Jan 302011
 
Greetings from STAND PAC –

With the State of the Union speech behind us, it’s important that we keep in mind that the rhetoric of fiscal accountability that the President espouses is likely a very temporary smoke screen.

Polls tell us that America is beginning to see that Obama’s attempts to move to the center are simply a way to position him for the next election. We are calling lawmakers to keep this “tax and spend administration” under wraps until 2012 by forcing all bills to be Constitutional.

For God & Country,

E.W. Jackson, Sr.
Chairman, S.T.A.N.D. America PAC

Last fall, as Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats were working backroom deals to nationalize healthcare, a reporter asked Pelosi where in the Constitution it gave her the authority to do so.

She famously replied, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” … and she didn’t answer the question.

Now the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner has suggested that:

A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor has submitted for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution. We think this is a good idea and we are asking the Senate to do the same. Bills that do not include a constitutionality clause will be returned to the sponsor.

Fax both the Congress and the Senate and tell them both to include a constitutional authority clause in all their legislation!

The Pledge to America, spurred on by Tea Party principles, recognizes that:

“…government’s powers are derived from the consent of the governed.

We pledge to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts.

We pledge to make government more transparent in its actions, careful in its stewardship, and honest in its dealings.”

The Obama administration and the previous Congress have stepped outside the bounds of our Constitution and abused their powers. Rep. Boehner is working to fix the mistakes in the House – let’s urge the Senate to do the same.

Send a Fax to every single Member of the Senate and Congress, reminding them of their duties to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and demanding transparency in government!

This is where reform begins, in the hands of the People. For too long, our legislators have run amok of our laws and their authority has been overreaching – we need to reign them in. Our Constitution is our most sacred document! It is what sets us apart from all other nations. It is our foundation, and our blueprint for freedom and prosperity.

Don’t let another day go by without reminding them of their solemn oath to defend its principles. Fax their offices right now and bring integrity back to our government.

For God & Country,

E. W. Jackson, Sr.
Chairman, S.T.A.N.D. America PAC

S.T.A.N.D. America PAC is a grassroots organization led by Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., dedicated to bringing people back to the Judeo-Christian values that made America the greatest country ever known, and uniting people across racial and cultural lines as “One Nation Under God.”

Dec 302010
 

Conservative anger attracts national attention, financial backing to district

Stephen Flanagan’s strategy worked.

The 55-year-old Suffolk businessman and conservative activist wanted to prove to the world that his congressman, four-term Rep. Tim Bishop, could be defeated, despite scant interest from national Republicans.

So Flanagan and his group, the Conservative Society for Action (CSA), whose 3,000 members meet monthly in a rented American Legion hall in West Islip, hatched a plan to attract national attention to the district and lure credible candidates to the race.

They swarmed Bishop’s first summer town hall meeting in June, mobbing him as he arrived and then chanting epithets inside. Police had to be called to escort the congressman from the event.

Footage of the protest spread like wildfire across the Internet and cable news. The National Republican Congressional Committee circulated the video among its donors. Conservative activists across the country mimicked the strategy, fanning a national phenomenon.

And suddenly Bishop, who won by healthy margins in each of the last four elections, became a target.

“We did target him for removal, and we felt that the first step was to create a vulnerability. That’s when we came up with the town hall protest concept,” Flanagan said. “The hope at that point was that, once it became clear that he was vulnerable in his position, it would attract a wider field of candidates and financial support going forward.”

Now, the unrest Flanagan’s group has stirred on the normally sleepy East End has attracted national attention from Republican and Democratic leaders, who see Bishop’s seat as one of a few dozen that could help shift the balance of power in Washington. The contest has also become a national bellwether for the relevance of the right-wing agitators and the ability of national Republicans to channel widespread frustration into electoral success.

“That put a spotlight on the district that had not been there before,” said David Wasserman, the House editor at the Cook Political Report, which has tagged Bishop’s district as a possible swing seat. “Republicans did some more prying into this district to try and gauge whether it was a sort of one-time-only thing, or whether skepticism toward Democrats is more widespread.”

Republicans in Washington and Suffolk say they found the latter, and as a result Flanagan and his allies have secured all of what they wanted and more: a credible Republican candidate, financial backing from wealthy GOP patrons and, at last, the interest of the national party.

Randy Altschuler, a Wall Street entrepreneur and Republican bundler, has emerged as the early favorite among local activists and GOP operatives in Washington, who believe he can meet the all-important benchmarks that determine a candidate’s credibility: endorsements, infrastructure and cash.

