39 thoughts on “Bereans VLOG (11/2/2017)”

  1. If the government already doesn’t get much from corporate taxes, why would they reduce it? I think Dr. Haymond makes a great point about the federal indictment topics. Why should people go into government if these kinds of investigations take place?

  2. Its interesting hearing about the terrorist attacks, because it is becoming such a common thing. It seems that every couple of months there is a new attack. My brother and I were in Europe this summer and we were very watchful but never encountered any sketchy people. One homeless person asked us if we were American and we said yes, he then said some mean things that I can’t say on here about trump. I think there is a general disapproval of Trump, and my brother and I stopped saying we voted for him if it came up in conversations. Going off what was said with Muslims and Christians, I think there will always be that tension since in the Quran we are the infidels. This does not mean that we should treat Muslims negatively, but we should be aware of what they believe.

  3. I listen to WORLD podcasts almost every morning, so I have been able to hear news reports on these current issues without much opinion on the subjects. Bereans did a good job discussing all the major topics that are at hand throughout our nation right now. I appreciate that some opinions discussed are less conservative than others, yet you all can move forward with the conversations in understanding.
    The point made about this war never ending until Western Civilization ceases to exist was interesting. I never really thought about it that way, probably because it’s not a happy ending or solidified outcome. However, it is a reality that should be recognize.

  4. One aspect that will likely help to redeem some of the more unfortunate parts of the tax reform is the corporate side of the equation. The Wall Street Journal has (probably correctly) heaped equal parts praise on the corporate side of the bill as they have vitriol on the personal side. Obviously, we can’t predict the future, but we do have historical examples of tax reforms generating good economic growth and even increasing revenues, and this reform has elements conducive to those ends. There are good parts of the bill, and it’s likely an improvement over what we have right now, though the individual side definitely needs either heavy makeup or a face lift.

    1. Why do you think the ‘individual side’ is turning out this way? That’s really confused me, because raising taxes on the middle class does not sound at all like a traditional GOP position…

      Weird that there are only a couple GOP voices that are worried by increasing the deficit, as well. What weird times we live in.

      1. In general the GOP has problems with deficit spending only when Democrats are in office. The party in general has little problem with it when it is in control of government.

        The reality is that the primary goal of the GOP is not to have smaller government, or to promote fiscal responsibility; but to ensure that its primary supporters, especially wealthy individuals who wish to pass down their fortunes to their children, have lower taxes. A middle-class or working-class tax increase is not a problem for most Republicans, just as long as their base pays less in taxes. The GOP is fine with big government and expensive wars and even expensive social programs, just as long as its base benefits and just as long as Republicans are in charge of big government.

      2. Where is your proof that the rich are the GOP base? Both parties benefit and have donors of high wealth not just one. Certainly the Clintons have benefited from their high end donors. Everyone is getting a tax cut in the plan, not just the wealthy. The only thing you could be referencing are the repealing of itemized deductions in certain states (states with higher average tax rates which tend to be more liberal states by the way). As far as this plan goes it is not a zero-sum game where lower taxes must mean higher deficits. The idea would be to increase the tax base and boost the economy that has been decimated in recent years by liberal policies and hefty regulations. Is it morally acceptable to you to discriminate in tax policy based on income, Jeff? Why is taxing one group at a higher rate than others fair?

        The lowering of the corporate rate is the biggest plus here really. That should trigger the economic growth more than anything and help employ more people at better wages with better benefits.

        Is it even possible for a bill like this to be perfect? Of course not. But it will help things get moving more than anything we’ve had the past 8 years.

      3. Jeff,

        I get what you’re saying, but I feel that the GOP base must be more than just the people getting the tax breaks, or they couldn’t win elections. All the same, I’m baffled. I wonder whose idea it was to functionally raise the rates. I can’t imagine that’s what anyone’s constituents wanted. Agreed, though, that they are probably not as committed to the principle as they trumpet for the cameras. And they’re definitely fine with their version of big government.

        Daniel,

        Everyone is not getting a tax cut, unless you’re being consciously deceptive. My dad will be paying a few grand more if this passes, because the deductions get eliminated.

        It is a zero-sum game, or at least an opportunity cost- We have never been able to grow the economy fast enough to pay for tax cuts. Even Reagan increased the deficit doing this. Dr. Haymond admitted that this will increase the deficit. That’s not a question at this point. We will be making the government LESS solvent with this. Which is why, like I said, it’s surprising none of the fiscal conservatives are squawking much about this.

