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Religious Freedom as Geopolitical Weapon

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The United States Department of State held its first ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom on July 24-26, 2018. Evangelical Protestants in the States are hailing this as an historic moment:

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence hosted the first Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom last week at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to combat religious persecution and discrimination and to protect religious freedom around the world. This was a historic first for any country in the world, and representatives of international organizations from over 80 countries attended.

Vice President Pence delivered the keynote address which stressed the importance of international religious freedom and its role in American foreign policy. Pence said, “The right to believe or not believe is the most fundamental of freedoms. When religious freedom is denied or destroyed, we know that other freedoms are imperiled. That’s why the United States stands for religious freedom yesterday, today and always.” Pence also announced the establishment of the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program in response to genocide perpetrated by ISIS to “ensure that religious freedom and religious pluralism prosper across the Middle East as well.”

https://barbwire.com/historic-religious-freedom-ministerial/

It all sounds very noble, but what does this signify?  It means that religious freedom will now be a very visible weapon in the hands of the globalists in Washington City to destroy the cohesion of traditional societies around the world for the purpose of creating more vassals for themselves.  For a shared religion is at the very heart of national identity: 

 . . . In an article written in 1970, and entitled "Three Attitudes to the Homeland", the Russian Slavophile Vladimir Osipov proposes the following set of criteria: "What is a nation? Faith, blood, language and the land. Religion, and even a certain complex of rites, are a part - indeed, the most important part - of the spirit of a nation. An individual person can get by without religion. But without religion, an individual nation cannot survive as a nation... A people disintegrates literally before one's eyes when faith in God disintegrates..."

 . . . as a nation begins to lose its faith, the keeping of the traditions, and the preservation of the spiritual unity of the nation in and through the traditions, will come to seem less important than the fulfilling of the needs of the individual citizens. And at that point, as has happened in the history of almost all the European nations, the opportunity arises for an antimonarchical, democratic revolution. For democracy, as we have seen, is oriented to the needs of the individual as opposed to society as a whole, and of the individual as a materialistic consumer as opposed to the individual as a member of the people of God.

—Vladimir Moss, Religion and Nationalism, pgs. 98, 99, http://orthodoxchristianbooks.com/books/downloads.php?book_id=724

Take away a people’s ability to regulate their common national religious life in favor of an abstract, internationally sanctioned and supervised, individual right to ‘believe or not believe’ in God and so forth, and you have hollowed out one of the greatest bulwarks against the globalized, uprooted, mass man there is.  But this is directly where the State Dept. is heading with its ‘Potomac Declaration’ issued on the final day of the Ministerial (26 July).  It reads in part,

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims in Article 18 that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” The freedom to live out one’s faith is a God-given human right that belongs to everyone. The freedom to seek the divine and act accordingly—including the right of an individual to act consistently with his or her conscience—is at the heart of the human experience. Governments cannot justly take it away. Rather, every nation shares the solemn responsibility to defend and protect religious freedom.

 . . .

Defending the freedom of religion or belief is the collective responsibility of the global community. Religious freedom is essential for achieving peace and stability within nations and among nations. Where religious freedom is protected, other freedoms – like freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly – also flourish. Protections for the free exercise of religion contribute directly to political freedom, economic development, and the rule of law. Where it is absent, we find conflict, instability, and terrorism.

 . . .

Religious freedom is a far-reaching, universal, and profound human right that all peoples and nations of good will must defend around the globe.

With this in mind, the Chairman of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom declares:

Every person everywhere has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Every person has the right to hold any faith or belief, or none at all, and enjoys the freedom to change faith.

Religious freedom is universal and inalienable, and states must respect and protect this human right.

 . . .

https://www.state.gov/j/drl/irf/religiousfreedom/284554.htm

Again, it is not difficult to see where this will lead.  Are you a traditional Orthodox country like Georgia or Serbia whose national identity is inseparable from the Orthodox Church?  Or a Hindu, Muslim, or Confucian nation with a national ideal akin to this?  Then you had better get rid of your old-timey, out-dated ideas or you will face the wrath of ‘all peoples and nations of good will’ (i.e., the decadent, back-sliding nations of Western Europe and North America) who hold to the true vision of humanity, where religion is not the means for attaining salvation for the individual and collective alike, for attaining union with the Holy Trinity.  Religion in this view has purely worldly ends, to attain ‘political freedom, economic development, and the rule of law’ (i.e., feudal subservience, exploitative corporate capitalism/socialism, and rule by the Globalist Elite through their puppets, the ‘elected officials’ in whom people invest so much love or hatred).

