New York Times Calls American Constitution Evil.

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“Let’s give up on the Constitution” -New York Times.

By  Louis Michael Seidman- New York Times.

“AS the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.

Consider, for example, the assertion by the Senate minority leader last week that the House could not take up a plan by Senate Democrats to extend tax cuts on households making $250,000 or less because the Constitution requires that revenue measures originate in the lower chamber. Why should anyone care? Why should a lame-duck House, 27 members of which were defeated for re-election, have a stranglehold on our economy? Why does a grotesquely malapportioned Senate get to decide the nation’s fate?

Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.

As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.

No sooner was the Constitution in place than our leaders began ignoring it. John Adams supported the Alien and Sedition Acts, which violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Thomas Jefferson thought every constitution should expire after a single generation. He believed the most consequential act of his presidency — the purchase of the Louisiana Territory — exceeded his constitutional powers.

Before the Civil War, abolitionists like Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison conceded that the Constitution protected slavery, but denounced it as a pact with the devil that should be ignored. When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation — 150 years ago tomorrow — he justified it as a military necessity under his power as commander in chief. Eventually, though, he embraced the freeing of slaves as a central war aim, though nearly everyone conceded that the federal government lacked the constitutional power to disrupt slavery where it already existed. Moreover, when the law finally caught up with the facts on the ground through passage of the 13th Amendment, ratification was achieved in a manner at odds with constitutional requirements. (The Southern states were denied representation in Congress on the theory that they had left the Union, yet their reconstructed legislatures later provided the crucial votes to ratify the amendment.)

In his Constitution Day speech in 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt professed devotion to the document, but as a statement of aspirations rather than obligations. This reading no doubt contributed to his willingness to extend federal power beyond anything the framers imagined, and to threaten the Supreme Court when it stood in the way of his New Deal legislation. In 1954, when the court decided Brown v. Board of Education, Justice Robert H. Jackson said he was voting for it as a moral and political necessity although he thought it had no basis in the Constitution. The list goes on and on.”

My reaction to this article by Mario Murillo

The New York Times is calling for the abolishing of the Constitution of the United States.  Beyond the obvious horror of such an idea there is a dark and sinister plan.   Even though the writer raises some valid questions about our constitution he is not being honest about his true intention and his connection to the Obama administration.

Here is how it works.  The White House looks for a vanguard scapegoat.   They look for someone willing to make an outrageous claim such as “abolish the constitution” and then let the chips fall where they will.   The idea is to let it percolate in the general public until it begins to lose its radical edge.

Joe Biden was a perfect foil for this.   His now famous, “I am comfortable with gay marriage remark,” we all now know was made intentionally and with approval from the White House.  Obama bought time by letting the dust settle before coming out in favor of this himself.

What you need to know is that Obama and the Democratic Party do in fact want to do away with our Constitution and have hacking away at it ever since they took control.

They went after the first amendment with gusto by bullying the Catholic Church.  Now they are not going to stop until they disarm every gun owner in the nation.

They can hide behind all of the rhetoric but the goal is clear:

-Dismantle American free enterprise and bring us into a global government.

-Remove the bill of rights so that government decides what goes on in our daily life.

-Disarm the public so that there cannot be any resistance to totalitarian government.

The pattern is clear.  Get rid of the America of the Founding Fathers.  Get rid of God. It is telling that this writer does not call for amending the constitution but abolishing it.   He finds no good in a document that has kept us free for over 2 and a half centuries.  That says it all!

If this does not drive you to pray nothing will.  God is still on the throne but He must use us in this urgent time!

Steve Hill: The Spiritual Avalanche That Could Kill Millions.

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This is coming to you from a man who has just passed through the valley of the shadow of death. Since my close call with eternity just a short while ago … everything has become clearer. I can hear His whisper. Unabated obedience has become my mandate. That is why I’m writing this word from the Lord.

A few days ago, after enjoying quality time with Jesus, I was surprised by an alarming vision. I saw a massive, majestic mountain covered in glistening snow. It reminded me of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. Its peaks were sparkling white and I was amazed by God’s attention to detail. It was so realistic I wanted to go skiing! But I sensed that there was more that the Holy Spirit was about to reveal. As I closed my eyes, I was in a winter wonderland bustling with thousands of vacationers. The ski lodge, condos, hotels and cabins were at full capacity at this popular resort.

