Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Main Thing

Missionary Jim Elliot once said, —"He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose." In other words, this world conditions us to focus and strive for things that are temporal, at the expense of what has eternal value. Have you ever felt this way?

I'm personally at the point where I feel the need to recalibrate the priorities in my life. To focus on what's important versus what's just urgent. In short, to keep the main thing the main thing when it comes to why I'm here and what I'm to accomplish.

So, to sharpen my focus, Won By One will be temporarily suspended while I complete a personal sabbatical this year. This hiatus is expected to be brief and should result in a greater vitality for service to God, family and country after 50.

Suffice to say, I am determined that my second career will be characterized by faith (God-sized goals), relevance (shaping my sphere of influence), and altruism (giving something back to the people and country that have enriched me). That said, I currently have several initiatives in an embryonic stage that I'm pursuing, with plans to devote full-time to those that emerge consistent with God's blessing/will.

These initiatives, which are focused on making a contribution toward clear biblical mandates for serving God (completing the Great Commission), family (2nd-career) and country (political-civic activism), include:

1) House of Worship - A church planting, faith-based initiative that leverages 21st-century technology to answer our 1st-century calling.

2) Public sector transition - Due diligence to determine where my time, talent and treasure are best utilized for the next 25-years.

3) American Citizen Alliance - A non-partisan, traditional values advocacy organization that facilitates conservative, grass-roots civic engagement.

We'll all give an account one day for what we did with the opportunities we were given in this life. And while everyone is called to something unique, make sure your pursuits are congruent with the eternal -- the main thing.

Glory be to God,

Roy Tanner

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Peace on Earth

After 6,000 years of recorded history, global peace remains an elusive objective. At this point it's only fair to conclude that even when it comes to humanity's best efforts, in and of ourselves, -- it just ain't in us.

Fortunately, the Almighty has provided another means of attaining peace on earth -- and it starts with appeasing our offended God. Won by One, we're then in a position to master interpersonal relationships -- within families, communities, and nations.

While peace on earth will one day be realized, the history of man must first run its course. And as the commentary below suggests, the consummation of history is near.

Through it all, may you know the Lord's peace,

Roy Tanner

Steps to peace with God
Billy Graham

Step 1: God's Purpose: Peace and Life

God loves you and wants you to experience abundant peace and life eternal.

The Bible says ...

"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." —Romans 5:1 (NIV)

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." —John 3:16 (NIV)

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." —John 10:10 (NIV)

So why don't most people have this peace and abundant life that God planned for us to have?

Step 2: The Problem: Our Separation

God created us in His own image to have an abundant life. He did not make us as robots to automatically love and obey Him. God gave us a will and a freedom of choice.

We chose to disobey God and go our own willful way. We still make this choice today. This results in separation from God.

The Bible says ...

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." —Romans 3:23 (NIV)

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." —Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Our Attempts to Reach GodPeople have tried in many ways to bridge this gap between themselves and God ...

The Bible says ...

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." —Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

"But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." —Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

No bridge reaches God ... except one.

Step 3: God's Bridge: The Cross

Jesus Christ died on the Cross and rose from the grave. He paid the penalty for our sin and bridged the gap between God and people.

The Bible says ...

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ."
— 1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)

"For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."
— 1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8 (NIV)

God has provided the only way. Each person must make a choice.

Step 4: Our Response: Receive Christ

We must trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and receive Him by personal invitation.

The Bible says ...

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." —Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." —John 1:12 (NIV)

"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." —Romans 10:9 (NIV)

Where are you?

Will you receive Jesus Christ right now?

Here is how you can receive Christ:

1. Admit your need (I am a sinner).
2. Be willing to turn from your sins (repent).
3. Believe that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
4. Through prayer, invite Jesus Christ to come in and control your life through the Holy Spirit.(Receive Him as Lord and Savior.)

America in Bible Prophecy
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Bush administration has started firing back at its critics, both at home and abroad, but it is the international criticism that is doing America the most damage.

When a Democrat says something outrageous like America can't win the war or our forces routinely torture prisoners or that the terrorists are winning, the domestic audience reacts with a yawn and chalks it up to 'political partisanship'.

When Congressman Jack Murtha calls for an immediate surrender, domestic audiences hear a partisan politician trying to make political points with his constituents or with his party.

The international community hears that America is on the ropes and tries to leverage that to their best national advantage.

The enemy hears a confirmation of his own leadership's assurances that America doesn't have the will to fight on for long. Instead of despairing of dying in a lost cause, he is re-energized to fight on by visions of ultimate victory.

Our own forces, on the other hand, become the ones that are despairing of dying for a lost cause. But to a partisan Democrat, that is an acceptable price to pay for bringing down the Bush administration.

And anyone who dares to suggest that encouraging the enemy and discouraging our own combat forces, holding America up to international ridicule, and providing the international community with political leverage to use against America's national interests is disloyal can expect to be immediately marginalized as a 'Bush' partisan.

It is as if Bush is the head of the Republican Party instead of President of the United States.

This phenomenon may well explain America's absence from the Bible's record during the Tribulation Period.

During the Tribulation, we find references to Russia and the modern Middle East in Ezekiel's Gog Magog vision. We find references to a massive Oriental power, called the Kings of the East, capable of fielding an army of two hundred million men. (The approximate strength of the modern Chinese army, according to the CIA World Factbook)

There are references to a pan-African alliance resembling the Organization of African States, and a huge segment of prophecy is devoted exclusively to the revival of the Roman Empire and the role it plays in advancing the antichrist's agenda.

But there is NO reference to anything resembling a fifth political power, especially not one as powerful alone as are the other four powers combined.

That is not to say there is no mention of America in the Bible for the last days-- just not during the Tribulation. I believe America represents the Church in the last days, just as the nation of Israel represents Judaism.

If Israel has an indelible identity in the eyes of the world, it is as 'the Jewish State'. If America's identity can be encapsulated in the world's eyes, it is as the world's most Christian nation, which is why Islam declared war on America in the first place.

To al-Qaeda, the war is against Christians and Jews, and therefore, by definition, it is primarily against America and Israel.

The Apostle Paul's ministry was to the Gentile Church. Although himself a former Pharisee, he was chosen as the 'Apostle to the Gentiles'. Paul says little about the Tribulation, but he wrote extensively about the events of the final hours of the Church Age leading up to it.

His description of the moral state of the Church in the last days is a letter-perfect description of American society in the 21st century.

Paul begins by setting the timeframe: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." For America, times have NEVER been more perilous.

Not even during the darkest days of World War Two was the American homeland under direct threat. America had more friends and international prestige while engaged in a war with half the world than it did as it entered the 21st century.

America's social fabric is coming apart at the seams before our very eyes: "men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy . ."

That pretty much covers the top stories in this morning's newspapers.

"Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. . ."

Parents killing kids, teachers raping students, American politicians telling the world America can't be trusted, Christ's banishment from 'Christ'mas, the politics of personal destruction replacing the politics of ideas, etc. Paul's outline couldn't be MORE descriptive of 21st century America. Could it?

The American Civil Liberties Union has made a century-long career out of defending civil rights by opposing national recognition of God as the Guarantor of our civil rights. They defend America's God-given civil liberties by mythologizing the God that gives them.

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away." (2nd Timothy 3:1-5)

Why America is so clearly envisioned by Paul in the final hours of the Church Age, but so completely absent from the Tribulation record is a subject of considerable debate.

Bible critics argue that America isn't in the record because America didn't exist when the Bible was written. In this view, America's absence is evidence the Bible is really a book written by men and not inspired by an all-knowing God.

2nd Timothy 3:1-5 mirrors 21st century America so precisely that it demolishes this argument without further comment.

The war on terror could account for America's absence from the record during the Tribulation Period. A nuclear missile launched from a terrorist freighter offshore and detonated 180 miles above America would generate an EMP pulse that would plunge much of America, technologically speaking, back to the 19th century.

So could a massive biological or chemical attack against America's major cities. Why would anybody assume that if a terrorist strike blinded and crippled America, America's pantheon of enemies wouldn't take advantage of the situation and finish the job?

Finally, there is a third alternative explanation, advanced by the same Apostle Paul, the Rapture of the Church. As noted previously, and despite constant propaganda to the contrary, America IS the world's most Christian nation.

What would happen to America if suddenly, millions of Americans, (including much of the administration, a good chunk of the Pentagon's military leadership and most of the US military) suddenly vanished without a trace?

America does appear in Bible prophecy. Just not during the Tribulation. Read 1st Thessalonians 4:15-18 again carefully.

"For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

Arming for Armageddon
By Charles Krauthammer

Lest you get carried away with today's good news from Iraq, consider what's happening next door in Iran. The wild pronouncements of the new Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have gotten sporadic press ever since he called for Israel to be wiped off the map. He subsequently amended himself to say that Israel should simply be extirpated from the Middle East map and moved to some German or Austrian province. Perhaps near the site of an old extermination camp?

Except that there were no such camps, indeed no Holocaust at all, says Ahmadinejad. Nothing but "myth," a "legend" that was "fabricated . . . under the name 'Massacre of the Jews.' " This brought the usual reaction from European and American officials, who, with Churchillian rage and power, called these statements unacceptable. That something serious might accrue to Iran for this -- say, expulsion from the United Nations for violating its most basic principle by advocating the outright eradication of a member state -- is, of course, out of the question.

To be sure, Holocaust denial and calls for Israel's destruction are commonplace in the Middle East. They can be seen every day on Hezbollah TV, in Syrian media, in Egyptian editorials appearing in semiofficial newspapers. But none of these aspiring mass murderers are on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons that could do in one afternoon what it took Hitler six years to do: destroy an entire Jewish civilization and extinguish 6 million souls.

Everyone knows where Iran's nuclear weapons will be aimed. Everyone knows they will be put on Shahab rockets, which have been modified so that they can reach Israel. And everyone knows that if the button is ever pushed, it will be the end of Israel.

But it gets worse. The president of a country about to go nuclear is a confirmed believer in the coming apocalypse. Like Judaism and Christianity, Shiite Islam has its own version of the messianic return -- the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam. The more devout believers in Iran pray at the Jamkaran mosque, which houses a well from which, some believe, he will emerge.

When Ahmadinejad unexpectedly won the presidential elections, he immediately gave $17 million of government funds to the shrine. Last month Ahmadinejad said publicly that the main mission of the Islamic Revolution is to pave the way for the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam.

And as in some versions of fundamentalist Christianity, the second coming will be accompanied by the usual trials and tribulations, death and destruction. Iranian journalist Hossein Bastani reported Ahmadinejad saying in official meetings that the hidden imam will reappear in two years.

So a Holocaust-denying, virulently anti-Semitic, aspiring genocidist, on the verge of acquiring weapons of the apocalypse, believes that the end is not only near but nearer than the next American presidential election. (Pity the Democrats. They cannot catch a break.) This kind of man would have, to put it gently, less inhibition about starting Armageddon than a normal person. Indeed, with millennial bliss pending, he would have positive incentive to, as they say in Jewish eschatology, hasten the end.

To be sure, there are such madmen among the other monotheisms. The Temple Mount Faithful in Israel would like the al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem's Temple Mount destroyed to make way for the third Jewish Temple and the messianic era. The difference with Iran, however, is that there are all of about 50 of these nuts in Israel, and none of them is president.

The closest we've come to a messianically inclined leader in America was a secretary of the interior who 24 years ago, when asked about his stewardship of the environment, told Congress: "I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns; whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations." But James Watt's domain was the forest, and his weapon of choice was the chainsaw. He was not in charge of nuclear weapons to be placed on missiles that are paraded through the streets with, literally, Israel's name on them. (They are adorned with banners reading "Israel must be wiped off the map.")

It gets worse. After his U.N. speech in September, Ahmadinejad was caught on videotape telling a cleric that during the speech an aura, a halo, appeared around his head right on the podium of the General Assembly. "I felt the atmosphere suddenly change. And for those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink. . . . It seemed as if a hand was holding them there, and it opened their eyes to receive the message from the Islamic Republic."

Negotiations to deny this certifiable lunatic genocidal weapons have been going nowhere. Everyone knows they will go nowhere. And no one will do anything about it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Something Back

Redeeming the Time

"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience...And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise...redeeming the time, because the days are evil." (Eph 5:6-16)

Few can argue that the world we'll be passing to our children will be one that's markedly different from the one my generation inherited. And it's the erosion of traditional family values during my generation's watch that has me more than a little concerned.

Call it a need to redeem the time, or simply embarrassment from being grouped as part of the self-centered "baby-boomer" generation, but I feel drawn to a cause bigger than self, to serve in a manner that's broader than just wealth creation for my family...and for me that has the look and feel of a career in public administration.

Yes, I'm well aware that the typical career politician averages 5-terms as incumbent, that the war-chest for a national office campaign runs into the millions and requires at least 24-months. But it’s because our current system is so far removed from what I believe the founders intended, I've decided to explore some remedies for making a difference -- as I pursue elected office.

In my estimation, America's standard of living, global influence and military power are unparalleled in human history. But since global power historically abhors a vacuum, the U.S. is not without threats to its national security. These challenges are summarized as follows:

  • Unprecedented public sector discord, rising from an obstructionist minority party, 5th column elitists, and an activist judiciary
  • Unprotected borders and a flood of illegal immigration, which have enabled "sleeper cell" terrorist infiltration
  • Unsustainable economic conditions, due to soaring costs in: federal entitlements, defense expenditures, natural disasters, trade deficits, and energy markets
  • Unregulated nuclear proliferation and other WMD programs by rogue nations and their terror proxies
  • Unhinged global triumphalism from militant Islam

Unfortunately, under current conditions, the political process (originally designed to check faction) has been corrupted by the underlying motive, controlling interest and primary objective for every "career" politician -- that of getting re-elected. Some of these concerns and influences are summarized as follows:

  • Polls, partisanship and special interest lobbying colors everything they do, making the prospect of returning to principled governance an illusion.
  • The current level of obstruction and vitriol between the two-party machines has effectively stopped meaningful progress toward conducting the people's business.
  • The internal strife that's resulted has disillusioned the electorate and emboldened our enemies.

While the founding fathers recognized the need to check the tyranny of faction through the original Articles of Confederation, the system has since gone dangerously awry. In short, without a bold transformation motivated by a viable independent 3rd-party movement, the two-party system of American government is no longer feasible.

Since the 17th-century, America has been exceptional among the nations based on its advocacy for religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and democratic governance based on Judeo-Christian principles. However, an erosion of these traditions has accelerated in our generation, threatening to derail America's manifest destiny by plunging the free world's "last best hope" into secular obscurity.

Never left without a witness, God has raised a righteous standard in our day to reclaim America though the citizen led initiatives of various para-church and faith-based policy organizations. Once mobilized, traditional values voters have accomplished the following milestones:

  • The moral majority began to present a unified front in the 80s (characterized by the Reagan revolution) to stem the tide of liberal deconstruction.
  • Conservatives have since reclaimed majorities in the House and Senate, retaken the White House, and have a majority of governorships.
  • The courts, from the appellate level up, are being filled with conservative appointments that are strict constructionists in philosophy.
  • The ADF is defeating the ACLU nationwide, conservative talk-radio has the ratings, and the alternative media is gaining traction.
  • Even on college campuses, nationwide a sense of balance is being restored, as conservative voices capture mind-share.

While the effectiveness of these disparate initiatives are seen in our country's present conservative renaissance, better synergy can be achieved by leveraging non-partisan, traditional values coalitions for civic engagement, which leverage the following three-key constituencies:

  • The 60-million traditional values voters – who provided a mandate for government by and for the people
  • The extensive nationwide network of Para-Church & Faith-based policy organizations, which provide best practices repositories on key issues
  • The corresponding revival of non-partisan, traditional values candidates - being identified and elected on the premise of independent public service with term limits

Essentially, under my construct reclaiming America begins & ends with people of faith, who aren't just content with stemming the erosion of traditional values in their generation, but instead seek leadership roles to reclaim this country as global champions of a Judeo-Christian ethic that exalts God, enriches family & elevates our world.

Roy Tanner

American Exceptionalism
Dennis Prager

The cultural civil war in which America is engaged is, in large measure, about American exceptionalism. Conservative America generally believes in the concept; liberal America generally finds it chauvinistic and dangerous.

What is American exceptionalism? The belief that America often knows better than the world in terms of what is right and wrong. This belief drives most of the world's opinion-makers crazy. And it particularly infuriates the American Left, that part of America that trusts what is called "world opinion" more than it trusts the American people.

And from where does this belief in American exceptionalism derive? Mostly from the religious beliefs that underlie American values. That is a major reason the current culture war is about the place of Judeo-Christian values in American life. Those who believe that America must remain a Judeo-Christian nation (in terms of values) are far less respectful of international institutions than those who wish to make America a secular nation.

Judeo-Christian America – American-exceptionalism America – loves John Bolton, has contempt for the United Nations, mistrusts the World Court, regards Amnesty International as another morally confused leftist organization, thinks little of the world's media and academic elites, and regards "world opinion" as morally confused and left-wing media manipulated.

On the other side are those, like the American Civil Liberties Union, who regard even the smallest cross on any county or city seal as a religious threat to the secular republic, who think it America's fault that this country is not highly regarded in public opinion polls from Canada to Germany to South Korea, who passionately opposed John Bolton becoming ambassador to the United Nations because he is highly critical of that institution, and who believe that other nations' laws should be cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Particularly significant is the difference between the two sides' views of law, especially international law. For the Left, i.e., the opponents of American exceptionalism, law is the highest good; for the Right, especially the Judeo-Christian Right, morality is higher than law. This difference is easily observed in the way the two sides view the war in Iraq. For the opponents of American exceptionalism, generally the secular Left here and abroad, the greatest sin of the war is that it allegedly violates international law. Had it been authorized by the United Nations Security Council, as was the first war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, it would have been considered legal and not have elicited nearly as much opposition as it has. But because the U.N. Security Council did not authorize this war, it is deemed illegal and therefore deemed wrong.

