Steemit’s Potential to Help Realize the UN Goal of Eliminating Global Poverty

Steemit is a young social media network built upon blockchain technology which has the potential to help the world realize the top United Nations Sustainable Development goal.

Even in its infancy, Steemit is already empowering people all over the world to monetize their creative abilities, such as writing, art, photography, music, and video.  Imagine getting paid to post content and comment on your Facebook and Instagram posts.  That’s the power of Steemit.

But will Steemit just fade away into oblivion like many other promising startups? Should we invest more into the platform or just take our profits while we can?

Just what is the potential of Steemit?

Stephen Kendal recently released an interview with Titus Frost  in which he predicted the Steemit blockchain platform could grow into a “$500 Billion or more social media powerhouse.”

This may be sound generous, but blockchain technology will revolutionize life as we know it.  Let me show you 3 reasons why I think Steemit is just getting started and why Kendal could easily be correct.

First, blockchain will soon be a routine part of our lives.

Beyond what we experience here on Steemit, blockchain technology is being developed or discussed for revolutionizing digital rights, contracts, and patents; electronic voting in both government and corporate settings; and supply chains for commodities and other trade interests.

Businesses worldwide are starting to take cryptocurrencies. People will need them, and they can earn them- lots of them- on Steemit.

Central Banks around the world also realize the old centralized way of doing business will be replaced by a decentralized system, and they are preparing for this transition.

Second, the UN is on a mission to end global poverty.

The number 1 UN Sustainable Development goal is to end global poverty.

From the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:

“Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.”

Could this be possible? The details of this ambitious plan at first glance seem improbable:

1a. “By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day.”

A more recent report by the UN says that more than 700 million people continue to live on less than $1.90 per day.

1b. “By 2030, reduce at least by half of the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.”

The UN is advocating something called “Universal Basic Income (UBI)” or “Global Basic Income (GBI)”. This is an idea in which each and every citizen of a nation is given a basic sum of money sufficient to live above the national poverty line.

Where will this money come from? Thin air? Why not? Blockchain-enabled cryptocurrency is built upon trust, which is what most currencies are based upon anyway.

1c. “Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.”

1d. “By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance.”

Blockchain-enabled cryptocurrencies seem to be a great fit for enabling this to happen.

Third, blockchain infrastructure is being built all over the world.

1. In July 2016, the UN declared internet access a basic human right.

These rights are to be extended to everyone on the planet, which has a current population of some 7.4 billion people. Moreover, the UN projects worldwide population to grow steadily until around 2050, reaching a peak estimated between 8.5-9.5 billion people, depending on who you ask.

2. Access to Blockchain Technology

As indicated by point 1d above, many people around the world still don’t have access to the tools needed to participate in a world of cryptocurrency.

The fact is, people from all over the world are still in need of this technology.  Even in America where I live, although it looks like nearly every teenager and adult has some sort of computer device, there’s a huge potential for participatory growth.

I’m amazed at the number of primary (high school) and secondary (college) students who have to rely on computers at school because they either have no computer at home, no cell phone, or no data.

But there are efforts to build this critical piece of blockchain infrastructure.

Former president Obama had a plan where he gave away free cell phones to targeted groups, and now President Trump recently announced a plan to invest in high-speed internet access to rural Americans.

3. Security

The decentralized characteristic which is attractive to so many users also makes it vulnerable to corruption. An in-depth analysis by the European Parliamentary Research Service titled, “How Blockchain Technology Could Change our Lives,” warns that blockchain “platforms could evolve into oligarchies by autonomous organizations.” Further, it would be difficult for law enforcement officials to track the unlawful actions of these organizations.

Of course this entails the development of security measures that do not currently exist. All of this has to be figured out, indicating that the world is not yet ready to jump headfirst into blockchain.

However, if organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), UN, Central Banks, and international corporations are taking cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology seriously, shouldn’t we all?

An alternative version of this article appears on Steemit.

 

 

 

Was the Serpent in the Garden of Eden Real?

Was the serpent in the Garden of Eden real?

One of the most perplexing questions throughout the history of our world involves whether or not the serpent in the Garden of Eden was real. Many people are quick to dismiss the events in this biblical story, found in Genesis chapter 3, on the basis that it sounds too ridiculous to be true.

