Terrorism and Liberty

At the conclusion of World War Two American citizens demanded and received a return to normalcy that included lifting all restrictions upon their rights and choices. This was also the case in every previous declared war. In order to win in war citizens understand the need for sacrifice which sometimes includes temporary limitations on normal rights of individuals, but when the war ends so do those limitations. Our fathers and mothers as part of what has been called the Greatest Generation expected no different and post WW2 life basically went back to normal pre-war living so far as governmental regulation and restoration of rights were concerned.

This is one of the reasons the US constitution allows for the declaration of war so that any limitations upon the people will clearly be in the context of that declared and defined war, and the termination of the war will likewise have a clear and defined conclusion. Wars that are not about protecting the rights and lives of the US citizens would not be legitimate or constitutional.

But since WW2 the US government has chosen to go to “war” without declaring war, thus making clear objectives less defined, and making limits on the rights of citizens outside of the context of a period of struggle which will have an end and a return to normalcy.

The Korean “War” and the Vietnam “War” were both officially called police actions because no war was declared. The “Korea War” continues until today because no peace agreement was ever signed only an armistice was agreed to (of course this armistice has been broken by the north on numerous occasions, most notably recently). Domestically we have a “War on Poverty” which has gone on into the fourth generation with no signs of success and at huge costs to the people in revenues and limitations of constitutional rights. We have a “War against Drugs” which likewise shows no signs of abating and has no means to define success should victory ever be achieved.

Now we have a “War on Terror – or Terrorism”. After 9-11 the congress offered the president a declaration of war. However, this was rejected with the misguided comment that there was no responsible nation or government to declare war on. The fact that we could easily have declared war on Al-Qaeda, who had in fact attacked us, seemed to be lost. Remarkably since then we have effectively waged war upon two nations and deposed the governments that assisted Al-Qaeda, so it would have been simple to declare war. Had that been done then when the war concluded we the people could expect to have our rights returned to normal.

Declaring a “War on Terror” would have been equivalent to our fathers having declared war on “kamikaze” after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both terrorism and kamikaze are tactics not enemies. Suppose we declared war on blitzkrieg rather than declaring war on Germany and Nazis? Doesn’t make much sense does it?

If we declared war on Al-Qaeda and militant Islam bent against destroying America as we know it, then our government would want to keep agents of these groups away from our shores. By defining the war as against terror, we leave ourselves vulnerable to agents of these groups who might use other tactics. Can you imagine allowing Nazi’s to immigrate to America during WW2 as long as they didn’t use blitzkrieg against our people? (Our government actually executed Nazi’s for entering our county – before they could carry out any acts of war.)

Because our government has chosen this strategy our borders are wide open to these enemies. In fact the current administration has seen fit to help many to immigrate and find jobs, many subsidized by taxpayers’ dollars and stimulus money. Does anyone really think that we have a need in this country for the abilities that may only be found among Somali, Yemeni, Palestinian or Hamas immigrants (be they legal or illegal)? Why put at risk the safety of US citizens?

Because our government has said we are at war with a tactic and not a people with ideologies incompatible with a free self-governing nation, we have left ourselves vulnerable, not only to attack from within and without, but we make it more difficult to limit the infringement of our constitutional rights by our own government.

The Department of Homeland Security says it is trying to protect us from terrorism. Yet they have identified the most likely potential terrorists as those who are pro-life or pro-second amendment those who are pro tenth amendment, or those who are against raising taxes and those who are against illegal immigration and – of all people – returning veterans – among others. Alarmingly one group that was not mentioned in the report were Muslim extremists or anyone who might help Al-Qaeda or their minions.

With this in mind shouldn’t every freedom loving American be alarmed at the force with which the DHS and other police agencies have advanced means by which to limit, watch, screen, snoop and by other means expect us to willingly give up constitutional guarantees?

One quick review of the fourth amendment to the constitution might be warranted here – Amendment IV “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

We really need to ask what gives them the right to look at your dirty laundry (literally)?

Isa 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

A Day of Infamy

This is an blog which was originally sent out on Aug 9 2009. As today is Pearl Harbor day. I thought it would be appropriate to send it again as a reminder, and confirmation.

