Have you ever been invited to be apart of something awesome? Well, I was privileged to play a small part in Bryce Carver’s awesome Christian short-film The Trying. The film is about Daniel, a young Christian, that is struggling to live out his faith due to trials and tribulations .The premier was held last Saturday at the Coffee High School Cafeteria. It was truly a unique experience and a tremendous success! I wanted to write this post for all my friends in ministry. I have only known Bryce for a few months, but his strong Christian faith is quite evident. I think it would be awesome for churches to get behind this film. You could show it at your church or youth group. Did I mention this young man is still in High School? So, I believe he could connect with your youth and inspire them to follow their dreams while serving the Lord. Watch the trailer below and feel free to contact Bryce through the Creative Corner Productions Fan Page on FaceBook! https://youtu.be/FjnBX8811vo In Christ, Kevin W. Bounds
Who would be against affordable healthcare for all citizens? Healthcare cost in the United States has skyrocketed in the past several decades. We have all heard of aging couples on fixed incomes being forced to decide whether they will purchase food or buy their medicine. We have all seen the collection cans at the register of the local convenience store for persons who have received a terminal diagnosis and have no health insurance coverage. These situations play on the strings of our hearts as Americans. We live in the land of opportunity and promise and no one should be without proper medical treatment! The question is, should the federal government step in and takeover healthcare?
In 2010, Congress enacted and the president signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as ObamaCare. In theory,this law will provide an avenue for all legal residents to purchase health insurance at a reasonable rate by compelling everyone to buy a government approved healthcare plan. At first glance, the law sounds promising, but it is mere camouflage for the largest and most dangerous expansion of federal government power in the history of America. This law has allowed the ever-reaching tentacles of federal government into the nations healthcare industry and in our personal lives; thus, threatening our way of life and our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property! ObamaCare is unconstitutional because of its Individual Mandate, its usurpation of power over the states sovereignty, and due to the blatant power grabs of the executive branch to keep the law afloat.
First, let us turn our attention to the unconstitutional Individual Mandate imposed by ObamaCare. The Individual Mandate is the linchpin for making this law work. This mandate forces all legal residents to purchase a government approved healthcare package. If a person, doesn’t purchase a plan then they are subject to a “tax” (penalty) from the federal government. This “tax” was ruled by the Supreme Court as constitutional due to the Commerce Clause found in the Constitution. The Commerce Clause states that Congress has the authority to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states”. But has Congress overstepped their constitutional authority? In his article, ObamaCare vs. Constitution, Paul Beard III states, “with the Individual Mandate, the government has, for the first time in American history, enacted a law that forces individuals to engage in an act of commerce” (Beard, 14). All other cases give precedence for regulating acts of commerce that a person willingly engaged in, but with ObamaCare you are being compelled to engage! If the government can “tax”(penalize) us for not participating in forced commerce, then where will the line be drawn? ObamaCare is illegal and should be repealed for its unconstitutional Individual Mandate.
Secondly, this law is unconstitutional due to federal encroachment upon the states sovereignty. The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people”. In the article, The Constitution & Healthcare Reform, Joe Wolverton II wrote, “The fact that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law demonstrates that neither the legislative nor executive branch of the national government is bothered by constitutional restrictions on their power” (Wolverton, 26). Healthcare is not mentioned in the Constitution of the United States, let alone, how to deal with our current crisis! There has always been a struggle for power with the national and state governments, but this is a grotesque move aimed at gaining control. Simply said, ObamaCare has breached the duel federalism put in place by the Constitution.
Furthermore, the unconstitutional power grabs to maintain the law after passing it should be enough to prove it needs to be repealed! Our nation is a nation of laws. Our entire form of government is founded on the Constitution. The roles of each branch was clearly stated within this all important document. The legislative branch was to make laws, the executive branch was to enforce laws, and the judicial branch was to interpret the laws. Yet, President Obama has rewritten the law many times since its passing! He has delayed mandates for religious organizations and large companies through his unconstitutional use of executive orders. The law is poorly written and cannot be executed without such illegal grabs for power. This is in direct violation to the Constitution! It is scary to think this administration’s actions are setting the precedence for future presidents. The American people should not take this kind of executive tyranny. This law is unconstitutional and it has taken unconstitutional actions of the government to get it this far. We need to repeal this law immediately!
In Conclusion, it is plain to see as the cost of healthcare soars there needs to be some sort of reform to provide relief to the citizens of the United States. There is not a simple solution to this problem, but it is definitely not the responsibility of the federal government to come to our rescue. It can clearly be seen that ObamaCare is a unconstitutional grab for power by looking at the required Individual Mandate, the encroachment upon the states sovereignty, and the abuse of executive orders to keep the law moving forward. I would like to remind the reader of an important truth expressed by one of our Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson is quoted to have said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have” (Berkes). We all would like to see affordable healthcare for everyone, but not at the risk of losing our personal liberties.
Beard, Paul J., II. “ObamaCare v. the Constitution.(Essay).” The Objective Standard 2011: 11. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Berkes, Anna. Monticello. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2007. Web. Feb 17, 2014.
Wolverton, Joe, II, and J.D. “The Constitution & healthcare reform: though ObamaCare has been enacted into law, it is patently unconstitutional. The states can nullify this federal power grab within their own borders.(HEALTHCARE).” The New American 2010: 26. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Is it merely a change in linguistics or is it the sabotage of society? Words change meaning over the course of time and typically this is not a great dilemma. Today’s generation may speak of something being “bad” and it carries a completely different connotation than it did a century ago! It appears the wind of linguistic change may being blowing again around the meaning of the word marriage. In 1828, Noah Webster defined marriage as, “the act of uniting a man and woman for life…the legal union of a man and woman…marriage is a contract both civil and religious” (Webster). In today’s society, it only takes a quick search on the internet to see there are two opposing definitions of the word marriage. Now the word marriage is prefaced with the words “traditional” or “same-sex”. This begs the question of which model of marriage is correct?
On September 21, 1996, the matter reached the pinnacle of debate when President Bill Clinton signed into law H.R. 3396 or the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).The purpose of this law was to allow states to protect the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman; thus, protecting the basic unit of our society the family. It is no secret that the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) groups want to gain the privilege to have full marital status. The LGBT groups have filed complaints and have fought vigorously to have marriage redefined. Have you ever wondered why shouldn’t homosexual couples be allowed to legally marry? How would this affect society? Society, as we know it, hinges upon how we answer these difficult questions concerning the definition of this sacred union. The bond of marriage is for the betterment of society through the act of procreation, through providing of a nurturing environment for the offspring, and through creating a morally stable citizenry, proving that traditional marriage is the correct model for a prosperous society.
First, one must look at the sexual act and its role in each form of marriage to see how it contributes to the enhancement of human race. In his essay concerning the debatable topic of marriage Patrick Lee writes, “Marriage is that type of community in which the personal community, and the bodily,sexual relationship, are intrinsically oriented to the twofold good of personal communion between the spouses, and bearing and raising of children” (Lee, 423). Although, both traditional and same-sex marriages can share in the intimate relationship of human sexuality, only the traditional model of marriage can benefit the species by procreation. Traditional marriage has been the historical model and it fulfills the twofold purpose of the sacred union of marriage. It is nature’s law that dictates the need for a male and female partner for reproduction. In reproduction, two individuals DNA become one being. Lee goes on to explain, “In genuine marriage sexual intercourse is not merely an extrinsic symbol…between a man and a woman [yet] a real bodily union is established” (Lee). Therefore, biologically speaking, it is impossible for same-sex couples to achieve this state of unity in marriage, because these couples cannot reproduce and continue the chain of human existence. It is obviously clear that traditional marriage is more of a benefit to society, for it produces the next generation.
Secondly, the purpose of marriage is to create a stable and nurturing environment for the development of children to extend the next generation. There are distinct physiological differences between male and female human beings. Each sex has its on needs and roles in the grand scheme of the human experience. In a study of 126 couples (44 Lesbian couples, 34 gay male couples, and 48 heterosexual couples) with adopted children the importance of gender roles can be witnessed. The author writes,
Findings revealed that the perceived play behaviors of boys and girls in same-gender parent families were more similar (i.e., less gender-stereotyped) than the perceived play behavior of boys and girls in heterosexual-parent families (which were more divergent; that is, gender-stereotyped). Sons of lesbian mothers were less masculine in their play behavior than sons of gay fathers and sons of heterosexual parents (Goldberg, Kashy, and Smith).