        The economy has not been decimated by liberal policies. I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but you’re acting like a steadily growing economy is being brutally shrunk. That’s not in line with the facts. The economy has been growing, except for the recession in ’08.

        Progressive taxes are not discriminatory. Everyone pays the same rate on the same amount of money. The only way that could be called discrimination is if you don’t think people are socially mobile- then there would be a specific group of people who are being unfairly targeted, because ‘high income earners’ would be the same group all the time. Otherwise, we all are liable for the same taxes on the same earnings. You only pay the higher rate on money earned above the previous bracket, and everyone who earns that does too.

        Lowering the corporate tax will not help us at this point- have you seen the Paradise papers? That money is already overseas, being taxed at what, 2%? Cutting our taxes tremendously, even to 10% would still mean it’s better to hide your money overseas in Jersey. And in our globalized world, even when we give a tax break we’re really just freeing up money so they can hire more Romanians and Indians and Iranians who are willing to work for less. Money is fungible.

        If the bill has major flaws, maybe they shouldn’t pass it. Maybe they should pass something they all agree on instead of this, which like healthcare, is proving to be controversial and more than they are up to dealing with right now. I know the GOP is desperate to have something to show for their win last year, but it feels like they’re just flailing around and trying to something, ANYTHING, instead of looking for things they can actually agree on. Like I said from the onset, their strategy is confusing me.

      4. Theophilus,

        Hope you are doing well. I would like to engage you on a couple of your points, but before I do, I would like you to react to a couple articles if you don’t mind and also a question.

        This one is on the Reagan tax cuts, or rather, about other factors besides them that don’t necessarily apply to today.
        https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2017/05/04/reagans-tax-cuts-didnt-blow-out-the-deficit-and-the-debt-that-was-volcker-and-interest-rates/#250fe1a24d6c

        This one is about the alleged tax increases in the tax plan (which, I would point out to Daniel, there is at least a small segment that would see an increase) so I am assuming your father would be in this comparatively small group…
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/11/02/senate-democrats-falsely-claim-gop-tax-plan-will-raise-taxes-for-most-working-class-families/?utm_term=.3985f976e192

        And the question: Am I correct in assuming that you would say that the Reagan tax cuts in the 80s had no part to play in creating the relative prosperity of the 90s which allowed Clinton (at that time, a centrist) and a GOP Congress to balance the budget?

        So, if you can give some input on these, it will help me tailor my comments better.

      5. Nathan,

        I hope you’re well, too.

        1) I am not opposed to tax cuts. But it is not only Reagan who had this problem. I can grant that it is more complicated than: tax cuts=problems. But Reagan is not the only person who has cut them, and, as I said, they have not actually paid themselves off. That isn’t to say that they CAN’T, but they haven’t historically, so we’d be better off being more careful.

        2) I’m not sure where you’re going with this, honestly. Maybe some groups are expendable here? Maybe people like my dad SHOULD pay more taxes now, and we should cut the rates of poorer people (who aren’t paying anything) and richer people (who are doing historically well for themselves). My point is that, whether these are rational or not, it seems like a weird move for the GOP to raise taxes on people in the middle, since they seem to be the traditional GOP base.

        As to your question, I’m sure the tax cuts did play a role. Lots of things played a role in creating the economy of the 90s. I would submit that Reagan and Clinton are both very different, and most likely better, presidents than our current one. I would also submit that they presided over less partisan legislative houses. I would say that it is not a good idea to draw a line to connect the dots between these vastly different scenarios, as if we could just repeat what we did back then. Trump is many things, but he is no Reagan.

        And it took Reagan years of working with both parties to get reform through. The GOP somehow imagines it can accomplish something at least as meaningful in a few weeks, by themselves, with the slimmest imaginable margins. To return, yet again, to my original (and still unanswered) point, this seems like a weird strategy that is remarkably ‘un-GOP-ish’ to me.

      6. Okay, your responses do help me a bit going forward…

        So…

        1). I was not trying to say that I think you oppose tax cuts, but I do think you are shortchanging them a bit. I think, if given the proper chance, tax cuts can and will end up paying for themselves in the end. But it requires time and patience. Of course there are pros and cons to everything. It is fine to look back at the problems involved with historical cuts just as it is fine to look back and point out the positives. But both sides are guilty of inferring too much of the past into the present. As you pointed out, thinks are much different now than then, so the results will be different.

        2) I do not think we should treat any group as expendable. I do not think taxes should be raised on ANYONE. Technically they are not as the actual rates would be lower. The question we are dealing with here regards deductions, particularly State income tax deductions. As the Bereans pointed out, the final version of this will NOT be the same as what is currently out there. My guess is that many of these stickier issues like those deductions are going to be revisited and worked on and will look significantly different in the final bill. It really is a matter of semantics here. Technically, the Democrats are right when they say SOME (a small minority as the article I referenced pointed out) would end up paying more but the Republicans are also right when they say everyone is getting a cut because the rate itself would indeed go down. As usual, BOTH parties spin the facts, just in different ways.

        Now, to answer your specific question about the GOP’s “weird move”. It is not their purpose or intent to raise taxes on the middle class. Yes, some of the deductions have been shown to increase what a few in the middle will pay, but I think you underestimate the number of Republicans who would just ignore this. As I said above, the final version of this bill will look much different.

        Republicans need to address some problems with the bill, but the framework as it exists now has many positive elements in it that the other side should not just outright reject. And maybe the Republicans would be more willing to work with Democrats if the Democrats actually looked at the thing and made helpful suggestions instead of, mere minutes after it was released, before any of them could have had a realistic chance of knowing what it actually said, all came out guns blazing against it and giving some rhetoric to those (not you) who look for any anti-GOP talking point (usually some falsehood about the majority of the GOP only caring about the rich and not actually caring about the poor or middle class) they can parrot.

      7. 1) I think the facts don’t back up your position. We agree that they can be good, but they come with a cost- a direct revenue cost. It’s fine and good to say that eventually it will sort itself out, but the problem is that both parties like to increase spending, so that will not happen unless we naively believe them when they promise to keep their hands out of the cookie jar. I have my doubts that they will be thrifty once they have more to spend.

        2) We agree that taxes shouldn’t be raised. Apparently we all agree on this. I don’t understand why that is helpful for understanding why they are, in fact, increasing people’s taxes. I certainly hope they fix that. Sounds like we’re on the same page. Maybe, if they don’t fix it, they shouldn’t pass it. Just a thought.

        More importantly, the guys with the money like the way our taxes currently are- special interest groups are the reason we have these deductions and credits and such, and they’re not going to just let their elected officials get rid of the incentives they paid good money for. We agree that it will look different- What I don’t understand is why they’re committing to this so quickly. Taxes are complicated and it takes time to make a sensible reform plan. Why are they rushing like this? Why are they, apparently, going to pass two separate bills, with different numbers of tax brackets in them, that don’t agree on much at all, and then try to reconcile them, and do it all post-haste? Can’t we just slow down a second and get something GOOD out there? I feel like this is the same thing that ended up handicapping their other attempts to govern.

        And finally, it looks like we also agree on the problem of rigid partisanship. I wish the Democrats would be more flexible as well. We have a culture in Washington that no longer believes in pragmatic problem-solving, apparently- and the GOP is just as guilty of saying ‘no’ to everything as the Democrats are now. That’s a big problem, for sure. I think eventually one side will have to ‘be the bigger man’ and try to be cooperative, but it’s silly to say that it’s the other guys’ fault both sides refuse to work with each other.

        All the same, I think it’s a bad idea to make big decisions with slim majorities and excluding outside voices. Just like with the ACA, what this does is create an environment where our laws have no permanence, and we basically expect them to be radically altered every 4-8 years. That’s not healthy.

  5. Theophilus,

    Numerically, the GOP needs voters who are not in the upper crust to win elections. There are more of “us” than of “them.”

    The way they obtain those votes is to use highly emotional hot-button social causes to attract middle- and low-income voters who end up voting against their economic interests. Abortion. Gay marriage. Transgender people using bathrooms. NFL players not standing for the pledge of allegiance. Desegregation of busing. Immigrants taking away American jobs. Gun rights (the threat that Democrats will take away your guns!!). Confederate monuments.

    The sad fact that poor whites are more likely than not to vote GOP, even though the economic plans of the GOP will do more harm than help. It is not all about the money. I read an article this week on Johnstown, Pa. Full of poor whites and ground zero of the opoid crisis, many of voters there will vote for DJT no matter what.

    1. Jeff,

      I think I can agree that there are some people in the GOP who are like that. I think you would be wrong if you said something like that about some others, though (John McCain comes to mind). More importantly, there are cynical abusers on both sides- Democrats have their own hot-button issues they like to use to garner votes.

      And, finally, I think you’re generalizing too much here (Which perhaps was intended and rhetorical, but I should make it clear where I disagree). The fact is that reasonable people can rationally support the policies, at least in theory, of either side in US politics. There are some views and policies that are decidedly irrational, but I think it is fair to say the mainstream principles of both sides, broadly speaking, are at least rational ways of looking at policy. Not everyone takes those positions, but it’s patronizing to say that there are no rationally motivated GOP voters, as it is when people imply the same about Democrats.

      Fair?

      1. Not quite.

        It is very difficult to support policies of the GOP when it is no longer clear what those policies are.

        The way I see it, the only major thing that has remained the same about the GOP since, say, 1970 is the focus on promoting economic policies (including tax cuts, especially the estate tax) that support the upper-crust; as well as the cutting of social programs that benefit low to middle-income Americans.

        You are giving way too much credit to the modern GOP, a major party that nominated for US senator someone as repulsive (repulsive to someone who believes in the US Constitution) as Roy Moore (who of course is supported by the faux Christian Jerry Falwell,Jr.).

        You yourself are making blanket statements, complete with whataboutism thrown in.

        Seriously–what does the GOP stand for, other than what I just said it does?

      2. Jeff,

        I agree wholeheartedly, at least with some GOP reps. Agreed on Moore. I happen to find him, Trump, Gingrich, and many others repulsive. For the same reason I find big names like Huckabee, Pence, and especially Cruz , who claim to believe in principles and yet abandon them for pragmatic reasons, completely infuriating. And certainly, whatever they once stood for, the GOP is terribly unstable right now, which I think we both agree is part of why these last few desperate attempts to do something are so weird.

        The problem, as I see it, is that their main principle now is distrust of the establishment, a recent change that I think has damaged them. However, I think a lot of the ‘old guard’ still has a more traditional and civil position. It’s just that in this environment their principles and civility are liabilities that they tend not to emphasize. Cowardly? Maybe. But again, whatever you may say about Cruz, you cannot say the same about McCain.

        More importantly, they definitely do stand for things besides fiscal conservatism. They support constitutional rights, particularly the right to bear arms, as part of their platform, and their brand of strict constructionism is distinct from more progressive takes on the Constitution. They deny the existence of climate change and oppose regulations to curb it. They’re pretty consistent on a less-progressive approach to immigration controls. They also are far less interested in internationalism and globalism, and are far more interested in national defense as a priority than their opponents. And of course, there are many social/traditional issues that they split with Democrats fairly consistently on. I’m not defending any of these positions, but to say they don’t exist is not accurate.

        What generalization do you disagree with? I admit I am not getting into the nitty-gritty. I also acknowledged that you may have been broad-brushing intentionally. I simply said that there are rational positions on both sides, and that probably the majority of each side’s supporters are doing something that is, at least, understandable, if ill-advised. In 2016, there was not a very advisable decision to be made between the major candidates. I can accept that you may think otherwise, but if you seriously think that anyone who voted (R) in the last election is a dupe who didn’t make a rational calculation, then I’m not sure why you’re so committed to posting here- surely those dupes are not able to understand you even if they wanted to.

      3. Also, Jeff, in case it isn’t clear,

        The lack of clarity on the GOP’s position is precisely what I’m so bothered about. We agree that it’s a problem. I’m not claiming that they are not in deep trouble. It is certainly difficult to support them when they are not consistent- which is why I was questioning their inconsistency.

      4. Jeff, the GOP does not stand for what you say it stands for.

        If you are unable (and I am guessing it is less that you are “unable” and more that you are “unwilling” to realize this then I would say the problem is more yours than it is the GOP’s.

        Your obsession with the estate tax (I say that because you refer to it constantly) seems to be a personal animus with you. What possible concern is it of yours if a wealthy individual chooses to pass on that wealth to their children. Why should it be any business of the government to determine how much a person is allowed to pass on to their family? Considering that the US estate tax (which is the 4th highest in the world I believe) generates only about 0.6% of total federal revenue, Republicans who wish to lower or abolish estate taxes are hardly proposing anything that will harm middle or lower class persons.