For the Right, especially the religious Right, however, whether China, Russia and France vote to authorize a war and make it legal is of no moral significance. Overthrowing the mass murderer-rapist-torturer Saddam Hussein was a moral good (irrespective of the presence or absence of WMD). If it violated international law, that only reflects on the moral inadequacy of international law, not on the wrongness of Americans giving up life and wealth to liberate Iraq.

The Judeo-Christian/American exceptionalism crowd thinks morally more than legally. This crowd thought that Israel's destruction of Saddam's nuclear reactor was a moral act. But the New York Times and the rest of the world's Left all condemned the attack. After all, it was against international law.

As it happens, that attack was also an example of Israeli exceptionalism. Israel was not forgiven for that or for its many other instances of ignoring world opinion in order to survive. To paraphrase the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Israel has a choice between being liked and dead or alive and hated. So much for Israel's view of "world opinion."

For the secular world, law has to be the highest definition of the good. Because it does not believe in a universal and objective morality as the Judeo-Christian world does, it has no choice but to put all its moral eggs in the legal basket. For the Judeo-Christian world, law is very, very important. But God-based morality is even more important.

Of course, such a belief has dangers. But the greater danger is thinking that law embodies morality. Rosa Parks just died. She is venerated precisely because she knew a morality higher than law. Too bad more Europeans did not place a Judeo-Christian morality above secular law. There would not have been a Holocaust.

So, as in nearly every other area of the Left-Right, blue-red divide in America, the attitude one has toward American exceptionalism ultimately lies in whether or not one wants America's values to remain Judeo-Christian.

Dennis Prager, one of America's most respected and popular nationally syndicated radio talk-show hosts, is the author of several books and a frequent guest on TV shows such as "Larry King Live," "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity & Colmes."

A Moral War
The project in Iraq can succeed, and leave its critics scrambling.

Almost everything that is now written about Iraq rings not quite right: It was a “blunder”; there should have been far more troops there; the country must be trisected; we must abide by a timetable and leave regardless of events on the ground; Iraq will soon devolve into either an Islamic republic or another dictatorship; the U.S. military is enervated and nearly ruined; and so on.

In fact, precisely because we have killed thousands of terrorists, trained an army, and ensured a political process, it is possible to do what was intended from the very beginning: lessen the footprint of American troops in the heart of the ancient caliphate.

Save for a few courageous Democrats, like Senator Joe Lieberman, who look at things empirically rather than ideologically, and some stalwart Republicans, most politicians and public intellectuals have long bailed on the enterprise.

This is now what comprises statesmanship: Some renounce their earlier support for the war. Others, less imaginative, in Clintonian (his and hers) fashion, take credit for backing the miraculous victory of spring 2003, but in hindsight, of course, blame the bloody peace on Bush. Or, better yet, they praise Congressman Murtha to the skies, but under no circumstances go on record urging the military to follow his advice.

How strange that journalists pontificate post facto about all the mistakes that they think have been made, nevertheless conceding that here we are on the verge of a third and final successful election. No mention, of course, is ever made about the current sorry state of journalistic ethics and incompetence (cf. Jayson Blair, Judy Miller, Michael Isikoff, Bob Woodward, Eason Jordan). A group of professionals, after all, who cannot even be professional in their own sphere, surely have no credibility in lecturing the U.S. military about what they think went wrong in Iraq.

Of course, the White House, as is true in all wars, has made mistakes, but only one critical lapse — and it is not the Herculean effort to establish a consensual government at the nexus of the Middle East in less than three years after removing Saddam Hussein. The administration’s lapse, rather, has come in its failure to present the entire war effort in its proper moral context.

We took no oil — the price in fact skyrocketed after we invaded Iraq. We did not do Israel’s bidding; in fact, it left Gaza after we went into Iraq and elections followed on the West Bank. We did not want perpetual hegemony — in fact, we got out of Saudi Arabia, used the minimum amount of troops possible, and will leave Iraq anytime its consensual government so decrees. And we did not expropriate Arab resources, but, in fact, poured billions of dollars into Iraq to jumpstart its new consensual government in the greatest foreign aid infusion of the age.

In short, every day the American people should have been reminded of, and congratulated on, their country’s singular idealism, its tireless effort to reject the cynical realism of the past, and its near lone effort to make terrible sacrifices to offer the dispossessed Shia and Kurds something better than the exploitation and near genocide of the past — and how all that alone will enhance the long-term security of the United States.

That goal was what the U.S. military ended up so brilliantly fighting for — and what the American public rarely heard. The moral onus should have always been on the critics of the war. They should have been forced to explain why it was wrong to remove a fascist mass murderer, why it was wrong to stay rather than letting the country sink into Lebanon-like chaos, and why it was wrong not to abandon brave women, Kurds, and Shia who only wished for the chance of freedom.

Alas, that message we rarely heard until only recently, and the result has energized amoral leftists, who now pose as moralists by either misrepresenting the cause of the war, undermining the effort of soldiers in the field, or patronizing Iraqis as not yet civilized enough for their own consensual government.

We can draw down our troops not because of political pressures but because of events on the ground. First, the Iraqi military is improving — not eroding or deserting. The canard of only “one battle-ready brigade” could just as well apply to any of the Coalition forces. After all, what brigade in the world is the equal of the U.S. military — or could go into the heart of Fallujah house-to-house? The French? The Russians? The Germans? In truth, the Iraqi military is proving good enough to hold ground and soon to take it alongside our own troops.

Despite past calls here to postpone elections, and threats of mass murder there for those who participated in them, they continue on schedule. And the third and last vote is the most important, since it will put a human face on the elected government — and the onus on it to officially sanction U.S. help and monetary aid or refuse it.

Saddam’s trial will remind the world of his butchery. Despite all the ankle-biting by human-rights groups about proper jurisprudence, the Iraqis will try him and convict him much more quickly than the Europeans will do the same to Milosevic (not to mention the other killers still loose like Gen. Mladic and Mr. Karadzic), posing the question: What is the real morality — trying a mass murderer and having him pay for his crimes, or engaging in legal niceties for years while the ghosts of his victims cry for justice?More importantly, we can also calibrate our progress by examining the perceived self-interest of the various players, here and abroad.

The Sunnis — no oil, a minority population, increasing disgust with Zarqawi, a shameful past under Saddam — will participate in the December elections in large numbers. They now have no choice other than either to be perpetual renegades and terrorists inside their own country or to gain world respect by turning to democracy. The election train is leaving in December and this time they won’t be left at the station.

Zarqawi and the radical Islamicists are slowly being squeezed as only a war at their doorstep could accomplish. Critics of Iraq should ask if we were not fighting Zarqawi in Iraq, where exactly would we be fighting Islamic fascists — or would the war against terror be declared over, won, lost, dormant, or ongoing, with the U.S. simply playing defense?

Instead, what Iraq did is ensure that al Qaeda’s Sunni support is being coopted by democracy. Jordan, the terrorists’ old ace in the hole that could always put a cosmetic face on its stealthy support for radicals, has essentially turned on Zarqawi and with him al Qaeda. Syria is under virtual siege and its border sanctuary now a killing zone. Bin Laden can offer very little solace from his cave. And somehow Islamists have alienated the United States, Europe, Russia, China, Australia, Japan, and increasingly Middle East democracies like those in Afghanistan, Turkey, and Iraq, and reform movements in Lebanon and Jordan.

Decision day is coming when Zarqawi’s bombers will have to choose either to die, or, like a Nathan Bedford Forrest (“I’m a goin’ home”), quit to join the reform-seeking majority. That progress was accomplished only by the war in Iraq, and without it we would be back to playing a waiting game for another 9/11, while an autocratic Middle East went on quietly helping terrorists without consequences, either afraid of Saddam or secretly enjoying his chauvinist defiance.

Kurds and Shiites support us for obvious reasons — no other government on the planet would risk its sons and daughters to give them the right of one man/one vote. They may talk the necessary talk about infidels, but they know we will leave anytime they so vote. After the December election, expect them — and perhaps the Sunnis as well — quietly to ask us to stay to see things through.

Europe is quiet now. Madrid, London, Paris, and Amsterdam have taught Europeans that it is not George Bush but Islamic fascism that threatens their very existence. Worse still, they rightly fear they have lost the good will of the United States that so generously subsidized their defense — an entitlement perhaps to be sneered at during the post-Cold War “end of history,” but not in a new global war against Islamic terrorists keen to acquire deadly weapons.

Our military realizes that it can trump its brilliant victories in removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein by birthing democracy in Iraq — or risk losing that impressive reputation by having a new Lebanon blow up in its face. China, Japan, India, Russia, Korea, Iran, and other key countries are all watching Iraq — ready to calibrate American deterrence by the efficacy of the U.S. military in the Sunni Triangle. Our armed forces have already accomplished what the British and the Soviets could never do in Afghanistan; what the Russians failed to accomplish in Chechnya; and what we came so close to finishing in Vietnam. They won’t falter now when they are so close to winning an almost impossibly difficult war, one that will be recognized by friends and enemies as beyond the capability of any other military in the world.

