Ang Laro ng Pating at ng Sapsap

Hindi natin nararapat na ayusin pa ang kinakalawang nating barko.

Bakit po?

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Ang BRP Sierra Madre ay sinadyang isinadsad ng ating militar upang ito ay mabalahura o maging- “stranded” sa Ayungin Shoal na hindi nakalitaw sa dagat dahil ito ay “below sea level”. Ang barko ay nagtamo ng malaking butas sa ilalim at hindi na ito maaaring maglayag.

Ang pagkaka-balahura ng barko ay isang taktika na nagbibigay ng karapatan sa Pilipinas upang manatili doon at ipairal ng ating bansa ang legal na pagmamay-ari sa Ayungin at tuluyang angkinin ito.

Ayon sa pandaigdigang batas sa karagatan ay bawal itong galawin, hilahin, o sakyan man ng sinumang dayuhan sapagka’t anumang aksyon na katulad nito ay nangangahulugan ng kanilang paghamon ng giyera.

Alam din ng Wikipedia kung bakit ang USS Harnett County ay ibinalahura sa Ayungin Shoal noong 1999:

“After the Vietnam War, Harnett County was transferred to the Philippine Navy, which named her BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57). In 1999 the Philippine government deliberately had her run aground on Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands to serve as an outpost of the Philippine Marine Corps to assert Philippine sovereignty in the country’s dispute with China over the ownership of the Spratly Islands. She still serves that function.”

Sa nakaraang maraming taon, ang mga Pilipinong manunulat ay patuloy na isinasama ng Philippine Navy sa Spratly Islands nguni’t nasaan ang totoong balita? Bakit walang nakabuluhang pahayag sa telebisyon, sa radyo, sa dyaryo, o kahit na sa internet?

Bagama’t marami sa kanila ang may naisulat din naman ay wala namang sustansya ang kanilang mga pahayag. Hindi ba’t ang mga mumunting ampaw na balitang ito ang nagbibigay ng dumaraming katanungan sa isip ng publiko?

Nagtataka tuloy ang marami kung nabusalan na nga ba ang ating mga mamamahayag?

May isang taon na ang nakaraan nang unang mabasa ko ang isang link sa Facebook post ni Dr. Popoy De Vera, ang political analyst at propesor mula sa U.P., at akin pang pabirong naitanong sa kanya ang ilang bagay-bagay ukol dito dahil ang banta ng gulo noon ay malayo sa katotohanan, nguni’t ang aking pananaw ay mabilis na nagbago bunga ng maraming sumunod na pangyayaring naganap upang ang lahat ng mga ito’y labis nang ikabahala.

Matapos ang halos dalawang (2) taon na nabanggit, ang salaysay ng isang banyaga ang nananatiling pinakamalinaw na pagsasalarawan ng buhay sa Spratlys dahil WALA NAMANG SUMUSULAT NG MATINONG BALITA tungkol dito — si Jeff Himmelman ay sumampa sa BRP Sierra Madre sa Ayungin Shoal at nakitulog pa ng tatlong araw upang makapanayam niya ng masinsinan ang mga sundalo nating nagbabantay doon. Naglakbay din siya sa iba’t-ibang mga pulo ng Spratlys upang makita at marinig ang mga istorya ng mga Pilipinong nag-aalala ukol sa pag-aagawan ng teritoryo ng Pilipinas at ng Tsina upang kanyang maisulat ito noon pang 27 October 2013 para sa New York Times.

Ang kasaysayan sa mala-paraisong mga isla dito ay patuloy na uminog sa mga pagbabagong naganap: ang pagparada ng maraming barkong pandigma ng Tsina; ang pagtatayo ng mala-garrison na mga istruktura; ang tahasang pagpapakita at pagyayabang ng kanilang mga gamit pandigma; at ang ang pagtanggi ng Beijing na dumalo sa mga pag-uusap sa United Nations; lahat ng mga ito ay naglagay ngayon sa mga mala-paraisong isla dito sa isang kabagabagan dahil sa isang parating na pagsubok na malayong mas malakas pa sa kahit na anong unos na naranasan.

Bagama’t ang akda’y nakasulat sa wikang Ingles, batid naming mauunawaan din ito ng ating mga kababayang Pilipino. Pakibasa po ng buo ang artikulong ito kahit na may kahabaan upang masuri din natin ang pananaw ng isang dayuhan na nasanay nang makakita ng mga kahawig na sigalot sa ibang panig ng mundo.

A GAME OF SHARK AND MINNOW
(Ang Laro ng Pating at Sapsap)
http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/
Ang mga magagandang larawan at video ay pag-aari ni Ashley Gilbertson

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Dirty Ice Cream or Halo-halo?

Would you care for some…
“Dirty ice cream”?
Or what about “halo-halo”?

For those who might unfamiliar with the quaint Philippines, I have a short story to tell.

Okay. Let’s talk about “dirty ice cream”   and its variations first so we won’t get lost.

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Here’s a popular answer to ice cream in the Philippines.
Photo by pinintetest.com

Even before the time of Christ, snow mixed with honey ang sweet fruits was already a delicacy in China as this was a royal treat for emperors.

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Ice cream is a delicacy that ostensibly originated from China.
Photo by history.cultural-china.com

Also listed below is a link about Abraham liking goat’s milk mixed with snow but please look at that after you finish reading this piece, so it won’t be anticlimactic, okay?

When Marco Polo brought to Italy the Chinese way of life, including the new idea of eating ice cream, he was ridiculed and ostracised. Why?

The snooty Europeans simply thought they were superior to any culture other than their own and they considered anything from the outside world as inferior, wanting and pathetic. The Spanish rulers who were in the Philippines then, though detached half a globe away, had the same mindset. The idea of this dessert was deemed dirty and unfit for human consumption. Hence, every homemade concoction of this sort has been metaphorically referred to as “DIRTY ICE CREAM”.

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“Dirty ice cream” is savoured both by the rich and poor.
Photo by pininterest.com

In 1533 the Italian duchess Catherine de’ Medici of Florence surprised everyone when, in her wedding banquet, she served generous amounts of Italian “gelato” (Florence version derived from the ice cream recipe of Marco Polo from China), and the French aristocrats loved it. They thereafter called it “sorbet”, and henceforth, eating ice cream became not only politically correct, but fashionable as well.

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Catherine de’ Medici of Florence married French King Henry II
Photo by kleio.com

Most countries in the Far East have had ice cream for centuries.

Most provinces in the Philippines facing the China Sea may never have had any snow but their vibrant trade with China made it possible to put ice cream in their menu as the Chinese knew how to make ice by using saltpeter.

In the town of Alitagtag, Batangas first started the large scale production of ice cream that attracted hundreds of ambulant vendors from all the neighboring provinces. This trade went on for a long time, making this town the ice cream capital of the Philippines.

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“Dirty ice cream” from ambulant vendors is a common sight in the Philippines.
Photo by Christelle Duncombe

Not to be outdone, residents of Bacoor, Cavite made their own concoction called “halo-halo”, with all the sweet ingredients served uncrushed and even visibly whole, straight from the cooking pot to show its purity and that it cannot be dirty. This move was well accepted by the Spanish gentry and the friars, as well as the locals who kowtowed to the foreign colonizers.

In this modern day and age of complex foods processing where computer-controlled machines do most of the work, “halo-halo” is still prepared in the very same way it was done eons ago, though this dessert has now morphed into a mixture of dozens of ingredients in just one serving.

In one of the celebrated shops that have branches in Filipino communities other parts of the world, you can watch how they put the 29 ingredients into your own serving dish. You then have the option to mix all these sweets with the crushed ice while eating, hence the name “halo-halo” or loosely translated means “mix-mix”.

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The more successful recipes are those that have the unique homegrown ingredients.
Photo by by nytimes.com

Unknown to many Filipinos who are ignorantly crazy about western ice cream, this “halo-halo”  is the gem that the discerning gourmands and foreign tourists go for, bringing traffic jams in the narrow side streets of Bacoor where the old Spanish houses have been converted into dessert palaces. Greatly exacerbated by parking problems of scores of huge buses from Manila, these tourists brave the traffic as they prefer to savor the “halo-halo” of Bacoor that can never be mistaken as “dirty”.

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There variations on the ingredients for “halo-halo” are limitless.
Photo by pixgood.com

The very unusual recipes come from Japan where they have had thousands of recipes for centuries on their own “mochi”  ice cream that may even include seafoods, bitter herbs, and seaweeds.

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Even if Japan has some exotic versions, most ingredients are typically Asian.
Photo by bokutouptokyo.wordpress.com

Like in the Philippines, the Koreans have also been eating their own ice cream with the fruit ingredients served whole. They call this “patbingsu”.

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The Korean “patbingsu” is unique with its rare fruit ingredients.
Photo by yelp.com

This link below is truly interesting, so look at this link later:

THE INVENTION OF ICE CREAM IN FLORENCE, BETWEEN HISTORY AND LEGEND
http://www.florenceinferno.com/the-invention-of-ice-cream-in-florence-history-and-legend/

Here are some excerpts:

“A greek poet who resided in Athens around 500 BC relates how the Greeks liked to prepare refreshing drinks made with lemon, honey, pomegranate juice, and of course, snow or ice.”

“Even Alexander the Great, during his conquests in India, demanded a continuous supply of snow to be consumed with honey, and that designated holes be dug in the ground for the purpose of preserving the snow.”

Now, there was a mention of some biblical passage about ice cream:

“In a passage in the Old Testament, Abraham turns to his son Isaac, urging him to cool off by drinking juice made of goat’s milk mixed with snow.”

Is this true? Is it biblical that Abraham loved ice cream?

Read this answer:
Prof Claude Mariottini is baffled.
http://claudemariottini.com/2006/03/14/abraham-loved-ice-cream/

Well, this is from the world wide web, so please bear with so-called “authorities” in history.

More than a century ago, a celebrated Filipino cook feted the King of Spain and his court to a grand feast and they were all delightedly impressed. The Spanish Governor-General assigned in the Philippines learned about this and feeling slighted for not having informed the king early enough, he burned to the ground the whole village of Sulipan in Apalit, Pampanga where the cook and his relatives came from to save face. This unfortunate event is a clear indication that history is shaped by strange and antiquated norms that were prevailing in times past.

Recently, King Carlos invited chef Fernando “Gene” Gonzales to prepare another feast for him and for the Spanish elite and asked for forgiveness on the brutal excesses done by the Governor-General in Sulipan and the Spanish Royal Court also awarded honors to Chef Gonzales.

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The book Cocina Sulipena was authored by Chef Fernando Gene Gonzales  is a culinary treasure with a foreword by Julie Yap Daza.
Photo by amazon.com

The book Cocina Sulipena was a result of this gustatory research done by Chef Fernando Gene Gonzales who went back to his forebears’ recipes more than a century ago.

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Not My Own Photo

Hello,
I am Julio Bandido and I have a blog https://juliomiguel3.wordpress.com where I wrote an article on February 19, 2015:
A Quick Study on Your Three Kinds of New Year
https://juliomiguel3.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/a-quick-study-on-your-three-kinds-of-new-year/
and I referred to a link:
Brunei targets Chinese New Year in latest crackdown
http://shanghaiist.com/2015/02/17/brunei-targets-chinese-new-year-latest-crackdown.php
that Katie Nelson wrote on February 17, 2015.

The photograph of the DRAGON in the celebration of the Chinese New Year was lifted from my blog and shown in another site.

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Photo credits to Katie Nelson from shanghaiist.com

Please do not thank me or congratulate me on the photograph because it is NOT mine and it is owned by Katie Nelson in the abovementioned article.

Kindly notify your friend(s) who lifted the photograph to respect the intellectual property rights of the rightful owner.

Contact the author of that article or her at emailtips@shanghaiist.com if you have further questions, comments or tips.

(Katie Nelson in News on Feb 17, 2015 10:00 AM)

Thank you.

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A Quick Study on Your Three Kinds of New Year

Happy New Year !!! 

新年快樂 

Happy New Year !!!

שנה טובה

(Happy New Year in Hebrew) 

There are myriads of celebrations for the incoming year, but how much do we know about the three kinds of New Year that most of us are familiar with?

Here’s a quick rundown on these three in the individual calendars that they are based on.

1. The Chinese New Year

In this year of 2017, many Filipinos greeted each other with a boisterous “kung hei fat choi” last 28th of January, while it will again be an official public holiday on the 16th February 2018 next year.

Even beyond Binondo, most shopping malls are often awash with activities related to the Chinese New Year. For some people, they would queue in long lines just to get readings from feng shui experts who would tell them of their fortunes using the animals that symbolize their respective birth years, of various relationships to other people’s animal years, and of how they might be affected by impending events in each coming month.

However, many Filipinos have conflicting beliefs and vague ideas on this Chinese lore.

What then are some details that are not often spoken about regarding this festivity?

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Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year
http://web.uvic.ca/~mroth/438/CHINA/taboos.html

Many of us know the animals representing our birth year, but must we Christians follow and also line-up for our own readings?

Do we ever have notions that our Father God in heaven would approve if we adopt some of these Chinese practices?

In early February, Brunei issued strict guidelines for the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Upon hearing of this news, perhaps many of us Christians reacted against this seeming veiled censorship in our naive belief on freedom and in the name of democracy.

Brunei targets Chinese New Year in latest crackdown:
http://shanghaiist.com/2015/02/17/brunei-targets-chinese-new-year-latest-crackdown.php

After studying Brunei’s restrictions, shall we reconsider and perhaps ponder if we can also implement similar rules?

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Photo credits to Katie Nelson in http://shanghaiist.com

2. The Catholic New Year

At 12 midnight on the eve of every January 01, we shout a joyful greeting of “Happy New Year”, often in the company of our loved ones. For those with Western orientation, they may even sing “The Auld Lang Syne” to bide a goodbye to the outgoing year.

Surely, we are familiar with the Gregorian calendar that we have used for ages, but do we know that it is a recent invention that is inconsistent, full of errors and has been changed many times?

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Image above: Tomb of Pope Gregory XIII celebrating the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar

All major cultures in history had their own calendar that could even be used for complex navigation because these were all based on celestial bodies, but how did the crude and inconsistent Gregorian Calendar succeed and become dominant worldwide?

This article with videos show that the conquering Catholic nations forced their subjects to use and accept the Gregorian Calendar:

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The Truth About the Gregorian Calendar: http://themindunleashed.org/2013/06/the-truth-about-gregorian-calendar.html

So, do we even care that we may have ignorantly sat back and swallowed this Catholic calendar hook, line and sinker?

3. Our Christian New Year

Does our Almighty Father prescribe a specific New Year for us?

We may have read in the Scriptures that our Father God in heaven spoke to Moses and gave dozens of instructions on how and when to commemorate many important events on very specific dates, but do we know what calendar He is referring to for us to use?

The Word of God says that the LORD had assigned to us the start the year:

“This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months: it [shall be] the first month of the year to you.”
– Exodus 12:2 (KJV)

in Hebrew (Read from right to left):

בחודש זה [יהיה] לכם תחילת חודשים: זה [יהיה] בחודש הראשון של השנה אליך “.
– שמות 12: 2 (עברית)

Kindly read the whole chapter 12 of Exodus for a better understanding.

Isn’t this New Year supposed to be only for the Jews?

This calendar used by Moses is the same one used by Christ Jesus, and is very much in use now, not only by the Jews, but by obedient Christians as well.

.

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Photo by myphotocreations.com

The year that God had explicitly ordained both for the Jews and for Christians begins NOT on January 01 or anytime close to this date.

In this year of 2017, our Rosh Chodesh (also Rosh Hodesh) or New Year fell on 1 Nissan 5777 or Tuesday, March 27, 2017.
In 2016, New Year was on the Saturday, April 09, and in the coming year of 2018, it will be on Saturday, or the 17th of March.

However, if one looks at all of these dates, he will be confused because he will find a discrepancy of one day with the Gregorian calendar that many are familiar with. Why is there an error?

The Hebrew Luach (calendar) is obviously different from the Gregorian calendar that most of us use. One distinct feature is that the Hebrew day starts at sundown of the previous day, meaning that although our New Year on 1 Nissan 5778 is on 18th of March 2018, it officially starts around sundown at around 06 pm of the previous day of 17 March 2018.

juliomiguel3photo from Simple Luach application

But why must Christians understand the Hebrew Luach?

Christians are often stumped in figuring out the timeline of on these events:
1. the Lord’s Supper,
2. the arrest of Jesus,
3. the Crucifixion of Jesus,
4. the death of Jesus,
5. the burial of Jesus,
6. the resurrection of Christ,
7. the ascension of Christ to heaven,
8. the birth of the infant Jesus,
and other important events.

A proper study of the Hebrew Luach often solves this dilemma.

Knowing this calendar will also make us appreciate the significance of the Jewish Passover and hopefully, we may see our vital connection to these events.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”
– Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

Once we have a working understanding of Hebrew dates, we can perhaps start to solve more perplexing puzzles when we read narrations in the Gospels. These are two very crucial questions that will surely come to mind:

1. After Jesus took the Lord’s Supper, he was arrested, then crucified, later died and was buried; but why do we read that all of these events happened on the same day?

2. When Christ died, he was buried for three days and then he rose again, but why do Scriptural accounts show that he resurrected one day ahead of schedule?

That’s correct. Many pastors and priests who quote the Scriptures, say that Jesus died and was buried on a Friday afternoon and then he resurrected after three (3) days at early dawn on the following Sunday?

The first problem should be quite easy to solve but can we untangle the Problem #2 disjunct?

Shall we discover that all the pieces will finally fall into their proper places.

Shouldn’t we now get excited and start looking for these jewels of knowledge that God has hidden in His Word but which He promised to reveal to us?

May the Almighty Father in heaven continue to give us the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in the name of His Son our Lord Christ Jesus.

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Photo by hebrew4christians.com

Suggested study on the Jewish Calendar:
Introduction to the Jewish Calendar
http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Calendar/calendar.html

Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Next article coming soon:
Counting The Days Of Christ’s Burial.

