Tag Archives: politics

Entitlement and Your Child

The other day, Ian and I went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. I don’t know how we got started, but we ended up talking about credit. In this country, and in many others, I’m sure, we are nurtured up under the encouragement to always want more than we have. We celebrate things like Christmas and birthdays, which serve one major purpose, especially if you’re a kid – the getting of more stuff.

We’re taught that every kid “deserves” a good Christmas or a good birthday. We’re taught to get them whatever is on their wishlist, even if we have to max out our credit cards to do it. Then we bend over backwards trying to pay them off for the rest of the year, or just give up and declare bankruptcy when the creditors come knocking.

Let me tell you something you may not want to hear. This whole idea has been sold to us by companies who make their livings off of people who have bought into this lie. The only person who “deserves” anything is the person who has earned it. That’s a concept you don’t often hear anymore. But neither do your kids deserve everything that you can throw at them, nor is it good for them to receive everything their little hearts desire.

I know this is harsh. I know it’s controversial. But the pervasive disease of entitlement in our culture begins to take root during childhood. It is one of the major problems in our country right now, and we are almost all of us responsible for it.

So, how do credit cards tempt us to buy more than what we have earned? By persuading us that the next thing we want will be the last thing for a while. That we’ll be perfectly content if we can have just this one thing more. That a month from now, when the statement arrives in the mail, you will have more money than you do right now. Because you’re going to stop spending and start saving.

I told my son this:

The kind of person who will spend money he doesn’t have to buy something he doesn’t need will never, ever have money.

They will always be discontent with their current situation, and they will continue to lie to themselves about changing their habits or having more money in the future.

If you want financial advice, you need look no further than the Old Testament:

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on? The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.” Ecclesiastes 5

“The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Proverbs 22:7

“Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9

photo credit: L’art au présent <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/144232185@N03/28745556294″>KAÏ,2016 – La Richesse – Wealth, Palais Royal, Rue de Rivoli, Paris-g</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Age or Outlook?

I wonder if I’ve just gotten older or if my outlook has changed recently. Normally, I steer clear of posting anything controversial on my FaceBook page, and here on my blog too. I guess I have always wanted to make everyone happy and comfortable and not give them any reason to dislike me. However, in the last year or so (mainly due to my re-entry in the workforce), I have come to the conclusion that it’s okay if I am not liked by everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being well-liked, but there are a few things that I have recently decided not to sacrifice on the alter of affability.

I’m not out to change anyone’s mind about anything – I pretty much know that’s a lost cause. We all believe what we want to believe, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. Just go to any conversation on social media, and you will see clearly that people don’t change their ideologies after having a nice, rational conversation (or an ugly, vehement one, for that matter).

Also, I’m not trying to make trouble. (Remember me? The lady who will generally go out of her way to get people to like her?)

So why does it matter? What’s my purpose? Am I just clouding up the Internet with my thoughts? Well, I do have a purpose, and here it is. It is three-fold:

1. There are a few people in the world who haven’t made up their minds on everything yet. I am personally acquainted with many young people and teens who may not have formed an opinion yet. Therefore, I’d like to add my voice to the collaborative “voice of reason” to help them come to a decision.

2. Some folks are truly seeking an answer about what to believe or how to feel. These folks would be best served to read both sides of an argument (rationally presented) before deciding. (Or listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, if they know Him.)

3. I think we should make our principles known to the world instead covering them up. Again, I don’t believe I will change anyone’s mind, but I am who I am, and I am tired of hiding my beliefs in the closet (so to speak). By sharing our beliefs, we rally behind those trying to make positive changes in the world, and encourage others who may feel alone in their stand against progressive humanism.

With that being said, here is a post that I put up on FaceBook today:

Why is abortion even a thing? Sure, my life would be more convenient if I didn’t have a child to take care of, but since when do we justify murder with convenience? My son’s life is precious and worth any amount of inconvenience anyhow. The other argument I’ve heard is that they are saving the underprivileged child from a life of hardship. Lets just go propose genocide to the homeless folks and see what they have to say about that. What a stupid, selfish rationalization. I cannot think of a greater evil than signing your own innocent child’s gruesome death warrant.

And here are a couple of rebuttals that I made to various comments on the post:

I don’t see how murdering her child will do anything to help the peace of mind of a mother who has been raped. If anything, having an abortion will only complicate emotional turmoil. Just because someone is a victim of a terrible crime doesn’t give them the right to commit murder. That’s absolutely ridiculous, and I think the people who know better need to speak out about it. I can’t believe we live in a “progressive” society that condones such an evil, twisted, barbaric act.

Someone suggested that having an unwanted child around may remind the mother of a rape on a daily basis. Here is my response to that:

Adoption or murder? Hmmm…let me think. I know I am taking a strong stance, but it needs to be said. I’m not asking anyone to agree with me, but I don’t have to agree with those who rationalize either.

