Archive for the 'Religion' Category



The Warrenton Declaration on Medical Mandates, Biblical Ethics, & Authority

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 17 hours ago

A more thoughtful, studied, intelligent and Biblical statement on these matters you will not find anywhere.

The Warrenton Declaration on Medical Mandates, Biblical Ethics, & Authority

The Theology Of Resistance

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

David Codrea linked three good reads today that are worth passing along.  Thanks to David for that.

 

 

Note

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Just a quick note to let readers know that there is a new featured article at the top of the web site, Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination.

It’s easy to miss the featured articles.

Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

I authored this paper for an individual who wishes that the name be removed.  The name has been redacted from the copy provided here.

In order to assist the reader with a framework for understanding this paper, it should first be emphasized that it is written from a very specific theological perspective.  The necessary presuppositions are outlined at the beginning.

It could of course be objected that there may be other (what I am calling “committed Christians”) who do not hold one or more of the views expressed here.  The intent is not to engage a theological debate.  I could very well do that, but it is best left to another occasion.

Presuppositions are axiomatic irreducibles.  They are the necessary starting points for discourse, not the subject of proof.  For more on that, see Alvin Plantinga, Gordon Clark, Greg Bahnsen, John Frame and others, or any basic course in logic.  As I’ve explained in the paper, if one holds different presuppositions, he will [necessarily] come to different conclusions.

That doesn’t mean that presuppositions are arbitrary.  Some are properly basic and foundational, and they are always subject to interrogation for whether they can be successfully used to build a coherent world and life view, whether they can be shown to be logically compatible, and whether they are existentially pleasing and answer man’s basic questions about life.  None of that occurs in this paper.  That’s not its design.  That’s best left to another occasion for readers interested enough to return.

The conclusions in this paper might find a welcome home with, say, Doug Wilson’s church in Moscow, ID, or Apologia in Mesa, AZ, or John MacAuthur’s church in Sun Valley, California.  On the other hand, they might evoke laughter in the National Cathedral.  I am as settled with the potential willing acceptance as I am the laughter of Hyenas.  It doesn’t matter to me any more than the price of eggs in Siberia.

This paper will be meaningless to some readers.  It might assist others.  That’s up the reader.

Warning up front: I am attaching at PDF of the paper here (Religious_Exemption_Modified).  It has the full list of footnotes and references (36 in all).  I’ve included footnotes by copy/paste below, but I regret the way WordPress incorporates them.  If you wish to read what I consider to be a “cleaner” document, download the PDF.

Thus the paper begins.

Religious Exemption from Forced Vaccination

[name redacted]

Basis and Preliminaries

The presuppositions behind this position statement follow: [a] The Holy Scriptures are inerrant in the Autographa (αὐτόγραφος), and protected in transmission by God’s wise providence, [b] The Holy Scriptures has many authors but one singular author, God Himself, as the authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit, [c] The Holy Scriptures are internally coherent and logical in all of its parts, and does not contradict itself, [d] God has given mankind all we need to make ethical judgments that comport with His will for our lives,[1] and [e] The Holy Scriptures are perspicuous and clear enough to make ethical judgments.  We cannot issue a Linux ‘grep’ command to interrogate God’s knowledge on a particular subject, for such a script would never end in our lifetimes and God has not subjected Himself to His creatures in such a manner.  God has not given us comprehensive knowledge of Himself or the world, nevertheless, everything necessary for obedience has been properly cataloged for us,[2] or by “good and necessary consequence” may be deduced from the Holy Scriptures.[3]  Finally, it is sinful and abhorrent to God to dishonor lawful oaths and vows.[4]  Differences in presuppositions will lead to different conclusions than outlined herein.  My presuppositions are my own, and I am entitled to them and in fact theologically bound by them.

