IMMIGRATION REFORM AND THE
IMPLICATION FOR EVANGELICALS
Immigration reform is an important topic in today's news.
Right up there in public interest and concern with the
war in Iraq, gas pump prices, a national health scheme,
and the homosexuals' push for same-sex marriage, to
name just a few of the key issues..
This week the U.S. Senate is supposedly scheduled to
end its debate and vote on the immigration reform bill
which is enthusiastically supported by Senator Ted
Kennedy and President George Bush. It is called a
"bi-partisan" bill and does, in fact, have the support of
some members of both political parties -- but the bill is
also "bi-partisan" in opposition to it from members of
One editorial cartoon in a daily newspaper this past
weekend opined that it must be a good bill because
both parties find fault with it. And a front page headline
in a major metropolitan newspaper used these words:
"Democrats find it's easy to talk reform, hard to
legislate it." The Congress is indeed finding this issue
a difficult one by having done absolutely nothing about
immigration thus far, and while laughing at the president's
declining favorable poll ratings, Congress finds itself with
even lower approval ratings than the president, and thus
is being forced to do something, and soon.
It is doubtful that anyone would deny that the
nation's immigration system is broken and in need of
a major overhaul, and has been in that condition for
a long time. This is not Ted Kennedy's first attempt to
impose his views on a proposed solution to the problem
of illegal immigration. In 1985 he led the effort to enact
a "comprehensive" bill to deal with the estimated 3
million illegals in this country. The bill was frankly and
honestly called an "amnesty" bill. When it was signed
into law in 1986, those 3 million immigrants were made
legal. This time his "comprehensive" proposal is not
honestly labeled an "amnesty" bill, but that is what it is.
And the pool of illegals is now somewhere between 12
and 20 million. The reward offered to these lawbreakers
is permanent legal status, placing them years ahead of
the millions of law-respecting immigrants who are seeking
entry into the United States. The result of this so-called
"comprehensive" bill? A multiplied comparable result to
the 1986 bill -- but this time instead of 3 million the total
of newly legalized immigrants will be between 12 and 20
million -- and the potential for a future Mexican population
here in the United States of between 50 and 100 million is
not an a reasonable expectation. And soon.
How did our nation's founders view this problem?
And yes, they did express themselves very clearly on this
issue. In 1802 Alexander Hamilton responded to the efforts
of an earlier Democrat, Thomas Jefferson, who attempted
to make immigration into this new nation easier. Hamilton
wrote, "The safety of a republic depends essentially on the
energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of
principles and habits; on the exemption of citizens from
foreign bias and prejudice ... In the recommendation to admit
indiscriminately foreign emigrants of every description to
the privileges of American citizens ... there is an attempt
to break down every pale which has been erected for the
preservation of a national spirit and a national character ..."
(The Examination, No. 7, 1802, Alexander Hamilton)
In an attempt to solve the problem of immigration which
the founders faced, the First Congress in 1790 adopted a
naturalization statute which allowed "any free white person"
who had lived here for 2 years to be naturalized; in 1795 the
required residence time was raised to 5 years, and in 1798
to 14 years. In 1802, after the Congress rejected President
Jefferson's proposal to grant immediate citizenship to all
immigrants, the residence time period was stabilized at 5
years, and the requirements for citizenship were made much
It is evident that the issue is of long standing, politically..
But what are the implications from the Christian point of view?
There are already organizations and movements which are
actively seeking to give amnesty a religious connotation, and
to attach to the concept the popular label: "WWJD" -- What
Would Jesus Do? In this approach to the problem the "Christian"
position is set forth as extending an unlimited welcome to these
less fortunate persons who are seeking a new life in America,
where they can enjoy our many blessings of freedom and liberty.
Speaking of this so-called "Christian" approach to the matter,
Father James Thornton in his "Aspects of the Immigration Crisis,"
wrote: "The unadulterated balderdash that passes for Christianity
among leftists does not come from any Christian tradition, but
rather is the feeble-minded progeny of liberalism with its heretical
dogma of the infinite goodness of mankind ... It is the bogus
religion of secular humanism decked out in the outward vestments
of a disintegrated, politicized, counterfeit Christianity ..."
It has been pointed out in this regard that there is little, if any,
scriptural evidence that God ever intended for mankind to exist in
a "one world" situation. Indeed, in Genesis 11:9 it is recorded that
"the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth,and
from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of
all the earth." Further, in Acts 17:26 it is recorded that God
"determined the bounds of their habitation that they should seek
the Lord ..."
For the Christian, the approach to the problem seems clear.
The change in immigration statistics over the past few decades
has been tremendous. In the last 40 years the percentage of the
American population with an European heritage has dropped from
90% to 66%. Since Ted Kennedy's "Immigration Reform Act" went
into effect in 1986, 85% of the immigrants coming into this country
are from Latin America and Asia -- and predominantly from Mexico.
The attitudes of the Mexican immigrants have changed. In recent
demonstrations they have taken the stand that California and the
border states of the Southwest belong to them, and were illegally
taken from them. Polls indicate that this opinion is held by nearly
60% of Mexican immigrants in this country, and their threats to
retake their lands are being openly expressed.
Until we take steps to control our borders, this situation is only
going to get worse. This is a widely accepted position, yet nothing
is being done to correct it. Last year Congress passed and President
Bush signed into law, a provision to erect a 700 mile fence along
our borders with Mexico. At this point approximately 2 miles have
been built. The new "comprehensive" bill provides for 370 miles of
af border fence. Apparently the assumption is that no illegal would
ever attempt to sneak around the open ends of the fence.
There are many aspects of the problem. It is indeed a serious
matter. Our illegal, or "undocumented" Mexican population is
growing by something between 500,000 and 1 million each year.
The ultimate cost is tremendous. If the proposed comprehensive
bill with all of its amnesty elements should go into effect, the
cost to American taxpayers is estimated by Robert Rector of the
Heritage Foundation at $2.5 trillion. Already those illegals are
costing the I.R.S. an estimated $311 billion annually. The border
states with Mexico are being hit with annual costs in the millions
of dollars for welfare, schools and medical care.We are often
reminded of the more than 3,000 deaths among the American
military during the 4 years of the war in Iraq, yet every year more
than 2,000 murders are committed in this country by illegals. Much
is made of the labor aspect of the Mexican population, yet the
illegal immigrants represent only about 5% of the total U.S. labor
The solution to the existing problem is not a simple one,
and it will not be easily achieved. Some Christians have seemed
to welcome the potential influx, seeing in those millions great
opportunities for Christian witness. But there are already some
12 to 20 million here. Have adequate efforts been undertaken to
meet the challenge those millions already present? As Christians
we share an obligation to obey the directive of Jesus Christ as
expressed in the Great Commission. And as Americans we share
an obligation to carry on the work our founders began, and protect
our traditions, our culture and our Christian civilization.
This is not solely a political issue. It is an issue to be faced on the
basis of being an American and a Christian.
Thought for the day . . . every day: "We are the showcase of the
future. And it is within our power to mold that future -- this year and
for the decades to come. It can be as grand and as great as we
make it ... No crisis is beyond the capacity of our people to solve;
no challenge too great." - Ronald Reagan, 1974
Afterthoughts . . .
Some not-so-good news from California, where
despite intense efforts by pro-family citizens and
groups, the State Senate voted strongly along
party lines (Democrats "for" and Republicans
"against") infamous bill SB 377 to require revisions to
be made in public school textbooks, to present
homosexual, bisexual and trans-sexual life styles
in a favorable light. The bill now goes to the Assembly
where it will probably pass, and then to the desk of
A challenging, thought provoking headline:
"Pelosi: Immigration bill will pass over my dead body."
Regardless of how strong an individual's conservative
views might be, the situation that this headline depicts
does merit some careful thought.
How soon we forget. It was just over 40 years ago,
in 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed,
"The family is the cornerstone of our society ... When
it collapses on a massive scale, the entire community
itself is crippled." Yet the so-called "religious right" is
criticized for promoting family values, and refusing to
embrace abortion, single parenthood, sexual lifestyles
and marriage arrangements outside the traditional norms
as acceptable. Syndicated columnist Star Parker offered
a reasonable summary, "Conservative Christian activism
has never been a move to take over the country. The
takeover of our country has already occurred from the
left. Conservative Christians just want to defend the little
turf left where truth can be preserved." (Scripps Howard
News Service, May 28, 2007)
An important birthday you may have missed. It should
be, but it isn't, one of the most observed and celebrated
annual events in Christian churches: Pentecost Sunday,
the birthday of the church. In the liturgical calendar Pentecost
Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter, and thus was this past
Sunday, May 27. This is a good opportunity to re-read one of
the most significant passages in the New Testament, Peter's
sermon on that occasion as recorded in Acts 2:14-41. The
concluding words were these, "Therefore let all the house of
Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus,
whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." And Peter's
memorable effort in mass evangelism succeeded in these
terms, "...and the same day there were added unto them
about three thousand souls."
For what it's worth -- In California the Gaia Napa Valley
Hotel and Spa is reported to have replaced the traditional
Gideon Bible found in hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms,
with Al Gore's book, "An Inconvenient Truth." This news story
doesn't even merit a word of comment.
REMINDER: After considerable shifting of email addresses,
the address for your comments (which we appreciate) is:
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I'd Do It All Again!!!
"I'd do it all again," the Personal
Affirmation of Jerry Falwell
"Mr. Jones, Meet the Master" is the title of a book of sermons
by the late Peter Marshall, former Pastor of New York Avenue
Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, and Chaplain of the
U.S. Senate. In some of his sermons he speaks of "a tap on
the shoulder" as the way in which God gets an individual's
attention to convey some specific message to that individual.
Last week the Christian world became aware of the death,
the home going, of Jerry Falwell. It was sudden and unexpected.
The media which had utilized his talents in life, was caught off base
in his death. The reports, the tributes, even the sometimes
vicious criticisms, have been many. Probably the finest tribute
by an outsider has been written by la Grande Dame of American
Conservative thought, Ann Coulter. And, of course, there is the
very perceptive testimony of his son Jonathan, who will carry on
the ministry of Thomas Road Baptist Church, even as his other
son, Jerry, Jr., will carry on the work of Liberty University.
I ask that you pardon the use of the first person in this week's
Commentary, but this is a personal tribute from a long time
personal friend of Jerry Falwell.
I first met Jerry Falwell in 1975. He and the late W.A. Criswell,
pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, were the main speakers
at a pastor's conference for which I was one of the sponsoring'
organizers. That was a most memorable week for me, spent in
the company of those two great Evangelical churchmen.
