What the Political Pundits Don't Know

I read political commentary every day. This election season, naturally, brings out every pundit, and they try to win you over with their wisdom. Sometimes, they succeed, but even when they provide good insights, there is usually one insight–the most significant insight–omitted.

Reagan's "Evil Empire" Speech

Reagan's "Evil Empire" Speech

Ronald Reagan understood. Speaking to the National Association of Evangelicals in 1983, he zeroed in on that most significant insight. His topic was the threat of the Soviet Union, but the insight applies to every threat that the United States faces. Reagan commented:

While America’s military strength is important, let me add here that I’ve always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.

Reagan also believed that the U.S. was up to facing the crisis because he believed in a God who would provide what was needed. He continued:

I believe we shall rise to the challenge. I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man. For in the words of Isaiah: “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increased strength. . . . But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary. . . .”

Today, we face other crises. While people talk about what is to be done with the economy and terrorism, we omit the most serious crisis of all–the loss of Christian faith. It is the decline of real Christian faith–the muscular kind that stands up to evil–that has led us to the brink of disaster.

I don’t want to sound too melodramatic, but I honestly believe that this presidential election, along with the congressional elections, could be a point of no return for the country. It seems that we are about to turn the control of the government over to the most ideologically driven man and party in our history. They hold to an ideology that denies the sanctity of human life, that is poised to redefine marriage, that wants to revive the decaying corpse of materialistic Marxism, and that has little or no understanding of the evil of Islamic terrorism.

We are at the precipice. What will keep us from plunging to our death culturally, socially, and politically?

We must grasp the nature of the enemy and then see clearly the only One who can reverse this plunge. We must realize that the enemy is not flesh and blood, but behind that perceived enemy is the real one–the enemy who rebelled against God long before this world was made. We do not fight against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces.

Most pundits laugh at such an analysis, but if you really do believe in God, you need to believe that a spiritual enemy exists as well. What will overcome his schemes? Faith in God revealed in our prayers. We need a lot of earnest praying between now and election day. I urge all who think I am right about this to rededicate yourself to that task over the next 10 days. We ARE on the precipice.

This video link is an excellent short summary. index.php

True to My Word

I said that if an apology was forthcoming from CNN regarding the misquotation of a National Review writer’s comments about Sarah Palin that I would let you know. Here, directly from National Review and the writer in question is the following:

Yesterday CNN’s Drew Griffin addressed his misquote of my article during that interview with Sarah Palin:

“Unfortunately, in my question, I botched it. I misquoted York by using the word “I” instead of reading his direct quote, which I had in front of me, which attributes the statement to the media.

“I thought it was a very good article, Wolf. I was going to get it — use it to get the governor to answer the question why her, you know, successful record in Alaska wasn’t getting out. She had no trouble answering that question and in no way did I intend to misquote the National Review…

“I’ve since called Byron York and his editor, Rich Lowry, to explain what happened and told them both that I regret any harm this may have brought.”

Just for the record, I’ve said that I thought the bigger harm in all this was to Palin, who was hit on-camera with an out-of-nowhere quote.  But as far as I’m concerned, Griffin’s explanation is fine with me, and I consider this closed.

Back to me again: This certainly is nice to report. However, the damage has been done for those who watched that interview and will never hear of this retraction. Reporters need to be held to a very high standard. This reporter failed miserably.

Waiting for CNN's Apology

The Most Distorted Media Coverage of a Candidate in American History?
The Most Distorted Media Coverage of a Candidate in American History?

Have you heard the latest from the mainstream media? CNN conducted an interview with Sarah Palin that included the comment that even conservative writers have turned against her. The prime example offered by the journalist [?] interviewer was from the National Review website where, Palin was informed, one of its writers declared, “It’s sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or all of the above.”

She naturally seemed surprised by the comment and wanted to know who wrote such a thing. In fact, the answer is “no one.”

