Monday, June 16, 2014

REPOSTED: My Easy Trip from Youth Minister to Felon

On June 12, 2014, Christianity Today posted an article by a youth pastor who had sex with one of his students.  Due to an overwhelming amount of backlash, they had a "change of heart" and removed the entire article.  What they left behind was a link to the edited article at the Internet Archive.  However, that link is less than useful because it will only let you read the first 2-3 paragraphs.  In any event, I believe that deleting that article was a GRAVE ERROR!

The article, which was written by an ANONYMOUS former youth pastor, is about the effects on him, his family, his local church, their families and the ANONYMOUS young girl he had a relationship with.  Due to the overwhelming quantity of ANONYMITY involved in this article, I believe that it can and SHOULD BE used as a WARNING to others who would involve themselves in youth ministry!

Christianity Today says that part of the reason they regretted posting the article, was because "The post adopted a tone that was not appropriate given its failure to document complete repentance and restoration."  That's nonsense.  The author is currently serving a prison sentence and is unable to effectively communicate PERSONALLY with ALL of those that he harmed.  I sincerely believe that this writing is an EXCELLENT FIRST STEP towards that goal AND I have made it available here IN ITS ENTIRETY, for you to decide for yourself.

My Easy Trip from Youth Minister to Felon
The spiral into sin that destroyed my life and ministry.
Name Withheld

Seven years ago I was hired by my church to be the new youth minister. The youth group was on life support at the time, with only a few students involved. My wife and I, newly married, already had good relationships with the students and their parents and, with my college ministry experience, I seemed to be the perfect fit for the position.

The ministry grew steadily. Within a few years the group that once struggled to fill a minivan was taking over 40 students to camp every summer. Teens were involved in every area of our church. The students were participating in local, regional, and international missions, and were inviting their friends to our activities. The gospel was being taught, and students were accepting Christ, getting baptized, and serving.

Other youth ministers, wanting to experience the same growth in their groups, would ask me for tips on how to reach and connect with students. The growth of the youth group was so significant that our church was pursuing the purchase of a bus and considering plans to expand the facility and build a gym. We had outgrown our own building. I had no doubt that God had called me to the position and that he had even greater things in store for the ministry and for me.

But there was one problem. Because of that problem, I am now in prison and the youth group is back on life support. This is the story of how I went from being a successful youth minister to a convicted felon in 3 easy steps.

My inner failure

A few years into my marriage and ministry I began to believe a lie. The realities of parenthood and marriage were sinking in, and I felt unappreciated at home. From my perspective, I was excelling at work and at home—and this perceived lack of appreciation led me to believe I deserved more.

Meanwhile, there was someone else in my life that appreciated me very much. Seeking approval and appreciation, I gravitated toward that person. She and I were always happy to see each other and looked forward to each other's company. Before long, we were texting each other and interacting through social media. Nothing scandalous or questionable—a Facebook "like" or comment here, a friendly text there. Things friends do.

But I knew what appeared innocent was, in reality, wrong and very dangerous. Red flags kept popping up. Why was I not talking about this "friendship" with my wife? Why was I being secretive and sneaky about it? Why didn't I, in the earliest stages, when I knew the "friendship" was rapidly escalating beyond what it should be, slam on the brakes?

The answer: I had failed to address the sin in my life. Sin that is not dealt with doesn't fade away. It destroys us from the inside.

Consider King David's adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. Well before Bathsheba's pregnancy and David's successful plot to have her husband Uriah killed, the King was already acting selfishly:

"In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem." (2 Samuel 11:1.)

At a time when kings went out to war, David chose to stay home and pursue leisure rather than fight alongside his countrymen. David's choice to stay home provides an insight into where his heart was at the moment. He was being selfish. Perhaps he considered himself better than his soldiers or deserving of more pleasure than the average man. David's selfishness led to adultery, which then led to lying, deceit, and murder. The effects of his sin hurt his family for generations.

Selfishness is at the root of all sin and I had been very selfish. I fooled myself into thinking that by working hard and being a good father, I had earned a certain amount of reward. Since I felt I was not being rewarded at home, I deserved to be rewarded elsewhere. I never thought those words clearly, but my actions clearly revealed the condition of my heart.

