ONCE AGAIN, AS A NATION, WE HAVE FOCUSED ON A DATE
CALLED "INDEPENDENCE DAY" AND ON A DOCUMENT
CALLED THE "DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE"
That document, now 234 years old, has been described by historian David
Barton as "the most successful government document in the history of the
world." That statement is possibly debatable, but even a cursory review of
history would lend much support to Barton's evaluation. It was the foundation
for a new nation which was severing its ties of dependence on Great Britain,
and establishing itself as a free and independent nation based on principles
which no country then in existence had experienced. It introduced new ideas
of governing, defining governments as "deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed." It introduced the new concept of civil rights,
and this one sentence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men
are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of
Happiness," has been described as "one of the best known sentences in the
English language," and also as "the most potent and consequential words
in American history." The attribution of the source of those rights as being a
gift of the Creator established the Judeo-Christian principles as basic in the
founding of this new concept of a nation. In writing the Declaration of
Independence, Jefferson well expressed the fact that without God there would
be no unalienable rights, and reinforced it in his statement twenty years later
in 1796, "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?"
Among American historical documents, in length its 1,137 words places it among
the 4,440 words of the Constitution, the 479 words of the Bill of Rights, and the
272 words of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Yet the basic principles set forth
therein would later be expressed in the U.S. motto, "In God we trust," and in the
Pledge of Allegiance, "One nation under God" -- both of which are under attack
today by left-wing Liberals in their ongoing anti-Christian efforts.
In any discussion of liberty and freedom, and any government's role in providing
security for its people, the words of Baruch Spinoza, the 17th century Dutch
philosopher -- called "the prince of philosophers" -- are certainly relevant: "The
ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact
obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live
in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to
exist and work without injury to himself or others. No, the object of
government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or
puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in
security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing
hatred, anger or deceit, not watched with the eyes of jealousy and
injustice. In short, the true aim of government is liberty." (From his
"Theological-Political Treatise," 1670)
The theme of American liberty and independence will be emphasized in "What
Others Are Saying," but this reflection by Randy Thomasson, President of
SaveAmerica.com, is meaningful: "Do you want America to return to its
moral excellence and again be 'one nation under God?' Do you want to
extinguish all counterfeits, ignorance and useless frivolity regarding
America's past, present and future? If you want to experience a real
Independence Day, please take some time to rediscover the treasure chest
of truth about the Christian roots of the United States of America."
Jonathan Falwell, son of the late Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell, and Senior
Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, wrote this past week; "The pastors
were the movers and the shakers of the American Revolution. I believe
it's time for that to happen again... The Church must lead America back
to God...Much of our nation has forgotten the lessons of our history,
but the church must never forget."
All this gives rise to our frequently posed question: "What can we, as
American Christians, do at this critical time?" The spiritual response, as we
are directed by the Word of God, is to pray. Often cited is the admonition of
Paul in I Timothy 2:1-2, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications,
prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, 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."
Then the civil response is for us, as American citizens, to vote to change the
present course of our government. On Election Day, Nov. 2, 2010, all of
the Members of the House of Representatives, and about one-third of the
Members of the Senate will be facing election. The sad fact is that only about
50% of American Christians are registered to vote, and only about 50% of
those take the time to vote. If we are to change this nation for the better, and
reclaim it to the principles upon which it was founded, we must [a] register,
and [b] vote.
Those are our responsibilities as Christians and as Americans.
At this time of reflecting on freedom and liberty, Robert Ringer, a writer whom
we have often quoted, made these observations about our voting on this year's
Election Day: "If you've now reached the point where you realize that
'change we can believe in' was nothing more that a code phrase for
socialism, you hopefully understand that true freedom means freedom for
the 'poor,' freedom for the 'rich,' freedom for the 'weak' and freedom for
the 'strong.' Human freedom means freedom for everyone. Think about
this as the 2010 candidates begin stepping up their promises to fulfill
artificially created rights...The price of artificially created rights is
bondage -- the exchange of your natural rights for government-created
rights. Before voting, everyone should look in the mirror and ask himself,
'Is that what I really want for me and my children?" Let's hope that in a
majority of cases the answer is a resounding no."
"What Others Are Saying" offers comments not found elsewhere, in the
mainline media, press or TV.
Robert Ringer: "The chains of democracy are commonly referred to as
"entitlements," a hallucination dreamed up by scoundrels who will do
anything in exchange for power. The something-for-nothing urge in most
people makes them easy prey when it comes to the entitlement addiction."
John Boehner (House Minority Leader): "The American people wanted
one thing out of the stimulus bill -- jobs. The American people wanted one
thing out of health reform -- lower cost. Democrats have failed to deliver on
both counts. This isn't the picture of recovery. It's the epitome of failure."
Kathleen Parker (Columnist, Washington Post): "If Bill Clinton was our
first black president, as Toni Morrison once proclaimed, then Barack Obama
may be our first woman president. No, I'm not calling Obama a girlie president.
But he may be suffering a rhetorical-testosterone deficit when it comes to
dealing with crises with which he has been richly endowed."
Frank Turek (Christian author and columnist): "Elena Kagan called the
military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy 'a moral injustice of the first order.'