During the more than 30 years since that conference, I have
remained in touch with Jerry Falwell. His words of appreciation
for some things I have done, and his words of encouragement
for other things I should do, have meant much to me. In his
last email message to me he said that he hoped that at age
88 he would be as productive as I am. This was an amazing
comment from one who has been as productive for the Lord
as anyone I have ever known.
Those words from Peter Marshall's sermons have been
very much in my mind since Jerry Falwell's home going. I let
my mind wander to that sudden moment when, seated in his
office he felt a tap on his shoulder, and an unmistakable voice
said, "Jerry Falwell, meet your Master." In that nanosecond
between this life and eternity, the ministry of Thomas Road
Baptist Church, the influence of Liberty University and the
political impact of the Moral Majority, all faded away, and
Jerry Falwell stood face-to-face with the Lord he had served
so faithfully for so many years.
For a day or so the media, both press and television, gave
attention to the passing of Jerry Falwell. They didn't assign
to it the extent of coverage they gave to Anna Nicole Smith
and the effort to determine which of her lovers actually fathered
her child. Nor did they give the time and space they assigned
to Paris Hilton and her pouty complaint that she shouldn't have
to spend any time in jail for repeated violation of the laws that
govern all of us -- even a scantily clad, non-talented celebrity.
That fact in itself speaks to the challenge Jerry Falwell faced
in trying to move America back to the God-focused nation it
Most media coverage focused on the political influence
of the Moral Majority movement which Jerry Falwell had founded,
and which brought this nation, for a time, back to the moral
values upon which it was built. Only passing mention was made
of the Church which he founded in 1956, and which had grown
from the original 30 members to over 24,000 today. Or to Liberty
University, which he founded in 1971 and which is today perhaps
the largest Evangelical university in the world, and one of the
most influential Christian universities in America.
The tributes to Jerry Falwell have been many, coming from
his peers in the Christian ministry as well as from those who
opposed him theologically, but respected him for his fairness, his
scholarship and his integrity. I have watched him so many times
as a guest on various TV talk shows where he always appeared
as the "token" Evangelical to present the Christian view as opposed
to the exponents of political correctness and other Liberal theories.
I never saw him defeated, and difficult as the subject may have
been, and as vitriolic as his opponents may have been, he never
stopped smiling, and never spoke disparagingly of any of those
who disagreed with him.
I have just read one lengthy newspaper article by a writer who
strongly disagreed with him and his gospel message. On an
assignment, she went to Liberty University to interview him in
depth. Her concluding words, "I found I couldn't resist him. He
was polite. Sincere. He even seemed -- and I know this sounds
crazy -- kind."
I am perplexed at the wimpishness of some of Jerry Falwell's
co-laborers in the gospel ministry. They offer words of tribute,
but dilute them with this caveat, that they didn't always agree
with him. You wonder what they really believe. You never had
any doubt whatsoever about what he believed. His one message
through every medium available to him, was always of the power
of God to change lives through faith in Jesus Christ. I read one
tribute which cited a comparison I saw nowhere else: this from
Dr. David Dockery, President of Union University in Tennessee,
"Falwell was the William Bell Riley of this age." Dr. W. B. Riley,
long time pastor of the First Baptist Church in Minneapolis, was
known to those of us of an earlier generation as the father of
modern fundamentalism. His influence on the Christian churches
of America in the period between the two World Wars was
profound. Jerry Falwell took those fundamentals of the Christian
faith and welded them into a modern day instrument of
Evangelical outreach which has made, and which will continue
to make, an impact upon those churches and upon this nation.
A few years ago -- in 1999 -- Jerry Falwell wrote a definitive article
for the magazine "Christianity Today." It bore the title that made
the heading for this personal tribute today: "I'd do it all again."
Given another opportunity to preach, teach or comment on TV,
Jerry Falwell's message would still be the same. . . his goals and
vision would still be as broad and as keen. And if you were his
adversary, he would assail you with faith and logic, and smile
even as you were (unsuccessfully) attacking him.
He was a regular reader of this newsletter, and once wrote that
he considered it "awesome." I shall miss his weekly newsletter,
"Falwell Confidential," but more I shall miss the personal email
messages we exchanged.
"His Lord said unto him, well done thou good and faithful servant;
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." -- Matthew 25:21
Afterthoughts . . .
A thought for today and every day: from the Jerusalem
Prayer Team: "We must win the battle for the soul of
America. We can, if we unite and fight together. If those
with moral clarity sleep, America's next president may be
presiding over a nuclear 9/11."
It is still far too early to discuss in detail the positions
of one presidential wannabe over another. With some 20
individuals already competing for those two top spots in
the political sweepstakes -- the Republican and Democrat
nominations for the nation's chief executive -- it is within
the realm of possibility that the ultimate contenders aren't
even in the race as yet. But at least two previous nominees
are more or less out of contention: John Kerry, defeated
in the 2004 election, says he is definitely not going to be
a candidate, and Al Gore, defeated in the 2000 election,
may be adopting a non-candidate position -- at least he
says he is out of love with politics. He seems to have found
a new love in his very debatable theory of global warming
where he has found more success and acclaim than in any
of his forays into politics. So let's wait till 2008 before
getting involved in presidential election fantasizing.
