Monday, October 23, 2006


October 20, 2006
U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Ninth Circuit Decision to Bar Voter ID Requirements Today the U.S. Supreme Court voted unanimously to overturn a recent Ninth Circuit decision barring the enforcement of an Arizona voter ID law. Enacted in 2004 by citizen initiative, the law required proof of citizenship for new voter registrations and photo identification at the polls. Both the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) and Secretary of State Sam Reed have recommended this law as a model for Washington to follow, and today's decision underscores the legality of such requirements.
The Court chided the Ninth Circuit for acting without having all the proper facts, and for interfering right before a major election. Regarding the merits of voter ID laws, the Court did not make a specific ruling but noted that: "Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy. Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government."
Jonathan Bechtle, director of EFF's Voter Integrity Project, agreed with the Court's ruling, saying, "Today's unanimous decision is good news. It helps pave the way legally for needed reforms in Washington, like proof of citizenship for voter registration. It also sends a message to courts that the legitimate desire of voters for better election security cannot be dismissed!" Supreme Court's decision
Contact: Jonathan Bechtle

Director and Legal Analyst, Citizenship and Governance Center
+ Send EFF your comments Send this Article to a Friend

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The most remarkable thing about President Bush is that he says the same thing in every speech that he gives regardless of the location that he happens to be. When a person stands on principles, then they do not have to tell one group one thing and another group something else. I am not happy with the GOP because I think that retaining power has been the focus for so long, that politicians have lost sight of why they are in Washington D.C., but I still have unconditional support for the President.

Oh, there are things that President Bush has done that I disagree with, such as standing with Joe Lieberman, the weasel that aided Al Gore in putting our Country in turmoil in 2000. And I think that the person that advised him to do the joke to the press corp about looking for WMD, under the desk and podium was crass and disrespectful of those that gave their lives in the War on Terror and those still fighting. But I also know that he cannot please everyone all the time, and that is what is so remarkable about our President, which is that he appears so down to earth. Just imagine if Kerry were President and we were in the same War on Terror, he would no doubt deny that he ever gave the decision to go to war in the first place. I can imagine it now, as he would say that the fighter planes started dropping bombs before he had a chance to examine the war plans. The military jumped the gun he would say, and I had to go along with it. Well, maybe I am being ridiculous. But I just thank the Lord that we are not in this War on Terror with Kerry as our President.

The United States has changed so much in my lifetime, and I actually feel sorrow that secularism is winnig out over traditional Christian values. I realize that unless some miracle happens to change the attitude of many Americans, that President Bush may be the last person to hold this office that actually respects the role of Commader in Chief of the Armed Forces. I cannot think of a single Democrat active in politics today that could fill the office with the dignity that President Bush has. The President has not had one day that was easy in the last five years, and there is no doubt in my mind that he has had many restless nights worrying about our Country. Wouldn't it be great to hear the liberal media to actually say thank you Mr. President for working so hard to protect all of us? So, I will say it myself, thank you President Bush and God bless you!

Monday, October 09, 2006



September 18, 2003
Thinking About Neoconservatism
Kevin MacDonald
Over the last year, there’s been a torrent of articles on neoconservatism raising (usually implicitly) some vexing issues: Are neoconservatives different from other conservatives? Is neoconservatism a Jewish movement? Is it “anti-Semitic” to say so?
The dispute between the neocons and more traditional conservatives — “paleoconservatives” — is especially important because the latter now find themselves on the outside, looking in on the conservative power structure.
Hopefully, some of the venom has been taken out of this argument by the remarkable recent article by neoconservative “godfather” Irving Kristol (“The Neoconservative Persuasion,” Weekly Standard, August 25, 2003). With commendable frankness, Kristol admitted that
“the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.”
And, equally frankly, Kristol eschewed any attempt to justify U.S. support for Israel in terms of American national interest:
“[L]arge nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns… That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary.”
If the US is an “ideological” nation, this can only mean that the motivations of neoconservative ideology are a legitimate subject of intellectual inquiry.
For example, it is certainly true that the neocons’ foreign policy fits well with a plausible version of Jewish interests, but is arguably only tenuously related to the interests of the U.S. Also, neocons oppose the isolationism of important sections of traditional American conservatism. And neocon attitudes on issues like race and immigration differ profoundly from those of traditional mainstream conservatives — but resemble closely the common attitudes of the wider American Jewish community.
Count me among those who accept that the Jewish commitment of leading neoconservatives has become a critical influence on U.S. policies, and that the effectiveness of the neoconservatives is greatly enhanced by their alliance with the organized Jewish community. In my opinion, this conclusion is based on solid data and reasonable inferences. But like any other theory, of course, it is subject to reasoned discussion and disproof.
We shouldn’t be surprised by the importance of ethnicity in human affairs. Nor should we be intimidated by charges of anti-Semitism. We should be able to discuss these issues openly and honestly. This is a practical matter, not a moral one.
Ethnic politics in the U.S. are certainly not limited to Jewish activism. They are an absolutely normal phenomenon throughout history and around the world.
But for well over half a century, with rare exceptions, Jewish influence has been off-limits for rational discussion. Now, however, as the U.S. acquires an empire in the Middle East, this ban must inevitably fall away.
My views on these issues are shaped by my research on several other influential Jewish-dominated intellectual and political movements, including the Boasian school of anthropology, Freudian psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School of Social Research, Marxism and several other movements of the radical left, as well as the movement to change the ethnic balance of the United States by allowing mass, non-traditional immigration.
My conclusion: Contemporary neoconservatism fits into the general pattern of Jewish intellectual and political activism I have identified in my work.
I am not, of course, saying that all Jews, or even most Jews, supported these movements. Nor did these movements work in concert: some were intensely hostile to one another. I am saying, however, that the key figures in these movements identified in some sense as Jews and viewed their participation as in some sense advancing Jewish interests.
In all of the Jewish intellectual and political movements I studied, there is a strong Jewish identity among the core figures. All center on charismatic Jewish leaders—people such as Boas, Trotsky and Freud— who are revered as messianic, god-like figures.
Neoconservatism’s key founders trace their intellectual ancestry to the “New York Intellectuals,” a group that originated as followers of Trotskyite theoretician Max Schactman in the 1930s and centered around influential journals like Partisan Review and Commentary (which is in fact published by the American Jewish Committee). In the case of neoconservatives, their early identity as radical leftist disciples shifted as there began to be evidence of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union. Key figures in leading them out of the political left were philosopher Sidney Hook and Elliot Cohen, editor of Commentary. Such men as Hook, Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Nathan Glazer and Seymour Martin Lipset, were deeply concerned about anti-Semitism and other Jewish issues. Many of them worked closely with Jewish activist organizations. After the 1950s, they became increasingly disenchanted with leftism. Their overriding concern was the welfare of Israel.
By the 1970s, the neocons were taking an aggressive stance against the Soviet Union, which they saw as a bastion of anti-Semitism and opposition to Israel. Richard Perle was the prime organizer of Congressional support for the 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment which angered the Soviet Union by linking bilateral trade issues to freedom of emigration, primarily of Jews from the Soviet Union to Israel and the United States.
Current key leaders include an astonishing number of individuals well placed to influence the Bush Administration: (Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, I. Lewis Libby, Elliott Abrams, David Wurmser, Abram Shulsky), interlocking media and thinktankdom (Bill Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Stephen Bryen, John Podhoretz, Daniel Pipes), and the academic world (Richard Pipes, Donald Kagan).
As the neoconservatives lost faith in radical leftism, several key neocons became attracted to the writings of Leo Strauss, a classicist and political philosopher at the University of Chicago. Strauss had a very strong Jewish identity and viewed his philosophy as a means of ensuring Jewish survival in the Diaspora. As he put it in a 1962 Hillel House lecture, later republished in Leo Strauss: Political Philosopher and Jewish Thinker:
“I believe I can say, without any exaggeration, that since a very, very early time the main theme of my reflections has been what is called the ‘Jewish ‘Question’.”
Strauss has become a cult figure—the quintessential rabbinical guru with devoted disciples.
While Strauss and his followers have come to be known as neoconservatives — and have even claimed to be simply “conservatives”— there is nothing conservative about their goals. This is most obviously the case in foreign policy, where they are attempting to rearrange the entire Middle East in the interests of Israel. But it is also the case with domestic policy, where acceptance of rule by an aristocratic elite would require a complete political transformation. Strauss believed that this aristocracy would be compatible with Jewish interests.
Strauss notoriously described the need for an external exoteric language directed at outsiders, and an internal esoteric language directed at ingroup members. In other words, the masses had to be deceived.
But actually this is a general feature of the movements I have studied. They invariably frame issues in language that appeals to non-Jews, rather than explicitly in terms of Jewish interests. The most common rhetoric used by Jewish intellectual and political movements has been the language of moral universalism and the language of science—languages that appeal to the educated elites of the modern Western world. But beneath the rhetoric it is easy to find statements expressing the Jewish agendas of the principal actors.
For example, anthropologists under the leadership of Boas viewed their crusade against the concept of “race” as, in turn, combating anti-Semitism. They also saw their theories as promoting the ideology of cultural pluralism, which served perceived Jewish interests because the U.S. would be seen as consisting of many co-equal cultures rather than as a European Christian society.
Similarly, psychoanalysts commonly used their theories to portray anti-Jewish attitudes as symptoms of psychiatric disorder.
Conversely, the earlier generation of American Jewish Trotskyites ignored the horrors of the Soviet Union until the emergence there of state-sponsored anti-Semitism.
Neoconservatives have certainly appealed to American patriotic platitudes in advocating war throughout the Middle East—gushing about spreading American democracy and freedom to the area, while leaving unmentioned their own strong ethnic ties and family links to Israel.
Michael Lind has called attention to the neoconservatives’ “odd bursts of ideological enthusiasm for ‘democracy’”— odd because these calls for democracy and freedom throughout the Middle East are also coupled with support for the Likud Party and other like-minded groups in Israel that are driven by a vision of an ethnocentric, expansionist Israel that, to outside observers at least, bears an unmistakable (albeit unmentionable) resemblance to apartheid South Africa.
These inconsistencies of the neoconservatives are not odd or surprising. The Straussian idea is to achieve the aims of the elite ingroup by using language designed for mass appeal. War for “democracy and freedom” sells much better than a war explicitly aimed at achieving the foreign policy goals of Israel.
Neoconservatives have responded to charges that their foreign policy has a Jewish agenda by labeling any such analysis as “anti-Semitic.” Similar charges have been echoed by powerful activist Jewish organizations like the ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
But at the very least, Jewish neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz, who were deeply involved in pushing for the war in Iraq, should frankly discuss how their close family and personal ties to Israel have affected their attitudes on US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Wolfowitz, however, has refused to discuss this issue beyond terming such suggestions “disgraceful.”
A common argument is that neoconservatism is not Jewish because of the presence of various non-Jews amongst their ranks.
