Cracks in the Foundation

Luke 6:49 – But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure when you rip out a foundation: the house crumbles. Our nation has cracks in its walls – figuratively speaking – because we are ripping out its foundation piece by piece.

The United States of America was founded upon a representative government for the people by the people, a small federal government, states’ rights, one nation under God, liberty for all. These things are almost ALL taboo now. Why?

Where did we go wrong? How did we – a nation founded on capitalism, where ‘the commies’ were feared only 60 years ago – become a place where socialism is cool? Sorry to inform the ‘feel the bern’ kids but check out an economic book from the library and you’ll find out Mr. Sanders’ plan will RUIN our economy.

Do you like that cell phone you have? Are you excited for the next one and all the new features it will have? Well you can thank the greedy profit-incentive that you are so against for that. You think it’s a good thing that we have treatments for cancer? You can thank the profit-incentive in the pharmaceutical industry for that. We lead the world in medical research (citations at the bottom). If you tax these industries/businesses to death, one of three things will happen:

  • Businesses leave the U.S. for more tax-favorable countries (killing jobs and the U.S. economy)
  • Prices will raise (causing inflation and hurting the U.S. economy)
  • Businesses will cut research and development (causing standard of living to stagnate)

These are all bad things, but they are a side-note to my original rant…   We have let our nation become so divided that we no longer can look at our neighbor and smile that they are a fellow American or thank God that we were both born into such a blessed land with promise and opportunity.

Now we look at our neighbor and frown because they have more than us or they have an opposite opinion of us. Really?

We should be adults. We should be able to treat people with kindness and respect even if they are of the opposite view point. Shutting people up or shouting them down doesn’t help your cause – civil discourse does.

We are blessed beyond measure that we live in a nation where we can even speak our mind or worship they way we see fit (First Amendment). People around the world don’t have these rights, let’s not abuse them or take them for granted.

So if you get a chance this summer to pick up a novel, don’t just read the greatest pop-culture hit. Read a book about our nation’s history and its founding. It may just give you a greater appreciation for the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Citations:

www.scimagojr.com/country

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/search/map

 

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Decoding the Liberal Dictionary

Proverbs 15:1 – A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. 

For today’s read, I figured we could explore the liberal dictionary. Liberals all too often are throwing out words, like “bigot,” without much thought. Everything is bigotry or some sort of -phobia. Now, I’m not denying these things exist, but let’s be real, it doesn’t happen 24/7.

The real logic in using these words is silence. When someone can’t formulate a good argument to further their point, they throw out a word like “racist” in order to silence their opponent. No one wants to be a bigot/racist/sexist, so the conversation moves from substance to defending yourself from being associated with the term.

As I’ve said plenty of times before: knowledge is power. If we want to win these types of arguments, we need to explore the dictionary. When we know what these terms mean, we can then switch the argument back on the liberals who all too often only know their talking points and catch phrases.

Now, I’m not saying the ‘right’ is innocent on these charges, and I’m definitely not saying conservatives know more than just talking points. There are idiots on both sides who only know the “token terms,” but I’ve found you pretty well have to be a lawyer to hold a conservative position in this day and age. If you can’t defend it (and quickly), you’ll be shouted down in a matter of minutes.

So without further delay, the liberal dictionary (definitions provided by Merriam-Webster; commentary provided by me):

  • Bigot – a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially  :  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

[Using this definition, liberals who shout down conservatives are, therefore, bigots.]

  • Racist – a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.

[This term does apply to many still in this day and age – sadly – however, it has been overly applied as well. Today people are called racist for simply commenting on what racial group someone belongs. That is not racism: that is observation. It is racism when you think your race is superior or you treat other races as inferior. As a Christian, the Bible tells us to love our neighbor as ourself, ALL people should be treated with love – period – end of discussion.]

