AMID MANY MESSAGES received the past week
was this one, in these exact words: "Thank you for
your maturity in addressing the concerns of many
people. I am reminded that we are to pray for those
in power, whether we like or support them or not."
We appreciate all the messages we receive. Please
continue to send them to our familiar address:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
IN THIS ADVENT SEASON WE APPROACH
NOT ONLY CHRISTMAS, BUT ALSO
THE END OF ANOTHER YEAR
Because 2008 has been a momentous year in many
ways, before we look ahead to 2009 it seems fitting
to pause for a moment and reflect on just where we
are, and how we are.
At this point in mid-December, the very frequently
used comment between friends is "Where did the year
2008 go?" followed by, "I can't believe it is December
already." But in this hurried-up span of a year much
has happened; presidential candidate Obama did not
need to advocate seeking "change" -- we have had
more then enough "change" already.
We learn of 533,000 jobs lost in November; another
half million in October, with likely more than 3 million
unemployed by year end -- a rate of unemployment
not experienced in more than 30 years. The stock
market, which reflects the state of the nation's economy,
has lost 30% - 50% of its value in just a few weeks.
Many thousands of families have lost their homes
through foreclosure. To forgo perhaps even more
disastrous events. the Congress has decided to spend
the nation's money to prop up -- bail out -- failing
businesses from banks to automobile manufacturers.
Even President Bush, on the eve of escaping all these
problems, accepts the official evaluation that we have
been in a "recession" since last December, and the
other word "depression" is right on our doorstep.
We are engaged in two wars, draining financial and
military resources, including the loss through death or
injury of thousands of America's finest. We are a
nation morally divided -- in every state where the
people have voted on a pro-marriage amendment to
the state constitution, it has passed by substantial
majorities. Yet in California when "Proposition 8"
was approved by the voters, the small homosexual
minority has embarked upon a riotous rampage,
attacking and defacing churches, demanding that
the state Supreme Court revoke the vote of the
people. And the abortionist baby-killers are right
on the verge of substantial new legislation to
strengthen their position.
The Liberals have rejoiced that we elected a black
as president (hardly "black" -- his mother\ was white),
yet rather than disclose the place of his birth, he has
sealed all such records, as well as education and health
records, so we face the fast approaching inauguration
of a man as president of whom we know very little --
such as whether he even meets the constitutional
requirement for that office. But we will act on the
assumption that he does until proven otherwise.
Internationally the world is in turmoil on many fronts;
persecution of Christians rather than abating, is on the
increase with burning and destruction of churches and
killings and forced displacement of Christian leaders.
The attacks by terrorists have not ceased -- the world
was shocked at recent murders and destruction in India's
chief financial center, Mumbai, bringing nuclear nations
Pakistan and India to the brink of war
On this 10th of December, just two weeks before
Christmas, here are some of the moral value issues
which are in the news this week in America:
-- Still in revolt, and seeking to persuade the California
Supreme Court to overturn the vote of the people on
Proposition 8 which establishes traditional, God-
ordained marriage as the norm for California, the
homosexual movement has proposed a nation-wide
boycott -- "A Day without a Gay"-- to take place
today (or later if today doesn't work out) when all
over the country homosexuals would not report for
work. (Great move given the present unemployment
rate!)The incongruous thing is they they accuse the
rest of us of "intolerance" -- yet they are the ones who
refuse to accept vote after vote of the majority of the
people across the nation.
-- In the American Episcopal church, the Diocese
of Los Angeles has joined seven other dioceses in
asking the church to permit the ordination of lesbians
and homosexual men as bishops, and the diocese
has expressed support for homosexual "marriage"
by adopting a sacramental "blessing" for such unions.
-- In Olympia, Washington, atheists have placed a
sign next to a Nativity scene in the state capitol; the
sign reads: "There are no gods, no devils, no angels,
no heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and
superstition that hardens our hearts and enslaves
our minds." The display of the sign has had the
support of the governor on First Amendment grounds.
When the sign was stolen, then recovered, the atheists
affixed this memo: "Thou shalt not steal." Seems
logical. Their claim: The Christians have muscled in
on the ancient observance of the Winter Solstice.
-- The atheists already have such a sign in the capitol
of Wisconsin in Madison, and are now aiming at the
capitol of Illinois in Springfield. And how many
atheists are there in this country? In 2004 a poll
disclosed 80% of Americans claimed to be Christians,
with 11% holding other religious beliefs. That left 9%
for atheists and agnostics. In 2008 the Pew Forum on
Religion reported that 92% believe in God leaving 8%
for atheists and agnostics . . . but 20% of atheists admit
belief in some sort of universal power, as do 50% of
agnostics. At most, atheists represent perhaps 5% of
the American population. So how can so few of them
demonstrate such power?
