our heading color -- in the traditional liturgical colors for the seasons of
the church year, we should be using gold or white . . . but they don't print
well! So we move to green for the season after Ephiphany and for most of
the church year. (There used to be an old story about green being the color
for Christians -- as in traffic lights, it means "Go.") And there is this other
note: in this last issue for 2010 we want to look back over this past year,
and look forward to the new year. Without advocating in the slightest the
concept of ancient Greek mythology, there was a god named Janus (from
whom we got the name for our first month) who was portrayed as having
two heads, one looking forward and one looking back. And in our looking
forward, we are reminded that our active count-down is now 678 days
till Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012 . . . 678 days to pray before we vote to
restore America to being the nation our Founding Fathers intended it to
be. And as we look forward, we extend to all of our readers and friends,
our best wishes for a Happy, God-blessed New Year. For ANC, in 2011
we will mark the completion of 7 full years as a weekly publication, and
the start of our 8th year as an Evangelical Conservative Christian voice.
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Speaking of the old year's passing, Brooks Atkinson, famed American
journalist, wrote: "Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the
past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can
go." But looking toward a new year, Ronald Reagan said in Jan.
1993: "In America every day is a new beginning...for this is the
land that has never become, but is always in the act of becoming.
Emerson was right: 'America is the Land of Tomorrow.'"

At this moment in time, both were right. The year 2010 was
indeed imperfect. We can thank God it is over. And we do have
a new beginning. This is the "Land of Tomorrow."

But 2011 is more than just a "new year." It is the first year of
the second decade of the 21st century. It seems like just a few
days ago we were trying to get this new century started. There
were debates as to whether the new century began on Jan. 1,
2000 or Jan. 1, 2001. It was called the "Y2k" controversy. And it
ended in sort of a draw, and now it is pretty well agreed that
2010 was the last year of the first decade of the 21st century.

And consider what we did in those 10 years. We got through the
8 years of the George W. Bush presidency, and the first 2 years
of the Barack Hussein Obama presidency. Neither one was any
kind of a high mark in American history, but we got through
them. The Bush years are over and behind us; we still have two
more of the Obama years to endure. But we start this new year
with hopes -- and as Christians, with prayers -- for better days
for America and the world.

Archbishop Peter Jensen, of the Anglican diocese of Sydney,
Australia, made this comment concerning the new decade: "The
children born in this decade are 21st century citizens. They
never knew the last century. In another ten years they and their
friends will be judging us 20th century types ... What will they
say? They won't be too happy at our reckless consumption, our
materialism. They wll look back in wonder at our brutal wars.
They will be astonished that we allowed family life to decay ...
But I am filled with hope for them, and I won't mind their
criticisms. Human failure is not the end of the story. We can't
beat God that easily ... God is bigger than our failures."

And what about ANC in this new decade? We don't plan to
change our approach, but will be trying to follow Jesus' charge
to us, that we are the light and salt of the world (Matt. 5: 13,14),
and that we are to preach the Gospel to everyone in the world,
and to teach all nations. (Mark. 16:15; Matt. 28:19) And we will
remember that Jesus said He would build His Church, and it
would be a militant Church, victorious over all the forces of
evil. (Matt. 16:18)

Just these few comments about the 111th Congress. This
news headline in Human Events expressed it well: "Democratic
Congress ends with a whimper." There were fears -- apparently
somewhat justified -- that the Democrat controlled "lame-duck"
members of both houses would wreak havoc as their parting
gesture after two years of catastrophes, having earned the lowest
rating ever given to any Congress -- a national approval of 13%.

But they did create some problems for our future -- perhaps
permanent ones in some instances or temporry ones which can
be corrected by a more pro-American Congress, less dominated
by the Liberal designs of the Obama administration.

