After last week’s sweeping victories for John McCain
on the Republican side, and Barack Obama on the
Democrat side, this week we have no primary election
activity. But the action will start all over again on next
Tuesday, March 4, with elections in Ohio, Rhode Island,
Texas and Vermont.

So let’s take a quick look at some other items which have
a particular concern for us as Christians -- such as:

Growth in church membership in 2007. The
“2008 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches,”
published by the National Council of Churches, lists the
25 largest denominations and indicates which ones
reported growth over the previous year, 2006. Some of
the top churches in size did not report any membership
growth whatsoever, and the Episcopal church reported a
sharp decrease of 4%. The Presbyterian Church USA
was slightly ahead with a 2.4% decrease. But Jehovah’s
Witnesses, the 25th largest church, 1.06 million, showed
the greatest growth rate at a 2.25% increase. Mormons,
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4th in
total membership, had a growth rate of 1.56%. The
largest denomination, Roman Catholic, reported a .87%
increase. The second largest church, the Southern Baptist
Convention, reported an increase of .22%. By comparison,
the rate of population increase for the United States was
1%, so aside from Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons,
the other denominations in America are failing to keep up
with the rate of the nation’s population increase.

“Rich States, Poor States.” That is the title of a new
report by economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore.
The report discloses the shifts in population of
various American states for economic reasons, tax
rates, business opportunities, etc. The 10 Biggest
Losers in population were: California, Louisiana, New
York, North Dakota, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New
Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The 10 Biggest
Winners were: Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama
and Tennessee. In addition to business and economic
reasons, there are cultural and religious effects also.

A new research in belief in God is to be undertaken
by Britain’s Oxford University. It will be a $3.7 million
Effort, sponsored jointly by the Ian Ramsey Centre for
Science and Religion, and the Centre for Anthropology
and the Mind. Not that the results of such a study will
have any effect on the convictions of those of us who
know God through faith, but it will be interesting to see
what conclusions today’s researchers will report, after
utilizing the work of biologists, evolutionists, linguists,
psychologists and computer programmers. We could
suggest that there are better ways to spend that much
money, but that isn’t within our sphere of influence.

Ever wonder about the best children’s books?
This, too, is a British survey. They seem to be very big
on this sort of thing. Despite the fact that the last four
Harry Potter books were the fastest selling books in
history, only one of them finished in the list of the top
50 best books for children, in a study released by the
British organization, Booktrust. No. 1 was C.S. Lewis’
“The Chronicles of Narnia,“ and at No. 6 was J. K.
Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

And similar surveys, both sides of the Atlantic.
According to the Christian Post, approximately two-
thirds of the British people claim absolutely no religious
affiliation. That is the report of a UN survey released
last week. It stands in stark contrast to the national
census in 2001 which reported that 72% of Britons were
Christian. The survey went on to call for disestablishing
the Church of England because it no longer represents
“the religious demography of the country.” Here in the
USA, a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion
and Public Life discloses that Protestants, who just 30
years ago accounted for two-thirds of the population, are
now clinging to a slight majority of 51%. The number
of adults who reported as being unaffiliated with any
religion has risen to just over 16%. In the New England
States of Connecticut and Rhode Island, the rate is
even higher, at 23%. Overall, those claiming some
religious affiliation is now just 84%. The largest single
block are the Evangelicals at 26.4%, followed by the
Roman Catholics at 23.9%. David Roozen, director of
the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, remarked,
“Mainline Protestantism has been eroding for a while.
We have had 40 years of this.” When asked if America
is running away from its Protestant roots, he answered,
“Absolutely, that is the long term trajectory.” These
news items are not particularly encouraging for either
us or our British cousins.

The often quoted remark attributed to Alexis de
Tocqueville in 1831, seems appropriate in this regard:
“America is great because she is good. If America ever
ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Afterthoughts . . .

It won’t happen again for 150 years, but this year
St Patrick’s Day occurs right in Holy Week, on Monday,
the day after Palm Sunday. This conflict does require
a decision for those who want to celebrate the “wearin’
of the green,” and also observe the religious significance
of the week prior to Easter.