It is the role of the parent in a marriage to instill the gender role values to their children. It takes a father figure to show a boy how to become a productive male in society. On the other hand, it takes a mother figure to teach a girl how to become a fruitful woman in society. Also, the impact of the opposite gender parent is paramount to the psychological development of a child. It is easy to see the disadvantage the children of same-sex marriages have in their developmental process. Traditional marriage is the only paradigm that offers the gender roles needed for a nurturing environment for its offspring, thus indicating it is the correct definition of marriage.
Furthermore, the family, thus society, has been historically governed by the institution of traditional marriage. All three of the world’s major religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) and many more consider the practice of the homosexual lifestyle as immoral. We do not know the moral and legal ramifications for allowing same-sex marriage. The effects of this practice may not be seen for generations to come. In his article concerning the future impact of same-gender unions Nan Hunter writes, “the social history of the last 100 years should make us cautious in predicting how the shifts that are afoot now will end up affecting structures of legal authority” (Hunter). How will this redefinition of marriage effect society? No one really knows. It is possible it could be a type of “Pandora’s Box” that opens the door for other interpretations of the definition of marriage. The redefining of marriage is a very slippery slope and we are teetering dangerously at the edge. If same-gender marriages were allowed, what would prevent a person from marrying an animal in the future? Or an adult marrying a child? Or multiple people marrying one another? This may seem absurd that something so immoral could happen, but a century ago same-gender marriages was considered immoral and absurd. As man-kind spirals downward into their on depravity, it appears that traditional marriage is the backbone for a morally stable citizenry.
On the other hand, there are those that advocate for gay marriage. Marriage is viewed as a civil right that has been withheld from a minority, by the prevailing majority. The people which hold this position often compared their situation with that of Crowe Laws and treatment of African-Americans prior to 1960. This could not be further from the truth! In fact, if same-sex marriage is legalized, it would jeopardize others constitutional right. Previously, it has been established that marriage is for mutual pleasure among spouses and for child rearing. If legalized, same-sex marriages are automatically given the right to found a family. What about the children’s right? This is exactly what M. Somerville discusses in her article on the subject. She writes,
Two unprecedented developments – that of new reproductive technologies and the legalization of same-sex marriage in some jurisdictions – especially in combination, pose unprecedented challenges to children’s fundamental human rights with respect to their biological origins (their very coming into being); their rights to knowledge of these origins; their rights to be reared within their immediate and wider biological families; and their rights to a parent of each sex (Somerville).
Under the Constitution of the United States, one has the right to pursue happiness, only if those pursuits do not infringe on the rights of others. Homosexual marriage should not be allowed because of the infringement of the human rights of the children. It would rob the children of the ability of having a normal childhood with two parents of the opposite sex. This is the natural order. Homosexuals cannot simply “join” heterosexuals in their right to marriage, because their joining would redefine the marriage and infringe on the rights of others.
In conclusion, it is not merely a linguistic change, but the sabotage of the sacred bond of marriage. The acceptance of homosexual marriage in the definition of holy matrimony will negatively impact our society as a whole and must not be allowed. It negatively impacts the birthrate within the bonds of marriage, thus naturally hindering the survival of the human species on planet earth. It is a biological fact that it takes a male and a female for reproduction. Also, it negatively impacts the developmental environment of a child. This impedes the child, either male or female, from becoming what nature has intended them to be and accomplish. Same-sex marriage opens the door for plethora of moral and ethical questions and should not be recognized as marriage. The only model of marriage that provides all the things necessary to a prosperous human experience is traditional marriage. With this in mind, let us legislate thoughtfully, ethically, and morally for this is where this debate will be won or lost. We must seek to elect officials that will not cave to the pressure of political correctness and hold firm in the face of adversity. We can save the definition of marriage if we do not bury our heads in the sand!
“marriage.” 1828.mshaffer.com. Noah Webster, 1828.Web. 28 Apr. 2013
Goldberg, Abbie E., Deborah A. Kashy, and JuliAnna Z. Smith. “Gender-Typed Play Behavior In Early Childhood: Adopted Children With Lesbian, Gay, And Heterosexual Parents.” Sex Roles 67.9-10 (2012): 503-515. PsycINFO. Web. 27 Apr. 2013.
