Archive for the ‘government’ Category

God Put it There

March 11, 2016

“There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power.”  Romans 13:1

Some people are very worried about what will happen to the country if Trump is president.  Some people are just as worried about what will happen to our national security of Hillary Clinton is in power.  Some people would feel less worried if their favorite candidate became president, but is any of the worry or lack of worry valid?

God is the one who puts some into leadership, and takes it from others.  All who serve in leadership, serve at God’s pleasure.  God could take any leader home in a day, and we saw that happen in our history i.e., Lincoln, Kennedy and others.  Instead, it seems God uses leaders to his own purposes.  He doesn’t need their cooperation at all.  He uses them, influences them, and has them act in ways that fulfill the greater plan he has for individual nations and the world.  We may not know what some of those scenarios were until the end of time, but we can be sure God won’t allow any leader to overshadow His leadership or interfere with His purposes.  Nothing catches God by surprise, no leader thwarts God, and while leaders may rebel, they will never succeed in overturning what God has established.

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Who is my Boss?

February 24, 2016

“We must obey God rather than men”  Acts 5:29

When should I ever disobey the laws of my government?  We are seeing, for the first time in the United States, civil laws which require obedience that violates the  conscience of some people.  For the first 200 years or so of this nation, laws were based, more or less on the Judeo-Christian tradition.  That was discarded by progressivism in favor of law based on majority rule.  Right and Wrong in a progressive democracy is decided by majority rule, and so is free to follow changing cultural mores, changing technology, changing ideas about science and changing ideas of what it means to be human.  The democratic majority is assumed to always get it right.

Speaking with a progressive, someone with traditional values is amazed at the utter lack of understanding about conscience.  Some progressives seem to feel that obeying the laws is always the right thing to do no matter what, and there is simply no higher authority to give anyone qualms about it.  Therefore some can be totally comfortable with the horrendous practices of late term abortions, if the law allows it.  Their mantra is:  your beliefs may be true for you, but not for me, and you can’t force your beliefs on the majority.  In other words, there is no absolute truth and no absolute morality.

Following such logic, it was totally correct for the Nazi officers to run the death camps.  The law was the law, and the Nazi party was democratically elected and authorized to make the laws of the land.  Individual conscience did not trump the law, and the party recognized no authority above their own.  Yet, when the allies conducted the Nuremberg war crimes trials, they did not recognize following legally justified  government orders as an excuse for what was done.  Why?

Terror, Weakness and the Power of Heads of State

January 6, 2016

“…the Most High God dominates the kingdoms of men, and gives power to anyone he chooses.”  Daniel 4:25

Daniel was a slave, taken captive from his homeland to serve the conqueror, the king of Babylon.  Now, through Daniel the prophet, this same king is being told his kingdom was granted him by God, and unless he acknowledges God’s sovereignty, his kingdom can be taken away.

Later, Babylon does fall to the Medes and Persians, and the new kingdom releases its captives.  This too, according to Daniel, was an act of God on behalf of the captives, particularly the Israelites.

In many parts of the bible we read of leaders who served, unknowingly, to advance God’s purposes in the world.  Whether a leader acknowledges God or not, he or she serves at God’s pleasure.  God has used leaders to advance the cause of His people, to protect His people, and sometimes to punish His people.  Oftentimes bad leadership was a punishment for national sin.

Today, most Americans believe we are the strongest people in the world.  Some people believe we earned that place, and others believe we stole that place from the weak.  In either case, the hand of God in the affairs of our nation is not being acknowledged.  Since God is not recognized, as a nation America makes its decisions based on something other than pleasing God.  Americans reason for themselves what is the common good, what is the national interest, and lately, what is in the world’s interest.  As a consequence, many of its decisions are displeasing to God, in particular (my opinion) the decision to allow abortion on demand.   Whether or  not we believe in the God of the bible, any acknowledgment of God at all should tell us that God created life and it is His.  Any destruction of human life is inherently wrong, and we should just know that instinctively, if there is any God at all.  We should also instinctively know, just looking at the created order, that our sexual anarchy would be displeasing to God.  God created sex for the bearing and raising of children in a family .  Any sexual expression which departs from that is instinctively wrong.   If there is a God, He must be pretty unhappy with what we have made of His creation.  He must be pretty unhappy with the havoc we have wreaked on his non-human creation as well.