The Biblical View of Abortion

The testimony of the Holy Scriptures is uniformly that life begins at conception.  In Psalm 139:13-18, David speaks of himself using first person, present tense pronouns.  As an example of the legal protections afforded the unborn, we may cite Exodus 21:22-25.  Psalm 51:5 and Jeremiah 1:5 assign a moral status to the unborn child, something that can only obtain upon the presupposition of ontological unity of body and soul.  Luke 1:15, 41 and 44 notes that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit in utero.

This pattern is seen throughout Scripture where those in the womb are commonly referred to by the same language used of persons already born.[5]  These citations are sufficient to explain the fact that, Biblically considered, life begins at conception, but this list is not all-inclusive and these aren’t the only passages or references that could be produced.[6]

The Testimony of the Church on Abortion

The only historically consistent position against abortion has come from classical Christianity.  Various writings of the early church contain references to abortion, always in a tone of condemnation.  The Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Apocalypse of Peter, the Council of Elvira, The Council of Chalcedon, and the Council of Ancyra condemn abortion and infanticide as murder.  Additionally, condemnation of abortion is seen in the writings of various theologians and church fathers, including Clement of Alexandria, Athenagoras, Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Methodius of Olympus, Ambrose, Jerome, Crysostom and Augustine.[7]

In contrast, the NIH has attempted to address the issue of the ethical considerations of taking the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, but in language reminiscent of John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism rather than the Holy Scriptures.[8]  The NIH hasn’t even come close to developing a full-orbed discussion of ethics necessary for the committed Christian (and wisely didn’t attempt such a project, leaving their analysis vacuous, based on secular views and utterly void of religious considerations).

The Sources of the SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines

This data is based on multiple references, some of which will be supplied herein. [[9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23]]

  1. Pfizer and BioNTech – The Pfizer Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  2. Moderna – The Moderna Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is cited by the vaccine researchers Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Darin K. Edwards, and Sarah R. Leist.
  3. Johnson & Johnson – The J&J Vaccine has publicly admitted to using a cell line called PER.C6. This is published on the Janssen website. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute.
  4. Sputnik V – The Sputnik V Vaccine cites their manufacturers as using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293.
  5. AstraZeneca – AstraZeneca was developed using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is also contained in documents permitting its emergency use in the United Kingdom.
  6. Vaxart – Vaxart was produced with the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  7. Altimmune – The Altimmune vaccine was produced and developed with the abortion-derived cell line PER.C6. This information is recorded by Altimmune’s own Clinical Trial Protocol. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute.
  8. COVAXX and United Biomedical – COVAXX was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  9. Medicago – The Medicago Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  10. Novavax – The Novavax Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researchers at ScienceMag.
  11. University of Pittsburgh “PittCoVacc” – PittCoVacc was produced with the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by EBioMedicine at the Lancet.
  12. Walter Reed Army Institute – The Walter Reed Vaccine was produced with the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  13. Sanofi Pasteur and Translate Bio – The Sanofi Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the vaccine researchers at NPJ Vaccines.
  14. Inovio Pharmeceuticals – The Inovio Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researchers at ScienceMag.
  15. Arcturus Therapeutics – The Arcturus Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  16. Imperial College London – The Imperial College Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  17. Providence Therapeutics – The Providence Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  18. CoronaVac – CoronoVac was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researchers at ScienceMag.
  19. CanSino Biologics – The CanSino Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by researches at BioSpace.
  20. ImmunityBio and NantKwest – The ImmunityBio Vaccine was developed, produced, and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  21. Institut Pasteur and Themis and Merck – The Institut Pasteur Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
  22. Rega Institute, KU Leuven – The Rega Vaccine protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Global Virus Network.
  23. Anhui Zhifei – The Anhui Zhifei Vaccine was developed and protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cell Press Journal.
  24. Clover Biopharmeceuticals – The Clover Vaccine was protein tested using the abortion-derived cell line HEK-293. This information is enumerated by the Lozier Institute. This information is recorded by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Various writers have attempted to address this ethical issue for the committed Christian by pointing out that it is highly unlikely that the cells from aborted babies end up in the vaccines themselves, that it was the “immortalized cell lines” that were used in the development of the vaccines. [[24], [25]]

The church has for more than 2000 years held that life begins at conception.  This isn’t the first time we’ve faced issues with euthanasia.  Abortifacients (chemical agents) were in use during the days of the Greek empire, as well as the Roman empire at the time of Christ.

