Pastor Gary

Pastor Of Wellspring Church


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TO SPEAK OUT OR NOT TO SPEAK OUT…THAT IS THE QUESTION!

Our pastoral staff was blessed yesterday to attend a luncheon sponsored by Michigan Family Forum, a conservative group of pastors and lay people here in Michigan who stand for religious freedom. The speaker for the event was Eric Metaxas who has written the New York Times best seller Bonhoeffer, the life story of a man who spoke of “religionless Christianity” and fought to stop the slaughter of the Jews in Germany during Hitler’s reign. He was hung by the Gestapo in a Nazi prison camp in April 1945 just 23 days before the German surrender.

Yesterday’s luncheon was full of ministry people including the president of Hope College in Holland Michigan and several pastors of large area churches. Metaxas made it clear to all of those present that contrary to popular opinion, pastor’s should be speaking out about the political issues of our day. He compared today’s issues to those being faced by Bonhoeffer during Hiltler’s regime and stated that NOW is the time to speak out…and inferred that soon you may not be able to.

The room was still and quiet (minus the moans of agreement being brought forth by my wife, myself and a few others).

I think that it is interesting that Mataxes stated that he that he had just returned from two weeks in Germany, Bosnia, Albania and Greece where he was able to speak out on the issues of the day. He spoke of the fact that the church was totally silent during the atrocities of Hitler’s day and mentioned how the pastors of that day were silent. He shared a phrase that Chuck Colson (Prison Fellowship International)  had written in one of his books. He called this absence of political dialogue in the church “The Spiral of Silence.”

I found it interesting that there was this sullen quietness in the entire room…as if most of the pastors at the luncheon were not on the same page and that they had been lied to for so long about the “required” separation of church and state that they actually bought into the idea that it is somehow unconstitutional for churches to talk about politics. He pleaded with the pastors to speak up now…before the “Spiral of Silence” puts us behind bars.

This morning I was reading an article from a Christian author and writer stating that he believed that pastors should not speak out on political issues.

I disagree.

One week ago I was in Germany and had the opportunity to visit Dachau Prison Camp where Hitler sent thousands of Jews to be exterminated. We got off our train and were told that it was about a 50 minute walk to Dachau While walking down the street heading toward the camp, I noticed on old woman peering from a third floor window of a house that looked like it had been there a hundred years or so. I could only imagine what her eyes may have seen in the past 100 years from that same window and countless Jews marched to their death. Once we arrived at the camp, we walked the grounds that held cattle cars full of innocent men, women, and children who were to be exterminated in the gas chambers. We stood next to the furnaces that had destroyed the remains of thousands of beautiful lives that had been cut short simply because they were of Jewish descent. We walked the halls of buildings where pastors were imprisoned in total darkness for 8 months at a time… simply because they spoke out against the insanity that was taking place all around them.

I shudder to think of what might happen here in America. That was the very point that Mr. Mataxes was trying so carefully to articulate. Mr. Mataxas shared the fact that Deitrick Bonhoffer witnessed the German Lutheran church as it became infected with Nazism and thus weakened in its mission to spread the true gospel of love and peace. Pastors turned their backs on sin and did NOT call it out, and those who did were imprisoned…or tortured to death.

You may remember that part of the ‘Great Awakening’ that took place, before our founders were even around, was the ‘awakening’ within the corruption of government and how it had to be addressed.

Our culture is no different than it was in Bonhoeffer’s day…morally decadent. Far too many clergy are in what Colson calls “The Spiral of Silence.”

Way too many clergy believe that preachers do not have the responsibility to call evil out. This is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer dealt with in Germany while Hitler called himself a ‘Christian’…and we all know where that led to!

I believe that our life narrative should be so saturated with Jesus Christ and the principles and practices of His Word that it affects our culture forever and saves us from the mistakes of history.

In my mind…there is no difference between the “sacred” and “secular” life of a TRUE CHRIST FOLLOWER. Politics, economics, and spirituality are inextricably linked; therefore I cannot separate my belief system on Sundays from my daily life. They are one.

If there is anything that struck me while standing in the prison camp last week, it was reading the plaques on the doors of the cells and in the halls of the buildings that held those sentenced to death. Those plaques reminded us how this mammoth atrocity happened right underneath the ears, eyes and noses of the people living right there in that little town of Dachau…and nobody dared say a word…”The Spiral of Silence.”

It can happen right underneath our ears, eyes and noses here in America too.


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The man behind the mask.

Obama’s ‘foreign beliefs’ a reflection of his image

Much puzzling behavior by President Barack Obama falls into place when we go behind the image he projects (“Obama 1”) to the factual reality of the man’s whole life and thrust (“Obama 2”).

Obama himself is well aware of the nature and importance of his image. In his own words, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” An 18th century philosopher put the matter bluntly: “When I speak, I put on a mask. When I act, I am forced to take it off.”

