Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
(Romans 3:23)

Redemption Of Our Body

Dear Friends,

God bless you and greetings! Continuing on from the past two weeks, we want to this week present what is often thought to be the most wonderful thing about the return of Jesus and the resurrection, the redemption of our bodies and what they will be like.
“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:21-23

You can't possibly appreciate heaven and what it will be like unless you know what you're going to be like.

What will I be like? What will you be like? What will we be like in heaven? First of all, we're going to get those Heavenly bodies first thing when the Resurrection and the Rapture come.

We'll be able to enjoy many of these so-called fleshly pleasures on the other side, like Jesus did. He ate with the disciples, drank with them, could touch them, feel them, they could touch and feel Him, He could love them, visit with them, even cooked for them once or more, fellowshipped with them, so much as we even do now. So just remember that your Heavenly body is going to be an awful lot like it is now, only better. And if you enjoy its pleasures now, think how marvellous they're going to be when your body is supernatural, really super, with more power and more beauty and more grace and greater thrills and more marvellous exciting experiences and love than ever.--All the pleasures of this life and Heaven too, and their continuation on the other side. Heaven is just like an amplification or magnification of all the thrills and joys and pleasures of this life only it will be even more Heavenly there and forever.

Since man and woman were God's crowning creations, they certainly were intended to be His most beautiful creations, most wonderful, exciting, thrilling and grandest creations of all. Certainly, therefore, if Earthly man and woman are considered beautiful and wonderful even in this life, think how much more so in the next.

1 Corinthians, the 15th chapter, is one of the most wonderful discussions of the body of the future, your heavenly body. Beginning with the 19th verse the Apostle Paul says: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." Since Jesus is risen, that's a promise that you're going to be able to rise too. In fact, along with Him there arose all of the Old Testament Saints who came out of the graves and appeared to many in Jerusalem at that very time. They were a part of that first resurrection, the firstfruits along with Jesus. (Matthew.27:52,53)

VERSE 21: "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead". "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming." First they were Christ's, the firstfruits of that first resurrection, Christ and the Old Testament Saints, and then all of us who are saved at the time of Christ's Second Coming, so-called.

So there are going to be a lot of resurrection bodies around, those heavenly bodies of yours, because Jesus rose from the dead and conquered the grave for all of us. "Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Now skipping down to the 35th verse:

"But some man will say, how are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain." He's saying that your new Heavenly body is going to be so much more wonderful than your present heavy suffering physical body, it'll be like the difference between the grain of wheat and the full-grown full-blown stock and head that comes from one grain, or the flower that comes from one tiny seed. That's how much better your new Heavenly body's going to be. "But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body." Each one of us will have our own bodies. It will be like the one which is buried, if we die before He comes, but it will be so much more wonderful it will be like the difference between the seed and the flower.

"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds." There are all kinds of different bodies. As there are all kinds of different physical bodies, "there are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial." There are Heavenly bodies and Earthly bodies. "But the glory of the celestial"--the Heavenly--"is one, and the glory of the terrestrial"--the Earthly body--"is another." In other words, he's saying, as "there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, and one star differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead."

He says, the body we now have is ",,,sown in corruption, but it's raised in incorruption." (1Corinthians15:42) This Earthly fleshly body can be buried and decay. It can grow old and die and be buried, decay and go back to the dust from which it came. "But it is raised in incorruption." When it's raised again it will not corrupt any more. It will be Heavenly and immortal and impossible to rot any more like our present flesh. "It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory." Today, although there have been great honourable burials and funerals, it's still, in a sense, a dishonour to have to die and be buried, this flesh to go back to the dust from which it came. It's a bit humiliating and humbling to realise that that's all we are is dust except for the spirit. But then "it is raised in glory". The glory of the spirit and a new resurrection spiritual body.

"It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." Compared to what we're going to be then, we're weak now. These bodies are very weak compared to the powerful supernatural powers we're going to have in our new powerful supernatural body. "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual" or a supernatural body. "There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body." In a sense, you have both of them right now. Your spiritual body is inhabiting your natural body at the present. And we're going to look like we do now, in a sense, in a way, only more beautiful. Now to the 49th verse:

"As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Even as we have looked on Earth, we will resemble that same image in Heaven. We will bear the same looks and general appearance--here called image--as we have here on Earth, but much more glorious. So much more glorious that it's almost like the difference between the flower and the seed. Even as the Lord Himself said in the beginning of the Creation, "Let us make man in Our Own Image." (Genesis1:26) So man today, men and women, look like God, or at least look like Jesus, who has a spiritual human body already resurrected from the dead.

Verse 51: "Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep"--we're not all going to die first--"but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the Last Trump: For the Trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Why is he talking about all this business about dying and being resurrected and heavenly bodies? There's a reason for it. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." What is He saying here? Be steadfast, unmoveable, work hard for the Lord, because your labours are not in vain. You're going to inherit that marvellous Heavenly body and Heavenly City before long. It's worth working for and saving for and suffering for, and worth being steadfast and unmoveable for, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because we know our labour is not in vain. We are going to be rewarded with that marvellous Heavenly body. Our labours are not in vain.

"For our conversation is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." Philippians 3:20-21

What are you going to be like?--you're going to be like Jesus. What's your body going to be like? It's going to be like Jesus' resurrected glorious body. "According to the working"--or the power--"whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself"--including death. He has that power to make your body become like His glorious body. By comparison with which, this body of the flesh is even called a vile body. It's hard to live with sometimes, sometimes it stinks, it's hungry, it's tired, it's heavy, it's sick, it's painful, it suffers, it groans, waiting to be delivered. Deliverance is coming when it will be changed to a marvellous glorified body like the Body of Jesus Himself.

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God." We're already sons and daughters of God, we're already His spiritually, we already have glorified glorious spirits within. "And it doth not yet appear what we shall be"--we don't know exactly what we're going to look like--"but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”

We're going to be like Jesus. We're going to look like Jesus did when He rose from the dead. We're going to look like Jesus when He descends from on high in glory in the clouds of Heaven to come catch up His Bride in the Rapture. He's going to come down in glory and we're going to be glorified and rise in glorious resurrected Heavenly raptured bodies just like His when He comes. "For we shall see Him as He is."

We're going to see Jesus and He's going to see us and we're going to look alike. That doesn't mean we're all going to look just exactly like Jesus or each other, but it means we're going to have the same kind of bodies, the same kind of body that He has now and has had ever since His resurrection, the one in which He went to Heaven in and came back and visited in and still has today. We'll see him as He is and He'll see us as we are. "We shall know even as also we are known." (1Corinthians13:12)

We will have a body which is similar to our physical body, but so much more glorious and wonderful and supernatural that it's even called spiritual, but can actually materialise and eat and drink and be merry, have fun, sex, love and all of the present pleasures of this life extended into the next in an immortal incorruptible all-powerful body that can enjoy them even more there than we do here, and forever without ever suffering pain or sickness or weariness or death, just be absolutely marvellously Heavenly forever.

"The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel." The Trump of God shall sound and all those which are asleep in Jesus--in other words, those who have died and gone on to be with the Lord--are going to be resurrected first. "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1Thesssalonians 4:14-17) That's when we're all going to get our Resurrection Immortal Glorious Heavenly Bodies, is in the Resurrection which comes at the time of Jesus' Second Coming, the Rapture of the Saints

Since it says in both these verses here that we're going to be like Him, see Him as He is, we're going to be like He is, then what was Jesus like when He rose from the dead? Well, first of all, He didn't have to roll away that stone to get out of that tomb, He was able to walk right through the stone or the walls of the cave. Our Heavenly bodies will be able to dematerialise, pass from dimension to dimension, walk right through walls and locked doors as He did, appear and disappear at will, and travel with the speed of thought. Our Heavenly bodies are going to be marvellous supernatural miraculous bodies with far greater powers than we now have.

So what happened when Jesus first rose from the dead? He didn't roll away the stone to get out of the grave. The earthquake and the angel rolled away the stone so they could get in and see that He was gone. Jesus was already standing out in the Garden waiting for Mary, who came very early in the morning. One of His dearest loves, Mary Magdalene, was an ex-harlot, an ex-favourite courtesan of Jerusalem, courting and consorting with some of the principal leaders of Jerusalem, both Roman and Jewish.

Mary Magdalene tarried in the garden, weeping that she had missed Him and missed His body, when all of a sudden there he stood beside her, near her, and said to her, "Woman, why weepest thou?" And she, thinking He was the gardener, said, "For they have taken away My Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." And suddenly He revealed Himself, "Mary, it is I."

What was Jesus like in his new heavenly body? First of all He wanted to meet the rest of His friends and loved ones, so He appeared to them many times during those 40 days after His resurrection--40 days from His resurrection to His ascension, 10 days before the Day of Pentecost. Acts 1:3: "To whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion"--after His passionate loving death for you and me--"by many infallible proofs, being seen of them 40 days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." And in another place it tells approximately how many people saw Him during that time--over 500 altogether. (1Corinthians 15:5-8)

He met them several times after his resurrection. He once walked right through a locked door into their secret meeting room, and He allowed Doubting Thomas to touch His wounds in His hands and His side to prove that it was He, the same body, only glorified, resurrected, now supernatural, but still bearing the same scars. (John.20:26,27)

So what else was Jesus like when he was in his resurrection body? Well, one time He sat down with them and He ate and He drank with them. And He said, "Touch Me, feel Me. I'm not just a ghost, I'm not just a disembodied spirit, I'm real." He said, "For a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have." (Luke 24:39)

He could dematerialise, disappear, be transported elsewhere where He could materialise and reappear, quickly, even perhaps at the speed of thought. On the other hand, on some occasions He could hide His identity and disguise His appearance so that they wouldn't recognise Him until He wanted them to.

Jesus was still human and still had a body of flesh. Flesh and bone. You notice He doesn't say blood, because "the life of the flesh is in the blood." (Leviticus 17:11) So it's no longer a carnal body that can corrupt. Corruption comes through blood and the carnal nature of our present physical bodies that are from the dust. But we are going to have a new kind of a spiritual resurrection marvellous eternal glorified body, and yet it's going to be material enough and natural enough and recognisable enough and seeable, feelable, enjoyable enough to actually be constructed as we now are of flesh and bones, but eternal flesh and bones, incorruptible, immortal flesh and bones.

Your Heavenly body's going to be like you are now, only much more Heavenly, much more miraculous, supernatural, incorruptible, immortal, eternal, beautiful, wonderful, thrilling and glorious. Even the Scripture lacks for sufficient words to completely describe the marvellous Heavenly body that you're going to have.

Think of what you're going to be like when you have your completely Heavenly body that can do all the things you can do now and more, including flying and floating and appearing and disappearing and walking through walls and locked doors and having marvellous supernatural miraculous powers.

You're going to be like the angels of God, God's word says, only even more powerful because you're going to judge angels.” (Matthew 22:30; 1Corinthians 6:3)

The most marvellous thing about heaven is your heavenly body.” From the writings of David Brandt Berg

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9

Have a great week and eternity ahead.



Former 'Street God' Takes Jesus to the Projects


Dimas Salaberrios (Vimeo)

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Dimas Salaberrios began dealing drugs at age 11. By his mid-20s, he had reached "Street God" status—meaning most drugs dealt in New York City could be traced back to him.

But his crimes caught up with him, and soon Salaberrios was running from the police. He fled to North Carolina, where three women prayed over him. He felt the power of God pour over him and instantly swore off his drug-dealing ways. He returned to New York and turned himself in to the authorities, but the judge was so impressed by his repentance that she pardoned his sentence.

Since then, Salaberrios has made it his mission to bring Jesus to his community. He became a pastor and started Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx River Housing Projects, home to some of the poorest residents in the nation and the birthplace of hip-hop. Church members started a Thursday morning prayer group and walked through the community, praying for the residents. In the last 11 years, the church's impact has been dramatic.

"Former police commissioner Ray Kelly of New York City came and sent his staff to let us know that they documented that crime had basically came to a halt and murders came to a stop from the moment we started our ministry," Salaberrios says. "I couldn't ask for any better PR than the world saying, 'We see the difference in the church, and without them, we would be in trouble.'"

Salaberrios hopes his story can be an inspiration to all Christians.

"Reaching someone like me when I was at the kingpin status is possible," he says. "Those three women were not pastors or clergy or anything; they were just committed Christians (who) were willing to step in, and when they prayed for me, they shut down a pipeline of drugs coming from New York to North Carolina. They shut down guns being smuggled from North Carolina to New York City, and they shut down a crack and marijuana industry. They're now responsible for thousands upon thousands of people coming to love the Lord. So (I) want to encourage readers that they have the power of God on their side; they don't have to have a title."

The following was written by Steven Levy and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat...

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school... The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Steven Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about.. And we said okay..

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.


Christianity In The Middle East: On The Verge Of Extinction

National Security/Foreign Policy Reporter

Displaced Iraq Christians who fled from Islamic State militants in Mosul, pray at a school acting as a refugee camp in Erbil September 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (IRAQ

One million three hundred thousand Iraqi Christians have been displaced, murdered or taken prisoner since 2003. A centuries old civilization now faces permanent extinction while the rest of the world, including the U.S. government, looks on.

As Christians across the world begin to celebrate Christmas, the 300,000 remaining Christians displaced in Iraq and Syria are preparing for a harsh winter that will almost certainly dwindle their numbers further. Islamic State has been assaulting Christianity in the Middle East for well over a year and a half, and now the few remaining will be forced to brave the elements in the face of a genocide.

“Assyrian culture is melting,” says Juliana Taimoorazy, head of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, a group dedicated to aiding Christians being persecuted in the Middle East in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Taimoorazy is making a desperate push to try and raise money to save Assyrian Christians in Iraq before winter settles in. “We want to buy caravans,” says Taimoorazy, referring to the camper-style vehicles that can serve as temporary shelters equipped with running water and electricity.

The Iraqi Christian minority, also known as Assyrian Christians, has a history in the Nineveh Plains region of Iraq going back 6,700 years. Assyrians were one of the first major groups in the region to convert to Christianity and are one of the last groups to speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ.

Prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Assyrians numbered 1.6 million in Iraq. With the rise of al-Qaida in Iraq and the Iraqi insurgency, their numbers began to dwindle. In 2014, less than 500,000 remained. In just over a year since its rise, ISIS has slaughtered and displaced the Assyrian Christians with brutal efficiency, cutting their numbers nearly in half to 300,000.

“ISIS took 280 Assyrian hostages to Syria,” says Taimoorazy. Three of the hostages were executed on video in October. This represented the first time ISIS executed Christians on camera, yet Taimoorazy claims the incident went essentially ignored by Western media. ISIS is demanding $100,000 in ransom for each Christian, that’s $28 million to stave off extinction of one of the last remaining Christian groups in the Middle East. Many Assyrians in the diaspora have been successfully resettled in Europe and the United States, including Taimoorazy herself who fled from her native Iran in 1989, however they lack the financial capacity to save their friends and family from the hands of ISIS.

“They [ISIS] know we cannot come up with this kind of money, so they are hoping other groups and countries will come up with the money,” an Assyrian leader told Fox News when the hostages were first taken in April.

Even when the money is raised, the matters regarding ransom are extremely complicated. As a general policy, the United States does not engage directly in hostage negotiations. Assyrians therefore must utilize back-channel sources to secure their loved ones, which usually involves using Sunni Muslim warlords, charity workers and clergy still present in the region. Mar Gewargis III, the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church, is a particularly important figure speaking out on this issue.

There is of course a moral dilemma when Assyrians are forced to pay off ISIS to save their culture: the same ransom money used to save some inevitably fuels the ISIS war machine, allowing the terrorist group to potentially continue its eradication of Christianity in the region.

Assyrian Christianity is facing “a form of soft genocide” in addition to eradication, says Taimoorazy. Even the groups fighting ISIS, like the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi military, are loathe to aid the Christians. When the first ISIS onslaught hit the Nineveh Plains in the summer of 2014 “the U.S.-backed Iraqi army, wilted before the onslaught, with many soldiers reportedly abandoning their posts and stripping off their uniforms to avoid detection,” says an Al Jazeera report. Taimoorazy claims continued abuse of Christians results when the Kurdish Peshmerga and various Iraqi militias retake towns from ISIS.

Despite witnessing the eradication of Assyrians for over a year, Taimoorazy claims the United States has brought in few of them. She explains that before the ISIS uprising, 45-50 percent of Iraqi refugees coming into the U.S. were Christian, today that number is a remarkable 6 percent, with 89.6 percent of the remaining total being Muslim. When asked why there was such a dramatic drop, Taimoorazy pointed out that while the numbers under Bush were poor, the “[Obama] administration is not friendly to the Christian cause.”

Taimoorazy says those who are fortunate enough to be saved face difficult challenges when resettling. “Assyrian culture is melting,” she claims, due in large part to the poor resettlement policies of Western countries, including the United States. Most Assyrians coming to the United States are spread throughout the country, making it particularly difficult to retain traditional Assyrian customs and their ancient language. “[Assyrians are] assimilating to the Christian community in America,” explains Taimoorazy.

