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Where is America’s conscience?
There is little evidence that animals have a conscience similar to that of humans. Animals tend to care for their own offspring. In some species there is evidence of group nurturing and protection. The United States of America has long been known as an advocate of human rights. This has included providing for the sanctity of mother-child bonds (except for dispossessed Native Americans and Africans brought here to develop the wealth of the land). How can Donald Trump convince his fellow Republicans to assist him in carrying out his relentless efforts to belittle and endanger young children at the U.S./Mexican border? What is this merciless behavior communicating to the world about our character as Americans? Remember Matthew 10:42 – “And the King will answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Do these words mean nothing to Donald Trump? Do they not mean anything to Republican members of Congress? Have they no place in the collective conscience of America?
Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.
Consider what would have been if Hillary was elected
It’s good sometimes to consider what might have been had circumstances been different. Just for the fun of it, let’s compare what might have been had Hillary Clinton won the presidential election and what actually come about under President Trump. Let’s look at Hillary’s promise to raise taxes on our companies. Increased company taxes would have meant higher costs for consumer goods, more companies moving overseas, less exports to other countries and a net loss of American jobs. Alternatively, the Trump administration has lowered taxes on companies and our economy is doing much better and there is even a shortage of people willing to work for a living. The stock market has gone up dramatically increasing the values of 401k’s for workers to save for retirement as well as retired folks. Not to mention working families are seeing their tax bill reduced considerably. When it comes to NATO, Hillary would have continued to be the major financier of European security. Trump instead, demanded the Europeans pay their fair share of NATO costs which will cut our costs for defending Europe substantially. Hillary would have never considered demanding that Europe allow us to sell more of our products and cut tariffs. Trump was successful and we will see a vast improvement in how much we sell to Europe. Hillary would never have threatened Kim Jong Un in North Korea and would never have brought him to the bargaining table. My guess is Kim Jong Un would like the world to respect him and would like to take his place as a respected leader. It will take time, Asians don’t move that fast, but he will probably come around and join the civilized world and we can thank President Trump for that. Hillary saw no need to do anything about the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China. If she had become president, we would have continued to lose jobs because of China where the average worker is only paid the equivalent of $2 an hour. With many of our workers unionized, we can’t compete with that and in the meantime, we would continue to put hundreds of billions of our money into the Chinese economy. Can’t say for a fact yet that Trump will win this trade war with China but noting his other successes, he probably will since China has the most to lose. Perhaps a man not unlike Teddy Roosevelt who was bombastic, Trump is getting things done. The Leftists Democrats don’t like it and would have preferred a stagnated economy where more people are on welfare and setting us up for a Socialist take over. However, I shudder at what may have come about had Hillary Clinton become president and it would have been all downhill. Gimme a break. Democrats use Russia fake news to distract us from the threat from people like John Kerry and Joe Biden who worked a deal that will give China much of our technology. Even now, China is hacking us far more than Russia ever could. I’ll stick with the accomplishments of President Trump because they make sense. America is not for sale. In the meantime, If you are a Republican it might be best to leave your MAGA hat home lest you be attacked by Democrat hoodlums.
Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.
