Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It is enough to reach out half way around the world

From: "Don Robertson" donaldwrobertson@yahoo.com To: "Tusar N. Mohapatra" tusarnmohapatra@mail.com CC: Subject: Re: Savitri Era Learning Forum: Witticisms are in their least part philosophy Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 05:32:32 -0700 (PDT)
Tusar-

It's a good and excellent morning for me. Good evening, to you. I am gratified to find someone who found some enchantment in my words. I wish I could say more, but at this moment I fail with words too proud to tempt a stumble.

Perhaps later at another time when the fond sensations I feel have settled calmly into me, the pride at having passed myself off as the American Philosopher, like Twain, and like all the great philosophers of the world, ancient, young and old.

Life is good. And today, I feel immortal. It is enough to reach out half way around the world to touch, feel and sense, and to find a kindred soul there? There is almost too much joy. It is as if I were there with you now, each of us laughing at the paradox with no care about any inconguity of the distance that enhances by our marvel at it, the feeling of closeness.

Attached is a picture of myself and a close pal. I'm the one with the less pointed ears. dadkitty1.jpeg, 655 x 412 Please on your blog post it and these words of gratitude for such a life as mine has become, and for yours, as it has become for me too. Best-
Don Robertson, The American PhilosopherLimestone, Maine -U.S.
An Illustrated Philosophy Primer for Young Readers Precious Life - Empirical Knowledge The Grand Unifying Theory & The Theory of Time
http://www.geocities.com/donaldwrobertson/index.html

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tom and Eva’s pastoral frolickings

Cabin Fever By HENRY LOUIS GATES Jr. NY Times Published: October 22, 2006
I first read “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in an eighth-grade class in 1964, when it was probably just going out of fashion as required reading for American school children — and the phrase “Uncle Tom” was about to come into widespread use as the ultimate instrument of black-on-black derogation.
The scholar Stephen Railton traces the first printed uses of the term to the black nationalist Marcus Garvey and his followers, in about 1919, a year of bloody race riots as black World War I veterans demanded their civil rights. “The Uncle Tom nigger has got to go,” the Rev. George Alexander McGuire declared at Garvey’s first convention in 1920, “and his place must be taken by the new leader of the Negro race ... not a black man with a white heart, but a black man with a black heart.” Intense cultural clashes emerged within the race, as Southern, rural migrants — the proverbial children of Uncle Tom — flooded north, and as black people, spurred on by a variety of warring political organizations, became ever more vocal about ending Jim Crow segregation.
Black nationalists in subsequent decades turned Uncle Tom into a swear word, but it was with the rise of popular black militancy in the 60’s that poor old Uncle Tom became the quintessential symbol that separated the good black guys from the servile sellouts. He was the embodiment of “race betrayal,” an object of scorn, a scapegoat for all of our political self-doubts. In 1966, Stokely Carmichael called the N.A.A.C.P.’s executive director, Roy Wilkins, an “Uncle Tom,” while the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee asked, in its position paper on black power: “Who is the real villain — Uncle Tom or Simon Legree?” Muhammad Ali pinned the epithet on Floyd Patterson, Ernie Terrell and Joe Frazier as he pummeled them.
I doubt that many of those who tossed around the insult had actually read Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel. But James Baldwin had. In a scathing 1949 critique, “Everybody’s Protest Novel,” Baldwin boldly linked the sentimentality of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” to the melodrama of Richard Wright’s 1940 novel “Native Son,” a work far more appealing to black power types. “Uncle Tom” had become such a potent brand of political impotence that nobody really cared how far its public usages had traveled from the reality of its literary prototype.
When I returned to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” not long ago, it struck me as far more culturally capacious — and sexually charged — than either Baldwin or the 60’s militants had acknowledged. Half a century after Baldwin denounced it as “a very bad novel” in its “self-righteous, virtuous sentimentality” and promotion of feminine tears and anguish as a form of political protest, both the novel and Baldwin’s now canonical critique are ripe for reassessment.
Baldwin wrote that Tom “has been robbed of his humanity and divested of his sex.” Tom’s political impotence, for Baldwin, is symbolized by his sexual impotence. In fact, Tom and his wife, Aunt Chloe, do have children, but Baldwin has a point: the question of Uncle Tom’s relation to his family and his marital status has long intrigued Stowe scholars. Stowe shows us a devoted — even doting — father, but not a lover. Where Stowe conveys a sense of physical intimacy among the other married couples in the novel, Tom and Chloe share a pointedly “snowy spread” in their cabin.
And so when, early in the novel, a kindly owner sells Tom to pay his plantation’s debts, the slave leaves his cabin free from domestic bonds. For the fact of the matter — which has not escaped the attention of generations of the novel’s illustrators and parodists — is that once Tom leaves his home he almost immediately becomes involved with a young blonde. She is, of course, Eva, the lovely daughter of his next master.
Indeed, Stowe all but dares the reader to see something untoward in the obsessive closeness of Uncle Tom and Little Eva. While their relationship is not sexual, it is remarkably physical: Eva spends hours in Tom’s room, drapes him with flowers and perches on his knee, causing some concern: “How can you let her?” says her cousin, Miss Ophelia; “Why not?” answers Eva’s father. “You would think no harm in a child’s caressing a large dog, even if he was black.” Eva puts “her little golden head close to his,” kisses him and throws her arms around him. From the traditional children’s edition book cover images of a beaming Tom and Eva to such popularizations as the 1933 Disney short “Mickey’s Mellerdrammer” (in which Mickey plays Tom and Minnie plays Eva) or the 1947 Tex Avery short “Uncle Tom’s Cabaña” (starring a sultry animated Eva), the public has always seen Tom and Eva as a couple.
Baldwin, for his part, saw nothing subversive in Tom and Eva’s pastoral frolickings. His view was that of the book’s illustrators, who had always been careful to depict Tom as sweet, gray haired and bespectacled when Eva is in his lap. Yet Baldwin did sense something dark and secret beneath the surface. Sentimentality was not to be trusted: “The ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel,” he wrote. “It is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty.” Real men, for Baldwin, don’t sigh, don’t cry, and certainly are not satisfied with a kiss on the cheek.
Baldwin’s writings make clear that his distaste for sentimentality had everything to do with the perception that sentiment undermined what it meant to be a desiring being. Sentiment focuses on a person’s exterior, whereas art, he thought, privileges the interior, the soul, the seat of desire. Yet sentimentality doesn’t deny the existence of wayward appetites; it merely provides a protective distance from them. In antebellum America, sentimentalism was the only mode Stowe could employ to write about sex — especially interracial sex. It made possible the story’s barely submerged sexual content, most apparent in the sensuality of nearly every desperate young slave woman (“The brown of her complexion gave way on the cheek to a perceptible flush, which deepened as she saw the gaze of the strange man fixed upon her in bold and undisguised admiration. Her dress ... set off to advantage her finely molded shape”).
Nor could Baldwin ever acknowledge his own indebtedness to Stowe. In “Everybody’s Protest Novel,” Baldwin insisted that “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” scarcely qualified as literature and that Stowe was “not so much a novelist as an impassioned pamphleteer.” Baldwin denounced the fundamental assumptions about the relationship between literature and politics underlying Stowe’s self-righteous tone. Her novel’s characters “spurned and were terrified of the darkness, striving mightily for the light.”
But this sort of Manichean simplicity is a central feature of some of Baldwin’s own work, like the plays “The Amen Corner” and “Blues for Mr. Charlie” and the novels “Another Country” and “Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone.” The suppleness of his prose gives way to stereotypical depictions of two-dimensional characters, both black and white — individuals who seem to exist as set pieces for ideological diatribes rather than nuanced explorations of their full humanity. The paradox of Baldwin’s career is that he wrote essays with all of the lyricism and subtlety of a great novelist; yet he approached the craft of the novel with an essayistic didacticism.
The hallmark of most 19th- and many 20th-century American novels about race is the tendency toward the sort of melodrama we see in Stowe. Much of the emotional energy is a matter of shackled love. Baldwin was right to see the penchant for melodrama at the heart of even a novel as “black” as “Native Son.” As the critic Albert Murray first pointed out, though, what Baldwin decried in Stowe and Wright he could not relinquish in his own work. Even his early novel “Giovanni’s Room” — a pioneering depiction of a gay love affair — is characterized by impossible love and even more impossible plot coincidences. By the time Baldwin wrote his most carelessly crafted novels, “Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone” and “Just Above My Head,” melodrama had become the narrative register he could not escape.
Why would Baldwin, in his attack on Stowe, speak so harshly against the power of the fiction to persuade? Surely it was because he was, however unconsciously, speaking to his own deepest fears: that as a novelist, he was guilty of the very thing he disdained in Stowe. When Baldwin looked in the mirror of his literary antecedents, what he saw, to his horror, was Harriet Beecher Stowe in blackface. Stowe’s most vigorous detractor was destined to become her true 20th-century literary heir.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the W. E. B. Du Bois professor of the humanities at Harvard. He is the editor, with Hollis Robbins, of the forthcoming “Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” from which this essay is adapted, and the author of “Finding Oprah’s Roots,” to be published in February.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