But is it? Is there any proof outside of the Bible that there existed an evil, talking serpent that promises a god-like wisdom to humans? Are there any other accounts of such a “unique” ancient serpent from around the world?

Indeed, ancient myths involving such a serpent are found all over the world. They can be found in North America, Central America, South America, Asia, India, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Europe.

These primitive myths are told in many different languages and have varying characteristics.

Are the Serpent Narratives Related?

However, there are some parts of these stories, that when compared to one another, reveal something interesting.

Did these ancient peoples know something so important, that they told stories to pass along a very real story?

Could these serpent myths tell us something about the world that we live in?

To answer these questions fairly, we must examine the evidence they left behind . . .

Australia

According to a common Australian Aboriginal story, the rainbow serpent was a greedy creature which held all the waters and vegetation of the world because the humans did not need it. Although many people tried to slay the serpent to gain access to the water and vegetation, they could not do it. A shaman decided to transform himself into a beautiful creature and flew around the rainbow serpent to distract it. Then, the rainbow serpent was slain and the waters and vegetation of the world were released.

“Rainbow snakes are symbolic of the end or re-beginning of life because of their creative-destructive power, skin shedding, and swallowing-regurgitation capabilities, behaviors observed in real snakes.” -Paul S.C. Tacon, Dept. of Anthropology, Trent University, Ontario, Canada “From the ‘Dreamtime’ to the Present: The Changing Role of Aboriginal Rock Paintings in Western Arnhem Land, Australia,” The Canadian Journal of Native Studies IX, 2 (1989)

“To the Gagudju people [Australian Aboriginals], the Rainbow Serpent was called Almudj and was a major creator being. It forced passages through rocks and created more waterholes. Today, Almudj is still a great creator, bringing the wet season each year, which causes all forms of life to multiply, and appearing in the sky as a rainbow. But Almudj is also to be feared as he can punish anyone who has broken a law by drowning them in floods. Almudj still lives in a pool under a waterfall in Kakadu.” -The Dreaming http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/dreaming

Fiji

In Fiji, there is a tale of a serpent-god, Ratumaibulu, who rules the underworld and makes fruit trees to bloom:


Ratumaibulu is also the god of agriculture. Such agriculture/vegetative gods were commonly depicted with a green color, and appear in many different cultures.

Here, at least, we find that the serpent who rules the underworld is also associated with fruit-tree agriculture- which to the imagination is not a far step from the Garden of Eden story. But notice where Fiji is compared to where the Genesis story originated (in the Fertile Crescent, just to the northeast of Northeast Africa.) How did such similar characteristics in the stories appear so far away during ancient times?

Africa, Haiti, Benin Vodou

According to a myth from Congo, Africa, there was a serpent who dwelt in rivers and lakes and whose reflection can be seen in waterfalls.

Vodou (Voodoo) originated in Africa and was transported to the Caribbean during the slave trade.

In Vodou legends, Ayida-Wedo is a loa (spirit being) associated with fertility, rainbows, snakes, water, and fire.

Ayida-Wedo is known as the “Rainbow Serpent.”

Her cohort/husband is Damballa-Wedo, the Sky God and Father of the world.

Both Ayida-Wedo and Damballa-Wedo are associated with the Creation of the world. They are considered the oldest and wisest of the loas. Damballa-Wedo is believed to be the protector of the handicapped, deformed, cripples, and albinos. He is also strongly associated with water and rain.

Aztecs

To the Aztecs, the ancient serpent was known as Quetzalcoatl. Emerald green in color, Quetzalcoatl was a combination of a serpent and a bird- a plumed (feathered) serpent. Later, he took on human characteristics and was a king.


The Aztecs believed the world endured cycles of destruction and regeneration, which they called “suns.” The Fourth Sun had been destroyed by a flood, and Quetzalcoatl was believed to be a creator god who, along with his twin brother, initiated the Fifth Sun.

Other attributes ascribed to Quetzalcoatl include: giver of life, dispenser of knowledge and wisdom, giver of maize (corn), and the Wind God.

