Barack Obama’s speech – the major one, on race
and his pastor’s harangues about black views of this
nation. Obama is certainly a good speaker, a great
communicator, possibly in the mold of Franklin D.
Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. This
was a major speech. The success of his presidential
quest might depend on it. Few such vital efforts have
met with such mixed reactions. On the pro-side, this
editorial from a major metropolitan newspaper (not
the New York Times!): "Not since the lifetime of Martin
Luther King has a political figure confronted the
anguishing issue of race so squarely, so forthrightly,
so sensibly... It was a remarkably candid assessment
of America’s racial divide..."

On the con side, national columnist Debbie Schlussel
was as succinct as possible. Asked why she had not
commented on the speech, she replied, ..."because he
didn’t say anything that really addressed or assuaged
me or anyone with any reason on his historically
racist pastor. He basically said nothing.... But here’s
what he did say on Rev Jeremiah Wright’s views: ‘A
profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that
sees white racism as endemic and that elevates what
is wrong with America above all that we know is right
with America’... What he didn’t say is why he sat by for
those views for years, even though he admitted to the
New York Times and others that he knew about it...
That’s the issue. Unaddressed. Can’t be addressed."

Does this issue erode Obama’s advantage over Clinton
in votes and delegates? Possibly. Only time and the
Democrat National Convention in August will tell. Until
then, the endorsement of Governor Bill Richardson may
prove to be a very valuable asset to Obama’s candidacy.

And how about candidate Hillary Clinton?
Much has been made of the now famous "3 AM"
phone call TV ad, and who would be best able to
cope with a national emergency. Senator Clinton
has stressed her readiness to assume command of
everything – diplomacy, armed forces, economy,
and all areas of government services. Relating to
her claims are the 11,000+ pages detailing her
personal activities during the years her husband
was president of the United States. Those records
have evoked evaluations of "exaggeration" and
"overstatement" by people who have reviewed them.
Just two examples: (1) With respect to foreign service,
in March, 1999 Mrs. Clinton, visiting Egypt, planned
to make a "courtesy call" on President Mubarak. It
was a 15 minute visit, followed by a tour of a mosque,
a museum, a youth center, and a visit to the Temple
of Luxor, before flying on. (2) With respect to national
security issues, there is no evidence that she attended
National Security Council meetings, and she did not
have a national security clearance. However, she and
daughter Chelsea did enjoy some fantastic worldwide
sightseeing tours at taxpayer expense. The terms
"exaggeration" and "overstatement" may in fact be very
conservative evaluations.

What is China up to? It does make you wonder.
Wehave gotten used to reading about hundreds, even
millions of children’s toys being recalled and returned
to their manufacturers in China because the paint
contains lead, which is dangerous to humans – especially
babies and young children. And there have been examples
of food being recalled because of bacteria, etc. But now
their latest attack on the health and well being of the
American people is contaminated Heparin, an important
blood thinning medicine, offered for sale through the
American firm, Baxter Labs. By the time the door was
closed on the China produced Heparin, some 700
patients had experienced severe allergic attacks, and
there has been an undetermined number of deaths.
There are so many unanswered questions: why do we
continue to do business with China . . . why don’t we
more carefully screen imports from this obvious enemy
of the American people? And this special note to
American visitors to China during the Olympic games
this Summer: be careful what you eat and drink ... and
hey: be careful when you attempt to cross a street. Not
that many cars, but those cycles can be killers!

It is very difficult, in fact, almost impossible, for an
Evangelical Christian to find anything favorable in the
beliefs and pronouncements of liberals, such as Nancy
Pelosi, currently the Speaker of the House in the US
Congress, and next in line for the presidency, after the
Vice President. But when Ms. Pelosi does something
right, she deserves commendation. She has become the
first US Government official to speak out strongly in
defense of the Tibetans who are being persecuted by the
Chinese. Ms. Pelosi even traveled to Dharamsala, the
Dalai Lama’s seat in exile. "The situation in Tibet is a
challenge to the conscience of the world," she said, "If
freedom loving people throughout the world do not
speak out against Chinese oppression we have lost all
moral authority to speak on behalf of human rights
anywhere in the world." Right on, Ms. Pelosi!

It should be obvious that there may be too much
emphasis on the election of a president. Actually, that
is an increasingly powerless position in our system of
government; the real power rests with the Congress. A
19th century president speaks to this point: "Now more
than ever before, the people are responsible for the
character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant,
reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate
ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent,
brave and pure, it is because the people demand these
high qualities to represent them in the national
legislature." – President James Garfield, 1877

Afterthoughts . . .

Good news report from the UK. A new British study
titled, "Deliver Us from Evil; Religion as Insurance,"
discloses that people who believe in God are happier
than agnostics or atheists. The statistics were presented
at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference. The
study found that believers are better able to cope with
major disappointments, and that they become happier
the more they pray or go to church. The report concluded:
"Religion tempers the impact of adverse life events." We
knew that, but it’s nice to have secular scholars confirm it.

Some unusual news from Russia. In about 1775
William Cowper wrote, "God moves in mysterious ways,
His wonders to perform." Last week a Franciscan
scholar in Rome wrote that Michael Gorbachev is a
Christian – that he was seen kneeling in prayer at the
tomb of St. Francis. A similar report from Russia is
that Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB officer and until just
recently President of Russia, has embraced the
Orthodox Christian faith, and has been seen wearing
a cross around his neck. It appears that our prayers
for these Russian leaders are certainly in order.

Some sort of conflicting actions. This past week
two relatively small headlines appeared over stories
buried in your daily newspaper. One reported that
among Palestinians, a poll disclosed that an over-
whelming majority approved and supported the murder
of eight students in a Palestinian raid on a Jewish
theological seminary in Jerusalem. The other reported
that the USA was transferring $150 million to the
Palestinian Authority to assist President Mahmod
Abbas’ government. Prime Minister Fayyad said the
US contribution "was coming to us at a time of great
need and it will help our efforts in building toward
Palestinian statehood." The ways of government
leaders are often difficult to understand.

A clear statement from our first president:
"The foundation of our national policy will be laid in
the pure and immutable principles of private morality;
the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected
on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order
and right which Heaven itself has ordained." – George
Washington, First Inaugural, 1789

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Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008 – since 1875, Easter
has occurred this early only three times; twice on March
23 and once on March 24. The calculation of the date for
Easter involves the use of the Julian and the Gregorian
calendar systems, a major ideological conflict through
the Middle Ages, but by 1700 the issue had pretty well
settled down, at least for the Western churches. In the
simplest terms, here is the calculation:

Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first
ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day
of the vernal equinox. This particular ecclesiastical full
moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon),
and the vernal equinox is fixed as March 21, resulting
in that Easter can never occur before March 22 or later
than April 25.

Or, of course, you could skip the calculating and just find
the date on your calendar or your pocket diary. As would
have been expected, there have been attempts to set a
specific date for Easter, as is done for Christmas, but
tradition has prevailed, and is likely to continue.

This year as a result of the early date, another holiday,
somewhat religious in nature, occurred within this
Holy Week – St. Patrick’s Day, observed on Monday.
With all due respect to the fifth century missionary to
Ireland from Britain, the revelry of this Irish holiday
with its shamrocks, corned beef and green beer, seems
somewhat out of keeping with the Christian observance
of this week beginning with our Lord’s entrance into
Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, His crucifixion on Good
Friday, and His resurrection on Easter Sunday. But
through the years Easter has weathered the colored eggs
and candy and bunnies and will certainly survive the
frivolity of the St. Patrick’s day celebrations.

In the midst of a world seemingly on a path to self-
destruction amid wars, terrorist attacks, moral
deterioration and conflicts within the church itself,
the enduring message of Easter remains the one
solid basis for the hope of mankind, and observing
just the one day of levity to remember one of the
historic Christian church’s more famous members,
may just be a pretty good thing.

One pastor’s over exposure on TV: Any thought
that the nation’s media were giving Barack Obama an
easy pass and were sharpening their claws on Hillary
Clinton’s campaign were resolved during the past week
as we were subjected to daily repeats of Obama’s pastor
in Chicago, dressed in African tribal garb, urging his
congregants not to ask God to bless America, but rather
to damn America. This is the pastor of a church in which
Obama was a member for 20 years ... the pastor who
married Obama and his wife (who has declared her lack
of pride in America) ... the pastor who baptized the
Obama children. Now suddenly, as attention has been
focused on the mindset of this pastor, Obama has sort
of repudiated the man whom he had always touted as
a major counselor and advisor. The attempts of our
political candidates to put on religious cloaks to gain
the approval of American Christians is obviously a ploy
to win votes, and Barack Obama is no more guilty of
this sham than Hillary Clinton or John McCain. It is
simply that Obama’s false facade has crumbled a bit
sooner than the others. Once again we will be faced
with the election day choice of voting for the best of
the worst. Not the choice our Founding Fathers had
in mind for this new nation they had created based on
historic Judeo-Christian principles.