India's contribution to World Thought and Culture

India's World-Wide Cultural Diffusion paras_ramoutar@yahoo.com TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, October 20, 2006: "The diffusion of India's cultural immensity over the vast expanses of Asia and other continents is a glorious epic of human achievement in the domain of thought and its _expression in space and time." This summarized former UNC Senator Suren Capildeo's feature address at the 20th annual Divali Nagar on October 12, 2006, before a packed assembly. Theme of this year's Divali Nagar was "The Hindu Contribution to World Thought and Culture." The Nagar ends Friday, October 20.
"Beyond the shimmering blue waters of Lake Baikal in the heart of Eastern Siberia lie monasteries studded with Indian images and silken scrolls of Tantric Deities. A little below lies the Mongolian People's Republic which has one of the richest treasures of translations of thousands of Sanskrit works and rare icons of India's Divinities like Maha Kala, Kali, Ayushi, Tara Devi and many others," Capildeo said. From the Central Asian sands have been exhumed Sanskrit manuscripts, rare works of art, unique administrative documents in Prakit, exquisite murals and objects of a high material culture - all imbued with the spirit and form of India, Capildeo reported. "In the Far East, the sprawling mainland of China has preserved a rich heritage of the art, literature and philosophy of India. Stories of the Mahabharata in the classical Japanese theater, the art traditions of Ajanta at Horyuji Temples, or Sanskrit mantras, all are ageless symbols of India's contribution to Japan's evolution. The Tibetan books on medicine, astronomy, grammar, rhetoric and poetics are inspired by Indian works of similar description."
Capildeo said that the skyline of temples in Bangkok, Sanskrit words in the Thai language, Ramayana as the supreme _expression of Thai theatre, Shiva ceremonies at the Royal Court - are parts of the stream that flows in the heart of Thailand from the deep of India's being. The enthralling stupa Borobudur, the Shiva Temple of Prambanan, the living presence of Hinduism in Bali, are some of the facets of the dynamics of India's cultural spectrum in the Isles of Indonesia. "Modern research reveals that the dispersal of Indian culture, at least in the former Soviet Central Asia can be traced from the early stone age which will take us back over half a million years ago. But such studies of cultural contact between primitive peoples, being based solely on stone tools or other artifacts can only give us very meager and vague ideas on the subject of what we properly recognize as human culture," Capildeo said.
"The great truth about Hinduism was hither-to-ignored or obscured by the fact there is no evidence of such missionary spirit of the Hindus during the last thousands years or more. It was Swami Vivekananda who revived the old missionary spirit of Hinduism towards the close of 19th century. Capildeo went on to say that there is no denying the fact that the whole of the Far East is in India's debt for Buddhism which helped to mould the distinctive civilizations of China, Korea, Japan and Tibet. As well her special gifts to Asia, India has conferred many practical blessings on the world, notably rice, cotton, sugar cane, spices, the domestic fowl, the game of chess and most important of all, the decimal system of numeral notation, the invention of an unknown Indian mathematician.
Capildeo, had his audience spell bound, as he continued, "The extent of the spiritual influence of India on the ancient West is much disputed. The heterodox Jewish sect of the Essenes, which probably influenced early Christianity, followed monastic practices in some respects similar to those of Buddhism. Parallels may be traced between the passages in the New Testament and the Pali Scriptures. Similarities between the teachings of Western philosophers and mystics from Pythagoras to Plotinus and those of the Upanishads have been frequently noticed.
"Deokienanan Sharma, president of the NCIC, in his address, said that the impact of Divali Nagar has extended beyond our shores and has triggered the revival of the almost lost Indian cultural practices in our sister isles of Martinique and Guadeloupe where substantial populations of East Indians live. Sharma said that the Divali Nagar festival has also spread to Canada where some years ago, a Divali Nagar festival was staged in Montreal and Toronto." The NCIC is proud of these developments having been not only the inspiration but has also assisted in whatever way its limited resources would allow," Sharma said. "My only hope is that they will continue to serve selflessly as before so that not only the Divali Nagar, but the NCIC will grow and develop into an even more formidable cultural organization," he said. hpi@hindu.org