Many of Obama’s actions as president reflect neither political expediency nor an attempt to promote the best interests of the American people. Take, for example, his bowing low from the waist to foreign leaders.

No president had done that before. It gained Obama nothing with the voters, nor was there any reason to think he expected it to. Why then did he do it?

What did it accomplish? It brought the United States down a peg, in the eyes of the world, something that he has sought to do in many other ways.

These bows were perfectly consistent with his view of maldistribution of power and prestige internationally, just as his domestic agenda reflects a felt need for a redistribution of wealth and power within American society.

Against that background, it is not at all puzzling that Obama has clamped down on offshore oil drilling by Americans in the Gulf of Mexico, but has encouraged and subsidized offshore oil drilling by Brazil with our tax dollars.

That is another example of international redistribution—and payback for perceived past oppressions or exploitation of the West against the non-West.

So is replacing pro-Western governments in the Middle East with Islamic extremist governments.

Some people may have gotten focused on the issue of Obama’s birth certificate because so much of what he has done seems foreign to American ideals, traditions and interests.

Those who have questioned whether Obama is really a citizen of the United States have missed the larger question: Whether he considers himself a citizen of the world. Think about this remarkable statement by Obama during the 2008 campaign: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times… and then just expect that every other country is going to say, ‘OK.’”

Are Americans supposed to let foreigners tell them how to live their lives? The implied answer is clearly “Yes!” When Obama went to the United Nations for authority to take military action and ignored the Congress of the United States that was all consistent with his vision of the way the world should be.

How has Obama gotten away with so many things that are foreign to American beliefs and traditions? Partly it is because of the quiescent media, sharing many of his ideological views. But part of his success must be credited— if that is the word—to his rhetorical talents and his ability to project an image that many people accept and welcome.

The role of a confidence man is not to convince the skeptics, but to help the gullible believe what they want to believe. But he is not trying to convince the skeptics, nor worried about looking ridiculous to informed people who won’t vote for him anyway.

This is a source of much polarization between those who see and accept Obama 1 and those who see through that facade to Obama 2.


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Leaders…lead.

During this past week I have enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation in the mountains of Colorado. I have had an awesome time with my wife

and children (minus my oldest daughter Danielle, who is now married and wants to come with us next year). I have had plenty of time to relax, pray, study, and think through the future of Wellspring Church. I have looked at the things other pastors have said about many subjects. I have prayed that God will help me to continue the ministry of mentoring as many young men and women as possible so that God’s kingdom will be eternally advanced. Once again I realize that the way to lead is to live the example to those who work with you, to be their servant. Too many leaders want to lead without serving.

I heard many speakers from the Republican National Convention talk about our future and about leadership…The one thing that stuck out to
me so strongly that I actually jumped up and wrote it down was a statement by Condoleezza Rice. She said that “it is impossible to lead from behind.” A leader must lead. Despite those who come against you…(and it could be those in your own family or others close to you) YOU MUST LEAD AS THE HOLY SPIRIT TELLS YOU TO LEAD and not everyone will always agree with you…some will be “spear throwers.”

I am so thankful that God is not finished with me and that there is so much more to do for the kingdom of God. I am also thankful for the staff at Wellspring Church. Each of them has come up through the ministry of Wellspring and they have matured and grown into the men and women that God wants them to be. I have stated this over and over to the staff of Wellspring, “I would much rather have someone who is loyal than the most gifted person in the world.” True humility is something that is rare today. Too many people have a hidden agenda and ONLY look for opportunities to advance themselves and their own agenda. As I have repeated stated: THE WAY UP IS DOWN. Too many young adults expect to get what they want without waiting on God. They want instant gratification, and if they don’t get it they throw what I call “a hissy fit.” They will go nowhere but down. The fear of the Lord and humility is the beginning of wisdom; not talent, not a hard work ethic, not good looks or money, but humility.

While I have been away I have had the opportunity to look at where we have come from as a church, where we are going, and those that I most trust to help take us there. It is an honor to serve Jesus every day, wherever we are. While sitting in the hot tub today with my kids, a young, college age man came and sat there with us. It wasn’t long before we were talking about spiritual things. Of all things…he is from Kalamazoo and is searching. When asked what he did for a living, he stated that he was a farmer and ski instructor, I asked him what kind of crops he grew and he said, “medicinal” …But what he didn’t say was that he was growing marijuana. I knew immediately that this was not the time to talk to him about the dangers of pot…this was the time to talk to him about Jesus. What a joy it is to share our faith in a loving God with those who are desperately searching for love and forgiveness, not judgment and self righteousness. He stated that being from West Michigan he had seen a lot of religiosity but not a whole lot of spirituality and that he was looking for something deeper. WOW!

