The most important message for man today is the Gospel message found only in the Bible. Alistair Begg gives a quick synopsis, without all of the large theological terms, of it’s message.
Click on the link above to see these 3 videos:
Life After Lockdown
What is the Gospel?
What is the Story of the Bible?
May God bless your day.
First I will share the greatest commandment and then I will share how I think archeology can relate to it.
34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment.” 39 -Matthew 22:34-39
Jesus said that we are not only to love God with all our heart and soul, but with ALL OUR MIND. Does it sound like He wanted us to turn off our minds when we consider spiritual things? No, it sounds like using our minds is one of the most important things. As we study the Bible, are we allowed to use our intellect to help us learn? It certainly sounds like it. Not only are we allowed to use our minds, we are supposed to. I believe the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit and, as we read it, the Holy Spirit can help us to understand things we might not understand otherwise. At the same time, we are to use the mind that God has given us to search the scriptures like those whom Paul called “noble-minded” in the city of Berea: “for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
I read many views on this verse particularly noting the different ideas about what the mind represents. The one I liked the most stated: “Our mind is the faculty of understanding, what enables us to imagine and think and reason.”
Archeology is “the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.” Any “study” involves thinking and reasoning. Obviously, thinking and reasoning is done with our minds, thus, the connection between the greatest commandment and archeology. As the Bible is a historical book which discusses the past, present, and future, it is subject to archeological review as much as any other book if not more so because of its claims.
In High School, I cut my teeth on a book titled “Evidence that demands a Verdict, Historical Evidences for the Christian Faith” by Josh McDowell. Few titles better describe a book and there is a chapter in the book that is called “The Reliability of the Bible” that has a part called “Confirmation by Archaeology.” It is a relatively short portion of the book but one of the quotes found there is by Millar Burroughs, American biblical scholar, a leading authority on the Dead Sea scrolls and professor emeritus at Yale Divinity School:
“On the whole…archaeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the Scriptural record.”
I understand that much of the content of the Bible is questioned in our day including the historic accuracy that it contains. I would be the last person, at this time, to try and explain that we have evidences for everything in scripture. However, I think archaeology is an interesting area where we continue to learn as discoveries are made.
The Associates for Biblical Research track archeological finds that relate to the Bible. Below, I have featured several of the many videos they have made of exciting archeological finds for Christian believers. There is no question that there is disagreement on the intersection of the Bible and archaeology. Here is an article that proves this. It must be noted, however, that Christians have reasonable cause to be excited by the thousands of tangible finds that seem to validate the historicity of the Bible.
Here is the video that inspired this post:
Since I have made the case that the Christian is to use his/her mind, other Bible verses must be mentioned. The Bible puts our intelligence in perspective:
34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? -Romans 11
16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? -1 Corinthians 2
And then there is these verses (two of the most recognized verses of scripture):
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
There will be times when things are not so easy to understand: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known (1 Cor. 13:12).
So, no matter how much we study, and we should wish to be like the “noble-minded” Bereans, we will only know things in part in this life. That is a given. When these times occur, the verses from Proverbs 3 instruct us.
May God bless your study of His Word.
Recent articles about the final video above:
Israeli Archaeologists Find Biblical Name ‘Jerubbaal’ Inked on Pot From Judges Era
Was it a miracle? We’ll never know this side of heaven but more than one person said that it was.
The Child Welfare Services of Norway (the Barnevernet) is notorious for taking children from their parents for very little reason whatsoever. The world became aware of the problem when one case created worldwide protests in April of 2016. The pressure put on the Norwegian “Child Protective Services” by worldwide protests had a positive effect and the family involved was eventually reunited. It was a happy ending for one family who moved out of the country to avoid further abuse. What about all of the other families who have had their children stolen from them in Norway?
The Wings of the Wind attempted to find out why other similar cases in Norway had completely different results. The vast majority of people who had their children taken under very questionable circumstances never got their children back. One American/Norwegian mother who had her child stolen by the Barneveret eight years ago is still wondering if she might see her child before he is 18, or ever. Because of the obvious abuse of power, the Wings of the Wind commented on blogs, posted items, and grew to know many of the good people of Norway who were very upset about the shameful corruption.
The purpose of this post is to show a real example of how children are taken from parents in Norway. So many have bravely tried to expose this evil, like the victims in the following story. In spite of unknown (and known) risks, they told the truth and attempted to help others.
During the worldwide protests of 2016, this blog was in contact with a Norwegian good Samaritan who had welcomed a young mother into her home to help her care for her young child.
The Wings of the Wind was given this true story as it happened in real time and spoke by phone directly to the mother of the child as events were unfolding in Norway. At the time the following exclusive post was printed on this blog, the mother was safely living with the family that had taken her in. The family included a Norwegian pediatric nurse who worked at a neonatal intensive care unit. The article below was first printed here exactly five years ago today.
The June 7, 2016 Article:
Written by Margaret Hennum
(Originally written under the pseudonym Elsa Christensen)
It is Ascension Day, Thursday the fifth of May, 2016. A mother walks through the gates of Vilde “Home for Mothers,” never to return. She takes her son with her, a boy of about five months. The next days will be the first days that the mother and the baby get to be together without any public surveillance in a governmental institution, surveillance by the CPS.
Mother and child had survived five months away from home, observed day and night in an institution with video surveillance. Their performance of day-to-day tasks had been continuously monitored. In addition, daily notation of facial expressions, mood, and development were recorded. And then there was the IQ testing.
Why was this mother’s freedom to be in a normal social setting taken from her? When she was thirteen years old she was at school with her twelve-year-old sister. The authorities came in with the CPS and forcefully separated the two sisters who tried desperately to hold on to one another. The police also took their three other siblings.
“I was fine when I lived at home,” the mother remembers.