A wrong and vicious cycle

Wrong thinking leads to sin, and sin leads to more wrong thinking. In the early stages of this extramarital relationship, I thought that I was seeking approval from someone other than my wife because I was not receiving it from my wife. But me seeking approval and appreciation elsewhere had dramatically impacted how I related to my wife. The unaddressed sin—my selfishness—caused my wife to respond to me differently. I see now that I failed to nurture our marriage properly, but at the time I silently blamed her for driving me away.

The "friendship" continued to develop. Talking and texting turned flirtatious. Flirting led to a physical relationship. It was all very slow and gradual, but it was constantly escalating. We were both riddled with guilt and tried to end things, but the allure of sin was strong. We had given the devil far more than a foothold and had quenched the Holy Spirit's prodding so many times, there was little-to-no willpower left.

We tried to end our involvement with each other many times, but it never lasted. How many smokers have quit smoking only to cave in at the next opportunity for a cigarette? We quit so many times, but the temptation of "one more time" proved too strong.

Like David, my selfishness led to infidelity. Then, to destruction.

Loving me, instead of Jesus

As a minister in my early 30's, I was in the sweet spot—about halfway between the age of a student and the parents. The students looked up to me as a cool older brother that they could go to with life's problems. The parents saw me as a responsible young adult with whom they could trust their sweet, rebellious teens. I wanted the parents to trust me and the students to love me.

If the parents trusted me, they would support the ministry. But I didn't want just a youth group full of students that were forced to attend. I wanted the youth to love their group. More honestly, I wanted the students to love me.

The youth group was very small the first few years. The beauty of a small group is that one can build meaningful relationships with every student in the group, a task which proves more difficult when the group grows. In those early years, the group was very close. It felt like a family. As the years passed, the students who were middle-schoolers during the group's infancy became the core members, the leaders in a large group. Youth group is a year-round commitment. School teachers have students for 9 months, then trade them in for a whole new group. A youth minister is involved in the lives of his students year-round for up to 6 years. Over the years I had become very close with the small handful of students that had been involved since the early years. They had developed into leaders and I depended on them for feedback when planning activities. One of those students, though, I was depending on for more than just feedback.

My heart was not totally corrupt. My team of youth workers and I worked hard to have a Christ-centered ministry and there was much fruit to prove it. But I was often made the hero of the group's successes. With false modesty, I would accept the praise of parents, church members and students. Many were aware of the group's humble beginnings. They patted me on the back for ushering in a season of unprecedented growth. I would pay lip service to their compliments by crediting "a great team of committed youth workers," and "students' boldness in inviting friends." I knew that when the youth workers and students were recognized, it was still a reflection upon my leadership abilities. Not once did I credit the Lord —as Paul did in 1 Cor 3:6: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth."

If I was applauded by the church. I was revered by the students. They loved the camps, retreats and mission trips I planned. The activities and games I organized were the most fun. My lessons were smart, funny and memorable. I was preaching about Christ crucified, but if He had shown up at one of my events, He would have been no higher than the second most important man there. I was the king of my own little kingdom, but pride comes before the fall.

In early June of 2012 I was the keynote speaker at a baccalaureate service for the graduates of the largest high school in our community. Later that month I took over 40 students to a missions-based camp. There were hundreds of students at camp and my youth group was the largest. A couple of weeks later I led a mission trip to Haiti for the outgoing seniors. Throughout all of this, the too-close relationship continued.

By all visible measures, I was a success and the youth group was firing on all cylinders, a model for other ministries to emulate. By the invisible measures that only the Lord can see, though, I was filthy and bringing nothing but dishonor to my position as a minister and to Jesus' name. In spite of me, the group continued to grow, flourish and produce fruit.

Warnings ignored

If the consequences of sin are so painful, so severe, why doesn't God prevent us from falling so far? God does not stop us from sinning, but neither is he sitting idly by, waiting for us to stumble. He provides clear warnings for us in his word. He uses other believers to hold us to account and, most amazingly, he use the Holy Spirit to speak to us from the inside.

In his Word, God gives ample warning against sin as well as instructions on how to avoid it. He repeatedly calls believers to be holy because he is holy. Our failure to fully recognize the holiness of God is directly responsible for our failure to obey him.

When Uzzah saw the Ark of the Covenant tipping over and was struck dead for reaching out to stabilize it, was God being unfair? No, God had given clear instructions that no one was to touch the ark because it was holy.

