I originally wrote this as an op-ed for work, and normally wouldn’t double post, but I feel like this is an important message for my peers. I’m what the left would call a “extreme-radical Christian.” Soo if we’re going to preach conservatism, call out the media for smearing the right, and rail on the Obama administration for their truly obnoxious spending levels, there are a few points we have to get across first. With freedom comes great responsibilities, and that’s what this article is all about.
Full disclosure, I recently started working for Mercury Radio Arts (Glenn Beck). I wrote this op-ed after Glenn made a sizable donation to a small private charity that decided to do the right thing. They chose to stand by their faith when facing pressure from the federal government to exclude it from their program. Because of that decision, Glenn did what the private sector should have been doing from the get-go, filled the void.
If you listen to Glenn’s radio show (and aren’t paid by George Soros) you are most likely an advocate for small government. Monday, on his program, Glenn provided an overwhelmingly generous example of what it means to be a small government conservative and a man of faith.
After reading an article on TheBlaze.com about two women’s shelters that lost federal funding due to “mandatory Bible study” programs (Liza’s Place and Hope’s Home), Glenn spoke with Marilyn Vyzourek, founder and executive director of both shelters. Marilyn explained that she was told to “cut down on her Bible studies, and stop mandating them, or they [the feds] would cut their funding.” Marilyn stood firm and did not comply and, as a result, lost funding. Hope’s Home and Liza’s Place lost $55,000 combined in federal funds. As a woman of faith, Marilyn trusted that the Lord would replace those lost dollars. Well, He did.
Glenn, then made a choice that the mainstream media and the Obama administration would like you to believe never occurs. Glenn and his wife, Tania, replaced the lost funding of $55,000 with their own, hard-earned money. The Obama administration, mainstream media, and MSNBC would like you to believe is that conservatives are greedy capitalists, only caring about where their next dollar is coming from and how to keep it out of the hands of the less fortunate. What they don’t want you to know is that conservatives give substantially more to charity and non-profits than the average big government liberal (insert one of Stu’s statistics).
Through a private donation, Glenn helped keep a facility alive that gives women a place to go and receive real help, not an easy hand out. According to Marilyn, many of these women are recovering addicts, and their program has a 60% success rate. That is quite impressive. Their program requires the women to work on a daily basis, take classes, and, YES, attend Bible study. As a Christian, I know that had Marilyn complied with the request to end these mandatory Bible studies, the success rate of her programs would have taken a hit.
How many addicts have overcome addiction with a check from the government? How many homeless people have become gainfully employed and off the dole thanks to Uncle Sam?
Personally, I cannot think of a single success story, not one. And, don’t doubt for one minute if they did exist, that the Obama camp would be reading the letters in the press room every day. Why do you think they read email after email about the “failures” of the private healthcare system? To give you the impression that Obamacare has to be a better option—history shows us that it is not.
I’m a new employee at Mercury, and just moved to NYC from Marietta, GA (pray for me). This is the only company on the planet that I could even consider moving to this city [NYC] for. There’s only one reason, they practice what they preach. There is only one way to change the public opinion of small government conservatives when we are up against the megaphone of the mainstream media—prove them wrong. It is important to emphasize the responsibilities that come with reducing the size of government.
People who voted for Obama in the last election really believe that reducing the size of government means letting Granny go without healthcare, and watching sick underprivileged kids die in the streets …which is totally rational considering Obama’s stance on late term abortions.
The only way to reduce the size of government is to remove the chains of government money. As Marilyn quickly learned, when the government writes the check, the government controls what you do with the money. The programs at the women’s shelters however, teach freedom and self-reliance, and more importantly, where this new found freedom comes from. The volunteers and employees of these women’s shelters work hard get women off the streets, and learn the skills they need to be successful outside of the shelter.
Through my faith and my understanding of politics; private charity, personal responsibility, and self-reliance can put big government out of business. The more we are able to do for ourselves and each other, the less we will notice the things the government does or does not provide. The government has tried hard to replace God with itself, but they will never succeed at that because of one fundamental difference. God gave man free will, government sets limits. Even when the government tries to control your decisions (like in Marilyn’s situation) they can’t. But, as a nation, we have to decide who we are going to let dictate or decisions; God or a big government system.
Hand up or hand out? Freedom to fail, or a ceiling that limits your success? Do you want the freedom to pursue happiness or not? It’s time to practice what we preach. If you are on the front lines of getting our government back down to size, it’s time to step up and really help those that the government claims massive entitlements will help.
Last winter my church started a service ministry for the homeless. When the temperatures drop below freezing in Atlanta we send out buses to pick up as many homeless people as we can find. We take them back to the church, where they are greeted with heat, smiles and a warm meal. Word got out pretty quickly about what we were doing last year, and the groups kept getting bigger. More people inside the church means less people out in the cold or a public shelter. A lot of lives on both sides of that ministry have been changed, and all it took was a few volunteers, food donations and compassion.
How many lives do you think will be bettered from Glenn’s donation yesterday? It will be far beyond the women who are in these Colorado shelters. Glenn’s donation was heard by 8 million listeners across the country. Who knows that kind of an impact it had? I saw someone on twitter send out tweets for others to make donations to the shelters in an effort to match the one Glenn made.
This is what it’s really all about. It’s not about right or left, Republicans or Democrats, it’s about turning back to our values, and focusing on what matters. When we stop serving God and each other, we leave a void that the government gladly steps in to fill. You don’t have to be able to give away $55,000 to do something; service in volunteering is equally important. Whether it’s through service or donations, these are the solutions.
Like Glenn said yesterday, “This was a $55,000 commercial for God. He works in amazing and mysterious ways, and he connects people together in ways that you would have never seen coming. Praise Him, celebrate Him, serve Him.” Make investments in people – the entire human condition. If we can’t fix ourselves, we can’t fix our government.
Sara manages the social media accounts for Mercury Radio Arts and GBTV. She independently runs the blog http://www.generation912.com.