Looking ahead to our next issue: after a week in
which there was more talk than substantive action in the
race for presidential campaign votes, there should be a
full measure of news for our consideration in next
week’s issue. Bill Clinton, seemingly his wife’s most
active supporter, admits that if she fails to do extremely
well in Ohio and Texas, she is effectively out of the race.
His own flashes of temper which have conceivably hurt
her campaign as much as his personal appearance has
helped, has been met by temper outbursts on her part
in attacking Obama which have not seemed to advance
her campaign chances. On the other side of the Democrat
race, the endorsement of Barack Obama as “the hope of
the entire world” by Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of
Islam, hasn’t exactly endeared Obama to many Americans.
On the Republican side the attacks on John McCain by the
NY Times seem to have actually helped him, because
so many Republicans who are not strong supporters of
McCain, very strongly dislike the Times. And to add a
new, but somehow old and familiar flavor to the race,
perennial third party candidate Ralph Nader has once
again decided to enter the campaign. After garnering
2.7% of the total vote in the 2000 presidential election
(and conceivably having kept Al Gore from victory), he
ended up with only .87% of the vote in 2004. And so
as we head for what may be the truly decisive series of
voting in next Tuesday’s primaries, all the peace and
tranquility” which has more or less been evident up to
now will probably disappear in a flurry of last minute
attacks and counter attacks by all participants.

Consider the following, and then decide how to
answer the question which follows . . .

A Founding Father’s view of Presidential elections:
“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the
office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who
is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite
qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts
of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the
first honors in a single State; but it will require other
talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in
the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so
considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make
him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of
President of the United States. - Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Those were the standards the founders of this nation
demanded in any man they would elect to be President.
Question: Have we allowed those standards to slip in our
choice of the man to be President?

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After the frenetic activity of the past few weeks, the
present lull in decisive changes in the races for the
nomination by both political parties comes almost as
a relief. It gives us an opportunity to begin to focus
on the most important, underlying issues at stake in
the national election in November.

On the Republican side, the contest appears to be
nearly over, with John McCain as the presumptive
nominee. After the results of the voting yesterday in
Washington, Wisconsin and Hawaii he had a total of
approximately 945 delegate votes and was within
250 of the 1,191 needed for nomination. The other
somewhat meaningful Republican candidate, Mike
Huckabee, still needed a statistically impossible 950
votes to win, but for some reason -- apparently known
only to him -- he remained in the race, spending his
supporters’ money, with no possibility of victory.

Some ostensibly Republican “Conservatives” continue
to give vocal support and even endorsed Huckabee,
rather than joining to unite the party for the November
contest. The same quandary is true, to an even greater
degree, for Ron Paul, who for some reason -- again
apparently known only to him -- remains in the race.

On the Democrat side the situation is much more
complicated, with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama
in a virtual dead heat, with the lead in delegate votes
shifting back and forth as final decisions in the various
states are recorded. As a result of yesterday’s voting,
Obama holds a lead of less than 100 over Clinton in
delegate votes, with each holding well over half of
the 2,025 needed for nomination. The major series
of primary elections just two weeks hence, on March
4 in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont, should
give a much better picture of this race’s conclusion.

As we move closer to the national election in
November, we will be examining the platforms of the
political parties which the candidates will advocate
as they ask for our votes. That information will be
available to us after the nominating conventions in
August and September. We will then know at least
what the candidates say they stand for.

As Christians, Evangelicals, Conservatives, there are
certain moral value issues which are important to us.
On most broader issues -- health care, education, the
economy, for example, Republicans and Democrats
want pretty much the same -- it’s just a matter of how
to do it, and how much it will cost. On issues like
immigration, the environment and the war against
terrorism there are slightly different views, but not
irreconcilable ones.

It is when we come to the strictly moral issues, such as
abortion, same-sex marriage and associated problems,
that we have major differences. The Roman Catholic
Church has spoken firmly on the issue of abortion.
After 35 years and 50 million slain babies, Roe v. Wade
remains a blot on America’s moral principles. In a
new series of statements this past week, Rev. Frank
Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, clearly
stated the Roman Catholic position: “Voters may not
morally protect the so-called right to abortion in any
way. They may not vote for a pro-abortion candidate.”

We must be willing to take just as firm a stand as our
Catholic friends, and face the question: Can a Christian
vote for a pro-choice, a pro-abortion candidate? And if
that answer doesn’t determine your voting position, the
follow-up one should do so: Can a Christian vote for a
candidate who supports same-sex marriage?

