Mar 14, 2015

Butler Bill Forbade Teachers to Deny Creation

The Hollywood movie made of the trial, "Inherit The Wind", is not just fiction.  It literally "flipped the script" on what really happened.  For more info on the truths involved in the Scopes Trial read this excellent article from Answers In Genesis.

Butler Bill Forbade Teachers to Deny Creation
In 1922, John Washington Butler, campaigning for a seat in the Tennessee house, made opposition to evolutionary theory the main plank of his campaign. After he won election, he introduced a law that made it illegal to "teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals."  "Ninety-nine people out of a hundred in my district thought just as I did," he said later. On this day, March 13, 1925, Tennessee's governor, Austin Peay signed the Butler Bill into law. This started a train of events that led to the so-called "Trial of the Century."

The American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, DC ran an ad, offering to pay the expenses of any teacher who would test the law. Business leaders in Dayton saw this as a chance for free publicity, which they hoped would attract industry to their town. John T. Scopes, a mathematics teacher, who could not remember ever having taught evolutionary theory, was enlisted to test the law. He never took the stand during the trial.

Two of the best-known lawyers of the day were coaxed into the fray. Clarence Darrow took the pro-evolution side and William Jennings Bryan the creation case. Although a fundamentalist, Bryan did not hold to a literal six-day creation; He believed that each of the days was an age. The earth may well have been created before 4004 BC, he believed. In fact, he was not even opposed to the teaching of evolution, as long as it was presented as theory and creation was taught alongside it.

The jury found Scopes guilty. Darrow actually tried to get the conviction; he hoped that the case might go to a higher court where the Tennessee law could be ruled unconstitutional. This did not happen, and the law remained on the books for forty more years. Bryan, always on the side of the little man, offered to pay Scopes's fine.

Many Americans know the story from the film Inherit the Wind, which blatantly misrepresented the facts. Bryan is made to appear a jerk. Fundamentalists are shown as frenzied fools. In actuality, Bryan was a progressive politician who fought for fair wages, short work weeks, graduated income tax and a host of other reforms which became law. In addition to his political action--he was three times the Democrat nominee for US President--he wrote widely-used Sunday school lessons.
Asked how he could be a progressive in politics and a fundamentalist in religion, Bryan replied, "Government is man-made and therefore imperfect. It can always be improved. But religion is not a man-made affair...I am satisfied with the God we have, with the Bible and with Christ.
  1. Glimpses # 119. Worcester, Pennsylvania: Christian History Institute.
  2. Russell, Charles Allyn. Voices of American Fundamentalism : seven biographical studies. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976.
  3. When Science & Christianity Meet; edited by David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  4. Various encyclopedia and internet articles of which "The Scopes Monkey Trial." ( presents perhaps the most careful analysis from a Christian perspective.
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Mar 13, 2015

The Gospel is GOOD News - Kinetic Typography - Sermon Jam

This is my first attempt at kinetic typography I hope to do more in the future.
If you would like to download 8 GB of Christian learning material for free go to my website here:
The drawing of Jesus on the cross in profile was used with permission from the artist Michael Petrus or FB
The speaker in the video is John Macarthur

ZERO MSM mentions of Fukushima on 4th Anniversary in 7 hours of Twitter

Sad, that as the four damaged reactors continue to spew radioactive stuff into the air and water, all we get from the MSM is though it never happened at all.  Money can buy lots of silence I suppose...

Here is a 1/2 hour of my unedited Twitter feed. I follow a lot of MSM outlets, scientists and economic outlets. NASA won't STFU about their SLS rocket test. Seems so disrespectful to test it today.
But that was probably what they wanted.
to distract.
A new media LOW
God Bless Everyone,

@NewTHOR on Twitter

Rare 'portal to heaven' cloud observed in Turkey

A rare cloud formation in western Turkey has gone viral on social media, dubbed “a portal to heaven.”

A cloud over the Söke district of the Aydın province initially appeared as a ring on the evening of March 10. As the sun began to set, the circumference of the ring grew larger and the lower rim of the cloud approached the horizon. 

Söke resident Yasin Toköz filmed the moment and shared it on social media, which led some Twitter users to liken the natural formation to supernatural phenomena.

Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus, often an image or sound, being perceived as significant.