From that day, the five siblings never lived together, nor did they get to live with their parents as youngsters. The siblings were spread out, and the girl of thirteen was forced to live in a CPS institution. The other children in the institution were experimenting with several kinds of drugs. The loss of everything that was familiar to her made her seek consolation in the drugs she was offered. Her addiction followed her the next thirteen years. Then she got pregnant.
The day after giving birth to a son on December 1, 2015, it was explained to the mother that the CPS could help. She was told this because the goal was to remove her child from her. This fact was hidden from the mother.
Proposal of Help #1: Two CPS employees came to see her the day after she gave birth. They told her that the child was going to be moved to a foster home.
Proposal of Help#2: On the same day, the CPS promised the mother that they would not take the child if she agreed to admit herself for observation at the Sudmanske “Home for Mothers” in Bergen, Norway.
The mother accepted the “help;” she had no choice if she wanted to keep her boy. Most people would call this coercion. The CPS called it “voluntary acceptance of help.” After approximately a week in the hospital, the mother and child were moved to Sudmanske.
Proposal of Help #3: About two weeks later, two days before Christmas at midnight, the institution staff met with the mother. Instead of the expected discussion of her progress, she was informed that her son would be taken from her as a part of the third proposal of help. Up to this point, she had been breast feeding the boy.
The mother felt powerless after losing her living child, and she did not know where the CPS had taken him. She knew that the boy was taken from the person he belonged to and was a part of.
Proposal of Help #4: About five weeks after the baby was born, the mother was offered another proposal of help. The little boy would be returned to her immediately if she voluntary admitted herself for observation in the Vilde “Home for Mothers” in Horton, Norway. The coercive “offer” was accepted, the baby boy was returned, and the move was made to Vilde. The Norwegian CPS once again called it a “voluntary acceptance of a proposal for help.”
The Vilde “Mothers’ Home” is approximately 500 kilometers from the mother’s home in Bergen.
After four months of continuous observation at Vilde, the mother ended the fourth help proposal on her own initiative on the fifth of May. (The rest of Margaret’s article is printed at the end of this post.)
After the brave young mother (Nadia) left the “Mother’s Home” on her own, she was given refuge in the home of pediatric nurse Margaret Hennum. She and her son, Caspian, enjoyed six weeks living with the Hennum family.
What happened over the next several months was a nightmare. On June 16th, 2016, just nine days after the article above was posted on this blog, Norwegian authorities came to the Hennum home and took Caspian into custody. The following updates appeared here as the mother shared them with the Wings of the Wind.
June 16, 2016:
NORWAY’S CPS KIDNAPS CHILD…TODAY!!!!!
June 17, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #1
June 20, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #2
June 24, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #3
June 24, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #4
June 27, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #5
July 6, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #6
July 12, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #7
July 23, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #8
July 30, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #9
August 6, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #10
August 8, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #11
August 14, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #12
August 20, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #13
August 26, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #14
September 3, 2016:
BABY CASPIAN KIDNAPPED IN NORWAY…UPDATE #15
September 6, 2016:
NADIA HAS WON THE CASE…CASPIAN IS COMING HOME!!!!!
September 12, 2016:
CASPIAN IS HOME!!!!!! UPDATE #16
September 24, 2016:
NADIA AND CASPIAN IN VIENNA…UPDATE #17
October 30, 2016:
NADIA AND CASPIAN…UPDATE #18
Some have called Nadia and Caspian’s story a miracle.
Because the outcome of Nadia’s case is pretty rare in Norway, it has been called a miracle by some. I continued to ask Nadia for updates in the years following the return of Caspian. Understandably, as the good mom she is, Nadia did not want to give any details that could put her freedom in jeopardy. Recently, Nadia told the Wings of the Wind that she is now very open about her new life in Poland. The Wings has been following her Facebook page for years and has watched young Caspian grow.
Have there been any improvements in the Norwegian Childcare Services since 2016?
In the last year or so Norway’s Child Welfare Services (Barneveret) has been found guilty of Human Rights abuses at the European Court of Human Rights on several occasions. The ECHR can condemn a country for Human Rights violations but it has no regulatory authority. It appears that nothing concrete has been done to change the abysmal system although good sources say that more Norwegians are aware of the problem and that there are a few good media articles here and there. At the same time, the ungodliness continues. A few of the recent ECHR decisions can be found here.
Among others, there is the more recent story of an American mother who has had her three children taken from her. The Wings of the Wind published posts about Natalya Shutakova’s family here and here.
My opinion is that there has been no real change in Norway. A foundation of true information has been laid and is out there for any who want to know the truth. All one has to do is read one of the ECHR’s reports to know that Human Rights for families is not a priority for a country that is viewed by many as one of the greatest in the world. And the cases at the ECHR are not even the tip of the iceberg. I keep in touch with my Norwegian friends to varying degrees. Some continue to work for change. From where I stand it appears that the Barnevernet propaganda machine throws so much at Norwegian society that even the sanest of voices get drowned out.
Please continue to pray for Norway. So many prayed for Nadia and Caspian. As the years have passed, I have become more aware of similar problems in the West including the USA. Florida has a parent’s rights bill pending. As far as I’m aware all that it needs is the governor’s signature. My guess is that he will sign it. If he does, I am already writing a post to applaud it.
A supporter of family life as God created it
Wings of the Wind contributor
Here is the second part of Margaret’s article which contains a glimpse into the world of Norwegian “Child Welfare.”