In defense of abortion, former president Bill Clinton,
at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Ohio, lashed
out in an angry tirade when challenged on abortion, in
which he accused pro-lifers of trying to “criminalize
women and their doctors.” Michael Hichborn of
American Life League said pro-lifers were not focused
on what is criminal or illegal, and added, “It’s all about
saving babies. It’s all about the fact that abortion is
murder. You‘re killing an innocent person …”

Reflecting on America’s founding principles:
On Nov. 11, 1620, while still anchored off Cape Cod,
the pioneers who sailed for over two months on the
Mayflower signed the Mayflower Compact, which was
the basis for the Declaration of Independence and the
Constitution. That Compact was the first document to
unite religious leaders, military men, merchants and
servants to stand together in the great new adventure
that became the United States of America: “In the
name of God, AMEN. We whose names are under
written… having undertaken for the Glory of God,
and the advancement of the Christian Faith… a
voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern part
of Virginia … do enact, constitute and frame such
just and equal laws … for the greater good of the
Colony…” And that was the original idea: “just
and equal laws for the greater good of the colony,”
soon to be the nation.

Afterthoughts . . .

What kind of a nation are we? Forbes Magazine,
in the Feb. 18 issue features a List of America’s Ten
Most Sinful Cities. The compilation is based on the
familiar “Seven Deadly Sins” of ancient Christian
teaching, which incorporate essentially the Scripture
references to sins. (See Proverbs 6:16-19 and Galatians
5:19-21) The article focuses on: Lust, Gluttony, Avarice
(Greed), Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride. No one, overall
list is given, but rather the 10 top cities in each category
are listed. For example, under the category of Envy, the
10 Most Jealous Cities are listed, in order, Memphis,
TN, Charlotte, NC, San Antonio, TX, Seattle, WA,
Providence, RI, Phoenix, AZ, Salt Lake City, UT,
Columbus, OH, Oklahoma City, OK and Chicago, IL.
We always knew such “deadly sins” were present here,
but never knew exactly where they were most present.

Some good news from Arizona. In Nov. 2006,
Arizona became the first state to lose a vote on marriage,
due to confusing ballot language. Now the Arizona state
legislators have decided to support a state constitution
amendment on the protection of marriage. This means
that Arizonians can join with their fellow Americans all
across the country in support of the traditional, God
ordained marriage between one man and one woman.

Homosexuality is still a problem for Anglicans.
And it is still the American Episcopal Church which
is the source of the problem -- the ordination of Vicki
Gene Robinson, an openly practicing homosexual,
living with a male lover, as Bishop of New Hampshire.
The ensuing split among members of the world-wide
Anglican Communion threatens to seriously harm the
church, as churches and dioceses faithful to the Word
of God decide to end their fellowship with more liberal
members. Now five Anglican Primates, four from Africa
and one from South America have decided to boycott
the 2008 Lambeth Conference at its once-a-decade
meeting in July. Representing a tremendously large
element of the Anglican Communion, the five will
join an alternative conference for Conservative bishops,
scheduled to meet in the Holy Land one month prior to
Lambeth -- named Global Anglican Future Conference.

A reminder of America’s founding principles,
from John Quincy Adams in a 4th of July speech in 1837.
“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the
world, your most joyous and most venerated festival
returns on this day [the Fourth of July]? Is it not that
the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with
the birthday of the Savior? Is it not that the Declaration
of Independence first organized the social compact on
the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth?
That it laid the cornerstone of human government
upon the first precepts of Christianity?”

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First, “Super Tuesday” didn’t have the immediate and
decisive effect many people had expected. There was no
sudden coronation of either party’s winning candidate.

On the Republican side, McCain took a strong lead
in states and delegates, but both Romney and
Huckabee declared they were staying in the race right
up to the party’s national Convention in September.

Then came Thursday, and in a surprise move, while
speaking at the Conservative (CPAC) convention in
Washington, Mitt Romney ended his speech with
word that he was suspending his campaign, and would
no longer seek the nomination for president. A clever
man with money, he “suspended” his campaign, which
means that he can still seek contributions from his
supporters, doubtless to replace some of the estimated
$30 million of his own wealth he used in his campaign.