A thought from a present day theologian: "The
benefits of the resurrection are innumerable ... Our
identity as Christians is strengthened as we stand
in the lengthening shadows of saints down through
the centuries, who have always answered back in
antiphonal voice: ‘He is risen indeed.’"
– Dr. Charles Swindoll

And from one of our Founding Fathers: "Those
who ... are not professors of the Christian religion can
never be elected to the office of President or any other
high office, unless first the people of America lay aside
the Christian religion altogether; it may happen."
– Samuel Johnson, 1788

Afterthoughts . . .

Thinking back to Billy Graham, and his well
known relationship to several U.S. presidents for
whom he was called the unofficial "Pastor to the
President." American Christians were very acceptive
of that relationship. The more current implication of
that title arises out of the problem which Barack
Obama is facing with respect to his pastor of some 20
years. If Obama should be elected president, will he
bring Rev. Jeremiah Wright with him as "Pastor to the
President?" And as an associated note of concern, how
should we adapt to a First Lady, Barack Obama’s wife,
who states that only recently has she felt any pride
in our country?

To what extent is America a Christian nation?
Or, how important is our God-relationship? The
Christian Post reports that a new study from the
distinguished Barma Research Group discloses that
70% of American people feel that their earthly family
relationships are more important to them than their
relationship with God as their heavenly Father. Only
19% – approximately one out of five adults – named
their relationship with God, Jesus Christ and the
Trinity as the most important in their life. Somewhere
along the way in the 232 or so years of this nation, the
ideals and principles of the Founding Fathers were
obviously abandoned.

What kind of a president do Americans want?
The American Bible Society, through a Zogby Poll, has
discovered the kind of a president the American people
want. In broad strokes the majority want a president
who reflects the Biblical ideals of leadership. Integrity
and truthfulness were far out in front as the character
traits considered most important. 75% agree that it is
appropriate for the president to take the oath of office
as George Washington did, with his hand on the Bible.
Almost as many – 60% – say they would be more likely
to vote for a candidate who uses the Bible for guidance
in both personal and public matters. Given these facts,
it is not difficult to understand why today’s candidates
make such an effort to display some evidence of having
Christian convictions.

From the first Supreme Court Chief Justice:
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their
rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege of our
Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for
their rulers." – John Jay, 1816

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One commentator expressed it well this way: "Today’s
newspapers and talking TV heads all agree: the
Democratic presidential race is a mess. Super Tuesday
settled nothing. March 4 settled nothing. The road to
the White House is now filled with dangerous potholes
for the Democrats."

John McCain, who cinched the Republican nomination
by winning all 4 primaries on March 4 will now very
probably become the "invisible man," as the media
begins to ignore him and turn their focus instead on
their political favorites, the battling Democrats, Hillary
Clinton and Barack Obama.

But until the potentially decisive primary on April 22
in Pennsylvania, we can heave a sigh of relief and
consider the other important happenings in the world
around us. Well, there was the Wyoming Democrat
caucus on Mar. 8, which Obama won for a net gain of
a few delegate votes, and the Mississippi primary just
yesterday where Obama also won conclusively.

The margin by which Obama leads Clinton did not
show any appreciable change. He still leads in every
category, but now she has suggested he be her vice
president candidate. Obama promptly rejected her
proposal, saying "You won’t be seeing me as a vice
presidential candidate." So much for news from the
campaign circuit. Now let’s look at other events of
interest to Christians.

