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Author Topic: Americans: judges of the earth  (Read 2180 times) Average Rating: 0
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sinjinsmythe
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« on: January 06, 2003, 05:35:20 PM »

Here is an article I found on the web.  I think this article is quite timely since we are on the path to war against Iraq.



AMERICANS: JUDGES OF THE EARTH?

 

[Translated from the original Arabic, published in An-Nahar, Lebanese newspaper, on the 22nd of September]


We were among those who sincerely mourned the thousands of victims that felled on the 11th of September, an absurd death, similar to the daily death of Iraqi children. This death comes as a result of abhorrence to the "Absolute Giant", and paid its consequence those innocents living in the Giant's land. This absurd death saddened me, and soon turned to become an alarming fear for the fate of threatened family members and friends living there. I prayed that a death like this might die forever. Mayhap America can now dream of a new life for its own and for others too.

By the time this article and is published, this nation might choose to go the way of vengeance. If it were proven, that vengeance could stop violence, then, this should have been obvious since Cain killed his brother in the beginning of history. Collective death could result, since it shall be almost impossible for the US to arrest the perpetrator, in that that thousands of innocents could soon be exterminated, to say what?

And if the regime, where the perpetrator is hiding, is found to be responsible for hosting him, can the US annihilate the people of that hosting country; does America want to do that? Is it possible for a great nation, a nation absolute in its greatness, to avenge, in its bitterness, by wiping innocent peoples? Is this a justice or a reaction? Isn't this same reaction that is generating the forces of revolt in the weakened nations -- who will try some day to break their way out of their miserable situation through what is called terrorism -- trying to avenge their wounded dignity? Is a dialogue still possible between the strong and the miserable of the earth? Who did arm, in the first place, those miserable that the US is going to annihilate? Does the destruction of the poor produce peace?

It seems now that the "Clash of civilizations", as depicted by Samuel Huntington, is underway. The problem of such terminology is that, that terrorism is not restricted to one civilization: it was German, Japanese, and for a period of time American (within America itself), Muslims then, do not monopolize terrorism. But why the US is not asking itself for the reasons that pushed those miserable to what it identifies as terrorism? Aren't prejudice, depravedness, and political oppression behind these actions, even though wars have become impossible between the earth's nations? Since the little aspire to be liberated from dominion, and since their means of liberty are in the hands of the big, why then doesn't these strong hands stretch out for sincere cooperation and help, free from all forms of humiliation, until the groan of the miserable is appeased?

America may lead an overwhelming campaign for a while, but how can it eradicate the spots of terrorism all over the planet? Will it strike all nations it categorized as exporters of terrorism? Will it not consider that these same nations will come out again from the rubbles, their grieve multiplied and their hatred concentrated, re-entering in a vicious and diabolical unbreakable cycle of violence?

And if "terrorism", "Arabs", and "Muslims" have become synonyms in western mind, aren't we re-entering a renewed and endless Crusade, based upon two fairytales? First, that the West is Christian, and second, that Islam, in its essence, is exporter of war and terror. Will not this lead to the belief, among Muslim groups, that Christians (wherever they might reside) are allies of the west and therefore friends of the state of Israel? Political and cultural Islam must stand on its feet through understanding, creativity and prosperity in all their aspects, in order to eliminate the danger of Crusades; because its continuing path, of poverty and feebleness, is triggering its counter-Crusade path or Jihad in Muslim terminology, and of which, Islam is not capable. And if Islam was humiliated beyond reason, it will be pressed to suicidal stands, which, in its own terminology, is called martyrdom. In front of such a predictable madness, the West may prove to be fragile and impatient, contrary to Islam, and this Crusade will soon abolish itself in the same manner the Crusades of the Middle Ages were overthrown from our countries. The Western European alliance with the US, in addition to Russia, is enough to permanently convince all Muslims (not only conservatives) that Christianity, in its essence, is enemy of Islam and opposed to the freedom of Moslem nations, then we shall witness a renewed colonialism, even after that the forms of the old one have vanished.

Before World War Two, we believed, in one way or another, in the missionary role of the US calling for freedom and democracy. This picture has been shaken a lot, and possibly terminally, in Palestine, Africa and former Yugoslavia - we now witness the nation of Lincoln employing Realpolitik - not shying from disclosing that it looks after its foreign interests and, consequently, enters this or that conflict accordingly. The scale of justice is no longer supported and even this doesn't need to be proved in historical Palestine. Will the US feel that it is called to change its stand, after the last tragedy, to become anew a judge not a party in the conflict? Will not this make of it stronger and more respectable and a hope for the nations of the earth?

