CORE ISSUES

Faith, Healthcare, Fiscal Honesty, and Gun Rights

Faith Matters:  Correcting the Greatest Failure in U.S. Legislative History

I recently attended the Legacy Builders Fellowship in Alexander City. We were studying the 6th chapter of Galatians. The focus of the study was the “law of sowing and reaping” found in that chapter. As we were discussing it, a gentleman made the comment that what is true of an individual is also true of a nation. I could not agree more. I believe the rampant moral degradation in our nation is simply the reaping of what was sown by the addition of the religious component to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For those who are not familiar with Title VII, it is where for the first time in our nation’s history the federal government dictated to employers, even private ones (with 15 or more employees), the things they could not consider when making hiring decisions.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act contains five components: race, skin color, national origin, gender, and religion. What is not contained in Title VII is education. Therefore, when you fill out an application for a job, you are almost always asked what level of education you received, where you received it, and if you are doing anything to further it. This is because our culture values educational development, and thus employers have full freedom to take it into consideration when making hiring decisions.

What does that say about not being able to consider one’s beliefs and faith practices when making hiring decisions? I believe spiritual development is just as important as educational development to success on a job. Ask any employer and they will tell you that almost always the reasons for someone not lasting in a job is due to moral deficiencies rather than deficiencies in the technical aspects of a job. I cannot speak for other religions, but in the Christian faith one’s moral character is only as strong as their faith in Jesus. In the words of Jesus, “A good tree will bear good fruit.”  Therefore, employers should have every right to be concerned about the spiritual development as much if not more than the educational development of an employee.

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.

Fiscal Honesty

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.

The Right to Keep in Check the Power of the Government

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Need I say more about where I stand on our right to bear arms?  If anything, we need to try to enforce the laws that are already on the books in order to be responsible stewards of this foundational right.  Some in the government seem to be hell-bent on systematically taking away our freedoms, including the one afforded us in the 2nd amendment.  For reasons given to us by our founding fathers, we need to be very diligent about preserving our right to bear arms.  

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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.

Doug Bell for US Congress - Alabama's 3rd Distrcit
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