A while back Terri and I went to Japan to visit our daughter and son-in-law while he was stationed there in the Navy. They had a schedule all lined out for us to visit various sites and cities while we were there and we looked forward to a wonderful time being with them. On our first day of sight seeing they took us to Nagasaki. This is the site of some of the most remarkable ship building in the world. It is also a city which housed a great underground Christian population during the days of great persecution against the early church. It is also the site of many crucifixions of Christian martyrs and it was quite an emotional experience to visit the sites of Christian martyrdom there. When we were there it was a great outing day for the schools and all the school kids wanted their photos taken with the Americans (we were the only ones) and to practice their English. But Nagasaki is most noted for being the site of the last great bomb to be dropped during World War II, effectively bringing that war to a close.

Interestingly, the date they took us to Nagasaki was December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. In a sense December 7th represents the beginning of the war for the US and Nagasaki represents the end of the war. It was on this day that a nation which prided itself on Honor and moral conduct attacked through betrayal an ally and friend, the USA, and picked a fight it was bound to lose. When the bombs were sent to Japan, the peace medals which had been presented by Japan to the USA shortly before the war were attached to the bombs and “returned”.

In March of this year the Spirit clearly said to me we had been betrayed by the current administration which is in power in our nation. He meant both the citizens of the nation, and specifically Christians of this nation had been betrayed. I felt at the time it signaled a change in direction and a difficult time ahead, first uncovering the betrayal and deception and then reversing it.

Interestingly on the same day that we were in Nagasaki, a good friend was in Hawaii with his family visiting Pearl Harbor. Being a Navy man himself he understood the significance of being at the USS Arizona memorial on that day. He was thoughtful enough when prompted by the spirit to acquire for me as a Christmas gift a US flag flown over that consecrated site on that honored day. When he later presented it to me as a gift, I explained that on the same day he was in Pearl Harbor we were in Nagasaki. That flag came to represent both the Beginning and the End. I later took that flag, also with a photo of our family at the Peace memorial in Nagasaki and put it in a shadow box that hangs in our hallway. It also contains the certificate of authenticity from the Navy Commander and a piece of paper with a verse that I added -

Rev 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

And so it is today, the 64th anniversary of the ending of that war by the dropping of that bomb that we find ourselves in yet another war. It is a war precipitated by betrayal not unlike that other war King Herod unleashed by betrayal after trying to deceive the Magi. A war against the innocents, and against our Lord Jesus Christ. One unlike any this nation or the church has yet seen. But take heart, even as the giant in authority, the Body of Christ, is awakening; Our Lord has already called the end before it began. We win in Him!

Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.


A Legacy of Blessings

One of the more remarkable events signaling Devine favor on the Pilgrims occurred near the end of their first winter in the new land. A native by the name of Samoset came walking boldly into their town and called out “Welcome” to them in perfect English. After the Pilgrims regained some composure they answered with a welcome of their own, to which Samoset asked if they had any beer? They had none but offered a bit of brandy which he accepted gratefully along with a hearty meal.

Samoset was a chief visiting from the north in what is today Maine. He introduced the Pilgrims to another American Indian named Squanto who spoke better English than he did. Squanto was a member of the tribe which formerly inhabited the region where the Pilgrims had settled. They were a warring tribe and had here-to-fore killed every European who had set foot on their lands. But four years previously a plague of unknown origin had broken out among the tribe leaving not one living soul in the region. This was so mysterious to the neighboring tribes that they had avoided the area totally expecting that some evil spirits were there. Squanto was the only remaining member of this tribe and he had only recently returned from England after an absence of many years. In his sojourn to England he had learned not only the English language but many of the English ways.

Squanto was certainly a godsend and helped the Pilgrims in so many ways including when and where to catch the fish, how to plant the gardens, make syrup from the tree sap and hunt the abundant game for food and for beaver pelts which became their economic salvation.