Byron York, one of National Review’s most respected writers had certainly used those words, but not in the context offered by the interviewer. What he actually said was that if one were to watch the way the press has covered Palin, you would have to conclude that she is incompetent, etc. He was not applying those adjectives to her; he was saying that the mainstream media was portraying her in that manner.

CNN has been called upon to acknowledge that their interviewer was wrong in what he said. Thus far, the response has been silence.

I used to think that Ronald Reagan had suffered the most from media bias and the twisting of words out of context. Now I’m not so sure. Having watched the media frenzy/circus over Palin ever since she was chosen by McCain, I am beginning to believe that we have witnessed a new low in media coverage. The distortions, innuendoes, and outright lies leveled at her have taken on the form of one of those famous Alaska blizzards–so thick and heavy that one can barely wade through them all.

Will CNN apologize? Or will its ideological bias win again?

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Biden's Unintentional Warning

Did you catch what Sen. Biden said the other day? Here’s a good representation of it below.

Sometimes truth can come from the strangest source.

American Self-Government: Example #2

All of America’s early colonies had legislatures of their own. Most of them, from the start, had been allowed self-government in their charters. When the British government began to change the rules by taxing them without any representation in Parliament, the colonies reacted. Their first line of defense was the charters they had been given.

When the British government dismissed their arguments, they turned instead to the idea that God had given each person the right to direct his own life, and that self-government was an inalienable gift from God. They put that in a document that has inspired people all over the world (except perhaps in Muslim nations). It was the Declaration of Independence.

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress

Presenting the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress

In this document, the Continental Congress stated that the right to liberty was an inalienable right provided by God. It was the official beginning of what is normally called the American Revolution.

I tell my classes that I think “American Revolution” is not really the best description of that event. I don’t think these early Americans were all that revolutionary. Instead, their primary purpose was to preserve what they thought was the essence of their British heritage. Based on that, I have a name that I prefer: The American War for Continued Self-Government.

Now, I know it isn’t very pithy, but it is a much more accurate description of what took place. The colonies had experienced self-government for most of their existence. Britain was threatening to overrule them and wipe out their ability to make their own laws. Their response was to defend their long-established right. Therefore, this was a war to continue what they had been doing for a century and a half. It truly was a war for continued self-government.

Do we care about this anymore? Are we willing to defend the right of the United States to make its own choices in the world without first asking permission of other nations? As a country, we must continue to assert our right to self-government.

American Self-Government: Example #1

They were called Separatists in their native England. They got this name because they couldn’t abide being part of a state church where the government controlled the worship and doctrine. So they set up their own churches based on their understanding of how God wanted His church to work, following what they perceived to be the model in the New Testament.

When they set up these churches, they had to start from scratch with church government. Consequently, they relied on covenants, where each member voluntarily joined together with others to agree on the rules by which they would be governed. No authority from above told them what to do; they simply did it.

They were persecuted and had to leave their homeland. Holland allowed them to worship as they pleased, but they longed for a country of their own. That’s when the decided to sail for the New World.

They were blown off course and were unable to land where the charter under which they sailed had authority. That led some of the hired men to talk of the “liberty” they would have once they got off the ship. The covenanted settlers knew they would have a problem on their hands with a group of people who were eager to be in a place without established government. That is why they wrote up their own covenant for civil government.

Drawing Up the Mayflower Compact

Drawing Up the Mayflower Compact

We now call those early settlers “The Pilgrims.” The document they wrote is the Mayflower Compact. It’s not a long document. It merely says that they will obey whatever government is set up. But that was enough. It was the beginning of true self-government in America, from people who already were used to governing themselves in their churches. We continue to look back on that model of self-government today (at least where anything about the Pilgrims may still be taught). A group of dedicated Christians showed the way.

How are we handling self-government in our day? Do we really believe in it anymore? When we look to Washington, DC, to provide for us and to take care of all our problems, what is left of the spirit of self-government?

I hope it’s not too late to revive this principle.