Quetzalcoatl is also called the “Lord of the East,” and the Morning Star. Later, he also became associated with both the morning and evening stars, thus signifying his significance as the symbol of death and resurrection.

North America

Image courtesy of Moundville Archaelolgical Park

This “Rattlesnake Disk” was uncovered near Moundville Archaeological Park near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The design features two rattlesnakes that are tied together in a knot and that have teeth and horns. The heads of the Rattlesnake Disk are strikingly similar to the heads of the Quetzalcoatl serpents of South America.

The meaning of this image remains a mystery. Could the depiction of the snakes tied together represent unity, or even Quetzalcoatl and his twin brother?

Some 550 miles north of the Moundville site lies the “Serpent Mound” in Bratton Township, Ohio. Serpent Mound is very long, winding earthen mound that appears to be dedicated to a serpent spirit. A similar serpent mound is found in Ontario, Canada. The image below is from the Ohio site:

The Chippawa Indians of North America have a story about a great spirit-like serpent that dwelt in a house at the bottom of a lake among other evil spirits. The legend describes the serpent as having a head red as blood, eyes that glowed like fire, and a body entirely covered with hard and glistening scales of every color and shade.

Judaism

Within Judaism, the serpent is depicted as an evil figure, a deceiver, and responsible for the original sin of mankind. Like many of the myths you’ve encountered, the serpent of Genesis is associated with “wisdom.” This serpent can also talk, and is closely associated with the original parents of mankind in the Garden of Eden.

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made . . . Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day that you eat of it, your eyes will be opened (enlightenment) and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable for making one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened . . . ” -Genesis 3:1-7

Notice the association between the talking serpent and wisdom. However, according to the Judaic story, this type of wisdom is not an honorable wisdom, as Adam and Eve immediately hid from God in their shame.

The Judaic tradition continues with a curse against the serpent for what it did to mankind and against God:

“So the Lord God said to the Serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between your seed and her Seed, He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.’” -Genesis 3:14-15

Does this mean that prior to this curse, the serpent had legs or even wings? If so, what would it look like? A dragon, perhaps?

Concerning the color of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, we have to turn to the book written by the prophet Ezekiel c.593-571 BC:

“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, you were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering; The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold . . . You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God . . .” -Ezekiel 28:12-14


Within Judaism, the book of Isaiah addresses some interesting characteristics of the serpent figure we encounter in this presentation. However, Isaiah equates these characteristics with Lucifer, or Satan:

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning (NIV version, “morning star, son of the dawn”)! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms . . .’” -Isaiah 14:12-16

Primitive Persian (Iran)

A story of a great and evil serpent also appears among the primitive Persians in modern Iran:

“That dragon cleared the sky of flying fowl and earth of beast of prey. It scorched the vulture’s feathers with its blast, set earth a-blazing where its venom fell, dragged from the water gruesome crocodiles, and swiftly flying eagles from the air. Men and four-footed beasts ceased from the land; The whole world gave it room. I came. The dragon seemed a lofty mountain and trailed upon the ground its hairs like lassos. Its tongue was like a tree-trunk charred, its jaws were open and were lying in my path. Its eyes were like two cisterns full of blood. It bellowed when it saw me and came on.” -Shahnamah, tr. A. G. and E. Warner, i. 291, 296-97

Buddhism

In Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) is said to have received enlightenment as he sat under the multi-headed hood of a naga (serpent), who shielded him from a storm.

Nagas were spirit beings that took on a variety of forms in Asia. Among Buddhists, they were cobras, but they are also found leading to Buddhist temples in the form of dragons. Sometimes they even have legs.

Hinduism

The serpents (nagas) of Buddhism are very similar to the serpents of Hinduism. Hinduism is older than Buddhism, so we need to examine these nagas of the Hindu tradition.

One such naga is known as Naga Kanya.

Naga Kanya has the body of a snake and the torso of a woman. This is quite similar to Ayida-Wedo in Vodou.

Christianity

The Book of Revelation, written c. 98 AD, has an interesting take on the much older serpent myths of the world:

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and he cast him in the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” – Revelation 20:1-3

Christianity also mentions a beast covered with blasphemous names in Revelation 17.

“So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.”

This invites the question, “What are the names on the beast, and why are they blasphemous?”

