Saturday, 30 June 2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, after calling God "stupid," seeks to repair relations with the country's Roman Catholic bishops

As Maxwell Smart used to say, "Look, I hope I wasn't out of line with that crack about..." The God of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte may not be that of Roman Catholicism, but certainly isn't the God of the Bible, either. As reported by Christine Rousselle of Catholic News Agency, June 27, 2018 (link in original):

Manila, Philippines - After calling God “stupid,” Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday that he will seek to have a dialogue with the country’s bishops’ conference in an effort to repair relationships.

The president’s spokesperson announced that a committee would be created to better collaborate and communicate with the country’s bishops.

On Friday, Duterte caused controversy when, in a speech, he said God was “stupid,” and a “son of a b-tch” for including the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden. In the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden after consuming the forbidden fruit.

“How can you rationalize a God? Do you believe?” added Duterte. He also spoke negatively about the concept of original sin, calling it a “stupid proposition.”

Despite the outcry from his initial remarks, Duterte did not back down. He said that he was criticizing only the God that his critics believe in, not his personal God. Duterte was raised Catholic.

"What I said was your God is not my God, because your God is stupid. Mine has a lot of common sense,” said Duterte on Monday. He also said that the creation of Eve was God’s “greatest mistake.”

A presidential spokesperson said that the comments represented Duterte’s personal beliefs, and referenced the president’s previous statement that he had been abused by a priest while a student at Catholic school, the BBC reported.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said they were willing to meet with Duterte to discuss various issues and to rebuild the relationship between the Church and the government. Duterte is seeking to form a committee on this issue.

Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the CBCP, said on a Catholic radio station in the Philippines that the invitation was a “most welcome development,” and that “to dialogue is to listen to one another, and is always good.”

Valles and Duterte have been friendly in the past, according to Filipino media.

Other bishops in the country aren’t so sure that Duterte is genuine in his desire for a dialogue. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the auxiliary bishop of Manila, told ABS-CBN News that the call for a dialogue was “just his way of diffusing the criticisms against him.”

The Philippines is about 80 percent Catholic, and an additional 10 percent of the population is Protestant.

Duterte has been openly hostile to the Catholic Church since he came to power in July of 2016. Shortly before taking office, he referred to the country’s bishops as “sons of wh-res.”

He has been accused of “social cleansing” for his bloody war on drugs in the country. The country’s bishops offered to provide sanctuary for any whistleblowers in the Philippine police department who spoke out against various human rights abuses. In response, Duterte said the Church was “full of sh-t.”

Friday, 29 June 2018

Roman Catholic priest in Kenya is suspended for using worldly methods to attract young people

The methods of the Church Growth Movement can be found anywhere; as reported by Catholic News Service, June 26, 2018:

RAPOGI, Kenya – Many parishioners at St. Monica Church in western Kenya are unhappy after their favorite priest was suspended for misconduct by the Diocese of Homa Bay.

Father Paul Ogalo was suspended June 3 for using secular music, drama and dance to attract youths to the church. The 45-year-old priest had been entertaining his parishioners with rap music, urging them to stop using drugs and to get involved in environmental and social justice issues.

Locals came to love his unique style of preaching the Gospel.

"I'm very disappointed that he is suspended. I will now not go to church," said Benard Oketch, 28.

"Father Paul has been our mentor. He uses the language youths understand," Oketch said. Through rap, the priest "has saved thousands of youths" from abusing drugs, he said.

Called Father Masaa or Paul SWIT, an acronym for Sees World In Turmoil, Father Ogalo had stunned and thrilled his congregation in equal measure. After celebrating Mass, he would change his priestly vestments for black shorts and a white shirt, tie a red bandana around his head, and begin rapping to the congregation.

"Ah! Ah! Yeah! Youths enjoy your youth while you are still young. But remember that God is going to judge you for whatever you do ... Ah," he would rap as his congregants, including nuns, danced to the tune.

"I use the rap music to bring ... youths to the church," Father Ogalo said. "Thereafter, I bring them to Christ."

Church youth leader Violet Menya said the priest attracted hundreds of young people to church, where they would stay. He also initiated tree planting and other community projects, she said.

"We are happy that his style of preaching is attracting many youths to church. He has mentored very many youths to leave ... drug abuse and embrace farming, business and other activities," Menya said.

But the bishops have dismissed Father Ogalo's style of preaching. Father Charles Kochiel, judicial vicar of the interdiocesan tribunal of Kisumu, confirmed Father Ogalo's suspension to Catholic News Service in mid-June and said it would have been wise for the priest to have consulted the bishops "to find out if what he was doing was in accordance with church doctrine."

"We have suspended him for a year to give him time to reconsider his ways," Father Kochiel said, noting that "every institution has its own code of conduct."

"There are ways of doing things. There are certain things the church promotes in the society. If we mix ... what the secular and church institutions do, then definitely people are going to read different messages," he said.

Father Ogalo, who was ordained a priest in 2000, disagreed and said that rap music "is bringing millions of youths to Christ."

"We need to take care of the interests of youths in our churches. We need to change the way we do things," he said, reflecting what some have said in preparation for the October Synod of Bishops on young people and discernment.

A priest and a catechist who asked not to be named were among leaders in the diocese who sympathized.

"What's important is to bring people to Christ, nothing else," the catechist said, adding that, "We should not fight the same body of Christ."

"We should support any initiative that helps young people come to Christ," said the unnamed priest, noting that Father Ogalo's suspension is "a huge disappointment to the young generation, who are majority in the church."

But Father Kochiel, who is also the dean of students at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Nairobi, said that, "When something is wrong, even if the crowd goes for it, it's still wrong."

"People could be looking at it from the social point of view, like bringing people on board, gathering and entertaining people. But people could also be looking at this from the spiritual point of view: Does it promote spiritual values or is it sending a wrong message?" he said.

A priest in Father Ogalo's situation "is given time to reconsider his ways. He is mentored by the bishops for some time before he is reinstated. This is a common practice," Father Kochiel said.

As the battle continues, all is quiet at St. Monica Church, with few activities in the compound.

"We are not going to ... participate in any church activities until Father Ogalo is reinstated. He did nothing wrong," Oketch said.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Vatican court convicts former diplomat of child pornography charges

Yet another one--instead of being "a bump in the road" of his priestly life, it should be the end of the road. As reported by Catholic News Service, June 25, 2018:

VATICAN – A Vatican court found Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella, a former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography.

Judge Giuseppe Della Torre, head of the tribunal of the Vatican City State, delivered the verdict June 23, and sentenced Msgr. Capella to five years in prison and fined him 5,000 euro ($5,833).

The Vatican press office said he would serve his sentence in a Vatican cell located in the building of the Gendarme Corps of Vatican City State, as the Vatican police force is formally known.

It is presumed to be the same cell prepared for Paolo Gabriele, the former papal butler who leaked reserved papal correspondence in 2012, and Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, former secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, who was found guilty of leaking confidential documents about the Vatican's financial reform in 2016.

Both Gabriele and Vallejo Balda were pardoned after serving a few months of their sentences.

Msgr. Capella was accused of having and exchanging with others "a large quantity" of child pornography; the quantity is such that the charges are considered "aggravated" by the Vatican City court.

Prior to verdict, the judges presiding over the case listened to Vatican prosecutor Roberto Zanotti who recommended the court sentence the Italian prelate to five years and nine months and fine him 10,000 euro ($11,668).

Roberto Borgogno, Msgr. Capella's lawyer, pleaded with the court to give the monsignor a reduced sentence and referred to his client's crimes as "a problem" that required intense therapy and not a heavy sentence.

Before adjourning in the morning, Msgr. Capella addressed the court, saying that the "mistakes I have made are evident as well as this period of weakness. I am sorry that my weakness has hurt the church, the Holy See and my diocese. I also hurt my family and I am repentant."

Referring to his possession and distribution of child pornography as "a bump in the road in my priestly life," the former Vatican diplomat said that he wants to continue receiving "psychological support."

The Vatican press office said a decision regarding Msgr. Capella by the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith would be made at a later date. The congregation's investigations of clerical sexual abuse cases is separate from how those cases are handled by criminal courts.

The U.S. State Department notified the Holy See Aug. 21 of Msgr. Capella's possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images. The 50-year-old Italian monsignor had been working in Washington just over a year when he was recalled to the Vatican.

