Through The Looking Glass: Perilous Times
Vol: 39 Issue: 27 Monday, December 27, 2004
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2nd Timothy 3:1-5
If the year 2004 is memorable for anything at all, it is for the perils that seemed to dog the world from all directions.
At the greatest peril in 2004 was the world’s Christian population in foreign lands.
The January 18, 2004 issue of the Omega Letter, entitled, “Making War on Jesus”, noted the murder of a Protestant pastor in Pakistan on January 5 and another pastor shot to death in Istanbul, Turkey, the following day.
In Iraq, more than 2000 Christians fled the Basra area to escape targeted bombings and murders aimed at Basra’s Christian community.
Eritrean police arrested and jailed another Protestant evangelical pastor, taking him and seven of his church members to prison. A second new arrest of 10 young women from various Pentecostal churches was confirmed later.
As of January 18, 2004, “six of the 62 young people locked into metal containers at Sawa this past summer for having Bibles are believed to still be jailed in underground isolation cells at this same camp.”
“Fourteen women soldiers, along with 63 men, are still being held at Assab, where authorities have used torture, isolation and cruel threats to try to force them to retract their evangelical beliefs.”
“According to lists compiled by local Protestants, currently at least 334 evangelical believers are imprisoned for their religious beliefs in nine known locations across Eritrea.”
“More than 10 Christian churches and a church-run vocational training center in and around the sprawling Wad el Bashier displaced persons camp in West Omdurman, Sudan, have been demolished by authorities there.”
For Christians, that is just the tip of the iceberg. That was just one report from one day last January. The unreported stories could fill an entire year’s worth of OL reports.
But it was for America that 2004’s times of peril reached epic proportions.
2004 marked the year that disloyalty and treason lost their stigma. The January 9th OL, entitled, “The Price of Loyalty” outlined the new trend of high-ranking presidential administration appointees like Paul O’Neill, who wrote a scathing ‘tell-all’ book skewering his former boss. So, too, did former Ambassador Joe Wilson.
(Both books were later proved to be filled with false accusations. Neither man was called to account. In 2004, it was ok to be a false accuser, as long as you were accusing George Bush.)
We also noted that O’Neill claimed on 60 Minutes that he “was going public because he thinks the Bush Administration has been too secretive about how decisions have been made”.
We observed last January that; “Going public” suggests O’Neill is a whistle-blower doing some kind of a public service. Since Saddam’s removal was mandated by federal law, and was already official US foreign policy, it is hard to see how attempting to further divide the country over Iraq is a public service. It’s an absurdity equivalent to a baseball team wanting to replace their team captain for hitting a home run against the other team.”
While Paul O’Neill was trashing the administration in the midst of an ongoing war, Sandy Berger was busy stealing documents from the National Archives to protect his old boss, Bill Clinton, from the 9/11 Commission investigating how the war started in the first place.
These were wartime documents relative to the war on terror — taking it out of the realm of politics and into the category of life or death — either for the enemy, or for us. But Bill Clinton called it a ‘non-story’. The New York Times ran it on page A-18. It quietly died away.
In February, in an OL commentary entitled; “The Death of Shame” we observed that;
“Something snapped in America — I can’t pinpoint exactly when, but it was somewhere towards the end of the Clinton administration. The 2000 Election was the earthquake that started several years before as tiny cracks when America decided to compromise on truth — as long as it paid off.”
The Apostle Paul noted that the generation of ‘perilous times’ would be ‘without natural affection’. One could argue that the gay marriage debate qualifies.
2004 was the Year of the Great Debate over gay marriage. The question, “Should marriage be exclusive to a man and a woman” was, to all previous generations in history, so absurd it was never asked before.
But in 2004, it became a topic of major debate. Defense of Marriage Acts were on the ballot in eleven states during Election 2004. All passed overwhelmingly, but the debate continues to rage.
Paul said ‘without NATURAL affection’. It is now against the law in my native Canada to call homosexual conduct ‘unnatural’ — and it is no defense to prosecution under Canada’s hate-speech laws that the ‘hate-speech’ in question demonstrably true. One says such things at their peril.
The cable news outlets were in a quandry about which court trials to cover in 2004. They were sensational because of the total lack of natural affection involved in the crimes:
There was Scott Peterson, who murdered his wife and full-term unborn child. Mark Hacking murdered his pregnant wife Lori and threw her body in a Salt Lake City dumpster. The most recent atrocity involved a young woman named Bobbie Jo Stinnet.
