Newsletter for September 3, 2008
- AmericanNews Commentary* Originally Published as EPOCH Commentary*- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Vol. 11, No. 10 September 3, 2008 © 2008- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - -A SINCERE WORD OF THANKS to all ofour readers who wrote to express their appreciationfor our Evangelical viewpoint on the news eventsof our times -- the important and the whimsical.We value your email comments; send them to us at:- - - - - - - - - -QUESTION OF THE WEEK: WHAT DO THEPARTY PLATFORMS SAY ABOUT ISSUESIMPORTANT TO CHRISTIANS? -- ANDOTHER ITEMS IN THE NEWSBased on the amount of print space and air timedevoted to it -- the top news item this week is thesame as last week: a national political convention.This week it has been the Republican conventionin St. Paul, Minnesota.This evaluation of last week's Democrat conventionfrom Jonathan Garthwaite in Townhall.com is worthnoting: "Even with Joe Biden by his side, Romanpillars surrounding him, and Bill and Hillarybehind him, the Barack Obama at Mile High wasthe same inexperienced, liberal radical we havealways known him to be. No amount of rockconcert lighting, Broadway stagecraft, loftyrhetoric - or even fireworks -- will change that."Or this from John LeBoutillier in Newsmax.com:"The speech just ended, and my immediatereaction is that Obama is the weakest link in anotherwise fantastically smooth-running campaignoperation. Sure, he gives/reads a speech well;but the speech itself says very little." But thatconvention is now past history -- but wasunquestionably marked by great oratory.Neither convention offered any surprise; weknew who the Vice President nominees were --Joe Biden for the Democrats and Governor SarahPalin for the Republicans. The Republicans at theirconvention did not have star attractions like TedKennedy and the two Clintons to feature, and hadto make do with a presentation of conservativeideas and ideals which set them apart from theirmore liberal opponents. But the Republicans neverhad in mind as expensive and spectacular a showas the Democrats put on.And the Republican convention was interfered withby Hurricane Gustav, preventing President Bushfrom being there in person to speak to the delegates,but doing so by video. The gravity of the naturaldisaster of Gustav, and looming international threatof Russia's aggression in Europe, presented anopportunity on Thursday for John McCain to speakon the serious dangers confronting America and theworld in direct contrast to Barak Obama's mantraof "change" in his coronation speech amid all theshow business glamour and pyrotechnic highlightsjust a week ago.But the abbreviated Republican convention didhear from First Lady Laura Bush, and her potentialsuccessor Cindy McCain, and even from the formerDemocrat, but now Independent Senator Joe.Lieberman.But out of both conventions came the respectiveplatforms upon which the election will be contested.These platform provisions are definite and areabsent the hype which characterized both of theconventions. These are the issues upon which theparties will base the upcoming campaigns to electtheir candidates. In other words the platformsrepresent what you will be voting for when you castyour ballot for Republican or Democrat candidates.Political party platforms are lengthy and massivedocuments. We shall not in any way attempt toreproduce them in full, but will limit our review toa brief presentation of their stated positions on afew issues which are of particular concern toAmerican Christians.Here are a few of those subjects randomly selected-- on Abortion the Republican platform includesthese words, "We assert the inherent dignity andsanctity of all human life and affirm that theunborn child has a fundamental individual rightto life which cannot be infringed." By contrast,the Democrat platform includes these words, "TheDemocratic Party strongly and unequivocallysupports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right tochoose a safe and legal abortion ... and weoppose any and all efforts to weaken orundermine that right."On Marriage, the Republican platform: "Becauseour children's future is best preserved withinthe traditional understanding of marriage, wecall for a constitutional amendment that fullyprotects marriage as a union of a man and awoman... A Republican Congress enacted theDefense of Marriage Act [N.B.- signed into lawby President Clinton] affirming the right of statesnot to recognize same-sex marriages licensed inother states." Again, by contrast, the Democratplatform: "We support the inclusion of all familiesin the life of our nation, and support equalresponsibility, benefits and protections...Weoppose the Defense of Marriage Act ."On Religious Liberty, the Republican platform:"We affirm every citizen's right to applyreligious values to public policy and the rightof faith-based organizations to participate inpublic programs without renouncing theirbeliefs." The Democrat platform, "We willrestore vigorous federal enforcement of civilrights laws in order to provide every Americanan equal chance of employment, housing,health, contracts and pay."