But in fact, the ability to recruit prominent non-Jews, while nevertheless maintaining a Jewish core and a commitment to Jewish interests, has been a hallmark—perhaps the key hallmark—of influential Jewish intellectual and political movements throughout the 20th century. Freud commented famously on the need for a non-Jew to represent psychoanalysis, a role played by Ernest Jones and C. G. Jung. Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict were the public face of Boasian anthropology. And, although Jews represented over half the membership of both the Socialist Party and the Communist Party USA at various times, neither party ever had Jews as presidential candidates and no Jew held the top position in the Communist Party USA after 1929.
In all the Jewish intellectual and political movements I reviewed, non-Jews have been accepted and given highly-visible roles. Today, those roles are played most prominently by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld whose ties with neoconservatives go back many years. It makes excellent psychological sense to have the spokespeople for any movement resemble the people they are trying to convince.
In fact, neoconservatism is rather unusual in the degree to which policy formulation — as opposed to implementation — is so predominantly Jewish. Perhaps this reflects U.S. conditions in the late 20th century.
All the Jewish intellectual and political movements I studied were typified by a deep sense of orthodoxy—a sense of “us versus them.” Dissenters are expelled, usually amid character assassination and other recriminations.
This has certainly been a feature of the neocon movement. The classic recent example of this “We vs. They” world is David Frum’s attack on “unpatriotic conservatives” as anti-Semites. Any conservative who opposes the Iraq war as contrary to U.S. interests and who notes the pro-Israeli motivation of many of the important players, is not to be argued with, but eradicated. “We turn our backs on them.” This is not the spirit out of which the Anglo-American parliamentary tradition was developed, and in fact was not endorsed by other non-Jewish pro-war conservatives.
Jewish intellectual and political movements have typically had ready access to prestigious mainstream media channels, and this is certainly true for the neocons. The anchoring by the Washington Post of the columns of Charles Krauthammer and Robert Kagan and by the New York Times of William Safire's illustrates this. But probably more important recently has been the invariable summoning of neoconservatives to represent the “conservative” line on the TV Networks. Is it unreasonable to suppose that this may be somewhat influenced by the famously heavy Jewish role in these operations?
Immigration policy provides a valuable acid test for the proposition that neoconservatism is actually a vehicle for perceived Jewish ethnic interests. I believe I have been able to demonstrate that pro-immigration elements in American public life have, for over a century, been largely led, funded, energized and organized by the Jewish community [PDF file]. American Jews have taken this line, with a few isolated exceptions, because they have believed, as Leonard S. Glickman, president and CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, has bluntly stated, “The more diverse American society is the safer [Jews] are.” Having run out of Russian Jews, the HIAS is now deeply involved in recruiting refugees from Africa.
When, in the middle 1990s an immigration reform movement arose amongst American conservatives, the reaction of the neoconservatives ranged from cold to hostile. No positive voice was permitted on the Op-Ed page of the Wall Street Journal, by then a neoconservative domain. (Perhaps significantly, a more recent exception has been a relatively favorable review of the anti-illegal immigration book Mexifornia— whose author, the military historian Victor Davis Hanson, has distinguished himself by the extreme hawkishness of his views on the Middle East.) The main vehicle of immigration reform sentiment, National Review, once a bastion of traditional conservative thought, was quite quickly captured by neoconservatives and its opposition to immigration reduced to nominal.
Prior to the post-9/11 U.S. invasion of the Middle East, this suppression of the immigration reform impulse among conservatives was probably the single most important contribution of the neoconservatives to the course of U.S. history.
It may yet prove to be the most disastrous.
Kevin MacDonald [email him] is Professor of Psychology at California State University-Long Beach.
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In N.Y., Sparks Fly Over Israel Criticism
Michael Powell – Washgington Post October 9, 2006 Two major American Jewish organizations helped block a prominent New York University historian from speaking at the Polish consulate here last week, saying the academic was too critical of Israel and
American Jewry. The historian, Tony Judt, is Jewish and directs New York University's Remarque Institute, which promotes the study of Europe. Judt was scheduled to talk Oct. 4 to a nonprofit organization that rents space from the consulate. Judt's subject was the Israel lobby in the United States, and he planned to argue that this lobby has often stifled honest debate. An hour before Judt was to arrive, the Polish Consul General Krzysztof Kasprzyk canceled the talk. He said the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee had called and he quickly concluded Judt was too controversial. "The phone calls were very elegant but may be interpreted as exercising a delicate pressure," Kasprzyk said. "That's obvious -- we are adults and our IQs are high enough to understand that." Judt, who was born and raised in England and lost much of his family in the Holocaust, took strong exception to the cancellation of his speech. He noted that he was forced to cancel another speech later this month at Manhattan College in the Bronx after a different Jewish group had complained. Other prominent academics have described encountering such problems, in some cases more severe, stretching over the past three decades. The pattern, Judt says, is unmistakable and chilling. "This is serious and frightening, and only in America - not in Israel - is this a problem," says Judt. "These are Jewish organizations that believe they should keep people who disagree with them on the Middle East away from anyone who might listen." The leaders of the Jewish organizations denied asking the consulate to block Judt's speech and accused the professor of retailing "wild conspiracy theories" about their roles. But they applauded the consulate for rescinding Judt's invitation. "I think they made the right decision," said Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. "He's taken the position that Israel shouldn't exist. That puts him on our radar." David A. Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, took a similar view. "I never asked for a particular action; I was calling as a friend of Poland," Harris said. "The message of that evening was going to be entirely contrary to the entire spirit of Polish foreign policy." Judt has crossed rhetorical swords with the Jewish organizations on two key issues. Over the past few years he has written essays in the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books and in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz arguing that power in Israel has shifted to religious fundamentalists and territorial zealots, that woven into Zionism is a view of the Arab as the irreconcilable enemy, and that Israel might not survive as a communal Jewish state. The solution, he argues, lies in a slow and tortuous walk toward a binational and secular state. He has, of late, defended an academic paper -- co-authored by professor Stephen M. Walt of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and John J. Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago -- which argues the American Israel lobby has pushed policies that are not in the United States' best interests and in fact often encourage Israel to engage in self-destructive behavior. These are deeply controversial views -- Foxman of the ADL and writer Christopher Hitchens, among others, have attacked the Walt and Mearsheimer paper as anti-Semitic. And Judt's advocacy of a binational state has drawn a flock of critics, the more angry of whom accuse him of "pandering to genocide" as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America put it. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum said Judt was pursuing "genocide liberalism." Foxman has referred to Judt's views of Israel as "an offensive caricature." The Mearsheimer and Walt paper, however, has drawn praise in some quarters in Israel, particularly on the left. So, too some Israeli writers, not least Israeli historian and social critic Amos Elon, have praised Judt's writings on Israel. Nor are Judt's arguments without historical precedent: Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky, who is Jewish, has advocated a binational solution in Israel, a view that three decades ago sparked such anger that police stood guard at his college talks. More recently, the ADL repeatedly accused DePaul University professor Norman G. Finkelstein, who is Jewish and strongly opposes Israeli policies, of being a "Holocaust denier." These charges have proved baseless. "There is an often organized and often spontaneous attempt to marginalize anyone in the Jewish world who offers a critique of Israeli policy," said Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of the liberal magazine Tikkun. "It's equated with anti-Semitism and Israel denial." Foxman says such complaints are silly. "Nobody has called Judt an anti-Semite," Foxman said. "People who are critical of Israel and of the Jewish people often flaunt their Jewishness. Why isn't that an issue?" Judt replies that he only reluctantly talks of his Jewishness, in no small part to inoculate himself against charges of anti-Semitism. "For many, the way to be Jewish in this country is to aggressively assert that the Holocaust is your identification tag," Judt said. "I know perfectly well my history, but it never occurred to me that my most prominent identity was as a Jew.”

