"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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