How exciting to know that people can actually see the difference. He did not want some kind of religious instruction manual; he wanted a relationship with a living being. He wanted love. This made me understand even more how important it is as a husband, father, pastor and mentor to lead through relationship not through religious talk or rules because rules without relationship lead to rebellion. It is crucial that we be servants.
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One of the things that most troubles me about the younger generation is the spirit of entitlement and the fact that they cannot take instruction. They are positive that they are being attacked if you suggest that they do something different, and by the way, there is little loyalty today. I thank God for people like Zach Rasmusson (our youth pastor) who is not only a loyal friend of mine but has become an incredible preacher. He is a Jonathan to me. This kind of loyalty is missing today. There are far too many Diatrophes – people who only desire the top spot – the limelight; they are ever learning but never coming to an understanding of servanthood. They never come to an understanding of the truth, not realizing that the way up is down, that the way to lead is to humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and wash feet. Thank God for all of the staff at Wellspring that is open and teachable. God will do great things through them.

It only takes a few days of vacation for me to realize how blessed I am to be the pastor of Wellspring Church – a place of love and joy.  Thanks to all that stand at my side working for the King of life – the One we love and look forward to seeing someday soon.

I am the most blessed pastor in the world.

P.S. Let me close with a phrase that I heard while watching a movie with my teenage daughter this week.

THE ONLY THING GREATER THAN FEAR IS HOPE.


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Does Your Heart Break?

One of our church’s dance teams does a dance called “Does You Heart Break”. It is powerful. I want you to see this video and consider the dire spiritual condition of our country.

I am in the process of writing a letter to each and every church in Grand Rapids, asking them to think seriously about preaching a message concerning the need for prayer and fasting as we approach this year’s election. America is in trouble. We need to see repentance on every level but it MUST START in the church. Preachers need to get back to preaching…not tickling the ears in the congregations because they are concerned about losing members. They must speak up about the policies of the present administration. It is time to expose those in government who are claiming to be Christians while making mockery of God and His Holy Word. I plan to preach a series of sermons entitled OUR LAST CHANCE! In this series we will look at what happens to any nation that turns its back on God and disregards His Word and His principles.

I recently read an article stating the concerns of several men of God and their prophecies about our future as a nation if we do not turn back to God and put only those in office that put God first.

Please read the following article which expresses my own outlook on our future as a nation should we not put God back where he belongs.

Famed evangelist Billy Graham has written a letter calling America and its “deceived people” to repentance with a series of escalating warnings that the nation is in growing danger of God’s judgment.

“This may be our last chance to call the nation to pray,” says Anne Gimenez, national chair person of America for Jesus—The Awakening, which expects hundreds of thousands of people to gather at Independence Mall in Philadelphia Sept. 28-29 to pray and intercede for the United States.

“We believe it possibly could be the last time we have this opportunity. Nineveh is a great example. All the wickedness of that city, and yet when they did what God said they should do and repented, God healed their land. That’s right where America is today. We’re on the brink of America being destroyed as we know it, but I believe God is giving America a chance at this hour.”

In his letter, “My Heart Aches for America,” the 93-year-old Graham wrote that he recalled how his late wife, Ruth, once expressed concerns about the nation’s “terrible downward spiral”— exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Graham, who has preached to more people than any other Protestant in history—2.2 billion— wrote that he wondered what Ruth would think of the country today where “self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”

“My hearts aches for America,” wrote Graham, who has provided spiritual counsel to every president from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush and received Barack Obama in his home in 2010. He has been on Gallup’s “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” list 55 times since 1955.

“The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s Day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented. I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation.”

Graham’s letter calling America to repentance comes as a growing number of highly respected Christian leaders have issued similar warnings in recent months, noting that the nation is in a downward spiral of economic decline, immorality, corruption, growing secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.

Jack Hayford, the founding pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., and the former president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, says Graham’s letter comes as the nation is in a “very grim hour as we approach the election this year.”

“What we need is something on the order of shock troops at this hour, and I can imagine that can be raised,” Hayford says. “I don’t feel despairing. I do feel the urgency. We are at a point that desperate action is needed and Billy’s voice, certainly as no other, can give rise to that.”

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the author of the New York Times best-selling book The Harbinger, says Graham’s letter is a “prophetic word” that parallels the message in The Harbinger—that America is rapidly departing from God and is in danger of judgment unless it turns back to God in humble and genuine repentance.

The fact that Graham released the letter “should get our attention” and is “very striking” and “very stunning,” says Cahn, the senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J.

“I believe this is a very, very critical time for America and for God’s people in America, and I believe it has ramifications for world history,” says Cahn, a descendant of Aaron, the high priest of the ancient Israelites and the brother of the Biblical prophet Moses. “The way that America goes is going to affect the world, and the way God’s people in America go will affect America.

“So, the message of The Harbinger is that we are in danger and that the same progression of judgment that occurred in the last days of ancient Israel is now occurring in America. The call is ultimately for salvation for those who don’t know the Lord and for repentance and revival for those who do. I see this (Graham’s letter) as another very stark sign that we are a critical point.”

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Joel Rosenberg, the New York Times best-selling author of Implosion: Can America Recover from its Economic & Spiritual Challenges in Time?, echoed Cahn’s remarks in a blog entry last week, noting Graham’s letter highlights “the need for spiritual revival.”

“America is in grave danger,” Rosenberg wrote. “The massacre in Aurora. The child sex-abuse scandal at Penn State. The scourge of abortion and pornography and runaway spending and debt in Washington. The list tragically goes on and on. In Implosion, I try to document how serious the situation is, and how a Third Great Awakening is the only answer.”

Graham’s letter comes as several organizations are planning prayer gatherings, evangelistic festivals and other events.

In his letter, Graham wrote his son Franklin Graham is planning to launch an outreach entitled My Hope with Billy Graham “that wouldbring the gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year.”

“America is desperately in need of another great awakening,” says Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International. “As many other nations in history have belatedly discovered, one cannot eliminate the name of Jesus and think that God does not see. We all need to listen and respond to what the Lord has put on the heart of Dr. Billy Graham, and respond to his message of hope as well as courageously find our own voice in calling the church and nation to repent.”

Meanwhile, starting Sept. 28 and continuing through Nov. 6, 40 Days to Save America is calling for prayer, fasting and repentance in the 40 days prior to the presidential election.

“During the American Revolution, in the darkest days of the Civil War, at the outset of our involvement in World War II, leaders as different as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared national seasons of prayer, fasting and repentance,” wrote Rick Scarborough, chairman of 40 Days to Save America on the website.

“Today, our nation faces multiple crises—pending economic collapse, moral disintegration and international terrorism—but all have spiritual underpinnings. Together, they are even more daunting than those Americans confronted in 1776, 1863 and 1941. Now as then our national survival is at stake. Now as then, our destiny rests in God’s hands. The crises confronting us are beyond the power of human beings to resolve without divine guidance. Nothing short of a Third Great Awakening can save us.”

The calls for prayer and repentance come a year after Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared Aug. 6, 2011, a day of national prayer, fasting and repentance and invited fellow governors to attend The Response at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Given the trials besetting the nation from the “global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and continued
debasement of our culture,” Perry said he believed it was time to “convene the leaders from each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting, like that described in the book of Joel.”

Doug Stringer, the founder of Somebody Cares America and the national mobilization coordinator for The Response, says a battle for the soul of the nation is underway, the wake-up call has come and yet “we keep pushing the snooze button.”

“Coming from one who has been such a great giant—an ambassador for Christ around the world—I think [Graham’s] words at age 93 should deeply, deeply impact each and every one of us,” Stringer says. “I really believe we’re in a Joel 2 moment where the church must take seriously personal and individual repentance. America is in trouble. We need God himself to intervene.”

For another Great Awakening to occur, Hayford says the church and believers must engage in “gut-level, spiritually-impassioned intercessory prayer”—something lacking in most churches today, few of which even hold prayer meetings anymore.

“The undermining of the ensconced dark powers that are eating out the underpinnings of our national life are only going to be neutralized and cast down in one way,” says Hayford, author of Penetrating the Darkness: Discovering the Power of the Cross Against Unseen Evil. “You can preach about it, and that’s valid, and it’s not worthless. But it’s what is awakened in the church
through prayer that becomes the truly penetrating and ultimately victorious dynamic.”


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A man of sorrows.


I awoke this morning in a very contemplative mood, thinking about the brevity of life and the amount of pain and hurt we experience this side of heaven. I lay in bed praying for all the people out there that are feeling some sort of rejection – the kind of rejection that I have experienced for a great portion of my life. You see, I was the kid that nobody wanted on their team. I was the kid who walked the halls alone, who spent lunchtime silent and alone, wondering why no one wanted to sit by me. I had NO friends. I was not popular and did not communicate well at all.

I guess that is why I need Jesus so much – because he was a man of sorrows…acquainted with grief. He understood loneliness and rejection better than anyone.

Every day following lunch, the staff and interns of our church gather in the front of the auditorium to pray. We spend time on our knees to get a hold of God in a way that cannot be known except by prayer. Yesterday was no different than most days. There were about 19 men (I use the term loosely) gathered around in a circle. As usually, I was one of the first men there. I always kneel in pretty much the same place, and the one thing you would notice right away is that no one ever wants to kneel next to me. There is almost always an empty spot on both sides of me, and this time was no exception. It usually doesn’t bother me, but for some odd reason it did this time. It made me sad. I began asking myself questions like, “Do I have bad breath?” “Do I smell?” “Are they just afraid to pray next to the lead pastor?”

