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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #105 on: December 10, 2006, 07:59:33 PM »

Proclamation 5018 -- Year of the Bible, 1983

February 3, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Of the many influences that have shaped the United States of America into a distinctive Nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.

Deep religious beliefs stemming from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible inspired many of the early settlers of our country, providing them with the strength, character, convictions, and faith necessary to withstand great hardship and danger in this new and rugged land. These shared beliefs helped forge a sense of common purpose among the widely dispersed colonies -- a sense of community which laid the foundation for the spirit of nationhood that was to develop in later decades.

The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding Fathers' abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual, rights which they found implicit in the Bible's teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. This same sense of man patterned the convictions of those who framed the English system of law inherited by our own Nation, as well as the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

For centuries the Bible's emphasis on compassion and love for our neighbor has inspired institutional and governmental expressions of benevolent outreach such as private charity, the establishment of schools and hospitals, and the abolition of slavery.

Many of our greatest national leaders -- among them Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson -- have recognized the influence of the Bible on our country's development. The plainspoken Andrew Jackson referred to the Bible as no less than ``the rock on which our Republic rests.'' Today our beloved America and, indeed, the world, is facing a decade of enormous challenge. As a people we may well be tested as we have seldom, if ever, been tested before. We will need resources of spirit even more than resources of technology, education, and armaments. There could be no more fitting moment than now to reflect with gratitude, humility, and urgency upon the wisdom revealed to us in the writing that Abraham Lincoln called ``the best gift God has ever given to man . . . But for it we could not know right from wrong.''

The Congress of the United States, in recognition of the unique contribution of the Bible in shaping the history and character of this Nation, and so many of its citizens, has by Senate Joint Resolution 165 authorized and requested the President to designate the year 1983 as the ``Year of the Bible.''

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in recognition of the contributions and influence of the Bible on our Republic and our people, do hereby proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible in the United States. I encourage all citizens, each in his or her own way, to reexamine and rediscover its priceless and timeless message.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:10 a.m., February 3, 1983]
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« Reply #106 on: December 10, 2006, 09:00:23 PM »

Presidential Proclamations were issues by Presidents starting with George Washington. Some of these proclamations were in reference to special days such as Thanksgiving. There were also days of fasting and humiliation in others. One of the first of these:

 A DAY OF FASTING & HUMILIATION 1798
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – A PROCLAMATION
As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredations on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their lawful business on the seas – under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants.
I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies agreeably to those forms or methods which they have severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming; that all religious congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction; that it be made the subject of particular and earnest supplication that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it; that our civil and religious privileges may be preserved inviolate and perpetuated to the latest generations; that our public councils and magistrates may be especially enlightened and directed at this critical period; that the American people may be united in those bonds of amity and mutual confidence and inspired with that vigor and fortitude by which they have in times past been so highly distinguished and by which they have obtained such invaluable advantages; that the health of the inhabitants of our land may be preserved, and their agriculture, commerce, fisheries, arts, and manufactures be blessed and prospered; that the principles of genuine piety and sound morality may influence the minds and govern the lives of every description of our citizens and that the blessings of peace, freedom, and pure religion may be speedily extended to all the nations of the earth.
And finally, I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.
Given under my hand the seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, this 23d day of March, A.D. 1798, and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-second.
By the President : JOHN ADAMS.

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« Reply #107 on: December 13, 2006, 01:20:11 AM »

AMEN!

It is my extremely biased opinion that all of our best leaders have been and are Christians who honor GOD and pray for HIS Guidance.

The world disagrees strongly, and I would expect that. In fact, the world hates openly Christian people in leadership positions. The world and the devil don't have much use for any Christian.


Love In Christ,
Tom

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« Reply #108 on: December 15, 2006, 09:49:11 AM »

They Never Said It
By Gary DeMar


For years Christians have attributed the following quotation to James Madison (1751–1836), Princeton-educated fourth president of the United States, in hopes of supporting the often repeated claim that the Ten Commandments were the foundational law system of the early colonial constitutions, law codes, and Federal Constitution:

    We have staked the whole future of American Civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.1

While this is a great statement that can be supported without Madison’s endorsement,2 no one has been able to locate the original source documentation that would unequivocally tie the statement to him. My investigation led only as far back as the January 1958 issue of Progressive Calvinism where the source of the quotation is a 1958 calendar published by Spiritual Mobilization. What was Spiritual Mobilization’s source for the quotation? None was listed.

There is another possible source for the quotation. Bishop James Madison (1749–1812), a cousin of President Madison, served as president of William and Mary College and was the first Protestant Episcopal bishop of Virginia. It was this James Madison who said, “Good morals can spring only from the bosom of religion.”3 It would not be difficult to confuse the two Madisons. In fact, in naming what is now James Madison University, “The Daily News-Record columnist wasn’t even convinced that Madison College honored President James Madison. ‘It is claimed by some,’ the columnist wrote, ‘that those who suggested Madison as the new name did not have the president in mind, but Bishop James Madison.’”4 Even so, there is no tangible evidence that even this James Madison said it.

Then there’s the attribution of the following citation to historian Alexander Fraser Tytler (or Tyler) (1747–1813). It supports what many believe are important political observations, but is it authentic? Can it be found in any of the works of Alexander Tytler?:

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

Like the dubious James Madison quotation, the Tytler extract is cited on a regular basis and often finds its way into published works.5 While there was an Alexander Tytler, there is no extant evidence that puts these words in his mouth or in any of his published works. Supposedly it can be found in a book supposedly written by Tytler that goes by the title The Fall of the Athenian Republic or The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic. There is no such book in circulation or attributed to him. Others claim that the quotation can be located in Tytler’s Elements of General History: Ancient and Modern, a book that does exist. The following response from the library of the University of Edinburgh states that their research has shown that the quotation does not appear in the library’s holdings of Tytler’s books:

Edinburgh University Library occasionally receives enquiries, particularly from North America, about this particular work. However, this title is not in our Library holdings, nor does it appear in the stocks of the other major research libraries in the United Kingdom. . . . Locally, the chapters of Tytler’s General History . . . (which we DO have) has been checked on the off-chance that The Decline and Fall [of the Athenian Republic] might have been a chapter title . . . but it is not. . . . We have scanned our holdings pretty thoroughly on different occasions, going back a few years now, but we have not found the quotation or anything similar to it, but we cannot absolutely rule out the possibility that we have missed it.6

Even the United States Library of Congress has been called in on the search with no success in finding the much cited but elusive quotation. Even so, the Madison and Tytler quotations continue to circulate as authentic history. Here’s the lesson to be learned: If there are so many who are willing to accept the authenticity of historical citations with something less than a shred of evidence, then it shouldn’t surprise us when students accept historical accounts found in textbooks and scholarly journals that have about the same amount of evidentiary support. The difference, however, is that so much of what finds its way into textbooks and popular works of history affect the way Christianity and the Bible are portrayed. It’s one thing to be wrong about a few unsupported quotations; it’s another thing to reshape a school curriculum based on fabricated history that relegates the Bible to the dust bin of history.
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« Reply #109 on: December 15, 2006, 12:44:53 PM »

George Washington's Bible

Using celebrities to endorse products is common practice today. Find some famous sports or movie stars, put them in front of a camera, and watch them do their magic with the new product. Before radio and television, the only way to communicate was through oratory and print media. Then there’s the issue of what’s worth pitching and how to pay for it. In colonial America, British law prohibited Bibles from being printed without permission of the crown. Editions of the Bible in the Indian and German languages were permitted, but English translations were verboten. All printing had to take place in England. This all changed after the success of the War for Independence. In 1791, the year the Bill of Rights was adopted and ratified, John Brown’s Self-Interpreting Bible was published in New York. Editions of Brown’s Bible had sold well in England. It was only natural to bring its publication to America. Brown, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, selected portions from several well-known commentaries, including those of Matthew Henry’s multi-volume set, to help the general reader better understand the text.

Funds were raised for the project through private “subscriptions” (contributions), and the names of the subscribers were listed alphabetically at the beginning of the volume, along with their occupation and the town where they lived. They came from all walks of life: shoemaker, baker, tailor, butcher, minister, lawyer, and many others. The name heading the list is “GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” The prestige of Washington’s name associated with the Bible’s publication was a fat endorsement that was sure to attract other subscribes and buyers. Also listed as “subscribers” are Henry Knox (Secretary of War), Alexander Hamilton (Secretary of the Treasury), and John Jay (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), and numerous other notable founders. The Frontispiece offers a perspective on how the Constitution was viewed in light of the Bible. There is an engraving of a female figure holding an open Bible illuminating another female the Constitution rolled up in her hand. Between them stands a woman holding a pole with a Liberty Cap. In the background, the façade of a building includes these words: “Sacred to Liberty, Justice, and Peace.”
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« Reply #110 on: December 15, 2006, 01:02:57 PM »

The Real "Story" on the First Amendment

The First Amendment to the Constitution was not designed to disestablish the Christian religion as it found expression in the state constitutions. Justice Joseph Story (1779–1845), named to the Supreme Court in 1811 and the author of Commentaries of the Constitution of the United States published in 1833 in three volumes, offers the following commentary on the amendment's original meaning:

    The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which would give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.

Story's comments are important. He states that the amendment's purpose was "to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects." This presupposes that Christianity was the accepted religion of the colonies but that no single denomination should be supported by the national government. The amendment was not designed to make all religions equal, only to make all Christian denominations (sects) equal in the eyes of the Constitution.
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« Reply #111 on: February 04, 2007, 09:42:37 PM »

Thomas Jefferson's Koran

Keith Ellison is a Muslim. He was sworn in last month to serve in the House of Representatives as a United States Congressman after being elected last November from the 5th district of Minnesota.

He demanded use of—and received permission from the Library of Congress to use—Thomas Jefferson’s own personal copy of the Koran on which to swear his oath of allegiance to the Constitution at the inauguration ceremony.

Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson’s Koran because it showed that “a visionary like Jefferson” believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.

The Library of Congress loaned out Jefferson’s rare copy of the first English language translation of the Koran ever made directly from the Arabic text. It was published in London as a two-volume set in 1764 (see photo, below). Certain individuals complained about Ellison’s choice and quite a stink was raised over the whole incident. Did anybody besides me happen to ask why it was that Jefferson felt the need to own and read a copy of the Koran?

I looked for an answer to that question this past week. What I found was absolutely fascinating: Jefferson needed that copy of the Koran because he was desperate to learn something about Islam from that religion’s written de facto standard of all things Muslim. Why? Because the United States was going to war in the early 1800s against conservative, Wahhabi-type, radical Muslims.

(As only the third president of the United States, Jefferson had no CIA to feed intelligence data to him and to his national security advisor. Come to think of it, Jefferson had no national security officer.)

During the early formative years of the United States, our forefathers fought an international group of terrorists who, like today’s conservative, Wahhabi-type, radical Muslims, made no distinction between geopolitical nation states. They were called the Barbary Pirates. They were from the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Allusion to the affair can be found in the words “…to the shores of Tripoli” mentioned in the Marine Corps Hymn.

Dr. Rand Fishbein, President of Fishbein Associates, Inc., a public-policy consulting firm based in Potomac, Maryland, recently published an article in The National Interest Magazine about this issue. He is a former Professional Staff Member (Majority) of both the U.S. Senate Defense Appropriations and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittees. Dr. Fishbein also served as a Special Assistant for National Security Affairs to Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI).

A graduate (Ph.D.) from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins Univesity, Dr. Fishbein’s thoughts on this subject bear careful reading. Here are some excerpts from Dr. Fishbein’s article, which was originally titled “Echoes from the Barbary Coast”:

“Launched in 1797, the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) and her sister ship, the USS Constellation, were built to wage war on the Muslim pirates operating along North Africa’s Barbary coast. It was a wild, untamed region of petty states and warlords whose reach extended deep into the Mediterranean Sea, from Gibraltar to the borders of Egypt. Each owed his allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan, who demanded that payment of an annual tribute be made to his treasury in ex-change for the protection afforded by his Army. It was a tidy arrangement, one that worked well for the Sultan and those who knew their place in the social order.

“That the local rulers were obliged to share a portion of their meager income with Constantinople meant that new, more assured opportunities for profit would have to be found. The solution was piracy.

“For nearly four centuries the Barbary states, and the brigands they employed, prowled the Mediterranean in search of prey. The lumbering merchant vessels of the time were no match for the Muslim corsairs, built for speed and lightning strikes. It was a way of life that took its toll on countless merchant ships, most of which were only lightly armed and had little capacity to resist capture…

“…It was a lucrative business, one that yielded great riches not only for the pirates, but also for the Muslim states that gave them refuge. For many of the rulers, plunder became a mainstay of their survival. In the parlance of our time this was state-sponsored terrorism pure and simple —an extortion racket in which the pirate, the petty states of North Africa and the Ottoman Empire were all complicit.

“Not surprisingly, the merchant nations of Europe took a dim view of the Muslim pirates. Even though many had a long tradition of privateering themselves, times were changing, and such practices were now deemed incompatible with a world increasingly dependent on commerce over the high seas. Nowhere was this sentiment expressed more strongly than in America, where a young Congress, flush with a sense of invincibility after the War of Independence, readily took up the challenge.