Monday, October 09, 2006

They were raised with the belief that Christianity alone contained the truth

In high school, I got every book I could find on Buddhism and began meditating, but the attention of a teenage boy is a fickle thing at best and my meditations remained sporadic for years. Despite my vacillating interest in meditation, I developed a deepening interest in Indian philosophy. I read Shankara, Aurobindo, the Upanishads, the “Manu Shmriti,” the “Bhagavad Gita” and several others.
I soon discovered “Autobiography of a Yogi,” by Paramahansa Yogananda. Yogananda articulated what I had been seeking my entire life without ever knowing it. I had been seeking God! This realization was so profoundly liberating that I soon accepted Yogananda as my guru and began practicing kriya yoga meditation — an ancient meditation technique of pranayama, or life-force control, used to elevate consciousness to higher plains of energy and perception. I spent the next couple of years attending a local temple and inevitably joined an ashram, a monastic community in California — a defining experience in my life because I was able to renounce the distractions that occupy our lives and focus on meditating to attain enlightenment. At the ashram we studied the teachings of our guru Yogananda, did group meditation and lead a balanced life of work and individual contemplation in an environment free of distractions and worldly entanglements.
Half the people I knew thought I had joined a cult and the other half thought I had retreated from reality into some kind of “New Age Fruitopia.” I remember the endless conversations with concerned friends, trying to inform me that I was giving up my future, pursuing a useless and fictitious goal. They could not understand why I would choose a life of renunciation because their own cultural conditioning blinded them to any perspective other than the narrow ideology that achieving material goals and attaining financial success was the highest goal of life. But I had never been interested in money and living for it seemed the sheerest folly to me.
I became the victim of attempts to convert me to Christianity by friends, work associates and fellow college students. The Christians that I knew could not accept my spiritual path because they were raised with the belief that Christianity alone contained the truth. They said I was being beguiled by the devil. Far from compelling me to convert, this dogmatic rhetoric only strengthened my commitment to my path and deepened my compassion for them, since they were attacking what they did not understand out of baseless fears.
How could I explain to my critics that I was like a man crawling through a desert that had finally found an oasis in the teachings of Raja Yoga? I knew I was heading in a good direction because meditation and the practice of my guru’s teachings made me calmer, happier and more loving than I ever had been. As a result of the positive effects meditation had on my life, many of my harshest critics eventually did open their minds. They have since shown a greater tolerance for Eastern religions, and some have even begun exploring Asian philosophy and meditation for themselves.
I have since left the ashram and have returned to college to pursue a degree in religious studies. I want to teach Eastern religions in order to increase understanding and tolerance within American culture. I feel profoundly grateful for the blessing of finding the shelter of a true guru, and I wish to share that blessing with others, not by convincing them to practice what I do, but by helping them to explore their own intellectual and spiritual frontiers. Where this exploration will lead them is not for me to decide. I can only walk my path with compassion, ready to be of service to everyone I meet regardless of their views or prejudices.

Matthew Horton has studied Eastern philosophy for many years, even living for three years in an ashram. He is applying to graduate school with the goal of teaching Asian religion and philosophy. Matthew is also working on a novel and a book of poetry. He regularly practices yoga meditation at his home in Chandler, Ariz. SHARE YOUR EAST WEST STORYWrite us at editor@eastwestmagazine.com

Sunday, October 08, 2006

God as 'He' or 'Lord'

