DHS accused of sitting on damning border report as immigration issue drives presidential race

Fox News reports:

Illegal Immigration3Federal lawmakers seeking to pinpoint the number of illegal immigrants who successfully sneak across the southern border ordered up a report from the Department of Homeland Security, but the agency refuses to release it and instead cites a misleading statistic that overstates the number who are nabbed, sources told Fox News.

DHS denied it is holding back the report, but sources say it was completed in November and that it shows roughly half of adults who attempt to cross the border make it.

But that number is at odds with DHS’ official estimates. The agency claims authorities catch 80 percent of adults trying to sneak in, but critics say the figure is padded to make it appear border security is more effective than it really is.

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Code Orange: The Ironic Parallel Meaning

In a piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Richard Haas reports on pastor-prophet Steven Furtick’s annual heresy-fest “Code Orange Revival.” COR is twelve nights of “celebrity preachers, loud worship music and subsequent emotional highs.” A caller to Haas’ podcast suggested that he investigate the name “Code Orange.” And so he did that. Following is what he came up with:

 

Code Orange RevivalThe ten-day heresy revival event called the “Code Orange Revival” hosted by Elevation Church, and Pastor Steven Furtick is well under way. This year’s event started on September 9th and will finish this Sunday the 18th. As typical Steven Furtick has lined up some of the most talented in Scripture-twisting and the exploitation of God’s Word, these gurus of abstraction include Christine Caine, Louie Giglio, Craig Groeschel, Carl Lentz, Darius Daniels, John Gray, Levi Lusko, and even Joyce Meyer. Each one of these speakers being talented of their own accord in the art of Scriptural perversion.

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The Shocking State of Americans’ Civic Illiteracy

According to Alexis Zhang of The Daily Signal:

us-constitutionThis year’s Constitution Day marks 229 years since the signing of the U.S. Constitution and the establishment of our republic.

The Framers of our Constitution recognized that a general understanding of the nation’s laws, history, and government was central to the longevity of the republic. The United States is, as Benjamin Franklin described, “a republic, if you can keep it.”

How is the republic kept? First of all, by an informed citizenry. As Thomas Jefferson once declared, “It is every American’s right and obligation to read and interpret the Constitution for himself.”

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Thinking with a God-centered focus

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NASB) 

Philippians 4:8 is one of the most profound statements in the New Testament. This is part of the Apostle Paul’s closing statements to the church at Philippi. His epistle to the Philippians is a wonderful letter, full of encouragement and deep spiritual truth about how to live this Christian life no matter what fiery trials we are going through. In chapter 4 v8 (above) we come upon this profound statement and we stop. We ask if this is even possible for us. How can we do this since we must live in this life in which we are pulled in every direction and so must find the time for such things. Perhaps a deeper look at the underlying Greek would help. View article →

Decision Making & “I Have a Peace About It”

Eric Davis of The Cripplegate offers several things Christians must consider before using personal peace to determine God’s will for their lives.  One piece of advice Pastor Davis offers is that “we need to stop saying, ‘Because I have a peace about X, X is God’s will.’ Instead, let’s say something like, ‘I have prayed about X, attempted to study X with sound hermeneutics, approached my spiritual shepherds, who will not flatter me but love me with the truth, about X for advice. And, though it’s a battle inside and this is the harder decision, I think that I need to submit to Scripture on this issue so as to submit to God. And may my good God help me do so in faith.’”

peaceA professing Christian was in a rough marriage for many years. It came to the point where they felt as if they could not take it anymore. Divorce entered the thoughts. They sought counsel from other Christians. Some opened Scripture, some didn’t, and some prayed. Though no biblical grounds for divorce, it came to the point where they could not see how God would want them to be unhappy in marriage. The marriage did not bring feelings of peace and comfort. So, they went through with the divorce on the grounds that both they and their close Christian friends “had a peace about it.”

Perhaps you’ve said it. “I have a peace about it.” Sometimes it takes on a different form. “I have prayed about it, so it’s God’s will.” Or, “I have a peace about it, so God is calling me to…” Those words are often-assumed gateways to what God wants me to do in the throes of life. But, is my “peace” God’s enthusiastic permission slip for my “it”? Is my prayer and peace heaven’s approval for whatever “it” may be in my life?

