Chapter 11, Part 3
2 ESDRAS 12:18
If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder;
And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying let us go after other gods which thou hast not known...
Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or of that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord thy God proveth thee, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul...(Deuteronomy 13:1-3).
REST IN PEACE NEW DEAL. Awash in a bubble of laughter and economy-class California champagne, Ronald Reagan led the toasts last week to the end of the half-century liberal era in American government--and the triumph of his own 190-day counter revolution. His radical package of tax cuts had just sailed through the Republican Senate on an 89 to 11 breeze and cleared the Democratic House in a stunning 238 to 195 upset. His $35.2 billion assault on the Federal budget was safely on track toward his desk by the weekend. His opposition lay broken before him, so completely that he had to warn his own people against gloating and cut some of the more braggartly lines out of the victory statement they had drafted for him. It was enough, in his view, to proclaim "THE BEGINNING OF A NEW RENAISSANCE IN AMERICA"--and to hope for his own sake, and the nation's, that it works.
That happy ending rests, as one of Reagan's own men said, on "certain leaps of faith" in untested economic theory. The president's tax bill, EVEN MORE THAN HIS AUSTERITY BUDGET, is the instrument of what Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan called " a conservative revolution" against 50 years of welfare statesmanship...If it lives up to Reagan's bullish prospectus for it, IT WILL SPUR SAVINGS AND INVESTMENT, REVIVIFY AMERICAN INDUSTRY, AND USHER IN "A NEW ERA OF PROSPERITY" FOR EVERYONE. If it fails he will have nobody but himself to blame...It displayed a mastery over congress that reminded the media of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 or Lyndon Johnson in 1965 AND SET THE PRESIDENTS OWN MEN DREAMING, as one of them put it, OF "REDESIGNING AMERICA'S POLITICAL LANDSCAPE" WITH THE REAGAN COALITION FIRMLY IN CHARGE...
Most of all, Reagan's future will be riding on the success or failure of the experimentalist economic program to which he has now committed the nation for years to come. Cornered by reporters at his victory celebration, HE PROPHESIED "SIGNS" by the end of the year that it will have begun to work the creative wonders he has promised...The mere fact of his come-from-behind victory was a measure of how completely Reagan has dominated Washington thus far--and how brilliantly he has marketed a program derided by his own Vice President a year ago as "Voo Doo Economics." Newsweek, August 10, 1981.
Help lord; for the godly ceaseth...They speak vanity one with another; with flattering lips and double hearts do they speak. The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the toungue that speaketh proud things:
Who have said, with our toungue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is Lord over us?
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I rise, saith the Lord;
I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him. The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified Seven times.
Thou shalt keep them O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation... The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted...(Ps. 12).
By Jim Wallis
The religion that Ronald Reagan promulgates, like that of many of his predecessors, IS AN AMERICAN CIVIL RELIGION--an amalgam of Judeo-Christian heritage and the national experience. It often casts national ambitions and aspirations in religious metaphors, speaks of transcendent moral values, mixes piety with patriotism, invokes God's name when speaking of the national destiny and generally blurs the distinction between biblical faith and cultural religion.
But as many scholars have pointed out, there are two kinds of civil religion: the prophetic and the priestly. Both appeal to transcendent faith and moral values but for very different purposes. Prophetic religion invokes the values, ideals, and even the faith that stands above the behavior of the people and practices of the nation. Martin Luther King Jr. stood firmly on that tradition as he spoke to the nation about living up to the challenge of both biblical faith and the best ideals and aspirations of America. Dorothy Day, by stubbornly espousing and living out true gospel values, exposed the hypocrisy of a self-proclaimed Christian nation that exploited the poor while finding its identity in possessions and in the security of weapons.
Even a president, Abraham Lincoln, called for national penitence for slavery and civil war. He reminded a divided nation that both sides in the war read the same Bible and prayed to the same God, which each believed to be on their side. The prophetic stream of American Religion has been faithfully persistent but never dominant. The more common form of American civil religion has been its priestly variety. Here religion is used to comfort the people, to assure them of their basic goodness and the soundness of their institutions, to assert the righteousness of the national purpose and destiny. The appeal here is to pride, and to the glory of the nation's past, present AND FUTURE.
This is the religion of the prayer breakfasts, where presidents and other political leaders gather with the nations religious leaders, not to bring the nation under accountability to the Word of God, but to engage in mutual affirmation and outright political campaigning...
NEW HIGH PRIEST. Ronald Reagan has become the new high priest of the American civil religion. Others have gone before him, often in the White House, and others will go after him. But Reagan has become, quite self-consciously, the chief spokesman for the religion of America. The religious themes in his speeches are constant and recurrent: America is a nation set apart, specially blessed and favored by God over other nations. We, like ancient Israel, are in fact a chosen nation, DESTINED TO PLAY A CENTRAL ROLE IN THE DIVINE PLAN.
That, of course, is an often repeated theme in the history of American civil religion and the rhetoric of presidents, and Ronald reagan has revived it with his determination to make America again the powerful force he thinks it ought to be in the world. The theme of his 1984 State of the Union message made his meaning clear: "AMERICA IS BACK, STANDING TALL AGAIN." As the president-priest is always ready to proclaim, "America is still the last best hope of mankind."
Nothing in all of this is biblical (well, actually the whole of it is quite biblical). In fact, this self-understanding is quite dangerous for any nation to possess, as previous great powers have discovered too late. Ronald reagan continually uses the language of spiritual renewal and revival. He links such SPIRITUAL REBIRTH not only to the restoration of American power in the world, but also to American wealth and prosperity. HE REPEATS THE MESSAGE OF THE TELEVISION PREACHERS who say America's wealth is a sign of America's righteousness and, by implication, the poor people and nations of the world are spiritually suspect...
The Reagan theology also equates spiritual revival with an unprecedented American military buildup. The tremendous increase in military spending has come at the expense of social programs for the poor, and is thus founded on a basic injustice. More than ever before, the nation, under the leadership of Ronald Reagan, has put its faith and trust in its weapons of war in direct opposition to the biblical warning not to trust in horses and chariots. DESPITE THE NUCLEAR DANGER, THIS ADMINISTRATION DOES NOT TALK TO OUR ADVERSARIES BUT TALKS INSTEAD OF FIGHTING AND WINNING "LIMITED" NUCLEAR WARS.
Indeed, the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan told the cheering evangelicals assembled in Orlando, Florida, in 1983, is "the focus of evil in the modern world." Our enemy is an "evil empire," but our nuclear weapons are for a righteous purpose. In a world poised on the edge of total destruction no more frightening theology than this could be conceived of...He says, in fact, that America has never committed any aggression or fought a war for selfish reasons. To that the many victims of American violence surely raise their voices with those of the many victims of Soviet atrocities and cry out to God...
Apparently...the fundamental theology of some of the president's best friends seem to have rubbed off on him in some quite disconcerting ways. On at least five occasions in the last four years Reagan has referred to his belief that Armageddon (the final battle between the forces of good and evil at the end of the world) may be fast approaching. Jerry Falwell and the other fundamentalist preachers who apparently have the president's ear link the"end times" with a final confrontation with godless communism, perhaps involving nuclear weapons. Though Falwell and others are quick to point out that the true Christians would all be safely "raptured" before a nuclear holocaust, their predictions, taken seriously, could prove to be more than a little dangerous. What are the possible consequences of having a commander-in-chief who is sympathetic to a fundamentalist view that, by a perverse and twisted logic, sees nuclear war as part of God's will for the way the world will end?
William Martin (of Rice University) puts the question well in the June, 1982 edition of Atlantic magazine: "If the president were to appoint one or more premillennialists to key foreign policy posts (who at the confirmation hearings would think to probe for beliefs about the Second Coming?), what incentive would they have to work for a lasting peace in the Mideast, since they would regard a Russian-led attack on Israel as a necessary precursor of the Millennium..? And if the nuclear destruction of Russia is foreordained, in some premillennium schemes, might not a fundamentalist politician or general regard his finger on the button as an instrument of God's eternal purpose?"
