There are two anniversaries this week (Jan. 20 and 21) that a great number of Christians in America will grieve over. These anniversaries are the inaugurations of Clinton and Carter – both men professed being born-again Christians and Southern Baptists.
Carter will celebrate his 24th anniversary since his 1977 inauguration ceremony and Clinton will celebrate his 11th anniversary since his 1993 inauguration.
Jimmy Carter chose Micah 6:8 as the scripture that he would place his hand on the Holy Bible as he took the oath of office: “He hath showed thee, oh man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
Bill Clinton chose Galations 6:8 as he took his oath: “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.” No doubt the president-elect intended for his administration to be characterized by the latter half of that verse, but can any honest observer question the conclusion that the Clinton presidency came to be characterized by the former instead?
Their pledge to God Almighty and His Word on those historic days meant absolutely nothing! Clinton indeed picked the right scripture, as he had no idea of the prophetic significance. Carter on the other hand did not do justly or love mercy or walk humbly. Instead Carter opened Pandora’s box in the Middle East and Clinton dragged America head first through it. I don’t believe for a second that Sept. 11 would have happened without their contributions.
During his second term in office, Bill Clinton was impeached – yet it was not on charges stemming from the sleazy scandals that consumed the public’s attention. It wasn’t his affairs with Monica Lewinsky or Jennifer Flowers, nor was it his sexual harassment of Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey or Juanita Broderick that brought the president of the United States before a congressional panel to face removal from office.
No, Bill Clinton was impeached for placing his hand on the Bible, promising to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” and then lying to cover up his indiscretions. An American president had “sown to the flesh” and “reaped corruption” – with the entire world as witnesses. And the fact that the United States Senate could not muster the moral courage to convict a president in the face of obvious perjury shows the degree to which our national leadership has succumbed to the dangerous doctrine of moral relativism.
When I think of the significance of President Clinton’s choice of Galatians 6:8 for his first inauguration, I cannot help contrasting it to President Reagan’s first inauguration. On Jan. 20, 1981, the warmest inaugural day on record, a crisp 55 degrees, he stepped to the podium to take the oath of office. As Chief Justice Warren Burger administered the oath, Ronald Reagan’s left hand rested on a Bible prophecy, a prophecy that would decide the fate of the nation of which he was taking leadership, as well as the fate of the world.
That day, the Bible was opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14 – a prophecy given in the historic city of Jerusalem to King Solomon. God said to the king these words: “If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
During the early years of the Reagan administration, in the Oval Office, I saw the family Bible that President Reagan had used at his inauguration. It was still opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14, and I saw that in the margin next to that verse his mother had written this note: “Son, this scripture is for the healing of the nations.” I was moved that the president had been influenced by this ancient prophecy, especially as I recalled the momentous events of that inaugural day in 1981. That was a presidential inauguration I will never forget.
I was at home watching the television coverage of the swearing-in ceremony and the commentary that followed when the networks cut away from Washington, D.C., to show scenes of the release of American hostages who had been held captive for 444 days by the revolutionary terrorist government in Iran.
While watching these simultaneous events unfolding, suddenly I heard my phone ring. It was a call from Israel. “Mike, are you watching TV?” said Reuben Hecht, senior adviser to Israel’s prime minister, Menachem Begin. “Harel’s prophecy is coming to pass before our eyes.”
Reuben Hecht and I had enjoyed dinner with Isser Harel (founder of Mossad, and head of Israeli Intelligence from 1947 to 1963) at his home a few months earlier. Over dinner that night, I had asked Harel, “Who do you think will be America’s next president?”
Harel responded: “The word on the streets is that terrorists might have a say about that. They are going to attempt to influence your elections by releasing the hostages precisely when Reagan is sworn into office.”
Completely stunned, I asked: “What? Why?”
Harel responded: “Carter used terrorists to negotiate the release of a few hostages in Iran. They have assured him they will get them all out.” Little did Carter know that 444 days after the crisis began, those 52 hostages would be released just as Harel had said. Harel went on: “They want Carter out because of his attempt to democratize Iran.”
The former intelligence officer mentioned how Carter advised Sadat to give a speech in Egypt stating that religion and politics must be separate. This speech was heard by a blind cleric named al-Rahman who later issued the fatwa to assassinate Sadat – the same cleric who was later indicted for his part in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center less than a month after Clinton was inaugurated.
Reuben Hecht, Isser Harel and I had quite a dinner conversation that evening. We talked about America’s foreign policy and the tensions in the Middle East, Saddam Hussein’s coming to power in 1979 in Iraq, and how Carter manipulated the overthrow of the Iranian Shah through the American Embassy in 1979, contrary to the advice of Israeli intelligence, which asserted that instead of improving the country it would give impetus to Islamic fundamentalists and provoke the Soviets to invade Afghanistan in 1979. “They want to kill Sadat,” Harel said. “Now they want to kill Carter’s chances of re-election. They feel that if the hostages are released early, it would put Carter back in office.”
Sept. 23, 1993, was the date that Clinton hosted the biggest party in American history for the godfather of world terrorism at the White House for the PLO and Yasser Arafat. And then less then a month later, America would again be hit by terrorists in Somalia. Five years later, the Ken Starr report was submitted to Congress on Sept. 11, 1998.
In September of 2003, I was invited to speak at a world summit in Israel on how to win the war on terrorism through moral clarity. Bill Clinton was also in Israel at a party in Tel Aviv, dressed to kill. Clinton got up on the stage and burst into song, crooning John Lennon’s 1971 hit, “Imagine,” which could be considered a theme song for moral relativists.
“Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today … imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, no religion too …”