Thank you I.T., and good morning
For six years in a row, I found myself at this podium
on the first Saturday in April, and occasionally,
such as now, at other times of the year. It is my
pleasure to be here with you this morning, and God
willin’, I’ll be back again next April.
Every time I have addressed you, I have included
a prayer for our troops, and that’s how I
would like to start today. So if you would, please,
bow your heads and join me.
Today there are about half a million , American
men and women –
stationed in 150 countries around the world.
We pray You keep them safe,
we pray You keep them strong,
we pray You send them safely home ...
Bless those who await their safe
And Bless the friends and relatives
who mourn the casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan:
The MIAs, the 33,457 wounded, and the 4,833 Killed
In Action . … In Jesus name we ask ... Amen.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -
I’m not going to take the time here this morning,
but there is one other situation that I would recommend
to you for inclusion in your daily prayers.
The US national debt is approaching
an incomprehensible eleven trillion dollars …
Medicare faces insolvency during my lifetime …
and Social Security is expected to follow suit within
my son’s lifetime. The economy is in the worst
shape it has been in since the great depression,
and last month, we selected America’s 44th
president, who will be at the helm as we face the
first, of what may be many, years, of trillion dollar
If St Paul the apostle could pray
for Nero and the Roman authorities who put him in
prison (and eventually executed him), the least
we can do is to pray that our elected officials
uphold the US Constitution, and that the Lord guide
them as they lead our nation in the coming days,
months, and years. America, certainly needs that
help, and I ask that we all pray for it.
Let me begin by admitting that I did not author
the item I am about to share with you. It is an
adaptation of a piece by a national figure, whose
name I will reveal at the end.* Meanwhile, you might
have some fun with yourself, trying to figure out
who wrote the original piece.
But first, some church humor for you:
Attending a wedding for the first
time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why
is the bride dressed in white?"" The mother
responded: “Because white is the color of
happiness, and today is the happiest day of her
The child thought about this for
a moment then said, "So why is the groom wearing
A little girl, dressed in her Sunday best, was running
as fast as she could, trying not to be late for
Bible class. As she ran she prayed, "Dear Lord,
please don't let me be late! Dear Lord, please don't
let me be late!"
While she was running and praying, she tripped on
a curb and fell, getting her clothes dirty and tearing
her dress. She got up, brushed herself off, and
started running again! As she ran she once again
began to pray" Dear Lord, please don't let
me be late...But please don't shove me either!"
And the final bit of humor:
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about
The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few
words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they
give him $50. " The second boy says, "That's
nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of
paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100."
The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My
Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he
calls it a sermon, and it takes two people to collect
all the money!"
And now, here’s the item I want to share with
It is titled, “End of the
Christian Era – Question Mark”?
And I want to emphasize that it
ends in a question mark, so I ask you to give the
author the benefit of the doubt and consider this
as if he is asking a question, not making a declaration.
Two thousand years have elapsed since the Birth
of Christ in Bethlehem, the event that engendered
Western civilization. But for Christianity, the
sun has begun to set in the West.
Born in Judea, Christianity spread
swiftly across Asia Minor, North Africa and on to
Rome, where it was persecuted for 300 years. Then,
for the three centuries after Constantine, though
riven by heresies, Christianity was the faith of
the Roman Empire.
With the death of Muhammad in 632, however, a fighting
new faith arose. In a century, Islam had seized
Arabia, captured the Holy Land, swept over Africa
and conquered Spain.
The armies of Islam were only stopped
at Tours in France in 732 by Charles Martel, the
Hammer of the Franks, in one of the decisive battles
Europe was saved for Christianity.
Islam retreated back over the mountains into Spain,
where it retained a foothold until Isabella drove
the Moors out in the year she sent an Italian navigator
named Columbus to find the western sea route to
In 1492, all Western Europe was Christian and responsive
to Rome. But with the 1500s came Luther, Calvin,
Henry VIII and the Reformation, the sundering of
Christendom into a Protestant north and Catholic
south. The same division prevailed in the New World.
Protestant England colonized the east coast of North
America, as Catholic Spain colonized most of South
America. Yet, Christians all professed the same
God and believed in the same Savior.
With the Enlightenment in the 18th
century, however, came a revolution to overthrow
Christianity as well as the Church. French priests
were among the first butchered in the September
Massacres, even before Louis XVI and his queen ascended
In the 19th century, a greater
challenge to Christianity arose in the intellectual
realm: Darwinism. Among elites, the belief took
hold that not only was Christianity a fraud, God
did not exist. God is dead, said Nietzsche. And
if He is dead, and there is no life after death,
one must build the best of all possible worlds here
on earth. And if we must sacrifice a few million
of the species to build that world, so be it. For
the masses have no more worth than the animals we
kill for food. Survival of the fittest. Let the
Devil take the hindmost.
Marx was among the first to accept
the logic and urge men to act on it. Lenin, Trotsky
and Stalin did. But as Hegel might have predicted,
communism called into existence an antithesis, fascism.
And the war they fought far eclipsed in savagery
all the old religious wars.
But in winning World War II and,
later, the Cold War, it was the economic, technological
and military power of the United States and the
ideas associated with America that men said were
decisive. The Americans had delivered on the promise
of Marx – without paying the price Marx prescribed,
wholesale and bloody revolution.
"I am the Lord thy God, thou
shalt not have strange gods before me," God
said to Moses. But since the Reformation in the
West, that God has given way to one strange new
god after another: The king, the state, the nation,
the race and, finally, the self.
Architecture is a mirror of what men worship. The
first great buildings in Christendom were cathedrals:
St. Peter's in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, St. Paul's
in London. After the Reformation came the palaces,
with Versailles the greatest of all, as befit the
In the 19th century came the monuments and museums
exalting the achievements of nation and race. In
the 20th, the American century, the United States
built cathedrals to commerce, skyscrapers like the
Chrysler and Empire State buildings. An envious
Hitler enlisted Albert Speer to erect monuments
and public buildings to his 1,000-Year Reich to
dwarf anything the West had ever seen.
In the late 20th century, the tallest buildings
in the world, the twin towers of the World Trade
Center, arose. In the dawn of the 21st century,
they were brought crashing down by radical Muslims.
In the West, the God of Christianity
has been superseded by the gods of modernity: money,
sex, fame, power. These gods give a good life, but
they cannot sustain life. As Christianity is a dying
faith in every Western nation, every Western nation
is dying. Not one has a native-born population that
is reproducing itself. At present birth rates, all
will be changed utterly or pass away before century's
It is in the Third World, where
populations are still growing, that Christianity
still challenges Islam. Indeed, as the battle for
the future is decided in this century, a once-Christian
Europe will view the struggle from the windows of
its nursing home.
But as He told us, He did not come
into our world to make us rich or powerful, but
to die to give us the hope of eternal life.
OK. Now I’ll tell you who wrote this –
but first, does anyone want to guess?
Let me give you some hints…
- He is an American political commentator, syndicated
columnist, politician, and broadcaster. Anybody
want to guess his name?
- He was an adviser to presidents Nixon, Ford, and
- He sought the Republican presidential nomination
for himself in 1992 and 1996. Anyone?
- In the 2000 presidential election, he ran on the
Reform Party ticket. Anyone?
- His initials are PJB
Thank for your attention, and God willin’,
I’ll be back at this podium next April.
* End of the Christian Era? Patrick
J. Buchanan , December 26 2002
Click here to return to Men's