"We are a nation under God...I believe God intended for us to be free."
-- President Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural address, 1981
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THIS WEEK'S BRIEF EDITORIAL COMMENT: As we observe this
month the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, it is appropriate
for us to recall some of his quotations which merit being included with
the timeless quotes from our Founding Fathers. In this statement from his
first inaugural address in 1981, he could have been speaking of the same
situation which exists today: "It is not my intention to do away with
government. It is, rather, to make it work -- work with us, not over us;
to stand by our side, not ride on our back .... It is no coincidence that
our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention
and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive
growth of government." Looking back a few years, one commentator
said: "We had to suffer through Carter to get Reagan." And followed
that comment with: "Who is the 2012 Reagan?" Toward achieving the
goals of President Reagan, we are reminded that there are 636 days till
Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012; 636 days to pray on how to vote to restore
America to what it was always intended to be: One nation, under God.
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WITH RESPECT TO THOSE RIOTS IN EGYPT --
THE MAJOR STORY IN TODAY'S NEWS --
TWO TERMS SEEM TO BE APPLICABLE:
"INCONGRUOUS" AND "DEJA VU."
First, before any comments on this week's current events, let's take a few
minutes to consider those two terms. The simplest dictionary definition
of "incongruous" is "out of place." What we have been observing these
past few days of Mr. Obama's involvement in the current crisis in Egypt
truly merits the term "incongruous" -- it is definitely out of place. What
we have witnessed is a young man, with only two years into his first
term as president, and with no experience and without any successful
accomplishments in any form of diplomacy or international negotiations
telling the president of a foreign country, who has served as leader of
that country for 30 years, what he should do and when he should do it.
"Out of place" is a mild term for such unwarranted attempts to interfere
in the internal affairs of a nation whose history predates America's by
more than 5,000 years. Who is Obama to instruct the man who has been
our closest ally in the Muslim world, who has been the prime symbol of
stability in that restless area of the world, who was the first Muslim
nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel, a treaty still unbroken? This is
not to endorse the Mubarak method of governing -- a dictatorship is not
the American way. But it is the prevailing form of government in much
of the world. Why should some rank amateur in government try to tell the
leader of another nation what he should do and when he should do it?
The other applicable term is "deja vu" with the simplest dictionary
definition: "a feeling of having experienced the present situation before."
From the begining of Mr. Obama's term of office, the similarities between
his administration and that of Jimmy Carter have been striking. Just like
Obama, Carter invested all the international prestige of his presidency
in diplomacy and image-making. Then Carter had to stand by impotently
as violence engulfed Iran, revolutionaries celebrated in the rubble of the
U.S. embassy, and Americans were taken hostage. Obama has faced very
similar problems, and has failed to deter aggression from Iran, Hamas, or
Hezbollah. Now, we are faced with a leadership crisis in Egypt, and as
David Stokes expressed it: "We all know how the story played out in
Iran. Out went the Shah and in came Sharia." If Obama continues to
follow the Carter-type of foreign policy, he will put American lives
and the prospects for peace in that part of the world in greater jeopardy
than ever. "Deja vu" is indeed an applicable term.
Now for the major current events news story. The media, virtually
every form of it, seems to delight in offering us comprehensive, never-
ending, 24/7 coverage of one theme, until another headline grabbing
event occurs, and their focus is abruptly shifted. Thus after weeks of
minute-by-minute coverage of Congress-woman Gifford's wounding
and recovery, her story was sudenly dropped and the riots in the streets
of major cities in Egypt took up the 24/7 schedule of coverage.
There is little point in attempting to comment on the Egyptian situation.
President Mubarak will be out of power, sooner or later. At the moment
it seems that the succeeding government will be strongly influenced by,
if, indeed, not controlled by, the Muslim Brotherhood. There has been
serious persecution of Christians in Egypt under Mubarak -- one can only
perceive of more intense persecution, perhaps leading to elimination of
Christians under Shariah law. Already spokespersons for the MB have
predicted the ending of the peace treaty with Israel.
