We have previously promised that this newsletter
or commentary will -- for most of the time leading
up to Election Day, November 4 -- stay off of the
subject of the campaign between the 4 principal
candidates for president and vice president. That
campaign has already become boring and degrading,
and has regressed into a seemingly never-ending
series of attacks and mud-slinging between the
opposing candidates, with an increasing lack of
attention to important issues -- particularly those
moral issues of interest and concern to Christians.

There is absolutely no question but that the
upcoming election on November 4 will involve
several moral value issues which are of serious
concern to all Christian believers. Any different
elements in the current campaign processes in no
way alter the importance of those moral issues
which will be affected by the result of the election.

It is our heritage, our responsibility in such elections
to vote for candidates and legislative proposals
which do not conflict with our Christian principles.
The Scriptures teach that as Christians we should
be good citizens. "I exhort therefore, that, first
of all, supplications, prayers and intercessions ....
be made for all men; for kings and for all that
are in authority that we may lead a quiet and
peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
(I Tim: 2:1-2) "Let every soul be subject unto
the higher powers. For there is no power but
of God: the powers that be are ordained of
God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power
resisteth the ordinance of God." (Romans 13:1-2)
Obedience to authority demands good citizenship
on our part. We express our obedience to God by
exercising our rights and responsibilities as good
citizens, and that includes voting.

Our nation's Founding Fathers and early leaders
of this new nation spoke often of the importance of
voting and of our choice of men to be in positions
of authority. Consider for a moment their intent for
this America they were developing: "Let each
citizen remember at the moment he is offering
his vote that he is not making a present or a
compliment to please an individual--or at least
that he ought not so to do; but that he is
executing one of the most solemn trusts in
human society for which he is accountable to
God and his country." (Samuel Adams, 1781)

"While voters are acquainted with the duties
which they owe to their God, to themselves,
and to men, they will remain free. But if
ignorance and depravity should prevail, they
will inevitably lead to slavery and ruin. (Samuel
Huntington, 1787)

And from Matthias Burnett, a pastor in Norwalk,
Conn., 1803: "Look well to the characters and
qualifications of those you elect and raise to
office and places of trust." And a bit later in
history, James Garfield in 1877: "Now more than
ever the people are responsible for the character
of their Congress. If that body be ignorant,
reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people
tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption."

But to fulfill this responsibility assigned to us by
Scripture and by the men who founded this nation,
we have to register to vote! To introduce this
important subject, we quote from the September
19 "End of Day" column by Washington-based
Christian activist Gary Bauer, "Please, if you have
not registered to vote, you can do so now online
at: www.ouramericanvalues.org.... There is much
at stake in every election, and this election is
already one for the history books! You too can
be a part of history, but only if you are
registered to vote."

For many -- in fact, for most -- states the deadline
for registration for the November 4 election is less
than a week away -- Monday, October 6. Yes, it
is important to vote -- it is your Christian and your
American responsibility -- but you cannot vote if
you are not registered to vote.

What else need we say? Whether the excuse for
non-voting is apathy or laziness or just too busy a
schedule, voting has become a privilege that far too
many Americans take for granted. Before you make
the decision not to vote -- because it really is purely
your choice -- consider living in a country where
where you don't have the choice to elect a president,
or choose a job, or decide how many children you
can have. There are many countries in our world
today where the people do not have those freedoms.
Don't forgo the privilege which is yours as a citizen
of America citizen . . . and remember always your
dual responsibility as a Christian American.

We're not alone in stressing the importance of this
privilege -- Donald Wildman, chairman of the
American Family Association is using the Internet to
enlist thousands of Christian pastors to sign "The
Pastor's Pledge," which reads as follows:

I pledge to
1. Encourage my members to register to vote;
2. Encourage my members to study the issues;
3. Encourage my members to vote.

Those thousands of pastors and their members can
make a difference in America and in the world. But
only if together we take a strong stand for the moral
values issues which are at stake.

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

Something you might have wondered about:
Who are the wealthiest members of Congress, and
how rich are they? As published in Roll Call, from
their financial disclosure statements, here are the
top 10:
1. Sen. John Kerry, D, Mass. $230.98 million
(add in his wife's wealth for a combined worth
of $1 billion)
2. Rep. Jane Harman, D, Calif. $225.96 million
3. Rep. Darrell Issa, R, Calif. $160.62 million
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D. W.Va. $80.4 million
5. Rep. Robin Hayes, R, NC. $78.96 million
6. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R, Fla. $65.49 million
7. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D, NJ. $55.33 million
8. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D, Calif. $52.34 million
9. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D, MA. $$49.62 million
10. Sen. Gordon Smith, R, Ore. $28.65 million

Names in the news: John McCain is No. 13 with
$19.64 million (his wife's worth may exceed $100
million); Nancy Pelosi, D, Calif. is 17th at $18.71
million; Hillary Clinton, D, NY. is No. 29 at
$10.39 million. (Her husband's wealth was not
available since he is no longer in public service.)

Perhaps it is because wealthy people like them
just cannot understand how normal people across
America have to live, that they develop so much
sorry legislation. They live in a different world.

In addition to national concern about the
presidential election campaign, a very important
issue (to Christians) is on the ballot in California.
And it has national implications. It is Proposition 8
which simply adds 14 words to the California state
constitution as an amendment: "Only marriage
between a man and a woman is valid or
recognized in California." Obviously, Proposition
8 will outlaw homosexual marriage in California.

In the year 2000 the people voted for Proposition
22, which said the same thing -- it was a state law,
and it was supported by just over 61% of California
voters. Then in 2008. by a vote of 4-3, the state
Supreme Court nullified the vote of 61% of the
people, and declared same-sex marriages were
legal in the state, and those seeking such marriage
didn't have to be California residents.

But that same Supreme Court voted unanimously to
permit Proposition 8 to remain on the ballot in the
November election, but then the Democrat Attorney
General Jerry Brown ruled that Proposition 8 would
carry the title "Eliminates the right of same-sex
couples to marry." This clearly puts a negative
emphasis on Proposition 8, and may confuse voters.

Large sums of money are being invested to defeat
Proposition 8 -- but the Christians of California are
hard at work to see it passed. Please: contact your
friends in California and urge them to vote for
Proposition 8 on November 4. And don't forget
your friends in Arizona and Florida -- a very
similar marriage issue will be on the ballot in those
states also.

Remember our warning about Russia last week?
Now even as we write, a Ukrainian ship loaded with
Russian armament, missiles, etc, and enroute to a
Somalia warlord, has been seized by pirates, and
is surrounded by US naval ships. Meanwhile,
Russian warships are sailing toward the Caribbean
for joint military exercises with Venezuela, their first
deployment in the Western hemisphere since the
cold war. Russia is also strengthening its assistance
ties with Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua -- in the words
of a Russian defense analyst to the British Guardian
newspaper, "This is the first time since the collapse
of the Soviet Union that the Russian military is
actually preparing for an all-out nuclear war with
America." (Pavel Felgenhauer, Sept. 26, 2008)

One further word on today's voting theme:
"A share in the sovereignty of the state, which
is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at
elections is one of the most important rights
of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand
foremost in the estimation of the law... It is
that right, by which we exist as a free people."
-- Alexander Hamilton, 1784




First, an important statement: This newsletter
is not dedicated to commenting on every news
headline of the day, but rather on those happenings
which are of interest and concern to American
Christians . . . and essentially things which individual
Christian believers can do something about. Thus
this first comment today is a departure from our
customary practice.

We have expressed concern about the rise of
Islam as a world religion, second in size only to
Christianity. Islam's tenets are set forth in their holy
book, the Quran, written in the 7th century by a
self-proclaimed prophet named Mohammed. And
although Islam is claimed by its followers to be a
religion of peace, the Quran is replete with
commandments to eliminate infidels -- that is, non-
believers in Islam -- which is a threat to Christians.
We see the practice carried out almost daily in
news stories of suicide bombings, beheadings,
stonings, etc. The goal is clearly to take over the
world for the Islamic faith.

And Islam is growing -- not only in Arab nations,
but across Europe, and even in Great Britain where
Sharia Law -- the law of Islam -- is now recognized
as part of the historic British system of courts of law.

So there is in the growth of Islam the clear threat of
a war between two religions, between Christianity
and Islam. This is known, talked and written about,
by major commentators on the world scene.