“With Randy, it changes the dynamic completely,” said Assembly Member Phil Boyle, who has managed several Republican congressional campaigns in Suffolk. “This is Tim Bishop’s worst nightmare.”

Altschuler has also demonstrated considerable progress toward a crucial benchmark many of his predecessors have promised to meet but failed: At least $2 million in cash-on-hand, the minimum the NRCC prefers to see before committing to a challenger. Altschuler’s campaign announced earlier this month that he has already collected a quarter of that, much of it from his own pocket.

“There’s been a lot of positive support from the national party,” Altschuler said.

An NRCC official confirmed that Altschuler had met with Republicans in D.C. and that, so far, his campaign had reached or exceeded each of the benchmarks national GOP operatives had laid out for him.

“He is impressing people in the first district and he’s generating significant momentum,” said the official. “He’s put up some impressive numbers and an impressive infrastructure.”

Altschuler’s campaign is being run by Chris Maloney, a veteran of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and a former aide to the NRCC, who has helped Altschuler build a sizeable ground operation and connections to party officials in Suffolk and D.C.

Altschuler has engendered valuable goodwill among local lawmakers and activists by loaning his 100 or so volunteers out to their campaigns. His team hopes that strategy will help him avoid the problems that have plagued upstate Republican congressional candidates Jim Tedisco and Dede Scozzafava, who have suffered from the perception that they were forced upon their districts by national Republicans.

“My team has gotten involved with a lot of local races,” Altschuler said. “You have to show that you’re invested in the local party.”

But some Republicans remain hesitant to embrace Altschuler because of his Wall Street background. During the presidential campaign, when Altschuler served as a bundler for John McCain, reports emerged that a company he founded, OfficeTiger, had helped outsource American jobs to India. Democrats have already promised to make that a central theme of their attack ads, which has given some local Republicans pause.

“There’s a lot of this coronation going on,” said one Suffolk Republican who has stayed out of the race. “I think he probably has a consensus of support, but there are people who are concerned.”

Those people are instead turning to an alternative candidate, George Demos, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer who worked on the investigation of Bernard Madoff. But Demos was late in announcing his candidacy, has raised only a paltry sum and has been outpaced by Altschuler in winning endorsements and assembling a campaign operation.

John LaValle, the Suffolk Republican chairman, said that would make catching up very difficult for Demos.

“Randy Altschuler has clearly established his ability to raise funds, and in addition to that he’s put together a very solid campaign team,” LaValle said. “We’ll see how George proceeds.”

What Demos lacks in money and infrastructure, he hopes to make up in grassroots energy. Demos is a member of Flanagan’s group, the CSA, and has already courted the organization’s members on several occasions for their endorsement.

But so has Altschuler, which Flanagan and his cohorts take as evidence of their growing influence.

“I think they know that we’re responsible for taking the first step,” Flanagan said of the candidates. “Our message is clear: If you don’t represent us, we’re going to come after you.”

If you are a New York Conservative, grassroots conservative, or New York Tea Party member, please join our cause in this fight. We can’t win it without support!

Dec 292010
 

Dear Patriot:

Let’s take a moment to discuss the meaning of Freedom!

Americans talk about Freedom with the utmost pride and satisfaction.

Americans have fought for freedom since the inception of our country and millions have placed their lives on the line to maintain that freedom. Thousands more have made the supreme sacrifice in defense of that freedom.

There is no higher ideal in the American spirit.

But the threat to freedom has never been greater than right now, for the assault on our freedom is NOT coming from without, it is coming from Within.

One of the World’s most cherished and successful systems of government is under assault right now. The American FREE Enterprise system.

The American economic model is the envy of the world. It has produced the highest standard of living for its people. It has resulted in the most advanced and innovative technology in world history. It has resulted in economic strength that allows America’s 320 million citizens to compete head-to-head with countries having 5 or 10 times the population.

Many economic models have been tried throughout history, from feudal kingdoms, to massive military empires, to communism, fascism, socialism and dictatorships. 

Of all systems of government tried in the history of the World, only one system has resulted in unparalleled Freedom, Prosperity, Innovation, Security, and Dignity for its citizens!

It is the American Free Enterprise system!

As amazing at it sounds, that Great System is now being attacked. These threats are coming from a coalition of ideologues lead by Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, George Soros, Christopher Dodd, Henry Waxman, and Barrack Obama, not to mention a gaggle of lesser players that include our local representatives.

Despite their pleas to help the needy, their promise for change will mean one thing, central government control of the United States of America and its people.

