IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address.

IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address

June 21, 2013 – 4:18 PM

By Terence P. Jeffrey
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IRS(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to “unauthorized” aliens were in Atlanta.

The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.

Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.

Since 1996, the IRS has issued what it calls Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to two classes of persons: 1) non-resident aliens who have a tax liability in the United States, and 2) aliens living in the United States who are “not authorized to work in the United States.”

The IRS has long known it was giving these numbers to illegal aliens, and thus facilitating their ability to work illegally in the United States. For example, the Treasury Inspector General’s Semiannual Report to Congress published on Oct. 29, 1999—nearly fourteen years ago—specifically drew attention to this problem.

“The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to undocumented aliens to improve nonresident alien compliance with tax laws. This IRS practice seems counter-productive to the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s (INS) mission to identify undocumented aliens and prevent unlawful alien entry,” TIGTA warned in that long-ago report.

The inspector general’s 2012 audit report on the IRS’s handling of ITINs was spurred by two IRS employees who went to members of Congress “alleging that IRS management was requiring employees to assign Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) even when the applications were fraudulent.”

In an August 2012 press release accompanying the audit report, TIGTA said the report “validated” the complaints of the IRS employees.

“TIGTA’s audit found that IRS management has not established adequate internal controls to detect and prevent the assignment of an ITIN to individuals submitting questionable applications,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. “Even more troubling, TIGTA found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications.”

In addition to the 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 that the IRS sent to a single address in Atlanta, the IG also discovered that the IRS had assigned 15,796 ITINs to unauthorized aliens who presumably used a single Atlanta address.

The IRS, according to TIGTA, also assigned ITINs to 15,028 unauthorized aliens presumably using a single address in Dallas, Texas, and 10,356 to unauthorized aliens presumably living at a single address in Atlantic City, N.J.

Perhaps the most remarkable act of the IRS was this: It assigned 6,411 ITINs to unauthorized aliens presumably using a single address in Morganton, North Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, there were only 16,681 people in Morganton. So, for the IRS to have been correct in issuing 6,411 ITINS to unauthorized aliens at a single address in Morganton it would have meant that 38 percent of the town’s total population were unauthorized alien workers using a single address.

TIGTA said there were 154 addresses around the country that appeared on 1,000 or more ITIN applications made to the IRS.

Illegal immigrants who commit crimes face lesser punishment than U.S. citizens.

illegal

Illegal immigrants who commit crimes face lesser punishment than U.S. citizens

BY: GABRIELLA MORRONGIELLO JUNE 24, 2013 | 11:06 AM

According to Sen. John McCain, a member of the Senate’s Gang of Eight, criminals will not be legalized under the proposed bipartisan immigration bill.

“Anyone who has committed crimes in this country is going to be deported,” the Arizona Republican declared on the Senate floor last week.

However, as Washington Examiner columnist Byron York recently reported, “the bottom line is an immigrant could have more than three misdemeanor convictions in his background check and still qualify for legalization.”

Furthermore, the following chart published June 21 by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit organization that opposes liberalization of immigration law, compares the consequences for an array of crimes and discovered that while illegal immigrants might be exonerated and legalized, U.S. citizens and legal immigrants face years of incarceration or temporary expulsion from the country.

The Gang of Eight’s bill would allow illegal immigrants who entered the country before Dec. 31, 2011, and committed up to three misdemeanor offenses including but not limited to assault, battery, identity or document fraud, tax evasion, to remain eligible for Registered Provisional Status. Meanwhile, U.S. citizens and persons who entered the country legally could incur up to $100,000 in fines,15 years of imprisonment, or be prohibited to reenter the country for up to 10 years.

“What it [the Gang of Eight bill] indicates is this is more than just an amnesty, it’s an amnesty for all kinds of violations,” said FAIR’s media director, Ira Mehlman. “We say nobody is above the law, but apparently illegal immigrants are.”

The House’s Abortion Game Changer.

stop abortionThe House’s Abortion Game Changer

In early evening on June 18, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 228 to 196 for a nationwide ban on abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Though there is little chance the legislation will be approved or even voted on in the Democratic Senate, and none that it will be signed into law by President Obama, the June 18 vote has the potential to trigger the most dramatic shift in the abortion debate since the first election of a proabortion president back in 1992. In stark contrast to the recent liberal theme of attack on the “extreme” pro-life willingness to protect pregnancies caused by of rape and incest, from now on an unavoidable topic in elections of the future will be the extreme implications of the Left’s untiring advocacy of abortion on demand.