Socialism is institutionalized covetousness
Some Christians have tried to argue that Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35 teaches socialism. But a careful examination of these texts reveals that it was a special circumstance and not a norm or command. The church was in its infancy, and thousands were being converted to Christianity through Peter’s Holy Spirit-filled preaching. People had come from all over the known world to Jerusalem. These people needed to be “discipled,” so they had material needs as they stayed in Jerusalem for some time being trained by the apostles. It was imperative for the local believers to help take care of all these new converts. It is important to note two things: their sharing was voluntary, and the government had nothing to do with it. The so-called “social justice” movement is often an effort to support government-mandated wealth confiscation and redistribution. It is argued that it is unfair that some people are very wealthy, while others are impoverished. So the government should decide who has too much, take it forcibly from them, and give it to those “less fortunate.” This past week, a friend suggested that the minimum wage needs to be raised. If I believed in the minimum wage at all, I would agree. Back when I first entered the work force, it was about $1.60/hour. To keep pace with the devaluation of the money, it would need to be about $17.60/hour in our area. But in San Francisco, it would need to be at least twice that. But that would not help the poor. It would only guarantee that those whose labor was worth less than that to their potential employer, would not get the job. It would become even more attractive to employers to purchase machines to do more jobs. The role of government is delineated in Romans 13:1-7. It includes two main functions: protect the good, and punish the evil. Nothing is said about redistribution of wealth. The first premise of the social justice warriors is that it is wrong to be wealthy. But many characters in the Bible were extremely wealthy, and God never faulted them for this. The rich are responsible to God for how they use their wealth and how they treat the poor (James 5:1-7). The government is responsible to strip them of their riches only if they have acquired it through dishonest means, or are using it for nefarious purposes. A second premise is that some people make too much money. I might agree that a baseball player isn’t worth $30 million/year to play the game. But if the public is willing to pay that much for the entertainment, so be it. Many of them are quite charitable with their wealth. The 10 Commandments provide the foundation for the right to private ownership of property. “Thou shalt not steal” means that one can own property, and no one else, including institutions, has a right to take it away. The 10th commandment is completely meaningless under socialism. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17) Socialism is institutionalized covetousness. The elite social planners running the Socialist system encourage and promote covetousness, because they can offer to use the strong arm of the state to satisfy the people’s envy of the rich in exchange for votes, and for handing over more and more control to them by giving up rights granted by God. Socialism is like a giant mouse trap. The mouse finds the free lunch irresistible. Though it can see the trap, it is not wise enough to understand the price to pay for the meal until it is too late. The reason why Socialism has never and will never succeed is because it removes the incentive to be creative and productive. Why do it when you realize you are trapped, and cannot advance to a better life for yourself and your family through your ideas and efforts? Your hard work will only enrich the unproductive with free education, healthcare, guaranteed income, etc. That is why Socialist regimes always end up as backward and impoverished societies. They must rely on stealing ideas from free societies. But what will happen when there are no more free societies from which to steal? We were on the threshold of such a situation in 2016. Then came Brexit, Trump, Hungary and Italy’s anti-new-world-order leaders, etc. The world is changing – for the better – for the first time in our lifetimes. But the Progressive, Socialist, elite planners haven’t given up. We must stop them. Our children and grandchildren’s future depends on us. Don’t vote for any politician who offers to give you something for nothing. There is no free lunch. Like the mouse in the trap; it never ends well.
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
The ‘why’ question begins in youth and never leaves
As inquisitive children growing up, the question of why things are the way they are, is a sign of a healthy youthful development which begins the exploration of the world around us and how we fit into it. We begin the process of not only youthful play in why things are as they are and reasoning out the never ending questions that plague us, so we annoy our parents to the point of exhaustion with, “why?” Why is the sky blue instead of red or pink? Why do dogs bark and not cats? Why do I have freckles and my brother doesn’t? The exploration of “why” really never leaves us. Some say that our modern culture has walked away from deeper critical thinking and wrestling with the exhausting questions which seems unsettled but needs to find its place in our hearts and minds. As we get older we move from asking, why is the sky blue instead of red or pink, to more larger questions that we all encounter. As in why is one form of governing better than another or why can’t we as human beings get along with each other? Then we have deeper more personal questions as to why do I exist … why does our universe seem to have importance and I feel I don’t? Why in such a fine tuned world in which we live, why am I here instead of not being here at all? Why is love and justice so ingrained in us, and why is it that the rest of nature seems not to be bothered with such things? It’s only humanity that is plagued with such questions? Why do I place faith in the failing efforts of human endeavor and not God’s? Life’s questions move from the innocence of childhood, to the uneasiness of adolescence, then to the reassuring reasoning adult, who seems to have life all figured out with vocation and family in place. Then as life grows old and all is slowly strip away, we are left alone and the past is just a fading memory and the question is, does my life matter; is there something beyond all this? Serious thoughts and wrestling with our thinking can become exhausting and daunting at times, and today it seems it is no longer encouraged in our modern culture. Our thinking primarily is to seek further our own comforts, pleasures, knowledge and to resist and put off the internal questions that have plagued mankind for so long. Oh, to go back to the innocence of being a child once again, where life was simpler and kinder, but life moves on. Many have tried to make sense or come to terms with the deepest questions of life, and some have found questions answered, and some at life’s end never find resolve to “why?” When all hope leaves the room, and it’s just you … the only thing left is family, and sadly some do not have this. God is the only one… the only hope when all else fails, when we are at life’s end, faith in Him will get you beyond hopelessness.
Deni Shepard – firstname.lastname@example.org