For those of us who are concerned about the moral
values in our nation, the ever-present danger of the ACLU
must never be overlooked. Alan Sears, president of the
Alliance Defense fund (ADF) recently summarized this
danger very clearly: "We now live in a country where our
Christian faith and biblical values are openly attacked ...
where parental authority is undermined and children have
less protection from pornography and predators and
advocates of dangerous sexual behavior ... and where the
value of human life has been cheapened from the moment
of conception ..." and Sears says that much of this can be
traced to the ACLU. The clear message is that we must never
let up in our diligence to detect and oppose the ACLU in its
continuing attacks on the Christian faith.
Perhaps the most disturbing attack on the morals of
American youth was documented on the O'Reilly Factor on
Fox News Channel on Friday, May 18. A video clip of a
program at Boulder Colorado High School showed a panel
of special speakers actually encouraging the students to
experiment with sex and with narcotics. Here are some of
the exact words from the speakers: " I'm going to encourage
you to have sex. And I'm going to encourage you to use drugs
appropriately." In defining sex, the speaker said, "I don't
care if it's with men and men, women and women, men and
women, whatever combination you would like to put together."
And another panel member added: "It doesn't always have
to be about love, and it doesn't always have to be about long
term relationship. You know it feels the same both ways."
Colorado has long been a bastion of liberal thought, but
this brazen attack on the youth of the city of Boulder,
apparently with the knowledge of the school officials, goes
beyond what the American public will stand for. This is an
example of liberal thought run wild, and merits the careful
follow-up of Evangelical Christians across this nation.
The cry of the Liberals is often for fairness. Nobel Prize
winner in Economics and much quoted American intellectual,
Milton Friedman, spoke to this point: The word 'free' is used
three times in the Declaration of Independence, and once in
the First Amendment to the Constitution, along with 'freedom.'
The word 'fair' is not used in either of our founding documents."
From time to time in previous issues we have discussed
two important human behavior traits -- Civility and Humility.
This week we focus on another one, considerably broader
in its scope and effects: Tolerance. Just as "the whole is
equal to the sum of its parts," so tolerance becomes a
national behavior trait when the nation's individuals join
inmaking it a rule of their life.
In today's vocabulary, "Tolerance" joins with "Political
Correctness" and "Accommodation" as words expressing
essentially the same thing -- a denial of the basic
principles upon which this nation was founded, a denial
based on the faulty and illogical assumption that the actions
which represent these terms are evidence of "progress."
Consider an example of "Tolerance" at work. There are
perhaps as many as 2 million Muslims in the United States.
They thus represent perhaps 0.5% (that's one half of one
percent) of our population of 300 million.
They would be equivalent to one of our smaller religious
cults. Yet in a spirit of "Tolerance" in some cities the call
for them to worship "Allah" is repeatedly broadcast over
powerful PA systems to the discomfort and annoyance of
the overwhelming majority of the population. Valuable
court time is expended to hear arguments why a Muslim
woman should be allowed to have her face on her driver's
license picture totally obscured by the veil their religion
requires. In certain public facilities, American tax payer
dollars are being spent to provide foot washing equipment
for them to prepare for their daily worship of "Allah." And
our public schools must recognize the frequent holy days
which their children attend.
But there is decreasing tolerance for expression of the
Christian faith in a nation which was founded upon Judeo-
Christian principles. The Bible which was once officially
approved and recommended for use in schools by the
U.S. Congress, is banned, as is prayer or any mention
of God. Traditional holidays like Christmas and Easter
must be referred to by secular names. Expressed most
simply: there is at the present time more tolerance for
Islam, the religion of Muslims, than there is for the
Christianity, the professed faith of more than 75% of
American adults, in the United States today.
In a spirit of tolerance we are urged to accept Islam as
a religion of peace, and understand that the "9/11" attacks
on America, and the beheading of Muslim captives are
acts of extremists. And if we go so far in our expression
of tolerance as to agree that not all Muslims are terrorists,
we are also faced with the fact that to date all terrorists
have been Muslims. We are accused of not understanding
Muslims. But should we be required to do so?
Tolerance and accommodation: a spirit of Tolerance was not very
evident in Turkey last week when three Christians were murdered
by five Muslims who attacked them in the offices of a Christian
publishing house. As a result of the murders, a crowd estimated at
a million thronged the streets protesting the election of a Muslim as
the country's president.The nation's highest court took action to
invalidate the election.
Nor was a feeling of tolerance evident here in America when federal
law enforcement officials captured six Muslim Jihad terrorists plotting
an attack to kill American military at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Muslims are not the only reason behind "tolerance" in
our society today. There is a very evident increasing effort
to have Americans adopt an attitude of tolerance and
acceptance with respect to homosexuality. And this effort
is making its way into our public school system. In Cali -
fornia, for example, a bill currently before the State
Legislature requires textbooks to be rewritten so that
they do not reflect adversely on homosexuality.
The moving force behind the legislation is an organ -
ization called"Equality California" which seems to have
a one-sided definition of tolerance -- that Christians,
beginning with children in the public schools, must
accept and embrace homosexuality as an accepted
life style. This new proposal comes on top of the
U.S.Supreme Court's ruling barring Bible reading for
religious and moral instruction in 1963.