Day quickly turned to night as the skiers, snowboarders and sports enthusiasts were settling in. Anticipation grew as the snow began to fall. Everyone headed to bed believing tomorrow would be a day of sheer enjoyment on freshly covered slopes. For an avid skier, the exhilaration of being the first one to race down a new blanket of snow is a dream come true.

Throughout the night, winter storms dropped several feet of new snow on the slopes. The night ski patrol was put on full alert. Their mission was clear. With the potential of killer avalanches they took to their posts.

I began to weep as the vision continued to unfold along with its spiritual application.

The ski patrol operated like a well-trained platoon. Some boarded helicopters manned with small bombs, others jumped on snowmobiles loaded with hand held explosive devices. What seemed to be a strategic group of sharpshooters were stationed at the base maneuvering anti-tank weapons aimed at the snow covered peaks. They fired their weapons at strategic points in the “avalanche zone” to force avalanches before the snow accumulated to a life-threatening depth. Left unchecked, the accumulation of heavy, dense snow packed on top of lighter snow could easily slide down with incredible speed and force, resulting in enormous damage and loss of life.

The Lord began to speak. I trembled. The fresh, new snow represented the false teaching that is steadily falling on the ears of the body of Christ. It has been, and is, a heavy snowfall. The skiers represented believers and non-believers, trusting the resort for a safe and memorable experience. As Christians, we have been warned to be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). However, the present, awe-inspiring teachings have lulled many into a deeper sleep.

The layers upon layers of snow have been steadily covering the solid traditional truth of Christ. The truth is that foolish teaching in these days will become so fashionable even the most dedicated believer could become deceived (Matt. 24:24). It’s happening before our eyes. One spiritual leaders said the other day: “You guys are old-fashioned ‘holiness,’ we are modern day ‘grace.’ You live in bondage while we can do anything we want.

Pastors and teachers worldwide have succumbed to heretical teachings including universal reconciliation, deification of man, challenging the validity of the Word of God including His judgments, and even lifting any boundaries, claiming His amazing grace is actually “amazing freedom.” You are free to live according to your own desires. Sound familiar? “They had no king and did what was right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6). These popular self-proclaimed ministers of the gospel are covering the “slopes” and will be held accountable for the spiritual death of millions.

Just as the ski patrol did in this vision, those who are aware of what’s happening must take swift and accurate action. Their weapons of warfare must be aimed at the peaks and the ‘avalanche terrain’ to dispel the lies. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers must be willing to drop spiritual bombs, fire anti-heresy missiles, and even drive into the danger zones armed with explosive truth to confront this potential avalanche. The generals of this generation must leave the war room and put their years of experience on the front lines.

Friend, I humbly encourage you to heed this vision and take it before the Lord. I’ve written it just as it was given. My responsibility is to share with the body of Christ His words to me. The ears that hear and the hands that obey are out of my control. This is not just Steve Hill telling a story. Most of what the Lord shares with me is personal and remains in my heart. But I sincerely believe that this is a warning for this hour.

Satan is “snowing the saints” but it can be stopped. In the vision I heard explosions. I saw dedicated Christian soldiers scrambling to do anything it took to bring down this avalanche before devastation occurred. One of the most powerful weapons we possess to combat this onslaught is the tongue. Let God set yours ablaze by preaching ALL the words in RED. If we take action now the result will be a tearing down of false teaching and a remaining layer of solid, God given, biblical instruction that will save the lost, heal the sick and strengthen Christians to do the true work of the ministry.

The Number One Emotional Problem both outside and inside the Church.

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What is the greatest emotional healing that we need?

                                                                          

 The Orphan Heart

“I’ve been around, you know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen, boys like these, younger than these, their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothin’ like the sight of an amputated spirit, there is no prosthetic for that.” -Colonel Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman.

What on earth does that movie quote have to do with this letter?  It has everything to do with this letter!  In fact it has everything to do with everything including self-destructing starlets, young men who kill and a vast unnamed generation that has bitterly failed to find self worth.

Something unseen is feeding on the American spirit.  Colleges scramble to deal with a surge of “mental illness.”   People go to anger management and come out enraged.  Miracle diets have made their victims fatter.  People go into rehab addicted to drugs and come out addicted to rehab.  It is no longer the heinous acts of criminals that stun police as much as the wholesale acceptance of these acts by society. Entire neighborhoods have conceded their children’s future to crack houses, gangs and pimps.  Why do we feel so helpless to find final solutions to crime, immigration, and the Iraq war?  Why have so many of the psychotherapy remedies failed.  More importantly why do we deny it?  Millions of Americans have an amputated spirit that’s why; and as the Colonel rightly observed there are no artificial limbs for the human spirit.