In the course of their first winter the Pilgrims had lost forty six of the one hundred and two souls who had come to the New World on the Mayflower. One of my ancestors on my mom’s side, Peter Browne, was one of those fortunate enough to make it through the first winter and establish a family in the new land. I consider the resilience of these Pilgrims remarkable. It seems that their perseverance allowed them to remain and receive the favor that came through the assistance of Squanto and the other natives. This of course led to the first Thanksgiving feast with prayer and thanksgiving to God for His providence to them. While they had other days separated for prayer and thanksgiving in the coming years one of the most notable happened in 1623 when a time of prayer and fasting was called due to a horrible drought. This was changed into a time of thanksgiving when rain came during their prayer. It was a soft rain which soaked the ground and was very good for the crops. The natives also had done rain dances and had received rain in torrents which destroyed their crops. The difference did not go unnoticed by either of these groups of people.

We are so fortunate to have such a godly heritage. It was with this in mind that George Washington used the example for the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation after independence from Great Britain. Washington wanted to emphasize our Godly history as well as provide a reminder of Divine Providence which they had also witnessed in the national struggle for independence. While we are embroiled in struggles of our own in our generation so far they pale in comparison to the sacrifices that our forbearers underwent. While we may yet be required to make greater sacrifices than we have heretofore experienced, we have the same God watching over us today that they had then. We have a godly heritage of calling upon Him in time of need and witnessing His deliverance. While we are in need of His deliverance, we also have so much to be grateful for. In fact praising God for all He has done, and for His promises of what he will do when His people humble themselves are a few of the things I have been thinking about. I pray that this Thanksgiving will be the most wonderful one that you and your family have ever experienced as you allow the Great God access to all you do by thanking Him for all He has already done.

2 Cor 9:10-11, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” (NASU)

First in Peace and War

Nov 14, 2010

I had an interesting dream about a man who was an inventor. It was said about him that everything he invented was to be “first in peace and in war”. He had invented a new rifle cartridge which had become a national sensation. The new cartridge was called a .319 (Three Nineteen) which was purported to be “like the .308 (Three O’ Eight) but more powerful.”

Now I know a few things about rifle cartridges. I know the .308 is the civilian or sporting nomenclature for the 6.72 NATO cartridge used by all NATO forces since its introduction in 1954. In the context of this dream you could say it is good for peace (civilian usage) and good for war (NATO version).

Upon awakening I looked up the famous saying from the eulogy of George Washington adapted by congress. “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.

I next looked in the book of Ecclesiastes for what is perhaps the most famous quote on war and peace -
“A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.”

I was intrigued to discover that this was chapter three and verse eight or 3:08 just like the caliber in the dream! I always find it intriguing how the Spirit can catch our attention and causes us to pay attention. From this verse I concluded a baseline for this dream, war and peace, but the new invention was first in peace and war – opposite order, and according to the dream it was more powerful.

The scripture says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Prov 25:2) So it is always intriguing to search for what the message may be in a prophetic dream.

I know enough about rifle cartridges to know that there is no such cartridge called a .319, it does not exist. I mentioned to a friend that if it had been .318 or .320 in the dream I might more easily understand why it was used, as these are actual calibers, but I have never heard of a cartridge that is .319 caliber. I mentioned Gen 14:14 as an example, which has 318 household servants whom Abram had trained. However, my friend mentioned that Abram should also be counted as he is in that verse as the leader, bringing the total to 319. I learned something from this, that since .319 is not an actual caliber, the message I would find would also be hidden a bit deeper than the .308 message, which is an actual caliber and an actual verse.

.319 on the other hand would be concealed subtly, yet the message would have more power than the other. In Gen 14:14 there are three hundred and nineteen saints who prepared in times of peace, not knowing that war would ever come. Yet when it did come, through no fault of their own, they were up to it and actually defeated the might of four kingdoms. Interestingly after this Abram met with Melchizedek king of Salem – which means the King of Peace, a type of Christ, and was served the first communion.

