On February 22nd, 2022, CBN (The Christian Broadcasting Network) published an article titled "Homeland Security Official: Worst Terror Environment in 30+ years, Concern for Houses of Worship". The report quoted statements from John Cohen, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) coordinator for Counterterrorism and assistant secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention Policy. At a conference, Cohen stated, "The threat environment is probably the most volatile and dynamic that I've experienced in my 35+ year career," he said. "We're at a period of time in this country where we have to be very serious, where we can come together and respond to the threat." Pretty serious, wouldn't you think? Cohen continued with the concerns outlined in a special DHS National Terrorism Advisory System Bulleting (NTASB) that came out on February 07th, 2022. Every church safety/security consultant has passed the CBN document to all their clients and constituents, warning of doom and gloom. When I saw this report, I thought the government was catching up after all the years of warnings we talked about, but then I read the NTASB report, which appears most didn't, but they should have.
The first paragraph of the NTASB document starts planting the seeds of what is about to happen to free speech. "The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors. These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence." So far, so good, but go on, these following two sentences we need to dissect just a little. "While the conditions underlying the heightened threat landscape have not significantly changed over the last year, the convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment: (1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions…."
Reviewing the first statement, "While the conditions underlying the heightened threat landscape have not significantly changed over the last year…", yet the headline read "Worst Terror Environment in 30+ years". That sounds pretty scary. It also points toward Houses of Worship need to be on alert. The second sentence states the number one threat is "the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions….". What does this statement mean to the average person? False and misleading narratives?
DHS continued with, "For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021." Please help me here. After January 6th, have you seen any violent extremist attacks during 2021 over the 2020 election? I still feel there are a lot of unanswered questions about the 2020 election that we might never get answers to. I believe that there was election fraud, but I only know of one attack linked back to the 2020 election.
Then the reference to COVID-19 misinformation, is the DHS warning talking about the parents in Virginia? In multiple articles, parents were tired of the mask mandates that public schools were enforcing when the science showed the harm of children wearing masks. A German study of 25,000 children showed that masks harmed children physically, behaviorally, and psychologically.
In this report, the University of Witten/Herdecke created an online registry where parents, doctors, and pediatricians could enter their observations of children wearing masks. Over 25,930 entries were recorded in this study on adverse effects on children wearing masks over 4 hours a day. Even our own American Medical Association (AMA) stated that forcing children to wear face masks has adverse health effects.
On September 29th, 2021, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to the President of the United States asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to classify parents who were criticizing how the school boards were forcing masks mandates critical race theory as a domestic terrorist. While NSAB was requesting the DOJ to classify parents as domestic terrorists, the National Education Association (NEA) was demanding leaders of Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to place algorithms that would flag and remove posts that gave "misinformation" of critical race theory (CRT).
In the October 08th, 2021, NEA letter to the three big social media groups, "We're calling on your companies to take this threat (parents stating their concerns on masks and CRT) seriously and prioritize the safety of people over profits – you can help put an end to the stream of propaganda fueling violence against educators in our communities. Your companies have both the power and responsibility to stamp out disinformation and violent trends – for the sake of Public Education and the future of democracy. To that end, we're demanding that your companies make a public pledge to students, educators, and their families to regulate lies and fix your algorithms to put public safety over profits."
Once again, their words sound justified, and the list of examples would put anyone on alert. Still, if you truly understand what they were saying, anyone who speaks against issues like masks on children, CRT, or books that were so vulgar that school boards would not read them out loud, must be flagged or taken down. Again, this is an attack on free speech, and is this what DHS is referring to in their document as a "heightened threat environment?"
Some of you may say, "Facebook is a privately owned company, and they can block who they want," technically yes. But in a 2013 article, the Washington Examiner pointed out that the State Department spent over $600,000.00 on Facebook 'likes'. But that was back in 2013, you may say. Then read the February 4th, 2021, Time Magazine's article "The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election". This article points out there was "an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but ensuring it…." It goes on to say, "This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election…" and "a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information." See what I mean by unanswered questions. This Time article admits there was a plot against then President Trump.
So, the number one item of the "current heightened threat environment" in the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulleting list may be a moot point. It appears that the COVID restrictions are all but gone. Most of us have moved on and realized that we have at least three more years of an administration that has an agenda that does not appeal to most conservatives. We can see it in the polls, and those of us old enough have been here before, and we will probably see it again if nothing changes. So, we should just continue with our lives and let God run the show, right? But before we relax and get cozy in our recliners and wait for the next season of "Chosen," let me point out what just came off the press. It might change your thought about getting too comfortable because the war has just begun. You must wait for my next blog to hear about the next shot fired at conservative Christians. Let me just say this, maybe now is the time for a Christian Revolution. See you next month.
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Jim has many years of law enforcement experience and has run the safety team at his church for several years. TSA was formed after he realized God's calling when multiple churches reached out and asked him to present at their church.