The income tax bill, a compromise version forced by the revived
Republicans, remains "iffy." The defeat of the Obama pseudo
amnesty plan under the title "Dream Act" failed -- again by the
revived Republican members. As did the massive Democrat pork-
laden, earmark-heavy spending bill, replaced by an interim
funding bill to keep the government operating. But there were a
few very unfortunate actions which were passed -- most notably
the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law which restricts the
service of homosexuals in the nation's military. But there is a
prescribed waiting period before it really takes effect, and the
preponderant objections of knowledgeable military leaders may
yet modify it before too much damage is done to our armed
forces, and to our national security. And the US/Russia "Start"
treaty was approved, under a high note of urgency sounded by
Mr. Obama -- but now it is stalled in Russian political debates,
and any final approval by Russia is likely, but is not positively
assured. So we await the start of the 112th Congress, with a
slightly more balanced party line-up, hopefully resulting in some
reduction in government spending as we begin the slow return to
more sound economic times.

As always, we take note of "What Others Are Saying."

Mike Evans (Jerusalem Prayer Team): "When I was
interviewed by Israel national news television in the Holy Land,
I told them that there are millions of American believers
standing uncompromising and unapologetically with the Chosen
People ... but sadly that the Obama administration was not."

Rep. Steve King (R, Iowa), told CNS News that Jesus had a
right to life from the moment of conception: "He got the right to
life when God conceived Him in the womb of Mary, and it's that
simple, and that plain, and that profound. Each one of us got the
right to life at the instant of conception, and we have that right
until natural death."

Newt Gingrich (on TSA screenings): "We have to tell the
truth about who is trying to kill us, and act on that truth...
Checking out an 83 year old nun from Des Moines is not
national security. It's stupidity."

Robert Ringer (best selling Conservative author):
"Beginning with his infamous 'I think when you spread the
wealth around, it's good for everybody,' slip of the tongue
when answering Joe the Plumber during his presidential
campaign, coupled with his perennially angry wife's 'Someone
is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so someone
else can have more,' Barack Obama's focus has been on
punishing 'the rich.'"

R. Loren Sandford (in Charisma magazine): "We, the
United States of America, are headed toward an intense crisis
at the presidential level, the outcome of which will determine
the direction of this country for a number of years to come...
We will need the intervening hand of God to achieve a good
outcome and enter a season of hope... Pray in whatever way the
Lord guides you to pray, but above all, pray n His Spirit and
with His heart. We can affect the course of history."

Jay Sekulow (ACLJ):"This past year marks one of the most
historic in American history. I also believe it marks the pivot
point where the American people finally said they have seen
enough from an over-reaching, activist government."

And if you missed this "One Liner" . . . "Bush did it, is not
a foreign policy." -- Victor Davis Hanson, military historian.

And now these few random "Afterthoughts" . . .

Those peace loving Islamists are still at it, as in this news
report from Nigeria, that on Christmas eve in Borno State, the
Bishara Baptist Church was burned to the ground by attackers
indentified by the police as of the Boko Haram Islamists. The
church's pastor and four elders were burned to death, and three
church members were murdered outside the building. But Mr.
Obama was probably unaware of this "peaceful" Islamic activity;
he was reportedly strolling on the beach at his luxurious rented
vacation home in Hawaii on Christmas eve.

The truth about the real goal of "Global Warming" is
finally revealed. As delegates suffered in Cancun's coldest
weather in 100 years at the "Global Warming" summit, the
working group co-chair, Ottmar Edenhofer, said that this had
been "one of the largest economic conferences since the Second
World War ... One has to free oneself from the illusion that
international climate policy is an environmental policy ... Its
real purpose is redistributing the world's wealth and natural
resources." Comment: It's good to have our suspicions about
Al Gore's scheme confirmed!

The old "camel's nose under the tent" -- but this time in
the Congress. According to Rep. Keith Ellison (D, Minn.), the
first Muslim elected to Congress, the U.S. is reverting to
"colonial relationships" to impose its will on other countries
through "economic warfare." At the "Network of Spiritual
Progressives" (NSP) conference, Ellison said, "Diplomatically,
we have got to understand that it's not about imposing our
will upon countries through economic warfare like all these
sanctions that we're so fond of."