On Sept. 28, police in Canada issued a nationwide arrest warrant for Msgr. Capella on charges of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Yet another attempt to fit Bible prophecy into a formula

There was Michael Drosnin and The Bible Code in the 1990s, and Jonathan Cahn and The Harbinger and its sequels over the last few years (which I must get around to doing a post on sometime), and now there's the work of Saul Kullok to be added to the list. Mr. Kullok is a little different in that he seems to use only physical characteristics of the Earth rather than occult sources, and he doesn't use his formula just to "predict the past," but makes a bold prediction for the near future. As reported by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz of Breaking Israel News, June 18, 2018 (links in original):

Saul Kullok, a scientist with many patents to his name, has developed a formula correlating the axis of the earth and the latitudes of Israel’s Biblical borders to Prophecy. The proofs are convincing but what he said about next year will shock you.

Kullok was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and immigrated to Israel in 1974. In addition to his scientific research, Kullok has made an intense study into physical-mathematical structures contained in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient tradition of Israel. Remarkably, he discovered predefined timings for major physical events involving the People of Israel during the last 3,500 years which are correlated to physical events. Kullok is in the process of publishing his study.

Kullok discovered that major events affecting the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel can be numerically obtained by a mathematical relation between two observable physical factors: the inclination of the planet and the latitude of the Biblical borders in Israel.

“The proofs are all written out but nobody wants to check it. It is too intimidating,” Kullok said to Breaking Israel News.

The study is complicated but that is not what intimidates other scientists according to Kullok.

“They fear the implications,” Kullok said. “It proves that God established a timetable in nature, that this is what determines the movement of the earth and not just the known laws of nature.”

He described the discovery in the simplest possible terms.

“The inclination of the planet on the year of the immigration plus the constant angular value equals the latitude of a border of Israel,” Kullok said.

“The mean inclination of the earth’s axis has decreased continuously during the 3,500 years investigated in this study; from the biblical time of Israel crossed the Jordan River after their biblical Exodus from Egypt until present times,” Kullok explained. “For each point in time, biblical and historical, the earth’s axis has a different mean inclination or axial tilt. For the contrary, the latitude of physical and biblical borders (or places), are fixed geographical values obtained in accordance with the Book of Joshua. The algorithm is a mathematical expression involving a correlation between points in time of history and the latitude of a place or border in the Biblical Land of Israel.”

“The formula means that if I know the latitude of the border, I subtract the constant angular value to obtain the mean inclination of the earth, from where the time at which this inclination took place gives the date of the event,” Kullok said. “Conversely, if I know the date, I can use the formula, insert the axial value and get the latitude of the border. This is an absolute correlation.”

“Put simply, the discovery shows that the Jews come back to Israel at fixed times that are set in the forces of nature, in the sun, stars, and earth,” Kullok said.

He emphasized that the factors in this algorithm are a powerful combination of heaven (the mean axial tilt of the Earth) and earth (the geographical latitude of the territorial borders in the Biblical Land).

“The timings given by the algorithm should be considered as predefined by astronomic and geographic physical factors, which are not under human control,” explained Kullok. “This means that the timing of a significant number of biblical and historical events involving the migratory movements of the Israelites to and from the Biblical Land was, and will be predefined.”

Kullok gave several examples of the accuracy of the algorithm, the first being the entrance of the Jews into Israel after the Exodus from Egypt. Based on sources in the Bible and the Talmud, Kullok placed the Exodus from Egypt at 1,476 BCE.

“This means that the Children of Israel came into the Land of Israel in 1,436 BCE, which according to my formula correlates with the latitude of Jericho, their entry point into the land,” Kullok said.

He noted that like any mathematical formula, this works in both directions.

Another example he gave concerned the Babylonian Exile in the sixth century BCE. Kullok’s formula correlated the date of the exile and the subsequent return with the northern and southern borders of the Biblical city of Jerusalem.

“We know the geographical latitude of the southern biblical border of ancient Jerusalem. The corresponding historical time given by the algorithm is the year 539 BCE, which is the time for when the fall of the Babylonian Empire took place,” Kullok said. “This major historical event was soon followed by the King Cyrus Edict of 538 BCE allowing for both, the beginning of the Jewish return from the Babylonian Exile and the start of the Second Temple construction.”

Kullok also explained about the definition of the border of the Arnon River, which is in the portion of Israel in the eastern side of the Jordan River. The river marks the southern border of the Tribe of Reuven. The latitude for this algorithm was slightly less precise since the Arnon River forms a delta as it joins the Dead Sea. Kullok’s algorithm correlates the convergence of the Arnon and the Dead Sea to the years 1830-1840. Though this may seem unrelated to the State of Israel, Kullok insists these years were critical to the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

“This is precisely the time for when the Ottoman Empire started to disintegrate in its Middle-Eastern domains,” Kullok said. “The process for the restoration of the House of Judah in the Biblical Land started right there by the active participation of England, a Christian Nation, and more recently with also the United States of America, also a Christian Nation. There was a theological revival at that time, a change in theology that led them to their fundamental participation in this process of return.”

Kullok said that this inclusion of Christianity in these preordained times signifies its role in the prophesied return to Israel.

“Jewish and Christian endeavors toward returning the Jews to Israel are necessarily very different,” he said. “But they are nevertheless complementing each other while working towards the same goal. They represent a two-sided parallel process, each in accordance with the words of the prophets of Israel.”

The latitude of the significant east-west section of the border delineated by the Arnon River bears an additional prophetic result, corresponding to the years 1947-1951. More significant than the UN Partition Plan establishing the State of Israel, 700,000 Jews immigrated to Israel in these years.

But Kullok’s formula is not limited to the past. The latitude of the southernmost point of the Arnon River corresponds to next year.

“The results show the year before an aliyah (immigration to Israel, literally ‘ascending),” Kullok said. “This means that in two years, there will be an aliyah which, according to the calculations, will be the largest yet. Since it is the most southern latitude of all the borders of Israel, this is the final aliyah and there will be no more exiles.”

Kullok made one final comment on the nature of his formula.

“Since the formula bears accurate results based on the Biblical borders of Israel, what is known as Greater Israel, the relevance of these borders is prophetic and still relevant today.”
Mr. Kullok is admirably clear in allowing us to determine if his formula is accurate or not; if the aliyah in 2020 doesn't turn out to be the largest yet, then his formula is false.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Israeli rabbi sees messianic prophetic significance in discovery of "cow" nova

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

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11

As reported by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz of Breaking Israel News, June 26, 2018 (links in original):

A recent flash in the cosmos, far brighter than any nova, has scientists stumped, but one rabbi who delved into esoteric ancient sources, suggested an answer to this astronomical riddle, while heralding a powerful Messianic message.

On June 17, astronomers at the Keck Observatory’s twin Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) telescopes in Hawaii discovered an enormous, unprecedented bright flash in space that had just appeared in the heavens. Supernovae typically take several weeks to develop but this flash, 10 to 100 times brighter than an average supernova, appeared in a region of space the astronomers had checked only two days before.

“It really just appeared out of nowhere,” said Kate Maguire at Queen’s University Belfast, part of the ATLAS team, to New Scientist.

The discovery was designated AT2018cow in the Astronomer’s Telegram, a website where professionals in the field post new observations of cosmic phenomena. The serendipitous letter ending of the random designation inevitably led astronomers to dub the new discovery, ‘the Cow.’ Due to the extreme brightness, researchers initially believed the flash originated in our galaxy but a group of astronomers in China determined that the Cow was actually quite distant, approximately 200 million light years from earth.

Astronomers are still not sure how to classify this stellar explosion with speculations ranging from a cataclysmic variable star, gamma-ray burst, gravitational wave, supernova or something else entirely.

“There are other objects that have been discovered that are as fast, but the fastness and the brightness, that’s quite unusual,” Maguire said. “We’re not sure yet what it is, but the normal powering mechanism for a supernova is radioactive decay of nickel, and this event is too bright and too fast for that.”

The Cow is indeed fast, and astronomers now believe that it is some sort of explosion carrying high-energy particles. The particles are moving at 12,000 miles per second, close to the speed of light and are burning at an estimated 16,000 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.6 times hotter than the surface of the sun.

Yuval Ovadia, a filmmaker and lecturer on the subject of Nibiru and other astronomical phenomena, was not surprised that researchers could not precisely identify the Cow.

“Science does not have all the answers. Encountering unexpected things that can’t be explained by previous assumptions is part of the scientific process of discovery, especially when studying the cosmos,” Ovadia told Breaking Israel News. “This new discovery is something entirely new and may be a Nibiru-like appearance.”

Nibiru, also known as Planet X, is a planet some believe will collide with the Earth in an end-of-days catastrophe.

“This can’t be Nibiru since it is not heading for the earth but it could be similar,” Ovadia said. “But to truly be scientists, they need to consider every possibility and not just the ideas that conform to their agenda or preconceived ideas.”

Ovadia predicted that as the end of days draws closer, extreme and unprecedented natural phenomena will appear in the heavens and on the earth.