The word for blasphemy used here is the Greek word, blasphemia, and it implies speech which defames the Divine Majesty of God. In other words, these blasphemous names in some way take away from the nature of God.

The beast in Revelation is scarlet in color, and is not explicitly described as a snake, but it is a beast that “will descend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel . . . when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is . . . they will give their authority and power to the beast.”

When one considers the charge of blasphemous names, and that the serpents described in this presentation share characteristics with the Christ, then it is quite reasonable to question whether or not some of the names of these serpents are indeed the blasphemous names of the beast alluded to in Revelation 17.

For example, Quetzalcoatl was identified as the Morning Star, was associated with the beginning of the Fifth Sun, following the end of the Fourth Sun.

In Revelation 22:13, 16, Jesus is given those same attributes: “I am the Alpha and the Omega (these are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet), the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last . . . I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

NOTICE: This post is adapted from a lecture I give to my World Religions classes. The content is my own work, while the images were obtained from Google Images.  All slides in this post come from my lecture notes and were created by me.  The original post appears at https://steemit.com/christianity/@poimenpost/was-the-serpent-in-the-garden-of-eden-real

Doug Carter is a Christian professor of Ethics and Religion in a secular world. He regularly comments on social issues involving faith, family, God, and culture from a biblical perspective. Follow him on Twitter @poimenpost on Steemit @poimenpost and at poimenpost.com.

 

Universal Basic Income: the UN’s Latest Wealth Redistribution Scheme

A recent wave of worldwide economic experiments called “universal basic income” seems to be ushering in a new era of wealth redistribution.

What is Universal Basic Income?

Universal basic income is an emerging plan to provide a guaranteed payment for living expenses to all people.

Under the plan, everyone would get a set amount of money, including children, workers, and non-workers.  Those workers who earn more will be taxed proportionately to help fund the program.

Individuals are not tested to see if it is needed, and no one is required to work to earn it.  The payments would be modest, but enough to enable recipients to live a frugal, yet decent lifestyle.

In other words, it is a massive wealth redistribution scheme.

Advocates claim a universal basic income would eliminate poverty and provide a safety net for workers who have recently lost their jobs.  Others say it is needed in an era where machines are increasingly displacing human workers.  In Finland, the program is hailed for reducing stress levels.

But critics are quick to point out that people would be encouraged to work less, thereby contributing less taxes into the new welfare program.

Where is it Today?

Universal basic income is already being tested in areas of Britain, Finland, Netherlands, Kenya, Canada, and even the United States.  Next on the list is Scotland, where residents living in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, and North Ayrshire are slated to start receiving a regular sum of money.

Under the Scotland proposal, pensioners would get £150, working adults would get £100, and children would get £50 per week.

Who Promotes it?

In the US, universal basic income has a well-documented following in Silicon Valley.  The idea has caught the admiration of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  Zuckerberg actually pitched the idea during Harvard’s spring 2017 commencement ceremony, saying:

“We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”[1]

However, the idea itself seems to be compatible with the UN’s 2015 resolution called “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

There, world leaders affirmed their commitment to “combat inequalities within and among countries,” and “create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth and shared prosperity.”[2]

Agenda 2030 insists that by 2030 “all people must enjoy a basic standard of living, including through social protection systems.”[3]

What You Need to Know That Proponents Won’t Tell You

The UN’s Agenda 2030 lays the framework for a worldwide socialist economic system.  It insists that sustainable economic growth is essential for prosperity, and that “this will only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed.”[4]

It is quite apparent that this progressive scheme is being pushed by the same progressive lawmakers and public figures that insist on inviting mass immigration.  Imagine the drain on wealth that would occur.

A Biblical Perspective

Biblical wisdom indicates universal basic income, as a form of socialism, is a bad idea.

David Jones, an ethics professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary says, “In Scripture, Christians are not called to pursue economic equality.  Rather, believers are called to promote economic justice.”[5]

Nevertheless, some people will argue that socialism was advocated in the Bible, specifically in Acts 4:32-35:

All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.  For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

However, notes Jones, in context Acts 4:32-35 refers to providing resources in an emergency.  The sharing of resources in this context just talks about what happened for a unique period; it doesn’t give this as a model for living.  Notice that it was from time to time that people sold things they had.[6]

Jesus’ parable of the talents is a great reminder that people are expected to multiply their talents and abilities for economic gain, not squander them.