Written by Margaret Hennum
(Originally written under the pseudonym Elsa Christensen)
For many decades, up until the 1970’s, children of wanderers such as gypsies, were taken by force from their parents. The CPS was assisted by the police to give these children what the government said they needed: a childhood without parents and siblings. They would be housed in institutions. Between 25% to 33% of gypsy children born between 1900 and 1960 were treated this way. Girls were IQ tested and sterilized. This was also done to some boys. In addition, whole families were interned in labor colonies. There, among other things, they were taught a “regular life characterized by tough discipline.” This was said to be “voluntary,” but clear threats to take away their children gave parents no choice but to except this existence.
“This is our near history. The last labor colony was closed in 1989. The last sterilizing was done in 1964. Later on, the government had to pay compensation for the abuse, and asked for forgiveness for destroying lives.” (Nina E. Tveter)
Does the mindset behind these actions live on?
Twenty-four years after the last forced sterilization in Molde, Norway, and about the same time as they closed Svanviken labor colony in Nordmøre, the social worker Kari Killén wrote a Doctoral Thesis. It was this work that made it possible for CPS to become as it is today.
After a study of only 17 children, Killen shaped the future CPS, a CPS based on measures of the parents’ functions. Killén told the social workers to evaluate “which parents can help children to survive!” (Molde, Norway, 19.02.2009)
The social workers in Norway and Scandinavia took her grand mission very seriously, and the results of their evaluations are catastrophic. The CPS and the police are now forcing 4-5 children each day out of their homes, most of them never to return to their parents. Last year this “protection” of Norwegian children cost the government 20 billion NOK.
The Middle Class Emotional Neglect
Killén, a social worker, is responsible for an important part of the curriculum for people studying to become social workers, and she has been teaching these courses for years. According to Kari Killén, 45% of Norwegian children suffer from emotional neglect. Her thinking is the foundation for the Norwegian CPS today: that 45% of our children will be traumatized by their own parents because of dubious bonding. When this happens, the CPS needs to “assist” people. Killén’s conclusion is based on this assertion: 45% of our children have parents that cannot help them survive without damage!
Killén argues that the percentage is so high because of a new type of neglect that she calls: “The emotional neglect in the middle class.” This is something that only some of the highly educated can understand: some health nurses, doctors and others may discover it from the time of the pregnancy.
Killen says that “Middle Class Emotional Neglect” is hard to discover, and the damage does not show until the child is three to five years old. It becomes particularly obvious in the teen years.
A National Breakdown?
If there is any truth to Killén’s assumption, it would be a sign of a total breakdown of the Norwegian welfare state. Of course, this idea makes no sense and the result of the work that the CPS has done based upon it must be seen as one of the greatest tragedies of our time.
A Forced Stay in a “Home for Mothers”
It wasn’t that long ago that gypsies had the choice between moving to a labor colony, or losing their children and getting sterilized. Today, hundreds of women yearly get the choice between moving to “Homes for Mothers” for observation, or losing their children at once. Just like the gypsies before them, these “choices” are called “voluntary.” We find this enforced in the CPS statistics under the term “help.”
In our culture, women with newborns have traditionally been well cared for. They get help in the house, food served in bed, helpful advice on breast feeding, and care from women that are friends. In the institutions, the women are merely being observed! They are taken away and isolated from their friends and family, people with whom it is natural to share the joy over the baby.
Many women in these institutions tell stories of how they initially got a warm welcome so it was natural to open up and talk about themselves. Then the illegal video surveillance started and there were demands for detailed plans of their daily tasks. The requirement: their plans had to be noted every half hour. Any supervision and guidance came mostly in the form of negative criticism. Monitoring of the voice, facial expressions, hygiene, and lack of initiative were recorded. Finally, the lack of eye contact with the child and other signs of supposed lack of interaction were seriously considered. The things the mothers told about themselves in confidence at the beginning of their stay was written in an “end report” that was unrecognizable to the mothers themselves.
“End reports” on the different mothers are strangely similar. Many mothers are in despair, often there with their first child. They have “let themselves” be institutionalized by force in a desperate hope of getting to keep their baby or of not losing it again. Most of them do not return home with their children.
The mother mentioned earlier in this narrative (we now know that this was Nadia…cr) survived five months under observations just like these. Every time a child was taken, she remembered when her own baby was taken from her at three weeks of age. She cried every time a child disappeared. In her “end report,” her crying was interpreted this way: “the mother is unstable!” She had lost once and was afraid to lose again.
“End reports” from “Home for Mothers”
The “end reports” from “Home for Mothers” are the most depressing literature I have read during my study of the CPS. The heartless lack of concern that make their methods possible are reflected in written observations. A family therapist will deliver these “end reports” to be used by the Council Committee and judges, who need proof for decisions. The “end reports” have a huge impact on the lives of children, parents and whole families.
As noted earlier, the reports are strangely similar. Most things are interpreted in the worst possible way. They are full of symbols, meaning no direct accusations, that describe irrelevant circumstances; circumstances that, if they were relevant, would discredit the parent and strengthen the therapist’s allegations. Just as enlightening as the things in the report are the things that are withheld on purpose.
In the report above of the woman who moved out voluntarily, breast feeding was mentioned as something she wanted to do, but it was not mentioned as something that she actually did. The fact that she was breast feeding the child until the CPS placed the boy with strangers is deliberately withheld! They did not mention that when the mother got her boy back in her arms after two weeks, her breasts were still not completely dry. They withheld the fact that the mother asked the public health nurse and the doctor in “The Mothers Home” if they thought that she could get the milk production back up, so she could continue breast feeding. They told her she couldn’t! Others knew that she could have managed it easily with some help and in a safe environment. A family therapist described the lack of eye contact between mother and child. She didn’t mention that the CPS kept them from developing the natural eye contact that breast feeding gives, and didn’t mention that they had the mother believing that she could never have this “free” eye contact again with the boy. (A baby’s eye sight is sharpest in the distance from the breast to the mothers face.) Another important fact that was held back was that the mother and child that they observed had just been reunited! The baby came from a two week stay in an emotional no-man’s-land (two weeks, in a lifetime of five weeks). The mother was scared and felt that she was in a dangerous situation after having lost her baby, having it back, and then being threatened of losing it again. The family therapist did not mention that the observations were made in the light of this dramatic break in the relationship between the mother and the baby.
