Contraception is Not a Civil Right

© Original content written by James R. CarlsonImage result for contraception in court

The States of Pennsylvania, California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia are teaming up to sue the Trump administration’s policy on defunding contraception. They are claiming that the burden to pay for these services will fall upon them if the federal government does not pay for them. The trouble, however, is not a lack of funding but a lack of perspective. The government should not facilitate contraception at any level, which is what these State’s Attorneys General are asking for; contraception is not a Civil Right.

According to constitutional principles, the government is supposed to provide for Civil Rights. Civil Rights are those areas of responsibility where the government should facilitate what We the People cannot do on our own. The right to vote has no meaning if the government doesn’t facilitate a polling place where we can register our vote; this is something we cannot do on our own. Contraception, although not illegal, is not something the Constitution says the government should facilitate. Again, contraception is not a Civil Right.

Civil liberties are the joint responsibility of the People and the government. People facilitate their own liberties whereas the government protects them by law. Contraception is a freedom that people have in America that is protected by the law but that does not mean it is something the law should facilitate. These State’s Attorneys General are not approaching this issue correctly as they are defending civil liberties in terms of civil rights. There is no legal foundation for their complaint as such.

Let’s review the issue of the Separation of Church and State. Ideally, the government should be based upon the second tablet of the Ten Commandments and not both tablets (please see earlier blogs on this subject). As such we have religious freedoms (first tablet) and civil freedoms (second table), which may also be called civil liberties. According to the original Christian rationalist perspective of separation, the government is to base law upon moral principles (even Biblical ones). And where there is no right to do what is wrong, there is a right to do what is right.

Unfortunately, the culture wars of our nation are perverting the judgment of our Courts to extend the idea of civil liberties into areas of immoral behavior. The ACLU has championed the notion of immorality as a civil liberty for decades. Yet, they do not support the idea of the freedom to do what is right. Those who bake cakes are penalized for following their conscience when it comes to moral issues. The people who follow morality and righteous lifestyles are penalized for doing so.

The patriots back in 1776 stood for the right of self-determination or the right of self-government. However, that was not in the modern context where people argue for the freedom to do what is wrong. They were standing for the freedom to do what is right! What does the government have to say with people who are already doing what they’re supposed to do in the eyes of God?! Standing up for what is right, doing what is right, is what self-governance is all about!

Clearly the culture wars will continue without abatement and the left wing of society who rationalize away mores and morality will find a way to convince the Courts to share their dogma. However, we are losing our freedoms to do what is right and follow our conscience before God. This is what religious freedom was once all about. Now, with atheism and secularism dominating the Courts, we are in jeopardy of losing these freedoms and liberties.

Although recent court cases have decided in favor of those arguing for religious freedom, this is a case more for civil freedoms and liberties not religious freedoms. Now, civil liberties (freedoms) are being opposed by false claims of civil rights. People should be free, have liberty, to do what is right. The culture wars will continue until we get this right.

Cookoo over Coco – Another Unholy Day

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Coco

Disney has produced and is ready to release a new movie that highlights aspects of Halloween for the Holiday of Thanksgiving. Giving God thanks during this holiday season is replaced with a mistaken idea of another holiday – the Day of the Dead. Here once again, the dark spirit of Halloween is invading the Holy Days of the holiday season.

The idea of All Hallows Eve, now called Halloween, was a day of preparation just before the Day of the Dead. The Days of the Dead were observed from 31 October to 2 November, with Halloween starting the season on 31 October, All Saints Day following on 1 November, and All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead wrapping it up on 2 November. Disney has decided to extend this holiday season by a few weeks into the Thanksgiving season. In effect they have taken the darkness that surrounds the modern activities of Halloween and put them in the middle of Thanksgiving.

Coco is a movie where a child returns to his ancestors to visit them. However, they are all dead and only their skeletons remain. Ancient Latin American cultures have taken pagan festivals and ‘Christianized’ them to include having meals with their dead relatives whose bones sit at the table with them. This is the foundation for the movie Coco but it is not a tradition that serves a Holy God. God has clearly stated we are not to talk with the dead or touch that which is unclean.