Although committed to staying in the race, statistically,
for Mike Huckabee, it will be very difficult to garner the
1,191 delegate votes necessary for the nomination, but
that number of votes does appear to be possible for John
McCain -- so when the Senator spoke at the same CPAC
convention later in the day, he did so as the presumed
Republican nominee.

However, it must be said that Huckabee is still in the
race, and McCain describes him as a “viable candidate.”
An effective communicator, Huckabee commented on
the last weekend’s series of caucuses and elections,
“I didn’t major in Math; I majored in miracles.”
content, to rely on those miracles, he demanded an
investigation of the vote counting in the Washington
caucus which had reported McCain as the winner.

Over on the Democrat side, it was a much
different picture. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack
Obama had won a number of states, and each had
amassed approximately the same number of delegates.
As the selection process moved into the past weekend’s
primary elections and caucuses, the two Democrat
contenders were in a virtual tie for the lead.

Now, today, after three days of caucuses and
primary elections in seven states on Saturday, Sunday
and yesterday, the situation hasn‘t changed very much:
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are still locked in a
dead heat for the Democrat nomination, although Obama
has emerged as the front runner by a slight margin.
In all the primaries and caucuses of the past few days,
Obama has won every one: Washington, Louisiana,
Maine, Nebraska, Virginia, Maryland and the District
of Columbia.

And in all those primaries and caucuses McCain and
Huckabee both had victories. Huckabee won the Kansas
Republican caucus, and the Louisiana election. McCain
won the Washington Republican Caucus, and elections
in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The focus of campaign activity for the four leading
candidates will now shift to the immediate future state
contests, in Wisconsin, Ohio and Texas. The goal in
both cases is to win the 2,025 votes necessary for the
Democrat nomination and the 1,191 votes necessary
for the Republican nomination. Toward those goals,
McCain has something over 800 delegate votes, and
both Clinton and Obama have something around 1,200
each, or just over half the number needed.

But while we are focused on elections here at home,
in other parts of the world Christians are suffering severe
persecution. The Open Doors 2008 World Watch List was
released last week, listing in order the 50 countries in the
world which offer the worst persecution for Christians.
The top 10 countries, in order of seriousness, were North
Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Maldives, Bhutan, Yemen,
Afghanistan, Laos, Uzbekistan and China. The degree of
seriousness of the persecution is on the following scale:
Severe persecution, Oppression, Severe limitation, Some
limitation, Some problems. It is interesting that six of the
top ten countries are predominantly Islamic; three are
Communist, and one is Buddhist. A pointed question: do
you pray for fellow Christians suffering persecution?

The Founding Fathers on electing leaders:
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their
rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and
interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer
Christians for their rulers …. Whether our religion
permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a
question which merits more consideration than it
seems yet to have generally received either from the
clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the
prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to
Ahab: ‘Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them
that hate the Lord?’ (2 Chronicles 19:2) affords a
salutary lesson.” - from the Correspondence and Public
Papers of John Jay, 1794-1826.

Afterthoughts . . .

Discord spreading among main-line churches.
Sounding remarkably like the schism which America’s
Episcopal churches are facing, a major Presbyterian
church in Pittsburgh, PA (Memorial Park Church of
McCandless) last week voted with a 91% majority to
ask the Pittsburgh Presbytery to remove it from the
Presbyterian Church, USA. Dr. Dean Weaver, the
pastor, said that they were not leaving the church but
the church had left them. The basis was the same as in
the Episcopal church situation: a liberal shift in the

It is difficult to understand those Anglicans.
The Archbishop of Canterbury -- as if he didn’t have
big enough problems within his denomination -- has
now offered the outrageous suggestion that adoption
of the Islamic Sharia law in Great Britain “seems
unavoidable.” He has stated that Britain has to “face
up to the fact” that some of the nation’s residents do
not relate to the British legal system. He agreed that
the concept of a single body of law applying equally to
all citizens is fundamental to western democracy, but
feels that adopting parts of Sharia law would help to
maintain social cohesion. The Archbishop’s proposal
has received strong opposition from bishops in the
Anglican Church and from members of government,
including calls for him to resign, and warnings that
the adoption of Sharia law in Britain would result in
“legal apartheid.” It is frightening that such a proposal
would even be made by a person in authority, and
particularly by one in religious authority.