And what are the potential consequences for the nation of a president who takes his religious advice almost exclusively from fundamentalist Christians instead from church and religious leaders from across the spectrum of American religious life? Sojourners.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the beast with the Great Horn, the first of Twelve kings. Ronald Wilson Reagan (along with George H. W. Bush who came to power with him) is the beast with Two Horns as it is also written: When the Second shall begin to rule. (2 Esdras 12:15; Revelation 13: 11). When it says that he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, it is not referring to Jimmy Carter in particular (who has moved on to higher ambitions), but to the power of the entire office itself from the time of Woodrow Wilson onwards. As the seed falls from the parent tree to sprout anew (see Isaiah 40:20-24), so Ronald Reagan rose up to reestablish that same Image of Greatness in the hearts and minds of the American people, as well as in the world, as did Woodrow Wilson before him--that Image--the preeminence and the power of the Office of the President of the United States of America. (Daniel, chapter 2). It is the Image that provokes God to jealousy. (Ezekiel 8:5).
A NEW AMERICAN EMANCIPATION "The time has come for a new American Emancipation--a great national drive to tear down economic barriers AND LIBERATE THE SPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE in the most depressed areas of our country. My friends, together we can do this, and do it we must, SO HELP ME GOD."
MANY MOUNTAINS YET TO CLIMB "We are creating a nation, once again vibrant, robust, AND ALIVE. There are many mountains yet to climb. We will not rest until every American enjoys the fulness of freedom, dignity, and opportunity which is our birthright as citizens. It is our birthright as citizens of this great republic."
IF NOT US, WHO? "A dynamic economy, with more citizens working and paying taxes, will be our strongest tool to bring down budget deficits. But an almost unbroken 50-years of deficit spending HAS FINALLY BROUGHT US TO THE TIME RECKONING. We have come to a turning point, a moment for hard decisions. I have asked the Cabinet and staff a question and now I put that same question to you, IF NOT US, WHO? IF NOT NOW, WHEN?"
AND YES, THE UNBORN "There is a place for the Federal government in matters of social compassion...A growing economy and support from family and community offer our best chance for a society where compassion is a way of life, where the old and infirm are cared for and yes, THE UNBORN PROTECTED, and the unfortunate looked after and made self-sufficient."
FREE, SECURE, AND AT PEACE "There are those in the world who scorn OUR VISION of human dignity and freedom. ONE NATION, the Soviet Union, HAS CONDUCTED THE GREATEST MILITARY BUILDUP IN THE HISTORY OF MAN, building arsenals of awesome offensive weapons...There must be no wavering by us, or any doubts by others, that America will meet her responsibilities to remain strong and at peace."
Where it says that he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down out of heaven on earth in the sight of men (Revelation 13:13), it refers, of course, to the (atomic) secrets that America first possessed, and the military Fire power at his disposal, which all the Presidents have exercised from above (from the air) with such daring and violent (in)accuracy since the time of Reagan and Bush. (Which Clinton used with the same deadliness, and which George W. Bush is presently reigning down upon other peoples in the name of Christ). With Reagan (as with Carter but in a wholly and subtily different way), it is also an allusion to his blatant use of the Divine Word, as it is written, Is not my word like Fire? He, perhaps more than any other since Wilson, has used to it beguile and enslave not only himself but the spiritually child-like mind those who shared his American Dream...
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou should take my covenant in thy mouth? (Ps. 50:16).
"Reagan does not argue for American values," wrote Gary Wills in Reagan's America, "he embodies them:"
"He directed his and others attention from himself to the principle of America as a politically rejuvenating phenomenon. This was accomplished by a mysterious access of Reagan's believing self to our own springs of belief and desire to believe. That is, no one has undergone a more thorough initiation into every aspect of the American legend than Reagan has. And no one has found so many channels open and indirect, associative and accumulative, for bringing that legend to us in the freshest way. He is the perfect carrier: The ancient Messages travel through him without friction. (p.4).
Reagan claims he had a happy childhood, and he is telling the truth. It was all the happier for its responsibilities. It was not a time of escape or exploration...He had in those key years no free time...to test limits, read, rebel, be thoughtful or thoughtless in any combination. He was FIXED in a role he liked. He was admired and admirable. But it was not a youth that stimulated much independence of thought or action. (p.43).
With Reagan the perfection of the pretense lies in the fact that he does not know he is pretending. He believes the individualists myths that help him play his communal role. He is the sincerest claimant to a heritage that never existed, and a perfect blend of an America he grew up in and of America's own fables about its past." (p.11).
(Isaiah, chapter 1 to 5)
PHILADELPHIA, (AP)__Following is a transcript (excerpts) of President Reagan's speech today to participants in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution:
"As we stand here today before Independence Hall, we can imagine that day, September 17, 1787, when the delegates rose from their chairs and arranged themselves according to the geography of their states, beginning with New Hampshire and moving south to Georgia. They had labored for four months through the terrible heat of that Philadelphia summer, but they knew as they moved forward to sign their names to that new document that in many ways their work had just begun. This new Constitution, this new plan of government, faced a skeptical, even hostile reception in much of the country.
To look back on that time, at the difficulties faced--and surmounted--can only give us perspective on the present. Each generation, every age I imagine, is prone to think itself beset by unusual and particularly threatening difficulties, to look back on the past as a golden age, when issues were not so complex and politics not so divisive, when problems did not seem so intractable....
In fact the Constitution and our government were born in crises. The years leading up to our constitutional convention were some of the most difficult our nation ever endured. This young nation, threatened on every side by hostile powers, was on the verge of economic collapse. In some states inflation raged out of control, Debt was crushing. In Massachusetts, ruinously high taxes provoked an uprising of poor farmers led by a former Revolutionary War captain, Daniel Shays...
The Articles of Confederation, all could see, WERE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO HOLD THIS NEW NATION TOGETHER (Deuteronomy 4). But there was no general agreement on how a stronger federal government should be constituted--or, indeed, whether one should be constituted at all. There were strong secessionist feelings in many parts of the country...
No it wasn't the absence of problems that won the day in 1787. It wasn't the absence of division and difficulty. IT WAS THE PRESENCE OF SOMETHING HIGHER--THE VISION OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT FOUNDED THOSE SELF-EVIDENT TRUTHS THAT STILL RESOUND IN INDEPENDENCE HALL. It was that ideal, proclaimed so proudly in this hall...that enabled them to rise above politics and self-interest, to transcend their differences and together create this document, THIS CONSTITUTION THAT WOULD FOREVER ALTER, NOT JUST THESE UNITED STATES , BUT THE WORLD.
IN A VERY REAL SENSE, IT WAS THEN--IN 1787--THAT THE REVOLUTION TRULY BEGAN. FOR IT WAS WITH THE WRITING OUR CONSTITUTION, SETTING DOWN THE ARCHITECTURE OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, THAT THE NOBLE SENTIMENTS OF 1776 TOOK ON SUBSTANCE, THAT THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF THE REVOLUTIONISTS COULD BECOME A LIVING, ENDURING REALITY...
BUT ONCE THOSE IDEALS TOOK ROOT...once those notions became a nation,WELL THEN, as I said, THE REVOLUTION COULD REALLY BEGIN, NOT JUST IN AMERICA, BUT AROUND THE WORLD, A REVOLUTION TO FREE MAN FROM TYRANNY OF EVERY SORT, AND SECURE HIS FREEDOM THE ONLY WAY POSSIBLE IN THE WORLD...
If our Constitution has endured...it has nor been simply as a plan of government, no matter how ingenious or inspired that may be. This document that we that we honor today has always been something more to us, filled us with a deeper feeling...more of reverence. One scholar described our Constitution AS A KIND OF COVENANT. IT IS A COVENANT WE HAVE MADE NOT ONLY WITH OURSELVES, BUT WITH ALL OF MANKIND...IT IS A HUMAN COVENANT, YES, AND BEYOND THAT, A COVENANT WITH THE SUPREME BEING to whom our founding fathers did constantly appeal for assistance.
IT IS AN OATH OF ALLEGIANCE TO THAT IN MAN THAT IS TRULY UNIVERSAL, THAT CORE OF BEING THAT EXISTS BEFORE AND BEYOND DISTINCTIONS OF CLASS, RACE, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN. IT IS A DEDICATION OF FAITH TO THE HUMANITY WE ALL SHARE, THAT PART OF EACH MAN AND WOMAN THAT MOST CLOSELY TOUCHES ON THE DIVINE...