If we do believe in the God of the bible, we know He said “Do  not kill, for anyone who kills a man kills one made like God.”  He also said “God created them male and female and for this purpose a man leaves his mother and father and clings to his wife and the two shall become one.  And what God has joined together, let not man pull apart.”   He also gave humans the role of caring for the creation ” Increase and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it; you are masters of the fish and birds and all the animals.”  Clearly, we’ve done a poor job of all of this.

In the bible, when man became rebellious against God, punishment inevitably followed.  It often began slowly.  In some cases weak leadership was the punishment.  In other cases economic hardship, plagues, and finally war, destruction and captivity.  Americans seem to believe they are too strong to have an enemy rise against them, much less conquer them.  They think economic problems can be solved politically, and famine, plague and drought can be solved scientifically.  In the bible it says God laughs at puny man.  If the God of the bible is real, He may already be showing America its problems are too big for its government to solve.  Unless America acknowledges God’s sovereignty, it may have its government removed, it may be defeated, and it may lose its place in the world.

 

Hobby Lobby and the Government

January 2, 2013

What can you call a government that forces you to violate your conscience or be severely punished?  In the past, our government allowed for issues of conscience, in ways ranging from provisions for conscientious objectors in wartime, to provision of special diets.  Now, this administration is telling religious objectors that they must supply abortifacient drugs in their healthcare plans or face bankrupting fines.  In the past, religious objectors were not required to perform abortions.  In the past, taxpayer money was not used for abortion.  Now, suddenly, employers must provide abortion drugs.  Clearly, something happened.  The government has decided that what it decides is the “common good” pre-empts individual conscience.  This is a 180 turn from the thinking of the constitution’s writers.  They were descended from settlers who left their native lands, in many cases, in order to practice their religious beliefs and follow their consciences in freedom.  Freedom of conscience is the whole principle underlying first amendment freedom of religion.  What is happening to Hobby Lobby and 119 other employers is not only unconstitutional, but is showing this administration to be a tyrannical government.

When Does the Government Finally have Enough Money

May 3, 2012

I saw the following quote recently:  ”  What kind of person sees nothing wrong in cutting a teachers 50,000 salary by 20%, but doesn’t see anything wrong with a 3% tax increase on a millionaire.”

I would re-word this:  “What kind of government sees nothing wrong in taking more and more money from small business and uses the emotional blackmail of threatening to cut the salaries of public employees, most famously teachers and police.”

This first quote is too simplistic a choice, and issues revolving around pay and taxes go much deeper than this. Governments must learn to live within a budget and can’t continue to take more and more.  England thought they were faced with a similar choice between raising taxes or cutting pay. They decided the fairest thing was to raise taxes on the top tier of income.  A 3% tax increase isn’t what we’re really talking about here.  That would never be enough.  How much is enough?  50% tax rate, 70%, 90%?  They’ve all been tried.  If we did today, what England did, we would have a top income tax rate of 70%.  The median wage would be about $30,000.  Unemployment among the under 25’s would be 40%.  Only 10% would be allowed to go to college.  Health care would be free and mostly unavailable.  The government would become the partial or total owner of all big business in the country.    This was what England looked like in the 1980’s after 30 years of high taxes and the central government running virtually everything.  And the country still came to the edge of bankruptcy more than once.  Emotional arguments like the one above will lead to poor choices.   We think we are being “fair” and can make this type of economic system (redistribution of wealth) work when it has failed everywhere it has been tried.   It leads to people having no motive to excel, and all wealth ending up under government control, when government is not and will never be a good steward of what it manages.  We need to look at where we’re spending our money, not raising taxes.

Hate Speech

January 12, 2011

Having listened to all sorts of opinions on what constitutes hate speech, I have come up with a definition of my own.  If I perceive someone’s speech to threaten  people I agree with, its hate speech.  If they are merely threatening someone else, and I happen to agree with them, then its not hate speech.