R.C. Sproul writes in his seminal book The Holiness of God that Uzzah considered his hand more holy that the muddy, sinless ground beneath him. He failed to recognize how completely holy God is and how much sin separates us from him. God does not look upon sin. The reason Jesus cried out from the cross "My God, why have you forsaken me?" was because in that moment he was bearing the sins of the world. Jesus felt the Father's gaze leave him. We wonder why we don't feel the presence of God in our lives while we're all tangled up with sin. It is because we separated ourselves from him.

Just like Uzzah had no excuse, neither did I. God's Word gave me plenty of warnings and instructions, which I failed to heed.

God also uses other believers to draw attention to our sin. Early in the relationship, my "friend" and I were accused of being too close to each other. We were offended and dismissed the allegations as jealous words. After all, at the time we were just talking. Even then though, we were lying to ourselves and others. We knew that our relationship had crossed a line and discretion was needed. We played off the allegations and used them as an excuse to draw closer to each other. Sin had a powerful hold on us.

Third, God convicts us of sin through the Holy Spirit. The very Spirit of God lives within the believer. He is guiding us to all truth, discerning spiritual things for our human minds, praying for us with deep groans when our words fail and convicting us of our sin. Consider this: The same Spirit that hovered over the face of the deep at creation lives within you. The same spirit that came in power on the day of Pentecost lives within you. The same Spirit that Jesus promised to send to us as a counselor lives within you.

That Spirit, the spirit of God, convicts us and pleads with us to resist sin. Yet we ignore the warnings. We quench the Holy Spirit. Once a sinner ignores the prodding of the Holy Spirit the first time, it is easier to do each subsequent time. Eventually the sinner becomes numb to the prodding of the Holy Spirit.

God never gives up on us, but when it is the only remaining option, he will give us over to our sins. In the Bible, when God "gave them over to their sin" (Romans 1:24), it means that he allowed sinners to hit rock bottom, so they would then realize their need to be rescued. God does not want anyone to sin. He hates sin and does not look upon it. Yet he also knows when someone is so lost in sin that their only hope of returning to him is to reach the end of themselves and recognize their need for a savior.

In my extramarital relationship I did not heed God's warnings or commands given to me in the scriptures. I failed to admit my sin and repent when confronted by another believer. I also quenched the Holy Spirit and became numb to the Spirit's pleadings.

All things come into the light

You may have guessed by now that the "friend" in my relationship was a student. She was one of the core students, involved from the very beginning. Our families were very close, which meant a lot of time together over the years. She adored me and I loved the adoration.

When my wife discovered incriminating text messages on my phone, I knew instantly that everything was about to come crashing down. After hours of screaming and crying, she packed some bags, loaded our 2 kids into the minivan and left the house at 3 AM. I have not seen my kids since. It has been over a year. The only time I have seen my wife has been in court. We have not communicated in one year. I lost my job, and was required to drop out of seminary. I pleaded guilty to 2 felonies, am serving time in prison and will be a registered sex offender for the rest of my life.

You know your own area of selfishness. Maybe it's dangerously close to mine. Are you flirting with a student, playing favorites or struggling with lust? Whatever it is, stop now. Repent of your sin and make it known to those who need to know: your spouse, your boss, your accountability partner. Deal with your sin before it destroys your life and brings down your family and church in the process.

Submit your ministry, marriage and life to the Lord. He is faithful. He will establish you and guard you from the evil one. Put to death in you what is earthly, so God can get back to using you for His glory.

Sooner or later, all things come into the light.

After what I'm sure was an insurmountable amount of backlash, the article was edited with the following ADDITIONAL comment from the original author (to be honest, I think it was overkill):

Author's Note: In response to readers' concerns, the author of this piece has offered the following clarification: "I recognize that what I initially considered a consensual relationship was actually preying on a minor. Youth pastors who do the same are not "in relationship" but are indeed sexual predators. I take 100 percent of the responsibility for what happened."

So what do you think?  Should this article have been ELIMINATED from the Internet, or is there some actual value in it?  Is there anything useful that WE can learn from it?

Proverbs 27:17 (GW) - As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens the wits of another.

I think that there's some useful discussion that should take place here...
Will you join me?

NOTE: This is a family-friendly blog.  That means that CRUDE LANGUAGE will not be tolerated.  Please use your inner-editor to filter out extraneous and unnecessary words.

NOTE2:  If somehow the original author of this piece finds this site, I would love to hear from you so that I can update people on your situation without unfairly biasing what you have to say.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Was Jesus a Liberal and a Socialist?

