However, since power corrupts when reasonable restraints are not present, our political corruption is the result of a lack of constraints. (We must) elect honest people who are not easily influenced. (Then) organize short clear legislation based on what the public wants. If that does not happen, then perhaps the American public should be put in charge of politicians salaries and enact a law that makes receiving money or gifts from any special interests illegal.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
The current Gay and Lesbian marriage issue appears to be riding the crest of the current irrational mass hysteria that is sweeping over most of Western civilization. In America, there is considerable pressure for Christians to quickly confirm that same sex marriages be included as part of traditional marriage. Those Christians who disagree are dismissed with the vague inference that they are bigots. Nowhere is there any reasoned and detailed effort to analyze this collective rush to a solution. Only two extreme points of view are offered: one to dissolve the boundaries of traditional marriage, the other to brand the opposition as bigots. Such an approach is a prescription for regression to paganism.
As a Christian Psychologist in private practice I have counseled over the years with gays and found most of them to be thoughtful and responsible people. One of my fellow psychologists was also gay. I think they should have all the rights of an American citizen. However, I have another view when it comes to combining same sex marriage with traditional marriage; and I have good reasons.
My best and first reason is that Genesis 2 defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In addition, in Matthew 19 it is stated that man-women marriage is as much a part of the gospel as heaven or hell. Those reasons are probably enough for any bible-reading Christian. However, Christian ideas, as described in the bible, have had a tendency to become a part of the laws and beliefs of Christian cultures such as the United States (Burnt Offerings, 2010). Those cultural laws and beliefs that have Christian origins are also fair and relevant arguments against altering traditional marriage.
It seems as if the traditional marriage between a man and a woman was set up as an ideal in order to protect and provide a stable environment in which couples could reproduce and lead healthy lives. It also was devised in order to provide that same healthy environment for their children. For decades that guarantee has been diminishing as our divorce rate has increased. America has had for a long time, the highest divorce rate of any country in the world (Burnt Offerings, 2010). Further, families now are having fewer children than ever. These lower birth rates are recent data that probably reflect the widespread use of birth control
devices and the slow deterioration of the family. There is also scientific research that suggests that countries that have included same sex marriage as part of traditional marriage have fewer couples that bother to get married at all. If this modern trend continues, the ideal of traditional marriage will be diminished even further. To diminish the status of one man and one woman in marriage is to add to the deterioration of the family and eventually to the destruction of our American society.
There is also other more indirect evidence of unhealthy lifestyles within the family. Many years ago the statement was made that America prescribed more drugs in a year than the rest of the world combined. Today, that figure surely is much higher. In addition, there is data that suggests a very high rate of mental illness and low success rates in treatment (Burnt Offerings, 2010). I would say that ours is an overly drugged world that engages in bad judgment too easily. This all suggests to me that the family and the individuals within it are in trouble. It is clear to me, as a Psychologist and a Christian, that there is plenty of reason for not altering traditional marriage further.
Of course the real culprit in this side show is “the race card.” Suppose, in a debate, an argument for group equality is presented. Then, the opposition is accused of bigotry or at least stupidity before they can respond. In this debate, group equality has won before the debate has even begun. Somehow this sounds like a scam instead of a debate. It sounds hypocritical that the equality group must resort to the most unequal of manipulations in order to achieve equality through intimidation.
We are in a rush to nowhere in a high risk critical situation. Without reasoned responses, this will be a prescription for disaster, sooner if not later. Those in favor of equal rights have struggled for years to obtain equal rights for gays and Lesbians. Many Christians agree compassionately in their equality but others do not. This struggle has become a tempest and emotions run high. Instead of a reasoned debate, the issue has turned. Ordinary citizens are now taking sides and seeking blame. That blame is a thinly veiled revenge that is indeed non-Christian. Christians everywhere need to take another look at themselves before they act to legalize same sex marriage in its present form.
There is another option that has not been discussed much. It is an equal but separate proposal. It is proposed that we leave our traditional marriage the way it has always been in our churches. At the same time same sex marriage can be carried out in a civil service ceremony with a certificate of same sex marriage that is equal to traditional marriage. I think it is each Christian’s responsibility to consider any and all valid reasons for maintaining our centuries old traditions.
The present rush to judgment is an irrational denial and escape from engaging in rational planned changes that are designed to enhance each individual’s pursuit of happiness and freedom. The freedom of one group should not also involve the veiled destruction of the values that contribute to our success.
Floyd Sours is a Christian Psychologist/author who has written two books, the most recent being Burnt Offerings.
His website is http;//burntofferingsbook.com.
His books can be purchased at Amazon, Barns & Noble or his website.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
The following quote is from my new book, Burnt Offerings Part two. I would like comments on it; it helps me decide how to write as well as what to write about.
"In Animal Spirits the government’s role is one of not being too strict or too permissive. Like the advice given by psychologists in the parenting advice books, we are warned not to be too controlling or too permissive. Government and parents can produce immature and rebellious adults by being too dominant, or they can be too permissive and produce impulsive and immoral citizens who are without discipline or a sense of good and evil. The proper approach in a lenient culture is for the government to set limits that allow people the discipline to control themselves as they learn and become creative."
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
It has been clear that our congress is frozen in time. The issue now seems to be about curbing spending and increasing taxes on the rich. The following quote is from Shiller and Akerlof's book Animal Spirits regarding Bush's Tax Cuts. These are the very cuts that were dropped in part.
“The Bush Administration used the downturn to argue for massive permanent tax cuts. The first and largest of these was signed into law in June, 2001. The Fed also came into the act. The discount rate…was brought down to only 0.75% by November 2002. There is every reason to believe that both of these measures were effective.”
Comments are welcome!
Comments are welcome!
Friday, December 21, 2012
The following is a quote of John Maynard Keynes, the economist who provided the theory that our politicians artfully follow to this day.
"We have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand."
"We have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand."
Comments are welcome!
Laura Hollis, Nov 08, 2012
Laura Hollis is:
Current: Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate
Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame.
Past: Director at Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Associate
Director and Clinical Professor at University of Illinois at
Education: University of Notre Dame Law School, University of Notre Dame.
Summary: She has 20+ years' experience in curriculum and other program
development and delivery.
I am already reading so many pundits and other talking heads analyzing the disaster that was this year's elections. I am adding my own ten cents. Here goes:
1. We are outnumbered. We accurately foresaw the enthusiasm, the passion, the commitment, the determination, and the turnout. Married women, men, independents, Catholics, evangelicals - they all went for Romney in percentages as high or higher than the groups which voted for McCain in 2008. It wasn't enough. What we saw in the election on Tuesday was a tipping point: we are now at a place where there are legitimately fewer Americans who desire a free republic with a free
people than there are those who think the government should give them stuff. There are fewer of us who believe in the value of free exchange and free enterprise. There are fewer of us who do not wish to demonize successful people in order to justify taking from them. We are outnumbered. For the moment. It's just that simple.
2. It wasn't the candidate(s). Some are already saying, "Romney was the wrong guy"; "He should have picked Marco Rubio to get Florida/Rob Portman to get Ohio/Chris Christie to get [someplace else]." With all due respect, these assessments are incorrect. Romney ran a strategic and well-organized campaign. Yes, he could have hit harder on Benghazi. But for those who would have loved that, there are those who would have found it distasteful. No matter what tactic you could point to that Romney could have done better, it would have been spun in a way that was detrimental to his chances. Romney would have been an excellent president, and Ryan was an inspired choice. No matter who we ran this year, they would have lost. See #1, above.
3. It's the culture, stupid. We have been trying to fight this battle every four years at the voting booth. It is long past time we admit that is not where the battle really is. We abdicated control of the culture - starting back in the 1960s. And now our largest primary social institutions - education, the media, Hollywood (entertainment) have become really nothing more than an assembly line for cranking out reliable little Leftists. Furthermore, we have allowed the government to undermine the
institutions that instill good character - marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches. So, here we are, at least two full generations later - we are reaping what we have sown. It took nearly fifty years to get here; it will take another fifty years to get back. But it starts with the determination to reclaim education, the media, and the entertainment business. If we fail to do that, we can kiss every election goodbye from here on out. And much more.
4. America has become a nation of adolescents The real loser in this election was adulthood: Maturity. Responsibility. The understanding that liberty must be accompanied by self-restraint. Obama is a spoiled child, and the behavior and language of his followers and their advertisements throughout the campaign makes it clear how many of them are, as well. Romney is a grown-up. Romney should have won. Those of us who expected him to win assumed that voters would act like grownups. Because if we were a nation of grownups, he would have won.
But what did win? Sex. Drugs. Bad language. Bad manners. Vulgarity. Lies. Cheating. Name-calling. Finger-pointing. Blaming. And irresponsible spending. This does not bode well. People grow up one of two ways: either they choose to, or circumstances force them to. The warnings are all there, whether it is the looming economic disaster, or the inability of the government to respond to crises like Hurricane Sandy, or the growing strength and brazenness of our enemies. American
voters stick their fingers in their ears and say, "Lalalalalala, I can't hear you." It is unpleasant to think about the circumstances it will take to force Americans to grow up. It is even more unpleasant to think about Obama at the helm when those circumstances arrive.
5. Yes, there is apparently a Vagina Vote. It's the subject matter of another column in its entirety to point out, one by one, all of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the Democrats this year. Suffice it to say that the only "war on women" was the one waged by the Obama campaign, which sexualized and objectified women, featuring them dressed up like vulvas at the Democrat National Convention, appealing to their "lady parts," comparing voting to losing your virginity with Obama, trumpeting the thrills of destroying our children in the womb (and using our daughters in commercials to do so), and making Catholics pay for their birth control. For a significant number of women, this was appealing. It might call into question the wisdom of the Nineteenth Amendment, but for the fact that large numbers of women (largely married) used their "lady smarts" instead. Either way, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are rolling over in their graves.
