UN and Iraq
U.N. and Iraq
In a most surprising move, constituting a “major diplomatic victory for the Bush administration, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday (October 16, 2003), endorsing the struggling U.S. occupation of Iraq and calling other nations to contribute troops and economic aid,” according to the “San Francisco Chronicle” of October 17, 2003. What can only be viewed as the U.N.’s political hypocritical duplicity, “the 15-0 vote came as a surprise because France, Germany and Russia had vehemently opposed the resolution… But their opposition melted in last-minute negotiations… Even Syria… went along in the end,” according to the article. The practical effect of the resolution is minimal, however. As the newspaper pointed out, “President Bush… is likely to receive little extra foreign troops and cash… Japan is offering $1.5 billion, while Europe has approved only $233 million.”
The resolution was sharply criticized by the ambassadors of France, Russia, Germany and Pakistan. They said in a joint statement that “their governments will not make any new military or financial contributions to support the occupation… Germany’s U.N. ambassador Gunter Pleuger said the council squandered the chance to give a ‘clear signal that the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis will be accelerated,'” according to the newspaper article.
War on Terrorism and Satan
As the Associated Press reported on October 17, “Pentagon leaders spoke up in support… of a top general [Three-star Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, Pentagon’s deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence] who had told church audiences that the war on terrorism is a battle with Satan and that Muslims worship idols.” The article continued, “Boykin said Islamic extremists hate the United States ‘because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian… And the enemy is a guy named Satan.'” The article also published the reaction of Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He was quoted as saying, “‘Putting a man with such extremist views in a critical policy-making position sends entirely the wrong message to a Muslim world that is already skeptical about America’s motives and intentions.'” Awad also noted that “a verse in the Koran says Muslims believe in the same God as Jews and Christians.”
We might mention that this last statement is blatantly false, insofar as the true Christianity of the Bible is concerned. The Bible reveals that God is a Family, consisting of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son. Neither Jews nor Muslims believe in the God Family. Neither does traditional Christianity, as they teach the Trinity — three Persons in one Person, erroneously claiming that the Holy Spirit is a Person. For more information, please read our free booklets on “Is God a Trinity?” and “God is a Family.”
Malaysia vs. Jews
The Associated Press reported on October 17 that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad “told a summit of Muslim leaders… that Jews ruled the world and recruited others ‘to fight and die for them.'” The article quoted Mahathir as follows: “‘The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy… They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong.'”
A.P. continued: “Mahathir’s speech drew immediate criticism from Israel and Jewish organizations, which feared it could fan violence against Jews, but a standing ovation from the kings, presidents, sheiks and emirs — INCLUDING KEY U.S. ALLIES — gathered in Malaysia’s new capital, Putrajaya. A.P. pointed out that “Malaysia is considered by the United States a RELIABLE — if prickly — ALLY, cooperating in breaking terrorist networks in Southeast Asia… [Mahathir] remained a blunt opponent of the U.S. attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, and repeatedly warned that the war on terrorism is becoming a war against Muslims.”
When reading this, one wonders how reliable those U.S.allies really are.
In the aftermath of this very antagonistic speech by Malaysia’s prime minister, President Bush openly rebuked him at the APEC summit. According to www.cnn.com, “Bush told Mahathir Mohamad, who steps down as prime minister next month, that his comments about Jews ‘stands squarely against what I believe’ and went on to characterize them as ‘wrong and divisive.’ “
Bible prophecy reveals that the Jews along with the British and American people will increasingly become isolated and at odds with the rest of the nations of this earth. The very fact that these modern descendants of the greater nation of Israel are lumped together in political alignments, is precise fulfillment of events that God foretold long ago.
