First, an important statement: This newsletter
is not dedicated to commenting on every news
headline of the day, but rather on those happenings
which are of interest and concern to American
Christians . . . and essentially things which individual
Christian believers can do something about. Thus
this first comment today is a departure from our
customary practice.

We have expressed concern about the rise of
Islam as a world religion, second in size only to
Christianity. Islam's tenets are set forth in their holy
book, the Quran, written in the 7th century by a
self-proclaimed prophet named Mohammed. And
although Islam is claimed by its followers to be a
religion of peace, the Quran is replete with
commandments to eliminate infidels -- that is, non-
believers in Islam -- which is a threat to Christians.
We see the practice carried out almost daily in
news stories of suicide bombings, beheadings,
stonings, etc. The goal is clearly to take over the
world for the Islamic faith.

And Islam is growing -- not only in Arab nations,
but across Europe, and even in Great Britain where
Sharia Law -- the law of Islam -- is now recognized
as part of the historic British system of courts of law.

So there is in the growth of Islam the clear threat of
a war between two religions, between Christianity
and Islam. This is known, talked and written about,
by major commentators on the world scene.

But now another "religion" is on the move again
and the threat of war is very real, in the resurgence
of Communist aggression under the former Russian
President and now Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin,
former head of the KGB. With America militarily
weakened by two wars in progress, he invaded
neighboring Georgia and used Russia's newly
strengthened military capabilities to interfere with
and with the intent do destroy the free nation status
of some former Soviet Union members.

Of the United States he said just a few days ago
that Washington's unilateral, militaristic approach
had made the world a more dangerous place than
at any time during the Cold War. "The United
States has overstepped its national borders in
every way. Nobody feels secure anymore,
because nobody can take safety behind the
stone wall of international law." He has just
announced that Russia has agreed to supply
armament to Iran and to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela,
and that Russia will participate in naval exercises
with Venezuela this year. Four Russian naval ships
are already enroute to the Caribbean. And Russia
has increased her military budget by 25% for the
year 2009. Then if you add to all that the close ties
between Chavez' Venezuela. and the Castro
Brothers' Cuba, just 90 miles off our coast, you
can foresee a serous threat to what has long been
considered to be America's Hemisphere.

Make no mistake about it: Communism is a
system of anti-religion which becomes a religion
of thought and life, and which is as vehemently
opposed to Christianity as is Islam. Lenin, the
great prophet of Communism, used these words
with which we are all familiar: "Religion is the
opium of the people. Religion is a kind of
spiritual intoxicant, in which the slaves of
capital drown their humanity and their desires
for some sort of decent human existence....
Whatever helps the world Communist revolution
is good; whatever hinders it is bad. Religion,
through its insistence upon individual
responsibility to the Creator of all things,
interferes with the advance of world
collectivism. It is, therefore, irredeemably evil."

And to summarize Communist religious thought in
one sentence: There is no God, and therefore every
moral and virtue that originates with God is denied.

That intransigence helps us to understand the
statement of President Bush after his first meeting with
Putin in 2001: "I looked the man in the eye. I found
him to be very straight forward and trustworthy....
I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Please be aware of these facts, that a war of
religion, either between Christianity and Islam or
between Christianity and Communism may not be
far off. With respect to Russia, if we are not already
in the grip of a cold war -- as in the early 1940s
and up to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991,
hastened by the classic speech by Ronald Reagan
at the Brandenberg Gate in the Berlin Wall: "Mr.
Gorbachev open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev tear
down this wall" -- such a cold war is a distinct
possibility -- and soon.

As for what we can do, as individual Christians --
in the case of domestic problem issues like abortion
with the murder of 50,000,000 babies since abortion
became legal under a Supreme Court decision, or
like approving same-sex marriage -- we can act
upon those two moral issues by voting against the
politicians who endorse them. In the case of serious
international affairs like we have just discussed, we
can pray. And never think in a belittling way: "All
I can do is pray." Who can measure the effect of
bringing the power of almighty God to act upon
the forces of evil?

And from a founding Father: "Can the liberties
of a nation be sure when we remove their only
firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people,
that these liberties are a gift from God?
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1781

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

Here is one more time when an advertisement
expresses as appropriate a viewpoint on life as any
print or TV commentator. Consider this one, for
example: "For most Americans, the Bible is a
source of divine inspiration, moral guidance,
and the foundation of Western civilization. But
for an influential group of academic, government
and media elites, it's the source of most of the
evil in the world today. Everywhere one turns --
from television, to mainstream news magazines,
to the current avalanche of best-selling atheist
tracts -- the Bible that millions revere as holy
is ridiculed and condemned. The critics say the
Bible is full of fables masquerading as history,
and that it has regularly incited people to
violence and immorality.

"But fear not: In The Politically Incorrect
Guide™ to the Bible, award-winning journalist
Robert J. Hutchinson turns the latest historical
scholarship against the mockers, skeptics and
deniers to show that not only is the Bible true
-- but it is also the source of Western ideas of
charity, justice, reason, science, and democracy."

We do not offer this book for sale, but have found
it to provide refreshing and helpful reading for
Christian believers.

Catholic leaders meeting in North Carolina
last week issued a joint statement regarding the
moral obligations of voters in the upcoming election.
The group includes the heads of Catholic groups
and influential Catholics in business, politics and
media. Their statement made it clear that Catholic
voters should make abortion a priority when
evaluating candidates in November and should
follow the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.

"Catholics who vote should always be guided
in their political participation by the moral and
social teachings of the Catholic Church." The
group goes on to say that there should be no
compromise when it comes to the pro-life issues
and voting for candidates who are out of step
with pro-life teachings. "In regard to the 'life
issues,' no prudential judgment can justify
certain acts, such as direct abortion,
euthanasia, and the killing of unborn life for
medical research." Need we remind you of the
position of Barack Obama on these very issues?

George Washington got it right on immigrants
and American citizenship: "The bosom of America
is open to receive not only the Opulent and
respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and
persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom
we shall welcome to a participation of all our
rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety
of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment."
-- George Washington, 1783

On the present financial crisis, Pat Buchanan
said it well: "What we are witnessing is the
collapse of Gordon Gecko ("Greed Is Good!")
capitalism. What we are witnessing is what
happens to a prodigal nation that ignores
history, and forgets and abandons the
philosophy and principles that made it great."
-- Pat Buchanan, HumanEvents.com, 09/19/08

A final quote from a Founding Father on the
defense of liberty: "Those who would give up
essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
— Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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