Anglicans: 'HE' God = Wife Bashing by Grant Swank October 08, 2006 09:00 AM EST
The Anglican Church is in such drastic damage level that it comes to this: "Church of England leaders warned yesterday that calling God 'He' encourages men to beat their wives. "They told churchgoers they must think twice before they refer to God as 'He' or 'Lord' because of the dangers that it will lead to domestic abuse.," per The Daily Mail. Anglicans accept homosexual lifestyle as divinely blessed. This equals that religious body furthering AIDS / HIV as well as labeling themselves apostates. In other words, they endorse that which the biblical God abhors. Christ told His own to go into all the world, preaching the gospel. What is the gospel? Preaching personal salvation via Christ the sinless sacrifice upon Calvarys cross. Anglicans have sidelined Gods chief purpose for the church in favor of kissing the Devils feet.
"In new guidelines for bishops and priests on such abuse, they blamed uncritical use of masculine imagery for encouraging men to behave violently towards women." Let it be known that Anglican churches basically are empty today. And those who show are female or men who are female wannabes. Many of the clergy are the latter. Therefore, there are not that many robust wife-beating potential males attending the Anglican sanctuaries any more. So where comes the wife beating throughout Anglican laity? I want the stats on that one."
They also warned that clergy must reconsider the language they use in sermons and check the hymns they sing to remove signs of male oppression. "The recommendation - fully endorsed by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams - puts a question mark over huge swathes of Christian teaching and practice. "The Archbishop has shown himself to be as spiritually deprived as Pope Benedict XVI. They are both maximum wafflers and so will answer seveerely at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Their souls are in grave danger for backsliding before God. They also further their backsliding by counseling followers to betray the Bible. Christ said such persons will go to a deeper hell for leading laity astray.These two men substitute biblical data with human hodgepodge called "theology." It wont wash before the eternal throne."
It (the Anglican guideline publication) throws doubt on whether the principal Christian prayer should continue to be known as the Lord's Prayer and begin 'Our Father'. "It means well-loved hymns such as Fight the Good Fight and Onward Christian Soldiers may be headed for the dustbin." While the world goes to hell in a liturgy printout, the religious leaders so-called write their own religion. The Bible warns against adding to or subtracting from its divine revelation. One does not tamper with the eternal Word. Yet these men and their blind followers do just that – brazenly, without apology. End Times signals?
"The rules also throw into question the role of the Bible by calling for reinterpretations of stories in which God uses violence. "The guidelines also claim that abuse is common within marriage and says this is because marriage heightens a sense among husbands that they own their wives."
The document prompted an outcry from conservative clergy. They accused the Archbishops' Council, the CofE's cabinet that produced the guidelines, of distorting theology for a 'feminist agenda'. Rod Thomas, a Plymouth vicar and spokesman for the influential evangelical Reform movement, said: “There is a danger that this document has veered too much towards political correctness.”
"The Bible says God has both female and male characteristics but it does not feel inhibited about referring to God as male.” Simon Calvert of the evangelical Christian Institute think tank, said: “They appear to suggest seriously that we should ditch many centuries of Judeo-Christian teaching because of some half-baked feminist theory. The guidelines - Responding to Domestic Abuse - say that centuries of Christian teaching have led to “questionable assumptions” about the Bible and moral teaching."
With biblical conservatives up in arms, it reveals the righteous remnant who are in every quarter of Christendom. These are those who defend Scripture against all costs. These are those who could be the martyred during the Tribulation in our near future. These are those who will be persecuted by the very church leaders they once looked up to. Yet the righteous remnant will remain on the Earth till the Second Coming of Christ. This bride will welcome back the Groom Christ as He returns to rule the planet for a millennium. The bride will keep herself soul-spotless for her approaching Groom, not yielding to the religious harlots who attempt to plunge the worldwide church into The Pit.