The Left now risks losing its self-proclaimed moral appeal. It had trashed the efforts in Iraq for months on end, demanded a withdrawal — only recently to learn from polls that an unhappy public may also be unhappy with it for advocating fleeing while American soldiers are in harm’s way. Another successful election, polls showing Iraqis overwhelmingly wishing us to stay on, visits by elected Iraqi officials asking continued help, and a decreasing American footprint will gradually erode the appeal of the antiwar protests — especially as triangulating public intellectuals and pundits begin to quiet down, fathoming that the United States may win after all.

The administration realizes that as long as it stays the course and our military remains confident we can win, we will — despite defections in the Congress, venom in the press, and cyclical lows in the polls. In practical political terms, only the administration, not the Congress or the courts, can choose to cease our efforts in Iraq. Rightly or wrongly, the Bush administration will be judged on Iraq: If we lose, the president will be seen as a tragic LBJ-like figure who squandered his initial grassroots support in a foreign quagmire; if we win, he will be remembered, in spirit, as something akin to a Harry Truman, and, in deed, an FDR who won a critical war against impossible odds, and restored the security of the United States.

George Bush may well go down in history as a less-effective leader than his father or Bill Clinton; but unlike either, he may also have a real chance to be remembered in that select class of rare presidents whom history records as having saved this country at a time of national peril and in the face of unprecedented criticism. Bush’s domestic agenda hinges on Iraq: If he withdraws now, his proposals on taxes, social security, deficit reduction, education, and immigration are dead. If he sees the Iraq project through, these now-iffy initiatives will piggyback on the groundswell of popular thanks he will receive for reforming the Middle East.

Strangely, I doubt whether very many would agree with much of anything stated above — at least for now. But if the administration can emphasize the moral nature of this war, and the military can continue its underappreciated, but mostly successful efforts to defeat the enemy and give the Iraqis a few more months of breathing space, who knows what the current opportunists and pessimists will say by summer.Will they say that they in fact were always sorta, kinda, really for removing Saddam and even staying on to see democracy work in Iraq?

— Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Monday, October 31, 2005

End of the Age

“Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev. 14:7)

A popular radio talk-show host opened his morning broadcast with the following question for his callers, “Do you think God is punishing this nation (with natural disasters) for our sins?” At the time, hurricane Katrina had already ravaged the Gulf Coast states, and record setting Wilma was about to make landfall on Florida’s west coast.

After 30-minutes on hold, I opined that “while God has used weather events in direct judgment of OT cultures, in this dispensation (of grace) we are spared His wrath based on what Christ already suffered (on our behalf) at Calvary. That said, what characterizes the generation that sees the “end of the age” (according to prophecy) are the frequency and intensity of catastrophic events.”

In other words, at some point on a predetermined time table (known only to God) the “age of grace” will give way to a literal Kingdom era. Before this happens though, Jesus prophesied (in Matt 24) that a particular generation would witness a rapid combination of turbulent events tantamount to birth pangs.

Since I believe we are that generation, this month we feature 3-articles that detail a pattern of events, which point to the partial fulfillment of Christ’s prophesy in our day. Following the rapture of the Church, the opening passage quotes an angel tasked with completing the great commission, which will signal the end of the age.

Bottom-line: God’s judgment is being held in abeyance during the waning moments of our era. Rather than fear the wind and waves, let’s revere (fear) the One who controls them.

Be reconciled to the Lord,

Roy Tanner

Timing the 'Birth Pangs'
by Hal Lindsey

At the end of Jesus’ ministry, while looking over the temple from the Mount of Olives, He predicted both its destruction and the Jewish nation’s.

Shocked, His disciples got Him alone and asked, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3 NAS)

The apostles then asked three all-important questions:

(1) When will these things happen?

(2) What will be the sign of Christ’s Second Coming?

(3) What will be the sign of the end of the age?

This refers to the time of Gentile rule over the world ending and the establishment of the promised world Kingdom to Israel over which the Messiah Jesus, as the Son of David, will rule.

Jesus answers questions #2 and #3 in Matthew’s account. He answers question #1 in Luke’s account in chapter 21:12-24.

Jesus gives a complete scenario of the signs of the end that would all begin to happen in one time frame – in concert with each other.

The key that would make the ‘signs’ unique is that they would all begin to occur together in the same era. The other key that would make these ‘signs’ unique and recognizable is that they would develop like “birth pangs”.

After Jesus enumerates the signs, He says of them, “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matt. 24:8)

Now here are the signs he called 'birth pangs':

No. 1 The Church would depart from the truth and false christs and false prophets would arise. He warned that MANY in the Church would be deceived. This has already happened -- big time.

Most mainline Churches do not hold to Divine verbal inspiration of the Bible. Many have ‘air conditioned hell’ and redefined sin to be ‘politically correct’ today.

For instance, the clear Biblical teaching against homosexuality is now being ‘redefined’. In defiance of God’s teaching in 1 & 2 Timothy, women are now being ordained as Pastors and Priests.

Jesus is no longer the only one who can bring us forgiveness of sin through His death in our place. He is now a great teacher among many other religious leaders who can show us how to work our way to heaven.

Various suicide cults of this generation, from the People’s Temple to the Branch Davidians to the Hale-Bopp cult, shared the same characteristic. They all had a false christ, or false messiah figure. But worse is coming.

No. 2 Jesus warned of wars and rumors of wars, but He said, “See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.”

The 20th century was marked by three significant events that shaped its course. WW1, WW2 and the Cold War. Both World Wars involved virtually every nation on earth in an orgy of destruction that killed tens of millions.

The Cold War endured for forty years, without either side firing a shot in anger. The ultimate rumor of war! Historians have already named the 20th Century the century of war.
But the end, as Jesus predicted, was not yet.

No. 3 Along with war, Jesus warned that “nation will rise against nation …” The word ‘nation’ is translated from the Greek word 'ethnos' which literally means ethnic groups or tribes. Ethnic unrest and tribal warfare has killed uncounted millions in this generation.

There are ethnic wars within the same nations. One of the most shocking examples of ethnic hatred is the case of the Kurds. They are Muslim, yet they are scattered along the borders of the fellow Muslim nations of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran – and hated by all.

No. 4 Jesus predicted that “kingdom will rise against kingdom …” The word ‘kingdom’ comes from the Greek word 'basliea', which means a literal nation in our modern understanding of the word. There has been so much warfare between nations that mankind is trying to do away with nations.

The Antichrist will seize upon this yearning and establish a one-world government over which he will rule. But it won't bring peace; it will bring total destruction.

No. 5 Jesus predicted “in various places there will be famine …” According to the world experts, the Age of Famines began in 1975. There are famines raging someplace in the world at all times now.

No. 6 Jesus predicted in Luke’s account, “There will be great earthquakes …” AP News reported on October 9th that there were only 10 major earthquakes from the decades of 1920 through 1980 – a period of 70 years.

But there have been 13 major earthquakes in the last 15 years. These refer only to the monster quakes that have caused great destruction and loss of life. More will be said in a moment on this.

No. 7 Jesus predicted, “there will be … plagues …” Diseases once believed eradicted from the earth by antibiotics have now developed immunity to virtually every drug we have. Now we have super-strains of them.

Because of the rapid mobility of travel, a dangerous infectious disease any place on earth can become a pandemic over night – killing millions.

New strains of viruses that have trans-mutated from the animal kingdom to man now make pandemics of unimaginable horror possible. The latest is a bird flu in Viet Nam named H5N1 that the World Health Organization says could kill 150 million people worldwide.

No. 8 Super Storms from celestial influence on the earth’s climate. The last “birth pang” Jesus predicted is, “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”

I commented on these verses a couple of weeks ago. NASA has verified that the sun is getting brighter and hotter. This is having a dramatic effect on the rise of overall temperature on the earth. And that is causing the ocean belt around the equator to particularly heat up and cause more frequent and powerful storms – as we have definitely seen this hurricane/typhoon season.

Again, of all these things, the Lord said, “But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” Taken together and read in context, the Lord outlined, in advance, an exact history of the world as it has progressed since Israel took its place among the modern nations of the world in 1948.

This generation has witnessed more than the beginning of the birth pangs. They've gone past the beginning. To quote Winston Churchill, "this may not be the end, or the beginning of the end. But it is certainly the end of the beginning."

Life-and-death flu
By Charles Krauthammer
Oct 14, 2005
Syndicated columnist

WASHINGTON -- While official Washington has been poring over Harriet Miers' long-ago doings on the Dallas City Council and parsing the Byzantine comings and goings of the Fitzgerald grand jury, relatively unnoticed was perhaps the most momentous event of our lifetime -- what is left of it, as I shall explain. It was announced last week that American scientists have just created a living, killing copy of the 1918 ``Spanish'' flu.

This is big. Very big.