Home schooling; a furore in California: about
170,000 children in California are "home schooled,"
essentially because the parents – usually for religious
convictions – do not approve of the public school
instruction about homosexuality. On February 28
district court judge Walter Croskey issued the
decision, "Parents do not have a constitutional right
to home school their children." The state law is vague
at best, but does indicate that teachers must have a
formal teaching degree. There are some instances
where home schooled students do as well as their
public schooled counterparts, but there are also
instances where some parents are just not qualified to
provide the standard of education children deserve.
Naturally that decision will be appealed, probably to
the state Supreme Court, and already the battle lines
are being drawn. Dr. James Dobson, of "Focus on the
Family" expressed "outrage," and declared that,"This
is an all-out assault on the family, and it must be met
with a concerted effort to defend parents and their
children," and also said the decision was a "miscarriage
of justice." No one will be going to jail until the matter
is settled in the state’s highest court, but the attempt to
be sure that children receive an adequate education
doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. One wonders if
California – or any state -- should establish academic
standards that parents must meet in order to do home
schooling, will Dr. Dobson insist that every parent
should be allowed to provide schooling for their
children, regardless of their lack of education? This is
more than an emotional, knee-jerk issue, and it is to be
hoped that logic and reason will prevail in any future
court action, and that the best interests of children will
be given major consideration.

An interesting headline on an old familiar theme:
"Global Warming is Over; Throw a Party." Part of the
news story in capoliticalnews.com, Mar. 5, which
followed the headline said, "That does not mean that
we should not create alternative energy sources for
economic reasons. That does not mean that we should
exploit the planet; we need to be good stewards. The
problem is that legislation is killing jobs, harming
families, making real people poorer, in the name of
Global Warming." Also, at a conference in New York
City last week, Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech
Republic, an economist, warned that "Advocates of
man-made Global Warming theories in Europe and
the U.S. are pushing cynical political schemes that
will erode individual liberty, curtail the standard of
living, and stymie economic growth." At the close of
last week’s conference, the 500 delegates issued the
"Manhattan Declaration" stating that attempts by
governments to reduce CO2 emissions would
"markedly diminish further prosperity while having
no appreciable impact" on the earth’s warming. Our
elected officials in the Congress should read scientific
reports, not Al Gore science fiction. (See also the
comment under "Afterthoughts.")

We sometimes tend to forget that the majority of
Americans support legally defining marriage as being
between a man and a woman. In fact, 64% of all
registered voters oppose "same-sex" marriages by a
more than two to one majority. Additionally, 67% of
Hispanic Americans support defining marriage as
between a man and a woman, as do 67% of African
Americans. 80% of Americans agree that it is better
for children if their parents are married, while 66%
of women voters support marriage as between a man
and a woman. It would seem that our presidential
candidates should take these facts into account in
establishing their political positions.

It’s happening all over the world. According to
"The Australian" newspaper, Muslim students have
asked universities in Melbourne to change class times
so they can pray on Islamic worship schedules. At
least one university has rejected their demand, but
one other has responded by doubling the size of the
Muslim prayer room on the campus. Meanwhile, at
Harvard, men have been banned from use of one of
its gyms for certain hours so that Muslim women can
work out in privacy. To one student’s objections, that
half the campus is denied a resource that is supposed
to be for every one, a Muslim student responded, "The
majority should be willing to compromise. I think
that’s just plain courtesy." But this is clearly religious
favoritism because it benefits only Muslim women –
not women, per se, but Muslim women. Muslims are
apparently increasingly willing to demand special
treatment based on their Islamic beliefs. The Founding
Fathers tried to keep religion free from such public
conflicts because they knew that religion could involve
so many interpretations and thus erode the unity of
this new nation.

Brief and to the point from an overseas observer:
"Our loss of the right to govern ourselves has been
shrouded in such layers of obfuscation and deceit
that most of our politicians no longer realize how
dishonest this has made them." – Christopher Booker
in the London Telegraph.

Afterthoughts . . .

We are all well aware of politicians turning to the
church for help in their campaigns, but now the UN is
doing the same thing. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
has declared that the church’s cooperation is vital to
the UN in its efforts in behalf of Global Warming, and
has asked the World Council of Churches (WCC) for
help. His appeal: "You have high moral power and
what you are doing is based on your Christian
beliefs." The Rev. Samuel Kobia, head of the WCC
replied that "Working on Global Warming is a matter
of faith. You can count on the WCC as a strong partner
in acting together for the sake of humankind, and the
rest of creation." They apparently find some measure
of spiritual agreement with Al Gore based on his
"religious" comments in the founding meeting of the
Carter, Clinton, Gore association of Baptist churches.
And on Monday of this week, leaders of the Southern
Baptist Convention – America’s largest Protestant
church – issued a formal statement endorsing Al
Gore’s Global Warming theory, insisting that the
church has a Biblical duty to stop Global Warming.
It seems to be sort of a fulfillment of the old saying
that "diversity makes strange bedfellows."