Saturday, October 07, 2006


National Prayer Network
By Rev. Ted Pike
Most thinking people know that the American Civil Liberties Union is vehemently anti-Christian. What they don't know is that 3 of 6 of ACLU's top national leaders are liberal Jewish activists.
Although ACLU's executive director, Anthony D. Romero, is an in-your-face Hispanic homosexual, second in command is Nadine Strossen, Jewish. She was given the "Woman of Distinction" award from the Women's League of Conservative Judaism and the "Women who Dared" award from the National Council of Jewish Women. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she is married to Eli M. Noam, professor and founding director of Columbia University's Institute for Tele-Information.
Third in command at ACLU is legal counsel Steven Shapiro. As the legal mastermind of ACLU, he may well wield greatest power. Shapiro commands an army of 90 fulltime lawyers, maintaining an active docket of cases harassing the public expression of Christian values across America.
Geri E. Rozanski, director of affiliate support, is also a Jewish activist. Before joining ACLU, she was director for the large field operation of the American Jewish Committee.
Executive Director Anthony Romero may largely fulfill the role of a token Latino/homosexual figurehead. Ultimately, he may be Gentile window dressing, meant to deflect public attention from the real brains behind the ACLU, Strossen and Shapiro.
Jews behind "Civil Liberties" Fronts
Jews comprise only 2.5 percent of the American population, yet most of the largest anti-Christian "civil liberties" organizations are disproportionately staffed by them:
B'nai B'rith International, initiator of hate crimes laws in Canada, Europe, and Australia is 100 percent Jewish. The same is true of its civil liberties pit bull, ADL.
People for the American Way, founded and directed by left-wing Jewish TV producer Norman Lear, contains a disproportionate number of Jews in its top leadership. Three of eight have Jewish names. Carol Blum is executive vice president and chief operating officer. Elliot Mincberg is senior vice president, general counsel, and legal director. Sharon Lettman is vice president of external affairs and director of national programs and outreach.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, chief antagonist to public display of Judge Roy Moore's 10 Commandments, is even more predominantly Jewish. Its three top leaders are Jews. President and CEO is J. Richard Cohen. Founder and chief trial counsel is Morris Dees. Founder and president emeritus is Joseph J. Levin Jr.
ACLU: Distraction from Real Enemy
For the past 40 years, the evangelical right has found the ACLU the perfect villain for a simple reason: Since it is not perceived as Jewish, they can criticize it without danger of being labeled "anti-Semitic."
The ACLU performs a very devious and useful role as part of the overall conspiracy of Jewish activism against Christianity: It distracts Christians and conservatives from a much greater threat, ADL. The ACLU makes itself conspicuously outrageous, as threatening to Christian values and symbols as can be imagined. This entirely preoccupies the attention of the religious right. As a result, ADL/B'nai B'rith over the last 40 years has been free to develop and put in place their Orwellian "anti-hate laws" throughout the western hemisphere.
Milestones of such erosion of Christian freedom include:
Passage of ADL's Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990. This gave ADL complete control in America of hate crimes education and enforcement for police, FBI, and the US Justice Department.
Passage of ADL hate laws in 46 US states during the past two decades.
Creation of thought crimes bureaucracies, outlawing public criticism of homosexuality and Judaism in Canada, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand.
Creation of an "Office of Global Anti-Semitism" in the US State Department, making Christians into anti-Semites. (See, "U.S. State Department Says New Testament is 'Anti-Semitic'?")
Creation of a vast 55-nation anti-hate bureaucracy in Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. OSCE vows to outlaw "cyberhate," ending free speech and free talk radio on the internet. (See, "Global Hate Crimes Gestapo Being Created")
Failure of Perception and Strategy
Yes, ACLU is busy defending pornographers and litigating against crosses, 10 Commandments in public, and nativity scenes at Christmastime. But in a far more threatening way, taking advantage of the distraction provided by ACLU, ADL has been massively destroying freedom of speech in most of the western industrialized world. To this moment, it has done so unidentified and virtually unresisted by the leaders of Christendom and the new right.
As long as Christian leaders lay blame upon secular humanism, the New World Order, liberalism, or the ACLU and remain afraid to identify the real culprit, liberal Jewish activism, all these Jewish-dominated "civil liberties groups" will continue to harass and enfeeble the church.
With Christian activism so misdirected, Jewish activism, much more focused and relentless, will continue to prevail.

Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.
Learn much more about the threat of liberal Jewish activism at Google's video site shows Rev. Pike's videos, The Other Israel, Hate Laws: Making Criminals of Christians, and Why the Mid-East Bleeds, in their entirety, free of charge. Just search for "Ted Pike".
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Thursday, October 05, 2006