First, it is a scientific achievement of staggering proportions. The Spanish flu has not been seen on this blue planet for 85 years. Its re-creation is a story of enterprise, ingenuity, serendipity, hard work and sheer brilliance. It involves finding deep in the bowels of a military hospital in Washington a couple of tissue samples from the lungs of soldiers who died in 1918 (in an autopsy collection first ordered into existence by Abraham Lincoln), and the disinterment of an Alaskan Eskimo who died of the flu and whose remains had been preserved by the permafrost. Then, using slicing and dicing techniques only Michael Crichton could imagine, they pulled off a microbiological Jurassic Park: the first ever resurrection of an ancient pathogen. And not just any ancient pathogen, explained virologist Eddie Holmes, but ``the agent of the most important disease pandemic in human history.''

Which brings us to the second element of this story: Beyond the brilliance lies the sheer terror. We have quite literally brought back to life an agent of near-biblical destruction. It killed more people in six months than were killed in the four years of the First World War. It killed more humans than any other disease of similar duration in the history of the world, says Alfred W. Crosby, who wrote a history of the 1918 pandemic. And, notes The New Scientist, when the re-created virus was given to mice in heavily quarantined laboratories in Atlanta, it killed the mice more quickly than any other flu virus ever tested.

Now that I have your attention, consider, with appropriate trepidation, the third element of this story: What to do with this knowledge? Not only has the virus been physically re-created. But its entire genome has now been published for the whole world, good people and very bad, to see.
The decision to publish was a very close and terrifying call.

On the one hand, we need the knowledge disseminated. We've learned from this research that the 1918 flu was bird flu, ``the most bird-like of all mammalian flu viruses,'' says Jeffery Taubenberger, lead researcher in unraveling the genome. There is a bird flu epidemic right now in Asia that has infected 117 people and killed 60. It has already developed a few of the genomic changes that permit transmission to humans. Therefore, you want to put out the knowledge of the structure of the 1918 flu, which made the full jump from birds to humans, so that every researcher in the world can immediately start looking for ways to anticipate, monitor, prevent and counteract similar changes in today's bird flu.

We are essentially in a life-and-death race with the bird flu. Can we figure out how to pre-empt it before it figures out how to evolve into a transmittable form with 1918 lethality that will decimate humanity? To run that race we need the genetic sequence universally known -- not just to inform and guide but to galvanize new research.

On the other hand, resurrection of the virus and publication of its structure opens the gates of hell. Anybody, bad guys included, can now create it. Biological knowledge is far easier to acquire for Osama and friends than nuclear knowledge. And if you can't make this stuff yourself, you can simply order up DNA sequences from commercial laboratories around the world that will make it and ship it to you on demand. Taubenberger himself admits that ``the technology is available.''

And if the bad guys can't make the flu themselves, they could try to steal it. That's not easy. But the incentive to do so from a secure facility could not be greater. Nature, which published the full genome sequence, cites Rutgers bacteriologist Richard Ebright as warning that there is a significant risk ``verging on inevitability'' of accidental release into the human population or of theft by a ``disgruntled, disturbed or extremist laboratory employee.''

One batch of 1918 flu has the capacity for mass destruction that no Bond villain could ever dream of. Why try to steal loose nukes in Russia? A nuke can only destroy a city. The flu virus, properly evolved, is potentially a destroyer of civilizations.

We might have just given it to our enemies.

Have a nice day.

Is Iran preparing for a US war?
by Amir Taheri
Gulf News
September 21, 2005

Incredible though it may sound, there are signs that Tehran may be preparing for a military confrontation with the United States and has convinced itself that it could win.

The first sign came last June with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of the Islamic republic, an event that completed the conquest of all levers of power by the most radical elements of the establishment.

Since then the revolutionary factions have conducted a little publicised purge of the military, the security, the civil service, state-owned corporations and media. The most significant purges have affected the military high command.

Among those replaced are the defence minister, the commander-in-chief of the regular army and his four deputies, 11 senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and five commanders of the paramilitary Mobilisation of the Dispossessed. Some of the purged officers have been 'parked' in a mysterious new organ called The Defence Guidance Commission attached to the office of the 'Supreme Guide' Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The minister of intelligence and security and the minister of the interior, who controls the police and the gendarmerie, have also been replaced.

Another sign that Tehran may be preparing for war is the appointment of military officers to posts normally held by civilians, such as governors, mayors and directors of major public corporations.

But, perhaps, the surest sign yet is the military build-up under way in the five provinces bordering Iraq. The region, with a population of 20 million, has been put under the control of the IRGC which has also taken over units of the regular army, including the 88th Division and the border police. Iran is estimated to have 250,000 troops in the area, its biggest military build-up since the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988.

One of the first acts of the new cabinet led by Ahmadinejad was to approve an "emergency" fund of $700 million (Dh2.57 billion) to be disbursed at the discretion of "the supreme guide" for "sacred defence purposes".

Defence disbursements

The new administration has also decided to speed up defence disbursements under a five-year plan approved by Khamenei last year. The plan aims at doubling the military budget by 2010. But it now seems that, thanks to rising oil revenues, most of the plan could be completed by 2008.

In the past few weeks top regime figures, including Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, have made a series of unscheduled visits to Mash'had, Iran's second largest city. One curious fact revealed during these visits is that a bunker-like structure to house the 'supreme guide' is being completed close to the holy shrine of Reza, the Eighth Imam. The complex could also house the top echelon of government, including the president, the cabinet and members of the Islamic Majlis (parliament).

The choice of Mash'had is not accidental. The city is located 1,000 kilometres from Tehran and thus as far as possible inside Iran and away from American fire power in Iraq and the Arabian Gulf.

The United States is also expected to shrink from attacks against the Mash'had bunker for fear of collateral damage to the holy shrine of the Imam a few hundred yards away. The summer's comings and goings in Mash'had have provoked rumours that Khamenei plans to appoint Abbas Va'ez Tabasi, the mullah who runs the Eighth Imam's foundation, as "deputy supreme guide", just in case!

The belief that the Americans would not attack sites close to the holy shrines has also led to the creation of a massive new military base at Fadak, a suburb of the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran, where the Eighth Imam's sister is buried. Work on the base which covers an area of 7.2 square kilometres started in August.

Piecing together the bits of the jigsaw, one may guess the outline of Tehran's scenario for what it believes is an inevitable clash with the United States:

• The diplomatic tussle over Iran's nuclear plans goes to the Security Council which will fail to take a decision thanks to Russian and Chinese vetoes.

• The US, after much huffing and puffing, launches air strikes against Iran's nuclear installations (Tehran loves Israel to also participate because that would give the Islamic Republic a better claim to be fighting on behalf of Islam as a whole.).

• Iran retaliates by ordering the forces it controls inside Iraq to attack American and British troops. At the same time the Lebanese branch of the Hezbollah launches massive rocket attacks against Israel while Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, whose leaders spent the past month in Tehran meeting Khamenei and his aides, organise a wave of suicide operations against Israel from Occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank.

• The United States and its British allies, stationed in southern Iraq, launch a three pronged attack, from Shalamcheh, Hamroun and Shatt Al Arab to seize control of Khuzestan, the province that accounts for 70 per cent of Iran's oil production.

• Iranian Special Forces attack Iraq from the Zaynalkosh salient, south of the Kurdish provinces, some 80 kilometres from Baghdad's first defences in Ba'aqubah.

• Hazara Shiites strike against Kabul, the Afghan capital, from Maydanshahr while Pushtun warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the remnants of the Taliban, some of whom are under Iranian protection, attack across Afghanistan.

• The Americans and their allies attack Khuzestan.

• Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz.

• The Americans attack the Iranian provinces of Kermanshahan and Kurdistan.

• US-led forces attack across the Mandali-Ilam axis. The Iranians retreat to the Zagross mountain range, the first line of Iran's natural defences. (To fight along the Zagross the IRGC is building new bases at Khorramabad, Pessyan, Borujerd, Zagheh and Malayer in the province of Luristan. The bases would assure the logistics of a quarter of a million troops and provide temporary shelter for half a million refugees from the border. These bases will complement older ones further west, at Sahneh and Kangavar. )

• Oil prices top $100 (Dh367) and the global economy plunges into a crisis.

• Americans launch cruise missiles against "regime targets" in Tehran. But the regime is already in Mash'had, protected by the Eighth Imam.

• Global TV networks air images of "indiscriminate carnage" and "wanton destruction" in Iranian cities.

• The Security Council meets in emergency and orders a ceasefire while the American media and Congress revolt against President George W. Bush and his "pre-emptive" strategy.

• Anti-Bush marches in Washington and dozens of other cities with Hollywood figures and other celebrities calling for Bush to be overthrown.

• Bush accepts a UN-brokered ceasefire and withdraws his forces.

• The Islamic Republic emerges victorious from what Ahmadinejad sees as "a clash of civilisations".

• The Americans leave Iraq and Afghanistan as Bush becomes a lame-duck for the rest of his presidency.

• The Islamic Republic gains new domestic legitimacy and proceeds to crush its opponents as "enemies of the nation and of Islam".

• Iran can speed up making its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles without being harassed by Washington.

• Iran becomes "the core power" of a new "Islamic pole" in a multi-polar system with China, the European Union and Latin America, under the Bolivarist leadership of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, emerging as other "poles".

