THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT . . . Today is the first day of
the Lenten season, and in our modest effort to observe the Liturgical color for
this period of the church year, we have changed our title color to violet. Lent
is a period -- 40 days -- of prayer, meditation and preparation for Easter, as
we reflect on the betrayal of Jesus, followed by His death and burial, and then
climaxed by the wonder and glory of His resurrection. A common phrase on
this day is "What are you giving up for Lent?" And the answer frequently
mentions a few tawdry vices; alcohol, tobacco, etc. Far better during this
season would be to observe a verse from the Old Testament, II Chronicles
7:14, where God says we should humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and
turn from our wicked ways. Let that be our pattern of living for this season
of Lent, and throughout the year -- this year and every year.
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As Christian believers, we realize that "anger" is not a New Testament word,
appearing only about 5 times, and similarly, its companion word, "angry,"
only appears about 7 times. The many uses of "anger" in the Old Testament
deal mainly with the anger of the Lord, but in the New Testament, His love
in providing a Savior puts aside the concept of anger, which is repeatedly
warned against as not being part of the Christian life.

But that does not mean that the headline we have borrowed is wrong;
"anger" in the New Testament is linked with wrath, bitterness and malice --
all personal attitudes. But we can surely express our dissatisfaction, our
dislike, and our resentment of conditions or situations which we are forced
to endure.

In this week's issue of ANC we will briefly comment on some events of that
nature, domestic and international . . . and we may well feel -- if not anger --
then dissatisfaction and resentment about them, and resolve to use every
force we have available to change and correct them.

It is difficult to choose between domestic and international events in
commenting on the Christian viewpoint on the day's headline news stories.

Let's start with, and deal briefly with, a domestic issue: the instruction
from President Obama to Attorney General Holder not to enforce the federal
"Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), which, as you will recall, was passed
overwhelmingly by the Senate (85-14) and by the House (342-67) and signed
into law in 1996 by President Clinton. Mr. Obama decided the law was
unconstitutional, and Mr. Holder (not surprisingly) agreed. The U.S.
government will no longer defend this law against attacks.

We often go back to our nation's Founding Fathers to review their opinions
on constitutional matters -- after all, they wrote the constitution. On the
importance of marriage, Joseph Story, an early U.S. Supreme Court justice
wrote in 1833: "Marriage is in its origin a contract of natural law. It is
the parent, and not the child of society; the source of civility and a sort
of seminary of the republic." Or we could go back even further, and cite
Marcus Tullius Cicero (50 BC): "The first principle of society consists in
the marriage tie, the next in children, the next in a family within one
roof, where everything is in common. This society gives rise to the city,
and is, as it were, the nursery of the commonwealth."

And yet Mr. Obama, despite his claims to be a Christian, has openly tried to
destroy the Bible-based concept of marriage (as he promised in his campaign
he would do) and has endorsed the killing of babies through abortion. Mark
Alexander, in Patriot Post, wrote: "Obama's rejection of DOMA is his
latest attempt to pander to members of his second-most vociferous
constituency after government unions: homosexual unions." And
homosexual congressman Barney Frank (D, MA), head of the LGBT
(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Equality Congressional Caucus (it's
not a joke -- there really is one!), after meeting with Mr. Obama, told
reporters, "Getting the DADT repeal, that went a long way toward
alleviating the sense of unhappiness. Now, the DOMA decision means
there's no significant argument at all that the president has not been

So the centuries-old moral position of Christians -- we represent 80% of the
U.S. population -- has been nullified by the desires of perhaps 2 - 3% of that
population. (National Center for Health Statistics, 2002 survey: 2.3%; U.S.
Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2007 estimate: 2.5 - 3%) This is a
matter of serious concern for America and particularly American Christians.
Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Council Action, commented, "Our
Judeo-Christian founding is under assault," and he added that "it is not
a time for Christians to sit on the sidelines or sleep through the process."

Also of concern on the domestic front: the ongoing budgetary conflict over
using taxpayer dollars to fund the Planned Parenthood abortion practices. This
has become a pure partisan political struggle, with Republicans attempting to
cut off the use of taxpayer funding, and the Democrats insisting on federally
funded support for the abortion mills.

