HIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: It always seems to be wise to
have a general theme to follow ... and that being true, our theme for this
week is that it makes sense to remember the past when planning the future.
That is obviously a restatement of Edmund Burke's "Those who don't know
history are destined to repeat it." We have often cited that observation
because for some 220 years it has proved to be true, and because it seems
to be particularly appropriate to observe in our present situation, in both
the political and religious involvements.
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IT IS OFTEN VERY IMPORTANT TO PAUSE
FROM THE DAILY RUSH TO DO SOMETHING,
AND REFLECT ON ELEMENTS OF THE PAST
WHICH CAN BE RECALLED INTO OUR MEMORY
Our first step in memory recall takes us back to the year 1787 . . .
We have often -- in fact, in every issue -- cited a quotation from some
of our nation's Founding Fathers, and very frequently those quotations
have been a form of expression of their Christian beliefs. One of the
most familiar quotations is this one from Benjamin Franklin, spoken at
the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when he called for prayers as
they worked to create our Constitution: "I have lived, Sir, a long time,
and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth,
that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a sparrow cannot fall
to the ground without His Notice, is it probable that an Empire can
rise without His Aid?"
That was 223 years ago, when our nation's Founding Fathers created the
Constitution that would be the governing document of the United States
of America. They believed in, and this nation was founded upon, historic
Judeo-Christian principles. Just above their signatures - the first one was
"G. Washington" -- was the date: "the Seventeenth Day of September
in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven."
Last Friday we observed "Constitution Day" as the official beginning of
Constitution Week, which was signed into law by President Eisenhower
in 1955. As he did in 2009, President Obama issued a perfunctory
proclamation in recognition of the event, "I encourage federal, state
and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational
organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that recognize our
Constitution and reaffirm our rights and obligations as citizens of this
great Nation." At least, for a change, he spoke well of America.
There were so many expressions of opinion about the Constitution on
Friday. Conservative commentator Andrew Zarowny, who is spoken of
as "Washington's Top Secret Weapon," said, "Once a revered document
of Liberty, the Constitution has been beaten up over the years. Many
people, like President Obama, think of it not as a means to secure
freedom, but as a restriction on what government can do." In similar
vein, Catherine Snow, in "Citizen Link," commented, "The Constitution
is under attack like never before. The liberal, elite establishment
positioned throughout various pillars of society -- politics, government,
media, education and entertainment -- want to dismantle this founding
document and seem willing to replace it with international laws suited
to their goals."
And as Heritage legal scholar, Ed Meese, pointed out in "Morning Bell,"
it is being seriously challenged: "We are faced today with two different
roads, one of which follows the path of liberty set by our Founders in
the Constitution, and one which diverges from that path and leads us
down the road to tyranny. There are two different warring camps
within our society, and the ongoing battle between those camps has
been graphically illustrated in recent primary elections and by the
vicious fight over the nationalization of our healthcare system."
We probably quote Thomas Jefferson more often than any other of our
nation's Founding Fathers. As the primary drafter of the Declaration of
Independence, and our third president, he has always provided the best
expression of what the Founding Fathers intended this new nation to be.
It has become almost an "oxymoron" to use the term "Jeffersonian
Democrat," for it is difficult to find anyone more estranged from what
the Democrat party has become than Thomas Jefferson. Concerning the
Constitution, he was possessed of tremendous foresight that Liberals
would one day want to interpret the Constitution "progressively," and
in that regard he wrote to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson in
1823: "On every question of construction of the Constitution, let us
carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted,
recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying
what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it,
conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
Thus our first "memory recall" is concerning the Constitution, which is
well described by historian Catherine Drinker Bowen in the title of her
book, "Miracle at Philadelphia." Early in 1788, George Washington
wrote to General Lafayette, "It appears to me, then, little short of a
miracle, that the Delegates from so many different states, which
states you know are all so different from each other, in their manners,
circumstances and prejudices, should unite in forming a system of
national Government, so little liable to well founded objections."
And as Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence, said of the event, "Tis done. We have become a nation."
We should never forget our American heritage as so clearly defined in
"The Constitution of the United States of America," or that it begins
with these words, "We the People . . ."
Our second memory recall is to a much more recent time -- the 1950s,
or the mid-point in the 20th century. One doesn't have to be over 200
years of age to recall accurately the Evangelical resurgence of those
days -- since it was only about 60 years ago, a person 12 or 15 years
old at the time would have a reasonably accurate understanding, so
individuals younger than 70-75 today would have to rely on second-
hand accounts that some writers wrote during that period.
This is no "second hand" account. During the 1950s, despite the fact
that "revival" is neither a New Testament word or concept (neither
"revive" or "revival" appears in the New Testament), we used as the
theme for our evangelistic efforts, "Revival in our time," and we spoke
constantly of "Mid-century revival." That phrase came from the book
of the Old Testament prophet Habakkuk (3:2), "O Lord, revive thy
work in the midst of the years ..."
Those were different times than we are experiencing today. There was
respect for churches and the Christian faith. America was considered
by all to be a Christian nation. We were enjoying essentially a time of
peace. The Korean "police action" (so named by President Truman)
drew to a close in 1953. The very long Viet Nam conflict became a
combat zone for America in 1965. But in those intervening years, the
operative term was "The whole world was safe in the bosom of
And the probably most over-preached text during all those years was the
very familiar II Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my
name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn
from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive
their sin, and will heal their land." Ignoring the fact that "revival" is
not a New Testament concept, and the fact that this was God's message
to Solomon and the people in which He set forth the conditions for His
blessings -- this was widely called "God's blueprint for revival."
But even taken out of context of time and purpose, these words remain
as the enduring truth of a promise by our eternal God. These are the
conditions which God always expects of His people: that they should
demonstrate humility, pray, seek His will and repent of their sin ... and
His blessing will always follow.
God spoke to the king, the ruler of the nation. But His specific word
was concerning the people, those who are identified by their belief in
Him. The message of that verse is as true today as it was in Solomon's
day. God has set before us the conditions to receive His blessings.
Perhaps "revival" isn't the best term. Perhaps "spiritual awakening" is
a better one. But God's conditions are clear and unmistakable.
All this has been a different way to arrive at: "What can we do?"
There is no question that our nation needs a change. As we approach
Election Day, Nov. 2 -- now just 41 days from today -- we have an
unemployment rate which has risen to 9.6% ...a Dow Jones average
stuck in the low-10 thousand range ... the trade deficit has grown to
$123.3 billion in the second quarter, an increase of 12.9% over the
first quarter ... home sales are plummeting while repossessions are
soaring ... a poverty rate which has reached its highest level in over
50 years, with 1 in 7 Americans living in poverty ... and on moral
issues we are abandoning our traditional Christian principles on
abortion, homosexual marriage and are approaching the loss of our
First Amendment Freedom of Religion rights.
"Change" is the operative word. Barack Obama swept into power on
the slogan "Change we can believe in." Now that it has been proved
that his changes cannot be believed, the Democrat party has renounced
the old Obama slogan in favor of a new one: "Change that matters."
And on that point, both major political parties are agreed: a change is
needed. As Christians, we know that what is needed is God's blessing
on our nation in accordance with His conditions we cited above.
God's first condition is for us to humble ourselves. The Scriptures
offer many admonitions in this regard -- "God giveth grace to the
humble ... humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God."
(I Peter 5: 5-6) And Paul added this word "to every man, not to think
of himself more highly than he ought to think." (Romans 12:3) And
"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." (James 4:6)
The Lord's intent for us is clear: humble ourselves.
The second condition we know well: pray. Again, the Scriptures are
replete with admonitions on this subject; just this one reminder, "In
every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your
requests be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
Then God asks that we seek His face, to know His will, and Paul wrote:
"Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
And finally: turn from our wicked ways. The Bible word is "repent" or
"repentance," which literally means a change of mind, a change in the
direction the individual is going. Again, this is so often commanded in
the Scriptures ... Jesus said, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark
1:15) ... Paul added that God "commandeth all men everywhere to
repent" (Acts 17:30) ... and told King Agrippa that he preached to all
men "that they should repent, and turn to God" (Acts 26:20).
Every one of God's conditions for His blessing on our nation, and our
world, are as true and believable today as when they were first given to
Solomon. That is the change we need, a return to the moral values set
forth in the Word of God. And as we meet God's conditions for His
blessing, we must also accept our responsibility to bring about change in
our government by putting into office leaders who put moral values first
in fulfilling the obligations of their office.
We have previously suggested that anyone interested in joining thousands
of other Christians in prayer for our nation should consider Dr. Michael
Youssef's "God Save America" program -- which you can reach by going
reflecting the solid Evangelical ministry of Dr. Youssef. More recently,
beginning this past weekend, Chuck Colson and Jim Garlow announced a
program endorsed by at least 80 Evangelical leaders, called "Pray and
Act," an outgrowth of the "Manhattan Declaration" which we strongly
supported when first announced. It may be reached by going to:
And in addition to prayer, our responsibility includes voting to replace
the present members of Senate and the House with candidates who will
put moral issues first in their legislative activities. On Nov. 2 all of the
members of the House and about one-third of the Senate will be voted
upon. The two important words to remember are: Pray and Vote.
Skip MacLure, writing in "Conservative Outpost," offered these sage
words of counsel about the upcoming Election Day: "Barack Obama's
America doesn't exist and never has. Seen through the eyes of
Conservatives, it's a bleak and desolate landscape. We should win in
November. We should win really big in November. What we have to be
very careful of is over-confidence. Over-confidence has a way of
creeping in, especially when all the political forecasts, even the left's
own, are indicating a huge sea-change. In the short term we have to
be prepared for the left's usual election ay hi-jinks." Well spoken!
As always, we can learn from "What Others Are Saying."
Wafa Sultan (Syrian born author): "It is crucial to study the
supremacist ideology of Islam and to recognize, for example, that the
building of a mosque especially at Ground Zero is viewed by Muslims
as a decisive victory over the infidels in Islam's march to establish its
ultimate goal: the submission of all others to Islam and Sharia law."
Dinesh D'Souza (India born Conservative author): "Barack Obama
is the most anti-business president in a generation, perhaps in
American history. Thanks to him the era of big government is back.
Obama runs up taxpayer debt not in the billions but in the trillions.
He has expanded the federal government's control over home
mortgages, investment banking, health care, autos and energy. The
Weekly Standard summarizes Obama's approach as omnipotence at
home, impotence abroad."
Michelle Bachman (R, MN): "We've spent nearly two years under the
control of Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and
Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And in less than two short years, Americans
have been burdened by a $2.6 trillion government healthcare takeover,
a national debt that has ballooned to $13 trillion, a nearly 10%
unemployment rate reminiscent of the Jimmy Carter years, a failed
$800 billion 'stimulus' bill, a $700 billion TARP bailout and an $18
billion boondoggle 'jobs bill' that created no jobs. If this is what 'hope
and change' is all about, I want nothing to do with it."
Eric Rauch (Conservative author): "All forms of Liberalism --
whether educational, political, or theological -- are nothing more than
reactions against 'traditional' beliefs and ways of doing things. Like
atheism, liberalism is a negative belief system in that it can only ever
communicate what it is against, instead of what it is for."
Jonah Goldberg (National Review): "As the Los Angeles Times
reported over the weekend, 'Obama's coalition is frayed and frazzled.'
Independents defected long ago, and young people are heading for
the door, less interested in the next New Deal and more interested in
a job. And every day Obama seems more like the Lord's unwitting
herald of the revolution to come."
R. W. Tracinski (TIA Daily): "We're going to need a new crop of
radicals in Congress. They won't just need to engage in parliamentary
stalling tactics to gum up the legislative works. They will need to
launch an all-out battle to restrain an administration that is fully
committed to using its unchecked, tyrannical regulatory power to
override the will of the people and to destroy what is left of American
Austin Hill (Author, Editorial Columnist): "For the entire duration
of his presidency, Barack Obama has articulated a vision of 'the
Muslim World,' as he calls it, and practitioners of the Muslim faith,
that conveniently ignores what is frighteningly obvious to most
Americans: that some of the most horrific and gruesome murders
and terrorist acts on the planet these days are committed by people
who call themselves Muslims, and claim to be following the edicts of
And now some random "Afterthoughts" . . .
Another installment in the ongoing saga of Barack Obama's faith.
There is a tendency on the part of the Liberals, well demonstrated by
the elite, main-line media, to adopt the opinion that "it doesn't matter,"
and by default, we should just accept the view that he is a Christian.
(Without opening up a whole new debate, the question might well be
raised: "Do those people have any idea what it really means to be a
Christian?") Looking back, in an interview in March, 2008, candidate
Obama said he prays to Jesus every night, believes in abortion rights
and thinks gays should be able to marry ... and said, "If people find that
controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount,
which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure
passage in Romans. That's my view." The "obscure passage" which he
spoke of so scornfully, is half of the entire first chapter of the Book of
Romans, written by Paul, who wrote 13 of the 27 books, approximately
one-third (31.57%), of the New Testament. And in the Sermon on the
Mount, the closest Jesus came to speaking of marriage, was concerning
the God ordained concept of marriage between a husband and wife, and
the possibility of a husband getting a divorce from his wife -- hardly an
approval of a homosexual union! One might wonder if Mr. Obama or his
spiritual advisors have actually read the Sermon on the Mount? And in
January of 2008, Mr. Obama told "Christianity Today" magazine: "I am
a Christian, and I am a devout Christian." Hmmm ... how often have
you ever heard a Christian friend say "I am a devout Christian?" It all
does make one wonder . . . And how does he explain away the fact that
when he addresed the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Saturday, he
left out the words "the Creator" when citing the statement of the
Declaration of Independence on the rights with which we are endowed?