What are we to gather from this? I believe the Spirit was communicating that we are in a season in which we are to take our lessons very seriously. Those of us who are men and women of peace should, like Abram and his servants, understand that our willingness to be equipped in times of relative peace is our best training for battle. Indeed, we may have battles coming for which we have not prepared specifically, but yet we are trained by means of learning to serve, as all Christians should. In the story there are four kingdoms to be defeated. The number four is the number that represents the world, and while we are in this world we will have battles. This dream may be warning about battles against all the forces of the kingdoms of this world.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

This is an interesting point that although we have warfare, it is through peace that we have victory. Better than “war and peace” as in Eccl. 3:08 is “peace and war.” Jesus’ spoke words to us to train us to have peace, and fight our battles through peace. As I was contemplating this dream I was reminded of Romans 16:20 which says, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” Although the title Lord of Hosts (meaning Lord of Armies) is used many more times in scripture than this title, it is interesting that the title God of Peace is used here in light of crushing satan.

The conclusion of the matter being communicated through this portion of the dream I believe is that we may have battles ahead which are bigger than we currently expect. Bigger than we have envisioned heretofore, or have trained specifically for. Yet if we are being equipped as bond servants of Christ, we will do battle through peace, and no matter what events are ahead of us, we will have the victory and come through to a place of peace.

James 3:18-19, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”

Election Night and No Politics

The events of this past election night have been called a Tsunami, an earthquake, and like the Mississippi running backwards. And so it may have been. We have reason for hope. But not all the important events were political.

Tuesday was our regular prayer time with local ministries and we were able to pray with a couple, Al & Diane, who are good friends and have a prophetic ministry named Starfire Ministries http://starfireministries.org/index.htm . They have been involved in a victorious battle to protect the children in their school district from the destructive plans of Planned Parenthood through involvement with the local school board, of which Al is a member. But with every victory there is a battle and often, when the enemies of righteousness are unseated from authority, there is a counter attack. I have experienced this and have empathy for those who also experience this. This is one reason, when asking for prayer for a mission trip, I thank people for praying before, during and after the trip. But, if they can only pray during one of those periods, then please choose the period after the trip, as this is very often one of the most difficult spiritually.

We prayed that morning, including the laying on of hands, for a hedge of protection, increased prayer, and opportunity to push back against the forces which were counter attacking them (through people). That opportunity came quickly.

Their community had been rocked in days just previous when three men had been asphyxiated while camping in a tent. These men were pulled from the tent by their teen-aged children who had slept in another tent nearby. The men were all life-flighted to Salt Lake City where the prognosis was grim. I believe it was Al that suggested that a prayer meeting be called at the school for that evening and began to spread the word to different church leaders. To his surprise there were over 200 people that came to the meeting, including the local TV station.

With that many people guidelines had to be set out for some order to prevail. One guideline was to pray loud when you prayed so others could hear. Leaders and members of numerous different churches all prayed with boldness. There were Mormons, Catholics, Lutherans, Community Church, and Baptists, Charismatics, and perhaps others. Since all of the injured men were members of the same religion there were many from their families and church leadership present. By their own admission, when the meeting was complete, they stated that they had never experienced prayer like that in their own meetings and desired to know more about how to pray with authority and power. Walls are coming down that not long ago seemed impossibly strong.

There is an old saying, “In things essential, unity; in doubtful, liberty; in all things, charity.”

The last report is that the men are going to live. One of the men was totally unresponsive and in a coma until after the prayer meeting; by the following morning it was reported that he was conscious and awake. We still need to pray against the diagnosis of brain damage.

Without resistance we can have no victory, and even in victory we have resistance. But through faithfulness the kingdom is extended, The Great Awakening can include all Americans, and will not be confined to the political field.

Rom 12:14-18, “Bless those who persecute you — bless them, don’t curse them! Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be sensitive to each other’s needs — don’t think yourselves better than others, but make humble people your friends. Don’t be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but try to do what everyone regards as good. If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people.” [Complete Jewish Bible]

What Goes Around Comes Around

I haven’t followed the President’s fall campaign schedule that closely. It seems that this president is always in some sort of campaign mode. I understand he gets depressed and becomes increasingly bitter when he is at the Whitehouse for too long. He has been traveling to small towns in America and holding closed meetings in back yards. I was listening to some of what he was saying in a couple of these meetings with his supporters.

He was speaking about his successes with the war in Iraq. He also was asked about his religion and responded that he is a devout Christian (I recalled he recently made a walk to church from the Whitehouse with his family. How nice). He was not bashful in verbally attacking those who do not agree with him in these meetings, even lambasting “supporters” who stated they were less than enthusiastic with his record to date.

I was contemplating this when something came to my mind. It seemed I had heard the president speak about these things before. In fact, while he was running for the office which he now holds he was widely reported as saying, “You go into some of these small towns … And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them … as a way to explain their frustrations.”

I thought, “What goes around certainly comes around, doesn’t it?”

Matt 7:1-2, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Divine Judgement

While I sat at breakfast with a find in New Delhi a few years ago the table we were sitting at began to shake, at first I looked at him wondering if he were jiggling the table with a nervous tap on the table leg, but I immediately noticed the ceiling lamps beginning to sway back and forth. The man at the table across from us had eyes that widened more and more as we all realized we were experiencing a not insignificant earthquake. About the time particles began to filter down from the ceiling above it stopped. Had it lasted only a few seconds more I’m sure we would have all been heading out the door, but as it was it was a conversation between all the patrons. But we found out as the day went on that this really was a significant earthquake centered over 700 miles away in the mountains of Pakistan.

While the US and many other nations immediately went into action sending humanitarian aid to the displaced peoples there was a significant news item reported in the Indian paper that never was reported in the western new – that the epicenter of the earthquake was under the center for Islamist terrorist training camps. It was reported in the following days that over seventeen terrorist training camps were destroyed some buried under hundreds of feet of rocks too deep to ever dig out. I saved a political cartoon from the Hindustani Times that showed a terrorist, face covered in a scarf, tossing away his assault rifle with the caption “I’m giving up Terrorism, you cannot fight with Mother Nature”.

Another time I was at lunch in Rome having been invited to attend meetings between Charismatic Non-denominational Christians and Charismatic Roman Catholics. The US had shortly before set off Operation Iraqi Freedom and one of the folks across the table asked my opinion of the “invasion”. I only stated something I had read – that a few days into the invasion there arose such a huge sand storm that the advance coalition forces was halted. Those opposed to the military action the US and its coalition had taken were reporting that Allah had stopped the infidels in their tracks. However, when the advance began again after three days it was revealed that coalition forces had been halted by the storm just before entering into a mine field that was miles wide and deep. Once this was revealed to the coalition forces they were able to easily continue their advance by just driving around the exposed mines and letting the mine crew remove the mines after they were on their way. While this was not widely reported as one of the reasons the forces were able to advance on Bagdad with such speed, the unexpected speed at which they reached Bagdad was.

I only shared this story in response to the question of what I felt about the invasion, not giving an opinion – simply implying that there had been divine intervention. One French pastor began yelling at me across the table that “God would not do that” (I hadn’t said that He had) “But God loved everyone so he would make sure casualties were equal on each side”! I didn’t try to argue with his logic but left it to others at the table from Europe and the South Pacific.

I’ve heard some “politically correct” explanations for divine judgment over the years that don’t seem to jive with examples form scripture. Certainly God’s judgment is first and foremost to change the hearts to people to turn back to Him. I believe we and in a season like that here in America right now. But there is a judgment which is much harsher which can stop the advance of death by the hands of man. There are many examples of this in scripture when God’s people cried out and the enemies of His people were stopped, turned or even killed – (1 Sam 5:6,7; 2 Sam 5:23-25; 1 Kings 20:28-30; 2 Kings 7:6, 7; Acts 12:22-24).

Some believe that God almighty placed within the earth itself a limit of the evil it can withstand before it responds – Lev 18:28 so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you.

Lev 20:22 ‘You are therefore to keep all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them, so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out.

Does this mean that God chooses sides? Not by any means

Josh 5:13b -14a “Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” Josh 5:13-14

Joshua stepped up to him and said, “Whose side are you on — ours or our enemies’?”

14 Josh 5:13b, 14a “ Joshua stepped up to him and said, ‘Whose side are you on — ours or our enemies’? He said, ‘Neither. I’m commander of God’s army. I’ve just arrived.’ Joshua fell, face to the ground, and worshiped”. (from THE MESSAGE)

I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words when asked if he thought God was on his side – “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side…”

God cannot do evil or wrong, but the earth does at times seem to wealth in on the affairs of mankind. After the earthquake I mentioned earlier the terrorist attacks into Afghanistan and India were effected for months, perhaps longer. Who many lives were spared because of this or the storm in the Iraqi Desert? The reason these things came to me was that I just heard on the news last night that the because the recent flooding in the mountains of Pakistan has taken out so many bridges and roads that the Taliban has almost completely been hindered from crossing into Afghanistan to carry our terrorist attacks. I wonder?

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Ground Zero Mosque Controversy

The controversy which is raging over the proposed Ground Zero Mosque is interesting in many lights. Most interesting to me is the fact that there has been so much controversy over this proposed project nationally. It has been said that the 9-11 families must be considered because of their lost loved ones. While this is true, the whole nation must be considered; it was the whole nation that was attacked by militant Muslim Jihadists on 9-11. The uproar which is going on is remarkable and encouraging as it means there is a level of awakening occurring. While some misguided government officials and most of the media are crying “Freedom of Religion is at stake,” most Americans are not buying it. Most people realize this is an affront to those who died and to all of us whose nation and way of life was attacked – and continues to be attacked. The population in general is waking up to the nature of the threat and the nature of Islam. Most people realize that the building of this Mosque on this site will be accepted as a war memorial to the terrorists and their “sacrifice.” The phony rhetoric that this is being built to prepare a bridge between cultures is contradicted by the failure to adjust to the outcry of the American population. If it is meant as a bridge at all it is meant as a bridge for Islam to pour its influence into America, but no influence will return across such a bridge. As an example there are over 100 mosques already in NYC, but middle eastern nations dominated by Islam do not allow churches to be built or bibles to be owned or open worship to the God of the Jews and the Christians to be practiced openly.

When the Islamists bought the land in the shape of a crescent around the site of the sacrifice of the brave Americans of flight 93 in Pennsylvania it was not to have a site to honor their sacrifice, but to purchase a huge crescent [click link] surrounding the site to honor the terrorists. It seems most Americans were still asleep when this went on, but thankfully America is awaking to the type of threat we are facing.

Recently I was honored to spend a little time with Kamal Saleem [click link] a trained PLO terrorist miraculously introduced to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. I spoke with him about the interesting changes we are seeing here in Missoula. Recently the University has altered its food service program to accommodate the few Muslim students here during the month of Ramadan. Also one of the local schools has hired two Muslim teachers to teach Arabic language and Arabic culture, respectively. It is interesting that we no longer teach traditional American history. This is the type of thing that “the powers that be” are promoting, and just the type of thing the American public are rising up against. Americans do not begrudge accommodations when possible, but what about accommodating the beliefs of the majority of us? We are asking the questions like “Who are we?” and “What has made us who we are?” As is often the case in self discovery one in search of himself often begins by discovering who he is not!

While the Government, the Media, and many spokespersons for Islam repeat again and again that this is a religion of peace, Kamal must travel with two body guards because of the threats on his life and the Islamic fatwa upon him that he be killed. Often we hear media and Hollywood types attempting to draw an equivalency between “extremist Muslims” and “extremist Christians.” Ever ask yourself what an extremist Christian is? Historically this has been a monk or a “holy man” who has gone away to spend time seeking God and in prayer and study of the Bible. Not a crazy man running around the mountains and caves shooting off an AK-47 for the cameras and issuing fatwas upon the Americans. Many consider evangelists such as Graham and Roberts as Christian extremists. Is there any moral equivalency between these types and the types of people who flew planes into buildings on 9-11, shot into crowds of unsuspecting and unarmed crowds of innocent people while yelling “Allah Akbar” – Allah is great? People are waking up to these discrepancies, and none too soon.

The foundations of Christianity are based upon the teachings of Christ such as “love your neighbor; do unto others as you would have them do unto you; and pray for your enemies.” Islam on the other hand is the only religion which sanctions murder by law.