This "burst of vengeance" may be excused if it is limited in space, this may limit some terrorists for a while. But anger shouldn't last, because, in a later stage, it consumes itself. For America's sake, I think it better looks to conclude a new era of world peace. The truly great nation can conclude such peace, through justice and help.

Perhaps, the American behavior in the world is inspired by the second verse of the 26th chapter of Isaiah, as inscribed on the entrance of Harvard University: "Open the gates, that the righteous nation... may enter in", but the full verse continues: "which keeps the truth". America is convinced that it holds the "truth", or what it claims to be its truth, enabling it to enter the gates of knowledge to rule the world. I even remember that President Clinton stating something in this context: power facilitates such a rule, with or without truth. It is obvious that the founding fathers [of America] believed that the New World, which they immigrated to, is their second Promised Land, a land of blessings; and most Americans today still believe that financial riches are divine blessings.

It is not evident that American rulers have read the gospel, which strictly cautions against mammon and foremost against dominion. Most assuredly, typical Americans did not read ascetic literature, which cautions us from monopolizing wealth. Which leads us to the American world philosophy: "if a powerful authority can be successfully overlaid in an American context, why can't this authority, be overlaid in a worldwide context? All sorts of protest and revolution can be subdued through pro-US regimes, who benefit originally from oppressing their own peoples and who continue exiting through American supportive politics."

But one must read history and learn how kingdoms have felled: "Say: O Allah, Master of the Kingdom! Thou givest the kingdom to whomsoever Thou pleasest and takest away the kingdom from whomsoever Thou pleasest, and Thou exaltest whom Thou pleasest and abasest whom Thou pleasest in Thine hand is the good; surety, Thou hast power over all things" (The Family of Imran verse 26). It seems Americans didn't read the Koran verse. But they must have read the psalms: "Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth" (Ps 2:10). The problem is that Americans have set themselves "judges of the earth", establishing their own custom justice, not the_Justice, whenever they wanted and referring solely to themselves. The missionary days of President Roosevelt are gone when Americans believed they needed to establish a United Nations organization, responsible for achieving world justice, until, they discovered they can do without it whenever it was necessary; Moreover, they also decided that Israel can dismiss all UN resolutions, because Israel too, has set itself, or was appointed by the Americans, "judge of the Middle East".

I beseech God, for the US to continue prospering in wealth, science and technology which it promotes, and for God to lead it to the true path of meekness, in which it may discover that no one has appointed it "judge of the earth". Mayhap this terrible catastrophe, which hurt us as well, inspires it the wisdom of modesty, and mayhap it commences counting itself along the same line of other nations, without haughtiness, and may it start restraining from punishing others, lest punishment may fell upon it.

May America keep its wealth and may God increase its riches, but may it never become prideful. May it prosper and may we prosper too, which requires from it a great deal of self-restraint while employing its power. No one is expecting the US to become a charitable organization, but we expect from it not to underestimate our right to existence and that, we too, have the right to live. We don't want to humiliate the US, because this is called hatred, but what benefit the US shall gain if it "shall gain the whole world, and lose its own soul?"

If on the contrary, America begins employing all its might in the service of the miserable of the earth, terrorism shall vanish and, God grant, love shall reign.

+ Metropolitan George Khodr
of the Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Mount Lebanon
 
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2003, 05:37:10 PM »

Surprise surprise-the usual anti-American crap from the Antiochian Church.
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2003, 07:25:44 PM »

Surprise surprise-the usual anti-American crap from the Antiochian Church.


Perhaps the Antiochian Patriarchate is at much at risk from its Muslim Arab neighbors, especially in Syria, as the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate is and has been from its Muslim Turkish secular overlords?

Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2003, 07:37:01 PM »

Well, I believe that this is not accurate. I believe that the American nation is being used by the bosses of the New World Order to achive their objectives. It is not correct to say that it is the USA who are getting control of the world, since the One Worl Government has an invisible head, with a few visible instruments.

Though I know many of you do not agree with this.
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2003, 12:39:06 AM »

A very good statement by the Antiochan brethren, true and consistent Christian sentiment. Pretty much indicative of the way people back East feel on this issue rather they be Christian or Muslim.  

Also telling in that Christians everywhere are starting to be associated with the behavior and wars of ‘Christians’ in the Western Countries. The other day a Muslim tried to blame me for the “Christians” that invaded Somalia and bombed the pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan even though Ethiopian Orthodox never had anything to do with that.  We must disassociate ourselves from that image and witness to Muslims what a real Christian is and what a real Christian does, and a Christian can not be an imperialist and still call oneself a Christian.  
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2003, 04:19:15 AM »

Surprise surprise-the usual anti-American crap from the Antiochian Church.
I personally found it quite balanced.
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Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2003, 06:29:40 PM »

Remie,

One cannot prove a negative.  That is, there is no proof that such a thing as "an invisible head of an invisible organization" even exists except in the imagination of many. Do unicorns exist outside of imagination?  Were Jews really vermin, though only undetected?  But then, I can't prove that either of these are untrue, even though you have no proof that they are true.  Hence your comments are not credible despite the fact that I cannot disprove them.