        Theophilus,

        I am confused on your apparent dislike of Republicans who have principles but make pragmatic decisions at times. Did we not just agree above that both parties have issues with rigid partisanship? Please help me understand what you were getting at here because it seems you are being critical of some Republicans for doing what you seem to think there should be more of…

        Now, on you question of some in the middle class paying more… from what I see, there are numerous Republicans out there who have pointed to this as something in the framework that needs addressing. If I were to guess, whatever final bill we end up with, that issue of deductions will probably have been greatly tweaked. I think that most Republicans do not want to see ANY tax increase on anybody and I continue to believe they will be looking at these issues before a final bill is agreed upon.

        On your point about the deficit… I get it. Republicans often talk about the need to reduce the deficit but here they come with a plan that would increase it. Your reaction is a perfectly reasonable one. However, I personally think that many Republicans are of the opinion that at the moment, the more important thing is to energize the economy. Once that is done, I think they are looking at the long game in that a stronger economy makes it easier to then deal with the deficit. Now, you clearly disagree with that notion. You have a disagreement over policy and a disagreement over what the long term affects of that policy will be. Nothing wrong with that at all. But I think the confusion here is that to you, because you have a different viewpoint on the end results of the policy, have concluded an inconsistency exists. Many Republicans would not conclude that.

        This may seem a bit irrelevant, but here is an example to illustrate what I mean. On the game Roller Coaster tycoon you can run your own amusement park. There have been times when I have played that game in which the park I am running starts losing money. In other words, a deficit exists.

        One solution is actually to lower prices. A CBO-like score of that proposal would say “but you will lose even more money than you are now”. But what that score does not take into account is that lower prices will likely attract more people coming into the park. Many times, more people paying less actually generates more money than less people paying more. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

        The way I see it, Republicans believe something akin to that will happen with lower taxes. Opponents believe it will not attract enough additional to make it up.

        The question seems to be, at this point, do we try it or not? Some answer yes, some answer no. But those who answer yes, I do not believe are necessarily making themselves inconsistent on the issue of deficits if they truly believe it WILL work.

      5. Nathan,

        First, the GOP isn’t compromising with Democrats. Democrats are unified in being unhappy with the proposed reforms. What they ARE doing, is being internally inconsistent- they are apparently fine functionally raising people’s taxes. At the same time, they supposedly want to reduce the corporate rate, and ALSO delay that reduction for a year or two. This demonstrates, to me, that they are either not convinced that it will be effective (or else why not implement it immediately?) or that they are literally just trying to pass anything. I think it’s evident that this plan is not consistent with their platform, but it also doesn’t seem to appeal to any other large wing in their party- again, it’s just a baffling move. Propose something good and in line with what you believe. Then we can have a debate and govern. But when you say you stand for things, and then all of your proposals are hurried messes, you make it harder for yourself.

        What Jeff is getting at is that things like this make it hard to know what they stand for. It muddies the waters so that we don’t even know what each side wants. And he’s right that it is not nearly as easy to know as it used to be. But more specifically, I think, we (or at least I, maybe I shouldn’t try to speak for Mr. Adams) are less bothered by their economic suggestions (I am not at all enthusiastic about tax rates. They’re a pretty dry subject) than we are with their flagrant abandonment of the supposed values they claim to uphold. I think it’s nothing short of disgusting what Huckabee, Hannity, and Falwell are doing to the Christian witness. I am much more worried about how these charlatans are debasing my beliefs and values by claiming to represent them and condoning completely indefensible behavior. What Cruz thinks about economics is one thing. What he is doing with the reputation of the church is quite another, and it is far more repugnant.

        We already talked about reducing the deficit. I think we can agree that, whatever they do, success will depend on their being restrained when the theoretical benefits roll in (which again, it’s debatable that this has ever worked), which is where I think it will ultimately fail. Neither side saves money. They’re both happy to spend, so I don’t think either of them will fix the deficit problem, whether they increase it with tax cuts or not. You disagree. That’s fine.

        A note on the estate tax- first, as you pointed out, it’s pretty insignificant in terms of revenue, because you have to be far more wealthy than most people for it to apply to you. I would say that there could be an argument for it, though, in that we generally don’t like the idea of rigid social classes. Having a class that is able to accumulate and then keep large portions of the economy in their family could be argued to be a problem for the future of social mobility. That’s at least a view I’ve encountered before.

      6. As always you make good points.

        I cannot agree with your assessment of some of the individuals you listed or what you claim they are doing to Christianity. I am not going to get into specifics of which ones I disagree with you on since that would be unproductive and a topic on which we would just continually disagree. Maybe that will make me a charlatan to you as well but sadly that cannot be helped.

        I think much of the confusion out there is because the proposals are just so all-encompassing. Obamacare suffered from the same problems. My preferred course of action has always been individual bills for individual items. One of my pet peeves of legislative politics at the federal level has been the recent penchant for massive pieces of legislation that force Senators or Representatives to vote for bills that have things they don’t like to get the things they want and visa versa. Want to lower corporate taxes? Fine. Have a vote on just that. Want to change the tax brackets? Fine. Vote on just that. Changes to deductions? Do a separate bill. Same with healthcare by the way.

        On this particular tax bill, there are many things I like and a few things I don’t. I would rather it be broken up, but if I were in Congress (and I am sure everyone here is thankful I an not, ha ha) at this point I think the good outweighs the bad and I would lean toward voting for it while also working to change the things I did not like. But that is just me anyways.

      7. Same to you, Nathan.

        I should clarify that I don’t oppose them for their political stands. I think, isolated, any of their political views might be totally fine. I do not like their mingling of faith with their politics, particularly when they try to defend Trump on the grounds that he somehow represents or protects Christian values. He doesn’t. He can’t. He’s unregenerate and thinks he has nothing to repent of. He is quite simply incapable of setting a good example or being a godly leader. And pandering to him sells their values cheaply, it’s a compromise that undermines everything. Gaining political control at this cost ruins their chances of actually fixing anything: An amoral person cannot rule morally. It takes character, not laws, to fix the problems that America faces. At least that is what the GOP has traditionally held. Taxes and regulations can be debated, but this administration should not, and indeed cannot, be sanctioned by the church. That people are making the attempt grieves me.

        I know you said you don’t want to go there, so feel free to ignore the question, but I’d be interested in hearing whether you disagree that they are trying to sanction him, as I suggest, or with the more basic problem I have. I promise I can be civil. :)

        With a few exceptions, I’m completely agreed with your preference for smaller bills. I think there can be times when a comprehensive plan is necessary (this is where I would argue healthcare needs to be), but you’re right that Washington often bloats these things beyond their original intent.

  6. Terror attacks are an expected part of life in this world now and, as mentioned in the vlog, will not end. I am wondering what implications this has for our war on terror in the middle east and abroad. The 2001 war authorization gave permission for U.S. military to go to war with those responsible for the 9-11 attacks and all “associated forces,” which has been very broadly interpreted. Due to the blank check our military has about who they can enter into war with (without the present consent of congress) and the perpetual nature of terrorism I wonder if there will ever be a time where our military will see peace time.

  7. It’s crazy to think that more terrorist attacks can happen anytime now. I don’t want to live in a world where every week other week there is a constant reminder of that. It all comes down to trusting that God is going to take care of us no matter what, and we need to remember that God is sovereign over all. We also have great military, and that should also help ease some of this uneasiness.

  8. In response to terrorist attacks, I do believe it is important to believe God is boundless and everything that happens, he allows. The terrorist attack on the Church in Texas hits home to all Christians. I went to a Christian high school and we were the only school in my town to have live-shooter drills. I agree that there is a religious element because killing, suicide, and martyrdom is Jihad worship. With that being said, I do not think it is limited to religion because if a killer wants to kill, he or she will, regardless of religion. Because the majority of Cedarville University is conservative and Christian, I do thing we have a larger target on our back than a public university. However, living in fear of a terrorist attack is directly against God’s command in Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

    I have never thought about sexual normalization the way Dr. Haymond put it – The Roman Catholic church had to cover their sexual sin for years because they knew it was wrong but the entertainment industry normalizes it. In my head, they are both wrong but the Catholic church knew what they were doing was immoral where Hollywood does not see an issue with sexual harassment.

    And on the point that 80% of evangelical Christians voted for Trump does not necessarily condone his sin nature by the Christian community. It reminded me that David was a king who murdered to cover up his sexual sin and God was still able to use him as a strong leader.

  9. “Jeff, the GOP does not stand for what you say it stands for.”

    What DOES the GOP stand for?

    I used to think it stood for family values and morality, but the nomination and election of DJT forever ended THAT claim. Denny Hastert, Mark Foley, and perhaps even Roy Moore. If anything, sexual misconduct when it comes to children is apparently OK in the Grand Old Party.

    I used to think that it stood for the Constitution, but the party nominated Roy Moore, a theocrat who considers Mosaic Law over the Constitution.

    I used to think that it stood for smaller government, but that is not true. Deficit spending under GOP presidents, and GWB’s created a new federal department–Homeland Security.

    What does the GOP stand for any longer? I do not see anything that is consistent other than tax cuts for the wealthy.

    That, and staying in power, by any means necessary. Even if that means supporting the president who is clearly incompetent and unethical.

  10. “The Roman Catholic church had to cover their sexual sin for years because they knew it was wrong but the entertainment industry normalizes it.”

    The entertainment industry,AND the evangelical community.

    Cedarville has a long history of covering up sexual sins.

    A women’s softball coach/golf coach in the late 1980’s–married with children–sleeping with a star softball player who was so talented that her accomplishments were profiled in Sports Illustrated. The wife used to work as a secretary in Academic Affairs. Heck, perhaps she still does.

    Two male members of the faculty sexually harassing male students. I was one of those who was harassed. I kept quiet about it, since I did not know what to do. I never trusted the other guy. He always seemed a little too familiar with students. Predators do that.

    Read about it here. http://saveobu.blogspot.com/2013/02/things-fall-apart.html

    The Roy Moore story (Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama) regarding his proclivity for 14 year olds reminds me of my (so-called) Christian high school, where we had a pervert for a gym teacher. I will not share details.

    Fact is, sexual sin is everywhere. There is no escape for it. We expect it in Hollywood, but we don’t in the evangelical community. Shame on us for being so myopic.

    1. Regarding Roy Moore, I have never been crazy about him, but it is nice to see that you are clearly in the “guilty until proven innocent” camp… well, only if it is a Republican accused. You did a pretty good job of trumpeting “innocent until proven guilty” about all of Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds.

      1. If he is guilty he should not serve. That is not a partisan question. And it is a bad thing that we may have to decide on him before the facts are out. I think he should consider stepping aside.

      2. It was not my intent at all to suggest he should be allowed to serve if it is true. You are right it is not a partisan question.

        As you point out, the decision on him might have to be made before the facts are known, and I think that is the whole point of this accusation coming when it did, 40 years after the alleged incident, 40 years in which Roy Moore has been a public figure and during which time this, if true, should have come out long ago.

        I am not denying it could be true, please don’t misunderstand, I am just saying the timing seems a bit too convenient for Mr. Moore’s enemies.

      3. It’s certainly dicey. The fact is these things often stay hidden because people don’t report, either because they don’t realize how serious what happened to them is, it because they don’t think they will be taken seriously. This is a unique time, since people have very recently gained confidence to bring these kinds of accusations to light with the assurance that they will be listened to. Certainly it’s a two edged sword, but I don’t think the Washington Post are a bunch of shills. They aren’t a tabloid. They stand to lose a lot publishing nonsense. We should, at the very least, take this seriously. Which is, again, why I think he should consider stepping aside. If this goes somewhere it risks serious damage to the GOP.

      4. Nathan,

        I can just about always count on you for a response that totally misses the mark and that is full of emotion.

        Moore has not denied the accusations. He declined to rule out the possibility that he did do what he was accused of doing. And his accusers are not Democrats; at least one has admitted voting for Trump.

        What is particularly sickening is that some of his supporters–leading Alabama officials–have said that they would vote for Moore anyway. One even compared what Moore has been accused of doing to Mary and Joseph!

        Why are evangelicals so soft on sexual sins, including molestation? I saw more sexual harassment in my four years at Cedarville than I have in my close to thirty years working in the state university system. And I was not there when Donn Ketcham–a known child molester–spoke in chapel.

      5. My response was not one of emotion. It was one of observation. Your words clearly indicate your belief that Roy Moore is guilty of what he is accused of and you speak of his guilt as fact. Is this wrong?

