Senator Amy Klobuchar has sponsored an earmark for the Halloween-hating Minnesota Teen Challenge Ministry. According to the website on another ministry, Minnesota Teen Challenge are about to embark on a mission to reverse what they describe as 200 years of Satanic rule in Haiti... YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK!!!
According the Adoration Church (Savage, Minnesota) website, the Halloween-hating Minnesota Teen Challenge Ministry is considering opening a "leadership training center" in Haiti:
Some key leaders from MN Teen Challenge traveled to Haiti in early 2008. After seeing the incredible poverty and desperate living conditions that are all too common throughout Haiti, visiting the prison systems and having an audience with the President of Haiti and other government, business and church leaders a dream was born...
The Dream...Haitian Leadership Training Center
A transformational program which breaks the downward cycle of poverty, failure, and sin, and which expands the Kingdom of God by equipping male young adults to become godly leaders in Haiti. Minnesota Teen Challenge seeks to be an organizing catalyst that develops alliances with other Christian organizations in order to fully train and mentor students in discipleship, social justice, morality, economic development and servant leadership skills.
It would be interesting to know who some those "key leaders" of MNTC were (more on that later).
In earlier diaries, I've posted quotes from MNTC newsletters that indicate that the MNTC leadership seems to think they are locked in a Manichean struggle with Satan, Pokemon and Harry Potter. Keep in mind there's quite a few congressional representatives led by Senator Amy Klobuchar who think this epic battle between good and evil is worth funding with a $500,000 earmark.
If you scroll down that same Adoration Church web page about Teen Challenge's Haitian project, you come to this brief, but odd history of Haiti beginning with Haiti's struggle for independence:
A Basic Overview of Haiti:
Haiti is a small Caribbean country that shares an island with The Dominican Republic only a 90 minute flight from Miami, Florida - a short distance, but a world apart. This island could be a tropical paradise but has fallen far short throughout its turbulent history. Crime is rampant throughout the nation, but most notably in the capital city of Port Au Prince (where we will be much of the time). This former French colony overthrew their French slave owners through the only successful slave uprising in modern history and the nation of Haiti was born. While the revolution against slavery was commendable, the manner in which it was achieved was deplorable.
On August 14, 1791, a group of houngans (voodoo priests), led by a former slave houngan named Boukman, made a pact with the Devil at a place called Bois-Caiman. The founding fathers and others present vowed to exterminate all of the white Frenchmen on the island. They sacrificed a black pig in a voodoo ritual with hundreds of slaves drinking the sacrificial pig's blood. In this ritual, Boukman asked Satan for his help in liberating Haiti from the French. In exchange, the voodoo priests offered to give the country to Satan for 200 years and swore to serve him. On January 1, 1804, the nation of Haiti was born and thus began a new demonic tyranny.
Since that time, Haiti has suffered oppressive poverty, unsanitary conditions, natural disasters and civil war. The nation has a long and sordid history of violence, poverty and has been plagued by political and natural disasters, theft, corruption, drug traffic and in spite of an endless supply of foreign aid to the country; Haiti remains the poorest and most needy country in the hemisphere. The average annual income of approximately $300 USD for a typical Haitian family of five or six members. One half the population is thought to be illiterate and the life expectancy is only 52 years. With unemployment over 70%, most adult men have never held a job in their lives. Haitian poor live day-to-day, generation-to-generation without hope of life getting any better. For them, the long night of unrest seems relentless.
Humanitarian and government officials are renown for being corrupt. Haiti is a haven for the drug trade. Haiti currently has United Nations Peace Keeping Force to help maintain peace and security. The U.N., foreign governments and a variety of mission and humanitarian organizations have poured countless resources into Haiti, the poorest country in this hemisphere. In spite of mountains of foreign assistance, these initiatives do not seem to take root and produce lasting fruit in this spiritually dark voodoo culture. Internationals with long standing ties to Haiti remain frustrated and skeptical of lasting change happening on this Caribbean island. Haitians that profess some level of allegiance to Jesus Christ have been characterized by fraud, theft, and spiritual elitism within a highly-fractured Christian community.