The idea behind the original Christian celebration called the Day of the Dead was to commemorate those who lived before us who gave us our rich culture and heritage. To remember the lessons of the past and pass them on to the next generation is a good thing. The idea of taking the bones of dead people, touching them and talking to them is indeed a tradition born of a dark spirit that need not be propagated by Disney for children.

The idea of Thanksgiving is the simple idea of giving God thanks for his provision in our lives. Thanksgiving is a Christian Holy Day (holiday) that commemorates the blessings of heaven in the lives of believers of Jesus Christ. Thanksgiving was celebrated by Hispanics of the Latin (Catholic) tradition in El Paso years before it was celebrated by Protestant Pilgrims in New England. It is a rich tradition of giving God praise for the wonderful works he has done. This is the spirit of light that should permeate All Hallows Eve, the Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But it is being perverted by a dark spirit of Halloween.

One may pass on judging the movie but one cannot pass on seeing the light. A spirit of darkness is seeking to cloud the Holiness of the Holidays by adding the evil aspects of a perverted tradition that came from a modern Halloween spirit. This dark spirit need only be confronted by the spirit of light found in the Holy Spirit of God. This Holy Spirit of light tells us of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who came to earth to forgive us of our sin and lead us into a new life of light and holy love. Please remember to share the light with family and friends on the holidays and pray that God will help us keep the Holidays Holy.

Modern Health Care – Medicine Without Charity

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Charity Care

The profession of medicine has developed over many centuries with the growth of science and religion providing a foundation for modern medical miracles. The ancient ideas of medicine have been replaced by more empirical methods that diagnose illnesses and treat patients with practical remedies. And the idea of medicine as a charity stems from the idea of the Love (charity) of God for the benefit of one’s fellow man. With a misguided application of false charity by the government in the realm of medicine, the idea of charity in medicine is slowly being discarded in favor of big business. This has created a situation where the public health is threatened and the true ministry of medicine is all but lost.

We’ve recently seen how veteran’s health care has diminished when it comes to what is considered a treatable health problem. Given the limited resources provided by socialized medicine for veterans (government run health care), and the increasing number of veterans demanding health care without an equal increase in health care providers, the more the higher the thresholds will become before a person can be treated by doctors. It is simple math; you simply cannot do more with limited resources.

The idea of government run medicine treating people’s illnesses is as old as the progressive movement in the 1930’s. As a social gospel, the idea of charitable medicine stems from the idea of government run charities serving the public health; a proposal that is beyond constitutional boundaries. The old idea of the separation of church and state once prevented states from taxing people for charitable contributions to fund public ministries. Whereas the government was not supposed to be in the business of tax funded charities or ministries, that has turned around through the New Deal and now the government is funding national charities to aid in the business of medicine. This, however, has backfired and is not providing any real charitable support for people.

The idea of getting government out of religion in the 18th century was to help religion flourish without government intrusion. Keeping the government out of people’s religious decisions and the charitable contributions they might make helped to make people more likely to be charitable with their giving. The idea of charitable medicine being applied to the health of the poor was a Christian goal throughout the United States in the 19th century. That goal, however, has been high jacked by progressives in the 20th century who seek to fund government charities for health care at the expense of killing real charity.

The medical profession itself used to require its doctors to provide free health care to people for a period of time each year (one month per se). When Medicare and Medicaid came along in the 1960s, the free care that was provided by doctors was being paid by the government through tax payer dollars. The care provided by doctors to the poor didn’t change, only the money distributed to them; doctors were being paid for their charity. Now, medicine is big business and the idea of charity without taxation in the realm of medicine is all but lost. Medical charity has suffered at the hands of forced charity by state funding through taxation; again, a violation of the separation of church and state.

Not only has real charity gone down, but the cost of health care has gone up due to the idea of funding medicine by government charity; again, paid by taxpayers without any free will giving or freedom to not give. Now, the cost of medicine has skyrocketed. Hospitals, once funded by the government, charge more for their health care due to the fact that they are required by law to support the poor and indigent. Go to a lab at a hospital and to one at a private facility and the hospital will charge more for the same procedure to cover their charitable costs to other patients. Hospitals are not providing more charity, they are simply passing the cost onto the average consumer.