A simple denial that the cells from aborted babies were used to develop the vaccine isn’t sufficient, and the suggestion that it would be so is virtually insulting to committed Christians.  What they are calling the “immortalized cell lines” wouldn’t exist if not for the original cell lines from the aborted baby.

These considerations are determinative, insurmountable and final for the committed Christian.  Religious commitment does, after all, still exist in America, as the CEO of Houston’s largest hospital system recently learned when he fired 150 nurses for refusal to take the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, incorrectly expecting that he could quickly find more.  Doubtless, some of these nurses refused because of religious reasons.  To his dismay, his hospital is now so burdened that it cannot properly function.[26]

To the committed Christian, her religious views are not an “add-on” or an iPhone “App” for additional information.  They are a world and life view.

Oaths, Vows and Informed Consent

Christian theologian and philosopher R. J. Rushdoony has stated “For Christians, healing, i.e., medical practice, is a religious practice and salvific activity. This means that medicine is a priestly vocation and calling. For this reason, historically the church has fought for the sanctity of the confessional. What is confessed to a pastor . . . (holds true) of all communications between a patient and a doctor; it is a form of confession for the purpose of healing. The doctor is God’s agent in process, and the communication is privileged.”[27]  Continuing this line of thought, he observes,

“Salvation in the Bible means literally health, health of life in relation to God, and also health of body, since the body is God’s creation. The biblical fruits of medical practice are in the Levitical ministry. The relation between patient and Pastor or Dr. is immune from man’s controls and intervention, because it is a facet of God’s ministry to man’s total life.”[28]

“Primum non nocere” isn’t a punch line or catch phrase to be taught in school.  To the committed Christian, it is a religious commitment, an expectation of the Almighty.

The knowing and intentional administration of unnecessary or potentially harmful medicines, vaccines or treatments isn’t just an error or an incident to be considered in morbidity and mortality conferences.

It is a sin.

Even the NIH has gone on record stating that there is a risk of ADE (antibody dependent enhancement) from administration of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.[29]  If this URL becomes “disappeared” from the web, there is an archived version.[30]

And yet, on how many occasions have doctors, the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies explained this risk to patients?  Even the NIH, who sponsored the study on “Informed Consent,” has ignored its own counsel on the subject.  But there is indication that ADE may indeed be a problem with variants of the virus, [[31], [32]] and epidemiologists have now begun to admit that no one knows the long term effects of the vaccines.[33]  No one knows the long term effects for a very simply reason – there is no such thing as long term for vaccines that have been available for a year.  Monte Carlo and Las Vegas are inappropriate models for patient care, especially in the absence of proper informed consent.

With such risks being explained, this is more than merely something for medical professionals to consider as it relates to their own behavior.  It is something to consider for the individual who is considering the vaccine, as well as for corporations who attempt to force the vaccine on their workers.

In short, this is more than a medical issue.  This is a religious issue for reasons of lawful oaths and vows (WCF XXII), the practice of medicine seen as a ministry, and personal consideration for taking the vaccine.  For the committed Christian, self-immolation and self-harm is a sin.  For the committed Christian, enticing others to sin by offering the vaccine without “informed consent” is to create a stumbling block for others (Lev 19:14, 1 Cor 10:32-33), and is thus sinful and abhorrent to God (who doesn’t grade “on a [Gaussian] curve”).

Finally, even the flu vaccine has non-trivial risks associated with reproduction,[34] and mankind was instructed by the Almighty to “be fruitful and multiply,” and children are considered in the Holy Scriptures to be a blessing from God.

Unexplored Ethical Considerations

There are unexplored ethical considerations for the committed Christian.  There has been speculation and even hints that DNA can actually be modified from mRNA vaccines.[35]  As a matter of fact, a recent study conducted by MIT and Harvard suggests that segments of the vaccine are indeed ending up in the DNA genomic coding.[36]

If true, this opens an entirely new line of effort where committed Christians need the help of Christian theologians and philosophers and Christian medical ethicists.  Thus far, sadly and tellingly, they have been absent in this conversation.  Does God approve of man modifying the genomic coding designed by Him?  We must assume not since He is the creator.

This is not all-inclusive, but just one more line of inquiry for the committed Christian to consider.

Summary

The single pertinent piece of information the committed Christian needs for consideration of the vaccine is found in its origins.  Yet, there are other pressing religious issues that would be problematic in the total absence of consideration of the origins of the vaccine(s).

The committed Christian must resist the temptation to acquiesce to pressure from secular corporatists for the purpose of employment when the Almighty has made His precepts known to all men everywhere.

[1] 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

[2] Deuteronomy 29:29.

[3] Westminster Confession of Faith, 1.II.

[4] Westminster Confession of Faith, XXII.

[5] Gen 25:22, Job 3:3, Is 44:2, Is 49:5, Hos 12:3.

[6] It should also be pointed out that this position is unaffected by whether one takes a “creationist” or “traducianist” view of the origin of the soul.

[7] Michael J. Gorman, “Abortion and the Early Church,” Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1982.

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6844122/, accessed 8/21/2021.

[9] https://lozierinstitute.org/update-covid-19-vaccine-candidates-and-abortion-derived-cell-lines/.

[10] https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.08.280818v1.full

[11] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2622-0

[12] https://www.janssen.com/emea/emea/janssen-vaccine-technologies

[13] https://sputnikvaccine.com/about-vaccine/human-adenoviral-vaccines/

[14] http://actanaturae.ru/2075-8251/article/view/10302/106

[15] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca/information-for-healthcare-professionals-on-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca-regulation-174

[16] https://clinicaltrials.gov/ProvidedDocs/67/NCT03232567/Prot_000.pdf

[17] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.04.20226282v1.full

[18] https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6520/1089

[19] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/ebiom/article/PIIS2352-3964(20)30118-3/fulltext

[20] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41541-021-00324-5

[21] https://www.biospace.com/article/releases/the-national-research-council-of-canada-and-cansino-biologics-inc-announce-collaboration-to-advance-vaccine-against-covid-19/

[22] https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/117/51/32657.full.pdf

[23] https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30812-6

[24] https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-vaccine-idUSKBN27W2I7

[25] https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2020/11/no-cells-from-aborted-fetus-are-in-covid-19-vaccines-that-rumor-is-patently-false.html

[26] https://fee.org/articles/massive-nurse-shortage-hits-houston-weeks-after-150-unvaccinated-nurses-and-hospital-workers-fired/

[27] Rushdoony, R.J., Chalcedon Medical Report No11: 11: 11: 11: 11: The Church and Medical Ethics. Vallecita, CA: Chalcedon, 1985.

[28] R. J. Rushdoony, Roots of Reconstruction (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1991), 493.

[29] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33113270/

[30] https://archive.ph/9Sow9

[31] https://dailyexpose.co.uk/2021/08/21/study-finds-vaccinated-are-at-real-risk-of-suffering-antibody-dependent-enhancement/

[32] https://www.journalofinfection.com/article/S0163-4453(21)00392-3/fulltext

[33] https://torontosun.com/news/national/burial-costs-covered-for-canadians-killed-by-approved-vaccines

[34] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/812621_4

[35] https://thewashingtonstandard.com/bombshell-moderna-chief-medical-officer-admits-mrna-alters-dna/

[36] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33330870/, and https://www.algora.com/Algora_blog/2021/03/16/mit-harvard-study-suggests-mrna-vaccine-might-permanently-alter-dna-after-all

 

Sounds Like A Suicide Cult, Yes?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Would Extinction Be So Bad?

In recent decades it has often been said that we are living at the “hinge of history”, an unprecedented period during which a catastrophic event such as rapid climate change, nuclear war or the release of a synthesised pathogen may bring an end to human and perhaps all sentient life on the planet.

Most people think that such extinction would be bad, in fact one of the worst things that could happen. It’s plausible that the process leading to various forms of extinction, and extinction itself, would be bad for many of us, given that our lives are, overall, good for us and that, all else being equal, the longer they are the better. But it’s also plausible that extinction would be good for some individuals – those in the final stages of an agonising terminal illness, for example, whose pain can no longer be controlled by drugs. This means one key factor in judging the overall value of non-extinction will involve weighing these disparate interests against each other.

With the current Covidians ruling the roost, the willing followership of the lemmings, and this sort of claptrap, does anyone get the feeling we’re in Jonestown awaiting a mass suicide?

I won’t go along with it, but it seems that Western society is sick unto death.

Via David Codrea.

Note To Antifa And The Church About God, Guns And Other Things

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

The Post Millennial.

A large group of Antifa carrying shields and melee weapons attacked a group of Evangelical Christians congregating for a prayer and worship event at the waterfront in downtown Portland, Ore. Video recorded at the scene showed children and families running away as black-clad Antifa militants tore apart the sound equipment and assaulted attendees with pepper spray and projectiles.

The event was announced last month by a Christian ministry featuring firebrand Canadian preacher Artur Pawlowski. The Calgary pastor gained notoriety earlier this year for speaking out against lockdown measures that targeted places of worship. In response to the announcement of the worship event, Portland Antifa groups and activists on Twitter organized a direct action.

“Welcome to Portland, you won’t like it here, pastor,” tweeted Portland Antifa member Melissa Lewis.

Shocking video recorded at the violent event show dozens of armed Antifa members in black bloc and riot gear moving in to physically confront attendees of the event. One of the Antifa members sprayed a congregant with an unidentified, gas-like substance that is suspected to be pepper spray. The congregation took several steps back to avoid injury.

Where is your god now?” an Antifa member can be heard saying in the video. After pulling apart the sound system, the Antifa toss the equipment into the Willamette River.

A woman can be seen panicking as she and her fellow parishioners backed away to avoid further altercation.

“They threw a flash bomb into a group of kids,” said a female attendee who spoke to a videographer at the scene while the injured were being treated. An Antifa account on Twitter later posted that they stole the Christian attendees’ food and water.

Saturday’s assault follows a string of attacks on Christian houses of worship in Portland by Antifa.

The Post Millennial can confirm that the Portland police department did not make any arrests and had no interactions with either group. The Portland mayor’s office has been reached for comment.

So let me answer Antifa’s question first.  God is sitting in the heavens scoffing at you.  He decreed from before the foundations of the world that you would do exactly what you’re doing.  He is doing this for two reasons, I suspect: [1] He is hardening your hearts and preparing you for damnation, just as He did with Pharaoh, and [2] He is waking His church and calling out His people.

God will not be mocked.  He will accomplish all of His purposes in His good time.

Now to the church.  In a public venue like this, you are at the mercy of Antifa who will attack you, and the police who will let it happen and then arrest and charge you if you defend yourselves.  You are not prepared for the so-called non-lethal weapons they are accustomed to using, and given what I’ve seen, you are especially not prepared to defend your lives or the lives of your loved ones.

You simply must stop thinking of Jesus as a Bohemian flower child, peacenik hippie.  You must recall the actions of the church centuries ago, when they called out manly men who took swords and spears to their enemy in the defense of Christendom.  There is such a thing as Godly war.

You must prepare the location and time of your worship services, buy guns and ammunition, and learn to use them.  You must be prepared to shoot if your life or the lives of your loved ones are in danger.

This problem can be solved.  But wickedness has declared war on you.  Police are on the side of wickedness.  You are in a slumber.  You must wake up.

Get some strong coffee, sit and ponder your predicament, and then take action.  For the sake of your children.

Religion Tags:

He Should Have Been Enslaved

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Via David Codrea, this report on a beheading after the suspect was released, having been found guilty on prior charges of domestic abuse and attempted arson.

He should have been a slave.

The Holy Scriptures do not countenance the idea of imprisonment.  It calls only for [a] retribution, and [b] restitution.

Retribution for murder, kidnapping, assault and rape, and restitution for theft.  The perpetrator becomes a slave of the one he has offended.  If he won’t be a slave, he is executed.

That’s simple.  That’s Biblical.  That’s why America won’t do it.  Thus America continues to suffer under the yoke of tyranny.

Canadian Pastor Swarmed and Arrested by ‘SWAT’ Team for ‘Inciting’ People to Attend Church

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

In the spirit of imprecatory prayers, may God destroy the lives of the men who commanded this action, as well as the men who participated in it.

Be A True Christian: Carry Your Gun To Worship

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

Via WiscoDave, this wonderful account serves as an example for us all.  It mirrors what I’ve observed elsewhere.

In 1640 it was ordered in Massachusetts that in every township the attendants at church should carry a “competent number of peeces, fixed and compleat with powder and shot and swords every Lords-day to the meeting-house;” one armed man from each household was then thought advisable and necessary for public safety. In 1642 six men with muskets and powder and shot were thought sufficient for protection for each church. In Connecticut similar mandates were issued, and as the orders were neglected “by divers persones,” a law was passed in 1643 that each offender should forfeit twelve pence for each offence. In 1644 a fourth part of the “trayned hand” was obliged to come armed each Sabbath, and the sentinels were ordered to keep their matches constantly lighted for use in their match-locks. They were also commanded to wear armor, which consisted of “coats basted with cotton-wool, and thus made defensive against Indian arrows.” In 1650 so much dread and fear were felt of Sunday attacks from the red men that the Sabbath-Day guard was doubled in number. In 1692, the Connecticut Legislature ordered one fifth of the soldiers in each town to come armed to each meeting, and that nowhere should be present as a guard at time of public worship fewer than eight soldiers and a sergeant. In Hadley the guard was allowed annually from the public treasury a pound of lead and a pound of powder to each soldier.

No details that could add to safety on the Sabbath were forgotten or overlooked by the New Haven church; bullets were made common currency at the value of a farthing, in order that they might be plentiful and in every one’s possession; the colonists were enjoined to determine in advance what to do with the women and children in case of attack, “that they do not hang about them and hinder them;” the men were ordered to bring at least six charges of powder and shot to meeting; the farmers were forbidden to “leave more arms at home than men to use them;” the half-pikes were to be headed and the whole ones mended, and the swords “and all piercing weapons furbished up and dressed;” wood was to be placed in the watch-house; it was ordered that the “door of the meeting-house next the soldiers’ seat be kept clear from women and children sitting there, that if there be occasion for the soldiers to go suddenly forth, they may have free passage.” The soldiers sat on either side of the main door, a sentinel was stationed in the meeting-house turret, and armed watchers paced the streets; three cannon were mounted by the side of this “church militant,” which must strongly have resembled a garrison.

[ … ]

… a community that always began and ended the military exercises on “training day” with solemn prayer and psalm-singing; and that used the army and encouraged a true soldier-like spirit not chiefly as aids in war, but to help to conquer and destroy the adversaries of truth, and to “achieve greater matters by this little handful of men than the world is aware of.”