I might add here, what if we had a child with someone who later abused us or cheated on us? What if our son or daughter was a daily reminder of our previous bad relationship? We don’t kill people to help us deal with our demons.

Raised Right by Alisa Harris

Alisa Harris was raised in a very conservative family. They were politically active, and you can tell by the way she writes that Ms. Harris grew to think they were fanatically so. Sadly, I found the tone of the entire first half to be sarcastic and degrading to her family and her beliefs. As a child and teenager, she was totally wrapped up in her parents’ political activities. As she grew older though, she began to question her beliefs. By the end of the book, she has become a Christian who leans more towards believing in shades of grey than she does in black and white.

I know she believes she is right, and has carefully considered why she believes so. Perhaps she has even put more consideration into her beliefs than others who hold to strictly Republican or strictly Democratic parties. She certainly seems to think so. But perhaps she is wrong. Just because a person is wholly sold on something, doesn’t mean they haven’t carefully considered other options or why they believe what they believe.

I am mostly Republican, but I don’t agree with every single thing they stand for. I am also mostly Baptist, but my denomination doesn’t define who I am. If I have a mind of my own, I am not going to agree wholeheartedly with any other single person or organization. I know that my beliefs aren’t perfect either; what are the chances that I would be the only completely correct person on the face of the planet? But knowing that our own opinions are subject to misconceptions and preconceived ideas doesn’t give us an excuse from voting or choosing what to believe in. The fact is, anytime anyone votes for any person who is not themselves, they will be voting for someone who has differing opinions and holds to different beliefs. Yet, we must still vote, even if we are occasionally wrong. We must decide which issues are the most important and vote accordingly.

Ms. Harris grew uncomfortable with the idea of pushing her beliefs on other people. But it seems to me that politics is all about pushing your beliefs on other people. (And I realize I’m oversimplifying here, but hear me out.) We vote for those who are most like us so that they can have the authority to make laws that others must follow whether they believe in them or not. All parties work this way, whether liberal or conservative. They want things the way they want them, regardless of what the opposition believes or wants. All of this isn’t necessarily bad. Right and wrong do still exist, and if people who believe in Right stop voting, Wrong will inevitably conquer.

Ms. Harris was such a strong Republican as a child, she never stopped to consider that the party could be wrong about anything until she became an adult. She believed the Republicans would bring salvation to America. On page 72, she says, “Somewhere in there, I got my gospels crossed.” I agree with her that we shouldn’t hold to our parties as strongly as we hold to our religions. And in both cases, we should know why we believe what we do. “That’s what my parents taught me,” just isn’t going to cut it.

Personally, I try to look at the individual issues when I vote. I have voted for a pro-life Democrat before. And I would choose any pro-life candidate over a pro-choice one any day. (Pro-life also seems to be the biggest issue for Ms. Harris, and for that I am thankful.) I believe that the legal murder of innocent people is the blackest mark of depravity on this culture today. It tells the world and God who we really are and what we really care about as a nation.

If you’re confused about what to believe, what to stand for, my advice is this: take God at His Word. He knows what He’s talking about. Does the situation seem too complex? Trust Him anyway: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverb 14:12

While the tone of this review seems mostly negative, I do agree with many of the things Ms. Harris had to say. Here are some of them:

“I now think that loving America is like loving my family. We have a shared identity and a common experience, a history that ties us together and past grievances that divide us. But I don’t love my family because it’s exceptional, because it can dominate everyone else or has the fastest technology and the riches members or is somehow more blessed by God than others are. I love my family, my country, because it’s mine – because this is the community where God saw fit to plunk me and I have an obligation to its rancorous, disputatious, obnoxious, and suffering members.” Pg. 90-91

“[Jesus] didn’t call us simply to oppose positions that are wrong but to embody values that are heavenly.” Pg. 108

“…politics can leave the politics-obsessed misshapen, with no deeper thought than disgust for their enemies.” Pg. 124

“Yes, our primary job as Christians is to love people, and we can’t love from behind a barricade. But we have other God-given responsibilities too – to fight against those who make unjust decrees, rob the needy, and deprive the poor of their rights. We can make political the things that are political and make spiritual the things that are spiritual.” Pg. 210

Even though this book kept me on edge, it really made me think about why I believe the way I do. It was an exercise in reevaluation, and I welcome that. That being said, I would only recommend this book to adults who are used to thinking for themselves. I wouldn’t give it to a teenager who is used to believing what Mom and Dad taught them and hasn’t fully formed their own opinions yet.

If you want to find out more, check out Alisa Harris’ blog for this book. Or you can preview it here.

Note: In exchange for an honest review, the publisher provided a complimentary copy of this book through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers.