Tag Archives: 2014

Religion and politics: Wayne Grudem’s 2012 Pulpit Freedom Sunday sermon

My church probably isn’t doing anything for Pulpit Freedom Sunday, because they are a gospel every week church. It’s really not clear to me whether my minister is even pro-life or pro-marriage, because he never talks about anything practical. However, I was able to dig up this 2012 sermon from Dr. Wayne Grudem, an amazing pastor who does have a position on many issues relevant to the Christian worldview.

The topic is “Moral and spiritual issues in the 2012 election”.

Here it is: (68 minutes, Dr. Grudem starts 4 minues in)

Details:

This message was delivered by Dr. Wayne Grudem at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills on Pulpit Freedom Sunday. Dr. Grudem addresses directly and poignantly the spiritual and moral issues we face in the upcoming 2012 Election. He urges believers to vote according to a Biblical world view. Dr. Grudem has an excellent understanding of not only the Bible and Theology, but also how the United States political system really works. He is author of the bestselling, “Systematic Theology” (used in numerous seminaries), “Politics According to the Bible,” and he is also the General Editor of the bestselling “ESV Study Bible.” Please dedicate an hour and listen to him; more importantly, please heed his wisdom and vote responsibly.

The sermon notes are free to download. (PDF) I recommend printing them to follow along with the sermon.

Here’s one of slides, just to show you what Wayne Grudem can do:

Pulpit Freedom Sunday: can your pastor do this?
Pulpit Freedom Sunday: can your pastor do this?

Can your pastor do that? Mine can’t.

I think a lot of people like to think of Christianity as something that is about your personal well-being, or maybe your personal morality. If you attend a pretty typical gospel-every-week church, then you may never learn how the Christian worldview applies to the political issues of the day. It’s “too divisive”.

If you’re looking for the best book on the Bible and policy, it’s Wayne Grudem’s “Politics According to the Bible”. I really really endorse that book.

Charles Krauthammer: what the GOP should do if they retake the Senate

From National Review, a follow-up to my post yesterday about the midterm election projection.

Excerpt:

The Democratic line is that the Republican House does nothing but block and oppose. In fact, it has passed hundreds of bills, only to have them die upon reaching the desk of Senate majority leader Harry Reid. He has rendered the Senate inert by simply ensuring that any bill that might present a politically difficult vote for his Democratic colleagues never comes to the floor.

Winning control of the Senate would allow Republicans to pass a whole range of measures now being held up by Reid, often at the behest of the White House. Make it a major reform agenda. The centerpiece might be tax reform, both corporate and individual. It is needed, popular, and doable. Then go for the low-hanging fruit enjoying wide bipartisan support, such as the Keystone XL pipeline and natural-gas exports, especially to Eastern Europe. One could then add border security, energy deregulation, and health-care reform that repeals the more onerous Obamacare mandates.

If the president signs any of it, good. If he vetoes, it will be clarifying. Who then will be the Party of No? The vetoed legislation would become the framework for a 2016 GOP platform. Let the debate begin.

The risk-averse will say: Why take chances? Why not just run against the Obama legacy in 2016?

The GOP should and will do that. What has happened to economic growth, social cohesion, and America’s standing abroad will be a significant drag on Democrats. But it could very well not be enough.

[…]Memo to the GOP: Win the Senate, then enact an agenda and dare the president to veto it. Show the country what you stand for. Then take it to the nation in 2016.

So, if the GOP takes the House and Senate, they can proceed to pass every single bill that makes sense to the American people and then have Obama veto each one. Then they can run on those vetoed bills in 2016. Obama is a left-wing radical, so this is exactly who we want to represent the Democrat party in such an operation. Republicans can say “We wanted THIS and the Democrat in charge said no”. That’s one way of working around the liberal media. Now is the time to debate all the bills that they will want to pass should the GOP win the Presidency in 2016.

Poll: fewer than 1 in 3 Americans wants to keep Obamacare

The Weekly Standard reported on a recent poll by McLaughlin & Associates.

Excerpt:

A new poll finds that three-fifths of likely voters support the repeal of Obamacare. A large plurality — 44 percent — wants to see Obamacare repealed and replaced with a conservative alternative. A much smaller group —16 percent — wants to see it repealed but not replaced. Less than one in three respondents — 32 percent — would like to keep Obamacare, whether in its current form or in amended form. So, with a conservative alternative in play, 60 percent of Americans support repeal, while only 32 percent oppose it.

Repeal and replace was chosen by a plurality of every age group, every income group aside from those making over $150,000, and both sexes.  Among independents, 62 percent said they support repeal, with 46 percent backing a conservative alternative.  Only 31 percent of independents support keeping Obamacare in its current form or in amended form.  Among those who make between $20,000 and $100,000, 63 percent support repeal, with 48 percent backing a conservative alternative.  Only 30 percent of such voters want to try to salvage Obamacare.

I know what you’re thinking. This poll must have favored Republican respondents over Democrats.

NOPE:

The poll included 38 percent Democrats and 32 percent Republicans.

I was talking to a friend the other day who is from outside the United States and he was telling me how he was sure Americans just love Obamacare and that it is working really well. He must be getting that from CNN or something, because this poll is pretty clear. I think we have reason to be hopeful about the 2014 midterm elections.

The 2014 midterm elections

Here’s an article from National Review that expresses caution because of the effectiveness of Democrat voter registration efforts, but is also optimistic about the latest polls.

Here’s the rundown: (links removed)

In just about every Senate race that matters, last week brought at least one highly-regarded poll showing exactly what a Republican wants to see.

In Alaska, Dan Sullivan has led the past four polls.

In Arkansas, Tom Cotton has led 11 of the past 13 polls.

In Colorado, Quinnipiac put Cory Gardner ahead, 48 percent to 40 percent.

In Iowa, the Des Moines Register poll put Joni Ernst ahead, 44 percent to 38 percent. NBC News Andrea Mitchell is openly calling Democrat Bruce Braley.

In Louisiana, a runoff between Democrat incumbent Mary Landrieu and Republican Bill Cassidy is virtually assured. Cassidy led the last four polls of the runoff.

Those five, just right there, along with the expected GOP wins in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia, would give the GOP a eight-seat pickup. Republicans could lose in Kansas and still keep the Senate. In Kansas, voters are still digesting the fact that the Democrat dropped out and getting to know “independent” Greg Orman. No one has polled this race in ten days, and the GOP is pulling out the stops to save Pat Roberts.

And we’ve got more races to go…

In New Hampshire, CNN had Scott Brown tied with Jeanne Shaheen.

In Michigan, Republicans can be frustrated that Terri Lynn Landhasn’t led any poll recently. But Democrat Gary Peters’ share of the vote is actually declining from the mid-40s to the low 40s, with a lot of undecideds left out there.

In North Carolina, Thom Tillis can’t quite get the lead over incumbent Kay Hagan, but she’s consistently in the mid-40s or even low 40s – a very precarious spot for an incumbent.

Beyond Kansas, Democrats hopes for picking up a GOP seat are evaporating. In Georgia, David Purdue has led four of the past five polls. In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has led every poll since June.

The current poll averages from Real Clear Politics predict a 52-47 Republican Senate after the midterm elections. Eight pick-ups, with Kansas “too close to call”. I hope those polls are accurate, because otherwise Obama is going to pack the courts with more leftist judges. I hope people are doing all they can to get out the Republican vote this year, because we really need to stop the bleeding – NINE TRILLION dollars added to the national debt so far. Too much. Conscience protections and religious liberty under attack. Natural marriage struck down by activist judges, Our national security and foreign policy in a shambles. And pro-life state level restrictions on abortion threatened by Democrat legistlators. We have to do something this time.

What we voted for: new Obamacare taxes coming in 2014

The New York Post reports.

Excerpt:

The cost of President Obama’s massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills.