        Btw, I absolutely agree that the Joseph/Mary bit by that one guy was quite inexcusable.

    2. Jeff,

      First, I’m very sorry to hear that. It is terrible that anyone would harass anyone else. Period.

      I don’t know how else to respond to your accusations- assuming they are true- than with heartbroken sadness. You’re right. We ought not be myopic. And if Cedarville engaged in cover-ups, then those involved ought to be ashamed, and we should demand accountability.

      That said (and not in any way excusing anything) the current administration and faculty, whatever else they are, are not the same group that was there in the 1980s. I don’t know when you were there, but even in the last decade the school has changed faculty and leadership in a pretty dramatic fashion. Perhaps the current powers-that-be, whatever flaws they may have, should not be held responsible for the actions of their predecessors. I hope you can at least treat these people fairly, since the overwhelming majority are not the ones who did this, nor (presumably) do they approve.

      Roy Moore is troubling, agreed. I hope we can get facts before Alabama has to make a choice, since he should definitely not serve if he is guilty as he is accused of being. I’m infuriated that Christians would suggest he could be acceptable if he is guilty. Hypocrisy on that level is disgusting.

      Sexual sin is indeed everywhere. I’m sorry it has so deeply affected you. I hope we can do better going forward.

      1. Cedarville has had Title IX problems. I hope they have been reconciled.

        The only sexual harassment I have encountered at the state university system was when I was unjustly accused of doing it by a female faculty member whom I supported not getting tenure. I was an administrator at the time. I KNOW for a fact that some people do lie about it, but when I was accused of it, I denied it from the beginning and never wavered ( I know what I did not do). I did NOT do what Roy Moore has done.

  11. I appreciated the discussion about tax reform; I had read a little bit about it but I hadn’t heard anything as extensive as this. I wonder what the Bereans think of eliminating the adoption credit; I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s wrong. I’ve heard Dr. Haymond say, and it’s a good point, that every single credit will have a special interest group wanting to keep it, but is the adoption credit worth keeping?

  12. This vlog provided a fantastic breakdown of how the new tax plan will affect everyday people without the biases found in the mainstream news services. The possibility of freeing up more resources and convincing companies to bring money back into the U.S. is fantastic; hopefully the bill makes it through committee intact. It was also interesting to learn that spending increases faster under Republicans- something I was very surprised by. Something should probably be done about log rolling, pork barrel spending and all the incentives for Congress to spend rather than conserve, but since it would be up to Congress to pass it won’t happen.

    The power held by federal prosecutors is daunting and the lack of limits on them is frightening. The fact that people who hold views contrary to the government’s ideals can be pursued with the amount of force they have been is rather surprising- certainly contrary to the illusion of freedom and invulnerability many of us hold. That said, Trump is not doing himself or any of his political allies any favours by seeming so friendly with Russia, especially Putin.

    There is definitely a terrorist movement pushing for more, smaller, isolated attacks. Rather than all out jihad they would rather strike when they have the opportunity. One can not win a war against an idea; enough people have the motivation and the ill will to cause harm in the name of religion and I agree with the Bereans- we have not completely won. ISIS may be on their back foot overall, but the fight is not out of them and possibly never will be.

    Sin is pervasive, all are affected, and sexual harassment is not unique. As Christians we must be extra careful to ensure that we do not fall into that sort of sin as well as providing a way of escape for victims to get out of unhealthy situations. Institutions of the Church have failed in this sin, but are still fighting against it and should continue to do so.

  13. Dr. Haymond’s comment about how the federal indictments are a problem/stoppage in Mr. Trump’s agenda was very interesting. Prior to this, I had not really thought of how Trump’s agenda was at risk with all the indictments, I had realized that there was a potential for bad press (which already was happening pretty often) and turned others away from supporting him. Yet, when the federal indictments turn into a way to minimize the effectiveness Trump’s agenda. Have we come to a such politicalized world that even the federal government and other government officials have decided to politicize their intentions. The government’s first role is to best serve the people and give the people the ability to best serve them. These indictments just prove as a way for the government being ineffective because of the political parties.

  14. Dr. Clauson, what factors do you believe created the spending culture following WWII? Did the belief that the war spending fixed the depression really shift the entire mentality of congress away from constraint, or did something more profound change in the American mindset?

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