The House’s vote underlines the extent to which the abortion debate has become polarized along party lines. Republican representatives voted 222 to 6 for the late-term ban, Democrats 190 to 6 against it. Many Democrats who represent socially conservative heartland districts felt compelled by some combination of party loyalty and ideological purity to cast this vote. Now, facing independent advertising expenditures being prepared by several pro-life and social-conservative groups, they will find themselves asked to explain why they favor a right to abort viable babies — including in the ninth month of pregnancy — in Gosnell-like surroundings. Judging from attempts within the last few days at such explanations by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Colorado representative Diana DeGette, co-chair of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, even the most sophisticated pro-abortion Democrats are utterly unprepared to answer such questions.

The vote was the first time since Roe v. Wade that either house of congress has voted on a national late-term-abortion ban, yet days before the vote there was no certainty it would happen. Its last-minute metamorphosis from a much narrower bill is reflected in its formal title, “District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” It had been opposed at various points by the House GOP leadership and elements of the pro-life movement, and it went on the calendar with just a few days’ notice. Many pro-lifers, inspired by the Gosnell case and other  abortion-clinic scandals, were eager to prepare for the vote with extensive congressional hearings. Desirable as such hearings were and are in the larger battle for public opinion, the unexpected nature of the issue’s arrival on the House floor caught many Democrats flatfooted, with zero ability to minimize or obfuscate the starkness of their vote to permit the killing of viable babies.

The one thing certain about social issues is their unpredictability. In this latest surprise a social-conservative movement that has been on the defensive — with elite opinion universally declaring its irrelevance and some in the Republican establishment calling for the removal of these issues from the party’s self-definition — has suddenly been presented with a recorded vote that could put its foes in the position of defending a practice that most American voters find indefensible.

— Frank Cannon and Jeffrey Bell are president and policy director of the Washington-based American Principles Project.

The End Times are not Happening to Me, I am Happening to the End Times.

blog promo

The End Times are not Happening to Me, I am Happening to the End Times.

According to many secular experts this is a terrible time to be a Christian. In some ways they have a point. American Christians face pressures now that no prior generation of believers has ever faced.

The cultural battle lines are now clearly drawn.  The enemies of the faith have kidnapped the word HATE.  By this I mean that our classic moral values are now considered hatred.  In this current atmosphere, the moral beliefs of Pastors can be against the law if they are framed as discrimination.

The next step is already upon us: Political Correctness becomes Enforced Correctness.  Christians already face economic persecution.  Hobby Lobby and a host of other Christian companies can be sued for their convictions.  Let me say it plainly: Christian businesses can be put out of business for refusing to violate their consciences.

For years, preaching on the Mark of the Beast was like science fiction.  We were moved by the dramatic preachers in the same way we were moved by disaster films.  It was exciting and provocative, but not real.   All of a sudden it is real.

However, the stress on believers does not stop here.  We are not just members of the Body of Christ; we are members of the human race.   There are things that are about to happen to all Americans and it is a fact that hardly anyone is ready for these things. Here is but a short list of impending crisis:

1. Extended age and pension pressure we will work more years.

2. Health care is going to keep climbing.

3. Political division guarantees that real solutions to America’s problems will go unsolved.

So what can we do?  You might be amazed at how much we can do!

It all begins with one explosive, defiant transformation of your attitude.  There is a mighty story in Luke.  Luke 18:34 But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.  35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man (Bartimaeus,) sat by the road begging.

Who is really the blind in these verses?  The disciples did not get it but when Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was in the vicinity and his soul reached critical mass.  He began screaming!

Luke 18: 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  The presence of Jesus explains Bartimaeus’ actions. 39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

There are voices and feelings here today that want to you to be quiet and passively accept the evil around you.  You are supposed to feel helpless; you are supposed to fall in line.

Luke 18:40 “So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.”

Right now Jesus is asking you what you want Him to do for you in these wicked last days.  You need to say what Bartimaeus said…that I may receive my sight!

God needs to open all of our eyes to the supernatural, proactive life we are supposed to enjoy in the last days.

When your eyes are opened you will roar this declaration: The end times are not happening to me, I am happening to the end times!

1. God wants to renew your health with supernatural power. 

Isaiah 40: 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Psalm 103: 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

You do not have to dread long lines at an emergency room you can claim Christ as your doctor and the guardian of your health!