Jesus is Building His Church... but not as we've known itby Lynette Woods
"On this rock I will build my church, and death itself will not have any power over it. " (Matthew 16:18 CEV)
Most of us who read the verse above agree that "this Rock" is not some literal, physical rock seen on this earth but something unseen and invisible: Christ and the revelation of Him ("flesh and blood have not revealed this to you but My Father..."). If seeing and knowing Christ spiritually is the Rock and Foundation upon which He is building His Church, then it follows that what He builds will also be spiritual, unseen and invisible and NOT of this earth but heavenly in nature and in character.
However, many have seen only what is earthly and have believed that the church which Jesus is building is some earthly denomination, building or organisation which can be seen and joined. These buildings and programmes often are the result of man's desire to build for God which of course sounds like the age-old cry of "Come, let us build ourselves a building with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and be in unity and not scattered over the face of the whole earth." (Gen 11:4). Jesus is not building His Church on any earthly foundation; flesh and blood cannot reveal this Truth of Who Christ is, only our Father can.
We know that Jesus said: "Destroy (undo) this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again." (John 2:19) and Mark records His accusers of stating that He'd said: "I will destroy this temple which is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, made without hands." (Mark 14:58). Made WITHOUT man's hands... raised up by God alone... His work, His do-ing... certainly that sums up resurrection Life! Anything which is of Him is filled with His Life and death has no power over it! This Church which Jesus is building is full of His Life and death cannot prevent His building project because He has already conquered death; His Church is being built and assembled in the heavenlies and is not something temporal but something eternal and out of this world!
The Scriptures are very clear: the tabernacle and temple of the Old Testament were a symbol and parable until Christ came: "When God speaks of a new covenant, He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether. Now even the first covenant had its own rules and regulations for divine worship and it had a sanctuary, but one of this world... Into the second division of the tabernacle none but the high priest goes... by this the Holy Spirit points out that the way into the true Holy of Holies is not yet thrown open as long as the former tabernacle remains a recognized institution and is still standing. Seeing that that first tabernacle was a parable (a visible symbol or type or picture of the present age)... But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the better things that have come and are to come, then through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not a part of this material creation, He went once for all into the Holy of Holies, not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves, but His own blood, having found and secured a complete redemption (an everlasting release for us). For Christ has not entered into a sanctuary (building) made with human hands, only a copy and pattern and type of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf." (Heb 8:13, 9:1,7-9,11,12,24 Amplified) "It was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says, Heaven is My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest? Was it not My hand that made all these things?" (Acts 7:47-50).
The mention of a building "not made with hands" occurs three times in those verses. Our flesh loves having something which WE can make, feel, touch, see, hear and worship here and now instead of knowing and trusting in the invisible and unseen. Many continue to believe in and support the Judaistic type of an earthly temple. We typically look at large numbers of people and admire buildings that are large and impressive because those things appeal to our senses and to our image of what we think is worthy of God. But if we learn anything at all from the Scriptures, it is that God does not think the way we do, His ways and thoughts are not our ways! He isn't interested in many things being seen and taken notice of, He is interested in only One Thing: Christ being seen and taken account of, "On THIS Rock I will build My Church". There is only One Thing which can break through the temptation of the many things which can be seen and heard in the here and now, and that One Thing is seeing and knowing Christ and His Body by the Spirit. Once you have seen and experienced the Real, then earthly substitutes lose their grip because there is no comparison between the two!
"Faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality. [Abraham] was waiting expectantly and confidently looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God." (Heb 11:1,10). We have evidence all around us of our Architect's absolutely amazing design and creation! Nature everywhere speaks of breathtaking design and planning. But our Architect and Builder builds and creates very differently to how we do. Even at our most creative and most clever, we cannot make objects live, we simply co-operate with the life that is inherent in them. For instance a vine produces grapes and a fruit tree bears fruit not by striving and working hard to bear fruit or grow, it happens because of the life which is in them and it is the same with us. It is Christ and His Life within us which bears fruit and causes us to grow providing we remain (abide) in Him. He is the Vinedresser and will prune us through circumstances and people as He sees fit. Jesus spoke of this in John 15:1-9 and the Greek word which is translated as "abide" means to remain and to wait. We usually do not like waiting; we would rather try to make something happen NOW (made with hands) so we often take things into our own hands - being god and lord of our own lives.
We must be under the government of Jesus Christ and give up trying to govern ourselves. Often we usurp the role of the Holy Spirit by trying to be in control of everything in our lives, but when we yield to Him and allow Him to be our Head, we find that His yoke is easy and His burden is light! We joyfully follow Him and co-operate with Him in His work.
It is interesting that we are called living stones (1 Pet 2:5) because stones cannot make themselves into anything or move themselves anywhere; they must rely on the Builder to place them and use them in the same way as precious stones must rely upon the Jeweller to place them securely in a setting. This building cannot design itself; it must wait on the Architect. This building cannot build itself; it must wait for the Master Builder. This City is designed and built by God Himself.
One of the prime functions of both architects and builders is to create something from nothing. This City cannot be physically seen and yet is very real! Hebrews again compares the earthly with the heavenly and the Mosaic law with the new covenant: "Jesus has been considered worthy of much greater honor and glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. For every house is built and furnished by someone, but the Builder of all things is God." (Heb 3:3,4). Until people see this Church that Jesus is building, they often unknowingly give the former house more honour than the Builder, not realizing that that house was something temporal and not eternal and pointed to something of far greater worth: Jesus as not only the Builder but also the Temple! A house or temple on this earth, whether it is called a "church" or not, is a dead structure because it is the BUILDER that is full of Life and He is now building His Church in the heavenlies with living stones/people who are full of His Life and Light!
I recently watched a BBC documentary about archeological excavations of Sepphoris, the largest city in Judea apart from Jerusalem, and which was only an hour's walk from Nazareth. When Jesus was about nine years old, Herod Antipas initiated a large scale building program in Sepphoris that lasted for twenty years. In this documentary they commented on how all these buildings were made of stone and that it was very likely that Jesus would have helped building these stone buildings. Clever, religious me thought "Everybody knows Jesus was a carpenter and not a builder, the Bible says so"! But this documentary said that Jesus may have worked on the buildings because the Greek word "tekton" which has been translated as "carpenter" in our Bibles, doesn't mean carpenter in the sense we think of it (making furniture etc). Instead it means craftsman and builder and applied to stonemasonry work as well as woodwork. I looked at the Greek to check this out and found that they were correct. Our English word architect means master builder and is made from two Greek words - archi: meaning chief, and tekton: meaning builder.
Then I thought of how Jesus used so many word pictures and parables of things that both He and others were familiar with, and yet He never once gave a parable based on wood and making something from wood. I thought that was rather odd for a carpenter! He could have talked about how a piece of wood is of no practical use (except for being burnt up in a fire!) until and unless the carpenter applies the hammer and chisel and carves something that can be used but in the process the wood must lose not only the bark that protects it, but also loses its original shape...
Instead we see in the Bible that Jesus used building with stones as examples and images: (Matt 7:24-26, 16:18, 21:33; Mark 15:29; Luke 6:48,49, 12:18, 14:28, John 2:19). It is certainly interesting to think that Jesus would have first been a builder on this earth and that He then applied that experience and knowledge to the spiritual in working with living stones and building HIS Church! This reference also then has new meaning: "As Jesus was coming out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, Look, Teacher! Notice the sort and quality of these stones and buildings!" (Mark 13:1). If Jesus was a builder and had worked with stone, then this comment makes a lot of sense; the disciple would have known that He would have been interested in the architecture and material of the temple because of His occupation! And the reply Jesus gave is so typical of Him, instead of admiring the architecture and the work of man He instead says "You see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be torn down"! He CAME OUT of the temple made with hands and was not impressed by what was made with human hands.
I asked Father what difference it makes whether we see Jesus as a carpenter or a builder and this is what I felt He showed me... Our established mindsets often prevent us from seeing the bigger picture, and it is the same in this case.What I saw was the differences between a carpenter and builder. A carpenter typically makes things like furniture to go into a house/structure that SOMEONE ELSE has built, whereas a builder builds the structure itself. This is exactly what we see happen with organized religion: Jesus is typically viewed only as a carpenter - someone who just makes the "furniture" that goes into a structure that man builds. Jesus is often seen as simply adding something we need and we then use this "furniture" for our own convenience whether beds, chairs or tables (in spiritual terms those things might be salvation, spiritual gifts and fruits) and the view is selfishly on MAN and his comfort, satisfaction and glory. But if God is viewed as the Master Builder, then the view is considerably different and expanded: it is HIS work and He isn't just making bits of furniture to be placed into a structure built by man, He is building HIS Church/Temple/Body - Christ - and it is all about HIS increase and Glory and Satisfaction!A house is a much more important and bigger thing than furniture. You can live in a house without furniture, but you wouldn't normally live with just furniture and no house! Furniture, no matter how ornate or useful and practical it may be, is pointless without first being in the House! Furniture can be moved from structure to structure; but a house is never moved but remains firmly placed on the Foundation (1 Cor 3:11-17). A house speaks to me of a household, family, or home and of protection from the elements of this world; Christ is certainly all of that and more!
Another difference between builders and carpenters is that a carpenter can easily make a piece of furniture all on their own but builders don't usually work by themselves, they almost always work together with at least one other person. As a builder, Jesus would have known how vital each worker is and that co-operation and joint participation (koinonia) are important. Stones are very heavy and need people working together to fit them into place. All the pictures He gives us of His spiritual Building are images of inter-relatedness - His Body, His Temple, His City, His Bride - all of these are composites.
May our eyes be opened to see Jesus Christ and the Church that He is building and may we learn to co-operate with Him as the Architect and Master Builder of all!
"In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise, grow and increase into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you yourselves also are being built up with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit." (Eph 2:19-22 Amplified)
Related articles: Seeing the Glory of the SonThe Little Stone