Killén teaches that the people who do not have the necessary caring skills, will probably never learn them. This explains why the “Home for Mothers” is the exact opposite of what is normal in the rest of society. The “Home” does not give help when needed. They do nothing to strengthen and support people who are managing the best they can. These “Homes” merely observe and call it “help.” In reality, they are “helping” the child be torn from where it belongs.
The CPS in the Future
We know a lot about some groups of people in the government who would like to control family activity. Recently, a member of the parliament and social committee suggested that the CPS should start to prepare when the woman is pregnant. The CPS seems to listen to this member.
How many groups of people should be deemed unworthy of the parenting role? The gypsies were told clearly in their time to stop giving birth or be sterilized. Many people who have been involved with the CPS say that sterilization would almost have been better because then we would know for sure that there would be no “Child Welfare Services” in Norway’s future.
Time may be short before claims for compensation will come from the survivors who have had their lives ruined by the CPS. It appears that it will be a tough battle. Until then, the CPS will use money from the 20 billion NOK they have at their disposal for a very peculiar purpose: forcing CPS employees into the homes of families to restore the good impression of the CPS! The ones that are coerced to accept “help” become traumatized families in numerous cases. Some may get their children back only after long battles with the CPS. As stated earlier, in many cases, parents never get their children back.
Abiogenesis definition – the origin of life from nonliving matter; specifically : a theory in the evolution of early life on earth: organic molecules and subsequent simple life forms first originated from inorganic substances. – Merriam-Webster
For anyone who is not familiar with the term abiogenesis, the definition above should help. Abiogenesis is the theory that life came from things that weren’t alive.
This morning, near the top of the stories featured on Google was one from COSMOS entitled:
The article is almost a year old but it is very similar to many articles written by those studying how life could have possibly come from non-living things. It is written for people like me who have no authority to speak on such an issue but who think, like one of the young scientists featured in the article, that:
“The origin of life is part of humanity’s narrative.”
“Learning more about it isn’t only beneficial for science, it’s helping us develop our understanding of who we are and our place in the universe.”
After reading the article, two things are clear:
1) These scientists aren’t kidding around. They are serious about their work and seem to be trying to find answers.
2) It certainly seems possible that they are looking in the right places and that they may be getting close to discovering how life came form non-living things.
Thankfully, the recent series by Dr. James Tour has been a help to me in this area of understanding. The series covers many items including topics that the layman (like me) would not understand. Dr. Tour discusses “the building blocks for life, including amino acids, nucleobases and lipids,” the exact same things mentioned in the Cosmos article.
The main difference between the COSMOS article (which is a pretty good representation of many scientific articles presented for layman) and the series by Dr. Tour is the explanation of how difficult it would have been for life to have appeared “spontaneously.” (It seems that the world spontaneously is a word frequently used to describe how non-living things became living things; the problem is that no one has ever explained how this happened.)
Dr. Tour’s credentials speak for themselves. You can read about them HERE. Not only is he one of the best synthetic chemists in the world, he is a Christian. In his series about Abiogenesis, he only speaks about the science of the subject according to his understanding. He does not mention the Bible. He is well versed in the scriptures but his career has been in the field of synthetic chemistry where: “Based on the impact of his published work, in 2019 Tour was ranked in the top 0.004% of the 7 million scientists who have published at least 5 papers in their careers. He was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015.” (Click HERE for more information about Dr. Tour.)
I have been following Dr. Tour’s work for years now. I know “appeals to authority” are often looked upon with disdain but let’s face it, everyone does it. Personally, I don’t see any problem with it whatsoever. The question in every area of life becomes: “Who do I trust to tell me the truth about this subject? ”
I am thankful that someone of Dr. Tour’s stature is speaking out on this subject. He is being ignored by many scientists in the origin of life field. He is also being treated as someone who doesn’t know what he is talking about, which is only one of the reasons he has made this presentation. Much of the course is Dr. Tour’s comments on a video that was made criticizing his own past comments. Dr. Tour handles the criticism well but is clearly frustrated by the lack of clarity that he feels is presented not only by the video discussed but by many articles in the scientific literature. One of his stated goals in this course is to provide clarity to those seeking answers about the possible origin of life.
The episodes are anywhere from twenty-five minutes to 1 hour and twenty-five minutes. You may want to pick out one of the sessions which looks interesting or you may want to start at the beginning and go from there.
A Course on Abiogenesis by Dr. James Tour
Yesterday, in a “discussion” online with a young friend who asked what I thought about the “Equality Act, he informed me that it was a very bad thing. Thankful that a person of his age could see the danger of such an Act, this morning has been spent reading articles about the results of the passing of such legislation. Being aware of the Act for some time, it was important to read the text of H.R. 5 too. It sounds as bad as it has been portrayed by many.
Twenty years ago, the idea that same-sex marriage would be legalized in America seemed almost impossible. That the House of Representatives’ majority vote has passed H.R. 5 on to the Senate is another indicator of how far Christian ethics in America have eroded. Many seem to think that this dark legislation will not pass in the Senate. Those who are praying against the opening of yet another of “Pandora’s boxes” (a source of endless complications) are hoping these folks are correct about how the Senate will rule. The fact that we are at this point, with a president who can’t wait to sign the legislation into law, indicates where we are as a nation.
After having read several articles on the topic, Michael P. Orsi’s in the Washington Times made an impression and his title is the title of this post. Below is the beginning of that article with a link to the remainder of it, a link to the text of H.R. 5, and links to a few other related articles.