Even in a brief history of Haiti, there ought to be some mention of foreign military interventions and 19 years of American occupation, not to mention the crippling debt Haitians have been forced to pay as a price for their emancipation.
From the outset Haiti inherited the wrath of the colonial powers , which knew what a disastrous example a Haitian success story would be. In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte: "The freedom of the negroes, if recognised in St Domingue [as Haiti was then known] and legalised by France, would at all times be a rallying point for freedom-seekers of the New World." He sent 22,000 soldiers to recapture the "Pearl of the Antilles".
France, backed by the US, later ordered Haiti to pay 150m francs in gold as reparations to compensate former plantation and slave owners as well as for the costs of the war in return for international recognition. At today's prices that would amount to $18bn. By the end of the 19th century, 80% of Haiti's national budget was going to pay off the loan and its interest, and the country was locked into the role of a debtor nation - where it remains today.
Any prospect of planting a stable political culture foundered on the barren soil of economic impoverishment, military siege and interna tional isolation (for the first 58 years the US refused even to recognise Haiti's existence). In 1915, fearing that internal strife would compromise its interests, the US invaded, and remained until 1934.
If those who now preach compromise had practised those values in the past, Haiti might have nurtured the kind of political traditions that could withstand its divisions today. Haiti is a reminder of how Western democracies have wilfully amassed their wealth on the backs of impoverished dictatorships.
I'm guessing that Craig Sulentic, a board member of MNTC and Adoration Church's "connection" to the MNTC Haiti project would prefer to blame Satan for Haiti's woes rather than Western democracies as he is a campaign donor to ultra-right-wingers Norm Coleman and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
As further proof of the right-wing bent of the Adoration Church, the churches web site links to the ex-gay ministry Exodus and right-wing, anti-gay Focus on the Family:
Exodus - A worldwide Christian organization called to encourage, stengthen, unify and equip Christians to minister the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ to those affected by homosexuality. They are the largest Christian referral and information ministry dealing with homosexual issues in the world today. They offer monthly newsletters, annual conferences, speaking engagements and online services.
If you are not familiar with Exodus, watch the excellent video about so-called ex-gay ministries at IN THE LIFE:
What is interesting about the timing of the NTC's mission to exorcise the Devil in Haiti, is that one of MNTC's former board members, Frank Vennes Jr. and his lawyer has been caught in the complicated web of fraud surrounding the Ponzi scheme... a scheme that has cost MNTC millions of dollars forcing cutbacks and layoffs. Frank Vennes Jr. has not been charged with a crime, but the DOJ claims they have evidence that Vennes was aware that something was amiss back in December, 2007... the same month that Congresswoman Bachmann wrote a letter to George Bush requesting a pardon for Frank Vennes Jr.... which is also around the time somebody at MNTC (according to the Adoration Church) got the idea that opening a "Leadership Training Center" in Haiti was a splendid idea:
Some key leaders from MN Teen Challenge traveled to Haiti in early 2008
...and according to the Livesay Haiti blog, those "key leaders" are down there in demon-possessed Haiti right now:
The Board of Directors from MN Teen Challenge are headed down here on Friday to scout locations and fact find...
The folks from MNTC will be confronting Satan's evil hordes for a week according to the itinerary (see below). But it appears that they will also be having a "fun day" (nice of Satan to allow that).
As I gaze out past my computer here in Minneapolis at the raging blizzard outside my window... As I contemplate the predicted below-zero temperatures (11 below tonight and minus 3 for a high tomorrow), I wish I too had enlisted to fight in the U.S. taxpayer-subsidized struggle with Satan on the sun-drenched sands of the Godless Caribbean like the valiant board members of Minnesota Teen Challenge.