Prayer Targets: State of the Union, Nine Weeks of Prayer for Marriage
February 13, 2013
Dear Praying Friends,
French historian Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) is known for his observations and keen insights into early 19th century America and why America enjoyed such great success in such a short time. He concluded that the shared principles of Christian faith were a major contributing factor in making America so exceptional:
In the United States the sovereign authority is religious... there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men... Thus the human mind is never left to wander across a boundless field; and, whatever may be its pretensions, it is checked... by barriers which it cannot surmount. Before it can perpetrate innovation, certain primal and immutable principles are laid down, and the boldest conceptions of human device are subjected to certain forms which retard and stop their completion. The imagination of the Americans, even in its greatest flights, is circumspect and undecided; its impulses are checked, and its works unfinished. These habits of restraint recur in political society, and are singularly favorable both to the tranquility of the people and to the durability of the institutions it has established...
The revolutionists of America are obliged to profess an ostensible respect for Christian morality and equity, which does not easily permit them to violate the laws that oppose their designs... Thus whilst the law permits the Americans to do what they please, religion prevents them from conceiving, and forbids them to commit, what is rash or unjust... I do not know whether all the Americans have a sincere faith in their religion... but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation, and to every rank of society. ...
Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. Religion is much more necessary in the republic which they set forth in glowing colors than in the monarchy which they attack; and it is more needed in democratic republics than in any others. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie be not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed? And what can be done with a people which is its own master, if it be not submissive to the Divinity? (de Tocqueville, Democracy in America - Volume 1 Chapter 17).
State of the Union Address - The "checks," "barriers," "immutable principles," "circumspection," "habits of restraint," and "respect for Christian morality and equity" that de Tocqueville observed in American politics in 1831 seem to have disappeared in 2013. The Wall Street Journal writes,
The big question of President Obama's second term is whether he wants to forge bipartisan compromises in the next two years, or...[campaign] against Republicans to regain Democratic control of the House in 2014... we're guessing he's going for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Mr. Obama's second inaugural was a clarion call to "collective action"... Tuesday's speech showed what he thinks that should mean in practice. "The American people don't expect government to solve every problem," he said, while proceeding to offer a new government program to solve every problem.
Not enough job creation? Have the feds set up 15 new "manufacturing hubs" where business can get government advice...Decaying public works? How about a "Fix-It-First" plan to pay the unemployed to repair roads and bridges? ... the "shovel-ready" stimulus projects of the first term become the "most urgent repairs" of the second... Lousy K-12 results? Have the feds finance pre-school for "every child in America."
Not enough money to subsidize electric cars or more Solyndras? Create a new Energy Security Trust, funded by taxing oil and gas companies... Not all women earn as much money on average as men? Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so government can unleash the trial lawyers to enforce equal pay... Climate change? Congress must "soon" pass the Lieberman-McCain version of cap and trade that couldn't pass the Democratic Senate in 2010, or he'll unleash his regulators at the EPA...Stagnant wage growth? Raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour and index it for inflation. But if a higher minimum wage can conjure middle-class prosperity, why not make it $20 an hour--or $50?
There was so much more, but...It is not an olive branch for bipartisan deal-making with the House GOP. In its ambition and partisan framing, the agenda sounded like the opening bell in the 2014 Congressional campaign, an attempt to mobilize the new liberal majority he believes he has forged in his first four years (WSJ ).
On his sexual agenda in public policy, the President said, it was our "unfinished task" to make sure Americans get ahead "no matter...who you love." He proposed that expanding pre-school programs...would help in "reducing teen pregnancy..." He said, "We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families -- gay and straight. We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat."
In the aftermath of Newtown, CT, the President said his proposed nationwide gun-control regimen would be worth it if "if even one child's life can be saved." Last night, he declared "what I've said... matters little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource -- our children." Yet these concerns about our children come from the most pro-abortion President in American history, who is simultaneously coercing Americans to pay for abortions and abortifacient birth control even as our marriage and birth rates are declining with the help of liberal public policy! The President has warned that he plans to take independent action on many of these issues due to Congress' slowness to enact his agenda (see SOTU Transcript, Response, President's Plans, Independent Executive Action, Climate Alarm).
- May God's people fall to their knees and remain before Him with extraordinary prayer over the next four years. May God hear our prayers for our President and nation. May he not increase the long-term burden but rather lighten the load of the American people. May we not reap irreconcilable division in America like that brought in Ancient Israel when King Rehoboam rejected wisdom of Israel's elders. May we repent, seek God's face and find His favor again (Dt 28:all; 1 Sam 8: all; 2 Chr 10: all; 7:14; Pr 16:11-13; Is 1:18; Jer 29:12-14).
Finally, we are called to be salt and light (Mt 5:13-16) and to "occupy" until the Lord returns (Lk 19:13)! May the lord find us faithful (Lk 18:1-8)! Please pray over the Hagel and Brennan confirmation votes; the "sequestration" dilemma; American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is undergoing torture in Iran (May our State Department do its job and win his release). Join us and the Alliance Defending Freedom in Nine weeks of Prayer for Marriage through March 26th and 27th when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments over California's Marriage Amendment (Proposition 8) and the Federal DOMA. Week 2 is already in progress. Pray for God to direct the choice of Pope Benedict's successor; the Pentagon's outrageous announcement that in this hour of budget deficits and sequester defense cuts, that it will provide special benefits to the sexual partners of homosexual servicemen even though it is in direct defiance of federal law (DOMA). As always, thank you for praying!