Category Archives: Religion

Sunday Devotional: ‘unclean spirits came out of many possessed people’

Acts 8:5-8

Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Exorcists often say real cases of demonic possession are rare, but the above passage from the Acts of the Apostles says otherwise.

As an example, Catholic News Service reports on Feb. 17, 2005 that:

“Two Italian exorcists preparing priests and seminarians to respond to reports of demonic possession have affirmed that the devil is real and can possess people, but it does not happen as often as many people think.”

The late Gabriele Amorth, Vatican’s chief exorcist who passed last September 16 at age 91, said again and again in his writings and interviews that while demonic possession is on the rise across the world because “Today Satan rules the world” and “The masses no longer believe in God,” real cases of possession nevertheless are rare.

But Fr. Amorth emphasized that demonic attacks come in forms other than demonic possession — the full possession by a demon or demons of a human’s body, not the soul. There are five other types of demonic attacks:

  1. External physical pain caused by Satan: Demonic activity that manifests as physical pain, such as the physical beatings and torment demons inflicted on some saints, e.g., St. John of the Cross and St. (Padre) Pio.
  2. Diabolical oppression: Severe to mild events that plague the individual where “There is no possession, loss of consciousness, or involuntary action and word.” Some examples are Job’s severe afflictions and St. Paul’s thorn in his flesh (II Cor 12:7).
  3. Diabolic obsession: “Symptoms include sudden attacks, at times ongoing, of obsessive thoughts, sometimes even rationally absurd, but of such nature that the victim is unable to free himself.” Moreover, “the obsessed person lives in a perpetual state of prostration, desperation, and attempts at suicide. Almost always obsession influences dreams.”
  4. Diabolic infestation: “Infestations affect houses, things, or animals.”
  5. Diabolical subjugation or dependence: This is the classic Faustian bargain or pact with the Devil. In Fr. Amorth’s words, “people fall into this form of evil when thy voluntarily submit to Satan. The two most common forms of dependence are the blood pact with the devil and the consecration to Satan.” Fr. Malachi Martin called this total or perfect possession. Since the human, with full consent and assent, voluntarily invites in the demon(s), we would not expect the totally possessed person to seek an exorcist. In other words, the cases of demonic possession that come to the attention of exorcists are only of the partial or incomplete variety, which is a frightening thought.

So what’s the antidote?

Jesus Christ.

Forever and always.

John 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Love the Lord thy God fiercely — with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

And may the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

See also:

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UK schools urged to ‘show sensitivity’ to Muslim pupils by moving revision classes and rescheduling sports days for Ramadan

islam-is-the-answer

Ain’t multi-culturalism grand?

From Daily Mail: Schools are being urged to move revision classes and consider rescheduling sports days to accommodate the needs of Muslim pupils fasting for Ramadan, MailOnline can reveal.

A new report also suggests that schools should also ‘show sensitivity’ when organising graduation celebrations and change PE lesson plans to make sure that activities are ‘less strenuous’.

Ramadan falls at the end of May this year and will last for approximately one month meaning it will clash with GCSE and A Level exams across the country.

During the period Muslims who have reached ‘maturity’ are required to go without food or drink – including water – during sunlight hours. It means that thousands of pupils could face sitting exams with empty stomachs in warm exam rooms at the height of summer when Britain gets an average of 16 hours of daylight.

The pamphlet has been published by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which represents more than 18,000 head teachers and college leaders. It recommends teenagers should not stay up late praying during this summer’s exam period because ‘extra devotions in Ramadan are voluntary’ and performing well at school is ‘obligatory’.

The report – which was authored by ‘inclusion specialist’ Anna Cole – warns: ‘Young people should be made aware that Islam does not require them to put their futures in jeopardy.’

It also says that despite a ‘combination of long days, higher temperatures as well as examinations’ putting extra pressure on young Muslims, many will still opt to participate in Ramadan.

The ASCL research paper concludes that primary-aged children should not fast and makes a series of recommendations to secondary school head teachers to ‘ease the pressure’ on Muslim students.

It advises invigilators to avoid suggesting to students that they have a ‘tiny sip of water’ while sitting in hot exam rooms unless there is concern that they are suffering from dehydration. Schools are also asked to provide prayer rooms as well as to make sure exam rooms are in the shade with fans and bottles of water available.