There is great anxiety in the Church of Oprah.  After all of the books that have told us to “feel better and get over it” nothing stuck.   We remain a nation of victims.  In a desperation move a new book called The Secret touts laws of attraction. Instead of facing reality this book asks the reader to delve even further into self absorption!  The Secret will find its place beside other false cures of the human potential movement.  The billion dollar celebrity therapy circuit is feeling the backlash of anger and disappointment of an entgeneration.

You simply cannot layer happy thoughts and affirmation onto an amputated spirit.  The groovy feelings will not last.  Without the power to heal the human spirit no guru, medium or life coach can remove the pain.  You will never feel better about yourself unless you can heal your spirit, and that is like asking the human body to regrow a limb.

This letter means to show you that the American spirit was amputated by THE ORPHAN HEART. The orphan heart is not my concept.  It is in the Bible.  It is also verified by the experiences of millions. It is this heart of an orphan that plunges people into despair and evil.

 What is the orphan heart?  It is an inner emptiness.  It is a profound sense of loneliness.

It is a vague suspicion that no one wants me and that I am a tolerated guest on earth. The orphan hearted feel like they are on the bottom even when they are on top.  They feel like a failure even after a great achievement.  No matter how lofty their success they cannot savor it.  Even when they have finally made it nothing removes their insecurity. They have hidden software running in their spirit that keeps them desperate for the approval of some vague someone.  They can never please this phantom but they cannot stop trying. They cannot work with creative or equally talented people without feeling threatened. They jump from one project to another and from one circle of friends to another.  They do not believe the compliments that people give them. They are so sure that good things will not last that they will often sabotage good relationships and good careers.  They feel that their good life is secretly a trap and they feel the need to set off the trap themselves.

So where does the Orphan Heart come from?  This quote from M. Scott Peck gives us a clue: “If a child does not acquire self confidence from their parents it is unlikely that they will ever possess self confidence as adults.  Conversely, if a child does gain it in childhood it is unlikely that anything in adulthood will discourage them.”  When children are deprived of a their father’s approval they live in an unspoken grief

Think about it.  How could we have expected anything but an orphan heart?  Our society has bashed fatherhood from all directions.  Good fathers have been oppressed in the family court system while the player and the pimp are exalted in the movies.  Lesbian couples want babies without fathers.  Few if any even understand fatherhood and even less know how to mentor it.  The blind pursuit of wealth by mothers and fathers has orphaned an entire generation.  Studies have proved again and again that the father is essential to building self esteem in their children.   This nutrient has been removed. The recent meltdown of Alec Baldwin only highlights the crisis of fatherhood in our nation.

The last verse of the Old Testament is a strange prediction of the orphan heart and its cure.  Malachi 4:5,6 says “Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming ofthe great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and strike the earthwith a curse.”  Indeed the curse of an orphaned heart is on our land!

My next jolt came while working with gang members.   7,000 youth mostly gang members sat in rapt silence during an outreach play depicting a home in the ghetto.  The father walked into the set and the whole crowd began booing!  This character had done nothing but walk in the door. This affected me so deeply that in my next outreach I targeted those who felt fatherless.   The results stunned me.  Like nitro and glycerin the mixture of Holy Spirit power and the vast hunger for a father exploded and en masse they came to Christ.

I still had no idea what I was onto.  Soon it was clear that this is not just a ghetto condition but in fact the single greatest emotional and mental health issue in America!

I cannot write the next part of this letter without exploding.  Here we are in the most devastating moment in American history where we are threatened from without and beingeaten alive from within.   Never and I mean never has the Gospel looked so right!  Nothing works like the Gospel on the Orphan Heart!  Every other prescription fails bitterly. The message of Jesus is the quintessential solution to this emotional AIDS virus.

Now comes the part that makes me want to explode.  We have a golden opportunity and what have we done with it?  When preachers should have stepped up to thunder the answer to the Orphan Heart they instead echoed the failed and bankrupt motivational speeches of the house of self help.  We are literally watering down the cure in order to keep pace with a dying movement!  Beyond this there is another crisis.  While many are indeed born again they have not yet been healed of this orphan heart!

What do you do if you have an orphan heart?  You need the Spirit of Adoption!  You need a miracle where God completes your nature and you are free at last of all sense of insecurity and isolation.   To be free of an orphan heart learn these truths.

1. Transfer your fatherhood from your human parent to God and let Him provide the missing nutrients in your past and present. Understand that the approval of God your Father will supersede the effects of a devastated childhood.  Hebrews 12:9 says it so clearly, “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!”

 I wrote Scott Peck a letter to respond to his view regarding self confidence. Though hewas right about parents giving their children self confidence he limited God by sayingthat unless you got the confidence as a child it is unlikely you can get it as an adult.It told him that if a human being can give their child confidence then imagine what Godcan give his children even as adults!

Even Jesus would not begin His earthly ministry without the infusion of His Father’sBlessing!  When he was baptized by John the heavens opened and a voice said,“This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased!”

2. Important people do important things.   If ever a Bible character embodied modern inadequacy it was Joshua.  If ever a man lived that needed a formula for success it was Joshua.  Moses was the hardest act to follow in history!   Joshua was a slave and the son of a slave.  He had an orphan heart!

It is a great misnomer to assume that if we accomplish important things we will feel important.  But as I have said before even after success orphans feel worthless.  People do not feel important because they do important things; they do important things because they feel important.

Before Joshua could launch out God had to give him this inner sense of security and worth and that is why He said in Joshua 1:5 “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

3. Let the Holy Spirit flood your heart with the Spirit of adoption. The death of Jesus on the Cross paid for the curse that made us orphans.  There awaits you an experience where God saturates your heart with an unshakable sense that you are his beloved child.  By surrendering to Him you go way beyond the limits of self esteem to a seal of approval from your heavenly father.  No one else’s approval will ever matter.  No one will ever beable to make you feel inferior.

When Paul answered the call to build a church out of rank pagans in the Roman Empirehe knew the brokenness and perversion that they would exit.  He knew the baggage theywould bring into the Kingdom.  Paul understood that the work of the Holy Spirit wouldmake royal sons and daughters out of the wrecked and ruined raw material out of thewicked and wretched cities of Corinth and Rome.  Yet God used Paul to build giants of God in these cities.

The key was the spirit of adoption!   Romans 8: 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God!”

The Liberal God Delusion

The Liberal God Delusion

by Dec 28, 2012 4:45 AM EST

Our government has been hijacked by a party obsessed with a higher power. But I’m not talking about the GOP. I’m talking about the left and their worship of government.

As Washington staggers into a new year, one side of the political spectrum polarizes and paralyzes all ongoing debates due to its irrational reliance on a higher power.

The Liberal God Delusion
Camilo Morales/Glowimages/Corbis

The problem isn’t religious conservatives and their abiding faith in God; it’s mainstream liberals and their blind confidence in government.

Consider the current dispute over the right response to gun violence. At its core, this argument comes down to a visceral disagreement between relying on self-defense or on government protection. Gun-rights enthusiasts insist that the best security for law-abiding citizens comes from placing formidable firearms into their hands; gun-control advocates believe we can protect the public far more effectively by taking guns away from as many Americans as possible. In other words, conservatives want to address the threat of gun violence by giving individuals more power while liberals seek to improve the situation by concentrating more power in the hands of the government. The right preaches self-reliance while the left places its trust in the higher power of government.

The same dynamic characterizes most of today’s foreign-policy and defense debates. Right-wingers passionately proclaim the ideal of “peace through strength,” arguing that a powerful, self-confident America with dominant military resources remains the only guarantee of national security. Progressives, on the other hand, dream of multilateral consensus, comprehensive treaties, disarmament, grand peace deals, and vastly enhanced authority for the United Nations. Once again, liberals place a touching and naive faith in the ideal of a higher power—potential world government—while conservatives insist that the United States, like any nation, must ultimately rely only on itself.

Regarding the great tax-and-spend battles presently pushing the nation ever closer toward the dreaded fiscal cliff, the right argues that the economy will perform better if money is controlled by those who earn it while the left wants to government to make better, more generous decisions on how to invest that money. Despite abundant evidence to the contrary from the failed welfare states of Western Europe, liberals maintain unwavering devotion to the notion that taking funds out of the private sector will miraculously generate more private-sector economic growth. Republicans trust the private decisions of prosperous people to make the best use of the money that those citizens have generated; Democrats rely on the superior wisdom and broader perspective of a larger, more activist government to distribute rewards and plan for the future in a complex economy.

In selecting strategies for helping the poor and uplifting the downtrodden, the opposed approaches of left and right offer an especially sharp contrast. According to Arthur Brooks’s important book Who Really Cares and many other studies, conservatives at every income level provide disproportionate support for private charities. On my radio show, we spent the holiday season raising nearly $50,000 for the Salvation Army with its focus on rescuing substance abusers, the homeless, and disaster victims from their miserable circumstances. Liberals, on the other hand, consider such private efforts insufficient and demand governmental initiatives and interventions to supplement the private armies of compassion.

This raises an uncomfortable question for true believers of the left: if organizations like the Salvation Army have indeed done a phenomenal job over many decades in turning lives around and bringing hope to the hopeless, why wouldn’t government want to invest its resources in supporting these operations rather than launching their own bureaucratic efforts? If private charities aren’t large enough at the moment to cope with the epic dimensions of poverty-related problems, wouldn’t government funding to expand these proven organizations provide a better investment—reaching more people at lower cost—than any costly federal start-up?

The contemptuous refusal even to consider such an approach stems from two sources: a liberal belief in totally restructuring a broken society rather than merely repairing the broken lives of individuals, and the related belief in the healing, transformative power of top-down, government-instituted change.

There’s also the inevitable tendency of any fanatical faith to despise and distrust all religious alternatives: liberalism can be a jealous god. Most progressives would therefore prefer to commit trillions to purely secular (and mostly dubious) federal and state antipoverty efforts rather than spending less money for more results if those investments involved proven charities with religious agendas.

The left’s contempt for religious conservatives stems in part from the false assumption that people of faith place irrational reliance on the role of God in solving all the world’s problems. Occasional comments by Christian right-wingers—like the rightly derided suggestion that the Newtown massacre resulted from an absence of prayer in public schools—give some credence to this unflattering caricature.

But mainstream conservatism has never denied the importance of human effort or governmental leadership in addressing dire circumstances or everyday difficulties: after all, Republican heroes of history from Lincoln to Reagan have been powerful presidents, not merely passive and prayerful observers. Yes, most religious conservatives hope for divine favor for the land they love but simultaneously embrace the old saw, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Liberals, on the other hand, place their confidence in the notion that “Government helps those who can’t help themselves”—a proposition that’s questionable in both its components. First, it’s wrong and destructive to believe that any America is truly helpless and second, it’s arguable whether government reliably helps more than it hurts when it expands its power into our daily lives.

Fair-minded people of all perspectives should agree that any form of uncompromising, unquestioned, illogical faith can poison public discourse and derail important debates. There’s no effective rejoinder to the declaration that “God tells me that that I’m right and I refuse to consider other arguments.”

There is similarly no easy response to the insistence that “I know that government can fix this problem and don’t confuse me with evidence to the contrary.”

In the wake of Obama’s reelection, unreasoning reliance on federal power distorts our politics far more destructively than simple-minded faith in God. At the moment, big-government fundamentalism poses more of a threat to the republic than religious absolutism.

French court rejects 75 percent millionaires’ tax

French court rejects 75 percent millionaires’ tax

France's President Francois Hollande speaks at a news conference at the end of the first session of a two-day European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

By Emile Picy and Catherine Bremer

PARIS | Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:25am EST

(Reuters) – France’s Constitutional Council on Saturday rejected a 75 percent upper income tax rate to be introduced in 2013 in a setback to Socialist President Francois Hollande’s push to make the rich contribute more to cutting the public deficit.

The Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) – a flagship measure of Hollande’selection campaign – was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government would redraft the upper tax rate proposal to answer the Council’s concerns and resubmit it in a new budget law, meaning Saturday’s decision could only amount to a temporary political blow.

While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people, it has infuriated high earners in France, prompting some such as actor Gerard Depardieu to flee abroad. The message it sent also shocked entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who accuse Hollande of being anti-business.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the rejection of the 75 percent tax and other minor measures could cut up to 500 million euros in forecast tax revenues but would not hurt efforts to slash the public deficit to below a European Union ceiling of 3 percent of economic output next year.

“The rejected measures represent 300 to 500 million euros. Our deficit-cutting path will not be affected,” Moscovici told BFM television. He too said the government would resubmit a proposal to raise taxes on high incomes in 2013 and 2014.

The Council, made up of nine judges and three former presidents, is concerned the tax would hit a married couple where one partner earned above a million euros but it would not affect a couple where each earned just under a million euros.

UMP member Gilles Carrez, chairman of the National Assembly’s finance commission, told BFM television, however, that the Council’s so-called wise men also felt the 75 percent tax was excessive and too much based on ideology.

FRANCE UNDER SCRUTINY

Hollande shocked many by announcing his 75 percent tax proposal out of the blue several weeks into a campaign that some felt was flagging. Left-wing voters were cheered by it but business leaders warned that talent would flee the country.

Set to be a temporary measure until France is out of economic crisis, the few hundred million euros a year the tax was set to raise is a not insignificant sum as the government strives to boost public finances in the face of stalled growth.

Hollande’s 2013 budget calls for the biggest belt-tightening effort France has seen in decades and is based on a growth target of 0.8 percent, a level analysts view as over-optimistic.

Fitch Ratings this month affirmed its triple-A rating on France but said there was no room for slippage. Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s have both stripped Europe’s No. 2 economy of its AAA badge due to concern over strained public finances and stalled growth.

The International Monetary Fund recently forecast that France will miss its 3 percent deficit target next year and signs are growing that Paris could negotiate some leeway on the timing of that goal with its EU partners.

The INSEE national statistics institute this week scaled back its reading of a return to growth in the third quarter to 0.1 percent from 0.2 percent, and the government said it could review its 2013 outlook in the next few months.

Saturday’s decision was in response to a motion by the opposition conservative UMP party, whose weight in fighting Hollande’s policies has been reduced by a leadership crisis that has split it in two seven months after it lost power.

The Constitutional Council is a politically independent body that rules on whether laws, elections and referenda are constitutional.

Messages to Hitler: You have done your worst now we will do our best!

INF3-67_Winston_Churchill

It is a forgotten but important part of history.  Winston Churchill would sent insults to Hitler.  Churchill understood that Adolf Hitler could not resist reading any message he got from Churchill.    One night after an especially terrible bombing on London, Churchill  sent this message to Hitler: “You have done your worst, now we will do our best.”   Mr. Churchill’s taunts were also widely known to the British people and it ignited a will to fight.

Beloved, we need to learn a secret from this legendary leader.   2012 was a year that Satan did his worst.  Now let’s make 2013 that year that God does His best through us!

Yes, Modern problems are now supernatural. To hold a family together today requires supernatural help.  To keep one’s sanity in the dizzying pace of today demands an emotional foundation that is superhuman.  Some will think that their problems are so deep that they have run off the map of the Bible.

Now for the defiant news: This can be the greatest year of your life.  Despite all the bad news and the threatening conditions you can do things this year that you never thought were possible. This is no hollow boast. My bold confession is based on a spiritual law!  When evil does its worst, God will do His best.  Let me demonstrate: When Pharaoh raged Moses appeared. When Goliath roared David came forth.  When the world seemed hopelessly locked in the grip of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel leveled him with prophetic authority. Ruth and Boaz, the greatest love story of the Old Testament came in the darkness of the time of the Judges. Isaac obtained a hundredfold harvest in the midst of a grinding drought.  When the New Testament Church seemed doomed, their chief persecutor, Saul of Tarsus became Paul the Apostle.

 God will make special grace, power and miracles available at this time.   Here is your promise: Isaiah 60:1-5, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. 4 “ Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side. 5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.”

The real threat is that you would be deceived into small plans when you are supposed to have big ones.  We always enlarge the threat of failure and diminish the damage of not trying.  Regret is the real cancer of life.  When you look back on your life, you hardly ever regret trying something that was seemingly impossible.  What brings us pain are those memories of lost opportunity and the gnawing feeling of what might have been if we had just tried one more time.

Heaven wants expression.  Our heart must not just mouth the words, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” our life must match it with plans that are born from prayer and we must act on those plans with fierce boldness!

As fiscal crisis looms, taxing charitable gifts by the rich will hurt the poor the most.

As fiscal crisis looms, taxing charitable gifts by the rich will hurt the poor the most.