For what it's worth: the most admired people for 2010.
A new USA Today/Gallup poll puts Barack Obama and Hillary
Clinton as the most admired man and woman by Americans in
2010. Obama pulled 22% of the vote (down from 32% in 2008).
George W. Bush was second at 5%, followed by Bill Clinton at 4%,
with Jimmy Carter, Glenn Beck, Bill Gates, Pope Benedict XVI,
Billy Graham and Nelson Mandela all at 2%. (This is the 54th
time Billy Graham has been in the top 10 -- the most ever for
anyone.) Gallup reported that sitting presidents have been in
the top spot 52 out of the 64 times the question has been asked.
Hillary Clinton received 17% of the votes, followed by Sarah
Palin at 12% and Oprah Winfrey at 11%.

Moving from current events to an earlier time, we feel it
is important to note some of the enduring comments from our
Founding Fathers, the men who planned and created this nation.

"My ardent desire is, and my aim has been ... to comply strictly
with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the
United States free from political connections with every other
country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under
the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character,
that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves
and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be
respected abroad and happy at home."
-- George Washington, 1775

"The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this --
the course of the war -- that he must be worse than an infidel
that lacks faith and more wicked that has not gratitude to
acknowledge his obligations; but it will be time enough for me
to turn Preacher when my present appointment ceases."
-- George Washington in 1778, reflecting on the Revolutionary
War and the Declaration of Independence.

"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more
surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole
force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they
cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then
will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or
internal invader." -- Samuel Adams, 1779




THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: In a very modest, minimal
way we have been observing the seasons of the Christian church year, and
have slightly adjusted our heading colors to conform with those seasons.
Thus during the Advent season, we have been using blue, which denotes
the royal nature of Jesus. Of the themes for the four weeks of Advent: Faith.
Hope, Joy and Love, we come now to this fourth week: Love. We might
be stepping aside from the traditional Scriptures by suggesting that a very
appropriate verse for this week, speaking of Love and reflecting the
message of the angels of a gift for all men, would be: "For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son ..." And in that verse, is
the Advent message of love for all men and exemplified by God's gift of
His Son. Now our count-down to Christmas is just 3 days, and we take
this moment to extend to all of our readers and friends the greeting of a
Merry, God-blessed Christmas. And this thought from Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin is worth remembering: "How many observe Christ's
birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep Holidays than
Commandments." Our long term count-down is now 685 days to pray
for our nation, and the world, leading to Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012.
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Following a visit to the Holy Land, in 1867 the Rev'd. Phillips Brooks,
an Episcopal priest in Philadelphia, wrote the poem "O, Little Town of
Bethlehem." A year later, his church organist, Lewis Redner, composed
the music, and the beloved Christmas carol was born. Not so much a
tribute to the village as to the birth of Jesus, Brooks almost prophetically
wrote in the first stanza, "The hopes and fears of all the years are met
in thee tonight."

The birth of Jesus is unquestionably the most dominant event in all of the
world's history, and although the Liberals and secularists have been very
actively trying to diminish or remove this basic fact of history, it still
stands as the most important event the world has ever known. During past
centuries, all calendars and all recorded happenings have borne reference
to it, using the designations "BC" -- "before Christ," and "AD" -- "annos
domini, the year of the Lord." In more recent years new terms have been
introduced: "bce" replacing "BC" and meaning "before common era" and
"ce" which replaces "AD" and means "common era." Yet even with those
changes in the symbols, all dates are still established on their relationship
to the birth of Jesus. And, as noted later in this commentary, the removal
of Christ from Christmas continues -- even the banning of the traditional
greeting of "Merry Christmas," and the banning of traditional displays,
such as Christmas trees and nativity scenes.

But even in the face of the continuing attacks on Christmas by the ACLU
and similar anti-Christian efforts, it is interesting and perhaps somewhat
encouraging to note that even Liberal Congressional leaders like Nancy
Pelosi and Harry Reid still acknowledge the intent to break this "lame-
duck" session for Christmas . . . and they sometime actually use the term
"Christmas" instead of the more progressive "Holidays."

