Monday, October 7, 2013

Connecting The Dots

It is interesting that these first two articles appeared together in the evening update search of news stories. 

One cannot help but wonder if story #1, which really serves as a symbolic representation of what has been happening in America for ~ 50 years and story #2 reveals where we are as a nation. Collapsing. 

Are these two stories (in a general sense) related?

A middle school in Ohio will be forced to permanently remove a portrait of Jesus from its school grounds and pay nearly $100,000 after reaching a settlement Friday with two groups, including the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The settlement requires the Jackson City School District in southern Ohio to pay the ACLU and Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation damages and legal fees totaling $95,000.
The two sides had a tentative agreement months ago that bogged down in more legal filings after the two groups said the school district continued to keep the Jesus portrait, and displayed it on the school lawn during a prayer meeting. Court filings show the portrait was also visible to those entering an art-storage area.
“All of this was unnecessary,” said James Hardiman, legal director for ACLU of Ohio. “The law is pretty clear … the display of this particular kind of religious artifact (in a public school) is unconstitutional.”
He said U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley in Columbus accepted the settlement Friday.
Superintendent Phil Howard said in a statement that the district’s attorneys believed settling was the “best case scenario” at this point because legal fees were “mounting by the day.”
He said the district’s insurance will pay the nearly $95,000 and taxpayers will not be liable for the damages and legal fees.

This Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 file photo shows a painting of Jesus Christ, upper left, hanging above an entrance to Jackson Middle School in Jackson, Ohio next to a “Hall of Honor” showing famous Jackson residents and school alumni. The Jackson City School district said displaying a Jesus portrait in its high school doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution and students’ free speech rights would be violated if a judge orders it removed. The school district on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 asked a federal judge not to grant the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation’s motion for an order removing the portrait. Credit: AP

Ohio School That Was Forced to Permanently Remove Jesus Portrait Will Also Have to Pay Nearly $100K in Damages

Diminishing Superpower”
This was the headline streaking across the weekend edition of the Jakarta Globe, one of the largest newspapers in Indonesia.
The photo beneath was of Barack Obama, his lips pursed and eyes steeled as if he was fighting back tears. Or perhaps staring off into the fiscal abyss.
The subheadline read: “Obama’s APEC absence symbolic of US waning influence in Asia.”
The article goes on to describe how the President’s conspicuous absence from this weekend’s summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (a multinational trade bloc in the Asia/Pacific region) highlights the decline of the US as the world’s superpower.
It’s so obvious to everyone else that the US is in terminal decline.
(Granted, the Indonesians are a bit miffed given that they went to the trouble of closing the brand new airport in Bali for four days, partly because of the anticipated arrival of Air Force One… and then the President didn’t bother showing up.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping stepped up in Obama’s stead, taking the world’s stage in yet another clear sign of where the real economic power and leadership is.
Putin himself was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize… for preventing a former Nobel Peace Prize recipient (Barack Obama) from starting a war Syria.
Meanwhile, China’s vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao has been wagging his finger at the US Treasury Department, warning that “the clock is ticking” and that Obama should “take decisive and credible steps to avoid a default on its Treasury bonds.”
All this comes at a time when the US has been caught red handed spying on the rest of the world, including its own people… and its allies. This prompted the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to cancel an official visit to the United States this month.
It’s amazing when you step back and look at the big picture.
The Russians are preventing a US military invasion. The Chinese actually have to step in and say something publicly to ensure that the US government pays its bills. The Brazilians are too disgusted to even visit Washington DC.
What a completely different world we live in, even compared to just 10 or 15 years ago.
Think back to the late 90s. The US really was the pinnacle of civilization. The government was beginning to pay down its debt. America’s reputation was unblemished. And to most foreigners, the US economy was the envy of the world.
What’s happening today would have been unthinkable back then. But it just goes to show how quickly things can unravel.
It’s tremendously important that the reputation of the US government is sinking to an all-time low internationally.
Remember, the reason that the US Federal Reserve can print trillions of dollars is because the rest of the world has for decades been willing to accept dollars for international transactions and sovereign reserves.
Nearly every government and central bank on the planet has a big pile of dollars stashed away.
The US government seems to think that this arrangement will last forever, and that their actions are without consequence. Nothing is further from the truth.
As the US government’s international reputation craters after one embarrassing episode after another, other nations are beginning to no longer trust the US, whether it comes to spying or managing a sound currency.
This puts the US dollar at even greater risk of quickly losing global reserve domination, and along with it, the ability to print money without damning ramifications.
As history has shown so many times before, this is exactly how the end begins.

Also see (on a more uplifting note):

The scene would have been unimaginable throughout the vast majority of Jewish history. Row upon row of Christians shouting and swaying, fervently proclaiming their faith right in the heart of Jerusalem. But these Christians, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, were not denouncing the scattered Jews in the room, or preaching of a time when control of the holy city would be wrested from Jewish hands.

They were cheering the Jews in the audience, singing in Hebrew, and proclaiming God’s love for the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

From Malaysia and the Philippines, the Netherlands and Ireland — even the West Bank — hundreds of Christian Zionists gathered in the Clal Building on Jaffa Road Sunday night. They had come for the 10th annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, broadcast around the world by God TV, which reaches 900 million homes, according to its founder.

The diverse crowd was confident, joyous, articulate, and unashamed of its belief in the Bible as the literal word of God and its support for the Jewish people and the state of Israel.

The DPPJ began in 2002 at the height of the Second Intifada, as leaders in the evangelical Christian world met to create the burgeoning prayer movement. It has, in its short history, become the largest Israel-focused prayer event in history, according to organizers.
Every year, on the first Sunday of October, millions of Christian Zionists join together to pray for Jerusalem. The organizer’s goal this year was to reach 300 million participants. Most of the participants pray in their home country, but hundreds of worshipers came to Israel to participate in person.

The only people pastors themselves denounced were Christians who advocate against Israel.
“Protect your church,” thundered Petra Helt, “from her church leaders. Who betray the roots of their church …who betray Zion, and give the place of your altar to thieves and liars. And protect the Christian people from their leaders when they falsely claim that Christians replaced the Jewish people.”
There were a significant number of Jews at the event, many of them wearing yarmulkes, in the crowd. For many, it was their first prayer meeting with Christian Zionists. It did not take long for them to be won over by the intensity of the support and love for them as Jews, for Israel, and for God.
“It’s amazing to stand here as a Jew,” Solomon reflected, “who has fulfilled my dream of being in Israel, and to know there’s people that support that, when I know there’s so many people out there who don’t want me to be here. It sure feels good to hear from people who do want you to be here.”
“Now that we have friends, and they’re extending their hands to us, they need us to be here,” Schultz said emphatically. “They need to know that we’re grateful for their friendship. It’s as important for them to see us supporting them as it is for them to be supporting us.”


Levin said...

It makes me beyond sad to live in a world and a country where a school, public or otherwise, has to pay nearly $100,000.00 in "damages" for having a picture of Jesus on its wall. A truly pathetic state of affairs.

Waterer said...

I agree with you Benjamin but there is a good part of this too. If this were any other human's face there would be little trouble. It is that even the unbelieving see Jesus's claims as being God's son that makes Him such a threat.
They could be saying well, He is just a mythical prophet or let people think what they will. but NO. They are offended by Him. This is good. He causes a sword to come. He is the rock when stumbled over breaks in pieces. He is truly God's Son and even a picture of Him from someone's imagination, is seen as a threat.
That is true spiritual battle that trumps the American Constitution. He is God so in strict adherence to separation of church and state He is a threat. I like that part of this and would hate to diminish HIm in order to win the right to show His picture.
Just another way of looking at this.

Scott said...

Good point waterer - however this is highly symbolic as to where we are as a nation right now. Can you imagine this effort to remove a picture of Jesus, say, in 1790?

Waterer said...

Absolutely,I agree that this is very sad and indicative of
a fallen nation. NO doubt about it.Symbolism speaks like a picture, in a thousand words and this symbol was disrespected. BUT the high price for the resistance to evil is worth every penny. Blessed are you when men speak ill of you all because of Me.

Scott said...

Indeed...That is a verse that I'm not letting go of right now - one of my favorites and necessary in today's world.

And the thing is - this isn't just a few isolated incidences here and there. It is a world-wide thing, particularly bad in Europe, as Christ is increasingly mocked and ridiculed. Very sad as we enter the Tribulation period, where it will worsen so much more

Levin said...

I agree with you Waterer. Fortunately, we know how the story ends. It's just frustrating sometimes to witness the growing disdain more and more people seem to have for Christ and Christians and for truth.

God is in control amd He told us we'd see these things taking place, and, ultimately, that we're closer to Jesus' return. What a glorious day that will be.

God bless...