• Bush's successor acknowledges Iran's new status and sends Bill Clinton, who apologised to Iran for "our past misdeeds" in 2000, to Tehran to offer another formal apology on behalf of Bush's successor and offer Ahmadinejad "a grand bargain".

• The Islamic Republic is now free to proceed to address what Khamenei has described as its "greatest historic task" which is the destruction of Israel.

Sounds outlandish? Well, it is. The Islamic Republic is a fragile structure in a zone of political earthquakes. Logically, the last thing it should want is war. Nevertheless, former President Mohammad Khatami has warned that Tehran may be boxing itself into a position in which it will either have to surrender or fight.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Awakening

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. (Ez 33:6)

Godly men and women know we're in a war. The battles are for personal integrity, for our families, our cities, and for cultures all around the world. Yet the weapons of our warfare are neither worldly or physical. On the contrary, "they have divine power to demolish strongholds." (2 Cor. 10:4)

Responding to the Watchmen's cries, people of faith are joining ranks to make a difference. This awakening is seen in the broad-based coalition of pro-family groups that announced the launch of a statewide constitutional ballot initiative entitled the “Florida Marriage Protection Amendment”. The Amendment seeks to protect and preserve marriage by defining it as the legal union of one man and one woman in the Florida Constitution. The petition and other information on the Amendment can be found online at the official web site of the Amendment,

And with "The Awakening" as its 2005 theme, another movement taking the nation by storm is Promise Keepers. PK's mission strives to unite and ignite men to become passionate followers of Jesus Christ through the effective inculcation of seven promises to God, his fellow men, family, church and the world. The international ministry based in Denver, Colorado has directly reached more than five and a half million men since its founding in 1990. To get more information about the ministry that's being used of God to advance His kingdom, visit the official Promise Keepers website at

As noted below, together we're making a difference. But the battle for the world's hearts and minds is pervasive and requires we remain viligilent.

Join the awakening,

Roy Tanner

Standing Firm

God...we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes [are] upon thee...Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle [is] not yours, but God's... Ye shall not [need] to fight in this [battle]: set yourselves, stand ye [still], and see the salvation of the LORD with you. (2 Chron 20)

Although I consider myself bold
, I have to admit, even I was a little bit intimidated...

It was last summer, and I was attending my first Promise Keepers Conference in Orlando, at a packed-out TD Waterhouse arena. Men from every race and denomination had gathered for a day and a half of mind-blowing music, speakers, and worship. Without exageration, it was one of the most powerful exhibitions of male fellowship I have ever experienced.

And it gave me hope that if people of faith would come together to confront this generation's challenges-- faithfulness, courage, and individual integrity, we could see a move of God again in restoring our nation...For the battle is not ours, but the Lord's.

To put an exclamation point on this assertion, I offer up excerpts of a recent article by New York Times columnist David Brooks, entitled "The virtues of becoming virtuous" (8/9/05), where he writes...

"According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of family violence in the United States has dropped by more than half since 1993. I've been trying to figure out why...To put it in old-fashioned terms, America is becoming more virtuous.

Americans today hurt each other less than they did 13 years ago. They are more likely to resist selfish and shortsighted impulses. They are leading more responsible, more organized lives. A result is an improvement in social order across a range of behaviors.

The decline in domestic violence is of a piece with the decline in violent crime overall. Violent crime overall is down by 55 percent since 1993, and violence by teenagers has dropped an astonishing 71 percent, according to the Department of Justice.

The number of drunken-driving fatalities has declined by 38 percent since 1982, according to the Department of Transportation, even though the number of vehicle miles traveled is up 81 percent. The total consumption of hard liquor by Americans over that time has declined by more than 30 percent.

Teenage pregnancy has declined by 28 percent since its peak in 1990. Teenage births are down significantly and, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the number of abortions performed in the country has also been declining since the early 1990s.

Fewer children are living in poverty, even allowing for an uptick during the last recession. There's even evidence that divorce rates are declining, albeit at a much more gradual pace. People with college degrees are seeing a sharp decline in divorce, especially if they were born after 1955.

I could go on. Teenage suicide is down. Elementary-school test scores are rising (a sign that more kids are living in homes conducive to learning). Teenagers are losing their virginity later in life and having fewer sex partners. In short, many of the indicators of social breakdown, which shot upward in the late 1960s and 1970s, and which plateaued at high levels in the 1980s, have been declining since the early 1990s.

I always thought it would be dramatic to live through a moral revival. Great leaders would emerge. There would be important books, speeches, marches and crusades. We're in the middle of a moral revival now, and there has been very little of that. This revival has been a bottom-up, prosaic, un-self-conscious one, led by normal parents, normal neighbors and normal community activists.

The first thing that has happened is that people have stopped believing in stupid ideas: that the traditional family is obsolete, that drugs are liberating, that it is every adolescent's social duty to be a rebel.

The second thing that has happened is that many Americans have become better parents. Time diary studies reveal that parents now spend more time actively engaged with kids, even though both parents are more likely to work outside the home.

Third, many people in the younger generation, under age 30 or so, are reacting against the culture of divorce. They are trying to lead lives that are more stable than the ones their parents led. Post-boomers behave better than the baby boomers did.

Fourth, over the past few decades, neighborhood and charitable groups have emerged to help people lead more organized lives, even in the absence of cohesive families.

Obviously, we're not living in a utopia, where all social problems have been solved. But these improvements across a whole range of behaviors are too significant to be dismissed.

You want to know what a society looks like when it is in the middle of moral self-repair? Look around."

Bottom line, ordinary individuals who believe can still make a difference -- by the grace of God.

Roy Tanner

Depraved New World
Gene Edward Veith
Excerpted from Table Talk Magazine

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people. (Prov. 14:34)

Sexual immorality is nothing new
, as we can tell from the Bible's warnings against it. What is new is that sexual immorality now has cultural approval.

Men and women who had sex without being married to each other once felt ashamed and practiced their fornication in secret. Now, having sex outside of marriage is taken for granted as part of the single life and has become the rule, not the exception. Young women who became pregnant out of wedlock once dropped out of sight to go to special homes where they could have their baby out of the public eye. Now, they either get an abortion or openly embrace their identity as single mothers. Among teenagers, sex used to be reserved for marriage, then for "being in love:' but now even dating has become obsolete, replaced with an impersonal, one-night only "hooking-up" with someone they do not even know. Instead of waiting until marriage to have sex, couples live together - having not only sex but sometimes children together - with marriage being reduced to an optional ritual, with no real consequence in itself.

A taste for pornography used to be an embarrassing vice, to be satisfied in out-of-the-way, "dirty" movie houses and bookstores. Now, porn is sold in reputable hotel chains and as pay-per view TV. Homosexuality used to be a vice committed in secret. Now, homosexuals have not only come out of the closet, our popular culture insists "nothing is wrong with it:' and the cultural elite is demanding that homosexuals should have the right of marrying each other.

Other cultures have been tolerant of sexual immorality, but even these stopped short of seeing sexual immorality as a good thing. In ancient Greece, prostitution was commonplace, but not for young women of respectable families, who valued virginity and for whom promiscuity would be anathema. Homosexuality was rampant, especially for young men in the military, but no one ever so much as suggested that homosexuals should marry each other. (What happened is that men who indulged in this vice in the army then married a woman as soon as their service was over and had normal families, showing that homosexuality is not innate but culturally constructed).

Contrary to those who insist that the prohibitions of such sexual immorality in the New Testament are merely "cultural" it is clear that Paul and the other inspired authors were being counter-cultural, since the vices they condemned were quite acceptable in the Greco-Roman world. And yet, even the immoral Greeks saw the necessity of protecting the institution of the family.

Those who complain that moralists focus too much on sex, to the exclusion of more important moral problems in the culture (such as poverty, the environment, and health care) are staggeringly naive. Sex is the most foundational issue in culture, determining whether there even is a culture.

This is because, as all anthropologists agree, the basic unit of any culture is the family. And families come into being because of sex. A man and awoman are brought together by sexual desire for each other and so get married. Their sexual activity engenders children. The parents care for those children, protect them, and teach them how to grow up to form families of their own. Sex is a "family value:' But when sex is divorced from marriage and having children, the family and thus the culture as a whole are put in serious danger.

So what caused this dramatic, unprecedented shift in our culture's attitude towards sex?

First was the decline of the cultural authority of Christianity after the Enlightenment. Beginning in the eighteenth century and accelerating into the twenty-first, the biblical view that moral absolutes have the status of objective truth has been fading from people's understanding. This was the changeable. Get rid of the unfavorable necessary loss of foundation that made consequence, and what once was immoral what would happen later possible.

On May 9, 1960, the FDA approved the birth control pill. Now one could have sex without having to worry about that side-effect of having children. There was no longer a utilitarian reason not to have sex outside of marriage.

What birth control technology did was to separate sex from procreation. This was at first within marriage, but then the contraceptive mentality made sex before marriage acceptable, as long as young couples know how to avoid pregnancy.