Poor grades for the UN’s work in Sudan.
Speaking for the Institute on Religion and Democracy,
the Director of one of its affiliates, Church Alliance for
a New Sudan, Faith McDonnell accused the UN of
squandering millions of dollars in war ravaged Sudan.
According to this report UN workers in Juba, capitol
of Southern Sudan, are regularly being served
luxurious meals by five star chefs, while the people
they are there to help are starving in the streets.
Ms.McDonnell said that many mission groups and
Christian agencies, non-governmental organizations,
are doing much needed relief work, and are doing so
with little resources. Somehow, this doesn’t come as
much of a surprise to any of us.

Lest we forget: here in America we are still able to
worship quite freely, despite some limitations put upon
us by Liberals, Atheists, the ACLU, and others. The
intent of the Founding Fathers that freedom of worship
is a basic right of all Americans is essentially true today,
as always. But this is not true elsewhere in the world.
The Voice of the Martyrs - VOM - in their monthly
report of Christian persecution lists some areas where
recent persecution of Christians has been very severe:
Sri Lanka, Iraq, China, Ethiopia and India. Let us
focus prayer for our fellow believers in those areas
of the world this week.

This week’s Founding Father’s quote: "Without
morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time,
they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion,
whose morality is so sublime and pure and which
insures to the good eternal happiness, are
undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best
security for the duration of free governments." – by
Charles Carroll, in 1790, signer of the Declaration of

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"It shouldn’t take a school marm to see that these here
primaries have become so durn wild, wooly and lawless
that they make Deadwood and Tombstone seem as tame
as ‘Little House on the Prairie.’" (Rose Pedenke & Tanya
Simon in Current Events, Mar. 4, 2008)

Step aside, Bill Clinton – there’s a new "comeback
kid" in the news. Just a few months ago John McCain’s
bid for the presidency had apparently collapsed. He was
out of money, traveling by commercial air lines, carrying
his own luggage, his staff essentially dismissed. All the
attention in the Republican race shifted to Mitt Romney
and Rudy Giuliani. But Romney and Giuliani faded away,
left the campaign, and last night John McCain cinched
the necessary delegate votes to put him over the 1,191
requirement, and is now officially the presumptive
Republican nominee for the November presidential
election, to be confirmed at the national convention in
St. Paul in September. His sole remaining opponents,
Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul finished a distant second
and third, and last night Huckabee formally announced
he was giving up his run for the presidency – and pledged
to do everything possible to help in uniting the party and
the nation.

To cinch the nomination McCain won handily in all 4
of the "Super Tuesday II" states – Ohio, Rhode Island,
Texas and Vermont – and locked up a total of 1,205
delegate votes. Today he will receive congratulations
from President Bush , and now he will begin to focus
his campaign tactics on the distinctions between the
Republican and Democrat positions, while the two
remaining Democrat candidates, Hillary Clinton and
Barack Obama, continue their battle for the Democrat
nomination. And that conflict has surely earned the
title, "wild and wooly and lawless."

On the Democrat side, the battle rages on. Obama
ran his string of successive state wins to 12 with victory
in Vermont, but Rhode Island gave Clinton her first win
after those 12 consecutive defeats. Ohio followed in the
Clinton win column, with a long and self assured victory
speech by Clinton, before long into the late hours of the
night it was determined that she had won the primary
vote in Texas, while Obama had won the caucus vote.

The net result after last night’s voting was that Obama
still led in the number of delegates, but that lead had
been reduced from the 147 with which he began the
night to some 85 or 90 over Clinton’s acquired total.

There remain now 10 more state Democrat primaries
and caucuses, obviously most important being the
primary in Pennsylvania on April 22. Without venturing
into the predictive mode, this race may have to go all the
way to the Democrat national convention in Denver in
August before it is finally decided, and the Democrat
nominee is selected.