"Well, I believe that this is not accurate. I believe that the American nation is being used by the bosses of the New World Order to achive their objectives. It is not correct to say that it is the USA who are getting control of the world, since the One Worl Government has an invisible head, with a few visible instruments.

Though I know many of you do not agree with this. "

On the other hand, the only thing I really find troubling about the projected attack upon Iraq is the same reason I object to Remie's reasoning.  There is no proof that what we claim Iraq has they really do have.  I'd like to believe that we know more than we are telling.  If that were true, however, why make the issue that Iraq has big weapons the reason for our attack?  

In any event I doubt that they have great caches of weapons and mass destruction just as I doubt that the invisible New World Order exists with its invisible leader.

Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2003, 06:31:01 PM »

Though I certainly do not agree with a lot American foreign policy, I have found the situation in the Antiochian Church to be a position that I can't agree with either.  America is staunchly pro-Israel and the Antiochian Orthodox Church is staunchly pro-Palestinian (with no line being drawn between Muslim or Christian).  It seems evident to me that both America and Antioch have their own political agendas.  I got to see the Antiochian agenda when I visited an Antiochian parish last Lent and witnessed the Liturgy break down into a shouting match over the Palestinian issue--I was appalled and amazed that these people should have such disrespect for the altar of Christ and pawn their own political agendas back and forth.  And the reason why I am neither staunchly pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian is because I refuse to support yet another Muslim state that will treat its Christian subjects as dhimmis and 2nd class citizens.  Why should I support a Palestine in which Muslims would be the ruling party?  The fate of Christians would be no better than under the Jews in Israel or under the Muslims in other countries (Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan etc.).  Muslims have no respect for Christians and never have, and never will.  It wasn't a mosque that the gunmen defecated all over last spring, but a Christian Temple--the Church of the Nativity.  It is a basic tenet of their religion to convert the world to Islam or kill or subjugate the rest of the infidels.  I'm for Christians--not Muslims, and if the Christian Palestinians were interested in establishing a strictly Christian Palestine, then I would definitely and enthusiastically support that effort.  Until then, it's a tar baby I won't touch.

I oppose American meddling in the Middle East not out of any sympathy for the plight of Muslims (who wreak havoc in other portions of the world), but simply on the fact that I believe we ought to wean ourselves away from dependence on oil and gradually switch to renewable energy resources.  This way, we could say "que sera sera" to the mess in the Middle East and let them work out their own wars and issues without American involvement.  We ought to intervene in the Middle East only if our territory is attacked IMO.

Any pro-Muslim rhetoric issued from the amvon of an Orthodox Church will exclude my worshipping in such a place in the future, since the thousands of New Martyrs under the Ottoman yoke testify to Islam's true nature and such hierarchs dishonor their memory.

Stephen
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2003, 07:08:44 PM »

But the Antiochian Church is the Church of Antioch, the Church of thousdands of Arabic-speaking christians, who share a life with their muslim brothers and co-exist peacefully.

It is true that in some places there are problems between christians and muslims, like Egypt and muslims are not so chartitable with christians. But In Syria, Iraq, and many other Arab nations Christians and Muslims live peacefully like brothers.

The Antiochian Church has the right to defend its members, and their lifes, and most of them are Arab christians, and not protestant converts. I believe they have to defend their members and not the interests of other groups.
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2003, 07:33:34 PM »

Remie wrote:

>>>But the Antiochian Church is the Church of Antioch, the Church of thousdands of Arabic-speaking christians, who share a life with their muslim brothers and co-exist peacefully.  It is true that in some places there are problems between christians and muslims, like Egypt and muslims are not so chartitable with christians. But In Syria, Iraq, and many other Arab nations Christians and Muslims live peacefully like brothers.<<<

