Category Archives: politics

My Healthcare Reform Suggestions

Enough with all the bickering and fighting, not to mention the constant maligning of each other in the media, let’s pass some real healthcare reform that is fair, realistic, and responsible.

In other words, submit the following 10 points to Congress, get it approved, have the President sign it, then let’s get on with life.

Baker Healthcare Reform Plan

1. Allow insurance companies to sell across state lines.

2. Create a high-risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, etc., and develop ways in which those with chronic illnesses can receive care without affecting premium costs for healthy citizens.

3. Encourage tax-free accounts such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) in which people can put money to be used for medical expenses, further encouraging better pricing options.

4. Encourage doctors, hospitals, and all medical facilities to list actual prices and offer discounts for cash payments (including payments made from FSA’s and HSA’s).

5. Re-educate the public on what insurance is and is not. Create courses in high school and college which will teach young adults how to manage their healthcare costs.

6. Encourage lower medicine costs by reducing regulations which cost manufactures millions and delay drugs being introduced to the market.

7. Develop a strict, but less-burdensome vetting process which will allow foreign prescription drugs to be sold in the United States, thereby providing more options to the consumer.

8. Re-evaluate laws which govern how legal firms bring class action law suits against prescription drug companies.

9. Encourage self-insurance options for the wealthy.

10. Allow insurance companies to create a wider variety of affinity group options.

Honestly, much more could be said about each of the above points, but these alone would have fixed a lot of problems with the previous healthcare system, all without having the government come along and take over everything.

With some common sense everything could be OK.

 

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Take Me To Your Leader

Today, on Presidents Day, many people across America took to the streets in protest, not celebration. With banners raised and voices lifted (or visa versa), the disappointed citizens, non-citizens, voters, and even non-voters (i.e., those who should just shut up and keep out of it) spewed out the following phrase:

“Not my president!”

Yes, in cities across the land the very same people who say they care about America, yet claim it was “never great” and are convinced the Russians have damaged our democracy, are marching around proclaiming themselves leaderless after a fair election. 

What would these protesters have said if a bunch of Republicans had said the same thing about Obama? I was deeply disappointed when he was elected, but I respected the result. The rule of law, you see, even extends to accepting duly-elected leaders, even when we don’t like them or their policies. Had we protested Obama the same way these today have protested President Trump, we would have been labeled both un-American and racist. Heck, I was labeled a racist for just not voting for the man! 

Yet, here we have a bunch of people who are boldly proclaiming that Trump is not their president, and that they will not submit to any of his policies. Are they racists, or just un-American? Because, as I see it, unless we were invaded by hostiles and forced to accept regime change, even a new constitution, the man in the White House right now is my leader. 

So, here’s my question: If the President of the United Stated of America is not your president, who is? Obviously you are not American, because ours has been elected. 

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I Deleted It

I haven’t been writing much that lately, only re-posting in an effort to keep up activity and share some good stuff with newer readers. The reason is that we are still in the process of moving to a different part of town and out of the parsonage we’ve been in for the last eight years.

So, what I did was sit down at my computer one last time, all because this baby is going to be taken down and packed in the back of a van in the morning, and write a final post in the area where my blogging actually began. I sat down in the empty kitchen, worn out, right where I’m sitting right now, and decided I would write a post addressing the millions of women marching all over the world in protest of President Donald Trump.

I deleted the post.

Well, I didn’t actually delete it – that would be a lie – I just permanently saved it as a “draft.”

Why did I, in effect, delete the post I labored over for an hour? I figured it was better for me to find other battles to fight than get into one with a bunch of pink “p***y hat” wearing, illogical, angry, pro-abortion, hypocritical, estrogen-filled leftists with a uterus-shaped chip on their shoulder.

You don’t need to know what I think about a million Gloria Steinhem worshipers or White House-threatening Madonna’s. You don’t want me to go there. I don’t want to go there.

The continual dropping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike (Proverbs 27:15), so why cause it to storm when it’s quiet and I’m perfectly dry?

I just dried out from having to move in the rain, so I don’t need to invite a million drips of estrogen rage. I’ll just keep praying for our new President; he can break out his own umbrella – I hear it’s huuuge.

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Now What? (My Post-Election Thoughts)

It’s Over!

For practically a year and a half our nation has been focused on November 8th. First there was all the primary drama. Could Hillary hold off Bernie? Could 16 Republicans ever produce a candidate? From the very beginning it was clear this was going to be an election like no other.

Then came the general election campaign. Talk about twists and turns! To begin with, who would have thought we’d end up with two candidates so fatally flawed? How did either survive as long as they did with all the scandals each had to endure? Totally amazing.

But it’s over, now, praise the Lord! No more media spin; no more celebrities getting naked or offering sexual favors in return for voting for Hillary; no more talk of swing states and the electoral college; and no more talk of things that divide us.

Sorry, I was kidding about that last part.

What Is NOT Over

Sure, the election cycle is over for now, and Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. However, some of the very things that divided this nation during the election will still be sources of discontent in the future.