In a brief interaction with a liberal Christian the other day, I came upon this statement:

Claim: Jesus was a LIBERAL and a SOCIALIST!

I hear this claim every now and again, and every time I hear it, it gets me upset...  If you do any amount of research on this topic, you'll find elaborate, fanciful and overly creative articles written by people who go WAY TOO FAR, just to answer a simple question...

Here is the very simple reply and answer that I offered to this claim:
I'm not sure where you are in your walk with God, but to claim that Jesus was a liberal and a socialist, is like claiming that Karl Marx was a great philanthropist and humanitarian. 
Jesus feeding the 5,000+ men, women and children was not an act of socialism, it was a MIRACLE, performed to show EVERYONE that He was indeed God. 
Jesus saying "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.", wasn't an act of liberalism, it was a lesson to those of us who would pronounce judgement, without seeing that our own SIN is *just as* vile and contemptible before a Holy God. 
Each group (political, denominational or otherwise) tries to hijack Jesus for their own use and purposes, instead of just allowing what He did and what He said to speak for itself (in context of course). From time to time I've been accused of the same thing, but I always take the time to show people where they can find the answer (or correction) to their incorrect or perhaps *false* understandings. 
Please take your time while reading Scripture and ensure that you have a Pastor in your life to help you to better understand the verses that prove challenging and NEVER allow your own personal bias to influence your walk with God. If you take the time, the Holy Spirit will be more than happy to tell you the things that you NEED to know... :)
Now you have an example of what to say if/when you're faced with this false claim... 

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Platform for Presidency of the United States

Have you ever stopped to think of what YOU would do IF you were elected President of the United States?  Well I hadn't until today...  I believe that there are many things that the citizens of the United States NEED and Obamacare, IRS Attacks, Forcing religious entities to pay for employee abortions and supporting Socialism are not among them!

So these are some of the things I would do IF I was President....
Would you vote for me?  ;)

All comments are welcome, but please avoid vulgar language.

1. All men (and women) are created equal.  That includes homosexuals, LGBT, etc.

2. Marriage is not a RIGHT, it's a UNION between man, woman and God.  I would however support civil unions, only as a measure of keeping the peace.

3. Climate change is a proven farce and no new spending or regulating should be implemented unless clear, present and obvious danger are presented.

4. Alternative energy sources are a GOOD THING.  I would not only support all current methods of natural or naturally occurring fuel sources, but more importantly, i would encourage MORE research of solutions that are based on "free" or "over-unity" types of devices.  Keeping in mind the laws of thermodynamics of course.  I would put together a group of the finest engineers and scientists and together with the inventors, we can get to the bottom of which technologies work and HOW they work.  This will put an end to the claims from the past 100 or so years, that say "the government is burying or suppressing these devices". Additionally, over the past several years, the powers that be have decided to use FOOD for energy creation needs.  In light of how many HUNGRY people there are both here and in the world, wasting food this way is UNCONSCIONABLE!

5. Immigration reform IS needed in this country.  I would support limited amnesty programs, but it would be necessary to exert whatever resources are needed, in order to prevent such weak border control and enforce LEGAL IMMIGRATION.

6. The military in the United States is a mere shadow of what it was only 20 years ago.  A revitalized and adequately trained military is necessary for the future stability of this country.

7. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights has never been more important than they are right now.  Past regimes have disregarded or outright ignored their existence.  A move back to them is required.

8. Gun control laws have become increasingly more restrictive.  Proper controls should be in place to prevent mentally unstable citizens from possession or usage and criminal penalties need to be much more swift and decisive.  Possession and the RIGHT to bear arms was a KEY amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in order to ENSURE that our Federal Government never does to us, what the English government did to them.  Tyranny will not happen on my watch.

9. I would support the abolishment of the IRS as it exists today, in favor of a FAIR and EASY TO UNDERSTAND flat-tax system.

10. Our government has become a "nanny-state", in that they believe it's their job to tell you what to eat, what to drink, how to raise your children, etc.  This needs to stop.  Individual liberties are what this country was founded on and a return to this is required.  States are afforded the right to create their own laws and this practice should be supported.  The government is not the "police" for states, it is it's SERVANT.  No Federal Judge should ever be in a position to ORDER a State to comply with something OTHER THAN what the people of that state have voted for.

11. Individual privacy has become almost non-existent in this country.  If "John Smith" wants to have their personal details remain private, it should be made MUCH EASIER than it is currently.

