Sad that the Middle Class is bearing the brunt of this economy.


The Middle Class – Its Rise & Decline

After World War II, American became the world’s first truly middle class nation. In the 30 years following the war, the real income of all American families, including the poor and near poor, doubled. The nation, by every economic measure, was becoming more equal. All that has changed.

For the past 30 years, the trend toward economic inequality has rolled back the post-World War II progress which had moved the nation toward a more equitable distribution of income and wealth. In the past ten years, the inflation-adjusted income of the median household fell 4.8 percent, the worst drop in at least half a century. And for many there is no income – more than 70 percent of Americans know someone who has lost a job. College graduates can’t find jobs. Americans are losing purchasing power and their net worth is falling. The value of their homes is shrinking. Their retirement security has eroded. Medical and educational costs are rising faster than the cost of living index. In 2009, 16.7 percent of the American population – 50.7 million people – was without health insurance, the highest since this record has been kept. One in four homes is now under water and over 4.2 million home loans are in or near foreclosure. Last year, there was an 11.6 percent increase in families consolidating and moving in together.

In contrast, the wealthiest ten percent of countrymen hold over 60 percent of total family assets. America’s richest one percent now hold more wealth than America’s entire bottom 90 percent. The last 20 years have witnessed the most colossal amassing of huge fortunes in U.S. history. The nation now boasts more than 400 of billionaires.

Washington Rigged the Economy

Since 1946, the effective federal tax for the richest Americans has fallen by 60 percent. Those benefiting the most from our economy in income and wealth are simply not paying in, in proportion to what they are taking out. Nevertheless, the top priority of Republicans in Washington has been tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporate and financial entities. Their Herculean efforts to restore the Bush income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and to repeal an estate tax affecting only the wealthiest two percent underscore the intensity of the ongoing class warfare and linkage between political polarization and economic inequality.

We seem to have degenerated into a form of social Darwinism. The prevailing national economic strategy of Washington has been to make business more profitable and less accountable and to reward the owners, investors and other wealthier Americans, at the expense of the great majority of workers and U.S. households. Workers have fewer countervailing protections. Their representation in Washington has been sold out. Organized labor’s economic clout to win higher wages and benefits is withering away. Businesses and wealthy individuals contribute billions to influence elections, outspending labor unions many times over.

The soaring compensation of senior corporate executives, the increasing number of American millionaires and billionaires, the material excesses of our public and private elites – taken together – have very few precedents in American history. It is reminiscent of the last stages of other great empires. Many of the nation’s elites, including its elected leaders, are unwilling to broach the subjects of inequality and class warfare – the very real struggle for a piece of the American pie. They appear to be asleep to – or purposely ignoring – these realities.

The absence of effective social and economic countervailing forces to address the ominous rise in inequality is increasingly a cause for alarm. Washington can no longer ignore the challenge to spread more equitably the benefits of economic growth – now enjoyed by those at the top – without undermining the economy that supports it. But where is the national debate? How do we hammer out new policies to alleviate the growing economic imbalances in our republic and thereby stem the social unrest that threatens the public landscape? The need is grave and immediate that we re-establish the economic opportunity and prospects for upward mobility that have for 200 years sustained the American dream and served as the bedrock for a stable democratic nation.

Wait, We are Suspending Coaches for Praying After Games?


Not only as a Christian, but as a general believer in something bigger than myself, reading and hearing about religious discrimination hits close to home. A few weeks ago, an assistant football coach was put on paid leave for praying during the games.

Coach Joe Kennedy was “booted from the locker room at Bremerton High School in Washington State,” according to Fox News’ article “High school boots praying football coach” by Todd Starnes. Kennedy was placed on administrative leave after refusing to stop his post-game prayers.

Kennedy is being represented by Liberty Institute, “the nation’s largest law firm dedicated to defending religious liberty,” according to the Fox News’ article. His attorney, Hiram Sasser, states the school district is “sending the message to all people of faith that they are not welcome.”

Sasser also said the school officials refused to meet with him and that he only spoke with their lawyer for half an hour, according to the article. It seems obvious the officials are avoiding Sasser and Coach Kennedy, which can lead to a questionable prosecution of how serious they are taking this matter.

I understand a lot of different people have different religious beliefs, which makes religious jurisdiction such a sensitive subject. After all, everyone has the right to believe what he or she wants.

However, Kennedy wasn’t leading a huge prayer organization during the football games. He was simply praying after them.

According to Seattle Times’ article “Bremerton coach’s prayers catch attention of Congress,” Kennedy prayed by himself at first, but a few other coaches, some players and even fans eventually joined him. He wasn’t telling people to pray with him and he wasn’t making others feel bad for not praying with him. All the praying was voluntary.

According to the Fox News article, “Liberty Institute has already laid the groundwork for a lawsuit against the school district – accusing them of religious discrimination.” Sasser said the school district is being “hostile towards Christianity.”

Leading schoolwide prayers have already been banned, including football games, and have been replaced with a moment for silence. Kennedy wasn’t performing this schoolwide prayer.

He was only praying amongst himself and any others who wanted to join. He wasn’t forcing his beliefs upon anyone.

When the U.S. was founded, it was considered taboo to not believe in anything. Times have changed, and it has become obvious the U.S. has people with a wide array of religious beliefs. Because of this, the most controversial debates in religion always seem to be about Christians “forcing their beliefs upon others.”

However, in this situation, this is not the case at all. According to Gallup’s poll in the article “In U.S., 77% Identify as Christians,” by Frank Newport, 77 percent of the adult population identified with a Christian religion in 2011.

It seems to me Christianity is being prosecuted for being the majority. I would never try to make anyone feel inferior or single them out for not believing what I do. However, the argument of “Stop forcing your religion on us,” is starting to sound a lot like “Stop believing in your religion because I don’t believe in that.”

An important part in the U.S. laws is to create an offense-free atmosphere, so everyone can get along as free citizens. The majority of people in the U.S. are Christians, therefore I can understand the feeling of being overpowered or forgotten, but that’s not how it is.

The U.S. is a safe and free place for all religions and beliefs, and it is a principle that must be protected, even in events as small as high school football games.

Known as the “Father of the American Revolution” and the “Firebrand of the Revolution,” Sam Adams was arguably the most effective verbal rabble-rouser in American history. He was a leader in the events leading up to the American Revolution and helped to found the Sons of Liberty.

He was also a steadfast Christian. In “The Rights of the Colonists,” which he wrote in 1772, he said:

“The right to freedom being the gift of the Almighty…The rights of the colonists as Christians…may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutions of The Great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.”

After signing the Declaration of Independence, he proclaimed:

“We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

In his February, 1795 Proclamation for a Day of Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, then Governor Adams said:

“That with true repentance and contrition of Heart, we may unitedly implore the forgiveness of our Sins, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and humbly supplicate our Heavenly Father, to grant us the aids of his Grace, for the amendment of our Hearts and Lives, and vouchsafe his smiles upon our temporal concerns.”

And finally, these are the words in his Last Will and Testament:

“Principally, and first of all, I resign my soul to the Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying on the merits of Jesus Christ for the pardon of my sins.”


The World-Wide Web was invented in 1990, with Facebook first launched in 2004 and Twitter following two years later. The internet’s rapid advancement and the creation of social media has changed how the world learns and communicates. News stories spread within minutes, and any social media user can post their immediate opinion online. Although this provides the opportunity for an incredibly informed population, the speed and convenience can have the opposite effect, eventually resulting in us knowing less.

Today, journalists find themselves racing against each other to be the first to report on breaking news. Often times, they are forced to rely on instant eyewitness accounts relayed within 140 characters or rumors that spread between worried mothers faster than wildfire. To report on an event instantaneously means not having time to wait for the full investigation to be completed, and often before any investigation can even begin. This instant delivery of a dramatic report gets scooped up and passed around the internet, with everyone who reads the same two-paragraph click-bait considering themselves experts.


It is because of the Internet that rapid false information can be spread and sensationalized before the truth is uncovered. Although credit should be given to those news sources that provide updates as details are revealed, the general public unfortunately already believes themselves to be sufficiently educated on a subject – enough to not look it up again. Sadly, those with enough intellectual prowess to be encouraged to search for more details are often still not given the facts due to the progress of search engines.

It is hard not to agree that the Internet is an amazing tool that gives quick access to material in a way that was never before possible. It even revolutionized education, allowing anyone to learn endlessly from anywhere that is convenient or comfortable. Special care is required to ensure the negative consequences do not outweigh the positive influence it has made. So even though the blitz for breaking news will never go away, I urge those who write and report to initially be a little more accurate, and those who read to be a little more aware.

This is a continuation of the article I wrote called,  “This Country was Established on a Christian Foundation” on November 15th.

On March 6, 1789, President Adams called for a national day of fasting and prayer for the country could “call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgression, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience. . .”

A few other quotes which demonstrate Adams’ thoughts about Jesus are below.

On April 18, 1775, a British soldier ordered him, John Hancock, and others to “disperse in the name of George the Sovereign King of England. Adams responded to him:

“We recognize no sovereign but God, and no king but Jesus!”


