5/30/2005

Christianity And The Welfare State

I have written several posts about the traditional relationship between politics and religion in the United States here, here, and here. I have rightly pointed out that the words "separation of church and state" do not appear in the constitution and that the constitution merely prohibits Congress from establishing a state church or restricting religious freedom. It is very much impossible to keep religion out of government because religion is a part of our culture. Even Congress opens every session with a prayer, given by a chaplain paid with public money. Many in the Democratic Party often accuse conservatives like Bill Frist of violating the mythical separation of church and state by showing up in a church and appealing to religious people. But we all know those accusations are just politics, because when it comes to justifying the welfare state that the Democratic party has used to create their constituency, the Democrats seem to have no problem mixing religion and politics. Roger Banks has written an excellent commentary on the subject of the Democratic party and their use of Christianity to further their agenda, which is to create an underclass of people and keep them dependent on the government. Here are a couple of excerpts but I highly suggest you read the whole article.

Failed presidential candidate John Kerry, for example, persists in appealing to the New Testament's book of James. "Faith without works is dead," Kerry intones, suggesting that "works" here includes the works of lawmakers as they spend other people's money. n a similar fashion, Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, is wont to quote the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus teaches that "[i]nasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Pelosi says doing unto the least means raising more taxes for entitlement programs.

Even DNC Chairman Howard Dean, who kicked off Bush's second term with "I hate Republicans," recently accused the ones he hates of violating the biblical command to "love thy neighbor as thyself"

Personally, I have never understood the virtue in the idea of an extremely rich person like John Kerry telling a working person like me that he is a better man than the other candidate because he believes in taking money from one group of people and giving it to another. Would it not say more of his character if he was to convince his wife to liquidate all of her assets and give the money to the poor? Remember Jesus told the rich man that he should sell everything he owned and give it to the poor. He didn't tell the rich man to keep all of his wealth and then convince the Romans to tax the heck out of everyone else so that the supposedly poor could keep both of their vehicles, air conditioning, cable television, computer, and high speed internet access.

Also, is all of this so called "help" really doing anybody any good. Think about it. Say you have an adult son whom you love so much that you are willing to give him anything he needs. You provide him with a place to live for as long as he wants to live there. You give him all of the food he wants. Since you have so much and he has so little, you also give him a little cash to spend. Since this adult child has always had his needs provided, he never develops any skills, he never gets an education, and because of this he never develops any self respect. By keeping him dependent on your aid and taking away any incentive for him to better himself, have you really helped him. Did you really show him love of God? No you did not.

5/28/2005

Is Healthcare A Right And Should Government Provide It

I was really disappointed that there was not more response to this post concerning Steve Gill's proposal to "save" TennCare. I began to think that John Brown and I were the only two people left in the United States who believed that healthcare was not a right that should be provided by the government. In hopes that we are not the only cold hearted conservatives in the world, I decided to post this poll. Please respond so that I won't have to post a bunch of fake responses in order to keep myself from looking bad.


Update: More at Nashville Files, and Nashville Is Talking.
Also, Sharon Cobb has a near carbon copy of this poll that she posted a day after I posted this poll. Check the results of her poll and you will notice quite a difference. Of course she did word the question a little differently. I guess that not only shows her slant, but also mine.

5/19/2005

Congressman Sensenbrenner, You Are An Embarrassment/ Legalize It

Hat Tip: Nashville Files

What has happened to the party of Milton Friedman, and the party of William F. Buckley? The same big government Republican who gave us that awful Orwellian piece of legislation called the Real ID Act, has now decided to try and push through an even more bizarre piece of legislation that will make it a crime not to snitch on someone who is violating a drug law. Of course Congress is currently in the process of meddling into the drug testing policies of professional sports, who last time I checked were not owned by Uncle Sam. It is quite apparent that Congress is out of control.

Sensenbrenner wants to punish people who do not report a drug crime with a jail term of at least two years. Has he been to a prison lately? If so, he would have seen an overcrowded mess full of nonviolent drug offenders. So I guess he wants to make it even more overcrowded in the penitentiary? With more people in prisons, you can expect more taxes to pay for their detainment. So this is what we sent Republicans to Washington for?

