A STRANGE DEBATE

Let’s Enslave The Heathen is to say the least a strange post. John Branyan apparently enjoys tormenting the heathen. So he followed up with Let’s Enslave Anyone Who Can’t Answer. What was the question?

Theist: “Give me a reason to release you, Slave!” (from here)

Of course, the heathen (atheists in particular) cannot give a straightforward answer. That’s the point I sought to make in HOW SHOULD WE DECIDE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG? — UPDATED. Without God setting the measure, the difference between right and wrong does not amount to much. When we set the measure, what the difference between right and wrong comes down for us is our feelings.

So what did violetwisp do when she tried to respond to on her blog? In christians run scared on slavery, cites Bible verses that supposedly show that God approves of slavery. That, somehow, is the answer.

The answer for the most frightened Christians out there is simple: DIVERSION!! Join the ranks of the terrified John Branyan by pretending you don’t understand simple explanations about co-operation, empathy and the logical evaluation of the outcomes of actions. Ignore what you see in the world around you, ignore what goes on throughout the animal kingdom and start claiming that without an invisible god’s morality stick, atheists want slaves! (from here)

Of course atheists want slaves. Doesn’t everyone? Not exactly. Managed properly, slaves can be a lot of work. So it is that mrsmcmommy responded to a comment on slavery with this post: The Slavery Post.

So, if the topic of slavery has been covered well by others, what else do I have to contribute?

Well, I still need to put my signature spin on it. I still need to do something surprising and a maybe a little half-baked–like suggesting that the biblical version of slavery is a lot like parenthood. (from here)

What observes is that some people, like children, need someone to be in charge of them. We often forget just how difficult it was just to survive during ancient times. Some people needed help, and during ancient times slavery provided the only health, education, and welfare systems available to the poor. Nevertheless, the slave master relationship is rife with the potential for abuse. So what the Bible did was regulate slavery so as to prevent abuse.

Do the rules in the Bible mean God approves of slavery? No, but the Bible provides the rules for us, not God, and God is merciful and patient with us. He gives us time to allow our hearts to soften. Here is example. When the Pharisees asked about divorce, Jesus explained why, even though God hates divorce, the Old Testament provides rules for it.

Matthew 19:7-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?”

He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

Slavery has been the norm throughout most of human history. If Christians had not decided to abolish slavery, slavery would be much more common than it is today. That’s right! In spite of logic and empathy, some people still make slaves of other people.

The notion that we would have stopped making slaves out of each other just because of logic and empathy is in fact arrogant. It implies the ancients were not just as capable of logic and empathy, but none of their idols, gods of their own making, condemned slavery.

Slavery ended only because Jesus commanded us to obey the Golden Rule, and there is no place in that rule for slavery, not when God has told you that every man, woman and child (born and unborn) is your neighbor. Not when you know that every man is made in the image of God.

INFORMATION WE NEED FOR THE DEBATE ON REPEALING AND REPLACING OBAMACARE

Click on the link below, and you will get a pop out showing a video of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) presentation on the Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?425131-1/speaker-ryan-explains-gop-health-care-plan-amid-growing-opposition&popoutPlayer

Here is link to the location where CSPAN posted the video.

My congressman, Representative Rob Wittman (VA-01), is looking for inputs from his constituents.

Friends –

This week House Republican leaders unveiled the American Health Care Act, legislation that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.

In my view, the ACA has fallen well short of its own stated goals to expand choices, increase access to care, and reduce costs. That is why I voted to repeal all or parts of it numerous times. All across the country insurance providers are leaving the ACA-created exchanges, resulting in less choice and higher costs. In Virginia, premium rates may increase as much as 16 percent, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

It is clear that we can do better. And we can do better by putting the patient and health care provider – not the government – at the center of our health care system.

You can read the full text of the American Health Care Act here.

So where do we go from here?

Next, the committees with jurisdiction over health care issues – mainly Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce – will begin “marking up” or amending the legislation. This process is already underway.

Eventually a bill or bills will come to the House floor for a vote. But before we get to that point, I will be evaluating this legislation in the days ahead to determine if it will be good for Virginians. I will apply to the bill my five principles for replacing the Affordable Care Act to determine if it will win my support. I’ve listed them below.

1) All Virginians should be able to purchase health insurance coverage.

2) Choice and access must be prioritized and maintained.

3) We need to get serious about reducing health care costs.

4) Medicare and Medicaid must be protected and preserved.

5) We need to create a system that empowers individuals and the private sector, not one that grows government.

My initial thoughts are that while this bill contains some provisions I support, I do have deep concerns about the lack of details on how many people will be covered under this legislation and what the overall costs will be.

One thing that is very important to me is that I continue to hear from you about the ACA repeal and replace plan. You can send your thoughts to me by emailing ACAIdeas.VA01@mail.house.gov

This is a topic I expect to address in upcoming telephone town hall meetings, and so if you would like to receive a call to join the next one, click here. I also hope you’ll take a moment to sign up for my weekly email updates, which will contain news on this and other topics highlighting my work on your behalf.

I look forward to hearing from you, and it’s an honor to serve you and Virginia’s First District in the People’s House.

Sincerely,

Rob

Meanwhile, Reclaim Our Republic observes that members of the House Freedom Caucus are rallying around Senator Paul Ryan’s plan.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus stood with Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) Tuesday to denounce the Obamacare replacement bill supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) and to announce the filing of Paul’s own bill, which is sponsored in the House by Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio). (continued here)

Where do I stand on the matter? The problem is that Obamacare has damaged the insurance markets.  So I am not exactly certain what would happen with a straight up repeal. My guess is that where there is only one insurer prices would climb (as they already have), but eliminating Obamacare would encourage competition. So things would soon get back to where they were before the Obamacare mess. So I would like to see Obamacare repealed.

Frankly, however, I don’t understand the reconciliation process.  Speaker Ryan makes the point that he cannot put everything wants in the bill because of the reconciliation process (which allows the bill to pass with a simple majority in the Senate). Nevertheless, Ryan never says what could be done with reconciliation. So I wonder if a clean repeal is possible. It is something I will have to look into.

What about the folks with preexisting conditions and over aged children who want to stay on their parents healthcare and other such things that Obamacare was supposed to fix? I am sort of puzzled as to why people think government is suppose to fix problems like that. If you don’t understand why, then I would like you to explain why the national debt is growing like mad. In addition, I would to hear you explain why it is moral for some people to vote to make other people pay their personal bills.

DO YOU THINK DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME IS NECESSARY?

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. (from here)
“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.” ― Benjamin Franklin (from here)

AccuWeather has a poll (here) with this question.

Do you think daylight saving time is necessary?

When I saw the results, I just laughed. What is the primary reason for daylight saving time? Some merchants like it because they think it leads to an increase in sales for outdoor products, but this just illustrates the ease with which some politicians can be bought.

Did you know daylight saving time started as a joke?

American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” to the editor of The Journal of Paris in 1784. In the essay, he suggested, although jokingly, that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead. (from here)

smithsonianmag.com credits someone else with the idea, but observes that Franklin had a role.

The creation of DST is usually credited to George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand artist and amateur bug collector who first proposed the idea in an 1895 paper, but 100 years earlier, Benjamin Franklin, inventor of all things useful, pondered a similar question in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris.
Here is the letter.  It is a priceless example of deadpan humor.

Benjamin Franklin’s
Essay on Daylight Saving

Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Paris, 1784

To THE AUTHORS of
The Journal of Paris

1784

MESSIEURS,

You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit me to communicate to the public, through your paper, one that has lately been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great utility.

I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp of Messrs. Quinquet and Lange was introduced, and much admired for its splendour; but a general inquiry was made, whether the oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case there would be no saving in the use of it. No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expense of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense was so much augmented. (continued here)

What Franklin proposed as a joke is now reality, but I doubt he would be surprised. After his long life, it is good bet Franklin well understood the foolishness of which we are capable.