It means you will have to check with a Medical Czar before you call your doctor. It means your house will have to be inspected by an environmental Czar before you can sell it. It means you will have to pay $7.00 a gallon for gasoline and home heating oil so you won’t use too much. It means you will have to apply to a government bureaucrat for a mortgage. It means a government Czar will decide what kind of car you are allowed to buy. It means you will have to publicly declare HOW you voted in union elections because there’s no more secret ballot. It means Americans will be issued a national ID card that contains information on your income, investments, assets, medical history, and even your travel and purchasing history as they monitor your credit card use.

There are powers at work in Washington today that want America to join the rest of the world. Well if America joins the rest of the world, what will happen to that shining light that still attracts immigrants from around the globe?

When my ancestors came to America, they came here because they wanted a BETTER life and a BETTER country for their children. Immigrants like those in my family did NOT come here to maintain the status quo. They came here and they MADE America a country that WAS better in a thousand ways. The next time you hear someone say that America does not deserve its prosperity or its security or its success, you ask them WHY NOT? We earned it!

We earned it with our blood. We earned it with our hard work. We earned it with immigrant generations that sent their kids to school so they would be better off than themselves.

America is not an accident of history. 
America was built on well-defined principals the primary being
INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM and the 
FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM. 

Do you really want our Representatives to destroy that system?

If you say NO, then you must fight efforts by Washington to CONTROL heath care.

You must fight Washington’s desire to CONTROL the energy industry. 

You must fight Washington’s attempt to CONTROL the financial institutions.

And you must fight Washington’s efforts to CONTROL our auto and other industries. Please look up the meaning of the word CONTROL. You will find that the opposite of control is FREEDOM. Let’s remain a free country and a free people! Please join the fight to keep America FREE!

Sincerely,

Stephen Flanagan, Founder

Conservative Society for Action

 

If you are a New York Conservative, grassroots conservative, or New York Tea Party member, please join our cause in this fight. We can’t win it without support!

Dec 282010
 

By Big John Lipscomb

Somehow over the past few decades the tables have been turned and our representatives have stopped serving the people and they have determined that we are to serve them by paying taxes without being represented. How did this happen? The answer is- one degree at a time. Slow enough that we hardly noticed, yet as most of us reflect back to how the relationship between elected officials and their constituents were a few decades ago, things have changed dramatically.

I predict that people eventually will feel such frustration that they will begin openly disrespecting authority in general. This will progress until it reaches critical mass and members of congress start getting shot. That will cause government to reconsider its position of master verses servant.

Either way, the detachment that government has instituted is the cause that will meet an effect sooner or later. The longer it takes to return to a proper relationship between the people and their government the more severe the effect will be.

I suggest that you stand up and voice your concerns now or it will be too late, later. And later can get rather ugly and dangerous. Like a guy with a bad temper, it is healthy to vent on a regular basis, otherwise he explodes in a very regretful manner later when his friends and family often least expect it. So, do the right thing and show some disrespect for your elected representatives, and maybe they will let loose of the edge of the table and we can all turn it back to where it belongs. We all have our place and the people of this nation rightfully sit at the head of the table, while the elected representatives sit at the childrens table off to the side. They eat as we do, and enjoy the company but are not allowed to roam around and do whatever they want unless given permission, otherwise they will disturb our meal, and that is just rude and will not be tolerated.   http:www.survivalistseeds.com

Dec 272010
 

Notwithstanding a lot of promises from politicians all over the globe to better the economy of their territories, the economic turmoil is still thriving in our American modern culture. A lot has been said about the cause(s) of this economic decline: the banks, George W. Bush, and what have you. I could dwell at great length on the error of the American people to vote for a Texan American who bankrupted every organization he worked for in his life, but I’d rather not. The United States of America is more than aware today that its former President obliterated the solvency of the greatest country in the world: Zillions of American dollars vanished in a yawning gulf called “insolvency.” The consequence of all the mistakes that have been made by all parties involved, has put the man in the street in a tight spot. In many cases the regular laborer was forced to ask for financial assistance from his friends, family and/or employer (if he was fortunate enough to still have a nine-to-fiver), to cover for the increase in price of the daily needs of his loved ones. Many a Joe Blow (and let’s not forget the struggling entrepeneur), however, was forced to turn to a consumer counseling credit service and ask for (public) assistance with his serious shortage of dollars to spend. The ones that were hit hardest had to turn to debt relief advisors. Millions and millions of Americans are having a real hard time, still today.How can you put a stop to those matters from happening to you and your family? Although many of the economic smart numbers might chortle about this simple and easy datum and state the problem is far more complicated, (they almost worship that term) Mr. Average needs a simple fact to hold on to in this “Dark Age” (as he feels he has a dim future.) And that simple economics lesson reads like this: you can never get into financial distress if your income is higher than your expenses. Needless to say that this “universal law” is violated easily when an economic slump hits the whole world because prices rise, wages get cut, etc. So to prevent getting into financial problems also includes you need to create financial reserves you can fall back on in times of distress. It still bewilders me that the greatest economic “whizz-kids” of America do not seem to understand that for an economy to work, and to keep working in times of catastrophe, you need to teach people on how to handle their finances in the long-term. After all, preventing a financial calamity from happening is really better then to cure one. You would expect that the Masters of Economics knew better than that. Or do they have a hidden agenda? Well, time will tell. But if Joe Schmo wants to prevent turning to a consumer counseling credit service for debt relief or other services, he better abide by this law: income needs to exceed his expenses. And that is economics in a nutshell. It is as simple as that. 

