THIS WEEK'S INTRODUCTORY EDITORIAL COMMENT: In the
Gospel records, Matthew, Mark and Luke all quote the words of Jesus as
He spoke about the last days. In His message to His disciples, as He sat
upon the Mount of Olives, among the signs of the end of the world was
included His statement that "there shall be earthquakes in divers places."
(Matt. 24:7, Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11) As a result of the recent major quakes
in Chile, New Zealand and Japan, the number of predictions of the end of
the world increases daily. We have noted these dates set by over-zealous
predictors for the year 2011: Mar. 19, May 21, Sep. 29, Oct. 21, and Nov.
11 and 22. (And there are at least as many for the year 2012.) But in that
same discourse with His disciples, Jesus said,"Of that day and hour knoweth
no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matt. 24:36)
And His instructional words were; "Take ye heed, watch and pray; for ye
know not when the time is." (Mark 13:33). On this subject, Roy Taylor,
stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), has made this
rather astute comment: "As far as predicting the approximate time of
Christ's Second Advent is concerned, I have resigned from the Planning
Committee and have joined the Welcoming Committee." (Editor's note:
So have we.) And do not ignore our weekly prayer reminder -- there are
now just 601 days until Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012 . . . 601 days to ask
God to bless America and to guide us as we prepare to vote for new leaders.
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THE DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE AND
TSUNAMI IN JAPAN HAVE DOMINATED
OUR ATTENTION AND THINKING, AND
WILL LIKELY CONTINUE TO DO SO
Our nation's news media has devoted more coverage of this calamitous event
than anything in recent memory - even more than the attack on member of
Congress, Gabrielle Gifford, by a demented individual in Tucson. This
rhetorical question arises: "What more can be said?" and the logical answer
is found in the instruction by newspaper editor, Arthur Brisbane, in 1921:
"Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words." Out of his comment has
come the common phrase, "One picture is worth a thousand words" --
wrongly attributed to Japanese and Chinese proverbs.
That phrase has been proved again and again in the Japanese disaster. The
pictures on TV and as reproduced in print media have better conveyed to
the American public the inconceivable and incomprehensive extent of this
disaster. Our morning newspaper carried just one word, in inch high, bold
face caps, extending across the page: CATASTROPHIC. Words, even by
the most talented TV reporters, have failed to convey what the pictures
have shown. Plus, their sources of news have been as unreliable as they are
here in America. The Japanese government is apparently afflicted with the
same disease as the Obama administration -- it lacks credibility. But the
pictures tell it all. There is little more that need be said or written. Of course
there is one aspect of the overall disaster which really cannot be covered
by pictures: the potential for the release and spread of radioactivity from the
damaged nuclear reactor plants. This is a danger which seems to be moving
ever closer to reality, as nuclear core "melt downs" show signs of occurring
in more than one of the reactor facilities.
Now this question confronts America and the rest of the world: What
can we do? The answer is one which we have frequently used in the past;
it is an old standard guide for Christians: Some can go . . others can give . . .
all can pray. Already religious and secular relief organizations from all over
the world are responding to the Japanese disaster, and their appeals for
financial assistance are before us. But beyond that step is our responsibility
to pray for relief and comfort for the millions in such tremendous need.
We came across these words from John Tyler, our 10th U.S. president,
which seem very fitting: "When a Christian people feel themselves to be
overtaken by a great public calamity, it becomes them to humble
themselves under the dispensation of Divine Providence, to recognize
His righteous government over the children of men...and to supplicate
His merciful protection for the future."
Beyond the disaster in Japan, the Middle East remains in turmoil.
In Libya, Gadhafi's forces continue to kill his own people, while Mr. Obama,
who keeps saying Gadhafi must go, does nothing to make that happen.