While the threshold for health care is raising for veterans across the country, it is lowering for the rest of the country. New standards are requiring people to get colonoscopies, high blood pressure medicine, and other procedures and medicines that raise the potential income of doctors, pharmacies, and the medical industry. A key business practice in marketing any product or service is to show how that product or service can be used for other needs. Providing new medical standards that lower the threshold for the level of health care one needs means more money for big business and charity is nowhere to be found.

The growth of medicine as a big business in America is directly related to the lack of real Christian charity in the ministry of medicine and the advent of a pseudo-Christian ministry of government run health care. Real charity is lost in government run medicine. Standards are lowered for those who suffer under socialized medicine, the idea of charity by medical professionals is now being funded by taxpayer dollars, and the rise of big business is creating reduced standards of health care to increase profit margins. Medical care needs to return to its foundations of providing for the needs of people regardless of the cost; for the benefit of the patient and not the stock holder. To do this, we must first get big government out of the big business of medicine so that charity through medicine can flourish again in America.

Two Texans in Two World Wars

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

Texans in WWs

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Recently, I have been focused on finishing a book about two Texans whom I admire deeply. Two years of research has finally produced the story of two Texans (my dad and his uncle) as they served our country during two world wars. Their story is a family history, a history that is yours as well. The American family has a heritage that we all share. And walking in their footsteps helps us relive the past and prepare for the future.

John Emil Carlson and John Benton Carlson both grew up in the Swedish community in Central Texas where they learned the love of God and Country through their family and Church. They both grew up on a farm and learned the value of hard work; and when their country called upon them, they both served their country with honor.

The story of WWI was one of average Americans called to serve their country in a time of crisis. Like thousands of others, John E. Carlson answered the call of duty and fought overseas. His journey with the 90th Infantry Division on the Western Front in France as a light machine gunner shows the courage of the men who fought on the front lines. They won the war and afterwards, with the Occupation of Germany, they also won the peace.

The story of WWII is in part a continuation of the first world war. The second world war was begun by a German corporal who lost his fight in WWI. After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, America went to war again. In WWII John B Carlson answered the call of duty, like his uncle before him, and prepared to fight in the Invasion of Japan. However, two nuclear bombs ended the war and Carlson served in the Occupation of Japan instead.

This is their story.

Challenge the Darkness

© Original content written by James R. Carlson

HollowSanta

Ghouls in Christmas Attire (Walgreens)

The holiday of All Hallows Eve has been taken over by a spirit of darkness to the point that we no longer regard those who lived before us; celebrating the achievements of people in the past is what Halloween was originally supposed to be. Now, the Day of the Dead is about death and corpses. This dark spirit no longer resides in just one holiday as it is trying to invade the Christmas season. It’s time we invade the darkness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ during each and every holiday.

The idea of Christmas or any other festival being a holy day is what a ‘holiday’ means. Christmas, however, was taken over by commercial interests nearly a century ago and making money seems to be more important than celebrating God – a holiday. Choosing where you shop this holiday season may be as simple as noting who is celebrating what.

At Walgreens I was shocked to see the Nightmare Before Christmas display with Halloween creatures dressed in seasonal garb. Although the mid-90s movie tried to convey an image of importing Christmas into Halloween, the reverse is true with this display. As we saw Frankenstein last year carry the dark spirit or horror movies into the Christmas season, here again we are witnessing the invasion of Christmas by the spirit of Halloween.

The 31st of October is a special day to remember Martin Luther who began the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago. In keeping with his legacy of bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people bound by needless religious ritual, I decided that I would invade the darkness by passing out Gospel Tracts to children this year. I had a few on hand (next year I’ll buy more) and I handed them out with the candy that I gave to the children. In this way, the kids had fun and could learn of the Love of God.

This year, I plan on sending out Gospel Christmas Cards to family and friends. As commercialism and Halloween’s dead spirit are seeking to dominate the Christmas season, we need to remind people what Christmas is all about. The Cross of Christ could not happen without the Birth of Christ; God’s Son was given to us on Christmas day so he could free us from sin on Good Friday during Easter. No skeletons, no Santa, no bunny rabbits, just the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what Halloween, Christmas, and Easter are supposed to be about. Please remember to keep the holidays Holy.