12. The government is not responsible for offering or regulating HEALTH CARE.  Every citizen should have the ability to purchase affordable health care, regardless of preexisting conditions, and any previous acts regarding this shall be done away with.

13. In light of growing atheism in the United States, the responsibility of CHARITY has been taken away from the churches and the individual and instead, has been given to the Government.  Charity begins at HOME, not in Congress.

14. Spending in this country has gotten BEYOND out of control.  Expenses need to be reeled back in DRAMATICALLY.  If liberals want to continue being liberal, they should be afforded the ability to, and encouraged to spend THEIR OWN MONEY as LIBERALLY as they would like.  Just about every economist on the planet is warning of the impending collapse of not only the U.S. economy, but of the U.S. Dollar as the monetary standard used in the world.  Every effort should be made to turn back the clock in this regard.  If they're not willing to spend their OWN money, how can they expect the government to spend YOURS in their place?

15. Israel has been and shall continue to be one of the greatest single allies of the United States.  The land currently controlled by Israel BELONGS to Israel and they should populate it, build on it and govern it AS THEY SEE FIT.  After all they've been through over the past 4,000 years, if they want to have a primarily Jewish state, it is THEIR RIGHT to decide.  Neither the US nor the UN should mandate what any sovereign country chooses to do.  We should be a Blessing to Israel, not a thorn.

16. Internet access SHOULD be made significantly more affordable for those that can not afford it.  Not through regulation or laws, but by working with the private sector to make such a thing happen.  Alternatively, Internet access as a municipal public utility is an idea I've often thought about, that would solve this problem.  Think of it as a public bus vs. a private car.  You'll get where you're going, but one will be faster and perhaps more convenient.  Also, Net Neutrality (in its current conceptual form) is NOT the solution.

17. Medical research should continue to be encouraged, but it is NOT the responsibility of government to fund it.  A strong and healthy society not only benefits the individual, but greatly benefits the manufacturers!

18. Special interest groups should be discouraged.  Nobody deserves "special rights" or treatments.

19. Globalization is not in the best interest of the United States or its citizens.  All benefits and incentives given to companies that hire individuals outside of this country should be revoked.

20. China & Japan have loaned this country a ridiculously significant amount of money.  All efforts should be made to pay them back as quickly as possible, in order to improve the credit rating of the United States of America (and of course to keep our debtors happy).

21. Encouraging boys to become REAL MEN and girls to become REAL WOMEN should become a priority in this country.  The individual is not more important than the whole.  Our society relies upon each gender for each of their strengths and together we make this country better AND stronger.

22. Social Justice (as practiced in the United States) is not only illegal, but should be immediately discontinued.  Any past grievances that any particular group has had, have been redressed to the absolute limit.  As there's nobody left alive who is DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the past actions or inactions of governments past, there is no one left to be punished or corrected.  We need to move on as ONE PEOPLE AND ONE NATION.

23. Racism has got to be stopped.  Black vs. White vs. Mexican vs. Cuban vs. Puerto Rican, vs. whatever. This is not a sporting event, where you choose your team and want the other to fail.  This is our country, we all live here together.  Yes, there are cultural differences between us, but focusing on what makes us the same should be encouraged and ignorance should be corrected.

24. The United States has been in the past and should be seen once again, as the "World Police".  No other country in the history of creation has ever done as much as, or as often as the U.S. has for other countries in need.  There are people in all parts of the world that may despise the U.S. for our arrogance, but when things get bad, they should know that they can continue to count on us to be there when they need us most.

25. Our founding fathers were all taught about the creation of the universe in primary school.  We credit them with creating the most perfect "governmental system" in the history of the world, yet we are denying our children the same (or similar) education, in favor of something akin to science fiction - and then teach our children that it's a fact.  Our founding fathers never suggested kicking God out of government and never suggested kicking God out of our classrooms.  They did however want to restrict the government from ever ESTABLISHING a national religion, which I might add has never happened.  Our founding fathers also wanted to protect the free exercise of religion as well, but instead we've banned prayer from the classroom and Bibles from being brought to school.

26. A return to the "Rule of Law" should be encouraged and a departure from "Case Law" should be encouraged.  Case law is flawed from the ground up, as there have been and will continue to be individual Judges who do not properly understand the technicalities of case law and rule inappropriately.  I would site most technology based cases as an example.  A return to the "Rule of Law" will eliminate precedents and the erroneous expectations that they create.

