THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: As we approach this year's
Election Day -- Nov. 2, now only 48 days away -- it becomes increasingly
evident that we (America's Christians, who represent 80% of the nation's
population) have a tremendous responsibility, amounting to perhaps the
greatest challenge we have ever faced: to eliminate the anti-American,
anti-Christian members of the Congress -- House and Senate -- and to
restore in America the Judeo-Christian principles upon which this nation
was founded. The option seems so clear. Our first opportunity to end the
Liberal control of our government we are currently experiencing, in the
Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, will be in November when
we will be able to change the Legislative stranglehold. The change in the
Executive branch will have to wait till 2012 -- more about that later. But
this is our responsibility, and it must be accepted. Vote on November 2!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
WE'RE LIVING IN AN EXCITING PERIOD!
THIS PAST WEEK HAS BEEN A MOMENTOUS
ONE BY ANY STANDARD
Two news events captured our attention this past week, each more
important than the customary assortment, such as Lindsay Lohan's release
from rehab ... Paris Hilton using someone else's purse ... Barack Obama
proposing an additional $50 billion "non-stimulus-stimulus" plan ... the
threatened Quran burning in Florida ... and even the half million dollar
taxpayer-paid luxury vacation in Spain for Mrs. Obama, or Chelsea's
wedding. Those two momentous events include (1) President Obama
finally getting his family's involvement in World War II straightened out,
and (2) Hillary Clinton's apparent (who really knows?) first step toward
a 2012 run at the presidency.
Let's deal with first things first: (1) On June 28, 2008, in the hey-day
of his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama said in Washington, DC, that
his father served in World War II. The few members of the media who
don't accept everything he says as being true, pointed out that his natural
father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was born in 1936 and would have
been only 9 years old when Japan surrendered in 1945. His step-father,
Lolo Soetoro, was born in 1935, and thus would have been 10 years old
when Japan surrendered. (He made those statements just 4 months after
Michelle Obama had declared in February that for the first time in her
adult life she was proud to be an American -- and they possibly
represented his attempt to prove that by contrast he is a loyal American.)
It is encouraging to note that in his Sept. 1 speech on Iraq he used the
phrase: "those who fought in World War II - including my grandfather."
According to military records, Stanley Armour Dunham, his grandfather
on his maternal side, did serve in World War II, and thus his previous
claim has been corrected, and in this instance he is now telling the truth.
(2) We can all remember that in the 2008 contest to select the Democrat
nominee as the party's presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton came close
-- very close -- to winning. In racing terms, it was "right down to the wire."
Due, no doubt, to her large, loyal following, she was rewarded with the
most prestigious position in the Obama administration -- Secretary of State.
There has been, as might be expected, speculation that she might oppose
Obama in the 2012 presidential election. And also in the range of such
speculation is the rumor that the president might be planning to make
Hillary Vice President, and Joe Biden Secretary of State. It would appear
to be a step down for her (although with future advantages), and would
appear to be a disastrous blow to our nation's international issues. But at
least two recent developments have occured, both well out of the range
of speculation. Last week, Secretary Clinton went before the Council of
Foreign Relations and warned, "Our rising debt poses a national-
security threat...It undermines our capacity to act in our own interests
... and it sends a message of weakness internationally." Some have
seen this as perhaps her opening shot across Obama's bow.
And in that same speech, Hillary said that "Mexico is looking more and
more like Colombia looked 20 years ago, where the narco-traffickers
controlled certain parts of the country." In an effort to calm the reaction
of Mexican President Calderon, Obama moved to dispute Ms. Clinton's
comments in an interview with La Opinion, a Los Angeles based
Spanish language newspaper. As one commentator expressed it,
"There are a handful of things President Obama will not tolerate
from his team, and one of them is honesty." In contradicting his
Secretary of State, Obama said in the interview, "Mexico is a vast and
progressive democracy with a growing economy ... you cannot
compare what is happening in Mexico with what happned in
Colombia 20 years ago." Put those two recent developments together,
and the speculation takes on new strength.