Against this emphasis, some states have under consideration
laws which will permit Bible classes as part of the schools'
curricula. And in some school districts such programs are
already under way. This is a clear example of "tolerance"
becoming a two-way street. For example, consider the
public school system in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where
under the sponsorship of the organization, Bible in the
Schools, there are five different courses taught by 16
certified teachers in the system's middle schools and
high schools. It is reported that this year nearly 5,000
students have elected to take one or more of these for-
credit courses, through which they study the Biblical
accounts of early civilization, the teachings of Jesus
Christ, and the historical development of the early
Christian church. [The Chattanooga program may
be considered a model for this important application
of tolerance -- FYI, check on it atwww.BibleintheSchools.com
Tolerance has many shades of meaning.
Included in its definitions are these: "sympathy or
indulgence for beliefs or practices differing or
conflicting with one's own' ... "being tolerant of
other's beliefs, views, practices" ..."the practice
of recognizing or respecting the beliefs or practices
of others." It is clearly a "two way street" and equally
applicable to both sides of the belief or practice involved.
In current practice, however, it all-too-often becomes
a one-sided position, where the traditional, accepted
beliefs or practices are expected to conform to the so-
called "progressive" views of the Liberals.
This is no minor matter. It is extremely serious, for this
warped view of what tolerance means is directly opposite
to the principle established by our nation's founding fathers
in the Declaration of Independence that our "unalienable
rights" are given by God -- "endowed by their Creator"
are the Declaration's words. We seem to be, as a nation,
at the point of yielding to political pressure to adopt an
attitude of tolerance and accommodation to theories and
beliefs which are contrary to everything that America has
ever stood for. Ignoring and turning away from Christian
principles and the tacit encouragement of Islam . . . ignoring
of God's moral standards and the encouragement of homo -
sexuality and the destruction of the family are but two of the
ways this one-sided tolerance is attacking the foundations on
which our nation was established. The often repeated call for
a national revival or spiritual awakening seems more appro -
priate as each day goes by.
Thought for today, and every day:"History fails to record
a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have
not passed into political and economic decline. There has been
either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or
a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national
disaster." - General Douglas MacArthur
Afterthoughts . . .
The homegoing of Jerry Falwell: there will be opportunity
in the next issue to consider in some depth the importance
and significance of Dr. Falwell in the Evangelical cause in
America. Stated most briefly, the cause of Christ here in
America has lost a valiant warrior, an untiring servant of
his Lord, in the sudden call for him to join fellow Christians
in the presence of his Master.
New recognition of a sort for Al Gore's film: to receive
a degreefrom Roger Williams University in Rhode Island
(yes - it's named in honor of the founder of the Baptist
church in America) the course"Core 101: Science, Technology
and Society" requires students to watch Gore's Academy
Award winning film in class. The controversy has produced
this statement: "We should stop calling these schools
bastions of knowledge,' since they're really bastions
of leftist thought."
A 230 year old statement on family morality:"The foundation
of national morality must be laid in private families ...
How is it possible that children can have any just sense
of the sacred obligations of morality or religion if, from
their earliest infancy,they learn their mothers live in
habitual infidelity to their fathers,and their fathers in
as constant infidelity to their mothers?" -- from John
Adam's diary, June 2, 1778.
An unusual basis for an argument for polygamy: a proponent
of polygamy, Mark Henkel, founder of an organization promoting
non-Mormon "Christian polygamy," argues that proponents of gun
control and proponents of traditional marriage use the same reason
that society is imperiled without such control. Both sides, he claims,
appear to favor big government control over the will of the people.
Events like this remind us that same-sex marriage is not the only
ongoing attack against traditional Christian marriage.
The immigration issue takes on a religious aspect. While
Congressand the White House continue to talk about fixing
the nation's broken immigration system, there was activity
this past week on other fronts.
A nation-wide sanctuary operation was put into action with
churchesin several cities offering certain elements of
"sanctuary" to illegal("undocumented") immigrants ...
a coalition of religious groups under the title "Christians
for Comprehensive Immigration Reform" began a series
of newspaper ads in several states seeking a compassionate
approach to the immigration problem ... and in the Dallas
suburb of Farmers Branch, the city council faced problems
with their newly enacted law prohibiting property rental
to illegal immigrants. While this would seem to be an ideal
election year issue, it is doubtful that the country can wait
that long for a solution.
Once again the TV talking heads are wearing out a topic; this
time it is concerning another member of the show biz glitterati,
Paris Hilton, who finds it terribly unfair that she must endure
some punishment for repeated violations of laws. Without entering
into any debate, or even a discussion, of the matter, this quote
from James Wilson on "The Study of the Law in the United States"
seems remarkably appropriate, even though it was written in 1790:
"To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal
jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary
forthe accomplishment of this noble end and aim."
The Times They Are A-Changin'.
In the previous issue, May 2, we discussed the 400th
anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in Virginia
as the first permanent English colony in North America,
followed just a few years later by the founding of the
Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Any consideration
of the actions and intentions of those early settlers
makes it abundantly clear that these were Christian
believers whose purpose in undertaking the perilous
voyage to the new world was to claim the land for
God, and advance the spread of the Christian gospel
From the records of those earliest days, and continuing
through the Colonial period, the Declaration of
Independence, the Revolutionary War and the adoption
of the Constitution of the United States, the Christian faith
of the new nation's founding fathers was always evident
in their speeches, their writings and their actions. To recall
some of those evidences of their Christian beliefs, here are
a few quotations, each of which has been carefully
researched and confirmed through two or three sources.