“There were at least 12,000 earthquakes in Hawaii last month,” Ovadia said. “There is a connection between what happens in space and what happens to our planet. It may not be a coincidence that scientists discover this powerful nova at the same time that we are seeing so much seismic activity in the world. We know that what happens in the cosmos can affect our planet. This is part of what we know about Nibiru: that its arrival will be accompanied by earthquakes and volcanoes.”

Ovadia emphasized that implicit in this recent discovery is an admission by NASA that the danger of a a Nibiru-like impact is real enough that it requires attention. The observatory in Hawaii that first reported the Cow is part of ATLAS, which became fully operational just last year and with the express purpose of identifying planet-threatening meteors.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the Rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, noted that the discovery could not be more timely since this week, Jews around the world will be reading the portion of the Torah describing the blessings Balaam gave to Israel. One of these blessings is enigmatically called the Star of Jacob.

What I see for them is not yet, What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Yaakov, A scepter comes forth from Yisrael; It smashes the brow of Moab, The foundation of all children of Shet. Numbers 24:17

“It is highly significant that when we read about the Star of Jacob that will come to accompany the Jewish Messiah a powerful light appears in the sky since there is a powerful connection between what is read in the Torah at a given time and what happens in the world,” Rabbi Berger said to Breaking Israel News. “This particular blessing is the source for the future arrival of the Jewish Messiah being accompanied by a powerful new star.”

Rabbi Berger cited Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known by the acronym Rambam, the foremost Torah authority of the 12th century, whose rulings are still used as the basis for much of Jewish Law.

“The Rambam brings this verse about a star appearing as proof that the Messiah will come one day,” Rabbi Berger said. “But he says it will come from Jacob, and not from Esau. More specifically, from the tribe of Judah.”

Rabbi Berger suggested that the Jewish sources concerning the Star of Jacob may hold clues that could help the scientists understand the new astronomical appearance. He cited the Zohar, the foundational work of Jewish mysticism, which described Star of Jacob as a star with seven “stars” orbiting it.

After forty days, when the pillar rises from earth to heaven in the eyes of the whole world and the Messiah has appeared, a star will rise up on the east, blazing in all colors, and seven other stars will surround that star. And they will wage war on it. (Zohar, Parshat Balak)

“The astronomers are only familiar with novas that come from one star,” Rabbi Berger said. “Since this flash is so much larger, it may have come as the result of several stars, maybe even seven stars, similar to what the Zohar described. If that is the case, this event has greater implications than the scientists realize.”
The reader will note that Rabbi Berger relies on occult sources for his view on the prophetic significance of the nova. This rabbi, and those who agree with his views and cite similar sources of prophetic information are setting themselves up for deception by the Antichrist, whom they will mistake for the true Messiah:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24

See also my post Yet another apocalyptic prediction is about to be proven false (September 22, 2017).

Monday, 25 June 2018

Muslims accused of desecrating Jewish artifacts at Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Another apparent gesture of friendship from the religion of peace, although it should be noted that the perpetrator hadn't yet been identified by the security video as of the publication of the following article by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz in Breaking Israel News, June 17, 2018 (link in original):

Jews were banned from the Cave of the Patriarchs on June 8, the last Friday of Ramadan, and all Jewish symbols and objects that could be removed were taken from the site. But apparently, even this was not enough as Jewish worshippers returned to find the holy scrolls at the portal their second holiest site desecrated.

As the burial site of all three Biblical Patriarchs and three of the four Biblical Matriarchs, the structure, built by Jewish King Herod in the first century BCE, is holy to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. 80 percent of the structure is given over to Muslim prayer, 20 percent to Jewish prayer, and Christians can pray in both sections. Ten days of the year, the entire structure is given over to Muslim prayer and ten days of the year it is entirely reserved for Jewish prayer. Two weeks ago, all Jewish items were removed in preparation for a day of Muslim prayer. When the Jews returned, they were dismayed to see one Mezuza desecrated and another missing entirely.

A Mezuzah is a parchment inscribed with specific verses from Deuteronomy. The Torah commands Jews to hang this parchment from the doorposts of their buildings.

Inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:9

Noam Arnon, the spokesman for the Jewish Community Hebron was one of the first to discover the theft of the holy object.

“Apparently, hiding all signs of Judaism was not enough,” Arnon told Breaking Israel News. Arnon related how all of the Mezzuzot were stolen two years ago when the site was given over for a day of Muslim prayer. “I respect the rights of all peoples to pray but if that respect is not mutual than no arrangement will work,” Arnon said.

Arnon said that the police are looking at security videos in an effort to recover the stolen Mezuza.

The Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is the second holiest site in Judaism after the Temple Mount. The purchase of the site by Abraham is explicitly documented in the Bible.

Avraham accepted Ephron’s terms. Avraham paid out to Ephron the money that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites—four hundred shekalim of silver at the going merchants’ rate. Genesis 23:16

Israel conquered the city of Hebron in the 1967 Six-Day War and for the first time in nearly 700 years, Jews were permitted to enter the Cave of the Patriarchs and worship. In 1996, the Israeli government turned over custodianship of 81 percent of the building to the Waqf, the Islamic religious trust.
As reported by Jewish News International, June 17, 2018:

The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf took advantage of the final days of the holy month of Ramadan, when Jews were barred from visiting the Temple Mount, to eliminate from the compound piles of earth that were rich with archaeological treasures dating back to the Temple period, Makor Rishon reported Friday. The piles of earth were created initially by illegal renovations the Waqf carried out in 1999.

The soil that was now eliminated was dug up by the Waqf as part of its project of erecting a new mosque in the Solomon’s Stables area on the Temple Mount. At the time, 400 truckloads of ancient soil were unloaded in city dumps and in the Kidron Valley. Eventually, Israeli legal authorities became involved and banned the removal of the remaining piles of soil on the Temple Mount.

The Waqf was planning to get rid of those piles as well, but a court petition by the Public Committee for the Prevention of Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount was accepted by the High Court of Justice, which in 2004 issued an injunction against the removal of the piles of soil.

But the Waqf never agreed with the court’s decision, which stood in the way of its plan to pave over the eastern part of the compound, as they have done elsewhere on the Temple Mount. An Israeli archaeologist, Tzahi Devira, who runs the Sifting Project that has revealed tens of thousands of treasures in the dumped soil, has been keeping watch on the Waqf for close to two decades, to make sure they don’t sin again.

So the Waqf did what so many faithful Muslim officials do when faced with a legal prohibition: they cheated, using the Israeli gesture of closing off the Temple Mount to Jews on the last week of Ramadan to complete their heinous crime against history and culture, and recruited more than 1,000 men to remove the piles of soil – this time making sure to get rid of the pesky evidence of there ever being a Jewish Temple there.

According to Makor Rishon, a group of Jews who stood near the Temple Mount gates one night this week noticed a truck entering the compound.

At this point, those tall piles of soil are gone from the Temple Mount, replaced by terraced stones. The crime paid. All evidence of a Jewish Temple has been permanently eliminated.

Israel Police offered a reassuring statement in response to the Makor Rishon inquiry – read slowly, let the implied message sink in: “The irregularity has been identified by Israel Police, and once the situation is restored to normal by the Waqf and under the supervision of professionals, additional measures will be weighed.”

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Man charged with attempted murder of his wife and children claims he was trying to baptize them in the bathtub

Yet another case of someone charged with a crime after God supposedly told him to do it. The accused uses a Maxwell Smart defense--"Would you believe...? As they used to say on Get Smart, "I find that very hard to believe." Every baptism I've seen including my own, has involved quickly dipping people in the water and bringing them out in just a few seconds. As reported by Jatara McGee of the Huntington, West Virginia television station WSAZ, June 21, 2018:

LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A dad is accused of trying to drown his family, according to the Logan County Sheriff's Department.

Leslie Kelly, 36, was charged with three counts of attempted murder, two counts of child abuse creating risk of serious injury, and three counts of domestic battery.

Deputies responded to a call just after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 100 block of Orchard Branch Road near Chapmanville.

A woman called 911 and said her husband, Kelly, was trying to drown her and her two children.

Deputies say the kids are 3 and 6 years old.

Officers got on scene and found the wife outside of the home. She told deputies that her husband was still inside.

According to sheriff's deputies, the wife and two children were soaking wet and the kids were crying.

Deputies found Kelly inside the home and the husband allegedly confessed to the crime, telling officers, "I know what I've done" and "I'm ready."

Deputy Barry Mynes Jr. with the Logan County Sheriff's Office says Kelly repeatedly told him he was trying to send his children to heaven.