A harmony between the secular and the sacred

by Rev. Mark Creech Faith and Conservative American Politics October 07, 2006 09:00 AM EST
Churches of the late Middle Ages are well known for embodying a Christian worldview in their architecture. No where is this better demonstrated than in the Gothic Cathedral at Chartes, France. This cathedral, which was built during the 12th century, supposedly pictures the kingdom of heaven on earth. In his book, Earth Restored, John Barber says "[t]he west façade, one of the most glorious of all Gothic structures, is harmonized through decoration and proportion to give it an upward, reaching effect -- reaching toward the purity of paradise itself." Barber further adds: "The south side of the cathedral displays Old Testament figures whose message is to proclaim that the rulers of France are not independent of God, but in fact stand in the line of the great kings and prophets from before the time of Christ. The worldview of the cathedral is summed up through a figure of Christ appearing as Judge and Lord of the Universe above the doorway with an assembly of twenty-four elders in the archivolts." The message of the Cathedral is clear, claims Barber: "the ideal society consists in a harmony of spiritual and secular injunction, where Christ is the head of both." [1]
Interestingly, America was founded on a similar view. Dating all the way back to the Mayflower Compact, the nation’s birth certificate reads: "... Having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith ... a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia ... do by these presents solemnly ... covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic." [2] When the New England settlements gathered, they formed what is known as the Constitution of the New England Confederation, which reads: "Whereas we all came to these parts of America with the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to enjoy the liberties of the Gospel thereof with purities and peace, and for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the gospel." [3]
The documentary evidence that the United States was based on the concept that society should be built on a harmony between the secular and the sacred is solid. In 1832, Noah Webster published his History of the United States, in which he concluded: "The brief exposition of the constitution of the United States will unfold to young persons the principles of republican government; and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion." [4]
Today, however, the religious premise of the nation has largely been wiped from the collective mind. Failing to realize all nations that ever existed were founded on some theistic basis (with exception of anti-theistic countries such as the former Soviet Union) -- whether it is the Hinduism of India, the Confucianism of Asia, the Islamic religion of the Arabic states, or the Christianity of the western nations -- Americans have offered little resistance to the radical effort of "progressives" to remove every vestige of America’s Christian heritage and completely secularize matters of public policy.
Certainly the mantra of progressives has been the so-called doctrine of the "separation of church and state." Terry L. Johnson, a Presbyterian minister from Savannah, Georgia, best summarizes the current circumstances, contending:
"The progressives have been saying for a generation or more that there is an impenetrable 'wall of separation' between church and state. This phrase, by the way, is not found in our national documents ... What is wrong with a manger scene at City Hall? What is wrong with a Menorah on city property? What is wrong with a prayer at graduation, or at the beginning of a football game, or at the beginning of the day in our public schools? Common sense, tells us, of course, that nothing is wrong with it. The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution at a time when ten of thirteen colonies had state-supported churches, and authorized government-paid chaplains for the military, opening the daily sessions of the Supreme Court and Senate with prayer. Moreover, the printing of the Bible at public expense never imagined the degree to which fanatics would go to remove religion from the public square." [5]
Unfortunately, this wrong-headed approach by progressives, who have dominated the political landscape in recent decades, has wreaked havoc on the nation’s character and institutions. Their misguided intent to unite the country under a secular multi-cultural banner has instead deeply divided it by removing its moral compass.
Such has precipitated a cultural war with a revival of sorts for "orthodox" or "conservative" values, which are fundamentally biblical in nature. A number of areas where the battles are currently being fought and must be won if the nation would be redeemed are:
1. The battle to preserve the sanctity of human life (Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 42:2, 24; Luke 1:41-44; Exodus 20:13). America’s wholesale slaughter of innocent life at its earliest stages through abortion and destructive embryonic stem-cell research is unacceptable. Neither is the practice of euthanasia or forms of assisted suicide tolerable. The Bible argues life is sacred at every stage and that government has a responsibility to vigorously protect it. The late Mother Teresa said at the 1996 National Prayer Breakfast, "If a child is not safe in his mother’s womb, nothing is safe." The attack on innocent human life at any juncture is an attack on all of life.
2. The battle to preserve the traditional monogamous family (Genesis 2:21-24; Ephesians 5:22-33). Divorce is epidemic in America with nearly half of all marriages failing. For the first time in the nation’s history more people are cohabitating than are married. Diverse forms of family such as homosexual marriage, polygamy, and group marriages are being advocated. These family scenarios are rejected by God. Moreover, they open a Pandora’s Box of ills that strike at the very heart of a stable society. They create circumstances where, unfortunately, children suffer the most. The ideal plan God ordained for the family simply begins with one man and one woman who legally marry for life.