But now sex is reduced simply to a physical pleasure, with no necessary connection to its God-designed, family-making function. If it is merely a highly pleasurable physical sensation, what difference does it make how that sensation is brought about?

If a man and a woman want to have the pleasure of sex without having children, why should they be married? If a person of the same sex sexually stimulates someone, what could be wrong with that? After all, sex need have nothing to do with procreation, so why should the biological equipment of ones partner make any difference? Conversely, if marriage is simply a sexual attachment, unconnected with having children, why shouldn't homosexuals be able to get married too? If sex is just a pleasure to enjoy, why do we need any relationship at all? A person can just have sex with himself, aided by pornography.

In the shadow of the pill, the Sixties continued to unfold as a time of cultural revolution. The liberation movement; the touchy-feely romanticism of the hippies; the rebellion against traditions and institutions fomented by the times; the commercialization of sex in the entertainment industry; the apotheosis of the self - all of these played a role in the sexual revolution, and they remain powerful cultural forces today.

The next decade took the next step. On January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Contraception never completely prevented sex fromproducing children. Now it became legal to kill children once conceived. To mere permissiveness was now added unspeakable cruelty, all in the service of the alleged right to have sex without engendering children.

Marriage is certainly no longer necessary to have children, to the point that some sub-cultures have all but dispensed with marriage altogether. But now we have come even further. Just as it is possible to have sex without children, it is possible to have children without sex.

Babies can now be conceived sex-free, in Petri dishes. The egg and sperm can come from anonymous donors. But not even egg and sperm are necessary any more with the technology of cloning. in which one cell of any kind can be replicated until it constitutes a human being. When cloning is perfected, parenthood will be obsolete, since one's child will really be ones identical twin.

We will depend on technology both to prevent children being conceived and also to conceive them. The artificial womb is on the verge of development. Women will be freed from the pains of childbirth, and gender itself will be obsolete. Children will be manufactured, not born, engineered to be just as we want them. Abortion will take care of the mistakes and make possible a new much-heralded industry, conceiving babies in order to grind them up for their stem-cells to make medicine for adults.

All of this is not only possible, but, more ominously -- it is thinkable. Our cultural elite does not even see anything wrong with this, and is lobbying to make it happen. In the absence of a biblical understanding of moral absolutes, the family will soon be obsolete, genuine culture - and genuine sex - will be impossible.

What the world owes Palestinians and the Left
Dennis Prager

Posted: July 26, 2005
© 2005 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

In the last few weeks
, innocent men, women and children have been blown up, paralyzed, brain damaged and otherwise had their lives ruined by Muslim suicide bombers in Britain, Egypt and Iraq.

Who can we thank for this man-made plague? Palestinians and the Left.

We need to thank Palestinians for their major contribution to humanity – religiously sanctioned mass murder of innocents through suicide. Prior to the Palestinians, this did not exist.

It is true that Tamil suicide bombers in Sri Lanka have murdered many thousands and they are not Muslims. But the Tamil rationale for suicide terror – though utterly immoral – is confined to a (secular) nationalist movement in Sri Lanka. Palestinian Muslims – no Palestinian Christians have committed a suicide bombing – have created a religious and moral basis for mass murder and did so within a worldwide religion with a billion adherents. When the Palestinians sent brainwashed young men to blow themselves up in Israeli buses, cafes and discos, they offered justifications that provided the basis for many others to do the same.

They said that blowing up Jews in Israel – of any age and in any location – was an act that glorified Allah, that one who engaged in such atrocities was a Muslim equivalent to a saint, and would be rewarded in heaven by many beautiful virgins. I do not know of any Muslim religious organization or leader who condemned this Palestinian Muslim terror-theology as anti-Islamic.

Judea Pearl, the father of murdered Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, has devoted his life since his son's murder by Muslims in Pakistan to building bridges to the Muslim world. He told me on my radio show that he is sad to report that "99.99 percent" of the Muslim world does not believe that Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. It is no wonder, then, that so few Muslims religiously or morally condemned Palestinian terror against Israeli Jews. At best, some Palestinians condemn Palestinian terror as counterproductive to the Palestinian cause. Period. It may be impractical, but not immoral or un-Islamic.

What therefore happened was that the religious justification for murdering innocent people took hold in the Muslim world. It apparently never occurred to Muslim leaders that once you justify evil, that evil will eventually be unleashed against you, too. If blowing up Jewish children is OK, so is blowing up Egyptian, Moroccan, Iraqi, British, Spanish and Russian children.

And that is where the Left comes in. They have provided the secular and universal justification for Palestinian Islamic terror against Jews.

According to the world's Left, it's OK for Palestinians to put bombs in an Israeli student cafeteria because:

1) Israel occupies Palestinian land (even though a leftist Israeli government offered 97 percent of it to Yasser Arafat)

2) Therefore, Palestinians are engaging in legitimate resistance

3) Since Palestinians don't have sophisticated weaponry, they use their weapon, the suicide bomber

4) Israelis kill Palestinian civilians, so there is a moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians (even though the Palestinians target Jewish innocents and the Israelis do not target Palestinian innocents)

But, alas, the anti-Israel Left (an almost redundant description), too, did not understand the genie it had helped unleash onto the world. Why is it all right for Muslims to blow up Israeli children, but not Russian children? Israeli buses, but not British buses? Jews in Israel, but not Muslims in Iraq?

Actually, for many on the Left, it is all right. The socialist mayor of London himself blames the terror in his city on British support for America and Israel, not on Islamic terror-theology.

Like London's mayor, the Left around the world blames Israel for the Palestinian suicide bombers, and blames America for those in Iraq. Without the Left around the world, the Palestinian God-based mass murder through suicide would have been an isolated phenomenon, universally condemned as the evil it is.

And who is to blame for the Muslim terror in other Muslim countries such as Morocco and Egypt? Here, the leftist and Muslim apologists for Palestinian terror enter cognitive dissonance.

The next time you read of men, women and children blown apart by a young Muslim praising Allah, you can thank Palestinians and the Left.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Citizen Soldiers

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within." Marcus Tullius Cicero 42 B.C.

Without getting too hyperbolic, the recent decisions handed-down by the nation's highest court, and the shameful capitulation by the majority's notorious "Gang of Seven" to the liberal minority -- were nothing short of a repudiation of the Declaration of Independence and a betrayal of the U.S. Constitution.

Clearly the nation as we know it will not long survive unless the people get involved in the political process at every level. Complaining about the judicial activism plaguing America isn't going to solve the problem – only countering those responsible through sound appointments, removing them through impeachment, or restricting their reach through legislation, is going to save our republics' freedoms.

As for the supposed conservative majority, out of the seven GOP turncoats (McCain, Graham, DeWine, Warner, Chafee, Collins, Snowe), THREE of them are up for re-election in 2006 and they've been marked to be turned-out of office. For better context, I suggest you read Pat Buchanan's analysis in "After the McCain mutiny." But first, because God is still on the throne, I lead-off this month's column with a couple of essays that suggest we can be hopeful about our next generation.

Remember, you and I can still make a difference. In a constitutional republic, we are the power, but we cannot exercise that power without putting our lives on hold log enough to clean the socialists (liberals) and phony conservatives out of public offices. We are the people of this government and now the people must put their actions where their mouths are, and begin the process of running for office.

Because freedom is not a spectator sport, through the end of this year I will personally be exploring a run for public office in 2006. During this interim period, I'd love to get your feedback.

May God continue to bless these United States,

Roy J. Tanner

The Days of Independence

The year was 1775. Addressing the Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry stated, “Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

Over two centuries later, we continue to celebrate this country’s independence as we reflect on the price that our founders paid. Their call to arms reminds us of the choice that is set before us as well—either acquiesce to bondage and tyranny, or stand-up for a liberty that’s been secured by blood. Apparently, freedom isn’t free. For Christians, the spiritual parallel to our physical struggle for independence has been celebrated for over two millennia—the freedom from sin and (eternal) death that’s offered through the Savior’s sacrifice at Calvary.

When our Lord began His public ministry, He selected a passage to be read in synagogue from the prophet Isaiah—“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”(Isaiah 61:1-2). Graciously, He chose to omit the second half of verse 2 that dealt with God’s vengeance at His second coming. Returning to His seat the Lord then proclaimed, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21).

Until the Lord’s second coming, under this dispensation of grace, the church is commanded to proclaim the “good news” of independence from sin and death that’s availed by grace through faith in Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). A few years back, my daughter had an opportunity to join a mission trip to Jamaica with other high-school students from our church. They helped finish the flooring and exterior of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in poverty stricken Steertown, renovated the homes of elderly residents in St. Anne’s Bay, and ministered to impoverished young girls at the government-run Windsor Home. Although these are not the typical activities that come to mind when you think of Jamaica—they are directly related to the heart of God.

According to the experts, over 200,000 people come to a “saving” knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ every day somewhere in the world. When Jesus said, “the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matt. 9:37)—He was inviting us all to join in His “call to family.” Mission’s work then, doesn’t necessarily happen just overseas, but rather in our own backyards as well. Do you know anyone in your sphere of influence that’s been seeking truth, but has instead been blinded by worldly philosophy? Are you aware of someone in your circle of friends who labors under the bondage of substance abuse or carnality in their search for fulfillment? These situations are the opportunities that God has set before us to make a difference for other's good and His glory.

While most would agree with these sentiments, many are unsure of what advice to give. With this in mind, this site includes many links that you may find suitable for someone in need that’s been on your heart. While our victory was accomplished at the cross, the battle still rages within the hearts of unredeemed mankind.

Let’s resolve to join the “unarmed services” in spreading the truth that will set the captives free—during these days of independence.

Roy J. Tanner

The next “Greatest Generation”

"Renewed in our strength tested, but not weary, we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom" President George Bush

History looks favorably upon previous generations that faced their challenges with the courage of conviction. As a young adult in the 21st-century, I often wonder what contributions my era will make to our world and how we will be remembered.

Of this much I’m sure though, to whom much is given, much is required. That said, my generation will surely be measured by the opportunities we had and what we did with them. For me, any understanding of my generation's potential begins with reflecting on the question of “What does it means to be a citizen of the United States of America?”

As a U.S. citizen by birth, my parents and extended family influenced my original frame of reference and helped to foster in me the love I have for my country. My grandfather, for example, served as a naval officer in the Korean War, and two of my uncles have previous military experience as Marines. Combine this with my Dad’s civic activity and geo-political interests, and it becomes apparent that appreciation for my citizenship now, was instilled at a young age based on my patriotic heritage.

When author Tom Brokaw labeled my grandfather’s era “the greatest generation” in his best selling novel, he bestowed a title that was won by their blood, sweat and tears in defense of the free world. It’s hard to imagine the sacrifices they were called to make when they confronted and prevailed against the peril of Nazism and the threat of Communism. But like me today, they must have drawn their strength from those who had gone before them.

United States history is rich with examples of heroism and devotion from its citizens in response to a cause that’s bigger than self-interest, namely that of liberty. From the time of the American Revolution, when Patrick Henry challenged fellow statesmen with, “give me liberty or give me death,” to our Civil War era, where the nation renewed their resolve during president Lincoln’s stirring address at Gettysburg, its been the citizen soldier whose answered the call to defend our homeland. And while every culture may sense a special place in history, most agree that what’s exceptional about the U.S. is best seen in its citizens, as each successive generation defends and pursues anew the American ideal.

It all started with a unique experiment where government was created and empowered by the consent of the governed. Our Declaration of Independence acknowledged "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and that each citizen was “endowed by their Creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And our Constitution leverages the age-old lessons of democratic Greece and the republic of Rome, bound by the governing principle of our Judeo-Christian heritage. As a result, our representative form of government “by the people, for people,” harnesses the passion of individual liberty, and guards against the rise of tyranny through the equal separation of powers.

Since our nation’s founding, the promise of American freedom has acted as a magnet for immigration worldwide. This draw was part of the American experience for my mother’s parents as well, who arrived in the U.S. as immigrants and later became naturalized citizens. They came to this country to build a better life for their family, understanding it would require both initiative and determination. Now as a leading physician in his community, I guess you could say my grandfather succeeded. Our greatness as a nation is built on the diversity of such people, who come to "the land of opportunity" subscribing to the same dream-- to become American citizens.

Today, as the world’s lone super-power, the results of this noble experiment are self-evident. Highly diversified and technologically advanced, the U.S. is the leading industrial power in the world. Somehow with only 5% of world’s population, America controls over 25% of the world’s wealth. And because we're a generous nation, the U.S. also leads the world in foreign aid. Surely, no other nation on the face of the earth has been blessed like America—and it’s all because of our founder’s desire to honor God through framing limited government, by and for a liberated people. [1]

Now that we stand unsurpassed in our wealth and power, what should we make of it? In addition to being grateful for our heritage, I believe we must continue to be active participants in democracy's continued advancement -- because the American ideal is a work in progress. By definition, democracy cannot thrive without the active involvement of its citizenry. And every time we exercise our right to vote, or write our elected representative, or volunteer our time in community service -- we serve a cause bigger than self.

In addition to legacy, individual ideal and participation, part of what it means to be an American citizen requires we acknowledge that our strength as a nation lies within the individual, and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored. We will continue to enjoy equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity, only to the extent we remain vigilant. [2]

Likewise, protecting our free enterprise system and encouraging the individual initiative that has brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity, will continue to be critical. Finally, Americans should continue to value and preserve our national strength and pride--while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world. For the spirit of liberty is a God-given yearning of humanity. [3]

This is an extraordinary time to be alive. As a nation we’re limited only by our willingness to face the challenges of this new era with the courage of conviction. Like our forefathers, if we're faithful to answer our call to citizenship, we can advance the heritage we inherited, while building the next "greatest generation."

"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace." JFK

May God continue to bless the United States of America,

Jacqueline R. Tanner

[1] CIA Fact Book
[2] President Bush at the RNC
[3] RNC

After the McCain mutiny
By Patrick J. Buchanan
© 2000
© 2005 Creators Syndicate Inc.

It is being called "the McCain Mutiny."

On May 23, Senate Republicans were poised to disarm Harry Reid and Co. of the weapons they have used to kill the Bush judges. Every hostage still held by the Democratic minority was about to be freed.

And the Senate was about to dynamite the last obstacle to President Bush's honoring of his pledge to end judicial activism. The road was about to be opened for two, three or perhaps four Supreme Court justices, who would bring an end to the social revolution that has been imposed upon us from above since the time of Earl Warren.

Victory was at hand.

Majority Leader Bill Frist had the 50 votes to pass a rule permitting the majority to ensure each judicial nominee gets a vote, up or down, and none is smothered to death by a tyrannical minority.

But that evening, Sen. John McCain and six other Republicans defected and threw victory away. They agreed to let Reid and Co. keep the filibuster-veto, if they would agree only to use it in "extraordinary circumstances."
The naiveté of the moderate Republican is a thing to behold.

Only 72 hours later, those "extraordinary circumstances" suddenly arose, as Reid and Co. beat John Bolton to a bloody pulp, refused to let the Senate vote to confirm or reject him and sent him back to his cell.

Not to worry, said the McCain Seven. Bolton is not a judge. He is only the president's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. By bringing Bolton out for a ritual beating and dragging him back to his dungeon, our Democratic colleagues did not violate the Spirit of Munich.

The filibuster-veto is the moral equivalent of letting a mob tie a man to a whipping post and lash him almost to death, without a trial, while denying the majority the right to set him free. Under the filibuster-veto, at least a dozen conservative judges have seen their good names smeared by Senate demagogues, as in a show trial, but been denied a vote by the full Senate on the truth or falsity of the charges against them.

This is un-American. But now we are instructed by McCain and his colleagues that Senate comity requires this tactic be made a permanent Senate institution.

For dissing his colleagues and Frist, and leaving Bush's Supreme Court nominees subject to a filibuster gauntlet and death by a thousand cuts, McCain is being hailed as the conscience of the Senate. But the ball is now back in the court of the majority, Frist and President Bush himself.

Will they accept the demand of the McCain Seven that the president "consult" them on all future appellate and Supreme Court nominees? And does that mean prior approval? Will they accept a minority veto of Bush's judicial choices? Will they accept the deal cut by the McCain Seven that freed three hostages – Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor – but gave Reid, Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer a conceded right to take future hostages under "extraordinary circumstances"?

In brief, is the Republican Party bound by this Munich? If it is, the GOP has lost its last chance to change the composition and course of the Supreme Court, and Bush's legacy will be as diminished – as was that of his father and every Republican predecessor since World War II.

Dwight Eisenhower said that his nominations of Earl Warren and Bill Brennan were two of his biggest mistakes. Nixon came to office determined to recapture the Supreme Court for constitutionalism. But after Judges Haynesworth and Carswell were rejected by a liberal Senate, he was persuaded to name Harry Blackmun, father of Roe v. Wade, for which three of Nixon's four nominees voted. Only William Rehnquist dissented.

President Ford's lone choice was John Paul Stevens, the most reliable liberal on the court. Reagan elevated Rehnquist to chief justice and named Antonin Scalia, but his first choice was Sandra Day O'Connor, who is now reading up on international law to find out how she should rule. After Robert Bork was keel-hauled, Reagan named the mugwump Anthony Kennedy. Bush's father named cipher David Souter, but redeemed himself with Clarence Thomas. And so it has gone.

Since Nixon, then, Republican presidents have named 12 justices to the Supreme Court. Three turned out to be "strict constructionists" who look for guidance beyond the rulings of the Warren Court, as they should, to the Constitution of the United States.

The mega-issue here, then, is: Who shall rule us? Shall it be unelected Supreme Court justices? Or elected legislators we can replace at election time? Is America a judicial dictatorship or a constitutional republic?

If Frist and President Bush cannot break up the McCain Seven and bring two of those senators back to supporting majority rule, the game is up. As Barry Goldwater used to say, "It's as simple as that."

Patrick J. Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party’s candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of the new magazine, The American Conservative. Now a political analyst for MSNBC and a syndicated columnist, he served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national television shows, and is the author of seven books.