What to Pray for a New President

What to Pray for a New President Seeking God’s blessing for a pluralistic, conflicted, and divided nation. by Mark Labberton There is no better time to renew our commitment to pray for our leaders than the start of a new presidential administration. Barack Obama needs our prayers and we should give them freely and eagerly no matter how we may have voted. I know our president needs prayer, because I know I do. My own life and pastoral leadership depends on prayer. I am aware that much of the blessing in the life of our church unfolds because of the prayers of people united in seeking God’s way. Blessings are not earned by prayer, nor should blessings be presumed because of prayer. But I do believe prayer increases our readiness to live humbly, wisely, and courageously.
These are also the qualities our new president needs. After a divisive campaign, an extraordinary economic collapse, a period of ecological vulnerability, and a time of war and global instability, our president and our nation need humility, wisdom, and courage. Wherever we or our congregations may be politically, these three qualities should guide our prayers for the leaders responsible for our nation and our world. Leadership that is lacking in any of these three will be far less constructive than these trying times demand. Our president needs the humility to live and lead in dependence upon God, practicing a clear estimate of our human and national limitations. Few qualities are more characteristic of Jesus than his willingness to serve in dependency on the Father, “emptying himself and taking the form of a servant.” Humble servant leadership is the essence of Jesus’ power. Let’s pray that as a new season of presidential leadership begins, Barack Obama will live before God with a clarified awareness of who he is and who he is not. When we lead our people to pray for our national leaders, we are praying for them to be wise. That means that they will be men and women led by the truth, who will act with discernment and justice. We may be tempted to pray that certain policies or political ideologies are enacted by the government, or for the authorities to establish our own utopian vision. This kind of prayer mistakenly treats the United States as a theocracy. Instead, we should be praying for leaders to have the wisdom to seek the shalom of the city, country, and world. This kind of prayer asks God to grant leaders the power and authority that allows people and communities to thrive. It is a prayer that neither over-reaches nor under-reaches. When we lead our people to pray for this new administration, we also need to pray that President Obama, and everyone in government, will have courage. Given the social, economic, environmental, and security threats today, we could accumulate a pile of fear-inducing situations to rival Everest. This is an exceptional time, when our leadership needs the strength of character and will to seek, say, and do what is right. When we pray for a pluralistic, conflicted, and divided nation like our own, we should recognize that we are not just praying for the church, for the community of God’s people. Instead, we are stepping into our role as faithful exiles, surrounded by a widely varied people, who seek God’s life-giving love, mercy, and justice, especially for the marginalized and for our enemies. We cry out to God for his shalom to be poured out upon others. That will be the evidence to the world that the blessing we seek isn’t just for ourselves, but that we truly care for all peoples, tribes, and nations. When we pray for these things—humility, wisdom, and courage—we are stepping beyond our own party affiliation or preference, beyond the bickering of the campaign, beyond the places where divisions are real and substantial. We are seeking instead to be prayerful partners of God’s shalom that comes, at least in part, through governments, civic leaders, and even presidents.

Mark Labberton is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, California.

Mr. President-elect, strengthen fight against cancer

By Lance Armstrong
Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Lance Armstrong is a cancer survivor and advocate, professional cycling champion and father of three. This is one in a series of "letters to the new president" that will appear as commentaries on CNN.com in coming weeks.

(CNN) — Here’s something that should outrage you: Every day, more than 1,500 Americans die of cancer. Our federal government knows how to prevent many of these losses. Tragically, its attention has simply been elsewhere.

The American cancer community and the Lance Armstrong Foundation are hoping that will change with the election of President-elect Barack Obama, a man who has lost two of the most important women in his life to this disease.

Throughout my conversations with him, I’ve been impressed with his commitment to fighting cancer and have gained a sense of optimism about the future. And looking back on recent years, that optimism is a big improvement.

The American people are doing their part, especially against tobacco, the No. 1 cause of cancer. Twenty-four states as well as the District of Columbia have strong smoke-free workplace measures in place. Cities all over America are banning smoking. And Americans are far more aware and motivated to lead healthy lifestyles than they were even twenty years ago.

