Controlled Slavery or Risky Freedom?

Controlled Slavery or Risky Freedom?

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Freedom is risky, chaotic even. Slavery is easy, controlled, and orderly. That explains why its slogan is “be safe.” But freedom calls us to take risks. The human race is faced with this choice now. What will you choose? (Text Below)

This episode was originally broadcast Sunday, August 8th, 2021. Freedom Loves Company is LIVE every Sunday from 6-8 pm Mountain, 8-10 pm Eastern, and Midnight – 2 am GMT. 

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Slavery and Control or Freedom and Chaos?

Today is Sunday, August 8th, 2021.

We are now seventeen months into the dystopia brought to us by Big Pharma, Big Media, and Big Tech. All under the control of Big Banks. The big push this week has been mandatory injections of medical staff in hospitals, as well as staff in media outlets such as CNN and other places of work. Many students will be facing mandatory injections as well as other humiliations to attend university. United Airlines is requiring injections of all of its employees. A number of restaurants and bars in Portland are requiring vaccination status in order to enter their establishments. This control is pushed heavily by Portland media.

Story after story, every ten or fifteen minutes from news outlets about the increasing number of “cases” and hospitals overflowing with Covid cases or Delta variant cases, etc. etc. We know that what are being called cases are positive PCR tests that are completely unreliable as my guest Dr. Annie Bukacek reported on this show a couple of weeks ago. I trust absolutely nothing the media or the so-called medical establishment says regarding any of it. That doesn’t mean everything they say is false. It is just that nothing can be trusted. That is really huge. When you cannot trust doctors and nurses and hospitals, and you cannot trust teachers or the education system, and you cannot trust clergy and religious institutions, along with the untrustworthy government, there is not much of a future for civilization.

Those who are thinking for themselves are on their own. It will be important to find alternative ways to access food, healthcare, employment, and travel. About 14 months ago, the first of June 2020, I made a post on my Facebook page and then on my webpage, about the needle. I wrote…

If you do not want a vaccine (and you do not), you will need to connect with others like you. Protect each other. Support each other. Those who refuse the vaccine will have lives very difficult to live if not impossible without alternative ways to find food, shelter, travel, employment, and basic health care. Nothing the authorities and the media say is real. They are your enemy. Find your friends.

COVID is not about a killer virus. it is about a killer vaccine. Refuse.

I wrote that in June 2020, 14 months ago.

The idea that mandatory vaccines enforced through a vaccine passport or health pass or covid pass or whatever name it is given, would become a reality was ridiculed and censored as “conspiracy theory.” Those same people are now pushing for this second-class status on those who have chosen to mind their own business regarding their health care. “Unless you get injected with our needle you cannot go to restaurants, or the gym, or virtually anywhere,” We are told, harassed and scolded. France has instituted a draconian pass. It has been met with massive protests.

In both France and Italy, a positive thing happened that will hopefully continue.  Vaccinated people are burning their passports to be in solidarity with those who choose to manage their health care without this particular injection. They do not want vaccination status tied with civil liberties.

In other cases, lawsuits are being filed against employers who require a mandatory experimental injection. I particularly liked this one from New Jersey. 

These actions get little press coverage if any, of course, so we really don’t know how much resistance there is. But I believe the resistance is significant and is rising in numbers and intensity.

What is going to happen?

More people will take the injection, not because they think it is in their medical interests to do so, but because of pressure, especially to keep one’s job or to be hired for a new job. But that will still leave a substantial number of people who will decide to face life without the passport. More and more suffering, more and more lockdowns, more and more blame levelled at the so-called “unvaxed” for not getting in line and taking the jab for the team. More and more division that gets uglier each day.

What is the future? I don’t like to be a downer. But I did write this on my Facebook page yesterday:

The world as we know it, is gone. This is going to get violent and ugly soon. I just want to say I love you and I am grateful to have lived the life I have had. I love you family, friends, and members of my congregations. I wish you all the best in this ugly new world that is unfolding. I will remain human by exercising our God-given rights until I am forcibly silenced. That won’t be long now. This panic never ends. It only mutates. We are in this until we end it or God ends it. Take risks.

A few of my friends were concerned that I was giving up hope. But that is not true. I am not giving up. God willing, I fight until I can no longer do so. But I haven’t given up on hope, I just feel that way some times. My mistake as a pastor, is likely to admit it. I am likely a bit too honest with my doubts at times. I have taken the viewpoint that honest doubts are real and sometimes the best way to get through them is to express them. But I also see other points of view that negative thoughts should not be entertained.

I am not sure regarding the best psychology or spirituality regarding that. But I am not running for office or expecting to be called to a church, so I say what I feel when I desire to do so.

I am not particularly hopeful that we get out of this alive. Now, after all of this, after so many people have joined the Covidian Cult, can they ever come out of it?

I don’t know if the injections will contribute to massive death and illness. My expectation is that they will, but I don’t know that. They already have caused death and injury to many 100s of thousands according to reports from VAERS and its parallels in other countries. These deaths and adverse reactions are vastly underreported.

It seems likely that these so-called variants, such as the Delta variant and Lambda variant, are to the extent that they are real, the result of the injections themselves. I don’t know. I simply expect it.

Kevin Barrett, my teacher and friend, who I join on False Flag Weekly News, every third Saturday; we are on August 21st, 9 am Mountain Time, believes that the injections are actually antidotes to the covid bioweapon that was unleased on China and Iran and blew back to the United States. In a weird way, the injections are attempts to protect Americans and I suppose other Western nations against a future bio attack by China in addition to protecting people from Covid and its variants now. It isn’t because they love us that they do these things. They are protecting us to be fodder in the upcoming bio war with China.  This I believe is all very real. War with China is looming over natural resources, especially, oil and the natural materials for semiconductors. The shortage of semiconductors, as I understand it, is causing the massive decrease in car manufacturing as well as the manufacturing of agricultural equipment.

Ron Unz, who I greatly respect, has written extensively about this in the Unz Review, a critically important alternative news and opinion on-line magazine. The reason I like Ron Unz is because he includes a wide variety of views on his site, including those views with which he does not agree. He is smart guy. He is articulate and he is sticking with this theory. He has little patience with the anti-vax movement. He basically thinks COVID is real and has caused more deaths than the media has reported. I am certainly keeping open to this point of view even as I have some doubts.

I don’t know. I try to keep an open mind regarding all of this. There are so many unknowns as far as I see it. I tend to think this is a combination of bioweapon and psychological weapon. But I am not completely sure where one ends and the other begins.  

The thing is that if China does retaliate and attack the US with bioweapons, will it really work to sit down in a restaurant without your mask? If it were real, would anything being done really work? If it were to happen, who would believe our government and media now as they have been lying to us this whole time?

I saw this the other day on Facebook. I do spend a bit of time on facebook when I am not banned. I am fighting the battle there along with many others Big Media, Big Tech, and Big Money want to silence. If they are going to all that trouble to censor us, then I might as well do my little part to make it worth their while.

This is from a FB friend who wrote something inspired by Dr. Annie Bukacek’s viewpoint. As I mentioned, Dr. Bukacek was on my show a couple of weeks ago as well as a year ago. This is a view of the difference between a real pandemic and a fake one. My Facebook friend wrote;

I owe an enormous and incalculable debt of gratitude and credit to Dr. Annie Bukacek for all the inspiration, most of the ideas and much of the specific wording of this post, which is derived from Dr. Annie’s timeline post of July 2, 8:27 am Montana time (10:27 am Washington, DC time).

Real (Genuine, Authentic) pandemic: Everyone personally knows at least several from the immediate area who have died and a dozen or more seriously ill.

Fake (Staged, False, Fraudulent) pandemic: Most cases are known only through the media or second-hand stories of others.

Real: Doctors’ offices and hospitals in the entire country are overcrowded.

Fake: Hospital vacancies abound.

Real: Major upward spike in total deaths.

Fake: Year-to-year mortality about the same.

Real: Obituary sections in newspapers are greatly enlarged.

Fake: Obituary sections in newspapers remain the same size or nearly so.

