Attorney Jeff Mateer with Liberty Institute, is the guest on this PA Pastors Network conference call discussing the upcoming Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. He answers the following questions:
- What are the possible and probable rulings coming from the Court?
- What are the implications for pastors and churches from a ruling imposing a redefinition of marriage?
- What can pastors and churches be doing today to prepare for an adverse ruling?
AMAC and its members are a family of proud, patriotic Americans who believe that we have a responsibility to work together to perpetuate American exceptionalism, keeping our country strong and preserving it for our children and grandchildren.
- We are a member-driven organization advocating on behalf of over 1.2 million AMAC members – not against them.
- We have assembled an exceptional (and growing) array of money-saving benefits for AMAC members.
- We believe in the greatness of the United States of America and in the sanctity of our Constitution.
- We believe in the traditional values that this nation was built upon.
- We believe that those of us over 50 bear special obligation to lead our nation, especially in these challenging times. When we stand together, we can make a real difference.
- We stand with NRA and support the Second Amendment.
The Institute for Scripture Research (ISR) is an organization registered in South Africa for the purpose of spreading the truth of the Scriptures to the world through its various publications. Our vision is to faithfully proclaim YHWH and his word throughout the world by means of all our publications.
Our primary means though is through the translating, printing and publishing of a literal translation of “The Scriptures” that is as accurate as we can make it.
We have restored the name of the Father and his Messiah while also preserving the Hebraic mind-set of the original writers, to the best of our ability. In so doing we hope that it will shed further light on the understanding of the message of the Scriptures, thereby spiritually enriching the lives of its readers. Such a translation would be subject to on-going revision, as the ISR continues its quest to make it more and more accurate.
To further this end we also offer the public other publications that we believe may be excellent tools in the hands of those who seek for truth.
By Walter E. Williams
The celebration of our founders’ 1776 revolt against King George III and the English Parliament is over. Let’s reflect how the founders might judge today’s Americans and how today’s Americans might judge them.
In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, stood on the floor of the House to object, saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” He later added, “(T)he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” Two hundred years later, at least two-thirds of a multi-trillion-dollar federal budget is spent on charity or “objects of benevolence.”
What would the founders think about our respect for democracy and majority rule? Here’s what Thomas Jefferson said: “The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.” John Adams advised, “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” The founders envisioned a republican form of government, but as Benjamin Franklin warned, “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”
What would the founders think about the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 Kelo v. City of New London decision where the court sanctioned the taking of private property of one American to hand over to another American? John Adams explained: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
Thomas Jefferson counseled us not to worship the U.S. Supreme Court: “(T)he opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
How might our founders have commented about last week’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding our rights to keep and bear arms? Justice Samuel Alito, in writing the majority opinion, said, “Individual self-defense is the central component of the Second Amendment.” The founders would have responded “Balderdash!” Jefferson said, “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”
George Mason explained, “(T)o disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” Noah Webster elaborated: “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed. … The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.”
Contrary to Alito’s assertion, the central component of the Second Amendment is to protect ourselves from U.S. Congress, not street thugs.
Today’s Americans have contempt for our founders’ vision. I’m sure our founders would have contempt for ours.
By Cal Thomas
In his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty.” Today, with roughly the same number of people below the poverty level as in 1964 and with many addicted to government “benefits,” robbing them of a work ethic, it is clear that the poor have mostly lost the war.
In 1964, the poverty rate was about 19 percent. Census data from 2010 indicates that 15.1 percent are in poverty within a much larger population.
The lack of government programs did not cause poverty, and spending vast sums of money has not eliminated it.
A policy analysis by the Cato Institute found that federal and state anti-poverty programs have cost $15 trillion over the last five decades but have had little effect on the number of people living in poverty. That amounts to $20,610 per poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. If the government had sent them a check they might have been better off.
As Robert Rector and Jennifer Marshall have written for The Heritage Foundation, “President Johnson’s goal was not to create a massive system of ever-increasing welfare benefits for an ever-larger number of beneficiaries. Instead, he sought to increase self-sufficiency, enabling recipients to lift themselves up beyond the need for public assistance.”
Johnson sounded conservative when he said, “(We) want to offer the forgotten fifth of our people opportunity and not doles.”
Unfortunately, the war on poverty neglected a key component: human nature. Substantial numbers of people came to rely on government benefits and thus lost any sense of personal responsibility. Teenage girls knew they could get a check from the government if they had babies and so they had them, often more than one. The law discouraged fathers from living with, much less marrying, the mothers of their children and so legions of “single mothers” became the norm, and the lack of male leadership in the home contributed to additional cycles of poverty, addicting new generations to government.
When President Clinton signed the welfare reform bill in 1996, liberals screamed that people would starve in the streets. They didn’t. Many got jobs when they knew the checks would cease.
Over time, government enacted rules to prevent churches and faith-based groups from sharing their faith if they wanted to receive federal grants, thus removing the reason for their success. These groups, which once were at the center of fighting poverty by offering a transformed life and consequently a change in attitude, retreated to the sidelines.
In public schools, values that once were taught were removed because of lawsuits and the fear of lawsuits, creating a “naked public square” devoid of concepts such as right and wrong, with everyone left to figure it out on their own.
There are two ways to measure poverty. One is the way theCensus Bureau does, by counting income earned by individuals and families without including government benefits. The other is not measurable in a statistical sense. It is a poverty of spirit. People need to be inspired and told they don’t have to settle for whatever circumstances they are in. This used to be the role of faith-based institutions, and it can be again if they refuse government grants and again reach out to the poor.
One condition for maintaining tax-exempt status should be for these faith-based institutions to help people get off government assistance and find jobs, becoming self-sufficient. If people need transitional money for daycare or transportation, it can be provided, either temporarily by government or by the thousands of churches, synagogues and other faith-based groups.
There is no undiscovered truth about the cure for most poverty: Stay in school; get married before having children and stay married; work hard, save and invest.
The “war on poverty” can be won, but it must be fought with different weapons, not the ones that have failed for the last half-century.
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