Friday, October 23, 2009

Identity Theft

After dealing with banks during my business career and reading about their lack of good judgment in the newspapers, I don’t have a lot of respect for them. This is reinforced by what they send me in the mail.

Identity theft is a serious problem, and the banks do all they can to enable it. I receive preprinted checks from the bank that my credit card is affiliated with. If I don’t shred those checks, I might be a victim of identity theft. Banks send me application forms with my name and address printed on them. If I don’t shred them, somebody else could apply for a credit card or line of credit in my name.

I don’t know why banks do this when there is such a risk. I guess they just don’t care about their customers (or potential customers). In addition to their incredible lack of judgment that we’re all familiar with, they put people at risk for identity theft because, I believe, the large banks are morally and ethically bankrupt.

I say that because the Bible teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. I believe those universal principles apply to individuals, companies, and governments. When banks flagrantly disregard the risks they are causing to people, I believe they are breaking God’s law (not that they care, but we should care).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Balloon Boy

I believe the episode of “balloon boy” is another indication of how self-centered our society has become. While Mr. Heeney is an extreme case, it does show the extent to which some people will go to make themselves known, and perhaps cash in on it.

The cost of Heeney’s self-serving scheme is large: expenses of those involved in the “rescue” effort, the embarrassment to his family, trauma to the kids, especially “Balloon Boy” himself who threw up on national TV, and Heeney may do jail time.

Before you and I do anything, we should ask ourselves some questions:
“Is this immoral, unethical, or illegal? Does it break one or more of the 10 Commandments?”
If you’re not sure, then ask yourself “Would I want my mother to know about this?”
“Is this strictly self-serving?”
“Could this harm others in some way?”
“Does this bring glory to God or shame?”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The other day I was speaking with my grandchildren. One of them had lied to us, and so we explained how trust is important. I made the statement to them that “The whole world depends on trust.” That kind of raised eyebrows, and then I explained to them what I meant. Below is an expanded version of what I said to them.


Business depends on trust. The vendor sends the customer the good trusting he will be paid. The customer orders the goods trusting they are of good quality and made according to specifications.


You get on an airplane trusting the pilot to be sober and unimpaired, in addition to being well-trained. You trust the mechanics prepared the plane properly and the air traffic controllers are paying attention.


You marry someone trusting they will keep their vows made at the altar before God. You trust that person not to bring home STDs, to be faithful to you, and to do his or her share within the family.

So trust is important. If you have a reputation for being trustworthy and a person of integrity, that will help you in all your dealings. If not, your life will be hindered in various ways.

I believe the main reason why there are so many negative reactions by citizens regarding health care reform is that we don’t trust Congress or the President. Congress has a lower rating than even President Bush at his lowest point. President Obama hasn’t done anything yet to earn our mistrust, so he is right now a victim of the untrustworthiness of his predecessors and mistrust of government in general. You reap what you sow, and Congress is reaping what it has sown for decades.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Letterman: More on Sex – Part 3

More on why I think God did not want sex outside of marriage and why God instituted the family and marriage.

To Protect against Disease

Physical harm is also a prevalent consequence of sex outside of marriage. AIDS, venereal diseases and other problems result from sex outside of marriage. And unknown to many, adultery and promiscuous living increases one’s risk of certain types of cancer. Dr. Ralph Richart of Columbia University’s College of Surgeons says that, infidelity and promiscuous living drastically increase a woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer. So we can see from these common-sense reasons why God’s way is the best.


In conclusion, morality, sex, marriage and the family seem to be the main battleground in the culture wars that we are experiencing in this country. Make no mistake about it, others chose this battleground, not the so-called religious right, the Church, or Christians in general. It is the other side that wants to totally remake society according to its values, and its values generally contradict Scripture.

The Church and Christians are simply reacting to this attempt to radically redefine society as we know it and the way God established it. Somebody has to stand up against these radical forces, and it should be the Church. As a matter of fact, the other side will ridicule family TV programs of the 1950’s such as “Father Knows Best,” “Leave It to Beaver,” and “Ozzie and Harriet.” They will say such programs were not real, but were idealized and untrue versions of life.

My response is, So what? What’s the harm in that? At least those programs gave both adults and kids a model of what families should be like, rather than the dysfunctional families of Homer Simpson and Al Bundy. Moreover, those long-gone TV programs presented men as positive role models rather than the idiots portrayed on today’s sitcoms (such as “Two and a Half Men”). Better to have good role models that show that fidelity and a good family life are preferable to promiscuity and irresponsible behavior.

The other side in the battle will also tell us that Scripture is merely one ancient society’s view of how life should be lived, and it is time to move on to more modern thinking. I feel that’s not true: I believe, as I hope you do, that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, given to us to reveal God’s will for our lives. Therefore, we should pay attention to what the Bible says in all areas, including sex, because “Father knows best.” God gave us the gift of co-creation, but it is to be used responsibly.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Letterman: More on Sex – Part 2

Below are the reasons why I believe God instituted marriage and the family.

Why Not Free Sex

In the past 40 years, we have experienced what is commonly referred to as the “Sexual Revolution.” Is this a good thing? Some people certainly think so. They believe we have broken out of those repressive bonds left over from the days of Puritanism into a bright new day of sexual freedom. And what have been the results of this Brave New World of sexual liberty? A host of problems.

Common Sense Reasons

To truly understand the sexual prohibitions in the Bible, we let’s try to discern why God put them into place. Is God just trying to spoil our fun? God gave us sex. Why can’t we use it as we please? Why do there have to be strings attached? Let’s see if we can come up with a few reasons why God limits sexual relations to married couples.