But now another "religion" is on the move again
and the threat of war is very real, in the resurgence
of Communist aggression under the former Russian
President and now Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin,
former head of the KGB. With America militarily
weakened by two wars in progress, he invaded
neighboring Georgia and used Russia's newly
strengthened military capabilities to interfere with
and with the intent do destroy the free nation status
of some former Soviet Union members.

Of the United States he said just a few days ago
that Washington's unilateral, militaristic approach
had made the world a more dangerous place than
at any time during the Cold War. "The United
States has overstepped its national borders in
every way. Nobody feels secure anymore,
because nobody can take safety behind the
stone wall of international law." He has just
announced that Russia has agreed to supply
armament to Iran and to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela,
and that Russia will participate in naval exercises
with Venezuela this year. Four Russian naval ships
are already enroute to the Caribbean. And Russia
has increased her military budget by 25% for the
year 2009. Then if you add to all that the close ties
between Chavez' Venezuela. and the Castro
Brothers' Cuba, just 90 miles off our coast, you
can foresee a serous threat to what has long been
considered to be America's Hemisphere.

Make no mistake about it: Communism is a
system of anti-religion which becomes a religion
of thought and life, and which is as vehemently
opposed to Christianity as is Islam. Lenin, the
great prophet of Communism, used these words
with which we are all familiar: "Religion is the
opium of the people. Religion is a kind of
spiritual intoxicant, in which the slaves of
capital drown their humanity and their desires
for some sort of decent human existence....
Whatever helps the world Communist revolution
is good; whatever hinders it is bad. Religion,
through its insistence upon individual
responsibility to the Creator of all things,
interferes with the advance of world
collectivism. It is, therefore, irredeemably evil."

And to summarize Communist religious thought in
one sentence: There is no God, and therefore every
moral and virtue that originates with God is denied.

That intransigence helps us to understand the
statement of President Bush after his first meeting with
Putin in 2001: "I looked the man in the eye. I found
him to be very straight forward and trustworthy....
I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Please be aware of these facts, that a war of
religion, either between Christianity and Islam or
between Christianity and Communism may not be
far off. With respect to Russia, if we are not already
in the grip of a cold war -- as in the early 1940s
and up to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991,
hastened by the classic speech by Ronald Reagan
at the Brandenberg Gate in the Berlin Wall: "Mr.
Gorbachev open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev tear
down this wall" -- such a cold war is a distinct
possibility -- and soon.

As for what we can do, as individual Christians --
in the case of domestic problem issues like abortion
with the murder of 50,000,000 babies since abortion
became legal under a Supreme Court decision, or
like approving same-sex marriage -- we can act
upon those two moral issues by voting against the
politicians who endorse them. In the case of serious
international affairs like we have just discussed, we
can pray. And never think in a belittling way: "All
I can do is pray." Who can measure the effect of
bringing the power of almighty God to act upon
the forces of evil?

And from a founding Father: "Can the liberties
of a nation be sure when we remove their only
firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people,
that these liberties are a gift from God?
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1781

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

Here is one more time when an advertisement
expresses as appropriate a viewpoint on life as any
print or TV commentator. Consider this one, for
example: "For most Americans, the Bible is a
source of divine inspiration, moral guidance,
and the foundation of Western civilization. But
for an influential group of academic, government
and media elites, it's the source of most of the
evil in the world today. Everywhere one turns --
from television, to mainstream news magazines,
to the current avalanche of best-selling atheist
tracts -- the Bible that millions revere as holy
is ridiculed and condemned. The critics say the
Bible is full of fables masquerading as history,
and that it has regularly incited people to
violence and immorality.

"But fear not: In The Politically Incorrect
Guide™ to the Bible, award-winning journalist
Robert J. Hutchinson turns the latest historical
scholarship against the mockers, skeptics and
deniers to show that not only is the Bible true
-- but it is also the source of Western ideas of
charity, justice, reason, science, and democracy."

We do not offer this book for sale, but have found
it to provide refreshing and helpful reading for
Christian believers.

Catholic leaders meeting in North Carolina
last week issued a joint statement regarding the
moral obligations of voters in the upcoming election.
The group includes the heads of Catholic groups
and influential Catholics in business, politics and
media. Their statement made it clear that Catholic
voters should make abortion a priority when
evaluating candidates in November and should
follow the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.

"Catholics who vote should always be guided
in their political participation by the moral and
social teachings of the Catholic Church." The
group goes on to say that there should be no
compromise when it comes to the pro-life issues
and voting for candidates who are out of step
with pro-life teachings. "In regard to the 'life
issues,' no prudential judgment can justify
certain acts, such as direct abortion,
euthanasia, and the killing of unborn life for
medical research." Need we remind you of the
position of Barack Obama on these very issues?

George Washington got it right on immigrants
and American citizenship: "The bosom of America
is open to receive not only the Opulent and
respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and
persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom
we shall welcome to a participation of all our
rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety
of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment."
-- George Washington, 1783

On the present financial crisis, Pat Buchanan
said it well: "What we are witnessing is the
collapse of Gordon Gecko ("Greed Is Good!")
capitalism. What we are witnessing is what
happens to a prodigal nation that ignores
history, and forgets and abandons the
philosophy and principles that made it great."
-- Pat Buchanan, HumanEvents.com, 09/19/08

A final quote from a Founding Father on the
defense of liberty: "Those who would give up
essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
— Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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The continuing abortion problem for Catholics:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be meeting with
her Roman Catholic Archbishop to discuss her
personal views as to church teaching on abortion.
Meantime, two leading Catholic bishops last week
issued a joint pastoral letter making it clear that pro-
life issues like abortion and euthanasia must be the
top priority for Catholic voters in November. The
Kansas City (KS) Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
and Kansas City - St. Joseph Bishop Robert W.
Finn wrote in their statement: “When it comes to
pro-life issues, the Church strongly believes a
pro-life policy is necessary without compromise…
There are some issues that always involve doing
evil, such as legalized abortion ... as well as
public policies permitting euthanasia ... or
destructive human embryonic stem cell research.
To vote for a candidate who supports these
intrinsic evils…is to participate in a grave
moral evil. It can never be justified." It will be
interesting to see if self-described devout Catholics
like Pelosi, Joe Biden, John Kerry and Ted
Kennedy, for example, will follow the teachings of
their church, or go along with the positions of the
Democrat party, and thereby face being denied

In last week's issue we reported on the extremely
important challenge facing Christians in California --
to enact in the November 4 election Proposition 8
which will amend the state constitution and define
marriage as between a man and a woman. Naturally
the liberals and the homosexual community oppose
this effort. Now they have been joined in their
opposition by California's six Episcopal bishops,
who are flaunting this slogan,"Jesus calls us to
love rather than to hate; to give rather than
receive." (Any logical application is difficult to
grasp.) The six bishops are joined in their support
for same-sex marriage by the Union of Reformed
Judaism, and the Unitarian-Universalist churches.

Now the ACLU has entered the battle by donating
$1.2 million to oppose the adoption of Proposition 8.
It's always nice when events prove our position to
be right. Steve Linder, of ProtectMarriage.com
said, "The ACLU is picking this fight for a reason.
They know that if we fail, there will be nothing
stopping them and their radical vision for a
society dictated to by activist judges." Urge
your California friends to put voting for Proposition
8 on their "to do" lists!

The Church of England is at it again! A few
issues ago we discussed the shortcomings of the
Anglican Communion -- which includes the Church
of England and the American Episcopal church --
because of their endorsement of same-sex marriage
and the ordaining of openly gay and lesbian priests.
Last week the C of E took another unprecedented
step which some observers in Great Britain have
characterized as "ludicrous."

The church officially apologized to Charles Darwin
for not having embraced his theory of evolution. The
official statement reads, in part, "Charles Darwin,
200 years from your birth [in 1809] the Church
of England owes you an apology for misunder-
standing you, and by getting our first reaction
wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand
you still."

Church officials said that senior bishops wanted to
atone for the vilification their predecessors heaped
upon Darwin in the 1860s when he promulgated his
theory that man was descended from apes. The
church also wants to distance itself from Bible
believing Christians who accept the Scriptural
record of God's creation of the world.

The statement was written by Rev. Malcolm Brown,
a director of the Archbishop's Council, the church's
governing body, which is in turn headed by the
Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. This
action would be amusing if it were not so serious.