This is an important issue.
Say no to the evil, gender politics of the ‘Equality Act’
House Resolution 5 bill covers ‘gender-related identity regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth’
– – Wednesday, February 24, 2021
The famous story of Jesus being tempted in the desert makes a point that’s relevant to our current politics, that evil always comes packaged as good, and carries a heavy price.
Satan points out to Jesus how easy it would be to use his special powers to relieve hunger. “Just turn these rocks into bread,” he urges.
Then he takes Jesus to the highest point of the temple, and suggests that he demonstrate his unique status by jumping off and letting angels catch him. Finally, Satan gets to the bottom line, offering Jesus dominion over all the world’s kingdoms, if only he’ll bow down and become a devil worshipper.
Jesus will have none of it.
Unfortunately, we humans aren’t as clear-seeing as the Lord. All too often we’re susceptible to evil ideas when they come wrapped in appealing images and comforting words. Such a deceptive proposal is House Resolution 5, a truly insidious piece of legislation known as the “Equality Act.”
This bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect individuals from discrimination not only on the basis of race, color, religion and sex, but “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The name “Equality Act” is a triumph of ideological packaging. Who could possibly be against “equality?”
Here is the first day of Senate hearings on HR 5 (March 17, 2021):
HR 5 has become S.393
It is now May 19th, 2021, two months after the 1st and only Senate hearing (the video above) thus far on the Equality Act. After two months of no news I checked congress.gov. Seeing nothing new there I called my Senator’s office (Tom Cotton) and found out that nothing more has been done regarding this bill. In the Senate it is tagged as S.393. For those of you following this bill I recommend Googling “S.393” occasionally to try and find the latest. All news outlets should be publicizing any upcoming Senate vote.
Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College
The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College reception in Rogers, Arkansas, on November 17, 2020.
On September 17, Constitution Day, I chaired a panel organized by the White House. It was an extraordinary thing. The panel’s purpose was to identify what has gone wrong in the teaching of American history and to lay forth a plan for recovering the truth. It took place in the National Archives—we were sitting in front of the originals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—a very beautiful place. When we were done, President Trump came and gave a speech about the beauty of the American Founding and the importance of teaching American history to the preservation of freedom.
This remarkable event reminded me of an essay by a teacher of mine, Harry Jaffa, called “On the Necessity of a Scholarship of the Politics of Freedom.” Its point was that a certain kind of scholarship is needed to support the principles of a nation such as ours. America is the most deliberate nation in history—it was built for reasons that are stated in the legal documents that form its founding. The reasons are given in abstract and universal terms, and without good scholarship they can be turned astray. I was reminded of that essay because this event was the greatest exhibition in my experience of the combination of the scholarship and the politics of freedom.
My thoughts on President Arnn’s article:
I think it is a very good article. Included is part of Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address as president in January 1989. In his life, Reagan had seen enough of a change in American society to make this comment:
“Younger parents aren’t sure that an ambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children.”
Then, Mr. Reagan issued a warning. (You’ll have to click on the link to the article above to see it.)
President Arnn goes on to discuss a few unknown facts about Thomas Jefferson. Before his well written short conclusion, he writes:
“To present young people with a full and honest account of our nation’s history is to invest them with the spirit of freedom. It is to teach them something more than why our country deserves their love, although that is a good in itself. It is to teach them that the people in the past, even the great ones, were human and had to struggle. And by teaching them that, we prepare them to struggle with the problems and evils in and around them. Teaching them instead that the past was simply wicked and that now they are able to see so perfectly the right, we do them a disservice and fit them to be slavish, incapable of developing sympathy for others or undergoing trials on their own.”
Having read some of what our forefather’s wrote, I cannot help but think of how much better prepared they seemed to be to handle what lay ahead. Like Mr. Reagan, I think we have gone backwards in many ways. In spite of technological, medical, and other amazing advances, Americans seem more divided and less content than ever. The rough, unkind, and unwise rhetoric that spills from many different sources fuels a fire that seems like it will be long lived.
Anyone who has read much of this blog at any length knows that I believe our problems lay in our disobedience to the authority of God’s Holy Word, the Bible. It is the greatest history book, one of the most owned and least read. One cannot read it and not see the importance of adhering to the protections God gave us in the Ten Commandments alone. The results of ignoring such valuable protections have proved devastating to many peoples of the past. Americans today are no more special in the eyes of God than those who have come before us. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. To think otherwise is to put too much faith in human strength and ability.
The Words of Jesus put life in prospective:
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
By Marianne Haslev Skånland
23 November 2020
Updated 25 November 2020
In their political work, Bill and Hillary Clinton advocated early forced adoption of children having been taken into care by the social services and placed in foster homes. The ‘Adoption and Safe Families Act’ was passed in 1997, under Bill Clinton as president, promoting forced adopting away from their biological parents of foster children after only 15 months separated from their parents, if social workers (the CPS – child protective services) did not consider the parents to have ‘improved’ by then.
1. The attitude of social ‘experts’: Parents are unimportant
Pushing through forced adoptions in this activistic way did not come out of the blue. Propaganda idealizing the power of social workers seems to have been strengthened under Bill Clinton’s presidency. His wife Hillary Clinton was very active with her view that ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’, presented also in a book:
“In it, Clinton presents her vision for the children of America. She focuses on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child’s well-being, and advocates a society which meets all of a child’s needs. The book was written with uncredited ghostwriter Barbara Feinman.”
It Takes a Village
Wikipedia, last edited 14 May 2020.
Although she is said to have warned against too much interference by social service agencies into family life, I also remember that Hillary Clinton has in some context straight out agitated in favour of every American family being obliged to accept a visit (inspection) by a social worker twice a year.