Our federal government’s scatter-shot approach to the war on cancer is what galvanized those touched by cancer this election season to create our own campaign — not to support certain candidates, but to get all of them to commit to our cause: the fight against a disease that will claim more than 560,000 lives in this nation in 2008.

And we used all the tools in the campaign toolbox: we met with candidates to plead our case, stood outside campaign events holding signs, ran ads, sent opinion pieces to our hometown papers, and suggested questions to the presidential debate moderators. We even hosted forums designed to let voters talk to presidential candidates directly about their plans to fight cancer.

Let me put all this in perspective: during two terms on the President’s Cancer Panel, my fellow members and I heard directly from thousands of survivors, healthcare professionals, government officials, policy makers and scientists about the effects of cancer on this nation. And what struck all of us was the fractured approach to this disease taken by our federal government in a time when cancer touches 12 million American lives.

Luckily, our campaigning paid off. Like most Americans, both Sen. John McCain and Obama have strong personal connections to cancer. McCain is himself a survivor while our next president has lost both a parent and now a grandparent. Both answered our call with plans of action.

So here’s what we will be looking for come 2009, stacked up with the commitments made by our next president:

1. Creating National Coordination: No great struggle was ever won without leadership and a plan. Currently, thousands of diligent people in our federal government work hard but without coordination against cancer. A unified strategy for cancer research, treatment and awareness programs is therefore the first step and our next president has committed to this in principle.

2. Increasing Our Investment in the Fight: Today, our federal investment in this fight is roughly $6 billion, a vastly inadequate amount considering the millions of Americans lost in the last decade alone. And for the past few budget cycles, funding has remained static or fallen off. Cancer patients and caregivers persistently lobbied for more dollars for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. During his campaign, Obama said he’d double federal funding for cancer research within five years, focusing on the NIH and the NCI, and increase funding for the FDA during his administration.

3. Investing in Prevention and Screening: If you could fix the dam for a dollar now, why wait for the flood that will cost you $10 million? Even modest investments in cancer prevention and screening save millions of dollars — not to mention lives – down the line. Obama made a campaign promise to require federally supported health plans to cover all essential preventive services and to expand investment in proven smoking cessation programs. We support that pledge and look forward to seeing him honor it.

4. Supporting Survivors and Their Families: When you beat cancer, it doesn’t simply disappear from your life. Its effects stay with you, physically and emotionally, and it influences your outlook, your future and your family. To date, we’ve done a poor job in supporting the millions of Americans who have to face these realities. The Obama campaign promise: new support to survivors and their families and new funding for the CDC to study how best to help people affected by cancer navigate a thoroughly confusing health care system.

We expect Obama to work with Congress on these measures as well as on comprehensive legislation that will modernize our efforts. Sens. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, are already hard at work on this.

Big picture: We love what we’re hearing so far, Mr. President-elect. We support your commitments and will do everything in our power to further their achievement.

— Scott

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Religious Right R.I.P.

From Cal Thomas  http://townhall.com/columnists/CalThomas/2008/11/06/religious_right_rip?page=full

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, he will do so in the 30th anniversary year of the founding of the so-called Religious Right. Born in 1979 and midwifed by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Religious Right was a reincarnation of previous religious-social movements that sought moral improvement through legislation and court rulings. Those earlier movements — from abolition (successful) to Prohibition (unsuccessful) — had mixed results.

Social movements that relied mainly on political power to enforce a conservative moral code weren’t anywhere near as successful as those that focused on changing hearts. The four religious revivals, from the First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s to the Fourth Great Awakening in the late 1960s and early ’70s, which touched America and instantly transformed millions of Americans (and American culture as a result), are testimony to that.

Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed. The question now becomes: should conservative Christians redouble their efforts, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?

I opt for trying something else.

