The Dangers of Congressional Term Limits

In their efforts to redirect our focus away from the corporate tyranny that oppresses workers, rips off consumers, destroys our environment, and extracts our tax dollars for the sake of the wealthy, Republicans have drilled into the minds of their followers that congressional term limits are the answer to a great many of our problems. As usual, the Republicans want us to believe that our democratic government, the only voice of “we the people,” is what we need to fear, and they continually invent new ways to undermine our power.

As first listen, congressional term limits sound like a good thing. Why not get somebody new in their once in a while, even if the voters are happy with the person who they’ve elected?

While I think it is nice to give someone else a chance for a change, I find that the dangers that such term limits impose far outweigh the benefits of having someone new in office.

The first danger is that congressmen who know they must leave office will look to lobbying positions for the sake of their future. In the year of the Watergate scandal, only 3% of former congressmen worked as lobbyists after they left office. Today that number is over 50%. If we impose term limits on all congressmen, that number will approach 100%. Nearly all congressmen will have to look out for their future careers, and many will make doing so a priority over doing what’s right for the country. The precedent has already been set in which congressmen who give the corporations what they and their lobbyists want are rewarded with lobbying jobs of their own that pay 10-20 times more than they ever earned in Congress. Getting elected to Congress will be nothing more than a stepping stone to getting a high-paying job in the private sector.

The second danger is that congressmen will be less accountable than ever to the people. If senators are limited to two 6-year terms, that means that all congressmen in their second terms will be 100% unaccountable to voters, because they will never again have to worry about getting re-elected. One might argue that U.S. presidents already experience this, and they rarely change their behavior during their 2nd term, but let’s not forget that Presidents are often concerned about their legacy, since the presidency holds such a prominent place in the history books. Senators and representatives will be far less worried about their legacy and far more worried about getting themselves cushy, high paying jobs after their terms are up. With concerns for voters out of the way, they’ll only have one group to please – the lobbyists.

When Republicans have an idea that sounds good, take a closer look. Keep in mind that Republicans believe in a Republic – a system of checks and balances that is better than a monarchy, but is still run by the nation’s wealthy and powerful. Democrats, on the other hand, believe in Democracy – a system in which all people in a society have an equal say in government. The Republican Party, at its very core, exists for the purpose of undermining and weakening democracy, so that the wealthy and powerful minority may make the rules. Congressional term limits are just one of many ways in which the Republicans can fulfill their purpose.

Can We Legislate Morality?

We Christians, whether politically-liberal, conservative, or moderate, all share a common pain: We bristle at the thought of our nation’s moral decline. It concerns us to see high divorce rates, child custody and support battles, children lacking both parents, rampant promiscuity – among both gay and straight people, entertainers competing to see who can sell the most records by pushing the envelope of lewdness the farthest, alcohol binging, drug abuse, and, for those who like to dance, the art of dancing being reduced to an exhibition of simulated sex.

As those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, we Christians are driven to take action. We know that all Americans, especially children, would be so much better off in a nation with minimal moral sin. God has called us to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven, so it’s natural for us to desire heaven on earth. It’s a longing the Holy Spirit has placed in us. All of this begs the question, “How do we reduce immorality?”

The instinctive reaction for most of us is to take political action. As one pastor in a former church of mine put it, “Who says you can’t legislate morality? That’s what legislation is for.” This sounds fair. We live in a democracy, and we are entitled to vote according to our beliefs. There’s nothing wrong with voting for what’s right.

In fact, over the last couple centuries, Christians have voted against some of these immoralities, and they were indeed illegal. Alcohol was once illegal, various drugs, including marijuana, have been illegal, and homosexual behavior has been illegal at various times and in various places throughout American history. Yet, these immoralities have not only survived, but thrived, despite being illegal.

Why is this?

The answer is simple: These sins are, for all practical purposes, victimless crime. In other words, at the time of the violation, no disapproving person is present. If two consenting gay people do their gay thing together at home, no one will call the police they way a victim would when having their property stolen or their body injured.

Thanks to this reality, most victimless immoral behavior goes unpunished. If enough people engage in such behavior, the behavior becomes a topic of conversation, and it turns out that conversation, not legislation, dictates the direction in which morality will go. Cigarette smoking has decreased in America, not because it’s been banned, but because conversations have turned people against it. On the flip side of that, marijuana was illegal in all 50 states for decades, yet support for its legalization grew through conversation to the point where the people of Colorado and Washington legalized it.

Yes, we can legislate morality. But the reality is that doing so doesn’t work. Our only hope is to get more people to fall in love with God and His will. Only when hearts are transformed will morality improve.

How Can a Good, Loving Person Love Guns?

If you’re a life-long Democrat, or liberal-leaning independent, you just might have a difficult time understanding how gun-loving people can be good people. We’re appalled at the extremism of the NRA, who we thought would finally lighten up after the Sandy Hook shooting, but who, instead, refused to budge on something as minor as background checks, and their solution to the tragedy was to suggest arming school security guards and even teachers, thus selling even more guns to protect us from the people with guns. Meanwhile, we laugh (in a sad way) at militia radicals who pointed their semi-automatics at government officials as Fox News cheered them on and called them patriots, that is, until their hero, Cliven Bundy, claimed that “the negro” would be happier picking cotton; then they backed away. Liberals weren’t the slightest bit surprised at Bundy’s remarks. That’s exactly what they expected from anti-government gun-nuts.

So are all gun enthusiasts bad people?

I would say, “No.”

I grew up in a family that loved hunting and guns. I lived in a semi-rural, Pennsylvania Dutch area where, prior to the advent of video games (around 1980), there weren’t a lot of hobbies for rural kids to choose from. For my grandparents, there were no school sports; they only went to school through 8th grade. For my dad, a baby-boomer, he graduated high-school, but sports were not a big thing, plus not everyone is an athlete. Hunting was the only escape for most rural people, and deer hunting season, in late November, was like a national holiday, especially since we would go away to our extended family’s hunting cabin in central PA. It was, often, the biggest vacation of the year.

You might wonder, “How could a person love killing animals?”

The truth is: It wasn’t about that! When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to turn 12 years-old, so I could go hunting. All year long, when my dad met with friends and relatives, they enthusiastically shared numerous hunting stories, and that made me dream of someday having impressive hunting stories of my own to tell. It was a big community of people who enthusiastically shared a common interest, and I wanted to be a part of that community. Also, it was a competition. When the big day came, I wanted to succeed and be a great hunter, not fail and come home empty-handed.

Unfortunately, for me, I usually came home empty-handed and lost interest in hunting by the age of twenty. But for others in my family, they experienced great, thrilling successes, and loved hunting all the more for it. I even had an uncle who set up his own shotgun shell reloading system in his basement. It was his absolute favorite hobby. When he wasn’t working, his focus was on his true passion – guns and hunting.

Imagine having a hobby that you love and have devoted your life to, only to hear that there’s a political movement intending to take it away from you. Most Americans never have to worry that future laws will prohibit playing sports, playing video games, or enjoying music. But hunters do have that worry. When I was a young hunter, I was well aware of the gun-banning anti-hunting movement, as I read about protests at gun club events, like turkey shoots. And I was afraid they would take away my hobby. For my uncle, that fear never subsided, and today, that fear has turned to panic.

Thanks to the NRA and the Republican Party, hunters are more afraid than ever that guns will be outlawed and taken away. Of course, there has been no state or federal legislation that I know of attempting to accomplish such a thing. Nonetheless, the proclamation that the Democrats will ban guns is widespread. The Republicans make such a claim so they can win elections, and the NRA makes such a claim so the gun industry can sell more guns. This drives some gun owners to act out of fear of losing their way of life and become radicalized. Some of these extremists really are hateful, angry people, and from a Christian perspective, they have no right to become so hateful over the fear of losing a possession, since Jesus said that we cannot love both God and possessions. However, many gun-owners support background checks and limits on assault weapon capabilities, but the media never highlights them, because the media loves to show us extremists. These hunters are responsible hobbyists who understand that you have to kill ’em to eat ’em, and that hunting is more natural than getting your meat from a corporation that never lets its animals live free and wild, as hunted animals do until the moment of their demise.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that the world you grow up in is the one you accept and often embrace. If the vast majority of your friends and relatives live a certain lifestyle, there’s a good chance you’ll embrace that lifestyle, too. And most of us never stop to think why we embrace it, especially when we’re young. We join the crowd, because hobbies are more fun when shared with those we love. And even if we obsess over a given hobby, we do it in part because, subconsciously, that hobby is somehow connected to positive social experiences.

Americans grow up with many different cultures, hobbies, and experiences, and it’s difficult for liberals and conservatives alike to understand those whose experiences differ from their own. I see liberals bash rural, gun-owners just as much as I see conservatives bash inner-city welfare recipients. Both groups fail to take the time and make the effort to understand that if we were in their shoes, we’d behave just like they do.

Are Christians playing the victim with anti-gay laws?

As the future of Christianity goes, there’s little I fear more than how this homosexuality/gay-marriage debate might ruin Christianity.

No, I’m not afraid that re-defining the word, “marriage,” will somehow keep us Christians from practicing our religion. I’m afraid the behavior of Christians who seek political action against homosexuals will appear to the eyes of the bystanders (those who are neither gay nor devout Christian) as evil and repulsive. As Christianity’s reputation for mercilessness and bigotry grows, Christianity will shrink – at a rapid rate.

The recent trend of several Republican state legislatures proposing and even passing so-called “religious freedom” laws makes the gay marriage debate seem quaint. These laws aren’t about the definition of a word; they’re about letting business owners discriminate against anyone who doesn’t follow their religious beliefs, yet it’s all done in the name of religious freedom!

Libertarian Republicans have said that business owners have a right to serve who they want; they have no responsibility for the well-being of others. This is an anti-biblical argument. God never gave such rights to the property owners of ancient Israel. For example, Deuteronomy 23:24 says, “If you go into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in a container.” The property owner was forced to allow trespassers on his land who could eat his grapes for free. He had no right to judge and deny others. In God’s eyes, owning property is a responsibility, not a right to be selfish.

“Religious freedom” to discriminate is not God given. Nor is religious freedom absolute in the Constitution. If it was, laws against polygamy would be un-constitutional, since several religions believe in polygamy. If the concept of religious freedom were taken to the extreme, we would have chaos, as people could excuse just about any behavior as an exercise of religious belief.

The truth is that Republican Christians are using “religious freedom” to play the victim (something they’ve accused others of doing for decades). They’ve cited rare cases in which a baker or photographer has been forced by state law to provide services for a gay wedding. And they act like such Christians suffer greatly. The truth is that it’s no harder to bake a cake for a gay wedding than it is for a straight wedding. It’s no harder to press the button on your camera for a gay wedding than it is for a straight wedding. The only suffering on the part of the Christian bakers and photographers is that they have to witness something they disapprove of. If that makes them victims, then the rest of us are victims for having to witness Republican Christians misrepresenting our religion as one full of whiny, hateful people.

Republican Christians may argue that forcing Christians to serve gays is forcing them to do something that’s against their religious beliefs.

What exactly is it that’s against their beliefs? Not being allowed to pass judgment on others? Not being allowed to pull the speck out of their neighbor’s eye when there’s a log in their own eye?

To judge someone as being more sinful than yourself and then to treat them differently than others as a result of that judgment is the very opposite of the will of God. Christians aren’t suffering here, and our freedom to practice our faith has yet to be denied even where gay marriage is legal and gays are protected from discrimination.

We Christians are not the victims. Not yet. Someday, maybe, when the vast majority of the population turns against us for trying to force non-Christians to follow Christian beliefs (something Jesus and His disciples never attempted), then we will be persecuted.

Will the Republican Party drop anti-abortion stance?

In a move that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest bit, Nevada Republicans have removed abortion opposition from their 2014 party platform. The reason? According to state party chair, Michael McDonald, “The issue is how we can back out of people’s personal lives….This is where the party is going.”

In recent years, especially since the advent of the Tea Party, the primary slogan of Republicans has been, “The government can’t tell me what to do!” They’ve claimed that the democratic representation of “we the people” that we call government is really a totalitarian intruder bent on robbing us of life, liberty and happiness. Of course, those who control the Republican Party, the corporate wealthy, have drilled such anti-authority rhetoric into our heads in an effort to convince us to choose not to protect ourselves (as employees, consumers, and the environment) from the harmful effects of corporate greed by means of our democratic government. They’ve also opposed, with fervor, regulation of the banking industry, the health insurance industry, and any other industry which seeks profits at the expense of Americans. And, of course, they have opposed income taxation, since it’s the wealthy who have the most income. They promote this income tax opposition in the name of “the government can’t tell me what to do with my money!”

So it’s only a matter of time, then, that the millions of Americans who, for years, have fervently embraced anti-government rhetoric will arrive at the logical conclusion that the government can’t tell them what to do with regard to the children in their wombs. This time has already come in Nevada.

Since the emergence of the Religious Right, which brought Republicans back to power in the 1980s, the Republican Party has used anti-abortion politics to win the Christian vote and thus win elections. However, in recent decades, the percentage of Christians in America has declined. This decline has been rapid and shows no signs of slowing. A decade or two from now, America will contain far more members of the rebellious “government can’t tell me what to do” religion than it will devout members of the Christian religion.

My prediction: The Republicans will abandon Christians and pursue the growing, libertarian anti-government vote once the latter group grows larger than the former.

I believe the anti-abortion vote has never been anything more than a vote-getter for the Republicans. Their first anti-abortion president, Ronald Reagan, had actually sign legalized abortion into law as governor of the state of California in 1967. He was one of the first governors to do so. The law resulted in 1-2 million abortions. Only later, when politically necessary, did Reagan change his stance and oppose abortion. He used it to get votes, but it wasn’t his priority.

For over 30 years, the Republicans have held the majority on the Supreme Court (in the early 1990s, 8 of the 9 justices were Republican-appointed), and yet they have never even attempted to rule that the unborn are people, but they have been eager to rule that corporations are people. This reveals their true priorities. Since the 1870s, the Republicans have been the party of the rich, for the rich, and against the American working class. Exploiting America for the rich’s sake is their sole purpose for being. Everything else, from guns to family values, is just a vote getter.

By creating and promoting a religion of rebelliousness, the Republican Party has opposed the will of God. The truth is that the government does have the right to tell us what to do. There’s a special name for that – it’s called “civilization.” Just as God’s laws for ancient Israel were designed to protect people from the harm of others and ensure their well-being, so should our laws do the same. Republican anti-government rhetoric promotes the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In Romans 13:1, the Bible says, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities.” And in verses 6 and 7 of the same chapter it says, “For because of this you pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God…Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” From cover to cover, the Bible condemns hatred of authority, which is rooted in selfishness and lack of consideration for others. The Republican Party, on the other hand, promotes hatred of authority. It’s becoming the selfish party. “This is where the party is going.”

 

 

 

Christians and the Minimum Wage

Our current debate over whether or not to raise the minimum wage has focused on economic arguments more than biblical ones, and that’s fine. A good economy benefits everyone. So before we seek out biblical guidance on the issues, let me address a couple very simple realities about the nature of the minimum wage.