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Why Must The Muslims Study The Existing IPRA Law?

Many of us love Mindanao.

And almost all of us want peace,
but at what cost?

More than 175 indigenous tribes have painstakingly undergone the laborious task of application to acquire their ancestral lands through the existing Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). A very laudable provision in this law is the requirement of a comprehensive and viable land and forest management program to be presented and defended by the applying party.

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These people followed Philippine laws and went through the tedious but peaceful process and eventually won their rights to their cherished land without giving the government any headaches;
no bargaining for their own armies,
no insistence on getting their share from the national budget,
no requirements for special laws for themselves.

Many of them are now prosperous with some focused on exports and a few even own their own banks.

This law being strictly implemented by government, why is the MILF now being given preferential treatment? Were we not repeatedly taught (again and again and again) that laws are designed for the common good? Should we even attempt to craft laws that have questionable provisions that contradict the Constitution?

The BBL will bring chaos and NOT peace. Why?

Aside from the Muslims, there are hundreds of thousands of Christians (Ilonggo, Ilocano, Cebuano, Bolanon, etc), indigenous peoples (Bla’an, Bagobo, Subanen, T’boli, Tiruray, Manobo, Molbog, etc) who have been living for hundreds of years inside the vast areas covered by the proposed BBL.

These non-Muslim groups, roughly double in number compared to the Muslims in the current ARMM area, strongly oppose the BBL because once approved, the Muslim Sha’ria Law will be used to govern these vast areas.

They too are well-armed and are tested warriors. Remember that the Spanish, American and Japanese armies failed miserably against them. Now with the aid of the highly-vaunted AK-47 assault rifles from the New People’s Army (NPA), these people are promising war if the BBL is passed.

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Photo credits from security matters.com

Shortsighted Ging Deles has been avoiding this issue, while President Pnoy is silent. Filipinos far from these areas are also ignorant of the realities on the ground.

Should Philippine laws now be allowed to be tailor-fit to suit the friends of the powers-that-be?

Will the rumored ambitious and selfish campaign of Pnoy to win the Nobel Peace Prize justify the passing of the Bangsamoro Basic Law?

Calls for Pnoy’s resignation abound but do we have a better alternative? How can we ensure that we won’t be jumping from the pan to the fire?
Right now, it’s more like
“Between the devil
and the deep blue sea”
at this juncture.

So for now, it’s
No to terrorists.
No to BBL.
Yes to IPRA.

Read the entire
The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 –
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8371
http://www.gov.ph/1997/10/29/republic-act-no-8371/

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From Where Did Valentine’s Day Originate?

Did you celebrate The Day Of Love?

Were you expressing your emphatic “Happy Valentine’s Day!” with overflowing enthusiasm during this February 14 celebration?

Are you sure that you are fully aware of the real significance of this day?

For those who claim that they are Christians, this was surely another day for the ignorant to put Christ Jesus into open shame. Why?

There is a very dark secret where this celebration came from.

Lupercalia is not familiar to most Catholics because they have no idea whatsoever on the origins of their Valentine’s Day.

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Lupercalia most likely derives from lupus, “wolf,” though both the etymology and its significance are obscure[1] (bronze wolf’s head, 1st century AD) Photo from Wikipedia

In ancient times when Rome conquered vast parts of Europe, the pagan masses feared their evil god Lupercus so they celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia from February 13 to 15 in his honor, ostensibly to appease him with much revelry — drunkenness, debauchery, sacrifice of goats, and fornication. Women were raffled off to naked men who would whip these willing women with blood-drenched goatskin from their sacrificed animals. These “lucky” women drawn as their partners remained paired-off to them for the duration of the festival.

The Roman authorities banned this festival but the pagans were unwilling to give up this practice so the Catholic church adopted this pagan ritual and successfully got more converts who were formerly unreceptive to their teachings.

Later in 495 AD, Pope Gelasius I spoke of a certain St. Valentine who was said to have been martyred on February 14 although no records of his life or his deeds were ever found in any Vatican document. This controversial event was conveniently referred to him and thereafter was renamed as Valentine’s Day to mask the protests of those who criticized this pagan festival that was clearly contrary to the teachings of Christ Jesus.

What does God say about this?

“13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which [are] round about you;

15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”
– Deuteronomy 6:13 > 15 (KJV)

Read the un-Christian details of this pagan festival:
http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day

The Lupercalian Festival in Rome(ca. 1578–1610), drawing by thecircle of Adam Elsheimer, showing the Luperci dressed as dogs and goats, with Cupid andpersonifications of fertility

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