The Salem sentinels wore doubtless some of the good English armor owned by the town,–corselets to cover the body; gorgets to guard the throat; tasses to protect the thighs; all varnished black, and costing each suit “twenty-four shillings a peece.” The sentry also wore a bandileer, a large “neat’s leather” belt thrown over the right shoulder, and hanging down under the left arm. This bandileer sustained twelve boxes of cartridges, and a well-filled bullet-bag. Each man bore either a “bastard musket with a snaphance,” a “long fowling-piece with musket bore,” a “full musket,” a “barrell with a match-cock,” or perhaps (for they were purchased by the town) a leather gun (though these leather guns may have been cannon). Other weapons there were to choose from, mysterious in name, “sakers, minions, ffaulcons, rabinets, murthers (or murderers, as they were sometimes appropriately called) chambers, harque-busses, carbins,”–all these and many other death-dealing machines did our forefathers bring and import from their war-loving fatherland to assist them in establishing God’s Word, and exterminating the Indians, but not always, alas! to aid them in converting those poor heathen.

The armed Salem watcher, besides his firearms and ammunition, had attached to his wrist by a cord a gun-rest, or gun-fork, which he placed upon the ground when he wished to fire his musket, and upon which that constitutional kicker rested when touched off. He also carried a sword and sometimes a pike, and thus heavily burdened with multitudinous arms and cumbersome armor, could never have run after or from an Indian with much agility or celerity; though he could stand at the church-door with his leather gun,–an awe-inspiring figure,–and he could shoot with his “harquebuss,” or “carbin,” as we well know.

No picture here of Jesus as a Bohemian, peacenik flower child.  No, this is a picture of a church militant.

Men ready to protect themselves, their centers of worship, and the families.

Take note that not only did men go about armed (I’ve always claimed that true gentlemen don’t hide their weapons, that’s for criminals), but they took them to the place their families are most vulnerable.

That’s where they are sitting in one place with their attention focused on something other than threats, ingress and egress, and inside a confined space.  When vulnerable, men didn’t cower and call someone else to protect them, or “run, hide and fight.”**  They met this God-given duty themselves.

Because liberty and responsibility.  That’s why.

** The most recent video I’ve seen of run, hide and fight has men throwing potted plants at armed assailants after cowering behind doors and in dark rooms, a picture of effeminate cowardice.

West Point Cheating Scandal

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

CBS News.

West Point has expelled at least eight cadets and are holding more than 50 back a year as a result of the military academy’s worst cheating scandal in over 40 years.

The military academy investigated 73 cadets suspected of cheating on a freshman calculus exam in May administered virtually because of the coronavirus. More than 50 of the cadets were athletes, several of whom were on the football team, according to a West Point spokeswoman.

“West Point must be the gold standard for developing Army officers. We demand nothing less than impeccable character from our graduates,” said Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams in a press release.

Fifty-five of the 73 immediately admitted to cheating through the academy’s process of willful admission when confronted with suspicions of cheating. Willful admission was instituted in 2015 to encourage cadets to adhere to the academy’s honor code and take responsibility for any violations of the code. However, officials have concluded that this program has not been effective, and the academy is terminating the program.

This is the worst cheating scandal at the school since 1976, when 153 cadets resigned or were expelled because they cheated on an electrical engineering exam.

I’ll make some remarks that may surprise readers.

First of all, engineering is hard.  Calculus is hard.  People must resist the temptation to cheat.  The only way to learn engineering is to take a deep dive and spend all of your life with it, for at least four straight years.  There is no other way.  There is no replacement for devoting your life to study of this subject.  Ask me how I know.

I’m not sure why West Point – or any other school for that matter – would think that America can eviscerate God from the institution and expect honesty.  Without God there is no foundation for morals.  That is obvious not just in everyday, pedestrian life, but from the classic debates (e.g., Frederick Copleston versus Bertrand Russell, Greg Bahnsen versus Gordon Stein, etc.).

Second, while all of that is true, engineering professors must not turn engineering into exercises of memorization.  I don’t know that they did this, and I certainly don’t know the details of the incident.  But engineering isn’t done by memorization.  Any engineer who creates models and designs by memorized conversions, formulae or techniques should be fired.  It’s not done that way, and professors too stupid to know that shouldn’t be teaching.

Lectures and tests should focus on mastery of the concepts and material, not rote memorization.


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