First, the U.S. has had 23 minimum wage increases since 1938. There is no pattern linking them to economic busts or booms. Yes, minimum wage opponents are correct in saying that some companies will be unable to afford the increase and some jobs will be lost as a result. In fact, some businesses will go under as well. However, the vast majority of minimum wage employees will keep their jobs and see a significant increase in their buying power, causing them to buy more goods and services within the economy. When businesses experience an increase in customers buying their products and services, they must hire more employees to service the additional customers, and that creates jobs. Remember, it’s customer demand that creates jobs, not the rich. The rich will not hire more people to make more products when the products already on the shelves aren’t selling. That would be throwing their money away.

Second, contrary to popular belief, minimum wage increases add very little to the prices of the products we purchase. Let’s use cashiers, many of whom are paid minimum wage, as an example. Imagine a grocery store cashier receiving a minimum wage increase of $2 per hour. Now let’s ask ourselves, “How many products does that cashier ring up in an hour?” Probably a few hundred. So if we low-ball it, and assume that the cashier rings up 200 items per hour and divide that into the additional $2 per hour the cashier receives, we find that $2 divided by 200 items equals one cent per item. In other words, a $4 gallon of milk would only go up to $4.01 to cover the cost of the $2 hourly increase in pay. The reality is that in most industries, the cost of labor makes up a relatively small percentage of business costs, so raising wages has little impact on prices. Plus, if consumers are unwilling to spend more money, then the business owners, many of whom are rich, will simply have to absorb the wage increase and make a little less profit. They cannot raise their prices to the point that fewer customers buy their products, or they will lose more money than they would by raising wages.

Those are the practical, economic realities of the minimum wage. So what does the Bible have to say about it?

Unfortunately, the Bible says little, because wages weren’t much of a factor in God’s nation of ancient Israel. Twelve of the 13 tribes of Israel had land to farm. Since they worked their own land, their wages were what they produced. They didn’t have to rely on anyone to pay them. In first century Rome, however, where the New Testament was written, the economy resembled our own in that the landowners had rights to the revenue that food from their land produced, and they hired workers to work that land. They often paid the workers meager wages, as little as necessary to recruit them.

What did the apostle Paul have to say about that?

2 Timothy 2:6 says, “The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops.” Paul makes the common sense point that workers, not land owners, have first rights to what their work produces. The pure capitalist belief is the opposite: the owner of the capital (land, equipment, etc. used to produce goods and services) has full rights to what the workers produce with the capital; owning capital is to be rewarded, while hard work is not. So the biblical model is that the laborers deserve a healthy share of what they produce. This is not communism; it doesn’t say that the property owner gets no share or that everyone gets the same, but neither does it align with modern day Republican ideology.

All people are created in the image of God and deserve a dignified quality of life. That’s why Malachi 3:5 says, “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien, and do not fear Me, says the Lord of hosts.” When employers pay a wage so low that hard-working people suffer want despite their efforts, that’s oppression. God hates oppression. Today’s Republican Party loves it. We Christians should side with God, and not Republicans, and support a minimum wage increase.

Do Anti-Government Republicans Employ a Racial Double-Standard?

Last weekend, those who follow cable news were treated to a bit of a showdown between the supporters of Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, and agents from the federal Bureau of Land Management. Bundy owed about a million dollars in fees and fines to the government for illegally grazing his cattle on government-owned land. Bundy believes he has rights to this land, because he says his ancestors used it before the federal government owned it (source: L.A. Times). Fox News repeatedly aired interviews with Bundy, treating him as an anti-government hero. This media attention riled up anti-government militia men in the region to the point that they brought their assault rifles to his property to shoot federal representatives who had come to take Bundy’s cattle as payment for the money he owed. The BLM agents backed down, and the anti-government Republicans, not only in Nevada but on Fox News and across the country, declared victory.

The fact that a band of anti-government extremists had a showdown with authorities is nothing new. It’s happened many times throughout our nation’s history. What is alarming is that the Republican Party’s premier propaganda network, Fox News, praised these domestic terrorists, calling them “patriots.” One of the reasons they called them patriots is that they, Bundy in particular, don’t believe in the authority of the federal government. To me, that sounds like the opposite of patriotism. It’s downright anti-American, and it defies Biblical requirements in Romans 13 that we obey the laws of our government.

The fact that Fox News backs these outlaws reveals a disturbing racial double standard among Republicans. First, if they think Bundy has rights to his land, because his ancestors used it before the American government owned it, then they should also believe that Native Americans have rights to all of the land their ancestors owned before Americans took it from them. Of course, they believe no such thing.

Second, the Republicans have always been the tough-on-crime party. If a black man in the city breaks the law, they’re adamant about the rights of law enforcement to arrest him and the rights of the judge to lock him up for a long time. If law enforcement were to come for an inner-city black man who owed $50,000 in fines, and his buddies protected him by pointing guns at the law enforcement officials, the Republicans would applaud the officers for shooting these men. I cannot imagine that Fox News would ever call such defiant black men “patriots.”

Why does Fox News favor this rancher? Could it be because he’s a white, Tea Party Republican? Of course, that’s the reason. In the eyes of Fox News, only rich white people have the right to rebel against authority. Remember, thanks to the Republicans in the Supreme Court, those who have more money have more freedom of speech; therefore, it only stands to reason that those who have more money also have more rights, even the right to break the law without receiving punishment.

Does the Bible Predict the Corporate Takeover of Democracy?

Naturally, the Bible makes no mention of either democracy or corporations, so it’s easy to understand how such a question might sound preposterous. And while I am by no means an eschatology-obsessed Christian, last week’s Supreme Court ruling that further declared money to be one-in-the-same as speech reminded me of a famous Bible quote.

That quote is Revelation 13:16-17. It speaks of the beast – the representative of Satan to whom all the nations will bow down. It says, “And he [the beast] causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or their forehead, and he provides that no one should be a able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.”

Most people think the beast is a person, but I’ve considered for a long time that if the nations and their rulers obey it, it must be something other than a nation or a ruler. It must be something more powerful. And since Revelation 13 tells us that the beast controls buying and selling, then it stands to reason that the beast is a commercial force that controls politics and the lives of all people. Throughout history, it was impossible for most people to imagine that there could be something more powerful than a nation or a king. But today, it’s not difficult at all, thanks to the immense and highly-concentrated accumulations of wealth that corporate capitalism creates. Therefore, the commercial force of which the Bible speaks just might be corporate power.

Today, corporations are multi-national. Our largest corporations, and the individuals who reap the bulk of their profits, have more wealth than many small nations do. A day will come when they have more wealth and power than even the large nations. If things keep progressing as they are, it’s unimaginable for this not to happen. In such a world, law enforcement and even the strongest militaries will do the bidding of the wealthy, not of the people whom they were originally created to protect. If that sounds far-fetched, we need to look no further than the Iraq war to see that it’s already happening. The objective of the war was eventually achieved: our massive oil companies now control Iraq’s oil. Our government did the bidding of powerful oil companies and told lies to make us think the war was for our protection.

One might think that in a democracy such as ours, people would vote against the power of the wealthy few. But thanks to the Supreme Court, we don’t always get a vote. Such was the case this past week, as well as in the Citizens’ United ruling of 2010, when five Republican-appointed justices overruled four Democrat-appointed justices in striking down democratically-created laws that protected the people from the power of the corporate wealthy to buy elections and have undue influence over politicians who must now rely on them for support. Add to that the fact that Republicans have been chipping away at democracy with voter ID laws, re-redistricting, and the replacement of the majority-of-voters with majority of districts (which they’ve redesigned) in elections, and it’s easy to see how corporate predators will defeat democracy.

The Bible’s prophecy is both good and bad news for Christians. The bad news is that we will lose this battle. Corporate power will someday abolish our freedoms and enslave the world. The best we can expect to do is to stave it off for a while. Ultimately, the devil will win. On the other hand, the fact that the Bible predicted that there would someday be a commercial force greater than the nations is all the more reason to believe in God and in the fact that He has revealed himself to us through the Bible.

Hobby Lobby is wrong! Corporations cannot be Christian!

According to Hobby Lobby, the company leading the challenge against the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it denies religious freedom, corporations can actually be Christians. And even though Christian individuals are not protected from having their tax dollars fund such un-Christian things as invasions of other nations, so-called Christian corporations like Hobby Lobby expect to be exempted from having to provide health insurance for their employees, because they disapprove of certain forms of birth control covered under the act that are, effectively, abortion bills.

As an anti-abortion Christian, I share their concerns (that is if, indeed, these are really abortion pills – I’m no expert on the various pills out there). And from a practical perspective, I don’t believe that health insurance should cover birth control any more than I believe car insurance should cover oil changes. However, as a Christian who fears rapidly expanding corporate power (now, in the name of “Corporations are people, my friend”), I dread hearing of the Supreme Court ruling that corporations may now be exempt from the law because their religious beliefs oppose it.

First, I think such a ruling opens a Pandora’s Box, as numerous corporations might claim various religious beliefs to exempt themselves from the law. Elena Kagan made a great point when she asked what happens when an employer (most likely a Jehovah’s Witness) can deny employees insurance that covers any procedure involving a blood transfusion, because the employer’s religion opposes blood transfusions. But I believe it can go beyond that, as a conservative victory here could establish a dangerous precedent. For example, if a corporation claims to be atheist, could it fire and refuse to hire Christian employees? Could atheists become major shareholders in a hospital and turn away dying Christians at the door? We’ve seen atheists use “freedom of Religion” to attack Christianity displayed in public, such a court precedent may expand that persecution to the workplace.

I repeatedly hear Christians cry that our faith will be persecuted more and more throughout the future, yet these very same Christians want to create a society in which any company can do whatever it wants in the name of religious rights (the Arizona bill to allow discrimination against customers with differing religious beliefs is further proof of this). Someday, this will backfire on us when non-Christians oppress Christians in the name of liberty.

Religious freedom is not absolute. For example, if you believe in Harem’s, you can’t have one. If the people of your nation have voted to make harems illegal, there’s nothing you can do to hoard wives for yourself, and that’s a good thing. With the thousands of religious beliefs held by various Americans, almost any law denies somebody the ability to fully carry out their religious beliefs.

Second, if Hobby Lobby is so devoutly Christian, why are they a corporation?

On their video at the hoobylobbycase.com website, the owners claim to have been a family-owned business from the beginning. If so, it’s unlikely that they incorporated to raise capital. Rather, they incorporated to protect their liability. The whole foundation of the corporate structure is liability protection. If a business’s owners make millions of dollars when times are good but wind up owing millions of dollars when the company someday fails, corporate liability protection allows them to keep the millions they have been paid in the form of dividends, while sticking their creditors, customers, and suppliers with the millions they owe (it’s called bankruptcy). This is stealing. God allowed no such injustice in ancient Israel. If someone owed debts, they had to sell everything, if necessary, to pay them.

If Hobby Lobby were so devoted to adhering to Christian purity in every little thing, they would be a partnership, not a corporation. The fact that they are incorporated means they are willing to steal by pushing their debts on society in the event hard times come. Since all corporations are, by definition, institutions of stealing, they can’t be Christian. They can be Satanists, maybe, but not Christians.

If the folks at Hobby Lobby are worried about God’s wrath against them for obeying the law, here’s something that should make them feel better. When religious leaders questioned Jesus on whether it was lawful to pay the tax to Caesar, Jesus didn’t say it was only lawful in the event that the emperor spent the money in accordance with Christian or Jewish beliefs. If we Christians are forced by the law to pay a tax or provide a benefit to others, God will not hold us accountable.

The purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to rescue the poor and oppressed from life-ruining healthcare costs and to keep hospitals from folding when impoverished patients can’t pay. Yes, paying for birth control goes a bit too far. I’m all in favor of making an adjustment to that portion of the Affordable Care Act in the future. But to exempt employers from providing insurance due to the employer’s religious beliefs is to say that the employers own the employees as if they were slaves. Slave owners always had the right to make healthcare decisions for their salves. But in a free society, workers have rights to make their own healthcare decisions. Let’s hope the Supreme Court agrees.

Is the “Ban Bossy” campaign anti-Christian?

Like the movie, “The Blob,” in which the featured creature grew in size with everything it consumed, the monster known as political correctness just got a whole lot fatter, thanks to Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. With help of Beyonce, Condoleezza Rice, and Jennifer Garner, Sandberg released a video saying such things as, “Girls are less interested in leadership than boys, and that’s because they worry about being called ‘bossy’…Let’s just ban the word, ‘bossy’.”

The purpose of political correctness, over the years, has been to condemn labels that used to be perfectly okay for everyone to say, even in the eyes of those to whom they referred. Suddenly, these words must be replaced by some other word that means the exact same thing. All of this is done to supposedly protect self-proclaimed victims who are, all of the sudden, offended by these words, as if the use of the words causes them even the slightest bit of harm or inconvenience in their lives (which it doesn’t). Therefore, all of society must be inconvenienced by having to change their word choice. If they don’t, they’ll be publicly condemned as insensitive bigots (which actually does do harm).

In most cases up until now, politically-incorrect words have referred to races of people. But thanks to Sandberg’s campaign, now political correctness has been extended to include words that describe behaviors.

What does this mean for us Christians?

On the positive side, it’s good not to call people names. To say to someone, “You’re bossy!”, as an insult intended to make them feel bad is un-Christian. In fact, name-calling is the purest form of judgmentalism, which is one of the biggest sins in the Bible.

On the negative side, if we cannot speak of bossiness, then we cannot identify it, label it as inappropriate behavior, and try to teach our children not to behave that way. Sandberg’s video doesn’t just speak out against name-calling; it proclaims bossiness as righteousness. The Bible teaches the opposite.

What is bossy behavior?

It’s not merely exercising authority. Most employees understand that their boss has the authority to make decisions and take disciplinary action against those who fail to comply. To be bossy is to overstep one’s bounds by being too aggressive, arrogant, unfair, condescending, insensitive, manipulative, or to sum it up – to be on a power trip. Bossy people don’t just exercise power; they abuse it. And in some cases, they exercise authority where they were never given authority, bossing around people of equal rank. Bossiness is simply selfishness.

Many female business people have the wrong idea. They think that a woman needs to be tough, intimidating, condescending and mean-spirited to be respected; but then they complain that when they behave this way, they are called “bossy” or “a bitch”. However, men who behave this way are simply called “jerks” or “a-holes.” Their employees don’t respect them, either. When employees receive nothing but disrespect from their bosses, they show disrespect in return.

What people really do respect is good management skills. Most people know that the Golden Rule of, “do to others as you would have them do to you,” means that we treat all other humans with mutual respect and place them on the same level as ourselves.  Even when we have different roles within a company, those with power are to treat their subordinates as brothers and sisters in Christ, just as the Bible commanded masters to do to their servants. Even books that teach how to be an effective manager promote the Golden Rule in their own words, because it works and is great for morale. These books warn against the condescending, mean-spirited style of management, because it’s anti-productive.

Women who want to be successful in the business world need to stop worrying about labels and start worrying about doing what works. If they do what works, success will follow.

Like all cries for political correctness, this one is ultimately bad for those claiming to be the victims. Most people see political correctness proponents as whining, cry-babies who have it so good that the technicality of other people’s word choices is their biggest problem. So when a people group has a serious, legitimate problem, society brushes it off as just another attempt make up a problem in order to play the victim, since the group has already established itself as victim wannabe’s in the eyes of society.