‘Religious freedom is essential for achieving peace and stability within nations and among nations’, because when all men and women and children can change their religion with all the care and consideration with which they change their britches and shoes for the latest media-driven fad, then there will be no more conflict, only hordes of the living dead that are so much in the public’s consciousness these days, infatuated by consumer goods, ‘fun’, and pleasure.

wikimedia.org

We should decry excessive violence and cruelty against dissenters in places with an established national religion.  However, we must also not deny to those who want it the ‘right’ (if that Modernist word must be used) to safeguard their national identity as expressed in a particular common national religion.  The American Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom does not recognize the latter right.  Thus, all those peoples and places who do must sadly be on their guard against yet another method of attack on their traditional way of life by the globalist busybodies in Washington City and their allies.

Afterword:

The mask has already fallen off this cynical charade.  Pres Trump’s Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback has recently slithered his way across the Atlantic to the Ukraine to meet with Pres Poroshenko, where Mr Brownback announced the support of the Trump Administration for Mr Poroshenko’s schismatic Ukranian ‘church’, which Mr Poroshenko claims Russia is oppressing.  (Read here for more:  http://orthochristian.com/115693.html)  In other words, the globalists in Washington City have decided to use religion as their latest tool of disruption in their undeclared war against Russia.

How will this disgusting ploy go over with Trump’s Evangelical base, who, one would hope, might be none too pleased at such a misuse of Christianity?  In the short run, probably just fine - for three reasons.  First, they seem to have no objectivity when it comes to Mr Trump.  Their default stance is one of fawning admiration:

About 100 evangelical leaders were invited to dinner at the White House Monday night for what was a prayer-filled event that's been compared to a church camp meeting and a campaign rally.

Dubbed a "state dinner" for evangelical leaders, the event was held specifically in the "honor of evangelical leadership." The dinner was attended by dozens of evangelical pastors, evangelists and activists who've been involved in informally advising the administration including well-known figures like Franklin Graham, James Dobson, and Greg Laurie.

The dinner was also attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Homeland Security Ben Carson, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback. The event was officially hosted by first lady Melania Trump.

 . . .

Before the dinner, Trump met privately with a small handful of evangelical leaders and their wives including Texas megachurch pastor Jack Graham, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr. and the American Association of Christian Counselors' Tim Clinton. Florida televangelist Paula White and her son also reportedly joined the small gathering.

Jack Graham, the senior pastor at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, who has served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told The Christian Post that Trump opened up the mic during dinner to allow evangelical leaders in the room to speak their minds.

What ensued, Graham said, was about 35 to 40 minutes of pastors expressing their appreciation for what the Trump administration has been able to do to progress a socially conservative agenda in the last 18 months. While Christians are often called to speak "truth to power," Graham said the leaders in the room felt called to speak "love to power."

"They were getting up and saying what we appreciate and care about, expressing our faith and our love. It was very similar to a meeting that you would have at a church," Graham said, adding that it was like a testimony meeting. "With that many preachers and Christian leaders in the room, we believe the spirit of God was very present. Scripture was shared, verses were given to the president. The truth was delivered and love was delivered."

 . . .

—Samuel Smith, https://www.christianpost.com/news/white-house-hosts-100-evangelical-leaders-state-like-dinner-this-is-spiritual-warfare-227044/

Second, they are in deep spiritual delusion.  We will not elaborate on this point, but rather let one of their pastors prove it for us with one of his ‘sermons’ about Pres Trump:

This man is not some fringe lunatic in the larger Evangelical world.  The video above was linked in an article from one of their mainstream web sites and presented as something quite normal:

https://barbwire.com/did-a-leading-pastor-give-a-prophetic-warning-about-trumps-monday-from-hell/

Third, the above-mentioned confusion over the phantom blessings that flow from religious liberty versus those that really do come from a shared national religion.

No one, then, should expect any great outcry from the Evangelicals in the near-term, or from very many others in the States for that matter, who hear nothing but propaganda from the ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ about the rise of ‘neo-Soviet’ Russia (we would be very glad to be wrong, though).  However, through the prayers of the great saints of the Ukraine and Russia - Sts Job of Pochaev, John of Kronstadt, John of Shanghai and San Francisco, and all the many others - and those of all the saints of the West and the East, the Lord Jesus Christ will guide His Holy Orthodox Church safely through this dangerous period in her life just as He has through Gnosticism, Arianism, Iconoclasm, and all the others.

Author: Walt Garlington