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Megachurch Pastor Pete Wilson Is Resigning: “I’m Not OK. I’m Tired. I’m Broken”

According to Relevant, Pete Wilson is resigning due to burnout:

pete-wilson-cross-point-churchThe pastor of one of the country’s fastest growing churches is resigning. This Sunday, Pete Wilson, who has served as the pastor of Nashville’s Cross Point Church for 14 years, told his congregation that he was stepping down, saying he was tired and broken. Wilson is also known for his best-selling book Plan B.

Wilson said,

We have a community here at Cross Point where everyone’s welcome because nobody’s perfect and we really believe that anything’s possible … I haven’t prioritized some other things that were equally as important. Leaders who lead on empty don’t lead well. For some time, I’ve been leading on empty …

I think the best thing for Cross Point is for me to step aside. And so I’m resigning as the pastor of Cross Point … I really need your prayers and I need your support. We’ve said that this is a church where it’s OK to not be OK, and I’m not OK. I’m tired. And I’m broken and I just need some rest. I love you all; I love the vision of this church more today than I ever have.

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This Senator Wants to Ban Doctors From Dismembering Unborn Babies in the Womb

Leah Jessen of The Daily Signal has the story:

baby-miracleSen. James Lankford introduced legislation last week that would ban late-term dismemberment abortion across the country, in efforts to build consensus and find common ground among Americans.

“There are a lot of arguments right now about life and about its role in American society,” Lankford told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Friday.

“Obviously, not all Americans agree on the issue of life and when life begins and abortion,” the Republican from Oklahoma said. “I have asked the question, ‘Can we at least agree on some basic thing?’”

A dismemberment abortion, one of the methods that can be used in a late-term abortion, should not be used, Lankford told The Daily Signal.

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Standing firm amidst famine of the Word of God

13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NASB) 

The growing apostasy in the visible Church seems to be accelerating. The spiritual blindness of so many professing believers and their leaders is truly astounding. My brethren, the sad state of the visible Church is both the product of the famine of the Word of God and the cause of it. When the Word of God is seldom heard or read or taught then its purifying power is muted. The world and its ways now coexist with the visible Church. Genuine believers are new creations, God’s workmanship, and they now crave the pure milk of the Word of God. It is necessary for their Spiritual Growth and their new character craves it. This is not an attribute of the natural person though. The unregenerate have no desire to know the Word of God and really don’t like to hear it preached to them. Therefore, the genuine believers in those churches which are apostatizing by neglecting the Word are leaving to find church homes that still preach it, teach it, and hold it as the revealed Word of God. View article →

“A Voice for Children”: City Posts Photo of Adults Passed Out From Heroin Overdose With Child in Car

Christian News Network reports:

Photo Credit: East Liverpool Police Department

Photo Credit: East Liverpool Police Department

In their desire to expose how drug abuse affects children, city officials in Ohio have posted a photo online of a man and his female friend passed out in their vehicle after overdosing on heroin—with a four-year-old child sitting the back seat of the car.

The City of East Liverpool posted the photo on Thursday, stating that it needed to “be a voice for the children.”

“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug,” officials explained. “We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”

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“Sister Wives” appeal polygamy ruling to US Supreme Court

According to the Associated Press:

Polygamy A polygamous family from TV’s “Sister Wives” filed a request Monday for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case for legalizing polygamy.

Kody Brown and his four wives want the high court to review an appeal court’s decision that upheld a unique provision of Utah’s polygamy law that bans cohabitation with other partners even if the man is legally married to just one woman.

The ruling overturned a previous legal victory for the Browns in which a lower court ruled the law violated polygamists’ right to privacy and religious freedom.

The appeals court decided in April that the Browns can’t sue because they weren’t charged under the Utah law. It didn’t consider the constitutional issues.

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Tim Kaine Tells Gays Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage “Is Going to Change”

Breitbart reports:

HomosexualityOver the weekend Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine told a roomful of LGBT activists that the Catholic Church’s traditional opposition to same-sex marriage would change because God approves of homosexuality.

The Virginia senator, who describes himself as a “traditional Catholic,” spoke at the national dinner of the Human Rights Campaign on Saturday, assuring them of his “full complete, unconditional support for marriage equality.”