Paul also reminded his audiences that he worked to support himself.  He didn’t demand others share with him and he insisted that each should work for his own needs:

“If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat . . .” and “For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.  Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread . . . and if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.  Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15

Let God bless those whom He wishes, and let us not steal rightfully-earned wages from others.  Nor let us not encourage one another to eat the bread of idleness, but rather encourage one another to live wisely.

Despite the good intentions we read from its advocates, we must remember that the UN’s universal basic income wealth redistribution scheme inherently forsakes biblical wisdom.

 

[1] Adapted from Mark Zuckerberg’s spring 2017 commencement address at Harvard University.

[2] Agenda 2030: The 2030 Plan for Sustainable Development, Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on September 25, 2015, 3,4.

[3] Ibid., 7.

[4] Ibid., 8.

[5] David W. Jones, “Socialism, Communism, and the Early Church”, available online at http://intersectproject.org/faith-and-economics/david-jones-socialism-communism-and-the-early-church/  Last accessed on 29 December 2017.

[6] Ibid.

3 Ways Progressive Moral Relativism is a Biblical Failure

Moral relativism is one of the most dangerous ethical theories invented by man, yet it is the dominant ethical theory in modern America among progressives.

According to moral relativism, what is “right” or “wrong” depends upon an individual’s preference.

Moral relativism is far from a modern, progressive moral theory.  Rather, it is described in the Bible:

In those days . . . everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” -Judges 21:25

One of the first discussions I have in my ethics classes involves whether students wish for others to tell them what is right or wrong.  Inevitably, the initial answer is a unanimous “No!”  We don’t like to be told we’re wrong; we don’t like for people to judge us.

Then I move to a series of questions, somewhat like the method Plato uses in his dialogues featuring Socrates.  Many of you know this as the Socratic method, and I use it to help students discover why moral relativism theory is but a leaky rowboat in an ocean of moral ideas.

Here are a few questions I typically ask:

Is it wrong for a 40-year old man to marry an 8-year old girl?  Is having a child bride always wrong?  Are honor killings wrong?

Is female genital mutilation always wrong?

Is having sex with animals always wrong?

Often, someone inevitably defends such actions in the name of “cultural relativism.” The typical justification is that it is acceptable for societies to practices such things if they wish.

“But what about those social customs immigrating to America,” I counter.  Would these actions be “right” here?

Deep down, we all know these acts are wrong.  Even those of us who say we shouldn’t interfere with the norms of other societies know these types of acts are wrong.  Moral relativism is doomed to fail, but we need to know why it will fail.

Here are 3 Ways Moral Relativism is a Biblical Failure:

1. Moral Relativism Denies Moral Standards

Morality is a reflection of moral standards.  When we say something is “good” or “evil,” we are making a judgment based upon some sort of standard.

However, moral relativists deny that anything is “just wrong.”  Morality must not be based upon any universal, absolute, set standard.  Rather, rights and wrongs are said to be based on social or even individual preferences.

Essentially, moral relativism insists that morality should be based upon generally accepted norms in a given society.

The idea of a God that gives absolute moral standards is anathema to moral relativists.

Not surprisingly, moral relativists have no genuine regard for the Ten Commandments.

2. Moral Relativism Denies the Original Moral World Order

Moral relativism represents a departure from ancient understandings of a rational order which governs all aspects of the universe.  The ancient Egyptians called this “ma’at”; the Hindus called it “rita,” and the Greeks called it “Logos,” which in English is translated as “Word.”

Each of these words captures the concept of living a life of wisdom in balance, truth, and harmony with the created world.

The gospel of John identifies the Logos as Jesus, who became one of us in order to show us how to live in this rational world and to enable us to live according to the original moral order He created:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” -John 1:1-3 (NKJV)

3. By Denying the Original Moral World Order, Moral Relativism Promotes Sin.

Failing to live according to this absolute, unchanging moral standard is called sin:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8-10 (NKJV)

Sin in this context is a concept which means “missing the mark.”  Sin is a moral failing to adhere to moral standards that do not change.