The British are full of surprises. A survey just
completed of under-twenties disclosed that 20%
think that Winston Churchill was a fictional character,
but 65% believe that King Arthur was real and led a
round table of knights at Camelot, and 51% believe
that Robin Hood was real, lived in Sherwood Forest,
robbing the rich to give to the poor. America has not
existed long enough to have developed heroes like
Britain has, but the day may soon be coming when
Bat Man and Robin are more real to our teens than
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Our
American education system is sliding down hill;
Britain has the advantage over us of age, but give us
a little time -- at the present rate we‘ll catch up soon.

Last week we mentioned Jimmy Carter’s new
Baptist denomination and its first major meeting
with Bill Clinton and Al Gore as the featured speakers.
We don’t know what future events Carter, Clinton and
Gore are planning, but there is the matter of a doctrinal
statement for the new church. Mr. Carter would seem
to be capable of dealing with ethnic and international
issues. He loves to travel, and during his term of office
it was often said that he was a better president abroad
than he was here at home. Mr. Clinton might be chosen
to handle the moral behavior issue, and would be able
to deal deftly with the issue of the sanctity of marriage.
And if Mr. Gore were assigned to arrange the annual
meetings, he could use his “Global Warming” theory in
trying to find a location where the attendees would not
be affected by the unprecedented cold weather which
has engulfed much of America, Europe, the Middle East
and China. The difference between this development
and the other denominational schisms we are seeing is
that in most cases the Bible believing Conservatives
seek to leave the Liberals. In this instance, however, it
is the Liberals who are seeking to separate themselves
from the Bible believing Conservatives, such as the
Southern Baptist Convention, for example. It will be
interesting to see how the new church develops.

It is only fair to note: We had mentioned the leaders
of Wheaton College (President, Provost and Chaplain)
who had signed the Yale letter of agreement with the
Islamic scholars in seeking a common ground of belief
with Christians in the West . Now those Wheaton
officials have removed their names from the document.
Sadly, there are quite a few nominal Evangelicals who
have not demonstrated the same Christian integrity by
removing their names from the Yale letter.

A reminder from our Founding Fathers: “In my
view, the Christian religion is the most important and
one of the first things in which all children, under a
free government ought to be instructed ... No truth is
more evident to my mind than that the Christian
religion must be the basis of any government intended
to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
-- Noah Webster, 1828
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your appreciation for our “fair and balanced” coverage
of the 2008 election process. However, as we move
closer to the actual election campaign, the “fair” aspect
-- that is, the truth of it -- will remain, but the “balance”
will be tilted toward the Christian moral value positions
held by the various candidates. Because our civic and
community responsibilities are so important for us, as
Christians, we shall continue this coverage … but there
are also other important issues to discuss. Please share
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Just over a year ago, in January 2007, Michael Toner,
the Chairman of the Federal Election Commission
estimated that this year’s election would become a
“$1 billion election.” He was recalling the $650 million
expenditures in 2000 and the $1 billion in 2004.
Already millions of dollars have been spent, and more
millions more will yet be spent in the quest for the
presidential nomination and election.

After yesterday’s “Super Tuesday,” there is a growing
trend of thought that the present primary selection
process should be revised. The argument was well
summarized by Brett Winterble in Human Events,
on Jan. 31. After pointing out how essentially four
states by primary and caucus voting in January had
influenced the future trend of the primary selection
process, he (and others) have suggested that it is time
to “front-load the whole process into one due date.
Make every state vote on exactly the same day. Make
every candidate compete in every state at the exact
same time…”

The result would be that from that point on, the real
election campaign would begin and there would be
adequate time for each voter in each state to make his
or her decision as to their preferred candidate. And if
some states, like Iowa or New Hampshire for example,
object -- do as the Democrats did: refuse to seat the
delegates from those states. With a little two party
cooperation, we would soon have a primary selection
process which makes sense.

Instead, we have yesterday‘s “Super Tuesday.”
The often expressed expectation that at the end of this
massive series of primary elections and caucuses we
would have settled on the nominee for at least one
party -- some even predicted both -- just didn’t work
out that way, and so the selection process moves on.

