"Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?" "Describe your organization's religious belief system toward the land of Israel" was representative of questioning posed by IRS agents to a Jewish group as documented in a federal court filing earlier this week. The interrogation was uncomfortably reminiscent of Himmler's SS agents and the haunting legacy of the Roman church's questioning of Jews: "Be baptized"? or "Burn"? However, IRS agents have yet to compete with Himmler or Rome, but that affords little consolation long term.
Of immediate concern is the current administration's spiritual "profiling" and the legal precedence it sets; a precedence affecting not only Israel but also the church. The Bible is the Book of the church, and provides "support" for not only the "existence of the land of Israel" but also establishes an unrivaled "belief system" affirming the Israel of God (Yisrael). Peter, to Jews of the Diaspora (dispersion), writes: "ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (cf. 1Peter 2:9). The Bible explicitly and implicitly ascribes promise and blessing to Israel as a people and a nation in hundreds, if not thousands, of passages. If it is not politically appropriate for Jews to support the "existence of the land of Israel," then their Book must be far less appropriate, as well as those who read and believe it.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Rangel, an ardent minister of the "gospel" of Black Rights converted a residential-only unit into a campaign office, an infraction of city and state regulations. He then evicted tenants of other Harlem properties for minor infractions of lease. For this and many others charges of corruption and ethical malfeasance, the House Ethics Committee today sanctioned longtime Congressional Representative Charles Rangel to stand before his colleagues and receive oral rebuke.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matthew 18:23-35).
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Newt? The guy who visited his wife in the hospital as she was recovering from cancer surgery to discuss divorce? Wanted to marry the woman he was currently "bedding." This lasted until Newt and Bill found something in common, interns and staffers decades their junior. May America's deliverance arise from another place!
For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said,Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger (Matthew 14:3-8).