The Independence Day and the Cain Heresy
Haaretz wrote on July 4:
“In the beginning, there was a heresy. Early in the book of Genesis, God approached Cain, the first-born son of the first humans, and asked him ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ Abel, of course, was dead. Cain had murdered him in the world’s first act of mortal violence. But the murder, though horrific, was not the heresy. The heresy was Cain’s response: ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’
“Cain’s disingenuous and disturbing question reflects an idea that our natural state is independent from and free of obligation toward others; that we are responsible to others only when we choose to accept such responsibility, and even then, only as much as is dictated by our own self-interest or need. On numerous levels, this perspective is a dangerous and destructive heresy, and one not unique to the biblical Cain. It is widely held today in some circles, and it is what many will have in mind when they celebrate American Independence Day on July 4th. So this Independence Day seems an appropriate moment to publicly expose and refute it.
“To many Americans, independence has come to mean unlimited individual rights and no obligations toward others. Independence Day, to them, is a day to celebrate our liberation from having to be our fellow’s keeper, our independence from others.
“This view of independence is un-American. It is not what the American founders, at nearly every stage in the nation’s inception, envisioned. The Declaration of Independence asserted only the right to make a political break with Great Britain. It never advocated Americans breaking free of their obligations to each other. On the contrary, it maintained the collective responsibility of the people within the American body… And the U.S. Constitution is based on the concept that ‘We, the People’ are bound together, that we are responsible to protect and defend each other, and that we are obligated to promote each other’s wellbeing…
“My actions have consequences beyond my sphere of control, and similarly, the actions of others impact me… Finally, the Exodus story insists that freedom is incomplete without Torah [the Law], a covenant that (to name but a few of the hundreds of biblical laws that obligate us to each other) demands we care for the injured, attend to those in peril, and not remain indifferent to others’ suffering… unless we all see ourselves as our fellows’ keepers, none of us can be truly free.
“The Cain Heresy is alive and well in our culture, threatening to totally devour the freedom it claims to defend. This July 4th, as we enjoy our barbecue and fireworks, let us remember to celebrate not only our independence, but our interdependence as well.”
The Bible confirms indeed that we are our brother’s keeper. Compare, for example, James 2:15-16; Proverbs 3:27-28; Hebrews 13:16; Galatians 6:2, 9-10.
National Disasters in the USA
BBC reported on July 4:
“Nearly one million Americans are marking Independence Day amid a scramble to restore power five days after severe storms hit the eastern US. Residents without air-conditioning or working refrigerators are facing searing heat in the storm’s wake… The damage was mostly blamed on a meteorological phenomenon known as a derecho, which saw hurricane-force winds buffeted ahead of fast-moving thunderstorms. The derecho brought down trees and power lines, leaving three million people without electricity in the wake of the storm. The extreme heat, which continued over the following days, has been blamed for 24 deaths in seven states so far.
“The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. It warned that ‘a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur’…
“Meanwhile, almost half of those still without power are said to be in West Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains region of Virginia. West Virginia officials have asked residents not to set off fireworks at home because the high temperatures have increased the risk of fire in many places. Fallen trees that have not yet been removed could add to the hazard, they say. Further west, Colorado is one of several states hit by destructive wildfires rage in recent weeks that are scrapping their firework displays too, amid fears that dry grass could become tinder for wildfires.”
Report: Roberts Originally Voted to Strike Down Obamacare
Newsmax reported on July 1:
“Chief Justice John Roberts originally sided with conservatives who wanted to overturn Obamacare but then switched positions on the Affordable Care Act to ultimately side with liberal justices, according to a CBS report released Sunday. The highly detailed report, quoting anonymous sources apparently close to the Supreme Court, reveals many details concerning the super-secretive negotiations that go on behind the scenes during major deliberations.
“… while Roberts agreed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional under Congress’ power to regulate commerce, he felt less strongly about whether the entire law should fall. Roberts switched positions to side with the liberal justices, perhaps in response to increasing pressure from outside the Court to rule in favor of the law, CBS reports… The article suggests that Roberts was as concerned with his reputation and the Court’s popular standing as he was with the merits of the case.”