Stinnet was about to give birth when she was strangled to death and her baby cut alive from her womb. The murderer then attempted to pass off the baby as her own.
Paul spoke of ‘despisers of those that are good’. In 2004, the ACLU has just about suceeded the Boy Scouts of America as an organization. The ACLU went after the Boy Scouts for two reasons.
The first, which was finally struck down by the Supreme Court (during a rare moment of sanity) was a challenge to the Boy Scout policy of not allowing homosexual Scoutmasters. In another time, it would never have even been an issue. Neither would the second, and more effective, ACLU challenge.
The ACLU’s second line of attack was aimed at Scouting’s requirement that its members believe in God. Between the two, the ACLU has either scared parents into keeping their kids out of Scouting over the homosexual Scoutmaster issue, or has scared government officials into denying Scouts places in which to meet.
To get the ACLU off their backs, the Scouting movement would have to shed such things as heterosexual values and a belief in God, two things despised by both the ACLU and the activist courts.
Paul also spoke of ‘high-minded traitors’. The treasonous behavior of both the US political left and the left-leaning media is well documented throughout 2004. But, as previously noted, treason isn’t what it used to be.
In the globalist worldview of the politically correct, allegiance to one’s country is secondary to allegiance to the ‘community of nations’.
John Kerry articulated this worldview on the campaign trail when he argued that America’s right of self-defense should be placed in the hands of the United Nations Security Council.
Instead of seeing his candidacy vaporize before his eyes when he promised to surrender US sovereignty to the Islamic-dominated UN, Kerry went on to receive the greatest number of votes for a losing presidential candidate in history!
Talk about ‘perilous times’! 2004 was the year that fifty-five million Americans voted in favor of giving the UN veto power over US foreign policy!
The Apostle also noted that the last generation would be noteworthy for ‘having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof’.
One of the legacies of 2004 was the emergence of a place called ‘JesusLand’. Another was the consternation of the Democratic Party in having lost the support of America’s Christian voters.
In a commentary entitled “Faking God”, guest columnist Kathleen Parker noted, “Through their post-election soul-searching, Democratic leaders claim to have seen the light. The reason they lost – and the way to win – is God.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats have to start talking more openly about their faith. Sen. Hillary Clinton told a Tufts University audience that Democrats should use the Bible to advance their arguments about poverty the way Republicans did with gay marriage.
The Democrats resolved to develop their own form of godliness, one that is inclusive, but not too inclusive. There is room for gays, the ACLU, abortion rights and more religious talk. But not much room for traditional Christianity.
As Parker noted, “until the Democratic Party’s policy positions reflect beliefs consistent with the values held by American’s religious moderates and traditionalists, their newly fashioned messages are going to sound like what they are. Faked.”
“You can’t just suddenly start carrying around a Bible and expect to convince people you’re a believer. It is also dangerous to invoke the Bible if you’re not that familiar with it, as Howard Dean proved when he expressed his admiration for the book of Job, which he erroneously placed in the New Testament.”
“If you like Job, you know where it is.”
I called this series, “Through the Looking Glass” because it reminds me of the Lewis Carroll classic by the same name about Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.
Everything was the opposite of what one would expect, but the only one who noticed the contradictions was Alice. To the denizens of Wonderland, smiling cats and talking rabbits were no less normal than the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts.
In 2004, there was an overwhelming sense that we were sliding down the hole behind the March Hare.
Michael Moore’s fake ‘documentary’ “Farhenheit 911” was widely acknowledged to be a complete tapestry of lies masquerading as a documentary. But it made more money than any other documentary film in history, and, although acknowledged as total fiction, is in the running for an Oscar for the year’s best documentary, anyway.
Up is down, black is white, truth is whatever fits the ethics of the moment, lies are really just ‘nuanced positions’ and being caught in a lie is only a bad thing if you are a member of a particular political persuasion.
The media spent four years trying to catch George Bush in a lie and, even with their maximum effort, still had to fabricate the evidence to support the charge.
John Kerry’s campaign was a litany of lies and false accusations for which he was never held accountable by the media. Fortunately, he WAS held to account by the voters)
When Kerry lost, it was because the Republicans ‘cheated’, prompting endless calls for pointless recalls in states where the disputed ballots wouldn’t have changed the election results anyway, even if they were all awarded to Kerry.
But as 2004 winds down to a close, America has grown so used to illusion over substance that most can’t even see the peril that lies before us.
Through the Looking Glass: Israel and the Middle East