Meanwhile France and the Arab League have stepped forward to recognize
the opposition government in Benghazi, and to call for a No-Fly zone in
Libya. But Mr. Obama's major response has consisted of his stern declaration,
"We have already engineered the most rigid and forceful set of sanctions
that have ever been applied internationally." Even the Liberal Washington
Post editorialized: "Mr. Obama, who skipped a meeting of his top aides on
Wednesday, may hope that the Libyan rebels will defeat the Gadhafi
forces without help -- or that other Western governments will provide
the leadership that he is shunning." Two national commentators have
spoken on this theme; Bill Kristol, Editor of the National Standard: "The
President of the United States has said Gadhafi must go. How can you
stand up as President of the United States and say that Gadhafi must go,
and then do nothing about it?" And Michael Barone, in TownHall.com:
"In the Illinois legislature, state Sen. Barack Obama voted "present"
129 times. Today, he seems to be voting present on two major issues,
Libya and the budget." Obama appears to be conceding Gadhafi's victory.
But it isn't just Libya . . . in Bahrain protestors are demonstrating at some of
the royal family's palaces, meeting with violent responses from the nation's
security forces. On Saturday, some of the demonstrations occurred while U.S.
Secretary of Defense Gates was making an official visit. Saudi Arabia is
attempting to aid the Bahrain rulers, while Iran is offering support for the rebels,
making a conflict between those two nations a possibility.
In Yemen security forces have used water cannons, tear gas and ultimately
live ammunition in attempting to quell anti-government protests. And in the
Algerian capital, Algiers, police have forcibly shut down continuing anti-
government protests. Even Saudi Arabia has begun to experience some
protests in Riyadh, where Saudi police opened fire Thursday to disperse a
protest in an area where minority Shiites live, as the government attempted
to prevent the wave of unrest from reaching the kingdom. Police, lined up
opposite the protesters, reportedly used percussion bombs and gunfire.
Concerning Iraq, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) said it well:
"Under constant Islamist attacks, over half of Iraq’s Christian
community has fled the country and thousands of others are seeking
shelter away from their hometowns. Yet Iraqi authorities remain
reluctant to act and it is feared that the remaining Christians may also
soon have to leave the restive country. This needs to be averted before
it’s too late." Our responsibility? Pray for our fellow believers before the
Christian Church in supposedly "democratic" Iraq is gone.
As we take serious note of what is happening all over the world, we
must remember that Christian principles are our front line of defense against
enemies like Islamists without and Socialists within. Great Americans of the
past have spoken to this fact.
"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
"If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national
existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's
but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition,
ambition and ignorance on the other."
-- Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President, 1875
We can't trust the media, so "What Others Are Saying" is important.
Stuart Schwartz (in the American Thinker): "Evil. It has always been
there... Now we have a leader in the vanguard of a malevolence pushing
into the mainstream through a thousand barely perceptible actions and
words. It is tiptoeing into our culture...remaking our worldview in the
radical, leftist image favored by our educated elites. Such is the evil of
Barack Obama, an incredibly soft evil that threatens the future of a
nation that, for all of its existence, has led the world in freedom and
Herbert Hoover (31st U.S. President): "Every collectivist revolution
rides in on a Trojan horse of of 'emergency.' It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler
and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of
Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And 'emergency'
became the justifiction of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating
emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains."
Thomas Sowell (writing in National Review): "The biggest myth about
labor unions is that unions are for the workers. Unions are for unions,
just as corporations are for corporations and politicians are for
Steve Emerson (Family Security Matters): "Though Muslims represent
about 1 percent of the American population, they constitute defendants
in 186 of the 228 cases which the Department of Justice lists." (Editor's
note: Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D, MN) in trying to defend fellow
Muslims, is faced with the imponderable fact: Perhaps all Muslims are not
terrorists, but to date all terrorists have been Muslims.)
Cindy deVille (in Charisma magazine): "There is a great battle raging
for the souls of mankind, and as Christ’s return draws nearer, we see
this battle intensifying. As never before, the church must be ready for
the days ahead, armed with the truth of God’s living Word." .
Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel):"The President and his administration
are shoving us into a full-blown constitutional crisis! His imperialistic
policies continue to wreak havoc on mainstream America while
subverting the Constitution, catering to special interest groups, and
showing an unprecedented disregard for the will of a majority of
And just a few "One Liners" that we noted in our research this week:
"I voted for Hope and Change, but all I got was this lousy deficit."
-- Timothy H. Lee, Center for Individual Freedom
"First lady Michelle Obama said, 'Let's move!' Who knew Democratic
politicians in Wisconsin and Indiana would take her literally?"
-- columnist Michelle Malkin
"If Gadhafi survives, autocracy could flow back through the Middle
East." -- Jackson Diehl
And there are these random "Afterthoughts" . . .
A continuing word about DOMA -- the Defense of Marriage Act. In
previous issues we have expressed our concern over the decision of President
Obama not to defend DOMA against any attacks, and his instruction to his
Attorney General Holder not to support that law. The Heritage Foundation
president, Ed Feulner, this week commented on this course of action: "It was
never an easy relationship. For a while Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA]
and the Obama administration managed to live together. Then the
administration walked out, leaving DOMA to fend for herself... We know
why -- the president's core supporters refuse to recognize what centuries
of tradition and common sense tell us, and what voters and lawmakers
confirmed in 1996 -- that marriage is between one man and one woman."
Former President Reagan obviously foresaw the possibility of such action, and
in his 1988 State of the Union address said, "Let's ensure that the federal
government never again legislates against the family and the home. ...
But let us make certain that the family is always at the center of the
public policy process, not just in this administration but in future -- all
future administrations." That reminds us of these words from the Bible,
"There were giants in the earth in those days." (Gen. 6:4)
Iran has threatened to stay out of the 2012 Olympics because they
consider the games logo as racist -- that it can be seen to spell the word
"Zion," a Biblical term for Israel. British Prime Minister David Cameron
told a London newspaper, "It's completely paranoid. If the Iranians
don't want to come, don't come -- we won't miss you "
The richest people in the world -- This year's list, just released, broke all
previous records with 1,210 billionaires, whose combined net worth reached
$4.5 trillion. Moscow has more billionaires than any other city ... the number
of billionaires in China doubled over last year ... and at No. 1 is Carlos Slim
of Mexico. Bill Gates, who has given so much to charities, is now No. 2.
A bit of good news: atheist Michael Newdow fails again. The U.S.
Supreme Court has declined to hear atheist Michael Newdow's latest
challenge to the nation's use of "In God We Trust." The 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the use of the phrase, saying it
was ceremonial and that it "had nothing whatsoever to do with the
establishment of religion." Newdow had previously mounted legal
objections to the use of "so help me, God" in the presidential oath, and
"under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, and had lost in both of those suits.
Maybe he will quit now, but don't count on it.
One more attempt to make English the official U.S. language: Two
conservative Republican lawmakers, Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa)
and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), have introduced the English Language
Unity Act of 2011, a bill that requires that all official United States
government functions be conducted in English. A similar bill introduced in
the last Congress had 140 co-sponsors, but failed, as have all such attempts
Finally, no one can help but note that with one of the greatest natural
disasters of all time raging in Japan, one of our international friends . . . with
oppressed patriots being slaughtered by a tyrant dictator in Libya . . . and
with our national economy deteriorating and our national debt soaring out
of any control -- Mr. Obama found time for an afternoon of golf on
Saturday, and then participated in an evening of ribald humor at the media's
annual "Gridiron Dinner." Is this how American presidents should function?
It is always encouraging to recall the wisdom of our Founding Fathers.
"All are subject by nature to equal laws of morality, and in society have
a right to equal laws for their government, yet no two men are perfectly
equal in person, property, understanding, activity, and virtue, or ever
can be made so by any power less than that which created them."
-- John Adams, 1776
"I place economy among the first and most important virtues and public
debt as the greatest danger to be feared." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1816