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Health Care and Ministers

Health Care has passed and there is still a lot of political questions about how this will play out. Will the senate pass reconciliation, will people sue and force this to the Supreme court, how long will we be forced to hear about this?

As I read blogs and facebook status’ it seems everyone is sharing an opinion on this. I can’t help but to wonder as a minister what should be our role in sharing our politics with people?

I have begun to question this more and more. I know that no matter what my opinion is I will alienate some. I will be honest I dislike most republicans right now. I avoid some at church because I don’t believe Obama is the anti-Christ and to some this makes me the anti-Christ. And we all know you can’t openly profess to be a democrat and a Christian so I have no gripe with them at the moment because I don’t know who they are.

I just wonder if I am avoiding some Christians right now because I don’t want to hear another speech about politics if there aren’t some non-Christians who are avoiding us for the same reason.

So as a minister what should be our role in sharing our politics with people and what could be the dangers of either way?

2010 Election Heating Up

I love politics. Let me restate this I love the chess game. I care less about policy and the like but the chess game intrigues me.

In 1994 after Clinton tried to push in a more progressive agenda the democrats lost 54 seats in the house and 8 in the senate. This was a major swing. Usually the opposite party of the president will have some success because people will not be happy with the results of the incumbent.  This was a major swing.

The 2010 elections may produce a similar result. Two long term senators are retiring as are four congressmen. There are rumors that three more dems from the house will retire this year. Most of those retiring give various reasons but the main is that the polls say they will get torched in a re-election bid. Some suggest that the dems will lose 4-6 seats in the senate and up to 35 in the house. This is not a swing like in 1994 but could still be huge.

The part that intrigues me is what will happen if the republicans can take back the house and break the senate 60 vote majority. Will Obama moderate like Clinton or will he hold? Will he begin to focus on how to win re-election or will he hold to his values and risk being a one term president?

One other interesting side note is that Sarah Palin is becoming a news contributor for Fox News. I personally don’t like Palin and would never vote for her. I love Bill O’reilly and I know she will be on his show. I think this is her attempt to rebuild her image to some. This is an interesting development and no doubt that she is up to something for 2012.

The 44th President of the United States

obama21Tuesday was a remarkable day. I went home to watch the inauguration because I wanted to relish the moment and soak it all up. Forty years ago African Americans could not eat at the same restaurant as whites and today Barak Obama is our 44th president. To me this highlights that we can change. I think Obama will be a great hero to young children and will destroy stereotypes that people of all colors have.

I am a Libertarian in political philosophy. I hate big government but thanks to Roosevelt, Johnson, and G.W. Bush our government is obese. I am not sure if it will grow under Obama like it did under Bush, I pray it doesn’t.

I am an evangelical Christian with conservative social views and I assume that Obama will take the country more to the left as he appoints judges and signs laws concerning abortion, stem cells, and other social issues.

I am sure that I will not agree with many things that Obama does but am hopeful that in the end his positives will out weigh his negatives. I hope he can bring real change to Washington. That the words in his address today are not hollow cermonial words but that he will try to help Washington become effecient and work for the people. Today was a great day and I am glad that I was able to take time off to watch it and relish the moment. I hope he is one of the best presidents we have ever had.  May God bless Barak Obama.

Your Inaguration Speech

speechgen1

Here is the key to creating your own speech using this super-fun inauguration speech generator. It’s a mad lib. Just plug in adjectives and adverbs and a few other things, and… voila — your personalized inauguration speech

Here is mine:

My fellow Americans, today is a blue day. You have shown the world that “hope” is not just another word for “bible”, and that “change” is not only something we can believe in again, but something we can actually run.

Today we celebrate, but let there be no mistake – America faces sad and cloudy challenges like never before. Our economy is snowy. Americans can barely afford their mortgages, let alone have enough money left over for youth ministers. Our healthcare system is careless. If your funny bone is sick and you don’t have insurance, you might as well call a verizon’s salesman. And America’s image overseas is tarnished like a clock vitamin. But spending together we can right this ship, and set a course for Italy.

Finally, I must thank my hefty family, my covert campaign volunteers, but most of all, I want to thank Stephen Colbert for making this historic occasion possible. Of course, I must also thank you, President Bush, for years of playing the American people. Without your artificial efforts, none of this would have been possible.

Prayer for Obama

This is from Scott McKnight’s blog today

Our prayer today, Our Father, is for President-Elect Barack Obama. [Please obama01add your prayers in the comments below.]
Our prayers include:

That You, the infinite font of wisdom, might grant him wisdom daily.

That You, the loving God of all, might grant him love for you and for others, including our enemies.

That You, the holy and righteous God of justice, might empower him to do what is right in all that he does.

That You, the Lord, might grant him the charisma of insight to lead in this turbulent world and time.

That You, the Healer, might grant him the grace of reconciling damaged relations in this country and in the world about us.

That You, the God of Life, might grant him a commitment to act for all — the unborn and born, the young and old, the civilian and the soldier — to preserve life and honor that each of us is fashioned in the image of God.

That You, the Father, might grant him the time and wisdom to father his two young daughters and love Michelle, his wife.

And that You, the God of all comfort, might grace him and his family as they mourn the loss of his grandmother.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Electing a President (Part 5)

God and Politics

There are many issues I could talk about that could impact our decision of whom we vote. Tuesday we will go to the polls, some will be disappointed while others will be excited. I have been hearing a lot of people talking with great fear over this election. It is understandable because so many issues from war to the economy are troubling. But no matter who is elected I am not worried. I know my candidate will not be elected (Bob Barr) but no matter if Obama or McCain are elected I still know the outcome. I know what the future holds so I have no fear.

The Bible tells us and gives us examples of how God is in control and that it is He and not us who bring people into power and out. If Obabma wins it is God’s plan. If McCain wins it is God’s plan.

Daniel 2:20-21 … “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings….

Daniel 5 is a chapter all about how God is in control and it is He who brings kings and leaders in and out of power. There are many other examples all through the Old Testament.

When you wake up Wednesday morning no matter if your man wins or looses celebrate and praise God because He is in control. You may not know what God has in store or why things are going the way they are, but take assurance in that God is in total control and He is working out something amazing.

Electing a President (Part4)

Health Care

Health Care is expensive. I pay $230 a month for mine. If my wife was on the policy it would be $400 and if we had 1 or more kids it would be $650+ a month. You can’t go without health care or one visit to the doctor will wipe you out financially while at the same time it is so expensive I can see why many do not have it.

Insurance companies exist to make money so it doesn’t take an expert to know that if a person becomes a risk to their profits then they have to raise rates or find some way to drop or not cover them. The same is true with any business. If an employee is costing the company more than their services then they have to be let go.

This election we have two views on health care. Both candidates want to help Americans obtain it. McCain is offering a $5000 tax credit for you to pick the insurance you want. In other words the government is going to give you money if you buy insurance with it. Obama is going to let you buy into a government plan somehow. To be honest he has done such a poor job of explaining this I have no idea how it works. If you are a couple McCain is going to give you free health care but you will have to pay $2500 a year if you have kids to get adequate care. Obama is somehow going to give you coverage but at what cost if any I am not sure.

This issue raises the question of is health care something the government should provide all its citizens. Is it is fundamental right? Part of me says yes and part of me no. How could anyone not want to help people who need medical treatment? If I am sick I want a doctor to see me and not have to worry if the visit will mortgage my future. If I am diagnosed with cancer I want treatment. I don’t want to cap out (all insurance have a max limit of coverage) and be denied coverage as it advances or is on the retreat. No one wants to see children hurting because their parents couldn’t take them to the doctor. I don’t think this is a right but as a benevolent nation it seems like we need to help our fellow man.

My grandfather was a War veteran and he was treated at the veteran’s hospital. This was terrible health care. It gives you a glance into what government ran health care would look like. Walter Reed Hospital was highlighted for its poor care for wounded soldiers. Tenn. Care has been a disaster and so has California’s state run medical plan. The government is so poorly managed that if it took on the role of an insurance provider or began to run a hospital it would be terrible. Remember the last time you had to go to the DMV or the social security office or filling out your income tax? Imagine that becoming your insurance or your hospital.

I believe the best way to solve our health care crisis is to solve the secondary issues that drive up the cost. Electronic billing, records, etc can save millions. Putting caps on law suits. Twenty million dollars will not bring your lost loved one back. I believe in holding people accountable and making them pay because that will help them be accountable but surely one million could be sufficient. Free clinics for minor ailments like colds, flu, viruses, and people who don’t feel well. We could mandate doctors serve a few hours a week or month. This could provide basic care to people that normally only need 10 minutes of attention.

At the end I don’t believe Obama or McCain will give us an answer to health care. How can either on pay for it when we have to borrow money from China and India for everything and we are in debt as a nation for close to 5 trillion dollars? Do we really want hospitals to look like a veteran’s hospital? Do we want our insurance to become as complicated as our tax system? Do we really think government can solve every problem and issue we have?

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