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Five Truths March 15, 2017

Posted by JP in Uncategorized, Venting.
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More political thoughts… March 12, 2017

Posted by JP in Politics, Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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As I have been reading news reports regarding the various issues facing our Nation I am continually amazed at the inability of people to see truth through all the rhetoric, obfuscation of facts, and to employ a bit of common sense. It seems to me that too many people are blinded by their ideology and refuse to be objective in viewing the issues, and solutions to the problems that face our country.

I am by no means perfect, or completely unbiased in my thoughts and feelings about many of the issues being discussed in the media, however, I try to be balanced, fair, and objective before forming an opinion. I actively seek out contradictory opinions, and information regarding an issue before I take sides on a particular issue and often times because of this practice, my ideas and opinions fall out of the ‘norm’ of my usual conservative viewpoint.

Looking at some of the issues I see that reasonable, and commonsense solutions are entirely possible, if one steps away from the ideology and inflammatory rhetoric of the vocal extremists.

Immigration:

Entrance into this county illegally must be ended, completely. We have laws that govern immigration and those laws must be enforced, consistently and completely, albeit, with a hand of compassion.

It is said that this nation was built on immigrants, and immigration is a cornerstone of the concept of America. To this I agree, however, we no longer ‘need’ immigrants to build the Nation so it makes perfect sense to ensure that those who do enter our country can be a benefit to our society and intend us no harm. Subsequently, the Administration’s temporary travel ban is a logical, and acceptable, precaution to take while the Government improves our vetting process to better ensure that those immigrating here in the future benefit the country and intend us no ill will.

Current illegals should be subject to current laws governing residency and deportation. Those that are productive, beneficial, members of our society need to be provided with an opportunity to attain legal status and become contributing residents (taxes, etc.). While those who are apparent drains on our society (ie; criminals, those receiving public aid, unemployed, etc.) should be sent back to whence they came.

State and City governments who refuse to cooperate with Federal Immigration rules and law must absolutely have all Federal funding withheld. Sanctuary city policies must be eliminated and those officials refusing to comply with the laws should be removed from their positions and/or prosecuted.

It is important to remember this: When the federal government abolished slavery the US economy did NOT collapse, despite the protestations of the slavery proponents. The same will be true by the elimination of the illegal alien labor force. It will require some economic adjustment, but it will not be a devastating blow to the economy as some have suggested.

Health Care:

The Affordable Care Act, implemented by the Obama administration through force and lack of proper legislative process was doomed to failure at its inception. The idea was good, I believe everyone should have access to adequate health care (preferably at little or not cost to the recipient – and yes it is possible). The problem was the law itself was flawed and unsupportable as written.

The new health care law being touted by the GOP is not much better than ‘Obamacare’. There are some improvements, but overall it is still lacking. What needs to happen is for Congress to launch into a full-scale, bipartisan, assault on the issue, partnering with the health care industry leaders and develop a system in which everyone receives coverage at low/no cost and allowing those who wish to pay for their own coverage to do so.

To do this there are a few things we all need to understand:

Businesses (drug and insurance companies specifically) will NOT be making large profits – the best they could hope for most likely would be to break even on the provided coverage and perhaps more profit on the voluntary/optional plans.

Tort reform MUST be implemented. We cannot reduce health care costs effectively if doctors, clinics, and hospitals are subject to outrageously high settlements, or are continually defending suits from claimants not happy with the care they received.

Federal, State, and City governments (specifically Congress) must have the same coverage as the average citizen. What is good for one must be good for all.

Elective procedures (including abortion) should NOT be covered under the provided policies. Of course they should be made available, but at the consumer’s cost.  If I want to have a vasectomy, or a  nose job, or a butt implant, I should be able to do so as long as I am willing to pay for it.