In the 1970s, a popular TV commercial featured the phrase, "It's not
nice to fool Mother Nature." After that gruelling nomination campaign
in 2008, you would think that Mr. Obama should have learned "it's not
wise to dispute Hillary Clinton."
And now to some controversial stories in the day's news -- at least
three of them. (1) The proposed mosque at Ground Zero; (2) The now
abandoned plan to burn copies of the Quran; (3) The ongoing discussion
about Presdent Obama's personal religious faith. It is interesting that all
three stories have a religious connotation.
(1) We have just experienced the 9th anniversary of the Muslim attack
on America, now, and probably forever, referred to as "9/11." It takes
its place with "December 7" or "Pearl Harbor" as what President
Roosevelt described as dates that would "live in infamy." Imam Rauf,
the major moving force behind the project, is already active as Imam of
another mosque in the elite TriBeCa area, just 10 blocks from the Ground
Zero site. With 100 of the nation's 1,200 mosques already operating in
New York City, the necessity for Rauf to have another so close to his
existing location doesn't seem to make much sense -- except, as the
opponents of the concept see it, as a shrine to commemorate 9/11.
Every poll shows that at least 70% of the American people do not want
to have a mosque built so close to Ground Zero. Mr. Obama, whose
support for the mosque has done much to keep it in the news, keeps
stressing the First Amendment right of freedom of religion, and no one
disputes that; it is rather the inappropriate location which is so strongly
objectionable. It is almost certain that there would have been an equally
strong objection had the Japanese proposed building a Shinto shrine at
Pearl Harbor to commemorate their attack on America, and most certainly
American Christians would never have proposed erecting a church or
cathedral at Hiroshima or Nagasaki to comemorate use of the atom bomb.
It seems wrong to proceed with this project when nearly three quarters
of the American people are united in their opposition to what Ted Nugent
well described in Human Events, using these words, "the Twin Towers
were knocked down by religious voodoo kooks who believed Allah
enjoys slaughtering innocent people." Why should we in America, a
nation founded on Christian principles, permit the commemoration of
such an aggressive act by adherents of a foreign pagan religion?
(2) The plan to burn copies of the Quran to demonstrate opposition to
those who attacked America on 9/11 was the idea of a leader of a small
(50 member) religious group -- called in some accounts a "church" -- in
Florida, became a dramatic illustration of how the media can lead the
public into a frenzied reaction, pro and con. To begin with, there is
nothing unusual about the current day destruction of religious books.
Our own military just last year confiscated and burned hundreds of
Bibles sent to American service men in Afghanistan. Every day we
read of Christian churches burned, and Bibles confiscated, shredded
and burned by Muslims in countries around the world, and there is no
outcry, no objection. But let there be even talk of a copy of the Quran
being destroyed, and in Muslim countries the Amerian flag is burned
and threats of death are vowed against all Americans.
After gaining national and world-wide publicity for a few days, the
leader of the group recanted, cancelled his plan to burn the Quran on
Sept. 11, and traveled to New York to meet with Imam Rauf about the
proposed mosque at Ground Zero. Somehow, by a strange aberration
of logic, Mr. Obama and his staff managed to twist this example of the
First Amendment in action into a threat to our national security. Or, as
columnist Allen Hunt expressed it: "Thanks to the president, from a
small ember in Florida came a globe-engulfing wildfire... By stepping
into such a tiny affair, President Obama turned what should have been
a non-event into a geo-political crisis." One wonders why he did so?
(3) Not quite so easily resolved is the continuing debate on Mr. Obama's
personal religious faith. We are faced with his occasional statements
that he is a Christian, and in his press conference on Sept. 10 he said that
he relied heavily on his Christian faith. But in that same press conference
he made this strange reference to words in our Pledge of Allegiance, as
he said he will do all he can "to remind the American people that we
are one nation under God," but added these words, "We might call that
God different names, but we remain one nation." That is not a Christian
concept of God. In His Ten Commandments, God declared how unique
He is: "I am the Lord, thy God ... thou shalt have no other gods before
me ... I the Lord thy God am a jealous God..." (Exodus 20:2,3,5)
There is a tendency to "take him at his word," and thus Franklin Graham,
a true Christian believer, said of Obama, "It's obvious that the president
has renounced the prophet Mohammed, and he has renounced Islam,
and he has accepted Jesus Christ. That's what he says he has done. I
cannot say that he hasn't. So I just have to believe that the president is
what he has said." The problem with this view is that in the Islam faith
apostasy is punishable by death. The Dictionary of Quranic Terms and
Concepts says of apostasy: "Traditional Islamic law prescribes the
penalty of death for a Muslim who commits apostasy." Since he is
obviously free to come and go to Muslim countries, there doesn't seem
to be any sentence of death pronounced upon him.
