Peggy Noonan [born 1950], is a weekly columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a contributor to ABC and NBC News. From 1984 to 1986 she was a primary speechwriter and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
She authored President Reagan's speech, 'These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc,' on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1984. Online Speech Bank American Rhetoric ranked the speech among the 100 most significant American political speeches of the 20th century.
On that same afternoon in Normandy, President Reagan delivered a second superb speech at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. "Men bled and died here for a few feet—or inches—of sand, as bullets and shellfire cut through their ranks. About them, General Omar Bradley later said, 'Every man who set foot on Omaha Beach that day was a hero.'"
Our friend, Tony Dolan [born 1948], wrote the Omaha Beach cemetery speech. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for investigative reporting, Dolan was a primary speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan from March 1981 to 1989.
Although we have admired Ms. Noonan's craftsmanship for many years, her piece in the Wall Street Journal last week titled 'What Pro-Lifers Should Learn From Kansas' was a bit puzzling. "Nationally, the pro-life movement spent 50 years fighting for something and then, once it won, its leaders seemed to go silent or sound defensive. It's possible they were attempting to be tactful as opposed to triumphalist, but it left a void and foolish people filled it."
The Kansas vote was about what could be expected given the historical lack of Christian voter turnout when important issues are on the ballot. The Supreme Court decision in June on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health didn't win anything yet for Pro-Lifers.
All it did was return the battle for the life of the unborn to the states. Now enormous pressure will be applied to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state and local government where the issue belonged before 1973, when the wrongful Roe v. Wade ruling was made. So to get things over the line in their state, Christians will have to go out and vote.
Over the years, Christians have failed to sustain the Judeo-Christian heritage and biblically based culture established by America's Founders. Consequently, American Christendom finds itself now in the woeful situation of having no more than a minimal presence in as well as an insignificant influence on the American culture. Meaningful participation in the nation's development and future has been replaced by the overzealous establishment of a subculture, in disobedience to Jesus Christ's ekklesia kingdom assignment from Matthew 16:18.
Throughout much of the last 100 years, evangelicals have been playing checkers while the game is chess. Both games use the same board but are played with completely different strategies and pieces. The difference between the two approaches is equally substantial as that between lightning strike and lightning bug.
Press conferences, press releases and a shout-out on Fox News are not denominations of political currency. They don't count for much. Had they really made a difference, Christianity would now be dominating the nation's spiritual, intellectual, educational, economic and vocational levers of power and influence across America.
Expressing his displeasure with the way things have come to pass, Os Guinness insisted some time ago that "hanging scalps on the wall is the only thing that politicians understand." In our nation's current dire circumstances, getting things done by "hanging scalps" may indeed be the best way forward.
Character and moral development as well as guidelines and policies based on the Bible are of zero interest to secularism. Take for example the Northwest Ordinance, drafted by Thomas Jefferson in the late 18th century, in order to lay out the basis for admission of future states. America's contemporary dogmatists who swear blindly on the supposed separation of church and state, would sneer at Article 3, which says: "Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."
Peter J. Leithart makes an excellent point in his 1 & 2 Kings Commentary, arguing that current political theology is conducted more in esoteric parlance, with the majority of "academic theologians having never been engaged in any political struggle more serious than annual departmental budget battles."
Evangelicals today will have to take the privileges and obligations of citizenship much more serious if America is to hold out. Scheduling a mission trip the week before Election Day, taking a sabbatical to recharge the engines through the fall or taking a Holy Land tour in early November indicate a complete lack of understanding and commitment to the management and soundness of a democratic Republic.
Somebody's values are going to reign supreme in the public square. There's no way around it. By staying home, evangelical and pro-life Catholic Christians give secularists the unmissable chance to elect their representatives, pass their legislation and codify into law their godless values. It can't be emphasized enough that elections have consequences.
In 1998, former Ohio Congressman Bob McEwen was sitting in his office on Capitol Hill when his dad called, "Bob, I'm coming to Washington, DC, next week!" "Well, that's fantastic news dad, what are you going to be doing here?"
"A million of us are going to do a Jericho March around the Capitol, holding up our Bibles and praying," responded his dad. "Well that's great dad, what's that going to cost you, $300?" "Oh my goodness no Bob, it's a lot more than that." "Well, let's say it's $400 dad, that's $400 multiplied by one million is $400 million; dad, you can buy the Congress for that." "Well Bob," answered his dad, "I guess we're just doing what we know to do."
Last week's FBI raid on the former president's home bolstered Dr. Scott Huffmon's analysis of the 2018 Winthrop Poll. When asked to explain President Donald Trump's astonishing standing among evangelicals, Huffmon said, "The fact that fewer than half of evangelicals overall would describe Trump as 'godly' or 'moral' suggests that his strength with these groups comes not from modeling pious behavior, but from them viewing him as a bulwark against a culture that they feel is increasingly hostile to them."
"Increasingly hostile" is an apt description of present-day America's view of Christianity. In 1 Samuel 17:5 we are told that Goliath "had a bronze helmet on his head, and wore a coat of scale-armor (overlapping metal plates) that weighed 5,000 shekels of bronze."
Peter J. Leithart clarifies: "Goliath's armor is given unusually detailed attention. We never learn anything about David's armor after he became king. First Samuel 17:5 says that the Philistine giant was wearing 'scale armor', and the Hebrew word simply means 'scales.' This sort of armor is attested throughout the ancient Near East, but the fact that he is described as wearing 'scales' indicates that Goliath was a serpent."
Many venomous serpents are slithering through modern America. Still, there is hope, for Gideon's and Rahab's are beginning to stand.
David Lane is the founder of the American Renewal Project.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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