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Big government at the cost of freedom

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Freedom is the underlying principle that our nation was founded upon. It is what defines us as citizens of the United States of America, and is clearly spelled out in our country’s founding documents – the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Under those documents we are free from tyranny, free to choose a religion, free to not choose a religion, free to pursue life and happiness, free to openly disagree with and protest our government officials, and we are even free to defend ourselves from a corrupt government with violence if necessary. Sadly these freedoms are slowly disappearing from our nation, and they aren’t being taken – they are being surrendered – by us, the People. Consider the following.

You are at the mall, and you find some guy with his hand in your pocket in an attempt to pull out your wallet. This is how the conversation goes.

You: “Whoa! What are you doing?”

Guy: “I am just going to safeguard your wallet for you. There are a lot of pick-pockets in this mall, and I don’t want you to become a victim. Don’t worry. I will go wherever you go, keeping your wallet safe with me.”

You: “Oh, Ok. Thank God someone is looking out for me – wait! Why are you taking out that $1 bill?”

Guy: “I’m thirsty. If I am going to walk with you all day I need something to drink.”

You: “Yeah, I suppose that’s fair. While we are headed to the food court I could use something to eat – wait! What is that $20 bill for?”

Guy: “I gotta eat too. Did you forget that I am looking after the money? I can leave.”

You: “No, no. Don’t do that.”

*You walk to the food counter*

You: “I would like the Reuben sandw-“

Guy: “You will have the salad.”

You: “What!? Why?”

Guy: “A Reuben? Seriously?”

You: “Fine. Can I at least get a cookie?”

You’re an adult. It’s your own money and you just asked permission to buy a cookie with it.

The reality is the Guy represents our government, and the wallet is healthcare, retirement, education, parenting, marriage, etc. Our government can’t seem to keep its hands out of our own pockets in an attempt to gain more and more control, and the confused electorate in our nation keeps handing over our God-given rights to a corrupt, power-hungry political system all in the name of security.

Consider Social Security. We pay into the system our entire working lives. It is our money, we work for it, and we let the government take it only to tell us when we can use it. Control of our own retirement was surrendered. It was birthed out of complex issues, which makes unraveling it even more complex, therefore the alternative option requires much greater sacrifice now than it would have without Social Security. That alternative option being you invest your own money, however and with whoever you choose, at the rate you choose, and use it as you choose – you decide, not the government. Currently, our government allows us to receive Social Security benefits between ages 62 and 67. Any earlier age would require seeking permission through our Federal legislature. Furthermore, there is a growing deficit within this program which significantly threatens its continuity, ironically putting our social security in danger.

In spite of this glaring case-study we are now actively engaged in political battle over government control of healthcare. Several years ago, we surrendered our right to choose health insurance coverage, and the government gave us everything we should have expected – higher premiums and lower levels of care. However, I do find comfort in knowing that if I become pregnant (I’m a guy) I am covered because it is built into my insurance premium as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, things could be much worse, for now. At least we aren’t the UK.

Not only does the United Kingdom have a single-payer healthcare system, effectively stripping its citizens of even more decision making power (a.k.a. – freedom) than here in the US, it also regularly intrudes on parents’ sovereignty as decision makers for their children. Combine those two issues and you get the Charlie Gard debacle – a truly despicable case involving a terminally ill infant with experimental treatment as his only chance at life. At least experimental treatment is an option though, right? Sorry, but that is not correct. UK courts decided not to allow the parents to transport the child to the US for such treatment, and ordered that he remain in the UK where no treatment is available. He was effectively sentenced to death, supposedly sparing him from further discomfort. His parents asked for permission, and were denied.

And for all of you social justice warriors out there (look away fellow evangelicals), we shouldn’t have to obtain the government’s permission to get married either. Heterosexual or not, why do we need a license to commit to a person we love for the rest of our lives? But if a certificate of marriage is important to you, and it should be, churches and other private organizations would be just as capable of issuing such certificates, sans government permission.

These are all clear examples of overreach by over-sized governments, and the correlation should be obvious – the bigger and more powerful the government the less freedom its citizens enjoy. The founding fathers of our nation did not determine that our freedoms were elective. Rather they knew our freedoms are God-given and endowed by our creator – and if creation isn’t your thing then they are endowed by your own human existence – which is why they went to such great lengths to preserve those freedoms in writing when our country was formed.

Don’t get me wrong. We need the government as an entity. We need it to maintain law and order by protecting the freedoms of its people, and punishing those who subvert them. We also need government to provide national security. But every time you advocate for the government to intervene or control social and personal issues you voluntarily surrender your own freedom for it to do so. Furthermore, private organizations and the free-market are far more powerful tools, and are far better suited to tackle those issues.

We are intelligent, full-grown adults capable of making decisions for ourselves. We don’t need big-brother government telling us how to live our lives any more than we need a chaperone at the mall. Our government is out of control, but it is not too late. We are the People. We elect our officials. We engage in political discussion. We can all be activists working to shrink our government to the size it was originally intended to be. The simple fact is government has no business meddling with certain issues, and you shouldn’t want it to.