Taimoorazy sees the solution to the Assyrian problem as two-fold. In the short term, better settlement policies will be needed so that Assyrians in the diaspora can continue their traditions and culture abroad. In the long term, she sees the solution as a province dedicated to the Assyrian Christians somewhere in the Nineveh Plains. Taimoorazy and her colleagues at the Philos Project see the goal of establishing an Assyrian homeland as a “repackaging of Zionism,” and they already have the support of notable Middle Eastern leader King Abdullah of Jordan. No matter what happens in the future, Taimoorazy makes it evidently clear that if current policy does not change, Christianity in the Middle East could soon be lost to history.



First global study of religion and science shows that many scientists are religious, dispelling conflict as myth

Andre Mitchell 05 December 2015

The center third of 'Education' (1890), a stained glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios, located in Linsly-Chittenden Hall at Yale University. It depicts Science (personified by Devotion, Labor, Truth, Research and Intuition) and Religion (personified by Purity, Faith, Hope, Reverence and Inspiration) in harmony, presided over by the central personification of 'Light·Love·Life.'

There has been a longstanding belief that science always counters religion, and religious beliefs do not correspond with scientific facts.

For the first time, a recent global study by researchers from Rice University proved that this perceived clash between science and religion is just a misconception.

In her study entitled "Religious Understandings of Science (RUS)," sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund surveyed more than 10,000 Americans comprising scientists and evangelical Protestants.

"No one today can deny that there is a popular 'warfare' framing between science and religion. This is a war of words fuelled by scientists, religious people and those in between," says Ecklund, founding director of Rice University's Religion and Public Life Program and the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences, in an article posted on Eurekalert.org.

One of the most notable findings from her study dispels the belief that most scientists are atheists. In fact, a lot of those working in the scientific field identified themselves as religious.

"More than half of scientists in India, Italy, Taiwan and Turkey self-identify as religious," Ecklund says. "And it's striking that approximately twice as many 'convinced atheists' exist in the general population of Hong Kong, for example, (55 percent) compared with the scientific community in this region (26 percent)."

In some areas, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, the percentage of scientists who identified themselves as religious is higher compared to the portion of the general population who did the same.

Another interesting finding from Ecklund's study was that only a small percentage of scientists see conflict between religion and science.

For instance, in the United Kingdom—considered to be one of the most secular nations in the world—only 32 percent of the scientists surveyed said science and religion contradict each other.

Similarly, nearly 50 percent of the evangelicals surveyed think that science and religion can work together and support one another.



UK is no longer Christian country and shouldn't act like it, says judge in new outrage

CHRISTIANITY in Britain has been downgraded by other religions rising in prominence, a top judge has ruled, sparking furious backlash from the Church of England.


PUBLISHED: 10:24, Mon, Dec 7, 2015 | UPDATED: 11:49, Mon, Dec 7, 2015

A judge has called for public life in Britain to be de-Christianised GETTY

A major inquiry into religion in modern society, led by former senior judge Barnoness Butler-Sloss, has called for public life in Britain to be de-Christianised.

The two-year report found a decline in church goers - but a rise in Islam and other faiths - was the reason for a steep decline in Christianity.

The findings have provoked fury among Cabinet ministers who say it is "seriously misguided, while the Church of England said it had been "hijacked" by humanists.

Compiled by the Commission on Religion and Believe in British Public Life, the report suggested faith schools should be stripped of powers to select their own pupils because they are "socially divisive".

It is in our view not clear that segregation of young people into faith schools has promoted greater cohesion or that it has not been socially divisive, leading to greater misunderstanding and tension

It said allowing schools to choose pupils by faith had "negative practical consequences".

The report read: "It is in our view not clear that segregation of young people into faith schools has promoted greater cohesion or that it has not been socially divisive, leading to greater misunderstanding and tension.

"Selection by religion segregates children not only according to different religious heritage but also… by ethnicity and socio-economic background. This undermines equality of opportunity."

The report also called for religious studies in the classroom to teach how faith was used by extremists as a justification for terrorism.

The teaching of religion in schools should be radically changed to make it more realistic and relevant Britain becomes an increasingly secular country, the report said.

A recruitment drive was needed for those teaching religion and belief so the subject can be treated "seriously and deeply in these unprecedented times of religious confusion and tension".

Controversially, it said there should be a re-think over Britain's anti-terror policy including ensuring students can voice radical views at achoo without fear of being reported to the security services.

One third of schools in England are publicly funded faith schools, with the vast majority as Christians.

In Northern Ireland, more than 90 per cent of children attend schools that are either Catholic or Protestant.

The 150-page report also highlighted figures which showed the decline in people who say they are Anglicans from 40 per cent in 1983 to less than a fifth in 2013.

It says: "Three striking trends in recent decades have revolutionised the landscape on which religion and belief in Britain meet and interact.

"The first is the increase in the number of people with non-religious beliefs and identities. The second is the decline in Christian affiliation, belief and practice and within this decline a shift in Christian affiliation that has meant that Anglicans no longer comprise a majority of Christians.

"The third is the increase in the number of people who have a religious affiliation but who are not Christian.

A spokeswoman for the Church of England blasted the report as a "sad waste", which had "fallen captive to liberal rationalism".

She added: “The report is dominated by the old fashioned view that traditional religion is declining in importance and that non-adherence to a religion is the same as humanism or secularism."

A source close to Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, described the report as "ridiculous".

The source said: "Nicky is one of the biggest champions of faith schools and anyone who thinks she is going to pay attention to these ridiculous recommendations is sorely misguided."

The commission was established by the Cambridge-based Woolf Institute, which studies relations between Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and public consultations were held over the past two years to gather research.

It is made up of members of all the major religions across the UK and some of its patrons include former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Lord Woolf, the former chief justice and Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the former general secretor of the Muslim Council of Britain.



Catholics should not try to convert Jews, should fight against anti-Semitism – Vatican

Published time: 10 Dec, 2015 23:00

Catholics shouldn't try to convert Jews, but should work with them to fight anti-Semitism, the Vatican said on Thursday. It comes on the 50th anniversary of a document which echoed the same sentiments and rejected Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion.

The statement from the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with Jews noted that Christianity and Judaism are intertwined, and stressed that God never annulled his covenant with the Jewish people.

"The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelization to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views," the document said. It added that Catholics should "bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews," but in "a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are bearers of God's word…”

"In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews," said the document, adding that there is a "principled rejection of an institutional Jewish mission.”

It went on to state that Catholics should be particularly sensitive to the significance of the Holocaust to Jews, and pledged “to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies.”

"A Christian can never be an anti-Semite, especially because of the Jewish roots of Christianity," it said.

The Thursday document coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Decretum de Iudaeis, a revolutionary Vatican statement which rejected the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus' death, decried anti-Semitism, and emphasized the shared heritage of the two faiths. That statement was rejected by traditionalists at the time.

A senior Vatican official explained on Thursday that such traditionalists believe there should be a so-called “Jewish mission” to convert Jews because they did not accept Jesus as Messiah, adding that the same people are bound to be displeased by the new official stance on conversion, Reuters reported.

Until about 1960, prayers at Catholic masses on Good Friday – the day commemorating the death of Jesus – labelled Jews “faithless” and called for their conversion. That prayer was removed from general use after the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council introduced a new prayer book to be used at masses.

However, a prayer for the Jews was later allowed to remain in the old-style Latin Mass, used by traditionalists who reject the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Changes to that prayer were made in 2008 by then-Pope Benedict, when he removed language found offensive by Jewish groups, such as “the blindness of that people.”




by William Doino Jr.

12 . 7 . 15

Details are still coming out about the arrest of four men who were allegedly plotting to attack Pope Francis, but the initial reports are harrowing enough:

Acting on a tip from the FBI, Italian authorities arrested four people in Italy and Kosovo Tuesday who were suspected of planning an attack on Pope Francis. . . .The [alleged] terrorist team propagated the ideology of jihad through social networks, the police said. The group allegedly claimed on social media that Francis would be ‘the last pope.’

The Kosovo threat was not the first time militants pledging allegiance to ISIS have threatened Francis. During his visit to the United States in September, a teenager claiming allegiance to ISIS was arrested on suspicion of planning to attack the Pope during his visit. . . .Police found multiple firearms in possession of the fifteen-year-old when they raided his house.



Drilling into Earth's mantle, a holy grail of geology, set to begin once again

Posted by Seneca on December 05, 2015 in categories Featured articles, Geology, Science

An old challenge - geology's holy grail of drilling into the Earth's mantle - is set to begin once again, as a group of experts heads out for the Atlantis Bank, Indian Ocean to drill through 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) of rock, collecting core samples on its way. The first phase of the expedition will commence in the early December 2015 and last until the end of January 2016. If the start is successful the team will come back again to try and drill all the way down to the MOHO layer.

One of the most well known quests of geology began almost 60 years ago, at the peak of the plate tectonics revolution. Many experts have tried to achieve this since and were unsuccessful to date. The challenge is once again being met by a drilling expedition onboard JOIDES Resolution set to depart Colombo, Sri Lanka and sail to the Atlantis Bank spot in the southwestern Indian Ocean in the early December 2015.

The crust-mantle boundary named Mohorovicic discontinuity, or MOHO, at which seismic waves change their travel velocity is located about 7 km (4.5 miles) beneath the oceanic crust and between 30 and 60 km (18.6 and 37.3 miles) down beneath continents. At Atlantis Bank, the mantle is settled 2.5 km above the MOHO, making it easier to reach.

According to Henry Dick, a geophysicist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and expedition's co-leader, achieving this goal presents "one of the greatest scientific endeavours of the century". The drilling project, named "Slow Spreading Ridge Moho" (SloMo), experts will utilize the Japanese vehicle to reach the crust-mantle transition at Atlantis Bank. The expedition will hopefully also provide good quality data to answer some questions about other properties of our planet, for example how molten rock rises from the interior and cools while forming fresh oceanic crust.

A drilled hole would be the window into things we have never seen before, according to Benoit Ildefonse, a geologist at the University of Montpellier in France.

During the 1960s, scientists involved into the "Project Mohole", tried to drill into the sea floor off Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The project reached depths of only 183 meters (600.4 feet) before it was shut down due to too high expenses. The project yielded many scientific ocean-drilling programmes responsible for collecting core samples from hundreds locations across the globe and retrieving millions of years of sedimentary records.

"We live on this Earth and we ought to know something about what happens beneath us,"said Walter Munk, an oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, who conceived Project Mohole with colleagues over cocktails one evening in 1957.

In the period between 2002 and 2011, four holes at a site in the eastern Pacific managed to reach fine-grained, brittle rock, most likely a cooled magma sitting just above the Moho. But the drill was unable to pierce further. Similarly, drillers at the nearby Hess Deep were limited by tough deep-crustal rocks in the 2013 expedition.

The 2015 team of experts will conduct the drilling in the Indian Ocean Ridge instead, as much smaller lava quantities seem to feed the seafloor there.

A preliminary goal is set to penetrate to the depths of 1.5 km, and it has been done before. During this first phase, the scientists are hoping to explore the geology and biology of the area. Available geological maps suggest the seawater has percolated several kilometers deep at Atlantis Bank and triggered chemical reactions responsible for turning the rock into a type known as serpentite. According to Virginia Edgcomb, a microbiologists at WHOI, the team will also survey the rocks searching for microorganisms.

If SloMo's first phase is successfully completed, experts will return to the area with the JOIDES Resolution to try to reach depths up to 3 km (1.9 miles). After that, Dick and his colleagues will sail out on the Japanese state of the art ship Chikyu to try to drill all the way down to MOHO layer.



2015: the rise of A.I. and the fall of humanity

December 10th, 2015, by Greg White

The year 2015 was the year of artificial intelligence (A.I.). The field of robotics has undergone an unexpected quantum leap. But what explains this exponential growth, and more importantly, is A.I. safe?

Advancements in A.I. are speeding up at a pretty fast clip, noted Jeff Dean, a senior fellow at Google. Experts in the field are meeting in Montreal this week at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference to celebrate advancements made in A.I. this year and to map what lies ahead.(1)

What is responsible for recent advancements made in A.I.? There are various factors at play. The cloud computing infrastructure bears some responsibility, with its ability to process information more quickly and cheaply.(1)

In addition, there are more software development tools for researchers to play with, which are either free or relatively inexpensive. Consequently, technology central to A.I., known as neural networks, are significantly cheaper than they used to be.


These advancements have led major tech industries like Google, Facebook and Microsoft to jump on the A.I. bandwagon. If you’re not involved in A.I., you’re not an active participant at the forefront of technology. As a result, these tech giants have invested in their very own A.I. labs, which pump out a steady stream of research and academic papers.

This year, for instance, Google took the spotlight on the front page of the scientific journal Nature with a system that could learn to play and become an expert at old Atari games without assistance. Furthermore, Facebook developed a computer that could convey images to blind people; Microsoft debuted a new Skype system that could translate languages; and IBM described A.I. as its greatest opportunity for potential growth.(1)

It’s not just major tech giants that are making a footprint in the world of A.I. Japanese startup, Preferred Networks, is producing A.I. systems for industrial robots made by Fanuc, while Indico Data Labs worked with Facebook officials to teach a computer to paint pictures of faces with its own imagination. In other words, computer’s aren’t just becoming smarter; they’re becoming more creative – a feature which used to be exclusivity unique to humans.

Without question, a lot of artificial blood has been laid on the tracks this year. Given the advancements that have been made, what can we expect from the world of A.I. in the near future?

A main focus in A.I. research is to teach machines to think for themselves and to contrive answers to current hurdles. This could be achieved by giving machines a facile version of the real world – like an environment portrayed in a video game – ask them to explore it, and then analyze their results.(1)

A.I. extends beyond the world of video games, however. Parallel software could be used to teach A.I. about other disciplines, including medical diagnostics, environmental science and personal recommendations.(1)


Teaching robots how to become independent is one of the most dangerous moves A.I. researchers can make. Eventually, machines will be able to conduct better A.I. research than humans. At this point, these self-improving machines will pursue their own goals, whether it be space exploration, investing in stocks or simply playing chess.(2)

In the quest to meet their goals, A.I. systems will exhaust  money, energy and other vital resources, violently if necessary. In addition, they’ll development self-protection, which would prevent officials from trying to turn them off.(2)

Proponents of A.I. suggest that A.I. systems could have a moral program built into them, which dictates that the machines value human life. The problem is, ethics vary by culture. There is no binding moral authority which dictates one society’s moral code over another, even within our own culture. How can we expect to program robots to value human life if we can’t even agree about when human life begins?(2)

The year 2015 was by far one of the greatest years for the A.I. industry. Let’s just hope the rise of A.I. doesn’t lead to the downfall of humanity.

Sources include:

(1) Bloomberg.com

(2) SmithsonianMag.com



Hopefully, no nukes will be needed’ against ISIS – Putin

Published time: 9 Dec, 2015 07:01

Edited time: 9 Dec, 2015 11:13

Vladimir Putin has praised the Russian cruise missiles fired against terrorists in Syria from the sea. He expressed hope that these weapons would not have to be armed with nuclear warheads.

Meeting in the Kremlin with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who reported the latest results of the anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) ops in Syria, the Russian president made a notable remark.

“We must analyze everything happening on the battlefield, how the weapons operate. The Kalibrs (sea based cruise missiles) and KH-101 (airborne cruise missile) have proved to be modern and highly effective, and now we know it for sure - precision weapons that can be equipped with both conventional and special warheads, which are nuclear,” Putin said.

“Naturally, this is not necessary when fighting terrorists and, I hope, will never be needed,” the president added.

On Tuesday, a Russian Kilo-class submarine, the Rostov-on-Don, fired Kalibr-PL cruise missiles against an IS installation near the terrorists’ stronghold in Raqqa. Water-to-surface cruise missiles were launched from a submerged sub in the Mediterranean Sea, according to the Russian defense minister.

“We’ve been registering the missiles launches, flights and, of course, their hitting the targets,” Shoigu said. “We warned our Israeli and American colleagues about these launches."

Kalibr and KH-101 cruise missiles have been deployed for the first time this year in Russia’s counter-terrorist operation in Syria.




Any targets threatening Russian forces in Syria must be immediately destroyed - Putin

Published time: 11 Dec, 2015 10:28

Edited time: 11 Dec, 2015 11:42

Jihadists in Syria pose a direct threat to Russia, Putin has told a defense meeting in Moscow, adding that any targets threatening the country's military there should be destroyed. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Islamic State’s influence in Syria continues to expand.

The Russian military’s actions in Syria are being coordinated with Russian special services such as the FSB, who are disclosing terrorist cells, including Islamic State, Putin said.

All forces threatening Russian servicemen in Syria should be destroyed, according to the Russian president.

"Any targets threatening our [military] group or land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed," Putin said, speaking at a Defense Ministry event.

Putin said more then 5,000 members of the Free Syrian Army are operating on the terrorists’ side.

"In general, the actions of the Russian groups deserve high praise. This is a result of work by the Ministry of Defense, General Staff officers, Russian Air Force pilots and the Russian Navy," he added.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu added that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) controls about 70 percent of Syria’s territory, adding that in Syria and Iraq there are about 60,000 militants.

"The Islamic State area of influence is expanding," he said, “There is a threat that their actions will be transferred to Central Asia and the Caucasus.”

To date the Russian military has carried out about 4,000 sorties, striking around 8,000 terrorist facilities in Syria, he added.

Drones have proved a necessary part of the military operation against the terrorists, according to Shoigu. He said that Moscow has about 1,720 drones at its disposal.