Real: Politicians, media, and doctors do everything to calm down people.

Fake: Politicians, media, and high-ranking medical authorities do everything to spread panic and fear, and to intimidate people.

Real: Politicians do everything to keep the economy going.

Fake: Politicians deliberately stall the economy. Entire sections are crippled or destroyed.

Real: Facts are sought and found in a wide range of specialist committees. Every meaningful help is accepted.

Fake: Renowned scientists and respected medical authorities are ignored when they are not being publicly slandered and libeled.

Real: Christian presence a positive factor.

Fake: Christian presence a ruinously destructive factor.

Real: At best no organized profiteers.

Fake: Billions in profits through collusion, deals, lobbying, and extermination of businesses deemed “non-essential”.

Real: A genuine exit strategy is in place. A quick end and a timely, appropriate all-clear according to consistent and clear guidelines are sought.

Fake: Changing findings, constantly changing guidelines, and ever new regulations prolong the medical crisis.

Real: Politicians provide information to discourage overreaction.

Fake: People fear punishment. Measures, often without legitimate foundation in law, are enforced through social pressures, police violence, and heavy fines.

Real: Death certificates are managed honorably and are as accurate as circumstances permit.

Fake: Death-certificate fraud is rampant. Death certificates frequently cite the anointed illness as the cause of death no matter how falsely. Financial incentives for crediting the anointed illness are in use.

Real: Other ailments continue at their usual rates.

Fake: Other ailments practically disappear. It is almost impossible to contract any ailment other than the anointed one.

Real: People are struggling with a humanitarian disaster.

Fake: People are struggling with a humanitarian disaster.

What do you think? Real pandemic? Or fake pandemic?

To quote Dr. Annie directly: Apply same criteria to staged variants/alleged virus mutations:

A facebook friend, Andrew Margrave, writing about the pandemic as real or fake.

Of course Ron Unz and Kevin Barrett do believe that there have been more total deaths and attribute that to the bioweapon. Time may tell what all this will be.

My spin on this is that we have reached planetary limits in terms of human population and energy extraction. Peak Oil is that point where the rate of oil production or extraction reaches its highest point and then declines permanently. It is likely that global oil production peaked in 2010 or so, give a take a few years, and has been declining. This health crisis has enabled the powers that be to limit or contract our oil usage. No new cars. Limited travel. Limited everything.

Even if activists somehow were able to stop the elites from restricting our rights and freedoms and we got them back, it doesn’t change the collapse that is happening. This collapse will result directly in resource wars, which we have been involved in for the past twenty years or so, since 9/11.  Michael Ruppert blamed Peak Oil as a motivation for the Israeli-US Deep State false flag attack on America.

So I am definitely in agreement with Kevin Barrett and Ron Unz that war with China is coming. Likely a hot war over resources. It is likely that much of this masking and vaxing and other humiliations are preparations for this coming war. In wartime, as Kevin pointed out, we have no rights. 

But it doesn’t seem that any of this is an accident, a response to a blowback from a real virus. This has been planned. To do what has been done does not require a real virus. You can do everything that has been done with psychological operations through the media and control of governments.

I am not sure about all the SciFi stuff, graphene oxide in the vax and mask and pcr test. I don’t know about the 5G effect as that technology rolls out. But I am open to exploring the horrors of that as well. I don’t know, but I am open to research what is out there. I think the big thing with the injection at this point is the passport and the attack on dissenters.

We may have a short period of time before everything changes. Not all of the views I entertain can be right. But it does appear that austerity is coming.

It appears that the vaccination campaign will never let up. This will be a permanent fixture of life as well as the masks and other humiliations. This pressure will increase until everyone gives in or dies or is placed in a camp.  

None of this had to happen.

My biggest objection to the whole lockdown deal and to the Peak Oil challenge that is the context for this, is that the people were not consulted and that viewpoints were censored and institutions controlled. Humans could have figured out what to do and still can figure out what to do. We know how to share, how to contract, how to fight for our country, and what we don’t know we can learn. There has never been honesty from our government and that is the sin of our government. It lies continuously. The institutions that were created to be a check on the government have all been under control of the liars.

So the choice before us is probably between…

On one hand obedience to the powers. The mask, the vax, the increasing humiliations and control by our governments forever. Obey and be a slave and the elites will control everything. You’ll be happy we are promised.

Or on the other hand, we win. We foil the plan. The prize for winning is anarchy. Complete chaos and destruction and we live in the world that James Howard Kunstler describes in his novels, such as “A World Made By Hand” – in which much of the population dies to resource wars and the breakdown of infrastructure and life starts over without the electricity, without the internet, without food production. But it does start over.

Which would you prefer? Most will prefer slavery. The Covidian Cult is alive and well. Everyday people accept the humiliation of slavery and think obedience to tyranny is a virtue.

Some of us would rather take our stand with freedom and chaos. 

What about the elites? They want of course, the first option, slavery with them in control. So the only logical answer, freedom fighters, is to let chaos be a possibility. Go for freedom no matter the cost. After the destruction, after many decades, people will build themselves back, not with all the tech gadgets but with gardens. 

Is there an upside? Yes, I tend to agree more and more each day with a view of our sacred scriptures to the extent that a good God, a creator of the world, is on our side. This God created humankind in his image, the image of radical freedom.

We are humans to the extent that we are free.

Jesus was free even as he was nailed to a cross.

Hussain was free even has his body was filled with arrows.

Labbayk ya Hussain. Here I am Hussain.

Here I am Jesus. I am with you.

Jesus and Hussain are brothers.

They are brothers in freedom.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Humanity was created for freedom.

Freedom has a price.

We must pay the price of freedom or lose freedom forever.

Seek the Presence of God

Seek the Presence of God

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In this episode I explore the “great reset” from a spiritual perspective. I wrote this radio rumination on Sunday, July 11th, 2021 and let it loose on Revolution.Radio. Also hear “I Am A Spiritual Being Having A Material Experience,” and “What Is The Road to Karbala?”

This episode was originally broadcast, Sunday, July 11th, on Freedom Loves Company, Revolution.Radio, Studio B, 8-10 pm Eastern. (Text below)

Mount Hood, Karbala, Appalachia

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Seek the Presence of God

In my radio essay for today, I decided to look at the lectionary texts. I am not going to explain the lectionary except to offer this short definition that the lectionary is a schedule of readings from the Bible to read in church each Sunday. Today’s readings include the Prophet Amos being told to shut up because he is talking about what is in store for Israel: Death, famine, and exile. Amos won’t shut up, by the way. He is a dresser of sycamore trees, not a professional prophet, but he received a message from God and he has to get it out.

The Gospel reading is from Mark chapter 6 where John the Baptist is beheaded because he won’t shut up. He leveled one too many criticisms at the king. He is the guy in the wilderness telling people to change direction and fast. “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Most people find that message too weird to believe, even though it seems more true each day.

This is the Psalm for today, Psalm 24. I will read just a portion of it:

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;

for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.

They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.

Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

I want to believe that. I need to believe that. I need to believe that the earth is the Lord’s, and that the Lord, despite all the bad press he gets from his fans and believers is Good and cares about humanity and is actively working on our side against evil.

If I don’t believe that, I simply cannot make it. If the world is made in the image of evil and we are just screwed, then I am going to check out. If we are nothing more than playthings and experiments for these archons, these demiurges, these beasts, and all I got is existentialism, a la Sartre, then I stand and curse the evil and will die. But I will not take the needle. But damn, isn’t there more than that?

I am a minister. I have read and studied the scriptures, taught and preached them for three decades. I am not here to push my religion, I don’t even have a religion any longer. I am not naïve about the texts and how they were formed and how images of God were manipulated by fallible humans. I know all that. I can demonstrate it. I am not here to argue.

But I need God now. I need the God of Jacob even as I am not so keen on Jacob. I need the scriptures to tell me the truth about what is happening and what is real. I need for these sentences to be real:

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;

for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.

They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.

Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

I surely try to have clean hands and a pure heart. I try my best not to lift my soul to what is false and swear deceitfully. I try to tell the truth and I do so to the best of my ability, even to the extent of losing my position and my friends. If you are listening to me, my expectation is that you are doing the same thing. It is lonely when everyone around you is lifting up their souls to deception, to falsehood, to lies, to a cult, and you are trying to point out the illusion. No one, not even those closest to you listen to you. The television has messed with their brains. Church leaders have bought into the falsehood. My colleagues are Covidian Cult members. They preach it. I mean the Pope! Hard to get higher up than that in the ecclesiastical machinery. The Pope wants you to take the needle.

We are in the midst of deceit.

We are in the midst of evil.

How do you possibly stay your course?

I am sure there are many ways and you can be my teacher. At this point, I need to trust that there is something, someone, some force, some plan, some hope bigger than me and bigger than the evil that has traumatized the human race.

I wrote this today on my Facebook page.

There is not much time. Civilization is collapsing and the billionaires are trying to control its demolition in their favor. To do this they must significantly reduce the human population and enslave the rest. The primary weapon is trauma induced mind control accompanied by what appears to be physical manipulations of our bodies. We are under attack. However bad you might think this attack is, it is far worse than our greatest fears.

We are in the midst of a slight calm before the storm.

Most of us will not survive this. Those who do will wish they hadn’t. The non-aware will be too brain addled to know what has become of them. They will be computer programs with no feeling. That will be for them a mercy. 

Whatever you do, do not accept the puncture. Your loved ones will. That is sad but you cannot dwell there. You are being summoned.

There is a positive spirit, God, if you like, or Love or Spirit, that is at work to combat this evil. Be aware of this. Seek this. Hear the summons. It is not sectarian. It doesn’t matter what your religion or spirituality has been or has not been.

You have a role to play in this spiritual drama. But to learn it, you need to protect yourself from the arrows of this trauma. You can’t let the fear debilitate you. You have to let go of what you wanted your life to be or what you thought it might be 18 months ago. Nothing is as it was and it never will be.

Find a way to listen and to discern what is True not just about what is happening but what you are being summoned to do.

Take care not to get caught up in squabbles and envy.

You are here for a reason.

Trust.

As I said, I wrote that this morning on my Facebook page, because honestly, I am having a hard time keeping spiritually connected. It is a battle. The archons shut down the churches and turned their pastors into cult leaders. These spiritual leaders believe the New York Times more than their own scriptures. They follow political hacks and charlatans more than Jesus. Am I being judgmental? If so, I am not sorry.

The President of the United States has announced that he is sending people door to door for the purposes of injecting everyone with his poisoned needle. I read a report from a study from the University of Almeria in Spain that said the following. This is from the website Truth11.com

QUOTE:

The whole world is following the story released on the Spanish web site program la Quinta Columna. A June 28th report from the University of Almeria (in Spain) supports the findings of the two researchers hosting the daily broadcast. Surprising conclusions on the first results of the microscopy on one covid-19 mRNA Comirnaty (Pfizer) sample.

  1. Suspicions of the two researchers turned out true. There is almost NO Biological matter in the Pfizer covid-19 vial. What the lab in the University of Almeria found has nothing to do with mRNA. The main matter found was a substance more alike to nanoparticles of graphene or a very similar nanomaterial. Extraction and quantification of mRNA in the sample, identified that 99% of the whole substance inside the vial was highly probable graphene oxide or something very similar, just very few genetic material was found.
  2. Until now, no lipid nanocapsules were identified
  3. The study mentions that there is a reduced form of graphene oxide (GO) when graphene oxide is mixed with hydrogen it becomes MAGNETIC (MGO) it is also known as reduced graphene oxide (this happens when it is injected blood too)
  4. Graphene oxide layers from scientific literature and from a commercial graphene oxide sample compared against the microscopy performed on the Pfizer sample show identical patterns in both electron and optical microscopy, letting no gap to doubts we talk about the same material.
  5. The study offers solid evidence of possible graphene derivatives because the structure saw in the microscopy is characteristic. Academics who previously worked with graphene oxide were consulted and agreed there is no doubt about the presence of graphene oxide in the vial.

I don’t support or not support that. I just offer it for consideration. We need to keep following this story to see.

What is graphene? I found an article from Digital Trends dated October 31st, 2019. It is called What is Graphene? Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech.

I found this interesting paragraph regarding possible applications of this amazing material, graphene.

QUOTE:

In addition to its powerful electrical properties, graphene is also highly flexible and transparent. This makes it attractive for use in portable electronics. Smartphones and tablets could become much more durable using graphene, and perhaps could even be folded up like paper. Wearable electronic devices have been growing in popularity recently. With graphene, these devices could be made even more useful, designed to fit snugly around limbs and bending to accommodate various forms of exercise. ENDQUOTE

OK. Wearables. Now, this listen to this part:

QUOTE

Graphene’s flexibility and microscopic width provide opportunities beyond mere consumer devices, however. It could also be useful in biomedical research. Small machines and sensors could be made with graphene, capable of moving easily and harmlessly through the human body, analyzing tissue or even delivering drugs to specific areas. Carbon is already a crucial ingredient in the human body; a little graphene added in might not hurt. ENDQUOTE

This is something to follow. What are they injecting into our bodies? Whether this report is true or not regarding Graphene, my belief is that the needle is designed to control and to kill in such a way as to make it look like deaths are from something other than the poison being injected. The archons do want everyone injected with their needle, and more than once. The excuse, of course, are these nonsense stories of viruses and variants, and that the governments are protecting you. People believe it because they are victims of trauma-based mind control.

These injections are our prison or our death.

Things are not going to go well with those who politely decline the needle, and do so under the authority of the constitution and of human rights, including the cornerstone of medical ethics which is informed consent.

Within a few months, perhaps a year, those who decline the needle will have lives very difficult to live. No employment, no travel, and constant harassment. Who knows what is in store for those who refuse the needle?

If you have any sense of awareness, you certainly don’t want to take it. If you have taken one, and are just realizing your error, then don’t take another. Just stop. It is possible that humans are being injected with metals to create a computer operating system within the body. It doesn’t all come in one shot, but it requires updates. Of course, I am speculating.

What I know for sure is that this has nothing to do with health or a pandemic. The media and the authorities are lying to us. They are our enemies. We need to find our friends.

We need to put our energies into resisting this spiritual evil.

Focus on love on truthfulness on beauty on kindness on gifts of the Spirit.

I am focusing on growing my garden this summer. I love this from Wendell Berry. It is called the The Peace of Wild Things:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry. One of the great ones.

I love that line, “I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.”

That is the key, isn’t it? So often we tax our “lives with forethought of grief.” We live in the future in our heads, and the reward for that is despair. If we live in the present we are at peace, we connect with love and with God.

Wild things suffer and die, too. But the wild things don’t worry about it. That gift of worry is for humans alone. The wild things have been suffering and dying. Since I was ten in 1971, the number of animals and of plants on Planet Earth has decreased by half. I didn’t know that until a couple of years ago. It isn’t that the number of species have decreased, but the actual number of animals and plants have been halved. Half as many birds chirping away now than when I was a child 50 years ago.  

Meanwhile, in that same amount of time, the human population has more than doubled.

This was coming. We have known it. Many of us have been talking about this for a long time and frustrated that the powers that be simply wouldn’t address it. Now they do. They talk about it all the time, although not really. They talk about it in fake ways, in controlling ways. It isn’t as though the archons were not aware. They knew all along what they were going to do. Their plan is to reduce the human population to a manageable size on their terms, not ours.

This fake pandemic is the first salvo. More treachery is to come. This is just beginning.

The Georgia Guidestones, look it up if you don’t know about them, although if you are listening to Revolution Radio, you likely have known about them for a long time. The Georgia Guidestones, erected in 1980, say that the human population should be 500 million. Earth’s current human population is 7.775 billion. That is seven billion, seven hundred seventy-five million. So 7 billion 225 million of us have to die.

What do you suppose is in the needle? Especially when known eugenicists are promoting it?

These are plans laid for a long time. They are unfolding.

Even though I live in two worlds now, the world of the “normies” we might say, those who believe what we are told through our institutions, and the world of the so-called “conspiracy theorists”, those who have taken the red pill and follow Alice down the rabbit hole in order to research what is really going on, I really have no concern if the “normies” listen to me or not. It is not my business. I just put out there what I am learning. I certainly am not bullied or silenced by them.

The challenge is that we “conspiracy theorists” are scattered all over the globe and the world is less and less safe for us. We connect often through social media more than in person. But we do need to connect in as many ways as possible.

I believe that there are more and more people who are aware that we are being deceived. It is a lot to learn in a short time. Here is the deal. However many are unplugged or are unplugging from the matrix is how many that will be needed.

Even as the battle ahead looks dangerous and perhaps even impossible, there is a force of goodness who is on our side.

This tribulation has been predicted. As much as religions get wrong, they likely did get much correct. The biblical book of Revelation is more insightful to me now than ever. These are the times of great transition. The elites call it a reset in which they get to be gods. They are not God. They are but pitiful demi-urges, little bureaucrats who think they are important.

They will do damage and have done damage. They could very well kill billions of people. Perhaps in a short time, within a few years. The more people they can inject with their poisoned needles again and again, the sooner they can carry out their agenda. Many of us have been saying since when the governments began oppressing us over a fake health crisis in March 2020, that the shots would be for de-population and control. It is more clear now than ever that is the case.

We conspiracy theorists were right that this “pandemic” would never end and that it was a mere cover for centralized elite control over the planet. Only people deeply embedded in the Covidian Cult, wearing their muzzles, taking the needle, and believing the television screens (and there are a lot of them), cannot see this. You can see it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be listening to me now.

These evil schemers are not the only story.

I believe this and I am holding on to this. 

We are not alone. I mean that in two ways:

We have each other and we need to keep finding each other and keep finding ways to connect. We cannot give in to the illusion that we are alone or are an insignificant minority. We are more than you think. We are a deep concern to the elites. They are afraid of us. We need to be strong.

The second way that we are not alone is that there is spiritual goodness in the universe. There is a creator of the universe and the universe is good. While evil is at work and very visible to those of us who see, goodness is also at work.

The evil ones want a great reset, but God wants, I believe, a Great Awakening. When this miracle happens–and it is a miracle and it will happen, I wish sooner than later, but that is on God’s time, not mine–when this miracle happens evil will be defeated. We will be victorious. We will be victorious because we have not succumbed to the cult and all of its sacraments including the needle, the muzzle, the isolation, and the lies.

We will be needed. We will be used to do whatever God wants us to do when it is time.

Psalm 24 is for you:

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;

for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.

They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.

Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

The word face means presence. Seek the presence of God. Seek to be attuned to God.

We can be attuned to God in many different ways. I don’t mean it in any sectarian way or in any religious institutional way. I mean it in a spiritual way. Seek the face of God.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.

They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.

It is time to exercise your spiritual muscle.

LISTEN HERE

What is the Road to Karbala?

What is the Road to Karbala?

I wrote this for Stand With Dignity.

Stand With Dignity also produced a few videos in which I spoke about different topics. This is about my trip to Karbala and what Imam Hussain (as) means to me.

The World’s Largest Annual Pilgrimage: For Love of Hussain.

What Is the Road to Karbala?

It is a path of mourning for the wounds are deep and the arrows are plentiful that pierce the flesh of Hussain Ibn Ali and his companions on Ashura. On that day Yazid’s army controlled the battlefield. Hard to call it a battlefield, a massacre, really. What do you call 30,000 soldiers against the bravest 72 people who ever lived or ever will live?

It was Yazid’s day. The day of might. The day of brute force. The day of overwhelming numbers. The day of treachery. The day of deceit. The day of control.

“You will do this because we say!”

That is the cry of every authoritarian despot everywhere. Authority rules. Not truth. Not democracy. Not reason. Not love. Not compassion. The authoritarians use those words and make a mockery of them.  And they fool the masses. They fool the 30,000. But those who are aware know, the minority, the 72. They know.

They know because their heart knows. Their heart knows because they know the grandson of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They know because they have seen the love and beauty that is Imam Hussain (AS). So few. So few really know.  As Hussain told his sister Zainab:

“Falsehood can buy many supporters, but truth has only a few friends.”

But when I walked the road to Karbala in October 2018 I was surrounded by millions. Poor and wealthy alike from around the world, walking to make their visit to the man who opened our eyes to the meaning of justice, of truth, and of sacrifice. They walked mourning, weeping, for Hussain and his family, for their suffering, for their courage, for their commitment to Allah at all costs.

Hussain calls out today to everyone, to Muslims, to me a Christian:

“Hal Min Nasirin Yansurna. Is there anyone to help me?”

Don’t answer lightly, dear mourner of Hussain.

How can I say, “Labbayk Ya Hussain! Here I am Hussain!?”

Do I mean it? Do I mean it, really? Am I really here for Hussain when it means going against the grain, resisting the lies, challenging the powerful, seeking the truth, the real truth?

Honestly, more often than not I don’t really mean it. The cost is too great. I hedge my bet.

Labbayk Ya Hussain! Here I am Hussain! (As long as I don’t have to sacrifice too much).

Here I am Hussain! (As long as it doesn’t take away my comforts).

Here I am Hussain! (As long my life isn’t disrupted by the cry of the suffering).

Here I am Hussain! (As long as I can safely blend in with the crowd).

I mourn for Hussain because I was too late for the battle. I mourn for Hussain because I know I am not like Hussain. I mourn for Hussain because the world is mired in injustice, deceit and cowardice, and I am a part of it. I mourn for Hussain because it is just easier to be on the side of Yazid. I mourn for Hussain because mourning is about all I can do.

What is the road to Karbala?

It is the road, if we let it, to be a road of honesty.

I felt summoned by Hussain when I touched his shrine and I was assisted because I couldn’t quite reach it. A hand took my hand and put it against the grate amidst the surging crowd. It was a moment of unity. A Christian from America welcomed. Hussain is for everyone. I felt summoned by Hussain to seek what is true and just. I felt confident that I could. But following Hussain is not an easy road.

Two years have passed since I made the ziyarat to Imam Hussain (AS). The world has changed dramatically in these two years. It feels as if we are under a spell. Something is very, very wrong and we don’t seem to know what it is. We are being deceived by the powers of this world as Yazid’s army was deceived.

What is the road to Karbala?

It is the road of awakening. It is the road of the free man and the free woman. It is the road of hope for humanity when the odds are so against it all seems lost. Hussain showed the world what it means to be a true, free human being when the world was at its darkest.

“Labbayk Ya Hussain!” is not really about us and what we think we can do. We are too late. But we are bearing witness to a promise. We are bearing witness to the revealing of Imam Mahdi and the return of the Prophet Jesus. It is a matter of faith. We are summoned to trust that Allah has not given up on us.

That may be the hardest task of all—to hope for humanity when humanity is under attack. Perhaps that is what Hussain may be asking of us now. To keep hope alive.  Hussain wasn’t defeated at Karbala. He was victorious. Yazid won this world with its deceptions and corruption. Hussain won the world to come with freedom and truth for humanity under the compassionate, watchful eye of Allah.

This world to come is coming soon, inshallah.

John Shuck, a Christian pastor, attended Arbaeen in 2018 thanks to the sponsorship of the Husayniah Society of Seattle and Sister Zahra Abidi. John and his partner, Josh Townsley, made a film about the visit called “For Love of Hussain (AS)” available on YouTube.

Cruelty and Hope

Cruelty and Hope

The cruelty. That is what is destroying my soul. The cruelty. The clincher for me that COVID was a psychological operation was when they cancelled March Madness. The students were so excited about the tournament. The ETSU (East Tennessee State University) Bucs finished their best season in decades, perhaps ever, and the news simply announced that the tournament was over. They attacked the young people first. I saw the meanness in that and knew intuitively that this was Satan’s work. The cruelty has abounded since then.

It is more than simply destroying humanity or turning us into robots or reducing the population; it is the excessive amount of cruelty by which it is done that destroys my hope. Oh I weep. God, how I weep. Why? If there is a God, why? I remember as a kid being taught by another kid a few years older than me how to make ants fight to the death. I did it once. The same kid liked to take a magnifying glass and fry them in the sun. What made this fun? He was just a kid. So was I. I think on that and realize that we are nothing more in the minds of our conquerors. We are but ants to them.

I can’t fight this anymore. I have lost all hope. I will be judged for that if there is a judge. Judged for giving up—for abandoning hope. I doubt now that there is a righteous judge. I am thinking that the universe, existence itself, is a cruel joke run by evil. Sometimes I hold out hope that there is Good beyond it, but I am losing that hope daily.

My heroes, my friends, my “conspiracy theorist” pals who take the abuse each day for posting what they see happening to us, keep at it through varying degrees of personal despair. If we can just post the right meme. If we can just dismantle one lie in the delusion. If we can make people see some of the falsehood, even just a little bit, people will awaken. We keep at it. Meanwhile, people cannot awaken because they cannot believe that such cruelty exists. They cannot imagine that those they have been conditioned to trust are so evil. So cruel. The longer it goes on, the more people fear, and the more they trust their authorities, and the more they hate those who challenge that illusion of security provided by these authorities.

In all the movies (ie. Matrix, The Hunger Games), the good people win. But who made the movies? The evil Satanists made the movies. All of this is a movie. It is their movie. They are playing us even through that. They are so far ahead of us, like the consciousness of a human vs. the consciousness of an ant, that even hope, even God in every religion and the Good in every philosophy and practice, is their creation. It is cruelty all the way up and all the way down. Even Goodness is an illusion. There is no pure heart. We are all made in Cruelty’s image. It isn’t that Evil is a distortion of Good, but Good is a distortion of Evil. Not a distortion, really, just a cipher, a rube, a program, in the cruel, sick game.

Is that blasphemy? Am I saying too much? Is there anything worthy of hope? Do I have it wrong?

My friends are fighting. They are warriors. They are not giving up. They fight in the belief that Good can defeat this Evil before total enslavement. The last thing I want to do is to discourage that spirit. That fight is the last remnant of our soul. But I have to ask if we are doing anything more than playing their game?

Maybe. Maybe we are doing something. The USS Liberty did not sink. Israel and the Traitor in Chief, LBJ, tried their best to sink the USS Liberty on June 8th, 1967, but the last torpedo fired that should have sunk it hit a beam in the ship and did not break it in two. The USS Liberty did not sink and its survivors tell her story to this day. That is a sign of hope for me. If Divine Intervention, the Good, saved the Liberty, was it saved for nothing? I meditate on that and I hope yet.

In October 2018, I learned the story of Imam Hussain (as), Hussain Ibn Ali, and his courageous stand against Yazid. I don’t know how that all worked out that I would visit his shrine in Karbala, Iraq. I don’t know what it means that the moment I was about to touch the shrine and I couldn’t reach it, to be assisted, to have my hand pushed against the grate and to look into the eyes of the person who did it. I don’t know what that means. I just know it happened and I felt a summons to speak what I thought was true. Was it a Divine sign? Maybe I am just being played. But I hope yet.

Hope is thin. So thin it rests on a razor’s edge. Hope is so thin that I lose it in the fog. Cruelty is thick. It is a dense fog that covers all. It grows thicker each day. We have no time left. The Cruel plan is unfolding faster and faster. It won’t be long, a few months, a few years on the outside before we are all transformed into an artificial existence. Our humanity is being stripped away from us. It has begun with the masking, the walking in rows, the distancing, the isolating, the destruction of our societies, divide and conquer, but more than that, the inability of the many to see what is happening before their eyes.

How can others not see what I see? It is so difficult to fathom that everyone from former church members to family members to the most aware people I thought I knew not to see that this is all terribly, terribly wrong. Such is the deception. Such is the cruelty. Such is the thickness of illusion. We are under a spell. Can it be broken?

I don’t know. In this thick fog, I still clutch the thin hope that if I can tell my truth at all, then it is not over. Not yet.

We are human.
We are not sick.
We are not diseased.
We are not contagious.
We are being deceived.
Awaken.
Breathe.

Amen.

Persistence

Sermon from October 20, 2019. Audio here.

Jeremiah 31:27-34
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say:

‘The parents have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
But all shall die for their own sins;
the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Luke 18:1-8
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.” ’ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’

Sermon

Where does the parable end and the commentary begin?

One of the most significant contributions of the Jesus Seminar in its deliberations since the 1980s has been answering that question about the teachings of Jesus.

(And I should take that opportunity to promote the Jesus Seminar on the Road conference here at Southminster, November 8 and 9. You have until October 25th to get the early bird rate. One of the important gifts Southminster has given the greater community is hosting these Jesus Seminars on the Road.)

One of the significant gifts that the Jesus Seminar has given is making the scholarship of the academy available to non-professionals.
What have scholars been saying about Jesus these past 200 years
that never made it to the public?

One of the things they have been saying is that the Jesus of the Creed is not the same as the Jesus who told those puzzling little parables.
These scholars also have been showing that the gospels, while preserving the teachings of Jesus, also painted portraits of Jesus and framed Jesus in certain ways.

Modern Jesus scholarship has been asking,

“What belongs to Jesus and what is later redaction?”

It is Jesus versus the editors of Jesus.

It is not a simple or easy task.
Sometimes the editors of Jesus put words in Jesus’s mouth,
so a casual reader thinks Jesus did say these things.
After all, the gospel says Jesus said it.
Who are you, scholar, to question the gospels?
The church as a whole was not pleased with the Jesus Seminar.
They didn’t like that these scholars messed with cherished belief systems.

Nevertheless,
Despite the opposition,
the scholars of the Jesus Seminar persisted,
like the persistent widow,
in searching out the voiceprint of the historical Jesus.

They discovered that this parable contains a bit of editing.

One rule of thumb is that parables are not allegories.
When you run into landlords, judges, kings, and Fathers,
don’t mistake them for God.
The later editors do that.
The historical Jesus did not.

Another rule of thumb is that a tidy explanation of a parable,
even if it appears on the lips of Jesus, is likely not Jesus.
He didn’t explain himself very well.
Jesus told parables to make people think.
Often to make people feel uncomfortable.
Often to make people challenge what they had learned from conventional wisdom.
Often to push against boundaries.

The Gospel writers didn’t like that and so they tried to explain his difficult teachings
and make what Jesus said fit their own portrait of Jesus.

In this parable of the persistent widow,
the editor appears both at the beginning and the end
to tell you how to read the parable and what it is all about.

The editor begins:

“Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.”

That is a nice sermon and kind of true about the parable.
Don’t lose heart. True enough.
Yet the parable itself, says nothing about prayer.
Even as prayer is a good thing,
and Jesus certainly taught his disciples about its importance,
that isn’t what this parable is about.
This parable is about widow who is fed up with injustice.
She isn’t praying to the judge.
She is demanding justice from the judge.

Then the editor appears at the end of the parable:

And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’

On its own, those rhetorical questions are interesting to ponder,
but they have nothing to do with the parable.
The editor turned the widow’s persistent demands for justice
against the judge as prayer to God.
The editors have taken a parable about the reality of injustice in the world
and turned it into a lesson in personal piety.
Pray always.
Don’t lose heart.

Here is the parable without the editing:

‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.”

This judge is certainly not God.
The parable itself has him say he doesn’t care about God at all.
He doesn’t care about what it is right or wrong.
He doesn’t even care about people.
He represents the reality of what widows, the poor,
and the oppressed faced in Jesus’s time.
Jesus was speaking to those very people who know the experience of the widow
and who themselves experience this injustice,
this hopelessness, on a daily basis.

Jesus is affirming what everyone who is listening already know,
that there is no justice for the poor.
That the system is rigged.
Jesus is pronouncing an indictment upon it.
The system of so-called justice has nothing to do with kingdom of God.
In fact, it mocks it in the words of the unjust judge in the parable itself,
“I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone.”

Jesus is laying it out on the entire fraudulent system of justice
as against God and human decency.
Jesus is really saying that this system is demonic.
It serves itself not who and what it was called to serve.

Jesus is speaking to people for whom all the authority figures are against them.
The people Jesus speaks to are the rabble
from whom the well-to-do want to protect themselves.

This parable of Jesus is an indictment on systems of justice
that have been structured and maintained by the powers
that be to keep that imbalance of power in place.

The editors of the gospels,
or the gospel writers,
are removed from Jesus’s original audience and from Jesus.
The gospel writers, writing at least 40 years,
and in Luke’s case perhaps longer, maybe 60-70 years after the time of Jesus,
also represent a different class of people.
Whereas Jesus was likely in the peasant class, illiterate, and without property,
the author of Luke is not that at all.

The author of Luke is like the wealthy liberal
who likes Jesus but does not relate to the experience of the poor
and the systems that are built that have
“no fear of God and no respect for anyone.”
So Luke makes Jesus’s parable a story about prayer and personal piety,
something the well-to-do could understand.

What was Jesus’s original parable about then?
It is a parable about how to respond to a system that is rigged against you.
When you have no obvious power what are some ways to get justice?
One way is to do what the widow did.
Keep showing up.

Palestinians know this.
No outside power is there for them.
There is no appeal to justice that the Israelis will ever heed.
The Israelis do not care about justice for the Palestinians.
Palestinians know this.
They know that resistance is survival.
Survival is resistance.
They stay on their land despite all the violence and abuse and the indignities.
Each day of survival is in itself a victory.

In the parable,
the judge does not grant justice to the widow because he has a change of heart.
He doesn’t rule in her favor because of the evidence
or because she is in the right.
He grants her justice because he is tired of seeing her.
She has worn him out.
She keeps bothering him.

That is the weapon you use when you have no other.
You just keep telling the truth until the powers are worn out.
You wear out your opponent with truth and love.

Who has done this throughout history?
We can think of Cesar Chavez or Martin Luther King or Sojourner Truth.

Yesterday was Arba’een.
It was the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Hussain,
the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.
Between 20 and 30 million people marched to Karbala, Iraq.
The largest peaceful human gathering on earth.
I walked in it last year.
They did it again this year.

Why?
Because there is still injustice.
The judge still has no fear of God or respect for people, so they walk.

Amidst the bombs and guns of the oppressors, people walk.
Amidst the threats and violence, people walk.
Amidst the scheming and the plotting, people walk.
Amidst greed and fear of the small minded, people walk.

From Arbaeen 2018

Like the widow in the parable,
they keep continually coming.
They will not stop.
They will not be intimidated.
They will not be quiet.
They will keep going as long as there is oppression anywhere.

It was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed in my life.
It is in the spirit of Jesus and his parable of the persistent widow.

Eventually, the unjust judge will do the right thing.
He will do the right thing because he is worn out.
Until then, they walk.
They persist.

One day says Jeremiah,
turning to the other text for today,
one day, says the Lord:

I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord’, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

One day, perhaps even the unjust judge will have a change of heart.
One day after the widows of the world have walked until their feet are bloodied,
Until every last ounce of energy has been used,
Until every tear has combined with every other tear to create a raging river…
One day, perhaps the scales will fall from the eyes of the powerful,
And even they will turn to God
and turn to respect other human beings…

And the law of love will be written on every heart.

Until that day,
Those who follow Jesus will walk with the widow,
Everyday.
They will persist.

Amen.

Expanding the Heart

These are the notes from a speech I gave at the Hussain Day Conference in Somerset, New Jersey at the Masjid-E-Ali Mosque. The conference was entitled, “Rise Above Hate.”

It was sponsored by Payam-e-Aman and Stand With Dignity

Last year I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I don’t say that lightly. It is an experience that will stay with me for my lifetime, insha’Allah.  I visited the shrine of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) in Karbala, Iraq during Arba’een, the largest annual peaceful human gathering in the world.  Estimates range from a low of 15 million to upwards of 30 million people who make the journey to Karbala every year. 

My friend and I made a film about it. You can find it on YouTube, “For Love of Hussain.” 

The trip was sponsored by The Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle. Sister Zahra Abidi has a vision for a Hussain Revolution in the United States that includes bringing people together to discuss important things, sometimes controversial things, but things that matter not only to Muslims but to all human beings. That is how I met her. 

In addition to being a pastor I host a radio show on KBOO, a community radio station in Portland. I moderated a panel discussion regarding the war against Yemen at Portland State University in February 2018. It was entitled “The US – Saudi Coalition: Bringing Peace or War?” 

It was in the follow-up of that conference during an email exchange that I first heard of Hussain. He was referenced in regards to the panelists, all of whom had taken risks, and had sacrificed in varying ways for their work in bring truth to light. Each of the panelists was a truth-teller. They told inconvenient truths about the powers that be. 

That is how I was introduced to Imam Hussain (Peace Be Upon Him). He was a truth-teller and was martyred for embodying the truth. I knew nothing else about him except that.  I wanted to learn more. 

Sending Christians and Sunni Muslims to Iraq for Arba’een is one of the things Sister Zahra and the Husayniah Society of Seattle does. I am happy to support her good work. They have just purchased property in the north of Seattle, in hopes, insh’Allah, of creating a center. I am sure she would love to talk with you about it and hear your encouragement. You can visit their website.  Search Husayniah Seattle.

The Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle paid for the trip for my friend, Josh, and me. Josh has done some filming. So we went to make an amateur documentary.  It was more than that for me. This was timely in my life. It was a search, you could say. I have been experiencing I guess you could say a spiritual growth spurt.  Maybe it is a mid-life crisis.  I have discovered the need in my own life to search more deeply about what is really going on in our world and what are the forces at work and to what paths we are being led. I realize I cannot trust our traditional sources of information, especially the mainstream media to do that.

I am discovering that these forces are dark forces as the title of this conference indicates. Rise Above Hate.  What is hate? How do we rise above it? 

I didn’t go To Arba’een for healing. I didn’t go for intercession. I didn’t go for forgiveness of sins. I didn’t go for mourning.  I didn’t know people went for all those reasons until I went there and started talking with people. 

I went because I wanted to see this person and why so many were attracted to him. I wanted to see the person whose life was so pure, that he gave it to save his grandfather’s faith. I wanted to visit the person who didn’t compromise his principles. I wanted to see the person who might inspire me in some way to find courage and character for whatever it is that Allah is calling me to do. I wanted to see the person who in his life and in his death rose above hate and showed us all how to do it.

Some Muslims I have met are curious as to whether I have converted or reverted to Islam. I don’t know how to answer that exactly. I like to think that my faith has expanded. I have a heart for Jesus (peace be upon him) and I always will, insh’Allah. But I also have a heart for Hussain (peace be upon him) and a heart for Mohammad (peace be upon him and his progeny).  Being introduced to Hussain and the Prophet and his family and the Islamic faith in loving ways by loving people has expanded my heart. 

You really cannot have an interfaith interaction and expect not to be changed in important ways. Unless we are vulnerable enough to have our hearts touched by another, it is not really an interaction. It is just us trying to convince others of our position. It is just a sales pitch.

I cannot worry about whether or not others are changed by what I say. That is up to God. I want my heart expanded by others—by you.  Or to put it more accurately, to have God expand my heart through you. 

That has happened a great deal in this past year in all my interactions with Muslims through the Islamic Center across the street from my church in Portland and with the Husayniah Society in Seattle as I mentioned, through my on-line interactions, through the generous opportunity to attend conferences, through the helpful resources in which I am slowly beginning to learn more about Karbala, through reflection, through my ministry in my church, and, of course, through the opportunity I was given to visit the holy sites in Iraq. 

That is what I think it means to “rise above hate.”  It means to have one’s own heart expanded. Let me explain.

Love expands the heart. Hate shrinks the heart.  

You know the book and movie, “The Grinch who Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss?  The Grinch’s heart was three sizes too small, remember? He hated the Whos in Whoville. Then, by a miracle, his heart expanded. He met a Who, Cindy Lou Who, who showed him kindness and he saw what the Whos really loved and valued, what the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him) meant, not things, but generosity, and the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.  

Sometimes the simplest children’s stories tell the most profound truths.

We cannot stop hate by hating the haters. We cannot just expand someone else’s heart. Hate takes a long time to shrink a heart. What does it take to shrink a heart with hate? It takes isolation. It takes hurt. It takes ignorance. It takes fear. It takes prejudice. It takes suspicion. It takes rejection. It takes anger. It takes envy. It takes greed. It takes acceptance of falsehood. It takes abuse. It takes oppression. It takes time to allow hate to shrink our hearts. 

Hate is out there. We can find it in our institutions in our governments. They can be overtaken. In my tradition, we call this force the demonic. It can take over a whole nation. The demonic does not work for the good of the world or the people or its creatures. It works to divide us, to shrink our hearts with hate. The demonic works in secret. It works in the dark. It works with deception. It works with lies. It works with marketing. There are forces at work in the world that want to shrink our individual hearts and our collective heart as a people. So we live in suspicion and fear and become docile to these forces.

Any of us, all of us, are susceptible to having hate shrink our hearts. Hate is like a toxic weed that grows in the soil of ignorance. Hate is the result of so many complex negative emotions. You can’t convince people or prove to people or sell people on your opinion.  You can only actually love. You can only do that by allowing your own heart to be expanded by another.

Rising Above Hate. How do we do that? If hate shrinks our heart, how does love expand our heart?

I should add this: The Latin root word for heart is cor. COR. Where we get the word coronary. We also get the word courage. We think of someone with the heart of a lion, like Hussain’s half-brother Abbas, as having the heart of a lion, a courageous heart.  As your heart expands, as your heart grows with love, you become courageous. 

How do we become courageous? How do we expand our hearts? 

The Buddha in the Dhammapadda is reported to have said: 

Do not consider the faults of others

Or what they have or haven’t done.

Consider rather

What you yourself have or haven’t done.

We cannot do that if we think we want to stop the hatred of others.  We want to stop hate. Therefore we want to stop them, those haters.  You can’t just tell people, “You are hateful. Stop it.” It won’t work.  We can only allow our own hearts to be expanded.

So I am in the Shrine of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). It is beautiful. The air conditioning is on. It is filled with the sound of prayer. People are crying. Some are standing. Some are sitting. Some are in various positions of prayer.  Poetry is being recited from many places. I don’t understand a word of it, except now and then I hear a name I recognize, Ali, Zainab, Abbas, Hossein.

This is about a week before Arba’een. I am with the tour group. I decide I want to go and touch the big box in the center of the shrine, the lattice work above the grave of Hussain. At first I wasn’t sure if I would do it, or should do it. If it was appropriate. Hussain was not a person in my religion. But I kept hearing all week that Hussain is for everyone. So I decided to go and do it. 

I don’t know what it is like on the women’s side, but on the men’s side, even a week before the day of Arba’een the place is packed. it is a push and pull like ocean waves of bodies. Your feet almost leave the ground. There are so many people. You know where you are headed. And you aim for it. But it is like swimming in the ocean. You don’t need to be aggressive but you need to hold your own. You swim through the bodies, pushed left and right. Finally, I got close enough, almost there.  

I should stop again. I was conscious of being different. Different religion. I only speak English. From America. My reddish hair, now reddish-gray, pale skin.  Of the thousands of people inside the shrine that day, I was probably the whitest guy in the room. I reach up and put my hand up to touch the lattice work and I can’t reach it. 

A hand took mine and pushed it up against the grate. It was a brown hand, taking my white hand up against the final resting place of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him). It was a visual imprint in my mind that beyond all color, all race, all religion, all language, the language of love and truth and courage is one. The love of Hussain. Our eyes met. We just looked at each other. 

As I swam away, just a few yards away, I saw this man. He stared at me. Tears were streaming down his face. He asked me as many did on my trip, “Where are you from?” I told him, America.  He just started bawling. He hugged me and kissed me. I have joked that I never have been kissed by so many men with scratchy beards.  

But what is this?  

Iraq. A country that felt post-apocalyptic to me. I, like many of us Americans, watched from a distance as our leaders lied us into war, destroyed Iraq, and then ignored its suffering. No one goes there. No one that I know, except my brother-in-law. He is a professor at NYU and he goes often to the northern part of Iraq because of his work of peacebuilding with the University of Duhok. Besides my brother-in-law and soldiers, I know of no one who had been to Iraq. A country that Americans like me need to visit. A country devastated by the demonic, by lies and wars, by bombs and depleted uranium. By hatred from outside powers, mercenary terrorists and puppet tyrants, the people left to fend for themselves.  

The US state department tells Americans not to go to Iraq.  Too dangerous. Bad. Whatever. What did I find? I found love. I found tears. I found joy. I found hope. I found my heart had expanded.  A Christian American was embraced and shown the love of Hussain (alayhi s-salam).

That is how we rise above hate.  We allow ourselves to be vulnerable so our hearts can expand. If you cannot go to Arba’een, then bring Arba’een here. 

Courage is the result of an expanded heart. With courage is insight to tell the truth as best you know it when you need to tell it.  That is what I try to do now in my ministry and on my Facebook page and radio show, where ever I do my thing. That doesn’t mean I know truth more than others. That doesn’t mean I am not ever wrong. I am wrong often.  Courage is admitting it and learning from it.  

Courage does not mean me selling you my truth. It doesn’t mean that. Hearts do not expand that way. You tell what is true and live what is true and Allah does the rest. 

But it does mean that we cannot be afraid of what we know or of what we learn because of the discomfort of truth to us or others or to the powers that deceive. 

Nor can we be afraid of exploring and researching in taboo areas.  

Exposing the demonic and its lies.

That is where the hatred infests.

Nor can we be concerned if people will reject or ridicule or whatever they must do to protect their illusions. Hussain’s sacrifice shattered all illusions.

In particular, he shattered an illusion that you fight hate with more hate and that you lead with power and coercion.  

Hussain showed the world that you lead not with might but with right.  You fight hate with love from an expanded and courageous heart. 

That has always been the way that the true heroes rise above hatred in all its forms.

May we all be heroes in that same spirit.

For Love of Hussain (A.S.) Now On-Line!

Contact John Shuck for an interview about this ground-breaking film!

The film has been released on YouTube and as of this writing has already received over 8,000 views since it was posted on Monday. “For the Love of Hussain (A.S.)” recounts the reflections and experiences of a Christian Pastor from America on the fifty-mile walk from Najaf to Karbala, Iraq for Arbaeen in October 2018.

Arbaeen is the largest yearly peaceful gathering on Earth. Officials estimate the number of people entering Karbala over a two-week period over fifteen million.

Yes. You read that correctly. Fifteen million. Other estimates are even higher. By comparison, the Hajj, receives three million visitors each year. Arbaeen has no central organization but has self-organized spontaneously after the fall of Saddam as visitors walk to visit the shrines of Hussain and Abbas in commemoration of their martyrdom in the Battle of Karbala 1400 years ago.

What they are saying about the film:

Miriam Fatima — ‘Unity is what this world need b4 its too late… We All together can Stand up against oppression like Imam Hussian a.s.. Stand For Truth’

S Jafry — ‘May God reward you with His best Mercy and expand your ability to continue to seek, recognize and stand for truth, justice and freedom. Beautifully captured especially shared mission of Jesus and Hussain.’

Syed Bokari — ‘Very inspiring, truly amazing and wonderful to see Muslims and Non-Muslims coming together through the love for Imam Hussain. God Bless the Pastor and his team for bringing the visit to the world. Mashallah.’

Moshin Raza — ‘Amazing well done…thanks for spreading this message of peace. Karbala is the only place in world where any person from any religion can attend this peaceful gathering for love of Hussain and witness humanity where everyone is treated equally and that is message of Imam Hussain a.s’

Farah Shariff Haji — ‘So beautiful! ♥️🙏🏼 Thank you for sharing it. Labaik Ya Hussain!’

Imaan Designs — ‘Thank YOU for awesome storytelling – the genuineness of feeling shone through!’