Dec 262010
 

Quite a few feelWorld War III could be started in order to create the New World Order. This is a list of details that a lot of feel are the incidentsoccurring or have already occurred that show that World War III is near and the New World Order could be close to happening.

NEW WORLD ORDER, a plan that has been around for centuries. Wish to get enslaved? Or do you need to be free? Are you ready for the secret society to govern the globe?

These are the activities that are leading up to World War III, amongst them, September 11, 2001.

Initially, The Middle East is in turmoil. Iran and Pakistan are employing North Korean nuclear weapons to gain their own. Even though the region has had conflict for hundreds of years, this portion started with the invasion of Iraq by the United States on March 20, 2003.

Next, the Jewish state of Israel goes to war. Israel should make it possible for the creation of a Palestinian state and sign a 7 year treaty which can be confirmed by a global leader, probably Obama? Not long after Israel can attack the Palestine state.

The Far East could come into play. Peter Lemesurier, author of The Armageddon Script, p. 223, written in 1981 talks about China invading Taiwan. He also discusses a nuclear eruption happening on the Korean Peninsula.

Dread leads to giving up liberties in order for perceived safety. A significant terrorist attack can create fear that will lead to the US Constitution being dissolved. This can let the development of a worldwide government and a single globe religion.

Next, the crumple of the globe’s economies and the ethical fiber of the planet create confusion and more fear.The last aspect of the plan is to lessen the planet’s population employing man-made and natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill are just warm up acts. These activities were applied to see how individuals could react to events and what can and can’t be done without generating riots.

When you look at documents that have been leaked from the plans set forth by the Illuminati and from Biblical prophecy you will see that Israel is the linchpin. When Israel goes to war against its neighbors World War III should be triggered. At that point, all the other elements could occur in rapid succession.

The plan is the people can grow to be punch drunk from all the disasters. The people of the planet can be in such a depleted emotional and mental condition that they will not resist any steps by the powers Really in control.To put a date on these occurrences would be foolish.

The goal and events listed are very well advanced in their nature. There is a plan in place and the New World Order is moving forward. The Masonic New Age could come into existence. At that point, the Anti Christ or the leader of the New World Order should appear. Who this particular person in fact is should be up for discussion for only a quick interval.

 

Dec 222010
 

The Obama Administration has done it to you—AGAIN! Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote was 3-2 to take away your Internet freedom—without Congressional approval.

We must URGE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS to take a stand right now—to hold hearings to RESCIND these illegal and unconstitutional regulations.

Quite frankly, the FCC does NOT have the Constitutional or the Congressional authority to take away our First Amendment freedoms.

Please read this extremely urgent email which outlines what we can do to get our freedoms back!

Thank you,

A special message from:


You are a genuine Patriotic American:

YESTERDAY, some of our basic freedoms under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution vanished! The FCC voted 3-2 to impose harsh
regulations on the Internet, without first obtaining the consent of Congress, making those actions un-constitutional.

The FCC voted to EXPAND THEIR AUTHORITYwhich they cannot legally do!

In addition to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which ruled on April 6, 2010, that the FCC cannot expand their
authority with the consent of Congress, three federal judges have also ruled that the Internet has the same First Amendment protection as the
newspaper industry, since every individual web site is like a printed newsletter.

We must push the new Congress to RESCIND this unconstitutional step in the wrong direction. There needs to be a Congressional
FIGHT to take away the FCC’s illegally obtained authority!

The FCC votes went along party lines—3 liberal Democrats for, 2 Republicans against. The Internet regulatory scheme will be challenged and opposed
by the United States Justice Foundation on every level. The still unpublished “Net Neutrality” regulations indicate an unprecedented FEDERAL
ATTACK
on your Internet freedoms.

Representative Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee stated: “We, as Members of Congress should control (the process of Internet regulation) if we decide
it’s necessary. There is strong bipartisan agreement on that point.” Blackburn expects a Senate companion bill, authored by Senator John McCain, to
address the issue in the upper chamber. Congresswoman Blackburn went on to say: “I look at this as the Fairness Doctrine of the Internet. The FCC
would be in a position to make determinations of online priorities and value. We will vigorously oppose (yesterday’s FCC vote) because it’s a
hysterical reaction to a hypothetical problem.”

Congresswoman Blackburn said that swiftly cutting the FCC’s recent maneuver off at the knees would send an important message to the agency that
Internet regulation is beyond its jurisdiction. Believe me; we here at USJF, are WATCHING this extremely closely.

Phil Kerpin, Vice President for Policy at Americans for Prosperity stated: “The best, cleanest response is for Congress to use a process called the
Congressional Review Act (CRA), which can overturn any federal agency rulemaking. It’s important to use this mechanism because it’s protected against
the filibuster.”


Please, CLICK HERE to send a FAX to every single Member of Congress NOW, and tell them that they need to exercise their Constitutional authority
and oversight over the FCC, by RESCINDING the FCC vote yesterday because the FCC does NOT have the Constitutional or Congressional authority to expand
governmental regulation. Three federal judges in three different cases have already ruled that the Internet deserves the same protection under the
First Amendment as printed material receives. AND, please be sure to send a sizeable DONATION to the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) as we
keep this Internet freedom issue before the eyes of every Member of Congress.

Your Internet freedoms have already disappeared, thanks to yesterday’s decision by the FCC. You must not sit back idly and do nothing. You must take
action to tell Members of Congress to reclaim control of the FCC.

This could be the very worst “Merry Christmas” present that you have ever received. We are working hard to convince members of the new 112th
Congress leadership to hold hearings in the House and Senate subcommittees that monitor the FCC and to rescind the rule just implemented by the FCC
as unconstitutional.

I know that even though the mainstream media is reporting this story only since our campaign to alert you began, not enough people know about this
because many of them are still preoccupied with Christmas—or they believe that the Bill of Rights will prevail without anyone fighting to protect
free speech. Not true! That is precisely why YOU must fax every single Member of Congress, right now.

In an unparalleled power grab, the FCC is arbitrarily adding the Internet to its “portfolio” of regulated industries. Obama’s FCC stole Internet
freedom by simply declaring that it has the “right” to regulate it. Here’s the underlying reality. Internet journalists tend to report the news
without coloring it with the brush of “political correctness.” They challenge the lies that the Obama Administration puts out and the “mainstream
media” accepts and repeats as the truth.

The Wall Street Journal reported: “The FCC’s move to treat broadband providers like phone company monopolies could spur international efforts
to regulate the Web.”

We need Congressional action to stop this ASSAULT on our freedoms—and we need it NOW.

This is extremely CRITICAL. YOUR First Amendment rights are at stake! I URGE YOU to act right now. Do you have the guts to stand up to this affront
to our individual freedoms? Will you stand with us right now, at this very moment?


Please, CLICK HERE to send a FAX to every single Member of Congress NOW, and tell them that they need to exercise their Constitutional authority
and oversight over the FCC, by RESCINDING the FCC vote yesterday because the FCC does NOT have the Constitutional or Congressional authority to
expand governmental regulation. Three federal judges in three different cases have already ruled that the Internet deserves the same protection under
the First Amendment as printed material receives. AND, please be sure to send a sizeable DONATION to the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) as we
keep this Internet freedom issue before the eyes of every Member of Congress.

Mr. Obama blatantly insists that he has the right to regulate the Internet through the FCC—which regulates the other electronic mediums: radio
and television. What Mr. Obama really means is that as long as the American people have unfettered access to the Internet, he cannot continue to
spread his propaganda and bold face lies without being challenged, and he will be a one-term visitor at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue.

Make no mistake; Barack Hussein Obama is very determined to undermine the 1st Amendment by strangling free speech under the disguise of making
sure our safety and our security are of prime importance.

That’s why we must Fax every Member of Congress, RIGHT NOW, to stop this government intrusion into our private, on-line, communications.
We have not witnessed this kind of government intrusion since FDR tried to regulate newspapers in 1933.

Will you assist us to make sure that our Internet remains OURS, and not under Barack Obama’s control?

Please, give us your support, right now, by faxing every Member of Congress.




Although the federal judiciary (with decisions by three separate federal judges in three different cases!) has extended First Amendment
protection to the Internet
, Barack Obama believes that he has the executive authority, WITHOUT legislation enacted by Congress, to
arbitrarily regulate who uses cyberspace and what access they may enjoy, based entirely on the content of the material that they wish to publish
there. If this isn’t a violation of our basic rights as Americans, I do not know what is!

I must hear from you QUICKLY! There is no time to waste.

Thank you for your CRUCIAL RESPONSE TODAY,

Gary G. Kreep, Esq.

Executive Director

United States Justice Foundation

P. S. – At USJF, our goal is to keep a watchful eye on the unlawful expansion of government. We need additional funding and donations to help us to
communicate with Members of Congress to eliminate any Internet regulation by the FCC! Send the FCC our version of “Merry Christmas!”

Please, CLICK HERE to send a FAX to every single Member of
Congress NOW, and tell them that they need to exercise their Constitutional authority and oversight over the FCC, by RESCINDING the FCC vote yesterday
because the FCC does NOT have the Constitutional or Congressional authority to expand governmental regulation. Three federal judges in three
different cases have already ruled that the Internet deserves the same protection under the First Amendment as printed material receives. AND, please
be sure to send a sizeable DONATION to the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) as we keep this Internet freedom issue before the eyes of every
Member of Congress!

To donate by check, make payable to:

United States Justice Foundation

Dept Code 5263

932 D Street Suite 1

Ramona, CA 92065


The United States Justice Foundation (USJF) is a non-profit organization, whose tax-exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(3) has been recognized by
the Internal Revenue Service. Your contributions are tax deductible. Corporate contributions may be accepted.

Forward This Message To A Friend

Dec 112010
 

Billy Graham

Associated Press

President Obama made a pilgrimage Sunday to Billy Graham’s mountainside home, concluding his North Carolina vacation with his first meeting with the ailing evangelist who has counseled commanders in chief since Dwight Eisenhower.

MONTREAT, N.C. — President Obama made a pilgrimage Sunday to Billy Graham’s mountainside home, concluding his North Carolina vacation with his first meeting with the ailing evangelist who has counseled commanders in chief since Dwight Eisenhower. 

The 48-year-old president made the short drive to Montreat from Asheville, where he spent the weekend, to see the 91-year-old Graham and son Franklin, also an evangelist. 

During the visit, which lasted about 30 minutes, Obama had a private prayer and conversation with Billy Graham. “He is extraordinarily gratified that he took the time to meet with him,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said. 

Afterward, Obama headed to a memorial service in West Virginia for the 29 coal miners killed in an explosion on April 5. 

Burton described Billy Graham as “an important spiritual leader to past presidents” and “a real treasure to our country. And the president appreciates the opportunity to visit him at his home.” 

When Obama last spoke with Billy Graham, in a telephone call in November on Graham’s birthday, they said they would try to get together as soon as possible, Burton said. 

“The president wanted to meet with Rev. Graham for a while,” Burton told reporters who were kept outside the Graham compound gate. “They were going to meet during the campaign when he was here for debate prep.” 

Graham’s health prevented that October 2008 meeting from taking place while Obama’s campaign holed up at a resort to practice debate answers. 

Burton said Graham was in good enough health to take the meeting on Sunday, which came up when Obama phoned Graham to wish him a happy birthday last year. 

Asked about Graham’s health, Burton said: “He’s still as sharp as he ever was.” 

DeMoss said the White House requested the meeting several days ago. He noted that the meeting had been tentative, given the president’s schedule and Billy Graham’s unpredictable health. 

Billy Graham’s last crusade was in 2005, in New York. Since his wife’s death nearly three years ago, he has spent most of his time at his home. Public appearances have been rare, and his hearing and eyesight are failing. Graham’s personal spokesman, Larry Ross, said Obama’s visit was the first time a sitting president has met with Graham at his home. 

Franklin Graham has been in the news recently, with the Army rescinding an invitation for him to speak at a Pentagon prayer service, citing what it said were his inappropriate comments about Islam. 

In 2001, the younger Graham described Islam as evil. More recently, he has said he finds Islam offensive and wants Muslims to know that Jesus Christ died for their sins. 

Graham said he regretted that the Army felt its decision was necessary. In a statement, Graham said he would continue to pray for the troops to “give them guidance, wisdom and protection as they serve this great country.” 

Before the meeting with Graham, the president and first lady Michelle Obama played tennis at their Asheville resort.