Both Putin and Shoigu took part in the Defense Ministry board meeting, which apart from the Syrian operation touched upon such issues as nuclear strategy, NATO expansion and Arctic military bases.

"Special attention should be paid to strengthening the combat potential of the strategic nuclear forces and implementing defense space programs," Putin said during the meeting.

BREAKING: Russian Kilo-class sub with cruise missiles in Mediterranean off Syria
Russia needs to "arm all the components of the nuclear triad with new armaments, raise the efficiency of the missile attack warning and aerospace defense systems,” the Russian president said.

Shoigu added NATO has significantly expanded in Europe.

The US has sited at least 200 bombs in the Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Germany, according to the defense minister.


War Is On The Horizon: Is It Too Late To Stop It? — Paul Craig Roberts

December 7, 2015

Paul Craig Roberts

One lesson from military history is that once mobilization for war begins, it takes on a momentum of its own and is uncontrollable.

This might be what is occuring unrecognized before our eyes.

In his September 28 speech at the 70th Anniversity of the United Nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world. Two days later at the invitation of the Syrian government Russia began war against ISIS.

Russia was quickly successful in destroying ISIS arms depots and helping the Syrian army to roll back ISIS gains. Russia also destroyed thousands of oil tankers, the contents of which were financing ISIS by transporting stolen Syrian oil to Turkey where it is sold to the family of the current gangster who rules Turkey.

Washington was caught off guard by Russia’s decisiveness. Fearful that the quick success of such decisive action by Russia would discourage Washington’s NATO vassals from continuing to support Washington’s war against Assad and Washington’s use of its puppet government in Kiev to pressure Russia, Washington arranged for Turkey to shoot down a Russian fighter-bomber despite the agreement between Russia and NATO that there would be no air-to-air encounters in Russia’s area of air operation in Syria.

Although denying all responsibility, Washington used Russia’s low key response to the attack, for which Turkey did not apologize, to reassure Europe that Russia is a paper tiger. The Western presstitutes trumpeted: “Russia A Paper Tiger.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-shoots-down-a-paper-tiger-1448406008

The Russian government’s low key response to the provocation was used by Washington to reassure Europe that there is no risk in continuing to pressure Russia in the Middle East, Ukraine, Georgia, Montenegro, and elsewhere. Washington’s attack on Assad’s military is being used to reinforce the belief that is being inculcated in European governments that Russia’s responsible behavior to avoid war is a sign of fear and weakness.

It is unclear to what extent the Russian and Chinese governments understand that their independent policies, reaffirmed by the Russian and Chinese presidents On September 28, are regarded by Washington as “existential threats” to US hegemony.

The basis of US foreign policy is the commitment to prevent the rise of powers capable of constraining Washington’s unilateral action. The ability of Russia and China to do this makes them both a target.

Washington is not opposed to terrorism. Washington has been purposely creating terrorism for many years. Terrorism is a weapon that Washington intends to use to destabilize Russia and China by exporting it to the Muslim populations in Russia and China.

Washington is using Syria, as it used Ukraine, to demonstrate Russia’s impotence to Europe— and to China, as an impotent Russia is less attractive to China as an ally.

For Russia, responsible response to provocation has become a liability, because it encourages more provocation.

In other words, Washington and the gullibility of its European vassals have put humanity in a very dangerous situation, as the only choices left to Russia and China are to accept American vassalage or to prepare for war.

Putin must be respected for putting more value on human life than do Washington and its European vassals and avoiding military responses to provocations. However, Russia must do something to make the NATO countries aware that there are serious costs of their accommodation of Washington’s aggression against Russia. For example, the Russian government could decide that it makes no sense to sell energy to European countries that are in a de facto state of war against Russia. With winter upon us, the Russian government could announce that Russia does not sell energy to NATO member countries. Russia would lose the money, but that is cheaper than losing one’s sovereignty or a war.

To end the conflict in Ukraine, or to escalate it to a level beyond Europe’s willingness to participate, Russia could accept the requests of the breakaway provinces to be reunited with Russia. For Kiev to continue the conflict, Ukraine would have to attack Russia herself.

The Russian government has relied on responsible, non-provocative responses. Russia has taken the diplomatic approach, relying on European governments coming to their senses, realizing that their national interests diverge from Washington’s, and ceasing to enable Washington’s hegemonic policy. Russia’s policy has failed. To repeat, Russia’s low key, responsible responses have been used by Washington to paint Russia as a paper tiger that no one needs to fear.

We are left with the paradox that Russia’s determination to avoid war is leading directly to war.

Whether or not the Russian media, Russian people, and the entirety of the Russian government understand this, it must be obvious to the Russian military. All that Russian military leaders need to do is to look at the composition of the forces sent by NATO to “combat ISIS.” As George Abert notes, the American, French, and British aircraft that have been deployed are jet fighters whose purpose is air-to-air combat, not ground attack. The jet fighters are not deployed to attack ISIS on the ground, but to threaten the Russian fighter-bombers that are attacking ISIS ground targets.

There is no doubt that Washington is driving the world toward Armageddon, and Europe is the enabler. Washington’s bought-and-paid-for-puppets in Germany, France, and UK are either stupid, unconcerned, or powerless to escape from Washington’s grip. Unless Russia can wake up Europe, war is inevitable.

Have the totally evil, dumbshit neocon warmongers who control the US government taught Putin that war is inevitable?


Zero Hedge

Turkey Detains Russian Ships In Black Sea, Blasts Moscow For Brandishing Rocket Launcher In Strait

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/06/2015 15:59 -0500

Exactly a week ago, we warned that Turkey does have one trump card when it comes to dealing with an angry Russian bear that’s hell bent on making life miserable for Ankara in the wake of Erdogan’s brazen move to shoot down a Russian Su-24 near the Syrian border. Turkey, we explained, could move to close the Bosphorus Strait, cutting one of Moscow’s key supply lines to Latakia.

We went on to explain, that such a move would probably be illegal based on the 1936 Montreux Convention, but as Sputnik noted, "in times of war, the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish government."

Obviously, Turkey and Russia haven’t formally declared war on one another, but the plane “incident” marked the first time a NATO member has engaged a Russian or Soviet aircraft in more than six decades and given the gravity of that escalation, one would hardly put it past Erdogan to start interfering with Moscow’s warships, especially if it means delaying their arrival in Syria where the Russians are on the verge of restoring an Assad government that’s Turkey despises.

Well sure enough, the tit-for-tat mutual escalation that’s ensued since the Su-24 crash has spilled over into the maritime arena with Moscow and Ankara detaining each other's ships.

After five Turkish vessels were held at the port of Novorossiysk for “inspections,” Turkey retaliated on Friday by holding four Russian ships at the Black Sea port of Samsun. The list of the Russian vessels’ alleged infractions which apparently include fire safety violations, pollution prevention violations, and problems with “life saving appliances.”:

One of the vessels - the cargo ship Crystal - has yet to be released.

"Six ships with a Russian flag were checked at Samsun Port on Dec. 5. The ships were found to be in compliance with Port State Control (PSC) rules, a series of international standards that all ships are required to meet, but some problems were subsequently detected in four of the ships," Hurriyet says, adding that "three of the ships consequently met the requirements and were permitted to leave, but the remaining vessel has not yet been permitted to depart."

The Crystal apparently lacks the "required documents."

Obviously, Russia and Turkey are engaged in a bit of petty mutual escalation here, but it's worth noting that Samsun isn't far from the Bosphorus:

And while Turkey now appears content to harrass Russian cargo vessels, one shouldn't discount the possibility that Erodgan will look to do something more provocative now that it looks like the UN will ultimately be dragged into the ISIS oil smuggling debate.

Indeed, Moscow seems to be taking the Bosphorus issue quite seriously because as Hurriyet reported just hours ago, when the Russian warship Caesar Kunikov made its way through the strait on Saturday, a Russian soldier stood on deck with a shoulder ground-to-air missile at the ready.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's response: "For a Russian soldier to display a rocket launcher or something similar while passing on a Russian warship is a provocation. If we perceive a threatening situation, we will give the necessary response."" Indeed.

And meanwhile, three NATO warships have dropped anchor off Istanbul’s Sarayburnu coast: Portugal's F-334 NRP Francisco de Almeida, Spain’s F-105 ESPS Blaz de Lezo, and Canada's FFG-338 HMCS Winnipeg.


INTIFADA (Reuters original report.)

Iraq’s top cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Orders Turkey Out Of Iraq

DECEMBER 11, 2015

Image: Grand ayatollah Ali Al Sistani said on Friday that no country should “send its soldiers to the territory of another state under the pretext of supporting it in fighting terrorism without the conclusion of an agreement”. Handout/AFP Photo

“The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting Iraq’s sovereignty and must not tolerate and side that infringes upon on it, whatever the justifications and necessities,” Karbalai’i said in a weekly sermon.

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq the U.S vice consul Paul Bremer tried to install a handpicked Iraqi government. The top Shia religious authority in Iraq, Grand Ajatollah Sistani, demanded a democratic vote. The issue was thereby decided. There was no way the U.S could have circumvented Sisitani’s edict without a massive revolt by the 65% of Iraqis who are Shia and mostly follow his advice. Bremer had to fold.

Now Ajatollah Sistani takes position against the Turkish invasion of Iraq:

Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on the government on Friday to show “no tolerance” of any infringement of the country’s sovereignty, after Turkey deployed heavily armed troops to northern Iraq.

Sistani’s spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala’i, did not explicitly name Turkey, but a row over the deployment has badly soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad, which denies having agreed to it.

“The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting Iraq’s sovereignty and must not tolerate and side that infringes upon on it, whatever the justifications and necessities,” Karbalai’i said in a weekly sermon.

The issue is thereby decided. Turkish troops will have to leave or will have to decisively defeat all Shia of Iraq (and Iran). If Erdogan were smart he would now order the Turkish troops stationed near Mosul to leave Iraq.

The Russian President Putin also increased pressure on Turkey:

President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered Russia’s armed forces to act in an “extremely tough way” in Syria to protect Russian forces striking Islamic State targets there.

“Any targets threatening our (military) group or land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed,” Putin said, speaking at a Defence Ministry event.

Note to Erdogan: Beware of funny ideas…


Zero Hedge

Iraq Seeks To Cancel Security Agreement With US, Will Invite Russia To Fight ISIS

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/09/2015 10:13 -0500

Most Iraqis, be they civilians, military personnel, or government officials, do not trust Americans.

At a base level, that makes all kinds of sense. After all, the US did launch what amounted to a unilateral invasion of the country just a little over a decade ago, and when it was all said and done, a dictator was deposed but it’s not entirely clear that Iraqis are better off for it.

ISIS controls key cities including the Mosul, the country’s second largest, and security is a daily concern for the populace. The Americans are still seen - rightly - as occupiers, and Washington’s unwillingness inability to effectively counter ISIS has created a culture of suspicion in which most Iraqis believe the US is in cahoots with the militants for what WaPo described as “a variety of pernicious reasons that have to do with asserting U.S. control over Iraq, the wider Middle East and, perhaps, its oil.”

Some of the distrust, the US contends, is fostered by Iran. Tehran wields considerable influence both within the Iraqi military and in political circles in Baghdad. When Ash Carter announced that the US was set to send an “expeditionary targeting force” to the country to assist in raids on Islamic State targets, PM Haider al-Abadi flatly rejected the proposal, saying that “Iraq does not need foreign ground combat forces on Iraqi land." Abadi rejected a similar Pentagon trial balloon involving Apaches helicopters last month.


Meanwhile, Tehran’s Shiite militias threatened to attack any US soldiers operating on Iraqi soil. “We will chase and fight any American force deployed in Iraq. Any such American force will become a primary target for our group. We fought them before and we are ready to resume fighting,” a spokesman for Kata'ib Hezbollah said. Similarly, influential Shiite lawmakers like the infamous Hakim al-Zamili have called on Abadi to seek direct military intervention from Moscow to expel foreign forces from the country.

Now, in the latest example of just how tenuous Washington’s grip on the region has become, the Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense Committee is calling for the review and cancellation of Baghdad’s security agreement with the US.

“The government and parliament need to review the agreement signed with the United States on security because the United States does not seriously care about its fulfillment,” committee member Hamid al-Mutlaq, a senior Sunni lawmaker told Sputnik on Wednesday. “We demand that it be annulled,” he added.

Who will fill the void you ask? You guessed it:

"Soon, a meeting [of the committee] with Prime Minister Haider Abadi will be held, at which we will propose cooperating with Russia in carrying out airstrikes against IS and in the fight against terrorism in Iraq," another committee member said earlier this week.

Recall that this is precisely what we said would happen once we learned in September that Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria had set up a joint intelligence sharing cell in Baghdad.

It was clear from the beginning that Tehran saw an opportunity to consolidate its power in Iraq and preserve its influence in Syria by convincing Vladimir Putin that Russia could replace the US as Mid-East superpower puppet master by helping Tehran to defeat the insurgency in Syria and boot the US from Iraq once and for all. Moscow will of course get a warm reception from Iraqi lawmakers thanks to the fact that many MPs are loyal to Iran.

This makes sense logistically as well. Once the Russians and Iranians have retaken Aleppo (which admittedly is taking a while), they can push east towards Raqqa and from there, move straight across the border, effectively pinching ISIS between an advance from the west and Iran’s Shiite militias already operating in Iraq. Of course that will entail some measure of cooperation with the US, France, Britain, and, once in Iraq, the Peshmerga. It is at that point that Washington’s resolve when it comes to preserving whatever charade is being perpetrated in Raqqa will be put to the ultimate test.

In the meantime, it will be interesting to see how the US responds to a move by Baghdad to nullify the security agreement.

Washington knows it can land troops in Iraq by simply going through Erbil which is precisely what Turkey did last Friday. The KRG/ Barzani end-around serves to give the troop deployments a kind of quasi-legitimacy. That is, the Kurds control the territory and are self governing, so when Erdogan (and, soon Obama) drop troops in northern Iraq against Baghdad's wishes, they can claim it's not a violation of sovereignty. As we saw over the weekend, Iraqi officials aren't going to stand for it going forward although now that it's become clear that NATO and the Security Council aren't going to be any help (just as we said), Iraq's ambassador to the UN is striking a concilliatory tone, saying Baghdad will try to settle the dispute with Turkey "bilaterally."

It now appears that the stage is set for Baghdad to claim that the US, like Turkey, is illegitimately occupying the country (again). If Iraq nullifies the security agreement and moves to invite the Russians into the country, the US will be forced to either pack up and leave, cooperate with Moscow, or fight for the right to preserve American influence.

Decisions, decisions.


Zero Hedge

Iraq May Seek "Direct Military Intervention From Russia" To Expel Turkish Troops

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/06/2015 23:42 -0500

Turkey just can’t seem to help itself when it comes to escalations in the Mid-East.

First, Erdogan intentionally reignited the conflict between Ankara and the PKK in an effort to scare the public into nullifying a democratic election outcome. Then, the Turks shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. Finally, in what very well might be an effort to protect Islamic State oil smuggling routes, Erdogan sent 150 troops and two dozen tanks to Bashiqa, just northeast of Mosul in a move that has infuriated Baghdad.

We discussed the troop deployment at length on Saturday in “Did Turkey Just Invade Iraq To Protect Erdogan's ISIS Oil Smuggling Routes?,” and you’re encouraged to review the analysis in its entirety, but here was our conclusion:

The backlash underscores the fact that Iraq does not want help from NATO when it comes to fighting ISIS. Iraqis generally believe the US is in bed with Islamic State and you can bet that Russia and Iran will be keen on advising Baghdad to be exceptionally assertive when it comes to expelling a highly suspicious Turkish presence near Najma.

You’re reminded that Iran wields considerable influence both politically and militarily in Iraq. The Iraqi military has proven largely ineffective at defending the country against the ISIS advance and so, the Quds-backed Shiite militias including the Badr Organisation, Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah have stepped in to fill the void (see our full account here).

Of course that means that the Ayatollah looms large in Iraq and when it comes to loyalty, both the militias and a number of Iraqi lawmakers pledge allegiance to Tehran and more specifically to Qassem Soleimani. The point is this: Iran is not going to stand idly by and let America and Turkey put more boots on the ground in Iraq which is why just hours after Ash Carter announced that The Pentagon is set to send in more US SpecOps, Kataib Hezbollah threatened to hunt them down and kill them. Not coincidentally, PM Haider al-Abadi rejected a larger US troop presence just moments later.

Now, Abadi has given Turkey 48 hours to get its troops out of Iraq or else.

Or else what?, you might ask. Well, or else Baghdad will appeal to the UN Security Council where Russia and China would likely support the Iraqi cause.

But that’s a little too meek of a solution for some Iraqi politicians including Hakim al-Zamili, the head of Iraq's parliamentary committee on security and defense who said on Sunday that Iraq “may soon ask Russia for direct military intervention in response to the Turkish invasion and the violation of Iraqi sovereignty.”

"Iraq has the ability to repel these forces and drive them out of Iraqi territory. We could also request Russia to intervene militarily in Iraq in response to Turkish violation of Iraqi sovereignty," he told Al-Araby al-Jadeed.

Well guess what? Hakim al-Zamili is a somebody.

He was arrested in 2007 by Iraqi and American troops while holding a high ranking office in the Health Ministry. Zamili was charged with sending millions of dollars to Shiite militants who subsequently kidnapped and killed Iraqi civilians. Sunni civilians. More specifically, the US suspected Zamili “of using his position to run a rogue unit of the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia that claims loyalty to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr,” The New York Times reported at the time, adding that he was accused of “flooding the Health Ministry's payroll with militants, embezzling American money meant to pay for Iraq's overworked medical system and using Health Ministry 'facilities and services for sectarian kidnapping and murder.''

Here’s an interesting account from NPR ca. 2010, after parliamentary elections:

At Friday prayers yesterday in Baghdad's Sadr City slum, one man in a gray suit seemed to attract as much attention as the preachers speaking over the P.A.

After a sermon that praised both armed and political resistance to the occupation of Iraq, many from the crowd of thousands rushed up to the front to congratulate Hakim al-Zamili, who appears to have won a resounding mandate as a member of parliament from Baghdad.

Though a celebrity here in Sadr City, many Iraqis call him a war criminal. Zamili was the deputy health minister during the ramp-up to Iraq's civil war, and he's accused of turning the ministry's guards into a Shia death squad, kidnapping and killing hundreds of Sunnis. Another ministry official who denounced Zamili disappeared and is presumed dead.

After being arrested and held over a year by the Americans, an Iraqi court acquitted Zamili after a brief trial.

If I were really involved in those crimes, the courts would have convicted me,” Zamili said.


Anyway, the point is that as we’ve been saying for months, Shiite politicians along with Iran-backed militias now control Iraq, which has essentially been reduced to a colony of Tehran.

There will be no unilateral decisions on the part of the US or Turkey to place troops in the country without pushback from Baghdad and everyone involved knows that when Baghdad pushes back, it means Iran disapproves.

As Zamili’s warning makes clear, Iraq (and thereby Iran) won’t be shy about calling in the big guns from Moscow when they feel the situation demands it - and the militas won't be shy about targeting the "invaders."

"Turkish interests in Iraq will now be a legitimate target because of Turkey's assault on Iraqi territories," Kata'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, one of the Shia militias of the Popular Mobilisation said in a statement. Similarly, Harakat al-Nujaba called Turkey "a terrorist state." You're reminded that these groups have a reputation for fearing no one other that Khamenei himself. Not the US, not Turkey, not ISIS, no one:

We close with what Zamili said after the establishment of the Baghdad-based joint intelligence cell comprising officials from Iran, Russia, Syria, and Iraq:

The idea is to formalize the relationship with Iran, Russia and Syria. We wanted a full-blown military alliance.”



Official data shows U.S. hit with huge spike of ‘most dangerous’ radiation from Fukushima

Published: December 8th, 2015

Levels far exceeded federal regulatory limits — Alpha particles nearly 1,000 times normal; Includes plutonium — Gov’t workers in “fear of radiation”


Report: “Red Alert! Sharp increase in radiation… at Fukushima” — Levels spike 400,000% under plant — Almost 1,000,000,000 becquerels per cubic meter — TV: Officials investigating cause



Airpocalypse’: Beijing Issues First Ever Red Alert as Smog Reaches Deadly Levels

Record-breaking smog levels — 40 times of what the World Health Organizations considers safe — has engulfed the Chinese capital.

By Elena Ugrin / The Watchers

December 9, 2015

A red alert for smog pollution was issued for in Beijing, China on December 8, 2015. The warning was put in effect in order to "protect public health and reduce levels of heavy air pollution," according to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau's official Weibo account. The highest level pollution was issued for the first time in history.

The authorities first put out the orange alert on December 7, and have upgraded it since, as the poor air quality was indicated by 208 micrograms per cubic meter of hazardous tiny airborne particles. The warning is in effect from 7 am on December 8 until 12:00 am on December 10 (local time).

By issuing the highest level alert strict restrictions were posed on some companies to immediately stop or limit their production, while the outdoor construction work was banned at the same time. Primary schools and kindergartens were canceled in the period. Residents of Beijing have been prompted to remain indoors whenever possible and use public transportation in case the travel is necessary. Certain vehicles types have been subject to traffic restrictions, and cars have been limited in their driving.

That is not fog - it is pollution.

The intense smog pollution, dangerous to public health began on November 27, and was the highest during previous week when concentrations of hazardous aerosols climbed all the way to 666 micrograms per cubic meter. However, only orange alert was issued on the occasion, which is probably due to the warning level system being fairly new as it was only established in March 2015.

The current smog concentration is expected to reach maximum on December 9, and start dropping afterwards, the China National Environment Monitoring Center reported. According to the World Health Organization, a safe concentration level of pollution particles is only 25 micrograms per cubic meter, which indicates just how extreme the current situation is.

According to Robert Speta, the WestPacWx meteorologist, the current situation is greatly enhanced by the area of high pressure capping the region and keeping all the aerosols in place over the China's capital. By December 10, another storm system will set in, clearing the air in the region to more tolerable levels.


Daily Mail

'The National Front is now the first party of France': Marine Le Pen hails 'record-breaking' regional election results as her far-right group tops polls with landslide vote in wake of Paris attacks

  • National Front party made huge gains winning 30 per cent of the votes

  • Party has exploited Paris attacks and migration crisis to win popularity

  • Controversial leader Marine Le Pen hopes for a presidential bid next year


PUBLISHED: 06:37 EST, 6 December 2015 | UPDATED: 03:18 EST, 7 December 2015

France's far-right National Front topped the country's regional election vote on Sunday in a breakthrough that shakes up the country's political landscape.

The anti-immigration party received at least 29.4 per cent of the votes as the country continues its state of emergency following the Paris terror attacks.

It won six out of 13 regions in the election's first round, which 44 million people were eligible to vote for.

France's far-right National Front topped the country's regional election vote on Sunday in a breakthrough that shakes up the country's political landscape. Above, National Front leader leader Marine Le Pen casts her vote at a polling station during the first round of votes on Sunday in Henin-Beaumont, northern France

Former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative Les Republicains party and their allies came second with around 27 per cent of the vote while President Francois Hollande’s ruling Socialists came third.

National Front leader Marine Le Pen welcomed the 'magnificent result', which will leave her in the ideal position for a presidential bid in 2017.

She added that the result proved the party was 'without contest the first party of France'.

Ms Le Pen, who led the first round in southeast France with 42 per cent, had argued before the vote that refugee camps like the so-called ‘Jungle’ in Calais are full of young men who are potential terrorists.

She also reminded voters that some of the Paris murderers, including suicide bombers at the Stade de France, are said to have entered Europe from Syria as alleged asylum seekers.

Mr Sarkozy on Sunday ruled out any alliance with the president's party to keep the far-right out of power in regional councils.

Voters were choosing leadership for the country’s 13 newly redrawn regions in elections that go to a second round on December 13.

Ms Le Pen’s niece, 25-year-old Marion Marechal-Le Pen, also did well in the southern regions.

Ms Marechal-Le Pen became the youngest MP in French parliamentary history, when she was elected three years ago aged just 22. The two women have strenuously denied they are competing against one another.

The result comes after commentators predicted National Front will win three major regions following the second round of voting in a week’s time.

Their support has climbed rapidly since the series of brutal and coordinated terror attacks on November 13, which saw ISIS terrorists slaughter 130 people at bars and restaurants across the city.

In a statement issued three weeks ahead of the regional elections, National Front said one of the attackers had arrived in Greece the previous month 'among the mass of migrants who flow into Europe each day'.

It added: 'As a precaution, Marine Le Pen calls for the immediate halt of all intake of migrants in France.'

Jerome Fourquet, an analyst for pollster Ifop, said before the election: 'What was once a ceiling for National Front votes has become a floor after Charlie [Hebdo attacks].

'The National Front building is getting taller and taller now thanks to the migrant crisis and the terrorist attacks.

'Everything is adding up for the National Front to make an unprecedented score.'

The Socialists and Republicans had suggested electoral alliances in the second round to keep them out.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls was among those calling for a ‘patriotic vote’ against the National Front, which some said has a racist agenda.

Last July, Ms Le Pen was charged with 'inciting hatred' after she compared Muslim street prayers to Nazi occupation.

She said in 2010: 'For those who like to talk about World War Two, to talk about occupation, we could talk about, for once, the occupation of our territory. It is an occupation of part of the territory, suburbs where religious law is applied.

'Sure, there are no armoured vehicles, no soldiers, but it is an occupation nonetheless and it weighs on residents.'

In October, prosecutors told Lyon Correctional Court the charges should be dropped because she was protected by freedom of expression.

She said the 'political trial' had been launched to scupper her chances of winning elections.

Every party that attracted at least 10 per cent of votes will qualify for the 'run off' elections on December 13.

The National Front has previously never ruled at a higher level than town halls.

French regions rule over local transport and economic development as well as high schools and vocational training.

Their powers have been beefed up after a reform that cut their numbers from 22 to 13.



The House of Lords keeps defeating Cameron – so now he’s taking revenge


Since the May election, the House of Lords has been flexing its muscles, defeating the government on a whole raft of contentious legislation. Now Cameron wants revenge – and things are about to get nasty.

When the Tories won an unexpected Commons majority in the general election, the chances are they weren’t too worried about their lack of a majority in the Lords. But since that election victory, the upper house has defeated the government 23 times – on 70 per cent of occasions, compared to the 15-year average of 30 per cent, according to unhappy senior Tories.

In what has turned out to be one of the more unexpected political stories of the year, the unelected chamber has taken on unpopular legislation like tax credit cuts – and won. Cameron is not happy, and he’s about to enact his revenge.

One of the recent defeats inflicted by the House of Lords was on the government’s EU Referendum Bill. Last month, the Lords amended the bill to give 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in the referendum, and sent it back to the Commons. On Tuesday though, the government voted down Labour, SNP and Lib Dem opposition to kill off the Lords’ amendment.

So far, so ordinary. What is extraordinary though, is that the House of Commons has also tried to stop the Lords from blocking the bill a second time. The office of the Speaker of the Commons invoked “financial privilege” – claiming the Bill requires spending money that has to be approved by the Commons. It cannot, therefore, be vetoed by the Lords, according to convention.

Financial privilege appears a contrived obstacle; it was never raised during the Scottish independence referendum, in which 16 and 17 year-olds were allowed to vote. The move, according to one Labour party source, was “payback time” for the Lords’ defeat of the tax credit bill.

The Tories are out to get revenge. But, perhaps more worryingly, they’re also out to neuter the opposition in the upper house, so they have free rein to push through any amount of contentious legislation in future.

After the tax credit defeat, Cameron asked Lord Strathclyde to lead a review into the powers of the Lords. That review is due to conclude this month, and the Financial Times is reporting that it will propose significantly limiting peers’ powers. Lords should, it will conclude, only be allowed to reject ‘secondary legislation’ (legislation that doesn’t require an Act of Parliament) once. If peers reject Strathclyde’s proposal, this thinly veiled threat from a ‘senior Tory’ suggests the government will look for ways to bypass the Lords altogether:

The House of Lords has to tread carefully. If they don’t accept this proposal, we could stop them having any say at all on secondary legislation. That’s a big bazooka.

Secondary legislation gets less scrutiny than primary legislation, and less time for debate. Cameron has been relying on it to push through unpopular measures (like tax credits) without proper scrutiny, leading a former clerk of the Commons to warn that secondary legislation was being used “increasingly for matters of policy and principle which should be the subject of primary legislation”. One Conservative aide has admitted: “We are being told to use statutory instruments [secondary legislation] wherever possible to get legislation through.”

Cameron, therefore, has been pushing through contentious policies as secondary legislation to limit scrutiny. And now he’s planning to take away what little scrutiny there was – albeit by an unelected chamber – by limiting the Lords’ powers.

In the seven short months since the election, Cameron’s attempts to silence dissent and shut down opposition have become increasingly brazen and dictatorial. He’s choked off opposition parties’ funding. He’s limited the rights of trade unions. He’s taken 1.9 million names (more likely to vote Labour than Conservative) off the electoral roll. And now he is trying to diminish the power of that unlikely hotbed of dissent, the House of Lords, so that future Tory legislation can be rammed through – however unwise, unjust or unpopular it may be.

In short, he is trying to create an oligarchy.



An Ancient Method of Taming a Wild Horse

by Adrienne Mayor (regular contributor)

According to the ancient Greeks, nomadic Scythians and Amazons beyond the Black Sea were the first to tame wild horses. Recently translated oral traditions of tribes of the northern Caucasus affirm that ancestral superheroes called “Narts” were the first to ride wild horses. (Nart sagas combine ancient Indo-European mythology with Eurasian folklore.) Notably, modern scientific, historical, and archaeological evidence indicates that the earliest domestication of the horse occurred on the Eurasian steppes in about 3,500 BC.

A Nart saga from Abkhazia (NW Caucasus) credits a folk hero, Sasruquo, with the discovery of a unique method of taming a headstrong horse. In the tale, Sasruquo needs to travel quickly to an important assembly of many tribes. This was in the time when only the Narts knew the secrets of domesticating wild horses. But after his beloved horse Bzow died, Sasruquo had vowed to “sit astride no other steed.”

He sets off on foot but must cross a furiously churning river. He notices a wild stallion grazing on the bank. Sasruquo makes reins and a bit of mulberry bark, thrusts it into the horse’s mouth, and leaps onto the stallion’s back as it plunges into the river. As the horse thrashes and wears itself out against the raging torrent, Sasruquo patiently urges and guides the stallion to safety on the other bank. The horse, now docile, trusts Sasruquo and follows the direction of the reins.

At the assembly of tribes, people are astonished to see someone riding horse and they asked how the feat was accomplished. “From that day onward,” many nomads on the steppes began to tame and ride wild steeds.

This resourceful ancient technique of teaching horses to accept riders is still used by horse-people in the Caucasus and the steppes–and in other places around the world. Some mount horses in streams or rivers; others start riding young or wild horses in deep snow banks. In the Altai region and Mongolia, they train young and/or wild horses by riding them in deep mud or over hillsides. Native Americans and ranchers in the US have used these methods, too. All the versions have the same effect of impeding and tiring the horse. The method should be not be overdone, and the river technique works best if one uses herd instinct, allowing a young or green horse to observe and follow other horses into water, before introducing a rider.



Scientists Who Discovered Gluten Sensitivity Now Prove It Doesn’t Actually Exist


By Jeffrey Green

The latest fad diet to impact market shelf products is the “gluten free” diet, based off of a diet recommended for those who suffer from celiac disease. Essentially, a large amount of carbs such as breads and grains are cut from the diet to reduce abdominal discomfort.

While most follow this diet blindly without doing proper research on the side effects, there are some that have taken the time to dawn some light on what would be considered “faulty” scientific research.

In this article by Jennifer Welsh for Business Insider, the “need” for a gluten-free diet is debunked through placebos in scientific research. The scientists who hosted the study tested a pool of 37 self-proclaimed “gluten free” participants. The findings are listed below:

The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time. In the end, all of the treatment diets – even the placebo diet – caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten (Welsh).

The study was a follow up on a 2011 experiment in that seemed to show evidence of gluten sensitivity in non-celiac people. This new study refutes those findings and shows gluten sensitivity for those without celiac disease may not actually exist.

What was drawn from these findings was that regardless of the amount of gluten presented, the reactions remained the same, leading these researchers to believe that there was a different factor in food other than gluten that led these “gluten sensitive” participants discomfort after certain meals. The placebos were put in place to reduce any mentally-induced side effects.

If the participants were aware of the level of gluten in their foods, there may be the factor that some would refuse to eat the meal(s), or exaggerate on their reactions to the provided meals. These findings should give ease to the gluten-free community, but at the same time should encourage those having these reactions to find out what is truly in their food and test all allergen aspects of their diet. Similar findings have been found across the board through scientific research.

In this article, compiled from a group of researchers from the Gastroenterology Unit at the General Hospital of Birmingham, a similar study hosted to 210 people similar to the study performed by Welsh proved for similar findings: gluten was not the culprit behind the discomfort that these “gluten-intolerant or sensitive” participants experienced.

This article dives a little deeper than the aforementioned article by Welsh. After discussing their similar findings, the Gastroenterology Unit looked into cancerous side effects of those who are gluten-intolerant continuing to eat gluten. While it may not be the cause of these short-term side effects such as bloating or discomfort, it may cause those with coeliac disease to have a “increased risk of developing malignancy, particularly lymphoma” (4) in the long term.

Other research has proved that the gluten-free diet is only effective in patients if they adhere to it for life as opposed to just hopping onto the latest diet bandwagon.

With these findings, the spike in the “gluten-free” food industry proves to not be as useful as it claims to be. With scientific data proving that the gluten found in yeast, barley, and grains does not have strong significance in discomfort and gastrointestinal bloating, all of these products are nothing more than a bandwagon marketing ploy on the most current fad diet. While cutting out unnecessary, processed carbs is a wise move in working toward a healthy lifestyle, cutting out carbs altogether now proves to have more health risks than benefits.

If you classify yourself as someone who is “gluten intolerant” or sensitive to it, in accordance to these articles and their findings, it may benefit you more to look deeper into the components of your diet and stop pinning gluten as the “bad guy” because that’s what “scientists” or marketing are telling you.Jeffrey Green writes for NaturalBlaze.com where this article first appeared. This article is open-source and free to republish in full with attribution.


Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
(Ecclesiastics 11:1)