Recently a dear friend shared a letter with me written by a Christian relative in Afghanistan. He wrote, “[W]e are currently in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan…. this month is historically one of the most violent and deadly for both US and Afghan forces; not only do the military members suffer, but also the Afghan people. I recently witnessed a group of children blown up by Taliban forces. These kids were no more than 12yrs old…. they were on their way home from school, when an RPG was fired … They were children, who never had an opportunity to live life…. All I could think of was the spiritual connotations….whether you believe it or not there is a principality of violence that has spiritual control over these people…. I do not hate them; its like I can see who and what God has for them, and it is truly amazing….. too long have these innocent men, women and children suffered here. Their only hope is for a miracle that no amount of American soldiers can provide…. If anything is to be done, it must be done by the Body of Christ…. That’s us. The only hope that they have is our prayers and His power…. I ask you all to help fight the spiritual battle here and abandon yourselves to Christ’s plan for these people. This demonic influence in this country is strongest during this month, … On the last night they believe that no matter what they do, if they die they will go to heaven. The last three days of Ramadan are the key to the entire month of fasting…. the dates are Sept 9th, 10th and 11th…. I feel that God is asking us to fight this spiritual battle, and break the chains that bind these people. ”

Ramadan is always a time of murder and mayhem in Islam. Compare this with the peace that surrounds Christian celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. Jesus said we can know by the fruit. Americans are waking to the fruit.

It is our Christian call to be salt and light to the oppressed. Fear runs and hides – this is a natural reaction to a supernatural situation. To be controlled by it is cowardice, to control it is courageous. Kamal encouraged me that Muslims are not our enemy, Islam is, and any failure is a prayer failure. Our duty to God is the salvation of souls and our great victory will be the salvation of the Muslims. Love is the greatest power of all.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Rom 8:31

Ted Olson, Proposition 8 and Freedom

A number of years ago Ted Olson was our guest here in Missoula for a symposium hosted by the University Law School. This is while he was United States Solicitor General under George W. Bush. This was long before he took up the case against the people of California in the recent Proposition 8 legal battle.

In my lead up to the question which I asked him I reviewed constitutional and judicial history a bit by reminding everyone that Thomas Jefferson was in no way directly involved in the writing of the US constitution (he was the US Ambassador to France at the time of the convention). Yet, upon reading the Constitution, there were certain aspects which amazed and delighted him and other aspects which deeply concerned him. The aspect of the new Constitution which seemingly concerned him the most was the un-elected judiciary which was to be appointed for life.

Jefferson wrote: “To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. … The constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.”

Recently Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the amended California constitution, through proposition 8, is unconstitutional. In the past it was ruled that a California law defining marriage as between a man and a woman was unconstitutional. Now it has been ruled that the amendment to the constitution is un-constitutional.

Jefferson’s warning has become frighteningly clear. The foundations of the republic are at stake. When the vote of seven million citizens is considered null by one judge – democracy has been dealt a blow from which she may not recover without her blood being shed. If a citizenry has been robbed of its God-given right to amend its constitution than liberty by law is in grave peril. In my mind I can see the patriots flag of 1776 with the liberty tree upon it and the words emblazed across it “Appeal to God”.

Ours is a unique nation. The only nation in history to declare in its laws – beginning with its foundational documents – that man is sovereign over government and God is sovereign over man. This ruling is no less than a clear attack upon all religious freedom and Christianity in particular. But what is at stake is freedom itself. It matters not what your opinion is on redefining marriage, there is something much more fundamental at stake here – freedom. If this ruling is allowed to remain, all citizens, regardless of sexual preference, will have been placed under a judicial tyranny which our forefathers would never have accepted. There is still reason for hope that this will be corrected in the courts; however, if not corrected there, it will need to be corrected at any cost.

Back to my question to Solicitor General Olson: I asked him what we could do to turn the tide of judicial activism and protect our constitutional and God-given rights. He responded by doing the “D.C. dance” and didn’t answer the question. Now looking back from the recent California case we can see that he is part of the problem and not part of the answer. In fact, one might wonder if trial lawyers can be expected to correct the judicial problem. It may be that the correction to judicial tyranny will not come through lawyers and judges. But come it must if our children are to be free.

