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 "Ark of Hope" Comes to Rockford
by Dr. James C. Warner

When I received the September 23rd issue of THE NEW AMERICAN, I was immediately captivated by the headline for William F. Jasper’s article on "The New World Religion." Being a student of the Bible and various faiths/religions, I was interested in the topic.

Mr. Jasper wrote about the United Nations’ Earth-centered "religion," devoting major space to something called the "Ark of Hope." He described this ark as a blasphemous copy of the biblical Ark of the Covenant, in which Moses placed the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod, and a sample of the manna that God sent from heaven. Instead of the Ten Commandments, the Ark of Hope contains a papyrus version of the Earth Charter and other writings, including those from children supposedly expressing their hopes and aspirations for the world.

My first impression was that THE NEW AMERICAN had perhaps exaggerated somewhat. I had never heard of an Ark of Hope, and I try to be well-read in such topics. I showed the article to my assistant, Mrs. Jacque Swanson, who, like me, is a born-again Christian. But after that I did not give the article much thought — until Mrs. Swanson called my home a few weeks later on the evening of Friday, November 1st, to ask if I had read the local paper. I had not, so she read the article to me. We were both astounded to learn that the Ark of Hope would be in our community (Rockford, Illinois) for the weekend!

And so it was. Participants used the ark’s twin, 96-inch "unicorn horns" to parade the wooden box around town; the mayor joined in the activities at city hall; and public schoolchildren were conscripted to write about the ark and what it means to our aspirations for "a just, sustainable and peaceful global society," as the Rockford Register Star put it.

The ark was even the center of attention in a religious "Ceremony of Hope," celebrated on the Lord’s Day at Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Mrs. Swanson and I attended to see for ourselves if the ark would be treated as an object of veneration.

Profane ritual: In ancient Israel, consecrated Levite priests bore the Ark of the Covenant, the vessel containing the Ten Commandments etched on Mt. Sinai by the finger of God. At a November 1st "Ceremony of Hope" at a Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois, self-appointed new age "Levites" carry the "Ark of Hope" containing the UN’s Earth Charter as part of a "Ceremony of Hope."

The ceremony began with the singing of "Peace, Peace, Peace, Peace on Earth...," which later led to the singing of "Let Peace Fill the Earth." Neither song mentioned the Prince of Peace. The service reminded us of the ’60s hippie culture, with its calls for peace but no reference to the God who alone can bring peace.

A procession of modern-day "Levites" carried the ark with the unicorn horns to the altar. The readings included prayers authored by Native American chiefs, who said that we humans are brothers of the animals, forests, and mountains. One passage was: "The blood of our ancestors flows in our rivers."

Pastor Jim Roberts said that it is time for Christians to "release Jesus." We should not be so dogmatic in our beliefs. We need to approach the world’s various cultures and say, "Tell us your story of creation. We want to hear."

For the closing hymn, participants sang John Lennon’s subversive song Imagine: "Imagine there’s no heaven … no hell … no countries ... no religion ...[and] no possessions.... I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one." The "Levites" dressed in Christian cleric garb then carried the ark to the back of the church.

About 30-35 people attended this ceremony, my assistant and myself included. But the Ark of Hope/Earth Charter promoters do not mention low numbers in their public announcements, since they want to create the appearance of broad support. They intend to bring the Earth Charter up for a vote by our city council in the next couple months. Fortunately, there is time to give every city council member a copy of "The New World Religion" prior to the vote. This fraud will be exposed for what it is.

Dr. Warner practices chiropractic medicine in Rockford, Illinois.

The New American

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