ANC, Newsletter, May 4, 2011
- The American News Commentary- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Vol. 16, No. 18 May 4, 2011 ©2011- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -"Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, and this be our motto --In God is our trust." -- Francis Scott Key, 1814- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL COMMENT: Tomorrow, May 5, is theNational Day of Prayer. This year's theme is: "A Mighty Fortress is OurGod." This writer well remembers how this observance came to be. It wasin January and February, 1952, while holding a crusade in Washington, D.C,that Billy Graham proposed that a National Day of Prayer be established.Several Christian members of the House and Senate introduced such aresolution, which was passed, and signed into law by President Truman onApril 17, 1952, including the requirement that the president should issue anannual proclamation of the event. In 1988, under President Reagan, the lawwas amended to make the first Thursday in May the date for the NationalDay of Prayer. So tomorrow, let us set aside some time -- individually or ingroups -- to pray for America, for our leaders, for the Christian Church andfor our fellow Christians all over the world, many of whom are subject topersecution for their faith. And let this day of prayer be part of our continuingcount-down to Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012 -- there are now 552 days topray for God's guidance as we vote to reclaim America as the nation ourFounding Fathers intended it to be.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -JUST LAST WEEK THE COVERAGE OF CURRENT EVENTSALMOST DEFLECTED ATTENTION FROM THE TRUEMEANING OF EASTER; THIS WEEK THE NEWS OFTHE WORLD IS EQUALLY DISTRACTINGAt Easter we were still absorbing the effects of the devastating earthquakesand tsunami which forever changed life in Japan . . . we were hearing of thelarge number of American military personnel killed in April in Afghanistan,and were confronted with our legally undeclared "war" in Libya, and ourignoring of the killing of civilians by the Syrian president, whom our leadersconsider a "reformer." The very onslaught on our senses by the news of theday served to detract from the meaning of Easter. And, of course, thepresident's failure to make any proclamation of Easter further seemed todiminish the significance of this important Christian observance.But those distraction were but a shadow of things to come! The daysfollowing Easter have been even more filled with happenings to focus ourattention on matters outside the Christian season of Eastertide. In the churchcalendar, Eastertide is that period of rejoicing beginning with ResurrectionSunday, continuing through the 40 days in which Jesus walked this Earthprior to His ascension to be with the Father, and continuing to the 50th day,or Pentecost, that so important observance when the Holy Spirit was given,and the Christian Church was born.How to cope with the very prominent demands on our attention such as thetornadoes which have just ravaged many of the American southern states,leaving an aftermath of destruction and death in so many communities . . .and the world-wide obssession with the wedding of two prominent youngpeople in England who had been living in adultery, but with Prince Williama potential heir to the British throne, their marriage became necessary. Anestimated two billion viewers all over the world watched as the highestplaced ministers of the Church of England blessed and solemnized thenuptials, with the prince's father, who maintaind an long-time adulterousaffair, seated in a prominent position with his former mistress by his side.And then, nicely timed so as not to have its impact lessened by coverage ofthe royal wedding and with his lagging approval ratings needing a boost forhis re-election campaign, came the announcement by President Obama thata long planned operation to murder Osama bin Laden had succeeded -- andthe nation exploded into rejoicing, and any thought of "Christ is risen" wasreplaced with "Osama is dead." It isn't that his part in planning 9/11 didn'tdeserve punishment, and his being brought to justice, but it does seem a bitout of place for a nation established on Christian principles to rejoice in hismurder. We seem to forget so quickly the words of Jesus in Matthew 5where He instructed us how to deal with our enemies. How to relate Histeaching to dealing with terrorists in today's world is difficult for us to judge.Saddam Hussein was also a terrorist who killed more people than bin Laden.He was captured, brought to justice, tried and found guilty in an Iraqi court,and executed by his own people. Osama bin Laden was also brought tojustice, but at the point of a gun, killed by American military operating onforeign soil. But it is done, and there is one less evil leader in the world,and that is good. However, the question remains before us: Is boisterouscelebrating in the streets the appropriate response? It's worth a thought.Among all the viewpoints being headlined in the Main Line Media,here are three from opinion makers who separate fact from fiction in theirsummaries. First from Jim Talent, distinguished fellow at the HeritageFoundation, and former U.S. Senator: "Four men and one woman laydead—among them, Osama bin Laden. The operation, which wasplanned for months, came after years of searching and intelligencegathering...but the terrorist threat still remains, along with continuedoperations in Afghanistan and Iraq...But despite those conflicts — anda new one in Libya—President Barack Obama has called for $400billion in cuts to our already overstretched military, undermining itsconstitutional role of protecting America...The Navy has fewer shipsthan at any time since 1916. The Air Force inventory is smaller andolder than at any time since the service came into being in 1947. TheArmy has missed several generations of modernization, and many ofits soldiers are on their fourth or fifth tour of duty in Iraq orAfghanistan ...many vital programs, such as missile defense, have beencut; and in the past two years, no fewer than 50 modernizationprograms have been ended."And the second from Skip MacLure, commenting in ConservativeOutpost: "This is great news, for a number of very good reasons. TheBlighted One will probably try and take credit for the manhunt thatwas initiated by Obama’s much-maligned predecessor, George Bush.The truth is...that this is the culmination of a manhunt that began onSeptember 11, 2001... It is very much like Obama to take credit forother people’s work… and ideas."And finally, from Erick Erickson, in "Red State" morning briefing:"I fear the death of bin Laden will give Obama the impetus to do whathe has long wanted but lacked the guts to do: wind down the waragainst al Qaeda, close Guantanamo, and release most of the prisonerswe hold at Guantanamo under the guise of 'releasing prisoners of war.'If the killing of bin Laden results in the administration declaring ourjob is done then bin Laden will have done more for al Qaeda in deaththan he ever accomplished in life."But regardless of those distractions, we are still in Eastertide, andour rejoicing in the truth of the risen Christ as our assurance of eternal life, isstill our blessed hope. As we quoted Pope John Paul II just two issues ago:"We are the Easter people, and hallelujah is our song."There are times when Mr. Obama seems delusionary. In his televisedspeech announcing the killing of bin Laden, he again stated that the UnitedStates is not at war with Muslims. Osama bin Laden was a Muslim, and Mr.Obama's military buried him at sea in accordance with Islamic protocols.The men who carried out the attacks on 9/11 were Muslims. The peoplewe are at war with in Afghanistan are Muslims -- as were those whom wewere fighting during our war in Iraq. In our officially undeclared "war" inLibya, President Qadaffi and his government are Muslims. The potentialultimate enemy in the Middle East, Iran, is Muslim. And all over the world,the most vicious attacks and persecutions of Christians have been by theso-called "peace loving" Muslims.The old rhetorical dichotomy still applies:It may be true that all Muslims are not terrorists -- but it is also true that allterrorists have been Muslims.An important anniversary: In connection with the observance this week ofthe 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, Jason Georges speaks of it as"a guidebook of nations, one that has already seen the United States ofAmerica through every single crisis of its existence. In every war, everycivil disturbance, every fiscal emergency, the King James Bible has been'the rock upon which our republic rests.'" The King James Bible was thefirst English Bible to be printed in the United States, and in the bill whichrecognizes the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King JamesVersion, introduced on April 12th in the U.S. House of Representatives, theKing James Bible is referred to as the most widely printed and distributedwork in history.for an organization called "Freedom From Religion Foundation," whichboasts that its 16,000 members makes it the largest organization of atheistsand agnostics in America. In 2010 they filed action against the National Dayof Prayer, and on April 15, 2010, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb (whois also based in Wisconsin) declared the National Day of Prayer to beunconstitutional. One year later, on April 17, 2011, a panel of the 7thDistrict Court of Appeals voted unanimously to over-ride Judge Crabb'sdecision. The Foundation has expressed its intent to appeal the panel'sdecision before the whole court. It is possible that it may become illegalfor Americans to have a day of prayer, and who knows? They may seekto eliminate Sunday as a day of Christian worship.Concerning the release of "the birth certificate" . . . Jeffrey Shapiro,writing in the Washington Times, provided this brief summary of the surpriseannouncement: "Many Americans were shocked yesterday when PresidentObama finally released his long-form birth certificate from the state ofHawaii. The real surprise, however, is that for the past three years, ourdemocratic institutions did not address the matter. The media refused totackle this issue ... the courts declined to hear a single case on the issue;and Congress failed to hold any hearings on the matter. Perhaps thesaddest part of this story is its ending. Mr. Obama did not release thebirth certificate because the media pressured him or because the courtsactually listened to one of the many cases that were filed. He released itbecause an obsessed billionaire threatened his electability in 2012." Wecoudn't have said it better.The Obama doctrine of "Leading from behind"outlined by Ryan Lizza.Ryan Lizza is the Washington correspondent for the New Yorker magazine,and in the current (May 2) issue, has an intriguing article on Obama's foreignpolicy. So intriguing, in fact, that two nationally syndicated columnists, MichaelBarone and Charles Krauthammer have commented on it in their columns thisweek. Mr. Lizza traces the development of Mr. Obama's foreign policyphilosophy in these words: "Obama didn't think much about foreign policyduring his years as a community organizer and Illinois state senator...Asit became clear that he was going to be elected to the U.S. Senate, hestarted reading and seeking out foreign policy experts of varying views."Lizza also quotes an Obama advisor's description of that policy: "One of hisadvisers described the president's actions in Libya as 'leading frombehind.'" Krauthammer picked up on that analysis using these words,"Leading from behind is a style, not a doctrine... Lizza's painstakingtwo year chronicle shows it to be as ad hoc, erratic and confused as itappears to be." And Barone makes note of Lizza's summation of that policy:"It's a different definition of leadership than America is known for, andit comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the U.S.is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in manyparts of the world."