An American article from 2019 gives an account of the ideology that the ‘professionals’ know best and take best care of children, the aim being to raise them to be the kind of citizens many believe is ideal:
“The ideology of the Clinton bureaucrats who worked on the law might explain its focus.
“What happens to children depends not only on what happens in the homes, but what happens in the outside world,” Mary Jo Bane, who served as the Clinton administration Department of Health and Human Services’ assistant secretary of children and families, said in a 1977 interview.
“We really don’t know how to raise children. If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there’s no equality. It’s a dilemma. In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.””
Clinton-Era Law Has Distorted Child Protective Services, Parents Say. Law Passed by Trump seeks to reform a system in crisis
The Epoch Times, 25 September 2019
2. What to do about the unsuccessful foster home industry
The CPS business of foster homes in America is large, but like elsewhere it is no success. The CPS in the USA is frequently said to be ‘a system in crisis’ or ‘a broken system’ and to have been so for a long time. This is apparent from the outcome of CPS actions, with results far from the ideal imagined by well-meaning psycho-social theorists.
However, the idea under Clinton was that early cutting off of every bond between child and parents through adoption of the child by others would bring to an end the unfortunate sides of foster home existence. Social services in the USA were keen to support the legislative initiative and the number of children forcibly adopted away shot up:
Clinton Hails Illinois For Adoption Record
Chicago Tribune, 24 September 1999
U.S. Rewards State Adoption Efforts
Chicago Tribune, 24 September 1999
Then the adoption train was made to halt for a moment, as the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois found the law to be unconstitutional:
Foster custody law is voided
Chicago Tribune, 21 September 2001
Nevertheless, the adoption-enthusiasts found a way around this:
“DCFS and the courts made sure to have on hand people who could make on-the-spot assessments of parents’ problems and work with “recovery coaches”.
And the adoptions continued:
Heeding the call to adopt
Chicago Tribune, 20 October 2003
The programmatic believers in the 1997 law recognised that foster home arrangements are usually not very good for children, and certainly not in the long run. Whether wiping out the biological family is a cure, is nevertheless quite a question, in the light of the comprehensive evidence available about serious problems for all parties in a considerable number of cases, not only for the biological parents deprived of their children but also of the adopted children and actually of adoptive parents as well – not only in forced adoptions. (The little bibliography here can perhaps be a start for those not familiar with the facts already; it lists a few items out of a rich literature: Is biological kinship irrelevant for the life of human beings?.)
So the question is: Why do the ‘expert’ authorities, the CPS themselves, politicians who support the CPS, shut their eyes to these realities? They seem so firmly one-sided that the answer is probably that the system draws on other sources in addition to a wayward ideology of ‘the child’s best interest’. And indeed there are such additional sources and factors, such as the satisfaction drawn from power over others, that of belonging to a large set of benefactors to society, the security of being approved by leading authorities, and the large number of people involved in the sector financially.
3. Some ideological background
The favoured way of thinking behind the development in the Clinton era is found in other countries too. Trends in social work are rather international (The attitude of social professions involved in the child protection sector). In the area of forced adoption, cf the rather similar conditions in Britain to what has been taking place in the USA:
How social services are paid bonuses to snatch babies for adoption
Mail Online (Daily Mail), 31 January 2008
The child protection systems in Western countries operate on the basis of ideological, would-be scientific, psychological notions claiming that children are really better off when raised by or chiefly influenced by ‘ideal’ caretakers appointed by ‘experts’ and not by their faulty parents. A concomitant is that ousting the parents has supposedly little negative effect for the child.
The belief is essentially that all that matters in life from childhood to adult age, including feelings and ideas as well as behaviour, is formed more or less deterministically by the environment, primarily the social and material environment, and can therefore be modified at will by those in power dictating how a child’s environment is to be formed and restricted. A companion argument holds that assuming biology to be a cause of behaviour and of mental life is unscientific. A lot of evidence exists showing that this idea of biology and of science is untenable. It has, however, been widely held, in several waves of social thinking at least in the last 300 years. But presumably, the idea that the state is better suited to bring up children than parents are, must have had some currency in Europe ever since the time of Plato’s The Republic (authored around 375 BC, i.e about 2400 years ago).
Such a philosophy, simplifying the view (if not the actual understanding) of life and individuals, has of course been prominent in communist and socialist thinking, albeit with fluctuating strength in different periods, as the more extreme consequences turned out to be impracticable. But practically the same ideas are also found in politically quite conservative circles.
The line of reasoning about society has been observed in England and France at least from the Age of Enlightenment, the time before and around the French revolution, cf H.N. Brailsford (1913): Shelley, Godwin and their circle (Oxford University Press) (cf here, here and here). An important new surge in favour of environment at the expense of and even counter to biology can be found around 1900, starting in America particularly in psychology and social anthropology, cf How Norwegian experts came to reject biological kinship as relevant in child welfare policy. It has through the 1900s been, and still is, evident in much of linguistics and language teaching, even from leading linguists who claim to be ‘mentalists’ and ‘innate-ists’.
As clear an exposition as any of the materialistic, environmental-deterministic ideology regarding ‘the best interest of the child’ can be found in a recommendation to the Norwegian parliament in 2012 to demote ‘the biological principle’ in legislation and practice concerning children, especially that relating to the CPS taking children into care and declaring the child-parent relationship permanently nullified:
This legislative proposal was no bombshell when it came; rather it represented the formalization of trends in social and psychological ideology consciously spread and strengthened through propaganda over a long time. The lack of realization is evident – realization that there is something more, something other than learning and environmental influence at the basis of children’s impulse to be with their own parents. An American friend when reading the explanations of the Raundalen Committee was struck by the deliberate rejection of any belief of biological bonds having a natural cause. He wrote to me: “I read the names and titles of these committee members and I thought, ‘Just who do these people think they are?’” The answer is: They are mostly leading members of the official Norwegian establishment of state authorized ‘child experts’, and with this authorization they believe they are the ones who know best and can diagnose and evaluate everything.