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Foreign Affairs

Capt. Chuck Nash: Iranian regime trying to hold out in hopes Trump is not reelected

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Capt Chuck Nash Things in Iran are getting worse by the day

Iran’s saber rattling continues as the U.S. military buildup reaches a point in which they can no longer expect to be able to defend themselves if they start a way. Meanwhile, the President lobbed a clear threat to them about their rhetoric and aggression.

Speaking on Fox News, retired U.S. Navy Captain Charles T. Nash said, “Regimes, whether it’s the Soviet Union or the current theocracy in Iran, they won’t stop loosening up until it’s too late, and when they do they know it’s all going to fly apart. The wheels are going to come off.”

Opinion

Iran has a serious problem, and it’s not the United States. Their leadership has been so obtuse during times of economic prosperity that they didn’t use it to help their people become self-sustaining. Now, they’re reliant on a government that doesn’t have the resources to help them, making this an issue that goes beyond oppression. They’re on the verge of financial collapse and the only solution is the one solution they will never consider.

As Nash noted in the video above, they won’t change. They can’t. It goes against their nature to do what’s right by their people if doing so means doing anything the United States, Saudi Arabia, or Israel want. Their pride will be the undoing of their people.

President Trump is the biggest reason they’re failing. At this point, all they can do is hope he loses reelection. If he does, they have a chance of recovering if they’re even able to survive that long. If he wins, they’re toast and they know it. Expect to see them attempt to interfere with our elections any way they can, including expansion of Endless Mayfly.

The defection of Ali Nasisi is most likely a huge blessing for America. As their ambitions appear to be coming to light, the information gleaned from the former Iranian Brigadier General has been invaluable.

Quote

“What they’re trying to do is hold out hope against hope, and if President Trump is reelected, then they’re going to have to figure out what they’re going to do.” – Captain Charles Nash

Final Thoughts

Iran is desperate. Now that their military aggression is on call by the President, they may have to resort to terrorism to achieve their goals of ousting Trump and spreading fear across the world.

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Media

Trump hits Fox News, Chris Wallace for Pete Buttigieg town hall

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Trump hits Fox News in general and Chris Wallace in particular for having Democrats on

President Trump has always been a supporter of Fox News. Some have noted how many of his talking points came from the news network; during the day he quotes Fox & Friends, while in the evening he quotes Sean Hannity and others. But there’s one show host he doesn’t care for and one activity he’s lashed out against at the network.

He doesn’t like Chris Wallace and he isn’t happy when they have Democratic presidential candidates on.

He spoke out last month when the network had Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on for a a town hall with Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. Though the hosts were critical of Sanders and asked him tough questions, the event was considered a win by many for Sanders as he deflected some issues and turned others in his favor. This peeved the President, but not as much as Wallace did this morning.

The son of famed newsman Mike Wallace had South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on for a town hall Sunday and proceeded to not only throw him softballs for questions, but at times praise the Democratic candidate. This didn’t sit well with the President.

Opinion

I understand the premise of the news is that it’s supposed to be unbiased. But I also recognize the reality that all news is biased. The President has very few allies in the media and Fox News is the biggest, so when they seem to be helping the opposition, it’s bound to tweak the President.

In a perfect world, the major news networks would be truly fair and balanced. This isn’t a perfect world and the cards are stacked against conservatives. Just as the education system leans left, so too do most mainstream media news outlets.

Chris Wallace sticks out at Fox News as one of the few outspoken detractors of President Trump. It puts them in a pickle because they don’t want to get rid of the popular show host over his political views, but their core audience is comprised almost entirely of Trump supporters. It doesn’t behoove them to have someone so outspoken, especially when the opposition is using his shows a platform to take down the President.

Quote

“Gee, he never speaks well of me – I like Mike Wallace better…and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!” – President Trump

Final Thoughts

In a media atmosphere in which news outlets are picking sides, the President only has one major outlet on his. The days of news outlets simply reporting the news may be behind us. This is a side effect of the polarization in America.

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Culture and Religion

17 years later, Paul Washer’s shocking message still holds true

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17 years later Paul Washers shocking message still holds true

In 2002, Pastor Paul Washer delivered a message to around 5,000 young people. It has become one of the fiery Southern Baptist’s mostly widely-heard sermons because in it, we hear a very disturbing reality to most who proclaim to be Christians. Some simply aren’t doing it right.

He’s been criticized for the sermon. Some say he’s making it too complicated. Others say he’s scaring people away from the faith by making it seem too difficult. But this teaching is based on one of the most important teachings of Jesus Christ in all the Bible:

Matthew 7:13-27

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

I’ve heard many teach on these verses and I’ve taught myself on the strait and narrow. It’s frightening to some because it was intended to be, and Washer’s declarations to these impressionable young people is clear. But it wasn’t nice. It wasn’t kind. It wasn’t inclusive. It didn’t fit in with today’s version of common pastoral messages.

The need for constant repentance and ongoing belief must never be understated.

Sometimes, the need to be “nice” from the pulpit must be replaced by the true need to be honest. That’s what Washer does in this famous teaching. I strongly encourage everyone to spend an hour hearing it.

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