The Pope, A Pastor, and Nuclear Winter

by lizard

Evolve, adapt, or face extinction. That appears to be the reality Pope Francis is grappling with, as evidenced by an interview sending shockwaves across the billion plus faithful of the Catholic Church, and beyond. Here is an example of the sea-change underway:

We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. … The proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing.

This quote resonates far beyond the church. The global population of this planet must find a new balance, and Pope Francis is right when he states that the order which stands on the opposite side of the saving love of God seems to be prevailing.

The behaviors that constitute the opposing forces of God’s love are described in Proverbs:

A proud look
A lying tongue
Hands that shed innocent blood
A heart that devises wicked plots
Feet that are swift to run into mischief
A deceitful witness that uttereth lies
Him that soweth discord among brethren

Reading that list reminded me of some more good news, and that is the conviction of Hamilton pastor, Harris Himes:

A Ravalli County jury found Hamilton pastor Harris Himes guilty on three felony counts of securities fraud Friday.

The seven-man, five-woman jury took just under five hours to render its verdict after a four-day trial.

The controversial pastor was charged with cheating a church member out of $150,000 in 2008.

The jury found Himes guilty of failure to register a security, failure to register as a security salesperson and fraudulent practices, all felonies.


This is good news because Harris Himes is a sad, hateful person who gets to ruminate on his own wickedness for what I hope is a nice stretch in prison.

Remember, when a legislative attempt to nullify Missoula’s equality ordinance went down in Helena last session, Himes said this:

Harris Himes, representing the Montana Eagle Forum, called the Missoula ordinance “unconstitutional on its face.”

“There are those of us who would not to rent to gay and lesbian people for religious reasons,” said Himes, a Hamilton pastor.

Pressed later by Rep. Ellie Hill, D-Missoula, what those religious

reasons are, Himes said: “It is God himself who says that homosexuality is an abomination, and he has various punishments for that too.”

Hill asked what those punishments are, and Himes quoted Leviticus saying that homosexuals “surely shall be put to death.”

In Armageddon news, the burden of Damascus has yet to be fulfilled, so that’s good (the link is to a Mother Jones article that came before the wheels of war against Syria came to a halting stop). Here’s a quick description of what gets end-timers all worked up:

With Congress set to vote next week on the authorization to use military force in Syria, the Damascus prophecy has taken on a new significance among the nation’s End Times industry—writers and pastors who believe the world is hurtling toward the return of Christ as forecasted in the Book of Revelation—and its adherents in the pews and in public life. On Saturday, Rosenberg will travel to Topeka, Kansas, at the invitation of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, to discuss the situation in the Middle East.

The idea behind the prophecy is a fairly straightforward one. In Isaiah 17, the prophet explains that, in the run-up to Armageddon, “Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, and will become a fallen ruin.” The implication is that it will be leveled by God on behalf of Israel as part of the last great struggle for mankind.

What got me all worked up yesterday is a different kind of looming armageddon, a nuclear one. I really hope Harvey Wasserman is overstating the crisis at Fukushima:

We are now within two months of what may be humankind’s most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

There is no excuse for not acting. All the resources our species can muster must be focussed on the fuel pool at Fukushima Unit 4.

Fukushima’s owner, Tokyo Electric (Tepco), says that within as few as 60 days it may begin trying to remove more than 1300 spent fuel rods from a badly damaged pool perched 100 feet in the air. The pool rests on a badly damaged building that is tilting, sinking and could easily come down in the next earthquake, if not on its own.

Some 400 tons of fuel in that pool could spew out more than 15,000 times as much radiation as was released at Hiroshima.

The one thing certain about this crisis is that Tepco does not have the scientific, engineering or financial resources to handle it. Nor does the Japanese government. The situation demands a coordinated worldwide effort of the best scientists and engineers our species can muster.

Why does this increasingly volatile situation get virtually NO MEDIA?! Tepco has admitted covering up the severity of leaks from the beginning.

You would think a UN general assembly might be a good forum to raise the alarm, but I doubt this issue can compete with Rouhani’s anticipated speech.

There’s a lot of good work out there to be done in the world, and there are big, positive shifts happening. It would really suck if we wipe out a significant portion of life on the planet before this global awakening can be more fully realized.


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