Dear Remie,

If Muslims and Christians are "brothers" (I would suppose in a biological sense--perhaps based on their Semitic blood?), then why are not Christians allowed to hold ruling office in Syria, Iraq or Lebanon as true brothers and equals?  Why can't predominantly Muslim populations deal with having a Christian ruler?  Tariq Aziz is the only "Christian" in Saddam Hussein's regime, and yet, from what I hear, he has renounced his faith as a Chaldean Catholic.  What good is being a Christian if one renounces ones faith?  I am convinced (until shown objective data otherwise) that the Palestinian Muslims use the word "brother" towards Christians until they gain full power, and then after that, the usual nature of Islamic rule will show its colors just like in Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt and Sudan.  When America or the West meddles in the Middle East and angers the Muslim majority, it is the native Christian population that suffers from the riots and violence.  It was so during Ottoman rule (with respect to Western interference) and is so on occasion now (many Coptic Orthodox have to worship with armed guards protecting their Temple from the local Muslim mob).  "Brothers"?  Really?  I'm sorry, I must beg to differ.  "Brothers" only if it means that Christians aren't generally slaughtered and their Temples desecrated.  But, gee, if the Palestinian Muslims regard Palestinian Christians as "brothers" then why did those gunmen choose to desecrate the Church of the Nativity with their guns, urine and feces (which had to be scoured clean after their departure) and induce the Jews to open fire on that ancient Christian Sacred Place?  Yet, there was a mosque just across Manger Square---go figure.  Far be it from them to risk such a fate on their mosque.  I would really like to believe that Christians and Muslims can co-exist peaceably without the latter trying to exterminate or subjugate the former, but I find myself still looking for historical examples that demonstrate this optimism as a core belief/viewpoint of mainstream Islam.  The more I search, the more cynical I become towards the fantasy of honest, peaceful, egalitarian co-existence.

>>>The Antiochian Church has the right to defend its members, and their lifes, and most of them are Arab christians, and not protestant converts. I believe they have to defend their members and not the interests of other groups.<<<

To each his own.  All I know is that this Orthodox Christian (moi) will not attend an Antiochian Church that calls homicide bombers "brothers" (which is what I heard when I attended the Antiochian Church I spoke of) and naively/gullibly plays down the differences between Islam and Orthodox Christianity for the sake of a common nation/state.  That's brotherhood based on ethnicity overshadowing brotherhood based on the Holy Gospel.  History has not yet demonstrated that a nation/state comprised of Christians and Muslims can exist without the latter subjugating (and at times exterminating) the former.

Stephen
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2003, 08:20:43 PM »

Stephen,

I agree with you analysis of what would no doubt happen to Christians if they were overrun by the Muslims.  I also agree with you that we need to work for the day when we are no longer dependent upon Middle Eastern oil.  Dhimmis were never treated fairly.  They were and are in a majority of Muslim states treated as serfs in their own land.  Impoverished until they try to flee and then, if possible, captured and either fully enslaved or killed.  What of Sudan?  What of Egypt? What of Lebanon? What of Nigeria? The examples are nearly endless.  Moreover, how many Muslim democracies are there in the world?  Not very many.  Though I strongly agree that Western Imperialism in the nineteenth century has often led to the creation of nations that really aren't I would still think that the world is better off ruled by America than by Muslims whether they be al Quida or not.

Remie,

Where O where is the NWO?  Has Kevin Nash come back to rule over it?

Dan Lauffer Roll Eyes Huh
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2003, 09:11:30 PM »

Hi Dan,

>>>Moreover, how many Muslim democracies are there in the world?  Not very many.<<<

I Agree.  Not many if any.  Those which are considered democracies (like Turkey) have a traditionalist contingent that ever seeks to topple that government and institute a stricter form of sharia.  Even in "secular" Turkey, the existence of non-Muslims is rather dismal.

>>>Though I strongly agree that Western Imperialism in the nineteenth century has often led to the creation of nations that really aren't I would still think that the world is better off ruled by America than by Muslims whether they be al Quida or not.<<<

It is one of the reasons why I am quite happy that their jihad against the West never made it past the Pyrennes and had to eventually retreat out of Spain altogether.   And that the Russians were victorious over the Tartars.  If this had not happened, then Oxford very well may have been teaching the Qur'an and Hadiths, and St. Augustine's See in Canterbury and Christ the Savior in Moscow and Hagia Sophia in Kiev may well have suffered the same unfortunate fate as Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

Stephen
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2003, 02:27:24 AM »

I think that I agree with your statements about the Muslims there, but in this precise moment, the problem in the Middle Eastern nations is not between Muslims and Arab Christians, and I think it would be a serious error if the Antiochian Church had defended the interests of Israel (in the case of Palestine) and not the interests of the Arabic-speaking population in the East.  And not only the Antiochian Church has taken this possition in defense of Palestine, also the Latin and Greek Patriarchates.