By way of summary: The Republican platformopposes abortion and same-sex marriage, andsupports the religious freedom provided for inthe Bill of Rights. The Democrats support andendorse abortion and same-sex marriage, andhave pledged to remove the Defense of MarriageAct, and their stance on religious liberty is basedon civil rights principles. The choice for Christiansis obvious. In making this decision, one would dowell to remember the email message from BarackObama to CBN in which he said: "Whatever weonce were, we're no longer just a Christiannation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslimnation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, anda nation of nonbelievers." In one sentence hewiped out our nation's Christian heritage which wasestablished by our founding fathers.Nancy Pelosi vs the Catholic church: althoughclaiming to be a Roman Catholic who boasts thatshe regularly receives communion despite Catholicdoctrine which would deny communion to those whosupport abortion -- Nancy Pelosi accuses thechurch of being wrong, and argues that her opinionis right. Archbishop Charles Chaput was firm inmeeting Ms. Pelosi's arguments: "Speaker of theHouse Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servantof strong convictions, and many professionalskills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic historyand teaching does not seem to be one of them."Other Catholic authorities agreed: Cardinal JustinRigali said that Pelosi "misrepresented the historyand nature of the authentic teaching of theCatholic Church against abortion," and added,"Since the first century the Church has affirmedthe moral evil of every procured abortion. Thisteaching has not changed and remainsunchangeable." Washington Archbishop DonaldWuerl affirmed, “As the Catechism and earlyChurch documents make clear, abortion isalways an evil. That is an unchanging teaching."New York Cardinal Edward Egan said that Pelosiand others who defend abortion "should not beproviding leadership in a civilized democracy."The Rev. Thomas Reese, at Georgetown UniversityTheological Center concluded, "It is a big mistakefor politicians to talk theology." And not only isSpeaker Pelosi in trouble with the church; SenatorBiden will not be permitted to speak at Catholicschools, even if elected Vice President. (Ruling ofthe Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, to which Bidenbelongs)No Founding Fathers quote this week; insteadwe offer this comment from Chuck Colson, founderof the Prison Fellowship: "The Bible is the rock onwhich the Church stands or falls. The texts werewritten with meticulous care, based onmanuscripts accumulated over the centuriesbefore Christ—and then, by faithfully recordingthe apostles' teaching. Archeological discoveriesare mounting, supporting the Bible's historicity.No book has ever been so challenged nor foundso reliable." - from "Breakpoint," Aug. 29, 2008A Few Random Afterthoughts . . .For what it's worth, Forbes.com published thisweek a list of the "100 Most Powerful Women"in the world. At. No. 1 is Angela Merkel, GermanChancellor. At random places in the list of 100 arethese familiar names: No. 7, Condoleezza Rice; No.28, Hillary Clinton; No. 35, Nancy Pelosi; No. 36,Oprah Winfrey; No. 44, Laura Bush; No. 58, QueenElizabeth II; and No. 72, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Itis of interest that the USA led all nations, with 50names out of the top 100.Obama vs free speech: Members of BarackObama’s campaign HQ in Chicago tried to shutdown a local show on the city’s most powerfulradio station, WGN, because they didn’t like aconservative guest who was scheduled to discussObama’s ties to local terrorist William Ayers. Onestrange aspect of the attempt to stifle free speech isthat WGN is conceivably the most liberal station inthe Chicago, strongly supporting Obama's campaign.If this can happen just during an election campaign,it makes one wonder what sort of oppressive climatean Obama presidency would impose on the country?A small group increasingly heard from: thetotal number of atheists in this country seems to bein the range of 2% - 5% of the US Population,and agnostics approximately the same. Yet theyseem to have a voice far beyond their numbers.The organization, "Freedom from Religion" hasbeen sponsoring billboards in various US cities,and now in Phoenix, AZ, with the message:"Imagine No Religion." The co-presidentof the sponsoring organization said that to datethey have encountered little opposition to thebillboards. We have come so far from the nationAmerica started out to be.- - - - - - - - - -SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATIONTo Subscribe - (No subscription charge) Click on:To Unsubscribe - Click on: