An article on NewsMax this week (Black Abortions Outpace Seven Deadliest Diseases) would certainly generate more media attention if it involved several hundred thousand people being killed in this country each year in a way where the new “hate crimes” laws could apply. It’s amazing that many of the leaders of organizations that profess to be advocates of blacks in this country also advocate that they vote for the very ones who want abortion to be so readily available and legal. These “leaders” should wake up and start seeing beyond their limited viewpoint of who really is allowing for the destruction of the black community. When will these “leaders” promote families with fathers marrying mothers and providing for each other and their children instead of constantly going on tirades to raise funds at every perceived wrong use of words by some? Can’t these “leaders” see where their efforts should be placed? When will those who claim the name of Christ, and even claim the title of “Rev.”, start advocating what really is representative of Christ through speaking out against abortion and everything else that destroys black families? It’s time for some new thinking and not the same thinking of constant victimization that these “leaders” promote continually. The real victims are those millions of babies that were never given a chance to live.
Here in America, where church attendance is declining and “fruit inspection” tells us that the lifestyles of many who claim Christ is lacking in evidence of a Christian way of living, many have decided that giving up their liberty for the promise of comfort and convenience is the way to go. Over the last 40 years, we’ve seen the public schools turn into places where it’s getting harder and harder to acknowledge our Creator in any manner; there’s actually antagonism in many places. One has to be careful in witnessing because of workplace rules which discourage this. Our nation is now considering protecting homosexual behavior with federal law and will punish Christians who actually believe what the Bible says. The drift away from God in America is astounding.
The drift toward the “government god” is also astounding. Instead of accepting the liberty that comes from knowing God and allowing Him to change the heart so that what was a struggle to live becomes a natural way of life, many don’t want anyone telling them that they need to change. Everyone has to change to become a Christian. So instead of allowing themselves to have a clean heart and clean mind that God has changed, many have decided to keep what they were born with and not seek God.
We see more and more laws being made in our country and there are more now than ever, but there are more problems now than ever with prisons bursting at the seams. These laws that are intended to bring law and order just won’t work by themselves. There has to be a change of heart so that people will want to live a lawful life on their own and not have the government god to look down upon them and force them to live according to how the government god says. A free people with liberty can only stay free if they will govern themselves and stay away from unruly behavior without having to be forced. A society that doesn’t regulate itself on an individual basis where there is personal responsibility will find itself in anarchy and then someone will come along promising to be able to fix everything. Then the government god will have a face while all the worshippers wait for him to send them whatever they think they need. A little more freedom lost doesn’t seem like much and people give up their liberty even more. Finally, the government god wants it all and those who have been silent find themselves already caged and shackled.
Think about it and be revived to truly live the life that Christ died for you to be enabled to live. Pray for your neighbors. Speak the truth in love and boldly proclaim the only true liberty that is found in Christ. Then our society will slowly reject the government god for the only God.
We hear a lot about compromise these days. Compromise is defined as “a settlement of differences by mutual concessions.” In everyday life, we have to make compromises all the time in order to be able to live peaceably. If I am driving to town and someone pulls out in front of me going slower, I have to compromise what I was doing and slow down instead of being selfish, getting angry, impatient, and riding their bumper to try to force them to drive the way that I think they should. If I eat with someone else and the exact preference I have isn’t available, then I compromise what I wanted and order something different because I should make every attempt to live at peace with others and the issues involved are just not that important in the scheme of everything. When one thinks about it, we truly make compromises all the time and this is usually a good and necessary action.
In the political realm, we see compromise on a routine basis for legislation to get passed. Those that compromise the most get the most done. Ronald Reagan is famous for saying that one “can get a lot done when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit” (paraphrase). We generally think of those that compromise favorably because it is usually favorable to be compromising and giving in life. If the end result is still accomplished in a different manner, then the mission still was finished as planned and everyone is happy. This all assumes that no harm, or the least amount of harm, is done, that no existing laws are being broken and is ethical, and that it honors one’s morality.
Compromising when it involves matters of faith is a completely different matter although. If someone can compromise their faith in any manner, then saying that it is their faith is certainly questionable. When it is believed that it is God’s decrees in scripture that must be followed, then compromise necessarily brings a denial of faith in God. This is a serious matter that those who don’t hold to any faith cannot understand for they live a world of relativistic thought on everything. Having the absolutes of scripture is just way too much of a change in thought for many in our day to swallow without choking in repulsion. Christians must not compromise their faith to please those who hold everything relative.
During the presidential election debates last year, Governor Sarah Palin was asked to answer a question regarding homosexual marriage. It was easily detectable that she did not feel comfortable giving an answer that she was okay with “civil unions.” The point that is relevant is that approval was given to homosexual relationships, whether one calls it “marriage” or not. For the Christian who reads and believes the Bible, there is no middle ground: homosexual acts are sinful. Giving approval for this choice of lifestyle is also sinful and against the word of God. Senator Biden looked pointedly at Governor Palin and made that statement that the two actually had no differences on the issue followed by asking her to confirm that. She hesitated very noticeably before agreeing with him. It was a defining moment of compromise where compromise should not have occurred. Whether it made a difference in the election is open to debate, but compromise on matters of sin is certainly not blessed by God. When God’s children compromised with Him and “played the harlot,” they were eventually ruled by those whom God allowed to overcome them. However, this was always temporary until revival occurred! Let us remain true to God’s word in all that we do. There is too much at stake to be concerned with pleasing men when pleasing God is what is important above all. What is it going to take for revival to come to America?
The current healthcare reform debate has many asking a lot of questions. One such question is “If the government is so good at governing healthcare, then why is Medicare so wasteful?” That is a good question and one that should be answered by the politicians and lobbyists who have made the Medicare system what it is today—going broke fast. For example, most are not aware that Medicare has approved payments of around $5,500 for each of those scooters that are so common on television commercials. For that much money, they could be paying for a four-wheeler and not that cheaply built chair that looks like it is worth about $1,000. This is just one example of waste that the government has approved to pay, but they continually point to physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals as being the source of waste and inefficiency. However, physicians actually are responsible for only about 10% of the Medicare expenditures.
When Congress approved the prescription drug plan several years ago, the prescription prices were already high, but not nearly as high as they are now and they are so high now that, without insurance, the brand name medications are simply unaffordable for many. A crisis is certainly present, but this crisis of healthcare is one that has been created by the very ones who claim that they can fix it. It should be suspected that this is another means by which the government can take over yet another component of American life.
The many proposals currently on the table are all bloated bureaucracies that are going to waste more money than the current system of Medicare. They should first make the current system of Medicare more efficient by quitting knowingly paying exorbitant prices for equipment, for one suggestion. The body that decides what is going to be approved for payment should be barred from talking to lobbyists and should seek solely to pay fair prices for items that it approves, not what they can get away with paying.
The current healthcare reform debate doesn’t need to stop any time soon because this affects everyone greatly. Given the influence that this has over so many, the bills that they are considering should be readily available to the public for review and a vigorous debate should occur. Patients should be put first, not business as usual.
The failure of Chicago to land the 2016 Olympics would still have been noteworthy even if the President hadn’t personally pushed for its acceptance in Denmark, especially since that is his adopted home. It is definitely not just a setback for Chicago now, but an embarrassment for the whole country with Obama’s decision to put the prestige of the Presidency on the line for an event that should have been adequately represented by others. This decision in Denmark is going to not be the last time this happens. It is a harbinger of things to come for the Obama presidency and for America.
There has been much published in the various media in this state regarding the Medicaid deficit in our state. The proposals for remedying the problem are varied. These initial solutions that have been proffered to us include a hospital “assessment” and lowering payments to physicians for services to Medicaid patients. Those who depend solely upon Medicaid already know the difficulty of getting treatment sometimes and lowering the already dismal reimbursement (a reverse tax) will only make that problem worse. Asking the hospitals to pay a tax might sound reasonable to some, but smaller, mostly rural hospitals that are in abundance in our state will suffer the most with some even looking at having to acquire a loan to pay this illogical tax. The other proposal to decrease services to Medicaid recipients is not tenable either. In the past, there were more recipients of Medicaid who did not need it; however, much has been corrected with the current system in regard to eligibility.
If we are going to work together to figure out a way to keep our current system of providing for the healthcare for the poor, we should look at areas that actually result in greater Medicaid expenditures. One of these areas is smoking and we have heard a lot about raising the tax on cigarettes. This actually has become law despire Governor Barbour’s initial reluctance to pass it initially. It would result in some quitting smoking and others not starting while providing more than enough to shore up Medicaid. However, we must look at who is paying this tax; it will be paid by the addicted multitudes that are mostly poor and can scarcely afford it. This will surely force some people to quit due to lack of finances to continue their habit, but then the source of revenue will decline, too.
Another area that few, if any, have suggested to analyze is that of the gambling problem we have hoisted upon ourselves in this state. Many are not familiar with what gambling has done and is doing to our society. It definitely does result in greater Medicaid expenditures which has been recognized even by the Texas GOP, to name another state’s Republican leadership that is able to see more clearly on this issue. Casinos in Mississippi pay a 12% tax rate which is relatively small compared to other states where casinos exist, made $3 billion last year, and could easily afford to pay a little more in what we should call a casino healthcare assessment.
According to a study published in our own state by the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000, an estimated 5% of our population in 1996 were “problem” gamblers and an estimated 2% of our population have a “probable pathological” problem with gambling. These numbers are consistent from state to state in multiple studies. Given the over eighteen years old census estimate for 2006 at 2,165,442 people in MS, that’s 108,272 people and 43,309 people, respectively. Every gambler with a problem costs society varying estimates in money on a yearly basis. One study places just the pathological gambling costs at $13,586 per pathological gambler; some place it thousands of dollars higher. Looking at just the people with a “probable pathological” problem, the costs to Mississippi society are over $588 million per year. Gambling costs us all and not just in the counties in which it is legal. In no matter which area of our state you live, you can read about case after case of embezzlement that didn’t used to be such a high rate. Cash for titles businesses and pawn shops have flourished. The poverty rate in Mississippi was just recently reported as having risen to almost 18% which is the highest in the nation. It is a proven fact that gambling increases poverty. Some of our leadership in this state would have us believe that gambling has helped our state so greatly in a financial sense. Their argument doesn’t hold when all the costs of gambling are considered. Those who care about others should not have accepted the voluntary inoculation of this insidious disease in the beginning, but we all must not accept any further encroachment of gambling into our state. What we already have is harmful enough and will continue to cause our state to have a multitude of problems.
Our first president, George Washington, wrote to his nephew in a letter on January 15, 1783: “The last thing I shall mention, is first of importance and that is, to avoid gaming. This is a vice which is productive of every possible evil, equally injurious to the morals and health of its votaries. It is the child of avarice, the brother of inequity, and father of mischief. It has been the ruin of many worthy families; the loss of many a man’s honor; and the cause of suicide. To all those who enter the list, it is equally fascinating; the successful gamester pushes his good fortune till it is overtaken by a reverse; the losing gamester, in hopes of retrieving past misfortunes, goes on from bad to worse; till grown desperate, he pushes at everything; and loses his all. In a word, few gain by this abominable practice (the profit, if any, being diffused) while thousands are injured.” [The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1938), Vol. 26, p. 40]
We should recognize the real problems where they exist and the casino’s existence contributes to poverty and to Medicaid expenditures. The real question is whether we have enough leaders who don’t run their campaigns from casino cash, and actually do care about serving the public, to truthfully acknowledge this problem and offer a remedy to Medicaid’s problem that actually makes some sense.