"And to me, that gave me the impression that he was just wanting to hold them under until they would go to heaven," Mynes says.

"We said were they not crying and screaming, trying to get away from you? He said 'yeah they were, but I was just holding them under water, trying to baptize them, because I want them to go to heaven ' " Mynes says. "He made remarks that God told him to do that. I have a close relationship with Jesus Christ and there's no doubt in my mind that is false what he said."

Kelly told investigators he dragged his wife and children into the bathroom and held them under water in the bathtub to "baptize" them. Kelly also admitted the kids were kicking and screaming as he did this.

Investigators say there was evidence of a struggle throughout the home with "puddles of water and clothing leading from the bathroom into the living room."

Deputies arrested Kelly and took him to the sheriff's department. He was arraigned Wednesday evening; his bond was set at $100,000 bond (10 percent.)
HT: WHM

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Representatives of Judaism, Islam, and Roman Catholicism meet at Jerusalem's Tower of David to promote interfaith dialogue

The world's man-made religions continue to attempt to find common ground, in opposition to the truth as revealed in the Bible. I suspect that the peace-loving Islamic leader who participated in this event no more represents true Islam than the Roman Catholic priest who participated represents true Christianity. This blogger finds it hard to believe that the real King David would approve of the display of syncretism taking place at a tower named in his honour.

It's interesting that the theme song of this event was by Bob Marley. The reggae singer was a Rastafarian who believed that the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was "the Almighty," although Mr. Marley was baptized into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in November 1980, six months before his death from cancer at the age of 36.

As reported by Eliana Rudee of Breaking Israel News, June 18, 2018 (links in original):

When a rabbi, sheikh and priest meet, it may seem like the start to a bad joke, but on June 14 at the Tower of David, the meeting of religious leaders from the world’s three largest monotheistic faiths was no joke.

With a mission to build interfaith dialogue, people of all religions and backgrounds came together on the last day of Ramadan to sing Bob Marley’s “One Love” together at the historic Jerusalem citadel.

Koolulam is a social musical project created to bring together people from all walks of life in the Israeli social spectrum through a joint musical creation. For each event a well-known song is chosen, which is given new musical arrangement and vocal harmonies. April’s Koolulam event in Tel Aviv went viral after thousands, including the President Reuven Rivlin, participated in Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena to sing Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh” for Israel’s 70th anniversary.

The event was held with the Tower of David Museum, Israeli music project Koolulam and Jerusalem.com and with the cooperation of the Interfaith Encounter Association, Coexistence Trip Initiative, Tiyul-Rihla, the World Jewish Congress, Bayt ar-Rahmah and over 50 other local and international organizations that work on dialogue and interfaith relations.

Before the main Koolulam event, religious leaders gathered for a colloquium on how religion can serve as a bridge to mutual understanding, compassion and peace between people of all faiths and backgrounds in Israel. Hosted by Dr. Yehuda Stolov, CEO of the Interfaith Encounter Association, the meeting was attended by Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf (Pak Yahya), the Secretary General of the world’s largest Muslim organization, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, which has more than 60 million members.

According to Dr. Stolov, Sheikh Staquf promotes a “committed Islam, but an Islam of love and compassion, which is very important for Jews and Christians to meet.”

“The function of religion is to solve conflicts around the world – it should not be the justification for conflict,” Sheikh Staquf told Breaking Israel News. “This event shows the world that everyone has a strong desire for peace. It facilitates leaders to think about which elements are needed to activate and to pursue harmony with one another. Hosted in a city that everyone shares as a center is not only exciting, but touching.”

In the context of an inability for political leadership alone to deliver peace, Dr. Stolov told Breaking Israel News that interfaith encounters of everyday people, guided by religious leaders, is the best method for creating constructive friendships and opportunities to leverage tradition for the purpose of peace. He lauded the Koolulam music event as complementing the evening colloquium, illustrating how people with different voices can harmonize together and create something beautiful.

“Different voices don’t need to compete – we can come together in harmony and allow people to discover that it’s not a zero-sum game,” he explained.

Father Francis of the Community of the Beatitudes, a French Congregation in Emmaus-Nicopolis next to Latrun, told Breaking Israel News that he came to Koolulam to “bring people together, break down prejudice and form interfaith dialogue with the Jewish community in Israel.”

“We have a special love for Israel and we try to create bridges of reconciliation, healing and friendship,” he maintained, adding that his congregation adds Jewish liturgy into their musical rituals, bringing Jews and Christians together.

As with every Koolulam concert, the event produced a powerful cinematic clip that will be distributed around the world on June 28. Filmed at midnight, with the breathtaking view of the Old City, the clip will show hundreds of strangers from various religions and backgrounds gathering at the now the iconic symbol of Jerusalem and gateway to the Old City, the Tower of David. The ancient citadel has guarded the city for hundreds, and in some parts, thousands of years and brings into its walls the cultures and traditions of Jerusalem.

Eilat Lieber, Director of the Tower of David Museum, told Breaking Israel News, “The Tower of David is a unique symbol of the city, as it is the only building in Jerusalem that has never been destroyed. In it, you can identify all the different cultures that have been in Jerusalem over the last 2,700 years. It remains a fortress of spirit rather than a fortress of power.”

“The Tower of David Museum is “proud to be able to host this unifying event within the walls of the ancient citadel. The Tower of David stands at a point where old meets new and bridges between east and west and we welcome the opportunity to bring so many people throughout the world together promoting messages of peace, respect and friendship,” she said.

The participants, from different corners of the world, took part in the inspiring activity of Koolulam where they learned innovative musical arrangement of Bob Marley’s “One Love” in three languages ​​and three voices.

“This kind of event is the very essence of Koolulam, which wants to inspire people through music regardless of race, religion or sex. This event is dedicated to a song for hope: hope for equality, empathy and friendship between different sectors. We welcome the opportunity to take part in such an event and to spread the hope that there will be a future of a shared song coming from people of different backgrounds and religions,” said Koolulam Co-Founders Or Taicher and Ben Yefet.

Taicher, Koolulam’s Artistic Director told Breaking Israel News, “this event is a type of social prayer – we want people to people to pray for each other and with each other.” He explained, “the music is not the issue, but rather it’s the tool to bring inspiration to those who come into Koolulam as strangers and go out as a group with a new creation – a song.”

“In a city where so many people fight for being here, we sang tonight about togetherness and hope,” Taicher added.

Yefet, Koolulam’s Musical Director told Breaking Israel News, “We believe in people and their ability to change the world. Our goal is to connect people no matter what background they belong to.”

Friday, 22 June 2018

Report finds that Church of England played down the extent of child abuse allegations to protect its reputation

As reported by Olivia Rudgard of the London Daily Telegraph, June 22, 2018 (links in original):

The Church of England disregarded dozens of allegations in its inquiry into child sexual abuse and then downplayed the issue to protect its reputation, a critical report has found.

A report by former Barnardo's chief executive Sir Roger Singleton found that close to 100 cases were whittled down to just a handful for a review released in 2010.

Inconsistent and overly specific criteria reduced the number of cases they reported for the Past Cases Review, leading it to conclude after examining 40,000 files that just 13 cases of alleged child sexual abuse merited formal action.

Sir Roger, who was commissioned to complete an inquiry into the review, said he believed the Church "downplayed" the issue in public statements to avoid reputational damage.

However, he also said he found "no evidence whatsoever of a deliberate attempt to mislead" or that anyone broke the law.

"In the public statement that it issued reporting on the review, [the Church] rather failed to give a comprehensive picture of the concerns that existed," he said.

"It narrowed down the definitions of who had actually been responsible for abuse by limiting it to just new cases and cases where the Church took formal action. This had the impact of reducing the numbers from probably nearer 100 to just two which appeared in the public statements."

Asked whether he found that Church officials were avoiding reputational damage, Sir Roger told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think that is one of the factors that led those who prepared the press statement to emphasise the positive points for the Church and rather to downplay the negative aspects."

The report criticises the church for failing to involve victims and survivors in the process, and recommends that seven dioceses needed to repeat it.

It also said cathedrals which were not involved in the original report should undertake their own reviews and old files which were not reviewed during the original process should be examined.

In written evidence given to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in March, Sir Roger detailed the reasons that dioceses ruled out individual cases, which included that clergy had died, retired or that allegations related to a bellringer or choir member, who were deemed to be outside the scope of the report.



Thursday, 21 June 2018

Jews and Muslims in Malmo, Sweden unite in support of perversion

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 1:24-32

There isn't much that Jews and Muslims in the Muslim enclave of Malmo, Sweden can unite on, but they can come together to celebrate a lifestyle that God calls an abomination; isn't multiculturalism wonderful? As reported by Cnaan Liphshiz of Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 19, 2018 (links in original):

MALMO, Sweden — This city is not the best place to fly rainbow flags emblazoned with a Star of David.