This does not sound that surprising to someone who actually witnessed first-hand deliberations of justices and the “rationale” employed to reach certain desired conclusions.
EU Leaders Reach “Breakthrough” Deal
CNN reported on June 29:
“European leaders reached a ‘breakthrough’ deal early Friday to ease the recapitalization of struggling banks that should help draw the eurozone back from the brink of a gathering crisis.
“Under the deal, European leaders agreed to create a single supervisory body to oversee the eurozone’s banks which could use the single currency area’s rescue funds, the European Financial Stability Facility or European Stability Mechanism, to aid banks directly without adding to governments’ debt.
“European Union leaders are hoping for implementation of the agreement by July 9, an EU statement said… The deal is a big step toward a closer banking union across the 17-nation eurozone, which could be seen as a precursor to fiscal union. European markets responded positively to the news Friday morning and the euro currency strengthened appreciably.”
Germany Determined to Overcome European Financial Crisis—Britain Opposed…
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 30:
“The German parliament has voted overwhelmingly in favor of the European Union’s 120-billion-euro growth pact and European Stability Mechanism (ESM), signaling a determination to overcome the European financial crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed back to Berlin following EU summit talks in Brussels in order to address the legislative body before it closed for its summer recess on Friday… First the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, voted in favor of the two. The Bundesrat, representing Germany’s 16 states, also gave the green light several hours later.
“During the two-day talks with other leaders from the EU, Merkel remained steadfastly opposed to any moves to pool eurozone debt. She had to make some concessions, however, in order to adopt quick-fix solutions to address the crisis, such as allowing the ESM to give direct help to troubled eurozone banks, to which she had previously been opposed. Merkel defended her change of heart and pointed out that any assistance from the ESM would come with strict conditions…
“In the end, 25 of the EU’s 27 member states agreed to the fiscal growth pact. Britain and the Czech Republic did not sign the agreement. Only a handful of parliaments have ratified the pact thus far, including Greece, Latvia, Slovenia, Sweden and Denmark. It is believed that Germany’s approval of the measures will serve as a catalyst for quick ratification by other European legislative bodies.”
Germany will help to overcome the financial crisis and lead Europe—at least a developing Eurozone. Sadly, the Bible shows us that this will have devastating consequences for the entire world.
Great Britain—In or Out?
The Daily Mail reported on June 30:
“Speaking after a marathon Brussels summit that saw European leaders take a significant step towards the creation of a superstate, the Prime Minister [David Cameron] mounted his strongest defence yet of Britain’s membership of the EU. He acknowledged that the creation of a powerful new fiscal union would have ‘consequences for Britain’ and suggested that some renegotiation of our relationship with the EU may be needed in the future.
“But he explicitly ruled out the in/out referendum demanded by many of his MPs. Describing himself as a ‘realistic, optimistic Eurosceptic’, he gave a robust defence of Britain’s membership of the EU, saying three million jobs depended on it… ‘Britain is not going to cede more powers to Brussels… I think Britain has every chance of securing the sort of relationship we want in Europe.’”
This, however, is wishful thinking. It really boils down to the United Kingdom’s willingness to cede more powers to Brussels, or to exit the EU. The Bible indicates that the latter will happen soon. Note also the next articles:
Is Britain Sleepwalking?
Der Spiegel Online wrote on July 3:
“The British seem to have a taste for referendums at the moment. Next year, the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands will vote on their status as a British overseas territory. Then, in 2014, the Scottish government will hold a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. Now it looks like there could be another nationwide referendum after that — on Britain’s membership of the European Union…
“The pressure from euroskeptics puts Cameron, who does not want to be rushed into holding a vote, in a tricky situation. In a speech to parliament on Monday on the outcome of last week’s EU summit, the prime minister said that although he is not in favor of an immediate referendum on EU membership, he does not want to rule one out for the future… If the euro zone grows ever closer together into a political union, it will change Britain’s relationship with the EU, Cameron said…
“It is entirely possible that the British could indeed vote in favor of leaving the EU. Britain is arguably the most euroskeptic country in the union, with only 17 percent of the British believing that they can trust the EU. But leaving the bloc is something which Cameron wants to avoid at all costs. Despite all the anti-EU rhetoric, he believes that access to the European internal market is a vital pillar of the British economy.