In an October 13, 1789 address to the military, he said:

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In a letter to Thomas Jefferson dated June 28, 1813, he said

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity”

It is easy to write off Trump as a narcissist, as a bully or a fool, but it is harder to write off his poll numbers. A surprising number of Americans have resonated with his message, and no matter how many more balk at the idea of him taking office, they shouldn’t ignore the reasons why so many in the nation consider voting for him. Right now Trump is being talked about more than ever,  a positive for him. In Trump’s mind, there is no difference between fame and infamy. And why should there be to someone who can rewrite their own history, revising their faults and failures into successes?

There is a crux of the political whirlpool surrounding Trump. There is no real depth or sincerity to what he says, and yet many people support him regardless. Five times in his life he has changed political parties, and the fickleness he shows in regards to his politics is possibly overshadowed by the “tell it like it is” attitude. For instance, on June 16, speaking on the “The O’Reilly Factor,” he insisted that the only way to beat ISIS would be if the US had boots on the ground. Minutes later, he contradicted himself, suggesting there was another way.

So what do his supporters see in him? Part of his appeal is similar to Bernie Sanders’, in that potential voters view Trump as untainted by outside wealth. He has enough money to run his campaign without selling what’s left of his soul to corporate giants and they feel that makes him trustworthy.

Trump is also appealing because he is unfettered by the usual restraints on a politician. In mudslinging races, small gaffes can tarnish a candidate’s reputation if they’re too clean, but the sort of comments that could derail a campaign fall out of Trump’s mouth nearly every time he opens it. While this has alienated many voters, it has also solidified him as a politician who “isn’t afraid to tell the truth” or who “says what we’re all thinking.”

Finally, people like the fact that he is so crass and unpresidential—how could any candidate with that much obnoxious bravado possibly be scripted? In a lot of ways, Trump’s surprising popularity is a rebellion against the politically correct walk on verbal egg shells the race for office has become.

In the end, the people who will vote for Trump are the byproduct of a stark political landscape, one where people feel their voices cannot stand up to special interests’ money, and where every politician has to act like an inviolable saint when more than likely they are not.

For the record, I will NOT be voting for Donald Trump for the many of the reasons listed above.

As I get older and older I try harder not to fall into the trap of “because” and “that’s the way it’s always been done”. I didn’t like that when I was younger and don’t want that for myself at an advanced age. I know I will never be modern or hip but I at least can accept some of the social norms that are appropriate in society and doesn’t go against God and the law. One of the areas that I have come around on is dealing with women and their name change. You see, when a woman gets married to a man she drops her name and takes his because “that’s the way it’s always been done” in society. Well folks, THAT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!


In 1972, women accounted for only about 38 percent of the labor force. Today, they make up closer to 47 percent. During the 1969-70 school year, only 92,481 master’s degrees were awarded to women, compared to 143,083 awarded to men. Those numbers have risen monumentally since, with the 2009-10 year seeing 417,828 master’s degrees awarded to women compared to 275,197 awarded to men. In 1970, only about 11 percent of Ph.Ds that year were awarded to women, compared to 2010, when the figure was closer to 50 percent.

Clearly, women are closing gaps in many fields. They are seen, and are seeing themselves, as equal to men in all fields. As the gaps close, women are getting more and more confident to try things that were seen previously as reserved only to men, and, even in some cases, doing better than men.

So, why is it still considered the norm for a woman to change her last name when she gets married to a man? The tradition came about with the archaic idea that women become the property of their husbands after marriage. That’s where the term “maiden name” comes from. A maiden, meaning a virgin, retained her birth name until her virginity was essentially sold to her husband, when she then became his “property” and thus adopted his last name.

Marriages were a way of securing yourself a comfortable future. The woman stayed home and bore children and were responsible for them. The man went out and worked to earn an income to support his family. These roles were a given and never really opposed. Marriage was just a glorified business transaction. Dowries, in which the woman’s family pay the man’s family to accept their daughter and support her, were part of this transaction in many cultures.

Dowries not the case anymore in America, though. Women are taught to be their own person from a young age. In many developed countries, women are encouraged to study higher education, develop their own talents and bloom into independent women. As of 2012, nearly 50% of married couples had dual incomes.

And, yet, it’s still the default to change your name after marriage if you are a woman.

A name is an identity. As one grows and matures, their name collects a personality and uniquely identifies them a person. What is it about a union between a man and a woman that makes women “property” in this day and age?

Let’s abandon this tradition. No one is anyone’s possession, and no one should be forced to change something so close to them. Don’t make women feel guilty for wanting to keep the name they were born with. They are still a whole person without their husband.