2. Time to stomp on the threats.

It is time for the people who quote, “Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world to confess that greater is He who is in me that what is happening in the world.

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Psalm 112:7-8 7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

3. God wants to give us supernatural emotions.  John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Daniel 11:32  32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

4. God wants you to walk in the knowledge of His supernatural protection.  John 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

Government spying got you down?  Consider this: Satan already knows everything about you. He knows your Social Security Number, cell phone, driver’s license, and bank account numbers and your home address.  However, Christ keeps him from you!

It is time for everyone who reads this to make the mental and spiritual declaration that no matter what is coming, God will make a way through, around, or over anything that Satan throws at us.

Obama in decline. What it means.

obama pointing

OBAMA IN DECLINE: WHAT IT MEANS.

By Mario Murillo

First a report from Karl Rove says “The Millennials Sour on Obama.”

His job approval among people under age 30 dropped 17 points over the past month.

The NSA surveillance debate, while contentious, is just one of the president’s problems. The administration’s overall aimlessness, combined with a trio of scandals and spreading unrest in the Middle East and elsewhere, are taking their toll.

The president’s overall job approval in the June 13 CNN/ORC poll is 45% approve, 54% disapprove, down from 53% approve, 45% disapprove in mid-May. His numbers on handling the economy are 42% approve, 57% disapprove; on foreign affairs, 44%-54%; and on the deficit, 34%-64%.

Particularly worrisome for the White House is the 17-point decline in job approval for Mr. Obama over the past month among people under 30 years of age, according to the June 13 CNN/ORC poll. This is significant erosion in what CNN Polling Director Keating Holland calls one of “the most loyal parts of the Obama coalition.” Public comments by CNN pollsters suggest that the millennial generation seems very concerned with what its members perceive as the NSA’s activities’ threat to civil liberties.

The president didn’t help himself by saying he welcomed a national debate on this topic and then remaining silent until Monday, when he defended the NSA’s work in a television appearance with Charlie Rose on PBS. And he may have created more problems when it comes to his veracity.

In any event, Mr. Obama’s ratings for being honest and trustworthy are now underwater—49% agree and 50% disagree, according to the June 13 CNN/ORC poll.

It’s one thing for the public to differ with a president’s policies; it’s quite another for Americans to lose trust in his integrity. Once this trust is lost it is hard to regain. The president may be a bad rev elation or two away from an irreparable break. If that happens, his second term will be harder than he ever imagined.”

WHAT IT MEANS:

Obama’s approval rating has dropped to 44% but as Karl Rove noted it is the integrity poll that matters most. What does it mean?  First of all it may mean that this time the scandals will stick and Obama’s numbers will not recover and may begin a steady drop making him indeed a lame duck president.

I honestly do not bear hostility toward my president.  I pray for him.  I respect the office.  What I vehemently disagree with is the agenda and the machine that is targeting everything that made America great and despises everything that our Founding Fathers stood for.   This activist agenda has brought us to the brink of disaster.

At long last it appears that his actions toward his political opponents have done serious damage:  It is devastating that, the first time, a majority of Americans question his integrity and that he has lost 17 points among those under thirty.

Here is what this all means.  For believers it is a sign that a door of opportunity is opening for the soul of America.  I personally have been praying fervently for wisdom in handling the potential of a generation suddenly hungry for the power of Christ in their life.

Again I do pray for my president and my nation and it appears that in this moment prayer is indeed undermining the agenda that we all know is destroying our nation.

What does it mean?  It means that if the people of God fail to seize this moment they too will be part of the reason this nation fell.   What does it mean? It means that if the church can unify behind righteousness there is a generation ready and willing to listen.

The Brontosaurus in the Room

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Brontosaurus in the Room.

No one, and I mean no one, needs to tell you that America is dying from the inside out.  The symptoms of death are so far out of the closet, we can no longer see the closet.

The American College degree is now a recipe for slavery to long term debt and the false hope of meaningful work.

The partisan spirit is so toxically angry that many would rather see the nation die than to consider solutions for the other party.

Take just the area of physical and mental health. 70% of Americans are on pills.  How is that possible?  How can only 30% of the population function without medication?

Today, more Americans die from suicide than from car accidents.  Think of that.  How did American life become so unbearable?

The leading cause of death for children under 5 is now their parents.  Wrap your mind around that.

The spike in crime is the highest in decades and the rate of marriage is the lowest in our history.