  • Immigration. Just this morning on my school bus I literally heard African-American teens talking with each other about their fear of being sent back to Africa. One of them said, “Well, if they don’t send us back, they’ll make us wanna go.” If blacks are talking about being sent back to Africa (which is ludicrous), imagine the what many Hispanics are discussing this morning!
  • Nationalism. Many are afraid of America becoming another Nazi Germany. Personally, I believe their fears have little basis in reality. However, there are certainly some who believe America should no longer be a “shining city on a hill.” They want America to cede her strength and position in the world to international authority. Because of this, tension between proud patriots and liberal leftists will remain high.
  • Gender revolution. The LGBTQetc community has enjoyed nearly 8 years of un-restrained success in pushing through their agenda of social change. Now that they’ve had their way for so long, how will a Republican White House, Senate, and Congress now secure the rights of Christian businesses and such without suffering the rainbow wrath?
  • Entitlements. If our national debt is ever going to be addressed, rampant entitlement spending must be brought under scrutiny. But, just like I heard four years ago on my school bus, I heard it again today, just about a different Republican, “He’s gonna take our food stamps away!” Well, if you don’t really need them, and if you’re just selling them, then they should be taken away. However, nobody wants to starve anyone, people! But continue that lie and there will always be tension.
  • Health Care. President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act has been anything but, yet how do we now completely repeal something that completely destroyed everything, and now has so many low-income unhealthy hooked? One way or another, this is going to be a big struggle in the coming months.

Moving Forward

As I see it, this election has done two things: it has proved one thing, and offered another.

First, it has proven that an overwhelming amount of Americans are tired of corrupt government and want someone to do something about it.

The main reason Trump was elected – in my estimation – is that the majority of our people were tired of government going against the will of the people, never acknowledging it is WE who elected them, and it was time for an outsider to flush the system.

To be clear, our system of government does work, it’s just been clogged up and getting worse for a long while. There should be no “political class,” only elected Americans serving other Americans like our founding fathers intended. Trump was elected to get things “flowing” again.

Second, this election has offered the American church a reprieve, a short breather, a small window of opportunity in which to prepare for what will inevitably come in the future.

What concerned many in this country such as myself was the clear and present danger that Hillary Clinton posed toward our freedom of religion. Others have scoffed at my concerns, but they chose to ignore (or interpret differently) the overwhelming evidence of precedent. Looking at the way things have “progressed” in America over the last 8 years, it was easy to see the policy track a Clinton administration would take. In my estimation it would have taken only 5 short years until thousands of churches would have been forced to close their doors due to gender laws, and many pastors would have been forced to either curb their speech, or face fines or jail time. All I did was look at the natural progression of things.

But because Clinton was not elected, the American churches have been given an opportunity to start making adjustments: one example would be preparing for our tax-exempt status being removed. Let’s be honest, barring another great spiritual awakening in this country, the time will come when another president is elected who will find it politically expedient to punish a segment of society that refuses to accept and affirm the gender-bending, sexually-immoral agenda of many on the left. Like Joseph of old, we should be preparing now for the famine to come.

Keep Praying

Some of you made it very clear you were praying before this election. Well, whether you voted for Trump, or not, now is NOT the time to stop praying!

President Elect Trump is not a perfect man, as we know. So, pray that God will make him humble and dependent upon Him. Pray that he will select wise and godly counsel to surround him as he’s forced to make decisions that will affect us all, even the world.

Pray that civility will be restored to this broken and fractured nation.

But above all, pray Psalm 9:20… “Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men.”

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Rejoice or Mourn, but Don’t Settle

Proverbs 29:2

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

‘Ocracies

It would seem like never before in the history of man has it been possible for atheists and all those antagonistic to Christianity, the Bible, faith, or whatever, to have their voices be heard. Of course, I may be wrong and even over-exaggerating a little, but thanks to the media and easy access to the internet, angry voices condemning leaders with morals are screaming from every direction.

This proverb should not be interpreted as saying, “Christians should be in authority everywhere!” No, the idea is more along the lines of promoting wise leadership, honest leadership, or simply men and women with integrity and moral fortitude. Yet, even when and if true Christians were to assume authority, very few would have any thoughts of promoting a “theocracy.” But listen to the atheists and you’d think that the “righteous” would start hanging unbelievers tomorrow, if they could.

The fact is that at it’s founding, when the most Christians (including deists) where in authority in America, that is when they founded a constitutional republic, NOT a theocracy.

Righteous Rule

When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. Why is that? Could it be that the people are treated fairly? The righteous wouldn’t take more than they need in taxes. The righteous wouldn’t lie about issues in order to get elected. The righteous would be responsible with resources. The righteous wouldn’t seek office to obtain power, but to serve others. The righteous wouldn’t compromise his beliefs, but he would work together with his fellow man in search of the common good.

Sadly, many in our society mourn when the righteous are considered for leadership. Many recoil at the thought of a man or woman with integrity, faith, and morals. They see these potential leaders as threats – not to freedom, but to unrestrained behavior.

Wicked Rule

Why do the people mourn when the wicked rule? Because the wicked think only of themselves; they care nothing about the people under their authority.