Finally I decided that it is just my lot in life to be alone, to experience rejection just like Christ did as he walked on the earth. I imagined how Jesus felt on the night he was betrayed, when he wanted to pray in the Garden of Gethsemene but all his disciples fell asleep. Jesus wept as he poured out his heart – heavy with the weight of the world’s sin while his disciples slept, oblivious to his pain.

As I write this, I am reminded once again of Isaiah’s words, “He was despised and rejected…a man of sorrows…acquainted with grief.” It is so odd to think how Jesus was everybody’s friend and yet nobody’s friend. He would go to the cross alone with only his mother, the other Mary, and John (the beloved.) Wow! That is hard to imagine – the Savior of mankind went alone.

As I got out of bed and got my Ipad to check my e-mail, I received the news that my friend, Tim Hassenzahl’s father had gone to be with our King. As the message put it, he is “finally home.” Once again, my heart was bombarded with numerous thoughts and questions: “Why him?” “Why was he taken so young (61 years old)…why not me?” “Why such a godly man…why not someone evil?”

Then it came to me – a reminder, once again, that God is in control. He determines the number of our days. He alone knows the permanent mark that Tim’s father has made, and that his life has left a legacy so strong that nothing else needed to be done. His work was finished, his life cried out, “It is finished!” Somehow that helps me on my journey, to know that even when life is the
most disappointing and even when no one picks me to be on their team, God is still in control. I am never alone. He is right there beside me.


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 Two people marry because they are committed to each other. Marriage is usually the next progression in a relationship after dating. Marriage is by far one of the most serious decisions that you will have to make in your life.

Is this the person for me?!?! How do I know if I should marry this person!? These questions race through your head even if you do feel comfortable about the person.  However…only time will tell. Marriage is desirable because of the stability it provides for the family, even if that family is just husband and wife.  This of course assumes a good marriage.

Marriage can also prove to be very beneficial to the development of the man and woman as they purportedly pursue dreams and goals together.  Marriage by nature is a good thing however; having a good marriage is a whole different ballgame and will require a lot of work by both the husband and the wife…. To hear more on this topic, come to Wellspring Church tomorrow July,22nd at 8:30am or 10:30am for my sermon on “How to find the right mate”.


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Thoughts

As I finish out the day I came across some interesting information regarding Mitt Romney and his background. I am reminded of how little information our current president Barack Obama has allowed us to know about his past including his college transcripts. There is something foreboding and scary about our president. It should alarm all of us as to where he is taking our nation.

There is an interesting movie set to show in our theaters this summer that is certain to shed some light on our president and his thoughts about Colonialism and his desire to see America ‘downsized’. Click on the link to get a preview and
encourage everyone you can to see this movie.

For those of you are busy worrying about whether Mitt Romney is a Christian or not (and I don’t see how he could be if he is a Mormon), we should worry more about the frightening changes that are taking place right underneath our noses every day than we are about whether he is a Christian. As Christ followers…let’s work together to put someone back in charge of this nation who believes in Jehovah God and His Word. Let’s stand together and pray that America will remain free. It’s almost too late.

Here is some interesting background information on Mitt Romney. He sounds like a great alternative to what we now have. PRAY!

Willard Mitt Romney

There may be information here that you won’t get from the mainstream press.

Every voter should read this so that he or she can make an informed choice:

But you know all this stuff, don’t you…

Personal Information:

His full Name is: Willard Mitt Romney

He was born March 12, 1947 and is 65 years old.

His Father: George W. Romney, former Governor of the State of Michigan

He was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

He is married to Ann Romney since 1969; they have five children.

Education:

B.A. from Brigham Young University,

J.D. and M.B.A. from Harvard University

Religion:

Mormon- The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints

Working Background:

After high school, he spent 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary.

After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar exam, but never worked as an attorney.

In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm, one of the largest such firms in the United States.

In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts and lost to Ted Kennedy.

He was President and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

In 2002, he was elected Governor of State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.

Some Interesting Facts about Romney:

Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts, turned it into Staples; now over 2,000 stores employing 90,000 people. Bain Capital also worked to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino’s, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply, and many others.

He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad’s gubernatorial campaign 1 year.

He was an unpaid intern in his dad’s governor’s office for eight years.

He was unpaid bishop and state president of his church for ten years.

He was an unpaid President of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for three years.

He took no salary and was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for four years.

He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.

Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest self-made men in our country but has given more back to its citizens in terms of money, service, and time than most men.

In 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income…. Just for comparison purposes, Obama gave 1% and Joe Biden gave $300 or .0013%

Mitt Romney is Trustworthy:

He will show us his birth certificate.

He will show us his high school and college transcripts.

He will show us his social security card.

He will show us his law degree.

He will show us his draft notice.

He will show us his medical records.

He will show us his income tax records.

He will show us he has nothing to hide.

Mitt Romney’s background, experience and trustworthiness show him to be a great leader and an excellent citizen for President of the United States.