To Protect Women

Sex without commitment usually hurts women, who many times are left with the results, with little or no support from the father. Women in such circumstances suffer economically, emotionally, and many other ways. With every “right” there is responsibility, especially when other people are involved. I believe God put the commandment against adultery into place so that men would act responsibly regarding women.

To Protect Children

God designed the family, as we know from Genesis. Studies show that children typically do better if brought up in a family with both a mother and a father present. Therefore, another reason why this commandment against adultery was put in place by God is to preserve the family for the welfare of the children who result from the co-creative act.

To Preserve an Orderly Society

Despite what a certain book title says, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a mother and a father, and that so-called nuclear family is the basic building block of society. Think for a minute, What would society look like without the family? We can’t even imagine it, but I suspect it would either be chaos and anarchy, or a repressive dictatorship put in place to maintain order.

To Protect Emotions

God created us in such a way, that we are unable to have a sexual relationship outside of marriage without guilt and emotional tension. Adultery and young people having sex outside of marriage destroys us from the inside. When sex is practiced outside of the protection of the marriage covenant, there is inevitable hurt and the damaging of emotions. Dr. Irving Sands of the Neurological Institute of New York said, “The Ten Commandments are old indeed, yet they comprise the greatest mental hygiene code ever produced.” Dr. Sands went on to say, “Adultery leaves a blight on the emotional part of one’s personality. Moreover it is a source of emotional conflict.”

Sex without commitment leaves people feeling used…even dirty. It frequently results in feelings of worthlessness. So sex outside of marriage can do significant emotional, spiritual and psychological harm.

More on this in a future post.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Letterman: More on Sex – Part 1

In an earlier post on the David Letterman affairs with employees, I talked about how sex outside of marriage is a sin. I would like to explain that statement a little more.

Although Christians are just following biblical guidelines in this regard, our sex-obsessed culture accuses us of being uptight, puritanical, and hung-up on sex. Meanwhile, it is the culture that has gone well beyond good taste, in everything from advertising to TV sitcoms to “wardrobe malfunctions” at the Super Bowl. Moreover, the culture tells us today that we are simply smarter animals, are driven by animal instincts that we can’t control. Our society believes that since we can’t control ourselves, especially our kids, we need to be better educated on how to protect ourselves from the consequences.

However, our society seems to have forgotten that for thousands of years, millions of people did control themselves. Until a society became decadent, people generally followed a moral code that permitted sexual relations only in marriage. Even the Romans, whom we usually consider decadent, did have a time earlier in their history when they were morally upright.
Has the quality of the American population declined so much that we have become unable to have any self-control? No, but society has deteriorated to the point that lies about sex and life are now propagated as truth, even in our schools, and people are buying into them.

Yet God made us, and the Maker provides us with instructions on how God’s creation should live. Just as your car’s owner’s manual tells you how often to change the oil and how not to treat your car, so God gives us guidelines for proper living, because he knows best. Remember that TV program in the 50’s: “Father Knows Best”? Jim Anderson was this wise father who always knew what was best for his family. Well, in spiritual matters, Father really does know best (your heavenly Father, that is).

More on this topic in a future post.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Health Care Reform Is Really Needed

There is certainly a lot of debate and conflict surrounding health care reform. I think we really need need four kinds of reform:

(1) We need medial malpractice reform (also known as tort reform) which will reduce the cost of medical care significantly. The powerful trial lawyers (also known as ambulance chasers) are successfully fighting this because reform will mean loss of revenue for them. Forget the good of the public – just keep that money rolling in!

(2) We need medical insurance reform to eliminate bad practices on the part of insurance companies. These bad practices including dropping people who are sick and not covering pre-existing conditions.

(3) We need employer reform. Many employers hire people on a part-time basis so as to avoid providing them benefits, including health insurance. This country has a large number of under-employed people who aren’t able to earn as much as they would like and aren’t covered by health insurance. I don’t know this for sure, but I’ve heard most Walmart employees are not full time. I know it is a common practice in the retail industry.

(4) Finally we need coverage for people who can’t otherwise get health care insurance, the so called “government option.” I don’t know how that should be done so as to avoid unintended consequences, but I suspect if we did the first three things I listed above right, the fourth thing should work. The bottom line is that we shouldn’t have so many uninsured in a country such as ours. It is inhumane and unjust.

One comment about these town hall meetings and those who are saying we shouldn’t have and/or we don’t need reform. These are people who have adequate coverage, and seem to be unwilling to allow others to have coverage. For those who say the government can’t do health coverage, just look at what government employees get and look at Medicare. While Medicare isn’t perfect, most of the elderly think it is good coverage.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Letterman's Folly

David Letterman was in the news recently – in a way he probably didn’t anticipate or want. He had sex with a number of female employees, and was being blackmailed.

We know from the Bible that God does not want sexual relations outside of marriage. This is clear in both the Old and New Testaments. God also takes sexual sin very seriously. We see from God’s response to King David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba that this is serious business.
There are at least five problems with Letterman’s affairs as I see it.

(1) They were sin according to God’s law.

(2) If he had any of these affairs while married, it was a sin against his wife, breaking his vows taken at his wedding, and betraying trust.

(3) He sinned against those women, even if “consensual.” He was in a position of power, and abused that power with these subordinates.

(4) He embarrassed himself and his family. These things are pretty ugly when exposed to the light. God through St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:11-14a:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. NRSV

(5) What he did was highly unprofessional. These are sexual harassment cases just waiting to happen. In most companies, you’d get fired for doing such a thing. Sadly, the morals and ethics in the entertainment industry are so low that he’ll never get fired, and will probably be praised for "doing the right thing" by exposing his blackmailer.

I hope that when you’re tempted you’ll remember these five reasons and not to succumb to the temptation. Just ask yourself this question: “Would I even want anybody to find out about this?”