There are still 8 months before election day when
we vote for our new president. By that time we will
have had adequate time to examine the positions of
both political party candidates and decide which one
most nearly meets the moral and spiritual standards
that we as Christians can support. Our Roman Catholic
friends have already made known their rules for voting
– no Catholic can vote for any politician who supports a
"freedom of choice" position with respect to the abortion
issue. Now Pope Gregory XVI has described same-sex
marriages as "profoundly iniquitous." Speaking at the
Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome he said, "The
various forms of the dissolution of marriage today
like the free unions, trial marriages, and going up to
pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are
rather the expressions of an anarchic freedom that
wrongly passes for true freedom of man." In the
Vatican, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,
in a lengthy statement on union between homosexual
persons, included this warning for Catholic voters,"To
vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good
is profoundly immoral." Concerning the statement of
the Pope, Cardinal Francis George in Chicago said
Gregory XVI was merely restating standard teachings
of popes for 2000 years, that "marriage is the life-long
union of a man and a woman who enter into a total
sharing of themselves for the sake of family."

Against this background, on Feb. 28 Barack Obama
made his position on same-sex marriage perfectly
clear. "As your president, I will use the bully pulpit
to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full
equality in their family and adoption laws." He also
said that he backs the "complete repeal" of the Defense
of Marriage Act, passed by the Congress and signed
into law by President Clinton in 1996. Then on Mar. 2
he said that he finds justification for same-sex unions
in the Sermon on the Mount, which means more to
him than what he termed an "obscure" reference by
Paul in Romans. A strange bit of exegesis, at best. We
who are members of Protestant churches could wish
that our denominations had as clear and definite
positions on such moral issues as the Roman Catholic
church does. It is, however, difficult to understand why
Catholics have been so supportive of Hillary Clinton,
given her views on abortion and same-sex unions.

This week’s quote from the Founding fathers:
"He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of this
country who tries most to promote its virtue, and
who, so far as his power and influence extend, will
not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power
and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man ... The
sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of
Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.
Samuel Adams, 1750

Afterthoughts . . .

The fading fear of "Global Warming" ... the
people who hand out the Academy Awards, and the
Nobel Peace Prizes may be wondering if they should
recall their gifts to Al Gore based on his theory of
"Global Warming." The facts are (and Al never seems
to be much concerned about facts) that during the past
year global temperatures have fallen sharply. That is
not just a casual observation – it is based on updated
data released by the four major global temperature
tracking organizations, NASA, GISS, UAH and RSS.
But you already knew that. You have read the news
stories – China with the coldest winter in 100 years ...
Baghdad’s first snow in all recorded history ... North
America has had the most snow in 50 years ... record
cold has been recorded in Florida, Texas, Mexico, Iran,
Australia, Greece, South Africa, South America, and
the list goes on and on. And remember the dire threat
about the melt-down of Arctic ice? Well, the ice is back
and the Canadian Ice Service reports that it is very
much thicker than at this time last year. One wonders
how long it will take for all these facts to make their
way into the agenda of the present Congress whose
members seem enthralled with the Gore theory. One
final word: on the Internet this past week the Global
Warming Theory was equated to the Pet Rock craze
of a few years ago. Probably makes sense . . .

Remember the letter from the Islam scholars?
The one that offered compromise with Christians and
Muslims? The one which some individuals nominally
"Evangelical" in belief signed? Yes, that one. Now those
Islamic scholars have rewritten their letter to suggest a
union (on their terms, of course) with Jews, and have
sent the new letter to Jewish scholars. It appears that if
they cannot persuade infidels of the rightness of Islamic
views by suicide bombings, mass killings and threats of
beheadings, they will attempt persuasion by being nice
and by appealing to reason. It would seem that after
experiencing centuries of hatred from Muslims, Jews
would not be so inclined to acquiesce as many liberal
Christians have shown themselves to be. Their appeal in
the letter to the Jews:"Failure to do so will be a missed
opportunity. Memories of positive historical encounters
(?) will dim and the current problems will lead to an
increasing rift and more common misunderstandings
between us." One would assume that the Jewish scholars
will be more perceptive than were some of their Christian
counterparts in the earlier letter addressed to them.

Out of curiosity: ever wonder what happens to also-ran
dropouts from presidential campaigns? Former failed vice
presidential candidate and more recently a presidential
candidate, John Edwards and his wife have joined a
group of liberal activist groups in announcing a $20
million public awareness and lobbying campaign to place
blame for a weakening US economy on the war in Iraq.
Their attacks seem to be aimed mainly at President Bush,
whom they don’t seem to understand is not running again.
Well, it does give them something to do and a way to spend
all that money.

The Founding Fathers said it so well: "If ever time
should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess
the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in
need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
– Samuel Adams, 1780

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