How do we keep from missing the mark?  We have to know the mark:

This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” – Joshua 1:8 (NKJV)

Globalist Professor: Reverse Biblical Perspective of Humanity to Save the Planet; America Will Decline in the Process

A prominent Sustainable Development icon calls for a “total reversal of the biblical perspective on humanity,” and says that by 2052 Americans will have less wealth than they have today.

Jorgen Randers, professor emeritus of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School and Executive Committee member of The Club of Rome, has written extensively on sustainability issues over the last forty-five years.  His most notable works include The Limits to Growth (1972, 1992, and 2004), 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years (2012), and Reinventing Prosperity (2016).  Much of his work on sustainability is echoed in various United Nations world development goals.

Sustainable Development is Blasphemy

Christians beware:  calling for a reversal of the biblical perspective of humanity for the sake of creating a sustainable future for the world is full-blown blasphemy. Blasphemy definition

Blasphemy, as used in the Bible, is understood as switching what God calls right for what is wrong, is a reproach against God, strips away God’s authority, and exchanges the truth of God for a lie (Romans 1:25).

Christian prophecy warns us of a coming blasphemous antichrist figure to rule the world:  

“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.  Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.  It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.  And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” – Revelation 13:5-7

“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.  These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.  These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” – Revelation 17:12-14

For 2,000 years, this biblical prophecy has prompted Christians to ask, “How could the world be so deceived that it would let the antichrist rise to power?”

The answer may just be “through ‘sustainable development.’”  Consider these bone-chilling words from Randers:

“If I could persuade you of one thing, it should be this: the world is small and fragile, and humanity is huge, dangerous and powerful.  This is a total reversal of the biblical perspective on humanity, and the way in which man has thought during most of his presence on Earth.  But this is the perspective we need to take if we’re to be sure that sustainability emerges or, at least, that the world as we know it survives for a couple of hundred more years.”[1]

Sustainable Development is Bad News for Americans

The premise of Sustainable Development is that the world’s resources are limited and being quickly depleted by people of the rich nations such as the United States. The great fear is that unless urgent action is taken now, there won’t be enough resources available for future generations.  Hence, we must “save the planet.”

The chart below illustrates the perceived likelihood of over-consumption of the world’s resources from each region of the world:

Chart showing Ecological Footprint by global regions
Ecological Footprint by Region showing a justification for wanting to lower the standard of production and consumption in all areas above the one-Earth level back down to “sustainable levels.” YouTube screenshot taken from “What is Ecological Overshoot?” by the Global Footprint Network.

For globalists, the logical conclusion from this chart is that North Americans are consuming much more than their “fair share” of the world’s resources.  The solution to this perceived “North American” problem is to lower the standard of living for Americans via wealth redistribution schemes such as taxation, trade agreements, and immigration policies.  Other schemes, as Randers explains in his 2052, include population reduction via the empowerment of women, access to free contraceptives, abortion on demand, and education for all.

Are Democrats and Some Republicans Complicit with Oppressing Americans’ Wealth?

In a 2012 article entitled, “8 Ways the World Will Change by 2052,” Randers predicts:

“As long as you are not a citizen of the United States, you will be richer in 2052 than you are today.”[2]

“As long as you are not a citizen of the United States, you will be richer in 2052 than you are today.” – Jorgen Randers, 2012.

It is no coincidence that all Democrats and even some Republicans voted against the recent tax reform bill that would reduce the tax burden for so many Americans.

While this one bill doesn’t prove there’s a conspiracy to oppress Americans’ wealth, a closer look at America’s foreign policy agreements reveals Americans should be greatly concerned, not only about their wealth, but also about their rights.

Agenda 2030 is Binding upon Americans

On September 25, 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a new social resolution called “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”  The preamble for Agenda 2030 claims it is binding upon “all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership.”

The Agenda 2030 resolution was signed by then-President Barack Obama, and is now an official part of the US Global Development Policy.

Everyone’s Rights are at Stake

Sustainable Development treaties based on Agenda 2030 and its successors could eventually replace the United States Constitution as our governing Social Contract.  If this happens, everyone’s rights are at stake.