We are sick with a deep abiding sadness.  Too many of us are walking around with a death wish so pandemic that it rivals what any eastern bloc country felt during the dregs of communism.

It would be hilarious if it were not so pathetic to hear the explanations and solutions proffered by our leaders.  A towering devotion to bankrupt ideas has drained our leaders of common sense and left them comatose.  They are too drowsy to see the truth.

The worst part is what we refuse to talk about.  There is one solution we are desperately avoiding.  In fact, it is wrong to suggest it!  We have passed laws to silence it and we fiercely attack anyone who would dare say it out loud.

We used to have an elephant in the room but this is the brontosaurus in the room.  We must consider immorality.  Our immorality has brought all of this on us.

In a stunning moment of honesty King Hezekiah summed up Israel in these verses: 2 Chronicles 29: 6  “For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. 7 They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holyplace to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, and to jeering, as you see with your eyes. 9 For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity.”

Jesus and Paul the Apostle were never vague or reticent to warn of the damage of immorality.  Here is a list of things, based on their model that we need  to see and preach.

1. The problem is not global warming but moral cooling.  Matthew 24:12 “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”-Jesus

2. Our crisis was created by immorality.  2 Timothy 3: 1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!  -Paul

3. A selfish, entitled, addicted society does not need further coddling but the electrode paddles of Holy Spirit conviction.  2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” -Paul

Until the church forces the issue we cannot hope to get it on the table.  We must face the consequences of lying, perversion and godlessness in the center of our culture.  We cannot even begin a discussion on repentance until we admit the damage that unrighteousness is doing.

It is silly to talk around it and deny its centrality in our national disaster.

PRIEST’S EXCORIATING OPEN LETTER TO NANCY PELOSI: RENOUNCE THE FAITH OR COMPLY.

PRIEST’S EXCORIATING OPEN LETTER TO NANCY PELOSI: RENOUNCE THE FAITH OR COMPLY

Jun. 20, 2013 2:36pm 

Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi is openly pro-choice, a stance that, quite obviously, contradicts Catholic teaching. After she recently rebuffed a reporter and used her faith to defend her policy views on abortion, it seems at least one priest is calling for her to either comply with — or renounce Catholicism.

In an open letter, Fr. Frank Pavone, national director for Priests for Life, a pro-life organization, made known his discontent with Pelosi’s most recent comments about abortion.

“Last Thursday, June 13, you were asked a question in a press briefing that you declined to answer. The question was, ‘What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?,’” Pavone wrote. “Instead of even attempting to answer the question, you resorted to judgmental ad hominem attacks on the reporter who asked it, saying, ‘You obviously have an agenda. You’re not interested in having an answer.’”

Fr. Frank Pavone Pens Excoriating Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi Lambasting Her Abortion Stance: Renounce Catholicism or Comply With It

The priest said, though, that it is Pelosi’s stance on the matter that is problematic, as she isn’t interested in “giving an answer.”

But that wasn’t the harshest of his rebukes. Pavone went on to charge that Pelosi made a “mockery of the Catholic faith” during the press conference and that she offended millions of Americans who follow church doctrine. Here, he was referring to her claim to be a “practicing and respectful Catholic” who believes that the abortion discussion is “sacred ground.”

“You speak here of Catholic faith as if it is supposed to hide us from reality instead of lead us to face reality, as if it is supposed to confuse basic moral truths instead of clarify them, and as if it is supposed to help us escape the hard moral questions of life rather than help us confront them,” he continued.

“Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches. And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it’s time for you to stop speaking as if it were,” added the priest.

Fr. Frank Pavone Pens Excoriating Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi Lambasting Her Abortion Stance: Renounce Catholicism or Comply With It

At the heart of his gripe is the notion that, in his view, Pelosi has been allowed to spout ideas that are contrary to Catholic teaching, but that she seems to claim correspond with the theology. Pavone asked the congresswoman to either renounce her faith or to execute her duties as a politician in a way that corresponds with church doctrine (read the letter in its entirety).

As TheBlaze’s Becket Adams previously reported, The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack caught Pelosi in some uncomfortable comments last week about late-term abortion. These curiosities are what inspired Pavone’s response.

After she decried what happened in Philadelphia concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his “house of horrors” abortion clinic, Pelosi told McCormack, “For [the drafters of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act] to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is reprehensible.”

She was referring to legislation that would ban most abortions after the five-month period.

