Faith, Healthcare, and Fiscal Honesty
Faith Matters: Standing for the Freedom to Unite Faith and Private Business
Let me begin with a remarkable example of how faith matters in a private business. I’m speaking of Voss Lighting, a very successful company that was established in 1939. According to their website, they are “…one of the nation’s leading suppliers of specialized replacement lighting products, with offices in 15 key cities across the United States.” Besides providing exceptional service in the lighting industry, they have a higher goal than just selling lighting products. Their mission statement, found on their website, reads: “Our goal is to ‘sell’ our lighting products so that we may ‘tell’ everyone we can about God’s soul-saving-life-transforming gospel message as Jesus instructed believers to do.”
I cannot see any harm in a group of like-minded people partnering together in a private business with this goal. They are simply seeking to live out in their everyday lives what their faith instructs them to do. No one is forced by the government to either work for or to engage in commerce with a business such as Voss Lighting. Therefore, no one’s Constitutional religious freedom is violated. However, in 2013, due to the religious component of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voss Lighting paid $82,500 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. (See *Note below)
I am in total agreement with the current Republican Party Platform where under the heading The First Amendment: Religious Liberty, it states, “We support the right of the people to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs.”[iii] Unfortunately, in Workplace Freedom for a 21st Century Workforce of the Platform and specified under the heading We the People, I believe there is contradiction; the RNC seems to be supporting the very regulation that seeks to take away the rights they profess to defend regarding religious liberty. You will not get any such contradiction with me. I fully support the right of the people to conduct their businesses in accordance with their religious beliefs and I fully stand to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in such a way that the religious component is rescinded, thus restoring this fundamental right.
*Note: This does not automatically mean that due to religious reasons, Voss Lighting passed over an otherwise more qualified applicant for the job in this case. All it takes to make a claim to the EEOC is an applicant thinking they have been discriminated against by an employer due to their religious beliefs and practices. In many cases, it is easier for the employer to settle rather than pay an attorney to defend them in court.
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Healthcare Reform: Take it Back to the States
When we talk of compassion and individual responsibility as they pertain to healthcare public policy, I believe they must be balanced. I do not want to be guilty of going too far to the extreme in either direction. We can err too much on the individual responsibility side. Some people have adverse health conditions they are born with, but we know that others have conditions that are a result of unhealthy choices they have made. In the case of the latter, it is easy to become callous, not remembering the words of Jesus, “to him who is without sin let him cast the first stone.” At the same time, in that same biblical narrative, Jesus also said, “now go and sin no more.” I personally believe that Jesus saw a broken and contrite heart in the woman caught in adultery. I do not think that the actions of Jesus would have been the same if he saw a defiant attitude. In accordance with what I call the “whole counsel of God,” I believe that there is a place for “tough love” to be administered and being “too compassionate” is not the most loving route in helping people learn to take responsibility for their decisions.
When applying this to public healthcare policy, I do not claim to know the perfect balance between compassion and individual responsibility. What I do believe, not just about public healthcare policy but a myriad of other issues, is the following: There are elected representatives in all fifty state legislatures that should be committed and tasked to calculate and maintain that balance for the people they represent. I will not quote the words of Jesus this time but the words of Thomas Jefferson which reflect my core political philosophy: “The government closest to the people governs best.” I will stand with like-minded Republicans and anyone else who desires the reduction of federal power to mandate and the increase of states’ rights and power to develop and implement healthcare policy. This translates into repealing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Being people of compassion is important to receiving the blessing of God for any nation; I just don’t believe it is the role of the federal government to define or mandate it.
I totally agree with the Republican Platform (written for the 2016 election and upheld in 2020) regarding the importance of reducing the federal debt. I can’t say it any better than they do. And yet, as Republicans held the presidency and both chambers of Congress from 2016-18, deficit spending continued at a greater rate than during the Obama Administration. The Republican platform states, “A strong economy is one key to debt reduction, but spending restraint is a necessary component that must be vigorously pursued.” That spending restraint was never implemented.
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As I continue to develop this page, I welcome and value your comments, central concerns and your thoughts on my core issues. I want America to be the best possible place for all of us. It does not matter to me where you are in the political realm, everyone’s thoughts matter to me and will be considered.