THE GUIDING HAND OF PROVIDENCE DID NOT CREATE THIS NEW NATION OF AMERICA FOR OURSELVES ALONE, BUT FOR A HIGHER CAUSE--THE PRESERVATION AND EXTENSION OF THE SACRED FIRE OF HUMAN LIBERTY. THAT IS AMERICA'S SACRED DUTY."
The true revolution in human freedom, according to Reagan, began not with Moses or the adepts of the Mystery of Christ, but with the American patriots in 1776. In the end, however, every Tree shall be known by its fruits. Reagan ascribed to the American nation those things that can only apply to God's Israel (the Higher Israel--the Universal Israel which, alone, comprehends the things of heaven and earth, and which is, in truth, comprised of all races, and every religious tradition of human kind.
In her Drawing Down the Moon Margot Adler says: "Magic...is simply the art of getting results:"
"Magic is a convenient word for a whole collection of techniques, all of which involve the mind. In this case we might conceive of these techniques as including the mobilization of confidence, will, and emotion...the use of imaginative faculties, particularly the ability to visualize, in order to begin to understand how other beings function in nature so we can use this knowledge to achieve necessary ends.
This magic did not involve the supernatural. It involved an understanding of psychological and environmental processes; it was a kind of Shamanism, a knowledge of how emotion and concentration can be directed naturally to effect changes in consciousness that affect the behavior of (others)...Magic is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will."
"It is quite orthodox Christian theology that miracles are not meant to be simply marvels. That sort of thing was left to pagan magicians. A miracle, rather, is understood as a sign of God's power to heal and save. George Bernard Shaw put it slightly differently" 'A miracle,' he wrote, 'is an event which creates faith.'"
"Now it's all coming together. In this Springtime of Hope some lights seem eternal, America's is." Ronald Reagan.
And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had the power to do in the sight of the Beast (in the sight of the whole American order of things), Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image (in their hearts and minds) to the Beast (to the office of the American Presidency), which had the wound by the sword and did live...(Revelation 13:12-14; Daniel, chapter 2).
It is in this sense that Reagan worked magic and miracles in the earth. But neither did he know he was working them, he was a vessel of perfect Darkness. And neither did the American church know that it was to be the finished product of this Dark art, for the people brought this inability to distinguish the Darkness from the Light into the religious life with them. That is, they brought the "old natural man" with them into the "newness of their lives in Christ" instead of slaying him at the Door. Just as Cain rose up in the process of time to slay Abel, so those left-over natural impulses--fear, greed, pride, ignorance, self certainty--were able to rise up in the collective mind of the American church to slay out of it any ability it might have otherwise possessed to interpret these matters.
1985 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
IT'S TIME FOR A SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION
(Open the pages of the Book of Isaiah)
I come before you to report on the state of our Union, and I'm pleased to report that after 4 years of united effort, the American people have brought forth a nation renewed, stronger, freer, and more secure than before. (Isaiah 40:15-26). Four years ago we began to change, forever I hope, our assumptions about government and its place in our lives. Out of that change has come great and robust growth--in our confidence, our economy, and our role in the world. (Deuteronomy, chapter 4).
Tonight America is stronger because of the values that we hold dear. We believe faith and freedom must be our guiding stars, for they show us truth, they make us brave, give us hope, and leave us wiser than we were. Our progress began not in Washington, D.C., but in the hearts of our families,communities, workplaces, and voluntary groups which, together, are unleashing the invincible spirit of one great nation under God.
Malachi, chapter 4.
Four years ago we said we would invigorate our economy by giving people greater freedom and incentives to take risks and letting them keep more of what they earned (James 5). We did what we promised, and a great industrial giant is reborn. Tonight we can take pride in 25 straight months of economic growth, the strongest in 34 years; a 3-year inflation average of 3.9 percent, the lowest in 17 years; and 7.3 million new jobs in 2 years, with more of our citizens working than ever before. New freedom in our lives has planted the rich seeds for future success (Matthew, chapter 13...KJV):
For an America of wisdom (Revelation 17:9-14) that honors the family, knowing that if [as]the family goes, so goes our civilization (1 Peter 5:8-10);
For an America of vision that sees tomorrow's dreams in the learning and hard work we do today (Exodus 20:8-11; Hebrews 4:1--12);
For an America of courage whose service men and women, even as we meet, proudly stand watch on the frontiers of freedom (See the chapter entitled War).
For an America of compassion that opens its heart to those who cry out for help (Christ's Sermon on the Mount? Matthew 5 to 7...KJV).
We have begun well. But it's only a beginning. We're not here to congratulate ourselves on what we have done but to challenge ourselves to finish what has not yet been done. We're here to speak for millions in our inner cities who long for real jobs, safe neighborhoods, and schools that truly teach. We're here to speak for the American farmer, the entrepreneur, and every worker in industries fighting to modernize and compete. And, yes, we're here to stand, and proudly so, for all who struggle to break free from totalitarianism, for all who know in their hearts that freedom is the one true path to peace and human happiness. (John 8:25-36).
Proverbs tell us, without a vision the people perish. (Isaiah 29:10-14). When asked what great principle holds our Union together, Abraham Lincoln said, "Something in [the] Declaration giving liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all future time."
We honor the giants of our history not by going back but forward to the dreams their vision foresaw. My fellow citizens, this nation is poised for greatness. The time has come to proceed toward a great new challenge--a second American Revolution of hope and opportunity; a revolution carrying us to new heights (Isaiah 13 and 14) of progress by pushing back frontiers of knowledge and space; a revolution of spirit that taps the soul of America, enabling us to summon greater strength than we've ever known; and a revolution that carries beyond our shores the golden promise of human freedom in a world of peace. Let us begin by challenging our conventional wisdom. There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect. Already, pushing down tax rates has freed our economy to vault forward to record growth.
In Europe, they're calling it "the American Miracle." Day by day, we're shattering accepted notions of what is possible. When I was growing up, we failed to see how a new thing called radio would transform our marketplace. Well, today, many have not yet seen how advances in technology are transforming our lives...We stand on the threshold of a great ability to produce more, do more,be more. (Luke, 12:15-34; 16:9-15). Our economy is not getting older and weaker; it's getting younger and stronger. It doesn't need rest and supervision; it needs new challenge, greater freedom. And that word "freedom" is the key to the second American Revolution that we need to bring about.
Let us move together with an historic reform of tax simplification for fairness and growth. Last year I asked the Treasury Secretary to develop a plan to simplify the tax code, so all taxpayers would be treated more fairly and personal tax rates could come further down. We have cut tax rates by almost 25 percent, yet the tax system remains unfair and limits our potential for growth. Exclusions and exemptions cause similar incomes to be taxed at different levels. Low-income families face steep tax barriers that make hard lives even harder. The Treasury Department has produced an excellent reform plan, whose principles will guide the final proposal that we will ask you to enact...
To encourage opportunity and jobs rather than dependency and welfare, we will propose that individuals living at or near the poverty line be totally exempt from Federal income tax. To restore fairness to families, we will propose increasing significantly the personal exemption. And tonight, I am instructing Treasury Secretary James Baker-- I have to get used to saying that--to begin working with congressional authors and committees for bipartisan legislation conforming to these principles. We will call upon the American people for support and upon every man and woman in this Chamber. Together, we can pass, this year, a tax bill for fairness, simplicity, and growth, making this economy the engine of our dreams and America the investment capital of the world. So let us begin.
Tax simplification will be a giant step toward unleashing the tremendous pent-up power of our economy. But a second American Revolution must carry the promise of opportunity for all. It is time to liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country. This government will meet its responsibility to help those in need. But policies that increase dependency, break up families, and destroy self-respect are not progressive; they're reactionary. Despite our strides in civil rights, blacks, Hispanics, and all minorities will not have full and equal power until they have full economic power. We have repeatedly sought passage of enterprise zones to help those in the abandoned corners of our land find jobs, learn skills, and build better lives. This legislation is supported by a majority of you. Mr. Speaker, I know we agree that there must be no forgotten Americans. Let us place new dreams in a million hearts and create a new generation of entrepreneurs by passing enterprise zones this year. And, Tip, you could make that a birthday present...
