Alarming reports are circulating on conservative Christian web sites about an executive order that President Obama signed last Friday, March 19, called the National Defense Resources Preparedness document. Much is made of the fact that national news media have ignored this event. Even the official White House web site posted the document in its entirety (as it does with executive orders every day), without comment. So I had to dig further to get the background information myself.

I’m offering a couple of links here (both to politically conservative sites, BTW) that put Friday’s document in historical perspective:

The College Conservative (http://alturl.com/fn7rf) explains, “It’s an update of a similar document that’s been around since 1950 stating certain responsibilities of cabinet members involving national defense.” Federal law requires the 1950 National Defense document to be updated when there are changes in the structure of the Executive Branch, as there was when President George W. Bush created the Department of Homeland Security. The College Conservative concludes that some of the commentary, “if taken out of context, could lead one to assume that this executive order allows for executive control over all US resources, but it actually delegates the authority of the President…”

Ed Morissey’s “Hot Air” web site (http://alturl.com/i4h4y), which is openly antagonistic to most things that President Obama does, says that “Obama issued an update to a 73-year-old effort that changed nothing about his executive authority and power.” He advises his conservative blog followers, “We shouldn’t act as though this was an Obama novelty, and we really shouldn’t jump to conspiracy-think conclusions without understanding the history of these EOs [Executive Orders].”

More than anyone, we American Christians need to be circumspect and vigilant to safeguard our freedoms. But let’s not be so eager to pile onto criticism of our national leaders that we fail to check the critics’ “facts.”