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Back from Captivity, Jews Completed New Temple

Back from Captivity, Jews Completed New Temple
In 539 BC, Babylon fell to a coalition of Medes and Persians. The new rulers of the Mid East made it their policy to restore captive nations to their respective homelands. Among those captives were the Jews. They returned to Judah with authority to rebuild their temple. Seventeen years later, construction still languished, and God raised up the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to rebuke the neglect of his house.  In 520 Haggai preached "Is it time for you to live in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruin?" Through Haggai, the Lord asked the Jews how they had fared since their return. "You have sown much and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put them into a bag with holes" (Haggai 1:6, Revised Standard Version). Haggai said God wanted them to bring wood and rebuild His house.

Judah's political and religious leaders listened. Under their leadership, the remnant of exiles who had returned to Israel rebuilt God's house, which was completed on this day, March 12, 515 BC But it wasn't much to look at.

"Is it not in your sight as nothing?" the Lord asked them. Well, they should not think that way. God's Spirit was with them. And a day was coming when the Lord would shake Heaven and earth, the sea and the dry land. "I will fill this house with splendor," God promised. "The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former," said the Lord. "From this day on, I will bless you," he promised.

The temple, rebuilt in 515 BC, was rebuilt yet again by Herod the Great, who restored it in stone and covered it with gold. It was that temple that Christ visited in his life, bringing it glory. A generation after Christ's death and resurrection, Herod's temple was cast down by the Romans. A mosque now stands on its platform.

Haggai also prophesied that all the nations would bring their treasures to the temple. That event has not been fulfilled. It awaits yet another temple when Christ returns to rule the earth from Zion.
  1. Bible. O.T. Haggai. Revised Standard Version.
  2. Finegan, Jack. Handbook of Biblical Chronology. Hendrickson, 1998.
  3. Tenney, Merrill C., editor. "Haggai" and "Temple." Pictorial Bible Dictionary. Nashville, Tennessee: Southwestern, 1972.
  4. Wiseman, D. J. "Haggai." The New Bible Commentary Revised. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdman's, 1970.
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Morning News Show Sees UFO and Russia Builds UFO-Like Drone

The good people of Oklahoma could use something to take their minds off of the latest news about racist fraternities and this may do the trick. A local television morning news program broadcast a UFO flying over Oklahoma City and none of these crack journalists can figure out what it was. What it’s not – at least not yet – is a new monster drone unveiled in Russia that’s sure to have Muscovites calling in UFO sightings.


The UFO was seen speeding across the pre-dawn sky on March 12th on KOCO 5 News in the Morning. The superfast UFO is reminiscent of the still-unexplained hypersonic one spotted flying over Silicon Valley last week and the story is similar to the one about the UFO seen on an Argentine newscast (later revealed to be a hoax). In an unusual twist for UFOs on TV news shows, KOCO 5 actually admitted on its website that they saw this one but have no idea what it was and asked viewers for their input. The comments ranged from meteors to alien spacecrafts with no consensus. Oh, and no comments from any military or government agencies.

Dante Banished Wrote the Divine Comedy

Dante Banished Wrote the Divine Comedy
For Dante, political failure was costly. A "White" in the internal struggles of Florence, he became one of the city's six priors. Disturbances broke out with the "Blacks." The even-handed priors expelled the worst Blacks and Whites. The Pope, dependent on Black money, excommunicated the city unless it should restore the troublesome Blacks.

In November 1300, Dante, with others, traveled to Rome to plead with the Pope to lift the interdict. The Pope relented. He was, however, playing a double game. While negotiating with Florence he secretly invited Charles of Valois to bring an army to Italy. He sent Charles to Florence to make "peace." The Florentines, long friendly to the House of France, were reluctant to deny Charles entrance to their city, although they suspected him of duplicity.

Charles indeed proved to be a serpent. He betrayed the legitimate government, strengthened the Blacks and allowed them to enter the city. They immediately went on a five day rampage, looting, killing, and burning. They deposed the Whites and with them Dante. On this day, March 10, 1302 the victorious Blacks exiled him on pain of being burnt alive if he ever returned.

The banishment was deeply distressing to Dante. Emotionally it took him years to accept what had happened. He never saw his wife again, although some of his children visited him shortly before his death. In exile, Dante solaced himself with writing. One book defended the use of the Italian language over Latin. He produced a series of poems called Convivo (Banquet). In a treatise he argued for separation of church and state. Through letters he sought to influence Florentine politics. The collapse of his political hopes led him to stake his chance of restoration on one last, great work.
It is not known just when he began the Divine Comedy. A giant epic of love and faith, Dante envisioned it in three parts, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. It yearns with utopian nostalgia for a Pan-Christian empire and radiates a Boethian sense of divine reality. " His own eternity, outside of time, outside of every other limit, as it pleased Him, the Eternal Love disclosed Himself in new loves."