While acknowledging that his position on gay marriage “is at odds with the current doctrine of the church that I still attend,” Kaine went on to say, “But I think that’s going to change, too. I think that is going to change.”

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We Must Never Forget

In 2015, The Center For Medical Progress released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives negotiating prices for harvested organs from aborted babies. After viewing the videos, conservative columnist George Will, who was clearly incensed, opined that one of the many videos showed a “salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how ‘I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above’ whatever organ (“heart, lung, liver”) is being harvested.”

So that the American people never forget this scandal, SBC Voices is encouraging groups to host prayer vigils at local Planned Parenthood clinics on October 15, 2016, #ProtestPP.

Planned Parenthood 2I remember the outrage. How could anyone do such a thing as this? The images captured on video for all the world to see.

The date was July 14, 2015. The Center for Medical Progress released the first of its many disquieting videos regarding the deplorable practices of Planned Parenthood regarding the trafficking of baby body parts harvested from the barbaric abortion “services” they provide.

I was not the only one outraged by what I saw. For the next several weeks more equally horrifying videos would be released. The discussions on Twitter and Facebook were, to say the least, intense. Amid all these discussions, a few pro-life organizations came together to help organize people across the country into groups to publicly and peacefully protest the abortion and trafficking baby parts practices of Planned Parenthood. They took on the hashtag #ProtestPP.

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If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me

23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Luke 9:23-26 (NASB) 

When I was a much younger man I made a commitment to become fit enough to run one mile in under 5 minutes, run 5 Kilometers in under 18 minutes, run 5 miles in under 30 minutes, run 10 Kilometers in under 37 minutes, and run 10 miles in under an hour. By the time I was 33 years old I had accomplished the first three. I had missed my goal for the 10K by less than a minute, however, my best time for a 10 mile race was 1 hour and 4 minutes. These times are no where near competitive at the highest level, but in the Oklahoma City Running Club it was. It took a great deal of commitment. I had to train by doing many hours of long road work and then compliment that with speed work. I had to work on my upper body strength and had to eat right. Some of my friends and relatives accused me of becoming obsessive. I couldn’t have done any of that without commitment. When God saved me in 1986 I remember my mother saying, “Watch out! Michael will get into the Bible just like he did running…” I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant by that, but I have found that commitment to the Word of God is just part of becoming the Christian God wants all of us to be. It also takes commitment to obedience to our Lord’s commandments, God’s glory, denying self, dying to self, submitting to others, and loving our Lord foremost. View article →

This World Is Not Our Home

Jeremiah Johnson is alarmed by how easy it is for believers, including himself, “to be caught up in the cares of this world and to follow the worrying, fearful pattern of unbelievers.”  We worry, we fret, we involve ourselves in all sorts of worldly endeavors and tend to put aside what is eternally important.  In this blog post over at Grace to You, Johnson reminds committed Christians that this world is not our home. He writes:

PlanetDo you know anyone who is not worried about the future? Maybe they’re afraid of contracting the Zika virus, or cancer, or any of the other diseases dominating headlines these days. Perhaps they’re bracing for another global financial crisis, or the next terrorist attack. Or maybe they’re just caught up in concerns over the coming election, and what it means for the future.

No matter where you look, there is reason to be concerned about the state of the world today, and what tomorrow holds.

But should those concerns dominate in the hearts of believers? Should God’s people be worried about the ills of this world and how to fix them? Or do our affections and energies belong elsewhere?

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When “Liberty” Forces 18 Girls Into a Single-Stall Shower Room

showerAccording to James Gottry of The Daily Signal “On Wednesday, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of high school students and parents, asking the court to strike down a Minnesota school district policy that empowers a male student to enter the girls’ locker room and disrobe.”

Later in his piece, Gottry reminds us that this sort of thing would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago, moreover “these tile-floored, plastic-stalled, chrome-fixtured, and (formerly) sex-specific sanctuaries are now ground zero for experiments in the subjective theory of gender.”

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Cokie Roberts: Dems “Nervously Beginning to Whisper” About Hillary Replacement; Floats Biden as Possibility

Breitbart reports:

joe-bidenMonday on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” ABC political commentator Cokie Roberts offered her thoughts on the apparent health issues regarding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and how the party could be looking to handle things if a replacement is needed for Clinton.