Nor must we lose the chance to pass our youth employment opportunity wage proposal. We can help teenagers, who have the highest unemployment rate, find summer jobs, so they can know the pride of work and have confidence in their futures. We'll continue to support the Job Training Partnership Act, which has a nearly two-thirds job placement rate. Credits in education and healthcare vouchers will help working families shop for services that they need. Our administration is already encouraging certain low-income public housing residents to own and manage their own dwellings. It's time that all public housing residents have that opportunity of ownership.
The Federal Government can help create a new atmosphere of freedom. But States and localities, many of which enjoy surpluses from the recovery,must not permit their tax and regulatory policies to stand as barriers to growth. Let us resolve that we will stop spreading dependency and start spreading opportunity; that we will stop spreading bondage and start spreading freedom. There are some who say that growth initiatives must await final action on deficit reductions. Well, the best way to reduce deficits is through economic growth. More businesses will be started, more investments made,more jobs created, and more people will be on payrolls paying taxes. The best way to reduce government spending is to reduce the need for spending by increasing prosperity. Each added percentage point per year of real GNP growth will lead to cumulative reduction in deficits of nearly $200 billion over 5 years...
Second, we must not relax our efforts to restore military strength just as we near our goal of a fully equipped, trained, and ready professional corps. National security is government's first responsibility; so in past years defense spending took about half the Federal budget. Today it takes less than a third. We've already reduced our planned defense expenditures by nearly a hundred billion dollars over the past 4 years and reduced projected spending again this year. You know, we only have a military-industrial complex until a time of danger, and then it becomes the arsenal of democracy. Spending for defense is investing in things that are priceless--peace and freedom...
Our farm program costs have quadrupled in recent years. Yet I know from visiting farmers, many in great financial distress, that we need an orderly transition to a market-oriented farm economy. We can help farmers best not by expanding Federal payments but by making fundamental reforms, keeping interest rates heading down, and knocking down foreign trade barriers to American farm exports...
Nearly 50 years of government living beyond its means has brought us to a time of reckoning. Ours is but a moment in history. But one moment of courage, idealism, and bipartisan unity can change American history forever. Sound monetary policy is key to long-running economic strength and stability. We will continue to cooperate with the Federal Reserve Board, seeking a steady policy that ensures price stability without keeping interest rates artificially high or needlessly holding down growth...Every dollar the Federal Government does not take from us, every decision it does not make for us will make our economy stronger, our lives more abundant, our future more free.
Our second American Revolution will push on to new possibilities not only on Earth but in the next frontier of space. Despite budget restraints,we will seek record funding for research and development. We've seen the success of the space shuttle. Now we're going to develop a permanently manned space station and new opportunities for free enterprise, because in the next decade Americans and our friends around the world will be living and working together in space. In the zero gravity of space, we could manufacture in 30 days lifesaving medicines it would take 30 years to make on Earth. We can make crystals of exceptional purity to produce super computers, creating jobs, technologies, and medical breakthroughs beyond anything we ever dreamed possible.
As we do all this, we'll continue to protect our natural resources. We will seek reauthorization and expanded funding for the Superfund program to continue cleaning up hazardous waste sites which threaten human health and the environment. (Revelation 11:18)
Now, there's another great heritage to speak of this evening. Of all the changes that have swept America the past 4 years, none brings greater promise than our rediscovery of the values of faith, freedom, family, work, and neighborhood.
We see signs of renewal in increased attendance in places of worship ; renewed optimism and faith in our future; love of country rediscovered by our young, who are leading the way. We've rediscovered that work is good in and of itself, that it ennobles us to create and contribute no matter how seemingly humble our jobs. We've seen a powerful new current from an old and honorable tradition--American generosity. From thousands answering Peace Corps appeals to help boost food production in Africa, to millions volunteering time, corporations adopting schools, and communities pulling together to help the neediest among us at home,we have refound our values. Private sector initiatives are crucial to our future.
I thank the Congress for passing equal access legislation giving religious groups the same right to use classrooms after school that other groups enjoy. But no citizen need tremble, nor the world shudder, if a child stands in a classroom and breathes a prayer. We ask you again, give children back a right they had for a century and a half or more in this country.
The question of abortion grips our nation. Abortion is either the taking of a human life or it isn't. (IT IS). And if it is--and medical technology is increasingly showing it is--it must be stopped. It is a terrible irony that while some turn to abortion, so many others who cannot become parents cry out for children to adopt. We have room for these children. We can fill the cradles of those who want a child to love. And tonight I ask you in the Congress to move this year on legislation to protect the unborn (Revelation 12:1,2; Isaiah 66:6-17)...
In the area of education (Deuteronomy 6:1-15; Psalm 106:34-42), we're returning to excellence, and again, the heroes are our people, not government. We're stressing basics of discipline, rigorous testing, and homework, while helping children become computer-smart as well. For 20 years Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of our high school students went down, but now they have gone up 2 of the last 3 years. We must go forward in our commitment to the new basics, giving parents greater authority and making sure good teachers are rewarded for hard work and achievement through merit pay. (See Education and the Second Wave).
Of all the changes in the past 20 years, none has more threatened our sense of national well-being than the explosion of violent crime. (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 27; Deut.32). One does not have to be attacked to be a victim. The woman who must run to her car after shopping at night is a victim. The couple draping their door with locks and chains are victims; as is the tired, decent cleaning woman who can't ride a subway home without being afraid.
We do not seek to violate the rights of defendants. But shouldn't we feel more compassion for the victims of crime than for those who commit crime? For the first time in 20 years, the crime index has fallen 2 years in a row. We've convicted over 7,400 drug offenders and put them, as well as leaders of organized crime, behind bars in record numbers.(Romans 2:1-6).
But we must do more. I urge the House to follow the Senate and enact proposals permitting use of all reliable evidence that police officers acquire in good faith. These proposals would also reform the habeas corpus laws and allow, in keeping with the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans, the use of the death penalty where necessary. (1 John 5:14-18). There can be no economic revival in ghettos when the most violent among us are allowed to roam free. It's time we restored domestic tranquility. And we mean to do just that.
Just as we're positioned as never before to secure justice in our economy,we're poised as never before to create a safer, freer, more peaceful world. Our alliances are stronger than ever. Our economy is stronger than ever. We have resumed our historic role as a leader of the free world. And all of these together are a great force for peace. (1 Thessalonians, chapter 5...KJV).
Since 1981 we've been committed to seeking fair and verifiable arms agreements that would lower the risk of war and reduce the size of nuclear arsenals. Now our determination to maintain a strong defense has influenced the Soviet Union to return to the bargaining table. Our negotiators must be able to go to that table with the united support of the American people. All of us have no greater dream than to see the day when nuclear weapons are banned from this Earth forever.
Each Member of the Congress has a role to play in modernizing our defenses, thus supporting our chances for a meaningful arms agreement. Your vote this spring on the Peacekeeper missile will be a critical test of our resolve to maintain the strength we need and move toward mutual and verifiable arms reductions. For the past 20 years we've believed that no war will be launched as long as each side knows it can retaliate with a deadly counter strike. Well, I believe there's a better way of eliminating the threat of nuclear war. It is a Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars...Does anyone understand this? John 1:51; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10) aimed ultimately at finding a nonnuclear defense against ballistic missiles. It's the most hopeful possibility of the nuclear age. But it's not very well understood. Some say it will bring war to the heavens, but its purpose is to deter war in the heavens and on Earth (Revelation 12:7-11). Now, some say the research would be expensive. Perhaps, but it could save millions of lives, indeed humanity itself. And some say if we build such a system, the Soviets will build a defense system of their own. Well, they already have strategic defenses that surpass ours; a civil defense system, where we have almost none; and a research program covering roughly the same areas of technology that we're now exploring. And finally some say the research will take a long time. Well, the answer to that is: "Let's get started."
Harry Truman once said that, ultimately, our security and the world's hopes for peace and human progress "lie not in measures of defense or in the control of weapons, but in the growth and expansion of freedom and self-government." (2 Peter 2:18-22; 3:5-12). And tonight, we declare anew to our fellow citizens of the world: Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God's children. Look to where peace and prosperity flourish today. It is in homes that freedom built. Victories against poverty are greatest and peace most secure where people live by laws that ensure free press, free speech, and freedom to worship, vote, and create wealth.
Our mission is to nourish and defend freedom and democracy, and to communicate these ideals everywhere we can. America's economic success is freedom's success; it can be repeated a hundred times in a hundred different nations. Many countries in east Asia and the Pacific have few resources other than the enterprise of their own people. But through low tax rates and free markets they've soared ahead of centralized economies. And now China is opening up its economy to meet its needs. (Revelation 9:13-21; Daniel 11:2).
We need a stronger and simpler approach to the process of making and implementing trade policy, and we'll be studying potential changes in that process in the next few weeks. We've seen the benefits of free trade and lived through the disasters of protectionism. Tonight I ask all our trading partners, developed and developing alike, to join us in a new round of trade negotiations to expand trade and competition and strengthen the global economy--and to begin it in this next year. (Revelation 18:7-20).
There are more than 3 billion human beings living in Third World countries with an average per capita income of $650 a year. Many are victims of dictatorships that impoverished them with taxation and corruption. Let us ask our allies to join us in a practical program of trade and assistance that fosters economic development through personal incentives to help these people climb from poverty on their own. (WTO, NAFTA, GATT, The World Bank, G-7...Globalism, the New World Order and the Dictatorship of the Rich and Powerful).
We cannot play innocents abroad in a world that's not innocent; nor can we be passive when freedom is under siege. Without resources, diplomacy cannot succeed. Our security assistance programs help friendly governments defend themselves and give them confidence to work for peace. (The School of the Americas). And I hope that you in the Congress will understand that, dollar for dollar, security assistance contributes as much to global security as our own defense budget. We must stand by all our democratic allies. And we must not break faith with those who are risking their lives--on every continent, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua--to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth.
The Sandinista dictatorship of Nicaragua, with full Cuban-Soviet bloc support, not only persecutes its people, the church, and denies a free press, but arms and provides bases for Communist terrorists attacking neighboring states. Support for freedom fighters is self-defense and totally consistent with the OAS and U.N. Charters. It is essential that the Congress continue all facets of our assistance to Central America. I want to work with you to support the democratic forces whose struggle is tied to our own security.
And tonight, I've spoken of great plans and great dreams. They're dreams we can make come true. Two hundred years of American history should have taught us that nothing is impossible.
Ten years ago a young girl left Vietnam with her family, part of the exodus that followed the fall of Saigon. They came to the United States with no possessions and not knowing a word of English. Ten years ago--the young girl studied hard, learned English, and finished high school in the top of her class. And this May, May 22d to be exact, is a big date on her calendar. Just 10 years from the time she left Vietnam, she will graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point. I thought you might like to meet an American hero named Jean Nguyen.
Now, there's someone else here tonight, born 79 years ago. She lives in the inner city, where she cares for infants born of mothers who are heroin addicts. The children, born in withdrawal, are sometimes even dropped on her doorstep. She helps them with love. Go to her house some night, and maybe you'll see her silhouette against the window as she walks the floor talking softly, soothing a child in her arms--Mother Hale of Harlem, and she, too, is an American hero. Jean, Mother Hale, your lives tell us that the oldest American saying is new again: Anything is possible in America if we have the faith, the will, and the heart. History is asking us once again to be a force for good in the world. Let us begin in unity, with justice, and love.
Thank you, and God bless you.
But you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others...(Ephesians 2:1-3).
Dueteronomy 28-32; Psalm 50:21-23; Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 13, 14 and 22; Ezekiel 21:25-27; Ezekiel 34; Amos 5:11-23; Zephaniah 1:12; 2 Thessalonians 2.
REAGAN VOWS TO CHANGE HISTORY FOREVER
WASHINGTON (UPI)__President Reagan, vowing to "change history forever" in an activist second term, told several thousand administration officials "from here on it's shake, rattle and roll" toward economic growth and freedom everywhere. Reagan spoke at the fourth annual ""Executive Forum," a gathering of political appointees, marking the start of his second term and an apparent campaign to translate his electoral landslide into tangible political support. "WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE IS PROLOGUE," he said. "OUR GREATEST BATTLES LIE AHEAD--ALL IS NEWNESS NOW and the possibility of great and fundamental change. We can change America forever.
That's some great and beautiful music we have been playing the last four years--but the way I see it, from here on it's "shake, rattle and roll."...one of the first rock and roll hits of an era when young people who formed the core of his support were born. The program ended with the Marine Corps drum and bugle corps playing "Stars and Stripes Forever" as a huge American flag unfurled into the spotlight from the ceiling of DAR Constitutional Hall...
"It's been a tremendous four years, and I am feeling absolutely bullish on the next four," Reagan crowed. "I was thinking...that in our first administration we made history--and in the second WE CAN CHANGE HISTORY FOREVER."...He said that his philosophy can be summed up in one world--"Freedom."
"You know the results of our effort," he said. "An economy come alive again--A NATION COME ALIVE AGAIN."...WE HAVE TAKEN CONTROL OF THE SHIP OF STATE AND CHANGED DIRECTION....It's all ahead full, there is no turning back." He told his lieutenants to "put up your feet and relax, and don't think too much about the job" this weekend. "And Monday when you come in, sit down at that desk and breath deep. BECAUSE MONDAY THE WORLD STARTS OVER AGAIN--it's the beginning of a brand new administration--AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE NEW HISTORY TOGETHER FROM HERE ON IN."
An Image is a copy of something but not the thing itself. Thus Reagan's truth is an image of the truth, it sounds like it, but it is not the truth; and the American Presidency, likewise, is an image of the office of Messiah--but it is not Messiah. It is an Image of it, an Anti-image
So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the North (far off into the future, and into the history of European Civilization), and behold northward at the gate of the altar this Image of Jealousy at the entry.
He said, furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest what they do, even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from My sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations...
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about...(Ezekiel 8:5-12).
BY CARSTEN JOHNSEN
Indictments against the church by Marxists tempt one to agree with Nietzsche--"the last Christian died on the cross."
"The way the story goes, an American tourist in Moscow chides a Soviet acquaintance about his country's lack of freedom. "Why, in America," he says, "I can stand in front of the Capitol and shout, 'Send Ronald Reagan back to Hollywood!' and nothing will happen to me." "That's nothing," responds the Russian, "I can stand in front of the Kremlin and shout, 'Send Ronald Reagan back to Hollywood,' and nothing will happen to me either.."
Undoubtedly, variations of this story have featured every American president since Woodrow Wilson. And, since Lenin himself, a succession of Soviet leaders has contributed to the images of a totalitarian state that denies basic human rights, including freedom of religion. I am reminded of the Soviet Christian who told me, "We have full religious freedom in our country!"--and then, after a cautious look around, whispered, "But we want more." Western Christians, in the main, would insist that repression rather than freedom is the key-note of church-state relations in the Communist world. (Romans 8:38).
But the Western world also has an image. Freedom of speech? Maybe, says the Communist, but words cannot fill an empty stomach--though, as the saying has it, words must at times be eaten. And when freedom of speech means pornography, when the freedom to bear arms means hourly homicides, when freedom of religion means sanctified disregard of justice--repression does have its attraction! No one who has visited the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism in Leningrad will dismiss the Marxist image of the church out of hand. Communists can make a persuasive case against the Christian Church. A case that tempts one to agree with Nietzsche--THE LAST CHRISTIAN DID DIE ON THE CROSS.
Recently, and on a limited scale, Communist dialecticians and Christian theologians have sat together to explore and compare "images" to the distress of the "righteous" on both sides. (One remembers that Christ himself was attacked by the "righteous" for eating with tax collectors and other sinners). But in this nuclear age it surely is better to talk together than to die together, and it should not be the Christians who discount the convicting power of the Spirit! Does not the Scripture witness that in all ages THERE HAVE BEEN MIGHTY ONES AMONG THE HEATHEN?...
The image of Christianity that emerges from Christian-Marxist dialogue is not flattering. In some respects, it is not accurate. In others it is all too accurate. The image is based primarily on six charges:
(1) THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS ON THE SIDE OF ESTABLISHED AUTHORITY. It defends the status quo, no matter how un-christian the status-quo may be. Russian Orthodoxy sustained the cause, corruption, and oppressions of the Czar. Roman Catholicism supports repressive governments. Dictatorships of the Right are supported by both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. Alliances with the bourgeois are legion.
(2) THE CHURCH PACIFIES THE POOR WITH LULLABIES OF FUTURE RECOMPENSE IN THE GREAT BEYOND (James 5; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10 not withstanding), offers prayers for the dead and sentimental hymns in place of compassion and care for the living; in brief, dispenses those bromides of cheap escape from reality that ...Marx called 'opium for the people,'
(3) CHRISTIANITY IS REACTIONARY IN PRINCIPLE. It puts the concrete injustice of earth beyond human reach BY CONFINING BATTLES BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG TO A DISTANT HEAVEN. Injustice in the here-and-now is quietly countenanced because punishment is relegated to God the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent ONE (quite true). Even in heaven,we are told, there is a hierarchy, and Celestial inequality gives license to Terrestrial inequality. God is said to grant His benediction to, and confer authority on, whatever government has usurped power at a given moment. It is authorized to wield the sword of injustice, whereas the poor are refused every right to defend themselves. (The Lamb of God, defend himself? There is a lack of spiritual understanding here as well...2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 6:10-19; James 5).
(4) THE CHURCH IS REACTIONARY BECAUSE IT TURNS A PERSON FROM HIS REAL FUTURE, CIRCUMSCRIBING HIM WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF AN ALLEGED SINFUL NATURE. The symbol under which this resignation is preached is eloquent: it is THE CROSS. (1 Corinthians 1:18-28)...
(5) THE CHURCH IS REACTIONARY BECAUSE IT PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL OF CHARITY. But charity is the invention of the strong (1 Corinthians 13...KJV), who pose as just and gracious men, while in reality remaining unjust and without pity. The employer who has enriched himself by the sweat of his employees permits himself (through his generosity) the...approval of priests and prelates. In reality he is returning an infinitesimal portion of what he has stolen from the workers...Though professing the ethic of agape love, the church has used physical, mental and spiritual coercion to achieve its ends. The church has slaughtered both Christian and heathen to bring them into the loving embrace of God. States became instruments through which the church perpetuated injustice, AND THE CHURCH ITSELF BECAME A DEN OF THIEVES.
Dismiss what charges we can...we are left with a residue of truth. But Communists should know that every accusation hits us hard, not to the degree that we are consistent Christians, but to the degree that we are not. In fact, much of the same charges are hurled against us in Holy Writ. The Bible does not justify the Pharisee but calls him to account (Matthew 19:21-24; Matthew 23)....Are such indictments from Christ's mouth less severe than those from the Marxist's? The difference is not one of degree but of target: while Marxists direct their charges against Christianity itself, Christ directs his against false disciples. Hearing the Communist attack against Christianity, one feels like crying out "But this is not Christianity!" This is the perversion, the counterfeit, the prostituted. And what was Christ's judgment on THE ALLIANCE OF APOSTATE CHURCH AND OPPRESSIVE STATE? HEAR THE WORDS RECORDED BY THE REVELATOR:
"'Come and I will show you the judgment of the Great Whore, enthroned above the ocean. The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and on the wine of her fornication men all over the world have made themselves drunk.' In the spirit he carried me away into the wilds, and there I saw a woman (the corrupted church) mounted on a scarlet beast (the corrupted state) which was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet and bedizened with gold and jewels and pearls. In her hand she held a gold cup, full of obscenities and the foulness of her fornication; AND WRITTEN ON HER FOREHEAD WAS A NAME WITH A SECRET MEANING: 'BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF WHORES, AND OF EVERY OBSCENITY ON EARTH.' THE WOMAN I SAW, WAS DRUNK WITH THE BLOOD OF GOD'S PEOPLE AND WITH THE BLOOD OF THOSE WHO HAD BORN THEIR TESTIMONY TO JESUS.
And then the angel messenger said to me, 'The ocean you saw, where the Great Whore sat, is an ocean of peoples and populations, axions and languages. As for the Ten horns you saw, they together with the beast will come to hate the whore; they will strip her naked and leave her desolate...The Woman that you saw is the Great City that holds sway over the kings of the earth.'
After this another angel messenger in a mighty voice, proclaimed 'FALLEN, FALLEN, IS BABYLON THE GREAT! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit...For all nations have drunk deep of the fierce wine of her fornication; the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and merchants the world over have grown rich on her bloated wealth.'
Then I heard another voice from heaven that said, COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE, LEST YOU TAKE PART IN HER SINS, AND SHARE IN HER PLAGUES. FOR HER SINS ARE PILED HIGH AS HEAVEN, AND GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN HER CRIMES (Rev.17:1-6, 15-18; 18:1-5 N.E.B.).
Harsh as is the Communist indictment of Christianity, it does not equal this divine indictment of the fallen church. Students of church history--and in the Soviet context, Orthodox church history--cannot escape the conviction that the Marxist-oppressed church is reaping what it has sown. THE CHURCH HAS PROFESSED CHRIST WHILE DEFENDING ANTICHRISTIAN DOCTRINES AND PRACTICES. Thus it bears responsibility for the appeal of Communism and even for its emergence. Were churches more penitent they would manifest great self-scrutiny and self-criticism. At the very least the result would be less belligerence and self-righteousness.
These observations are not intended to obscure the real hardships Christianity has suffered, and suffers still, UNDER COMMUNIST REGIMES (So then which political and economic system is the system of Antichrist? To which system is the believer in danger of losing their soul...2 Corinthians 11...KJV)? To the Marxist, religion is either a tool to be used or an enemy to be destroyed--though some of the more liberal are willing to give the church license to destroy itself. Constitutional guarantees of the right to believe, embodied in most Marxist constitutions, do not entail the right to witness; only Communists may propagate their belief. COMMUNISM IS NOT NOTED FOR OFFERING A FREE MARKET, WHETHER IN ECONOMICS, POLITICS, OR RELIGION. (Please consider the chapter entitled "Fascism" Fascism in America that is)...
Sadly Marxists have not learned the pitfalls of imposed conformity from their deposed predecessors of church and of state. How different things might have been had they truly separated church and state, rather than making the church a creature of the State! PERHAPS THE CHURCH, IN THE MAIN, HAS LEARNED THE MERITS OF ALLOWING EVERY MAN TO GO TO HELL IN HIS OWN WAY: THIS WISDOM THE MARXISTS HAVE NOT YET DEMONSTRATED.
It may be a long time before a Russian can stand in front of the Kremlin and shout "Send Comrade Andropov back to the collective farm!" It may be along time before a Russian Christian can pass out tracts even in a back alley. Freedoms do not come easily to the Marxist state. But we will remember, neither did they come easily to the Christian Church. The Communist charges against the church have merit. WE WHO FEEL ASHAMED MUST GO FORTH, WITH GREATER HUMILITY, TO WITNESS AND SUFFER FOR THE TRUTH."
TOGETHER WE FOUGHT, WHAT TIMES WE HAD
"Nancy and I are so honored to be your guests tonight--to share a little of your special time...Many's the time I've said a prayer of thanks to all Americans who placed this trust in my hands, and tonight, please accept again our heartfelt gratitude...for this special time you've given in our lives. Eight years ago we gathered in Detroit in a troubled time for our beloved country. AND WE GATHERED SOLEMNLY TO SHARE OUR DREAMS. When I look back, I wondered if we dared be so bold TO TAKE ON THOSE BURDENS.
THAT YEAR, IT WAS OUR DREAM THAT TOGETHER WE WOULD RESCUE AMERICA AND MAKE A NEW BEGINNING--TO CREATE ANEW THAT SHINING CITY ON A HILL. The dream we shared was to reclaim our government--to transform it from one that was consuming our prosperity into one that would get out of the way of those who created prosperity. It was a dream of again making our nation strong enough to preserve world peace and freedom AND TO RECAPTURE OUR NATIONAL DESTINY.
WE MADE A DETERMINATION THAT OUR DREAM WOULDNOT BE BUILT ON A FOUNDATION OF SAND (Matthew 7:21-27; 1 Corinthians 3:9-21)--something called "Trust Me Government"--but we would trust, instead, the American spirit...."
Watching the pageant in New York Harbor last week I FELT A LITTLE THE WAY I DID WALKING THROUGH A HAPSBURG MUSEUM IN VIENNA as a student-tourist many years ago. There was A HISTORICAL PROGRESSION in the royal artifacts and vestments on display that finally reached such a pitch of richness, extravagance--too muchness--THAT YOU KNEW THE THING WOULD SOON BE OVER. No more jewel-encrusted, floor-length robes as the century changed; enter the age of the business suit.
I don't mean to suggest that we are about to swing from an orgy of unabashed patriotism to an orgy of self-criticism or doubt or anything like that, ONLY THAT THERE IS SOMETHING CYCLICAL AT WORK HERE AND IT LOOKS TO ME TO BE REACHING A POINT OF CULMINATION.
In a sense you could say the festivities in New York were America's revenge on the 60s, and so is Ronald Reagan, the most fitting president we could have had for the Age of Ceremony. Even as my colleagues and I in the pundit racket KEEP SEARCHING FOR THE SECRET OF REAGAN'S POLITICAL STRENGTH and endlessly pitting his high personal rating against his not-so-high ratings on the issues, we glide by this crucial fact. REAGAN HAS RIGHTLY SENSED THE NATIONAL CRAVING FOR REAFFIRMATION AND SPLENDOR after a diet decade or so of skepticism and guilt...
Jimmy Carter's famous inaugural walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in fact was meant to signal an end to the Hapsburg-like characteristics into which the American presidency was though to have sunk. Reagan, from literally his first day in office put an end to the spartan self-flagellation and restraint, and ushered in an ever-expanding calendar of upbeat ceremonial events.
LUXURY UNASHAMED. Start with the Reagan Inaugural gatherings, a kind of Restoration after the era of Reformation--Royalists versus Roundheads, luxury unashamed, finery unembarrassed. Remember the moving early pageantry and parade when the hostages came home. Consider the manner in which this president has transformed the annual State of the Union address from one kind of ritual to another...Think of the Olympics. Think of the Normandy commemoration. And recall unhappy Bitburg or the memorial rites for the Marines of Beirut, for the homebound soldiers who crashed in Newfoundland, for the Challenger crew; even when you are angry about the occasion or crushed by it, the public rites impress, perhaps awe; they hush the crowd and still the controversy. Reagan knows this. HE IS A GENIUS AT MOBILIZING PUBLIC SENTIMENTS AND ACTING OUT NATIONAL RITUALS,LEGENDS AND FANTASIES, the values that we insist motivate us as a people, whether they do or not...
END OF AN ERA. (Not yet). The thorough-goingness of the public acceptance of the Age of Ceremony, WITH ALL ITS UPBEAT IMPLICATIONS, AND THE HINT THAT IT MIGHT BE OVER SOON, were embodied in the same evidence for me: the sight and sound of so many ordinarily detached and skeptical newsmen on TV waxing absolutely lyrical over our country, our flag, our statue, our Navy, AND YES, GOD SAVE US,OUR PRESIDENT...Surely if not the end of the world, at least the end of an era is nigh. I mean, if journalism is aboard the thing has gone too far, it will collapse of its own weight. Newsweek, July 14, 1986.
"'George, I'm in your corner. I'm ready to volunteer a little advice now and again, and offer a pointer or two on strategy, if asked. I'll help keep the facts straight, or just stand back and cheer. But George, just one personal request: Go out there and make it one more for the Gipper.'
This is the last Republican convention I will address as president. Maybe you'll see your way to inviting me back sometime. Forty years ago I cast my vote as a Democrat...that party changed--and it will never be the same. They left me; I didn't leave them. So it was our Republican party that gave me a political home. Our party speaks for human freedom--for the sweep of liberties that are at the core of our existence. We do not shrink from our duties to preserve freedom so it can unfold for millions across the world. We believe that lasting peace comes through strength and not through the goodwill of our adversaries.
We respect the values that bind us together as families and as a nation. For our children, we don't think it is wrong to have them committed to pledging each day to 'one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' And we have so many requirements in their classrooms, why can't we have one thing that is voluntary--and that is to allow our kids to repair quietly to their faith to say a prayer TO START THE DAY AS CONGRESS DOES...
I'm grateful to God for blessing me with a good life and a long one. But when I pack my bags in Washington, don't expect me to be happy with all this talk about the twilight of my life. TWILIGHT? NOT IN AMERICA. HERE IT'S A SUNRISE EVERY DAY...We lit a prairie fire a few years back. Those flames were fed by passionate ideas and convictions, and we were determined to make them burn all across America. What times we had! Together we fought for causes we love. BUT WE CAN NEVER LET THE FIRE GO OUT OR QUIT THE FIGHT. FREEDOM MUST BE DEFENDED OVER AND OVER.
I want you to know that if the fires ever dim, I'll leave my phone number and address behind just in case you need a Foot Soldier...Just let me know, I'll be there--AS LONG AS WORDS DON'T LEAVE ME AND AS LONG AS THIS SWEET COUNTRY STRIVES TO BE SPECIAL DURING ITS SHINING MOMENT ON EARTH."
THE SECOND HORN...(Revelation 13:11).
Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown; their stock shall not take root in the earth...(Isaiah 40:21-25; Malachi 4:1).
Twenty years ago, as part of a revolt against an era of big government, the name of Ronald Reagan was first put in nomination at a Republican Convention. Nixon won top billing that year, but it was the favorite-son Governor of California who would prove to be the party's most enduring inspiration. First in graceful defeat, then in glorious triumph, and finally as a reassuring symbol of the presidency itself...This Monday, in New Orleans, the era's most successful Republican politician will take the podium to thunderous applause and, as part of his final bow, urge Americans to continue his legacy by supporting GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, the dutiful deputy who has been tapped as his heir.
There is an inherent uneasiness in all dynastic succession. Bush embraced the true conservative faith late in life, and purists still question his ideological pedigree. He fully understands that he must woo the national electorate as a man of the future rather than the past, which is why he declared in one major speech, 'I do not hate government.'
But for all the talk of Bush asserting his political independence, the Vice President cannot hope to defeat Michael Dukakis without standing on the shoulders of the President. Bush appears...overmatched as a candidate, offering the voters little more than a resume' without a rationale. Yet the crown prince, the authorized inheritor of the Reagan mantle, Bush may still be able to rally the faithful behind the implicit message of 'Four More years.'
In its narrowest terms, the Reagan record allows Bush to run as a candidate OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY. Whether it is Soviet troops withdrawing in disarray from Afghanistan or a leader in the Kremlin who wants, in Reaganite fashion, to get the commissars off the backs of productive enterprise, THE WORLD APPEARS TO BE FULFILLING THE PRESIDENT'S BOLDEST DREAMS. At home, most Americans have enjoyed the longest peacetime economic expansion in modern history...Reagan has also fulfilled his antigovernment pledge to drastically slash income taxes...
The Reagan persona, as well as his policies, is an important part of his legacy, changing the way Americans view leadership. HE BESTRIDES THIS ELECTION AS AN ALMOST METAPHYSICAL FORCE IN THE NATION'S POLITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS. Just as Jimmy Carter gave a bad name to intellect and hands-on attention to detail, Reagan has helped exalt the importance OF A CLEAR PHILOSOPHICAL VISION, even if the clarity is partly the result of his refusal to face unpleasant facts...It is no mystery why a conventional politician like Bush seems so wan in comparison and why an unfettered challenger like Dukakis remains so cautious in attacking the incumbent. REAGAN HAS MOLDED PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOO MUCH IN HIS OWN...IMAGE to permit otherwise. TIME, AUGUST, 1988.
"But it is the man who holds that office--you sir--who has enabled us to begin the world over again."
And neither was it mere coincidence that Mikhail (Michael) Gorbachev became the Seventh ruler of the Soviet Union at this same time, as it is written: And in the days of the Seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7)...
But in the days of the voice of the Seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets...(Revelation 10:7).