Its crime rate — among the highest in Scandinavia — and a large Muslim community make Malmo a flashpoint rife with interethnic and religious tensions. It is also notorious for its high rate of anti-Semitism, including harassment of Jewish leaders, attacks on synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, and anti-Semitic chants at protests.

That’s why Barbara Posner, one of Malmo’s approximately 1,000 Jews, was slightly apprehensive when she joined the Jewish contingent at the city’s gay pride parade earlier this month. It didn’t help that the event fell on one of the hottest days of the year and at the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month when Muslims fast daily between sunrise and sunset.

“I had some concerns, yes, but not enough to keep me away,” Posner, 66, said about the June 10 event. “I think it’s important Malmo’s Jews take an active part in all of the city’s major events, our backs straight and proud of our identity,”

It was the third consecutive year that local Jews organized their own group inside the parade, complete with flags bearing Jewish symbols and Israeli music blasting from a large trolley speaker that one participant, a Christian supporter of Israel, had schlepped all the way from Stockholm.

Posner’s apprehension was partly justified.

This year, the some 15 participants of the Jewish group were targeted with insults and threats, including by cyclists who shouted “f*** Zionists” at them and one man who ran a finger across his throat. But they also found their ranks joined by an Arab waving a Palestinian flag, a refugee from Syria and another one from Libya, as well as several non-Jewish Swedes who marched with them to show support.

To some Malmo Jews, that experience and others indicate that the combination of Jewish outreach and visibility can lead to change even in a city that some consider Europe’s anti-Semitism capital. But other observers say that animosity toward Jews runs too deep to be treated effectively in small events lasting several hours.

In addition to the Jewish presence at the pride parade last week, Jewish leaders in Malmo have reached out to Muslims and other non-Jews. In 2016, one of the city’s rabbis, Moshe David HaCohen, formed a partnership with a local imam, Salahuddin Barakat. In a state-funded project called Amana, HaCohen, who works for the Jewish Community of Malmo, and Barakat hold small interfaith study groups together and visit schools jointly.

“It’s definitely making an impact,” said HaCohen, 38, who moved to Malmo in 2016 from the West Bank settlement of Tekoa, about Amana and its activities. “There’s more quiet than before.”

Quiet is the ultimate goal for the Jews of Malmo. Many of them say they feel growing anxiety and even despair amid extreme expressions of anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism in the city of roughly 350,000 residents, where Muslims account for about a third of the population.

The city’s Chabad rabbi, Shneur Kesselman, has complained to police more than 120 times over anti-Semitic assaults over the past decade. The problem erupted in Malmo in 2009, when protests over Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza turned into anti-Semitic violence. That January, the local Jewish cemetery was firebombed.

Weeks later, riots broke out over the attendance of Israeli players at an international tennis tournament. Thousands staged an unlicensed protest march that included demonstrators hurling paint and bricks at police protecting the stadium.

The following year a bomb threat and later a firecracker were placed outside the local synagogue. In 2012, the same synagogue was attacked with firecrackers. Kesselman was physically assaulted in 2014. The synagogue was attacked again last October. Two months later, a protest rally over the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital featured calls to “kill the Jews.”

The city registers dozens of anti-Semitic incidents annually — a vastly outsize share of the national tally in a country with some 20,000 Jews mostly residing in the capital city of Stockholm. In 2010, the Simon Wiesenthal Center published a “travel warning” on Malmo, advising Jews to skip it for safety reasons.

“It took a while until we decided to have a Jewish group at the gay pride parade,” said Ilana Edner, an Israel-born Swedish teacher living in Malmo who organized the Jewish parade marchers. “But we have to show we’re also here. It’s the only way we can negotiate a place for us here.”

At the June 10 march Edner, a Sephardic Jew who speaks Arabic, made a point of reaching out to non-Jews and Muslims. Logal Bet Kako, a gay refugee who belongs to Syria’s Assyrian minority, sang along to the songs of Dana International, the transgender Israeli woman who won the 1999 Eurovision song contest.

“I have many Jewish friends, and I didn’t see any Assyrian group at the gay pride parade, so why not?” Kako told JTA about his decision to join the Jewish contingent.

But the “highlight of the event” for Edner began when she noticed a 15-year-old Malmo-born Palestinian girl named Iman defiantly waving a Palestinian flag near the Jewish group.

“I asked her to join us,” Edner said of the moment she saw the girl. “There was a moment of hesitation and we were off, waving an Israeli flag and a Palestinian one, showing Malmo that we can get along.”

Edner’s invitation moved Iman to tears.

“I was just so touched by it, I was not expecting it at all,” Iman, who did not give her last name, told JTA. “It was so welcoming and so beautiful, I feel fortunate to have been part of this beautiful moment.”

Some onlookers applauded the unusual scene, which was featured prominently in local news articles about the parade.

But Iman’s presence, waving a Palestinian flag alongside Israeli ones, also triggered hostility. Other onlookers shouted at the girl to go away, yelled “Shame on you” and made gestures at her head suggesting that she was crazy. To protect Iman’s identity, Edner gave her a mask borrowed from another marcher who came dressed in a Pharaoh costume.

HaCohen, an Orthodox rabbi, said he is not too keen on the Jewish group’s presence at the gay pride parade. But he and Edner agree that visibility is key to the fight against anti-Semitism in Malmo.

“It’s understandable, but Malmo’s Jews perhaps have not been open enough with their identity,” he told JTA. “It’s a Catch-22: Jews are afraid so they lower their profile, people aren’t used to seeing them and it doesn’t allow for interaction. It’s not a good dynamic.”

Visibility notwithstanding, Malmo’s anti-Semitism is “widespread and deep,” Kesselman, the Chabad rabbi, told JTA. Which is why “the audiences reached through these [outreach] sessions are not necessarily where the problem is rooted.”

Kesselman says he and his family have experience repeated anti-Semitic harassment on the street, and told JTA he has not “seen any change on the ground because” of any outreach program.

“But it’s also unfair to expect or demand change,” he said. While Kesselman supports interfaith dialogue, he says it has “a limited potential for doing that in the short term. The long term is also a question.”

Posner said she would not feel safe wearing a Star of David pendant in the heavily Muslim southern parts of Malmo.

“It’s a no-go zone for me,” she said.

Frida Eriksson, a Jewish widow and mother of one from Malmo, says there are areas where she does not feel safe walking not only because she’s Jewish, but because she’s a woman.

HaCohen is more optimistic. He cites how leaders of pro-Palestinian groups and Muslim faith leaders have made a series of statements rejecting violence against Jews.

“These things are unprecedented,” he said.

Edner said that HaCohen’s outreach efforts “have resulted in little more than rhetoric.”

“Malmo’s city authorities, which fund Amana, are obviously seeking a PR project that they can use to deflect pressure,” she said.

On Facebook, Edner dismissed a joint statement that HaCohen and Barakat published last week as “political bullshit.”

The statement said that “Jews and Muslims stand united in the struggle against anti-Semitism, hate of Muslims and all forms of hatred and discrimination against minorities.” The Jewish community called it a “peace declaration between Jews and Muslims.”

HaCohen defended the text, saying it was “significant” because it was the first time a leader of the Muslim community in Malmo had stated those sentiments in writing.

Posner, the retired city worker, says she supports both HaCohen’s vision of outreach and Edner’s activities.

But her long years working in the city’s education system has made her unsure whether Jews will be able to remain there long term. With local schools suffering “extreme segregation” between ethnic Swedes and those with an immigrant background, she said, “I fear there may not be such a future.”
These people can try all the friendship gestures they want, but the differences between Jews and Muslims ultimately can't be bridged. It's long past time for Sweden to deport her Muslim population, and it's time for Jews to go to the land God intended for them. I think God is using the increasing instances of anti-Semitism to draw them back to Israel, where they belong.

That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.
If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
Deuteronomy 30:3-5

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Supreme Court of Canada hammers another nail into the coffin of religious freedom

CONSTITUTION ACT, 1982 (80)
PART I
CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Fundamental Freedoms

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.


Back in the early 1980s, when Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was forcing his Charter of Rights and Freedoms into the Constitution, contrary to the country's tradition of British common law, this blogger warned that if the Charter became law, the only people who would have any rights would be perverts, criminals, deadbeats, and malcontents. My professors and other "knowledgeable" people at the time assured me that such a thing wouldn't happen, that judges would never arrogate such power to themselves. To borrow a phrase from Sir Winston Churchill "I have not always been wrong," and in the 35+ years since then, thanks to activist "justices" such as Bertha Wilson and her successors, this blogger has been proven right, and the experts who supposedly knew better than I did have been proven wrong. Activist judges legislate from the bench, imposing their views on society, and then invent legal justifications for what they were going to do, anyway. And can anyone remember any case in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of godliness and against evil? At the moment, I can't recall any.