Who is kidding whom? The elite, main line media, which by now we
have learned can't be trusted in their news reports concerning Mr.
Obama, has been hailing the Congressional passage of the tax bill (really
a "no brainer"), and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal as significant
victories for the president. Hello? What else would you expect for a
Democrat president, supported by solid Democrat majorities in both the
House and the Senate? Such "victories" bear the labels of "usual" ...
"customary" ... "expected"... but not "significant" or "major" victories.

On the other side of the coin, there are two major objectives which Mr.
Obama wanted so much to achieve: the massive pork laden, ear-marks
filled spending bill which emerged from Congress' failure to authorize
funding of government operations . . . and the disguised-amnesty "Dream
Act" -- both of which failed to be enacted by the Democrat controlled
"lame-duck" Congress. Somehow the administration's failure to achieve
these two objectives didn't capture the elite, main line media's attention.
And currently, the long discussed "Start" treaty, privately agreed-
upon by Obama with his trusted friends in Russia, is passing with quite
broad based bi-partisan support. Hardly a victory for either party, and
certainly not for the American people.

Perhaps someone in Congress should have read and heeded the counsel
of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton in 1793: "Foreign influence is
truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to
exclude its influence." But he was speaking of a time when the Congress
gave careful consideration to such issues, and were not rushed by the
time constraints of a then unheard of "lame-duck" session.

But we should briefly note two bills approved by this Congress . . .
First, there is the much heralded "Compromise" income tax bill, which
the elite media doesn't seem to understand was not a "tax cut" bill, but
a continuation of existing tax rates, based on the very reasonable fact
that it does not help an economy in the pits by increasing income tax
rates. Even Mr. Obama seemed to grasp this concept, as he described
compromise as requiring "yielding on something each of us cares
about to move forward on what all of us care about." Since this issue
represented really the first time he had consulted with Republican
leaders during his time in office, there is some hopeful expectation that
he might do so again.

F. Lee Bailey (Famed criminal defense attorney): "Can any of you
seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today?
It wouldn't even get out of committee."

Tom DeWeese (in News with Views): "America is in a life or death
battle for its very soul, both in its public school classrooms and in its
church pews. Freedom is in the balance."

"Jon" (responding to an internet Blog): "We are fighting the wrong
people.The real terrorists are in the Senate."

Scott Rasmussen (National pollster in his book "In Search of Self
Governance"): "The gap between Americans who want to govern
themselves and politicians who want to rule over them may be as big
today as the gap between the colonies and England during the 18th
century...The American people donâ•˙t want to be governed from the
left, the right, or the center. They want to govern themselves.╡

A. J. DiCintio (in New Media Journal): "The great majority of the

public increasingly understands that the survival of the America

bequeathed to us by the Founders depends upon draining the fetid

swamp that encompasses the White House, Congress, the courts,

and the bureaucracy, and replacing it with a new, fruitful landscape

of, for, and by the people."

Cal Thomas (in Conservative Outpost): "Preserving the Bush-era

tax rates, extending unemployment insurance for another year and

reducing the payroll tax for 2011 under the White House's "grand

bargain" doesn't get to the heart of the country's main financial

problem: overspending."

And just one worrisome "One Liner" to share with you:

From who else, but Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, in

an interview with Diane Sawyer on Dec. 14: "We're working 24/7, 364

days a year, to keep the American people safe." Here's the reason for

our concern: Is the person in charge of our homeland security so dumb

that she doesn't know there are 365 days in a year? -- or -- Is there one

day on which our security forces are not at work, and if so, suppose

WikiLeaks disclosed that date to our Islamic terrorist enemies?

And now here are a few random "Afterthoughts" . . .

In case this slipped by your noticing . . . some new records were set

in polling results reported this past week: (1) President Obama's

performance approval rating reached a new low of 40% . . . and (2)

a Gallup poll reported the public's approval of Congress as 13% --

the lowest such rating ever reported for any Congress in U.S. history.