“Pro-European voices have warned that Britain is sleepwalking toward a departure from the union. ‘We are sliding towards the exit without any strategizing about what comes afterwards,’ Charles Grant, director of the influential Centre for European Reform think tank, told the Reuters news agency. ‘The chances of Britain leaving the EU in the next few years are higher than they have ever been,’ writes The Economist…
“The euro crisis has created a new political momentum within the euro zone which Britain needs to respond to, otherwise the country is at risk of becoming marginalized as a non-euro member… Cameron hopes to postpone the referendum issue for a few years…
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other euro-zone leaders are unlikely to relish the prospect of a British prime minister who wants to take an even tougher line in Brussels. Cameron already dealt a setback to Merkel’s pet project, the fiscal pact, with his veto at the December EU summit. Cameron also caused problems at last week’s summit, dragging out the talks over a trivial detail. The British leader absolutely wanted the seat of the new European Unified Patent Court to be located in London. In the end, Cameron was satisfied with getting two branches for the pharmaceutical and life science industries…”
Britain Can No Longer Veto Deeper Integration
The Euobserver wrote on July 3:
“… there will be no return to the previous situation in which the UK was allowed to veto deeper integration… It remains apparent that Cameron cannot prevent whatever is about to happen: his bluff has been comprehensively called. Cameron told the press: ‘We won’t be part of a banking union, fiscal union or political union’. This means that the UK is headed directly either for complete withdrawal from the EU or, more likely, for a formal second-class associate membership based essentially on those aspects of the Single Market which the British may yet find palatable.
“One may note the delicious irony of the situation in which, just as the UK government rejects the European banking union, the high priests of Anglo-Saxon capitalism in the City of London (itself a victim of light regulation) would prefer to participate in such a centralised banking union at least in so far as their extensive euro dominated operations are concerned.”
Two-Speed Europe No Longer Taboo
The EUObserver wrote on June 29:
“… we observe with great concern the birth of a two-level solidarity within the Union: one for those inside and the other for those outside the eurozone… Banks from the Central and Eastern Europe, which are not members of the euro area, are to a large extent (about 70 percent in Poland), held by banks from the eurozone…
“The already-existing Eurogroup meetings and the separate summits restricted to members of the euro area confirm the emergence of an institutional cleavage within the Union… large and small countries, eurozone members and countries outside the zone are treated differently… the phenomenon of a two-speed Europe not only becomes a fact of increasing likelihood, but it is more and more politically acknowledged and approved.”
The emergence of a core Europe, consisting of Eurozone members, appears to be inevitable.
“France to Legalize Gay Marriage”
Deutsche Welle reported on June 30:
“It will soon be legal for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children in France, after the new Socialist government announced plans to legalize gay marriage. French President Francois Hollande is to use the majority he won in parliamentary elections two weeks ago to make good on his campaign promise to legalize gay marriage and adoption…
“The conservative UMP, which opposed the measure under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, can do little to stop the Socialists from passing a law granting full marriage rights to gay couples. In doing so, it will join fellow EU members Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden. Currently France only allows same-sex civil unions. The government also plans to discuss ways of making life easier for trans-gender individuals, whose legal dealings are often complicated by their change of name and sex. For Hollande, enabling gay marriage would help boost his image as a man of his word and an agent for progressive social change…
“Just six years ago, surveys indicated that most French people were opposed to changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage. According to the pollster BVA, this has changed markedly, with more than 60 percent supporting the idea today. More than two-thirds of French people still describe themselves as Roman Catholic, but church attendance has been dropping in recent years. And fewer Catholics today adhere to strict church teachings on sexual issues. Conservatives and practicing Catholics, however, are still deeply opposed to enabling gay marriage and adoption.”