Do we have wicked leaders, or are our leaders righteous, looking out for all of us? Do those in authority serve, or do they accumulate power in order to manipulate the masses? The answer will be different and vary in intensity wherever you go, but this much is true: there are far fewer righteous leaders than wicked ones.

The Undecided

But then there are those who can’t decide whether to rejoice or mourn. They have been treated so poorly for so long that they have come to accept wicked leadership as the norm.

If you think otherwise, just consider the following defense of President Obama by L.Z. Granderson on CNN:

“Now with president Obama, it is true, he should have been more forthright with how the Affordable Care Act was going to impact the country. But with that being said, all Americans know politicians lie. The question is: which lies can you live with? And time and time again Americans have said, “We can deal with the lies that President Obama tells us, because we believe in his heart – he has the best interests for the American people. Every president’s gonna lie to you. Every politician is gonna lie to you. The question is: which lies can you live with?” – Source

Sounds more like when the wicked rule, the people give up caring. God help us.

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Time Machine Radio

Would you like to step into a time machine? You CAN!

All you have to do is click on the link below and listen to a recording of the radio broadcast for this coming Sunday, October 23.

Yes, step into the time machine and listen to me preach on the radio in the future!

Click on my handsome picture below (it includes the link), and listen to what I had/have to say about the upcoming biblical response to the upcoming (in the future) election.

I still wear a suit on Sunday morning - because I want to :-)

I still wear a suit on Sunday morning – most of the time – because I want to 🙂

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An Impromptu Invocaton

Last night (Monday night) I went to a political fundraiser, which was also a campaign kickoff meeting. It was for a local mayoral candidate and current Chattanooga City Councilman, Larry Grohn. I went because I was invited by a Facebook friend whom I wanted to meet in person, and also because I wanted to hear what the candidate had to say.

Here in my city we are fortunate to have some good leadership. No matter what political party, most of the people in leadership are decent people with the good of our city at heart. Are they perfect? No. But none are Clinton or Trump, either (thank God!). Nevertheless, I wanted to hear good reasons why I should vote for Mr. Grohn, not for the incumbent.

Upon entering the meeting hall downtown I was greeted by the candidate’s wife. Once I told her who I was and why I was there, she said to me, “The person you need to be speaking to is my husband…let me introduce you to him.” She did, and that led to a very interesting conversation which must have lasted around 5 minutes. Thankfully, some of my questions were answered.

After speaking with Councilman Grohn, I went to the food bar and filled my little paper plate with chicken nuggets, celery, a few little tomatoes, and a cookie. After that I got my glass of unsweetened iced tea, found a seat at a table, and began a nice theological/political conversation with some very intelligent college students.

Shortly before 7 pm, the time when the speaking part of this meeting was to begin, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Someone whispered in my ear, “Pastor Baker,” so I turned around.

“Pastor,” the candidate himself said, “would you be willing to give the invocation tonight?” I don’t know if I looked surprised, or not, but my eyebrows must have raised as I was asked this question. I mean, seriously, who was I that he should come to me and ask me to open up his campaign’s inaugural event with prayer? Yet, what was I supposed to do, say “no”?

“Sure,” I replied. “I’d be happy to.”

“Thank you, Pastor,” he then said. “We want to start things off right, you know?”

“Absolutely,” I said with a nod.

Next, as I stood up, from behind me came the campaign manager. He thanked me for being willing to give the invocation at such short notice, then proceeded to tell me the order in which I was to do what. Then he said, “Say whatever you want to say…if you want to say anything…then pray…it’s up to you, just say whatever you want. Thank you for doing this.”

Yes, I was asked to pray at a political event and was given complete freedom to say whatever I wanted to say. And they didn’t know me from the man in the moon! Unbelievable!

So, when the time came I walked up to the microphone set up in the meeting hall full of people and cameras and introduced myself. The next thing I did was remind everyone of how and why Benjamin Franklin called the continental congress to stop what they were doing and pray to the Almighty for His help. I then said (to paraphrase myself):

“We are just men and women, and none of us are perfect. And just like those men back then at the founding of our nation, we have our flaws, and we need help – we need outside Help. So, let us now call upon Almighty God.”

I then prayed, beginning with a quote from Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice…” I didn’t pray a prayer of blessing for the candidate, nor did I attempt to give the impression that my prayer was a form of support. Actually, the prayer that came out of me felt like it was not even me speaking, for it was full of authority and “otherness.” I felt like I was in the presence of the One who did not take sides, but was the One before whom all knees must bow. Therefore I said:

“If this man for whom these people have gathered here to honor be a righteous man…may all things done here tonight not be for our aggrandizement, but for Your glory…in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

Sunday night some dear folk at another church, Mt. Carmel Baptist, had me come forward, after I spoke, and laid hands on me and prayed. They prayed, among other things, that God’s hand of blessing would be upon me, and that His calling upon my life would be evident – a “man of God.” Then, last night, something about me caused a political candidate to trust a total stranger to give the opening invocation at such an important event.

That, my friends, was a God thing.

 

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