The Gospel in Revelation – James Rafferty
James Rafferty – Light Bearer Ministry
James Rafferty – Light Bearer Ministry
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A massive cross that serves as part of a war memorial on a San Diego hilltop must be dismantled because it has been found to violate a constitutional ban on government endorsement of religion, a federal judge grudgingly ruled on Thursday.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns marks the latest development in a long-running legal battle over the 43-foot-tall cross, a local landmark that has stood on top of Mount Soledad since 1954 and is visible for miles.
Burns stayed his order to give the Obama administration and the association that erected the cross, which have fought its removal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, a chance to file another appeal. Otherwise, he said, the monument must be taken down within 90 days.
“This is a victory for religious liberty,” said Daniel Mach, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s program on freedom of religion and belief who argued the matter for the plaintiffs in a hearing before Burns on Thursday.
“We firmly support the government’s efforts to honor the service of those who fought and died for this country, but there are many ways to do that without playing favorites with religion,” Mach said.
The case hinged on whether it is legal for a religious symbol to be prominently displayed on public land and whether the cross violated the U.S. Constitution’s requirement on separation of church and state.
The Mount Soledad cross has been the subject of litigation since 1989, when two veterans sued San Diego to get it off city land. In 2006, Congress intervened in the dispute, resulting in the federal government taking ownership of the property.
A group of plaintiffs, including the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, then sued. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals court ruled that the dominance of the cross conveyed a message of government endorsement of religion.
The Obama administration and the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, which erected the cross, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, supported by 20 U.S. states and various veterans groups in arguing the cross should be allowed as part of the memorial.
In June 2012, the Supreme Court declined to take the case, letting the Ninth Circuit’s ruling stand. In ordering that the cross be taken down, Burns said on Thursday he did not agree with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling but that his hands were tied.
The cross, located between the Pacific Ocean and a major interstate highway, is surrounded by walls displaying granite plaques that commemorate veterans or veterans groups. Easter services were held annually at the cross from 1954 until at least 2000, according to court documents.
The Mount Soledad Memorial Association, which erected the cross in place of another cross that had stood on that spot since 1913, could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday’s ruling.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)
JUST ADDED -Received this in my e-mail-
Liberty Institute vows to fight to U.S. Supreme Court
Dear Friend of Liberty,
Liberty Institute needs your immediate action in defense of veterans and religious liberty.
On Thursday, a U.S. District Judge ruled for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that the nationally famous Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross overlooking San Diego, California, must be torn down.
Liberty Institute vows to appeal the ruling and fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
We represent the official caretaker of the memorial—the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association—at no charge, through the generous donations of our supporters.
HISTORIC COURT BATTLE AHEAD “The judge reluctantly agreed with a previous ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that this hallowed veterans memorial must be removed,” said Hiram Sasser, Director of Litigation for Liberty Institute.
Sasser was present at the hearing. He said, “We are thankful, however, that the Judge allowed the Memorial Cross to stand as the case is appealed. And we will appeal—all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. And we are confident we will win.”
WHAT IS AT STAKE The outcome of this case touches thousands of other veterans memorials across the nation. If the ACLU can force the government to tear down the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross, where will they stop? What will happen to the 20-foot Canadian Cross of Sacrifice or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery?
The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial has stood since 1954 as a symbol of the selfless sacrifice and service of our nation’s military. The memorial has a 29-foot Latin cross surrounded by six concentric walls that display the photos, names and diverse religious symbols of our veterans who paid the ultimate price for freedom.
For more than 20 years, this veterans memorial has been the subject of a prolonged lawsuit brought about by the ACLU because of the inclusion of the cross.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Liberty Institute needs your financial support as we appeal and fight this decision. “We are confident we can win, just as we won the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial case at the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of Liberty Institute.
With the support of our donors, we won the Mojave Desert case and kept a memorial cross standing after repeated legal attempts to tear it down.
Thank you for your gift to keep the ACLU from tearing down the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross.
Kelly Shackelford President and CEO
A briefing held at Camp Shelby in Mississippi listed Evangelical Christian groups alongside domestic hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam.
Soldiers at Fort Hood were warned that participating in or donating money to evangelical Christian groups or Tea Party groups could result in military punishment.
Last year an Army Reserve training brief listed Catholics and Evangelical Christians as examples of religious extremism.
“Men and women of faith – who have served the Army faithfully for centuries – have been likened to those who regularly threaten the peace and security of the United States. It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of improper characterization.” — Ron Crews, Executive Director of the Chaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty
The Army repeatedly claims these briefings were isolated incidents where instructors used materials that were not approved by the military.
The English word “forehead” is generally used to refer to the upper part of the face, above the eyes. The original Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures also sometimes use the word that way, but more often use the term “forehead” to describe what is foremost inside the head, not merely on, or a part of, the outside surface. The Bible doesn’t just use the term “forehead” to describe what is physically foremost inside the head, but what is consciously foremost inside the head, much more like the term “heart and mind” is used today.
Will you choose “the seal of our God in your forehead” or “the image of the beast in your forehead”?
The Hebrew word pronounced may-tsak literally means to be in the clear, or prominently visible, and was sometimes used to refer to the part of the head that was prominent, as in these two examples for Aaron and Goliath, both of which refer to the upper part of their head:
“And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead [see also Christ's Mitre], that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before The Lord.” (Exodus 28:37-38 KJV)
“And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.” (1 Samuel 17:49 KJV)
Along with the literal-meaning examples shown above, may-tsak was also used in a figurative sense, to denote a “hardheadedness” for, or against, God:
“Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.” (Jeremiah 3:3 KJV)
“Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 3:8-9 KJV)
In the New Testament, the Greek word that is translated as “forehead,” pronounced met-oh-pon, means the middle of the head – but is consistently used to refer to the “heart and mind” usage. For example, the 144,000 are made so by the “seal of our God in their foreheads”
“Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel” (Revelation 7:3-4 KJV)
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” (Revelation 14:1 KJV)
The infamous “mark of the Beast” that will be “in their right hand, or in their foreheads” will also be a matter of “heart and mind.” The mark of the beast will be about thoughts and actions, opposing God’s Law, for which they will face God’s wrath, while God’s true people will have the “seal of our God in their foreheads” to “keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:15-17 KJV)
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the Commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:9-12 KJV)
Those who refuse to receive the mark of the beast in their foreheads will reign with Christ “and his name shall be in their foreheads”:
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon [literally, in] their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4 KJV)
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God [see The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth] and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the Throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face; and His Name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:1-4 KJV)
Fact Finder: How were Jewish Frontlets and Phylacteries invented and used for a principle in which The Lord actually meant that His Law was to be foremost in their thoughts and deeds? See Frontlets and Phylacteries
via Did Guardian Angel Save Teen?. [VIDEO LINK; THEY'RE A BIT TERRITORIAL WITH THEIR VIDEOS; AND THE EMBED CODE WOULDN'T WORK "X"]
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Rabbi Jonathan Cahn