Thus there are profound implications for American Christians. As Russ
Jones, in Christian Press Newspaper put it: "As turmoil from Tunisia,
Lebanon and Egypt spreads throughout the Muslim world, Christian
communities in the region are increasingly concerned. They fear
Islamic extremist groups could exploit political instability throughout
the Middle East and create dangerous conditions for Christians...
Christians in these Muslim-led countries have battled persecution for
decades. Now, with unrest rising throughout the region, the crisis for
Christians could reach epic proportions." And from Troy Senik, Center
for Individual Freedom (CFIF), admitting that Mubarak's "departure is
already a fait accompli. But if the idealistic young activists of Egypt
hope to have their dreams of freedom fulfilled, they have only a few
monthsâ•˙ time in which to do it. If they donâ•˙t, there will soon come a day
when the Mubarak era is remembered as the good old days."
We have often raised the question: What can we, as Christians, do?
The answer, from New Testament times to now is always the same: we
are instructed to pray. If we believe -- and we do -- that ours is a prayer-
hearing and prayer-answering God, then we are not acting in conformity
with the admonitions in the Scriptures if we do not pray. For example:
"Men ought always to pray." (Luke 18:1); "Pray without ceasing."
(I Thess. 5:17), and more specifically, "I exhort that prayers be made
for all men ... for kings and for all that are in authority." (I Tim. 2:2,3)
And not forgetting Israel, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem." (Ps. 122:6)
There is an old familiar saying concerning our part in fulfilling the Great
Commission to preach the Gospel to the whole world: "Some can go ...
others can give ... all can pray."
A brief comment on an overworked phrase in today's news. Some of
the reporters, supposedly "journalists," who have been covering the
ongoing situation in Egypt, have been detained, interviewed and have
even been beaten-up a bit. The prevailing -- and much mis-used -- term
being stressed is "Freedom of the Press." U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton (who should be better informed) complained about violations
of "international norms that guarantee freedom of the press." A quick
review of statistics surely available to a person in such authority, would
reveal that approximately 35% of the nations of the world have what we
speak of as "freedom of the press;" another 33% are "partially free," and
32% are definitely "not free." Egypt, for example, ranks 143rd out of 167
rated nations, alongside Saudi Arbia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Tunisia and Syria
(does a pattern of Muslim governance begin to emerge?), and is above
such stalwarts of civil rights as China, Cuba and North Korea. So the
reporters who entered Egypt, really had no right to be there to photograph
and expose to the world the happenings in that country. In other words,
the First Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution do not extend carte-
blanche to other nations in the world. Former governor of Arkansas, and
former entrant in the 2008 presidential candidate sweepstakes, Mike
Huckabee, made this comment on his TV show, that those journalists
"are on the front line ... they are our eyes and our ears on what is
happening in the world." That opinion assumes that our eyes want to
watch a crowd of thousands of shouting Egyptians, on a 24/7 basis, day
after day. Mr. Huckabee may enjoy that, but many of us do not.
This is not a subject on which we have spent much time, but maybe
we should. To begin with: we do not offer anything for sale on ANC: no
books, no CD's, no tapes, nothing -- and that may be part of the reason
for ANC's increasing acceptance. But we recently noted on the Internet,
an ad for a new book described as "The Unauthorized Biography of
Barack Obama." Its title: "Born to Lie." This is from that advertisement:
"What if the first African-American president turned out to be African
but not American? Is President Obama even an American citizen? This
unanswered question could be put to rest by simply producing Obama's
original birth certificate. However, because President Obama has
sealed his personal records and refuses to release a certified copy of
his original birth certificate, the question continues to be asked. Like
all questions that are not properly answered, it will not go away...
"In addition to the birth certificate question, there are numerous other
issues of transparency and trust that have caused President Obamaâ•˙s
credibility with the American public to quickly wane. The authors of
'Born To Lie' are not 'birthers' â•‰ the label given by Obamaâ•˙s
supporters to any and all who question the validity of his citizenship.
They are patriotic Americans with legitimate concerns who just want
our President to tell the truth..."
It must be admitted that this is an intriguing venture. And, no, we have not
ordered the book for ourselves, nor are we offering it for sale.