Individual rights:

Women’s rights, LGBT rights, Minority rights, etc. must NOT preclude anyone else’s rights. This includes religious tolerance. Above all else, this nation was founded upon the ideal of religious freedom. That freedom must remain a hallmark in our pursuits of rights and freedoms. To force a person, or business owner, to comply with a practice that violates the dictates of their religious beliefs is abhorrent. One cannot assert that a Christian baker who refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding is discriminating unless one can show that the operation of their business is discriminatory as well (do they refuse to employ homosexuals? Do they refuse to sell cookies, or cupcakes to people based on their color, nationality, sexual orientation?)

We are all equal, we all breathe the same air, bleed the same blood, and are citizens of the same country. We must all be treated equally, fairly, and without extra consideration, or less consideration.

So many out there today throw around the words ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’ and yet fail to realize that their very actions are definitive of what they accuse others. Any organization that promotes the advancement of any group above any other is by definition ‘racist’.

Of course, I do recognize that at times there are practices that do not comply with this Country’s laws and philosophy’s of equality and fairness regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, gender, etc. but those practices needs be reconciled specifically and not made to appear as a national fault.

It comes down to the same idea as immigration; we are a nation of laws, and we must comply with those laws, and enforce those laws.

Taxation, Budget and Economy:

So much of what we do, want to do, or should do, in this country revolves around cost. The issue is that we seem unable to conceive of how to pay for the things we should do (health care and education for instance). While the problem is not simple to solve, it is solvable.

Taxation: A flat tax rate on individual income is the most equitable solution. In our current taxation scheme an individual with a higher income is taxed at a higher rate than those with lower incomes. My question is this: does that individual with a higher tax rate receive a higher level of representation in the government? Does my 25% tax rate entitle my vote at the polls to carry 25% more weight than someone only taxed at 10%?  No, it does not. Consequently our tax system contravenes our nation’s founding philosophy protesting ‘taxation without representation’.

Federal grants to foreign countries: Our government sends billions of dollars to other countries. While this is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of global stabilization and promotion of peace and cooperation, the reality must be faced that much of our internal needs can be paid for if those monies were directed inward instead of outward.

Funding of Public Assistance programs: If we discontinue providing Public Assistance to those who are in our country illegally we could saves millions of dollars in Public Aid. It makes no sense to me that our government would give someone money who is not a citizen, or legal resident. Why pay someone to violate our laws?

Tax subsidies to businesses that are profitable already.  Why should be give money to a business that makes a profit? Can they not utilize their profits to pay for whatever the subsidies are paying for?

Tax subsidies to US business moving operations out of country: While this practice is being addressed by the current Administration I must mention it here; if you move your operations out of country you should lose all government assistance, and have your products taxed upon entry into this country.

The bottom line for me comes down to this: My family budgets our money in order to pay for the things we need to live. If I do not have the money for something I want, I do without. If there is something the family needs we revise our budget in order to divert the necessary funds to that need. We do not live outside of our means and we prioritize needs and wants in order to live within our means. The government should do no less.

Political thoughts January 25, 2017

Posted by JP in Politics, Venting.
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There is so much I want to say but usually choose to keep to myself because of the ongoing contention of the recent election and inauguration of Mr. Trump, however I will attempt to ramble about a few things here just to get them out of my head:

The election and the role of the electoral college:

5 times in our history has a Presidential Candidate won the election despite loosing, or allegedly loosing the popular vote: Donald Trump 2016, George W. Bush 2000,  Benjamin Harrison 1888, Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876, and John Quincy Adams 1824.

This happens as a result of the Electoral College and its role in the Presidentia election process. I have to say that I am not necessarily a fan of the electoral college system, however I have done some thinking about it and realized a very important aspect that bears some attention. Our nation, our government is not a strict democracy; it is a republic, or more accurately to my thinking, a representational democracy. Our system works for us because portions of our populace are represented by an elected official (Congressmen and Senators). Laws are voted upon and passed by these elected officials who theoretically act in the interests of those who elected them. We vote for a Congressman and the winner of the majority of those votes is elected to serve us in Washington D.C., Senators are restricted to 2 per state.  This method of electing representatives serves a valuable purpose: in states such as California, where the population and political leanings are wide spread we are represented by Congressmen who represent the political ideas of a segment of our population. Subsequently, those areas with high populations (Bay Area and Los Angeles) do not have more say in the will of the totality of the state as most of the areas, or counties, throughout the state have different political ideals than those in the heavily populated urban areas.