Banishment drew out Dante's genius. The Divine Comedy's vigorous style fixed the Italian language in its modern form well before the same was true of any other European tongue. He had been a poet, lover, father, ruler, soldier, and diplomat. Inevitably his work reflects this breadth of interests. Nonetheless, its merit escaped most contemporaries and did not win him a return to Florence. In fact, the church would place the Divine Comedy on the Index of Prohibited Books, probably because Dante had consigned seven wicked popes to hell.
  1. Dante Alighieri. The Divine Comedy. Various editions.
  2. "Dante Alighieri." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
  3. Dante's Guide to Heaven and Hell. Christian History 70.
  4. D'Souza, Dinesh. The Catholic Classics. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 1986.
  5. Freccero, John. Dante; a collection of critical essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1965.
  6. Gardner, Edmund G. "Dante Alighieri." The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton, 1914.
  7. Hawkes, Francis L, Editor. Pictorial Cyclopaedia of Biography. New York: Appleton, 1856.
  8. Sayers, Dorothy L. "Dante and Charles Williams." The Whimsical Christian. New York: Macmillan, 1978.
  9. Various encyclopedia and internet articles.
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With The INHUMAN Era On The Horizon, Religion & Ethics Professors Begin Argument In Favor Of “Virtue Engineering / Moral Bioenhancement”

The pace of scientific change is exponential. But has our moral psychology kept up? With great power comes great responsibility. However, evolutionary pressures have not developed for us a psychology that enables us to cope with the moral problems our new power creates. Our moral shortcomings are preventing our political institutions from acting effectively.

Enhancing our moral motivation would enable us to act better for distant people, future generations, and non-human animals. One method to achieve this enhancement is already practised in all societies: moral education. Al Gore, Friends of the Earth and Oxfam have already had success with campaigns vividly representing the problems our selfish actions are creating for others – others around the world and in the future.

But there is another possibility emerging. Our knowledge of human biology – in particular of genetics and neurobiology – is beginning to enable us to directly affect the biological or physiological bases of human motivation, either through drugs, or through genetic selection or engineering, or by using external devices that affect the brain or the learning process. We could use these techniques to overcome the moral and psychological shortcomings that imperil the human species. We are at the early stages of such research, but there are few cogent philosophical or moral objections to the use of specifically biomedical moral enhancement – or moral bioenhancement.

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Rockingham Council Cut Anselm

Rockingham Council Cut Anselm
In the eleventh century, when the papacy split between pope Urban II and antipope Clement, it affected the whole Christian world, including faraway England. King William Rufus, in a moment of serious illness, "repented." He compelled Anselm to become Archbishop of Canterbury. Later, he regretted this choice. When Anselm asked for permission to obtain his pallium (a white, woolen band indicating high church authority) from the pope, William asked which pope. "Urban, of course," said Anselm.  Seeking a quarrel with the scholarly archbishop, the king said that it was not the archbishop's decision to choose who would be recognized as pope by England. Anselm might as well try and take the crown from him! Anselm defended himself as best he could. He said that he could loyally serve both pope and king, and persuaded William to summon a council of bishops and nobility to resolve the issue.

On this day, March 11, 1095, the bishops and nobles met in Rockingham. The king maneuvered behind the scenes. Anselm himself addressed the assembly. "My brethren, Sons of the Church of God, for so I call all you who are assembled here in the name of the Lord, please pay attention and on the question which you have been convened to discuss give to the best of your ability the help of your considered opinion." He reminded the bishops that when he was forced to become Archbishop, he had plainly declared his allegiance to Urban. "At that time, no one had a complaint against me," he protested.

Now he asked them to "examine whether it be possible for me, while retaining allegiance to the King, to keep obedience to the Apostolic See." He added, "To me it is a terrible thing to show disrespect to and disown the Vicar of St. Peter; a terrible thing, too, to transgress the allegiance which under God I have promised to maintain to the King; terrible most of all to be told that it will be impossible for me to be true to one of these loyalties without being false to the other."

The nobles and bishops feared William too much to stand with Anselm. Anselm declared he would yield to Caesar what was Caesar's and to God what was God's. The bishops turned against him, refusing to bear his reply to the king. They urged him to yield, pointing out that Urban was too far away to help him. When Anselm could not be turned from his determination and no accusations or arguments stood up to his wise answers, the king renounced him as Archbishop and required everyone else to do the same. The bishops complied, but the nobles put them to shame by refusing to follow their quisling example.

William secretly obtained the pallium and tried to browbeat Anselm into receiving it from his hand. Anselm would not give in. Eventually, the king had to allow a bishop to take the pallium to Canterbury and lay it on the altar, where Anselm, as highest clergyman in the land, placed it on himself, demonstrating that his authority came from the church, not the king.
  1. "Anselm, St". Dictionary of National Biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. London: Oxford University Press, 1921 - 1996.
  2. "Anselm, St." The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Edited by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone. Oxford, 1997.
  3. Dark, Sidney. Seven Archbishops. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1944.
  4. Eadmer. The Life of St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury. Edited with introd., notes, and translation by R.W. Southern. New York: T. Nelson, 1962.
  5. Hook, Walter Farquhar, 1798-1875. Lives of the Archbishops of Canterbury. London, R. Bentley, 1865 - 1884.
  6. McKilliam, Annie E. A Chronicle of the Archbishops of Canterbury. London: J. Clarke, 1913.
  7. Rigg, J. M. St. Anselm of Canterbury, a chapter in the history of religion. London: Methuen & co., 1896.
  8. Rule, Martin. The Life and Times of St. Anselm: Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of the Britains. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1883.
  9. Various encyclopedia and internet articles.
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Mar 9, 2015

Turkish Order to Murder Armenians at Aleppo - The Hidden Genocide of the 20th Century

I hope to carry more of this hidden historical event in the next few weeks. Millions were systematically slaughtered by the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) during the mid to late years of World War 1. And their memory has been swept under a huge historical rug. It's time remembered our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Turkish Order to Murder Armenians at Aleppo
Under cover of the First World War, the brutal Ottoman Turks determined to solve the "Armenian Question" once for all. Ancient Armenia was the first nation in the world to embrace Christianity. The Armenians lived and suffered in Asia Minor long before the rise of the Turks. Their descendants were prosperous traders, craftsmen and shopkeepers. In 1895 the Turks massacred many Armenians. Now, in 1915, egged on by Germany, they claimed that this Christian race was a danger to their national unity, and decided to do away with them all. Since Armenians were not allowed to own firearms (Muslims were), they were unable, except in rare instances, to defend themselves.

Although the Turks are Muslim, ethnic cleansing and greed more than religion seem to have been the main motives for the horrors that followed. However, there was no Islamic outcry to stop the massacres. A few Muslim governors who refused to kill the helpless Christians were dismissed and replaced by cruel and greedy "patriots."

Turkey "deported" Armenians into "exile" in the desert. Usually they butchered the men outright and herded the women and children back and forth until they dropped from thirst and exhaustion. They gave many women and children over to neighboring Arabs and Kurds to kill and plunder. Sordid Turks raped pretty Armenian girls openly in the streets--even even in front of foreign visitors--or sold them as slaves or concubines into homes where they were forced to convert to Islam. Police and soldiers amused themselves by torturing helpless Armenians.

On this day, March 9, 1915, Interior Minister Talaat issued the following directive to the city of Aleppo, where Turks had spared lives in return for bribes: "All rights of the Armenians to live and work on Turkish soil have been completely cancelled, and with regard to this the Government takes all responsibility on itself, and has commanded that even babes in the cradle are not to be spared. The results of carrying out this order have been seen in some provinces. In spite of this, for reasons unknown to us, exceptional measures are being taken with 'Certain People,' [Armenians who bought their lives] and those people instead of being sent straight to the place of exile [the desert] are left in Aleppo, whereby the Government is involved in an additional difficulty. [people left alive who still have to be gotten rid of somehow] Without listening to any of their [Armenian] reasoning, remove them thence--women or children, whatever they may be, even if they are incapable of moving; and do not let the people [Turks] protect them, because, through their ignorance, they place material gains [bribes] higher than patriotic feelings, and cannot appreciate the great policy of the Government in insisting upon this. Because instead of the indirect measures of extermination used in other places--such as severity, haste (in carrying out the deportations), difficulties of travelling and misery--direct measures [outright killing] can safely be used there [Aleppo], so work heartily."

After assuring Aleppo authorities that the army would not interfere, Talaat closed, "Tell the officials that are to be appointed for that purpose that they must work to put into execution our real intent, without being afraid of responsibility. Please send cipher reports of the results [death counts] of your activities every week. Minister of the Interior, Talaat."

Talaat's vicious plan succeeded. Dr. Martin Niepage, a German teacher in Aleppo, tried to stop the massacre, but saw thousands driven into deportation and hundreds herded behind barbed wire where they died of starvation and thirst. Altogether, one and a half million Armenians--a number equivalent to the population of Philadelphia--were killed all across Turkey, despite the pleas of the pope, European allied countries and the United States.
  1. Azadian, Libarid and Donoyan, Armen. The Armenian Massacre. Glendale, California: Navasart, 1987.
  2. Niepage, Martin. The Horrors of Aleppo. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1917.
  3. Olasky, Marvin. "Prove Hitler Wrong; Remember Ottoman Turkey's slaughter of Armenian Christians." World (October 23, 2004).
  4. Toynbee, Arnold J. Armenian Atrocities; the murder of a nation. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1915.

How Far Away Is The Moon - Updated To Address Questions

More good stuff on the strange lunar anomalies that we have to work with.  An excellent point here with the variations in presentation (or appearance) of Aristarchus crater.  Aristarchus appears to be a regular geometrical shape and is brighter than is possible without some form of self-illumination.  One other note, I hold to the idea that a breakaway civilization (private/corporate/military) has hidden the truth of what has been done and/or is being done on the moon.  However I love the truthfulness and info that Crrow has put out.  Fascinating stuff.

This clips updates the first version which was the last clip up. I address the moon illusion statement and update the crater used in the logic experiment.Please follow my articles on the and click the link below to subscribe the author. I will send notifications as new articles are published.
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 For more on Crrow's discoveries and ideas, check out the interview on Higher Side Chats

Mushroom Cloud on Mars Spotted by India’s Orbiter

While the rest of the world was buzzing about the report by NASA scientists that Mars possibly had an ocean with more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean about 4.3 billion years ago, the Mars Orbiter launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was looking at something that happened a little more recently – what appears to be a mushroom cloud on the surface of the planet!

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) was launched on November 5, 2013, and entered Mars orbit on September 24, 2014. Images taken by the onboard Mars Colour Camera (MCC) and displayed on the ISRO website are breathtaking in color and clarity. Especially the one with the mushroom cloud.
The cloud is in the enormous Valles Marineris Canyon. It’s definitely mushroomed-shape and enlarged views of it show what looks like a crater formed underneath the cloud and a shadow of the cloud extending from it across the surface.
Enlarged view of the Martian mushroom cloud
Enlarged view of the Martian mushroom cloud
So what caused this mushroom cloud to form? We can probably rule out surface wind because it’s rare on Mars and the cloud lacks a windy swirl. The Curiosity Rover has recently detected methane, but the amounts are far too small to cause such an explosion and craters like we’re seeing in Siberia.
Is it a nuclear cloud? Dr. John Brandenburg writes in his recent book, “Death on Mars: The Discovery of a Planetary Nuclear Massacre,” that the “high concentration” of Xenon-129 in the Martian atmosphere and uranium and thorium on the surface are remnants of a nuclear explosion by an alien invader that wiped out two ancient Martian civilizations. Have they come back? Was the explosion from an old leftover bomb? Is there a war on Mars we don’t know about?

Another explanation might be the comet Siding Spring which passed close to Mars on October 19, 2014. NASA cut off the live video feed of the comet before it passed (what a surprise) but amateur astronomer Dr. Fritz Helmut Hemmerich made a video from the Canary Islands after it passed showing an explosion. Did MOM happen to be looking at just the right spot when a piece of Siding Spring sprang and crashed? How would they know? Why would ISRO be photographing during the comet’s pass but not NASA? Is NASA hiding the cause of the explosion?

Nuclear explosion? Methane blast? Comet crash? A warning to Mars One settlers? Something else? You never know with mushroom clouds.
nuclear cloud

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Tomb Of ‘Gatekeeper Of God Amun’ Unearthed In Luxor

An ancient tomb belonging to Amenhotep, guard of the temple of Egyptian deity Amun, has been discovered in the southern city of Luxor, the Egypt’s antiquities ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said the tomb probably dates to the New Kingdom’s 18th Dynasty (1543–1292 BC). Photographs distributed by the ministry show a tomb with bright green and brown paintings with hieroglyphics. “The tomb contains many stunning scenes with bright colours painted on plaster,” Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty said in a statement. “Many of scenes represent the tomb owner and his wife in front of an offering table and a view of a goddess nursing a royal child as well as scenes of the daily life,” he added. The tomb was discovered by a team of American archaeologists alongside an Egyptian inspectors’ team in the city of Luxor, 700 kilometres (435 miles) south of Cairo.

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Altered Genes, Twisted Truth—How GMOs Took Over the Food Supply

YouTube wants me to warn you that this video is unlisted, presumably because it calls out the FDA for their failure to protect the public from these frankenfoods and for the revealing of shameful truths related to the corporate agri-giants that are pushing this stuff on the public.

By Dr. Mercola
Genetically manipulated foods may be one of the most serious threats not only to our environment but to the health and very survival of future generations. Typically, the blame for the promulgation of genetic engineering of our food is placed on chemical companies.
But there's actually a hidden back story to how genetically engineered foods were able to reach millions of dinner tables.
Steven Druker, who you may not be aware of, is the attorney who filed a lawsuit in the late '90s challenging the most important action the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken in this area: its presumption that genetically engineered (GE) foods are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and can enter the market without a shred of safety testing.
However, the evidence clearly reveals that the FDA's GRAS presumption was fraudulent when first announced in 1992 and that it remains fraudulent today. Nonetheless, it has played the central role in allowing inadequately tested GE foods to permeate the American market. There are many components to this story, and Steven is just the man to set the story straight.
He's written a landmark and historic book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, with the revealing subtitle: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public.
If you have even the remotest interest in this topic, I would strongly encourage you to get a copy of this book. It is, without a doubt, the best book on the topic and provides a treasure trove of facts that will help you decimate anyone who believes that GMOs are safe.
Steven was aware of this issue 10 years before I was, and he's really a pioneer and a champion in warning the public and protecting us from the negligence and irresponsible action of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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40 Men Died on Ice for Christ

40 Men Died on Ice for Christ
Governor Agricola of Armenia was confronted with "mutiny." Forty soldiers refused to offer the sacrifice ordered by emperor Licinius. The forty who stood before him that wintry fourth-century day in Sevaste were fine specimens of manhood who radiated an aura of courage. He was determined to make them see reason.

But the soldiers were adamant. They refused to sacrifice. To do so was to betray their faith in Christ. "But what about your comrades?" asked Agricola. "Consider--you alone of all Caesar's thousands of troops defy him! Think of the disgrace you bring upon your legion!"

"To disgrace the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is more terrible still," replied the men. Exasperated, the governor threatened to flog and torture them. The soldiers stood firm, although they knew he would carry out his threat. In the fourth century, there were few civil rights. Boldly the men answered, "Nothing you can offer us would replace what we would lose in the next world. As for your threats-- we despise our bodies when the welfare of our souls is at stake."

Pairs of guards seized each man and dragged them out into the cold where they were stripped and tied to posts. Whips laid open their backs and iron hooks tore their sides. Still the forty refused to surrender. Agricola chained them in his dungeons. Finally, he commanded that they be stripped naked and driven onto the ice of a pond below Sevaste.

The "rebels" did not wait for the sentence to be imposed, but tearing off their own clothes, ran to the pond in the raw March air. "We are soldiers of the Lord and fear no hardship," they said. "What is death for us but an entrance into eternal life?" On this day, March 9, 320, singing hymns, they stood shivering on the pond as the sun sank.

Baffled, Agricola ordered hot baths placed around the pond. Surely the warm water would lure the men off the ice! But the crisp night air carried a prayer to all ears: "Lord, there are forty of us engaged in this battle; grant that forty may be crowned and not one be wanting from this sacred number."

One of the men did lose his nerve, however, and crawled off the ice to a bath. He died the instant he touched the hot water. This was too much for one of the guards. He shucked off his clothes, marched onto the ice and took the place of the man who had failed.
  1. Basil, St. "Homily on the Forty Martyrs."
  2. "Bravest Soldiers in the Army: The Forty Martyrs of Sevaste." Glimpses #146. Worcester, Pennsylvania: Christian History Institute.
  3. Gregory of Nyssa. "First and Second Homilies Concerning the Forty Martyrs."
  4. Kirsch, J. P. "Forty Martyrs." The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton, 1914.
  5. Various encyclopedia and internet articles.
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