From John Adams, America's second President, "The
general principles upon which the Fathers achieved
independence were the general principles of Christianity ...
I will avow that I believed, and now believe, that those
general principles of Christianity are as eternal and
immutable as the existence and attributes of God."
(From a letter dated July 4, 1776)
In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for
the public schools located in Pennsylvania, he insisted
that the schools teach "the excellency of the Christian
religion above all others, ancient or modern," and in
1787 when he helped found Benjamin Franklin
University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of
religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."
In a speech in 1765, Patrick Henry said, "It cannot
be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation
was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not
on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ."
And from Thomas Jefferson in 1781, "Of all systems
of morality, ancient or modern which have come under
my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of
Jesus... I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple
of the doctrines of Jesus."
In 1782, the United States Congress adopted this
resolution: "The Congress of the United States
recommends and approves the Holy Bible for
use in all schools."
This brief recollection of some of the facts surrounding
the convictions and intentions of the nation's founding
fathers with respect to the Christian faith is necessary
in view of the existence of a cabal of individuals who
are committed to distorting the facts concerning the
religious beliefs of those founders. They research
ancient records in hopes of finding here and there
a sentence where the spokesperson may have said
something critical of Christianity, unfazed by the
fact that an occasional line or sentence of that
nature is offset by pages and pages of documented
statements to the contrary.
And then along came Bob Dylan. As a somewhat
raucous folk singer he was equally as loved, respected
and enjoyed in Great Britain, Europe and Australia, for
example, as in his native America. No theological scholar
or commentator, his was a strong voice in the anti-war
movement of the mid-twentieth century. He received
every musical award which the industry can give, and
was five times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
He was given the title, "Spokesman for the generation."
Then in the period 1970-1980 he had a Christian con -
version experience, and publicly testified to being born
again. His songs lost some of their caustic quality, and
he issued some albums of Christian songs. In 2006 his
most recent album entered the musical charts as No. 1,
making him at age 65 the oldest living artist ever to top
One of his greatest hit songs was "The Times They Are
a-Changin'." In one of the verses he appealed to parents;
in another to Senators and Congressmen. The final verse
included these words, almost prophetic with respect to
"The line, it is drawn, the curse it is cast
And the present now will soon be the past
The order is rapidly fading
The first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changing.
From those early Colonial days when this nation was
clearly established on historic Judeo-Christian principles;
when its leaders made no secret of their Christian faith,
and their intent to have this nation operate with respect
for the laws of God . . . to the present day with liberal,
left-wing politicians redrawing our social and cultural
boundaries, "The times, they are indeed changing!"
Bob Dylan, in his own way, saw and felt the changes
which were taking over America, and saw the need
for a reversal, for the present to return to the past.
In theological terms he would have expressed the need
for a national revival, for a national spiritual awakening.
It is not necessary to enumerate in detail or discuss at
length the ways in which we have turned from God's
prescribed way. We know them all too well. There is
the perverted interpretation of the First Amendment with
the liberals' "Separation of church and state" . . . the
legalizing of abortion, with some 50 million babies killed
since the Supreme Court approved such mass killings . . .
sodomy, always condemned by God, is now legal by
court action . . . homosexuality, labeled by God as an
"abomination" is almost revered, and the resultant same-
sex marriages are destroying one of God's intended
purposes for His creation, resulting in the weakest family
life, the highest rate of divorce and the highest rate of solo-
parenting . . . the Bible, which an earlier U.S. Congress
formally approved and recommended for use in schools,
along with prayer and any mention of God, has been banished
from our schools . . .the Christian church has lost its message
by yielding to popular culture and rather than influencing
public opinion, is being influenced by it . . . the very national
government which was established by Godly men, to operate
under moral laws, has become corrupt as greed for wealth and
lust for political power has taken control . . . and the list goes
on and on. Bob Dylan was almost prophetic in his song, "The
times they are a-changin'."
And then there is always God's word to confront us. "If my
people ... will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways .. then will I hear from heaven,
and forgive their sin and will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14,
"God's blueprint for revival.") But there is an alternative choice
. . . verse 19: "But if ye turn away and forsake my statutes which
I have set before you ... this house which I have sanctified for my
name will I cast out of my sight and will make it a proverb and a
byword among all nations ...because they forsook the Lord God
of their fathers ..."
The choice before us is clear and unmistakable. Seek God's face
and turn from our wicked ways and experience revival, and live
under His blessing on our nation . . . or continue to disobey His
laws, and experience His severe judgment and punishment.
Billy Graham, for so many years the nation's evangelical spiritual
leader, now 88, and virtually retired, this month wrote in a
published sermon in "Decision" magazine, "A former president
once said America must have a spiritual revival. However, I am
becoming more and more convinced that we are never going to
see revival across America until Christians meet certain
scriptural conditions for revival." And he added these words,
"As God looks down from heaven and sees present day
Christianity in America, He must be grieved."
Our prayer must be that of Habakkuk the prophet, "O Lord,
I have heard thy speech and was afraid. O Lord, revive thy
work ... in wrath, remember mercy." (Habakkuk 3:2) The
hymn we sing must be "Lord send a revival, and let it begin
in me." The scripture portion we must remember is II
Chronicles 7:14, where we are required by God to humble
ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked
ways. And the folk song we must never forget is "The
times they are a-changing."