The shameless Republican Party
Posted: October 5, 20061:00 a.m. Eastern
Rats. I wanted to write a book about Mark Foley and the Republican Party but Bob Woodward stole my title. "State of Denial" best describes the attitude of House leadership that turned a blind eye toward the unusual amount of interest the Florida congressman showed toward young boys who were serving as House pages.
Of course, House Speaker Denny Hastert should step down! That's what an honorable man does when he makes a mistake of this magnitude.
Republican partisans are rallying to the speaker's defense and blaming it on Democrat operatives who held and released those sexually explicit instant messages just before the election. However, there is still plenty of time to call everybody back to Washington and pick a replacement for Hastert.
(Column continues below)
This would not be a great loss! This is the House leader of the party of "less government" who presided over the biggest spending spree in our country's history. This is the man who refused to reign in his out-of-control charges and, in fact, punished those who tried to put the breaks on.
This is the man who complained when the FBI raided the office of Democrat Rep. William Jefferson, who was hiding cash in the freezer of his apartment. Hastert clung to the separation of powers argument despite the fact that the FBI had to get a court order to conduct the raid: Two of the three branches of government were involved in this action! Hastert obviously thinks that anything that happens in Congress should stay in Congress and if Congress doesn't see fit to clean up the mess, by definition, there is no mess.
This is the same Denny Hastert who looked the other way when it was discovered that former Democrat Rep. Gary Condit had an affair with Washington intern Chandra Levy, whose decomposed body later was discovered in Fort Marcy Park. The voters finally dumped Condit in disgust because Congress, under Hastert, didn't do a thing!
Hastert presided over the impeachment of President Clinton, but the impeachment wasn't for doing an intern! The House simply didn't go there. Yes, both these women were older but they had never been on their own and were still under the support and protective care of their parents. Both were easy prey for men in powerful positions. The nation's parents deserve better.
The nation deserves better, and if that means that the party in power has to eat and little crow and elect some new leaders, let's get on with it. It's past time.
The Democrats in Congress have lost their right to wag their fingers over these matters. Their own members are notorious! Many Democrat lawmakers march in Gay Pride parades with NAMBLA, the "Sex before eight or it's too late" crowd. However, Republicans are supposed to know better.
Completely lost on the public is that, the very day the Foley scandal came to light, (mostly) Democrats in the Senate obstructed the Child Custody Protection Act and kept it from coming to the floor for a vote. This critical legislation would make it a federal crime to transport a minor across a state line for an abortion if this action circumvents a state law requiring parental involvement in a minor's abortion. This lack of action in the Senate empowers the sexual predators of young girls.
The majority of people in this country still believe that there should be a high moral threshold for people in public office. That's why Republicans have control of Congress and the White House, and that is why they are in danger of losing it now.
Hastert and the rest of the big-tent Republicans, who want to pretend that homosexuality is normal and natural, will be responsible for the folded tent.
There is no gay gene! And, yes, statistics show that homosexuals are much more likely to be sexual predators. The 1 to 3 percent of the population attracted to the same sex are committing one-third of sex crimes against minors.
Hastert knew that Foley was a homosexual but, when this problem came to light, it didn't set off alarm bells.
Homosexuals don't procreate, they recruit; and most of that recruitment involves our young people. A young person who is molested is "imprinted." The child may feel pleasure from being stimulated in this way and begin to associate sex with this first or this early experience.
We were told that Mark Foley was victimized between the ages of 13 and 15. He kept this "shame to himself for almost 40 years" and apparently became a victimizer.
It is sad that there isn't more shame in the Republican Party over this incident.


Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day I went down town and went into a shop. I was only in there for about 5 minutes and when I came out there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. I went up to him and said, "Come on, man, how about giving a senior citizen a break"?
He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi turd. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires.
So I called him a shithead. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote. Personally, I didn't care. I came down town on the bus and the car that he was putting the tickets on had a bumper sticker that said "Hillary '08.
I try to have a little fun each day now that I'm retired. It's important at my age!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Only .5% of taxpayers pay estate taxes! It makes me want to cringe every time I hear a politician run a campaingn advertisement talking about the "death tax." If people actually took the time to learn something other than trivial nonsense when going to school, then they could learn enough about the tax code and other important issues that make them smart enough to not allow this nonsense advertising. There are so many important issues facing our country that are simply not being addressed.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Five girls dead after Amish school shootingsTue Oct 3, 2006 8:07 AM ET
By Jon Hurdle
NICKEL MINES, Penn. (Reuters)
- Two girls died overnight after a school shooting in Pennsylvania, bringing to five the number of students killed when a gunman burst into their one-room schoolhouse, state police said on Tuesday.
It was the third deadly U.S. school shooting in the past week and took place in an Amish farm community where there is little crime.
The gunman, identified as Charles Carl Roberts, 32, killed himself after lining his victims against the wall and shooting them execution-style in the head.
The two girls who died overnight were aged 7 and 8, said Commissioner Jeffrey Miller of the Pennsylvania state police. One other girl remained in critical condition and another four were described as stable, state police said.
Asked for additional information about the gunman's motive, Miller said that Roberts lost a child of his own three years ago and "that had something to do with his state of mind."
"He may have been angry with God for having lost a child," Miller said at a news briefing.
On Monday, authorities said Roberts, who was not Amish, had dropped his own three school-aged children at their bus stop in the morning, showing no sign of the rampage to come.
But Roberts had left a rambling suicide note and letter to his wife and children, referring to an event 20 years ago for which he sought revenge, and he planned for a lengthy siege.
The Georgetown School classroom had 26 students aged 6 to 13. After Roberts ordered the 15 boys and some adults to leave, the victims were shot "at close range, execution style, firing into the back of the head," Miller said.
The tragedy stunned this peaceful community some 60 miles
west of Philadelphia, where descendants of Swiss-German settlers have preserved a religious lifestyle that shuns aspects of modern life like cars and electricity.
Amish farmers live simply, travel by horse and buggy and cultivate the land using old-fashioned traditions.
Roberts fired three rounds from a shotgun and 13 from a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, police said. He also had a rifle, 600 rounds of ammunition, a stun gun, two knives and tools including a hammer, a hacksaw, pliers, wire, eye-bolts, rolls of tape and a bucket with a change of clothes.
There were similarities between the Pennsylvania tragedy and last week's school shooting in Bailey, Colorado, where a schoolgirl was killed. However, Miller said he did not believe it to be copycat attack.
In the Colorado shooting last Wednesday, a drifter took six female high school students hostage, molested them and then shot one dead before killing himself as police closed in. Then on Friday a 15-year-old student killed his school's principal in western Wisconsin.
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Sunday, October 01, 2006


A French church carries the legacy of Le Corbusier
By Nicolai Ouroussoff The New York TimesTUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2006-->Published: July 31, 2006
FIRMINY, France More than 40 years after he drowned off a remote beach in the south of France, Le Corbusier remains a transcendent force. Even if some blame him for the modern city's greatest sins, from the steamrolling of historical neighborhoods to a stultifying emphasis on function, he is indisputably the most influential architect of the past century.
Now workers in this rural mining town
are putting the finishing touches on a small church he designed with a former student in the early 1960s. A soaring asymmetrical cone that rises out of an imposing concrete base like some strange pagan temple, it is a reminder of why Le Corbusier's work inspires such passionate devotion.
Completed by that protégé, José Oubrerie, who has tinkered with many elements of the original sketches, the church of Saint-Pierre has stirred debate among Parisian academics about the ethics of finishing a work left behind by a legendary architect.
But the core of Le Corbusier's concept remains intact: a sanctuary that distills the history of architecture from the primitive cave through Modernism. At the same time its warped planes anticipate the fluid architectural forms of today, though with a restraint that shows how so much recent work has been diluted by cheap effects.
That it exists at all is a miracle. From its inception the project seemed doomed to join the long list of architectural masterpieces that exist only on paper.
Le Corbusier first came to Firminy, tucked into a valley of the Loire west of Saint-Etienne, in the early 1950s at the invitation of Eugène Claudius-Petit, a liberal mayor who had visions of transforming the town into a postwar workers' paradise, a "green city" to replace the grimy black one. Over the following decade the two collaborated on one of the densest concentrations of Le Corbusier buildings anywhere.
The architect's 1965 House of Youth and Culture, a slender concrete-and-glass slab flanked by a small outdoor stadium, dominates the town center; to the north a low-cost version of his 1952 Unité de Habitation housing block in Marseille sits at the top of a hill, a monument to the town's egalitarian ideals.
The church, which sits alongside the stadium, occupies a privileged place in Le Corbusier's œuvre. The architect, who prided himself on his Protestant heretic forebears and dismissed the church as a dead institution, designed only two other religious structures, also in France. Both buildings - his curving, elegiac 1955 chapel at Ronchamp and his monumental concrete La Tourette monastery from 1960 - rank among his most evocative works.
Yet in this case he had a hard time finding support. The bishop of Lyon was not enamored of the design's allusion to pagan forms. Nor did he approve of the site, which seemed buried at the bottom of the valley. Eventually he withdrew his pledge to pay for the church's construction.
"The bishop sent a priest to the studio on Rue de Sèvres in Paris," Oubrerie, 73, said in an interview. "He was a very traditional man, the kind who is very nice but kicks you when you turn around. We understood he would not make a positive report. So Le Corbusier wrote a letter to the bishop saying, 'At my age, with everything I have done, you should have confidence in me.' Of course it changed nothing."
Construction began in 1971, six years after Le Corbusier's death, with private funds from the Le Corbusier Foundation (raised in part by the sale of some of his art collection). But the contractor went broke, and construction stopped with only half the building completed. For years it stood abandoned, its concrete base evoking a disused military bunker.
Oubrerie, meanwhile, went on to build a few significant works of his own, including a French cultural center in Damascus, whose folding interior surfaces were a riff on Le Corbusier's fluid spaces. But Le Corbusier's brand of ascetic radicalism already seemed distant from contemporary events. And Oubrerie's association with the old master made him seem like a relic.
"It was a difficult time," said Oubrerie, who remembers wearing a suit and tie as he watched students rebel in the Paris streets in 1968. "People would ask, 'Is he still alive?' Then they would say, 'Thank you very much.' They did not like his work."
By the early 1980s, with France in the midst of a recession, Oubrerie had left for a teaching job in the United States. He organized a show at the University of Kentucky's school of architecture on the Firminy project in the hope of drumming up funds. But none materialized.
In 1995 the church's half-completed base was declared a historic landmark by the state. Unable to remove it, regional and local officials relented and agreed to pay for the project. And in 2001 Oubrerie, by then resigned to a life in academia, was brought in to oversee the design, which everyone agreed would need revision.
Because French law forbids municipal expenditures on churches, the main worship space on the second floor will be used as a performance space. And Oubrerie has transformed the ground floor, originally intended as a priest's residence and Sunday school, into an exhibition space that will be used by the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in Saint- Etienne.
"When the new mayor started to look at finishing the church, he had the idea that it was going to bring them some money," Oubrerie said. "They want to make it a place for tourists. So we are going to make an information center. We are going to organize a place for tour buses at the top of the hill." He has also adapted the design to accommodate the heating and ventilation systems demanded by current building codes.
This is not a minor change. It has meant the loss of ventilation panels that would have allowed fresh air to flow through the interiors, essential to Le Corbusier's vision of an architecture in tune with the rhythms of nature.
The changes led to intense debates about authorship. How would Le Corbusier have tackled all of these issues? With no answer to that question, could the Church of Saint-Pierre be defined as part of his work?
For me the answer is no. Le Corbusier never produced finished working drawings for the church. Like any architect, he continually revised his work, and there is no way to know what changes he would have made in the final phase of design. Oubrerie is wise enough to admit that the project is a collaboration of sorts.
The apprentice bringing the master's work to fruition is an old architectural tradition. A handful of architects worked on the design of St. Peter's Basilica. Jacques-Germain Soufflot's great neo-classical church of Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, now the Panthéon, was completed by a pupil, Jean-Baptiste Rondelet.
And while some will see the changes as a betrayal of Le Corbusier's genius, the church's monolithic dome still cloaks a remarkably assured work of architecture.
In some ways the building echoes the interlocking geometric forms of his Purist period. His earliest sketches for the site show a simple geometric composition - cube, pyramid, cone - a monumental structure that suggests a primitive machine but echoes the surrounding mountains, its top sliced off as if it were tipping toward the sun.
Romain Chazalon, a 20-something architecture student who has helped oversee construction, picked me up at Firminy's small train station and drove to a ridge above the city that he said was the best vantage for a first sighting.
Even from a few hundred meters the dome's contorted form holds its own against its mountainous backdrop. A concrete channel wraps around the base of the cone to collect storm water. It also conceals a thin strip window just below that is used to deflect natural light into the interiors, part of Le Corbusier's vision of a machine wholly in tune with the natural world.
His presence is felt strongest in the approach to the building. It is set on a slight mound, its blank concrete facade facing the main road. As you ascend, you slip along the side of the building before turning abruptly and crossing a bridge that slopes up to meet the main entry. This passage forces you to slow your pace and creates a delicious sense of anticipation.
But it doesn't stop at the doors; inside, a remarkably fluid circulation loop draws you through a series of emotional stages, with the architecture mirroring your own psychic awakening. Your first sight is the altar, flanked by a lectern and a low bench embedded in the back wall where priests were intended to sit during Mass: simple concrete forms arranged with the precision of a stage set. A small chapel is tucked beneath a balcony on the right.
The floor slopes gently, almost imperceptibly downward, drawing you toward the altar. From there, you turn to face asymmetrical rows of pews that climb to the sweeping balcony at the rear. The procession ends with a narrow stairway that leads you back down from the balcony to the worship space and out into the world.
What makes this potent architecture is its ability to draw you through these spaces without any coercion. There is no single path, but you intuitively know where to go.
That experience is reinforced by the subtle use of light. The snakelike soffit, roughly at shoulder height, extends along the walls of room, from the entrance to the back of the altar to the balcony, emitting diffuse light that illuminates the path. The towering dome, 23 meters high, or 75 feet high, is pierced by two openings - one circular, the other square, both painted in bright primary colors - whose intense glow pulls the eye upward.
This intuitive sense of balance is rare. Frank Lloyd Wright achieved it in some of his great works, but not at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, whose barreling rotunda, for all its beauty, is more controlling.
The fusion of rigor and freedom at Firminy reminds us why Le Corbusier remains so intimidating. No major talent today has escaped his influence. The sweeping ramps of Rem Koolhaas's Kunsthalle in Rotterdam, or his unbuilt design for the Jussieu library in Paris, for example, could not have been imagined without the curving ramp that penetrates Le Corbusier's 1964 Carpenter Center. (Koolhaas prefers to credit Mies van der Rohe.) And the curved planes found in the work of Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel can be seen as the offspring of Le Corbusier's sloping floors.
Oubrerie's triumph lies in preserving the spirit of Le Corbusier's design without treating the project as a shrine. Minor changes are visible - the use of polycarbonate instead of glass in the apertures above the altar, for instance, which slightly distorts the light - but his most aggressive are in the ground-floor museum, where the overscale ducts and pivoting red doors owe as much to the Pompidou Center in Paris as to raw concrete forms of the late-period Le Corbusier. As a graceful base for his haunting dome, the museum is respectful without being slavish, which is just about right.
It's a creative dialogue between peers, as well as a gift from a student to his master. Le Corbusier's gift to his pupil, one would like to believe, was to trust him with this legacy.

By BeeBee aka Linda: I had no previous knowledge of Corbusier, as I was just looking up a google about the church of whats happening now that I use frequently. I ran across this monstrous, despicable mass of concrete that in no way resembles any churches that I have seen in my lifetime. A protege of this designer, Corbusier, started work on this church that never was finished because of a lack of funds. Then somehow the state deemed the location to be a historical landmark, we all know how politics work, and the municpal taxpayers paid for this blasphemous building. Now, mind you, France is 84% Roman Catholic, and by reading the article one learns that a certain Bishop was very displeased and refused to offer any funds toward the construction. The laws for municpal funding in France forbid the use of such funds to go toward building churches, so the building clearly does not resemble a church that I have ever seen. Will this be the future of the world, when pagan structures replace our beautiful churches, after the secualarists have done their job in removing all things Godly from the earth. This will mark the time of the anti-christs in direct war with the Lord, and we all know that the devils will lose in the end.