SOMEONE ELSE AGREES WITH US! That should not
be a great surprise, but it is always nice when you see such
agreement in print. Chuck Colson, formerly Special Counsel
for President Nixon, and founder of "Prison Fellowship"
has a daily radio broadcast and column titled "Breakpoint."
Last week these statements were included: "Allow me to
make a very direct statement. I believe it is time for the
Church in this country to stand up for religious freedom."
And after discussing the erosion of what he termed "the first
freedom, religious liberty," he concluded with these words:
"The Church needs to understand the urgency of the hour
and do its duty." That is exactly the urgent message that we
have been trying to convey, week after week. We thank
Chuck Colson for expressing our convictions so clearly.
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IN OUR NATION, AS IN THESE TIMES, THERE IS
TROUBLE, MUCH TROUBLE -- BUT AS OF LAST
FRIDAY, THERE IS A NEW NOTE OF HOPE
But first, this very timely reminder before we begin this
week's commentary on current events. Tomorrow is the
official U.S. national holiday of Thanksgiving. But before
you begin to focus on the roast turkey (or baked ham, or
whatever) with all the accessory side dishes, skip the
historical remembrances of that first Harvest Feast in 1621
in Plymouth . . . or George Washington's proclamation of
a day of thanksgiving and prayer in 1789 . . . or Lincoln's
proclamation in 1863 making it an official U.S. holiday, or
Congress' action in 1941 setting the 4th Thursday in
November as the official date . . . forget all those bits of
trivia, and take time, really take time, to thank God for all
the goodness and blessing He constantly provides for us.
Give thought also to Ephesians 5:20, where Paul urges us,
"Giving thanks always for all things unto God the Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." We are to give
thanks "always," not just on the "official" day in November.
It isn't difficult, in these times, to recall the witches in
Shakespeare's Macbeth, huddled around a caldron chanting,
"Double, double, toil and trouble." That ominous chant
seems to apply to us today -- in "toil" (work) we are
doubly cursed with 10.2% unemployment and some 16
million unemployed. And as Christians we have serious
trouble in the federal legislation Obama promised to his
favored minority groups, homosexuals and abortionists.
All his promises involve very similarly labeled legislations.
First there is DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, an act of
Congress signed into law by Bill Clinton. Obama promised
that he will repeal it, thus furthering the destruction of God's
plan for His people, whom he created as male and female,
instructing them to be fruitful and multiply. Then there is
FOCA, the Freedom of Choice Act, which will facilitate
and encourage further use of abortions, which have already
killed some 50 million babies since the infamous Roe v.
Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973. But now there is
another: ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Suggested as a more accurate name is DACA, the
Discrimination Against Christians Act.
ENDA is relatively new on the Obama agenda, but briefly,
it will redefine our Christian faith as an element of illegal
workplace bigotry . . . make the government a full partner in
the homosexual rights movement . . . and force churches,
small businesses run by Christians, and faith-based charities
to hire nonbelievers or face federal investigation. As a law it
would punish anyone in the workplace who dares oppose
homosexual practices, cross-dressing and other similar
behavior. Very similar to the rush we are experiencing to
move Obamacare (AKA: Pelosicare or Reidcare) forward,
pro-homosexual members of Congress -- with the support
of the administration -- would prefer to pass ENDA quickly
so as not to have it become an issue in the 2010 elections.
And with respect to those elections: remember that our
much anticipated target date is now less than one year away
-- 342 days to be exact -- November 2, 2010.
And now there is a new note of hope for us as Christians
as we face those formidable challenges. Last Friday, in a
meeting in Washington, 148 strong and united Christian
leaders signed the "Manhattan Declaration," an epochal
statement of resolve by Christian church leaders as we face
these governmental attacks on our traditional moral values.
An indication of the nature of the Declaration is this excerpt
which summarizes its purpose: "Because we honor justice
and the common good, we will not comply with any edict
that purports to compel our institutions to participate in
abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide
and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we
bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral
sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the
equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we
know it, about morality and immorality and marriage
and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render
to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances
will we render to Caesar what is God’s."
Use the following link to display the Declaration, and to add
your name as a signatory. In the first 24 hours over 10,000
individuals signed the Declaration on-line, and as of today
the number of signatures has already passed 50,000.