6. It's not about giving up on "social issues" No Republican candidate should participate in a debate or go out on the stump without thorough debate prep and a complete set of talking points that they stick to. This should start with a good grounding in biology and a reluctance to purport to know the will of God. (Thank you, Todd and Richard.)
That said, we do not hold the values we do because they garner votes. We hold the values we do because we believe that they are time-tested principles without which a civilized, free and prosperous society is not possible.
We defend the unborn because we understand that a society which views some lives as expendable is capable of viewing all lives as expendable.
We defend family - mothers, fathers, marriage, children - because history makes it quite clear that societies without intact families quickly descend into anarchy and barbarism, and we have plenty of proof of that in our inner cities where marriage is infrequent and unwed motherhood approaches 80 percent. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, many thought that the abortion cause was lost. Forty years later, ultrasound technology has demonstrated the inevitable connection between science and morality. More Americans than ever define themselves as "pro-life." What is tragic is that tens of millions of children have lost their lives while Americans figure out what should have been obvious before. There is no "giving up" on social issues. There is only the realization that we have to fight the battle on other fronts. The truth will win out in the end.
7. Obama does not have a mandate. And he does not need one. I have to laugh - bitterly - when I read conservative pundits trying to assure us that Obama "has to know" that he does not have a mandate, and so he will have to govern from the middle. I don't know what they're smoking. Obama does not care that he does not have a mandate. He does not view himself as being elected (much less re-elected) to represent individuals. He views himself as having been re-elected to complete the "fundamental transformation" of America, the basic structure of which he despises. Expect much more of the same - largely the complete disregard of the will of half the American public, his willingness to rule by executive order, and the utter inability of another divided Congress to rein him in. Stanley Kurtz has it all laid out here.
8. The Corrupt Media - is the enemy too strong? I don't think so. I have been watching the media try to throw elections since at least the early 1990s. In 2008 and again this year, we saw the media cravenly cover up for the incompetence and deceit of this President, while demonizing a good, honorable and decent man with lies and smears. This is on top of the daily barrage of insults that conservatives (and by that I mean the electorate, not the politicians) must endure at the hands of this arrogant bunch of elitist snobs. Bias is one thing. What we observed with Benghazi was professional malpractice and fraud. They need to go. Republicans, Libertarians and other conservatives need to be prepared to play hardball with the Pravda press from here on out. And while we are at it, to defend those journalists of whatever political stripe (Jake Tapper, Sharyl Atkisson, Eli Lake) who actually do their jobs. As well as Fox News and talk radio. Because you can fully expect a re-elected Obama to try to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in term 2.
9. Small business and entrepreneurs will be hurt the worst For all the blather about "Wall Street versus Main Street," Obama's statist agenda will unquestionably benefit the biggest corporations which - as with the public sector unions - are in the best position to make campaign donations, hire lobbyists, and get special exemptions carved out from Obama's health care laws, his environmental regulations, his labor laws. It will be the small business, the entrepreneur, and the first-time innovators who will be crushed by their inability to compete on a level playing field.
10. America is more polarized than ever; and this time it's personal. I've been following politics for a long time, and it feels different this time. Not just for me. I've received messages from other conservatives who are saying the same thing: there is little to no tolerance left out there for those who are bringing this country to its knees - even when they have been our friends. It isn't just about "my guy" versus "your guy." It is my view of America versus your view of America - a crippled, hemorrhaging, debt-laden, weakened and dependent America that I want no part of and resent being foisted on me. I no longer have any patience for stupidity, blindness, or vulgarity, so with each dumb "tweet" or FB post by one of my happily lefty comrades, another one bites the dust, for me. Delete. What does this portend for a divided Congress? I expect that Republicans will be demoralized and chastened for a short time. But I see them in a bad position. Americans in general want Congress to work together. But many do not want Obama's policies, and so Republicans who support them will be toast. Good luck, guys.
11. It's possible that America just has to hit rock bottom. I truly believe that most Americans who voted for Obama have no idea what they are in for. Most simply believe him when he says that all he really wants is for the rich to pay "a little bit more." So reasonable! Who could argue with that except a greedy racist? America is on a horrific bender. Has been for some time now. The warning signs of our fiscal profligacy and culture of lack of personal responsibility are everywhere - too many to mention. We need only look at other countries which have gone the route we are walking now to see what is in store.
For the past four years - but certainly within the past campaign season - we have tried to warn Americans. Too many refuse to listen, even when all of the events that have transpired during Obama's presidency - unemployment, economic stagnation, skyrocketing prices, the depression of the dollar, the collapse of foreign policy, Benghazi, hopelessly inept responses to natural disasters - can be tied directly to Obama's statist philosophies, and his decisions.
What that means, I fear, is that they will not see what is coming until the whole thing collapses. That is what makes me so sad today. I see the country I love headed toward its own "rock bottom," and I cannot seem to reach those who are taking it there.
Comments on this letter are welcome!