According to Roberts, there was already conversation within the party about such a possibility.

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Justification and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11 (NASB) 

Much of the apostasy we are witnessing in our time is rooted in generations of ministries in which preachers, because they feared men more than God, preached in such a way that they talked about God or they talked about His Word rather than actually preaching what God’s Word says. In this, they have created their own “god” in their own image who is inoffensive, all love, all grace, and just wants everyone to have a great day. The only ones this “god” ever gets peeved at are those guys who are serious about their theology and preaching what God’s Word says as if it is to be obeyed and believed. Since I began this series on Romans I have had spam comments from a few atheists and one Roman Catholic apologist when I got into Justification. I have yet to get any from any “liberals,” which would include the emergents of all flavors I suppose, but in any case, what these people say and do means nothing. God’s truth is eternal. It is the truth regardless of whether these people believe it or not. View article →

9/11 Anniversary: 10 Lessons Learned From the 15-Year “Long War”

Over at The Daily Signal, research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, Steven Bucci, offers 10 lessons we could learn from 9/11.

ground-zeroHaving been in the Pentagon on 9/11, it does not seem as if it was 15 years ago that our lives and national trajectory were changed so much.

For those who have been in the middle of it all, the time has gone swiftly. To many others, it is ancient history. Some interns at The Heritage Foundation were only as young as 4 and 5 years old on that chaotic day. That said, what lessons could we learn from the trial of the Long War? Here are 10 worth considering.

  1. Every nation is vulnerable, and democracies are even more so.The optimism and freedoms of America make it open to attack. The 9/11 terrorists came here using programs designed to introduce America to the world. In the past, the two great oceans that flank our shores protected us from direct attack. The globalization of everything has made that moot. Americans can be attacked just like everyone else.

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The blessings of righteousness, the fruit of justification

22 Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. Romans 4:22-25 (NASB) 

We have completed Paul’s case that God justifies sinners on the basis of faith alone. In the passage above (Romans 4:22-25) we have his concluding remarks to that part of his dissertation. He has made it clear that those truly in Christ did not get there according to merit or works, but on the basis of faith alone, but now we begin the section of Romans that if not taken in context can cause much confusion. I will not move quickly through it. I have found it amazing to study God’s Word in context and come across a passage that has been used by “proof texters” to teach a pet theology, but when kept in its proper context, it does no such thing. Carefully read again the passage I placed at the top of this post then read the passage below because, as you will see, it begins with the word “therefore.”  View article →

Priscilla Shirer & Women’s Bible “Mis-studies”: When Your Church Doesn’t Care About Your Soul (Or The Scripture)

priscilla-shirer-2-2Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen warns of the abominable teaching that’s coming to a church near you — perhaps even the church you attend!  “This is a reminder about the danger of Shirer,” says Ahlheim.  “It does not take much discernment to recognize her as a false teacher with toxic teaching. If Christ’s presentation of the antithetical “two paths” is correct (Matthew 7:13) – and, OF COURSE, it is – Shirer’s anti-orthodox, anti-Biblical teaching falls on that undesirable, though emotionally appealing, wide path. She promotes a contemplative, emotions-based, mystical form of faith that is completely foreign to ‘the faith once for all delivered to the saints.’”  (Jude 3)

Priscilla Shirer promotes extra-biblical revelation.  In other words, she teaches that God speaks to believers personally, privately and specifically.  So, with this in mind let’s listen to what Bud Ahlheim has to say on the controversial teaching that believers have an inner ability to hear God’s voice that has become so popular among charismatics.

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Civil Rights Commission: “Religious Liberty,” “Religious Freedom” Code Words for Intolerance, Homophobia, and “Christian Supremacy”

CNSNews Reports:

tolerance-2A new report by the United States Commission on Civil Rights supports the majority on the federal commission, who say that efforts to protect religious liberty and freedom are really a way for individuals and entities to discriminate against people who don’t share their beliefs.

“The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance,” Martin Castro, chairman of the commission, said in a statement included in the 296-page report.

