Over the years, I have attended over a dozen gay pride events. I go to engage people and share the gospel in a winsome way while answering questions that arise.
A great conversation starter is to poll participants on statements like the following: "Hey just for the fun of it, which politician do you think made these 'remarks about gays and gay marriage?'"
- "For me as a Christian, it is a sacred union—God's in the mix!"
- "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."
- "I think marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman."
- "Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time."
I ask people in a lighthearted way if they think these come from Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee, and pause for their response. The reality, though is none of these originate from those candidates, but actually come from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
For the record, the first two quotes come from Obama; Mrs. Clinton owns the others.
My decade-long experience at gay pride events confirms my conviction of mass ignorance among participants. Another great question to ask is: "What percentage of the male population do you believe is gay?"
Usually they will say somewhere between 30 percent—40 percent. Get ready for more wonderment and whiplash when you tell them the actual figure is 1.8 percent!
This same ignorance spills over into the general population when you ask questions dealing with controversial issues of our day. It's a primary reason I am preparing to release a book and video initiative titled Bullseye, which deals with today's 30 hot-button social issues.
Jesus told Pilate He came into the world to "testify to the truth" (John 18:37). Today we are bombarded by individuals spouting "truths" which oftentimes are nonsense. A current example is Whoopi Goldberg's new book subtitled, Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships, from the lady who's been married and divorced three times!
The same holds true regarding some of the presidential candidates misleading uninformed people and promising lots of "giveaway candy" to gullible voters.
While there are legitimate needy people deserving of a "hand up" versus a "hand out," the Bible warns lazy people pointedly saying, "If any will not work, neither shall he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10).
It instructs avoiding (not rewarding) a sluggard "so that he may feel ashamed (v. 14). God directs: Work six days then enjoy a day of rest (Ex. 20:9-10). If someone is out of work, they should "work" six days seeking employment (not scan employment notices for five minutes, kick back and watch movies the rest of the day!)
I grew up in the 1960s, and our family never had a car. We used public transportation and walked. When unemployed, my father did odd jobs while diligently searching for work. Dad and Mom refused to "game the system" while making sure the real needy ones were taken care of.
Bernie and Hillary Are Misleading Masses
In the last presidential election, Clinton packaged herself as a moderate. This time around, as Bernie Sanders promotes a Denmark–like socialism, she's vaulted forward as more of a progressive socialist, while avoiding the label. Sensing a large segment of the Democratic base leaning in the socialistic direction, both are trying to garner their votes.
The seduction of socialism is to promote an economic system where there is "more equal distribution of wealth and ownership by all the people."
Big government helps redistribute the wealth and establish "Robin Hood" policies taking more from higher-wage earners and giving more to folks who may or may not be in genuine need. What draws people to this approach is the prospect of more and more "free stuff" that political candidates promise even if in reality they can't deliver!
America is in monumental debt to the tune of $19 trillion!
We continue printing and spending money, as my mother used to say, "like a drunken sailor." We've forgotten the famous words of Bill Clinton when he was president and concluded, "The era of big government is over!"
Today all we seem to hear about is more government entitlements and benefit programs when these areas already account for almost two-thirds of all federal spending!
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sander's spending plans "would cost $18 trillion over 10 years, increasing the government's size by roughly a third."
Masses of baby boomers are retiring, gates are being flung wide open to more illegal immigrants, and some politicians seem to have developed a new slogan, "Spend, spend, spend!"
Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton obviously forgot Bill Clinton's declaration.
These "public servants" love to spend lavishly, offer mega millions to pay for "free" college tuition, increased social security benefits, expand Medicare to anyone, give "free" childcare, plus provide health care and numerous benefits to illegal immigrants and their children. "By the way, vote for me!"
This economic insanity must be exposed and stopped! It is leading us to an inevitable fiscal reckoning—an economic collapse. This is generational theft, yet we have smiling candidates waving banners: "I'll guarantee you more free stuff!"
We currently have 93 million people not in the labor force—the highest number in history.
Almost 50 million people are on food stamps. Some of these people receive unemployment compensation and have cellphones, air conditioning, automobiles and big-screen TVs! Now the seduction of socialism is luring them to vote for candidates who are misleading them with a vision of America becoming more like Denmark and Sweden.
Scandinavia Is Not a Model for America
What's the appeal of Denmark?
Denmark does have universal free health care; free prescription drugs if under 18; 18 weeks' paid maternity leave and 32 more weeks of leave during the first nine years; free college, graduate and medical school tuition; big government covers three-fourths of childcare expenses; and, if you lose your job, unemployment insurance covers up to 90 percent of earnings for as long as two years!