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Hebrews 1:14). How did Mikhail Gorbachev minister to the heirs of God's kingdom? By presiding over those momentous events that have led to the revelation of the spirit of Antichrist in the world, and rise of the kingdom of the Beast--America, the only remaining Superpower in the earth. (See Revelation 13:4). He allowed the Iron Curtain to swing open, releasing forces that had been pent up since the Second World War. The Iron Curtain was a historic metaphor running through the Center of Europe and the place named Beauty on the World Tree, dividing that which was above (or beyond) our comprehension from that which was below, or within our comprehension. How did Paul say it: Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility (submission) and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. (Colossians 2:18). Thus the words: Ye shall see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending (from the West) and descending (from the East) upon the Son of man. (John 1:51).
As God brings about the conditions in the world that make for both understanding and redemption, so each individual child of God must descend into the empire of their own soul to wage the battle against the only individual on earth they are permitted to rule over with force--themself. As God makes war in the world, and draws the fallen spirit in man up to meet Him in battle, the spiritual soul must make war against every thought and natural impulse that keeps it from coming to perfection in Christ. And despite the proclamations of some American evangelists that, while they desire peace, they are not pacifists--a severe spiritual contradiction--only a complete pacifist will be able to fight their way out of the things that God is bringing to pass upon the earth.
For though we walk in the flesh WE DO NOT WAR IN THE FLESH:
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (they are not made of iron and steel), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;
Casting down imaginations, and every high things that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, (but only) when your own obedience is fulfilled...(2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
In this cosmic battle between Light and Darkness one joins the ranks of all true Spiritual Warriors in the earth. And in the overcoming, as the spiritual order in one's own soul is restored, and the world inside of one's mind transformed, one discovers that their own thoughts have been the object, and have become the final synthesis in the dialectical struggle between the two world orders--the Material Order of World Communism above, and the Material Order of Western Capitalism below. Old images are destroyed, and new awarenesses take their place. Christ-Consciousness is born.
The transformed mind also senses something of the sublime order hidden in what seems to be a world presently out of order, as it is written: To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Christ YHShWH. (One should be able to read the Oracle by now):
A Remnant of Christians (true Muslims) on one side, and a Remnant of Jews (true Jews) on the other.
For to know Thee is perfect righteousness, TO KNOW THY POWER IS THE ROOT OF IMMORTALITY...(Wisdom of Solomon 15:3).
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being Rooted and Grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with the saints what is the Breadth and Length, and Depth, and Height...(Ephesians 3:3-19).
The Voice of God translates from heaven, across the forces and dimensions that shape the whole of physical reality, the whole of human consciousness, and by extension the whole of human conversation. The Mind of Christ-in-us traces all human speech, as well as all human activities, back to their source in the Invisible Realm. Make the connection between the text at Daniel 6:12-28 concerning Babylon's adversary, the Medes (and the word to consider at Daniel 6:26 is steadfast), and the words in Hebrews:
Therefore we ought to give more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
FOR IF THE WORD SPOKEN BY ANGELS WAS STEADFAST, and every transgression and disobedience received a just compensation of reward;
How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him...(Hebrews 2:1-3).
(And then, knowing something now of the spiritual world view, and the literary methods of the Essenes--how they understood and lived out the Mystery of Christ in their times in light of those things that are actually coming to pass in our times--we might be able to discern the words at Matthew 28:1-4 in this same light. The dramatic and prophetic import of these words is not fulfilled yet).
The rabbis taught us to interpret the words: And ye shall be as gods, (Gen.3:5), to mean: Ye shall be as creators of worlds. Since the time of Woodrow Wilson the leaders of the American nation have been trying to create a world in their own image, an attempt which peaked with Ronald Reagan. "It is time for a second American Revolution" he said. "Tonight I have spoken of great plans and great dreams. They are dreams we can make come true...Two hundred years of American history have taught us that nothing is impossible. History is asking us once again, to be a force for good in the world." As this Torch was passed, George Bush, also hearkening back to the first Presidential inauguration 200 years before, did not only take the oath of office on Washington's Bible, but he accepted his nomination to this office framed in the American colors while paraphrasing a prophecy attributed to Washington himself: "A Thousand Points of Light:"
"Instantly a Light of a Thousand Suns shown down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark clouds which enveloped America. At the same time the angel upon whose head still shone the word Union, and who bore our National Flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, who I perceived were well nigh overcome, but who immediately taking courage again, closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle.
Then once more I beheld the villages, towns and cities springing up where I had seen them before, while the bright angel, planting an azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: 'While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last.' And taking from his brow the crown on which blazoned the word Union, he placed it upon the Standard while the people, kneeling down, said, Amen." George Washington's Vision and Prophecy For America, by John Grady, M.D.
It is obvious that neither Washington or Bush had read the 32nd chapter of Deuteronomy. George Bush went on to proclaim himself by saying: "I am that man." And so he was:
Who opposeth and exalteth himself (as does every President) above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God...
For this cause God sent upon them a strong delusion, that they might believe a lie.
That they might be condemned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness...(2 Thessalonians 2:4, 11,12).
"No one can doubt here that Paul is speaking of the Antichrist, telling us that the day of the Lord will not come without the prior coming of a figure whom he called the Apostate, meaning of course, an apostate from the Lord God. And if this appellation can rightly be attached to the ungodly, how much more to him. There is, however, some uncertainty about the 'temple' in which he is to take his seat. Is it the ruins of the temple built by king Solomon, or actually in a church? For the Apostle would not say 'the temple of God' if he meant the temple of some idol or demon. For that reason some people have it that Antichrist means here not the leader himself but what we might call his whole body, the multitude, that is, of those who belong to him, together with himself, their leader. And they suppose that then it would be more correct to say, following the original Greek, that he 'takes his seat as the temple of God...' (1 Cor.3:16-19) instead of 'in the temple of God,' purporting himself to be God's temple, that is, the Church, in the same way as we say, 'He sits as a friend' meaning 'like a friend.'" Augustine's City of God, Book XX.
The local headline read: "President Bush, Symbol of Unity." The Episcopalian Bishop of Washington, presiding over the service attended by the President...called for a Day of National Prayer--for the reconciliation of the peoples of the nation. He spoke of "a nation united in the person of our president. He is a symbol of our unity." But the Word says: From whence cometh unto me this incense from Sheba? (Jeremiah .6:20).
(Right click..."Show Picture")
Today, U.S. Superpower
By Franz Schurman
"The United States, now the world's solo superpower, is fast becoming a world empire...An empire is a political entity that rules over diverse peoples and territories. Its power is based on an awesome ability to rule over others, and it is led by an emperor. Both "empire" and "emperor" come from the same Latin root, imperare, meaning "to command."
Just as the British Empire--the most recent empire on the world stage--ruled the seas and world trade, so now does the United States. Its military forces are now almost everywhere in the world. Despite the recession, it remains the heart and core of the world economy.
America created and dominates the World Trade Organization. It created and dominates NATO. The military forces of its allies, such as Turkey, Egypt, Japan and many others, are armed with American weapons and organized along American lines.
Historically, an imperial state produces an aura of a religious or law-giving character...America's aura is not so much about law as values. American values in almost every sphere of individual and social life have spread throughout the world.
The citizens of an empire are not always comfortable with their role...In the last presidential campaigns, both the progressive Ralph Nader and the nationalist Pat Buchanan opposed globalism. George W. Bush and Al Gore supported it. Immediately after Sept. 11, President Bush, a moderate conservative, fingered the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan as rebels against the world. Three month later, the Taliban was crushed...When Bush delivered his State of the Union address, interim Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai sat next to Laura Bush...Has Bush now become commander in chief in Afghanistan? The answer is yes...
Other nations have recognized the new empire-in-the-making. The Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram last month quoted a Chinese general, Fu Quangyou: "America is using the war on terror to gain world hegemony."
Though China is relatively silent on the subject, it has made clear its worry about America's military penetration of Central Asia, specifically building air bases in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and stationing troops in Tajikistan. All three border on China.
High Russian officials have voiced strong criticism of America's entry into a region that used to be part of the defunct Soviet Union. And they are even more critical of America's persistent pushing of "NATO expansion."
The American Empire has become a reality that can't be pulled back. And leaders of the world may be turning into so many satraps. San Francisco Chronicle.
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