All this boils down to a simple idea which is demonstrated clearly by a look at a vote by county map of the entire country:

States themselves are not monolithically blue or red. Here's the projected winner in each county in the US. At first glance, there are a handful of blue islands, mostly concentrated along the coasts, surrounded by a sea of red.

Consequently, perhaps the popular vote leaned in favor a Hillary Clinton, based solely upon the density of population of certain urban areas, but the majority of the Country, spread across the entire country went a different route. Therefore, the duly elected President, Donald J. Trump is legitimately our Nation’s leader.

Now as to those who are protesting:

Get over it. I did not vote for Mr. Obama, nor did I want him in office, but when he was elected I put on my big boy pants and supported him as the leader of our country. I prayed for him to do the right thing, expressed my approval when he did do the right thing, and questioned him when he did not do the right thing. The outrageous behavior demonstrated continuously by the liberal populace, and the media, is doing nothing helpful for this country. We are a country divided and the division is a result of the deleterious behavior of the DNC, the mainstream media, the Hollywood left and the  clueless citizenry who’s agenda seems to be directed by misinformation, ignorance of the facts, and petty grudges of a child who did not get what he wanted. A statement I saw today sums it up quite nicely: YOU SAID “LOVE TRUMPS HATE”, BURNING CARS,  SMASHING WINDOWS, AND ASSAULTING PEOPLE PROVES YOU’RE FULL OF CRAP.

Regarding disapproval, or rejection of Mr. Trump’s ‘policies’:

First of all, you cannot disapprove or reject a policy that does not exist. Marching to protest a ‘policy’ the day after the inauguration is ridiculous.

I recently had a discussion with someone about the Executive Order regarding the Affordable Care Act. As it was explained to me the contention was that this person thought it was distasteful and wrong for the President to issue an Executive Order repealing ‘Obama Care’ a day after the election. My difficulty here is debating an issue with someone who got their information from a news agency that clearly is not reporting the facts (left-wing mainstream media). So here is what Executive Order #1 actually does:

Section 1. Ensures that the existing law is being efficiently implemented, minimizes the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.

Sec. 2.  Allows agencies to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.

Sec. 3.  Provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.

Sec. 4.  Encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.

No repeal, no stoppage, no nothing other than allowing some flexibility in the administration of the law in regards to penalties, costs, and implementation of programs.  The worst part of this whole Executive Order is that someone who does not have, or does not acquire healthcare may not have to pay the penalty tax.  Woe is me.

His other Executive Order simple mandates a streamline of the Environmental Impact Reports for high priority projects. Perhaps a needed highway bypass could be built in our lifetime rather than waiting 13 years for an EIR to be conducted or approved.

All in all, for me it comes down to this: Mr. Trump was not my choice for President but he was selected as the Republican candidate and provided a candidate much preferred over the alternative. He DID win the election by a the majority of the country and is now the President of the United States of America. As such he deserves the prayers and support of myself, and the rest of the populace.

His success depends upon our support, and our success as a Nation depends upon his success as the leader of the free world. For those who claim ‘not my president’ I have a simple solution: pull up you panties and support the nation, or pack up your stuff and move out, maybe you can cross the border into Mexico before the wall goes up.

America, a nation of ‘makers’ no more April 14, 2016

Posted by JP in Politics, Venting.
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America used to be known as a nation of ‘makers’. Production was the lynch pin of our economy and our place as the largest producer (of anything) in the world was the envy of the world. Sadly, this in no longer the case and our nation’s economy is built on a foundation of cards rather than stone.

No longer are we a nation of makers, we are a nation of service providers, and as a nation if we continue to base our economic future on buying and selling goods we do not produce we hand that future over as hostage to those that do produce.

At the turn of the century, factories employed more workers than education and health care combined or professional and business services. Nowadays the latter two groups of industries both employ millions more Americans than those making things.

While many positions in education, health care and professional and business services pay well, those often require a college or advanced degree or expensive specialized training beyond high school, and nowadays girls do better in school than boys. And the grimy environment of many factories was appealing to men, a lot of jobs in the abovementioned sectors are as attractive or even more appealing to women.

Hence it is no surprise that as the fortunes of women have been improving—the feminist revolution and rise in female labor force participation notwithstanding—and the nation now confronts a crisis of despondent men.

Nearly 7 million men, between the ages of 25 and 54, are neither employed nor looking for work

Manufacturing has been a victim of its own success—productivity growth in manufacturing has outstripped other sectors of the economy creating a natural migration of job opportunities from factories to service—but international and domestic policies pursued by presidents dating back to Kennedy have exacerbated the plight of men without a college degree.

Free trade agreements have been advertised as jobs creators but the facts simply belie that claim. Whereas exports create jobs, imports destroy even more of them. The United States has a trade deficit on goods and services combined exceeding $500 billion. That kills 4 million jobs directly and at least another 2 million including from lost spending of workers initially displaced.

Manufacturing accounts for the lion’s share of the trade gap—especially goods from China and elsewhere in Asia that are often subsidized by national governments and benefit from artificially undervalued currencies. Presidents Bush and Obama have talked about fixing those practices, but the trade agreements they bring home only make matters worse.

The South Korea Free Trade Agreement implemented on Obama’s watch has increased the trade deficit by more than $15 billion dollars and killed about 120,000 jobs—mostly in manufacturing.

Similarly, Washington has largely left assisting manufacturing to the states, which have fewer resources, while it has ramped up subsidies and shifted job opportunities to education and health care.

Peter Morici served as Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission from 1993 to 1995. He is an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and a widely published columnist. He is the five time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster award. Follow him on Twitter @PMorici1.

 

Minimum Wage Stupidity April 5, 2016

Posted by JP in Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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I believe everyone should be able to earn a living wage, but this deal is stupidity incarnate.

It is also rather disgusting that the families of many of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are surviving on public assistance while some people will make more money each month working part-time and spending the rest of their day playing video games and smoking weed.

Alan Smith's photo.
Alan Smith

Today California passed the first $15 an hour minimum wage law in the nation. It assures that the people serving you fries, can have a “livable wage.” I didn’t hear the same politicians discuss the wages of our men an women in uniform. An Army E1 soldier is paid $8.84 per hour. Do you believe a fast food worker “deserves” to be paid almost twice as much? No offense to fast food workers, but it was never meant to be a career to support a family. Share this image if you agree that we need to get our priorities straight.

March 6, 2016

Posted by JP in Stupidity, Uncategorized, Venting.
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School condones discrimination against Christians May 13, 2015

Posted by JP in Discussion, Uncategorized, Venting.
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Liberty Counsel is challenging a Florida College about the work of a militant atheist professor intent on destroying his students’ faith and issuing failing grades for expressing biblically based opinions.Professor Lance “L.J.” Russum at Polk State College in Lakeland, Florida gave sixteen-year-old, dual-enrolled student, Grace Lewis four (4) straight zeros because she refused to conform to his personal world views of Marxism, Atheism or “Anti-theism”, Feminism, and homosexuality.

Following the fourth zero, Professor Russum gave Grace a condescending lecture in which he openly demeaned her faith, misrepresented his own course syllabus to justify his improper grading, and presumed to tell her “how the ‘faith’ you claim actually works.”

Professor Russum cannot use academic freedom as a pretext to discriminate.

