Monday, October 25, 2010

Galaxy discovered 13.1 billion light years away

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psalms 8:3-4

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Psalms 19:1

13.1 billion light years is approximately 13.1 billion multiplied by 6 trillion miles. As reported in the Daily Mail on October 20, 2010:

Astronomers have discovered the oldest and most distant object in the universe - a galaxy so far away that its light has taken 13.1 billion years to reach the Earth.

The galaxy, which was spotted by Europe's Very Large Telescope in Chile, is the most remote cluster of stars, gas and dust ever measured...

...The galaxy, named UDFy -38135539, was spotted by the Hubble space telescope last year. Its age has now been confirmed by the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere's Very Large Telescope.

Dalai Lama says, "I am a Marxist"

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: Psalms 111:10a
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: Proverbs 1:7a

I’m sick and tired of hearing about and from the Dalai Lama and his alleged wisdom. According to the Scriptures cited above, he doesn’t have even the beginning of wisdom, since he doesn’t fear the Lord. The honourary citizen of Trudeaupia (formerly Canada) was in Toronto this weekend. The following "wisdom" from one of the world’s most overrated people, as reported by Adam McDowell in the National Post, might surprise some of his admirers (it surprised me, and I’m not among his admirers):

The Dalai Lama reiterated his call for peace between Tibet and China during a weekend visit to Toronto, saying he is "still a Marxist" who views Chinese people of the majority Han ethnicity as "brothers and sisters" of the Tibetans.

Speaking with reporters during an unpublicized press conference at a Toronto hotel Saturday morning, the Tibetan Buddhist leader said despite political differences between them, the Han Chinese and Tibetan people could repair the relationship with "a few days" of honest negotiation, and a Chinese willingness to allow Tibetan culture to flourish...

... The Dalai Lama revealed that as a young man — before the 1959 Tibetan uprising that soured the relations between the two peoples and sent 80,000 Tibetans into exile in India and elsewhere — he once applied for membership in the Chinese Communist Party.

"Now still, as far a socio-economic theory is concerned, I am a Marxist … but not a Leninist. And of course Stalinist [is] too much," said the man also known as Tenzin Gyatso, who was awarded honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006.

Of course, it’s unlikely that anyone from the Orient would endorse "Leninism" or "Stalinism." This self-confessed Marxist seems to do well for himself while spending a lot of time in the "capitalist" Occident.

125 years ago: James Russell Lowell on Christianity and Civilization

James Russell Lowell offers some comments that are still relevant today--as published in the Toronto Globe of October 24, 1885:

CHRISTIANITY AND CIVILIZATION.
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(Christian Union)
The most telling blows given to the enemies of orthodox Christianity are often dealt by laymen. We have seen nothing better in this line than a speech recently delivered at a public dinner by Mr. James Russell Lowell, ex-Minister of the United States to England. Some sneering allusions to orthodoxy had been made by previous speakers and Mr. Lowell took up the cudgel and struck the modern scoffers in this style:--
"The worst kind of religion is no religion at all; and these men, living in ease and luxury, indulging themselves in the amusement of going without religion, may be thankful that they live in lands where the Gospel they neglect has tamed the beastliness and ferocity of the men who, but for Christianity, might long ago have eaten their carcasses like the South Sea Islanders, or cut off their heads and tanned their hides like the monsters of the French Revolution."
No professor of Apologetics ever put the point any better than that. These men who try to destroy Christianity take good care they remain in a land in which the influence of Christianity has made their hides safe. Hear Mr. Lowell again:--
"When the microscopic search of scepticism, which has hunted the heavens and sounded the seas to disprove the existence of a Creator, has turned its attention to human society, and has found a place on this planet, ten miles square, where a decent man can live in decency, comfort, and security, supporting and educating his children unspoiled and unpolluted--a place where age is reverenced, infancy respected, manhood respected, womanhood honoured, and human life held in due regard--when sceptics can find such a place ten miles square on this globe, where the Gospel of Christ has not gone and cleared the way and laid the foundations and made decency and security possible, it will then be in order for the sceptical liberati to move thither and there ventilate their views."
These ten miles square have not been found and are not likely to be, and the sceptics will in the meantime remain in Christian countries and enjoy the blessings which Christianity confers upon society while they do all in their power to undermine the Christian system. Mr. Lowell added:--
"So long as those very men are dependent upon the religion which they discard for every privilege they enjoy, they may well hesitate a little before they seek to rob the Christian of his hope and humanity of its faith in that Saviour who alone has given to man that hope of life eternal which makes life tolerable and society possible, and robs death of its terrors and the grave of its gloom."
Our neighbours might do a much worse thing than give Mr. Lowell a chair in Apologetics in one of their many colleges.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