Another authority in Norway is the leader of the state’s professional committee for adoptions. Private adoptions are not allowed in Norway, so this committee holds great powers, and its leader is listened to with respect by makers of legislation. In the 1990s the leader was psychologist Karen Hassel. In a tv interview in 2001 she emphasized that adoptive relationships were very problematic indeed, often with years of rejection of the adoptive parents by the adopted child. About 4 months later she testified in court in a forced adoption case, and managed to say the opposite: that this adoption was no trouble at all and strongly to be recommended, without explaining the relationship between that particular adoption and those she had warned about on tv.
The situation here in Norway, then, is perhaps much the same as I find dominating in the policies of the Clintons in the USA, just more one-sidedly accepted in Norway? No one reading the Raundalen committee’s recommendations needs to be surprised at the impossibility of debating with the members of the Committee or their supporters. Nor is it surprising that the development since 2012 has been characterized by a continued belief within the CPS that their breaking up of families is in children’s best interest, likewise that the county welfare boards (making the initial approvals of taking children into care) and the courts support them, to the despair of the very large majority of parents and children in the hands of the CPS.
4. The result of the Clinton administration’s ‘Adoption and Safe Families Act’
So a factor is money. As the Chicago Tribune articles as well as the one in The Epoch Times show, Clinton’s law created special ‘financial incentives’ to agencies for each child adopted out of foster care. There was apparently no reason then to stop when the children in care had been adopted away. On the contrary, there was reason for the CPS to go ahead and take new children into foster care, to be the next to be adopted away, with a generous government check as a reward.
In other words, the number of children taken into care did not go down as a result of the Clinton initiative, quite the contrary, the 1997 law “sparking a lucrative government-run business of child removal” (Clinton-Era Law Has Distorted …).
Keeping a child away from its parents for 15 months, with the kind of laws and rules the CPS possess, is child’s play. There is evidence in the USA as in other countries that social work establishments’ own actions and what they consider necessary changes in the lives of parents tend to take up a very long time, if demanded changes are even so concrete and sensible that parents can comply with them in the real world. The demands of the CPS can also make a family’s practical life impossible. CPS ‘diagnoses’ on the spot and ‘recovery coaches’ are unlikely to compensate for a child’s loss of its family, especially when surrounded by professionals who have no notion of the loss of family being a fundamental problem.
Let alone that far from every removal of a child from its parents is responsible and necessary from the start. The less real reason there has been for taking a child into care, the more the CPS will make demands that do not really help the child, and will resist letting go, since that would take away their power and tend to expose their actions from the beginning to have been unjustified. So once a child is taken into public care, it tends to stay in the system and be a factor supporting the CPS’s demands for more resources.
A clear forerunner to the adoption push of the Clintons is found in action taken by e.g Walter Mondale, who championed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974. The following account of aspects of the wave in child protection ideas of the last 50 years can be found in Mark Pendergrast’s Victims of memory. Incest Accusations and Shattered Lives (the quotation is from the first edition, of 1995, pp 359-60):
“As a result of increased awareness of the true horrors of child abuse, Walter Mondale championed the passage of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974. This landmark legislation offered matching federal funds to states which passed their own laws mandating that doctors, psychologists, police officers, teachers, nurses, and other professionals report any suspected child abuse to the appropriate child protection agency. The act offered anonymity and immunity from prosecution to anyone reporting child abuse. Those who failed to report suspected abuse faced fines or prison sentences.(2) (see footnote)
The legislation has produced a self-sustaining bureaucracy of social workers, mental health experts, and police officers who specialize in rooting out sex abuse. The more cases they find, the more funds they receive, and the more vital their jobs appear. The result? Beyond question, many cases of actual abuse have been brought to light. But tragically, the legislation has also encouraged false accusations that have ruined the lives of innocent people. A network of self-righteous True Believers has blanketed America, eager to find offenses, even in cases where little or no evidence exists. A rumour or malicious allegation is enough to start the wheels rolling. Often, children are taken away from parents without notice, and the accused are arrested without ever being questioned.(3) (see footnote)
So the procedure was tried out in the 1970s, with a result that cannot be called anything but dismal for large numbers of children. This was known and understood in 1995, when Pendergrast wrote his book, and he surely cannot have been the only clear-eyed individual. Nevertheless, the Clinton administration went ahead with the same set-up of rewarding the social sector for dramatic early breaking of family bonds.
The action taken by the Trump administration, as described by The Epoch Times, seems to have hit the CPS effectively by clamping down on the money paid out to the CPS for breaking up families – viz on the very point the CPS is probably most keen to protect: “President Donald Trump’s Family First Prevention Services Act—which he passed by attaching it to a February 2018 spending bill”. With Joe Biden most likely heading for the White House, a real concern for American families targeted by the CPS will probably be whether his administration will revert to the Clintons’ idea of children and their needs. Policies regarding the taking of children into care and what happens to them are not usually a major political concern to the general population in a country, but for those who are hit by destructive CPS actions it is different – being forcibly separated from their family is a fundamental tragedy in the core of their hearts and their lives.
5. A different understanding of the needs of children
Scientific studies show that not foster care, not adoption, but a third option is far superior to them, even when the biological family is far from ideal.