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Open Letter to David (and now Tim) Barton from a Christian Historian

david-barton-2Many people are unaware that controversial Christian historian David Barton (more on the controversy here) holds some highly unbiblical views.  His beliefs are largely from the apostate New Apostolic Reformation. Barton also has a close association with New Age Mormon Glenn Beck and appears regularly on Word of Faith heretic Kenneth Copeland’s Believer’s Voice of Victory.  So it’s no surprise that liberals like Warren Throckmorton regularly use their blogs to discredit David Barton — and rightly so. In a recent blog post over at Patheos, he quotes from an open letter to David and Tim Barton penned by Grace College history professor Jared Burkholder.  According to Throckmorton the letter was written:

[I]n response to the Barton’s claim that Christian historians don’t rely on primary sources (see these links for more on the Bartons’ claim). The letter begins:

Dear David (and now Tim) Barton,

Maybe you can clarify something for me. Why do you continue to insist that because you read primary sources you have a unique voice when compared to professional Christian historians like me, who you say fail to make use of original sources?

I am hardly the first to be annoyed by this, but suffice it to say this is utterly incomprehensible to me. Primary sources are to historians what hammers are to carpenters; what keyboards are to composers; what language is to writers. They are the tools of our trade, the most basic implements we learn to use.

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The Father of Faith

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about — but not before God. What does Scripture say?Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.Romans 4:1-3

starsPaul says that Abraham our forefather discovered two ways to gain worth: One, Paul suggests, is by works. Abraham was a man of good works. In Genesis, Abraham was an idolator and worshipped the moon goddess. But he was not deliberately seeking to evade God. He worshipped in ignorance. It was in the midst of that condition that God appeared to him and spoke to him. Abraham believed God, responded to his call, and set out on a march without a map. He trusted God to lead him to a land he had never seen before, to take care of his family, and to fulfill his promises. So Abraham appears in the Scripture as a man of great works.

Paul admits that if Abraham was righteous because of works, he had something to boast about. Works always give you something to boast about. You can look at the record, you can show people what you have done and why you ought to be appreciated. You may not boast openly, but we all have very subtle ways and clever tricks of getting it out into the open so people can see what we have done. You can drop a hint of something you have done, hoping that people will ask some more about it. Somehow you manage things so that people will know you are a person of significance. That is the way the world is today, and the way it was in Abraham’s day. View article →

 

Overpriced Fancypants University Festoons Campus With Absurd “Ze, Zir, Zirs”

The Daily Caller reports:

vanderbuilt-universityVanderbilt University has festooned its campus with professionally-designed posters which instruct students to use an exotic set of pronouns to refer to students and professors who refuse to admit they are either males or females.

The fancypants university’s “Faculty Senate Gender Inclusivity Task Force” created the posters (“with input from LGBTQI Life”). The posters are entitled — in huge font — “What Should I Call You?”

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Utopia is Burning: Burning Man Festival 2016

What is the meaning of Burning Man?  According to Dr. Peter Jones of truthXchange it “seems to be impermanence (as the 70 foot “Man” being burned at the end of the week seems to suggest), a principle deeply entwined with Buddhism. Impermanence becomes for burners an annual reminder of the transience of life, the eternal return of Osiris.”  The festival is supposed to be about “love, happiness, sharing, giving and appreciating.”  But as Dr. Jones reveals, not everyone who attends is all that “loving.” In fact, some burners are vandals. He writes:

burning-manWhen his ship, The Beagle, docked in Southern Australia in 1831 on the way to the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin, one of the leading intellectual skeptics of his day, witnessed naked Aboriginal natives dancing themselves into delirium all night long. In his diary, Darwin wrote that he found this animistic display “a most rude, barbarous scene.”

Times have changed. This year 70,000 people have thronged to the annual countercultural Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert. Leading hi-tech worthies like Google founders Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and chairman Eric Schmidt, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, along with celebrity visitors like Katy Perry (31), socialite Paris Hilton (35), and British actress and model Cara Delevingne (24) now find such “rude, barbarous scene[s]” totally normal and perfectly cool. These contemporary definers of popular culture have thrown off even the outward standards of public decency dear to Charles Darwin. Burning Man sets the agenda for popular culture. In acts of shameless self-expression, they abandon all inhibition and wander around naked in the desert doing ecstasy and acid, visiting the anonymous-sex-orgy dome (open 24/7), joining in fire dancing, yoga, and meditation. No one is allowed a hint of judgmentalism.

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