It should be a matter of choice for the woman and it not the business of others.

It comes up all the time. People claim that this country was not founded on Christianity. That is hogwash.

Pilgrims Came to Escape

The pilgrims, as you will recall, were, Christians fleeing Europe in order to escape religious persecution, and they literally began their stay in their new land with the words, “In the name of God, Amen.”

The pilgrims were followed to New England by the Puritans, who created bible-based commonwealths. Those commonwealths practiced the same sort of representative government as their church covenants. Those governmental covenants and compacts numbered more than 100, and were the foundation for our Constitution.

Puritans wanted Church Reform

New Haven (Connecticut) and Massachusetts were founded by Puritans who wanted to reform the Church of England, who later became known as Congregationalists. Roger Williams founded the colony of Rhode Island based on the principle of freedom of conscience. Pennsylvania was established by William Penn as a Quaker colony. Maryland was a haven for Catholics from Protestant England.

Schools Started by Christians

All but two of the first 108 universities founded in America were Christian. This includes the first, Harvard, where the student handbook listed this as Rule #1: “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”

Government Purchases Bibles

In 1777. Continental Congress voted to spend $300,000 to purchase bibles which were to be distributed throughout the 13 colonies! And in 1782, the United States Congress declared, “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”

Final Thought

America was indeed founded by bible-believing Christians and based on Christian principles. When they founded this country, the Founding Fathers envisioned a government that would promote and encourage Christianity.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently!


NOTE: We will continue this in a series about some of the founding fathers and their words and viewpoints as they relate to Christianity.

Nov. 22nd – John Adams

Nov. 26th- Sam Adams

Dec. 3- Alexander Hamilton

Dec. 6- John Hancock

Dec. 7th- John Jay

Dec. 10th- Patrick Henry

Dec. 13th- Thomas Jefferson

Dec. 14th- James Madison

Dec. 17th- George Mason

Dec.  20th- George Washington

Dec. 21st- Noah Webster

Dec. 24th- John Marshall

I Blog, You Should Consider It, Here’s Your Invitation!


I have found that the rewards of blogging have been inspiring and engaging. I have had my thinking challenged, my perspective is wide and I appreciate what others have to say and ask in regards to what I am sharing. Through this type of online conversation I am inspired, my thinking is challenged and I begin to connect and learn from others, collaborations develop. Take a risk at sharing your voice with others.

Maybe it’s time to start your own blog. However, if you have something to say and don’t have a blog of your own, you are always welcome to be a guest blogger here. The invitation has been extended.

The Intended Purpose of C-Span has Gone Awry- Transparency Lacking


The public had envisioned a system where its representatives could finally simultaneously speak to their colleagues and constituents. The representatives could look into the camera and say to their constituents and the American people what their position was and that they were willing to defend that position. Many thought the system overall would and should have benefited from this transparency, but they were wrong.

No one could have fathomed the unintended consequences that would follow C-SPAN’s entrance into politics. As soon as those cameras started rolling, many of our representatives saw it as an opportunity to further their political ambitions. If controversial bills came to the floor, rather than work out a compromise with the opposing side, they took the opportunity to preach from their bully pulpits. They could snarl, huff and puff at the camera, showing their audience how dogged they can be because their constituents and, more importantly, their donors like to support candidates that they deem unwavering. What these politicians forget is that for the flag of democracy to fly, both sides have to be willing to waver on their positions.

Unfortunately, C-SPAN and the like have given these political divas extra air time to express their grievances, and oh have they come up with grievances.  They have now found ways to play the role of the establishment’s anti-establishment — such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) with his hour-long trashing of the U.S. Senate. Cruz has successfully honed that charade into a formidable campaign for president with a clearly crafted public persona: Ted Cruz, the establishment’s anti-establishment.

This strategy has unfortunately worked in favor of unbending representatives as they have been re-elected multiple times based on quick clips shown to their constituents and donors. They can snip a clip of a staunch speech they gave to their colleagues back at the Capitol. The clip will, of course, show them speaking into the microphone passionately about why their position is blindingly the right one and the opposition is wrong.


C-SPAN was supposed to break the  wall of American politics and make our politicians more accessible to their constituents. Instead, what we have is a reality TV stunt with overpaid actors looking to land their next big gig. While playing the American audience for fools, they are gaming the system and benefiting from it. The only ones who benefit from access such as the ones C-SPAN and the like provide are the multi-billion-dollar funded Super PACs that have the resources to sift through those clips and find a scene damaging enough to end a politician’s career. These Super PACs do not represent you or me; they represent one percent of the one percent, and they are the ones benefiting from this so called transparency.