  • Sexist – prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially  :  discrimination against women

[Today, women are fighting hard to be 100% equal with men. On some aspects, I agree with this fight and on other aspects, I do not. For example, women should be given access to sports, schools, work, housing, etc. just as men are. Women shouldn’t be considered second-class citizens and should be able to own homes, drive cars, have careers, etc. To women in my generation, this has always been the case. However, I do not think all sexism is bad. For example, women should not be given jobs where they cannot perform the job duties. Recently, two women completed the training to become Army Rangers. The training was not “dumbed-down” and they did everything required of the men. To them, I say kudos! I’m proud of these women. I’ve also heard discussion of the Navy Seals lessening their requirements because women can’t complete the training – BAD! If we can’t do it, then we have to accept that fact. Women and men are not 100% equal, and we never will be. We have different body parts and different strengths/weaknesses. Instead of trying to become a genderless society how about we embrace the beauty of diversity. Liberals preach diversity-tolerance constantly! Well, there is diversity in the sexes as well, and we should celebrate that fact. And for the record, chivalry is sexist, but I will gladly promote chivalry to my children. It is a beautiful thing to see a man open a door for his wife or a boyfriend buy his girlfriend’s dinner. Not all sexism is bad.]

  • [Insert]-phobia – an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation.

[There are all types of phobias, or fears, in the world: claustrophobia (fear of tight places – I have this and hate elevators as a result), acrophobia (fear of heights), etc. Liberals, however, associate any negative statement as a phobia. For instance, I am against gay marriage and for traditional marriage. I realize that the Supreme Court took it upon themselves to invent aspects of the Constitution that are not there and declared gay marriage legal, but my stance doesn’t change. The Bible says it is wrong, and therefore as Christians, so should we. Liberals will automatically say I am homophobic. No, I do not have a fear of gay people. I know several gay individuals and they are very nice people. I have conversations with them and want the best for them just as I do everyone else, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s right for them to get married. Being against something doesn’t make you some type of -phobic.]

  • Xenophobic – one unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin.

[This is another phobia, but it is so often used today, I figured I’d cover it separately. Most conservatives who are currently opposed to immigration are called xenophobes. This could be somewhat true because we are fearful of foreign immigrants, but that fear is not unduly-founded. With ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, etc., etc. expanding over many Middle Eastern countries, Africa, and now into Europe, and with massive terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, we cannot be called unduly fearful of foreign immigration. Unless liberals sleep every night with their front and back doors unlocked and a sign out front that says “All Welcome,” they cannot criticize conservatives for wanting to protect this nation. Just as we protect our families by locking the doors and installing security systems, we should too protect our nation by securing our borders, vetting immigrants, and tracking non-permanent residents of this nation. If we do not, we are doing our country a grave disservice.]

  • Cultural Appropriation – 1) Cultural – of or relating to a particular group of people and their habits, beliefs, traditions, etc 2) Appropriation – to take or use (something) especially in a way that is illegal, unfair, etc.

[This is a relatively new liberal phenomenon. Blending the two meanings: cultural appropriation is taking or using something of another group’s habits/beliefs/traditions unfairly. For instance, a white college student was accused of cultural appropriation for wearing dreadlocks. First off, seriously? Second, America has been referred to as the “melting pot.” We are supposed to be proud that we share cultures and blend together into one beautiful pot of stew. This blending or melting is part of assimilation and part of what made America a great country. And again, liberals are supposed to be the diversity police, so they should be honored and proud that America is a diverse place, where people can adopt traditions from other racial/ethnic backgrounds.]

So next time someone accuses you of one of these terms, just ask them, do you even know what that term means? And then continue your logical, well-reasoned argument.

What Else Is on the Ballot?

2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

With all the hype about the presidential nominating contest, most people have likely forgotten that there are other races on the ballot this coming Tuesday.

While the presidential nomination is the most important race in our country, if we don’t take due diligence to study up on the other races and nominate the right people within our respective parties, then we are failing ourselves. Who we put in the Congress/State Legislature has just as big of an impact upon us as does who becomes president.

As promised in prior blogs, I did the work for you – well, some of you. I’m voting in the Republican primary because as you likely know, I support Ted Cruz. As a result, I am going to cover the Republican ballot and the general issues for the following counties: Ross, Pike, Scioto, and Adams. If you’re a Democrat, I apologize, but you’ll have to do your own vetting of your candidates.

So to begin, let’s start with the second biggest race on the ballot, U.S. Senate. Currently Rob Portman, a Republican, is our senator. The problem with Portman is he’s a RINO (Republican in name only). This man is not a true conservative. How can I make such a bold statement? His record proves my point.

