The hallelujah cure: Trump campaign adviser says pray away the flu

Brethren, our topic for this week’s column is the flu, because I have it.

I followed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and got a vaccination, which may or may not have lessened my symptoms. But then I discovered I had neglected the most important prophylaxis of all: prayer.

This advice came from the evangelist Gloria Copeland, who with her husband, Kenneth, runs a religious empire based largely on faith healing. Copeland posted a video last week that argued, passionately if incoherently, either that the flu doesn’t actually exist (“We got a duck season, a deer season, but we don’t have a flu season”) or that faith can protect you from it (“inoculate yourself with the word of God”).

At a time when the CDC was warning that this year’s flu outbreak appears to be the worst in almost a decade, Copeland’s remarks went, uhh, viral. They also attracted unwanted attention to her connection to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, on whose “evangelical advisory board” she and her husband served, alongside prominent Christian and Republican figures including Jerry Falwell Jr., Michele Bachmann and James Dobson. Apparently in response, a clarification went up on the Copeland Ministries website, insisting that “Gloria did not say or imply that you shouldn’t get a flu shot or see a doctor. Gloria and Kenneth Copeland Ministries value medicine and doctors and would never counsel someone not to seek medical care.”

That disclaimer would be more convincing if there weren’t copious evidence that Copeland actually does not value medicine, at least in comparison with the kind of healing that goes on in her church and at revivals. Her statement on the website was followed by pages of testimonials like this one, from “Terri”: “Tests showed I had a growth on my gallbladder and the doctor recommended surgery.  We prayed and received healing by faith. Hands were laid on me and I never had another symptom.”  As Copeland once preached: “We know what’s wrong with you. You’ve got cancer. The bad news is we don’t know what to do about it — except give you some poison that will make you sicker. Now, which do you want to do? Do you want to do that, or do you want to sit in here on a Saturday morning, hear the word of God and let faith come into your heart and be healed?”

At least since the time of Jesus, Christians have prayed for health. But Kurt Andersen, in his indispensable guide to American irrationality, Fantasyland, traces contemporary faith healing to the advent of the charismatic, ecstatic form of Christian worship known as Pentecostalism. After its heyday in the early decades of the 20th century, it was banished to the fringes of society for decades, only to reemerge in recent years under the guise of “prosperity gospel.” As preached by the Copelands, Oral Roberts, Joel Osteen and many others, one can think of prosperity gospel as a form of “applied religion,” by analogy to, say, “applied science,” that involves trying to obtain concrete rewards in the here and now,  including financial success, personal happiness and overcoming adversity.

Such as the flu.

Andersen notes that this is not a practice confined to right-wing Christians. Seeking to cure cancer by praying is not more or less implausible than using crystals for the purpose. Oprah, that great font of national gullibility, was an early exponent of “The Secret,” a best-selling book by Rhonda Byrnes that repackaged prosperity gospel in secular form as “the law of attraction,” the idea that “the universe” would provide whatever you sought if you just thought about it long and hard enough.

Morally, this is deplorable. Byrne’s book never so much as raised the possibility that the awesome power she had discovered could be used for the benefit of anyone else — a hungry child, say — rather than grabbing jewelry, toys, lovers or a good parking spot. It’s also common knowledge that the “prosperity” in prosperity gospel mostly accrues to the people who preach it.

Metaphysically, it’s a muddle. Prayer doesn’t work all the time, obviously, so why does God heal some people and not others? How does he do it? The Bible verses that Copeland cites in support of her practice were written at a time when the human body was a black box, and there was no inherent reason to doubt that Jesus could raise someone from the dead. By 1987, though, when Oral Roberts made the same claim for himself, it was understood that restoring a corpse to life requires reversing a whole cascade of cellular processes for which there is no known, or even conceivable, mechanism. Does God go through each of the trillions of cells in a human body and jump-start the mitochondria?

Still, between coughing fits last week, I wondered: Could Copeland be on to something? I had relied on medical science to ward off the flu, and I got sick anyway. (Full disclosure: this is a self-diagnosis, based on my feeling the way Trump reportedly described the nations of Africa). What does science have to say about prayer as a form of medical prophylaxis?

