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I write these words on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 28. This is just hours before former President Trump is scheduled to address CPAC, where he will likely receive a hero's welcome and be recognized as the de facto face of the Republican Party.
Earlier in the week, attendees were stunned to see a 200-pound, golden Trump statue wheeled into the CPAC convention, sparking a flurry of stories and headlines, including this one, today, from The New York Times: "At CPAC, a Golden Image, a Magic Wand and Reverence for Trump."
Many others were quick to compare the golden statue of Trump with the golden calf that the Israelites worshiped. (Ironically, in synagogues around the world this week, religious Jews will read that very account of Israel worshiping the golden calf.)
Front and center in the news lately is the ill-named Equality Act. The truth is it's nothing about equality. The act, which is being painted as a pro-LGBT law, is coming across to many people of faith as an anti-religious freedom law.
In essence the act is seeking to make "gender identity" a covered category under the Civil Rights Act, thereby overriding the protections based on biological sex.
The act also moves to repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, make abortion a federally protected civil right, would require the funding of abortion through Medicaid, Medicare and other sources, would encroach on parental rights to their children's health care and so much more.
Revelation 13:15-18 remains one of the most annoying challenges of interpretation within all of the Holy Bible.
"Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die. He required everyone ... to be given a mark on the right hand or the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. His number is 666" [or 616 in some manuscripts].
A beast rises from the sea and survives what seems a death-dealing injury, and is then "miraculously" healed. But it takes a second beast coming from the sea to create an image of the first beast, which can then move about and issue commands. At our elementary level of understanding, we must ask why all the machinations? Can't the first beast simply take control? If not, why not? How come the image rather than the real thing is required to get things done?
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