Luke 18:6-8, “Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

McDonald vs Chicago

A number of years ago I was spending time in the mountains of Southern Idaho praying and fasting. I came upon a little sign by a stream which said “China Springs” and there was a brief history written about the origin of that name. It said that this was the spot where a number of Chinese prospectors, who had come to the area during the gold rush in the mid 1800s, had been murdered for their gold. I searched for the grave site of these murdered men and, with the help of the Lord and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I found the mounds of rock marking their final resting place. It was surrounded with a zig zag of logs as a fence marking the little overgrown cemetery. It was not simple to find and probably had been made difficult in part to protect the site.

I can’t say why but the history of these murdered men had an effect on me and I wept about the unjust deaths and repented for the evil done in that place. It was at this time that I had a prophetic experience. What I learned from this experience was very interesting, and, to me, quite intriguing. What I received from this experience was that the root of all attacks upon the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms” is rooted in racism.

I grew up in a household with firearms and learned a respect for them. I understood the right to own and use them which was passed down to me by my forbearers. But I had never heard a connection between racism and the movement against the Second Amendment. In time I began to uncover information which documented what I had learned way up at over 8,000 feet in the mountains.

It seems after the civil war, when freedmen were given full US citizenship, that in many areas of the former confederacy laws were passed to keep blacks and other minorities from utilizing many of the rights of citizenship, including the right to vote and the right to keep and bear arms. These became known as “Jim Crow” laws. These type of abuses were a major reason for the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 just three years after the end of the Civil War. The Fourteenth Amendment made the Bill of Rights applicable to the States – whereas previously it had only been restrictive to the Federal Government. Perhaps because of the unique way in which I had come into an understanding of the origin of the attacks upon the right to keep and bear arms, I have been very watchful of infringements upon this right.

A few years after this event I was in New York as a guest minister for a predominantly African American Church. While visiting with the church elders I raised a question which I could not get an answer to in Montana. While we were talking about the Jim Crow laws of the past, I asked why they would allow such laws to continue on in our day? They all seemed perplexed and asked me for an example. I mentioned the law put into place by the then current presidential administration requiring any applicant for HUD housing to sign a waiver that they would not have a firearm in the unit provided. Since HUD housing was primarily provided to minorities this was nothing more than a modern Jim Crow law which kept minorities from exercising all the rights of citizenship. The look on their faces was my answer. Not a one had ever thought of this. What seemed like a benefit (cheap housing) was actually a trade for giving up certain rights which were intended to be enjoyed by all citizens.

One would think we had finally passed beyond these types of bigotry, but recent events have shown that we have not. Recently a case was decided by the Supreme Court known as McDonald v. Chicago. Otis McDonald, the African American son of Louisiana sharecroppers, felt the need to purchase a hand gun for protection as crime increased in his Chicago neighborhood, but the city laws prohibited him from doing so. His case eventually made it to the US Supreme Court who in June ruled that the Second Amendment was incorporated to the states and cities through the Fourteenth Amendment. After the ruling Mr. McDonald said, “I was feeling the poor blacks who years ago had their guns taken away from them and were killed as someone wished. That was a long time ago, but I feel their spirit. That’s what I was feeling in the courtroom. It was rough on me that way.”

In much of the Court’s final decision the justices voting in favor wrote extensively on the past Jim Crow laws and how they influenced the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in order to extend the bill of rights to the States. While we can rejoice that this issue was finally settled, it also revealed how far we still need to go. It might seem to a thinking person that the ruling would be 9-0 in favor of Mr. McDonald having a right to a handgun for self defense, as is the right of any US citizen. But four justices voted against his right. Is it possible that those four allowed their own opinions and bias to darken their judgment, rather than relying solely on the constitution? Perhaps it was in reality racially motivated? At least one of the justices who voted against this has expressed her opinion in the past. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she thought the Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion was intended to aid population control among a certain section of the American population. In an interview she said, “So we have a policy that affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don’t know why this hasn’t been said more often. Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of, so that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.”

This seems shocking to many people, but why aren’t these things reported more widely? We can be thankful our constitutional rights were recently upheld for all Americans, if only barely. We still have a root of racism and it is at the root of the attacks on at least one of our fundamental rights. As Americans we must all stand together and not give in to tyranny or limitation of fundamental rights over anyone, minority or otherwise.