It is part of the greatness of the scientific method that this question can be asked, and, within the limits of our present-day knowledge, answered. The first statistical study of so-called intercessory prayer was published in 1872 by the eminent Victorian scientist Sir Francis Galton, who noted that, notwithstanding the millions of prayers regularly offered in European countries for the health of their respective royal families, on average royals actually died younger — 64 years — than clergymen, lawyers, military officers, or members of all other genteel professions, excluding deaths by accident or violence.

I rest my case.

No, actually, I don’t, because scientists have continued to study the question — not by calculating the lifespan of kings, but with controlled experiments enlisting hundreds of subjects and modern statistical analysis. You can read an analysis by David R. Hodge of Arizona State University here, and another here. What seemed to Galton like a straightforward question of statistics turns out to pose all kinds of research conundrums. What kinds of prayer should be studied, and by whom? For what kinds of disease? Should the people prayed for be told in advance, and is their informed consent required? What measures should be used to determine if the prayers worked?

Each researcher answered those questions differently. A few studies, less than half, indicated a beneficial effect of intercessory prayer, but the effects were small. Often the outcomes involved obscure markers of recovery such as the incidence of certain specific surgical complications. God works in mysterious ways, but that’s a long way from being raised from the dead.

At least one researcher treated the whole question as a joke, and did an experiment to show that praying for patients years after they were sick — and in some cases, after they were already dead — was correlated with shorter hospital stays. (The paper was published in a peer-reviewed journal — the data was real, if nonsensical — and it has been cited by other researchers, leading to some professional angst about the ethics of scientific satire.)

The bottom line is that while we can’t prove that prayer works or doesn’t work, if it were a drug up for approval by the FDA, it likely wouldn’t qualify. Hodge says it would be classified as an “experimental” intervention.

Still, there’s no harm in it, is there? When people are sick, their families and friends want to feel they’re doing something, and praying for them, if nothing else, keeps them in mind. Last month White House press secretary Sarah Sanders asked people to pray for 9-year-old Sophia Marie Campa-Peters, who was about to undergo life-saving brain surgery. Those who responded undoubtedly felt good about themselves, Sophia and her parents took courage from the response, and Trump himself, at the National Prayer Breakfast last week, cited her recovery after “millions of people lifted Sophia up in their prayers.”  Who could be against that — given, of course, that the prayers were viewed, properly, as supplemental to the surgery, rather than a substitute for it?

But that’s the catch: Some people do substitute faith for medical treatment. The Copelands’ own church was at the center of a measles outbreak in 2013, spread by children whose parents had failed to vaccinate them. The church denied that it discourages vaccination, but as one former member explained, “To get a vaccine would have been viewed by me and my friends and my peers as an act of fear — that you doubted God would keep you safe. … We simply didn’t do it.”

As public health officials have said repeatedly, an unvaccinated child isn’t just a risk to herself, but even to those who did receive a shot; the operative concept is “community [aka ‘herd’] immunity.” More broadly, the belief that we can turn our problems over to Jesus — or the “law of attraction” — can distract us from other urgent problems that require human solutions. And environmental problems in particular require those human solutions. This is a mindset that is compounded by the fact that many of the same people who turn to God to keep them from getting the flu also believe in the imminence of the End Times, which would render the melting of the polar ice caps an irrelevant inconvenience.

James Inhofe, the chair of the Senate Environmental Committee, has been especially forceful in this regard. His view is to let God handle global warming, since it’s out of humanity’s hands anyway. “God’s still up there,” he has said. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

All I can say about that is, for Inhofe’s sake I hope he doesn’t take the same attitude toward his own health as he does toward the health of the Earth.

And as for me, I need a nap.

Read more from Yahoo News:

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/hallelujah-cure-trump-campaign-adviser-says-pray-away-flu-150052335.html

Hillary Clinton Reportedly Kept An Adviser Accused Of Sexual Harassment On The Payroll

A top adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign was allowed to keep his job after Clinton learned he had been accused of sexual harassment, The New York Times reports.

A 30-year-old staffer made a complaint at the time against Clinton’s faith adviser, Burns Strider. She said Strider had displayed inappropriate behavior: kissing her on the forehead, rubbing her shoulders and sending suggestive emails.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, suggested to the candidate that Strider be removed from his position, sources told the Times. But he stayed, according to the report. He was docked pay for several weeks and ordered to attend counseling. The woman who made the complaint was moved to a different role. 

Strider later went on to work for Correct the Record, an independent group that supported Clinton’s 2016 presidential run. He was fired months after he started that job amid accusations that he harassed a female aide, according to the Times. 

Read The New York Times’ full report here.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/hillary-clinton-reportedly-kept-adviser-180234518.html

Marijuana Adviser To Sessions Wants To Drug Test Everyone

“We want [drug screens] to be routine in all medicine…”

It’s bad enough in 2018 that the war on drugs still exists in the deluded minds of government higher-ups, just as some states begin to legalize recreational marijuana. And just as they do, Attorney General Jeff Sessions dropped the bomb that the Federal Government ended its leniency toward states’ rights for medical marijuana. Thus, we devolve as a nation.

But the biggest blow to Americans was when Sessions’ DEA, although going after marijuana as a dangerous substance – in essence gave a Pharma opioid maker the rights to a partial national monopoly on synthetic THC!

What’s worse, it looks like the War on Drugs has just collided with Mad Medicine.

Herb.co reports:

A top-level advisor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants doctors to drug test all their patients, and to force users, they suspect of addiction into rehabilitation against their will. If Robert DuPont gets his way, drug testing could become a required part of your visit to the doctor.

DuPont, 81, is one of a small group of drug-policy “experts” Sessions invited to a closed meeting last month to discuss federal response to marijuana legalization. He is one of the most hard-line and influential architects of the Drug War, having started out in the 1970’s as a liberal on the drug control issue. But by the 1980’s DuPont had taken a hard right turn, popularizing the long-debunked claim that cannabis is a “gateway drug.”

DuPont wants to force people into treatment for up to 5 years.

In an interview last year, DuPont pushed for expanding drug testing. His idea includes having physicians force patients whom they believe to have substance abuse problems to submit to drug tests, or lengthy stays in treatment facilities reports Newsweek.

“Among other things, he proposed giving doctors the authority to compel suspected substance abusers into treatment against their will,” reportsThe Daily Beast. “Once in treatment, patients could face up to five years of monitoring, including random drug tests.”

“We want [drug screens] to be routine in all medicine,” DuPont said. “Doctors already check for things like cholesterol and blood sugar, why not test for illicit drugs? Right now the public thinks that if we provide treatment the addicts will come and get well … that’s not true. So let’s use the leverage of the criminal justice system.”

It is quite the understatement to say that America has been ejected right off that proverbial slippery slope. Can you imagine anything more invasive when modern medicine and drug laws are already so intrusive?

DuPont doesn’t even want to try treatment but views all drug use as a forbidden crime for which there must be government intervention.

In 2010, he penned a national model bill that “called on cops to test anyone stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence for all controlled substances, and arresting them on the spot if the slightest trace showed up — regardless of the amount. While the bill includes an exemption for drivers with prescriptions, cannabis users would still get busted. Medical-marijuana patients don’t have prescriptions (due to federal law), just doctor recommendations.”

That bill would not only punish legal medical marijuana patients in states which permit its use, but anyone for any substance that is legal to consume – even alcohol or medicine. Any failure of a bodily drug test would constitute possession of the substance!

So with DuPont’s ideas, we could look forward to a nation of forced drug testing, invasive extraction of bodily fluids, zero tolerance of substances including alcohol or cold medicine, instant arrests and federal charges of crimes for any deviation. Bye, bye 4th Amendment.

A few notable things about DuPont:

  • He was the former drug czar to Richard Nixon.
  • Vaguely warned The Washington Post the marijuana would have “horrendous” effects on society.
  • Although serving for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) he later had ties to the drug-testing industry. (source)
  • “In 2000, he appeared before the federal Food and Drug Administration, pushing for expanded hair follicle testing.” ! (source)
  • Yes, it is and would be financially gainful for him to continue opposing friendly cannabis legislation. He was a ” paid consultant and shareholder in Psychemedics, which offered costly hair testing analysis.”

What else can we say? Whereas the state laws allowing cannabis freedom were a breath of fresh air in the midst of a war on freedom – we are heading back to the dinosaurs where the breath of aging, drug-war addled elites whispers into the ear of the Attorney General. President Trump is strangely absent from these conflicts.

 

via:

naturalblaze

Source Article from https://worldtruth.tv/marijuana-adviser-to-sessions-wants-to-drug-test-everyone/

Trump’s Closest Adviser Just Warned Any Attempt to Impeach Will Result in Mass Violence

impeachimpeach

Washington, D.C. – Renowned Nixon “dirty trickster,” and one of Donald Trump’s closest advisors, Roger Stone has warned that blood will flow in the streets of America if President Trump is impeached.

Stone clearly elicited how “an insurrection like you have never seen” would likely come to fruition if politicians attempt to remove Trump from the White House – specifically noting that those politicians “would be endangering their own life.”

Stone was clear that he “was not advocating violence” but simply “predicting it.”

The long-time Trump confidante said that an attempt to impeach the President would be met by armed resistance among Trump supporters.

“Try to impeach him, just try it. You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection like you’ve never seen,” he said. “The people will not stand for impeachment. A politician that votes for it would be endangering their own life.”

While Trump has done himself no favors with many of his policy moves, like Jeff Sessions renewed war on cannabis, there has, without question, been a concerted effort undertaken by elements of the “deep state” security bureaucracy, Clintonites and their mass media allies (Podesta, Wapo, CNN, etc.), and the Obama administration and its cronies in the security services (Clapper, Brennen, Comey, McCabe, Stroszek, etc.) to delegitimize and undermine Trump and his entire presidency.

When you come to understand the vast interconnectedness of the political parties (DNC & GOP), as simple vessels for the corporate security state, you realize the unique threat Trump’s stated plans of rapprochement with the Russians presents to the deep state and military industrial complex, which relies on the “Russian threat” as the driving force for trillions of dollars in military expenditures.

For example, the U.S. just began a trillion dollar upgrade of its nuclear arsenal.

What is the reason?

Well, of course, it’s due to maintaining nuclear parity with Russia, thus less tension with Russia equates to less money for the armaments industry.

The war on terror was determined to not be lucrative enough, in terms of big budget defense items, thus a pivot back to the “evil Russia” narrative as it allows for more F-35s, tanks, and nukes to be purchased.

Throughout the ongoing soft coup operation, the goal has been Trump’s eventual impeachment – with support for impeachment recently having risen to 40 percent among the American public, according to a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) earlier this month.

Stone was clear that he believed the deep state operation was pushing the country towards a Civil War type scenario.

When asked by TMZ if he believed there would be “some sort of civil war” if the Trump was impeached, the long-time political strategist replied:

“Yes, that’s what I think will happen.

“Both sides are heavily armed… There would be violence on both sides.”

Stone, who was an early adviser in Trump’s presidential campaign and is believed to still be in contact with him regularly noted that:

“The people who are calling for impeachment are the people who didn’t vote for him. They need to get over it, they lost.”

“Sorry, he whipped Hillary Clinton’s ass. It’s over, you lost.”

Make no mistake that there is an ongoing, and slow moving, soft-coup taking place, that is being orchestrated by high-level politicians, and their cronies, who sit in powerful positions in the U.S. intelligence-security bureaucracy.

While it is important to show the behind the scene players in the soft coup, it is also important to point out that Trump has flip-flopped on nearly every promise in regard to foreign policy and has since begun carrying out the neocon agenda of war with Syria and Iran. It is also important to point out that although Trump may have sought rapprochement with Russia in the beginning of his presidency, multiple moves have been made by the Trump administration that do more to provoke the Russians that seek peace with them.

For those who would take up arms to defend any of the puppets in the White House, we urge you to reconsider. It matters not which talking head is in the White House as the upside down funnel of wealth extraction will continue as well as the growing police state and war. It is the establishment that is the problem who cannot be taken out with violence.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/trumps-closest-adviser-impeach-civil-war/

Former national security adviser Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI



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Source Article from http://govtslaves.info/2017/12/former-national-security-adviser-flynn-pleads-guilty-lying-fbi/

Erdogan’s chief adviser calls for Turkey’s NATO membership to be reconsidered – local media

Tensions between the military bloc and Turkey escalated last week when Turkey’s founding leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan were depicted as “enemies” during NATO drills in Norway. Erdogan said the incident was an attack targeting “Turkey and the Turkish nation.”