So much to say; so little time or space to say it all. This
Internet headline caught our attention: "What's Obama
Bringing Home From Asia?" Well, aside from a few
touristy sightseeing events, like a half hour photo-op stroll
along the Great wall, and a 30 minute dash through the
Forbidden City (both closed to all others on those days),
the answer is: not much. Helene Cooper, reporting for the
New York Times, summarized it very well: "In six hours of
meetings, at two dinners and during a stilted 30-minute
news conference in which President Hu did not allow
questions, President Barack Obama was confronted, on
his first visit, with a fast-rising China more willing to say
no to the United States... With China's micromanagement
of Obama's appearances in the country, the trip did more
to showcase China's ability to push back against outside
pressure than it did to advance the main issues on
There was no speech to the people of Asia, like the Cairo
address in June. Obama's one "public appearance" was a
self-labeled "Town Hall" meeting with university students in
Shanghai, but the audience inter-action was limited to 8 pre-
approved questions, two of which concerned his Nobel
Peace prize. And even this simulated give-and-take session
was not broadcast on the national TV system. (By contrast,
in 1998 President Clinton's press conference was nationally
televised across China.) So the vast Chinese populace did
not get to hear what Mr. Obama had to say.
And right on the heels of the Obama visit, a report to the
Congress warned that China is sharply stepping up its
espionage against the United States, as the new power in
Asia becomes more sophisticated in cyber warfare and
modern use of spying technology.
"Obama bows, but the world refuses to bow back" is a
heading under which Michael Barone recalls Obama's bow
to the Saudi king in April and to the Japanese emperor a few
days ago. And he recalls Obama's declaration in June, 2008
just after he had secured the Democrat nomination, "I am
absolutely certain that generations from now we will be
able to look back and tell our children that this was the
moment when we began to provide care for the sick and
good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise
of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal;
this was the moment when we ended a war and secured
our nation ..." (Still a little work to be done there!) Then
after citing Obama's several failures in attempts at personal
diplomacy to date, Barone summarizes: "All nations may
have the same interests in some platonic sense. But all
nations' leaders don't. George W. Bush didn't cause all
our foreign policy problems, and Obama's ascension and
appeasement don't seem to be solving them."
This, from Rich Lowry in the New York Post, seemed
too good to skip: "Oh, how the international community
loves Barack Obama -- loves to stiff him, play him along
and manipulate him. He's the world's celebrity ingenue,
the slender naif perpetually undone by the recalcitrance
of foreign leaders."
If you think that under the Obama administration all
that happens in Washington, D.C. is a failure -- you are
wrong. This past week our nation's capital bested all of the
50 states to post the highest rates in the nation for sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs): chlamydia, gonorrhea and
syphilis, according to a new report just released by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
And there was another record posted in Washington last
week: the U.S. National Debt topped the $12-trillion mark.
This most recent milestone in the ever growing National Debt
was reached in less than eight months after it first reached
$11 trillion. Another record was associated with this figure:
the federal deficit for the just-ended 2009 fiscal year hit an
all-time high of $1.42-trillion -- more than triple the record
for the previous year, which had been the all-time high. Is
there no end to the Obama administration's records?
Apparently not. In a report on 50 states and D.C. stating
how much each spent per pupil in public schools, D.C.
ranked third. But what did all this expenditure of taxpayer
dollars achieve? Another record for D.C. -- the District's
academic achievement ranks 51st, last in the U.S.
This is a great time to revisit the Father of our Nation:
"We should never despair, our Situation before has been
unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it
will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth
new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency
of the times." -- George Washington, 1777
Here are some "One Liners" from research this week:
“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but
sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw
whether they be clergymen or laymen, such alone will
shake the gates of hell and set up the Kingdom of God
upon earth." (John Wesley)
"Obama, it seems, just strolls from greatness to greatness.
Not one establishment media outlet will weigh the obvious
damage our president’s ludicrous Cairo speech did to the
Middle East and to our security." (Ralph Peters)
"Obama's proposal certainly won't qualify as 'reform,' as
the president and The Washington Post call it. A more
likely verdict: self inflicted wound." (Robert J. Samuelson)
"Interesting, it's always cries of Allah-this or Allah-that
which accompany acts of terrorism; never 'Jesus saves!"
or 'Mazel Tov!'" (Don Feder)
"I think it is important, though, to recognize if we keep
on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery,
that at some point, people could lose confidence in the
U.S. economy..." (Barack Hussein Obama)
As always, we cite a quote from our Founding Fathers
as a reminder of the kind of nation they tried to establish.
"This country and this people seem to have been made
for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of
Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient
for a band of brethren, united to each other by the
strongest of ties, should never be split into a number of
unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties."
--John Jay, 1787, the nation's First Chief Justice
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