and OH, YES, THE ELECTION, OR . . . ?

But first, this word from Whitney Hopler, editor of
the "Live It" channel, writing in Crosswalk Update on
April 28: "If you want to make a powerful and lasting
impact on the culture, you’ve got to do more than just
consume it, critique it, condemn it or copy it. .. Tap
into the Gospel’s power to transform culture ... With
God’s power at work to make the impossible gloriously
possible, every culture can be changed for the better."
Ms. Hopler has expressed in a few words the underlying
purpose of the American News Commentary: to share
with our readers some thoughts – hopefully perceptive
ones – on how to tap into the power that is ours as God’s
people and use that power toward improving our culture.

Because of its potential effect on world peace and
on survival of the nation Israel, former president Jimmy
Carter’s ill-advised trip to the Middle-East gets primary
attention. In last week’s issue we said that the adjective
"naive" was among the kindest terms applied to Carter.
This week it went down hill from that level. The Israeli
Ambassador to the United States called him a bigot. Of
the many headlines on news stories about his trip that
appeared this week, here are just two: "Carter’s Visit
Emboldens Terrorists," and "Jimmy Carter Tells One
Story; the Facts Tell Another." Discussions on Capitol
Hill continue as to whether the Secretary of State should
revoke his passport. After his meetings with the Hamas
leadership, Mr. Carter announced that he had secured
promises that Hamas would accept Israel’s right to exist
within the 1967 borders. But Khaled Mashaal with whom
he had met, announced "We agree to a Palestinian state
on pre ‘67 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital with
genuine sovereignty without settlements but without
recognizing Israel." So much for Mr. Carter’s diplomacy;
better he should stay at home and implement God’s word,
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem." (Psalm 122:6, NIV)

Charles Dudley Warner, a 19th century editor and
journalist, took Shakespeare’s "Adversity makes strange
bedfellows," revised it slightly, and gave it new life as
"Politics makes strange bedfellows." It well describes
situations which we observe at every election, but there
is a new application this yea r. The proponents of Al
Gore’s "Global Warming" theory have treated the nation
to a series of TV commercials in support of the theory;
in one instance featuring as spokespersons Nancy Pelosi
and Newt Gingrich, and in another version, Al Sharpton
and Pat Robertson. Strange bedfellows, indeed. But no
more strange than the increasing evidence that Mr. Gore
has "sold us a bill of goods," as the old saying puts it. The
first Australian to become an astronaut with NASA, Phil
Chapman, pointed out recently that sunspot activity has
not resumed after hitting an 11 year low, raising fears that
instead of warming, the earth may be heading into a new
Ice Age. The cooling factor during the past year has been
0.7C, the fastest temperature change in the instrumental
record. Concludes Dr. Chapman, "My guess is that the
odds are now at least 50-50 that we will see significant
cooling rather than warming in coming decades." It is
a sad commentary on our nation’s religious life that an
issue like this has become such a major component of
the doctrinal agenda for some nominal "evangelicals."

The election drones on, but the side issues capture
the attention. Next Tuesday the Democrat primary
contest moves to Indiana and North Carolina and the
battle between the two remaining aspirants will resume.
Barack Obama seems to be maintaining a slight lead
over Hillary Clinton in total votes, pledged delegates,
etc. The administratively impotent Chairman of the
Democrat party, Howard Dean, is demanding that the
contenders make a decision by mid-June, with one of
them dropping out, but it appears that the struggle will
continue to the national convention in Denver in August.

The most exciting element to date has been the ranting
(and raving) of Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah
Wright, who this past week praised Louis Farrakhan,
affirmed that Zionism is racism, accused the USA of
terrorism, repeated his accusation that America had
invented HIV-AIDS to eliminate black men and ethnic
minorities, claimed the CIA had imprisoned Nelson
Mandela and stood by his proposition that "God damn
America." On his publicity tour he is accompanied by
a security detail provided in part by the Nation of
Islam. Mr. Wright’s assertions of being a poor, down-
trodden down-trodden black, are somewhat suspect
in view of the $1.6 million retirement home being built
for him, abutting the swank Odyssey Country Club in
Tinley, Illinois. How much his wild accusations will
affect the political fortune of Barack Obama is solely a
matter for speculation, but it remains a fact that Obama
was a member of that church for 20 years, was married
there, and his children were baptized by Mr. Wright. If
"religion" plays any part in the election of our next
president, this current entertainment by Mr. Wright
may have its serious aspects.

And speaking of religion in politics, Speaker of
the House, Nancy Pelosi, has been using what she
claims is a quote from Scripture over and over again.
On Earth Day last week she repeated it again: "The Bible
tells us in the Old Testament, ‘To minister to the needs
of God’s creation is an act of worship. To ignore those
needs is to dishonor the God who made us.’" Several
Bible scholars from every part of the theological
spectrum have been unable to locate such a verse, or
even one for which Ms. Pelosi’s quote might be sort of
a paraphrase. But the Speaker seems to have a unique
view of religion – in her case her choice is Catholicism.
Despite the order from Pope Benedict XVI that any
politician who supports abortion must be denied
communion, during the Pontiff’s recent visit to this
country, Ms. Pelosi and Senator John Kerry, for
example – both ardent advocates of free choice –
were right there to receive communion in the Pope's
presence. It seems to be a matter of tailoring church
doctrine to fit the political situation.

If you would like to receive this newsletter by email,
every Wednesday morning, simply send your request,
along with your email address to our email address:
american_news_2008@yahoo.com Oh, to be perfectly
fair, if you ever want to stop receiving the newsletter,
just send that request to the same address.

Instead of our usual "Founding Fathers" quote,
let’s go back a bit further in history. We’re not much on
reading or quoting Aristotle, but Nancy Salvato, whose
judgement we trust, offers this for our consideration:
"According to Aristotle there are three good systems
of government: monarchy, ‘government by one,’
aristocracy, ‘government by the best ones," and polity,
‘the other two together with the participation of all
the other citizens.’" When the above mentioned systems
of government fail, it is "because they are degenerating;
monarchy into tyranny; aristocracy into oligarchy,
and polity into democracy. ‘Democracy’ is the term
Aristotle uses for what we today would call mob-rule."

And now, some random thoughts ...

Remember Cindy Sheehan? The anti Iraq war
activist who set up camp outside President Bush’s Texas
ranch vowing never to leave there till the war was ended,
and who joined with President Hugo Chavez in
Venezuela in criticizing America? Well, she’s back, and
in the news again. Now she is in the process of filing as
a candidate to oppose Nancy Pelosi in the upcoming
election for her Congressional seat from California. To
obtain the 10,000 signatures to get her name on the
ballot, her supporters are setting up ironing boards
and card tables throughout San Francisco. The often
used term, "worst possible choice," comes to mind.

Want more holidays? Here’s an idea: the Institute
Humanist Studies in New York has proposed a whole
new list of appropriate holidays – such as "Thomas
Paine Day," and "Darwin Day." One can even conceive
of "Madelyn Murray O’Hair Day" for the devoted atheist.
The Institute’s Executive Director, Matt Cherry, has
expressed the hope that Hallmark will produce some
appropriate cards to mark the new holidays.

A little levity goes a long way: with the new IRS
rebate incentive checks in the mail and actually in
some peoples’ hands, these thoughts on how to spend
them have been circulating: (1) If you spend the money
at Walmart it will go to China; (2) If you spend it for
gasoline it will go to the Arabs; (3) If you purchase a
new car it will go to Japan; (4) If you buy fruit and
vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and
Guatemala . . . etc. The suggestion follows that the
best place to spend it so as to help the American
economy is at yard sales . . . those are some purely
American businesses.

Ever wonder about your news reports? Of
course you have. All too few are "fair and balanced."
Or even honest. Maybe this is why – the Pew Research
Center for the People and the Press released a survey
reporting that only 6% of professional journalists
describe themselves as "conservative" as compared with
36% of the nation’s population. Another aspect of the
report disclosed that only 8% of journalists attend a
church or synagogue weekly. Further, two thirds of
the journalists admitted that their political leanings
impact their reporting. Face it: getting a fair and
balanced – or honest -- report on the day’s happenings
is increasingly difficult, approaching impossible.

And back to the Founding Fathers: From the
Continental Congress, 1787: "I therefore beg leave to
move – that henceforth prayers imploring the
assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our
deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning
before we proceed to business, and that one or more
of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in
that service." – Ben Franklin (Fortunately he didn’t
have the ACLU to contend with.)



American News Commentary


In Pennsylvania yesterday Senators Clinton and
Obama resumed their ongoing fight for the Democrat
nomination. "Fight" has become the appropriate word;
it has ceased being a friendly competition. And the
"unfriendly" spirit which developed in the last days of
the Pennsylvania primary doubtless had an effect in
the final results there. As expected, Hillary Clinton
won. The key measure of success, however, was clearly
based on the margin of victory. The defining figure was
a 10% margin, and as the final figures came into play
it was evident that Senator Clinton had won 55% of the
popular vote, with Senator Obama winning 45%. The
size of the margin gives encouragement for Clinton to
continue, and not drop out of the race – which now
moves to Indiana North Carolina and West Virginia.
So for us who watch by TV, we will have a couple of
months with more of the same, leading up to the
national conventions in August and September.

The top religious news story is, beyond all doubt,
the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to this country.
The Pope visited two cities, Washington, DC and New
York City. Aside from the religious aspects of the visit,
this was basically a massive advertising and public
relations campaign. As such it was conceivably one of
the most expensive in history. No total cost figures are
yet available. The visit of Pope John Paul II in 1995 is
reported to have cost around $1.2 million per day.

Given the increased costs of security in post-9/11 days,
those figures will certainly be surpassed by this most
recent visit. What portion will be borne by American
Catholic dioceses, already hurt financially by the sexual
abuse exploits of some priests (some dioceses have
already declared bankruptcy), and what portion will
be borne directly by the Vatican may never be known.

The Pope came to America in the wake of his church
being dropped to becoming the second largest
religious group in the world, as Islam moved into the
top spot. It appears that he had three goals to achieve:
(1) Try to bring some closure to the priestly sex abuse
scandals which have hurt the church; (2) Challenge
American culture to adopt a stronger stand on moral
issues; (3) Promote a spirit of unity within the Roman
church which seems divided on many spiritual issues.
How well he succeeded is not an evaluation which can
be made immediately. Only time will tell, but to the
thousands in New York and Washington who saw him
in person, and the millions who saw him via TV, this
new Pope has presented a different personality than
the shy professorial image he formerly projected.

We haven’t heard the last of Mike Huckabee, who
made such a huge initial splash in the presidential
primary race. He now blames conservative Christians
for his defeat, saying, "There were leaders of the
conservative movement that, had they stood with me
early, I think the outcome would have been different."
He added, "Some people really worshiped at the altar
of electability rather than to be faithful and loyal to
the principles they were supposed to be committed to."
He also said he would be campaigning for John McCain,
but hinted that he might take another look at the 2012
presidential contest.

We are all familiar with the initials "WWJD" –
"What Would Jesus Do?" Now there is a new set of
initials: "HWJV" – "How Would Jesus Vote?" That is
the theme of a tour which plans to bring together
Christian leaders from across the broad political
spectrum in a series of forums to discuss what biblical
values should have an influence on Christian believers
as they prepare to vote in the upcoming elections. The
tour will begin in June in Richmond, VA, and then in
succeeding months move on to Atlanta, Dallas, Los
Angeles, and conclude in Washington, DC in October,
just prior to Election Day, 2008. The idea for the tour
originated with Bruce Clark, a pastor in Silver Spring,
MD, who said of the plan, "The goal of the forum is not
to tell the audience who to vote for but it is to raise the
issue that there are biblical values that we can bring
to bear when we go into the voting booth."

On the integration of government entities: One
of our Founding Fathers expressed this unique idea of
how the various divisions of our government should
handle constitutional matters: "My construction of the
constitution is very different from that you quote. It is
that each department is truly independent of the others,
and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the
meaning of the constitution in the cases submitted to
its action; and especially, where it is to act ultimately
and without appeal." – Thomas Jefferson, May, 1819

And now a few random comments . . .

Jimmy Carter is called "naive," and that is just
about the kindest evaluation heard concerning his
trip to the Middle East to meet with the Hamas terrorist
leaders. Normally we would like him – a man with a
friendly smile and a soft Georgia accent, trying so hard
to accomplish something which would atone for his
failed presidency. But for a former US president – and
that’s what he is – to meet with terrorist leaders and by
so doing accord them some prestige and recognition in
their established goal of destroying the nation Israel, it
is awfully hard to show charity to such a person. His plea
that the civilized world accept the promise he brought
back from the terrorists that Hamas would agree to
consider a peace proposal if the Palestine people voted
in favor of it, was dashed on the rocks of reality just
a day after he left in a poll of Palestinians over the
weekend which disclosed that over half the people of
Palestine favor the suicide bombings and the attacks
against Israel. It probably can’t be done, but some
members of Congress have proposed that his passport
be taken away.

If you are not a regular reader, and would like to
receive this newsletter every week, send a request to:
Or if you would like to cancel your subscription, send
that request to the same address.

A few stories this past week served to remind us
that the rights of Christians in America are still under
attack by the liberals. The one gaining the most notice
was probably about the high school football coach in
New Jersey who was forbidden either to kneel or even
bow his head while his players had a student led prayer
before a game, even though he was standing beside them.
In Ohio a teacher who has had his personal Bible simply
lying on his desk for some 16 years, has now been told
to put it in a drawer and out of sight. And in Wisconsin
a teacher refused to give a student any grade at all on an
art project because John 3:16 was included. However,
that school approves Hindu, Buddhist and sorcerers as
forms of art. Unless sooner or later we take a stand in
defense of our rights, more and more of those rights
are going to be taken away.

Remember Greenwich Mean Time, determined at
a site in England, and establishing time for the whole
world? Well, now the Muslims have proposed that the
world’s time be established from a base at Mecca, which
they consider to be the Center of the Earth, and thus
world’s standard time would be called Mecca Time.
Don’t laugh – the way things are going, it could happen.

Another document for "Evangelicals" to sign.
Now being circulated, and scheduled to be released to
the public on or about May 7, is "An Evangelical
Manifesto - the Wash ington Declaaration of Identity
and Public Comitment." Among the principal movers of
the new document are Rick Warren and Leith Anderson,
both nominal "Evangelicals" who signed the Yale Divinity
School letter of concession to the Islamic Scholars. Why
this new document? Warren Smith, writing on Apr. 17 in
"AFAonline" commented, "There is an unseemly power
struggle going on in the evangelical world these days.
It is a struggle for leadership and dominance, for the
right to be the unofficial spokesperson for evangelicals."
None of which is unexpected – as the leading evangelist,
Billy Graham is no longer active, and the deaths of Jerry
Falwell and Jim Kennedy left great vacancies in the field
of Evangelical leadership. We will hear more of this.

And as usual, although some parts of this issue are
different, we close with a quote from one of our nation’s
Founding Fathers: "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."
– John Jay, October, 1816





One commentator spoke of the staff of the Clinton
presidential campaign as being busy, "rearranging
the deck chairs on the Titanic," as a description of
their efforts to cope with a series of near disasters.
That phrase would seem to be equally applicable to
the challenge facing the staff of Jacques Rogge,
president of the International Olympic Committee.

The traditional trek of the Olympic flame from its
home base in Greece to the site of the next scheduled
site of the games –in this instance, China – has
always been intended as a build-up of international
interest in the games, but more frankly it has now
become an advertising campaign to reawaken flagging
interest in the every-four-years event.

Whatever the purpose, this time around the flame
has experienced a very rough and tumble reception
to date, and the emblem is still a long distance from
Beijing. Violent riots erupted in the major capitol
cities of London and Paris, and were averted in San
Francisco only by giving up the processional run
through the city, and rushing the torch to a plane
and flying it to its next stop in South America. The
cost of providing protection for the torch and its
carriers is running into millions of dollars for the
various countries along the route.

The reason for the protests? China’s sorry record on
human rights and the feeling that this historic
international recognition of goodwill among nations
has been sullied by allowing China to host the games.
Emerging from the strong international ill will is the
growing demand that president Bush not attend the
opening ceremonies. The chief executives of France and
Great Britain will not be present, and there is a growing
conviction that the USA should not give tacit approval to
China’s record by attending those ceremonies. The US
Commission on International Religious Freedom, which
is mandated by Congress to advise the President, State
Department and Congress on ways to address religious
freedom concerns, has urged the President not to attend
the opening ceremonies. To the extent that Americans
still hold to the basic principles of the Declaration of
Independence, it would seem that president Bush should
not represent us at those ceremonies. At the moment he
appears determined to do so, but there is still time for
reason to prevail. It does, occasionally.

There is even some strong feeling that a boycott of the
Olympics should take place, but that seems extremely
unlikely. Charles Moore, in the London Telegraph on
April 12, wrote: "It is too late, of course, to prevent
Beijing playing host to the Games. All one can hope
is that world leaders stay away from all its repulsive
ceremonies and leave the sportsmen to get on with it’"
It may not yet be too late to get back to the historic
purpose of the Olympics, which was ultimately for the
good of mankind.

Clinton and Obama getting religion? To date
neither candidate has demonstrated any particularly
strong religious bent, and even less any Christian
inclination. But Sunday night they were featured
participants in a "Forum on Pressing Moral Issues,"
carried on CNN (naturally). The Forum was sponsored
by the organization "Faith in Public Life," whose
Director of Communications, Katie Barge (formerly
on John Edwards’ campaign staff), expressed their
views as follows: "If you look at the ministries and
the missions that are really attracting attention ...
it’s climate change, it’s poverty, it’s global AIDS ...
I think that’s where the hearts of most Christians are."
No surprise there. The Republican candidate, John
McCain, declined to participate, which says something
for his views on moral issues. The President of "Faith
in Public Life" is Rev. Meg Riley of the Unitarian-
Universalist Association, and formerly Director of the
Washington, DC office of Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals.
Other leaders of the organization include Rebecca
Alpert, ordained as a Rabbi in Reconstructionist
Rabbinical College, and Dr. Nazir Khaja, an American
Muslim leader and peace activist. Interesting what
kind of moral issues that group would endorse, if any.

Jimmy Carter is back in the news, and equally
as disturbing as usual. Now he is scheduling a visit
to Khaled Meshall, the head of the terrorist Hamas
party in Palestine. And in asking for the meeting, he
has picked a splendid "neutral" site for the meeting
– Damascus, Syria. Carter has been strongly critical
of Israel, and, of course, Hamas is intent on the
destruction of Israel as a nation. The two groups will
find themselves among people of like mind in Syria.
The Carter Center issued this statement about their
participants: "Our delegation has considerable
experience in the region, and we go there with an
open mind and heart to listen and learn from all
parties." (For "all parties" read Syria and Hamas.)

Carter had intended to take with him Nelson Mandela
and Kofi Annan, but those members of a group called
"The Elders" decided not to go along. The Carter
delegation includes the ex-president’s wife, Rosalynn
Carter and ex-Congressman Stephen Solarz, who was
head of the Central Asian-American Enterprise Fund
under appointment by Bill Clinton after his re-election
bid to return to Congress failed in 1992. The US State
Department has advised against the visit, but to no
avail. Even Barack Obama has expressed disagreement
with Mr. Carter on this issue. One hopes this visit will
be as unproductive and useless as his previous efforts
have been, and that the terrorists will not be aided in
the accomplishment their goal to destroy Israel.

And that Dutch film critical of Islam – it turns
out that Indonesia, with the 4th largest population in
the world, and as the largest Muslim nation, did
persevere in blocking the film "Fitna" in that country,
and ""You Tube" has removed the film from its sites.
But with one of the lowest Internet penetrations
among all other nations in the world, more people
in Indonesia have tried to access the film via the
Internet than in any other country. It appears that
while the ruling Muslims may not like the film, the
people want to see it. Meanwhile, a Dutch court has
upheld Geert Wilders’’ right to express his opinion of
Islam’s violent tendencies. Here and there in our world
the right of free expression occasionally asserts itself.

The Annual Conference on Preaching – its 19th
session, took place last week in Washington, DC, with
the theme,"Where Do Pulpit and Culture Meet?" From
among all the usual participants, mostly active pastors,
a non-clergyman, Chuck Colson, seemed to attract the
most acclaim for his sermon "Preaching and the Public
Square." This quote says why: "Of course we care about
the world. Of course we care about everything happening
in society, including politics, but we better get our own
house in order ... I think that is at the heart of the problem
of the church – we replaced truth with therapy." Colson’s
message was a rebuke to the prevailing trend, even among
"Evangelicals," to focus on relief, global climate, disease
and poverty, and neglect the real message of the Gospel.

We have expressed concern about Congress, and
apparently our Founding Fathers had similar concerns:
"If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how
can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send
150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything,
yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers
should do business together ought not to be expected."
-- Thomas Jefferson (Autobiography) 1821

Afterthoughts . . .

We have called this "The Age of the Polls" --
and while we may feel that political polls are just
about totally meaningless, there are some survey
results which are interesting and informative. For
example, a Harris Interactive poll in March reported
on "America’s Top 10 Favorite Books." They are:

1. The Bible
2. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
3l Lord of the Rings (the series) – J.R. R. Tolkien
4. Harry Potter (the series) J.K. Rowling
5. The Stand – Stephen King
6. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
7. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
8. Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
9. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
10. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

And another Harris Poll, just released last week,
reported on Americans’ views of the Bible -- the 10
favorite verses, and the 10 favorite books. The verses are
(if they don’t immediately come to mind, look them up):

1. John 3:16
2. John 1:1
3. John 14:6
4. Matthew 28:19
5. Romans 3:23
6. Ephesians 2:8
7. Genesis 1:1
8. Acts 1:8
9. II Timothy 3:16
10. Romans 10:9

And the 10 favorite books of the Bible are:

1. Ephesians
2. James
3. Titus
4. I. John
5. II Peter
6. John
7. Philippians
8. Colossians
9. Romans
10. I Peter

A powerful closing thought: "Good or bad, America
is what we make of her ... America is one people united
on one set of foundational principles, or it is nothing at
all. May God bless those true patriots still willing to
risk life itself in the preservation of the greatest founding
principles ever known to man." – J.B. Williams, popular
Columnist and Commentator

A WORD OF APOLOGY: In last week’s issue, we erred in
referring to Pope Benedict XVI as Pope Gregory XVI. We do
extensive research and attempt always to be absolutely
accurate in our comments. We regret the error, and apologize
to all of our readers, particularly our Roman Catholic friends.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To Subscribe (no subscription charge), click on:




AN IMPORTANT WORD: Our long-time readers know
this, but it may be of help to new subscribers. We do not base
our commentaries on a partisan standpoint, Republican or
Democrat. Our standpoint is this: Conservative, Evangelical
Christian belief, and pro-America. We will not support liberal,
atheistic or other non-Christian beliefs, nor anti-American
attacks. We endorse and support the solid principles upon
which our Founding Fathers established this nation.


In 1936, Sinclair Lewis published a novel, also
made into a stage play, titled "It Can’t Happen Here."
It was a satirical story, but conveyed the warning that
some overseas political movements could also actually
take place here in America. Last week we reported on
the problems Dutch film producer Geert Wilders was
facing with his film, "Fitna," which exposes some of
the violent effects of Islam. Now Indonesia, the largest
Muslim nation, has issued a demand that the film be
removed from the American site, "You Tube" within
48 hours, or face government blockage of the site’s
transmissions. Of course Muslim reaction has been to
threaten riots and repercussions. Also, the UN has
spoken strongly against the film, with Ban Ki-Moon,
the UN Secretary General, saying "I condemn in the
strongest terms, the airing of Geert Wilders’
offensively anti-Islamic film. The right of free
expression is not at stake here." (Seems like a typical
pronouncement from the UN.)

Wilders is speaking out against the violence shown
by Muslims in support of their religion. The Qur’an
is frequently cited, "So, fight them till all opposition
ends and the only religion is Islam." (Qur’an 8:39)
He has seen the problem at first hand in his own
country. After decades of yielding to multiculturalism,
and offering an open door to Muslims, Islam has
become Holland’s largest active religion, with the
mosques drawing greater attendance than the nation’s
churches. As we have pointed out previously,
Europe is being methodically Islamicized. Despite the
promise of Sinclair Lewis’ play, we must accept this:
if it can happen in Europe, IT CAN HAPPEN HERE.

This also can happen here. Great Britain is
suffering from a rash of family breakdowns in every
level of society, from the Royal Family and downward
– this is the opinion of Justice Sir Paul Coleridge, a
veteran jurist with 37 years experience in family law.
His evaluation? "Without being in any way over-
dramatic or alarmist, my prediction would be that
the effects of family break-down on the life of this
nation, and ordinary people in this country, will,
within the next 20 years, be as marked and
destructive as the effects of Global Warming." He
concludes that almost all of society’s social ills can
be traced back to the collapse in family stability.

The Visit of Pope Benedict: Whether Catholic
or Protestant, one has to admit that the upcoming
visit of the Pope is important. Among the world’s
religions he holds a unique position. The largest
religion, Islam, has no one person as its titular head.

For Roman Catholicism, the second largest religious
group, he is the titular head and principal voice. Among
other major religions no other individual is recognized
and accepted as its head or its sole spokesperson.
His visit, from April 15-20, comes at a very significant
time in American history – from a partisan political
standpoint. One of the major issues facing candidates
in the presidential race is that of moral values, and at
the heart are family issues such as divorce, abortion
and same-sex marriage. Concerning such issues, the
Roman Catholic church through its head, the Pope,
has taken a strong position against them. So strong
a position that the rule has been established that no
Catholic can vote for any politician who supports
abortion or same-sex marriage. This does pose a
major political problem for the various Democrat
candidates who have been clearly supportive of
abortion and same-sex unions. One can hope that
other branches of Christendom – Protestants in
general, and Evangelicals in particular – will be as
united as the Catholics in support of family values.

