Thursday, November 26, 2015

FDR's Thanksgiving Day Prayer



I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-first day of November 1940, to be observed nationally as a day of thanksgiving.

In a year which has seen calamity and sorrow fall upon many peoples elsewhere in the world may we give thanks for our preservation.

On the same day, in the same hour, let us pray:

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; Amen.

 From: Pilgrim Hall Museum

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Christianity Today Asks and Answers Unhelpful Questions

Just came across a promo from Christianity Today to read (partially) this article:  How 1,000 Women Who Aborted Feel About the Local Church.

One surmises* that the gist of the article is that most women don't consult their local church about getting an abortion because they expect a negative response.  Duh.

How many who divorce, smoke pot or cigarettes, don't give much to charity, gossip, overeat or swear consult their local church about the practice or expect a positive response from their local church?

Should the church show a more caring face for all bad habits/sins? Probably Christianity Today would say no. One thinks rape, murder, child molestation and on the lighter side probably cigarette smoking, anti-vaccination, littering and causing global warming would receive a clear negative response.

But, there are some habits/sins that are viewed as culturally difficult by Christianity Today so they get a pass, or at least some writers Christianity Today publishes believe leeway should be given.

The real issue is how to separate one's response to the sin from one's response to the sinner. That's always an important question. Response to one particular sin as opposed to all sins says more about personal or cultural preference rather than about what is eternally true, right and good.

This is another reason why we stopped subscribing to Christianity Today decades ago.

*I say "surmises" because the article is behind a pay wall and not worth paying for to resolve doubts.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Obamacare in Trouble: Can Only Reimburse Insurers for 12.6% of Losses; Only 35% of Eligibles for Subsidies Signing Up

The Washington Examiner has two good articles today on crucial problems for Obamacare.

The first relates to health insurance companies pulling out of the Obamacare market. The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group announced yesterday that it may be leaving the "public exchange markets" (i.e., Obamacare). Not only is UnitedHealth Group impacted adversely but other insurers are also only being reimbursed 12.6 cents on the dollar for losses.
Now that insurers have been able to look at medical claims, what they've found is that enrollees in Obamacare are disproportionately sicker, and losses are piling up. For the 2014 benefit year, insurers losing more than expected asked for $2.87 billion in government payments through the risk corridors program, but HHS only collected $362 million from insurers performing better than expected. Thus, the funds available to the federal government only amounts to 12.6 percent of what insurers argue that they're owed.
The second relates to way too few people (including only about 35% of those eligible for subsidies) signing up for Obamacare. It's just too expensive even with subsidies.
A study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in October found that about 24 million Americans are eligible for tax credits — subsidies — to buy insurance through Obamacare. This year, about 10 million of them selected plans, with about 8.6 million actually paying the money and enrolling.
That's an enrollment rate of about 35 percent of those eligible for subsidies. Think about it: Only one in three people is signing up for Obamacare even if the government gives them money to help pay for it. It's a rate below what is necessary for Obamacare to survive in the long run.
Remember that Obamacare's authors stressed it wasn't just a program for the poor, that subsidies would be provided for families with yearly incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level — that is, up to $47,080 for an individual or $97,000 for a family of four.
It's not working out that way. The Johnson Foundation found that while a lot of people with incomes below 200 percent of poverty — that is, an individual below $23,540 a year or a family of four below $48,500 — selected a subsidized Obamacare plan, very few people with incomes above that did.
MaxRedline has been keeping up on this. Here's a link to just one of his posts.