Trudeaupian courts and "human rights" commissions have increasingly ruled in recent years in the direction of limiting freedom of religion to religious settings--although I expect to see further restrictions even in this--and denying religious freedom in society at large. The latest, but I fear not the last outrage from the increasingly out-of-control Supreme Court of Canada, providing more evidence that Trudeaupia is a homofascist judicial dictatorship, is the following, coming as no surprise to this blogger, as reported by Deborah Gyapong of Canadian Catholic News, June 20, 2018 (bold, links in original):

OTTAWA – In upholding the right of provincial law bodies to deny accreditation to graduates of Trinity Western University, the Supreme Court of Canada has delivered a serious blow to religious freedom, say religious experts.

“It’s effectively a relegation of religious freedom and conscience rights to the private sphere,” said Phil Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League.

In a June 15 ruling, Canada’s highest court affirmed by a pair of 7-2 votes the right of law societies in Ontario and British Columbia to refuse to accredit graduates of the proposed law school of TWU, a privately funded Christian university in Langley, B.C. At issue was TWU’s mandatory covenant for students and faculty which condones sexual activity only between men and women who are in a traditional marriage.

The court’s main decision ruled that the covenant discriminates against non-heterosexual students by denying them equal access to the law profession. Provincial law societies have a public-interest mandate to ensure equal access to the profession and therefore they are entitled to reject TWU graduates, the court ruled.

“It’s frightening how little understanding the Supreme Court has of religious freedom and its importance,” said John Carpay, president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.

“It’s absolutely frightening.”

Canada’s former Ambassador of Religious Freedom Andrew Bennett called it “a very disconcerting decision.”

“Clearly they are stating that as long as you live your faith privately and within the four walls of your place of worship, that’s acceptable,” he said. “But any expression of belief, any association that in its very essence asserts a particular belief, that’s unacceptable.”

Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver, whose diocese includes Langley, B.C., said he was “saddened” by the decision “with its potential to undermine freedom of religion, conscience and association in Canada.”

“With this decision, the court has moved away from our historic tradition of reconciling competing rights, and closer to a prioritization of rights, essentially ruling some are more important than others,” Miller said.

The Archdiocese of Vancouver intervened in the case jointly with the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) and the Faith and Freedom Alliance.

Constitutional lawyer Iain Benson called it “a terrible, terrible decision.”

The Supreme Court has basically ruled that the standard religious position on sexual morality is in conflict with what’s in the public interest, and that makes this “a very dark day in Canadian legal history,” Benson said.

“That is extraordinarily serious,” he said. “It has the potential to open up whole swathes of Canadian culture to scrutiny under so-called Charter values.”

Plans for a TWU law school are now on hold and religious leaders are examining how to respond to the ruling as other cases involving religious freedom head towards the courts.

There are concerns that the TWU decision could negatively impact a lawsuit launched by the Christian Medical and Dental Society (CMDS) of Canada against the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The CMDS is contesting a policy that forces doctors to make effective referrals in cases of euthanasia or other treatments doctors might find morally objectionable. Two other lawsuits are in the works opposing the Canada Summer Jobs attestation which affirms government policy on abortion.

Horgan said the court ruling against TWU in effect gives a blessing to administrative authorities to claim decisions are in the “public interest” based on “amorphous and undefined notions of Charter values.” This “effectively allows further state actors to make it up as they go along,” he said.

The Supreme Court used to be where fundamental freedoms in the Charter were recognized within “a genuine, authentic pluralistic understanding of our constitutional history,” Horgan said. “That arrangement has been severed.”

He believes the decision opens the door for others to use a Charter argument to subjugate religious freedom rights.

“This is certainly a disappointing outcome and one for which the ramifications are yet to be understood,” he said.

William Sammon, who has represented the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops before the Supreme Court, said “we’re simply stuck” with the decision.

Speaking for himself and not the CCCB, Sammon said perhaps it can be argued that the decision narrowly applies to law societies and the unique role they play in the administration of justice, and does not apply to other regulatory bodies.

“The way the religious communities have to look going forward is how to limit the damage,” he said.

It was TWU’s stance on marriage “that gave everybody a problem, including the justices of the Supreme Court,” said Sammon.

“But the belief by evangelical Christians in their religious definition of marriage is part of who they are. To treat that belief as simply a preference or as peripheral is certainly inconsistent with previous decisions, I would argue, by the Supreme Court itself.”

TWU vs. law societies: A timeline

June 2012: Trinity Western submits School of Law proposal to B.C.’s Minister of Advanced Education for consent to offer degrees, and to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) for accreditation of the program. The university’s “community covenant” includes forbidding students from having sexual relations outside of the confines of heterosexual marriage.

December 2013: TWU receives approval from FLSC and the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education.

March-April 2014: Individual law societies review the FLSC approval, citing concerns that covenant discriminates against LGBTQ people. The School of Law is approved in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon, but rejected in Ontario and Nova Scotia.

October 2014: B.C. law society reverses its approval, followed two months later by B.C. Minister of Advanced Education.

January 2015: Nova Scotia Supreme Court rules in favour of TWU, saying the school is not subject to the province’s Human Rights Act.

June 2015: Ontario court upholds law society’s denial of accreditation, saying covenant is discriminatory.

December 2015: B.C. court upholds TWU’s right to operate a law school. Law society appeals.

June-July 2016: TWU loses appeal against law society in Ontario; wins appeal in Nova Scotia.

June 2018: Supreme Court of Canada rules that Ontario and B.C. law societies’ decision to deny accreditation to TWU graduates is reasonable in a decision pitting religious freedom against equality rights. TWU says law school proposal is on hold.
I don't know any Christians, including myself, who believe that alphabet perverts should be prohibited from practicing law, but alphabet pervert activists are the most intolerant people I've ever seen; they want to prohibit Christians from admission to the legal profession, not because of anything the Christians have done, but merely because of beliefs they hold.

It's not true to hold that a belief that homosexual behaviour is sinful will necessarily lead to discriminatory behaviour. I had a short-term supervisory position a few years ago, and among the people I was supervising were a homosexual couple. I didn't discriminate against them; we got along well, they both did good work, and I gave them good reviews. They've both worked with me more than once, and I'd be happy to work with them again, because they do good work and make my job easier.

This blogger can tell you what the next development will be: the prohibition on religious freedom will be expanded from law to any and every other profession. Students wishing to graduate from professional schools or graduates desiring admission to professional societies will be required to take oaths supporting whatever rights of alphabet perversion can be invented. It wouldn't surprise this blogger if, should the Lord tarry, that Christians are forced to wear crosses on their clothing to identify them as they're herded into gulags. If this sounds exaggerated, keep in mind that the pervert rights movement initially was only about getting their behaviour removed from the Criminal Code. Who in 1969, when homosexual acts were legalized in Canada, would have thought that events would ever reach the extent they have in 2018?

The good news in all this is that the increasing ungodliness of society is prophesied in the Bible (e.g., II Timothy 3:13), and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ draws nearer every day. He's not coming back to fix the legal and political systems of the world, but to destroy them with the brightness of His coming (II Thessalonians 2:8), and to set up His own Kingdom, ruling all nations (yes, there will be nations in the Millennium) with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:15). Those who have been persecuting Christians will be held to account for their treatment of His church.

See also my posts:

25 years ago: Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Criminal Code restrictions on abortion (February 27, 2013)

Supreme Court of Canada, in Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, moves to limit freedom of speech (March 12, 2013)

Supreme Court of Canada strikes down ban on assisted suicide (February 6, 2015)

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Vatican recognizes alphabet perverts for the first time

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Romans 1:24-32

More evidence for those who regard Pope Francis as an antipope; as reported by Olivia Rudgard of the London Daily Telegraph, June 19, 2018:

The Vatican has recognised "LGBT" for the first time, as bishops admitted that the Catholic church must be more inclusive.

In a working document published on Tuesday senior Church figures said "LGBT youth" wanted to "benefit from greater closeness" with the Church.

The shift marks a departure from previous language used by the Vatican, which has in the past included "persons with homosexual tendencies", while more recent documents have used the term "homosexuals".

Pope Francis has also used the word "gay" at press conferences and in interviews.

The document also recognised that "some LGBT youth" wanted to "experience greater care by the Church".

At a press conference Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the secretary general of the Vatican's synod office, told reporters that the term was included because it had been used by young people and the church was following suit.

"We are open. We don't want to be closed in on ourselves," he said.

The report was released ahead of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will cover the topic “Young people, the faith and vocational discernment”, and will be held in October this year.

"The Synod’s primary aim is to make the whole Church aware of her important and not at all optional task of accompanying every young person, without exclusion, towards the joy of love," said the Cardinal.


Monday, 18 June 2018

Norwegian rapper curses Jews at concert celebrating "diversity"

I don't know which is more disgusting--a performer publicly cursing Jews, or the fact that even Norway isn't immune to the moral and "musical" American ghetto garbage known as "rap." As reported by Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 18, 2018 (links in original):

A Norwegian rapper hired by the City of Oslo to sing at an event intended to celebrate diversity cursed the “f***ing Jews” during his performance.

In response to the profane statement Friday by Kaveh Kholardi, the leader of the country’s Jewish community has threatened to take legal action against the 23-year-old performer.

Kholardi wished Muslims “Eid Mubarak,” a greeting in Arabic for the Eid al-Fitr holiday that on Friday marked the end of Ramadan, Dagen reported. He went on to ask if there were Christians present, smiling upon hearing cheers. Then he asked if there were any Jews, adding “f***ing Jews … Just kidding.”

Christine Thune, a spokeswoman for the Oslo municipality, told the Verdens Gang daily that the organizers had complained to Kholardi. Anne Christine Kroepelin said the whole “point of the event was diversity and inclusion,” and that Kholardi’s apparent expression of anti-Semitism was “exactly the opposite of what the organizers wanted to promote.”

On June 10, five days before the concert, Kholardi wrote on Twitter: “f***ing Jews are so corrupt.”

On Facebook, Kholardi wrote following criticism by the Jewish leader, Ervin Kohn, that he is “neither a racist nor anti-Semite,” and that the reference to Jews during the concert was taken out of context” and was only a joke.

Kohn demanded an apology from Kholardi, threatening a complaint to police for incitement to hate if Kholardi does not comply with the request.

Kholardi’s Facebook account has become inaccessible following the incident.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Radio frequency may replace X-rays in security devices

As reported by Joshua Philipp of The Epoch Times, June 7, 2018 (link in original):

A new device that fits on a cellphone could soon replace X-ray machines in airports and security checkpoints, while being affordable enough for schools and nightclubs.

Rather than using X-rays, which often require heavy equipment, the new device, SWORD, uses radio frequency. The technology can achieve effects similar to X-rays, but in a noninvasive way, and with no more radiation than what a cellphone already emits.

The SWORD platform would help move options for preventing terrorist attacks and mass shootings from being reactive to proactive, according to Barry Oberholzer, CEO of Royal Holdings, which created the system.

“If you look at all the mass shooter and terror attacks that have been happening, we believe this product we develop is proactive and can save lives,” he said. “It’s not reactive like many people are currently pushing.”

Oberholzer said the system was an answer to threats he has witnessed in his work as an intelligence contractor. He has worked with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, Belgium Customs Intelligence Agency, and others to counter criminal operations, including narco-terrorism and smuggling networks.

SWORD works through a specialized smartphone case with an internal processor and antennae that emit radio frequency waves. These waves can scan people and bags, and transmit data back to the phone. It then runs the data through an app on the phone itself, which connects to an AI-driven threat database. It can then give alerts on whether people are carrying guns or explosives, and can do facial recognition to detect if an individual is banned from a location or wanted by authorities.

Oberholzer said the new system would give even security guards at locations such as airports and metro stations the ability to scan individuals and unattended bags for threats, rather than having to call in police, K-9 units, or bomb squads, which can often take hours.

Beware of lawnmowers at church

Charismaniacs would probably accuse the lawnmower in this incident of being demon-possessed. As reported by The Canadian Press, June 16, 2018:

HALIFAX - Police say a 61-year-old man is dead after a lawn mower rolled on top of him in the Halifax area Saturday morning.

Halifax Regional Police say the man was operating a ride-on mower on the grounds of a church on Rocky Lake Drive.

They say it appears that he rolled over a steep hill leading to the nearby Bedford Highway.

Emergency personnel responded just after 10 a.m. but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say their thoughts are with the victim's family.

HT: WHM


Newfoundland and Labrador court declares three adults in polyamorous relationship to be legal parents of child

More evidence that the country that still goes by the name "Canada" is a pathetic rotting corpse that's already under the judgment of God-- I feel sorry for the child, who's yet another involuntary guinea pig in a social experiment. As reported by Michael MacDonald of The Canadian Press, June 14, 2018:

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- In what is believed to be a legal first in Canada, a court in Newfoundland and Labrador has recognized three unmarried adults as the legal parents of a child born within their "polyamorous" family.

Polyamorous relationships are legal in Canada, unlike bigamy and polygamy, which involve people in two or more marriages.

In this case, the St. John's family includes two men in a relationship with the mother of a child born in 2017.

"Society is continuously changing and family structures are changing along with it," says the decision, by Justice Robert Fowler of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court's family division.

"This must be recognized as a reality and not as a detriment to the best interests of the child."

The April 4 decision says the unconventional family has been together for three years, but the biological father of the child is unknown. The family members are not identified in the decision, which was released Thursday by the court.

It's not the first time a Canadian court has recognized that a family can have three legally recognized parents. In 2007, for example, the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized both women in a lesbian couple as the mothers of a child whose biological father was already deemed a legal parent. But the three adults in that case were not in a relationship.

The three people in the Newfoundland case turned to the courts after the province said only two parents could be listed on the child's birth certificate.

Lawyers for the province's attorney general argued that the provincial Children's Law Act does not allow for more than two people to be named as the legal parents of a child.

In his decision, Fowler acknowledged that was the case, but he stressed that the court's opinion hinged on what was in the best interests of the child.

"It has been well-established that in dealing with the matters of children, the best interests of a child or children shall always be the determining factors for the courts," the decision says.

Fowler said the child was born into a stable, loving family that is providing a safe and nurturing environment.

When the province's Children's Law Act was introduced about 30 years ago, he said, it did not contemplate the "now complex family relationships that are common and accepted in our society."

The judge said it was clear the legislation was aimed at bringing about equal status for all children, but the law included an unintentional gap that acts against the best interests of children born into polyamorous relationships.

"I have no reason to believe that this relationship detracts from the best interests of the child," Fowler's decision says.

"On the contrary, to deny the recognition of fatherhood (parentage) by the applicants would deprive the child of having a legal paternal heritage with all the rights and privileges associated with that designation."

9th century clay amulet praising Allah is found in Jerusalem's City of David

Ancient Ayyubid seal found at Jerusalem’s City of David, Givati Parking Lot excavations.

As reported by Adam Elyahu Berkowitz of Breaking Israel News, June 14, 2018 (link in original):

Last week, archaeologists at the City of David in Jerusalem discovered a tiny ceramic amulet from the 9-10th century with an Arabic inscription praising ‘Allah.’

The one centimeter long piece of clay pottery was inscribed with two lines that were translated by Dr. Nitzan Amitai-Price from the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University:

“Karim (a first name) will trust in Allah

‘Rabbo” (master) of the worlds is Allah’”

Amitai-Price noted that stamps made of semi precious stones that bear similar inscriptions are a common find from the Abbasid period, but this type of clay object, especially one so tiny, is a relatively rare archaeological find. The new discovery is also unusual in that most amulets of this type contain only one line.

According to the directors of the excavation, Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University and Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “the size of the object, its shape, and the text on it indicate that it was apparently used as an amulet for blessing and protection.”

According to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) press release, “The wording of the first line is familiar from seals made of semiprecious stones, as well as from roadside inscriptions (graffiti) along the pilgrims’ route to Mecca (Darb al-Haj) from the 8th-10th centuries CE. The lower portion of the letters in the second line are faded, and its interpretation is based on similar wordings that appear on personal seals and in several verses from the Koran.”

The inscription seemed strangely appropriate given that the amulet was found in the last days of Ramadan, the month-long Muslims fast, when Muslims greet each other with the phrase, “Ramadan Karim”.

The piece was discovered in the flooring of a structure believed to have been built in the 9-10th century during the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate that ruled the region from 750 CE to 950 CE. Archaeologists conjecture that the amulet was intentionally placed in the flooring when it was constructed. It was found near pottery sherds and a nearly intact oil lamp marked with black soot. The the small room also contained an oven.

“Unfortunately,” the researchers said in the IAA press release, “the poor preservation of the architecture make the purpose of the structure difficult to determine. It is interesting to note that several installations indicate cooking activities that occurred here. Modest structures from the same period were found in prior excavations at the same site, including residential homes interspersed with stores and workshops. It is reasonable to assume that this structure was used as part of that same industrial zone.”