A new note of concern about the two feuding
Democrat candidates for the presidential nomination
was heard this week. Barack Obama was still trying
to avoid being painted with the Black hatred brush
which had marked the ministry of the pastor of the
church he had attended for 20 years. Meantime
Hillary Clinton was trying to minimize the effects
of her being caught fabricating stories of being
under sniper fire when she and Chelsea were on a
visit to Bosnia. This week another story erupted
from the General Counsel and Chef of Staff for the
House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into the
Watergate affair which brought down Richard Nixon.
As a newly graduated law student, the future Senator
worked under Jerry Zeifman, who fired her from her
position on the committee staff and refused to give
her a letter of recommendation. Why? "Because she
was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer,"
said Mr. Zeifman. "She conspired to violate the
Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the
committee, and the rules of confidentiality." How
could a 27 year old girl just out of law school do all
that? She worked with Special Counsel John Doar,
and Associate Special Counsel (and future Clinton
White House Counsel) Bernard Nussbaum. Not the
best report for a presidential candidate.

Here’s where your dollars go. We have often
said that while the current presidential campaign is
important, equally important is the election of a
Congress of competent and honest members. A new
publication, "2008 Congressional Pig Book Summary,"
reports on the costly practice of "Earmarks" whereby
members of both houses of Congress tuck millions of
dollars into appropriation bills to aid special interests
in their districts. In fiscal year 2008 Congress stashed
11,610 projects amounting to $17.2 billion inside just
12 appropriation bills. This was a 337% increase over
the 2.638 projects in 2007, and the costs were 30%
higher than the $13.2 billion for that year. Each year
billions of dollars find their way into projects which
benefit a weird assortment of special interests. When
Congress passes them, they then go to the President who
signs them into law. Along with careful selection of our
next president, we need to perform a careful selection
of our next Congress.

Enduring words from a century ago: "Honesty
is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to
efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest,
we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters
not how brilliant his capacity." – Teddy Roosevelt,
1900, while still Governor of New York State

Afterthoughts . . .

The Congressional probe of televangelists.
Sometime ago Senator Charles Grassley [R,IA]
initiated an inquiry into the operations of six
of the nation’s televangelists, based on reports
that they were living a lavish life style, etc. Four
of the ministries, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn,
Eddie Long and Randy and Paula White have
agreed to cooperate, but two, Kenneth Copeland
and Creflo Dollar have retained legal counsel and
have refused to permit any investigation of their
financial practices. They are advocates of the
"Word of Faith" teaching, which normally includes
emphasis on the "prosperity gospel." Meantime,
author John Revell in his new book, "Getting the
Most from God" uses Scripture to debunk the
"prosperity gospel" theory. So we have the US
Senate, and a popular best selling author making
an attempt to expose some ongoing televangelist
ministries. It will doubtless be good for all of us
when the facts emerge.

More encouraging news for Evangelicals is
found in a new study recently released by the Barna
Group (Barna Group, Ventura, CA; www.barna.org)
which discloses that 33% of all married couples have
experienced at least one divorce, whereas for
Evangelicals, the figure was only 26%. A Heritage
Foundation study in 2008 disclosed that children who
went through a parental divorce before the age of 14
experience lower achievements in education, income
and job prestige, and that a similar loss in achievement
was evident for those who experienced a parental break-
up between the ages of 14 and 18. All those reports may
not appear to form earthshaking distinctions, but they
are encouraging to those of us who consider that family
stability is important among moral values.

A candidate’s honesty and integrity should be a
"given" in any campaign. But truth often gets stretched
to the breaking point in campaign speeches. Senator
Clinton’s wild story of being under sniper fire in Bosnia
proved to be completely false and she has now stopped
using that story. Now it appears that her story about the
Ohio lady dying due to being refused hospital care was
equally untrue, and the hospital has demanded she stop
telling that story, which apparently she has done. Those
are just two brief examples, but coupled with the report
from her first employer after law school, one does pause
to wonder: Are honesty and integrity important assets
ofany future occupant of the White House?

Two disturbing stories out of many which we
read every day in doing our research. They are proof of
the ongoing battle between the Left and the Right;
between Liberals and Conservatives. (1) FOX News
reports that the family of a student at Capistrano Valley
High School in California, is suing to fire a teacher for
anti-Christian remarks in class. The student recorded
his teacher’s remarks, which they claim violate the
First Amendment. (2) One News Now reports that in
Oklahoma City thousands have rallied to support a State
Representative who has cited the Bible’s denunciation of
homosexuality. The lawmaker has been receiving death
threats and has been assigned a security detail from state
troopers. The serious fact is that these conflicts are still
ongoing, and that no end is in sight.

Thoughts for American youth: "Let the American
youth never forget that they possess a noble
inheritance, bought by the toils and sufferings and
blood of their ancestors ... all the substantial blessings
of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property,
religion and independence." – Joseph Story, 1833

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To Subscribe, no subscription charge, click on:




For example, the continuing threat of Islam . . .