THE EVIDENCE IS IN
Foster Care vs. Keeping Families Together: The Definitive Studies
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, September 2015
Rethinking foster care: Molly McGrath Tierney at TEDxBaltimore 2014
TEDx Talks, on youtube, 27 February 2014
Literature about it has appeared in most countries. Also well-known: Although adoption as well as foster care are realized to be problematic, there is no will in social service circles to go to the core of what is wrong; instead they want to keep on doing variants of the same, and calling for ‘more research’. Much the same goes for the people researching these topics; they are themselves perhaps close to the ones who would be out of a job or would have to re-train completely if social services for children were re-cast. At the same time the amount of lying, in case work and in the courts, on the part of the social services in countries practicing these ideas of children’s needs, is striking, and is in itself a symptom of a system and an ideology failing deeply.
There have over the years been plenty of studies in the USA as well as in Europe showing most of what we need to know. There have also been many individuals and NGOs in the USA whose information has reached us here in Europe, as they have carried out excellent documentation and have published on the internet and elsewhere about abuses by the social services against families. An example is Fight CPS: Child Protective Services-CPS-False Accusations, which has been running for several decades, under Linda Martin’s well-informed leadership. It cannot be emphasized often enough how important information and the freedom of expression are in the work to combat a CPS system with unwarranted power.
Local, political initiatives to turn things the right way are certainly also found. Nancy Schafer, a senator in Georgia, did not shy away:
Nancy Schafer exposes the EVIL CPS
Constitution Man, on youtube, 14 April 2009
Chris Reimers in Arkansas wrote this about an initiative to reunite children with their parents which had been partly successful (cf comments to Natalya Shutakova, Another Mother Tormented by the Norwegian “Child Welfare Services” (Barnevernet)):
“a local politician has recently been able to get legislation passed in our state assembly that would help situations like Natalya’s to be avoided.”
Here is how:
“….. In the case of the local politician I’ve mentioned, it took three things:
1) People who were not afraid to tell their stories to the man who represented them in Little Rock, and
2) A man (in this case State Senator Alan Clark) who was willing to listen to them, take them seriously, and craft legislation that would uphold parental rights in certain cases. There were two new laws crafted, and only one of the two passed into law. Still, progress was made.
3) It took a group of lawmakers who would pass such a law.
It seems a minority of American representatives are willing to spend so much time on issues like these but there are some. It also seems like Norway would get stopped, in almost all cases, by the second and third requirements listed.”
The footnotes in Pendergrast’s book are:
Gardner,”Modern Witch Hunt,” Wall Street Journal; Coleman, “False Allegations of Sexual Abuse,” p. 15-16.
Benedek, “Proglems in Validating.” For general books on the child abuse industry, see Wexler, “Wounded Innocents; Pride, Child Abuse Industry; Tong, Don’t Blame ME.
The references are given in the bibliography as:
Gardner, Richard A., “Modern Witch Hunt – Child Abuse Charges,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 22, 1993
Coleman, Lee and Patrick E. Clancy, “False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse,” Criminal Justice, Fall 1990, p. 14-20, 43-47
Benedek, Elissa P. and Diane H. Schetky, “Problems in Validating Allegations of Sexual Abuse”, Journal of the Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (1987), v. 26, p. 912-915
Wexler, Richard. Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War Against Child Abuse. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1990.
Pride, Mary. The Child Abuse Industry. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1986.
Tong, Dean. Don’t Blame ME, Daddy: False Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse. Norfolk, VA: Hampton Roads Pub, 1992.
Foster-children as lucrative business
MHS’s home page, February 2005 / 25 January 2014
– : Child prisons? In Sweden?
MHS’s home page, 1995, 1998, 2006, 28 December 2018
– : Norway and Sweden – where inhuman rights prevail
MHS’s home page, 7 May 2012 / 11 November 2017
Senators want to see Children and Youth Services reform
Fox56, 27 March 2018
Breaking up families in the name of child protection
Sunday Guardian, 13 October 2018
Do criminals have more rights than parents in Tennessee?
News Channel 9 (Fox 17 News), 14 November 2017
Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Separating children from their parents – is Norway better than the USA?
MHS’s home page, 16 July 2018
– : Demonstrations abroad against Norwegian child protection (CPS) – Barnevernet
MHS’s home page, 8 – 10 January 2016
– : Canadian documentary about child protection
MHS’s home page, 11 September 2013
– : The Council of Europe with a critical report on European child protection systems
MHS’s home page, 4 July 2018
Hemming threatens to name social workers in Parliament
Liberal Democrat Voice (UK), 7 January 2007
Rock hard criticism of Norwegian child protection from the president of the Czech Republic
MHS’s home page, 10 February, 2015
Article series about child protection published in Sunday Guardian in India
Series overview with links
MHS’s home page, 17 December 2017 –
Family must come first
MHS’s home page, 14 February 2013 / 17 October 2015
– : Understanding and Responding to Child Confiscation by Social Service Agencies
MHS’s home page, 9 May 2012 / 20 September 2017
Octavian D. Curpas:
With Barnevernet, Norway is going South
MHS’s home page, 1 September 2016
The children of the state – The Norwegian child protection agency, Barnevernet, has created a society of fear
MHS’s home page, 27 November 2017
Flight, exile and taking chances
MHS’s home page, 11 November 2020
“My people shall dwell in quiet resting places.”
Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.
“I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.
‘Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah’s name,
‘Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:
The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,
This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
(Mr. Spurgeon finished this devotion with a portion of the Hymn “I Hear the Words of Love” by Horatius Bonar.)
My favorite contemporary scientist for years has been Dr. Robert Gentry. He went into the presence of the Lord in January. I respect him greatly because of the personal sacrifices he made to follow where the scientific evidence led him.
Now, among living scientists, I would have to put Dr. James Tour as my favorite. His resume far exceeds that of Dr. Gentry which in no way lessens the greatness of Mr. Gentry in my mind.
This is a very interesting discussion between two Scientists who happen to be Christians. (Or should I say “Christians who happen to be scientists?”)