The archaeological dig is in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavations near the Old City of Jerusalem.


Saturday, 16 June 2018

Fight over ownership of America's oldest synagogue goes to the Supreme Court

This sort of dispute can be found anywhere; as reported by Jewish Telegraph Agency, June 15, 2018:

BOSTON — The legal fight over ownership of the country’s oldest synagogue is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week denied a petition filed by Congregation Jeshuat Israel, which worships in the historic synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, for a rehearing of a ruling from August that said it was a tenant of the building.

That ruling by a three-judge panel found that New York’s Shearith Israel, which was founded in 1654, is the rightful owner of the Touro Synagogue, which was built in 1763. Jeshuat Israel will appeal, according to its lawyer, Gary Naftalis.

It is the latest development in a years-long property dispute between Jeshuat Israel and Shearith Israel, the nation’s oldest congregation.

The appeals court ruling by Justice David Souter, a former U.S. Supreme Court justice, also grants the Manhattan congregation ownership of some of Touro’s possessions.

“We will seek review by the United States Supreme Court to continue our fight to preserve the Touro Synagogue,” Naftalis wrote in an email to JTA. He said that Jeshuat Israel is the only congregation that has prayed at Touro for over a century.

But Louis Solomon, the board chairman of Shearith Israel and its lawyer in the case against Jeshuat Israel, said the “Court’s decision reaffirms the need, for the good of American Jewry and people of faith everywhere, to put this divisive matter behind us.”

The two congregations have had a close, centuries-old intertwined relationship. During the Revolutionary War, when Newport’s Jews fled the city, Shearith Israel became the trustee of Touro and for a time held its possessions. Later, with a wave of new Jewish immigrants, the congregation recharted.

The current legal dispute dates back to 2012, when Jeshuat Israel, seeking to secure its financial footing and maintain a rabbi, planned to sell artifacts worth millions of dollars. Shearith Israel moved to block the sale, arguing in part that it is the rightful owner of the Touro Synagogue and its possessions.

Two years ago, a U.S. District Court judge in Providence ruled in favor of Jeshuat Israel and removed Shearith Israel as a trustee. Shearith Israel appealed and won the decision in August, with Souter finding that Jeshuat Israel was a tenant.

The intended sale that sparked the conflict was of a pair of Colonial-era silver Torah scroll finials handcrafted by prominent silversmith Myer Myers valued at more than $7 million.

The ruling last week featured a dissent by Judge Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson in which she expressed concern that the decision did not consider long-standing Rhode Island law on charitable trusts that “could lead to different legal conclusions.”

Designated a national historic site in 1946, the Touro Synagogue attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, including for its annual summertime reading of a historic letter from George Washington, who visited the synagogue in 1790. The nation’s first president wrote that the government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Friday, 15 June 2018

Argentine Senate rejects legalization of abortion two months after narrow majority in Chamber of Deputies votes in favour

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Deuteronomy 30:19

Argentina threatens to head in the same self-destructive direction as that recently favoured by Ireland. As reported by BBC News, June 14, 2018 (bold, links in original):

Catholic Argentina's lower house has backed a bill legalising abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

After a divisive debate lasting more than 22 hours, 129 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour and 125 against while one abstained.

The bill will now have to go to the Senate.

President Mauricio Macri is strongly opposed to the bill but has said that he would not veto it if it was passed by both houses.

Last-minute turnaround
Abortion is currently illegal in Argentina, except in cases of rape or when the life or health of the woman is at risk. Women seeking abortions also have to apply to a judge for permission, which critics say can unnecessarily delay the procedure.

Up until three hours before the vote, those against the bill seemed to be in the majority until a lawmaker in the province of La Pampa, Sergio Ziliotto, announced on Twitter that he and two colleagues had changed their minds and would vote "yes".

Junto a Melina Del├║ y Ariel Rauschenberger, los 3 diputados nacionales peronistas por La Pampa votaremos a FAVOR de la despenalizaci├│n del aborto.

— Sergio Ziliotto (@ZiliottoSergio) June 14, 2018

The announcement invigorated pro-choice lawmakers at a time when despondency was beginning to set in after the night-long debate.

Supporters of the bill, many of whom had spent the entire night demonstrating outside of the Congress building in Buenos Aires, cheered and hugged when the result of the vote was announced.

Many also took to social media to celebrate with #AbortoSeraLey (#AbortionWillBeLaw), a hashtag that is trending on Twitter in Argentina.

Among those celebrating the vote as a "historic step" was the secretary general of human rights group Amnesty International, Salil Shetty.

Historic step forward for women's rights in #Argentina today! It's not over yet, but the vote to decriminalise abortion up to 14 weeks sends a powerful message which will reverberate across the whole region #AbortoSeraLey https://t.co/cwBM19SWGn pic.twitter.com/VFKoUubykF

— Salil Shetty (@SalilShetty) June 14, 2018

There was high drama even as the result came in. The electronic board inside the chamber initially showed 131 in favour and 123 against but two lawmakers immediately shouted that their vote had not been recorded accurately.

The speaker then proceeded to ask a number of deputies to confirm how they had voted and after some tense minutes confirmed that the bill had been passed.

'Innocent blood'
The bill will now go to the Senate, where it is expected to be put to a vote in September.

Analysts say it faces an uphill battle in the upper chamber, where a number of senators have already expressed their opposition.

Women's rights activists said they would continue to campaign vigorously for the bill to be passed.

They argue that legalising abortions is a public health issue, with many women currently taking huge risks with their health and sometimes even their lives when they resort to illegal terminations.

Some of the lawmakers taking part in the debate said they had been swayed by the argument. They said that while they personally remained opposed to abortions, they saw the need for women to have access to safe, legal terminations.

But many others did not change their minds. Horacio Goicoechea of the Radical Civic Union made an impassioned plea for his colleagues to vote "no", saying: "We're building a law on innocent blood."
See my post Irish referendum results in removal of right to life of unborn from the constitution (May 26, 2018)
August 10, 2018 update: Good news, as reported by Scott Squires of Reuters, August 9, 2018:

BUENOS AIRES - Argentine senators rejected a bill to legalize abortion after an impassioned debate ran into the early hours of Thursday, pushing back against a groundswell of support from a surging abortion rights movement.

The Senate voted 38 to 31 against the proposed measure, which would have legalized a woman’s right to seek an abortion into the 14th week of pregnancy. The bill had narrowly passed in the lower house in July.

Families and clergy in baby-blue bandanas gathered outside the congressional palace as the result came in just before 3 a.m., waving Argentine flags in support of the Catholic Church’s anti-abortion stance in Pope Francis’ home country.

“What this vote showed is that Argentina is still a country that represents family values,” anti-abortion activist Victoria Osuna, 32, told Reuters.

Current Argentine law only permits abortions in cases of rape, or if the mother’s health is at risk.

Abortion rights supporters, clad in green bandanas that have become a symbol of the movement, danced to drum lines and swarmed the city’s streets to the end, despite a biting wind and cold rain.

Many had camped in front of Argentina’s National Congress since Wednesday night.

“I’m still optimistic. It didn’t pass today, but it will pass tomorrow, it will pass the next day,” said abortion rights supporter Natalia Carol, 23. “This is not over.”

Uruguay and Cuba are the only Latin American countries that now have broadly legalized abortion.

In Brazil, the Supreme Court is set to consider whether current law, which allows terminating pregnancies only in cases of rape, fetal deformation or when the mother’s life is in danger, is unconstitutional.

But passing a pro-abortion law will face hurdles in Brazil’s increasingly conservative Congress, with a growing Evangelical Christian caucus that is staunchly opposed.

Women’s rights advocates, however, hope that a more liberal judiciary in Brazil will at least decriminalize abortion to help avoid deaths from botched terminations in a country where hundreds of thousands of women resort to clandestine clinics each year.

Ahead of the Senate vote in Argentina, President Mauricio Macri called the debate “a win for democracy.” Macri said he was personally against abortion, but would sign the bill if it passed.

Argentina’s abortion rights movement, backed by feminist groups galvanized in recent years to stop violence against women, argued that the bill would end unregulated abortions that government data show as the leading cause of maternal deaths.

There are at least 350,000 illegal abortions in Argentina every year, the Ministry of Health estimates, though international human rights groups say the number may be higher.

The move to legalize abortion in Argentina is a “public health and human rights imperative,” said New York-based Human Rights Watch.

“Just because the bill got shot down, it will not stop the movement,” said Paula Avila-Guillen, a director of Women’s Equality Center, an abortion rights advocacy group. “We will be there at the next legislative opportunity.”