-- Meantime, a new Hollywood stage show opened,
titled "Proposition 8: the Musical," lampooning the
concept of a ban on gay "marriage," and featuring a
cast of second-rate actors. Comedian Jack Black
plays the part of a rotund Jesus, interpreting the
Bible to prove that homosexuals and shrimp cocktails
are "abominations." Can anyone conceive of the
reactions of Muslims if such insults were leveled at
Mohammad and the Koran? But where are the
Christian objections? Hello . . .?
-- But, of course, California Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger (who supports voiding Proposition
8) pointed out that homosexual marriage in California
would offer a financial boost to the state's troubled
economy. Money always seems to win in the end.
And this is the state of the world and our nation
as we approach the observance of the birth of the
Son of God, the Savior of the world, who came to
this earth with the promise to overcome evil and
bring peace to all mankind. . . a promise which in
His time will be fulfilled. This is not a time for
Christians to despair; this is a time for Christians to
"live soberly, righteously and godly, in this
present world, looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God
and our Savior, Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:12-13)
And His promise stands infallible: "In the world
ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
The Founding Fathers also faced the issue of
the national debt: "With respect to future debt;
would it not be wise and just for that nation to
declare in the constitution they are forming
that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself
can validly contract more debt, than they may
pay within their own age, or within the term of
19 years." --Thomas Jefferson, 1789
And a year later:"There is not a more important
and fundamental principle in legislation, than
that our appropriations should ever go hand in
hand with our promises. To say that the United
States should be answerable for twenty-five
millions of dollars without knowing whether those
who are to succeed us will think with us on the
subject, would be rash and unjustifiable...In my
opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith
in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence."
-- James Madison, 1790
How easily present day politicians ignore the intent
of the men who founded this nation!
Some Random Afterthoughts . . .
It can happen here -- we continue to stress the fact
that the reverse of Sinclair Lewis' novel, "It can't
happen here" is a distinct possibility, and by simply
observing what is taking place in Great Britain we
find evidence that it can happen in the civilized
western world. The Catholic bishops of England
and Wales want facilities in their schools for Islamic
pre-prayer washing rituals. The Islamic cleansing
ritual, ‘Wudhu’, is practiced by Muslims before they
pray, and involves washing the face, hands, arms and
feet three times each, gargling the mouth three times
and washing of other parts of the body. Catholic
schools will have to install bidets, foot spas and
hoses to facilitate such extensive cleansing rituals,
according to Muslim clerics.
In another action in Great Britain, the Catholic
Church of England and Wales warned Roman
Catholic priests not to use language in their parishes
that might offend gays and lesbians Priests have
been told by their bishops not to assume that every
parishioner is heterosexual. This advice to be more
tolerant of homosexuality would seem to be in
conflict with the opposition to homosexual "marriage"
as expressed by Pope Benedict XVI.
"More dead than in Iraq" is the way one observer
described the drug related murders taking place in
Mexican cities along the US-American border. After
our Thanksgiving holiday, the decapitated bodies of
9 men were discovered in Tijuana, less than half
an hour's drive from San Diego, a portion of 34
murders over that weekend.. Those deaths brought
the total of Tijuana deaths this year to around 800,
and for other border cities, including Juarez and
Nuevo Laredo to nearly 4,500 for the year to date.
These civil unrest fatalities are not happening across
the world in Iraq or Afghanistan -- they are taking
place along our border in Texas, New Mexico,
Arizona and California.
Conservative Episcopalians make a move --In
the first definite action in the developing split within
the American Episcopal church, Conservative
bishops, clergy and lay delegates met in Wheaton,
IL last week, and voted to form a new Anglican
Province in America. The group has long been in
opposition to the liberal trends within the Episcopal
church in America, climaxed with their consecration
of an openly homosexual priest as bishop in New
Hampshire. Their next move will be to establish
recognition of the new province within the world-wide
Anglican Communion. The initial membership\of the
new province is estimated at 100,000, and growing.
From an early American president: "It is no
slight testimonial, both to the merit and worth
of Christianity, that in all ages since its
promulgation the great mass of those who have
risen to eminence by their profound wisdom and
integrity have recognized and reverenced Jesus
of Nazareth as the Son of the living God."
-- John Quincy Adams, 6th president of the USA
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