October 30th, 2014
Catholic Church warns of a rise in Satanism and the occult as Pope Francis sends message to Rome convention of international exorcists
By Nick Squires, Rome
Pope Francis has told a convention of exorcists from around the world that they are doing sterling service in combating "the Devil's works", as the Catholic Church warned of a rise in Satanism and the occult.
The Pope, who frequently cites the fight against Satan in his sermons, said that exorcists needed to show "the love and welcome of the Church for those possessed by evil". By treating people who were possessed, priests could demonstrate that "the Church welcomes those suffering from the Devil's works," he said in a message to a conference organised in Rome by the International Association of Exorcists.
The organisation, which brings together Catholic clergy and psychiatrists, was founded in 1990 by two Catholic priests and was given formal recognition by the Vatican in June.
At the conference, 300 priests and experts from around 30 countries discussed the perils of the occult and Satanism, which many in the Catholic Church believe is on the increase.
"The struggle against evil and the Devil is becoming more and more of an emergency," Walter Cascioli, a psychiatrist and the spokesman for the association, told Vatican Radio.
Dabbling in the occult "opens the way to extraordinary demonic activity," said Dr Cascioli.
He blamed books, television series and horror films for tempting people towards the dark side.
"Certainly, the number of people who are turning to these practices, which are damaging psychologically, spiritually and morally, is constantly growing. This worries us a great deal because we have seen an increase in extraordinary demonic activity, in particular diabolical possessions."
Whereas belief in Satan was common among Christians centuries ago, fewer people now believe in the concept of outright evil.
That was the Devil's sly intention – to fool people into believing that he does not really exist, said Dr Cascioli.
"His trickery is to make us believe that he does not exist. But the point is the same – to deaden people's faith."
The risks of dabbling with the dark arts were often underestimated, he said.
"People whose faith is lukewarm don't pay enough attention to demonic activity, and the temptation to engage in it."
The association urged "much greater vigilance" against evil.
Religious belief was being diminished, and a belief in the occult aided, by individualism in society as well as growing secularisation.
In April, Pope Francis urged the faithful to "learn to fight the Devil ... who exists even in the 21st century".
Last month, during a homily in the chapel of his residence in the Vatican, the South American pontiff said that angels are constantly battling Satan for the destiny of mankind.
"From the very beginning, the Bible speaks to us of ... Satan's [use of] seduction to destroy – maybe out of envy," he said during a Mass marking the Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Last year there was speculation that the Pope had performed what appeared to be an exorcism in St Peter's Square when he laid his hands on a young man's head and recited a prayer.
Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's main spokesman, denied the Pope "intended to perform an exorcism".
"Rather, as he frequently does with the sick and the suffering who come his way, he intended simply to pray for a suffering person who had been brought before him."
Catholic Church law requires that every diocese has at least one specially-trained priest who can perform exorcisms, although the Vatican says that demonic possession is very rare and that the majority of cases that are investigated turn out to be people suffering from mental illnesses.
In past centuries, epilepsy, schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome and similar conditions were mistaken for demonic possession.
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October 29th, 2014
The College Fix / by
A trend seen by prolife activists that frequently engage college students on campuses nationwide is the growing acceptance of post-birth abortion, or killing the infant after he or she is born, campus prolife outreach leaders tell The College Fix.
Anecdotal evidence by leaders of prolife groups such as Created Equal and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust said in interviews that not only do they see more college students willing to say they support post-birth abortion, but some students even suggest children up to 4 or 5-years-old can also be killed, because they are not yet “self aware.”
“We encounter people who think it is morally acceptable to kill babies after birth on a regular basis at almost every campus we visit,” said Mark Harrington, director of Created Equal. “While this viewpoint is still seen as shocking by most people, it is becoming increasingly popular.”
Campuses where the high school, college students, local activists and staff members of Created Equal have encountered this opinion include Purdue, University of Minnesota, and University of Central Florida. And at Ohio State earlier this year, the group captured a debate on video between one of its members and an older woman on campus who defended infanticide.
“This is the whole problem with devaluing human life at any stage—it will naturally grow to include other groups of humans; in this case, born humans as well as preborn humans,” Harrington said. “[I] talked with one young man at the University of Minnesota who thought it was alright to kill children if they were under the age of 5 years old, as he did not consider them persons until that age.”
Kristina Garza, spokeswoman for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a prolife organization that often sets up anti-abortion displays on campuses along the West Coast, said her group also frequently encounters college students who accept infanticide.
“For those who are firmly for abortion, because they understand it kills a human being, it’s very easy for them to accept killing a human being after birth,” Garza said. “There is this notion that is common on campus, that it’s OK to kill babies because somehow we don’t become human until we are self aware.”
“A common number that is going around is 4 years old,” she adds.
As for the trend, Garza said there’s an explanation for it. For one, the arguments put forth by Peter Singer and other philosophers who support infanticide are given as reading assignments to college students.
Singer wrote in 1979 that “human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons … [therefore] the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”
“He has been saying things like this since the 70s, but I think it has been more recently that this type of ideology is being promoted on college campuses,” Garza said. “When he said this stuff, there was a very select few who accepted it. But nowadays, we have become so desensitized, and college students lacking in a moral fiber easily accept this kind of strange ideology.”
But prolife advocacy and engagement on campuses has helped turn students away from pro-choice stances, she adds.
“While the number of students who believe it is OK with killing children after birth is growing, the number of students who accept that life beings at conception is also growing, and that is growing at a larger and faster rate than those who accept infanticide,” Garza said.
“The trends I am seeing is it’s not so much students are better grounded in morals, it’s that we as a prolife movement have done our job in presenting a better argument, and we are pushing people out of the middle,” she said. “We are seeing more students who see the logic and choose to be anti-abortion.”