27. This country has been at the mercy of POLITICIANS for ages and this practice MUST STOP.  Citizens have become so polarized that they no longer care about the CANDIDATE, but only the party membership.  As most of us have become aware, the differences between the parties have become almost a blur.  As each candidate attempts to lure members of another party, what they truly believe, vs what they "say" has become less reliable than the predictions of a weatherman in Colorado.

28. Industry needs to be revamped dramatically in order to ensure that our reliance on imports decreases.  Doing so will not only create jobs, but will ensure future American innovation once again.

29. No more bailouts!  Just as every citizen should have the ability to fail or to succeed, every business, corporation and bank should have the right as well.  If this is a problem for some banks, they should return their customers money, close their doors and let a more responsible institution manage peoples money.

30. While I am personally AGAINST abortion, the United States of America should not be in the business of supporting the murder of our unborn children.  While I wouldn't mandate that abortion should be illegal, any and all funding for abortions by the U.S. government should be immediately halted. People can make their own decisions, government should not have the role of encouraging or discouraging what they do in this regard.

31. Farmers and Ranchers in the 21st century should not only be encouraged and supported, but applauded!  Never in the history of this country have we had so many people to feed.  Genetically modified foods should not only be banned for use in this country, but their very existence should be outlawed.  There are NO LONG TERM STUDIES to show what negative effects (if any) exist with GM foods.  Again, over the past several years, the powers that be have decided to use FOOD for energy creation needs.  In light of how many HUNGRY people there are both here and in the world, wasting food this way is UNCONSCIONABLE!

32. While the very foundation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have obvious roots in what's referred to as "Socialism", the need for such programs should be continued, ALBEIT in a significantly different way.  With that said, our Social Security system is in great need of an overhaul.

33. Judicial activism should be punished with stiff penalties.  Too many Judges are making too many questionable and illegal calls to be called IMPARTIAL anymore.

34. The Internet is not and SHOULD NOT BE regulated by the government.  Inasmuch as nobody should regulate what you should be allowed to say on a telephone call (short of threatening or harassment), no government should be allowed to tell you what to do or how to do it online.

35. While the federal government should have no say in this matter, I personally support the continuation of no state or other imposed taxes on internet purchases that cross state lines.  Taxing people to death is not in the best interest of government OR the people it's supposed to be serving.

36. Your personal, private health care related information is NONE OF THE GOVERNMENTS BUSINESS - PERIOD.  All databases maintained by the government should be DELETED and healthcare organizations should continue to be encouraged to freely share information with other institutions as needed.

37. The FBI should be empowered immediately, with the authority to bring Cyber-terrorists to justice.  We have the technology to find and catch these people, it's time that the FBI was given the authority to use it.  A safe experience online ensures the reduction of billions of dollars of annual lost revenue due to viruses & malware attacks.  It's the internet equivalence of spreading AIDS by injecting someone with infected blood.

38. The United States government has TOO MANY EMPLOYEES.  Significant cutbacks are required to reel in redundant and patently unnecessary jobs.

39.  The United States Postal Service has overextended itself in order to become "competitive" with private industry.  This is a mistake and should be stopped.  The U.S. Postal service should discontinue competing and go back to doing what it does best - DELIVER THE MAIL.  Private industry is able to do it better, more reliably and less expensively than the government has ever been able to.  This should also result in a decrease in unnecessary government jobs and lead to a leveling-off (or reduction) of the price of a simple postage stamp.

40. This country thrived significantly more SOCIALLY when God was included in all things.  Since abandoning Him in government, schools and the general mind of the atheistic or agnostic public, there has been a huge breakdown in what is considered good, decent and acceptable behavior.  I will encourage active worship standards, in whatever form is considered (by the masses) generally peaceful and acceptable behavior.

So what do you think?  Am I lost?  Have I lost the plot?  Or maybe you think I'm on to something?  Please let me know in the comments below...

PS: I don't claim to have the answers to "all things", nor do I claim that my wording on certain things are perfect.  When people VOTE for a candidate, they're not voting on the candidates "perfect state", they're voting for that candidate, because that candidate most closely represents someone they believe will do the things that they believe in MOST.  Unless of course you're a racist/bigot, then you vote for the person with the same skin color/nationality/religion as you do, REGARDLESS of what the candidate stands for.  That last one makes me sad.