We have previously promised that this newsletter
or commentary will -- for most of the time leading
up to Election Day, November 4 -- stay off of the
subject of the campaign between the 4 principal
candidates for president and vice president. That
campaign has already become boring and degrading,
and has regressed into a seemingly never-ending
series of attacks and mud-slinging between the
opposing candidates, with an increasing lack of
attention to important issues -- particularly those
moral issues of interest and concern to Christians.

There is absolutely no question but that the
upcoming election on November 4 will involve
several moral value issues which are of serious
concern to all Christian believers. Any different
elements in the current campaign processes in no
way alter the importance of those moral issues
which will be affected by the result of the election.

It is our heritage, our responsibility in such elections
to vote for candidates and legislative proposals
which do not conflict with our Christian principles.
The Scriptures teach that as Christians we should
be good citizens. "I exhort therefore, that, first
of all, supplications, prayers and intercessions ....
be made for all men; for kings and for all that
are in authority that we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
(I Tim: 2:1-2) "Let every soul be subject unto
the higher powers. For there is no power but
of God: the powers that be are ordained of
God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power
resisteth the ordinance of God." (Romans 13:1-2)
Obedience to authority demands good citizenship
on our part. We express our obedience to God by
exercising our rights and responsibilities as good
citizens, and that includes voting.

Our nation's Founding Fathers and early leaders
of this new nation spoke often of the importance of
voting and of our choice of men to be in positions
of authority. Consider for a moment their intent for
this America they were developing: "Let each
citizen remember at the moment he is offering
his vote that he is not making a present or a
compliment to please an individual--or at least
that he ought not so to do; but that he is
executing one of the most solemn trusts in
human society for which he is accountable to
God and his country." (Samuel Adams, 1781)

"While voters are acquainted with the duties
which they owe to their God, to themselves,
and to men, they will remain free. But if
ignorance and depravity should prevail, they
will inevitably lead to slavery and ruin. (Samuel
Huntington, 1787)

And from Matthias Burnett, a pastor in Norwalk,
Conn., 1803: "Look well to the characters and
qualifications of those you elect and raise to
office and places of trust." And a bit later in
history, James Garfield in 1877: "Now more than
ever 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."

But to fulfill this responsibility assigned to us by
Scripture and by the men who founded this nation,
we have to register to vote! To introduce this
important subject, we quote from the September
19 "End of Day" column by Washington-based
Christian activist Gary Bauer, "Please, if you have
not registered to vote, you can do so now online
at: www.ouramericanvalues.org.... There is much
at stake in every election, and this election is
already one for the history books! You too can
be a part of history, but only if you are
registered to vote."

For many -- in fact, for most -- states the deadline
for registration for the November 4 election is less
than a week away -- Monday, October 6. Yes, it
is important to vote -- it is your Christian and your
American responsibility -- but you cannot vote if
you are not registered to vote.

What else need we say? Whether the excuse for
non-voting is apathy or laziness or just too busy a
schedule, voting has become a privilege that far too
many Americans take for granted. Before you make
the decision not to vote -- because it really is purely
your choice -- consider living in a country where
where you don't have the choice to elect a president,
or choose a job, or decide how many children you
can have. There are many countries in our world
today where the people do not have those freedoms.
Don't forgo the privilege which is yours as a citizen
of America citizen . . . and remember always your
dual responsibility as a Christian American.

We're not alone in stressing the importance of this
privilege -- Donald Wildman, chairman of the
American Family Association is using the Internet to
enlist thousands of Christian pastors to sign "The
Pastor's Pledge," which reads as follows:

I pledge to
1. Encourage my members to register to vote;
2. Encourage my members to study the issues;
3. Encourage my members to vote.

Those thousands of pastors and their members can
make a difference in America and in the world. But
only if together we take a strong stand for the moral
values issues which are at stake.

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

Something you might have wondered about:
Who are the wealthiest members of Congress, and
how rich are they? As published in Roll Call, from
their financial disclosure statements, here are the
top 10:
1. Sen. John Kerry, D, Mass. $230.98 million
(add in his wife's wealth for a combined worth
of $1 billion)
2. Rep. Jane Harman, D, Calif. $225.96 million
3. Rep. Darrell Issa, R, Calif. $160.62 million
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D. W.Va. $80.4 million
5. Rep. Robin Hayes, R, NC. $78.96 million
6. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R, Fla. $65.49 million
7. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D, NJ. $55.33 million
8. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D, Calif. $52.34 million
9. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D, MA. $$49.62 million
10. Sen. Gordon Smith, R, Ore. $28.65 million

Names in the news: John McCain is No. 13 with
$19.64 million (his wife's worth may exceed $100
million); Nancy Pelosi, D, Calif. is 17th at $18.71
million; Hillary Clinton, D, NY. is No. 29 at
$10.39 million. (Her husband's wealth was not
available since he is no longer in public service.)

Perhaps it is because wealthy people like them
just cannot understand how normal people across
America have to live, that they develop so much
sorry legislation. They live in a different world.

In addition to national concern about the
presidential election campaign, a very important
issue (to Christians) is on the ballot in California.
And it has national implications. It is Proposition 8
which simply adds 14 words to the California state
constitution as an amendment: "Only marriage
between a man and a woman is valid or
recognized in California." Obviously, Proposition
8 will outlaw homosexual marriage in California.

In the year 2000 the people voted for Proposition
22, which said the same thing -- it was a state law,
and it was supported by just over 61% of California
voters. Then in 2008. by a vote of 4-3, the state
Supreme Court nullified the vote of 61% of the
people, and declared same-sex marriages were
legal in the state, and those seeking such marriage
didn't have to be California residents.

But that same Supreme Court voted unanimously to
permit Proposition 8 to remain on the ballot in the
November election, but then the Democrat Attorney
General Jerry Brown ruled that Proposition 8 would
carry the title "Eliminates the right of same-sex
couples to marry." This clearly puts a negative
emphasis on Proposition 8, and may confuse voters.

Large sums of money are being invested to defeat
Proposition 8 -- but the Christians of California are
hard at work to see it passed. Please: contact your
friends in California and urge them to vote for
Proposition 8 on November 4. And don't forget
your friends in Arizona and Florida -- a very
similar marriage issue will be on the ballot in those
states also.

Remember our warning about Russia last week?
Now even as we write, a Ukrainian ship loaded with
Russian armament, missiles, etc, and enroute to a
Somalia warlord, has been seized by pirates, and
is surrounded by US naval ships. Meanwhile,
Russian warships are sailing toward the Caribbean
for joint military exercises with Venezuela, their first
deployment in the Western hemisphere since the
cold war. Russia is also strengthening its assistance
ties with Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua -- in the words
of a Russian defense analyst to the British Guardian
newspaper, "This is the first time since the collapse
of the Soviet Union that the Russian military is
actually preparing for an all-out nuclear war with
America." (Pavel Felgenhauer, Sept. 26, 2008)

One further word on today's voting theme:
"A share in the sovereignty of the state, which
is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at
elections is one of the most important rights
of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand
foremost in the estimation of the law... It is
that right, by which we exist as a free people."
-- Alexander Hamilton, 1784

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