Nov 272010
 

Billy Graham

The litany of accomplishments is familiar. Billy Graham has preached the gospel of Christ in person to more than 80 million people and to countless millions more over the airwaves and in films. Nearly 3 million have responded to the invitation he offers at the end of his sermons.

He was the first Christian, eastern or western, to preach in public behind the Iron Curtain after World War II, culminating in giant gatherings in Budapest (1989) and Moscow (1992) and complemented by unprecedented invitations to Pyongyang, North Korea (1992) and Beijing (1993).

He has been a friend to the pope, the queen, several prime ministers, and every president from Dwight Eisenhower to Bill Clinton. When America needs a chaplain or pastor to help inaugurate or bury a president or to bring comfort in times of terrible tragedy, it turns, more often than not, to him.

For virtually every year since the 1950s, he has been a fixture on lists of the ten most admired people in America or the world. He has received both the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1983) and the Congressional Gold Medal (1996), the highest honors these two branches of government can bestow upon a civilian. Thus, it is hardly surprising that a Ladies Home Journal survey once ranked the famed evangelist second only to God in the category, “achievements in religion.”

Born near Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1918, Billy Graham first attended Bob Jones College, but he found both the climate and Dr. Bob’s strict rule intolerable. He then followed a friend to Florida Bible Institute, where he began preaching and changed his denominational affiliation from Associate Reformed Presbyterian to Southern Baptist. To round out his intensive but academically narrow education, he moved north to Wheaton College, where he met and married Ruth Bell, the daughter of a medical missionary, and undertook his first and only stint as a local pastor.

In 1945 Graham became the field representative of a dynamic evangelistic movement known as Youth for Christ International. In this role, he toured the United States and much of Great Britain and Europe, teaching local church leaders how to organize youth rallies. He also forged friendships with scores of Christian leaders who would later join his organization or provide critical assistance to his crusades when he visited their cities throughout the world.

“When God gets ready to shake America, he may not take the Ph.D. and the D.D.
God may choose a country boy
… and I pray that he would!”

—Billy Graham

Graham gained further exposure and stature through nationally publicized crusades in Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, and other major cities from 1949 to 1952, and through his Hour of Decision radio program, begun in 1950. Stunningly successful months-long revivals in London (1954) and New York (1957), triumphant tours of the Continent and the Far East, the founding of Christianity Today magazine (1956), the launching of nationwide television broadcasts on ABC (1957), and a public friendship with President Dwight Eisenhower and Vice-President Richard Nixon firmly established him as the acknowledged standard-bearer for evangelical Christianity.

As Graham’s prestige and influence grew, particularly among “mainline” (non-evangelical) Christians, he drew criticism from fundamentalists who felt his cooperation with churches affiliated with the National and World Council of Churches signaled a compromise with the corrupting forces of modernism. Bob Jones accused him of peddling a “discount type of religion” and “sacrificing the cause of evangelism on the altar of temporary convenience.” The enduring break with hard-line fundamentalism came in 1957, when, after accepting an invitation from the Protestant Council of New York to hold a crusade in Madison Square Garden, Graham announced, “I intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the gospel of Christ, if there are no strings attached to my message. … The one badge of Christian discipleship is not orthodoxy but love. Christians are not limited to any church. The only question is: are you committed to Christ?”

The New York Crusade marked another significant development in Graham’s ministry. At a time when sit-ins and boycotts were stirring racial tensions in the South, Graham invited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to discuss the racial situation with him and his colleagues and to lead the Garden congregation in prayer. The implication was unmistakable: Graham was letting both whites and blacks know that he was willing to be identified with the civil rights movement and its foremost leader, and King was telling blacks that Billy Graham was their ally. Graham would never feel comfortable with King’s confrontational tactics; still, his voice was important in declaring that a Christian racist was an oxymoron.

During the decade that spanned the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, to whom he had close and frequent access, Graham often drew fire from critics who felt he ought to be bolder in supporting the civil rights movement and, later, in opposing the war in Vietnam. The normally complimentary Charlotte Observer noted in 1971 that even some of Graham’s fellow Southern Baptists felt he was “too close to the powerful and too fond of the things of the world, and have likened him to the prophets of old who told the kings of Israel what they wanted to hear.”

The evangelist enjoyed his association with presidents and the prestige it conferred on his ministry. At the same time, presidents and other political luminaries clearly regarded their friendship with Graham as a valuable political asset. During his re-election campaign, for example, Nixon instructed his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman, to call Graham about once every two weeks, “so that he doesn’t feel that we are not interested in the support of his group in those key states where they can be helpful.” After the Watergate scandal, Graham drew back a bit and began to warn against the temptations and pitfalls that lie in wait for religious leaders who enter the political arena.

