Report Card Time:
Downgrading the United States
O.K., we know we’ve been slacking a bit…
But now, two new, major and historical national downgrades have just arrived.
Two New Downgrades
We’ve hardly recovered from the August news from Standard and Poor’s that our national credit rating has been reduced for the first time in United States history.
Now, our global rating on restrictions on religious freedom has just been downgraded, for the first time ever.
Yes, the nation initially founded by pilgrims on the Mayflower fleeing Europe to seek religious freedom, has just been demoted officially and lags behind 95 other countries globally in religious freedom. The report, by PEW Research, a nonpartisan fact tank, is entitled Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion.
BTW, this is only the beginning of the religious freedom downgrade; the downgrade is based on data through only mid-2010, before ObamaCare was passed, before the HHS or Trojan Horse Mandate was issued, and before 43 Catholic institutions across the country filed suit against the Obama Administration over the HHS Mandate.
For those interested in the details of America’s report-card downgrades, more data is shown below.
But first, let’s discuss the religious freedom downgrade itself, together with it’s implications.
Restrictions on Religion; So What?
Some might even fall for the argument that forbidding all public expression of religion might be a kind and tolerant policy to employ. We would hate to offend the sensibilities of those who don’t believe in God, wouldn’t we?
But such arguments, promoted primarily by a miniscule minority of “progressives” like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), are shortsighted, misleading and fallacious. Such arguments promote the elimination of morality and of ethics from government altogether, the banning of conscience from the voting booth, and the restriction of fairness and justice to private life.
Such arguments fail to acknowledge that Thou Shalt Not Kill, Steal, Lie… are essential elements of law and order, that chaos would reign if the Ten Commandments were eliminated from our codes of law, and that banning the public mention of religion actually promotes atheism, a religious belief system held by a very small minority of Americans.
Government cannot promote and enforce atheism any more validly than it can promote or enforce any other belief system. Most atheists understand this, and offer no opposition to the public expression of religion by the majority of Americans, who are religious. However, fringe radicals who want to eradicate all mention of religion from American life argue semantics; they claim that technically speaking atheism is not a religion, and that it is valid for government to enforce absence of religion rather than freedom of religion. They are desperate to prove that their minority belief is superior to Judeo-Christian majority belief.
The Power of Religion
The existence of an inviolable moral code places limits on the actions in which all, including the powerful, can engage.
There is a reason why countless despots in history have worked hard to eliminate the influence of religion in their governments; religion challenges not only the humble, but also the powerful, to comply with codes of ethics such as the Ten Commandments.
- Roman Emperors were considered to be Gods. and were unfettered by a higher power. This system which assigned ultimate authority to a man instead of to an established system of ethics, spawned monsters like Caligula and Nero, who used, shocked, and terrorized their subjects through unlimited abuses of power.
- Even relatively benign rulers like Henry VIII illustrate the value of the restrictions that religious ethics place on government. Henry VIII is an example of a King who placed himself over the ethics dictated by the Ten Commandments, who denounced the authority of the Church, and declared himself head of the Church, because he wished to discard an infertile wife. As a result, Henry VIII bequeathed one of the first divisions in Christendom, as well as centuries of divorce and of broken homes to his nation and to the world.
- The Marxist Soviet Union worked hard to eliminate religion from any public role in life, so that dictators would be free of moral constraints, to do as they wished unchallenged. Unfettered by Christian principles, the atrocities perpetrated by the Soviet Union include the genocides and repressions executed by Stalin, Lenin, and subsequent Soviet leaders. My grandparents and uncle are included in those deported to Siberia by this regime without any justification.
- President Obama, also seemingly benign, is the first U.S. President to celebrate “unbelievers” publicly. He is also the first U.S. President to violate religious freedom in the United States with unilateral mandates, which he issues without a popular vote, without the scrutiny of Congress or the Senate, nor of the Supreme Court. President Obama has managed to promote himself not only above the laws of Christianity on which this nation is based, but also above democracy, which, incidentally, is also based on religion; on inalienable rights endowed on us by our Creator.
