THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: The current major story which
is dominating our news this week -- and which shows no sign of dying down
at any time soon -- has run the gamut of human emotions . . . patriotism,
revenge, justice, ethics, morality and religion. And, of course, politics. . . and
when that aspect is involved, there is always suspicion. Where exactly it does
belong and what is each American's position regarding it, is not easily settled.
Nor will this week's issue accomplish that. But at least we will discuss it in a fair
and balanced manner, and hope that perhaps such a discussion will help answer
the question that so many Americans and American Christians are asking.
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IN THE AFTERMATH OF PROBABLY THE BIGGEST SINGLE
NEWS STORY THUS FAR IN 2011, WE FIND OURSELVES
ASKING: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
This is an exact quote from one of ANC readers: "The White House made 18
goofs in telling the Osama story. How can we really know what is right
and what is not?" It provides a good starting point for the discussion which
was promised above. "18 goofs" our reader said. Remember the old phrase:
"But who's counting?" Let's recall some of the varying reports issued by the
White House during the hours following the initial announcement by President
Obama: "There was a firefight... There wasn’t a firefight...Osama resisted...He
exchanged fire with the SEALs. ...He wasn’t armed... The SEALs thought he
was reaching for an AK-47 over by the outside door... He used his wife as a
human shield ... He didn’t use his wife as a human shield...His wife was killed...
She ran toward a SEAL who shot her in the leg...She wasn't killed, it was some
other lady who was killed ... bin Laden’s son was killed, unless it was some
other child...There was a problem with the helicopter... The helicopter blew up...
No, the SEALs blew it up..." And those are just a few of the "15 goofs" which
confused our reader.
Wesley Pruden, long time editor of the Washington Times, expressed it in
these words: "The White House converted a picture-perfect military
operation into a public-relations disaster that will be cited as what not
to do and how not to do it in flackery textbooks for a hundred years.
Days after the raid on Osama bin Laden's 'mansion' they still can't get
the 'fact pattern'...even close to straight." In more concise wording,
Michelle Malkin summed it up nicely: "President Obama's allies attribute
the bungled 'narrative' (their word, not mine) to the 'Fog of War.' But
each passing day -- and each new set of hapless revisions -- shows that
what really ails the administration is the Fog of Fog."
Out of Ms. Malkin's "Fog of Fog," Mr. Obama emerged bright and shining,
with his re-election campaign back on track, his sagging ratings given a
boost as he performed what in athletic contests is called a "victory lap" by
speaking at self congratulation rallies in strategic sites across America.
As for bin Laden (one of those Muslims with whom America is never at war,
according to Mr. Obama) he was accorded full Islamic burial rites as
decreed for a devout Muslim, and his body was dropped into the ocean
within hours of his killing.
We have often spoken of Obama's "credibility crisis." It is still very obvious,
and like the classic fairy-tale of Jack and the beanstalk, it keeps on growing,
out of all human control.
Nancy Morgan, writing in yesterday's issue of American Thinker, in an
article titled "Is Obama a Serial Liar?" made this observation: "Last week,
several of my friends asked me if I believed that bin Laden was really
dead. The questions weren't surprising, considering the mass of
misinformation and conflicting accounts of bin Laden's death now
emanating from the White House. It appears the question of bin
Laden's demise was only settled after al Qaeda issued a statement
confirming it. What does it say about Obama's credibility when the
pro-Arab al Jazeera media reports are given more credibility than our
Out of the media circulated aberrations of the bin Laden killing, as
might have been expected, in the words of Maureen Callahan, of the New
York Post: "The death of birtherism, it seems, is giving way to the
birth of deatherism." And Ms. Callahan adds, "It seems the nation has
moved on to a new pet conspiracy theory: That the elimination of
Osama bin Laden by American forces, and his subsequent burial at
sea, is the greatest hoax since the moon landing... Or the Warren
Commission’s findings. Or the death of Elvis." So, one way or another
(and remember, we are already in the 2012 election campaign season) we
have not heard the last of the bin Laden story. He will obviously be far
larger in death than he was in life.
And what is the Christian position on the killing of bin Laden? To say
"it is all over the place," is about as accurate a statement as you can come
up with. There has been much quoting of Proverbs 11:10: "When it goeth
well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish,
there is rejoicing." Aside from asking if you should use a verse from the
Proverbs as a basis for Christian doctrine, there is also to be considered
Proverbs 24:17, "Rejoice not when thy enemy falleth." And there is
this word from the Lord in Ezekiel 33:11, "As I live, saith the Lord God,
I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." The great dividing point
between the concepts of Law and Grace, is in John 1:17, "For the law was
given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." And there
are the words of Jesus on this precise subject, in Matthew 5:38,43-44, "Ye
have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a
tooth...Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor,
and hate thy enemy ... But I say unto you, Love your enemies..." As for
those who insist that we should see justice done -- that word does not appear
in the New Testament, although righteousness is often used to express the
concept -- here is Paul's word in Galatians 2:21,"For if righteousness
comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." In the light of Scriptural
teaching, perhaps the rejoicing, and dancing in the streets over the killing of a
sick old man, evil though he certainly was, is not the appropriate response for
Christians. But that is for the individual to decide for himself.
