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Some Things Said… (Jan 05)

Manger Wars

Suing the jingle bells off everyone this side of the North Pole has traditionally been the ACLUs favorite form of seasonal joy. Christmases past have seen the group take on religious displays in public squares and public schools, litigating crosses out of one town and menorahs out of another.

The civil-liberties group hasnt lost its passion for secularism, but this years litigation news is being made by a different group of plaintiffs. Religious families are the ones suing to get their Christmas back. And theyre winning: This week, a kid named Jonathan Morgan in Plano, Texas, prevailed over his local school district in a lawsuit defending his right to hand out candy canes with a Christian message to his classmates.

Jonathans case was handled pro-bono by a couple of conservative legal groups, and has lately won the attention of the Justice Department. His victory is being seen as a key development in the cross wars because it correctly draws a line between religious endorsement by government (e.g., a teacher preaching the Gospels) and personal religious expression in a public place. — Collin Levey excerpted from the New York Post – December 23, 2004.

Dems and Christianity?

“The Democrat Party’s liberalism has degenerated over the last 40-50 years in regard to its view of Christianity and Christian rights. This party, which formerly embraced and protected our nation’s great Christian heritage and teachings, no longer does so. Thus, today the Christian is between a rock and a hard place: he can either be a Christian or a liberal, but he cannot be both.” — Doug Giles as quoted at www.federalist.com

From a Founding Father

“It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.” –John Adams

On Poverty

“The war on poverty created a great new upper-middle class of bureaucrats that found they had a fine career as long as they could keep enough needy people there to justify their existence.” — Ronald Reagan

“For you have the poor with you always.” — Jesus (Matthew 26:11)

“Politicians have a field day misleading Americans who, as a result of having been dumbed down by our education system, can’t think, reason or analyze.” — Walter Williams

Oh Really?

“Conservative pastors (such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson) would have us believe that morality is all about where you stand on abortion, how you treat homosexuals. I think that is simply wrong.” –John Moyers

Keep an Eye Out For Those Missing Ultra-Liberals

“The media often mention “ultra-conservatives but never “ultra-liberals. Have ultra-liberals become extinct, gotten lost, or met with foul play? We cannot ignore the fate of fellow human beings, even if we differ with them politically. At the very least, we can report them as missing persons.” — Thomas Sowell from www.townhall.com

Tidal Waves

The shaking news this last week was the catastrophe and sustained damage due to the earthquakes and tidal waves in Asia and the Indian Ocean. The movement of the earths internals caused this massive upheaval and disaster and the ensuing suffering. And we need to remember the folks who have been caught up in this in our prayers; that their misery may be lessened, that they may be comforted, their losses overcome and that their wounds may be healed. Those who have the ability to aid with a gift of charity should also consider making a contribution in some reasonable way.

There is a tendency by some to wonder “why God would do this and allow so many to be harmed.” Why (we might ask) did this happen as if by some great accident? If we entertain such thoughts we need to be reminded that as Solomon noted:

“I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all. For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them.” (Eccl. 9:11, 12)

As Christians we have the avenue and blessing of p ray er that can be brought to bear in aiding those who are struggling and suffering. We also may have some means that the Lord has blessed us with and given into our hands whereby we may also be able to help others.

But seeing these things, let us remind ourselves that life is not granted to us on our terms and conditions, or because we are somehow deserving of it. It is a blessing like all others and subject to God – to the forces, conditions, and laws that he has set and that enclose us here. With that understanding, we should then do everything in our limited power to ensure that we stand blameless and in covenant relation with God each day so that when things should go wrong and when we may be set upon or suddenly taken, that we may be blessed with abundant life as is the promise of God to those that are found faithful. That will not happen by accident either.

Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson