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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