Wow! Let's replicate that here or maybe relocate to Denmark!
Not so fast! Here's the deal along with the fine print.
Denmark has very high taxes—Danes give up almost half their salaries to the government. Forbes magazine says, "Denmark has the highest total tax pressure in the world." No one is allowed to be poor, but very few are allowed to be rich. As citizens of a welfare state, Danes also pay a value-added tax (an additional tax on the purchase price).
Denmark is made up of an easily managed 5.5 million people compared to America's 315 million. The U.S. covers 3.5 million square miles to Denmark's 16.5 thousand. Their defense spending is minimal, somewhere around 2 percent of the GNP. They are a homogeneous people as opposed to America's diversity. America is the land of opportunity not a socialistic welfare state!
For those interested in a socialistic society, relocate to Venezuela amid food shortages and sky-high inflation. Experience waiting in long lines for 2 lbs. of apples ($18), Nike shoes ($693) or a flat screen TV ($8,085). Ready to reconsider while you search for all your modern conveniences, many of which have disappeared or are priced out of reach?
Apples and oranges don't compare. Suppose you operate a small clothing store (Denmark) in a distant land with your wife and three sons. You share the same values, work ethic and DNA. Joe operates a hi-tech, sophisticated, multinational corporation (America) with 315 diverse people all part of the conglomerate. Millions of people are clamoring to be a part. There's no comparison!
What about Sweden?
Sweden's population is under 10 million. Since 1917, one party, a Social Democratic Party, has led the country that features a very high redistributive tax rate. 50 years ago it was considered one of the safest places to live, but now it is in danger of becoming a failed state. Check out the news.
Scrambling to reconstruct itself after stupid mistakes regarding immigration (270,000 asylum-seekers with their relatives are anticipated this year alone!), high officials now say "Sweden is fast approaching a complete collapse."
America, listen up.
Open immigration has resulted in a wave causing a "change of population" that in 10 to 15 years will make Swedes the minority.
At his press conference Oct. 9, Prime Minister Stefan Lofwen said, "Sweden is in a state of crisis." At the conference, he explained there was no more housing available and migrants will have to live in tents. The central train station in Malmo, Sweden's third largest city, was overrun. "Large portions of the Swedish people watch in horror from the sidelines and wonder when the unavoidable collapse will occur. The situation is extremely grim," stated a high-ranking political official.
When we view what has happened to Denmark and Sweden, it would do us well to ponder the prophetic words of Danish historian Lars Hedegaard, who warned that the economic breakdown of a nation always happens quickly and unexpectedly. That applies to the United States of America too. As we listen to the lofty promises of candidates, may we be discerning and catch the craftiness of their rhetoric.
Coincidentally, Glenn Beck warned on his radio program this week that "socialism is immoral!" He went on to explain "under a socialistic system, companies are beholden to the government to set up the rules and dictate what is moral and what is immoral. The government has made your morals for you. The government has become your god." Secularists love this!
Isn't it interesting to hear Mrs. Clinton talk about standing up to Wall Street firms and banks when in 2013 she made $3.15 million from speeches to Wall Street firms like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and UBS!
Seduction of Socialism Is Like a Nevada Brothel
In the news currently is the tragic story of Lamar Odom, famous for his Kardashian marriage and NBA fame. He collapsed at The Love Ranch, a Nevada brothel, where he allegedly used cocaine and took enhancement pills before being rushed to a hospital in a coma near death.
Odom got seduced by the glamorous come-on of the Nevada brothels advertising endless fun and sexual bliss amid the promise of an endless parade of gorgeous gals. Websites and billboards portray the brothels as an oasis of ecstasy.
The reality is that the brothel where Odom almost died is a "desolate place flanked by a collection of trailers in a ramshackle junkyard, where women pawn their bodies as long as they can keep their smiles fresh and their assets taut" (USA Today). The unsuspecting and gullible come because the promises are so enticing yet hollow in the end. Sin never delivers as advertised.
Here's the deal: We've all heard it said, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!"
The Bible tells us to be on guard for leaders who give visions that are "false and misleading" (Jer. 2:14). As we listen to the alluring promises of smiley-faced politicians doling out their Halloween candy, may we prayerfully "take out the precious from the worthless" (Jer. 15:19) and help others to do likewise. Pull back the mask, see what's underneath and then proceed with caution in this election season.
Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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