In difficult times, share the burdens

1 Timothy 6:10 tells us,”The love of money is the root of all evil.” As a legislator evaluating some unnecessary giveaways in Oklahoma’s Tax Credit  system, that verse really “hits home.” As Oklahomans, we are facing a $1.3 billion shortfall caused mainly by a 13-year-low in oil and natural gas prices, along with a corresponding 35-year glut in oil reserves and inventory.

Those who oppose any reduction and continue to “live off the government teat” are often akin to the analogy of the father who loses his job and asks his kids to give up or reduce their allowances for a brief time until Dad finds a new job. Many of the corporations and individuals who live off this proverbial “government cheese” are unwilling to do it. Sadly, some behave just like the ungrateful child, totally incognizant and uncaring of the family’s predicament, who say, “but Dad, you promised !!!”

Even individuals who believe it is other taxpayers’ responsibility to take care of them and meet their needs are incredulous to these difficult budget times and attack their lawmakers because “they can’t get what they want right now.”

We are not talking about “truly needy” but the “truly greedy.” They are even willing to shuttle “faith, family and values” at the “altar of  greed” for their instant gratification and you are left to wonder if they had any values in the first place. The regular person who goes to work every day is left to wonder why our country is in the shape we are in.

For my part, as a businessman and lawmaker, I don’t have that luxury. My business suffers while I’m  doing the peoples’ business because it’s too important and I rely on God to provide. My work this session has been trying to reduce the tax credit burden on Oklahoma by $250 million so we can fund core services. We may not get all of it but we have to try. Some credits are doing what they were intended to do but others have produced a reliance on “handouts” instead of a “hand-ups” and are destroying our revenue streams.

Folks, we all need to do our part. If we don’t, our children will be the recipients of our selfishness.

Philippians 2:4 tells us “to look out for the needs of others.” As Oklahomans, we need to think about that when we are “shouting down” others because we aren’t getting what we want at that moment. When we look outside ourselves, we often find others have more immediate needs then we do and we can help.

Life, liberty, happiness

Back in 1999 there was an article written by Jack Chick titled “Would you consider an abortion in these three situations?”   They are as follows:

  1. A preacher and wife who were very poor and living in tremendous poverty already had 14 kids and were pregnant with their 15th. If they had an abortion the world would have been deprived of John Wesley, one the greatest men of faith in history.
  2. A man rapes a 13-year-old black girl and she is pregnant. If her parents would have considered an abortion, Ethel Waters one of the world’s greatest singers would not have been born.
  3. A teenage girl is pregnant. She is unmarried her fiancé is angry because it’s not his child. You all know the rest of the story . . . our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born.

Powerful stories of faith in action.

These examples show how we as a nation have lost our way if we can justify murder of the innocent with abortion on demand. We know that 50 percent of all pregnancies are unwanted and over 55 million babies have been killed since Roe v. Wade. How can we justify that as a society if we are good people?

Thomas Jefferson said the “primary goal of government is to promote and protect life…” that’s why governments are created. How often do we forget those foundational words “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? Don’t unborn children deserve those same rights? The political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville said, “America is great because she is good. America will cease to be great when she is no longer good.” Is that where we find ourselves?”

I pray not…