President Obama unilaterally promotes abortion, homosexual marriage, and taxation without representation, without input from the nation. Even the minority which approves President Obama’s mandates is shortsighted, not realizing that the power Obama is trying to establish through autocratic mandates will be used against them by a next President who might not be of their choosing.
Religion provides not only a fixed inviolable code of ethics, which apply equally to government and to the governed, but religion also provides a mechanism for giving the man in the street power. Yes, contrary to what despots like Lenin or Marx would have us think (“Religion is the opiate of the people”), religion is actually the only mechanism that provides power to the people, power against which no government can win. History has shown us many men who, backed by God, stood against incredible odds and won.
Citizens, with the help of God (about whom they learn through religion), can judge the actions of government, can organize, can resist, and can even find the courage to die for the principles in which they believe. Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty, or give me death” was not an empty phrase, but was a very sincere and powerful statement, epitomizing the spirit of the American people.Over two hundred years have passed, but the spirit of the American people, as well as their love for God, remain.
Despots fear religion, because religion is the only tool that gives unarmed masses the moral authority, the courage and the power to resist autocratic regimes.
Religious Polish people, following a visit from their Pope John Paul II, through Solidarity, with the assistance of President Reagan, a “born-again Christian,” brought the Soviet Union to it’s knees in 1991 without bloodshed.
- see The Holy Alliance
Incidentally, the “secret weapon” which allowed Mitt Romney to trample Barack Obama during last week’s Presidential debate, is the moral authority and the courage in which Mitt Romney represented the people of America.
Obama and Neutralizing Religion
Whether intentional or not, President Obama is firmly set on a course that would annihilate the power of religion in the United States.
Obama’s HHS Mandate, if not reversed, will impose penalties on all Catholic institutions, penalties which will bankrupt all Catholic institutions within two years.
Catholics, 25% of America, will no longer be able to operate hospitals, schools, or businesses of any kind, because they cannot ethically provide abortifacients to their employees. Catholics will also be unable to be nurses, pharmacists or doctors, as abortion-related mandates eliminate all Christians from employment in medical professions.
Obama’s autocratic insertion of abortion into ObamaCare via the HHS Mandate, in violation of his own Executive order and promise to Bart Stupak and his 11 Democrats, will force the federal funding of abortion on America, something that 2/3 of America opposes. In Bart Stupak’s own words, Barak Obama is the “most pro-abortion President ever,” against the wishes of two thirds of America.
Obama’s initial attacks seem focused primarily on Catholics; Obama views Catholic teaching on contraception an Achilles heel, an area where his attack on the authority of conscience and of religion may have some success. The ethical problems posed by contraception are something that most Americans have not studied, and on which most Americans are not likely to support the Catholic Church.
If the strike at this Achilles heel were to be successful, however, the precedent will have been established which allows further violation of religious conscience rights by government mandate, permitting Obama (and all subsequent Presidents) to rise above the consciences of all Americans, above all religious teachings, and above the will of the people.
Most religious leaders know this, and have joined in supporting the Catholic Chruch against the HHS or Trojan Horse Mandate.
If You Don’t Want Further Downgrades
The Religious Freedom downgrade is serious.
The Religious Freedom downgrade is likely to get much worse if President Obama is reelected and if ObamaCare and the HHS Mandate are not overturned.
Flunking religion is actually related to flunking all the other subjects: credit rating, economy, reproductive health, health care quality, education, unemployment, quality of family life, crime rate and drug arrests. All of these are affected by our commitment to ethics and to justice.
.Whether President Obama’s trampling of the religious freedom of Americans is unintentional or purposeful, it must be reversed if this nation is to prosper.
If you want to repair the American Report Card, vote for Romney/Ryan, who will reorient this nation toward those Judeo-Christian values which are still codified in our laws and on which most of us still agree: life, liberty, property, responsibility, fairness, truth, and the rule of democracy.
Some Claim That President Obama Wants Us to Flunk
There are documented and credible claims, based on President Obama’s autobiography and on an analysis of his history that Barak Obama subscribes to an anti-colonialist philosophy.
Anti-colonialism vilifies the United States as a nation which exploits other nations unfairly, and which must be taken down a peg to equalize global opportunity for other nations. Anti-colonialism does not acknowledge that hard work and ethical values got the US to where we are today, and that the same opportunity is available to other nations. The philosophy assumes that there is a fixed amount of prosperity in the world, and that in order for other nations to prosper, the United States must be demoted.
The philosophy is flawed, just as the claim that my building of a
great log cabin or learning of a new language prevents my neighbor from building a great log cabin or learning a new language, is flawed.
The fallacy is fed by envy, which wants to destroy what it does not have instead of working to get it. See Taxing the Rich or Thou Shalt Not Kill Thy Neighbor’s Cow, or Does President Obama Know How to Count?
These claims about Barack Obama are documented by Dinesh D’Souza in his film 2016: Obama’s America. The film, stating about Obama “LOVE HIM, HATE HIM, YOU DON’T KNOW HIM,” has become the highest grossing documentary in 2012, grossing over $30 million, and surpassing Michael Moore’s Sicko, Bowling for Columbine, and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Despite the obvious box office success of this movie, the mainstream media, supporters of Obama, have virtually ignored the movie. The movie is still playing in numerous theaters, and continues to attract both supporters and critics of Barack Obama.
If we have an anti-colonialist President at the helm as the movie 2016 claims, our report card will continue to degenerate even more rapidly; not surprisingly, if that is the goal of the Commander in Chief. A suicide-bomber who intentionally crashes an entire nation out of envy and resentment. Particulary ironic, for a man who has benefited so much personally from the opportunities in America and who quite obviously enjoys the luxuries that can be acquired here.
More Details – Where Exactly are We Slipping?
Let’s take a look at the major areas in which our national report card has been slipping. We start with more detail on the two most recent downgrades, this year, following the impact of President Obama’s first term:
- the first downgrade ever in credit rating
- the first downgrade ever in religious freedom.
Grading Our Credit Status- First Downgrade in History
The US credit rating got downgraded for the first time in history on August 5, 2011, immediately after Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling in the Budget Control Act on August 2, 2011.
This downgrade was the result of President Obama’s “stimulus” spending, in which he singlehandedly increased the total previous national debt by 51%, in less than 4 years, more than doubling the spending rate of any President, including his predecessor Bush.
The borrowing of an additional 36% of the gross national product in less than 4 years damages a nation’s credit rating, because other nations begin to worry whether the US will ever be able to pay back their loans.
A continuation of President Obama’s proposed budget would bring the national debt to $25 trillion in ten years.
This is why conservatives like Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan are desperate to reverse US spending, and to stop the accumulation of debt.
Grading on Religion
Next, we examine the Pew Research evaluation of restriction of religious freedom exercised by governments.
Pew Research is a nonpartisan fact tank that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The center conducts public opinion polling, demographic studies, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. It does not take positions on policy issues.
Religious Freedom Grades- First Downgrade in History
Now, under President Obama, for the first time in history, the U.S. just got a downgrade in religious freedom this week.
We are no longer among the freest nations on earth when it comes to religion.
Moreover, this downgrade in religious freedom is only the beginning of potential future downgrades, since it only reflects President Obama’s policies through mid 2010, prior to his issuance of the HHS Mandate in 2011. The HHS Mandate violates religious freedom further, is opposed by 2/3 of America, and is likely to damage US religious freedom scores even more.
The United States, the nation founded to establish religious freedom for those fleeing religious persecution in Europe, has just been downgraded on religious freedom, and now lags behind many developing nations, and behind previous Soviet satellites such as Lithuania, in governmental tolerance of religion.