Can we believe that wishes, or rumors, sometimes do come true?
We all know Washington is a hotbed of rumors. One of the latest,
based no doubt on the many failures in his attempts to fulfill the
responsibilities of being president, is that Barack Obama may be
considering the option of being a one-term president, and will not seek
re-election in 2012. By way of support for that rumor is Michelle
Obama's response to the question about being the president's wife:
"Don't ask. It's hell. I can't stand it." The quote appears in the book
"Carla And The Ambtious," by journalists Michael Darmon and Yves
Derai, about Carla Bruni, the wife of French President Sarkosy. And
there are other rumors about change in the floundering Obama
administration -- Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel may be leaving to run
for Mayor in Chicago upon the retirement of Richard Daley; Senior
Advisor David Axelrod, leaving possibly to run the 2012 campaign;
Defense Secretary Robrt Gates has announced his departure; National
Security Advisor James Jones is also rumored to be leavng. These
follow the confirmed departures of Budget Director Peter Orzag, and
the Head of the Council of Economic Advisors, Christina Romer. We
simply wait to see . . . and hold on to our wishes.
Add to the "Oh, How Quickly They Learn" file . . . according to
SFGate.com, at the $17,600 a person fund-raising dinner for Senator
Barbara Boxer at which Mr. Obama presided, the menu at the Getty
Mansion included Quail eggs and caviar, Salmon ceviche with avocada
and jicama on tortilla chips, a spring onion-asparagus tartlet with Meyer
lemon vinaigrette-dressed frisee salad, braised Kobe beef short ribs
with a potato puree and a salsa verde-topped spring vegetable ragout ...
all topped off with buckwheat crepes, roasted cherries and almond ice
cream. Just your typical, all American, middle class people meal.
It does make you wonder: Mr. Obama is about to notify Congress of
his plans to offer advanced military aircraft to Saudi Arabia worth up
to $60 billion. These are not missile defense upgrades, but fighter aircraft
and ground attack helicopters. The announcment has got to make Israel a
bit nervous. And for those critics who might jump on it -- the $60 billion
purchase probably has nothing to do with President Obama's humble bow
before Saudi King Abdullah in April, 2009.
A sober look at Joe Biden's "hundreds of thousands" of new jobs.
Consider for example, the $2.4 billion "advanced battery" program. The
Democrat Governor of Michigam, Jennifer Granholm, predicted, "The
federal battery program along with state initiatives are projected to
create 63,000 jobs in Michigan." But the facts are: Battery maker A123
Systems, Inc. received $239 million and opened a lithium ion battery
plant in Livonia, MI, employing 300 workers, mostly laid-off former
auto workers. Johnson Controls, Inc. last week started shipping batteries
from their plant in Holland, MI, built with $299 million in federal grants,
and employing 90 workers. That represents 390 jobs created for $548
million, or about $1.4 million per job. Quick figuring would reveal that
at this rate, the $2.4 billion federal advanced battery program would
actually produce 1,714 jobs, nationally. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles,
City Comptroller Wendy Greuel, in a 40 page report, pointed out that
after the city received $111 million in the so-called "stimulus" program,
there had been a total of 55 jobs created -- at a cost of $2 million per job.
It would seem that a simpler and probably more effective way to handle
the federal funds, would have been to randomly select 111 unemployed
people, and give them each $1 million.
There is so much more to say, but not enough time or space to say it.
So let's recall some of the opinions of our Founding Fathers, the men who
dreamed, fought for, planned and created this nation of ours . . . always
remembering that not everyone assigns the same value to their thoughts
as we do. "Whatever we think of the past, we must not be prisoners to it."
"Excessive taxation ... will carry reason and reflection to every man's
door, and particularly in the hour of election."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1798
"I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple. Were we directed
from Washington when to sow, when to reap, we should soon want
bread." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1820
"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too
many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."
-- Thomas Jefferson, 1824