Category Archives: Public Policy
When we forget that people in prison for committing crimes are still people, it’s easy to justify 30 or 40 years in prison. When we forget that punishments are supposed to have a purpose, it’s easy to throw someone in prison for selling marijuana, stealing a bottle of alcohol, or not paying their taxes. When marijuana is legal in one state but not another, it adds a whole new level of intricacy to the equation.
It’s a chilling reality to realize that if the government can force Jack Phillips, under threat of legal penalty, to violate his core convictions, that same government can (and will) force us all to violate our conviction at some point. No one that loves liberty and freedom should desire to see such authority placed in the hands of any government.
We are initially incensed at the idea of charging a higher price during an emergency. Any ethical human being naturally thinks that during an emergency we should be willing to help people in need by charging less, or giving goods away for free. But how do we think biblically about the pricing of goods during an emergency?
While protestors demanded the removal of Confederate statues across the country, many of the same people that find tremendous offensive in images of historical figures don’t seem to care much about the systemic racism from their own ranks. One glaring example of this is the almost unbelievable comment made by liberal news host Bill Maher.
The judge in this case determined that Lawson’s home-based business is not subject to the city of Madison’s public accommodations ordinance or the state of Wisconsin’s public accommodations law.
Furthermore, the city of Madison and the state of Wisconsin agreed to this judgment.
This is welcomed news to Christians that have come under fire for trying to live and do business according to their deeply held religious convictions. Certainly the photographer in New Mexico, the baker in Colorado, the florist in Washington, and many others will be overjoyed to hear of this news; even as they have faced lawsuits, fines, and a total loss of their livelihood.
About a year ago former president Obama announced that transgender people could serve openly in the military. The decision was criticized by many saying it would affect unit cohesion and military readiness. Others panned the decision as a drain on tax dollars that would be needed to fund hormone treatments and sex-reassignment surgeries. And of course there were plenty of privacy discussions.
One thing to be clear about in our “everything is a right” culture is that serving in the military is not a right. There’s nothing in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that says a person has the right to serve in the military. It is a privilege. If serving in the military were a right there would be no entrance requirements and people could not be disqualified based on bad eyesight, diabetes, or any other physical limitation. But, people are disqualified for any number of reasons, which is further evidence that military service is a privilege and not a right.
These comments were made on an MSNBC show by the pastor and NAACP leader much to the surprise of many that saw the photo as something to be encouraged by. After all, many presidents in history have asked for prayer for wisdom and courage during their time as president. Apparently Barber is not one of those that is encouraged.
I’m trying to figure out why a “pastor” is so vocally opposed to the world’s most powerful leader being prayed over by faith leaders. What could possibly be so offensive to a “pastor” about our president seeking and receiving spiritual direction? What am I missing about this image of the President of the United States and his Vice President seeking prayer and wisdom from God that is so problematic?
My first thought was, “how can Christians think biblically about this issue?”
As I conversed with Christians about this topic it was clear that many are in the same boat I am. We want to be biblical, we want to prioritize the Gospel, and we want to be loving to foreigners coming to America. But, we also want to protect our families and the lives of those around us from people that would seek to do harm.
Let’s establish some basic thoughts and then we can discuss the issue and hopefully come to some conclusions.
Canada has ruled that sexual acts with animals are legal providing there is no penetration involved. This ruling was handed down by the Canadian Supreme Court after a convicted sexual predator, found guilty of assaulting his stepdaughters, appealed the charge and conviction of bestiality.
The question that arose in conversation is whether taxes are appropriate or whether they are theft. Some subsequent conversation is whether Christians should stand against taxes and oppose any form of taxation or dutifully pay our taxes.
There’s one perspective that says: the Bible says theft is sin, taxes are theft, and therefore taxes are sinful.
Though this is a simplification of the position, it is a good summary and starting point for the discussion. This position says that God never ordains taxes and never gives the government authority to impose taxes. Because all authority is derived from God and God never gives explicit authority to impose taxes, taxation is theft. And since theft is a violation of God’s moral law (10 Commandments), any government imposition of taxes is theft and should be opposed.