“Having championed the cause of liberty and free trade during years of struggle, members were infuriated that the sovereignty of America’s commercial fleet was not being respected. The Royal Navy no longer patrolled the sea lanes on behalf of the American colonies. United States shipping was now vulnerable as never before; as the cost in lives and property mounted, the government concluded that something had to be done. But what should that something be?

“In an effort at peaceful diplomacy, missions were dispatched to the Barbary states of Tripoli, Algiers, Morocco and Tunis with a modest proposal: The U.S. would agree to pay an annual sum to each of the Muslim warlords if they, in turn, would agree to protect American vessels traveling in their waters.

“To most of the politicians at the time, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable, if not practical, solution. In the immediate aftermath of the Revolution, the United States had neither the stomach nor the ability to conduct another war, particularly one that would have to be waged so far from American shores. After all, this was the wily Middle East, a region known only to a few intrepid travelers, and plied by adventure-seekers and businessmen for whom kidnapping and ransom was a constant occupational hazard.

“Moreover, paying tribute was a time-honored practice shared by both nation states and petty kingdoms alike. A clear, business-like approach that did not require the shed-ding of blood also blended well with the rational sensibilities of the 18th-century mind.

“Piracy was presumed to be one of the many risks that attended foreign trade. If one could buy protection, even from the rogues themselves, how was this so different from insuring a ship’s cargo against a natural calamity? So the logic ran: America’s interests could be satisfied, and its honor assuaged, if common ground could be found between the pirates and their victims.

“And so it happened that agreements were reached be-tween the United States and rulers of the Barbary Coast. In exchange for cash payments, the rulers pledged to guarantee the safe passage of American ships and to put a stop to the practice of maritime kidnapping. As the 18th-century came to a close, Americans were cautiously optimistic that they had solved the Barbary problem.

cont'd
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« Reply #112 on: February 04, 2007, 09:42:59 PM »

“By 1801, however, it became clear that the policy of appeasement had failed. The Pasha of Tripoli, who five years earlier had been satisfied with a payment of $56,000, now demanded increasingly larger sums. When they were not forthcoming, piracy resumed. The same held true for the other Barbary states. The Algerians received payments from the U.S. totaling $990,000 plus another $585,000 in 1793 to cover the ransom of 11 American ships. These were extraordinary sums for a nation with a budget of no more than $7 million, but the appetite of the Muslim states seemed to grow evermore insatiable.

“As America soon learned, a policy of accommodation only encouraged the brigands of the Barbary Coast to seize more ships and to take more captives. Far from providing safe passage to American and other foreign vessels, the North African rulers remained active accomplices to the crime of piracy, taking protection money while at the same time permitting the banditry to continue.

“Things were to change, however, with the election of Thomas Jefferson. In addition to his reputation as an author, scholar and principal architect of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also was an outspoken opponent of the practice of tribute. He saw it not only as an affront to the nation’s dignity, but also as an ineffectual response to an abhorrent practice. He argued that ultimately the policy of appeasement would fail because, in conveying weakness, it also encouraged further treachery. He was right.”

Jefferson also figured that the best way to learn about the political, military, social, economic, and religious agendas of America’s enemies was to read the best textbook on all things Muslim. So he read the Koran in what for his day was a state-of-the-art translation into English directly from the Arabic. Jefferson’s copy of the Koran equipped him with everything he needed to know on how to respond to threats from the caliphates of the early 1800s.

So, in response to a declaration of war on the nascent United States of America by the Barbary Coast caliphates, Thomas Jefferson sent the USS Constitution to the Mediterranean in 1803. The fighting during these days saw many acts of heroism that established the U.S. Navy as a force to be reckoned with.

Then, in 1805, the Constitution supported the landing of Marines “on the shores of Tripoli” in an action that was subsequently immortalized in the Marine Corps Hymn. The Americans and their allies destroyed the harbor citadel at Derna that served as the headquarters for the pirates.

The first blue-water ocean-going war machine of the new United States Navy turned the Tripoli harbor from state-of-the-art fortifications (state-of-the-art for 18th century Muslims, that is) back to 7th century piles of rubble. The United States Navy literally freed the Mediterranean and the world from domination by militant Islam for nearly 200 years.

The crew of the USS Constitution beat the tar out of those international terrorists. That led to a peace treaty that lasted for almost two hundred years until September 11th, 2001, when conservative, Wahhabi-type, radical Islam killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

Jefferson’s resolve to fight had its genesis in his reading the Koran as the best source of all things Muslim. Jefferson knew that 18th century Americans were in danger from what we call today conservative, Wahhabi-type, radical Islam.
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