The National Day of Prayer was observed last week by millions of
Christians all across America. Again -- as last year -- there was no official
recognition of the day from the Obama White House. Instead, Mr. Obama
went to Ground Zero -- his first visit there since becoming president, and took
advantage of the killing of bin Laden as an opportunity to place a wreath at the
site -- this is an election year; he'll doubtless be back on 9/11. Of course he
did issue a National Day of Prayer proclamation -- but he is required to do so
by federal law, signed by President Truman in 1952, and amended by
President Reagan in 1988, and including these words: "The president shall
issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as
a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may
turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as
It does seem strange that the president didn't give some recognition to the
National Day of Prayer. In this pre-election period he has become much more
"Christian" in his attitudes. But that may be just a matter of math -- it is simple
to compare the combined 8 - 10% of the U.S.population which is homosexual,
atheistic and Muslim, with the 80% which is Christian, and realize where is the
most productive source for the most votes. But we shall probably see a gala
White House observance of Ramadan on or about Aug. 1, as we did last year.
And Christians shouldn't observe just one day of prayer: Remember our
long count-down to Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012 -- there are now just 545
days in which to pray for our nation and our leaders, and to ask God for
wisdom as we vote on Nov. 6 to reclaim our nation to what our Founding
Fathers intended it to be. And along with our prayers for America we should
pray for our fellow Christians who are suffering persecution -- and death --
in Muslim countries . . . in Egypt, for example, where the protesters whom Mr.
Obama so strongly supported in deposing President Mubarak, have launched
new attacks on Christians, burning churches and killing the worshipers. And
protests are spreading across the Middle East, very noticeably in Syria where
the killing of residents continues unabated under President Assad, whom Mr.
Obama and Secretary of State Clinton consider to be a "reformer."
Given the bias of the media, "What Others Are Saying" is important:
Dennis Hollinger (Pres. Gordon-Conwell Seminary): “Emotions are
good gifts from God, but they must always be tempered by virtues of
justice, goodness, and wisdom. Otherwise we begin to mirror the very
acts we deplore.’’
David Martin (Media Research Center): On CBS' appointment of Scott
Pelley to replace Katie Couric: "This is the same correspondent who called
Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an out-spoken critic of the
United States, a 'friendly' guy who is 'incorruptible and modest.'"
Chuck Colson: "What do you think would happen to the Church—
indeed to America—if 5 million people simply did the right thing? I
believe the Church and the country could be changed... perhaps radically."
Robert Ringer: "I wish Republicans would stop saying that Barack
Obama is not serious about the budget deficit. It's simply not true. He's
very serious about it. In fact, he is determined to increase it to the point
that it brings about a total collapse of the U.S. economy. Most people
don't see an Obamaclysm as a serious threat because they have never
experienced an angry, anti-American president whose life's dream is to
destroy the Western way of life."
Don Swarthout (Christians Reviving America's Values): "Politics is
not going to change our nation. God is the only answer...Our nation was
founded as a Christian Nation. Our nation was founded upon the
principles of good ggovernment and those are the same principles as the
principles of Christianity. The church has lost its influence upon people,
one person at a time."
2001, the date when Muslim terrorists attacked America and brought down
the twin towers in Manhattan, destroying much of the financial district and
killing some 3,000 innocent people. But there have been at least two previous
"9/11s" in Muslim history -- both as disasters for the Muslims -- and this most
recent one may have been part of their unending goal to dominate the enemies
of Islam in the West. It was on Sept. 11, 1683 that the followers of
Muhammad took a major step in their quest to bring the rest of the world into
submission to Allah, under Islam rule. But on that date, Christian armies under
King Jan Sobioeski of Poland arrived at the Gates of Vienna ... the city was
saved ... and the Ottoman rule was driven back into Asia Minor. Then on Sept.
11, 1697, under Prince Eugene of Savoy, some 20,000 Ottomans (the Muslim
Turks) were killed in the Battle of Zenta, and in the treaty of Karlowitz many
of the Ottoman countries were ceded to Austria. Now, once again, the Muslim
dreams of world conquest have been revived, and Islamic Jihad is alive and
well, and flourishing in many parts of the civilized world..
An ongoing aftermath of our modern day "9/11." On Aug. 13, 2010, at
the White House observance of Ramadan, President Obama delivered a very
strong defense of the proposed Mosque to be built at the site of the Muslim
attack at Ground Zero: “Ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground, but
let me be clear: As a citizen and as president, I believe that Muslims have
the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.
That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community
center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local
laws and ordinances.” As usual, no consideration of the opinions of the
An amazing bit of "mis-direction" that any magician would envy. In
just about every form of the media, a headline was prominent this past
week, touting the creation of 244,000 new jobs in April, exceeding all
expectations by a few thousand. Hidden alongside that glowing report was
the fact that the unemployment rate had risen to 9% -- up from the 8.8%
which made Mr. Obama so happy a couple of months ago. And the other
figure, which was really de-emphasized, was that the number of people
applying for their unemployment benefits surged during the last week in
April by 43,000 to to the highest level in eight months. It's difficult to
"make lemonade out of those lemons" . . . but they'll try.
In preparation for next week's issue: Everyone using the Internet has
some varying concern over the circulation -- usually by "Forwarding" -- of
articles which are essentially rumors, hoaxes and unsubstantiated theories.
We will try to address this problem in a helpful way, and offer practical
suggestions as to how best to deal with it in your computer.
The best way to understand what our Founding Fathers intended this
nation to be, is to read the statements they made in those early days.
"The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure virtue, and if this
cannot be inspired into our people, in a greater measure than they
have it now, they may change their rulers, and the forms of government,
but they will not obtain a lasting liberty." --John Adams, 1776
"I regret, as much as any member, the unavoidable weight and
duration of the burdens to be imposed; having never been a proselyte
to the doctrine, that public debts are public benefits. I consider them,
on the contrary, as evils which ought to be removed as fast as honor
and justice will permit." -- James Madison 1787
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but
the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough
to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is
not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.
This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1820