Fr. Frank Pavone Pens Excoriating Open Letter to Nancy Pelosi Lambasting Her Abortion Stance: Renounce Catholicism or Comply With It

“So what’s the moral difference? I just asked a simple question. … What’s the moral difference then between 26 weeks elective abortion and killing of that same infant born alive?,” the journalist pressed in response.

“As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. This shouldn’t have anything to do with politics,” Pelosi then responded.

FBI director admits domestic use of drones.

FBI director admits domestic use of drones

Published time: June 19, 2013 14:55
Edited time: June 19, 2013 15:41

FBI Director Robert Mueller (Reuters / Yuri Gripas)
FBI Director Robert Mueller (Reuters / Yuri Gripas)

 

The FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance purposes, the head of the agency told Congress early Wednesday.

Robert Mueller, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, confirmed to lawmakers that the FBI owns several unmanned aerial vehicles, but has not adopted any strict policies or guidelines yet to govern the use of the controversial aircraft.

Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on US soil?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mr. Mueller during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Yes,” Mueller responded bluntly, adding that the FBI’s operation of drones is “very seldom.”

Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to elaborate, Mueller added, “It’s very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident where you need the capability.” Earlier in the morning, however, Mueller said that the agency was only now working to establish set rule for the drone program.

Mueller began answering questions just after 10 a.m. EDT and has also touched briefly on the recently exposed NSA surveillance program that has marred the reputation of the United States intelligence community as of late. Mueller said 22 agents have access to a vast surveillance database, including 20 analysts and two overseers.

When Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) asked Mueller later in the morning if he’d consider being more open about the FBI’s surveillance methods, the director decried being much more transparent that the bureau already is. Mueller said the FBI has and will continue to weigh the possibility of publishing more information about its spy habits, but warned that doing such would be to the advantage of America’s enemies.

There is a price to be paid for that transparency,” Mueller said. “I certainly think it would be educating our adversaries as to what our capabilities are.”

Why Christians Should Be Speaking Up about the Surveillance State

Why Christians Should Be Speaking Up about the Surveillance State

Government Overreach, Compliant Christians, and the Founding Fathers |

Ed Stetzer

Many Early American Christians Had a More Healthy Suspicion Regarding Government and Liberty

It is important to note that we have, for example, a First Amendment in the Bill of Rights because free-church Christians (Baptists, to be specific) said that the government should not be trusted to guard the rights of the individual– those rights had to be enumerated, so that freedom and liberty could be protected.

Actually (and ironically), some of the Founding Fathers were concerned that by listing the “rights” in these “bills,” some might assume that these were the only rights, when there were many more. Regardless, they added these rights, which were generally a non-issue for many years– until they were tested many years later and the Bill or Rights became more prominent.

While Big Brother’s eyes grow stronger, some Christians just shut their eyes tighter.

The Founding Fathers chose to enumerate such rights and protections because they knew that governments, left unrestricted, would abuse power– so they assumed such abuses of power not because they were paranoid, but because they were wise. Good people said this would never happen– but they rejected assurances from good people because they knew people weren’t inherently good– and power must always have limits.

Our Founding Fathers saw the Bill of Rights as providing barriers against government overreach and abuse.

People (particularly people in governments with power) could not be trusted to have no checks on their power. Why? Well, some of it had to do with history. For example, a bill of rights was an English concept preceeding the American experiment. But, some of those colonists held the view because of biblical convictions about fallen nature and the need to protect rights that some might want to take away.

By Sean Sullivan, Published: June 18, 2013 at 11:32 amE-mail the writer

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander, second from right, testifies on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander, second from right, testifies on Capitol Hill Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Intelligence officials said Tuesday that the government’s sweeping surveillance efforts have helped thwart “potential terrorist events” more than 50 times since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and the officials detailed two new examples to illustrate the utility of the programs.

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, officials cited a nascent plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange and a case involving an individual providing financial support to an overseas terrorist group.

“In recent years, these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the U.S. and our allies from terrorist threats across the globe to include helping prevent the terrorist — the potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11,” National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander told the committee.

He said at least 10 of the plots targeted the United States.

FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce said Tuesday that a provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act helped officials monitor a “known extremist in Yemen” who was in contact with an individual in the United States. The information led to disruption of the New York Stock Exchange plot, Joyce said.

Joyce also said that the use of a FISA business record provision helped officials with an investigation involving an individual who was communicating with an overseas terrorist.

“The NSA, using the business record FISA, tipped us off that this individual had indirect contacts with a known terrorist overseas,” said Joyce. “We were able to reopen this investigation, identify additional individuals through a legal process and were able to disrupt this terrorist activity.”