Professor Russum hasn’t just targeted Grace. Another student said the professor required the students to keep a journal, which he would read. When she wrote that she believed in God, the professor took her aside and said, “You need to drop my class.” Professor Russum is proselytizing militant atheism, and Polk State College needs to hold him accountable.

+ + Sign our “Open Letter of Outrage” to the leadership of Polk State College.

We have drafted an open letter to the Polk State College administrators and Board of Trustees expressing our outrage over the blatant anti-Christian bigotry of Professor Lance “L.J.” Russum. We expose the fact that his personal bias and discriminatory actions are infused into his classroom.

Click here to add your name to the letter:

http://www.libertyaction.org/201340/petition.asp

+ + Polk State College Condones Discrimination against Christians

The Liberty Counsel Legal Team demanded (1) a full and independent review of Mr. Russum’s behavior and course content; (2) appropriate grading of Grace’s four “zero” assignments by a different professor; (3) a written apology; and (4) assurances that future courses taught by Mr. Russum, if any, will be free from such unlawful discrimination.

In its response, Polk State General Counsel concluded that there was no evidence of any discrimination.

Despite its assertion otherwise, ample evidence of discrimination exists.

First, the professor was openly hostile towards Christianity in general, and Grace’s Christian viewpoint in particular, which violates the Establishment Clause. Second, Grace was penalized with reduced points, and then four zeros, for not conforming to the professor’s worldview, which violates both the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses.

Grace was required to agree with the professor on matters contrary to her faith just to answer his questions. This practice not only violates the Constitution, but also the professor’s own syllabus which promised that students would not have to agree with his views.

Liberty Counsel’s demand letter acknowledged Russum’s right to say whatever he wants outside of the classroom, but all the online evidence of his radical personal views are proper evidence of pretext once he discriminates against Grace in the classroom.

Join us as we call on believers to stand your ground against anti-Christian Bias and religious-based attacks happening at Polk State College, and on students, teachers, administrators and school systems all across our nation!

Click here to add your name to the open letter:

http://www.libertyaction.org/201340/petition.asp

Thank you, in advance, for supporting us in this important initiative!

God bless you,
Mat Staver, Chairman
Liberty Counsel Action

 

Liberty Counsel
PO 277
Maxwell,IA 50161

You are signed up as: jpb9696@gmail.com.
Click here to change your email address.

 

 

Gay Marriage February 11, 2015

Posted by JP in Discussion, Faith, Scripture, Uncategorized, Venting.
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You may be gay, you may have been born that way. However God did NOT make you that way.

God’s original creation was one of beauty, and delight. One way in which Adam’s body did mirror God’s is that it was created in perfect health, sinless and not subject to death. It was the sin of Adam and Eve which corrupted that creation. With the fall of mankind because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, that aspect of our likeness to God ended. Sin entered the world and along with it, sickness, disease and death. It is the primary result of sin that human nature has been corrupted (Rom 5:12). Every part of man—his mind, will, emotions, and body—is affected (Rom 3:9-18). Our nature is now bent toward sin, so that man’s unregenerate heart is “deceitful … and desperately sick” (Jer 17:9)

‘Nature’ is a pleasant way of stating that our world operates in a corrupted version of God’s creation. Subsequently, God did not create homosexuality, disease, death, envy, malice, strife, hatred, mental illness, etc. All that is not right in the eyes of God has come about through the corruption of His creation.

I don’t care if you are gay or not.

I wasn’t put on this earth to make judgments on anyone’s state of being. It doesn’t matter to me if you are gay, straight, tall, short, thin, fat, pretty, ugly, addiction prone, insufferable, or marvelously happy all the time. As a Christian I have been commanded to love everyone as Christ has loved me: “I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].” (Joh 13:34-35)

It is however, my place to make judgments (discernment) on the sins of other believers (not the guy downtown whom I don’t know):

Christians are often accused of “judging” whenever they speak out against a sinful activity. However, that is not the meaning of the Scripture verses that state, “Do not judge.” There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment (John 7:24). When Jesus told us not to judge (Mat 7:1), He was telling us not to judge hypocritically. Matthew declares, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” What Jesus was condemning here was hypocritical, self-righteous judgments of others.

In Matthew, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his sin when you yourself are sinning even worse. That is the kind of judging Jesus commanded us not to do. If a believer sees another believer sinning, it is his Christian duty to lovingly and respectfully confront the person with his sin (Mat 18:15-17) This is not judging, but rather pointing out the truth in hope—and with the ultimate goal—of bringing repentance in the other person (James 5:20) and restoration to the fellowship. We are to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). We are to proclaim what God’s Word says about sin. 2 Tim 4:2 instructs us, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” We are to “judge” sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

Being homosexual is not a sin, but engaging in homosexual activity (sex) is.

This is a sticky point among religious folk. Many look to the words of the scriptures, specifically the King James Version, and take it at face value, building a belief on the words rather than the intent and meaning of the words. But I will clue you in to a scriptural truth and my thinking about that truth, beginning with 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality, Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. (1Co 6:9-10)

The phrase “men who have sex with men” (translated “homosexuals” in the NASB) is a translation of the Greek word arsenokoitai. Those who object to this translation say that arsenokoitai does not refer to all homosexual relationships but only to those involving abuse, coercion, or unfaithfulness. They say the word does not refer to “loving, faithful” same-sex relationships.

Arsenokoitai is a compound word: arsenois the word for “a male,” and koitaiis the word for “mat” or “bed.” Put the two halves together, and the word means “a male bed”—that is, a person who makes use of a “male-only bed” or a “bed for males.” And, truthfully, that’s all the information we need to understand the intent of 1 Cor 6:9.

The word meaning “bed” carries a sexual connotation in this context—the Greek koitaiis the source of our English word coitus (“sexual intercourse”). The conclusion is that the word arsenokoitaiis referring to homosexuals—men who are in bed with other men, engaging in same-gender sexual activity.

The notion that some homosexual relationships are accepted is not even hinted at in this passage. The men’s commitment level or the presence of “love” is not addressed. The idea that the condemned same-sex activity is linked to economic exploitation or abuse is also a forced reading with no textual basis.

If we look at the whole of what Paul is telling us in the passage we see a list of activities which are ‘sinful’, or rather ‘separate from the righteousness of God’. Adultery is listed here, and anyone who knows anything about the teachings of scripture understands that adultery in all its forms is sinful (Mat 19:18, 1Th 4:3, Eph 5:3, et al)

So let me clue you in to something: Homosexual activity, at its core, is adultery. It is sexual activity committed outside the bond and covenant of marriage as established by God in His creation of Eve and His giving of her to Adam (Gen 2:22).

Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Gen 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Cor 7:2-16  and Eph 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family.

Then you ask: since the courts and the laws of the land have now started making same-sex marriage legal, doesn’t that bring homosexual activity in a ‘marriage’ into the realm of God’s righteousness?

No.

It should come as no surprise that the world desires to change what God has instituted. “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Rom 8:7). Though the world is attempting to provide their own definitions for what they call “marriage,” the Bible still stands. The clear definition of marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life.

However, while we are admonished to submit to the government, and the government is now ‘endorsing’ same-sex marriage, we must also recognize that our beliefs and the dictates of scripture cannot be superseded by the whims of the government, particularly when those whims contradict God’s Word.