The Catholic Church and Hinduism
Zenit published on October 14 a written message, sent by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to Hindus on the occasion of Diwali, the festival of lights. To better understand this festival and the significance of the Vatican’s message, here is a brief summary of the meaning and origin of that Hindu festival:
Of all the festivals celebrated in India, Diwali is by far the most glamorous and important. Diwali celebrations are similar to Christmas celebrations. Homes are decorated, sweets are distributed and thousands of lamps lit to create a world of fantasy. Although the ancient stories of the origin of Diwali differ, the festival is mainly said to have started, especially in the north of India, as a celebration of the divine king Rama’s coronation after his epic war with Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, and his and queen Sita’s return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. In the south of India, the origin of Diwali is seen in Krishna’s victory over Narakasura, the demon of hell, or Vishnu’s victory over “King Bali, the benevolent demon king of the netherworld.” Vishnu gave this demon-king the lamp of knowledge to light up the dark underworld, and allowed him to return once a year to light millions of lamps for the people.
During the festival, on the “dark new moon night,” the entrances of all homes are lit up and decorated to welcome Lakshmi, the radiant consort of Vishnu and the goddess of wealth and luster. In many Krishna temples, Diwali is celebrated as a day of feeding and venerating cows. The sacredness of the cow goes back to the myth of the churning of the cosmic ocean by the gods. Kamadhenu, the celestial cow, was venerated as the mother of the universe. A cow is the constant companion of Krishna.
Considering the Catholic Church’s history of embracing pagan rites and customs and placing a “Christian” mantle over them, the following excerpts from the Catholic Church’s written message to the Hindus are quite remarkable:
“Dear Hindu Friends, This year I am pleased to greet you and share with you a short message on the occasion of Diwali, the feast which you celebrate according to your venerable religious tradition… Diwali is a time for families to get together, and celebrate in a meaningful way the rites prescribed by the ancient dharma… I have always been impressed by the fact that on the occasion of Diwali there are some Hindus who make every effort to bring about reconciliation within families and between neighbors, friends and acquaintances. Could not Catholics and Hindus extend these efforts to bring about wider reconciliation and a more lasting peace in our towns and villages and indeed throughout our countries and the world at large?… The occasion of the festival of Diwali provides us with ample food for thought when the Hindu tradition informs us of how light overcomes darkness, how the victory of good is achieved over evil and how hatred gives way to love through forgiveness… Dear Hindu friends, may you, your families, friends and even the strangers in your midst experience joy, peace, serenity, and light on the feast of Diwali, as symbolized by the innumerable flames…”
Reconciliation sounds good — but it must never be achieved through the adoption of pagan ideas and customs and the compromise with God’s Holy Word. In describing our present western societies, Isaiah says in no uncertain terms about the God of the Bible: “You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with eastern ways” (Isaiah 2:6). In this context, be sure to read our Q&A section in this issue, discussing “Halloween.”
The Catholic Church’s Future Role
In spite of agonizing and reprehensible actions on the part of many priests in the United States that have come to light over the past several months, that “bad press” has largely evaporated as, once again, the Catholic Church in Rome has taken center stage.
The occasion for world attention has emerged as the pope celebrated his 25th anniversary as pontiff. There have been many ceremonies highlighting this event, but underlying this celebration is the health of the pope. According to www.mcjonline.com (10/22/03), “Showing the frailty that marked her last days, Pope John Paul II beatified late nun Mother Teresa in Vatican City Sunday, October 19, for of up to 300,000 people, one of its largest crowds ever.” This article continues: “Yet, for the first time in a major Vatican ceremony, the pontiff was unable to utter a word of his homily, leaving other prelates to do so. In the few prayers he did say, his words were so slurred and shaky they could barely be understood, reporters noticed.”
Another event at this celebration also drew much attention and speculation about the pope’s health. From www.guardian.co (10/22/2003), “Pope John Paul II, who is in declining health, yesterday announced 31 new cardinals to join the ranks of those who will eventually choose his successor.”
It is noteworthy that the Catholic Church may indeed undergo a change of papal administration in the coming months. This is especially critical at this point in time as Europe struggles to unify. Although there is an overall move in the direction of building a cohesive union, both political and religious union are still lacking. A younger, vigorous and dedicated pope would not only revive the fortunes of the Catholic Church, but new religious leadership would certainly help the cause of European unification.