There is a wonderful organization called Conservative Review. They provide each U.S. Senator and Congressman/woman with a letter grade based on their voting record. If the person votes for the conservative stance on a piece of legislation they receive a point. If they do not vote conservative or abstain from the vote, they receive no points. They base the score on their voting record over a rolling six year time-frame (for members who have been there long enough), and then publish the grades online. To illustrate with names you know, Ted Cruz received an A along with three other senators: Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ben Sasse. Marco Rubio received a high C.

Back to Portman, he received a 50%, F! An F! This man is not a conservative. If this was the general election and it was him vs. Ted Strickland, who is pro-abortion, etc., I would urge you to vote for him, but this is the primary so we have other choices. Sadly, Portman doesn’t have many challengers. A tea-party conservative named Strzala was running, but I believe she must have missed the filing deadline because her name was not listed on the ballot. Another man named Don Eckhart is running as well. He is a state employee and wants to go to the Senate to defend Religious Liberty.

My job is not to tell you how to vote, and the fact that Eckhart has no experience scares me, but what’s worse, a man who lies about being conservative or a man with no experience? I’ll leave it for you to decide.

Now to the next biggest race: our congressional seat. Currently, the Congressman for our area is Brad Wenstrup. I’ve contacted his office over issues before and he seems like a nice man, but again, he is not a true conservative. Conservative Review gives Mr. Wenstrup a 67%, D. Better than Portman, but still not conservative.

Wenstrup has more than one challenger, but I find one especially intriguing: Jim Lewis. Mr. Lewis is a graduate of West Point, an Army veteran, a retired post office worker, and a current school board member of West Clermont. He identifies himself as a Tea Party Conservative. This man is more than qualified to serve our District in Congress, and I will be voting for him.

Again, I’m not here to tell you how to vote, but to present you with the options and my opinions. I don’t think we should send incumbents back to Washington just because they are incumbents. That is what got us into this mess in the first place. If there is a qualified challenger, let’s give them a shot, the worst thing that can happen is they are awful in office and we throw them out the next election cycle, which is only two years for a Congressional seat.

Now onto state legislature races. Joe Uecker is running unopposed for the 14th District State Senate seat (Adams and Scioto). The 17th District seat (Pike and Ross) is not up for election this year. In terms of the Ohio House, all three representatives: Terry Johnson (90th – Scioto and Adams), Cliff Rosenberger (91st – Pike), and Gary Scherer (92nd – Ross) are running unopposed.

Moving to judges, the chief justice for Ohio’s Supreme Court is running unopposed, while one state supreme court nomination on the Republican side has a contest (O’Toole vs. Fischer). Look them up and decide who best represents your values. Judges are largely forgotten in elections, but they often have more sway in the direction of our nation than elected officials. We are in the 4th District for the Ohio Court of Appeals. The Republican nominee, McFarland, is running unopposed.

Lastly, the issues by county. This is just a list so you can make your own opinion on how you want to vote, but at least you’ll be familiar with the items before you go to the polls. Also, there will be county races for offices, such as Commissioner and Sheriff. I did not have the time to go through each of those for each county, so do your homework on those races before you head to the polls!

Adams County Issues:

  • Levies in Manchester – Cemetery maintenance (replacement) and street construction (additional)
  • Levies in Winchester – Current Expenses (renewal)
  • Electrical Aggregation in Winchester
  • Liquor in Sprigg Township

Pike County Issues:

  • Levy for Health Programs (additional)

Ross County Issues:

  • Adena Schools Levy (Additional) – Expenses and Facility Improvements
  • Levy for RC Board of Developmental Disabilities (Renewal) – Operating Expenses
  • Concord TWP Levy for Cemeteries (additional)
  • Franklin TWP – Fire and EMS (additional)
  • Green TWP – Fire and EMS (Renewal)
  • Franklin South TWP – Liquor

Scioto County Issues:

  • Scioto County Senior Citizens – Maintain and support senior citizen services and facilities (renewal)
  • Green TWP – Police Protection (renewal)
  • Washington TWP – Roads (renewal)
  • Green TWP – Electric Aggregation
  • Portsmouth City – Three charter amendments (no info available)
  • Porter TWP – Liquor
  • Washington TWP – Liquor

I hope this list and information helps you this coming Tuesday! If you’re a registered voter, get out and vote! It is your civic duty, but don’t do it uninformed. Uninformed voting is one of the problems in this country and one of the reasons why we are in the mess we are. Study up, and remember, please don’t vote Trump!

How Should We Evaluate Presidential Candidates?