If I see someone smoking crack or smoking a joint, I am not going to report it because I could care less what people do with their money. The idea of criminalizing the act of destroying oneself is idiocy in my opinion. Can someone please tell me why we are still spending federal, state, and local dollars on this so called war on drugs? Just like poverty has won the war on poverty, drugs appear to have won the war on drugs. It doesn't make any sense to incarcerate someone for getting high. Think about all of the people walking around who have used an illegal substance at some time in their life. Imagine how many convicted felons we would have in this country if everyone who had tried drugs like cocaine (including George Bush) had also been caught and arrested.

One of my conservative heroes is William F. Buckley. One of the best issues of National Review was an issue devoted to the cause of drug legalization. In that 1996 publication, Buckley cited the following statistics: 75 billion dollars worth of public money is spent on the "war on drugs", and this problem is responsible for 50 percent of the people in jail. He also pointed out how there seems to be no remedy to this plague. That was written in 1996. I don't have today's statistics, but I can promise you that nine more years of us waging the war on drugs have not improved the situation. In fact, I am quite confident that the problem is much worse.

Another one of my conservative heroes, and the man who provides the basis for my ideas on economic freedom, is Milton Friedman. In an open letter written to former Drug Czar William Bennett in 1989, Milton Friedman correctly stated, "The path you propose of more police, of more jails, use of the military in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse. The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish." Friedman wrote those words in 1989. Fast forward to 2005 and you will see that he was absolutely correct. All of that restriction on freedom and incarceration of people who make bad choices has not helped the problem, it has only made it worse. Once again, it sounds like big government has had the same success in the war on drugs as it has had in the war on poverty.

We Americans need to re-think our approach to the problem of drug abuse. Do we really want our sons and daughters locked up for making bad choices? Why can we not leave people alone and let them do what they want to? The last thing we need is legislation that forces people to report a crime which is already an infringement on personal liberty. I am really disappointed with the so-called conservatives that we worked so hard to send to Washington. Call me a wacko-libertarian, but our current Congress just doesn't seem that conservative to me.

5/17/2005

This Christian Says No To Funding Faith Based Groups

I can't help but laugh every time the liberal media calls George Bush the most conservative president ever. George Bush is not a conservative. He is a neo-conservative, which basically is just a bizarro world liberal. You see George Bush does not believe in the old Reagan saying "that government is not the solution, government is the problem." He actually agrees with the liberals on the role of the federal government in solving the nations problems. The only difference is he disagrees with their methods. It is like the liberals are finally getting a taste of their own big government medicine. Bush is right in discontinuing those useless Great Society programs that congress consistently threw money at for the last 40 years. He is also right to point out that the only groups who have had any success at helping people have been faith based groups. However he is wrong to try and give government money to those groups. Not only is it wrong from the perspective of where government money should be spent, but it is also bad for the potential recipients of these funds. You see a government handout is a means of government control. Uncle Sam gets you dependent on his money and then he ends up telling you some things that he would like to see you do differently. You may resist his suggestions, but if you don't go along with what he wants, you can kiss that money you have become dependent on goodbye. A prime example is federal highway money and the way the federal government has manipulated states laws with the threat of taking that money away. As a Christian, I would not want my organization taking money from the federal government. No, I still like freedom and I certainly don't want the federal government telling me that I can't teach something as simple and true as "the only way to the Father is through Jesus Christ." The Faith Based Initiative was and still is a terrible idea. Didn't we send a Republican to Washington to stop the growth of government?

5/12/2005

Walter Williams Knows How Not To Be Poor

Sometimes the answers to the problems of society are way to simple for liberals to figure out. Think about the "Great Society" or the "War on Poverty" that effectively created a class of poor people in this country and a natural constituency for the Democratic Party. Here we are, billions of dollars after we delcared war on poverty and it appears that poverty has won. Maybe some of these bleeding heart liberals who enjoy taxing people that work so that they can give that money to people who do not, should listen to Professor Walter Williams. Here are some of his suggestions about how not to be poor:

"Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior. If you graduate from high school today with a B or C average, in most places in our country there's a low-cost or financially assisted post-high-school education program available to increase your skills."

He goes on to shoot down the old "I can't make it because I am black" bunch of BS with these statements:

"How much does racial discrimination explain? So far as black poverty is concerned, I'd say little or nothing, which is not to say that every vestige of racial discrimination has been eliminated. But let's pose a few questions. Is it racial discrimination that stops black students from studying and completing high school? Is it racial discrimination that's responsible for the 68 percent illegitimacy rate among blacks? The 1999 Bureau of Census report might raise another racial discrimination question. Among black households that included a married couple, over 50 percent were middle class earning above $50,000, and 26 percent earned more than $75,000. How in the world did these black families manage not to be poor? Did America's racists cut them some slack?"

