George Santayana, a Spanish-born American author in
the early 20th century wrote, "Those who cannot remember
the past are condemned to repeat it."

Two questions immediately arise: (1) Is he correct – is his
premise justified? And assuming that he is right – the
facts of history and experience indicate that he is – (2)
What aspects of life can we expect to repeat?

This isn’t pleasant reading. It isn’t so much that we can’t
remember what has happened – it’s more that we tend to
ignore what has happened . . . we dismiss it from our mind
as non-events clothed in the camouflage of "progress" or
"political correctness." But if for whatever reason –
voluntary or involuntary – we forget the past, we will be
almost certainly doomed, as Santayana said, to repeat it.

Coming directly after the national observance of the 4th of
July – "Independence Day’ – in America, we have had
before us restatements of the convictions, beliefs and
intentions of the founding fathers who established this
nation 231 years ago. We can – some of us – remember
the mid-1940's when those founding principles which had
been in effect for about 170 years, were beginning to be
overturned and replaced by newly legalized affronts to the
American way of life; concepts like: Abortion . . Sodomy
. . . bans on any mention of God, bible or prayer in
our schools . . . Homosexual marriage . . . the weird
concept of Separation of Church and State . . . etc.

We watched judges in our court system being led by
liberals, atheists, homosexuals and anti-religious forces
down the path into violations of the founding principles
of our nation’s Judeo/Christian heritage until we find
ourselves today in a national spiritual quagmire where
pagan religions from overseas are showing dramatic
growth while long established Christian churches are
dwindling in size and influence. We are watching a
generation of young people who have been denied any
expression of the Christian faith in our schools. We are
watching the time honored institution of marriage and
the family being abandoned in favor of an arrangement
called "same sex marriage." And we have tried in vain to
grasp the consequences of a U.S. Supreme Court decision
n 1973 to legalize abortion, leading to approximately 50
million babies killed in less than 35 years.

But all that is past. It has happened, right here in America
And if we fail to acknowledge and remember it – and do
something about it – we are, in the words of George
Santayana " ... condemned to repeat it."

There is increasing evidence that American Christians
are refocusing on the still unfulfilled "Great Commission"
of Jesus Christ. One of our readers wrote to us this past
week, "I take the ‘Great Commission’ as an order from
my Commander in Chief, and I expect to win the battles
Christ has given me." That directive from our Lord is
recorded in the Gospels through Mark and Matthew, "Go
ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every
creature ... and teach all nations , baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost." (Mark 16:15, Matt. 28:19)

Afterthoughts . . .

A surprise, perhaps – the American people have more
confidence in the church and religion than in the Congress.
A recent Gallup poll discloses that 46% of Americans have
a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the church/
organized religion. That is almost the lowest level of such
confidence in the more than 30 year history of the poll.
However, those results must ‘be weighed against American
voters confidence in Congress, which is currently at 14%
according to the most recent polls.

Even if voters have very low confidence in them,
members of Congress like themselves enough to vote for
a pay increase of $4,400 last week. The vote slipped
through in the House while public attention was focused
on the problem the Senate had with the immigration
bill. For the record, the total vote in favor of the increase
was 244 - 181, with Democrats voting for the increase
145- 83, while Republicans split on the vote, 99 - 98. After
reviewing their failures to do much by way of legislation,
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi conceded, "I’m not
happy with Congress." Apparently her unhappiness was
not enough to preclude a reward of $4,400. What is that
old French saying: "Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme
chose." (Translation: The more things change, the more
they are the same.)

At risk of bringing up an overworked subject, here
is a revaluation of Paris Hilton’s recent court assigned
punishment for her traffic violation, or whatever: the Los
Angeles Times has done a survey of jail sentences for the
same offense – driving with a suspended license after
being arrested for drunk driving. The majority served 4
days in jail, exactly what Paris did before being returned
to finish her full 23 day term. That imprisonment left
her with serving more time than 80% of the people
arrested for the same offense. Just a statement of fact;
apply whatever meaning to it you choose.

And he’s still in the U.S. Senate – and not only that,
he continues to seek the Democrat Presidential nomination.
He’s Joe Biden, Democrat Senator from Delaware, who
during a campaign speech in Des Moines on July 4 –
Independence Day – he said of President Bush: "This guy
is brain dead." On a day when we Americans show
respect for our nation and our armed forces, speaking so
scurrilously about our Commander in Chief comes awfully
close to offering aid and comfort to our enemies in time of
war. In the early days of this nation, that sort of thing used
to be called treason.

It seems to hinge on what you mean by "religion."
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court made its erroneous
interpretation of the First Amendment, "religion" has
been banned in our public schools. No mention of God,
no Bible, no Christmas carols, no Easter observance, etc.
But the Carver Elementary School in the Oak Park suburb
of San Diego, has been allowing Muslim students a 15
minute period every afternoon for them to pray, and a
school aide has reportedly led the students in prayer.
Such a thing is absolutely forbidden by the ACLU with
respect to the Christian faith, but apparently it is OK
in public schools for Muslims.

After 110 years - well worth remembering: in
1897 Rudyard Kipling, British-born world traveler,
author, poet, and scholar, wrote probably his most
famous poem: "Recessional." Although originally
focused on the world situation at the time, it is as
timeless and as applicable today as it was more than
a century ago. It deserves to be read again. . . slowly
and thoughtfully . . .

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget lest we forget!

A memorable thought for today. "With
malice toward none, with charity for all, with
firmness in the right as God gives us to see the
right, let us strive on to finish the work we are
in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for
him who shall have borne the battle, and for
his widow and his orphan, to do all which may
achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace
among ourselves and with all nations."

–Abraham Lincoln, 2nd Inaugural Address,
March 4, 1865

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