3. The battle to preserve common decency (Proverbs 14:34). Alcohol and drug abuse is rampant, costing the nation nearly $400 billion annually, not to mention the destruction of countless American youth. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar business. Television programs and the movies are rift with obscenity, profanity and vulgarity. Yet many of the "liberal/progressive" persuasion promote the legalization of illicit drugs and advocate for lesser government regulation of the media.
Nevertheless, the best way to protect a representative republic is for the state to defend the national morality. John Adams, the second President of the United States argued: "Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society." [6]
4. The battle to preserve a limited government (Romans 13:1-7). The Scriptures teach that government’s primary responsibility is to procure justice by protecting the life, liberty and property of its citizenry. It may legitimately tax in order to carry out this particular function. But contrary to the notions of progressives, God never authorized government to tax in order to provide matters such as housing, food, child-care, health-care, etc. Just as individuals have no right to play Robin Hood and use their coercive powers to relieve poverty, neither does the government. In fact, governments are charged to do just the opposite -- to protect the private property of its citizens. Governments, as well as individuals, are required to obey the eighth commandment of God: "Thou shalt not steal." Although Christianity is concerned with the needs of the poor, it teaches "the poor you will have with you always" and poverty concerns are best addressed by acts of private charity.
Sadly, modern America has evolved into a welfare state that has made government "the opiate of the people." Americans look to the government to solve nearly all of their problems. Because government is involved in funding countless projects it was never authorized to take on, there is now an outrageous tax rate, Eminent Domain abuses, and even state promotion of vices such as gambling in order to supply the government’s insatiable desire for additional revenue. America must return to its moorings, once again embracing the biblical concept of limited government.
5. The battle to preserve the diffusion of government powers. ( Romans 3:10-18, 23; Jeremiah 17:9 ) Most of America’s founders were devout Christians who believed human nature is sinful and depraved. This conviction led them to conclude that liberty could only be protected when power was shared -- no person or group of persons should ever be trusted with total authority. Thus they established that federal power should be divided into executive, legislative and judicial branches.
Lately, these lines of power have been blurred significantly, especially by the judicial branches. Nearly every issue currently tearing away at America’s moral fabric -- no school prayer, no posting of the Ten Commandments, abortion, the repeal of sodomy laws, homosexual marriage, etc. -- have been foisted on the public, not legitimately by the executive or legislative branches, but solely by activists judges bent more on making law rather than interpreting it according to the original intent of the founding fathers in the Constitution. Essentially, this has placed the neck of the nation under the foot of a judicial dictatorship.
Only a healthy respect for the Bible’s teaching about human nature’s tendency for corruption will lead Americans to reject, as well as be leery of any concentration of power, whether it’s an imperial Presidency, Congress, Judiciary, or something else.
6. The battle to preserve a faith-based educational system (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Ephesians 6:4). Public schools today are the "golden calf" of the left. Their influence has literally removed the name of God from the campus. The worst effect by far is not simply that school prayer, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, Creationism or Intelligent Design are not allowed in the classroom, but that students are led to believe that faith in God, reliance in the Holy Scriptures, or obedience to God’s commands has no place in the process of education.
The late great Peter Marshall, Chaplain to the U.S. Senate during the late 1940s, warned: "Let us not fool ourselves -- without Christianity, without Christian education, without the principles of Christ inculcated into young life, we are simply rearing pagans." [7]
Obviously, faith is the source of conservative values. Progressives may often assert that faith is also the premise for their values. But it should be realized as James Davidson Hunter, (professor of sociology and religious studies at the University of Virginia) in his book, Culture Wars, The Struggle To Define America, notes: Progressives embrace the view that "moral and spiritual truth can only be conditional and relative." [8] In other words, they seek to supplant the eternal verities of the historic Christian tradition by imposing a faith or dogma of their own.
In a letter to General Benjamin Lincoln, dated June 29, 1788, George Washington’s words are a challenge, as well as a word of encouragement for modern America: "Much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to, so plainly ... The Great Governor of the Universe has led us too long and too far ... to forsake us in the midst of it ... We may, now and then, get bewildered; but I hope and trust that there is good sense and virtue enough left to recover the right path."
Indeed! And may God hasten the day when as pictured in the great Gothic Cathedral at Chartes, France, American jurisprudence will once again reach toward the "purity of paradise itself" -- harmonizing the secular and the spiritual, acknowledging Christ as the Lord of both. Rev. Mark H. Creech (calact@aol.com) is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.[1] Barber, John, Earth Restored: Calling the Church to a New Christian Activism (Christian Focus Publications, Ltd., 2002), pp. 43, 44[2] William J., Federer, America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations (Amerisearch, Inc., 1999), p. 435-436 [3] Ibid at p. 466[4] Ibid at p. 678[5] David W., Hall, Election Day Sermons, (The Kuyper Institute, 1996), p. 107[6] William J., Federer, America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations (Amerisearch, Inc., 1999), p. 12[7] Marshall, Catherine, The Best of Peter Marshall, (Guideposts, published by special arrangement with Chosen Books), pp. 73, 74[8] James Davidson, Hunter, Culture Wars, The Struggle to Define America, (Basic Books 1991), p. 123