Common Sense

What if we ran our financial lives the way our government is running its?  It might look something like this.

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Freedoms

The freedoms we enjoy in America are unbelievably wonderful.  Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are nothing short of a miracle.  Yet our perspective has led to a lack of appreciation for them.  Having known them all of our lives, many of us don’t understand what we have.  And that will continue until they are gone.  The movement to remove them is underway.  Our post modern culture, where there is no right and wrong, and the only standard we should all live by is to issue no moral restrictions on anyone’s behavior, will soon lead to societal collapse.

Stuart Shepard very clearly and succinctly explains what true freedom and opportunity – guaranteed by the First Amendment – looks like in this video.

This is Stuart Shepard’s latest “Stoplight” commentary. I want you to focus not so much on the words of the President, but on the struggle by so many companies to be allowed to live their convictions.

Let’s be clear

Tough Times

It’s been nearly two months since the election, and I’ve had some time to reflect and to think about all the debate and discussion that was, and to think about what lies ahead. But mostly, I have been mourning. What I see on the horizon has me fearing that a great country is very close to self destruction. The 2012 election was, I think, our last chance to stop the decline before it leads to great damage. I do not believe we cannot recover from it, but I firmly believe very difficult days are ahead very soon.

There are four major areas that I see as crumbling; four pillars of an America that for more than two centuries has been the beacon of freedom to the world, as well as its envy, that are now eroding. These are in no particular order, as they are all important.

Our economy has been weak for more than four years, and it is about to get worse. What drives our economic engine is freedom, and that freedom is being taken away. Success is being punished, and the Obama Administration is attempting, through their tax policy, to close off the opportunity for the middle class to advance beyond it.

One of the first things Mr. Obama wants to do is to raise taxes, which is why I believe we are going over the “fiscal cliff.” Obama knows that if we do, the media will not blame him or his party, but will blame the republicans for “not being willing to compromise.” The republicans could give him everything he wants, but I believe he would refuse it, much like he did in the 2011 debt limit talks.

With taxes raised and people having less money to spend, the economy will begin a quick slide. Businesses will have less money to hire workers, and some will have to lay off workers to pay the extra taxes. Who knows how bad it will be, but I think most people have no idea the economic difficulty that awaits.

Secondly, with Obama re-elected and the democrats still in control of the Senate, Obamacare will be fully implemented, beginning in 2014. This, too, I believe will severely harm the economy. Most people still do not know what the law requires. They are beginning to see the cost of insurance go up rapidly, but wait until the companies they work for begin to stop offering healthcare benefits to them, because they are too expensive. They will then be forced – by law – to go buy health insurance, whether they can afford it or not, or be fined and even jailed. When Americans have even less disposable income because they are having to pay so much to stay in compliance with the law, what do you think the economic result will be? Not to mention the number of companies who will have to reduce their workforce to pay for the new federally approved insurance or the fines for not doing so.

Social issues is another big problem for America. With Barack Obama in charge of Supreme Court nominations for the next four years, it is almost certain that abortion will remain the law of the land for another generation. Can a nation that kills more than a million of its children each year in the womb expect not to face Providential judgment eventually? So called “gay marriage” is also on its way to the Supreme Court, where it could be made the law of the land. If it is, citizens – and especially professing Christians – are in for a very rude awakening. Organizations, even religious ones, will no longer be able to hold to an open view of disagreement with the homosexual lifestyle. They will be forced to hire those who do not hold to the same core values of their organization. Religious adoption agencies will be forced to close or to violate their convictions.

Speaking of being forced to choose whether to violate one’s convictions or close up shop, the Obamacare contraception mandate threatens many businesses and even hospitals across the country. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the Administration to stop the forced coverage of abortion inducing drugs in insurance policies. If the courts do not strike this down, you could see many businesses close, and even Catholic hospitals and charities close their doors. What will this do to the economy, and to the health of the nation?

Finally, our national defense is of great concern. Mr. Obama has said he wants to draw down our defenses, especially our nuclear weapons. The “fiscal cliff” also will ensure deep cuts in defense. The United States cannot afford to weaken itself in the face of growing threats from other nations, especially from those who would seek to misuse nuclear weapons. The current Administration either does not understand the threats we face and the need for a strong military or they do not think it necessary. This would be a terrible error if they continue down this road.

As I said before, I do not think the damage is irreversible, but it will be quite difficult to fix. It will take a willingness on our part to awake from our slumber and to begin to get involved. Maybe the damage that is coming will be enough to bring such a willingness. I can only hope. Get ready, America: The next four years will be very difficult.

Decisions…

Check this article out.

This is one of those horrible stories that have come because of the Administration’s unbelievable rules. If you are not familiar with the healthcare law, you may be unaware of this. It forces employers to cover the cost of contraception and other abortifacient drugs through their health insurance, even if these things violate the religious beliefs of the organization’s owners. So catholic charities and hospitals: you have to violate your deeply held religious beliefs or face a crippling fine or simply go out of business.

Companies and non-profit organizations are being forced to sue to stop this nonsense, so that they can survive. One such company is Hobby Lobby.

[T]he business says it is opposing the Health and Human Services “preventive services” mandate, which it says forces the Christian-owned-and-operated business to provide, without co-pay, the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to 1.3 million dollars per day.

Hobby Lobby owns some 500 stores in 41 states. Its owners are facing a crisis: Do you violate your religious beliefs to stay in business? And they should simply not have to face this situation. Yet, this is what we do face with such a group of radicals in power. It gets to, I think, the heart of their ideology, “You can believe whatever you want to believe in private, but you will agree with us in public.” This is one of many reasons wise men and women urged Americans to vote for candidates who would protect religious liberty. And I’m afraid it is but one of many horror stories Americans will have to tell because of this Administration.