As for any expression of his Christian faith, it seems strangely missing.
As president, he refused any White House recognition of the National
Day of Prayer, yet hosted a gala White House dinner for the opening of
the Islam observance of Ramadan. In Muslim countries he denies that
America is a Christian nation, and bows humbly before a Muslim king --
an act no American president in history has ever done. For a Christian
observer, Matthew, chapter 7 seems very appropriate, where Jesus said:
"Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit ... by their fruits ye shall
know them." (Verses 17, 20)
Is he a Muslim? In mid-August a Pew Report disclosed that 18% of
Americans believe he is a Muslim. A Time magazine poll at about the
same time reported that 24% hold that belief. The Pew Report showed
that 34% feel he is a Christian; down from 48% just a year ago. Thus,
this remains an unsettled question.
We have discussed only popular news events, not the major ones.
Our nation is involved in two foreign wars, In one, Iraq, our military
force has been reduced to 50,000 -- yet the death toll continues. The
tribal civil conflicts show no sign of ending or even diminishing. The
country is in political chaos, and its economy is in shambles. The most
knowledgeable leaders admit that their own forces will not be ready
to maintain order until 2020. The much touted elections were 6 monhs
ago, but as yet there is no consensus government. In Afghanistan, the
nation's corruption is the rule, not the exception. There the loyal Islamic
Taliban recently murdered 10 medical aid workers, admittedly because
they were Christians.
Then there is the economy. It is perhaps in this area that Mr. Obama
appears to take on the most pitiful aspects of his failing performance as
president. Earlier this month (Sept. 1) we reminded our readers of
Edmund Burke's "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat
it," and of Bill Clinton's successful campaign slogan, "It's the economy,
stupid." It is beginning to be evident that the Obama administration has
ignored both precepts. Obama, himself, seems to see his presidency as
emulating that of FDR, who appears to be his principal role model. He
would be wise to learn from economic history, as recorded by FDR's
Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau, who served in that capacity
from 1934 - 1945, and who wrote in 1939, midway through Roosevelt's
unprecedented 4 terms, "We have tried spending money. We are
spending more than we have ever spent before, and it does not work.
I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I
want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our
promises ... after eight years of this administration we have just as
much unemployment as when we started ... and an enormous debt to
boot." (Meeting in Treasury Department, May 8, 1939) To summarize,
this item from CNS News is quite revealing: "In the first 19 months of
the Obama administration, the federal debt held by the public
increased by $2.5260 trillion, which is more than the cumulative total
of the national debt held by the public than was amassed by all U.S.
presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan."
All of which is a lead-in to our weekly reminder: Election Day, 2010,
on Nov. 2 is now just 48 days from today. In these remaining few weeks,
we must be in prayer for our nation, and we must be prepared to vote on
Nov. 2 when every Member of the House and about one-third of the
Members of the Senate will be elected. Newt Gingich, former Speaker
of the House, this week made these comments: "After nearly two years
of Barack Obama's presidency, it's clear to me that the American
people have become deeply disillusioned with leftist business- as-
usual masking itself as 'change you can believe in.' "
And as Christians, what can we do? Right now, commit yourself to
voting on Election Day, and in the meantime, pray "God Save America,"
the theme of Dr. Michael Youssef's nation-wide prayer program. To join
On important issues, we can learn from "What Others Are Sayng."
Ted Nugent (columnist, Human Events): "For the first eight years
after 9/11 there was nothing but a hole where the Twin Towers once
stood. To put this in perspective, it took only four years to build the
Twin Towers... Finally, construction is now under way to build One
World Trade Center. The steel frame of the building is now roughly
38 stories high. Salute!"
"John Infidelesto" (in Infidels Are Cool): "Many in the media are
telling us we over-reacted to 9/11, and we 'gave ourselves over to
fear' ... This wasn't a couple of thugs committing mass murder. This
was a calculated, well funded, organized group of Muslims who knew
exactly what they were doing, and why. They represent an ideology
that we cannot ignore. This event made it more clear than ever that
they are serious, and we better start taking them seriously."
Robert W. Tracinski (TIA Daily): "This is precisely the FDR formula
that Obama has adopted: systematically wreck the economy -- then
give the people a pep talk and pose as their savior. So far, he is getting
away with it. But he cannot get away with it forever."
Douglas Wilson (Senior Fellow, New St. Andrews College): On the
proposed Quran burning:"Our reaction to a bad rhetorical move on the
part of these Christians should not make us recoil into an 'International
Interfaith Dialog and Group Hug Day.' Islam remains a false religion."
Jesse Lee Peterson (President, BOND Action): "Christian Bibles,
the American flag and images of American presidents are routinely
burned in effigy in Muslim nations. Yet Americans and Christians
don't threaten to kill Muslims on sight. Radical Muslims hate America
and Israel and they don't need to be 'provoked' to kill Christians and
CNS News Release: "The liberal media are in a panic mode. The
Obama experiment in Socialism is failing. Americans are waking up
and rising up for freedom and limited government. America is truly
at a crossroads of history. The next few months may very well
determine whether socialism or freedom will be the dominant force
in American government for decades to come."
Only one "One Liner" this week, but it's such a great one!
Larry Elder: "(a) Conservatives believe what they see, and (b)
Liberals see what they believe."
And now, as usual, a few random "Afterthoughts" . . .
In the 1960s, we were engaged in a "War on Poverty." The program
began with President Johnson's State of the Union address in 1964. The
poverty level had decreased from 22% in 1959 to 19% in 1964, but it
was serious enough for LBJ to introduce this element of his "Great
Society" concept. Now, nearly 50 years later, we are seeing a relatively
sharp increase in the poverty level in the U.S., from 13% to 15% based
on the 2009 census fugures. Aside from the unfortunate aspects for the
individuals affected, the trend is seriously unfortunate for the Democrat
administration just prior to the November election when they will be
struggling to remain in power.
Arizona is facing another lawsuit. But surprisingly, this one does not
involve their controversial immigration law. This legal action, brought
by the Obama Justice Department, focuses instead on the hiring practice
of the Maricopa County Community College District. Obama's legal
eagles charge that it is wrong for the College District to require foreign
nationals to show their "green cards" before being hired. But stop and
think about this ... a foreigner has to have a "green card" to be able to
work here in America -- but the Obama administration is suing a
Phoenix Community College for asking to see a "green card" before the
foreigner is given a job. How weird can government be!
And what does the public say, in this "Year of the Polls?" One thing
is very obvious: there is a trend, and that trend is becoming much more
definite. Here is a quick summary: Last week a Rasmussen poll showed
that 62% of American voters believe that no matter how bad things are,
Congress can make them worse. (The very interesting fact is that among
Democrats, 53% agree.) And in the public's opinion of how Congress is
performing, 23% give it a positive rating, with 72% a negative one. And
Nancy Pelosi earns a 34% favorable rating, against 59% negative, while
Harry Reid gets even a worse rating, at 26% positive and 56% negative.
The overall rating for Mr. Obama's performance is at 46-47% positive,
while his daily ranking stays locked in double digit negative numbers.
Only 29% believe the country is heading in the right direction ... 51%
want to see the Bush tax cuts extended for all...53% want the repeal of
Obamacare...55% do not want to see another "stimulus," and 68% prefer
smaller government with fewer services.
Always available to us are the words of the Founding Fathers . . .
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have
removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people
that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated
but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble whan I reflect that God is just;
that His justice cannot sleep forever." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1781
"It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and
such only, as he believes to be acceptable to Him. This duty is
precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims
of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of
Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of
the Universe." -- James Madison, 1785