When the movement known as the Religious Right surfaced in the late 1970s, he declined to participate in it, warning fellow Christian leaders to “be wary of exercising political influence” lest they lose their spiritual impact.

As Graham came to sense the breadth of his influence, he grew ever more determined not only to help evangelicalism become increasingly dynamic and self-confident, but also to shape the direction of contemporary Christianity. That determination manifested itself in several major international conferences sponsored or largely underwritten by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

In particular, the 1966 World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin, attended by 1,200 evangelical leaders from 104 nations, and the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, attended by 2,400 delegates from 150 countries, helped evangelicals to see themselves as a worldwide Christian force, alongside Vatican II and the World Council of Churches, an international movement capable of accomplishing more than its constituents had dreamed possible.

Few, if any, developments in Billy Graham’s ministry have been more surprising or controversial than his success in penetrating the Iron Curtain. Beginning in 1978, virtually every Soviet-controlled country progressively gave him privileges that no other churchman, including the most prominent and politically docile native religious leaders, had ever received. Graham used these visits to preach, to encourage Christian believers, and to explain to Communist leaders that their restriction of religious freedom was counterproductive, hampering diplomatic relations with America.

A story from Graham’s 1982 visit to Moscow highlights the impact of his diplomatic influence. A group of six Siberian Pentecostals, claiming to be victims of religions persecution, had been living in asylum in the basement of the U. S. Embassy since 1978. A vexing source of tension between the Soviet and U. S. governments, the Siberian Six demanded that Graham meet with them during his trip—with full media coverage. Not wanting to exacerbate an already perilous situation, Graham agreed to the meeting but vehemently refused any media presence. He also refused to meet the group’s demands that he publicly call for their release and decry communism, which enraged the Pentecostals and led them to tell the American press, “He was like all the other religious figures who have visited us, nothing special.”

However, Graham and his adviser Alexander Haraszti were working behind the scenes for the group’s release, seeking, through all of their diplomatic contacts, a promise of safe passage out of the country. This Haraszti received when a Soviet deputy told him, “The Soviet Union will not lie to Billy Graham.” Graham sent a letter to the Pentecostals in 1983, outlining the steps he felt they should take. Not long afterward, the two families, together with several relatives who had not been with them in the embassy, were allowed to emigrate. Asked in 1989 to assess his role in the incident, Graham said, “I think the Soviets eventually did what we asked them to. I have no way of knowing whether what we did was a factor or not. But I think it was.”

Graham’s proudest achievements may be two BGEA-sponsored conferences in Amsterdam in 1983 and 1986, with a third scheduled for the year 2000. These gatherings, attended by a total of 13,000 on-the-job itinerant evangelists from 174 countries, provided basic instruction in such matters as sermon composition, fundraising, and effective use of films and videotapes. As a sign of Billy Graham’s change-embracing spirit, approximately 500 attendees at the 1986 meeting were women, and Pentecostals outnumbered non-Pentecostals. Subsequent smaller gatherings throughout the world have afforded similar training to additional thousands of evangelists.

Indeed, it is plausible that the answer to the oft-asked question, “Who will be the next Billy Graham?” is no single man or woman, but this mighty army of anonymous individuals whose spirits have been thrilled by Billy Graham’s example, their hands and minds prepared with his organization’s assistance, and their hearts set on fire by his ringing exhortation at the Amsterdam meetings: “Do the work of an evangelist!”

Age and Parkinson’s Disease have taken their toll, but they have not quenched Billy Graham’s spirit. “My mind tells me I ought to get out there and go,” he said, as he was beginning to feel the effects of his disease, “but I just can’t do it. But I’ll preach until there is no breath left in my body. I was called by God, and until God tells me to retire, I cannot. Whatever strength I have, whatever time God lets me have, is going to be dedicated to doing the work of an evangelist, as long as I live.”

Nov 262010
 

Flag Day is June 14th!

 

The idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the American Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a Wisconsin schoolteacher, arranged for students in his Fredonia school to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as ‘Flag Birthday’. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as ‘Flag Birthday’, or ‘Flag Day’.

 

On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the New York State Board of Education. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.

 

Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach, who at that time was historian for the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution, the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as ‘Flag Day’, and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small American Flag.

 

Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.

 

In 1894, New York’s Governor directed that on June 14 the American Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children’s celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.

 

Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: “I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself.”

 

Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day – the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 – was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.