The Vatican’s 2008 world religious statistics yearbook
released this week, reported that Islam has replaced
Roman Catholicism as the world’s largest religious
denomination. Muslims now make up 19.2% of the
world’s population, with Catholics representing 17.4%.

Even more significant is the fact that those figures are
for 2006 – and given Islam’s continued rapid growth,
today’s figures would be much more dramatic. In total,
however, all of Christendom – Catholics, Orthodox,
Protestant, Anglican – is still the largest religious body,
representing some 33% of the world’s population.

These facts should not surprise us. As reported in the
Brussels Journal, German author Henry Broder recently
predicted that Europe as we now know it will no longer
exist in just 20 years."We are watching the world of
yesterday," he said, "Europe is turning Muslim." The
number of Muslims in Europe is something over 50
million, but is expected to double in less than 20 years.
By 2025 one third of all European children will be born
to Muslim parents.

Tom Bethell, writing in the American Spectator, said,
"If faith collapses, civilization goes with it. That is the
real cause of the closing of civilization in Europe.
Islamization is simply the consequence." Christianity
was once the solid faith of Europe. But as secularism
took hold, and the centuries old Christian ideals began
to be forgotten, Islam was ready to meet the peoples’
need. Bethell feels that many Europeans have already
become Muslims; they just do not realize it or they
are not yet ready to admit it.

Meantime in the Netherlands, film maker Geert
Wilders has released a 15 minute movie, "Fitma," a
startlingly clear presentation of Islam’s teachings of
violence against non-believers. The reaction to the
film was not unexpected. Islamic websites called
for Wilders to be killed, an immediate reminder of
the murder of Theo van Gough by a jihadist in
Amsterdam in 2004 after he released a film critical
of Muslim treatment of women. Even the UN joined
in the attack on Wilders, as the Secretary General
said incitement against a religious faith should not
be allowed to exist.

After his own website was closed down, Wilders
began to air the film on "Liveleak" on March 27. On
March 29 "Liveleak" was forced to cancel the film
due to threats from Muslims. In announcing their
decision, "Liveleak" said, "This is a sad day for the
freedom of speech on the net, but we have to place
the safety and well being of our staff above all else."

That happened in Europe – just last week. But we
in America are not culturally very distant from our
European ancestors. It is obvious that today the fear
of death has become more meaningful to Western
leaders than the value of free speech. It may be true
that radical Islam is a dangerous threat, but the real
danger to our way of life may be the loss of the rights
that we have always claimed and defended so strongly.

A word from one of our Founding Fathers:
"Human nature is the same on every side of the
Atlantic, and will be alike influenced by the same
causes. The time to guard against corruption and
tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold on us.
It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to
trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall
have entered." - Thomas Jefferson, 1782

Afterthoughts . . .

Where are Americans relocating? This may not
be a decision which you are immediately facing, but
you may be interested to learn where others have been
relocating. According to Census Bureau reports released
this week, the No. 1, fastest growing metro area in the
US is the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. No. 2 was Atlanta, with
Phoenix coming in third. In following order the top ten
fastest growing areas were: Houston, Riverside (CA),
Charlotte, Chicago, Austin, Las Vegas and San Antonio.
Obviously Texas is the most popular state for move-ins,
with 4 cities in the top 10. In fact, of all the people who
relocated in 2006-207, 16% chose to move to Texas. For
what it’s worth, in a list of the 100 largest churches in
America, 22 are in California and 16 are in Texas.

Al Gore doesn’t give up, even as evidence against his
"Global Warming" theory continues to pile up. He has
now launched a $300 million program to help wake the
world to the (supposed) danger of "Global Warming."
It is a three year campaign sponsored by the Alliance for
Climate Protection, featuring a wide range of participants
including Pat Robertson, Al Sharpton, and Nancy Pelosi.
Gore plans to donate some of his profits from his film
and some of his Nobel Prize money. He remains a staunch
Democrat, although (to date) he has not announced his
favorite in the Obama-Clinton race. He has, however,
come out strongly on the side of "same-sex" marriage,
joining other important fellow-Democrats. Instead of
spending so much time on promoting his theory of
"Global Warming," he should spend a little time in
reading what God’s Word says about homosexuality.

From another Founding Father: "We are laboring
hard to establish in this country principles more
natural and free from all foreign ingredients so that we
may be truly Americans." – Alexander Hamilton, 1796

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To Subscribe: (no subscription charge) click on:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]