The relationship with the Muslims is also part of the concern, as you said, history has shown that one cannot trust the muslims, but I think that at last now, a certain peaceful co-existence as humans, between muslims and christians in the M.E. is better. One think is to live peacefully, and one think is to be "engaged" in religious dialogues with a false religion like Islam, and to praise the teachings of the fundamentalist regimmes, which are not in the M.E. but in Sudan, for example, where christians are victims of a brutal war while the rest of the world closes its eyes before them (or gives its blessing in Arabic Tongue=)

About Tariq Aziz, he's responsable of his own apostasy if this has happent, and also the betrayal against his Kurdish brothers in the faith and the blood. It is also important to say that the other who participate in those baathist regimmes, have also embraced atheism, including Saddam Hussein himself.

Those which are considered democracies (like Turkey) have a traditionalist contingent that ever seeks to topple that government and institute a stricter form of sharia.

Well, under the criteria of the west Turkey is a democracy, with governments docile to its policies, but it is oignored that in Turkey there's a fascist and brutal state of torture and extermination, specially against the believers, most of all the christians (latin-rite kurds, Armenian Apostolic, and also Turkish converts), ethnic minorities (and the people of Kurdistan, the Armenians, the Assyrian), socialist opposition and also the muslims themselves (and not only the fanatic ones, but those who fight for a more humanitarian government.) Turkish gaols are full of political prisioners who are brutally tortured and killed (last year, for example, dozens of prissioners were burned alive by the police because the gaol was "overpopulated")
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2003, 12:47:33 PM »

Remie wrote:

Quote
I think that I agree with your statements about the Muslims there, but in this precise moment, the problem in the Middle Eastern nations is not between Muslims and Arab Christians, and I think it would be a serious error if the Antiochian Church had defended the interests of Israel (in the case of Palestine) and not the interests of the Arabic-speaking population in the East.  

I think the Church should defend its own interests--not Israeli or Muslim.  She should distinguish her style of defense of the Palestinian cause from that of the Muslims' approach IMO.  This would, in the public's eye, differentiate the two different approaches.  Look at history...Ghandi, for example...studied the Sermon on the Mount when in Oxford and applied the principles of non-violence in his activity to oust the British out of India.  This baldy, bespectacled little man, wearing a loin cloth orchestrated one of the most impressive revolutions in the 20th century.  Martin Luther King followed suit.  Each time this was done, world sympathy and support swelled for the non-violent demonstrators and disdain increased for the oppressors to the point where the dam eventually broke.

Christianity cannot condone homicide bombers--especially going into local grocery stores or cafes etc and targeting civilians--whether that is perpetrated by Americans, Israelis or Palestinians.  The deficiency that I have noticed is that the Antiochian Church criticizes the Israeli government (rightfully), but does not condemn vocally enough the violent actions taken by extremists.  And that is the hit that is taken when Palestinians are lumped all together in a Muslim and Christian stew.  And that is why I believe it would really be a hoot if all of the Christians in the M.E. band together, distanced themselves away from the Muslims (and their tactics), and started (and continued firmly) non-violent, peaceful, but large demonstrations for their own independence from Israeli and Muslim rule.

I don't know about the Latin Patriarchate, but I do know that the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has supported Palestinian indepence--but not uncritically.  When Father Hannah declared (something to the effect) that the homicide bombers were freedom fighters (which is exactly what I heard in an Antiochian parish in the US), his career as a spokesman for the Jerusalem Patriarchate was shortened.

I understand what you are saying that the present problem in the M.E. is not Muslim-vs-Christian, but Palestinan (Muslim and Christian)-vs-Israeli.  My only caveat is that we should never forget the hard and brutal lessons of history.  If there isn't a problem between Muslim and Christian Palestinians now--I believe that is because they have a common oppressor that has temporarily brought them to a position where they tolerate each other.  Take the oppressor away, and I suspect (if history's patterns are consistent) the normal relations will engage.  Hence, my wishing (perhaps unrealistically) that Christians would work for their own statehood.  Remember, even though Muslim-Christian relations among Palestinians is not as tense now, don't forget what they did to the Church of the Nativity.  Also, a few years ago when the Pope of Rome visited the Holy Land and celebrated Mass in the same Church, the Mass had to be interrupted because the mosque at Manger Square turned up the speakers of the muezzin's call to prayer.  IMO that was very rude--even to a man (the Pope) who has been extremely ecumenical (way beyond my comfort zone) towards Islam.  So even though Muslims and Christians aren't battling each other in the M.E. right now, there is still that indoctrinated disrespect that Muslims cherish towards their Arab Christian fellows.  Just food for thought.

I think we're on the same page WRT the rest of your comments.  I agree especially about Turkey.  America and the West may consider Turkey a "democracy", but that is not necessarily the reality of things.

In Christ,
Stephen

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