And so, “progressive change” in our Western “Christian” societies seems to mean, abandoning the teachings of the Bible and adopting and embracing what the Bible prohibits. Apart from the abominable recent court decision in Cologne, Germany, criminalizing circumcision (which decision was approved of by a majority of Germans), we prohibit or disfavor the biblically permitted spanking of children, while we allow and approve of the practice of abortion (mainly as a “birth control” device), the practice of homosexuality, gender change, adultery, premarital sex… and the list could go on and on. The Bible prophesies that soon, the keeping of the biblical Sabbath and the annual Holy Days will be outlawed as well in Europe (as it was in previous times), and animal sacrifices in Jerusalem, which will commence in the not-too-distant future, will be violently suppressed by European powers. Clearly, it is Satan, the god of this world, who has deceived all nations and their governments, who is inspiring and instigating these ungodly developments.
Tensions Mount in the Middle East
The New York Times wrote on July 3:
“The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates… But at a moment that the United States and its allies are beginning to enforce a much broader embargo on Iran’s oil exports, meant to force the country to take seriously the negotiations over sharply limiting its nuclear program, the buildup carries significant risks, including that Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps could decide to lash out against the increased presence.
“The most visible elements of this buildup are Navy ships designed to vastly enhance the ability to patrol the Strait of Hormuz — and to reopen the narrow waterway should Iran attempt to mine it to prevent Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters from sending their tankers through the vital passage….
“Negotiations with Iran are at a stalemate… Responding to the tightening of Western sanctions, Iran on Monday announced that it would consider proposed legislation to disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz as well as missile tests, in a drill clearly intended as a warning to Israel and the United States. The Iranian legislation calls for Iran’s military to block any oil tanker en route to countries no longer buying Iranian crude because of the embargo… Senior Pentagon and military officials acknowledge that Iran has the capability to close the strait, at least temporarily…”
Iran: We Will Destroy U.S. Military Bases Across the Middle East
Reuters reported on July 4:
“Iran has threatened to destroy U.S. military bases across the Middle East and target Israel within minutes of being attacked, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, as Revolutionary Guards extended test-firing of ballistic missiles into a third day. Israel has hinted it may attack Iran if diplomacy fails to secure a halt to its disputed nuclear energy program. The United States also has mooted military action as a last-resort option but has frequently nudged the Israelis to give time for intensified economic sanctions to work against Iran.
“‘These bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands (Israel) are also good targets for us,’ Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division… said [and that] 35 U.S. bases were within reach of Iran’s ballistic missiles, the most advanced of which commanders have said could hit targets 2,000 km (1,300 miles) away… It was not clear where Haji Zadeh got his figures on U.S. bases in the region. U.S. military facilities in the Middle East are located in Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey, and it has around 10 bases further afield in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan…
“Iran has upped its fiery anti-West rhetoric in response to the launch on Sunday of a total European Union embargo on buying Iranian crude oil – the latest calibrated increase in sanctions aimed at pushing Tehran into curbing nuclear activity…”
In light of the failure of American and European sanctions against Iran, the likelihood of a military confrontation between Iran and America, as well as Israel (and perhaps even Europe), is nearing a climax. Are we are going to see soon an outright war in the Middle East?
Egypt’s New President
Deutsche Welle reported on June 30:
“Mohammed Morsi has been officially sworn in as Egypt’s president at a ceremony at the Constitutional Court in Cairo Saturday, becoming the first elected leader of the country since Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Morsi is the first Islamist to be freely elected in the Arab world. He becomes Egypt’s fifth head of state since the country’s monarchy was overthrown 60 years ago… Before being elected president, Morsi was the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He resigned from his post with the Brotherhood when he won the election.
“On Friday, Morsi took a symbolic oath of office during a speech on Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the revolution that overthrew Mubarak in February. He promised a civilian state and praised ‘the square of the revolution, the square of freedom.’ Traditionally, the president takes the oath in parliament, but Egypt’s top court ordered the disbanding of the Islamist-dominated legislature. The military subsequently assumed legislative powers and also formed a powerful national security council headed by the president but dominated by generals. By agreeing to be sworn in by the Constitutional Court, Morsi is effectively acknowledging the court’s decision to dissolve parliament.”
