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Newsletter for Oct. 1, 2008

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  • American News
    American News Commentary  * Originally Published as EPOCH Commentary*   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Vol. 11, No. 14    
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2008
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      News Commentary
       * Originally Published as EPOCH Commentary*  
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      Vol. 11, No. 14      October 1, 2008      © 2008
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      IN LAST WEEK'S ISSUE we departed slightly
      from our customary practice in order to address an
      international issue of serious concern to America
      and Americans. This week we do almost the same
      thing: we address an issue which is of major, serious
      importance to all Americans. It is our hope that these
      approaches to current happenings will be of interest
      and help to our growing list of subscribers. Your
      messages and comments are always welcome at:
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      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 forego 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,
      09/26/08) Who would you want as president then?
      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 
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