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.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


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

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]