On important conferences and media attitudes:
the most recent in the ongoing series of conferences
on religion, morals, ethics, etc. was last week's
Value Voters Summit in Washington. Organized
by Family Research Council, it featured a very
impressive list of speakers, essentially adherents
of Conservative, Evangelical, Pro-Life, Pro-Family
principles. One major speaker was CNN News
Anchor Lou Dobbs, who said that a prominent
Evangelical leader had changed his views about
the role of faith in politics. He said that the FRC
president Tony Perkins "kept talking long enough
and making enough sense" that he finally agreed
with Perkins that religious faith should influence
public policy. Dobbs also commented that if his
colleagues in the liberal media knew about his change
of heart, he would be in trouble. And he added,
"The truth is, we have a national media that is
liberal in tone, liberal in its bias and that is
dominant in the stories that we choose to report
and the way in which we report them."

This change in attitude by a featured reporter on a
major liberal network (CNN) came right on the
heels of MSNBC removing two key reporters,
Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, from their
anchor positions during the presidential campaign
because of their obvious opinionated pro-Obama
bias. Who knows? We might yet see "freedom of
the press" become "fairness of the press."

Teddy Roosevelt again; he was so perceptive:
"...the man who really counts in the world is the
doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually
does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly,
not the man who only talks or writes about how
it ought to be done." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1910
[Remind you of any men in the news today?]

Some Random Afterthoughts . . .

There are times when an advertisement expresses
the facts of life as well as any print or video reporter
can do. Consider this one, for example: "Someday
soon, you might wake up to the call to prayer from
a Muslim muezzin. Millions of Europeans already do.
And liberals will still tell you that 'diversity is our
strength' -- while Talibanic enforcers cruise our
cities burning books and barber shops... the
Supreme Court decides sharia law doesn't violate
the 'separation of church and state' ... and the
Hollywood Left gives up gay rights in favor of the
much safer charms of polygamy.

“If you think this can't happen, you haven't been
paying attention, as the hilarious and brilliant Mark
Steyn -- the most popular conservative columnist in
the English-speaking world -- shows to devastating
effect in his New York Times bestseller, "America
Alone: The End of the World As We Know It.”

This is not an offer to sell this book -- but we here
have read it and have found it to be not only
enjoyable but also remarkably informative.

For what it's worth: the "all American" game of
baseball may be British in origin. It seems that a
diary has been discovered which tells of playing
a game of baseball on Easter Monday in 1755,
in Guildford, Surrey, some 35 years before the
earliest American claimed date of approximately
1790. And as for the long accepted myth that
Abner Doubleday invented the game in 1839 --
there is no solid historical evidence that Doubeday
had anything to do with the origin of the sport. Old
legends die hard . . . but they do die.

A thought about US citizenship: It is reported that
immigrants aren't seeking US citizenship right now,
and the reason may be that the cost of doing so has
gone up. Last summer there was a 69% increase in
citizenship fees, from $400 to $675, and currently
some 281,000 have applied to become US citizens
in the first half of 2008 -- less than half the number
of applicants in the same period last year, according
to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It
is one of those factors we don't often consider in
expressing concern about the huge population of
illegal aliens in this country.

Shades of "It Can't Happen Here" -- the title of
Sinclair Lewis' great novel has long been a slogan
of reassurance that bad things won't happen to
good people, or something like that. But in England
that theory was exploded a few days ago, with an
email message to all 51 members of the Tower
Hamlets Council in East London from the Head of
Democratic Services, that for the duration of
Ramadan, the Muslim holy month (September this
year), every one of them, Muslim, Catholic, Jew
or atheist - must behave during council meetings as
strict Muslims. They are not to eat or drink; they are
to break for Muslim prayers; they are to do as they
are ordered by the Muslim religion. There was a time
when "It Can't Happen Here" would have covered
such an eventuality in Britain. . . but it is happening.
And there was a time when that assurance phrase
would have been true in America . . . and for the
moment we must pray that it still is true, and will
remain so.

A Founding Father's quote on a timely subject:
"How could a readiness for war in time of peace
be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in
like manner, the preparations and establishments
of every hostile nation?" -- James Madison, 1788

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