America is a lovely place and while there is still racism in this country, there is much more opportunity for people of all races than there has ever been. If Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton really cared about black people, they would echo what Williams says. Sadly though, most people who consider themselves black leaders, are not leaders at all. A leader tells his audience something that they do not want to hear, but need to hear. A demagogue is quite different. That person just stirs up the crowd with a bunch of rhetoric which helps nobody but themselves. Jesse and Al are a couple of demagogues and as long as their message is being heard, the illegitimacy rate and the unemployment rate in the black community will always be high. As long as black people are convinced that society owes them something, they will never have anything. Some of you may be reading this and saying "I can't believe he went there." I realize that some of you make take offense at a white boy speaking on this issue, but it is the truth and it is about time somebody had the courage to speak it.

Hat tip: Q and O Blog

5/08/2005

Colored, Black, African-American. It's Hard To Keep Up With The PC Police These Days

While recently reading an article about the first black president, William Jefferson Clinton, I became a little bugged by his usage of the term, African-American. I thought to myself, if Bill Clinton is the first black president and we are now supposed to call black people African-American, why do we not call Clinton the first African-American president? Blacks in this country have undergone a number of name changes over the years. Most of the old photographs and video of the segregated south show signs with the words "whites only" and "colored" written on them. Now that really did not make sense. Colored could have meant anything. Of course we all know that colored meant black, but it still seemed like a stupid label. Later on, it became acceptable to use the term black to describe someone of African descent. Although it is not politically correct today to call someone black, most black people are alright with it. In fact, they are quite proud to be black. But where did the term African-American come from, and when did it become politically correct to hyphenate someone who is a natural born American citizen? I can understand why a first generation African immigrant would call himself African-American, but it just seems wrong to hyphenate a group of people who were born in this country and are as equal in it as anybody else. What is so odd, is that many black people in America are not even 50% African descent. Although I am one quarter Italian, you would not call me Italian-American would you? Yet you would call the very European looking Vanessa Williams, African American. And what about Tiger Woods? Why does he still get to be called African-American? Wouldn’t it be just as correct to label him an Asian American?

The term Native-American is another one that doesn’t make sense to me. Is not everyone who was born in the North American continent a Native American? That would also make Tiger Woods a Native American, in addition to being an African-American and an Asian-American. You say that the term Native American is reserved to those who belong to the tribes that inhabited this land before the evil Europeans came along, but are those people actually native to this continent? Did their ancestors not cross the Bering Straight a few thousand years ago?

Forgive me for all of this foolishness, but it just seems silly that we have to label people like we do. Why don’t we just end all of this nonsense and stop using all of these labels? America is most definitely a melting pot. Regardless of what skin color you are, or where your parents came from, we are all equally American. I love the story of how Bear Bryant used USC running back Sam Cunningham to integrate Southeastern football. After Cunningham had run all over Bama’s “skinny white boys”, the Bear brought Cunningham into the Alabama locker room and said, “this is a football player”. He didn’t say, “This is a really good black football player”. He said, “This is a football player”. Later in the 70’s, when Bryant's team was fully integrated, a sportswriter asked him how many black players he had on the team. The Bear said, “ We don’t have any black players, we only have football players”. Why can’t we just call people American? I still think everyone should be proud of their culture and try to preserve it to a certain extent, but in the end, we are all American, regardless of race or culture. I am sorry, but you will never hear me identify an American with a hyphen. I will just stick to terms like black, white, and American. I guess that makes me politically incorrect. Oh well.

5/07/2005

This Weeks Quote - Happy Mothers Day, Mama

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." - Washington Irving (1783-1859)


That quote really sums up the kind of mother I have. Regardless of what I have done or the mistakes I have made, my mother has always been there for me. My father died when I was ten and my mother did the very best she could to raise me, but to quote Merle Haggard, "in spite of all my Sunday learning, toward the bad I kept on turning".
She loved me through it all though and she spent many nights on her knees crying out to God, not knowing if I was ever going to come home or not. My wife just became a mother about three months ago and I have told her many times that there is no title on earth more esteemed than the title of Mother. I believe that too. That is because I had such a good mother. I love you, Mama. Thank you.