Too many conservative Evangelicals have put too much faith in the power of government to transform culture. The futility inherent in such misplaced faith can be demonstrated by asking these activists a simple question: Does the secular left, when it holds power, persuade conservatives to live by their standards? Of course they do not. Why, then, would conservative Evangelicals expect people who do not share their worldview and view of God to accept their beliefs when they control government?

Too many conservative Evangelicals mistake political power for influence. Politicians who struggle with imposing a moral code on themselves are unlikely to succeed in their attempts to impose it on others. What is the answer, then, for conservative Evangelicals who are rightly concerned about the corrosion of culture, the indifference to the value of human life and the living arrangements of same- and opposite-sex couples?

The answer depends on the response to another question: do conservative Evangelicals want to feel good, or do they want to adopt a strategy that actually produces results? Clearly partisan politics have not achieved their objectives. Do they think they can succeed by committing themselves to 30 more years of the same?

If results are what conservative Evangelicals want, they already have a model. It is contained in the life and commands of Jesus of Nazareth. Suppose millions of conservative Evangelicals engaged in an old and proven type of radical behavior. Suppose they followed the admonition of Jesus to "love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison and care for widows and orphans," not as ends, as so many liberals do by using government, but as a means of demonstrating God’s love for the whole person in order that people might seek Him?

Such a strategy could be more "transformational" than electing a new president, even the first president of color. But in order to succeed, such a strategy would not be led by charismatic figures, who would raise lots of money, be interviewed on Sunday talk shows, author books and make gobs of money.

God teaches in His Word that His power (if that is what conservative Evangelicals want and not their puny attempts at grabbing earthly power) is made perfect in weakness. He speaks of the tiny mustard seed, the seemingly worthless widow’s mite, of taking the last place at the table and the humbling of one’s self, the washing of feet and similar acts and attitudes; the still, small voice. How did conservative Evangelicals miss this and instead settle for a lesser power, which in reality is no power at all? When did they settle for an inferior "kingdom"?

Evangelicals are at a junction. They can take the path that will lead them to more futility and ineffective attempts to reform culture through government, or they can embrace the far more powerful methods outlined by the One they claim to follow. By following His example, they will decrease, but He will increase. They will get no credit, but they will see results. If conservative Evangelicals choose obscurity and seek to glorify God, they will get much of what they hope for, but can never achieve, in and through politics.

— Scott

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America Has Chosen A New President

From Albert Mohler  http://www.albertmohler.com/       

The election of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States came as a bang, not a whimper.  The tremors had been perceptible for days, maybe even weeks.  On Tuesday, America experienced nothing less than a political and cultural earthquake.

The margin of victory for the Democratic ticket was clear.  Americans voted in record numbers and with tangible enthusiasm.  By the end of the day, it was clear that Barack Obama would be elected with a majority of the popular vote and a near landslide in the Electoral College.  When President-Elect Obama greeted the throngs of his supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park, he basked in the glory of electoral energy.

For many of us, the end of the night brought disappointment.  In this case, the disappointment is compounded by the sense that the issues that did not allow us to support Sen. Obama are matters of life and death — not just political issues of heated debate.  Furthermore, the margin of victory and sense of a shift in the political landscape point to greater disappointments ahead.  We all knew that so much was at stake.

For others, the night was magical and momentous.  Young and old cried tears of amazement and victory as America elected its first African-American President — and elected him overwhelmingly.  Just forty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, an African-American stood to claim victory as President-Elect of the nation.  As Sen. Obama assured the crowd in Chicago and the watching nation, "We will get there.  We will get there."  No one hearing those words could fail to hear the refrain of plaintive words spoken in Memphis four decades ago.  President-Elect Obama would stand upon the mountaintop that Dr. King had foreseen.

That victory is a hallmark moment in history for all Americans — not just for those who voted for Sen. Obama.  As a nation, we will never think of ourselves the same way again.  Americans rich and poor, black and white, old and young, will look to an African-American man and know him as President of the United States.  The President.  The only President.  The elected President.  Our President.

Every American should be moved by the sight of young African-Americans who — for the first time — now believe that they have a purchase in American democracy.  Old men and old women, grandsons and granddaughters of slaves and slaveholders, will look to an African-American as President.

Regardless of politics, could anyone remain unmoved by the sight of Jesse Jackson crying alone amidst the crowd in Chicago?  This dimension of Election Day transcends politics and touches the heart of the American people.

Yet, the issues and the politics remain.  Given the scale of the Democratic victory, the political landscape will be completely reshaped.  The fight for the dignity and sanctity of unborn human beings has been set back by a great loss, and by the election of a President who has announced his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law.  The struggle to protect marriage against its destruction by redefinition is now complicated by the election of a President who has declared his aim to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.  On issue after issue, we face a longer, harder, and more protracted struggle than ever before.

Still, we must press on as advocates for the unborn, for the elderly, for the infirm, and for the vulnerable.  We must redouble our efforts to defend marriage and the integrity of the family.  We must be vigilant to protect religious liberty and the freedom of the pulpit.  We face awesome battles ahead.

At the same time, we must be honest and recognize that the political maps are being redrawn before our eyes.  Will the Republican Party decide that conservative Christians are just too troublesome for the party and see the pro-life movement as a liability?  There is the real danger that the Republicans, stung by this defeat, will adopt a libertarian approach to divisive moral issues and show conservative Christians the door.

Others will declare these struggles over, arguing that the election of Sen. Obama means that Americans in general — and many younger Evangelicals in particular — are ready to "move on" to other issues.  This is no time for surrender or the abandonment of our core principles.  We face a much harder struggle ahead, but we have no right to abandon the struggle.

We should look for opportunities to work with the new President and his administration where we can.  We must hope that he will lead and govern as the bridge-builder he claimed to be in his campaign.  We must confront and oppose the Obama administration where conscience demands, but work together where conscience allows.

Evangelical Christians face another challenge with the election of Sen. Obama, and a failure to rise to this challenge will bring disrepute upon the Gospel, as well as upon ourselves.  There must be absolutely no denial of the legitimacy of President-Elect Obama’s election and no failure to accord this new President the respect and honor due to anyone elected to that high office.  Failure in this responsibility is disobedience to a clear biblical command.

Beyond this, we must commit ourselves to pray for this new President, for his wife and family, for his administration, and for the nation.  We are commanded to pray for rulers, and this new President faces challenges that are not only daunting but potentially disastrous.  May God grant him wisdom.  He and his family will face new challenges and the pressures of this office.  May God protect them, give them joy in their family life, and hold them close together.

We must pray that God will protect this nation even as the new President settles into his role as Commander in Chief, and that God will grant peace as he leads the nation through times of trial and international conflict and tension.

We must pray that God would change President-Elect Obama’s mind and heart on issues of our crucial concern.  May God change his heart and open his eyes to see abortion as the murder of the innocent unborn, to see marriage as an institution to be defended, and to see a host of issues in a new light.  We must pray this from this day until the day he leaves office.  God is sovereign, after all.

Without doubt, we face hard days ahead.  Realistically, we must expect to be frustrated and disappointed.  We may find ourselves to be defeated and discouraged.  We must keep ever in mind that it is God who raises up nations and pulls them down, and who judges both nations and rulers.  We must not act or think as unbelievers, or as those who do not trust God.

America has chosen a President.  President-Elect Barack Obama is that choice, and he faces a breathtaking array of challenges and choices in days ahead.  This is the time for Christians to begin praying in earnest for our new President.  There is no time to lose.

— Scott

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A Prayer For America On Election Day

From Albert Mohler ( http://www.albertmohler.com/)

Americans head for the voting precincts today as the 2008 election is now at hand.  Already, some 20 million citizens have voted through early voting options.  Some expect a record turn-out for today’s election.  In any event, millions of citizens will participate in the first duty of freedom — the freedom to vote.

There is so much at stake.  We hear every election cycle that the stakes have never been higher. In one sense, this is usually also true.  There is always the sense that there is more at stake this year than last, and, given the way issues unfold, that perception often seems validated by the times.

Christians face the responsibility to vote, not only as citizens, but as Christians who seek to honor and follow Christ in all things.  But, beyond the vote, we also bear responsibility to pray for our nation.

First, we should pray that God will bless America with leaders better than we deserve.  Democratic systems inevitably reflect the electorate’s decisions, and these decisions reveal underlying worldviews.  And, truth be told, all we can expect from democracy is the government we deserve.  We must pray for a government and for leaders better than we deserve.  May God grant us mercy as he reigns and rules over all things, including this election.

Second, we should pray that Americans will be motivated to fulfill the responsibilities of citizenship, yet also that we will be stripped of an unhealthy and idolatrous confidence in the power of government to save us.  God has given us the gift of rulers and governments in order to restrain evil, uphold righteousness, and provide for civil order.  No human ruler can save.  No government official or office holder can heal the human heart, solve the sin problem, or accomplish final justice.  These powers belong to God and God alone.

Third, we must pray that Americans will vote by conscience, not merely on the basis of celebrity or emotion.  Christian citizens must vote to uphold righteousness and contend for righteous and just laws.  But, at the same time, we must repent of moralism and the tacit assumption that better laws would produce better people.

Fourth, we must pray that Americans will vote to defend the least among us — and especially those who have no vote.  This starts, but does not end, with concern for the unborn and for the recovery of respect for the dignity and sanctity of every single human life at every stage of development, from conception until natural death.

Fifth, we should pray that God will prick the conscience of the nation on issues of morality, righteousness, and respect for marriage as the central institution of human civilization.  So much ground appears to have been lost on these issues.  We need to pray that much ground can be regained.

Sixth, we should pray that God will protect these candidates and their families.  They have been through an arduous ordeal and now face the deadline of the vote.  They are physically exhausted and now face the judgment of the people.  They are public figures, but they are also flesh and blood human beings, who are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters.  Their families have withstood much.  We should pray for their marriages and their children.  May God protect them.

Seventh, we should pray that the election is conducted with honor, civility, respect, and justice.  We must pray that we do not face another round of litigation after an election.  This brings democracy into disrepute.  May there be a clear winner, not a contested result.

Eighth, we must pray that Americans will be prepared to accept the results of the election with respect and kindness.  This will be no time for rancor, condemnations, and conspiracy theories.  Instead, we must pray that God will settle the hearts of the people.  May Christians be ready to respond with prayer, respect for office, and a gentle spirit.  Others will be watching.

Ninth, we should pray that this election would lead to even greater opportunities to preach the Gospel, and that the freedom of the church will be respected, honored, and protected.

Tenth, we must pray for the church, praying that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would be strengthened in the truth, grounded in the faith, and empowered for witness and ministry.  May the church, the sign of the coming kingdom, be faithful to declare the Gospel — knowing that this is the only message that will save.

May God grant us mercy and grace as we seek to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens — and our responsibilities as Christians.  This world is not our home, but we do bear responsibilities as followers of Christ as we are living here.

May God bless America, not because this nation deserves to be blessed, but because He is a God of grace and mercy.  Oh God . . . save us from ourselves.

— Scott

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Rejection of the Wisdom of America’s Founding Fathers

Originally published by Mike DeVine, as legal editor for The Minority Report

Want to force the Drive-by media to cover Obama’s rejection of the wisdom of America’s Founding Fathers and our Constitution that produced the greatest nation on Earth?

Then Obama should be the keynote star speaker at every McCain-Palin campaign event.

One has to question whether many voters that are up for grabs will immediately understand, given our woeful education system partially taken over by socialists that control the schools, Obama’s contempt for American exceptional-ism and the import of his words:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.

But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical.

It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties.

It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.

One of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that.

……

Maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way.

You just look at very rare examples during the desegregation era the court was willing to for example order changes that cost money to a local school district. The court was very uncomfortable with it. It was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.

The court’s just not very good at it and politically it’s very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally. Any three of us sitting here could come up with a rational for bringing about economic change through the courts.

McCain should play Obama’s voice over the loud speakers at every stop and then deconstruct his words as revealing a man that could not, in good faith, uphold the required Oath to “preserve, protect and defend” the precious document he trashes as “fundamentally flawed” above.

Obama sees the Constitution as only a negative document. It is, in that it limits government, but it also positively protects Liberty in so doing.

Obama loves government power, not Liberty for We the People and sees the Warren Court as not having gone far enough! Under a constitution written from the Marxist dreams of his once-met Kenyan “father” (Another Messiah’s with no birth certificate and questions about his father, but this one photo-shopped a fake one and dreams of an atheist Kenyan Father while studying at the knee of a Hawaiian.), not only would a Warren Court let off a murderer that wasn’t read his “Miranda rights”, it would make the government a conviction-proof robber of your wealth to spread around the ‘hood like a piece of the action by him as Boss/Godfather.

The U.S. Constitution is the oldest ongoing governing document on earth. The Liberty it unleashed has produced the marvel of what man can accomplish in the history of the world. How five percent of the world’s population can create such great technological progress and share it. How the poor here would be considered upper middle class most places since the 1830’s. How it set the stage for the only nation to fight a war and then eliminate slavery on moral grounds. How it is the magnet for the dispossessed and even put up a Statue of Liberty to beckon them.

How we produced enough wealth to build a defense strong enough to defend against enslaving megalomaniacs and be responsible for the greatest explosion of free peoples in history, within and beyond our borders in a benevolence unheard of by previous empires.

And as Colin Powell said before he lost his way, the only land we asked for from the liberated was enough to bury the dead that died for their liberty.

Obama considers that Constitution to be fatally flawed because it limits the power of government to control us.

My God! The miracle of the document is how it limits the government so that the potential of free human beings is unleashed.

Obama doesn’t understand that the “negative” document is under girded by a Declaration of Independence that sees our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (especially including the right to keep the fruits of our labor as private property), as Creator-God given. He doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care, that the secret to why we have so much wealth that he would like to spread to favored groups as pieces of the action is the incentive of the right to private property. God knows he admitted that the question of when humans get the right to life is above his pay grade.

No, Obama hates the Constitution and would rather July 4, commemorate a Declaration of Dependence on his government. How can he take the Oath? Especially on a Bible that contains within the other great pillar of our exceptionalism, i.e. Judeo-Christian values.

No, this is not a claim that he is a Muslim. In fact, this rooster could name many Muslims that I would happily vote for President given their love and allegiance for The Founders and the Constitution and their advocacy of our shared values.

But Obama, like many that attend Christian churches, has a different view. Let his own words indict his contrary world view.

And even there, he has a contrary view.

“I’m rooted in the Christian tradition,” said Obama, who has declared himself a Christian. But then he adds something that most Christians will see as universalism: “I believe there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”Falsani correctly brings up John 14:6 (and how many journalists would know such a verse, much less ask a question based on it?) in which Jesus says of Himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” That sounds pretty exclusive, but Obama says it depends on how this verse is heard. According to Falsani, Obama thinks that “all people of faith — Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, everyone — know the same God.” (her words)

If that is so, Jesus wasted his time coming to Earth and he certainly did not have to suffer the pain of rejection and crucifixion if there are ways to God other than through Himself.

Here’s Obama telling Falsani, “The difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that if people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they’re going to hell.” Falsani adds, “Obama doesn’t believe he, or anyone else, will go to hell. But he’s not sure he’ll be going to heaven, either.”

Here’s Obama again: “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.”

Any first-year seminary student could deconstruct such “works salvation” and wishful thinking. Obama either hasn’t read the Bible, or if he has, doesn’t believe it if he embraces such thin theological gruel.

Obama can call himself anything he likes, but there is a clear requirement for one to qualify as a Christian and Obama doesn’t meet that requirement. One cannot deny central tenets of the Christian faith, including the deity and uniqueness of Christ as the sole mediator between God and Man and be a Christian. Such people do have a label applied to them in Scripture. They are called a “false prophet.”

I hope some national journalist or commentator with knowledge of such things asks Obama about this and doesn’t let him get away with re-writing Scripture to suit his political ends.

Obama is not one of us.

I actually have sympathy for Obama and his father-, and mother-(she was a Marxist, too) challenged childhood. No one gets to pick their parents.

But we do get to accept or reject our nation’s heritage, a heritage, that in his case, provided him with a good life, liberty, including, education and the pursuit of happiness, including great wealth.

He explicitly rejects what produced that great life.

He rejects the Father of our Country.

We that embrace that George Washington and his fellow Founders of this nation and Framers of the Constitution, and who love the actual United States of America with its glorious history, must reject Obama and the America he would found, or reap the whirlwind.

Vote McCain-Palin!

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

— Scott

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President’s Cancer Panel Recommends National Priority for Cancer

In a new report Maximizing Our Nation’s Investment in Cancer: Three Crucial Actions for America’s Health the President’s Cancer Panel makes three recommendations to the President that they feel are critical to the battle against cancer in the United States.

Make reducing the cancer burden a national priority.
Ensure that all Americans have timely access to needed health care and disease prevention measures.
End the scourge of tobacco in the United States.
The President’s Cancer Panel was created with the passage of the National Cancer Act in 1971. Its three members have a responsibility to report on barriers to full implementation of the National Cancer Program and make recommendations to overcome them.  Panel members responsible for the 2007-2008 Report were:

LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., of the Howard University College of Medicine
Margaret L. Kripke, Ph.D., of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center,
Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor and founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation
In February 2008, President Bush appointed Joe Torre, a cancer survivor and Los Angeles Dodgers manager to replace Lance Armstrong.

Four in ten people in the United States will develop cancer at some point in their lives.  In 2008 more than 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and 565,000 will die.

However, despite the growing US burden of cancer, in developing the 2007-2008 recommendations for the President, the Panel pointed out disturbing trends:

A declining cancer research budget
Avoidable inefficiencies and poor collaboration among governmental, voluntary, industry, and academic organizations working on cancer research
Questions about the appropriate focus and emphasis on cancer research in light of current cancer trends
An aging and increasingly sedentary population
A more and more fragmented and unsustainable health care system
An increasing number of uninsured, underinsured, and underserved Americans due to a steady erosion of public and private health care coverage
Continued tobacco use, reduced cancer control funding, and increased tobacco marketing targeting young people, women, and other vulnerable groups
Complacency and a lack of understanding and sense of urgency among policymakers, the research and health communities, and the public about the growing burden of cancer
In their Executive Summary, the Panel challeng
ed Americans and their leaders to make cancer an urgent priority saying,

It no longer is acceptable to say that because cancer is complex, disparities in care are entrenched, and the tobacco companies are powerful, we cannot solve the problem of cancer in America. We can. But to do so, cancer must become a national priority—one that is guided by strong leadership; fueled by adequate funding and productive collaboration and compromise among governments, industry, and institutions; and embraced by individuals who understand and accept their personal role in preventing cancer and in demanding meaningful progress.

I am one of that forty percent of Americans whose life has been touched by cancer — too many times in my own life and that of my family and friends.

I welcome the strong words of the President’s Cancer Panel, and I hope that despite the frightening financial crisis we find ourselves in, the pressure of two costly wars, and a change in Washington leadership, we will listen and learn!

By letting government funding for cancer research stagnate, we are literally eating our seed corn.  There is exciting research going on, but it cannot continue without the brains and vision of young researchers.  However, as the Panel points out, they are being forced out of cancer research by dwindling funding and lack of opportunities for their careers to grow.

We know how to prevent many colorectal cancers and find others early . . . but millions of Americans cannot access the simplest screening tests because they have no insurance.

Cancer is a war that we can win.  I believe that with my whole heart, and I spend many hours each day working on the struggle to win it.  I urge you all — citizens, researchers, legislators, President — to join Dr. Leffall, Dr. Kripke, Lance Armstrong, Joe Torre and me in the fight.

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™.

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