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Vol. 18, No. 13 April 4, 2012 © 2012
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A thought for today, and for all the days yet to come:
"I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down
upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how
he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God."
Abraham Lincoln, 1861
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This must have been disappointing for the atheists! They had announced it
as "the largest gathering of the secular movement in world history." It was
their "Reason Rally" held recently in Washington. They had expected 30,000, but
observers say about 20,000 turned up. The title -- a "Reason Rally" -- seems a
bit out of place. How can you expect any reasoning to come from people whom
are described as fools -- "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God."
(Psalm 14:1) And as for it being such a "large" gathering -- remember when Billy
Graham was actively preaching across America, he regularly saw crowds of 50,000,
75,000 and 100,000. And today there are many of the so-called "mega churches"
with attendances of 20,000 or more, not just once, but every Sunday.

But the news story mentioned in the heading above relates to the power of the non-
religious, or atheist vote, which seems to be in support of Mr. Obama's re-election.
According to projections released last week by the Center for Applied Research in
the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, Obama will win the November
election if he continues to get the non-religious vote. "President Obama could lose
both the Catholic and Protestant vote to the Republican nominee — even lose
badly — and still win re-election," said Mark Gray, associate professor at
Georgetown and director of CARA.

The study found that U.S. adults who identify themselves as having "no religious
affiliation" had risen to 22 percent this year, compared to just 7 percent in 1972.
The percent of the electorate not belonging to any faith is equivalent to the U.S.
Catholic population percentage, the report said. The theme of the Reason Rally
was how to use the government as a hammer to punish and tear down Christianity
and the other “theist” religions.

Tad Cronn, writing in Patriot Update, commented: "There is ongoing belief in
some corners that President Obama is Muslim, rather than Christian as he
claims. But it’s also been suggested that he is ultimately an atheist who
cynically uses Islam as a tool against Christianity. What Obama’s deeply
held beliefs are is not clear, but what is clear is that the courts, the
bureaucracy, Congress and the administration are more than willing to let
atheism run roughshod over the religious freedoms of Americans while
installing itself as the de facto state religion." That is frightening.

In these final days of Lent, we are midway through Holy Week, as we
approach Easter Sunday. Back in the 1960s I worked with Jim Vaus in the
development of the exhibition of the huge and magnificent oil painting called
"The Miracle at Pentecost," in Dallas, Texas. (The painting and the entire
Biblical Arts Center which housed it, were destroyed by fire in 2005.) During
nearly fifty years, millions viewed it, and none will ever forget the narrator's
words in speaking of Holy week, describing the exultation of the throngs who
greeted Jesus on what is now called "Palm Sunday," and then these somber
words, "Five days later, He was dead."

Jill Carattini, writing in A Slice of Infinity, speaks of Holy Week in these brief
words, "For the Christian church, Holy Week begins a time of silence...
from the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem to the march of Christ
to the grave. Holy Week moves the world through the shouts of Palm Sunday
to the empty space of Holy Saturday. Though the Christian story clearly and
loudly ends on the note of triumph and resurrection, there is a great silence
in between."

The Scottish theologian, Alan Lewis, of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
shortly before his death authored what he considered his most important work,
Between Cross and Resurrection, in which he wrote: "Ironically, the center of
the drama itself is an empty space. All the action and emotion, it seems,
belong to two days only: despair and joy, dark and light, defeat and victory,
the end and the beginning, evenly distributed in vivid contrast between what
humanity did to Jesus on the first day and what God did for him on the third...
Yet between the crucifying and the raising there is interposed a brief, inert
void... a time of waiting in which nothing of significance occurs and of which
there is little to be said. It is rare to hear a sermon about Easter Saturday; for
much of Christian history the day has found no place in liturgy and worship
it could call its own."

As we approach another Easter, from the sorrow and grief that marks what we
call "Good Friday," to the joy that Easter Sunday brings to us, there is the quiet
period, the silence of Saturday, which can be for us -- because we know the
outcome -- a time of confident contemplation.

And let us never forget that there are graves or tombs in which are buried the
bodies of the founders of the world's great religions, and which can be visited.
Muhammad, the founder of Islam, in the Mosque of the Prophet, in Medina,
Saudi Arabia . . . Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other founders of Judaism, in the
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Israel's West Bank . . . Confucius in Qufu,
Shandong province, China . . . etc. The only unoccupied grave or tomb is
that of Jesus Christ, who rose from the grave, and was seen to ascend bodily
into heaven. And that fact of history remains as the assurance for our faith and
hope of eternal life.

And for American Christians, there is the question: what recognition, if any,
will Mr. Obama make this year . . . will he again ignore this most sacred of all
Christian observances, aside from a White House Easter egg hunt, and the
substitution of bunnies as the symbol of the event? Thus far in his presidency,
the celebration of Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month, has been his premier
religious observance.

As part of our rejoicing because of the miracle of Easter, should be our
continued prayer for our nation and its leaders, with just 216 days remaining
until Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012. And we must pray for God's will to be
accomplished in the world-wide problems which we are facing in these troubled
days. "Arab Spring" has turned into "Islamofascist Summer" as the Muslim
Brotherhood moves toward political domination of Egypt, and the sounds of war
are heard from Israel ... Iran ... Afghanistan ... Pakistan ... the Sudan, and Syria,
where thousands are being hunted down and murdered by the rogue president ...
and across the globe to North Korea where the new leader, Kim Jung Un,
appears to be as unbalanced as his father, as he moves to test inter-continental
ballistic missiles in defiance of concerned nations throughout the world.