Most insurers aren’t advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.

But one insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, laid bare the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”

The new taxes on one customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to Kaiser Health News. It boosted the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that individual.

The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.

There’s also a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical-research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Insurers pay a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the HealthCare.gov Web site.

[…]Americans also will pay hidden taxes, such as the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that will inflate the cost of items such as pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs.

Those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses also will get smaller income-tax deductions.

Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years.

Then there’s the new Medicare tax.

Under ObamaCare, individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. They’ll also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.

Right now, Obama is furiously trying to re-write the law by arbitrary executive decisions. But all this does is remove the amount of money being paid into the system, while keeping the amount being spent the same. What will be the end result of a massive shortfall in funding for Obamacare? As Byron York argues, the end result of will be that the Democrats bail out health care insurance companies to keep them from going bankrupt.

Transcript:

COLBY: What do you think about these bailouts of insurance companies, as well? Could that happen?

YORK: It absolutely will happen –

COLBY: Will happen?!

YORK: As a matter of fact, it’s written into the law. There’s something called “risk corridors,” which basically ensure that if an insurance company ends up paying a lot more in benefits than it takes in in premiums, then the federal government will bail it out — it will make it good. And it looks like we are entering a situation — certainly in the first month of January — where the insurance companies will be in that situation. And they’e not going to take the losses. It will be the taxpayer who makes up for those losses.

Do you think that raising the debt from $8.5 trillion to $17 trillion was irresponsible? Then wait until the government has to bail out all their left-wing cronies in the health insurance industry.

One thing is for sure – the Republicans will be running on Obamacare in 2014:

New Hampshire:

Minnesota:

This money that is being wasted due to socialist incompetence doesn’t come from government workers or politicians – they don’t earn any money of their own. The money comes from government borrowing from your children. Honestly, I if I had children, I might be tempted to leave this country, especially if I wanted to have lots of them. This really isn’t the place for a big family any more.

Obamacare health plan cancellations and premium increases delayed to just after 2014 election

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

Republican lawmakers are pushing back hard against the Obama administration’s decision to delay next year’s open enrollment season for health coverage under ObamaCare until after the 2014 midterm elections.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday it would allow consumers to start signing up for coverage under ObamaCare on Nov. 15, 2014, a month later than originally scheduled. The change does not affect those trying to enroll this year.

Congressional Republicans accused the administration of shifting the dates for political reasons, to hide a spike in 2015 premiums, though information may already be available about 2015 premiums before the elections on Nov. 4.

“That means that if premiums go through the roof in the first year of ObamaCare, no one will know about it until after the election,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement. “This is clearly a cynical political move by the Obama administration to use extra-regulatory, by any means necessary tools to keep this program afloat and hide key information from voters.”

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., accused the White House of moving next year’s open enrollment date to shield Democrats up for reelection next year who supported the law.

“The only American consumers this change will help are Democratic politicians who voted for Obamacare, because it delays disclosure of some of the law’s most insidious effects until after the election,” Alexander said in a statement.

He said he plans to introduce legislation that would require insurers to provide Americans with “proper notice” of premium increases before open enrollment period on the exchanges starts.

I don’t think that the Democrats are doing this to sway conservative voters, because we know what to expect from round two of Obamacare – loss of health care plans and higher premiums for those with employer-based health insurance. The delay is being done to influence low-information voters, i.e. Democrats. People who don’t follow politics because they are too busy watching Dancing With The Stars and Oprah Winfrey. They are the ones who cannot think beyond the moment, and sway their votes because of deliberately staged events, e.g. – Al Gore kissing his wife (whom he’s now divorced) just before an election. Two weeks is far beyond the time horizons of most Democrat voters.

What the Republicans should do is pass a law requiring all cancellations and premium increases be communicated before the elections and have the Democrats in the House and Senate go on record voting against it. Then they can use that in the 2014 campaigns. Uncertainty will be even more effective when dealing with independent voters who are paying attention to policy issues instead of staged photo-ops.