These are moral issues which we must have in mind when we vote on
Election Day, November 6, 2012 -- now just 608 days remain to pray for
our nation and for God's guidance as we vote and choose our future leaders.

And now a brief review of the international issues which confront us.
The political revolt which more or less began in Tunisia, then in Egypt erupted
into full view on the world's TV screens, and has now moved to Libya, with
half-a-dozen other countries of the Islamic sphere as potential next stops. For
weeks it has held the riveted attention of the world's people and the media.
The resulting question: Where is it headed? What nation will it engulf next?

Swept along by the attendant publicity, the Liberal media and many politicians --
President Obama among them -- see in it the potential for democratic
government as the dominant future of the Middle East. They either forget or
ignore the fact that in and of itself, democracy is essentially "mob-rule." For
example, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine have been victorious
in "democratic" elections.

In the Washington Post's coverage of this developing story last week, this
summary statement appeared, "The Obama administration is preparing for
the prospect that Islamist governments will take hold in North Africa and
the Middle East, acknowledging that the popular revolutions there will
bring a more religious cast to the region's politics." With that possibility
facing them, the Obama administration is already taking steps to distinguish
between various movements in the region that promote Islamic law in
government. Arising out of the unrest in Egypt is the very real possibility of
the Muslim Brotherhood playing an important role in any future governments
in the region. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow at
the American Enterprise Institute, produced this clear analysis: "Allah is our
objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our
way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. So goes the motto of
the Muslim Brotherhood."

Since taking office, Mr. Obama has taken the position that Islamic belief and
democratic politics are not incompatible. But in doing so, he has alarmed some
knowledgeable foreign policy experts, and our long-time ally, Israel, who fear
that governments based on Islamic religious law will inevitably undercut
democratic reforms and other Western values. There is no quick or easy
solution to the revolutions (or riots) which are sweeping through the Middle
East. And in each of those countries there is a minority of Christian believers
who have already experienced extreme persecution, and whose continued
existence is very much open to question. As fellow Christians we should be
focusing our prayers on them.

We have often referred to this as the "Age of the Polls" and now to
that designation we add an old saying: "We hate to kick a man when he is
down." And when you look at the polls, "down" is exactly where President
Obama is. There is the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, which
reports daily, rather than weekly or monthly or even quarterly, and there Mr.
Obama has carried a double-digit negative rating for months. True, earlier
this year he did creep into single-digit negatives, but recently has been back
in a solid double-digit negative range. But now in a widely based Harris poll,
conducted less than 3 weeks ago, the president scored poorly in six basic
categories. Here are the scores: 66% gave him negative ratings on job
creation; 62% disapproved his handling of the economy; 58% did not agree
with his health care reform plan; 52% said his policies on education are failing,
and 52% found his strategy on the Mid-East crises inadequate. Only on his
handling of the environment did he get half-way decent scores -- there only
48% said he had not handled it well, with 41% approving of his strategies to
protect the environment. And on that record he has launched his 2012
re-election campaign.

Ignore what the media tells you; here's "What Others Are Saying,"
but first, here is Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, on this same situation:

"It is so difficult to draw a clear line of separation between the abuse
and the wholesome use of the press, that as yet we have found it better
to trust the public judgment...with the discrimination between truth
and falsehood. And hitherto the public judgment has performed that
office with wonderful correctness."

Skip MacLure: "It’s incredible how the left consistently makes their
judgments based on emotion. They perceive only the prevailing political
wind and how it can be ideologically manipulated. Invariably, such
thinking has disastrous results."

Robert Morrison (Sr. Fellow, Family Research Council): "Failure to
take seriously the need for religious freedom will doom any attempts at
democracy. The grounding of human liberty rests in the belief that our
rights come from God. Mr. Obama’s personal faith sounds sincere, but
his actions are wanting. Freedom-loving peoples throughout the world
suffer as a result."

Jordan Sekulow (American Ctr. for Law and Justice): "President
Obama and Attorney General Holder have reignited the debate about
the federal government's role in defining marriage, and have possibly
created a new, troubling precedent allowing a president to pick and
choose which existing laws his Administration will enforce."

