evil – not by any means. However, the deceptions that have been promoted by evil through the Catholic Church could bring into question whether this is an artifact of reality or deception.

This is all possible, but there is one event that points away from this possibility. There are many reasons, some discussed above, that the carbon dating was flawed. One in particular points to a last minute decision regarding the area of the shroud where the carbon dating sample would be taken. Originally, samples from different sections were supposed to be used, but the decision was made under guidance of the Catholic Church to pull from a single location. That location has been shown to be a place where the shroud was repaired, meaning that the cloth was an interwoven area mixing the original shroud cloth with newer cloth.

I do not believe that the shroud is a tool of deception, but the possibility is there so it must be stated.

Either Way…

It doesn’t really matter which is true. We know that in either scenario, the shroud was clearly created through means that could not exist in a world that does not have heavenly forces of good or demonic forces of evil. Human hands could not have created the shroud, not today and definitely not 700 years ago.

The Shroud of Turin is an interesting study of the resurrection. Today, it is a small piece of the bigger puzzle. In the future, it may come into play more prevalently in the fight between good and evil.

Here are three videos that we recommend for further research on the subject:

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Culture and Religion

President Trump affirms abortion exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother

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President Trump affirms abortion exceptions for rape incest and life of the mother

Following last week’s fury over the Alabama abortion bill that essentially bans abortion in all cases other than a threat to the life of mother, President Trump has weighed in. While not addressing the bill directly, he still declared his stance on abortion and called for voters to stand with him to protect life.

Opinion

Our EIC noted a couple of days ago that belief that life begins at conception means being an abortion absolutist that backs the Alabama law. I tend to agree, which is why I believe we have to classify the President’s remarks as a secular belief in the sanctity of life. When we insert our human morality into the equation, it becomes a moral issue to want exceptions.

That’s fine. There may be bickering over who may actually be pro-choice based on their perspectives, but from a political perspective we need to make sure we keep our eyes on the big picture. We want Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Then, the states can decide how they want to handle the “healthcare” issue of abortion.

The rest is part of the cultural battle against abortions. This is why I’ve said many times in the past that we have to view this as a multi-front battle. We have the political front, and that’s going to be ever-changing. But we also have the cultural front in which we have to make decisions about how we view the life within the mother, whether from a religious or moral perspective. The third front is the scientific arena which has been quickly shifting away from the pro-abortion world to vindicating past claims pro-lifers have been making for decades.

The President’s stance, while not perfectly aligned with mine, is still exponentially better than anything the entirety of the Democratic Party is putting forth. What’s worse is that their candidates are pushing radical abortion ideas.

Quote

“If we believe the miracle of life begins when a human is conceived, then we must defend that life as a fellow creation of God regardless of the circumstances. Then, we must do everything in our power to aid the mother through the challenges she and her child will face.” – JD Rucker

Final Thoughts

We can bicker over the extent that pro-life laws should block abortions, but the general direction of overturning Roe v. Wade should allow conservatives to walk along the same path. We can discuss details afterwards.

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Culture and Religion

Ethical dilemmas

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Q&A

Q: Is it ever ethical to take a human life?

A: Yes.

WHY?

Killing is not always murder.

SELF DEFENSE

In most societies and most jurisdictions, preventing another person from taking one’s own life is justifiable even if deadly force is required.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

If a law enforcement officer fears for his or her life or to protect the life of another, the Use of Force Continuum must be applied. There are various models but this is the basic one that has been taught to federal officers.

Continuum

WARFARE

Taking the life an enemy soldier with a rifle pointed at you may not cause ethical anguish when considered abstractly. It must not cause a moment’s hesitation on the battlefield.

Today, sometimes the person who “pulls the trigger”, or launches the drone in the Middle East or Southwest Asia could be sitting in an air-conditioned room in the Nevada desert. He or she is in no immediate danger. But it is warfare none the less.

But when an Al-Qaeda or ISIS operative is taken out in Pakistan or Afghanistan, for instance, his family including possibly small children are going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I would submit that the toughest decision ever made by a U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief fell upon the gentleman from Independence, Missouri. The war of attrition continued in the Pacific after Germany had already been defeated in Europe. The Empire of Japan would never have surrendered had not the atomic bombs been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 under orders from Harry S. Truman.

I personally served in the United States Air Force for 5 1/2 years between December 1968 and June 1974 during the Vietnam era with assignments for nearly three years in the Philippines and on Okinawa. But I never faced combat.

Friends and family who did fight in Vietnam understandably did not like talking about it. War is hell. No doubt. That particular war should never have happened. But the blame is upon political leaders not the soldiers who just did their duty. They just did what they had to do to protect themselves and their fellow soldiers.

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

I live in Hawaii which does not and surely never will execute criminals for any crime whatsoever. Byran Uyesugi committed the worst mass murder in Hawaii history on November 2, 1999 murdering 7 people at Xerox on Nimitz Highway in Honolulu. I haven’t seen an article or heard word mentioned about him in years. No need to Google it again now.

But of course I hear about executions in many states on the U.S. mainland, many of them in Texas. I can’t say whether Byran Uyesugi would be a threat to public safety if he ever was released or escaped. Life imprisonment may well serve the cause.

Executing a prisoner as punishment or retribution is something that I would not personally want to happen. But if a person is liable to harm others, and if the people of a state support capital punishment, that is a decision they and their elected officials must make and bear responsibility for.

TERRORISM

This is a separate category from warfare per se. Some may call it asymmetrical warfare. But here we are not dealing with nation-states and formal military combatants.

I have no problem whatsoever with KSM having been waterboarded. If he expired during that, and it resulted in information that saved innocent lives, it would have been justifiable in my book. He’s still in Gitmo and they may as well throw away the key.