How Big Is the Downgrade?
Pew Research grades the nations of the world from 0 to 10 with Government Restriction Index (GRI) Scores:
|GRI Score||Level of Religious Restriction|
|0 – 2.3||Low|
|2.4 – 4.4||Moderate|
|4.5 – 6.5||High|
|6.6 – 10.0||Very Hig|
The United States GRI increased from 1.6 in 2009 to 2.7 in 2010.
The change is considered significant, represents almost a doubling in the level of religious restriction in our country, and shifts the United States from the Low Religious Restriction into the Moderate Religious Restriction category.
How Do We Compare With Other Nations on Religious Freedom?
Following the first half of Barack Obama’s term of office, we abruptly joined 16 countries whose scores increased by more than one point in one year, indicating a measurable increase in Governmental hostility to religion. We can probably expect a further downgrade when President Obama’s HHS Mandate of 2011 is included in future scores, and when the obligatory abortion provisions of ObamaCare kick in.
Now Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and 91 additional countries have better religious freedom scores than we do, and we have joined the Moderate Religious Restriction category with Cambodia, Lebanon, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, among others.
Will we be classified with Pakistan, Libya and Iraq in the Very High Religious Restriction category next year, when the HHS Mandate has imposed crippling tax penalties on all Catholic and Evangelical employers?
|Level of Governmental Restriction||Government Restrictions Index Score||Examples|
|Very High||6.6 to 10.0||Russia, China|
|High||4.5 to 6.5||Pakistan, Libya, Iraq|
|Moderate||2.4 to 4.4||United States, Cambodia, Germany, Lebanon, Thailand, United Arab Emirates|
|Low||0.0 to 2.3||South Africa, Canada, Sweden|
Where Else Are We Failing, as a Nation?
Along with our Credit rating downgrade comes an economy downgrade.
The US was still #1 in the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) in 2008-2009, before President Obama took office. In the last four years, however, the US has dropped to #7, during the fourth year of President Obama’s term.
Before the Obama administrations recent attempts to redefine reproductive health, reproductive health used to be measured by infant mortality. The lower infant mortality, the better a nation’s “reproductive health” rating.
Now, it seems that the Obama administration, after issuing Executive Orders promising to exclude abortion from ObamaCare, has reversed itself. Now Obama insists that abortion, sterilization and contraception free of charge be rights guaranteed to all women, and includes these services in ObamaCare, via the HHS Mandate.
As abortion, contraception and screening and treatment for STDs are added to the expanding list of “reproductive rights” now guaranteed for the first time to be free of cost by the Obama administration, the birth and health of newborn infants continues to be de-prioritized, and the decline of our infant mortality in the United States has not kept pace with declines in other countries.
A nation that kills its own children cannot prosper.
Our United States healthcare system, once among the best in the world, has fallen to #37 world-wide.
Today, we have been unable to get below an 8.3% unemployment rate since Barack Obama took office four years ago in 2009.
(This week’s news claiming a drop just below 8% is challenged by experts on both sides.)
By contrast, in the 1950s, unemployment averaged 4.5%
Stability of Family Life; Divorce Rate:
Crime Rates, Drug Arrests
What Do You Do When You’re on the Verge of Flunking?
How Do You Pull Up Your Grades in the Last Quarter?
You buckle down, and figure out that school is not a place for meeting friends, hanging out, eating candy and mocking teachers.
You decide where you want to go, how much time you have, who can help you, and what the essentials are.
Do your work.
Stop making excuses.
Do extra work.
Develop a better work ethic.
Resolve to develop some new habits.
Focus in class.
Don’t fool around.
Follow the rules.
Respect your teacher and respect the students who are successful; ask them for help.
Stop complaining, and start working.
The Same Advice Works for a Nation:
Vote Romney/Ryan on November 6th,
like your life depended on it. ( It does.)