Hunter, Nan D. “The Future Impact Of Same-Sex Marriage: More Questions Than Answers.” Georgetown Law Journal 100.(2012): 1855. LexisNexis Academic: Law Reviews. Web. 27 Apr. 2013.
Lee, Patrick. “Marriage, Procreation, And Same-Sex Unions.” Monist 91.3/4 (2008): 422-438. Academic Search Complete. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.
Somerville, M. “Children’s Human Rights And Unlinking Child-Parent Biological Bonds With Adoption, Same-Sex Marriage And New Reproductive Technologies.” Journal Of Family Studies 13.2 (2007): 179. Informit Humanities & Social Sciences Collection. Web. 27 Apr. 2013.
Would you like to see a quadriplegic walk again? What about a cure for debilitating diseases such as diabetes or Parkinson’s disease? Some believe the previous feats are possible, but at what cost? This is the question that lays at the foot of the mountainous debate on embryonic stem cell research. This topic has had a polarizing affect on our society. One side is for research and others adamantly oppose this form of scientific exploration. What is the big deal? This is my attempt to visit both camps and weigh in on the intensely debated issue of embryonic stem cell research.
First, you may be wondering, as I was, what is a stem cell? “A stem cell is a cell that upon division replaces its own numbers and also gives rise to cells that differentiate further into one or more specialized types, as various B cells and T cells” (Dictionary.com). Stems cells have awesome medicinal value, because they can be used to replace damaged cells and tissue. There are different kind of stem cells; fetal, embryonic, and adult. Fetal stems cells can be taken from the umbilical cord from newly delivered infants. Adult stem cells can be found in many different tissues found in the human body. Embryonic stem cells are found in the surplus of frozen embryos used for in vitro fertilization. All these stems cells hold tremendous possibilities for medical cures. However, embryonic stem cells are desired, due to there flexibility in what cells they can reproduce.
There are thousands of relatives of those who are afflicted by different diseases that are willing to undergo embryonic research. Their argument is to allow those embryos, mark to be discarded, to be used for research. It seems to be a great waste of an opportunity to find the much sought after cure they are seeking. Could you imagine seeing a loved one suffer? Knowing embryonic stem cells could hold the answer.
On the other hand, a polar opposite view of this debate can be witnessed. This side views embryos, in essence, as human life. Saving a life by cures found by embryonic research would destroy countless potential lives. They contend it is not necessary to use embryos in research, because stem cells can be harvested by other means.
There are no easy answers for this great ethical dilemma. One must approach this topic with great care and tact. One can observe the slanted view of each party concerning this debate. For those who have family members suffering from horrific diseases, our heart aches for them. Yet, for those precious potential lives, by nature, we are protective.
After much mental wrestling, I have formed my opinion. My opinion is that it would be immoral to proceed with embryonic research. Surprisingly, this was not an easy decision for me to make. I imagined myself in shoes of those parents which have children with potentially curable diseases. My heart breaks for them, but I believe cures could be and are being developed by other stem cell research; which, does not destroy embryos.
First, my initial reasoning is embryonic stem cell research only offers hope of a “potential” cure. This “potential” cure would certainly destroy potential life. There is no guarantee any cure would be found through embryonic stem cell research. I cannot condone the destruction of human life on a “maybe” cure.
Secondly, I believe we are to speak up for the weak and defenseless. Embryos are human life. As I mentioned, my heart goes out to family members seeking a cure, but what about the countless families that will never come to be, if we allow these embryos to be destroyed. We are not merely talking about producing one human life,but rather many lives from this single life.
These potential lives or embryos cannot speak or defend themselves, so we must take a stand for life. One could argue the giving of embryos could be compared to giving an organ. Yet, when a person becomes an organ donor, they must give their consent. These embryos have no voice, so we must speak up.
Finally, I believe this could open up Pandora’s Box, so to speak. If one says human embryos should be sacrificed for others to have a better life. What is to say, that one day a handicapped person may be forced to give vital organs to someone who has more to offer in this life. Of course, this is speculation, but once you cross that line it not easy to return.
In conclusion, the use of embryos for stem cell research is a great ethical debate. It will more than likely be waged for years to come. My heart breaks for families clinging to hope of cures and I pray one is found, but we should not destroy life to preserve it. It is my assumption that embryonic stem cell research is unethical and immoral.