ABORTION

It was an abortion issue that led me down the path of this ethical dilemma. But first I wanted to address other scenarios where we as human beings, even the most moral among us, usually agree that there are limited circumstances where one may and must take another human life.

IS ABORTION EVER NECESSARY?

That is the key to dealing with the ethical dilemma.

In the strictest sense, the answer is no. The possible exception to that would be the life of the mother. If a medical doctor determines that either she or her baby can survive but not both of them, both lives have equal value.

There are mothers who will sacrifice their own life to bring new life into this world. If she is not medically capable of making her own decision, then that is the most heart-wrenching choice her husband could ever have to make.

Life begins at conception. A sperm or an ovum by itself is not yet a life, but when the DNA of both mother and father form a zygote, it is a new distinct life which is not a clone of either parent. Therefore, I would not even support the morning after pill.

EXCEPTIONS?

The part that we as Christians and as conservatives may legitimately differ over is the matter of rape and incest. Either way, an abortion kills a living child. There’s no getting around that.

Therefore I believe that in both cases, the pro-life position is that exceptions should not be made. This is not as simple a conclusion to reach as it might at first seem.

RAPE

A woman’s life is already tragically impacted when she is raped. Adding to that, killing her offspring in her womb due to the circumstances of the conception and the unknown hereditary traits that might be passed along from the rapist will further traumatize any woman with a conscience.

While I would hope that a loving Christian mother would want her child no matter what, I would not condemn her for whatever she decides. If she does not choose to raise the boy or girl herself, adoption is a far better option than abortion.

Testimonies of people who were conceived by rape confirm that their lives do matter. The ethical dilemma comes in whether we criminalize abortions in cases when the baby was conceived via rape.

I want the children to live. But do we really want to tell a doctor he cannot abide by the decision of the woman who suffered the rape?

I pose the question but I’m not going to try to provide a conclusive answer. You will have to decide for yourself on this.

INCEST

This is a harder issue to deal with than rape. The reason is that hereditary and genetic anomalies may occur as a result of inbreeding. An entire extended family will be disrupted by any case of incest.

Incest is one of the most unpleasant subjects to even have to consider. It totally disgusts decent people. Unfortunately, in this world it happens all too frequently.

That’s why I believe that a baby in the womb conceived by incest must lead to respect of a professional medical evaluation of the situation.

I will not go into how the birth of such a child complicates any family structure. You can visualize that easily enough for yourself.

Yes, every human life has value from the moment of conception. That is why it is one of the most difficult choices a pregnant woman will ever have to make on behalf of her entire family.

Again, as with rape cases, do we really want to bring felony charges against a medical doctor who is caring for a mother who has an incest-conceived child in her womb?

WHO MAKES THE LIFE OR DEATH CHOICE?

In the case of a civilian facing a deadly threat to himself or herself, or of a police officer or a soldier in the line of duty, he or she must make a split-second decision whether to use lethal force. It is an irrevocable decision, the consequences of which are the alternative to possibly dying on the spot.

With capital punishment, it is a decision which each sovereign state must make. There is a federal death penalty but it is used rarely for people such as Timothy McVeigh.

Concerning terrorism, this will continue to be a thorny issue as long as our leaders refuse to properly focus upon the underpinning ideology of Jihad. Suffice it to say here, this is an existential issue that is just going to have to be dealt with realistically.

BUT IS ABORTION A CHOICE?

That is tearing our society apart at the moment. Both the Bible and the Constitution were written before modern technology existed. We can never fully comprehend the eternal and infinite wisdom of Almighty God as long as we are still here on this mortal sphere. We must also apply the U.S. Constitution to technology which did not exist in the 18th century or in the minds of our Founders.

For Christians, this is very much a spiritual and religious issue. But how do I present an argument to U.S. Senator from Hawaii Mazie Hirono who is a Buddhist? She does not accept or acknowledge the Judeo-Christian tradition. I have no idea if Buddha ever had any concept regarding abortion nor does that line of reasoning hold any promise in this present context.

Therefore, I hope she can realize that defining the object of abortion as a human life is not just a modern conservative invention. When she talks about decades of precedent set by Roe v Wade, that pales in comparison with millennia of respect for life in the womb.

Of course I realize that neither I nor any other of the people she was elected to serve here in Hawaii will ever convince Mazie that abortion is not just a woman’s healthcare choice.

It’s hard to imagine that anyone can seriously look at an ultrasound in this day and age and declare that abortion-on-demand up to the moment of delivery is a constitutional right.

If they cannot see that it is a human baby in the womb, then they suffer from cognitive dissonance. No further discussion or debate will change their mind.

If they say it is already a child but they don’t care, likewise they have made their choice and it is a choice of death.

OUR ORIGINAL QUESTION

Is it ever ethical to take a human life?

Yes, but abortion on demand is not one of those circumstances. Children conceived in rape or incest have a right to life.

The question with which I will leave you is:

Will you prosecute medical professionals who perform an abortion at the behest of the mother in cases of rape and incest? That’s what state laws that will inevitably be decided by SCOTUS will determine.

EPILOGUE

In Hawaii, we must elect conservatives to Congress because none of the incumbents will ever change course and support pro-life legislation. If your U.S. Senators and Representatives in your state are more reasonable, please contact them with your views. The same goes with state legislators.

This could go either way when it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s possible that Roberts and Kavanaugh could go the wrong way and let Roe v Wade stand. I’d rather see this reach that ultimate arbiter after President Trump has the opportunity to nominate someone to succeed RBG.

YOUR ANSWER

The ethical dilemma does not extend to the wanton slaughter of pre-born babies. But, you must answer for yourself what should be done in cases of rape or incest. Do you believe abortions under such circumstances should be criminalized and doctors prosecuted? Don’t tell me; contact your legislators.

Psalm 139 13

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