What [NATO] did is a scandal,” the Turkish leader told a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial congress in the eastern province of Bayburt on Sunday, Hurriyet reported. “They know that they cannot stop our country, which is why they are putting us on a target board. I hope that those who welcomed attacks against us before now understand the real face of the matter, as Ataturk was also included.”

The issue is not a personal or party issue. The target is Turkey and the Turkish nation,” he noted.

Today there is a Turkey that cannot be compared with 15 years ago in every field – from the economy to the defense industry and from trade to diplomacy. There is now a Turkey that produces its own weapons and tanks,” Erdogan warned.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/410395-turkey-nato-membership-reconsider/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Adelson expresses support for ZOA efforts to depose Trump’s Nat Sec Adviser McMaster

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/adelson-expresses-support-for-zoa-efforts-to-depose-trumps-nat-sec-adviser-mcmaster/

Third Highest Ranking Vatican Official, Chief Adviser to Pope, Charged with Child Molestation

vaticanvatican

Australia’s most senior Catholic became the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged with sexual assault, when Australian police announced that he faces multiple “historical sexual assault offenses” early Thursday.

Cardinal George Pell, 76, currently serves as Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser. He is the third highest ranking member of the entire Catholic church.

The Associated Press reported that he is set to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18. While Australian police have yet to reveal the details of the charges, the label of “historical” sexual assault charges means that it could have been several years since the offenses were committed.

“It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have, obviously, been tested in any court yet,” Victoria State Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters in Melbourne. “Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process.”

This is not the first time Pell has been the subject of sexual abuse allegations. The claims date back to before Pell was a priest, with one man testifying that Pell molested him on several occasions at a campsite on Phillip Island in 1961, when he was 12 years old and Pell was a trainee priest.

After Pell was ordained in 1966, there were complaints of his conduct in 1978, when he was Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Ballarat diocese in Victoria.

Allegations include that while playing a game in a pool, Pell repeatedly touched the genitals of two young boys who were students at St. Alipius primary school. Pell was responsible for overseeing the school, which is now remembered as a notorious breeding ground for pedophiles in the 1970s.

Philip Nagle, a former student who is now in his 50s, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in 2015 that 12 of his 33 classmates had “committed suicide because of the sexual and physical abuse that took place at the school.”

Pell was then accused of behaving inappropriately around young boys again in 1986, when he was serving as seminary rector at Corpus Christi College. Les Tyack, a local businessman, claimed that he walked into one of the changing rooms at the Torquay Surf Club, and found Pell exposing himself to a group of boys, aged 8-10.

“I said, ‘Hi George’, and at that time he was toweling, had the towel going across his shoulders drying his back, but he was facing three young boys standing about three or four meters across from him,” Tyack said, noting that Pell stayed in that position for at least 10 minutes.

In July 2016, Pell was accused of sexually abusing two teenage choir boys in the backroom of St. Patrick’s Cathedral during his time as archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 to 2001.

In spite of decades of allegations from the myriad of victims, Pell continued to move up through the ranks of the Catholic church.

Naturally, Pell has consistently denied the claims, referring to any efforts to investigate them as part of a “scandalous smear campaign.”

That same rhetoric continued on Thursday, after a statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney claimed that Pell plans to return to Australia to confront the charges as soon as possible, and he “is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously.”

As The Free Thought Project reported, Pope Francis went from admitting that about 1 in 50 Roman Catholic priests are pedophiles and promising to find solutions in 2014, to quietly reducing sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests earlier this year.

Just one month before reducing the sanctions, Pope Francis addressed a letter to bishops around the world, which was released in January, calling for a “zero tolerance” policy for child abusers.

“Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity,” Pope Francis wrote. “We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness. We join in the pain of the victims and weep for this sin… The Church also weeps bitterly over this sin of her sons and she asks forgiveness.”

Cardinal Pell’s history of sexual assault accusations, coupled with the fact that Pope Francis appointed him to serve as the most senior Catholic in Australia, raise new questions about the pope’s “zero tolerance” policy. If Pell is found guilty, he would become the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged with sexual assault.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/top-vatican-cardinal-charged-sexual-assault/

For 1st time in 2,000 years, Vatican names Israeli Rabbi as adviser

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/for-1st-time-in-2000-years-vatican-names-israeli-rabbi-as-adviser/