In America, our founders resolutely affirmed in the Declaration of Independence that “We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The blasphemy against God in the name of Sustainable Development means the rejection of our Creator as the source of the rights of all of humanity.

According to Article 29, sections 2 and 3 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, our rights would come from the UN, not our Creator:

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

The UN is already using American schools to teach its principles and purposes of sustainable development. Through its education branch, UNESCO, the UN is actively replacing the deeply-held beliefs of our children and giving them a new set of values:

“Education must be transformative and bring shared values to life . . . Technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone cannot achieve sustainable development.  It requires transforming the way people think and act . . . Deeply entrenched beliefs take time to change.  But young people are open to new perspectives, and schools are ideally positioned to convey them.” – UNESCO, Global Education First Initiative, priority #3, Foster Global Citizenship.

What Will Become of America?

The battle lines between Sustainable Development and Christianity are taking shape now.  American patriots holding traditional American values have already been branded “Deplorable,” Agenda 2030 has been signed, and now the 2016 Democratic Platform sounds like reflection of Agenda 2030.

The blasphemous UN has aimed to supplant the authority of our Creator, transform the values of our nation, and determine our rights for us.

America, do you really want the UN to rule over your children?  Will this be the generation to witness the rise of the antichrist?

 

 

[1] Adapted from Jorgen Randers’ lecture in the 10th Annual Distinguished Lecture Series in Sustainable Development, hosted by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership and the Centre for Sustainable Development in the Department of Engineering on March 14, 2012.  Available online at http://cms2.unige.ch/isdd/IMG/pdf/jorgen_randers_2052_a_global_forecast_for_the_next_forty_years.pdf

[2] Jorgen Randers, “8 Ways the World Will Change by 2052.” Available online at https://www.fastcompany.com/1680127/8-ways-the-world-will-change-by-2052  Last accessed on 12/20/2017.

Another Casualty in the War on Christmas (2013)

Another Casualty in the War on Christmas

A nativity scene on Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina became yet another casualty in the war on Christmas in 2013.

The move follows a trend of systematically removing nativity displays from public property. Just ask residents in Santa Monica, Pittsburgh, Clarksville, Tennessee, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Charleston, South Carolina, and Green Bay, Wisconsin about the recent controversies surrounding their public nativity displays.

“I expect to see religious emblems at houses of worship, not in government buildings.” – Barry Lynn, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Apparently, the ACLU has never considered the painting called The Apotheosis of Washington adorning the ceiling of the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

apotheosis of washington
Apotheosis of Washington, commissioned by Congress and painted atop the US Capitol rotunda

Now it’s time for the tide to turn.

This Christmas, Christians will have a new, stronger argument in support of their traditional nativity displays. It’s time to stop the madness.

Let’s compare the Apotheosis of Washington to a nativity scene.

A Nativity and the Apotheosis of Washington are the antithesis of one another.

A nativity scene is simply a depiction of the moment in time God became man. An apotheosis is a depiction of the moment in time man becomes a god.

A nativity display is important to the Christian religion in the same way an apotheosis display is important to the Mystery religions. Both call upon the observer to contemplate a deeper religious message.

For contextual emphasis, the Apotheosis even has scenes depicting the gods and goddesses of the Mysteries. In one scene, Benjamin Franklin is included in the painting alongside the goddess Minerva of the Bacchic Mysteries.

This is the equivalent of a nativity scene depicting Washington and Franklin as characters in the Christmas story.

Where are the cries for Separation of Church and State? Where is the outrage over excessive entanglement between government and religion?

In 1989, the Pittsburgh nativity display on the steps of the Allegheny County courthouse was ruled unconstitutional because it was prominently displayed without secular symbols. Since that time, other municipalities have been forced to change their displays to include Santas, reindeer, candy canes, or snowmen.

Why are there no Santas, reindeer, candy canes, or snowmen surrounding the Apotheosis of Washington?

Lynn and the ACLU are faithful to outline which nativity displays are constitutional and which are not. The ACLU recently approved a nativity display inside the Florida state Capitol rotunda because the display was privately funded and not government sponsored.