By Richard Stearns

Published December 27, 2012

FoxNews.com

  • 121712_Charities_ap2.jpg

    Dec. 7 2012: Vonetta Hudgins puts money in the kettle as Troy Dorn rings the bell for donations for the Salvation Army in front of the Kmart in Pleasantville, NJ. (AP/The Press of Atlantic City)

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    December 10 2012: Donna Marshall prepares lunch platters at the Salvation Army building in Atlantic City, NJ, for their charity lunch program. Some nonprofit’s fear Washington will go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” next year, and take them along for the ride. (AP/The Press of Atlantic City)

For nearly two years now, we have heard about the divide between wealthy America and the rest of us. We are told that the rich don’t pay their fair share in taxes. We hear that the wealthiest one percent run the country for their own benefit.

Whether you agree with this or not, there is no shortage of proposals in Washington targeted to address this sense of inequality. But my personal experience as a former corporate CEO and now as president of one of the country’s largest charities, is that many wealthy women and men are voluntarily bridging this gap through their charitable giving.

For nearly as long as the income tax has existed, the U.S. government has allowed individuals to deduct their giving from their taxes, recognizing that private organizations contribute to the common good and to economic growth. Our country does need to get its fiscal house in order, but policy makers need to be extremely careful in their zeal to find new government revenue. Raising taxes on the wealthy by taxing their giving is likely to hurt the poor the most.

Last year, Americans donated roughly $300 billion to charity. That’s larger than the budgets for the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, and Education.

Under any of the various proposals to remove or cap the charitable deduction, the government would be weakening charities and threatening to shred America’s safety net for the poor. With half of Americans either below the poverty line or considered to be “low income,” we are in a time when charities’ services are most urgently needed. Food banks are tapped out. Homeless shelters are full.

Any scheme to cap or reduce the charitable deduction will ultimately hurt our economy and those on its lowest rung. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Who Really Cares,” estimates that every dollar in charitable giving increases GDP by as much as $15. In addition, non-profit organizations employ 10 percent of the workforce.

It is clear that the proposals to limit the deduction will hurt giving. According to Independent Sector, a coalition of non-profits, removing the charitable deduction could cause a 36 percent decline in giving. Even the White House, which has proposed a cap on the amount the wealthy can deduct, agrees that such a move could cause a $10 billion decline in giving.

In my job as the head of a large non-profit, I have met hundreds of wealthy individuals who care deeply about the needs of those who are less fortunate.

Over dinner a few weeks ago, one of our biggest donors said to me, “Rich, if the charitable tax deduction goes away, charities are going to suffer. Say I have a million dollars I’ve set aside for my annual giving to charities. If the laws change, I can no longer give the entire million dollars to charity. At a marginal tax rate of 35 percent, only $650,000 will go to charitable work and $350,000 will now go to the government. The charities I support will have to get by on 35 percent less.”

The government can’t meet every need of society, but it can encourage individuals to step in and help a neighbor in need, train someone who needs a job, strengthen a school, or mentor a young person who is at risk.

Last year, Americans donated roughly $300 billion to charity. That’s larger than the budgets for the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation, and Education. And even though international giving is just a small percentage of that, a 2012 study by the Hudson Institute found that private giving to developing countries ($39 billion) far outweighed official foreign aid ($30.4 billion).

Does it make sense to punish generosity? Does it make sense to penalize the very people who are willing to distribute their own money—beyond the taxes they already pay—to strengthen the fabric of our society by helping the poor, funding medical research and hospitals, supporting a university or caring for the disabled?  Such a policy will not only hurt those who are most in need, it will also hurt our economy.

Last month, I visited Seattle’s Bread of Life Mission, an outreach to the city’s homeless community. The Mission provides housing, substance abuse recovery, and job training to men and women who were once living on the streets. Like hundreds of thousands of other small, targeted, and effective private organizations, Bread of Life Mission uses private donations and the volunteer work of compassionate individuals to heal broken lives and to make Seattle a better place for all of its residents.

Private citizens working together to do a public good—this kind of compassion expresses the best values of our democracy. Who will replace these kinds of services when charities like Bread of Life Mission are forced to slash their budgets? Will Congress?

The charitable deduction has given America one of the most vibrant private charitable sectors in the world, serving needs at home and spreading American goodwill around the world. Our current policies have served us well through the Great Depression and World War II. Let’s not start punishing American generosity because leaders in Washington can’t balance their budgets.

Richard Stearns is president of Word Vision