Afterthoughts . . .
Here's an opportunity to do something important but
which does not require a great deal of effort. Last week
the House of Representatives voted on and passed Bill No.
HR 1592 -- the so-called "Hate Crimes Bill." While on the
surface it sounds innocuous, it does open the door to some
very dangerous precedents. It establishes "sexual" and
"gender" orientation as protected classes which means,
for example, if your minister were to preach on any of the
many scripture references to homosexuality being in God's
eyes an abomination, he could be subject to severe penalties.
In other words, in a real sense, the right of free speech, which
has always been guaranteed in our Constitution, has been taken
away. Serious? Absolutely! And now it goes to the Senate for
their vote -- and given the similar political make-up as in the
House, it will probably pass there too. But here's what you can
do and what you should do: phone your Senators in Washington
at (202) 224-3121 and tell them that you are opposed to this
bill, and that you want them to vote against it. They are in
Washington to represent you -- you have every right to tell them
how you feel about this measure.
An interesting 175 year old comment: from the New York
Spectator, August 23, 1831, "The Court of Common Pleas of
Chester county (New York) rejected a witness who declared
his disbelief in the existence of God. The presiding judge
remarked that he had not before been aware that there was
a man living who did not believe in the existence of God; that
this belief constituted the sanction of all testimony in a court
of justice; and that he knew of no cause in a Christian country
where a witness had been permitted to testify without such
belief." The times, they are a-changing, and not for the better.
Time Magazine's most influential people; it isn't appropriate
to fail to comment on this year's list of the 100 most influential
people in the world. The first notation is concerning the omitting
of the President of the United States, normally considered the
most powerful individual in the world. And one can question
the inclusion of Rosie O'Donnell in the category, "Artists and
Entertainers" . . . or of Al Gore in the category "Scientists
Or wonder why Oprah Winfrey was not considered to be an
"Entertainer," because surely someone thinks of her in that way.
And chuckle over other omitteds: Harry Reid, Jesse Jackson,
Al Sharpton, Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump, to name a few.
But as a representative of the Christian faith -- not a single
American; only the Roman Catholic Pope, and an Anglican
Archbishop from Africa. An interesting list, but not particularly
New worlds for the ACLU to conquer: there recently appeared
on the Internet a listing of the preambles to the constitutions
of all 50 States. Without exception, every state acknowledged
the providence, the protection, the guidance, the blessing -- or
similar terms -- of Almighty God, occasionally being referred
to as the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. It would seem that the
ACLU could reap more financial returns from suits against the
states, than they do from their many suits against the school
boards of small towns or the Boy Scouts. But the problem
with that idea is that the states could afford much better legal
representation, and would be more likely to win . . . aha! that
may be the reason.
A thought for the day, every day: "The Great Commission is
not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed."
-- Hudson Taylor, legendary 19th century missionary to China.
AN "OBSERVANCE" NOT A "CELEBRATION,"
A VICTIM OF "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS"
400 years ago, on April 26, 1607, three small sailing ships, the Susan
Constant, the Discovery and the Godspeed, landed at what is now known
as Virginia Beach. They had been at sea for just over 3 months, and the
minister assigned to the voyage, Robert Hunt, declared 3 days of fasting
and prayer. Then on April 29 they stepped ashore, and their first act was
to erect a cross as they claimed this new land in the name of God.
A few days later they traveled up what is now known as the James River,
and there they established Jamestown as the capitol of the new colony,
and "began thereon in the name of God to erect a fortresse." One of the
colonists, Richrd Hakluyt, wrote concerning their purpose, "Wee shall by
planting there inlarge the glory of the Gospel, and from England plante
sincere religion, and provide a safe and a sure place to receave people
from all partes of the worlds that are forced to flee for the truthe of God's
worde." In those few words he set forth the principles upon which the
future United States of America would be based to provide a safe and
secure haven for all who would seek to worship God according to His word.
Robert Hunt, the first minister of Jamestown, prior to his untimely death
just about a year after landing, conducted regular church services and
daily prayer meetings. It was upon the principles established by those
hardy colonists that this nation was founded, and grew to become a
world-wide symbol of freedom, a nation built upon these truths, that
"all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with
certain inalienable rights."
The 400th anniversary is surely something to celebrate, but through the
intervening years something has happened to the original American ideal.
In earlier years, each anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown
colony was celebrated: the Centennial, the Bicentennial, even the
Semiquincentennial (250th) . . . but this year the officials in charge of
"Jamestown 2007" have banned the use of the word "celebration,"
and have substituted the word "observance." They have admitted
to being ashamed for what was, in their minds, an "invasion." The
new Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine has declared that the previous
celebrations "did not tell the whole story." To make sure the
revisionist story is told he appointed a panel including Jesse Jackson,
Al Sharpton and Otis Moss, who said that America needs to fix "the
propaganda of history," and that the Jamestown colonists were guilty
of "a holocaust and lynchings."
In other words, America's 400th anniversary celebration has been made
subservient to the present day cult of "political correctness." The nation's
liberal media has been quick to join in the denigration of these Christian
founding principles. The New York Times in speaking of the swampy land
where Jamestown was built, described settlement as "a town which disap -
peared into the mud," and the Virginia Gazette wrote, "For a whole year
or more we shall celebrate the fact that a bunch of British buffoons who
knew nothing of what they were doing colonized a swamp for the sake of
One wonders if we should send word to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
who is planning to come to America to join in the celebration ("observance")
of the founding of the first permanent English settlement in North America,
and the beginning of the American nation. And one wonders if the U.S.