But the guidance starkly warns: ‘If a student taking an exam is showing any signs that they may be dehydrated, such as a headache or drowsiness, they should be advised to terminate the fast immediately by drinking some water.’

In this instance, staff are told to ‘inform pupils of the allowances Islam gives for them to break the fast and make it up later if they feel fasting will in any way jeopardise their performance’. They are also advised to ‘discuss with students whether they would prefer revision lessons to be in the morning or afternoon’.

It continues: ‘School and college leaders will also want to consider the possible impact fasting and late night prayers during Ramadan may have on Muslim children when setting dates for other activities, such as sports days, trips and celebrations.’

The paper – which the authors hope will be a ‘positive opportunity for engagement – was devised in consultation with scholars from across the spectrum of Islamic religion. The guidelines state: ‘Observing Ramadan may bring many benefits to individuals and communities, but also has the potential to cause the individual temporary hardship through hunger and lack of liquids during fasting hours which may impact on physical wellbeing and cognitive performance.

‘Young Muslims and families, particularly those sitting exams this summer, will need to balance their obligations as Muslims with their studies and the importance of examinations for their future, noting that the pursuit of education is also a religious and moral duty for Muslims of both genders.

There are some exemptions to Ramadan, for women on their periods, those who are ill or those experiencing ‘hardship’ – but generally all Muslims past the age of puberty take part.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

‘Humanity’ in animals

We humans like to think of ourselves as “like gods” who are superior to the real God’s other creations. We use the word “animal” as an insult, calling the most depraved among us “animals” when it is we “enlightened” humans who consciously and willfully lie, steal, insult, hurt, scheme, plot, plunder, and murder for profit or pleasure. Then to top it off, we use the intelligence that God gives us to justify our deeds with elaborate rationalization.

Saint Bonaventure called animals “creatures without sin” for, unlike humans, they are not born with “the mark” — fomes peccati, tinder for sin.

Saint Francis saw the “humanity” in non-human creatures. He talked to birds and animals, and even preached to them.

Take a look at these pictures. Do you not see their “humanity”? — of intelligence, loving “tolerance” of another species, parental love, unspoken friendship, and quiet companionship . . . .

And then there is their sheer, breathtaking beauty, which no human can match:

Did you know that animals have empathy? — that attribute on which human morality is founded (“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” -Matthew 7:12), but which human narcissists and psychopaths lack. See:

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV

~Eowyn

Augusta School Department Punishes Employee for Telling Coworker, “I will pray for you”

serious

Unbelievable.

From Yahoo: (AUGUSTA, Maine/RNewswire-USNewswire) Toni Richardson, an educational technician employed by the Augusta School Department, filed charges of religious discrimination and retaliation yesterday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after being instructed to never use phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with coworkers.  A copy of the charge is available here.

“What Augusta Public Schools did by punishing Toni for discussing her faith in a private conversation with a coworker is unconscionable,” said Timothy Woodcock of the Maine law firm Eaton Peabody. “The law is clear: employers cannot discriminate against employees who privately discuss their faith while at work.”

Toni tried to privately encourage a coworker—with whom she attends church—by saying, “I will pray for you.”  Even though the coworker thanked Toni, the Augusta Schools Department interrogated her, asking whether she had ever identified herself to coworkers as a Christian or privately told a colleague she was praying for him. Later, she received an official “coaching memorandum,” explaining that she could not use “phrases that integrate public and private belief systems” while at schoolThe memo specifically explains that she will face discipline or dismissal in the future for using phrases like, “I will pray for you” and “you were in my prayers” in private conversations with colleagues at work.

“I was shocked that my employer punished me for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Toni Richardson says, “I am afraid that I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker.”

“No one should be threatened with losing their job for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Jeremy Dys, Senior Counsel for First Liberty Institute, says. “School employees are not required to hide their faith from each other while on campus.”

To read the charge of discrimination, go to FirstLiberty.org/Richardson.

DCG

Fake Terrorist: ISIS jihadist calling for attacks on U.S. & Australia is a Jew who lived with his parents in Florida

In March 2017, in separate arrests, a black man in St. Louis and two father-and-son dual US-Israeli citizens were arrested for pretending to be anti-Semites who made a rash of bomb and other threats against Jewish organizations in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand. See:

Yesterday, I came across another case of fake threats, by a Jewish young man living with his parents in Florida, who pretended to be an ISIS/Islamic State jihadist threatening to attack the U.S. and Australia.