Princess Jenny — ‘I watched it was really wonderful thanks for your efforts and wish you success in your work always.’ 💖 💞

Ihsan Al-Saidi — ‘Thank you for sharing. Could not stop crying. Labayk ya Hussein.’

Rob Solomon — ‘Nicely done … well presented. The walk of Peace is thrilling. Simply thrilling.’

Ge Sada — ‘Actually I enjoyed every single minute of the documentary with my family. Your comments are really touching and brought tears to our eyes many times … Now I have what I’ve always needed when someone else, when a foreigner asks about Imam Hussain.’

The trip to Iraq for John Shuck and Josh Townsley was sponsored by the Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle. This is what they said about the project:

‘Alhamdulilah! a short documentary, For love of Husayn, has been released. Pastor John Shuck and cameraman Josh Townsley were invited to make the 3 day Arbaeen trip from Najaf to Karbala in Iraq by Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle in 2018. Husayniah sponsored the entire trip but did not interfere in the production of the film at all. The film is therefore an independent review of the amazing Karbala walk by these two Christian pilgrims. Husayniah plans to send Non-Muslims and Sunni Muslims as pilgrims to Karbala every year to witness this miracle. We ask the pilgrims for nothing in return but to help us spread Imam Husayn’s message of Love, Peace and Justice.’

While in Iraq, Townsley and Shuck were interviewed by the Iraqi Media NetworkShabir TV, and The Imam Hussein Shrine. After the walk, Shuck was interviewed by Peter Wong of the Beaverton Valley Times.

Both Shuck and Townsley are available for interviews and for venues to share their film and their experiences. 

Contact John Shuck via e-mail.

John Shuck is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton. Josh Townsley is executive director of Evergreen Habitat for Humanity in Clark County, Washington. 


Discussing the Largest Event on Planet Earth

John Shuck speaks with Hanan Al-Zubaidy and Catherine Shakdam about his recent trip to Iraq for Arbaeen

Having just returned from Iraq for Arbaeen in which over 15 million people from all over the world converged on the Holy City of Karbala, John Shuck discusses his experience and the significance of the world’s largest event with Iraqi refugee and Portland resident, Hanan Al-Zubaidy, and geo-political analyst from the U.K., Catherine Shakdam.

Hanan Al-Zubaidy was instrumental in bringing the Ramadan Tent Project to the United States. Catherine Shakdam recently wrote a couple of articles about Arbaeen entitled, “Millions of Muslims, Over 60 Nations Gather to Reject Terror in Iraq” and “The Great March to Arbaeen.”

Arbaeen is the largest peaceful gathering on Earth and yet hardly anyone in the United States even knows about it.

While in Iraq, John Shuck and photographer, Josh Townsley, were interviewed by Shabir TV, The Iraqi Media Network (starts 1:07),  and the Imam Hussein Shrine.

Bios:

Hanan Al-Zubaidy is an Iraqi refugee who moved to the United States with her family in the early 90’s. Settling in Portland Oregon, Hanan is a recent graduate of Portland State University where she earned her masters in Educational Leadership and Policy. Focusing her work on marginalized populations, Hanan is currently volunteering with Larch Correctional Facility and sits on the board Human Rights Council of Washington County.

Catherine Shakdam is a geopolitical analyst and commentator for the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen and the Gulf countries, Catherine Shakdam has been published across several prominent media outlets including: The Huffington Post, Sputnik, Citizen Truth, Press TV, The New Eastern Outlook, RTMintPressAyatollah Khameini’s website, Open Democracy, the Foreign Policy Journal,  The Duran, The American Herald TribuneKatehon, and many more. Catherine has been instrumental in breaking media silence over Yemen’s war, and the tragedy which has befallen the impoverished nation. 

In 2015 she authored: Arabia’s Rising – Under The Banner Of The First Imam.

In 2016 she authored A Tale Of Grand Resistance – Yemen, the Wahhabi, and the House of Saud and From Mecca to Karbala – Walking with the Holy household of the Prophet

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Husayn Means Beauty: The Attraction of the Seventh Century Martyr (2 of 2) (ENCORE)

On April 28th 2018, The Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle sponsored an interfaith educational event called Husayn Day.  The event was a reflection upon Husayn, the martyred grandson of the Prophet Mohammad. Rather than bow to his oppressors, he, along with 72 family members were killed in Karbala, Iraq in 680 CE. He is considered a martyr for justice, truth, love, and resistance. He is a leading figure in Shia Islam and his death is mourned each year by between 15 and 20 million pilgrims who visit his shrine during the forty-day period of mourning from Ashura to Arbaeen.

In the these two episodes, you will hear speeches from the presenters on Husayn and the yearly pilgrimage to his shrine. The presenters include, Dr. John Morrow, Sister Nicole Correri, Sheikh Fadhel Al-Salani, Sheik Ahmed Bahriny, Mohammad Baig, and me, John Shuck.

The west is ignorant about Islam and, in particular, Shia Islam and the person of Hussain. Twenty million people visit his shrine each year. This the largest annual gathering of human beings on planet Earth. Yet, Western media ignores it.  

In this episode you will hear more about Husayn, and how he is for those who are devoted to him, a door to truth and justice, and how his sacrifice revealed the true Islam, the Islam of love.

In this episode you will hear from…

Sheikh Fadhel Al-Sahlani.  Shiekh Al-Sahlani is the current leader of the Al-Khoei Foundation in New York.

Sheik Ahmed Bahriny. Sheik Ahmed Bahriny is the resident imam and religious director of the Islamic Education Center in Potomoc, Maryland.

Maulana Mohammad Baig. Maulana Baig leads the Alwalayah Community in Montclair, California.

You will also hear a speech I gave at the event.

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Watch the video of the entire conference

Husayn Means Beauty: The Attraction of the Seventh Century Martyr (ENCORE)

Scholars and religious leaders explore the impact of Husayn and the devotion of the 15-20 million pilgrims who visit his shrine each year. Part 1 of 2.

This is a rebroadcast of an episode that originally aired in May 2018.

I will be attending the pilgrimage to Arbaeen from Najaf to Karbala, Iraq, at the end of October, with a Maulana Mohammad Baig, courtesy of the Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle.

 On April 28th 2018, The Husayniah Islamic Society of Seattle and Global Initiatives co-sponsored an interfaith educational event called Husayn Day.  The event was a reflection upon Husayn, the martyred grandson of the Prophet Mohammad. Rather than bow to his oppressors, he, along with 72 family members were killed in Karbala, Iraq in 680 CE. He is considered a martyr for justice, truth, love, and resistance. He is a leading figure in Shia Islam and his death is mourned each year by between 15 and 20 million pilgrims who visit his shrine during the forty-day period of mourning from Ashura to Arbaeen.

In the next two episodes, you will hear speeches from the presenters on Husayn and the yearly pilgrimage to his shrine. The presenters include, Dr. John Morrow, Sister Nicole Correri, Sheikh Fadhel Al-Salani, Sheik Ahmed Bahriny, Maulana Mohammad Baig, and me, John Shuck.

The West is largely ignorant about Islam and, in particular, Shia Islam and the person of Hussain. Twenty million people visit his shrine each other. This the largest annual gathering of human beings on planet Earth. Yet, Western media ignores it. According to an article in the Huffington Post by Sayed Mahdi al-Modarresi, “World’s Biggest Pilgrimage Now Underway, And Why You’ve Never Heard of it!” 

Why you have never heard of it probably has to do with the fact that the press is concerned more with negative, gory, and sensationalized tabloids, than with positive, inspiring narratives, particularly when it comes to Islam.

You will hear about it on Progressive Spirit.

In this first episode you will hear from Dr. John Morrow, full professor, author, senior research scholar, public speaker and activist. He is author of a number of numerous articles and books including The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World. Dr. Morrow provided a stirring poetic spiritual biography of Husayn.

You will also hear from Sister Nicole Correri. She is the preeminent female Shia speaker in North America. She will begin a Ph. D. program at Boston University in the Fall.  Sr. Correri told the importance of Zainab, Husayn’s sister, and described her experience attending Arbaeen.

Video of the entire conference.

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