125 years ago: A new Islamic "Prophet" in Africa

As reported in the Toronto Globe of October 24, 1885:

THE AFRICAN MAHDI.
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New "Prophet" Who Commands 100,000 Soldiers.
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ALL CHRISTIANS THREATENED
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The Vossiche Zeitung gives the following interesting account of a new Mohammedan "prophet," who some years ago founded a large kingdom on the Upper Niger:--"His name is Samori, and if his good fortune continues he will soon be as celebrated in Europe as was the Mahdi. He is one of those personages who suddenly appear in the history of Islam, to disappear as suddenly, and whose mission is to spread the rule of Islam and destroy the unbelievers. Samori’s origin is dark. By some he is believed to be of the mysterious stem of the Fulas, by others of that of the Mandengas. It seems that he was early initiated into the duties of his ‘mission’ by fighting under Hadsch Omar against the French, on the Senegal. He has a special hatred against the French, and has warred against them during some years on the Upper Niger. His kingdom is situated on the sources of the Niger and is almost wholly unknown. The only person who penetrated it was a native French sub-lieutenant, named Alla Kamessa, who visited Samori in the town of Galaba (9 deg. north latitude, 9.40 west longitude) in 1881. When in 1879-80 the French sent an expedition to the Upper Niger, they came into indirect contact with Samori for the first time. Their operations being threatened, a captain, Delauneau, was sent with the order to destroy the rebels. He reached Keneira, and pretended that he had beaten the ‘disordered bands of the robber,’ but it is more probable that he only just escaped by a hasty flight. He was pursued by the enemy, and obliged to leave his artillery behind him. Since that time there has been no peace between
SAMORI AND THE FRENCH,
and only a few weeks ago the Parisian Press expressed serious fears as to the fate of the French on the Upper Senegal and Niger. Samori’s soldiers had broken the telegraph from Bamaku, a proof that his power had extended farther to the north and was becoming dangerous. At the same time he had turned west, where his troops, as was reported by the United States Consul in Freetown, the capital of the English colony in Sierra Leone, had appeared north of the latter place. The same Consul values Samori’s army at 100,000 men, mounted and on foot. As the German possessions on the river Dubreka, opposite the isles de los Idolos, lie about 140 kilometres north north-west of Freetown, it is possible they will soon be obliged to fight Samori in self-defence. In advancing west Samori must have conquered the country of Fata Dshal, which was under the protection of France according to some--certainly very doubtful--treaties said to have been concluded by Victor Gaboriaud and Dr. Bayol. So that Samori is at war with the French not only on the Senegal and Niger, but also on the Atlantic coast. It
CANNOT BE FORESEEN WHAT DANGERS
the English, French, Portuguese, and German colonies will incur from this advance of Samori, and his future success depends on his personality, and he may also die before he can carry out his plans. But for him, who is a Mohammedan prophet, mahdi, missionary, or sheik, as he likes to call himself, all Christians are unbelievers who ought to be destroyed. His advance to the coast is not only influenced by his religious notions, but also by the love of conquest. He is a true warrior, and has learnt the value of European weapons of war, and he hastens to reach a place whence he can directly derive such material. The English factories will at first be rejoiced at the lively trade with weapons which will later be directed against themselves. We must be prepared for the probability in a few years of a war breaking out between Islam and Christendom on the Atlantic coast between Gambia and Sierra Leone, unless death carries off the Sheik Samori. Great Britain and France first, and then Germany and Portugal, will be dragged into this war, and it behooves all not to allow themselves to be taken by surprise."

In 1886 Samori Ture signed the Treaty of Kéniéba-Koura, which granted the left bank of the Niger River to France. He continued to fight against the French until he was captured in 1898 and exiled to Gabon. Samori Ture died in captivity after a bout of pneumonia at the approximate age of 70 on June 2, 1900.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Did a pro-Israel stand cost Canada a seat on the United Nations Security Council?

Veteran QMI columnist Peter Worthington thinks so:

If it were not for the fact the PM belatedly decided he wanted Canada on the UN’s Security Council, the rejection of Canada for that two-year role could be seen as an accolade.

The United Nations has long been out of control as a dispassionate, objective, credible institution for peace, human rights and justice, so it’s a wonder decent countries still pay attention to it.

In the first round of voting for a temporary, two-year seat on the Security Council, Germany scraped in with the necessary two-thirds of the vote — 128, beating out Portugal (122 votes) and Canada (113).

In the playoff round, Portugal got 113 votes to Canada’s 78.

Rather than face defeat by Portugal in a third round, Canada withdrew its bid to be one of the 10 non-permanent members of the 15-member Security Council. (Permanent members are Britain, U.S., France, China and Russia.)

It was the first time Canada has failed in such a bid, having won six times previously — roughly, once every decade. For two years starting Jan. 1, the elected non-permanent Security Council members will be Brazil, Gabon, Bosnia, Lebanon, Nigeria, India, South Africa, Colombia, Germany and Portugal...

...So why did Canada lose?

Surely, it makes no sense to put Germany and Portugal on the Security Council — making four European countries represented. Besides, Portugal is a near-economic basket case, threatened with bankruptcy.

The truth is, Canada’s vigorous, unqualified support for Israel under Harper worked against us at the UN, which regularly condemns Israel for policies it ignores in other countries.

No accusation against Israel is too extreme not to get a hearing at the UN.


If the pro-Israel stand of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government is the reason for Canada's exclusion from the UN Security Council, this should be cause for Canadians to rejoice.

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 12:3

Joel Rosenberg has identified Mr. Harper as the West's most pro-Israel head of government. I find it interesting--or, as brother Rosenberg likes to say, curious--that Canada has apparently suffered the least of any Western nation from the economic downturn of the last two years. Will Mr. Harper and his government modify its pro-Israel stand in order to mollify the United Nations? I'm no prophet or political insider, but my guess is that they won't. Mr. Harper and his cabinet--particularly Peter Kent and Jason Kenney--have been consistent in bucking the rest of the world in this area, and I see no reason for that not to continue for the foreseeable future.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalms 122:6

Friday, October 8, 2010

20 years ago: Palestinian protesters confront the Temple Mount Faithful

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
Zechariah 12:2-3

On October 8, 1990 a confrontation between the Temple Mount Faithful--a Jewish religious group that had declared their intention to build the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem--a site currently occupied by the Muslim holy sites Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque--and thousands of Palestinians resulted in the fatal shooting of between 17 and 21 Palestinians by Israeli police and the wounding of more than 100. Israeli authorities barred the Temple Mount Faithful, but the Palestinians threw stones at Jews worshipping at the Western (Wailing) Wall. Two dozen policemen and Jewish civilians were reportedly struck.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Female fornication is kosher--as long as it's in the interests of Israel

But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Matthew 15:3

From the wonderful world of rabbinic Judaism, as reported by Agence France-Presse on October 4, 2010:

JERUSALEM: Jewish law allows women to sleep with the enemy in order to get intelligence vital to Israel's security, a rabbi was quoted as saying in a local newspaper today.

The mass-selling Yediot Aharonot quoted an academic article by Ari Shvat, an expert in Jewish law, in which he said it was acceptable to have sex with "terrorists" in order to obtain information leading to their arrest.

His study, which only referred to female agents, appeared under the title "Illicit Sex for the Sake of National Security" in a journal published by a religious studies institute in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc near Jerusalem.

Canadian Orthodox Archbishop under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct involving boys

Yet another one, as reported by Canadian Press on October 6, 2010:

WINNIPEG - A Canadian Orthodox archbishop is being investigated on allegations of sexual misconduct stemming from more than 20 years ago when he was a priest in Winnipeg.

The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) says in a news release that Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa, the head of the church's Canadian archdiocese, asked for and was granted a three-month leave as of last Friday.

The archbishop, 64, had posted a letter on the archdiocese's website last week suggesting the reason for his leave was health issues.

"Having also seen my physician, I was informed that this leave is rather overdue," he wrote. "It is my intention and hope to maintain as much solitude and silence as possible."

But the subsequent release from the church, posted Friday on their website, stated otherwise.

"I have blessed the church's office for review of sexual misconduct allegations to work in conjunction with the Canadian police authorities," said Metropolitan Jonah, speaking on behalf of the church...

...Melanie Sakoda of the U.S.-based Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said her group has been urging the church to investigate the allegations for some time.

"We heard two years ago that a clergyman had filed a written report alleging that incidents took place more than 20 years ago," she said in an interview from Moraga, Calif...

...She said her group's understanding is that the allegations involve pre-teen boys.