Morsi’s resignation from the Muslim Brotherhood is just a show and of no substantive consequences. As an Islamist by heart, he will not follow Western desires and help establish a true democracy, and Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel won’t continue to last for long.
Russia and India Developing Hypersonic Missiles
On June 28, wired.com wrote the following:
“Russia and India are… developing a hypersonic missile capable of traveling more than five times the speed of sound… If it works, the missile — called the BrahMos 2 — is expected to travel up to Mach 7 from sea-, land- and air-launched platforms. And it’s supposed to be ready for flight tests in 2017… ‘I think we will need about 5 years to develop the first fully functional prototype,’ Sivathanu Pillai, CEO of India-based BraHmos Aerospace said in Moscow on Wednesday. Pillai also suggested the missile already exists, and that BrahMos has conducted ‘lab tests [of the missile] at the speed of 6.5 Mach.’…
“Hypersonic and scramjet research in the United States also goes back to the early days of the Cold War. But it wasn’t until 1991 when Russia became the first country to successfully test a scramjet. More tests followed, and with the help of NASA, Russia successfully flew a hydrogen-fueled scramjet at up to Mach 6.4 over Kazakhstan in 1998. In 2001, U.S. defense analysts took notice of a mysterious ultra-high-speed Russian missile test suspected of being powered by a scramjet. The first successful solo American scramjet tests didn’t occur until the 2000s…
“In May, Russian defense industry chief Dmitry Rogozin called the decline of research into hypersonic weapons since the Soviet era ‘a treasonable act to our national interests’ and that developing hypersonic weapons was necessary to respond to U.S. developments…”
The military cooperation between Russia and India is quite interesting, as the Bible shows that powerful “kings from the East” will invade Europe and the Middle East in the not-too-distant future.
Did Scientists Find the “God Particle”?
The Washington Post reported on July 4:
“A half-century scientific quest culminated early Wednesday as physicists announced the discovery of a new subatomic particle — one theorized to be so fundamental that without it, nothing could exist. Dubbed the Higgs boson — or the ‘God particle,’ to the chagrin of scientists — the particle is thought to create a sort of force field that permeates the universe, imbuing everything that we can see and touch with the fundamental property known as mass…
“The discovery of the new particle completes what’s known as the Standard Model of particle physics… The Standard Model lists and arranges the particles and forces of nature… When the other particles that make up the stuff of the universe — protons, neutrons, electrons and so on — interact with the Higgs field, they acquire the trait known as mass. More massive objects get tangled up in the field — and hence, slowed down as they move — more than less massive objects.
“One way to think of the Higgs field: It’s the water the entire universe swims in. The CERN physicists did not see this new particle directly, because it disintegrates too quickly. Rather, they divined its existence from sifting through the debris of millions of high-energy subatomic collisions and then searching for clues that the Higgs had been there. It’s like divining the presence of an elusive snow leopard by studying thousands of criss-crossed paw prints…
“The idea of the Higgs, or something like it, has been around since 1964, when it was first hypothesized by Peter Higgs. The Standard Model of physics had a hole in it — one that needed to be filled by a particle that imbues everything with mass. It became known as the Higgs boson…
“Mass is not the same thing as weight, although the two concepts are easily confused. An object has mass even in outer space. Mass is an object’s resistance to being shoved around — its inertia. A photon, which is a light particle, has no mass because it zips through the Higgs ocean without interacting with it… A neutrino has an extremely small mass — it moves at nearly the speed of light… Ordinary matter that comprises the bulk of stars, planets and human beings is relatively massive. The most massive particles move like someone trying to walk through neck-high water. This notion of a field that gives particles mass has been essential to understanding the way the universe is put together…”
Of course, if this discovery is confirmed as being accurate, scientists will be quick explaining how “evolution” and “blind chance” were responsible for the “creation” of the universe. This is why they do not like the description of the “Higgs boson” as the “God particle.” (Of course, they would first of all have to explain where the “God particle” came from.) What it would actually show is another proof for the workings of the amazing power and intelligence of God, in both creating and sustaining the universe. As we read in Hebrews 1:1-3, Revised Version:
“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power.”