“So that’s four cases total that we have put out publicly,” Alexander said Tuesday.

The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper recently revealed the sweeping Internet and telephone surveillance techniques the NSA has utilized in recent years.

Mario’s Note:

Here is what they told you today:

1. “Take our word for it we are not going to listen to your conversations.  We are not going to use it against you.  We now know that they did listen to our conversations and read our emails.

Fact: House Intelligence Committee officials have confirmed that they’re totally free to rifle through your data without a court order. As long as they think they might have a reason to be suspicious—any reason will do!—they’re free to go nuts.

2.  We foiled terrorist plots because of this program.

Fact: They didn’t stop the Boston Bombings, even though those people had expired visas and were using cell phones to communicate. And the police state enforced with warrantless house searches after the shootout in Watertown didn’t catch the suspect either. It was only when the curfew was lifted that the guy was found hiding in the boat.  All this was done in the name of security and safety.

3. We must obtain search warrants from the judges of the FISA court.

Confirmed: Court “Oversight” of NSA Surveillance Is a Total Joke:  The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court has been defanged.  When asked, “Is the FISA court a rubber stamp?” NSA chief says no, but in the last two years, they’ve approved 4,000 orders, with zero rejections.

Here is what they are not saying:

Who is going to protect us from Obama?  This is what you need to consider:  The Obama Factor.   He is partisan, vindictive and aloof when it comes to information.  Eric Holder is beholden to Obama in a cult like manner.  Holder runs the Department of Justice and the NSA answers to him.  We already have proof through the scandals of the IRS, Benghazi and Fast and Furious, Spying on news Reporters , that Holder will abuse power and go after the enemies of Obama even when it violates the Constitution.

 Terrorism must not become the latest excuse to expand the power of a runaway president.  We must speak up before we lose all of our freedom.

 

Why am I standing next to this empty wheelchair?

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Ironically, not long ago I preached a sermon about how we should all hate to see an empty chair in a church.  Here is the one great exception to that: An empty wheelchair!

At some point back about 11 months ago it became known as the Santa Rosa Fire; a family of God breathing believers  with a from several churches with a simple passion for more of Jesus.  Nobody can credit the continuing ignition of this revival in Santa Rosa to any one man or congregation.

When I agreed to return last night for the one year anniversary of this FIRE I was concerned about nostalgia.  I did not want to try to recreate something Jesus did before.  I told them that I did not want to Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer.”

One thing we did revisit was the miracle of the man paralyzed 38 years who waited by the pool of Bethesda in John 5.  A simple but mighty truth overcame us all.  By healing the man without an angel stirring the water and by doing it on the Sabbath day Jesus destroyed two religious abuses in one fell swoop.

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Satan yearns to attach a superstition to any simple truth and fog it with side issues.  When form and ritual overwhelm the original goal we see silly things.  The Pharisees sought loopholes and hilariously ended up working hard at resting on the Sabbath.

We can all see the modern versions of this.  We all believe in angels, gold dust, feathers, soaking and even shaking under the power but it is so easy to forget Jesus Himself.  When any of these acts become an end in themselves or a means to the end we lose something priceless.   Jesus is the means and the end!

Miracles do the most immediate and widespread damage to Satan.  This is why he labors more in this arena than any other.  His constant aim is to pervert the simplicity of healing:  By adding emotionalism and superstition, he able to discredit the glorious weapon of healing.

I have no illusions about the limits of my preaching.  What happened next in the meeting could never be credited to oratory:  Jesus came and began to heal people in the audience.  It happened effortlessly and freely.  Jesus prevailed over every method and approach to healing and simply removed disease.

I walked to the back of the hall and the lady in the wheelchair caught my eye.  I could see the epic struggle in her heart.  She strained to see all of the other healings and wanted desperately for it to be her turn. 

The next time that I walked by her the struggle had subsided; she now had the look of someone simply waiting on Jesus.   That faith, the miracle which only Jesus can impart began to emanate in her soul.

Back in the pulpit, I turned to survey the audience and we were all startled to see her up out of the wheelchair.  Stutter steps turned into a forceful stride.  After one lap she was not content with power walking so she began to run!   Bedlam!

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Here is the message of this miracle to you:  Jesus has not changed!  When we let Him dominate our crisis miracles overtake us.  Every last drop of trouble you face can be surrendered to His care.

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