Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

School-Choice-700x466-1January witnessed a massive shift in the balance of power both in this state and at the Federal level as Republicans gained control in both. One thing is certain; we will all be confronted with new ideas and change. One such topic that seems to be making both national and state headlines is education, and in particular, alternate forms of delivering and paying for that education.

Before I offer opinions on these school choice ideas, let me extend a word of gratitude to our current educators. I believe teachers are some of the greatest people in the world doing a massively important job. We owe so much of our lives and successes to great teachers who taught and inspired us along the way. Regardless of the institution (public, private, or homeschool), you will find many great teachers. Sure, there are bad apples in each, but by and large teachers care about the well-being and success of the children under their care. They are deserving of our thanks and praise! (more…)

blue collarHow many times have you heard someone say, “You need to go to college so you can get a good job and make good money.” I think there are all sorts of issues with this statement, but before I expound, let me share with you a problem I believe is continually getting worse – a lack of skilled trades labor. A 2013 article by Forbes magazine places a spotlight on this growing problem. Here is an excerpt.

“For the last three years, according to ManpowerGroup, the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff with skilled talent hasn’t been registered nurses or engineers or even web developers. It’s been the skilled trades – the welders, electricians, machinists, etc. that are so prevalent in manufacturing and construction. But if these skilled-trades workers are difficult to find now, as Manpower’s survey indicates, just wait a few years. The skills gap is likely to become more acute. If the skills shortage is debatable today,” economic development consultant Brian Kelsey wrote last year, “it likely won’t be at some point in the future.”[1] (more…)

educationBefore you read any further, please know this post is not meant to condemn Christian parents who send their kids to public school. Every family is facing different life circumstances, and I am not in a position to levy judgment against anyone. That being said, I strongly believe there are serious problems for Christians to consider regarding public schools. So while I am not in a position to judge your specific situation, I do think these concerns should not be shrugged off as some extreme and unreasonable position. They are legitimate concerns all Christian parents should consider and allow to shape their educational decisions. (more…)

IncomeAn article recently appeared in the news written by Robert Reich, professor at UC Berkeley, titled, “The 4 biggest right-wing lies about inequality.” A copy of the article can be found here. He said America is “heading toward levels of inequality not seen since the days of the 19th-century robber barons” and the conservatives are lying about the situation. The lies he cited are as follows. (1) The rich and CEOs are America’s job creators. So we dare not tax them. (2) People are paid what they’re worth in the market. So we shouldn’t tamper with pay. (3) Anyone can make it in America with enough guys, gumption and intelligence. So we don’t need to do anything for poor and lower-middle-class kids. (4) Increasing the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs. So we shouldn’t raise it. Additionally, Reich, obviously against what he perceives as a widening inequality gap, says the situation can be reversed, but it will take bold political steps, which I’m sure he endorses. Here are a few responses to his thoughts. (more…)

minimumwage11Raising the minimum wage was become a hot topic in the political sphere. Barack Obama has proposed to raise the minimum wage of federal contract workers to $10.10/hr and many states have followed similar paths. There has even been talk of tying the minimum wage to the consumer price index. However, there are many who decry these proposals as wrong, socialistic, harmful to the economy, etc. So how are you to think about this matter? Is there really a right or wrong answer? Let’s examine some arguments from both sides and then look at two underlying principles that may help you develop a more settled conviction on the issue. (more…)

EducationI am currently working on a project analyzing the worldview of naturalism and its effect on society and the Christian church. I plan to post a few blogs showing what naturalism is, and its current impact on different aspects of western culture.

OK, so what the heck is naturalism? Well, it does not mean that you love nature. Naturalism is basically the view that nature is all that exists. There is no god, no supernatural, and no immaterial realities. Imagine the universe as a box. Everything that exists, exists in the box, and nothing exists outside the box. The universe is basically a cause and effect machine comprised of matter and energy. In the words of Carl Sagan, “The universe is all there is, all there was, and all there ever will be.” Accompanying this view is the lack of objective morality, purpose, design, or end goal in the world. (more…)

MarriageGovernments, broadly speaking, are institutions put in place by groups of people and ordained by God (cf. Rom. 13:1) to carry out certain functions unable to be fulfilled by the individual members of that group. Example functions of good government are as follows: carrying out justice, restraining evil, protection of God-given rights, public works projects, protection from foreign powers, etc. Although the American system of government was designed to be limited, there are certain roles it assumes to ensure the success and welfare of the country. One such role is the promotion, protection, and privileging of certain institutions, e.g. marriage and corporations. Both institutions play a pivotal role in the long-term social and economic welfare of America. (more…)

5844865Lady Gaga’s song, “Born This Way,” reached the top spot on the Billboard 100 charts in 2011, echoing the sentiments of America’s youth. Some of the lyrics go like this: “Rejoice and love yourself today, ’cause baby you were born this way, no matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive.” The message of the culture is, “This is who I am. I was born this way. Don’t judge me for being me.” To be honest, this message possesses tremendous rhetorical force. So how have Christians responded to this idea? (more…)

marriage-equalityProponents of same-sex marriage often complain they are denied equality – deprived of the same rights heterosexuals possess. This complaint is usually lodged against the opposition of legalized same-sex marriage and the benefits associated. Is this a just charge? Are homosexuals being denied constitutional rights because of their sexual preferences? No. As it stands, homosexuals have the same rights as every other U.S. citizen – they can marry any eligible member of the opposite sex. The reason this response will not satisfy the homosexual lies with his desire for an additional right, a right no other person has: the right to marry someone of the same sex. (more…)

time-men

The latest issue of Time Magazine tells the story of how in just two generations, same-sex marriage went from the unthinkable to reality – one of the fastest moral transformations in history. And with a Supreme Court decision on California’s Prop. 8 coming soon, the issue remains front and center. In light of this, I want to address and challenge a few assumptions often made in this controversy and hopefully provide some clear thinking on the issue. In this post I will cover the definition of marriage, and in subsequent posts I will discuss things like the government’s role in marriage, rights, are homosexuals born that way, etc. Most of this material can be found in a booklet form that you can download for free here.

According to the latest polls, over half of Americans are supportive of same-sex marriage, including our current president and vice-president. An even larger percentage of young Americans are in favor, ensuring a continuation of this trend for decades to come. But can marriage be redefined and reshaped to accommodate the preferences of culture? Is this an unalterable, natural institution or a mere social construction, subject to change at the whims of the majority? (more…)