Whose Needs

October 7, 2009

Whenever we hear the case for a government program, we hear sad stories of individuals in distress.  The argument goes that a new government program would be the answer to the person’s problems.  In reality though, there never is a program or a system that fits everyone.  There are always exceptions.  The other reality is that in a country where the government has a program for nearly every problem, the individual hard cases are still hard cases.  They are hard on the program, on the government and on the taxpayers.  Therefore in some European countries, caregivers are being taught they have a responsibility to the society as a whole that is greater than their responsibility to their patient or client.  This really sets professions on their ears when their very reason for existence is healing and helping.  Its creating an identity crisis of mammoth proportions when the healers are told that healing may not be in society’s best interests.  The great irony is that individual hard cases which supposedly justified massive governmental intervention have been the same cases that governments now don’t want to treat, pleading hardship to the society.  There will always be a conflict between individual needs and societal needs.  You can’t balance on the knife edge between them.  It always requires facing up to the society’s ultimate values: the sacred value of each individual life, or the sacred value of the society not to overstretch its economy.

What Socialism Does to Hospitals

September 22, 2009

In all the healthcare debates, my prayer is that whatever we end up with, we will have something that glorifies God in our treatment of His children.  All humans need to be treated with respect as God’s much loved children.  They need kindness, dignity, compassion, and to be served with excellence.  In America I have volunteered and worked in several nonprofit hospitals.  Most of them were faith based organizations.  I saw a lot of people get first rate, compassionate care, and I know they never paid a cent for their care.  Thats how non-profit hospitals work.  They charge for the care they provide, but at the end of the day those who have no insurance or inadequate insurance end up paying according to what they can afford.  Many times that is nothing.  The hospitals write off the difference as part of their non-profit status.  What keeps them in business is the full pay patients who either have “good” insurance or pay a portion of their bills themselves because they can afford to do so.  What is likely to happen if we have a single payer system like England had for years, is these hospitals will be driven out of business and taken over by the government.  If they are government run, everything will be done with cost savings in mind.  And thats what is wrong with socialized healthcare, such as I lived with for years.  The care given is the minimum mandated by the national government.  The care is not based on values of love, compassion, kindness, dignity and respect, but on budgets and mandates. 

In this country some non-profit healthcare institutions rely on large donations for some of their revenue.   In a socialized system, the high, high taxes leave much less left over for donation.  After having more than half one’s income paid out in taxes, people tend to be in a less generous mood, even if they can still afford some additional generosity.  And lastly, since things are run by a government bureaucracy, its all about the good of the masses, not the good of the individual.  Read about the debates in England right now.  Doctors are being encouraged to consider first the good of society over the good of their patients.

Whereas some insurance companies treat people like statistics, at least the hospitals have maintained the ability to be more personal.  A good bit of that is lost if the hospital is a government hospital.  There is always a lot more mandate than money, and the stresses on the hospital show in the treatment of patients.  So, whatever the United States decides it wants to do, my prayer is the outcome will be something pleasing to our Heavenly Father, who is so concerned for persons, He knows the number of hairs on our heads and every tear we shed.  May we as a society be compassionate and kind, not a further coarsened culture.

A Prayer About Healthcare

August 10, 2009

Lord, we know you are in control, and you influence kings and governors for your purposes.  We approach you at this significant time in our nation’s history and ask you to impress your thoughts on our congress as they make decisions about healthcare reform.  Open the eyes of our lawmakers to writings of our forefathers.  Let them consider the things that made this country great.  Please let their decisions be compassionate, let them honor and dignify all human life, let them give dignity to all persons and let them honor our human rights.  Don’t allow them to make government so strong over us that it becomes our god, for whenever government has taken the place of God, it has always become a cruel tyranny.

Health Care Retort

August 10, 2009

I am just amazed at the media feeding frenzy over the health care town hall meetings.  People ARE angry.  But instead of analyzing why people might be angry, as the media usually analyzes the “why” of everything, they are in lockstep with insulting the people who are protesting.  Can you imagine the media insulting people who protested the war in Iraq, or anything else?

 

I think people at these meetings are afraid, because in the past,  the president has favored a single payer system similar to the NHS in England. Perhaps these bills aren’t yet a single payer system, but will possibly be leading to one if the private sector has to support yet more government underfunding and it bankrupts them. Our local hospitals are today in serious financial crisis because of medicare and medicaid cuts. They keep seeing patients, but are running out of funds to make up the difference between what the government pays and what it costs to treat these patients.

I lived with the NHS for six years, and could tell first person stories of what I saw and experienced in our local community. Yes, care is much more scarce and of lower quality. Taxes are much higher. Eventually, a two-tiered system developed because the NHS basically broke down. Its on the verge of breakdown again. It is this kind of a system people fear.

 
Instead of looking at these issues, the media is labeling and insulting the protesters.  Its a media retort instead of a report