Taxpayer Funding of the Apotheosis is o.k., but not a Nativity Display?

In 2008, the ACLU was instrumental in causing Clarksville, Tennessee to lose its live nativity display since the city paid two hundred dollars in animal rental fees. Yet Congress commissioned Constantino Brumidi to paint the Apotheosis of Washington in 1863 for a price of $40,000. Since that time, repairs to the Apotheosis have also been made at taxpayers’ expense.

Because the Apotheosis is the very antithesis of a nativity scene, and since the Apotheosis appears in the same context in which nativity displays are banned, under current interpretation of law, the Apotheosis should also be ruled unconstitutional.

Either the Court should order the Apotheosis of Washington to be modified or removed, or else it should overturn precedent set by similar cases.  The simple solution seems to be to restore stand-alone nativity displays and keep the Apotheosis.

Until the Apotheosis problem is addressed, perhaps it’s time to stop the nonsense of censoring Christmas celebrations and return to the uninhibited joy of Christmas.

How Schools use “Character Education” to Brainwash Our Kids

Across America, “character education” programs mandated by law in K-12 schools are undermining the deepest threads of American culture.

What is “character education?”

According to Character.org, character education is an initiative to “help young people become responsible, caring, and contributing citizens.”

Many of the character traits taught in our public schools follow traditional social norms of mutual respect and character development, which allows its true agenda to go largely unnoticed.

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Parents should be aware that school education programs are becoming more dependent upon curriculum standards developed in conjunction with UNESCO’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).

GEFI has three priorities:

Priority #1: Put Every Child in School.

Priority #2: Improve the Quality of Learning.

Priority #3: Foster Global Citizenship.

Priorities #1 and #2 seem harmless enough- that is until we examine priority #3.

Perhaps by now you’re familiar with the Clinton Foundation’s annual “Global Citizen Award” or the Global Citizen Festival. But did you know that our schools are actively aligning themselves with this movement?

What is Global Citizenship?

Global citizenship involves the recognition that one is part of a larger, interconnected global community with certain shared values aimed at accomplishing the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development goals both now and in the future. The UN Agenda 2030 Plan for Sustainable Development was officially signed by President Obama in 2015 and is an official part of the US Global Development Policy.

To foster these values, GEFI uses education “to create a generation that values the common good.”

The problem is, who defines the common good?

According to GEFI, “success will require support from a wide range of stakeholders, including the highest levels of government.” Given the current state of moral affairs in our nation, is this really a good idea?

The Philosophy of Global Citizenship

By aligning itself with the UN’s Sustainable Development goals, global citizenship is based upon a mix of philosophy which includes the ethics of utilitarianism, socialism, and humanism.

Utilitarianism is concerned with the overall well-being or happiness of the greatest number of people. In utilitarian societies, like democracies, individual rights are subordinate to the rights of the majority. This presents significant challenges to the existence of the American republic, as I argue in an earlier article, “Democracies, Republics, and Human Dignity.”

Socialism advocates a “just distribution of the world’s resources and fruits of labor.” Citizens of western nations should be doubly alarmed that in the context of utilitarianism, global citizenship, and Agenda 2030, this means both an increased worldwide distribution of the wealth they generate and a reduction in individual production and consumption.

Humanism envisions a world without God. “Without God” includes the denial of a Creator which gave us any unalienable rights. Thus, to global citizens the Declaration of Independence would be deemed irrelevant, as would the US Constitution, which is built upon the principle of inherent rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

Instead of individual rights endowed by a Creator, the UN will dispense rights at its own discretion, as per Article 29, sections 2 and 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

What happens if your values don’t match the values of a world without God?  What happens if you want teach your children the values for citizenship in the kingdom of God rather than the anti-godly values of proper “global citizens?”

“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

– Deuteronomy 11:19 (NIV)

What if you advocate unsustainable values such as having multiple children per couple, or a work ethic that generates more wealth than your neighbors all over the world and allows you to have more “stuff” than most?

The Danger of Global Citizenship

The danger of global citizenship is that it deeply undermines human dignity.  It eviscerates individual rights, parental authority to raise children with religious values, and the entire framework of the American republic.  We must stop schools from using “character education” to brainwash our kids.

 

 

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