NEWS COVERAGE OF AMERICA'S PROBLEMS
FOCUSES ON THE POLITICAL ASPECTS, BUT
IGNORES THE SPIRITUAL ASPECTS
For the past three weeks -- President Obama's total
period to date in the White House -- willingly or not,
we have had our attention focused on the so-called
"Stimulus" bill which represents the president's theory
for addressing the economic problems afflicting our
nation, and just about every country in the world.
In an attempt to justify this expenditure of almost a
trillion dollars (the largest expenditure in our nation's
history) in one of his frenzied attempts to counter
the rapid decrease in the public's trust of the plan he
admitted it had been criticized as being a "spending
bill" and refuted that reasoning with the scintillating
comment: "What do you think a stimulus is?"
This is not an unprecedented concern. Note this
comment by Carter Glass, Secretary of the Treasury
under Woodrow Wilson: "Is there any reason why
the American people should be taxed to guarantee
the debts of banks, any more than they should be
taxed to guarantee the debts of other institutions,
including merchants, the industries, and the mills
of the country?"
But now as the two versions of the Obama bill move
into conference sessions, it does so amid ever lessening
support from the American public -- the taxpayers
who must ultimately pay for this administration's
spending plan. For the first time more voters oppose
the plan than support it -- a Rasmussen poll just a
few days ago reported that 43% oppose it, 37%
support it and 20% are not sure. Two weeks ago
45% supported it, while in that same period those
opposing it have grown from 34% to the present
43%. And half of the nation's voters think that
whatever version Congress ultimately adopts may
end up doing more harm than good.
Joining in that thought is the Congressional Budget
office (CBO) which continues to insist officially that
"President Obama's economic recovery package
will actually hurt the economy more in the long run
than if he were to do nothing."
Last week Business Week magazine spoke of the
several judgment errors the Obama administration
has created recently, commenting,"These missteps
mark the beginning of his 'shakedown cruise,' the
maiden voyage where the seaworthiness of his
Administration is put to its initial test." Following
the nautical comparison, commentator Greg Lewis
said "Only a few weeks out of port, the Good Ship
Obama, which set sail under the flag of bipartisan
cooperation, seems to be foundering."
But setting aside the financial and political aspects
of the bill, there are certain very important elements
of it which have serious implications for all Christian
believers in America.
Some observers have pointed out that the massive
Obama economic stimulus bill contains dangerous
provisions which can pose real problems for Christian
churches, Christian schools and and associated ministries
across the nation. Simply stated -- and you won't find
this explanation everywhere -- the problem lies in the
fact that funds from grants under the stimulus bill may
not be used for facilities that advance “sectarian
instruction, religious worship, or a school or
department of divinity; or in which a substantial
portion of the functions of the facilities are
subsumed in a religious mission.”
Last week the Senate rejected an amendment offered
by Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) that
would have stripped that language from the bill.. Jay
Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice
had this reaction: "This isn't like a convenient
oversight. This is intentional. This legislation pokes
its finger in the eyes of people who hold religious
So much that the Obama administration is doing runs
counter to our often expressed reminders of this
nation's Christian founding principles as expressed by
our founding fathers. Speaking to this concept, Rev.
Jonathan Falwell commented last week: "Sometimes
you just have to scratch your head and wonder if
our lawmakers have even a basic understanding
of our nation’s rich history of religious freedom."
What can we do? Should we give up? First, let it
be clear that the Christian church, the Evangelical
cause, in America is not dead. It is not even seriously ill.
True, it has been suffering from a form of lethargy.
The former aggressive action in favor of moral values
and basic Christian principles like family and marriage
and respect for life were allowed to be set aside, and
lacking Christian moral leadership in the last election,
the American people voted for "change." And they
were right -- "change" is what is needed, but it must
be a change to the historic Christian principles upon
which this nation was founded. The change we need
is not as this week's Newsweek magazine cover says:
"We are all Socialists now."
Somehow it seems that there has never been a more
appropriate time than this to call to mind the familiar
word from God: "If my people, which are called
by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked
ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will
forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
(II Chronicles 7:14)
We have urged prayer for President Obama, that
God would give him wisdom in how to deal rightly
with the problems our nation is facing. We continue
to encourage our Christian friends to do just that.
Instead of our usual quotes from the nation's
founding fathers, we offer these memorable quotes
from some recent presidents: from FDR - "The
only thing we have to fear is fear itself." From
Ronald Reagan - "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down
this wall." From Richard Nixon - "I am not a
crook." From JFK - "Ask not what your country
can do for you ..." From Bill Clinton: "I did not
have sexual relations with that woman." From
George W. Bush - "I'll be long gone before some
smart person ever figures out what happened
inside this Oval Office." From Barack Obama -
"I screwed up." Seems like there should be
something there for just about everyone.
Some Random Afterthoughts . . .
We have had our share of wild fires, but nothing
ever approaching the devastation and destruction of
the present conflagrations raging in the State of
Victoria in Australia. Friends and readers of this
newsletter in Australia have shared with us some of
the news of the ongoing tragedies there -- the loss
of life, the destruction of homes, property and
possessions . . . and still no end in sight. Christians
in America are urged to support our fellow believers
in Australia with our prayers during these difficult
days. "Pray one for another... the effectual
fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
(James 5: 16)
Don't you just love "one liners?" - Group # 2:
Concerning President Obama's recent ethics scandals
and setbacks domestically and overseas: "If this
keeps up, he might demand an election recount!"
-- Gary Bauer, Feb. 4, '09
"The one thing Barack Obama's nominees to the
Department of Justice seem to have in common
is a disrespect for human life," -- Wendy Wright,
president of Concerned Women for America.
"Just to show you the tremendous waste, there is
so much money appropriated in this bill you could
give every unemployed person in the nation a
check for $75,000..." -- Scott Wheeler, Feb. 6, '09
The UN joins our administration in supporting
the abandonment of the traditional concept of families.
Arie Hoekman, representing the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA) said at a conference last
month that the breakdown of traditional families,
high divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births, far
from being a crisis really represent "a triumph for
human rights against patriarchy." At least this
demonstrates that for better or worse, the US and
the UN are thinking alike.
Remember those atheistic bus ads in Britain?
Now some churches and Christian organizations
have placed their own ads on buses reading: "There
is a God. BELIEVE. Don't worry and enjoy your
life." The Trinitarian Bible Society is using this
line from Psalm 53:1, "The fool hath said in his
heart, 'There is no God." A leader of the group
"Christian Voice" said of this positive response:
"The forces of darkness are in retreat."
Instead of a quote from our founding fathers,
we offer this one from Kevin McCullough writing
on Townhall.com: "President Obama has turned
the will of the American people against him. In
one rookie mistake after another, his decisions
have shaken even the majority of his supporters.
His insisting to not listen to his employers -- We
The People --is now adding arrogance to his
unsteady hand. His policies involving political
payback instead of finding genuine solutions
are now demonstrating to all of us that the
vagueness of his campaign speechmaking was
merely the work of a hollow wordsmith after all."
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