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Vol. 10, No. 20 May 14, 2008 © 2008

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First , and let’s get it out of the way – there was
yesterday’s Democrat primary election in West Virginia.

Almost minutes after the polls closed, the various news
media announced that they had projected Hillary Clinton
as the winner. That decision was not unexpected. Barack
Obama campaigned only lightly in West Virgina, early
conceding the state to Clinton. The overall delegate count
remains relatively the same after a net gain of 10 for
Clinton with Obama well ahead of her at every level.

Now five more primaries remain, winding up on June 3.

Speculation as to the outcome has so many possibilities.
Will Hillary concede and give up? Will Hillary take the
issue all the way to the convention? Will Obama make a
serious mistake and blow his currently apparent victory?

Only time will tell, and the battle continues with Kentucky
and Oregon the next conflict sites on May 20. Until then,
as the old saying goes: "Stay tuned."

Not because of its great importance, but the release last
week of the "Evangelical Manifesto" does merit some
consideration. One is reminded of the comment by Orson
Welles in the film "The Third Man," where he said that
Italy after 30 years of war, terror and bloodshed under the
Borgias produced Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo,

while Switzerland after 500 years of brotherly love, peace
and democracy, produced the cuckoo clock. Here after what
the "Manifesto" principal drafter, Os Guinness, claims was
3 years of work, the "Steering Committee" of 9 members
has produced a 20 page essay which is essentially a political
document (although that is a distinction they strongly claim
to condemn) strategically released in Washington, DC
during the final days of the year’s (to date) most active
national political campaign. It is unquestionably another
divisive factor in the already fractured American
Conservative Christian community, coming as it does when
there is an obvious jockeying for leadership positions in that
world. There is an over-abundance of words to define a
simple concept, but it is true that the term "Evangelical"has
been misused and abused. The sponsors are too young to
have known at first hand the complex situation from which
the "Evangelical" concept emerged in the early years of the
twentieth century. Guinness himself was only 10 years of
age in 1951 when he first left his birth country, China, to
live in Great Britain. There is no bibliography to indicate
that any historical research was done in drafting the paper.

There is no acknowledged awareness of Carl Henry’s
definitive text on this subject,"The Uneasy Conscience
of Modern Fundamentalism," published in 1947. It is of
interest that Guinness manages to include much of the
premise of his own book, "The Case for Civility," by
restating his case for a "civil public square" as opposed to
a "naked" public square on one side and a "sacred" public
square on the other. Criticisms of the "Manifesto" from
thoughtful Conservative Christians – real "Evangelicals" –
are beginning to increase. It is to be hoped that this exercise
in the use of the English language will quickly fade away
without doing any serious damage to the Christian cause.

However, given the anti-Christian bias of so much of the
nation’s media, this exclusive and excluding document will
conceivably be used to prove that there is a serious division
among American Christian believers. Any such division is,
as in this instance, between Conservatives and Liberals,
which should not be unexpected, for Jesus warned us in
Matthew 24, "... false prophets ... will deceive many ...
even the very elect ..."

The purpose statement of this newsletter: "A weekly
review and commentary on current issues and their
influence on American life and culture from the societal,
religious and political aspects." Subscription is free –
just forward your copy to some friends and urge them to
subscribe by sending their request to our email address:

Sometime we have cause to wonder: are we a nation of
laws? The media has made much of two recent events: (1)
the polygamous cult in Texas and the apparent sexual abuse
of minor children, resulting in the removal of hundreds of
children from the cult’s headquarters, and (b) the massive
"drug bust" uncovered by federal agencies on the campus of
San Diego State University in California. (1) With respect
to the separatist group from the main Mormon Church, state
officials acted to protect minor children and moved them
into temporary foster care facilities while the investigation
into the details of the case goes forward. The leader of the
cult, Warren Jeffs, regarded as a "prophet" among its
10,000 members, is currently serving a 10 year sentence
for rape in a Utah penitentiary. Meanwhile the ACLU has
weighed in on the side of the cultists. But if the law in
Texas labels a sexual act by an adult upon a minor child as
unlawful, one has to wonder why the state’s action is so
wrong. (2) In the California university case, the district
attorney has arrested more than 100 individuals for
engaging in the unlawful use of drugs, both for possession
and intent to distribute. Initially approximately 75 were
listed as students; later counts raised that number to 95,
while the University maintains the number of students
involved is only 33. A faculty member in political science,
and head of the faculty union, Carole Kennedy, was upset
that the president "unilaterally" allowed federal agents to
gather evidence about student drug use on the campus.

Again the question arises: if drug use and sale is unlawful,
why is what the federal agents did so wrong, and why
shouldn’t the students be subject to the discipline of the
law? The ACLU hasn’t showed up yet, but their action
to intervene would not be a surprise.

Our Founding Fathers were concerned about children:
"The foundation of national morality must be laid in
private families ... How is it possible the children can
have any just sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality
or Religion if, from their earliest infancy, they learn their
mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and
their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their mothers?"

– John Adams, from his diary, June 2, 1778

And Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

Glenn Beck, CNN’s concession to Conservatives, made
an interesting comment last week when he argued that
instead of the Democrats continuing to object to the profits
of the nation’s oil companies, they focus on our prestigious
universities like Harvard, who have billions (yes billions) in
endowment funds. Glenn calculated that they could send
20,000 students there, per year, for free, based on just the
interest income alone. Sounds like a great idea, but don’t
count on it happening anytime soon.

An interesting news report from China: According to
the Christian Post, just thirty years ago Christianity and
the Bible were banned in China. Today Christianity is the
second largest officially recognized religion in China, and
on May 19 the world’s largest Bible printing facility will
open in Nanking, with the result that some observers have
already labeled Nanking as "the Bible printing capital of
the world." Last year Amity printed 6 million Bibles, but
the new facility can print 12 million per year. In addition,
plans are underway to produce the Bible in downloadable
audio books so young people can hear it on MP3 players.

Another "Top Ten" list: there seems to be no end of "Top
Ten" lists for just about every category. has
just released a new such list of 10: "The World’s Most
Powerful Luxury Brands." We have become accustomed
to having just about every manufactured item being made
outside America: television sets, computers, cell phones,
clothing, furniture, even pharmaceuticals and foods to name
a few – but in this list every one of the top luxury brands
are of foreign origin. Here is the list, in order, 1 - 10: Louis
Vuitton; Hermes; Gucci; Cartier; Chanel – all from France;
Rolex (Swiss); Hennessy (France); Armani (Italy); Moet &
Chandon, and Fendi – both from France. There is probably
a message for us somewhere in there. Perhaps it is that we
shouldn’t spend our money on luxury items.

An old quote is again appearing on the Internet: It goes
somewhat like this: "It is a matter of record that when the
Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight
Eisenhower, found the victims of the Nazi death camps, he
ordered all possible photographs be taken. He did this
because he said in words to this effect, ‘Get it all on record
now – get the films – get the witnesses – because somewhere
down the road of history some b____ will get up and say
that this never happened.’" In our day we are seeing one
claim after another – Iran’s president’s is a good example –
to the effect that the holocaust never happened. Most recently
Hamas (Jimmy Carter’s choice of negotiators) has released
a new documentary with this sinister twist – that the Jews
themselves devised the Holocaust to exterminate the aged
and sickly among them so that they would not be a burden
on the future State of Israel. During this 60th year of Israel’s
history, let us never forget the instruction of Psalm 122:6,

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

The Founding Fathers’ view of family values: "Let
divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite
their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the
minds of men with the importance of educating their
little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the
fear and love of the Deity ... and leading them in the study
and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system."

– Samuel Adams, 1790

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