Gay marriage/same-sex marriage is a perversion of the institution of marriage and an offense to the God who created marriage. As Christians, we are not to condone or ignore sin. Rather, we are to share the love of God and the forgiveness of sins that is available to all, including homosexuals, through Jesus Christ. We are to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and contend for truth with “gentleness and respect” (1 Pet 3:15). As Christians, when we make a stand for truth and the result is personal attacks, insults, and persecution, we should remember the words of Jesus: “This is what I command you: that you love one another. If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.  (Joh 15:17-19)

LGBT rights trumping all other rights February 6, 2015

Posted by JP in Politics, Venting.
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The evidence seems to indicate that Christian business owners are being intentionally singled out for persecution. And it appears the courts are consistently ruling that gay rights trump everyone else’s rights. (http://www.foxnews.com/category/todds-american-dispatch)

The tenor of the world is changing and the governments across the land seem to be riding the same bandwagon: Deny the right of ‘free exercise’ of religion as provided by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I spoke of this rejection of the First Amendment in the post “The First Amendment being spit upon…” and the news continues to grow darker. Todd Starnes relates several cases where state governments have launched attacks on Christian business owners for their stands on LGBT marriages, and their refusals to provide services for same-sex marriages. This trend is becoming a dominating standard of practice now and I fear will soon grow worse.

I am a born again Christian, and an ordained Minister, my fear is that eventually this wave of LGBT rights trumping all other rights will put Ministers and churches in danger of the same governmental coercion that Christian business owners are now facing. My fear is that our right to freely practice our religion will be taken away in lieu of another’s demands that we conform to anti-biblical desires by trying to force Ministers to perform same-sex marriages. This coercion will come under threat of prosecution and/or legal or civic sanctions.

It will be the case, sooner rather than later, that our right to practice our religion free of government influence will be eliminated completely.

The First Amendment being spit upon… October 21, 2014

Posted by JP in Discussion, Politics, Venting.
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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/10/29/houston-drops-controversial-pastor-subpoenas/?cmpid=cmty_plus_fn

The United States of America is supposedly a nation governed by laws which, in theory, comply with the dictates of the United States Constitution. You may recall this document from your history classes as the establishing standard of government and law in the USA. It establishes the construct of our government, the rights of our people and the restrictions to law and governance as it pertains to the actions of our government.

It appears however, that various governments, Federal and State, seem to forget about the allowances and restrictions put forth in the Constitution when it comes to the pursuit of personal or political agendas.

Regarding this disdain for the dictates of our Nation’s founding document I could write about our President’s misuse of the Executive Order – which has no constitutional provision or statute explicitly permitting them – but what I really want to touch briefly on the First Amendment to the Constitution, part of what is known as “The Bill of Rights”, and the societal trend to use the unconstitutional phrase “separation of church and state” as a club to beat down religion, or in cases such as which I am now discussing; to completely ignore this Amendment in order to repress, intimidate, and control citizens exercising their freedom of religion.

Think about this:

The text of the First Amendment reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This Amendment – this right – guarantees the citizens of this nation two sides of the same coin. In common terms we have the freedom of religion, and the freedom from religion.

The atheist activists in this country have long pushed the ‘freedom from religion’ argument as the governing concept of the first amendment and for the most part the judicial arms of this country have embraced that agenda and have passed laws enforcing that concept. However, what the spirit of the amendment really embraces is the opposite idea. We have the freedom OF religion. We have the freedom to exercise our religions without the influence of the government, or the restrictions of the state.

Two news stories have caught my attention being the impetus for this writing.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/20/city-threatens-to-arrest-ministers-who-refuse-to-perform-same-sex-weddings/?cmpid=cmty_plus_fn

“The Knapps are in fear that if they exercise their First Amendment rights they will be cited, prosecuted and sent to jail.”

– Alliance Defending Freedom attorney, Jeremy Tedesco

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/14/city-houston-demands-pastors-turn-over-sermons/

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/17/houston-to-pastors-forget-your-sermons-now-want-your-speeches/

The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees all its citizens the right to exercise their religion without interference of the governments of this nation. Thomas Jefferson coined the often misused concept of ‘separation of church and state’ in an 1802 letter to Danbury Baptists in which he wrote:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties

It is time for us, as ministers of the Gospel, to stand against the flawed idea that the First Amendment guarantees only the right of freedom from religion and to promote the idea that we have the right, by law, to exercise our freedom OF religion.

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