You may think that Romney may not be the best representative the Republicans could have selected. At least I know what religion he is, and that he won’t desecrate the flag, bow down to foreign powers, or practice fiscal irresponsibility. I know he has the ability to turn this financial debacle that the current regime has gotten us into. We won’t like all the things necessary to recover from this debt, but someone with Romney’s background can do it. But, on the minus side, He never was a “Community Organizer”, never took drugs or smoked pot, never got drunk, did not associate with communists or terrorists, nor did he attend a church whose pastor called for God to damn the US.


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I wonder why no one is speaking up!

I often wonder if anyone in the media (or for that matter in our churches) is at all interested in the kind of man that sits behind the desk of our nation’s oval office. Does anyone care enough to speak up? Are we going to willingly remain silent in our churches until it becomes a law that you cannot speak out in opposition to a public figure such as Barack Obama?

Do we hide behind that fact that God is the one who sovereignly places those in public offices or do we know that God also expects us to speak out when it comes to the things that violate our code of ethics that are revealed in God’s Holy Word? Does he get off without anyone talking about the most obvious anti American sentiment professed from his own lips…in his own writings? Ladies and gentlemen…It is time to speak out and let our communities know the things that he himself has said…which quite frankly are not appropriate from the highest office of this great land.

I received an e-mail which quoted things that Barack Obama has stated in his books. Please just read through these things and decide for yourself if he deserves another term as the Commander and Chief of the great country.

This is the E-mail that I received and it really made me think.

The character of any man is defined by how he treats his mother as the years pass…need I say more about this person below other than there is no character, no integrity but there is a ton of attitude and arrogance that defines his shallow past and hollow future…I rest my case.

I bought and read Obama’s book, Audacity of Hope. It was difficult to read considering his attitude toward us and everything American. Let me add a phrase he used to describe his attitude toward whites.

He harbors a “COIL OF RAGE”. His words not mine.

THIS IS OUR PRESIDENT — HE’S RUNNING AGAIN, YOU KNOW! Is anyone out there awake?

Everyone of voting age should read these two books by him: Don’t buy them, just get them from the library.

From Dreams From My Father:
“I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”

From Dreams From My Father:
“I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.”

From Dreams From My Father:

“There was something about her that made me wary, a little too sure of herself, maybe and white.”

From Dreams From My Father:

“It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.”

From Dreams From My Father:

“I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa , that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself: the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.”

And FINALLY………..and most scary:

From Audacity of Hope:
“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

I don’t care whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, a Conservative or a liberal, this should not be the attitude of a sitting president.


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Change Agents

I just finished reading a powerful book that really made me think about the necessity to be agents of change.  The name of the book is Change Agent by Oz Hillman.

On a daily basis here at Wellspring our staff spends hours together working on areas of our lives that need to better exemplify the ministry and message of Jesus Christ, the ultimate change agent.  We blieve in reaching our culture, and our world, on life at a time…but it must be intentional…It doesn’t just happen.

In the Book, the author compares the lifestyle of two very different individuals…One who was raised in a healthy, Godly home and another who was raised in an atheistic home.  He stresses the importance of Godly Christian homes.

Healthy Christian families lead to producing positive change agents in a culture.  Conversely, a poor family history often leads to producing destructive change agents.  Noel and Phyl Gibsonk, in a book entitled Evicting Demonic Squatters and Breaking Bondages, compared the family history of two families over a two-hundred-year period.  One family, the family of Maz Jukes, was an atheistic, non believing family, while the other family was that of Jonathan Edwards, a committed Christian leader.  Here was the difference between the two families over the two hundred years in what each family produced.

Jonathan Edwards

  • Married a godly woman
  • Had 1,394 descendants
  • 295 graduated from college
  • 13 college presidents; 65 professors
  • 3 US senators
  • 3 state governors

Max Jukes

  • married an atheistic woman
  • Had 560 descendants
  • 310 died as paupers
  • 150 criminals
  • 7 murderers
  • 100 drunkards


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A moment to reflect

It has been a while since I have blogged so I thought it good that I sit for a moment and share some of my own personal thoughts about life and events surrounding me and my beloved family.

I am extremely excited that my oldest daughter is getting married to a fine Christian man in our church this Saturday.  He has been a part of the Wellspring family for 13 years and is a student of God’s Word.  Danielle and Dan have known each other for many years.  They have had time to groom a wonderful God-fearing relationship.  We are so pleased for out daughter.  God answered our prayers.

Needless to say…this coming week is very busy with many “out-of-town” guests and a large wedding to prepare for.  My wife and I are exhausted already.  I thank God for such a loving congregation that has already been a help to us at this time.  They are quick to want to help us in any way possible.

I had an article forwarded to me this morning that I thought was so helpful in understanding our president’s negative attitude toward Christians in this nation.  This might be something that you want to pass on to your neighbors, family and friends.  Pray for God to open the eyes of people’s hearts before it is too late.