It is happening in England; it could happen here. In England Christmas
has been banned by the Red Cross from all of its 430 fund-raising shops,
and the staff has been ordered to remove all Christmas decorations and any
other signs of the Christian observance because they could offend Muslims.
Nativity scenes and Christmas trees are forbidden, and any greeting cards
must say "Seasons greetings" and make no reference to Christmas. One
staff member in New Romney, Kent said , "When we asked why, we were
told it is because we must not upset Moslems."
And here in this country -- the Payne County Bank in Perkins, OK, was
ordered by Federal Reserve examiners that all Christmas decorations
must be removed, including lapel pins that the staff wore, saying "Merry
Christmas, God With Us." However, so vociferous were the protests that
in Washington the Federal Reserve retracted the orders, and the Christmas
decorations are back on display, and the staff members are again wearing
their Merry Christmas lapel pins.
But it could happen here . . . no question about that.

We are aware of this, but it is a sobering thought on Christmas day.

Last week, the opening sentence in a news story in the New York Times

recounted the prevailing situation in which Christians in Iraq are finding

themselves: "A new wave of Iraqi Christians has fled to Northern Iraq

and abroad amid a campaign of violence against them and a growing

fear that the country's security forces are unable or, more ominously,

unwilling to protect them." Commenting on this story, Chuck Colson

wrote this week: "There, in one paragraph, the Times sums up the

grim situation facing Christians in Baghdad and throughout Iraq.

They are subject to a campaign of violence -- not some indiscriminate

acts by a few Islamist radicals. They are being harassed and killed

right under the very noses of the Iraqi security forces and the

government, and it is not clear that the government wants to stop it."

Speaking to the plight of Christians in Iraq, and beyond, Pope Benedict

XVI called Christians, "the religious group which suffers most from

persecution on account of their faith." In a letter announcing World

Peace Day, Jan. 1, he commented specifically on the "reprehensible

attack" on a Baghdad church in October where 58 worshippers were

killed and spoke also of the lack of religious tolerance in Africa and

Asia. The Pontiff appealed to authorities throughout the world to "act

promptly to end every injustice against Christians." Our prayers at

this Advent season must include our fellow believers around the world.

Comparisons with some other American presidents are revealing.

Last week Mr. Obama visited a school in Arlington, VA, and read to 2nd

graders from his book, "Of thee I sing," citing great black achievers, and

from Clement Moore's "Twas the night before Christmas." In explaining

to the children what Christmas means, he said, "One of the things about

Christmas, obviously, is getting presents, having stockings full,

spending time with your family and eating good stuff. But part of the

Christmas spirit is also making sure that we're kind to each other and

we're thinking about people who are not as lucky as we are... I want

you all to remember that the spirit of Christmas is making sure that,

not just that you're getting something from somebody but that you're

also giving back to some other people."

No mention of the real meaning of Christmas . . . no mention of the song

of the angels announcing the birth of Jesus. By contrast, Franklin D.

Roosevelt, said of Christmas in 1942: "I say that loving our neighbor

as we love ourselves is not enough - that we as a Nation and as

individuals will please God best by showing regard for the laws of

God." And in 1945, Harry S. Truman said, "Let us not forget that the

coming of the Savior brought a time of long peace to the Roman World

... From the manger of Bethlehem came a new appeal to the minds and

hearts of men: 'A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one

another.'╡ In 1983 Ronald Reagan said: "Sometimes, in the hustle and

bustle of holiday preparations we forget the true meaning of Christmas

...the birth of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ..." In 1999 Bill Clinton

said, "Saint Matthew's Gospel tells us that, on the first Christmas 2000

years ago, a bright star shone vividly in the eastern sky, heralding the

birth of Jesus and the beginning of His hallowed mission as teacher,

healer, servant, and savior..." And in 2003, George W. Bush said,

"Throughout the Christmas season our thoughts turn to a star in the

east, seen 20 centuries ago, and to a light that can guide us still..."

Through the years, our presidents did not fail to speak of the real meaning

of Christmas.

establishing, but also of the men who might one day govern that nation.

"I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great man

that was not at the same time truly virtuous."

-- Benjamin Franklin, 1728

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm."

-- James Madison, 1787

"A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A

feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a

government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in

practice, a bad government."

-- Alexander Hamilton, 1788

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