1 Timothy 3:1-7 – This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre [money]; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 

The above verse applies to individuals seeking the highest office in a church – pastor – but the qualities required of a good pastor are likewise required of a good leader in general. I’ve heard the argument, “we’re not electing a pastor-in-chief,” and you’re right, we’re not, but I’d say most of society would speak fairly highly of the pastors they know. Pastors are all-in-all good people, who care about others and have good character-traits. Maybe we should use the above qualities when analyzing our presidential candidates as well – especially, if we call ourselves Christians.

Obviously, if you aren’t a Christian, or you whole-heartedly disagree with me on the above statement, then it’s a moot-point, but let’s move to the actual requirements.

Article II, Section II of our U.S. Constitution outlines the duties of the president. Over time, other duties have been added through judicial decisions, legislative acts, and precedent set by past presidents.

Rather than give you legalese to read, I found a simplistic list of presidential powers on Scholastic’s website (citation below):

  1. Chief of State
    • A.K.A. the pomp-and-circumstance aspects of the job, such as awarding medals, giving speeches, and serving as the face of the nation
  2. Chief Executive
    • Presiding over the many executive agencies
  3. Chief Diplomat
    • Speaking with other world leaders and conducting negotiations
  4. Commander-in-Chief
    • Leading the U.S. military
  5. Chief Legislator
    • Urging Congress to pass certain laws as well as using the power to veto or sign bills into law
  6. Chief of Party
    • Helping his or her political party receive appointments/elections
  7. Chief Guardian of the Economy
    • Focusing upon economic factors of taxes, unemployment, etc. and doing what he/she can to keep the economy running smoothly

As we look at the remaining 2016 presidential candidates, we should analyze each one on these criteria. I will steer away from giving you my opinion (most probably know who I’m for/against at this point, but that isn’t the point here.) The point is for each person to use the above list as well as his or her own political leans to evaluate the candidates. If someone cannot serve in one of the above roles in an acceptable capacity, we should disregard them as a serious candidate.

I’ve heard a lot of political pundits talk about the “one-issue voter.” This is a dangerous thought. We should never disregard six of the above criteria because we think a candidate would be superb at one.

Choosing a president is a decision that has lasting ramifications. For instance, Reagan was elected in the Eighties, but the affects of his presidency are lasting even unto this day. He appointed Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away this past week, as well as Anthony Kennedy, who is still a member of the High Court. With the risk of repeating myself, consider this decision prayerfully and diligently. We cannot afford to make a mistake here – it could affect our nation for decades to come.

Citation:

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/seven-roles-one-president

 

Thinking: The Lost Art

Acts 17:11 – These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 

I’m scared for our country, and you should be too. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that New Hampshire selected a self-proclaimed socialist and a tyrannical hate-speech slinger as their respective parties’ nominees. How did this happen? If you ask me, there is more than one reason, but the greatest is a lack of thinking.

When I went to college there was a big push on campus for “critical thinking.” This was mere rhetoric because in 90 percent of my classes, if you did not regurgitate the proper answer, you would fail, no matter your reasoning or research behind it. Very few professors were willing to be challenged on their stances and nearly all of them had a liberal bias.

I’m not saying that to complain, but instead, to make a point. When you watch the news, you are listening to bias. Fox News is biased toward conservative viewers, just as MSNBC is as liberal as you can get. CNN and the basic news channels try to stay unbiased, but they all lean a little to the left.

One of the biggest problems with our society is we accept information without challenging it or studying the facts for ourselves. A news reporter tells us something; therefore, it is fact. WRONG! They may have a bias one way or the other.

If we do not analyze what reporters, pundits, and politicians themselves are saying, we are done for as a nation. I’m so sick of hearing people say, “Donald Trump is a great business man.” Really? He’s filed bankruptcy with his businesses multiple times – that doesn’t prove he’s good with money. Or another one of my favorites, “Everyone has a right to healthcare, so we should have universal healthcare.” Again, really? We have a federal law that already ensures that everyone gets treated at Emergency Rooms regardless of insurance status or ability to pay (look up the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act).

Do you hear any of the information I just alluded to on the news? I haven’t. Do your own research. I don’t care who your favorite presidential candidate is or what party you side with – thinking and researching must be done. Don’t just accept what I tell you, or your parents, and certainly not the news. If we don’t start thinking now, it may just become a lost art.