Israel, our long time ally in the Middle East is threatened with extinction by its
Muslim neighbors, and from its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has come
a stronger expression of freedom for Christian worship than from our own
president: “The shared biblical values of Jews and Christians set Israel
apart from other nations in the Middle East...Israel is the only place in the
region where Christians are free to practice their faith… At a time when
Christians are under siege in so many places and in so many lands in the
Middle East, I'm proud that in Israel, they are free to practice their faith.
They don't have to fear, they don't have to flee."

A few examples of "What Others Are Saying," to offset the distortions
of the news stories of the day as reported by the Main Stream Media

Jim Denison (writing in the Denison Forum): "Over 80% of the world's
population lives on less than $10. a day; over 50% lives on less than $2.
a day. Compared to most of the world, most of us are wealthy. What will
we do with what has been entrusted to us?"

Tony Perkins (Family Research Council): "Follow a budget? America
hasn't even passed one! The last time the Senate waded into the messy
business of financial planning, Michael Jackson was still alive, Tiger
Woods was still married, and the iPad hadn't been introduced!"

[Worth noting: It has been 1,071 days since the U.S. Senate passed a budget,
the national debt is at about $16 trillion, and the deficit is at $3 trillion. One
wonders how much longer Harry Reid intends to resist establishing a budget
as a measuring rod to evaluate President Obama's expenditures -- or aren't
we, the taxpayers footing his bills, entitled to be informed?]

Chuck Colson (in Manhattan Declaration): "The current administration's
effort to force religious institutions to adopt practices that violate their
conscience is perhaps the biggest threat to religious liberty in our nation's
history. It should spur every serious Christian into action."

James Robison (writing in The Blaze): "Our nation, once a shining flame
of freedom, is well on its way to becoming a flickering ember of debt,
despair, dissension, and defeat. It does not have to continue...Who bears
the greatest responsibility for this predicament? I believe Christians do..."

Ben Crystal (writing in Personal Liberty Digest): "Panic led Obama to
wade blindly into the case of George Zimmerman...In suggesting Trayvon
Martin would “look like” him, Obama played to the racist bilge that has
consumed the foundation of the Democratic Party... In one week, Obama
turned a local matter into a national embarrassment, fumbled the ball on
foreign policy and watched his planned centerpiece to an unprecedented
expansion of state power virtually laughed out of court."

In our research this week we found these "One Liners" you may like:

J. Lee Grady: "In the case of Trayvon Martin, we’d be better off to keep
our heads cool and our words peaceable."

Ben Stein: "Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every
citizen to prove they are insured ... but not everyone must prove they are
a citizen."

And even the Founding Fathers often come up with some great "One Liners"

Alexander Hamilton, in 1788: "The confidence of the people will easily be
gained by a good administration. This is the true touchstone."

James Madison, in 1892: "A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the
catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of
visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts."

And as always, here are a few "Afterthoughts" to round out this issue

With reference to last week's comments on the Obama credibility problem,
this quote was sent to us: "The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive
his deception; the one who lies with sincerity." by Andre Gide, French author,
winner Nobel Prize for literature in 1947.

What would we do without Joe Biden? While speaking at a Democrat
fundraiser in Chicago, he praised the work of Mayor Richard Daley, saying in his
inimitable gaffe style: "I never had any interest in being a mayor, ' cause that's
a real job. You have to produce. That's why I was able to be a Senator for
36 years."

And Joe Biden isn't the only producer of embarrassing gaffes; President
Obama is active in that area, too. Just yesterday in a speech opportunity provided
for him by the Associated Press, he tried to make a joke out of his being caught
whispering a message for Russian President-elect Putin via the current President
Medvedev, saying that he would have more "flexibility" to work with Putin
after his re-election, presumably with respect to missile defense and the further
weakening of our military capability. His attempt at a joke fell flat . . . the
American people don't think that sort of thing is funny, Mr. President.

You may have forgotten them, but "Occupy Wall Street" is still around.
In fact, Adbusters, the magazine which may have been responsible for planting the
seeds of the Occupy movement, is now asking for people around the world to do
something similar on May 18. In a recent article, the magazine made this comment
on the decision to relocate the upcoming G8 Summit from Chicago to the
presidential compound at Camp David: "Wow! Looks like the specter of 50,000
occupiers ready to warm with a list of demands has turned the climactic
Showdown in Chicago into a humiliating G8 Backdown."

An interesting, and overlooked fact: Culture and Media Institute (CMI) has
been examining textbooks used in the nation's schools. They have found that in the
recounting of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, the media-created
myth that this was a horrible disaster has persisted in American history textbooks.
We would point out that there were fewer deaths as a result of the Three Mile
Island incident than there were on that bridge at Chappaquiddick involving Senator
Ted Kennedy, 10 years earlier.

Our Founding Fathers, and leaders throughout our past history, were never
hesitant in clearly demonstrating their Christian faith

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the
duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select
and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
-- John Jay, First Supreme Court Chief Justice, 1816

"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."
-- President John Tyler, 1841, whose first act as president was to issue this call
for a national day of prayer and fasting

We seem to say it every week: "Another week, another issue of ANC."
It becomes increasingly difficult to select from the bewildering volume of news
of current events, those issues which are -- or should be -- of greatest interest
and concern to Christians. We do extensive research to develop our commentary,
with the intent that these pro-Christian, pro-American, pro-Conservative opinions
will be of interest and help in these troubled times. And we remind our readers that
we are totally dependent on your support to continue this publication. Please click
HERE to learn how to help with your contribution sent by check or credit card.
Thank you!

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