Cal Thomas: "President Obama has said his view of same-sex marriage
is 'evolving.' Apparently he thinks that the law should be based on a
kind of Darwinian jurisprudence that allows it to 'evolve' and become
whatever the ruling politicians at a given moment say it is (or isn’t)."

Daniel Ayalon (Foreign policy commentator): "If there were ever an
example of the inmates running the asylum, it is the U.N. Human
Rights Council. This body has whitewashed the human rights record
of some of the world’s most repressive regimes, while also providing
them with a forum to ruminate on and condemn the actions of a free
and open nation, Israel."

Michelle Malkin (on the meaning of America): "It's government of, by
and for the people -- all the people, not just the ones still shackled by
reflexive Democratic Party loyalty. We're beholden not to our skin
pigment or ethnic tribes but to American ideals, tradition, history and
faith in the individual."

And equally helpful in understanding what is happening to America
are the occasional "One Liners" we find in our research . . .

"Tolerance according to Islam: they build mosques here; destroy
churches there." -- from Kal El, writing in "Infidels Are Cool"

"The American people elected Barack Hussein Obama, and he will never
stop punishing them for it." -- from Pamela Geller, writing in "Atlas Shrugs"

"It may be true that you can't fool all the people all the time, but you
can fool enough of them to rule a large country." -- Will Durant

"The only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is
growing is Israel." -- Gary Bauer

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

A brief, simple statement of fact that needs no comment: Oil prices
have risen 133% since Obama took office. Gas prices have risen 70.4%
since he took office. It's not surprising; in an interview with the Wall Street
Journal, Stephen Chu, Obama's Energy Secretary, said: “Somehow we
have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in

And in case you didn't notice: this week the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) which administers "Obamacare," released the fact
that over 1,000 -- to be exact as of today, 1,040 -- organizations have been
granted waivers exempting them from complying with the new coverage
requirement of the health care reform law, enacted almost a year ago. We
are beginning to see a pattern here: the Obama administration chooses which
laws they want to enforce and which they simply will not enforce. It makes
the president's job of governing so much easier.

We don't like to quote or give any publicity to Michael Moore, but
in a speech in Madison, WI, on Saturday, Mr. Moore did make some sense;
here's his quote: "America ain't broke! The only thing that's broke is the
moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer
the ship ourselves from now on." Of course, he may not be right as to
whether America is broke or not . . . but he's right in stating that the moral
compass of our nation's leaders is "broke," in Mr. Moore's words. While
we don't like to agree with Michael Moore, that broken moral compass is
what we have been saying about the Obama administration from day one.

A possible disappointment for Newt Gingrich. Chris Matthews, whose
"Hardball" program on MSNBC fortunately continues to have few viewers,
once again demonstrated last week that he has little intent of adopting any
political civility in his comments. On Wednesday he compared the former
Speaker of the House, and possible GOP presidential candidate, Newt
Gingrich, to a terrorist, saying: "He looks like a car bomber ... He's got
that crazy Mephistophelian grin of his. He looks like he loves torturing."
(Editor's note: Apparently Gingrich's speeches don't send tingles up Chris'
legs like Obama's do.)

Sometimes you wonder about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Whose side is she on? Last Wednesday in speaking before the Senate
Appropriations Committee she strongly supported the request of the Obama
administration for $100 million in military aid for Lebanon, although that
government has been taken over by the Hezbollah terrorist movement, and
she admitted that the funds might go to the wrong forces. Then in testimony
before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee she endorsed the Muslim
Al Jazeera TV news: "Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United
States because it's real news," she said. "You feel like you're getting real
news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know,
arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on
our news." Her solution? Aside from increased accessibility to Al Jazeera,
have a stronger government run TV news operation - just like they do in
countries like China and Russia.

Until we find a better source for an understanding of our nation, we
will continue to look to the opinions of our Founding Fathers. They seem to
have anticipated many of the problems we are facing today.

"There is no good government but what is republican...for the true idea
of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men.' That, as a republic
is the best of governments; so that form of government which is best
contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the
best of republics." -- John Adams, 1776

"'Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that
it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept
under that character...There can be no greater error than to expect, or
calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which
experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
-- George Washington, 1796

"A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the objects of the
government; secondly, a knowledge of the means, by which those objects
can be best attained. " -- Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1833

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