Bird Flu a Terrible Worldwide Threat
The web site www.theage.com.au published an article on July 10, 2004, titled, “Bird flu a danger of pandemic magnitude.” The article pointed out: “The bird flu strain that killed 24 people in East Asia earlier this year and has resurfaced in recent weeks is now endemic to the region, and the virus could trigger a global health crisis if it goes unchecked, a study says. In the study published by the London-based science journal Nature, researchers led by a Hong Kong microbiologist found that domestic ducks in southern China had played a key role in the creation of the H5N1 influenza virus, while wild birds had probably helped its spread through Asia. Early this year, the virus raged through Asia’s poultry farms and transferred to humans in cases that were mostly traced to direct contact with sick birds, killing 16 people in Vietnam and eight in Thailand. Health officials raised concerns about the illness mutating into a strain that could easily be passed between humans, but said there was no sign that had happened. New outbreaks from the same deadly strain re-emerged in eastern China and two central Thai provinces this week, and Chinese and Thai officials are slaughtering thousands of chickens to halt its spread. Vietnam also has been dealing with bird flu outbreaks in recent weeks.”
Israel’s Barrier and Europe’s Hypocrisy
Reuters reported on July 9, that the “World Court strongly condemned Israel’s West Bank barrier Friday, saying it had illegally imposed hardship on thousands of Palestinians and should be torn down. The court said in a nonbinding ruling hailed by Palestinians and rejected by Israel that the barrier violated international humanitarian law. It called on the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly to stop its construction. But the United States, which has vetoed Security Council resolutions against the Jewish state in the past, dismissed the court’s intervention and an American judge on the 15-member panel did not back the ruling. Israel was forthright in its rejection of the ruling, saying not one Palestinian suicide bomber had managed to slip into the Jewish state wherever the barrier had already been constructed.”
At the same time, according to israelnationalnews.com of July 4, 2004, the “European Union funds a separate fence” in Northwest Africa. The article pointed out: “…while the European Union attacks Israel mercilessly for the partition fence it’s building to protect Jewish lives, the EU itself funds and operates a similar fence designed only to protect itself from illegal immigrants.”
The article went on to explain: “The fence is located in a Spanish enclave in northwestern Africa, the coastal city of Ceuta just across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain. Unknown to most of the world, when Spain handed over most of northern Morocco to the newly independent kingdom in 1956, Spain retained Ceuta and Melilla (about 250 kilometers further east) – thus that the European Union is present in Africa as well. Poverty-stricken Moroccans attempting to cross into Ceuta, from where they will then be able to work anywhere in Europe because of the EU’s no-checkpoints policy, are stopped in their tracks by the eight-meter-high, double layer fence. Funding for the fence, some 60 million Euros, came from European Union coffers.” The article concluded: “The EU continues to oppose Israel’s fence, constructed to protect against murderous terrorists and suicide bombs – even as it plans to build another fence of its own around Spain’s second enclave in northern Africa, the Moroccan town of Melilla.”
No Right to Life for a Fetus
The web site news.bbc.co.uk reported last week: “A woman whose pregnancy was wrongly terminated in a French hospital has lost her fight at the European Court to enshrine a foetus’ right to life.” The article continued to report about this outrageous incident, as follows: “Mrs Thi-Nho Vo went to the court after French courts said the doctor could not be prosecuted for homicide as the foetus did not have the right to life. She said it had that right under the European Convention on Human Rights. But the Court of Human Rights ruled against her, and involuntary abortion did not constitute manslaughter. The ruling sets a precedent on the legal status of unborn babies that will be applied across European countries… Mrs Vo argued that the foetus is protected by article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees a right to life… Nuala Scarisbrick of the pro-life charity Life, told BBC News Online: ‘This is not a surprising decision. But it is a disgusting one. It is morally bankrupt. It’s a disgraceful situation that a child of that stage, who is perfectly viable, is not given the right to life.'”
Biblical Truth and Worldly Persecution
World Net Daily reported last week that “A Swedish court has sentenced Ake Green, a pastor belonging to the Pentecostal movement, to a month in prison, under a law against incitement, after he was found guilty of having offended homosexuals in a sermon, according to Ecumenical News International. Green had described homosexuality as ‘abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumor in the body of society’ in a 2003 sermon. Soren Andersson, the president of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights, said on hearing Green’s jail sentence that religious freedom could never be used as a reason to offend people. ” We wonder whether the Swedish Court, bowing to pressures from homosexuals, would have sentenced the apostle Paul to prison as well (compare Romans 1:20-32)?
The Vatican and the American Catholic Bishops
NewsMax.com reported on July 7, 2004 about a private memorandum from Cardinal Ratzinger, telling American bishops that Communion must be denied to Catholic politicians who support legal abortion. The article continued: “While never mentioning Sen. John Kerry by name, the memo implicitly aims at the pro-choice Catholic Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate. Ratzinger’s ban is broad and includes all other pro-abortion Catholic politicians who are defying the church’s ban on abortion. According the Culture of Life Foundation, which obtained a copy of the confidential document, the Cardinal began by stressing the serious nature of receiving Communion and the need for each person to make ‘a conscious decision’ regarding their worthiness based on ‘the Church’s objective criteria.’ But the Cardinal adds that it is not only the responsibility of the pro-abortion politicians such as Kerry to make a judgment about their worthiness to receive Communion. It is also up to those distributing Communion to deny the sacrament to those in conflict with the Church’s prohibition of abortion and the duty of office holders to oppose the procedure.”
In an interview on the Larry King Live Show which was broadcast last week, Senator Kerry explained that he has been receiving communion from Catholic Bishops — it, therefore, seems that Cardinal Ratzinger’s memorandum is presently being ignored by most American Catholic Bishops.
The article continued that Ratzinger’s “document also address the issues of the death penalty and war, contrasting these issues… with abortion. ‘Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia … There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia,’ Ratzinger wrote.”
We would like to say that there cannot and MUST NOT be “legitimate diversity of opinion” among TRUE Christians about waging war. God condemns the wars of this world that are being fought by humans. The Biblical teaching on this issue is abundantly clear.