More Istook Insights: Religious freedom at risk, forgiving government but not you, and BIG ideas

Everywhere you look or read, there are news stories talk about conflict between religious rights and gay rights.

People get confused about what constitutes a right. 

The Declaration of Independence proclaims our rights come from God, not government. 

The Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee free exercise of religion. They are silent about sexual behavior.

Gay issues are about behavior. Not belief. Not the color of your skin or any other unchangeable trait.

The Constitution labels very few behaviors as rights.

Protected behaviors include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to keep and bear arms. Again, zero about protecting sexual behavior.

Our First Amendment protects free exercise of religion. That means more than freedom to believe as we wish. Religion involves how we behave, not only what we believe. Dragging somebody into having a role in a same-sex wedding is compelling them to behave in ways that violates the faith of many.

We’re told that living your religion is bigotry.

Religious freedom is being pushed aside by political correctness and sexual liberation. 

The media pushes the notion that disapproving same-sex marriage or homosexual behavior is discrimination, even though behavior is at the heart of religious belief.

Indiana passed a law modeled after a federal law and laws in 19 other states, saying that people cannot be compelled to endorse behavior that violates their religious conscience. But the media describes it differently, saying it legalizes bigotry against gays.

The media tell us what conclusions we should reach instead of giving us the facts. They collude with activists whose strategy is to gang up on a single state, and who are calling for boycotts of Indiana.

They want the sexual liberation agenda to trump our First Amendment freedom of religion. That’s a dangerous trashing of our Constitution, but the media never seem to notice that.

And further, government punishes your mistakes but always forgives its own.

Government inefficiency is legendary. You would be in prison if you handled your taxes the way they handle our tax dollars.

A private accountant would be fired for a 3 1/2% error rate, yet the White House brags that this is an improvement. That’s the average, but, sadly, the biggest programs do the worst job.

Official figures show 10% of Medicare payments are wrong, which wastes $36-billion a year. 

The Earned Income Tax Credit is worse, with 24% in error, which is $14.5-billion. Medicaid, 5.8% equals $14.4-billion. 
Unemployment mistakes are 9%, which is $6-billion. 

School lunch program errors are about 16%, representing about $2-billion.

There is plenty more. Why isn’t the problem fixed? Because too many officials care most about buying votes by giving things away, instead of being good stewards of our tax dollars.

Is BIG necessarily good?

Does the world owe you a living?

B-I-G stands for Basic Income Guarantee–free money for everybody. 

An international movement wants America, and other nations, to give everybody a BIG check each year.

Supposedly, this would replace 79 means-tested assistance programs, costing federal and state governments $927 Billion a year. That would be this: 48 Million people get benefits, which is $19,000 a year per person.

Sponsors of Basic Income Guarantee claim we would end bureaucratic overhead by giving every adult a check, regardless of need. But where would this money come from? Who would pay the taxes? If nobody had to work, who would provide the things people need? And if somebody blew it all on lottery tickets, you know liberals would demand we still owe them food, housing and health care, plus help for their kids.

This big giveaway has tons of problems. What’s scary is how many people treat it as a serious idea.

Technology could be Big Government’s best friend.

Government can use today’s wonderful technology to snoop and control our behavior.

Ford Motors has a new car that forces you to stay within the speed limit. It reads the road signs and takes control of your engine.

The transponder on your dashboard can be sneaky like red light cameras. When you drive toll lanes, it pays your toll automatically but can also track whether you are speeding and send out a ticket.

The FBI and NSA both use facial recognition software that can pick you out of a crowd. Your cell phone can be used to monitor movements.

Most new cars have a black box that registers how you drive.

And EPA is developing software that monitors how long you spend in the shower, and sends off that information.

Big Brother is watching you, but he might actually be a robot.