America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President
David Barton – 02/29/2012

America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President

When one observes President Obama’s unwillingness to accommodate America’s four-century long religious conscience protection through his attempts to require Catholics to go against their own doctrines and beliefs, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Catholic. But that characterization would not be correct. Although he has recently singled out Catholics, he has equally targeted traditional Protestant beliefs over the past four years. So since he has attacked Catholics and Protestants, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Christian. But that, too, would be inaccurate. He has been equally disrespectful in his appalling treatment of religious Jews in general and Israel in particular. So perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews, and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as anti-Biblical. And then when his hostility toward Biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-Biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-Biblical actions.

Listed below in chronological order are (1) numerous records of his attacks on Biblical persons or organizations; (2) examples of the hostility toward Biblical faith that have become evident in the past three years in the Obama-led military; (3) a listing of his open attacks on Biblical values; and finally (4) a listing of numerous incidents of his preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions, including letting his Islamic advisors guide and influence his hostility toward people of Biblical faith.

1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:

April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” 1

February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011. 2

April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. 3

May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. 4

April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. 5

October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. 6

November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. 7

January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. 8

February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. 9

April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. 10

August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. 11

November 2011 – Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. 12

November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. 13

December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. 14

January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. 15

February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. 16
2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:

June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery. 17

August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except America). 18

September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. 19

September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” 20

November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. 21

November 2011 – The Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans. 22

February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. 23

February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). 24

February 2012 – The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. 25

April 2012 – A checklist for Air Force Inns will no longer include ensuring that a Bible is available in rooms for those who want to use them.26

May 2012 – The Obama administration opposes legislation to protect the rights of conscience for military chaplains who do not wish to perform same-sex marriages in violation of their strongly-held religious beliefs.27

3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:

January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. 28

January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. 29

March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. 30

March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. 31

March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. 32

May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions. 33 He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. 34

May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. 35

July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 36

September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” 37

July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion. 38

August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. 39

September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. 40

February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 41

March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. 42

July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. 43

September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 44

October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. 45
4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:

May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. 46

April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. 47

April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. 48

August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. 49

August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. 50

2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. 51

October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. 52

February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, 53 but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do. 54

Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.

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Endnotes

1. Sarah Pulliam Baily, “Obama: ‘They cling to guns or religion’,” Christianity Today, April 13, 2008. (Return)

2. Aliza Marcus, “Obama to Lift ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Bloomberg, February 27, 2009; Sarah Pulliam Baily, “Obama Admin. Changes Bush ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Christianity Today, February 18, 2011. (Return)

3. Jim Lovino, “Jesus Missing From Obama’s Georgetown Speech,” NBC Washington, April 17, 2009. (Return)

4. Johanna Neuman, “Obama end Bush-era National Prayer Day Service at White House,” Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2009. (Return)

5. Chris McGreal, “Vatican vetoes Barack Obama’s nominees for U.S. Ambassador,” The Guardian, April 14, 2009. (Return)

6. Meredith Jessup, “Obama Continues to Omit ‘Creator’ From Declaration of Independence,” The Blaze, October 19, 2010. (Return)

7. “Remarks by the President at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia,” The White House, November 10, 2010. (Return)

8. LadyImpactOhio, ” Feds sued by Veterans to allow stolen Mojave Desert Cross to be rebuilt,” Red State, January 14, 2011. (Return)

9. Marrianne Medlin, “Amid criticism, President Obama moves to fill vacant religious ambassador post,” Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2011; Thomas F. Farr, “Undefender of the Faith,” Foreign Policy, April 5, 2012. (Return)

10. Chris Johnson, “ENDA passage effort renewed with Senate introduction,” Washington Blade, April 15, 2011. (Return)

11. Chuck Donovan, “HHS’s New Health Guidelines Trample on Conscience,” Heritage Foundation, August 2, 2011. (Return)

12. Todd Starns, “Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial,” Fox News, November 4, 2011. (Return)

13. Joel Siegel, “Obama Omits God From Thanksgiving Speech, Riles Critics,” ABC News, November 25, 2011. (Return)

14. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day,” U.S. Department of State, December 6, 2011. (Return)

15. Ted Olson, “Church Wins Firing Case at Supreme Court,” Christianity Today, January 11, 2012. (Return)

16. Audrey Hudson, “Obama administration religious service for student loan forgiveness,” Human Events, February 15, 2012. (Return)

17. “Houston Veterans Claim Censorship of Prayers, Including Ban of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’,” Fox News, June 29, 2011. (Return)

18. Jason Ukman, “Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages that train missle launch officers,” Washington Post, August 2, 2011. (Return)

19. “Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion,” Department of the Air Force, September 1, 2011. (Return)

20. “Wounded, Ill, and Injured Partners in Care Guidelines,” Department of the Navy (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)

21. “Air Force Academy Backs Away from Christmas Charity,” Fox News Radio, November 4, 2011. (Return)

22. Jenny Dean, “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans,” Los Angeles Times, November 26, 2011. (Return)

23. Ken Blackwell, “Gen. Boykin Blocked At West Point,” cnsnews.com, February 1, 2012. (Return)

24. Geoff Herbert, ” Air Force unit removes ‘God’ from logo; lawmakers warn of ‘dangerous precedent’,” syracuse.com, February 9, 2012. (Return)

25. Todd Starnes, “Army Silences Catholic Chaplains,” Fox News Radio, February 6, 2012. (Return)

26. Markeshia Ricks, “Bible checklist for Air Force lodges going away,” Air Force Times, April 16, 2012. (Return)

27. Patrick Goodenough, “White House ‘Strongly Objects’ to Legislation Protecting Military Chaplains from Doing Same-Sex Weddings or Being Forced to Act Against Conscience,” cnsnews.com, May 16, 2012. (Return)

28. Jeff Mason and Deborah Charles, “Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding,” Reuters, January 23, 2009. (Return)

29. “Obama pick: Taxpayers must fund abortions,” World Net Daily, January 27, 2009. (Return)

30. Steven Ertelt, “Pro-Life Groups Left Off Obama’s Health Care Summit List, Abortion Advocates OK,” LifeNews, March 5, 2009. (Return)

31. ” Obama Signs Order Lifting Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Funding,” Fox News, March 9, 2009. (Return)

32. Steven Ertelt, “ Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA,” LifeNews, March 26, 2009; Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)

33. Steven Ertelt, “Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education,” LifeNews, May 8, 2009. (Return)

34. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Budget Funds Sex Ed Over Abstinence on 16-1 Margin,” LifeNews, February 14, 2011. (Return)

35. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Terrorism Dictionary Calls Pro-Life Advocates Violent, Racist,” LifeNews, May 5, 2009. (Return)

36. “Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,” The White House, June 17, 2009. (Return)

37. Matt Cover, “Obama’s EEOC Nominee: Society Should ‘Not Tolerate Private Beliefs’ That ‘Adversely Affect’ Homosexuals,” cnsnews.com, January 18, 2010. (Return)

38. Tess Civantos, “White House Spent $23M of Taxpayer Money to Back Kenyan Constitution That Legalizes Abortion, GOP Reps Say,” Fox News, July 22, 2010. (Return)

39. Steven Ertelt, “Obama, Congress Cut Funding for 176 Abstinence Programs Despite New Study,” LifeNews, August 26, 2010. (Return)

40. Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)

41. Brian Montopoli, “Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA,” CBSNews, February 23, 2011. (Return)

42. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Ignores Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Videos,” LifeNews, March 2, 2011. (Return)

43. Elisabeth Bumiller, “Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy,” New York Times, July 22, 2011; George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934), Vol. XI, pp. 83-84, from General Orders at Valley Forge on March 14, 1778. (Return)

44. Luis Martinez, “Will Same Sex Marriages Pose a Dilemma for Military Chaplains?,” ABC News, October 12, 2011. (Return)

45. Jerry Markon, “Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups,” Washington Post, October 31, 2011. (Return)

46. Barack Obama, “ Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, September 1, 2009; Kristi Keck, “ Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance,” CNN, May 6, 2009; Dan Gilgoff, “ The White House on National Day of Prayer: A Proclamation, but No Formal Ceremony,” U.S. News, May 1, 2009. (Return)

47. “Franklin Graham Regrets Army’s Decision to Rescind Invite to Pentagon Prayer Service,” Fox News, April 22, 2010. (Return)

48. “Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document,” Fox News, April 7, 2010; “Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam’,” Fox News, May 27, 2010; “‘Islamic Radicalism’ Nixed From Obama Document,” CBSNews, April 7, 2010. (Return)

49. Chuck Norris, “ President Obama: Muslim Missionary? (Part 2),” Townhall.com, August 24, 2010; Chuck Norris, “President Obama: Muslim Missionary?,” Townhall.com, August 17, 2010.(Return)

50. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, August 13, 2010; “Obama Comes Out in Favor of Allowing Mosque Near Ground Zero,” Fox News, August 13, 2010; Pamela Geller, “Islamic Supremacism Trumps Christianity at Ground Zero,” American Thinker, July 21, 2011. (Return)

51. “WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation,” Fox Nation, April 25, 2011; “President Obama ignores most holy Christian holiday; AFA calls act intentional,” American Family Association (accessed on February 29, 2012).(Return)

52. “Report: Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House,” Big Peace (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)

53. Masoud Popalzai and Nick Paton Walsh, “ Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning,” CNN, February 23, 2012; “USA/Afghanistan-Islamophobia: Pentagon official apologizes for Quran burning,” International Islamic News Agency (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)

54. “Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan,” CNN, May 22, 2009. (Return)