Yet staunch opposition to the prolife philosphy remains.
Asked about the incident at Ohio State, at which a woman responded to a prolife display by defending infanticide, a pro-abortion activism group at the campus stated its views were similar to those of the woman in the clip.
“As for post-birth abortion, I would imagine that my colleagues would think the ‘post-birth’ part was largely irrelevant, as we believe very strongly in abortion on demand, without apology, and it’s plain and simple that we should look to the woman’s morals and not shove our opinions where they, frankly, don’t belong,” Devin Deitsch, leader of VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood at Ohio State University, said in an email to The College Fix.
“Speaking as the primary leader of VOX, I assure you we are very pro-choice,” Deitsch also noted. “… We are not here to advocate for women to get abortions, we advocate for her ability to make that choice without fear, heckling, or barriers. Essentially, we ask for a woman (and her body) to be respected. Nothing more, nothing less.”
College Fix reporter Mairead McArdle is a student at Thomas Aquinas College.
October 29th, 2014
Join host Barry Secrest and exo-government specialist Lee Daniel as they discuss an ever-expanding caseload of governmental oddities, politics, the Supernatural & The New World Order--all from an entertaining, cutting edge, Conservative perspective.
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Listen live and CALL IN to speak to the host and co-host--(347) 996-3923. Join the conversation!
October 29th, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Democratic Party appears to be using a "voter shaming" tactic to spur turnout in this year's election.
Voters in at least four counties – Wake, Durham, Orange and New Hanover – report receiving two different versions of letters from the party. One gives them a "report card" on their prior voting history – most are deemed "average" – while the other suggests the voter in question would be surveyed as to whether or not they cast a ballot in this year's general election.
The letters use Democratic Party logos, and the survey letter is signed by Patsy Keever, who is given the title of "election day coordinator" on the letter. Keever is a former state representative who is a vice chairwoman of the North Carolina Democratic Party. The letters carry a disclaimer that they were "Paid for by the North Carolina Democratic Party."
Officials with the Democratic Party, including Keever, Chairman Randy Voller and executive director Casey Mann, did not immediately return phone calls, text messages and emails seeking comment. Keever later in the evening issued a written statement in response to questions about the fliers.
"This is a critical election and it's important to make sure our voters are getting out to vote," Keever wrote. "That includes stressing the importance of voting, talking about the voting process and what the stakes are for North Carolina,” said First Vice Chair Patsy Keever. “We will continue to look for every way possible to empower, educate, and encourage voters for the remainder of this election cycle."
The voter survey letter says "public records will tell the community at-large whether you vote or not. As a service, our organization monitors turnout in your community, and it would be an understatement to say that we are disappointed by the inconsistent voting of many of your neighbors." It goes on to say the recipient has been selected to participate in a survey about the voting experience and asks the voter take notes on the type of machines used.
"If you do not vote this year, we will be interested to hear why not," the letter says.
Known as "voter shaming" or "social pressure," the tactic first emerged widely in 2012 as a way to motivate voters to go to the polls. While political scientists say peer pressure can motivate people to perform socially desirable behaviors, such as voting, the letters often have the effect of annoying the recipients, many of whom see them as either insulting or an intimidation tactic.
"It definitely got my attention, but it confirmed for me why I chose to be registered as independent in North Carolina," said Virginia Fitt, a lawyer from Orange County who received both the report card and survey letter.
She called the turnout tactic "offensive."....
MORE ON THIS FROM WRAL
October 29th, 2014
By Barry Secrest
An ummanned rocket exploded almost immediately upon launch in Virginia, today.
It wasn't any sort of cutting edge technological undertaking, either, but rather it was a typical mission to resupply the International Space Station. This led us to wonder at how far the space agency has fallen since being taken over by Obama's bureaucratic team.
So what happened?
Could it be that the Obama regime's retasking of NASA as a global warming research and Muslim outreach program has finally taken its toll? Yes, you read that right, the retasking happened sometime in 2010. From a July 2010 story from Byron York at the Washington Times, we learned that Obama and the Democrats had designated an entirely new mission for NASA:
"The Obama administration has made reaching out to Muslim nations a top priority for the space agency NASA. They will probably be more surprised to learn that administration officials told the Middle East news organization Al Jazeera about it before they told Congress."
Al Jazeera, by the way, is the administration's favorite news network, which may be why Obama is constantly surprised when unexpected things happen so frequently on his watch.
NASA Chief Charles Bolden
But, the story continues:
"On June 28, the day the White House released its new long-term plan for the space program, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden ran down some of the things from the president's new space policy, and mentioned outreach to Muslims."
So, space obviously isn't the final frontier, according to Obama, but rather it's Islam.
"According to a NASA spokesman, Bolden sat down with Al Jazeera's Imran Garda on June 17, during a stop in Doha, Qatar" in order to discuss a new direction for NASA During the interview, Bolden told Al Jazeera that the "foremost" mission he had been given by Obama was "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."
Apparently, knowing of Islam's penchant for blowing up things, exploding rockets on the launch pad should really impress Muslims the world over.
However, the real story here creates a reflection of what is increasingly considered a failed if not intellectually ridiculous Presidency:
"For space veterans, the controversy is an indication of how far the Obama administration has strayed from NASA's original mission, first laid out in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. "NASA was chartered ... to develop the arts and sciences of flight in the atmosphere and in space and to go where those technologies will allow us to go," says Mike Griffin, who headed the space agency from 2005 until 2009. The Space Act has guided NASA well for more than 50 years, Griffin says, and now, "I think the president should be required to go back and read it."
Apparently Griffin, not to his discredit, didn't get the memo about Obama's "Transformation of America," just think of the changes at NASA as necessary collateral damage.