On the Republican side, John McCain was the clear
winner and ended the night with 610 delegate votes.
The other two candidates in the Republican race, Mitt
Romney and Mike Huckabee had 257 and 202 delegate
votes respectively. The exact totals will have to wait
until the proportionate votes in some states have been
accurately calculated. Sharp expressions of bitterness
among the three candidates have been evident, and
prior to the “Super Tuesday” elections, Romney had
made the suggestion that Huckabee should drop out
of the race. By the end of the preliminary results last
night, Huckabee had made the same suggestion to
Romney, but both candidates at present plan to
continue. 1,191 delegates are required for nomination
in the Republican process. This race now depends on
statistical calculations, with McCain obviously
close to being declared the nominee, pending the
results in the next few elections.

On the Democrat side, the two-person race
between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remains
a close one, with Clinton emerging as the winner, but
not decisively so, now holding 845 delegate votes to
Obama’s 765. The same delay in the final count as in
the Republican case is also true here. The Democrat
process requires a total of 2,025 delegate votes. This
is obviously an extremely close race, and no clear
winner is yet being projected.

This we can conclude: No matter which Democrat
ultimately emerges as the nominee, history will have
been made: In the November election, Americans will
for the first time be voting to elect either a black or a
woman as president of the United States.

As we move closer to the actual selection of candidates
at the Summer national conventions, the issues important
to the American voters, and the positions taken by the
candidates of both parties will take on major importance.
From the Conservative/Evangelical viewpoint we are very
much concerned about moral values, and believe a return
to this nation’s founding principles is absolutely necessary.

From one of the later “Founding Fathers” -- Dr.
Daniel Dorchester (1827-1907) clergyman and legislator,
speaking of the governments of the Colonies: “The key
principle was that government, civil and ecclesiastical,
is constituted and administered upon the Bible as the
source of knowledge and authority.”

Afterthoughts . . .

Thoughts about Al Gore’s “Global Warming”
theory: One is puzzled on how to relate the snowfall
in the Holy Land last week, the intense cold sweeping
across the American Midwest and East, and the recent
near record snowfalls and avalanches throughout the
Western states (and in China!), to Mr. Gore’s theory
that temperatures are rising all over the world. But
perhaps we should not be impatient; someday he may
get it right.

But Jimmy Carter thinks Gore’s got it right; at
the Convocation of Carter’s new Baptist denomination
in Atlanta last week, Gore was a featured speaker, and
was given an award as “Baptist of the year.” In his
sermon he cited Luke 12:54-57 for his Scriptural base,
claiming that it is dishonest to think that global warming
is only a theory and not a scientific fact. Quoting Gore,
“The evidence is there. The signal is on the mountain.
The trumpet has blown. The scientists are screaming
from the rooftops. The ice is melting. The land is
parched. The seas are rising. The storms are getting
stronger. Why do we not judge what is right?” Yes,
Al, and the snow is getting deeper, and temperatures
are falling all over the world.

Early in the 19th century, American essayist,
Charles Dudley Warner coined the phrase,
“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody
does anything about it.” He also originated a more
currently applicable phrase, “Politics makes strange
bedfellows.” We have just seen evidence of that in
the announcement of the 19th Annual Conference on
Preaching, April 7-9 in Washington, DC, where the
most publicized participants will be best selling author
and mega-church pastor, Rick Warren and presidential
wannabe, Mike Huckabee. Michael Duduit, editor of
Preaching Magazine said “Preachers look forward
to hearing Rick Warren describe what goes into
speaking on issues such as global warming, AIDS
and other provocative topics…” That should be an
interesting disclosure; Warren was once hailed as the
next Billy Graham.

Three news story announcements appeared in
one of our Internet news sources in this exact order; if
read carefully, they seem to share a common theme:
* Hillary suggests snatching wages - says income would
be garnished if workers refuse to buy health insurance;
*John Kerry’s sister mugged;
* Bush’s $3 Trillion Budget is US First.
Conclusion: A little humor brightens the day.

From the Founding Fathers: "All of us who were
engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent
instances of superintending providence in our favor.
And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or
do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?
I have lived a long time, and the longer I live, the more
convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs
in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the
Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire
can rise without his Aid?" - Benjamin Franklin, 1787

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