Where on her moral hierarchy is a real â•˛first orderâ•ˇ injustice, like murder? Not
high enough. For Elena Kagan, sexual standards that protect military readiness
are a moral injustice, but tearing apart a baby in the womb is a moral right."
Pamela Geller: "It's November or never! Snap out of it! The Democrats stand
in opposition to every basic American idea and principle. The left hates you.
Take back our country from the moochers, looters and destroyers. It's two
minutes to midnight."
Chuck Colson: "The real battle is about whether God is Lord, or whether
government is Lord. And make no mistake, if government can redefine or restrict
our freedom of religion, our first freedom will be gone. And, as our Founders
understood, when that freedom is gone, we will, in short order, lose the other
freedoms as well."
happiest man in America these days is Jimmy Carter. Until Barack Obama came
along, Carter was destined to go down in history as the worst American president
of all time. In that competition Carter now finds himself in a distant second place.
Itâ•˙s not even close."
And now some random Afterthoughts . . .
There continue to be great concerns over Obama's eligibility to be president, with
respect to Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution. There is reason to believe that some
of them -- even most of them -- may be valid, but whether any court action will ever be
based upon them is somewhat questionable. But that is a matter for some future resolution.
For now, here is President Obama's exact statement on this subject, taken from a video
of one of his frequent speeches: "Being an American is not a matter of blood or
birth." We leave to you to take it from there.
A new "ban" opportunity for Obama and his Czars, who moved so quickly to
impose a ban on deep water oil exploration after the BP Gulf oil spill -- perhaps after
the run-away horse incident in Bellevue, Iowa, on the 4th of July, they will issue a ban
on the use of horses in parades.
In thinking about Obama's insistence on a comprehensive immigration law,
it is interesting to note that a Fox News poll (by Opinion Dynamics Corp.) released
over the weekend, disclosed that 59% of American voters think the government
should secure the borders first, while only 30% think that new legislation should
take priority. But of course, the Obama administration ignores the American people.
This should make you feel more secure! President Obama and his Secretary
of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, appointed Arif Alikhan, a devout Muslim,
as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development of Homeland Security, and Secretary
Napolitano swore in Kareem Shora, a devout Muslim, as a member of the Homeland
Security Advisory Council. Alikhan's responsibilities include issues ranging from
counter terrorism and information sharing to emergency management and cyber
security. (It is interesting that no devout Christians were chosen for these vital national
security positions.) Let's think back: who carried out the attacks on 9/11? Who
murdered those Americans at Fort Hood? Who is it we are fighting in Iraq and in
Afghanistan? Oh, yes -- devout Muslims. And they are given these important posts
in America's Homeland Security? Strange . . . .
Something apparently got lost in the translation. In speaking of his long time
(20 plus years) spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright, Mr. Obama said, "Not once in
my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in
derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but
courtesy and respect." After being out of the public eye following his infamous
"It's not God bless America, it's God damn America," Rev. Wright is back at
expressing the attitudes which Mr. Obama never noticed in all those years, in these
recent statements, "White folk done took this country. You're in their home,
and they're gonna let you know it." He claims that whites and Jews are in
control of information, world-wide, and that they are oppressing blacks in Israel
and America. To a black audience he said, "You are not now, nor have you ever
been, nor will you ever be a brother to white folk. And if you do not realize
that, you are in serious trouble." If there is any courtesy and respect there, it is
a bit difficult to find. As for his influence on our president, Don Feder wrote this
week: "Obama learned hate-whitey, anti-Western, black-liberationist dogma
at the knee of the Rev. Jeremiah, whose venom saturates this administration."
Let's get this straight: We're not endorsing Hillary for President in 2012.
But for the last couple of issues we have reported on some of the "goings-on" in
that respect -- how polls show that more Americans feel she is qualified to serve
as president than is Obama so qualified. It's amazing how some stories -- like this
one -- just don't go away. Here is a comment from Chris Stirewalt, Political Editor
of the Washington Examiner: "Obama, anointed as 'our first female president'
by Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker for his preference for talk
over action, has proven himself passive and vain. His secretary of state,
meanwhile, seems tough, decisive and a self-sacrificing team player. The
first 18 months of the Obama presidency have played perfectly to Hillary's
2008 pitch: Obama is not man enough for the job, but she is. It's not just
the 3 a.m. calls that Obama seems to struggle with. Whether it is an
emerging crisis, like the explosion of an oil platform, or a long-standing
problem, like the stalled American enterprise in Afghanistan, Obama
prefers to let all the calls go to voicemail."
In quoting from our Founding Fathers, there are so many statements to
choose from which attest to the importance they placed on freedom and liberty...
"Our unalterable resolution would be to be free. They have attempted to
subdue us by force, but God be praised, in vain. Their arts may be more
dangerous than their arms. Let us then renounce all treaty with them upon
any score but that of total separation and under God trust to our swords."
-- Samuel Adams, 1776
"No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any
people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality
and virtue, and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
-- Patrick Henry, 1789
"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom,
and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys ... Whenever
the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms
of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."
-- Jedediah Morse, 1799