Elise Potaka and Luke McMahon report for Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald that on Sept. 9, 2015, the FBI arrested 20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg at his parents’ home in Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida, for pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State (IS) jihadist and for “distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction in furtherance of an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence”.

The police made the arrest after an FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax Media — one of Australia’s largest media companies and the owner of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Calling himself “Australi Witness,” Goldberg had posed online as an IS supporter working with other jihadists on plans to attack individuals and events in Australia and the United States. He even posted pictures of a bomb that he said he was making with “2 lbs of explosives inside”.

Goldberg is Jewish, not a Muslim, and has no real-world links with the Islamic State or any other terrorist group.

US Attorney Lee Bentley III said Goldberg:

  • Instructed a confidential source how to make a bomb similar to two used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings hoax, with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison.
  • Provided five web links to sites containing instructions to make explosives as part of a plot to explode a bomb at a memorial ceremony in Kansas City, commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The affidavit, released by Special agent William Berry of US Customs and Border Protection, says Goldberg initially denied to police that he had distributed information on how to make a bomb, but later admitted it and “further admitted that he believed the information would create a genuine bomb”.

In the leadup to an exhibition in Garland, Texas, at which pictures of the Prophet Mohammed were to be displayed, posing as “Australi Witness,” Goldberg tweeted the event’s address and urged people to go there with “weapons, bombs or with knifes”. Two Muslim men attempted an attack at the exhibition, and were killed by police. Australi Witness then praised them online as martyrs. Australi Witness Goldberg also urged followers to target Australian cartoonist Larry Pickering, who has previously depicted the Prophet Mohammed.

Goldberg, as Australi Witness, posed online as prominent Australian lawyer, Josh Bornstein. Goldberg established a blog on the Times of Israel in the lawyer’s name and, pretending to be Bornstein, posted an inflammatory article calling for the “extermination” of Palestinians. The Times retracted and apologized for the article. For his part, Bornstein said in a public statement that “I deplore racism…I’ve fought racism since I was four years old”.

When confronted, Goldberg boasted he had fooled “that guy” Bornstein into thinking that the online radical right-wing website “Daily Stormer did it.”

According to Wikipedia, Goldberg also pretended to be these other online personas:

  • White supremacist neo-Nazi on The Daily Stormer, Reddit, and European88.
  • Radical feminist.
  • Woman-hating misogynist on Reddit, advocating corrective rape against “whores and feminazis”, and offering tips on how to do so without getting caught.

Goldberg’s Australi Witness persona fooled journalists and terrorism experts.

As an example, Rita Katz, 54 — a Jew born in Iraq who is a terrorism analyst, co-founder of the D.C.-based private intelligence firm Search International Terrorist Entities (SITE) Intelligence Group, consultant for US and foreign governments, and has testified before Congress on online terrorist activities — said “IS supporter” Australi Witness held a “prestige” position in online jihadi circles and was “part of the hard core of a group of individuals who constantly look for targets for other people to attack”.

You can’t make this stuff up! — but evidently, terrorism expert Rita Katz can.

According to Wikipedia:

  • On Sept. 15, 2015, Goldberg appeared in court where he was ordered to undergo a 30-day mental health evaluation to determine his fitness to stand trial. If tried and convicted, Goldberg faces 20 years in prison.
  • On December 14, 2015, after an examination by psychologist Lisa Feldman at Federal Detention Center, Miami, US Magistrate Judge James Klindt ruled Goldberg mentally incompetent to stand trial and Goldberg was ordered to be undergo psychiatric treatment for four months at the Federal Medical Center, Butner.
  • On June 15, 2016, appearing again before Judge Klindt, Goldberg was described by prison psychiatrists as “improving”, and that there was a “good chance” of him being returned to competency to stand trial. Another status update was scheduled by Klindt for October 15, 2016.

See also:

~Eowyn

SNL And That Sick Feeling


For many years I have felt sick any time I allowed myself to watch an episode of Saturday Night Live. As I recently began to re-read Psalms from the beginning, I noticed that the very first verse of the very first psalm addresses that sick feeling. SNL may sometimes be funny, but their humor is always scornful. So when I watch SNL I am sitting “in the company of mockers” and my spirit is sending me a clear warning.
“They that have ears to hear, let them hear.”

Psalm 1

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.”