Congress should be chastised for having passed the Jamestown 400th
Commemoration Commission Act in the year 2000. And perhaps President
Bush should rethink that document he signed, proclaiming the year 2007
as the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown . . . the portion of that Proclamation
reproduced here is indicative of the importance the President attaches to
this 400th Anniversary of the initial settlement in what was to become the
United States of America:
Four centuries ago, after a long journey,a small group of colonists stepped
boldly onto the shores of the New World, and established the first
permanent English settlement in North America. During the 400th
anniversary of Jamestown, America honors the early pioneers whose
epic of endurance and courage started the story of our nation.
Much has changed in the 400 years since that three sided fort was
raised on the banks of the James River. Today we are a strong and
growing nation of more than 300 million, and we are blessed to live in a
land of plenty during a period of great prosperity. The long struggle that
started at Jamestown has inspired generations of Americans. Advancing
the right to live, work and worship in liberty is the mission that created
our country, the honorable achievement of our ancestors, and the calling
of our time.
NOW,THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United
States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the
Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim 2007
as the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown. I encourage all Americans
to commemorate this milestone by honoring the courage of those who
came before us, participating in appropriate programs and celebrations,
and visiting this historic site with family and friends.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day
of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and
GEORGE W. BUSH
The indisputable fact is this, regardless of what the liberal theories of
political correctness would have us believe, America was founded as a
Christian nation. The initial colony in Jamestown made its first act upon
stepping ashore to erect a cross and to kneel in prayer. Thirteen years
later when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth they declared in the Mayflower
Compact their goal of establishing a colony for the glory of God and the
advancement of the Christian faith. In the Declaration of Independence, the
founding fathers affirmed that their purpose was to conform this new nation
to the guidance of God and to accept His will and plan for His people. The
recently promulgated theory that America was founded as a secular nation
is not true. In this year 2007 we should give thanks to God for the faith
and determination of men of God who, in the Declaration of Independence,
based upon their firm reliance on Divine Providence, pledged their lives,
their fortunes and their sacred honor to establish this nation . . . and let us
honor those Jamestown colonists who 400 years ago, despite all hardships,
planted the settlement which grew into today's United States of America.
Afterthoughts . . .
A word from the Vatican: there is no question that since the days of
the Reformation there has been a wide gulf between Protestantism and
Catholicism on certain Theological matters, and this is not to suggest that
gulf is not justified. But on certain issues the Vatican holds to positions in
which Conservative Evangelical Christians can rejoice. This past week
Archbishop Angelo Amato, who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith, spoke in no uncertain terms about evils which are presented
by the media as "expressions of human progress," and listed among those
evils abortion clinics, which he termed "slaughterhouses of human beings,"
euthanasia and same-sex marriages, linking them to "parliaments of so-
called civilized nations where laws contrary to the nature of human beings
are being promulgated." Amato is the second highest doctrinal official for
the Vatican, and is said to be very close to Pope Benedict XVI.
One plus, one minus in New York State, where Governor Spitzer has
announced that he will be introducing a bill to legalize same-sex marriages
in the state. This is part of a pledge he made during his election campaign.
(That's a minus.) Last week news was circulated that Governor Spitzer had
not issued a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer tomorrow, although
the governors of all of the other 49 states had done so. Now it appears
that yesterday, spurred by a flood of messages urging him to do so, the
Governor has signed the National Day of Prayer proclamation for New
York State. (That's a plus.)
The continuing problem of refugees fleeing their homeland. This problem
is always before us, yet no effort seems to be underway to correct it.
According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, about two million
Iraqis have left their homeland since the war began. Most have gone to
Syria (1.2 million) and to Jordan (750,000) However many are seeking
refuge in Europe, and Stockholm, Sweden, seems to be their favorite port
of entry. Already some 80,000 Iraqis have relocated in Sweden where they
find life so much better that they are urging friends and relatives to join
them -- placing an increasing burden on Swedish facilities. Given Sweden's
population of 9 million, this many refugees poses some real problems.
Some American standards, then and now. Research on Colonial rules and
practices discloses some interesting facts -- for example, General George
Washington, Commander-in-Chief of our nation's military, ordered that the
army's members must be Christian soldiers, and they were required to
attend regular worship services. In those days half of the states had
constitutions that required the state to promote Christianity, and
Delaware's constitution required that any candidate for public office
must swear they were a Christian, professing faith in "God the Father,
and in Jesus Christ His only Son." Of course, all this was before the
ACLU came along.
A not-to-be-forgotten thought for today and every day, from the Mayflower
Compact, November 11, 1620: "In the name of God, Amen. We, whose
names are underwritten ... having undertaken for the Glory of God, and
Advancement of the Christian Faith ... a voyage to plant the first colony
in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and
mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and
combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politic, for our better
Ordering and Preservation, and furtherance of the Ends aforesaid,
and by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and
equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time
to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General
good of the colony..." And that is how this nation of ours began..--------------------------------Subscription information. Click on one of these links:To subscribe (No subscription charge)firstname.lastname@example.org
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